Monday, June 27, 2005
Sunday, June 26, 2005
A lot of people, including myself, are filled with horror at the prospect of being immobilized in a wheelchair, having a hole poked in their trachea, breathing with one of those noisy ventilators, totally dependent on others, unable to move or talk, and suffering from bed sores.
So, after my diagnosis, I went through my copy of Mitsumoto's "patients and families" guide to ALS, emphatically making crossing-out marks and writing "NO!" next to various procedures.
But now my thinking has changed, and my advanced health care directive will be simple:
In the event that I am unable to signal my preference, e.g. due to unconsciousness, in an emergency situation where the decision must be made urgently, my lovely wife can authorize any medical procedure that she wants to.
My reasoning is that I have been able to cope with my loss of functionality to date, after appropriate grieving. I'm still happy and thankful. If I gradually lose functionality and wind up immobile in a wheelchair and using a ventilator, I will either cope and find it worthwhile, not not.
If I decide on "or not" -- and this is a major bulwark of my sanity and what many of you perceive as 'courage' -- then I can choose to end my life. No one has the right to deny me that, no matter what they think. It's an inalienable right, regardless of whether our society recognizes it. I can issue my declaration of independence any time I like. Save your rhetoric about the suffering it inflicts on those left behind. I do things well, unlike so many of my fellow humans. I do them well and I would do this well too.
Anyway, since I can choose to get out of any medical support that I judge makes life no longer worth living, I am not so afraid of getting support from certain technologies.
I will, though, have to carefully monitor my own decline and be aware of the divide between when I still have the capacity to end my own life, and when I would need help. I'm not sure that I can rely on other people to help me, nor would I necessarily want to subject someone else to that.
I have been marveling at the progress of medical science, and smugly predicting that I'll be around for the treatment or cure that I think may come in five to 10 years. If I do believe that, then I should put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and be willing to accept procedures that might prolong my life long enough to see that day. The day, of course, that George W. Bush is dragged out of the spider hole he and Michael Jackson are hiding in, on Neverland Ranch.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
I sent Riverbend my comments on her blog and she granted permission for me to print her response:
I didn't think an explanation was necessary. I'm sorry you decided to think it was 'bigotry'- far from it. I actually have several Jewish friends- I don't care about religion. I'm a Muslim, but I'm not the type who neatly puts everyone into a religious category to judge them accordingly.
What I meant- and I explained this- was that Arab Sunnis couldn't explain actions and attitudes of other Arab Sunnis- a Jewish American certainly can't. It would be like me writing something like, "Well most Jewish Americans feel that..." How could I possibly?
You conveniently do not mention that in the line following I say,
"Now, it is always amusing to see a Jewish American journalist speak in the name of Sunni Arabs. When Sunni Arabs, at this point, hesitate to speak in a representative way about other Sunni Arabs, it is nice to know Thomas L. Friedman feels he can sum up the feelings of the "Sunni Arab world" in so many words. His arrogance is exceptional."
It would be equally amusing to see a Protestant American or Catholic Brit come to a similar conclusion. It's not bigotry no matter what you'd like to think.
Later she also wrote:
The reason I mentioned his religion is the fact that he made the issue about religion. He found it acceptable to imply that most Sunni Muslim Arabs find the thought of a Shia leader repulsive.
But I can also understand how it might be taken differently by many people. It was not meant to sound that way.
I suppose that's the beauty and horror of the internet, that you can receive a personal response on the same day from someone scraping out a dangerous existence thousands of miles away in a war zone your own country created -- and be virtually powerless to aid them.
Left grip is 39 pounds (30, 35, 39), right grip is 84 pounds (84, 82, 84), left leg balance is 9.23 seconds, and inhale volume is 4500 mL.
Friday, June 24, 2005
In her post of Sunday, May 29, 2005, Riverbend takes issue with a piece by Thomas L. Friedman. Among other things, she states:
Now, it is always amusing to see a Jewish American journalist speak in the name of Sunni Arabs.
Because she offers no other explanation, but simply moves on, the most available explanation we are left with is that this is a quip -- that she thinks his ethnic or religious identity determines, and most likely invalidates, his opinion.
I call that bigotry.
Maybe when you have completely unpredictable water and electricity, and your country is under occupation, you're bound to give vent to frustrations at a venal level. But heretofore River has been an interesting read. So it's surprising.
I have to credit her, though: She's thoughtful, informed and articulate, which is more than can be said for many of the college-educated Americans who support our country's policy towards hers.
I'm not very impressed by the bulk of folks who are 'against' the war, though. Just because you've read Chomsky does not make you informed. You need to be able to think. And when you've done that, you'll have enough mental agility to see through Chomsky's nonsense as easily as through Bush's.
I'm for peace, security, prosperity, mutual aid, freedom and truth. (And yes motherhood and apple pie). But how you can be 'against' a war escapes me. Wars are disasters. I wouldn't have started this one, and I would drastically alter our conduct there if I could, but being 'against' it or 'for' it seems as stupid to me as being for or against weather.
Yes, I know it's man-made, but even as an artifact of humanity, it's still a storm beyond the control of most of us. The thing to do is protect the children and minimize the suffering to the extent possible. Jew baiting is not helpful.
Left grip is 40 pounds (39, 40, 40), right grip is 91 pounds (86, 91, 90), left leg balance is 17.70 seconds, and inhale volume is 4500 mL.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
I fell down yesterday, but did not get hurt, only scraped my knuckles on the sidewalk. I also realized that every major tool in the garage is now perhaps not beyond my ability, but is beyond my prudent desire to use. I don't want to hassle with the ladder, the radial saw, or the miter saw, if I don't have to. I can still comfortably consider using a power drill. But my days of major house repair are, I think, over. I guess the thing is that, in addition to being more stumbly, and even less able with the left hand, I just don't feel that I have the physical energy. Yesterday I was particularly tired. This is somewhat of a milestone for me, as I take pride in my former energetic approach to house repair. At the time, I minimized it as just par for the course. But now I look back at that guy and marvel at how many things he was willing to undertake at one time, interleaving projects and getting things rapidly done one after another. And the nearly boundless energy he had. I had. Whatever.
Left grip is 40 pounds (35, 34, 40), right grip is 89 pounds (86, 82, 89), left leg balance is 8.98 seconds, and inhale volume is 4525 mL.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
When I first got to college my family pumped me for details on whether I'd "met any girls." Too stupid to know that they were digging for gossip, I answered factually: Of course. They wanted to know who I'd talked to, and where, and how often. I told them about this one young woman who talked to me every day before class. Between you and me, and across all these years, I think she was just a friendly, outgoing person. But my family built it up into this big, significant thing, with more and more questions. They seemed very interested. I didn't grasp quite why I wanted to stop answering their questions, but I did stop.
I went to see my neurologist yesterday. On his dynamometer my left left grip was down to 29, and my right was even at 97. My weight was 138, slightly up from last time and above my target of 137. My neurologist, always the empiricist, noticed an x-axis problem with the grip strength chart. He actually ripped off a piece of paper and made a makeshift ruler, then counted out the days, of which there were too few. I turns out I had used my graphing software incorrectly. The data is still the same, but I have now split it into two charts, to correctly show the passage of time.
Left grip is 37 pounds (31, 36, 37), right grip is 87 pounds (87, 85, 82), left leg balance is 6.94 seconds, and inhale volume is 4500 mL.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
In his June 13, 2005 post, Kevin of "Boots on the Ground" writes:
I can definitely tell you from a military view, that the US and Iraqi forces are on the high ground in Iraq. The enemy has no real chance of taking power as long as we are here.
I agree with the first sentence, but in my opinion the second sentence falls into the category of "true but beside the point."
Some historians have said that the first requirement of a government (if it is to draw any support from the governed) is to provide for security, to physically protect its people from the barbarians. A government that cannot do so has no perceived legitimacy, and no perceived strength. It is soon discarded.
The bad guys in Iraq, the ones with the car bombs and like that, the ones who kill civilians as a matter of policy, they want power, and the defeat of the US occupation, in some ratio mysterious to us and perhaps even them. They may not know about our secret weapon, that the US is capable of declaring victory under almost any endgame scenario. It's just a matter of PR. But to them, it will be a great day of victory when the US occupation ends and they roll up the Iraqi 'government' like a used facial tissue.
The whole goal of the endless, omnipresent massacres and bombings is to keep those invalidation quotes around the government we engendered. They keep killing innocent people so that everyone will see that the 'government' is powerless.
Oh, and they want to kill our troops too.
The history of insurgent warfare has shown that outwaiting the occupier is sufficient. Some day America will get tired of Iraq and leave (while blaming the mess on liberals). And so Kevin's statement that "The enemy has no real chance of taking power as long as we are here" strikes me as true but not on point. We are not going to always be there, and therefore neither is the new Iraqi government.
The bad guys will eventually take power in Iraq if we continue to conduct the occupation as we now are, and as the dunces in Washington are likely to.
This is just my opinion as an observer of history. I'd love to be wrong. And no, I don't have to have the solution in order to comment on the problem.
Left grip is 40 pounds (31, 35, 40), right grip is 91 pounds (80, 91, 86), left leg balance is 11.9 seconds, and inhale volume is 4500 mL.
Monday, June 20, 2005
Thump ... thump thump!
My son is in the thumping stage, where pretty much all the time, even when happy, he is thumping the floor with his heel, or kicking the chair legs. I remember being in that stage, and being told over and over to stop. He's also in the stage where I tell him over and over to wipe on his napkin, not on his clothes. Or wait, maybe I'm in the phase where I tell him. Whatever. Thump!
Sunday, June 19, 2005
The bump on the temple has progressed into a full black eye, with the purple ring around the lid. I don't see any sign of infection, but...
Left grip is 40 pounds (35, 37, 40), right grip is 89 pounds (89, 87, 87), left leg balance is 10.07 seconds, and inhale volume is 4550 mL.
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Yesterday I got one of those cell phones with the prepaid minutes that you refresh when needed. I seldom use cell phones and don't even like them. But I figure I should have one on me at all times for safety reasons. That way if I fall down in a serious way, I can roll over, take the thing out of my pocket, look at it through bloody pupils, and dial with bloody fingers. And when we go on a mini road trip this summer, people in our group will be able to reach me more easily. This one is very small and light, unlike the bulky one I carried around when my lovely wife was about to deliver our lovely children. The prepaid minutes thing sounds ideal, and for my purposes it will likely cost less than a monthly plan. But there are gotchas. One is that the minutes expire after a few months if not used. The other is that when you use up only a fraction of a minute, they charge you for a whole minute. But still, it seems good to me.
Last night after dinner my lovely wife skipped going to her ladies' book group because we couldn't find a sitter and she didn't want to put me on kid duty alone all by myself again. In case I fell into a well or something. She is so good and has been sacrificing because of this ALS for a while now.
The reason I am typing this at 4 AM is that I woke up with that pain in my XXXXXX, the one that starts out small, and then becomes like a drill bit gnawing laterally into the side of the XXXXXX. This syndrome predates my ALS, since I recall it happening in 1998. Usually it is preceded by an event. But this time there was no event. And it woke me up at 3:30 AM, which is unusual. Anyway, three ibuprofen and the application of a bunch of that topical anesthetic (phenol?), seems to have done the trick. Oddly though, being vertical helps, and lying down makes it worse.
Left grip is 39 pounds (35, 37, 39), right grip is 87 pounds (87, 84, 86), left leg balance is 7.98 seconds, and inhale volume is 4490 mL.
Friday, June 17, 2005
My lovely wife went to a meeting of an organization she is part of, and it was my job to get the kids in bed. We've done this before. Sometimes we hire a baby-sitter to get the kids to bed, but there were none to be had yesterday evening.
I don't think small kids like hamburgers, and I noticed that the little girl ate about one half gram of hers. Once I was alone with the kids, I went out front to empty the trash, and waved to a neighbor I saw down the block. I was turning when my foot must have caught on something, or just had a bit to much friction, and then I was going down like a log. I credit myself for falling in a nice relaxed way, and I thought I was going to be fine. But I hit my head against the sidewalk, right where the eyebrow tapers off, and that was unpleasant. I rolled over and lay on the sidewalk, not exactly writhing, but just trying to recover. I didn't want to freak out my neighbor too much. I could hear her feet as she trotted towards me, and I was concerned that my kids might be looking out the window wondering why Daddy was lying on the sidewalk. I got to my hands and knees sooner than I would have preferred.
The neighbor arrived as I stood, and I felt something wet run down my cheek. I touched it. "I'm not..?" I said. She peered. "Yeah you are. You hit your brow." My finger was red when I looked at it.
"The kids are in the house," I said. "Can you...?"
"Just let me close up my house," she said. "The front door's wide open."
I had come out through the back door, so I went in that way, removing my vest and holding it to my face as if wiping it. I made it upstairs to the bathroom unobserved. The kids were doing art at the art table.
The bump was about the size and shape of half a shelled cashew. It was open and bloody. Someone one said that facial blood can look dramatic even when there isn't all that much of it. This did, making a line all the way down to my chin, where it was just starting to drip.
I locked the bathroom door, and washed the cut with cold water and toilet paper, then put some antibiotic on it, and was fumbling with the Band-Aid when I heard little feet approaching. "Dad, there is a knock at the door," said my son.
"That's Maureen. Go tell her I'll be down in a minute."
"Noooo..." he said, his voice trailing off in noncompliance as he descended back down the stairs. I was still fumbling with the Band-Aid. Those tricky paper wrappers require grip strength -- which I don't have. Then the next set of little feet arrived. I was using my teeth while mumbling "I'll be there in a minute!" and "Not ready yet!" in response to whatever my daughter was saying. "Tell Maureen I'll be down in a minute!"
"OK!" she said, and went off.
Finally I got the Band-Aid on, wiped up the two drops of blood from the toilet lid, rinsed out the sink, and came downstairs. I invited Maureen to watch our night-night process, but she had to pack for a trip the next day. But she did stay and listen to my son play piano while I took two ibuprofen and tried to call my lovely wife's cell phone, which was not available. We later determined that this is because it is a new phone and there is some bureaucratic foul up. I started running the bath water and had started the girl in her bath when Maureen left.
The kids were surprisingly cooperative, getting into their pajamas and agreeing to share a story between them. Then when the story was finished, my daughter said she needed to go poo, so she got out of her diaper and sat on the potty. I told my son he could read a book while she did this. She didn't actually make poo, just pee. When she came out of the bathroom after I helped her wipe and somehow persuaded her that washing hands was not an invitation to water play, she headed to the bookshelf for another book.
This is how things can unwind, because you have to say the word "no," and they feel obliged to yell and cry and dig in their heels. But I somehow managed to persuade them. They even got into their beds compliantly. And here my troubles began.
I told them I would sing them a song. The girl said, "But, I need to go poo!" Despite the brief, acrimonious exchange you might expect, I set her up on the toilet. It took her a while, but she did make a goodly quantity of poo. Finally I got her wiped and back into her diaper, pajama bottoms, and socks, and into her bed. I told her I would sing her a song.
"But, I'm hungry!" she said. Recall the half gram of hamburger she'd had for dinner.
So we went downstairs and I set her up with the yogurt she asked for. She also wanted her bowl of nuts. We sat there, her slowly eating, and being chatty, me trying to wipe drips and gobs of yogurt off of her arms and hands before it could get onto her pajamas. Then I felt a trickle of blood coming out from under the Band-Aid. I told her I would be in the bathroom, and she should finish her yogurt.
My son was by this time asleep in his bed in their room. While I fumbled in the bathroom with yet another infuriating paper wrapper, I heard her loud, cheerful voice calling over and over from their room "Daddy, I did it!" No matter how many times I said "OK!" or "Be quiet!" she kept this up. I was worried she would wake him.
I got the Band-Aid squared away and went into their room. I told her I would sing her a song.
"But, I need to go poo!"
After a brief dispute she wound up on the toilet again. After a long while she was satisfied, though nothing was produced. So I wiped her, helped her wash her hands, and got her diaper, pajama bottom and socks back on her. Then she got in bed and accepted the song.
About 15 minutes later my lovely wife came home, and I told her the story.
Left grip is 38 pounds (35, 38, 35), right grip is 90 pounds (85, 87, 90), left leg balance is 17.57 seconds, and inhale volume is 4490 mL.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
"Saving" Private Ryan
Now that I own the DVD for Saving Private Ryan, I've watched it three times. I'd been interested in a line in the movie where Hank's character, Capt. Miller, reports to his commander after some action and I think he says "We had higher support expectations." That's a pretty mild thing to say if you feel you've been let down and a lot of people have died because of it.
I wanted to read more about that line, and so I did a web search on it. No results. Then I searched for a script to the movie, thinking there might be one. One hit I got claimed to feature an "early draft." Maybe so, I thought, and began to skim it.
It was awful. Hank's mild, teacherly character is transformed into a brash, cigar-smoking, big-talking blowhard:
[Miller] smiles, puts a cigar in his mouth, strikes a match on the front of DeLancey's helmet and lights the cigar.
DeLancey tries to look away but Miller grips him by the jaw and forces him to lock eyes. Miller smiles. DeLancey is terrified.
Delancey Captain, are we all gonna die?
Miller Hell no, two-thirds, tops.
Delancey Oh, Jesus...
Miller I want every one of you to look at the man on your left. Now look at the man on your right. Feel sorry for those to sons-of-bitches, they're going to get it, you're not going to get a scratch.
I wondered: How could a juvenile piece of sub-par slop like this have ever caught the attention of Spielberg and Hanks? It doesn't even appear to be properly formatted.
I thought, well, maybe they worked it over and brought it up to snuff. Then I went to bed.
The next morning, though, I woke up and pictured what had happened. Someone lacking in artistic talent, someone who was either young or just immature regardless of their years, was so inspired by Ryan that they decided to write their own version of the script, and post it as an "early" draft, to explain the divergence. Naturally this script contained lots of great details that got dropped when the actual movie was made.
Like the cigar.
Once I understood that, it was fun to skim through the 'script' looking for flaws. They stood out in bushels. I hope I'm right that ooze like this 'script' does not underlie a movie that I find worthy.
I had my final dose for this round and took the needle out. Left grip is 41 pounds (35, 41, 38), right grip is 85 pounds (81, 85, 85), left leg balance is 10.38 seconds, and inhale volume is 4550 mL.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
As a skinny, high-strung person I usually have good, prominent veins. But the first time they came out here to stick me with the infusion needle, they had a hard time getting one in correctly. Subsequently, a nurse told me to drink a lot of water before they stick you. It helps your veins stand out. The other thing that helps is being warm. You can soak the arm in warm water or take a shower. The nurse who poked me yesterday said sometimes people will have good veins and they just go flat as soon as the needle comes out, due to anxiety. I think I'm one of those people. It required three tries before the blood return indicated a good stick.
I was asked to post this:
National Registry for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ Lou Gehrig Disease ] ALS.
State by State , to add your name just hit reply to post type in your info and i will add your name or email me your info.
Name, Age and when you were dx , limb or bulbar and state and zip code.
If put by zip code, a program could map out high incidence
High rate of ALS.
you can help
please pass this info on, the link to this page
or my email
send this info to all pals, cals, forums, chatrooms, support groups, researchers, message boards, als newsletters, state chapters, anywhere and everywhere just pass it on. thanks
every 90 minutes a person is diagnosed with als
every 90 minutes someone dies from als in america
In Memorium of our Pals.
I have an IV needle in my left arm. Right grip is 93 pounds (84, 89, 93), left leg balance is 6.99 seconds, and inhale volume is 4550 mL.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
The little people can get very upset if they say something a few times and no one acknowledges it. They keep getting louder and more insistent, ending up screaming and crying. Adults, of course, have things to think about, and while the little people are half cupids and half geniuses, an adult can only draw so much awed inspiration from them before needing to think about the gas bill or bulk waste pickup day.
And so I find myself doing something that I remember my father doing: Affirming what the child says by repeating some or all of it. You can do this reflexively, with almost no thought. When they say something I completely can't make out, despite asking them to repeat it, I just say "Oh," or "Right."
I remember being a little tike and getting the suspicion that my father, who seemed like a good listener, might be just repeating bits of what he heard me say. I don't recall testing him on it. But I did have the strong impression that he was. I must have shelved the idea because it just seemed so outlandish.
Today I'll start the three days of ceftriaxone at three grams per day.
Left grip is 38 pounds (34, 38, 38), right grip is 91 pounds (85, 87, 91), left leg balance is 12.30 seconds, and inhale volume is 4500 mL. I attribute the inhale decline to pollen allergies.
Monday, June 13, 2005
A lot of your ability to keep your footing is based on your reaction and recovery time. You step backward over a hose, your heel catches it, and without thinking, you do a quick little hop dance and gain new footing. I caught my heel on the hose yesterday and fell over backward, my head conking, thankfully, the grass and not something hard.
Sunday, June 12, 2005
My kids have said nothing about my stiff walking, so my lovely wife and I decided to introduce the topic. The day before yesterday I mentioned that my legs felt stiff, once while eating lunch with my son, and once to my lovely wife, in the presence of the kids. Yesterday I lay down on the bed and both kids jumped on top of me. My son asked, "Are you sleeping?"
I seized the opportunity.
"No, I'm resting my legs. They're stiff again today. Seems like they have been for several months."
"Maybe you should see Doctor XXXXXX," (our chiropractor).
"I don't think Dr. XXXXXX could help."
"She deals with the back," said my lovely wife.
"Oh. Then maybe you should see your regular doctor."
"Maybe," I said.
Then the normal family chatter went off in other directions. The kids did not seem alarmed or worried, and they continued to mash the pillow on my head during this exchange. So I think we successfully planted the cover story that can be used in the future to explain Daddy's walking.
Left grip is 42 pounds (38, 40, 42), right grip is 95 pounds (95, 93, 95), left leg balance is 11.29 seconds, and inhale volume is 4700 mL.
Saturday, June 11, 2005
In my closet there is a wooden chest that we got as a wedding present. It has a rounded lid and a clasp. In it, I keep things that I wanted given to my kids after I die. Yesterday I finished the DVD called "From Dad" and put two copies in the chest, one for each child. This DVD is meant to be viewed by them only once they are twenty. I will also edit down a milder version of it that younger children could view, in the event that something happens to me in the next few years.
My legs have been, for lack of a better word, 'tight' or 'sore' for the last few days. These words don't quite fit, because ALS muscle rot feels different to me than normal muscle complaints. Maybe it's post-trip backlash, maybe just the new reality. Whatever. I will try to rest them and treat them with lots of tonic water with quinine.
Left grip is 40 pounds (38, 38, 40), right grip is 94 pounds (90, 94, 90), left leg balance is 10.47 seconds, and inhale volume is 4700 mL.
Here's the latest grip strength chart. The most recent gap with no data is the trip I took, not a ceftriaxone infusion. During a ceftriaxone round, there is a data gap for only one arm, not both. The next ceftriaxone round is scheduled for June 14, 15 and 16, three days at at three grams per day instead of the previous regime of five days at two grams per day.
Friday, June 10, 2005
Am I 80 yet?
Yesterday I scooped up the leaves that were piled up in front of the house. It was only about one cubic meter of stuff, but boy was I tired when I finished. My cardiovascular health is still good, so I don't feel winded or sweaty when I finish a job like that. But my muscles are wobbly and weak. And it's easy to misjudge recovery time. I walked down the stairs about an hour later and almost fell.
Left grip is 40 pounds (40, 39, 40), right grip is 97 pounds (97, 95, 92), left leg balance is 13.7 seconds, and inhale volume is TK mL.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
The medical marijuana people are clearly just trying to use a mercy angle as a step in the larger campaign of freeing up dope for entertainment use. If you smoke dope, I don't really care, as long as I don't work for you and you're not in my family, or following me in a squad car. If you smoke dope and you think it means anything, socially or politically, then you are a deluded fool. The anti-dope people, for their part, are ludicrous hypocrites. Addressing the commerce clause, they argue that local commerce in drugs has national effects. However, that's also true of paperclips. When the medical marijuana advocates point this out, then the anti-marijuana people say that when it comes to enforcement of laws on contraband, you need a nationally consistent standard. I very much agree, and I despise dope, but I despise almost as much the intellectual dishonesty of supposedly arguing on Constitutional precedent, and then suddenly proposing a new federalist standard without admitting it. Perhaps the only good thing that comes out of this is a discussion of Constitutional law. Otherwise, a pox on both their houses.
Left grip is 40 pounds (31, 40, 38), right grip is 91 pounds (89, 91, 89), left leg balance is 13.59 seconds, and inhale volume is 4600 mL.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
We spent seven days in another place. It required long airplane trips to get there and to get back. It was a perilous place for me: sticky, uneven formica, rumpled carpets, a dark little foot stool about three inches high, books and boxes and odds and ends piled everywhere, furniture in unexpected places as if moved about by a rush of mud. It was like being in a submarine.
My daughter caught a cold on the plane and was runny nose and misery often. My throat and nose flared up, and I sneezed and blew my nose a lot. But it must have been something I had already had.
It wasn't a 'vacation,' despite my previous statement.
I didn't do any metrics, though I did take all of my usual pills and potions.
My goals where simple:
1) Don't fall and hurt yourself.
2) Don't catch that cold.
Accordingly, I spent a lot of time just lying down, or sitting in a chair, reading. I drank lots of water, trying to fend off the cold. My wife did all the hard work. For example, she spent over an hour each night getting the poor, miserable, crying girl to sleep. She also did all the other ambitious stuff. I was sort of like a teenager, interested only in my own comfort, contributing nothing unless the mood struck me. I was a bystander while my lovely wife was the mom. Sure, I did some parenting. But nothing worth noting. I was helpful but not crucial. She deserves a medal.
Left grip is 42 pounds (35, 39, 42), right grip is 89 pounds (85, 89, 89), left leg balance is 7.93 seconds, and inhale volume is 4700 mL.