Friday, February 26, 2010

Hanging Tough

Say What?

I have now been suffering from disabling sciatica and nerve pain since January 2nd; it's presently requiring 10 mg of oxycodone just for me to be able to function/ignore the pain. But the most annoying thing? I had a drug reaction on January 12, and it caused sudden deafness in one ear.

The ENT dr can tell there is something behind the ear drum -- perhaps every blood vessel in the ear burst, or perhaps there is a growth. I am thankful I just had great imaging results, so we have ruled out tumors in the brain causing the hearing loss or cancer causing the sciatica, neuropathy, and numbness I'm experiencing from the pelvis down.

This week, I did an extensive hearing test. It took 45 minutes and was conducted by a computer! The first part, all I had to do was sit there with plugs vacuum-tight in both ears while the machine did things to measure air conduction and so forth.

The second part was the part we're all accustomed to doing: pressing the button at the sound of the pulsing tone. I did well on my normal ear; it took me a few seconds to realize I was "hearing" the tone in my problematic ear via the bones in my skull and the change in the tinnitus. So I think my ear is still structurally working and I am hopeful all will be fine in the long run.

The third part was speech recognition. I aced it with my normal ear; I flunked it with the problematic ear. : (

At this point, I am unable to use a telephone with that ear -- speech is not recognizable to my ear enough for me to even begin to GUESS what's being said. : (

So it has been a tough couple of months for me, but I am still hanging tough right back. Yesterday I went for the CT scan of the area. I will get the results of the hearing tests and the CT scan when I see the doctor again in 2 weeks. I think it's all just nuisance stuff, and I am really really looking forward to when it's over and done!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

What Was I Thinking?

Devil's Punchbowl
4,740' elevation
Burkhart Trail

Saturday, January 23

The sciatica and neuropathy I've been suffering in my legs has not improved; so I thought I'd take a little walk on the Burkhart Trail, from the Devil's Punchbowl end, to see if I could work it out. What was I thinking? We arrived to find snow at that elevation and the parking lot an utter MESS. The wild animals were out of control (and by wild animals I mean the homo sapiens). I stayed only long enough to take a couple shots from the vista and help push a friend out of the parking lot. Poor Ranger Boy! What an awful day with the human side of the job. We made our escape and figured we'd come back another time!

As usual, click on any picture to see the larger version!

From the vista point.

Monday, January 25
A Short Walk
[200' (up and back down) elevation change]

I'm in too much pain; I GOTTA do SOMETHING! So late Monday afternoon, we headed back up to the Punchbowl. This time, the place was blissfully deserted but for the rangers and three people.

DS and I took a little walk up the Burkhart trail, but not terribly far. The altimeter showed we had gained 200 ft elevation before we turned around to beat the dark. The manzanitas up there were HUGE and fairly lush.

Today's vista shot.

And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills...

Burkhart Trail signpost in the snow.

I think the photos on this blog have probably established
I really like the color and texture of manzanita bark!

Looking back at Punchbowl Creek canyon rocks.

Big manzanitas up here!

It was sunset as we were leaving; I snapped this shot from a road west of the Punchbowl looking back southEAST at the setting sun reflected in the snow on the surrounding mountain peaks.

Life is still good, pain and all...