1 January, 2024

Ringing out 2023

Category: Aging,Annoyances,Body — Moose @ 10:52 am

My body chose to make the end of 2023 exciting, by having another TIA mid-afternoon on the 31st. The husband was home this time, so I grabbed him, packed supplies for an overnight stay just in case, removed my piercings, and zipped over to the ER. Again, it’s amazing how quickly they jump when you walk in and say you’re having/had a TIA. As with the last one the symptoms resolved quickly, and were not as intense this time around (I kept having to explain to various nurses/doctors that I’d had one earlier in the month and I was going to compare to that experience). CT scan came out normal and since I already have a follow up appointment scheduled for this week I talked them out of trying to admit me for another overnight stay. So a couple hours later and we were home again, and our planned guests came over for card & VR games. Did end up ordering pizza rather than making the stew I’d planned, but that was easier to deal with.

One takeaway will be pushing my orthopedist for more aggressive options on the knee. I need to be able to move more to help with my overall health, and the continuing instability in the knee is a liability there, even for something as simple as walking.

I’m also going to get some replacement piercings that don’t need the reverse pliers to take out so I don’t have to carry those with me or otherwise risk not being able to have an MRI if needed. I still want to wear the jewelry, but not at the expense of not being prepared to test at the last minute where needed.

30 December, 2023

Cleaning up

Category: Annoyances,Body,Books,Comics,Home,Stuff,Theatre,Work — Moose @ 3:36 pm

Spent the early afternoon culling books from my office. Mostly old triathlon books that I am not going to use again, and who could find a better life elsewhere. Rearranged some of the remaining books, and left some space for more which are sure to come. This shelf serves as my Zoom background when working from home, and always gets compliments, so I like to shake it up from time to time. Plus I really do need more space to fit some of the stuff (books and legos) I got for the holidays.

The husband is up in NYC for a day trip, seeing musical performances numbers 99 and 100 (he’s currently in number 99) for him for this year. He realized he was really close to 100 about a month ago and I urged him to go ahead and aim to hit it before year’s end just for the bragging rights of his “year of theater”. And it gave me a good space to clean without him getting bored and wanting me to drag him out of the house to go do something. 😉

This upcoming year is going to be a challenge. There’s the knee, and the ongoing medication adjustments from the TIA (BP was almost in the normal range this morning, which was nice to see). There were some shenanigans with pay for our top ranks at work, including me, because our former GC was a bit fast and loose with his legal work, so I will take a slight haircut on base pay for the year. Not paralyzing, but definitely annoying. And whatever else life tosses my way. Nothing unsurmountable (so far), just mostly annoying. Though I would like the knee to get back to normal sooner rather than later, since moving is important to me and I would like to do it like a normal person again, and not a semi-invalid.

Likely going to go catch up on some comics this afternoon, and maybe hit a long-delayed cross-stitch pattern that I had lost the bits for on the shelf, but which have now been found.

27 December, 2023

The Weird Week

Category: Adult,Aging,Annoyances,Body,Cooking,Family,Food,Friends,Games,Stuff — Moose @ 10:37 pm

The week between Xmas and New Years can be an odd one. Cleaning up from Xmas, figuring out where new things need to go. Finishing off leftovers. Etc.

Two weeks on the new drugs, and also dropped a decongestant that I’ve been taking for forever (20 years?) because it can raise BP. Other than the withdrawal from the decongestant (felt like a bad head cold, especially on day three), things have settled in. Of course there’s a weird paranoia that comes with having had a TIA – is any odd sensation, which would not have raised an eyebrow prior to three weeks ago, related? They’re not, of course, but that doesn’t stop one from idly questioning each and every one. I’m more likely now to move out of a position that will give me pins-and-needles now than I was previously, if only to prove it’s not my brain misfiring (as opposed to just cutting off nerves/blood supply). Whee! Bodies are such fun.

Picked up new glasses this afternoon, which was a whole other adventure in being more active than I have been. The new Echo frames are fantastic. The other regular frames I picked out back in August seem to be cursed. Second set of lenses, second set of “this isn’t right”/headache inducing oddness. I have to go back next week for a pair of readers (prescription adjusted for close work – yay aging eyes), so I’m trying out the regular ones off and on, but I swear that VSP either did nothing with the lenses, or they just can’t get the prescription right. Especially since the Echo frames are, as stated above, fantastic – no issues seeing out of the new lenses there. *shrug* Hopefully they’ll be able to test the lenses and see what’s going on there.

The in-laws came down for Xmas and we had fun playing card/board games and what not with them. And of course the usual Xmas stuff of gifts and stockings and what not. Fare was relatively simple, no big bird or beast, but the melting potatoes were a hit again.

We have another couple coming over for New Years eve, and I need to plan out dinner. They’re mostly vegetarian, which is easy enough, but I did a risotto already for them pre-Xmas so I need to plan something else this time.

13 December, 2023

The annoying stage

Category: Aging,Annoyances,Body,Health,Mood — Moose @ 11:00 pm

Toward the end of the stay in the hospital I was getting my full grump on, because all the tests were coming back normal, but no one was telling me when I was getting discharged, and when they came to ask for food orders for lunch and dinner that day I. Was. Over. It. Lack of sleep, semi-planned dehydration (so I didn’t have to call the nurse to get unplugged so I could go pee), and several blood draws didn’t help their case.

And now I have to schedule a follow up with them, but they keep calling when I’m in work meetings.

So far the new medications (a statin, a baby aspirin, and now a BP reducer) have been okay. I had a light headache in the evenings the first few days, but that could have been lack of sleep or staring at screens for too long as easily as the new prescriptions. Just picked up the BP medication today around lunch time, so it wasn’t that (that just caused a little lightheadedness, like poppers but less fast, and definitely less sexy). I’m guessing it’s just the body adjusting to the new equilibrium on these things. No headache so far this evening, so hopefully that’s done with.

Definitely annoyed that I have to take more drugs. I hate taking medication, and I really hate having to add to the pile. Whatever; I’ll deal. But I’ll still be annoyed at some level by it all.

8 December, 2023


Category: Aging,Annoyances,Body,Exercise,Health,Mood,Sleep,Stress — Moose @ 1:10 pm

First off, I’m fine. Don’t you love when an entry starts out that way?

Tuesday morning (December 5th, 2023) around 10:30 I was standing in my living room when I had a sudden bout of dizziness, followed by numbness in my right hand and some tingling on the fingertips. Almost felt like my blood sugar had dropped out (the dizziness) and like I’d pinched something so my hand fell asleep. Both passed very quickly, then the hand numbness came back less severely and stopped again. And then the inside of my mouth and tongue on the right side got numb, at which point I started googling stroke and heart attack symptoms, and drove myself over to the local urgent care center. The symptoms were all resolved at that point, in less than ten minutes, but I still wanted to get checked out. They took me back immediately and examined me, then advised me to go to an emergency room.

Drove home, grabbed some things in anticipation of a long wait, summoned an Uber ride, texted the husband to let him know what was up, and went to the ER at the hospital attached to the university he works at, even though it’s twice as far as the two closest. It also happens to be in the same network as the urgent care center, so they had all of my info from the earlier check in. The husband met me there, the team again jumped in on me pretty quickly – you say/describe “stroke symptoms” and medical professionals’ eyes get big and they immediately start doing things. CT scan that afternoon, then they checked me in that afternoon for an overnight stay for more tests and observation. The poor husband had to return home for the tools to get my piercings out so I could have an MRI, which happened around 12:30am (hospital corridors are much less busy at that hour). Echocardiogram with bubble contrast was late morning on Wednesday, plus constant EKG monitoring and more blood draws than I care to think about over the course of the day.

Tested, prodded, and evaluated, the verdict was that I probably had a “low-impact transient ischemic attack (TIA)”, a kind of stroke-like event that quickly resolved itself. No damage, tests all came back normal, not a stroke, but now I get some new medications (baby aspirin and a statin) and a longer discussion about all of this with my primary care physician at a pre-existing appointment on Monday, at which I was already going to be discussing slightly elevated blood pressure (which has not been helped by the lack of ability to do a lot of cardio because of my knee dislocation in September).

All-in-all I’m doing okay now. I feel fine, and other than needing some more sleep everything seems to have returned to status quo ante. I’m annoyed at the elevated blood pressure and adding yet another drug to the morning mix (I hate that I have to take pills to function), but the results came out well for what happened, and I’m glad I got it all checked out and will get an appropriate treatment plan. And maybe a new doctor to add to the deck? Because as you age doctors seem to be like Pokemon – gotta catch ’em all! Heh.

27 November, 2023

Winding down November

Category: Body,Cats,Exercise,Knitting,Stuff — Moose @ 4:09 pm

I checked my work phone this morning, mainly to look at scheduling, and ended up taking care of two “emergencies” that people were hopping about this morning, then promptly dumped it on the charger to ignore it once more. They can have my time when I’m back on the clock Wednesday. I did end up having to reschedule a doctor’s appointment because the original one is on the day they chose for out office holiday party while I was out on break. No biggie, thankfully. Still need to find out when my current 90 day full-time-remote status dies (next week, I think). I think I’m capable of commuting in now, but I’ll make sure to take the crutch with me for it.

Ortho at the end of the week. Vet for the cats tomorrow. So I’ll be working Wednesday and Thursday, but off the rest of the week, added to the week off last week. Has been a nice break. Knee is progressing still, but definitely not back to normal. I’m able to bike on a stationary trainer now, so that’s becoming my default cardio. The new Garmin GPS watch I bought in August for running works well with the bike accessories, so at least that wasn’t a total waste.

Desperately behind on comics. Like dozens of issues behind at this point. Even reading 4-5 a day I’m still falling behind because of the backlog. Clearly we have a comics problem.

On the third color of my four-color brioche scarf, finally. Just in time to get more yarn for a blanket the husband asked for (which I’m glad I grabbed, because the plum base he wanted is not showing as available any more on the site).

Xmas is all up, and we’re the envy of our street (which apparently got me added to a group text that I hadn’t been on before). Added some strings going from the roof to the group floor, framing the house and windows (lines from the balcony edge straight down to the top of the garage/front door), and some blinking rainbow candy canes for the front walk. And a manual timer to turn them on at 4:30pm and off at 7:30am, roughly around dusk and dawn.

21 November, 2023

Expecting worse

Category: Body,Cooking,Food,Health — Moose @ 9:09 am

In my head I was preparing for the worst scenario yesterday, and feeling like absolute dreck yesterday, today, and possibly tomorrow. I went to go get my seasonal flu and covid booster yesterday morning, and in my head I was conflating that with last year, when the husband and I got those and the monkeypox vaccine all at the same time. That three-shot combo laid me out for a day or two, so that’s what I was mentally preparing for this year. The two-shot combo wasn’t nearly as bad. I did end up taking a nap (which the female cat appreciated), but I stayed up to my normal time, no nausea, just a little tired. So yay for that.

While waiting to see if side effects would kick in I grocery shopped, set up soup in the slow cooker (sweet potato & apple soup), and finally seasoned (or in one case re-seasoned) all of my new carbon steel cookware. So it wasn’t like I was sitting around just waiting to feel tired. Should’ve knitted some, too, but you can’t do it all.

9 November, 2023

Fits and starts

Category: Adult,Aging,Body — Moose @ 4:48 pm

Knee is improving in fits and starts. I’m on my third brace now. I originally had a neoprene one from urgent care and a big complicated one from the orthopedist. Ortho cleared me last month to go back to the neoprene one, which was doing okay but started to tear and get stretched out, so just yesterday I got a replacement brace (recommended by the ortho’s office) which I’m trying to get used to, in terms of the fit and how it goes on. I’m also trying to spend less time in the brace, period, because I started getting some skin irritation under it. Slept for the first time with no brace on last night and it did well, but this morning I was truly sore from that and PT yesterday, so took the rare (for me) step of taking some ibuprofen.

9 October, 2023

Rolling along

Saw my sister-in-law and niece off this morning, after they popped down for the holiday weekend.

Made some homemade pumpkin spice coffee additive last night (1.5 cups sugar, 1.5 cups water, bring to boil over medium heat, whisk in 4 teaspoons pumpkin spice blend and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, lower heat to simmer for 20 more minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve (and cheesecloth, if you have it, to further reduce the solids) and add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stores in the fridge for up to a week). Also made toddy coffee concentrate, so had homemade iced pumpkin spice lattes this morning (1/2 cup concentrate, 3/4 cup milk, 2 Tablespoons PSL mix). Was tasty. I’m normally a black coffee drinker, so anything beyond that is exotic for me, but this was a nice treat. And the SIL was impressed, which is what really counts.

PT this afternoon. I have some pitting edema going on, meaning there’s still a lot of extra fluid in the knee, so if that’s still there at the end of next week I get to ask the orthopedist about that. Flexion was about the same as last week, which may be related to the extra fluid at this point.

Short week last week (and weird because of the almost-government-shut-down), short week this week. My new attorney shadow gets here in two weeks; it’s someone I recruited from my old agency, so I know I’ll work well with him. Looking forward to training him on the new agency, and a new area of law, as well as passing off some of the stuff that I’m not as well versed in but that he has much more experience with.

Oooh, we played Uno Flip last night and really enjoyed it. The husband and I own it, but hadn’t played it, and it was quite a fun variation on the regular uno. Both sides of the cards are playable, a light side and a dark side, and every now and again people can make the deck flip from one to the other, which also flips all the cards in your hand. Kept things lively.

Got some more of the Halloween stuff put up, including the green-purple-orange light strings we bought last year but didn’t get up (maybe we bought them at the end of the season on sale? I don’t remember why they didn’t get put up). Our neighbor does a much better job with it than we do, but we outshine them at Xmas. 😉

5 October, 2023

Here and There

Category: Aging,Body,Food,Health,Stuff — Moose @ 10:11 pm

Physical therapy is proceeding apace. Flexion in the knee is increasing; was 85 degrees last week, 110 yesterday. Still sore as fuck after PT, of course, but improving, which is the point of it all. Trying to concentrate at work afterward is annoying, but since we’re not shut down the panicked mood has subsided there. Heaven only knows what November will bring.

Mostly wandering around the house with just one crutch now, with occasional short stints without any support.

Made out like a bandit for my 51st birthday. I have a lot of Lego art pieces to build and hang now. And cupcakes. So many cupcakes.