Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Crazy Life

Lately life has been a bit hectic. One crazy thing after another.  Lots of work, writing proposals for new work, MRIs, tax prep, a friend over for dinner, neighborhood watch meeting, and I was asked to be on a board of a nonprofit.  It has been a looney few weeks.

Now this surgery thing has thrown a wrench in the works.  Brenda and I have begun making a plan already.  Since Brenda doesn't drive, we will need to make sure we have supplies for at least a week just in case I am laid up.  We do have a store that has a van that will drive you home if you spend a certain amount.  My last stay in the hospital made it clear that we need to make a plan in advance.  A plan with a lot of "what ifs".  What if I have to stay overnight?  What if I am in the hospital all day and we need someone to let the dogs out?  What if I end up being laid up for a week?  What if I need a prescription filled?  Having a plan in place in advance is the key to a stress-free time.

I bought a pair of slippers!  A super dupper pair of slippers.  A pair of Giesswein slippers.  A blue pair.  They are not stylish but they are comfy.  They are really comfortable to walk in.  I highly recommend Giesswein slippers for anyone with foot problems.  They cost a bit (although I got them on sale at Zappos) but after wearing them for three days, they are worth it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I Told You So

At what point can you say "I told you so"?  Is it when the MRI states there is evidence that you had a stress fracture in your ANKLE all along?  I will take a step back for those of you who are new to my ankle story.

Last April I had a mishap with my ankle.  Okay, maybe it should be called a misstep with my ankle.  I hurt it getting out of a hotel bed at some ungodly hour in the morning in order to go on a balloon ride.  After hurting it did I go on the balloon ride?  H*ll yeah!  I was not missing the best balloon ride ever.  Even if I had to stand on one foot.

I went to a doctor, we will call him Dr. Bozo, and he put me in a brace thing for MONTHS.  I asked him to get an MRI and he told me that it would be denied.  He said he would not push for it because I didn't need it.  It was not fractured but just a pulled ligament.  Blah, blah, blah.

It has been almost a year now and I am still in pain.  Today I got a MRI thanks to my lovely podiatrist and already got the report.  Have you ever read a MRI report?  I am not sure many of the words are even English.  I had to Google 40% of them.  Finally the doctor called and deciphered the report for me.

Adrienne - get to the bottom line!  Some would say it is good news and others would say it is bad.  Depends on your outlook, glass half full or half empty.  I am neither on this issue.  In a bit I will explain why.  The bottom line is I need surgery to repair a severely torn anteroinferior tibiofibular ligament and calcaneofibular ligament.   It will be a Modified Brostrom Gould procedure.  There is also fluid within the sinus tarsi and bone marrow edema of the cuboid.  Sounds so appetizing.  (See badly marked diagram)

Luckily it is not an emergency surgery so I can take my time and plan this out.  I will be in a cast for 6 weeks and then 6 weeks more for physical therapy.   I hear it takes 3-6 months to have a full recovery.  Such wonderful things to look forward to.  Of course the surgery will make the pain go away so that is a good thing, right?!  It will make the pain go away after some much more intense pain.  But it also means that my chances of having to get an ankle replacement years down the road lessens.  That is good news.

So, I still ask when can I say "I told you so"?  Can I call the doctor up and say, "See, I was right!  You missed it."?  I know it is enough that I am getting my ankle fixed.  I just have this need to say it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Surprised to Learn

Okay, here is something you would be surprised to learn about me, I like to watch car racing.  I guess since you really don't know me, it may not be such a surprise but my friends and family would probably be surprised to know this fact.  It would be a great factoid to use in that fun-filled ice breaker: tell us something about yourself that no one knows. 

I grew up always watching the Indy 500.  I tried not to ever miss it since I have all brothers, it never seemed weird that it was on TV on Memorial Day.  I just love watching the cars go around the track and the anticipation of which car will finish first.  You just never know until the final second.

This weekend was supposed to be the Daytona 500.  I have never been a super fan of stock car racing but now my favorite driver switched from racing formula cars to racing stock cars: Danica Patrick.  I got up early on Sunday to watch the race but it was postponed due to rain.  The race was run tonight and it was exciting.  There was one crazy crash (everyone was okay) but it torn a hole in the race track.  They had to bondo the track back together.  It took forever.  I watched another show to pass the time.  In the end my Danica didn't win.  Matt Kenseth came out the winner. 

I have to wait until May for the Indy 500.  It won't be the same without my Danica but I will survive!  I may have to watch more Nascar.  

Just one Nascar story before I go: A few years ago Brenda and I won a trip to Las Vegas.  We carefully chose the weekend and thought it would not be very busy since there were no big conferences or activities that weekend in Vegas.  Oh, were we wrong!  We didn't know that it was NASCAR weekend at the Vegas raceway.  NASCAR folks are loads of fun.  They have to be at the race track real early and they bring their coolers of (I assume) beer with them.  Some of them start to drink before they head out!  There is a LOT of money in NASCAR gear.  Everyone was decked out in some sort of NASCAR T-shirt, leather coat, hat, beer cozy, seat cushion, shorts, sunglasses, etc. NASCAR puts there logo on everything!  The race is only a few hours on Sunday but the events go on for days.  There is the come visit the race car drivers and pit crew, come see the practice sessions, come get more stuff with the NASCAR logo.  It goes on forever!  It was overwhelming. Then the folks would gamble at night!  I don't know where they got the stamina.  Oh, and I would have thought it would be 20-35 year olds.  NO.  There were all ages.  The couple that was the most fun was a 65 year old retired couple with matching leather NASCAR jackets (she had NASCAR sunglasses that must have cost a fortune) who partied HARD.  They were a blast!  Gave me a new appreciation for race car folks!

Update: Going for an MRI on my ankle tomorrow morning. Fun!

Friday, February 24, 2012


When I saw my physician she told me I needed to get more sleep. She thought my stress was exasterbated by a lack of sleep. I think I get enough sleep most nights. If I am tired I go to bed. I am just not a person who can usually go to sleep at 9 pm. I usually go to bed at 11:00 pm and then I have to let the dogs out, take my medicine, get ready for bed. I then either watch tv or blog depending on how my evening went.

How do you know of you need more sleep? Well, I know when I fall asleep when I am working or watching tv. That is a big clue!

I am not sure I will be going to bed earlier anytime soon but I am going to bed tonight. Good night!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Doctor Update

Went to the podiatrist today and had a check up on the foot.  Yeah the foot.  I have been in the hard soled shoes for two weeks now and still feel a twinge of a fire cracker when I step down sometimes.  Especially when I wake up.

At the appointment she showed me the x-rays and showed me the two stress fractures.  How cool is that?  I could actually see the fractures on the x-ray.  The one fracture is in my big toe under the toe nail.  The other fracture is between my toes two and three. It is a stress fracture that people commonly get when they do an exercise where you roll up on your toes repeatedly.   The doctor says the fractures are in such weird places.  Since I don't roll up and down on my toes, she says I must have dropped something on my foot or something.  I don't remember doing that.  Or I smashed my foot into something.  Okay, I may have done that.  She says it could have been in the last 6 months.  Well, who can remember if they smashed their foot against the coffee table in the last 6 months?  I don't know about you but I bang my foot against things all the time.  Not bad enough to go to the hospital but I jump up and down and wince and use swear words. We left that discussion until I go to the bone density scan and see what it says then we will reconvene.

I got slippers for Christmas that are slip-ons. They looked so comfortable at Costco but alas they are not.  Because of the issues with my feet, I can't clench my toes.  It is too painful.  So wearing slip-on slippers with a furry inside is not very comfortable due to the clenching of my toes to go up and down stairs or they slip off.  Now I need to buy another type of slippers.  I have been told of some very expensive German slippers...

Then I asked her about the pain I am having in my other foot; in my big toe to be exact. She poked and prodded and decided that it is a nerve that is being pinched.  FYI: there are nerves in your big toe.  Back to the slippers, wearing the slippers has made it worse because they were not the right slippers for me.  So I need to get a better pair of slippers.  I can no longer go barefoot or walk around just in socks anymore.

Since I have been wearing the Danskos, I have had more ankle pain from my ankle injury last April (the story can be read if you didn't read it before).  The ankle injury was diagnosed as a torn ligament.  The doctor really dismissed me and had me in the boot for about 3 months (maybe 4 months? I don't remember).  I asked many times to have a MRI but he told me the insurance company would never agree to one.  Today the new doctor looked at my ankle for 5 minutes and showed me how my hurt ankle is pliable and my other ankle is stiff.  She said that it looks like my ligament is torn.  She started to tell me things that can be done to fix it.  Something about making a flap with the ligament and 6 weeks in a cast!  Yuck!  She said let's get an MRI.  What?!  Let's get an MRI?  Imagine a doctor telling me to get an MRI. I have been begging to have an MRI forever.  Finally someone who understands and listens to me!  I love her!  The MRI is scheduled for next week (I could have had it today but I was too busy) and I am happy to finally get a definitive answer. 

The plan is to get new slippers that will help my feet and not hurt them, keep the Danskos on my feet outside the house, get the MRI and find out about my ankle and then follow up with the doctor.  I love a good plan!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taking On Too Much

Do you ever think you are taking on too much? Sometimes I do. Especially when I feel good. Also when I am bored.

Right now I am feeling pretty good. It maybe fleeting but today I feel okay. I have also been doing the same stuff for quite some time so I am a bit bored. I need to do something new. Feel needed and wanted.

I do some things besides work already. I am an Arthritis Ambassador. I am a block captain for my Neighborhood Watch. I am a part of the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team. They are all small commitments.

Tonight I spoke to someone about the possibility of joining a board of a nonprofit organization. I have been on boards before, one I liked and one that didn't work out. So I will see how it shakes out. It is not health related. It is safety related. That is also something I am passionate about. I believe people need to be prepared for disasters. Fire, hurricane, flood, earthquake, etc.

So when do you know you are taking on too much?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tax Prep: Part One

Well I started the yearly ritual called tax preparation. Or as I like to call it: reliving the past years expenses aka my own medical hell. This year has brought it's own extra special prize: I changed health plans mid-year. Half the year I had co-pays and the other half I had a deductible. And the cost of my plan changed three times. I spent all night just figuring out the doctor copays, parking costs and prescription costs for the year. I now know where $4,000 of my hard earned dollars went to! And I have not finished my calculations.

Don't you hate this time of the year? You have to drag out all this stuff that you had the best intentions of keeping in order at the beginning of the year. Then somewhere around May everything goes into disarray. Receipts get lost, you are finding parking receipts stuck in books and in the bottom of your bag. Then in November you are finding the receipts on the kitchen counter and realize January is coming and you better get your act together!

For the next week you know where I will be, chained to the table working on my taxes. Mondays deadline is coming fast!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Doing Things I Don't Want To Do

This weekend I had to do two projects I was not looking forward to. They are not horrible projects like picking up large amounts of dog poop or cleaning up after your hot water heater bursts but they are not fun. I had to write a detailed proposal for a new client and do my tax prep. The proposal took two days with a whole day to think and plan. I am a thinker. I have to think about big projects for a while before I write them. I mull it over in my mind for a while and then I can begin to plan it out.

I finished the proposal at 5 pm today. Yay!

Then this evening I began the tax prep. I set up my craft table (okay it is just a folding table but it works well for this project as well) and laid out my tax stuff. With a small business, it makes tax prep a part time job if I am not organized. I have medical expenses and business expenses. I also try to show up at my accountants as organized as possible. I have one week to get my prep completed. Tonight I organized doctors visit receipts and parking receipts.

Hey, I would much rather be watching a movie on my long weekend rather than doing things I don't want to do.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You Talk About Irony

A few weeks ago I had been sent an email from Williams-Sonoma inviting me to bring in a knife to be sharpened for free.  (At this point you are probably wondering where this post is going.  I promise it will make sense so stay tuned.)  I planned with my partner to bring two knives (one each) and get them sharpened.  I was excited because as you know I have been doing a lot of cooking and my knives are quite dull.  I only started cooking seriously in the past two years when I was diagnosed with Crohn's. 

This morning I woke up and my partner decided she didn't want to go with me.  I packed up my one knife and headed out.  Brenda wanted me to take two knives but the email said one knife per person.  I drove to the mall and went into Williams-Sonoma.  I noticed there was a demonstration going on.  I went up to the sales clerk and asked about the knife sharpening.  She said to get the knife sharpened, I had to attend the demonstration on knife techniques and safety.  The What? 

I explained that the email didn't say I had to attend any demonstration.  She said I could attend the demonstration that had already started or come back in 45 minutes when it was over.  I said I would stay for the demonstration.  I walked around the store and browsed while I listened.  I knew most of the information he was teaching: cutting boards and knife sharpeners.  When he got to the knife stones to sharpen the knives, that is when it all goes awry.

The guy is talking and sharpening the knife on the four strengths of stone.  He was not looking at the knife while he was answering questions and he sliced his hand.  (This is the place where any squeamish people should skip the rest of this paragraph) There was blood dripping everywhere. He was asking for a bandage from the sales clerk.  The bandage took a few minutes but when it arrived it was clear that even with the large bandage they brought, the slice was large and deep enough that no bandage was going to stop the bleeding.  He tried two bandages to no avail.  Then he tried to put the hand in a rubber glove and that was just horrible to watch!  Then he just wrapped it in a paper towel and it was bleeding through.

At this point, the people at the demonstration began turning away and telling the sales clerk they wanted to leave.  They told the teacher to go to the hospital and get it checked out. He probably needed stitches.  The store clerk finally called the demonstration and we all filled out the forms to leave our knives to be sharpened and we all left.  They also announced that they would sharpen two knives per person.  Of course I only brought one as directed!  I should have listened to Brenda.

The irony, if you have not figured it out, is that the class on knife techniques and safety ended with the teacher slicing his hand.  What not to do?!    Do as I say not as I do?   I walked by Williams-Sonoma about 20 minutes later and the teacher was still standing upright so I am sure he is okay.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cheese Cake Factory Comments

Sweet Tamales
Sitting here at the Cheese Cake Factory (CCF) waiting for our appetizers. Have you ever been to the CCF? It is crazy! The lines are long (luckily there are benches to sit on) and the is a book. That menu is insane. I get lost trying to find the three vegetarian entrees! They do have quite a few veg appetizers to nosh on. My favorite is the Sweet Tamales. Yum. Tamale cakes with sauce, avocados, tomatoes, cilantro and sour cream. I am in heaven!

Then I had a big salad. Lots of veggies. Asparagus, edemame, beets, beans, cucumber and more.  Thought it would fill me up more but alas, I left hungry. I took two of the tamales home and will probably eat them later.  It seemed so filling but the stuff on top was just for show and the rest was a LOT of lettuce.  The dressing left a lot to be desired so it didn't add anything to the entree.  The stuff on top was chopped up the size of salsa so what looked so delectable ended up being a treasure hunt to get it on the fork.   I ended up eating a lot of bread and I don't usually eat the bread at all.  Note to self: Don't get the Big Salad again. I hate when something looks good and isn't satisfying. 
Big Salad
We also got some CHEESE CAKE! One lemon raspberry piece and one Oreo cookie. Can't wait to eat them later tonight. I took one bite and the cheese cake IS satisfying, especially since it was FREE!!!  We had a two free cheese cake slices gift certificate that make it taste even better! 

That was the big CCF experience today

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tidbits of Stuff

Have you ever had to hear bad news before someone else?  Like hearing someone passed away.  You hear it on the news and have to be the one to tell the other person.  It is never a good feeling, is it?  This past week I told my partner that both Whitney Houston and Don Cornelius passed away.  It is never fun being the barer of bad news.

It must be hard for doctors who have to give bad news to patients.  I would not want to be the doctor who has to tell a patient horrible news.  In this day and age we expect that medical science can fix almost anything.  We don't expect to hear, "there is nothing we can do." 

Not sure how I got on such a downer of a topic.  I was just thinking about someone getting bad news and off I went!  It isn't even medical bad news.

I can now say that the conference I was planning to attend was the Arthritis Summit in Washington DC.  I had been planning to attend for months but with all the medical stuff with my feet and this new client, I just decided I can't go this year.  We made a promise that next year we will go.  Maybe next year it will not be on the busiest week of the spring!   I love Washington DC in the spring but, boy, can it get hectic there.  All those school kids visiting for spring break with all those lovely Cherry Blossoms.  Hot tub action instead!!!

I started reading "How to be Sick: A Buddhist Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers" by Toni Bernhard.  I read about it on RA Guy's book club on his blog.  I started reading it the other night and I am already on page 29 (Chapter 4).  It was a fast and easy read until I got to the Buddhist explanations.  Then I started getting confused.  A highlighter became useful.  More on that another time.  After 29 pages, I would recommend the book.  I am trying to catch up to the book club since I started late and they are on Chapter 7! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Decision Made

I finally made a decision about the conference, we are not going. I want to go but I am worried about my foot and this re-occurrence of pain in my ankle. The costs for this trip keep stacking up and since I didn't buy the airline tickets early, they are quite expensive. The conference costs as well as the hotel. So, with a these considerations, we decided to postpone until next year and plan earlier. Maybe next year the conference will not be the week of Easter/spring break and will be less expensive. Cheaper as they say!

The stress has been lifted. Making this decision has been like a rock weighing me down. Now that we decided to stay home, poof, I am light as a feather. Maybe we can go visit one of my relatives who lives closeby instead. Just an overnight trip.

We have a hot tub that has been dormant since we had some construction done on our house and I would love to get it working again. We could work on that instead. I would love to soak in a hot tub. A bath is good but doesn't quite do it for me. In a hot tub I am submerged in the hot water and the air is cold. Wonderful!

I also just got a new client and the thought of traveling right now was stressing me out. I like to be available for my clients especially in the beginning. I would have had to work on the vacation most likely anyway. There, it has been decided! No vacation for now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happi is Okay

For a few weeks now my big dog Happi has been acting weird. Of course you are asking: how do you tell when a dog acts weird. Well, I will tell you!

Four times in two weeks she has climbed into bed with us in the middle of the night. The funny thing is Happi HATES sleeping in our bed. She thinks humans move around too much. We move our legs around and get in her way. She wants to sleep in her bed. The little dog is the exact opposite. I have to force her out of our bed and into her bed. But that is another story..

So it has been weird that Happi has been climbing into bed with us. She has also been crying. Out of the blue she just starts crying. She also licks my hand and won't stop. She doesn't have to go outside either. I took her to the vet to see if anything is wrong with her.

The vet took all types of bodily fluids and tested them. I got the results today and Happi is A-Okay. Nothing wrong.

Now we are waiting to see what happens. The vet said I could be feeding into the situation by treating Happi like she is sick when she isn't therefore giving Happi attention for the wrong behavior. I am supposed to ignore the behavior for a week or so and see if anything changes.

The vet also said that dogs are very perceptive and hear, smell and taste things that we can't. He asked he if I have been sick. (Ha! When aren't I sick lately?!) Maybe Happi is sensing something. Then my friend said the same thing. Is Happi sensing that I am sick and she is trying to warn me? Now I am all creeped out!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Today was Valentine's Day. We celebrated with a homemade dinner. I made an avocado dressing to put on a romaine salad. Then I made a quiche. It tasted great. Last night I made my partner her favorite: oatmeal raisin cookies. So, it was a very romantic dinner.

Well, it would have been except that I gave my partner some black cohosh for her hot flashes and she took too much. She didn't feel too well all day. Note to self: don't take too much black cohosh! Her hot flashes and sweats went away but she felt weird all day. Tomorrow she will take the correct dose. Then we will see if it works as well! She said it was the best nap she had taken in a year.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. I hope you had a wonderful day

Monday, February 13, 2012

19 Year Anniversary

Today is my 19 year anniversary with my partner. Wow! Nineteen years. Sometimes it seems more like 25 years and sometimes it feels like 5 years. And they said it would not last.

When we met all our friends said we would never stay together. Where are they now? They are all on their third or fourth partner by now.

Some young kid asked me today what I was going to get Brenda for our anniversary or for Valentine's Day. I chuckled and said "a card". She said nothing else? I said after nineteen years presents aren't so important. Brenda is going through menopause and I heard Black Gohaush is helpful. So she is getting a bottle of it. I also made her oatmeal raisin cookies and I am making a special dinner tomorrow. Better than a present!

Still deciding about the conference. If I wait much longer, the decision will be made for me! Gotta get on iT!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Watching the Grammys

I am sitting here watching the Grammys and thinking how talented these folks are. Just one act after another. Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift, Coldplay and the rest. I like watching the Grammys because it is like having little mini concerts in your living room. Some of the artists get on the stage with other artists; like McCartney with Joe Walsh and Diana Krall. Tonight was the Beach Boys 50th reunion and they were joined by Foster The People and Maroon Five. Interesting collaborations.

It was nice to see that Lady Gaga toned it down considering the somber weekend.

What would it be like to have that kind of talent?  To just open your mouth and be able to sing like Adele?  Or be able to skate like Dorothy Hamill?  Or write like Hemingway?  In this day and age it means losing your privacy. Paparazzi everywhere.  Not so flattering photos of you at the checkout line.  That must be so stressful.  The photographers looking for you and following you just to get a photo.  Nah, that is not for me.  I like to be able to go out on my back deck in my pajamas without taking a shower.  What a great photo that would make!  It is bad enough I see my neighbor sometimes. 

I guess being famous is not for me.  I will have to stay an anonymous blogger with no profile photo.  No paparazzi stalkers for me.  I will just sit here and wonder at the talented folks on this program.  Some of them are amazing.  Some of the music is not my taste but we all can't love it all. 

All this great music did inspire me to go get new CDs to put in my CD changer in the car.  I haven't changed the CDs in about 6 months.  I will have some new music to listen to tomorrow when I drive to a clients office.  Listen to some early music from some of these Grammy winners.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

RIP Whtney

So shocking! Whitney Houston has passed away at age 48. So sad.

I started to think of when I saw her in concert in 1987 or 1988. It was in Philadelphia in the Round. She was ill and pushed through to do the concert. She sang a lot of ballads. I almost fell asleep. In my defense, it was a work day night and I was really tired. I needed some of her upbeat songs to wake me up.

I may have seen her in concert again but I can't remember. She sang the best Star Spangled Banner ever!

It is a sad day that another talented person died before their time.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Decision Making

When you have a big decision to make what method do you use to make that decision? I have a big decision to make and I need to make it quickly. I am thinking of going to a conference. So the big decision I have to make is do I go or not.

You might ask what are the hold ups? Let me lay them out for you.

1. The cost. This is a hard economic time. It will cost for the conference, hotel, plane, food, etc.
2. I won't be working. I own my own business so if I am away, no work gets done. No income to pay for said conference.
3. I won't know anyone at the conference. That is always intimidating and scarey.
4. My partner wants to come and what will she do all day while I am conferencing for two days?
5. The conference hotel is quite expensive so I need to another hotel for the extra nights we are staying. Hopefully one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
6. I worry I will get ill before we have to go or when we are there. Or when we return.

The reasons to go:
1. I really want to go.
2. It will be fun to sightsee.
3. It will be educational.

The negatives really outweight the positives. I guess I need to think and plan it out some more. Any ideas? Words of wisdom?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Visit to the Doctor

Today I finally had that appointment with my rheumatologist. The one that was interrupted by that pesky trip to the ER. We talked about my medications and after a long talk about the stress in my life, we talked about the bone density scan I am supposed to get.

Stress, you ask? Yes, things like foot stress fractures, wearing boots, ER visits, occipital headaches, and getting behind in my work happens to get me stressed out. She feels I need to get my partner to step it up more and take more of the responsibility on. Yeah. That should work. We may have to have a long conversation about that. She is really good when I am ill. She takes really good care of me. She picks up my Rx. But she has limitations on other things she can do. I am not putting her down. It's just that she doesn't drive so going to the store is pretty much out of the question except in emergencies. I am a vegetarian and she is not so we cook separately. She cooks for me when I am sick. I am trying to think of things she can help with outside the house but the list seems slim. Most things require a car.

Now I am thinking of things she can help with inside the house. I have this long list of things I need to do but I can't think of how she can help. You know how you have that list of things only you can do? Like prepare your taxes, make dental appointments, make medical appointments and make sure the procedure is approved. See what I mean? How can anyone help me with those things? Even if I had an assistant I would have to do those things myself. I guess I just have to dive in and check them off the to do list and find other things for my partner to take on.

I have been given the paperwork to get the bone density scan done. Plus some blood work. Luckily I don't need to do it right away. I can take a break for a few weeks. Phew!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Six Word Memoir

I read an article in the latest Oprah magazine.  It was pages of people writing a six word memoir. Kind of like the Good Morning America program that has been running where they have people hold up signs that have three words on them.  Like Good Morning America.  Or I Love You.  Or Marry Me Anne? Or Cured Living Long.

I started thinking about what six words I would write today because I am sure I would not write the same six words on another day.  What six words would I write today?  So much has happened in the last month.

Good health 
Great laughs 
Wearing shoes

What would your six word memoir be today?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sitting in The Doctors Waiting Room

I was reading my sister-in-law's post for the day about time moving slow, while I was in the doctor's office waiting room.  I think doctors waiting rooms are like Las Vegas. The lights are bright, the room is cold, there are no clocks, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and the only thing missing is the gambling.  I sort of lose track of time. If only there was a slot machine to keep me busy!  People come, they go.  I still sit here.  Music, that is what is missing and show girls.  Think of what waiting rooms would be like with entertainment.  How much more fun it would be. 

At the lab where I give blood they have a flat screen that, when they first put it in, played only advertisements.  What a waste of money! This was when flat screens cost a pretty penny!  I guess there was a revolt because soon after CNN was on all day. No more ads.
Waiting rooms make up a significant part of my life. I do think that waiting rooms send me into another time speed. Like half speed. Because I know I show up at my appointed time but end up sitting in that darn waiting room for what seems like a long time. The worst is if I show up early; then it seems like wait three times as long!  If only I had a slot machine...

Update: My wart seems to have gone into hiding.  Last month it was all over the bottom of my foot.  This month it is almost gone.  I guess with all the rest of the trauma, my body had better things to do than worry about a stupid wart!  Ha!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wearing Shoes Again

Today I got to wear shoes for the first time since Thanksgiving!  It was a momentous day.  I went to do errands and it took me no time.  I even forgot to do something and had to run out a second time!  This would have been catastrophic with the boot on.  I would have been SO bummed to have to make two trips with that stupid boot.  In and out of the car, taking the boot on and off.  Instead I could just step out of the car and get in the car.  Easy peasy!

I wore shoes that are actually stylish!  Tomorrow I am going to see a client and I don't have to wear a boot and a sneaker!  Yeah!  It has definitely picked up my spirits a bit.  That boot was really starting to get me down.  I want to get out of this house more.  I miss walking my pups.

I think it is starting to rain.  Good, we need rain. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Good News

I thought my plan to have my Enbrel Assist help pay for some of my huge deductible had gone awry. Until today.

This week, the day after I was in the ER, I ordered my months supply of Enbrel. Then I held my breath. Which charges will get to the Insurance-Company-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named first? The hospital or Enbrel?

The answer came today. The Enbrel charges got there first. That means I have now met that $4,000 yearly deductible (in record time) and the Enbrel Assist will pay for the cost of this months Enbrel. The whole hospital bill will go directly to the insurance company. Yay!

To top things off, the New York Giants won the Superbowl. Not my favorite team but my favorite out of the two playing. It was a fun afternoon. We had our friend's kid over and he was, very unexpectedly, a lot of fun. He was so into the game. We have decided he needs to be educated on some pop references. He doesn't know "Rocky" or "Ferris Buellers Day Off". We are going to have him over to watch them. I guess I better check the ratings on them. Since I don't have people kids, I don't worry about things like ratings on movies.

It was a fun day overall and my pinwheels were a hit!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Getting Ready for Some Football

Spent the day getting ready for the Super Bowl. First a trip to Costco to make sure we have enough toilet paper and paper towels for the big day. Then in the evening prepping my awesome Spinach Gruyere Puff Pastry. They are delicious! Brenda made her pasta salad and will make chicken wings tomorrow for the guest.

We are having the neighbors kid over to watch the game. He came over during the baseball playoffs too. His parents don't watch sports so he likes coming to our house. We are very animated when we watch sports. He laughs so hard at our place. He reminds me of myself when I was little. I was so into sports and knew all the teams, the players, and the stats.

If you enjoy football, have a great time tomorrow and I hope your team wins. If you don't the Animal Planet has the Puppy Bowl on all day. Nothing is cuter than the Puppy Bowl!

Before I forget: Happy Birthday Courtney!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Some Observations From This Week

I thought I would write about some observations from this week.  I either didn't write this week because I was way too sick or I was writing about being sick.  Gosh what fun!  It has been a whirlwind week and I can't believe it is Friday already.
  1. ER waiting rooms are an interesting place to people watch.  You really get to see people at their most intimate. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with everyone. (you can tell I had a LOT of time to kill)  Since it was not a trauma ER, some of the diagnosis were very hard.  As added bonus: at my ER I got to see an episode of CSI I had never seen before!
  2. ER staff don't laugh a lot.  I guess there is not much to laugh about in their job but when I get scared or nervous, I crack-wise (as my Dad puts it) and I can't help myself.  I am a smartass.  Those ER folk are a tough crowd, I could not get a laugh or, even in some cases, a smile!  I know it is a serious job but they need to lighten up.  The stress alone will get them.
  3. Okay, I have to admit it, I may have lied to some people about my condition.  There is a strange stomach flu going around and I have let people believe that I had the strange stomach flu instead of telling them I almost had a brain bleed.  Not my family or you my readers but clients and others.  It is easier to let them believe that I have the stomach thing that is going around rather than go into the saga of how I have some weird occipital headache.
  4.  I have the best rheumatologist.  She is just such a mom.  First, she took one look at me and sent me to the ER (thank goodness) and then she called to make sure I was okay after going to the ER.  She is just the greatest!
  5. Dogs are so intuitive.  My doggies know when I am ill and won't leave my side.  When I am in bed sick, they don't even want to leave me to go eat.  They lay on either side of me and, for once, don't argue over who is closer to and getting more attention from mommy.
  6. Hospitals are boring when you are not prepared.  I was not prepared since I didn't think I was going to be going to the hospital.  I had nothing with me but my smartphone.  I had no book, no IPad, no magazines, nothing.  This makes for a boring 8 1/2 hours.  Sure most of the time I was unable to do much but it would have been nice to have something to look at.  I tried to read off my smartphone (which I normally can do) but it was so small, it made my head ache.
  7. My neighbors are so nice.  When we thought I might be staying overnight, my neighbors were going to come and collect my car.  They were so helpful. The next morning I called to thank them and they wanted to hear the whole story and volunteered for any time in the future.  I say be careful what you volunteer for!!
  8. At one point I was in a hospital bed with the sides up (meaning I could not get out), with an IV in my arm, and no pants or underpants on (I had a gown on!). I had just emptied an IV of fluids.  Oh, and I needed to pee.  Where was my nurse?  I wish I could tell you.  I waited and waited.  I had to pee so bad.  I finally saw her and got her to lower the sides to the bed, unhook the IV and find a screen so I could put my pants on.  All so I could go to the bathroom.  Relief.
  9. It is such a wonderful thing to hear "you don't have a brain bleed".  Or Meningitis. 
Thanks for reading my observations for the week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Looks Like I Am Going To Be Fine

Today I went to see my primary doctor.  I filled him in on all the parts he didn't know already.  He poked and prodded my head and determined that I have Acute Occipital Nerve Headache. Also known on the web as Occipital Neuralgia. As I was reading many of the symptoms were just what I experienced: sensitive scalp, head pain that made it hard to lay my head down on a pillow, and light sensitivity.  When I have migraines I don't have light sensitivity so that was a new thing.  In the emergency room I kept saying the light was so bright someone must be doing surgery in there!

I was told that this could be a one time thing or it could happen again.  Let's hope it is a one time thing!  If it does happen again, I have been issued some medicine that could stop the pain.  If I get these headaches on a regular basis, the next step is to stick a needle in the nerve in my head.  Lovely! 

I say NO more needles!  I have had too many needles.  Needles in my foot, in my spine, and in my now in my head?  I say NO! 

Anyway, I am taking it easy and hope to feel better in time for the Superbowl!  Thank you for all your kind words. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Repost of 48 hours

Some folks did not get the email delivery of my last post from early this morning.  If you didn't, I apologize and the link is below.  I am not sure what is up with Google Blogger...  Have a nice day!

Last 48 Hours

I am awake at 3:30 am either because I am hungry or because of the caffeine I was made to drink. What? You were made to drink caffeine? Well, let me tell you about my last 48 hours.

Monday started out as a regular day. I felt fine. I worked until 5:30pm and had all these plans to work that night. About 6:00pm I heated up my leftovers from the night before and sat down to eat dinner. After dinner I cleaned up the dishes and went into the the TV room and sat on the couch. The little pouch climbed into my lap and immediately a wave swept over me. I suddenly felt nauseous. I mean like an overwhelming surge. I curled up in a ball. Brenda came in and asked me if I was okay. I could barely speak. A few minutes later she came back and I was laying on the couch. That was when it was suggested that I go to bed. It was 6:45pm.

Not only was I nauseous but I had this pain in the back of my skull down at the base. It was very painful. On a pain scale I would say 100.

I tried to go to sleep but sleep was not my body's plan. No, it was no. The plan was obviously to go through hours of chills, muscle cramps, vomit, and pain. WAY more fun, don't you think? We were actually wondering if I had some sort of aneurism. It was a LONG night and just a pre cursor to the day ahead.

Some time around 3 am I fell asleep and around 6:30am the pain subsided. It didn't go away but I could at least get up and take a shower and drive to my 1pm doctor's appointment. I went to see my rheumatologist but on the way I left a message at my primary doctor's office telling him what occurred the night before. The minute my rheumatologist saw me she asked what was wrong and told me I needed to go to the ER immediately. I hate when doctors tell you that. I know I look bad but to have confirmed by a medical professional is always so depressing in a way.

So, in comes the wheelchair and I get whisked off to the ER. Well, yesterday must have been THE busiest day for the ER. There were at least four wheelchairs besides me in the waiting room. I saw the check in person and the triage nurse fairly quickly but since I was not bleeding or having a heart attack I was low on the list. I got to the ER at 1:30pm. I got in the ER doors at 3:40pm. I had told myself that if I had not been sent through the doors by 3:45pm I was going home. A girl can only take so much. Oh, don't get me wrong there was some interesting people watching. There was the poor lady with dementia/alzheimer's who asked her healthcare person every few minutes in a demanding voice "how long until we go in" and when the lady said they had to wait their turn she would demand that she "go ask the lady how long it be." Every time the nurse would come out she would ask her how long it would be. This would go round and round. Poor thing.

Finally I went in. The doctor who was on I had seen before and was a no nonsense, lay it on the line kind of person. She gave me fluids and morphine and told me I could have a brain bleed. A WHAT! Okay now you have my attention. Yes, migraine sufferers who present with pain that is not typical of their normal migraine could have bleeding on the brain. LOVELY!

To find out if one has bleeding on the brain there are two procedures 1)CT scan of the head. Okay. I am down for that. 2)Spinal Tap (lumbar puncture). NO, NO, NO. My biggest fear come true. You know how you have that procedure that you just never want to get? It just terrifies you? When you see it on TV you have to turn away? Well a spinal tap is that procedure to me. On TV the person is often crying and screaming and curled up on the bed. I didn't want that.

I was told that since I didn't come in while in the throws of the horrible pain (who wants to get in a moving car when they are vomiting and have muscle cramps and have head pain? Raise your hand. I see no hands raised!) there was only a small chance she would see anything on the CT scan but that was the first procedure. I voted CT scan. So off I went (after the prerequisite 45 min waiting period all hospitals have before any procedure) to get the CT scan. Then the wait for results. And of course it was the busiest night the hospital had seen in weeks.

The scan was clear. Good and bad news. Now I have to get the spinal tap. I start to cry. The doctor asks me what I am afraid of. I tell her I am afraid of the pain. She says most folks are afraid because she is behind them and they can't see. I tell her that is not my issue. She tells me it is not what I think it is. So I agree to do it. It wasn't bad. Imitrex shots hurt more. I am not saying I would like to get another one but it was not the crying, nail biting or screaming procedure the TV makes it out to be. I have conquered my fear!

The caffeine comes into play here.  It turns out that spinal taps can give you awful headaches.  One way it has been shown to not get a headache is to drink caffeine directly after having a spinal tap.  I drank two cups of Lipton's tea at 8:30pm.  No wonder I was wide awake at 3:30am!

Now comes hours of waiting. I do mean hours. Through all of this time I have out lasted three roommates and three nurses. You can image how long I have been in the ER. I had this one roommate who was so tired that she fell asleep when she arrived and slept through her blood draw and two procedures (one was an EKG).

Finally at about 9:20pm the doctor have the good news: clear fluid from the spinal tap! No meningitis, no infections and about three other things she listed. But no answer about the headache. Now I have to go see my primary doctor to sort that out. At 9:45pm I left the hospital and for those of you counting that was a total of 8 hours and 15 minutes and countless thousands of dollars! I think I have met that pesky deductible in record time! I could write a book on how to meet your $4,000 deductible in 31 days or less without really trying.

I went home to Brenda and the doggies where I finally ate something and went to bed after watching Alcatraz (can't figure out if I like it or even understand it.) The pain in my head has wained and I hope it stays that way. What a crazy 48 hours!