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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Family Update, Social Media On Hold

A lot going on around here, more than I care for. The father and the sister both had cancer surgery, made out really well, but it was still cancer. I'm rehabbing after back surgery, the time I spent down really took it's toll. I had a ruptured disc, did it sitting on the commode, turned for something and felt it go. I need to come up with a better story, like it happened wrestling a group of terrorists trying to abduct a busload of preschoolers? Doing P/T here at home, the gal comes twice a week, can't believe how hard these simple exercises are. The father in law isn't adjusting well to life alone, 62 years of marriage will do that, breaks my heart.

I got off of all the social media like Facebook, hard to sit here and see what others are doing? Envy and such feelings really aren't aren't my style, but I was beginning to struggle with the things I saw my friends were doing, I didn't like it. Going to start blogging here again, working on gathering info for a project I'm interested in, even if it goes no further it will stimulate my brain, so that's a good thing. I will miss it, but it was starting to depress me more than it made me smile.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bioness Not A Fan Of Paperwork, It Was The Bathroom That Killed The Beast

Had a surprise when I ordered my new gel pads for my Bioness L300 foot drop system. The company has apparently been taken over by gangsters, employing strong arm and intimidation techniques to conduct business?  Knuckles, the representative I spoke to, informed me the cost per set was $11, if, if a paid for them outright. If, if I submitted a claim for Medicare and the claim was denied the cost would be $33 a set! Wow, did I just experience a shake down or what? The paperwork must be a real bitch if they are adding over $200 to my order to do it? I have to be fair, they only add the "fee", the "vig", the "juice" to my order because they informed me that Medicare would "most likely" deny my claim, so they really were just trying to save me the anguish of a denial. Bad form Bioness, bad form!

Pain management doctor has me on a long acting dose of Oxycontin, taken twice a day, here's my issue with that. Dose is so low I'm not sure I'm feeling any better? The pain is still there, and so are some new issues, the biggest of which are urinary urgency. My problem is the Oxy was started at the end of my IVIG therapy, not sure which one if either is causing it? Not much on coincidences, even with my new health reality, since I can't take back the IVIG, I've decided to stop the Oxy and see if that changes anything? I'm laughing as I type this, how in the hell did I end up here? My contemporaries are trying to figure out what island to visit next, I get to decide if i want to wear Attends or Depends?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

House Makeover Time, Left Side Entering Limp Noodle Stage

Time to fish or cut bait, isn't that how the saying goes?  The house needs a makeover nearly as badly as I do!  Can't do it all, but I can sit on a chair and do some of it.  I was a good painter once upon a time, big deal the hand and arm I used kind of hangs at my side like a limp noodle, I got another one!  The reason for the fish/bait remark is the left arm is coming on like gangbusters, if I wait too long I'll have to hold the brush in my teeth.  I also have 2 adult children living home, a lot of my sitting will be in a directors chair, time they learn this sort of thing.  Now to add color, tired of white and cream!

Let's talk about the left side of my body for a minute.  I was fortunate to be able to do most things as well or better left handed.  Could hit a ball a mile, shoot a basketball, catch and throw a lacrosse ball, only thing I couldn't do was throw left handed.  I even switched and carried my service weapon left handed the last few years I worked.  Here's my problem, what do I do when the left arm joins the limp noodle team?  I'd be a little more than lying if I said I wasn't just a bit scared, because I am terrified!  By the way, the left leg is doing the same thing, starting to drag, getting that feeling deep inside.  Can't explain it all too well, like a buzzing that goes all the way to the bone?  Buckle up, the ride's about to get bumpy!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Good Bye Miss Dixie, Thanks For Loving Me Like A Son

It's been a tough year for the mother in law, but that all came to an end this week for her, she passed on Tuesday, her pain is over and she is in a better place with the ones that went before her that she loved.  It was a painless passing, as if she just went to sleep.  I was there with the father in law, her one true love for 62 years, he is struggling but knows there was nothing here for her any longer, so he let her go until the meet again.

I was damn lucky to have her for a mother in law, in 30 plus years she was only noticeably mad at me one time, and if you know me you understand how amazing that is!  Back about 20 years ago I found a a secluded piece of property that I fell in love with, took them up to see it.  I noticed she wasn't staying with us, she was off to herself, back turned to me, arms crossed, and I could hear her talking.  When I got close I could hear her, can't believe he is considering bringing my baby up here in the middle of nowhere, no neighbors, think she even threw in the possibility of us being eaten by wolves!  It was a priceless moment, one we relived many times.  It was an honor to be her son in law, and Miss Dixie I will miss you very much until we meet again!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gimme Drugs, and Handicapped Parking Abuse

Went to see the pain management doctor today, he told me I probably wasn't a candidate for the spinal injections anymore.  I said I wanted a second opinion, he said ok, you're ugly too!  But seriously, we are going to try and manage the back pain with oxycontin, party at my house.  Not crazy about drugs as the only option, but he's right, the last few injections only gave me short term relief, sometimes as little as one day.  I guess I should be happy there is something else to try, but at the same time saddened by the fact I'm at the end of my options.

When I got to the hospital today there were no handicapped spots open.  Here in Baltimore everyone and their brother has the hanging blue tags.  I never voice an opinion as to whether someone should have one, not my place, and I don't like it when people question me, but today burned my britches!  Three of the spots had the drivers sitting in the car, reading the paper, sleeping, waiting for their people to come out.  The plum was a young guy waxing his truck!  He must have felt guilty, told me he had brought his grandmother to the doctor, I didn't ask.  Common sense people, please.  You drop someone off at the door, don't take one of the spots, and don't wax your truck, no matter how shady it is.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fundraiser For A Friend, and Very Proud Of The Father In Law

Having a fundraiser for a guy I went to school with, he has pancreatic cancer and is pursuing a less traditional form of treatment.  His sister put together a crab feasf for the winner, two bushels of steamed crabs, five pounds of steamed shrimp, and two cases of beer.  I got in the game late but was able to sell sixty-five tickets to friends and family at $10 a pop, so I'm happy to have been able to pitch in.  Found a useful thing to use Facebook for, now to get invited to the winners house for crabs!

Bitter sweet day tomorrow, the in laws house was sold and settlement is tomorrow for the new owners.  The father in law is having a particularly tough time with the whole thing, not that he will miss the house, but rather that he failed to take care of the mother in law.  We keep trying to tell him what an incredible job he did, but he will have to work that one out in his own mind.  In the mean time she is safe and secure in a very nice facility that takes wonderful care of her.  He is located in an apartment just a stones throw away from her.  The cost for this is a whopping$450,000!  He provided that and has a tiddy sum left over, like I said, he did a great job talking care of her, just wish he saw it that way.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Power Of Positive Thinking, Go O's

What a beautiful day here in Baltimore!  A/C off, windows open, me and the dog are wrestling, life is good.  The boy got off of work early, brought me home a soda, if I knew kids were this useful I'd of had more!  The girl starts back to skating tomorrow,she is elated about that, and can use it.  The guy she was pretty serious about broke up with her and said he needed to concentrate on his children, oh yeah, I have a few children, forgot to mention that!  Still trying to figure out a way to make his life miserable, but for today it's sunshine and lollipops, hope everyone else is enjoying this beautiful day.

What's happening to my Orioles, they are folding like a...what folds easily and at a time you don't want it to?  Whatever it is, that's what they're doing!  Everything seems to be going wrong, from pitching to hitting.  They are still on pace to the least amount of errors in a season, but I'm afraid they are running out of time and games.  Not giving up yet, there's still time, they just have to stop giving away games.  Best part about baseball is it gives me 162 days with something to do!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Depression Rules The Day, Vegetables For Those Who Need Them

Depression is rearing its ugly head right now, can't seem to shake it off.  Combination of not feeling good, circumstances with the mother in law, and feelings of having had wasted my life, nothing too heavy.  I can't do anything about how I feel or the mother in law, but I wish I had done a better job with making my life count towards something.  I feel I was nothing more than a cog in the go to work and pay your bills machine, not accomplishing anything of importance.  I dreamed once of making a difference, looks like that ship has sailed?

My dream was to teach the impoverished how to become more food self sufficient by teaching children how to grow food.  180 or so public schools in my county, if each of them grew a 40 x 40 foot garden just think of how much food that would garnish.  I also wanted to turn vacant lots and unused county property into community gardens.  Think what it would mean to people who their only exposure to vegetables are the onions that come on the double cheeseburger they get on the dollar menu.  Oh well, it was a nice dream to have at one point.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

IVIG Was Disappointing, Bathroom Urgency Worsening

Well I did the IVIG and I'm still here!  Nothing to the therapy, just time consuming.  What are my thoughts you say? Well not sure how to answer that one?  Didn't get sick, really not one of the side effects.  What I got was extremely weak, spent the next week in bed.  The strength came back, or my version of it at least, but that was it.  No benefits that I've been able to discern, but I knew it was a long shot going in.  Imagine how scared I was when I couldn't get out of bed that first week?

The one thing that has held on is urgency with the bathroom.  It's not a continence issue, yet, more a matter of I've lost the luxury of that feeling of, hey, I'm going to need to use the bathroom soon.  I'm doing my own version of the 50 yard dash!  Like any race, you don't always win, hard to come to grips with, but it is what it is.  Needless to say this makes me want to stay close to home, or to be more precise, stay home all together.  Did I mention I'm not digging this reality?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

MS Treatment Redux, Social Media Makes My Head Explode

The medicine for the leg pain I'm taking is called Gabapentin, it's the generic for Neurontin, have to say, so far so good.  Let's face it, the pain is never going to go away, but if this stuff can make it manageable I'm in!  Also have rethought the IVIG therapy.  The neuro called the other day and urged me to do it, said the bad side effects date back to when the blood supply was untested, so I'm going to give it a whirl, can't live forever, right?

Trying to figure out the usefulness of social media, think I may be more suited to reading?  I have a Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest account, but it tends to get on my nerves more than it informs me and makes me think, wow, that was interesting.  It be nice if it was chock full of original content, more pictures of folks and interesting tidbits from their lives, less "shares" of someecards with quippy sayings.  I can only take so many pictures of kittens with "smile" attached to them, or 25 ways to fry an egg!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Neurology Visit A Bust, And A Visit To The Sisters

Had my doctor's appointment yesterday, went about as expected. Nothing you try, with the exception of Tysabri, and I test positive for the antibody that makes that dangerous. They prescribed Neurontin for the pain in my legs, and suggested IVIG, Intravenous immunoglobulin. Not crazy about the side effects associated with the IVIG, anything from hepatitis to Aids. The only good part of the day was I got to ride in a wheelchair that made me feel like the little boy, this thing was huge! I am 6'5", 250 lbs, and as you can see I had room for a date in this chair.


Getting ready to go down to the sisters for a visit, looking forward to it, but it the same time apprehensive. They live on the water and are very active people, and do all the things that I love to do, but no longer enable to. I know they will understand that I'm not able to do it, but that will make it no less hard on me wanting to get out there and play. I hope the wife adheres to our agreement that she will go and partake in the festivities, not making it doubly hard that I feel bad because she misses it too.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Storage Shelves Installed, Going Through The Motions With The Neurologist

The father in law's house went on the market, he's not very happy about it, even less so about leaving his shelves there.  Hey, a guy can be proud of his shelves!  He wanted to know if I wanted them, since I don't turn anything down that's free, and we really needed them to organize the basement, I said yes.  So my almost 90 year old father in law, and my almost 70 year old brother in law took them apart, transported them here, and are reassembling them in our basement while I watch.  Life stings sometimes?

                      


Go to see the neuro on Friday morning, should be a hoot!  They called tonight at 8 pm, missed the call, curious what that was all about?  I'm guessing it was to tell me there was a cure, but I'm not positive?  Probably to tell me there isn't anything they can do for me, try to make me comfortable, and tell me they will be praying for me?  No, wait, that's what they told me last time!  We will see what we see, not overly confident.