Thursday, March 29, 2012

Full Blown Panic Attack About An Hour Ago

I've never really had one and this was a doozie, folks. Right down to the rapid breathing, rapid heart beat which I could feel as a flutter, and sweating.

It happened while I was fixing my daily meds for the next week. Some of them sound alike to me and some are almost the same shape and color. For example, "Metaprolol" and "Meloxicam", "Lamatrogine" "Losartan" and "Lovastatin".

I had several partial bottles of the above meds, and wanted to combine them and then it happened. I put the Losartan into the partiall full Lovastatin bottle. Luckily just to make sure everything was cool, I checked all the bottles I had combined with the description of each pill, and couldn't find the Losartan. That's my blood pressure pill and I never miss a day.

And there I went. Checked, double checked, triple checked. Nothing.

I'll spare you the swearing, but believe me, it was there, as was the throwing of the empty bottles against the wall, so they could be eliminated.

Today was the day I picked up my refills and at first, I believed the pharmacist had forgotten to add those to my purchase. But no, the bag was there and the drugs had been checked off as having been the correct ones.

My daughter in law, (Susan) came into the bedroom, calmed me down, set me down, had me find the
empty Losartan bottle and describe what the pill looked like (it's white and oblong and small) as she began separating all the pill bottles onto my bed. She poured them all out and looked at them and put them back. Finally she found my mistake and all was well, as I slowly settled down and stopped my chattering, my pulse slowed to normal (right around 60 is normal for me) as did my breathing.

As I write this, I feel okay except for a splitting headache for which I just took something.

During my time working in the ER, I saw many people (brought in by ambulance, some of them), and I took all of them as seriously as I would have anything potentially dangerous to the patient. A cardiac event can sometimes result, or may even be the cause.

What I said at the outset of this entry is true, I have never really had one, though I thought I did. Looking back, I believe they were more temper tantrums than anything else, but now that I've been through one, I know now what it feels like, and friends, it doesn't feel good.

So no more preparing my own meds and before you suggest it, yes, I do have one of those daily compartment thingies. Gonna make a list of what and when and let Susan or Dondra help me.

Sorry if this seems a bit disjointed, but I'm not going back to edit this. It's the result of what it's like afterward, and I'm a bit disjointed right now as well.

Thanks for reading, and please remember to click and feed.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My German Grandparents Wilhelm and Helene: Separated By The Wall (Another Remembrance)

After World War II in 1959, the Russians built a wall separating East from West Berlin.

Both my grandparents were born and lived in an East German town called Zeitz and they had 11 children, only 2 still alive, my uncles Bernd and J├╝rgen (pronounced "Yer-gen").

My grandfather fought for the German army - the "Wehrmacht"*. He wasn't a Nazi, just a common soldier who never took the Hitler oath of loyalty - and when the war was over he was on the west side, and she on the Communist-occupied eastern side.

He decided that being a normal German living in a democracy was better than being a Communist and got ready to have her and the kids brought over.

But fate intervened.

First of all, she and the kids were now under the rule of the Russian Communists and travel anywhere to the west became pretty much impossible unless one tunneled under the wall, but my grandfather kept trying to get special permission for his family to join him. It was never given.

Did I mention they were both stubborn as mules? She would not desert her kids and he would not go back under Communist rule (which he could have done).

So, for many years, they lived apart, until the one time Helene (pronounced "Heh-lain-uh") did got special permission to travel to the west and see him. By that time he was in a nursing home. That many years had passed and it's the last time each saw the other alive.

In the 70's however, my Mom and Dad were able to get my grandmother ("Oma") to the US, because by then she was too old to be of any use to the Communist government. She stayed with us for a month (the limit) and afterward my mother made many trips back to Germany (at least one per year) to see her. Helene died in 1975. She was in her 80's.

Willi too, made it to the US, thanks again to my Mom and Dad, but due to his declining mental health (it wasn't called Alzheimer's officially at that time) it was difficult to keep him with us in the house, and he sneaked off many times, and the Villa Rica cops had to bring him back. My "Opa" was used to walking everywhere, and he didn't mind the 3 mile hike into town, where no one understood a damn word he said.:) He died not long thereafter, also in his 80's.

So even though both made it to see us, it wasn't at the same time, and of course they never saw "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down (that) wall!"

I don't doubt they loved each other. They wrote and telephoned and never divorced, but neither would relent and that's how that story ends. Sad, huh?
* I could teach you how to pronounce "Wehrmacht", but you, probably not used to making the guttural "ch" sound, would probably hawk up a loogie in the process, so just say "Wair-Mahkt" and you'll avoid embarrassing yourself. :)

In a future entry, I'll tell you about my short time as a Communist while staying with my Oma for a few months, and how the United States Air Force found out about it, when I joined in 1970 and got a secret clearance.
A couple of tunes I listen to while jogging on the track:

Looking at Mozart's profile makes me hungry for some cannoli. You?

I usually end my blog asking you to click and feed unwanted pets, which people I'm sure take to mean cats and dogs, but this time I want to link you also to a FB site called "A Hoof And A Prayer", which my friend Anna from The Straight Dope told me about. Unfortunately google won't let me hyperlink to facebook, so you'll have to do a facebook search. We sometimes forget there are other of our four-footed friends who need our help, and this is just one of them.

The Animal Rescue Site
Please remember to click and feed!



Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Rec Center Track, Me and A Story About "Junior"

The weather here in Georgia has been unseasonably warm, so, because there's really no way to ride a bicycle here in Carrollton without risking one's life, I've taken to the track to start my running program (and lose about 25 pounds of "holiday weight"!).

D doesn't trust me on the roads or sidewalks, so it's either the track or a treadmill, and since I don't have one of those, it's left-turn, left-turn, left-turn, which is okay with me for right now. If I run the marathon later in the year, however, I'll have to get some hill training somewhere. As far as the cycling, don't know. Maybe mount my bike on a trainer and cycle stationarily.

I'm doing this as a kind of experiment on myself. I've been very sedentary of late, which really has added to my depression, so I want to find out if the release of endorphins and the exercise will help not only that, but also the dementia. I've read up on this, and exercise is definitely supposed to help us folks. We shall see. I'll do a before and after kinda thing with memory too. I have a friend who's a psych major, and he's going to put together something for me.

"Endorphins" and "pheromones". I always get those two mixed up: one makes you feel a "natural high" from being released in your brain, and the other is what your body releases to lead you into a situation and make you feel really nice in another kind of way - nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Speaking of getting mixed up: Our track, covered in asphalt has regulation lanes (8), and there's a sign at the edge of one asking walkers to take the inside 2 lanes and runners the outside lanes. Okay, got it, Coach!

So, as I'm jogging merrily along, I suddenly forget where the instructions said I should be: inside or outside. That should be easy enough to remember, right? It's just 2 instructions. Problem is, though, sometimes I'll pass walkers who aren't where they're supposed to be, and that throws me off.

So, as I used to do in college, I made up a mnemonic (I had so many in school, that a former GF called me her "demonic mnemonic"): "wi-ro" (walkers inside, runners outside). That worked okay for about a half mile and then I forgot the frickin' mnemonic! "Is it "ri-wo or wi-ro,?", I asked myself. "This doesn't work either, dammit!"

So what did I do?

What I usually do: adapt, and thinking like that old King Solomon, put myself smack-dab in the middle, problem solved. Of course there is no problem when no one's on the track but yours truly.

So long Davy. Thanks for the music and the laughs. You'll be missed.


In a neighboring county (Douglas) someone shot and killed a 29 year old Palomino in his pasture. "Junior" was one of the family who owned him and was loved not only by them, but the surrounding neighbors and their children as well. Here's the story: I hope the authorities don't let this murder fade away because he's "just an animal".
The Animal Rescue Site