Sunday, March 30, 2008

Plastic Surgery In The News



There have been major stories buzzing the health and medical blogasphere that are related although the events took place across the Atlantic. In Britain, a couple decided to have plastic surgery performed on their 5 years old daughter. She has Down Syndrome. The desire was to help her look more "normal" and fit in better. More here.

In Florida, an 18 years old cheerleader died during breast enhancement surgery. More here.

The buzz is that in both cases the surgery was cosmetic in nature and reflects on the vanity we are succumbing to. Many feel there should be more regulation. However, Bobblehead is not so sure about this and has been fairly quiet in the comments on other blogs.

First off, the Bobblehead has had plastic surgery. And while some would say it was cosmetic in nature, the results have been dramatic and I would go through the surgery again in a heart beat.

After my 200 pound weight loss I was stuck with a problem. My "apron" that was the skin on my belly hung down almost to my knees. My clothes would not fit right. When I walked or exercised, the skin would sway drastically and painfully. It also was drying up in areas and was forming scabs. It was so far down and put some much pressure on my lower body that when (okay, this is not kid-friendly) I had to pee, I could not just lower my fly and go. I had to drop my pants, hold the apron up out of the way, and go. Urinals were not my friend. At the same time I had developed an incisional hernia down the front of my abdominal. I decided to take care of both of them. Outside of Houston, I had two surgeons work on me. One fixed the hernia and the other removed the excess skin. This is an abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck." Eighteen pounds of it. I awoke to a belly that was fairly flat and normal. I still have a lot of loose skin but it is not a burden like the apron was. I dropped almost 4 inches in my waist (all skin, not fat). I can pee normally. Jumping jacks and running is possible. It is wonderful. I have no regrets at all for my choice in this surgery. As for the loose skin in my thighs and still some in my gut, I do not care. This is great as is. I am not trying to be perfect, just functional.

The couple with the Down Syndrome child had her tongue reduced in size. It was protruding as is often the case. I actually agree with this surgery. There are health issues at stake including respiratory and just general health. I did not consider this cosmetic in nature and defend the parents' decision to do this surgery. The parents also had two other surgeries performed on their child, though. Small flaps of skin were removed from around the girl's eyes. Down Syndrome children used to be called "Mongoloid" because of their almost Asian appearance (and their rounded faces). The girl's eyes were made to look more normal. In addition, a third surgery pinned her ears back. Again, purely cosmetic. Again, to make here fit in.

Bobblehead has issues with this. And they are not politically correct. This Down Syndrome girl will never be normal. She will be what she is. She will be mentally challenged and forever frozen in a child-like mental state no matter what she looks like. And to that I say, so what. The world is big enough for all types. Heaven knows I am mentally challenged half of the time. Will the girl be a rocket scientist? No. Will she be capable of giving love and compassion? Yes. Will she look like everyone else? No. Will that make her less beautiful? No. Will that make her picked on and less accepted? Maybe by some but, again, so what. No matter who you are, there is always someone out there that hates your guts just because. Your self worth is not judged by how others judge you. Neither is that girl's. I am pissed off at the parents and feel they made the wrong choice. So are a lot of other people. Stupid parents.


It is not my call to deny the parents the right to have their child go through surgery. After all, if the girl were horribly disfigured in an accident or fire, no one would deny the parent's right to ask for "cosmetic surgery" to rebuild a face. Where do we draw that line. Should the government and the "people" take the role of the parents in this case? How do you define the cases? Who judges? What makes them so damned qualified?

I believe strongly that the parents made some awful choices but it was their choices to make. Them and their doctor's. No, the child could not speak for herself. And with a lower IQ, even at 18 years old she could not make those choices. We can chastise the parents for what they are doing but in the end, parents screw up every day. That is what parents do. The parents had a right to choose. I would raise the age limit up a number of years but any number is arbitrary and some surgeries are less risky when the patients are younger. There is no good one-size-fits-all solution, here.

So, what if another girl was 18, pretty, a cheerleader, intelligent, had chosen a career in medicine (plastic surgery, ironically)? Can she decide what to do in her case? In Boca Raton, Florida, a girl died from a problem in anesthesia having her breasts enlarged and a nipple straightened. No one foresaw the death although it is a documented risk. The number of deaths is extremely low but will never be zero.

Again, I feel the girl was vain. I saw photos of her. She was very pretty. Larger breasts would not (in my opinion) make her more pretty. And heaven knows I have had my share of visually beautiful people that were spiritually vacant. This girl (according to the press) was loved by all (funny how mean bastards and bitches never die or have bad things happen to them in the press!). Now, she is pretty and dead.

Vain? Yes. I think she made a poor choice. A symbol of our material, flashy world? Yes, but behavior like this has always existed in history and culture (body piercing, tattoos, Geisha's, feet binding, neck rings, the list goes on...). But, in the end, the girl was 18. She legally could make this choice. She knew the risks, knew that this was 100% non-essential, knew it all. She paid the price as did her friends and family.

If my daughter came to me and asked to have a breast enhancement I would say no way on hell. Bigger boobies will not make my already beautiful girls more beautiful. But I do not think I will have that problem...

Should the cheerleader been forbidden to make that choice. Again, no. It was her choice to make. Sad, tragic, stupid, a total waste. But her choice.

Neither of these cases are happy. Both bother me more than words can express. In one case I see parents subjecting their little girl to surgery to hide a condition that she should never hide. In the other, I see the vanity of our society claiming a young life. Both cases are disturbing. All I could, and should, do is learn from the mistakes of others and instill strong values in myself and my family.

As for the Bobblehead, no more plastic surgeries are foreseen in my future. I have no regrets in my own surgery. When other drastic weight loss people approach me and ask if they should have plastic surgery I tell them my story but temper it with one phrase that I state again and again.

They must decide for themselves.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Migraine Blog: Free Her Brain


Her Brain Hurts, Too...

One of the things the Bobblehead has found fun about blogging is that since I have become more relaxed about it, I have started to work up this little network of people who comment and email me. Often it is out of the blue.

Megan Oltman wrote me about my post on Migraines and Weird Al. I went to her site and it is very nice. Again, a purely human side to a migraine sufferer and her life adjusting around the condition.

Megan's blog is a pleasure on the eyes and the mind. It is cleanly arranged (unlike mine which I tend to throw together between spurts where I can write). Her topics are wonderful to read. It is book marked as a must read for the Bobblehead.

If you are seeking to see how a real person copes and does so with grace, peek at Free My Brain:

[posted by Bobblehead]

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bobblehead has no nukes



Okay, I may be the Radioactive Bobblehead but I personally have no nukes, at least not the last time I checked:

Pentagon: Inventory ordered of all U.S. nukes

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Defense Secretary Robert Gates has formally ordered the Air Force, Navy and Defense Logistics Agency to conduct an inventory of all U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon-related materials to make sure all items are accounted for, according to a Pentagon memo released Thursday.

The order comes in the wake of the discovery last week that four nuclear warhead fuses were accidentally shipped to Taiwan in 2006.

Gates' memo, issued Wednesday, calls for all items to be accounted for by serial number.

Pentagon officials said at a news conference Tuesday that Gates would call for the review in addition to a full investigation into how the shipment to Taiwan from a Defense Logistics Agency warehouse happened 18 months ago.

The inventory review, which will involve thousands of items, is due to Gates in 60 days. Pentagon officials said the request was ordered, in part, because this latest incident comes after the August 2007 accidental flight of six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on a B-52 bomber across the country.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't Eat At This McDonalds If You Are A Little Person

Again, fact is stranger than fiction. The person involved is a Little Person. Many forms of Dwarfism are direct results of pituitary disorders. Yes, Little People need to adjust for life in a world based around taller people. But in the end, they are just people.

"Scary" is not a phrase I would use. And if I were scared of Little People to the point of hysterics, then it really would be me with the true disability. Working at the front counter of McDonalds where I might encounter, you know, people, might not be the best career choice for me....

Little Person Says Clerk Screamed, Ran From Him

WYFF4 News.

GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -- A little person says he encountered a big problem at an Upstate fast-food restaurant.

The McDonald's customer has filed a complaint with the company and retained a lawyer to advise him after he said that a restaurant employee screamed and ran away from him because he is a little person.


Wade said, "Young lady had her back turned to the counter and when she turned around and spotted me she threw her hands up in the air, started yelling 'Oh, my gosh! Oh my gosh!' and ran to the back of the restaurant, continuing to yell as she was in back of the restaurant."

[posted by Bobblehead]

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Feature: This Will Kill You & This Will Save You


New Feature: This Will Kill You & This Will Save You

I have decided to keep a running total of different items that I see in the news that will either kill you, save you, or both. I am keeping the original reference links as well. It should be interesting to see in a few months what this list looks like. Enjoy.

Go To This Will Kill You & This Will Save You

[last updated 3/25/08, posted by Bobblehead]

Start New Hypoglycemia Medicine Today

Proglycem. Nast side effects but my reactive hypoglycemia drove me nuts yesterday. My fasting was good. 83. After breakfast my blood glucose dropped to 56. Ouch.

Stay tuned...

[posted by Bobblehead]

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bobblehead's New Journey Into Hypoglycemia


How About Pancreas For Dinner Tonight, Dear?

I got to break in meet a new Endocrinologist Thursday at the University of New Mexico Hospital. I have to admit, I went in pretty pissed off (and Mrs. Bobblehead was also upset). I have been basically ignored and dismissed by my doctors concerning my hypoglycemia for a year, now. Especially Endocrinologists. What in the world is wring with Endocrinologists? Are they all asshats? Hey, if you are an Endocrinologist and consider yourself a good person, write me. Please tell me what I am missing. Honest, I want to know.
My hypoglycemia is driving me and everyone around me nuts. I am moody beyond belief. I have developed a sweet tooth like I never have had before. I crave candy. I never needed candy like I do now. It is worrisome.I gave a basic medical history to the first doctor who came in. I was actually scheduled to see a different endocrinologist. I wanted to see yet a different endocrinologist, a metabolic specialist.
Oh well. Doc #1 interviewed me. He was concerned that my duodenal switch weight loss surgery might be contributing to the problem. I concur with that. I am seeing that about 1.5% of drastic weight loss post-WLS patients are developing hypoglycemia. I might be in that "lucky" 1.5%. Wonderful.
He asked what was I doing to control my hypoglycemia so far. What was the diagnosis? I told him that I had no true diagnosis and that I had no course of treatment except for trying to control with diet.
I added that I was not leaving without a plan forward. Period. He smiled and gave a nervous laugh. I did not laugh back. He knew I was not a happy camper.
After the interview he left. Li and I waited around in the examining room for about 30 minutes. Finally, Dr. #1 came back in with two others. Dr. #2, the original Endocrinologist I was supposed to see was there. He looked very young and he never did speak. Dr. #3 was older, in his fifties. His name sounded familiar to me. He spoke to me openly and honestly. As he quickly figured out my scientific background and my decent understanding of the medicine behind where I was the conversation became technical very quickly. For the first time it became obvious that I caught the attention of an Endocrinologist. He was not overly concerned about treatment, but he was clear that we were both in virgin territory. It looked like my WLS was behind the hypoglycemia. (I will post about WLS and hypoglycemia in a later post. Promise).
In a nut shell, your Islets of Langerhans inside your pancreas make two hormones, glucagon and insulin. In my case, the islets may have actually grown in size or may just be active little buggers. They are making too much insulin. This is not the same as being diabetic. I am not insulin resistant. My insulin works just fine. Since I get too much insulin my blood sugar drops.
And you do not want to be near the Bobblehead when my sugar goes down.
I could have a biopsy to examine my islets under the microscope. But for now, we will try another approach. We will try a drug to limit insulin production. If my hypoglycemia goes away, then the diagnosis is fairly close to being accurate.The drug, diazoxide or Proglycem, is a little scary. A suspension, I need to take a squirt each morning. It builds up quickly, has a fairly long half life (30 hours), and some nasty side effects. Including excess hair on my forehead and hands (back to my Neanderthal Days for Bobblehead). But it is worth a shot for now.When I was getting ready to leave UNM I finally realized why I knew the name of the older Endocrinologist. He is head of the entire department. I had written him earlier (I never heard back from him) when this was first starting. Seems like I got his attention, now.
Will let you know how things go.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Legal Battle Rages Over Whether Ankles Exist


You cannot make this up if you tried:

[From Legal Battle Rages Over Whether Ankles Exist - San Antonio News Story - KSAT San Antonio]

AUSTIN -- For every foot, there's an ankle. Or not.In Texas, that all depends on a legal battle between medical doctors and podiatrists, who both claim the ankle as their turf. The debate has raged to the point that the two sides disagree in court on whether the ankle actually exists.

A state appeals court recently sided with medical doctors when it determined that the state board that licenses podiatrists exceeded its authority in defining the ankle as part of the foot.

"You don't have an ankle," said Mark Hanna, a lawyer for the Texas Podiatric Medical Association. "The foot actually includes the ankle. If you took the foot off the leg, there is nothing lying there that's the ankle."
Not so, said Dr. David Teuscher, an orthopedic surgeon in Beaumont who said treating the ankle is complicated enough to require medical school training.
"If they say the ankle doesn't exist, why do they want to operate on it?" asked Teuscher, immediate past president of the Texas Orthopaedic Association. "Everyone knows what an ankle is."
The Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners bypassed the Legislature to create its ankle-is-part-of-the-foot definition in 2001. Podiatrists say they've been treating ankles for decades and accuse medical doctors of trying to limit competition. The Texas Medical Association argues podiatrists should stick to corns, calluses and diabetic foot care.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Autoimmune: When Your Body Attacks


NO! Those cells are NOT the enemy! Bad immune system!

Luckily, I do not have an autoimmune problem. Mrs. Bobblehead does. She has ulcerative colitis. And it is a nasty disorder.
Autoimmunes are tough. Basically, your body has a very complex manner in which it fights infection and invasion by outside enemies (like parasites). White blood cells are the main soldiers and their attacks on invaders are relentless. But the true miracle of your immune system are antibodies. The way antibodies work took even the most hardened scientists by surprise. It was assumed for the longest time that you had a number of different antibodies for different bacteria, viruses, etc. The truth is, once your body=y has identified something as a threat, your body creates antibodies against that threat...and those antibodies are created and circulated through your body for life. True, the number for any given threat (say small pox) is small when you are not infected, but grow once your body realizes it is under attack. Your lymph floods the body with the needed antibodies which act as recon for the white blood cells. They say, "hey, attack that virus." and the white blood cells say, "Sir, yes sir!"
The only problem is that it does not quite work that way. Your immune system does not have brains and it does not actually talk. So, if a bacteria comes in and, using camouflage, mimics your body's own tissue, all hell can break out. You immune system can see that the bacteria does not quite belong but because of the mimic, it cannot readily distinguish between the invader and the natural tissue it is mimicking. Your body's immune system shrugs, makes a ton of new antibody, and attacks the bacteria. The problem is, since the antibody cannot tell the difference between, say your cartilage in your joints, and the invader, it attaches to both. In doing so it directs the attack of the white blood cells against both. And since you have a lot of cartilage, your body keeps making antibodies and therefore the white blood cells keep on attacking. The result: an autoimmune disease, or in this case rheumatoid arthritis. Bad.

RA is dreadfully painful, and there is no cure. The best way is to fight with steroids. Of course steroids, usually Prednisone, have there own nasty side effects such as weight gain, "moon face," and chronic organ failure. Ouch.

Sasha has a wonderful blog, Type A with RA (, which I found. She, like so many others that write on their own experiences with diseases and disorders, puts a true human face to her life. She balances RA with her career, her relationship, her hobbies (surfing, dude!), and life. It is a great blog with great news and first hand words on dealing with RA but is also a window into a wonderful woman's soul. Take a look.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Sick of Spitzer


What a Crock...

Okay, it is official. The Bobblehead is officially sick of Elliot Spitzer stories. I have always held low opinions of the dirt-bag man but my patience with the news stories is over. Yes, the gal he, uh, visited is a knock-out. She also has the tragic life history shared by most prostitutes. Although now she will be famous and, if she plays her cards right, filthy (in more ways than one) rich.
Spitzer, on the other hand, is just another in the long line of power hungry people (usually, but not always men) that live a do as I say and not as I do campaign. I hope he ends up in a PMITA prison cell and his wife, after smiling and standing by her man, dumps his lousy ass.
Now, this may come as a surprise to you, I am for legalizing prostitution. My view points are fairly libertarian in nature. I understand the basis for anti-prostitution laws (and anti-drug laws, etc.) but come on...The driving factor that makes prostitution so bad is the crime and pimping that surrounds it (oh, and the drugs...sober prostitutes are not the norm).
So, Elliot's transactions with this gal was wrong between his wife and himself and should not concern us, right?
Public officials, especially those in the executive branch, have an obligation to uphold and execute the laws of the land and to not puke on abuse the public trust. Spitzer was making some progress on cleaning up the illegal sex trade (including the awful trading of children for sex...something that even the hardest Libertarians are not for). His credibility is shot and forward momentum is stalled...maybe for good. See, even if he disagrees with the laws of the land, as an executive he has a sworn obligation to enforce regardless. If he does not like the laws, he should be on the legislature. That is why he can veto, not sign, or ratify new bills. Checks and balances work when power is not abused.
Ding dong.
I do not care if they are Democrats (think Bill Clinton) or Republicans (think Larry Craig...who has still not resigned!). Scum Bags are cross party.
Believe it or not, it was my every intent for Atomic City to be a political blog and not one on health issues. Only politics, which I follow closely, only lead to my heightened blood pressure.
Damned Spitzer...where are my blood pressure pills?...

[posted by Bobblehead]

Sometimes steroids are a needed therapy



Well, it looks like it is steroids in the Bobblehead's future. I have inflammation in my neck and nerves. Steroids are the best anti-inflammatory around. Yup, they can create a host of side effects and I have no desire to go one them but it looks like I must.

I fell twice this morning and my hypoglycemia was running amok. All in all a Bobbleheadilicious day.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Buzzin with the Bobblehead

And the Bobblehead went WHHEEMMAAOOANN!

This non-stop buzzing in my ears is downright annoying. Tinnitus is the technical word and often presents itself as a ringing or buzzing in one's ears. For me, it is a non-stop electronic buzz or whine coming from the back of my head. It gets louder as I get fatigued but for the past few weeks it has been most noticeable. I even asked a coworker what that sound was (I thought it was a new computer monitor on my desk). She heard nothing, just gave me the old, “Are you hearing things?” look. Great, not only do I hear buzzings, lean left (but vote right), but the next thing I will do is say that I see dumb people. Actually, I do see dumb people. They are all around me. Only they do not know that they are dumb.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March Headache Blog Carnival - Maintaining Friendships for Those WIth

Take a look at

Generally speaking, a blog carnival is a collection of links to a variety of a blogs on a central topic. The Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival has been created to provide both headache and Migraine disease patients and people who blog about headache disorders with unique opportunities to share ideas on topics of particular interest and importance to us. Visit the link to this month's carnival for a collection of thoughtful entries on negotiating friendships that are so often impacted by headaches and migraine disease. Thanks so much for hosting, Teri!

Each month the carnival will be posted monthly on the second Monday of each month. Entries will be due by midnight the previous Friday.


  • March 2008 --- the challenges of maintaining friendships for headache sufferers & migraineurs
  • future themes as yet undetermined (I welcome your suggestions!)

Entries on topics that are particularly useful, educational or inspirational for headache and migraine sufferers are also welcome and encouraged. Publication Schedule: The carnival is published on the second Monday of each month.

  • March 2008 --- Monday, March 10, 2008
  • April 2008 --- Monday, April 14, 2008
  • May 2008 --- Monday, May 12, 2008

Deadlines: Entries must be submitted by midnight on the first Friday of each month (the Friday before the carnival is published).

  • March 2008 --- midnight, Friday, March 7, 2008
  • April 2008 --- midnight, Friday April 11, 2008
  • May 2008 --- midnight, Friday, May 9, 2008


* December 2007 --- Somebody Heal Me, Diana Lee * January 2008 --- Somebody Heal Me, Diana Lee * February 2008 --- Somebody Heal Me, Diana Lee * March 2008 --- My Migraine Connection, Teri Robert * April 2008 --- Somebody Heal Me, Diana Lee * May 2008 --- Atomic City (Hey, that blog sounds cool)

* If you're interested in hosting a future edition, please send me an e-mail so we can discuss it.

Participation: Anyone who has written about headaches or migraine disease can participate by submitting a link in accordance with the guidelines. Your blog need not be limited to headache-related topics for you to submit links for consideration.

Migraine Without Headache Normal For The Bobblehead

No Pain, Just Misery

(Sunday March 9) Yesterday was one of those days for the Bobblehead. It started out ok for me. However, shortly into the day I realized I was not doing to well. When I squeezed myself sideways into the area where I keep the cage for my Conure, Chompers, I had a sudden attack of vertigo. My wife watched the blood drain from my face. The room moved and my head filled with helium. It was FAST. The strange angle and horizontal movement tricked my inner ear. The attack by itself was bad. The migraine that followed was worse. (Wednesday March 11) Well, that wiped me out. Where was I?... I was out of it basically all weekend. Monday was really not much better. I did go into work but my balance was off and I had that distant lights on but nobody home glaze. I was having a good ole three day migraine. I never did get a headache. When my diagnosis first steered towards migraines I protested loudly. Headaches were almost nonexistent for me. I rarely get even one a year. As I started to read more about migraines, especially basilary type migraines, I realized that things were fitting. I had aura. Flashing lights, strange disturbances in how I heard the world, wild distortions to my sight. I was dizzy and light-headed. I was in a constant fog. The blood would drain from my face and hands. I would get very cold. Often my nose would run. The feeling was one I never had before and it was frightening. There is a total loss of self. To me, it was similar to running a high fever. I was in a dream-like state. I kind of knew what was going on around me but complete accute and accurate awareness of both details and whole picture were gone. It is not really a loss of control as much as a detachment from the world. But no headache. Migraines without headaches can occur. This weekend was bad but, thank goodness, no where near as bad as I had been before my trip to the Cleveland Clinic. I did sleep some during the day. I even managed to go some to the gym on Sunday. But the aura and buzz of an attack hung over me for 3 days. Which makes me wonder... If I feel like this how many people around me feel like this? At work, driving down the road next to me (I did not drive this weekend!), in the store? How many sick days are lost, or worse, accidents and lives lost during one of these dream states for other people? The toll must be great. Well, here it is Wednesday morning and although I did not sleep the whole night through, I am feeling pretty good. Here is to high pressure!

[posted by Bobblehead]

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Atomic City On Hold While Bobblehead Is In Misery

Give Bobblehead Drugs.

Am out of it. Fatigue, low pressure, stress. Dizziness, Lightheaded, blurred vision. You know, the normal stuff. Have another post 1/2 done. Will continue when I can put 2 words together.

[posted by

Friday, March 07, 2008

Falling Down Isn't Fun Anymore...

Bobblehead hates it when this happens...

I admit it. I am not always an ideal son. No, I never wrecked my parent's car or had to have them bail me out of jail stoned or drunk. I only had to call once many years ago pleading to borrow money. That was when I was just out of school and pretty much broke and in desperate pain. I needed a root canal and the oral surgeon needed a king's ransom up front. The money was paid back very quickly.

No I am a bad son because I do not always answer the phone when my parents call. Sometimes I let the voice mail catch it. I am a dreaded call screener.

Normally it is not that bad. My parents get pissed to hear the DING DONG of the voice mail and when the right moment comes they remind me loudly on how poorly I treat them. Bobblehead bad :-(.

Sometimes it can really land me into deep water.

The Friday night my mom called telling me my father fell. This is not good for my dad. He is frail. His health has taken a beating. He survived a heart attack 14 years ago. He had triple cardiac bypass surgery 10+ years ago. He is type 2 diabetic. And about 2 years ago he had a minor stroke on his left side leaving him just slightly weak and uneven on his right side. To make matters worse he has developed congestive heart failure and is on the “blood thinner” coumadin. Combine all that and you have a bad combination: A tendency to fall combined with a drug that prevents clotting. Not good.

The fear is that he will hit a major organ, or worse, his damned thick skull (which in no way did the Bobblehead inherit from him through genetics) and injure himself severely. In the case of a head injury, bleed out into the brain and die. That would really not be good.

My mom also told me that he was alone in the house when he fell (bad) and could not get up for 30 minutes (worse).


This fall only left him (thank G-d) with a slightly bruised knee and a very bruised ego. Mrs. Bobblehead and I had numerous long talks about this.

(This may sound familiar)....I admit it. I am not always an ideal husband...

Wednesday I came home from work. I was tired and had come off of the bus and was walking (WALKING, NOT ROLLING!!!) into my driveway when my cell phone rang. It was the wife. She asked me when I would be home. I said in about 20 seconds. Good, she needed me.

Yup, Mrs. Bobblehead fell. Li tripped over something, pulled her foot and went down hard. She was in a lot of pain but I saw nothing that looked broken. Mostly the top of her foot was hurting. Lot's of tendons. He ankle was okay. We used the trusty R.I.C.E. technique for injury: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Oh, and Tylenol. Nothing major. Pain. Her pain, not mine. I was okay with that. Actually the pain became less fairly quickly so nothing appeared to be permanently damaged. She is still limping a bit and the swelling has gone down to almost nothing. That is good.

As for the Bobblehead, falling is becoming a way of life.

My imbalance is pretty strong, especially under the right circumstances. My inner ear is not working. To make matters worse, I often still do not know when I am falling. The view of motion and the horizon are misleading to my eyes. If I turn suddenly when I walk, if I look one direction while walking another (looking back over my shoulder while walking), if I stop quickly, if I move laterally, down I go. Luckily I can often catch myself before I hit the ground. Not always. I fell a few days ago in my home before work and hurt my hip. Not much (the pain did not bother Mrs. Bobblehead at all) but enough to make me grumpy for the morning at work.

I know it is only a matter of time before I really hurt myself.

My dad is a proud man. He should be. Heaven knows I am proud of him as well. He refuses to use a cane. It makes him feel “old.” I understand. It sucks. However, one wrong fall where he hits his head can easily result in death. That would suck more. Bobblehead's dad falls to to the right side. A cane should be carried in his right hand. Not to lean on. To help with balance and to have support if he starts to go over to the right.

I fall consistently to the left. I have been carrying my cane in my right hand...dumb. I now am working on getting used to carrying it in my left. Most of the time it is more of a prop than anything. But as I get fatigued or dizzy, it has become very important. I am hoping that I will not need it once (if?) I ever hit a steady-state.

Yesterday, two beautiful canes that I ordered arrived in my home. The first is wooden with inlays of green and blue, a nice brass collar, and a comfortable “Derby” handle. The second, also a Derby, is a slender cane of black and grey with a gorgeous two-toned head. If I insist on being proud, I might as look good!

I [posted by Bobblehead]

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

March Headache Blog Carnival Courtesy of Somebody Heal Me

Now is your chance to have your blog post on migraines and your friendships reach those who need the help. Take a look at Diana Lee's Blog Somebody Heal Me here:

Bobblehead Back In The Gym

Bobblehead Dreams Big...

FINALLY! I have not been to the gym since August. Considering I lived in the gym 5-6 days a week each morning at 5:30 this was amazing for me. Yes, I carried a cane around with me and got a few looks. But the gym rats all came over and asked how I was doing. It felt good to be back. It also felt like crap to be back. While parts of me are in decent shape, others are lagging. My stamina is way off. I did 20 minutes on a seated stair climber. Piece of cake? I was wheezing after 2 minutes. Damn, I am a Triathlete, Century Rider. Right? Well, maybe again but not today. I did make 20 minutes after I got into a groove and was able to increase the resistance quite a bit. My lower body was weaker and off balance. I have not been in the wheelchair since January 11 so I have been toning up a bit. Leg presses, squats (in a machine), leg extensions and curls, and some toe raises (for calves). I stretched out quite a bit. The nicest thing about Bobblehead's gym and home away from home (here is your plug, Kent!) is they have an infrared sauna. There are a zillion unproven claims about how IR saunas will rid your body of toxins and fat, yadda yadda yadda. All I know was that it felt great. I stretched out my legs so they would not cramp and also worked on my neck and shoulders. Ahhhh... Being fit helped me through this health crisis. I have no doubt of that. Having my body strong and my vitals good kept me vertical when many others would have been bed-ridden. The serotonin rush after exercise is also a great feeling. So, a question to my wheelchair readers? How do you keep your lower body from getting atrophy? I know I had upper body strength while using the chair (man did my back and shoulders get strong). Let me know. It is good to be back in the saddle, again, even if it is only a pony for now.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Two MUST READ Books on Migraines

When my first neurologist told me that I had migraines (and little else) I left his office with no information. No pamphlets, no literature, no web sites, no lists of books, resources. Zilch. Nothing. There are a number of really great web sites on migraines out there and I will post a list later on (the Daily Headache is a great place to start). But I like more than the internet in times like these. I like a book I can put stickies in, highlight, refer back to, re-read passages that did not quite absorb the first time around. I want a book. But where to start? There are books for Dummies, Imbeciles, Idiots, Beginners, and that Keep It Simple Stupid. Nope, I need more. I need a book by a leading doctor. Well, it turns out, the best book on migraines was written by a non-doctor. And it is fantastic. I keep a copy handy and have rifled through it numerous times.

“Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know (Living Well)” (Teri Robert)> What can I say. This book is fantastic. Teri shares her story in her migraine suffering and how she first joined an internet community and later ended up running much of the show. This book covers it all, from describing the various types of migraines to triggers, drugs, treatment, support, emotions, resources. EVERYTHING. If you have migraines stop what you are doing, click on the link and order the book. Now. It is often referred to as the migraine book.

Teri does mention but does not go into a lot of depth on the use of supplements as migraine preventives. She does mention another product based upon feverfew that I use and swear by. A second book completes this theme nicely. “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Migraines: The Breakthrough Program That Can Help End Your Pain (What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About...)” (Alexander Mauskop, Barry Fox) This book looks into the use of magnesium, vitamin B-2 (Ribovlavin), and feverfew as a triple supplemental migraine preventative. So far, it appears to be helping the Bobblehead. Like Teri's book, it too delves deeper into migraine facts, medications, treatments, and lore. I have now read many books on migraines (there are dozens) and I can say earnestly that these two books complement each other nicely. If you only read two books on migraines, make sure these are in your library.

[posted by Bobblehead]

Playmobil TSA Checkpoint. Heaven help us...

Playmobil TSA Checkpoint. Honest.

The Bobblehead wishes he were making it up. But sadly this is a real product complete with asleep technician at the x-ray device, a smiling shoe bomber, an x-ray portal set to beep no matter what goes through it, and an inept wand scanner that fails to pick up semi-automatic firearms but screams on bobby pins. All that is missing is the jackass screaming about having less than 4oz of shampoo in you zip lock baggie and the Bobblehead dizzy asking why they think his CPAP is an explosive EACH AND EVERY FRIGGIN' TIME HE FLIES!


What bothers me is that a lot of my job is security related and all in all the TSA people are good people trying to do their job and keep things moving while trying to keep us safe. However, statistically, they have little effect. Even including the 9/11 attacks, statistically the number of people that died in either terrorist attacks or plane crashes was incredibly low. I know it seems inhumane to reduce 9/11 to a statistic blip and by now means is that what I am saying.

However, be honest. Overall, does TSA make us safer? Shampoo in baggies? Taking away a bottle of water or Baby Food? The goal of the terrorist is ironically not to kill. Killing is a tactic, a means to an end. The goal is to incite fear and disruption. They are winning if I look at the product above.

Oh well, enough ranting for now.

[posted by Bobblehead]