OBLIGATORY YEAR-END POST (2018 Edition)

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grumpy cat party hatWell, well, well. Here we are yet again, at the end of another year. The year that was 2018. At least, for those who adhere to the Gregorian calendar. If you happen to adhere to the Julian Calendar Or Nothing! school of thought, then…I have no idea what year this is for you. Don’t get me started lunar calendar systems.

Anyway, reflecting back on this year…2018 wasn’t too bad. For the most part. My middle nephew got confirmed, fully Luthernized and everything. Really, there wasn’t any big life-changing events that happened this year…until September, that is.

It all started with my eyesight getting noticeably worse, faster than it usually does. Usually, there’s two years in-between needing to get new glasses; it’s only been a year, and when I went in to get a check-up, the doctor at the America’s Best glasses place where I usually go to (they’re reasonably priced, and I’m cheap) said I may be suffering from…what did he call it…oh, yeah: MACULAR DEGENERATION. Which freaked me out more than a little bit. As you all may or may not know, reading and writing is my life. Going blind would be one of the most cruelest of ironies to befall me. Sure, there are work-arounds, but I value my ability to see and create like this.

So, I did what every level-headed human being would do with a prognosis like this–I went to get a second opinion. After some tests that went beyond the standard “Can you read this line over here?” (they numbed my eyeballs, as well as dilated them…that’s a sensation I hope to never have to experience again any time soon, let me tell you), it was determined that it was not Macular degeneration, but in fact cataracts forming. Which is better, because they can be removed when ripe enough.

What stinks about that development is, driving at night has become kind of a challenge, and I had to skip out on the Metallica show in Lincoln because of this. *sigh* But, this is really nothing compared to what happened soon thereafter.

One evening, after stepping out of the shower, the nail on the big toe on my right foot fell off. By itself. No reason, it just…fell off. It was a bit discolored underneath, but I didn’t really think much of it…until about a day or two later, when it showed indications of getting worse with the discoloration. Daily soaking it in antibacterial water and slathering it with a topical cream didn’t work; it was the last day in September when I finally went into the ER in Fremont to get it looked at. They admitted me to observe it, where it finally broke open and started draining. The infection overtook my toe; but the biggest issue they discovered after a battery of tests is that there was no blood flow going to my foot. The arteries in my legs were severely blocked after decades of smoking and not really eating and living healthy. And the diabetes didn’t help much in that regard, I’m sure. So much sugar consumption.

Long story short: They couldn’t save the toe, they opened up the artery in my right leg to get the blood flowing again (that was a procedure I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy; they didn’t put me under so much as put me in what they called “Twilight Sleep”, which fortunately had nothing to do with those young adult novels / movies, but unfortunately meant I was aware of what was going on…it wasn’t pleasant, let’s just say), then I had a pict inserted into my arm that led directly to my heart, for the intravenous antibiotics treatment, before most of the toe itself was taken off. So now, I have a stump where the little piggy that never came back from market was as a reminder of this year.

I was out on disability leave for three months. I missed out on Halloween, and spent Thanksgiving and my birthday at my parents’ place while recouping from all of this. My mother is a retired NP, specializing in wound care, so she helped out with the down time.

I’m back at work now, and settled back into the Haunted Victorian after the 16th of December, when my IV treatments ended. My sister went in for surgery herself, and is recouping nicely. We all had a lovely Christmas; I received more composition notebooks and a package of pens, so I’m set for another year.

Tonight being New Years Eve, I plan on doing the same thing I do every year: grab some over-priced seafood, and sequester myself in my domicile and stay off of the streets, watching horror movies. And since I work the next day, I probably won’t be staying up until Midnight. I rarely ever do, unless I have a nap.

So, until next year (that joke never gets old, really), cheers, and God Bless, my wonderful freaks…

::END TRANSMISSION::

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I can only count to 19 and a half now…

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Here we are, smack dab in the middle of the Holiday Season in the year of our Lord 2018. I thought I’d finally get around to pounding out a bit of an update on how things are going for you ol’ Uncle NecRo. And sticking to the age-old adage that a picture speaks a thousand words, here’s a recent one:
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Yeah, that’s me there, receiving my daily antibiotic treatment that has been going on since the first week in November. Here’s the whole torrid story:

For a while, my large right toe had been getting twingy. Something I chalked up to the diabetes. It’s been a struggle trying to keep the blood sugar levels at a nice manageable place. But, one evening in September, after stepping out of the shower, the nail from that toe came off, entirely. Odd, but I figured I may have inadvertently banged it hard enough against something to cause it to do that. It happened to my left big toenail back in 1994 when I dropped a couch I was helping move on it, while only wearing sandals. That grew back; I figured the same would happen with this one.

Only, there was some dark discoloration on the toe, and underneath the skin of the toe itself. I kept soaking it in antibacterial water and wrapping it up with some antibacterial topical creme, but it only seem to progressively get worse. Finally, on the final day of September, after recording the sermon at church, I checked myself into the ER at the Fremont hospital to have the thing looked at.

What I though was going to be an in-out situation turned into a three-night stay at the hospital itself. As it turned out, the toe–as well as much of the rest of the foot–was dying. There was a battery of tests done, was seen by several doctors of differing expertise relating to my ailment, and long story short: at the tail-end of October, I went in for a procedure to open up the artery in my right leg to get blood flowing again. It was quite horrendous, I don’t recommend having to have it done. They didn’t put me under; they put me into what they called “twilight sleep”, so I was aware of what was going on, but time itself became kind of wibbly-wobbly.

The first week in November, it turned out I had to amputate the toe. While the blood flow was back and very strong (and normal color returning to the foot and other toes), the damage was too far gone to benefit keeping what was left. They didn’t amputate the entire thing; there is enough left to keep my balance and feel relatively normal. Still, the joke is that the piggy went to market and never came back. Ungrateful piggy.

I’ve been staying at my parent’s place during all the recouping process. My mother being a retired Nurse Practitioner, she was more than capable to help out and give advice with all this, and provide much support when things kept escalating further than I thought it would go. The healing is going well, and anticipate being back at my usual place of dwelling when the daily antibiotic treatments end on December 16th.

I would be remiss, though, to mention that, during all of this, my depression spiraled almost out of control, to the point where I would sit in the darkness and weep silently maybe once every couple of days or so. To be expected; I’m at my lowest, feeling like I’ve lost a bit of myself (literally), what’s the point of this existence…the usual. It’s been rough, almost as bad as it was when Kim left, but again I had the support of my friends, family, and my faith to get me through.

The adverse result of this, however, was me not motivated to write. At all. Usually, when a stint like this happens, I am furiously jotting down everything into my unplugged journal notebook or whatever sheaf of paper happens to be around me at the time. Not this time around. I haven’t been posting, I haven’t been reading any of the books I have, I haven’t been doing reviews…I haven’t even been wanting to listen to METAL like I usually do. Mindless drivel on YouTube and movies. Then, staring into the darkness as I lay on the couch, my mind wandering to how things could have been, what could the future possibly hold for one such as myself, yadda-yadda-yadda.

So, in short, that’s what’s been going on recently. I’m starting to kick my own self in the rear to get back to writing something, this particular post being the first swift kick. Hopefully, those won’t just be empty words. Cheers, all.

::END TRANSMISSION::

NECRO SHOCK RADIO UPDATE

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Greetings and salutations, my wonderful freaks. This is your Uncle NecRo, finally getting around to a long-overdue update of sorts to let everyone know what’s going on with the ongoing experiment in Brutal Music Therapy we do here on NECRO SHOCK RADIO.

Getting right to the point: We’re taking the summer off. And by “we” I mean “I”, and by “summer”, I mean the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The reason for this is a pretty good one, actually.

For the past couple of years or so, I’ve been posting the recent shows on my regular blog, Confessions Of A Christian Freak. I’ve been planning moving NECRO SHOCK RADIO back to its own home, to streamline things and make it a bit easier to see what’s available and just have a nice solid place for everyone to get their Brutal Music Therapy fix.

A friend of mine has the NECRO SHOCK RADIO domain, and has been waiting for me to do something to use it on. And after ten years of doing this, and no indication that I’m going to be ending things any time soon (no matter how many times I try), I’m going to take the summer months allotted to build something nifty for everyone to play in.

The idea is, besides posting the shows there with the streaming and links for downloading the show, but to also provide a comprehensive list of what’s available in the legendary Therapy Vault for anyone to request (if that ever happens, that is). I haven’t decided to host all of my music reviews there as well, that may be overkill, but it’s a possibility.

So, I cannot express my appreciation for everyone’s continued support of NSR. I can’t wait to finally open up the new digs come Labor Day, and we’ll kick that one off with a special 10-Year Anniversary Special Session. See you all then.

Ten years. Gads. Cheers, all…

– Uncle NecRo

::END TRANSMISSION::

CALLING IT A YEAR, FOLKS (A Metapost)

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2016-badLet’s just cut right to the chase, here: 2016 was a trying year. I’m not saying it was a bad year, per se; here we are, a bit less than two months to go, and looking back there seems to have been enough bummers to send even the most sunny smile-wearing optimist into a downward spiral of existential quandary.

Mentally picturing that last part I wrote just put a smile on my face. Excuse me for a bit while I regain my composure.

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There we go. Where were we, now? Oh, right.

I’m gonna call it a year right now, folks. I know, I know, it’s only the beginning of November. And no, I assure you it has nothing to do with any “Post-Halloween Depression”. It hasn’t been that bad this year, as a matter of fact. It’s just that, given the recent happenings in the ongoing dramady that is my life, I thought it prudent to take the rest of the year off to regroup, deal with the fallout that’s happening right now, and try and look forward to the near future. Namely, next year.

Without going into detail, there was another death in the family on Halloween night itself. As of this writing, tomorrow (November 5th) is the funeral. Then there’s the beginning of the period of the year I like to refer to as the “Holiday Clusterbomb”, which is always a stressful time, regardless of how much I try to not get involved with this superficial time of the year.

I’m just tired right now. I need to try and get things reorganized, especially with my writing, and get some kind of rhythm back on. Writing and posting on this blog, along with producing sessions of NECRO SHOCK RADIO have been my few outlets of creative joy in my life, something I haven’t been able to get back to as much as I’d like.

So, until the beginning of 2017 in a couple of months, I’m going to take the time to recoup a bit. Focus on finally finishing up the backlog of articles and reviews I’ve started but put on hold for whatever reason, then scheduling in advance for next year. Work on getting some Sessions of NSR in the can. Mind you, there will still be your periodic post here and there in the remaining weeks of 2016, mostly reviews of the new theatrical movie releases (there’s Doctor Strange, and also Rogue One with the Exalted Geeks on the docket) and the yearly OBLIGATORY YEAR END REVIEW post I try and get out on December 31st-ish. But for the time being, please excuse the proverbial radio silence from here on out.

If I’m still alive by the end of the year, I shall emerge again in 2017. Have a happy something-or-other, my wonderful freaks. And please disregard all the blood.

::END TRANSMISSION::

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So, here we are. The tail end of the month of May. Which means, we’re officially at the half-way mark of the year that is 2016. And since there hasn’t been much as far as “content” on this blog of mine, outside of the usual NSR post, I thought now would be a good time to bring anyone still reading this up to speed as far as the goings on in the life of your beloved Uncle NecRo.

Besides still doing NECRO SHOCK RADIO, I’m also recording and producing another podcast, called WILL CODE FOR BEER. Essentially a PUBcast, it’s more or less the recording of the various conversations the constantly mentioned (and alluded to) Coven of Exalted Geeks have on the night we converge at Sean O’Casey’s in Omaha. Then, I chop the entirety up into half-hour long bits and post them here on this blog that was recently set up. Things tend to get wacky. You should check ’em out, if you have nothing else better to do.

Once in a while, there’s a special Nerd Rage Episode, where we get together after watching a movie, and discuss our thoughts on the thing. So far, there’s one for Batman V Superman, and Captain America: Civil War. Coming soon: X-Men Apocalypse.

Earlier this month, at the beginning of May, the four seniors in the youth group graduated. The final night for the season was the last week in April, and there was hardly anyone there who didn’t find themselves verklempt. Proud of those kids, I am. The second week in May, though, my own nephew/godson Christopher graduated High School. Here’s the obligatory pic:

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Also having graduated on the same weekend as Chris (and thus necessitating having to miss out on it due to helping with the open house and all that) was my cousin’s eldest, Trevor Donahey. Here’s the obligatory pic:

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Gads, I’m still wrapping my head around how these two lads are now 18 and moving on to the next phase in life. Only six more years until my next nephew graduates. Better pace myself, here. Feel old, I do.

I didn’t help out with the annual pancake feed that my aunt and uncle does with their Volunteer Rescue team in Dunlap, Iowa this year. The idea was to bring along the two younger nephews to it, so they could gorge on breakfast stuff and have some fun hanging out with the cusins and riding on the fire trucks. Which I did. And they did. Only, I made the grave mistake of taking my blood pressure and diabetes medication without any food, which resulted in enough of a pain level that resulted in me having to leave after only an hour or so. Fortunately, my sister and brother-in-law decided to attend the feed also, so the boys just rode back with their parents. I felt awful having to leave so soon; but, I was feeling even more awful physically. I got back to the Haunted Victorian without further incident, and after an extended nap the pain was gone and I was back to my normal self. And by that, I mean the post-nap depression swing was in full-force.

I trust everyone managed to enjoy their Memorial Day. Everyone reading this in America, that is. If you’re not from America and have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s a day set aside to remember those who died in active military service, traditionally by drinking copious amounts of beer and eating obscene amounts of grilled meat.

Merely good-natured ribbing, my dear Alphonse. Cheers, all.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Okay, so, here’s the deal…

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death kill meThese past few weeks have been, in a manner of speaking, interesting. Without going into too many details, I’ve pretty much dropped more money on car repairs than I had for the past year, came down with a nasty sinus infection that I’m still showing trace evidence of even though I’m pretty much over it, and to top it all off my grandmother died, and I had to more or less deal with tense family drama yesterday as a result.

So, I’ve more or less decided to take the next couple of weeks off from posting, and cutting down my online presence on my social networking places. Just a mini holiday of sorts, so I can focus a bit more on some important things here in this “real world” everyone keeps talking about.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff already scheduled to be posted in the upcoming days, so it’s not like things are going to be totally bereft of Uncle NecRo. I’m just going to be gone until just after Easter or thereabouts. Then I’ll be back and stuff. No worries.

So, I’ll see everyone later. Enjoy your Easter, or whatever it is you do or don’t observe. And until then, I leave you with this:


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