Crohn's Disease - track it

I was recently diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. It ain't pretty but it isn't like hearing you have a terminal illness. Basically I need to modify my lifestyle so I am doing things just about everyone should do anyway:
  • eat healthy foods (sometimes certain foods, even healthy ones, can cause "flare ups" which lead to GI unpleasantness, back pain, gut pain, and so forth)
  • reduce stress (I can't get mad anymore; when I do I can feel a very distinct set of physical changes take place in my body... same goes for frustration, anxiety, and so on... good thing I like meditating)
  • pay more attention to signs of fatigue and sleep more (getting lots of rest helps my body repair itself and reduces stress)
So as you can see, this is stuff most people do anyway. Sure, I've had to make fast food a once per quarter treat instead of once every couple days, and I can no longer drink coffee (1/3 of a cup and I'm heading for the border, so to speak) but overall things haven't been so bad. The hardest thing is the mental aspect. I don't care how cheerful you are, at some point the knowledge that you may or may not be in pain for the majority of time you are around from here on out (unless it goes into remission, which happens) can get to you. In some people the symptoms of Crohn's lead to depression, etc. Well, nothing cheers me up like numbers so I have decided to track how well I feel in a spreadsheet at various times during the day. I rate my self between 0 and 1 and average all entries for a day. This is then used to determine if I had a good day (>0.5) or a bad day. I then calculate the ratio of good to bad days. It helps keep things in perspective. The data entry aspect also gives me a chance to log my symptoms, food I have eaten, medication/supplements I am taking, etc. All very good stuff to keep track of when trying to find out what works for me (apparently with Crohn's everyone is different). Anyway, that's how I am coping right now.


Thunderbird 2.0

Yes, it is finally out: Thunderbird 2.0 This release implements tagging, something I use extensively. I use six tags (they were called labels before) :
  1. unprocessed mail: need to read/tag it; in the previous TB, this was just an unlabelled message.
  2. Action Required: I need to do something with it.
  3. Archive - Useful: I might want this info later but I don't need it in front of me.
  4. Archive - processed: I don't delete email but I can ignore this stuff if searching for an old email, usually.
  5. Upcoming meetings/agendas: I send myself email with a subject prefixed with "2007-04-17 @ 22:00" or whatever (I use that date format to order by date... it means one less app to run as I don't need to use a calendar)
  6. Waiting: I file anything here that I am waiting to hear back on or needs to be done in a couple weeks, etc.
I would like to add "using this" or something so I can flag a couple emails as relevant to the task at hand and always be able to see them. Very happy to have this feature.


Princess Josephine - ???? - 2007

Our cat, Princess Josephine, was so old that nobody can really remember when we got her. I have the earliest memory of her that has a date attached to it; it puts her age at 21+ years. She almost made it through another Winter but last night her time came. The vet told us she had cancer and obstructions in her bowel and was too weak and frail to treat. She offered to do whatever we wanted but what she told us added up to her being in pain and there being no way to really change that; all we could do was drag it out. We said our goodbyes to her and stayed with her through the procedure and now she is resting peacefully nearby. We affectionately called her "Jo". When she was younger she was strong, fast, and feisty. She had a notch in her ear as a badge of courage from one of the many times she defended her yard from other cats. She was a good mouser, too. She spent time on the Noel shore at my uncle's cottage and had four different addresses in Dartmouth. She was at the vet only once, when we first got her and only really got sick once, when she was 17, but I nursed her through it. 21 cat years is 100 human years; she had a good, long life.




Wal-Mart spying?

Former Wal-Mart Worker Blows Whistle on Company Surveillance Operation, Spying of Critics "A former worker at Wal-Mart is claiming the retail giant is running a sophisticated surveillance operation that targets employees, journalists, stockholders and critics. The worker, Bruce Gabbard, says the retail giant spied on employees, journalists, stockholders and critics of the company. We speak with the Wall Street Journal reporter who broke the story." Courtesy of Democracy Now: http://www.democracynow.org