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Foto Fair Post your photos for friendly, non-critical feedback. This is the place to show pictures if you aren't yet ready for full-blooded critique, or simply want to share an interesting picture with other e-group visitors.

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Old 20th March 2013
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Stewart G Stewart G is offline
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Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Hope the photos of this bridge I keep posting aren't getting tiresome! The slightly funny story goes as follows:
I was angling myself for the shot below when this guy walked up and asked if I could take his picture. That happens a lot, though I was obviously right in the middle of composition. But I was in a new-found happy bubble (Zoloft) and so would have said yes to almost anything. (Zoloft was due to a recent unpleasant diagnosis, followed by an all night panic attack when my doctor phoned me up at 7:30, mid-Lightroom editing, and said, "We're transferring you to neurology," due to suspicious symptoms resembling ALS.) Anyway, back at the bridge, this visitor guy (not much English spoken) hands over an enormous fancy-pants camera with the requisite all-purpose goofy zoom. I was too stunned to notice the make (blame the Zoloft), but my little devil's horns went up and so handed him my 410 in trade, just to show what a REAL camera felt like, then demonstrated he should hold it behind his back while I took his picture. His camera wouldn't lock focus with shutter half press, and after the first photo he asked if I would put MY camera away and take another picture from down low that made him look as tall as the bridge tower. This I did, obediently. And stupidly (blame the Zoloft), I didn't think to take his picture with my camera, as I was too intent on catching the light from the setting sun on the bridge.



Fortunately, the Zoloft prescriptions has been cut in half, and mixed with a Clonazepam prescription, which is a wonder-drug sort of like Vallium. More importantly, the ALS diagnosis (and scheduled lumbar puncture) has been lifted and replaced by "degenerative disk disease," which is causing numb feet and a weakening of certain leg muscles.
Here's another one from just previous to the first. You can see what looks like a sliding support structure under the roadway, so that in the next earthquake the bridge won't pull loose from its moorings on land (as another large bridge did in our last Big One). BTW, there's a walkway under the bridge just to the left of this picture, is always worth going down there and taking a peek when one is on the north side of the bridge. Sorry for blabbing so much. Gotta go feed the cats!

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Last edited by Stewart G; 20th March 2013 at 12:17 AM. Reason: punctuation!
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Oh my word, I've just googled ALS and found it's what we call Motor Neurone Disease in the UK. No wonder you had a panic attack! Thank goodness the diagnosis has been revised. What you have actually got is not very good either, but much better than ALS/MND. I can see why you need Zoloft at the moment. Can they do much to slow down the degenerative disk disease? I hope so.

On a brighter note I did laugh about the guy with the fancy-pants camera! And that first picture especially is a great shot of the bridge, simply beatiful.

Take care and look after yourself, Stewart, you have my very best wishes. And keep taking pictures, it's excellent therapy!
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Thanks, John, you're a real gem. When you published your Mountain Memories thread I thought, "Gee, I wish I'd know him then (and been conveniently transported to the UK with backpack, boots, tent, etc.).
At the moment, the disk disease has no treatment that I know of. I have a "back class" tomorrow. I guess there are surgical options if it were to become worse, but as it is, I don't walk normally any more. I can live with that, can do a little hiking, and cycling. What's so odd to the doctors is that there's no pain. It's one of those lifelong things that just build up, I guess. I have found that hanging by my hands seems beneficial, as though my back were being stretched out and pressure on lumbar nerves reduced. My real worries are about worsening effects, as you know. Your portrayal of your own challenges gives me tremendous strength! That honesty is very much appreciated.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

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Thanks, John, you're a real gem. When you published your Mountain Memories thread I thought, "Gee, I wish I'd know him then (and been conveniently transported to the UK with backpack, boots, tent, etc.).
At the moment, the disk disease has no treatment that I know of. I have a "back class" tomorrow. I guess there are surgical options if it were to become worse, but as it is, I don't walk normally any more. I can live with that, can do a little hiking, and cycling. What's so odd to the doctors is that there's no pain. It's one of those lifelong things that just build up, I guess. I have found that hanging by my hands seems beneficial, as though my back were being stretched out and pressure on lumbar nerves reduced. My real worries are about worsening effects, as you know. Your portrayal of your own challenges gives me tremendous strength! That honesty is very much appreciated.
I think we would have got on great!

It's a big consolation that you are pain free, as indeed I am. "Frustration" is the one word I would use to sum up my condition, followed closely by another, "uncertainty." I'm trying hard to portray accurately what it means to me and how I feel, if for no other reason than to increase awareness of what Parkinson's is really like. I will readilly admit, however, that there are far worse illnesses and disabilities, at least compared to how I am at the moment. Time will tell on that one!

Will you get any physiotherapy? Is that what "back class" is? The right exercises may help strengthen your legs and the muscels that help support your back. Anything to keep the condition at bay as long as possible!
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Yes, though as a group I expect that many at the class will be there for pain management. My biggest difficulty is just normal walking, where the left hip flexor muscle controls how one plants the heel and rolls to the ball of the foot. Is too weak to be of much use, but I can sort of fake it as I walk and can still drive a clutch. Pushing off, like going up stairs, is okay, as that uses other muscles. There was a prediction after the nerve conductivity test that the right leg would follow the left leg's decline (the test was just like grabbing hold of a spark plug on a running engine, but with the shocks going up and down the legs--one of those laugh/cry tests--and after the painful f-wave test the neurologist turned to me and said, "You know why it's called the "F" wave, right?).
Bicycling, in my snail-slow style, seems good therapy. But I'm going to miss backpacking if that's out forever. At least I can carry camera gear on a bike!
Ah, well, aging is a bitch. My sister has Parkinson's-like symptoms, just asked me for the link to your "Living With...." thread.
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

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Originally Posted by Stewart G View Post
Yes, though as a group I expect that many at the class will be there for pain management. My biggest difficulty is just normal walking, where the left hip flexor muscle controls how one plants the heel and rolls to the ball of the foot. Is too weak to be of much use, but I can sort of fake it as I walk and can still drive a clutch. Pushing off, like going up stairs, is okay, as that uses other muscles. There was a prediction after the nerve conductivity test that the right leg would follow the left leg's decline (the test was just like grabbing hold of a spark plug on a running engine, but with the shocks going up and down the legs--one of those laugh/cry tests--and after the painful f-wave test the neurologist turned to me and said, "You know why it's called the "F" wave, right?).
Bicycling, in my snail-slow style, seems good therapy. But I'm going to miss backpacking if that's out forever. At least I can carry camera gear on a bike!
Ah, well, aging is a bitch. My sister has Parkinson's-like symptoms, just asked me for the link to your "Living With...." thread.
I had similar shocks to my legs as part of my tests for MSA - Yikes! I know what you mean. I suspect the neuros enjoy doing that bit anyway, whether it's needed or not! I guess the thing for you now is to stay as fit and active as possible for as long as possible. And try to do the things you most want to whilst you still can. Is there a support group specifically for people with your condition?

Sorry to hear about your sister, too. Has she been diagnosed?
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Stewart so sorry to hear of your age related health

Arn't we all a lot of old crocks ! I too have a recently developed back prob and do the "stretch" as if hanging by my hands and having a thread to pull up all the way from feet to out top of my head ... it does help - I guess horses/skiing and falling/being jerked (bucking horses ) and tennis and gold and athletics as a child all compund these probs

they say "use it or lose it" but I used it, lots and I am losing it for sure

THERE IS NOTHING GREAT ABOUT OLD AGE ! is there ?
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Chevvy, The only great thing about aging is gaining the confidence that one is smarter than everyone younger... Yes, a little stretching does a lot of good, and the Clonazepam is a muscle relaxant (which personally I think would benefit anyone suffering from modern day stresses).

John, my sister's diagnosis remains at "Parkinson's-like" because I guess she has only some of the symptoms.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

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Originally Posted by Stewart G View Post
,,, lifted and replaced by "degenerative disk disease," which is causing numb feet and a weakening of certain leg muscles.
Are you on statins?

The big camera might have been on back-button focus and frustrating the hell out of its owner : hence getting you to take the photo ...
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

I'm not familiar with statins...

And I must say I'm at least a little jealous of those who can afford a fancy camera. My advice to that visitor guy would have been to dump that large sensor piece of junk () and get an OMD.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Nice shots and interesting story Stewart

My wife had a disc in her neck replaced in her neck about a year ago. She has similiar problems in her legs. She was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome and was on medication for Parkinson to sort it. She is now off that medication and is doing well but still has lack of sensation in one and feelings randing from cold to being as describes as being on fire.

This all came to a head when she had a small fall when walking on a rocky flat section assending Helvelen.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

The great positive about old age probs is that we have all those " been there, done that, got the t-shirt memories" and lots on film too.

If we had been " PRUDENT!" in our youth, all we would have now is the aches and pains, and wouldn't THAT be a miserable existance?

I do like to stay Positive
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

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Nice shots and interesting story Stewart

My wife had a disc in her neck replaced in her neck about a year ago. She has similiar problems in her legs. She was diagnosed with restless leg syndrome and was on medication for Parkinson to sort it. She is now off that medication and is doing well but still has lack of sensation in one and feelings randing from cold to being as describes as being on fire.

This all came to a head when she had a small fall when walking on a rocky flat section assending Helvelen.
Am very sorry to hear that about your wife...when my wife had her disc surgery (x2) replacement disks were still a thing of the future, I think. Or maybe it's the location that matters...
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

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The great positive about old age probs is that we have all those " been there, done that, got the t-shirt memories" and lots on film too.

If we had been " PRUDENT!" in our youth, all we would have now is the aches and pains, and wouldn't THAT be a miserable existance?

I do like to stay Positive
I'll second that, staying positive. And living a life as fully as one is able. And it helps to talk about things, too, of course.
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Old 20th March 2013
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Re: Golden Gate Bridge with a mildly funny story...

Stewart
If the doctors want you to have an MRI scan of your spine - persuade them to send you to get an upright MRI, the machines are made by Fonar. Because the patient is standing up during the scan the spine is under load and so demonstrates the distortion that is happening.

The cost of the scans is a bit higher than conventional MRI scans but give much more useful spine information. The surgeon who has operated on my back a couple of times often sends his patients to the upright scanner in London so that he can get a better diagnosis. Mainly because I found out about Fonar via the internet and introduced him to the concept.

Incidentally I found out that I could fly to Miami and back to the UK for an upright scan for less than the scan cost in London, however that would have required a couple of longish flights in cattle class to keep the cost down.

To prepare yourself, Google terms like PLIF so that you can have the questions ready if you end up seeing a surgeon.

Re Motor Neurone Disease it may be an inherited problem, so I was a little concerned when I was sent off for the nerve test with the words - it might be etc, as my Mother had died of it 30 years previously. Being told it was not that was quite a bit of relief.
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