Friday, November 24, 2017

A Pretty Decent Day

Friday turned out to be a pretty good day.  I got up early and went to Our Daily Bread and got a quiche and a loaf of 12 grain bread, then returned home to do my knee exercises.  I then got ready and drove in to meet my kayak friend for lunch, then I headed back and sold my coin collection for 80 dollars, which I can use right now.  I stopped at Our Daily Bread and got a loaf of Olive Rosemary bread, then I headed back and rode my bike for thirty five minutes before taking a good nap then heading over to Glenda’s for dinner.  I gave Daniel the suitcase I had and he appreciated it.  I had a nice chat with Candi and Daisy and then I washed a lot of plates to help out.  The food was again terrific.  I drove back home and took a thirty minute walk before heading in and watching the Tech game.  I did a full set of weights and yoga and that felt pretty good.  I was not too anxious all day and that was a very pleasant relief.    

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Things are pretty bad

Tuesday turned out to be a pretty important day.  I went to see my new apartment at Prices Fork and it looks fine.  The one problem I brought up is that there are no screens on the windows and that is important.  I told Heather Hodges I need at least one and two (for each of the rooms with windows would be best).  She is going to bring it up next week.  It shouldn’t be too hard to have a small frame built that would take care of the problem.  
      The bigger concern was my meeting with Dr. Trivedi and that was really a setback.  She explained that my numbers were slightly worse and that my case had turned into a refractory or difficult case and that meant that the prednisone was not working as expected (my dosage should be increasingly lower) and that is why she put me on 20 mg instead of the 12 and ½ I was on.  She offered me several options for an alternate drug but the best one seemed Prograf, a kidney transplant drug, that has to be strictly monitored and of course can have a lot of dangerous side effects.  I started on it that evening and will take two pills a day at about 9:30 am and pm.  I also need to start taking iron since my iron level is very low.  Trivedi thought much of my anxiety is coming from the move and from my returning to teaching in January.  I think it is mainly due to the prednisone but I’m not fully sure.  I did get another blood shot and it didn’t hurt much and hopefully it will increase my energy some.  I was really down about the visit and my relapse, but I did have a few laughs when I visited the Gallows.  Lou seemed pretty down but he has his own stuff to go through.  I did ride my bike along the river so that was a good break and some good exercise.   I also helped Mary with some of her packing.

Wednesday was the start of my new situation and I can’t say it was very pleasant.  I slept pretty good by using the nebulizer but when I got up I was very low energy.  I did my knee exercises, did a slight bit of packing, practiced the songs, rode my bike for 35 minutes.  None of it felt very good and I took half a valium to make me feel less anxious.  I went over Mary’s to help her pack more and then I came back for a real nap of over an hour then went back to Mary’s to help pack a little more and to socialize with her while she made bread.  I ordered a pizza and salad for us and then we played a game for an hour and I headed to Kroger for some grapes and clementines for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving at Glenda’s, then I chatted with Dave for a while and he seemed to be doing rather well. 
Thursday has started out pretty anxious and I am hoping that I can get out of the terrible funk I am in.  I am really down about my health stuff.  I talked to three people this morning, my sister Judy, Rob, and my sister Roberta, and I broke down talking to all of them.  I just feel lost, anxious, tired, just pretty awful.  Talking with Lou did help me quite a bit since we are both in a pretty deep hole and we are both doing well talking.  I did get my knee exercises in and I did go for a bike ride, for the first time since the asthma attack going up the smallest hill twice.  I then picked up some stuff for Mary and got ready for Thanksgiving dinner at Glenda’s.  Fortunately that turned out pretty well and I socialized okay and felt reasonable when I left around 7:30.  I took a 25 minute walk and talked to Lou again it was comforting to speak with him and he and Cathy and Maddie and Claire had a decent Thanksgiving so that was good.  I texted Gyorgyi and got a nice response and I sang three of the songs before doing a couple sets of weights and yoga.  


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Singing once again

Saturday started pretty good.  I slept pretty well despite coughing quite a bit, and then I did my full knee exercises, along with reading some of Kings.  I packed 4 boxes more so I am only 2 behind on my goal of 12 (3 a day).  I did some catching up on my blog, sang 3 of the songs twice, tried to nap and failed, then started my prayers.  I felt well enough to go for a 30 minute flat bike ride with perhaps a cough or two, then I settled in to watch the Tech game, which Tech won 20-14, with a very exciting goal line stand my Tech to prevent Pitt from winning.  After that I got ready to go to mass and attended the 5 o’clock mass hoping to be able to practice the new songs, but two of the songs were different so I didn’t get the practice I was hoping for.  I saw Joseph and Felistus after mass and I gave Mary Bland back her book.  I had another good conversation with my sister Roberta and admitted what a dummy I was.  Then I had a long and good conversation with Lou.  He thought I should write about my Lupus experience and work with the wolf imagery.  Another thing that struck me was the lack of a future I have.  Later I  emailed Beth but she didn’t respond so I guess I will just wing it.   I went for a 20 minute walk over at Kroger and bought one of the small roasted chicken and enjoyed over half of it in my truck then drove home for a big bowl of vegetables.  Unfortunately I started coughing very heavily so that is very disconcerting.   I watched TV until 12:15, and then tried to go to sleep but I was still coughing heavily, even after I took several puffs, so I decided to use the nebulizer and that did help.  I had to move to the master bedroom to sit upright but fortunately the upstairs tenants were quiet and I did drift off at points.


Sunday I awoke at about 8:15, feeling pretty tired but not coughing too much.  I wasn’t sure if I should try to sing but after trying to nap for a few minutes and failing, I decided to get up and go to the church.  I got there just as the baptism was finishing and we started our practice around 10:30.  I felt pretty good during the practice and Beth didn’t complain so I decided to sing through the mass.  I had to go out at one point to cough and get some water but overall I think I sang pretty well, although Beth didn’t say a word.  I guess if she had problems with my singing she would have said something.  I felt pretty good about singing but not as good as the first two times, but I think that might be because I am not feeling that well overall.  I stopped at Food Lion to pick up some vinegar and take a 20 minute walk and I hope to drive to Walmart later for some supplies and for a longer walk.  I did a wash, watched a little TV, napped a little, and am going to try to work on a poem.  I did write a pretty good draft of a poem about losing my future to lupus, and I think it could easily turn into a series of poems.  I sent Lou a copy and he liked it.  I am planning to go over there for a quick visit on Tuesday.  I drove to Walmart for some supplies and a 45 minute walk.  That felt pretty good.  I haven’t taken any Valium today and I think that is very good, but I am not worried about taking some if I need to.  I guess today went okay.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Three bad days

Thursday started out okay, with knee exercises, some chapters of Kings, then packing three more boxes.  I had no luck trapping the mouse so I called Hethwood but got no response.  I took a decent walk along Stroubles Creek, seeing a number of small fish in the clear water.  It is a pretty little stream and I did some research on it, finding out that it starts in three springs in Blacksburg, goes under the Drillfield, enters the Duck Pond, then exits to become Stroubles for 12 miles before it enters the New near the Ammunition Plant.  I called Gyorgyi and she was available for a late lunch at the bakery and that was fine.  Then I did a walk in Torgersen before returning home for dinner.

Friday was not a particularly fun day.  I had slept pretty well with some coughing but I got up pretty early to get to Rob’s office at 8 so that pushed me.   Val wasn’t ready until almost 9, having to get the blood culture bottles.  She had to stick me in both hands because the test is more effective from two sites but each stick hurt and even taking the needle out hurt.  But I handled it pretty well, with no valium.  I showed Rob my swollen foot and he told me it was probably because my kidney numbers were worse than last time and he told me that Trivedi wanted me to go back to 20 mg of prednisone right away, not good news at all.  He wanted me to get a chest x-ray even though my chest sounded okay to him.  My thyroid level was good so that is not what is causing my incredible chills.  The blood culture stuff should help figure out if I have an infection in my blood. My eyes are also getting worse, probably from the developing cataracts which have been hastened by the prednisone.  I headed off for lunch with Claire and that was a pleasant respite.  The sushi at Greens was good as usual and Claire and I took a decent walk on the Drillfield.  Then I napped pretty easily, then headed for the Imaging Center for my x-ray.  It proved negative so that was good news.  After that I napped again briefly, then called Mary and went over to help her with her packing for her move to Texas at the end of the month.  We worked for an hour and a half and got a lot of books and stuff packed and then we had Chinese food (I treated even though she wanted to pay), then we chatted some and then I left around nine and went over to Tech to walk but Torgersen was closed and it was just a bit cold to walk outside so I went over to the University Kroger and walked there for 30 minutes.  After that I came home and was too tired to do any exercising.


Saturday started pretty good.  I slept pretty well despite coughing quite a bit, and then I did my full knee exercises, along with reading some of Kings.  I packed 4 boxes more so I am only 2 behind on my goal of 12 (3 a day).  I did some catching up on my blog, sang 3 of the songs twice, tried to nap and failed, then started my prayers.  I felt well enough to go for a 30 minute flat bike ride with perhaps a cough or two, then I settled in to watch the Tech game, which Tech won 20-14, with a very exciting goal line stand my Tech to prevent Pitt from winning.  After that I got ready to go to mass and attended the 5 o’clock mass hoping to be able to practice the new songs, but two of the songs were different so I didn’t get the practice I was hoping for.  I saw Joseph and Felistus after mass and I gave Mary Bland back her book.  I had another good conversation with my sister Roberta and admitted what a dummy I was.  Then I had a long and good conversation with Lou.  He thought I should write about my Lupus experience and work with the wolf imagery.  Another thing that struck me was the lack of a future I have.  Later I  emailed Beth but she didn’t respond so I guess I will just wing it.   I went for a 20 minute walk over at Kroger and bought one of the small roasted chicken and enjoyed over half of it in my truck then drove home for a big bowl of vegetables.  Unfortunately I started coughing very heavily so that is very disconcerting.   

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Difficult New York Visit

Tuesday is turning out to be a hard day. I started with my knee exercise, then straightened up some, then headed in for the lunch at Radford for our first candidate.  I was feeling okay and I wasn’t coughing, so after the lunch I decided to ride my bike from the dog run to wildwood park and I think that was a bad idea.  I started coughing when I got done and on my way to visit Verizon to see why my alarm wasn’t working, I called Rob’s office and he called me in an antibiotic just in case my coughing portends something serious.  I am to see him tomorrow at 1:30.  I got to my office around 5 but was very anxious and I took half a valium and napped briefly although I got very cold and had to hide under the covers.  I did force myself up, printed out this weeks songs, found out the time for the dinner, then started doing my blog.  I am not very happy.  The new York trip was not very good but I did get to spend a lot of time with Julian and some with Gabes.  Francesca was in Italy so I didn’t get to see her, but I did chat some with Arlene and that was good.  The train ride was boring, uncomfortable and it had a lot of people coughing so I think that is where I picked up whatever I have.  I spent about an hour walking around Times Square and Bryant Park and Grand Central Station but I had to stay near a bathroom because of an unpredictable constipation.  I did get to ride Gabe’s Peloton bike and that was pretty impressive.  I did a couple of trails in Costa Rica and along the San Francisco coast.


Wednesday was an okay day.  I slept pretty well despite coughing some and then I got up and did my knee exercises.  After that I packed three boxes of books and did some straightening out around the apartment.  The big surprise was that I saw a mouse exiting my garbage and that has to be taken care of.  I drove into town around 12:00, dropped off Mary’s stuff, picked up my jacket at Rose Tailor, then drove to Rob’s office.  He said my chills may be because of my thyroid, that the sensitive breasts might be because of a testosterone problem, that that my chest sounded fine but he was glad I was on antibiotics.  I talked with Gloria and we had a nice chat, mainly about how life sucks as you get old.  It really does.  I certainly lack joy in my life, and though I will continue praying, going to church and going to the Holy Spirit group, my hopes that some kind of joy or at least comfort might come from my struggle for belief, nothing has really happened.  I also talked to Cathy and both Maddie and Claire are sick and she is exhausted from all the things she has to take care of.  I do hope that she and Lou can work it out so she can quit her job.  I did print out the music for next Sunday and I did listen to several of the songs and I sang very softly to them.  I put out two mouse traps and I hope they will work tonight.  I wish I could be more positive and enthusiastic but it is so hard right now.  I do hope Dr. Trivedi can do something about the prednisone when I see her on Tuesday.   

Thursday, November 9, 2017

An Awful Morning

Thursday started out an awful day, with my anxiety level way up there.  I hardly could stand it and I had to take half a valium just to calm down.  I called Dr. Trivedi’s office and Kendra said she would call me back to discuss me coming in next week instead of the week after (she never called).  If she did call I was ready to go get my bloodwork done so as to be ready for an earlier appointment.  I did my knee exercises, did some straightening around the apartment for tomorrow’s inspection, tried to nap, failed, then drove over to Tech to return The Magic Flute and then I walked around downtown a little. Then I went back to the apartment, got more things together for my trip to New York tomorrow, tried to nap again and failed again, then did my 45 minute bike ride and I was finally able to drift off at least for a few minutes.  I got up and packed my truck, bringing my computer with me though I was unsure if I really wanted to carry it in my backpack (I am pretty sure I won’t).  The drive up I-81 was pretty impressive and the leaf change seemed almost to peak.  I decided to stop at Barnes and Noble to see about purchasing A Man Called Ove but it was pretty large so I am just going to bring Tender Is the Night, the Fitzgerald novel I haven’t read in years and is pretty small.  I had some mussels at Carrabba’s with some of their delicious bread and then drove to the Holiday Inn Express where I finally got a reasonable nap.  After that I watched some TV and then I went down to my truck, drove around the back and sang three of the songs for church, two times each.  I hope to go down and sing some more later.   Kim’s surgery seems to have gone well and there is a chance she will be able to go home tomorrow, which would be great.  My right breast is still sensitive but I will just have wait until I get back to see what to do.  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A New Will

Wednesday turned out to be a pretty good day.  I decided that I was really being negative and I decided to try to make the day a good one even with the prednisone—and I pretty much succeeded.  I got up and did my knee exercises, did a wash, cleaned the bathroom a little for the inspection on Friday, did some singing on the new song, “Christ, Be Our Light” and then played the melody on the piano and sang to that.  I am getting the higher E better so progress is being made.  I then headed to see Bettye Ackerman and I got my new will and my power of attorney.  Bettye told me about a guy coming to find Tracy a few months ago who eventually killed someone in an optometrist’s office.  That must have been pretty scary for her.  After meeting with Bettye, I headed over to my office and got a good bit of stuff done, sorting things for my files, finding out my Long Term Care benefit, talking with Robert Williams some, chatting with Holly, getting a copy of the Power of Attorney and the Will for Rob.  Then I went bike riding along the river and up into Wildwood park for a decent 45 minute ride in the cold light mist.  Back to my office for some more work, then driving home to take a quick nap and then off to Tech to walk for 40 minutes in Torgersen Hall.  After that it was time for cooking dinner, a veggie burger and a big bowl of mixed vegetables, then singing “Christ, Be Our Light” and “All of Me” and “Green Dolphin Street.”  I guess since I can’t play the flute anymore, singing will have to be my musical way.  I am enjoying it very much.