Category Archives: Health

Safely out of the canal zone

I’ve had a sinus infection for going on two weeks. If that were not enough, an old pain in one of my teeth returned, right at the site of the root canal my dentist performed five years ago. I aced the procedure, but had zero desire for a replay.

Thursday afternoon, after two days of throbbing, I called my dentist’s office and explained the return of the pain. The sympathetic receptionist worked me in for an appointment Monday. The office is closed Friday, and she told me I should not hesitate to call my dentist on his cell phone Friday if the pain became unmanageable. He would come in to the office with an assistant and check out the problem.

I knew that. My dentist is a superior being. He once met my husband and me at his office, the evening of Memorial Day. He drafted his son-in-law to assist him.

Today is Friday. I awoke to an ancient memory. I have had this pain before. It’s some kind of knack with me, to get sinus infections; I have had a lot of them. The maxillary sinuses have a nerve relay indistinguishably near the back teeth, where my root canal was done.

I checked my back teeth in the mirror. Aha! My gums in the canal zone were significantly inflamed. The connection light finally switched on.

I deduced that the pain had nothing to do with my teeth or the root canal, but was due to sinus inflammation. The throbbing subsided within half an hour after taking an anti-inflammatory combo of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

I’m still trying to decide whether to take consolation from the theory that, at this point in life, my teeth are better than my memory.

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Computer woes

My computer’s handwriting input panel is evidently in the throes of its fixin’ to die rag. When I resort to its virtual keyboard, it stalls, delays transfer of the letter I peck with my stylus to its screen destination, and, more and more frequently, refuses to acknowledge my stylus’s tap on the space bar. My husband has researched remedies and implemented various fixes. But improvement is transitory; my computer inevitably reverts to its frustrating behaviors. I fear my Samsung Slate is becoming a dear, as in an old, mind-corrupted dear. And the dear is only four years old.

Because of my own advancing dearness, I am grateful for the advent of stylus input, either by handwriting or virtual keyboard, because a chronic RSI makes it too excruciating to type. I simply cannot type with my fingers on a keyboard.

I tried for some time to use DragonSpeaking, a voice-activated means of actual type input. But evidently I lacked the sort of voice that commands accurate activation of these things. Thankfully, the handwriting input technology came out right about the time I realized I had no options but to concede to the reality that Dragon was never going to work for me. It was a doomed alliance, a case of different destinies.

To use the handwriting input panel, I print each letter in a space, and Slate either reads it, makes up something else entirely, or quits and forces me to resort to pecking on the virtual keyboard with my stylus. Right now, neither of my input options is working well or consistently, and frustration doesn’t help. It means writing less, “Liking” blog posts instead of commenting, calling friends on the phone instead of using guaranteed mutually convenient email, and caving to moronic truncations of words.

Another thing that is not helpful is being told that my computer is near or at the end of its useful life—an opinion one should keep to oneself, even if one is a very good friend of many years and an accomplished self-styled geek.

All right. I aspire to dismiss my frustration and somehow continue writing with more usual frequency. In the meantime, I will try to produce more and better photos.

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Getting a grip. . .

My husband and I have determined our ISP to be up for replacement; no further comment. “Lousy” is the strongest descriptor I will use, although I am not unwilling to insert “Comprehensively” as a modifier before “lousy.”

We haven’t watched either presidential debate, but from the news coverage, I wish the media would cover it up more deeply, like out of sight entirely. I’m too easily tempted to watch the invective duel, even though it is a spiritual pathogen. At least with swords, one or at most two people are hurt; with guns one is likely to be killed. Invective duels may wound the spirits of hundreds of millions of people. I remain NOVOFOP (Not Voting For President), a depressing prospect, but necessary for me.

Closer to the upside, I am having an MRI of my elbow Tuesday.  The pleasant woman who called today to confirm my appointment asked whether I weighed more than 350 pounds, the limit of the MRI’s capacity. I couldn’t help laughing as I replied that I actually weigh under 100.

My right elbow was injured in an auto collision in March. The pain has been fairly constant and limiting, and I decided it was time to get it diagnosed, as my doctor has repeatedly suggested. It seems disinclined to heal on its own after seven months, and I want to know what I’ll be living with. One doctor, a pain specialist, suspects a deep tear in a tendon that he says would “require” surgery. No it wouldn’t. There is no compulsory surgery in this country. If I just know what I’m dealing with, I can deal with One More Thing.

Frustration is part of life. Even carefree Effie has her own coping mechanisms, like sharpening her claws on my shin. I don’t know whether she has frustrations, or, if she does, what they are, but she definitely has a good grip. And, like me, she is loved, and she really has it pretty good. ^-.-^

 

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Close to home: Salmon watching and bass fishing

It is a wonderful thing to be less than 15 minutes from one’s favorite Great Escape and Recreation, and we are so situated, able to be fishing in the Snake River in the midst of Hell’s Canyon, just a quarter hour from home. We fished half the day Monday, Friday evening, and most of today. Chinook salmon were jumping all around us, and I loved seeing them so lively. I honestly had no wish to remove them from their river, and they apparently concurred, though other people caught some of them.

We caught five bass and added them to my husband’s supply of canned fish. He does the canning and the consuming of the fish we catch. I am unable to eat fish of any kind; and for that matter, I lack the strength to heft the canning kettle. But that doesn’t matter. Fishing on the river is my favorite recreational activity: it boosts my strength, health, interface with Creation, and sense of purpose.

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Bread and catnip

Because I have Addison’s disease, AKA chronic adrenal failure, it is necessary that I regulate my stress and choose my stressors judiciously. Socializing, travel, noise, and pain are the things hardest on me, but I can control my exposure to three of the four.

Noise is a publicly traded commodity, and there is little I can do about this stressor in my environment. About all I can really do is try to compensate with other calming activity. In the case of excessively barking dogs, which unfortunately is common where we live, but which fortunately is a violation of a county statute, I sometimes resort to calling the sheriff, whose deputies are very responsive, very good at educating dog owners of their responsibilities, and also good at imposing fines on owners who just don’t get it.

Crying babies are different from barking dogs of course, but their vocalizations are just as stressful. All I can do is remove myself from their midst, if possible. If a migraine kicks in, I have something to take for that.

Hyperacusis, or sensitivity to sound, often accompanies Addison’s. A deficiency of cortisol magnifies every kind of stress. People with Addison’s take hydrocortisone to “replace” our excessively low cortisol, but it really isn’t the same as God’s original issue.  The synthetic replacement can’t adjust its level to accommodate our stress levels as does our original cortisol, which modulates to meet the stressful occasion. But the synthetic keeps us from flatlining–a good thing, because cortisol is a hormone necessary to life.

My dear cat can be joyfully entertaining, and she can also be exasperating and stress me into caving to whatever she wants–which is usually to go outside into Effieland, our enclosed garden. But she can’t go out at night, and if she tortures us then, she needs forced cuddling and distractions. Catnip is also a fairly effective antidote to most of her yowling.

Making bread is a pleasant, happy, calm thing I do every week. Gluten intolerance, like noise sensitivity, is chummy with Addison’s. If Effie yowls while I’m making bread, it’s because she knows she’ll score a free safari ticket to Effieland.

I can’t cure my next-door neighbor’s phobia of leaves on his lawn. His gas leaf blower sounds like an XF-84H (I Googled “loudest plane in the world”). Every time a leaf falls, Doug’s on it.

Life is good; Addison’s sucks, but God has made it an instructive limitation.

 

P1020223My bread ingredients and wonderful tools in array

P1020224For Effie, bug watching has its own rewards–for me, too, because her expressions are so delightful.

P1020226Catnip score!

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