In The Blink Of An Eye

As the few who check in here have noticed, I’ve not posted in a while. I had already slowed down as a result of the new day job, but there’s been nothing for a while. There is a reason for that.

This is a post that is hard to write, and it is a post I never expected to write. I am, to put it mildly, glad to be here to write it and have already given thanks many times for the this. That said, life has taken some very unexpected and difficult turns.

Growing up, my Dad and I loved to watch thunderstorms. In particular, I remember sitting with him more than once on the porch of our cabin watching the storms roll down the ridges and mountains. When it got close, we would go inside.

On June 30 at approximately 0445 hours, I was sitting on the covered front porch of the house where I rent a room, drinking coffee and reading the news on my phone. To my north, about a mile to a mile-and-a-half away, a thunderstorm was moving off and I was enjoying watching the light show from what I thought was a safe distance. I was wrong. Turns out, as storms break up lightning can and does hit miles away.

One second I was reading one of my regular reads (Instapundit, I think, not real clear at this point) when a bolt of lightning hit somewhere off to my right. The blinding flash and roar were almost simultaneous, and as I lost sight my body clenched up tight. I distinctly remember having a brief Buckley moment, thinking “This is going to hurt” and wondering if when my eyes opened/worked if I would be looking at Heaven, hell, or other. When my eyes could see again and my body unclenched, I was delighted to see I was still on the porch.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that while the main bolt did indeed miss me, a part of it came over to say hello. While I normally prize manners, I really wish it hadn’t. Not realizing I had been hit, I went inside, gave thanks to God and the Blessed Mother, and went to work. The next day, I did not feel good and despite being light-headed thought I just had a bug. I called my doc and went in to see a nurse practicioner. We talked about the strike, but she admitted it was the first time at that practice they had seen someone who had been so close to a strike and I needed to watch myself carefully. Meantime, some of the symptoms did seem like a bug so we treated it as such. A couple of weeks later, I spent four hours in the ER with cardiac issues including a BP that was well above stroke range.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about what it means to be hit by lightning. Most people (including a number of medical professionals) expect blast trauma and burns. They do happen but from medical papers and other resources, they are not necessarily the most common injuries. Far more common are concussion/TBI-like symptoms on the neurological side, and a variety of cardiac issues ranging from mild to severe. What happens varies widely, as the effect of the strike is much like firing a stun gun into the motherboard of a computer. You don’t know exactly what will happen, but it’s not likely to be good.

In my case, there is no clearly defined entry point. Indeed, it is possible that the charge could have built up by induction; but, there is no way to be sure. By the time we started figuring out what had happened, several weeks had passed. That said, it would appear that it exited out the ball of my right foot.

Many of the short-term effects are being, or have been, dealt with. That said, there remain cardiac issues and neurologic issues. I’m having to have yet more cardiac tests next week, and we have the BP down to more reasonable levels. I was supposed to go to TBI/concussion therapy, but there have been insurance issues so that remains in the future. It also appears I’m going to have to save up for some custom orthotics, which the insurance doesn’t cover.

The long-term prognosis is mixed. Many who are hit go on to have personality changes, problems doing things they’ve done a thousand times, or even to lose the ability to learn new things. I have had both memory and cognitive issues, and while I hope getting into the TBI/concussion therapy will help, there is no way to predict or prevent the emergence of long-term issues. While the day job has been amazingly supportive, I’ve had to miss more work than I care for, especially since I don’t get paid sick days. I’ve also had to drop the number of days I’m working, both because of fatigue/cognitive/other issues and the need to have time to go to the many doctor visits that now fill my life. If anyone cares to hit the tip jar here, it would be appreciated. Even more so as I may find myself having to explore medical disability if we can’t get things improved.

For all that there are no pre-existing conditions or physical damage to the brain, the circuits are scrambled. At this point, I’ve begun to lose confidence that we can unscramble them as the longer it takes to get into the therapy the more likely it is that short-term effects could become permanent and cascade into starting some of the long-term effects. Right now, I’m unsure I could start a new job, as the physical and mental challenges may be beyond my capability.

When I said it was hard to write this post, I meant it on several levels. It is not easy to write about my situation. Worse, it is hard to write cogently. Writing has always been something that flowed easily, which is why I was able to write so many articles about science and high-technology efforts. Writing fiction is not as easy, but I’d like to think I was starting to get the hang of things.

Writing this post has been a challenge. The flow is not there, and finding the right words is a challenge. I’ve already had to go back and fix a few things where I did not have the words right. On a good day, I can write, but it seems I’ve had few of those of late. I’m really hoping this does not take my writing from me, as it has been not just a career for many years, but a release on many levels.

I’ve had challenges before, and I plan to meet this one head-on. This is a very different battle from any I’ve fought before and comes on top of others that have me being advised to move to the desert SW. I had hoped that might happen this winter, but that is now on hold.

I do not know what the future holds. I have Faith. I have friends. There are resources out there I have yet to discover. Even more than hitting the tip jar, I would very much appreciate your prayers and good thoughts. I need all of them I can get.

Onwards.

UPDATE: I am overwhelmed and humbled by the responses to this. Thank you all and I will be responding more soon. Welcome Instapundit readers! It’s been a while since I’ve seen an Installanche take down a site, but I’m seeing it did so last night. 🙂 Thank you all for the support, prayers, and encouragement offered. There truly are not words to describe how grateful I am for all. Bless you.

Abby & Libby: 4 Years And Still No Justice

Don’t know who created it, but thanks for doing it.

It’s been four years now, and the scum who killed Libby and Abby is still out there. Someone knows who he is, they know something that can break this case open.




Listen to this voice. Listen Again. 

Listen. If you know who this is, turn them in.

Remember Abby and Libby. Remember and honor the courage and ingenuity that has given us what clues we have, including that recording above.

I have not forgotten. I will not forget.

There is still justice to be done. Spread the word, and leave the POS who attacked and murdered these two girls no place to hide.

COVID-19 1Apr20

Well, wish I could say that the virus, the economic impacts, and the damage it is having to the Republic was all an elaborate April Fool’s joke, but can’t. I do not like the deaths, the lockdown, the damage to our economy, and the damage to our freedoms.

Not feeling the greatest today, weather changes are triggering a lot of pain, so, thinking today will be short and sweet. Yesterday afternoon, at the briefing, I was surprised and delighted that several of the questions I had posted on Twitter wishing they would really get asked, did.

The models were shown, discussed, and Dr. Birx even got into how some of the numbers were being numbered so that “we are comparing apples to apples.” However, several immediately noted that the model appeared to be treating all locations as having the same population density, particularly the cities. They don’t, and that is huge. Also, PoliMath on Twitter noted that the government data site was effectively down. Information that has been promised wasn’t available in any form.

I still have a number of questions, but at least I can see why they are basing numbers and such the way they are. Not necessarily agree with, but… I think that, barring some outside influence, that in two weeks we will know if they were right, overreacting, or if something else is going on. I think, hope, pray they are wrong about both sets of numbers, and that the final results are much, much lower.

Meantime, I started a discussion on Twitter earlier about what I think we should do as soon as possible after this breaks. Have gotten some good feedback, feel free to chime in.

Since the media isn’t going to say it, once again, COVID-19 is not Capt. Tripps. It is not the flu. Chill, distance, and use good hygiene. STOP THE PANIC!

Also, a reminder once again: if you are sick or think you are sick, DO NOT GO TO WORK OR TO VISIT PEOPLE. Stay the frack home. Don’t be Stupid, go to work/out, and insist on getting up close and personal to everyone you meet. Yes, Stupid is capitalized as I work with Stupid, who did just that. Don’t be Stupid.

If my posts are enjoyable, helpful, or otherwise a benefit, please consider hitting the tip jar. Any help is very much appreciated, especially as I’m now off work without pay.


•My Amazon Wishlist

As always:

If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed: call your state health department and work with them so that you can be dealt with in a way that minimizes the chance of spreading the virus to those helping you and to the general public. Can’t get them? Call your local department or see if your health service has online/telemedicine screening set up; or see if one who has will let you use it even if you are not in their network. Do not go out in public, and don’t go to an ER or other facility without calling ahead. Be smart.

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Yes. Is there need for panic? NOHELL NO. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never. And good luck finding/getting stuff.

Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.

Avoid travel if at all possible. If you have to travel, or go out for any reason, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc.  Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc.  Not many actually do it, but…  

If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.

Good Sources Of Information On COVID-19

Instapundit (no longer doing roundups, but great articles from Glenn and his team)

South China Morning Post (decent, some salt may be needed)

Business Insider (decent, even if they did fall for some lies about Trump)

New England Journal of Medicine

Additional link to Johns Hopkins

More to come

Local Independent Businesses That Need Your Support

Oaken Barrel (Twitter at @OakenBarrel)

Shapiros

Greek Islands

Bynum’s Steak House

Schoolhouse 7 Cafe

WIBC’s list of local

More to come

Other COVID19/COVID-19/2019-nCoV articles:

COVID-19 31Mar20

COVID-19 30Mar20

COVID-19 29Mar20

COVID-19 28Mar20

COVID-19 27Mar20

COVID-19 26Mar20

COVID-19 25Mar20

COVID-19 24Mar20

COVID-19 23Mar20

COVID-19 22Mar20

COVID-19 21Mar20

COVID-19 20Mar20

COVID-19 19Mar20

COVID-19 18Mar20

COVID-19 17Mar20

COVID-19 16Mar20

COVID-19 15Mar20

COVID-19 14Mar20

COVID-19 13Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors Gets Real For America

COVID-19 12Mar20

COVID-19 11Mar20

COVID-19 10Mar20

COVID-19 9Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors

COVID-19 8Mar20

Heh

COVID-19 7Mar20 How To Do It Right If You Have/Have Been Exposed To COVID-19

COVID-19 6Mar20

COVID-19 5Mar20

COVID-19 4Mar20

COVID-19 3Mar20

COVID-19 What Am I Doing?

COVID-19 2Mar20

COVID-19 1Mar20

COVID-19 29Feb20

Quick Additional Thoughts On The Bureaucracy

Panic Is Off And Running

COVID-19 28Feb20 Reasons To Hope, Reasons To Fear

COVID-19 A Plea To The Politicians (And Media)

COVID-19 27Feb20

COVID-19 Breaking A Chain?

COVID-19 26Feb20

COVID19 The Situation In China Gets Even Weirder

COVID19 25Feb20

COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON

COVID19 23Feb20

COVID19 22Feb20

COVID19 21Feb20: Just Look At The Blooms Dear

COVID19 Update 20Feb20

COVID19 Update

Update & Quick Thoughts On Preparedness

Expansion On A Theme

Well Maybe I Was Wrong

Some Quick Thoughts On Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

Why Should You Be Prepared?

Keeping Alert

Coronavirus And Practical Preparedness

The Myth Of Abused Becoming Abusers

I mentioned briefly yesterday the myth of those who are abused in childhood becoming abusers themselves. This myth was particularly vicious towards those who were sexually abused.

If you go and research current literature, the original study on this topic was — to be polite — seriously flawed. When more rigorous studies were undertaken, the myth was rather thoroughly discredited.

Today, it is generally accepted that — particularly for males — there is only about a ten percent rate of those sexually abused becoming abusers themselves. There are some studies that show that victims of other types of abuse (physical, mental) may have about a thirty percent rate of becoming abusers.

That said, the sexual or other abuse is not the prime indicator. The other factors that seem to matter more are: the sexual or other abuse being done by a female; maternal neglect; exposure to serious/extreme violence on a regular basis; and, lack of support.

This is a topic I promised someone I would cover, and am glad to do it. Frankly, the myth of those sexually abused — particularly males — becoming abusers has done extreme damage. It has adversely impacted reporting as well as getting help to cope with the abuse. It continues to create prejudice that has and can hound people (male and female) out of social organizations, churches, and even employment. The ignorant bigotry of this myth continues to hamper helping those who need it, as well as research on the topic.

With all the coverage of Epstein, this has come out even from people who should (or do) know better. Along with the mis-labelling of Epstein, rather than focusing on helping victims of pedophiles and ephebophiles, a good bit of the coverage and commentary is focused on sensationalism and poor information. That can cause problems for those who are victims of sexual abuse. As noted before, however, I don’t expect accuracy or precision out of the media or pundit classes.

I will probably create a page for citations related to this and other sexual abuse information, but for now here is a brief start on links and citations pertaining to this myth.

Outcome following child sexual abuse

Myth of the abused becoming abusers

Myths and facts about male sexual abuse and assault

Development of sexually abusive behavior in sexually victimized males

There is more to come. In today’s politicized environment, I am concerned that solid research on the topic of sexual abuse/other abuse (especially as it pertains to males) will become impossible. Why? I attended last year an event where the field leaders of a major non-profit involved with helping victims of domestic violence, abuse, etc. talked. Those field leaders made very clear that women were always victims, women never lied about rape or abuse, women never committed such crimes unless forced to by a male, and even males who were victims were perpetrators.

This is a mindset that is rather entrenched in social services (which is heavy SJW to start). It is why I would recommend strongly that any male who is a victim of sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, or other abuse be extremely careful about using public organizations or services. My recommendation is to find a good therapist, as they can help you navigate services to avoid such bigotry.

Also, if you are a victim of childhood abuse — sexual or otherwise — I will recommend finding a local chapter of Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse. It is a good organization that provides self-help meetings around the country. While it is heavily formalized, there are good reasons for that. If you are in Indianapolis, however, and male, I can’t recommend the local group as it is hosted by the organization referenced above. Until another group is started that is not associated with that particular non-profit, there’s not a lot of help for male victims in Indianapolis.

This is a personal topic for me. I’ve known many male and female survivors of childhood and adult abuse. Talking with the victims of childhood abuse, particularly given the intense coverage of Epstein, is an interesting experience. If you are a victim or current or past abuse, please do reach out and get help. You are not alone.

Disclaimers

The federally mandated disclaimer (required because I am an Amazon Affiliate) is now in place, along with my formerly annual general disclaimer. I’ve also copied over some credits and other info and have it over on the sidebar just below the tip jar and updated Amazon Wish List link. If you like what I do, or want me to do more of it, hit the tip jar or the wish list. Meantime, to be sure I’ve hit all the bureaucratic check boxes “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” Maybe some day I will earn enough from it to get paid…

He’s Not My Cat

I, however, am his Designated Emergency Human and according to Cappie (short for Capt. Neurotic, my name for him) a permanent state of emergency has been declared. He cries at my door some nights, begging for me to let him in. Usually, he’s waiting for me when I get up. If I get up other than at my normal time, he comes running, which you see here. If it hadn’t been for the light, you would see this odd little thing he does as he turns the corner.

Grrrrr. Not letting me post the movie, will work on it and update later.