Monday, May 10, 2021

A little good news

 A belated "Happy Mother's Day" to all our readers that fall into that category...You know who you are!

 Our Mother's Day started with Mass. 6 consecutive weeks of going to Mass is doing wonders for my morale.  I'd put the attendance level at the Early Service at about 300. That number has been steadily increasing weekly since the 100 person limit was lifted on Easter.  Most of the congregation wore masks, but even that number has been decreasing lately.  I see a lot of people wearing one only while they walk in the church, go to communion and walk out. I have adopted that modus operandi myself.  

DIL took Mrs J and I out for brunch at a local bistro after Mass. I thought it humorous that the host at the bistro was masked as well as our waitress, but none of the chef's were, so....Theater!

But, progress towards normalcy still.

Had an entertaining week, week before last.  I'd had my quarterly "how ya doin'" with my GP Doc recently. 

Yes, Beans, my weight has gone down a bit, my A1C is also down (6.8 now), my BP is about the same although I have to concentrate a bit harder on calming thoughts immediately prior to it being taken nowadays. 

Before we got to the "less fun" portions of the exam, he asked if I had any concerns.  I reminded him of our talk on a previous visit about my wrists going numb and said I was ready for the next step, so he scheduled me for a consult with a neurologist.  He then asked if there was anything else.  I did mention that I was having a hard time lately remembering simple things.  Like if I had told Mrs J something or not. Or where I had left my phone.  Nothing earth shattering, just very frustrating.  And with a history of you know what in my family, frankly a little scary.

So, he said, good news, the next step in that diagnosis is to visit  a neurologist, so...two birds with one stone.

I meet with the Doctor (who might have been 20 or so, dam...I'm getting old), and he asks what are you here for?  I ask him if he wants the known problem first or the one I'm most concerned about?

"Let's start with the concern".  So I explain my CRS (Yes, Beans,  Can't Remember S**T!) issues.  After a bit of discussion he administers a verbal memory test which I passed with flying colors.  He said that it was normal to experience short term memory loss as a person ages.  They're called "Senior Moments". He also said that folks that actually have early onset Alzheimer's or dementia very rarely realize they have a problem.  Since I did, I was most likely ok but said he'd advise my GP to keep an eye on it.

At that point, my BP was pretty well back to normal. 

He then addressed the Carpal Tunnel problem saying I'd have to have a test done to diagnose if I had it and how progressed it was.  Having had this done once before about 10 years ago, I asked if this "Test" involved electricity.  My BP shot back up when he said yes.

Two days later I'm back in the office and previous Doctor's brother (the MD thing runs in the family, their Father started the practice and is still there) will be administering it.  After strapping me into a chair, attaching a couple of electrodes to either side of my forehead and putting my feet in a bucket of water, he cackles loudly and throws the switch that starts the test.

Ok,  maybe not that last part.

But suffice it to say, I'm no longer a fan of Thomas Edison (or whomever discovered modern electricity).  The test took about an hour but, for some reason, seemed much longer.  Suffice it to say, it's probably a good thing they didn't check my BP at any point during the test.  I went home and treated myself to a well deserved nap.

I returned a couple of days later to be told by the first Doctor that I have a moderate case of Carpal Tunnel syndrome.  Which will only get worse as I get older, if I don't get it fixed now.  They're not orthopedic surgeons, so they refer me to another doctor.  I have that consult this week.  This guy did both my knees and I'm still able to walk, so I should be ok.  

I've never been able to walk on my hands before, but maybe now.....

Speaking of walks, Mrs J and I are out for a walk earlier this week with the Dogs (Prepping for our trip to Palo Duro Canyon the end of the Month), when I happened to look up at the clouds overhead.

Mammatus Cloud

Growing up, I had been taught that this was a pretty good indicator of a possible tornado.  Going through Pilot Training, I learned that that was generally untrue as this formation is caused by descending cold air.  That having been said, the aviation wisdom was to not fly under them as this thing can dump some very large hail.  Hitting one of those while traveling at hundreds of MPH's....can be detrimental.  In either case, Mrs J and I RTB'd at a rapid rate.

Shortly thereafter, this happened.


Which went on for a few hours. Finally...


I think this was what the Neurologist used to power his test equipment

The next morning we set out to see if anything was damaged.


Our two stock ponds were full,  they had been bone dry before the storm and had been since the first week in May 2019.  What is it about that week, T-storms and the Hill Country?




Apparently, grass grows well when well watered?  Who knew?

Peace out, y'all!

42 comments:

  1. Doctor testing......hmmmmm......seeing Gene Wilder with stethoscope from "Young Frankenstein". Oh well some good news on the memory loss juvat, have had those same memory moments myself. Good luck with the Carpal Tunnel treatment, best to get it done while medical issues are calming a bit. How deep are those two ponds juvat?

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    1. Yep, Gene Wilder was pretty much the image I was envisioning as that test progressed. I intend to have the procedure done as soon as we can get it scheduled after we return from our little outing.

      The pictured pond is about 8'deep but almost an acre in length and width, so a lot of water unfortunately, when it was built (pre-juvat), they inadvertently penetrated the caliche layer in the ground, so it doesn't hold water very well. I expect it will be dry by next week. The one on the other side of the road is smaller, but deeper about 15'. It will maintain water and only goes dry after a long dry spell.

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    2. when it goes dry, heave a few bags of clay in there where the gouge is. IIRC a conversation from years past... that may fix it.

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  2. Still no word on biplanifications???

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    1. Mark,
      The modification to last week's post wasn't good enough?

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    2. ??? Even now, I do not see a report of the biplane adventures therein. I must be a product of the US education system...

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  3. Was having the same prob several years back, had the testing, and upon the neurologist's advice, had the surgery. After two years with no improvement (worsening really, along with problems speaking every so often), went to a different neurologist - myasthenia gravis complicated by diabetic neuropathy. Told the new neurologist I was getting worried about reaching for words (both when writing and speaking) and not finding 'em there. Took the (two days worth) psychological testing he recommended; they told me it was only anxiety which I might consider getting treated (for a Type A personality at 80?)

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    1. Boron, surgery and no improvement, that's officially no bueno!

      Type A personality? Around here? NAAAAHHHHHHHH!

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  4. Hahahah, "less fun" test.... My old boss told me just lean back and say "ahhhhh", shifts the unease to the doctor by about a 110%!!!

    Don't wait for the hot and freezing ice pick at 0200. It's not worth the wait. But it did help me understand why all the old guys had no sense of humor. But that test! I loved it. It is part science and part art. I had a great conversation with the Doc that did mine. Hearing my own nerve conduction was really cool. "Things your grandparents never even thought of" kind of cool. When he got to the thumb it was a bit unpleasant, but it was still VERY INTERESTING. As a ham operator, I understood he was looking for a signal in there, and found it. I guess the forearm is like the calibration signal, and the thumb is the measurement. When you do a 12dB Sinad test on a receiver, it's very similar. You are interpreting what you hear by test instruments and you own experience. Science and art. Hoooo boy, excitement!

    My cut took six weeks to heal to 100%. I'm glad it was on the non-dominate hand.

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    1. STxAR,
      Hadn't thought of it like that, my thought process was more of how it would have made interrogation at the POW camp at Fairchild more realistic.

      Unfortunately I've got to do both hands. No, not at the same time.

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    2. STxAR, what's your QTH? I know you said you were somewhere south of SA. I am a Ham also.

      Yeah, Juvat, I still have memories of that training exercise at Fairchild. Unfortunately, it may prove useful in the near future.

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    3. Hey Bill! send me a note at budgetmachining at proton ummmmmm mail ........ dot...... COMpany?

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  5. Your mileage may vary, and the doctor's advice trumps mine.
    My doc suggested starting with sleep braces, and my Carpal Tunnel has stayed the same for quite some years now.

    Did your doctor murmur, "It's alive!" during the lighting bolt tests?

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    1. I've been using the braces faithfully since my first test. They worked well for most of that time, but over the last year or so, it's started to get worse.

      As a matter of fact, after one jolt where my leg jumped off the table, he did!

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  6. My short term memory went but, I traced it to the cholesterol medicine that I was taking. Doctor switched it out, after I quit taking it. Seems to be o.k. now. It took 2 1/2 years to noticeabley to effect my memory at first.

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    1. Just out of curiosity- what was the med which seemed to cause the problem?
      John Blackshoe

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    2. John, beat me to it, Mark, but I take meds for Cholesterol also, so am also curious.

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    3. John - it will be interesting to see if he still remembers! :-)

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    4. Hasn't so far, so maybe it wasn't the meds. ;-)

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  7. Juvat, things are getting to normal here too. We had a couple of new students at the dojo where I train - we (gasp) shook hands upon introducing each other, just like the olden days! I do not wonder that at some point we will reach a future where there are two kinds of social arenas: one where we act "normally", and one where we live like have been.

    Do have the doctor check for neuropathy - my sister in law had the surgery but it seems like neuropathy might be the culprit, not carpal tunnel syndrome.

    I understand your concern at anything slipping at this point - given the year I have had, I am more than attuned to any slight slip of memory at this point.

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    1. The neurologist also mentioned that the wu-flu might also have contributed to it. Groundhog Day syndrome he calls it. The same thing over and over again, the brain starts losing it ability to synchronize a memory with a time frame. I've noticed that with things opening up a bit around here, the problem doesn't seem so bad. Of course, I also take more notes and use lists a lot more often. But, at least Mrs J has stopped saying "You told me that already" quite as often. So...There's that.

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  8. Ouch. Ouch. OUCH!

    The memory thing is scary!

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    1. Yeah, it is. Remembering my maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother spiral down that memory loss lane was big on my mind going into that appointment.

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  9. When I first started doing CAD for a living I had a problem with my pinky and ring fingers on my right hand going numb. I asked my Doctor and he sent me to a Neurologist. I had a nerve conductance test done and it didn't show anything. The Doctor was having trouble with his laptop and I told him that I could fix it. When I was using the mouse, he asked how long I used one every day. I told him about 10 hours. He poked and prodded around my elbow for a few minutes and then told me that I was irritating a nerve in my arm when using the mouse. I switched to a trackball and haven't had a problem since. That was 22 years ago.

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    1. I switched to a vertical mouse on the advice of the neurologist that gave me the first test, that has helped quite a bit

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  10. Down here in Bandera, at a different flavor of church, we are seeing the same. However Sunday before this past, we were asked to mask up because of a spike in the virus in our congregation. This past Sunday all was back to normal.

    As to normal, Gov. Abbot sent out a picture of the prize fight in Arlington TX last week. No masks, no social distancing and 73,000 people in AT&t Stadium!

    Thanks for sending that storm down here last week. We got between 6 and 8 inches of rain out of all of the activity accompanied by dime size hail at one point. Your tanks look great; I know the feeling of having them almost dry but gave up on that much land 3 years ago when we moved down here.

    Your neurologist's words about "Senior Moments" is comforting to me. My primary care physician said he would send me to a neurologist but had basically said it was probably not anything worse than what you described.

    Hopefully you can get the carpel tunnel issue handled. My wife has it mildly but is very cautious about getting surgery.

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    1. I carry a mask with me always and wear it when and where it makes sense. E.G. the hospital to get blood drawn for a test for the neurologist. But, I will not wear it just because some bureaucrat tells me to.

      I was not enthusiastic about the surgery, but more and more frequently, it feels like my fingers are fat sausages and I can't bend them at all. Not a fun feeling and it takes a while for it to go away. So...time to face reality, course it didn't improve my confidence when Boron reported he'd had the surgery and had no improvement. We shall see.

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  11. I’ve always sometimes been fascinated by mamma TJ’s clouds [see what autocorrect did <- ?].
    CRS constantly crops up, particularly when I want some word and I draw a blank.
    I remember those electrical tests from when I was diagnosed with a compressed Ulnar nerve (think funny bone).
    Only it wasn’t a compressed nerve, but scar tissue, so I still have an issue.
    But the good news is it led to the discovery of a more serious spine problem that was, more or less, corrected.
    So I still can walk and mostly function in an upright position.
    I’m pretty sure I wrote about it on my blog, but I don’t remember.

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    1. Now, THAT was humorous, Skip!
      Thanks
      Glad things worked out for you.

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  12. While reading you blog I glanced out the window. Mammatus clouds. No hail but a steady rain.

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    1. No hail is good! Rain is always good until it starts coming over the banks. Had two young ladies staying in the guest house when it first started. They were headed into town, I jumped in the truck and drove down to talk to them. I pointed out the stock pond up stream from mine and the water flowing out of them. I also pointed out the water beginning to flow across our road (Only an inch or so at the time) and mentioned that if they couldn't see the dip in the road where are low water crossing is that the water level would be at least 2' deep. They looked at me kinda puzzled. I said your car is only a foot off the ground, it will float in two feet. For some reason, they elected not to go into town. And who said youth's today can't learn?

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  13. Ah, CRS... what was it again?

    As to Carpel Tunnel, sleeping in wrist braces and not folding your hands down while sleeping (like, by resting them on a pillow) will help ease the issues. The Carpel is probably more due to your combonculator work than your flying work, and it will be aggravated by the angle of your wrist dangle as you type or do repetitive things while sitting down, like reading a book. Again, having something to help keep you from dangling your wrists will help.

    Never had a nerve induction test. Mrs. Andrew has, but she's made of sterner stuff (her "5" on the stupid pain scale is most people's "12", yes, I know it goes from 1 to 10, but it's a friggin stupid subjective test that has no real valid meaning. What they should be asking is "Does this pain leave you in a quivering pile of goo and unable to work? (while dropping a 100 dollar bill and walking out while secretly recording the individual...)"

    As to the mamma titus clouds, or whatever they're called, yeah, see those clouds when boating and it's time to batten down the hatches. See them when walking the dog and it's time to cut said walk down RTFN! and RTB, whether dog has done a fuel dump or not. (Apartment complex is surrounded by lots of tall trees and with prevailing winds, the apartment is actually in a 'safe' zone from trees falling on it. Can't say the same thing for every other apartment building, but mine is relatively safe, as long as the winds come from the west. Dammit, now I've jinxed myself.)

    Hope your Fishy Pipe issue is easily healable without too much kung-fu ginsu work.

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    1. Beans,
      Yeah I've worn the braces since the first electrocution, as I mentioned in a previous comment, they just don't seem to work as well now.

      We're not going to repair the pond, I talked with my next door neighbor who was here when they were built, he didn't think it was fixable and would be quite expensive, so. I enjoy them when they're full and use the one in the picture as a gun range when it's dry.

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  14. Carpel tunnel syndrome--joy---NOT! I had the same test done that you had a bit over 30 years ago, and was told I had moderately severe carpel tunnel syndrome and needed surgery. But in the meantime to go pick up a couple of wrist splints at the local Walmart and wear them to bed every night until I had the surgery. Still doing it, never did have the surgery, and still driving all over Hell's back acre and then spending A LOT of time on the computer keyboard. I have gone through about 6 pair of the wrist splints, take them everywhere I go, camping, backpacking, put them on at night, take them off in the morning. Not the sexiest nightwear, but my hands are not totally pins and needles numb either, and I can sleep all night long without my hands/wrists/elbows waking me up. Not a big fan of surgery unless it is very necessary...taking the brain tumor out--Hell yes!! Getting my wrists cut...meh...not so much, not yet.

    And, yes, take a deep breath in and let it out when the gal goes to pump up the cuff to take your blood pressure. Does help lower it. Doing that often throughout the day also can be helpful. So does taking the BP meds!!

    Also, congrats on the A1c of 6.8!!! Very good!! A couple of pounds more down, a walk every day, and smaller portions can make a HUGE difference. Keep up the good work! After all, ya want to be around to meet the new grandkiddo...simple steps work.

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    1. Thanks, Suz,

      Yeah, I do. MBD is in month 4 now and the morning sickness episodes seem to be less frequent, so she's got that going for her. SIL has to be in a conference this week, so she's coming to stay with us for a few days. Looking forward to that.

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  15. Having your own gun range - wet or dry, wouldn't matter - would be outstanding and a long time dream of mine. Glad the tenants got smart! Have seen some 'running water' in the Hill Country that was pretty energetic and would likely float a tank (not the kind of tanks Bill B mentioned above but an Abrams or Patton).
    As to hail, one of the things I generally miss from growing up in N Texas is the awe inspiring weather (although the hurricanes I've experienced her on the NC Coast have been pretty awe inspiring, and in some cases just awful). I remember an early weather lesson from my mom and dad who let me know that if the Blue Norther's cloud front looked more green than blue to take cover from the imminent hail. Ditto with some of the towering T-storms out in west Texas - we had to shelter under the canopy of an abandoned gas station one time in Muleshoe to avoid getting clobbered by hail the size of some of the wonderful beefsteak tomatoes they grew out there then. Haven't seen anything that big hail-wise here, but even the little pea sized hail here causes drivers to loose their freakin' minds and stop in the middle of the interstates under an overpass while cars behind them do their best not to turn them all into accordions...
    Best of luck with your wrists and whatever else it was that you mentioned - something about CRS, maybe?? :-)

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    1. I had to penetrate one of those green ones in an AT-38. It was either that or jump out, I was pretty much out of gas. That poor jet got beat up pretty badly, and I thought the experience would be a great AAA simulator. Even small hail has a lot of power when hit at 280K. I pulled that number out of my rear oriface as I started the descent, I wanted to be as slow as possible, but still have enough airspeed to maintain control. A wild ride to be sure.

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  16. You are lucky, my primary care doctor is about 12, maybe 13.
    I had the Carpal Tunnel thing years ago. I think it is caused by more than one throttle to deal with. I had two, then three, and then I got it. Never had it when I had only one.
    Best thing for me has been mega doses of B-6. Really! It works! Try it,
    Ok, and all that, would someone remind me why I'm here just now? Oh, cocktails.

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    1. Cocktails is next on my list also, Lt.

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  17. Pleased to hear you are still hitting on all eight cylinders!

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  18. Glad things are going well for your 'age'... ;-) And one thing you might try, if you haven't already, is an ergonometric keyboard. That's helped me stave off the CT operation for now 5 years.

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  19. I need to ask my Pastor why we are STILL outside. I'm getting tired of it. Sure, the weather is fine, but I can't kneel on the parking lot pavement, even with a pad as it kills my cartilage-lacking knees, so it's just not the same. CA is 70% vaccinated, there's no restriction on numbers, but we're waiting until June, maybe. Not sure why. Glad you're getting to worship normally.

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