Mysterious deaths of bulls are roiling Oregon ranch country

Mysterious deaths of bulls are roiling Oregon ranch country H z-ulls-are-roiling-oregon-ranch-country of Oregon


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How to Make a Pinhole Projector to View the Solar Eclipse | Total Solar Eclipse 2017


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Just wrote the longest text message to my daughter and this monstrously looong text ocurred.  Pretty much how I talk.

We had talked yesterday about her bear encounter and my getting on her Sprint Family & Friends plan to save half of what I currently pay.

Text begins immediately following:

I am not going to get to the Sprint store anytime soon. Still cannot drive.  I AM getting LESS dizzy.  Unfortunately, I am still just dizzy enough.  I try not to bother my friends too much.  So, don’t give away my slot.  OK? 

I mean I DO need rides ALL the time for doctor’s appointments.  I have gotten pretty good with GrubHub (reliable and hot) and InstaCart for groceries 

I was talking to a friend yesterday, about all this shit.  Something I said SHOCKED her.  She thought the Otolith thing was directly and normally part of the SSCD, as well as the double vision and my eyes out of sync.  She just kept saying, “I didn’t know these were NOT all from the ONE surgery!”  Nope each is a discreet issue.

We were both crying a bit.  And, of course,  my car dies.  Can I get a fuckin’ break!?ūüėĚūü§ē

Anyway, it made me wonder if other people think the same thing.  Which, is entirely likely.  You would think with me telling everybody everything all the time I would have made this clear but, failed to make it clear.

Weird.  Right!?!

Haven’t watched the video yet.  I will after this.

OH!  Are you going to be in Tahoe-ish or Vegas in XXXXXXX?

Friends have invited me to their time share for a week at David Walley’s Hot Spring Resort.  If you guys are nearby I would LOVE to see you and spend a little time with you.


I keep wondering if she will read it because, it is so long.

I haven’t watched her Bear video, yet.  I will ASAP .  Cannot wait to safely experience her bear encounter.  LuckilY she was not attacked.  She has had TWO bear encounters this week.

The entirety of our lives in Alaska that was my greatest fear.  That and being found post-earthquake dead or badly injured sitting on the toilet at 3:00 am with my underwear down around my ankles.

Though, my bear fear NEVER stopped me and then, husband camping with my kids from her being 4 months old in a tent in Soldotna (I think) to our pop-up tent trailer when the kids were 13 and 11.

This is just outside the cab-over-camper.  She said she heard something rooting around before this.  Apparently, it was a young Grizzly.  She found Black bears have been extinct from there for years.

That blonde back should have been my clue.  Black bears can nearly always climb.  Grizzlies stop being able to climb because, they just get too big.  So, this one is probably the equivalent of a pre-teen = younger than two years-old.  Two year-olds we called “teenagers”.  They are Fucking rambunctious.   Especially, when it’s a pair.

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A Woman of Contrasts

I was in Bellevue, Washington for the past two weeks. ¬†I was celebrating a friend’s birthday. ¬†It was also, a celebration of my own. ¬†The last time we celebrated our Birthday’s we were EIGHTEEN years-old!! ¬†There are a LOT of YEARS¬†between 18 and 60. ¬†Yep. ¬†SIXTY!!!!

I have said, somewhere in all the past writings on this blog, that I never felt “Adult”. I see the number of years that have gone past. ¬†Do I NOW feel like an Adult? ¬†I am beginning to think that maybe I can¬†finally¬†consider myself to be an Official¬†Adult? ¬†Maybe.

It seems that I am until, I feel I am not.

I finally, June 6, found my summer shoes.  I had forgotten entirely, that I had any.  I was happily looking at new summer sandals to buy.  I was looking for the same brand, style, and size that I like and had previously.   Now, after buying two new pair of sandals I find my favorites!  YAY!!!

I now have more summer shoes than I thought I would¬†ever have. ¬†YAY!!! ¬†Now, I don’t have to spend money on shoes. ¬†Problem; I LOVE shopping for shoes. ¬†I am pretty good adhering to the pledge I made to myself a long time ago: When I bring one (whatever) in take one (whatever) out. ¬†I don’t have enough room in my very small house for too many shoes, clothes or anything. ¬†It works for me. ¬†Thank god.

This makes seriously happy!!!!  All this for shoes?  Sandals at that.  But, one pair is a dense purple with silver thread highlights running through the straps.  Another pair, same style, is bright green with accent threads through further brightening these beautiful shoes.  Apparently, I really like TEVA sandals.  Whatever style they may be.

TEVA is a brand of sandals that truly appeal to my colorful and whimsical side.  The pair I bought last month were bright orange TEVA sandals.  Though, a different style entirely.  This pair makes me very happy.

I have tried several other brands of strappy sandals. ¬†They did not work out so well. ¬†Many, many people told me how much they love their Chacos. ¬†So, I bought a pair with great hope and excitement. ¬†I never thought of myself as a shoe addict. ¬†Maybe I am. ¬†Because, here I am describing SHOES! ¬† Anyway, their Chaco straps are essentially one or two straps that are connected as a Mobius strip. ¬†I would set the straps as were comfortable. Yet, as soon as I took a step the straps would change their tensions and positions with every step and stride. ¬†I hated them. ¬†I kept trying them thinking I am being silly. ¬†The Chacos consistently became so constrictive it was like being held against my will in a small room. ¬†Odd that my claustrophobia was triggered by what I was wearing. ¬†I can wear Chukas/Desert Boots…¬†tied tightly around my feet and feel no emotional pressures. ¬†I can wear tennis shoes tightly tied and again no constrictions. ¬†But, those Chacos well, they just made me feel the way I felt. ¬†I imagine had the straps remained at the tensions and positions I had them set when putting my foot into each shoe and walking in them I wouldn’t have had a problem. ¬†Maybe I have a touch of Asperger’s. ¬†If something doesn’t feel just right I become incredibly uncomfortable and more fidgety than normal. ¬†Too tight I feel constricted. ¬†Too loose and I feel afraid my clothes or shoes would fall off. ¬†Obsessively. ¬†If my shirts are not long enough in front I am¬†constantly tugging them down to cover my stomach.

Funny thing is my eyeglass frames are also, very colorful.  One frame is bright green.  Another is bright red.  A third (new frames) are pink!  I may be depressed as hell and oftentimes incapable of leaving my home yet, I lOVE COLOR.  My clothes are colorful.  I wear the brightest colors that appeal to me.  Even a pair of black and white shorts with bands of designs and pattern of black, white, and gray.  I am wearing them today with a white and black color-block shirt.  Contrasts are fun.  I wear my glasses to match, as close as possible, with my clothes.

I often wonder if people look at me as a clown or a child too young to know better. ¬†I don’t seem to care about that. ¬†I find enjoyment in colors especially, those in contrast.

I am a woman of contrasts.  Very strong contrasts.  The example above about having major clinical depression seems in high contrast with my love of bright, cheerful, colors.  Yet, here it is.

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I am still quite subject to vertigo, as it is called. ¬†Or, as I call it, “like the earth is spinning so hard it is purposely trying to THROW ME OFF OF THE PLANET!? ¬†My eyes are, and I mean this literally, spinning counter-clockwise inside my head. ¬†I would swear they really do make a 360 degree chase around the back of my head like one of the World’s scariest roller-coasters. ¬†This experience is especially bad when I lay on my right side, or turn my head quickly to the right, and turn it back to center… ¬†Luckily, when it happens in bed I can force myself to slap down on my back. ¬†Breathe¬†deeply. ¬†SEVERAL¬†times and will myself to stop my eyes from the¬†continued eye-whirling. ¬†It is funny really to consider how eye movement causes the brain and body to react with such powerful sensations. ¬†The human body is really weird.

Over the last three months this has naturally decreased¬†in how long ¬†during the day or how often these vertigo instances occur. ¬†Except, I never know when that will be. ¬†It is not like I can set alarms to warn me. ¬†I never have experienced car sickness, nor motion sickness on the water, in the air, or just about anything. ¬†Now, it is more like, putting my hands up to either side of my eyes to block peripheral vision. ¬†LightDarkLightDarkLightDark…makes me nauseous. ¬†In other words car sick. ¬†Movement makes me nauseous. ¬†Standing up, sitting down, turning around, sitting in my La-Z-Girl. ¬†The other day I was watching something on TV. ¬†I cannot recall what it was about. ¬†What I recall, it was a young woman speaking to the ether. ¬†The background was a waterfall. ¬†I watched that waterfall because, I have always loved water in about all its forms. ¬†As I am watching I am barely noticing I am feeling, well, funny. ¬†I keep watching the water-fall and it looks as if the camera is pushing in on the swiftly flowing water. ¬†After a little bit I realize I am experiencing vertigo from watching this damn,¬†CLICK, I turn off the TV. ¬†I realized the waterfall had become my nemesis (said with an evil “GROWL” getting louder until, the word Nemesis!). ¬†Deep breathing; once again and with great control I stay seated and I suhv – low – ly¬†convince the earth to let me stay connected to gravity once again.


A week ago I visited the surgeon for a check-up. ¬†I explained to him the ongoing severity of my vertigo experience. ¬†He stopped. ¬†Took a breath. ¬†Turned the¬†look on his face of curiosity to a look of understanding. ¬†He spoke. ¬†“I think I know what is going on.”
“Ok, so, tell me.”

“There are crystals in our ears…”

“WAIT! ¬†Is this about the need to realign them and you turn your head to one side and then, the other, then, again???”

Surprised look on Dr.’s face, “How would you¬†know that??”

“Doc Martin” British TV show on OPB. ¬†He had a male patient with extreme vertigo and he put him on the floor, while curtly explaining the basics of the ear crystals misalignment.”

“Yes. ¬†That is what is going on here.,” he said rather surprised but, acting¬†unshocked.

Ok, then.  This is called BPPV.

“What does BPPV mean?” ¬†While, in my head I am whining. ¬†“Really???” ¬†I mean SERIOUSLY¬†ANOTHER problem resulting from trying to FIX¬†an existing problem!?!!?! Yeah,that’s just what I need,¬†more medical wonderment.”

“BPPV is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.”

Well, I did ask what it was called.

To realign the crystals I want to do the a¬†maneuver. ¬†It is called the Epley Maneuver. ¬†In fact, Dr. Epley lives here. ¬†He must be rather aged by now.”

“That’s cool. Though, I have nothing to do with him. ¬†Why do we, as humans, feel the pride of someone else’s success/renown, especially, when we have no connection to them.”

Sounds easier to suffer than it sounds.  Sitting straight up with my legs straight out the Dr. pressed a button somewhere, straightening the chair downward as I kept my eyes forward.

As the chair¬†turned into a table (wow) he tilted it so my head was slightly below my heart. ¬†Great. ¬†VERTIGO. ¬†Not too bad. ¬†He helped me bring my chin up to my sternum so I am looking at my toes. ¬†While on my back I look as far left as possible. ¬†OMG!!!¬†OMGOMGOMG!!!¬†¬†BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHEBREATHE. ¬†As I cry out, “HOW LONG TO I HAVE TO DO THIS???”¬†¬†Saying, “BREATHE CONTROL YOUR BREATHING,”¬†completely inside my head.

He tells me that I need to stay there until, the vertigo stops.  FUCK.  I am not convinced.

“With nystagmus,” he says to his assistant. ¬†I know what that means. ¬†Nystagmus means your eyes are repeatedly, almost, shivering. ¬†In others, like mine, it is side-to-side. ¬†Some experience their eyeballs rolling up and down without control. ¬†Blech. (must stick out your tongue on the “eh” part of the word and give a slight raspberry.)

It felt like a terribly long time.  Chances are it was only 60 seconds.  Let me tell you, that is a fucking LOOOOONNNNGGGG time when you are trying to cling to an unseen command to gravity that is trying to escape me.

“Whew. Pantpantpant.” ¬†Falsely, thinking I might¬†not¬†have to turn to the other side. ¬†I knew the reality even before that thought coalesced. ¬†Thank you, Doc Martin.

“Now, turn your head all the way to the right. ” After a few seconds of SEVERE
vertigo he instructs me, “Lie you your right side. ¬†Without lifting your head.” ¬†“WTF???” ¬†OH! ¬†HOLY!!!! ¬†SHIT!!!!!

I GRUDGE-ING-LY follow orders. ¬†As I begin to turn the vertigo¬†STOMPS¬†into place. ¬†Starting slowly staying at that level for about 3 seconds. ¬†Ramping up quickly I¬†SUH-LAM my left arm around to grab hold of the chair/table to hold-the-FUCK-ON! ¬†at that point the Dr. who had been to my right was now right in front of me. ¬†As if I could actually see him. ¬†He calmly told me he was right there and he will not let me fall off the WORLD (he actually, said “table”.) ¬†It seemed to go on so much longer to wait for the me to get off the fastest Gravitron ever, or a Tilt-O-Whirl you are riding with a madwoman who spins your car faster than you imagined was possible for her.

Finally, that was done.  Dr. helped me back to sitting up.  After a little bit I was stable enough to stand up and walk without falling.

Oddly enough it did not take a very long time for me to become less dizzy.  That night was the FIRST time I could turn to and sleep on my right side!  It was a M-ear-acle.

However, within a couple of days it was back.  DAMN!

Apparently, I need to do the Epley maneuver, again.  Physical Therapy in-home where are you?

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Vertigo In My Sleep

Last night was rough. ¬†I do not know why it happened. ¬†Not to mention in the early moments of my sleep. ¬†It? ¬†What is “It”?

VERTIGO was among the many symptoms I regularly experienced prior to and immediately subsequent to SSCD surgery.  About nine days ago I had finally stopped falling hard to my back or right.  At least, not every time I sit down.  However, by the time I go to bed at night I am tired.  It is not entirely out of my control whether or which direction I will go each night when I fall into my bed.

Nightly, I do experience vertigo when I turn over in bed.  EVERY TIME I turn over.  Which, I do A LOT!  The last time my vertigo was this bad since, returning home, was in the first several days.  It has been not been highly disruptive for long periods of time when I turn over.  I now know to expect this.  Though, fairly short-lived.  I do have to sit on the edge of my bed before standing up each time I need to use the bathroom.  Then, again, in the dark getting back into bed.  It takes a minute.

Last night I had already done all this.  No problem.  That is until, I realized I was barely asleep when the extreme dizziness hit.  My eyes naturally opened thinking this would break the pattern of uncontrolled swooning.  WRONG! I opened my eyes only to see the time on my ceiling (projected onto ceiling by my alarm clock) kept falling OFF the ceiling and slamming to my right trying its best to slam into the floor.  Then, I notice the light on the smoke alarm is synced up to this rapid falling off the ceiling to the floor on my right dance.

I spoke to my eyes ordering them to stop chasing the time lights from above to the right. ¬†I said, “Stare straight ahead. Just STARE.” ¬†Neither eye paid me any attention. ¬†After trying this for a few minutes I was not getting any less dizzy or nauseated. ¬†So, I decided to try closing my eyes. ¬†I closed my eyes hoping to convince them to stop moving. ¬†No words I mustered were going to change the eyes having it. ¬†I kept my eyes closed for a few minutes. ¬†Yet, each time I would open my eyelids the time over my bed continued its early April Fool’s Day trick on me.

I do not know what I did, if anything, to make my eyes finally stop their cavorting.  Thankfully, it slowed then, stopped.  It left me winded.  However, the next time I had to get out of bed, in the dark, I was dizzier than I had been in about a week.

That my eyes were misbehaving was not a surprise. ¬†Since, the surgery my right eye refuses to track with my left eye.¬†Which, is quite disconcerting. ¬†When I first reported the problem to the nurses and my doctor in the hospital shortly after the surgery the doctor ordered eye exercises. ¬†They are called VOR’s. ¬†Visual(Vestibular) Ocular Reflex exercises. ¬†I did these with the Physical Therapist in the SNF and I have continued to do them with a different PT at home. ¬†My right eye was getting better. ¬†Until, last night.

I had PT this afternoon.  She stands in front of me in order to look at my eyes and how they are tracking.  (Or not.)  I must say when she first told me she saw my right eye was not looking forward even though my left eye had returned from looking left to looking forward.  My right eye had not gotten that message.  It was still looking left.  Sometimes, my right eye jumps.  It does not move smoothly.

My right eye was getting better. ¬†At least, it¬†was until, last night. ¬†Today when she looked on while I was doing my VOR exercises she noticed my right eye “sticking” or “jumping”. ¬†Yep. ¬†It gets stuck on an object longer than the other. ¬†Sometimes, it looks as if that eye is “jumping”. ¬†The jumping is when the severe vertigo seems to be triggered. ¬†I think that may be what happened last night. ¬†Though, I know not why.

I do need to see an Opthalmologist. ¬†My surgeon and my primary doctors are both sending in referrals to my insurance to “pre-authorize” my being evaluated. ¬†I await the grand “Pre-Authorization” decision. ¬†It has already been a week. ¬†tic tic tic tic tic…

In the meantime I continue to do my VOR exercises.

Posted in Balance Imbalance, dizzy, Medical, Skilled Nursing Faciity, SNF, SSCD, Superior Semi-Circular Canal Dehisence, Vertigo, vestibular | Leave a comment

Released from Caged Status or the SKILLED NURSING FACILITY

The last few days have been particularly scary.  The insurance (Medicare) on Monday decided that I would have made enough progress by Wednesday to go home.  Alone.  Without having looked at anything more than my speed of progress at being able to stand without falling while I have a spotter.  Or that I have steps to a second floor where there will again, be no spotter.  Yeesh.

Yes, I did appeal. ¬†No I did not win. Not that I actually expected to win. ¬†I had the right to remain in the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) while the appeal was in process until, the decision was made. ¬†However, if I lost my appeal say, two days after my original release date then, for every day over the original end date I stayed I¬†Medicare supplement plan would NOTpay for those extra days.¬† Meaning nearly NO ONE could afford that option of appealing and staying in the SNF because, you now owe the insurance those $5oo.00+- per day prices for however many days it would take them to make a decision. ¬† I cannot believe I am saying this but, thank god I lost the appeal before I left and didn’t fight it out. ¬†I couldn’t afford the extra days anymore than¬†most people.

So, I asked a friend Tuesday, the day before ejection, to buy me the walker of my choice instead of the cheapest one. ¬†He bought it from Costco and put it together so, it was awaiting me on my return home today around 3 p.m. ¬†McDonald’s in hand!!! ¬†OH THANK GOD!!! ¬†REAL FUCKING FOOD. ¬†YES, McDonald’s IS¬†REAL¬†FOOD!

Now let me talk about this SNF.  Their food was DIS-GUST-ING!!!  This is NO over reaction.  At least, not for anyone who has more than eight tastebuds still in working order.

The facilities diet plan is called “CCHO.” ¬†What does this stand for? ¬†Controlled ¬†(or Consistent) Carbohydrates HO. ¬†CHO stands for Carbohydrates. ¬†Which, until right now I never got the wording for the HO part of their diet plan. ¬†As a new diabetic I was not very hopeful that I would learn how a really good diabetic diet would look and taste, when done right. ¬†(As in: Not by me alone.) ¬†As I believe I stated in an earlier post; ¬†I did expect to have a healthy CCHO demonstrated for me at the SNF. ¬†Maybe I would learn to like this diet. ¬†Also, remember that people who are healing need¬†extra protein.1

Well, imagine my shock when the meals delivered to me were nearly¬†entirely carbohydrates, some were entirely carbohydrates. ¬†Don’t get me wrong I LOVE carbohydrates. ¬†Which, is a bad thing for a new diabetic. ¬†Especially, for steroid induced diabetes. ¬†I asked the Kitchen Manager Dietician Technician (Kelly. ¬†Neither, I believe, was she ever a¬†chef or even a cook. ¬†If she was then likely¬†the last in her class.) what options were available. ¬†Nothing. Oh, unless, ¬†you count the¬†CCHO¬†Diet technically means they cut the amount of carbohydrates in half. ¬†They still serve all the carbs on the plate. ¬†They just cut them in half. ¬†No extra protein or salad or vegetables. ¬†Literally, their theory is to cut the carbs on the plate into half the amount. ¬†Replacing the missing carbs with anything else was NEVER a possibility. ¬†Note: ¬†Creativity does not live here.

So, not only do the diabetics eat correctly (LMFAO) we are now ALL STARVING!!!  THIS  is their DIABETIC     DIET    PLAN!???!?!?!?!!

Exactly.  Nothing.  The Kitchen Manager (Kelly) could not understand why I was upset with the so-called Diabetic Diet she allows to come out of that kitchen.  They still provided me with a salad.  Wow!  Something nutritional.

Wait. ¬†NOPE. ¬†The “salad” was iceberg lettuce. ¬†Which, we non-Dietician¬†Technicians¬†know there is absolutely,¬†no nutritional value of any kind.¬† I suggested she use spinach, maybe some cucumbers, carrots, celery, radishes…vary dressing options as in, really small amount of bleu cheese dressing… ¬†Now, you have to take a guess what my next salad was. ¬†Then, the one after that.

Da DA da DA da da DA da da da da daDADA (in case you cannot figure it out that is the Jeopardy game theme music.)

Ok. ¬†Time is up. ¬†Did you guess I would have gotten that very next dinner? ¬†Of course not. ¬†The salad was an iceberg lettuce mound, with slices of cucumbers, chopped tomatoes, Balsamic Dressing. ¬†Ooops. ¬†I forgot to tell you when a new patient enters the facility Kelly is supposed to come to your room to ask you what your “Likes” and “Dislikes” are. ¬†On my dislike list were “tomatoes”. ¬†Though, Kelly’s kitchen wrote it as “tomato products.” ¬†So, now I have an iceberg lettuce salad with, cucumbers, and small chunks of fresh tomatoes, and Balsamic Dressing. ¬†I spoke with both¬†¬†Registered Dietician(Jane) and Kelly about all of the issues.

It took DAYS before I was spinach.  I was so grateful.  That was not going to be the regular salad.  Twice in NINE DAYS and THREE conversations with Kelly and TWO with Jane I got a spinach salad TWICE!  Out of nine days, their understanding I needed as much roughage and nutrition and a balanced diet.  Honestly.

I had very clearly explained the problem with iceberg lettuce to start with and that cooking well was as easy as cooking badly. ¬†They chose badly. ¬†I was told by Jane after the tomato debacle that some people might not consider a tomato as a “tomato product”. ¬†She looked at me bold-faced with nothing but, an expectation that I would accept that answer. ¬†When I respond, “You must be kidding me.”

With her stone face Jane responded ¬†“No. I like ketchup.” ¬†“To some people ketchup¬†is a tomato “product” but, they might not consider a fresh ripe tomato (from which her ketchup is made) a “tomato product.”

“Do these people read English?”

“Unfortunately, there is a “language barrier” with some people in the kitchen.”


Jane continued to argue her position.  I made it clear I would never accept her definition as a reasonable response.

Even talking to Nathan, the Facility Adminstration about the problem nothing really happened. I kept many of the meal tickets showing what should and should not be included in my meals.  Much less the other HALF of the FLOOR I was on.  Not to mention the other two floors in the Rehabilitation building but, the Assisted Living building and the largest and most populated long-term care building.


1 I learned I needed extra protein when undergoing radiation/chemo for anal cancer in 2013. ¬†My Doctors were insistent I take in more protein. ¬†Protein helps heal proteins like skin, muscles… ¬†Which, would have been great if I could have actually been able to eat throughout the process and for weeks after.

Posted in CCHO Diet, Consisten Carbohysrate, Consistent Carbohydrate, Disease, Heal, Home, Humor, Skilled Nursing Faciity, SNF, SSCD, Superior Semi-Circular Canal Dehisence, Things that Make Me NUTS | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment


Walker and all.  Released Wednesday. 

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What is SSCD (Superior Semi-Circular Canal Dehiscence) or Third Window Syndrome

Huh? ¬†Yeah. ¬†That’s what I thought. ¬†A month ago I finally said I was tired of the sound of hearing underwater in my right ear. ¬†Admittedly, the weird sounds are in both ears. ¬†But, the right ear feels and hears like an underwater reverberation. ¬†I had no doubt no one else could hear what I was hearing.

Friends would tell me that I should read this book or that book.  At first, about 5 years ago, I stopped reading.  Up until then, I was a fairly avid reader.  I would go through spurts where I would almost eat up books.  I liked a wide variety of subjects and authors.  I loved Vincent Bugliosi and Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Ursula Le Guin, National Geographic, Discover Magazine, and on and on.

All that just stopped. ¬†Dead stop. ¬†I didn’t tell people for another three years. ¬†But, I felt that my friends must be wondering what would keep me from reading. ¬†Unless, I was blind. ¬†Well, that clearly was not the problem. ¬†I wondered if they thought maybe I was illiterate. ¬†I know how ridiculous that kind of thinking was. ¬†Yet, there it was inside my head. ¬†Along with all the noises inside my head that had become normal. ¬†You imagine how you would have covered your inability to read.

About thirteen years ago I felt that the underwater sensation had gone on long enough.  So, I finally went to an Otolaryngologist aka ENT aka Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor.  I explained my symptoms.  He looked into my ears and said that my eustachian tubes had collapsed.  He explained that putting tubes (like in kids with lots of ear infections get.  But, neither myself nor my kids needed them), he explained in clear detail the process.  The idea of him cutting into my eardrum SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME!

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Physical Therapy (PT)

Physical Torturers. ¬†That is what my friends and I called our PT’s in the eighth grade. ¬†They were wonderful women in uniforms who worked on us in their very own torture chamber. ¬†Their chamber had to be passed on our way into school every morning and the way out and to the lunch room. ¬†It loomed large in our lives. ¬†This was no “Nurse” office like in regular schools. ¬†No, this was a “Special”¬†School. ¬†We were special for many reasons. ¬†Each one of us had a different disabling condition or deformity.

Our torturers were hell-bent on breaking up scar tissue and stretching muscles and tendons shortened by misuse or disuse by¬†forcing our limbs in directions recent surgeries or other congenital disabilities and deformations which, for me was the “new normal.”

I remember laying on a vinyl covered wooden stilted and crossbar strutted bed.  My torturer at my side bending my knee toward my chin and the hot liquid running out of my wide open mouth.  Gasping for air my new friend, PAIN was taking away from me every other second.  Or by stretching my legs toward a ceiling that did not want them either.  Pain was PAIN.  Yet, pain was a positive thing.  As long as not pushed too far.  Once every day of the school week.  Sometimes twice a day.

PT today is something entirely different.  Not painful this time.  Difficult.  I am trying to learn how to balance my own body and how to focus my eyes without getting nauseatingly dizzy and falling down.  At this point, I am learning to control the 500 pound lead weight which, has fallen in LOVE with Gravity.  Gravity has an iron hold on me.  Gravity likes to play games with me by yanking with a singular rough and determined demand that my head and torso fall hard to my right and (so far) smashing me into my raised hospital bed or being felled backward on my bed like a newly chopped tree.  Something gratefully has NOT attacked me on the hard vinyl covered concrete floor.

The “Special” School today is called a Skilled Nursing Facility for my¬†rehabilitation. ¬†I was so exhausted yesterday (Wednesday March 8) I took a vewwy¬†long nap. ¬†I have felt all energy taken away from me¬†EVERY day since my surgery (SSCD)¬†REMOVED one sixth of my vestibular or balance system. ¬†This has given Gravity (it is now a pro-noun due to its specific personal attachment to¬†me. We are, in fact, on first name basis.) a new and nearly unbreakable¬†friendship. PT is teaching my body how to work with Gravity instead of my giving into an unhealthy co-dependent relationship. ¬†Ah, THAT is the¬†therapy aspect.

Between yesterday and the early hours of today I have had a couple of realizations. ¬†One I discovered yesterday in PT in the bathroom. ¬†Forcing me to walk and talk at the same time tends to create a violent discussion with my bowels. ¬†I was sitting on the one throne I cannot escape when I had a “wonder”. ¬†I wondered if part of the¬†dizziness I experience when there is too much peripheral distraction (or movement or pattern or people walking by or my attention being drawn to a color change or sound or well, shit I AM ADD)¬†to either side of me is caused or exacerbated by one eye or the other. ¬†My eyes will dart to that¬†disturbance and I¬†immediately lose all sense of balance. ¬†At least, my knees and hips remain capably beneath me. ¬†As long as I have my trusty walker in front of me with my hands gripping hard to the padded rails and a¬†spotter behind me to give me a slight push back to up.

To find out while in a safe seated position with a grab bar to my left and right and my walker in front of me I put one hand over my right eye and quickly moved my head together with my left eye to the left and quickly t my right.  THAT went ok.  I was able to quickly focus on the items I locked onto in either direction.  Hmmm.  I put one hand over my left eye this time.  I swiveled my head keeping my eyes on the two targets at ten and two on the clock face and unhesitatingly became dizzy and unable to focus on either.  OKAY then.  This makes perfect sense since the deficit in my vestibular system is on my right side.

This morning I told my PT and OT (Occupational Therapist) the results of my scientific study. ¬†They both made the “well, that makes sense” face. ¬†They were already aware of this because of the copious medical charts they had to read through before meeting me. ¬†Silly wabbit. ¬†Apparently, it was just news to me alone. ¬†After all, the Visual Ocular Reflex (VOR) exercises were designed to help just this problem.

Now that I am on board with the VOR I know which eye specifically is the problem they designed the VOR around.  One more thing I did not know.  As I think over this and over the balance and proprioception issues I have had for many years my new realization puts a lot of this into a new perspective.

The holes in my Superior Semi-Circular CanalS have been in existence and growing for well over a decade. ¬†The symptoms began infinitesimally small. ¬†Growing ever larger in impact one my whole system and physically enlarging the hole. ¬†Ergo, I am¬†a bigger klutz than I used to be. ¬†I just accepted my klutziness as “just me.” ¬†Until, PT for the¬†proprioception problem causing my internal sensation and commitment that my right leg was longer than my left when, in fact, they are only incrementally different in length. ¬†I now have another LEGIT¬†proprioception¬†problem due to the SSCD.

I have seen/HEARD improvements.  My breath is not heard in my head now.  Sounds are not so deeply affecting.  Though, being totally off balance, for now, is pretty difficult.  I am improving.  Four days ago I could only walk 260 steps like a drunken bobble head.  Today I walked over 600 steps.  Still, entirely like a drunken bobble head.  This is progress!


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