Thursday, June 11, 2009

Random Items, Birthdays

Short post today. Just got back from a cleaning at the dentist. Cleanings can be a bit pokey sometimes, but way gentler than a 14 gauge needle in your arm so I can't complain. Also your mouth feels groovy afterwards. I seriously don't want to eat or drink anything the rest of the day for fear I'll mess up the hygienist's work.

This morning my mom came 'round to help me with some cleaning and totally re-grouted our gross shower. She is my hero. What an awful job, but it looks 110% better now. Thanks, Mom!

Two of my friends had kiddies born this week.

Jen Shaw gave birth to a girl - Sloane Julianne - Sunday, June 7. My hat's off to the Shaws for going old school and giving the kid a rad name like Sloane. Yesterday was also Jen's birthday so Happy Birthday to Jen and Sloane!

Letty and Juan had a little boy named Noah yesterday afternoon. I'm sure Noah will in no time at all be making delicious deserts along side his talented mother.

Congratulations to the Shaws and Bertrand-Garcias!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weight Training. Now with more cat

So there was this article on this morning about using your pet to help you exercise. I assumed this was a "yeah no kidding" piece on how walking your dog is good for you. A portion of the article did, in fact, discuss this revolutionary idea.

I have to admit, I'm currently getting more out of my Lucy walks than I'd ever imagined. We go for about 2 miles on this nice woodsy trail that circles the neighborhood, 4 times a week (dialysis days I don't make any promises). Walking Lucy is like trying to walk a steam train. For being such a runty little Lab, she's a little powerhouse. We gave up about a year ago trying to train her to walk properly so I'm using this to my advantage and getting great resistance training for my arms out of it. I know, I know, the Dog Whisperer would be appalled. Whatever, Cesar, it's great exercise.

The other half of the article was focused on using your cat in your workout. I'd definitely seen this before, mainly on YouTube, but didn't realize kitty weightlifting had taken off. If you're interested you can learn all about it at Really. My hat's off to cat exercise pioneers for their creativity, but I'll have to wait until I get a more willing kitty friend before I'd even think about it.

The closest I've come to trying to exercise with Jeff the Cat was when I used to tie a long string to the back of my pants while doing housework. No kidding - he loved it. But attempting to use him as a feline barbell? Not a chance in hell.

If I tried pressing Jeff the Cat I'd be pulling back a stump

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Brain hurts

I got my first migraine when I was 18 right before heading off to Trinity U. It was triggered by what I considered a traumatic event, in this case a trip to the dermatologist's office. At the time I had these warts on my hand so the doctor advised a thorough spraying of liquid nitrogen.

I don't know if you've ever had cryotherapy, but for even a small area of skin it's not pleasant. This was the entire top of my hand. It took forever and hurt like a b@#%^. By the time he had finished I didn't know if I wanted to pass out or hurl. I went for option B. By the time I got home I was yacking about once every 20 minutes. About 10:00 that night we decided a trip to the ER was in order. I got a little morphine, a good night's rest, and problem solved. I had just survived my first migraine.

Over the next year I had maybe three or four more. By about the fifth one I had been prescribed what migraine sufferers consider a miracle drug - Imitrex. Imitrex was at the time only available in self injecting shot form, but if you're in that much pain, a shot is welcome if it provides relief.

The migraines gradually increased in frequency until I was getting them about once a month, then once a week, and then once a day. By that time a pill form of Imitrex had emerged on the market as well as another brand, Zomig. The good news was - the pill was effective, the flip side was - I was popping Zomigs like candy.

I hit rock bottom with my migraines the summer/fall of 2005. The Zomig pills and Imitrex shots had both stopped working for me and I was making ER visits 2-3 times a week. We were on a first name basis with a good portion of the staff at Chandler Regional Hospital. It was a bleak time for both Ryan and me. Because we were in Arizona with no family close and few friends nearby, I had to rely on Ryan to get me home from the hospital and he was missing massive amounts of work.

I finally broke the ER cycle when I got put on a tiny daily dose of morphine in pill form. I also went back on dialysis which I think shifted my body chemistry enough so that my Zomig started working again. These days I still get migraines about twice a week, but they're very manageable and I'm no longer on the morphine. I've had them long enough to associate that slightly "off" feeling with migraine onset and can usually cut them off at the pass.

Every so often, though, (like this morning but it's gone now) a bad one will sneak up on me and I'll have flashbacks to my ER days. There were times when I was horking in the ER waiting room every 15 minutes that I literally wanted to die. And if a magical fairy had flown in and given me the choice of:

A) working kidneys
B) no more migraines

I honestly don't now what my answer would have been.