.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

I Hate Linux

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hans Zimmer + The Simpsons Movie = ???

Long story short, Hans Zimmer is by far my favorite composer ever (Crimson Tide being my favorite) I was surprised this evening to discover that he is responsible for the soundtrack of the new Simpson's movie.

Now I just need to find myself a copy of the soundtrack or wait and see the movie to hear if it's any good.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hand Dr. Number four revisit

This morning I saw a hand Dr. Number four again, the Dr. who had recently referred me to a neurologist. 

He was also said the year that the Baclofen did nothing

One possibility he threw out was that I might still have carpal tunnel, and that the original surgery had not actually fixed it, or possibly that the original surgery had fixed it, but allowed for some excess scarring which actually caused the same problem once again.

To test this theory I received a couple of injections, one in each wrist.  Unlike the first two times this was done with hand Dr. Number two, instead of just being an anesthetic like lidocaine, this latest volley has a mild steroid and it is well (cortisone if I remember right), a combination that in theory should relieve some of my symptoms over the next day are three (may take up to a week) should (if successful) give me some relief for 4 to 6 weeks.

Rather than jumping into things immediately again and doing an all out test of my hands again, I'm going to give this latest shot a week or so to see if it does anything with the pain I've currently got before pushing any further because despite my previous hopes, but the two weeks I've taken off already from my last test things have not improved in the slightest.

One interesting bit that I got from hand Dr. Number four was that he disagreed with the neurologists suggestion that I see an occupational therapist to see if they could offer any suggestions as to what I might do to reduce my pain and discomfort as hand Dr. Number four recognizes that when my hands hurt, using them at all only makes things worse.

So now we have the waiting game once again, waiting and seeing if this latest proposed solution will do anything.  I figure that all give handed Dr. Number four a call in 2 to 3 weeks in case things have not improved rather than waiting a full five weeks before I'm scheduled to see him next.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

That explains it...

So I've been finding myself listening to more and more Podcasts well I spend some time and the exercise bike or soak in my arms as suggested by one Dr.

One of those Podcasts has been the news from Lake Wobegon and recently heard this bit which does describe me pretty well, maybe it was my Minnesota upbringing that is to blame for some of my oddness:

It’s been hot out there this week, humid too, so much so that when you wake up in the morning there is a mist out over the meadows, beautiful mist and the sun shining through it, which if you had a camera and took a picture of it they might print it on one of those inspirational calendars with inspirational sayings from famous writers except we’re from Minnesota and we’re not an easily inspired people, because we have winter there which is a heavy dose of realism so we’re missing some of that top octave of human feeling we have kind of a narrow emotional range somewhere between acceptance and resignation, those are the two kind of poles of what we have.

Monday, July 16, 2007

No more Baclofen

So the neurologist just called me back and was also puzzled by my new found tingling and numbness and told me to stop taking them Baclofen and to see if anything changes in the next 7 to 10 days and to discuss seen an occupational therapist with hand Dr. Number four when I see him next (on Wednesday).

This latest failure makes me think I might want to start a pool to see who can accurately predict what the final diagnosis will be, what the fix will be, and when/if things will ultimately be resolved.

Baclofen + two weeks

So are now at two full weeks on Baclofen (week one update here) as proscribed by the neurologist and still there has been no positive changes... However there do appear to be a couple negative changes however I cannot say if this is due to the prescription.

Virtually every Dr. I’ve seen has asked about numbness and tingling, to symptoms I’ve never had accept for the last few days but especially today we’re certain parts of my right hand or almost constantly tingling ever so slightly and occasionally will discover that the same area is asleep, so I’ll be making and call to the neurologist a little later today a week earlier than expected and see what he says prior to seeing hand Dr. Number four on Wednesday.

(much to my amazement, Vista’s speech recognition recognized the name of my prescription)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Get Smart movie

Earlier today I had the pleasure of watching the new Harry Potter movie which is pretty good… But which pales in comparison to a minute long preview, one that just a few seconds in I began to laugh uncontrollably and giddily, so much so that a woman in front of me look back at me not once but twice. The movie? Get Smart!

It’s going to be a long year but for those who do not know the exploits of Maxwell Smart, secret agent 86 of control I suggest some of the following videos (aside from the teaser trailer of course):

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Birthday Ruined

... and it’s only 1 am.

It seems that Woot.com and I share the same birthday... and to celebrate theirs today’s item is a bag of Random Crap and wouldn't you know... my orders been processing for well over an hour so it's safe to say that I didn't get one and as a result... my birthday is ruined.

Thanks Woot!

The hand story

Given the number of blog posts I have about the issue of my hands and the work being done here and there to get them fixed I figured I needed a single post that gave the short version of what’s going on so that when somebody asks what the deal is I have a single, more concise post I can direct them to instead of ½ dozen more lengthy ones. So here goes.

Around August or September of 2006 I began to have discomfort and pain in my hands when typing, starting at work and eventually moving home the pain got worse and worse, eventually also exhibiting itself with certain other uses of my hands such as clutching a steering wheel, holding a cell phone to my ear, or even using a screwdriver and has led to me not being able to work since mid February 2007 as a software engineer.

A quick trip to a family practice Dr. Had me walk away thinking I had carpel tunnel syndrome and a trip to hand Dr. Later caused some other ideas to be put forth. Unfortunately the slot first specialist wanted me to see a neurologist, someone who couldn’t see me for three months so instead I began a for a cure with hand Dr. Number two who after numerous nonspecific tests hope that carpel tunnel surgery would fix me. It didn’t.

Unfortunately surgery not only did not fix me but also caused a number of other issues, many of which have gone away due to time and six weeks of physical therapy (which is not a common outcome of this surgery).

The next up was a trip to a rheumatologist, who also couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me and later while in Minneapolis I saw the third hand Dr. Who had an idea what was wrong with me, but was later overridden by hand Dr. Number four who I was sent to buy number two who was fresh out of ideas and wanted to get a second local opinion before referring me outside of the network to a place like the mayo clinic.

Hand Dr. Number four thought similarly to number one and thought I should see a neurologist which I finally did after a 4 hour drive (each way) to one in Fargo North Dakota who could see me six weeks earlier than either of the two in Sioux Falls.

Unfortunately the neurologist did not have the brilliant ideas and gave me a prescription for Baclofen in the hopes that I had task-specific focal dystonia of the hand, also known as writer’s cramp and after a couple of weeks on the prescription things have not changed.

So currently I wait to see hand Dr. Number four again to see if he has any new ideas based on what the neurologist said while I also give the prescription a couple more weeks before I call the neurologist and tell them it’s not working and likely see the Sioux Falls neurologist come early August instead of driving to Fargo again.

Please note that the text of the above post was composed entirely using Vista’s speech to text functionality (which should explain some of the weird punctuation) and took just over 15 minutes from start to end, hopefully with some time the software will become more accurate with my use.


On the suggestion of the neurologist I've quit taking the baclofen as it was giving me no positive effects and possibly one or two negative ones.

After another later visit to HD4 I got a couple of injection into my wrists to test the theory that this could be carpel tunnel (since day 1) and that excess scarring from surgery could have caused my problems to come back, unfortunately after a multi-week wait and see they nothing for me.

While waiting to see if the injections might be successful I went to see one of the neurologists in Sioux Falls who I had been scheduled for so many months earlier who suggested a spinal MRI (which was done later that week and was clean) so as to rule out even more and suggested a bone scan and further blood tests just as soon as I re-aggravate my hands plenty again.

While using my hands heavily for things like a coding contest and helping out around the MSDN forums I saw HD#4 again to judge the effectiveness of the previous injections and talk other ideas.

The verdict was that we should wait and see if anything comes out from the bone scan or blood tests before referring me to some kind of upper extremity pain center to go through all of these same tests again, but with people who specialize in cases like mine day in and day out.

After a month of work I've re-aggravated my hands pretty well to the point that I just don't want to use them be it for gaming, typing, coding or driving and have now scheduled the bone scan and blood tests for September 12th.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Another job ruled out: car washer

This morning I noticed that my windshield was extremely bug ridden and desperately needed a cleaning and I figured wall at it I might as well washed entire day in car which hadn’t been washed in well over six months and… Being a cheap guy I am I did that do which are self route so that I could ensure that all those bug guts or removed. Big mistake.

I’d forgotten that part of the reason I had washed my car and so long that way was because it was more than a little uncomfortable to hold on to the power washer.

Note: I’m giving vista’s speech recognition another go, only this time I’m not going to try to write code with it, however this is taking far too long, but despite that I’m going to spend a little more time training it and seeing if I can’t make it more worthwhile at least for normal text like this. I’m actually starting to regret my extensive testing of my hands over the last couple weeks because I’m really going to need them, even in a limited sense next week when I’ve got another programming class that I’m teaching. The one three weeks ago was barely tolerable when my hands didn’t hurt going in, if my hands don’t feel much better by Monday morning I may have to cut back on demonstrations and examples.

"Oh, you sounded like a salesman"

Me thinks it's a bad thing when you call a small clinic office and are asked to call back because the person is on the phone.

Me thinks it's a worse thing when you call back 15 minutes later and are told the same thing.

Of course, both pale in comparison to when you call back a third time and receive the answering machine, not voice mail, but an answering machine and midway through your message the person you're looking for picks up and asks if they can help me and then says "are you the one that's been calling?" to which I replied yes, and was told "Oh, you sounded like a salesman."

While I know I've a good voice, and can be quite professional and articulate with it, I can't say that I've ever been told that I sounded like a salesman, told I should be on the radio maybe, but never a salesman.

For fun, maybe when I show up for my appointment I should wear a suit, bring a briefcase, and try to sell them a foo.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Baclofen + 1 week

One thing I've noticed during the course of my now nearly 5 month hiatus from full time employment is the amount of pain and discomfort in my hands is directly related to the amount I use them over a given period of time.

Since February the amount of personal coding, and forum posting and other general typing has dropped dramatically... and as a result I could from time to time type like my old self for longer than I could... the only problem was that the symptoms would slowly build and before to long... I'd regret it, but even before that I'd feel the onset of things and would use those onsets as a warning of when I should stop lighter activities.

Prior to visiting the neurologist 2 weeks ago I decided that I should definitely give my hands another good abusive workout... use em as I used to and make sure things that still hurt the same way, prior to and after I went back into normal use on my hands... including on the drive to/from Fargo where I held the steering wheel in a normal manner (for regular drivers), one that tends to make my hands hurt... mission accomplished.

It's now been a week since I began the Baclofen as proscribed by the Neurologist and I can safely say there's been no change. Just like prior to visiting the neurologist and especially during the this past week especially I've spent a fair bit of time working on a personal coding project for the Windows Home Server Code4Fame Challenge (an entry that if finished will be a nifty example of my occasional 'Not Invented Here' mentality) as well as contributing to the MSDN forums heavily for a couple of days and have noticed 0 improvement... in fact, due to the normal use (normal for your average developer) over that time I've made them hurt worse than they have in months, even to the point I find myself not wanting to write code.

As much as I wish we could find some fix... I am thrilled to have another fix ruled out on the theory that it is getting us one step closer to a final solution and with this new info I'll be seeing HD4 on the 25th to see if he's got any new ideas or directions.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Alienation of Affections

Did you know that in Hawaii, Illinois, North Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah, wives are effectively considered property of their husbands and if a man steals another mans wife, the thief can be sued?

It's called Alienation of Affections and despite being thrown out 43 states, it still lives on in seven including Illinois where it was recently successfully used.

The thief should consider themselves lucky... they were only ordered to shell out $4,802... last time a case was won here in South Dakota under Alienation of Affections, the judgment was for $265,000.00.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Windows Live Writer Test

Lets see if this works any better...

Flickr Image:

Lullaby sign in elevator

Shame it's forcing me to upload to my own FTP site instead of pulling from Flickr.


Why did I ever use Word 2007 in the first place?

ooo, maps: