Coffee heat rising

So how’s that pot workin’…?

Interestingly.

In the first place, the handsome young pot plant has taken up residence by the gate to the swimming pool. This caused a visible double-take for poor old Gerardo, who was no doubt shocked. And it also got the attention of Pool Dude, who’s a pretty mellow guy and not easily stunned by the presence of a mere plant. 😀

The new gummies I got at the store called Yilo, a head shop recently installed across the parking lot from the Lowe’s, are far superior to the first batch that we bought in the mid-town shop. They’re not very pleasant to get down, unless you melt them in some hot tea — when they say “gummy” about these things, they’re not kidding! The ones from the mid-town store were more like ordinary candy gum drops. These things are tough and gooey; they take some doing to choff up and melt in your mouth. However, they work much, much better. The tingling from the peripheral neuropathy is noticeably improved — at times even “gone” — and these chewies actually do keep me asleep until around 4 a.m., consistently.

The first variant, from the mid-town shop, did nothing to stop the 2 a.m. wake-up call. Half or three-quarters of one of the new things, though, does seem to work in the insomnia department: a 4 a.m. wake-up call is one helluva lot better than the 2 a.m. internal alarm. I find about 1/4 of one of these gummies beats back the tingling and also seems to dull the pain in the injured shoulder. And that amount does not cause sleepiness or any other sensation of doped-uppitude.

A larger amount — 1/2 to 3/4 of a gum-drop — does cause sleepiness, and I would not even consider driving after ingesting one of the things. But 1/4 of one of the things has little noticeable effect on alertness and competence. By morning I feel reasonably rested, having managed to snare six or seven hours of uninterrupted snooze time.

The stuff does not make the tingling in the hands and feet go away altogether, but it does help significantly. If I would refrain from pounding on a computer keyboard, I’d have little or no electrified buzzing in the fingers and hands. The feet also are aggravated by a mile-long doggie-walk. However, rubbing some CBD oil into the palms and soles does seem to cut the discomfort a great deal.

Ain’t old age grand? 😀

Image: By Sarah Stierch from Sonoma, CA, USA – PLUS, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83463800

 

In the Land of Pot…

Well, that was an interesting experience.

VickyC, her son D, and I made a run on the marijuana dispensary that has sprung up in the Lowe’s parking lot, just down the road from the Great Desert University’s west campus. Though I’ve been in a number of stores in the hippy-dippy mode, I’ve never visited a real, dyed-in-the-wool, hard-core head shop. Man!

They had that place zipped up, down, backward and forward with security. As soon as you walk in the door, they grab your driver’s license and enter all its details into their computer. You do have the option of refusing to give them your phone number, but that is it. Also, these outfits take cash only. No paper trail as to who bought what, when…

The customers, all of them male, looked like normal enough persons. No hippy-dippy aspirations to “style” — they looked mostly like ordinary office workers. But they all spoke the jargon, which is extensive enough that when those for whom it is mutually intelligible take up the subject of cannabis they sound a lot like they’re speaking a foreign language.

We each got a potted…uhm, pot plant. They were not cheap: $20 or $30 apiece. However, VickyC estimates you get about $100 worth of the product off of a single plant. So…it will be interesting to see how that works out.

As we were driving around, our fellow homicidal drivers, a.k.a. The Morons, were out in force. On the way back toward the ’Hood, one fruitcake on a motorcycle swerved into D’s lane right on his front bumper. The clown missed being churned into clown butter by about eight inches. THEN…he did it again!!!!! After Dustin laid on the horn…

Another guy, this one in a car (at least he had some armor around him) also damn near hit us. He was smoking up as he drove, clearly stoned out of his head. Lovely.

Both these incidents occurred on Conduit of Blight Blvd, a fine thoroughfare to avoid at all costs.

At any rate, the little plant, which apparently belongs to a variety called “Banana,” is still in its pot, sitting on the side deck. The wind was really wailing when we got back here, and I didn’t much feel like wrestling with potting soil and water and whatnot in a gale. By sunset, the weather had settled some, but I still didn’t much feel like potting the thing and trying to figure out where to put it. Today…well…

This morning bright & early I have to traipse out to the Mayo…a return visit to the orthopod. Not happy about this: I’m really not feeling at all well…the pain, I guess, is just wearing me down. And I expect a major, MAJOR hassle. Getting parked out there with all the ongoing construction is a gawdawful headache. That’s after driving way to hell and gone up there, which as you can imagine from my description of yesterday’s road antics, is never a fun experience.

The shoulder hurts all the time, and I’m extraordinarily tired of hurting all the time. The joint is now mostly pretty mobile…if you call a stab of pain when you reach your arm up to comb  your hair or take a coffee cup out of a cabinet “mobility.”

To complicate matters, La Maya is in town and wants to get together for lunch. I very much doubt if I’ll be back here much before noon…or even by noon. So just now we’re circling round and round about that. {sigh}

But if she’s here and wanting to trot out to some restaurant, it will delay the pot potting escapade that much more.

Heh heh…I have had exactly nothing to say to my son about said escapade. You may be sure that when he sees that thing in the yard, he will have a sh!t-f!t of Olympean proportions… Conveniently, Gerardo showed up here earlier in the day, so I won’t have to listen to his commentary on my criminal career for at least another month. 😀

Time to turn out of the sack and start getting ready for the day’s hassles…

Soooo…how’s that pot workin’ out for ya?

Good, thankee. Very, very good.

Well…“well,” to be grammatically precise.

As some will recall, a few days ago I took it into my furry little head that I should try a little MaryJane to treat the endless goddamn insomnia and the crazy-making tingling in the hands and feet — the latter a condition known as peripheral neuropathy, whose possible causes range from the benign to the horrific. We now know, after still more time thrown annoyingly into the Bottomless Pit of Medical Science, that I do not have Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or multiple sclerosis. Still could have Guillaine-Barré syndrome. Still could have a type of leukemia. And we have no idea whether the whole mess could be a reaction to the titanium post that was driven into my upper jaw.

So I’ve tried “edible” cannabis items — cannabis-laced gumdrops known in the trade, cleverly, as “gummies,” but I have chosen not to ingest the CBD oil that I use to relieve the frantic tingling. Apparently you can…but…hmmm. Not to say eewwww!

The gummies take about 45 to 90 minutes before they kick in — so we’re told. I have not found that to be altogether true: they seem to work fairly quickly.

They do take the edge off the pain. When I’m not aggravating things by typing, they cut the hand & foot tingle by about 90% to 95%. Banging on the keyboard, as I’m doing now, brings it right back, but if I would just stay away from the computer, the PN in the hands would be pretty much under control.

Do they help you sleep? Do they help to stifle the Old-Folks’-Wee-Hours Jamboree?

mmmmhhh…. Maybe.

At this point, I’d guess it helps about 80%, give or take. It sure doesn’t keep you asleep all night long.

Normally I wake up at 2:30, toss and turn for an hour or more, then wake up again about 4:00 or 4:30 and am awake for the duration. This means that no matter what time you go to bed, you are NOT gonna feel rested in the morning. Even if you manage to force yourself to go to sleep at, say, 9 p.m., at 2:30 you’ve had all of five and a half hours’ sleep.

The first night I tried fine weed product, a week ago, I slept a good eight or nine hours. Awoke briefly about 3:30 but fell right back to sleep. Nevertheless, I still felt exhausted most of the day, so tired that all I wanted to do was crawl back in the sack. That, however, was out of the question. In addition to fatigue, I also found the old-lady memory issue was much aggravated. I couldn’t remember physical therapy routines, and things the PT said to me would literally go in one ear and out the other…at about the speed of light.

So that was alarming, to say the least.

Then I found that I did seem to be sleeping a little better — once, even eight hours during the night! That hasn’t happened in the recent memory of humankind…

So, with a brief preliminary experience, I’d say that for symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, topical application of products such as CBD oil, CBD cream, and Vick’s Vaporub works considerably better than ingesting small amounts of CBD. It’s not perfect — often the neuropathy overwhelms the calming effect, especially if the fingers dare to dance across a computer’s keyboard.

One study I found reported that patients’ peripheral neuropathy was helped better by vaping a cannabis product than by eating it or by smoking it. My friend VickyC did give me a vape pen. But I haven’t quite figured out to use it. And….well…no.

No, don’t think so.

My mother died — hideously — of lung cancer brought on by smoking tobacco. Seems to me that it doesn’t much matter what you’re smoking; it’s THAT you’re smoking. How does it escape a person that sucking foreign particles into your lungs cannot be good for you? To my mind it doesn’t matter what product you’re puffing in: it’s that you’re puffing in. Same applies to vaping: that London fog you puff out can’t be doing your innards any good.

At any rate, I managed to acquire some edible gummies, and also to peruse the marketing strategies of the local purveyers. Cannabis products are legal in Arizona, and so it’s possible to buy — legally — any number of “therapeutic” party products. And the stuff is sold at various levels: to buy some products, you have to show a medical marijuana card. But, irrationally, other items require nothing more than proof of age. The latter– the gummies, the topical oils, creams, and ointments and the liquid vape product — are available over the counter, no fake “prescription” card required.

So. I gaze upon this remarkable scene and think… uhmmmm…. WHY, again, am I paying you $28 for a bag of 15 cannabis-spiked gumballs?

No kidding! That bag of “ingestibles” contained fifteen small gumballs, to the tune of about two bucks a candy. I’ve been slicing them into halves or quarters and rationing them out, so the truth is, I have no idea what a full dose of the stuff would do.

So it goes…

Forthwith as I contemplate this state of affairs, it strikes me that when a person has a nice, sunny backyard with built-in irrigation and sprinklers on a timer, one has…well. Yes. A farm. If it appears that the stuff really works — and at this moment I think it may — then the desired strategy, obviously, is to grow one’s own!

Indeed. Thereby saving untold numbers of dollars and, to boot, having a real good grip on quality control…

So there’s a store over on the Westside that sells all sorts of innaresting stuff. Among this stuff is marijuana plants. These go on sale each Tuesday morning.

Unfortunately, they sell out within about two hours.

So next Tuesday VickyC and I will be at the establishment’s door when it opens. My plan is to buy at least one but maybe two or three marijuana plants, which will be extraordinarily happy in the Funny Farm’s back yard.

Heh! When we say “Funny Farm,” we ain’t kiddin’!

There Is a [Pot] House in New Orleans…

…They callllll the Risin’ Sun.
It’s been the ruin
Of many a poor girl,
And Lawd, I know I’m one!

Yup. I’m ruint. No question of it.

Thursday’s gawdawful test for nerve function was nowhere near as gawdawful as I feared. Yes, they do stick electrified needles into your hide. But the things have about the diameter of a hair — you can barely even feel them poking you.

All of which was pretty futile. Well: yes futile, no futile.

We did not come up with a cause of the peripheral neuropathy, the buzzin’ and the tinglin’ in all four paws, enough to make you crave a long dive off the North Rim. But we did rule out some fairly horrifying candidates: the Parkinson’s disease, the Guillain-Barré syndrome…the Lou Gehrig’s disease… at least on a preliminary basis. But here’s a study that indicates the test they did on me — widely known as EMG — does not rule out Guillain-Barré. Indeed, there may be some sporadic evidence of a connection between the Pfizer covid-19 vaccination (which I took a few weeks ago) and the advent of Guillain-Barré. That is what we’d call “a real bad sign.” Also nervous-making: there’s documented evidence of a connection between covid-19 and GBS. Indeed, if I’d read this article a couple months ago, I would have thought twice and thrice about taking that shot.

Meanwhile, in the run-up to this drama, I came across a bunch of research and reports suggesting that one of the most effective remedies known for this ailment is…oh yes…wait for it…yep: cannabis.

Think o’ that…

So my friend VickyC and I got together for lunch and shopping yesterday. VickyC happens to know a surprising amount about pot and the uses thereof. And she has a “medical marijuana” card, a pricey bit of bureaucraciana that allows you to buy dope from local dispensaries. You get this by going to a (heh!) “doctor” who, whether he has an MD or whateverthell, has managed to acquire the documentation to allow him to emit an opinion that yes, yes you DO need the therapeutic wonders of Mary Jane.

One of these happens to reside in the Home Depot shopping center right up the road.

So I call this outfit today. The lady who answers says you don’t need a card to buy “edibles” or to get the stuff to put in a vape pen. Well, VickyC gave me a vape pen yesterday, while we were plotting the destruction of all common decency in the land. And we bought a little bag of 10 “gummies” while we were gadding around the seamier side of town. 😀

I have never, ever done dope in my life (other than the prescriptions various docs have foisted on me). Never has pot passed into my dainty nervous system. But given this current ailment, if the stuff will help, I am sooooo not above it!

These multicolored gumballs contain 150 mcg of THC.

I decide that’s a little much, especially for a first voyage. So last night I cut one in half and ingest that.

The candies that you swallow take 45 to 90 minutes to take effect. And yeah, I’d say it was 30 to 40 minutes before it started to kick in, with a fine sensation of vertigo. Dizzy, as in knocked for a loop…

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

Slept until midnight. Woke for about 10 minutes, long enough to grab another aspirin. Uncharacteristically, fell right back to sleep.

Slept until 4:30 a.m. Dropped another aspirin. Fell right back to sleep again. (Usually the pre-dawn wake-up call entails a wait of at least two hours to get back to sleep…though usually “back to sleep” is sometime around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. that night.)

So in this respect, VickyC was at least partially correct: the stuff does help you to sleep one helluva lot better. Normally I’m lucky to get six hours of sleep, but often have to navigate around on four hours’ worth. Even with interruptions, I’ll take 8 or 10 hours over 4 to 6 hours of sleep, any night!

Awake at 8 a.m. to find the tingling and redness in the palms and feet much reduced.

Decide to try 1/2 gummie to see if the stuff might possibly stave off the PN for the rest of the day. Or even for part of the day, for godsake…

And the answer is, yup, it sure does. But unfortunately it also elicits dizziness and a sense of disorientation. These were tolerable last night, because I was in bed and soon went to sleep. But by light of day: not so tolerable. Walking around the house was so vertiginous that it seemed unsafe. Driving would be totally out of the question. And really, even walking around where there are steps and the like: unwise.

Actually, I’d intended this dose to be 1/4 of a gumdrop but, in my senility, forgot that little vow and gulped down half. So tomorrow morning I’ll have to see if a smaller amount will also keep the buzzing under control, but without making me high.

So there we are. We don’t know what the problem is. But we’ve found something that works  That something is not especially desirable.

But at least it’s…something.

Adventures in Medical Science…again…

So this morning it’s out to the Mayo Clinic…again! Be there by 10 a.m. Along about 10 p.m. last night, I realized my car is low on gas. I’ll have to stop someplace to fill up on the way out there. That will add another ten or fifteen minutes to the trek, depending on how many people are in line.

Unless, of course, I get up off my duff and go buy gasoline right this instant.

This proposed test terrorizes me. Not because it sounds so horrible (well, yes. Yes, it does: not so much because it entails jabbing needles into your muscles and running electric jolts into them, by way of measuring how your nerves respond), but because when you look it up you realize that what they’re looking for is MS, Parkinson’s, or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). All of those are truly terrifying.

My grandfather died of Hodgkin’s disease, in upstate New York during the 1920s. How exactly this disease is spread escapes me — apparently it’s caused by a genetic mutation. Or not: could have something to do with the Epstein-Barr virus, and yes, I have (supposedly…) had mono. WhatEVER: those represent two risk categories, both of which I happen to partake.

One of D-XH’s partner’s wives developed MS. One of her kids almost died when he got into her purse, found a vial of medication for it, and ate the stuff.

My college roommate died of Parkinson’s, after a lifetime blighted by suffering. A dear college friend’s fiancé came down with it, canceling their planned marriage and his planned career, for which he had just been accepted to medical school. One of my colleagues at the Great Desert University came down with it, too. He quit his job and went back to the Rez, whence he had escaped half a lifetime earlier. I, however, have no legal tribal affiliation, so I ain’t a-goin’ to some oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of nowhere. Besides, Oklahoma would not be my thing, anyway. Kayenta, maybe. The White Mountains: absolutely — great place to die! But Oklahoma? Not so much.

So we awoke with dire cosmic worries to contemplate this morning…it’s…oh yeah…back to earth! I forgot to fill up with gas yesterday. It’s a 40-minute drive out to the Mayo — longer than that at this time of day. And I’ve got all of a quarter-tank of gas in the car. So another decision begs to be made?

a. Leave the house ten minutes early and get gas on the way; or
b. Get up off my duff right now, race out, stand in line stand in line stand in line stand in line, and get gas before setting out.

Neither of these appeals one helluva lot more than the proposed test appeals.

Nor does driving through the rush-hour traffic in a fog of exhaustion. Last time I looked at the clock during the night it was 1 in the morning. Finally got to sleep sometime after that. Slept in this morning until almost 6 a.m. So I’ve had about 5 hours of sleep. My eyes feel like they have dust in them — a phenomenon that must have given rise to the “Mr. Sandman” image, hm?

Ohhh well. The coffee’s gone. I’d better get up and start slamming around.

Machinating Toward Normalcy

…Or toward whatever normalcy is around here. There’s a reason we call the the ol’ ranch The Funny Farm. 😉

Come the past couple of days, I’ve realized that I’ve got to get myself up off my duff and I’ve got to start acting a little bit more like myself and a little bit less like a 93-year-old woman who’s afraid to dodder across the the floor.

That literally is what I’ve been doing: doddering. Taking tiny little cautious steps and inching around the house lest I fall again and hurt myself worse. Or end up on the floor again and not be able to get up. Again.

Truly I don’t even have to sit down on the floor to be stuck. All I need to do is it squat down next to the dog, as I just did a few minutes ago to unbuckle her collar, and lo! I can’t get back up on my feet! This time I contrived to use the coffee table as a platform to climb up, saving me another butt-walk into the family room. But seriously: this stuff is scary. No wonder I’m mincing around the house, too cautious to take a normal stride.

First step — heh… as it were — is to get off my duff and get back to walking the dog a couple of times a day. I had kind of let the doggy-walks go even before this little fiasco happened, but once I was hurt, I felt like could not manage Ruby, who is not what you would call sterling obedience-trained. Indeed, a walk around the block with Ruby is actually a drag around the block behind Ruby. So, if I wasn’t already fully converted to Jell-O, the last three weeks of hunkering in the house have completed the process. Even Ruby has put on weight!

Instead of trying to make our usual 1 1/2- to 2-mile walk, I decided to take two shorter walks, one in the morning and one in the evening. Just got back from the second of those today. And it seems to be a pretty good idea. This should allow me to build up a little strength in the legs again, which seems to be in order. Over time, I can increase the length of the walks, which also should help some.

Next Wednesday, a friend is driving me to my first physical therapy session. Number-one order of business will be to ask them if they have any techniques for getting back on one’s feet after one ends up on the floor. Apparently I have habitually used both hands to press against the floor or some object in order to shove myself upright. One hand does not suffice for the job!

Even though Ruby did not drag me around the neighborhood tonight — I’ve learned a leashing technique that discourages that — the shoulder still hurts like hell. So exactly how this scheme is going to work remains to be seen…