Tag Archives: Flu

Unsure

Unsure

I’m unsure what’s worse getting a cold while on prednisone or getting a cold and having MG.  I’m sure the three together are working to keep me down this last two weeks.  The last two weeks have been the absolute worse since I contracted MG — short of when Elizabethe and I had the flu earlier this year.

Balancing Act

It’s a balancing act.  One medication has this effect, while another one is supposed to deal with that problem.  The doctors have their work cut out for them.  It must be quite the dilemma trying to decide if someone should be treated for high blood pressure or taken off prednisone.

I can only wait and see.

Hill Cumorah Pageant

An announcement Sunday was made concerning pageants in the church.  It appears the Hill Cumorah Pageant will wind down by 2020.  For many of the people in this region, that will be quite a culture change.

I hope people will now spread out their visits to Palmyra.  The Pageant windfall is nice, but I think if all the locals play this right, they might seel blessings come more steadily throughout the year and years to come.

People will still flock to Palmyra to see the sacred sites.  It just won’t all be mid-July.

Decisions

We are facing many decisions.  We’re leaning towards selling the house and building here in Palmyra, and finding someplace closer to the girls in Utah.  There is no way I can physically manage the house.  I can barely do the bare minimum each day without totally exhausting myself.  Myasthenia Gravis is quite debilitating.

I read that men who contract MG lose about 50% of their income on the average.  While I don’t remember the figure of those who become completely disabled, the research paper did say that a large majority find they cannot work at all or very little.

In my Myastenia Gravis for Men group, it is a very common consensus that there is a lot of down-play about the disease.  I conducted a little poll and asked, “Do you have pain associated with your MG?”

Now, you’ll find website after website that says there is no pain associated with MG.  However, my little poll says about 67% have pain (50% most of the time + 17% some of the time).  That’s only 1/3rd who say they don’t have pain.  It’s unscientific, but it confirms my suspicions.

Another comment you hear is, “Many people with MG go on to live productive lives.”

We got talking about this in the group.  We’re all kind of laughing about how they define “productive”.  They definitely don’t mean “active”!  Most of us say our productivity is cut drastically and activity even more so.

Productivity

I know before I caught a cold a couple of weeks ago, my “productivity” was about 30-60 minutes a day.  For the last two weeks, it has been about 1-2 hours a week split between 2-3 days.  In other words, this cold dropped me from 3.5-7 hours a week down to 1-2 hours a week.

Activity

The activity I tolerate most is walking slowly.  Even then, I must be careful to avoid overdoing it.  When my legs aren’t all weak feeling, it is nice to walk a little.  When I overdo it, the results are the pain, weakness, and fatigue.

Even typing my blog is fatiguing.  (Hence, so few entries this year.)  Brain fog makes it worse.  I’m constantly getting red-lines under words because my fingers aren’t hitting the right keys.  Then, it’s difficult to think, “What word was I trying to type?”  That only makes things worse because I find it upsetting when I type something like, “zyjod od s yrdyz” when I meant to type, “This is a test”.  (I’ve never had a problem with my hands being shifted until this brain fog thing started to happen.

Talking is pretty much a no-no.  That’s one of the first muscles to be affected.  Paralyzed vocal chords carry with them a double-whammy.  The first whammy is losing your voice.  The second is the reflection that coughing will solve the problem.  It doesn’t.  It only makes it worse, but try telling your subconscious that.

My Hope

My hope is the doctors and I will find a good balance of my medication that will allow me to have the stamina to at least feel like I was able to get some exercise in.  It may not be the stamina needed to mow the lawn, shovel snow, fix a broken faucet, build a shelf for Elizabethe, etc., however, it would be nice to know I’m able to do something for my heart.  It might be riding my stationary bike for 15 minutes a couple of times a day.  (Right now, the doctor has told me to not attempt any exercise program until we get my medication stabilized.)

Reality tells me there will be good days and bad days.  Hope tells me there should be a way to lesson the bad days (which have been all too frequent lately), and know my limits.

Process of Elimination

Process of Elimination

I’ve spent most of my adult life troubleshooting.  It’s a process of elimination.  You hold all variables constant, and you change one to see if it has an impact.  If it doesn’t, you restore it to its original state, and change another.  You keep doing that until you find the problem.

Since Then

Elizabethe commented that I really haven’t been my same self since the accident.  That’s understandable.  PTSD is, as the T stands for, a traumatic disease.    I say disease because it is a mental illness brought on by a life threatening event.

Since then I had a nasty flu that took weeks to recover from.  Let me correct that… I’m still recovering.  A couple of months after getting the flu I got a septic infection.  The antibiotics cleared up a lot of symptoms, but a few of them came back.

I’ve never experienced fatigue as I have lately.  It used to be I could trim the grass, hedge the bushes and mow the lawn only to feel some muscle stiffness the next day.  Saturday’s experience doing those three tasks nearly killed me.

Convinced Me

Elizabethe convinced me to see the doctor.  The doctor asked lots of questions, listened to my breathing and my heart, and told me the course of action.  It’s a process of troubleshooting, not unlike troubleshooting a computer or network system.

First, they are going to test my blood and urine for a bunch of stuff.  She said it could be an infection (again), electrolyte imbalance, hormonal, blood sugar, etc.  Her first line of troubleshooting is to see if anything appears in the blood or urine.

If nothing appears in the lab tests, the second tier will be to adjust my medications one at a time to see what happens.  She listed off a couple of my medications that could cause fatigue.   One she said could be eliminated.  The others, substituted or an adjustment in dosage could help.

After that, there are other tests.  She suggested sleep apnea.  Something tells me it’s not sleep apnea.  I think it is more “chemical” or “biological”.  She also wants me to see an E.N.T. specialist.  I haven’t been to one for years.  In 1974-1975 I practically lived at my E.N.T.’s office, but that’s another story.

Worse Case Scenarios

Some worse case scenarios were rattled off…  Kidney failure (I’m doubting that since urination seems normal), liver failure (another one I doubt), thyroid problems, Parkinson’s being the ones she mentioned.  Ones I found searching symptoms on the Internet were leukemia, Lupus and Sjogren’s (this latter matching all the symptoms).  It’s all a process of elimination until something conclusive rears its head.

In the Meantime

In the meantime, I have to manage my energy and time carefully.  My voice is a good indicator.  I need to remember to back off when my voice starts going out.  And, I need to accept that my effectiveness can end anywhere during the day.  (Today, it cut out around noon.  That’s when I started to lose my voice.  Losing my voice is coupled with the extreme fatigue I’ve been feeling.)

One thing I won’t be eliminating is prayer.

Realization

Realization

There’s a realization that the flu did more to me than I initially thought.  3 weeks in bed, followed by weakness, and then the bacterial infection in my leg.  The doctor prescribed antibiotics and guess what… other ailments are clearing up too.

The realization is this… it is a good thing I saw the doctor when I did because now I realize might might have been on the verge of going septic.  I won’t go through all the symptoms that have disappeared after a week of being on the antibiotics, but it’s proof to me that had I not seen the doctor about my leg, things may have got worse.

3D Stuff

I dove head first in to this 3D stuff.  I’ve not invested about six weeks and probably close to $1,000 in digital assets.  The work is fun, but it is also frustrating since the software has some bugs.

I think I’ve got most of the issues ironed out, and now I’m itching to create stuff.  Last night I was thinking I of paintings I want to do.  While I know in my mind what I want, this software will help me visualize it so I can paint it.  (I’m lousy at painting from memory.  Some people can… I have a hard time doing it.)

Amazing Body

Amazing Body

The amazing body cannot be replicated by science.  I’ve learned during this flu that the body asks for what it needs.   I’m learning to listen to my body.

Usually I can’t sleep in.  My body says it is time to get up, and I get up.  However, since contracting this flu I can sleep until 9:30am (like I did today.)  It’s obvious my body needs the sleep.

I’ve also noticed the things I crave to eat, if we have it handy and I eat it, I feel physically better.  For example, I was craving maple syrup.  I had some and shortly after consuming it, I coughed up the gunk that was making me wheeze.   Again, the amazing body knew what it needed.

Getting Close

I feel like I’m getting close to being better.  I looked up how long the contagious period is for this flu, and I’m definitely past it now.  (The CDC said 5-7 days.)  It’s now dealing with the symptoms.

The worst symptom is the fatigue.  You think you’re up to going down to the basement to get a bottle of canned fruit.  So, you make the journey, and when you get back upstairs, that amazing body is saying, “You need to lie down.”

I dragged the laundry basked to the kitchen and felt like I had just ran the 440.  It’s the body’s way of saying, “Take it easy.”

Take It Easy

Speaking of Take It Easy, I watched a YouTube video of the Eagles singing Take It Easy.  The camera would swing to the audience and it was full of young ladies — groupies.  It was funny watching their reactions to the lyrics.

Okay, I’m going to take it easy today.  I want to be feeling up to attending my temple shift tomorrow.

Even Sicker

Even Sicker

Elizabethe is even sicker than I was.  She’s coughing and feels miserable.  She remembered we had some Nyquil and that seems to be helping her rest.  This is a nasty flu.

What I hate most about this bug is how runny it makes my nose.  If I lay on my back the snot runs down my throat and I feel like I’m drowning in my own snot.  It’s a horrible feeling.  And, if my head is down (nose to the ground), it isn’t any better.  The best relief is when I’m standing or sitting up.

Sitting

I’ve decided sitting is the best position.  So, I sat at my computer most of the day.  I can’t feel productive, however, because a stuffy head means a stuff brain.

The old saying, “You can’t keep a good man down”, didn’t take in to account stuff like this.    While I did manage to run to a store… twice (I had to go back to exchange what I bought), it wasn’t taxing to my body.  I’ll probably pay for it tomorrow.

Boredom

After a while, boredom sets in.  There is only so much you can do when you zapped like this.  I’ve been spending lots of time looking for ideas for print competition.  At least that feels productive.

Composition

Composition

The First Monday Event has the subject of composition.  There were only two of us – me and Gary Morse.  But, we learned a lot about composition.  I know Gary and I aim to make my photographs better.

We watched a couple of real good videos.  It amazes me, almost to the point of disgust, that photographic instructors don’t teach this concept.  Perhaps it is too difficult for the average person to grasp, so they over simplify things down to the Rule of Thirds (in most cases.)

My 2018 crusade is to educate my fellow photographers on composition!

Bug?

I had a flu shot this year, but I’m feeling like I am coming down with the flu.  And, it can’t be because of the flu shot because that was a couple of months ago.  When I went to bed last night I felt like crap.  My muscles all ached and I felt feverish.   It could very well be an infection too.

Let’s see if I feel better tomorrow.

Reschedule

Elizabethe called to get her surgery time and was told she wasn’t on the hospital schedule, however, the surgeon had it on his schedule.  Oops!  Some dropped the ball.

So, we waited and waited for them to call back.  She finally called them and got a time.

Better Than Last Week

Better Than Last Week

I feel much better than last week.  Last Tuesday was one of those days when you think you’re getting better, but you aren’t quite sure.  Well, today I feel better than I did last week.

Today was my weekly meeting with the other CSMs  (Church Service Missionaries) serving as photographers.  There were some interesting tidbits brought out about photographing General Authorities while serving as CSM photographers.  In fact, a photographer did a demonstration on white balancing using a snapshot of President Uchtdorf.  I kind of whish President Uchtdorf would have been there.  I’m sure he would have had some funny things to day.

It is rainy and cold today.  I am glad it isn’t snowing, but I do wish to see some sunshine.  The good part of this is that everything is turning green and the daffodils and hyacinths are in full bloom.  The yard is starting to look colorful.

The new photography web site is shaping up.  You have to resign yourself to the fact that these days, a web site is going to change every 1-2 years.  If not, it is going to get left behind in technology and technique.  And, probably by the search engines too.

Tonight at the temple things weren’t real busy, but we did have a family from Utah visiting.  We are also starting to get the new wave of missionaries.  They will be here for 6 months.  Two new couples, both from Arizona, arrived today.

By the end of the night, I was starting to feel myself dragging.  I sure don’t wish that bug I had on anyone.  It knocked me down and held me there.  And, like anything that hits the body hard, it takes time to heal.

Feeling Much Better

Feeling Much Better

I’m feeling much better today.  No meetings are scheduled, and I can basically take things slowly.  My stomach is still a little sensitive, and I still shun certain foods, but at least I feel like doing more than just laying in bed.

Although I’m not up to going out and working in the yard, or even taking a long walk, I do feel well enough to get some computer work done.  So, I spent a good portion of the day responding to over-due e-mails and commenting on professional photographer issues at PPA.

Why is it people feel that just because they love to do something they can go in to business doing it?

Or, maybe I should ask this in a different way…

Why is it the jump in to business doing something they love without getting the ground work laid?

I just go nuts when I read a post by a fellow photographer who asks, “How do I show sales tax on my invoice?”

Huh?

You total up all of the goods and services, multiply that by the tax rate, and then you sum the two together!  Actually, what she was thinking was she didn’t have to charge sales tax on her time.

Gosh!  Imagine buying a new car and on the sticker it showed the amount of labor costs to build the car.  Do you really think you could get away with not paying sales tax on that portion of the car?

Of course not.

Anyway, the way my accountant explains it is if your customer comes away with a tangible product, everything to produce that product is taxable. (I wouldn’t think mowing my lawn is a tangible product, but a service.  However, it too is subject to sales tax.)

I’m not an accountant, but I’m sure if you asked your accountant, or called the state sales tax board, you’d get an answer about your sales tax questions.  I’m very surprised how many business owners do not do that.  It’s not only crazy, it might be criminal.

Another one of my favorites are those who ask…

“How much should I charge?”

Well, if you have to ask, then you haven’t done your homework and you probably shouldn’t be at that stage of business yet.

Okay… I’ll stop.  As you can tell I’m feeling better and I really need to feel good enough so I can go talk a walk before my brain explodes.

Slow Healing

Slow Healing

I don’t think I’ve ever been hit this hard by an illness since I had pneumonia back in 1987.  This flu, even though the flu symptoms are gone, has zapped my energy.

This morning I got up and went to my networking meeting.  I came home grabbed an English muffin and then headed to my 10am meeting.  By the time that meeting was done all I could do was go home and crawl in bed and sleep.  I got up around 2 and by 4pm I was read to go back to bed and sleep.  I did.  I then went to a 7pm meeting and by the time it ended I was done.  I was just physically exhausted.   Drained.

Pirates Weekend

I was saddened to learn that Palmyra is not going to have the bed races at Pirates Weekend this year.  I don’t know all of the details, but breaking tradition is the best way to break a tradition.  Perhaps they will find a way to reconsider.

Slow Healing - copyright 2014 db walton

Bed Races

Perhaps it is the Pareto principle in effect.  Only 20% are making the bed races happen and they’ve got burned out?  Perhaps there are cost or safety issues?  I don’t know.  All I know is the bed races were one of the best activities Palmyra has every year.  I look forward to them every year.

Well, I’m in hopes that by saying this, there will be those who might be able to make this happen.  Yes, it costs money.  Yes, it takes time to organize.  Yes, it requires some careful coordination with state and local law enforcement.  But, look at how this benefits the community in the long run.

If we don’t do it this year, it will be a slow healing before it returns and has the same momentum.

Recovery

Recovery

I’m not sure what this flu bug is all about, but it is still playing havoc.  I only want liquids.  It is funny how the body craves what it needs.  I spent most of the day… correction… all day sitting up in bed and typing on my laptop interspersed with long naps.  Recovery isn’t as fast as I’d like it to be.

I thought I broke my fever last night, but this evening I got the chills and felt awful again.  On the other side, my brain is racing about all the things I need to do tomorrow.  One half is saying, “It’s okay to get sick”, while the other half is saying, “Work is piling up dude.  You need to get better.”

There is no happy medium.

Tomorrow is a new day.  We’ll see how I feel in the morning.