The Rambling Road: Nothing to report

It’s been quiet here because there’s really nothing to report. I’ve arrived at a kind of weird plateau. In some ways, I’ve improved dramatically over the past few months, but the fatigue and achiness still dog me. Hopefully, as the weather improves and I can get outside more, that will improve as well.

DLH

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The Rambling Road: A question of precision

Having medical conditions often means medication, and taking medications often means a level of precision whether we realize it or not. Each medication has its own, often unique, requirements for administration that are often, in some way, in conflict with any others.

Add into this the human propensity for mistakes, and you have a recipe for disaster. In my case, this morning, it was a matter of injecting the wrong dose of my long-acting insulin, to the tune of 22 more units than I should have taken.

In isolation, this is not that big of a deal. I will have to keep extra track of my blood sugar throughout the day to make sure it does not drop too far, and because I can’t afford not to stay on track with my regular doses, I will have to make sure I eat enough calories tonight to see me through until morning.

That said, while I happened to notice this mistake and can compensate for it, I wonder how many times I may have made similar mistakes–taking a once a day pill twice or other instances of taking not enough or too much insulin–since this process began.

The fact is these mistakes pile up. Over time, we can’t help but to make them, and they start to have an effect on our health just as surely as the diseases we are treating. It’s an important thing for patients and medical professionals to consider for anyone battling disease.

As for me, I will redouble my efforts to pay attention. That’s the best I can do.

DLH

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Science and Technology: Spaceward, ho!

If you know me, then you know that I am a big fan of all things Elon Musk, but especially his spectacular endeavors at SpaceX. I have long believed that the commercial exploitation of space–as opposed to its continued government monopoly–is the future of human space travel, and I believe Elon Musk represents the bleeding edge of that reality.

What has amused me for some time about Musk’s and SpaceX’s endeavors is the number of detractors and naysayers he attracts. There are a host of smart people determined to be the first who says it can’t be done and be right, yet time after time, Musk and crew prove them wrong, if not exactly on anyone’s timetable.

This fact brings to mind an idea from American history fraught with peril and controversy, and that idea is Manifest Destiny. I’m not referring to the part where people believed it was the white, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon right to own North America, but rather the part where so many people risked their time, fortunes, and lives to do things so many people said could not be done. We forget that Manifest Destiny had many, many detractors, yet those pioneers and prospectors proved them all wrong.

I see Musk and SpaceX in much the same light. He said he would build a reusable rocket, lots of people said he couldn’t, and he proved them wrong. He said he would build the first commercial crew capsule, lots of people said he didn’t know how, and he’s proving them wrong. He says he’s going to send people to the Moon and Mars, and well, you get the picture.

In the end, I think Musk represents what’s right with the American spirit. He’s the kind of man, a naturalized citizen with an idea, who helped make America the nation that it is and who will shape the nation it will yet be. We need more Musks, not less, the critics be damned.

Spaceward, ho!

DLH

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The Rambling Road: When no news is bad news

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that’s mostly because there really hasn’t been anything new to post. Frankly, I’ve been waiting for the doctor’s appointment I had this morning in the hopes it would answer some questions about the lingering effects I’m experiencing.

No such luck.

It turns out that, all things considered, my test results came back great. My blood serum numbers are fine. My triglycerides and lipids are improving. My cholesterol is better than it’s been in years. My thyroid numbers are a-okay.

That seems like good news, and it is, but it doesn’t explain why I’m suffering such significant fatigue that I can’t even walk to the end of my driveway and back without being done for the rest of the day.

Frankly, I think doctor’s tend to ignore the fatigue complaint because everybody has it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real and not affecting someone’s quality of life. I’m not complaining about my specific medical care so much as I am identifying something I think is endemic to modern medicine.

So, as things stand, I’m improving but also not. It’s all well and good for my numbers to have improved, but the fact is that, until I’m not so easily fatigued, I’m not better. How that improvement might come about remains to be seen.

DLH

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The Rambling Road: Are we awake?

Unfortunately, sometimes we’re awake when we don’t want to be. Insomnia has many and various causes, but for some people the problem is both chronic and enduring.

I’ve struggled with sleep as long as I can remember. For whatever reason, I’m more awake late at night and I tend to hit my stride just about the time everyone else is ready for bed. Being a night owl makes living what most people call a normal life difficult at best.

But the problem is that it’s not just staying up late. My body seems to have an awake switch that, once its turned on, no matter how tired I might otherwise be, I’m awake. There is no real rhyme or reason to that switch. It can stay on for one day, wake me up in the middle of the night, or in my worst circumstances, keep me awake for weeks.

I’ve learned to cope with that kind of insomnia for the most part, but I’ve discovered that it makes recovering from an illness a challenge I did not anticipate facing. Now, in addition to the challenge of being awake at appropriate times, I have to make sure that I am not so fatigued I cause myself further harm.

That said, it is a problem that can be managed. I have to be careful with when and how much caffeine I consume, and I’m discovering that how much, when, and what kind of calories I consume can contribute as well. As with most things, this is a learning experience, and as I learn, I will continue to share what I know with you.

DLH

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