Search Blog and Link Sites

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Feh, just... feh!

Today is one of those days where I really feel like I absolutely hate software engineering with an undying passion,

My mind fights against digging into the code I see.. I'll zip off and spend all lunch hour studying music theory or the craft of writing, but seeing code makes me faintly ill.

This isn't the first time, but it's the first time I haven't rally felt like fighting it.

It's time to seriously look into a career change.

A day In The Life

Occasionally, I've had people ask what it's like being me right now, with all my stupid health issues and the bloody cast on my (what's left) left foot.

Here's my day:

- Wake up in the morning, which usually involves me thinking "Wow, made it to another day". Waking up takes about 5-10 minutes before I reach an operational level of consciousness.

- Foot check!  Make sure left leg isn't turning bad colors, make sure nothing is seeping out of the cast, make sure the cast doesn't smell like rotting meat.  Check to make sure right foot hasn't decided to turn traitor, rub on diabetic foot lotion to keep skin happy.  Dry, cracked skin gets infected easily.

- Bathroom!  Thankfully the knee scooter fits into the bathroom with me or life would be FAR more painful.  On/of the toile is time-consuming and tricky with one foot and few things to brace on.  Shave while standing on one foot and braced against the sink, great morning exercise.  Wipe down with these "dry shower" things, think baby wipes for adults.  I'm not allowed to get the cast wet at all.  Every other day or so, use spray-on dry shampoo to keep my hair from going bad.

- Now come the wall of meds.  First, check my blood glucose as this will change how much insulin I shoot up.  Always, 12 units of long-acting insulin, then from 3-8 units of Humalog regular insulin depending on my blood glucose level.  Top this off with Lisinopril for my blood pressure and metformin to add yet more control to my blood sugar, and I'm done for the morning.

- Breakfast!  Atkins meal bar and sometimes a beef stick.  Plenty of water as well.

- Get dressed.  This is the easy part, shirt and pants go on easily even with one missing foot.  I had to cut open and re-pin thel eft pants leg as the hospital dressing, and now the cast, don't fit down a normal pants leg.  Crappy pants design, and these are NOT skinny legged pants!

- Call a taxi.  There's no way I can reach the bus on the knee scooter, and even if I could there's no sidewalk for the 1/3 mile walk from the bus stop to the office, so it's paying for a ride.  This is setting me back close to $300 a week!! This is where all my money is going, it should be going into a savings account.  Sometimes get the cab to drive through McDonalds for additional food.

- Arrive at work, scoot to my desk and drop off my micro-pack "Happy Bag".  This pack contains my glucose test kit, my Humalog insulin pen, needles for the pen, dextrose tablets in case the blood glucose goes too low (yes, it happens, rarely) and alcohol wipes for sterilizing where I take blood from for blood glucose tests or injection sites for insulin injctions.  Work is pretty asy - halls are wide, los of room in the bathroom, most people understand about the foot and my work space is accessable.  If only there were a bed and shower here, I'd just move in.

- Lunch!  Send out or have soup.  Sometimes check blood glucose and inject insulin to compensate, if it's been a tiny breakfast, just eat the soup.  The Campbell's soup-in-a-microwave-cup is relatively healthy, low sugar and acceptable carbs.  Chinese food will kick the blood glucose up pretty high if I get anything with a sweet sauce or high carbs.  Dry rub chicken wings are great, but French fries will do some damage. 

- Work, work, work.  Lots of coffee and even more water, dehydration is a constant issue for me and many diabetics.

- Call a taxi to go home.  Sometimes, I get dropped off at the grocery store and then get a cab once I have supplies, or if I feel death-defying then it's a run through Taco Bell or similar.  Eventually, I get home.

- Home!  Put up anything I bought, then into my room and on to the bed.  Check my blood glucose, shoot up insulin to compensate for left-over glucose from lunch, and take another metformin.  Dinner will be what I bought out, or an Atkins bar plus beef/cheese snack and/or nuts.  Usually a beer or two, that's not enough to trash my blood glucose.

- Work on the computer - write, compose music, play games, chat.  Sinc I currently can't really walk, going out isn't an option - Austin is one of he least handicapped-friendly places, bar and restaurant wise, of any city I've lived in - hell, Tulsa was better about handicapped access!  Shame on you Austin!

- Stick in my high-density earplugs to drown out the screaming noisy imports living in the rooms next to mine and sleep.  I'll be moving to my own place as soon as I recover and get some money into savings, before I kill screaming parents + screaming kid and get free room and board for life.  Honesly, they don't speak but maybe 5 words of English.. how'd they get into this country?  Thankfully I speah enough Spanish to say basic phrases like "good day", "how are you", and "it's midnight shut up and go to sleep".

Welcome to my world, at least for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Deliver me!

As much as I would love to sit on every spare penny I have to help me move into my own place faster, there's a pile of stuff I need to keep me going on a daily basis that I don't want to apnd the energy/pain/effort to get in person.

So far, I've managed to get all my diabetes supplies (lancets, lancing supplies, glucose test strips), nutrition supplies (probiotics, meal bars, vitamin/.healing booster drinks), and infrastructure supplies (storage carries, sundries, ear plugs) all via Walmart.  This includes beef sticks/beef and cheese sticks as snacks, and microwave soup or the office!

The amount of wear and tear on me that this saves is amazing.  I've been able to keep weight off my healing leg far more this round than when I had the two toes amputated, which should make my foot doctor super-happy as the less weight on the healing foot the better a shape it ends up in.

Of course, this leaves me without any fresh foods.  Currently I just send out for a food delivery if I want fresh, it's a painful expense but it beats fighting the crowds at the grocery store for things like hot dog buns, cheese, and bread.. which, I guess, I will have to risk and get anyway.

Friday is a holiday, so it's a three-day weekend and I'd just as soon not send out all 3 days.  Once, sure, but not 3 days worth!!

If only som grocery store in Austin delivered.. hmm.. come here, Google!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Gross hospital pictures!!!

Well, not really.

I added a page containing several pictures I took while in Seton hospital.  None of them are hideous, thee are IV pics and my 1/5 foot with stitches, but I skipped the bloated hand pics from the botched IV because it was just nasty.

I'll add to it once the cast comes off and we move ahead on getting me out and about!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

General Comments on Limited Mobility 1

When I was in the hospital, I got a lot of attention from the physical therapy folks.  Apparently losing a foot is supposed to be a pretty traumatic thing! Whaaat... ever.  I thik my foot/ankle doc made sure it was going to be easy to deal with.

Regardless, they were hung up on a basic walker.. a small, rickety device that felt like it was going to dump me on the floor at any time.  I got OK using it, but it was truly painful in my shoulders/arms/hands.  They mentioned a knee scooter but insurance wouldn't cover it..

..but somehow, the hospital folks got my insurance to cover 80% (!!) of it, and I became he proud owner of a Drive DV8 Knee Scooter!!  And it stomps the crap out of a walker any day.

First, it holds me up, unlike a walker whee I have to hold myself up.  Put knee of bad leg on seat, grab handlebars, terrorize others.  The leg bone holds me up with0ut expecting my upper body to keep me upright.  I can go 10x further on the scooter than the walker.

Second, control.  With the handlebars and brakes I can almost dance in this thing!  Reaching things is a doddle and since the knee seat also passes as a bench seat I can get in a lot of posiions that make fridge raiding, hitting the bathroom, etc. very do-able.

Finally, flexibility.  The handlebars fold down in 5 seconds and the darn thing fits easily into the trunk of a taxi.  It's lightweight so I can pick it up and re-aim it if needed, not to mention it makes my taxi drivers happy they'e no screwing up their backs to move the thing.  And finally, i's narrow enough it can go where my walker couldn't!!

Walker: $12.  Scooter: $95.  Freedom scooter brought: PRICELESS.

Footloose! Oh, erm, foot MISSING

Long time no blog, because of medical issues.

Got an infection in what remained of my toe bones in my left foot, and after 2 MRIs it showed that I had two choices: lop off 3/4 of my left foot, or risk losing the leg.  What a no-brainer! So, off same most of the foot...

It took 3 surgeries to get 'er done.  My foot/ankle doc,Dr. Stockton, is the best in Austin and is a total rockstar.  The first surgeon wanted to amputate a ways above the ankle.. four months of physical therapy - screw that!  Dr. Stockton says he'll have me up and walking in 2 months AND I have enough foot to be able to get around at home without special gear!!!

For now, I have this cool thing called a knee scooter - no weight allowed on left foot stub - but I can get around like nobodies business, AND I'll have a cup holder for it in a week or so (lol)!  I tried a walker and it was horrible, but the scooter makes me almost as mobile as being on foot.  Maybe a basket next.. heh.

Due to a potential staph infection, I've been on antibiotics 24/7 since I was in the hospital.  I have this creepy implant called a PICC line that goes straight into a vein on the left ide of my chest, the doc gave me pressurized balls filled with antibiotics that I infuse myself with every 8 hours, i's creepy to give yourself an IV but it beats trying to sit at the doctors three times a day.  They remove the implant tomorrow morning.. omg.. get this sick thing out of my body!!!

But for now, between my scooter and my dark purple cast (casts come in colors now, too damn cool!)  I should be good for the 4-6 weeks it'll take for the amputation to heal.  I can do 99% of my shopping online, which lets me stay focused on healing and staying in good spirits!

Oh, yeah, morale.  I've been getting the "I hate my life" thing pretty often, feeling like all the pain and trouble and lack of sleep and loss of independence has ruined my life forever.. it's hard to overcome.  Thankfully I have a ton of friends online, so all the texts/calls/PMs/online well-wishes helps keep me going.  Once I start creating music again, things SHOULD clear up - if no, it's therapist time again (le sigh).

More coffee and back to work!  Pics on a static page coming "soon"!