Monday, September 02, 2013

Vertigo! And...a Former Rescuer in Trouble

I woke up to vertigo.  I knew yesterday it might be coming.  I was having twinges of rushy dizziness last night.

I have these bouts periodically, ever since my neck injury.

They usually occur when about four things are going on:  over use of my neck, constipation, dehydration and allergies.

I have over worked my neck lately doing a lot of chores.  For instance, I took down three maple branches three days ago, that overhang my roof.   I did the whole safety precaution thing this time of securing the branch before cutting it.  I tied the end of a rope to a short piece of pvc and flung it up and over a higher branch before tying the other end to the branch I was about to cut off.  I secured the pvc attached end of the rope to a low branch then after pulling it tight.  So, the rope was tied securely to the branch I was about to cut, then ran up and over a higher branch before I secured it tightly to a low branch.

I did it this way, securing the branch before it was cut, so it could then be safely lowered, because I'd seen tree people do it this way and realized the benefits.

I cut all the zip ties holding together chicken wire on the cat yard containment top.  This in itself is a problem on my neck as I tilt my head back and reach up, arms overhead, to accomplish the task.  Not good for my neck with its metal neck plate, which does not bend.

After the overhead cat wire dropped by the tree, I put up the metal extendible ladder I inherited from the old man's place, after his death.  I secured it to the tree with a bungee cord at the top, so it wouldn't wobble so badly, climbed up and cut off that branch, then another using the same procedure, with the sawzall.

After I cut them, I lowered them slowly down into the cat yard, by the rope and cut them up until the battery on the sawzall died.  I sprayed the open wounds on the tree with prune seal and zip tied the cat yard containment top wire back together again, again stupidly doing so with arms overhead instead of using a ladder.

Working on the cat yard, from beneath always inflames my neck nerves.  For some reason I felt stronger this year, like it would come out differently.  Ha ha.  What an idiot.

You can see the black spots of prune seal, one above the other, marking two branches, high above the top of the cat yard, that I removed, from the yard maple.

This is one of the branches I took off three days ago.  It had split in a storm last year.
There were two spots I could see like this high on the tree, areas of rot, hole in the center, like its insect caused, with sap draining.  

I wore out end of that day, so instead of hauling all the branches out of the cat yard, I made a quick cat hideaway out of some of them.

Then next day, I go rowing on the lake.  Taking my raft out doesn't just involve rowing and fun.  It involves the work of wrestling that awkward plastic raft in and out of the car, when not blown up, then pumping it up.  The rowing part is fun, but yes, it puts a lot of work on my arm, shoulder and neck muscles, which I think should help my spine, once the muscles are better, to protect it.  Usually my arms go numb off and on the day after because my shoulder joints get a bit inflamed.  But that's not so bad.

I have suffered tremendously this summer from allergies.  Yesterday was no different.  This area has bad air, due to all the particulate matter floating around due to the grass seed industry.  There were times this summer I could not drive the stretch of road between Albany and Lebanon, because there was so much shit in the air, dirt mainly, huge billowing clouds of it, streaming out and around tractors chewing up the bare dirt to prepare to plant the next crop of grass for seed.

I carry Vicks Vapor Rub in the car and when it gets so bad I can't stand it, I'd put some in my nose, to try to stop the clouds of dust and other stuff from getting in there.  But I really need to consider moving from the valley.  I could stand it when I lived in Corvallis since the grass seed industry doesn't surround you there, but here it does surround me, there's no escape.  And it creates misery for me.

But I've lived my entire life in Oregon's mid valley.  My roots are here.  I love the country and the people.  Once upon a time, I wanted to live the gypsy life, with no material tie downs, travel about Oregon or even the west, doing odd jobs and making lots of friends I would hold as friends for my entire life.  I would see the country, know the country and know lots of people, and this was the best life I could think of to live.  I still yearn for that sort of life and have a disdain for collecting any volume, outside of what is useful to me, of material items.  But I have cats now for whom I am responsible and to my best ability, I will care for each til they die.  This holds me in my place and maybe its for the best after all.

I also painted most of the front of the house yesterday, with a small dollar store paintbrush.  The siding is failing in places, pulling apart where two pieces are joined, leaving cracks that exceed a quarter inch at joints.  Those cracks let rain in.  Paint has chipped off the house in many places, leaving bare siding.  In the garage, I found a five gallon bucket of original color paint, about half full.  Certainly not enough to paint the entire exterior of the house with one coat even, but I can paint the bare spots, the siding joint cracks, after I silicone fill them, which I did, and the front.

When my brother replaced the windows, he removed the fake plastic shutters that were on each side of both those windows.  The two fake shutters had already cracked and fallen off the other big front window.  Underneath those, the original paint had not faded like the rest of the house.  I decided I'd repaint the front with the old paint from the garage, so I wouldn't have those places by the window of darker color.  I used a brush instead of a roller because I don't have much paint and the roller soaks it up and puts on a much heavier coat.

The painting went quickly but it also involved arms overhead work.

So this morning I wake up, and I'm dizzy.  My left ear is ringing.  I bend over, and the world goes upside down.

Vertigo makes you lose all perspective of up and down.  I don't think being dizzy and having vertigo are the same thing.  Vertigo is a horrible feeling.  Closing your eyes doesn't help.  The whole world spins along with your stomach.

I became suddenly white hot.  I stumbled to my bed.  My body was boiling and I was sweating, along with having everything topsy turvy.  I wondered if I was having a heart attack.  I have wondered this every time its happened, which is usually once or twice a year.  I still really don't know why it happens, but after I go online, I find lots of people have these sudden bouts, and it seems to all be related to a spinal cord injury, and probably damage done to the autonomic nervous system with the spinal cord injury.

I never considered my autonomic nervous system may have been damaged in the beating that injured my neck so badly until I had a friend come down with terrible autonomic nervous system disorder after having the flu.  So I read up about it.  Now I wonder.   I've also had strange bouts since the neck injury that can last a week or two of being unable to really move, from exhaustion, with respiration rate so low you'd think I'd be dead.  Almost like a waking coma. But they pass and my doctor then, who has since quit, did not have any idea what could be wrong.  So I just wait them out.  I have far fewer of those episodes in the last years, but they still come now and then.  If you're still alive at the end of the day, you're still good to go, I guess.

Anyhow, I am drinking a lot of water, have an ice pack on my neck, took an allergy pill, and am feeling much better.

I have water making strange sounds in my left ear.  I got water in my ear from swimming up at the lake when I went rowing two days ago, and possibly from several wild joyous leaps from the rock jumps into the lake.  This is probably part of the vertigo problem.  It will work its way out eventually.

Was it worth it, all the chores, like cutting the tree branches, painting the house and the trip to the lake?  Yes it was!  I'm not one to sit still anymore.   (although I love to read with my cats perched atop me)

I'm not dead yet, but when I am dead, I hope to have not wasted my last days badly.

Also, a woman made a comment on my blog post yesterday, the Miss Daisy video post, comments posted as Wacky Original..  I have never met her but several years ago she helped me raise money online for Valentino's dentals.  Now, she says, her world has turned topsy turvy.  Her husband died.  Her money came from being paid as his caregiver while he was ill.  The house burned down but she didn't have insurance on it.  Her vehicles are both broken.  She's in S. Dakota, without a working vehicle or home, while her cats are boarding in Eden, New York with the boarding bill huge and past due.  She needs to find three of the cats somewhere else to go.

Any readers out there in New York, who could help with three cats who need a place to go, maybe permanently?  You can read her comments on the Deaf Miss Daisy video post and she also gave a link to her fundraiser attempt to pay off the place where her cats are being boarded.

While I experience personal vertigo, it's her life that is topsy turvy.

Today I won't be doing any hard on my neck chores.  Or anything really.  I'll just waiting it out again with my cats and hoping for the best.

I am processing catnip from my yard today.  I hang it to dry after cutting stalks.  You cut stalks in the morning, when oil content is higher in the stalk and moisture also.  You can hang it upside down to dry or you can microwave it dry.  I then process it finer in my coffee bean grinder and bag it for storage.

Home Grown!
Slinko, one of 13 cats I trapped for removal, under fire to do so, from an Albany apartment complex.  I have three of the cats I trapped there.  Slinko is a sweetie although still totally feral.

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