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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » A History of Stone Wolfery (A Landmark)

   
Author Topic: A History of Stone Wolfery (A Landmark)
Stone_Wolf_
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I have struggled with what to talk about for my Landmark, trying to find something worthwhile to contribute to this fine history of Hatrack. In the end I think I’ll just tell you all about myself, and let the worthiness worry about itself.

I was born in Pasadena California to a failed animation producer father and a work from home business writer/editor mother. My father had used family money to buy a pool cleaning business, drank regularly and was (is?) emotionally crippled by varied family abuse. My mother raised me to think that everything I did was amazing, worthy and that I should speak my mind at all times. She was raised by a raving megalomaniac who persecuted her older brother relentlessly, which is one reason she loved my father so much, as his was a similar situation. Her mother was loving and kind, but broken, unable to live for herself or her kids and lived in the shadow of her deranged husband, and later, when I knew her, after my granddad left her, in a trailer, smoking five packs a day and watching TV shopping network so loud it blew out the speakers.

My father’s parents were famous, his father basically invented the 30 minute action cartoon format with his show “Clutch Cargo” (later stolen by HannaBarbara and renamed “JohnyQuest”, you might have seen a clip of it in the movie “Pulp Fiction”), “Space Angle” (the character Scotty from Star Trek was a nod to the Scottish engineer in the show), an animated Flipper the dolphin and animated 3 Stooges shows. His mother was an actor/singer/dancer, who was a nonregular member of “Our Gang”, stared in a movie or two and had a TV show and was the model Disney’s TinkerBell was based on. His father’s uncle was Mark Pierce, of Pierce Brother’s Mortuary and Pierce College, who when he died in the 30’s left his widow a couple million (taxes took the other 99 million). My father was raised being told he was rich, deserving of being richer.

I am an only child. My birth held my parent’s failing marriage together for about twenty years. I never related to other children, having never really spent any time around them. Growing up we moved around a lot, we lived on Balboa Island, Norton Ave in West Hollywood with family, and a few others which slip my mind, but by age nine we lived in Van Nuys CA. I had bad reading problems, having moved around so much during second grade, I think I was in four of five different schools that year.

My mother told me I was smart, a lot. She told me I was creative, that I could “do anything I wanted”, never mentioning hard work or respect for those who had experience. I couldn’t read as I should, and couldn’t relate and had just joined another school, this one far from my new home, as the school close to my home’s 2/3 mixed grade teacher was a few years to retirement and yelled and screamed and my mom pulled me out of that school and drove me twice a day to Sherman Oaks.

Anytime I couldn’t do an assignment or felt challenged I would break pencils or rulers and make a scene. If I wasn’t smart like my mom told me, I didn’t know what to be. Eventually my parents got me a tutor, but until much later I avoided reading at all costs. I never fit in and had trouble making friends. My mother counts herself as a romantic, and filled my head with lessons on how women will want me to act, to give shoulder rubs, compliments and gifts of jewelry. Starting at the tender age of eight or so I could not see girls in any other light but to try and woo them into a relationship. Later when hormones kicked in, it made this much much worse.

I always thought I related better to adults then children, but the truth of the matter was I lacked enough understanding to really relate to adults, so I related to no one. I was raised Christian, given the task of “helping” convert anyone I could into the loving arms of Jesus and like toddler with a chainsaw I wielded it poorly, inflicting as much damage on myself as actually “helping” anyone. Long story short, I was teased mercilessly, and had no self control, my face would turn bright red, and my fists would ball and I would cry and flail about trying to pummel my tormentors…I can’t remember actually catching anyone.

By the end of elementary school, my mother, despite my nonstellar grades, pressured my school into giving me an IQ test. Let me say this to all parents out there, never tell a child their IQ, ever. Finding out that I was “gifted” with a high IQ was one of the worst things that could have happened to me. My mom found me a magnet school with advanced classes for Jr. High, but again, no where near where I lived, and again, I had no friends and no chance of fitting in.

About half way through 7th grade, my family moved to northern rural Minnesota. The town that we lived 9.5 miles away from had less then 500 people in it. My class had 50 children in it, all of whom knew each other before kindergarten. If I was different to kids who were raised in the same place as me, I was a space alien to these small town folk. I got in a couple of fights, which I didn’t start, or finish, or to be more precise, got the crap beaten out of me several times.

When I look back on it, I have trouble feeling anger to my persecutors. I was a backward, judgmental, lazy, holier then thou, talkative, used to being the center of attention little punk who had to prove he was smarter then everyone around him, even when it wasn’t true.

At the age of 14 my mother convinced me to read Ender’s Game. I read it in a day. With my reading problems it took me all day. I read it again the next day. After that I read everything I could get my hands on. Heinlien, Card, Asimov, Tolkeen, Herbert. McGregor Minnesota might brag only one stoplight (it flashes yellow all the time), but it had a really nice library. It was Ender’s Game which brought me to a love of reading, and to the desire to relate to other people. I had never been introspective, never wondered why I acted the way I did, or even really given a second thought to how I acted. This changed.

The more I read, the more I thought about who I was, and who I wanted to be, and more importantly, who I didn’t want to be. Around this time my father bought me a junkyard Jeep Wagoneer, and we rebuilt it, in anticipation of my getting my driver’s license. My father and I were not close up to then. He claims my mother told him in no uncertain terms that I was her territory and he needed to keep out. I’m not too sure of this. My father and I started to bond, 4-wheelers, guns, cars, music, girls, home made chocolate chip cookies, but most of all, hatred of my mother.

We made it a game, how much we could talk bad about her in her presence without her noticing. And as I took more and more control of my life, the more she and I clashed. I started to take karate, and kept reading and reforming myself. The summer I was turning 17 I went to “Upward Bound” a camp for college bound high schoolers, on an actual college campus, two counties away. I lived for months with complete strangers, and I was popular. I got along with most everyone, and no one teased me. The changes I was making in myself were bearing fruit.

One of my dorm roommates was a chunky, odd kid like me. And I started to bully him, sublet at first, and then quite obvious. I remember like it was yesterday, four of us were playing “Risk” in our living room, and I had just let off a half kidding, half cutting jab about this kid, when he looked up at me with sad eyes and said words that I had said so often to my tormentors, “What did I ever do to you?” It broke my heart. I asked him to step into the hallway with me, and told him that he hadn’t done anything to me, and I was sorry, and if I slipped up and teased him again to just tell me and I would stop instantly. For many years it was my best and worst day all rolled into one.

When I returned to my Jr. year I felt good. Taller, skinnier, new attitude, new cloths, new karate skills, but no one would accept the new me. I had made a pretty uncomfortable bed, and everyone was dead set that I lay in it. I was on the varsity football team, the head coach had nearly made it in the NFL, but was not too bright. The assistant coach was very bright, but an all around bastard. He would tease me, to other members of the team, and I don’t think I had a single friendly face who wore our colors. I used to look forward to games because the other team would be nicer to me then my teammates. I quit football shortly after a broken foot healed, and struggle to this day with not hating that coach/teacher. About halfway through that year, I refused to go to school, even going so far as to threaten suicide.

My mother had been convinced there was something physically wrong with me, and dragged me to the Mayo clinic, where I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. CFS is a diagnosis of exclusion, and they had not properly diagnosed that fact that I was deeply and darkly depressed. It got me out of school though, so that worked. I did my work from home, and once a week a nice lady came and taught me out of various books I had already read.

About this time the movie Flipper (the one with Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood) was being bandied around, and my family still owned the rights to all Flipper merchandising. My dad made a deal with the studios, and my grandfather’s company was reborn, and we moved back to California.

I flatly refused to go back to school, so we looked into home school. They told us about the California High School Proficiency Exam, or testing out of high school. I took the test, and waited on the edge of my seat for four months to find out if I was free or truant. I passed, and got a job at the Kinko’s down the street, working night shift. I got a 1984 black Firebird V8 with teetops, and a lot of Magic the Gathering cards with the money from my job. Meanwhile the financial success was driving my parents apart. I decided to join the Navy. The Navy said “What is a California High School Proficiency Exam?”, after wanting me to join the advanced “nuke school” and loose 50 lbs. We contacted the home school which turned us on to the exam, and they fabricated a senior year for me based on what I had already been doing. Playing guitar with my dad turned into a “B” in music, reading nonstop turned into an “A” in literature and running the cash register at Kinko’s copies turned into a “B+” in economics.

I never did loose the 50 lbs, and my parents didn’t split up. After a year in La Canada, we moved to a huge beautiful beach house in Silver Strand (spelled O-X-N-A-R-D). I started working at the local shooting range, my mom got a weekly opinion column in the local free paper and my father tried to keep the money rolling in while spending way, way too much.

We lived there from my age 18-21. I had never had a girl friend. We partied, and played at being rich, and I subverted into the world of the internet and roleplaying games. I had many girlfriends online, one who even flew in from halfway across the country just to sex me up (she soon divorced her husband, who never knew about me). I lived like a prince, worked a job which was a hobby and had a life online. My mother knew this was not good for me, but couldn’t seem to get me to see it, and in all fairness did a horrible job of trying to get me to grow up.

Meanwhile my father’s company was tanking. He had been giving out stock dividends to prove to his dead father’s business partners that he was a success, and spending money like water to live like it was true. He almost pulled it off too. A couple of serious set backs and a frivolous lawsuit took out the company hard. He divorced my mom and got his own place, telling me it was the way she was harping on me that “opened his eyes” to who she really was. He’s told several versions why he left her, and none the same, but I think the truth is that he wanted to change his situation with the failing company and couldn’t, so he changed what he could control, his failing marriage.

My mother gave me a few weeks to either pay 1/3 of the rent, or get my own place. I ended up moving to Bakersfield, following a good D&D friend who had moved back their recently. Here I grew up quite a bit. I had to pay rent and keep a job and pay for my own food and gas and insurance. It was a good time mostly. I hung out with friends and played table top role playing games and smoked a lot of pot and wrote philosophy and poetry and read and sweated, a lot. Bakersfield is hot.

I worked at more shooting ranges, and ended up as a security guard on the grave shift. This was heaven to me, as I was the only person there, and smoked pot and read and wrote and got paid to do it. I had some girlfriends, but still struggled with what I was taught about romance and being in love which ended up ruining some perfectly good relationships.

After a few years, my friend (now married, I was his best man) decided to move back to Ventura county, and while I did have some other friends in Bakersfield, he (and his wife) were my best friends, and I followed, with the firm promise that I would not do so again. My parents were still living there, now each with new significant others. I got a large studio apartment, and continued to guard and smoke and read and write. I eventually move into a beach front apartment with my best friends. Life was pretty good.

My friends moved out to go to LA for a computer game job, and I start to go to school at ITT Tech for Computer Drafting and Design. I meet my wife on Eharmony.com and we started dating every weekend for about six months before she moved in with me. Wow, that bit was hard, learning to live with a woman who wasn’t married to my best friend. But we got through it.

We got engaged after a couple of years, and then her doctor told her that if she did not have children right the eff now she would loose the ability to do so. So we started trying. When we caught, we put aside all our big plans for our wedding and got hitched at the court house. Soon after we moved to a much larger town house in the same beach front complex.

My career as a drafter had been getting going by fits and starts, but I was making good money when the economy collapsed hard. After the birth of my son (the most joyous occasion in my whole life) I was forced to return to being a security guard. My wife’s mother moved to an apartment a mile away from us, and watched the boy full time (she’s on disability). Unfortunately she is bipolar and other varieties of unstable (all very earned, poor woman) and without warning stopped watching Liam, starting a major war between all involved. I started nightshift, watching him during the day and fighting off sleep, while my wife worked. These were hard times for us.

I got laid off, and refused unemployment. We fought it, and won. And my wife and I went through with our plans to have another child 15 months after the birth of our son. All throughout the pregnancy with our daughter Winter, my wife and her mother fought tooth and nail. They eventually cut all ties.

Now my wife works, and I collect unemployment (one more year and then I’m out of federal extentions) and take care of the kids. My wife and her mom are going to try and get into therapy. My mom moved to central CA, with her new guy who she married, who recently almost died of swine flu, and then got stomach cancer. So, she takes care of him most of the time, although we still talk on the phone a lot, and she tries to come visit as much as possible. My dad still lives in Ventura county, he works as a tow truck driver, often 36 hour shifts just to make rent, with his live in girlfriend who he is not too fond of and her 35 year old felon son who does not contribute. My father and I talk on the phone weekly, but he has only seen his 4 month granddaughter twice, and once was in the hospital (and he lives 10 minutes away). I no longer talk to my best friends, we grew apart when we stopped roleplaying (he and I) and smoking weed (her and I) together. My wife and I fight every now and again (she has a temper and I’m sensitive), but we have grown a lot together, and I wouldn’t change a thing in my life because I now have a family which I love more then I thought possible.

My son Liam is 19 months, and really picking up language. He loves to look at youtube video of animals making sounds and roar, moo, bark, heehaw, bleet, caw and quack along. He took me my cell phone and said “Mom-mom?” today, and when I said she was too busy to call right now, he cried, so I called her at work and he said “Hi mom-mom!” and went on to point at each of his toys and tell her about them. I love him so much it makes my heart hurt.

My daughter Winter is 4 months and she will coo and smile almost instantly if you talk to her. She is going through a rough time with crying/screaming and vomiting a lot, but we went through it with her brother, so we figure she will grow out of it. She is growing so fast, she’s already out growing her 9 month cloths. My wife can’t wait till she gets hair so she can put hair clips in it.

I don’t know what the future holds, and I can’t say I could have predicted where I am now. But I am happy. And I am hopeful. And for those reasons as well as my family, I am grateful.

Well, if you made it through all this, I’m impressed, and you basically know the story of me, hope it was useful for something.

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AchillesHeel
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I admit I skimmed, and then went back and filled in the bits that I hadnt read the first time. You seem very forthcoming with this and I dont have anything impressive to say at this time, but I might just need more time to process it all.
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scholarette
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It is hard to have a comment that encompasses the whole narrative. When you were talking about being told you are smart, I thought about how in tutoring we are not supposed to tell students they are smart for the very same reasons you discussed. It is more often destructive than helpful. Of course, as a parent, I think my daughter is a genius (My husband and I both qualify for Mensa and neither of us think we were that clever at 4) and it is hard not to tell her she is brilliant.
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AchillesHeel
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One of favorite teachers in school raised his three boys mostly on his own, and instead of saying prayers before bed he had them recite a self motivation mantra. From what I hear they were prone to dramatics and complete asshattery but last I knew they were all going through college and the military.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
It is hard to have a comment that encompasses the whole narrative.

Very true.

So I'll just say thanks for sharing all that and congrats on 1000 posts. [Smile]

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0Megabyte
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I never did anything like this for my one thousandth post. I mean, lately I've been just avoiding most of the political things, and if I ever post it's usually on frivolities like, erm, books, film, food and culture...

Nevertheless, though I've ended up mostly going by the mantra of "if you don't have something nice to say..." lately, I've still been here. And I'm still reading, and I just read this.

Wow. It's hard to say anything about a whole narrative like that. But all I know is this:

Your life is nowhere near complete. In a mere 20 years your kids will be nearly/completely grown. In that time the world will have changed and changed again. As will your fortune, for good or ill.

So I guess, with that in mind comes words from someone whose name I forgot: Your story isn't set until the obituary page.

I hope we'll both be here twenty years from now. And we can run over this Stone Wolf Story again. Let's see what happens. The future is an adventure!

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Stone_Wolf_
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I must admit, I tell my boy all the time how smart he is, but I think of it as encouragement, and when it comes time for him to understand I'll explain that there are two types of successful people in the world, the people who didn't give up, and the smart people who didn't give up.

Thanks for kind words guys.

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Kwea
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Thank you for sharing that with us.
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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I must admit, I tell my boy all the time how smart he is, but I think of it as encouragement, and when it comes time for him to understand I'll explain that there are two types of successful people in the world, the people who didn't give up, and the smart people who didn't give up.

There's a pretty good body of research now that suggests that kids who are praised for their intelligence tend to do measurably and immediately worse than kids who are praised for their hard work. It's hard to resist complimenting your kids on their obvious smarts, but it may not be in their best interest.
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Geraine
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I enjoyed your post. I am a sucker for interesting life stories like these.

I was kicking around the idea of posting something like this but I just don't think it is interesting. Pretty boring actually.

I appreciate you sharing. I will admit that I am a little jealous that you have two small ones. My wife and I have been married almost five years but she is still not ready. I've always wanted to be a father. When I was young and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a dad as good as my dad. I see my younger sister and brother with their kids and it only makes me want them more.

I am only 30 (My wife is only 24) though so we still have plenty of time to have kids.

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Uprooted
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:

I had never been introspective, never wondered why I acted the way I did, or even really given a second thought to how I acted. This changed.

The more I read, the more I thought about who I was, and who I wanted to be, and more importantly, who I didn’t want to be.

Very cool testimonial to the power of reading.
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Stone_Wolf_
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In reading over my post, I sound pretty down on my parents, and I just want to state for the record that I do not have any ill will towards them. I really believe that they did the best they knew how for me, and did better then their parents. I hope (and strive) to do the same for my kids.

I strongly believe that one of the biggest parts of becoming an adult is when you stop harping on who gave you all your problems and start trying to solve them.

Good luck to you Geraine with the children. When people say that it changes everything and you can't know ahead of time, it is really really true.

Thanks for the tip MattP, I told me wife and we are totally using "Good work" as praise (it's kinda hard, as our children are so young, but we will keep it up til it really has an impact).

Again, thanks for the kind words everyone.

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BlackBlade
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I had a lot to say, but my own son is starting to feel neglected, so for now I'll just say, thanks for being willing to share all that, it was very illuminating, and I feel like I know you better.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Just a quick update for those few who are interested:

So, it turns, out my wife, while birthing our daughter, ruptured a portion of her brain, causing her a constant headache for 5.5 years, and daily migraines. It took a lot to get her on disability, and if not for my mom's help, our little family would have been in deep troubles, bless her!

Also during this time my mother in law had a psychotic break, and quit watching my son during the day, with out notice, but fortunately I was able to switch my security job to nights, and watch him myself, wifey worked until daughter was born, and briefly after.

My mother in law has ptsd & bipolar and when not stressed is one of my favorite people in the whole world. My poor wife has not had any family support since that day over six years ago. Quite the opposite in reality, as her mom harasses her over the phone weekly.

Now adays my son is almost 7, going into first grade. He reads at a second grade level, and is a head taller than those in his grade. He is wildly creative & kind, tho sensitive & dramatic, just like his pop.

Our daughter is 5.5 & reads at a third grade lvl, and is only two inches shorter than her bro. She is a force to be reckoned with, I tell you! And so cute, literally adorable! She is stubborn and head strong just like her pop. She'll be going into kindergarten.

I take care of the lot, and myself. Wifey is bed ridden, and can't hack the kids who are VERY loud, most of the days.

I myself am not in good health, depression, sleep aptnia (cpap) diabetes (hereditary & controlled), ibsd, and we are testing why my body always hurts so bad, but likely fiber myalsia (sp), ra, lupus or...was it lyme? And a new one on me, yesterday I heard back from my dermatologist that the mole they removed is malignant. They are a going digging in my face next week. But I've been told it's cancer light, nothing to worry about.

Still happy and hopeful tho. [Smile]

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JanitorBlade
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-1 on circumstances, +1 on you managing it.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Thanks BB!

I sometimes wish you had changed your name to BlackJanitor just bc it would make me smile every time I saw "post deleted by BlackJanitor."

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PanaceaSanans
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
depression, sleep aptnia (cpap) diabetes (hereditary & controlled), ibsd, and we are testing why my body always hurts so bad, but likely fiber myalsia (sp), ra, lupus or...was it lyme?

Aw, man. [Frown] Sorry to hear.

quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
And a new one on me, yesterday I heard back from my dermatologist that the mole they removed is malignant. They are a going digging in my face next week. But I've been told it's cancer light, nothing to worry about.

That would be basalioma, as I understand it? Did they explain the specifics to you, and why you needn't worry too much?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Most common form of cancer...least fatal version...depending on the depth of the tumor, I might be disfigured or something, but it won't be known until they astart adigging, cut, analyse, cut analyse, until I'm clear of evil invaders from within.

My wife is a nurse (ma) and worries enough for the both of us, my will to live to take care of my family is too strong to be overcome by some petty cancer.

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PanaceaSanans
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Yes, that's basalioma/ Basal Cell Carcinoma/ BCC. They are semi-malignant tumors, because they do not metastasize except in a very, very advanced stage, and even then only rarely. The reason why they are not described as benign is because, if not excised, they spread locally and infiltrate into adjacent tissue and structures, thereby destroying them. And because the most strongly correlated cause for basalioma is UV exposure, they often are located on the face, where being "disfigured" by uninhibited growth is likely. But when excised early on, the likelihood of complete recovery is close to 100 percent. So while surgery certainly isn't pleasant, it is a very effective therapy in this case. And the esthetic results more often than not are surprisingly satisfactory to the patients (measured by what they expected). So don't worry too much, and tell your wife not to either.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Thanks PanSan...have you met CT here on the boards yet? She's busy, but I think you two could be BFFs, both cool chicks w medical knowledge. I think CT is an MD. Are you as well?
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zlogdanbr
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Wolf, I had promised myself to avoid posting here, but bro, your story is touching, keep strong, I am glad you are holding strongly cpap bro.
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PanaceaSanans
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
have you met CT here on the boards yet? She's busy, but I think you two could be BFFs, both cool chicks w medical knowledge. I think CT is an MD. Are you as well?

I had not consciously noticed Mrs. Therese yet, but I went back to read some of her posts and she seems to be a very likable person.

I would most certainly not describe myself as a "cool chick" - but I believe it was meant to be a compliment, so thanks.
As for the MD, I believe the system works a little differently in Germany, but essentially, that would roughly be the equivalent.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Totally a compliment...

Is your German title Doktor der Humanmedizin ehrfürchtige weiblich?

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Stone_Wolf_
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I'm from Cali, and took Spanish in hs, so, I hope google translate didn't just have me insult you by accident.
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