On Going to Omaha with a bloody nose

Got up at 4:00 AM this morning. Had another bloody nose and I am still having trouble getting it stopped as I pen this piece. My legs and feet are swollen up again.

I have to leave early to drive the 60 miles between Lincoln and Omaha. I have a judges’ meeting in Omaha that will burn up the morning. After our big meeting, I will also visit with Chief Judge Smith-Camp and Judge Gerrard, my colleague in Lincoln, about getting back into the case assignment wheel on December 1, assuming that bloody noses and leg and feet swelling are not a harbinger of bad things to come when I undergo my late November PET scan.

Photo credit: Thesun.co.uk.  Don't you love the British tabloids?

Photo credit: Thesun.co.uk. Don’t you love the British tabloids?

This afternoon, I will meet with the head drug prosecutor for the district, a senior probation officer and a federal defender to fine tune our handling of sentence reduction matters due to the retroactive amendment to the drug tables. In our little district, we have about 700 of those sentence reduction matters.

I feel foolish as I type this with a long piece of twisted Kleenex sticking out of my left nostril. Just for fun, when I get to Omaha, I think I will tell my colleagues: “Don’t worry, UNMC thinks there’s only a small chance of Ebola.”

I feel better already.


Reverse trigger warning: I don’t have Ebola

Yesterday, I had my last blood test prior to my PET scan scheduled for next Tuesday. I am done with the chemo infusions until we see the results of the scan next week, on Thursday. My blood counts are low, and that is to be expected. There is a small problem, however,

At the most inconvenient of times, like having lunch with the clerks at the Mexican joint across the street, my nose begins to spurt large quantities of blood. I have been taking Xarelto to thin my blood to make sure the blood clots I developed in Sioux City last year don’t come back.  While the bloody nose problem is not new, it has gotten far worse this last month. And now with an Ebola patient at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, most people are not particularly sanguine (pun) about being around a guy who has a tendency to spray blood all over. Hell, I cleared out the Mexican joint when the law clerks and wait staff went running for large paper napkins to staunch the flow and mop up the mess. That made me feel bad so I had a Margarita.

Anyway, I don’t have Ebola (so far as I know). So, if you appear before me at sentencing or the like, remember the world greatest philosopher, Bobby McFerrin. Don’t worry, be happy.



Classin’ up the joint

Joan and I went to the Article III Judges dinner last night to kick off the Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference in Omaha. We privately laughed at ourselves and remembered 1992 when we attended our first such dinner after I had become an Article III judge. At that dinner we giggled about the old age of the judges and their spouses. I was 45, and that was then.

But this is now. I had a chemo infusion yesterday morning. Lucky me, that induced a bloody nose last evening sitting next to the genteel, funny and brilliant Judge Susan Weber Wright from Little Rock. She pretended not to notice as I skulked away from the table and returned with Kleenex up my nose.

The following photo depicts what I found when I got home, and looked in the mirror. I added Joan’s comments for context. You want legal realism, you got legal realism.

No, that tissue sticking out of your nose, that you thought was crammed high enough to miss, is nothing to be embarrassed about. It makes you look distinguished.

Joan to Rich: “No, that tissue sticking out of your nose is nothing to be embarrassed about. It made you look distinguished. Old coot!


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