Archive for February, 2014

Sleep swap

Posted on Monday, February 24th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I’ve been sleeping in the recliner here since it turned cold.  It hasn’t been too bad, not like sleeping on a bare floor or outside in the cold.  But it wasn’t large enough for my nearly 2 meter frame.  Well, that has changed.  I have my Lazy Boy in its place now, and it is big enough for me.  No more ankles hanging over the foot rest. No more head rolling over the top of the back of the chair.  Ahhhh.  A proper size chair for sleeping.  Ironically enough, it’s getting warm enough to sleep in the back of the truck again.

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But hey, it’s my chair, one I have slept in many times, even when there was a bed available.  It’s 23 years old and still intact.  No worn through patches, no broken framework, no sagging foam.  And it fits all the parts of my body correctly, everything in the right place, where it belongs, no kinks, no bulges, no hard spots, a proper cocoon.  Ahhhhh.

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Hehehehehe.

A farewell to fishing

Posted on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Well, I had gotten a call from the Irma at the storage units, and the lock on my D unit had been missing.  Today, I finally got there, and I found that the only thing missing were my rods and reels.  The boxes had been pretty much rifled, but there wasn’t much there that could quickly be converted to cash.  So nothing else was obviously missing.  I put on a serious lock, this time.  I got things in order and got the items I wanted (including one of my Lazy Boys), and came back to Brenham, after grabbing a spindle and some cheese in Bastrop.  (I can’t believe they charge twice as much here in Brenham for the same cheese.  I stocked up on smoked gouda.)

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My response to the loss is that I haven’t been fishing in ten years, and that I don’t have a place that is convenient for fishing or a fishing license.  And again, there aren’t that many bodies of water that I trust these days as far as pollution goes.  But at the same time, it makes the mountain of fishing tackle I have a moot issue.  I’ll live without them, regardless.  I can always borrow a rig when needed.

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The truck ran fine.  The check engine light still comes on, even though the battery was disconnected for several hours, and should have reset it.  So I guess I need to have it checked.

Med free

Posted on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 at 10:08 am

I have ceased medication today.  And surprisingly (though perhaps not), my blood pressure is lower than when I was taking them.  There are a few side effects to the final withdrawal, a little lightheadedness, a little shortness of breath.  But it’s nothing compared to when I was going off the other three.  And these I attribute to having resumed the amlodipine for a few days.  I was having the effects before I quit.  They’re just slightly elevated.

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And they may also have to do with the weather conditions and my having opened up the house to enjoy the rise in temperature.  It’s in the 70’s this morning with high humidity.  My lymph nodes seem to be swelling up, indication that my body is fighting off something, most likely airborne.  Early pollen is certainly a possibility there.

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But it feels good to stop dosing myself.  I never liked the idea of a constant flow of pharmaceuticals into my bloodstream, and after 21 months of a steady flow, I can finally put the nightmare behind me.

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I attribute part of this to my experience in self control of the mind.  This is one thing that has interested me since teen years, and over the years, I have learned to co-exist with my body through use of the mind.  It is one thing that has helped keep me healthy through years of less than stellar treatment of my body.  The problem is that we have no semantics for this sort of activity.  We have no words that describe a mental process that affects the medulla other than vague terms like meditation.  The ability to control heart rate, release antibodies, and so forth is something that is recognized, but thus far, uncharted in science.  With the withdrawal from medication, I have been using it extensively to help my body adjust.  And it may well be partially responsible for the lowering of blood pressure.  I have learned to drop it 20 points on the systolic in a matter of a couple of minutes.  And I may have triggered the cure for the extreme blood pressure in the process.

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My systolic  blood pressure is still above what is considered normal.  The diastolic is fine, usually in the 70’s.  But the systolic is staying below 160, a considerable drop from peaks into the 190’s that I had while on medication.  The peaks happened usually when the drugs were wearing off.  And that is a known effect of the medication.  The body fights against the medication, and as it wears off, he body overcompensates.  I’m not seeing the normal range in the systolic without medication yet.  And I’m not sure if I ever will.  I am elderly, overweight, and have the post-operative issues.  But I am making an effort to bring it down with mental exercises.  And now that I’ll be off the medication, I should be able to resume a better physical exercise program, which should help as well.  My diet is not an issue, as I stay away from salt and other known items that aggravate pressure.

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The one thing that relieves me is being free of the overall effect that I was experiencing from prolonged use of the drugs.  Edema, shortness of breath, a creeping increase in blood pressure, the extreme peaks, drowsiness, overly vivid dreaming, and all the rest.  I’m still not entirely detoxed.  I have a few more days left before that happens.  I am past the stage where the drugs still affect me as prescribed.  But it will still take a bit for the final dregs to wash clean from my bloodstream.

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I’m thrilled to be off them.  I have disabled the alerts on my phone and laptop.  It hasn’t sunk in yet.  I’m still in the mindset of looking toward the next dosing.  It’s going to take a while to break that habit of nearly two years.  And I have a couple of days of detoxing yet.

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I need to get to Webberville to put a lock on my storage unit.  The owners called me and informed me that the lock disappeared.  It was a flimsy lock, but it was on the shed that held the less valuable items.  So I’m not rushing over to put a new one on.  But I do need to drop off winter clothes, pick up fans, get one of the Lazy Boys, and more.  It’s season changing time.  But I need to detox first, and get the pickup road ready after the fan belt incident. Oil change, filters, etc.  It’s almost there, but not quite.

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And then I need to get to Bryan for the new tags for the truck, go to music school, and otherwise cause trouble.  But it’s heading in that direction.  And then there is Spring Fling in a month.  I’ll be ready for it.

Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider

Posted on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Playing around in modo with a Lancia model I found.  Tweaking the shaders that didn’t really make it over intact in format conversion has taken most of the time and effort.  The scale on this one is huge, in the kilometers.  It needs to be dropped about 1000:1 to size up properly with the mainstream scales.

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Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider-1

Vile…..

Posted on Sunday, February 16th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

I just want to go on record as stating that the person who decided that the “vegetable” commonly referred to as “English peas” was a delicious part of the human diet must have been a mutated miscreant.  Okay, granted, for the first twelve hours after being picked off the vine, they are delightfully sweet.  However, after that, the only word that I can assign to the their flavor is VILE.

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This does not apply to other peas.  Split peas, black eyed peas, snow peas, and the rest of the pea family are simply delightful.  But English peas need to be eradicated from the face of the earth.

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/rant

Bug

Posted on Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

From one of the tutorials for modo.  Bugmech.  I’m starting to get a little creative interest again, a good sign.

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bug

Leveling out

Posted on Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 at 10:46 pm

Back to some semblance of normalcy.  I’m not 100%, but then I have really been there since before the surgery.  So I’m in a pretty good place, all told.  I’m not spry, ambitious, or eager, but the rest is pretty good.  Blood pressure still high, but stabilizing.

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I even learned a new song, Tom Waits, Hold On.  Rather apt for the experience, I must say.  I can perform it without reading the lyrics now, so It went fairly quickly for a newly discovered song.

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I’ve got to start taking care of business in the next few days, so that I can attend to the things that need attention.

Rough week

Posted on Friday, February 7th, 2014 at 2:24 pm

It’s been just that, a very rough week, experiencing withdrawals from clonidine  and amlodipine.  Intense shivers, elevated blood pressure, soreness of heart and kidneys, just to mention a few.  I have been careful in what I’ve done, what I’ve consumed, and the use of metoprolol.  I researched the issue thoroughly, and while I didn’t do exactly as recommended, I kept most of it to heart.

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The edema has receded, as has the breathing problems.  So the side effects were definitely drug induced.  I’m not sure it was a fair trade off, as it has been rough.  Without the clonidine to sedate me, the dreams from the metoprolo have been very intense, my second life, so to speak, the one side of the week where I did get to do things.  But they were, after all, dreams and prone to an existence I didn’t consciously choose.

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The effects are beginning to level out.  I am beginning to return to a more normal existence.  I need to adjust my sleep cycle, as I have been sleeping a lot.  It’s not so much induced as it is needed.  The body has been taxed, and the sleep was needed to repair the abuse and flush out the medication residues.  At this point, I think I can say I survived it without damage.

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Now I need to figure out how I want to proceed.  Do I want to return to to the same dosage as before?  Or am I willing to live with a slightly higher pressure profile for the sake of a smaller drug routine?  One thing I know, I need to lay hands on funds.

Medical changes

Posted on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Since I am not currently financially capable of making an Austin run, I have elected to discontinue use of the twice daily clonidine.  This is the alpha antagonist that works in the brain center that controls the heart and circulatory system.  Discontinuing usage carries a certain risk, as in its absence, the brain reverts to normal and overcompensates for a short while.  I am monitoring my blood pressure often and being very careful in my activity during the withdrawal period.  I still have three days dosage left in case I need to use one to reduce spikes in pressure that won’t respond to to the beta blockers, which I am still using.

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I have had pressure spikes around 190/100, and I have at times felt my heart beating strongly. But the actions I took handled the spells quickly enough.  So while there is a risk involved, I feel like I am handling the situation well.  I went without clonidine before, and I know that the beta blockers will keep my pressure out of the danger range.  It wont return the range to optimal, but it will keep me out of serious risk.

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During the last couple of months, I have been experiencing problems with blood pressure while on clonidine.  Pressure has been elevated for weeks, above where the beta blockers alone would maintain it.  It is one of the issues of the prolonged usage of the drug.  It will sometimes become ineffective or actually work against pressure maintenance.  It has also been the source of my edema, which has been notable during this same period.  So I feel that it is probably in my best interest to stop usage, at least until my system can adjust to its absence.  And it will allow my kidneys to return to proper function so that my feet and lungs are not swelling.  I have on a couple of occasions had breathing problems just from walking a couple hundred yards.  I hope to be able to get back to a normal physical routine when I have cleared it from my body.

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One thing that will make a difference is the lack of sedative effect.  Usually, a dose will induce sleep for two to three hours.  This has been quite disruptive to my sleeping schedule.  I have typically been sleeping between two and four times a day.  It makes my involvement with anything but computer work anything but reliable.  Now the metoprolol hasn’t helped, as the dilation of capillaries in the brain makes for vivid dreams that tend to wake me.  Hopefully I can get past that, though.

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So the dropping of the drug will hopefully be a positive move.  While I have seen normal blood pressure recently, it isn’t a regular event.  So a slight increase in blood pressure may well be a positive swap for the erratic readings I’ve been experiencing, along with the drowsiness and edema.  The next few days should be telling.  And if it doesn’t work out, then maybe the time period of this trial will allow me to acquire funds to get to Austin to acquire a new supply.  I’m hoping for the best and doing everything in my power to get through this withdrawal safely.

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Half way through Babylon 5 season 4.  I have discovered a couple of movies that were made after the series quit airing that aren’t in my collection.  I will have to search for them.