Saturday Posts . . .

Today I will give you both an update and a “profound thought”.  Update first.

One of the volunteer trees we transplanted from my wife’s garden 2 years ago has died.  It grew to a respectable 8 feet tall (perhaps 10 feet) before the onset of winter 2019, but so far this spring it has shown no sign of continued life.

For some reason, this caused me to get introspective on the nature of life, death, and the “circle of life” – which my introspection led me to remembering a movie my wife and I have seen a few times.  It is called “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth”.   It is quite possibly the finest science-fiction story ever written.  If you haven’t seen it, I strongly urge you to rent it.  If you have access to the online streaming service TUBI you can watch it for free right now.  We did, just last night.

I won’t give you any spoilers, but the “profound thought” for today comes from that movie.  It is a statement made by the fictional character called (in the movie) John Oldman, and is a telling analysis that equally applies to any organized religion.

“Piety is not what the lessons bring to people, it is the mistake they bring to the lessons.”

Terrified . . .

terrified . . . . That is not a word I use lightly.  But, last night I was up until about 1:30 am doing our laundry, and after completing the laundry I tried to go to sleep.  After about 45 minutes of tossing and turning in bed, I experienced something that left me truly terrified.

It began with a trembling sensation in my right leg, which spread to my left leg, and eventually through my whole body.  I was trying to sleep under 3 blankets, but felt as though I was shaking like someone freezing to death, although I did not actually feel cold in any sense of the word. The entire event lasted about 10 minutes before I surrendered to staying awake, and I have been afraid of trying to sleep ever since.  The shivering was so intense I can only compare it to how a leaf might feel while trying to cling to a tree during a hurricane.

In the nearly 12 hours since, I have consumed nearly a liter of Jack Daniels (black label) whiskey, and still do not feel comfortable trying again to get any sleep.  I am not sure what is wrong, but there is something seriously messed up in my body.

If someone who actually is familiar with such trouble can point me in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.  I’m freaking out.

Going . . . going . . . gone!

I think I’ve written a few times about the challenges we’ve had keeping our 1998 Mitsubishi Diamante’ running while saving up to replace it.  We finally managed to get a newer car about 2 weeks ago, but the dealership we bought it from didn’t want the old car as a trade in.  Something about it being over 20 years old, and discontinued by the manufacturer made it unlikely they would be able to re-sell it.

There was one obvious solution to having it clog up our driveway – a salvage yard.  When we first moved to this town, there was a salvage yard about 2 miles from our house.  However, the city counsel decided that having the town look pretty was more important than having a salvage yard that could easily dispose of such problems.  They forced the business to close down, and now the closest salvage we could find is over an hour drive away.  Still, they were willing to come get the car, as long as we understood that they couldn’t afford to BUY it due to the long drive.

We agreed.  Then the weather started causing trouble.  Due to the long drive, the yard wouldn’t send out the driver in bad weather, and it’s been sleeting/snowing/freezing every other day since we got the new car.

Well, we got a little bit of a break today, warm enough to just be normal rain, and they drove over.

The old car is GONE!

Saturday Posts . . . and update

Update:  We managed to figure out a way to keep our internet connection at home, but at a drastic loss of connection speed.  No more online gaming, streaming video or Skype phone calls for a while.

But, as I said – we do know that Cox is getting competition in this area finally.  Even better, the competition is Craw-Kan – a customer-owned Co-Op that my dad has been part of for over 20 years.  He gets his electric, cable TV, broadband internet,  AND his house and cell telephone through them, and because he’s an owner, he gets a DIVIDEND CHECK back from them every year.  Oh, yes – we’ve already contacted them and asked to be informed the minute they are able to connect to our address.

My apologies . . .

My wife has pointed out that not only did I miss making a post last Saturday, but that it has been a while since I’ve posted anything other than Saturday posts.  Here is why.

I’m still holding on – waiting for the chance to place the order for the last device I’m willing to try to change the conditions living in this body is forcing me to cope with.  My wife said that we should be able to order it by the end of June – and that means before the end of this month now that the calendar says it is June.  I’ve been bouncing from one storm to the next, and one migraine headache to the next.  Sometimes they overlap, sometimes the migraine fills the gaps between the storms, but it is indeed rare that I don’t have to put up with how my body deals with either.  Sadly – I vaguely remember writing a similar statement during the spring a year ago.  Or was it 2 years ago.  Oh well – the heavy storm cycle won’t last forever, and I’m still hopeful that the migraines can be altered as well.

My sleep, when I get it, doesn’t leave me feeling rested or rejuvenated.  I walk about with a mental fog so thick that even things I know need doing get forgotten.  I have a “brilliant idea” for a blog – and by the time I get to my computer I either forget the idea or how I was going to make the point.  It happens to other things as well – I once boiled a pot of coffee almost dry by forgetting to reduce the burner temperature after it started perking.

Anyhow, before I get up from the computer, I’ll be selecting the post for tomorrow, and getting it scheduled to post.

More on Imitrex . . .

Friday’s post made a pretty radical statement about Imitrex, so I thought I should put it in context by posting the entire relevant section of the e-newsletter Dr. Sears sent out last week (my wife read her copy on Thursday, I think).  So, here it is:

“I treat a lot of different kinds of chronic pain at my clinic. The patients most desperate for relief are the migraine sufferers.

If you get migraines, you know they can knock you out for days at a time.

The World Health Organization says migraines are to blame for more lost years of healthy life than multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, ovarian cancer and tuberculosis combined.1

But mainstream medicine knows very little about the cause of migraines or how to treat them. Most doctors prescribe Imitrex. That’s a drug to help relieve headaches, pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.

But Imitrex can actually cause headaches. They’re called rebound headaches.

And it has other terrible side effects like slurred speech… diarrhea… hallucinations… twitching muscles… vision changes…

And over-the-counter remedies are no better. Aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen can make the pain worse. They can cause an “analgesic rebound effect.” This means your headache can come back when you stop taking them.

And we’re learning more every day about just how dangerous these drugs really are…

In fact, a study published earlier this month in the journal BMJ found that your risk of having a heart attack increased as much as 50% after taking ibuprofen

Regardless of dose or length of time you take it…

Sometimes, nutrient deficiencies — like a magnesium deficiency — can be behind migraines. But for some patients, making sure they get enough of the right nutrients isn’t enough to stop the pain. Still, that doesn’t mean I resort to Big Pharma’s meds…”

So, there you have it.  It is a vicious cycle for me – because it all started with pain management following the treatment of a bone tumor.  The pain meds continued over a period of  around 15 years almost daily, before I even got an inkling of an idea that this might not be smart.  Shortly after that, I had my first migraine – which I later learned was likely CAUSED by the long-term use of the pain meds.  So, I start using Excedrine for the migraines, and my joints started to decline more rapidly – so I try to medicate them (by this point I was using non-prescription liquid pain relief as much as possible) and the migraines got worse.  Eventually I got word that Imitrex would help, so I asked the VA for that and got it.

In the last 6 years I started using reading glasses – and about a month ago I asked my wife to get a new pair with stronger correction.  And here is something I didn’t even think to connect to the whole cycle – I get random muscle twitches pretty much everywhere, but especially in my eye lids and legs.

So, to answer a question asked about Friday’s posts – no, this is not sustainable.  Not really.  But, I still have little choice but to bear with it until we get the cefaly device to see how well it helps me. If we get it ordered by the end of June, I’m thinking I should know how well it does or doesn’t do the job by mid September.

I’m hopeful, but I am also realistic enough to admit that it may fail to help – if it does, I’m not chasing any more rainbows.  I’ve seen people bankrupt their families trying to buy a few more days.  I will not do that.  However long I have remaining – and let’s be realistic, no matter how bad my quality of life gets, it could still last another 40 years – I will accept and use to be the best partner for my wife that I can be with what I have to work with.

Saturday Posts . . .

Sorry, I didn’t get one posted in advance.  We had strong storms nearly all of the last week, and when the storms finally quit, yesterday, I tried to get some sleep.  Woke up with another migraine, and still have not received the refill of Imitrex from the VA Hospital.

So, I’m sitting in a dark room, with sunglasses on, nursing a gingerale for an upset stomach.

Health update . . .

You want to know something?  If it weren’t for the migraines and arthritis, I’d probably live forever with this body.

That’s only partially a joke.

Today I had my annual physical at the VA health clinic I’ve been going to for nearly 10 years.  They drew a fasting blood lab first, and then I went to see my primary care doctor.  He got the results of the blood work while we were talking.

EVERYTHING – Yes, everything, was within “normal limits” except for my cholesterol numbers, which have been elevated since the first time I was ever tested.

When the team nurse tested my blood pressure, she had to do it twice.  The first time it was 128/94 – which I would have accepted.  But, she said she got distracted talking to another nurse, and she and I had discussed the logistics of the VA moving the clinic to another town (which is supposed to happen late next year), so she wanted to do it again.  The second test was 120/87.

Keep in mind – I’m now 54 years old, and take no medication for blood pressure control.

But, when I saw the doctor, he didn’t like the numbers because he said the second one was too high.  So, he tested it himself.

And the numbers HE got were 110/80.

For the first time since he met me, he didn’t even bother asking me to take medicine for my cholesterol.  When he pulled up the blood test results, he did say that it was still high, but when my wife asked him how it compared with last year he acknowledged that the LDL was down 50 points from last year.  So he just told me to keep doing what I’ve been doing, and dropped it.

Be Careful . . .

My wife grew up in Missouri, and still has many relatives in the state. Earlier this week, we had a high temp here of 70F degrees, and one of my wife’s cousins that is still in Missouri posted the following on her Facebook page:

Sixty degrees in January is an absolute guarantee of an approaching apocalyptic winter storm.

Here on Thursday, just two days later, we had a high temp predicted of 39F degrees, an overnight low of 24F, and a 50% chance of precipitation. Followed on Friday the high temp was supposed to be about 35F with 90% chance of precipitation, and Friday night the prediction was 20F with an 80% chance of precipitation.

All of those percentages were accurate at 1100 hrs (11:00 am) CST on Thursday – as reported by Weather.com. As I’m posting it, we’re now at Saturday morning, and it’s pretty much all come to pass, with the freezing rain/ice expected to continue through Sunday. Monday it’s supposed to climb back up to around 60F degrees – and drop to near freezing again Monday night after raining all day.

Guess who’s getting well acquainted with Jose’ right now?

Election aftermath . . .

Well, US Election 2016 is over.

As you probably remember, my wife is a librarian who works in a university library.  The vast majority of university faculty in the US are, it would seem, liberals.  So, when my wife got up to prepare for work this morning, I pulled her leg just a bit.

Specifically, I asked her if the library has any procedures in place to deal with any of her co-workers spontaneously combusting.  She wanted to know what I meant, and choosing my words very carefully, I said, “President-Elect Trump is going to have a much better day today than most of your colleagues.”

It took a few seconds for that to sink in – but in her defense she had just awakened.

I hope you have a great day today, whatever outcome you hoped for yesterday.