May 012016

Last night I competed in the Sicario Heat Challenge, put on by the Fire & Spice food truck, at the Straight to Ale taproom. The challenge was to eat a habanero taco, a ghost pepper taco, and a Carolina reaper taco in 15 minutes or less, with no other food, drink, or even wiping your hands. Then, after you finished, you had to wait 10 minutes (before any additional food, drink, or even wiping your hands).

I made it. It was tough going in the middle, but I made it.

Regular readers probably remember I’ve done something similar in the past. I didn’t have any sustained negative effects from that experience, and I didn’t expect any from this one either. I had acute suffering then. I had acute suffering this time. It had mostly abated 15 minutes after the end of the contest. Even the dreaded “ring of fire” had never been much of a problem for me.

My pastor (who had come out with his wife to support me!) bought me a Monkeynaut, I drank it, we visited, and I went home. I ate a Chick-fil-A and had another beer. I worked on the above video. A little before midnight I heard from my friend Tina, whose partner Stan had been in the contest with me. She was writing to see how I was, because she said Stan was doubled over miserable with abdominal pain. Still symptom-free, I wrote back and said thanks but I’m fine, and I hoped Stan felt better soon. I went to bed.

About 3:30 this morning I woke up with so much abdominal pain I nearly cried out. (Now keep in mind, this is nine and a half hours after I ate these tacos.) I ran and took some Pepto-Bismol, and went back to bed. I was sweating so profusely I wondered if I had a fever. The Pepto didn’t really touch the pain. I found that if I adjusted myself into the right position, the pain would mostly abate, but I had to hold the position exactly. If I moved, it returned, and pretty much immediately. Well, you get stiff, or you want a cool spot on your pillow, and you forget, so you absently move. Ouch. These are not conditions conducive to sleep.

The pain jumped back and forth between my tummy and my lower back until about 8, with me constantly shifting trying to keep it turned off. I finally slept for about an hour then, and woke up (mercifully) mostly pain-free. Started my day. I’ve had a couple of dull, short-lived reminders, but mostly I’ve felt fine today, if sleep-deprived.

It’s essentially gone, so I’m not going to worry about trying to figure out exactly what my condition was unless it returns. But it has me thinking seriously about whether I want to do something like this again. It’s one thing when I can confine the suffering to the moment. It’s quite another for it to result in internal pain, several hours removed, in a system of the body quite possibly slated to become steadily less reliable over the second half of my life whether I help it along or not.

 Posted by at 5:37 pm
Apr 212016

Photo by Scott Penner; license CC BY-SA 3.0

Prince died this morning at his home near Minneapolis. He was 57 years old. As I type the cause of death has not been released, but he had been battling influenza for several weeks.

Prince was one of the primary cultural architects of my beloved 1980s. He not only wrote and recorded key parts of my formative years’ soundtrack, but made films, discovered and mentored several new artists, and wrote big hits for other established stars.

He created all kinds of music, from danceable funk to heavy rock to ethereal ballads. Sometimes he took pieces we’d think shouldn’t go together and make something bigger from them. Other times he would find sophistication in starkness. (Who else ever wrote and performed a worldwide dance smash with no bass line?)

Prince was an artistic genius, blessed with nearly unimaginable talent. We were blessed to have had him. Black? White? Straight? Gay? His early hit “Controversy” invited us to consider these questions. Let’s discard them all and just go with “force of nature.”

God be with his family and friends. RIP.

 Posted by at 2:12 pm
Apr 152016

Last night I wrote about a third of this post, more or less. This morning I picked it back up and said “hey, this is sounding familiar…” My kids know most of my stories now too. When we’re out and about and something reminds me of a memory, they finish my thought about two-thirds of […]

 Posted by at 11:38 am
Mar 272016

The angel said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. – Matthew 28:5-6 God be with you and your family on this most glorious […]

 Posted by at 12:01 am is using WP-Gravatar