Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

It's nearly noon, 40 degrees outside & damn cozy inside.  It's start to rain (finally) and feels like it might snow.  Winter has finally hit Cowtown.  Last week it was 70 degrees, t-shirt weather. 

Okay, okay, so it's not as cold as a lot of places.  I've lived there, froze to death (nearly) working outside in 30 degrees below zero temps with 25 mile an hour winds that took the temp even lower which further aggravated the misery by snowing cats and dogs.  200 inches on the average a year.  Meow!  Woof!  These days I'll take 40 degrees and love every minute of it.

Pictured here is the woodstove stoked with dry oak, which provides more than enough heat for most of the house.

Off topic and onto a sore subject, blood pressure:  Under control but not where it should be.  Low/no salt, low/no fat diet has in recent years been one of the household's golden rules, even more so now.  While yours truly is active, more exercise is in the plan of remediating this problem.

 Like honey mustard dressing?  Wifey prepared this last night and it is a definite keeper:

1 large shallot, minced

1 tablespoon Grey Poupon

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 table spoons olive oil

1 tablespoon water

3/4 teaspoon course cracked pepper
combine all and serve.

Wifey doubled the recipe to make certain there's enough for another night's dinner.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

How Much Is Enough?

If you've closely followed how the man in the Oval Office conducted himself while in office, you'll agree that a new president is badly needed. 

Broken campaign promises. 

Over-stepping his authority.

Smoke screen after smoke screen of secrecy (while promising transparency during the '08 campaign).

Over spending the Federal budget by billions (another campaign pledge promising spending less towards reducing the deficit).

One goal was to rid Washington of lobbyists.  Ha.  That's a good one.

When one of America's most classified drones (the latest with the greatest) crashed intact in Iran, he asked, pretty please, if they would be so kind to send it back. . .. when it was a no brainer to call in a drone strike to destroy it.  Now Iran has hardware to use again its enemies. 

Another goal was to work with both parties in the Senate and Congress towards engendering a spirit of cooperation.  Ha. 

Need I go on.  There's many more reasons why this man needs to be voted out of office in the name of public good.  If you plan on voting his way, you really should do your homework on the havoc he's created.

How much is enough?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Cure Might Kill You

Yesterday I was all a-glow with the onset of much lower blood pressure.  That was early a.m.  Come mid morning your blogger friend was bleeding out of both ends.  Yup.  Blood.

As a young pup back in the day, when there was a cut on a finger, leg or whatever I'd go screaming into the house, I'M BLEEDING BLOOD!  I'M BLEEDING BLOOD!  BLOOD!!!!  I'M BLEEDING BLOOD!

Mom, being a less than compassionate person, "What did you expect to bleed anyway.  When you bleed there's blood."  Okay, duh. .. I get it, mom.

I called the family practice guy (you know, the jack of all trades, master of none dude) who said, through his nurse (didn't want to personally talk even though he was standing by the phone) to stop the new medication, go to the lab for tests and make an appointment for Monday.  I did all of that. 

By noon there was no longer blood in the urine or stool so it was safe to once again cautiously smile.  Whew.

Now you'd think given the cirumstances that the jack of all trades/master of none would have called later in the day or early evening.  You know, just to check up to see how I'm doing and if I'm bleeding to death.  Nope. I'm thinking that (a) He didn't want to speak personally on the phone and (b) No call to check on me equals:  What's wrong with this picture?

This is not to say that telephoning a patient after the fact is an unusual practice.  The last visit to the ER after the head being banged bi time by the sailboat's boom (gotta watch those jibes ... they can be killers. .. real knockouts), brought an evening phone call by the attending physician to see how I was doing.  That's an ER doc with lots to do and people to see yet had time to ring me up. 

My dentist calls when there's been issues/pain/I'M BLEEDING BLOOD! deals.  Nice guy who follows up.  Means a lot.

My jack of all trades doc is a pup.  Wet behind the ears.  Came with glowing recommendations.  Nice guy.  Everyone says he definitely knows his shit.  But I'd have to add to all that that there's an exception:  His bedside manner sucks. 

I have to think since there's no follow-up that he's the kind of guy who leaves his dirty socks and shorts in a corner in the bedroom. .. leaves the toilet seat up with no regard for his wife and daughters, leaves a 10% tip even when service in that fancy restaurant is outstanding, and irregularly visits his patients who he had hospitalized.  You now the type.

At this juncture, given the resolve of whatever it is that ailes me, there's the distinct sense that I should move on to another physician.  Yes.

Changing docs is nothing new.  I go through them.  Take my first Cowtown physician.  I was out of there after the first rectal exam.  No comment on why.

Second doc:  Lovely lady.  Damn, she was the best.  Really.  But the chick had to go and divorce her husband.  The smoke of the divorce had hardly cleared when she hooked up with a drug sales rep (yes, 2 and 2 still make 4) and left Cowtown with him to live in another state.  Drats!

Third doc, also a female:  Whoa, bad news chick.  Too serious but that's okay for someone you're trusting your health and life to.  It all got down to her not renewing a prescription unless I had a blood panel done.  I'd been on this particular pill for well over 15 years and never, ever had any of my physicians made such a demand.  As most of you well know, no one and I mean no one tells Bob what to do.  Follows orders and other people is not a Bob thing.

On that day I was in for a yearly exam and the demand she made was off the get-go.  After her statement I buttoned up my shirt, put the tie back on and said, We're done here . .. and walked out.

Fourth doc:  Great guy.  Was just getting to know him after 3 visits when he decides Cowtown was not for him and left town.

Fifth doc:  A family friend with a clinic.  Short term with limited services.  Good person to fill in the gap until I found the next physician.  Actually, this guy recommended number 6.

Sixth doc:  That would be who's attending to me (or not attending) now.

Time for the seventh doc.  Ya think?

TMI?  I just had to vent. 

The photo?  Of a pond around the corner from the house.  Nice trail around it that's paved.  Wonderful place to walk the dogs.  Lots of water fowl.  An abandoned beaver lodge still sits on the lake.  Fish.  Mostly quiet.  It made for a great walk with the dogs following the I'M BLEEDING BLOOD! deal yesterday.

I needed that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Photos

Our girl has quite the eye, doesn't she?  Two more photo candidates for the student art show.  Hard to pick just one.

The rigor in fourth grade just escalated.  Four nights a week Grace is to read a chapter in two books, write a summary for one and prepare for a next day test on the other.  Then there's spelling words to study, math quized to correct, multiplication tables to learn and start planning to build a replica model of a California mission (every 4th grade kid does this).  Whew!

Yesterday we helped Grace with the first assignment of reading and summarizing.  She's a quick learner and in no time will complete these type of assignments easily. 

These photos were taken last week in the backyard. 

Okay, new meds:  Did they do anything.  I'm smiling cautiously.  Yesterday's average on meds was 101/59 which is pretty damn good.  The medication pamphlet explains that the drug relaxes arteries in easing the flow of blood.  This is funny.  Most of my life I've been anything but relaxed....tense, stressed, driven.  It's most logical that the arteries need relaxing.  Ya think?

Why the caution?  Still still to be determined is the cause of my high blood pressure or will I be like many middle age adults and remain medicated for the remainder of my "tour of duty."

At ease, Bob! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Photos By Gracie

The student art show is coming up at Gracie's school.  Sunday she used one our cameras to snap photos around the house and in the backyard.  Here's two that stuck my fancy as being out of the ordinary and "artsy".  The first photo is of Zinnia.  Surprising that she allowed Grace to get so close with the camera.

Here's Kiri, wet eyes and all.  She's on allergy meds but nonetheless her eyes weep. 

I'll publish more of Grace's photos over the course of the week.  You make the call come the end of my series of blogs which would fare well in the student art show.

BTW:  Last year Grace won first prize in her grade level.

Oh, and my blood pressure.  It remains over the top awful.  New meds starting today will hopefully eliminate this problem. 

Here's hoping.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Get One
NOTE:  This post is not meant to elicit pity, concern, anguish or what have you.  I'm not complaining or bitching, either....I'M JUST SAYING!

I had hoped that the next visit to my physician was for having an erection that lasted more than 36 hours.  Okay, I heard what you said ..."in your dreams, Bob".  Yeah, I'm dreaming.

Unfortunately, the visit to the old family doc was for blood pressure that was way over the top.  And I mean wayyy over the top.  Like the kind that makes for strokes, heart attacks and not for erections lasting more than 36 hours. 

A while back I bought one of these knowing that the old BP had to be creeping up.    It just felt that way.  I eat fairly healthy.  Okay, maybe 75% healthy.    Never smoked (but once in a while inhaled).  Exercise.  Do all the stuff the TV ads say one should do once we reach the ripe old age of 39. 

But ya know, it's nearly impossible to eat healthy in this culture.  Really, it is.  Unless you cook everything at home. .. eat organic, eat nothing salted, eat most things that grow in the grown and don't have eyes and walk on four legs (and sometimes two) you're gonna stop up those little tubes that run through out your little bitty body.   

It's the salt.  It's the fat.  It's a whole bunch of things that clog, choke, strangle arteries.  Given a lengthy time on this earth, which I've enjoyed, eating even an once in a while fast food dinner, pizza, chicken wing, steak dinner. .. or whatever, is going to catch up with you.  Genetics figure in here somewhere whether this becomes an issue or not .. .like I'm pissed off being of Europeon descent which translates into cracker colored skin that is also fair game for skin cancer.  Damn, I wish dear old dad had been someone of color.  Italians eat everything, don't they?  Olive oil.  Pizza with everything on it. . .. you name it.  Don't they like live forever?

Okay, the monitor.  Good thing to have around the house.  You got one of those bread machines?  Same thing.  A blood pressure monitor is something like that. . ya gotta have it.  It's an appliance.  A must have.

So, two days ago I'm not feeling so good.  Like I'm feeling stuffed, like a balloon that's going to pop.  Light headed.  A bit dizzy.  So I think I'm going to save 100 bucks by not going to the doc and haul out the machine, hook myself up and HOLY SHIT. ... I'm freaking dying here. . . blood pressure enough to propel a rocket to the moon!

Over the next couple of days I take the pressure and write down each reading.  Never good.  Always high.  I wonder if I should go to the ER. .. am I gonna stoke out?  Which I really don't care if I do as long as it's a done deal, lights out, dig the hole and put me in it.  It's stroking out that puts me in a chair drooling for the rest of my life without enough strength to put a 38 in my mouth and pull the trigger.  That would be hell on earth.  Have a friend who was placed in a home last week and it aint' good.  Can't feed himself.  Can't talk.  Shits and pisses himself.  He would have never wanted that.  Actually, who would want that?
When I visited the doc this morning I was ready for the big one.  I always expect the worst. .. you know, booked into a hospital suite, rolled into surgery, a saw ripping the middle section of the chest open to expose the heart, having a tube stuffed up my dick, blood drawn every hour on the hour.... if you've ever been hospitalized and had surgery, you know the drill.

To my surprise this guy deals with the elevated blood pressure levels like it's no big deal.  Prescribes something, tells me to call in 5 days if the levels are the same or higher (what if I'd dead, I wonder).  If the medication is not working the doc says he'll prescribe something else.

What's interesting and causes some concern if that there was no mention of don't eat this, eat that, get in and have your blood drawn, avoid strenuous exercise and no monkey sex resulting in 36 hour erections.  Hmmmm, was he having a bad day and didn't feel like talking or worse yet, doing his job?  Maybe I should find about family physician.

Well, I know what to do:  change the diet even more that it has been changed avoiding salt like the plague.  Fat has pretty much gone by the wayside so no worry there with one exception:  that damn nightly scoop of ice cream.  That has to go.  Damn, and so do chicken wings, pizza with cheese and all the toppings (read a suggestion to cut the fat/sodium by asking for no cheese and go vegetarian toppings).  Canned tomatoes for my pasta sauce have to go (too much salt - check the labels), canned beans used on our salads are loaded with salt.....the list goes on and on.  All this said, who ever said that life isn't about making adjustments was absolutely spot on.

Am I worried?  A little. .. enough to be cautious and focus on what needs to be done.  Diet.  Exercise more than usual.  Cut down on the monkey sex and 36 hour erections that glow in the dark.

As for you, buy one of these little gadgets.   The small unit that attaches to the wrist is 50 bucks on Amazon.  Deal.   Sooner or later you're blood pressure will be over the top (yes it will, believe it) and you will have wished that you had made adjustments to your lifestyle sooner and not later and used this little gadget to monitor your progress.

And now you know the rest of the story.  Good day.......

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States