Monday, April 28, 2008

The Peggy Report

One of the reasons that I started this blog was so I could keep Peggy's friends apprised of what's going on with her.

For those of you whom I haven't called or emailed, at the end of March, Peggy had a bad fall in the bathroom at 4 in the morning. She was admitted to the hospital for two days for tests to find out why she fell.

It turns out that her Tegretol levels, though therapeutic, were just too low. I guess she's become acclimated to the drug after 10 years on the same dose. Anyway, it was allowing stray neurons and nerves to fire, cause the tone in her arm and the spasms in her leg, in addition to nausea and dizziness at night when her blood pressure was low. The neurologist at the hospital put her on an anti-seizure medicine called Keppra, even though she was already on Tegretol.

Her neurologist took her off the Keppra, wanting to keep her on as few medicines as possible. I'm not sure why, but I think he was afraid of having side effects of her having two anti-seizure medicines. Anyway, she was supposed to get a blood test two weeks later to determine her levels.

It's not quite been two weeks, but we've both noticed changes.

When she got home from the hospital at the beginning of April, she was much more fluent, verbally. Now, her aphasia has returned in force, making her all that more frustrated because she remembers how much easier it was to speak only a few weeks earlier. Also, to me, she seems depressed and uninterested in anything, whereas before she was really pushing me to get the jewelry package, photographed and onto the web.

She has complained of tightness in her arm and spasms in her leg, just like she was experiencing before she fell at the end of March. Last night, she had to buzz me for help to get her to the bathroom, something she hasn't had to do since a couple of days after she left the hospital.

I decided that she didn't need to wait the full 2 weeks to get the levels since she was showing such obvious signs of decreased levels. I hope her neurologist gets the results and increases her dosage ASAP, because watching her slip backwards is just too sad. We went this morning.

I'm hoping she shows as much progress with an increased Tegretol level as she did when they put her on the Keppra. This will, I hope, also avoid any potential side effects we haven't encountered because she's been on Tegretol and we know how her body reacts to that.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Presents in the Mail

I am, unfortunately, now too old to expect birthday presents to be mailed from my relatives. I'm lucky if I get cards from people I am not related to. 

On the other hand, I have a jewelry business, and can, therefore, get a present in the mail anytime I need new "parts." This works well for me. Usually, I try to space them out so that I'm not getting on all my packages on the same day. Then I can open them and savor them and play with my new "toys" (I love my job!) Just like "real" presents! 

Today, however, the "spacing things out" part didn't work. I was awoken by the Fed-X guy (Cute new driver...I can see a need to ship more stuff via Fed-X in the future.) He had our shipment from Nile (mostly storage and display stuff since that's what Nile does.) So all morning, I got to play with packaging, and I think some it came out really nice. 

Later, in the afternoon, we got the nice guy from UPS with our package from Rings 'n' Things, which was TINY and cost three times the amount of the larger package. Stuff we needed much more, though. We ordered chains for the various crystal and precious pendants Peggy has been working on for months, so after we got that package, I was very busy and loving every minute of it.

So, it's not my birthday, but I got presents in the mail and I'm happy.

(The birthday card situation has changed in the past couple of years. One of the mailinglists that I am on has a card and fabric exchange that gets mailed to the participants on their birthdays. Mine's coming up. I can hardly wait!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I guess I should introduce myself in this first post. I'm Amy, also known as A.G., and online, as "rimfire". I live north of Boston, tend to root for the Pittsburgh teams, just to tick off the Bostonians (since I grew up there), although I secretly root for the Boston teams as well, since I don't actively follow sports, just watch occasionally (kind of self-defense in this area.)

I write (both creatively and technically), design and maintain web sites, take care of my friend, Peggy (who had a stroke 11 years ago), make jewelry, and design displays. Pretty much anything that pays and is legal. I retired from being a full-time graphic designer about 1o years ago (when Peggy had her stroke), and now do it only part time, sometimes, especially since so much of the creative side of advertising has moved out of Boston.

For fun, I make quilts, jewelry, write, garden, play with cats (I have two grey ones: Rumor, called Ruey (the one with the long fur, on the ladder), and Edison, called Ed), and try to sleep when the cats let me. 

I just found out I have sleep apnea and am being tested to see if a CPAP will help. I also have depression which is being treated (when I remember to take my medicine...although I feel it when I don't!)

And that's me, in a nutshell.