Bag of Randomness for my 48th Birthday (Aug. 30, 2023)

  • I’m back. Pun intended.
  • So, how did my back surgery go? Well, it was supposed to be a simple one, and I guess it still was. It was supposed to be an outpatient procedure that started at 2:30 p.m., and I was initially told that I should be home by 7:00 p.m. That didn’t happen because they found a spinal fluid leak. From what I can remember (I was waking up from the anesthesia), a dissolvable patch was placed on my spine to stop the leaking. However, I needed to stay overnight because I had to lay flat in bed until the next afternoon or until my surgeon cleared me to ensure the patch stayed in place. Once I was cleared, I could sit at a 30° angle and, after a while, something more normal and even walking around.
  • The dogs and that damn bunny needed to be taken care of. I expected to be home early enough to feed them. I had no idea I was going to have to stay three nights in the hospital. Thankfully, BoyGeeding and DaughterGeeding were able to talk their mother into stopping by a few times per day to let the dogs out and feed them.
  • Laying flat on my back for about 20 hours was excruciating. I know others have gone through much worse, but this was hard for me. As if wearing compression socks wasn’t uncomfortable enough with the catheter stuck up my private, bed sores were getting to me, and I started to panic as I felt a sense of claustrophobia. I guess I was having a panic attack. I was having a hard time breathing even though I knew nothing was constricting me from doing so, and I had an oxygen line under my nose. There was talk of giving me a Xanex, but they ended up giving me Valium instead. Here’s a little something if you are interested in the difference between the two. Basically, Valium will take effect faster and is longer lasting.
  • I had to eat and drink during that time, lying flat on my back. It was odd, counterintuitive, and difficult. It was just a very unnatural thing to do. Thankfully, at least one elder came by to visit to help pass the time. And time, let me tell you, was monotonous and could pass fast enough.
  • When I got the clear to sit at 30°, I thought it was a good thing, but it triggered back spasms, and they were painful, and I had no idea if they were going to stop. I yelled at the top of my lungs for help crying out in pain because I didn’t know what to do. I like to be the “perfect patient.” You know, the kind that never complains. But I was now way past that, clinging to the side of the bed. Thankfully, the surgeon walked in, and I cryingly told him I was in the worst pain in my life. He said I shouldn’t be hurting much from this surgery, which he thought went well, but muscle spasms occurring near the area operated on can cause problems. They upped my morphine and gave me a strong muscle relaxer. I was able to calm down and thank God I was no longer hurting, but I was scared to move an inch, thinking it could start up again. Which it did about three more times as those medicines wore out.
  • I was told if I could walk, I could go home on Saturday. I couldn’t walk. It was so painful just trying to stand. I tried to walk again on Sunday, but no luck. Thankfully, PT came in on Sunday and Monday to work with me, and I was able to make a little progress.
  • It hurt when they removed my catheter. But for some reason, I am cursed with the inability to urinate on my own after anesthesia. They also said one of the qualifiers for going home was the ability to pee on my own. It simply wasn’t happening, no matter how hard I tried. I was reminded of a Beavis and Butthead episode where Beavis couldn’t or forgot how to pee. It hurts having a full bladder and not being able to get it out. So, I humbly asked the nurse for a catheter. The first one she got didn’t work; it wasn’t going through past my prostrate for some reason and was curling up. She asked me if I could feel it curling up. I told her I had no idea what that felt like; I simply just didn’t know. So she had to get another one, a different type. Thankfully, that one worked, and I had complete relief, though I wished it poured out of me much faster. Thankfully, later in the day, I could go on my own.
  • I wish I were loved enough to have someone there as I went through all this. But, this was an opportunity to work on adversity and resiliency.
  • My original ride home could no longer take me home, but thankfully, my associate pastor helped out.
  • It’s nice coming home after a few days and seeing how happy the dogs are to see me.
  • I want to tell you more, but I can’t think of them right now. If they come to me later, I’ll let you know.
  • I’ve already set the DVR to record – A tribute to honor the life and legacy of television legend and animal rights activist Bob Barker is set to air on CBS on Thursday, Aug. 31.
  • Gunshot Victim at White Sox Game Reportedly Snuck Weapon In By Hiding It In Her Fat Folds
  • This Texas town has about 250 people. It has 50 sworn police officers.
    • The city limit sign on the side of State Highway 155 reads “POP 249.” In a town of barely 250 residents, there are 50 full-time and reserve officers in the department. That is five times the number of cops than any town its size, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records.
  • I was really impressed with this new software that’s supposed to help response times during school shootings. – I really recommend watching the video. Personnel is able to see what’s going on in each classroom in real time and lock down any room immediately.
    • When an emergency happens in a school, response time is critical, so Ivo Allen created 911Inform, a security software designed to connect on-site staff, dispatchers and first responders simultaneously for anything from a fight to a health issue to gun violence.“We basically connect into the phones in the building, the camera system, the HVAC, all the technology that’s in the building,” Allen said, noting schools that have implemented the technology have seen a 60% reduction in response time.In a demonstration of the technology, the system immediately picked up a 911 call made by Allen from inside a school and instantly showed where the call came from. The system allowed him to see the location of the classroom, the best route from the nearest door, and it can show live surveillance cameras.“With one touch I can lock down the building,” Allen said.
  • Companies are now “quiet cutting” workers. Here’s what that means.
    • While reassigned workers remain employed, the reassignments often land them in roles with titles that are less prestigious, come with lower pay, and are more demanding.
  • Wyoming spends $136,000 on each prison inmate annually, while Mississippi spends $18,410. The average state spends $45,771.
  • Thanks for dropping me a line, Erin. That unexpected message brought a smile.
  • “Only a Sith deals with absolutes.”
  • Beyonce and Taylor Swift need to collaborate. Just think of the hysteria that would occur.
  • It’s my birthday, and I can cry if I want to turn on comments for a day if I want to. Here’s your one-day chance to tell me I’m a commie liberal, horrible father who deserves all the bad stuff that’s happened to him over the past three years and deserves to rot in Hell.
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34 Responses to Bag of Randomness for my 48th Birthday (Aug. 30, 2023)

  1. Dan Fregia says:

    Happy Birthday! Glad to hear you are back home!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday! I really enjoy your blog and hope the best for you as you recover physically and emotionally.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Happy birthday! I have read your blogs for years. I’m praying you heal quickly….in more ways than one. My heart hurts for you but having getting a divorce after 38 years of marriage and 42 of being with one person. There is joy in the journey although it be hard at times! Hang in there!

  4. Doug says:

    Happy Birthday! If you need a smile, just know that I read both your blog and LiberallyLean. I always go to your blog first, read it, then use the link in the right margin to get to his. I hope this somehow affects his statistics to show that his is a lesser blog. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He sees you and loves you like you love your children.

  5. Hattie Edwards says:

    Happy birthday and I pray you feel much better from surgery!

  6. AndreaJN says:

    Happy Birthday! I’m so glad you are home! That hospital stay sounds like quite a struggle. I’m so thankful you had caring hospital staff, a church community that could help, and wonderful kids to feed your animals. Praying for your continued recovery.

  7. Harry Hood says:

    You’re a good guy with a loving heart. Keep fighting through the fog. We are but a vapor on this earth.

  8. Jeff says:

    Happy birthday! Glad to hear that you are home. I have read your blog faithfully for several years now. It is part of my morning routine and my day feels off when there is no weekday blog. I am a pastor and you have challenged me a lot with your honesty and hurts and pains. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. Even though we have never met, I have prayed for you on several occasions. I always enjoy your blog and I’m continuing to pray for your physical healing with your back!

  9. Dawn says:

    Hang in there.

  10. BJ says:

    Happy Birthday. I know it feels a lot better to be at home. I enjoy your blog and appreciate you sticking with it. It provides a lot of interesting content and I hope it is therapeutic for you. Believe it or not, you may think you put out a lot of gloom and doom but it is actually encouraging to see your perseverance. I hope and pray you continue to recover from your ailments, both physically and mentally. Cling to your faith in this season of difficulty and trial. You will come out on the other side stronger and with more joy. Be faithful to God and seek Him and He will be faithful to you.

  11. Gregg Poole says:

    Happy Birthday! Sure hope that back heals quickly and you can get back to a more normal life. Here’s to a fantastic 48th trip around the sun. Hope this year is filled with a little more happiness!

  12. Laura says:

    Happy birthday Keith! I’ve been a long time reader and feel like we are old friends. Hope you’re up and feeling better soon.

  13. slpybeartx says:

    Hello Keith,

    Happy Birthday! I hope you read all of these comments and realize there are a lot of us that are in your corner and rooting for you. No one needs to tell you about tough times; a divorce, back pain, and sorting out parenting and work during a post pandemic world are harder that it has to be. Just know that you have a bunch of us out here reading your blog. We don’t judge, some of us pray, and most of all we care.

    You are going above and beyond the call when it comes to your relationships. Don’t doubt and know you are doing it right.

    Please don’t stress if you can’t put out a blog every day. We understand it is a great hobby for you, but also understand when life gets busy.

    Stay strong and hope you feel all the warmth through the comments today,


  14. Cooper says:

    Happy Birthday old man.

    Do you need to find a toilet to go pee? Well urine luck.
    What did the pee say when it was blocked by a kidney stone? Urine my way.
    How many types of people are in this world? Two, those that pee in the shower and liars.

    Friends are like snowflakes. They disappear when you pee on them.
    Apparently it’s no longer OK to urinate in the ocean. I’m told it’s not pee sea.
    Happiness is like peeing in your pants. I haven’t experienced it since I was seven.

    How is happiness like peeing in your pants? Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.

    What do you say to someone having difficulty peeing? Urine trouble.

  15. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    Well, Cooper gets my vote for Blog Comments Winner today. I am filing all those jokes away for future use at holiday gatherings.

    Keith, glad you have taken another step toward physical healing. It is tough, but you are the better for it eventually – physically & mentally. Be glad that your leaking spinal fluid patch wasn’t like the old tire inner tube patches. First, you lightly roughed up the tube with a grinder, sand paper, or rasp file to give a better surface area for adherence. Then you placed the patch over the hole and touched a lit match to the back of it, which had a quick burning combustible compound to heat the rubber patch & melt it to the tube. Voila! It was patched. Imagine doing that to your back (so you can appreciate how it could be worse).

    And finally my friend, remember this quote from the Serenity movie (based on the Firefly series). Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburn : I am a leaf on the wind – watch how I soar.

    Be a leaf on the wind. Be excited about today and tomorrow. Yesterday is but a memory, good & bad. Look forward to where the next breeze carries you.

  16. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    I forgot. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  17. B. Gray says:

    Happy Birthday. Prayers for a speedy recovery.

  18. Paul Gappmayer says:

    Hello Keith,
    Happy Birthday!
    As the Guy from Bakersfield who has been a faithful reader of your blog for over 10 years, (You may remember that I even sent you some U2 discs when you were working for that investment firm and about to change over to the airline) I just wanted to let you know you probably have more readers who are on your side everyday, than detractors. I think you should leave the comments on more often.
    May God bless & Get well soon!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday! Daily reader here and you are a part of my morning routine. I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability. You have so much support in this ‘Bag of Nothing’ community. Sending birthday wishes and waves of support.

  20. Ricardo Perry says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Thanks for sharing your life.
    I root for you every day.
    Peace be with you.

  21. Art says:

    Happy birthday Keith! I’ve been reading your blog for well over a decade. Found the link at Barry’s Liberally Lean, was intrigued by the name and have been following it ever since. You have a compelling story and a unique way of expressing yourself. Having undergone spinal surgery myself I feel for you. Recovery is a journey and I’m here to listen. Good luck going forward.

  22. Patti says:

    Sorry you are going through so much especially after all you have been through. I read your blog daily and Barry’s as well. It’s weird to feel like you are a friend though we have never actually met. I wish for you first a speedy recovery from your surgery and a wonderful birthday. I hope your kiddos get to come and give you a great birthday hug. You deserve it! Hang in there, everything happens for a reason.

  23. Pam K says:

    Happy Birthday despite what you’re going through today. I’ve been wanting to tell you that I’ve been following you since before you had kids. I do miss it when you don’t post. Also, your journey recently in some ways I found uplifting and then I found myself in almost the same position and your posts really have been a help.
    Never think you don’t make a difference in you blog. Someone in Oklahoma has learned many things and for that thank you.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’ve read you and Barry for many years now. Many of the things you talk about have reasonated with me. I’ve been going through my own marriage struggles the last year and I’ve been using this blog to reflect on my own feelings and difficulties

  25. Darren says:

    Hey Bro, “Happy Birfmas” and snappy healing!

  26. Tony B. says:

    Happy Birthday! First time, long time! Reading your blog is something I do daily after work. Hang in there, I’ve been where you are and life will get better. Stay strong brother!

  27. Bryan B. says:

    Happiest of birthdays to you, Keith! Your blog has been a part of my daily routine for many years now. I’m praying for a speedy physical recovery and a continued emotional recovery for you and your kids.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Happy belated birthday Keith! I hope you have a speedy recovery!

  29. craig says:

    Prayers that you heal swiftly and comfortably. You got this Keith. Hang in there.

  30. WGII says:

    Happy BDay Keith. I’m glad to hear you are home and feeling better. Hopefully this is the last survey for a very long while. When I get home we will have to go out for a celebratory birthday dinner.

  31. SheilaM says:

    Happy Birthday!
    May this be your year of healing and happiness.

    As a reader for about a decade, I’ve enjoyed your blog.
    You have made me smile, think & sometimes cry.
    Thank you!

  32. Divorced Dad says:


    I’ve read your blog for years. And I’ve felt your pain, as I also suffered through an incredibly painful and disorientingly terrible divorce, (though the particulars were due to a wildly unfaithful spouse).

    But please for the love of all that is fucking holy, stop moaning on your blog about your now ex-wife of several years. Get in therapy/counseling. Confide in your friends/counseling peers. But stop fucking bitching about it to an anonymous public. If you need to blog, and to be “real” and “authentic,” then fucking tell us about the amazing things your kiddos are doing. Tell us more about U2. Take up a fucking hobby.

    Tell us about the rest of the good stuff that makes this life so very precious in the midst of horrendous pain.

    But when you revisit your hurt over and over and over, every fucking day, all of us just see that your kids aren’t your priority. Your healing isn’t your priority.

    Your last life is still your biggest priority. Your pain is your biggest priority. And you won’t ever heal until let go of the things you can’t control.

    I get that you it. I really do. I went through fucking hell. And I still visit it from time to time. But ya gotta choose. If not for yourself, then for your kids.

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