Sunday, March 30, 2008


I bought my wife an Easter bouquet (okay, I wanted it for photography purpose, too). I wanted to experiment with light sources so I used a incandescent bulb and my Nikon SB-400. I was very please with the results! Most of the photos were taken with my Tokin 100mm AT-X Pro Macro mounted on the Nikon D80. Hope you enjoy!




Saturday, March 22, 2008

Interesting Friday....

I was scheduled for my monthly Tysabri infusion on Friday. I knew that it would take about two hours so I scheduled it after lunch. I went ahead and scheduled my physical therapy session afterward. I figured I might as well make the most of my four hours of PTO. I arrived at the infusion center about fifteen minutes early and my nurse was still at lunch. They took me back to a treatment room, pointed me to the recliner, and handed me the TV remote. I always seem to watch the Food Network during my infusion. It is one of my favorite channels and I no longer get it at home. I was watching the clock pretty close since I needed to be done on time to make my PT session. I should know better.


My nurse was a bit late getting back from lunch but I told her it was no problem. Actually, it wasn't yet as I left an hour leeway just in case. She got my IV started an placed a port on the catheter. After getting the Tysabri set up on the IV pump, she hooked my up and got the medication infusing. After about 10 minutes of visiting and watching Rachel Ray, she decided to ask me the pre-infusion questions on the paperwork. I bet you can see where this is going. She quickly discovered that we had an issue with two of the questions on the questionnaire. She picked up the phone and called my neurologist to see if it was okay to infuse the Tysabri. No one answered the phone so she had to leave a message. She decided to discontinue the infusion until we heard back from the doctor.

To make a long story short, it took 45 minutes to get a hold of my neurologist because he was on vacation. I was impressed that he called back at all. When I am on vacation, it takes me a bit to return calls. The nurse was instructed not to infuse me because I had recently received the Solumedrol infusion and there is a possible increased risk of PML when you mix steroids with Tysabri. To say the least, I'm not real thrilled that she forgot to ask the questions before the infusion. I hope that it matters that I only received about a quarter of the usual dosage. I do know that the real risk is minimal, bit still....


I ended up with about an hour and a half to burn before my PT session. Naturally, I went and took some photos! I swung by St. Francis Hospital and got some shots of their BK-117 Life Flight helicopter on the helipad. I then headed down to a local retention pond to photography some of the local birds. I must have taken a hundred duck and gull photos! I got so involved in what I was doing that I was almost late for my PT. This was the first time I really got out and tried to walk around with my camera using the cane. It was a bit of a task to say the least. I ended up with a couple of nice photos so it was worth the effort.



Now for Something Different....

As I have mentioned in previous post, I have Multiple Sclerosis. I have been asked to participate in the MS Blogger Project. I'm just beginning to look over this project and I think it is a wonderful idea so I'm looking forward to participating in any way I can. I know that the internet is a great tool for many people with MS. It is a means to share experiences for many people with MS. I have always found it helpful to discuss my illness with other and I frequently use this blog to do just that. I am certain that I am not alone in that I find it helpful to see what other people go through with their illness and treatment. Below is a post from Lisa at Brass and Ivory:

Wow!! I've found at least 200 Bloggers with MS out there actively discussing all sorts of things. My hope is to strengthen the connections and bonds throughout the MS blogger community.

To help spread the word, here's what you can do:

1. Copy the entirety of this post
2. Create a new post and paste this content
3. Visit 3 of the blogs listed below which you were unfamiliar
4. Leave a comment on their blog encouraging them to participate
5. Please add Brass and Ivory to your sidebar, if it's not already

New editions of the Carnival of MS Bloggers will be presented bi-weekly at Brass and Ivory. Previous editions will be are archived here and the button below has been revised to include the new link. Please update your sidebar.

If you are not on this list and should be, or if there is something incorrect about your listing, PLEASE LET ME KNOW. Thank you.

A Blessed Mess (Sheila)
A Florida Journal (SwampAngel)
A Life of Learning with MS
A Short in the Cord (Joan)
A Stellarlife (Diane)
Access Denied (Herrad)
Angst on a Shoestring (Gina)
Armed with Pointy Sticks
Barbara's Tchatzkahs
Behind Blue Eyes (Zee)
Being Ammey
Blindbeard's MS Blog
Blogbuster (Daniel)
Brain Cheese (Linda)
Brass and Ivory (Lisa)
Breaking the Dress Code (Melizzard)
Broken Clay (Katja)
Bubbie's Blog (Cathy)
Bugs, Bikes, Brains (Shauna)
Camille's MSadventures
Can You Hear Me Now? (Donna)
Caregivingly Yours (Patrick)
Carole's MS Blog (Carole)
Carolyne's MS Odyssey (Carolyne)
Catch My Disease (Lisle)
Chaos Personified
Chris Has MS (Chris)
Clods and Pebbles
Comment Column (Virginia)
Curmudgeonette (Pamela)
Dancing with MS (Lazscott)
Dandelion Wine (Lynx)
Danieldoo (Vivian)
Deborah Does Navel-Gazing (Deb)
Defeating Illness (Chris)
Deo Volente (Lisa N)
Diary of MS X (7 Divas)
Disabled Not Dead (Anne)
Do You Have That in My Size? (Denise)
Doug's MS Journal (Doug)
Down the MS Path (Vicki)
Effortless Eating (Elisabeth)
Electrical Disturbance (Stephan)
Erik's MS & Lyme Blog
Etsy Crest (Shelby)
Fingolimod and Me (Jeri)
Friday's Child
Funky Mango's Musings
G and K's Mom
Georgia MS Advocates
GPSOkie's" Photography and Geocaching Blog (Steven)
Great Mastications (Orla)
Home Sweet Home (Jennifer)
Hop Bloody Hop (Philip)
Huggins' MS Pages (James)
Human Life Matters (Mark)
I Have MS
I Have MS (Tim)
I'm Beating MS (Michael)
Inside the Mind of a Squirrel
Intent, Context, Perception (Chris)
Irreverence is Justified
It's Not All in My Head (Optimist)
Jayne's World (Jayne)
Jenn's Journey with MS (Jenn)
Jenn's Nook (Jenn)
Jim's Deep Thoughts (Jim)
Jo Franz, Author, Speaker, Singer
Just Above the Abyss (Heidi)
Katy and Mike's Adventure (Katy)
Kebenaran - The Truth
Know Multiple Sclerosis
Lazy Dog Public House
Libbi's MS Journey (Libbi)
Life and Times of Eric's Wife (Amy)
Life with MS (Trevis)
Life with MS, Seeking a Cure (Karyl)
Living Life as a Snowflake (Sharon)
Living Life at LeeHaven (Karen)
Living Well with MS (Michon)
Living with MS (Blinders Off)
Living with MS (Cyndee)
Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MsShad)
LJ Users with Multiple Sclerosis
Looking Forward with MS (Pamela)
Maggsbunny (Maggie)
Managing MS with Tai Chi (Joel)
Managing Multiple Sclerosis (Vince)
Mandatory Rest Period (Kim)
Mark and MS (Mark)
Mark Pickup (Mark)
Maybe I'm Just Lazy (Julie)
Me, Myself and MS (Emma)
Merely Me's Multiple Synchronicities (& Sclerosis)
Middle Age Mania (Tricia)
Michele's Blog (Michele)
Mike's Place (Mike)
Mima's Doings

Mismorphic's World of MS
Montana Homecoming (Sister Jane)
Movin' On with MS (Sammie)
MS A Personal Account
MS Activist (NMSS)
MS Caregivers (Prudence)
MS in the OC (Frank)
MS Maze (Mandy)
MS Musings
MS My Scene (Virginia)
MS My Way (Callie)
MS News and Notes (Deb)
MS Not Just a Diary (Dave)
MS Protocols (Jeff)
Ms Quill
MS Real Life Stories & Issues (Kristin)
MS Recovery Diet Blog (Ann)
MS Recovery Diet Blog (Judi)
MS Toolkit
MSB's Podcast
MSing Around
Multiple Sclerosis Blog (Charles of
Multiple Sclerosis & Faith
Multiple Sclerosis Blog and News
Multiple Sclerosis Notes
Multiple Sclerosis Sucks
My Autoimmune Life
My Chain Driven Ride through Life in Alaska (Michelle)
My Complications (Amanda)
My Demyelination (Tina)
My Journey with MS (Christina)
My Journey with MS (Nicole)
My Journey - Living Well with MS (Diana)
My Life, My Journey (Michael)
My MS Experience
My MS Journal (Jaime)
My Tysabri Diary (Lauren)
Nervus Rex (Shawna)
Newly Diagnosed with MS (Andrea)
No Time for MS (Courtney)
Now We Are Six (Tish)
Object of My Injection (Michelle)
One Crazy Chick (Chris)
One Life (Stephen)
Ontheballk9strng Weblog
Pat's Pond (Pat)
Persnickety Quilts (Dianne)
Postcards of My Life (Sherry)
Purely Patsy (14 yr old Patsy)
Queen Mediocretia of Suburbia
Rants and Musings (Cutter)
Rayne's World (Jayme)
Reality Check (Michael)
Reality Chick (Keli)
Rebooting Times
Rickshaw Diaries (Baraka)
Say It Isn't So (Mouse)
Scraps and Threadtales (YankeeQuilter)
Self-injecting Chinese Hamsters since 2007
Serina's Blog (Serina)
Shirl's the Girl (Shirley)
Shoester (Doug)
Shut Up and Pedal! (Alison)
Simply Kate (Kate)
Slipping Through My Fingers
Sorting It All Out (Michael)
Spinning My Yarns (Missabeth)
Steven's Photo Blog
Sunshine and Moonlight (Kim)
Surviving MS in Alaska (Michelle)
Talk Story with Kimberly
The BS of My MS (Heather)
The Endomorph (Ruth)
The Great NetXperiment
The Jaws of My Life (Jaws)
The Life & Times of Sancho Knotwise (JM)
The MonSter Ate My Branes! (Natalie)
The Multiple Sclerosis Companion (Pat)
The Perseverant Pincushion (Trish)
The Zen Pretzel Trick (Zen Angel)
These Pretzels Are Making Me Thirsty (Trrish)
Time to Deal with MS (Homer)
Tis Herself (Kell)
To Be Continued... (Jaime)
Tokyo Girl Down Under
Travels With Lucy (Virginia)
Troy's Multiple Sclerosis Experience
Truth and Beauty (Baraka)
Tryin' to Imagine Bliss (Suzy)
Trying to Catch My Breath
Tysabri Help (Deej)
Victoria Plum - Technician! (Vicki)
What is MS to Me (Dave)
When it's Raining... (Keeley)
White Lightning Axiom - Redux (mdm)
Wide Margins (Mary)
Willy's MS Rants (Willy)
Wind Among the Reeds
Word Salads (Have Myelin?)
YodaMamma MS & More
You Me and MS (Judi)

Thank you for helping to build a stronger MS Community.
Update: Whew... that took me 2 hours to leave comments on all of your blogs.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


One of my great loves in life is aviation. Actually, I moved to Tulsa because of aviation. I was sitting in my home in Central Texas one day back in 1993 looking at flight school advertisements in the back of Flying magazine. My wife, in a matter of fact manner, asked me why I didn't just do something about it if I really wanted to be a pilot. I had been a paramedic for about 8 years at that point and was pretty burned out on it. The average career length for a medic was about 5 years. Her comment really struck a chord with me. We talked about it several times over the next few days and the next thing I knew, I was interviewing several flight schools to see which one would be the best fit for me. I ended up selecting Spartan School of Aeronautics for several reasons. By December of 1993. I was moving to Tulsa so that I could start school in January.

I had a great time during the 3 years I attended Spartan. It was an incredibly good flight school and I learned a lot while earning my Private, Instrument, and Commercial ratings. Alas, I had my first major MS exacerbation about 2 months before I was to graduate and was unable to complete my training. Unfortunately, I was unable to fly at all anymore. There are some pilots that have MS and are able to get their medical certificate on a waiver. Since one of my chief symptoms is vertigo, I do not qualify. Even if I was able to "cheat" the system and get my medical so that my license would be valid, I wouldn't. It would be too dangerous for both me and anyone in the plane with me due to the vertigo. I just enjoy aviation from afar. I still fly with a friend on occasion and attend any airshows in the area. I love aviation related museums, too. My photography is one of my connections to aviation, as well. I love to be at or near the airport and take photos of the various aircraft.

The aircraft below is a Spartan aircraft I captured earlier this week on a lunch break. I looked at my log book and I have about 15 hours of pilot time in this particular aircraft (N4118A). It is good to see that the plane is still in action.


Saturday, March 08, 2008


I did my last dose of Solumedrol today and seem to be feeling better overall. The side effects of the medicine suck by my MS symptoms seem to be diminished. Mostly, I'm glad to have this IV out of my hand! I'm dying to get out and do some photography. I had to run an errand today and took my camera bag with me just in case. By the time I was done with my two stops I was worn out so it didn't happen.

I have a whole new respect for people that have to use a cane to get around. I stopped at "Wild Oats", a whole food grocery store, to pick up some unscented shaving cream and a few miscellaneous items. It is a bit "high end" and most of the people were pretty polite about my being in the way. Others, not so much. I can't wait to experience my first Wal-mart visit.

On the bright side, my wife had several email correspondences with the local EMS service and they want her to be there Monday morning. It looks like she is getting ready to start working for them in the very near future. My guess is that when I get home for work Monday evening, we will be a two job family for the first time in about 16 years. I don't think we will know what to do with extra money. We have been on a tight budget for so many years.

As for me, I am going to be working hard to move towards being more healthy and avoid needing to park in front of these signs!


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fun, Fun..

Well, now that we seem to be getting my wife's health back to normal, my body has decided to act up. As I have mentioned before, I have Multiple Sclerosis. For the most part, it has been relatively subdued for the past couple of years minus an occasional rearing of it's ugly head. I had an episode of Bronchitis early in February. About the time I thought it was over, I flared up and was diagnosed with Pneumonia. To be honest, it kicked my tail. I have never had Pneumonia as far as I know. I'd just as soon not ever experience that again!

Well, last week around Tuesday I became horribly fatigued. Fatigue is not unusual with MS and not unusual in my life. It's not the normal fatigue that I had before MS came into my life. It can be dibilitatingly bad. (Yes, I made that word up!) The best way I can describe it is that I feel like if I laid down, I would melt into a puddle on the ground. Just lifting my arm or taking the next step feels like it takes ever fiber of my being to accomplish. Getting on with my story, I just wrote it off as my usual stuff combined with my recent bout of Pneumonia. Sunday, I woke up and felt like I had ants crawling all over the calf of my right leg and a large abrasion or road burn on my right thigh. My first thought was that my leg was asleep. I lay there for a bit and became concerned as it was not improving. Sensations like this are not uncommon with my MS but the fact that the sensation was covering such a large are was disconcerting. I have not experienced anything like that before.

I decided to get up hoping it would go away. I almost went to the ground when I stood up. Seemed my leg did not want to follow direction. My wife was still sleeping so I carefully left the room. Basically, I played it off and didn't tell her all day. I had a scheduled appointment with my neurologist on Tuesday so I figured I would talk to him about it then. Sunday to Tuesday was a huge struggle. I managed to conceal it from my wife until my leg gave out Monday night when I was shaving. My butt hitting the edge of our fiberglass bathtub would have been loud enough but the fiberglass broke and sounded like a gunshot in the bathroom. I have my concealed carry permit and usually carry so I can understand why the wife almost had a heart attack. Not sure why she would think I would have my gun with me while I was shaving, though? Fortunately, only the tub was injured in the fall.

My neurologist thinks my exacerbation was probably set off by the Pneumonia since I ran a high temp for several days. I just receive my first dose of Solumedrol today and have two more to go. I also had to get a CANE! I probably needed one before now but this finally forced my hand. I hate the idea of a cane. I hate the idea of a scooter or wheel chair, too. I hate the stigma associated with all of these. No, I do NOT look down on people that have to use these tools. I'm quite sympathetic as I have know for a long time that they were in my future. I have been in the medical field for far to long to think like that. I just know that not everyone thinks like I do and I hate that people are simpleminded (not everyone! just some people). The truth of the matter is that the cane is helping and I appreciate the simple tool that I have found. It is taking getting used to, though. I am used to having both hands available when I walk.

I'm not having much fun with the Solumedrol. Anyone who has taken this medicine in high doses knows what I mean. Honestly, it sucks. I'm just hoping it helps.

And now for a macro photo of the new Oklahoma State Quarter taken with my Nikon D80 and Tokina 100mm Pro Macro Lens. Oh, and please excuse and (*Edit* any, not and, told ya!) spelling or grammatical errors as this Solumedrol has my brain going 100 miles per hour!


Oklahoma State Capital

Originally uploaded by steveables
The Oklahoma State Capitol held a Red Cross Month event this week. My group held a blood drive in the rotunda area of the Capitol building. I decided to take advantage of the situation and shoot some photos. I think this was my favorite of the day. We didn't see many donors but I think everyone was tied up with the day's events. PR wise, it was a great day, though. And, I got to take some photos so a good day all in all.