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Kind of Rambly Update

September 18th, 2019 at 01:30 pm

Yesterday I took my daughter to her endocrinologist. He is switching her meds from hydrocortizone to prednisone and the generic thyroid med to the brand name Synthroid. For some reason our insurance covers the name brand but not the generic. He says he'd rather have her on Synthroid anyway because it is made in America and a lot of the generics are being made in China and India and the quality may not be the same.

We are hoping the switching to prednisone will help with some of the high blood pressure symptoms she has been going through and the water retention.

Then today I took Mom to the surgery center to have a cataract removed in one eye, then my daughter to her follow up visit to her GP which was right next door, then picked Mom up right after and came home. I have physical therapy at 4:00 today and I really don't want to go as I am dragging so hard today, but sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do.

Tomorrow I have to take Mom to the eye doctor to have the dressing removed so it will be another early morning for me, though thankfully not as early. After that I go have surgery on my other big toe.

Someone (Sue?) asked what I was having surgery for. I have a strong tendency to ingrown toenails and what is being done is they go down the side of the nailbed and and kill the nail, just that little bit on the edges. Then the nails don't grow into the sides of the toes anymore. I've had two other toes done before and never had problems with them again and after my most recent bout with one I am just done. It's a pain to do and the pain lasts several weeks, though in diminishing amounts.

On Monday I took DS to the neurologist and he has not skipped the family tendency towards migraines. He's been getting auras with them. She put him on Topamax and he is feeling the difference already.

What else? Oh, I cut his hair two days ago, number 8 on the clippers. He was getting to the point that my daughter had nicknamed him Scraggamuffin, a cross between scraggly and ragamuffin. He looks so much better, now. So that saved us $13 plus tip at the barber. I did DH's a week ago. Those clippers are a great investment. We bought a pair 15 years ago and they paid for themselves within the first two haircuts and now nothing but free.

DD wants me to do hers the same way. She doesn't have the energy to fiddle with her hair anymore, so I will probably do it even though I'd like hers to be an inch or two longer. But this isn't about what I want, it's about what makes it easier to cope with life with all her myriad diseases. Though I might actually take her to the barber instead, they have one that does female hair pretty short but not majorly styled. Just not as short as a clipper cut.

I probably need to go and get my hair cut, too. It's grown out a couple of inches past my shoulders and I really don't want to deal with long hair again. I like a chin length bob these days. The only down side is it requires more than one hair cut a year and I only go to a nice place because the cheap ones have screwed up my hair and all they want to do is flat iron my hair and not work with my curls. The only problem is I don't have the energy or the inclination to flat iron my hair so don't want a cut that would be fine with that but not my curls. I just want to wash, rinse, pick out the curls and go and that's the type of cut I need.

I think some hair dressers just don't understand how to work with curly hair. And my hair is just weird. My hair is really curly from the ears back, but it is straight on the top four inches of the crown and then in the front, the part that would be bangs and tendrils if I had them is also straight. It seems to confuse some people, but I have three different ones at the place I go to that get it right, so it is one of the few things I will pay a little more for.

Just a few more days until DH and I go on our mini-vacation. I am so looking forward to dumping all of my responsibilities and running away for a couple of days. Life has been exhausting lately. I just want to do nothing of importance with my DH and recharge.

Rough Couple of Weeks

August 24th, 2019 at 08:41 pm

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I hurt myself pretty badly in a fall when the ancient garden chair I was sitting in gave up the ghost and collapsed. I landed on my butt, but I grabbed the garden bed as I started falling, so I wrenched my shoulders, elbows, and wrists, and then because I was so close to the bed, my knees hit it and twisted to the side, wrenching both my knees and ankles and making me fall the rest of the way onto my left hip.

I am finally comfortable sitting in my desk chair again, at least for a few hours, but it has been pretty miserable with the aches and pains. It caused full on inflammation as my autoimmune disease was triggered from the impact. The body swelling is finally going down. In the midst of all that I had a nasty aural migraine that blurred my vision so bad I couldn't read even with my new glasses. It lasted three days.

I am not back to my old self again yet, but at least my hands feel good enough to type. My physical therapist worked around the pain and I have been able to do my exercises for all but three days throughout. We modified any exercises that hurt and I am back to being able to do all of them fully again.

I am so careful when I walk so as not to fall. This was just a freak accident. That chair was old, but it was solid. I definitely did not expect it to just give out like that. Now I have to find a new chair at the end of the season, which is going to be frustrating. I am not sure they even have them anymore. Maybe I will have DH build me a square stool. It will be a lot more solid than anything we can find in the store. We have some good wood in the garage from some heavy duty pallets with 2 x 4's, so it won't cost us anything to build it.

The green beans are in full swing now. I canned 7 quarts. The corn is starting to come in. Most of the onions are in the garage drying, and the tomatoes are finally starting to turn red and yellow, respectively. I am still getting cucumbers and zucchini and the one volunteer lettuce plant is finally big enough to harvest off of. The kale is still trucking along and I have harvested all of the broccoli except one. The celery is big enough to start cutting it, too. So I guess it is a good thing that I am able to sit again because I have a lot of preserving to do.

Random Things

July 24th, 2019 at 10:31 pm

There was not a lot going on today. We got the garden watered and we picked up the wood, nails, and deck blocks for the fencing. The deck blocks will go over the concrete pad where we can't sink t-posts. We spent $81.55

Tomorrow is my first physical therapy appointment for my hips. Hopefully they will give me some good exercises that will help. I just hope I don't get light-headed. My high blood pressure medicine makes me prone to it when I am getting up and down from a prone position.

I went through the sale ads. Not much of anything again this week, except .88/lb chicken and I don't need more chicken. The freezer is pretty full up. I think this will be a Costco/Trader Joe's/Winco week, with a possible run to Whole Foods to see if they have date sugar and cassava flour if TJ's doesn't. I have made it through the two Paleo cookbooks and there are some good recipes in there, but I need those two ingredients. We already have almond flour.

Has anyone here ever used hemp cream for their arthritis? Not the kind with THC, but the other kind that doesn't get you high? I had one lady recommend it to me, but I'd kind of like some more opinions on it if anyone has tried it. It's legal in my state. Well, technically the other kind is legal in my state, too, but I don't want to use it. If you have used it, what brand do you recommend? There were a lot on Amazon, and most had great reviews, but it is kind of overwhelming.

I have been using sombra for a while now, but it starts to sting after using it too many days in a row. I had the same problem with icy hot and mineral ice. Pure MSM cream is just too expensive. I would just like to have some relief that hopefully doesn't bother my skin after daily use.

We Have a Diagnosis

July 18th, 2019 at 06:24 pm

Or rather, should I say, we have another diagnosis. DD has, as I have long suspected, fibromyalgia. The doctor wants to do further blood work for Sjogren's disease as well, something else we have suspected. The difference between this rheumatologist (mine) and the other one DD saw two years ago is night and day. She took the time to listen and did not dismiss my daughter's symptoms due to her young age. DD is really happy with this doctor. I figured she would be.

Even though we have hit our out of pocket max, the one test is so expensive that we still have to pay some of it like I do with my Embrel. It'll be $82 so not awful. It's just on a different tier. They tried to do the tests today but she is not hydrated enough. So we'll push Gatorade tomorrow and then go down and try again.

It is good to have an answer, but it is all just pieces of the puzzle and I don't think we have the last piece or two to finish it yet.

An ARGH Kind of Day

July 10th, 2019 at 09:18 pm

That stupid deer still managed to jump the fence and get into the garden. Is it wrong of me to keep thinking how good he would look in my freezer? He is an awfully big fellow. Along with his brother, that would provide a lot of meat for the family. No, I know I can't do that. Deer season isn't until November and you can't discharge a firearm within city limits. *sighs* I am only half joking. He ate all the Romenescu heads.

All these years and I have never had trouble with deer. This is just so frustrating. It is going to be a bad produce year nationwide. I am growing to get stuff in the freezer and canned, not to be an all you can eat buffet to the local critters. This is one of the problems with living near a several acre wooded park. This thing is costing me money and taking food out of my family's mouths.

Maybe we will just have to build cages for all of the raised beds. Well, not the onions. They aren't touching the onions. Or the zucchini, herbs, cucumbers, or tomatoes. Just the brassicas. I do worry about the corn and green beans when they get big enough to produce, though.

Went to the gastro doctor's office and saw the P.A. about DD's liver tumor. She hadn't even looked at the MRI results. I was miffed. She's going to get back to us by Friday after she talks to the radiologist and consults the doctor, which usually means Monday or Tuesday. I was very clear when I made the appointment what we needed to talk about. I am sick of waiting rooms, sick of medical personnel falling down on the job, and sick of my daughter being sick and no one being able to figure out the underlying cause of all this crap that is happening to her body. Pardon my language. I am very frustrated today.

Results for the MRI

June 27th, 2019 at 03:29 pm

DD has a 2.7 cm lesion on her liver. That slightly over an inch. It's round, too, so the inch is the diameter. The results of the MRI came back and it looks like a benign tumor, so now she has to go back to the G.I. and see if further imaging needs to be done and/or surgery might need to be performed. I don't know what further imagery they can do, I thought an MRI was the ultimate imaging, so that part confuses me. Maybe an ultrasound? I guess we will find out when the referral comes through.

I am really glad we have hit our out of pocket max for the year. This would be really expensive otherwise.

MRI for DD and Non-Toxic Garden Spray Recipe

June 27th, 2019 at 12:11 am

I spent an hour and a half in the waiting room while my daughter got an MRI today on that spot on her liver. I was hopped up on Dayquil and Sudafed. My eyes are bad tonight because I read almost the whole time, but what else are you going to do? They had no internet. They also had bad waiting room chairs, so my hip and back hurt. I hope whatever they find is treatable.

I made spaghetti in the Instant Pot with some of my frozen meatballs, because that was the extent of my abilities. That means there is only one bag left of those, so I need to make more when I feel able. I might end up doing a triple batch this time. I am thinking of ordering a 30 quart stainless steel bowl so I have one big enough to hold 12 pounds of ground meat, plus all the stuff I mix into it. The one I have holds 4 pounds of ground meat. The bowl costs $31, but I think it would be worth if for the ease of meal prep.

I noticed that there were black aphids on my zucchini and patty pan squash. I made up some garlic spray tonight that will be ready to use tomorrow. All you do is take 2 cups of warm water and crush up half a head of garlic and add 1 tbsp of dish soap (I use an organic, eco-friendly soap). Shake it up. Let that steep overnight, strain out the garlic and put the liquid into a spray bottle. Then you can spray that on the affected areas of the plant.

It is non-toxic to the plant and it really works well for aphids. Since I always use organic methods in the garden, this spray is my number one way of fighting these little beasties. You have to reapply it after you water or it rains until the aphids are dead. I've only used it on brassicas before. I've never had aphids on my squash until this year. I didn't even know aphids liked squash.

I read about another remedy, too, that I may try in the future. You prune a tomato branch and cut it up into little pieces and then steep it in water overnight with dish soap, strain, and use it the same way on non-tomato plants. It emits a natural pesticide. I'd never seen this one before, so thought it would be a cool one to try and see if it is as effective as the other one. I'll let you know the results if I make it.

Oh, and if anyone is curious, the reason for the dish soap is that it helps it adhere to the plant.

Got My X-rays Back

June 20th, 2019 at 11:20 pm

Well, I have degenerative hip disease in my left hip, but it isn't severe enough for surgery, so I guess that is good, even though it causes some discomfort. The right hip has no sign of disease which is really good news. The doctor thinks that the majority of my pain is coming from muscles, ligaments, and tendons, so we will proceed with physical therapy and hope that works. I have had physical therapy for other things, but never for my hip. I really hope it will help.

The one thing I am worried about is if there will be any treadmill work done. Every time I do any serious walking my legs and feet swell up so severely I feel like a sausage about to blow its casing. And you can visibly note lumps of swelling on my shins. It is painful and can take days to go down. This is because with the RA I am prone towards inflammation. I am kind of hoping they will end up having me do pool therapy as it is so much easier on my joints.

I made an awesome meatloaf for dinner yesterday. I finally made a version that my son liked. He has always been very meh on meatloaf. I also made two extra for the freezer. Bit by bit I am increasing the levels in my freezer bank. I have used one bag of the frozen meatballs the other night when I really wanted to just grab take out and it was so worth it because they are really great tasting.

The meatloaf was basically the same recipe as the meatballs, only with tomato sauce powder, an additional type of cheese, and covered in bacon. Tasted different enough for it to not feel like the same food at all, but as simple to make as the other.

I did not get anything done today. I had a cruddy night of sleep, the kind where you sleep, but don't feel rested at all and then I woke up with a lot of pain in my hip. Actually, that's probably why my sleep was not restful. So other than harvesting some lettuce for dinner, I wasted most of my day on youtube.

Oh, and I did upload a garden update to my youtube channel in the early a.m. FireandI, you might be interested.

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OEp4HewfNk&t=4s and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OEp4HewfNk&t=4s The garden is starting to make some serious progress.