It as been a long me since I have written anything for my Blog; stick with me and we will do the best we can. So, here we go!
My health has been fairly good but I feel weak and tired most of the time. I’ve fallen several times due to a combination of balance problems and just plain carelessness in my walking. Each fall that I have experienced has had the beneficial effect of strengthening my resolve to walk and move more carefully as I had learned how to do. One good thing is that I have demonstrated that my bones are sturdy. Many of you who know me well will agree that I have a hard head.
My ‘brain stimulator’ continues to work well. I had new devices installed several months ago because the old ones were signaling that it was time to replace the batteries. The stimulators are a complete success as my right hand tremor is gone completely. It is worth noting that my handwriting, printing really, has gotten very bad in the past six months. However the bank is still cashing my checks so I guess things will be OK for a while
The Levodopa/carbidopa pump that I had installed several months ago continues to meet my expectations. I have sixteen hours per day during which I can almost forget that I am ingesting a lot of powerful medications. Except for the pump hung around my neck and the small ‘hose’ that goes thru a permanent hole (a stoma) in my abdominal wall and on to my lower stomach, I do not think about it much. The other eight hours, the hours the pump is disconnected, when I am supposed to be sleeping, is another story. I have to awaken twice to take my medicine in capsule form and this creates a situation similar to my ‘before the pump’ experiences. I do not sleep well and I nap frequently in the daytime, but all in all though, the pump is a definite plus for me.
Because of my being in a pandemic high risk group (I am eight seven years old), I am pretty much isolated in the house. David and Jeannie keep their distance from me and I have not gone any where since the lockdown order went into effect. I have been doing a lot of scanning of family documents and old photos taken from albums that Patty kept. My new scanner scans twelve slides in one batch at a high resolution and does so at an amazing speed. It is just as good when scanning documents and photo prints. I am using very good software from VueScan to control the process. I am glad that computer ‘memory’ is so inexpensive today as I am sure using a lot of it! I edit images as necessary using ‘freeware’ from FastStone. We, our family, has a lot of history preserved in our historical records. I am investing a lot of my time in scanning these in the hope that someone will step forward to take over this preservation work after I am gone. It is really a pleasant task for me to do this work; it is much like opening up time capsules and I am constantly amazed at the ‘trivia’ that I can recall as I work my way down memory lane. I am always happy to share what we have in our family records. I would be happy to help you understand our common history in any way that I can.
I just looked at the clock and It tells me it is a a little after nine o’clock. I must disconnect my pump at ten, so I will stop writing for tonight. Next time I will tell you about my TV that recently went belly-up and the adventures that followed. For your information, the last time this happened (to Patty and me about 40 years ago) and we stopped watching TV for the next 30 years. Stay tuned!
I am off the pump until 6 am tomorrow. It is a simple task to hook-up and unhook the pump each day butI try to not think about having these “must-do’ tasks hanging over my head. I remind myself of the ‘positives’ of having the pump for me to use and the small sacrifices I make each day to enable the ‘positives’. After I completed the ‘un-hooking’, I realized that I was not ready just yet to ‘hit the sack’ so I will continue with my TV story.
A while ago I did something that I regret; I looked up the dollar cost of the pump’s medicine cassettes that I use daily. The cost is so exorbitant that I cannot bring my self to state it now except to tell you it is a figure much greater than my retirement income for an entire month. I am thankful of course at having excellent insurance that covers almost all of the cost (I pay 8.00$ for a month’s supply of 28 cartridges.), but I cannot stop thinking of those of us that have no insurance while I have this expensive pumo. There, thats off my chest; now on to the TV story.
About a week ago, I sat down in front of my Samsung 32″ class TV and pressed the ‘on’ button on the remote. The TV responded with a medium gray colored screen that my many years in Aerospace Engineering has taught me to recognize as a sign of the impending death of my TV set. I immediately went my computer where I determined that a class 32″ TV set was not a mainstream item. Anything from a 55″ class TV and up to 85″ class TV’s were easy to find. A more focused search of Amazon’s offerings led me to purchase a Samsung QLED 32″ class TV. Several days later a ridiculously thin and lightweight box (~12 lbs.) appeared on my porch. It was my new TV set. My son David set it up for me (two screws) and we powered it up. The manual that came with the set was woefully short on details. I mistakenly thought I must, as a condition of progress toward watching TV, hook-up the TV to my Wi-fi network. I found that the password that I remembered did not work. I tried every password I could find on any slip of paper that I could find in my desk drawer, where I normally hide such things, without success. I finally asked Jeannie what the password was and I was rewarded with success after I entered it. I then went through a learning process that I might well describe as being confused and free of any logical moves on my part. I accidentally discovered that I needed the new remote only to turn power on and off and then I could use my old familiar remote to control the TV set. Wonderful! Those Samsung guys think of everything.
The new TV set has new technology high resolution viewing screen and my slides look OK using it. Maybe someday I will learn how to adjust the colors so the sky looks blue. Someday!