Personal Update–Health Issues

I turned 69 in March, and I have two health conditions as well, so I want to give everyone as clear a picture as I can.  I have definitely not been able to keep up with business as fast as I need to, but I am catching up.  I currently have about a dozen orders that I’m working on, and several returns or exchanges to process.  I’m going to email the worst cases, but if you have anything I should have taken care of, but didn’t, please email me and call if necessary.

I’m grateful to  have this business which I can do from my home.  Tie-dying has certainly not made me wealthy, but it has given me a way to get through an amazing variety of circumstances.

I’ve been a type two diabetic for about 10 years. About a year ago I decided to start using insulin. I take a small shot of long acting insulin at night and Glyburide twice a day which encourages my pancreas to make some insulin. I also test my blood fairly frequently and adjust the amount of carbs I’m eating to stay within bounds.

Last winter, I’d been getting pretty good control of my blood sugar, but I started wondering if I had something else wrong.  I was often tired and frequently short of breath from just walking across the house, so I made a trip to the VA Hospital where I was diagnosed with atrial flutter—a step down from atrial fibrillation (both types of cardiac arrythmia). I was prescribed two medications—Warfarin, a blood thinner and Diltiaxem, a circulatory muscle relaxer. The Warfarin is to protect against strokes which can happen with these conditions.

The meds have helped me and I have more energy on average than I did before the diagnosis. The hardest part for me is that the fluttering is erratic. I’ve had a couple of times when I knew my heart was acting up all night, and I felt more tired when I got up than when I went to bed.  Now I stay up for awhile to calm and regularize my breathing by meditation which helps. And then I might have one or two good days when I feel “normal.” I’ve actually felt so good a couple of times that I could over do it and burn myself out a bit. The only regularity is that I tend to alternate good and difficult days or groups of days. I used to be able to work late and start early if I needed to fill orders, but those days are long gone.

It was also confusing that the atrial flutter feels a lot like low blood surgar. I realized there were times in the past when I felt like I had low blood sugar and ate some carbs only to find my blood sugar was very high. Now I know that when I thought my blood sugar was low it was the feeling of the atrial flutter.
A couple of days ago I realized that low blood sugar can trigger the atrial flutter as it seems any stress can.

So I’m reinventing my business once again.  We used to half-jokingly say we were remarketed hippies, but now we’d be remarketed, remarketed, remarketed hippies.

I’m switching from doing most of the work myself to orchestrating the work of myself and others. Fortunately I currently have two part time workers helping me. They are both art majors at MTSU, and they are learning very quickly.  They are getting so well trained that I can let them take over big chunks of production.  This will free me up to take care of the deskwork that has piled up, and write more books.  The books are important because they are my “retirement plan.”  I don’t really plan to retire, but I do have to slow down quite a bit and I’d love to have more time to experiment. Comments welcome!

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