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February 11th, 2024 at 11:50 pm
My heart is better! I got the results of my 6 month echocardiogram earlier this month and not only is the enlargement of the right chamber caused by Covid gone, the flow rate in the left chamber has gone from 45% to 55%, which is where it should be in a normal human heart. So I have healed my heart.
I mean, I will have to keep up with the dietary changes, the weight loss, keeping my sodium low, and stay on the diuretics, but that has more to do with my hereditary condition of microvascular dysfunction (tiny veins and arteries). I may come off all but one of the diuretics if I hit a normal weight one day. Possibly even the high cholesterol drug, even though my cholesterol is fine and has been for several years. Probably not the high blood pressure because that is still linked pretty hard to the little veins and arteries. Even the skinny people in my Mom's family have had it. But so much better over all.
I've officially hit the 20 pound weight loss mark. Technically, I've seen 21, but it is bouncing between 20 and 21, so I am calling it 20 until it stops doing that. My clothes are fitting a lot better. Well, my pants always fit fine, but my shirts are fitting a lot better. The funny thing about my pants is they seem to be getting longer even though they otherwise still fit right. Maybe because my stomach is getting smaller. Anyway, the weight loss goes well. I've been kind of in a holding pattern this week to give my skin a chance to catch up and then tomorrow I will start back into the next phase of lowering the carbs again back down to 90 grams per day. When I want a rest I do 120 grams.
I've been too exhausted to do much lately. It's the new medication for rheumatoid arthritis. One of the side effects is excessive tiredness and all I want to do is sleep and I have been. Like 18 hours a day. I'm up for appointments and to make sure people get fed and otherwise I am out cold. It started when I started the drug. Like the day after I took it first. It is the worst every Tuesday since I take them Monday nights. I can barely get out of bed the next day. I am making sure to keep my Tuesdays clear as I am in no condition to drive that day even with caffeine.
I have an appointment with the doctor soon to see if I'll need to stop this one or adjust some of the other ones I am on that also cause drowsiness. I may try on my own since two of them are just for pain with drowsiness as a side effect. I'll try dropping one out first and if I don't hurt too much, then the other and see if I can stay awake again. I've only been on it for 5 weeks so I don't even know if it is working yet. Shots like these usually take 2 or 3 months to build up in your system.
Maybe doing the infusion might be a better way to go, even if my veins are tiny. That's only once a month. We'll see. I'll call the doctor tomorrow and leave a message. I don't want to not take the shots, though. They are so expensive. Fortunately, the company has a co-pay card so they are covering the part the insurance doesn't, except $5, but I still feel bad about it if I end up having to throw it away. Even if it did come from big pharma and they make money hand over fist, I don't like wasting things that could have helped someone else.
If I can get the sleep thing sorted out, I really need to start seeing a chiropractor again. My hip is killing me. The thing that has been holding me back is cost. My insurance only covers 80% of chiropractic after the deductible is met. I can have as many appointments as I want, but 20% of what they charge nowadays is a lot. And if I go, everyone is going to want to come. Four people is a lot to be paying for, especially before the deductible kicks in. Or maybe I just need a massage, which is the same, 20% after the deductible kicks in, but massage prices are more reasonable than chiropractor prices. I guess we'll see with that, too.
I wish taking care of my medical needs was not so expensive. I wish I hadn't had so many medical needs when I was young and fit that ended up getting me to this point where I was far from it. But if this past six months has shown me nothing else, it is that taking my life back was necessary, no matter how expensive.
January 13th, 2024 at 01:37 am
You ever have just one of those weird days that is just kind of spooky? I had my follow-up Echocardigram this morning and then went over to pick up my c-pap supplies. When I got out of my car I heard my name shouted. It was close, like in the parking lot, which is small. Only it wasn't my name, it was my nickname, and it is pretty rare. No one calls me that name but my mom, my dad, and my sisters. My dad is dead, one sister doesn't speak to the family including her own kids, the other is working, and my mom was at home.
I looked all around me and even called out, "Yes?", but there was no answer. I changed what I was called to my real name when I started sixth grade, so it was highly unlikely anyone from elementary school would have recongized me and if they had they would have come over. But there was no one. So I went in and got my stuff.
When I came out the door, I heard the word, "Go!" right in my ear and I swear it sounded just like my dad. It stopped me in my tracks. Again, there was nobody around, just me. So I shake it off and get in my car, planning to go to the library next, because it will still be light out for an hour before the homeless people move in and park themselves on the steps and it will be too dangerous to go, so I can get in and out and find something to read and then go to the grocery store.
Plan in mind, I back out of my parking spot and happen to glance up at the marquee of the strip mall next door. There's a new shop there and it's called, get this, Home Instead. Now I am having a little freak out at this point, but I decide to go ahead and trust my instincts and go directly home. I start on my usual route, which takes me past Another Way Outreach Center, which I drive by all the time, I mean come on, and I come up to the stoplight to make my usual turn, and it is red, and my gut is just saying, no take the other way, take the other way, take the other way, so I go straight and take the longer way.
I have no idea why, I got home safe and sound, nothing weird was going on at home. Maybe I avoided a car accident or something. Maybe it was all a coincidence. But I've learned to trust these things, because the one time I didn't, it ended badly. I'll probably never know.
As for the c-pap supplies, those are going to be $702 when they finish processing through the insurance. Gotta love the deductible.
I have officially lost 6.2 pounds since coming back from Seattle. Thinks are doing well on the pantry challenge. I had a migraine yesterday, so DH made me scrambled egg sandwiches, which is just the eggs on bread wiht butter and you fold the bread in half. For lunch, I had the last of the beef stew. I didn't eat breakfast. Everyone else ate leftovers for lunch.
Tonight I will be making a kielbasa, shrimp, peppers, onions, and cabbage stir-fry. Semi-spicy. Not a jambalaya. Rice on the side. Chicken salad was for lunch, on tortilla or spinach wraps for everyone but me. I had mine in steamed Napa cabbage that I used in place of a wrap. Skipped breakfast. Most of the time we are just not breakfast people.
Tomorrow? Maybe baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner. Lunch will likely be leftovers of dinner tonight or more chicken salad wraps. Oh, wait, tomorrow is Saturday. Maybe we'll do meatloaf or meatballs with spaghetti.
January 9th, 2024 at 03:29 am
It's been a long few days, but my daughter made it through her surgery and hospital stay with flying colors and her recovery is going very well. Her hormone levels have already stablized and I haven't seen her this emotionally stable since she hit puberty. She will never have to worry about bleeding out again and she did get to keep her ovaries, but everything else is gone. Since she can't take replacement hormones due to one of her other medical conditions, this is a good thing.
I got more exercise than I ever care to have again traipsing all over that hospital, because nothing is easy to get to from anywhere else. I am just glad I had my walker. I had so many steps it was ridiculous. I lost 2 pounds from that and another pound when I got home because I fell on my face and slept for about 20 hours without eating. Then slept another 12 hours the next night after eating.
The hotel we stayed at was amazing. It was a luxury suite, too. I've never stayed in anything this nice before. The amount of room in it, well, the bedroom itself was bigger than most hotel rooms I've stayed in. It had a king size bed, a table and two stuffed arm chairs, a dresser, a 60 inch television and a dresser then about six feet of space until you got to a space you could sit down to put on your shoes. The side wall was nearly floor to ceiling windows with a nice view, but it had amazing blackout curtains on top of sheers. Then you could step into the next area that on either side had two walk in closets and next to them, two built in dressers. An ironing board, iron, bathrobes and slippers were provided.
From there you stepped into the main bathroom, which had a walk in shower that was halfway between a half-sized shower and a full-sized shower and had a waterfall showerhead, and on the other side of it was a soaking tub. It was deep and long. Long enough for me to fully stretch out and deep enough to have both my knees and just below my shoulders submerged at the same time. I haven't ever been in a bathtub like that before and it was amazing. It was the nicest thing for sore muscles after trekking around that hospital. It was hard to get into and out of without grab bars, though, and also for a short person. It had a double sink with double lighted mirrors and then behind a closed door was the toilet. There was a sliding door that separated the bedroom from the other room.
The other room was a living room with a pull out couch bed that was actually comfortable with a large coffee table and two arm chairs. It had an 80 inch TV on another dresser and there was another closet. It was a corner suite so there were windows on the side wall and on the main wall. As you continued away from the living room there was an office space with a full desk and a leather executive office chair. There was stationary, postcards, pens, and stamps. Across from this was a full bar with a sink, microwave, small refrigerator, and we were given four complimentary Aquafina waters a day. On the backwall of the bar was a half bathroom. On the back of that was a door that when unlocked would lead to an adjoining room if you rented both.
Further down was a settee, another place to sit and put your shoes on, with a lovely piece of art opposite it. Then on the third wall was a cabinet for tucking away empty luggage if you needed more places to put it. And there was yet more space until the door. They could have fit maybe four hotel rooms in this place. My MIL paid for it and it still cost less than the VRBO we stayed at last time, with way more comfortable beds.
I've never stayed somewhere with concierge service, an adults only quiet floor, no pets floor, valet parking, discounted meals with the room, 24 hour maid service if we wanted it, etc, as part of the package. Oh, and we had to use our key to get onto our floor. Anyone from the floor below us to the floor above us did. The floors above us had been sold out or we could have gotten a two bedroom suite with all the same things for $50 more a night.
I felt so spoiled. My husband and I are unassuming people, practically country bumpkins, but in a medium city. I would have brought somewhat nicer clothes if I had known it was as nice as it was. I'm just glad I didn't come in sweats and had styled my hair. I also would have made sure the front of the car was cleaned out.
While it wasn't anything like a vacation, it still had lovely, refreshing, restful moments because of that hotel and I am so grateful to MIL for giving that to us. It made all the difference in the world to be able to get good sleep and be super close to the hospital and have a place the day my daughter got out of the hospital to relax in before heading home. It's nice to see how the other half lives.
December 28th, 2023 at 12:30 am
I'm glad Christmas is finished for one more year. The tree will be down today and we will take the outdoor Christmas lights and standees down this weekend and get everything tucked away into the garage or our storage unit. I will be glad to have it put away so life can return to normal.
We got a recumbant exercise bike for the family for Christmas to replace the treadmill that three out of four of us can't use because of our knees and also the weight capacity being quite low. The bike is high enough even my husband will be able to use it. I hope it works for my back. I'd really like to be able to start exericising again.
I'll be starting on a new arthritis drug when we get back from DD's surgery in Seattle. The old one stopped working. This one is a pen, so I can do it myself, but it is back to weekly injections intead of monthly ones, so now I'll be taking two different meds through pen injectors once a week. I'm going to be a pincushion.
I have a lot to do to get ready for January's Eat from the Pantry Challenge I do every year with my Facebook/Youtube group that I am in. I need to take inventory of what I have, top up any glaring empty spots, and on the 31st shop for fresh produce. I know I will have to take two days off from it while DD is in surgery but I will just add two extra days at the end to make up for it. When you in a hotel in a strange city with no microwave and no fridge, there is just no way to manage. If we had a VRBO, I could take food with us and cook, but we needed to be closer to the hosptial this time than any availabe rentals wHere.
My goal for this year's January Challenge is to save enough money to hit my goal of $10K for the bathroom fund. I am now at $9500, so if I can peel $500 out of an $800 a month grocery budget, I will be well pleased. I still intend to buy some fresh produce and milk, but not much else. And other than Seattle, no eating out, which we won't be paying for. MIL pays for our food and lodging when we go down to the hospital so that won't come out of any budget, let alone food. I might end up hitting the goal otherwise, but I don't know how much I will need to ultimately have, if $10K will even be enough. Stuff has gotten so expensive, but it is such a tiny room.
I would really like to get this started before the handymen or contractors get busy with big outdoor summer projects and have no time for tiny interior jobs that get them through the winter. I just have to have the money for it. No going into debt for it.
We still need to purchase our snow blower. There might be money leftover there that I can put into the bathroom fund, too. Every bit counts, you know? It just depends on what we end up getting. I want something I can drive, too, and not be overpowered by, even if that means having to take a couple extra passes on the driveway.
Even if it is enough and they get started on the bathroom, I think I'll keep saving anyway because things like this always seem to overrun the original budget.
I've already gotten two seed catalogs in the mail and they are full of such beautiful photos of seductive flowers and fruits and vegetables. I will buy very little this year. I have many things I didn't plant last year that I will need to plant this year that will be lovely and yummy. But there will be one or two things I'm sure I will find to plant. Some of the brand new introductions put onto the market that are developed in my area. Those do great here. I was hoping to put in a couple of trees, too, but things didn't get done this year because of DH's leg and it still hasn't healed up right and now he might have torn the miniscus on his knee on the other leg, which he sees the doctor for the day before we leave for Seattle. He'll probably get an x-ray, too.
I think I may have to hire someone to come in and rototill the garden this year and do the clean up. I have been saving all of my spending money, my Christmas money, and my future birthday money towards garden expenditures in the coming year, so if that is what is needed, I will hire a strong teenager from the farming community to come and do it for me. While there is still more infrastructure I want to purchase, like more raised beds and more cattle panels, getting the one plot tilled that hasn't been and getting the weeds cleared out of the other bed, is necessary.
We are buying heavy duty agricultural fabric this year from a farmer's supplier instead of a seed catalog and then once it is secured we will put the aluminum raised beds on top. No more dealing with ground weeds. I'm just so done with it. That's why the ground needs to be rototilled and raked flat, so the beds can go on top and set relatively flat.
We'll see what happens when we find out about DH's leg. If physical therapy and weight loss will fix it than maybe he can go forward from there. If he has torn something, then he may need surgery and won't be able to work in the garden in 2024 at all. Oh, well. If worse comes to worst, I will mostly skip a year except the raised beds and the blackberries and the plums. And that will be that.
December 17th, 2023 at 12:22 am
DH got his Christmas bonus this on Friday and it was $911.64. Before taxes it was $1200. Not as good as last year, so the company must not have done as well. Either that or they will be distributing a larger portion in stock shares this year. I hope so. DH worked his tail off in overtime this year so his percentage of hours worked is high and the portion of shares you get is based on the percentage of hours you work. We've got a fairly large chunk of change in company stock on top of the 401K and the IRA. Of course we can't sell it back until years one and two after retirement, but it should be significant by then. Just won't like the tax bill.
We've decided to tithe $91.16 and put the rest into the medical account. They've changed things up a bit this year with how they do the deductible and the out of pocket max. So starting in January, the deductible is now $1250 per person or $2500 per family. The out of pocket max is $3000 per person or $5000 per family. Which would, supposedly, help out the average family. But I'd really like to have been done with the deductible, because we have the $3000 to pay that off immediately. And once that is paid off the out of pocket max is worked on at a 20% co-insurance.
DD will wipe out her deductible and out of pocket max with her surgery in January, but the rest of us will be working on wiping out the $1250 that is left on the deductible and the $2000 left on the out of pocket max. At least the deductible is lower. It has been $3000 for the past couple of years, so a drop of $500 is welcome.
DS's therapy, a couple of my scheduled appointments, and DH's appointments to have his knees checked out and likely x-rayed, will probably have the deductible met sometime in February. So the big flush of medical spending will be done and we will only have to worry about co-insurance until the out of pocket max is met, which will be a relief.
They finally, finally, finally dumped in the money for the 401K they'd withheld, but hand't put into the account, so 3 paydays' worth was dumped in on the 15th, plus the match, which was a substantial dump with all the overtime. Even so, there was a good leap in profits in the last two weeks in the 401K. A bit over half of the gains were profit, a bit under half was what was deposited. Even the IRA went up a bit. It has $269 to where it was before the free fall started 2.5 years ago, but it may yet get there. Too bad the recession/depression destroyed it for so long, but the last couple of months have been a lot better.
The new amount in the retirement accounts, minus company stock, is $140,203.74, a rise of $8835.15 in two weeks. The 401K is at $140,203.74 and the IRA is at $13,368.59. You can see why I was so upset about the money not being deposited into the 401K account, because the last six weeks have been phenomonal and we could have made more money. I mean, I know it would have probably only been a couple of hundred dollars, but that is money that would have grown into something and I feel cheated out of it.
Seven weeks and five weeks is too long to hold onto someone's witholdings, in my opinion. They are a company with over 100 employees though so the Safe Harbor Act does us no good. Oh, well, what are you going to do? At least it is there now. And this last one only took them a week to get in, so there is that. But next payday is the Friday before Christmas and they tend to take their sweet time when a holiday is right after a payday, so this may start up all over again. But I can't stress on it. What will be, will be. I have been working on letting things go in therapy, but I have issues with doing that on the financial front, because letting things go is what got me into so much trouble in the past. So maybe everything but finances.
Anyway, this bumps the old net worth up to $235,508.68. Seems like just yesterday I was coming up on $100K and now I'm about to hit $250K in networth. Crazy what being out of debt can do for you. We have decided to go ahead and bump up our retirement savings from 16% to 17%. I am not quite brave enough to do 18% yet, at least not until we are done saving for the bathroom repair. Heck, after that I might be brave enough to go up to 20%. We'll see.
December 1st, 2023 at 01:18 am
I finally made it to the cardiologist for my second follow up appointment after my procedure during the summer. I had to cancel once because I had the flu, ironically 2 weeks after getting my flu shot. I had a pretty severe case of it. I was well for ten days only to get slapped down with Covid the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So that makes two Thanksgivings in a row ruined by Covid. But I tested two days before my appointment and I was negative so I was able to keep my appointment and go. I still feel cruddy, but way better than last week, so there you go. It's more like a cold now.
I finally got a name for my condition. It's called microvascular dysfunction and I was born with it. Normally, I would have probably been fine with it my entire life, other than the difficulty they had finding a blood vessel big enough to draw blood from or start an IV in (there is one in my arm and one in one hand), but when I got Covid last year, it caused the right chamber of my heart to become enlarged. With the right meds and watching my salt and restricting my water, we are hopeful that we have helped with reducing that back to normal size. I know I have felt a huge difference with the reduction of salt. He is letting me up my water a little bit more and my brain feels better already. It's just 8 ounces more a day, but it is a big difference to me.
He said my heart sounded really good, so hopefully that means we have also fixed the flow rate on the other chamber of the heart, too. He said both things can be fixed or at least drastically improved. Well, the first thing can be completely fixed. The flow rate on the other side depends on the salt intake and the amount of water in the blood, because of the microvascular dysfunction, which I will always have. You can not make tiny veins and arteries any bigger.
So I will have an echocardiogram on the 12 of January to see how everything is doing and if there is an improvement with the meds and the dietary changes. I hope I get the female technician this time. The male is kind of a jerk with a really bad bedside manner. It's not really the sort of thing you can request. They only let you request that for a mammogram.
Speaking of mammograms, I got my annual letter to go and get one. I don't always get them annually. I should, since my mother had breast cancer at 40. I usually get them at least every 2 years since I was 40. This year, since the doctor did a blood test for cancer earlier this month, and it was negative, I'm not really feeling it. The only reason they did it was because they were unsure of some markers they were seeing, but it is the same old, you have another as of yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease that isn't lupus or any of the other common ones to go along with your rheumatoid arthritis and you are massively inflammed right now with some kind of infection.
And I said, "No, duh." Well, no I did not. I said, "That's what my rheumatologist said," which is also what I said before they took the blood test, but you know doctors. Turned out yes, there was some kind of massive infection, because the next night I dropped like a rock with Covid. So then I had to call the doctor's office and they had to call the lab that is part of their office and let everyone I had come into contact with know they were exposed to Covid most likely. That was fun.
So anyway, it will be fun to see who eats up the deductible first this year. DD has her surgery scheduled on January 5th, my echo is on the 12th, and my son may or may not get his testosterone implant in January. If we are lucky it will be in December still 100% covered. DH did sign up for the HSA debit card this year, so at least we will have that. Which I need to remember will lower the paycheck. We've had a year without that deduction.
I have to take that into account when thinking about the 401K deduction. Think I'll definitely have to go 17%, not 18%. I still think we will make it, though, since we almost did with 16% and that was with DH only having the raise amount from the end of July on. Actually, I didn't consider that. I may have to run the numbers again. I'll do that after we get his last paycheck and I know exactly how much he earned this year.
I wonder if there is a way to just have a dollar amount withdrawn from each paycheck instead of a percentage. I don't see it as an option of something we can do on our end, we can change the percentage to whatever we want whenever we want, but if there is a way for his employer to make it a dollar amount out of every paycheck, then we could make sure we got the max next year without having to stress over it towards the end of the year. That would be nice. Then it would be $1153.85 each check with the last check of the year evening out the odd penny here or there. It would be about $160.85 more than we are putting in now with each check, but that is doable if we keep ourselves on budget. I'll have DH look into this further.
I'll have to have him get me his approximate gross income for this year, too, so I can base my calculations on that. I know what his gross income is supposed to be going forward, but if I can figure out how much overtime he has worked this year on top of base salary, it will make it easier for me to estimate the percentage I need to use next year based on the full year at the higher salary, plus overtime, and not just 14 paychecks out of 26. The overtime will continue into next year, and will probably increase and they are talking about another COL raise, too, which may or may not happen, but wouldn't go into effect until July anyway if it does happen. The on in July was 3%, so would probably be similar. I guess we will see.
October 3rd, 2023 at 06:58 am
I must say, I am enjoying the heck out of my new Halloween themed blog design and avatar. I know we can't do a ton of customizing, but I felt like getting into the holiday spirit a little bit this year. Not enough to decorate the house or anything, never a good idea when you won't be there for trick or treaters, but enough to do this.
Anyway, today I had my wellness visit so that is now out of the way. I have to go get my blood work done tomorrow along with the blood work done for the Prediabetes/Diabetes and Cardiology Weight Loss Center. I was waiting to do them together in case anything overlapped. I only have the one good vein to draw blood from and I didn't want it blown out with the first draw and then not being able to get any a week or two later. Any duplicate tests will be ignored and the results of all will be sent to both doctors as well as to the nutritionist/dietician I started working with. So that's been ordered now and I can go tomorrow morning.
After that I went to the pharmacy to pick up the medicine I've been waiting on, but something went wrong because the dosage is only half of what I have been taking. I didn't notice until I went home and the doctor's office is closed. I won't call the pharmacy tonight, because they have the pharmacist on Monday nights that I can't understand over the phone. I can understand the East Indian pharmacist and the Jamaican pharmacy tech, but they aren't on and the Chinese pharmacist is too hard on the phone. I can get him in person, but I don't want to go out in the rain again.
When the pharmacy was done I went over the eyeglasses place and unfortunately they had discontinued carrying the brand of eyeglasses I wanted. I had picked out the exact frames and color (purple) I wanted when my son ordered his in July, so all I would have to do is go in and get what I wanted and not have to spend a bunch of time looking for frames. They didn't even have any in the store still.
Fortunately, the store was dead and the young woman who was looking after me was training another woman who was looking after me, so they had me sit down, got my price range and color choices and ran around the store pulling all the glasses and then brought me a big pile. It was nice that I didn't have to hurt my back trying to find them. I was able to eliminate half of them right off the bat just because they strayed into too dark a green, more like a forest instead of jewel tone. And anything too solid. I like a sort of see-through frame if it is one color. If it is tortoise shell then it can be solid, though I still like the see through tortoise shell best. I got it narrowed down to purple, turquoise, and teal as the primary colors.
Then I got it narrowed down to two with the tortoise shell patterning. I fell in love with them both and it was really hard to decide. It really came down to the fit and if they could get them a little wider on the part of my head that goes out the most. And they could with both of them, so then I had to make a choice. It came down to purple and orange tortoise shell kind of see through frame and sort of turquoise/teal with a darker blue tortoise shell frame. I have more clothes that match the latter and I liked them just a teeny bit more when the choice had to be made. They were $40 more at $218. The ones I originally wanted were only $118. The orange and purple were $188. Now you know I really wanted the blue ones if I was willing to shell out $40 more for them. But glasses are my one accessory/necessity that I wear every single day. I won't pay over $250 though.
I do reserve the right to save up more money and get the other ones in sunglasses, though. I don't need all the bells and whistles in sunglasses that I need in regular ones. But not until my husband gets new glasses and my daughter gets new lenses. Maybe I'll look and see if Zenni has something like the orange and purple ones for sunglasses and see how much it would cost. I do have a nasty prescription, the most exspensive one in the family. My portion for my glasses was $400.00. Sadly, there were no more summer sales. I probably should have waited until Thanksgiving, but my eyes were killing me and my appointment was on Friday. Oh, well, I guess I make up for having the worst eyes in the family by having the best teeth in the family.
As for the ongoing stuff with my daughter, she meets with the pulmonary doctor tomorrow which starts her on the road to seeing if something is going on with her lungs or possibly her heart. Hopefully, it is just severe asthma and nothing that will interfere with her life-changing surgery in January. We will be staying down at Virginia Mason for several days. She has to be in the hospital for 2 to 3. It is supposed to be done laproscopically, but things can turn on a dime, and you never know when they will have to gut you like a fish.
Both of us have to go get blood draws tomorrow. I have two doctors who want a bunch of things and I didn't want to go separately, because it takes my one good arm vein about a month to recover after a blood draw because they always blow the vein on the way out, if they don't manage it on the way in and treat me like a pin cushion and move on to my hands and give me a bruise the size of a silver dollar if they do the right one or the back of my hand if they choose the left one. Although, if the good vampire is working that never happens. And this way their won't be duplicate tests made.
I need to remember to call the rheumatologist tomorrow and reschedule the appointment I had to cancel back in August. This should be the best time since I am on antibiotics, and then will be well for a while afterwards before I come down with the next thing.
I have a telemed therapy appointment on Wednesday which I really need, because my brain is telling me it wants to go off my bipolar meds. Which is a big no, thank you. Watched that movie play out in my aunt's life over and over again and do not want to repeat it in mine. And then I have a telemed on Thursday with the nutritionist/dietician and my son has an in person with the psychiatrist for his meds, and on Friday I, so far, have an empty space on the calendar, which is to be celebrated. Keeping my life straight can sometimes be ridiculous.
August 8th, 2023 at 08:10 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 04:48 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 10:10 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 10:12 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 05:49 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 05:28 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 14th, 2022 at 12:12 am
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 04:25 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 06:58 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 10:58 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 07:15 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 11:32 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 03:26 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 08:04 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 04:36 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 01:01 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 02:18 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 07:28 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.