The Christmas Letter

I’ll bet Christmas letters are sounding pretty homogenous this year: How I Spent My Covidy 2020. Like many, we really didn’t do much. But it wasn’t completely boring, especially for those that don’t read every letter of this website. Let’s recap: There was the medical ordeal that put Mike in the hospital last Christmas Eve, and Santa brought him some surgery for Christmas. (That link and the follow-up link do contain some descriptions of medical stuff that I don’t find to be particularly graphic, but your stomach might differ.) Then a second surgery to glue it all back together again....Read more

The Numbers Don’t Lie

I’ve had an Apple Watch for a few years, and liked it enough to upgrade to the latest (Series 6 at this writing). Much like the Garmin it mostly replaced, the  Watch will keep track of my activity during the day, and then it keeps track over a period of months to see if you’re trending toward “more active” or “less active”. The watch will also do a crude measure of VO2Max, which is one indicator of fitness. It will also measure a rough approximation of calories burned throughout the day. And then pretty graphs are produced. In order...Read more

Those Blue, Blue Jeans

As I prepared to head into the office for one of those rare visits to fiddle with hardware, it occurred to me that I had not slipped on a pair of blue jeans in over eight months, since Christmas. First was  The Medical Ordeal, which precluded wearing stiff fabrics with thick seams (yowch). Then a virus started going around preventing me from going to work after my recovery. I mean, I wear pants, they’re just primarily pants from Prana, specifically their “Sutra” pant which…OMG, they don’t make them anymore?! Good thing I have like four pair of them. The last...Read more

Backpacking…Finally

Over eight months in the making, I finally took that shiny, unused backpack into the woods. For those tuning in late, the plan was set last fall with a “shoulder season” overnight trip in October, get my backpacking chops back in anticipation for more the following summer. Then the scooter crash happened. About the time I was healed up from that and ready to give it another go, The Medical Ordeal happened. Then, just as I was getting out of surgery #2, some virus started going around. And on June 12th, 2020, the National Parks Service opened up the North...Read more

Boston Marathon, Here I Come

Of course, not really. First, the marathon has been delayed this year until September. Second, have you not been reading? I’m in no marathon shape, and won’t be for a while. But, now that I’ve been medically cleared to be an idiot, I’ve not been slacking. The running ain’t much, but check out that yoga log. Because, man, sitting yer arse doesn’t do much for flexibility, either. All in preparation for…well, not in preparation for much of anything, really, other than it’s enjoyable and it prepares me to not be fat and winded. And with all the sitting around, I...Read more

As Good As It Gets

Our previous installment outlined what happened during the March 2nd surgery to rebuild me into something faster and stronger…or at least something that doesn’t require a catheter. That was going okay for a while, just wait two weeks and the Foley catheter would come out. But, man, the bleeding…is this normal? Called the urology office, blah, blah, “as long as no fever, pus, or signs of infection…”, blah, blah. A few days later, a young lady calls me for follow-up, and ends the conversation with “how’s the bleeding?” I told her that I honestly didn’t know. No one had physically...Read more

Waiting, Always Waiting…

March 2nd came and went without…oh, wait, there actually was quite the incident: perineal urethrostomy. This was to repair, or more accurately: bypass, the damage done by all the goings on in December. That being, an infection that pretty much finished off my urethral reconstruction that was done when I was a child. After consultation with what we have been told is the place on the West Coast to have such things done, full repair and reconstruction (such that urine passes through my penis as it did when I came out of the factory) would be difficult, risky, much lower...Read more

Current Medical Status

Yes, I’ve run out of cute titles already. After a cystoscopy with the new, competent doctor, reconstructive surgery is scheduled for March 2nd. An overnight stay is estimated, perhaps a few days. After that, two weeks with a new, different catheter. Then assuming all goes as planned, button it up and call it good. Until then, I’m just hanging out, working, and going about my life as “normal” until this gets resolved.Read more

And a Happy New Year

So what the hell happened? My guess, anyone’s guess, everyone’s guess is that the original cystoscopy on 12/17 put a hole in the urethra, which leaked urine into the scrotum, which turned into an infection, which turned into the gangrene that was apparently trying to eat its way out of me. And so I ended up passing urine through a fistula, which eventually came out through the skin of my scrotum. Yum. Five days in the hospital hooked to intravenous antibiotics of various sorts, and they finally sent me home with my lovely wife. But not before Katherine learned how...Read more