Stop taking Baclofen

August 4, 2020

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This is me, looking at my Facebook page on the computer.

Today is Tuesday. The last time I took Baclofen was 6:00 a.m. Sunday. I had been taking it for 6 days. It was just too much medicine and the wrong type of medicine.

The Baclofen made me short of breath and panting for air. My face felt stiff, too. It also made me very sleepy, dizzy and nauseated.

No brainer. Stop taking Baclofen.

I take Ibuprofen instead. One tablet every 6 hours. Ibuprofen dulls the pain in my right leg and makes it tolerable.

So far, no allergic reaction to Ibuprofen.

I also take Osteo-BiFlex (Triple strength), which contains Glucosamine with Turmeric. It’s a dietary supplement that might be beneficial in the long run.

Anyway, I spoke with Dr. R over the phone on Monday. He confirmed that the X-rays showed moderate osteoarthritis of the right knee. I am to continue taking Ibuprofen and stop taking Baclofen. He prescribed Cyclobenzaprine to be taken at bedtime for muscle spasms. If it doesn’t work or if there is a bad reaction, then stop taking it. My first dose will be taken tonight.

I have an appointment with Dr. V, my orthopedist, on Friday. More on that later.

Buttercups and ferns

August 2, 2020

These are buttercups that have somehow sprouted within our mock orange hedge. Aren’t they beautiful? David said that he will not clip the hedge until the flowers all die:

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This is a view of lush ferns hanging from the eaves outside our living room:

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The larger ferns are called Macho Ferns, and the small ones are called Boston Ferns:

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Sights for sore eyes, indeed!

Stop complaining!

July 31, 2020

David has severe arthritis of the spine, particularly in his lower back. He recently ordered this lower back brace for $27.00 on Amazon. He said it lessens the back pain significantly, though it does not totally eliminate the pain:

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Another way to deal with back pain is sitting on this recliner:

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He also likes this recliner, because it rocks back and forth:

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As for me, I have arthritis in my right knee as well as neuropathy. The neuropathy consists of pins and needles in my right thigh with a sharp, stinging, burning, numbing sensation all over the skin. I have found some relief by taking Baclofen at bedtime. This wonderful drug, prescribed by Dr. R at Straub Clinic, keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night with pain in my right leg. Baclofen is used for multiple sclerosis and/or spinal injury/disease. Whatever it is used for, it does the trick and gives me some relief from neuropathy.

I also like using my reclining sofa, which is powered by electricity. It takes pressure off my right arthritic knee. I can adjust the reclining feature by pushing a button. There also is a USB port for my Samsung Galaxy Tablet (see the white cord on the arm of the sofa).

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The trouble with this reclining sofa is that it pushes my head forward, causing a crick in my neck. See my double chin. I would rather have a sofa that lets the head lean backward.

Oh, well, you can’t have everything in life, so I should stop complaining!

P.S. I experienced neuropathy again last night so the Baclofen does not prevent it from flaring up again. I found relief by taking 2 Advils (Ibuprofen) with water to quell the inflammation and pain. I also doubled the dose of Baclofen as Dr. R instructed so that helped, too.

Also, as you will note in comments, I followed Rain’s advice by propping a pillow behind my back, thus eliminating the crick in my neck and the double chin. Thank you, Rain, for the great advice!

Together we can do this

July 29, 2020

Because of my sore leg (arthritis and neuropathy), David has been doing my chores as well as his own, so naturally, he is exhausted.  One thing he cannot do is cook in the kitchen. I don’t like to order take out food so often. Once in a while, yes, but not every day.

How to get around this dilemma?

I have been trying to do the preliminary work on the sofa in the living room, using the tray in my walker. Then I tell David to put the food in the oven at a certain temperature for a certain time.

So far so good. I just try to make something easy for both of us.

One day, our dinner consisted of baked frozen shrimp tempura, microwaved Uncle Ben’s Spanish rice, microwaved frozen carrots, a tossed green salad from a package, and Boston cream cake from the store. It truly helps to have this type of food that is so easy to prepare.

I am teaching David how to cook with little or no fuss.

I made something super easy recently. I call it Egg and Salsa Cups.

Here is the recipe:

EGG AND SALSA CUPS

Crack 7 eggs into a mixing bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons of Pace Salsa.

Whisk until the eggs and salsa are frothy.

Insert 7 paper cups into a muffin pan.

Pour egg mixture into each cup.

Bake for 20 minutes at 375F.

Remove from oven and enjoy.

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Three egg and salsa cups for me, and four for David.

So simple and so delicious!

Don’t worry, my dear. Together we can do this.

Hurricane Douglas

July 27, 2020

Hurricane Douglas passed north of Oahu, and we did not sustain any major damage. This is the closest that a hurricane has passed by Oahu in decades. We were very lucky this time.

We watched the news about the hurricane throughout Sunday. These are several shots of our TV screen, tuned to KGMB. I think if you stretch the photos, you will be able to read the caption under each shot:

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For our part, we placed our gas grill and two patio chairs against the laundry room:

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We disconnected the hose winder from the faucet so that the wind would not pull the hose from the pipe, causing a major spray from the pipe. Those are two more patio chairs under the eaves:

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This was the sky above us around 6:00 pm. Quite dry at this time. Those wooden houses could blow away in a strong hurricane:

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Since our house is made of masonry, our walls will withstand a hurricane. However, we should install hurricane clips so that our roof won’t blow away:

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Thus, Hurricane Douglas did not affect us at all. Thank God.

Getting around

July 25, 2020

Hurricane Douglas is expected to hit Hawaii by Sunday. We have taken the necessary precautions and are prepared for the worst. We are just staying home, waiting to see what happens next.

My wheelchair arrived on Thursday. It was easy to assemble. However, I have decided to exchange it for a bigger one, as this one is rather tight. I’ll need it to take me from the parking lot to my doctor’s office and back:

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I have two appointments coming up: One with my dentist on August 4, and one with my orthopedic surgeon on August 7. Busy life, huh?

Meanwhile, I am enjoying my new discovery: Peet’s Decaf Coffee. It has a wonderful aroma and flavor. Rich and mellow. And because it’s decaffeinated, it doesn’t make me jittery. I don’t like tea, but I must have my coffee. Here it is with a little skim milk:

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That’s all for now, folks. I’ll see you on Monday, if we are not devastated by Hurricane Douglas.

Primary Election ballots

July 23, 2020

David and I received our Primary Election ballots and have voted and mailed the ballots back. It’s so convenient. I love absentee voting.

We voted for the same candidates and for the same party: DEMOCRATS!!! We are tired of the Republicans, who have no sympathy for the uninsured. For example, my younger daughter is self employed so she depends on Obamacare. The Republicans are trying to eliminate it. We can’t let that happen.

David and I agree on all of the issues facing our country, and, therefore we won’t be canceling each other’s votes this year.

For Mayor of Honolulu, we voted for Colleen Hanabusa. She is an experienced and dynamic politician, who will see to it that the rail system is done correctly and promptly. We want the rail to go all the way to Ala Moana and then to the University of Hawaii campus in Manoa. People on the west side of Oahu can’t wait for this to happen.

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Isn’t democracy a wonderful system of government? Let the majority rule, I say.

In a wheelchair

July 21, 2020

On July 15, David drove me to the ER at Pali Momi Medical Center. I was experiencing excruciating pain in my right leg. Dr. B said it might be due to a bulging disc in my spine. He prescribed prednisone and cyclobenzaprine. I believe this was a wrong diagnosis. The meds did nothing to alleviate the pain.

On July 19, David drove me to Urgent Care at Straub Clinic on King Street. Dr. N ordered X-rays. His diagnosis was knee pain with possible torn meniscus. He prescribed Norco, an opioid, and a wheelchair. Norco helps a little, but I still experience pain in my right knee when I walk with a walker. Crutches do not help, because it forces me to bend my knee, which results in pain.

So, David ordered a wheelchair from Amazon, which will arrive on Thursday. I’ll post a photo of  it later.

Here I am at Straub Clinic on King Street, using the wheelchair that the Clinic provided:

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Here I am on my reclining sofa with my walker nearby:

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I try to stay off my feet as much as possible to prevent pain. To relieve my boredom, David went to Costco and  bought me a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. It’s similar to the Apple iPad, but it costs half the price. What a bargain! It keeps me from getting bored, sitting here:

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Dr. N referred me to an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. V, at Straub Clinic. But, my primary care physician, Dr. R, wants me to stretch my right leg by bending and extending it for two weeks. If the exercises don’t help, I am to call him back to discuss further treatment.

We must follow protocol, or the insurance company might not pay for treatment by the orthopedic surgeon!

“Jane”

July 19, 2020

We recently watched a great documentary, entitled “Jane,” on Hulu. It’s about Dr. Jane Goodall, who is the world’s foremost primatologist.

In 1960, Jane was just a 26-year-old secretary in England when her boss, Louis Leakey, a noted Kenyan paleontologist and archaeologist, sent her to Gombe, Tanzania to study wild chimpanzees. The world knew nothing about these beasts. But, there she was in the jungle with no scientific background, writing about her experiences. Her news reports made her famous.

In 1964, she attended Darwin College in Cambridge and graduated with a Ph.D. in Ethology. This is quite astonishing, considering she did not have a B.A. or B.S. degree beforehand.

She returned to Tanzania to continue studying the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees. She discovered that chimps can make and use tools, can engage in loving family relationships, and can also be brutal during warfare.

She was married twice and has a son from her first marriage as well as three grandchildren. She often stays in a compound with her son, who is a boat builder in Tanzania. However, she is now self-isolating in England due to the pandemic.

I might add that Jane is a vegetarian, because she believes the slaughter of animals for human consumption is mean and cruel.

This is Jane Goodall at age 26 in the jungle of Tanzania:

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This is Jane at age 86:

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This is Jane with chimpanzees:

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Jane with a baby chimpanzee:

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“Jane,” was truly an incredible movie, transporting me from tropical Hawaii to the wild jungle of Tanzania.

Who knew that chimpanzees were so much like human beings? Like humans, they grieve when their loved ones die, sometimes sinking into a deep depression and dying shortly thereafter.

You can watch the movie on Hulu.

Joshua Bell and Larisa Martinez

July 17, 2020

The pandemic isn’t over, so it will be impacting the concert, opera, and theatre season.

It’s too bad. But, even if they were to perform outdoors at the Waikiki Shell, we still wouldn’t want to expose ourselves to the Covid virus. All it takes is one sick person to infect us all.

We have requested a refund for our tickets, and our request has been granted.

However, all is not lost. We have discovered that You Tube streams famous musicians and singers on our TV.

For instance, Joshua Bell and his wife, Larisa Martinez, are scheduled to perform here in September. Instead of seeing them at the Blaisdell, we saw them on You Tube. They were outstanding together!

Larisa and Joshua performed a song by Manuel Ponce, who was a Mexican composer during the 20th century:

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Here they are hugging after their performance. By the way, this is their apartment in New York, and they are married to each other:

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Then, they performed in a Couch Concert, sponsored by the Kennedy Center. Larisa and Joshua were accompanied by Kamal Khan on the piano. Their “Vocalise” by Rachmaninoff and their “Quando Men Vo” by Puccini were simply wonderful:

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And here they are hugging:

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At the rate the pandemic is going, it is highly unlikely that David and I will ever sit in a concert hall again.

But, there is always You Tube.