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The Debra Saga

For those of you following the ongoing Debra seizure/blackout saga. She went to see her gyno the other day and the doc is monitoring her hormone levels which are elevated and her cholesterol which is too low. We've noticed now that she is off most of the drugs (still on amatriptaline to regualte her sleep), she only has seizures/blackouts either just before or just after her period. Last year she also developed melasma on her face as well as starting to have night sweats and hot flashes. At least we don't have to use an electric blanket in the winter. Hot flashes cut down on heating bills. So the doc thinks she could be going through peri-menopause. They will be monitoring her hormone levels for the next 4 months to make a determination on that and a possible treatment. She has a noticeable lack of sex drive as well. At least it's noticeable to me. But she has been slowly getting back to her old self. She gets worn out easily sometimes but she's able to stay up later now and doesn't have to nape periodically throughout the day all the time so that's and improvement. The eve of my birthday, Rob and Gwen invited us out to a local club that had a band. I was surprised when she said she wanted to go because the crowds usually set off an anxiety reaction in her, sometimes with very nasty consequences. I had to haul her out of the Cult concert at the Madison after she tried to attack some biker chick for "standing in her palce" and then proceeded to wig out and then pass out. Luckily I'm big enough to throw her over my shoulder and carry her out. So anyway, we went out to the club, she had two beers and danced a little with her cousins and did fine. We only stayed for about two hours though just to be safe.

The doc said it's not unheard of for a woman age 34 to go through peri-menopause which they had some treatments for and then symptoms lessen or stop altogether when they actually go through menopause. At least it's a more positive direction than everything that has gone on in the last 2 1/2 years with her. She is still going to therapy once every two weeks to deal with surfacing anxiety from her childhood and that helps her as well. Slowly but surely, the old Debra is returning.

Last night in addition to the soda bread, I made Barm Brack, which I'd never made before. You have to take dried fruit and soak it in tea overnight. Here is our fruit mix after soaking all day in peach/passionfruit tea. It smelled as good as looks.

Today this white stuff is falling from the sky. View from my office window at the apartments that 5 years ago were a corn field.

I have to admit, when it's almost Spring and you know it's not going to stick around, this stuff is almost pretty. The sun just came out and even though it's only in the low 30's outside, the snow will be gone by evening. This kind of snow I like.

I'm developing an idea for a series of photo shoots. I'll talk more about it as I get some logistic figured out. But I'm going to need some female models. Semi nude but I'm not really trying for erotic. Nudity will be more a consequence of the situation than the main focus of it.

Speaking of the idea, I'm going to need to find a way to make photorealistic blood. Problem with most theatrical blood is it has a sheen to it that does not look natural when it is photographed. I'm in Central Illinois so if there is anyone who wants to be a model for a photographic experiment, let me know. Also any ideas on the blood would be good. I could use animal blood but it generally has an odor and tends to dry to quickly. Deb was thinking a concentrated fruit juice in corn syrup but mixed with a little flour to cut down the sheen. I'll have to think on it some more.




( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 10th, 2005 10:52 am (UTC)
Ouch! Cold! Brrrr....
Mar. 10th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
What sucks is it was 68 on Sunday. It's our up and down time of the year.

Mar. 10th, 2005 10:53 am (UTC)
Btw, I wanna model for ya!
Mar. 10th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC)
i'll email you with the idea. It's right up your alley. Maybe we can get together when I'm there in April.

Mar. 10th, 2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
Sounds great!
Mar. 10th, 2005 11:11 am (UTC)
I think that artificial blood is a sort of corn syrup or glycerine base. You could probably do a Google and find a "recipe". Or ask vyoma, he has used stuff to aproximate blood in photographs in the past. It has to have an opaque look, not too dense, or it will look like paint, not blood.

Good luck to Deb with the diagnostics and such. Hormones can indeed make you crazy.

So... what do you do with that Bram Brack?
Mar. 10th, 2005 02:32 pm (UTC)
Eat it I hope. Having never made it before I'm hard pressed to tell if I did it right. It's a really dense cake with soft fruit pieces.

I've been checking out costume shops and EMS supplies all day. I'm just going to have to experiment and I'll ask your friend.

Mar. 10th, 2005 11:31 am (UTC)
Oh wow. I hope Debra gets to feeling better soon. That sucks.

That stuff looks delicious!
Mar. 10th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)
Like I said it's been going on for three years now. She used to have seizures/blackouts and night terrors about 9-12 times per week. Now it's down to once or twice a motn so that's much better but still frustrating for both of us.


Mar. 10th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear she's still having problems. Menopause is different for every woman I suppose. I'm 46, still haven't had a hot flash yet, and I'm hornier than ever. But I've been using some herbal supliments for about 10 years now. I'd love to do the modeling, perhaps if you make it down here sometime.
Mar. 10th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
I'll email you the idea and you can see if you still want to do it. I'm looking to try and make it down there this spring. i'm going to NC at the end of April for a week and then hopefully I can do a long weekend down there. I'd love for you to model for me.

Yeah the low sex drive thing is kind of a bitch since we both really enjoy sex and I'm horny all the time as well. I keep joking with her that we might as well be married since we seem to be having married sex these days.

Mar. 10th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC)
I'm glad Deb's doing a bit better. Such an upleasant journey it's been for her, and you. It's been raining today. Everything is mush and dirt. Can't wait for spring...
Mar. 11th, 2005 08:53 am (UTC)
Deb has decided she's taking a cruise to Alaska for her Spring trip. I'll tell her it's mushy.

Mar. 10th, 2005 09:55 pm (UTC)
May help:



We've looked this stuff up previously when doing short films. I assume recipes made to look good for film will suffice for photography.

Good to hear Deb's on the mend, in a way. I hope things continue to improve.

All the best!

Mar. 11th, 2005 08:57 am (UTC)
Hey thanks a lot, this will really come in handy. I'll be sure to show you results.

Mar. 11th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
Fake blood, in my opinion, is extremely tricky. We've used paint, syrup, even dyed fabric softner to try and get it right, but we haven't mastered it. I think to get it looking the best, you'll need to spend a bit of money on it. As long as that doesn't worry you, you should come up with something that's passable. Good luck with it! :)

Mar. 11th, 2005 02:02 pm (UTC)
EMS supply stores make a moulage kit and an EMT friend who does demos says the blood they supply has actually fooled some of the instructors before. If I did the shots in black and white, it wouldn't be a problem but for what I want to do, I think color is more interesting.

Mar. 11th, 2005 08:54 am (UTC)
kind of personal
But, is Deb taking birth control? The depoprovera shot I used to take gave me many peri-menopause symptoms.
Also, my friends that are actually going through menopause say that the hormones in milk and soft cheeses really make their symptoms worse.
My sister was having a lot of stress and night terrors. She meditates every morning now and hasn't had one since.
Just some ideas to ponder.
So sorry to hear she is going through that.
Mar. 11th, 2005 09:00 am (UTC)
Re: kind of personal
Nope, no birth control at all. Just so you know, I'm sterile so we don't have to use it. She's also lactose intollerant. Cheese is about the only dairy she does eat and then not often. But like I say, what she is going through now is an improvement over two years ago when she had daily seizures. Thanks for the info.

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )