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Born a Texan, but traveled the US extensively.  Now staying on the East coast.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

History and descriptions and hats

It was time to give a complete description of what I am dealing with, partially so I can make a comparison in the future and partially to answer some questions posed on other sited.
First the tumor they took out was only 2 cm, only 2 cm high, but it blocked the entire 4 ventricle of my brain and was significantly outside of it meaning it was maybe 6 cm wide. It was pressing against my brain stem for a long while before it was discovered. We figured it was outside of the 4 ventricle for at least 3 years before it was discovered, that is why it caused those terrible twisty head aches in no longer have. None of the optic nerves were involved, but the pressure was on the brain stem regulating all of it. No "grey" matter was damaged and my crazy memory remains intact.
My current state: when I first wake up, I can see singly for as much as 3 feet before everything spits. Nothing is blurry, I see 2 completely clear and crisp images. My test is a computer screen, which is about a foot wide and initially at this time there can be as much as 4 inches of over lap. It varies, today thee was may be 1 inch of over lap. As I wake up and have my coffee the image of the screens gradually split so there are 3 to 4 inches between the 2 images.
When i initially put on the prism glasses, everything comes together at that 10 foot distance, but maybe doubles close up. The prisms take away some of the clarity.
If i take off the glasses there is a 10 to 12 inch difference between the 2 images.
Over the course of the day it gets so that images at 30 or 40 feet are split even with the glasses.
One thing the brain tries to do is blind an eye so it will see only one image, it has not happened and even more fun, if i walk without the glasses, i can focus with one eye or the other to get where i am going with almost no effort, but the left eye does dominate.
The glasses themselves create certain distortions so it makes it difficult to walk without losing my balance. If i close either eye looking thought the glasses there is a quarter moon size "Blur" on the nose bridge size of the glasses. If i have both eyes open and look quickly to one side or another, the images double. If i turn my head quickly or someone passes close in front of me, the image "swims" for a moment before it coalesces into one image, this is dizzying and why i still use a cane to walk.
There are many times unusual feelings in the back of my head, that actually feel good, but are hard to describe, i call them "a thousand knots being untied".
There are other times there are dull aches and those are unpleasant.
That is my current state of being and why i am so drained after a few hours of using my eyes at work.

The other question posed was more along the line of how many hats have I (or do i) wear?
That is actually a fun question cause sometimes it is good for me to recount.
I decided i liked chemistry in my second year of high school, but had my first "chemistry set" when i was 8.
I worked in a clinical lab first in 1974 at a free clinic in the poor area of Houston. I enjoyed it greatly and was a volunteer.
I work at J. Paul Getty's research lab in Houston in 1975, where i got my first exposure to both the oil industry and environmental work. That is where i had my first taste of working with bacteria (iron bacteria).
So having said that, i was considered an analytical chemist, which meant i could work fairly much in any area i wanted and i did.
The fun part of working at the Stamford Health Department Lab is we got into everything. Environment, clinical.
I was sent to a course run by the CT Agricultural Station where I had a formal introduction to entomology (lots of fun looking at bugs), but i would never call my self an expert there.
Then i became DEA trained and certified as a Forensic chemist and have testified in cases.
At the same time this was happening, I was volunteering at a shelter (okay, i was one of 7 who helped get it started) and ended up working with the chronically mentally ill. The state of Ct accepted me as a mental health worker and that was beyond interesting (and fun).
Also (and you wonder why i never married, well no, i was trying to recover from a great loss at that time) i started working with a close friend who was doing "shows" at different clubs and i got to set up special effects with fog, lasers and lights (now that was a real trip)!
The last thing, beyond belief, is that later, after we did not do shows anymore, I became a night manager at a restaurant and bar for maybe 5 years (that was at best interesting, but except for the people contact, very boring).
The thing i love to do, gardening, making wine (come on, i am a chemist after all) and paint. If those are hats, so be it, i tend to be okay to good at them.
So as Porky Pig said, Well, that's all folks!
Not bad for 54 years of age.
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