Friday, December 2, 2022

A lot on the plate

 It has been a kind of hectic week here at Topps Cards that Never Were headquarters, and it will probably be so for the next week, but I was able to get a little free time after work to setup my new laptop, from which I am typing (most) of this post from. Between the mundane tasks such as getting groceries and getting gas and stuff like that, there have been a number of extra things going on or going to be going on during the next week. Some are fun, but they take planning none the less. 
I figure I'll get the not so fun ones out of the way first. Most of you who read the blog know that my wife Karen has been dealing with excess Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) in her head for a while now. She has had a number of surgeries to put in shunts, take shunts out, fix shunts, and everything else to try to improve the problem. The last one was like in June, and it seemed like it was working and draining enough fluid to make the headaches from the high pressure stay away. Well, about a month ago, she started getting headaches again, but not the normal high pressure ones, but more like a low pressure headache, where too much fluid is being drained and it tugs on the back of her head. The only way to relieve those is to drink caffeine, which helps with the production of more CSF fluid, and to lay down flat. She has been dealing with those headaches for the past month, but on Thanksgiving, she was in so much pain that she spent most of the afternoon and evening on the couch, and on Friday it was so bad that she went to the Emergency Room here in DeLand. They did some scans of her shunts, and had her transported Shands in Gainesville where Dr. Murad, her neurosurgeon works. Since it was the weekend, he was gone, and the team of nuerologists there lowered the setting in her vp shunt and sent her home and told her to follow up with Dr. Murad in a few days. The new settings didn't help, and after a few days of trying to work from home on the couch and being able to stand up and do things for maybe 45 minutes at a time, she called Dr. Murad's office, and was able to get an appointment with him yesterday. I was off, so we drove up there and he made the call to change the setting of her vp shunt to the lowest it could go and see if that would keep more CSF fluid in her. We think the vp shunt isn't working or draining very much at all and that the lumbar shunt is doing all of the work, so we're not realy expecting this to work. The plan is if it doesn't work that we will drive up to Shands on Monday and have surgery that afternoon. Dr. Murad will open her back and disconnect the tubing. If it drains CSF on the right side, it means that the lumbar shunt is working correctly and he will change the settings on the lumbar one to a higher setting so it doesn't drain as much CSF. If it doesn't have any CSF fluid come out, that probably means there is a leak higher up on the tubing and he will examine further. The thing that confuses both me and Karen is how the low pressure headaches came on so sudden after things being relatively decent since June. I guess we will find out on Monday. Like most of the last surgeries, I would love for it to be fixed, but I don't have much hope. 
With that being said, I had kind of a revelation on the way home from Shands. Most of you know that I am a Christian. Not the best one, and I have a lot of work to do, but it is an important part of my life. I have struggled a lot with Karen's surgeries and asked why God just lets her suffer and doesn't let her be fixed. Karen always has been positive about everything and she's the one that is dealing with it, but I tend to focus on the negative and what I can't change. I have also struggled with when she had a miscarriage in March 2021. Some days are better than others, but there are times when I question God and why all of these bad things happened. 
While at a Casting Crowns concert a few months ago, they were playing a song, and it was a song about the lead singers' mother passing away and how God held him throughout the process. It was during that song where I could hear God telling me as plain as day that He loves me as much as he loves our child that we will never know. I see that in 2 ways. One, that He loves our angel baby a whole lot. Two, that he loves me, as despicable as I can be a whole lot. 2 things that I can't comprehend. It doesn't make the pain go away, but it is nice to feel like there is a meaning behind all of it and that I am loved and that maybe I will see the purpose to the suffering. 
While driving back to DeLand yesterday, Karen was asleep, and we had songs on her phone going. Audio Adrenaline's 'Original Species' song came on. Basically a song pointing out how intricate and amazing the human body really is and how we couldn't have evolved from apes or whatever and that there was an intelligent creator (God) who knit us together and has a purpose for us. The song got through the first parts, the bridge, and then to a loud final chorus, and the lyrics just hit me: "I'm an orignal species more enlightened than Nietzsche. I'm sure you'd love to meet me 'cause I am loved by a Maker who's so clever. I was made to live forever. Though my body turns to sand, my soul is in His hands.". I was just overwhelmed with emotion. I just felt like God was telling me again that me and Karen are loved, and that there is a purpose to this, no matter what happens. So, I guess we'll just go into Monday without knowing answers, and maybe come out of it not knowing anything more, but it will be ok no matter what happens.

Besides that going on, there are a number of other things happening in the next 7 days. Tonight there's a storytime thing at church for the kids that we'll probably go to. Tomorrow is the Christmas parade in DeLand. Our church will have a float in it, and I'll be on it. The band plays Christmas carols, and I'll be on the keyboard, and Karen will sing if she can manage to feel well enough to. It will be tiring doing the parade after a long day of work, but it probably is the event I am looking forward the 2nd most out of everything. Monday and Tuesday I'm off, we might go home from Shands early Tuesday if everything goes well. I was stupid a few weeks ago and got a ticket for avoiding a traffic light after I cut through a gas station and turned right so I could get past the light. I want to take the safe driver course to avoid the points on my lisence and the insurance rate hike, but I have to register with the clerk of the court, and of course they aren't open on the weekend, and I don't realy have time during the week. With all of my off days being filled with Dr. appointments and the like, I haven't been able to do that yet, so I'll probably do that this week on Thursday perhaps. Only problem with that is that Thursday is our 10 year wedding anniversary, and I booked a river cruise for Karen and I before I knew that we were going to probably have surgery on Monday, and before I got the ticket. I have till the 12th to register for the class, so hopefully I can squeeze that in at some point before then. The cruise is the thing I am looking forward to the most, but I completely will understand if Karen isn't feeling up to doing that 3 days after surgery. I have also had an issue with the latch on my trunk on my car since before the first hurricane that hit us, and I've had my trunk rained in a number of times since then. I finally went into Kia, and they had to order a part. They just got the part, and I think I have an appointment with them next week as well, and I will be happy to finally have my trunk shut and stay shut. Like I said, a number of these things are good things, I just feel like a lot is going on. 
There are some fun card things happening, so I'll finish off the post with them. I got a package from Night Owl yesterday, and the cards blew my mind. He had mentioned the 500 ct. box of 1987 Topps cards that he had, and after I looked at my binders, I somehow needed a number of cards from the set. Greg stepped in, and knocked most of those cards off of my list.

 I am still missing a few, and I'll add a list to the bottom of this post in case anyone has '87 Topps cards they can spare. Greg also must've taken a look at my want list, as he added not only a 1998 Topps Chrome Refractor Tony Saunders card, but a 1978 Topps Lance Parrish/Dale Murphy rookie. 

The Saunders card was cool because it only leaves me with just his '98 Topps Inaugural Diamondbacks card from having his base/Minted in Cooperstown/Inaugural Diamondbacks/Inaugural Rays/Chrome/Refractor 1998 Topps rainbow. The 1978 Parrish card is probably my favorite one of the bunch. Not only is it a great rookie card of 2 borderline Hall of Famers, but it is an original card from Greg's collection when he was a kid. I feel honored to have a card that Night Owl had when he was a kid growing up, and to me, a card like that is better than a gem mint 10 superfractor chrome dazzle sparkle prizm card of the next up and coming rookie. In addition to those cards and the 1987 cards, were some Rays and Tigers from this year, most of which I need. I haven't decided if I'm going to try to go after all of the Wander Franco rookie cards, but thanks to Greg, I now have the Diamond Kings one. Thanks, Night Owl, for the cool cards!

I also ordered some Topps Traded sets from eBay. I (basically) have complete Topps sets from 1986-1994 or so, but not the Traded sets. I'm kind of want to finish up some of my Tigers master Topps sets, as well as regular master Topps sets in general. The Traded sets I ordered will give me every Topps Traded set from 1986-1994. I also ordered the 1 card I needed to at least give me the 1995 Tigers Traded set as well. Some of the newer Traded sets like 2002 and 2003 might be a long time coming as they have SP veteran cards, but at least I have some earlier ones and the 2019- present ones. I would love to get the MLB debut sets from 1989-1991 (or 1990-1992 if you go by the design), but with Griffey rookies and such, the flipper brah's made these cost more that what I think they are worth (especially the 1992 set). With just Bagwell, Pudge Rodriguez, and Thome in that set, I don't get why it's so expensive. Heck, I got the Bagwell from a dollar box 15 years ago. I might see if I can get some sets with just the Tigers. At any rate, this will put my organizing back to square one, but at least I'll have some full sets to look at while I'm organizing them again. 

That's about it for me. If you would like to send me some of your 1987 Topps cards, my needs are as follows:

6 Ruben Sierra Record Breaker Rangers
170 Bo Jackson Royals
261 Ruben Sierra Rangers
319 Greg Swindell Indians
323 Al Newman Expos
369 Brian Dayett Cubs
527 Jim Wohlford Expos
565 Dusty Baker Athletics
568 Ben Oglive Brewers
581 Cubs Leaders
690 Dane Iorg Padres
761 Greg Pryor Royals
788 Tim Stoddard Yankees

Thanks for your generosity, and I'll find something to send back. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.


  1. You'll soon be able to swing over to Ocala and go through my dupes boxes.

    1. I can’t wait. I’ll have to come by on one of my days off.

  2. You are welcome. I get a kick out of how much you like that '78 card. ... I'll check my '87s again, those things tend to multiply.
    God always has a purpose, even in suffering.

  3. I'm not a religious person per se, but even so, I appreciate those that are. I also appreciate those that share their ups and downs when it comes to their faith, it makes you come across as more real. Hopefully one of these surgeries will finally take, and your wife can find some lasting relief. I honestly don't know how she's able to deal with all of this.