Monday, April 14, 2014

Puyallup Riverwalk Trail and the tale of the swollen foot

Kathy and I were hoping to get out on this beautiful day and enjoy the Foothills trail, but when we got to Buckley there was some major police operation going down, highway 410 was closed and all the traffic was diverted. Turns out it was a very tragic incident leading to the death of a 2 yr old. So, we decided to bounce to Puyallup.

There are some great views, this one of Mount Rainier was one of my favorites. It is hard to see, but it has a cloud on top of it which is called a lenticular cloud of all things.

Kathy and I went the other way along the river and met lots of wonderful people and dogs. Fun way to end the day.

We are becoming quite the hopalong pair. Kathy's hip has literally disintegrated and I woke up this morning, (4/14/14), with my left foot swollen and numb. I inspected the foot and could not find any bruising so I don't think I dropped a bowling ball on it or anything like that. There was some edema. Tried elevating and icing and it was good enough for a short walk along the river. I called Multicare to get an appointment with a podiatrist and the earliest they can see me is June 21. That will not work, Kathy's hip replacement is June 9 in Hawaii. She can't possibly fly to Seattle before June 21, we will try to work out a July date.

Update 4/22/14, I put on compression socks for the flight to Kauai. They worked well enough. But the foot has gone from numb to nerve pain. I am going to try to see a doctor in Hawaii, I do not think it is wise to wait till July. 

5/18/14, my ears just blocked, none of the things I do to clear them, (soak in a hot tub, eat very spicy food worked. I have been reading and the best match of my symptoms I can find is diabetes. That would suck. Changing the diet to include less carbohydrates and more vegetables. Also, I have only taken a multivitamin and a calcium for the past 20 years. Added a supplement called Alpha Lipoic Acid and have started cooking more with tumeric.

5/21/14 Got to see Dr. Michael Ancharski, he washed out my ears with warm water shot out of something that looks like a hypodermic needle for King Kong. Ears cleared, ringing in the ears was near to normal by the next day. He had previously ordered a blood test for me. My cholesterol is a shade high, my blood pressure is marginal, but OK, and my blood sugar does not indicate diabetes. He thought Alpha Lipoic Acid was a good choice, suggested I also try Ginko. The blood test said I am anemic, so now I am taking iron

6/3/14 Nonstop flight from SEA to LIH. This time the compression socks did not work. This was partly my fault. I used a lower compression pair since they were more comfortable. Having balance problems, I can walk, even jog on grass, but having a hard time walking on manmade surfaces, slight downhills are the worst.

6/5/14 Went to the Sports Authority and bought some high tech work out shoes, they are called Brooks Transcend. Tested them by walking to Kelia and back. I did not have much trouble. 6/6/14 walked from Baby Beach to the Pineapple Dump. Three hours walking. Also, bought a bottle of Ginko. Need to try things one at a time and keep notes, this is a lot of change.

6/9/14 Kathy's hip replacement. We had to check in at 6 AM. After they wheeled Kathy away, I wandered over to McDonalds and had breakfast. It was pretty healthy the EggWhite Delight McMuffin. For lunch I went to Subway and had a six inch tuna salad sandwich. At 2 PM, my feet were screaming and the left foot was swelling up in my Sketcher's relaxed fit shoe. Hmmm, two meals with white flour, if I do not have diabetes, I have something similar. For supper, I had lean ham and barley with lots of vegetables, but my feet still hurt. Lots of pins and needle feelings.

6/11/14 Dr. Ancharski dropped by to check on Kathy's hip and give her some iron. He also told me to switch to a better Ginko Biloba, said I could finish my bottle when I finished the better stuff to use it up, but wanted me to build up a level.

6/12/14 This morning I was symptom free, just a bit of neuropathy. No balance problems. This afternoon I walked from Baby Beach to the Kukui Heiau, getting there was easy, getting back was hard.

6/13/14 This morning was symptom free, felt the foot start to swell after lunch, and that in turn makes balance harder.

6/15/14 Walked from Baby Beach to Donkey Beach, three hours elapsed time. Did not stop except for a swig from my water bottle at Donkey Beach. The concrete path was a bear, but I can fly on grass.

6/16/14 Bought carbon fiber trekking poles from Costco. They help with my balance on hard surfaces and give me some upper body workout as well. I like them. 

6/20/14 Adding 30 Katana sword to my workout every other day.  

6/22/14 Got a call from Kauai Medical Clinic, they can see me July 8 instead of September. I already bought a plane ticket for September so will try to keep that appointment.

6/28/14 No balance problems on hard surface today. Yeah, I had my walking stick, but it was not touching the ground. Continuing to lose weight, staying on a lean protein/high vegetable/low carb diet. Still have neuropathy in both feet, swelling in left. Let's add up all the potions I am taking in case the folks at Kauai Medical Clinic want to know. For 20 years I have been taking one multi vitamin and one calcium daily. I take almost zero prescription drugs, one Pantanase inhaler lasted me for five years, (I store it in the fridge).

Since the great foot swelling and Dr. Ancharski appointments on a daily basis I take:
1 mature multi 
1 calcium
2 Juvenon from the Weil clinic
1 B-complex from Integrative Theraputics
2 Ginko Biloba Freeze Dried from Eclectic Institute 450 mg per capsule
700 mg Alpha Lipoic Acid 300 from GNC 400 is in the Juvenon
1 Iron complex deom Integrative Theraputics
1 DHEA 25 mg (blood test said I was a bit low)

That is a lot of pills. As I understand, if I start to get better we are going to see about winding some of these down.

7/11/14 Had a podiatrist appointment with Multicare. Basically, this was an exercise in wasting time just before going on travel. We had a pleasant conversation, but no progress about the swelling, neuroapathy, balance, ingrown toenails etc. Made a decision to take matters into my own hand. I am going to find one of these laser fungal treatment places and in addition, take on the callouses, slowly, carefully. Still eating a diet as if I was a diabetic. 

7/15/14 Motoring along inside the hotel without needing the cane, however I went outside and the wind was blowing very hard.  With it pulling on the big SANS bag, it was really freaking me out and decided to go back in and have Kathy and I eat in the hotel restaurant.

7/16/14 Wide awake at 4:00 AM; performance anxiety. Today will be my first lecture in 2014. Found a phone message from Dr. Ancharski, asking how we are doing. Kathy is doing great. There is still some pain, but on Sunday she walked a half mile with no assistive devices.

I taught well today, had a lot of energy and the nature of this class requires me to alternate between the front and the back of the class. The classroom is carpeted and walking was easy.

During the break, I tried to call Dr. Ancharski back, but, could not make out one of the numbers in the voice mail. For myself, it is complicated. Stuff is going on, but it is hard to self monitor. Still having some balance issues on hard surfaces. Down hill is far worse than uphill. I have made it to my classroom and back without a cane, but had to catch myself a couple times. All that said, I was fairly confident I would be able to teach today, full power, full speed and that worked out. Trying to maintain a lean protein/high vegetable/low carb diet in San Francisco is harder than I would have guessed. I thought California was big on health food, but apparently that does not extend to Union Square; they abound in white bread, white rice and potatoes. I have had white bread twice, white rice once and have not found brown rice or quinoa anywhere that we have been. However, Kathy asked the concierge for recommendations for healthy restaurants yesterday. We tried First Crush, had a meal with halibut, vegetables and wild rice.

7/17/14 We went back to the Infusion Lounge for dinner. It was not as tasty as I remembered, but nice and quiet.

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