geanniegray.com

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

changes!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings!


getting back to nature… sorta


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the most recent health craze: Golden Milk

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

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

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

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

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

Orangey-yellowy tumeric root…

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

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

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

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

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

DON’T SKIP THE PEPPER!!

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

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

we try to use fresh ginger all the time!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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!


hello, twenty-seventeen!


Hoo-wee!!  It has been a wild ride already around here folks!  That’s the main reason I haven’t been around here much.  My life has literally gone nuts!  Heh.

You know my eldest and his wife were (are!) moving to the Cincinnati area.  We started right after Christmas helping them get packed up.  They had to downsize a LOT, which wasn’t entirely a bad thing.  They went from a 1500 square foot home with a full, finished basement, two kitchens, a two-car garage, the land and outside areas to go with to a just-under 1000 square-foot apartment, no garage (although they can rent one that’s attached to their building!) and a tiny storage room!

That alone would have been enough to boggle my brain, but I have to say, Melissa handled it well.  She is a funny one.  She’s not super attached to things and was happily tossing all sorts of things.  I’m glad she could do it but it was hurting my head to watch her purge so mercilessly.  Ha ha!  Then again, I lean toward the hoarder rather than minimalist.  sigh  Ha!

We took several of their larger items but can’t fit the piano here, so I’m hoping my parents can put it in their basement.  It’s so old, I doubt they could get much out of it even though it looks great.  It’s severely out of tune and it sounds like from what the kids had been told by a couple of tuners, because of the age, people don’t want to tune it.  Gah!  I dunno…. it’s been so long since I played, I’m not sure it’s worth hanging onto.  No one else in the family plays and we really don’t sing as a family anymore, so I’m not sure why we even need it.  I just hate to get rid of it.  It’s the used piano my mom bought when I was around 5 or 6 to take lessons herself.  When I began to sit down and play what she had just practiced, I became the one who was getting lessons and those didn’t benefit me a whole lot.  She started me with an old and old-school teacher who was all about theory and note reading, not at all interested in any natural “talent” or playing “by ear” like I was want to do and had always seen my Papaw do.  By the time I was in fifth grade, she found me a younger teacher who finally realized I was just going to learn the music she assigned my and play it by ear or from memory.  When I was about 11, Papaw recruited me to the piano at church to accompany congregational hymns, so I had to rely heavily on playing “by ear” so when I’d show up at lessons with a hymnal, asking the teacher to show me “how to play this chord” and then immediately pick it up once she’d showed me, she sorta gave up.

She came out to the car with me one day and told Mom she didn’t wanna take her money any more because she couldn’t really teach me anything else.  Bahahaha!!  Yeah.  I’m not sure it was so much a compliment as a statement of fact.  It surely wasn’t because I had learned all she had to teach!  I had no use for doing the little theory exercises or reading music beyond what I absolutely had to.  It was hard for me and I really sucked at it.  If you could “hum it for me” and I could figure out what key you needed it in, I could at least play the chords enough to accompany you.

Okay, enough about the piano!  For now, it’s still sitting in the house down there.  The business is still using the office that was built onto the back of the house years ago, so people are still going in and out of it.  Also, for the time being at least, Melissa’s younger brother is still living in/renting the basement although I’m not sure how long that will last.  Mom told me she has told him to be looking for another place.  This after she told him he could stay there awhile.  I know know what that’s about, but it’s pretty typical.  I hope he can find somewhere and not have to move back home, especially since he just proposed to his girlfriend over Christmas!

So Melissa and I took off in our vehicles, I took our car up so Tommy could drive the UHaul and we’d have a way back home.  She had a bunch of more delicate stuff in their truck, along with their Australian Shepherd, Timber.  We headed out about noon on Friday leaving the guys behind to load the big furniture in the UHaul and the plan was they’d be up the next day.

Corey had quite a few guys lined up to come help but only two actually did along with his dad and it turned out to be enough.  They had no clue how much room they’d need, so they got a 26-foot truck since it was the same price as the  22-foot truck and planned to let Tommy be the “fitter” since he’s good about packing a ton of stuff into a small space.  He started out trying to get as much stuff in as possible but soon, they told him they only had so many pieces left and he had to get them to repack and spread stuff out!!  They had a TON of room!

Mel and I got up there without too much incident.  Our GPS’s didn’t agree at one point and we ended up getting off a wrong exit in town.  It was right during rush hour, so when I tried to stick with her through a light and blocked the intersection for a second, some butthead in a little economy car blew right up to the passenger side of my Challenger and started on the horn.  Honking and honking as if that was somehow going to ‘make’ me be able to move when there was no space for me to go!  Argh.  That was a little nerve wracking, but we got through it okay and made it to the apartment complex in good time.

We were both pretty exhausted, and I was still battling the remnants of my months of being sick with a nasty cough so I stayed with Timber most of the time while Melissa made trips back and forth carrying in some of the stuff we’d packed.  We hadn’t really thought out how we’d handle Timber while unloading stuff, I guess.  When she had got all she could manage herself, I went out to the car and carried in the few things I had to have out of it.  We had also put some of their stuff in there, so it was packed full too.

Corey called to say they were talking about maybe heading up that evening, just him and his dad, instead of waiting til the morning.  So in about four hours, they had arrived and it was a good thing after all.  Showing up with limited items at an empty apartment when the weather is frigid, you’re tired and sick can be a lot more deflating than I had counted on.  I think Mel felt the same way.  She was a bit more upbeat than me, but seriously… as I looked around, thinking about the place, sensing its smallness and of course, the sparseness of it, if it’d been me moving, I’d have been seriously depressed.  Maybe it was just me still processing the fact that my kids actually were moving away from me.  I’m not sure, but I hope it didn’t show as much as I felt it.  If I’d been by myself, I’d have cried!

At this point, a week after the fact, I can’t remember what else we did that night.  I am pretty sure we made a few trips to the store for some odds and ends.  Even though it was almost New Year’s Eve and we hadn’t bargained for any stores being closed.  They needed a pad lock for the UHaul and there were a few other things we had to have that night.  Dinner was one of those things, so we got some food before coming back to settle in for the night.

We blew up our mattresses and slept fairly well.  Thankfully the kids’ mattress was in the truck since their bed went flat during the night!

The next day, Melissa’s uncle and cousin came to help unload.  I hadn’t realized until then that the former plan for some of Corey’s friends to come up to help had been changed.  No one else was coming.  Mel’s uncle had arranged for several of his friends to come help, but not until later in the day, so when it became clear that they would have everything done before then, he called to cancel his guys and the four of them got it all unloaded just before lunch (and the rain!)  It worked out perfectly.

Tommy and I stayed til Monday, which helped me feel a bit better about them moving.  I was able to see that the apartment was nice, it was quiet and not so wildly different than being at home.  I got to interact with a lot of people and put to rest the notion that Cincy is full of mean people.  (seriously, I don’t if it was the people who just really didn’t want them to leave or they were relating their own experience, but people kept telling them everyone was rude and mean there).

Even though I felt better about them moving, it didn’t stop the tears from falling when we finally said our goodbyes Monday night after supper.  Tommy had already mentioned staying another day so I had no clue if we’d end up going home or not!  When we got to the restaurant, he didn’t know where his phone was, so that immediately became a possible “reason” we would have to stay.  We had already packed up the car and were ready to leave straight from the steakhouse, so the phone would have to be back at the apartment for us to stay.  It was sort of funny as we all walked out toward our vehicles, looking at my phone trying to locate Tommy’s… it appeared to be in the car and it was apparent that Tommy was disappointed.  He said if it wasn’t for needing to be on the job, he would just take a vacation day and stay.  And here I thought I was the one having trouble letting them go!

It would have been nice if we’d been able to stay and leave the next morning because we were sure exhausted once we finally got home.  It was just after midnight and we had several things that had to be unloaded (the rest could wait) and the dogs and chickens to take care of.  Poor Max was still outside, so I had to try and clean him up some before turning him loose in the house.

As soon as I could, I collapsed in bed and in what seemed like just a few minutes, I woke up sick as a dog.  I was coughing and snotting like nobody’s business.  I felt horrible!  So after battling a similar blech for months and finally getting almost over it, I’m starting from scratch, fighting it again.

ARGH!

Here’s to NOT having all of 2017 be the same way it started!!  Ha!


that place between heartache and happiness


That’s where I am these day.  Torn, and swinging wildly between, being overjoyed and heartbroken enough I have to fight back the tears.

To some it may seem trivial.  Maybe it is something other people expect to happen, but for me, the thought that this might happen has never entered my mind.

My baby is moving away.

I knew that a company in Ohio had reached out to Corey about a position and that he’d gone up for a meet-and-greet-slash-interview.  I knew he’d sent them the resume they requested.  I knew he’d been looking into the company, trying to learn more about them, see if it was something he even wanted to consider.

I also knew that all he’d discovered was very positive and desirable!

After the first meeting, he was disappointed because the man from the finance department of the company (they are big enough to have ‘departments’) told him they had initially wanted him for a management position, but then his age and lack of experience with a large company made them think he might not be ready for that yet.

Yet.

To me, at that time, it was encouraging.  I mean, I told you I was torn, guys.  I wasn’t kidding!!  I was so proud that a huge company like that was considering hiring my boy for a high position, not to mention that they instigated the contact!  It didn’t bother me that they were leery of him due to his young age and his lack of a college degree.  Most places are very big on a piece of paper from a university that says you know certain stuff.  I am of the opinion, however, that personal experience and the ability to teach one’s self and learn whatever is necessary is much more valuable than a degree that may or may not be a true indication of the person’s knowledge.  Of course, there’s not a lot of quantifiable proof for personal experience and the ability to self-teach either, but I’ve seen for myself that it’s a definite advantage in many areas of life.

I guess, deep down, I was content with knowing that Corey could attract attention from a big company, that he presented himself well and wasn’t lacking in any way from being homeschooled.  I mean, it was on his resume, after all.  They knew he had been taught at home.  I sorta felt that would be the end of it.  Which wasn’t a relief entirely because, confession time:  I’ve been praying for both my boys to be able to get away from all the stress they have with their jobs.

Yes, I should have been praising God for answered prayer, but you know how it goes.  Sometimes God answers in a way you never considered.  Kinda like praying for patience, so God lets you break your leg.  “There.”  He might say.  “Patience is earned, my child.”  All the while, I imagine He’s snickering to Himself.  Bahaha!

But seriously, it would be a big relief to see them have jobs where they weren’t constantly being brow-beaten and put down and having to deal with my dad.  I feel like I’ve posted about this whole complicated mess-of-a relationship before, but I’m not positive about that and I can’t find any reference to it, so I’ll try to explain while keeping it short.

My father has always been an entrepreneurial type of fella.  Always had his own business.  Everything from a coal tipple to a paving business, a wood burning stove store, therapeutic massage chairs to spray foam insulation.  You name it, he’s prolly done it or at least thought about it.  Excavation is where he always excelled.  He was good on a dozer and so began a core drilling business.  That led to him being asked to help bulldoze roads during a forest fire so the firefighters could access the fire.  Finally, he began this current company in 1994 originally doing only dozer and backhoe work.  It evolved into the plumbing arena and he had to get permits and such.  During that time, he learned about and got into the underground camera and jetting business, which is mostly what the business does now.  It’s considered a “plumbing” company, although dad has never been a plumber.  He always had to employ one, though and now, both my sons are licensed plumbers.  Corey has his master plumber’s license and Casey has a journeyman’s license.

The boys began working for my dad when they were teenagers.  Originally, it was just to do the extra work, the grunt work.  Wheelbarrowing dirt out of the way or digging trenches, that kind of stuff.  And it was just as needed because for the last 15 or so years, Dad’s only had one or two regular employees and in the last 10 or so years, that’s been older men like himself.  Not young men who could lift and heft and work hard, but older men who were a little more feeble and less agile and able-bodied.  I felt okay with that and I was happy about the experience it gave them.  Most kids their age had no clue about the real work-a-day world, ya know?  My boys did and they were learning all kinds of stuff about using tools and how things work.  Most of the time, they’d work pretty much full time during the summer months.  Soon though, dad started talking about when Corey graduated and could come in full time and all this crap about “handing down” the business to him one day.

That made me nervous.  My dad is a workaholic.  Even in his mid-seventies now, you can’t keep him still.  He can barely get around sometimes but insists on working.  It worries me to death but he’s as bullheaded as he is anything else, so you can’t tell him anything.

My dad has always been what some would call a “loudmouth”.  Ha ha.  Sometimes that’s a more apt description than others, but he’s very outspoken, opinionated and pretty judgemental.  Ever since I was old enough to realize it, I have seen that people either love or hate my dad.  They either get his brusque manner and laugh at his blustery speech or they despise his attitude and think he’s a blowhard.  I guess on both sides there’s a little truth, but in these past few years, he seems to have leaned even more toward the brusque/harsh side of his personality.  I think some of it is just the growing older process but the boys say he makes remarks about how he’s lived to the age his older brother and father were when they died so now he’s just “living on borrowed time” which is ridiculous since our days are numbered by God, not our ancestors!!  I don’t understand why he would think this way when he knows better.

So anyway, I tell you all of that so you might understand just a little why I have wanted my boys to not be working with or for my dad.  It has made them bitter and hard, more so for my youngest for some reason.  He’s never been a really ‘soft’ kinda guy anyway so that may just be his natural tendency.  But it is so worrisome.  Especially when he also lives right beneath my parents,  ya know?  He doesn’t really escape that stuff at all.  The boys don’t really have a grandfather relationship with him since he has treated them more like employees, disappointing employees at that, than like grandsons.  I have worried for their self-image and sense of self-worth for years because of how Dad is with them.

I know that sounds horrible of me, but it’s just the truth.  Telling you otherwise, pretending otherwise, doesn’t change the facts of the matter.  My parents harbor a LOT of negativity, which is one reason I don’t go around very much.  It just drains me.  It makes me feel ill, beaten down, hopeless and sad.  I struggle with depression enough as it is, and so I’ve found that my battle with it is easier if I don’t spend a ton of time with them.  Yes, that DOES make me sad, but self-preservation is important especially when I tend to become non-functional when I get in a deeply depressed state.  I pulled myself out of that once and I don’t want to ever have to do it again.  Is that wrong of me?  To guard my emotional, and also my physical, well-being?  If it is wrong, then I don’t know how to cope otherwise because spending time with them, lots of time, will inevitably lead to me spiraling into a horrible place where I shut down and then don’t take care of anyone or anything.  I’m not sure how they live in that darkness.  It’s like a tangible cloud of negativity and animosity.   They can’t speak about someone without pointing out all the perceived or concocted flaws the person has, they can’t be encouraging about any situation that isn’t exactly what they would choose for themselves, they are judgemental of everyone and don’t even think that your past won’t follow you toward them because they will never let you forget that thing you did but no longer do, no matter how much you have changed.

So… I feel like I’m rambling and I honestly don’t know how to end this post.  Apparently, the start date has been moved up to January 9 from January 23 so it’s even more of a time crunch!  Melissa wants to paint some of the walls so the apartment isn’t so “vanilla/boring” so she and I will go up a day or two after Christmas and stay for a couple days to do that.  For that, we’re having to decide which vehicle to take.  They have one vehicle between them, a 4WD pickup, we have our 4WD “second” vehicle (a pickup, too) and our new car, the Challenger, which we’ve never had in snow before.  It looks like it would be best if we took the car, but then there’s the issue of weather and Tommy’s insane obsession with keeping the car spotless.  Yeah, right!  I want it to stay awesome-looking too, but there’s only so much you can do if  you actually want to use the vehicle, ya know?  So anyway, I think we can get everything we’d need in there since the back seats fold down… you know, step stools, extension handles and all the painting material.  Then we’ll need to go buy paint unless she plans to do that here, then we’ll have to haul it up with us along with some air mattresses, clothes & food items.  The apartment is central to EVERYTHING almost, so running out to get anything we’d need won’t be a problem as long as the weather holds.  Then the guys will come up with a pickup load of stuff that weekend, I guess.  And we’ll be ready to start the actual moving process.

The kids are going back up there this weekend to finalize some stuff, and look at one more apartment that will now be empty to see if they like it better.  I think they’ve settled on this first floor one though even though the other is a tad bigger, it’s on the third floor.  With their dog, it will be a lot easier to be on ground level plus only first-floor apartments can have barbecues!  They grill out a LOT!  So…

I’m trying to steel myself for the wild rush to begin.  I’m praying for strength and focus and to stay well so I can help them all I can!  I’m taking advantage of every opportunity to be with them while they’re getting all their ducks in a row.  I’m not sure how I’ll survive this, but I know I will.  Like I said, I’m reminding myself multiple times a day that God promises to take care of us, to prosper us and not harm us.  I just need to stop looking at how much my heart hurts and focus on waiting to see what God’s going to do with this big change in all our lives.

Try to overlook me while I process everything, okay?  Thanks.

 


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~


The #1 Misconception about Jesus


[NOTE:  This post was written last week, Monday, November 28, 2016.  However, I didn’t get the chance to post it because I ended up in the hospital that evening.  More on that later, though… I think this is an important post!]


Wow.  What a heavy title, huh?  Well, stick with me.  I think you will be as blown away by this as I was.

If you’ve read here much at all, you will know I am very much a “grace and truth” person.  Taken from this scripture: [notes in brackets are mine]

John 1: 14 ~ “And the Word became flesh [Jesus] and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father [God], full of grace and truth.”

I believe Jesus was more about love than law. Not that we should dismiss God’s law outright.  However, Jesus valued a proper balance of grace with truth, not beating people up with truth until we feel like giving them a little grace.  Not about hurting people with truth without also giving them a good dose of grace to go along with it.  He did not disregard the Law, but Jesus simply loved more than He fretted about law-keeping.  As our pastor started the sermon yesterday, he read from Matthew…

Matthew 12:1-2 ~  At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.””

He pointed out how the Pharisees’ first thought was to point out the law-breaking.  They were not concerned that these men were hungry and had no other food available to them.  Remember that another law in play here is the one about leaving behind  any plants that are missed or any grain that has fallen during harvest in order that the needy could glean the fields and feed themselves.  (Leviticus 23:22)

The first thing that came rushing to my mind is all the times, as I was growing up in a traditional, conservative Christian church, I had seen people shunned or ignored because they were not dressed like the rest of us, or because they had done things considered ‘unforgivable’ while at the same time, only moments later, hearing a sermon about how loving and kind Jesus was to all people… the drunkards and the harlots and the sinners.  How He seemed to always reserve His harshest words for those in the “religious elite”, the high priests, and the religious scholars.

As a child, this always seemed so backward, but as anyone raised in this sort of environment knows, you don’t question those unspoken rules.  That is frowned upon and discouraged if not outright disallowed!  You just don’t question things that seem to be wrong with the status quo of the church.

Even as an adult, I went along with these sort of things.  My thinking was just as convoluted as those I still love today who are so set on sticking with the man-made rules and traditions in most churches.  I thought if you didn’t dress correctly, you were better off to stay home than come to church ill-dressed.  If you had been in jail or were known to be “living in sin”/shacking up, etc, then you had best sit in the back if you dared to show your face at all.  Don’t expect to be welcomed or even greeted in most cases.

Now, I am NOT saying that we should just ignore what the Bible clearly calls sin, but you cannot claim to “love the sinner and hate the sin” if you treat people like second-class citizens and push them to the fringe, making sure they know they’re ‘not good enough’.  That was the favorite cop-out of most churches I was ever involved in…”love the sinner and hate the sin”.  In theory, this is an excellent way to live, however, if you’re not willing to actually love the sinner then it becomes merely hypocrisy.

We are to hate sin just as much as God Himself hates it!!  He hated it so much and loved the children He had created so much that He became flesh and submitted Himself to the cross to save us from it!!  The thing we have really screwed up down here is the value God places on people (love) versus the value He places on things (law).

We think God places utmost value on His law and thus, our keeping of His law, when in reality, He values people the most.  That’s us, you and me and everyone you know…and everyone I know AND all the people they know.  So the essence of what Jesus came to do was not bulk up religion, not reinforce it or endorse it but to reject it, rescind it, to show us the better way.  Religion is about the law.  We, as our sin nature tends to do, have perverted the value of the law, putting it above love and human life.  It was love that caused God to give us the law.  The law is and has always been to help protect us, God’s children, His creations.  It was never created to be a noose, a burden, a dead weight that makes us view life as dreary.  Therefore, when it comes to a situation where it is love versus law, love always wins in God’s eyes.  God created the law for man, not man for the law.  He didn’t create laws first and then people to keep them.  He created people first, and then laws they needed to protect them.

That’s not to say we can make excuses to discount and disregard God’s law.  But, as in this instance, when it comes to our well-being or keeping a law, God will always opt in favor of our well-being, which is why He even made any law to begin with.

The example that Jesus used up there in Matthew to let the Pharisees know they were seeing things wrong was of David, when he was running from the murderous wrath of King Saul and sought shelter in a temple.  He and his men were tired and hungry.  The only thing available to eat was the consecrated bread which the law dictated was only to be eaten by the priests.  In the presence of the priest, David and his men ate the “shew bread”, the bread blessed and set aside for the temple priests, without condemnation from either God or the priests.  Nowhere in the scripture does it ever indicate or mention that God showed any displeasure or outrage at what David did in this scripture.

I had NEVER caught that part of the story.  I mean, it’s right there.  Plain as day.  Jesus is telling the Pharisees that just as David wasn’t condemned for eating consecrated bread because his well being was threatened if he and his men didn’t feed themselves, that He and the disciples were also not condemned for picking grain to eat right there on the Sabbath because they  had no previously prepared food nor place to get any food that day.  It was a necessity that they eat.  As strict law-keepers, the Pharisees would have rather they starved for the day instead of sustain themselves.  To them, that law was more important than loving the men enough to let them feed themselves.  The scripture goes on to inform us that after this, when they couldn’t prove Jesus to be wrong (because that would have meant they had to say David, the man they bragged 0f having as their ancestor, had committed a dreadful sin!) the Pharisees responded by beginning to plot how they could kill Jesus.  Yeah.  Law was WAY more important than Love to them.

For Jesus, LOVE is much more important than LAW.

Why has the church or we as Christians lost sight of this today?  Why can’t we see that loving people is so much more important than harping on such unimportant things as how they dress or whether they attend church on a certain day, or what type of music they prefer to worship with or how their preacher dresses?  Why must we focus on a person’s past when there is so much potential for their future in Christ?  Why do we drive people away because they don’t fit our preferences instead of loving them as Jesus would?

Our pastor has titled this series “Reeds and Wicks” and the message yesterday “Why Christmas is Not a Religious Holiday” using this scripture, also in Matthew:

Matthew 12:20 ~ “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.”

We are those bruised reeds, the ones broken and rendered useless to the world…the wicks that are so low in the wax that we are barely able to hold the tiny flame and people will soon throw us out because we don’t produce enough light.  Jesus repairs us, He makes us whole, He pours out the excess wax snuffing out our flames, He provides a use for our bent and bruised reeds.  Where the world calls us worthless, Jesus calls us worthwhile.  He gives us purpose and perspective.  He loves us even though we’ve been stepped on or are almost to the point of drowning in the wax.  He rescues us from our lowly state and not only uses us, cleans us up and gives us a purpose, but He loves us more than anyone ever will.

How can we trivialize Him by confining His love inside laws that don’t always apply?  When we use the law of God to withhold the love of God, we misrepresent God!  Rather than asking, like the Pharisees, “Is it lawful?”, we should ask “Is it loving?”  God’s love draws in those whom God’s law has cast out.  God cares more about sinners than their sins, and more about lawbreakers than broken laws.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to endeavor to do the same.  Lord, let me love like You do!

Blessings,

G~

 


getting back to business…


Wow.  I dunno about you guys, but this has been a crazy, mostly-yucky few months for me!  Between this god-awful allergy/bronchitis/whooping cough/sumpin’-sumpin’ and then getting that molar pulled followed swiftly by a lovely dry socket, I have been, let’s just say not fit for company.

Thank God I am finally feeling better.  I still don’t have my voice back though.  Yeah, yeah…funny.  Ha.  Ha.  I can talk at least, but it’s just squeaky and crackly.  I’ve never had laryngitis or whatever this is called for this long.  Usually a week or possibly two and I’m over it, but this is nuts!  I never realized how much I hum or sing harmony along with whatever song is playing.  I notice it now because I simply can NOT do it!

It’s definitely true, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.  Well, except for that tooth.  I don’t miss it.  I can finally swallow and talk (or squeak) without it jabbing into my tongue all the time.  Yay for that!

Okay, so let’s catch up.  I guess everyone is getting ready for Thanksgiving now.  I swear, every year at this time, I always feel like time just speeds up even faster than normal.  No matter what vows I make to do better “next year”, be more prepared, the holidays always seem to catch me off guard.  I’ve decided, at least for me, it’s that we’re all trying to wring the last bit of summer out that we can, so we’re rushing around doing summer things and then suddenly BOOM! it’s fall.  Ha ha ha!  That’s sure the way it has been this year, too.

For several years of our married life, autumn has found us doing some major remodeling on the house of some sort.  So then as Thanksgiving looms, we are rushing and working all hours to get done so we can host at least one gathering of family.   One year, we were almost done painting the last of our three biggest rooms!  Another year I think we had just swapped furniture in the living room and family room.

This year?  Well, no big projects going on, but one is in the pipe.  We actually have material stacked up in the hallway waiting for the chaos to commence.

We built our house.  Well, I say “we” but y’know, my man built it.  Seriously.  He framed it and did the wiring and plumbing.  We hired all of the drywall, siding, roof and foundation out.  We were thrilled snotless to be finally getting a house after living eight years in a 12×60 single wide with a toddler!  Then we had lived several months with both the boys in my parents’ basement.  We were ready for some space!  We thought we had tons.

We were wrong.

Of course, we tried to save money, build it nice but not extravagant by any means. And we really DID think we had given ourselves plenty of room.  Most of the rooms are perfectly fine, but our master bedroom is just cramped.  That’s the only way you can put it.

We have your typical 3-bed/2-bath ranch style house with family room, living room, utility room and dine-in kitchen.   Our original floor plan had a walk-in closet in the master bedroom that jutted out into the kitchen.  My dad convinced us that it was going to make the kitchen way too small, and he was right.  I would have hated the kitchen if we’d done it that way.  So to remedy that, we basically shoved that closet back into the bedroom, made it smaller and gave up a chunk of space we — thought — we could spare.

We were wrong.

The bedroom has two doors and one 36-inch window, plus the two hinge-type closet doors.  One door opens to the kitchen, the other is a pocket door that opens to the walk-thru master bath which then leads through the utility room that then opens up into the kitchen as well.  IF you are still with me after that, you are amazing.  Can I just say that right now?  🙂

So our bedroom/bathroom/utility/kitchen have a circular path through them and we use all of those on a regular basis.  ANYway, so for a couple years, we’ve sporadically talked about pushing one wall of the bedroom into the living that we seldom use anyway.  Our front door is in the living room and opens to our porch.  We don’t use that door much and it is directly in line with a larger arched opening into the family room.  It’s a straight shot from one to the other.  To the left of the arched doorway, if you’re facing in toward the house, is that little hallway to the two bedrooms.  So if we pushed the bedroom all the way to the front door, it would basically create another short hallway from the front door to the family room and connected to the current hallway in an L shape.   Doing that would give us about 120 extra square feet in the bedroom.  That is some much needed space!

The main reason we never started the project before was because of the cost of flooring.  The other stuff is not terribly expensive and can be bought in smaller batches as it is used and needed.  But not the floor.  And we are getting rid of all the carpet, remember?   And, as my mother is always so quick to point out, “Carpet is the cheapest” but we want wood, sooOOOOoo…. sigh  There’s our conundrum.

Sometime last week, Melissa texted me a post from Facebook where the sister of someone we know was selling several boxes of nice hardwood flooring.  We looked around online to compare prices and even if it was discounted a little from retail, it was still going to be out of our ability to pay for, so we politely declined to buy it.  They came back with a slightly cheaper price and we thought and figured again, but things are very tight right now with Tommy repairing this other truck, so we still couldn’t afford it.

Somewhere along the line, I mentioned all this to my mom.  Just while chatting on the phone.  In typical mom-style, she asked how much the people wanted for the wood.  She would buy it for us “for Christmas”.  She insisted until I said I would talk it over with Tommy.  He reminded me of how many times our parents have helped my sister and her husband out financially, so he said go ahead and let her buy it.  So now we have nine boxes of hardwood stacked in the hallway.  It is just enough to do our entire bedroom…the way it is now.

If we expand the room like we want, we will need another three boxes.  We’ve found that, contrary to what the floor-selling people told us, there is a place local that we can get more of this same color/style wood, so that’s not a worry, although it will be around $300 to buy the additional wood.  We wouldn’t have to have it just yet.

We’re not quite going to this extreme, but close…

We kept talking about this whole idea and decided that if we were going to stay here, and after 25 years, I’m pretty sure we’re not going anywhere, we should probably go ahead and make the house like we want, more practical and comfortable while we are still able.

We’re not spring chickens anymore, in case you didn’t know.  So now I’m thinking about logistics, the moving our bedroom into one of the spare rooms, the fact that doing that requires renting a carpet cleaner because Max occasionally thinks that’s his bathroom 🙁 and we didn’t realize it for awhile.  GASP!

There will be ceiling to repair/redo, which means Yay! I’ll be getting rid of the popcorn in the bedroom, but Urgh, It will be a job doing it back slick.  Tommy doesn’t seem to have any reservations and I’ve never seen the man not do something he set his mind to, so I’m not worrying about it either.

I’ll get to repaint the bedroom, like I wanted to already since we got rid of all our old bedding and got new allergen-free/resistant stuff.  Getting the carpet out will help the allergies a lot and so I can paint the room to match the new spread I got for the bed.  It’s grey, in case you wondered, a very light grey and it’s just a quilted cotton coverlet type, but the main reason I got it was because it can be thrown in the washer.   I’m going to use some tone of blue as an accent, I think.  Maybe even do one wall a different color.  Here are examples of my color ideas for wall paint:

I’m thinking something like either of these two shades for the main grey color….

I couldn’t find any bedroom pix with the grey/blue combo, so here are a couple living rooms with the tone of blue I’m thinking for accent…

or possibly…

We shall see.  As of right now, I made the mistake of looking around for some images of “remodeling chaos” and up popped a bunch of Pinterest stuff and “after” shots from professional remodeling jobs.  Now I’m all like, dang!  Have you seen my house?  Better yet, have you seen my bank balance?!?

Can you feel me?  Yeah…I gotta stick to the real world here in Po’ville where we barely scrapin’ by.  Ha, ha!

Nothing like moving large pieces of furniture from room to room to make you realize how much space they actually take up.  That’s what I dread the most, I guess.  Living with the added mess and chaos that just comes with a remodel.  When you have to move one room into another while the other one is still there.  Not knowing where anything is because you had to find a whole new place to put it where it wouldn’t get in the way in a room it doesn’t even belong anyway.  See?  

Oh well… soon, maybe.  You know I’ll keep you posted.  And with my actual pix possibly!  Ha!


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…

 



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