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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I'm still here!

     Greetings, and my apologies for an almost a month off line.  There is really no excuse.  I have not been incapacitated in any significant way.  Below is a picture of my old Corvette taken in front of the Charleston Balance, Mobility and Dizziness Center.
     For a few years I have been dealing with peripheral neuropathy which means that I have less than normal feedback from my feet which makes balance more difficult and transfers the burden to the larger muscles in the hips and thighs and creates fatigue and stiffness in that area.  Shortly after returning to SC in the fall, the problem was compounded by     something called polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) which is an inflammation of the muscles in the shoulders, neck and upper arms.  It may also affect the hips, which were already a problem.  A combination of neurologist, hematologist and rheumatologist have combined forces to sort out the problem.  The first order of business was to eliminate the possibility of some more sinister cause, which they have done.  The rheumatologist has now taken the lead and is prescribing a low dose of Prednisone.  Since it is a steroid, he is carefully watching for side effects.  In the meantime I have just completed a two-month regimen at the physical therapy center shown above.  I could go on at length about their competence, concern, and effectiveness.
     Suffice it to say, I have now returned to my normal activities.  For a while the shoulder pain limited sleep intervals to less than an hour.  Now we are back to 4+ hours which is limited by an old, tired prostate.  I am working with the power tools to build some cypress Adirondack chairs.  And I am taking evening walks with Durelle and Baxter, and I have lost 14 pounds since mid-December.
     I do not want my travel blog to become an intimate medical journal, but I owed my readers an explanation for my absence.  The camera still works, and I will try to do better.  Thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Day of 2013

          A quiet holiday season has come and gone.  Quiet except for last night, that is.  (More on that later.)  You saw the picture of the tree and the dog in the previous post.  You probably noticed that the tree was not heavily laden with gifts.  Durelle and I agreed not to exchange gifts this year, and neither of us cheated!  The presents you saw were to/from Cindy, plus a token or two for Baxter.  The New Years Eve fireworks started early and reached a crescendo at midnight.  In spite of Melatonin, Baxter did not do well with the fireworks.  To give you some idea of the extent and proximity of the fireworks, take a look at the next picture.
    You can see that their launching pad was immediately in front of our house.  I suppose that, since it is only an annual event and is a southern tradition, we can live with it.  The next shot shows the aftermath of Baxter's attempts to hide in a display space containing a carved chess set and a bunch of CDs.
     This morning he is back to normal (for him) and we are expecting a long day of Bowl games.   Here's hoping 2013 brings you health and happiness...prosperity may be a bit more difficult.