Monday, August 31, 2015

Super nova days...

I am glad that Becky's visit has come and gone, for I have been so ill the past few days that had she been here, she would have been sorely neglected.  My innards have been malfunctioning and standing for any length of time means getting ill and/or fainting.  It is a bit discouraging.

Last night, I was felled by a migraine.  When that started to ease, the innards misery turned from bearable to unbearable, with writhing so bad that I realized I had forgotten life before Erythromycin.  I sure did have a good run on that medication.  SIGH.

I have not really slept, so my head and eyes are aching from fatigue and I am having terrible abdominal pain, in addition to nausea and runny plumbing.  I think this is the first real bout of the Small Bowel Bacterial Overgrowth (SBBO) since before Erythromycin.  I have not yet eaten and do not actually want to eat, but my blood sugar is low and I am shaking and so I am writing about eating, but not actually eating yet because I do not want the on-going consequences of putting food in my body.

Friday, my neighbor fetched me baby carrots.  Sadly, I let a whole bag go bad somehow.  I am still a bit flummoxed about that.  But I was craving carrots and peanut butter.  Amos, it turns out, has decided that he likes baby carrots and peanut butter.  How do I know this?  Because he took advantage of one of my 1,001 trips to the bathroom to finish off my serving of baby carrots and peanut butter.

He is a fairly good puppy dog when it comes to at least letting me start my food alone.  And since it oft takes me two trips from the kitchen to carry my food to the living room (dish in one trip, drink in another), I can trust Amos to merely salivate over the dish I left behind to fetch my drink.  However, sometimes I do try to remember to take the drink first, so as not to tempt my little fluff ball goat.  Anyway, he usually just starts whimpering softly about the desire to pre-clean my dishes if I am not getting them ready for him (eating) fast enough.  On occasion, though, if I get up to tend to something, Amos will take this as permission to start his cleaning.  The rascal!

I do not want to encourage such blatant misbehavior in Amos, but I am not, at the moment, all that bothered about Amos finishing my food rather than myself.  It is one of those days when I long for the sun to go super nova so that I do not have to lie here enduring the ravages of dysautonomia upon my body.  SIGH.

I did distract myself with giving in to Amos' pestering over finally writing a post about how babies for your puppy dogs are priceless.  He spotted an article that gives specific reasons why toys are important for dogs.  Ever the helpful fellow, Amos has been wanting to pass on the information.  I have to admit, the article does have salient points and helped to assuage my lingering guilt over the funds I have spent on his babies.

Amos likes to distribute his babies about the house.  I prefer to pile them back into the dog bed he has never once used.

The moment I piled them all up to take this photo, Amos leapt of the couch to pick through the pile for some comfort.

I wonder what goes through his head as he chooses the baby to bring back to his perch.  Bumble Bee Baby is one of two from Kashi.  Amos has continued to lavish attention and affection upon both of them, though Bumble Bee Baby is more often his comfort companion than Lady Bug Baby.

Silly Amos, he gets so concerned when I muck about with his babies.  Just look at that expression!  You know those Don't Mess with Texas! signs?  Amos needs a Don't Mess with My Babies! sign, don't you think??

Silly puppy dog.  He gives me ever so much comfort, especially when my bodily misery is overwhelming.  I would never stoop so low as to deprive him of his own comfort ... even if it means tending to his babies with needle and thread many times over.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Something ... I am not even sure what ... got me to thinking about my father.  Too many thoughts.  Confusing thoughts.  So, I pulled out Apollo 13 and watched it again.  Watching movies is the best time that I shared with him.  I needed the distraction.

Rumblings, still, in my heart and mind about what happened in that game neighborhood.  Several days later, what happened still makes no sense to me, but at least I understand better that I was not really a factor in what happened, more of a bystander.  The male who made such a production of kicking me out, shouting in all caps he was never leaving, left and is back with the original members of the neighborhood in another named almost the same as the original group.  So much unnecessary cruelty.  Why didn't the original folk merely tell those who joined later that they wanted to be alone and go off quietly into the night instead of trying to ruin the game for the players who joined later?

A lot of what happened was set up on Facebook.  Needless to say, my opinion of the health factor of being on Facebook has not improved in the least.

Still struggling with thoughts and feelings about my father and lingering hurt over what unfolded on a  game that I played for fun, I took my upsettedness out on the servant's closet yesterday, pulling out all the linens and refolding them.  Frankly, it had gotten a bit messy in there.  As with all my re-organization efforts, I took the opportunity to evaluate everything in the closet and found two sets of twin sheets and two blankets to donate.  The sheets were the ones I replaced with the botanical sets in preparation for the GRAND VISIT coming in December.  They are actually decades old and I thought about merely throwing them away, but, although thin, they are still usable and the non-profit helping homeless folk into permanent housing wants them.

In my linen count, every bed in the house has two sets of sheets for it, save for the two sofa sleepers (sofa and sofa chair in the basement living space) and my own bed.  I have four sets for my bed and there is only one set for each of the sofa sleepers.  I feel like two sets is a bit much, but I figured it is important to be able to change the sheets without having to do an emergency wash on all the beds when the house is full of visitors.

I practiced Becky's fitted sheet folding method, a bit unsuccessfully.  If you were to peer at the bed linen piles, you could immediately spot the ones she folded for me verses mine.  Part of why I tackled the closet was that I did the laundry from Becky's visit and had bed linens to add to the crocked and falling piles on the shelves, along with a blanket that had not yet been returned to the closet shelves.  How odd is it that I felt significantly better once order had been restored to the chaos of the closet??  

Walking by this morning, the sight of those neat and orderly shelves was quite soothing.  The rest of the day, however, has been spent on the bathroom floor with beach whale syndrome.  My abdomen is so swollen that any movement hurts and the Zofran hasn't touched the nausea.  My innards have not really been cooperating with my existence of late ... almost as if they are trying to drive me to despair.  I am uncomfortable on the hard floor, of course, but the bed and the couch and the GREEN chair all make me bend too much ... hurt too much.

Lying here has me thinking about some of the news I have read lately.  I grow rather irked whenever I see an article—and there are plenty—about how the hack of the cheating web service Ashley Madison is ruining lives.  First, the hackers had nothing to do with "ruining lives," since those participating in infidelity are the ones making the choices that have led to changes in the lives of those affected by the hack.  Seriously, the only one responsible for the pain and agony and shock many are experiencing, the danger to job and reputation, are the ones who are cheated.

I read an article that had an interview with a married woman who had relationships with eight married men and is worried about her own marriage and her job, blaming the hackers.  I really was dumbfounded.  Are we so deluded and egotistical as a society now that there is absolutely no responsibility for the fallout from the release of information by those who cheated?

What absolutely staggers me is that anyone, any single person in this day and age, actually believed that information would be permanently deleted.  What happens on the Internet is never private.  Information transmitted and/or stored is information accessible to replication and theft.  Look at Radio Shack.  That corporation fundamentally believes that all of its customer data is its own possession, nay it own asset to be sold to its advantage in the dissolution of its company.  You buy something from a company and that purchase and all of your contact information is now its property.

To me, one of the creepiest things about the Internet is that if I search for an item, such as a jersey robe, the ads in websites I visit later feature jersey robes.  Even without making a purchase, my interests and personal information are captured and used for marketing and profiteering.  Folk on Facebook who wail and protect about privacy information are deluded if they think that any of their interests and personal information is not being used by that company for marketing and profiteering.

Having had my credit card be a part of a hack at The Home Depot and one at Target and my personal information be a part of a hack at three times now between insurance companies and insurance billing companies, I live my life on the premise that my information is not secure.  I check my credit, credit card, banking, and social security activity on a regular basis.  I also will never use a debit card again, so at to minimize exposure to my liquid assets.  At least a credit card is one layer of protection between my bank and the rest of the world with all its nefarious folk out there.

Anyway, the thought that remains about all that is the idea that lives have been "ruined" by the hack.  I have wondered if lives really can be "ruined" ... if that is the right word to use.  I mean, "ruin" is defined as the destruction or disintegration of something.  Wouldn't that mean that a life ruined is a life that is destroyed (to end the existence of) ... a life ended?

Marriages might be destroyed, be ended, but not by the hack.  Affairs cannot be exposed if they do not occur in the first place!  But the lives in those ended marriages?  Are they "ruined"?

I think about my own life ... and that wonderful episode of Life, "Serious Control Issues."  Charlie Crews, played by Damien Lewis, shares his wisdom with a teenage boy who had been held captive for 12 years:  He still had a life to live, even if his life didn't look like everyone else's.  Such compassion and insight can be found in tiny moments of that series.  The character's life was not "ruined" by the terrible injustice and harm inflicted upon him, although I think those who are using the word these days might disagree.

I think the better word to use is "wound."  Lives are wounded by the choices and activities of those using the Ashley Madison web service.  Wounds change lives, inhibit the well-being of lives, and can be a contributing factor to the ending of a life.

Lives are deeply wounded by sexual abuse, but they are not ruined.  That is the stance taken by experts Bass and Davis in The Courage to Heal.   Unless you are dead, you are a survivor of sexual abuse, not a victim.

In my opinion, words matter and folk should think carefully about the words they choose.  I know that everyone, myself included, speaks with a certain freedom or carelessness with the words they use when with close family and friends.  But when writing articles for the world, when writing with authority about a subject, words should be chosen carefully.  For that matter, when commenting on articles, words should be chosen carefully.

Anyway, lying here, writhing, I have wondered what word I would use to describe my life post dysautonomia diagnosis.  I think some might call it ruined.  I think I might think it ruined.  But, as Charlie Crews would tell me, it is still a life to be lived.

I suppose the question is:  How do I live it?

Monday, August 24, 2015

The next day...

Today was the most glorious day of August, thus far.  Truly beautiful and breezy and not too hot.

I thought I would take a moment to show the stone crop growing between the rose bushes.  This was before Firewood Man mows.  Anyhow, they are HUMUNGOUS!  And, frankly, they are not supposed to be blooming until the fall.

Here you see my neighbor's stone crop by her hose.  It is much smaller and not blooming.

I really like stone crop, but the two I have are so large they spoil the look of the rose bed.  Frankly, I think I should just get two more roses and give up trying to find something small to grow between the three I have.  So I need to find a place to relocate the stone crops to ... some place they would be more ... appropriate.  In the late fall, of course, once they are done for the year.

The weigela by the back porch has fully recovered from being stepped on and broken into pieces during the construction of last fall.  Firewood Man was most certain it was dead even into June (or was it May). I was equally sure.  But it has had an explosion of growth in the last month and finally has put out a few blooms.  Just a few, but enough to give me hope and yard BLISS.

Does this give you a better view of the GIRTH of the spider?  It's HULKING body??

I couldn't take a photo of the spider at night with my Olympus with its macro settings since macro disables the flash.  However, it does show tonights web that Mr. Spider has woven.  I think he's determined to be a resident here.  SIGH.

Apparently, exhausting yourself with upsettedness means that you sleep really well.  I went six entire hours without waking up, despite the completely thawed ice packs.  Today, I learned the game group I was in imploded and more the plans to get original members off by themselves and force others out, so I feel less like a failure of a human being ... except for the fact that I simply do not understand why those who wanted to be alone together didn't just say so.  Why they had to be so very cruel in going about achieving their goal.  SIGH.

I did ... finally ... sell my old Roku, now that I am using the Fire TV stick full time.  I must say, I like it much, much, much better.  For one, the remote doesn't have to be pointed at the unit to work (the stick is actually behind the televisions.  For another Hulu+ works far better.  First, I now get the same notifications as I do online for shows that have a new episode that I have not watch.  Better yet, I can now forward and re-wind without messing up the entire show, as happened on the Roku.

I listed the Roku for $45 since Craiglisters in Fort Wayne just love whacking off huge chunks of money when trying to get you to lower your price.  On eBay and Amazon, a "best" price was about $35, but that would mean shipping and fees.  I got $38 today.  So, even though I had to deal with a lot of annoying texters who kept asking to buy it for $15 or asking a gazillion questions (two wanted a demonstration, one on his TV!), I am grateful for the money back in my budget.  Especially since ... well ... lots of extra money was spent this budget cycle, which is thankfully coming to an end.  Back to the straight and narrow and extremely penurious for me!

I did email the doctor's office to see if a refund had been initiated yet.  No word back.  I would not be surprised if the refund for the curcumin was not still pending when I go back in October.

I think I forgot to mention that the new GP agreed to take me on as a patient.  The appointment date is better than predicted:  January 26, 2016.  So, just two or three more visits with the replacement GP who is not all that thrilled having a complex patient using off label medications and, hopefully, I will have a new general contractor managing my care.

Tonight, I asked Amos if he wanted to go wash dishes with me.  He leapt off the couch, trotted to the kitchen, and settled down on his new resting pad that his beloved Aunt Becky made for him.  I think he has learned a new word:  dishes!

My smart little Fluffernutter!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Life on the floor...

I sometimes ... lately ... think I should re-name my blog to something like "life on the floor."  Only something a bit quippier.  I mean, it is hard to explain why, when I am ill, I prefer to be on the floor.  It seems to logical to me. But folk tend to comment about how the floor is dirty and insist that surely I would want to be in a chair.  But sitting in a chair is difficult for me.  It takes work.  When I am nauseous or my blood sugar or blood pressure is tanking, I don't want to be in a place it takes work for me to remain there or someplace from which I can fall to the ground.  I have come to see the floor as a friend of sorts.

But also I think my blog should be titled something like that because I oft feel kicked to the floor by this, that, or the other.  Tonight was such a time.  I feel the tiniest bit better having chatted with someone who gave a smidgeon of background, but I still found myself caught up in social gameplay that I still do not understand.  Out of the blue, I was blind-sided and literally kicked to the curb.  Part of me is still crying from the hurt.  Part of me is still miffed about the unfairness of not being able to earn the rewards for my part in a team event.  Part of me is most certain that I will never, ever understand people.

Surely ... surely I must be an alien.

Amos has been licking tears off my face.
I have been absolutely devastated and confused.
And I feel so utterly stupid.

But life goes on and I have no choice but to pick myself back up off the floor.

I have thought a lot about Michelle, whom I do not know from Adam, save for her blog about living with dysautonomia.  Clearly is is more ill than when I first started reading Living with Bob.  I am concerned for her, and I wonder what lies in store for me, physically.  I want to mail her a few bottles of my Zofran.  I wish for her some spates of independence and relief from innards misery.  And I wish for her to understand that even in her misery she has helped me.  Funny, that.  A stranger oblivious to my existence being so helpful.

My realtor wants to come for a visit and this rather lonely person doesn't really want any visitors, save for Becky or Mary or Celia.  I just don't want to have to be "on" for anyone, to be more well than I am, to be presentable or personable or less than grumpy or nauseous or both.  I don't want to have to explain how I am feeling or that I don't have an "upset tummy" but rather malfunctioning nerves affecting so very much of my living.  I want to remain in my pajamas with my hair a mess and red and swollen eyes and be on the floor where life is just ... better.

I think I am so very tired, still, because not only did I take more steps during Becky's visit, but I tired to remain sitting nearly the entire time.  Talk about a work-out!  Becky wouldn't have cared a lick had I laid down most of the time ... or reclined ... or snoozed here and there.  But even with her I did not want to so obviously be the sick person.

Do you think I won the argument?  The white to the left of the picture is the end post of the back porch.  The wolf spider is now making its web anchor from the corner post down to the railing by the grill ... not between the upper posts to the steps.

I cannot find the charger for my regular camera, one on which I could use a macro setting to properly photograph the monster invading my space.  I always put everything back in its place, so I am deeply concerned about the charger.  However, I did find the charger for my second favorite real camera and hope to Funny that in all this time and all that work on their camera, Apple has not created a macro setting for the cameras on the iPhone.

If you concentrate, you can see the web half done ... the massive web.  I hope the spider at least catches some mosquitos for me.

I wonder if the spider understands people....

Saturday, August 22, 2015

This day...

I was so violently nauseous that I ended up having to take two showers yesterday morning ... if you catch my drift.  SIGH.  The up shot was that after the second shower, I dragged my wretched being to the airing porch, feeling quite sorry for myself, and discovered that the sun was rising.  It was a most beautiful sight.  Always I am humbled by the hand of the Creator.

Later, I had some of the GREEN eggs.  [I am not sure why I didn't make them for Becky.]  I put on on this napkin because I thought you could see the GREEN better.  It looks a bit brown, but in real life it is fully GREEN.  They were small eggs, so I had four of them.  A big plate of nothing-that-would-bother-my-innards.

I argued with the wolf spider and destroyed its web again.
I whispered sweet nothings into Amos' ear.
I watched the night clouds go by.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Another day...

Another day another salad.  Mmmmm!

I pruned the weeping cherry today, as well as the silver dogwood bush.  I got so shaky that I laid down on the kitchen floor for a while and then fell asleep.  Amos kept me company.  I then got up and watered the plants on the front porch, only to nap once again.  Then, I cleaned the main bathroom and napped a third time.

Sitting around playing games and watching media with your best friend, who helps you with chores is ever so much easier than tending to all the household needs yourself.

Do you see that large blurb on the right near the post?  That is a GINORMOUS hairy, hoary spider with striped legs that had decided to weave a web between the upper posts of the back porch stairs.  I tore down the web four times before giving up.  My friend Celia could most certainly tell me what kind of spider it is and would welcome it to her household.  Me?  Well, I wish for it to be GONE.  I tore down the web again today, twice.

Which one of us do you think will prevail in this battle of occupation??

Some Googling has me wonder if it is a wolf spider.  In any case, in the interests of fairness, I should admit that I am thankful to the spider for chowing down on a the stink bugs caught in its web.  I very much dislike the stink bugs that are prevalent in Fort Wayne.

Still ... I'm not looking for a new roommate!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I'll have a salad...

My little Fluffernutter is such a contented pup these days ... as long as I am not asking him to step upon the dreaded GREEN grass.  Last night, before bed, I went to the kitchen to clean the dishes in the sink.  Amos followed and promptly plopped down on his new resting pad.  When we headed upstairs, Amos laid down on the resting pad atop the bed in the solarium whilst I brushed my teeth and washed my face.  Everything has a place and everything in its place!

Last night, Amos also had a long snooze beneath his new weighted blanket.  That's where he is right now, too.  Such a happy puppy dog.

It bothers me that I am forgetting things about my friend of twenty years.  I bought a massive bin of wild leaf lettuce, forgetting that Becky is not the sort of person who would like a full plate salad every day.  So, I am now embarked on a journey to chow down on salads until the bin is done, not minding the task one bit.  Whilst I miss having grilled chicken atop the pile, the avocado was just perfectly ripe.  Mmmmmm!

Thanks to Becky taking me to COSTCO, I now have enough strawberries to have a contented puppy dog momma, too!  I just love having a massive bowl of strawberries and bananas!  A bit later, I added bran muffins to my day of super healthy eating.

I'm still sleeping lots, including a nap today.  I miss Becky terribly, but am thankful for the time I got to spend with her.  Amos misses her, too ... or at least he misses her sewing skills!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

All good things...

Why is it that all good things must come to an end??

I've just awoken after a long, long, long sleep.  In the wee hours of the morning, I ferried Becky to the airport, came back home, crawled into bed, and wept myself to sleep.  This was the bestest visit ever and I am sad that it is over.

According to my FitBit, on average, I walked just over 1,500 steps more each day when Becky was here, as opposed to when I am alone.  So, even though I thought I was letting her do lots and lots and lots of things for me, I was still working hard to do things for her.  I wanted this to be a true vacation for Becky.  So, needless to say, I am quite tired.

But my dishes are done.
My house is straight.
The beds are all ready for the large amount of visitors coming in December.
My puppy dog has his own weighted blanket.
And he has a collection of resting pads for every location he might be awaiting me.
All the beds are made (including the new sheets on the beds in the solarium).
I learned to fold a fitted sheet (and have a video tutorial for when I forget).
My laundry is done.
My errands are done.
My groceries are put away.
And my refrigerator is full of milk.

All "good things" added to my pile by Becky!

It really is amazing just how much sewing Becky whipped through in such a short period of time.  Here is Amos' weighted blanket being created.

Becky also finished the edges of a flannel blanket I had cut to help keep me warm in the winter when sitting on the back porch awaiting Amos to tend to his business.

Here is my Fluffernutter underneath his weighted blanket.  Isn't he just adorable!

Here are the beds in the solarium made up with the new bedding, a simple sage coverlet and the botanical sheets that were on clearance.

Amos was grateful when I put one of his now beloved resting pads up on his most favorite of all the beds in the house (at least the ones he can get on since he is forbidden the one with the white coverlet...dirty puppy dog paws and all).  He didn't want to leave the room when I finished taking the photo.  How my Fluffernutter loves being in the solarium!

I had received an Amazon Fire TV Stick, but never installed it because that would have been just another learning curve to frustrate me.  Becky did so for me, and she taught me how to use the remote.  Most importantly, she set up the PIN on it so that when my young guests come in December, there will be no accidental purchasing of paid content on my Amazon account.

I was rather thankful to learn that the Integrative Medicine specialist' office could return the curcumin to the manufacturer and get me a refund.  Of course, that meant driving over to the hospital on the other side of the city and dropping off the bottle.  And, well, the refund will not be a credit on my card but a check that will come ... eventually.

Anyway, much of yesterday was spent tending to errands.  One of those errands was to get new unmentionables for me and to see if I could find a step-stool to more safely reach the upper shelves in my cabinets.  Not only did Becky remember that I needed one, but she found a perfect, light-weight, easily closable, fairly economical option for me!

We also got the weighted pellets for Amos' blanket. And, much to my delight, we went to COSTCO (she has a membership) and had the cheese pizza there.  Oh!  My!  How I missed that deliciousness!  Sublime tastiness!

Isn't Becky beautiful???  [Notice that I rather carefully and deliberately obscured just how many slices of the pizza I got when framing this photograph!]

At COSTCO, Becky let me look at televisions so that I could have an idea of my options when my picture finally goes out.  I would like to get another Samsung.  We also found some extremely economical wool socks for my blue feet, some fruit, and pillows!  Sleeping is so hard and I have been in need of pillows for ever so long.  I spotted some that looked like they would work and they do!  On my side, the pillows are utterly comfortable.  They are the tiniest bit high when I am lying on my back, but they should smoooosh down some eventually. I was so pleased to find them, especially since they were only $18.99 for two of them.  I have some old, old, old pillows on the beds in my spare bedroom.  It would be nice, later, to get more pillows.

We fetched a prescription, the afore-mentioned milk, and lots and lots and lots of Ginger Ale, which I found on sale.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love the Target Cartwheel app???  I saved over $25 yesterday.

I was felled somewhat whilst we were out.  Things pressing on my vagus nerve and needing to tend to my own major business.  So, I wilted somewhat, moaned a bit, and wished for the sun to go supernova.  Becky was such a trooper and helped me get through the illness of plummeting blood pressure.  She actually did that quite a bit during her visit, which helped me to feel less like a useless waste of space on the planet who is good-for-nothing and more like just a friend who is ill.

Once we were back home (and Becky had carried in and put away all the purchases) the rest of the day flew by.  I tried not to be maudlin about her impending departure.  We ate queso and watched bad sci-fi movies and played a few more games.  It was a long day and a tiring day and a sad day (for me), but it was a good day, the last of a really, really, really good visit.

I think I forgot to mention that we had the lentils and sausage a second time.  The sausage was even more tender and delicious having been "stewed" longer whilst in the freezer.  Mmmmmm!  I made naan for us, but did not cook it all the way.  Poor Becky!  What a suffering saint she is in gobbling down my sometimes poorly executed cooking with great alacrity and generosity of spirit!!

Yes, I am in my pink nightgown.
Yes, I wore it to drop Becky off at the airport.
Yes, I plan on being a bump on a log for days on end now.

When I finally dragged myself out of bed late this afternoon, Amos went immediately to the doorway of where Becky stayed and whimpered.  I joined him.  Silly Myrtle, you need to do a better job of remembering the time together rather than dwelling on the departure!

I consoled myself by finishing off the last of the queso.
Amos helped me.
We are both beneath our weighted blankets now....

...wishing that all good things didn't have to come to an end.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Love and adoration...

These are the beds in the solarium.  A long while ago, an unfortunate exploration of scissors and fabric by some children left cuts/holes in one of the quilts.  Openings that Amos has been de-stuffing as he lies in his most beloved of spots.

I have been looking for replacements for a while.  When Becky and I were out on Tuesday, we stopped by Kohl's and she let me use her 30% off coupon on some coverlets and shams.  I ordered a set of twin botanical sheets.  And so have resolved the bedding problem some four months before I will have a completely full house with bodies in all the beds.

Amos adores the bedding.  So, Becky got the idea ... or we both did ... to use the fabric to make resting pads for Amos so that he could be comfortable wherever I am.  Poor Amos, he about drove himself to pieces with worry whilst Becky was cutting and sewing, taking every opportunity to lie atop the fabric.

No matter how small the mound of fabric was......

I didn't realize I had a filter on when I took this photo, but you get the idea.  From the first (damaged) quilt, we made two pads, of three layers of thickness.  This shows the underside pattern of the quilt.  Amos is quite happy.  Of course, he immediately fetched a Baby to come keep him company, as he did when he tried the resting pad out in the dining room where Becky was working.  Amos had his priorities!

Becky is going to make Amos his own weighted blanket, so we thought we would just use the other quilt since, as I said before, Amos adores the fabric.  A bit uncanny if you ask me.  Well, anyway, we made a more formal resting pad for Amos out of the pillow shams.  Between the two quilts, Amos will have four resting pads (one for each floor and a spare) that can be tossed in the washing machine if need be, and he will have a weighted blanket, all for the cost of just the weighted beads and Becky's elbow grease.

Becky, being a sewing machine guru, also edged the blanket I made from GREEN fleece to keep me warm when I am awaiting Amos on the back porch in the winter.  Lots and lots and lots of edging.

What is amazing to me—other than the mercy of my sewing friend—is just how faded the quilts are.  The one on the far side of the room is several shades lighter than the one by the door.  Plus, the walls have also faded quite a bit.  The latter is a good thing since I erred, slighting, in what I thought I was buying when I purchased the paint.

Funny that my little Fluffernutter has such love and adoration for the fabric from the old bedding.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Good things...

It is ever so much easier doing laundry if you are not the one carrying the laundry down two flights of stairs or going up and down the basement steps to change the loads from one machine to another or to hang them up on the drying lines.  It is also ever so much easier to cook if you have a resident sous chef and dish washer.  And it is ever so much easier to rest when you have someone willing to fetch drinks or books or games or snacks or even take your beloved, anxious fluff ball outside to tend to his business.  Life is basically better all around when your dear friend is staying with you.

We abandoned the television show we had been streaming, after thinking about how the main character was getting worse, not better.  For me, such is stressful.  I need some sort of hope, some sort of growth, something redeeming whenever I watch dark or complex stories.  We switched to the British show "Starlings," which is this delightful ensemble about life with extended family living together.  It is gentle and real and funny in an honest way.  I just delighted in it the first time round and am enjoying it more being able to share it with Becky.

We also have been chowing down on tastiness.  Today, we had the pulled pork tacos and Becky also tried the Simple Split Pea Soup.  I might possibly have finished off the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that we bought, along with her favorite candy: Peppermint Patties (ICK!).  She also chose a popcorn that I actually found enjoyable.  The latter was good for me because I was in dire need of a sodium fest.  Between the Gatorade, popcorn, and slices of rolled mozzarella and prosciutto I felted as topped off as eating the cobb salad at Panera.

Twice, I struggled with feeling ill, other than the par-for-the-course early morning nausea.  It was the second episode in the day that I found the words to describe how I feel when my blood pressure is dropping because of something in my intestines pressing on the vagus nerve:  It is like the wrongness of when you are on a swing and go too high so that when you swing back down your stomach drops out.  Only I am siting still when that sort of feeling washes over me, dragging me into fear and a bit of despair.

As far as the wee-hours-of-the-morning nausea, this was the second day of vomiting, which is not usual.  Mostly, I battle endless waves of overwhelming nausea that oft takes two doses of Zofran to settle.  I dislike actually vomiting and my throat is sore from doing so.  Because of the freedom and mercy and acceptance Becky shows me, I have left the quilt in the bathroom, spread out on the floor, rather than hiding it away so as to pretend I do not spend hours lying in there.

I also felt a bit wretched when I did get up, so after having Amos tend to his need, I crawled into the GREEN chair, turned on the sleep mate that is downstairs, asked Becky to hand me my blinders, and rested my head upon some fresh icepacks.  About an hour and a half later, I felt more like joining the rest of the world.

One way that Becky showed me kindness today was to watch my all time favorite Doctor Who episode, one of my top three favorite television episodes of any show:  "Vincent and The Doctor."  As I have written before, it is an exquisite look at mental illness with a setting that honors the work of Vincent Van Gogh as much as it uses a snippet of his story as a basis for the plot.  My favorite all time television quote is at the end, when the Doctor is comforting Amy, who is bereft to discover that their efforts to help Vincent did not keep him from taking his life.  She felt as if they failed him:

The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.  We certainly added to his pile of good things.

To me, I wish more folk understood that you do not have to try and "fix" someone who is struggling or battling illness ... that, to me, the great mercy you can show is simply to add to that person's pile of good things in ways both small and great.

Becky is certainly doing that whilst she is here.  Not the least of which is helping me re-set the visual rest of the first floor before heading up to bed.  All tasks, really, that I have had throughout her visit have been made easier by the offering of a second pair of hands.  And, of course, letting me finish off those peanut butter cups rather than sharing the last of them with her!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The mess...

Becky and I have been streaming a show and playing games and cooking tasty things non-stop.  This has been such a gloriously restful visit, although I am still really tired.  Too, it has been a langorious one that is creeping by instead of speeding so fast it is over before we know it!  We fetched a few groceries on the way home from the airport on Tuesday and have been enjoying each other's company ever since, with many days of good food, good fun, and good company yet to come.

Right away, Becky took a photo of my Fluffernutter and texted it to me.
So sweet!
Right away, Becky started beating me at games.
Not so sweet!

I love having brilliant friends ... just not so much when I am losing to them.

Anyway, Wednesday, I became quite ill because of stool pressing against my vagus nerve.  Sitting with Becky playing a game, I had to eventually lay down and then after tending to my business, I was still weak and ill and wanting most to be on the floor than the couch.  Becky wouldn't have minded my moving to the floor. But I wanted to not be the sick person.

Early this morning, really not long after I fell asleep, I awoke incredibly nauseous.  I knew, immediately, that I needed to go to the bathroom again, so I hastened there and swallowed Zofran, but it was not enough.  This was going to be one of those times where I was vomiting and going to the bathroom at the same time.

Really, you cannot do all that together.  You can choose to go to the bathroom and spew vomit all over the floor or you can try to vomit in the toilet or tub or sink and choose to mess yourself.  I couldn't think because I was so ill and quite frantic and afraid.  Shortly, I was a mess.  The bathroom was a mess.  And I wished for the sun to go super nova.

I was whimpering and mouthing Becky's name, for I very much wanted to not be alone.  Only being in such a state is humiliating and shameful and not anything I would wish for someone else to have to face.  I think, should I have cried out, Becky would have come to help me.  Instead ... eventually ... I got myself cleaned up and the bathroom cleaned up and moved a quilt in there so I could stay safely on the floor for a while.  Later, I dragged myself back into bed with Amos and fell asleep for a few hours.

In a way, I felt as if I was being punished.
I still do.
A bit.

The show we have been streaming has a scene that reminded me of something that I would rather forget.  Something that I just do not talk about is the fact that the pit bull attack was not the genesis of the PTSD so much as it was a physical and overwhelming reminder of the incident that is the onset of my PTSD.  The wound.  It happened months earlier and felled me for a long time, though I worked very hard to hide the trauma and my poor response to it.  What happened and how much it felled me was (and remains) my deepest shame and greatest horror.

It struck me that I have not and cannot forgive those who were responsible for what happened to me.  What happened never should have happened and was terribly wrong on many levels.  A contrivance that was speciously cloaked and steadfastly ignored led to a horrific experience for me.  One that, to this day, I cannot stop reliving if I even touch on the moment.  So I avoid it. And, when I talk about the PTSD, I talk about the violence and the trauma of the pit bull attack that was the death knell for me because I cannot bear the thought of the other.

In the silence of my heart is the abject fear that I cannot possibly have the Holy Spirit or faith or salvation because I have absolutely no forgiveness for those people, for their actions, for that day.  Even now, I am not fully aware of just how irrevocably changed I am because of the wound and the ensuing PTSD.  I suppose you could say it is the proverbial onion that I have unconsciously, but steadfastly ignored.  And yet I cannot, in part, forgive what happened because I will never—with regards to having PTSD—escape it.

And it didn't have to happen.

Becky and I ended up talking a bit on Wednesday, because how the scene struck and took ahold of me, and I admitted my lack of forgiveness and the fear that strikes within me.  Then, hours later, in the wee hours of this morning, I was ill and humiliated and ashamed.  All I could think is that the wretchedness of messing myself and my home is exactly what I deserve.

I was up before Becky and ended up calling Mary, because I was (and still am) rather upset.  I have, thankfully, stepped back from the moment of seeing the scene that triggered me ... for Mary helped me realize it was a trigger ... that I was triggered, but I remain deeply troubled.  I told Mary the words that I had found when talking with Becky because she knows my shame.  It was then she noted that I was reliving that moment.  Just Mary pointing that out brought me a significant measure of respite, because I instantly knew that she was right.  And knowing I was reliving that moment, was caught up inside it, helped me cope a bit with just how much I did not (and do not) like how I was (and am) feeling.

No, I have not yet studied the emotions chart to see if I can identify those feelings.
The thought of doing so is too much at the moment.

Mary and I talked for a while, as Amos "watered" most of my bushes and then came to curl up in my lap.  Then,  I went back inside to start cooking the next meal Becky and I had planned.  All those thoughts and feelings were pushed away from me just enough to return to savoring the visit I am having with Becky. Though ... deep within ... they still lurk.

I am hoping that, after two days of illness because of bodily malfunctions, I do not have to battle that in front of or near Becky again.  However, most days, I do.  Most days I am felled by the need to poop.  And there is nothing that I can do about that.  The best days, I am wildly nauseous, have great pain, and am incredibly ill and weak afterwards.  The worst days, I and the bathroom are a mess and I can barely bring myself to clean up and move on from the shame.

I hate my body.
I hate dysautonomia.
I hate my mind.

One of the meals from today is a meal that I absolutely and utterly ruined when Becky and her mother visited last.  I somehow managed to make the Thai Honey Peanut Chicken inedible when they were here.  I remain unsure of what happened, but it was so salty that even washed clean of all the sauce the chicken was inedible.  Today, it was marvelous!

Tonight, we had roasted broccoli, wild leaf salad, and Bacon Cheddar Puffs, another first for Becky.  Last night, Becky let me pursue a taste I had been longing to have.  I have been hankering for sausage cooked in something so long that it practically falls apart in your mouth.  I had both lentils and 15-beans to choose from as far as the base for the sausage; Becky chose lentils.  So, we followed my All-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Lentils recipe and sliced up two packages of sausage into slanted ovals (in order to expose the most meat possible) instead of using chicken.

Oh, my!

The taste ... the sausage ... was exactly what I was craving.  I didn't take a photo of the finished dish because I literally had my bowl emptied before Becky had more than a few bites.  I was in culinary heaven!  When I was packing up the other six portions into mason jars, Becky told me that I didn't have to freeze all of them.  Being a bit slow on the uptake, I protested that freezing them was the only way to make them last and that it makes the lentils even more tasty, too.  Becky was trying to tell this Nutter that she wanting more servings of the lentils and sausage whilst she was here!

I could note that Becky also liked the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, but really I shouldn't have questioned that possibility.

I am not remembering what other tastiness we have had, but on the morrow we shall be having the lemon chicken gyros.  And I want to make more Texas Flour Tortillas, so we can have Spicy Dr Pepper Pulled Pork tacos.  I told Becky she could have whatever tastiness in my house that she wants (other than the Honey Nut Chex).  It just occurred to me that maybe I should go hunting up a new recipe that we could try together.  I would like that.  Cooking for her has been fairly easy because she helps me with both the cooking and the clean-up.

From the moment she walked in the door, Becky has also been helping me maintain my visual rest.  She worked immediately to get the groceries put away and the things that we would have out, such as the extra TV tables for playing games and the games themselves, in places that work for me.  [I remain convinced that it is a providence of God that I have a house with a deacon's bench where visitors' stuff can reside, available yet visually restful.]  Each night, she has also helped with the 15-minute clean-up so that I can come down to a straightened first floor the next morning.  It is helpful ... more than I can say ... to have someone visiting me and yet minimizing the impact of that visit at the same time.

Becky has also  been gracious about my being such a poor loser and has turned a blind eye and deaf ear to my effusive displays of victory and chortles of glee whenever I win (so far only at Skipbo).

Becky's graciousness even extended to the fact that, tonight, I neglected my host duties in walking her upstairs and ensuring she had all she needed because I had let my FitBit die and refused to take another undocumented step (refused to move until it finished charging).  Silly Myrtle!

Just writing of the joys of this visit has cheered me, as has posting that adorable photo of my puppy dog.  However, the mess of this morning ... and that of my being ... remains a weight upon me.  Even though I actually ate far more than usual today, each bite was laced with a bit of fear and trepidation tucked in the corner of my mind, wondering how the next spate of elimination will find me.

Covered in my own mess?

Most certainly it will find me deeply ashamed.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Three hours...

Three hours.

It took me three hours just to dust the first floor of my house, and I did not even properly finish the job!  I know that Becky does not expect me to clean for her, but I cannot bring myself to have a visitor without making some effort to clean.

No, the silver is not polished.

Bushwacked, I swept, swiffered, and vacuumed the first floor, but I did not tend to the baseboards, window sills, or French doors.  I cleaned the half bath off the parlor and the main bath, having scrubbed the tub last night.  I personally believe that the most merciful act a visitor could do is to remove his/her corrective lenses before entering my home.  That way, the house would look clean.

I dusted the upstairs, briefly.  And I vacuumed the floors, paying particular attention to the main guest room.  I did not, however, work on creating patterns in the carpet with the vacuum the way I have done since I was about 10 years old.  [Remember, I am the daughter of an Interior Designer.]

I took out the trash, however I have one confession.  Normally, I am the most meticulous recycler.  Now, I do not pay special attention to cleaning the recycling I toss in the bin, but every single scrap or tiny bit of material that can go in my single stream bin does.  I usually have but one bag of trash a week.  Today, I simply tossed everything into the large trash bag that I carted to and from my bedroom and all the bathrooms.  I do not even feel all that environmentally guilty about having some paper in the trash. I am that exhausted.

I did not clean all the mirrors not in the bath or, as I mentioned, cleaned the panes of all the French Doors, the beveled glass windows, or polished the silver.  The toilets are clean, as are the sinks.  About 70 percent of the dust in the house is gone.  Maybe 65 percent.

Amos is bathed.
I am bathed.
My sheet are cleaned.
The laundry is stuffed in the basket in my closet.

The microwave is clean, as is the stove.  But I really need for Becky to not look in the refrigerator or freezer or inside the oven.  Mostly, inside of places are not fully cleaned.

I did pick up all of Amos' babies, but they are already strew about.
Cleaning stresses my puppy dog.
Cleaning exhausts me.

Slightly more than three hours ... 13 hours and five minutes ... Becky will be here for an entire week!

I really should polish the silver..............

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Failed experiment...

I think that I am giving up on trying to take the curcumin.  I may not be a rabbit, but it clearly is affecting my theophylline absorption or its half-life or whatever that research study results were.  Because I am still battling the early symptoms of the theophylline toxicity and I am just about over trying to give it a go.  I am not sleeping well because of the heart palpitations, the shortness of breath, the headache, and the wretched stomach cramps.  Today has been the worse yet, with my first migraine since the end of the Xanax withdrawal.  I have enough physical misery in my life that I do not want to add to it.

I am hoping that, if I stop the curcumin, then the other two supplements will be fine.  The symptoms started with the curcumin and have not worsened as I added the other two.  It turns my stomach to think about the fact that that was an $88 failed experiment.  SIGH.

It usually takes at least two days for my body to recover from too high theophylline, so here is hoping to a better Monday ... or Tuesday.

On a positive note, my neighbor whose house and yard is rather run down had a group of friends come over and cut down all the unbelievable weed and junk plant growth that had become higher than the roof peak of her garage.  The alley side is still a horrid pile of old wood, a cut tree, vines, weeds, and such, but the back yard and both sides of the garage are now cleared.  That means, sitting up on the airing porch, I have a more pleasant view.

The woman across the alley from my neighbor, who is in direct line of sight from the angle of my steamer lounger, has been working, slowly, on cleaning up her back yard.  She told me this past spring that the changes in my yard have inspired her.  I do appreciate having a more pleasant view from atop the airing porch, given than I am surrounded by back yards.

I am rather bleary-eyed from lack of sleep.  My nights have been lying in bed trying—but failing—to ignore my pounding heart.  At the moment, having just fetched some more ginger water, I am so short of breath that I sound as if I just finished a marathon rather than walked to and from the refrigerator.  Clearly, no more curcumin for me!

Strike one for alternative medicine.

Friday, August 07, 2015

What is in a name...

Back in the dark ages, when Blogger was born, someone I knew gave me this blog and the domain that goes with the blog name, because she liked my writing.  I have had it ever since and it has morphed into something less for anyone else and more for me.  Although, to be honest, re-reading it upsets me because of how much I do not remember.

Anyway, after many years, I started paying for the domain myself because the original purchase ran out.  Only, with blogger, you do not need a domain.

The communications expert in me likes the idea of retaining the domain for branding of my words, only I am not a public figure and do not need branding.

The lost person in my likes the idea of retaining that which I have had for eons, only I do not have money to spend on things that are really needless.

Now, many things I buy most anyone could make the argument as being needless.  For example, do I really and truly need more than one FitBit flex band (I bought a few .99 cent ones from China)?  Probably not.  I gave up my resume domain that had all my professional work samples and my resume.  I gave up the little idea blogs that I have had over the years.  And now, with up for renewal once more, I am seriously thinking of letting it go and just hoping that anyone who reads this will understand that the read address is  After all, it is not like I am trying to cultivate an audience here.

Such strange thoughts to be having.

Today, I dragged myself off to Target for more prescriptions.  I went in my men's lounge pants because I am on Day Two of Beached Whale Status.  It struck me that I could post updates as to just how swollen my abdomen is by giving its girth in inches.  But that might be a bit depressing.  Suffice it to say that even though it is summer and my bedroom is warmer that is comfortable for me, I have been using the heating pad on my abdomen because of the constant pain.  And I am a bit hard pressed for clothing.  Even the extra large pants are tight.

I feel like Violet Beauregarde, even if I do not chew gum all the time and I have not recently visited Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.

Tim brought me eggs again and this time surprised me with ones from his "Myrtle" chicken.  Yes, I have my own chicken!  You see, you can buy chickens that lay a specific colored egg.  Can you guess which color they are???

The lighting stinks but I hope you can see that they are GREEN!

I've never known how to properly tend to a hydrangea, but this year was the first year that I cut it back for the winter.  I do not know if was the trim job or the copious amounts of rain, but when I went to righten the trash can that had been left on its side by the city workers, I was surprised to see that the hydrangea had doubled in size.  I cannot wait until it blooms!

The open faucet that was our sky for three months shut off.  So, Firewood Man did not have to mow this week.  The grass is all brown and barely grew at all.  Saved me a bit of money, but I sure did enjoy having a GREEN lawn all summer, instead of the usual late June-to-early September browning that we have.  Usually, the rain comes back in September.  I wonder if it will this year....

Anyway, back to names.

Do I start some sort of campaign to educate readers about changing how they navigate to this blog if they are typing in the domain name?  Or do I just assume they'd figure it out if they care to keep reading?  If you Google "merely musing," the first result is me; the second is not.  Does it matter??  What's in a name??

I think about the latter quite a bit these days.  I've gone by a nickname full time for nearly five years.  I like my nick name.  But sometimes I feel as if I am not real.  I do not like my given name and care not to go back to it.  Nor do I want a new nick name.  Mostly, I think I daydream about being one of those nameless people who go by symbols.  What would I use??

A frog?
A turtle?
The two birds photo that I used on Facebook and still use on Twitter and here?

My given name has a lot of pain behind it.  I am not interested in going backward.  But Myrtle also has its own wounds.  And Myrtle is someone who is ill.  Have you gotten, yet, that I do not want to be ill?

Do you think I could legally change my name to Amos' Puppy Momma???  Or Woman with Three Porches?  How about She Who Loves Her House?

What is in a name?

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Learning opportunity...

I found this really, really, really informative video that is an introduction to the autonomic nervous system.  If you watch it, you will see just how much of my body is affected by Dystautonomia ... by the malfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

It was overwhelming for me to watch, to consider all that I am battling and all that can go wrong.  But I was also thankful for a teaching video for others to watch.  I know that learning about dysautonomia has not really been a priority of those in my life.  And watching a teaching video is probably low on anyone's list.  But it is a truly wonderful resource I have found.  Both for me and for others.

Nausea is still my closest friend, at the moment.
Amos comforted me by smothering me with his person.
Slathering me with kisses as I moaned.

Nursing his puppy momma exhausted Amos.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Is it ironic or apt that I was so utterly nauseous for hours on end today that I missed my appointment with the nutritionist???  Oh, Zofran, how I adore you!

I learned something today:  my problem with metal extends to metal roller balls on aroma therapy bottles.  SIGH.

I cannot eat with metal utensils (forks and knives), because if I do, all I taste is the metal.  It was, I believe, the first odd thing I noticed before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  Folk who know me often do not remember to give me plastic ware (or have it on hand), but I never forget.  The taste is something awful!

Well, I went to use the Verve oil I made up and all I can smell is the metal.  It is horrible!  The things I read about making up your own bottles talked about the greatness of having metal balls.  I never gave a second thought about following that preference.  Now, I am much afeared that I have two bottles of oil that are useless for me.  The verve is especially hard to take because Escents no longer offers it for sale.  It is a lovely scent with elements that helps with stress.  I think that I do have a bit of stress in my life.  SIGH.

I am hoping that, when Becky gets here, she can at least smell the fragrance of the two bottles that I made.  In the mean while, I ordered new bottles with plastic rollers.  Although it is the beginning of the month-ish, for me, I am getting tight on skimming funds from my grocery/household budget to pursue this.  I might not be able to get the lavender oil I would like until next month.  However, having a refill of the headache remedy on its way is a blessing.  The best part about that is the website prices are in Canadian dollars, so the amount charged to my card was approximately $25 (or there abouts ... I stink at math) less than what I thought I was spending.

Metal wretchedness does not go well with innards wretchedness.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Puttering and muttering...

This is another headache day...

I took apart my television, thinking I had nothing to lose.  I was terrified, still.  After jiggling things and using my air spray duster, I put the cover back on and crossed my fingers.  It worked.  At least for now.  My television has both picture and sound once more.

I also figured out how to use the label maker that I rescued from being discarded something like 12 years ago.  I am embarrassed that I was worried I couldn't figure it out.  It took me, maybe, 15 seconds to get a label printed.  I also rescued from discard three of the cartridges for the P-Touch machine, so I hope they are still good, too.  All I really needed to do was to replace the batteries.  Thankfully, since I buy AmazonBasics batteries, I had plenty on hand.

I needed the label because I made my first bottle of essential oil roll-on.  Not, mind you, that I believe in aroma therapy!

I have been using the headache remedy nearly every night before I go to bed.  I discovered that I could order the replacement oil for cheaper (bulk wise) than repeatedly buying the roll-on bottle.  But other than that proven blend, I decided I wanted to see if I could create some scents for me to use during the day, such as when I go to an appointment or am lost in upsettedness.  After much reading and studying and thinking, I chose Jojoba oil as my carrier oil, bought gardenia as my first scent, and bought some small roll-on bottles.  When Becky comes, I want her to try it out.  I chose gardenia because it is a scent from my past that is positive for me.  And I want to share it with my friends.

Diluting the oils yourself is more economical.
But it can also be really personal.
I think.

Not, mind you, that I believe in aroma therapy.

I need some calming, I think.  I received a notice that my personal medical information has been hacked for the THIRD time!  ARGH!!  It is one thing for your credit card information to be compromised, but the medical information includes your social security number.  I am rather perturbed and wish I could go to Congress and demand a law be passed IMMEDIATELY barring your social security number being used in medical records.  I had to do a lot of talking to myself after reading my third notice.  SIGH.

Tomorrow is my appointment with the nutritionist.  I admit that I am not wanting to go.  The diet changes the integrative medicine specialist gave me are ones I already made.  I feel as if the medical personnel are not listening to me about the wholesale changes I have made in my diet, especially making the majority of my food.  For example, there was this whole section on using Basmati rice.  I do that.  And eating legumes. I do that.  And minimizing bread. I do that.  And eating vegetables. I do that.  And salads with wild leaf lettuce or spinach and non-creamy dressings.  I do that.  And not eating low-fats or fat-free foods because of higher carbohydrates.  I do that.  See why I am not really wanting to spend the $50 co-pay tomorrow?

After a day of no theophylline, I felt better, so today I had the half dose again.  I found one research study on curcumin and theophylline that talks about affecting theophylline's half life, but it is on rabbits.  I am  not a rabbit.  I emailed the cardiologist and asked for help Monday morning.  I am still waiting.

I need the thyroid medication, but I also need the fainting medication (theophylline).  And, given the cortisol problem, I might possibly need the supplements.  But, most of all, I NEED someone to help me juggle all my medications and supplements since at least three of them, if not four do not like each other.  Oh, how I miss my old GP.  I really took her for granted.

Do you know that when I went to get the refund on the plant at Menard's that I forgot to purchase the contact cement that I needed?  SIGH.  I hope to go on the way home tomorrow.

The last little bit of puttering I did was to trim off all the dead branches of the wegelia in front of the back porch.  Firewood Man is still stunned that it survived all his stepping and falling and smashing it with supplies.  It is small and has not yet bloomed, but it is lush and the new growth is fully leafed.  We had a terrific storm last night, you see, so the weather shifted from stinking hot to pleasantly cool for a summer day.

I hope it blooms...

Monday, August 03, 2015

One slightly used puppy dog...

Last week, I tried to up my dose of theophylline again, wondering if it was 1) the 12-hour formula that was a problem and/or 2) if enough time had passed since the increase of thyroid medication. Fainting all the time is not safe.

I was doing well until yesterday.  What I cannot figure out is if starting the first supplement, curcumin, is what made me start to feel as if I am a plucked guitar string.  None of the other theophylline toxicity symptoms had started, but I could feel the agitation begin and my heart was hammering all night long.  It was fast, but not overly fast, but it kept me up.

I am so exhausted.
And frustrated.
And feeling alone.

I miss my GP.  She worked with me about my medications.  The new one specifically told me she did not want to be responsible for managing or consulting on medications she did not prescribe, which includes the theophylline. I really need someone willing to be the one to look at the whole Myrtle.

I emailed the cardiologist and skipped this afternoon's dose.  However, since I am supposed to be trying the supplement thing, I took the first dose of curcumin.

It is turmeric.
Apple keeps auto-correcting "curcumin" to "churchmen."

I feel wretched, and I almost posted Amos on Freecycle this morning.  He is decompensating and has started marking both the corner of my bed AND the corner of the GREEN chair.  He knows what he is doing is wrong and shows remorse (for a puppy dog), but when he is agitated, he marks again.

Last week, I did a couple of loads of laundry.  Then yesterday, I decided to do the bedding and toweling and sweaty clothing from painting, even though I prefer to only do laundry once a month or so.  All those stairs.  Well, I got the bedding changed and then discovered that I had to clean the bedskirt.  Do you know just how hard it is for me to lift up my full mattress to remove (and then later replace) the bedskirt??  SIGH.

That was another load, to which I added the duvet cover (that I had planned on leaving until another laundry session) and my pajamas, since I got too hot in them pruning at 3:00 in the morning when I was so nauseous I just had to get outside of my misery.

That was a third load of laundry.
Six in the past week.

I grilled the last of the corn and made another salad and was just about to sit down to eat when I spotted a fresh lake-of-Amos-anxiety next to the GREEN chair.  Freecycle came to mind immediately:

One slightly used, anxiety-ridden, fluffy puppy dog for pick-up; has an iron stomach and prefers to pre-clean all dishes, even ones with chipotle chili peppers in them.

I cleaned up the lake, refused to allow any pre-cleaning of my lunch, and have been languishing in the GREEN chair with a deeply remorseful puppy-dog who is doing his darnedest to make up with me ever since.  That might be because I dug out the belly band I bought the first time he started marking something—the door frame to my bedroom— and slapped it back around the Fluffernutter.  Amos does not like restricted access to his maleness.  I don't care what he likes, at the moment.

I am still tremulous.
I HATE this feeling.

Today, the mail brought me my first cemetery plot sales pitch with my name on it.  Tell me, how is that supposed to make me feel???

Have I mentioned that the family that moved into the house with the constantly barking, ginormous dog (which I was so glad moved away) owns a pit bull?  SIGH.

It is time for Amos' dinner and I am feeling a bit peckish myself.  That means I have to get up from the GREEN chair.  Stand and not faint.  Take Amos outside.  Remove the belly band.  Cajole him to step on the grass and tend to business. Replace the belly band.  Feed him.  Get something for me.  And make my way back to the chair.

Doesn't that sound exhausting to you????

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Laundry days...

I found a YouTube video on how to fold a fitted sheet.  But, every time I tried to embed it into this post, it crashed Blogger.  Somehow, I think that is fitting (pun intended) since, even with the video, I still cannot fold a fitted sheet.  Laundry days can be so very discouraging.

Between huffing and puffing.
And fitted sheets.
And so very many flights of stairs in the same day.


Saturday, August 01, 2015

Somewhat more than a slug...

I am really, really, really exhausted.  I suppose painting in the heat was overly taxing.  And then there was the strain of fretting about and then going to the appointment yesterday.  Plus, I had all the walking with the four stops I made on the way home.  Oh, yes, there is the work of putting everything away that I brought in from the car ... well, also bringing in things from the car.  And, just maybe, I am overly exhausted because I am so very relieved and thankful and downright giddy that the stairs to the back step have a completed railing.

With Walmart's lower threshold for free shipping, I was able to order all the non-perishables I needed for delivery, including gatorade powder, flour, and sugar.  That means the only things I did not get from my aborted shopping trip yesterday are white cheddar cheese and bacon.  Wouldn't it be awesome if bacon was delivered straight to your door??

Last night, Amos and I enjoyed the comforts of the weighted blanket.  We are doing so again, today.

Not wanting to feel too sluggish, I updated my medical expenses spreadsheet, put all the receipts into the basket that goes down the basement when I make trips down there, reconciled my electronic checkbook and entered in all the interest for each of my savings accounts (Amos' account got 19 cents!), moved all the files sitting in my downloads folder into their proper location, cleaned out my inboxes, and backed up my entire computer (not just the folders I know had changed).

It is very, very, very difficult for me to then delete the previous full back-up.  The external hard drive has copious amounts of space, so I am not hard pressed to do so.  But it is a bit silly to have multiple back-ups of the same computer.  Now, my last back-up from my previous laptop (Windows), the disastrous Dell one that broke millions of times (okay, had a total of 12 repairs/replacements), is still on the external drive.  It is my moment-in-time snapshot that I keep because I am not absolutely positively 100 percent certain that when I moved over the files I got everything.  One day, I hope to compare files.

Much of those older files are my knowledge management, grant management, communications, design, and consulting work.  I am proud of the order I wrangled from the chaos of each of my jobs, but really I do not need it anymore.  No one is asking me for examples of a strategic plan, for example.  But I want to hold onto them.  I am just not sure why and do not care to delve into the matter.

I did, however, gird my loins and delete the three previous full back-ups of my MAC that were sitting on the external drive.  I figured that I should be brave and strong and reasonable.  There really should be just one MAC back-up on the drive.  All that computer organization and security satiated my desire to be slightly more than a slug.

I had wanted to see if I could try to figure out the label maker that is in the basement.  However, I decided that learning new things was too much work.  Instead, I wrote the instructions for how to take the first two supplements on the bottles themselves, since how to do so was on my check-out summary from the doctor visit.  Once I am taking all three, one is for the morning, one is for  4:00 PM, and one is twice daily.  Which is taken when is going to be a steep memory curve for me since the doctor told me to leave them in their opaque bottles in my refrigerator (I figure my house is cold enough!) instead of putting them in my pill case.

I did wonder if I could find a pill organizer like mine that is not clear, since I do keep my pill organizer in the refrigerator, taking out one day at a time.  I really do not want the three bottles (when the third one arrives) sitting on the table between the GREEN chair and that couch.  That would make me look like a sick person!

Lots of Googling left me few options, primarily just one:  amber bottles. I liked that idea, but you have to buy them in bulk.  I really didn't want to look like a sick person with those three bottles, the nasal spray, the acarbose (take whenever I eat), and the Zofran sitting out on the side table.  Then, an idea struck me:  I thought about the reorganization that I did in my cabinet.

You see, I had two small baskets on the lowest level of the corner cabinet.  One was for my blood sugar monitoring paraphernalia, including glucose tablets (and Amos' toothbrush and tooth paste).  The other was for the Taco Bell seasoning packets I used to use on my chalupas.  Now that I make the  enhanced refried black beens and the incredibly tasty Pulled Chicken 2.0, I don't need the packets.  I moved the blood sugar stuff to the packet basket, because it was oblong and the monitor fit in there better.  I had move the other small basket, a rather beautiful Longaberger basket that someone I used to know gave me to the top of the refrigerator with the sweet basket, the granola bar basket, and the chip basket.  I figured I would think of what could go in there.

So, when I got up to change ice packs, I put the two bottles, the nasal spray, the small container of acarbose, the small container of Zofran, my thermometer (I've been running fevers off and on for a while now), and my day's pill box container into the basket.  It still looks like a sick person lives here, but at least it looks like an organized sick person lives here.

I admit that I am really wanting the glass amber bottles anyway, since the basket would look more organized that way.  [Remember, I am an Interior Designer daughter.]  I only need three of them, and they come in lots of 12.  What in the world would I do with nine extra pharmacy grade amber glass bottles with screw-on tops?????

When Firewood Man came to mow,  he brought me a gift bag from his garden.  Inside were fresh carrots, cucumbers, and corn!  I had Grilled Corn on the Cob with Cheese and Lime today that was picked only two days ago!  I also had a small spinach salad with cucumber, carrots, feta, and dried cranberries.  Eating straight from the garden is AMAZING!

He also brings me fresh eggs from his chickens.  I wonder ... are the egg shells thicker because they are brown eggs or because they are fresh eggs???  He bought a chicken that lays GREEN eggs. I cannot wait to have some of those in my refrigerator!!

I just received a gas hike alert.  One of Fort Wayne's ridiculous price jumps.  So, out I went in my pink nightgown and slippers, leggings, and a hoodie, too tired to change into regular clothing.  A new low for me.

Maybe I am just a slug.