Monthly Archives: April 2022

Pic of the Day

Moment of Zen: Matteo Lane

I have tickets to see Matteo’s show at the Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington tonight. I’m very excited because I find him very funny.

Pic of the Day

Photo from Tie Dye Undies!

The Day Has Come

The day has finally come; I have my laryngoscopy today. I’ve been waiting since January 10 for them to schedule this procedure, and it will determine if I can get the Inspire implant as a replacement for my CPAP to treat my sleep apnea. I have to be at Dartmouth by 7 am, so we need to leave my apartment no later than 5:45 am. My friend driving me will have to leave her place around 5:10 am. I feel bad about the imposition I am putting her in, but I don’t have a lot of options. My boss was supposed to take me, and I would not feel bad about him having to leave so early, but his daughters came down with COVID, so he’s quarantined with them and can’t take me.

On a different note: While Isabella seems to enjoy my new apartment (as do I), she has been doing this odd thing lately. She will sit in front of the glass of my entertainment center and stare at her reflection. I had this entertainment center at my old place, but she never took note of it. She will sit there for the longest time just staring at her reflection, though I don’t think she realizes that it is her. Occasionally, she walks around the entertainment center to see if she can find that other cat. Of course, she never does, but it’s always back right where it was when she looks again. She doesn’t do anything but stare into the glass. She has done this with the front windows a few times, but never in a mirror and never for as long as she sits looking at the glass in the entertainment center. She doesn’t seem upset but seems more curious than anything else. So, I have a question for those with cats: have any of your cats ever exhibited this type of behavior? 

She’s usually pretty smart, and things like this don’t fool her. Although she still occasionally chases her tail, she will get tired of it after a little while. Also, she sometimes accidentally sits on one of her mice when playing with them and gets very perplexed about where it has gone. Eventually, she moves and reveals the mouse and seems surprised when the mouse suddenly reappears. Occasionally, she gets lost under the quilt on my bed but usually finds her way out unaided. Sometimes, I have to assist her. Cats are infinitely entertaining, especially Isabella. With all of these strange behaviors, she eventually gets tired and curls up on a nice comfy blanket and goes to sleep, which she seems to do, like most cats, for about 18 hours a day.

PROCEDURE UPDATE: The laryngoscopy went fine, but I am not an good candidate for the Inspire therapy, so I’m not sure what the next step is.

Pic of the Day

Headache Update

I woke up yesterday still having a headache. It was mostly centered on the base of my skull, but that was pretty painful. I decided I needed to call in sick to work and keep my appointment with the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office. I’d seen her last Thursday for my pre-op physical and liked her, so when I couldn’t see my regular doctor, I opted for her. After discussing my headache, she said that for headaches like this, they often will give a shot of Toradol to “break up” the headache. Sometimes, they give a strong pain killer to sort of reboot the body and provide some relief, often it’s enough to end the problem, sort of like hitting CTRL + ALT + DELETE on your computer. 

The only problem is that Toradol is an NSAID which I’m supposed to refrain from taking for seven days before my procedure tomorrow. Since the laryngoscopy is not an very invasive procedure, she thought it would be OK to do, but she called my doctor for Friday’s procedure to get her recommendation. While they would have preferred that I only take Tylenol, they did give the NP permission to give a minimal dose of Toradol. So, next thing I know, the nurse has a syringe and told me to lower my pants. She said they could give the shot in the arm, but it works better in the butt, and she said it was up to me. Quite honestly, I wanted whatever was most likely to be successful, so down my pants went. I don’t know if any of you have had a shot of Toradol before (I have), but that shot stings quite a bit.

The good news is that it improved my migraine considerably. Within an hour, the pain was mostly gone. It still hurts a little and I bought some Tylenol as a supplement, and that too helped. I went to bed last night with a minimal headache. I’m hoping I wake up in the morning feeling just as good and can go to work. I’ll learn sometime today when I need to be at Dartmouth for my laryngoscopy tomorrow. All I know at this point is that it is supposed to be sometime tomorrow morning. The past week has been a rough, but I’m hoping this week will end on a good note.

Pic of the Day

Long Migraine

I have a had a severe headache since Friday. The pain has been across the top half of my face, the back of my head, my neck, and shoulders. Sometimes it is only on one side or the other, but mostly both. My head also feels hot, but I haven’t had a fever, nor does it feel hot to the touch. I’ve had nausea and was vomiting Monday night. The pain comes and goes in intensity, but Monday night it got so bad that I contemplated going to the emergency room. The only relief I’ve gotten is when I used a cold pack on the back of my head and forehead and which seemed to relieve things enough for me to fall asleep. Sleep helped a little. Yesterday morning, I felt better when I woke up, but it slowly got worse the longer I was awake.

I took naratriptan as prescribed, but it did not help, and because I have a laryngoscopy on Friday, I have been told to refrain from taking my Anaprox (550 mg naproxen sodium) for 7 days before the procedure. I’m not sure what I can do because this is not my usual headache. The pain though has been unbearable at times.

I went to work yesterday but was only able to stay about two hours before I had to go back home. By mid afternoon, I was feeling relatively normal again, but the headache was back by the time I went to bed. 

I contacted the Headache Clinic yesterday, but the nurse told me that it was unlike my usual headaches that I needed to see my regular doctor. That was a bit disappointing since my regular doctor usually tells me to contact my neurologist at the Headache Clinic. I have an appointment with one of the nurse practitioners at my doctor’s office because my regular doctor doesn’t have anything available until mid June. I’m seeing him on May 4 for a physical, so I’d be seeing him before that. However, the Headache Clinic wants me evaluated again to make sure I’m on to have the laryngoscopy on Friday. If my headache is better today (God willing, it will be), I’ll cancel the appointment with the NP. 

This headache has just been so bad. I thought it was the weather, but this is more than a regular headache affected by weather changes.

Pic of the Day

Love Returned

Love Returned
By Bayard Taylor

He was a boy when first we met;
  His eyes were mixed of dew and fire,
And on his candid brow was set
  The sweetness of a chaste desire:
But in his veins the pulses beat
  Of passion, waiting for its wing,
As ardent veins of summer heat
  Throb through the innocence of spring.

As manhood came, his stature grew,
  And fiercer burned his restless eyes,
Until I trembled, as he drew
  From wedded hearts their young disguise.
Like wind-fed flame his ardor rose,
  And brought, like flame, a stormy rain:
In tumult, sweeter than repose,
  He tossed the souls of joy and pain.

So many years of absence change!
  I knew him not when he returned:
His step was slow, his brow was strange,
  His quiet eye no longer burned.
When at my heart I heard his knock,
  No voice within his right confessed:
I could not venture to unlock
  Its chambers to an alien guest.

Then, at the threshold, spent and worn
  With fruitless travel, down he lay:
And I beheld the gleams of morn
  On his reviving beauty play.
I knelt, and kissed his holy lips,
  I washed his feet with pious care;
And from my life the long eclipse
  Drew off; and left his sunshine there.

He burns no more with youthful fire;
  He melts no more in foolish tears;
Serene and sweet, his eyes inspire
  The steady faith of balanced years.
His folded wings no longer thrill,
  But in some peaceful flight of prayer:
He nestles in my heart so still,
  I scarcely feel his presence there.

O Love, that stern probation o’er,
  Thy calmer blessing is secure!
Thy beauteous feet shall stray no more,
  Thy peace and patience shall endure!
The lightest wind deflowers the rose,
  The rainbow with the sun departs,
But thou art centred in repose,
  And rooted in my heart of hearts!

Bayard Taylor (1825-1878) was an American poet, novelist, travel writer, literary critic, diplomat, lecturer, and translator. He was a frustrated poet who, even though he published twenty volumes of poetry, resented the mass appeal of his travel writings, because his desire was to be known as a poet. Even his travel writings have been relegated to the dustbin of literary history, and he is known today solely for his translation of both volumes of Goethe’s Faust.

Bayard was born on the January 11, 1825, in the small town of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania into a Quaker family. His parents were reasonably well-off farmers and could afford to give their son a decent education at academies in West Chester and Unionville. Although he entered the printing business as an apprentice, he was a keen writer of poetry and took great inspiration from the influential Rufus Wilmot Griswold. Encouraged by Griswold he published his first volume of poems at the age of 19 and called it Ximena, or the Battle of the Sierra Morena and other Poems. It sold badly but was noticed by the editor of the New York Tribune.

He worked as a journalist on the New York Tribune and other publications and this profession turned out to be his gateway to extensive worldwide travel when sent on assignments abroad. He even turned his hand to lyric writing for famous singers and completed a period of diplomatic service in St Petersburg, Russia.

He was lucky that his first commission was a European trip covering Germany, Italy, France, and England. He spent two years happily travelling at a slow pace, sending reports back to the Tribune. He was also engaged by other publications such as The Saturday Evening Post and The United States Gazette. On his return to the States, he was encouraged to publish his first travel book, based on his recent adventures. Views Afoot, or Europe seen with Knapsack and Staff was published in New York in two separate volumes in 1846. Further assignments followed but this time within the United States and Mexico. Taylor was now comfortably established in both journalism and as an author. He also had some success with a set of lyrics written for a visiting Swedish singer called Jenny Lind which were sung at concerts around the country. Within a few years he was off again on his travels, this time to Egypt and other countries in the Middle East. 

In 1853, Taylor started from England and sailed to India, China, and then Japan. He was back in the States at the end of 1853 and then began a successful lecture tour. Two more years passed before the next overseas trip and this time he chose the countries of Northern Europe such as Sweden. Here he was inspired to write a long poem in narrative form called Lars.

Incredibly he found the time to serve as a diplomat and was appointed chargé d’affaires at the United States embassy in St Petersburg in 1863, accompanied by his second wife Maria. The following year they were back home at Kennett Square and Taylor wrote four novels with limited success. Poetry was his forte.

Taylor confided to Walt Whitman that he found in his own nature “a physical attraction and tender and noble love of man for man.” Taylor’s novel Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania (1870), which depicted men holding hands and kissing, is considered the first American gay novel by modern scholars. It presented a special attachment between two men and discussed the nature and significance of such a relationship, romantic but not sexual. Critics are divided in interpreting Taylor’s novel as a political argument for gay relationships or an idealization of male spirituality. This novel is said to be based on the romantic relationship between poets Fitz-Greene Halleck and Joseph Rodman Drake. In Keith Stern’s Queers in History, it is revealed that the love of Taylor’s life was George Henry Boker, although both men married women. The American banker, diplomat, and poet George Boker wrote to Taylor in 1856 that he had “never loved anything human as I love you. It is a joy and a pride to my heart to know that this feeling is returned.” 

His travelling days were not finished, and he was appointed to another diplomatic post, this time in Berlin. Unfortunately, he died only a few months after arriving in the German capital. Bayard Taylor died in Berlin on the December 19, 1878, at aged 53.