OT Day 23

I rolled Mr. Toro II (snowblower) back to the shed for his summer vacation today. Siphoned out the fuel tank, carb was already dry.
I'll change the oil next fall. Old retired Mr. Toro is in the back yard getting rained on. Neighbor Con has some stuff to take to the recyclery on recycling day this coming Saturday. I volunteered my truck to haul his stuff and mine if he'd help me load Mr. Toro. There's often a two-hour wait, but I can sit in the truck and read a book as the line creeps forward. If Con wants to keep me company great, and if he has a better use for his precious Saturday time that's OK with me too.
I made a double batch of fish creole today, had two sons, one daughter and son Kevin's girlfriend Kelsy join me for dinner. I'll bet I spent 45 minutes chopping vegetables. Julia Childs would have had the lot chopped in 5 minutes, I'm less proficient -- thus far. I can walk for an hour with no problem at all but standing in one place for 45 minutes hurts my back. Always has. By the time the creole was ready to go into the oven I was ready for a sit and a glass. Karen cooked the long-grain white rice in a pot and did a superb job of it. I wasn't sure if everyone would like the creole, though Mary and I always did. It's a bit of a surprise because it isn't spicy cajun but kind of mellow and a bit sweet. It actually does have some white pepper and cayenne but it doesn't taste peppery at all. It's sort of a tomato-based fish stew. We also had a spring greens tossed salad with sliced baby portabello mushrooms (those that didn't go into the creole), red onion, tomato and a vinaigrette dressing, and a crusty baguette warmed in the oven and served with Irish butter. I planned the menu and did the marketing. Karen cooked the rice, whisked the balsamic vinaigrette and tossed and dressed the salad.
Judging from the amount left over from a double batch, they weren't just being polite when they said they liked it. There might be one serving left in tupperware in the fridge. Next time I'll make a triple batch because that dish is actually better on the second day. I usually would rather cook again than eat warmed-up leftovers, but this stuff is a definite exception.
Tomorrow, Karen plans to take me to an accupuncturist. I've always regarded that as hocus pocus but I'm willing to keep an open mind. If its effectiveness is rooted entirely in psychological placebo effect, I'll take it! Kev said it has helped him with some sports-related pain issues from time to time, though no substitute for medical intervention when indicated and appropriate. What I want out of it is reduction of anxiety, increased tranquility. I could probably get tranquilizers prescribed easily enough but I don't want that. I was on Librium for maybe half a day back in '80 when I was going thru divorce and (I thought) loss of family, didn't like going thru life seeing thru Vaseline-smeared lenses and threw the pills away. Some alcohol after wine-thirty definitely helps, but I don't want to have each day be merely an uncomfortable existence until that hour and I'm not about to start drinking at lunchtime -- except maybe a cold beer with lunch with friends. Some of my preferred activities are decidedly and emphatically zero-tolerance incompatible with alcohol: shooting, making ammo, welding, operating machine tools, etc. I'm not yet back to any of those but I think I will be soon.
I carried my pocket .38 on my solitary walk today for the first time post Mary. I've kept up my daily walks but haven't carried to date because I thought getting clocked by a mugger might be an exit welcome to me and acceptable if painful to my family. Today I decided my family deserves far better than that from me after the incredible support they have provided me. I am back to not being easy grayhaired prey on the trail.
I'm still operating one day at a time. Took me months to recover (to the extent that I did) from my heart surgery with Mary's constant support. She rode the mower around the yard that summer, cut up some storm damage with the Stihl chainsaw, etc. Recovering from my loss of my Mary with understandably less constant support from my remaining family, who have daily work obligations and their younger lives to live, may take longer and be more difficult. Gawd, how I miss my Mary. Gettin' old is not for sissies.
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OK, I'm a lookin' for a DF machine design to chop salad or an outo acupunture machine.
Karl
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Per Karen's encouragement, I went to the accupuncture clinic, which is right next door to AxMan Surplus. Dr. Liu asked me what problem I wanted him to address. I wondered why he didn't read what I'd written on the form on the freakin' clipboard. I said I would like to reduce grief-induced anxiety. He smiled, said, "yes, I will help you." He swabbed spots on my skin with some stuff that was probably antiseptic with some topical anesthetic because all I felt was pressure when he stuck needles behind my ears and in the backs of my hands -- but they did hurt a little if I moved my hands afterwards. He wanted me to lie flat on my back on a bed but I don't do flat on my back if I can help it so he said on my side would be OK too. I'd have liked a recliner a whole lot better. He left me there a while to snooze or zen or whatever I might want to do, then by and by a woman came in, de-needled me and said I was done and free to go. I didn't notice any beneficial effect at all. Karen had said it might take several sessions to achieve what I want it to accomplish and Dr. Liu said the same thing. Karen said the improvement after a month might be quite marked. Well hell, I'm expected marked improvement after a month of just gettin' up and makin' it thru the day 30 more times. In 30 days it will be glorious May in Minnesota. Hardly ever snows on mother's day. I'll give it two more tries. If I don't definitely notice benefit after that then I'll declare failure. I really would like it to work, so I really am willing to give it a chance. Many have said it has provided significant and immediate mitigation of physical pain as in sports strains and sprains. I saw my neighbor down the street Michelle there today. She said her and her hub have been going there regularly for years, didn't say why. Noticed yesterday while recharging meds magazines that I was about out of one drug. She who used to take care of that (and me) ain't doin' that no more so it's up to me now. I called it in yesterday, picked up the new batch today. Karen will be here for one more day. I'll cover the penalty for ticket change. Having her here one more day is definitely worth it to me. I'm calling it a health care expense. I doubt if the tax man would agree so I'll just call it that in my own mind. Some of my recent lack of interest in life is dissipating a bit. I really enjoyed my fish creole yesterday and also enjoyed that others enjoyed it. I can't get very interested in TV yet. Mary and I shared a couple of hours in adjacent recliners watching TV most evenings, holding hands and racing for the yellow quilt on winter nights.
I have watched a couple of shows and I'm enjoying watching the 10:00 news which I digitally record so I can watch it 20 minutes after real time and skip thru the commercials. I bought a book at Wal-Mart today, a new Stuart Wood, may not read it until this summer. Stuart Wood is easy read, great for on the deck at the lake. I used to get a lot of reading done at Mayo.
Karen joined me for my 3 miles today so I didn't carry. I need to go up to Anoka on Wednesday to renew my carry permit. Our friend Jan called tonight. She's trying to set something up and I'd like to do that too. We might connect Friday night for supper at the Red Robin on their side of town. I'd never eaten at a Red Robin until last Saturday with Karl, Jacob and Karen. Karen and I split a salmon sandwich that was really excellent. I could definitely do that again -- and Red Robin serves cold draft beer which is right up there on Bob's (Jan's husband, my former colleague and truely exemplary engineer) priority list. I enjoy it too. Jan about talked my ear off tonight. She can do that. She and Mar were thick as thieves so I'm very interested in what Jan has to say about some of their exchanges as close female friends.
Jan had no idea that Mary might have a few secrets. She was blown away when I mentioned that Mar had been corresponding with a former lover, and even that she'd had a lover while I was courting her back in 1981. Golly, it didn't bother me to discover that back then. It would have been surprising if there wasn't. She was a very attractive and interesting woman of incredible depth and complexity. He was/is a PhD in psych able to appreciate her depth and complexity. She told me that he told her that she was the most complex person he'd ever known.
He was there first, but I was there last, won her hawrt, took milady home to my castle and gave her a good and happy life. It didn't bother me a bit that she was corresponding with J.P. I think she may even have told me that she was doing that. There is and was no scintilla of doubt about her love for and commitment to me. She may have just been tying up some loose ends. Karen tomorrow, maybe a look at a different accupuncture place -- downscale a bit, might actually be more comfortable for me. Community clinic, pay according to ability. I'll pay top rates, no problem, but I might like the more informal setting -- with recliners rather than horizontal beds! Several people in a room, not sequestered. Mayo does chemo like that. There's a good reason why they do that. The recipient of treatment feels less forlorn when there are fellow travellers they can see and maybe share experiences with if they like. One positive person in a group setting like that can make a huge difference. I think the impromptu and improv Mary 'n Don gentle comedic banter lightened and brightened the day of a number of chemo recipients at Mayo. More later. Time to hit the sack. I think maybe I am starting to emerged from stunned paralysis. I still hurt like bloody hell so perhaps the numbness abates along with the pain it suppresses. That's progress of a sort, I guess. I'm getting impatient for more and faster progress.
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Don Foreman wrote:
(...)

Perhaps you need to take it up a notch, Don.
Example: When I scrape my hand on an exhaust bracket, I don't agonize over my Alzheimer's diagnosis at all.
:)
--Winston
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wrote:

I don't understand your example, Winston.
I don't know if this acupuncture stuff is gonna work or not to get my fu aligned with my poo or whatever it's supposed to do, but both of my kids say it has worked very well for them so I'm willing to give it a fair trial. What the hell, it costs less than smoking did and it doesn't hurt.
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2011 01:30:32 -0500, Don Foreman

Generally speaking acupuncture seems to work best for alleviating pain. Certainly it has worked for me, even when I approached it with the attitude that "it can never work".
Whether it works as a tranquilizer or similar I have no idea although my wife swears that it helped her stay on a diet and I also know a number of people who recommend it as an aid to stopping smoking.
Cheers,
John D. Slocomb (jdslocombatgmail)
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Don Foreman wrote:

Sometimes when we get really bad news, it's almost helpful to be distracted by a relatively trivial piece of bad news.
Sort of lifts us out of the mental rut for a bit.
On February 15, 2008 I was diagnosed with late stage 5 Alzheimer's Disease: http://alzheimers.about.com/od/symptomsofalzheimers/a/symptoms.htm
Two of my doctors said I'd be in stage 6 soon.
Now, when an electronic simulation isn't going well, or I bop myself on the foot with an object that I should have picked up differently, it's almost a relief to have something relatively unimportant to think about for a moment, rather than dwelling on my poor deteriorating brain. My example was an attempt at humor regarding this effect.

I have mixed emotions about that. (Not that it's any of my business!)
Obviously, I'm happy to see your optimism springing back.
At the same time, we both know how vulnerable one can be after experiencing a life-changing tragedy, so things that appear to offer hope can be very disappointing, or worse, a continuing time and energy sink, just when one need one's time and energy the most.
--Winston
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On Wed, 13 Apr 2011 06:30:05 -0700

<snip>
Didn't know Winston, really sorry to hear about this diagnosis...
My Dad had Alzheimer's, after reviewing the link you gave I would dispute your Doc's diagnosis. Unless you have a Doppelganger around that posts here pretty regular :) I've noticed nothing in your postings that even hints of dementia, so I would say you could/would be more like stage 3 right now (only really close people would notice odd things). My Dad's woes were very apparent at stage 5 and I seriously doubt anyone at this stage could function/post sensible stuff in a usenet group such as this.
Hang in there Winston!
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
  Click to see the full signature.
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Leon Fisk wrote:

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. That must have been heartbreaking.
I disputed my doctor's diagnosis as well, but not being a medical professional, I wasn't seen as having too much 'standing'. :)
Of 5 doctors that examined me at the time, three didn't diagnose any such impairment, or anything remotely related to it. Perhaps it is one of those fatal illnesses that presents as normalcy. :)

I haven't detected any.

Behind schedule again! :)

Some would argue otherwise. :)

Thanks, Leon.
--Winston
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Winston, I am also concerned about myself and that I am sometimes forgetful, more than I would like. I cannot really figure out if it is just my natural state, or I have a progressing disease like Alzheimers.
On the one thing, I can do moderately complicated things such as retrofitting a mill with EMC2. That's a plus.
On the other hand, I do misplace things or forget about some things. I would say that I am "easily distracted". Say, today I forgot to take a wallet with me.
I am quite concerned about this, especially in light of the fact that two of my grandparents had/have dementia.
Everything I read about early stage of Alzheimers is extremely non-specific and not really definitive.
i
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wrote:

The earliest stages of most dementias are difficult to distinguish from aging and just packing your memory to the hilt. Nearly everyone I know who is my age (62) comments about it, and the scientific evidence is that it's completely normal. I noticed that I was getting forgetful about short-term things when I was in my '40s.
What Winston is talking about is much different. Like Leon, it would startle me to learn that the diagnosis was correct, given the sharpness of mind evidenced by Winston's posts. I sincerely hope they're being overly pessimistic.
What I've learned to do about general forgetfulness is something that comes easily to me these days: Forget about it. d8-)
--
Ed Huntress



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Ed Huntress wrote:
(...)

Yup. I write 'task lists', now. Very helpful.

Thanks, Ed. Coming from you that is a huge deal.
You'll be pleased or greatly upset to learn that it hasn't affected my daily life much at all. I drive around, shop, work on my projects just like normal.

Done! :)
(Sorry for hijacking your thread, Don.)
--Winston
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wrote:

No prob.
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Winston, I am very sorry to hear about this, but how exactly were you diagnosed, then?
i
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Ignoramus10155 wrote:
(...)

My corporation hired a couple psychologists. One talked with me over the phone and the other one did an evaluation in his office.
That's what I got for performing my job well. (Got a stellar review!)
Apparently my boss's boss decided this was a good way to get rid of me.
--Winston
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The cynic in me is wondering if the evaluation, perhaps, was a clever way to get rid of you.
i
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Ignoramus10155 wrote:

I was thinking the same thing Iggy. :)
--Winston
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wrote:

Shrink to Boss: "I read him lists of the 206 bones and 656 muscles in the body and asked him to repeat them to me from the bottom up. He couldn't do it, barely remembering five of each." Stage 5 Alzheimers!
-- The United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world. -- Ayn Rand
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Larry Jaques wrote:
(...)

That is pretty much the way it went.
Doc made me skip lunch. Read me a couple complicated and very boring stories and asked me detailed questions about them. Had to admit I didn't remember a thing. Bingo! Instant Senility.
--Winston
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wrote:

So, did they "terminate with cause" yet? That'd suck, unless you're ready for retirement.
-- The United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world. -- Ayn Rand
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