2014- my year of hit and runs

Last night around 9:45, just blocks from home, an idiot in a beat-up maroon sedan decided to turn left and hit the rear of my motorcycle. Thanks to the side cases on the back of my bike, proper riding gear and a lot of luck, nothing except the bike appears to be broken.

Photo of Doc Marten shoe after motorcycle accident. No damage to foot- just to the shoe

My Doc Marten had a hole in the top down to the steel toe. My foot only has a bruise.

I was on Brown Street at Wyoming- heading north, when the light turned green and I started to cross Wyoming, when the idiot in the left turn lane heading south inexplicably decided to turn left- he must have been in a hurry- because it didn’t seem like a good idea to hit the brakes, swerve the other way- nope, he just plowed into the rear of my 1996 BMW R1100RS. And then he did the dipshit move of taking off. The bike ended up on the NE corner sidewalk- spilling oil- and on top of my left foot and leg. The people who were there were all incredibly nice- checking on me- and calling 911- as I pulled my foot out from under the bike. I had on a full face helmet, a Joe Rocket Phoenix jacket, gloves, Levi’s, and steel toed Doc Martens- which now have a hole in the toe- right down to the steel.

Dayton Fire took me to Miami Valley, back-boarded and tied down. X-rays showed nothing broken- and I walked, albeit with a limp- out around 11 p.m., to be picked up my wonderful neighbor and friend, Cathy M.

I had just filled the tank at UDF- and gotten three pints of ice cream, which I hope the nice lady who tended to me on the street enjoyed.

I’m pretty sure the bike is totaled. I began searching for a new-to-me BMW on Craig’s list before I went to sleep last night. I miss my bike already. The outpouring of love and support from all my friends on FB last night was really nice. I’m probably not going to be hanging nets at the Dakota center for a few days while the leg gets back to 100%- sorry guys.

If anyone has any information about the vehicle that hit me last night- please contact the Dayton Police, 333-COPS.

  • Another angle on the bruised boxter
  • a bruised boxter engine
  • Front fairing damage
  • Where the bag got torn off

How my parathyroid was sucking the life out of me

Back around 1997-98 I had my first bout with kidney stones. I don’t remember if my friend Audra Huelsman drove me to Miami Valley Hospital ER- or was the one that picked me up, but going in I could barely stand up. I remember lying on the gurney tucked into the fetal position. They gave me a shot in my butt- without telling me what it was. 10 minutes later I could dance right out of there. Welcome to my first experience with morphine. Now I knew how guys in WWII stormed machine gun nests despite being shot 5 times.

I started feeling like I had lost my “energy” around 2000. I went to my family doctor, I went to another. I started dating a girl in Cincinnati- who recommended me to a guy who specializes in cholesterol. He found that my triglycerides were at 1200 (normal is under 100) and started me on some meds to put that in check. I felt a little better, but I still didn’t feel like myself.

After eating, I’d often get tired- or feel a wave of depression. I started having reflux, and felt that eating more would help it go down. I’d have a pain in my lower, right side- toward the back. I wondered if it was my gall bladder, appendix or later my adrenal gland. In the last year, my memory seemed to be not as sharp- I found myself hunting for words.

Last September, I went to the hospital again for kidney stones. This time, they weren’t coming out without help. I had surgery to break them up- and a stent put in, and then a second minor procedure to take the stent out. I was sent to an endocrinologist for the first time. He ran tests. Vitamin D was low, calcium was high, PTH- the parathyroid hormone was elevated. He did more tests. 2 biopsies, 2 nuclear scans, multiple ultrasounds. He thought is might be my parathyroid, but wanted to be sure.

I didn’t even know what a parathyroid was, or what it did before that. A friend, Jen Alexander, pointed me to the website of a doctor in Florida who runs an assembly line for removal of parathyroid glands. Reading that site, www.parathyroid.com I learned more than I could ever need to know. There was no need for more tests- it just had to come out.

My grandfather, who was an MD, used to poke at my neck when I was 12 or so- wondering about my thyroid. My grandmother had had hers removed with radiation in 1948- when they were in the first stages of using all the new-found nuclear toys to do new things in medicine. All of my life I’d heard about the thyroid- but never the parathyroid. The parathyroid is actually four small glands that are supposed to be the size of grains of rice that sit on the thyroid- right next to your vocal cords. They are supposed to regulate calcium in your body. When one goes crazy and starts producing too much hormone, the others go dormant. Your body starts sucking the calcium out of your bones- and often times, makes kidney stones. But it also can do all kinds of other things- like be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia among other things.

David Esrati's neck after parathyroid surgery

On leaving the hospital, the purple was marking the surgery- the scar below is the parathyroid scar.

Then came a few delays in scheduling which were frustrating me no end. Falling asleep while reading, feeling sore and stiff when waking up, all these things were driving me nuts. Never mind the recurrent kidney stones.

Yesterday, around 8:30am I went under the knife at the Cincinnati VA by Dr. David Steward, and got at least 1 oversized parathyroid removed. I have a scar at the base of my neck that follows a fold. The stitches are all internal- and there is a clear glue protective coating on it. It looks like someone tried to garrote me with piano wire- and didn’t finish the job.

My neck and throat were sore as I left the hospital around 1 p.m. They were still sore today- although it’s getting better by the hour. But the way I feel is magical. The haze that hung over me, the feelings of depression and tiredness are gone. I feel a clarity again that I’ve missed for so long, it’s as if I’ve been given a whole new life.

To think that I’ve spent the last 13 years thinking this was just because I was getting old, is a little bit depressing. I’ve always reminded people that doctors are “practicing” medicine – as in they still haven’t got it perfected, but right now- despite being sore, I feel like a gazillion bucks comparatively.

If you’ve had kidney stones, or if you’ve felt like you’ve had a loss in energy, or feel depressed after eating- I highly recommend you do a little research and have your PTH, calcium and vitamin D checked. Apparently, parathyroid disorders often go misdiagnosed for years.





Great gifts for the holidays

In case you’ve wondered, life has had to take a front seat to keeping you informed on the inner workings of Dayton. I should be back on track soon. But, in the meantime, it’s CyberMonday and if you are going to shop- here’s my advice on some gifts that I think rock. Plus- if you buy by following the link- it helps pay for this site.

My first advice- is shop local. This doesn’t help me fund this site- but it helps us keep our economy vibrant. Many local restaurants have gift certificates- as do small shops.

Apple earpods in the amazing great case

The case makes the Apple Ear Pods even more delightful.

The best improvement for your iPhone or iPod. Apple came out with new ear buds- or ear pods- as they call them. Getting the ones with your iPhone is ripping you off of the best part of the retail item- the little white case that they snap into and wrap the cord. For $29 they sound awesome and carrying them around has never been easier. Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t the best place to get them- so go to MacTown or MacDepot. If you want to spend a bit more at Amazon- avoiding sales tax and driving, they are $33 I carry mine all the time, and for the first time- can actually use these ear buds while running.

The Next Learning Thermostat

Save money year round with the Nest Learning Thermostat

My favorite gift that keeps on giving- is the Nest Learning Thermostat – not only does it look great, and is easy to use- it will save you a ton of money. I have the first generation- it’s a little thicker – but uses the same software as the new one. Either way- spend $229 to $249  and save money all year long. You can access your thermostat via your smart phone- and turn the heat down (away) and back up when you need it. You get monthly reports of how much energy you saved- and it takes into account local weather as well. Amazing technology from the guy who designed the iPod.

If you want to eat healthier and feel great- I’m going to point you back to another post- where I talked about our government, your health and our food– I’ve loved the Breville Juicer– but now am looking at an Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer, Black and Chrome too- believe it or not- each has it’s own advantages. For $200 to $300 you can get into juicing and feel great and get a lot of nutrition easily and not feel hungry. Really.

If you really like someone- I can’t live without my iPad- and now you have choices of the iPad Mini which is really sweet- or picking up an older iPad 2 for about the same $350. And while the DDn version of the paper sucks on the iPad- you can read it for free- saving you a subscription- and the dead trees. Get a subscription to the New York Times for $20 a month and you’ll have plenty of great news. Amazon isn’t always the best place to look- the Apple store is always good to buy refurbs which have the same warranty as new ones, but here’s Apple iPads on Amazon

If you know any photographers- or budding ones- the DSLR is getting close to perfect as it’s being threatened with obsolescence by the ubiquitous cell phone cameras (The iPhone 4s has an amazing camera- and supposedly the iPhone 5 is even better). The camera we love at the office is the new Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens I’m not a huge fan of the stock lens- I really love this camera with either the “Nifty 50” Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens for $110
or the new pancake Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens which is $149 – both lenses will give you amazing low light portraits with “bokeh” and take your photography to the next level.

A subscription to Netflix is another thoughtful gift- I’m amazed at how well this service delivers entertainment value with a really amazing fun interface. You can watch it via so many different devices- your iPad, your laptop, or with a Playstation, Wii or many of the wired DVD players on your TV.

I also still love giving people a subscription to Wired magazine. It’s not just tech- it’s what’s next, written beautifully- and they give it away for $12 a year.

And, if you haven’t switched to a Mac yet- and are considering a computer purchase- I love the Apple MacBook Pro MD102LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop once you switch- you’ll never go back to a PC. Yes, they are expensive- but worth every penny.

And, just FYI- if you go to Amazon via any of these links- and then do your shopping, it helps.

Any suggestions of other great gifts?

Found dog. Need to find the owner.

Dog found in Dayton's South Park Historic District

We call him George. He belongs to someone.

George came the same day that my kidney stones did.

Harbinger of things to come? Not. He is half beaver/woodchuck- our woodpile is slowly being turned into woodchips- and he’s likely to find shoes, dog leashes and smelly socks and drag them around the house.

I feel bad that besides notifying the neighborhood- and posting on CraigsList- we’ve not done much until today to try to find his home. He had 2 collars on.

He’s about 25lbs, maybe 3-4 months old, and sweet as can be. He’s starting to get the housebreaking thing- and he actually likes his cage.

If you recognize him-we’d love to let you have him back. If not, I think he wouldn’t mind staying.

He was found the morning of Aug 27 in South Park- where he was spotted with another, bigger dog a little before my kids brought him home.

You can call 937.228.4433 to arrange to meet him, if you think he’s yours.

If you want to print out a flyer and hang it up: George poster


A local unsung hero

Note: On the request of Jeff- I’ve deleted most of the post. The Army-produced video has his rank wrong.

Jeff doesn’t like the headline either- he’s not a hero- just a guy doing his job. I’m not changing the link. He’s still a hero in my book- for many reasons,

Jeff Lee grew up in Beavercreek, graduated from Beavercreek High School and Wright State University.

I was in his wedding.

Jeff Lee, thanks for being my friend all these years, and thank you for your service.