Thursday, November 29, 2001

Blood pressure

I'm trying to be good.

I revolted a while back, and discontinued all the blood pressure and cholesterol medication. It felt great. I felt great. But elevated blood pressure doesn't have any symptoms.... until the blowout.

I continued to monitor my blood pressure, and I just can't seem to keep it to the recommended levels just by being careful and trying to stay calm, and not taking anything that might screw it up.

This time I have gone directly to a cardiologist for help, thinking they might know more about everything involved here than the GP did. They measured me at 150 over 100 in the office for starters. A little higher than we'd like.

They did an echocardiogram on me this time, and my heart looks perfectly normal. The walls haven't thickened or stiffened at all. But after the EKGs, treadmill stress tests, and the echocardiogram, they still won't give me a clean bill of health. Now they say they want to do a nuclear stress test. Sounds charming doesn't it? Actually, when they use the term nuclear, they're not referring to the speed of the treadmill for the test, they're referring to the radioactive material they inject into my blood stream before and after the treadmill test. They can measure some important absorption rate indications that way. They say it is the only way to rule out arteriosclerosis. I'm resistant to having them pump nuclear waste into me in an attempt to improve my health.

They promised to be sensitive to my side-effect issues and started me on a different medication. The blood pressure dropped slightly, and after a week, so did everything else.

We've switched medications again. Back to normal so far... The good news is that the change back to normal function is so profound that I can tell absolutely within forty-eight hours. The bad news is that the side-effect I have chosen to focus on is only one of a multitude of side-effects caused by hypertension medication. I think it is possible to find one that doesn't cause sexual dysfunction, but I doubt it is possible to find one that is comfortable.

I'm trying to be responsible here, but what a pain-in-the-ass. It doesn't seem that they can make me better without making me feel like shit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001


As the weather clears, both the Louisville Express and the Colorado Southern go back to work.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001


Meanwhile. The Colorado Southern chugs fearlessly through the night.

Neither rain nor snow nor lighted reindeer .....'


I'm still working on the correct balance of fading light and colored lights.



I'm much too busy to stop and play with a real steam train right now, but I have thought about it a little. Enough, in fact, to check around and see what is out there.

Matt and I went out at lunch today to follow up on a lead. There is a brand new steam train available in town right now. She is sitting inside a glass cabinet at Caboose Hobbies. Her name is Mimi.

She's beautiful.


The Louisville Express suffers a weather-related delay.

Saturday, November 24, 2001


Here is my first effort at Christmas light pictures.

I'll need to wait and catch the fading light at sunset.


But before we could put the trains up, we needed some help from the grandkids raking up the leaves.


Here we go.

The Christmas train.

Kinda looks like a "steam" train doesn't it?

Sunday, November 18, 2001


After some ups and downs in the recovery process, we're recording the final chapter on Judy's shoulder. Shoulder surgery technology seems to be advancing rapidly. Eight weeks after her surgery to reattach a partial tear, a complete tear, remove the inflamed bursa sacks, and reshape the bone over the rotator cuff, she has regained 100% of her range of motion. Last Saturday (a week ago) she and I hit the racquetball around and no damage was suffered. She has been released by the physical therapist. She needs to check in with the orthopedic surgeon one more time in three weeks. He says he'll release her then to unrestricted racquetball. There is no more pain. We're calling it a victory.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001


I though I'd wait until Bill got home before I sent more pictures. I have
this image of him sitting at a payphone feeding quarters into it while his
download goes on-and-on.

Here's Halloween at our house.