January 17th, 2005


Man Finds Nail in Skull Six Days Later


LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - A dentist found the source of the toothache Patrick Lawler was complaining about on the roof of his mouth: a four-inch nail the construction worker had unknowingly embedded in his skull six days earlier.

A nail gun backfired on Lawler, 23, on Jan. 6 while working in Breckenridge, a ski resort town in the central Colorado mountains. The tool sent a nail into a piece of wood nearby, but Lawler didn't realize a second nail had shot through his mouth, said his sister, Lisa Metcalse.

Following the accident, Lawler had what he thought was a minor toothache and blurry vision. On Wednesday, after painkillers and ice didn't ease the pain, he went to a dental office where his wife, Katerina, works.

"We all are friends, so I thought the (dentists) were joking ... then the doctor came out and said 'There's really a nail,'" Katerina Lawler said. "Patrick just broke down. I mean, he had been eating ice cream to help the swelling."

He was taken to a suburban Denver hospital, where he underwent a four-hour surgery. The nail had plunged 1 1/2 inches into his brain, barely missing his right eye, Metcalse said.

"This is the second one we've seen in this hospital where the person was injured by the nail gun and didn't actually realize the nail had been imbedded in their skull," neurosurgeon Sean Markey told KUSA-TV in Denver. "But it's a pretty rare injury."

Lawler was recovering Sunday in the hospital, where he was expected to spend several more days.

Despite his lack of medical insurance and hospital bills between $80,000 and $100,000, Katerina Lawler said her husband is in good spirits.

"The doctors said, 'If you're going to have a nail in the brain, that's the way you want it to be,'" she said. "He's the luckiest guy, ever."

Not my definition of luck, exactly.

Identity crisis

Woke up feeling like I'd been shat out of the ass end of some cosmic elephant, some bastardization of digestion and birth. I'm lonely, but not detached from everyone, more voyeur than voyageur, floating in my tin can a million miles away from everything. Planet earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do, wallaby.

Cantankerous and provocative, I need something new. I'm buried in the funk of ages, bastardized in the prison of my own making. Less a man than an entity, an avatar, it is like I don't exist except as a replica.

Conflagration, reptile, the fire of purification burns in my blood; that which does not kill me makes me stronger or weaker or changes me in some indefinable way, marshmallow on a stick with a crusty exterior all melty inside. What kind of hallucinogen did you give the children that they have visions of sugarplums dancing?

Icehouse, waterhouse, my feet frozen in concrete desperate to run but afraid to move soundlessly silent creep along the baseboards intense intent lost in a big world beyond imagining cat-and-mouse game, but am I the cat or the mouse? And who moved my cheese?

Degrade. Dienfranchise. Suckle at the corporate teat, pimped to the unappreciative until the spoiled milk froths in my veins and leaves me a bloated starving husk.

It is important to heal, but one must first close the wounds.


I went to work today. Late, but since it was technically a day off, not
an issue. I'm only doing a half day today anyway, and I got to sleep in
which was pretty desperately needed.

I didn't go to the gym at all in the last three days. Friday was
Galactica night, though had I known they were going to repeat the
special later I'd probably have gone. Saturday and Sunday ended up being
rather full, and Sunday night was getting down with the sickness. So
tonight I'll be back in the gym working back up to the routine. Probably
start a little easy and see how it goes.

I'm considering whether I should have just stayed in bed today. Kind of
a six-and-a-half-dozen thing. I'm not horribly ill today, just a touch
queazy, and this isn't exactly strenuous activity. Sitting at the
computer typing is probably what I'd end up doing anyway. But it's also
being at work, which isn't exactly restful.

Ah, I'll be able to take some downtime tonight if all goes well.

(no subject)

Big-ass hairy fuckbats.

I just got home, and outside the apartmrnt in the hall, the carpet was wet. Not a good sign.

I opened the door to hear the sound of running water.

And squishy-wet carpet.

Coming from the furnace closet, the sound of running water, dribbling and dripping.

Finally got a hold of the apartment maintenance folks. Looks like maybe a sprinkler head in the apartment upstairs, but I don't know yet.

And the furnace isn't working. It's 60 degrees by the thermostat.

And now they've left. My carpet is soaked. It's fucking cold.

Just... fuck.

(no subject)

Quick update:

furnace is still out.

I'm having to move all the furniture out of the living room right now.

Don't know about the bedroom yet.

Don't know if I have to hotel tonight or not.

Punch the fucking monkey.

The good news:
Rather than pull up the existing carpet in the apartment, the complex decided to try and do an extraction-in-place. That is good because with the first option, it would have meant moving everything in the apartment someplace else for several days. As it is I only had to move everything out of the living room and into the dining room, kitchen, and the dry half of the bedroom.

The bad news:
1.) $1000 deductibe on the renters insurance policy. Meaning that if I was to stay in a hotel, it's out of my own pocket.

2.) Currently there are five super blowers and two industrial dehumidifiers running in my apartment. It sounds a whole lot like the outside of an airport.

3.) Estimated four days drying time.

The apartment is at about 70% humidity. I have opened up a couple of windows-- even though it's ass cold outside, it's also extremely dry air. And gas heat is cheaper than electricity.

Two of the five fans are in my bedroom. I'm going to try to sleep here tonight. I figure I'll probably dream about being in an airplane.