This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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November 2004
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Place the States Quiz

Saw this Drag and Drop State Thing. (via TivoCommunity)

I got:

Score 98%
Average Error 1 Mile
Time 352 seconds

I messed up Tennessee. Right general location, just a few miles off E/W from where it should have been. (I had it slightly too far west.)

Anybody else want to try then report their scores?

(It randomizes the order of the states each time, and some orders are definately easier than others.)

Ooo… they have a bunch more!! The “expert geographer” ones for the various continents are really hard!

Backs, Emergency Rooms and Kidneys

Brandy’s back has been acting up for awhile. Over the past few weeks three times she had to spend two or three days in bed to try to get to the point where she felt like she could walk again.

The most recent time started Sunday evening after we got back from a little shopping. Boom. Brandy was in pain and horizontal. The bed was too soft, so it was the couch, or the floor at times. It was just getting worse and worse.

When I came home for lunch Tueday, as I usually do, she was in pretty bad shape, and we collectively decided that a trip to the emergency room was in order.

We headed to the emergency room, and I called out of work for the rest of the day. Brandy had to lie down in the chairs in the waiting room because she was unable to sit. Walking to and from the car and too and from checking in was very slow and painful for her. Once signed in, over 5 hours of waiting ensued. (At one point I went and picked Amy up from school).

A little after 6 PM Brandy was finally seen by someone. Not a doctor, but a physician’s assistant. He took a history. Ah, previous back injury from the military. There were no tests. He just ordered a shot and a few pills on the spot and gave out prescriptions for new pills. antinflamitories and pain killers. Stong pain killers.

Now, while we were waiting for Brandy to be given her pills, I started having pains in my lower abdomen. Familiar pains. Now, for the last several weeks I’d been off and on having that sort of symptom along with UTI type symptoms. I’d actually seen the doctor at a couple points. He had ordered some tests, then determined that at that particular day I wasn’t bad enough for antibiotics… but by then I’d caught a bad cold, so he gave me stuff for that, plus one of my test results had shown an abnormal liver result, so he ordered follow up tests, and I was supposed to see him next week about that. But meanwhile, the pains had been off and on. But never TOO bad. I was taking some analgesic stuff to help me not mind as much, and was basically waiting to see him next week.

But as we were sitting there waiting for Brandy to get her meds, my pain was getting worse and worse very rapidly, accompanied by a very urgent need to go to the restroom every 3 minutes. But without much of any ability to do anything once there. Yup, I knew this feeling. Kidney Stones.

By the time Brandy’s meds arrived… which included some percoset, I was joking that I wanted some too. But I wasn’t crippled in pain, it was bad, but not yet disabling. And besides, we were there for Brandy and Brandy was hurting a lot and still could not move without excruciating pain. So I ran back and forth to the restroom in between holding Brandy’s hand while she was on the stretcher.

They were completely overbooked and busy. All the rooms were full. After our five hours in the waiting room, we had finally been given an exam room in the ER, but then someone with chest pains was rushed in, and we were moved to a hallway. So we were out in a hallway for a long time.

Finally Brandy got her meds. It took almost an hour for them to kick in. But then she was quite loopy. Plus we had a couple prescriptions to take to the drug store. But we were finally leaving. Over 8 hours after first going in.

As we left, I joked about checking myself in. Aside from the fact that we would have been waiting another six hours most likely, it might have been a good idea. My pain was increasing very very quickly. By now Brandy was actually able to walk, although still with pain. I just wanted to rush home as fast as I could to take some of my own supply of percocet and then crash.

We needed to stop on the way home at the drug store though to fill Brandy’s prescriptions. I had forgotten about this and was hoping it would be mere minutes until we were home. Now it was likely to be half an hour.

And yes, sure enough (leving the yicky details out), there in the CVS restroom, in one of many trips I made in the time we were at the store, I passed a kidney stone. Not a huge one. Probably just a couple millimeters in diameter. But it hurt like hell. And I was sweaty and feaverish from the pain.

So we rush home. Brandy has her meds, and her pain killers are fully kicked in. I am in agony. I just passed a stone, but it was not improving yet. First of all the damn things do a lot of damage as they pass, and second, there may be more… I can barely concentrate to drive, but I am better off than Brandy who is now drugged to the hilt. By the time we get home Brandy is good enough to walk on her own, and I literally run in to drug myself with a couple percocets. (And to get back to a bathroom.)

So now, as I write, Brandy is still in pain and not as mobile as she should be, but is in a nice painkiller haze…. (And of course the painkillers don’t actually fix her back problem… that may not be fixable, it is a degenerate disease… but to feel normal again she’ll still have to be on bedrest the rest of the week probably.) My painkillers have still not fully kicked in. I feel better than I did an hour ago, but am still in a lot of pain. I hurt constantly and am trying to distract myself by writing, and I can’t spend more than about 3 minutes away from the bathroom at a stretch. And the percs are starting to make me dizzy and nauseous. Hopefully they will kick in before I upchuck, or we may be heading back to the ER.

Don’t we make a wonderful healthy couple?

We are both a complete mess tonight.

I really hope tomorrow is better for both of us.