Home > Category: Medical Issues and Spending
Viewing the 'Medical Issues and Spending' Category
August 8th, 2023 at 07:10 pm
I have tried to write about my experience in the hospital numerous times and one thing or another has led to my draft getting erased, usually be the computer restarting itself. My computer is falling apart. It has lost some screws so the hinge isn't working properly which sometimes knocks out the cord and I'm not getting a low battery warning.
Anyway, the angiogram was a horrible experience. My arm and wrist are not back to normal 4 weeks later. Driving hurts, writing with a pen hurts, using a stylus hurts, pulling out a drawer, using my phone, resting my head on my hand, carrying more than 2 pounds, typing (though not as bad as it was and okay if I use the brace), brushing and flossing my teeth, stirring food, and even flushing the toilet. For the first two and a half weeks, bathroom hygiene was agony for my wrist and it shot up to my elbow and sometimes my shoulder. And when they realized they couldn't get the catheter to my heart they took it out and burned me from wrist to 3 inches below the arm pit. I guess they were cauterizing or something.
The problem was that my arteries (and my veins), even the main one in my arm, are too little for the catheter wire to reach my heart. Or as the doctor put it, too delicate and small. What was really bad, is that my arm never went numb with the local anesthetic they used the entire time the did the precedure. I cried the whole time. I told them I was in pain the whole time. They kept giving me pain killer and muscle relaxants, which worked great for the rest of my body, but my arm never went numb during the procedure.
I almost screamed that my arm hurt. That's when the doctor said give her more lidocaine and valium. At that point they were still shoving the wire up my arm and I knew what was going on, but the valium had made it impossible for me to communicate coherently, other than to say ow. But I knew what was going on. Or thought I did. Lidocaine is closely related to novacaine. Novacaine takes 3 times longer than it should to work on me. It takes 3 times as many shots. And it wears off a lot faster than it should so requires more shots mid-procedure. We've also tried meviticaine and same thing. Lidocaine was acting exactly the same. And it didn't start working until I was in recovery when they were dosing me heavily with pain killers and my arm went numb.
After they pulled the wire out, they went in through the groin artery and made it into my heart, but even that artery was smaller than it should be. I didn't have any blockages, though. What my problem was, is that with the small arteries and veins, my heart was having to work harder than it should have causing the pressure to be very high. The enlargement was due to both the Covid virus, which any virus can effect the heart if it is bad enough and you have it for long enough like viral pnuemonia or influenza, and my heart working so hard.
I was fine up until the first time I had Covid in 2020 because I was still getting exercise by swimming and doing water aerobics, but after Covid 2020, it took me almost a year to recover. I was short of breath all the time, they shut down the pool, so when I did feel good enough to exercise there was nowhere to go, and my back was getting worse due to not exercising. Then they didn't want us going to the parks or anywhere to walk, but it was getting harder to walk anyway. I didn't feel good, so I didn't cook. We ordered takeout, so we ate more sodium, which made the blood pressure get higher. It was a vicious cycle as I caught cold after cold with no resistance after Covid 2020. I caught two mild cases of Covid, due to having the vacine make it milder. Which they say made the next mutation even worse. If I hadn't caught those two, the last one wouldn't have knocked me down so hard. But at the same time, my BIL nearly died from one of the times I had a mild case. But he was unvaccinated, so who knows?
When I got a bad version of Covid again Thanksgiving of last year, everything got way worse. No one could cook. Every meal was from a can or a frozen meal or delivery. The sodium was off the chart. Which made my heart work harder and helped cause the enlargement.
The thing is, all along I knew there was something wrong with my heart. I insisted on getting a heart monitor test a few months before I got Thanksgiving Covid, but it never seemed to pick up what I was feeling. So they were like, la la la, nothing to do here. And I knew. I knew my body. I knew.
The other thing that is wrong with me is that I have too much water in my blood, so I've been water restricted, or rather liquid restricted, to 2 liters a day. And that is really hard for me because I was drinking 3 liters of water a day on a normal day and more on a hot day. And that was just water. So now I always feel thirsty and my throat is croaky after a couple minutes of talking and then painfully dries out. I do better if I suck on ice.
I have had to reduce my sodium intake to 2000 mg. That isn't just the amount of sodium I add to food while cooking, it includes the amount naturally occuring in food. So that was pretty hard in the beginning. Especially since the stuff that sets off my insulin is the stuff with almost no sodium and the stuff that doesn't is higher in sodium.
There are a couple restaurants I can still get food from, but I am holding off on that for a while. Right now it is better to eat at home and since I have reduced my sodium, I feel like cooking. Left-handed stirring is something I am getting used to even if it is still awkward.
Today I had an ultrasound done on my arm to see if there is anything going on due to the the catheter. There's not. But there is still a large raised bump in my wrist so I am sure some kind of tendon or ligament got damaged or something got dislocated. Plus my thumb and index finger still have spots without full feeling in them. Probably nerve damage according to the ultrasound tech.
I just want to know if I go to a bone doctor or a regular doctor or physical therapy or maybe a massage therapist if it is muscular. It's been 4 weeks and I don't have a follow up with cardio for a week yet. And that is not with the doctor, but with the PA. But if I finally have someone who gets eyes on this thing, I might finally get some action.
I do feel better since reducing the fluids, reducing the sodium, and having my diuretic raised yet again, plus getting a much higher prescription strength calcium pill compared to my little on the shelf mineral supplement. I still don't feel normal, but I have started taking little walks with my walker. I can't do much yet. I also am going out to the garden more regularly. Everyone has been keeping it up for me since I can't really pick anything or pull any weeds.
I'm sorry for any typos. It took me over a couple days to type this one, saving it in drafts this time. I need to get ice on my wrist and will read through it later and fix them. I just wanted to get something up to let you know I'm not dead yet.
July 15th, 2023 at 03:48 am
My wife asked me to update for her. She is home from the hospital and is doing okay, just in a lot of pain. She can't type for several days due to the shape her arm is in, she developed several hematomas, and her back was pretty messed up from the postition she had to be in for so long. She will give details when she can type again. There is still some worry, but no stents were necessary.
July 13th, 2023 at 09:10 am
Yeah, I'm being flippant with my title, but I think I am allowed to be, and I thought it was more appropriate than Total Eclipse of the Heart, which was a strong contender. Today is my heart procedure. My check-in is at 1:30, so less than twelve hours. My procedure should start around 2:30, but will probably start later, since everything always runs late at any hospital procedure or surgery I've ever been to for myself or anyone else.
I don't know how long I will be in recovery either. It can be six hours. I am going to try to sleep in until noon. I have to wake up and take a pill at 6:30, but can hopefully fall right back to sleep, so I don't have to worry about feeling hunger from fasting all morning, and then I have to take two pills at 12:30. These are for the surgery.
I am a little scared, because, you know, wire in the heart. And then there is the fact that I woke up from anesthesia last time in pain and I remember it, so I really don't want that to happen again. But the insurance is going to cover the whole thing, so at least we don't have to worry about the money side of things. I hope it is easy and they can fix things with this procedure. I just want to get my life back.
June 25th, 2023 at 09:12 pm
Last night I started a ten day process on getting the freezer full of individual frozen dinners for me to have ready to heat and eat like TV dinners, only homemade. I am eating healthier by avoiding takeout now. I have always read ingredients and have been having some of the cleaner, healthier geared ones, which are still full of sodium, something I have to be careful with. If I cook it myself, I can avoid putting in a ton of salt and if I make it gluten free, I can avoid a lot of the fillers put into food.
I cup up one of the store bought turkeys that was in our chest freezer. We had bought one for Halloween and one for Christmas, but of course we got hit by Covid the week of Thanksgiving and I was still pretty sick the week of Christmas, we all were still exhauted and dragging, so we cancelled both holidays except the gift giving part at Christmas where MIL came in to our house and she and my mom kept a nice safe distance across the living room from us.
Anyway, cutting up a turkey is a lot harder than cutting up a chicken or a rabbit, but I got most of it done. It was worth it in the end because it was an organic turkey with no ingredients other than turkey. I did have to have my husband come and split the breat in half, because I chose not to keep it whole and I chose not to filet it. I like roasting them, and in order to fit them in our little pressure oven, I have to cut them in half or they will touch the ceiling. I keep the skin on and the bone in because it gives extra flavor to the bird. Then after it cooks, I will filet the breast meat from the bone and slice it.
I did the legs, thighs, and neck last night for dinner and there is a lot of that left, too, and enough drippings to make stuffing and gravy. So after I put one half of the turkey breast in to pressure roast, I'll start one of the Instant Pots going with two of the back pieces that were quite meaty, the wing tips, and some other scraps that came off, cover it with filtered water, and seasoning, and make stock.
Then I'll prepare my stuffing on the stove and put it in the oven for an hour (yes, I know it is technically dressing when it isn't inside the bird). While it is baking, I will make gluten free no salt gravy with lots of herbs, while my husband makes a box of Instant potatoes (just potato flakes) for me (they do better in TV dinners). Then I will take a break for dinner while everything cools and then put the other turkey breast in to pressure roast.
After dinner I will start assembling turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy in the big compartment and either frozen green beans, or frozen mixed veggies in the small compartment. If I have one with two small compartments and one large, I'll put the stuffing in the second one. Frozen corn, and frozen carrots would work, too, if you don't mind the whole dinner being frozen carbs beside the protein. So would peas, but not in my world. Peas are meant to be an ingredient used sparingly in rice or soup, not an entire serving by itself.
By then the stock should be done and I can strain it into another pot. The bones can be picked free of any meat and then put back into the Instant Pot with the bones I saved from the thigh and leg meat. I will be using some of the broth for the liquid as I make the gravy on the second batch, since I won't have potato water from making the gravy and I will use gluten free flour, so the meals will remaining gluten free.
With any remaining meat, I will do turkey tip bowls and soup. You know how you have steak tips in gravy? Well, this will be turkey tips in gravy over mashed potatoes, with corn and cheese mixed in and then a green vegetable can be added like a can of green beans, frozen broccoli, or a salad, along with a biscuit or two. I will make some up and put them in the freezer so they can warm them up when they want them. It's basically a famous bowl from KFC only without it having crispy chicken in it. They like those. My version will be gluten free.
I plan to repeat this with meatloaf, a mix of roasted sweet potatoes, turnips, potatoes, and parsnips, and then for the non-root veggies, zucchini, summer squash, or green beans. I will vary the meatloaf between ketchup, BBQ sauce, meatloaf gravy, and plain. If I have some plain ones, my daughter can have one of those. These meals are mostly for me, but this way she can have one or two. She is the only one who can't fend for herself.
Now I have also cut the wings in half, so I have two flats and two drums from that. They are large enough for the drums to be two meals and the flats to be one meal, so I will fry those up to make three meals. I will season them with sazon and I will do sweet potato wedges and green beans for those. I will air fry those and then warm them up in the air fryer.
For another one, I am going to buy a bag of gluten free chicken strips that I like and fry them up and divide them into the TV dinner trays and add mashed potatoes and green beans.
I think if I have the energy I will make turkey and sausage meatballs with my sauce over gluten free pasta, bake it, and then put it in aluminum containers to warm up.
I'd also like to make up some steak tips in gravy, baby potatoes, and zucchini and summer squash.
My son has promised to help, but we all know how that goes. I just don't want to fall back on store-bought TV dinners (except the chicken strips, which are pretty clean). I don't want my family eating out, either, so I need to make sure there are family frozen dinners for them, too, like a ham dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans, cheezy ham and rice bake, turkey enchilada bake, a family size meatloaf dinner (in the freezer already), a ravioli bake (in the freezer already), spaghetti and meatballs, and taco mix, maybe some pizza blanks. Just enough to keep them going for a week to ten days.
I'll lay out recipes for my son and make sure he understands them and the ingredients he may need to buy, in case my heart is worse than expected and I take longer than a week to recover from this. He is a good cook and I've taught him a lot, but he tends to stick to stir-fries a lot because they are easy. After I am better, I will have my own individual meals for a while and I can serve them some of the things I don't like, like Chicken linguine Alfredo and not have to cook a second meal for me.
Eventually, I want to make enough meals that anyone can grab a TV dinner and eat it if they don't like the main meal or if no one wants to cook. Take out is expensive. Store-bought TV dinners are expensive. This way is the cheapest way to do it and I won't feel like the dollars in my food budget are just slipping through my hands or worse, the Citi card being used too much to buy takeout because we are tired or unprepared.
I do pay it off in full each month, but has gotten to be a bad habit and I am worried we are slipping further and further into bad habits and one day buying food like this might push us to the point that we will have a month where we don't have enough money to pay the bill in full. It's a slipperly slope. I still guard against that every day, but I don't think I am guarding as hard as I should be these days. It's a slippery slope and I need to get back off the mountain and go back to using the credit card only for automatic payments and at Costco for cash rewards, as was intended.
I need that extra money for other things right now, namely the bathroom rebuild. I know some of the spending can't be helped with my heart being so underpowered and my husband working so many hours, but I am just going to have to put my head down, take it slow, and try harder.
It's a nice beautiful day, so I am going to go keep my husband company in the garden and if I have the stamina, pull some weeds. The beans are surrounded and need some help or they will surrender.
June 18th, 2023 at 04:49 am
The long and short of my appointment with the cardiologist is that I am going in to the hospital on July 7nth for an angiogram, which may or may not turn into an angioplasty or if things are very, very bad when he gets in there, open heart surgery. But he thinks it is a blockage he can clear or just put a stent in.
He was concerned enough to get me on the schedule as fast as he could, making an opening for me where there wasn't one, though, on his own schedule since the hospital had a free OR, because the flow rate had dropped from 45% to 43% between appointments with the lung doctor and him, based on the tests I did there and there has been no change in the enlarged chamber.
The risks of the angiogram are stroke, heart attack, and damage to the artery for the big 3 and those are 1 in 1000 risks, and then there are a litter of smaller ones. But I can't keep living like this. It's not living. So if it has 999 out 1000 odds that I'll get through it just fine and improve my quality of life, I want to do that.
Meanwhile he gave me 4 meds to take, nitrogycerin when I feel any squeezing or pain in the heart, baby aspirin, a second blood pressure med with a non-sulfa based diurectic, and a beta blocker. So that is where I am. I still tire easily, but I am starting to feel the beta blocker working and am not having as much squeezing. I don't know if these are forever drugs or not It still happens, but not just because I change positions. And I am sleeping better because my heart is not working as hard. Even my fitbit and my c-pap tracking app agree with that. So that's as much as I know right now.
June 8th, 2023 at 04:28 am
So you may or may not have noticed that I haven't posted for a month and there is a reason for that. I've had a series of tests on my lungs by pulmonary, and the breathing test showed that I couldn't blow out as hard the second blow as the first blow and then we waited and the same thing happened. There were other test with the breathing and they weren't that great, but the damage wasn't really to the lungs, despite the shortness of breath that had been a near constant and the cough I can't ever seem to get rid of or my oxygen saturation being only 1% above COPD since 2020.
They had previously done two tests on my heart a couple of weeks before the breathing tests. So I got the results of those as well as of the breathing tests on the day of the breathing tests.
An electrocardiogram (ECG, but sometimes referred to as an EKG) was first. It was where they put some leads on you and monitor the electrical signals that make the heart beat. That one was simple and painless and wasn't stressful at all.
The second was an echocardiogram (you will hear it referred to as an echo on medical dramas) where they stick a transducer wand into your rib cage and press up hard under and into your breast and you really want to smack the technician because it hurts and you think he's going to break something. I ended up with bruises. It transmits and recieves sound waves that bounce off the heart and created an image and a sound on the screen. He was having trouble with it making an image, so they ended up having to inject me with some chemical (gave me hives an hour later, had to take 6 Benadryl) to make it more visible or something. Then he wasn't digging so hard into me. It probably isn't so hard with men or flat-chested women.
Anyway, the news wasn't good. I have an enlarged right chamber of the heart and my left chamber has a flow rate of 45% and it is supposed to be 55%. She said I may have a blockage and maybe it can be removed or maybe they will have to put in a stent. First they would have to do a stress test and since I can't do a treadmill test because of the hip and discs in my back, they will have to use chemicals to induce the same thing in me. Oh, joy, more chemicals.
So they referred me to cardiology and I figured great, that'll be 3 months before I hear from them, because that's how long it took when I had to get the heart monitor and then an additional couple of weeks before I actually got an appointment to get it fitted and it turned out to be a big ball of nothing, even though I was absolutely sure something was going on with my heart. Because there was, just not something that could be picked up on a monitor, hence me going to pulmonary.
But no, cardiology called me that night with an appointment on the 14th, which kind of freaked me out, because they moved that fast, which made me think it was even more serious than I was thinking, based on how long it took before. But we were still under Covid restrictions before, so maybe it doesn't mean anything that I got an appointment in two weeks.
Anyway, the pulmonologist thinks the damage was either caused by Covid itself or possibly by a rare side effect of the vaccine I took, which was supposed to be the safest one, since I had these tests done back when I was fainting and my heart was fine then. That was chocked up to be the aural migraines. But those two debilitating bouts of Covid and maybe the two minor ones are the more likely causes of the heart thing in my mind. The vaccine could have thrown in its 2 cents worth as well, something about people with autoimmune diseases being more prone to that. I think. And I was kind of shocked, you know?
Most of the time when a viral infection damages the heart it does heal with time, but they know so little about Covid still, this version of it that was deliberately made worse and worse so they could study it, but seem to know nothing about the long term effects of it. What little they do know isn't good, she said. I don't want to jump the gun, but it is hard not to think about it. I've read some of the reports, because I'd rather go into this with my eyes open.
And it might not be Covid at all. It could be my rheumatoid arthritis drugs damaging my heart. Because they can. So I might have to go off those and just live with constant pain. Of course, I do anyway, but if I have to go off them, I'll have to live on pain pills and my doctor is super stingy with them.
The only really bright spot lately is that I found a prescribing nurse psychiatrist for my son and he's put him on a higher dose of his meds and they are extended release and he is doing so much better. Once all this heart stuff is figured out, I will go and see him, too, because my meds are not right, either.
It's a lot. It's really a lot. It seems like there are only four or five people left on the blogs anymore. But if those of you that are left could keep me in your prayers and thoughts, I'd appreciate it.
February 21st, 2023 at 09:08 am
The last of the black mold has been removed from the attic and the area was all treated, so I just need to transfer $782 from the emergency fund to pay the credit card and that part of the black mold disaster is over and we can decide whether or not it is worth it to submit a claim to the insurance or not. The new policy starts April 1st and the rates went up $200, so it will not cost $1000 a year instead of $800. The year before that they were $600. Way to go Washington state insurance commissioner, looking out for the people, as always.
There has never been a claim submitted on this homeowner's insurance in all the decades my mom has had it, but we just know they will jack the premiums to kingdom come if we put in a claim. So we need to figure out if it will be worth it. So far, the costs have been close to $6000, but the insurance may not pay the $850 for the dumpster rental, so maybe $4550.
Then there will be the cost of replacing the bathroom that was torn out and they will pay the minimum they can get away with, so it will probably be the cheapest sink, cabinet, shower/tub, walls, paint, flooring, toilet, light fixture, door, water resistant drywall, etc. on the market they will reimburse, not what we will actually spend on it. We can't actually put a shower/tub combo in, because the house was built around the original one and you can't fit one through the doorway, even with the door and frame off.
So we will have to do a tile shower that runs the area the old combo was in, because the way the space is set up, you can't put in a corner shower and get into it without blocking the toilet the one way or climbing over the toilet to get into the shower the other way. It is a small bathroom. And if we put it in straight, we'd have to build a wall, making the shower area two narrow for a fiberglass one and also being right up against the toilet, which violates building codes. A tile shower will be better in keeping mold at bay anyway. I don't know if they will pay for any tile, and definitely they won't pay for the price of the tile we want, but anything towards it would be good.
Then they will want to know why we can't use the old toilet and the old sink. Which we could use the old sink, but the cabinet that held it was infected with mold, so we'd have to get a custom made cabinet which would cost more than a new sink and regular cabinet. And the toilet needed to be replaced, so we might be out on that one. But they had to cut up the shower/tub to get it out.
I'd say if they will pay $8,000 or so then it is worth it for the claim, but otherwise, probably not. There is $1000 deductible, so we are out that regardless. I am hoping to cash flow some of this. I don't want to run the emergency fund into the ground. I'd be happy to get the bathroom finished enough to have the the flooring, sink, and toilet in, and the walls painted, and then we can use it while we wait on the shower until we have the money to start working on that.
This was really not the way I wanted to start out the new year. It's not all bad, though. My son had his sinus surgery and it went way better than the doctor expected. The doctor had thought that at the most he would have a 40% tops improvement in his breathing, but he wouldn't know until he got in there.
Well, when he got in there, though, there was a lot more cartilege to work with than he thought and he was able to repair the collapse with that and barely had to use any artifical cartilege at all. They didn't even have to pack it. The doctor is confident that he should see somewhere from 90 to 100% improvement.
Tomorrow will be one week out and even though his nose is still swollen, he is breathing so much better. He can take the tape off tomorrow. We won't know if it has changed the shape of his nose or not until all the swelling goes down, but the doctor seemed to think it would just make him symmetrical again. We go back in another 3 weeks for a follow up, and since it will be his birthday we will stop at the Red Lobster on the way home for his birthday dinner. It'll be the first time I've set foot in a restuarant in...well, I can't even remember when. I need to remember to put that in the next budget.
February 7th, 2023 at 11:00 pm
Have you ever had one of those mornings where even making toast seems like too much work? I swear if I don't start getting more than 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night, I'm going to go to become a Mombie zombie. But life went on and toast was avoided and eggs were made and cucumbers sliced and life was brought back into this tired lady's veins.
The grocery ads came out today and I will sit down with them and see what meals I can plan around them. I don't need to buy meat unless they have some tremendous sale or the have steelhead trout at a reasonable price because we love that. Mostly, I just want to see what fresh produce is on sale and if there are any sauces that might trigger some dinner ideas. I am so bored of the usual meals. I want something more exotic and flavorful without being so spicy that my daughter can't eat it.
I can't exactly make February a no eating out challenge since my son has his surgery in Seattle and then has a follow up appointment a week later, but that will just be DS and DH. DS can't eat before surgery and will probably only want a milkshake afterward, if he doesn't sleep the whole way home from the after effects of anesthesia. My husband will need lunch and maybe dinner on that day. On the follow up day they can eat before they go, but they will need at least one meal on the trip. I know they can pack food, but it is a hassle they would prefer to avoid and we don't currently have a cooler. But it won't be out of our pocket, because MIL pays for all travel expenses related to medical visits to Seattle for us. She even pays for the hotel if we have to stay down there, so that takes a big burden from us since we have to go down there so often for our daughter.
Every other day of February I want to do no eating out. We have to tighten our belts if we are going to get that bathroom rebuilt the way we want it to be, which also means no more willy-nilly Amazon purchases. They all have to be perfectly planned and budgeted for. Speaking of Amazon purchases, my new set of pans came and I love them. We seasoned them and they are working so nicely. The instructions were garbage, so we followed the advice of someone in the reviews and it worked a treat. I am so glad I returned the other pan and bought these. They weren't expensive, but I think I will be very happy with them. So far I have only cooked veggies and eggs in them. I'll get back to you after I have made meat in them.
Anyway, time to go look at the ads and then make up a meal plan. Remember when I used to do those? I knew my motivation was around here somewhere.
January 20th, 2023 at 07:38 am
I'm and doing okay on the eat from the pantry challenge. In 19 days we have only spent $27.32 on fresh produce and a half gallon of milk, which are within the parameters of my challenge. Also within the parameters of my challenge are that if I find a really good sale on something, I can buy it, but I can't use it during the challenge. That's okay, because I don't want to. Most of it is for canning, the rest to be eaten during the next 3 months or so.
Some really good sales have come up. One involes 25 pounds of carrots that works out to .67/lb and the other is 20 lbs of tomatoes that works out to .88/lb. I still need to can carrots and I'd like to make some more tomato sauce to can. Now that I am feeling better I want to get on with it. I may go back a couple of times if I feel like I can get through it. The sale ends on Sunday and then a new one will go up on Monday. This is at the restaurant supply store. It is cash only.
Plus there is a really good sale on chicken thighs and I want to stock up. Chicken is the major thing I am lacking in my freezer and so far it isn't being rationed. I am down to 3 packages of bone in skin on, and one package of boneless skinless. We like to eat chicken twice a week. I want to stock up while it is on sale and before they start putting rations on it, too.
They've already put rations on eggs, milk, distilled water when they even have it, certain cuts of beef, some fresh fruit, like last week they had bags of oranges, but you could only get one and they didn't have any loose oranges, and some of the, canned goods most notably corn, peas, mixed corn and peas, beans, and several types of chili. Dry beans was one but they had 2 pound bags instead of 1. Rice was not rationed. Some things they don't have at all. Others they only have frozen. Makes me glad we are expanding the garden this spring.
Friday is payday and I think I will go in on Friday and get 8 packages and then send DH in on Saturday to get 8 packages and we'll break them down into vacuum sealed bags of 8 pieces and see how much room we have left. 8 packages is how much I can take before I start getting side-eyed and commented on, even though there is usually a ton of chicken left with these sales. Since the store is close, it's not a big deal to go there a few times.
Honestly, I want to go back until there isn't room in the upright freezer, but I want to make sure there is plenty for other people, too. I want to do a third run, but I don't know. If I decide to, I should take a bag of spot prawns out to thaw. We have two big plastic bags full of ziploc bags of spot prawns taking up a lot of space. That should give us a lot of room for chicken. I don't want to start filling up the chest freezer, because we need to be making space there for when we get our next steer. Maybe I'll pop in on Tuesday, the last day of the sale and get some. Then others will have had the whole week to get chicken and I won't feel like a hog. Still, I have to shop economically to feed my family with food prices going up so high. There is nice and then there is foolish.
I mentioned above that distilled water was one of things being rationed here, assuming you could even find it. We are lucky to have a few gallons of it at the moment and we are keeping an eye out for more. We use it for our c-pap humidifiers and I use it for nasal rinses, so it is kind of a necessity for us. So I am going to work into the budget for late February or early March, a distilling machine so we can make our own distilled water. It takes about 4 hours to do a gallon of water. So we can easily refill our gallon jugs and not have to worry about these shortages. It'll cost around $150, so it'll take 150 uses to pay for itself, and we go through a jug every week if I have a cold, otherwise it'll last 2 weeks. So it could take a while to pay for itself, but we will never have to worry about it for the life of the machine.
I have decided to just get a cheap frying pan for now and save up for a more expensive set later on. At least the one I am getting is supposed to be rated to 500 degrees and our induction burner doesn't go any higher than that, so hopefully DH can't kill it. He usually cooks stuff at 375 or 400, but the pans he ruined were only rated for 350. I am getting the Blue Diamond one, which is under $30.
In other news, I have now lost 15 pounds. I haven't exactly been on my diet, either. I don't eat as much since having Covid, though. I think my stomach shrank during that time. I think just eating food at home for 19 days, eating from scratch mostly, trying to cut way back on my sugar and wheat, eating more vegetables and protein, and always taking a lactase enzyme when I eat dairy, even butter, has made a difference. The enzyme is new in the last three weeks and has made a big difference in how I feel. I no longer wake up nauseous in the morning if I had cheese at night trying to calm down an acid stomach because it always has, but I didn't know it would make my stomach hurt the next day, too. I haven't had an acid stomach in weeks, though.
I haven't had much dairy, in a long time anyway. I don't drink milk, I've been using gluten free flour and chicken broth instead of milk to make gravy for a long while, and I've had very little cheese, just a sprinkle on salads once a week, but I used to snack on it like crazy. I will have cheese if I make pizza, but that's maybe once a month and mozzarella isn't so bad as others, the process takes out most of the lactose. So most of the time butter is the only dairy I eat these days and I feel a lot better for it. Or I eat goat or sheep's cheese because they don't have lactose. Goat butter is good, but too expensive to be a real option. I may try ghee since it takes out the milk solids. They sell that by the tub at Costco.
I am still eating fruit, but I have really cut back on how much, just one serving a day and not even every day, because I know that fructose can be just as bad as sugar to someone who is borderline diabetic. I am trying to stick to things with a lot of fiber though, like apples, oranges, and berries. The first two are at least seasonal. Blueberries are on sale a lot right now. I know they are coming from Chile, but they are one of the better choices. The apples are coming from cold storage in my state and the oranges are from California.
I am meeting with my doctor on the 26th to talk about the diabetes stuff some more and have a weight check. I am just glad that my scale at home and the scale there are in sync with each other, so there will be no surprises if I weigh myself at home in the same clothes I will wear to the doctor's office. We will also talk about a couple of my meds while I am there and maybe going on metformin as well. I hate to add another medication as I am on so many already, but if it will help it may be inevitable. What I don't want is to have to start checking my blood sugar. I need to call about whether I need to get a new glucose test before my visit. If I do, I really hope it has improved with all the changes.
My back has started feeling better with all the changes, which is really nice because I haven't been to the chiropractor in several weeks, not since my chiropractor had to have a triple bypass. It'll probably be sometime in March before he can come back to work and it'll probably be just one day a week to start. He's doing well, though. We worry about him. I've known him for 32 years, my husband for 35, and my kids their whole lives. They call him Uncle Dr. ______. He lives so healthy, but it is the family history. He had problems about ten years ago, too. Scared us to death back then, too. At least they caught it in time, though. His wife takes good care of him. She's five years younger and in very good health. She looks 15 years younger than she is.
I took DD to the gastro doctor today. It was time for her yearly check. They are going to send her for an ultrasound because she is having pain in the same place where they removed the tumor. I'm not sure why they are doing an ultrasound instead of an MRI like they were doing before, but whatever. The fear is the tumor has grown back on her liver and is bleeding. The tumor isn't supposed to hurt unless it starts bleeding. She hasn't had an MRI since her surgery and I always thought it was the plan to do one a year after her surgery, but that didn't happen because of the issues back with Covid and hospitals, and she wasn't in pain so they pushed it. Then she kept getting sick. After that, I guess it got forgotten in the shuffle and the order expired and then they wanted to see her again before they did anything and now they just want to do an ultrasound, so I don't know. It was an exhausting appointment. It lasted over an hour.
But their new building is very pretty. Their handicapped parking leaves a lot to be desired. I don't think it should be compact parking slots when most handicapped people using van accessible slots have, you know, vans, which are not compact. So the person using a walker or wheelchair on the passenger side can get out, but the driver can't, or vice versa if you have to park the other way because that's the only slot there is, unless you park halfway into the hatched lines, which if you do that, you may be preventing the person on the other side from getting into their vehicle if they have a walker or a wheelchair. Not thought through well.
Also the handicapped push button for the doors in and out of the building is quite a ways away from the door opening, which if you are hobbling on a cane or walker is not the wisest thing. Fortunately the doors stay open for a good 30 seconds, but making people walk those extra steps when they may not be able to, is not the best set up. There were closer places they could have been placed. But no one ever asks handicapped people about the designs of these things. That was not an issue today, though, as both of us were walking pretty well. When most of your clientele is elderly, though, you'd think you would think about that a little more. Oh, well. The world is made for the able bodied. We are used to being an afterthought.
Well, this rambled off being about financial topics a while ago. Let's bring it back. I got my cash back for my Costco Executive membership. It doesn't pay us back for the whole membership fee, we just don't shop there enough for that, but it is still worth getting to go in there an hour before other shoppers. The store is pretty empty and checking out is faster. It was $59.03, so we'll use that on our next Costco purchase. We won't get our cash back on the credit card until March, when our membership renews, since that is tied together. You'd think it would be tied to when I first got the credit card, but no.
Payday is tomorrow. The budget is done, I just need to figure out how much I need to withdraw from the credit union tomorrow and then go to sleep. I will try to get up a payday report tomorrow but last time it took me a few days, so no promises.
Real time: 11:19 p.m. Real Date: 1/19/2023
November 29th, 2022 at 02:50 am
I'd say I was starting to get back on my feet again, but that's not really true. It's more like I'm able to get back into a chair again. We all ended up coming down with Covid except Mom and it was worse than 2020. I had the worst symptoms of everyone, but my nose and my son's nose would not test positive until Thanksgiving, so we were the last ones to get put on the medication. At least that means DH was semi able to help me, since he was feeling a bit better, because I was so weak on two of the days I needed someone to help we walk to the bathroom and back.
The paxlovid has helped a lot. The fireball body fever is gone, the lobster face and the pot it was boiling me in is gone, the cough down to my navel is more up in the bronchials and throat, the blinding headache has turned into a mild one, my ears are unblocked, my nose is unblocked and just runny, I'm only sleeping 15 hours instead of 22, and I can have a conversation, and hold both thoughts and plots in my head, which means I can watch a show again. But I still sound like a foghorn, feel exhausted, fall asleep almost every time I close my eyes, and am still weak and can't be trusted to carry a bowl from the microwave to the tray table in my room, not even a plastic one.
Eating properly went out the window and I lost 5 pounds while sick. The first two days was just chicken broth. The third day was eggs and chicken broth. Then it was Thanksgiving and that was the day I was positive. That day I had a pudding cup because my throat was so sore, started my dose, and I slept the clock around, woke up, took my dose, and slept the clock around again. After that I started eating half a can of soup once a day and a pudding cup once a day. The medicine tastes bad and it takes the taste out. Today I had half a sandwich with some actual protein with lettuce on it for breakfast and the other half for lunch. That's all and that will probably be all.
I figure it is the best I can do for now. I am trying not to make DH do too much for me. He is trying to work from home. I can make a sandwich and put it in a plastic container with a lid. That way if I drop it on the way to my room it isn't ruined and doesn't need to be cleaned up. I did, by the way, drop it, but I just pushed it to my room with my foot and alls well that ended well. Sat down in my chair and picked it up with my reacher, because if I put my head below my knees, the dizziness is off the charts with this thing, and it was none the worse for wear.
Mom has been good about getting our prescriptions and she picked up some cans of soup and sandwich makings from the store. I'm glad I had cash leftover from the previous payday, because the Thanksgiving payday was not going to happen. I'm not even sure if we'll make it there at all this week. Maybe on Friday. DH is supposed to be safe by then to go out in public again, so if he feels up to it he can drive to the bank. But he doesn't have to.
I have $160 in the beef fund (I used quite a bit of what I had in there when I was canning meat), I have $82 left in the grocery envelope, and I have $75 in the household envelope, and if we need to touch it, I have $550 in my allowance folder. I would not want to touch that since I am saving up that money towards either a new computer or stuff for the garden, I haven't decided yet, since my computer is not that old. It would obviously be replaced, but I know how that can go and would rather not do that. Anyway, wiht the first 3 things, there is $317 we can tap, so that should be sufficient.
So we should be okay, whether we can make it the credit union this week or not. Probably even if we can't make it there until the payday on the 23rd, so it only is an issue with cash, everything else is either writing a check or making an online payment or is an automatic payment. Life in the 2020's, you know.
November 13th, 2022 at 06:43 am
Just skip this one if you don't want to hear about my kid's upcoming surgery or what new thing I'm facing with my health.
My son has a surgery scheduled on Valentine's Day with an ENT at Virginia Mason to try to rebuild the part of his nose where the cartilage has collapsed. I can't remember if I talked about this before or not, but depending on whether the doctor can harvest enough of his own cartilage to transplant or if he has to use artifical cartilage he should see a 40% to 80% improvement. Even 40% will be such an improvement. So his surgery will probably hit the 2/3 of the deductible right there as well as the out of pocket max for regular and specialist, although we will probably have another $1000 we have to max out for one of us because the family max is $3000, but the personal deductible max is $2000. It's a weird system.
At least $3000 of that will be covered and I'm hoping we can save the rest in the medical fund between now and then. Right now I've only been putting enough in to cover our monthly output, because we've had so much monthly output. DH and his crowns, DD and her cavities. Our dental sucks. Vision isn't is pretty good unless you are nearsighted and farsighted and have an astigmatism. Raise your hand if you are me. And we were wasting so much money over the summer and early fall while I was too sick to cook or shop and the guys were pretty much unwilling to and I was too weak to reorder their thinking.
But I'm well now. Or am I? (Cue unsettling move music here.) Dun, dun, dun. I got my fasting glucose results back. 139. It should be between 70 and 100 mg/dL. Now last time it was 124 which is the high range of 100 to 125 where they try to monitor it with dietary changes and exercise, but of course between my fall and being sick I could barely get out of bed for more than half an hour and on the days that I could it was to walk outside and tell my son what to pick and what to water and then sit in a chair to get some sunlight if it wasn't a scorcher. I couldn't do much else before crawling back into bed. And I certainly didn't eat right with all that takeout. At least my choelesterol is really good.
So now that I have finally kicked that miserable illness out the door, I'm really facing diabetes. I found out yesterday when my labs came back and I'll see the doctor again on the 23rd where I will start tracking my blood with a monitor. I may not be diabetic, but I've had some symptoms for a while, so I could be. This is the thing that is motivating me. I have watched people die of this. I don't want to die of this.
So I got off the phone with the receptionist, finished making dinner, and I had my spaghetti dinner, only instead of having 3 cups of noodles, I took 1, and had 4 meatballs instead of 3. There was a diced zucchini in the sauce, maybe 2 cups worth, and I also made broccoli and there were salad fixings, so I had both of those. I felt hungry around midnight, but I drank a bunch of water and it passed, so was probably just thirsty, then went to bed at one. I'm trying to get to bed earlier, but I was going to bed at 3 before the time change, so I've progressed by an hour. I am getting up earlier. Maybe no caffiene, very little sugar, and eating right will help.
Today I carefully planned out my food. There are two methods of eating for diabetes. One is almost completely vegetarian, which I know makes me binge because of fruit, and also I am allergic to lectins so beans, lentils, and almost all legumes are out of the question, which really limits you on protein, and one is controlling your carbs, but making sure you get just enough of them. The second is the only one that I have ever lost a substantial amount of weight on.
I used some of the sausage from our pig (no sugar) to make two small patties for breakfast, each 3 oz on the food scale. I had one soft-boiled egg, and half an English cucumber.
For lunch I had 5 oz of ling cod fish brushed lightly with melted ghee (because I can't stand oil on fish), seasoned with salt, pepper, and sazon and put in a foil packet with zucchini and sprigs of thyme, some sage leaves, some flatleaf parsley, some oregano and some finely minced garlic (home grown) and a couple tbsp of water, and placed in the oven to steam. It was so good.
Then dinner was where I got the majority of my carbs for the day from. I had two 4 oz beef kielbasas from this really clean brand Kiolbasa, 1 yellow potato diced, seasoned with salt, pepper, and thyme, and tossed with 2 tbsp of filtered bacon grese since I was cooking at 400°F (205°C). I was planning to have some of the leftover broccoli but I ended up knocking it on the floor. My hands just let go sometimes. I have twitches. I decided screw it, and made a big, big salad instead. I had 3 tbsp of ketchup on the potatoes and 3 tbsp of 1000 Island dressing on the salad. So I had 63 grams of carbs not counting the salad and the other green vegetables. I was told to aim for 60, so if I had only done 2 tbsp of salad dressing I would have it. But close enough.
I am steaming some hard boiled eggs tonight in my little cooker so I will have them if I need to snack or even if I don't feel like making breakfast. Just having an egg or two to eat will wake up my brain. I can't afford not to have regular meals anymore just because I don't want to eat breakfast in the morning.
I have gotten into some really bad habits. Pepsi first thing in the morning, when I'd been off it for so long. That alone probably has driven my glucose up, even with fasting that morning. Eating way too many empty carbs, junk food, doughnuts, chocolate. The only thing I wasn't eating was potato chips, because ever since Lays started using oil other than sunflower oil (Ukraine/Russia war) their chips don't taste the same and I don't like them, so I was off chips completely except if I made pico de gallo, then I'd eat Tostitos.
Anyhow today is day one with no Pepsi, very little sugar, only what's in the ketchup and dressing and those are 5g and 3g per tbsp respectively. I'm sure I'll be going through withdrawals, but since I am already having painful symptoms from my pneumonia vaccine, and where the lady who did my labs left a massive bruise where she blew the vein in my arm trying to get into my vein and then blew the one in my hand with an even worse bruise and then had to call someone else to find a vein in my other arm which took her five minutes, what's one more? I can handle it. Just call me a pincushion.
I am not worried about fat. The doctor said not to worry about fat, just carbs. He said that animal sources of fat were actually better for me than plant derived fats, but olive and avocado oils have other health benefits and should always be included in one's diet according to the most recent studies. I mean, I'm not to go eating a cup of butter or anything like that, but lard, or tallow, or bacon grease in one or two tbsp increments is fine. And no deep frying anything. I've always felt that way about animal fats, though. I've been reading anecdotal stuff on it for years. Plus all Eskimos survived on was whale blubber and whale meat and they were healthy.
I feel better, though, after one day of eating right. My brain felt less foggy today. I wasn't wanting to eat constantly, only when I'm hungry, which is at meal times. I didn't feel like my blood sugar is crashing. I didn't feel dizzy or light-headed at all today. I feel a lot more tired at the end of the day, like I'm ready to go to sleep at a decen time and not late.
I don't know if my insurance will cover a glucose monitor or even how much they cost. If they cover it, it won't cost anything. And if I can drop it my number down to where it belongs and get a good start on getting my weight down, maybe we won't have to do anything more. I hate having to get shots every 4 weeks. I don't want to do it daily. I have no idea how much insulin costs, but I know it is expensive even though it shouldn't be. I know there is some sort of pill now, too. But maybe I won't need anything if I do this right. It's just going to monitoring for now. Hopefully, I can fix this.
I'm not telling my mother. I don't need her to be twitting me about my weight, just like she and dad used to do when I put on the freshman fifteen in college, or didn't lose my baby weight after giving birth to my second kid, or her alone in later years after dad died. I don't need any negatives from her. She's the reason I stress eat so much. That and all the medical issues that arise in my family.
September 13th, 2022 at 11:12 pm
We are spending too much money again. I am not sure if we are going to get out of this month without carrying a balance forward into next month on our credit card. Some of it was paying for glasses and contacts for me and my son, but a lot of it was eating out way too much and being a little too fast on the draw with that amazon mouse click thing. You know when you suddenly get a big raise and you think, "Yee Haw! I can spend again, I don't have to be tight anymore!" And you overdo it? Yeah, that's us. So now I need to reign it back in and get us back on track. I don't want to use the emergency fund to cover us. Maybe interest is what we need to teach us a lesson here. Moving on.
I read an article the other day that said that those who get debt forgiveness for their college loans are going to have to claim that amount as income on their income taxes. I wonder if they know that? I bet it is going to hit a lot of people hard in the gut at tax time. It'll make a lot of people used to getting a tax return have to pay taxes, maybe for the first time in their lives and they probably won't have that money to pay because they won't know about it. No one is preparing them. No one is showing them the dark side. Just the la la la skipping through the daisies side. It's not really forgiveness if it comes with that kind of string attached. If they are going to do it, they should do it free and clear, not with a price tag.
It is so nice to see clear, blue skies again. The forest fires were blowing their smoke this way again, giving us the apocalypse sky of light brownish gray with a brilliant orange sun behind it. The sun always looks amazingly pretty when this happens, but I prefer to be able to go outside and breathe. I did have to go outside one day with one of those medical masks they wouldn't let anyone buy at the start of Covid and quickly pick tomatoes, but otherwise stayed inside. Even with that, I had to use a nebulizer treatment afterwards. I got 12.2 pounds of tomatoes, making the running total of tomatoes 23.6 so far from the garden. I'm going to pick more today, so will update that in the next post.
On the medical front, I continue to lose weight, this time in a more healthy manner than when I had that horrible stomach flu. Once I started eating again after that, the weight loss that stuck was 12 pounds. I've now lost 20 pounds. I'm eating mostly chicken and fish, regular vegetables, and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, and squash. I'll have rice or corn on occasion, but no other grains.
I can't remember the last time I had beef, maybe 3 weeks ago when we had spaghetti, though we did have a ham from our half a hog a week ago. I didn't have much, though it was very good, just a little too salty for my taste. I cut off all the fat. We'll save the other one for a holiday when there will be more people to eat it. I did save the ham bone and will make broth with it later on. It will flavor broth nicely with it's smokey saltiness.
Plus I have all the scraps I have been saving, onion skins, garlic skins, shallot skins, carrot peels, celery tops, parsley stems, and a few herbs from the garden, to add in to making the broth for extra flavor. I used to always do that when times were tight, but over the last couple years got out of the habit. When food costs started skyrocketing, I got back in the habit of doing a scrap bag in the freezer again for broth. We have to be economical with food in these times of massive food cost rises. I always try to be, but it is necessary now more than ever to go back to my previous cost cutting ways. Which, in the end, is better for my diet.
As for other medical stuff, yesterday I got my mammogram. It's been 7 years since I've had one done and the technology has changed. It is very futuristic robot looking as opposed to a garage workshop vice clamp. Don't get me wrong, in the end it is still a vice clamp, but looks like it belongs on a space ship. They really ought to have some kind of chair that moves with the machine for disabled and old people though. Getting into position hurt my back and legs, which was the part that caused pain. Now my doctor will stop nagging me, though.
I know I should have done it sooner. My mom had breast cancer at 40 and I did one at 30, one at 35, one at 40 and one at 45 and I was supposed to do one at 50 so I am 2 years overdue. But I've has so much other medical crap to deal with between me and my daughter these last few years, I really didn't want to deal. My eldest sister (64) had uterine cancer recently, so it has hit my family of origin twice. That's what got me to go in. That's the only one I don't have to worry about since I had a hysterectomy at 33, but still.
I'm thinking about having DD tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations and probably me, too, depending on cost. If insurance covers it, great. If it doesn't, than just DD. I'd like to do genetic testing for Ehlers-Danlos on her, too. If we can afford it.
Then today I went to the cardiologist and got my patch. It's a portable EKG. They used to have to do a harness thing, but now they can just attach a patch to your chest and it monitors stuff. It has a button you can push if you feel anxious, arm or neck pain/tingling, chest pain or pressure, dizziness, fainted, light headed, pounded, fluttering or racing, short of breath, skipped or irregular beats, or other. Then you mark it down in a book with the date, the time, the duration, and what you were doing. It only gives 13 pages. Hopefully that is enough or I might have to add some. Some weeks I have a lot of incidents and others I have none.
It is a two week test. It was ordered by my neurologist to try to get to the bottom of my fainting spells to see if I was having syncopy. My regular doctor has been wanting to do one for a while, too, but we have been trying to control my asthma first, which got bad with Original Covid, then Covid II: The Return, then what they call long Covid. Then the summers with smoke from forest fires have not helped.
The treatment plan I'm on has helped some, but not completely, so he has wanted to look at my heart next, because I have racing heart, and I was born with a heart murmur that may have gotten worse, and sometimes I feel pressure, and shortness of breath when I am sitting still that may or may not be caused by asthma or long Covid. So this test will satisfy him as well, or at least give him information. And if there is nothing wrong there, than I think the next step will be an MRI of my lungs.
Honestly, the possibility of heart issues, is what has kicked me into gear with the diet this time. If that is something I have to fight, I need to get into a healthier body to do that. I need to anyway. It is exhausting to be this way. Losing weight will help with my fibromyalgia and my joint pain, so it will help lesson some of my RA symptoms, too. What I have to do is just stay motivated, even if there is nothing wrong with my heart. I am sick and tired of always being sick and tired.
I am going to be stopping the shot I've been on for RA. The side effects have been bad. They are frequent colds and respiratory infections. I have had nothing but that since I started this drug. I wash my hands all the time. I use sanitizer when I'm out. I sanitize the steering wheel and door handles if my husband drove last because he brings stuff home from work.
I santize the door knobs. I wear my mask and vinyl gloves in stores on the rare times I go in one even though we are not required to and I still get sick. Sure the RA pain has been completely gone, but I can't live like this. Every time I've stopped it with antibiotic use and gotten better, then taken the shot again, two days later I've caught something else. So, no more of that. I can't deal with it. It has been a miserable summer. I've barely had a chance to enjoy it. I want to enjoy what is left of it.
Okay, well, after all that word vomit, it's time to go make dinner and not order it. Baked chiken thighs, roasted potatoes, and green breans. The chicken I pulled out of the freezer said 99 cents a pound and was from May 7, 2022. It was the last time I saw that sale price. I'll proabably never see that in a store again. But I've got 8 more pack of it in the freezer, so there's that.
August 12th, 2022 at 03:25 am
Just before leaving for my son's eye appointment he came down and handed me an envelope from Regence, our health insurance company. It was a thin business envelope, not the oddly sized explanation of benefits envelope. I didn't want to open it. About a week ago we had gotten one just like it saying they had received the appeal.
I decided not to open it and we headed off to get his eye exam and new glasses picked out. He's also going to get contacts for the first time, so we will have to make an appointment to have them teach him how to use them and take care of them. It's going to be interesting. Insurance did not cover frames this time, just lenses and they won't cover contacts. The exam, retinal mapping, $10 co-pay, and additional contact lens measuring came to $100. I think that we pay more at the next appointment.
Anyway, they were having a 20% off sale on glasses, so with our insurance and that, his new glasses came to $210. So we came out of there pretty good, I thought. When my daughter and I get glasses our prescriptions are so bad it costs a lot more. Even with the lower cost frames under $200, and insurance for the lenses, we still pay around $400 to $450 on a year that covers both.
So that was a good thing and we headed home to face that envelope. I opened it up and I burst into tears. I hardly ever cry unless I am watching something heartbreaking on youtube or a show. I've got a real tight control on my emotions, but I just couldn't keep it in. I had to read it four times to believe it. She has been approved to stay on our insurance for 5 years! 5 years. I thought it would only be one, but 5 years! Then she'll have to go through exams again, but man, 5 years! You cannot imagine the relief I feel about this. No COBRA, no $753 monthly payments, just business as normal.
When I told DD, she also burst into tears. You can't imagine the stress this has lifted off us. It was like it evaporated away into nothing. My husband and son are also so relieved and DH felt his stress, at least over this, lift in much the same way. I don't think we really have to worry about all this in 5 years, either because her diseases are degenerative. She won't get better, she'll get worse or if she is lucky stay the same, but to not have to worry about medical getting yanked out from under her is just amazing.
After that we went to the chiropractor, I told him about the spondylosis at the L2 and L3 that showed up on the x-rays I had on Monday, so we add that to the L4 and L5 degenerative discs in the treatment program. Now that I've been cleared to do physical therapy again, I called to try to get scheduled, but they want me to get a new order from the doctor. *sighs* More work for me. Hopefully I can just message him through the portal since I just saw him and get a new order sent without having to go in again.
After that, DS and I put soaker hoses on the green beans. They have really perked up since putting on the shade cloth. Some I thought were dead for sure are standing up and putting out new green leaves. I am so happy. I am going to poke some seeds into the ones that all the sprouts died in, just to see if they'll be ready in time to pick before the cold seasons, but at least the sun didn't kill them all.
Then DH got home and told me that his Great Aunt had died. So I cried again, because I loved her a lot. She's been doing poorly for a while and we knew it was coming, but she's been an instituion in this family. Her older brother lived until he was 105 years old, so we thought maybe she would, too. DH couldn't remember if she was 97 or 98, but she almost made it. Her husband has been gone maybe 10 or 15 years now, so she's been alone for awhile. One daughter lives in the mid-west and the other is an hour away, so one was near and some of the grandkids and they were taking turns to check on her. It is for the best with the pain she was in, but I will miss her.
At least I have a nice dress I can wear to the funeral. It's not exactly subdued, but it isn't a riot of colorful flowers, either, like what I usually buy. Just a nice summer dress with sleeves and not a sundress. I don't have any appropriate shoes unless I wear my boots and it has been way too hot to do that. Funerals aren't exactly a place to wear flip flops and they don't make sandals in 4E width. DD has a nice dress, too, it came 2 weeks ago. I am focusing on the minutiae because I really don't want to think about it. I'm not heartless, just discotiating.
My new wardrobe came and I'm happy it goes well with some of the pieces from my old wardrobe as well. And everything is true to the colors they showed in the photos. So I'm happy with that. I finally have nice clothes again, not washed out, overly worn, incorrectly sized clothes. It's a silly thing to be happy about on a day that has put me through the emotional wringer.
I need to get my tears out now, so I can be there to support my husband and MIL and my favorite of DH's cousins, her youngest daughter. I'm not close with the older one, but I'll be there for her, too, if she needs me.
This is bringing up thoughts of my own mother who turns 83 at the end of the month. She is getting frail and more forgetful and I see her mortality every day now. We need to pay for her to get a will made. It needs to be done sooner rather than later, while she is still in her right mind.
It was such a good day, until it wasn't, but I am still riding high on the good news and maybe on the increased dosage of the drug that controls my hypomania and depression. Maybe now I can allow myself to breathe again.
I'm well ahead on my reading goal for 2022. I finished Child Zero on the tenth and it was a good book. I'd give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, and the knock down was because incredibly excessive swearing. Like you would be hard pressed to find a page that didn't have swearing in it if there was dialogue and sometimes when they were just thinking. It was so bad it kept throwing me out of the story. But I soldiered through and I really liked it. Chris Holm is no Michael Crichton, even though they are comparing him to that author. Not nearly enough medical details to even come close. Still good though.
I started reading City of Orange, but I couldn't stand it, so turned that back into the library. It is rare for me to not stick out a book, but yeesh. Ten pages in and I felt like I was being tortured by bad writing. Now I'm reading Summer at the Cape, but I'm not sure I'm really in the mood for book four in this series right now.
I have more books on hold, but they are taking forever. I may have to actually go into the library to find some instead of purusing GoodReads.com and hoping the library carries whatever I am interested in. I'm in the mood for a YA thriller or vampires or werewolves or something supernatural. Just kind of fun, mindless things with overwrought teenagers, but well-written. It's a guilty pleasure. And they don't tend to have explicit love scenes.
Well, my son just took the pizza out of the oven so I guess it is time to finish this off. Hope all is well with everyone. You've all been pretty quiet.
August 9th, 2022 at 05:58 am
I've finally updated my sidebar to reflect where everything is right now. I subtracted the amount I pulled from the EF, which was $7000 and then added the amount retirement has raised, which was $5033.25. It was so nice to see both retirement accounts gaining traction, although if Biden signs this new bill, I think they are going to plummet. Anyway, that was a reduction of $1996.77, but I'm still pretty close to $150K.
I went to get x-rays. The positions that they had to put me in about had me crying. Turning my feet pigeon toed is the one that did me in, but none of them were comfortable and I couldn't use my cane because it was metal. It about killed me to walk back from x-ray to my car. It is a long walk for a medical facility because it is a sprawling building. I had to sit in my car for about 5 minutes because I had to wait for the pain to get manageable before I trusted myself to drive. When I got home my knee buckled badly on me, but I was able to catch myself on the seat of a chair before I fell. Another fall right now would prove disasterous. I went to the chiropracter and it helped some, but my hip is burning really badly.
I am not sure my green beans are going to make it. They are getting sun scorched and some have died. I am going to try to get a shade cloth over them, but I'm not sure if it is big enough for both arches. The tomatoes love the weather, however. I hate anything over 75°, but these 80° and higher days are killing me and most of the garden does not like that type of heat. DH and I put up a shade cloth tonight and I did a really heavy watering, but I think I am going to have to replant the beans and hope for the best. I've lost at least half of them to this sun. I will also put up a drip hose, so I don't have to hand water. They need daily watering right now.
I am eagerly awaiting next Friday so I will finally know what the new net paycheck and budget amount is going to be. I hate waiting for things like this. I'm not terribly good at waiting period, but with money things it is so much worse.
My doctor called in the wrong dosage on my prescription. It should be 50 mg more. I sent a message off on the patient portal, so hopefully I will hear from them tomorrow. It can take a day or two, but it is better than waiting on hold for a half an hour. I have enough for the time being to get through.
DH is going to go prawning one more time when they reopen for it sometime in the next two weeks. The state fishers didn't get as much caught so far this year due to some boaters not being able to afford gas. They plan to do some salmon fishing, too. I don't know if the season is open yet, but as soon as it is they will go out for that. Hopefully the two seasons coincide.
I saw that at the cheap gas station it was down to $3.95/gallon, which okay, fine, but it still sucks compared to before Biden started shutting down oil production and leases to try to force everyone to get electric cars, not realizing apparently that they burn fossil fuels to generate electricity for the charging stations. They may run on solar somewhere, but definitely not where I live. I mean, all the ones in my town have diesel generators running right there! Not to mention the harm to the enviroment that mining lithium for the batteries causes. Plus the supply of electric cars is low because they don't have batteries for them. People need to be able to afford to drive and for too many people, electric cars are out of reach.
I do want to save up for a solar system, I really do, but they are so expensive and I won't take out debt to do it. Before that we need to replace one bathtub that is cracked with a walk in shower and replace a half size walk in shower because it has holes in it and there is a leak in the wall. And then the one bathroom floor needs to have a good section of it replaced before the one shower goes in, because it is kind of squidgey, so I think the leak got into the sub floor.
The mold remediation they did on the bathroom ceiling did not work and the paint is already peeling from the paint job. They said they would come back and fix it, but they did not. I kept saying I thought we should just take down the drywall on the ceiling and replace it with the mold resistant drywall, but no one wanted to do that and now it looks like we will have to do it anyway. At least it isn't black mold, it is orange, but still I want no mold. I am glad we have 4 bathrooms in this house. Otherwise all this would be a nightmare and we'd have to drain our EF quickly to fix things. We've already taken out $7000. I don't want to deplete it further, but this house will not stop breaking down.
We are trying to figure out where a leak is coming from that is filling one corner of the basement with water. It doesn't seem to be the piping and it doesn't seem to be the sewer line and we haven't been watering anything above that section of the basement. It's a real stumper. That's the corner with the drain in it, too. Maybe the drain is backing up? We might need to snake it.
I ordered more clothes. I don't know if I mentioned it or not, but I got four pairs of jeans and four pairs of long-sleeved shirts. I tried to make them mix and match with what I bought and the short-sleeved shirts I bought earlier. I also bought 12 pairs of socks. It took me forever to find some that don't have the brand name on the cuff. I don't want neon orange brand names showing when I wear shorts, because they clash badly with what I own. I just wanted plain white socks or ones that have the brand name hidden by the shoe. I did finally find some at Fred Meyer.
DS and I have been cleaning out the closet so I can actually get in there and hang up my clothes again. I am going to pack up a lot of the clothes that are in there and take them to storage, labelled by size, and then get rid of anything I don't want to keep, which is a lot. I have several outfits I do like, but there are a lot I just don't like and didn't reallly like at the time I bought them, but needed clothes in my size. This is before I found Woman Within online. I look good in hot pink, but I had to buy things in pale pinks a lot and I don't like pale pinks and they wash me out. Any pastels wash me out.
I figure with the new clothes I bought, I can keep a much smaller wardrobe where everything goes with everything else. After the closet is done, I will be tackling the dresser. I've got 3 drawers full of things that aren't even clothes. I'd like to reclaim at least two of those. The third one has stuff like old diaries of mine, baby books for the kids and me and DH, portrait photos of the kids and one of the whole family, our wedding album and wedding video and some scrapbooks I made back when I was in to scrapbooking. Those are things I don't want to risk putting into storage.
I've been in a bit of a decluttering mode. I shredded 4 paper grocery bags worth of paper. I got behind again. I said after the last time that that wouldn't happen, but alas it did. I also need to go through all the cookbook magazines I have and tear out the pages I want to put in my binder and recycle the rest. They are taking up a whole cubby that I could better use for something else.
I think my brain might be tipping into hypomania this week, but I will take advantage of it to get things done. DS has promised not to let me bury myself and to make me eat at regular intervals and to not let me rabbit hole on youtube, so hopefully I will be okay until I level out. Of course it just might be an uptick caused by taking a higher dosage of the medication. I think I'd like that, because right now I feel motivated, and usually I don't.
All right, well I best get off to bed. It's already eleven p.m. and staying up too late is getting to be a habit.
August 4th, 2022 at 09:58 am
I got my chuck roast canned. I now have 28 quarts and 2 pints on my pantry shelves and 1 quart in the fridge because of a seal failure. It's my fault for using a faulty ring. I knew it was suspect, but didn't want to go find another one. Anyway, it's a start.
The sales suck for the new ad cycle that started today. I will be ordering 20 pounds of green beans and 40 pounds of gold potatoes for a Friday pickup from a local farm, if it isn't too soon and I will work on getting those canned. I will likely not have green beans to pick until September and I don't want to have a bad season and then just not have any to can. I will order 20 pounds of carrots after I get all that done.
I think our potatoes are doing fine, but what I can grow is never enough to make it through the year. We added 3 more rows of potatoes this year, but there isn't room for more than that yet until we clear some more space. That means a lot of weed eater work and then putting down black plastic, something that I am not capable of at the moment and haven't been since my last fall, so that will have to involve my husband and son.
I see the doctor on Friday for a mental health checkup and to see if he is ready to bump me up to 200 mg. I've still had some hyper mania incidents, though they are getting fewer and further between. I think another 50 mg is going to help me significantly. It's like on sort of lingering on the cusp. While I am there I am going to ask for new x-rays of my back and my other hip to be taken and my tailbone.
Those were not taken at the hosptial because I was feeling everything in my arm where I tore it open and the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and collarbone. The other pain didn't hit me until the next morning and was still overshadowed by the arm. Until it wasn't. And it has gotten worse and worse and after sitting up too long it just kills me, like the bones are rubbing together. I can stand for 30 seconds only, so I'm back to that. I can still walk okay, it's just when I stop that the unignorable pain comes back. After canning it is severe, but that has to get done.
Regardless, of what they x-rays say, I mostly want to know if it is safe for me to go back to physical therapy or if I did some more damage to my spine or broke something in my tailbone. Honestly, it could just be a lack of physical therapy.
DH's boss's wife and grandmother are having a joint birthday party and they want us to come. I don't know that I am up for it with all the pain I'm having. I also don't like being around large gatherings. But I do like the man and his family. DH will go even if I don't. My immune system isn't the greatest so if someone comes there who is sick or doesn't know they are sick, I am likely to catch it. It is not a lot of fun to be on immune suppressing drugs sometimes.
Tomorrow I will start back on a diet. I do this so many times, but hopefully this one will take. It is best for my overall health to get this weight off, especially because it pulls on my discs, but that is often easier said than done. Plus I need to lose 75 pounds to get the nerve burning surgery done, assuming my insurance will pay for it. It won't fix the problem, but at least I won't feel the pain there anymore.
August 2nd, 2022 at 06:15 pm
DH's raise went into effect August 1st, which means the paycheck on August 19th will be the first one with the higher rate. I was kind of hoping it would be the one this Friday, but didn't really think it would. Now I just have to wait and see how much net we will get so I can update my budget template and then work up budgets for the rest of the year. They will be subject to change, but just having a basic one built helps me plan.
Today the weather has cooled off substantially so I am canning chuck roast. After I get off the computer I will have 14 jars going in to the big canner. Then later today I will go to Fred Meyer and get 10 more chuck roasts and get them cut up tonight so I can do it again tomorrow. I have to take advantage of the $3.99/lb sale. They don't have a limit so if I get them prepared tonight and can them tomorrow, I can then go and get another round. Then I will have 42 jars on the shelf and I'll wait until the next meat sale and do it again. I want to have 102 jars of roast beef on the shelf.
I am hoping a decent sale comes up on chicken thighs. I can skin and debone myself, and then can it up. I only want 52 jars of chicken on the shelf. And then I need to think about canning up some of the ground beef we have left from our steer. There is a ton of it still and we need to make room for our hog, because the butcher said it will be a few weeks, but I don't really know what a few means. I am only getting half a hog, since it took so long and they got really big, so now a half is like a whole if I'd gotten it two and a half months ago. It cost $753. I will still have to pay the cut and wrap fee, which is $0.75 per pound, I think. It might be per package of meat. Well, they'll tell me when they are done, but I have budgeted about $300 for it. It might be more, but I can pull from savings.
Once I see how much space I have left in the freezer, I can decide what I want to do about beef, since we are pretty much down to hamburger and a few roasts, ribs, and soup bones. No steaks are left. I may get a half if there is room, or just stock up on a lot of chicken and buy some steaks and roasts as we need them. They just won't be grass fed, probably. Plus, DH's friend's boat is fixed, so they will be fishing soon for salmon. There is some seafood we need to start eating up so there will be room for that, too.
Not much going on in the financial aspect at the moment. Not until payday anyway. Still waiting on the appeal for DD on the insurance front, but preparing for having her to go on COBRA, getting all the paperwork to be submitted and it go smoothly into that as soon as possible. Then we will schedule her MRI of her liver. It is just a follow up from the surgery where they removed the tumor. They want to make sure it isn't growing again and that her liver has regenerated. She's been having some pain in that region again off and on, so hopefully it hasn't started to come back. I would appreciate prayers for that.
My husband, kids, and I all filled out our ballets last night for the primary. We went over the voter's book with them over the last week and we all agreed on who we wanted to vote for. DH is dropping them off at the courthouse drop box after work today. I hope it makes a difference and other people in the state are as fed up as we are, even Seattle. King County likes to screw over everyone else and they usually have the population to do it, but a lot of people fled Seattle over the past three years due to rioting, so we might have a chance to get some sensible people in this year. As sensible as a politician can manage, anyway.
July 28th, 2022 at 10:32 pm
It has taken forever, between our first upright freezer breaking down, to having it replaced after many months when no one could repair it, which also took months because they were on backorder, to me ordering the hog, to the butcher dates being pushed back several times, to today, when my hog is actually being butchered. It will be about 3 weeks before I actually get it, since they have to hang it for a while and then have to cure and smoke hams, bacon, and hocks. But I will have it before the end of August, so that makes me very happy. I wanted it before fall, so this is great. This saves a lot of money on meat in the long run. Now I can start saving up for a beef.
I'm still trying to locate a pasture-raised lamb that has never been fed grain, but it is harder than you would think. I may have to look outside my county. Hopefully the next one over has some. Otherwise I will have to give in to those who ate grain early on, but then switched to grass only. As long as it is organic grain, I can deal.
The garden is doing well. The onions need to be ringed, but they are growing nicely. It'll be nice not to buy them at $.1.29 each. I resent that so much, because before I could get them at 25 cents each. I planted so many I think I may not have to buy them for 8 or 9 months. I will probably braid all the yellows and the reds, but the Walla Walla sweets I will chop and freeze.
The garlic is pretty dry, so I think I another week and it'll be done. Now I have to decide if I want to clip them or keep the stem on and braid them. I love the way braided looks, but we don't really have a good place to hang them unless DH puts in a hook in the hallway or we hang them on a rod in the laundry room. Neither place is convenient. I will cut some up small and dehydrate it. Then I can grind it for powder as I need it. If I make it powder and keep it in a jar, it tends to clump badly or go hard. I think I have enough garlic for a year, but we will see. It's going for $1 for one head right now when you used to get 4 or 3 heads for $1. That's outrageous.
The zucchini is quite small, about a dime in circumference for the largest and about 3 inches long. I've got itty bitty cucumbers starting, but the vines don't want to climb the trellis yet. I've got several green tomatoes coming on. The green beans are about 8 inches tall, having been planted so late. I'm still getting strawerries and the blueberries are starting to blush.
It'll be a while before I get more to harvest, but when I do I won't have to buy produce for some time. I'm thinking about getting a CSA box in the meanwhile, since that is also cheaper than buying them from the store right now and I can pick out of several boxes of what I want, whether it be just fruit, just veg, or a combo, and there are different sizes at different price points. They also have meat boxes and milk and egg boxes. That's pretty neat.
I do want to get a box of nectarines to cut up and freeze, and two boxes of tomatoes for canning as I never have the space to grow enough. I'll probably get 40 pounds of yellow potatoes and 20 pounds of carrots to can as well. I'm not sure when, though. And I will be buying chuck roast this week to can as it is $3.99/lb at Fred Meyer this ad cycle. I'd like to get at least 14 quarts canned during this sale. I'll do more if I can get it and my hands can take it. I am almost out of that. This sale seems to repeat itself somewhere around every six weeks, so I'll have a chance to do more. These are still pre-Covid sale prices. I use canned beef a lot during the winter, because it, canned potatoes, and canned carrots make a great quick stew.
I'm still waiting to see if there will be a good sale on boneless skinless chicken thighs. I may have to just buy regular thighs, which do go on sale, and skin and debone them myself. It's more work, but I can then make stock with the skins and bones, so I do get more out of it. I need to make a lot of stock as I am completely out of canned stock. It's an economical way to do both. I can't get pre-Covid sales prices on the chicken, but the new sale is $1.29 per pound if you don't want to get the stuff injected with stuff, which is about what it was not on sale pre-Covid.
When I do go to Winco I will pick up some turkey sausage and turkey chorizo. It is still pretty cheap at $2.99 a pound. Way cheaper than pork sausage, which I will have a lot of with the hog, because I didn't get any roasts in my order. I'm going to buckle down and start making the largest items from the freezer instead of what I feel like. We've got some beef ribs and soup bones that take up a lot of space, so I need to deal with those. We have some freezer burned pork that is meant for crab bait, so we need to get that to DH's boss, so he will have it when they go out crabbing. It can sit in his freezer instead of ours. And we will eat up the rest of the roasts from our beef.
I'm not sure how much room we will need for the hog. When she first told me it was about 400 pounds, but that was six weeks ago. It could easily be 600 pounds by now the way hogs eat, since she wasn't able to butcher on time. I guess I'll know soon enough. Funny thing was, I wanted a hog around that size originally, so I guess I get what I wanted.
When I go buy the meat later today, I won't have to buy any produce. I still have plenty from last week. 2 watermelons, the first good cantaloupe I've seen this summer, 1 and a half bunches of bananas, 2 golden kiwis, WA state red cherries, 4 peaches, and 4 nectarines. The latter two are still ripening. I also have a nearly full bag of salad mix, a full bag of spinach, a green cabbage, a purple cabbage, a napa cabbage, 1 parsnip, 2 sweet potatoes, 2 stalks of celery, half a bag of Russet potatoes, a full bag of gold potatoes, 1 cucumber, 2 shallots, 1 yellow onions, 1 walla walla sweet onion, and 4 carrots. I foresee cabbage rolls in my future as well as a root vegetable dish. I need to use up the parsnip and the sweet potatoes before they go bad.
I scheduled DD's cavity appointments. I wish we had been able to do them sooner, before she loses her insurance, but such is life. I'm pretty sure the COBRA is just medical, not dental and vision. We have spread it out over 3 appointments about six weeks between them. The first one will cost $367, the second one will cost $258, and the third will cost $261. That will allow us to cash flow fixing her teeth. Then maybe after that we can get her the $400 night guard. So $1286 all told. We don't want to do it first because it will effect the shape of the mouthguard by small amounts and it might not fit right.
If we don't cash flow, we should have enough in the Medical Fund to cover it. I put $500 in it every 2 weeks. Of course we spend it a lot through the year, but I should have enough by September to pay for the first appointment.
If MIL gives us $10,000 like she did last year, I am going to dump $5k into the Medical Fund and $3K into the Emergency Fund and $2K to start saving for my son's education. It's not much, but it's a start. While he finished high school through homeschooling, he doesn't have the piece of paper. So he needs to get his GED before going to the technical college. You can also get an actual high school diploma through the technical college, so we might do that. He'll have to test and see if he has enough knowledge to pass as that was a while ago. He may have to take some more math to get into the program he wants, but everything else is where it should be except possibly his essay writing. He always hated that because of his dyslexia. He doesn't have the problem with numbers, only letters.
Insurance now covers the coating that takes out the blue light on computers and makes it easier to read things on white paper, so he'll be getting that with his new glasses this month. Another expense, but one that the money is there for already, as are mine, if I decide to get them. I may just wait until January when I can get both frames and lenses, not just lenses. Or I might get contacts if the prescription hasn't changed much.
July 10th, 2022 at 02:26 am
DH's boss has put in for a sizeable raise for DH. I know he just got one in December, but his responsibilities have increased by a large margin...a margin that was not required for his job or the last raise. The last raise was completely swallowed up by inflation. I had to double, and then raise by another $50, our gas budget. Electricity, gas, water/sewer, and even garbage have all gone up.
He said that if the raise goes through, DH will probably fall down on the floor. About the only thing that would make me fall down on the floor would be $150K. But anything more would be fine, especially if it will cover DD's COBRA (still waiting on the appeal, but who knows?) while we try to get her on disablility or find a cheaper insurance that will still cover her medications. And maybe let us bump up our retirement contributions. At least we will be able to claim a significant amount of medical this year and that was before paying for COBRA, which starts in August.
Right now we are at 16% and I would like to be at 20%, maybe even 25% one day. Even if I can only go up to 17% or 18%, that will help. I haven't looked at retirement since the freefall started. I really don't want to, either. I am hoping in November we will see a sea change and all these people willing to throw our money away on other countries and not take care of us here so we can recover in our own economy and infrastructure, get voted out. I'll certainly vote against Patty Murray. She stopped being the Mom in Tennis Shoes she originally campaigned as when I was young and is now just another rich career politician who has strayed so far from what she used to be, I just want her gone. And I like her opponent. But I digress.
I've been able to stay within my food budget only because I don't have to buy much in the way of meat, mostly just chicken and the occasional pork. DH caught the limit on spot prawns and was given more by some of the others again. They tried to catch Pacific sand dabs, which are in the flounder family, while they were out there but only caught little ones that they threw back. There is not much meat on the little ones. Still both prawning trips have been more than enough to cover the gas to go out. These ones are super expensive to buy. So we'll get a few meals out of those. I am really looking forward to crabbing and salmon seasons and we may try to catch some river trout, too, since there are some fishing areas in our local parks.
So mostly I am buying produce right now and it'll be a while yet on when I can replace much of those types of groceries. Right now I am getting scallions and the first peas are ready to be picked today. I've got some herbs to harvest from and I am still picking strawberries. The raspberries are starting to turn color. So I am able to supplement a little. Plus I'm pulling the elephant garlic today, now that I've had 7 days in a row with no rain or watering. That helps them dry out some before being pulled and put on a ventilated drying rack for about 2 weeks and then I can cut off the greens and trim the roots and they can go into a box for dry storage in my coldest cabinet that seldom gets opened. I think the Music garlic is ready, too, but I'll have to dig down and check.
Once all the garlic is out I can plant carrots, radishes, and 90 day parsnips. Those are all great things to plant after garlic or onions. The onions are starting to swell, but they have several weeks to go. Maybe in another 2 weeks I can ring them and then their growth will take off significantly. And I'll be able to use the sprinkler and just handwater once this garlic is out.
I've got baby zucchinis starting and saw my first tomato (small and green) yesterday. My cucumbers are still really small plants. My lettuce has bolted and my spinach, too. My herbs are big enough that I can start to harvest them. But that's still not a lot of fruit or veggies. We finally got the green beans planted, but they haven't come up yet. I will be getting the sweet potatoes in today. We'll have to do a peusdo greenhouse when the weather starts cooling off in the fall, since it took so long for DH to get the grow bags filled for me. They are up on pallets to keep them off the ground for when the ground starts getting cold.
I am considering dumping the hog lady since she keeps having her butcher dates pushed back and I haven't heard from her in some time, and going with another beef. Almost all that is left is hamburger. Any new hamburger I get I can put through the grinder on a fine grind, mix with some ground chicken, some tallow, and with herbs and spices, run it all through again, and make sausage with it. I can make mild Italian and I can make breakfast sausage. And if I ask for the navel cut with the new steer, then I can make beef bacon as well, unless they will make the bacon and the sausage for me at the butchers. They might not if the equipment for that is dedicated to hogs only, but it doesn't hurt to ask. It might be, to keep kosher. I know they will do kosher or halal when asked.
I need to do a stock up on herbs and spices at Costco this weekend, particulary salt, pepper, granulated garlic, paprika, and chili powder. I also want to get more tomato sauce, some PH water, some TP, Ziplocs, some oil for the fryer, some olive oil, rice, stir-fry veggies, and some golden kiwis. Maybe one or two more items, but I'll have to check.
I don't need to buy anymore fruit this week, as I still have strawberries to pick, a watermelon, 2/3 of a melon that was not labelled in the store, but tastes like a cross between cantaloupe and honeydew with a yellow rind, 2 small pineapples, some grapes, 3 nectarines, 1 peach, and 4 kiwis. I might get Rainer cherries, though. They are my favorite now and only have a short season. But we don't really need it. As for produce, we have two zucchini, 1 English cucumber, a head of lettuce, 1 green cabbage, 2 Napa cabbages (for cabbage rolls), 1/4 of a huge bag of frozen stir-fry veggies, 2 packs of frozen broccoli, carrots, potatoes, radishes, 4 yellow onions, 1 red onion, and a head of garlic. Also, home canned green beans, canned corn, and a can of water chestnuts. I think we should be fine, so I'll take the opportunity to stock up on some long-term food storage and longer-lasting pantry items, while saving enough money for week two of this grocery budget.
I had raised the grocery budget to $500, but I have popped it back down to $400 every payday, due to the increase in gas prices. It had to come from somewhere, so I am economizing more and sticking more firmly to meal planning and eliminating take out to more than once a payday and one of those meals MIL pays for. We have all but eliminated prepared foods and are cooking mostly from scratch, now that I am feeling better. It took a lot for me to recover from that last fall. My scab has almost completely fallen off and now I just have to work on keeping the scar tissue from pulling the skin tight, but using cream on it 3 times a day. I still have some pain from the fall, but I'm down to just using Ibuprofen at bedtime, so it is obviously better.
It was hard to keep a good attitude through the healing process, because it has set me back, but I can still feel the higher dose of the stuff used to control my hypomania and death spirals (as I like to call them, not really death, just dark dives into misery) is doing it's job to keep me on a more even keel. I still don't have a formal diagnosis other than hypomania and depression. No one's come out and said bipolar, though. Which is okay, because let's face it, I don't want to go on lithium. I will likely be going up another 50 mg on my current drug the next time I see the doctor. I feel it is the final step, because my outlook on life has improved tremendously over all.
I'm need to call in to physical therapy this week and get myself rescheduled. I think I will need a new assessment, though, because my range of motion and the flexibility I was getting has now become less and so is the amount of time I can stand or walk with an assistance device and definitely without one and the pain is pretty bad unless I sit rather quickly. I had been cane free for 8 weeks before this accident. It's so frustrating, but I will put my head down, muddle through, and get stronger again. I did it once, I can do it again. I'll call the doctor, though. I never got an x-ray of my lower back after I fell and I want to make sure I haven't done further damage, before I do. I was so concerned with the pain my arm when I went to the hospital, I was completely unaware of other pain. It wasn't until the next morning that I felt it and kept hoping it would get all the way better on it's own, but maybe it can't. So we'll see. We'll see about a lot of things.
July 1st, 2022 at 07:04 am
So as we have eaten our way through the steer we bought last summer, we are now mostly left with ground beef. A lot of ground beef. 3 compartments in the chest freezer and 1/2 a bin of it in the upright. So I spent a good amount of time on youtube the last couple of days trying to find recipes that aren't all about Mexican food. My daughter is having issues right now with those spices so I've been trying to veer away from them, but the hugest number seems go there.
Taco Mac, chili mac, enchiladas, Taco spaghetti, Taco penne bake, Taco bowl, Taco salad, Chili, Tacos, Taco Mac and Cheese, Taco Chili, Taco Lasagna and on and on and on. The Italian ones are good, but are basically all variations on a theme, too, pasta or bread, meat, usually sauce, and cheese. And there is only so much spaghetti, calzones, stromboli, pizza, goulash, meatball sandwiches, baked penne or ziti, macaroni and cheese and Fettuine Alfredo that one can eat in a week without being bogged down by a wheat hangover.
I was on a mission to find some other recipes and it took a lot of weeding through it, but I found some Asian inspired ones and some German ones, and of course there is meatloaf and burgers, cabbage rolls, etc., but I'm still lacking in much else. I still have to do some recipe searching on google to see what else I can find.
But I have enough for a start and today I went to the grocery store and stocked up on what I needed to do this. The goal is to have ground beef three times a week, or two if we are having steak. Which we are just about out of, so probably not much of that will happen.
We've made a recommitment to cooking almost exclusively from scratch and eating healthy and not eating out for the month of July, because we really need to buckle down and stop spending money. There are a few things in the freezer that are convenience foods, like fish sticks, fries, hot dogs, sausages, and garlic toast, but not a lot of that. I'll be baking bread, rolls, and buns myself. Everyone has pledged to help me as much as they are able, so hopefully this time around things will go as planned. We have a good chance as summer tends to be the season I don't get badly sick in. So if I can refrain from falling down or hurting my back for the rest of it, we can get this done.
We had a deer in the garden again today. It had big abscesses on its face, poor thing and was bashing it's head against one of our trellises until one of them popped. It was really gross, but the thing needed to be drained. We had to spray things down to get the gunk off and the smell was atrocious. If I see it again, I will call animal control, because that is not a healthy animal. We will be getting some fencing up tomorrow to hopefully keep the the deer out of the garden, and building some more low tunnels and cages for the thornless blackberries. One day we will be able to fence everything tall enough to keep them out of the whole back yard, but this year is not that time.
We finally got DD's old doctor to fill out the forms needed for the insurance company and hopefully she will qualify to stay on our insurance. We also need to have the chiropractor fill out one, because he has been treating her for congenital hip dysplasia since she was 3 months old, and correcting for hypermobile joints since she was 3 years old. And he has seen first hand what her degenerative disc disease has done to her.
We had an online appointment with her new primary care doctor. This is her second appointment and it was so nice to be heard. Really heard. She put DD on a muscle relaxant that does not interfere with her other meds. It is actually the one I take, too. The doctor also brought up this new treatment for obesity. It is a diabetes drug that had a big side effect of weight loss. It's called semaglutide and it's a pen injection. They are very expensive, so I don't see us being able to do this for DD unless she is able to stay on our insurance and then they approve it. She is hyperinsulinemic, the step before diabetes, so maybe. If she doesn't we will be paying so much for COBRA or another insurance, we will never be able to afford it.
Prayers that the insurance company accepts from her reports that she is disabled enough to stay on it would be greatly appreciated.
June 28th, 2022 at 03:36 am
Last Monday night, I had just finished picking strawberries and set them safely on the raised bed. I went to sit down in my garden chair, but instead of double checking I was lined up properly and sitting on the seat, I sat down on the arm and it broke, collapsing the chair. The sharp edges of the chair arm cut into my arm as I hit the pavement. It was horrifically painful. It cut two large gouges into my arm, which would be one without out the one inch break between them. Altogether, it is 6.5 inches from the start of one to the tip of the other.
Hitting the concrete was awful. I jarred everything in my hips and pelvis, the area where the discs are deviated, my upper back and my shoulders. I had to sit there stunned for few minutes. I hadn't brought my phone out with me to get help, and my husband was taking a nap, so I knew I had to get up by myself. Fortunately the raised bed was right there, I just had to figure out how to get onto my knees from my butt with one working arm and crawl three feet, again with only one functioning arm.
Somehow I managed and then forced myself to use both arms to pull my body up. By the time I was done, the pains in my shoulder, elbow (which hit the concrete) and wrist were excrucitating. I managed to slowly walk into the house and as far as my daughter's room and asked her to check my arm. She did and immediately said she needed to get my husband. I said no, he was sleeping, and she argued with me for a minute before deciding to get him anyway.
DH came in, took one look at it and said I needed to go to the hospital. I really didn't want to, because my whole body hurt and I was barely able to walk and the wheelchairs at the hospital are not well padded at all. DH cleaned up my arm, got all the blood off and held a pad on it until it was just seeping and then tried washing it out again, because there was still dirt in it. It started bleeding again and the dirt was still there. Finally he took a photo of my arm on his phone and showed it to me and I agreed to go to the hospital.
For a Tuesday night it was packed. By the time we got there my elbow had gone numb. Once we got into triage my wrist was numb, and by the time we got called back to the acute care area my fingers were numb and the cut on my arm was bleeding through the bandage and got on my sundress. I waited quite a while until they brought a little x-ray machine in to do my elbow and wrist. I had no idea they had those. It kind of reminded me of the x-rays on an arm my dentist uses, only this had a bottom plate for resting your arm on.
I laid back down on my side with a pillow under my arm and by the time a P.A. came in, I had bled all over the pillow. He checked out the x-rays and thankfully, there were no aparent breaks. He asked if anywhere else hurt and I said my shoulder so he poked around up there and rotated it around and found an incredibly painful spot so ordered a shoulder x-ray, too. Then he inspected the cuts and said they didn't need stitches, but it did need some deeper cleaning out, so ordered some numbing gel put on, which helped a lot.
Then he asked me if I took anything for pain and I said no because if they were going to give me something I didn't want to interfere with that. So he gave me 800mg of Ibuprofen and 1000mg of Tylenol. It helped a little, but not much. I was hoping for something a little stronger that would take me through the night, but at least I had hydrocodone at home. I just knew it was going to be a long time until we got home. He then rotated my elbow around until I heard a pop and then the numbness started to fade. So something had been knocked out of alignment and was pinching on a nerve.
So then we waited for me to be taken to the big x-ray machine. They took me there on the bed I was on and everytime we went through a door with a raised threshold it hurt so bad. It just jarred everything. By then my back was getting really sore and so were my hips. X-ray took a while and then I was taken back to my room. By then it was midnight and the nurse came in and washed out my wound. It wasn't too bad because of the numbing gel. She managed to get the dirt out. Then she put on more numbing gel and bandaged it up.
The P.A. came back in shortly and said he didn't see any breaks in my shoulder or collar bone, although I don't know why he would, it was my elbow and wrist that hit the ground. But he still wanted us to wait for radiology to do a complete reading and it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes. Hah! At that point I was so exhausted I just wanted to go home and I had had a mask on for 4 hours. While I had used my inhaler before coming into the hospital, it can only do so much when I have a mask on. So I went to the private bathroom that was for acute care patients only, took off my mask, used my inhaler, and breathed in cool fresh air for about five minutes. By then the inhaler was working, so I put my mask back on and went back to my room.
When it was about 1:00, we still hadn't heard from radiology. I wanted to go home and take a real painkiller and go to bed. DH went out and asked how much longer it would be. They called down to radiology who said they'd look at it right away. At 1:30, I finally said I was ready to go, I'd take the P.A.'s word for it that nothing was broken. I didn't care if I had to sign out against medical advice.
They must have heard that because two minutes later as I'm getting into the wheelchair to leave, the P.A. shows back up again with the news that radiology agreed. He then asked if I knew when my last tetanus shot was. I told him I thought it was five years ago, but I'd call my doctor and ask. Then we got to go home. By then the bandages they had given me had popped off a few time. I was later to learn that the location of the injury made it impossible to keep bandages on because if I moved my arm one way they popped off that side and moved it another way it would pop off the other side.
For the first night we used some vet wrap to hold some guaze in place. I had some unopened ones from when we had animals. It's the same as what they have for people only cheaper and with more pretty colors. Even that managed to wad up overnight and leave part of the wound uncovered so I had a pink stain on my blanket. We struggled with that for another day and then I just left it uncovered. It took a total of 4 days to stop seeping.
The first day I spent in bed on my side with my arm propped up and on hydrocodone. By the second day I could move around a little and my arm was starting to get some range of motion back, but the cut pulled hard if I moved it too much. I was able to get through that day on Ibuprofen and Tylenol and just take hydrocodone at night. Last night was the first night I didn't take any, just Ibuprofen and Tylenol and today I have not taken any, but probably will tonight. All of my joints still ache, but not like before.
I've been a lot more mobile since Thursday on. I feel like my arm is almost back to normal with range of motion. I can't raise it above my head with the scab still pulling so hard. I've been keeping it moisturized to try to prevent that, but it may take another week or so before I can fully raise my arm up.
Meanwhile I found out on Wednesday that my last tetanus shot was in August of 2012, so I needed one, but they didn't have any openings for a nurse appointment, so I would need to go to urgent care. At that point I decided, screw that. I can't sit like that again for 2 more hours to get a shot. I still had two months left from my last shot and it was plastic and dirt, not rusty metal. Probably a dumb choice, but I was done.
A couple minutes later the person I talked to called back and said, check some pharmacies, most of them give tetanus shots. So I called the one in the closest grocery store where I got my Covid vaccines and they had them, so I was able to go down and get one once my husband was done with work. I couldn't drive yet. So we got that taken care of. Then I let the doctor's office know that I'd done it so they could put it in their records.
So where does the walking infinity sign come in, you might ask? That's the shape of the purple bruising around my wounds. It's a very pretty purple. Or looked at another way, it looks like Mr. Peanut got gutted, which is a little closer to how I felt. At least I can drive now. Still ache all over, but every day it hurts less and I'm able to garden, just no heavy duty.
Thursday I went out and picked another collander full of strawberries. Can't say that there wasn't a little bit of a PTSD moment when looking at the remains of the chair, but this time I took both my phone and my husband out with me and all was well.
Friday I was okay enough for DH to go out for spot prawns. He caught his limit. There were a total of six other guys on the boat, who all got their limits, but 3 of them were single, so when they got back to the guy's house who owns the boat, they only wanted to take enough for their dinners last night, so gave the extras to DH. And since the boat guy had been out every day since the season opened, he gave his entire catch to DH. So he come home with a lot of spot prawns. If you've never had them they are the sweetest shrimp and they require nothing, no cocktail sauce, no clarified butter, no scampi sauce. We had some for dinner and cooked up enough to snack on for a couple of days and the rest went into the freezer.
Saturday I was able to pick another round, this time with my phone and my oldest sister who came over. So I've picked 13 pounds of berries last week and half a pound the week before. After this massive heat wave, there will probably be some ready tomorrow. I need my son to go out and water, though, because I still can't lift a hose high enough and those beds haven't had drip hose put in yet.
I also need to cut off the garlic scapes on the Music garlic and process them for the freezer. I'll freeze them in tbsp size servings and put in a ziploc and then I can use that in place of garlic until the garlic I grew is ready, pulled, and properly dried.
Other items I have harvested so far is a head of lettuce and a bunch of green onions. The garden went in late, but it is starting to produce. I am looking forward the first snow pea. They are about two inches long right now, so a couple more days to go.
I was able to go grocery shopping with my husband today after he got off work. I used the ride on cart, though. I was really happy to get out of the store under $250 and that means I have enough money leftover to take advantage of a chuck roast sale. I need to can some for the winter. It's $2.99/lb and it didn't list a limit, just that it was a digitial coupon. Without the coupon it is still $3.99/lb. So tomorrow DS and I will go to the store that has that. Tomorrow is supposed to be below 70 after several days in the high 80's, so that would be a good day to can meat, since it takes so long.
Anyway, that was my week. Hopefully this week will be anticlimactic. Even without what happened to me, last week was a doozy.
May 30th, 2022 at 12:01 am
I spent $142 on garden stuff yesterday. The welded wire tomato cages were the most expensive items. I had hoped to make it back there before the turquoise cages were gone. I would have bought a couple last time I was there, but they were all zip-tied together and they were closing in ten minutes, and it was too much of a hassle. So I got two yellow ones and two hot pink ones in the smaller size. I use these on peppers not tomatoes anyway. It is just so windy here during May and June that the cages help keep the plants from being blown over. They were pricey.
I was able to find a jalapeño plant, but they were out of bells. They had cayenne, but I had one of those already along with 1 bell. They had serrano and poblano, but I'm not growing any other spicy peppers this year. There were no Anaheims. I just wasn't able to get over there when I needed to. But I was able to pick up 4 gold rush zucchini plants and 2 of the regular green ones, 4 cucumbers, 2 Early Girl tomatoes, and 1 Joe's best Roma. I have 1 million pears already. I also picked up four big sweet basil plants, decided not to get a Thai basil plant because the three they had looked very stressed.
After that I looked for some flowers. As much as I wanted to get a couple flats of petunias, I have no place to plant those. I ended up getting a 1/2 gallon pot of Veronica, which is a deep blue perrenial (unless it goes to 10 degrees, which might happen once every ten years or so, and a deep red yarrow. Deer don't like either of those flowers so I will plant them with my zucchini. The prices of starts have gone way up this year. Next year I really have to start my own. I have the grow lights and I have the station set up, I just haven't done it. I have all the seeds and everything.
After that we went over to the grocery store that carries plants from the same nursery and found 3 Better Belles in 1/2 gallon pots. Better Belles are not my favorite type of bell pepper. I feel like Northstar performs better here, but I waited too long and these are my choices if I want plants from a no-spray source and not a big box store. I may yet check the food co-op, because they will often have things later than others and they are organic from another source. I might find an Anaheim that way, but if not it is not a deal breaker.
That about did me in, just going to those two places, since I was still not doing that great, but again, I wore my mask, and DH handled the money and picked up the plants, so I didn't touch anything and I wasn't passing anything along to anybody. Plus I had a negative Covid home test, so I think I'm okay. We can't not ever go out with a head cold again, after all. If I waited any longer there would have been nothing but flowers, herbs, and lettuces left.
I didn't plant anything yesterday, but I sat out in the fresh air and under the lightly overcast sky while DH put in another row of potatoes and then hilled up soil on the other four rows we planted before we left. Those five rows were all the seed potatoes I purchased. This morning DH put in two more rows before I got up. These were the Kennebecs and Russets that I planted last year and saved for seed this year. He's still got some more of that to do and then I have some grocery store potatoes that have sprouted as well that are golds. I'll have to check the other potatoes I bought two weeks ago, too. Everything that can go in the ground, will go in the ground.
After all the potatoes I have get planted, I will plant the sweet potato plants that I've been growing in water for 3 months. One of the vines goes all the way up to the top of the window, so now that it is warm enough to plant those I want to get them in the ground.
I still have to plant the plants I bought yesterday and the put a wire cover over the zucchini and cucumbers. I have to make the wire cover, though. We have the welded wire fencing and the wire cutter, which is one I can operate with my arthritic hands, but the fencing is so heavy DH will have to help with it, since DS has come down with the cold.
I think I'm about at 60%, so I still need to take it easy and get enough sleep, but I definitely turned the corner yesterday and I think tomorrow, if I stay on this projectory will be about 70%. I have physical therapy on Tuesday. I won't make the decision on going or not until Monday around 3:00. If I still feel sick then, I will cancel, because I have to touch too many things that others have to touch.
The cottonwood has started blooming and blowing its fluff balls all over the place, so it's hard to tell how much of the congestion is from my allergy to that and how much is left from the cold. Either way, it is not helping.
DH is out running around trying to find a pharmacy that has Adderall that doesn't have blue dye. DS is allergic to blue dye. Walgreens is out in the whole county, so he was going to try one of the Rite Aids and have them call around to the others and then he'll try the Haggen pharmacies, then Costco, Fred Meyer, and Wal*Mart. Hopefully he can find them, since DS left it to the last minute to tell us he needed it.
When he gets back I will plant my plants, since they are still in the back of the van.
May 29th, 2022 at 01:18 am
Tuesday night after dinner we headed towards Seattle, but our hotel was in Lynnwood. We stayed at a Hilton. Let's just say it was not the best experience. We get up to our suite and the door didn't unlock. So my daughter and I are both left standing in the hallway while DH runs down to get the keys redone. Standing is hard for both of us because we both have degenerative discs at the L-4 and L-5. So does my mom so we think it is hereditary.
So DH comes back up with the keys again and it's still a no go. And we can hear people inside who are very loud for 11:30 at night at a hotel. So we figured it was locked from the inside and someone had gone into our suite who wasn't supposed to be in there. DH runs down again and tells them someone is in suite.
Meanwhile, I am just about ready to cry from the pain. So the front desk calls security and gives us an empty room across the hall. One room, not a suite, but at least they were King size beds and had a fridge and microwave. We reserved two rooms because I don't like sleeping in the same bed as DH. He has restless legs and every movement or noise wakes me up. It is horrible. It felt like he was trying to pedal a bicycle next to me whenever we do.
So they booted the people out of the suite, but of course they had messed it up. The bed clothes were off the beds, they'd used all the towels to clean up a spill. There was honey on the floor and it reeked of alcohol. There was no way to clean that up for us since there was no housekeeping until morning.
Needless to say I slept very poorly. My fit bit says I managed 1 hour and 25 minutes. The hotel breakfast was really good, though. They had eggs, ham, sausage, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, blueberry and banana nut muffins, English muffins, bagels, cream cheese, toast, packets of peanut butter and jelly, 4 types of cereal, two of which were healthy, milk apple juice, orange juice, fruit punch, various teas, and 4 grind it on the spot coffees. Oh, and 2 waffle makers. So lots of options to choose from. I just had eggs, ham, and a small amount of potatoes, with milk. I seldom drink milk but it sounded good that morning.
DD's first appointment with the ENT went well. She does not have a 95% deviated septum like the previous ENT claimed. She has a mild deviation that isn't worth correcting as it is not what was causing her problems. She has very, very fraglie blood vessels close to the surface that keep bursting. He put a scope up there and I got to watch on the computer and you could see where the vessles had been bursting. It looked nasty. So he did electric cauterization, which is different from burning it somehow and last longer and is far more effective. Hopefully that will put an end to the nosebleeds for a good six months.
After that appointment we went to Duke's seafood restaurant. It was nice, but casual nice. We got chowders and sour dough bread with real butter. It was delcious and light after having breakfast only a couple hours earlier. Then we headed back to Virginia Mason for DD's second appointment with the endocrinologist. By the time we were done, both of us were dragging.
Then we went back to the hotel and ordered dinner from Red Lobster, since there is one in Lynnwood. I got the ultimate feast but they forgot the Walt's favorite shrimp and there was an extra linguine. It worked out to the same price and I had plenty off food so we just let it go. I had just figured I'd have some for breakfast, but no biggie. I wouldn't get the crispy Brussels sprouts for a side there, though. They were mushy and super spicy, not crispy at all. And they had the dinkiest baked potato I have ever seen from a restaurant. But again, it was enough food. The forgot the clarified butter, though for the crab and lobster. *sighs*
After dinner DD and I both felt like we got hit by a freight train. I mean, it was full on cold symptoms just bowling us over. DH ran out to a Walgreens and got us Dayquil and Nyquil. I slept better that night, but only 5 hours. I wish I had insisted on bringing my wedge. I do better when I sleep propped up, but DH didn't want the hassle. Next time he is going to have the hassle.
Neither DD or I felt good enough to have breakfast the next morning, so DH ate the extra linguine and we headed back to Virginia Mason and saw the internal medicine doctor who specializes in chronic illnesses. It went well and we really liked her. I know we shouldn't have gone into a doctor's office with a head cold, but we were both masked and this appointment was too important to miss. So, yeah, I feel guilty, but it is not like it is Covid and people have been going to doctors for years with colds or other infections.
We headed home after that. We picked up some water bottles and Pringles at a convenince store because DD and I were craving salt and feeling very dehydrated. Somewhere along the way DH stopped at a McDonalds and we got some food. Not a lot for DD and me as we didn't have much appetite. I got a cup of ice, though, as we had a case of Real Sugar Pepsi in the car. I don't drink it often, but I was barely staying awake.
I went straight to bed when we got home. DH went and got me and DD ice cream. I ate some and then went to sleep and had a wonderful nights sleep on a bed that doesn't have springs you can feel through the bed (or springs at all) and my nice wedge pillow. I slept very well, dosed up on cold meds. I spent most of Friday in bed, had some potatoes and gravy for lunch and a sandwich for dinner. Today I feel a little better after another great night of sleep. So does DD. Still very tired, stuffed up, and throats a little sore. And the cottonwood is blooming. But definitely on the mend. I think it'll be a few days before I feel back to normal again.
DH's mom covered the hotel stay and every meal, except Red Lobster, because we felt that was too expensive for her to cover. She's very good with taking care of our travel expenses when DD has to go the hospital.
The main point I am taking away from all of this is that we won't be staying in a Hilton hotel again. Next time we'll try for a VRBO. Or maybe a Mariott. At least they have good beds.
May 17th, 2022 at 06:28 am
Honestly, I thought it was going to hurt writing such a large check. Nearly $6000 is a lot of money. But I felt really okay with it. Having my son's teeth fixed will be worth it. He had his appointment today where they did x-rays, took photos, and did some kind of scan of his teeth with a tool. On June 20th he will get his full set of Invisaligns. I didn't know he would get all of them at once, but he will. You move onto the next set every ten days. It's different, but seems so much more convenient than traditional braces.
I would, one day, like to get this for myself as my teeth have moved since I had an appliance to fix my bite. My teeth were always straight and I never had a gap, but over the last ten years or so I've had a gap between my top front teeth that is getting bigger and bigger. And I have a couple of teeth on the bottom that seem to be pushing forward a bit. They aren't visible so they don't bother me so much, but I don't like being in photos because of the gap in my front teeth. So I avoid it. But I want my kids to have photos of me when I'm gone, so I've thought about fixing them for a while. But that was back burnered when DS needed to get them.
I feel like I'm always give stuff up for my kids (but mostly my daughter). Probably because I am. I guess that is motherhood in a nutshell, though, always sacrificing your own needs or wants for theirs. And for my mother as well. I think I am getting caregiver burnout. I really just want to run away for a while. I think I need to go down by the water and soak up the negative ions and just let myself read a book for a couple of hours. It would do me a world of good.
April 30th, 2022 at 06:22 am
I ordered my hog so that's taken care of. She's going to give me the original price of $3.50 per pound even though she raised her prices last month to $4.00 per pound to account for higher feed costs. She just felt so sorry for me with the whole freezer saga. I've kept her updated as we went along. She said the hog's butchered weight should be around 170 pounds. A bit smaller than I've gotten before, usually around 200 pounds, but I don't care. Cut and wrap is .89/lb, plus extra if we want sausage which we do. They don't charge extra for bacon. We don't eat as much pork as we do chicken, beef, or even seafood usually, so a smaller amount is not as big a deal and it means I should have room in the freezer for a fall lamb.
DH's boss if cleaning out his freezer because he is going halibut fishing on Tuesday. We are getting lots of wild Pacific salmon and possibly some cod as well. DH didn't say how much, just that his boss said a cooler full. Depends on the size of the cooler, I guess. So we should get that on Monday. I will never turn down free wild Pacific salmon. I'd turn down farmed Atlantic salmon in a heartbeat, though. I am a salmon snob, but how can you not be living in the coastal Pacific Northwest?
I spent $49.40 on chicken thighs today at Safeway. They were .99/lb. I bought 8 packages with 10 thighs each. That is 80 pieces of chicken. That portions up to 10 meals for my family or $4.94 per meal or $1.23 and a 1/2 cents per person per meal. Can't beat that anymore. It was just nice to see a pre-late 2020 price on chicken again.
Speaking of prices from before then, I haven't made it to Fred Meyer to get the $3.97/lb chuck roast for canning yet. I will probably go on Monday. We've eaten almost all of the roasts from our beef that we bought last summer. There's still plenty of beef left, though. I have a lot of hamburger, quite a few steaks, and some ribs. I think there is some brisket, too. Oh, and soup bones. I still have soup bones.
I called Virginia Mason today and got an appointment for my daughter with ENT doctor who specializes in Rhinology. Her nosebleeds have gotten so bad that she is waking up every morning with blood running down her throat and causing so much stomach distress. Because of the high iron content of blood, if you swallow a lot of it, it can cause nausea, vomitting, and troubles with the other end of things as well. And the clots she's been passing lately have been frightening. The ENT here just seems to have no clue about anything, so seeing a specialist seems the right course of action.
We were able to make it on the same day she sees the endocrinologist and the day before she sees the internist who specializes in chronic diseases for the first time. We are staying in Lynnwood, which is pretty close to Seattle instead of at the Inn at Virginia Mason, because no one wants to sleep on those beds again. Especially me with my deviated discs.
Mom fell yesterday and then again today. I honestly don't know how this woman has not broken a hip, given herself a concussion, or died. I keep telling her to slow down and she just won't. If you looked up the word stubborn in the dictionary, my mother's face would be right next to it. One of these days it's going to happen when no one is here. DS is staying home while we go to Seattle because we don't feel she can be left alone for nearly two days. He doesn't mind. He's not much of one for car travel.
I am really hoping it doesn't rain tomorrow so we can get more work done on the garden. It's just been one thing after the other and I feel like we are never going to get it finished. I so wish I could just get down on the ground and weed. It is really hard depending on other people for things. I guess in that way I am like my mother.
April 26th, 2022 at 04:52 am
Today I took DS to his consultation with the orthodontist. As the people here on the blogs told me, it will be around $6000, the amount I saved. If we didn't pay up front the cost would be $6180, but since we are we get a 5% discount. That is $309 off. So our total is $5871. Which means I have $129 to figure out what to do with. He will be doing Invisalign, but the cost of regular braces was only $200 cheaper and I don't think he would tolerate them well, due to having a tender mouth.
Randomly, dinner tonight was delicous. We had baked chicken that I rubbed with olive oil, salt pepper, and sazon seasoning. Then we had herbed mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli. Simple but full of flavor and one of my favorite meals.
April 18th, 2022 at 07:11 am
Well, I've maxed out the deductible for the family this year with my therapy, both physcial and mental. We still have the out of pocket max to hit, but we no longer have to pay for the full amount of doctor's appointments or prescriptions, just the co-insurance part. That takes some strain off the budget. We also have used all of our FSA debit card for the year.
I had my first pool therapy session early last week. All of the other appointments were on land to stengthen my core, legs, and back enough to be able to climb down the stairs and into the pool. It went okay, but I had strained a muscle in my thigh gardening the day before it so I was a little sore. I walked on the underwater treadmill for 12 minutes, which is really weird because you bounce between steps. Then he had me walk across the pool sideways, which bugged that muscle in the one direction, but not the other. Then I had to walk backwards and then do toe raises and then step up on a step and back down. Then we did some arm exercises with floaty weights, while keeping the core engaged.
It went really well. The hardest part was getting out fo the water and getting gravity back. Being in the pool took a lot of pressure off the herniated discs. Getting back out put it all back on. It also made me realize that my legs are still weak and I have a lot of work ahead of me. I see the neurology surgeon on the 24th, I think and we will decide from there what to do about more PT. I think I need it as I finally started progressing forward. I have one more session scheduled for now.
Then I had a hypomanic event. I hate hypomanic events. This time it went so high I nearly touched the sky. And more to the point, I spent $300, because my judgment went out the window. I mean, I had the money in my allowance envelope, but I was saving up for a Smart TV and then a new laptop, because I hate not having a touch screen. It lasted 2 days and then I went crashing down into a depression well. That was not a lot of fun. I seem to have pulled out of it this morning, and being outside working in the garden helped a lot, but I had a miserable night of it, crying for 2 hours straight after everyone else went to bed.
I hate mental illness. I thought I was finally starting to feel the effects of the new dosage of this medication, but maybe not. This was the first time this happened since I started it, but at least it wasn't full blown mania. The last time that happened it lasted 2.5 months and I wrote 400,000 words.
I graduate from the six month mental health program at my doctor's clinic on Tuesday. I don't want to. It will be my last day with that therapist. I have started with another, and she's okay, I guess. I like her, but her nose ring is distracting. It's weird seeing a 60 year old lady with a nose ring. I wish these visits could be in person. Then I'd have somewhere else to look instead of just at her face on my laptop. Anyway, now I have to build up trust in a new therapist. She deals with people with chronic illnesses, so that is good.
I've also been referred to a psychiatrist to see if we can manage this a little bit better with medication. It would be nice. Plus, only he can diagnose whether or not I have ADHD, but I know I do. I haven't heard anything from his office yet, though. He is my son's psychiatrist and I've sat in on a session with my son and liked him well enough, I guess.
Well, I best be off to bed. It's already midnight. I have an appointment at 11:30 online, which means I have to wake up two hours before that to give my muscles enough time to warm up so I can even get out of bed, do my physical therapy exercises, and eat breakfast. RA is a b-word and I am a night owl, so this won't be fun, but it must be done. At least I'm not in a fibro flare. And my mood continues to stablize so I might even get something out of this session.
April 11th, 2022 at 01:15 am
It's my 16 year blogoversary here. I can't believe I have been here this long.
I splurged a couple of days ago and bought the complete 15 season set of Supernatural. I had watched it all along up until halfway through season 12 and just finished up watching the rest of it a couple of weeks ago. I was waiting for a price drop to purchase it and when Honey informed me it had dropped, I snatched it up. I do like that app, even if it gets in the way sometimes. I paid $170 for it. I can't even get X-Files for that price, but it's on my droplist, too. I used the money I've been saving in my allowance folder.
Anyway, I've started watching Supernatural over again from the beginning. It started airing a long time ago, and even though I have watched every episode, I don't remember a lot of it. I'm not letting myself binge watch it, though. Just one episode a night. I've got too much to do right now with the garden.
I also bought some protein sticks off of Amazon. I don't remember what they cost, but some of them are paleo and some of them are keto and all of them are no sugar. It gives me something to grab in the morning when I first get up so I can take my pills without getting nauseated. Then after a bit, I can make a proper meal. I got some beef and some turkey. I think it was around $40, but I got a lot of them.
I paid around $800 in medical bills today. All but $658 was on the FSA debit card, which leaves about $5 left on it. So we've gone through the $3000 we pay throughout the year pretax already. Lots of medical bills and counseling bills, imaging bills, x-rays, plus physical therapy. We've met the family deductible, but not the out of pocket max. But now our medical visits will drop down to around $40 instead of $253 and the counseling will be lower.
As for the $658, that came out of my medical fund that I've been socking money to left and right. There is enough left in there to pay for DH's upcoming crown and DD's eye exam and a new pair of glasses and of course I will continue to contribute to it. DH is going to find out how much the COBRA for DD is going to cost so I know how much I need to be saving for it each month. Plus we need to start saving up for next year's out of pocket max and of course prescriptions until we hit this year's out of pocket max.
I still have hope that the endocrinologist will file a report with the insurance company that she is completely dependent on her meds and that she is fully disabled. Also the neurologist because of the passing out that leads to dibilitating migraines. She is so bad off that her doctor recommended she go on disability, but if we can keep her on our insurance that would be so much better. If she can get both, that would be ideal because then she could contribute to her own medical expenses.
She will be seeing an internal medicine doctor who deals with multiple diseases in May. There's a possibility there, too. I'd really like to get her tested for Elhers-Danlos syndrome, which requires genetic testing as soon as possible. Also, I'm hoping she can recommend a better ENT because her daily nose bleeds are getting so bad and are coming from way up in her sinus cavity, but no tumors have shown up in there on scans. There has got to be something that can be done.
Yesterday was so bad she had to go to the sink and lean over it because she couldn't keep up with the tissues. I saw the amount of blood and it looked like a half a cup. Plus she'd had one earlier that morning. Maybe if they could cauterize something it would help. Anyway, I made her drink an electrolyte heavy solution because she got really woozy by the time we got it stopped. The ENT we saw before was useless.
It's going to be a bumpy ride the next few months.
March 18th, 2022 at 06:09 am
I got my mouth guard from the dentist yesterday; best $400 I've spent since getting my orthotics. It was a pain in the jaw using the broken one for two weeks, but it was better than none. This one fits like a dream and I had a great night's sleep after not having had very many in the last two weeks.
I can restart my cinzia shots now because surprise, surprise, I am finally well. Just in time for allergy season to go into gear with the blooming of dogwood and forsythia, but you can't have it all, and they are very beautiful. I can really feel how bad my rheumatoid arthritis has gotten since having to stop the shots and am looking forward to getting some relief again. You never realize how well meds can work until you are forced to go off them.
I cheated a bit on dinner tonight. We got two rotisserie chickens and a 2-pack of ready made potatoes from Costco and made some of my home grown and canned green beans. Total cost $19.95. It was way, way cheaper than takeout and I have plenty leftover for making other meals over the next couple of days. I figure a couple of chicken salads (over lettuce for me) and then some chicken salad (sandwich spread for the others), and quesadillas, and then I will pressure cook the bones in water for chicken stock and can it. We could do this once a week if we wanted to and I could make things like taquitos and enchiladas to vary things up a bit. DH works very close to Costco and now that he is going into the office 3 days a week, it is very doable without having to waste gas making a special trip.
Speaking of gas, it is at $4.35 per gallon at the cheapy cash only gas station and $4.79 to $4.89 everywhere else. I did make some budget decisions, one of them being gas. I've doubled our monthly gas budget to $200. We may not need that much, but I want to run a surplus in the gas envelope, because who knows how bad this is going to get.
I've also raised the grocery budget by $100 per payday. With the extra money I'm going to start purchasing more long term pantry items. I did get my wheat berries in the mail this week. I still have to get them into mylar bags and buy some buckets with lids, but that can get done either tomorrow or on the weekend. But I would like to buy more.
I have also raised the amount I am putting into the medical fund by $100 a month to $600. And as long as DH is working overtime, I will throw extra into it, too. With the very real possibility that DD will get kicked off our insurance on her birthday and we will have to pay Cobra for 18 months and then who knows what after that, we have to save money for that.
So that really means buckling down about the take out. I'm still trying to get a disabled dependent exemption, but with having to find a new doctor for her to go to, it's making it really difficult. You'd think with as many diseases as she has she would be a shoo-in. And it is stressing me out. I am trying to use the coping methods my therapist taught me, intead of my old stand-by of carbs, carbs, and more carbs, but it isn't easy.
Well, I better go over the ads and make my grocery list. It'll be so nice to step foot in a store without a mask on my face. I won't have to worry so much about my asthma, although I will start having to smell people again with their overwhelmingly scented soaps, lotions, shampoos, body washes, and perfumes, sometimes all on one person with a horrible clashing and clanging from all the different fragrances. I struggle with that so much because of my synesthesia. That was something that was mostly gone with the mask. Still, I think maskless and not aggravating my asthma so much wins.
March 10th, 2022 at 12:31 am
I am almost well enough to get my third booster shot now. Actually I can't tell if I am still sick or if it is just allergies starting, because there has been pollen on my windshield for the past several days. I still feel really tired, but I'm functional. I have started taking my more serious antihistimine, though.
The last few days have been beautiful and in the 50's. There is still a chilly wind, though. It is nice even if it still isn't outdoors weather. I'm not sure what is causing all the pollen. The nearest daffodils are 4 blocks away and the forsythia haven't started yet. That basically leaves crocus and no one in the neighborhood but us has them and there are only a dozen blooming. Not enough to count for the pollen dump.
It looks like the guy who is going to do the mold abatement in the guys' bathroom and repaint it will start next week. He's also going to do the alcove of the back door area and the room Mom watches tv in that also houses my piano.
I've been holding steady on my weight because I haven't been focused on weight loss while sick. I also haven't been taking my cinzia, because I am not supposed to while ill. I think I can restart it on the weekend. I haven't really noticed any increased rheumatoid symptoms getting worse, but that may be because the weather is warming up.
I looked at all the grocery ads today and made up my shopping list. I haven't been inside a grocery store in a long time. DH has been doing the shopping, picking up little things here and there. But I need to do a bigger shop. Fred Meyer had the best ads this week, so that will be my main shop, but I think I will also go to Winco. They never have ads, but they always have the best produce and best produce prices. We've made it through all the potatoes we grew that weren't sprouted and it's the only place I know where I can get 20 lb bags of potatoes. We're lucky if we can find anything above 5 lbs anymore. Since potatoes are pretty much a staple of our diet I just want to buy the one big bag at a time.
We'll see how far my grocery dollars will stretch. I have been debating about raising my grocery budget by $100 every 2 weeks, but first I want to see if it is necessary. It'll really depend on the cost of chicken. Which I'll likely get at Winco, because they always have the cheapest chicken prices. They also have the turkey chorizo we like. Since chicken doesn't go on sale anymore, that's where I need to go. I don't need to buy pork except for a small ham. I don't need to buy beef or lamb. If I can find dark turkey parts (necks, wings, backs) either place for cheap, I'll buy those. They make the best broth. I might even go for chicken feet if I find them, because that is so much collagen for bone broth.
I have found the tomato strainer I want to buy and also the honey strainer. I won't use the honey strainer for honey, but it will help in the tomato sauce making department as well as in the bone broth making process, since it is fine enough to catch all the spices that I use in making it instead of having to use cheese cloth, which is harder to clean.
I have been debating on buying a 25 pound bag of hard red wheat berries. I have my own flour mill, and the wheat is from my state and non-gmo. This is the type of wheat berry that will make whole wheat flour. I might get a bag of hard white wheat, too, which is for white flour. Soft white wheat, if anyone cares, is for making pastry flour. Wheat berries last a lot longer than flour and these ones are sproutable, so if we wanted to grow it (which I don't) we could.
It's a little $2.24 a pound. 1 cup of wheat berries equals to cups of flour, so it would be like $1.12 a pound for flour. Which you cannot get anymore. Not to mention, we haven't been able to find whole wheat flour in months. So 50 lbs of flour per bag without taking up the room of 50 lbs of flour. I would have to figure out how to store it, though. I haven't been able to find food grade 5 gallon buckets in about a year. But I have found 1/2 gallon and gallon jars, so maybe I can store it in those.
I won't order until I know DH will be back to bring it in the house. DS has tweaked his back getting my mom up off the floor yesterday. Just what he needed, since he tweaked his back about six weeks ago. Mom's okay, but this is the second time in a week she has fallen. I'm trying to get her to go to the doctor, but she's refusing. I may have to pull out my medical power of attorney documents and force the issue if it keeps happening. We'll see.
Well, it's time to make dinner, so that wraps this up.
February 28th, 2022 at 11:03 pm
Our IRA is back on the verge of $13K when it had fallen to nearly $12K and our 401k is on the verge of $59K, which it has never reached before. The new total for retirement is $71,759.98, raising it by $600.21. It still has lost so much this year that that doesn't make up for it by a long shot, but at least it hasn't eaten the whole of the last deposit made. That changes net worth to $129,885.47 on the verge of $130,000. If all goes well for the month of March, maybe things will continue in this fashion and we might actually see a positive rate of return instead of this monkey business.
Washington state is officially lifting the indoor mask mandate on March 12th. The outdoor in large groups mandate lifted on the 18th. DH went to a restaurant for a work lunch meeting and no one, including the employees were wearing masks. I don't know if the grocery stores will jump the gun like that, but it is nice to know that I will soon be able to do the grocery shopping again. Masking messes with my asthma severely. Hopefully I will be well by March 12th!
Of course, I don't think for one minute that they won't try to pull the rug out from under that, but if it does happen, I will be so happy.