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Some good news at last - Stephan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stephan

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Some good news at last [Mar. 25th, 2008|06:32 pm]
Stephan
My visit to the Orthapaedic Surgeon has afforded me some reason to be cheerful.

He explained that this type of condition goes through a three stage process. Formation, absorbtion and I'm afraid I forgot the 3rd stage not long after he told me.

The first phase is where the calcium forms on the tendons.

The second phase, which he believes I'm in now, is where the calcium is gradually absorbed back by the body. The bad part about this is that it leaves a hard, rough residue on the body.

The third phase is where the calcium gradually breaks away on it's own.

Nine times out of ten the problem simply goes away. The surgeon however did warn that in some cases the rough calcium can leave a hole in the tendon, requiring surgery. I've been advised to book another appointment if in 4 months the strength doesn't return to my arm.

Phew! At least I don't need to dip into my savings, and better yet I'm NOT crippled! :D
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: marmoe
2008-03-25 01:38 pm (UTC)
I'll consider this good news. :)

I hope it will heal fine.
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[User Picture]From: sleepyjohn00
2008-03-25 03:48 pm (UTC)
YAY!

Was he able to suggest anything that would speed the resorbtion? Low calcium diet, chelation, long walks in the moonlight, anything?

I'm sorry that you're going to continue to hurt while the calcium is still there, but at least now you know what to expect.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-03-25 08:23 pm (UTC)
sleepyjohn00 said:"Was he able to suggest anything that would speed the resorbtion? Low calcium diet, chelation, long walks in the moonlight, anything?",

(...or find a doe for some TLC *snerk*)
sleepyjohn00 said:"I'm sorry that you're going to continue to hurt while the calcium is still there, but at least now you know what to expect.",


I asked whether the arm should be exercised or rested and he said to rest it as much as possible (good thing I asked because I was expecting exercise to be the answer). He said that the cause of these situations is as yet unknown, and to my surprise again it's not considered hereditary (my mother had a similar problem in one of her ankles and I was wondering if I'd inherited a genetic flaw). They can't advise on whether a change of diet would have an effect.

There's absolutely no pain right now, but he warned me that the ache could return.
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[User Picture]From: alaskawolf
2008-03-25 04:31 pm (UTC)
im hoping it all goes away :) hang in there and keep your hopes up
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-03-25 08:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Normally I adhere to pessimism because that helps me avoid dissapointments.

This is a rare occasion that I WILL be hopeful. 9 out of 10 healed normally are good odds.
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[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2008-04-01 05:50 am (UTC)
I never thought you were crippled in the first place... :)

I'm really glad to hear that, though I do wonder if you're getting enough calcium in your diet...

I should probably explain that:
Medical doctors (aka doctors for humans) say that if you have a high calcium content in your blood, you need to have less.
(makes sense, doesn't it? But wait, what's actually going on?)

Veterinary doctors (aka doctors for animals) say that if you have a high calcium content in your blood, you need more calcium, because your body's saying that it's not getting enough, so takes some from your bones, which kind of floods the bloodstream with it.
(and which sounds more likely in your case?)

So, please, check to see if you're getting enough...
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-04-01 09:37 am (UTC)
carlfoxmarten said:"I never thought you were crippled in the first place... :)",

It felt as though I would be. For nearly a week I was unable to move the shoulder joint more than 45 degrees. The arm still feels a bit weak too, and the Orthaepedic surgeon warned me to come back in 4 months if the problem lingered becuase this could mean that the tendon needs to be re-stitched.

carlfoxmarten said:"I'm really glad to hear that, though I do wonder if you're getting enough calcium in your diet...",


You make a very valid point and one that I've been worried about for some considerable time. I do need to find a way to increase my calcium intake. Probably means bringing home more calcium infused soy milk.

Another consideration is that I've spent a great deal of time in an especially depressed state of mind. The effects on my metabolism have been more than evident. I need to cheer up. It's the fault of all the cartoonists; they haven't been as funny lately. :P
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[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2008-04-02 06:52 am (UTC)
Ah, I wasn't aware that many people knew of this discussion.

Have you considered calcium supplements?
(make sure they also include magnesium as well, as your body needs both to be able to properly utilize the calcium)

Also, if you need help using the Gimp, you can ask me, I've been using it for a while and have used many (but probably not all) the features available, so I can at least give some pointers on using it...
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-04-02 08:36 am (UTC)
carlfoxmarten said:"Have you considered calcium supplements?
(make sure they also include magnesium as well, as your body needs both to be able to properly utilize the calcium)",


Please no more! ;) I really want to avoid adding another pil to my daily intake. My desk already looks like a miniature pharmacy. Every morning I take the vital B12 supplement, silica (for my shoulder), and a general men's health tablet which contains an alphabetically listed recipie of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium and magnesium. At night I gulp down valerian to help me sleep, with the temazepam on standby when needed. There's also a bottle of 1000mg vitamin C tablets for when my immune system needs a boost.

I'd rather absorb my nutrients from more natural sources. The B12 I would much rather obtain from mushrooms, if only I had the time and skill to cook them properly. As for calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin C, I'd much rather get those from suitable foodstuffs.

carlfoxmarten said:"Also, if you need help using the Gimp, you can ask me, I've been using it for a while and have used many (but probably not all) the features available, so I can at least give some pointers on using it...",

I had no idea you were adept in GIMP as well as Moray, Carlfoxmarten! SleepyJohn and I could probably BOTH use some tips, and I for one would be especially grateful to you.

What I need to learn first off is how to work with layering. Remember the Virtual Reality machine Michael is playing in? I need to insert the drawing of him so that it's behind the nearest bars, but in front of the bars at the back. I'm guessing that the best way would be to layer the two images (the 3D and the drawing) so that I can edit out the portions of Michael that need to be visually obscured by the VR machine bars. Can you give me any advice?

I don't think I have your E-mail address. Here's one of mine (I have a half-dozen that all lead into the same inbox bucket): cottr311r00 - forcomics@yahoo.com.au
(NOTE: The spaces I've deliberately put in to ward off crawler-ware trolling for E-mail addresses to spam. Use the full E-mail address WITHOUT the spaces around the hypen).
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[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2008-04-02 04:27 pm (UTC)
thefoxaroo said:
Please no more! ;) I really want to avoid adding another pil to my daily intake. My desk already looks like a miniature pharmacy. *snip*

Oh, okay, I didn't know that.
You should see the kitchen table around here, it has quite a few vitamin bottles on it...
I don't know much about how to get each vitamin, so maybe an internet search could provide some answers.

thefoxaroo said:
I had no idea you were adept in GIMP as well as Moray, Carlfoxmarten! SleepyJohn and I could probably BOTH use some tips, and I for one would be especially grateful to you.

Well, I am no longer very adept at Povray (the back-end for Morray) due to not using it for over five years and a new version, so I'm probably not the right person to ask about that any more.

As for working the Gimp, I've been using it fairly frequently recently, and have found several tricks for working with layers, so I can definitely provide some tips.

[due to LJ's size limit for post length, a quick introduction is in the next reply...]

thefoxaroo said:
I don't think I have your E-mail address. Here's one of mine (I have a half-dozen that all lead into the same inbox bucket): cottr311r00 - forcomics@yahoo.com.au
(NOTE: The spaces I've deliberately put in to ward off crawler-ware trolling for E-mail addresses to spam. Use the full E-mail address WITHOUT the spaces around the hypen).

Okay, will do.
My address is my username on here, minus both "arl" and the ".livejournal.com" stuff, at inbox.com.
(if you don't understand that, it's probably due to me having several final projects due at very similar times, and most of them having much to do with programming...)
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[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2008-04-02 04:29 pm (UTC)
thefoxaroo said:
What I need to learn first off is how to work with layering. Remember the Virtual Reality machine Michael is playing in? I need to insert the drawing of him so that it's behind the nearest bars, but in front of the bars at the back. I'm guessing that the best way would be to layer the two images (the 3D and the drawing) so that I can edit out the portions of Michael that need to be visually obscured by the VR machine bars. Can you give me any advice?

Layers are one of the most helpful tools anybody has ever come up with for working with images, and the Gimp's implementation is pretty easy to work with as well.

When you open the program initially, it opens two vertically-oriented windows, one of them has the tool pallet and the other has a bunch of different things on it.

Unless you've changed things (and it's not really very obvious that you can change things around), you'll find the layers pane at the top of that other window, farthest left tab.

To create a new layer to work with, either click on the button that looks like a shiny piece of paper or right click in the list (farther below the line that says "Background") and click on "New Layer...".
This opens a dialog that gives you some options for the new layer, including initial colour, the layer's name, and its width and height.

For your purposes, you'll probably want to start with a transparent background and have the layer the same size as the original image, in which case you'd just leave the size alone, then click on OK.

Now you'll see two layers in the Layers pane, one called Background and the other with the name you just gave, with the Background one below your new one.

To choose which layer you're currently drawing on and working with, just select the layer you want tow work with.
You can also hide a layer by clicking the "eye" next to the layer, which is especially helpful for when a layer is partially transparent and something looks wrong but you don't know what, so you just hide the upper layer and the layer below that will become unobscured.

If you want to work with images you've already created that have plain white backgrounds, there are ways to get it to look right on top of a background without trying to use the Eraser tool and carefully erasing the white background.

You can use the Magic Wand tool (it looks like a magic wand, and the tooltip says "Fuzzy select tool: select a contiguous region based on colour" or something like that) to select the white background (if you haven't provided enough white space around the image, then you'll need to select more of it by Shift-clicking on more regions), then "grow" the selection by one or two pixels by going Select -> Grow -> [the amount you want to grow by, usually determined by how wide your outlines are] -> OK.

Now that you have your background selected, we can convert the white background to transparent by going Layer -> Transparency -> Colour to Alpha... -> choose white for the colour to work with -> OK.

This provides you with a very nice, smooth edge on your drawing that was fairly easy and completely unnerve-wracking to get.

True, you could have just used Edit -> Clear on your selection, but that would have resulted in a very jagged edge, and on small images that would make it look terrible.

If you'd like to see some pictures to help understand how it works, I can try to get some up, but my day is a little busy, so it won't be today.

If there's more you'd like to know about, just ask.
I like to help where I can (and especially if it helps someone get more webcomics done! :) )
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-04-03 10:27 am (UTC)
Oh wow! I want to start using this right away!

Unfortunately I have to be patient for about another 18 hours. I had to perform my grocery shopping tonight, and it's now 9:30pm here. That might not sound too late at night, but by the time I warm up the scanner and complete assimilation of the first drawing it would be encroaching on my circadian rhythms.

I've printed out a copy of your instructions all ready for tomorrow.

(No good news on the tooth situation however...)
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[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2008-04-03 03:51 pm (UTC)
Feel free to send a copy of this along with my e-mail address to Sleepy John, he'll probably like it as well.

If you're interested, a similar technique can be used to colour a grayscale image, but I can't post it until late tomorrow (due to a long day today and an assignment due tomorrow).

Would you be interested?
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2008-04-04 11:22 pm (UTC)
carlfoxmarten said:"If you're interested, a similar technique can be used to colour a grayscale image, but I can't post it until late tomorrow (due to a long day today and an assignment due tomorrow).

Would you be interested?",


I sure would, but let me get used to the basics of layering first. It takes me a long time to learn new skills.
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