Monday, December 16, 2019

A 27 Month Break And Opportunity Knocks

It's been more than 6 weeks since we cut the cable and we couldn't be happier that we did. We're left wondering why we didn't do it sooner. It was sorta like when we divested from Wells Fargo two years ago after getting caught up in having them make changes to our accounts which resulted in service fees that were no small hassle to reverse. We had better things to do but we were glad to have taken the time to break free from them. The only glitch in our move away from cable TV was our TV in the kitchen—it has a built-in Roku but it was continually freezing as it buffered the signal. I added an external Roku stick to it and that solved the problem.

One of our local news stations did a report on a pack of coyotes that attacked and killed a family's two dogs that they had let outside for a few minutes. This all happened about a mile from our home. I've seen coyotes outside the window on the side of our house but it's been a few years. Last week I saw a fox walking along the street in front of our home in the early afternoon. I'm careful about keeping an eye on Charlie whenever I let him out but lately, I've taken to standing out there with him while he does his business. I found a cat's collar last year after tearing out the shrubs in front of our house. I can only imagine how it got there.

I've written about cluster headaches in my blog and my struggles with them over the years. It's been 27 months since I've had to deal with them and that's by far the longest period of time I've had relief from them since I first experienced one at 17. But it appears 27 months is my limit. My headaches returned a few nights ago, forcing me to adopt a regimen of a daily dose of Prednisone and Imitrex for the headaches that get past the Prednisone. One other thing in my arsenal to fight them is inhaling 100% oxygen at a rate of 12 liters per minute. It's usually a very effective treatment provided I've got an O2 tank nearby to use. I'm awaiting a delivery of oxygen tanks that I'll keep by my bedside.

They're called cluster headaches because they come in clusters, usually lasting 4-5 weeks (for me, anyway). I can typically expect a period free from them of 12-18 months. The headaches present themselves as an intense pain behind one eye that is very similar to the pain you get when you drink a frozen slushy too quickly—but the pain can last for hours. This is a video of a guy in the throes of an attack. I've been there countless times. When I was younger, they only lasted 15 minutes and I had no idea what was happening. I assumed they were possibly related to some illicit drugs I'd messed with. They would leave after a few weeks and I'd forget about them. It wouldn't be until the mid '90s before I'd receive a proper diagnosis.

I'm curious how I managed to get a reprieve of 27 months. I want to credit occasional cannabis use and it may well be that but I can't be sure. There are studies of the effect of cannabis on cluster headaches but they're not conclusive. It's possible that the drug can help stave off a cycle and that may well be what I've experienced but I wouldn't expect it to be of much use once a headache phase has begun.

I spent much of Friday and Saturday breathing life into my most recent stained glass creation. It's one of the more difficult pieces I do simply because the pieces are so small. Fortunately for me, I don't have fat fingers. A guy from NYC purchased this same suncatcher last week and I wanted to make another for my inventory. Here's a link to it with more photos on my Etsy site.

The FAA will soon be hiring for the position of Air Traffic Controller. I can't say enough good things about the career I had as a controller and the job satisfaction I derived from it. If you know anyone who may be interested (who's 30 years old or less), they may want to throw their name in the hat and take a chance on being hired. You can maybe start by sending them a link to the video below where they can gain an idea for what the job is about and get a feel for whether or not it's something they might be interested in pursuing.

That's all I've got.

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