And I don’t say that lightly. Recently there have been questions.
Today is the second day of June, 2021. On May 23rd – just a little over a week ago I was one sick Geezer.
I had been fighting what I had taken to be the remnants of a cold and the congestion had been coming and going for a week or two. On that Sunday, the 23rd, it was getting worse. I was having more and more difficulty breathing. My wife, the lovely, observant, and concerned for her Geezer, Dawn, could see that I was struggling. She suggested and I agreed that a trip to the ER was in order.
Ten minutes later I was sitting in a wheelchair with a stethoscope moving about on my chest. My lungs were filling with fluid. I felt like I was drowning. The ER doctors began to inject me with something called Lasik and told me to be ready to to start urinating like a Race Horse.
They weren’t kidding.
Within the next two hours I put out more than two liters of sickly looking fluid from my lungs. I could begin to breathe again. The X-Rays said that I was showing signs of Congestive Heart Failure.
Those are three scary words.
I was admitted to the Hospital – Room 3014. I felt like crap, but I was in no apparent immediate danger. Dawn finally was able to go home at about 3 AM on Monday morning.
I continued to crank out more fluid for a couple of days. I also had a lot of blood Vampired out of me. There were tests, tests, and more tests – with no conclusive finger pointing at why I was in that hospital bed. As the week progressed I was poked, prodded and punctured all day and all night. I met more people with letters after their names than I had ever encountered before.
Everyone was kind, helpful and very professional. I felt that I was in very good hands. With the weekend looming it was decided to cut me loose and, since my condition had improved and stabilized, I would now be able to be an outpatient. I was OK with that. I desperately wanted to go home. I was feeling better, Dawn was exhausted, and I had begun to seriously complain about the food.
No matter how advanced that Hospital may be and how brilliant the staff may be it is without a doubt that the place will never become known as a Culinary destination.
Hospital food, while they try to present a wider menu, still sucks. I’m sorry. I have nothing but respect for everyone there, but the person who ruins their version of Macaroni and Cheese should be forced to eat it. As a man with the last name of KRAFT I tend to take it all personally.
I’m home now and making the rounds of my various doctors still trying to discover what caused our late night adventure to the Emergency Room. I’m feeling so much better, but I still need to know what happened and why.
I’ll keep you advised, but right now I’m looking forward to a nice steaming bowl of real Mac and Cheese straight from that little blue cardboard box.
OK, OK, OK! I will admit it. This old blog post from 2017 is considered by some people to be of questionable taste. They are entitled to their opinion. They’re wrong.
I’m also entitled to my opinion. I think it’s funny.
THERE AIN’T NUTHIN’ LIKE A GOOD BURGER. It doesn’t have to be fancy (and probably shouldn’t be). It doesn’t have to be expensive. It sure doesn’t have to be in some high class restaurant. But it has to be prepared with gluttony in mind.
About a five minute drive or twenty minute crawl from home is a small neighborhood joint (that’s the only appropriate word) that does a burger right.
This particular watering hole has been around for about two million years. It is on its third or fourth owners now and doing well. It is probably also on the Hit List of the American Heart Association.
Over the years it has grown from a serious drinker’s bar, into a Punch Palace where the main attraction was drunken brawls, into a neighborhood friendly gathering spot. With each reincarnation the food menu has grown and improved. Today it has become a place for Breakfast as well as for Lunch and Dinner –with no brawling allowed.
The Star of the Show – foodwise – is the “Tweety Burger.” It has nothing to do with a small yellow canary and Sylvester the Cat. “Tweety” was the name of one of the original owners back in the Dark Ages.
The current owner is a young (30ish) gent who is trying to turn the place from a “Joint” into something more socially acceptable – a place where you could take a date for a nosh without having to worry about a fist fight breaking out. The new Boss is also expanding the definition of the “Tweety Burger.” For the longest time it was just a very tasty ½ pound burger with fries – yumilicious to be sure. But now, the sky is the limit.
Every month now there is new version of the “Tweety” on the menu. Last month’s burger had Ghost Pepper Chiles and Creamy Marshmallow between the buns. I passed on that one, although it did sell well. I like spicy, but I don’t think that food should hurt.
This month the Special is the “All-American Tweety” – a burger that goes where no cardiologist has ever gone before.
I was in there last night and my wife, the lovely and ever tasteful, Dawn, suggested that each “All-American Tweety” should come with the business card of a good heart specialist. That is being taken under advisement.
I asked our waitress, Susie, who has worked there for years, if many people are ordering that monster of a burger. She shook her head and said, “More than you would believe.” She had a look of concern on her face. I think she was going to be expected to administer CPR if one of her customers keels over mid-burger.
The owner is counting on some seriously hungry (or deranged) people who will down that full pound famine-buster – and then want dessert. That is when Susie will trot out the “Fresh, Hot Donuts,” drizzled with hot chocolate sauce and powdered sugar.
Just what the Anesthesiologist ordered!
I think I’ll stick to my usual order – the Tweety Junior, which is more than enough for me. When it shows up at the table I tell Susie, “I thank you, My Doctor thanks you, and my Aorta thanks you. Pass the ketchup.”
It wasn’t the Cowardly Lion who said that and we are certainly not in anyone’s Oz. In fact, it seems that we are stuck in an opposite place – “Bitter Reality Land.”
The strange reality of the last month and more has created a new world. I’m not saying that it is one that I enjoy or even understand completely. It is…different – Different in a number of ways that are unfamiliar in my experience and I feel sure is unfamiliar in our collective experience as a nation. It is all rather upsetting. Stores that I like are closed. Restaurants are reduced to drive through lanes and forget it if you need a haircut. And then there are the masks.
“Who was that Masked Man?”
The doors at my bank are locked and you can enter by appointment only. Inside everyone is wearing a mask, including the person who handles mortgages and the like. That masked man is known as The Loan Arranger.
I know that I am not alone when I say that I do not like wearing a mask. I find them uncomfortable and they make my glasses fog up. The Where and When I am supposed to wear such a mask is revealed daily by a variety of contradictory “experts” who can’t seem to agree on anything. They don’t exactly inspire confidence and confidence is what people need right now. I do…and I’m people too. I can prove it. I watched all of Game of Thrones.
Things have changed while we are living, and in some cases dying, with this virus business. But change is a nonstop thing and, in time – long or short – we will start to rebuild our daily lives. Like any reconstruction project the target of the restoration will be different than what it was before no matter how hard we try to make it an exact copy.
As we restore our personal lives we will make changes big and small intentional and accidental. My question is how do you think your life will be different – post virus? Will it be better or worse? How do you want it to be different? This is something I think that we, each of us, have to start thinking about now! Think about it now when, like it or not, most of us have plenty of idle time on our hands. I know how I’m going to approach this.
How I intend to plan my life, however long or short that may be, is to carry around a small notebook and a pen so I can jot down my own personal thunderbolts of wisdom. I know that I want there to be changes. There will be changes in the things that I do and there will be changes in how I respond to other things as they affect me. There will probably be some big changes, but most will be so small that I will be the only person who will notice them. I’m cool with that. After all, in the larger scheme of the universe, I am nobody else’s business. I have no desire to control anyone else and I certainly don’t want to be someone else’s android.
I R2 D-etermined to allow that to happen.
I’m going to start planning my new Chez Krafty today. I will not be caught in a New Life without have a set of detailed blueprints. This brush with a planetary scare has made me realize that I have spent most of my life just drifting. I have drifted from one career to another, from one hometown to another, from one relationship to another, and from one set of standards to another. But from now on I will be controlling the tides. Many, if not most of the things and people in my life will remain – but there are going to be changes. If there aren’t any changes it would prove that I just haven’t been paying attention – and trust me –
TIME PASSES. TIME ALSO ARRIVES. AND TIME HAS ARRIVED HERE.
This blog has been going since November of 2014 with well over 1500 postings of varying quality and meaning to be sure.
But now I feel that it is time to pull the plug. Today will be the last day for this blog.
I am tired. My mind is tired and my body is not as cooperative as it used to be. I feel unable to sharply observe the world around me and I don’t really have anything left to say.
To those of you who have been with me on this excursion from the early days – I thank you for your mysterious loyalty and the countless comments you have launched in my direction.
So, as I wrap up this chapter of my life, I urge you to love one another.Tell people that you love them. Hug them often. Don’t let them feel lonely.
Thank You and Goodbye.
OK, WE HAVE CHRISTMAS OUT OF THE WAY. The eggnog has been thankfully disposed of until next year. Christmas carols are over until Thanksgiving – except on the Hallmark Channel. New Year’s Day kind of takes care of itself with football, aspirin and drawn shades. I guess our next societal obligation is the making of New Year’s Resolutions. I suggest doing that before going out on New Year’s Eve. Doing it after that carries the danger of it being a product of desperation, shame, and physical pain.
GUESS WHERE I’M AT? NO. NO. NO, NOT THERE EITHER. I AM IN FLORIDA -The Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Area. What am I doing down there when there is a perfectly good winter going on in Indiana without me? Well, for at least a few days, that is the idea.
Ever since our five week visit to Ireland I have been cold – freezing even. I needed to do something or I was afraid that I would not survive to see another Springtime. The cold feeling exhausted me. I was empty Physically, Emotionally, Creatively, and even Socially. I felt like I was an empty shell with freezer burn. I hated feeling like that and I don’t think I was very good company for anybody. I was either silent or snapping at everyone – and that’s just not like me. Going to where it was still warm so I could thaw myself was the solution. So here I am in Florida.
I’M NOT TERRIBLY SURE THAT I HAVE A VIABLE SOLUTION TO THIS PROBLEM. Then again I’m not sure if it is really a problem that needs to be solved or just a condition that must be endured.
I’m cold. I have been cold ever since we landed in Ireland and now that we are heading home soon I don’t see a change in the offing. We are returning to November. November does not hold much promise as a time of warm weather. It’s just not part of its makeup. That looks to be the prognosis until, at the earliest, late March/early April. And I’m putting a rosy glow on that idea.
Right now my backbone feels like it is made of permafrost, tundra, and out of work Snowmen. I have tried standing in front of open fires and all that has done is singe my sweatshirt. My spine remains icy cold.
RIGHT NOW I AM BEING STRANGLED BY A BUNCH OF SNAKES. At least that is how it feels. There are power cords, headphone cords, charging cords, HDMI cords, and they’re coming for me! AIEEEEEEGH!
I’m beginning to feel like Samuel L. Jackson in that movie “Snakes On A Plane,” – which is, by the way, one of the funniest dramatic films ever made. I don’t think they planned it to be that, it just turned out that way.
My current situation is that the high-tech monster needs constant feeding. Everything needs to be plugged in somewhere. They are all on life support. Laptops, Netbooks, tablets, Kindles, Nooks, Cellular phones, and a few things I can’t even identify are reaching out with their snakelike cords to be fed. And what do they all need to be plugged into? A Power Strip which itself needs to be plugged into a wall socket.
Whenever I get up from my chair to cross the room these snakes reach out to trip me. They loop themselves around my ankles hoping that I’ll hit the ground so that they can pull a Burmese Python move on me. I have to be very careful. I tell you – I think that technology is out to get me. I’m almost afraid to go to sleep lest they come for me while I am sawing logs.
When computers began to appear in our offices and homes in the mid – 1980s the prediction was that they would relieve us from many tasks, giving us more free time to take up ballroom dancing or whatever. In the same way that we were all going to have “Paperless Offices”
That didn’t happen either, did it?
The reality is that in most offices the need for copies of any report expands to meet the capacity of printers and copiers to produce them. Offices are buried under an avalanche of paper – 90% of it pointless duplications of out of date information.
But I digress.
What can I do to solve my very personal Samuel L. Jackson situation?
I need to be fed, but so do the array of gizmos. I can understand that part of it. But I don’t need to be attached to my food by some long cord. I can take my food with me and devour it wherever and whenever I wish.
While doing some browsing on a technology website, hoping to find an answer, I saw that there are now “Charging Stations” where you just plop your gizmo onto the Charging Station – no cords – except for the cord coming out of the Charging Station itself. It’s not a complete answer, but it’s a start.
I’m hoping that someday soon all of our electronic thingys can operate while cordless and be rechargeable the same way. If things can progress to that state it will eliminate miles of cords that snarl and tangle their way around our feet. I’ll tell you – that day cannot come soon enough for me because I’m getting tired of all these *#$$@&&ing cords on this *#$$@&&ing floor.
Throwback Thursday From September 2016 – “Do I Have A Roman Nose?”
THEY SAY THAT CAESAR’S IMPERIAL ROME had the best system of water delivery in the Ancient World. There was a series of aqueducts, canals, pipes, and fountains that covered hundreds of miles and kept the city of Rome clean and quenched.
I think they could have learned a thing or two if they’d been able to study my sinuses in the morning.
When I wake up every morning the entire function of my body seems devoted to the movement of fluids. It’s a good thing that I can blow my nose with my left hand clutching a Kleenex while my right hand is assisting me in doing an impression of the Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Is Paris Burning?”) Fire Department.
By the time my initial purge is done I feel five pounds lighter and the Wabash River is three inches closer to Flood Stage. I don’t know where it all comes from. During the night am I transformed into a sponge? Is my body taking moisture from the air like a fern? Am I the “Quicker Picker-Upper?”
If my first geyser activity was it I could just dismiss it all as, perhaps, Tidal Action – like the Bay of Fundy approaching low tide. The trouble is that this can go on for two or three hours where the only thing missing is a fish ladder. I go through a box of tissues like…like…like a box of tissues.
When my nose sends the signal to my brain that, “The dam has broken!” I grab the nearest tissue, handkerchief, or (embarrassingly) pancake and brace myself for the flood.
It ain’t Mrs. Butterworth, I’ll tell you that.
Having to deal with this for a couple of hours can be exhausting. I just got up two hours ago and I already feel the need for a nap. My nose is turning red from all of that tissue business, my skull is feeling like a used piñata, and I’m going to have to go buy some more tissues.
First, it’s one nostril. Then, when that one raises the flag of surrender, the valves open on the other. I didn’t know that noses could do that.
I’m impressed as well as depressed. My sinuses can operate as smooth as the locks on the Panama Canal. I guess that makes my upper lip the north coast of Colombia.
Once I get through this morning ritual the rest of my day can proceed as it will, but until then I can understand how the Egyptian Pharaoh and his Chariots must have felt when he decided to chase Moses and the Israelites into the Red Sea – five minutes too late.
Things could be worse. Despite all of this every morning nonsense when things eventually dry out I still have a nose. I still have sinuses, and my stock in the tissue company continues to go up.
Throwback Thursday – from August 2016 – “O, Canada! Say My Name!”
Down at St. Arbucks the “Usual Suspects” seemed subdued and even quasi-rational. I should have recognized that as an omen of Strange Things to come.
After lunch I accompanied my wife, the lovely and telephonically lethal, Dawn, as she went to buy a new phone. I enjoy being Arm Candy for her. Her first words to the Blue-Shirted guy at Best Buy were, “I murdered my phone.”
The afternoon went from there on a pathway I can only describe as, “This looks familiar, but then again…”
After the phone business we headed to Staples to gorge on 17 cent notebooks and Bic pens. That happens only once a year. It is like a Burmese Python dining on a full grown white-tailed deer. It lasts quite a while before you need to do it again.
I thought that might be the climax of the day, but I was wrong.
We weren’t home more than five minutes when the landline phone began to ring. Nobody ever calls us on that line except wrong numbers and telephone solicitors.
“Hello, John, this is Jade calling from your Canadian pharmacy about refilling your prescription today.”
I was beginning to feel like a hungry Burmese Python and “Jade” sounded like a Doe about to accidentally step on me. I humbly refer you to my blog posting from May 11, 2015 – “Remember, You Called Me.”https://johnkraft.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/remember-you-called-me/
Dawn just shook her head when she heard me say, “Canadian pharmacy – you’re in Canada?” She could read my mind.
I started with, “Jade, Jade, listen to me. I’ve been binge-watching “Breaking Bad” for the last few days and I’m thinking maybe you, being in Canada, might be able to get me some of that Dude’s stuff – some really good Blue Meth.”
“What are you talking about, Mr. Kraft?” All of a sudden it’s no longer the friendly, “John.”
“I’m talking about you being in Canada you don’t have to mess with the Feds. Say my name, Jade! Right? Say my name! I need some really good stuff and you can do it for me.
“Jade, you gotta help me. What’s that, Jade? You hear that? They’re at my door, Jade.”
The confused voice from north of the border tried to interrupt. “What are you talking about? I don’t understand you.”
I’m not stopping for anything even though Dawn is leaving the room.
“Jade, the Feds, they’re at my door. You gotta help me. Jade, hold on a minute. Wait! Here, you talk to them. Jade? Jade? Jade?”
I wonder where she went.
Perhaps my friend, Jade will go to her supervisor in the boiler room and relate her chat with me. Maybe then they will take my name off of their sucker list. If they really are in Canada they don’t give a hoot about any American “no-call lists.” I figure that if, each time they call they get me, and are plugged into the world of some idiot Meth-head who wants to buy illicit drugs from them while the Feds are busting down the door. If this happens often enough they might decide on their own to quietly put an asterisk next to my name with a notation saying. “If you ever call this guy we will set you adrift on an ice floe chained to Howie Mandel.”
And I thought that today was going to be a quiet, rather boring, day.
Thank you, Jade from my friendly Canadian pharmacy. I hope you will recover soon.
“Holy Broom Closet, Batman!”
I wasted a good portion of yesterday with Doctors, Nurses, and Technicians who spent two hours trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube…and I was the toothpaste.
I am not claustrophobic. I’ve been in some pretty tight spots in my life – literally and in a figurative sense so having a CT Scan is no big deal – except that it is a big deal. They don’t shoot people through that gizmo just for fun.
During my last visit to my Doctor’s office, just before taking off for Texas, his minions took about a quart of blood from my “Good” arm for testing and analysis. They never take blood from my “Bad” arm as if it wasn’t connected to the rest of my body. I think it is, but I can’t prove it.
They took my blood and that was it until later in the day when I got a phone call from “Amy Lou” at the Doctor’s Office.
“The results of your blood tests show an abnormality that concerns the Doctor.”
I WAS WATCHING TV THE OTHER DAY when I actually saw something new. It was an ad from the Sherwin-Williams Paint Company. They were singing the praises of a brand new product: Anti-Bacterial Paint.
The commercial showed this stereotypical suburban mommy gleefully painting away. She was certainly better dressed for painting than I had ever seen before. There was no drop cloth either, so I must assume that this new paint was also Anti-Gravity and never dripped.
DANGER! DANGER! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
Break out the Hazmat suits and I hope you’ve already had kids because…well, you know.
But your complexion is lovely.
Some days the world throws me a curveball and all I want to do is crawl back into bed, assume the fetal position, and turn the electric blanket up to nine.
It takes a lot to make my eyes go “Bugaboo!” but yesterday I was stopped in my tracks by the fine folks from UPS. Who would think such a thing was possible?
My wife, the lovely and perpetually nifty, Dawn, buys her cosmetics online (Ever since our local Macy’s Store went belly up). Her cosmetics line of choice is Clinique. Be advised: When they start spelling things in French you can be sure that they are inflating the prices by about 40%.
Throwback Thursday from March 2017 – “Three Little Words”
I KNOW A YOUNG BLOGGER, whose work I really enjoy. Recently she mentioned that she had decided to sign a “DNR” form. For the uninitiated “DNR” stands for “Do Not Resuscitate.” It is an alert to medical personnel that the person who signed the form does not want any measures, like CPR, to be taken to keep them alive if their heart stops beating or they stop breathing. Serious business.
I’ve known a number of people who have signed “DNR” forms. They all had their reasons, but most of them were terminally ill and a “DNR” is a legal document. I do not have a “DNR” form. I also have my reasons.
There are any number of reasons to not sign such a form. One of them is specific to Indiana. Here in the Hoosier State the Abbreviation “DNR” also stands for the “Department of Natural Resources.” Such a redundancy could cause some really confusing situations.
For example – You might wish to sign a “DNR” so that, when the time comes, you could go quietly into that good night. – And accidentally find yourself being sworn in as an Indiana Park Ranger. Or it could go the other direction which could be even more upsetting, depending on your long range plans.
My own personal reason for not signing a “DNR” – the hospital one – is that I’m not knowingly ready to shuffle off my mortal coil. There are things I still want to do, places to visit, and books to read and write. It’s not so much a “Bucket List” like in the movie as it is a shopping list of things I want to pick up and carry with me. And I have no desire to become a Park Ranger. So me signing anything with the initials DNR on it is not likely for any time in the foreseeable future.
I’m not concerned about any sudden reversal of fortune when it comes to my health. Every morning when my eyelids open up like a pair of electric garage doors I say a short prayer. I’m not asking God for anything. It’s just a simple, “Thank You.” That’s all I need to say. He can fill in the unspoken blanks. Just “Thank you.” So I don’t feel the need for anything as final as a “DNR.”
That morning when the young blogger talked about her “DNR” decision we chatted a bit about it all. I told her why I didn’t have one as well. If I had been thinking quicker I would have come up with something witty and ever so clever as a retort. Well, following true to form, I did come up with something. I tried it out on one of The Usual Suspects over coffee.
“A What?” he asked
“A ‘PFGSRMNYOB’ form.”
“What in the world does that mean?”
“Oh, that’s a special form that I designed myself.
“‘PFGSRMNYOB’ – ‘Please, For God’s Sake, Resuscitate Me Now You Overpaid Bastard’.”
Good morning and Thank You again.
Throwback Thursday from Feb. 2016 – Albert Einstein Meets The Bowery Boys
IT SEEMS THAT EVERY DAY THERE IS A NEW INVENTION OR DISCOVERY that changes the world. I recently saw that scientists have discovered proof of “Gravitational Waves” that were mathematically theorized by Albert Einstein decades ago.
While that may rattle the tea cups of the scientific world, it really doesn’t impact our daily lives. Gravitational Waves are something on a Cosmic scale that may, at some date in the future, affect how or where people live. But, so far, it doesn’t alter what I’m having for lunch today.
With a minimum of research on my part I have uncovered one of those seemingly “little things” that are almost universally present, yet are virtually unseen. The Toothpick.
WHAT IS GOING ON? LIFE IS CHALLENGING ENOUGH. I don’t need people, most of whom I don’t know or couldn’t pick out of a police lineup, sticking their surgically modified noses into my world with “Challenges.”
The latest thing I’m having pushed upon me are these “Ten-Day Challenges” to convince me to eat better, exercise so that I too can have six-pack abs, or to transform me into a “World Citizen” – whatever that means.
At least half of the world makes the same resolution every year: Lose Weight. The other half of the world makes a different resolution: Don’t Starve to Death.
I’ve not made that Lose Weight resolution for years, decades even. Not that I don’t need to shed a ton or two, but I don’t need to try to embarrass myself into it. I have enough of that elsewhere in my life. If you’ve ever performed onstage you’ll understand.
I LIVE VERY CLOSE TO MY favorite gym. It is only about a five minute walk from my home, but, of course, I don’t walk there – I drive. It has all the latest equipment and a highly- trained staff that can help design for you a really healthy and vigorous workout program. You can also get top notch diet and nutritional planning advice there as well.
I don’t care about any of that crap.
It’s my favorite gym because it is right next door to a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store. I can just imagine myself doing a really healthy cardio workout in the gym and then zipping next door for some hand-packed peanut butter and chocolate ice cream. I’m never going to do that, but I can imagine it. I’m so glad that the two places are so close. Talk about your city planning! I should send a “Thank You” card to the zoning board. They got something right for a change.
I really do love going to that gym – really, I do. I just stand outside, with my ice cream cone and watch the folks inside sweating and grunting. Every once in a while someone comes outside and joins me. I think they realize that I’m having a better time than they are.
One time some yutz came out from the gym and started to berate me for my dissipated lifestyle. That was his phrase – “dissipated lifestyle.” – And how he was a much better person than me. I licked my cone and nodded, but didn’t say anything. That really fried his Twinkies. He flexed his muscles and got right up in my face and said that when we both get to 50 years of age I’ll probably have already dropped dead and he’ll still be healthy. I told him my guess was that he’d stroke out on his Stairmaster long before reaching 50, and that, anyway, I’m already way past 50 years old and “you can lick my Rocky Road.”
EVERY TIME I HAVE TO FILL OUT A FORM that asks which State I am in I have to fight the temptation to write in “Confusion.” That’s where I seem to be spending most of my time. Yesterday was a perfect example.
According to my calendar I had a Doctor’s appointment at 9:45 AM (Be there 15 minutes early, bring your insurance card and co-pay.) My calendar also said that I was scheduled for a Colonoscopy today at 10:00 AM…and also at 9:15 AM. I seriously doubt that I would or should be getting two Colonoscopies that close together. I think that might cause some terrible butt cheekal distress.