Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just Call Me Rainbow Brite

Last weekend we went to Crocker Park. For those that don't know what Crocker Park is, think upscale-ish, outdoor shopping mall, with decent restaurants, in a nice area. We like to go there every so often. It's a small change of pace for us.

Being winter, I was quite bundled up. Being me, I was wearing brighter colors. To put it in perspective....I had my longer green wool coat on, my orange purse, multi-colored scarf, and a multicolored handmade hat from my grandma (that I love!) I didn't think much of my outfit. I liked it, it was "me," whatever.

But, no surprise, others didn't dig my style. Here's the story.......we're at Crocker Park, David and I separate from each other to shop, I see him a bit later, and try to catch up to him with a slight jog. In the process I pass two high school age boys. They bust out laughing and start making rude comments basically on the lines of my brightness and color coordination. What?! This is the shit I dealt with all through my school days. Are we still in high school? Oh wait! Yes, they still are in high school school. It took a lot in my to not stop and say something. But wanting to meet up with David I passed on the opportunity.

However, if I could/would have said something I would have said, "You can walk your little hoity toity punk ass selves into your cookie cutter Abercrombie where YOU don't choose what to wear....They do. Go ahead. Don't be an individual. Just be a number, like everyone else."

How I'm perceived by others, whether it's through my fashion, or anything else, is a constant mental battle I've had my entire life. It can tear down your self esteem. I remember vividly walking home in the 5th grade being made fun of by a 4th and 2nd grader for wearing a beret. They were younger than me but I was crushed. Later in junior high, although I was part of the "in" crowd, someone from the "in" crowd called me weird. I still had my circle of friends, but I can say that was the point where my alienation from the "in" crowd began. Not only was I hurt, but I found that I didn't need them. It's not that I strive to be different than others. I'm just "me" and it just happens, more times than not, that I'm different than those around me.

You know what? I don't have much fashion sense. However, I do know that I have always been, and will always be my own personal self. No one will take that away from me.

As for those high school kids at Crocker Park. All I'll say is, "Karma's a bitch."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Memory Lane

Mom's Christmas gift to family members

Memory Lane from Heidi Henry on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tortoise Table Revealed

The majority of the holidays are over (other than New Years) and as expected, I've survived. Actually the holidays went VERY well and were quite enjoyable. In addition to that, my mind and body have calmed since my last post. Whew. After talking to David we brainstormed and compromised on a setup for our "cat room" (I think it's about time we changed the name, eh?) AKA pet room. The tortoise table has been revamped to be higher sided and Elwood's (the frog) enclosure is now located within the tortoise table. I knew it would all work out, but man, this this is quite awesome.

Basically, it was a table that was previously used for displays. Unfortunately (or fortunately for us) it was no longer being used. David spoke with a few people and bada boom, bada bing, it was ours. It has a steel base that's almost desk-like that has adjustable feet....excellent for on uneven hardwood floors. It's solidly built with wooden bottom and sides. Then, within that there's thick, sealed plexiglass. As I stated, David attached additional wood and added fence to the top for a "lid." It's just about done. I'd like to paint it at some point, but not right now....maybe a spring project. So without further ado, here are a few pictures.....

The table as it came to us....
This plexiglass within the table....
Built up sides....
A look inside....
David watching the tortoises....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sensory Overload

I'm worried I'm in sensory overload and the holiday festivities haven't really even started.

Yesterday was a long day at work. Not busy long, but cleaning long. I was on my hands and knees almost all day dusting, vacuuming, cleaning closets, scrubbing baseboards.....the list goes on. I then went on the clean the 'rents bathrooms out of love. By the time I got home at 7:45pm I was tired. Then I started receiving some texts requesting my presence at a family get together. I figured, "why not?" I did a quick change of clothes and took off. I had a good time and enjoyed the company of my extended family. With that being said, it was a loud atmosphere and I left with a scratchy throat. My senses were heightened, but I was ok.

I then arrived home to big changes at our house. David had been eyeing a table at work that would work as an excellent tortoise table. He saw that it wasn't being used, asked around, and found that it could be ours. He was thrilled. I was thrilled. Until I saw it. It's huge. Ultimately it will be excellent for our tortoises (Yes, we now have two. There's more to that story. Too much to discuss here.) It's well built, probably worth more than we know and we'll save time and money by reusing it in some other way than it was originally meant for. However, it screws with the dynamic of our Bright Cat Room we recently remodeled this summer. I'm not necessarily into feng shui, but if I was, this isn't jiving. My surrounding have to feel "right." After my senses were already heightened, they elevated many more notches.

As time went on I could feel my anxiety rise. I tried to take a step back, get it in check. Unfortunately, I'm not always that good. I can't describe the experience I go through when this happens. My normal emotions usually go something like this.....I want to scream, then cry, then vomit, then clean, and then purge stuff from my surroundings. I've found that if I don't feel I have control over a situation, I gain control through cleaning. I basically feel like a cat with FIC right now. Yes, the disorder our cat has. When they stress out, they manifest their stress in the bladder, feeling like they constantly have to urinate. Obviously, I don't feel like I have to urinate, but I sympathize with the guy when he has an episode of FIC. Let's hope this table doesn't set off an episode for him!

So, David was expecting to share his joy with me and what he got was a buzzkill. Sometimes I suck. We sat and discussed for a good hour or so how we're going to make this new setup work. Or better yet, work the tortoise table into the room, making a new setup, that will work. More than likely we won't be able to use some furniture pieces that we were using before. I do know this, over the past year I've tried to de-clutter the house. And I'm going to try my hardest to keep it that way. It's going to take some innovation to make this room work. Obviously we went to bed with our house in disarray.

I went to bed exhausted but with my mind racing and my anxiety continued to my dreams. Dreaming about Dormitor/Torb combos (don't ask) for work, anesthetizing and performing glucose curves on animals, worrying that we're not going to make it to the family gathering because we're making an impromptu trip to Minnesota...all the while waking up every half hour, sweating my butt off. Needless to say I didn't wake up well rested. Not only that, but I woke up to a house in disarray. Why couldn't it all have been fixed while we slept overnight?

I'm excited about our family gathering today, but I can't help but think about the general stressors that come with times with family over the holidays. You know it's usually a good time, but you'll ultimately have those moments of stress.

Trying to put these feelings into words seemed impossible to me. I could see it in my head, but knew that it would translate different if I wrote it out. But I do know I feel better than you can imagine just sitting down to write it out. I'm thankful for that. Because, although I don't usually drink, at 5:30am and I was tempted to take a few sips to take that edge off. No joke. I think this was a better choice.

Hoping that my this sensory overload continues to ebb and that joy reigns over the next few days....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cassidy's Christmas Program

Earlier this week we attended Cassidy's 5th Grade Christmas Program. I have a few short videos of songs she sang. If you click on this link you can see the others, but here is one of them.

The Skinny

A couple months ago I broke down and got a couple "skinny" jeans. We all know these jeans don't make you skinny, they are just straight-legged. I didn't know if I could pull them off but figured that it's the way fashion is going. Not that I'm even close to being a fashionista, but I have to go with the flow given that the things I like won't always be around when fashion trends change.

I have always been a 100% cotton jean type of girl. They are comfy, super soft, and not too clingy. Well, when I took the skinny jean jump, I had to sacrifice my 100% cotton wants and give into the polyester, spandex, and other fabrics involved in the skinny jeans. I started wearing them and found that surprisingly, they were very comfortable. I couldn't believe it.

It's been weeks since I've worn "regular" jeans. I decided to go the more relaxed, sport look today and went back to the regular 100% cotton jeans. Yikes. I couldn't believe it. Could it be that my skinny jeans are more comfortable than my regulars? Mind you, I'm not as thin as I was a year or two ago, and the regulars are smaller in side, so I have to take that into consideration. However, with 100% cotton jeans, no matter how I wash the jeans, I would go through the stretch out phase. I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about. When you put them on you have to do a few squats and lunges to stretch them out, and by the end of the day they are oftentimes so loose they are falling off. I don't have that with my skinny jeans. I put them on and they are comfortable.

I'm glad I gave the skinny jeans a try. I don't know if my body was made for the skinny jean revolution, but they comfortable, and as long as I'm comfortable, I'm good to go.

To Blog Or Not To Blog

I know as time goes on I write on this blog less and less. What's the deal? Hmmm. In a nutshell, with the increase in Facebook usage, along with Twitter, there's almost no need. On the other hand I feel I have a lot to say, but dunno how to put it into words. That, or I'll have a post idea, and then forget about it when I sit down to write. Bah. So, in the end, my choice is to continue on this blog, but I can't guarantee how often I'll post.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Jax Likes The Christmas Creation

I was folding clothes a few minutes ago and I caught Jax out of the corner of my eye.....he was checking out the Christmas Creation. I shooed him away. Within a few minutes he was back by the Christmas Creation. This time, climbing in. Him, along with Lily have always loved laying under the Christmas tree. Now that we've taken away the tree, I guess he figures, "If I can't lay underneath it, I'll lay in it." I swear, if it's not one thing it's the other with these kids and their antics. Although, it was cute.
And a cute picture of Natchez

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Our Christmas Tree Creation

When we first got married we got excited for decorating for Christmas. We bought an artificial tree and hung my MANY collectible Hallmark ornaments on the tree yearly. We didn't have too many problems given Viking was the only pet. Although we did have an episode where an ornament hook was missing and I freaked out. Thankfully, I found the hook after searching. Year after year we'd put our tree up....in addition, our family grew. The dogs tend to leave the tree alone. The cats, well that's another story. They don't want to climb the tree, they don't like to chew the cords, but they do like to chew on the branches, especially Natchez. We've never had any huge problems with her chewing on the tree, other than it making the tree have frayed edges.

When we moved back to our hometown we kicked up our decorating another notch. It was the first time we could really decorate outside, and we took advantage of it. We had big plans on adding more lights, etc. on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, or fortunately, our enthusiasm quickly burned out. Not wanting to hang lights in the frigid weather, trying to time them correctly, trying to find places to store everything, and just the idea of trying to simplify encouraged us to take a step back. Not only have we taken a step back with our decorating outside, but also inside.

We have continued to put up a tree, but decided to put up our pre-lit tree every year. No ornaments, no garland. We did the same this year, but Natchez decided to chew nonstop on the tree. Not only was she chewing, but also giving us many presents of vomit randomly around the house. Not cool. So the tree was evicted to our enclosed porch. But that left us without a tree and the grand idea of creating our own.

One thing David and I do, we have these excellent ideas in our head, that don't translate well in real life. This situation was no different. We purchased our supplies and dug in. Our idea was a tee pee type design. However, as I stated, if didn't work out very well. David was quoted saying, "Man, I give those Native Americans credit. I would've said, 'Screw this!'"After hours of hassle, we tabled the design last night. We woke up bright and early this morning and headed to the hardware store. We brainstormed a bit and ultimately ended up with the same type of design with minor tweaks and stronger materials. Thankfully, it worked! This is our result....

I know it may not be to everyone's taste, but we really like it. It's bright, it's different, it's what we wanted, it's Us.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

One Month On Phenobarb

Quick update on Spencer: He's been on the phenobarb one month. I must admit we were getting worried for a bit there. He couldn't make it up the steps on his own without falling, so David was having to carry him up to bed every night. Of course David can easily carry him, but at 83 pounds, that's a little rough on me. He was in a a generalized fog and would crash (as in sleep) one hour post pill. Thankfully, he's evened out and seems to be doing excellent. He's still on the medication but is back to his old self. Knock on wood, no seizures either.

Freeze, Burn, Scrape, Tape

Back in the day, we're talking elementary school-times, I suffered from warts on my hands. Those little boogers were on both hands, averaging one on a finger. Andrea also suffered from them. We went through every treatment out there. Compound W, freezing, burning, scraping and applying straight acid. You named it, we tried it. Then our doctor gave us the idea of taping my fingers. He had just gone to a seminar and that was the "newest treatment." At that point we figured, what the heck, we'd try it. So we taped, and taped, and taped. We just used medical tape and changed it daily or every other day. The tape would get wet, feel nasty, dry a bit, and still feel nasty. My fingers got pruny and smelly, whew, were they smelly. I can't remember how long we did it, but it worked!

Fast forward 15+ years....last year I noticed something popping up on my finger. I could only guess that it'd be a wart. I didn't worry about it, but then little accessory warts started to pop up. On top of that, the initial, largest wart was right on my knuckle and would crack if it would become too try. I tried the Compound W and as expected, it didn't work. Onto the tape. No go. I don't know if it was because it was a different tape or what. My finger reacted to the tape and started pulling off good skin. In addition, I was my hands much more than I did when I was a kid. That's rough on the tape. So I gave in a went to the dermatologist.

Yep, they're warts. So......we tried to freeze them today. The plan is that it should blister up then I'll go back for another round in 2 weeks. If that doesn't work then I'll have to go to having injections of yeast into the wart. Hopefully the freezing works this time since they injections will take much longer, I'm sure they're not all that pleasant, and can only guess they'll be expensive. No surprise, but my finger has been burning for he past 2 hours after the freezing. I'm really looking forward to the blister. She said it may even get big enough to pop! Yes!

Here's a pic of my present finger. Please excuse the quality. Try taking a picture, with your left hand, on a right-handed camera. Little hard. The focus isn't great, obviously, so it's hard to see them, but you get the gist

And just because my left hand felt left out since it didn't have it's picture taken, I took it's picture.
I think it's safe to say that I will never be a hand model. Like those 4 week old battle wound scars? I'm tough.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nothing Says Thanksgiving Like Kraft Easy Mac

Today, Thanksgiving, we spent the best way we know how....together. Ultimately we'd love to make Thanksgiving our travel holiday. Unfortunately, my work schedule didn't allow us to do so this year. Our hope was to volunteer our time with a local organization. However, after multiple calls to multiple locations, no one ever contacted us. So be it. We did our own thing.

Most times we see holidays as just another day and we don't tend to do anything other than the norm. I started the morning out watching a bit of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (definitely not as good as being there) and then headed out for a run. After that we set out to see if anything was going on in Sandusky. As expected, there was nothing. We ended up in Meijer, grabbing a few odds and ends. Back at home David had his Meijer pre-made breaded chicken breast, chips, and queso, while I settled on Kraft Easy Mac. Nothing says Thanksgiving like Easy Mac, eh? Of course there's always a chance of overeating, but let me tell you this, if you're a vegetarian, it's much easier to keep yourself in check for Thanksgiving. While eating we watched Adventureland.

So that leads us to tonight. We've been decorating for Christmas and jamming to some Christmas classics. I'm not going to lie. As time goes on I no longer do most of the decorating...it's David. And that, I'm thankful for. The kids got to enjoy their Thanksgiving Feast and we enjoyed giving it to them.....


No surprise that Spencer was fed last, but finished first, followed by Lily, then Viking. We didn't know if they'd eat everything, especially the cranberries, but our pups aren't ones to waste any food...so they ate it all and licked their bowls clean.

I'm about to fix a bit of tortellini. We also picked up Red Lobster biscuits last night, so those will accompany our dinner. And to finish we're watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation with the 'rents and some Coldstone Creamery Pie. Although this year's Thanksgiving wasn't adventurous as last year's, we're still thankful to be able to spend the time together.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Worth It

Things are content here the Henry Household. Spencer has been on his medication for a week now and has had no seizures. He's a little doppy (maybe I should say more doppy....greyhounds aren't always the most gracious) due to the meds, but he's getting by. Jax had another flareup with FIC, but I think we had it back under control. We've got him on daily meds and the cats both on a different diet in hopes of curbing the flareups.

With everyone (animals and humans included) I've finally broken down and purchased a dry erase board for the refrigerator to keep track of who's gotten what. Some things/doses you can miss, others you can't, so although I have an excellent memory, this will help us keep track too. In addition, David will know if I've already given them meds, etc. and not have to ask. Even with my memory and the dry erase board, I have no fear that Spencer will not let me forget his medication. That boy has an internal clock that's amazing. If it's time for him to eat, he follows me until I feed him. If it's time for meds, he follows me until I give it to him. I've been giving him his meds in cheese for the time being to make it a positive experience, so of course he's after the cheese and not the meds. Even so, he cracks me up.

One thing is for sure, these kids keep me busy. Last week I had to run a few errands after work. Could you believe that 2 out of the 3 stops were for the animals. Ha! It's alright though. And although it may seem like I'm complaining, I'm not. I'll be honest, as with everything you sometimes hit your limit and get frustrated, but 99.9% of the time we know that they are worth it. We wouldn't have them if we didn't think so. Speaking of, it's 7am, time to feed the birdies and time for Spencer's meds.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Update On Spencer

A quick update on Spencer. After reviewing his history the doctors have determined that yes, Spencer, our 3 year old greyhound, has epilepsy. We ran a bit more bloodwork to compare back to the bloodwork ran in August and we have decided that it's time to get Spencer on an anticonvulsant medication. He will be on this medication daily, for the rest of his life. As with many disorders/diseases there is the ability to control, not cure. We will continue to monitor any further seizures and will also monitor bloodwork in the future in hopes of controlling Spencer's symptoms.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

They're Our Kids After All

With all of the medical issues David and I have, it's no surprise that our animals have inherited some problems. Ha! Just kidding about the inheriting part. Actually, I think it's because I'm a registered vet tech and have a flashing light above my head that draws all of these animals to us. Either way, we've got some kids with some issues.

Viking: Broke his leg, 2 days after acquiring him, by falling off the couch. He continues to have residual issues from his fracture. Not to mention we believe he has a partial cruciate (ACL) tear in that leg too. He can play some mean catch, but don't be surprised if he comes back limping. Doesn't slow him down much though, he just keeps on a goin'.

Natchez: She came to us as a rescue and has a history of eosinophilic granulomas. (basically an inflammatory disease of the skin that has many triggers.) Thankfully it's easily treated and she hasn't had many problems within the past couple years.

Jax: We acquired him from one of my vet hospitals. He had been hit by a car and someone found him and brought him in. He was never claimed and we took him. He suffers from Feline Idiopathic/Interstitial Cystitis. He'll have episodes when you think he has a urinary tract infection due to his frequent visits to the litter box. In actuality, small changes can mean major stress, and stress in cats manifests through the urinary bladder. Speaking from dealing with clients' pets and now my own, this is a confusing and stressful (to the human) diagnosis. You not only have to treat the cat for it's symptoms, but somehow figure out what is causing the stress....sometimes things you can't change. i.e. change in weather, etc. Not to mention, if you don't take care of the problem, it can lead to further problems that can be fatal, such as an obstructed cat (a cat that cannot eliminate it's urine).

Lily: Lily, Lily, Lily.....She was on death's door when she presented to the vet hospital. We didn't think she'd make it through the night, yet she did. Ultimately her owner did not have enough money for treatment so she was abandoned. After a long wait David and I were able to adopt her. As for her problems, to make a long story short, she has Inflammatory Bowel Disease. We spent a couple years, many medications, many diets, and loads of money trying to make her better. And then one day, her life changed forever. We have no idea what happened, but her life turned around. She's on a regular diet and on no daily medications. However, she still has flareups and "bad days" but are easily controlled.

Spencer: We adopted Spencer a year ago. The rescue group saw us coming....he was a race dog, from the track, that mysteriously had a broken pelvis. Needless to say it is believed he didn't actually break his pelvis while running, but was injured through brunt force of a human (possibly for not doing well enough on that track??) When we adopted him he was still on light exercise and within a month we confirmed through x-rays that he was fully healed. As with any other fractures he still has residual discomfort on and off. We thought that would be the end of his problems. Not so fast. Back in early August, after running outside I let Spencer inside to get a drink. I heard a loud noise and ran inside to find him on the floor having a seizure. It lasted a good minute and he recovered. Knowing it was not an emergency I monitored him throughout the weekend and then took him to work Monday to have a full workup performed. Everything checked out fine. I had no worries. As with humans, dogs can be perfectly healthy, have a seizure one time and never again. We marked down the date and continued to watch him. He was doing great until 2 weeks ago....another seizure hit. He had been laying down, attempted to get up, and collapsed into a seizure. David was the only one home so I left work to watch him the rest of the day. Once again, no fears, just didn't want him to be alone. The general rule of thumb is that no medications are needed if there are no more 3 seizures in 3 months time. However given that he had 2 seizures the doctor said that given his age more than likely it is epilepsy. We marked the date, and have continued to watch him. Today, while relaxing in his bed, another seizure hit. So......I'll document another seizure (3 now) and let the doctor know. I'm unsure what the plan will be, but we'll take care of our boy.

As for our newest exotic additions, no problems have reared their heads.....yet.

I never imagined our kids would have the problems that they do, but that's okay, we love them all the same. We're thankful to have them in our lives and hope they're thankful to have us too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Here We Go, One More Time, Everybody's Feeling Fine

I have finally put my foot down on myself. (Or atleast I'd like to think so) I've actually made it out to run multiple times within this past week. Say what?! You heard right. And thankfully, although runs are never all that pleasant, things are falling back into place quicker than expected. Pretty cool. I'm not busting out any crazy mileage or speed. Just taking it easy and taking it as it comes. I'm hoping to keep my motivation up and to stay healthy so I can keep running. I kind of laugh at that statement given I'll never be 100% healthy. Hmmmm, what would be a better way to restate that? I'm hoping to keep my motivation up and use that to overcome discomfort and any mental blocks. Better? Sounds good to me.

Changing subjects, but not really.....I'm doing pretty well with my endo. There's no doubt that it's there on a daily basis, but for the most part I can deal with it. As for the bills, well, they're still a comin'. I'd like to say I can see an end since I've met my "out-of-pocket," but by the time I even get close to paying it off the new calendar year will start. What does that mean? I start all over from $0 paid towards my deductible/out-of-pocket. Although David's insurance isn't perfect, it's better than mine. I'd love to be on his plan, but if my job offers coverage I have to take it...my job does offer coverage. I could add his as a secondary insurance but that would be an additional $100+ a month. Ouch. We're trying to weigh the pros and cons, and believe it'd be best to pick it up as secondary, but when you don't have that $100 to fork over every month (no matter if you're healthy or not), it's not going to happen.

Enough about money/insurance woes. I'm happy to be back out pounding pavement and will take advantage of the high it's giving me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dance, Even If You Have Nowhere To Do It But In Your Own Living Room

Dancing is a release for me. I've been known to turn music on and dance around the house on a nightly basis....even if I'm alone. (Although our pets make excellent dance partners) I've also been known to watch choreographed dances online and teach myself the steps. (Gotta love YouTube) And you know if there's dancing going on, I'll be there......Even if it's after a 5K run:While on our cruise last year one of the activities coordinators knew me as the "Dancing Queen." I'm guessing that because I joined in every dance activity I could. From line dancing on the pool deck to the 70's Dance Party...... I've had many occasions when people have asked me, "How much have you had to drink??" And everytime I say, "Nothing." Ha! Do I look that bad?! Meh, who cares. If music is on, you'll probably see me bobbing my head, and soon enough it probably won't be too long before I start to bust out in dance. I'll admit, I'm not the best dancer in the word, but I find it enjoyable. I get in my own little world and am as happy as can be.Today's thought of the day.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Post Op

I had my post-op check today for my laparoscopy. All looks well and I checked out fine. I got to "ooh and ahh" at pictures from the procedure. It was nice to speak with the doctor and confirm that yes, the pain I've been feeling is truly endometriosis....I pointed where the pain was and he said, "Yes, that's the exact spot where it was located on your bladder." So, how am I feeling? Meh. Better than before, but I'll admit that I have moments or even days when the pain doesn't want to let up.

As I stated previously, there's no cure for this. But, I was able to talk to my doctor about treatment options. The main thing is that although birth control is no longer needed in our situation, staying on it helps to control the endo and limit the discomfort. Instead of taking a week off each month I'll stay on it constantly for 4 months, then take a week break, then back on for another 4 months. As with anything, there are side effects and it may not work, but it's worth a try. Another option is Lupron. The short explanation of how this would work: it'd put me into menopause. Given my mild symptoms this is currently not a treatment option I'd like to venture into. But it is available. And then, of course there's further laparascopy as a treatment. Basically, if I get very painful again, meaning there's further presence of endo, they'd go back in and do the procedure over, lasering endo and any adhesions. More than likely this will be something I'll have to do again in the future. I've met someone who's had 7 laparascopies. In addition to the treatments I have listed, there are other options. Through the help of others, I've found that many individuals use a combination of western and eastern medicine techniques to help their situations. As always, I'm open to my options and am willing to try different things.

So where am I at this moment? I will try to continue my life as I had previously done. I've also received clearance to run again (it's been about 2 months....yikes, I best ease into that again, eh?). Yes, I will have discomfort that I'll have to live with. If it gets worse I'll need to address it as necessary.

My big question....what will hit first next time.....kidney stones or the endo? Hmmmm. That's a concern of mine, how will I know which is which? According to my doctor the endo discomfort is more continuous and strengthening as time goes on, while the kidney stone would be more sudden. I know I'll be blessed in the future with both of these occurences. Only time will tell.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rally Time

After 3 years in remission a close friend of ours was recently re-diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. To make a long story short the past few months have been grueling for him, his wife, and their two children. Tomorrow will begin a new step in his treatment process. He will be admitted for further chemo in preparation for receiving his brother's bone marrow.

I can only imagine their fears and anxieties to the unknown. Having witnessed my extended family go through this a few years back with my Aunt Cindy and her diagnosis of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, it can be a scary time. I remember checking her blog multiple times in the day to get any little update. Being on the outside I felt there was nothing I could really do. However, through that experience, I think many of us found that although we couldn't do much, we could do some....by sending positive thoughts, energy, prayer, or kind thoughts. Having her in Cleveland and being limited to visitors due to her immune system, her blog made this all possible. As a family we simply rallied around her and her family in hopes of pulling them through that tough time.

Starting this post I wasn't really sure what I was going to write, or why, but I had an urge to do so. I believe the reason I am writing has come to me while writing. I'm hoping that anyone who reads this will rally around the Pohorence family, as we did just a few years ago with our family....visit their blog, post, or just take a moment out of your day to send positive energy or prayer.

I've Got My Eye On You

No surprise, but Viking has taken an interest in the birdies. Thankfully he just likes to keep an eye on them. Although he's looking straight forward I know that he's using her peripheral vision to watch them....he does the same thing when we eat. We find it funny because he tends to not blink and his eyes slowly close.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sinking In

This morning was my first "down" time since my surgery/diagnosis. I could blame it on hormones, but I think it's finally kicking in that yes, I may be dealing with this chronic pain, permanently, most likely, for the rest of my life. The past three months have sucked, but I continued looking for a diagnosis and an answer to my problem. Something that would make it all better and make the pain go away. Fortunately, I have a diagnosis. Unfortunately, there's nothing truly to fix the problem. It's basically a crap shoot of trying multiple approaches, hoping something works for you. Even if it gives some ease momentarily.

My active life has been put on hold. I can only hope that this is short term and that someday I'll be able to be back running daily. Right now I'd just like to be able to return to my OCD self and keep up with my cleaning, without thinking, "Am I over doing it?" I've had someone with me 24/7 and am thankful for all of the help. (Love you mom, dad, and david!)

I'm going to continue with hope that my discomfort may ease as my incisions ease, however, that's not where most of my discomfort is coming from. The discomfort is coming from the same area where it was coming from pre-surgically. Since I've never been through this I didn't/don't know what to expect. Day-to-day I'm going blindly, based on my own personal research, grasping at any knowledge I can find.

I know this is a "down" day and acknowledge it. Some things will get better. But right now I'm still letting things sink in and wondering about all of the unknowns.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Birdies

In the midst of craziness of work, vacation, and my surgery it's been kind of brushed under the rug about a couple new additions to our household. Yes, we have added to our bunch. This time, birds. Long story short, David wanted a bird. We got not 1, but 2, parakeets. Cute little birdies. It's taken some time for them to get used to us, but we're on our way to having a good time. Without further ado, I introduce my girl (we think) "Tchoupitoulas" AKA "Tchoupi" and David's little guy "Chango."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Answer

On Tuesday I had my laparoscopy. Finally, I have an answer to my current discomfort. Endometriosis. I’m thankful to finally have a diagnosis. 2 spots were found during the laparoscopy and they were lasered off. My incisions are small, one in my belly button, one above my pubic bone. With that being said I’m a bit sore and thankful for the medications and sleep. I’m not exactly sure what the next step is in the process. I have already found an abundance of information on the Internet and surprisingly I was linked up with someone through a Twitter post. I do know that I have an appointment in 2 weeks with the doctor and hope to get a game plan together. There is no cure for endometriosis, as with kidney stones. The average age of endo diagnosis is 27 years and most have the disease approximately 9 years before diagnosis.

I never imagined at the age of 26 I’d have these medical problems. Add onto that the medical problems David has...whew, what a whirlwind. However, I am once again thankful for what we do have and many of the decisions we’ve made. For instance, my becoming a vegetarian. After these problems reared their ugly head, I looked at my entire life/lifestyle thinking, “Am I doing something wrong?” With the kidney stones, yes some of my supplements can encourage formation, which I have now changed. However, when it comes to diet/exercise, I’m doing things right. And when it comes to endo, some meats may encourage the severity. I’m not here promoting vegetarianism to prevent problems, but I do know my diet should not cause further problems. Next, David’s and my decision not to have children. We’ve had a strong conviction for awhile that parenthood wasn’t for us. Endometriosis doesn’t mean infertility, however there is a pretty good chance that this could occur. Having already made the choice on our own that we do not want to have children gave me peace of mind. So instead of that choice being taken away from us due to my diagnosis, we had already made the choice on our own. Of course, I do wish things happened in a different order and that David didn’t have to go through a vasectomy, but you can’t change the past.

As with everything, the future is unknown and we’ll take it one step at a time.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Compromise

We all know quite well that I've been sucking at the running motivation stuff lately. We also know that running while in pain hasn't helped either. So, this is the deal....at least for the moment. I have stopped running. Yep. I'm pushing myself to run when oftentimes I don't really want to. On top of that I hurt pretty bad throughout the entire run and afterwords. Not to mention, I don't know how safe it is given that I have no idea what's going on in my body.Not cool. This isn't a permanent thing and I'll be honest, I'm going to dread restarting to run....not the concept, but the actuality of it. I've taken a week off before and needless to say my running suffers severely. Yes, in just a weeks time. Ah well. But, this is the rest of my plan...instead of running I'm going to walk. I'll hopefully be able to keep some athleticism and fitness but have less impact and discomfort. I'm hoping to stick to my plan....if anything I'd go back to running before I quit everything all together.

Friday, September 04, 2009

No Answers....Yet

My day in a nutshell....woke up after sleeping about 1/2 hour, went to work, called doctor for IVP results, left message, nurse called back, IVP results were negative, left work, went to ER, in ER all day having tests performed, LOTS of waiting, ruled out more options, doctor wanted to send me home without definitive diagnosis and for me to "call the doctor Tuesday," I said no and wanted something further done, that I've been patient enough for 2 months, I've gone through 4 doctors searching for a diagnosis, requested transfer or anything that can help the situation, gynecological doctor on call came down, actually listened to my history, gave me options, going with a laparoscopy on the 29th, basically an exploratory surgery using scopes through my belly button. Will still have to wait for answers, but that's due to pre-certification, etc. I've waited this long, I know I can be patient a bit more. Just thankful to have someone once again listening and being proactive. I have a gameplan and something to work towards.

Next Time On Medical Mysteries....

It's 3:26am and I'm up, fully awake. If I didn't feel like shit I could easily go for a run....but of course, that's not an option. I've been tossing and turning in bed since 2:48am and figured I better leave David and Viking alone so that I don't ruin their sleep too. As everyone knows quite well, I've been dealing with abdominal pain for the past 2 months. After basically demanding an appointment (a month ago), my appointment arrived on Wednesday. I felt that my urologist heard what I had to say. I was not bitchy but made it known that I've gotten lost in the shuffle and something needs to be done for me, and soon. I learned a lot at my appointment. For instance, the stones that are present were present on my original ct scan in March. In addition, those stones are located in my kidneys....stones in kidneys don't make you hurt. Oh, and the pain with kidney stones....that's not from them moving (like I was told by the office), it's from them obstructing or partially obstructing flow. My most recent ct scan revealed I still had kidney stones, but nothing in my ureter that should be causing this pain. Keep in mind, the stone that was obstructing last time was considered punctate. It had caused enough irritation to cause inflammation and obstruct.

So, where are we at right now? My doctor wasn't too happy about me falling through the cracks and acknowledged that. He's not 100% sure that this is stone related. There are subtle signs that point away from this being stone related. I had an IVP performed yesterday in hopes of determining if kidney stones are the problem. (The IVP prep was basically what you'd do for a colonscopy....yeah, shitting water for hours straight, not fun). In my opinion I have a 50/50 chance of this being the case. There are approximately 5 other options, including appendicitis. I'm supposed to find out the IVP results today (Friday). After that our gameplan will be made.

I do know this, I'm ready to be fully diagnosed and treated. I'd appreciate it if this could be done before we end up in the poor house and before I go crazy. I'm thankful to have insurance, but when I'm constantly receiving bills for my issues, and attempting to pay them off, I feel like I'm about to lose my mind. I'm also ready to be "me" again. I haven't had a full night's sleep in about 2 months. I wake up cramped in the fetal position every few hours. It's hard to work oftentimes because my mind is not focused. Not to mention, the lack of sleep doesn't help. Running has basically been out of the question. And the nausea. Gah! I have yet to vomit, but that's not saying much. I have a pretty strong stomach, but let me tell you, that vomit is right up in my throat, just ready at any moment. The pain. Oh, the pain. It's constant. It's not necessarily "double over" pain consistently, but it's there and wants to be felt.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm here, fully awake at 4am, and it's about to put me over the edge. I'm trying to be patient, counting down the hours until I receive results from my test, but I must admit I don't know how much more of this I can stomach....literally.

Guess it's too late....Just as I was finishing this entry I made it to the bathroom in time to vomit. Guess my nausea with no vomiting streak is over......

Monday, August 31, 2009

Reading

I've been so into reading the past month and I love it. When I graduated high school reading novels was the furthest thing from my mind. Entering college my nose was always stuck in a book. Unfortunately it was never "fun" stuff. After graduating college and passing my boards I revisited reading fiction and found what I've been missing for several years. Boy, I missed it. Sometimes I go through phases and won't read a book for a month or so, but when I find a nitch, I'm as happy as can be. I'll admit I loved the Twilight series (enough to read them 3 times....so far), but that's not where it's ended. I appreciate some good Chick Lit too. I'm not into too heavy of stories given that reading is my escape. Yes, I like fluff. At the same time I like some historical pieces. I will admit that I don't give books much of a chance though. I give it 50-100 pages and if I'm not "feeling it" it's tabled. This past month I've been reading like it's going out of style. I'll finish a book every few days. Man, if I was young and enrolled in Book-It I'd be eating a lot of pizza! Once again, they're light reads, but I'm plowing through books faster than ever. Thankfully I get some excellent coupons from Borders and purchase a lot of books through half.com, but if I run into a time when I'm bookless, either waiting for a coupon or used book to arrive, I about lose my mind. Yes, I could go to the library. I know the library is an excellent resource, but I often have issues with the books. Don't ask....I'm weird. I'll resell my books online, so it's not a total loss.

My recent book was Shiver. It has some Twilight undertones but it is it's own story. It's simple, but at the same time made me do some thinking after finishing. Thankfully with the Twilight series I was able to read right through them all since I was late to the party. Unfortunately this is a new release and the next book in the series isn't slated to be released until Fall 2010. Gah! Ah well. I'm sure I can find something else to read in the meantime.

Struggle

My kidney stones are still present, but I have an appointment with the doctor this week. I have continually fought the mental battle of running the past year or so and the kidney stone issue isn't helping one bit. I've taken time off (even before the stones), but that didn't help. I know what I need to do, get up and move, but when you're hurting it just doesn't happen. I've gained wait, feel unfit, and when I do run I'm not seeing those miraculous goals happening like they were when I was new to running. The concept of running was hard at the beginning, but the pounds melting off was a huge payoff (that's not happening now). Then I started to eat healthy and I felt like a machine. Of course I wasn't close to being a machine, but I felt the best I've ever have in my life. At the same time I was so obsessed with running and what was being put in my mouth that I felt like I was also becoming a robot. I started to back off a bit so I could become more human....unfortunately that backing off lead to slacking, which has lead me to where I am now. I feel like a broken record, because I know I've blogged about this multiple times, but I'm hoping at some point a lightbulb will go on and I'll find my motivation to get my ass moving regularly and find that happy medium. In the meantime our work schedules are back to the "school schedule," so hopefully that will help. I'm also thinking about signing up for this run. (virtually of course). It's an excellent cause and you can't help but love the mascot, eh? And as always, if you have a run you're working towards, even if not competitively, that helps you get out and moving

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shoes

David's work shoes bit the dust today. They were just regular ol' Adidas running shoes, but they were literally falling apart. As with so many things we've found it hard to swallow the ever increasing costs of day to day items. Anything we buy we want to be affordable and something that lasts. For instance we don't require brand names. If it works, then we're cool. Thankfully we were able to find a pair of shoes for David and they met his specifications. Affordable, reputable brand, comfortable, and no mesh (so funk from cleaning can't get to his feet). Needless to say he ended up with all "leather" black shoes.....you know, the kind that you'd hate as a kid....that "old or poor people would wear." But, they fit the bill and we were happy. As we were walking out to the car David asked, "Am I showing my age by getting these shoes??" Ha! Of course we're not old, but we had a good chuckle. It is true, as you get older things come into perspective much easier. Needs/wants, what's important/what's not.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wall

Last week I hit a wall. You know, one of those imaginary walls your mind and body slam into? I was tired, in pain, and just worn out bother physically and mentally. Thankfully I was able to take an afternoon off at work, get a massage, and just relax...or relax as much as I can relax. I also ceased running for the past week. Just trying to get everything back in line. At this point I'm still having the pain issues with the kidney stone, but my stress level has come down a few notches....for the time being. I will say, it's just over a month until we leave for Puerto Rico and boy are we ready. I don't want to get my hopes up but I am hoping for a relaxing vacation. Even still, having our vacation within reach gives me peace of mind. Just got to keep my eye on the prize.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Twilight Through David

David and I were riding the scooter yesterday. He said, "I have an idea.....We should have someone videotape us on the scooter. You'll hold on tight and I'll move my legs real fast like I'm running. We'll then use software to somehow "remove" the scooter from the scene....and it will look like I'm Edward, running with you on my back." Hilarious. You'll have to have seen Twilight to understand this and like it in order for this to be funny. But it did crack me up. This isn't the first time David has referenced Twilight...not to mention the first time on the scooter. Another time I was told, "You better hold on tight spider monkey....." Oh how I love him so.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Appreciate You

Yes, I still have kidney stones. Yes, it's been over a month since the symptoms started. Yes, it sucks. Yes, running myself ragged at work doesn't help the situation. But, I'm dealing....Not to mention, I get to come home to this cute face everyday....

Okay, not exactly the same looking face, but still. Yes, that's David and he's only 6 months. Look at all of that hair! Too cute, eh? Whether it's a picture of David or just him, he can bring a smile to my face and for that I'm appreciative. Especially when I have those rough days.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Congratulations Bryce And Monica

We welcomed a new family member to the Roth Clan this weekend. My cousin Bryce was married to a wonderful woman named Monica. Although we were unable to participate in Sunday's brunch we were able to make it to the festivities on Friday and Saturday. As expected everyone had an excellent time. As life moves on our extended families are not able to get together for holidays as we once did. I must be honest, I miss that time together. I'm glad that we still have the ability to see each other every so often for times like these. I'm also thankful that Bryce, Monica, and their families invited us all to join in on the fun.
I took many pictures of their special weekend....here are a few......


If you'd like to see more pictures, click here.
Congratulations Bryce and Monica!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

37 Years

Happy Anniversary Mom And Dad.

Click on the "filmstrip" below.....

Photobucket

Monday, August 03, 2009

Just When You Think You've Heard It All

This is not a joke....I just received this phone call at work. I wanted to tweet, but it's too long.....

Man: "Do you do amputations?"

Me: "Yes we perform surgical procedures. Can you please explain your situation?" (Meaning is this a routine procedure or trauma?)

Man: "My cat got out this weekend and came home with a trap on it's leg. I removed the trap but the paw was dead, so I cut off the paw above the knee. There's a bone sticking out and it's all dry and crusty."

Me: (Thinking WHAT?!) "Ok. Let me get to a computer..." "I can see you at 1pm today."

Man: "Oh, I can't do today. It would have to be tomorrow. I'm at work."

Me: "This is something that is urgent and should be seen immediately."

Man: "Well, I'm just calling around to get prices. I need an estimate."

Me: "Unfortunately this isn't something I can give an estimate over the phone, not having seen the cat. I can tell you it's $45 for an examination."

Man: "I thought I was quit clear. I cut off the paw above the knee...."

Me: "Sir, I understand what you did however this is something that we don't know what we're getting into. I'm a technician, not the doctor. However, the doctor would be unable to get an estimate over the phone either."

Man: "This isn't a human or anything. I don't want to put $45 into it for an exam only to find out it'd be $300 to fix, so I'd just put it down. I'd be out $45."

Me: (Thinking, yeah, it's going to be a hell of a lot more than $300 to fix. And trying not to sound like a broken record, I let silence take over.)

Man: "Well, since you can't give me a price I guess I'll go elsewhere."

He hangs up and then continues down the list of veterinarians in the phone book because we get another call in a few minutes (we have a couple numbers listed due to various names/vets). Thankfully I had already told the office manager about the problem and she received the second call. She told him the same thing.

I can understand calling around for prices for certain things (i.e. vaccines), but think about this....do you call the hospital to see how much it's going to cost to have an ACL repaired? Or even more, would you attempt to perform the procedure on yourself? But hey, it's not a human or anything, it's just an animal ;)

I could write a book on the phone calls and individuals I come in contact with.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Starlight Experience

David and I have been wanting to see Cedar Point's Starlight Experience the entire summer. Finally, we made it over to Cedar Point to see it Saturday night. It's nothing like Disney's Osborne Family Spectacle Of Lights, but they're heading in the right direction. According to my research it looks like they continue to add and work on it in the years to come. I had never used my Nikon for night shots, so I took advantage of the experience. The photographs aren't excellent, but as with so many things, my "art" is a work in progress. We enjoyed the excellent weather, time together, and the experimentation of picture taking. Here are more pictures of our night.

Not Just Another Day

As I get older I find holidays aren't as "special" as before. It's not that they don't mean anything, it's just like you wake up and think, "meh, it's another day." Friday was my (and mom's) birthday...it was just another day.....or so I thought. The day didn't get exciting until nighttime. We went out to dinner to Marconi's and mom said, "Don't have dessert...I already have something at home." Being a smart ass, I said, "Well, what if I don't want that?" I didn't think it'd be anything special since Sita said she was going to make a cake for Saturday. When we got home, did I get some surprises. First, David had made me a cardboard card. Over the past year we decided not to buy any cards anymore. Cards are nice, but for $4 and a waste of tree, not that nice. Sorry Hallmark, but there will be no more official cards in our home. It was the sweetest card and probably one of the best I've ever received in my life. In addition I had a single pink rose. We are also not flower people....they tend to die within days of purchase so it's just not something we do. So a flower totally caught me off guard. And lastly from David, a juicer. We had been debating the purchase of a juicer and David happened across an excellent and unexpected deal that he couldn't pass up.

I was giddy from excitement. That's when Mom, Dad, Sita, and Alpa arrived......with an Aunt Tonya Cake? WHAT?! OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY! I was jumping for joy. People know from previous posts that I love me some Aunt Tonya Cake. Aunt Tonya isn't really an Aunt, but our family has been friends for years and she has been known as my Aunt Tonya for years. I used to go over her house and eat spoonfuls or her frosting. I even had "my spoon" over her house. It's not really a spoon, more like a flat ladle. I have been unable to get a cake from her for a couple of years given she is totally booked in the summer months for weddings. Yes, she is that amazing. This year was no different. My mom had decided to not even attempt to call and ask. But she did call and attempt to get a cup of her frosting for me. That's when she found out that Aunt Tonya had already penciled me in last year, for a cake this year. Of course my mom didn't tell me this. So I was surprised when the sweet smell of Aunt Tonya cake entered my house Friday night. I couldn't wait to dig in.
Mom and Dad also surprised me with a new Weedeater. Yes! I've been hand edging my lawn all summer with hedge shears. Needless to say it takes forever and by the time I'm done my hand is cramping. I'm truly thankful for this gift.

We finished the night by heading to Fridays for a Sangria.

Ahhh, what an unexpected excellent day. Thank you Dad, Sita, Alpa, David, and the kids for sharing it with me. And Mom, as always thank you for sharing your birthday with me. Love you.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

As I've grown older I've found I am more and more likely my mother. Scarily like my mother. When I was younger people would say, "You look like your mom...." I'd always cringe. Now, I accept these comments as compliments. I'm thankful to look like my mom and inherit many of her traits. I'm also thankful for the wonderful relationship we have. Growing up she was always my Mother. Now she's not only my Mother, but a best friend.

Thank you for sharing your birthday with me, and thank you for your love mommy. I love you tttttthhhhhhiiiiiiiiissssss much!!!! =)



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oxalate

When I had my first kidney stone back in March I was ready to do whatever I needed to do to prevent another stone formation. At the time the doctor told me to be patient. Although these problems tend to be genetic it could have been a freak occurrence. He said we'd address diet change if another stone formed.

So, that's where I am now. 4 months later with 2 more stones. Call me crazy, but I think it's time to address my diet....changing it to low in oxalate. Not surprisingly, looking at my daily intake I'm seriously high in oxalate. I have a pretty set diet....meaning I eat the same thing almost daily. (Yes, I don't adventure through foods like most people. I enjoy what I enjoy, but ultimately food isn't my thing and would be ecstatic if I could go through life without dealing with deciding what to eat and actually going through the motions of eating.....but that's another post for another time). I have milk with Ovaltine for breakfast - milk is low whereas Ovaltine is high in oxalate. Lunch usually is cheese and an apple - cheese is ok, apple is high, unless peeled. My snacks and dinner vary. If you have calcium oxalate issues you should avoid Vitamin C supplementation - I was taking a vitamin C supplementation daily. Soy is high in oxalate. My diet isn't loaded with soy, but it's present.

Gah! So yeah, I think it's time to make some adjustments. It's not going to call for me giving up being a vegetarian (according to my research), just making some changes. However, before I make further changes I thought it'd be a good idea to ask my doctor. I've put in a call to my doctor and am hoping to hear back soon. Wishful thinking? Dunno. I have yet to be offered an examination, so I also asked if I should come in for an exam. Maybe an exam is uncalled for, but basically I've been diagnosed with a stone through testing and have yet to hear from my actual doctor. It's not that I don't trust the nurses in his office. I just think it's easy to have things overlooked when the communication is going through multiple individuals....oftentimes not even the same individuals.

And it's not so much that I'm worried about having the stone. Yeah, it's painful, it's been 3 weeks, I'm worried that I'll need to have "surgery" at the beginning of the year AFTER my deductible resets, and I want it to pass, but at this point I want to be proactive in preventing future stone formation. Basically I'm looking for professional guidance and advice. As expected, I've ventured into the Internet to do my research and have compiled a ton of information. I consider myself a realistic person who can decipher fact vs. crap and come to a consensus, but once again, I'm looking for the reassurance that I'm doing the right thing.

For instance, everyone says, "drink cranberry juice." Sounds like an excellent idea. However, cranberries (or any berry for that matter) are high in oxalate. So if I'm trying to prevent calcium oxalate stones, but drinking cranberry juice that can encourage formation of stones, it defeats the purpose....right? Well, it depends on what you read.

Guess I'm in a conundrum. If anything, at least I've learned a few things from this experience. One thing, if you're not an advocate for yourself, no one will be, and you're screwed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Drink, Drink, Drink

Last week I broke down and had a CT scan performed. My discomfort wasn't getting any better on the antibiotics and I figured it was time to take the next step. Yesterday I received the results. It looks like I have 2 more stones present. At this time they are a "passable size" per the doctor's office. As expected I was unable to get straight answers. Like, "How long should this go on before we need to intervene?" I was just told to continue with "lots and lots of fluids." Unfortunately this has been going on for almost 3 weeks now. The pain is still present and has not moved. I'm going to continue my fluids and if I have no further progress by next week I'll have to make another call. Something I never found out was the size of my last stone. Which leads me to my next question. I've now had 3 stones in 4 months. The doctor said that I shouldn't worry about my diet after the first stone because it could be a one time deal. Obviously that's not the case. I'd really like to address this issue but am unsure what to do at this time. This "problem" I have was inherited, however there our ways that I can encourage stone formation...or inhibit too. The only changes I've seen within the past year was my change to becoming a vegetarian and running. I've looked real deep at both of those changes and honestly don't think they have been that big of changes that should have caused these problems. True, I no longer eat meat, but I didn't eat much meat before. I was lucky to have meat once a day, if that, before. Soy can cause problems, but I don't really eat much soy. As for my running, I've actually decreased my running distance. So I dunno.

As for now I'll drink, drink, drink. David has already warned me that he's about to strap his Camelbak to my back. I'll pass on that. Bottoms up!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Happy Room

We were able to finish up the Animal Room aka The Happy Room this past weekend. Whew. What a relief. I think it was our biggest undertaking since buying our house. We are VERY pleased with the results. The color is just what we had pictured. On Sunday night we moved Elwood and Herbie into their new room. Since we removed the wall of cabinets we've been on the lookout for some sort of cabinetry/storage/buffet to put in the room. Something we could put the terrariums on. I'd like something that fit into the room (simple, not ornate, possibly modern looking) and would even love to reuse or refinish an item. Not to mention, I don't want to spend a huge amount. Sita was so gracious to donate an old apothecary/canning table for Elwood...exactly what fit the bill. We're still on the lookout for a storage space and something to put Herbie on. In the meantime he's on the hope chest/coffee table that's already filled with items from the wall cabinet.

I attempted to take photos but they do not do the room or color justice. It's not as bright/vivid in the pictures. And given the size of the room it's hard to get good photograph angles. But, I tried my best.

First, when we moved in, this is what the room looked like. Paneling, carpeting, 70's curtains/lighting, and plywood wall cabinets. Between then and now we painted the cabinets but ultimately decided they needed to go.

Now, after the renovation.....Carpeting gone and hardwood floors refinished (done in 2006), plaster gone, drywall installed, new curtains, and track lighting installed.



Saturday, July 18, 2009

Primed

Just another update on the progess of the Animal Room. David and Alpa got the crown molding up yesterday afternoon....

Last night we cleaned and scrubbed the room, working to have some order in our house. We also placed foam caulk rope in gaps and proceeded to caulk the entire room.

This morning our bodies decided to rise on their own at 6:45am. We took advantage of our time and primed the entire room....ceiling included.

Time to take a break to let it dry and take another trip to the store to get more supplies. I swear anytime we do a home improvement project we find the hardware store is our second home.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cipro Spells Relief

Alright, I don't have relief....yet. But, my awesome family doctor got me in within an hour of my phone call this morning. He rocks. Not only did he get me in, but he listened to what I said, did a quickie test to verify an infection was present, gave me a prescription, and I was on my way. I've already taken my first dose. If it is just an infection I should have relief with the next 24 hours. If not, then further tests will need to be run. Unfortunately even if it is just an infection given my history, these issues will more than likely continue throughout my life. Not something to look forward to, but it is what it is. Counting down the hours of medication absorption.....

Pain And Nausea

Last Thursday I started to have abdominal pain and nausea. I thought to myself, "oh boy. here we go again. another stone." It wasn't the intense pain I had last time but it was the dull constant pain that had presented itself before the last stone. I started pounded down fluids to no avail. I have the ability to perform radiographs, so I did so on myself. I didn't see anything. Come Monday I still had pain and nausea. I made a call to my urologist and they sent an order for a KUB (kidney, ureter, bladder) radiograph....basically what I already did. Although I knew it would come up negative, I went through the actions. I promptly left work and had the radiograph performed. I was told my doctor would get back to me as soon as he saw the radiograph and that it was being sent to him immediately. I was patient. There was no call Monday. No call Tuesday. Wednesday comes and I make a call only to hear, "Oh, your doctor is out of the office for another week and a half." You're kidding, right? So I ask if someone else can look at the radiograph. They say, "sure" and they'll have someone call me. No call Wednesday. No call Thursday. I call Thursday afternoon, and am on hold for forever, then someone comes back to the line and says, "It's negative. They'd recommend a cat scan now." Once again, following their recommendation, I tell them I'm open to time and date, but would prefer morning if at all possible. They say they'll call me back. In the meantime I run a urinalysis on myself. Sure enough there's bacteria present. Not to mention my pH is sky high....could be because I'm a vegetarian. Wouldn't it be smart to start with a basic urinalysis before exposing myself to a cat scan's radiographs and cost? They call me back and leave a message saying a cat scan isn't available until the end of next week. Right. I give them a call this morning and basically say, "I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but I really don't know if a cat scan is the appropriate direction right now. Can't we start with a urinalysis?" I went on to explain that I have the ability and have done one myself and gave my results. I also stated that I have a culture and sensitivity running on it as well. They still stand by the thought that a cat scan should be run. But they can put it past the other doctor on MONDAY. So what they're telling me is, even if I have a cat scan (which can't be done until next week anyway) I'm still going to be sitting through the weekend with this abdominal pain and nausea. I've had pain/nausea for over a week and I have yet to talk to an actual doctor or even have an exam offered. In the meantime I believe I have a kidney infection that continues to fester. I have put in a call to my family doctor, but unfortunately I have a feeling this issue will not be addressed anytime soon. Frustration has set in.

I Know You See Me

My morning runs are varied this year. What it comes down to is my varied schedule, my body feeling like poo from some unknown abdominal discomfort, and me not worried about every little thing I put in my mouth and thinking what I have to do to burn it off. I make it out, when I make it out, and run how long I want to run. With that being said, I'm still out running in the morn quite regularly. Enough to see people, and some of the same people, on my runs. I'm not expecting to form some sort of camaraderie with them or anything, however I'm not the type to ignore someone that is several feet from me. Especially if it's a quiet morning without anyone/anything going on around you. I say a simple, "good morning." But, 9.9 times out of 10 I get nothin' from people I pass. I kid you not. They totally ignore me. Sometimes they make eye contact, sometimes they don't. It flabbergasts me. Don't act like you don't see me as I run toward you in my bright hot pink running tank. And don't act like you don't hear me, because surely I'm loud enough.
I will admit, I'm a morning person. I'd prefer to get up at the buttcrack of dawn for the serenity, than be a night owl. I've been know to get up 2 or more hours before having to be at school/work, just so I can clean, read, and get things in order for the day. I understand not everyone is this way....however, even if you're not a morning person I think you can manage a simple "good morning." Heck, a "mornin'." is fine.

On that note....Good Mornin' Ya'll! Have an excellent Friday!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tape, Mud, Sand....

Quick update on the "animal room." Everything was taped and mud placed on Monday, sanded Tuesday, more mud Wednesday, and sanded/cleaned today. Tomorrow we're on to the crown molding. It's not going to be an easy task, but we're going to "cheat" by using corners instead of mitering. We hope to prime at least the ceiling and possibly walls on Saturday. Gotta keep moving.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gone Baby Gone

At the end of last summer David brought up the possibility of not purchasing Madden (the football video game). He figured he wasn't really into it and maybe it might be time to move on. In the end he decided to get it for one more year. David doesn't have an obsession with video games. He usually buys a game a year....that being Madden. But, he'll play it year 'round. David doesn't play all day long. He'd play a game or so a day. Playing XBox was always his outlet to chill. Well, the release for Madden is rolling around and he brought up the idea of retiring his XBox once again. Since he said it last year, I didn't think much of it. I just said, "Make sure you truly want to get rid of it, because we will not replace it once it's gone." He thought about it for several days and made the final decision last night. He decided that it was the end of an era and unplugged his XBox and sent it to a new home. I think I was more "sad" than he was. But if he's ready to move on, so am I.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Love You Just The Way You Are

Today David and I have been married for 7 years.

Most people don’t know our story…..

We met my freshman year in high school. Being involved in band we had passed by each other the entire summer. In addition, he was a percussionist, as was my sister Andrea. For some reason he started making himself more and more present around me and my friends. None of us thought much of it. As the end of the summer drew near I was having a small get together at my house. Somehow he got my best friend’s number and made a call basically inviting himself over. At that point we all figured he was gunning for my best friend. Little did I know that he was just using her to get information on me. Soon after we began speaking more and started to date. Our first date was to Sports City. Unfortunately he had already promised to take someone else to homecoming. I respected his decision to keep his promise and I went stag. We continued dating through the winter season, until things started to unravel. We found we both wanted different things at the time and were also immature. I broke up with him and kept my distance. We both dated different people and moved on with our lives.

As time continued on we became friends again. We started to hang out more often and once again David made his presence known. Again, little did I know what he had on his mind. I remember my soon to be SIL saying, “David’s such a good guy….” I didn’t think much of it. At one point David passed me a note. Basically it stated his feelings. I carried that note in my coat pocket for months. I remember in the beginning of my junior year, sitting at the OSU Skull Session with Andrea and mom. I started rummaging through my pockets and sure enough there was the note. For some odd reason I let them read it. Both of their reactions were, “Well, what did you say?!” Of course I had never said anything and just let it lie. They said, “You need to give him a chance.” I knew in my heart I need to, but at that time I wasn’t ready for that. Fast forward several months….David and I were hanging out and I brought up the question of, “What if…..” Soon after that evening David made his move. Although I was expecting it, it totally caught me off guard. Was I ready to start into a relationship with him again? I took a few days to digest the thought and finally made my decision that yes, I was ready to take that step.

Recently David’s mom asked me, “When did you know he was the one? That you were going to marry him?” It took me a few moments to think about that. And I must admit that there was never an “aha moment.” Ultimately when I made the choice to start a relationship with him again I knew deep in my heart that that was it. I had given him up once (and think that it was still necessary), however I wasn’t going to let him go again…..ever.

So how and why did we get married so young? Fast-forward 2 years. We were already engaged and it was inevitable that we were going to get married. True, we hadn’t planned to make it official for another 2 years or so. In a nutshell, David was to get honorably discharged from the military due to health issues and I received a call saying that all of our planning (moving to Columbus, putting a bid on a house, etc) was going to halt because he wasn’t getting out. What?! (Come to find out a year or so later that the paperwork never left his superior’s desk…another LONG story for another day). So we were at a crossroads. What were we going to do? There was no way we wanted to continue our long distance relationship. Once again, we knew we were going to get married, so it was only natural to take the next step.

Of course there were individuals that were out there that disagreed with our choice. Included in that group were my parents. I remember walking downstairs after getting off the phone with David to tell them, “Guess what? We’re getting married.” Unfortunately it wasn’t the most enjoyable experience. In the end they supported our decision and said, “Well, if you’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right…..dress, wedding, and all, even if it is small.” I’m appreciative of my parents support. Then and now I do understand where they were originally coming from. I’ve seen failed young marriages. Add on that, failed military marriages. There’s no doubt that we had the numbers stacked against of. I knew in my heart we were different, but there was no way to portray that. Every young couple thinks they’re different and states that they are…that they’re ready and mature enough to get married. We were thankful for the bridal shower that my aunts threw for us, but I could only imagine what my extended family thought. I think the lack of recognition of our actual wedding from several extended family members gave us the hint of what they thought. But we didn’t let that affect us. Once again, we knew in our hearts where we were and where we were going.

We had a very small wedding, but something that was special to us. Soon after we made the move to New Orleans and made a life for ourselves.

Fast-forward again, 7 years. How have we made it? I don’t think there’s a straight answer to this question. I do know that we’ve evolved as individuals and as a couple. Thankfully our evolution has been together and not on different wavelengths. As with before, our relationship is still different than many couples out there. I’m not saying that it is better or worse than others’, but that difference works for us. We’ve never had a full-blown fight/argument and also find that most times we’re content just being in each other’s presence. No words needed…whether it be on a run, in the car, or just hanging at home. David’s the yin to my yang, as I am to his.

Happy 7th Anniversary David.

Gotcha!

Today is Spencer’s one-year “gotcha” anniversary. Yep, it’s crazy to think that we’ve had him for a year. I’ll admit, he and I butted heads for about the first 6 months, but I think it’s safe to say we’re all settled in. As with anything you add to your life, I can’t imagine our lives without him now. Happy Gotcha Day Spencer! Hugs and love to you!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Super Herb!

Wanted to give you a quick update on Herbie. He's doing wonderful! With the added heat light, misting his habitat more, providing a different water source, and trying different foods, we think he's come around. As with Elwood, his personality is starting to show and boy, can that herbivore eat! We've been so happy with his progress, as we were horribly worried about the guy.

Walls Are Up

Throughout this past week David and Alpa have been working on our drywall. Today all of the drywall will be up. Woot! We have walls again!! Sometime this week they'll start taping, etc. As expected, this isn't something that's going to be done within a weekend. Given both David and Alpa's schedules, they've been trying to get some done here and there. I'm thankful for any and all progress. As we speak they're still putting up the final pieces, but I snuck in the room to get a few shots.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Reminiscing Through Organization

I know that Dad already posted something about this but I had my own "whoa" moment just a few days ago.

As with the past 6 or so months, we've been digging through our house cleaning out. I consider myself quite clean and organized, but there's always room for more organization. This past week I started going through my CD's, placing them in a book that's actually in one piece, and not falling apart.

First off, I can't believe how many CD's I have. I really don't have that many considering David has books upon books of CD's. But even still, it's hard to look at the quantity when now I just take something that's smaller than my palm and everything that's in the book fits in it. Weird. I take my iPod with me everyday, listening to all the songs, and don't think much about it. But when you see them side by side.....I had to take few moments to wrap my brain around it.

Another thing....the type/genre of CD's I have. I'm still a huge soundtrack fan as I was then, but some of my CD choices.....they were interesting. None of them are bad, but once again, it's just something that dates itself, the time, and even me.

Thinking about it, I just sit here and shake my head with a multitude of emotions including, but not limited to, amazement, surprise, disbelief. It's just crazy how things change and evolve. When you're a kid adults tell you, "Things change" and you think, "Yeah, yeah....." It's inevitable, you know it's going to happen, but when it actually does.....Whoa.

Changing the subject, yet staying on the subject.......
Looking at the CD's brought back memories. Good and bad. It's cool to listen to a song or see a CD and have it take you back to a different time. Not only that, but a specific moment in time. For instance this song below.

Although some of my CD's don't fit my style today, it was still refreshing to take a step back in time. And for those that I still enjoy, my iPod library just got a little bigger.

I remember driving over the Crescent City Connection bridge in New Orleans, heading to work, listening to this:

YouTube won't let me embed, but you can watch the video here.

The lyrics:
Sometimes I shave my legs and sometimes I don't
Sometimes I comb my hair and sometimes I won't
Depend on how the wind blows I might even paint my toes
It really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul

I'm not the average girl from your and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen

I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Aria

When I look in the mirror the only one there is me
Every freckle on my face is where it's supposed to be
And I know our creator didn't make no mistakes on me
My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes
I'm lovin' what I see

I'm not the average girl from your video and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen

I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Aria

Am I less of a lady If I don't wear pantyhose?
My momma says a Lady ain't what she wears but, what she knows
But, I've drawn a conclusion, it's all and illusion confusions the name of the game
A misconception, a vast deception
Something's gotta change

Don't be offended this is all my opinion ain't nothing that I'm sayin law
This is a true confession of a life learned lesson I was sent here to share wit ya'll
So get in where you fit in go on and shine
Clear your mind, nows the time
Put your salt on the shelf
Go head and love yourself
Cuz everything's gonna be all right

I'm not the average girl from your video and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen

I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Aria

Keep your fancy drinks and your expensive minks
I don't need that to have a good time
Keep your expensive car and your Caviar
All I need is my guitar
Keep your Cristal and your pistol
I'd rather have a pretty piece of Crystal
Don't need your silicone I prefer my own
What God gave me is just fine

I'm not the average girl from your video and I ain't built like a supermodel
But, I learned to love myself unconditionally
Because I am a queen

I'm not the average girl from your video
My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes
No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Arie