Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?
Monday, October 29, 2007
Trouble comes in Threes...
I have never really been superstitious. I don't believe in astrology or any other mystical ideas, although the idea of karma for bad acts coming back and biting you does quite appeal to me. But one thing I have noticed in my life is the "action of 3". For instance, whenever we go on a trip, I will usually forget 3 things. Often they are small things, but once I have realized I have forgotten something, then I won't rest until I remember what the other 2 things are.
Trouble also comes in threes it seems, at least in my life. And this past month has hit us with two major things, so far...
My father-in-law was diagnosed two years ago with bladder cancer. He had two surgeries and chemo and has been in remission ever since. Until his check up a couple of weeks ago. So he's had another bout of surgery and will undergo a second session again in a couple of weeks. It has understandably caused some major stress in our family.
But the second crisis is what has me most concerned. About a year ago, DD1 pulled out all her eyelashes. It occurred in a couple of hours while she was reading a book and I was cooking in the kitchen. Needless to say we were horrified and started the round of doctors and ophthalmologists to come up with a vague conclusion that she had allergies and they caused her to rub her eyes and pick at her eyelashes. Only trouble is, the lashes never seemed to grow back
I knew that there was something more going on, so started the process to get a referral to a child psychologist. We finally got the referral but it took 3 weeks before we got the first appointment. And then 2 weeks ago I noticed a spot on DD1's head. She said that some hair had been pulled out when she was climbing a tree. Yeah, right. And then the spot got bigger and we found wads of hair she had been pulling out. Pulling out herself!! After confronting her with the evidence she finally could not lie anymore. And that was just the beginning.
Trichotillomania. That's the name for the condition. It affects between 3-5% of the population, usually female. And it is not uncommon that it starts in adolescence. It is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. And there are various forms of treatment. But no guarantee of success.
The past week the kids have been home for vacation, and DD1 has been working on a project for school that is due next week. Instead of being a break from stress, we have had some major "flare-ups" and now DD1 is missing about 20% of her hair. It looks terrible and there is no hiding it. And since her school does not allow for hats or hoods to be worn during class, she is going to have to deal with the attention from her classmates. Wednesday, when we have the appointment with the psychologist, cannot come soon enough.
So those are the two crises. And while I'm not superstitious and I don't want to be pessimistic, I am just dreading what comes next...