Friday, September 30, 2016

Doing better

Chris Byrne is looking much better.

I dropped Christopher off with his great-aunt, so I'm in Boston overnight to attend to Chris's needs as much as I can.

Chris is on muscle relaxers and pain relief so the muscle spasms are much reduced.

I went back to NH to check the mail, deposit Chris's paycheck, get some more clothes, check on the dogs, and drop Christopher off.

Paycheck hadn't arrived yet so deposit didn't happen.

Obviously the expenses of more gas, parking, and staying another night in Boston are adding up, so if anyone feels like helping out I can access donations using PayPal to immediately for the short term expenses.

Thanks all.

Surgery update, again

Chris Byrne is doing better today.

What happened was he spent so much time on a hard surface in the same position that his back and pelvis locked up and went into spasm, and stayed there all of last night.

He's not mobile, is under heavy muscle relaxers and pain relief, and is drifting in and out.

He's not likely to be discharged today, which was the original plan.

Waiting to talk to someone who can tell me what's going to happen.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Surgery update

So I don't have the surgeon's report yet because we missed the surgeon somehow, but...

Chris Byrne went into the OR at 9:30 am and surgery was done at approximately 3:00.

I expected to see him not too long after, because he always comes out of anesthesia quickly.

Well I didn't see him until 7:30 pm, because there were problems in the recovery room.

He's in a lot of pain. How much?

Well, those of you who know his pain tolerance and the fact that he lives with chronic pain... he was hyperventilating and crying.

The nurse had managed to get pain management cleared before I even flagged her down (which was as soon as I possibly could).

He... doesn't look good. I'm saying this as someone who has already seen him through 2 similar surgeries, which treated him much better.

It's not the surgeon's fault, he's an absolute master of his trade. No, this is the cancer.

I managed to get him food ordered (he couldn't even do that for himself) and answer the nurse's questions (which he also couldn't do and gladly handed over to me), all while I wrangled an over tired 3 year old.

I left the hospital with Christopher at 8:30 pm.

I haven't heard from the surgeon yet, as he was handling another case and, I suspect at least, things aren't over for the night.

Frankly, I'm scared. I've never seen him like this, even after the other surgeries, and I'm scared he's not going to recover as well. I'm also scared he's not going to recover properly at all.

Any prayers would be appreciated.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Regression to the tribalist mean

The alt right... and to a lesser extent, even the more mainstream but still largely reactionary populist right... have become nothing more than a mirror of the far left; even so far as using the same rhetoric, and tactics, as the Gramscians and the alinskyites.

We have now reached a state where both the left, and the right, are actively trying to destroy western culture and society, in order to "preserve" or "perfect" it..

This is exactly what Gramscians, the Frankfurt school, and the other criticalists, set out to achieve in the early part of the 20th century; in their efforts to destroy western capitalism, and introduce "scientific socialism".

The left have essentially always... and now much of the right have joined them... not just criticised, or rejected, but in fact actively worked to tear down; the individualist ideals of the enlightenment which made this country possible...

...and which... while flawed and never living up to those ideals as we would like... made this country work reasonably well, most of the time, for most people, over the last 225 years (particularly the last 160 or so).

The left do so, because they fundamentally believe that the individualist ideal is not just false, but is morally wrong; instead believing in a model of collective identity, collective authority, and collective rights; defined by society as a whole, for the benefit of society as a whole.

This is entirely antithetical to the individualist concept and ideals this nation was not just founded in, but which in fact this nation is an entirely a creature of. Our constitution depends on that concept, derives it's authority and legitimacy from it, and is entirely a creature of it.

Three of the four greatest political achievments of the enlightenment (the other, was the rejection of slavery and other involuntary servitude... which follows necessarily from the other three) were:

First, the elevation and enshrinement of the concept of inherent, fundamental, and preexisting individual rights (no right being greater or superior to any other; nor any rights of any individual being greater or superior to any other individual... be they titled king, or senator or president; nor any rights of any collective, organization, government, state or other entity, or its members, leaders, officers, or agents,  being greater or superior to those of any other individual).

Second... which follows directly from the first... the elevation and enshrinment of the concept that government derives it's legitimate powers and authority, by the consent and delegation of those rights by the governed. Rights which must be respected and protected by any government, and by any law, for any government or law to be legitimate; the powers and authorities of which , are not superior to, greater than, or otherwise exceeding, those of any individual.

Third... which follows directly from the first two... the development of the high trust society; where individuals and organizations, trust that regardless of any "identity" or other factor, or any individual or collective favor or disfavor, enmity or amity; their rights will be protected and respected both by their fellow citizens and by the government (and its agents), that contracts will be fulfilled, that the law will be written fairly and enforced as written, that the government will act as a disinterested arbiter of disputes and enforcer of laws, and that all will be treated equally under the law by the government and it's agents.

These things are required, for our nation to exist at all... and certainly required for it to prosper.

Some may say that none of these things were ever true...

...and that is so... to some extent...

None were ever perfectly true, nor could they be, because people are imperfect, and governments are made up of people... and because the law is an ass...

...But that is not a reason to denigrate or destroy these ideals, or to reject them as false. It is a reason to work towards better embodying and living up to them.

Instead, we are doing the opposite.

The left have for decades, both in an attempt to correct actual or percieved wrongs and inequities, AND as a deliberate attempt to undermine and denigrate the very concepts of individualism, and individual rights as a whole; attempted to carve out specially protected classes and identities, both in law, and in our conception of society.

They have been incredibly successful in doing so, such that the words "protected class" are literally part of many federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and where individual rights conflict with societies or the states expressed desires regarding those "protected classes", those individual rights are abrogated by law.

Further, the left have long attempted to denigrate, dilute, and destroy, the very concept of rights; such that people no longer know what rights are, or why they are important; deliberately conflating state granted franchises, privileges, entitlements etc... with rights.

They have been frighteningly successful in this as well... to the point where many no longer believe rights exist in any meaningful way at all; rather, that "rights" are actually just privileges collectively decided on by society, and granted, revoked, or modified as society sees fit, subject to the whim of the majority, prettied up as "the will of the people".

In fact, many simply do not believe it could possibly be any other way. They have fully internalized the collectivist concept and ideal... even if they believe themselves to be "conservative" or even "libertarian"; saying such things as "rights are whatever the law says they are" or "you don't have any rights, except what society let's you have, everything else is a fantasy"... or worst of all "rights don't actually exist".

This, of course, is core to the concept of the collective society... and entirely counter to the individualist concept.

Just because rights are disrespected, violated, and abrogated doesn't mean they don't exist... Otherwise, you are simply accepting the pre-enlightenment notion, that force... might...makes right... It's just that now we have the tyranny of the majority, rather than the tyranny of the "nobility".

In reaction to this, rather than working to tear down such false and destructive notions, and fight for individual rights; many on the "right"... and even many of those who claim to be "libertarian"...  have simply adopted the lefts core conception... that we are all members of separate competing classes, interests, and  "identities", locked in a zero sum game of exploiters and exploited, victims and victimizers...  and that in order to avoid being the victims, we have to "beat them", and be the tyrants.

It's disgusting... Frankly it's evil... It's a regression to strongman warlordism, dressed up as "identity politics".

This is the embodiment of every bad parody  and false narrative the left has ever spouted about capitalism, individualism, "the right", and our country as Asa whole... all those lies they believed were true, because in their collectivist world view, they couldn't NOT be true... Every zero sum dog eat dog, all wealth is exploitation, in order for one man to get ahead five men must be trampled on lie, that they have been telling for not just decades, but centuries...

Rather than asserting the moral, ethical, and practical correctness and superiority of individual rights; and refusing to play the collectivist zero sum game... 

..."The right" are now simply trying to play the collectivist game... and unsurprisingly, they're losing badly... because that game is wrong, and false, and because the left have a hell of a lot more practice at it.

Worst of all... they're doing it, because the large mass of undereducated and DELIBERATELY misinformed, socially and economically disappointed and sometimes disadvantaged; right reactionary populists... and no, they are in no way conservatives, they are identity politics driven reactionary populists... 

...Who say they believe in individual rights and insividualism, but in reality just want to be back on top of the zero sum pile, above the other "identities" and "classes"...

... are DEMANDING that they do so... Demanding they "take back our country", and "bring back our jobs" and "fight for us", and all the other false narratives they've been convinced they have to "fight" for, or else they'll be the ones exploited by "big business" and "special interests" and "political correctness".

It's disgusting... but entirely predictable.

We are devolving from an individualist high trust culture, into a collectivist low trust culture... cultural regression to mere tribalism.

... and somehow, most people seem to not notice....

... and most of those who do, are either OK with it, or so worried about being  exploited and victimized by the other tribes, that they are too busy jockeying for position to care.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Not doing great... thank God surgery is Thursday

Well, the large tumor mass... it's up over 3 inches wide now, and probably about as deep. It's six or so lymph nodes grown together in a neoplastic agglomeration... has grown big enough to be putting pressure on my airway, and on my various nerves in the area.

That in itself is not great, but I'm now up to more than 150 lbs of excess dependent fluid, between central trunk and peripheral edema, and lymphedema... In fact, I haven't stepped on the scale in a couple weeks, let's see what I'm at right now...

... yeah... not good..  I've gained 170lbs since the first of the year.

...Not 70lbs... ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY pounds...

I was at 360 and losing... Still 75-95lbs over where I wanted to be, but going in the right direction. I was active, and mobile, and had my pain under control. 

... I just weighed myself, and was just almost 530 lbs. Which itself is 35 pounds more than I was 2 weeks ago.

The combination is putting continuous pressure on the nerve trunks in my arms and legs, and is also causing them to swell dramatically, to the point where I have reduced range of motion and reduced strength.. and my skin is stretching taught... it always feels like an overfilled water  baloon about to pop.

This leads to a lovely combination of numbness, shooting pains, and general aches.

It's also putting pressure on my heart and lungs, which combined with the airway pressure, and the pressure on the nerves in my neck... not good.

The sleep apnea... that inevitably comes with having a giant tumor in your neck, plus having all your tissues waterlogged, and having an extra 250 lbs weighing you down... is so bad, that it's not just sleep apnea at this point... If I stay still in a "relaxed" position, and I don't actively keep myself awake and functioning, I drift into semi consciousness, and stop breathing.

I was testing it out earlier, and when I zoned out, my O2 sat dropped to 84% but the alarm roused me enough that I started breathing again. I hate to think what it's like when I actually fall asleep. Last time around, I had O2 sat excursions down into the 55% range, with extended periods under 75%, which my have permanently damaged my short term memory.

The diuretics help a little bit, but the cancer... in particular the neoplastic syndrome associated with it... is screwing up my system so much, that none of my drugs are really working, even if I deliberately up the doses.

My metabolic function is so low, that I either have enough energy to digest food, or to actually stay fully conscious... not both at once. If I eat something, I have to lay down and half pass out for a while.

Last time, we figured out that my metabolic function was running between 25% and 40% normal at my worst. I figure it's similar this time.

Basically, I feel like I'm drowning, while having a heart attack, while having my joints forcibly separated, and my skin inflated to the point of near popping, with slight interludes of mere total exhaustion and mild suffocation in between.

... only instead of hurting real bad for 4 minutes then stopping... because either you're dead, or you recover... this is 24/7.

Honestly... Dying would be better than this. Dying would end.

The only reason I can tolerate it at all is for Mel and the boy... I don't know if I could take another month of this... if it weren't for them I know I couldn't... don't think I could have got this far.

Surgery is Thursday... thank God.