Saturday, February 09, 2008

1677 Sprouting, Part 2

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Becs has noted in a comment on the previous entry that my "sprouts" sound a lot like Morgellon's Disease. Naturally that sent me off on Google trails. I didn't link any site because you really have to read several to get a sense of what goes on in Morgellon's.

Briefly, there are a lot of symptoms, major among which are sores that don't heal, and knots of hair-like growths that sprout from the sores or build up under the skin, and a constant feeling of bugs walking around under the skin. Also, "black nodules, long and short fibers that can't be pulled out, and great pain, are all highly effective in destroying relationships between couples. Put another way, the suffering is so great that participating in sexual acts are the last thing that victims of the disease will think about doing."

Well, I have no sores, my sprouts look slightly shorter and fatter than what they show in Morgellan's (not "hair-like" at all, more sliver-like, slightly longer than a comma on this page), they pull right out with no difficulty, there's no pain whatsoever, no bug-under-the-skin feeling, and the only day I itched was the day after I was at the tech school. That day was very bad with the itching, but it was only that day - last Sunday.

And I'm still very interested in sex.

Who knows. Maybe this is a very early stage of Morgellan's. But I think not. I still think it's fiberglass or something like that. I pulled out about seven or eight more since this morning. No big deal. Just strange.

1676 Sprouting!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A few days ago I mentioned itching after spending a day at a tech school.

Today, I'm sprouting.

My skin is extruding something weird.

Know how when you get a tiny scratch that pushes up a bit of skin, and the tiny skin tag hangs on until you feel it catching on silk or sweaters, and you pull it off? They're sort of like that. It's teeny tiny sticking-out bits of what looks like skin. They are all three parts, a larger central piece with two smaller pieces on either side, looks almost like a microscopic tuft of grass. They are stiff, like whisker hairs, and I find them when they brush against fabric or things.

There's no scratches. They seem to be coming out of pores. So far the ones I've seen have been mostly on the sides of my hands (fingers and the outside of the palms, probably because that's where I'm most likely to feel them, when the sides of my fingers touch each other), and around my waistband. I can pull them out with tweezers or my fingernails.

I've pulled about ten of them since I noticed them this morning.

I really think I picked up invisible fiberglass slivers at the school.

Friday, February 08, 2008

1675 Frozen Friday

Friday, February 8, 2008

Outside, it's slightly above freezing. Inside, the thermostat says it's 75. I'm wearing closed shoes, socks, jeans, the usual underwear, and a long-sleeved heavy cotton t-shirt. And over it all, Jay's big heavy terry robe. Which is floor-length on me, and wraps around almost twice.

And still, I'm freezing.

My hands are cold. My feet and legs are cold. My nose is cold. I can't get warm. About the only thing that works is to crawl into bed.

This happens every so often, and I don't know why. Back when Jay was alive and I got this way, he'd have me hold my hands in hot water. It worked then, but it's not working now. Maybe because then he had his arms around me while I ran the hot water over my hands.

It's not like I don't have calories to burn. So far today I have eaten one container of yogurt, a huge honey ham cheddar cheese lettuce tomato sweet pepper bacon wrap, some potato chips with horseradish dip, several cups of sanka with vanilla sugar-free creamer, two cups of tea, some rice crackers, a handful of raw stir-fry veggies, and 180 calories-worth of Starbucks frappuccino. Plus there's that extra 15 pounds I'm carrying that my body is welcome to burn whenever it wants to.

But I'm freezing.

Back when I went through menopause, I had very little problem with hot flashes. I had them, but seldom, and mild.

I'd welcome one of them now.

I'm off to boost the thermostat. Maybe it's broken and lying, and it's actually 50 degrees in here? Nah. It's right. I'm wrong. My internal thermostat is broken.


Slightly later - Something I'd noticed: I don't feel cold in the house when the sun is up, no matter what the thermostat says. It's always after the sun goes down that I start feeling so deep bone cold. And it's worse on an evening when the day had been cloudy. Today was cloudy. I don't know whether I'm sensitive to the heat the house collects from the sun, and notice when it's not there, or whether I'm sensitive to the sun itself. But it's definitely lack-of-sun-related.


Even later - How do I know it's dark out, or cloudy? The lights are on in the house! When do I get cold? When the lights are on! That's it! The lights are sucking the energy out of me!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

1674 Internet Cable Map

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Betcha thought internet natter whizzed around the world by satellite. Nope. Cable. Most of it, anyway. Good old fashioned old technology undersea cables.

This map shows breaks in the cable, notably the recent one that took out most of the Middle East. Click on the map to enlarge:


1673 Overdose

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The medical examiner's report is out on the young actor who recently died (I'm not using the name because I don't want search hits), and they're calling it an accidental overdose. That means "no blame assigned".

If anyone should take the responsibility, it should be the doctor who prescribed all those narcotics he was taking.

In my opinion, if you're going to hand someone that many medications that whack the brain and depress the systems, you don't put the patient in charge of dosing! You also prescribe a nurse, who can count. The patient, in despiration, will take one, it doesn't work immediately, he takes another, gets foggy in the head, forgets how long it's been, takes something else, gets foggier, and next thing you know he's counting pills like Ex#2 used to count booze: 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 1, 1 ....

And, oxycontin? WTH?! For the pain of coughing with pneumonia? Oh, come on! Oxy-anything is overkill. That's something you use for like cancer pain, or surgery involving nerves and other heavy-duty stuff. With everything else he was taking, the stuff they give for arthritis should have been more than sufficient for the cough.

Whoever prescribed those meds without foreseeing what was likely to happen is responsible for what did happen. In my opinion.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

1672 Dogma

"The only thing wrong with Christianity is the Christians."

"The key difference between Spreading the Word of God and Spreading the Word of the Church can be summed up thusly: the Church is the shoddy house that was built upon the perfect earth. I'm not saying that the Church is bad; I'm saying it was built by men (and women) and because of this, it's weak and frail. The earth, on the other hand, is organic and natural, strong and durable.

Like God."

Kevin Smith
Dogma, liner notes

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

1671 A Unique Geek

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I went to NJ yesterday, to visit a friend. My cinematic experience is sorely lacking, so on our last several dates he has been introducing me to his favorite movies. Last night was Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life". The e-card I had sent him for his birthday last year was the song about how unique we are in the universe (I forget the name, but Eric Idle sings it). I sent it because I thought it was beautiful. It cracked him up because of the connection with that movie, which I didn't know about. He thinks I'm lacking in geekiness, and he's working on fixing that.

I had commented that I always get more out of anything on the second viewing, so after we watch them he gives me the DVD. Not lends, gives. I'm building up quite a collection.

This is the first time I've seen him directly after work, before he has had a chance to decompress. Usually there's a long drive before he joins me. Last night he was mentally bouncing off walls, and I loved it!

Daughter and Hercules left for Florida today, to visit my sister and to see a shuttle launch (Thursday, I think). I'm jealous.


Is America to become an obamanation?

Monday, February 04, 2008

1670 Brag

Monday, February 4, 2008

I just joined Intertel. Sent my score in about six weeks ago, and finally got the invitation. All it really means is that I can take standardized tests better than half the people in Mensa. The only people who will be impressed are other Mensans. But ... that alone makes it worth the dues! Heh heh heh. There shall be some consternation....

Next - the Triple Nine Society! According to their chart, I qualify. I shall single-handedly prove that IQ tests have no meaning!

1669 Words, again

Monday, February 4, 2008

Loose does not mean lose.

Formerly does not mean formally.

Peak means neither pique nor peek.

Site does not mean sight.

Conversate is not a word. Try "converse".

And how the heck did "called her out of her name" happen? Why the weird construction? The person from whom I heard it was being formal, and was very careful to enunciate the "of", as if that made it more proper.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

1668 Procrastination

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I'm supposed to be paying bills and shoveling paper out of the house today. Instead, I've spent almost the entire day listening to music. I keep about 20 CDs in the car, and I'm tired of the collection out there now. I want to select another set, and I'm having a bit of trouble. Nothing seems exactly right.


Blogger spellcheck isn't working for me today. I click on it and nothing happens. Anyone else having the same problem?

1667 Itchy Skin!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I ITCH today! I itch everywhere. When I run my hands over my skin, especially on the sides of my waist, my neck, upper back, upper chest, and forearms, I feel like I'd fallen into a cactus patch. Little electric shocks, like there are tiny spines stuck in my skin that stab me when I touch them. I can pin some of them down to a specific spot, and when I look, there's nothing there, but when I run a finger over it, it bites me. The nerves fire.

Yesterday's volunteer gig was at a vocational school. They have all kinds of workshops there, and I'm wondering if I've picked up some tiny bits of insulation or something, floating in the air. Sitting next to the door as I was, I'd have been in a high-flow area. I have showered since, but if they're stuck in my skin.... I tried applying and pulling tape, like you would for cactus spines, but it didn't fix it.

It's driving me slowly crazy.

My grandmother had the most amazing skin - smooth and soft and very pink and white. She credited Ivory soap, but my mother's skin was similar, so I think it was genes. Gramma's skin wasn't particularly sensitive, except in one way. She couldn't be around fiberglass, in any soft form.

In the 50s it was fashionable to cover Christmas trees with a web of fiberglass. Before she entered any house, Gramma would have to ask what they'd used on the tree, and if it was that fiberglass, she couldn't go in. She'd swell up all over, even if she didn't get near the tree. The stuff was in the air. (You have to wonder about people's breathing it.)

Once house insulation was installed and closed up, it was ok, but she couldn't enter a new house, or one that had just had insulation work done. In the 60s, fiberglass drapes were popular. Gramma could be in a room with them, but they couldn't be touched while she was there.

She was the same way about peaches. If Gramma was touched by a peach, she'd swell and itch. The peach fuzz got into and irritated her skin. I remember my grandfather chasing her around the house with a peach one day when I was very young, and I was afraid of "poison peaches" for a while after.

And that was about it - just fiberglass and peaches. Weird, huh?

People have said that Marilyn Monroe photographed so well because of the reflective quality of her skin. She had a thin outer layer, with white fat under, so that her skin reflected light, and she seemed to glow.

Mom's skin was like that. She glows in photographs. She showed me an old yellowed newspaper clipping once, a photo of her high school class at graduation. There were several hundred faces, caps and gowns, rows and rows in auditorium seats. No face was more than 1/4 inch high, if that. She said, "Find me", and I pointed to her, about a third of the way back, without hesitation. She glowed. Her face was the cream in a sea of sepia.

So, then there's me. Gramma's itch, without the glow. Shuffle the cards again, please.