Mid-Hanukkah Assessment

Now, that every congressional district has been introduced (the only one that has changed representative is John Delaney elected in the 2012 contest with Roscoe Bartlett)…He’s new, and doesn’t have a voting record yet.

Yesterday was the half-way point for Hanukkah- (this was written a few days ago, but I only have had internet access today).  With only 2 more weeks until the end of the Gregorian year, I realize that I probably have enough unfulfilled resolutions to last until the next Rosh Hashanah (רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, early next September) or Hijri (رأس السنة next early November).  A quick review of the ones I made last year, and some last minute attempts (2 weeks left) to address concrete goals that have not been accomplished…

1. health goals – get weight, BMI (33.3), blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose meter strips.  Keep blood sugars under 200.  Test 2X/day.  Exercise 30 min. every day.  Work on healthy substitutions – no salt, more vegetables, fewer carbohydrates, always using omega-3 supplemented oils, eggs, and margarine products when used even if more expensive.  Using less of these.  Measuring.

gunpowderfalls 023                                               The New Diet

Blood pressure measured with difficulty by machine (over 10 tries) at Wal-Mart.  The machine works because someone else was able to obtain a reading.  I suspect an (unusual for me) irregular heart beat, but it could also be weak-sounding, or improperly closing valves, that the machine does not pick up.  This is after an afternoon of feeling like my heart wasn’t quite right yesterday.  It did not exacerbate with exercise, and it resolved after eating dinner (with other people around).  Symptoms began after crossing bridge with police siren on the side.  There was no mental distress about the cop.  I was dissociated.   No symptoms today.  Rode bike uphill.  When pressure was finally obtained today, the heart rate and BP were great for me 120/78 and 92.  Went out and bought syringes, strips and groceries for a little more ($50) than what I spent yesterday ($40).  Blood sugar tested at 328 mg/dL which is not great news.  Gave 12 units at 7:50 pm, and had 1/4 cup of rice for dinner one hour later.  8 hours later, my blood sugar is 303.  Another 12 units.  8 hours later, my blood sugar is 197.  15 units given several times with no real effect without eating carbs.  Suspect insulin is not in great condition, but it works just enough, otherwise it would be up at 450-600 within a few hours.  Evaluated my feet and pressure points for comparison with former years.

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Only $7 left.  Got some money to change bottles of insulin, and the blood sugars have dropped below 200 mg/dL.

Cardiac assessment:  I just had blood work, a urine test, an EKG, and a chest X-ray.  They gave me IV saline (the chart says 1 L over 6 hours – it was a gravity drip through a 20g catheter at maximum rate – I’m guessing around 3 mL/min, so it might actually have been a 125 mL bag- I completed it in 45 min.).  My body handled it, although it felt weird – like my brain was swimming.  Systolic blood pressures were all over the place, but seem more stable today.  Did not stay overnight.

Glad that this is done.  My heart needed attention.  Recommending stress test, but I need someone to take care of dogs in case something happens.

Mental health assessment: unavailable.

Bloodwork: chemistry and blood-borne parasites (lyme, etc).  Lyme test from exposure will come back positive for antibodies because I’ve been exposed.  Don’t know about other tick-borne parasites.  I lived in a bed of ticks for several months in the forest.  Can they be treated if present so that I feel better?

Eye assessment: still needed.  Intermittent blurry vision in one eye after exercise that resolves after a bit.

2. Identify 52 birds and calls.  I’ve recorded quite a few, but have been unable to upload, organize and research everything without internet access.

3. Identify 12 constellations in sky – have only done 2.  There is still time.

4. Identify and see 6 endangered species- I’ve identified two: The Houston Toad, and the Delmarva Squirrel.  I did not see either.

5. Add a new language – have done quite a bit of language work this year with various languages.  Most improvement has been in Hebrew because I have had a class.

6. Social improvement goals – I have done some really valuable work with kids, and with education.  I have not done so well with caring for older people, or those who are sick.

7. Make friends – need to send out holiday greetings, cards to people who have lost loved ones.  Try to make some friends, if my housing situation stabilizes.

8. Write a symphony

9. Live among a native american tribe – some work learning about different native cultures.

10. Cross-cultural comparison with another country

11. Car/truck goals – got a more fuel-efficient vehicle.  It has starter problems, requiring a jump when it is cold.

12. Dog training goals – current: 30 min. 2X a day of sit, stay, and come with Spin rewarding with deer meat.  One indoor, one outdoor.  Wrote dog training software.

13. Writing book – several sections have been edited and reviewed.

14. Computer work – a lot of programming work with linux, putting in itunes-based musical programs for educational software.  The hyper-tense suite, the various language programs in over 40 languages, the math program, the opera program, the classical_works program, the day_sculptor program that I use a lot.

15. Anatomy work – no work done here.  Have downloaded pdf files to review and interpret EKG.

16. Alternative energy – no work done here.

17. 4 plant experiments – I’ve planted 2 gardens, and harvested one of them.  I’ve done 2 plant experiments:  one with testing which compounds might help the caterpillars to not eat vegetable leaves, and the other with the relative impact of wrapping vs. transplant vs. nothing on the health of a plant.  There have additionally been observations relating to dew point, and the relative tolerance to frost of different plants.  Removing parts of leaves to slow growth.  I collected a series of wildflower observations in 3 different areas of Texas (Houston, Austin, and West Texas), and wrote a computer program to develop botany knowledge.  I’ve also improved my ability to identify trees.  I’m 2 experiments short on this goal.

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