geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Category: health


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~

 


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!


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!


watching God do His thang… (& other random mind dumps)


Okay, so you guys know, if you know ME or if you’ve read here much at all, that I am a “retired” homeschool mom of two twenty-something sons.  Yeah, I’ve been “retired” for quite some time!

Homeschooling was the greatest, most best decision we ever made.  Yes, even though I had plenty of days when I was quite certain it was the WORST decision we ever made.  I think as a mom OR dad, wanting to do the very best for your children, we all have those doubts when trying to determine what’s best for our kids.  Even though we were happy having the boys at home and I loved being a stay-at-home mom teaching my boys, there were still days that it seemed like a really baaaad choice!  There are probably those moments in anything we pursue that is ultimately good.

I would never say I was a “great” homeschool mother.  I wouldn’t even say I was “good” at it most days.  But I tried my best to meet the needs of my children.  I know families with 8+ children who have a whole posse of little virtuoso in a variety of areas.  Music, mathematics, communication, entrepreneurship… you name it.  Many of those kids are now doing extremely well in their adult lives.  My boys are no exception to that.  I feel like, at least for me, this is the litmus test as to whether homeschooling was a success.

While my youngest son chose not to finish high school, he is still doing well.  He never attended any other type of school than at home.  My boys have quite different personalities and while our eldest enjoyed learning at home, our youngest had a different bent.  He wanted nothing to do with anything that came hard to him.  If it wasn’t easy or something he was extremely interested in, he just didn’t want to do it at all.  And he was several times more stubborn than his mother, so this made continuing his education at home very difficult.

I don’t want to rehash old problems or bring up too much from a really hard time in our family, but our baby became very rebellious, very hateful toward me specifically.  I’m not sure if that was just because I was the “authority” figure  for the large part of his life at that time (since I was also his ‘teacher’) or if it was more personally directed at me, but it was very obvious and it broke my heart.

By the time he was 14 or 15, he began to just refuse to do his lessons.  He had a car by this time, one he had bought himself and was working on to have ready by the time he got his license, so of course, he spent a ton of time doing that.  When he’d  refuse to read anything else, no matter how hard I’d tried to find literature that would interest him, he would devour anything about his car without hesitation.  And yes, I did try to allow as much as I could for the how-to car reading to count toward his school, but that wouldn’t fill all the requirements.  But no matter what we threatened or how hard we explained why he needed to do the other work, he would just refuse.  He wasn’t super-in-your-face with his refusal, but he’d sit for hours NOT doing the work you gave him.

Needless to say, I was frustrated beyond words and it became harder and harder to deal with.  It didn’t make it any easier that the boys’ father wasn’t really a disciplinarian in that area.  I’m trying NOT to sound disrespectful or like I am bashing Tommy, but he just wasn’t involved with schooling very much.  He felt that was my job, my territory, and when I would come to him with concerns or problems,  he just wasn’t very helpful in addressing them.  I think he felt like he and Casey were more alike and Corey and I were alike so he usually seemed to “side” with Casey.  I say “sided” because that’s how it felt.  In hindsight, I think Tommy just didn’t know what to do, he wasn’t fully aware of how bad things had become and that’s what informed his actions.  The way most things go in parenting, we always just do the best we know how at the time and I think that’s what happened here.

All these years later, we discovered that there were things happening in Casey’s life that we had absolutely no clue about.  He shut himself off from us and seeing how he rebelled even more if we tried to approach him, we just gave him space.  We had no clue he needed us to break through his walls, to be praying for him in specific ways, to help him navigate some horrible things.  When I was made aware of this stuff, just a few years ago, it broke my heart all over again.  What kind of mother am I to not know??  To not see how much my child needed his parents to intervene??  Even if he was pushing me away with all his might, how could I not know how much he was hurting?  Those thoughts bring the tears, even now.  Nothing is more heartbreaking as a mother than to realize you failed your child in such a huge way.

deep sigh

All of that to say, even with all this failure and heartbreak, I don’t regret homeschooling my boys.  And to see them today, both successful in their jobs, both contributing, functional adults in spite of their “lack of socialization” (pshh!) is a balm to my mama-soul!

You may not know, but Corey, our eldest, recently moved with his wife to the Cincinnati area for a new job.  The company found his profile on LinkedIn and sent a request for his application!  Out of the blue.  Realizing this, as a homeschool mom, was a real boost for me personally.  I mean, after all the naysayers either aloud or privately saying my children would suffer from our choosing to teach them at home?  I thank God for this affirmation that we did what we should have at the time.

Casey and Corey have always worked together in their grandpa’s business (my dad), which is a combination of various plumbing-related things.  They’ve sort of grown up in the trade, working summers from the time they were barely teenagers to the year Corey put off his graduation in order to help my dad when his only other employee at the time (my father-in-law) had suffered a heart attack and dad sorely needed the help.  Corey was not quite 17 when he made that decision and because we homeschooled, it was totally possible to do this.

When Corey left to take this job, it left Casey with a role he hadn’t ever filled before.  And let me say, this was a job too good for Corey to pass.  It was higher pay with commissions and bonuses, less stress of being responsible for both office work and keeping track of and working on jobs and less being resented because to others, it seemed Corey was doing less because of his time doing office work.  There’s also benefits like retirement and 401k plans that aren’t available with my dad’s business and room to advance.  There’s also a respect that Corey didn’t get here at home.  No one who knows the situation could possibly fault him for taking the job.  As much as it pained me to see him move, I can’t deny that in so many other areas, he’s a lot better off than he was here.

It really took him leaving for my dad and Casey to realize how much Corey was actually doing.  So as far as the resentment shown when Corey informed them he was leaving, there’s now a respect that had never been shown before.  It always hurt me so much to know that the boys, both of them, were dealing with so much stress and tension from my dad, who seemed to not understand or be willing to admit that doing things the same old way weren’t working.  Any new idea the boys came up with was met with scorn and most times, ridicule so they had to continue doing things a more difficult way while bearing the weight of their grandfather’s disapproval.

I love my dad, don’t get me wrong.  But he can be impossibly bullheaded sometimes.  Like most of us, I guess, only… well, more so!  I think now that these changes have been made, he’s beginning to see that there need to be new ways of doing things than he’s done all his adult life with his various businesses.  I just hope Casey can continue to urge him to make the changes.  Casey is much better at communicating or at least confronting my dad than Corey was.  Casey will get in his face and tell him when he’s being irrational  or stubborn where Corey would just bite his tongue and let Pap carry on his own path.  Overall, I think Corey’s leaving has been a positive thing all around.  I had been very worried that it would be only negative here at home, with the business. but it seems to have ushered in some new realizations so I’m hopeful things will be better here as well.

Casey is now having to step us as more of the salesman for the company, the “people-person”, which had been Corey’s role most of the time.  And granted, I think both the boys would agree that Corey has an easier time with that than Casey most of the time.  Although Casey is learning and he does very well most of the time anyway, it doesn’t come as naturally to him as it does Corey.  It’s been good to see Casey maturing in the way he sees the business now that he doesn’t have his brother to leave all that to.  Maybe I’m a little biased since I am the eldest in my family, but I think it’s just easy for the younger to leave things up to the elder.  It’s like a natural role so when there’s never an opportunity for the younger to take the lead, they will continue to let the older sibling tend to those things.  It’s not that Casey is unable, it’s just that he’d never really had to before, so in all, it’s a good thing, I believe.

In case you’re wondering about that title, it was intended to refer to how things just fell into place with Corey moving and getting this job.  He has all this time he never had before and he’s figuring out what to do with himself.  That’s a good problem to have.  Granted, some of that no-time-for-himself thing was because he was also serving as youth pastor at his church here.  Not only was he dealing with all the stuff from the business, he had kids calling on him at all hours with various issues plus all the activities that were most of the time scheduled by someone else without consulting Corey first.  It was just a lot on his plate.

But the whole thing with this new job just sort of happened all at once.  They contacted him, he sent a resume, then went up for an interview, the next week he went for another interview and then the offer letter came.  All that happened in less than a month beginning around the first week of November and then they wanted him to start in January!  They had to settle their house, pack it up and get rid of what they weren’t keeping, deal with settling Corey’s part of the business, find an apartment and figure out how to get moved up there all at once!  It was crazy times, let me tell ya!

And this poor mom had like ZERO time to adjust to all this.  I mean, like I’ve said, I never dreamed either of my boys would move out of town, let alone out of state!  And even if I thought one of them might move, I always figured that would be Casey, not Corey.  It was like total shock!

Thankfully, I got to spend time with them after Tommy and I helped the kids find an apartment, so we had first-hand knowledge of where they were and what kind of place they had, what type of area they lived in and all that.  I think they really appreciated our help.  It all went so smoothly, with only 4 of them (Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help) unloading the UHaul and getting done right ahead of the snowy rain?  That was just God, y’all.  He was just working through the entire thing.

They went from a 1400 square foot home with a full finished basement to a 1000 square foot apartment with a small storage room about the size of a closet!  Needless to say, they got rid of a ton of stuff.  Their apartment is nice, cozy but roomy enough for them.  It’s also roomy enough to house a few guests for a few days (or a week.. I stayed with them almost a week at the end of January).  Ha.  Their dog, Timber the Australian Shepherd, has adjusted extremely well.  Even with the company changing start dates on Corey and having him start a couple days before he even had his work van organized, he’s done really well and has been noticed by the management and owners.

Casey seems to have adjusted to the new role he has and although he’s working a lot, he’s doing well, too.  I would honestly be tickled if he would move up there and take a job with this company too.  They recruited Corey because of his experience in plumbing and the fact that he has his Master Plumber license and they have just started expanding their business into plumbing and need licensed plumbers!  But Casey doesn’t seem interested and that may have more to do with his wife, I don’t know.  Shoot, if Tommy wasn’t less than five years from retirement, I would be pushing him to move up there and apply with this company.  It’s been voted one of the top businesses in Cincinnati several years in a row and anyone who knows about it says it is an awesome company.  They really have a stellar reputation and they do business in such a no-nonsense way that seeks to accommodate customers while also taking great care of their employees.  They have an open-door policy among management, which in this company means there are NO doors in their offices!  How cool is that?  You won’t find many companies that think this way!

Anyway, I guess all this is just to give God ALL the credit for working things out so well.  For helping me deal with my anxiety over the sudden move, for making things smooth out here at home as well as for Corey in his new home and job.  Now, if the boys would just allow God to move and work in repairing their relationship, I’d be super-thrilled!  Over the last few years, the boys have seemed to get this growing tension in their relationship.  I think it’s been partially due to dealing with dad and the stress of working with him and each other and the changes that came with their marriages and adding new family members.  Casey and Mel were almost like brother and sister when Corey first got married.  It was good to see him be so at ease with her and watch them have fun being around each other.

I think after Casey moved into the basement of my parents’ old house (where Corey and Mel lived–the three of them bought the house together for some reason I’ll never understand–my dad arranged the whole thing) things seemed to change and I don’t know why.  Maybe it was the dynamics or maybe the proximity?  I just don’t know.

Things just change over time, and I know that.  I just never dreamed they would drift so far apart or that one would push the other away.  Growing up, they were each other’s best friend.  As they began to get a little older, into double digits I guess, they spent more time with other people, had the chance to make other friends.  Corey, like I said, is just generally more outgoing and quick to extend himself to make a friend.  Not that he tried to leave Casey behind.  It wasn’t like that at all.  Most of the time, Casey was included in whatever Corey did, whoever Corey hung out with.  I guess maybe as time went on, Casey began to feel like he was in Corey’s shadow?  I don’t know why.  At least, I never saw Corey treat Casey with anything other than patience.  Maybe I didn’t see everything.  I don’t know.

I mean, obviously with the things that Casey got into when he hit the teens without me even having a clue, how would I know what was really happening?  Did I miss things between them, right under my nose too?  I tried so hard to do everything I could to help them learn and have fun and do the things they wanted.  How did I mess it up so bad?

How could I fail so bad?  So big?  Our one son barely acknowledges us most of the time and has many times brought his brother to tears the way he’s shut him out, shoved him away in the past 3-4 years.  Why did I not know he was struggling with something dark and evil?  He was a teenager.  He was surly and aloof.  We thought he needed his space.  We gave him his space and apparently the space for this evil to get an even tighter grip.  He grew more and more hateful toward me.  He seemed to just despise me and I didn’t know why.  I thought it had to do with school, but apparently the evil had given him more fuel to just add to his resentment toward me.  I have been so hurt, so heartbroken over the way he’s treated me.

My response to hurt, after it goes on for awhile, is to just shut down.  To just shut myself off from the hurt by avoiding it, the person causing it, to steel myself to it.  So I just tried to keep from losing it.  After trying to reach out to him, trying to show him how much I cared and having him push me away, I just quit trying.  I avoided him or shut my emotions off when it came to talking to him.  Maybe he saw that as proof that whatever horrible thing he thought of me was true?  I don’t know.   It was just the only way I knew to deal with it.   So yeah, I guess I just allowed my heart to harden, to turn to stone  a little bit.

If you read about The Dark Secret, the really depressing, maddening thing that was going on in our marriage for almost 20 years at the time all this was happening, you might realize, I was hardly hanging on to reality sometimes.  It was all I could do to keep from losing it most days.  Add to that the awful state our finance tend to stay in.. more so now than when the kids were at home.  I guess it’s because the both of us have so many stupid medical bills, take so much medicine now, but for some reason, we seem to never have enough money.  We really don’t splurge on anything, but still we always have to juggle the bills trying to keep from going under.

All of that is a lot for my brain.  I have a really hard time not being dismally depressed.  I have to constantly tell myself I am blessed.  I have a lot to be thankful for.  Then I get a notice that the bank balance is dismal, or a reminder that my youngest son doesn’t like me or a bad blood sugar or I run out of a medicine knowing I have to wait for the next paycheck to get my refill…  that’s all it takes for me to just slide down into the pit a little further.

Soooo…after explaining my title and now sorta obliterating it with my random bout of ‘the dumps’, let me say that I still cling to the fact that God loves me.  He has my best interests at heart in everything He leads me to and leads me through.  I don’t know why I tend so heavily toward depression.  I don’t know why my relationship with my youngest son is such a mess or why we didn’t know he needed us to rescue him from himself when he was a kid.  I don’t know why we have to constantly struggle to make ends meet.  Why we can’t ever rest because we can’t seem to keep our bills paid.  I don’t know why we had to endure all those years, those decades with our marriage in shambles.  I don’t know why He kept us together through all that other than to receive the healing we did.  To show us that it’s never too late.

So as I sit here, in tears, hurting and wishing I understood, wishing things weren’t the way they are but having no clue how to change it.  Worrying how we’ll pay for things, if I’ll ever not hurt when I’m with my baby son, if I’ll ever be able to have all my kids together, daughters-in-law included, and not have to worry that they’re trading barbs or if what they’re saying carries a double meaning, worrying that we will have spent our entire marriage scrapping, struggling to have enough money to pay bills and buy medicine.  Feeling SO tired of worrying.  So guilty that I worry when I am supposed to trust God.  Feeling like such a failure in so many, many ways….  just know that later, maybe not tomorrow, but later, soon… I will be better.  I’ll realize things aren’t as dismal as they seem, that God’s still got me.

God always has me.  This I know.  <3

 


I’m bAAaack!


Hey guys!  I’m back from my unintentional hiatus.  As I have alluded previously, things around here have been crazy what with the kids moving to Ohio and me being sick and now the hubbs is dealing with some medical stuff.

He had allergy testing a couple weeks ago and lit up like a Christmas tree for a LOT of things.  Mostly foods and environmental.  Several trees and grasses (hay fever), the usual indoor culprits (dust thingies) and a whole list of the oddest foods.  Strangely enough (or not!) most of the foods were things he had eaten recently.  WEIRD!

So, we’ve gone off all these foods.  I’m talking things like wheat (yeah, his celiac tests came back negative, but he’s allergic to wheat and I don’t quite understand that just yet), carrots, grapes, coconut, apples…WHA??  Yeah, weird.  Oh, and turkey!  Pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds… sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes!

Poor guy, he was pretty stunned and dazed.  You’d think after living all these years with a type 1 diabetic, he’d be used to the concept of not being able to eat certain things, but nope.  He seems so baffled.  It’s all I can do not to say, “See?  Welcome to my life!”  heh!  But no, I haven’t done that.  But occasionally I REALLY want to!

On top of finding out about all the allergies, he then had to begin the prep for a double scope.  From the top and the bottom.  Yikes!  So then he had to go off things like rice (which is what most ‘wheat free’ things are made of) and fresh fruit and veggies (seriously?) and nothing purple, red or blue… that was only for 5 days, thank God.  Then on the last day, he had to do liquids only and take that nasty diarrhea stuff then drink like 40-some ounces of clear liquid immediately after.  Egads!!

He did okay but it was a challenge figuring out what he could eat.  During the 5 day thing, we were in Cincy with Corey and Melissa, so that actually helped since Corey has celiac disease and has learned what to avoid for that.  We just basically put Tommy on a celiac diet with the added restrictions from his allergy test and/or his prep diet.  My brain was fried after all that food juggling!  And that’s not counting my own food restrictions like dairy and super-acidic foods that either give me horrible sinus issues or cause my tongue to swell and crack.  (yes, crack…it’s so painful!)  It’s a wonder we can find anything to eat between us! Ha ha ha!

So back to the scopes.. this was the same gastro doctor he went to for scopes before, so we were thrilled to get in with her.  It was probably three years ago when he had his first one done and we hadn’t seen this doctor since.  Anyway, she said there wasn’t any new damage, thank God… no ulcers or any thing like that.  But his stomach was a raw, irritated mess.  She said the same thing about this irritation, which he also had on his first scan years ago…get off the NSAIDs.  He’s been on those off and on (mostly on) for ages because of the pain in his back and legs, specifically his Achilles tendon.  It tightens up so much, it had tears the last time he saw a rheumatologist.  He went off the NSAIDs then, but ended up in misery so the GP he had at the time put him on a “new” pain med that he said wouldn’t bother his stomach.  Yeah, whatever.  And so now, he’s been having pain under his ribs on the right side, classic gallbladder/stones symptoms, so he’d had an ultrasound the week before.  We hadn’t heard those results though and they hadn’t forwarded them to the gastro doc, so we had to wait around to get those.  The report from the imaging center only said the tech saw nothing that “needs immediate attention” but the gastro doc wasn’t good with that and told us she’d look at it herself.  The next day, they called Tommy to schedule a hida scan.

Hmmm… me thinks there WAS something needing attention on the ultrasound.  A hida scan is when they put that radioactive dye in an IV and then have you hang around for scans over a few hours to watch the dye move through the gallbladder.  Nice.

I’ve had radioactive dye stuff done before.  It’s scary to think about, but apparently I survived without issue (that we know of, at least!) but we don’t want to do that if we don’t have to.  Besides, we’ve already knocked this year’s deductible in the head with these tests and don’t want to add more bills to the heap.  I’m sure the hida will be uber expensive.

ANYway, so Tommy started looking up stuff on the gallbladder online, which was surprising and exciting.  He usually is all, “Well if the doctor says I need to, I won’t question it.” while I’m all like, “NO!  Don’t do that, I don’t care what the doctor said!”  Heh.  And I joined him in the research til we found all this info on a gallbladder flush.

Maybe you’ve heard of this before.  I guess I sort-of had during my time working in the health food store, but being the youngster I was, I didn’t really ponder it.  Back then, with my fully functional 20-something body, it all sounded gross and like something only old people needed to think about.

Well, guess what, Poopsie!  You’re OLD now!  sigh

We looked at several sites and watched a bunch of videos detailing what the gallbladder does and what the flush does for you.  One doctor said, “If you’re 40 or older, you WILL have some gall stones which may or may not give you symptoms or at the very least, you will have developed sludge (thickened bile) in there which leads to stones.”  Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

Ugh!

When Tommy realized that the gallbladder helps the liver in filtering toxins and such, he was all like, I NEED my gallbladder!  At this point, we knew that if something showed on the hida, they’d most likely want to take his gallbladder out.  So after months and months of me telling him he needed to change his habits or he was gonna be big as a horse and have a heart attack…he’s ready to commit to changing his diet.

Of course, I have to do it too.  And I get that.  I mean, I don’t stick with a diet unless he’s at least supporting me if not also doing it too.  It’s just easier that way.  He’s just not always willing to be talked into being supportive!

I figure a flush will not hurt me either.  I mean, I am in that magical area they talked about…”over 40″, so I’m sure I have my share of sludgey-crapola in there too.

We made a run to the Aldi in the next town over since they have so much affordable gluten free and organic stuff.  We got organic olive oil and lemons and apple juice.  Yes, even though he tested positive for apple allergy, and he DID have some slight allergic symptoms (looking back, that is) after eating apples like a slight scratchy throat, we figure doing the juice instead of whole apples would be less irritating.  The pectin in the apples is supposed to soften the stones so they come loose or become soft enough to pass out of the gallbladder.

We read anywhere from 5 to 14 days to either eat 5 apples a day (Gah!) or drink 2 cups of apple juice twice a day before doing the actual flush.  Then, you go on a very low- to no-fat diet for a couple days then choose your day to flush.

Obviously, you need to stick close to home/the bathroom for this.  So even though we (he) don’t have time to do a full week with the juice before the hida scan (this coming Thursday!) we’re still going to do it.  After the apple juice days, on flush day, you stop eating at 2 pm then you begin a schedule of drinking an Epsom salt/water mixture at 6 and 8 pm.  They have you lie on your right side after each dose (to allow the mixture to gravitate to the gallbladder).  The Epsom salt helps open up the bile ducts in the gallbladder so the stones and sludge can move out easily.  At 10 pm, after you’ve gone potty (so you don’t have to get up during the night), you drink an olive oil/lemon juice mixture and go to bed.  Again, lying on your right side, as still as possible for at least 40 minutes.  At 6 am, you drink another dose of Epsom, lie back down, then same thing again at 8 am  and then at 10 am, you can eat.  They say very light, bland foods and wait for the “magic” to happen.

By this time, of course, you have effectively given yourself the screaming trots which is the mechanism by which that sludgey-stoney goop is to exit your body.

Yay.

Oddly enough, none of these instructional sites give any detail about how long or how um…er.. intense this phase of the flush is, but I’m guessing it’s gotta be pretty daggone epic.

On one site where we found this flush recipe, the guy (an Oriental doctor, I think) asks for photos of your results.  BAHAHA!!  Um, nope.  I don’t think so, pal.  I’ll be doing well if I can find the handle with my eyes closed to flush the toilet, okay?

Oh yeah, in an effort to keep him from being in so much pain from going off NSAIDs, we are using tart cherry juice and tumeric.  I’ve wanted to try the tumeric drink (sometimes called “golden milk”) for awhile after hearing that it’s good for inflammation and helps you sleep.  I could use some-a that.  So we also bought coconut milk (which, for any T1D out there, has NO CARBS!) and organic tumeric.  I made a batch last night and it’s not bad.  I was afraid the coconut milk would be strong, but it’s not.  I don’t really like the taste of coconut which is weird since I use coconut oil for everything!  Anyhow, coconut was a 1 on Tommy’s list of allergies, meaning it was a mild irritant, so we’re going to use it anyway with the hope that getting his gallbladder flushed will relieve these silly allergies!  Anyhow, I thought the golden milk was actually sorta bland, so I think I’ll use a little more cinnamon next time.  I ended up putting apple juice in it last night.  Heh.

So there you have it.  You’re mostly caught up on the doin’s around here.  Hopefully, this ol’ gal will start feeling better soon.  I’ll let you know AFTER I’ve recovered from this flush.

Tah-tah!


the worst one yet: a hypo story


So yeah, in this post I mentioned that the reason it was delayed is because I ended up in the hospital that evening.  I promised to tell you about that, so here goes…

I’ve been really REALLY sick since the end of August.  If you’ve visited at all in that time frame, you probably know this already.  I was just miserably sick with some sort of bronchial-slash-allergy illness from Hades!  I was on and off antibiotics and steroids and all sorts of allergy medication, nebulizer meds, inhalers and nasal sprays.  I was using an oil diffuser, vitamins and herbals, teas, Vicks on my feet… you name it and I tried it.  For the longest time, I just could not seem to get better at all, or I’d get better for a couple of days and then go back or get worse.  Finally, FINALLY, I started to feel like I was over the hump and improving a little.  I had started immunotherapy and either that was helping or The Sick just got tired of me at last and went to torment someone else.  I honestly don’t know.  I just knew I was thankful to feel almost human again!

That was a couple of days before Thanksgiving.  I felt good enough to help plan the meal.  I even baked a turkey sans stuffing specially for Corey because poor Mom couldn’t seem to understand that even if she only put stuffing inside the turkey, it could still cause his celiac to flare and had loaded hers full of regular, gluten-laden stuffing.  I also made him some gluten free dumplings, gravy and dessert before going up to Mom’s to make my usual batch of dumplings for the rest of us.  It was a great day, the best Thanksgiving we’ve had in a while.  My cousin Gabe was able to be with us and about six other random friends of ours or our kids were there with us unexpectedly.  I was thankful that my parents didn’t flip out having so many people over, but they seemed to enjoy it once the initial shock wore off.   We were there until almost 11 pm playing games and having a really good time.

That was on Friday.  Yes, I know Thanksgiving is on Thursday but for whatever reason, Mom had decided we would do our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, and so we did.  So I got through the weekend fine and continued to feel better.  So much better I was beginning to tackle the house, which has been in a horrific state of neglect for MONTHS now.

Then on Monday, I once again was feeling really good.  It’s not often I have days like that, and especially after being sick for so long, so I was relishing the fact that I didn’t need a nap before noon and that I was actually able to finish several tasks without getting wiped out or discouraged.  It was starting to seem possible to get the house in shape enough to get ready for Christmas!

I had gone to get my allergy shots around 9:30 so being dressed and out and actually getting an errand completed by that time of day was a major accomplishment!  I switched out some laundry, folded and put a load of it away, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, washed the big dishes and put them away and scrubbed the sinks.  I felt like I had conquered the world!  The only downer at that point was that my sugar had been hovering around 200 for much of the day.  I ate leftover dumplings with Tommy for lunch around 11:30 and had struggled to get the number down ever since.  By 2:00 it was still up and of course, my CGM was “screaming” at me every five minutes.  It just kept alerting me that my sugar was high.

Really?!?!  Yeah, I know already!  I really love my CGM and it’s a great tool to have, but I wish there was a way to make it not continue to make that noise after you already know it’s doing whatever Dex is alerting you about while you’re trying to correct the problem!  Gah!  I had started a post earlier and now it was finally finished.  I just needed some photos to compliment the theme, so I was busy searching, uploading, transferring and editing so I could publish when I suddenly got extremely tired.

It wasn’t a “low” tired, but then again they never seem like “low” tireds.  sigh  I just figured that all my energy had been spent and it was time for me to recharge.  By this time it was about 3:30 – 3:45.  While I’ve been sick, I got in the habit of just laying down whenever I felt tired and napping instead of fighting it.  I figured if I slept for 45 minutes to an hour, I’d feel lots better and could get some more done around the house.

That’s the last thing I remember before the ambulance.

I can remember hearing unfamiliar voices.  I can remember the sort-of fading-in of voices asking me questions … it was like tuning in a radio station.  I couldn’t understand the words for a time until I got them “tuned in”.  Then I would hear someone talking about me.  Saying what my blood pressure was, talking about turning “her” or that “she’s starting to come around”.  I think that last sentence is what caused me to realize what was going on and open my eyes.

Somehow, I knew I was lying on the floor of my bedroom with my head at the foot of the bed next to the closet doors.  I remember wondering how so many people were able to fit in such a small space then I began to wonder what in the world had happened.

About that time, I heard Corey’s voice and spoke his name.  I’ve gotten in the habit, ever since I started having those sudden severe lows, of stating what I can see or hear in an effort to let people know that my brain is operating, at least a little.  Then I saw Taylor’s face and spoke her name.  Both of them said things like “it’s going to be okay”, “you’re okay” and “it’s alright now”.  I started trying to ask what happened but must not have been doing a good job when a man to my right leaned over and told me his name was Daniel.  That’s when I knew I was in real trouble, or at least I had been.  I could see his EMT uniform and the creepy blue gloves on his hands.  Beyond that, I couldn’t tell anything else was going on with my body other than I was freezing.  I began saying, “Cold.  Cold.  COLD.”  That’s when they counted and I could feel them lift me with a blanket and plop me onto a gurney.

I could see I was being wheeled through my kitchen and out the door onto the porch.  It hit me then.  The realization that I’d been the cause of yet another medical bill.  I began saying, “I’m sorry.”  And I was, both for racking up another bill to pay and for worrying my kids like this.  Corey told me there was no reason to be sorry.  I continued telling them I was cold because folks, a post-hypo freeze is nothing to be toyed with.  One nurse later told me a severe hypoglycemic episode can put you near hypothermia!  I believe it!

They loaded me into the ambulance and both Daniel and Corey climbed in on either side of me.  I began asking Corey what had happened.  He started off by saying I had probably busted my nose, but it was okay.  That was puzzling because my nose didn’t hurt.  I touched it and it felt fine.  I didn’t know what he was talking about.  Then I felt the stiff remains of dried blood on my face, then the stickiness of something else… Corey gently wiped at my face with a tissue.  “It’s okay.  You’ve got some blood on your face.  We’ll get it off in a minute.”  I said, “Sticky.”  He said, chuckling, “Yeah, I got a little syrup on your face.  We’ll wash it off soon.”  Then I asked him again what happened.  He said, “You got really, really low, Mom.  But you’re okay now.”

I listened as he and Daniel talked about me and then about the job.  Daniel remembered hearing about the EMT Cadet program that Corey had been part of before it shut down.  He said, “I could tell you’d had some sort of training by the way you handled things in there.  She’s up to one-nineteen now.  That’s much better.”

When the ambulance stopped, I remember noticing all the red brick and then seeing Casey, Melissa and Taylor standing outside the open doors as Corey and Daniel began to move me out into the cold air.  Then I saw Tommy, who I hadn’t even had time to wonder about.  They got me into a little room in the ER and another guy came in and tested my sugar.  “Sixty-nine,” he said.   Then he asked Daniel what my sugar had been last time and decided to give me a second dose of D50.  I’m not sure why this was done since by then I was able to eat and drink.  After researching about D50, I learned that it’s not good on the veins and Lord knows, I have bad enough veins to begin with!

I finally began to get warm after about 2 hours.  And my sugar began to rise too.  I had found out by now that Tommy had had Corey remove my pump as soon as he found me passed out.  I connected back to it and bolused for the 170+ sugar.  From that moment on, I would have to fight for every single unit of insulin I received during my 22-hour stay.

The hospitalist had me disconnect from my pump.  Don’t get me started on how little most hospital staff know about diabetes.  In this instance, since at that point we weren’t sure what had happened and thought maybe it had been a pump error that caused the severe low, I was okay with removing my pump.  However, I was NOT okay with the hospital’s method of dosing.  Nor with their schedule for testing my blood sugar.  According to them, if it wasn’t done on their glucometer, it wouldn’t be scanned into the system.  Whatever.  I still don’t want to wait til  you think it needs testing.  So when I check and it’s 198 and I tell you I need some insulin, don’t tell me it’s not time, you’ll bring it with my supper or you will be right back with it (then don’t come back for three more hours).  It was INFURIATING trying to manage my sugars in there.  

Also, don’t confuse your medical degree with my decades of first-hand, 24/7/365 experience of dealing with my own disease.  Thank you.

I’d forgotten how horrible diabetes-in-the-hospital can be.  When I complained to the hospitalist about the fact that my sugar was approaching 400 and I had asked several times for insulin, she told me in the ER (because apparently, if you work in the ER, you only know abut ER stuff??) they usually see diabetes patients with sugars well above 600 and have no clue they are running that high.  I informed her that —I— was not one of those patients and when my sugar got above 200, I felt sick and I wanted to keep it under that.  She agreed and said she’d write it in the chart.

I don’t know what “it” was, but the treatment I got regarding my insulin in no way resembled control.  I won’t keep going on about this.  Maybe it’s fodder for another post instead, but the reality of ill-educated medical staff when it comes to diabetes is just epidemic!

Okay, so when Tommy and I started going back through the history on my pump, we saw that I had somehow (“somehow”) given about 20 units more insulin after my meal of dumplings.  Obviously, I had needed more than I estimated, but not THAT much more.  When we looked at the times of the boluses, we could see that I’d given several of them either in my sleep or at such a low level that I didn’t realize what I was doing.  All I can figure is that I went to sleep frustrated over trying to give enough insulin to get my blood sugar down and had heard my CGM go off so many times that day that when it continued alerting, now for lows instead of highs, I would automatically bolus thinking it was still saying I was too high.

That and also what the pump trainer said… after bumping up my basal rates in tiny increments over the last several months, having the lung infection then being on all those meds, and then finally getting well, my body went back to its former insulin needs quicker than I expected or could adjust for them.  So it was another perfect storm as far as situations that combined to cause this horrible low.

I’m just immensely thankful to be alive.  I’m working to train myself out of the habit of just hitting that bolus button before testing and actually not to use it at all, but instead use a temporary basal rate to correct highs and an extended delivery (a square or dual-wave) bolus when I eat so all the insulin isn’t hitting my system at once.  Tommy, bless his heart, has been off all week watching over me and helping me test these adjustments to see exactly what works best.  He gets extremely stressed and fretful if my sugar gets to 60, which is something I’m not used to.  He’s usually the most calm, collected person I know, but after seeing me bleeding, lying in the floor seizing and thinking I was dying right in front of him, he now worries any time my sugar even hints at going low.

I am truly blessed with the best family ever.  If not for my hubby, who had called to check on me when I was around 50, but I don’t recall talking to him.  When he thought I was treating my low myself, he hung up with me, but then got busy with his work and didn’t call again until 30 minutes later when his app alerted him.  When he couldn’t get me on the phone, he called Corey to see if he could go check on me.  As soon as Corey found me, he called his dad and just said, “You need to come home, Dad, it’s bad.”   Tommy called 911 immediately and tore out of the work site heading home.

I’m not sure when Taylor and Casey arrived, but I’m pretty sure Corey called Casey and he called Taylor so she could come straight to the house when she got home from work.

Hopefully, my sharing these kinds of things will help you understand how hard it can be to manage and regulate diabetes.  That it’s not a cut-and-dried medical issue, not one-size-fits-all treatment and not even this-works-every-time because ultimately, Diabetes does it’s own thing sometimes and it doesn’t have to make sense.

It’s a cruel, exhausting disease so when you meet a person with diabetes, be kind.  Be sympathetic.  Be nice.  Shoot, just be that way all the time, but please extend a hand to the PWDs in your life.  As the meme goes, be kind to PWDs, we deal with enough pricks already.

Blessings,

G~


it’s back! (& delayed!)


ADDENDUM:  This post, originally began on November 1, has been a tad delayed by life and sickness and monumental elections and dental appointments …. you know, the normal stuff that happens to me.  😉  So anyhow, I wanted to explain why this post starts off talking about my birthday but ends up over a week later!  Hey, that’s how I roll!!  Read on:::

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.  The leaves have turned all my favorite colors, the air is getting that “crisp-clear” feeling, the days are shorter and nights are longer and nippier.

And…

It’s my birthday!

I don’t know about you, but in my “old age”, I’ve become pretty ambivalent about the anniversary of me rolling around.  I was about 19 or so when I realized that birthdays were not going to be as fun as an adult as they’d been when I was a kid.  I was a young married woman, probably working at the time, but I don’t recall where.  And we were feeling the squeeze of real life around the wallet/pocketbook area.  Ha ha.  Yeah, those money struggles had become real and I was still figuring out how to deal with it.

I’d never known a thing about finances in our family growing up.  Mom and Dad never let us know if money was tight and my sister and I never lacked for anything we really needed and while we certainly didn’t get whatever we asked for, we didn’t want for anything, either.  We always had everything we needed, so I was clueless about money management or dealing with lack.

Boy, did I make up for that as an adult!  Wow!  I don’t talk about this a lot because it tends to make Tommy, my husband, feel bad.  So understand, it’s not that he doesn’t make good money.  He has a good-paying job and does tons of side jobs to earn extra when  he can.  But diabetes is expensive.  That’s all I can figure.  It’s healthcare that keeps us in a chokehold financially.

And don’t even get me started on that.

I was talking about my birthday.  So I have this….uh…sorta dream, I guess.  To me, it’s just more of an idea or a desire.  I’m 49 today.  Forty-nine.  For-tee.  Nine-uh.  HAVE MERCY!!  When on earth did I get this old?!?!

It’s not that I don’t FEEL old.  Trust me, I do.  I often say I have the mind of a much younger person in the body of a MUCH older person and the two never have the same agenda.  As I’ve said about the name of the blog, My Life in Dog Years,  I feel TONS older than my actual age and I blame diabetes for that.  But still… I’m not ready to be almost-50!  See?  I can’t even enjoy being 49, I have to obsess about how close to 50 I am now.   Bahaha!

this will SO be me…  LOL!

Okay, so here’s the thing.  I lost about 30 pounds last year riding my bicycle and just trying to be healthier.  It was AWESOME to actually drop those pounds when it’s such a hard thing to do as a type one.  Taking the insulin hormone and also thyroid hormone, it’s just very hard to drop any weight doing the same things other people do.

So… being SO sick these past almost-three months (I’m still dealing with congestion issues, random coughing fits/asthma attacks and my voice still isn’t fully recovered, so I’m still that cross between Mickey Mouse and a zombie from The Walking Dead.

Back to it being my birthday…so yeah, I’m closer to that milestone of 50.  And the dream or desire I have is to be more fit by the time I turn 50.  So at this point, where I’ve gained back the weight I’d lost and I’m frustrated about it.  But honestly, I can’t change it, as in that I can’t undo it.  I guess it makes me even madder when I think about having to “redo” or “re-lose” all the weight I’d gotten rid of and then more!  I would LOVE to be at least 50 pounds lighter.  Not to match my age, ha ha ha!  But because I think I would feel good, at least tons better, with that much off me.  And I could be “satisfied” with myself at that weight.  But I don’t want to set that goal and not hit it.  So I am just saying that I want to weigh less by the time my 50th birthday rolls around.  In my mind, I want to weigh at least 30 pounds less.  And I think that’s doable.

After being so sick all this time and still not completely over it, I sure don’t feel like trying to get fit.  I can’t really exercise because of difficulty breathing and the asthma issues.  And I’ve fallen into the habit of eating some junkie foods, and right now, it’s hard to even think about giving them up.

Now this issue is something I KNOW can be done.  I really feel like once I feel better, not sick anymore, it will be easier to switch back to healthier eating.  I think because I’ve felt so lousy that I have tried to comfort myself with foods I really love, ya know?  Does that make sense?  So I think once I am not so sick, I will be much more able to switch to mostly veggies and stuff.

And I haven’t even told you about all my mouth issues.  I have about died during all my awful coughing, not only because they were body-wracking coughs, but because I have this broken molar in the back of my mouth.  It’s been broken for awhile.  I hate going to the dentist, people.  Both the physical experience of it and the daggone expense!  And this tooth wasn’t hurting me, but occasionally when my mouth would become super-sensitive and reactive to certain foods, it felt like that jagged tooth got sharper.  I’m sure it didn’t, but I could sure feel it more than at other times.  It had a point and it angled toward the back of my mouth, sorta pointing toward my tonsils.  It’s a bottom molar, right under my tongue. So every time I coughed, that thing was stabbing the heck out of my tongue.  So much so that by the end of the first few weeks, I had a VERY sore spot and when I finally decided to look at it, there was actually a hole worn in it.

It was EXTREMELY painful.  Every time I moved my tongue, it hurt and you can’t do much of anything without moving your tongue.  Go ahead and try it, you’ll see.  Your tongue moves even when you are just swallowing!  So I needed this tooth gone.

My usual dentist had talked about putting a crown on it, but it’s had a filling in it since I was a kid, and of course, that’s been replaced and expanded several times over the years.  There obviously wasn’t much actual tooth left.  I just couldn’t see sinking more money into it, especially when it seems my teeth just keep getting weaker as I get older.  I actually have another tooth right behind this one that’s been broken even longer.  It’s on the outside and not as much trouble as this one, but it does also need work of some sort.

And I want you to know, lo and behold, another tooth on the other side had a small part crumble off of it not two days after I’d called the oral surgeon to be put on the call-in list!!  GAH!

So yeah, as it would have to happen, the office called me the morning of my birthday to say they’d had a cancellation and could I come in that afternoon.  Well, I sure couldn’t afford to pass up the opportunity, so I got to have a tooth pulled for my birthday!  Yay.  (not)

Now, I’ve had about 3 or 4 other teeth pulled over the years.  Like I said, my teeth tend to be really weak.  I blame my poor mama for that.  Her teeth are exactly the same…they’ll just literally fall apart!  So I’ve had several that have broken or just basically split open and crumble out.  I’ve never gotten a dry socket with any of them.  Not a hint of trouble, really.

But this one… it’s really hurting.  And yeah, I ended up with a dry socket!  I got it pulled on the first of November, right?  By Thursday, I was dying.  It had just gotten a ton more painful, so I called the doctor’s office and they had me come in.  He rinsed it and packed it and told me to stick to soft foods and all that.  So okay… I went home and it really didn’t feel any better.

And remember, this is the week of my birthday.  My kids had originally planned to take me camping but when I got so sick, and it turned off cold, we decided to scrap that idea.  They told me to figure out what I wanted to do and so I chose something I’d been thinking about for awhile.  I wanted to do a Breakout game!

I saw these online a few years ago and thought it would be the most fun thing to do with family or a group of friends, but we’d never had a chance to go.  I chose The Hostage scenario for us and got the room booked and all.  So when I started hurting so bad, I was crushed at the thought that I might not even get to go or take part.

It ended up working out okay, though, thank God!  I didn’t feel great, but at least I wasn’t hurting nearly as bad.  We went to Breakout first thing.  It was so much fun!  If you’ve been thinking about going, I highly recommend it!  The kids are all wanting to come back… more likely with their friends and small groups, but maybe they will let us tag along too.

So the tooth thing… I’m still having trouble with it.  The last time I went was two days ago with it hurting like crazy.  He found a small bone sliver sticking out of the gum and filed it down, using only topical numbing stuff and this loud, sand-y/drill-y machine that would slip off the bone and hit my gum occasionally.  Needless to say, I hurt worse after I left.  He asked if I wanted him to pack it again to which I replied, “I dunno, what do you think?”  I wanted to say, “You’re the dental expert here, not me.”  but I didn’t.  He said he could but then I reminded him of how it hurt to have it packed and the packing never seemed to stay in for more than a couple hours after which I am left to fret with trying to keep it in place as long as possible, which hurts, until I finally just take it out, which also hurts.  GAH! 

So we decided to try it without the packing.  He said if I felt like it needed to be packed, I could just come to the office that afternoon and he’d take care of it.

I went home, took a Duexis and grabbed an ice pack, threw off my jeans and sweater and crawled in the bed.  I felt a little better after I woke up, so I didn’t go back for packing.  As of this morning, November 10, it’s actually feeling a tiny bit better, but I’m afraid to say that, so I won’t.  Heh.

If I could only scrounge up some energy and focus, I’d be flying.  But that, sadly, is NOT how I roll.

Til next time, my peeps!

Blessings…

 


title goes here


Folks, I am just at a loss.  I couldn’t come up with a catchy title because well, it’s just the same-‘ol-same.

Yep, still sick.  Yep, still no real answers.  Yep, doctors still seem puzzled as to why I am not getting better.

So my plan is to just sorta document what’s going on, what meds they have me taking now and the results of my allergy test yesterday.  I did something similar HERE last year and it has been helpful to look back and see what happened, how it was treated/how it progressed and what time of year it was.

I didn’t even make it to my endo appointment because I was at the allergist’s for so long!  (going back to try that again on Tuesday)  They only did environmental testing yesterday because the doc was afraid to do more with me coughing the way I was.  Yeah, the coughing is back after just 4-5 days’ relief from that.  I’m not sure if it is because I was out so much on Monday, traveling with Tommy to pick up truck parts or that I got so tired from being out all day… but it’s back.

As far as my meds, I’m not on too much that’s new.  Still taking these, and have been since that post above, from November of last year…

    

     

  

I got a couple of these nebulizer mouthpieces that I like much better than the open ones I’ve always had.  It doesn’t allow tons of the medicine to escape and the actual mouthpiece is much more comfortable.

  Of course, they always want to give me these flippin’ Tessalon pearls for coughing and they never do a thing for me, so I have a basically full bottle of them.  Argh!

At least now my doc understands that these don’t work for me.  I don’t think she’ll insist that I try them again.  They are honestly like taking nothing at all.  She gave me this instead, and it doesn’t do a whole lot if I’m already to the point of coughing so bad I can’t breathe.
Besides the fact that if you happen to take it a tad more often than prescribed, the insurance companies will REFUSE to refill it for you (because it contains Codeine) and so, you will then have to resort to liquor to quiet your coughing.  Nice job, Insurance peeps… turn folks into alkies, whydoncha?  Ugh!

The allergist now has me on two steroid inhalers:

 

 

 

 

As for antibiotics, yep, I’m on the third one of those… we started with my old standby:

  when that seemed to do nothing, they switched me to 

 

 

 

 

And now, I’m on “the big gun” (that’s what they said!)

Actually, I took the last of it today…  I’m wondering if they’ll want to me to do another course of Levaquin now?  That scares me a little given my history with antibiotics and my experience with Stevens-Johnson syndrome!  Ugh!

Okay, so the allergy testing… like I said, she only did the environmental tests and I lit up pretty good with those.  There were about three that I tested super-high in… Epicoccum, which is a mold fungi.  Yay.  When our house was terribly ill-equipped with the wrong-sized air conditioning unit (thanks, Larkey) we had a constant humidity problem.  The humidity in the house stayed super-high so of course, molds developed in the window sills and other places.  Seriously, this “mistake”, telling us we needed an HVAC system MUCH too big for our house, caused a LOT of problems.  Make sure you are using a very reputable company when getting those things installed or serviced.  We had other problems with this company, too like when the unit stopped working, they sent a guy out who somehow locked the unit in heat mode (in the dead of summer, y’all) and went back to the shop.  Yep, I’m just glad we were home and it didn’t melt the place, start a fire or worse.

ANYway, so yeah, we got a new, suitably-sized unit last year, and all those humidity problems ceased.  (thank you, for REAL, Leo Jones & Son! —we highly recommend LJ!  Ask for David & tell him we sent you!)  The damage had already been done, though.  Our house has been damaged by the mold for all those years (yep, we had this incompatible unit the entire life of the house til then).

I also reacted heavily to dust mites.. yay.  And cocklebur/mugwort…  Huh?  Weedy things, I think.  So I just ordered a ton of bedding… hypo-allergenic mattress cover, pillows & pillow covers.  My next big project I wanna do is to rip all the carpet out of the house, but we have to be able to afford to replace the flooring first.  UGH!  I would be fine with putting tile (the wood-look stuff that’s so popular!) in the bedroom, but Tommy is all “No way!”   He can be such a butt!!  He’s so weird about stuff like that.  He has a certain way set in his mind and no matter how little sense it makes, you can’t convince him otherwise.  DRIVES ME UP A WALL!  What does he want?  Wood.  Why?  He thinks it’s better.  ???  I dunno why.  For one, it’s tons more messy with the sawdust factor.  Secondly, HELLO!  I’m allergic to some trees.  And he wants to put dead ones all over the floor??  What?!?!?  I also assume wood would be more expensive, but I dunno for sure.

I am so ready to stop feeling crap-u-licious, you guys!

Oh, and while I was looking up all these graphics, I found this little jewel:

Just FYI…this is completely not true.  I tried it several times.  Maybe it’s because I was coughing so violently, so much that it couldn’t work?  I don’t know.  However, I DO know that this just does NOT work.  “Immediately”??  Um, nope.  It may have helped soothe it eventually, but stopping it?  Not at all.

sigh

Alrighty, well that’s my report for now.  Hopefully, I will soon have some improvements to tell you about.  Lord, I surely hope so.  I am so tired of being so stinkin’ sick.

 

 


doing that thing you do…


Hello, boys and girls!  Today we’re going to talk about something that everybody does, but in most circumstances, nobody talks about.  This is an important thing.  Something that, if left undone, would eventually cause the human race to disappear from the earth. It’s something we should be taught about when we’re young, before things get too out of hand and we can’t get back in control.  Something that, left explained or considered unimportant, we may make foolish decisions about and soon find our lives are wrecked.

I am sure by now, most of you know what I’m talking about.  Many of us have problems with this while others seem to find it a non-issue.   Those who are “good” at it don’t understand those who struggle with it.  Those who spend their lives trying to master it, can’t even fathom those people who seem to do it without even thinking.

I’m talking about pooping.  Dropping the bomb.  Dumping the load.  Laying the brick.  Doing the dookey.   Taking a $#!+.  Whatever you call it, however you refer to it, it’s important.

Wait…what did you think I was talking about?

Sheesh!  Minds out of the gutter, people!

So yeah, I’ve been sick as a dog for over a month now.  Trying not to die takes a lot of time and concentration.  You’re worried about taking your meds, do you feed a cold and starve a fever or the other way around, will your ribs break if you cough any more?  It takes considerable thought just to breathe! So I’ve been a little busy with all that stuff, besides feeling like death reheated!

Annnnd…. I may have neglected a few other very important tasks.  Yes,

–stands up– My name is Geannie and I am a Problem Pooper.  sigh  There, now you know.

And it’s true, I don’t get you people who can just drop a turd at the drop of a hat.  What IS that?!?  I mean, it could take me hours.  I just don’t see how you can just snap do the deed and go on about your life like

Nothing.

Even.

Happened.

My husband, Tommy, is like that.  That man poops at least five times a day and twice during a full moon.  If I take the least bit more time getting ready to go somewhere than he does, just when I’m ready to walk out the door, he’s all, “I gotta poop.”

blink, blink

“NO WAY!  We don’t have time for that!!” I wail.  Then -boom-, two minutes and he’s back, ready to go and it’s like he never even left the room (as long as he turns the fan on and shuts the door).

I cannot do that, people.  It takes time.  Concentration.  Sometimes hot coffee, a laxative and an enema!  And even then, it’s not a sure thing.

How is it that you people can just POOP?!?!  Just drop the bomb, anytime, anywhere, even with other people in there just on the other side the door that doesn’t latch properly.   Nuh-uh.  Not happening.

It’s not that we don’t WANT to.  We’d love to be like you poopers who are not hindered by geography, audio interference or emotional distress.  Those who’s poop seemingly just slithers right out, nice as you please, like a big ol’ chocolate snake, allowing you to continue on with your life.

No, it’s not that we want to be bound by this heavy burden.   I could never understand as a child why my mom was always worrying about whether I pooped or not.  To me, pooping was an irksome task that interrupted my playtime.  I mean, I guess it never occurred to me that I could just poop in the woods like the forest creatures because that’s where I usually was, playing for hours.  No, I thought I had to walk allll the way back to the house for this, and so many times, I would not.

Nope.  That poop wasn’t gonna be the boss of me.  I’d show it.

I eventually developed the sphincter of an iron man.

But as I grew and became an adult, I realized that pooping may have been a tad more important than I had assumed.  By then, however, it was too late.  I was caught in Pinch Mode.  It was automatic, if I felt the least urge to lay one down, I’d pinch up tighter.  Seriously, The Gatekeeper learns what you teach it.  I had taught mine not to let ANYBODY out.  Ever!

When I got pregnant with my first, my mother scared me to death about getting a hemorrhoid.  I did everything possible to eek out a turd every day.  I wasn’t always successful and it was a lot more work than it should have been, but I got by without the dreaded butt condition developing and it felt like I had escaped the jaws of death.

As I’m writing this and pondering the topic, I wonder how ANY body in history kept a clear bowel.  Especially women!  I’m thinking pioneer days, late 1700’s to early 1800’s.  I can’t imagine coping with all that long material in those heavy skirts and petite coats trying to squat and poop in the middle of a prairie, probably with some bad-guy train robbers in hot pursuit, shooting arrows or Minie balls at you.  I mean, c’mon!  There’s no way any of those women could have been “regular”.   Let’s don’t even talk about how you wiped.  How they even found their hind quarters in those things is a mystery, let alone actually wiping it.  shudder

Ah, but today, we’re all civilized with special seats and nice soft paper to wipe with, all in temperature controlled rooms and with exhaust fans even!  Not to mention specialty things like this:  Poopouri & Squatty Potty

We’ve come a long way.

Except for those of us who haven’t.  But you know, at one point in my life, I’m not sure what happened.  I’ve had so many medical mishaps and of course, our bodies change over time, but I was in the Super Poopers league for awhile.  I’m not kidding!  Sometimes… whispering –I could even go twice in one day!

I never got to the point that I could dump a load away from home, though.  I mean, some things are just sacred.

#1, I need my things.  My toilet, my magazines, my toilet paper.  You know.  And

#2

(BAHAHAHA!!  Number 2!!)

I need space.  You can’t even turn around in some of those stalls.  There’s no way I could launch one in there!

#3, I need quiet.  How can I poop if people are standing around out there talking..  AND I can SEE THEIR FEET??

Then there are the other issues…I may occasionally make noise.  I mean, getting the brown train to exit the tunnel takes a lot of work.  It’s like hard, manual labor, people.  Not to mention if I were to be able to just drop a single train car, let’s say… the ensuing “bloop-splash” sound would just shut it all down. POW!  Sorry folks, this station is closed and I mean RIGHT NOW!  EVERYBODY STOP!  The tunnel would close indefinitely and who knows when you might expect to hear from the rest of the train!?!?

As an adult seeking to become one of the Perfect Poopers, I’ve read a lot of stuff about the role our nerves play in the whole elimination process.  I told you we sorta train our GateKeeper and the same goes with those nerves.  If we ignore every time we get an urge to even think about possibly releasing a brown bear, then our nerves eventually stop telling us there even IS a brown bear.  Heck, we don’t even know there’s a forest nearby, let alone a bear!  And I think that might be part of the issue, too.  Those Pro Poopers, they get a load right up the dump point before their nerves are all like, “Okay, comin’ out!”  so they run off and launch their rocket.  Wham!  Bam!  Thank you, ma’am!  No prob.  I think the rest of us, our train gets its nose in the tunnel and those nerves, the little conductors of dookey, are like “Yo!  I’m leaving now!  Should be there..oh, in a couple hours.  Maybe tomorrow.  I dunno…”  So if we tried to evacuate headquarters right then, it’d be useless.  That train is still a mile down the track and not in any hurry to leave.  “Hey, yeah!  I see you’ve opened the gate.  I’ll be there…hang on…”  Um no.  Seriously!  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  So we go on about our business and by the time our business finally arrives at the exit position, we are in full-on pinch down.  Too bad, buddy.  You had your chance.

Look, it’s a doo-keychain! BAHAHA!

Before long, the dookey conductors stop communicating.  “Oh, look!  The Turd Train is here.  Let’s don’t tell her.  hee hee  Let’s see how she likes that.”  All the while, said train is backing all up in the terminal and the conductors are soon rethinking things.  “Maybe we should have told her?”  But it’s too late. You missed your chance, suckers.

So anyway, as I said in the beginning.  Getting deathly ill has put me on the outs at the Elimination Station and I have got to set things right!   As the CEO of the rail line, I’ve got to get this train back on the track and moving!

I have doodies to attend!

Let’s put on a pot of coffee….  All aboard!!  Poooo-poo!


I’m not a whiner…however…


I am seriously over this crud!  Guys, I’m still hacking and coughing.  I am beginning to wonder what in the heck is going on.  Seriously!  I’ve had, thus far, 2 Decadron shots, 2 rounds of Prednisone, 2 different antibiotics, every anti-allergy med known to man in varying and increasing doses, dual-dose nebulizer treatments throughout, Dulera inhaler, and Flonase spray along with whatever other OTC/vitamin supplements that are supposed to help.  There have been changes, sometimes from day to day, in how this “is”…whether the secretions are thick or thin, whether the congestion seems loose or tight, the cough “wet” or dry, etc. but overall, there’s really not a whole heckuva lot of improvement.

It’s driving me nuts.  Besides absolutely wearing me out.  I’m exhausted.  The house is beyond hopeless and I’m stuck in it all day.  I have not stepped foot outside the house since I went to the allergist on Thursday.  I opened the back door to wave at one of the boys in the yard.  That’s as “outside” as I have been.

I’m scheduled for allergy testing on the 13th which is too stinkin’ long to live with this after I’m past a month with it already.  I’m considering trying to get in with a pulmonologist.  I mean, I’m sure I need the allergy testing anyway, but I’m wondering if there’s not some lung issue.  Why are the steroids not more effective?  I mean, I’ve taken them often enough over the years, not often, but enough times to know that they normally produce a noticeable improvement within a couple of days.  But with this?  No such thing.  And I’m sitting here wondering if I should finish up this last course of Prednisone I have.  I mean, that stuff jacks my sugars up so bad.  It’s like insulin has no effect on it almost.  I raise my temp basal as high as it will go, 173% and STILL have to override the boluses to give 2-4 more units of insulin to cover my food.  Well, not cover it even, just to keep it below 200.

I’m thankful to have the CGM now so I can keep on top of what my sugars are doing while the steroids jack with my sugars.  I shudder to think of how bad they have been in the past when I didn’t have a way to keep such a constant watch on them.  Ugh!  At the same time, though, watching them stay up there while I’m “throwing” insulin at it as hard as I can is just maddening and more than a little scary.  I don’t know about any of you guys, but when I know my sugars are up and I can’t get them down (quick enough to suit me, of course) all I can think about is all the damage being done.  All the blood vessels being clamped shut and nerves being killed out or whatever goes on in there while there’s an overabundance of sugar floating around.  It drives me nuts!

So here I am.  Still hacking, still unable to speak with my actual voice.  It’s more like I’m doing the voice of some alien monster thing complete with alternate growling and shrieking.  I just wanna get well, y’all.  Is that too much to ask?

Alright.  Like I said, I’m not a whiner, so I guess I’d better shut this down before I become one.  heh  Maybe that should be, “I TRY not to be a whiner”?  Yeah, probably so.

Ah well…I’m not changing it now!  ha ha

I hope none of you guys are this sick.  I guess I’ll update you if I get in with a lung doc next week.  For someone who never worked in an environment that was potentially lung-damaging or who never smoked (other than a couple months in high school), it sure seems odd to me that this would be some lung issue.  It honestly seems like it should be entirely allergy related.  But then that brings the question of why in the world aren’t the meds helping, then?  I have always been weird with medicines…either it takes a ton of it to work for me (pain meds) or I’m allergic to them (antibiotics) or they stop working…??  Why would that happen?  It’s not like I’ve ever taken steroids for long periods of time.  I have had them several times over the years, but not for extended periods or even frequently, so what gives?

Argh.  I give up.  It’s scary to think that there’s some (other/more) weird thing going on that is causing my body to no longer respond to these medicines.  What do you do when nothing will heal you?  Um…die?

Gah.  I need to stop thinking about this.  And I need some answers…and um, some relief.  “and that’s all I need…” ~Navin R. Johnson

 



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