Still healing … and sleeping

Tomorrow it will be three weeks since my heart stent surgery. It seems like it has been much longer … healing is slow, very slow – complicated by my lung disease. I’m sure I am getting stronger each day – although some days are spent mostly sleeping – whether I want to or not. However, that’s better than in the beginning  . . .

After the first few days, I simply could not sleep. So, I decided to take matters in hand and took two benadryl tablets to help me sleep. Well, that may not have been the best idea. Soon I was in a state of delusion. For whatever reason, I thought that I must sleep sitting straight up. If I moved and did not keep the position, the clock would turn backward and morning would never come. And it appeared to work!  When I slide down in the chair, the clock appeared to move backward. When I sat up straight, the clock moved forward. So, there I sat – straight up – waiting for morning to come. It seemed like many hours had passed but the clock never seemed to move past 5:00 (am). Finally, morning came and it was 7:00 am. For several days following, I tried to stay awake as long as I could, hating the thought of watching that clock all night.

As for sleep medication, I will not be taking a double dose of benadryl again. Interestingly, however, I told this story to one of the nurses during my remicade infusion treatment this week. She said that sleep-deprived people can become delusional – without any help from medication. So, perhaps the delusion was just me. In any case, no more benadryl.

I am surprised about how weak I am. Never would I have imagined a time where I was too weak to knit !!!!! – or – too weak to read !!! I have finally started to knit a little – and read a little — so progress is being made.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return.

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Another garage sale season …

Another garage sales season is coming to an end.  Sales are few and far between now. With health issues, I wasn’t able to get to as many sales as I would have liked, but I did manage to get to quite a few. And then add in the trip to Herrschner’s Warehouse sale in Stevens Point, Wisconsin (overnight with a friend) and a day long thrift store marathon (I think we went to 11 or 12 stores in one day!).

Most of my ‘finds’ this year were lower cost items – nothing big – but fun and valuable to me. Below are some of my finds. You will see a theme here — teapots and paper crafting supplies.

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Of course, I am always interested in how people conduct their garage sales. I’ve written several blogs that give tips on how to have a successful sale (see links at bottom of this blog). Signs directing people to sales should be colorful, easily read, use arrows, include distance (if possible), and consistent – all your signs should be the same. This makes it easy for us shoppers to find your location. My favorite sign for this year:

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And since I am a city planner and have to administer zoning rules, please remember to pick up your signs when the sale is over. Below is a picture of one of my colleagues with ‘old’ signs that were collected. Note, however, the balloon – a good attention-getting device to add to your garage sale sign.

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So, that’s it until next season.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will return.

Here’s are links to  my previous blogs about garage sales:

https://carolynlbraun.com/tag/garage-sale/

https://carolynlbraun.com/2015/10/11/wrap-up-of-the-garage-sale-season-displaying-your-items/

https://carolynlbraun.svbtle.com/back-in-the-garage-sale-groove

Plan B it is …

Well, I finally met with the cardiac surgeon. Once again there was a delay, so overall – we waited over two hours. The question was whether I would have bypass surgery or not. Well, it turns out not. Because of my lung disease, I have taken prednisone – on and off – for many years. That leaves me with a significantly enhanced chance of infection after surgery. And then, of course, there is the lung disease which is now being treated with remicade and methotrexate (since the disease has worsened over the years). Chances are good that I would have a long, difficult recovery. So, with all of this, and at the advice of the surgeon, I am not having bypass surgery.

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What is Plan B? In the next few weeks they will try putting in stents (angioplasty) again. (I already have two stents). They are pretty sure they can stent one area – and one area is a maybe. I also have narrowed arteries and a bundle block – neither of which can be fixed without bypass surgery. The stenting will not correct all of the issues but it should make it better. Chances are that I will never become a world-famous athlete because I won’t be able to do things that require a lot of exertion – but, then, I have never been a athlete in any sense of the word. And I can find plenty to do when sitting …

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So, that is the plan.

Thanks for reading! I hope you will return. 

 

Time goes on … decay continues

Recently I had the chance to re-visit the sites of old buildings. To my surprise, the decay of the buildings seems to be hastening . . .  the buildings soon to be down and the stories they tell along with them.

Remember this structure from a previous blog?

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Here it is now …  037.JPG

And another … Soon it will be a pile of boards. We think they may actually be removing and saving some of the boards.

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We have been watching another building for a long time: It is on the way to the location of the Amish Haystack dinners (see previous blogs) that we frequent. On this visit, however, it had changed dramatically . . . also soon to be a pile of boards on the ground.

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And so, the rages of time . . .

Thanks for looking and reading. I hope you will return. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Coats and Vascovagal … aren’t I the lucky one?

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Last week I had an angiogram – where they determine if there are any blockages of the arteries to the heart. (More about that later.) My procedure was scheduled for 11:00 am. But, as luck would have it, there were two emergencies where they needed to do angiograms on the patients. So I got bumped to the end of the line. I finally went to the procedure room about 3:45 p.m. Not a big deal, except that I have ‘white coat syndrome” – where ‘patients exhibit a blood pressure level above the normal range, in a clinical setting, that they don’t exhibit it in other settings.’ This all seems quite silly to me – that my blood pressure goes up – because I don’t feel that anxious. In fact, part of the time I was falling asleep. The ‘cure’ for white coat syndrome is to relax – so sleeping should be sufficient. But is wasn’t and it has never worked for me. During the angiogram, my systolic (upper number) blood pressure was over 200. A reading of 140 or more is considered high blood pressure. As a result, they gave me medication – twice – to get the systolic pressure down. It took until AFTER I got home late that evening to get it under 140.

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I also suffer from vasovagal syncope –

Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee) occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. Vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly. That leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, causing you to briefly lose consciousness. (from the Mayo Clinic – online)

The last incident of this was when I had a tooth pulled. I drove home (about 20 miles), put gas in my car, and then worked at my computer for an hour or so. It was then time to change the gauze. I removed the gauze, stood up, was immediately weak and dizzy, and barely made it a few feet across the room to a chair where I collapsed, falling across the chair. I turned “ashen white” – as described by the paramedics who arrived after we called – because we had no idea what was going on. After an ambulance ride to the local hospital, I was soon home but It takes several hours to get back to normal. I asked the admitting ER doctor what I could do to avoid this – because it seems so silly and should be preventable – and he simply said: “When you figure out what to do, let me know. My wife does the same thing.” By the way, I am really good at passing out; I have it down to a science – with the most important thing being to get to the lowest level so you don’t hit something as you fall. Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment. It is just a temporary annoyance.

It appears my body reacts with a ‘high’ (blood pressure) or a ‘low’ (passing out); I would be quite content with something in the middle.

Back to the angiogram – not the best news. I do have blockages – that may not be correctable with stents. (I already have two stents.) They are now considering some sort of bypass surgery. However, I also have a lung disease so they need to determine if I am a good candidate for surgery. Interestingly, the angiogram was done through my wrist – instead of through the groin – which is a big change from the last time – and a big improvement. It is amazing how many changes/improvements have been made in medical procedures and treatments. Perhaps they will have a new idea on how to address the blockages and narrowing of the arteries. I’ll learn more when I confer with the surgeons/specialists in about two weeks. — More on that later.

Thanks for reading. I hope you return. 

Summer is hanging on . . .

Our yard is full of yellow maple leaves  . . .

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And today a breeze is making it rain even more yellow leaves,

but there is still summer color everywhere …

The flowers are still blooming …

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The tomatoes are quickly ripening and the recent rainy weather brought forth many mushrooms …

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There is color everywhere …

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So, while you can, take a walk, ride a bike, sit on the deck … get outside and enjoy it while you can. That’s what Milli is doing …

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Thanks for reading! I hope you return!!

 

 

Silly Milli plays ball …

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It’s been a bit since I’ve blogged about Silly Milli. A few things  have happened. In about ten days, Milli is having surgery on her eye. It became sore about two weeks ago; after waiting a couple of days to see if it would clear up, we decided to take her to the vet. The examination showed that somehow Milli has a hole in what I believe is the outer part of her eye. While the veterinarian was concerned, immediate surgery was not needed. It is painful for Milli, so we are giving her a pain pill and using ointment on her eye. You would think she would be lying around, maybe acting sick … Nope, not Milli. Milli has been playing ball.

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When the weather is good, we start our day with coffee on our deck and playing ball with Milli. She loves her tennis balls. We throw them across the deck and she quickly retrieves them – for a half hour or more. Most of the time she will bring the ball back and then stop short – so that we have to reach to get the ball. Sometimes she will put the ball on the deck and just look at us. I guess that’s the point where she’s had enough exercise.

Other times, I will sit on the deck – with Milli – but Milli plays ball on her own. I simply watch and chuckle – a lot.

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As you can see, Milli enjoys playing ball and we enjoy watching her – even when she is being  very serious …

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Thanks for reading! I hope you will come again (and so does Milli!). We\’ll be sure to post some photos after the surgery … when she is wearing a cone around her neck. I wonder if she will be able to play ball?