Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sunday Snippets ... and Your Humble Blogger Sells Out!

Yes it's time for Sunday Snippets — A Catholic Carnival, hosted as usual by RAnn. As you probably know by now, it's a collection of Catholic writers that huddle together once a week to offer their collective works to discriminating readers like you. But before I offer you my work for the week ... you might have noticed something different at the bottom of this post.

Yeah, I sold out. I'm in this for the money now.

Blogging doesn't really cost me anything, since I use Blogger and a whole host of free tools. Because of that, I've been trying to keep my sites free of advertising, since I find ads annoying, and AdSense doesn't always "get" what's appropriate for you (why would I want to shop for plus-size dresses?).

However, a little over three years ago, a papilloma started growing in my right nostril. Since I was first out of work and then working but without health benefits, I let it go until it was practically hanging out of my nose.

So it's off to an ENT. Doctor Treebeard looks at me, and sends me off to a nearby clinic where I can have my nose CT scanned (and I'm beginning to wonder if my head shouldn't be examined). He also schedules me for a biopsy just in case. So I come back for the follow-up, and he tells me that 1) it needs surgery to be removed (really?) and 2) he's not the one to do it.

So now its off to a rhinologist. The ENT I picked has his office two blocks from my house. The rhinologist is in Medical City, a huge cluster of medical office buildings centered on TexasHealth Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, about 40 miles through some of the ugliest traffic west of New York. Before he'll do the surgery, I have to have my ticker stress-tested. Oh, and the CT scan isn't in the right format. The earlier clinic re-does it for free, but the machine the rhinologist uses for surgery still can't read it, so the in-building clinic does it ... but not for free. (I definitely need my head examined!)

Comes the day of the surgery — oddly enough, the day after my birthday. Not exactly how I wanted to turn fifty. I'm sitting on the bed with the paper gown on my torso and an IV stuck in my hand. Rhinologist comes in and says, "We have to postpone." The anesthesiologist is gitchy about my blood oxygen level. (Funny, I distinctly remember mentioning that I suffer from sleep apnea.) So now I gotta see a pulmonologist .... And the meter keeps racking up the expenses ....

Fortunately, the lung folks the nose guy refers me to is right on the Presby campus; I half expected I would be referred to someone in Waxahatchie, if not Bossier City. I spend about 10 minutes huffing and puffing into what looks like the floor end of a shop vacuum hose (except Sanitized For Your Protection). Wait another 10 minutes, then the doctor comes in. He asks me a bunch of questions while typing on his laptop. And then he gives me a few more hoops to jump through: a sleep study to get a new machine (the one I have was given to me by a coworker, but it isn't adjusted to my needs), a pneumonia immunization, and get an e-cigarette.

My job pays very well for what I do, but I still fall short of middle-class income. I have gap insurance, but it won't cover much. I've been using PTO to cover time off, which means I don't have a lot to spare to recouperate whenever I finally get to have the frappin' procedure. I have some other responsibilites, so I don't really have the time for a second job. I've finally advertised myself as a freelance writer on LinkedIn, so I hope some work will come that way. 
Nevertheless, I need to start generating more income to take care of the medical expenses starting to pile up. So I apologize, Dear Readers, but the ads stay.

Sorry for the lengthy explanation. But then again, it's a helluva story; I could wish for Homer to cast it into verse. So what have I been writing this week?

Outside the Asylum: "The broken gate", sort of a follow-up to the CS piece, in which I look at the woman's traditional role as sexual "gatekeeper"; and "'Who am I to judge?'", a very late analysis of the infamous press conference last August in the context of the WaPo story about the gay hospital patient who was allegedly denied the Sacrament of the Sick.
This Here Blog: "Requiem for a restaurant legacy", my thoughts on the closing of the last Omaha restaurant to bear the Caniglia name.

This has actually been a pretty productive week, considering the output of the last few months. I've got one in the pipeline centering on Kurt Gödel, Werner Heisenberg and the meaning of faith, but I can't seem to tie a bow on it. But things to write about are sure to crop up ... especially if Pope Francis decides to make some remarks off the cuff. See you next week!