October 2007


Well, much to my surprise, the doctor informs me that I’ve already passed the infamous stone.  I’m not in any pain now, and kind of suspected it, but…(let’s see, how to best put this)…I had a hard time seeing how a 5-mm stone could “get past security” without being noticed.  Apparently, it happens. 

 A huge relief, to say the least.  Now, next time any punks try messing with me, I can just tell them, “Listen.  You don’t want to mess with me.  I pee gravel.”

OK, seriously this time, I’ll stop talking about my endocrine system…

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(if you don’t know me, and just stumbled on this blog, please scroll down to the next posts.  Trust me.)

Just after New Year’s Day 2007, I embarked on a several-week journey with my new arch-nemesis, the Kidney Stone.  This journey ended, several thousand dollars and many doctor visits later, with a vial full of sand that I made (which, for a former geology student, is pretty darn cool).

This past Friday, on my way to my first non-training day at my new job, I felt a dull, throbbing pain in my lower right side.  I immediately knew what it was, and what my day would look like.  After trying to work for 1/2 hour, I had to go home, where the pain became pretty much unbearable (and, most tragically of all, my 20-yr. no-vomit streak reached a violent end).  A doctor visit, some roadside puking, and a quick trip to the ER confirmed what I already knew:  that 2-mm stone they saw forming in January, was now 5-mm of kidney-thrashing menace. 

So, my weekend has consisted of many pain meds (which aren’t as necessary now), and waiting.  Basically, if I don’t pass the stone naturally, they’ll have to do some kind of procedure (perhaps another extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, perhaps something more…um…”invasive“).   My complicated insurance situation and I are hoping for option #1, as, last I checked, peeing is free, surgery is not.

Thanks in advance for your prayers on this one, I’ll let you know if everything comes out OK (ha!).  And I’ll shut up now about my endocrine system.

(that quote is from an old Navy (not Old Navy) ad I saw as a kid, and it just stuck with me.  Didn’t get me into the Navy, but it successfully gave me a title for this blog entry.  Anchors Aweigh!)

Saw a review of this blog on CNN.com.  The creator, Jen, decided that, in anticipation of her upcoming 30th birthday, she would undertake some new experience (and promptly blog it) each day for an entire year.  Soon, she began fielding suggestions from her friends, and, before long, this little experiment in experimentation caught on, where she is now taking suggestions from strangers and blogging for an international audience.  To date, she’s at around 200 new things tried, which have included having an all-vegan day, taking a walk with her neighbor, appearing on a game show, doing laundry on an old washboard, and wearing a fake moustache for a night out. 

Though I don’t know this person, it was completely thrilling to scroll through this journey of the foriegn, as she dove into pools of unknown depths each and every day.  Who hasn’t wanted to live that life?  What’s stopping us?  What’s stopping me?  Well, even if bare-bones logistics keep me from ever launching into a similar storyline, it’s never a bad thing to challenge one’s routines, and shake up the sediment a bit.  I hope you get the chance to enjoy this one as much as I did.

(…plus, I really just had to write something (anything) today, so as not to leave that cupcake post at the top of my page)

Cupcakes.  Let’s be honest: you just smiled a little bit reading the word “cupcake.”  Something about a little piece of cake, wrapped in that crinkly little paper, smeared with some messy frosting, and often sprinkled with yet more sugary goodness…well, there are so few times as adults we’re given direct portals to childhood.  A good cupcake takes me back to birthday parties, holidays, or days when Mom just felt like being Supermom.  Today, I received a plate of cupcakes.  This was a good day…

 (Oh, I’m sorry, were you looking for whimsical, insightful profundities?  That department closed early today.  There were cupcakes in the break room.)

Ever heard of Godwin’s Law?  This notion suggests that every argument, if left to fester long enough, will eventually spew forth a Hitler/Nazi/Holocaust reference.  As in, “You’re just close-minded.  So were the Nazis.”  Taking this path is little more than a gratuitous attempt to evoke the strongest emotion conceivable, and hopefully launch that emotion in the direction of one’s argumentative stance. 

 

The other day, I was listening to one of my favorite radio preachers.  Normally, this unnamed individual presents sound, relevant correlations between everyday life and Biblical truth.  On this day, however, the lesson devolved into a series of Godwin-esque cheap pleas for my emotional reactions.  Allow me to recap…

 

Starting with a “rally cry” to turn the Iraq War into a catalyst for revival (“This war won’t be won with M-16’s, but with John 3:16!”), we were given a glimpse of a Christian faith that rides the high peaks, then…well, that’s about as far as it gets.  Right on cue, we moved right on to 9/11 (whose death toll, by the way, totaled just a fraction of any one of the many hurricanes that walloped Central American in the late 90s, but most people don’t remember those).    With flags in my sights and Lee Greenwood ringing in my ears, I proceeded to hear the internet-fueled tale of the steel girders from one fallen tower, which rested in the form of a cross.  Then, oh and then, we had the long-awaited evoking of Godwin’s Law (I yelled “Godwin’s Law!” in my car, but I don’t think they heard me, because the story continued).  I think there might have been a JFK assassination reference in there, as well as a Katrina callback, too.

 

Here’s where all this was going:  all of these things were meant to bring about in me some understanding of the gravity of Jesus’ Second Coming.  The prophecies laid out in Scripture (another talk for another day) all point to a day in the future when things will be about as bad as they can get, and then Christ will return to Earth to either (depending on your eschatology) end the bad 1,000 years or get professing believers out before the bad stuff begins. 

 

Now, I make no bones about my walk with Christ, and that I believe the Bible to be the true Word of God.  This, of course, means that, while I have no ability to understand this,  I do believe that I will spend eternity in the presence of God.  But I just get really uncomfortable when Biblical teachers play this card right off the bat.  Perhaps it’s the notion of emotionally manipulating someone into a profession of faith in Christ, that doesn’t sit well with me.  While I understand the critical nature of understanding judgment and God’s wrath, I see way too many people using them as a means of avoiding the here-and-now.  Why get into the nitty-gritty of a daily walk with God, when I can just scare you into believing what I do?  As any educator knows, fear of consequences is never a consistent catalyst for change in behavior. 

 

Before you label me a cynic or a fascist (Godwin’s law!), I truly understand, as best I am able, the gravity and tragedy of the Iraq War, 9/11, and WWII.  And, as a follower of Christ, I try to levy the consequences of defying God’s grace in my daily choices, as well as looking forward to the joys of Heaven.  But, please, let’s just give a rest to the overdone, way-too-easy, tear-evoking references to those 5-6 huge events in history that we all have strong feelings towards.  Because, if we don’t, the terrorists have already won.