- Category: Current Status
- Published on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 15:16
- Written by Brian Fahrlander
- Hits: 1749
People ask, and I need to be able to tell them:
Updated 3/17/14: Third anniversary
Three years ago today my kidney was repaired, then removed. I have to say, the entire process was quite painless, other than a weird "duct tape" feeling around that side.
The journey called dialysis has been different. Every dialysis-day is slightly different, with different numbers, different feelings, and different outcomes.
There seems to be a great deal of difficulty deciding how much water to pull off while filtering. At some times they've attempted 4.500 kg, but I've never done more than 3.200 without cramping severely. Some of these cramps are SERIOUS with no way around it: they have no pain killers, and any I bring in will take about a half hour to start...so they're useless.
One day they pulled more than they should have (but for some reason I didn't cramp.) I went home and directly to bed. I slept like a lamb. But as I was waking up, the screaming-cramps began.
The muscles of my legs were literally working on their own, at near-total power, trying to pull themselves off the bone! It's been a week and they STILL HURT for crying out loud.
Now I stay up a bit more, eat, and pray more.
But: I've been approved for disability...we'll see if I get more than $1.50 a month, since the time they have to look at, I was a caregiver for mom...
Next up: Disability outcome. Next time.
The list of maladies seems to have stopped growing! Yeah, I felt a trifle better, even though the chemistry shows the remaining kidney is soon to stop. At least there seem to be no more surprises.
- Diabetes: blood tests and food concerns (in remission?)
- Diverticulitis: random belly pains (better now)
- Macular Degeneration: eye trouble
- Brain damage corrupting vision (hallucinations, distortions)
- Muscle damage, tremors at times, cramps!
- Lost kidney to cancer, other one's failing
- Sleep apnea: now using CPAP
- Orthopaedic problems: still can't stand on concrete long
- Still mumbling about the coma, and all the cool things I saw there
- Deep-Vain Thrombosis. They're giving me nitro in case I get pain-in-arm.
- I'm feeling chest pains, and they can do little about it.
- Dialysis every other day
Hallucinations have been fun:
- I turned to look at the mirror one morning and saw what I'd look like with 2" of fur all around me.
- I woke up to see that my computer playing a Burn Notice episode audio, while playing something very different on the screen: an 80's music video.
- Numerous times I've seen "animals" that aren't there creeping into/out of my periphery
- I'm constantly having trouble reading the screen and writing things.
- Most mornings my computer screen has "snow" on it like the signal is weak, but it's a computer, playing back video files!
- Two more "The house is on fire" visions; but I smelled no smoke.
I've been to an eye doctor. The great news? It's not my eyes, it's brain damage.
I remember being a child, back when everything still worked, and I even had a flat, tight belly, and wondered how people ever let themselves get fat. I used to run everywhere! I looked at old people and wondered how they could do it. How do they live on, as parts start to fall off them?
I'm no special example of dealing with physical changes. I'm just doing it.
I'm just as afraid of winding up blind and useless, unable to finally go travel the USA again, or for that matter, use the internet, and await death in the dark. But again it's the coma: a chance to know the distance between life and death, and the reality that it will all be better on the other side.
It's why I have Sofia's picture printed on a huge 3-foot by 4-foot poster in my room: to remind me of the destination. (Click it for the back story)
Every time I think about meeting her again, knowing she can read my thoughts, that I can never hurt her, and she'll never misunderstand me...and we'll discover the new heaven and the new Earth together across time, I almost always cry with joy. It's harder to keep morale when you have no idea why you fight. But I know why...and it'll keep me stronger. So parts will keep failing and I'll move ever closer to the fate of every man.
As for today, I'm having a lot of trouble seeing the screen. Both eyes disagree as to what I'm seeing. More and more mornings, I get up and can't barely see the screen. That's bad; there's otherwise very little to do, here.Add a comment
- Category: Current Status
- Published on Saturday, 19 May 2012 15:47
- Written by Brian Fahrlander
- Hits: 1694
The 'Actual' Situation
The onboard computer known as "Actual", a P3 mini-ITX, has been removed for upgrade. The website is currently maintained in-house until it can go back.
The biggest problem is that hard drives just don't deal with the cold: silicon does. I'm unaware of SSD for IDE drives, only SATA. So anything I install, resembling a PC has to be a monster.
Fixing the problem
I'm also considering a cluster of Arduino, 8-bit machines. I have a Leonardo that's nice-but-not-standard, and I think I'll have it deal with the basics of thermostat work. It will keep the run-time variables there and await commands to move set points and/or change modes.
Another Arduino, a more-standard UNO type with a sweet little user-interface will connect to the Leonardo, telling it to adjust set points, interrogating it for temps and that sort of thing. It's this one, with the user interface, that might be used to power an electronic door lock. But for now, becoming a useful user interface is more than enough!
I do have a little concern over the hobbyist nature of these units. They're not built with what's called "buckled" connectors. Instead, the connectors are low-duty and made for experimenters, not hard-core installers of vehicular computers. I'll have to work out some cases or "modules" in which to place them, giving them safety from grime as well as proper connectors.
One problem with which I'll not contend is system heat. On a typical PC, shoe-horned into place, one has to go to a lot of trouble to vent the CPU heat, and there's never quite enough to keep it warm. But these units don't have a lot of heat, and should be a lot less trouble from that standpoint.
I manage to cover all the bases with the little machines, though I still haven't worked out a web server for the project, itself. But maybe that'll be my desktop, when I'm parked. Who knows?
Splitting the onboard work between these two, smaller, cheaper machines provides lots of benefits. The only downside is that OneWire devices (like all my sensors and relays) will have to be stripped and re-thought. But otherwise:
- No hard drives
- Wide power range
- Low current use
- Low cost
- Low heat/vibration worry
With this plan, 'the computer' can be on all the time, until the battery dies. When it again has power, it's right there again, after a second-or-two of boot-time. The battery drain isn't much.
The boards come with several AIs for reading temps. Which is good; I can't actually use the One-Wire sensor network that I've had all this time- Arduino can talk to such a network, but only deal with one device per line, and then it's pretty primitive, too.
I'll keep updating the articla (as long as the eyes allow it) with new information as available.Add a comment