Monday, February 27, 2017

Still Alive

selfie 2/25/2017
Early yesterday morning, I dreamt Geri was still alive in the hospital. Someone had made a mistake. I went to see her and she was fine and in good spirits, wondering where I'd been. I told her we thought she had died, that we'd even had a funeral and everything. "Really?" she asked, incredulous. Waking up felt less real than my dream.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Give Me Healthcare or Give Me Death

Today I attended a Resistance Recess National Day of Action event in front of Congressman Jim Renacci's Parma office. Thanks to Sarah Keiser Scott for snapping this photo of me.

Wanna get involved?  Follow the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus here.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Yes, I'm a Mutt

I first signed up with 23andMe to have my DNA analyzed back in 2013.  It didn't give me as much detail as I'd hoped, pretty much saying just that I was 90-some percent European, with most of that being British and Irish.  Prior to that I had been under the impression that I had some Melungeon and/or Native American ancestry.  This testing made me think maybe not.

Flash forward to yesterday. I was trying to stay off Facebook and I got an email from 23andMe suggesting there were updated results. So I signed in, not expecting to learn much more. However, I was pleased to find that there is a lot more detail available in my DNA analysis than there was when I first signed up, and it looks like the Melungeon theory might be right after all.

Check out this chart of the components of my ancestry:


Yes, I'm still mostly European, and most of that British/Irish.  And yes, I already I knew I had a German ancestor who came to America around the 1700s.  But this is the first time I've learned for certain that I have Scandivavian, Sardinian, Iberian, Native American and even West African ancestry. I "most likely had a fourth great-grandparent, fifth great-grandparent, sixth great-grandparent, or seventh great (or greater) grandparent who was 100% West African. This person was likely born between 1700 and 1790."  Also, I "most likely had a fourth great-grandparent, fifth great-grandparent, sixth great-grandparent, or seventh great (or greater) grandparent who was 100% Native American. This person was likely born between 1700 and 1790."

Here's the full break down of my ancestry composition by percentages, to the best they can determine:

European 99.0%:
 
Northwestern European 91.9%
British & Irish 58.1%
French & German 9.6%
Scandinavian 3.8%
Finnish 0.0%
Broadly Northwestern European 20.5%

Southern European 2.6%
Sardinian 1.0%
Iberian 0.6%
Italian 0.0%
Balkan 0.0%
Broadly Southern European 1.0%
Eastern European 1.4%
Ashkenazi Jewish 0.0%

Broadly European
3.1% 


South Asian 0.0%:

Broadly South Asian 0.0%


East Asian & Native American 0.3%:

East Asian
0.1%
Japanese 0.0%
Korean 0.0%
Yakut 0.0%
Mongolian 0.0%
Chinese 0.0%
Broadly East Asian 0.1%
Native American 0.1%
Southeast Asian 0.0%
Broadly East Asian & Native American 0.0%


Sub-Saharan African 0.7%: 

West African 0.3%
East African 0.0%
Central & South African 0.0%
Broadly Sub-Saharan African 0.4%

Middle Eastern & North African 0.0%:
 
Middle Eastern 0.0%
North African 0.0%
Broadly Middle Eastern & North African 0.0%


Oceanian 0.0%:
 
Broadly Oceanian 0.0%


Unassigned < 0.1%

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Geri Lynne Burroughs

Around 6:20 on Wednesday morning, February 8th, I received a call from the Cleveland Clinic saying Geri's heart had stopped and they were trying to resuscitate her. I sped to the hospital and when I arrived I learned that they were unsuccessful. Just the day before the doctors had seemed so certain she would be fine. I've been wanting to write more but I have more tears than words. 

We will receive guests from 6 to 7 pm on Monday February 13th at Laubenthal-Mercado funeral home, 38475 Chestnut Ridge Road, Elyria, Ohio 44035, right down the street from where I grew up. Memorial service will follow at 7 pm. And then I'm gonna hibernate for a while.


Thank you so much to everyone who has been so kind and supportive to our family and me. Love to you.

Heartbroken,
John

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Third time on the ventilator

Through her sputum culture they've finally identified the specific staph infection that's been causing Geri's pneumonia. This strain is resistant to the antibiotics they've been treating her with, which explains why she's not gotten better. So they've switched to a medication that targets that specific strain. Meanwhile, at 6:40 am, I got a call from the ICU doctor saying they needed to intubate her again. Despite accelerated diuresis, her lungs kept filling with fluid, and days of breathing difficulty were putting undue strain on her heart. Now with the machine breathing for her, her heart rate and blood pressure have normalized. It will likely take several days, but we expect this new medication will finally knock out her pneumonia.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Crimson Tide

Within two months
Death caught both
Greg Lake
and John Wetton.


Adrian Belew,
don't let him catch you.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Make America Literate Again

My friend Jane Rosenberg LaForge put one of my Facebook statuses onto a sign and carried it in DC during Saturday's Women's March. This is her photo.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Water Works (Re)Published!


Celebrating five years after it was originally published by Recycled Karma Press, my chapbook Water Works is now being reissued by the The Poet's Haven as part of their Archive Series! Only $6. Get it here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Oh, Bummer (Healthcare)

We found out today that to get back on my wife's health insurance will only cost me a little over $950 a month. That's more than double what I paid for it in 2015. Good thing I have Obamacare to fall back on.
 

But interestingly, although it would cost us $950-ish to insure me, it only costs us around $350 to ensure my wife under the same plan, despite the fact that she's had far more health problems than I. So at least the one of us who needs it most is getting it.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Weekend update - 6 January 2017

Geri is in Interventional Radiology to have the current, weeks-old dialysis catheter that's been coming out of her neck replaced with a new one that'll come out of her chest. Her new liver is working great. But prior to transplant she developed what appears to be hepato-renal syndrome, so it's taking some time for her kidneys to get back up to speed. Meanwhile, the other main thing we need to work on is getting her up and walking after being essentially bedridden for about three months. Physical and occupational therapy (and her doctors) have recommended that she go to the Cleveland Clinic's own acute rehab center in the next day or so, but first we need insurance approval. Yesterday, Medical Mutual denied it was necessary. But this is the same insurance company that tried at first to claim she didn't need hospitalized the last two times (though she would've died if she hadn't gone).  Their motto seems to be "Reject first, then finally actually consider the claim after it's appealed." So the appeal conference is this morning and I'm optimistic we'll get it resolved.

UPDATE a couple hours later: She's approved for one week of acute rehab. They'll extend it if she makes good progress.  So we'll be heading to M80 later today.