January 29, 2007

 testing, testing...


i have upgraded to the latest version of moveable type. a version that professes excellent spam blockage.

this silly photograph is my test post. comments are open. will the spammers get me?

Posted by xta at 11:22 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

 blood, sweat & squirrels

so, here's a quick update:

my doctor called a couple days ago to tell me the lab re-ran the WRONG TEST, and that i needed to come in for another blood draw. i did that this morning and encountered the Horrid Phlebotemist again. i'm really going to have to make a point to complain to the right person this time. he just creeps me out.

i joined a gym. i had my first workout today. i feel GREAT! (might i add, though, that whoever invented the elliptical machine is most certainly going to burn in hell.) this is s a very small, independent gym for women and so far the vibe feels really right. i've never been big on group exercise, but perhaps this place will change me.

we might have a squirrel in our attic. this happened a couple of years ago, so i knew to immediately call critter control and make an appointment. after hanging up the phone, though, it occurred to me that i'd just spent a shitload of money on a gym membership and i really didn't have any left over for critters. so i decided to take matters into my own hands.

i circled the house, looking for entry points. i didn't find any, but i didn't get up on a ladder for a close look or anything. i went to lowes and bought mouse poison (in case i was wrong about the type of critter) and a humane squirrel trap. ray and i got up in the attic last night and spread the mouse poison around, and baited the squirrel trap with nuts.

i didn't hear any more scurrying last night, so i half expected to see something in the trap this morning. what i saw in the trap this morning was a lack of nuts, but no squirrel. no disturbance of the mouse poison, either.

i reloaded the trap with peanut butter. we'll try again.

comments are still off (sorry!) because the very second i turn them back on i get inundated with hundreds of spam messages. maybe one day i'll figure out a way around that, but not right now.

Posted by xta at 2:16 PM | TrackBack

January 18, 2007

 i am finally abnormal!

i had a follow-up appointment with my neurologist this morning. i braved the wintry mix and left a little early to allow for icy roads. apparently my doctor hadn't had any similar thoughts, because he was 15 minutes late in arriving at the clinic. d'oh.

he first asked about my headaches. they seem to come in waves, i told him. i had a series of relatively severe headaches around christmas. these days they're infrequent and mild. he gave me a prescription for industrial-strength naproxen to better treat the ones i get, and asked if i'd like to try any medications to help prevent future headaches. i shied away from the idea, saying i felt like i was still in a data-gathering phase... november (the date of the TIA) wasn't really all that long ago, and i don't yet have a good sense for whether headaches are now a permanent fixture in my life. i prefer to NOT take medication if i don't have to. he told me that if i'm averaging two headaches a week i should consider prevention medication. i'm basically at that threshhold, but am not quite ready to jump on board with the drugs. he respected my decision.

he then revealed that my last series of blood tests finally showed something abnormal. honestly, part of me jumped for joy. an explanation for the TIA! of course, i immediately braced myself for bad news... but bad news could be good news, in a way. at least, finally, i might have a diagnosis and possibly a route towards treatment in preventing any more from occuring.

he said that within the series of "anti-cardiolipin" tests, my "IgM" had come back abnormal. off the charts, really. a normal range is between 1-14. a high positive is 40. mine was a 65. and the lab had repeated the test to confirm the results. yep, i'm a 65. (the other two anti-cardiolipin tests he ran --IgG and IgA-- were both normal.)

so what does this mean? he's not entirely sure. he says a high IgM could indicate a tendency towards stroke, though from what i gathered this is a relatively new indicator for stroke. he said that many women after miscarriage produce a high IgM level. high IgM can also be an indicator for lupus. but that's basically all the information he was able to tell me. he ordered another anti-cardiolipin panel to confirm that i still have a high IgM level. when these results come back, if i'm still off the charts he'll immediately refer me to a "stroke specialist" for further diagnostics. (this neurologist i've been seeing specializes in headaches and not stroke.)

so, i'm back to waiting for test results. he said he'll call me when the results are in (a week, maybe two). until then, i have google searches to keep me occupied.

oh yeah, the guy who drew my blood today was the same dude to preached creationism to me last time. today, though, he was listening to a morning talk show on the radio. the DJs were yammering about this story, which is astounding.


finally, an explanation on the lack of updates here.

my absence is due to 1) a general lack of interest in posting, 2) a newfound appreciation for being "off-line", and 3) overwhelming amounts of comment spam.

my lack of interest in blogging seems to be cyclical. i remember feeling the same way this time last year. same song, different verse.

the off-line stuff refers to more than just the internet. i'm also turning the TV off more frequently. sitting quietly with a crossword puzzle. making more plans with friends. it's been nice. (in fact, i'm a bit irked that preparing this post has taken almost an hour of my time.)

and finally, the comment spam. jeebus, the spam has been insane. i finally just turned off comments altogether -- i was getting more than 200 spam comments a day at times. none of it actually gets posted to the blog (i've got MT blacklist to prevent that) but i do get an email each time a spam comment gets blocked. the spam sits on my server, "waiting for approval" from me. i could ignore it, but then all of the spam simply amasses in size, taking up megabytes of space. it was all just a major headache. (har!) and yes, i could upgrade, or change software... but i'm really enjoying being off-line. figuring out how to combat comment spam sounds phenomenally unappealing right now.

i guess i'll open up comments for this post, but i'll likely shut them off again within a few days if the spammers begin to strike once more.

Posted by xta at 11:06 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack