Health and Doctors

Sadly one place we wanted to go before we headed home we didn’t get to make. We had booked a cabin at Lake Roper for a few days but had to cancel. None of us were happy about this. Since we live in a desert and were vacationing in a desert we were looking forward to a bit of water fun.

Unfortunately we got a call from my neurologist saying he received the second opinion on my papilledema. I had already spoken to the optometrist and discovered that the condition is a bit more serious that I thought. I know my normal eye guy said that it could lead to blindness but was thinking legally blind not for real blind. Apparently papilledema can lead to actual blindness. I had received the second opinion right before we left for vacation confirming swollen optic nerves. For now it’s recommended that I get my eyes checked every few months.

My neurologist wanted to redo the spinal tap to verify that it was indeed IH. So we headed home for that. Unfortunately the spinal tap didn’t go well. After listening to the UMC doctor go on about how he hated spinal taps unless the patient was under Valium and how the whole process was unreliable for IH diagnosis he got started.

I will share with you my experience not to scare you but to warn you of your rights as a patient. I did not find things out until well after.

The doctor started low in my back and after a few moments said he couldn’t get a sample. He had me press my chest into my legs further. He moved up a notch and tried a new spot for a sample. Unhappy with how it was progressing he kept ordering me to arch my back more, while my chest was pressed into my thighs. After a while he started talking about how he might need a longer needle. Then he had the nurse climb onto the bed with me and press her hand against my stomach to force me to arch further outward. I offered to change positions since the anesthesiologist got the sample from the first spinal tap with me sitting differently.

Digging about for a sample of spinal fluid he managed to hit a nerve. It felt like lightening shooting down my leg from my tailbone. The second time he did it I yelled at him to, “stop doing that”. My husband by this point had to leave the room for fear of hitting the doctor he was so angry. The third time he hit it my leg went numb, which was better than lightening.

After all this he said he was “close” but couldn’t reach it. He was going to move up another notch. After doing so he still couldn’t get a sample he decided to switch to a longer needle. He had me sit up, I could feel he left something still in my back but since I couldn’t see I’m not sure what, then lay back down. When I laid back down I got really sleepy suddenly.

Fighting to stay awake I heard him mention he was switching to a longer needle. I also heard him comment to the nurses, “Do you see how fast she’s breathing” several times. As sleepy as I was I tried to regulate my breathing through meditation. At one point I heard he need a BP on me before I left.

The experience took about an hour or so  before he declared, “I’m not going to fight the diagnosis. Pressure went from 27 to 37 and back to 27.” My husband told me later he did get the sample he was after.

We got my BP, 121, and I went home as soon as I could walk; about ten minutes after the doctor had left. I had previously been told it was required that I stay there for an hour. We saw the doctor in the parking lot walking back with his lunch and he talked about me going back on Diamox and I went home. The next 24 hours were great. Other than having to lay down supine I was pain free.

The next day I got up, well after the 24 hour mark, and discovered I had a spinal tap headache. It’s its own ring of Hell. The closest I can come to describing it is that it feels like there is a space between your brain and skull and that there are explosions going on in that space. In reality your brain is, well, sagging, due to not enough fluid to support it.

After several days spent in bed and trying to build up my tolerance to the pain I talked to one of my sisters. She normally isn’t on FB but was due to recouping from a knee replacement. She was furious when she heard what happened. As an ex-nurse she wanted to know why I wasn’t given a blood patch right away since I had a history of spinal tap headaches. I had no idea what she was talking about.

Apparently they can use your own blood to seal the hole caused by the spinal tap. This can have you up and moving in minutes after the procedure. After my husband calling around we found that the only place to get it done was the ER. We’ve been told many times to never go our town’s ER. But after the five minute drive I was nearly crying in pain it was at a 10. There was no way I could have made it the hour to the next one.

Things get worse from here. I give the nurse my phone with my medical info. They ask me how much water I’ve drunk. I reply that I don’t drink water I drink caffeinated liquids to control my migraines. They decide to hook me up to an IV and give me a painkiller that’s “stronger than morphine”. A few hours later they said I was good to go since the pain was gone and that it was simply dehydrated. I asked again about the blood patch but was told it wasn’t needed. As soon as I moved I started puking. I already knew I couldn’t take Oxycodone since it makes me horribly ill and was wondering what they hell they gave me.

I make it home and spend the night puking. The next morning my husband hands me a prescription for oxycodone saying I was supposed to take it for pain. I broke down in tears thinking that’s what they put in my IV. No wonder I was so miserable! I told him there was no way I could tolerate this anymore I needed that blood patch; now!

After calling around again we were directed to the acute care clinic in town. After going there we were told no they don’t do it go to the ER. That trip lasted 8 hours. I finally found out that they gave me Dilaudid but that the nurse didn’t give me the correct anti-nausea medication; though it’s doubtful that it would’a done much good even if she had.

I finally got the patch. The doctor was the one who preformed the first spinal tap. He was disgusted that the neurologist had started so low in my back and had stuck me three times. The relief was almost instant. I still had a headache but it went from an 8 to a 5. Apparently it’s not uncommon for a stress headache to build up along with the spinal tap headache.

Post ER you’re supposed to go to see your normal doctor. So we did. The very next day I got in. My doctor is a former ER doctor who’s only working in the clinic to pay off student loans according to him. He told me he never wanted to see me at that ER again and to come to him first. He half seriously commented that the ER owned the morgue too.

He hooked me up to my third IV in three days and fed me a cocktail of old school drugs I can’t remember the name of now with a shot of coffee. It worked wonderfully! I was given instructions that I needed to have caffeine then water and to repeat that over and over. If I even feel a headache coming on grab a Monster or a chocolate bar.

I was finally pain free after two weeks. But then we started noticing other things wrong once I was up and moving. I had a list of side effects that was far too long. The problem was we didn’t know what was being caused from Diamox and what was being caused from the spinal tap. The thing that drew the line for my husband was when I started getting shooting pains down my leg that would cause my back to seize up. The loss of coherency was apparently funny for him but he wouldn’t let me drive.

I wound up back at the doctor. I showed him pictures of my back healing and gave him a list of what was wrong. He demanded to know why I was on Diamox at all. I explained that it was the mediation for IH. He said, “My little book of medicine says it’s a rare drug used for glaucoma and altitude sickness; when we need to lose a lot of water fast. It’s not meant to be used long term.”

I explained that my neurologist wanted me on it for two weeks to see what side effects remained. At this point it was nearly two weeks give a day or so and I had the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • loss of coherency
  • shortness of breath after so much as walking from a parking lot
  • shooting pains from tailbone down left leg
  • lower back seizes up
  • tingling in hands and feet
  • tingling in my face
  • lips and tongue tingle after eating sometimes
  • loss of balance
  • fatigue
  • ringing in left ear

My doctor then said he was going to be calling my neurologist. Apparently what should have happened prior to the spinal tap was a picture of my lumbar should have been taken to see if it looked like a “road map” and that it’s best to use fluoroscopy. As my doctor said it’s easier to see where you’re going if you can see what you’re doing.

I was dumbstruck. They could use a scope for this? I wouldn’t need three holes in my back plus the hole for the blood patch? According my doctor it’s within my rights as a patient to demand the use of the fluoroscope.

Then my doctor dropped the other bomb on me. While a good bit of the side effects should clear up after getting off the Diamox he was concerned about the pain in my back and leg; especially since it’s the same one that was effected when the nerve was hit.

I was given three scenarios;

  • nerve damage
  • a piece of needle broke off and is in my back
  • or an abscess developed

That earned me a STAT MRI of my lumbar and CTscan of my head.

It has been less than a month since my lumbar puncture. Right now we’re waiting for the results of the MRI.

There are obvious risks of a spinal tap but the knowledge that they could have been reduced and weren’t hurts the most. I’ve been off Diamox for a week or so now. I’m getting headaches again and I still have the pain along my leg that’s coming and going. I’m sleeping more than I should; from pain or my body needing to heal I don’t know. My doctor is talking about me having a shunt put in. He at least got me a new neurologist.

My husband wants to sue the neurologist but I talked him out of it; malpractice suits last years and rarely solve anything. If Tricare or the Army wants to sue then I wouldn’t stop them but it’d be on them. MOST lumbar punctures don’t end up this way. Normally it’s a one and done and 60% of people don’t get the headaches.

It was the lack of information given to me and the lack of a doctor making correct decisions that caused a lot of the problems. If you’re doctor wants you to have a spinal tap done he has a reason but go in better armed than I was. Know that you can request pictures of your lumbar and a fluoroscopy. Know that if you get a spinal tap headache you can have a blood patch so you don’t have to suffer like I did. I went five days with that headache before I got the patch simply because I didn’t know it existed.

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Pima Air and Space Museum

This was a hot activity in summer. Very hot. But it was also very neat! This place has acres of planes on display plus several buildings with more planes. (images are copyrighted)

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

Yeah, the ground was that dry.

 

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Tucson’s Reid Park Zoo

We only stayed a few days or hours in each spot depending on how far the drive was from where we were staying. This involved a lot of driving but we were able to hit a lot places in a short time. Like the small Tucson zoo Reid Park.

If you go just be warned the peacocks are everywhere. (Images are copyrighted)

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

 

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Fort Huachuca, AZ

Of course we couldn’t go to Tombstone without visiting our old haunting grounds on Fort Huachuca. Talk about a small base! I think you can sneeze and have it shoot you from one end of the base to the other. The housing is all privatized now and looks way better than 9 years ago.

I got distracted by the desert sunsets and trees. They get very high winds here so the trees tend to grow in twisty knots. Take a look at some of my favorite shots!

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

© The World of Marcia Young

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Tombstone, Arizona

We have been super busy! I can’t seem to find time to breath much less get stuff done. My husband was able to take leave this summer, though it was a near thing; we didn’t find out it was approved till the night he was supposed to sign out. Last year we went west and hit Legoland this year we traveled south and hit lower Arizona.

We hit several cities down south but for now; check out Tombstone! I haven’t been there in years! I mention it briefly in Punishable Deed and it was a thrill to visit it again after so long.

We saw dancers.

DSC_0006Witnessed a fashion show gone a bit wrong.

DSC_0014And saw a shooting over a shirt.

DSC_0041Over all an average day in the Old West.

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Pillow Cover

With the advent of summer in full swing I find myself super busy. We have birthdays every month right now plus Father’s Day. The doctor appointments I wish would just be forgotten about but I’m told they’re necessary. Somewhere in there is a vacation; though I’ve been so busy I’m not sure when it happened.

As a result of the summer rush around here I have a long list of projects that I had planned to do but never got around to. I finally marked off at least one!

… It’s been on the back burner for months sadly and it wasn’t even very hard.

A few years ago my mom and step-dad went on a cruise and brought me a back a beautiful blue silk dress. At the time it was way too big so I had it altered. Now, however, it’s too small and I have no idea if I’d even fit into it again. My plan was to use the fabric for a pillow.

This way I get to enjoy the fabric and pattern without the guilt of having to get rid of the dress. Besides I love reusing things. ;)

CSC_0004It might not match my tan sofa but I don’t mind. I love that fabric! I’m making sure to save the scraps for a few other projects I have on back burner.

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Copyright Infringement?

Punishable Deed Copyright LogoRecently Smashwords joined up with Scribd. Scribd then offered all the Smashword authors a chance to get a year free subscription. As an avid reader I jumped at the opportunity. I could use it for leisure and homeschooling. I’d already considered joining Oyster when Smashwords worked their deal with them.

One of the first things I did was look up books on crochet that I don’t own but would like to read; Creepy Cute Crochet, Curvy Girl Crochet, along with a few others.

Then I noticed something odd. I found four copies of Creepy Cute; all of them scanned.

This made me nervous. Scans are a tricky business. You literally take a work and scan it then post it to a website. Some countries, authors, allow this others don’t. Not only did Scribd have four of them but they were all done differently; ranging from tiny text you had to zoom in on to improperly scanned pages that were shadowed.

To me this is a copyright infringement; and if you ever see any of my books presented in such a way inform me immediately. I had seen an issue of Curvy Girl done is such a way on Issuu but I was surprised by Scribd. It states it takes copyright seriously … but yet it has four copies of Creepy Cute.

Their site claims that members can upload their own works and public domain items. Yet Creepy Cute isn’t public domain it’s published by Quirk Books. No one involved with it’s production is getting royalties for the four copies Scribd is allowing.

I ended up email them about it. I had seen full issues of Crochet Today! and Crochet! Magazine as well. I asked them how they monitor the issue. I was concerned that if they allow this to pass what else are they not monitoring.

It took me over twenty minutes to find a link to contact them about it. Oh, I found the link that I can complain if it’s MY work that’s been copyrighted. I couldn’t find however anything that allowed me to report scans.

A few days after I emailed them I got a response. I really wish I had saved it but I deleted it I was so disgusted. It basically said that if my work had been copyrighted file this complaint form (keeping in mind they’re using US copyright laws and the laws of my country might differ). If however I found anyone else’s work copyrighted kindly go away.

Go away. They didn’t want to hear it unless it was from an angry author. In my opinion scans should never be allowed without an author or publishers permission. Case in point Ruiko Takahasi allowed scanlations for many years before changing her mind.

Scans prevent royalties from being generated to both the author and publisher. In some cases this is allowed in the hope that it increases recognition and sales in other areas. But how does Scribd know who allows it and who does it? Are they and those like them hiding behind a ‘we didn’t publish it a member did’ mentality?

I can assure you that I’d sue not only the person who illegally published my work but also the site that allowed it. Sites like Fanfiction.net keep track of what authors allow fanfiction and promptly remove any fanfiction that violates that. Does Scribd and Issuu do the same?

It seems like a risky business allowing any scans. I for one am wary and will be keeping a lookout for violations on my works. Other than that it seems that in this technological age there’s naught else you can do.

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Clones Knot Barefoot Sandals

Ah, barefoot sandals. They let you go barefoot while adding a touch of class. Okay, so they just dress up your feet a bit. These were more an experiment than a serious attempt but they came out well.

Yarn: Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread size 10

Hook: 1.5mm

Gauge: not essential

Sizes: The directions are for a size 8 women’s foot. To make longer or smaller keep working row 1 until you can wrap it 3/4 around your ankle. This will allow you to button it and to keep it snug but not too tight.

Special Stitch: Clones Knot. CK. You can find a video here. I’ll also give you a quick run through. After chaining your last chain slide your loop onto the neck of your hook. Hook your thread around the neck from underneath then twist your hook all the way around 360. Hook the thread again by going over the thread so your back in front of it then hook the thread by going under. Twist another 360. Do this 10 times total. Once you have 10 loops on carefully hook your thread as if making a stitch pulling the chain through the loops you made. Make one chain. Gently push up your knot to lock it then ss into the last chain made before the knot. Continue as directed in the pattern.

Pattern: Make 2

Ch 20, 22 into 1st ch

Row 1: ch 45

Row 2: DC into the 3rd ch, DC 21, Sc (22DC)

Row 3: ch 3, sk 1, sc, ch 3, sk 1, Sc (repeat until toe loop)

Row 4: ch 2, *Sc in middle ch of loop made, ch 1, ck, ch 1, Sc in middle ch of loop, ch 3, Sc in loop*, repeat till end

Row 5: *ch 3,  Sc in loop (behind the ck where appropriate) ch 3, Sc in loop*, stop repeat at last ck

Row 6-end: Repeat patterns for rows 4 and 5 until you only have 1 loop remaining.

Bind off.

Attach a button if desired. I got lazy and found out by accident that the ck makes a decent button if you slip them between the Dc of the 1st row.

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Hand Crochet Cowls

Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of Arm Knitting but I suck at knitting. I can do simple things and arm knitting is beyond me. I end up in a tangled mess of yarn. I am good at knotting yarn!

I’ve done finger crochet before but then I realized that there’s no reason why I can’t hand crochet. I even had the perfect yarn for it!

Novelty yarn often is a pain to work with; eyelash, pompom, fun fur just to name a few. While they look great they can be mindbogglingly frustrating.

At first I hit on the idea to finger crochet it. My fingers would make a nice large hook to work with. This however still didn’t work out. I found that the material was just too dense and had no drape. I might as well be crocheting a cardboard box!

That’s when I decided to try using my hand like in arm knitting.

It was a resounding success!

The fabric has drape and showcases the highlight of the yarn; the novelty effect it has. Thanks to a super talented photographer friend I even have pictures worthy of my mad creations.

 

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“New” Area Rug

My area rug is ancient. It’s nearly 10 years old. It’s also really functional. I bought an outdoor/indoor rug that I’ve used to the point that some of the bamboo slats recently broke off. I wasn’t however ready to toss it. Other than being so dirty nothing will get the wood clean short of sanding it and re-staining it was fine.

I started looking around Pinterest for ideas to make a new area rug or to renew my old one. Area rugs are insanely expensive for such a small scrap of fabric! Don’t get me started on the health hazards of regular carpet! Anyway, eventually I found a pin to here. It’s instructions on how to make your custom sized rug out of rubber matting.

The problem with this was that the rubber matting isn’t sold in the width I needed for an area rug under my dinning table. So I got to thinking; Why couldn’t I use the same principles in the tutorial for my current rug? Answer: There is no reason why not! Then began my hunt for fabric wide enough for my rug which measured 60″ x 95″. I’d need something roughly 62″ so I could cover the whole thing.

That’s when I realized that fabric generally didn’t come in anything wider than 54″. I was pissed to say the least. Eventually I did find fabric in a verity of widths. Part of the problem was is that a lot of fabric sites don’t allow you to search effectively by widths.

Fast forward and I received my fabric after harrowing issues with the company I chose. The directions are very near similar to the above link.

For this I chose to sew the edges of the fabric since I wasn’t covering entire rug. I also omitted the polyurethane since bought a water resistant fabric. Other than I followed the directions on the link above.

I started off with this and ended up after about thirty minutes of intense workout with this.

I now need to reupholster my chairs to match better; but that’ll come after I take them apart and fix the joints and re-stain them.

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