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Alone and Hryvnia-less in Kiev

Neither Rain nor Snow
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"The Burning Room"

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30 August 2018

There's a nice thing (for you) with my pre-dementia mental state -- I can't remember all the things that have happened in the last couple of days.  But I remember enough, and the nice thing is that other than not being able to rise to standing or walk without assistance, I'm feeling fairly good today.

Both Walt and I are having our own special problems.  Most of his have been alleviated with the addition of Depends....and how nice we have a standing order at Amazon to order them for my mother!

There was a very bad case of constipation that went on for a couple of days an that finally cleared itself with a rather imposing rock that had been hiding.  Really strange, I realized later that in the hours I spent sitting on the toilet communicating with my bowel I had a mental picture of what was going on and the thing I remember is that I had the vision of a piano, of all things, trying to emerge.  One of the thing I tried in desperation was a laxative which worked too late, and too strongly and I had to change my clothes (and clean the upholstery of my new chair)

Then there was the phone appointment with the neurologist and my abject apology for showing up at the wrong Kaiser last week.  But the latest KC results had come back and the numbers are finally coming down,  which is a good sign..

I don't remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday that was the bad day.  I woke up at 3 a.m. and, to use my favorite quote from the cartoon Underdog, "Things are fine when I sit down but when I stand up, things go round and round."  I straggled to the bathroom and felt I was going to faint.  When I got back to the chair I took my blood sugar level and it was 36.  The normal level for blood sugar (which measures how insulin is working in your body) is 90.  I started taking things to raise my blood sugar an throughout the day, the highest I got it was 90--finally, but then it went back down to 60.  Walt, who lived for a time with a childhood onset diabetic who passed out periodically, leaving Walt to have to call 911 to revive him, spent a lot of time looking at me and asking if I should go to Emergency.

Instead I sent a note off to my doctor (or the doctor who is filling in for my doctor while she is on vacation).  He asked me to send him numbers for nighttime and early morning for the next three days.

In the morning things were better, not good but better.  I had two appointments that day.  The first was the butt wound check by the nurses.  I got this thing over a month ago and it still hasn't healed.  They say it is definitely better but they were concerned that it's not healing "right" so the nurse said it should have silver nitrate put on it.

Nurses can't administer silver nitrate and it must be administered by a nurse practitioner and we had to wait a long time for the NP to come, during which time I regaled the nurse with the stories of my blood sugar.

Silver nitrate is described as "a prescription topical solution used in treating wounds and burns on the skin as an anti-infective agent."  The description doesn't include how much it stings while the NP was applying it.   I remained stoic, but it was not my favorite part of the day.

The nurse called someone in the pharmacy and a nice guy named Mike came to talk with me about blood sugar.  He suggested that the antibiotics I took last week for my urinary tract infection might have caused the low blood sugar and let me know that I should have glucose tablets on hand in case the blood sugar gets low again, reminding me about the danger of passing out with low sugar.  I'd never heard of that before, since my problem had always been HIGH blood sugar.  But Walt went out and now I have an emergency bottle of glucose pills and instructions to call 911 if I pass out.

I hobbled back  to the car.   I am getting better about getting my left leg in the car unaided, but I still need help with the right one.  I was exhausted when I got home and sat down to take a nap before we went to Sacramento for appointment #2 for the day.  This was with the neurologist, a very nice gregarious guy whom I like.  I talked about IBM (Inclusion Body Myositis, which I recommend NOT looking up information about--it's scary--and incurable). But he's not ready for that diagnosis yet, and pointed out that though I can't lift my legs, my overall muscle strength seems to be OK, so he's encouraged.  He said to keep using the walker.  I'm glad he reinforced that because I find that I really need it, mostly, perhaps, for safety.

After we left the doctor, we drove to Ned's house, where we were going to take him out to celebrate his birthday.  He chose a restaurant near his house, so I could walk there, promising that we would go slowly.  It's 3 blocks away and I think I had to stop and sit four times.

I have to admit that through dinner, I was mentally dreading the walk back and was so grateful when Ned said "do you want us to get the car to go back.  "Yes," I said gratefully.

When we got home, I collapsed and went to sleep early and, thanks to my wonderful recliner, I slept all night and when I woke up, my blood sugar level was normal, which is a big relief.

May it stay that way.


Tempura for Ned's 51st birthday

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