Saturday, April 26, 2003

Easter 2003

Stardate 56042.6 (4/26/2003)
It's been a bit since the last entry. I guess when you don't have medical problems there is not much to say. What I will say is this is a good thing.

I went camping with the family and the kids of a friend down south at Goblin Valley on Easter day. Of all the years I have been going camping, this one was the worst. Which is to say it was not all that bad, but it was the worst. All the rest have been pretty good. I was tired, for one thing. When we got there, I realized I had forgotten the poles to the tents, so we only had one small tent. The boys, dog, and I slept in the car that night. For southern Utah, it was surprisingly cold. My wife April can't sleep in the cold. I wrapped myself up in a sleeping bag, but the car was just uncomfortable. Goblin Valley itself was great fun. Think of a massive playground, with thousands of rock formations to climb. There weren't to many people there, so I took the dog off the leash. He ran for hours. We headed back to the campsite for lunch. After, the kids took a nap. Then the wind picked up the tent and most of our stuff. We recovered most of it. At that point, we gave up and headed home. This would be the first time we were chased away by weather.

On a similar note, April went to Provo to take a course on camping for her Brownie troop today. She also has to work, so she's been away for the last couple of days. From what she has been telling me on the phone, it was really educational. So I got the kids up this morning for Rachel's soccer game at 9 am. She got to play in the rain, and it turned to hail and snow before she was done. Patrick's game was not until 1 pm, so I was planning on killing the time between with a picnic in the park. The weather took that idea away. So we spent a couple of hours in Toys'R'us. The kids just received their allowance, so they could actually buy something. Patrick played in better conditions. I really like the way the team is playing. The week before Easter I had one coach ask me how I managed to teach them to play as a team instead of as a crowd of kids. That made me feel really good. When we came home, there was a e-mail from the regional coordinator, who said many of the teams did not show up today. He went on to say the conditions were not great, but that it was still good enough to play. I think he was a little ticked off at the coaches that did not show.

As I mentioned above, we were watching a friends kids for a week while she headed to Washington, D.C. to spread her fathers' ashes at Arlington. Having five kids for that long is draining. The kids, Vreni (pronounced Franny) and Hans where not bad, but since they don't live with us, they do things differently. Hans doesn't like to sleep, and can't understand why anyone wants to. Every morning at dawn he woke Patrick up. Patrick got a little sick of it.

I've been working on the Medical Department web pages. It's been fun, and I have learned a lot. One of the most interesting things is that the creeping feature creature showed up. If you've never heard of this, you're probably not a programmer. I always imagine it to be a small demon that sits on my shoulder as I work on a computer. It whispers in my ear with things like "Yeah, that's good, but it would be better if you…", and "If you did it this way, it would be way cool". The idea is to keep you working on a project forever, endlessly changing things. What I realized after a while is that, until now, I have not heard from the guy in a long time. He used to show up at work all the time. As I said, interesting.

End of log entry.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

About the Ticonderoga

Stardate 56041.4 (4/14/2003)
Now back to our regularly scheduled program -

About the Ticonderoga:
Karrie Buck said they are a pretty diverse group. From what little I have seen, I'd have to agree. They are not the stereotypical Star Trek fans. Everyone seems to believe in the main purpose of having fun. I certainly did not expect the level of activity. Back in December of 2002, I was bored and looking to meet some new people. I decided that I might try to find some group with the same interests, and Star Trek was the best bet. This group was the only one in Utah that came up in a search. The level of involvement is up to the individual. I am having fun with the trivia. Soon after joining, I invited the group over for a ST movie (The Wrath of Khan). It was great fun. The captain worried they were too loud, but I didn't think so.

The foot is doing much better. I can almost walk normally again.

I did finally get more memory for my desktop. I added 256 Mb to the 128 Mb already there. It works much better now.

End of log entry.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Patrick lost is first tooth

Stardate 56040.6 (4/6/2003) Supplemental
My son Patrick lost his first baby tooth today. The one on the bottom, front, left side.
End of supplemental log entry.


Stardate 56040.6 (4/6/2003)
The last entry was cut short by a phone call. I’m going to discuss that call and the results in detail in this entry. I will finish what I was doing before in another entry.
The phone call was from IHC. A Dr. Middleton stated the culture from my foot had grown out something ‘strange’, his exact words. From him I learned a new term; MRSA. I’ll have to look up the exact meaning of the acronym, but basically, it means the staph infection is antibiotic resistant. He told me to get to an emergency room now. I immediately started thinking of the things I needed to do for this. He must have interpreted my silence as reluctance, because he told me I had to go. I called my wife April home from work. She called a friend to watch the kids and we went to the hospital.

The ER staff looked over my foot, and the ER doc, Les Greenwood, talked to Dr. Middleton. Since all my vitals (temperature, blood pressure) were fine, they were puzzled. For the first of many times, I was asked if I was diabetic, had been in the hospital in the last year, and how much it hurt (which was not at all). I was checked into the hospital and at 2 am was started on three powerful antibiotics, to be repeated every twelve hours.

The next new term I learned was contact isolation. This meant anyone coming in the room was supposed to have a gown and gloves on. Nothing taken into the room could be taken out again. This was for the protection of other people admitted to Ray Meyer tried to bring some games, but the staff would not let him. He did bring some ADVOTs. This went a long way to relieve the boredom for the first two days. I also brought a book, The Eugenics Wars, Volume 2, by Greg Cox. It turns out this was a mistake on my part.
The puzzlement continued. The same questions above were asked repeatedly. I got the impression I was supposed to be very sick, and they could not understand why I was not. I also heard various tales about what was wrong. April said some of the people in the lab were thinking I would lose the small toe. I heard it was a necrotizing bacterium, the flesh-eating bacteria. This was mentioned as a weapon Khan intended to use in the book, hence the poor choice of title for escape.

The worst part was the needles. Most people hate being poked with needles. I get uncontrollable shivers. They moved the IV needle twice. First from my right arm to my left hand. I asked repeatedly to not do this, because this is the hand I write with. So day two I worked on the ADVOT’s with a needle in my hand. By the 2 am IV time, my hand hurt badly. I mentioned this to the CNA, and he proceeded to stick a new one in my other hand, LEAVING THE ONE IN MY LEFT. The duty nurse yanked (and I mean yanked, I saw the needle bend) the one out of my left. So much for doing the ADVOTs. My hand hurt just moving my arm. It still hurts now, just not as bad. I used to think my fear was silly, but not anymore.

I was in contact isolation in a room with two beds. This does not make sense from an economic standpoint, since they could not put anyone in the other bed. So they moved me to a room with a single bed. They did not inform anyone of this. Therefore, a number of friends were calling around trying to find me, and my dinner came late, because they delivered it to the old room.

Friday I was released. They arranged to continue the IV at home. At least I could watch some TV. The TV in the rooms did not work very well. I tried watching CSI, but all I could see was blobs. I missed a new episode of Enterprise. I’m not big on watching TV, but there are a few things I like to watch if I get the chance. Fortunately, April recorded CSI, and Enterprise repeats tonight.

Saturday was the best day. All the lab tests turned up was a run of the mill staph infection, easily treatable with oral antibiotics. No more needles. April received the privilege of removing the IV. She did better than anyone else.

And that’s the story. I’d like to commend Ray Meyer for braving the gown and gloves each day to visit me, and my wife, family, and friends for all the support.

End of log entry.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003


Stardate 56040.1 (4/1/2003)

Ok, the last few days have been fun (NOT!). Friday night I had some irritation between my little toe and the next toe. I looked it over, and found a small flap of skin, like a cut. It did not appear to go all the way through the skin. I sprayed some aneseptic on it. Saturday night I noticed a blister on the small toe. Sunday morning, the area around the toe was swollen. By Sunday night, half the foot was inflated. I started to worry at that point. The only place open then was IHC Instacare in Bountiful. Bad decision on my part. They stuck me with an IV, and I have been walking around with a catheter in my arm for the last three days. I’ve been going back to IHC every four hours for a new IV. Definitely not fun, and it puts several holes in my day. Well, after seeing my own doctor today, it stops now. He agreed that there was no progress, and has me on an oral drug related to Cipro.

On a brighter note, I didn’t let this stop me from seeing a preview show at the new Clark Planetarium on Monday. I invited C2 Ray Meyer, our erstwhile chief of operations, to go with my family. There were a couple of other tickets, but no takers. Anyway, the place was great even though it was still under construction. We saw the new IMAX and the new star theater. The star theater was still being worked on, so it wasn’t as spectacular. They did hint at improved laser shows.

Here’s an interesting if obvious observation. Walking around with a needle in your arm makes people nervous.

On March 24th I took the Starfleet Academy Exam for the Original Series. I scored 60%. I had hoped to do better. The exam included quotes. I was warned of this, but usually if it is not written down, I don’t remember it. The chief of operations and the captain were amused by my method of memorizing the episodes in airdate order.

About the crew of the Ticonderoga:
End of log entry.