The Grand Oversight

I realized something today and it is not good, forgetting to renew your domain name is not good…not good at all!  Sure I could have set it up to automatically renew but I was unsure if I wanted to have the Krispy’s Bytes continue on and then…well for reasons that are beyond my control (like the plethora of health issues that I have gone through this past month) I simply forgot to submit the renewal.

So what does that mean?  Well it means that I have a unique opportunity to restart EVERYTHING and bring it back home to the original home of the Rants and Musings of Krispy.  No more splitting time between two sites and applying a renewed focus for the meanderings of a former sales guy through a new life that is not yet well defined.

Will this mean that I will be rebuilding all of the former posts?  I think I just might do that.  Luckily I had a back up of every word, phrase and post that I have ever put up on the grand interwebz so over the next week or so I will be rebuilding EVERYTHING back to its original state.

Sorry for any inconvenience…but I now get to start over!

Exploration of Pain

Having been in excruciating pain for 29 of the last 30 days I figured I would look a little deeper into what this discomfort that I have been suffering through could be…and I was truly surprised by what I found when I went out looking.  I do know that each person has different pain tolerances and while my own tolerance is high, I would never be foolish enough to compare the pain that I have been having to something like childbirth (but then again that is over and done with relatively quickly in comparison to 30 days of constant pain).

At Wikipedia a nice concise definition presents itself and starts to put things into perspective:

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.

I am a person who likes to compare and look at the data that is in front of me so beyond Wikipedia I looked to two other sources for some facts about pain.  The Canadian Pain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain.  What I found was actually shocking, here are some outtakes from there respective fact sheets about pain:

  • Pain is the most common reason for seeking health care and as the presenting complaint accounts for up to 78% of visits to emergency rooms (Todd, Ducharme et al. 2007)
  • One in five Canadian adults suffer from chronic pain (Moulin, Clark et al, 2002, Schopflocher, Jovey et al. 2011)
  • 50% of people waiting for care at Canadian pain clinics have moderate to severe levels of depression and 34.6% report thinking about suicide and 72.9% report the pain interferes with their normal work (Choiniere, Dione et al. 2010)
  • Veterinarians receive 5 times more training in pain management than people doctors (Watt-Watson, McGillion et al. 2009)
  • 2014-2015 is the Global Year Against Neuropathic Pain

In looking at these few bits of information, I can understand the apathy of the medical professionals that I have seen in the past 30 days.  I would have presented myself as nothing more than another drug seeking patient or worse a working junkie looking for a prescription to ease my perceived suffering, the reality is for me…I didn’t want the pain to go away necessarily although it would make my life easier, I wanted answers to the cause of the pain and a long term relief.

But that unfortunately does not appear to be what the medical system is set up to do.

We go into the ER, and after waiting 3-4 hours we see a doctor for a few minutes and we are sent out with a prescription to mask the pain.

Luckily for me, I had other severe symptoms that forced the doctors to look deeper.  MRI, EEG and a neurologist will be looking into what the underlying cause of my suffering is…but for that, I will likely have to be in pain for more than 3 months before I even come close to finding out why I hurt, ALL the time.

I know that I am not alone when I say I am in pain…but I battle through the discomfort and the reality is, I rarely take any medication for pain because.  My reasoning behind this is that I may develop a tolerance for the medication leading me to need more and more of it to “not feel”.  That to me is not a good strategy for long term health.

Know this doctors and nurses, when I come to you…I want answers not a prescription (although this last battle with an abscessed tooth I was very greatful for the assistance).

The time that I have had to look back at my own suffering though, I have not been very lucky when it comes to pain in general and I thought I would document some of the injuries and illnesses that have caused me pain:

  • Multiple Concussions (as a youth I was a Headbutt champion, denting lockers at school, breaking boards etc), now in my 40s I realize this was not a good idea
  • Appendix Surgery – I remember all too well being in OAC Chemistry and having to be rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery
  • Multiple Knee Surgeries – after a misstep at 17 during my first Military Exercise I now am a walking barometer as fluid in my knee lets me predict the weather with surprising accuracy
  • Broken Back – While at work in 2003 I fell from about 6 feet in the air and suffered a compression fracture to my C-7 Vertabrae…I went back to work the next day
  • Psoriasis – This is my constant reminder of pain, my skin is in near constant flux producing painful itching and scales that cover about 60% of my body when a full flare up is in action.  I get it on the soles of my feet, palms of my hands, in the nail beds of my fingers and toes but by far the worst, is when it strikes in my genital region…walking becomes a challenge, let alone anything else (wink, wink)
  • Abdominal Pain – this is the one that gets  me the most.  A random pain in my middle abdomen that shoots from my back to under my sternum after I eat.  This pain is completely random and I have yet to identify the food or quantity that seems to set it off but when it comes, my only relief is laying on the floor and elevating my feet for hours
  • Headaches – I have always had my fair share of headaches, from migraines brought on by florescent lighting, to the caffeine headache of sleeping in, but recently the latest round of pain has been beyond anything that I have experienced…it is constant, continuous and immune to most pain medication

You see, I am not a stranger to pain, it is part of who I am and while it has made me stronger over the years…I know that as I age…I just don’t have the desire to fight the pain and it sometimes feels like it would be okay to just crawl up and stay in bed…permanently.  But then again that would be quitting on my life and a statistic is now how I want to be remembered!

Well, that is a bit about me and my journey of pain.

Keep on, keeping on!

Krispy

The past 2 weeks have been more than a bit of a challenge.  I am now on day 18 with a splitting headache that varies between a cluster headache behind my right eye and a full migraine that has me praying for release.  This week there was some progress towards finding out what is going on but I will have to wait 109 days to have the diagnosis and hopefully solution to the cause of my excruciating pain.

The worst of it is, I have 8 bottle of pills that I could be taking to provide me with relief but after a bout of seizures and then tremours I am leery of taking anything to provide me with relief which means I sit in the dark, doing as little as possible.

My only relief seems to be the quiet playing of Acoustic Blues in a constant loop.

This is the first time since the headache came on that I have even come close to feeling like myself enough to sit down and really think about this blog and the things that are going on, in a way that I can maybe have an outlet for the dizziness, vertigo and malaise that has me going to the very dark places that depression and anxiety tend to bring forward.

My Facebook Friends and Family have been very supportive in my daily posts of the frustration that I feel, but support (while important) is not what I need.

To top off the pain I have in my head, my 12 year battle with the skin disease Psoriasis has returned in the most uncomfortable way.  This is likely the leading cause for my restless nights, as when I went to make my bed this morning and pulled back the sheets I noticed the scary amount of skin that had flaked off of me while I unconsciously itch while I am sleeping.

Yep, 42 years old and I am officially breaking down.

But despite all this, I am still looking forward to what this year will bring.

I have a great woman in my life that unfortunately for her I have been pushing away because when I am in pain, I tend to lack patience and tact and say things that I regret.  I miss her something terrible, and long to just be close to her…my fear is what ever is going on with my health will be more than she is prepared to take on.

Then there is my little Scoobie, the light of my life.  My daughter is coming home this weekend so I have something to look forward to (even if it will be a shortened visit because of the needs of my work).

I have prepped myself for about a dozen online courses for 2015 but because of the headaches I have been unable to concentrate long enough to sit through even a single lesson so far this year…but come hell or high water…I will make it through them, achieve the certifications that I have been lacking and with any luck will be able to really start over later this year!

Well, as much as I want to just stay here and let the words flow out of my fingertips…staring at the white screen before me is making it increasingly hard to stay upright, so I will say adieu for the day…with any luck things will start getting better soon!

Cheers,

Krispy

I ended 2014 in the hospital…and 2015 started off a similar way.  I must say that the great big piece of grey matter between my ears is a mysterious and complicated machine that seems to be more than a little bit off lately.

headahce

I am less than a patient guy, I like to see things in front of me and come up with the answers and the fact that the high speed internet connection that follows me around like a guide to all the information in the world has had me more than a little scared about what the cause of this now week old headache could be.

2 trips to the hospital and still no answers what so ever…in fact my visit to the emergency room yesterday was a complete waste of time, other than the resident doctor who saw me was able to get the ball rolling for further tests…I just don’t know when it will happen.

That internet connection that I spoke of has me all to frequently going to WebMD, Yahoo! Health and ZocDoc and this has done nothing to alleviate the fear and uncertainty that surrounds something that I can not control.

For me, pain is usually a way for me to remember that I am alive.  I suffer from Psoriasis so constant pain is something that I understand all too well.  In addition to that chronic medical issue, I have a blown out knee (that acts as barometer for any and all weather changes), and a decade ago I broke my back and this too flares up all to often.

To top things off, I have had more than my fair share of concussions and this issue is what causes me a great deal of fear into what is going on in my brain…even more so than the fear of Stroke, Aneurysm or Cancer.  You see, I know that there is a chemical imbalance deep inside my mind…this has been an underlying issue in the destruction of relationships, loss of jobs and creator of my current set of circumstances…and if it is getting worse…what is going to be the next status for the 2nd half of my life?

I had big plans for this year, but right now that plan is on hold.  I need to get the answers to what may be a battle that I am just not prepared to fight.

I will keep updating this particular post with more information…but lets just say…I am freaked out and feel more alone than ever before in my life.

Krispy

January 4

Just months before I was born, a piece of Technology that forever changed the world was released by a company that would later become the largest manufacturer of Personal Computers.  Hewlett Packard (HP) back in 1972 was a producer of electronic measuring devices and with the release of their handheld scientific calculator the HP-35.  With this move, the need for slide rules and reams of paper to complete complex calculations was coming to an end.

640px-HP_35_Calculator

 

January 3

On this day way back in 1996, Motorola released its StarTac cellphone.  I remember giving up my Motorola Flip Phone for this amazingly compact and versatile device a few months after its release.  It didn’t come cheap either as I the world of contracts and the like really hadn’t taken over but I used my meager paycheck to grab up this piece of technology wonder that fit perfectly into my pocket or into the protective holder that hung on my belt.  In many ways, I miss this simpler time of just using a phone as a phone!

startac

Recently I have had some surprising health challenges, namely an unexplained headache that lead to a collapse and a 10 hour ordeal at the hospital.  According to my daughter, I had no less than a half dozen seizures while in transit by ambulance and at the hospital.  While I no longer have the headache, I look at my body and wonder just what exactly these doctors and nurses did to me while I was there.

On my left arm, I have a bruise that runs from my upper bicep down well below where the 2nd IV was in and then on right arm a similar sized bruise that seems to be growing at an alarming rate and turning 5 different shades of purple.  On the back of my right hand, there is a substantial bruise, but this I could expect as the EMT got the first IV into me while the Ambulance was moving on the bumpy streets of London, Ontario.

What is most troublesome is the massive bruise on my chest.

I can say this, while this city I live in may have among the best hospitals in the province…I will never EVER go back to University Hospital.  This is not my first poor experience with this facility but it will be my last.

Sure I understand that doctors have to train somewhere but why in the name of all that is holy did I get the doctors that had the equivalent bedside manner of a 2 year old with a God Complex.  2 days after I discharged myself (yes that is right I walked out after one of the “quacks” tried to what I can only describe as trying to break my finger), I actually feel worse than I did when I was admitted, albeit in different ways.

I realize that walking out of a hospital without answers to what caused or may again cause the series of seizures and loss of consciousness but I have a very low tolerance for stupidity when it comes to people only doing a half assed job…in any profession.  What is worse, is I was assured by the “quacks” that a real doctor would be contacting me in the next couple of days but now 3 days later…not only do I not have any answers…for some reason it will now fall upon me to find out what they found out (if anything) and then take my treatment and further diagnosis to a hospital that I actually trust with my healthcare.

Cheers,

Krispy

Big Data for the Little Guy

The turning of the calendar to a new year has had me thinking long and hard about the direction of Krispy’s Bytes.  Within the world of Technology there are 3 core areas that always seem to get my attention:

  1. Open Source (Linux and GNU Software)
  2. Big Data
  3. Risk Management

So as I sat back over the past few weeks and looked to what Krispy’s Bytes would become in 2015 I thought…why not focus on these three topics exclusively (with the addition of adding in the wonders of This Day in Tech History).

I really want to focus on the low or no budget concept of dealing with technology challenges because having been a Small Business Owner myself…I know how tough it is to actually stretch a dollar.

The Primary focus over the next several weeks will be to use a recently decommissioned computer to become a full fledged Big Data Machine, using nothing but free and open source tools.  I will be doing this for practical purposes and documenting the successes and failures as I go along.

One thing that I have learned over the past several years is that Big Data really isn’t only in the domain of Data Scientists and done right, the Little Guy can truly compete against the big Multinational Corporations…we just have to be craftier and stretch that dollar…so here goes the start of a Zero Budget Big Data Project!

Stay tuned,

Krispy

January 1

This day in Tech History brought to very important things to the world…first off, .com was born in 1985 as a TLD (Top Level Domain) and has led to the prosperity of the online world with websites that both enrich our lives and waste our time.

Additionally, in 2000, January 1 brought about what many thought would be the end of days when the computers of the world rolled over from 1999 to 2000 and the hysteria about a total collapse of society proved to be not only unfounded but overkill that was a great job creator for people writing code that supposedly would solve all the worlds problems because the original writers of the underpinnings of computer languages wanted to save a few bits.