My Blog Columns

Spread the love

General Blog Posts

A Message To My Friends

I wanted to take a few minutes and recognize friends who have been trying to connect with me here lately. Please don’t take my lack of response personally. I’m not mad at you, or not wanting to see you.

I have been on a very dark rollercoaster ride, and recently I decided it was time to climb out and find the light. I have been doing a lot of inward focusing lately trying to get myself back on track mentally and physically. This last two years has all but destroyed me. The self defeating attitude I fell into has met its match Friday Morning when I met with my new mental health care team. The pity party ends now. There is no shame in acknowledging when you can’t pull yourself back up and that something inside you has popped a spring and lost momentum.

I am done trying to please others or conforming to what others think I should do. I spent way too much of my life adapting to others to maintain their happiness and well-being at the costs of my own. This weekend begins a new start for me, slow as it may be, the race is over and I’m driving now. I know you all have heard this from me before, but I have backup now, and new resources at my disposal that I didn’t have or acknowledge previously. Some of you here on Facebook new friends and old helped to reignite me by assuring me sometimes you just got to get help (you all know who you are) just know I am very happy and honored to have your support.

As for why I have been not returning messages. I can’t be

Continue reading

Health & Depression

It’s not hard to tell that I have been struggling lately.  Sorting through a combination of medical ailments, and a raging case of depression had me in a slump I just could not dig out of.  Fortunately, I seem to be feeling a little better overall.  I have had to adjust my perspectives on things a bit and come to some hard choices and realizations.  The first realization is I have been trying to spread myself too thin.  I am not a creature apparently that works well on a schedule.

This being realized I am going to disband the Hoffy’s Workshop Show and return to an on the fly as things are happening video style.  If you are contributing to the Hoffy’s workshop show Patreon, I encourage you to redirect your funding to the Hoffy’s World Website as all my activities will once again be based there.    I just can’t keep up with building a production such as that show. Now with the recent changes to YouTube it just does not suit me the benefit of the frustration I have been dealing with.  I figured if I’m not finding total joy out of doing and it feels too much like work then I’m going in the wrong direction.

I’m getting ready to start-up my work on my railroad again.  I am finding I have a few extra dollars now I could redirect to that endeavor.  I have to say I appreciate the outpour of support and encouragement I have received over the last few months from several of my cyberspace friends.  I know I have not been much for communication or taking you all up on the various offers to help me, but just know I appreciate it.  It has been a very dark journey I have been on, now that I’m seeing the light of my singularity I am growing my fire to get frisky in the workshop again.  I am hoping to start-up writing on a regular basis again as well.

I can not believe how suddenly I let things fall silent again.  But, that’s what depression does to you I suppose.  I lost all ambition to do anything but sleep and eat.  The cold weather being my nemesis definitely has not been a help to this.

Now call me a wuss if you choose, but one of the biggest battles I have been contending with has been heartbreak.  This has manifested in many ways over the last two years.  It has also turned my whole school of thought upside down.  I have come to the conclusion that I have a unique and very old fashion view on certain things.  This, unfortunately, does not click very well in the modern world today.  Figuring this out I have decided to love the most important people.  My family, My Son, and most of all Myself.  I no longer have time for selfish people, If someone else drifts into my world in the process then that will be a matter to ponder then.  I’m not going out of my way any longer to find them.

But overall, and now that I let that loose through the keyboard, I feel pretty good about myself now.  Hopefully God willing I will have some neat stuff flowing soon.

stall, depression

The Big Stall – The Year End Retrospective

It occurred to me yesterday during an annual holiday visit from my Aunt and Uncle that I have not posted in darn near a month.  I have had no concept of this extended time lapse with this stall.  There has been many unexpected roadblocks and detours through November.  A family medical crisis, and the occasional drag-down fatigue and sleep disruption I contend with as a result of my own ailments have been the large contributing factors.

I have also recently been considering that I may have my nuts scattered a little too far from the basket.  I have been struggling to gather topics and material for The Hoffy’s Workshop Show, and have been considering melding it back into my blog for the purpose of consolidation.  This is not a final decision though.  I think if I bring everything back together this kind of stall might reduce.

The other matter is that some of my supply lines for materials on theContinue reading

choices

Choices, Right or Wrong – Life in Retrospect

I find myself doing a lot of back thinking about my past choices here lately.  Wondering deeply where I would be if I had just taken a chance, or did the wrong thing for a change.  “The Wrong Thing” now there is an interesting concept.  I never thought I would ever find myself in the position of realizing that the right things were actually the wrong in the long run.

I’ve learned a lot of insight on things I overlooked and hints and signals missed that I now realize were opening doors I just walked right past. Continue reading

values

My Journey of Embracing The Values I Left Behind

Photo By: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bs0u10e0/
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

I’ve made a lot of concessions and compromises in my values over the years.  Recently, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my life in the grand scheme of things.  I find myself wondering about, Where would I be if I had continued my original course?  Where would I be if I had listened more to myself and less to other influences?

I have started down many roads.  These roads though not traveled for very Continue reading

open writing

Open Writing – My New Therapy of Self Peace

It should be pretty apparent that I have seriously started writing again regularly.  I originally set out to write multiple posts a day but found myself exhausting to develop topics.  Instead, I have now decided to at least write one post in my General Blog Column every day.  I decided that the topic needs to come from my heart and mind at the time and not be premeditated.  The reason behind this new open writing style is I find a strong sense of internal release when I do.  I am someone who especially over the last year has suffered intensely with anxiety and depression.  I’m finding this to be very therapeutic for me on both counts.

I have received some great feedback and supportContinue reading

Getting Good at Getting Knocked Down

Knocked Down

I have come to realize this week that the one overwhelming skill I have developed is standing up.  I don’t think I can count on my hands and toes combined how many times I have been knocked down.  By knocked down, I mean being derailed from a goal or purpose, or sidelined because of health issues.Continue reading

Project Board Photo

Organization with Project Boards and Trays

Using Project Boards and Trays to Aid Organization of Projects

I have always had a problem with keeping projects organized.  I’ll move one project out-of-the-way in order to work on something else, and the next thing I know something is missing.  It has been quite some time since I have had the need but I recently have began using my project board method of organization again.    For smaller projects I have trays that are used specifically for holding onto these as well.  In this article I will share these items and how I use them to keep things straight.

What is a Project Board?

Continue reading

Living With Lymphedema

Maryland’s Health Matters - Upper Chesapeake - Winter 2018

Lymphedema Treatment Article Featuring Hoffy

As I mentioned a few months ago, I was to be featured in an article promoting the new Lymphedema Treatment Program at the University of Maryland’s Upper Chesapeake Medical Center In Bel Air, Maryland.

Eagerly awaiting its release I am proud to share it with you here on Hoffy’s World.  More information about the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and/or the Lymphedema Program can be found at their website at https://umuch.org/.

Lymphedema is a disease I have fought for most of my life.  Through my childhood, such treatments as are offered now were not even thought about let alone available.  I can only imagine where my health would be today if such programs would have existed in the Harford County community then, and I am proud to place my trust and endorsement with this program and with the wonderful staff that works very hard at running it with great care and dedication to their patients.  If you are a Lymphedema sufferer in the Harford County,  Maryland Area I implore you to follow-up with your physician about seeking treatment through this program.

 

Guaifenesin & Lymphedema – A Self Study – Part 3

The Guaifenesin study has pretty much fizzled out.  Up to a few week ago I had not seen any noticeable effect.  This should not discount the validity of the claim though.  I have had lymphedema for a very long time, so I was not expecting amazing results.  Someone who is fresh to the disease, or nowhere near as advanced as I am might find adequate results from this therapy.  The parameters were also mucked up by a sudden and unexpected family medical crisis that increased my activity levels well beyond their typical balance.  All is well now though.

This will be a topic again later this coming year, hopefully, life will allow a balanced period of time to explore it closer.  I encourage anyone who has been doing their own exploration to by all means share your exploration, either through a comment here or through our own resources.  Knowledge about any advantage against this disease is priceless information that needs to spread like a wildfire.

Guaifenesin & Lymphedema – A Self Study – Part 1

Guaifenesin & Lymphedema – A Self Study – Part 2

Guaifenesin & Lymphedema – A Self Study – Part 2

It has been one week since I began taking Guaifenesin to see if it serves an effect on my Primary Lymphedema.  Granted it has been only one week since taking it twice daily I have seen no directly visible change.  I am not convinced as of yet that it is not effective.  I look at it in the perspective of it has taken 30 some years for me to degrade to the level I am and in all fairness, I think it deserves more than a week to prove its case.

I can say that a lot of the congestion I have felt for a while, through0ut the rest of my body, however, has cleared up real nice.  This overall has made me feel much better.  I will not be increasing any dosages until after one month, and with physician approval.  I will continue my weekly updates on this topic until I am convinced of either its effectiveness or lack thereof.

Guaifenesin & Lymphedema – A Self Study – Part 1

Lately, I have been spending a good bit of time paying attention to Lymphedema discussion groups on Facebook on a variety of topics.  One recent topic that has taken my interest is the use of the medication Guaifenesin as a means of relief and treatment for Lymphedema.

A patent filed on Jun 25, 2001, by Samuel K. Yue, MD. identifies Lymphedema as:

Lymphedema or “high protein edema” is a deficiency, blocking or dysfunction of the lymphatic system that limits the flow of lymph fluid from a body area. Any sustained accumulation of proteins delivered to the body tissue by the blood capillaries, and not removed by the lymphatic system, will cause an accumulation of high protein fluid in the interstitial areas of the body tissues resulting in Lymphedema or “high protein edema”.

I could break the patent down in all of its technical descriptions and details but I will spare you the interpretation.  Dr. Yue’s method of using the expectorant  Guaifenesin to treat Lymphedema and Fibromyalgic patients is quite intriguing, to say the least. I will, however, share this paragraph which explains the of using this for treatment.

The inventor disagrees with the basic assumption and hypothesis on the inner working of guaifenesin. The inventor believes that guaifenesin’s activity is its ability to break down undigested protein, and antigen-antibody complexed protein within the tissues and lymphatic nodes and vessels to reduce fluid accumulation and therefore reduce lymphedema. Guaifenesin is an expectorate and it thins out proteinaceous secretions from our lungs by directly and/or indirectly through stimulating macrophages to breaking the proteins into its amino acids components. The inventor believes that guaifenesin break down the proteins within the blood stream, tissues, and the lymphatic system. By maintaining a high level of guaifenesin within the blood stream, the “foreign” proteins within the tissue, antigen-antibody protein complexes within the lymph nodes will be broken down allowing the broken down amino acid particles to diffuse across the tissue into the lymphatic drainage. With this fluid switch from the lymphatic to the systemic circulation diuresis ensues without affecting the potassium metabolism within the kidney. The inventor has also observed lymphedema that occurs in non-fibromyalgia patients that responds well to guaifenesin therapy resulting in reduction of the swelling. Fibromyalgia patients on guaifenesin have also been observed to have reduction of the painful and swollen lymph nodes. They have also been observed to have different rate of swelling reduction of one extremity versus the other, with the more swollen extremity slowly catching up with the other over time. These observations confirm the hypothesis that guaifenesin works on the “foreign” protein or antigen-antibodies protein complexes within the tissues and lymphatic system. With different size “foreign” protein and antigen-antibody protein complexes, guaifenesin’s action on these proteins in various part of the body will proceed with different rate resulting in different rate of swelling reduction in different part of the bodies.

I encourage you to read the language of the patent and share it with your Physician.  I printed a copy and took it to him.  My Primary Care Physician was quite interested in learning more.  He approved for me to begin taking Guaifenesin, and looks forward to seeing the results, either way, they may go.

I will be starting at 600mg sustained release version twice a day (every 12 Hours) for the first month.  I will be keeping a report at dosage times of noticeable effects and general observation.  I will self-evaluate the effectiveness of the dosage after the first month, and adjust upward as seems appropriate.  I will be reporting this data and the corresponding dosage changes to my Primary Care Provider Electronically as well.

I will be following up on this topic weekly on my Hoffy’s World Blog “Living With Lymphedema” Column and sharing it through the various interest groups on social media as well.

If you have any experience with this means of treatment or are a provider who uses this medicinal therapy I’d love to hear your experiences so please comment either on my blog or on social media.

 

pain

Pain – The Common Question About Lymphedema

Cover Photo By: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Youngson http://nyphotographic.com/

This article is a from the blog column Living With Lymphedema written by Steve “Hoffy” Hofmeister

The most common question I receive about my Lymphedema or “Milroy’s Disease” is Does It Hurt?  I commonly answer no, as definitions vary on the perception of pain.  Now, my view is not inclusive of all Lymphedema sufferers.  The correct question I suppose in my case is, Do you experience pain as a result of your Lymphedema?  In the case of this question then I would have to answer yes.  You may be asking what is the difference in these questions. Continue reading

Drawinf of Fire Engine

Explaining Lymphedema To A Child (or anyone)

Explaining Lymphedema To A Child (or anyone)

You hear about the Immune System and how it keeps you well and fighting illness.  But a lot of people do not understand the connection it has with the Lymphatic System.  I have developed this child-friendly explanation over the years on how the Immune System and Lymphatic System work together as well as the disease Lymphedema.

Having grown up with this disease since age 8 I have had to explain it to people many times.  Both during childhood and in adulthood I have Continue reading

Milroy Was Here – Milroy’s Disease

As I lay here awake at 4 AM suffering from another sleepless session of rest.  I thought I would share with you some information I’ve learned.  After 30 some years of having to explain Lymphedema in detail I’ve learned it has a more classy name.  Well, at least in the variant I deal with, It’s called Milroy’s Disease.  Which I have to admit Milroy’s Disease sounds much less miserable than Chronic Idiopathic Lymphedema.  

It has one of those pretty fancy ribbon colors too it’s a sky bluish turquoise kinda color.  Not that it makes things any better.  But hey, at least maybe it will get the attention it needs now.  Look at all the marketing, attention, and promotion that goes into Cancer, Autism, Etc.  This kind of awareness promotion has brought great changes to the fight of these ailments.  None of which should be set above the other, they all need dedicated attention.

I just think it is time for Lymphedema in all it’s forms to be recognized as a serious medical issue too.  Of all the systems and functions of the human body the Lymphatic System does not get the credit it deserves.

Lymphedema the Infection Reality

I won’t be sugar-coating or making things pleasant in this article.  I think it is very important that my readers understand the underbelly of Lymphedema.  If you feel you may be too sensitive to view actual photographs or hear the details that accompany them I do understand.

Infection of the tissues is a common issue with Lymphedema.  I am Continue reading

Hoffy’s Model Railroading Blog Posts

All The Trimmings

Not my best of carpentry work, but it won’t look too bad after a little filling and paint, time to relax, and maybe work on some more coding.

Who Wood-a Thought

Well, the first official action of model railroad construction commenced this evening with the fitting of the first board in two years.  Now to some you may say big deal. but for those who have been following me for years will understand that this is indeed a REALLY big deal. Yah Me!!

USB to RS485 BUS Adapter

RS485 Adapter

I received the USB to RS485 Transceiver this afternoon I need to start my control wiring for my model railroad project.  The reason I have chosen to use RS485 as a communications network is because of its ability to span great distance than a traditional “Serial” connection.  I only prefer it over CAN because I have an abundance of the hardware for this.

USB to RS485 BUS Adapter

Continue reading

Back on “Track”

It is hard for me to comprehend that it has been two years since I have done anything worth wild with my model railroad project.  It is even more baffling that I have been toying with this in various forms for 8 years and have yet to have a completed functional layout.

Now that life has seemed to return to a level of normal I have been starting to set the game plan back in motion.  It will still be quite some time before a train starts rolling again, and much wiring to be done.  Several areas of the layout have been subjected to piles of various odds and ends.

Continue reading