21) War Wax - Terre Haute
During July 2008, I thought I was going progressively deaf in my left ear. After I started getting a constant ringing in it I decided I'd better see my doctor. He prescribed some antibiotics and suggested we buy an over the counter ear syringe and irrigation fluid. The fluid didn't seem to help much and neither did the hydrogen peroxide we tried. In the end Patty and I thought we'd flood my ear with warm water through the 3oz ear syringe. The stuff that came out of my ear was unbelievable.
Ear Wax from my Left Ear - July 26th 2008
Father Jack and his ear wax candle
22) Sprained Ankle - Terre Haute
About 8pm on 22nd May, 2012, I was cleaning out the swimming pool and realized realized the vacuum line was kinked. Turning round I started walking along the edge of the pool and stepped off the concrete edging. I ended up with one leg in the pool and the other still up on the edge of it. It hurt. About 10:30pm I decided to get Patty to take me to Regional hospital so they could look at it. The x-rays showed nothing was broken but the put my foot in a half cast, gave me a prescription for Tramadol and sent me home.
On 28th May, I still couldn't walk on the foot and was still getting around on crutches. A friend had given us a foot "boot" the day before and we took the hospital cast off. Here's some images of my sprained foot - still very bruised and swollen...
The borrowed "boot"
It's now October and my ankle is still causing me a few problems. It still aches occasionally and I still cannot walk more than a mile or so without pain.
23) Injured Hands - Terre Haute
Yet another dumb accident. for some reason when I've been drinking now and then I do something stupid. On September 28th, 2012 I was at Andy's having a few beers and got it into my head I could ride a mini-motorbike. I can't. The first attempt I drove it into the wall of his garage, I should have stopped there but I didn't. The second time I made it as far as the driveway then fell off tearing up the palms of my hands in the process. The pictures make it look worse than it is, but they were more or less completely healed a couple of weeks later.
24) Injured Index Finger - Terre Haute
A friend of mine has a Magnum Research BFR 450 Marlin with a 10" barrel. On June 13 2014, which happened to be a Friday, I went over to his place to fire a few rounds. It's a beast of a gun to fire but I thought I was fine with it.
Magnum Research BFR 450 Marlin
A day or two later my index finger started to bruise and was very painful.
Bruised Index Finger - June 2014
In September 2014, I still cannot bend the finger properly and the joint is still swollen. I suppose whatever I did to myself is now permanent.
Index Fingers, September 20, 2014
Right and Left Index Fingers, September 20, 2014
25) Nodule on Lung - Terre Haute
In June 2014, I developed a sore throat and low-grade fever that would not go away. Patty eventually persuaded me to go and see the doctor. The doctor suspected a thyroid infection and gave me antibiotics and also asked that I should get a chest x-ray. A couple of days later I got a phone call at work saying the x-ray showed a lump in my lung and I should get a CT scan done. The scan confirmed that there was a nodule on my right lung and the doctor sent me to a lung specialist. He had me have a full body PET scan and sent me to a surgeon.
I think the technology is great. A PET scan is one of the tests for cancer. Very simply, what happens is that they inject you with slightly radioactive glucose. The scanner shows where that glucose goes and apparently cancer cells metabolize the glucose quickly, concentrating it so it shows on the scan.
CT scan images of the nodule in my right lung. The nodule is around 1.3cm in diameter.
The PET scan was inconclusive, so I had a choice. Do nothing for 2 years and see what happened to the nodule or have it removed. I chose to have it removed and on July 20, 2014, I had the operation, a thoracoscopy. It only lasted about half an hour and Patty knew what had happened before I did. After removing the nodule, they did a biopsy on it. If it had of been cancerous, they would have removed a lobe of my lung. Luckily, it turned out to be self-contained nodule consisting of liquid and fungus, so they just sewed me back up.
The operating rooms are cold. Then they told me to hold out my arm. Injected with something that they said would feel a bit warm. Then I woke up back in the room with tubes seemingly everywhere. An oxygen one up my nose, a couple in my wrists for saline, blood thinners, and pain medication. A catheter in my bladder, a drain tube in my lung for blood and other liquids, and another catheter in my back for an ON-Q PainBuster anesthetic dispenser.
I recovered pretty quickly and was sent home on July 22 with a bottle of vicodin tablets and an incentive spirometer. What happened was that during the operation they collapsed my lung. The spirometer is to help with breathing exercises to make sure the lung is properly inflated and to exercise it.
Incentive Spirometer - nearly back to normal.
I spent a couple of very uncomfortable days taking maybe 4 or 5 vicodin a day but after that it wasn't so bad. Then the bruising started to come out. This looks a lot worse than it felt. The first week after the surgery was horrible, but was feeling a lot better by the end of the second week. In fact I felt ready to go back to work on September 8, but then I got flu and had to spend another week in bed. I eventually went back to work on September 15.
My side, August 31, 2014 and September 21, 2014.
It's now September 22, 2014 and my side is doing well. The only after effects I've got is a lump just under my ribs. It sometimes feels like someone is pushing a pillow there. The other thing is I've lost some feeling in my upper right arm. Both were caused by cutting through the tissue and nerves to get to my lung. It will probably be several months before everything is back to normal. Other than that, I feel great.
I made a short video from the images from the CT scan...