Sunday, May 14, 2006

Y'All Come!

I'm moving in, even though the house is still under construction. Watch your step.

Y'all come see me
.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

It's Alive! It's ALIVE!!!

Brain function is returning, albeit slowly. Posting will remain infrequent for a while, as I get back up to speed. Speaking of which, my next post will most likely be from my new digs. I'll post a link here to let those who care know where I've gone.

And speaking of those who care, thanks to all for the good wishes. My blog friends are important to me, and I value your concern and well-wishes.

I've written about this in the past, but I think its a point that needs to be stressed, since there are still a lot of people, including many, many doctors, who don't understand that depression has two parts: a mental part, to be sure, but also a physical part. Often, a lot of the mental symptoms are a reflection of reduced neuron efficiency in the brain and reduced activity in the hippocampus, which controls higher brain functions.

It is vital to get treatment for both sides of the disorder. For that reason, I encourage anyone who has Major Depression to go see a psychiatrist. They have MD's. They are familiar with neuro-anatomy and neuro-chemistry, andthey keep current on medications and their physical effects. A GP who just throws Zoloft or Prozac or, today's favorite, Paxil at you is not doing you any good. You need a doctor who can evaluate your specific needs carefully and find just exactly the right medication(s) and dosage(s) that you need. It's different for just about everybody.

It took my psychiatrist and I nearly three years to get the right combination. I have taken nearly every anti-depressant and anti-psychotic (they help me slepp better) currently being prescribed. I went through some bad times with side effects, too, but I'm glad now that I did. Now that I have a pretty firm physical base to stand on, we can start doing some really effective therapy.

You might find it strange that I would say that after going through nearly six weeks of unrelenting depression. My conclusion, and my psychiatrist agrees, is that this particular episode was brought on simply by fatigue and stress. My brain had to withdraw for a while in self-defense, to avoid much larger problems later. Cortisol kills.

I'll be around and about more as time goes by.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

We Interrupt This Silence For An Important Message

I shall return.

The past 6 months have taken a toll, and I am now laboring under some pretty extreme mental and emotional exhaustion. As soon as I reach the far side of the Slough of Pointlessness that I am currently slogging through, I will be back.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Catching Up On My, uh, Research

First, Melly and tambo did it, so I'm going to jump off the cliff, too:

Reading Level Results (generated by Juicy Studio)

Total sentences 393
Total words 2401
Average words per Sentence 6.11
Words with 1 Syllable 1658
Words with 2 Syllables 474
Words with 3 Syllables 182
Words with 4 or more Syllables 87
Percentage of word with three or more syllables 11.20%
Average Syllables per Word 1.46
Gunning Fog Index 6.93
Flesch Reading Ease 77.31
Flesch-Kincaid Grade 3.99

I don't know whether to be relieved or insulted. I really thought I was being oh-so-very erudite. Guess I'll have to settle for being understandable after all.

Then Paperback Writer posted about the Blog Name Generator. She found the link on The Generator Blog. Here are my results (snide comments added by Your Faithful Author):

Noise in the Attic Crossing -- Please observe all traffic safety laws.
Noise in the Attic Pit -- A little inverted confusion.
Noise in the Attic Boulevard -- I bet it is noisy. The traffic's a b*tch!
Noise in the Attic Amnesia -- Who? Huh? What was that?
Noise in the Attic Crossroads -- Just pick one, they all wind up at the same place.
Noise in the Attic Vacancy -- Definitely.
Noise in the Attic Pollution -- OK, no need to get insulting here.
Noise in the Attic Scoop -- Don't forget the kitty litter.
Noise in the Attic Junction -- Enough, already! I get the picture!

Monday, April 17, 2006

I Can Breathe!

Almost, anyway. Way better than before. I will go ahead and give my unqualified recommendation for septoplasty if you have a grossly deviated septum. Just make sure you surgeon uses the modern method and does not pack your nose full of gauze.

Surgery was delayed until 10 am on Friday. I was home by 2. I think. Friday is pretty much gone. Anesthesia does that to me. I took one Loritab Friday night as a preventative because pain was starting to creep in. After that, nothing, nada, nope, didn't need it, no even Tylenol.

The roof of my mouth does still feel funny, though. A side effect of the surgery. The nerve that controls feeling there runs up through the nose right by the septum. Right now it feels like I burned on a piece of hot pizza a couple of hours ago. Kinda numb-irritated, if that makes any sense. That's the only real side effect I've had.

There's still some swelling in there, and the doctor says more of that awful red and black stuff will come out over the next week or two, but i can deal with that. The bottom line is that I'm already breathing better than I have since I can't remember when.

In other news, today was my first official day at my new full-time position. As per usual, everything's in a tremendous foul-up. IT still doesn't have my network login set up, so I can't get to half of what I need from my computer in my office (God, I love how that sounds!). Been running back and forth to the Circulation Desk to use their computer all day. Bleh. That'll get better.

Anyway, great to be back. I'll find something with some substance to talk about Real Soon. I promise.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Fruit Basket Turnover -- the MixMaster's Cut

1 -- The full-time position came through for me. I "officially" start Saturday, because that's when the new pay period starts. Paperwork underway, to be turned in tomorrow morning. I have about 12 hours to make all those important and irrevocable decisions about retirement, insurance, etc. Schedule uncertain at this time. I hope to get that worked out tomorrow, as well. I'll have to work a transition schedule, working some at each campus, for a couple of weeks. Yee-haw.

2 -- Surgery is still on for Friday morning. Today's schedule included a cardiac stress test this morning (more on this below), a visit to the ENT doctor's office to do paperwork, and a return engagement at the hospital to pre-register and do all the pre-op sh--ummm stuff. I was 20 minutes late getting to work, but by God it's all done!

I'm even nuttier than ever these days, which is saying something. All I need now is for a giant squirrel to come along looking for supper. That would be my life exemplified.

As promised, the low-down on stress tests for those who have managed to avoid one so far:

8 am -- arrive at hospital, directed to Cardio, directed from there to Nuclear Medicine in Radiology.

8:20 am -- IV line inserted into hand. Pumped full of radioactive thallium. Um, hello? Thallium? Heavy metal? and radioactive, too? My first suspicions about my doctor's ulterior motives begin to stir.

8:45 am -- go under the scanner for 18 and one-half minutes of "stretch your arms above your head, hold very still, and try not to breathe too much" while machine eyes examine my chest from every possible angle except from inside.

9:05 am -- cuss, bitch, and moan at the pain in my back and the cramps in my shoulders as I trudge back to Cardio. Suspicion deepens.

9:10 am - 9:50 am -- sit.

9:50 am -- go into Cardio, have random patches shaved onto my chest and electrode patches stuck all over. 12 + 2 for good measure. "We might need them later." For what? Consider bolting for the door.

10 am -- go into treadmill room. Electrodes attached to the 12 leads, leaving the 2 extras empty. Enquiring minds want to know. Technician unwilling to impart arcane knowledge to the uninitiated.

10:10 am -- Doctor arrives. I am informed that I will walk on the treadmill until my heart rate reaches 145. 145? Alarms blare, militia mobilizes, Special Forces deploy.

10:20 am -- final confirmation. My doctor is trying to kill me. Damned near succeeding, too. I made it 10 minutes, 2 seconds. For the last 3 minutes, I was running uphill. Collapse into a puddle of desperately gasping sweat on an examining table. Doctor cheerfully informs me I am fine, and oh-by-the-way I want to do an echocardiogram next Wednesday. I would have killed him then, but I was unable to make conscious movements. Maybe next week.

11:00 am -- back to Radiology. Gurneys and wheelchairs (occupied, of course) are lined up down the hall. Business as usual. Sit.

11:25 am -- back into Nuclear Medicine to spend more quality time under the Scanner-On-Steroids. 12 and one-half minutes this time.

11:40 am -- run, don't walk to car and make high-speed escape.

Stress tests are grossly misnamed. They should be called Test-To-Destruction Tests, or Just-How-Much-Can-One-Person-Take Tests. No visit to the gym tonight.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Vindication!

1 -- Judge Disses "Da Vinci" Lawsuit. Common sense prevails, for once! You just can't have it both ways. If Baigent and Leigh's book is non-fiction, there is no case. You can't copyright facts. If it's fiction, then they join Frey on the hot seat. Either way, they are not the only ones to have made these claims; they're centuries old. Realistically, I agree with the writer of this article: Baigent and Leigh got what they were after -- publicity and enough present and future sales to more than make up the cost of the suit. Personal aggrandizement trumps all.

2 -- "Casablanca" named greatest movie script. That has been my contention since the first time I ever saw this movie way back when. It is quite simply the best movie ever made. Not the "colorized" version, either. The black-and-white is an integral part of the film's atmosphere, and the play of light and shadow is astoundingly beautiful. Ingrid Bergman was a stone babe, too. What I find so marvelous about this is that this screenplay was literaly written on the fly. When they started filming, nobody knew exactly where the story was going or how it would end. For this screenplay to have engendered so many wonderful lines* is an amazing exhibition of writing talent.

* "Here's looking at you, kid."
"We'll always have Paris."
"If you don't get on that plane, you'll regret it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life."
"Louis, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
"Round up the usual suspects."
"Everybody comes to Rick's."
"You played it for her, you can play it for me. Play it, Sam." (NOT "Play it again, Sam.")
"The troubles of two little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this old world."
Etc., etc., etc.

My Birthday in History

tambo posted this meme, and it looked interesting, so here goes:

Go to Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/). Type in your birth date (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal.

3 Events:

1818 - Illinois becomes the 21st U.S. state.

1967 - At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, a transplant team headed by Christiaan Barnard carries out the first heart transplant on a human (53-year-old Louis Washkansky).

2005 - XCOR Aerospace makes first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, California.

2 Birthdays:

1857 - Joseph Conrad, Polish-born British writer (d. 1924)

1948 - Ozzy Osbourne, British singer

It was really hard to just pick 2. A lot of interesting people share my birthday.

1 Death:

1894 - Robert Louis Stevenson, British writer (b. 1850)

Another tough one.