A scary time...

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Re: A scary time...

Postby Dave » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:53 pm

That sounds perilously close to the sort of Evil Bioengineering that Glytch would object to.
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Catawampus » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:56 pm

Dave wrote:That sounds perilously close to the sort of Evil Bioengineering that Glytch would object to.


I think that "evil" might be a tad strong terminology. Perhaps merely "precarious" or "unstable" or "abominable". And we all know that those terms can all be redefined as "fun"!
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Typeminer » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:38 pm

Oh, yeah--genetically modified paper-eating bacteria!

What could go wrong? :mrgreen:
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Sgt. Howard » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:57 am

Dave wrote:That sounds perilously close to the sort of Evil Bioengineering that Glytch would object to.


... or actively engage in, if not instigate...
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Re: A scary time...

Postby GlytchMeister » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:28 pm

:twisted:

I already had a Sparky grin the moment Cat made his suggestion...

And then I thought of this

It might take a lot of fanangling and screwing around, but I bet there's a way to make a slime mold or a biofilm-type bacteria... Probably some kind of Cyanobacteria, so it doesn't eat the paper or the ink... And can convert sunlight into marks on the paper...

Perhaps the growth medium, the paper and ink of the bureaucratic form, could provide the "terrain" that could be used to predicate how the paperwork Cyanobacteria grows, causing it to put down all the right info in all the right ways...

Ink is generally darker than the paper. Cyanobacterial photosynthesize. A dark surface, marked by ink, might provide less-favorable growth conditions. Light that makes it through the biofilm would just be absorbed by the ink. However, on a white surface, the light that traverses the biofilm is bounced back, thus encountering the biofilm a second time, effectively giving the biofilm an extra chance to absorb energy. It might not be a full doubling of efficiency, but even a 25% improvement over a dark surface would impact growth patterns immensely.
He's mister GlytchMeister, he's mister code
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Dave » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:16 pm

Sheesh... just realized that it's been almost exactly five months since this stuff started. I haven't wanted to post anything recently, for fear of jinxing the progress... but at this point it looks as if we're probably out of the woods, at least for now.

Gwen's difficulties after her surgery in October were not quick to resolve. The incision didn't want to stay closed-and-healed - every week or two it would flare up in a painful red swelling, then open up and drain again. We thought she was fighting some sort of stubborn post-operative infection (but the tests kept coming up negative) and she was on antibiotics pretty steadily into early January. In retrospect, it now seems that her body just needed to "flush out" the surgical site a lot as it was tearing down and replacing all of the damaged tissue, and needed a way to get rid of the excess fluid.

Fortunately, each time it happened there was less drainage and less pain - the "pocket" was healing up inside. The last bit of trouble was over more than a month ago now, with no sign of a recurrence. Her surgeon has pronounced the situation Good - the transplanted skin and muscle has "taken" and there's a healthy blood supply to the whole area. He said "Call me if you need me" but that she doesn't need any more scheduled post-operative checks.

The combination of pain, healing stress, and antibiotics was tough on her - she's had a lot of fatigue, and is only now recovering her former strength and wind. She rode her bike several miles to her semi-annual tooth cleaning at the dentist today, which I thought was very encouraging.

So, this particular crisis seems to be over (knock on wood!)

She had a lot of fun designing and making some custom jewelry and art pieces for our new friends in Naousa - the owners of the Dalamara winery who were so good to us, and our favorite "Doctor Angel" and head nurse at the hospital. I mailed 'em in time to arrive by Christmas (amazingly enough they arrived quite promptly) and got back some very happy acknowledgements via email... she got "their colors" just right.
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Sgt. Howard » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:21 am

Glad to hear it- these situations are mind benders at the very least. This house has been in prayer for you, I am happy to see it took
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Re: A scary time...

Postby TazManiac » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:25 am

Yep yep, What Sarge said, but in my own words... 8]) <-- I think I invented that particular emoticon, it's only used these days for very special occasions...
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Just Old Al » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:05 am

Good for you, and good for her. Here's hoping this lets you return to SOME sort of a stable level...

Not that you and stable should EVER be in the same sentence, of course. :)
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Dave » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:28 pm

Just Old Al wrote:Not that you and stable should EVER be in the same sentence, of course. :)

"Dave was convicted of extreme cruelty to the Pun Jar, and was sentenced to cleaning out the King's stable." :P

Knee-deep in manure for weeks. There's never a dammed river around when you need one.
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Just Old Al » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:45 am

Dave wrote:
Just Old Al wrote:Not that you and stable should EVER be in the same sentence, of course. :)

"Dave was convicted of extreme cruelty to the Pun Jar, and was sentenced to cleaning out the King's stable." :P

Knee-deep in manure for weeks. There's never a dammed river around when you need one.


Auuuuuugean... A fitting pun-ishment.
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Re: A scary time...

Postby GlytchMeister » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:26 am

I thought instability was my shtick...

Glad she's ok, Dave. Give her a hug for me. Feel free to embellish on your own behalf.
He's mister GlytchMeister, he's mister code
He's mister exploiter, he's mister ones and zeros
They call me GlytchMeister, whatever I touch
Starts to glitch in my clutch!
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Sgt. Howard » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:08 pm

GlytchMeister wrote:I thought instability was my shtick...


. who are you talking to? My SPECIALTY is instability...
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Bringing the story to a close

Postby Dave » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:42 pm

And, to put "30" to this scary time, I thought I should fill out a final after-action report.

After Gwen's repair surgery (lat-flap transplant) finally healed up in January of this year, it has stayed healed. No further infections, no pain. She's lost some lifting strength on her left side (as predicted) but she's still handling most of her arts-and-crafts-work lifting-around OK by herself. She calls on me to do the heavy-box lifting, but she's always done that.

She was feeling well enough to go on a bus tour of who-knows-how-many national parks through most of September, and (unusual for her) didn't even catch a cold although many on the tour did.

Our primary medical insurance company (Anthem Blue Cross) refused to pay for her hospitalization, medical treatment, and surgery in Greece. They've kept insisting that it wasn't a covered expense, because we didn't get pre-approval for the hospital admission, and the hospital invoice didn't explicitly say (in Greek I guess) that it was an emergency. They did say they'd be willing to re-open the appeal and look at the situation again if I got all of the medical records from the hospital in Greece and sent them in; the hospital has her formal request for a copy but they haven't sent the records in the last couple of months. I need to ping them again. Memo to all: if you're ever treated when traveling, get copies of all of the medical records before you leave the doctor/hospital - far less trouble! Also, always immediately notify all of your medical-coverage companies - get what happens on their record ASAP. And, for Ghu's sake, make sure you have access to cash when you travel... expect to have to pay your bills that way at the time of service (credit cards may not be accepted).

(What was especially galling was the fact that Anthem did pay all of the costs for her (quite a bit more expensive) followup surgery here in the U.S, without batting an eye. Go figure.)

Fortunately, once I had a "claim denied" letter from Anthem, I was able to file all of the paperwork with the travel-insurance company we'd used (TripMate). We'd bought coverage which includes emergency evacuation (they'd bought our return tickets and got us back home on a day's notice), medical coverage (secondary), and trip interruption and cancellation insurance. I sent in all of the claim paperwork a couple of months ago, and at Gwen's suggestion I included copies of photos I'd taken around the time of her surgery there to show it was a serious issue. We got one check for the medical reimbursement earlier this week, and another batch for the trip interruption/cancellation, hotel, and meals in today's mail. They paid every expense I could document, with no quibbling - an entirely fair and satisfactory settlement.

I don't know if we'll ever go back to that area to try to re-visit the things we missed. We did see Meteora during her convalescence (one of the big highlights of the trip for both of us) and saw Philip of Maceconia's tomb (absolutely amazing!) before she fell ill. The trip was not by any means a total loss... and I will always remember the warmth and compassion of the Greek people we encountered.

And, of course, I'll always remember and value the words of sympathy and support from the Wapsis. Believe me, it meant a lot... just being able to journal here what was happening, and know that it was being read by folks who would care. Friendship-at-a-distance is friendship nevertheless, and it made a whole lot of difference in dealing with the stress and fear (and believe me, I was scared to my bones for the first few days, until it was clear that the infection was responding to antibiotics).

Thanks, guys!
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Re: A scary time...

Postby DinkyInky » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:00 am

So glad she is well.
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Atomic » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:43 pm

Hooray! A crappy journey, but a decent ending -- or a new beginning! Good luck and smooth sailing for you all!
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Re: A scary time...

Postby Typeminer » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:27 am

Aw, thanks, Dave! Very glad to hear Gwen is up to speed and having fun again. 8-)
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Re: A scary time...

Postby TazManiac » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:04 am

'What They Said!', er, you know, um I'm all original and everything. 8])
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