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About ScottS

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    Gardening. Yoga. Music. Art. Browsing eBay for vintage stereo equipment I have no intention of buying.

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  1. Since I can only be upright for so long at any given time I grow a lot of stuff in fabric pots (and also in easily accessed raised beds). Thank goodness for carpet installers. Without them, I wonder would those heavy duty knee pads they wear (and which I too find so useful) would have ever been invented. Most years I set aside half the total grape production (I have several other vines of a couple of different varieties) for both juicing and wine making. The bugger is I really can't (and shouldn't) drink any of the vino. At least not so long as things stay as they are. Still, I'm ever hopeful that in the future things will change for the better.
  2. I'm on day 5 of the flu. It's been I don't know how long since I last had to deal with one. This latest version hasn't struck at me in any special way. It's been the usual aches, pains, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, head aching, blah, blah, blah. Curiously though, I have noted that my issues with fibro (which can sometimes be just shy of debilitating) have been significantly fewer in both number and intensity. How weird is that that having the flu, in a way, actually makes me feel better??!!
  3. Excellent! And what a funny plant it is with it's red celery like stalks and big elephant leaves (when full on). My eldest daughter has commented that it looks like something from the age of the dinosaurs. Combined with strawberries (des fraises) it makes for an excellent pie though I prefer it with raspberries fruit compote style. Rhubarb is something of an old world fruit. (Actually, it's a vegetable. No matter what that one New York court declared in 1947.) For those who've never eaten it, it has a flavor unto itself. Tart but not altogether sour it tastes like, well, rhubarb. An aside: My next door neighbor has confessed to, on occasion, making off with a stalk or two without my knowing. (I don't mind. I have 5 mature plants and he's a good neighbor.) Curiously, he's never tried cooking it. He just enjoys eating the raw stalks!
  4. ...what plant this is just now popping its head out of a section of my garden's still cold, still winter earth? And don't you just love it when come Springtime all you have to do is scrape away the leftover wintered over muck to reveal what you planted last year (or years before) in all its coming (and tasty flavored, if in a somewhat old-timey way) glory? Hint: what's growing here is not often available at food stores and is sometimes combined with des fraises.)
  5. What will you be tending to in your upcoming spring garden?
  6. Attached are pics of one of my 20 year old grapevines that I recently pruned back in anticipation of the coming spring and summer growing season. (There in the background of pic 2 is my dear friend Sadie, she of the labradoodle persuasion.) The variety of grape is Himrod. Generally thought of as a premium fresh/table, juice and raisin grape, it also makes for a wonderfully, sort of Muscatel style wine that I unfortunately can't drink but can take the occasional sip of. (It's consistently very tasty, dry, moderately fruity and with a hint of warm honey.) The style of pruning is called cane. The layout of these vines is somewhat unusual in that they have three arms. (Or, in grapevine terms, "cordons". The thick stump of wood at the base of the vine is the trunk.) When pruning a grapevine cane style, one cuts back (cuts off) up to 90% of the previous year's growth, leaving just a few canes. The canes are the much thinner, much lighter colored stick looking things growing out of the cordons/arms. Have a closer look and you'll note that every so and so inches there are little bump looking things on the canes. (See pic 4 for a closeup of one.) These bump things are actually buds that come mid-May will start to open up and not long after that begin to develop into entire new (hopefully fruit producing) canes. Pic 3 illustrates what a "renewal spur" looks like. A renewal spur has anywhere from one to five buds that will develop into new canes for next years crop. When pruning grapes one must always plan ahead. I took Pic 5 on the 12th of July last year. As you can see, the berries still had a ways to go (about 2 months) before they were ready for picking. Last year, the two Himrod vines alone produced a grand total of 38 pounds of grapes!
  7. Best as I can figure, there are two advantages in using a commercially available ORS product. (ORS = Oral Rehydration Salts) 1. The World Health Organization (WHO) formula (developed in tandem with UNICEF, primarily for the treatment of persons - especially children under the age of five - afflicted with cholera) has a proven track record as a less invasive alternative to intravenous (IV) fluid replacement. 2. Convenience - which, as you plainly recognize, comes at a price. My ORS product of choice is the "Liquid IV" product in the lemon lime flavor. At $1.35 per "shot" (when purchased in the bulk 64 count size) it's pricey, so I use it only when the wide variety of more affordable alternatives are either not readily available or altogether not practical to consume at the time. Alternatives to an ORS product include a cup of warm soup broth, salted diluted fruit juice, 16 ounces of water following munching on a handful of Cheetos and half a banana. And etc. Addendum: Those just starting out on their life journey with POTS should know that ORS products are in no way cure-alls. With POTS, unfortunately, there are no cure-alls. You just deal with things, symptoms and how your own unique version of POTS affects you via what can sometimes feel like an endless and ever-changing series of life style choices and self well care routines (and adaptations) that may not always work for you.
  8. A wonderfully concise description of the autonomic nervous system, its overall structure and function. Thank you for this.
  9. "When it's not always raining there'll be days like this When there's no one complaining there'll be days like this When everything falls into place like the flick of a switch Well my mama told me there'll be days like this When you don't need to worry there'll be days like this When no one's in a hurry there'll be days like this When you don't get betrayed by that old Judas kiss Oh my mama told me there'll be days like this When you don't need an answer there'll be days like this When you don't meet a chancer there'll be days like this When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit it Then I must remember there'll be days like this There'll be days like this When everyone is up front and they're not playing tricks When you don't have no freeloaders out to get their kicks When it's nobody's business the way that you want to live I just have to remember there'll be days like this When no one steps on my dreams there'll be days like this When people understand what I mean there'll be days like this When you ring out the changes of how everything is Well my mama told me there'll be days like this Oh my mama told me There'll be days like this" ~ Van Morrison Oh and, here's a quality youtube vid of Van and company doing their thing (live!):
  10. Most people living with POTS experience sometimes extreme swings or variations in both pulse rate and with respect to their blood pressure. For me, around 6:30 PM most days is the "witching hour". Like you, I'll become lethargic then and struggle with both my mental focus and overall sense of well being. So long as you're otherwise healthy, I wouldn't worry too much about whether or not your heart can take it. The heart is as tough and strong willed an organ as any in the human body. It is built to hold up and to keep going just fine even when the stupidest autonomic nervous system is confused as to how to properly keep pace with it.
  11. I struggle staying warm enough even when outside temps are in what most people I know would consider a comfortable range. If I let myself get too cold, all sorts of POTS related troubles will kick in. Just last week I decided to prune a pair of full sized (20 year old) grape vines I have growing in my back yard. Now, pruning grapes properly can be quite a bit of work (to get them right for the upcoming growing season). It took me just shy of 3.5 hours to trim both vines to their proper size and configuration. Working from around 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM with the sun out on an unusually temperate late winter day AND dressed warmly in layers I thought I would be in the clear. Well, I was wrong. Just as I was finishing up a wave of palpitations came over me followed by some off and on and at times uncontrollable shivering and shaking. The back of my neck grew oddly flush and my head started aching. (Jn fact, felt like it might split apart ear to ear.) I went inside and tucked up in a ball in the very chair I'm sitting in now with my trusty space heater by my side oscillating just a few feet away, cursing both my dysautonomia and my foolishness. I've lived with POTS for (at least) a generation longer than you've been alive. One adapts because you have no choice. And, sometimes, you screw up and don't do what's best for you. If anything, living with POTS is a trial by fire and you live and you learn experience. PS I also struggle with extremes of heat and, especially, heat and humidity. In fact, one reason why I chose to live where I do (high Rocky Mountain Utah) is the (rather rarified) dry climate here. I can take the odd 90 degree (low humidity) summer day just fine, especially when I'm well hydrated and have a damp cooling rag nearby that I can wrap around my neck when I feel over heated. Heat combined with humidity, though, can wipe me out.
  12. (Assuming you still are in Wisconsin) see https://www.wicourts.gov/services/juror/terms.htm I have to agree with: A note (emailed or faxed) from your doctor explaining why you should be exempted should be all it takes. Also see https://www.wicourts.gov/services/juror/contacts.htm
  13. On occasion, I experience what FileTrekker wrote in exactly that same way. It's as if my autonomic software (if there is such a thing) is resetting itself. It's rarely so intense that I would describe it as feeling awful. A bit disconcerting, yes - and a moment worthy of a strong, internalized obscenity - but that's it. Oh, and, what JimL wrote reminds me of what Ferris Bueller's dad recommended as helpful for dealing with his "illness": But if it works, it works.
  14. Yup, going #2 can wipe me out, too. One thing that works for me is self massage. What I do is pretty standard stuff with a slight variation. When I'm feeling like my gut is in full on shutdown mode (*), I massage my abdomen in clockwise circles, starting with large circles and gradually going smaller. The variation I use is one often taught in Tantra massage. Rather than use my right hand, I use the inside portion of my right wrist up to mid forearm. Why is because it's more warming and better stimulating than the hand. (*) I've noticed a particularly rough BM is often preceded by a longer than usual period with no BM at all.
  15. The routine that works best for me goes like this: 1. Drink upwards of 32 ounces of water within the first 15 or so minutes after waking and getting out of bed. 2. Tough out the heavy POTS symptoms (which, as you experience, often hit the hardest then ). 3. Get moving and doing things (if only to get my mind off of how bad I feel). Do chores and etc. 4. Do yoga. (I've had a yoga and YQi practice since age 15.) 5. Eat a small bowl of Cheetos (for the salt) and half a banana (for the potassium and to get my gut moving). 6. Ride the exercise bike (for however long I have scheduled). I sometimes ride the bike for upwards of an hour - even after upwards of 90 minutes of yoga - so my cardio training and fitness level is fine. Still, a walk around the block is too much. (I get wiped out and sometimes feel like I'm going to pass out. I'll also, often, get nauseous. Such is the nature of my dysautonomia.) I usually will have taken in an additional 32 to 48 ounces of water during exercise. For breakfast I have a smoothie consisting of 1.5 scoops of protein powder, 1 scoop of hemp seeds, 1 banana, the liquid vitamin I take all blended in around 12 ounces of a lemon/ginger drink I get from Trader Joes. I do this routine every day I can. It's work and it requires discipline. AND it can get to being a pain in the ***! My point? With POTS, routines work and can often be essential to keeping your boat floating upright. That's a YQi exercise reference, by the way. See https://jamesdrewetaichi.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/sinking-your-boat-1-the-hull/ It's a great, basic exercise/dynamic position for helping open up the gut, even when it's acting wonky.
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