(The following happened in late December 2012...and I posted these diatribes to Tastyspleen as they occured)

I had something truely new in my life experience... My first Hospital Stay. And I'm still here,and unsure when I get to leave.I banged my
right knee with a worktable last week,and it got a serious staph infection. I was admitted Christmas Day...and this is what it it looked like:


My First Hospital Stay
I'll just say its being dealt with with diligence and expertise,so I feel happy about it...and hopefully it'll mean a long stretch of disability
where I can spend time drawing like a madman and making whole servers ragequit!

As most of you know I stock shelves on a graveyard shift in the supermarket. Kneeling is unavoidable and small injuries are ignored unless
they turn into BIG injuries. Water-On-The-Knee is nothing new,and when I fel a puffiness start in one,I favour the other and when both get
puffy I sit on a milkcrate for a few weeks and it goes away. Well about a year and a half or so ago I had a squishy ball on my right knee that
didn't go away,with a scab that never healed in years covering it.When I noticed it bleeding from that scab,I decided to expand the cut a bit
and squish out the gunk myself.Black coagulated blood,a deal of it,but after I did that and bandaged it the knee felt fine and I carried on.
Until last week when I slammed it with a worktable.

It balloned.I hurt when I knelt on it and hobbled about with it. Saturday night I spent with sever chills and resolved to see a doctor about
it,and after a 4 hour wait I recieved 10 minutes of his Divine Benevolence:sat in the chair across from me,looked at the knee,and said the
knee needs draining he won't do it and the outfit upstairs that could aren't in Sundays.But my bloodpressure was 180 over 100 and that was
dangerous enough to prescribe meds,which I'm on.Its stablizing,and I lay the blame on my foolishly eating like I was 20 at work("Oh boy!
Lean Cuisine is on sale! Lemme get 2 every lunch! 3200mgs of sodium? No problem").And I resolve to eat healthy even if it kills me Ba-
Dum-Bum-*TISH!*

So I struggled through Sunday night at work,my Giving a Shit meter dropping as the night progressed. The infection progressed as well and I
was woozy and creaky until I stumbled into a cab to get home and prepare for Christmas eve with my Girlfriend's Clan. This was my second
appearence there(16 months of relationship and still going!),and It's actually something strange and new to me in the terms of family Get
togethers:Merry. Its held at a huge housesomewhere in New Jersey,and the extended relations show up and be Clannish. I have been
embraced by them which I admit to be humbled by and gratified for their acceptance of me,considering I think I'm like Guinness Stout,and
aquired taste that has ones' face contorted by the incredulity of this stuff being called"beer",but after the culture shock the appreciation sparks
sparkles and grows. Santa even appears to the kiddies,and its wild to see them scamper about trying to find him,until finally he is cornered
and cooporates with decanting of presents and photo ops. Its a Tradition going on for 4 generations and the last poor sap to get married was
Commanded to "make babies" at the wedding reception,a point I held quiet misgivings... my girlfriend HAS a daughter,one of the only 2
kiddie vinkies left,so this year a neighbor was imported to bring his collection of toddlers for the occasion,so much importance on that
tradition is placed. These in-clan kids are both 11 now and I find it downright surreal for them to watch for Santa...but I really never
believed myself as a kid.Modern children getting sparkly over seeing a great myth visit,then facebooking about it on their smartphones? Odd.

Anyway,this year I spent tottering about and either running outside to stand in the cold,or sweating profusely. I managed to be "entertaining"
enough to not be disappointing as a guest,and my website was admired with small degrees of true wonder that I made that at all. WE were so
merry we ignored dinner until 10ish and wound up heading out after midnight,where I spent 5 hours in my girlfriends bed listening to her
kitten scratch at the closed door and her yelling at it.So for those playing at home,the No Sleep starting at 7pm Sunday night now clicks in
Christmas day at an excited 7AM kiddie vinkie opening presents 36 hours straight.And breakfast with her Mom and Dinner at my
sisters,AND WORK still ahead. But never made it to work.It was at breakfast I took that picture,and from there straight to Hackensack
Hospital.

Happily the emergency room wasn't crowded,even more happily my lady stood fast at my side. Admission was efficent,and withing 20
minutes I actually saw a doctor,who brought in a second to consult,then drained the now golfball sized lump with a slice and a squish.In a
word,messy. My lower leg from ankle to knee swelled to double size from the infection,and I began leaking some yellow brown stuf ffrom
my pores.

At that point it was a 99% certainty I was staying overnight,and now its going to be a number of days here. The antibiotics were switched to
something stronger which seems to be working. The second bed is occupied by some guy who is on a "pain reduction regieme",but was up all
night blasting his TV until I begged a nurse for a sleeping pill for a 3 hour reprieve from 3-6 am or so 56 hours straight awake. Last night he
tried pulling the same stuff but a nurse walked in and told hom to turn down the volume. And through the curtain I growled"its 2:30 in the
morning,SIR. Two-thirty in the F-U-C-K-I-N-G morning!" It managed to reach him,and it was lowered,but I sense the war is on. When I'm in
pain I don't inflict it on the innocent. Cocksucker is due for a jalepeneo IV drip.

So now its Thursday morning,and I managed to get some sleep because my wonderful woman drove through the fierce snowfall to grab
essentials and feed my cat for a few days,and now I have earbuds to drown out the Rap party next to me when I need,and the leg is a lot less
swollen. I'll update the story later...a real shower looms! Merry Christmas,and be thankful for small mercies and odd blessings!