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Friday, April 17th, 2015
6:13 pm - Still crazy after all these years
I've come to a weird realization this past few months. I've always had problems with depression, starting when I was in 7th grade, but I've come to recognize that I also have anxiety issues. Today was an anxiety day.

Looking back, I should have recognized this before, or at least one of my mental health professionals should have recognized it. One classic sign that I was beginning a depressive cycle was a feeling of restlessness, irritability (lights were too bright, noises too loud, people breathing), a feeling of wanting to do something but not knowing what, wanting to be somewhere but not knowning where, and being on the verge of tears or screaming. It would then progress to a full on depressive episode, sleeping 18-20 hours a day, crying, hopelessness, circular thinking, inability to do anything positive, isolating, being non-communicative.

This was my normal for a long time.

So, good news, I really am much better than this, and taking a maintenance psychotropic med helps maintain that even keel. But I still have problems now and again with the anxiety and irritation. It happened a few months ago when I was planning to head to an SCA event. I dressed up and then spent the afternoon sitting, in costume, unable to leave the house. In the last week or two I've been having problems at work with being irritable. Not to the point where I really would do anything about it, but to the point where I noticed and it was hard to do my job in a compassionate manner.

So I'm thinking of asking for something to help with anxiety. Don't know if it would be an additional medication, or perhaps a med that helps with depression and anxiety, but I think it's time to move forward with something.

Truth is I haven't truely been happy for years. Truth is that I haven't slept well in years. Truth is that I'm still not over being in a relationship, and I crave the companionship. In many ways I can't imagine falling in love again, but on the other hand there is someone who I would fall head over heels with if he just said the right words.

I've been in a holding pattern for five years. <--buried lead.

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Monday, September 19th, 2011
12:25 pm - Pennsic Clay Update
So one of my projects for this next year was to work with some "wild" clay that I dug in Pennsylvania.

Here are the problems with it: It's full of sand and debris, it's not very elastic, and I have no idea what temperature it will fire to.

1: Sand and debris: In order to improve the clay I need to clean it by removing as much sand, pebbles, tree roots, and other debris as I can. To do this I added water to the clay and made a thin slurry which I then passed through two sieves. The first was a regular cooking sieve, they kind made from wire mesh sold at any department store or grocery store. This removed the large pebbles, roots, and some of the larger particles of sand. The second sieve was a #80, which is quite fine. I passed the slurry through this and it removed even more sand and other particles. After this part I poured the slurry onto a large plaster bat to dry it out.

2. Not very elastic: One of the valuable aspects of clay is it's elasicity. Clay needs to be workable in order to be useful, otherwise it's just mud. This clay, both before and after cleaning cracks easily. This by itself doesn't make it unsuable, but to be formed into useful objects by handbuilding (pinch pots, coil, slab, wheel) it needs to be much more pliable without cracking. One solution to this may be to make pass it though yet another finer sieve to try and get some of the smaller particles out. I may also try to make it into a slip and do casting on plaster. Adding some ball clay may also improve the elasticity.

3. Firing Temperature: To find out what temperature the clay will fire to will require testing. I know that the raw clay will make it though the bisque (~1900F), but I need to test the cleaned clay. At the studio we fire to Cone 10, which is about 2300F, which is pretty much the upper level for ceramics. I have some test beads in the kiln now to see if they will survives that temperature. Most likely they will melt and slag instead of maturing and hardening. If it survies, great. If not, I can work at the lower temperatures with it, but it's more difficult since I have to rely on a low-temp firing rather than the weekly high-fire that we do at the studio.

More updates and perhaps some pictures at some point.

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Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
10:41 am - The comfort of knowing.
I find a great satisfaction in having a diagnosis when something is obviously wrong. When I was much younger, when I first was diagnosed with depression (disthymia actually), it was such a relief to know that this "thing" had a name. I had also feared a diagnosis because that would make what I had real, as in "you really are crazy, not just moody."

So, my current diagnosis is a herniated disc at L4/L5 and significant arthritis in the facet joints in multiple levels of my spine. Yay! It means that I have someone that I can call if things get worse and who will try to make it better. It means having a resource for medication other than over the counter meds, which most of the time is enough - except when it isn't. It means having insurance, and not having to ignore signs and symptoms of something being wrong because I can't afford for things to be wrong.

Current plan of action is to try some medications; one for my paresthesia (numbness of leg) which will hopefully relieve some of that pain and one for just general pain. Also some physical therapy. After a month we'll re-evaluate to see if further intervention is needed. Next step may be some epidural injections of steriod and painkiller.

Also going to get a referral to a rheumatologist to see about treating the arthitis.


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Friday, January 28th, 2011
2:57 pm - Adventures in Pain Management
Woke up Monday a little after 8am. Let the dogs out and then started getting ready to work. Meanwhile, gravity was working and my spine did not have the reserves to resist. This marked the start of the worst pain I've ever been in.

I managed to get some Ibuprofen in before I stumbled to bed. Once in bed and on my back, I was like a turtle and could not move. Roomate got up and gave me a pain pill, but still not much help. I was having pain all down my sciatic nerve on the left leg. A horrific aching pain that would not relent.

I made an appointment to see the roommate's doctor at 2:15, but about 10:30 could not wait any longer and we headed to the urgent care clinic. Once there, I tried to stand up, but decided at that point that I couldn't handle waiting to be seen and so it was off to the ER.

I was only in the ER about three hours, but I'm glad I was there for it. It took a long time before the pain was under control. The pain meds they gave me mostly just too the top edge off and made me sleepy, but still hurting. They sent me home with a couple of prescriptions and advice to see someone about it. They did a CT scan, but it didn't show anything obvious that would be causing the pain and numbness.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, that my leg was also partially numb from my hip to my toes. And is still partially numb five days later. No pain, though it does effect my walking.

Appointment is for Tuesday. I'm pretty sure I have enough drugs to last until then. Yay!

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Monday, December 13th, 2010
9:27 am - Weekend
Had a lovely weekend here in chilly Dallas.

Friday was the office holiday party at TMC, one of the local bars. Buffet provided by the local coffee shop across the street. We played the "guess who's pet belongs to whom" game, and the gift exchange. I wound up with a $15 gift card to Subway. Also received a scratch-off lottery ticket and my bonus. Yay!

Saturday was nice and leisurely. Last week was the last class for ceramics, so I had the day to myself. Loaded up all the animals and took them out for their spa day. Zoe got her beak and nails trimmed, Indy got a bath, and "Unnamed Black Dog" got a new collar. Everyone behaved well. I was worried about how the black dog would react to PetSmart and the dog washing place, but she was no problem. As long as she is with Indy, she does very well. She doesn't do that well alone though.

Worked for a few hours on Saturday, then headed to the grocery store, then home to make some shrimp bisque and watch some mindless TV with the roommate.

Sunday was coffee with the bears, which turned into lunch with the bears. :) Then off to work for a couple of hours.

Mostly low key, mostly very nice relaxing weekend. I am mostly pleased. :)

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010
4:42 pm - Ed Clark's Christmas House
The chill in the air and the thought of Christmas lights going up across the country started me thinking of Ed Clark's Christmas House in San Antonio. I hope the old man is doing well. Aside from being crazy, that is. But it's a benign and amazing type of crazy. "Momma Clark loved Christmas, and I loved Momma Clark."

Click and behold the wonder that is Ed Clark's Christmas House.

(I have no idea who the creater of these photos is, "sarider1", but he has an open album of the pictures I wanted, so ... thanks!)

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Friday, October 1st, 2010
2:07 pm - Give me your money! For LifeWalk 2010
Okay, going to try this again.

Indy has gotten out his raincoat to see if it still fits. He is getting ready for LifeWalk/LifeBark 2010, a fundraiser for AIDS Arms in Dallas. AIDS Arms is an AIDS Service Organization that has case management, testing, social services, and a medical clinic that serves the HIV/AIDS population here in Dallas and the North Texas Area.

I am on Team RCD, which is another ASO in the area. We work with AIDS Arms on a daily basis, share many of the same clients, and partner with them in many ways to serve the community here in Dallas. While the majority of the donations are going to AIDS Arms, a portion is also going to be shared with Resource Center Dallas, where I work. Contributions for LifeWalk/LifeBark are very much a win/win in terms of bang for your buck for charitable giving.

I know times are hard, but if you are considering doing some charitable giving this year, keep in mind that donations to LifeWalk/LifeBark are tax deductible.

Here is a link to my donation page: Nathan's Donation Page

"When you help others, you can't help helping yourself!" --Avenue Q

Nathan and Indy

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Thursday, August 12th, 2010
8:15 am
Just to let everyone know, Will and I are no longer a couple as of about a month ago. I have a new phone number and a new address. Know that this was a long time coming and not a surprise.

I wish him the best.

Comments are disabled. I do not want discussion or comments, nor am I really ready to talk about this. I am putting this up as a courtesy to friends.
Sunday, June 20th, 2010
10:16 pm - Garden update
Last Week:

This Week:

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11:20 am - I love my pool!

Posted by ShoZu

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Monday, May 31st, 2010
12:40 pm - Lasagna bed - 80% done.

Posted by ShoZu

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Friday, April 16th, 2010
11:21 pm - My personal groomer.

Posted by ShoZu

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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
10:13 pm - Zoe Kisses
Notice the normal sized head.

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7:14 am - Indy at the Easter Pooch Parade.

Posted by ShoZu

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7:12 am - New child-substitute: Zoe, a 2yo female Black Headed Caique parrot.

Posted by ShoZu

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7:10 am - Bidness card. :)

Posted by ShoZu

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Saturday, February 20th, 2010
3:34 pm - Pet update
Giselle is ill again. Very ill. She stopped eating again almost two weeks ago and has only had sporadic food since then. She was drinking up until earlier this week, and then did a few days without.

So, all signs point to her having asthma. Yep, asthma. She has been in acute respiratory distress pretty much all week. Previously, she hadn't really exhibited signs that she was having breathing problems, but this week has been just hell. She has been gasping for air like she's an old man with emphysema. We started her on two inhaled meds, plus a steroid pill, on Wednesday, but didn't really respond. She stopped drinking, wouldn't swallow for syringe feeding, and was cyanotic (blue) around her lips and gums. This is generally a bad sign. I took her back to the vet yesterday, she was put on 100% oxygen for the afternoon, got more injected steroids and bronchodialotors, and IV fluids.

When I picked her up around 5:30, she looked much better. The vet said that she was actually able to get some sleep when she was in the oxygen tank (looks like a kitty fishtank), and her respiratory rate was much closer to normal, around 44 bpm. She has been breathing about 70-80 breaths per minute for the past few days. We kept the IV in, and I got a bunch of paperwork just in case she needed to go to the emergency vet for more fluids or O2 overnight.

We got her home, gave her her breathing treatments, and put her in the hall bathroom with easy access to food, water, and a litter box. She was feeling so poorly that she didn't even bother to get out of the travel cage, so Will just took the top off so she wouldn't feel confined.

Waking up this morning, she was out of the bathroom in the hallway, respirations were 48, with was much improved, and she had used the litter box during the night. We gave her her inhalers and let her rest. Later we dropped by the vet to pick up some saline flushes so I could flush her IV her at home. She is much improved as the day goes on. She is still working at breathing too hard, using her accessory muscles, but it is such an improvement from yesterday. Yesterday we were close to having the quality of life/end of life discussion with the vet. Hopefully she will continue to respond to the medications and we will be able to put that discussion off for quite a few years.

And, unexpectedly, I came home from the vet with a new little someone.

While I was settling up the bill at the vet, someone walked past his storefront with a parakeet on his finger. The vet saw it and said, "Wow, that's not a good idea." Meaning that carrying around your pet parrot outdoors is a good way to have your little friend fly away to freedom. A few minutes later, the guy comes in the office with the bird and tells us that he had just found her in the parking lot, and wanted to know if the vet knew anyone who could take her. And, since I was there, and she was such a sweet bird, I offered to foster her while we put up flyers trying to find her owners.

Of course, I had to run to the pet stores to find food, dishes, and a cage. And perches and toys. :) I sold my big California cage about three years ago, since it's been about five years since Zeena died, and I didn't see myself getting another large parrot again. She was starving. She attacked the food that I put in with her. Now, she's just nibbling at it, which is much more normal.

She's very sweet, is very hand tame, and very spoiled. She has her full wing feathers and loves to fly around the house. I think her owners let her pretty much fly and perch wherever she wanted to. This will no do in this house, however. I've taken her out several time to handle her and pet her, but she likes to fly off and perch on the curtain rods. I'm seeing a wing clip in her future.

Here is a picture of the cuteness:

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Friday, February 12th, 2010
8:16 am - Snow-meggedon update

Power went out again about 10pm. Looks like it's been out all night. It's cold in the house.

On the plus side, it's not really that cold outside. Indy's water bucket isn't even frozen over, so we should be able to get out in a few hours.

There is a massive (for Dallas) amount of snow an the trees and so I'm sure branches have taken out power all over town.

I'm still planning on heading up to Oklahoma at some point.

Brought in the camp stove so planning on making pancakes for breakfast. :)

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Thursday, February 11th, 2010
4:15 pm
Power is back.

One local channel is calling it "February Fury". :)

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2:57 pm - Snow-megeddon in Dallas!

Fluffy white death rains down from sky!

Early release and a snow day from class tonight.

Power is out. :(

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