Fall Colors and Good News

Was fall a long time coming this year? We had such warm weather during the first half of October that the trees seemed to hang onto their greenery a bit longer than usual. And now it’s the middle of November when a wind storm has usually blown all the color away. But not this year. It’s still beautiful. Many leaves are blanketing the ground, but enough are still on the trees to make for a wonderful reward for getting outside.

And I have good news regarding my war with vertigo. Wednesday, a week after my last post, I got my latest Covid Booster. The next day, I couldn’t move without throwing up. So I spent the day flat on my back, moving as little as possible. I had the absolute worst case of vertigo that I’ve ever had. I was better the next day and the day after, then it hit again. Monday, I saw a physical therapist who did the Epley maneuver for BPPV (when the canaliths in you inner ear move from their proper place into one or more of your ear canals). BPPV causes your brain to go crazy because it disrupts the means by which your brain figures out where you are in space. 

Normally, the Epley maneuver, when done a PT trained in it, helps nudge the canaliths back into their proper place. It might take more than one nudge, but over time it all gets better. Not this time. I was in the emergency room the next day, again unable to walk without throwing up. I’ve been better and worse since then, and getting very discouraged. Last week, I had one night without the vertigo, but the next day I was staggering around our parking garage unable to walk a straight line to our car. Ugh! 

I had a massage scheduled for Thursday, a rare treat, but one I decided I needed after a month of on again/off again vertigo. When I mentioned the vertigo, my massage therapist said she’d try a technique she’s used with some success for people with vertigo. Voila! I’m better! 48 hours and not a single swirl in my head. (She called it “lymphatic drainage” in case you need to ask for it.)

So: Yesterday, I had a normal day. Today, I’m having a normal day. I can barely remember whatever it is I do on normal days. I think I’ll bake biscotti!

During my long siege of vertigo, the country had an election. The results were not perfect, but my anxiety has decreased a bit. I don’t relish the antics of the Republican controlled House, but at least they can’t block judicial and other appointments that go through the Senate. And Washington’d 3rd district elected a very exciting young woman, Marie Glusenkamp Perez. Even Trump’s announcement didn’t shake me up because it just seems that the wind is out of his sails. 

On the other side of the world, Ukraine is suffering in the dark and cold after Russia aimed at infrastructure throughout the country. Russia can’t seem to get its act together with the actual war – it’s losing ground almost daily. But it can still fire rockets at cities. Think War Crime Trials when this is over, please.

The other good news in the culture wars is that the New York Times actually printed an article discussing concerns about the potential down side of using puberty blockers for young people who want to pursue gender transition. If you’ve had zero interest in the gender/transgender wars for the past five years, the fact that this nicely balanced article is newsworthy may confuse you. To help bring you up to date, just know that the NYT and most other mainstream media have been on the extreme trans-activist side of things. By this, I mean that any doubts about the wisdom of medical transition for teens has been verboten.

Now, however, European countries are facing up to the fact that there is insufficient research regarding puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for young people. As more de-transitioners go public with their experiences, these countries are rethinking their guidance on treatments. 

Sadly, in the US, this has become a political football. Red states have passed laws prohibiting medical transition for teens; Texas threatens to take kids away if parents approve treatment. California, leading the blue states, proudly proclaims that it’s a sanctuary state for any teens who want “gender affirming” care. Aargh! Keep the bleeping politicians out of this! Let the medical folks sort this out. If more research is needed, do the research, but IMHO, it’s stupid to legislate on the basis of insufficient data. 

Well, folks, I’m just going with the good news this week. We didn’t put election deniers in charge of elections; Trump is deflating, and I’m not worried about him; the NTY wrote a balanced article about a thorny topic; and I got outdoors to enjoy the still stunning fall colors. Hooray!

Air Trump Live? Yes. No. Please, not daily.

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Recently, there’s been a bit of a ruckus over live coverage of Trump’s daily press conferences. His current press secretary has not held a single press conference since being appointed to the position a year ago. But when Trump could … Continue reading