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Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton

Obsession de-escalates: Progress?

Rating: 6 votes, 4.33 average.
Today is one of the last fair weather days we Pittsburghers are likely to see till June.

Since I live in a sort of woodsy setting, with only one neighbor nearby, and that nearby neighbor apparently out for the day, I took the opportunity to subject my lesion to a new self-help cure attempt.

Before describing this one-two-three therapy I am attempting, let me briefly describe the theoretical basis for this intervention.

A one-time frequent poster to these forums, the Mayo Clinic's very own Dr. Tom Jaeger, AKA, Jaegermeister, opined to me through a private message (which I had earnestly and somewhat shamelessly solicted) that:
A) my pictures of the lesion made him chuckle (what an enormous relief! I know Tom to be the most honorable of all doctors, and surely chuckling at a patient's terminal condition is something he would never, ever do on purpose; thus, from his reaction, I intuited the likelihood that I will live)
B) that he could not diagnose the condition long-distance, but judging from appearances, he had a "hunch" it was fungal (you will recall that our favorite beloved fake doctor, that is to say, me, came to the very same conclusion last week)
Armed thusly with this new insight from Minnesota, and inspired by the virtually unheard of appearance of the sun in our parts, I began Sherlocke Holmsing some possibilities.

Ille: Fungus. Hmm. What do we know about fungus?

Hic: Well, a mushroom is a fungus.

Ille: Yes, yes. It is, isn't it? And where do mushrooms prosper?

Hic: I am fairly certain that mushrooms, like vicious gossip about the size of Jim Thornton's manhood, prosper in the dark.

Ille: Yes, the dark! And what else?

Hic: Mushrooms like moisture, as well. Dark, moist, dare I say dank chambers! Like a basement in the Delta Delta Delta sorority house.

Ille: Yes, they do like such places. Again, the same venue as where vicious gossip prospers, too. So, what do you think we should do about making the mushrooms in Jim's lesion uncomfortable?

Hic: That is elementary, my dear Ille! Sunburn and dessication therapy!

Ille: Exactement!

Today's picture reveals the lesion after:

  1. 10 minutes of full sunbathing on the front porch
  2. a shower with Ivory soap
  3. 15 minutes of high speed fan blown directly upon the lesion
  4. cotton balls to soak up the epithelial moisture

After the above therapy, I quickly photographed the lesion for today's visual progress report then anointed the area with the second thin layer of antibiotic cream, packed wound with further layers of cotton balls and toilet paper, put on clean underwear to hold the packing in place, and began writing the vlog.

Life, however, does not stop for a vloggist, but rather continues to crank out new elements to examine and suffer or be delighted by.

As Epictetus himself so nicely put it:
Time is a river, and a violent stream, and as soon as a thing is seen, another takes its place, and this too will be carried away.
One of each of these species of distraction accosted me as I was preparing to upload today's picture.

On the delightful side, the phone rang, and after a number of cautious inquiries by a female voice on the other hand, it was determined that I am me, at which point the lovely Anna Lea Matysek announced her own identity.

She was calling to tell me that she is an expert on Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, and that I am not a victim of it. Tragically, her father died from the condition a decade ago, most likely the result of taking and developing an allergic reaction to the sulfa drug Bactrim. He might have avoided the condition altogether except that his immune system was already compromised by chemo therapy for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

I asked Anna Lea if it was possible that I had Johnson's-Steven Syndrome instead of Steven's Johnson Syndrome, at which point her husband and (web) master, Jim Matysek, could be heard opining in the background that I definitely appear to have some sort of Johnson syndrome.

Perhaps not wishing to offend me, he quickly added, Maximus Johnson Syndrome, to which I had no choice but to come completely clean on such a front and add, "It is obvious he has never been in the basement of Delta Delta Delta."

On the suffering side, our phone conversation was suddenly interrupted by the leaf blowing, lawn mowing sounds of heavy machinery outside my lady-bug-encrusted windows.

The lawn guy had arrived with his arsenal of plant torturing devices.


I realized that our beloved Linus, the family guinea pig, whom we will only eat in the absolutely most dire of protein-deficient circumstances , if even then, we love him so much, was outside grazing on the hydrangea and enjoying the freedom that comes from being a guinea pig owned by benevolent owners.

Our two pugs, Lefty and Biscuit, were out guarding him from hawks. (We are pretty sure that Linus, who cannot see himself in a mirror, and thus has no idea what he looks like, has come to the conclusion that he is a pug. The three of them get along quite well and I am sure Lefty and Biscuit have no designs on making him into a meal, either.)

Dragging Anna Lea via portable phone out into the cacophony of the afternoon, I ran up to the lawn guy and told him to not harvest Linus by mistake with his leaf blower.

I wasn't able to find Linus--he may have taken refuge in a burrow. But I suspect he will come back home when it's time for his nightly carrot.

Okay, now, what I suspect you have all been waiting for: today's lesion update picture.

Maybe I am deluding myself, but it does look to this fake doctor's eye that a wee, wee, wee bit of improvement is now discernible in the flayed skin.

Or maybe it's just true that, with the exception of mushrooms, pretty much everything looks better with a tan.

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  1. mermaid's Avatar
    And this, dear Jimby, is why we all love you sooo much
  2. jim thornton's Avatar

    You could charm the pants right off a lesion, Mermaid!

    Oh, yes you could!

    Joking aside, Pinchas--or Leslie--(see poll in the comments section of yesterday's update) is very grateful for any attention from so lovely a swimmer as yourself.
  3. tjrpatt's Avatar
    That is good that it is finally getting better.
  4. ALM's Avatar
    I'm still waiting for a photo of Linus.
  5. RustyScupperton's Avatar
    I am so happy that there seems to be some improvement in my brother's lesion, but I a afraid that his ability to accurately attribute the great aphorisms of Roman Stoicism may have been adversely affected by his giant johnson problem. For, as any semi-literate 6 year old could tell him, that quote was not from Epictetus (or even Arrian, compiler of Epictetan sayings, as the Master himself never put pen to papyrus), but instead, the said quote was from the philosopher king himself, namely Marcus Aurelius, so ably portrayed by Richard Harris in "Gladiator", by the way also the actor in the wondrously stirring "A Man Called Horse" which was about an Englishman, himself also lost in woods near where Jim was, but unlike Jim, befriended by Wild Indians.
  6. poolraat's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by RustyScupperton
    ..... himself also lost in woods near where Jim was, but unlike Jim, befriended by Wild Indians.
    I tried to befriend Jimby and offered to be his guide in the wilderness but he wasn't having any of it. Should have sent a war party out to scare the crap out of him.
  7. jim thornton's Avatar
    I have had the pec muscle picadors placed, and will soon be hoisted into the trees, from which I will dangle till my new friends, the Wild Indians, Floyd and his Res Mates, take pity upon me, and lower me to the ground, and give me my new Indian name:

    Pinchas Aurelius Wolverine, accursed amongst swimmers
  8. Bobinator's Avatar
    It does look better!
    What will you do on cloudy days?
  9. EricOrca's Avatar
    Ultraviolet radiation. We Californian swimmers take that for granted as we lounge around the pool decks in our Speedo's. I'm glad you found a more natural & organic remedy that didn't call for synthetic pharmaceuticals that eventually pollute our waterways & ecosystems.
  10. RustyScupperton's Avatar
    But if Jim's medications don't backwash into the eco system, how can poor childen afford to treat their brown recluse sider bites? Now, a quick bath in a very polluted river will bathe their little bodies in all the good things Big Pharma has given the world, and it is so affordable!
    Please, the next time you are about to say something negative like that about our modern world, pause for a moment and think of the children!
  11. jim thornton's Avatar
    Rusty, it appears the lesion, or Pinchas as I have taken to thinking of him, has grown in ferocity overnight. I have scheduled an appointment with the doctor again. I do wonder if the original thought--a fungus--might have been correct, and that this antibiotic treatment has simply felled the opportunistic organisms that might otherwise have taken hold in the fertile field of my flayed groin? At the same time, perhaps the antibiotics have tampered with the beneficial bacteria that might have munched away on the fungus?

    Perhaps my next step is to buy some Activia yogurt and try smearing this on Pinchas?

    A new use for Jaime Lee Curtis to tout?
  12. ALM's Avatar
    At the same time, perhaps the antibiotics have tampered with the beneficial bacteria that might have munched away on the fungus?
    This is entirely possible, as many women will tell you. Taking antibiotics can kill the bacteria that keep yeast under control, causing a dreaded yeast (fungal) infection.

    As I mentioned on the phone yesterday, skin rashes are a very difficult thing to diagnose. You might want to ask your doctor to take a culture or biopsy to see if he can figure out exactly what it is.
  13. jim thornton's Avatar
    Well, as today's vlog reveals, I am going back to the doctor tomorrow and will ask for 1) new drugs, possibly Mycolog, 2) to be put on the groin transplant list.

    Wish me luck.

    I wonder if DARPA might be interested in taking scraping for use in the war in Afganistan? Infect the Taliban with this, and I am pretty sure they are going to change their minds about burkas and the like.
  14. ALM's Avatar
    ...I am going back to the doctor tomorrow and will ask... 2) to be put on the groin transplant list.
    Hmmm. A groin transplant. If you could choose, who would be your donor?
  15. jim thornton's Avatar
    My twin brother.