Category Archives: health

It’s me again

I haven’t posted in close to two months. To be honest, I just don’t have that “passion” for self-expression that other writers seem to build on. On top of that, I get little to no feedback, including from the person who encouraged me to write almost daily, as she did. (She said she wanted to stay in touch, but she didn’t say anything about the posts. Her health deteriorated since then and she has passed on.)

Also, I’ve been taking classes online through an outfit called edX. They are free unless I want a certificate to prove I took a given class. I’m just taking them for fun, but they take up a good bit of my time.

Digital Camera

I think I posted about the front shifter cable breaking on the Diamondback. During the winter, I didn’t worry about it because I didn’t have enough energy to use anything but the low gears anyhow. As the temperatures have risen, so has my energy level. I finally fixed the cable last week and got back to riding that one, which is still the “good” bike as far as actually riding.

4-24-2017 Stream near Eureka Ave on Camp Chase Trl

This picture comes from the trail that runs near my place. I couldn’t find a name for the stream, but the trail crosses it a 5-minute bicycle ride from home. By the way, this is in the Hilltop neighborhood, near Eureka Avenue. We have more going on here in Columbus and in the Hilltop than the crime you see on TV.

One of my goals for a while now is to ride a bike to London, Ohio, and camp for free at a little facility along the trail. I will give myself a day to ride the 22 miles, then come back the next day. One way I’m building up to that came today. I rode to Batelle-Darby Metro Park and back.

Batelle Metro Park 2

(These are cell phone pictures on a free phone. The quality kind of stinks, but I didn’t think to bring my camera.)

I didn’t remember to take breaks on the way down, and I only took one bottle of water. When I finally reached a place in the park (south part of it) that had water, the water was rusty and it didn’t clear up when I kept pumping for a while. Coming up the hill when I headed back, I realized that I had a wind to my right front. I made my way home with three breaks.

The good news is that I did it. The bad news is that once I sat down here I did nothing for three hours. I need much more stamina to do this distance (18 miles) without quite a bit of misery afterward.

I also need to improve my system so that I have much more water onboard. I might need to buy still another bike when I can. I’ve owned a couple of recumbent bikes in the past. Those are bikes that have a very different riding position, sort of laid back as in the next picture, which I found on the Internet. (This one is a Rans V, which I’ll never be able to afford.)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/99/Rans_V_recumbent_bicycle.JPG/512px-Rans_V_recumbent_bicycle.JPG

Recumbents do far better riding into the wind, and the wind blows almost all the time in this flat country. I won’t have the money (mostly $500 and up) for one of those any time soon, but eventually I’ll probably get another recumbent.

Other than that, Loretta and I finally got our dissolution of marriage. We got a bill for it, too. It will be 50% each, and that will be payments. We’re still friends.

Ok, but living quietly

young-in-old-body-minions

Stolen from Wendy Usually Wanders

Asthma, arthritis, attention deficit  . . . that’s just the A’s. I’m feeling it with the weather swings. I’m ok, but I’m not doing anything interesting enough (even to me) to make a good posting. I asked a friend who has asthma and has traveled a lot how different places affect her breathing, and she singled out the humidity in Ohio as a problem. Yep. That and the fact that the weather changes radically from day to day here. Today was 25 degrees colder at 5 p.m. than yesterday. Tomorrow, snow. The next day, who knows? Tornadoes? Waterspouts?

Up and down and Up

2016-yule-park

Here’s a picture from the park on Yule, December 21. For once, the season in Ohio matched the calendar. I had a nice, contemplative holiday. For us, this is the beginning of the year and a time of re-birth. That’s what I need about now.

On the way home, the bus had to re-route around a big fire caused by a gas leak and explosion. The driver couldn’t handle the re-route and it got long and strange. We were near that fire much longer than is good for me. I finally got home, which is a mile from where the fire was still burning. My asthma/sinus/whatever is still reacting to either that, a weather change, or both. Many of my friends are sick with one thing or another.

This past Friday, I finally got a new prescription for the hypersomnia after a two-week snafu. (There’s nothing else like the combination of poverty and the medical industry.) The new medicine does seem to keep me awake. My sense of time has changed, and I think I had been having “micro-sleep” before, where I check out for a few seconds without realizing it. Also, in a very odd development, my typing skill has returned to its previous professional level after gradually dropping off for several years. Weird. However, I have been having some odd sensations and what not that might be side effects, the asthma/COPD/whatever lung issues or just the tail end of a rough year.

Wednesday or Thursday, I managed to lose my new neck warmer. This is not good. We are in a warm spell at the moment, but I need to cover my mouth even now. So yesterday, money came in the mail, a gift from an old friend. (Thanks D!) I decided to rush out and replace the neck warmer with whatever I could find. I walked into Walmart just before 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve. I wish I had video of that. It would give me a way to re-define the word “chaos.” Thanks to loving Greater Powers and time in recovery, I was able to find a balaclava (ski mask) and a couple of other items. I even had a nice conversation with the gentleman ahead of me in line. Then I got on the bus and went straight to my meeting and had a really good meeting there.

Today, I went to my usual Sunday morning meeting and another this evening. This is not a Hallmark Christmas, but the gifts are the best.

Winter gear

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I bought a “neck warmer” this spring from the “slow shipping from China” part of ebay. It was cold enough this morning to try it out on the laundry run. In temperatures around freezing, this did really well. I was able to breathe as well as I ever can with my mouth and nose covered, and my glasses didn’t fog. Coming home after noon, the temperature was a few degrees higher and the mask warmed up, but that’s okay.

That’s basically all the new winter gear. The rest is the knit cap, same blue gloves, and the rest of the gear I use anyhow. Of course, the jackets are in layers. I’m adding sweats over my pants more as time goes on, because thermal underwear gets too warm indoors. I have “gaiters,” which protect the calves from getting wet walking or biking in snow or rain, but I may not need them for weeks yet.

In other news, the Lifeline government (privatized) phone gives me trouble as expected. I ran out of minutes and money. I have spent my last $6 trying twice to get another day’s service. After two emails each way, the voice service suddenly came back this evening with no explanation. I have no idea how long it will last, but I’ll use it while I can. I hope and expect to get the free minutes on the first of the month and add money to make that unlimited minutes. So much for “free” phone service, huh? I HAVE TEXTING even when the voice minutes run out. I just don’t like using it, but it’s much better than nothing.

I haven’t had much energy lately, which is one reason I’m not posting more. I have had a couple of nights I didn’t sleep well, but as I have stated before, night-time sleep doesn’t have much effect on the daytime hypersomnia. I got nine hours of good, sound sleep last night (!) and didn’t do much either physically or mentally today, but about 5 p.m. (1700), I nearly fell asleep sitting up. Now (9 p.m., 2100), I’m relatively awake.

Take care of yourself. Nobody else can.

Here’s another Re-Post in the “Public Service” category: Self-Care and Sleep: Fact or Fiction? — Bipolar Me

Every article you see about self-care for bipolar disorder will tell you, Get enough rest or Get enough sleep. Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. – Thomas Dekker But what did Thomas Dekker know? For many of us, proper, beneficial sleeping is easier said than done. Even with my prescribed […]

via Self-Care and Sleep: Fact or Fiction? — Bipolar Me

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Bike ‘n’ Bus Adventures

Bus Bike and “Proof of Concept”

So here’s the bus bike again. The picture on the right shows it after I changed the seat post. I took the seat post from a bike I brought with me that I found in someone’s trash in Mount Vernon. It took me several tries to get it out of the frame, but it’s exactly what I needed.

This bike is a Huffy Rock It. I have seen those in red and neon green, but only this one in blue. Therefore, it has an identity, the blue Rock It. To lessen confusion, I’ll call it Blue Rocket.

I got the seat post on, changed the seat, and so on yesterday. This morning, the weather warmed quickly and the forecast looked good. So today, I rode the Blue Rocket on her maiden (for me) voyage. We went down the Camp Chase Trail, came back far enough to take some streets, and took a bus to Walmart on Georgesville Road, then home via a different route with two more bus rides. She passed all phases of the test. I can ride her a couple of miles easily, and putting her on the bus rack or getting her off is much easier than past bikes. Neither she nor I was perfect, but I certainly have what engineers call “proof of concept.” That is, I’ve shown myself this was a really sound idea.

Another Adventure via Bike ‘n’ Bus

After a break, I found myself still with some energy. The wind had picked up, but I wanted to ride more. For lack of a better idea, I decided to see if the bus drivers would let me put the Diamondback (big bike) on the bus and how that would work out. I only wound up putting it on two buses, the #10 and a #4 that would put me in the area of my favorite park. Neither driver gave me any trouble about the height of my bike, but this thing weighs 45 pounds (20 kg) and takes up every inch of its space on the rack. I put about three times the effort into loading the Diamondback as I had the Blue Rocket.

While I was Downtown, I noticed that  the weather had cooled and that the wind was coming through my hoodie. I wished I had brought another layer, but stubbornness prevailed over good sense and I went on. I got off the bus on Indianola Avenue and coasted down the hill to High Street. By this time, I felt so cold that I stopped at a McDonald’s and had coffee to warm up. Then I coasted on down the hill to the park and decided to take some time in the woods there that I enjoy. I noticed that the most of the under-story plants beneath the autumn-leaved trees looked green and alive, although some had turned golden. We’re expecting below-freezing temperatures tonight, so that may change.

I took a phone call in that beautiful setting, during which I realized that I did not want to climb back up the hill I had coasted down. If I rode the nearby trail back toward home, I would not only have a “net” downhill ride, I’d also put the wind behind me. I needed that. By this time, the wind speed had increased over the 16 mph (25 kph) that Accuweather told me it was blowing when I left home.

That’s what I did. Tired or not, I liked riding downhill with a tail wind. Eventually, I left the trail (and the tail wind) for McKinley Avenue, then back to a trail at Eureka Avenue. By that time, I just kept downshifting and wishing I was already home, but I made it okay. I think the only lasting effect will be a day or two of sore knees. However, after all of that, I could barely stay awake for about four hours. I refuse to take a nap after 6 p.m., but I could not tell you much about that time because I was incredibly drowsy. Now that it’s past my bedtime, I’m waking up. Oh, well.

All in all, I had a very good day. I learned how the “system” of bikes and buses will work, visited a place I love, and had a nice ride for several miles.

Bike and Bus, Not Combined Yet

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My Diamondback Edgewood with the BMX handlebars set back toward the rider.

I have my bicycle handlebars in the strangest-looking setup I’ve ever used. I pulled them back and down with the idea of making them acceptable to bus drivers for their bike racks. I still don’t know if that will work, but I discovered that they’re very comfortable for riding. I expected them to hit me in the side on turns, but that has yet to happen. The only issue I have is mounting the bike, and that’s a good trade-off for comfortable riding.

So I followed that up by heading to Walmart without the bike, only wanting a tire and tube for my trailer. It would have been a better idea to ride the bike to the nearest Walmart. The exercise factor riding the bus to Walmart is walking to the nearest stop, changing buses Downtown and then walking from the East Main stop to the actual store. As with most Walmarts, this one has a gigantic parking lot.

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You can sort of see the front of the Walmart by looking at the post on AutoZone and seeing the roof line behind it. It’s a long walk, at least a quarter mile and maybe more. Of course, Walmart doesn’t put sidewalks anywhere for pedestrians. They’re built around automobiles. The whole walking distance is at least 6/10 mile each way, 1 2/10 round trip. For the same amount of energy, I could ride one way to the nearby Walmart and part of the way back, without putting up with the crowded bus or taking well over an hour each way.

At least I had good weather for yesterday and today. We have had near-record highs yesterday and today. For some reason, the local CBS station’s weather forecaster mentioned his opinion that this is not an effect of climate change. We have month after month each of which is the warmest of that month in history. I guess he thinks we’re dumb enough to buy that “fluke” idea.

The rest of the time, I have been sleepy. On top of the usual hypersomnia, I slept poorly last night, so today has been mostly lost. I’m going to stop here and try to follow Game 7 of the World Series.