Category: family


Christmas and family and other deep stuff that came out…


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

…..yes, I know it’s already almost two weeks old.  That’s technically still new, right!?  I mean, if it was a baby, you’d call it new.  If it was a car, you’d certainly still call it new.  So just get over it.  I’m behind!

You should be used to that by now!

Okay, what’s going on around here.  Well, obviously I survived the holidays.  I actually had decent blood sugars all through the special foods and gigantic meals.  Diabetes: 0 – Geannie: 1!  Thank God for that!

We tried to switch things up as far as the timing and place of our various family get-togethers.  It was an attempt on my and the girls’ part to try and free up some time so that no one felt rushed from hurrying between in-laws, out-laws, and other family gatherings.  It didn’t work as planned, but it was still nice.

Corey and Melissa got to come home and we spent time with them.  We spent all of Christmas Eve with all our kids, actually!  The other purpose of moving things around was so that “just us” could have a big block of time to be together.

Here’s the thing… for my entire life, our Christmas morning was always a little rushed.  Sometimes it was a LOT rushed.  When I was little, we went to my mother’s parents, or “Mom and Dad’s” as they were always referred to by me and my sister, on Christmas Eve.  My mom had five siblings, four who had children, so all the cousins (except the 7 who lived in Texas) would be there and it was a huge, rowdy gathering.  That usually lasted until after 9 pm.  Sometimes even later than that, I suppose.

Then on Christmas Day, we were expected to be at Mamaw and Papaw’s, my father’s parents, by 10 am or so.  If we got up at 8 or 9, that meant we got very little time to even see what “Santa” had brought, let alone play with any of it.  We would have a big meal there with my three cousins who were the children of my dad’s only sibling, a brother 10 years his senior.  Obviously, there was a sizable age difference between us cousins that meant we didn’t really “play” together.  It was awkward and sort of uncomfortable many times because of all the tension and in-fighting that had been going on between my dad and my uncle since they were children.

THAT is definitely a story for another day, but let me clarify that this “in-fighting”, which is the only word I can think to use for it, was never actually seen.  It was always kept confined to verbal jabs, “innocent” jokes made over dinner and things of that nature.  You never heard any cross words exactly, but you could certainly feel the seething that everyone tried so hard to ignore.

As a mother of two boys myself, I can understand how Mamaw responded to the whole thing.  She was probably thrilled just to have everyone together under one roof but how she and my papaw could ignore so much anger and bitterness is beyond me.

Again…. all that, with the long, involved backstory, will have to wait for another post.

My point in all this is that never was there a time in my life when Christmas Day, at least the morning, wasn’t a rush to be somewhere else on time.

I hate that!

Even after my boys were born, we were still trying to do this routine PLUS the addition of two more gatherings, one for each set of their grandparents.  Christmas time was exhausting and I don’t want my kids and possible future grand babies to deal with that.

Since Tommy didn’t have any grandparents living near us, we never had to deal with adding his own traditional big family gathering…actually, they had only had Christmas with either set of his grandparents once or twice maybe, so the whole relationship was completely different.  But as my grandparents died off and there was no longer a central place to meet, we first stopped having Christmas Eve at Mom’s.  (that’s my grandmother “Mom”, not my mom-Mom)  There was plenty of tension in that side of the family too and none of the siblings, at least to my knowledge, even tried to recreate the gathering or carry on that tradition.  Each one just formed new traditions with their own immediate family–their children and grandchildren.

On my dad’s side, we continued to gather with Mamaw even after Papaw had passed away until she got too feeble to live on her own and went to the nursing home.  With the way my dad and uncle’s relationship was and the fact that we cousins really didn’t even know each other since all our lives, our main interaction was maybe twice a year if a great-uncle I didn’t know at all got a family reunion together that year.  Honestly.  I see these families that are SO CLOSE and it’s like being on another planet! I think, “Man!  I would have loved to have this sort of family!” and that’s why Tommy and I try SO HARD to make sure we have a time, especially at Christmas, when our boys can be together with their wives and us and EVERYONE just relax and enjoy ourselves.

After a few years of ugliness between my sons when they really didn’t even want to be around each other for various reasons I’ll leave un-delved… they now have a good relationship.  It’s not as close as when they were kids and were each other’s best friend, but it is SO much better than when they were not getting along.

All of it boiled down to hurt feelings and perceptions and assumptions between them.  Seriously!  It grieved my heart beyond imagination because I was seeing it become some sort of generational curse right before my eyes.  I determined that our family would break that pattern of siblings not loving each other right into adulthood.  It happened with my dad and his brother and with me and my sister, in very similar fashion.  With my boys, it was more about the differences of opinion between them, not preferential treatment of one or the other by the parents, that seemed to fuel their rift.

But like I said, the boys get along well now and even though I realize sometimes it’s a little forced for my benefit, I am thankful for it.  I would much rather have them talking, if through gritted teeth, at least trying to appear polite, than not being together at all.  Especially now that Corey has moved to Ohio…spending time with both boys (& their wives, who we consider ours now, too) is extremely important to me and their father.

WOW!  This is not at all where I intended to go with this post, y’all.  Not even close!  But it’s some important stuff and apparently, I needed to get it out.  Maybe there’s someone out there who needs to read it.  Who knows?  I believe that God has a purpose for everything… even my ramblings from time to time.

Blessings!


3 things I am totally not loving right now…


Hey, everyone!  I hope you are all safe during this crazy-weather season.  Without cable, I don’t have access to the 24/7 coverage of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction down in Texas, but I have family in the Houston area so I am keeping up with things through my mom or snippets of news I see online.  So far, thank God, they are all safe and have not lost anything to the flood waters.  My prayers are for all those who are trying to live through this and for those who have gone down there to help.  God bless them all with safety and meet their needs!

THING 1 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:

the weather

I wanted to pop on and share a few things that I’ve been doing lately… like looking for a remote job, for one.

I’m hooked up with RRR (Rat Race Rebellion), Remote, LinkedIn and Indeed.  I have been on LinkedIn for ages and never thought about looking for work there, but more to promote the blog and network with people.  It was suggested to have a resume on Indeed as well, so I went to sign up on Indeed only to find out that sometime or other, I had already set up an account there.

Sheesh!  I hate when I don’t keep track of that kind of stuff, but I made sure my info was still correct, updated the resume and never really thought any more about it until I got an email through Indeed.

I was SO excited at the prospect.  The lady said she was an attorney relocating from Pennsylvania to Kentucky in a city near me and needed an assistant for both office and personal errands.  It sounded like a great job and I was really thinking “What a great blessing!”  

After letting her know I was interested, she asked for some info about me, just an informal bio-type of thing so I told her I was an empty-nest mom, married 32 years who had worked in bookkeeping, office management, retail management and most recently in various call-center jobs including a few government contracts.  I told her I’d homeschooled my sons and how they are doing in their jobs.  For some reason, I feel a need to include this somehow on my resumes because it seems to be proof that I did a good job.  (ha ha!  I don’t go into how it was mostly God that did it because He had to hold me together through most of it!)

So anyway…she replied that it sounded like I was perfect for the job and she wanted to “secure me” now as she was going to be leaving for Turkey soon to arrange to bring her two children back with her.  She told me this stuff in that second email, but her mother currently cared for the children but no explanation as to why.  This was sort of odd to me, but then when she said she wanted to advance me a weeks’ pay and have me start immediately “to test proficiency” and so that I’d be ready to help her get started as soon as she got back when “mind you there will be a formal interview when I return” so it seemed legit enough but something about the way she had misspelled some words (a pet peeve of mine, however, I don’t think I’m nazi-ish about it) and that it seemed as if English wasn’t her first language (also not something I would normally judge someone on, but an attorney in America?  I’d think being well-versed in using the language would be a must, ya know?)  So I got suspicious about it.

I haven’t been able to find ANYONE in the Pennsylvania town she gave as her current location by her name.  She hasn’t given me the name of a firm, so I assumed she was opening her own practice here, but there should be SOME mention of her name if she’s been practicing there at all, right?

** sigh **  Oh, and did I mention she wanted to pay me $500/week to work part time?  That is of course why I was thrilled to think about taking the position, but then to advance me that sight-unseen?  Um… say it with me, FISHY!  So, I found a forum on Indeed and asked if there was any way to check out a potential employer through the website.  All I got was “If it sounds fishy to you, it probably is.  Scammers make me furious!”

She wanted just the name of my bank, and then the other info she asked for would be available on my resume.  So I’m going to reply that she can find all that information there and then I’d prefer her to pay me through Paypal this first time until we can do the formal interview.  Let’s see what response I get from that.

Gah.  I’m so sad.  I thought for sure God had dropped the perfect job in my lap!  (almost perfect–it was still going to require that I drive 40-some miles several times a week each way to work in the office– I really want a remote job but thought for part time, it would probably be a good way to get out of the house a bit)

Ah well… if He DID do this, it will all work out, but if not, I am so thankful He gave me the good sense not to just shoot her my info in a fit of giddiness about a part-time $500/wk fake job!

Have any of you dealt with this kind of thing?  I mean, I’ve seen the emails that say “Work from home, 5 minutes a day and make $100k/year!”  Ha!  Those are so obviously a bunch of crapola.  But this one was much sneakier.

How would you respond (or would you respond at all?) to a job offer like this?

THING 2 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:

deceitful people online (or in real life, for that matter!)

The other thing I am not crazy about right now is the high cost of dental care.  If you know me, you know this has become the bane of my existence!  Due to diabetes, my teeth are more prone to decay anyway, but I also inherited just awful teeth from my mother.  She was about my age when her teeth just began to fall apart.

Thanks, Mom.  Mine are doing the same right now.  Seriously, there’s a lot to be said about good “teeth genes” because my husband takes MUCH less care of his teeth and has had maybe ONE cavity in our entire marriage.  My kids, thank God, got some of that trait from their dad.  Well, thank God for the good “teeth genes” but not for their dental hygiene habits.  They are as bad at caring for their teeth but have little to no problems with their teeth either, so praise God for that one!

My teeth are just SO brittle and they are literally falling apart.  Not all of them at once, thank the Lord, but enough of them to cause me a lot of trouble and getting them fixed is just ungodly expensive!  I’ve had so far about 4 teeth pulled either because of a deep cavity that I opted not to fix or because the tooth just broke and instead of paying for a crown, I said, “Just pull it!”  That plan has worked fine until the last one.  The tooth had just crumbled apart after having a chunk break off of it a few months prior.  Of course, my dentist had been nagging me to let him fix it.  After it crumbled that way, it left some fragments in the gum that were like little knives that I tried to manage.  At first, they would only cut my tongue occasionally and I could deal with that.  But then, since I have some allergies and also something called geographic tongue (yes, it’s a thing…click on it and see what that’s about!) so when something causes a reaction, my tongue gets very angry and sore and it hurts like the devil!  By the time I’d had enough and set up the appointment to have those fragments pulled, I was afraid I’d possibly set up cancer because there was this ugly, inflamed hole in the bottom of my tongue where it had rubbed against those tooth-fragment knives for so long.  I’m serious…it was a defined hole with a scary white ridge around the edges.  And it HURT so bad!!!

Thank God, though, once I got those fragments pulled, the hole healed up and went away, but now I have just one molar behind that one and the gap left by the missing tooth feels massive which makes it feel like I don’t have much to chew with on my left side.  And now, as of about a month ago, an old crown came out on the top right leaving behind, you guessed it…some little tooth fragments.  Thankfully, they aren’t nearly as huge or sharp so they’re not bothering me except that with only one molar behind that gap as well, once again I have little left to chew with over there.  And while the fragments don’t cut my tongue, it does hurt like crazy if I accidentally bite down on something

with those little suckers.  Try as I might, it’s hard not to let a bit of food slip over in that gap and it will mash against those fragments and send pain shooting through my face.  It usually bleeds too which only adds to the ghastliness

of the situation, right?

I have decided I won’t spend a bunch of money to fix my crappy teeth anymore.  What I WANT to do is have dental

implants, but then again, that definitely is going to cost a ton of money.  BUT it should be a more permanent solution, so that’s what I am holding out for… I’m just not sure how long I can hold out.  My oral surgeon recommended I wait til absolutely necessary to do that.  He said he has an aversion to yanking out perfectly good teeth, especially from a diabetic. And then there’s the whole process of implants… pull any remaining teeth, wait possibly up to 6 months for that to heal, then place the implants, go through the healing process for them and then several visits to make sure they are properly fitted and aligned and so forth.

So, I’m waiting.  Impatiently, but I’m waiting all the same.

THING 3 I AM TOTALLY NOT LOVING:

dental work and expense

So, friends… what kind of things are going on with you lately that you just really hate?  Do you also struggle to afford dental care?  Do you have dental insurance (because I do, but it’s not worth a whole lot once they tell you what they won’t cover!)?  Are you a fanatic about dental care or do you avoid it?  I guess I’m somewhere in the middle.


confessions


You may or may not know this about me, but I used to be a horrifically passive-aggressive person. In my defense, my parents weren’t good communicators so this sort of thing was all I knew. They weren’t always what you could call passive-aggressive necessarily, but they did not communicate what they wanted, expected or thought very well at all. So I guess my only response was to learn to communicate in this way.

“I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was.”

I say “I used to be” because, trust me… you can ask the Hubby, I was a WHOLE LOT worse in the past. But even though my passive-aggressive tendencies are extremely reduced these days, there are times when I reactively resort to coping with things this way.  I guess you could call me a ‘recovering passive-aggressive’.

I began researching today about how to deal with passive-aggressive behavior. Once I was aware of myself acting this way and took steps to stop, I became keenly aware of others who were severely passive-aggressive. And it is other passive-aggressive people who seem to instinctively pull that same PA reaction out of me.

Let me clarify here by saying that I did NOT realize this is what I was doing all those years. I knew what it meant, but I didn’t really know the term or even when I heard someone use it, it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was complete blind to it. Now that I make an effort to NOT live passive-aggressively, my life is much more peaceful. At least my “inner voice” isn’t forever playing this running monolog of the latest conversation with someone else or some upcoming confrontation I was going to or WISHED I could have.

So far, I haven’t read anything about this trait so maybe I’m the only one who did it, but I suspect that’s not at all the case. I think it’s probably the main “thing” with any PA person. I could spend entire days replaying some conversation, changing my responses or creating new scenarios. I would work up these awesome, very dramatic confrontations I wanted to have with people who had hurt me or wronged me. In my scenarios, I would passionately make my points, I’d ‘tell it like it is’ and give them a piece of my mind. I’d tell them how horribly they treated me or how deeply they had wounded me and they’d always see the error of their ways and spend the rest of eternity trying to right their wrong.

I’m telling you, folks, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.

I lived like that for YEARS and never realized what a mess I was. I mean, sure, I also dealt with depression and diabetes too and recognized those “ailments”, but I just never realized how terribly passive-aggressive I was as just a routine…an everyday occurrence.

“…it never registered that, in fact, I was a passive-aggressive person. I was completely blind to it.

Now, after a few years of coping with recognizing and having others around me, some new and some not-so-new, who are very passive-aggressive, for some reason it has finally occurred to me to research how to deal with them! I don’t know why I never thought about it before. I guess this is all some sort of self-therapy and I’m just giving a name to the behavior I displayed for most of my life. I wish I had known this stuff before now, but as it stands, I guess there’s a reason for it all. If you have known me for eons and tried to point out my ugly temperment, I’m sorry. At the time, I just could not see it and I probably responded poorly. ** * sigh * **

Right now though, I’m desperate to make sure my mind operates in a completely NON-passive-aggressive way so I can get through to others who are seriously PA and tend to direct most of that inner bitterness at me.

Maybe that’s because they know I myself have been and can still react passive-aggressively? Is it a thing that PA’s try to push other PA-people’s buttons? Hmmm… I wonder… but I bet it is.

“I’m telling you, having a passive-aggressive tendency will make your mind sick.”

I may be wrong, y’know… because for reals, I’m not a psychology major nor do I play one on TV, but in this case, I realize that I behaved this way because of deep-seated hurts and rejection during my childhood. Coupled with the depression, I think any sort of dismissive attitude towards me had to make things worse. Just to be told your thoughts are not valid is such an awful feeling. When it’s repeated in a child’s life, I guess you end up with someone like me. Someone who feels worthless, guilty, useless and bitter. The only way I knew to deal with people was in a very non-direct way. That’s why I am a MUCH better communicator in writing than I am in person, face-to-face.

I’m learning to stop that self-destructive, harmful-to-others, sick-mind way of living, finally. It’s a slow process, but maybe, hopefully, Lord willing, I am at a place where I can now destruct difficult relationships with other who are way too much like me… like the me I used to be. But I’m not sure how to deal with it when it feels like all the manipulation and aggressive non-actions are just to be mean. When I was at my worst, I don’t think I ever just set out to see if I could manipulate someone for the heck of it. It was never just to be mean. But if they hurt me, boy, I could be one of the craftiest, nastiest passive-aggressives you ever met. That was a sort-of justification to me: you deserved it if you’d been mean to me. And not knowing any other way to communicate with people, I reacted in kind! In that way, I feel like I was different than some PA-people are. From where I sit, it seems some people just want to manipulate me for fun. Just because they’re bored maybe? I don’t know, and like I said, I don’t remember ever being passive-aggressive toward someone just to be mean, just because I didn’t like the way they looked or because I wanted all the attention. I ** * think * ** I was only that way towards someone who hurt or attacked me. It was my defense when someone was just ugly to me. I’ve never been a mean-spirited person however maybe my poor husband would tell you otherwise. I don’t think I’ll ask him at this time. Maybe one day, when I’m more confident that I’ve overcome that way of responding. ** * ha * **

Again, I’m no psychology major by any means, so I’m not sure if this is even possible … to have different motivations for PA actions? Is that a thing? Or does this behavior always stem from insecurity and low self-esteem no matter if the person is mean-spirited about it or just defensively reactive? Are some people just really mean without having some past damage to their self-worth or psyche?

Hmmm… so interesting.

ANYway, I’m trying to educate myself here. I know there’s a lot of scripture that can be applied here, but I am too tired to look it up and paste it here. Just don’t think I’m looking only at the psychology of it and not the spiritual side of having this kind of personality. Believe me, I certainly realize living with a PA attitude is NOT at all Christ-like. That’s just one more reason I’m so thankful God gives big grace! I have needed and STILL need tons of it! I can now see how very sinful my attitude and actions were when I lived my life from a place of hurt and bitterness.

I just hope I can learn to leave that all behind, even in snap-reactive situations when it’s more likely to slip out again. I want to live the way Jesus wants me to. I want to be able to help other people to either overcome passive-aggression in themselves or help PAs around them. I know we can be difficult people to love, hard to interact with and I want to help people see how destructive and reversible it is. Jesus can heal the diseases of bitterness and manipulation and passive-aggressive mindsets.

Lord, let it be so!

PS: I realize being vague, like leaving out any identification, is a tactic of a passive-aggressive person however, in this case, I definitely do not want to identify anyone since any of the several people this could apply to could possibly find this post. I also don’t want to identify anyone, even people I am not “analyzing” or whatever just because that would be rude.

Remember, I have also “analyzed” myself in this post. I am trying to make myself better and be able to help anyone else who may need it to overcome what I am overcoming.

For God’s glory!


so gone so long


Sheez!!  I have missed writing so much!!  It’s been crazy around here, of course.  I began having physical therapy on my neck and shoulders, as I’ve mentioned before, but they also started occupational therapy on my hands.  Or rather, my right hand, which has been going numb a LOT!  At first, because there was some initial pain too, I figured I just needed to sign up to have carpal tunnel surgery on this hand too, but my doctor (my general practitioner) was SO against it!  She was telling me how it only worked about half the time, etc. etc.  Which was surprising to me since when I had it done in my left hand, it was like a miracle!!  Took care of all my problems in that hand!  But then, talking to others who have had CT surgery done, they’ve had bad experiences.

As of now, the pain is much decreased and the numbness isn’t as constant so I’m trying to get by without seeing an orthopedic doctor.  I think a lot of the pain I had at first was arthritis.  The weather was horribly rainy then and while a lot of times, the rain doesn’t seem to affect me at all, this time, it really did and I had aches in joints I’d for

gotten all about.  UGH!

So anyhow, they keep you busy running to therapy umpteen times a week.  Thank God it’s not too far from the house!

As for other doin’s… Tommy and I both went to Cincy to see the kids on the weekend of June 4th.  Since I had an appointment with my endo in Lexington on Monday afternoon, we just stayed Sunday night too and stopped for the appointment on the way home.  So we left here on Friday afternoon.  I was able to leave Max with a friend, thankfully, so we loaded up our bikes, the kids’ life jackets and ours and as little luggage as we could get by with, their two camping chairs we thought they’d forgotten (they meant to leave them!) and a small cooler with drinks and snacks ALLLLL into our Challenger!

Yes, I said the Challenger!  Ha ha ha!!  We checked to be sure we could even get our bikes in there first and surprisingly, with the front wheels off and the back seats folded down, we were able to get both of them in without too much trouble.

We DO have an older bike hauler, but it takes a hitch reciever and Tommy’s not been willing to cut into the body and stick one of those ugly things in between the two chrome-tipped exhausts.  I can’t say I blame him one bit.  If we get to where we’re riding a lot, maybe…but right now?  Nope.  Ruby is too sharp to mess up like that!  Ha ha!

 

We had an amazing time while we were visiting Corey and Melissa.  Most of the time it’s rushed.  We don’t have much time to be there so we have squeezed a ton of sight-seeing and visiting into them.  This time, we just took it easy and had a couple things planned.  We did those and then just fiddled around the rest of the time.  We rode the Little Miami River trail which was awesome.  It’s a rails-to-trails trail and so it was mostly flat.  We rode up to what’s called The Old Powder Factory where they used to make ammunition.  It, um…it blew up, so now what’s left of the buidling, which is substantial, is abandoned and it’s a cool place to see.  There are white and turquoise tile decoration up on the towers of red brick and it’s all by itself almost in the middle of nowhere, so it’s an eery sort of place.  Very cool.  The ride was just wonderful since it was mostly shaded and follows the river.  We started in historic Loveland, which is such a quaint, beautiful area of town.  Little shops and tons of people just out milling around, either riding or running/walking the trail, or working at the shops, some playing music, some sitting around the park-like area just snoozing or playing games.  It was SO fun!  And it really got Tommy and me both back on a cycling kick, which thrills me to no end!

In fact, we actually have 76 miles under our belts in a week’s time! (3 more rides after the one in Ohio)  WOW!  I am so shocked that we were able to accomplish this!! That I was able to accomplish it!  I can’t describe how good it felt to be back on the bikes with the wind blowing past us, seeing turkey, deer, rabbits, foxes and horses….oh, and of course, cows as we rode down our familiar country roads.  We even got to ride with some folks from our cycling club, so it was fun catching up with them, assuring them that, no, we hadn’t died, we just got busy.  Cycling has been one of the only hobbies that Tommy and I both really enjoy that we can do together.  It’s good for our health and our relationship.  You can’t beat that with a stick!

While we were with the kids, we also went to the Cincinnati Zoo and to a couple of bike and outdoor shops, out to a few neat places to eat and to several places scoping out the best place for them to put in their kayaks.  Yeah, Corey and Mel just bought kayaks, so they will have a busy summer for sure!

The weekend before, Memorial Day weekend, Corey and Melissa came down to Kentucky for a few days, so we were busy then too.  We went to a friend’s family farm a couple of times where they often camp out and enjoyed the campfire, cooking and company.

Friends and folks who know my eldest and his wife often ask me how I’ve done with their move to Ohio and I have to tell them it’s been a bit easier than I thought it would.  I thought sure I would just die without them here but in all honesty?  We see them more now than we did when they lived right next door.  It seems absence really does make the heart grow fonder and the people take a lot less for granted!

And so this past weekend, I have been serving on an Emmaus weekend!  Since our Emmaus community has not had access to the Christian camp we have used for the past several years, we hadn’t been able to host a walk, but a generous church offered their campus to us (actually it’s where the first few walks were held when our community was brand new!) and so I’ve had a spiritually refreshing, physically exhausting weekend!  It was really wonderful and I’m still basking in the glow of the heavy presence of God we had all weekend.

Since waking up this morning, though, my face is swollen, my sinuses are all gobbed up and my head is pounding like someone’s playing drum on it with a hammer, so I’m going to treat my aching self for awhile…see if I can get my bones to stop protesting and settle in with my Bible for a bit.  As usual, I’ve come away from the weekend convicted of the lack of time I spent with my sweet Savior, so I’m getting back to it and sighing with relief that my God is big on second, third, fiftieth chances.

He is just SO good!

Be blessed today and go bless someone else!  mwah!

 

 

living with food allergies…


That is SUCH a lame title guys, but I wanted people to know exactly what I was talking about.

Yes, eye roll  I know that’s unusual for me.  Ha-ha-ha.  Sheesh.

This is sort-of an update too because there’s been a ton of stuff going on around here.

First of all, yeah, we are dealing with allergies again.  But this time, it’s not me!  And it’s not like hay fever type allergies.  Tommy is just plagued with a whole list of food allergies!

I’m talking some weird foods, stuff he eats all the time…or used to, that is.  We were both floored when the results came back.

Shoot, we were floored when they were finally able to even do the prick test on him at all!

This is what happened when they began writing the reference info on his back:

YIKES!!  Yeah, his skin began to get really red and puff up as soon as they started writing back there.  Keep in mind, he had to go off all antihistamines and his usual allergy medicines for a week prior…and he could only make it to five days.  We called the allergist’s office and got him in early in Lexington instead of waiting for him to come into our local office as planned.

You could have literally read the writing with the ink wiped off because each stroke they made with the ballpoint pen had welted up.  It was crazy and then things began to get a little weird in the office…

The nurses got really alarmed.  The one who’d done the writing was all but done by the time Tommy finally said, “I don’t think I can stand that anymore.”  And that was after telling her almost from the start that it was itching.  I mean, he was willing to tolerate a bit of itching, but it kept getting worse, so she stopped with the pen and did the rest with a felt-tip, which also caused redness but no welting up.

Instead of going right ahead with the pricks, she went to get another nurse… who then went to get the doctor.  We had to wait about 10 minutes for him to come in and during that time the first two nurses brought in another nurse to check it out.  Then they asked if he was okay, was his chest tight or hurting, could he breathe okay… He assured them he was fine other than the horrible itching.

They came in to ask another time before the doc finally came in to see what all the fuss was about.

He wasn’t as alarmed but it concerned him.  He said he hadn’t seen anyone react that bad before.  He and another nurse, I’m assuming she must have been the most senior nurse or had the most experience, discussed how to complete the testing.

They came up with the idea to just make dots on his upper arm instead of writing out the numbers.  So she dotted his arm up but at the same time, she had to write down each allergen on a paper that matched up with the dots so they could keep things straight.

Once they finally got all the dots and pricks done and could give him some antihistamine and inhalers, we ended up with this buttload of things he showed allergy to.  Things like wheat.

Wheat, people.  This was NOT celiac disease like our oldest son, Corey, has… that’s a breakdown of the cillia which makes you unable to properly digest and absorb nutrients from wheat products.  However, it’s pretty much resulted in the same type of diet.

Except that Tommy’s also allergic to tomatoes and cauliflower and turkey and walnuts and vanilla and carrots…

Oh, there’s more.  But this little sample of his allergy list just gives you an idea of how hard it’s been to feed this man ever since then!

Seriously!  It’s been tough, but thank God he’s adjusted fairly well.  He went through one short-lived episode of self pity when he claimed there was nothing for him to eat ANYwhere!

As they say in the infomercials:

But wait, there’s more!

That would be funny except for the fact that in the middle of all these adjustments, he had to also deal with the food restrictions that come with prepping for testing at the gastroenterologist’s office too.  Yeah, he had the upper and lower scope thingies done so we spent five days trying to keep straight his allergy restrictions along with his scope-prep restrictions.  Talk about confusing!!

That list added grains and leafy green veggies along with fried foods.

We had already planned to visit Corey and Mel in Cincinnati during that time so I’m not sure if that made it easier to eat out or harder, but we sure got some weird looks from the requests we made.  Ha ha!

After the scopes were done, he was told in no uncertain terms to avoid all NSAIDs from here on out.  She said they were poison and were destroying the lining of his stomach.  sigh

We THOUGHT he was off all NSAIDs except his former doctor had given him something for pain quite some time ago telling him, “This won’t bother your stomach”. Turned out the new medicine was just another form of NSAID so it was actually doing the same thing.  Gah!!  I’m so glad Tommy is no longer seeing that doctor!

Okay, SO the reason he’s got so much damage from the NSAIDs is because he’s taken them off and (mostly) on for a long, LONG time.  For the pain in his feet mostly, from the tightness and pain in his Achilles tendons and all over.

The first time he went off them, within three days, he seized up like the Tin Man without his oil.  He was in misery which is why the other doc put him on this new “won’t hurt your stomach because it’s not an NSAID except that it is” medicine.

Tommy was really worried about how he was going to work or do really anything without some sort of pain relief.   When we looked at the alternative medical offerings, we were not impressed so we turned to the trusty ol’ innernets.

We researched natural herbal remedies for inflammation and came up with tumeric over and over. Okay, yeah.  I’d heard of using tumeric for pain and arthritis years ago when I worked in the natural food store, but I’d long since forgotten about it.  We came across the recipes for something called Golden Milk which, oddly enough (or not!) I had seen floating around on Facebook as well and I was very interested in trying it already.  Even before I knew about this benefit.

Ever since Tommy’s allergy testing, he’s been SO much more committed to healthy eating, something I couldn’t ever get him to do seriously before.  So he was instantly agreeable to trying golden milk too.  It was made with ground tumeric, cinnamon, black pepper and ginger all mixed together with milk and sweetened a bit.  We liked it and began having it every night before bed.

At that same time, I was also giving Tommy tart cherry juice to drink because it also has anti-inflammatory properties.

And we waited to see what would happen.

When after three days, he wasn’t hurting a ton worse, we declared it a success and made the tumeric and cherry juice a part of his regular regimen.  Before when he went off the NSAIDs, he was mostly bed-ridden within three days of stopping the medicine.  His entire body would get so tight and it would be excruciating for him to move.  Not this time, though.  The natural remedies seemed to be working awesome for him!

You can’t imagine how thankful to God we are for that!  As always, God provides what we need!   Jesus tells us in Matthew 21:22

Jesus says: “And all things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”

We tweaked our recipe, of course, tracked down some fresh tumeric thinking it had to be better for us.  The jury is still out on that one.  I’m not sure if it’s because the benefits aren’t noticeably better or if it’s because I detest how peeling and grating tumeric turns your hands orangey-yellow!  Ugh!

Okay so we had made it past getting him off the harmful medicine without being incapacitated but his stomach was still bothering him.  We went to see our family doctor who advised him to stop eating a few more things to see if that would help and switched his “stomach medicine” to something else.  But he didn’t get better.  In fact, the pain got worse.

We decided it must be his gall bladder.  Both the family doc and the gastroentrologist had mentioned possible gall stones as the reason for his pain.  So we hit the ‘net again looking for answers.

Annnnd, we ended up doing a home remedy called a gall bladder (or liver) flush.  I’ve mentioned it in more detail in another post so I’ll refrain here, but if you missed this post, let me just say that “flush” is a completely suitable name for this “procedure” because you do a LOT of it, your intestinals AND your toilet.  We both did it since we learned that most anyone over 40 probably has some stones even if they don’t have symptoms.  There were a lot of small, soft-ish stones so for us both, so I’m sure that is probably a good thing to do at least once anyway (if you are healthy enough, yadda, yadda, medical disclaimer)

We were SO hoping to avoid a gall bladder surgery for Tommy, thinking we could possibly flush the stones out at home, but even though the pain lessened immediately after, it soon was back up to speed.  Once it got so bad that Tommy was taking off work, he said Enough and we headed back to our family doc again.  She set him up for a HIDA scan to make absolutely sure his gall bladder wasn’t working.  The scan showed he had about 21% function, so it had to come out.

He got in for that fairly quickly, which was great.  He healed up well and is now back to his old self, minus the crappy diet.

We’re now eating SOOOOoooOOOOO much healthier!  We are eating non-GMO and organic as much as is possibly in our smaller town.  We often drive 80 miles to get the healthier food we need and want.  We’ve found some veggies Tommy can eat, so I keep those in stock for snacking and meals.  We eat a lot more fish now since turkey is off the menu for him and a lot of beef is discouraged by his doc.  He got sick of chicken real fast!  Tommy has a smoothie every morning with banana, tart cherries, blueberries and oatmeal in almond milk.  Tons healthier than even the “healthy” breakfast smoothie he used to always stop and buy each morning, not to mention a TON cheaper!  To avoid wheat, we just look for items labeled “gluten free” and stick with that.  We found some great GF tortillas that he really likes and most of the time, we can get GF bread at the local store, but lately, it’s been gone from the shelves and I’m not sure why.  He’s not crazy about the frozen GF bread, so I don’t buy it unless he’s mentioned bread several times.  Then I’ll buy it and we make sure it’s always toasted.  He was so excited when I found some GF waffles in several flavors and on sale, too!

That GF food is exPENsive, lemme tell ya!  A few more things on his allergy list are coconut, sweet potato, catfish, cod, raspberries and grapes.

No, that’s still not all, but those are the biggies we run into most often.  Corey has finally found someone who has a harder time finding food to eat than him!  When we were in Cincy last was during Tommy’s overlapping diets… allergy restrictions and his scope-prep diet.  Corey would say, “Hey, we can go here.  They have a great GF stir fry that..” and I’d stop him with “Dad can’t have rice before the scope.” or when he suggested we make buckwheat noodles with pasta sauce for a meal… “Dad is allergic to tomatoes.”  Sheesh!

I know it probably sounds like we go overboard with all these allergies, but he was determined to follow the allergist’s orders to completely go off all his triggers for a couple months then slowly add one thing back at a time.  Tommy has really been great at sticking with that.  I would have just chucked it when it came to asking someone for something else, but not Tommy.  If there was no substitution, he would go without.

Besides that, we have seen first hand already that he actually is allergic to somethings when we’ve accidentally consumed them.  Like that time I put coconut milk in his smoothie instead of almond and his neck and chest turned red, itchy and welted up.  Or the time he forgot and put grape jelly on a PBJ then had an itchy throat the rest of the day.  They’re not huge reactions, but knowing he reacts adversely to those things makes him realize how much better he feels now that he’s off them.

Tommy was off work a week after the gall bladder surgery and had been off about two weeks total before that from being so sick or having a test or doctor appointment.  Since we had a 3 day vacation thingie we’d bought the year before and it was about to expire, we booked a place in Florida and took off!  He decided since he’d been off this long, we should just go down there and recoup.

Actually, our doctor told me we needed a vacation.  So it was medically sanctioned.  Ha ha ha!!  We had a nice time.  It was beautiful the day we arrived and the next day, but the last two days were very overcast and windy, but the ocean was still amazing to watch.

Sunset at Fort Walton Beach near Destin

Anyhow, that’s where we’re at right now.  Doing lots of new things as far as our diets go and it’s been good and mostly fun.  (I still hate olives, though, but Tommy loves them and they’re one of his favorite snacks).  We’re trying new things, trying to enjoy it as much as we can with the acknowledgement that if we don’t take the best care of ourselves that we can, we will not be able to enjoy life as much!

True confessions:  We drove 10 miles each way several times so we could have our meal at Whole Foods!  We felt so silly but every time we went, we would see a lot of other people in there just to eat, not really shopping.  Hey, it may just be food bars in there, but that’s some good food!  I personally loved it.  I think maybe Tommy was a bit disappointed that we didn’t find a lot more things he could eat in the restaurants.  Poor fella.  I’m like, “Dude, we’re down here right on the water.  Where people fish ALL THE TIME.  There’s gonna be seafood everywhere and where there’s seafood, there’s gonna be breading and frying and lots of gluten-y/wheat-containing foods.”  I really don’t think that had even crossed his mind on the long trip down there.

But it all turned out alright once it sat in that we couldn’t go in any ol’ restaurant and order a meal and he couldn’t order up a big seafood platter like he would have done in the past.

You know what they say about old dogs and new tricks.  Well, these old dogs are learning.  Very slowly, granted!  But we’re learning.  Ha!

Alright…I’m out for now.  Hope to get back to posting more regularly now!

Blessings~

 


impossible


You know how things become “hip” and “trendy” so fast these days.  Like the one that immediately comes to mind (and is very much done, for the most part, so yeah, it’s old, but it was super-annoying!) is the RickRoll (<–click the link for definition & lengthy exposition of the rickrolling phenomenon).

Or that meme that you find repeatedly or in various forms all over social media and the internet in general.  Like, it become a sort of techno-folklore type of thing.  (overused memes, linked in case you’re confused about what I mean…ha!)

OR (yes, I’m getting to my point here…) like all those baby-fied Noah/Noah’s ark things.  All sorts of things…baby toys, wallpaper border, wall hangings, bed sets, play sets, notebooks, stationery…you name it!  It has or has had something that was Noah-ark themed made of it.

I never got into that.  I didn’t give my boys any things that were made that way. To drive the point home for you, check out this link!  I mean, it’s like Noah’s ark-o-rama!  GAH!

Now, the above photo depicts, among other things, some top-notch cake-decorating skills but also is representative of my point that the whole story of Noah has been turned into a children’s story at best; a fairytale at worst!  This cake is for a baby shower.  It’s adorable, don’t get me wrong.  But the theme, the actual story, whether the person who ordered it believes it’s truth or fiction, is really a little questionable.  This is from a “story” (for lack of a better word right now) about when God found the earth so corrupt and wicked that He found it necessary to wipe the slate clean.  A time when He instructed the one moral man He could find who still followed God’s teachings to build a gigantic vessel (that took over ONE HUNDRED YEARS to build, by the way) for a nature event that had never yet happened (it had never rained at all, let alone flooded!) and then to fill it with two of EVERY creature on earth (plus the extra ones God instructed Noah to take).

~blink, blink~

Can you even imagine?  That’s what gets me every time.  What a wholly unfathomable idea it all was…

I can remember when my boys were young and we were homeschooling when we came to the scripture about Noah.  Often, I’d take the boys outside to read the Bible to them and we would talk about what we had read.  I can recall how it just hit me suddenly what a gigantic faith Noah had to have.  I mean, at that time, the earth sort of “watered itself”.  The dew was sufficient to create enough water to sustain all the vegetation in the world and even to supply all the people with enough water.

I’m drawing from my reading of Many Waters, by A Wrinkle In Time author, Madeleine L’Engle.

The Wrinkle in Time Quintet Boxed Set (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, An Acceptable Time)
(I love this series of books and recommend you give them a read if you haven’t already!)

 

Ahem!  So when I say that, I mean that in Many Waters, the imagery was that of a dry, arid atmosphere.  Like a desert, I guess.  And scripture doesn’t indicate if there was a body of water nearby, so I really don’t know if they could, at that time, even imagine what sort of thing was about to happen or why in the world they would need to build such a “contraption” as the ark.  Who knows?  Perhaps they had never seen any sort of boat before?

I tried to get across to the boys how HUGE Noah’s faith had to be for him to just go ahead and do what God told him when he had never seen or even heard of rain or a flood before.  I told them it would be like God telling them to build a gigantic whatchamajigger (because they wouldn’t know whatever word God would use… they wouldn’t understand what He was talking about if they’d never seen it before, if it had never even happened before) because purple, singing flowers were going to fall from the sky.

Seriously.

What if God told you something like that?  Don’t you imagine it was along the same lines with Noah?  I can almost imagine this sort of conversation happening…

“Yes, I’m going to send water down from the sky.  Yes, I know it usually appears on all the leaves.  But I will…yes.  Yes, I know you’ve never seen water come out of the sky before, but I am going to do it that way this time.  Yes…enough to cover the entire earth.  Yes, Noah, I know you’ve never seen that much water in your life.  I know you can’t imagine it.  It’s okay though.  I always do what I say I will do and this time won’t be any different.  Just trust in Me, do what I ask you to and you will get to see something that has never ever happened on earth before!”

Wouldn’t it be the same way for us?  I honestly wonder if Noah even questioned what God was talking about, or maybe he wasn’t fully aware.  I really think about this thing a lot.

I really think about this thing a lot.

I mean, did Noah just trust God so fully and completely that he didn’t even bat an eye?  That’s pretty awe inspiring if you ask me.  And here I sit, questioning and wondering if God can or will help us be able to pay our bills or do something or other, and I fret and worry about it.  What a little-faith-er I am!!  I can’t even have faith that God will sustain us with the things we need let alone to do something outlandish and be considered crazy by the world just because He said to.

I had big plans of showing how various factions of society look at or consider the Ark and the whole story of Noah.  From the hostile to the mocking to the sold-out to the “adventurer/historian/myth-buster”.  There are all kinds of opinions and views about Noah’s Ark.  It’s probably one of the most visible, socially acceptable stories in the Bible, even when it’s completely wrong or based in emotion.  You may come across a representation of the ark anywhere!

Go read the account of the ark with this in mind.  Think of how they lived back then, think of what it was like to live that way and how it would be to have God ask you something like that in a time of such rampant evil and violence….

The World When Noah Was Alive….Genesis 6…

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  ~Genesis 6:5


stormy weather…


It’s getting to be tornado season around my house.  It’s a little funny (not ha-ha funny, but odd-funny) for me to say that since we have been blessed to avoid any huge damage from tornados since we’ve lived here.  That’s over 20 years now!  But there have been some bad ones come through very close to us over the years.

I don’t mind a thunderstorm every now and then.  I like the feeling of being safe and protected in my house while the thunder rages outside.  It reminds me of how tiny we are in the grand scheme of things.  It reminds me of how awesome and huge God is and conjures up visions of Him sitting amongst the clouds, flicking His hand to instigate bright flashes of lightening and earth-shaking booms of thunder.

It also usually always makes me think of how amazingly cool it would be to see a storm from His point of view.  I mean, how cool would it be to be able to look over God’s shoulder, or rather, probably, from atop His shoulder, and watch all the action from the topside?  I think it’s fascinating to ponder how utterly awesome that would be.

Heh.  Do you ever think about things like that?

One of my daughters-in-law is really afraid of storms.  Not so much that she’s panicking, but she doesn’t care for them at all.  I have never really been afraid of them.  I actually liked to be outside watching when one rolled in.  I know.  Not very bright of me, right?  Ha!  But it’s true.  I can remember one time when a storm was rolling in over our house.  I was nine or ten years old, I guess, and Dad made me go outside and get some lawn chairs I’d left out in the yard.

As I opened the storm door and stepped outside, the wildness of the winds hit me in the face and the darkness of the sky became up close and personal and I felt incredulous that my dad had sent his poor little daughter out in that weather. Heh.  But I knew he was watching me and wouldn’t let me back out of it, so I ran as fast as my legs would go.  I grabbed up those two chairs, slapped them together and ran for dear life back to the garage to stow them and get back in the house as quick as I could.  

Being all by myself out there was a bit more scary than I had anticipated.

But watching a storm with someone else is a little different.  Another time I remember is when we got caught in the barn when a bad storm hit.  I think it was maybe Mom and my sister this time.  We ended up getting some hail with that one and it was so cool to me to sit in the hay up in the loft and listen to the fury outside.  I think we had some puppies at the time, so that was lots of fun, too.

Or it could be that I’m completely mixing up my memories.  You never know with me these days.  Never the less, at one time in history, I was caught in the barn during a hailstorm and the crazy, loudness of the ice hitting the tin roof was really amazing.  It’s like you have absolutely no control and no choice but to hunker down and let God’s enormous-ness happen all around you.

I dunno… maybe I’m just weird thinking about stuff like that?

Another, more recent time I remember was when my boys were young and we’d gone camping!  We didn’t get hail that time, thank God, but there was lots of lightening and thunder and all we could do was hunker in the tent (yes, a TENT!) while the rain battered against the thin nylon.  The very idea that some flimsy fabric was the only thing between us and the wild weather outside was pretty sobering.  And of course, I did some praying in there that the stitching and fabric would hold!

I’m pretty sure that’s the four-day weekend we spent when it would rain at least once a day, then be beautifully sunny.  Tommy and I ended up buying extra tarps and reinforcing our rain protection that time.  The boys thought it was great fun.  Mud didn’t bother them at all.

smile

Fun times.

This time of year also brings birthday month.  Casey’s birthday was last Sunday.  Corey’s will be the Sunday after this.  I can’t believe they are now 24 and 28!!  I mean, seriously!?!?  When did I get old enough to have an almost-30-year-old kid?!?

Thinking about them being this old makes me really wonder if I’m ever going to get a grandbaby.  I try not to talk about that, especially to them, but c’mon you guys!!  You’re not getting any younger!

I can’t imagine having been married this long and not having any kids.  Of course, our marriage is nothing like either of our kids’ marriages.  Casey and Tay continue talking like soon as she’s done with her BSN (which is next month, hallelujah!) they will be up for having kids.  I guess I can’t see it though because they’re never still long enough.

They are both constantly running to this or that meeting, some sort of sporting event or party or concert or just getting together with friends.  It makes my head spin!  I mean, you have to plan months ahead if you want to do something with them and then it’s likely to be a no-go if Taylor has a lot of homework.  Sheesh!  I just wish I had that much energy!  Ha!

Anyhow, yeah… I’m staring 50 in the eyeball right now and most of my friends have at least one grandbaby if not more!  I feel so left out.  (heh)  That’s only when I let myself think about it, though.

Right now, I’m just trying to work up to where I can ride my stinkin’ bike again!!  Tommy and I went out Sunday afternoon and I couldn’t even finish six miles!  Of course, I hadn’t been on that bike in a good year, so I’m trying to cut myself some slack, but it sure felt horrible to realize how much stamina I have lost.  How much endurance and ability.

It definitely proves the phrase “Use it or lose it” because I’ve definitely lost it.  Every last bit of it!!

But here’s to better things and a stronger body.  Please, Lord!  🙂

Okay, that’s all I have on my brain right now.  Take some time to watch the sky today and think about what and Who stands beyond your view…

Blessings!

Psalm 95:4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.

5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.


playing catch-up


That’s what you can consider this post.  Me trying to update you on all that’s been going on with me and the hubs in the health and medical happenings department.

I’ve indicated a few times that he and I both have been really busy getting all sorts of tests done and then, when something comes up on a test, having some procedure or other done.  Unbelievably, this year it’s been mostly him having procedures.  More about those in a sec…

So far this year, I’ve had a mammogram (joy. not.), an eye exam (got my new glasses & can see MUCH better now, YAY!) I’ve had several blood draws, which is usual for me, I had another sleep study done (after about 8 years?!) and have a new C-PAP machine now, I had my first stress test and echocardiogram done looking for the source of my constant fatigue, that led to seeing a cardiologist and having my first-ever heart catheterization done, which came out fine, I’m finishing up my allergy shots along with getting weekly B12 injections, and now I’m going to physical therapy to get my shoulders and neck back into shape after going for years with constant stress-related pain.

Ha, I told a friend the other day if I could just get some new teeth (I want to get implants as soon as I can) and some liposuction, I’d be almost good as new!

As for my poor hubby, Tommy’s had a bunch of tests run as well.  I finally talked him into seeing my doctor and he really likes her, just like I said he would.  She has been working to find the source of his stomach problems.  He’s had scopes done, both directions, which led to the gastroenterologist telling him again to get off the NSAIDs.  He thought he WAS off them, but come to find out, the meds his old doctor had put him on for the pain in his Achilles actually was another form of NSAID, so his stomach had gotten all messed up again.

He was so worried about having to stop them since every other time he’s gone off pain meds, he has been just wracked with pain and barely able to walk, let alone anything else.  So we began looking for natural anti-inflammatories.  I found a good source for tart cherry juice concentrate and started him on two cups of that a day along with drinking “golden milk” which is a turmeric drink.  Turmeric is a very powerful anti-inflammatory as well.

After having his allergy tests done, we found out he is highly allergic to a ton of foods, weird things that are so common it was pretty discouraging to think about how we’d avoid them.  Like apples, tomatoes, and vanilla!  Just sit there a minute and think about how many foods are made with those ingredients!!

He has done really good with changing his eating habits but soon, his stomach really started to bother him.  I’ve been telling him for the past several years if he didn’t lose some weight, he was going to regret it.  He’s the type who will do the opposite of what you tell him just for spite, so he’s not been trying at all to modify his eating.  So now, with several doctors telling him it is a MUST that he eat differently, he’s finally on board.

When our doc began testing to see what was up with his stomach, she mentioned gall bladder, which put us on the search for ways to avoid having to get it removed.  That’s when we did the gall bladder/liver flush.  Tommy ended up doing it twice but still had to get his taken out.  Turned out he didn’t have stones, but instead his gall bladder was just grossly infected.

They had a horrible time getting him sedated, or rather, intubated and we left the surgery center with a letter from the doctor and anesthesiologist to keep with us in case he ever had to be sedated again.  Seems he has a very small airway along with a strange alignment of his esophagus that makes it impossible to intubate him in the normal way.  He has to have a bronchi-scope instead, which is a whole different set of tools for the anesthetist.  During his gall bladder surgery, they had to stop everything while the other tools were located and brought to the operating room.  Apparently, it was very stressful and maybe even dangerous to have to do this.  I didn’t understand all that she was telling me, but she said to make sure the doctors got that letter before he has another surgery or sedated procedure.

After the surgery, Tommy seemed to start doing better.  His terribly bloated stomach went down which made us realize that he’d probably been sick with that for a couple of years!  We didn’t realize it was bloating instead of just weight gain!  However, he has continued to have pain in his upper/mid back area.  So our doc sent him for another CT scan to check his kidneys.

This would be his fourth scan-type test this year after an initial ultrasound, then a CT for the initial stomach pain, then a HIDA scan, now this CT and then, after finding cysts on his kidneys, they sent him for another ultrasound to see if the cysts were something serious.

Turns out they aren’t and now doc wants to send him to the chiropractor thinking his back pain is muscular instead of internal.

I wasn’t thrilled about that since I’ve been a ton of times to this chiropractor without getting any relief for my neck and shoulders.  I really love the gal that works on me at physical therapy.  She’s a former masseuse so she also does some massage on my neck and shoulders, which helps a lot.  She’s trying to help me build up the muscles that are weak from years of trying to accommodate my misalignment due to pain.  The reason the chiropractor hasn’t worked for me is because all those muscles are so tight, even when the chiro aligns me, my muscles will pull things back out.  Until my muscles are retrained, any alignment isn’t going to stick.

I’ve been to the PT three times now.  Yesterday was an unusual day, though.  I was late getting there, which made me nervous and stressed anyway.  She put me on this bike to do hand pedaling and then over to the pulleys to do some exercises when I began to feel extremely tired.  Tommy texted about that time to tell me my sugar was pretty low.  I had seen it about the same time and walked over to my purse to get something to treat the low blood sugar with…but all I could find was one solitary Tootsie Roll!!  My little zip bag I keep stuff for lows in was empty!!  ARGH!  I remembered then wiping that out when we were on vacation but never thinking to restock it once we got home.

By this time, I was beginning to sweat and feel shaky.  I texted Tommy, who had been planning to come by the therapy office to get his computer out of my car.  He had already come and got it though, so he was already gone when I asked if he could bring me a Mt. Dew or something.  By this time, the therapist had noticed something was up with me.  I told her what was going on and she spotted the number on my CGM app on my phone… it was 54 at the time and trending straight down.

She said, “Is that what your sugar is?!?”  “Um, yeah,” I told her.  Then she and the receptionist both started to wig out a little.  I felt so stupid having to tell her I had NOTHING to treat the low in my purse NOR did I have my glucometer with me.  I’d left it at home charging, thinking I shouldn’t even need it.  But now, I could have used it to be certain what was going on … to determine if the CGM was correct or not.  Obviously, it was, though because I began feeling really crappy.  The therapist ran to get me something she’d brought to work with her.  They were some kind of health-food choco-peanut butter things and I ate them, feeling like an idiot having to eat up her food!!  She told me it was fine and said: “they aren’t that good, but here…”  LOL!  I guess maybe I was doing her a favor by eating them??  Ha!

I knew they weren’t going to do the trick though since they weren’t very sweet and had a lot of protein in them.  Tommy called me about that time and told me he was coming to bring me something to eat.  Then I felt horrible that I was making him have to come all the way back because I’d forgotten to restock my purse.  I told the ladies (only the receptionist and therapist were there at that time) that my husband was bringing me something when the receptionist said she had a Mt. Dew and some honey in her car.  I told her not to bother, that he would be here soon.

The therapist said, “Go get your stuff.  I’m not going to sit here waiting on him while she passes out on me.”  Sigh.  So, I downed the soda when she came back and handed it to me, mumbling ‘thank yous’ and ‘I’m sorry’s’ between gulps.  They both assured me it wasn’t a problem, so I relaxed a little.

By the time Tommy got there, I was in the middle of getting the post-hypo freeze and slowly, my numbers started to come up from LOW to 42. He sat down on the table beside my chair and during the recovery, the subject of his medical stuff came up and he asked the therapist some questions about what would be best for him to do.

When I was finally up in the 90’s, they had decided between themselves that the therapist would text our doc to ask if she could see Tommy and try to help his back before the chiropractor.  I ended up not having any therapy yesterday, which stunk, but I think Tommy and I both felt better about him possibly getting to be in with the therapist instead of the chiro.

We will see what becomes of it all.

By this point in the game, we only lack a few hundred dollars meeting out out-of-pocket limit, so we are going to get all the therapy and tests done that we can and take full advantage of our insurance!  Lord knows we’ve sure spent a buttload of money on our health this year and it’s barely April!!

I sure do wish I could get my teeth done on the medical insurance, though!!  Siiigh.  Oh well…

Oh!  I forgot to tell you that in the middle of all this, we took a short vacation to Destin!!  It was actually “prescribed” when I was back in with our doc, talking about all the various appointments we had already had and those coming up soon, she said, “You guys need to take a vacation!”  I asked her to write a script for it.  Ha.  Anyway, we had bought this three-day package last year and it was going to expire soon, so we decided to just do it.

It was fun and nice to get away, but next time we go to Florida, it definitely needs to be longer than just three days.  Hopefully, that can happen before we get too old to travel by ourselves.  Heh.

Okay.. I think you’re all caught up now!!  Later!


changes!


Yes, there are some changes around the blog.  I realized pretty quickly that I made a huge mistake with the domain name choice I’d made…  I had no clue there was a book out there called “My Life in Dog Years”!  I’ve used that phrase or analogy for decades to describe what it’s like living with diabetes.  It’s like living in dog years!  You feel seven years for every one you actually live!

Sheesh.  Then my techie kid chimes in with “Mom, people probably think your site is about dogs..”  That never even dawned on me!!  Argh!

So, I changed my domain name.  I tried to choose one I could keep and/or use even when/if I ever publish a book.  Obviously, it won’t be titled My Life in Dog Years!!  Hopefully this way, no matter what the title eventually is, I can use this website.

I think I’ve finally got a decent start on the book.  I have about 8,000 words so far.  I’ve decided to write it as a memoir.  I just can’t seem to separate my life into categories and write only about diabetes or depression (they are like siamese twins, ya know?) or just my marriage stuff.  Everything is linked and I couldn’t figure out how to write about one single topic without needing to explain a ton of other stuff.

What I need now are some proofreaders!  I’d love to have a few people who are willing to read what I have, or at any point in the process,   I have some people in mind that I want to ask.  Some with knowledge of books and what makes a good read, some with technical knowledge to help with places that I am hard to understand.  Others with a little more knowledge of the story to tell me if what I’ve written is accurate or sensitive enough while remaining true.

I’ve been told this is what I need the most.  Readers to help during the writing process who would be willing to help out in exchange for an acknowledgment in the book.

I am so tired right now.  There has been a ton of stuff going on with both mine and Tommy’s health, but I’ll save all that for a later post.

Blessings!


getting back to nature… sorta


Hey!  I’m back.  We’ve had lots of appointments and “to dos” lately and I haven’t been able to post anything.  Not sure I’ll be able to put together anything comprehensible today, but we’ll see what I can come up with.  grin

Today is daughter-in-law Melissa’s birthday.  I hope my card got to Ohio in time!  I also had an appointment with my endo this week which went really well.  Despite my struggle with highs, my A1c was the same as last time.  I guess that’s not too shabby to stay at 7.3 for six months?  I would love for it to be lower at the next check up though, and hopefully, the tweaks to my insulin pump settings will do that for me.

So far, I have really been seeing the effects because I’ve had several lows in the past couple days.  Nothing serious, thank God, or crisis-causing, but after dealing with highs, the lows can be a little more scary than before.

The thing is, for the non-D out there, lows can come out of nowhere for no reason with no warning.  Especially if you are like me with hypo-unawareness, lows seem to just appear!  I had no symptoms of being 60 or 50, so when it gets to 40 and 30, I’m a little surprised (and panicked!)  That’s why I’m so thankful to have the Dexcom now.  At least that kind of thing doesn’t happen nearly as often as it would otherwise.

The only way it happens even with the Dex is that I can miss a calibration and the readings be off, like 20 points.  That’s not much if you’re in the 120-150 range, but when you’re in the dirt below 60?  20 points is the difference between conscious and not.  (remember my experience in November?!  yikes!)

So yeah, I’m trying to be much more diligent about at least timing the calibrations so that there’s not one due in the middle of the night.  That’s what happened before.

Anyway, so Tommy and I did the gall bladder/liver flush a couple weeks ago.  (see this post for deets)  My personal opinion is that it’s not horrific.  It’s not pleasant by any means, but it wasn’t a nightmarish couple of days.  And there was plenty of evidence that we both had some seriously gunked up innards!  Sheesh!  Since Tommy had been religiously drinking the apple juice as prescribed to soften stones, there was not a whole lot of “solid” evidence for him.  I only drank maybe 3 cups of apple juice total in the five days prior (when you’re supposed to drink four cups a day!!) so there were tons of pea-green “stones” anywhere from the size of a dried pea to a stinkin’ lima bean!  We also both reacted differently.  I was up about 2 hours after drinking the last of the potions for the first day (the olive oil and lemon juice) going to the bathroom.  He was able to sleep all night without getting up.  He started out with thin results whereas I started with thicker but definitely not-normal stuff.

I KNOW!!  I KNOW!!!  How gross that I’m telling you guys about our poop!!!  But c’mon now.  I’m getting close to the age where that’s normal conversational material, right?  Ha ha!!  Besides, we’re attempting to regain some health and hopefully help Tommy (and ultimately me too!) avoid gall bladder surgery!  So cut me some slack and go do the flush yourself!  I betcha you’ll be talking about what you discover too!  Ha ha ha!!  Seriously, I tried to be as tactful as possible here…just be glad I didn’t post you some pix as well!!  gasp

Changing the subject but not the topic, we’re still drinking “golden milk” every night.  (you can find the recipe here and one list of benefits here)

the most recent health craze: Golden Milk

FYI:  neither of the recipes on the links above are exactly the recipe I use.  I’ll try to do a post about that soon so you guys know exactly what I’m using here.

As for what it’s done for us?  Well, if  you recall, I told you after having the scope done on Tommy’s stomach, the gastroenterologist told us he has GOT to stop taking NSAIDs once and for all.  She took him off of them about 4 years ago but his GP put him back on something else we were told wouldn’t bother his stomach.  We’d never heard of the drug before and I guess were so busy and concerned by how much the pain was limiting Tommy (the man could barely walk) we didn’t question it.  Turns out?  It’s a form of NSAID.  Nice.  So his stomach is once again raw, irritated and close to developing ulcers and bleeding.

While Tommy was still mostly under the sedation, he mumbled and almost cried about this because he knew the doctor had already said in the procedure room that the NSAIDs had to go.  He was saying things like, “how am I going to walk?” and “how am I going to work?”  sigh  I felt so awful for him.  He was worrying so much about this stuff.

When the report came back that he needed to have a HIDA scan (which is routinely when gall stones are suspected) he began looking up all sorts of info about the gall bladder and came to the conclusion that it was important and not nearly as disposable as most doctors like to say  it is.  We decided that God didn’t put any spare parts in there, so we’d start researching ways to heal the gall bladder naturally with diet and nutrition.  (note that I’ve been trying to get the man to change his diet for several years now, especially this last year when he quit cycling and began to put on a lot of weight… rolling my eyes here)

Anyway, that’s when we ran onto the stuff about tumeric being good for the liver and gall bladder.  I’d been wanting to try golden milk already just in the hopes that it would help me sleep better.  We bought the few ingredients that we lacked the next day and made a batch.  We were pleasantly surprised with the taste and committed to drinking a cup of that each night.  We also started him drinking two cups of tart cherry juice each day.  Tart cherry juice is known as a great anti-inflammatory agent as well as tumeric.  So we hoped using both of these along with a lot of dietary changes (because of his allergy testing) would keep him from seizing up and having awful pain.

Orangey-yellowy tumeric root…

So far?  This is two weeks post-flush and about a month after the scope and he’s been using nothing but the cherry and tumeric (sometimes taking capsules of each of those along with the drinks when he hurt more than usual) and he’s doing really, REALLY well.  Seriously, before he would have been almost bedridden in about three days without those NSAIDs.  If we could start riding again, I’m sure it would help even more, but with his dad wanting to restore this old pickup (and Tommy loves doing it to, but it would be nicer if he could work on it in his own time instead of his dad’s schedule, which kills any time to ride bikes sad face) it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing that with any regularity.  He might surprise me and start getting on the trainer.  As for me, I’m riding outside!

The weather around here has been hinting spring for a couple weeks now and I am itching to get my bike out.  I’m going to be so bummed to see how far back I’ve gone since I haven’t ridden in over a year now, but maybe I can build back up quickly…ish.  ??

At this point, it doesn’t matter.  Frankly, I’m thrilled to be feeling good enough to even think about riding.  And that’s, I believe, another benefit of drinking golden milk each night.  I think it’s helping me feel better.

Hmmm…well, I wasn’t planning on this being all about golden milk and our experience with it so far, but in case  you’re all curious about the latest “fad”/trend or whatever you like to call it, and decide to try it before I ever get (finally) a post up about how I make it, let me share a few tips and a bit of info with you….

First of all, the body doesn’t readily absorb tumeric on its own.  That’s why there is (or should be) always fresh ground pepper corns in the recipe.  (if there’s not or it says you can omit it, don’t use that recipe or site!)  FRESH ground black pepper corns, yep, the same kind people have used for eons to flavor their food, is one catalyst for

DON’T SKIP THE PEPPER!!

helping the tumeric absorb.  Don’t skip it.  I am not a big fan of black pepper, fresh or otherwise, so I was a little hesitant, but when you blend it with everything else, you can’t even see the pepper, let alone taste it.  It just calls for a pinch so the other flavors easily overcome the pepper.   You can also just put in 2-5 peppercorns when you heat it then strain those out.  I’m too lazy for that.  Whichever way you do it, make sure it’s fresh.  It’s important for proper absorption.

Second, I don’t make the recipe that calls for making the tumeric into a paste.  No particular reason and I believe there’s no way it could make a nutritional difference.  It’s just easier to me to put in the powder.  I HAVE finally procured some fresh tumeric root (by driving 80-some miles to Whole Foods) so soon as I’ve used up the ground that I have on hand, I’ll try the fresh.  We already use fresh ginger root   and love it!

we try to use fresh ginger all the time!

Third, I DO NOT USE COW MILK!  I had to give up dairy years ago because it turns my head into a nightmarish snot factory before it even hits my tonsils!  UGH!  So, we use almond milk.  If you can find organic soy, that’s okay, but to me, it comes out way too frothy.  Now, I love me some froth, but there’s just so daggone much with the soy milk, you have to about scoop it off to get to the liquid!  Too much work for me!  I’ve also used coconut and it is great for this!  I would continue using it, but Tommy’s allergic, so… I only use it if he’s not here and I’m making for myself.  sigh

Fourth, I heat the milk in my Vitamix.  I am slap in love with that thing!  I’ve had it close to a year now, but have DEEPLY DESIRED one for decades!  I finally found a deal offering major discounts on returned units, so I jumped on it!  I use it at least once a day, but usually more than that.  I make Tommy a frozen fruit smoothie in the mornings and then I make our golden milk in there in the evening.  Lately, I’m also blending coconut oil into my coffee, too, so that’s at least three times most days!

check out that froth! just the right amount is heavenly!

Fifth, get organic ingredients whenever possible.  I know that’s a big buzz word in health news these days, but I think it’s important to ingest as few chemicals as we can.  Lord knows we are bombarded with enough harmful things out there that we can do nothing about.  I try to do whatever I can when I can.

Okay… there you go.  Oh wait… here’s a page I found talking about the benefits of tumeric.  It appears to be written by someone for whom English is a second language, but it’s very readable anyway.  It just points out the importance of the pepper!  Don’t leave it out!  😉  Use the whole-kernel/strain method if you have to!

Let me know if you try this…what you think of the taste and what it does for you!  YAY!