January 7, 2009


"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed..."

That is from Second Corinthians. I take it entirely out of context, I'm sure, but it seems like an apt quote for today.

Mosodiplosis is the repetition of a word or phrase at the middle of a clause, as in the above example. Right now, repetition of the middle ground of my life seems to be a theme for me.

Let me begin and end this post with up notes. The first: Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the leading candidate for Surgeon General. This would be a very popular move by Obama, as Dr. Gupta is very personable and very well-known. His multi-racial background is also good texture for the administration. At this point, O's administration is shaping up to be a far better mirror of the American populace than any previous - and O is not having to sacrifice quality leadership to get it. In the CBS Evening News announcement of this bit of news, they aired a few seconds of stock footage of Dr. Gupta jogging - with me. :D

Okay: The meat of the post - the middle part that will sound like a repeat, if you've been reading my blog long enough. Can you guess what it is? Have the past few posts been clue enough? How about if I said that although I've worked out three days in a row, that the two runs (one of 6.7 miles, the other 2) were of poor quality and I'm not happy with them? Can you guess why?

Enough teasing. I saw my doctor today and described the increased difficulty I'm having with breathing lately. I blamed it on TOBI no longer being effective for me. I blamed it, too, on the new HFA inhalers being ineffective. We talked about switching me to the old tobramycin formulation in February - the I.V. kind that we nebulize anyway. It might help. She wrote a scrip for a different inhaler. It's still HFA-propelled albuterol, but a different manufacturer, Ventolin. Hopefully, it will help, though I'm not wowed by it so far. Interestingly enough, they finally added a counter to the inhaler so that you know when the thing is empty. I also picked up this month's supply of Aztreonam. Hopefully that, too, will help.

But...the doctor felt, especially after seeing my PFT results, that none of that was a pro-active enough solution to my current depressed lung function. FVC: 54% FEV1: 31%. I am horrified and unhappy.

So, it will be another course of IV antibiotics. I turned them down last time, just before the marathon, and instead went with oral antibiotics, which did pretty well. But I'm beyond that point right now. IVs are the way to go. And, in order to get things kicked off well, I'll be admitted to the hospital for a few days.

Now, I haven't been admitted to the hospital since summer of 1991, so this is a pretty new thing for me. I won't be in long, just enough for the pic line to be placed, the first half dozen doses to be administered and a schedule stabilized. But I have to clean the house and pack just as if I were going away to teach a three-day seminar. And I have to arrange for my tenant to keep giving Mable her pills.

The other part of my life that feels like mesodiplosis is that this time of year is always hard money-wise, and it's the same tune again this year. For some reason, most of my subscriptions, memberships, dues, what have you that are annual seem to come due at THIS time of year, rather than when I'm working. Dammit. The big thing right now is gym membership. I think I'm going to shop around. The YMCA memberships are nearly as much as Manhattan Health Plaza, but I'll double check. I hear Parks & Recreation runs a few places and membership is cheap - something I'll definitely look into.

So. I don't know if I'll get that 10-miler done Thursday or not. Tomorrow's weather is supposed to be outrageously terrible, and Thursday morning similar. I also don't know if I'll actually be in the hospital yet or not. We'll see.

Two upbeat things to close on: One, Monday I worked out at the gym for two hours - 40 minutes on the stationary bike, about 30 minutes of stretching and balancing exercises, and the remainder of the time doing pushups, pullups, situps, and weights. A very high-quality workout. So how come I'm having such trouble running?

The other upbeat thing: Photography! I've been experimenting with what my D700 can do, with the lenses and equipment I've already got. A few nights ago, I shot this:

And earlier tonight, I shot this:

Click either picture for a slightly larger size. If you want desktop size versions, just email me. :) I've been enjoying shooting the moon. That photo was taken with a Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 on my Nikon D700 with a manual (Nikon F era) Kenko 2x teleplus. Sure, the older teleplus means no lens information is sent to the camera, but with instant review in the digital age, I could adjust my shots accordingly. The moon was shot at f/2.8, ISO 3200 (yes, the D700 makes that look good!), and about 1/250 shutter speed.

I've also captured similar images using my consumer-grade Tamron 28-300mm lens with the teleplus, though at an effective 600mm, it is almost impossible to stabilize my camera and tripod well enough to get a sharp shot - and I can't use as fast a shutter speed with that lens, either. I have plans for solving the stabilization problem, though. Still, I'd love to play with some longer primes, especially when the moon is full.

For the chocolates tin, I built a small light box out of a cardboard box with three sides cut out and slid an old white t-shirt over the openings to create diffusion. I set my flash off to the side (the D700 can control it remotely), and shot it through the t-shirt on the right side of the photo. There's enough bounce to create good fill without having to add in the on-camera flash as well. The set up needs improvement. I want to make a bigger lightbox and get another flash or a color-balanced lamp, to help balance the other side. But, hey, not bad for my first foray into product photography!

I'm also planning on experimenting with macro photography. All my old Nikon F lenses fit my D700 (if I take the aperature prongs off) and I also have a set of extension tubes, so I'm all set to experiment a bit.

OK. That's it. Time to eat some pudding and go to bed.


DebbieJRT said...

Happy New Year,Chris! Sorry to hear that you're going to have to spend some time in the hospital. Here's hoping that it all works out for you!

Michelle said...

Hi Chris, i am sorry to hear about the hospital stay but hopefully this will kick whatever needs to be kicked and you can get on with it!!!

If you want, you can text me or call me if you want to chat!! You know i'm good at that!!

I have not run in 3 days. I want to heal my thigh pain first! Good move i think!!!

Let me know if you need me

Anonymous said...

Cris: I've alerted the troop and I think you'll get some phone calls. Wouldn't it be nice if you got enough phone calls to make your days a little happier in the hospital? We will call and annoy you - promise!
We love you,

Brittney said...

I'm sorry to hear things are not going as well as you you'd like. I hope you get thing straighted out and are back at it quickly. You are an inspiration.

As for the inhalers, I find that Ventolin HFA is much better than either ProAir or Proventil.

Oh, and I smiled last night when I saw the footage they showed on CBS. I recongized it from the video you posted on your blog!

savecfcinhalers said...

If you are unhappy with the new HFA inhalers, kindly sign the petition to save CFC inhalers.

The National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers