Monthly Archives: January 2007

Want a "free" painting?

Note: I don't mean the one in this entry.

I'm working on a new painting with Nefarious… Just a quickie to cover up an old canvas. She draw three spiders, one mean one (the one with lots of eyes), a nice but upset one, and a baby one. I asked her to give the mean one horns, and I just dropped the main background tone in. I think the rest of this particular painting is fairly obvious. It's like the three spiders/suns of the apocalypse or something.

I desperately need someone to do an all CSS/XML/DHTML frontpage for BME as well as a gallery redesign (evolution would be a better term probably) — basically a lightbox style gallery (so when you click a picture, it pops up at full size, and then that box would have a subbox allowing one to submit corrections, etc.). If anyone thinks they have the time and talent to tackle this, email me some links to your work at I can't pay unfortunately, but I would be happy to trade for a painting by me (not by me and Nefarious, just to be clear). Art for art, right?

Other than that, my DIY rehab on my leg (basically doing stretches all the time) seems to be working because I'm within about 5° of what the joint/muscle used to be able to do. I can't decide whether the feeling of adjusting the muscle back to its original length of motion is painful or relieving… I think it's a bit of both, like the first few times you do yoga or something.

My main barometer for everything has been the appearance of the wound in general. These are my first staples I think, and they seem to have healed quite wonderfully. I don't think it's seeped or bled at all since the day I left the hospital, and there's never been redness, heat or anything. I'm really just counting the days until my next appointment — I can't wait to get back to the gym.

I ramble so badly!

So I think that almost my entire conscious sensation of pain is psychosomatic (that's not to say the pain's not real — I mean that I'm so effectively blocked from it that what I actually do feel is at least half false sensations). For example, if you push a needle into me and I don't know it's happening, the odds of me being arware that it happened are about 50/50 (largely what I can feel is pain differentials — so new pains, large changing pains, and so on). I think it's because I have a constant “block” in place that stops me from feeling it consciously (I also believe that this is why I am “mostly” amnesiatic), and the whole management and interpretation of pain is done subconsciously… So not only does it seem to mean that if I look at my leg and see that it's swollen or messed up looking, it hurts more, but if I'm wearing long pants, and can't see the problem, I can push it fairly hard with the pain totally buried. If I push it for a few days (which I did), and cross a line, it comes out emotionally… So for example, yesterday, while it was very difficult to be consciously aware of the pain, but I felt like I was wiped out and emotionally on edge all day, like I was just going to start randomly crying or something. It also means that I am really drawn to sex, drugs, and other things that make your body feel good enough to overwhelm any chronic pain…

I've been bugging Saira, because she's I think the only person who's either seen me or talked to me every couple days for the last fifteen years (and the only person that may have known me long enough to predate the majority of the symptoms — everyone else who knows me may have seen it escalate, but they didn't see it start), to try and help me build up a timeline of all this. I know that at some point in my childhood I complained to my doctor that my knee hurt, so the initial injury must have been highschool — most likely either farmwork or judo, but I have no memory of ever having been injured. Saira thinks it was about 1995 that I started to avoid going out (because she remembers Todd asking her what was wrong with me when he got back from the UK), and having super long baths instead of going out with friends (her and Todd I guess thought it was just a stress thing). I think at around this point my grandmother was having treatment for arthritis in her knees, so I just convinced myself it was that I think. In any case, resting in water helped.

So yeah, anyway, lots of pointless second guessing, more curiosity than anything, as to what's a symptom of the tumor and what's not.

All the hair on my right leg was crazy sensitive in an unpleasant way so I shaved that leg yesterday. It looks funny because it's just the one leg. I think it's because the nerves are reactivating so there's all sorts of sensations that my body hasn't felt in a couple weeks. I think there's now only about a 5″ section of my leg I can't feel (down from basically the entire lower leg). It's pretty neat though — the part of my leg that I can't feel still gets itchy and stuff like that, but if I go to scratch it, it's like scratching the air, so it's really odd… Makes me want to cut off a finger to see what that would feel like. Since a friend told me that he can still feel textures when he touches things with his non-existent fingers, and because of my own observations on pain interpretation, I am becoming very convinced that our experience of who we are, what our body is, and how it relates to the rest of the universe is at best an incredibly simplified and ridiculously personified chariacture.

Haggard but Happy

I've been having intense chest cramps. We're all pretty sure that they're just stress from getting used to walking with a cane. It feels sort of half way between a broken rib and having eating a whole ton of wasabi or something. I don't think it's a big deal.

Other than that, a member's BME update is building now, and I'm getting very, very bored. I'm not allowed (doctor's orders) to be back at the gym until after I see him on the first, and then I guess my trainer is out of town for a little while, so that's one thing that sucks (and I'm sure is contributing to the chest cramps)… through all these surgeries I'm probably losing a combined four months at the gym… Which I don't like (a) because it's crazy boring not going to the gym which is one of the high-lights of my week, and (b) because I don't really want to lose too much of the effort that's been put in. Anyway, I'm off now to get finger paints, and I think I'm going to finish off that chair I've been building today — I'm being a little lazy and finishing it using bondo, so it's going to weigh a ton….

PS. Ferg is a great visitor and has the greatest stories!

Will it leak?

I went on a long walk around Home Depot today, in part for the leg exercise, and in part to take tons of pictures of different PVC pipe fittings for a fun project (in the case of these photos, a waterproof videocamera housing).

Edit/Update: I forgot to mention that as I was leaving Home Depot some dude smashed into the back of me almost knocking me over (and knocking my shoe off). I looked up and he had his jacked wrapped around a television or something and he (very quickly) walked out of the store, and the alarms went off. I point at him, and I'm like, “that dude just stole a TV or something”. They just turned the alarm off. It was cold out and no one wanted to stop him I guess. He wouldn't have been hard to catch. I literally watched him put the stuff in his car and leave.

Seems to be working.

“Oh wad some power the giftie gie us to see oursel's as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us, and foolish notion.”

So, I'd been taking it easy because my leg hurt. I don't really feel pain on the whole, so my pain response is largely psychosomatic either in terms of blocking pain or creating it and it's difficult for me to accurately guess how much pain I really am in — I don't really know. Either way, I can deal with unlimited pain if I believe I can, and I can't deal with minor pain if I believe I can't. So anyway, this cut through the muscle was a new kind of pain for me, so I didn't really know what was “permitted” and what was not… like… was my body “warning” me that I was about to damage it, or was I just sore?

Anyway, after my doctor told me that if I could handle it, I could do it, and that there wasn't really any way within reason I was going to cause damage, I just went full-on at it… I've been out driving, running errands, doing carpentry, programming, running around, taking walks, whatever I feel like. I'm not going to tell you that I'm not pretty sore and swollen, but I will also tell you that it feels great not to be cooped up any more. I don't like just lying around!

Other than that, I know Robbie Burns day isn't officially until tomorrow, but I went out today and celebrated by eating haggis (and I think Michael is actually at a lodge right now reading a poem about haggis). I'm not joking by the way — I grew up in small town Ontario and Robbie Burns Day is very much a real holiday as far as I'm concerned. I have to go downtown tomorrow, maybe I'll take a photo of the statue in Allan Gardens while I'm there.

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

You can look him up in the dictionary!

Not that it's a perfect job or anything, but I had a lot of fun with the photoshopping for this ModBlog entry (you can click through for the entry, and then click through again for the original picture):