Sunday, May 17, 2015

Place Your Bets

I really want to get my kids better trained in picking up - keeping their rooms clean, keeping their stuff picked up and put away. I know I get frustrated when I have to look for things that I know should be in a specific spot, so I'd really like to get them trained up right, with the right habits.

I just snapped this photo of the floor in my office. It has been like that for a couple months now.

So that whole teaching my kids to keep things picked up... What do you think my odds are?

Gardening adventurers 2014

I did a fairly poor job at the gardening last year, and the one grand experiment for the year was so poorly documented as t barely qualify as an anecdote, but here it is anyway. I decided to do some experimentation with tomato growing, to see what would give the best yield.

I tried three different methods... well, six, really.

1. Free growing bush, no pruning
2. Free growing bush, some pruning
3. Tomato cage, no pruning
4. Tomato cage, moderate pruning
5. Single Stake, moderate pruning
6. Single Stake aggressive pruning

Unfortunately with all the health issues, I sort of fell down on care-taking, and documentation. So I may need to try and run the experiment again, probably not this year, as well...

I managed to lose the photos I took as well, save this one.

At any rate my largely unscientific conclusion is that Stake and moderate pruning (5) produces the best yield. The first 5 options are actually in order from worst to best. and 6 was somewhere near 3 in performance, gotta leave enough leaves on to gather the energy to make the tomatoes...

One other thing I am thinking of trying - take a tomato start, lay it on its side, and bury all the the branches sticking upright (that would probably by 3 or 4 branches). In theory, each of those can be stakes and treated as an individual Tomato plant (3 for the price of 1! ). We'll have to see how the weather (and my health) goes .

Incidentally, if you are thinking of growing a few Jalapenos, one plant is really probably sufficient. Below is one harvest from two plants. First time I have grown them, had no idea....

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Health Update: An Unexpected Turn of Events.

A few months ago I started experiencing rather severe joint and muscle pain. It was beginning to look as if I might be graduating from just Crohn's to something more debilitating. My Dr. ruled out Rheumatoid, then gave me some meloxicam to see if that would help.

A week or so later, the joint and muscle pain was gone, but then I started experiencing abdominal pain, and spasms. They were constant, ranging from mild to severe. At first it was bad on the weekends, and would then start fading away of the weeks.The first two weeks, during the weekend I would decide to go seem my Dr. but then by Monday morning it was starting to fade, so I would decide to wait and see. Then by Friday when Dr. wasn't available it would hit again with a vengeance. On the third such weekend, it was so bad I made the trip to the emergency room. And so began a prolonged adventure.

That was about two months ago, and we have been running tests ever since. You hit a point after awhile when you are actually disappointed when they tell you "Everything looks good."

A couple weeks ago I added a new symptom: Chest pain, radiating into my left arm. Sunday I put up with it. I knew it sounded like "Heart attack", but I doubted that was it. Monday morning, I called urgent care from work to ask for their recommendation. They told me don't bother coming to them for chest pain, as they would just send me straight to the ER. I really didn't want to do two ER runs in one month, but a couple of my co-workers overheard the call, and politely suggested to me that dying from a heart attack just because you didn't think it was a heart attack was probably fairly stupid.

So, back to the ER, and some more tests. The good news, my heart if very healthy, all that running and cycling appears to have paid off. The bad news, still no answers. The chest pain actually disappeared a few days after the ER visit (some weird virus maybe?). The abdomen pain and spasm continued relentlessly. I was really hoping for some answer, almost any answer, though I feared the answer was worsening Crohn's, leading to a need to switch to one of the more aggressive treatments; the kind that wipe out your immune system - mine is already fairly useless.

Then comes the twist.  During all this, I decided to try a different GI doctor. He asked some questions, and decided to work his way through my insides: Endoscopy, small bowel discovery... the full tour. The tour ended a few days ago, His initial conclusion (still waiting for biopsy results): "Everything looks good".

New first, that means he couldn't find anything to account for my problem. It also means he could find no sign of Crohn's.

Now until the Biopsies come back, it is still to early to draw any conclusions. It could mean I am not presently displaying visible symptoms. It could mean I am in remission. It could mean the original diagnoses was a mis-diagnosis. Back to square zero on my pain and spasms. But fingers crossed....