Thursday, March 31, 2016

Day 3 - Holy Mother of Hell

Welcome to the dreaded Day 3….

Before I begin the narrative, just wanted to note that day 2 progressed very slowly. I took my OxyCodone at 10 am, and then again before going to bed at around 10 pm. It was a struggle the in-between. Swallowing spiked the pain up to a 7, good news is, things seem to be progressing well; pain notwithstanding, that is.

Day 3 has provided me with one hell of a morning. After nearly 2 hours of trying to get something into my stomach, I have managed to down a smoothie I made, and laced with the narcotic painkiller. The only thing I could manage to eat was a bowlful of Jello, and a vanilla pudding cup. That’s it. I’m hoping that, and the smoothie itself serves as a buffer for the painkiller. The last thing I want is to vomit—that would ruin the day. I have to take care of my scabs, I cannot afford any more pain. I’m on the edge. I woke up with ringing in my ears, jaw pain, tongue swollen. The works, basically.

I believe my first (texted) words were “I now know God is indeed real….only [he] could think of a pain this cruel.”

I take comfort in that I should be feeling much better after this weekend comes and goes. I take a great deal of discomfort though, knowing that the next 48-72 hours might be just as bad, if not worse than today has been. I will be dutifully taking that Oxy, which means this might be my only (albeit short) entry for the day. This painkiller is great, definitely knocks me out. The only thing I regret, is not being able to eat my scrambled eggs. I don’t have it in me to brave that, not right now. 

P.S. All Hail The Mighty Oxy...

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tonsillectomy Journal #1: Day 2

Good morning everyone,

This is a little impromptu entry I thought about doing. To give you some perspective, for the last year I have been suffering from recurring health problems: sinus infections and chronic tonsillitis (accompanied by some cozy, infernal fever, and nails-down-throat-wall sensation). Finally, earlier this year, I was able to obtain a medical appointment (after MONTHS of struggling to find a stable health insurance, ironically made a hectic trek thanks to the Affordable Care Act). It didn’t take any of my doctors more than five minutes to agree that my situation requires a tonsillectomy (“A-S-A-P”), and booking the very first available slot in the butcher-house, I begun the month-long journey to prepare for slicin’.

I remember my otolaryngologist (ENT) warning that an adult tonsillectomy was a very delicate and painful procedure. I explained that this was not the first time I opted for the knife instead of medication (which never seemed to work in either case). The first time I made this decision, I was 17-years-old. I had been suffering from chronic, nighttime seizures (which I would later learn were a result of a congenital group of neurons that did not separate properly at birth, and did not begun misfiring until my teenage years). As a result of the later, I underwent three surgeries (1 brain surgery, and 2 skull-reconstruction surgeries) over the period of four months (Oct. 2009, Nov. 2009, Feb. 2010). Flashback aside, I was ready for the pain. At least, so I thought I would be.

My surgery was yesterday, Tuesday, March the 29th of 2016 at 7 in the morning. After getting lost (due to the surgical facility changing venues…without telling me) I arrived at 6 instead of 5:30 as was advised. This was not a problem, the staff was very accommodating, making the cooler-for-an-office a much warmer place. The anesthesiologist aptly dubs me the “first victim”. If this had been my first surgery, I might have been scared—I was ready. Fast forward a couple of hours, the last thing I remembered before waking up was lying down under a number of bright lights in a white operating chamber. I came to, at about a quarter past nine; I did not open my eyes for another twenty minutes or so (I kept crossing between sleep and consciousness). It may have been the apple juice a kind nurse offered me that woke up for good this time. Don’t get me wrong, I felt the pain, and if it wasn’t for an intravenous Percocet, I might not have been as happy as I was (turns out I had been complimenting everyone, after leaving the OR—I don’t remember this, though, but I’m glad I did; mom raised a gentleman, after all).

I’m driven home with an ice pack on my neck, and plenty of happy juice still coursing through my veins. I remember being asked how I was feeling, by concerned friends, and I responded “I’m beautiful” to an audience of chuckles and giggles. I could not have been more foregone. Unfortunately, my short-lived euphoria faded into an afternoon of painful swelling, the loss of my voice, and the realization that my diet would look like this, for the next two weeks:

Photo by Me
Trust me, it looks easy, but I am having a really hard time getting any of this down right now; I definitely need it, too, that narcotic is begging to soothe my pain for the next six hours.

After a night of troubled sleep, I was woken by my trusty alarm at 8:30 this morning. The pain was real. Not wishing to wake anyone, I ventured into the kitchen to prepare the only thing I could think of that would go down easily, without hurting the scabs in the back of my throat. I was no Gordon Ramsay making scrambled eggs, but still when you feel a dagger torpedoing its way down your throat, you don’t really care about doing a good job. Adding melon jelly, and picking up a vanilla pudding cup, I was ready….It’s 10:04 right this second and I’ve barely tackled half those eggs; the jello has been as neglected, and the pudding cup remains unopened. Alas, it seems that that narcotic-laced ice cream bowl is going to have to wait a lot longer.

I will keep updating this entry throughout the day, it’s no use calling the first couple of hours of day two a complete “day 2 entry”.

P.S. BEWARE OF THE HICCUPS—never has the world seen a greater evil, than hiccups while in tonsillectomy recovery. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Welcome to the Magic City of...Atlantis?

The thing about research is that you never know what you are going to find. I have been writing a fantastical tale set across the southern United States. Hang on, though, because there’s more: the story is about the search for Atlantis. I had postulated in my initial drafts that the city was found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, in the equidistant post between the three landmasses making up the Bernuda Triangle. For years, researchers had argued about the existence of the fabled city, but more than that, they have wondered: where could it possibly be? I will admit, I keep my research to a minimum, especially when it comes to fantasy because in those genres I like to let my unhindered and unpolluted imagination guide me. It definitely scares me when things line out as perfectly (or almost as perfectly) as they have. It makes me wonder….

Less than a month ago, I commissioned a circular design, which involved a circular figure with equidistant holes and a large geometric design. Why? It was the gateway to Atlantis. It would be buried, deep underground—in Florida. St. Augustine to be more specific. Fast forward to the present time; as I prepare to edit the chapters set in Florida, where there is a high likelihood of my protagonists finding the city, I come across an excerpt from Charlie Carson’s “Weird Florida”, a travel guide tantamount to an anthology of pieces ranging from folk tales to must-see venues in the Sunshine state. In one particularly eerie section, there came the report of “The Miami Circle” located in Downtown Miami.

[Photo by John Ricisak, n.d.]

The Miami Circle was unearthed when construction was to begin on a high-rise apartment complex, back in the late nineties. Workers came across a large, thirty-eight foot diameter monolith: a limestone circle (thought to be at least a thousand years old), riddled with holes…right in the center of the buzzling, sleepless Miami. Along with this stone marker, there were shark skeletons, turtle carapaces, and a myriad of artifacts which are not indigenous to the state. I remember reading, nearly a decade ago, about aquatic archaeological expeditions near the Bahamas; their purpose, of course, being the never-ending quest to find (what most are convinced is) the sunken, ancient city. Why did I feel the clangor of bells in the backdrop as I read this article? Well, for starters, it is not impossible for there to have been such a place; eliminating the more fantastical elements of the city (such as it being a live city, located at the bottom of the ocean and ruled by King Triton and his merfolk co-inhabitants), it is a very plausible location. There have been remains of ancient temples, found near shores in the Mediterranean. Whether Greek-era bards and adventurers actually ever reached it, well, we may never know.

Fortunately, we still have a chance to figure out what this piece of limestone (dubbed by one conspiracy theorist, the “limestonhenge”); after much discussion, Miami-Dade County stopped development on this plot of land, and reburied the circle until further studies could be made. Today, the well-groomed Miami Circle, basks under the (nearly) year-long summery Sun, enjoying the seaside view of the Atlantic. I might just make a trip downtown, maybe I’ll feel something. Even if it is the blistering heat and frizzing humidity of the Magic City.

Still, I wonder: could it be possible, that all of these party-going, cortadito-drinking, bad-driving Miamians…sit on the legacy of this mystical city? I thought I was looking for Atlantis, I was not expecting to find it right in front of me, or in this case, right below my feet!

I will be uploading a short preview of the story I’ve been working on for the last few months. It is the main reason this space has been so neglected.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Quick Update

Good evening everyone,

I have been hard at work doing research for my latest project. I just want to give a brief update, I’ll be posting samples throughout the month. Sorry for the unprecedented absence (again).