“Or arm th’ obdured breast/With stubborn patience as with triple steel.” Milton, Paradise Lost

And why do I have to remind myself of patience? Because the ENT was not available today (surgery is my guess), and my appointment was rescheduled for Tuesday. Yesterday was a crappy day anyway, as I’d spent the late night Wednesday/into the morning today at the NOC building out a couple of servers, then moving someone’s accounts around and blah blah blah. It ended for a bit at 0630 this morning with a migraine and a try at a nap (nope) then more work and another try a bit later for a nap (nope). Too tired to sleep, apparently. But hey, those rebuilds are done and I’m back to the original puzzle that led to one of the rebuilds in the first place, so it’s like traveling in time!

But, the ENT: very disappointing, and yesterday the reschedule on top of everything else really dealt me low. Today seems to be better, and hopefully by later tonight I’ll be able to get some sleep. Oil change tomorrow. Yeeha! A semblance of something approaching a real life.

Potential solutions

One of the things I’ve talked about before was the lack of emphasis by all the medical folks on maintaining the opening of my mouth during treatment. They were (and are) all wonderful people, and I wish this part of things had been addressed before it got to this point. After nine months of eating through a tube, plus the radiation to the jaws, and the lack of general use, my oral opening went down to about 15mm. After seven years, it’s down to around 12mm, worsening despite efforts with the torture device for passive stretching. Part of the problem is that this came about long after the problems had solidified, with the fibrous threads and scar tissue really taking hold and conspiring to continually clench my jaws together.

We – and by we, I mean my mom – spent days on the phone, trying to find anyone who had experience in dealing with extreme cases like mine, or who could offer any help at all. Some of this is for obvious reasons: I need to be able to open my mouth, and if it continues like this, that won’t be possible at all. Some of it is psychological: with a vibrant imagination, I can envision situations where I’m unable to breathe and the EMTs/medical folks are unable to help because they can’t get my mouth open. From time to time, this actually induces a bit of a panic attack, which feeds the really nonexistent emergency, which in turn feeds the panic. Not a good cycle to be in at all.

After hitting dead ends and receiving promises of callbacks, I resigned myself to having to expend really serious time and energy hunting around the country. But, we got a call back from one of the ENT offices, saying they might be able to help. “Might” is better than “no”, so on Thursday, we will be heading over to see this doctor and determine if there’s anything they can do to get me back on track from an ending I can see all too well.

Weekend at the ranch

It’s been a beautiful weekend at the ranch, although I could do without the time change. Can we just please pick a time – and preferably the one that gives us more daylight at the end of the day – and stick with it? The reasons we do this twice a year are archaic and need to be jettisoned.

Lots of kitchen work this weekend, although this morning in the fog I did get out and pull up the cuke plants, spent from their second late-season round. The stragglers I picked and tossed into a brine to begin their journey to sweet relish, a multi-day affair. In other deeds…

Rendering lard.


Making jerky for the dogs.

Making habanero-peach hot sauce.


Some broccoli – cheddar soup.


Currently, I’m waiting on the croissant dough to thaw a bit since I left it in the freezer a bit too long. Next step: laying on the block of butter and folding the dough over it, then rolling it out a bit and back in the freezer for a short stay.