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Erik Mueller-Harder - Journal

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Posted 2017-12-01T18:01:30Z

tunes and tubes

Thursday was a pretty busy day, and Friday is continuing in that vein...

Yesterday started with some medical stuff: Erik’s naso-gastric tube was removed in the morning, which removed a substantial source of discomfort, though left a residual sore throat. Unfortunately, that also meant the end of the mouth swabs, so he’s having a hard time talking until he can drink water again. The tube feedings (started on Tuesday) had ramped up to the target rate, so they took him off IV feeding, and were therefore able to remove one of his IVs--an uncomfortable one near his wrist.[...]

Posted 2017-11-27T13:58:00Z

Giving thanks

This is Karen. Erik’s now gone into surgery, and I wanted to post a tale of gratitude:

Our family didn’t stop reading bedtime story as the kids got older--we just upped the content to match their age level. We have been reading Lord of the Rings for our story for about a year now, and by coincidence our heroes entered Mordor about the time Erik was diagnosed, and the parallels, extending Erik’s metaphor, have kept surfacing in interesting ways.[...]

Posted 2017-11-26T16:56:15Z

More panicked about packing for a week in the hospital than for the surgery

That’s either a good thing, of course, or it means I’m in denial about the surgery itself!

Again, though, so far so good: I’ve been on a liquid diet for the past two days (and a low-fat diet for the past week) in preparation for the surgery. Not exactly what I would choose, but Karen and Cameron have helped by making a delicious turkey broth and by puréeing some non-fat honey Greek yoghourt with some milk; these augment the Carnation Instant Breakfast and the yoghourt drinks.... But at least I can still have coffee, and I was able to enjoy a wonderful turkey dinner when we celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday.[...]

Posted 2017-11-18T18:47:26Z

More “Mapping Mordor”

Some of you might know that my “new” plan for the “Mapping Mordor” chapter had been to get all toponymic research done before the surgery, so that I could simply write between then and Yule — submitting a text draft in late December (only six weeks late) and telling the editors how many graphic images I’d be supplying (and where they’d need to go and what size they’d need to be) — and preparing the graphics in January while the editors and lay readers were looking at my draft text.[...]

Posted 2017-11-03T21:16:00Z


I really don’t expect to have much more news until after the surgery: a CAT scan and a PET scan have shown that the tumor is basically gone (or perhaps completely gone — they can’t say for certain until they’ve seen it in person), and that there’s no longer any sign of it in the nearest lymph node, either. That, coupled with my ability now to eat basically anything (so long as I don’t eat fast), some solid weight gain, and general good health mean I’ll be in good shape for the surgery when it comes.[...]

Posted 2017-10-30T16:34:17Z

Feeding backpacks

A number of you have expressed enthusiasm for my “invention” of a feeding backpack. And it’s certainly true that — given the idea of carrying my feed and pump around inside a backpack and running the feeding tube out one side — I did indeed figure out a very dependable, workable way to accomplish what was needed.[...]

Posted 2017-10-10T01:56:00Z

Mobile feeding, and a cartography conference

So just over two weeks ago I was reminded of a cartography conference that I had wanted to attend. It’s held in a different location each year and, though I’d heard good things about it, I’d never managed to attend before. I’m not a cartographer, of course, but I’d heard it was particularly welcoming to those working in neighboring fields and those who are simply interested in mapmaking. Since I am working on maps, I’d hoped at some point to attend and learn everything I could.[...]