67

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Morning of the 67th.  I was half expecting to be in Elgin today to celebrate, but that fell through.  And I appreciate being home and the chance to be lazy.  The last of the smoked boudin is being thawed.  (Discontinued production.)

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The clutch on the truck is fixed, and it feels more like a racing machine now.  It was over $200 more than I expected, but that is mostly due to the heavy duty parts being more expensive.  Still…  But it rolls well.  I just need to gain the habit of using the hair trigger.

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Package from Amazon due today.  Silicon ice cube trays, meat tenderizer.  I got some sirloin on sale to test the tenderizer.  Second alpaca sweater due on Wednesday.  It was the second to last one available.  I was waiting on a better selection of colors with a restocking, but that failed to materialize, so I grabbed just before they were history.

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Tomorrow, I make contact with the first dentist on my list.  But today, I laze.

Schnee

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Ugh, it’s snowing.  (Truck will be ready to pick up tomorrow morning.)

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Clutch

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Clutch started slipping on the pickup, so it’s staying parked, while I sit out the weekend at home.  Rained today, with more on the way, so just as well.  Truck goes in the shop tomorrow.  Better here than sitting idle at the shop for the weekend.

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Got started on Vince’s site overhaul, though only lightly thus far.  But I did get the footer graphic made, Vince’s V² by Vince Pawless.  It will lend itself to the text links and credits well.

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Well stocked for the week, with rain and cold weather in the forecast.  Starting to make a dent in the freezer.

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All in all, I’m doing well.  Digestion still an issue, but not debilitating.  Otherwise I have energy, focus, and inspiration, so I can’t complain.

Party, Aftermath, and Beyond

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Well, the party was a lot of fun.  Hudathunket?  As with any major party, it was a lot of good music, a lot of good food, a lot of smiles, a lot of fond memories.  One long exhausted state back home.

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I’ll probably remember the Sunday morning ladies’ choir the most, though there was a whole lot more to be remembered.  It was a good one.

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Slept 12 of the first 14 hours back home.  Slowly made my way back.  Nothing atypical, except maybe how sore my abs were (and not from the surgery, but as in line with the rest of my body complaining).

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Chicken/shrimp/andouille jambalaya for Thanksgiving.  I didn’t need any more turkey after last weekend.  (But I would have cooked one if I had the freezer space available.)

TRD jr

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Waiting for the sun to rise to start packing in earnest.  There’s not a lot to pack.  Cooking utensils and cutlery, clothing, bedding, musical, food and ice, meds & first aid, and misc.

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Tonight will be my main musical sessions, while it’s still warm.  Looking forward to it.  I’ve been saving my fingers all week, and they have had three good sessions recently to toughen the pads.  So I should be good for several hours.

Final day of rest

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Today is the final day for gathering steam.  Tomorrow, I head to Webberville to release the serving table for the party from storage.  Then Friday I depart for the party in the afternoon.  Packing and loading will fill the 24 hours between jaunts.

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I have pretty much decided on ribs, pork loin, and cheesecake as my contributions.  I don’t think the caramel corn will arrive in time.

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Weather looks good for Friday, but the norther will come rolling through on Saturday with some stout winds and dropping lows.  I don’t think I’ll last until Monday, as Sunday night looks to be quite chilly.  At least the chance of rain is minimal.  I will pack warm.  I plan on wearing my fingers down to the bone playing music on Friday night while it’s still warm.

Get Stupid

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Tomorrow I should get my restrictions lifted at my 2 pm appoint with my surgeon.  Then I can be stupid again.  17 hours to stupid.

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Finally got squared with the kitchen, preventing any spoilage.  I have a few recipes to make this week, chicken/broccoli/rice being the next.  I am thinking about an upright mini-freezer (5 cu ft), if I can figure out where to plug it in.  I want a turkey and spiral cut ham!

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Weather has warmed, enough to ignore the central heat.  Aaaaaahhhh.

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Gearing up mentally for the party next weekend.

Cookin’

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Made the cream of baked potato and broccoli soup w/ bacon, onion, roasted garlic, lightly spiced, and topped with mild cheddar (chives and sour cream optional).  Also cooked the pork loin and rearranged the freezer to be able to hold it.  Made some pork loin fried rice with the portion I kept in the fridge.

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Broke down and got a flat of chicken leg quarters.  It wasn’t as cheap per pound as a 10 lb bag, but this might fit in the freezer, where as the bag definitely wouldn’t.  Maybe I can make space in the freezer for the Christmas turkey and ham sales.  But hey, I have recipe chicken now.

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Feeling better over all.  The clonidine still makes me drowsy about an hour after I take it, and I’m still napping when I’m not out doing things.  I still need to work on my stamina and metabolism, but I am capable, especially when I’m out and about.  It’s mostly sitting around the house that I am prone to sleepiness and idleness.  But I am still limited on what I can do while on an active streak.  It will take time to get back to full steam, but not being limited in what I am allowed to lift and do will help.  I feel a pang every now and then, but it doesn’t last, and it’s barely noticeable.

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2.5 days to stupid.

Coming out of the coma

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Starting to be able to stay awake again.  I will be in the kitchen today.  First is cream of broccoli and baked potato soup (roasted garlic version).  Right now is the temperature peak (84°F), and it goes downhill this afternoon, so the soup will be ideal for the cooling weather.  And the pork loin in the oven will warm the kitchen tomorrow.  I have either two small portions or one large portion of spaghetti left.  That vanishes today.  And chili cheese dogs will be in there somewhere down the line.  Jambalaya (shrimp and chicken) too.

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I definitely need to start eating stuff in the freezer.  Ribs, sausage, shrimp, etc.  It is a battle to make room for new stuff.  I need to make it easier to add spiral cut ham, turkey, and chicken for recipe stock.  I will be taking racks of ribs to cook at TRD jr.  That will help some.

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Been doing some light work for Sarah on Vince’s site, in regard to the coming release of the OJO CD.  All the work has been in BBEdit, so it’s been wracking the brain cells about what basic HTML code still works in today’s CSS oriented browsers.

pant pant

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It was a one day excursion, 24 hours, Brenham, West Point, Manor, Elgin, Brenham.  Party site, Nani Wahine/Sister Jane @ Good Luck Grill, jam and overnight.  All in all, a wonderful time, lots of friends, lots of smiles, lots of music, lots of food, a delightful outing.  Perfect therapy for putting October behind me.

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It also showed me the limits of my stamina.  I’ll be sleeping for the next day or two.  But a easy price to pay for such a wonderful day.

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7 days to stupid.

Topical

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It warmed up this afternoon, so…  I took a long warm soak in the tub and shed the last of the scabs, which were mostly tiny things covering the staple punctures.  They were all ready to depart with a soak and a light fingernail massage.  I also got the last of the residual adhesive from the tape that resisted removal until now.  So my stomach is finally smooth to the touch again.

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Topical treatment has begun, a mix of pressed coconut oil and Mederma.  It will be considerably easier with the southerly breeze and warmer temps.  Not so many clothing layers to shed and anoint in the treatment.

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Still have a mild case of the runs.  Not sure at this point what is keeping my digestive tract in such chronic imbalance.  It is limiting travel.  It’s no longer cramping, but that just shortens the forewarning practically to the immediate period of emergency.  It is tapering off, and I’m trying to keep food in there.  I have fallen behind in my cooking schedule, but at least I’m chopping down the excess in the fridge.  Nothing has spoiled yet.

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My abs continue to feel whole without pangs or pains.  The navel is still not 100% as far as circulation yet, but it’s not noticeable unless I focus on it.  I’m still tired and fairly sedentary, at least by SOP levels.  I’m up and moving around according to need, running errands as needed, pretty much a minimal normal routine, for the most part being myself again.  Part of the sedentary is thanks to the 0.6 mg a day of clonidine.

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Tomorrow is Halloween, and we have 50 > 90% chance of rain tomorrow night.  I don’t think there will be much Trick or Treat.  That means a big All Saints’ Day candy sale Wednesday morning.  Not that I need any.  The candy drawer is already full.

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Hoping to make Music School Wednesday (which is payday).

Bumps

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Ate some bread that was in the process of molding but hadn’t bloomed yet, and that was two days plus of needless woe added to what I’ve experienced already.

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The good news is that I’m cooking again.  I made a batch of breakfast tacos and some sausage gravy.  Spaghetti is next.  They’re not monumental recipes, but they are good for filling an empty digestive tract quickly.  No shortage of food in the fridge, and I won’t even get started on the freezer.  But being able to cook full meals is an ability I cherish having again.

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The healing is finally solidifying, the pangs rare, the motile and mobile abilities improving.  The butterflies are off the closure, and now it’s time to start on the dermal treatments.  I am finally approaching normalcy.  This is not to say perky or exuberant, and I still have a ways to go before I’m trouble again, but those will come in due time.  Normalcy looks and feels very good now.

Three weeks

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Three weeks ago, the scalpel began its incision.  That means that I’m half-way through the six weeks limitations.  At times I feel great.  At times I’m sore in particular spots.  At times I want to sleep all day.  Right now, I’m dealing with a painful case of gas.

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I’m tired of the downsides.  My navel is the difficult part, as it is the most stressed part and the longest to heal because of the complexity of the incisions, repairs, and the mesh.  I read tonight that Alfred Hitchcock had his navel removed during a surgery.  In a way, I envy him.

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I can get around well.  I can drive, shop, do most things that don’t involve lifting things more than 10 pounds.  It’s just that I’m very weary of the parts that keep cropping up that involve pain and discomfort.  I deal with them without a lot of complaining, but at heart, I am beaten down and need recharging.

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Then again, it’s only been three weeks.

Sensation misinterpretations

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The mesh is making for some unusual sensations around the abs.  It prevents fine pressure sensations along the abs, turning them more into an area sensation.  The skin is also a little numb in that area from post-surgical trauma, which is not uncommon for a while afterwards.  So tactile sensations to the abdomen are not what they used to be.

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Case in point of the dream I had this morning.  Myka has taken to sitting on my abs to be pet, which is not a problem at this stage, but when she decides to leave, she uses my abs as her launching board, since they are fairly stiff and firmer than elsewhere on my stomach region.  And that is a problem.  The force needed to launch an 11 pound cat airborne, focused on two paw sized circles, is intense.

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To prevent a surprise feline launch while I slept, I covered my abs with my hands.  The dream started with a group of people including myself coming into a country house I owned, much like the house in Montgomery, TX, late at night after a drive of some length.  We spread bedding out on the floor around the various rooms of the house.  I ended up being next to a lady who proceeded to move next to me.  A few provocative moves later, she was pressed next to me in a nude embrace.  The warm hands on my abs felt exactly like my hands on her lower back as I woke from the dream.  That drove home the realization that the mesh is going to be a lot stiffer than I anticipated.

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I have to face the fact that the mesh is going to change the nature of my abs.  It’s not going to feel the same, the soft pressable belly is gone.  The abs are not going to give in a dent that moves intestines.  It’s going to be a washboard that feels more like my back than my stomach.  (Beast with two backs?  Nah!)  But heck, as strange as it might be, at least I won’t be extruding.  It’s a solid belly again.  And I mean solid!

Me again

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I am feeling back to my old self.  Things are much better, almost at pre-surgery levels.  I can bend over and touch the floor without pain.  I can sing and play music at practice levels.  I’m staying awake longer.  My diet is back to normal grazing.  Things are really looking up.

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This is not to say that there isn’t more healing to do and stamina to regain.  But things are falling back into place as a whole.  Shopping is shopping again.  My interests are coming back.

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I’m me again.  And it feels good.

Rage dream

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Had a rage dream this morning, my body expressing its rejection of the two weeks of pain and discomfort and loss of ability that I endured after surgery.  Intellectually, I have managed to stay on top of it all, even though I have grumped about it from time to time.  I planned for it well in advance of the event, worked hard to have everything ready for the recovery.  I managed to be pleasant to the hospital staff and friends.  But down in the primal core, the circuits were screaming, and I haven’t really given them an out.

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So the result was a dream.  I was racing in a long distance speed scooter event, going through an ultramodern complex parking lot near the end of the race.  I had the lead in the race.  The race track suddenly had people waking all over the track, it was poorly defined, and I lost my way.  My legs were knotting in multiple charley horses, I was short of breath, I was nauseous, pretty much everything I experienced in the hospital in the first few days, except in different locations on the body.

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I ended up inside these ultramodern buildings and I began to take out my frustrations slinging the scooter around, breaking lamps and decorative accessories, nothing major or fixed.  It was an expression of physical rage, anger at the race managers for their incompetence for costing me the race win.  Finally someone from the race caught up with me, and I became rather verbal, laying blame and liability on them for the results of the rage.  I ended up walking away from the race, getting a ride from an undefined friend when I woke up.

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I just hope that my primal body got it all out of its system in that roaring fit of anger.  The rest of me is ready to move on.

Sleeping it away

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A little better today after a long sleep.  At this point, sleep seems to be the cure.  The loose fluids are absorbed best during sleep, the digestive tract settles and shrinks best, and the healing proceeds more quickly without motion and stresses.  So, the 11 hours I logged in last night seemed to have helped considerably.

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Still not 100%, but the discomfort that has been nagging for the better part of two weeks has let off to a bearable level.  Now I need to regain my stamina.

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The last two weeks were an epic ordeal of pain and discomfort.  One hundred forty pain level 10 abdominal spasms left me with a new definition of endurance.  Right now my tolerance to pain is incredibly high.  I had 32 staples removed without a local or oral painkiller without a single flinch.

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I can sympathize with the new outlook for opioid addiction, but the new rules for painkillers in post-surgical recovery have gotten far too conservative.  Hydrocodone is not a replacement for morphine for intense post-surgical pain.  The definition of breakthrough pain needs closer scrutiny.

Frankenbelly to Butterflies

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Staples came out today, one pinch at a time X 32.  They were replaced with butterfly tabs.  Hence the title…

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No more doctor appointments for four weeks.  *sigh*

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Time to sit around and watch time go by for a while.  There are projects waiting for me to be able to sit up for extended periods, so it shouldn’t be boring too much longer.  I have to admit getting a little kick from all the lucid dreaming I’ve been doing the last two weeks, but enough is enough.  I don’t mind a digital screen in my face if I can work it.  As much fun as they may be, blank walls have their limitations.

Tube be gone

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Got the drainage tube removed yesterday.  I am continuing to make progress in my recovery.  At times, I am doing well, at times I need to be horizontal, but the ratio is moving toward the former.  My biggest issue right now is staying asleep for more than 2 hours at a time.  I find it difficult to get back to sleep, primarily because of heat retention.  I need to get up and release heat, which wakes me up.  This is largely due to body temp, which has yet to return to normal cycles because of the healing process.

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Still not entirely comfortable, but I am doing better.  Stamina erect is still missing, but I’m sure that kicking up the diet will help.  I am heading to the store in half an hour to grab some things, some of which are replacing things that I got before surgery and have spoiled.  I figure getting there at opening should be the best time to avoid the rush and get a good parking spot.

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Looking forward to washing my hair today.

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Flushed the (hopefully) last of the hospital medical byproducts from my system, and it makes a big difference.  Had a decent sleep through the morning as the temperature dropped into the upper 60’s.

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A/C s off, office is open, Myka in the LZB.  A little breakfast at noon.  I hope to accelerate the diet a bit.  I feel more like cooking.  Thinking chicken and shrimp jambalaya for dinner.  Chicken pot pie for late lunch.

die Ecke umdrehen…

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Turned the corner last night.  I’m back to being my old self, with an issue to endure properly, rather than just a response to the issue.  It felt really good to feel the flow of energy and to be able to sing without extra breaths.  Took almost a week, but I made it.

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This is not to say that I am healed or even close to it.  Nor does it mean that I can be careless now and do dumb things.  But I am me again.  How sweet it is.

This side of hell

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Went in for surgery on the 2nd after a week of cleaning up the office and kitchen in preparation for my recovery.  I also made it to Music School at Bob’s, my last fling before surrendering my freedom, riding with Julie.

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Monday morning, I was in prep at 6:30 AM, and surgery began a little before eight.  I woke in the hospital bed in room 148.  For the next two days, I played stop the spasms with little success.  On Wednesday, they began to decrease from a 10 pain to an 8.  The stool softeners had me heading to the bathroom 6 times in fairly rapid order, the first times I was on my feet.

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On Thursday morning, I began taking solid meals in the chair, still no fun, but bearable.  At least I was off the dreaded clears diet.  I began walking the hall later in the day.  On Friday morning, I was making the full rounds solo and the doctors were all smiling about my recovery and warding off the pneumonia.  Dr Gurkin released me Friday afternoon.

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So now I’m home, back with my own wifi and the freedom to sleep whenever I want, eat whatever I want (though it’s still a minimal diet and it all tastes like lanolin) and I’m getting around the house pretty well.  I still have the drainage tube installed, and I’m still stapled down the front.  I need to make a pharmacy run today.  I am going to get through this.  I expect to be back in the running by mid-week.

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Monday I should get the tube removed, maybe the staples, and then I can take a full bath.  Looking forward to shampooing my hair.

Ribs

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Ribs – n. – ree’-ubs – heaven on a bone, ((2 X 6)+1)

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Surgery date set

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Had a visit today with my primary, and I got a call from the surgeon, and the surgery date for the hernia repair is October 2nd.  I’ll check into the hospital Monday morning and be released after a few days (same week, in all probability, 2 days if all goes well).  So I have 11 days to live it up.

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I have been adapting to the three a day clonidine dosage, lots of naps, zero progress on anything and everything, but the effect is starting to let up.  Not quite used to 6/2/10 yet.  I get my refills tomorrow.  Also been using the ketoconazol at the same time, while I’m hanging close to home.

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Ribs are on sale for $1.09/lb.  Who can resist that?

Tests completed

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Well, the last of the medical tests have been performed, and they all look good.  I’m basically a healthy old coot.  The lesions on the kidneys are simple cysts, water sacs on the surface, common in people over 50.  Blood and excretions are all normal.  I’m stepping up the clonidine to thrice daily, because it was wearing off before the 12 hour point.  So instead of the simple 10/10, it’s 6/2/10.  The increase is making me sleep a lot.

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Roasted garlic baked potato soup w/ honey ham turned out well.  I need to go get some more cheddar.

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Almost done cleaning up the little stuff, and then the office and kitchen will be in proper order.  As soon as I can find the momentum…

Rx immersion

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Well, yesterday began my descent into the next phase of my medical adventures.  I met the surgeon who is going to install a mesh across my abs to cover the “swiss cheese” architecture that I have now.  I also have a CT on Monday morning, following a 12 hour fast, to look closer at my left kidney.  Tuesday, I see my cardiologist for perhaps the last time.  And there is a list of walk-in lab tests to get done.  Lots of phone calls were made yesterday.  A few more are needed.

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Doug’s surgery went very well, his vision in his left eye much improved.

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Hurricane Irma is pounding Cuba’s northern shore, probably the worst of the storm’s damage is being done there.