Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I've complained about the things that go bump in the night,
but I have to admit that running has given me a new appreciation for Texas wildlife.
I grumbled some last Saturday because I had to take my daughter to work, when what I really wanted was to go for an early run. On my previous run I'd seen a blue heron in the bayou.
When I got out to Sugar Land to drop her off, I saw a trail running along the water course. I'm not sure what to call that water course, it's not a lake, it's not a bayou, maybe it's a creek. Who knows! In any event, I decided to go run there.
As I worked my way around, I became aware of some interesting black birds that had scarlet patches at the top of their wings, on what I guess I'd refer to as a shoulder (do birds have shoulders?) It was like a wide red swatch, with either a white or yellow thinner line below, and the bottom half of the wing was black. I tried to take a picture but only had my Blackberry so you can't really tell.
A little bit farther on, I heard a large bellow and looked down to see a huge bullfrog sitting half submerged. My Blackberry was NOT up to the task, so no picture!
All in all, it was a very interesting run.
As I drove in to my subdivision yesterday after work, I noticed two turkey buzzards sitting on top of a house. There was a car behind me so I didn't stop to take a picture. There they sat, just surveying the neighborhood! I bet they were looking for that possum that was up the tree in my back yard....
After yesterday's run, I came home to find my youngest sitting with her laptop in front of the TV. I went in to change clothes only to hear her yell at me to come back, there's a bird in the house. Sure enough, a small black and yellow bird had gotten in and was perched on top of an antique Chinese wall hanging. That bird had good taste!
Not sure what to do, I left it alone. But a while later, another Texas critter became concerned. The one with the bows.
So I opened the window to try to pry the screen off to allow the bird to fly off, but I didn't succeed in getting that blasted screen off. In the meantime, the bird is sitting on top of the window as I'm pushing the sash up, and Sophie is bouncing and barking. I reached up, and the bird allowed me to pick it up. I carried it outside and released it on a bush by the window.
I've always been told that the amount of wildlife in an area is a clue to the health of the environment. By that measure, I'd say my neighborhood is still pretty healthy.
Oh, I almost forgot: my house is suffering yet another invasion of tree roaches. Now I know what you think, but these things come in no matter what you do, and it doesn't matter how clean you keep your house. Not that I do.....
When I first moved to Texas, I was horrified by these things. Let's face it, they're big enough to saddle and ride! And I'll never forget the first time I stepped on one in the middle of the night.
These giants come in if it's too wet out, if it's too dry out, anything's an excuse. All I can say is that it must be tree roach season. But I don't think my house is all that healthy an environment, because a lot of them are lying on their backs with legs up, and I stopped exterminating fifteen years ago! There's still that much residual pesticide in my house?
OK, here goes. Not for the squeamish!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Don't you just love it when people write well thought out blogs? Well, this isn't one of them. Lots of things are nagging at me, and I just need to put them out there. Perhaps if I do so they will be gone.
My ankle suddenly started hurting on Monday. It's hard to describe what it feels like, perhaps like there's a catch in it. It's only when I step on it, and my foot almost gives out. I pretty much sit at a desk all day, so it was no big deal, and in fact stopped after a bit. But when I went out to run yesterday afternoon, there it was again. I tried stretching it, then ran anyway. I ran through the pain: it eventually stopped. But it was an unpleasant run nonetheless. Around 80, windy, and my body wouldn't warm up. I was scheduled for a short run - 2 X 10-2 - and I didn't feel warmed up until after 20 minutes. Sheesh! It sucks having an old body.
I used the vibrating heating pad on the ankle last night, and this morning it feels a little better. But I'm scheduled for a training run tonight. We'll see what happens.
I've finally gotten the paper work done on all of my mother's accounts. Now they will be in the estate name. Just the first step of many, but this was monumental as I had a devil of a time with my bank and Medallion guarantees. I had to go back several times before I found a bank officer who would help me.
I need to deal with my parents' house some time soon; my brothers and I put it off for the winter because lake effect makes travel uncertain. I dread going back but I need to do so some time soon.
My annual dance camp is next week. It's held in the Texas Hill Country, at a Young Judaea camp. This is the sixth one I've done, and for some reason I've put off a lot of the work to the very end. In the past it's either been late March or early April, but this year we chose late April, after tax season and after Passover. And so I procrastinated. It will all get done, but it's been laborious this year. Maybe it's me, maybe it's the timing. I know it will all come together, and I know everyone will have a great time, but I wish I felt better about it.
And then there's my youngest. She's fine, just a little shaken by the car accident. What worries me about her right now is that she's been sitting in front of the TV when she gets home from school, and I haven't seen her studying. I keep asking about it and she tells me not to worry, she's studying at school. I've heard this story before, and I don't buy it. Fortunately we have an appointment with the therapist tomorrow evening.
You know what I really want to do? Throw away 75% of my belongings, sell my house, and move into a condo or apartment. Without any of my kids. Yup, I'm worn out.
There, I've put my nagging thoughts out there. Be gone!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Wow, what a weekend so far.
I had to drive to the camp where I'm holding my dance camp in two weeks in order to take a look at the new accommodations they've built so I can decide where to hold various events. Plus I need to figure out how to assign rooms, always a tricky thing.
I had planned to go Saturday and invited a friend along because it's a three hour drive each way. Well, it turned out we needed to go Friday night in order to be back early afternoon Saturday, so that threw my plans into a turmoil. But I'm flexible (sometimes!)
I got back home yesterday around 2 pm and took a brief 30 minute nap. After doing some cursory cleaning (and cursing at my youngest who is a pig), I decided to go out for my run. But before heading out, I checked my phone and saw a missed call from my ex. Now, he hasn't called me in three and a half years, so I knew something was up. So I returned his call, and after telling me that my youngest was in a car accident and that the car was totaled, he started to tell me in a very irritated voice about the accident. I interrupted to find out how she was, he said fine. After more questions on my part I discovered she was at the hospital emergency room. So off I went.
She's OK, very much banged up, her right leg is in a brace and she's on crutches. The airbag deployed, the seat belt held her, and in addition to a bruised face, she has lacerations on her neck where the seat belt cut in. All I can say is thank you Toyota for what turned out to be a very strong little Corolla. I've always loved that car - it was a 98 with 185,000 miles on it.
She's home, she's on pain meds, and she's been asleep since 8 pm last night. I'll worry about the rest of it later.
I finally got out for my run this morning. I was scheduled for 2 X 10-2, but decided I wanted a longer run, so at first thought to do 4 X. On further thought, I decided to push beyond what I'd done before and go for 5 X. Well, I wasn't quite back, ran out of music, and had to run on to get back to my car. So the final result was 5.5 miles in 67 minutes. Clearly I'm not going for speed!
OK, NOW I'm ready for the weekend. Bring it on!
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired because I get no sleep. Sophie and every other dog in the neighborhood want to get out there, and the creature growls and hisses off and on all night.
No way am I going out there!
Monday, April 05, 2010
I've seen my fair share of medical professionals in my 60 years, and I'm finally starting to feel that I'm in tune with where medicine is headed.
Don't get me wrong, if there were a magic pill for anything, I'd be the first in line. But I've always felt as if medicine dealt with me in pieces, with no one caring about the whole person. The song may have told us the hip bone is connected to the leg bone, but no one really seemed to treat us that way. When my hair fell out years ago, no one thought to check for a tumor on my ovaries. They just told me I was stressed out!
My experience has been changing. Imagine my surprise when the psychiatrist did blood work, and prescribed thyroid and vitamin D. I'd gone in for something to calm me down while going through a divorce, and oh yes, he prescribed that too, but the thyroid and D did so much good, those other pills were soon forgotten.
Then I went to see an orthopedist because my shoulders and upper arms were giving me pain. After an X-ray and steroid shot, he prescribed anti-inflammatories and physical therapy. To my surprise, the physical therapy worked. When the second shoulder started acting up, it only took a couple of steroid shots and my continuing with exercises I'd learned to solve that problem. I don't have complete range of motion yet, and may not ever, as the bone spurs in my shoulders are very real, but I've avoided surgery for now. I really like that solution!
But what nags at me is the thought that I didn't know I was supposed to do exercises specifically to strengthen rotator cuff muscles. How many people know to do this? OK, maybe it's just me who was ignorant.
So last week when I'd had enough of the neck pain that had been plaguing me for a few weeks, I decided to go see a chiropractor. I don't know why - though a friend of mine is a chiropractor, I always thought his ideas were really out there. I didn't want to go back to the orthopedic surgeon because a) it's pricey and b) I was already on anti-inflammatories and c) there is no c), I just got this crazy idea to go to the chiropractor instead. Well, my friend the chiropractor has moved to Israel, so I emailed him for a recommendation.
Armed with his advice, I called for an appointment. Imagine my surprise when I was able to get in the next day. I have to wait two weeks to see my GP!
Chiropractic seems to have changed a lot since I went to see my friend years ago. I'd twisted my body getting out of the car and couldn't straighten up. He set me straight - literally - but that was it.
No, things are definitely different now. I was hooked up to some machine that I guess measured nerve pulses, and pinpointed where along my spine there was inflammation in the nerves. And sure enough, it highlighted exactly those areas that I felt might be an issue. The neck, the upper back, the right hip that aches after a long run....
Then they did an x-ray. When I finally saw the chiropractor, he advised he'd have to review the x-rays and wouldn't do any treatment until the next appointment. I was feeling more and more confident about my decision.
When I went back today, I got the good news that there wasn't anything terribly wrong, and that the course of action over the next month was not only adjustments, but physical therapy to strengthen my core, strengthen my neck muscles and pull back my shoulders. The goal is to get me out of there so I don't have to come back. Wow, that was a surprise: no endless treatment prescribed!
After an adjustment (snap, crackle and pop - wow, that's disconcerting) and some electrical nerve stimulation I was out of there feeling very hopeful that I was going to be able to solve this problem too. And I love that physical therapy is gaining ground, because I truly believe we cause a lot of our own ills and with a little knowledge can fix certain things.
I like what's happening, but what I would really like to see is some kind of repository for all the medical testing that the various doctors are doing on me. If they could all upload the results of their tests to one database, my various 'specialists' would all have access to test results and wouldn't need to duplicate expensive things like blood tests, x-rays, MRIs. Surely that's being done somewhere, isn't it?
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