Trying to come up with some radical new idea (ok, maybe “radical” in this day and age was a bad term) – a BIG new idea for research for my next FME article. With everything happening in the news, I should not be at a loss for a topic, however my fear is that I will just come across as repeating the same news we’ve been hearing every day. What would YOU like to read about, or hear a fresh view on? Tell me in the comments!
Just to drop an update on myself, ever since my boss passed away on December 28th and the company subsequently closed on January 2, I have been seeking work. For 3 1/2 months, I have been living on my tax return and the grace of friends and charity however that is all running out quickly. If I don’t find viable work *this month* I will be facing very dire circumstances.
The stress of this has caused my blood pressure to shoot up as the worry is constantly there, 24/7, and I have rarely been able to sleep at night for the past couple months. A week and a half ago, I ended up having to break down and go to the doctor with the joints in my right wrist severely inflamed – I was unable to move my wrist, hand or fingers at all. The wrist was treated and cleared up in a matter of days with a brace and a prescription anti-inflammatory but we still don’t know the cause of it. X-rays showed no fracture, blood tests showed no elevated uric acid and therefore no possibility of gout, and the doctor also ruled out arthritis. It remains an excruciating mystery but at least I have leftover meds to treat it should it recur.
While at that doctor visit, whereas the wrist was treated quickly enough, the focus of the visit quickly turned to my blood pressure when my vitals were taken. Back to that – my BP was 210/140. YIKES! The doc immediately gave me a Clonidine and told me to go to the emergency room however if you’ve ever read my previous post about Lawnwood Regional, you’ll understand why I was loathe to even consider stopping in there. In the end, I did not go to the ER, taking the prescription for Clonidine and hoping that would start to lower my numbers.
Like an idiot, I started right in on the full prescribed dose. Had I remembered the problems I had when starting on another BP med several years ago (heart rate below 60, fainting, inability to walk more than a few feet without severe difficulty in breathing), I would have started small and worked my way up to the full dose. The first 3 days of full-dosing this time, same thing. I was fainting, could barely breathe due to very slow heart rate, and (thankfully this was over the weekend) was barely able to stay awake for more than a couple hours at a time. My thinking and reaction times were very slow so driving anywhere was NOT an option. By that Monday, I was vomiting and fainting and I stopped the med completely (another stupid thing, but I did consider how my BP would shoot up in doing so). I called my doctor and told him I *have* to do this my way. By stepping the dose up slowly over the next few days, I was fine on the prescribed dose. Hitting my system all at once though is something my body just couldn’t handle.
In taking my BP every couple days over a week and a half, I saw the numbers were going down but not nearly enough. I called the doc and reported the latest readings and he still *insisted* that I go to the ER. It was either that or drop another $60 at his office to be seen for another reading and a dose adjustment. I did not have $60, I’d just dropped my entire unemployment check at his office at the initial visit, so this time I had no choice – I had to go to Lawnwood.
Checking into the ER, my initial reading put the staff on alert: 240/120 – Hypertensive Crisis. The previous afternoon’s reading was around 203/116 – I am willing to bet that just the thought of having to go to this hospital spiked it. Immediately, I was in a bed hooked up to a monitor, getting about a dozen vials of blood drawn, the works. The odd thing is, I *felt* fine, but this is why they call hypertension “The Silent Killer.” They ended up doing a chest X-ray on me and an EKG. Bloodwork came up clear, X-ray came up clear, I don’t know what the EKG said. After receiving additional medication, 3 hours later my BP had reduced to 174/91 – the lowest it’s been since this whole ordeal started. That was enough for them to discharge me with two new medications in a combo pill to be added to my original one.
Because of the urgency in getting those numbers down to stay, I have gone headfirst into the full dose of the new med(s). Since I lack a way of checking my BP at home (can not afford a home device), I have to go to a pharmacy or a fire station to get it checked for free. Driving right now is not an option, so it’ll have to wait until my head clears from the new med. What a headache this has all been, especially thinking of all the medical bills when I’m trying to survive on a tiny unemployment check that pays my rent but nothing else 😦
St. Lucie and Okeechobee closings and announcements
Hurricane season 2008
Closings and other announcements due to Tropical Storm Fay:
Political signs: Due to the projected path of Tropical Storm Fay, all candidates running for office in St. Lucie County are required to remove their political signs effective immediately.
Law enforcement and code enforcement officers will begin taking down all political signs that are not removed from the roadways this evening. Additionally, all residents are encouraged to check their yards for any loose debris and signs that might become projectiles.
There are no plans to open shelters in St. Lucie County.
Government offices: A decision on whether St. Lucie County government offices will be open on Tuesday will be made Monday.
Early voting: St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Gertrude Walker said early voting polling locations in St. Lucie County are expected to be open Tuesday.
“It’s going to be wet, but for right now it’s a West Coast storm,” Walker said.
John Carroll closing: Due to Tropical Storm Fay’s possible threat to our area, John Carroll High School will be closed Tuesday.
Any after-school activities for Monday and Tuesday are canceled. This includes all sporting events, practices, meetings, etc.
Throughout the duration of this storm and any others during this hurricane season, employees and parents will be notified of school closings via radio, television, and our website, http://www.JohnCarrollHigh.com.
Students will follow a regular school schedule when school resumes. Orientation for 11th and 12th graders has been canceled.
John Carroll High School does follow the same school cancellation schedule as St. Lucie County Public Schools.
School closings: The St. Lucie County School District has decided to close schools Tuesday, according to Tom Christopher, St. Lucie County emergency operations manager.
“The school district has canceled all activities tonight (Monday) and is closing schools Aug. 19,” Christopher said.
Christopher said the county will not open emergency shelters.
Officials from the county, Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie were meeting Monday afternoon to decide if public buildings will be closed Tuesday.
“We want that to be a coordinated effort,” Christopher said about 12:45 p.m. Monday. “We should have an announcement about that within the next couple of hours.”
Tolls: In order to facilitate evacuation and allow tollbooth personnel to prepare for and seek shelter from approaching Tropical Storm Fay, effective at 11 a.m. Monday, tolls are suspended until further notice at the following locations:
Florida’s Turnpike, northbound and southbound, from its southernmost point at the South Dixie Highway/US 1 (Exit 1) in Miami-Dade County to the Boynton Beach Boulevard interchange (Exit 86) in Palm Beach County.
All toll roads operated by the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, including S.R. 836, S.R. 874, S.R. 112, S.R. 924 (Gratigny Parkway) and S.R. 878 (Snapper Creek Expressway).
Interstate 75 (Alligator Alley), eastbound and westbound.
The Rickenbacker and Venetian causeways in Miami-Dade County (effective at 10 a.m. Monday).
Tolls were lifted at 1 p.m. Sunday, northbound, on the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike from Exit 1 to the Miramar Toll Plaza.
FAU: Due to the continued possibility of inclement weather as a result of Tropical Storm Fay, Florida Atlantic University will close its normal business operations on all of its campuses beginning at noon on Monday and through Tuesday. All business operations at FAU are expected to resume on Wednesday.
All programs and offices at the A.D. Henderson University School, FAU High School and the Karen Slattery Child Development Center will be closed on Tuesday and are expected to resume on Wednesday.
For continual updates on FAU’s status, visit http://www.fau.edu or call the FAU hotline at (561) 297-2020, (561) 799-8020, (954) 236-1800 or (772) 873-3330.
Dialysis patients: Fresenius Medical Care clinics in South Florida are running extra shifts Monday for patients on dialysis. Clinics extending hours Monday include those in: Palm Beach, Okeechobee, Martin, Indian River, St. Lucie and Broward counties. Call Fresenius’ Patient Disaster Hotline to find out where to receive dialysis, 1-800-626-1297.
District courthouses: The United States District Courthouses in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties will be closed Monday due to hazardous weather conditions associated with Tropical Storm Fay. The U.S. District courthouses in West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce will remain open. Closures also will be posted on the court’s website at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov.
Price Gouging Hotline: The Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline has been activated at (866) 9-NO-SCAM or (866) 966-7226. Florida law prohibits extreme increases in the price of food, water, hotels, ice, gasoline, lumber and equipment needed as a direct result of an officially declared emergency.