View Full Version : Monthly Scumble September 2013

Shirl Parker
09-01-2013, 12:02 AM
Hi everyone! Welcome to the Scumble, our monthly chat thread where we share the happenings of our everyday lives! I hope you will all chime in and look forward to hearing about them.


09-03-2013, 11:39 AM
Hi Shirley and all...I've spent most of last month back and forth to the vet! Saffey had developed a thirst beyond normal and spent most of her time answering the call of nature, including 2am in the morning...I took the late shift, Andrew the early one...naturally I thought it could be diabetes...but when we took her to our vet they excluded that first...then she thought it could be Cushings disease...or more unlikely... Diabetes Insipidous ...several tests later, and still nothing definitive...so we were referred to the Veterinary hospital...they were also really thorough in their examination and advised an ultrasound under sedation....so we left her with them and came back later...a bit shocked really...I'd forgotten they'd have to shave her abdomen to do the scan....Saffey now needs a fur apron to stop her feeling chilly! Now we just need the last few results to confirm it's Cushings ( A disease of the adrenal glands) and then she can have the right medication....and I won't have to get up at 2am to let her out!

09-03-2013, 05:13 PM
Hi Shirl, thanks for hosting again!

Aww poor Saffey. She looks unhappy about the shave. Reminds me of when Kitten got her dog spayed, poor little darling. They always look so silly with a shaved tummy but it'll grow in again. Kind of you to put a fur apron on her to keep her warm.

I've been offline twice in a row for a bit over a week each time. First time it was the modem conking out and just ceasing to work for no reason. AT&T replaced the modem. Said they'd get it to me a day later - and it turned out that was when they shipped it, so I wound up installing it the following Saturday. Then two or three days after that was up and running, a misunderstanding about the bill wound up with my being offline for it being suspended on nonpayment. The friend who bought it for me had told them to put it on autopay and thought tehy did. They hadn't.

It's on autopay now, because this time I got as far as a supervisor making sure it would go on auto pay. At least I won't be going through this every month. My friend was out of touch for several days, so that was why it took so long to get sorted out till she got my messages and texted me back.

Now it's all taken care of and I am back online, hopefully for good. Here's a new Ari photo for anyone who wants to paint my beautiful cat.


I am more grateful than I can express that he's been healthy. He's a robust cat with a good appetite who doesn't like canned food as much as premium dry food. So he's not fat, he's sleek, active, healthy and knock on wood, never had any serious health problems after an ear infection got cleared up in 2004.

09-21-2013, 02:11 PM
Yikes, posting after myself again? Is everyone busy painting this September?

Back active again now that my proposal work for the week is finished. First part was the list of expenses to ask for them to pay, next was "Tell me a story. What are you going to do with all that stuff? I want a narrative."

500 words of moving, emotional-appeal narrative incidentally demonstrating that I do write well enough to make it my job later, I've also got 1000 words more specific about what I'll do with the stuff and services they're buying for me and when it'll pay off by their not supporting me any more. Which is the whole point of the program.

Social Security still does a bang-up job of saving money by getting disabled people off the rolls into Working Disabled. I'm more than ready to quit my Day Job As Cripple. I have loads of unpublished good intellectual property that needs the services an old fashioned traditional publisher would apply to it to be full commercial quality - editors, proofreader, cover designer/artist, graphic artist for ads, formatting for ebook formats and print on demand editions.

If all of it went into production all at once I'd stand a shot at making $40,000 a year, which is a decent living for how I live, way beyond decent living into any practical comforts I want. That'd be nice small flat in a Painted Lady old Victorian in a preferred neighborhood and cabs as wanted, home care probably no longer covered, buying insurance and some drugs out of pocket that would improve my life tremendously. $100 twice a year to get back four days a month of fully functioning instead of sick is well worth the cost.

Doctor visit had great happy news. For one thing, final results of starvation followed by meals plan, I lost another 10lb at a sensible rate and my adjusted BMI is now dead center Normal, which they ought to rename Healthy. I have 30lb excess bone density. If the scale ever showed Normal by the numbers, I'd be fainting and bony with serious anorexia symptoms. I did that once as a teen and got disgusted that it didn't make me strong or good looking. So now if I keep losing too far, I have to, oh horrors, add more donuts to put calories in. I've been a little more generous with eating since, knowing I've got that slack.

Some other drugs and procedures coming into reach including one more surgery that would seriously improve quality of life. They're in all directions including, finally, a filter for Physical Therapy.

PT has been my nightmare all my life. PTs that I met would all by their description, destroy my life and leave me with massive sports injuries and months of bed rest dealing with them on their approach. What I need to get effective PT is one that's used to pediatric/geriatric patients who will not have full predictable adult function at their personal best. Most often disabled people show up in those categories than as adults in their working years - those are mostly previously healthy people recovering function after a trauma instead of congenital defects trying to maximize what function they have and happy with any improvement.

Gee, what they'd do are all the things that actually help me - massage, soaking baths with other people moving me around or various aids to motion etc., therapeutic riding (Which my daughter's very knowledgeable about, working at a therapeutic riding barn) and external joint compression. PT with my coming out of a session feeling better than I went in, even taking into account the exertion of getting there, sounds great!

But of course every acute-oriented generalist doctor who'd never heard of half my conditions was always trying to sell the drill sergeant type of PT who motivates lazy people by estimating for them and shouting orders in a sort of competitive gym-teacher way. With flunking gym on those disabilities and bullying from children and gym teachers alike, being singled out by the teachers as "Pick on that lazy brat" by example, that approach from a PT would bring on PTSD panic attacks causing fibro attacks and sudden muscle spasms, knots in muscles rendering any physical help from the exercise useless and dangerous.

Do not keep exercising when your muscles are knotted up. This is the process that creates many, many sports injuries. It's when to slow down, work it through, self-massage or whatever to get past it.

What's more important for a disability-friendly PT is to tell me when to stop! If I have even an ounce more function than usual, I push myself too hard and am likely to do things for fun that I've put off for ages or just wished I could do, without heeding the consequences. I suspect this is normal for disabled people who've had it long term enough to where the new normal feels like normal, even if they used to be abled before something disabled them.

I am in better shape than I've been in my life and it shows, I look good relative to how I used to look. Moderately tanned on arms and face and neck, a healthy look about me, the ability to get down the stairs from my room without being winded unless I'm carrying too much. Up them again is still tougher but not impossible, just means resting up if the elevator's not working. As opposed to very long resting up or continuously worse every week if the elevator's not working.

Moving here was the right decision in more ways than I can count. Half of these health improvements became possible just by being in the right place - where I have reason to want to get out of my house and down the block. Whenever I wait for the van I'm usually sketching with plein air materials, whatever I brought. People take that for granted as part of what's normal in San Francisco, I don't get the sort of attention I did in other parts of the country. Not like someone impossible just dropped in out of Hollywood, just, yeah there's someone sketching.

The arts are real jobs here and lots of people are either professionals or hobbyists. If I get a stranger coming up, usually they're into art either as a collector or an artist themselves. It's very cool.

09-23-2013, 09:08 AM
Deirdre- I'm glad they found out what is wrong with your dog. My late black lab mix had ACL surgury and it seemed like forever until the hair grew back on his leg. They look funny for a while.

Robert- It sounds like things are really looking up for you. I'm glad. Ari looks good. I worry too about the health of my big 9 year old yellow lab (Otis). He seems really healthy and active, but I'm always looking for signs of age.
I have 4 people in my family in PT now. I keep hearing stories, good ones and bad ones. I think it's important to find someone that's a good fit.

Busy, crazy summer here. Still trying to finish painting the outside of the house before the weather changes. We haven't cut our wood for the winter yet. I'm still canning spagetti sauce and applesauce, done with the peaches and pears (I think).
My Father is still recovering from his broken leg- getting better every day, but the family has gotten together twice to cut wood for his home. We've been taking care of some of the farm work, but most falls on my Mom. Thank God they're still very active at 72 years old.
I haven't had much time to paint. I haven't worked in pastels since spring. It's frustrating. I finished a couple small watercolors, but that's about it. I have several planned, have the supplies, now all I need is time.

09-23-2013, 02:07 PM
DB, that's so frustrating. I can see why you don't have time to paint with all those seasonal things going on, but so frustrating.

That is scary, that even abled people wind up with PTs that are a bad fit and do more harm than good. It makes sense though. I run into problems like that with other kinds of medics too and PTs are just people, like anyone else. They have a way of doing their job and it fits enough of their regular patients that they're not failing all of them - or that hasn't gone on long enough for someone to get mad enough to try to pull their license.

If they're used to disabled people, they know all of us are One Of A Kind, especially with multiple disabilities. I have less elbow room to change my habits than most people because everything in my life got refined through trial and error to hold a narrow balance that lets me stay independent. Every habit I have serves a real function, usually several because life gets seriously better if something I do has multiple benefits.

Medics who are used to disabled people have been much more respectful of that. I don't have to Sherlock Holmes sort out exactly what that habit is, why it's a good thing or why something normal is a very bad idea beyond "I tried it and it didn't work, it made me sick."

I did meet one PT right after my 2005 surgery who had a good attitude. Unfortunately she didn't have any new information that could help me manage my situation any better. She went down a long checklist of common mobility run-arounds to find that about 2/3 were "I do that" and 1/3 was "Tried it, that never works because it causes X problem."

Her visit and questionnaire would have been extremely valuable to an abled person who was never stuck on bed rest. Seriously improved their chances of recovery and comfort along the way. But we both had the same frustration at the end when she realized the social services I needed didn't exist there and I was already doing the best I could under the circumstances. It was a strange moment - but in retrospect, it makes me a little more optimistic about PT in the future.

Now that I've got better resources, the joint compression and other such treatments may well be cost effective. If I come home feeling better than when I left, it's worth doing.

Shirl Parker
10-01-2013, 12:14 AM
Time for a new chat thread. Click here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1330732)