Monday, March 22, 2010

The First Day of Spring

Saturday, March 20

Tehachapi Mountain Park
6000' to 6300' (cross-country)

Spring is finally here! I drove out to Vincent Gap before the weekend arrived, but Highway 2 is still closed at that point and snow is right down to the trailhead of Baden-Powell. Eager to celebrate the changing season, I turned my sights on the Tehachapis. Much of the snow has melted off; perhaps we could do some hiking there.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Results from the ENT

I returned to the ENT for the results of my hearing tests and CT scan. I was pleased to have confirmed that there are absolutely no signs of cancer; that is not the cause of the hearing loss.

And unfortunately, the hearing loss in the one ear is severe to profound. Turning up the volume (via hearing aids) does not help, either. I am only able to recognize 6 of every 10 words because of the word recognition loss.
So the initial diagnosis of "sudden sensorineural hearing loss" (sudden deafness, in the olden days) still stands.

However, it is the only diagnosis that has the possibility for the deafness to reverse! Thankfully!
The ENT said there is a 30% chance my hearing will be restored, a 30% chance it will improve, and a 30% chance it will stay just like it is -- deaf and screaming, echoing and feeding back. Okay, that sounds to me like I have a 60% chance that it's gonna get better!

The ENT's best guess as to what happened that day during the infusion was NOT a drug reaction, but rather a small blood clot that broke off and went through. Given my symptoms that day, it's possible that's what happened. So glad I'm still here!

The ENT (who is from the Middle East) recommended that I pray, which I have been doing, and take lipoflavanoids. I found the lipoflavanoid box in the ear/eye section of a national-chain pharmacy. I also grabbed a supplement to reduce the tinnitus ringing from our local health food store. And I continue to pray, knowing my hearing will be restored as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, I am noticeably hearing impaired and feeling somewhat frustrated that I have to constantly say, "What?" Or misunderstand, thinking I've heard correctly, frustrating those with whom I'm conversing. Aargh!!!!

So since I'm still miserable from the waist down with sciatica and neuropathy PLUS now have this tinnitus and deafness, I decided it is time to fork the bucks over to pay for acupuncture (out-of-pocket since insurance doesn't cover it). Not any acupuncturist will do -- experience has taught me to seek out Oriental MDs who are also herbalists and licensed acupuncturists. I found one locally who also has a PhD and 40 yr of experience!

After the very first session, I had some relief and could finally feel my feet some. I was able to cut down on pain medication. But 36 hr later, I was hurting again and needed more pain medication. The Oriental MD told me he thinks my mattress is making the sciatica worse. I think he's right!

During the second session, a mere two minutes after the needles were in me, I could feel my feet get warm and have sensation return. Oriental medicine is so different than Western medicine, but it DOES work!

The OMD thinks he can knock the pain down 80 to 100 percent in 5 or 6 sessions over 2 or 3 weeks. I've been so miserable, I think it's money well-spent. Plus he also treats the tinnitus! So I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I think I'm gonna keep him on my team of doctors and just pay out-of-pocket because my health is worth it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Burkhart Trail, Punchbowl End

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Walked a mile out and back to try to work out the sciatica. On the road to recovery from it, but still can't sit long enough to write. Text to be added later.

Looking from the start of the Burkhart Trail down on the end of the Punchbowl Loop.


Rogers Dry Lakebed (with rainwater on portions) and Edwards AFB (arrow) in the distance.

Looking back at the Punchbowl Creek canyon.

A dense Manzanita grove provides us shade.

Manzanita bloom buds.

Wanna slide down that slope, Johnny K?

Looking back at the 'bowl.

That bald patch (arrow) is a 10-acre ranch.

Mt. Williamson (from the north).

Made it to the junction!

Seems so strange to see the BT (making a hairpin turn here) going AWAY from the mountains at this point!

Soon, but not today!

A pleasant walk downhill going back!

Ruth. She's a barn owl friend of mine.

Scorpion. These type are not deadly, unless you're allergic to them.

California brown tarantula.

I enjoy my Punchbowl friends! So I hope the misguided person who stole the desert tortoise brings him back HOME right away!