Hammock and filter

I am preparing the cats to travel a bit. I acquired this foldable framed container. The cats are getting used to it. Elwha has decided it makes a nice hammock platform from which to watch me in the kitchen.

We still have smoke from the fires. Seattle is worse than here. The cats are not out for their daily walks until this clears. I am getting lots of knitting and continuing medical education done.

Yesterday I built a Corsi-Rosenthal cube. I bought a box fan and four MERV-13 filters and duct tape. Tape it all into a cube with the filters facing in and the fan facing out and voila! An air filter for my house. Even though I’ve kept the house closed up, the air has been bad for a week. My house is from 1930 and not tight so there is seepage.

Here are the instructions for the cube: https://encycla.com/Corsi-Rosenthal_Cube.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: platform.

Long Covid and fatigue

Sometimes medical articles are SO IRRITATING! Like this:

Symptomatic Long COVID May Be Tied To Decreased Exercise Capacity On Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Up To Three Months After Initial SARS-COV-2 Infection

Healio (10/18, Buzby) reports a 38-study systematic review and meta-analysis “suggested with low confidence that symptomatic long COVID was associated with decreased exercise capacity on cardiopulmonary exercise testing up to 3 months after initial SARS-COV-2 infection.” According to the findings published in JAMA Network Open, “underlying mechanisms may include but are not limited to deconditioning, peripheral mechanisms, hyperventilation, chronotropic incompetence, preload failure and autonomic and endothelial dysfunction.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if they believed the patients?

Let’s break this down. What does it all mean? Ok, the “low confidence” irritates me because it implies that the physicians can’t believe the patients who say “hey, I am short of breath and have a fast heart rate and get really fatigued if I try to do anything!”

I have had my fourth bout of pneumonia with shortness of breath and tachycardia. This time, since I am older, I had hypoxia bad enough to need oxygen. This is the FIRST TIME that some physicians have actually believed me. They believed the pulse oximeter dropping down to 87% and below, with a heart rate in the 140s, but they did not believe me and some accused me of malingering, for the last 19 years. Can you tell that I am a little tiny bit annoyed? If my eyes shot lasers, there would be some dead local physicians. And I AM a local physician, disbelieved by my supposed peers.

Let us simplify this gobbdygook: “underlying mechanisms may include but are not limited to deconditioning, peripheral mechanisms, hyperventilation, chronotropic incompetence, preload failure and autonomic and endothelial dysfunction.” The way I think of it is that sometimes a pneumonia will cause lung tissue swelling. Ok, think of the air space in your lungs as a large balloon. Now the wall of the balloon swells inwards and suddenly there is half as much air space. Guess how your body takes up the slack? The heart goes faster and you have tachycardia. This is a very simple way to think about it. I have tested patients who complain of bad fatigue after an upper respiratory infection with a very simple walk test. 1. I test them at rest, heart rate and oxygen saturation. 2. I walk them up and down a short hallway three times. 3. I sit them back down, and watch the heart rate and oxygen saturation. I watch until they are back to their seated baseline.

A friend tested recently and his resting heart rate was 62. After walking, his heart rate is in the 90s. H does not have a pulse oximeter, but his oxygen level is probably fine. However, that is a big jump. He has had “a terrible cold” for 8 days. I would bet money that his heart rate normally doesn’t jump that much. He still needs recovery time and rest.

In clinic, I had people who were ok at rest but needed oxygen when they walked. We would get them oxygen. More often, they did not need oxygen, but they were tachycardic. When they walked, their heart rate would jump, over 100. Normal is 60-100 beats per minute. If they jumped 30 beats or jumped over 100, I would forbid them to return to work until their heart rate would stay under 100 when they walked. If they went back to work they would be exhausted, it would slow healing, and they might catch a second bacteria or virus and then they could die.

Patients did not need a pulse oximeter. I would teach them to take their own pulse. The heart rate is the number of beats in 60 seconds. I have trouble feeling my own wrist, so I take mine at my neck. It’s a bit trickier if someone has atrial fibrillation but the pulse oximeters aren’t very good with afib either.

When I have pneumonia, my resting heart rate went to 100 the first time and my walking heart rate was in the 140s. I had influenza and felt terrible. My physician and I were mystified. It was a full two months before my heart rate came down to normal. I was out of shape by then and had to build back up. If I tried to walk around with my heart at 140, I was exhausted very quickly and it also felt terrible. The body does NOT like a continuous fast heart rate and says “LIE DOWN” in a VERY FIRM LOUD VOICE. So, I lay down. Until I recovered. For a while I was not sure if I would recover, but I did. This time it was a year before I could go to part time oxygen.

The fatigue follows the heart rate. Tachycardia is not good for you long term. If the heart is making up for reduced air space in the lungs, it doesn’t make sense to slow the heart rate with drugs. You NEED the heart to make up for the lungs. You need to rest, too!

Blessings and peace you.

The photograph is Elwha, helping me knit socks. With the bad air from the fires and my still recovering lungs, I am staying indoors and knitting socks .

Red maple

Our native maples are Big Leaf Maple and Vine Maples. There are Red Maples all over town now and they are exquisite and spectacular. Rain is supposed to start this Friday and since we still have bad air quality from the fires in Eastern Washington, I think we will all be glad for rain.

I took this yesterday at Chetzemoka Park. I went to see if the air was ok to beach walk. It was not ok.

The panoramic photograph shows the smoke obscuring the Seattle area and the hazy sun. It is worse there than here but it is not good here either.

I wonder if the trees have trouble breathing too? I am wearing a N95 mask any time I step outside. The cats don’t want to go out right now. They don’t like the smoke.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: exquisite and for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Chetzemoka Park.

Red sun

This is a sunrise, not a sunset, two days ago on Marrowstone Island. The air quality was deteriorating and I am mostly staying indoors today. We are at high particulate matter and high fine particulate matter, coming from the fires to the east. The recommendation is to mask outside, keep windows closed, use an air filter and mask outside. Also to not exercise heavily outside.

It looks sunny out now, but the air looks wrong. Dirty. My lungs don’t like it at all, not surprisingly. I hope people are taking care of themselves. Stay in, take it easy, mask. Our air is supposed to improve tomorrow.

Blessings and peace you.

Real time air quality map here.

Reblog: Desertification

I don’t want to argue about global warming. Let’s talk about deserts instead. Overgrazing, cutting down all the trees and losing topsoil: we have seen this in the United States, with the dust bowl. We have a lot of people in the world to feed, even after all the deaths from Covid-19. We need to take care of land.

Ok, I am lame, that is embedded, not a reblog. I will have to figure out the difference. Feel free to laugh at me. My problem with technology is that it is NOT intuitive. I was horrible with computers until I realized that they are linear and stupid. That is, they only follow the exact right command and they have very little capacity to guess what I mean. I decided that computers were glorified hammers and very very annoying and that the manuals are usually written by people who speak computer, not English. That made it much easier for me to work with computers.

Anyhow, plant a tree. Blessings and peace you.

Sing from the sea

This is another poem where I did not know where it was going when I started it. I was thinking about the sea and sirens and singing. My poems go where my heart thinks I should go, but I don’t know where that is until the poem is done. And it’s clearly a song and next I need a tune. And chords. And more practice.

I sing from the sea, from the sea, from the beautiful sea
tied to the mast, you won’t come to me

unplug your ears, unblock your heart
before it breaks and truly stops
listen to my lonely heart
we’ll make music and never part

I sing from the sea, from the sea, from the beautiful sea
hear my voice, listen to me

our hearts melt together like stone
in the depths of my volcano home
you shut your heart down, run away
lava strings like glass, all the way

I sing from the deep, from the deep, from the beautiful deep
small child calling, she still weeps

volcano boiling from ocean floor
new island built as lava roars
small child with faith as adult caves to fear
small child holds your heart dear

I sing from the land, from the land, from the new born land
don’t be afraid, take my hand

hope has feathers, a poet said
in the darkest time, hope is not dead
I morph to dragon, to kite, to bird
your resistance is so absurd

I sing from the air, from the air, from the smoke filled air
vision dark, can’t see where

circle in flight, hope you too
listen to the small child hidden deep in you
a promise is a promise, you know it’s true
I do not give up on you

I sing in the wood, in the wood, in the beautiful wood
five elements sing as all things should

In the wood in the trees
on an island in the sea
in the heart of the volcano
my heart is free

I sing from the sea, from the sea, from the beautiful see
no matter what happens, my heart is free

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I took the photograph at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a painting by Shinique Smith.