September Retrospective

Got a little spark of creativity back this month, but I'm still grinding a bit.




Late Bloomer

This singular perennial, amidst all its sagging, brown brethren, is giving forth one more burst of life, even as it succumbs to its own gray hair of brown-tipped foliage.



AKA: Expensive, gamer-nerd paraphernalia.

'Tis pretty cool, though.


It's Here!

Bet you guys did not know that I am featured in Halo 3.

Yep, Master Chief is out, I'm in.

What Can Brown Do for You?



Sunset on Leaves

A slightly tricked out version here, because you know I couldn't help myself.


A Series from the Barn on an Almost Autumn Day

It's been a while since I have taken some barn shots. The barn is our little slice of heaven, in the midst of suburbia, and today was a particularly blue-skied, beautiful day.



It's been early mornings for me this week, with the 7 AM start of daily road resurfacing activities. I like my usual nine hours of sleep and I am getting a little grumpy.


More Power Lines?

I know!

But I love the clouds behind this one, and my goal is to capture all the ones that I pass on my daily, local travels.

These are in a cow pasture!

Another one, with a different perspective.




A Series from a Metro Ride

Shot yesterday, on our outing to the 2007 Gay Life & Home Show, post-processed today. I have figured out some combinations of effects that make for interesting, graphical images.


We Need More Power, Scotty

Cap'n, I'm giving you all she's got...

a companion shot


Job Perk #2

AKA: How to make my accountant-husband crazy.



Final Medical Update

Ack, hopefully final in a good way, as in no more drama, and not, as in, no more me.

Thanks everyone for all your encouragement and well wishes over my recent medical drama.

Saw my endocrinologist today. (Have I said how much I love my doctors?) My thyroid is over-treated with synthroid right now. Unfortunately, getting the right dose is a bit of a moving target because I produce antibodies to my thyroid that cause it to fluctuate. So I've had periods of being under and over treated. I'll tell you one thing, the thyroid is a very significant part of the human anatomy, and when it is not right it is just not good. And just right seems a bit elusive so far. I have just not been the same person, energy-wise, since I developed thyroid disease in my early thirties.

I'm still going to have the follow up cardiology tests because it has been three years since my last echo cardiogram and stress test. (And because I heart my cardiologist.)

Oh, and today I started on Crestor. Not because my cholesterol is bad, but because I am at risk (type 1 diabetes) for an early heart attack. So we need to make my bad cholesterol as low as possible and my good cholestorol as high possible.

Geez, you should see my pharmacy bills.

But still, I really am blessed to have medical resources like these. Not too many years back in time, and I would have died from insulin-dependent diabetes.

And again, I'm counting you all as one of my blessings too. :)

Just to legitimize this as a photoblog, here is a picture of my endocrinologist, Dr. A.

Her first name is Dagmar (that's how I chose her out of the list; I just thought the name was cool). She speaks with a German accent and is very funny but quite stern. The combination works for me. She also listens very well, type’s notes of everything we discuss, and is on the cutting edge of research and treatment. And most of all she is very understanding of what a difficult type of diabetes I have to manage; she encourages each and every little improvement, and reassures me when I struggle.

And she was quite tickled to pose for a shot for my blog.

A Teenager's Lunch


Toothbrush meme, Ampersand style.


Mixed Message?

Interesting game trade.


Update for all my wonderful well-wishers

I am writing all this out for those who are interested (Carrie :-)), but if you are not one of them, it will not hurt my feelings at all. :)

First of all, none of what is going on with me is life threatening!

But it is disconcerting when your heart rate is elevated, and somewhat erratic, for several hours on end.

A few years ago, I had several episodes of Supraventricular Tachycardia. My heart rate would shoot up to 250ish and just stay there. It involved taking a wonderful drug, via IV, called adenosine. Adenosine kind of reboots the heart. It feels awful. Just awful. Feels like you are going to die. Kind of like when you get the wind knocked out of you and you are waiting to breathe again, except you are waiting for your heart to beat again.

I give you that history to explain why I am a bit sensitive about these heart-rate-related issues. But, since having my hyperthyroidism treated, getting my insulin pump, and making sure I don't have too much caffeine or take cold medicine, I have been without incident for three years.

This time, instead of SVT, I had regular old tachycardia with some arrhythmia thrown in for good fun. My cardiologist does not think this is the same problem as I had before, but he is going to follow up with a battery of tests and has given me a prescription for a beta blocker to take if it becomes a chronic problem. (It did happen again today, but for only two hours and then it resolved.)

To add to the mix of possibilities, after I had my appointment today, I went by the hospital and got my lab results because they had tested my thyroid but not had the results back before I was discharged. My Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is low, which means that my thyroid levels are too high. I already had an appointment scheduled with my endocrinologist for Monday (how convenient!), so I will talk with her about this.

My cardiologist mentioned dehydration as a possible source of my tachycardia, and I remembered that they had to stick me four times to get blood out of me. They got the vein, but only a trickle of blood. That points to dehydration as well.

So, after all that drama, this could be a matter of a confluence of needing to adjust the thyroid meds, being dehydrated, and having a heart that sends an extra signal from one of the chambers to the other, giving it a tendency toward episodes like this. The funny thing is that I drink a pretty decent amount of water, but had just this week had added a daily 30 minute walk to my routine, and may not have added enough water to compensate for that. The body is wonderfully complicated.

I feel lucky that I have such wonderful doctors, and am in such good health given my host of medical issues.

And friends. I feel lucky to have such wonderful friends.

Especially the cyber-friends, who don't even know me IRL, but still care so much.

I also feel proud of myself that I have been taking such good care of myself and eating right and exercising. I hope you don't mind that I give myself that little, public pat on the back. Just a few years ago, I was quite negligent, and fatalistic, about my health. But I have since decided that life matters.

A Short Series: When Ampersand goes to the ER

Here are some shots from the ER. Of course you all know I had to pimp them out a bit. My daughter took the last one. I hope the photo effects make it abstract enough for you needle squeamish folks.

Isn't that hostpital gown attractive? It does make a cool pattern when photoshopped.

I was a bit of a rebel and left on my sports bra, shorts, and crocs. I took off the ballcap, though. ;P

Fortunately I had a nurse with a sense of humor who allowed me that dignity.

I'm off to the cardiologist this afternoon to see wassup with me. :)

Thanks for all the well wishes, my dear cyber friends. It was most heartening to read all your comments yesterday!

ETA: My beloved Boogieman just IM'd me to say that I am crazy to have taken photos at the hospital. Before you all agree with him, let me just say that these were taken after my heart rate and BP had returned to normal and I was waiting to be discharged. It was only then that I turned to my daugther and asked her to get the camera out of my backpack. But I am dedicated to this project!


Not Today's Photo

But it will make a handy dandy reference for football season, don't you think?

I spent the better part of the day in the emergency room and am too tired to process and upload photos. But I am also too proud to miss a day. :)

I'm fine now. I just need to follow up with my cardiologist to see why this problem has reared it's ugly head again.

That's what I get for eating right, drinking my water, and exercising everyday this week. ;)

Oh, I did get pics from the ER (how could I not?) and I'll post one tomorrow if I got a good shot.

For now, I am headed to a comfy chair for a short nap until I can view the season-opening football game later tonight.



Eat your veggies.

Toby, the widower of Chloe and Jade. I thought he would be sad by himself, but he seems quite happy. And, as you can see, he still has his appetite.



My love of morning light continues.