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Garage Dwelling: Impressions, So Far

First, Last and Only

"You need to try harder if you want to get stronger. Most people don't push themselves."

Yes, he was talking to me, and about me. That was his immediate impression. The physical therapist assigned to me was insinuating that I wasn't trying hard enough, that I was unwilling and making excuses, or implying that I really didn't want it badly enough. But the reality of the situation…?

I've been suffering from intestinal distress for an ever increasing number of days now. Soooo … f*** him. Seriously. And by the way, f*** all the people throughout time and history, the ones who don't truly believe I'm ill or diseased … simply because I don't have a formal diagnosis!

These people especially include: the Mayo Clinic (from a decade ago), the initial psychiatry team at the nursing home who tried to lock me away, my Evil Ex (mother of my son), dozens of doctors and specialists, armchair psychologists, licensed therapists, and a host of others not worth mentioning. I am one of the most motivated motherf******* on the planet!

Argh!!! Looks like I'm ranting and raving - so please stand by for more pleasant discourse…. COMING SOON… to a blog near you!

It doesn't help that all these newly assigned medical personnel are granted access to my recent medical records (and history), the documentation that includes half a dozen misdiagnoses, generously provided by my initial nursing home psychiatry team.

Apparently I'm never going to shake loose the conversion disorder stigma, several vaguely diagnosed personality disorders, unfounded psychiatric disorders, on and and on, into the cold dark night….

Nope, for the rest of my life, I'll never get a fair shake from any medical "professionals" - clearly, I need to seek out the amateurs instead! Haha!

So first thing Friday morning I canceled physical therapy. I've decided I'm going to learn how to walk by myself (eventually). I'm going to do this whole entire recovery thing by myself. Because really, outside of the help I've received at Phoenix Rising (in the past half decade), I haven't had much medical help at all from outside sources. Each of you knows how that goes.

And that's par for the course. If you're a golfer. If you're not a golfer, don't worry about it. Golfing is overrated. Remember, golfers attract lightning bolts. And they get stuck in Sand Traps. Which, I suppose, is far better than getting stuck in bear traps. Then again, the sand traps in Arizona often host scorpions, with rattlesnakes more typically maintaining themselves along and beyond the periphery.

Talk to Me

Right now it's 5:17 in the morning and I'm out of water. Why am I out of water? Well truly, I forgot to ask my former wife to bring some down to me yesterday. You see, we have communication problems. Having been gone (apart) so long, I had forgotten about that.

To us, some of the most obvious things aren't obvious. But when I mention the obvious things, it is made known that I am being far too obvious. Nope, there's no in between state or phase we go through.

So that's where we often exist. Not quite communicating. With us, repeating these types of failures seems to be necessary. And no, it's nothing end of the world bad, just occasional irritations likely caused by over-familiarity. At least the frustration level isn't all that high.

Speaking of Frustrations and Oscillations…

Then there's the physical therapy guy (again) - {yeah, I am STILL aggravated as heck many paragraphs later!}:

"Most people don't even do the exercises I assign them," he mentions, leering at me accusingly… assuming I will be another one of "those" people, the kind that doesn't put in the effort.

Yep, I'm most definitely the kind of person who's lazy and wants everything done for them. Ha!

I mean, I think it should be obvious to all that I'm a motivated kind of person (it's not). Anybody who dials in, anybody who listens, or observes me in action, can see this. I am obvious in that way.


Two important takeaways (early on):

I'm absolutely not in the mood to be demeaned by real world enemies of my (physical, mental, emotional) state.

I want and deserve to be loved (something everyone needs, and possibly, deserves).


Exposed!

5:00 A.M.: I push the garage door remote control button to open the door ever so slightly, which is full-on necessary if I am to allow the cool morning air to flow inside. At least, that was my intention.

You see, it's especially important that I allow some cool air in here before the daytime record breaking heat kicks in. Heck, it's been 95° for consecutive days. In November.

This weather is nuts. Insane. Ridiculous.

Whatever happened to The Fall Season? Or heck, will we even (or ever) have some sort of winter season incoming?

Note: it's supposed to drop down into the upper 70s or lower 80s by Thursday. Hip hip flippin' hooray!

So I push the remote control button to open the garage door, and it opens and opens and opens and it's not stopping at the quarter of the way mark, half the way, or any of the way. The garage door opens all the way. And it's stuck. The garage door is stuck wide open! The remote control is no longer functioning.

Worse than that, I am naked as a jaybird. And just about anybody could see my nakedness if they walked past the open door.

Note: there is a sort of room divider apparatus blocking most of the opening… MOST, not all!

My only option is to casually lay here, decidedly naked, on a Sunday morning - hoping no one notices (I don't have a sheet or blankets because it's too damn hot down here).

Orrrrr, I can make a desperation call my wife-person.

If I do, she won't be happy. Heck, no one would be happy waking up so early for this silliest of silly reasons.

Somewhat miraculously she answers the phone (her phone is usually shut off at night, cuz she's a little too popular with humans, I suppose). Minutes later she thumps down the stairs, pushes the wall mounted button, and the door shuts tight.

Now I can get back to getting sick, in peace.

Yep. I've had diarrhea going on for ten days in a row (not the worst kind, just the medium / moderate version, according to Dr. Google). So of course, that's not fun.

Details: I finally got a hold of a nurse last night, and we had a productive discussion. I didn't want to get into details anyway, so now I can delete several paragraphs referencing this distress.

Hooray for you!

Eh, I cannot help myself. And I don't want you to worry. But this started as a result of my ingesting milk of magnesia back around October 1st, consecutive days of doing so. And ever since, despite having stopped that treatment long ago, I've been headed in the loose direction.

Now it's Imodium and Codeine, together again!

I've been improving slightly.

Yes, I'm often dizzy and nauseous, but my heart rate is maintaining a normal range (meaning I am hydrated / my electrolytes are balanced). And I don't have a fever at all, so no infection to speak of - that's right, we don't speak of infections. Although they are going to do some blood work today.

The Proverbial Scorecard (early version):

The Negative

• I miss having my friends around (associating with certain staff members)

• Because I'm hiding out, I'm stuck inside the garage most of the day (trying to remain inconspicuous)

• It's a wee bit warm inside here (tolerable)

• I cannot make much or any noise (similar to nursing home living)

• I am mostly in the darkness (to prevent detection)

• This neighborhood and vicinity is far more dangerous in regards to wheelchair travel and exploration

• There aren't as many safe (or nearby) locations to hang out and relax - especially, absolutely no shaded areas

• No home caregiver assigned yet, so no clean-up or bed baths or anything like that

NOTE: caregiver will be here this morning! Yay!!!

• Cannot play guitar in garage (no piano either), would attract too much attention

The Positive

• Once I escape the confines of the garage I can go wherever I want to whenever I want to and not worry about getting caught or found out or reprimanded

• It's a billion times quieter at night with no interruptions (better sleeping soon to come, I hope … as it stands (as I lay?) I'm stuck sleeping four hours - that's my worn in groove)

• I have 23 hours a day to myself

• I have a dedicated person around who will dedicate time (in regards to helping me) and make the effort, when she's at home



Thanks for following along. I know I write many things, and I know it's exhausting to follow along, so I hope you paced yourself,
Howard



a nearby excursion 1.9 miles away - I live down the hill and just off to the right ... details eventually :)

IMG_20231031_143650.jpg

Comments

Re:Exposed. Ok....I was laughing at this situation because as Murphy's Law would have it...Of course the Garage door is going to get stuck open when you are stark naked LOL.

Good on you for canceling physical therapy.................F**k him! A couple of years back when I herniated a disc and had to go to physical therapy , I ended up not having a very good therapist(long story) and in fact I reported his ass when I was through with my sessions. I really should have changed therapists during my visits.

Re:This Southwest Weather. WTH! It's very strange to say the least. This is the first November that I can remember having to use the AC. I almost feel guilty even saying this with the situation you're in.

Thanks for keeping us updated. (smiley face).
 
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Yeah, physical therapists always made my Mom's pain worse. I had one good therapist and she did give me some exercises which I did but mostly the sessions were her doing massage on my shoulders (always tight), neck, and jaw. (I went to her for TMJ.)

My chiropractor has so many stories of PT people making people worse even a patient who had Alzheimers. The PT prescribed walking on a treadmill for her. She fell off and died as a result of the fall.

When my Mom was in respiratory therapy they kept putting her on their treadmill and her horrible back pain kept flaring.

She would be in so much pain that she would "call in sick" for the next session. That happened pretty often which lead to a lecture from the nurse in the program who said that Medicare wouldn't pay for it if she didn't show up and show she was "improving" by increasing her activity. (The sessions were 1.5 hours long per Pete's sake and she did them absolutely willingly.)

Anyway, she told them she didn't have Medicare. They said it didn't matter. She got discouraged and quit the sessions.

Later when we had her try to do the exercises at home, once with the stretchy bands and later with very slow home treadmill, her severe back pain came back, both times!!! :(

All that time they were causing the problem and we didn't realize it because we were trusting the "experts."

Edit: She had in-home PT years later and same thing. Back pain worsened significantly.
 
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@Howard .........I wanted to make you aware of this new program, aimed at teaming up volunteers, with folks who need some assistance in their local area...folks like YOU perhaps.

Its Canary Corp: from ME Action.

Here is a link to signing up to either help or receive some help.

https://airtable.com/appPbff8IYWznP8GD/shrpUsW8VRWDWWIk4

also its explained at a web site:

https://www.meaction.net/canary-corps/


this is just getting started sounds like.

Meanwhile, I am excited to read about how its going there in what we may soon call: Garage Party

Seems like Garage Music is often really good, so there's that to look forward to.
 
We're looking forward to seeing Howard WALK out of the garage but, please, start with a walker. Accidents are not allowed.

Two good sources of information have been provided.....you're all set, Howard.

Our weather here in N. Texas (Dallas) runs both hot and cold....kind of a typical fall for us. The trees are changing and leaves (watch them, they can be slippery), should be on the ground by Thanksgiving. I hope AZ and NM will hurry up and follow us. I don't want warm weather at this time of year. Obviously you don't either. Yours, Lenora
 
Thanks, I appreciate the ideas.

I've been stuck in bed for almost a week now. Can't stop going to the bathroom multiple multiple times, usually overnight. I'll figure it out eventually. I believe my intestinal flora / microbiome is screwed up... Similar to what happened when I originally became ill back in 2010.

I believe the milk of magnesia cleaned me out a little bit too well 6 weeks ago.

One side effect is that I do not have intestinal pain any longer, because I have no bloating, no nothing. My belly is flat! And empty!

I am hydrated, and taking care of it, and all that stuff. I'm even adding Gatorade to my feeding formula, nibbling on white rice and little tiny bits of banana, and of course, I've increased my probiotics x3... Plus the Imodium.

I even put some sauerkraut in my mouth, but that made me a little bit nauseous.

But at least I understand the mechanisms this time, versus my first becoming ill, back then. So I think I can fix this. It's just rather upsetting that my body is failing like this. Today I'm depressed. Perhaps tomorrow, I won't be.

Take care,
H
 
Hi Howard......Well, isn't that a letdown for you? Perhaps you need a half of Pepto-Bismol (actually a quarter may be even better), to help slow your digestive system down. The world's problem - digestion. It sounds like the MG. worked a little too well and be careful, you could cause an electrolyte imbalance and other important things.

I hope you'll feel better in a day or two, can catch some good sleep and find renewed energy. Is your weather cooler? I hope so.....leaves should be falling just about now. Glad that you're keeping your potassium in check....eat those banana slices. Yours, Lenora
 
Hi Howard......Well, isn't that a letdown for you? Perhaps you need a half of Pepto-Bismol (actually a quarter may be even better), to help slow your digestive system down. The world's problem - digestion. It sounds like the MG. worked a little too well and be careful, you could cause an electrolyte imbalance and other important things.

I hope you'll feel better in a day or two, can catch some good sleep and find renewed energy. Is your weather cooler? I hope so.....leaves should be falling just about now. Glad that you're keeping your potassium in check....eat those banana slices. Yours, Lenora

Thanks.

Yes, the weather has been improved of late, around 80 degrees, but we're warming up the next few days. By next week we could experience rain falling from the sky.
 
Why are these medical professionals so unprofessional?

I was recently totally insulted by The Gerontologist: yes, one of those stopped by, invited.

Won't be invited back.

Yeah, I am supposed to take SSRIs and get out of the house. Thats how you recover from Dengue Fever and getting older.

Scream.

I'm right there with you on forget them. You Figure it Out. Your more likely to solve your own dilemma, than any of them, perhaps with the exception of where is the darn dentist.

1) could you have a stick available to push the garage door button should this happen again?

2) if naked, keep something clothing related nearby, just in case

(I never made it back to PT after Day 1. The next appointment, I called and canceled because I felt like crap.
And I never did the one thing I was advised to try to do, just like the PT person said)

But you are @Howard, a motivated person who acts, despite challenges in his path.


- I can really understand that you likely miss people you were seeing more regularly. I hope you can have a bit more contact with others.

How hard would it be to meet somebody for lunch ? (assuming they get lunch breaks)? do they have cars, how far away from your old place are you?

It's easy for you to isolate, being a creative/slightly introverted/ perhaps.
 
Yeah, I am supposed to take SSRIs and get out of the house. Thats how you recover from Dengue Fever and getting older.

Yes indeed. That's THE WAY -

I'm right there with you on forget them. You Figure it Out. Your more likely to solve your own dilemma

And yep, I am working overtime trying to resolve this unfortunate turn of events.

I've been mainlining Gatorade into my gut for the past dozen hours, in attempts to make my body function, after a rather dismal day of diarrhea and distress.

And wouldn't you know, it's midnight and I almost feel human. The physical agony is greatly lessoned... except that I am also rather nauseous after having ingested half an egg white, plus, some watermelon juice.

Experimenting. Yeah. Y'all know where I'm coming from.


1) could you have a stick available to push the garage door button should this happen again?

2) if naked, keep something clothing related nearby, just in case

hmmm... it's way outta reach - but yeah, maybe a ten foot pole

but being inappropriately naked is kinda my thing! HA!!!


And sure, when I feel well enough to get out of bed (diarrhea-free, too!), I can make a regular trek over there, to the nursing home. Two miles away. Via Dial-a-Ride.


Also, I'm glad you got to read and respond. I realize that I write a lot (many words), so don't feel obligated. Invest your energy in reading the warning label for each of the SSRI's you'll soon be taking!!! LOL and UGHHH!
 
Did you get your back pay for your SSI? Many people don't know that you can get such a payment going back to your first application.

Nope. I won't be getting a large lump sum of money, because everything is stupid. Instead, I'll be getting a back pay check for $275. Plus, if the government does everything properly, I'll be getting either $700 or $900 per month going forward...



Somehow posted this in the wrong thread (also) but here it is anyway.... again
Oh ... And it's been a couple of months, but it may actually rain here in the next few days. Maybe maybe maybe, but not quite positively

IMG_20231116_004148__01.jpg


I think we got about 5 minutes of rain overnight, but I can't tell, being inside the garage and all that - but it smells humid-like
 
ingested half an egg white, plus, some watermelon juice.
Dr Ken Barry said if someone is allergic to eggs (I am) to try eating just the yolk instead. He also gave some other tips on a YT short video that I can't find right now but maybe you might do better with the yolks. ??

Edit: obviously if someone reading this has severe reactions then best not to eat the eggs at all of course.
 
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Dr Ken Barry said if someone is allergic to eggs (I am) to try eating just the yolk instead. He also gave some other tips on a YT short video that I can't find right now but maybe you might do better with the yolks. ??

Edit: obviously if someone reading this has severe reactions then best not to eat the eggs at all of course.

The yolk seems more difficult to digest (fat?), but who knows... it takes me about two hours to finish a single egg white in order to ward off nausea.

Being as I am desperate for nutrition, I did eat a whole banana yesterday, without consequences. That right there is a semi-miracle. A little bit of watermelon, too. Then I also sucked on some sour kraut and relish (tiny amount).

Doctor will finally come see me next week, after 20 consecutive days of diarrhea (thus far) - although cutting back on my fiber heavy formula seems to be lessening the frequency and impact. I'm hoping they'll allow me to switch back to Kate Farms temporarily. Half the fiber!

Thanks for the suggestions. And I hope everyone is doing alright. :)
It's been raining here for a couple of hours, crazy nice rare and strange! Whoohooo!!!
 
Being as I am desperate for nutrition, I did eat a whole banana yesterday, without consequences. That right there is a semi-miracle. A little bit of watermelon, too.
That's great Howard.............every little bit helps. Both great foods for you. Watermelon is a super duper hydrator plus you are getting instant glucose which both the brain and liver love. Personally, I would forget about the egg, especially if it makes you nauseous. Egg white would absolutely gag me. I would love to be able to eat an egg yolk but my body doesn't like it.

I remember I think?.............that you were able to eat some blueberries at one time? If possible next time your ex is out see if she can pick up some wild blueberries vs conventional. (usually you can find in the frozen section). ONe of the best foods on the planet. Wild blueberries survive all kinds of weather over other foods. They are a super food.

Is the Liquid Hope the formula that has more fiber? Was it the Dr. who wanted you to discontinue Kate Farms?

I'm shocked yet happy that a Dr. is coming to your place. Is the Doctor that is coming to see you one that you've seen before or a new one?

Glad you guys finally got some rain.

Ciao bello
 
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Yay for rain finally! Can I have some of your sun though please 🌞

Are you able to get some advice from the doctor when he comes (if there is time) what foods might be worth trying that would be less likely to cause problems in your case. I guess you can't eat enough (or dare try much) to do some kind of elimination diet so that you could identify which foods are OK in small amounts and which cause problems. Sometimes there can be delayed effects.

Does always seem to me that if you could just get to the bottom (no pun intended!) of your gut issues, you would be on the road to recovery much sooner.

Sounds like being in the sun helps with your strength a lot (like me) and that getting out and about is also just as important to keep you happy and feeling "alive" and engaged with people and the outdoors.

I hope the doctor can shed some light on the the stomach upset setback and that you can get out and about again soon....missing reading about your adventures and interactions with the people you meet..

Oh and yeah, I'm not great with eggs either.....they give me stomach cramps and....uh....a lot of rather unpleasant wind!

Hang in there and sending hugs 🤗
 
I hope the doctor can shed some light on the the stomach upset setback and that you can get out and about again soon....missing reading about your adventures and interactions with the people you meet..

Unfortunately, the doctor's cannot shed light without lightbulbs!

Oh, and our raindrops were limited. But we'll try again in the coming days.

Thinking of you and checking in. Hope you are doing OK.
If by being okay, you are asking if I am still alive... well then... yes, I am. Yay!

I am, however, going on 30 days with diarrhea. Somehow I skipped a day (actually, make that 39 hours without), so I was able to push myself to go outside for 45 minutes yesterday. I am developing widespread scalp psoriasis, so I desperately needed sunlight exposure (among myriad other reasons for escaping the garage innards).

So what I know is that if I'm able to stop the intestinal distress, I should recover enough to resume a normal type of existence. But absolutely nothing is working / helping.

Perhaps I'll construct a post describing my failed efforts in greater detail. Neat stuff, huh?

I've done ridiculous amounts of research on my own, and ... nada!

Hope you guys, as well as everyone else, are doing well (well enough). :)

Howard Cha
 
Well..............I was crossing my fingers for better news but I just had a feeling things weren't OK. Unfortunately you probably need to go to hospital for testing to see what kind of gut bug you may be dealing with. What do you think? (no need to reply if not up to it).
 
Heavens, Howard.....That looks like our garage except that you can't see all of our junk!

Did you have at least one visitor over Thanksgiving? Do you play chess or any other games? It would be nice to make some social interactions and that's one way. (OK, poker even?)

I'm wondering if you could take some liquid Pepto-Bismol or the like. If it's any proof, I used to give it to our pet rabbit, and it worked wonders.

Seriously, I'd start with very, very small doses and see how you do. Surely it can't hurt and may have some healing powers. I don't know what else to suggest. Our vet started recommending it to many clients with sick animals....he's still in practice so it must be doing something right! You'll be our human guinea pig but, please, start carefully.

Thanksgiving passed again this year with no one here, or us there. That's fine...we lived and a small chicken smells good in the oven also. Sorry, that wasn't kind to bring up food & smells. How about some eggnog ice cream in honor of the upcoming Xmas. Go for it! Minus the rum, of course.

Are you warm enough? It's starting to get cold at night. I'm glad that you were out yesterday.....good going! If that stomach issue continues, perhaps you'd better have things checked out. You must be feeling increased fatigue...are you having pain ?

Be careful, Howard. Will you see your mother over Xmas? Could she take an Uber to visit you, although seeing her son in a garage may not be what she had in mind. Your sisters? And I'm not even sending cards out this year. Sorry. Yours, Lenora
 
How often are you going to the toilet @Howard? If a lot and it's very liquid, I would be concerned as to how it might affect electrolyte balance which, when you can't consume much food or liquid, could become dangerous.

I have to agree with Tammy, or (unpopular suggestion I'm sure) could you temporarily go back to the nursing home if there is appropriate medical help available there until the acute diarrhoea resolves?

Have you ever had very thorough investigations (such as endoscopy, barium meal, manometry, motility tests) of your whole gut done by a Gastroenterologist? I wish somehow this could be achieved for you....

Are you able to put the light on in the garage at all? Must be very frustrating for you to be unable to get out and about as you were able to more recently, and be in the sunshine also.

Are you any closer to being able to rent a room somewhere more suitable for you now that your SSI has been approved?
 

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