Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Healthcare Tip Of The Day


I happen to think I know more about healthcare than the average person.

Which stems from the fact that when things go wrong with me healthcare-wise it's usually traumatic, expensive or unusual.  Sometimes all three are involved.  Like the time I broke my back.  Or the time I got a sharp stick in the eye working on the tree farm.  Or put a permanent dent in my shin bone from a ricochet while splitting wood.  There was the busted toe from dropping the firewood while only wearing socks.  I broke my wrist getting pitched off my bicycle by the giant pothole on 71st and North Avenue.  You don't even want to know about the incident with the hornets nest.

I sport a really neat scar on my neck.  And it wasn't because I tried to cut my own throat.  It's a reminder of a tussle with a really bad infection some years ago. 

If you are squeamish stop right here.  Read no further.  Close your browser and step away from the computer.

For you curious readers here is what happened.

I developed an infection located in my head and it was not responding very well to antibiotics.  There was penicillin followed by higher doses of penicillin followed by something else.  Nothing seemed to work.  All of this might have been nipped in the bud except I was on the road and traveling.

Returning home I was absolutely miserable.  Laying on the couch on a Sunday afternoon I was feeling like I was going to die.  I had manifested a deathly pallor and probably did look like I was going to die because Jill told me so.  After which she drove me straight-away to the ER. 

Where I was promptly admitted to the hospital for surgery and a six day stay to treat the runaway infection with intravenous antibiotics.

In keeping with my flair for the dramatic I ended-up with lockjaw.

Yep.  I was one sick dude.  And for the first time in my life was effectively silenced. 

Take my advice and avoid at all costs the opportunity to stumble upon a drug resistant infection.

Are you interested in learning something cool about the human anatomy? 

The surgeon left a couple of rubber tubes running from the incision in my neck up into my head.  Temporary drainage he called it. 

Speaking of which, when I had my chest cracked-open in 1990 the thoracic surgeon left behind a chest tube.  Same principle.  Temporary drainage.

Anyway, several times a day the nice nurse would force sterile saline solution into one of those temporary implanted facial tubes.  Almost immediately the solution would spill from the other tube AND all of the openings in my face - eyes, nose, and mouth. 

This was when I learned that the human head is filled with a bunch of voids - sort of like an interconnected network of caves.  They're your sinuses.

Believe it or not I don't see my doctor very often.  Just the routine once-a-year physical exam.  Nevertheless, I recently manifested a persistent sinus infection and Jill said - You better see the doctor and get that checked out.  You know how it is with you when you let things go for too long.

After a visit to the walk-in clinic I left with a diagnosis of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis.  The crud is clearing-up nicely thanks to the antibiotic.  Did you know that cefuroxime is also used to treat Lyme disease and gonorrhea?

Much relief has also been found in the use of this helpful appliance-

Hey! You have a magic lamp.  Just like Aladdin.  If you polish it the genie will appear and grant you some wishes.  Tell us what you wished for.

That's not a magic lamp.  That's a neti pot.  And it's a really useful device in promoting good nasal health.

Try it out some time.

It's snot so bad...

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