Friday, September 28, 2018

TGIF

Too much to process.

I had my computer hacked a week ago but I was lucky.  I shut it down and called my sis, who has access to a brilliant young computer nerd who came and worked magic.  Found their entry point, set up security protocols and did it all in under 2 hours.  Everything is up and running even better than before.

It did make me wonder, though, if using a computer and the internet for all my business (banking, bill paying, legal, etc) was such a risky business that I just shouldn't do it.  But I'm not ready to return to the 20th century on this.  We're all in it, and if systems go down, we are all entirely out of luck.  That's the risk and reward aspect of our modern technological life.

And the hearings?  Well, seems as if everything that could be said has been said, and I'm too emotionally exhausted to rehash it all on this blog.  Let me just say that I am SO glad the Democrats walked out of the subcommittee meeting today.  And so glad they held a press conference.  It seems to have influenced the POS POTUS to finally, finally, ask for an FBI investigation of Blasey-Ford's allegations.  Don't know all the details yet, but I'm sure the PBS News Hour will clear it up for me.

But gosh.  How exhausting is this?  Every woman I know personally is reeling. 

Hoping for a Blue and Pink wave in November.

Still working out heart and head health issues.  The hunt continues for the culprit.  I'm physically exhausted from both.  I spent 3 hours in an MRI tube yesterday having my heart looked at.  I'm comfortable enough in the tube, but this particular test involved holding the breath frequently while the pictures were being made.

Chaos within and without these days.

At the Big House tonight, we're having an Oktoberfest dinner extravaganza.  Not particularly a fan of all that bratwurst and German fare, but it's free food.  Well, not really free.  We pay for it.  But if it means not cooking, I'm in.

Waiting for true autumnal weather. Not here yet.  I looked out the window hopefully today as it looked windy and cloudy and I thought - perhaps - we might experience a little wet miracle.  Alas, no.

Hope you are finding your way through this mess and making a little nest of comfort somewhere, somehow.


Victoria, BC, Canada 2016

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday Musings

Funny how fast things can change, especially when it comes to our bodies.  Case in point -- 10 days ago I developed a funny tingling feeling on the left side of my face and head.  Tingling progressed to burning which prompted me to go to the doctor on the third day.

10 days later I am still in pain, though greatly reduced for much of the time.  I have a diagnosis of shingles, but I have no lesions.  I've been substantially knocked out by the pain medication as well as the anti-viral meds.  I've been spending a lot of time being horizontal and in a hazy half-sleep.  Last night I went upstairs for dinner, the second night in the last 10 days.  Our dinner guests had a health surpise of their own: during the first few days of their much antipated vacation, she fell while getting out of the shower and is now in a wheelchair.  Her leg is profoundly swollen and she's in a lot of pain.  We spent our dinner largely discussing the vissitudes of life and the shortcomings of the medical industrial complex.  She is an MD who specialized in immunology.  She, at one point, ran the immunology programs for the city of Philadelphia.  She recommended I ask my doctor to run a blood test called IGM, to determine whether my problem is indeed shingles.  It's a two part test, the second draw two weeks later to see any changes from the first test outcome.  So I emailed my doc this morning.

We also discussed the more recent shingles vaccine, which is a two dose vaccine recommended, especially for seniors, and is believed to be more effective than the first vaccine produced.  The vaccine does not guarantee no more outbreaks, but usually can greatly reduce the effects endured by an outbreak.  Other friends who have been trying to get this vaccine say their efforts have been thwarted by either a lack of the vaccine, or availability when they happen to inquire about it.  There can also be a problem with some insurance companies covering the cost.  Well, dammit all, I'd pay for it out of pocket if that happens.  This virus is nothing to mess around with.  Weeks of pain or $200?  I'll take the $200 hit, thank you very much. (Just looked up the vaccine and Safeway is advertising that their pharmacies have it.)  In any case, considering getting this vaccine.  It could save you a lot of pain and anguish.

Our rose garden
Finally, to put my pain into perspective, we got word that a friend of ours had a stroke and is in the
hospital.  Vicissitudes, my friends. 

Let's be thankful for this hour, this morning, this day; a neighbor brought some honey cake she'd just made for Rosh Hashanha.  Delicious.  And it's been a refreshingly beautiful day today, perfect for taking the dogs out, and smelling the roses.  Moderate temperatures and soft breezes.  Can't you just feel autumn coming?

L'Shana Tova to all my Jewish friends who are celebrating this week.

Be happy for your health, your body, your mind.  We are not in our twenties anymore, but we may still enjoy our version of good health!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Musings - Be Still My Heart

One more doctor appointment with a new cardiologist is under my belt.  This one specializes in electrical systems of the heart.   She conducted yet another EKG, and read results of all the tests I've had thus far.  A new piece of information: the electrical impulses (wayward ones) are not only coming from the left lower ventricle, but also the upper right atrium. 

I like her: very knowledgeable, to the point, thorough.  We proceed this way:  going onto blood 'thinner' at a very low dose (not the standard beta blocker because that's not good for people with asthma), wait two weeks and do another 24 hour heart monitor to see if electrical activity is calmed down.  Then, an MRI of the heart to see if there are underlying conditions which might be causing the PVCs and PACs.

If medication doesn't do it, and if there are no underlying conditions, then we move onto the ablation procedure, wherein they insert a catheter into the heart, map the electrical impulses and use radio waves to blast the tissue in order to block the impulses (can't get around the resulting scar tissue).

As it turns out, says doc, asthma inhalers with albuterol in them can bring on these conditions.  Well, I've used albuterol for 40  years.  Have to.  No way around it.  So, if I can, she wants me to cut back on the use of it.  Hmmm.  Tricky one.  For an asthmatic.

On top of all of this, dear reader, I've had a weird hot tingly feeling on my head (left side) behind the ear and left cheek and jowl for 3 days.  I have an appointment with my GP this afternoon.  Sometimes it's mildly irritating, sometime excruciatingly painful.  Last night I was using an ice pack to help and it did, until I removed it.  Maybe an ice pick would have been more effective.  Eerily reminiscent of severe headaches that I got many  years ago, 2 summers in a row.  Each one lasted 11 days and sent me scrambling to medical professionals for relief, for which there was none.  Shit.  No diagnosis.  Headaches originating unilaterally in the eye.  The second one, a year later, started in the other eye.

For the last 4 years I have been free of ailments, mostly.  It's been a wonderful period of good health.

Until now.

I'd like something to put me to sleep for a week or so.  This sucks.  I'm exhausted from being an interesting patient.

That is all.

I hope your Monday is going better than mine!

P.S., Tuesday:  probable shingles doctor says.  Ordering an MRI of head and neck to rule out other things.  Gave me 3 kinds of drugs to help me through.  Drugs are helping the pain (Norco - opioid) but wear off long before my next scheduled dose.  I slept really well last night (thanks, Norco!) and woke up pain free.  For about 30 minutes.  Then it returned.  Sigh.  It's going to be a long couple of weeks.


Surly Bonds

My dad slipped the surly bonds of earth on January 13.  He'd had a massive stroke on the ninth and doctors were clear he was not going t...