So, this is irregular, but I wanted to drop by and leave this here today. The following is not excuses or a plea for sympathy or anything like that. Simply a premise for what I want to say.
Six years ago a tendon "exploded" in my left ankle. Nothing was ever done about it as there were no tears, strains, pulls, etc. that surgery would help, and all diseases that could cause inflammation were ruled out. It remains a medical mystery to the numerous doctors I've seen. Over the years that injury slowly snowballed such that other things went wrong with my feet and ankles, culminating in nerve problems. Nerve pain is a special kind of hell. If you've never dealt with it, I can't explain it. It's not like breaking a bone, slicing a finger, getting beat in the face, etc...that's all nociceptive pain as opposed to neuropathic pain and regular pain medicines don't work. Nerve pain pills make a small dent, but not much, and they effectively put me in a drunken stupor. Unlike regular pain, there's no position that gives it a rest or eases it. It's just a constant assault on the nerve that makes you want to pull your hair out.
For the first few years I think I handled it pretty well, I think. Eventually it started wearing me down and I have to work really hard to keep my temper, manners, attitude, etc. in check. Add to that, that I have often been bedridden and often not able to take care of myself, so several years ago I had to pack up my life in Texas and move in with my folks. Don't get me wrong.....I am so greatful for my family and I'd be screwed without them, but mid-30's dudes are just not meant to live with their folks, ya know? So that wears on me as well. I take on a additional stress because it's been utter financial disaster, and that also wears on me. And to boot, I am a lifelong drummer...at least until all this started.....and no longer being able to play my instrument has been devastating.
Last summer I did have a surgery that was very successfull and mercifully relieved one of the nerve problems I was having. The day before the Wisconsin game I had a second surgery and the results were super-positive. The doc had found some mutant veins (that apparently regular people don't have), and they were wrapped around the nerve, basically holding it in a headlock. He cut them out, and for 6 weeks (other than the after-surgery swelling, crutches while recuperating, etc.) that ankle area felt wonderful for the first time in years and life appeared to be quickly headed back to normal. My general outlook and attitude really improved and for the first time in a long time, I started feeling like my old self. Then it all came back. Doc thinks those veins grew back, a process called angiogenesis. Basically I'm back where I started, but with a $3,300 surgery bill to show for it. My attitude spiraled downward again, unfortunately, to go along with the recurred pain.
And because when it rains it pours, as of Sunday the left side of my face got covered in what I thought was some of kind stress-rash....I just figured I'd had some kind of delayed reaction to being mad and bitter about the Bama game or something. Turns out, it's Shingles. While it's nothing like the pain in my feet and ankles, it does kinda suck. Sores on your eyelids are not as pleasant as you'd think.
A family member called me out recently about my general crappy demeanor, and while she pissed me off, she was totally right. It's kinda been on a slow decline the last year or two, but recently my attitude has just been awful in general....and to the point of this post.....I know I've been at several of your throats recently and being a general dick. I really just wanna say, sorry about that, to everybody, especially to Xan....seems he's gotten the brunt of my irritability lately. I'm working on it. I like this place and I do like pretty much all our posters, even though it probably doesn't seem like it lately. For both shingles pain and according to my podiatrist, I need to avoid as much stress as possible right now, so I may be hit or miss for a while, as focusing on or even talking about LSU can sometimes be stressful ('cuz I really do love that team), and in order to avoid my current ability to pick a fight with a wooden post.
So I just wanted to swing by today, make an apology, and just say that if I'm absent, it's not because I got sideways with anybody. It's because this place highlights a major passion of mine, and right now anything that gets my blood pressure up is bad.
So....TL:DR.....see ya 'round, I reckon.