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From bad to much worse
June 6, 2001

Bad News

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be pollyannaesque, there just isn't a way to spin things in a happy sort of way. I recently got some news, some bad news and some really bad news.

Danger will robinson! Things start out here with a happy spin, but rapidly get unredeemingly serious, so don't say I didn't warn you.

Over the weekend, I got the results to my mri scan in a voicemail call from my doctor. He started out with the first bit of news: my right kidney isn't in my back, it's in my pelvis. I didn't realize this was physically possible, but apparently I am living proof that it is. He said it happens to about half of a percent of the population, but that's hardly reason for rejoicing. I really don't need more convincing that I am just plain odd. The promised happy spin: I may possibly be at a slight advantage while street fighting and in kickboxing matches.

My doctor made great efforts to explain that there wasn't anything terribly wrong with having a misplaced kidney, and quickly jumped to the bad news. Worse than having organs in odd places, I have a herniated disc at my L5 vertebrae. This is really not good news at all, and more than makes up for any congenital kickboxing advantage regarding my right kidney.

My shock absorbing disc, which is supposed to happily cushion and support the gaps between my vertebrae, is instead poking my spinal cord and causing much pain. It may eventually get to the point where I get the phantom pain in my feet and legs and require surgery. To start with, my doctor is recommending a massive needle full of steroids to be jammed into my back. It really goes without saying that there isn't room in the back to jam such a needle.

My friend ann said this cortisone epidural thing is something the human body can only handle once every six months. Anything that fits into that category is probably something you either should avoid or can't afford. Unfortunately, my insurance will pay for it, and it looks a bit unavoidable.

But enough about me. The really bad news has to do with another recent story, where we were looking for a roommate. Returning readers will remember that back in february, we did a happy happy joy joy project that found us a roommate but left us exhausted and a little too famous. Since rob left at the end of may, we scrambled to find another roommate in our scant free time.

The first guy we talked to was from alaska. He was planning to move to san francisco and wanted to pay a deposit in advance before even looking at the place. This seemed too odd, despite the fact that the guy was familiar with treasure island. I was also worried about his occupation: he's a lawyer. Entering into a business type of agreement with a lawyer is something like going sailing with pirates, traveling with the donner party or partnering with microsoft. Fortunately, his application didn't get past the leasing agency, so it became a non-issue.

That wasn't the bad news, in case you're waiting for it.

The next guy we talked to was from another noncontiguous state. He was planning to get a job with the city police department, and currently working with his family here in a transportation-oriented industry. He seemed to be cool guy, laid back and friendly. He told us interesting stories about his current job, and about his plans to start with the police academy in, I think, the summer. He was stoked to move in, and put in his application the next day.

Then we didn't hear anything for a long time.

Nick was finally able to contact his family after calls to his cell phone never got answered. It turns out this friendly, open and likeable young guy killed himself.

We're all sort of traumatized and don't know what to think. Nick and I both had friends who committed suicide before, but it's always a terrible shock that leaves you feeling strange and helpless. If you're thinking about doing this, please talk to someone first. I'd much rather speed a week of my life being a hero and saving somebody's life by talking them through things, whatever they are, than deal with the awful aftermath, where you feel guilty and pained for not having known what was going on and being unable to help.

So that's how far things have gone this week, and I don't even have anything witty to say about it. I'd rather just write about wacky stuff and fun adventures, so please help by reporting things that are crazy/insane/silly, but not entirely crazy/insane/disastrous/awful. And if you want someone to talk to, send us email or call a hotline, like the san francisco suicide organization, at 415-781-0500.

More on the lame, bad, silly and depressive:

cover cover cover cover cover cover cover

Lost in Space
Street Fighter Alpha
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kickboxing
The Phantom of the Opera
A Self Made Hero
Monty Python's Flying Circus Collection
Taxi Driver

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