rowanf: (red egg)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I am having kinda of a "dark night of the soul" lately, mostly around the confirmation of my arthritis in my hands. I always imagined that as I got into old age that I would be back in a wheelchair. I mean, I could move funny tomorrow and be back in the wheelchair. But I always envisioned myself as doing hand work - beading, painting, needlepoint, pysanky, whatever. Even with limited mobility I saw myself as creating things. I just have no vision of myself with hands that hurt all the time and don't function very well.

I have found palliatives that help. And I know that the medical world is working on tissue engineering, trying to find ways to grow cartilage to replace damaged cartilage. It may be that there is a future ahead for me that is brighter than I can currently see.

But currently I am mourning and, frankly, freaking out a bit about my future.
rowanf: (contagious)

bacon-egg-squash.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So it has been six weeks since my surgery and I just kinda wanted to make some notes.

Yesterday, without thinking about it at all, I wore a t-shirt. Today my neck feels a bit chafed and I couldn't do it again today. But I didn't even notice I'd worn a high collar until this morning when I went to do laundry. Back to lower necklines today for sure... but in another week I might even be able to wear a necklace!

My voice is coming back though I am having a really hard time making clear tones and I still can't get above the D about Middle C. I don't know that I will ever have my voice truly back. I will try to rock my current fuzzy tones but I admit it is discouraging.

My TSH results came back and it was 2.57 (standard range: 0.34 - 4.82), which it is higher than it has been in years (I was mostly between .5-1, except for just before surgery when it fell even lower). I have to say that I feel good and have fairly good energy. I hope they don't adjust it too far down. My Comprehensive Metabolic Panel results were pretty much middle-of-the-road normal. Lipid test hasn't come back yet.
rowanf: (pink hair)

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Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So, unsurprisingly, the theme for the last week has been sleep A LOT and heal. I totally did not get my toons through the Dark Moon Fair in WoW the way I usually would each month. The sitting at the computer thing is getting better though.

It still hurts to talk, though not as much. On Friday, at my post-op visit with the surgeon, she put a scope down my nose and verified that both my vocal chords are vibrating. But OMG, I have no control! I'm not sure I realized how reliant I am on having control of my voice. When I was young I had a four+ octave range and was quite in voice. My various voice coaches encouraged lieder singing or opera, neither of which I had a taste for. (American Musical Theatre is another thing! But since I stopped hanging out with Drag Queens there isn't much scope for that in my life either ;) My range has diminished with neglect, and in the last year or so I have been able to tell the goiter was impacting it. But I still could count on reasonable vocal production. I currently have about half an octave and it hurts. And I suppose I shouldn't be surprised but I am a bit at how this hits at a core part of my identity.

Saturday Gwen arranged me to attend the House business meeting via Skype and that was fab. We're starting the push for the Pomba ritual at PantheaCon and I'm so excited. My Pomba earrings from Boveda Beads and I wore them and felt very Pomba energy filled. :) Gwen called me as she left the meeting and said she was in the mood for Cajun food and music and did I want to come with folks to the Po'House Bistro. As crazy as that seemed, Kurt picked me up and I went out and ate fried oysters/shrimp/fish and sweet potato fries and swayed to the fine R&B house band. It was a nice break from the cabin fever of the week but I didn't last very long. But I have such wonderful friends.

Sunday I mostly napped and played WoW (our Pandaren babies did their first dungeon!) and napped. Did I say napped? It is possible I kinda overdid it going out Saturday. But hey, it was totally worth it.
rowanf: (bear Roszmairta)

Mair-fest5.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
It has been a pretty good week. We had our Second Sunday Adocentyn Research Library work party and got a fair bit done (although since I was multi-tasking and attending the NCLC meeting remotely not so much thanks to me). But I did get a two day work week both weeks going up mid-week and spending the night at Glenn's. I still hate the commute (esp in the rain) but at least I can put in 5-8 hour days. We are up over 2,000 books entered on Library Thing (haha, I just noticed Glenn's count it 666). Not quite ready for patrons, but definitely getting to the stage where it is tempting to browse and read.

I really love Aangan, the Nepali Restaurant around the corner. It is a definite incentive to drive to Albany to work at the library. *grin* Although I did manage stops at Stag's Lunchette one week and I ate at the Solano Grill the other. But Aangan does amazing paneer pakodas and lamb korma and paneer masala dosa. Kurt donated his mini-fridge to the library so I can even have take-away for breakfast the next morning. Life is good. Unfortunately with my surgery coming up I have appointments that will keep me from working before surgery and then who knows. I had hoped to get more done. *sigh*

In WoW news, I have 11 toons lvl 85 or over and Velarosz will probably hit 90 next week. Even Roszmairta, my very first ever toon hit 85 despite the fact that she is a druid and I'm not very good with that class. So from August 2008 to November 2012 to get 85 levels. She started, of course, in Libraries and Librarians over on Aerie Peak but has been on Bronzebeard for a couple of years and is now in Daughters of the Alliance. I have friends who can get to max level in like a week. I have never understood how they do it though. OTOH, many people don't understand about dozens of alts. That is the nice thing about WoW -- there are so many different ways to play. Speaking of which, one of the new things is pet battles. If I didn't feel like I had to level some of my toons to 90, I would soooo be all over battling and collecting new pets. This week is the 8th anniversary of WoW. Happy anniversary!

In movie news, Russell and I saw Skyfall and Wreck It Ralph. Skyfall was a perfectly competent James Bond movie. Wreck It Ralph was a seriously delightful tribute to the arcade games of old. It reminded me a bit of Toy Story, in that the story is "behind the scenes" from the view of the gamers who play the games; what happens after the arcade closes. I laughed, I cried, I left with a smile on my face. Really, really fun.

I had my pre-operative appointment with the surgeon on Friday and my coven and other dear friends did a ritual for me. It was really wonderful and I am feeling calmer and more centered than before the ritual. We also dressed and charged candles for them to burn for me on the day of surgery. I'm already in the fasting from ibupropen (and not finding acetominiphen adequate). Tomorrow I have an ultrasound scheduled for a last look at the nodules before they are removed. We don't suspect cancer, but the ultrasound will show my lymph nodes just to see if she should inspect them whilst my neck is open for signs of cancer. My last needle biopsy was years ago, but there really is no indication. And my family doesn't seem cancer prone. I'm kind of amazed that it is a scary word despite my intellectual surety that it is unlikely.
rowanf: (pink hair)

Rowan-Steamstock-2.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
My total thyroidectomy will be on November 29th. As my readers may recall, my goiter/thyroid nodules which have been growing over the last decade or so are now at a size where they are worried that if I wait any longer for surgery it will be harder to remove. (I have gone from an 14-1/2 neck to an 18-1/2.) And the nodules are all intertwined in my vocal chords and the other structures of my neck.

I have an excellent specialist surgeon, Dr. Melinda Mior. It will be done at Stanford. My dear sister-friend Wingsong asked her doctor about an endochrinologist and I am on track for follow-up. I am expecting (and putting my energy toward) an excellent outcome. I will be able to sing. I will adjust well to the synthroid. My neck won't be this huge ugly stump. The scar across my throat won't keloid badly and the skin won't sag like a zombie. SMIB
rowanf: (Default)

Antmandala.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I'm sick again/still. My cold from early Nov became a sinus infection again. Noooooooo. And now I am on antibiotics and may have caught another cold that is going around. I missed the House biz meeting this weekend and all sorts of other things. Missed Family dinner last night, SJRep tonight probably. I'm starting to figure on more cancellations for the weekend. Wah!

I'm on Doxycycline Hyclate 100 mg twice a day which is making me nauseated (and can't be taken within 2 hours of eating) so meh.

Since I was at the doc and getting a blood draw I asked for a lipid profile as my triglycerides had been a bit high at the last one. I'm happy to report (and capture here thereby) that my lipid profile was quite normal!

Total cholesterol 166 mg/dL (good is below 200)
Triglyceride 94 mg/dL (good <150)
HDL cholesterol 60 mg/dL (good >40)
LDL Calculated 87 mg/dL (good <130)
Cholesterol to HDL Ratio 2.8 (good <5.0)
rowanf: (Witha roar)

Finishedchalk-7.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I work in a building out in the "Venture Capital" area of Menlo Park. I have noticed lately, as we have a new consolidated newspaper delivery, that the WSJ is our big paper here. The building gets 14 Wall Street Journals, 4 New York Times, 3 San Jose Mercury News, 2 San Francisco Chronicles, 1 Investor's Business Daily, 2 Barrons, an Asahi Shimbun and a Korea Daily. One each of the WSJ, NYT and SJM are for my office. Just a random fact about my life, I walk out every morning and pick up the papers.

My physical therapy visit yesterday went pretty well. My shoulder is still stiff but Scott's body work really did make a difference in range of motion. My elbow is still incredibly painful. Cathy suggested a sleep position with a body pillow holding me at sort of 3/4 turned that actually did make a huge difference in that I didn't wake up in pain (or move at all as far as I can tell) between 10-3:30 last night. My back/hip isn't too sure about it this morning, but I think I will try it again tonight.
rowanf: (Bad fairy)
I have mentioned that I have tennis elbow that flared up when I was pulling my suitcase in Europe. I have been inventing all sorts of reasons why this might be so. Stopping that now. Since taking four courses of Avelox in combination with corticosteroids (Flovent) and NSAIDs (Ibuprofen) the fact that I have had a tendon in my shoulder and now in my elbow blow out isn't really surprising according to recent news reports.

notes on flouroquinolone antibiotics )
rowanf: (Lykarosz)

Lyka-lvl10-screen.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Everything seems really crazy at the moment. Work somehow managed to have a deadline of 12/28 for patent disclosures for the last patent meeting of the fiscal year. So I'm going nuts searching for all the prior art that people might should have been thinking about, erm, earlier in the process. I feel sorry for the researchers who thought they were taking vacation this holiday. I wasn't so it isn't *that* big a deal except that the office stress level is quite high.

So Cataclysm dropped last week but I haven't had a lot of time to play. Kurt & I started worgen together on Saturday and got them up to level 12 (out of the starting area). One of my 80s (of 5) is now 81. WoW feels stressful because of the guild achievements mostly and feeling like I'm not progressing. And one of my guilds wants all the 80s to be 85 by 12/20 so we can start rated BGs. Gah! It isn't like the content is going to go away!

I went to an allergist yesterday and he didn't think I have allergies, he thinks I still have a sinus infection. So more antibiotics and more nasal sprays. I went off decongestants and antihistamines about 10 days ago so that they weren't masking the symptoms and I suspected the sinus thing. *sigh* Sinus headaches, ftl.

Silver linings:

The KPFA Crafts Fair on Sunday was nice. Got some gift shopping done, got two pretty extensions put in my hair whilst I chatted with Caroline Casey.

The Archaeology profession in WoW is amusing and Roszfianna is a Journeyman in it.

I'm back in physical therapy for my shoulder and it is getting better.
rowanf: (rowan silk wings)

Holi-LochModansunset2.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
This past weekend was the 42nd Anniversary of the NROOGD Ingathering. It was at a retreat center in Middletown up in Lake County. The facilities (lodge, cabins, arbour, pool, meadow) were very nice. I spent a fair amount of time sitting on the lodge porch visiting with friends. The drive up Friday wasn't bad, it took about 3-1/2 or 4 hours because I went up CA29 and hit winery traffic. I had wanted to go to V. Sattui so that made sense. I did stop but only to use the facilities. I was going to buy some cheese but I had terrible line luck and ran out of standing up time. On the way home I went via the Silverado Trail and it took like 2-1/2 hours. I was amazed. I don't know that the draw of wineries is sufficient to go up CA29 again.

Friday night I hosted a Bardic and it was wonderful. By the end we probably had 25-30 people singing together. I had made some song sheets but only 15 (copies at Kinkos are 11cents a page!). People shared and many had brought their own music. It was a great mix of pick, pass & play with songs old and new.

Saturday there was a Lammas ritual done by Silver Salamander, a discussion of the future of the Trad and an amazing "NROOGD the Musical" ritual done by Dark Forest. The SilSal Lammas was in the arbour which was fairly shady but at one point I was supposed to medidate where they had led me and my face was in the sun. I cut myself out after a bit because I really didn't feel comfortable in the sun. (Hmm. I realize I haven't blogged about my basal cell carcinoma, a hazard of not blogging regularly. Digression... Back in Nov 09 I went to the dermatologist about the carcinoma. She froze it with nitrogen but said come back in a month if it didn't go away. I didn't because I was angry with her for something else. On June 23rd I went back and another doc excised it and then gave me this cream that is supposed to rev up your immune system to fight the carcinoma cells that might remain, you use it for six weeks. Naturally, being me, my forehead turned into a horrible weeping, itching sore plus rash. I had called in on week three and said I thought it was unbearable and were there alteratives to another three weeks of cream. The doc was on vacation and the duty doctor said it was "working as intended". On the 22nd right before I came up to the Ingathering I went in and saw my doc. He said I had had a "very robust reaction" and should stop now. And here was some steroid cream to try and bring the swelling down. Truly, at one point I looked like a Klingon with my swollen forehead. So it was *this* forehead I did *not* want exposed to sun.)

Um, where was I. We talked about the NROOGD for much of the afternoon sitting in the lodge. I think it was mostly an opportunity to sit together and talk. Eventually it got to the same folks making the same points for the severaleth time and it was very warm and I headed out to the pool. It was good. I think we are a strong trad with more agreements than not. It was wonderful to have so many folks from throughout the Trad's history plus some relatively new folks interested in our stories. *grin*

"NROOGD the Musical" was fab. They put various bits of the ritual into music in silly ways. Everyone was infused with mirth and belly laughs abounded. The creativity of folks in NROOGD is one of our hallmarks. I was very disappointed there was no way to get this ritual into the Green Book this round. It was on iPhones but there was no email so no way to get it into my laptop. Very sad. I burned and distributed Green Book CDs on Sunday morning and so go them distributed fairly widely.

I'd have a nice picture or three to use to link to this... expect I got up there with my camera and no SD card. So here is another randome WoW image. And, yes, I am still playing alot of WoW.
rowanf: (Help I'm being englightened)

Fi-cooking4.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I thought I'd post an update about my health & diet. I have been doing my diet journaling over at fatsecret.com where I log my food. But it would be nice to capture some of that here.

I started the New Atkins diet on April 19th. At that point I weighed about 218-220 (I didn't own a scale myself, that was my last two doctor visits). I had severe IBS/GERD and was taking antacids (aciphex and zantac daily for years).

I stopped my antacids in early April in anticipation of starting the low carb diet. This has been amazing. I had one bad stomach/reflux episode in six weeks! Previously, I had two days a week where my stomach was really bothering me. Here I am pretty much pain-free! I realize my whole outlook has gotten brighter.

I bought myself a Wii, having used my Mum's when I visited Texas. Russell and I are having fun with bowling and downhill slalom and I am enjoying the WiiFii, esp. the step aerobics. I continue to use my exercycle about 3-4 times a week from 30-60 minutes.

On May 31 (I weigh on Mondays) I weighed-in at 204. And I've lost 2" in my waist. So not only do I feel lots better but I am losing the excess weight I had accumulated.

There are still challenges. I had gotten out of the habit of cooking in the last year. Needing fresh food is making me shop and cook more often. I'm not thrilled about that. Eating in restaurants is more of a challenge. I have never eaten so many caesar salads in my life. I'm not looking forward to New Orleans in a couple of weeks the way I would have been if I could eat beignets and etouffee.

But all in all I am quite happy with my health and diet.
rowanf: (fox feather)

Silvermoon7.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I've been wanting to write up something just for me on my health choices. After the my stomach hates me entry I was haunted by the question the Healthy Skeptic asked (I paraphrase) "If hyperacidity is the cause of GERD/IBS/etc why isn't it a disease of young people since stomach acid declines with aging?" He has put up a section just on this topic at http://thehealthyskeptic.org/heartburn .

I went off my acid suppressing meds at the beginning of April. I also decided to do a low carb diet but held off on that until after visiting my folks.

So April 19th I started the new Atkins induction. Atkins surely has changed since I did it in around 1999. They have added low carb veggies to the mix.

A week on with that I am feeling pretty good. My stomach doesn't hate me as much although I have had some hearthburn and reflux. Plus a week isn't long enough to really tell anything. I don't intend to take HCL w/ pepsin, I am just trying to let my body come to its own place. At least for now. I've been surpressing acid for so many years, who knows what it has done.

It is also hard to get interesting food when one is dieting. It entails more shopping and cooking than I have been doing lately. Esp., the veg which goes bad so quick. Pasta keeps so well. And buying prepared stuff from Whole Foods and Zanotto's is so easy when one is tired. So we'll see how I do on this long term. WTB a live-in cook (in my dreams).
rowanf: (Default)

FC&P3-21_025.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
The last week has been stomach hell week, so this is very timely.

Found this site via a comment from [livejournal.com profile] marypcb in [livejournal.com profile] mdlbear's journal.

As someone who takes and antacid and an PPI every day this series of articles is pretty shocking. And I just started taking Cholestyramine which is a bile acid sequestrant, which binds bile in the gastrointestinal tract to prevent its reabsorption. I am hating how many daily meds I'm taking. If there is a diet change I can make I'm very interested.

What Everybody Ought To Know (But Doesn’t) About Heartburn & GERD


So while antacids may provide symptom relief, they are 1) ensuring that the underlying problem will worsen and continue, 2) raising the risk of serious nutrient deficiencies (B12, calcium, iron, amino acids, etc.) and 3) increasing the risk of autoimmune and other digestive conditions.


The hidden causes of heartburn and GERD


To summarize, GERD is caused by increased pressure in the stomach resulting in a malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The increase in pressure is caused by bacterial overgrowth and malabsorption of carbohydrates, both of which are precipitated by low stomach acid. Reducing bacteria loads and limiting carbohydrate intake have both been shown to greatly improve, and in some cases completely cure, acid reflux and GERD.


I'm looking forward to his treatment article in the days to come!
rowanf: (Bad fairy)
Last night Kristil & I had a good planning session for the Ghede headwash music. I wish we could get actual chorus rehearsals going again though.

I am getting very tired of how tired I am at the end of the day. I had my first physical therapy session so that was probably making it worse. Then this morning I got up and went grocery shopping and picked up some more meds. Gotta say... pushing a cart around a store was a really bad idea. Ice is my friend. I just took a bunch of meds and I'm going to take a nap. *sigh* Hopefully this afternoon I'll be up to making the gingerbread. I want to soon not have any shoulder pain to complain of. Pretty please?
rowanf: (Brigid (Gds Oracle))

Rowan-Flowers.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
This afternoon I had my one week surgery follow-up visit. Wow. I understand better why healing takes so long - they removed the bursa entirely. So there is no nice cushion between bones at the moment. Plus, of course, they shaved the bone spur off the top of my shoulderblade and took off the end of my clavicle. They are happy with my progress and I start physical therapy tomorrow.

I got a new sling, I really think the thing they gave me after surgery was a pediatric sling. The new one fits, is comfortable and actually restful to have my arm in. I won't do it much because I need to be moving my arm so as not to have adhesions form. But it will be good to wear on my trip to remind myself not to lift heavy luggage with it.
rowanf: (fox fairy)

peacocks_002.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So I have three small holes in my shoulder. I wasn't supposed to take the bandage off until tomorrow morning but the adhesive was itching and being quite painful. They missed my tattoo, yay. (Dr. Chen had said he would try.)

Today I was more out of it than yesterday even, I think the anaesthesia protected me some. Today it hurt more. I'm counting down to my next meds. Although I do think the anaethesia made me itch. Or maybe I just itch because my body is confused by all the pain.

Oh okay, TMI.

Besides lying around and sleeping, I finished reading Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling. My father had recommended it to me because one of the post-apocolyptic communities in it is led by a Wiccan High Priestess (a Georgian as it happens). I thought it was an interesting idea and a pretty good read. I also watched the first 4-1/2 episodes of Buffy. And did a short photoshoot in SL with Scarlotti in the wonderful peacock coat from Blakopal (with me in some of my peacock stuff from various vendors, including Blakopal).

Tomorrow I intend to go downtown for the gala for San Jose becoming a partner city with the Council for the Parliament of the World's Religions. Kurt is giving me a lift and I will take a taxi home. I couldn't possibly drive (a) because I am basically one-handed and (b) taking vicoden every 4 hours. But hopefully I can manage to shower (waterproof bandages ftw), get dressed (though I'm a bit worried about that) and be coherent. Typing is showing me how impaired I am. This is hard work!

So I think I shall stop for now
rowanf: (Help I'm being englightened)

Huldrosz-raptor2.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Tomorrow I am having surgery at about 11am to remove the bone spur in my right shoulder. The surgery will take about one hour and there will be 1-1/2 hours of recovery time. So I'm done at about 1:30pm.

If anyone has spare energy for easy surgery by steady-handed doctor with good outcome, I'd appreciate it. The idea is that removing the bone spur will remove a narrowing of the channel in the shoulder such that I won't go through several months a year having shoulder pain and cortisone shots. This would be a great goodness. But it is still surgery with anaesthesia and well, I'm just a tad nervous.

The good news is I can probably type -- as long as my elbow is supported and I'm not moving my shoulder -- within a day or two. So you might see me in SL (any maybe WoW) and I'll probably be reading email & Lj. I expect to be back at work by next Monday.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any energy you can spare.
rowanf: (Default)

FC&P9-25medieval_005.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I suppose I should make some health notes. I finished my physical therapy on the 24th before I picked up my parents. My shoulder is doing pretty well between the cortisone shot on August 26th and seven sessions with a therapist. They had authorized 12 but I think I'm fine. I saw Dr. Chen yesterday and scheduled arthroscopic surgery on my shoulder for January. Hopefully, this will head off subsequent "bad shoulder" episodes.

This week I have had a sore throat all week. I think this is reflux caused, perhaps from drinking coffee whilst my folks were here. I had three cups over the course of a week instead of my one cup over three months or so. *sigh* OTOH, I have also had some headachy/boy ache/malaize going on these last two days so who knows whether there is more than reflux. I really hate this stuff.

Oh well. Hopefully I will be better in the morning as I am going off to the de Young Museum with Mo, Maeva & Ember bright and early. I got through most of a day's work today, I can manage museums. And driving. Really.
rowanf: (Vote)
I write my congressional representative fairly often, probably around monthly. I wanted to go ahead and post my current missive so I'd have the figures on hand to find again easily.

my letter )
rowanf: (Default)

lupinegrace2.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Thanks so much to everyone who has been sending energy. They didn't, as far as I can tell, find anything useful about my gut. There are gall stones, mild diverticulosis and a small calcified granuloma in my lung. All things he said were normal for an over 50 type. The thing he was concerned about was an ovarian cyst. So now I am all scheduled for an ultrasound and GYN visit in mid-December. *sigh*

I need to get a stool sample in but with the release of the gallon of tang/dye fluid they had me drink I am totally cleaned out. Again. So I guess we are on to endoscopy and colonoscopy but I am waiting until January. Although given how tight their schedules are I should probably book it now.

I really, really hate dealing with bureaucracies. I have not been unhappy with the care at PAMF but the fact that they make me recite my address "for security" to each and every person to whom I speak drives me nuts. Is it not enough that I know I am a patient of Dr. X and my name is Y? WTF is security about anyway. Like do people make prank appointments for other people? Outside of procto anyway. And if I have to make several appts with different departments I have to do it each time even if I have been transferred by the first dept.

And no, the picture is not at all relevant but I like it. *grin* Roszfianna is at lvl 64.

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