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Post by DancingBear on Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:49 pm

I'm pretty frustrated today. Yesterday's visit to the VA to get my eyes examined turned into a possible game-changer.

About six months ago a ball of some sort hit me in the temple. I was fine but it knocked my glasses off kilter a little and I have yet to be able to readjust them properly. Whenever I'm tired they give me a double image. Usually your eyes compensate for any differentiation between lenses so I figured mine were really out of whack and the tired state made things go awry. Each time I messed with the alignment the double vision got worse so I knew I'd twisted them badly. Lately they had done it while I wasn't that tired.

In the VA I wound up seeing four different specialists and spending far too long having lights shined in my eyes. 15 minute app stretched to hours. Turns out my eyes and brain are not working as a team. The right eye is slow to respond and sometimes it just doesn't do anything.

I thought the depth perception was doe to the glasses problem. Now I have something called "diplopia" and have possibly driven for the last time. They have prescribed some odd prismatic lenses with a lot of warnings of what NOT to do.

This totally explains why I attempted to solder a crimp lug to my fingernail last week.

It also sucks. Bad day at Black Rock.

TonyM
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Post by N7ZAL on Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:13 pm

Real bummer Tony. I go to the VA out west and they have great optical care and you probably have the same thing there. They should be able to give you the best available. Just follow their orders and hopefully things will work out for the best.
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Post by 75X11 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:02 pm

Are the glasses intended to exercise your eyes back to a more normal state?
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Post by Dr. Radio on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:09 am

I'm sorry to hear this....is this something progressive or something that can be stopped in its tracks?
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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:16 am

I'm also sorry to hear this. I hope it can be stopped and reversed.

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Post by GaryRabbitt on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:29 am

Sorry to hear that news Tony. I hope that treatments can get your eyes back into working order.
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Post by DancingBear on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:36 pm

Thanks, folks. We are still reeling from all of it We don't stray far from home so we tried to combine a few things on the trip. My stop at the VA in Hillsboro was only for glasses. The reason for the trip was for a visit with a hematologist at OHSU in Portland to deal with the immune system mess.

I don't think it is going to get better but I can't say for sure. All I know is what I was told and what I've read online. The scary part is we have seen several mentions of immune system connections and I know I've got problems there. I've kinda accepted the fact I'm falling apart but this is...I can't "wheelchair" bad eyesight. They are giving me prism lenses to compensate but how long they will work is in question. We don't know much yet.

Bill, I'm in awe of how I've been treated and served at the VA. I have gone to facilities in Portland, Hillsboro and Salem and they all have been thorough and followed up on every need. They have called me several times to warn me my platelet count was in the "bleeder" zone, once on Saturday. I was scared to enroll, as many of the VN Vets are, but my fears are gone. Without them we would be lost.

I won't quit until it forces me away. The double-effect is constant but not so bad I cannot work (unless I'm tired). I'm working on radios as a help to a friend and he is totally understanding of where my health is. I have a few of my own but mostly his. I do it for the challenge and relaxation it brings.

While bedridden a few years back I began writing and did fairly well with it. (It didn't hurt to have a few good stories out of the Vietnam War and a family rich with tales from D-Day). I can always lean back on that. Yesterday I enrolled in a really good creative writing class...just in case.

Thanks for letting me whine.

TonyM
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Post by terrydec on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:52 pm

Have you, or any of your doctors considered a concussion? I had a very serious one two years and I still have episodes of double vision. If fact I'm having that problem today. I was reading a magazine at breakfast when my vision started getting blurry. It gives me a headache. In fact writing this is taking a long time because I keep hitting the wrong keys.
I hope that is not your problem because it is a real bummer. Still, I would check out that possibility.
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Post by DancingBear on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:54 pm

Terry-
Thanks. There are characteristics to this that relate it to either the brain or the muscles controlled by the brain so concussion was a big question. They spent a lot of time ruling it out but cannot dismiss it totally yet. They haven't posted the diagnosis in my online files. We are hoping those will have more info.

I have had a bad history with eyes so I suspected some problems someday. I had a failed RK in 1988 and all my tear ducts (drainage)are sealed due to lack of moisture. My vision has ranged from 9+ diopters to 6- diopters (correction factor).

I'm pretty determined not to let it stop me. So far I'm winning the "stamina" category but it gets harder...
TonyM
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Post by terrydec on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:43 pm

A concussion is usually very difficult to diagnose, however mine wasn't. I fell straight backwards from standing on the back of my head, which is the location of the occipital lobe. I felt very lucky because I had no symptoms. Then two weeks later I was reading the newspaper and suddenly noticed I was reading two papers. Then I went to walk my dog. I kept throwing up and bumping into things. I was taken to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with, "delayed concussion syndrome". Apparently this was worse than if I had immediate symptoms.

When you have a concussion, especially a severe one which mine seemed to be, you are advised not to make life changing decisions, drive or sign anything. I would have to say this only works if someone is living with you and notices any of this. I signed my power of attorney to my nephew, sold over a thousand dollars worth of professional photography equipment and added "character" to my truck with some dings, scratches and dents.

And some of these symptoms remain to this day- Chocolate is sour, sodas taste salty, I fall which is why I now live on the first floor, loud sounds are intolerable which is why I moved away from the fire station down the street and every so ofter I spend the day in bed with headaches from dizziness. Yuch-
Oh, I almost forgot, my stupidity quotient has risen considerably. They're planing a brain transplant where they replace my brain with Jello. Lime Jello with those bits of pineapple and tiny marshmallows. The kind that your aunt always brought to family dinners. They assure me that I'll feel a lot better. Wink
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Post by DancingBear on Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:54 pm

Not sure about the Jello thing...I figured orange to be healing color.

Sounds bad, Terry. Hard to deal with something so unpredictable. I haven't had a hard knock at all in years.

I worked with a chap for about twenty years. He retired a few months before I did and was basically screwing around for awhile before making any decisions about what to do. About a month into retirement he slipped on mossy cement coming out of his truck and never woke up. He died the next afternoon and the swelling didn't appear to be bad.

Head injuries are nothing to mess with. The taste thing would suck but to be honest ever since I hit about fifty NOTHING tastes good.

TonyM
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Post by terrydec on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:23 pm

Not even "you know what?"
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Post by N7ZAL on Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:35 pm

While bedridden a few years back I began writing and did fairly well with it. (It didn't hurt to have a few good stories out of the Vietnam War and a family rich with tales from D-Day). I can always lean back on that. Yesterday I enrolled in a really good creative writing class...just in case.

There is a great writing forum that might be on interest. Lots of great people and resources: http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php
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Post by terrydec on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:01 pm

I have children's story about a unicorn, a princess and a wizard. It's got a copyright and everything. However the only place it's been published is in a collection of short stories in Ireland. Which is kind of weird and doesn't really help me very much here.

I have a very abridged version plus some of my poems in a booklet I leave in coffeehouses. Their supposed to be $2 but I think everybody just helps themselves. Oh well, the idea is to get exposure, right?
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Post by terrydec on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:11 pm

N7ZAL wrote:
While bedridden a few years back I began writing and did fairly well with it. (It didn't hurt to have a few good stories out of the Vietnam War and a family rich with tales from D-Day). I can always lean back on that. Yesterday I enrolled in a really good creative writing class...just in case.

There is a great writing forum that might be on interest. Lots of great people and resources: http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php

This is very weird. I just tried register on the forum. I gave my email, user name and password. I got a reply that people under 16 are not allowed to register. In a way that makes me feel good. I thought I was 70. Maybe that's why I can't buy beer.
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Post by DancingBear on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:52 pm

I'll look the forum over, Bill. I am a member of one but the last time I looked it turned into a whine-fest. Finding a fresh group might be nice. Tnx.

I've had a few articles published, most in Vietnam magazine and another mag called Primo, an Italian-American publication.. The internet has made it difficult to sell any writing. You have to really want to write for pleasure now. There are a gazillion blogs out there...mostly crap. I wrote a column for Boomernet for awhile until opiates made me think I was Hunter S. Thompsen. They asked me back and I may go. That is a big audience with cool people running it.

The articles that I sold were historical but my best work (personal opinion) is a little bit of off-beat short-story humor, something that seems to have dried up with the recent medical hassles. I'm hoping to change this soon.

TonyM

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Post by N7ZAL on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:59 pm

I certainly hear you, Tony. A lot of book publishing now is through ebooks and anyone can publish. I write mostly historical stuff, but did write a fictional piece about 1876 Deadwood, Dakota territory. The draft is done and put away for a while. I did some oil painting to relax the mind, but have now moved on to another historical piece (old west).

The forum I mentioned is great and extremely helpful. A very diverse group of writers that are very willing to help. You can at least peruse the site and decide if it is of interest. Very professional. FYI, my handle there is "Wanderer."
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Post by terrydec on Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:18 pm

I always love to see the work of someone else, but I'm hesitant to join a forum. They usually turn in to social websites with clicks and stuff. Plus you'd be looking at a LOT of other stuff.

There seem to be several of us so perhaps we could find a way to share within this forum, although I'm not sure how that could be done.
Bill, do have any ideas? One way of course would be as attachments in emails. I have no problem with that but I could understand how some might not want to give out email addresses. I'm also thinking of PM's but I think they have limited storage.
I once belonged to a local writer's group here in Louisville. It went fine for awhile but eventually we were sitting for hours listening to page after page of someone's one paragraph stream of consciousness.

I used to belong to a photo site where you could post your photos for comments. Some were very good and of course some were brutal. But the same thing happened that usually does, it collapsed because it got too big.

P.S.-I still wonder why the forum link N7ZAL posted thought I was under16. They must have confused me with another intelligent, good looking, rich- Um no, I don't think that was it. Cool
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Post by terrydec on Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:00 am

I finally got into that group. It seems that I forgot to click something. There are a LOT of people there and just as I 'feared there seem to be a few people who post a lot of tines.
I'll check it out more tomorrow;
nite nite
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Post by N7ZAL on Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:06 am

The group, is a good group Terry. There is the occasional flame or flare up but that is very rare and the moderators usually jump on it quick. There are some people who do post a lot because they are very helpful. The "coffee shop" has a lot of BS and a few other threads, however I generally ignore those and the poetry stuff. I mainly enjoy the the more basic discussions on grammar, writing, review my work, etc. They helped me a lot with my latest fiction book and I've learned a lot about writing in general.

Give it a try, and you have nothing to lose. You can jump out as fast as you jumped in. Wink

Oh, it is a worldwide group...
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Post by N7ZAL on Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:51 pm

Not sure what the best way would be to share within this forum, Terry. I could always setup our own forum, but not sure how many members we would have active. I'll think more about it, since it is a good idea.
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Post by DancingBear on Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:27 pm

I think a forum for sharing like this would be a great idea. I would contribute on both ends.

Writing group seem to have a half-life of about two years. They fall apart, usually for some dumb reason. I would say more but it would be politically incorrect. Let's just say the theme would be along the lines of "Must Love Cats".

TonyM

by the way, I like cats.
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Post by terrydec on Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:08 pm

N7ZAL wrote:Not sure what the best way would be to share within this forum, Terry. I could always setup our own forum, but not sure how many members we would have active. I'll think more about it, since it is a good idea.

Good advice. I just got my registration email so I'll check it out. I had a granduncle (?) that wrote a book about his experiences in WWII. I haven't seen it but he had an editor and another relative worked full time helping him so it's probably pretty good. My nephew keeps up with that stuff so I'll check with him.

I had a writing class at the local Jr. College that met 3 times a week. You had to produce a writing project for every class. Some of my stuff was really weird but I'll dig through that drawer and see what I can find.

I firmly believe that all criticism is constructive. I draw, sell post cards of my photography and write. I learned a long time ago that if you don't have a thick skin then don't share.
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Post by DancingBear on Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:36 pm

Terry-
If you have any stories about WWII, Korea or Vietnam I know where you can them into print (and for $$$$). Due to the nature of the material and the history they are fairly lax on author-editing. The more names, dates and photos, the more $$$. It's a good publication not a flaky one.

TonyM
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Post by Bill Cahill on Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:06 pm

What's this all about starting a new forum? You abandomming me, now??
What's wrong??
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