Sunday, January 30, 2011


Last night I noticed something that looked like mouse poo.  So I set a kill-trap.
Today I saw Fly, the second kitten I've rescued out of a freeway breakdown lane, digging at it-I had it boxed in to make sure she wouldn't bat at the trap and get hurt.
But she wanted the dead mousie in it!  I had got one and not noticed.

Now we currently have eight cats...and NONE of them are good mousers.  Why bother, I guess?
 SO I thought-ooh, let's see if I can get her to catch mice!  So I chopped the head most of the way off, to show her there were noms inside the mousie, and then let her have the carcass.

She didn't eat it, she just chewed on it and knocked it all over the linoleum.  Foolishly I let her take the dead mouse into the spareroom though...and now she's HID it!

I suspect we're not going to find it until we can smell it...ewwwww. Just in time for D&D night on Tuesday. Just when you thought our house couldn't smell worse than dogfeet...

Here is Fly.  We would like to find a home for Fly.

like an Egyptian...

Wow...I'm watching AL-Jazeera English... What a time for the world!  For some reason, this reminds me so very much of when the Berlin wall fell, or when the Soviet Union...suddenly wasn't.
The Middle East and Africa...the people want democracy, freedom, and opportunity.

Gods bless them, I hope soon they're all soon going to have it!

Too bad we seem to be going in the opposite direction... but, damn, I'm happy for them!
It's well past time the Middle East  and Africa stopped being run by a pack of corrupt undemocratic regimes.

Edited to add: They say the gap between rich and poor has been widening for decades.
Oh really? I think I'm familiar with that concept, too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

some more crap I put up on Experience Project

Intersexed In The Head; My Story And A Metaphysical Ramble

I've always been a mass of contradictions.  Wise and foolish, cynical and trusting, frail and incredibly strong-minded.  A glutton for acceptance, but all too willing to turn in disgust and rejection when that acceptance turned out to require me to edit myself for the consumption of the acceptor.  Meaning that, even though I really like and accept people, I often find them a difficult challenge, and tend to be a loner.  People find me a challenge too.  I wrestle with depression as well as physical illness and ADD-spectrum absentmindedness.  They all three play off each other.  Besides that, one's mind has to be boulevard-wide to accommodate my level of weird.

I mean well.

Since depression walloped me very hard in my teens I formed personhood in a delayed fashion-what I mistook for personality was mostly depressive symptoms. I did a lot of growing up in my 20's.  At first I thought I was a lesbian, then I thought I was bi, then I realized I didn't care about what bits a person had as much as I cared about the totality of their being (and sometimes, skill in the sack, let's be honest here).  Meanwhile, my gender presentation evolved slowly from very butch to alterna-chick cute with a butch edge.

Still hated makeup.
I was an urban gypsy for a few years, had some relationships-one quite bad, the others okay, but not what I needed.  Then I found my wife...who was born physically male.  She's a brilliant, fascinating, difficult, loving, and bold-hearted woman.
When I met her, I asked myself, seriously, "Am I a man?"  The answer, after a few days of contemplation was not a resounding no, but a no nonetheless.  So I hit a hippie skirt phase, sometimes with unshaven legs.

Then my health went south spectacularly-chronic sinusitis (I posted that story here too...).  Skip forward a few years, and due to circumstance I use the Internet as a substitute for real-life socializing.
My wife also gets roped into run'ing a Dungeons and Dragons game last year. We get our geek on.
At any rate, I started playing Dungeons and Dragons as a male character, and at roughly the same time, I pretend to be a man on an Internet discussion board-as sort of a real-life "role playing" experiment.

Or so I think.  But I got obsessed with both false me's.  I had to write my character out of the D&D game and get a new one, because I was actually getting angry at one of the other players.   I got too upset at getting flamed on the message board.  My emotions were raw and fluctuating.  And I found myself intensely imagining I had ambiguous genitalia-as if a micropenis really should be there, almost must be there.  It only lasted for a few days. But I still would like that.  I really would.

When I realized I was truly, inside, neither male nor female, it was a giant AHA! moment.  Suddenly, a lot that had never quite added up about the way I relate to things slid into a conceptual framework...and that's always an ooh shiny feeling.  The way I neither wanted to relate to the world in the way women do...or the way men do. The way I believe both genders get a raw deal-are straitjacketed by expectations of what it means to be a "real" man or woman.

I have some minor body changes in mind, but they are going to be luxuries I may get myself in a wealthier future. Right now I can't even afford the herbal androgenizers in sufficient quantity to make any changes.  All I do is weight lift, really.

Since at least venturing out on-line, I find that there are people who almost seem to have twin male-female personalities and I.D. as bi-gendered...I feel like there's a swirling mixture of potentiality in me.  If only I can get my mental health, physical health, and finances in a precarious balance, there's all sorts of aspects inside.
Right now the one aspect I need the most of is one that I'd call the "Good Husband".  By that, I mean the old-fashioned, circa-1950's ideal of the man as the quiet, dignified breadwinner, who goes out, does what has to be done, and ungrudgingly takes care of his wife because that's his job. Doesn't lose his temper, doesn't shirk, doesn't complain, does yard-work or car work on the weekends. Is creative only for utility reasons. Takes care of business.  Mans up.

But I really miss my "Flaky Bohemian Artist" (gender undetermined), my "Pagan Mystic,"(slightly male-feeling these days), My "Social Butterfly" (female-feeling) my "punk rocker" (gender-queer)...
But of course it's me, it's all me...if there is anything that can be called me. It's not like these parts argue-although I hate women's clothing at the moment.  I just have a face to meet a face, whatever face is needed.  But survival is a stale game.  I need more.
Besides that, depression comes to beat on me often these days.  So I've learned to make hay while the internal sun is shining.  Right now my happy pill regimen is working, I need to get out and enjoy before it sets in again.
I sat and chanted on LSD once, back in '99, and while chanting, I tried to "ride" the waves of OM to my true self.  And there was this little blue globe of light, about the color of a natural gas flame, trapped, vibrating in a crackling black-brown matrix of hardness.  I was the little blue globe.  And there just wasn't that much to that little blue globe. Nothing much at all.
So while there may be all these potentials, all these shadows I can cast, in the end there's just this little blue light, and whether it goes on or goes out when this body decides to quit processing things and gets processed in turn by other things...I won't be able to tell you.  It will make dying easier to think it's not the end, so I choose to believe I'll go on.  But I fear it isn't true.
And all that makes societal roles based on what you've got or I've got betwixt our legs incredibly silly.   I want to do what works, what makes us all happy, healthy and wise, what gets us home safe at the end of the night, what makes me able to be happy looking at the person in the mirror.
I've got high moral standards for that.

Pardon the ramble.
Whoever you are and whatever your gender, I wish you well.

What I put in my coffee this morning

Coffee, if I drink it everyday, will make me pee myself. Urinary tract irritant. Therefore it has to remain an occasional treat.

Today I am at the top end of a Prednisone taper.  This causes irritability from hell along with actual agitation and cognitive focus problems.

That, and the Prednisone and the antibiotics are knocking back the sinusitis.  This means that the antidepressant combo I was using-Sertraline 200 mg, Buspirone 60 mg, and unbeknownst to my doctor: 5htp 200 mg...well, I strongly suspect that's too much, now that the sinusitis is getting better.

The unbeknownst to my doctor part is due to the wonders of county healthcare-I strongly suspect honesty will get me cut off, and I need the gub'mint pills, too.   OTOH, until I added the 5htp, I WAS STILL SUICIDAL.

I go to three different clinics there, at the county: pulmonary, ENT, and psych. The county system doesn't have guidelines, they have rules, and you will fit within the rules(heil!) Or else. Period. No exceptions. Doctors don't get wiggle room, neither do their patients.

So if I told the psychiatrist what I was doing, and he continued to treat me with the SSRI/SNRI combo, he'd be legally liable.  Keep my mouth shut and it's all on me.
I just love the hell out of being forced to be dishonest, oh yeah.

Anyway, regarding why I believe my depression to be worsened by the sinusitis...

I need to put up some evidence to back up why I think this to be so...but there will be Science.  And linky goodness.  Inflammatory reactions in the body actually effect brain chemistry such that depression is a likely outcome.

What I put in the coffee:
-100 mg l-theanine
-30 drops Kava root extract
-approx. 1/8th tsp picamilon (Gaba/b3 combo that *can* cross the brain/blood barrier, sold as a prescription in Europe, otc here.)
-50 mg 5htp
I also took 200 mg of the l-theanine....and I'm going to wait until my wife leaves for work to take the pred, as I can expect to get cranky afterwards.

With the picamilon, I've noticed I'm more lovey and warm, but, as with any of the the supplements I take besides 5htp, the effects are mild/moderate. My anxiety is easier to control than my agitation and anger, it seems.

Chronic Sinusitis+no Insurance=trainwreck: my sinusitis history

I posted this at The Experience's my sinus story.   Feel free to repost so long as you copy and repost in entirety

Chronic Sinusitis+no Insurance=trainwreck  Posted January 25th, 2011 at 8:56PM

Once upon a time (2002) I was a happy little person. I was a glowing picture of health, except for occasionally still having a touch of my childhood asthma. I commuted miles and miles by bicycle in the scorching heat. I moved in with my soon to be wife, whom I was swooning over. I was 30 and I felt licensed to not care what anybody thought of me. I made(bad) paintings and (okay to good) poetry. I had friends and was very happy.

Then I had a postnasal drip. Drip, Drip Drip. Benadryl wouldn't stop that drip. Then the drip turned into a cough. Then the cough turned into a wheeze. Then the wheeze turned into gasping for air while coughing up green chunks. Well, time for the doctor, right? But I had no insurance. SO I paid, and I paid. And when close to every last cent of my money was spent, I moved in with my mom(along with the fiancee) so I could afford "lung rent". Which was half my paycheck... And earning that check was fun.

I had to eat caffeine pills like they were candy to overcome the fatigue, and sometimes was breathing so poorly I could barely walk. The asthma eventually responded, but the fatigue and "allergies" remained horrible.

So I went to get allergy shots. When I went to get them they tested my asthma on a very expensive pulmonary dingus, and found out my lungs were still horrible, so I got some more meds for my lungs.  That was swell.  I probably was minus about a third my lung capacity.

In order to get allergy shots, you have to get a rast test-which is like being attacked by a very organized bunch of fire ants. Everyone at the clinic was very impressed by how much my dots connected and swelled around my arms. So I did allergy shots for awhile, and worked, and went to school, and ate caffeine pills because I was still tired all the time.

I thought I was depressed. Okay, I WAS depressed. But I thought the tired was from the depression. So I kept trying new happy pills and wondered why I was still so tired.
Then my ear became infected, such that the eardrum burst out. Finally, I paid for the hundred or so it took to x-ray my head. And....spectacular sinusitis! This was in 2008, so I'd been living with an infection in my head for 6 years.  This neatly explained why my allergies and asthma had gone from a minor annoyance to a whump!splat! experience...and those funky low-grade fevers I kept running.

My doctor gave me antibiotics.  Then some more.  Then some different ones.  Then some really strong ones backed with Prednisone.  He suggested stomach stapling out of frustration, since he believed my weight was part of the problem (and right).  I'm glad he said that-it shook me up so that I didn't need the surgery to lose 120 pounds...just a yearlong miserable slog. Wanting a life back is really motivating.

But as for the sinus disease-it wasn't going away sans surgery. So my wife and I paid all the money we had to a doctor in Mexico who said he was going to "fix me up."  What he did he did well, but he only did about 30% of the needed operation, so the symptoms returned within six weeks.

So I went to the county health system, which is pretty incompetent.  I have gotten surgery, but the infection is still there.  The intern doctors seem to be afraid to treat aggressively post surgery, and my symptoms are back four weeks on.
So I'm taking matters into my own hands.
I am taking illegally-purchased Prednisone from New Zealand and some American antibiotics packaged for fish-but at the same dosage and quality as for humans.  I am not happy about that.  I have begged three interns in succession for antibiotics that haven't been used before.
This one did give me antibiotics, to be fair-irrigation antibiotics, when my sinuses were probably too swollen for the antibiotics to penetrate-he couldn't 'scope them.
Besides that, irrigation antibiotics alone haven't been shown to be terribly effective in NIH research, yet the county people seem to be awfully keen on them.
The intern did give me irrigation steroids, but those are only so effective at controlling the inflammation. He gave me no systemic steroids.  I gave me systemic steroids, and Bactrim, although I do remember Bactrim being used before-but only once, and it was one of the ones that really worked.  Yes, I know to watch for a rash, and go to the ER and confess, med bottle in hand, if I have to.

I started winging it last night.  Today I have a sense of smell.  I now do dropper irrigation and have a volume increase in my sinuses by (guessing) roughly a fourth between last night and this morning.  I am taking notes so that if there's a crisis and I'm not able to answer questions it's in writing.  My phone is on an charged, my wife on alert.
I still don't like this at all.

People have asked me if I'm arrogant enough to think I know better than my doctors-overall, the answer is no.  My particular condition? OH YES. Doctors, just because you have the medical knowledge to place your patient's answers in a framework, and to know how to combat the condition effectively-maybe; this doesn't mean you know their condition the way they do.  For crying out loud, take what the patient says seriously! Playing detective is what you need to do-you are interviewing the eyewitness, not imparting wisdom from on high like a Babylonian deity from the hills!
And I've been treated for this since 2008, so maybe I've picked up an idea of what's wrong and what *might* work, alright?
Work with me and don't make me go behind your back like this!    I don't want to!

I'm doing inverted dropper irrigations with antibiotics/steroids now  as well as continuing twice-daily irrigation with a water-pik, been doing that for a while. Salt/baking soda irrigation is great. I get a lot of green stuff out this way.  Now I am putting xylitol in it, because xylitol has been used to treat resistant wounds, and because it's a pretty innocuous substance.  I'm hoping this will help make the bacteria more susceptible by breaking up the biofilms in my nose.

If you have sinusitis, look up information on biofilms-preferably a layperson's guide to what they are, and Allergic Fungal Sinusitis(AFS), particularly the Mayo Clinic's work on same.  I feel I have a better grasp on the causes and what might help my condition through reading up on those topics.  Also, you must do saline irrigation, because chronic sinusitis means that your cilia can't clean your nose right.  You have to help them through irrigation, hydration, and occasional expectorants.  Also hot peppers and horseradish/wasabi if you can tolerate it. Furthermore, hot white tea is good for fighting inflammation AND all hot beverages stimulate cilia to move the mucus faster.  Fennel and horehound help thin mucus, but of the two, fennel's tastier.

If you think you have a sinus infection-for the sake of whatever deity you believe in-go to a ENT immediately!  it does not take too long before permanent damage sets in.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The lonely androgyne

Alright, I've been neglecting this blog. Time to punch it up a bit, even if I'm talking to nobody...I'm pretty much leaving my old web hangout.  Not that I blame anybody...
Here's the deal...
I'm just rather forced by the level of healthcare I can access as a poor, uninsured person-at least, I feel forced-to start DIYing my own treatment...and I'm not happy about the care I'm getting. I'm not happy they ignore verbal reports of infection symptoms. I'm not happy they haven't done a good case history, or that I have to make sure I get refills, because the docs can't be bothered to check the list.
 I'm not happy about having to try weird shit to try and treat my resistant sinusitis. Like white tea and garlic in an irrigation rinse.  I'm not happy about having a mistrust of my doctors' competence and caring.
Also taking a potentially dangerous supplement with my happy pills-5htp.  Why, because when I pop a certain dose of it and the three other meds, I can suddenly function fully, get organized, be productive, be other words, not be depressed. Which I can't do without the 5-htp.
But if I tell the county psychiatrist I'm taking the 5-htp? He would probably d/c the other meds.  I accidentally forgot 1/6th of one dose once-of one of the psych drugs...and had a rotten next I need the government medicine too.
So I can't tell him something really important.  I can't work with the guy.  I can't get blood testing to check my serotonin levels-see if they are near to a level of concern. 
I have a dishonest relationship with him, and I'm not pleased about it. But I feel forced into this by circumstance...or I could just accept being sick and crazy...and no, that's not a life worth leading.
I was on a support site, so I wanted sympathy for being in the situation I'm in...and get blasted for trying to fix myself, since the docs don't seem to be.
I wanted help with the stress, not an addition to it.
Waaah, waah, waah.
As my wife says, don't go to the internet for sympathy.
And that's another thing...we're doing couples' counseling and I'm taking DBT.  We're fixing the marriage.  It's good.  I do intensely love that woman.
Anyway, I will start posting select photos to here, political rambles, pictures of my critters (many of whom can become YOUR critters if you can prove you're good and responsible...)
I've also been taking L-theanine-btw, a safer chemical, not known for serotonin toxicity...and I would say it's increased my ability to focus-well, not greatly, but between the depression alleviation and it, *just* enough that I can mostly keep myself on task. With the assistance of listing, prioritizing, and paper brainstorming.
Which is awesome.
I've tried picamilon-I may take some tonight-but my feeling about it is it's somewhat overpriced for the amount of anti-anxiety punch I get.  L-theanine does just as well in larger doses without making me sleepy the way picamilon does.  The price on theanine's a little better, and not only am I calm, but I'm focused.
And...I'm going to enroll in a motorcycle rider's training program.  I'm feeling the call of the 60mpg savings, but first I want to see if I like riding and am any good at it, plus get a license to do it.
  You know, before I go buy a $1800 motorcycle...which seems like a good ballpark of the minimum a reliable commuter bike's going to cost me. Oh, and I should throw in $200 for safety gear without which I shall not ride.
Gah...just irrigated with H2O2...burns like hell, but brought a lot of green crud out.  And I just smelled odor...yay for smelling things. And for getting out bacteria.