Thoughts from Crow Cottage

(soon to be retired)

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Moving slowly thru time and space

Good day to everyone.

I haven't got an entry mapped out in my head, so this is just an update on the patient.

In the last episode, we saw Paul have concussion, get checked out with CT Scan and then into Boston for a much more expensive MRI of the brain/head. Apparently, anytime they can send you into Boston for tests like this, they will, if they can get away with it. Paul puts up no protests. If it were me, I would not have gone. I would have insisted on it being done here locally. But he didn't know and he just went along with the flow.

He was feeling quite rotten for a long time once he came home. He was on that Keppra, which is an anti-seizure medication, but for only 7 days, not permanently. Those 7 days ended yesterday morning. He went to see his PCP here in Salem yesterday who just listened to him and said "take it easy... do only what you feel you can do..." for which he was probably charged hundreds of dollars.

I am in the wrong profession (which is none at the moment) but I could have given him THAT advice!

I believe he's felt so crappy because of the Keppra. The list of side effects for that drug was staggering. They include:

Side Effects of Keppra
from WWW dot Drugs dot Com

More common

Aggressive or angry
change in personality
cough or hoarseness
dry mouth
general feeling of discomfort or illness
irregular heartbeats
joint pain
loss of appetite
lower back or side pain
mental depression
muscle aches and pains
painful or difficult urination
quick to react or overreact emotionally
rapidly changing moods
shortness of breath
sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
sore throat
stuffy or runny nose
trouble sleeping
unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

Bloody nose
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
clumsiness or unsteadiness
dizziness or lightheadedness
double vision
feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
feeling sad or empty
increase in body movements
loss of bladder control
loss of memory
mood or mental changes
outburst of anger
pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
problems with memory
redness or swelling in the ear
sensation of spinning
shakiness and unsteady walk
shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
tightness of the chest
trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
trouble concentrating
unsteadiness, trembling, or other problems with muscle control or coordination

Incidence not known

Attempts at killing oneself
being forgetful
bleeding gums
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
blood in the urine or stools
bloody, black, or tarry stools
blurred vision
changes in vision
chest pain
dark urine
difficulty with moving
fast heartbeat
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
high fever
increase in body movements
light-colored stools
muscle pains or stiffness
painful or difficult urination
pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly radiating to the back
pale skin
pinpoint red spots on the skin
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
stomach pain, continuing
swollen glands
swollen joints
thoughts or attempts at killing oneself
trouble with balance
twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs
uncontrolled jerking or twisting movements of the hands, arms, or legs
uncontrolled movements of the lips, tongue, or cheeks
unexplained bleeding or bruising
unusual bleeding or bruising
upper right abdominal or stomach pain
weight loss
yellow eyes or skin

Some of the side effects that can occur with levetiracetam(Keppra) may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common

Loss of strength or energy
muscle pain or weakness
tender, swollen glands in the neck
trouble swallowing
unusual weak feeling
voice changes

Less common

Body aches or pain
burning, dry, or itching eyes
change in the color of the skin
cough increased

Incidence not known

Hair loss or thinning of the hair
skin rash, encrusted, scaly, and oozing

So, there you have it. What I've been watching out for this past week! Not to mention the checking on him all thru the night to make sure he's still alive... which does wonders for MY sleep, which I never get much of anyway!

Enough of me complaining. I feel for the guy. He's had to cancel going to work, earning money, dealing with lobsterman stuff, being out on the ocean (which is his favorite place to be), selling his lobsters at the Farmers' Market and also by himself at the harbor on the weekends. His friends have all contacted us asking about him. But the nicest thing so far (and they were ALL nice), but this one touched me and, I think, Paul... he has this friend he's known most of his life (and he'll be 70 soon!). This friend is married and lives down near the harbor, very near where Paul used to sell his lobsters to the public at Fort Sewell in Marblehead. This friend, we'll call him Andrew, called him the other day asking about lobsters for the holiday, as have lots of other people, and Paul told him the abbreviated version of this whole long saga with the concussion, etc. So that was that.

Last night the phone rang while we were watching our British show on DVD and it was Andrew. Just listening to Paul's end of the conversation, I could not figure out what he wanted! Once he hung up, Paul was almost in tears, touched by the generosity of this lifelong friend. What Andrew wanted to know was if Paul would like him and his wife to take his lobsters and go to the Farmer's Market and sell them for him.

This is not something you just do... without planning. It takes Paul a couple of hours before he is ready to do this every Saturday morning, running round, getting everything in place, getting the scales all ready, the lobsters up out of the ocean and into the coolers, the ice from the grocery store, the bags (now we have to use paper, no more plastic!), etc. etc. But Andrew and his wife were willing to go ahead and do it for Paul, and more than likely they had plans for the 4th of July themselves which they apparently were willing to put on hold, if Paul had accepted.

Of course, he did not accept, but was very grateful. He has no lobsters to sell! He hasn't worked in a couple of weeks.

I am choking up just writing this. So with that, I will say it's been a struggle. Paul is far from "recovered" yet. The grass had grown a lot out front where the dogs do their business, and they were shunning it because they don't like wading knee-deep in grass... they are so spoiled! So Paul did a poop-patrol yesterday out there and this morning he started up the lawn mower and did the inside portion of the grass where they go. It's not huge and it only took him about 20 minutes... but he was very tired out by the end of that, and went right up to bed when he came in. That was about 4 hours ago and he's still up there. If I could have pushed that mower around I would have. Just going out there to fill the bird baths each morning is all I can handle these days...

So we are alive and taking it all one hour, one day at a time.

Happy Independence Day to our fellow Americans, Happy Canada Day (belated) to those of you up North, and Happy Tennis to anyone who is enjoying Wimbledon this weekend.

We are not soccer fans, but congrats to the U.S. Women's Soccer team for making it to the final... I don't know when that will be played, maybe it already has been played... just not sure... but good luck to them!


Bex & Co.

I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals...
They are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied... not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.

~ [Walt Whitman, from "Leaves of Grass, No. 32"] ~


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