valproic acid

Now I can tell the tale of the forgotten medicine. I take a lot of meds, and my wife has a time-consuming but welcome method of putting the meds into tiny bags, marked by date and time, so when, for instance, it's Tuesday morning the 12th, there's a bag for that. Unfortunately, she missed a med, one where I take one with dinner and two at bedtime. She got the dinner bag right, but left the bedtime doses out of that bag. The medicine was valproic acid, which is for anxiety. So there I am, anxious about the missing anxiety meds.

In London, I couldn't get anyone to refill the prescription. Well, an online doctor did it, but he was in the E.U. and England won't have that, so no pharmacy honored his prescription.

Ah, but Spain is a different matter! I was able to make a quick appointment at the Nerja Medical Center, where they wrote me a refill that worked in a Nerja pharmacy.

The irony is that there is nowhere in the world where I am more relaxed than in Nerja, so I haven't been anxious at all! All's well that ends well, in any event.


eye and nose update

For better or worse, I am off to Europe in a few days and so won't be seeing any doctors until we return.

My left eye (which had the emergency operation for a detached retina three months ago) is good enough. I'd like to say it was good as new, or rather, that it was as good as it was after cataract surgery a couple of years ago, since that made it better than new. The vision has improved greatly since the operation. I can drive, and I can see without covering the eye. But compared to the right eye, when I look out of just the left eye, everything is a bit smaller. Also, things have a kind of wavy edge to them. It's not very noticeable most of the time, but it is clear if I cover my right eye. The doctor says it will likely not improve much further, so I will see an optometrist after our trip to see about glasses or contacts for the problem.

My nose (which had surgery for the ever-popular inverted papilloma last month) is also slowly improving. I had a doctor visit on Monday that went well. I have been doing a twice-daily nasal rinse w/antibiotic that will continue for awhile, and there is still some minor irritation, plus it's still numb around the area near the left nostril (I think because nerves got chopped up a bit during surgery). The doctor will see me again when we return, and he says those visits will continue for the near future just to keep an eye on things. In previous post-op visits, he got a lot of crud out of my sinuses, enough so I figured it was all gone, but nope. I posted this picture on Instagram ... it wasn't a particularly popular post (one person commented "TMI"), but here it is, for posterity purposes, junk that came out of me a full month after the operation:

Nose crud


update

I'm working on it.

These pages have gone quiet for a few days. It's hard to concentrate when I try to write. The pain in my nose/face is getting better, but still far from optimal, so I'm still taking pain meds, supplemented with cannabis edibles that leave me properly fucked up (good news) and mostly stupid (not so good news).


update

This is what my year has been like.

Sometime during 2020 I got a note from the doctor saying it was time for a colonoscopy. Yuck, but what the heck. Except I had no intention of getting it done during the pandemic. Once a vaccine became available, I'd schedule the procedure.

February 13: first vaccine.

February 26: I have a video appointment with my doctor. When I explained that I have had some kind of nasal obstruction for years, and pointed to where it is always stuffy, she scheduled an appointment for me with the Head and Neck department.

March 13: second vaccine. Once I get the nasal thing taken care of I'll do the colonoscopy.

April 12: I see the nose doctor. She sticks a camera up my nose and sees what she thinks are polyps. She schedules a CT Scan.

April 23: I have the CT Scan.

April 26, May 12 and 18: appointments with nose doctor, who schedules an MRI.

June 9: I get the MRI.

June 11 and 22: Video appointments with nose doctor, who recommends surgery to remove an inverted papilloma.

June 23: I call the advice nurse because the vision in my left eye has gone to hell. We schedule an office visit for the next day.

June 24: I see eye doctor at 10:00. They say I have a detached retina, and schedule emergency surgery. In the late afternoon, they operate on my eye and fix the retina. Two months later, my vision is almost completely restored, although I haven't driven during that time, waiting for the full recovery.

August 24 (tomorrow): I finally get the nose surgery.

Needless to say, I still haven't gotten that colonoscopy.


fundraiser for charlie and sky

I don't often do this ... in fact, this may be a first. But I'm posting a link to a Gofundme effort for a long-time friend of mine. Here's the write-up:

As many of you know, Charlie Bertsch has been navigating a tremendously challenging home situation. He is now quite ill, and in hospital care. No matter what happens, Charlie and his daughter Sky need our help to raise money for MANY basic expenses in the immediate future. Please consider donating what you can towards this person who has selflessly given so much. All funds will go directly to Charlie and Sky for living, health-care, and educational expenses.

Charlie has been a constant presence on this blog (literally ... there is a photo from a visit to his house I posted on the very first day of the blog). You can visit the fundraiser page here:

Support for Charlie and Sky

Here is an old picture of Charlie and our beloved cat Starbuck:

Charlie starbuck 2


times change (geezer preview)

Times change. We are going to see Black Widow later today as this week's Geezer Cinema movie. Not to show my age, but when I was a kid, there was one movie theater in town (not a multiplex, it had one screen) and one drive-in. When a movie came out, first you waited for it to come to your town, then you could watch it, or you could wait a few years and see it, edited, on TV.
 
Today, there are five different options for seeing Black Widow. We will go to an AMC theater, where they are showing the movie in standard "Digital", "Real 3D", "Dolby Cinema", and "IMAX with Laser". You can also cough up $30 and watch at home on Disney+. I think of 3D being less popular today, but in fact, that's the one that is sold out at AMC. (We are opting for the IMAX, where, a little less than 3 hours before showtime, only 23 advance tickets have been sold.)
 
How do we decide which version to watch? Mostly, it's my choice ... my wife doesn't care one way or the other. In this case, the movie seemed big enough to warrant our second trip to a theater since our being vaccinated. My vision is still very blurry from my recent eye surgery to fix a detached retina, which would eliminate 3D, I guess, but that's never my first choice, anyway. IMAX is my first choice, if the movie intended for such. Black Widow features 22 minutes of "expanded aspect ratio" that can only be seen in IMAX, so that made my decision easy.
IMAX Black Widow

oops

Music Friday is taking the week off. Earlier in the week I started seeing Super Floaters in my left eye. Got worse over the next couple of days, saw doctor Thursday morning, he operated Thursday afternoon. All is well, now, but I'm a little behind on blogging.

After the operation:

Operation patch

The next day (today):

Operation patch


graduation

Been away for a few days, attending my niece's high-school graduation in Washington. Here is a picture I took through a window in their house (the window explains the random streaks). Some people live closer to nature than I do:

Leavenworth

Here's a selfie we took of six grown-ups, from left-to-right: Uncle, Dad, Mom, Aunt, Uncle, Aunt.

At leavenworth

Finally, a picture of the grad and dad that I stole from Mom's Instagram:

Ava and john graduation


bill the blob

Apparently there is a reason I've been stuffy on one side of my nose for the past several years: I have an inverted papilloma buried somewhere behind my left nostril. At the end of February, I had a video chat with my doctor. When I mentioned my sinusitis, as I always do, she seemed interested that it was only on one side, so she set me up for an appointment with the Ear and Nose department. I put this appointment off until mid-April, after my second vaccine had done its work. They stuck something up my nose and said I had some polyps, and told me they needed a CT scan to better identify the problem. (While I was there, they made me an appointment with a allergy doctor for the next day.) On April 23, I had the scan, and a few days later, I heard back from the Ear and Nose folks that there did seem to be polyps, and they wanted to do a biopsy prior to surgery.

A week ago, I got the biopsy, which involved more stuff being stuck up my nose. Yesterday, they called and let me know I have an inverted papilloma. Next on the schedule is an MRI, and then surgery, which will likely involve getting stuff stuck up my nose yet again.

This is all good news, I think. For one thing, when all is done, I might actually be able to breathe properly again (it's been a long time). Also, despite the scary sounding name, an inverted papilloma is benign, although it needs to be addressed. But it's not like I have to go do it tomorrow.

The more I thought about it, the more I felt like I was a character in a David Cronenberg movie. I wanted to personalize the experience, so I decided to name my papilloma. The name I settled on is Bill the Blob. I even imagined a theme song ... maybe get Burt Bacharach to sign on to do the music:

I guess it wouldn't be fair to leave without giving you a peek at Bill:

For more details, check this blog post from 2019.