Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's My Little Chickadee's Birthday

My daughter entered the world at 1:16pm on this date back in 1975, and what a terrific addition to this world she has proven to be.
She has grown into a marvelous young woman of whom I am extremely proud.
She is a terrific daughter and a truly fabulous mother. (And of course, her becoming a mother gave me a grandson -- another shining light of my life.)
But most of all, my daughter has become a wonderful friend.
We live about an hour's drive away from each other, so we spend great lengths of time on the telephone, laughing and carrying on about anything and everything.
We exchange e-mails fast and furiously; we used to play around on MSN but now we just pick up the telephone and communicate in the more comfortable way for us.
We will actually send an e-mail or leave a voice mail to let each other know if we won't be available for our nightly telephone chat!
If my offspring hasn't heard from me in -- oh, about a half day or so -- I'll receive an e-mail that starts with, "You don't call, you don't write ..." which just cracks me up!
Nobody can get me laughing the way my daughter can.
My daughter is the kind of person who anyone would be honoured to count among their friends.
I'm glad she's mine!
Happy Birthday, my little chickadee!
"Love you up to the sky and back again"

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
 You make me happy, when skies are grey ...

Monday, August 27, 2012

My "wash & wear" hair

This no hair business is really turning into a positive thing for me.
Showers take no time at all now.  And since I don't have to shampoo, condition, blow dry and curl my hair, I'm not holding my arms up over my head for extended periods.  Hence, reduced shoulder pain.  And that's huge!
I'm noticing that the hair is growing (I am blessed with super-growth hair).  It's already starting to stick up and out.  But it isn't long enough yet to be combed down.  And it certainly isn't long enough to be styled!
Not sure what I'll do for that in-between stage but I guess I'd best figure something out because I'm almost there.
Hats will cover the problem when I go out -- 'cept I hate wearing hats and I'm having tremendous difficulty finding something I like.
Of course, as it grows out, should I find a wash and wear style that I really like, it will be a challenge to keep it.
There has always been a downside to my trying to have wash and wear hair -- it is only truly at that stage for about ten days tops.  Then it grows!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Had My Second Synvisc Injection

On Friday, I had my second Synvisc injection.
And OMG, it hurt just as much as the first.
The doctor was going to do the right knee first and I asked her to do the left one first.  Last week, it hurt but not quite as much as the right one.
Sure enough, it hurt -- and it seemed to take forever.
Then she did the right knee -- which hurt ever so much more -- but it went much more quickly.
Both she and I commented simultaneously that it was much quicker on the right knee than the left.  I was puzzled.
She said that she had thought she had noticed the same phenomenon the first time (which I had also noticed).  The only explanation she could give was that my left knee must have a lot of scar tissue.  As to the more severe pain in the right knee, that is a direct result of its arthritis being more advanced.
She sent me on my way, advising me to again take it easy for the rest of the day (like I had a choice!).
The rest of the day was a goner.  The pain was intense so I took a codeine contin and vegged out.  But still the discomfort was evident.
Yesterday, I again took it easy although the pain was all but gone (unless I stood too long or tried to use my knee muscles).
This morning, almost 48 hours since the injections, both knees are about back to normal.
I can't yet see any improvement in the knees.  But I have one more round of injections to go.
Apparently, it could be a week after the final shots before I know if this treatment is successful.
All I can say is:  it bloody well better be!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I hate computers!

I do.  Really I do.
We've been in the process of changing hosting services (my husband, God bless him, decided he didn't like our current provider and wanted to return to our original provider).
Since I have to play the role of "administrator" with whomever we are using, I switch my services so that we keep everything with one provider.  It's just easier!
Our current service expires tomorrow.
So on Monday I called the new guys (actually the "original" guys) and put into play the process of transferring everything (three domain names for John; three domain names for me; two hosting services for John; one for me).
Yesterday morning, the hosting services were transferred and ready to go, says the e-mail.  Just wait ten minutes from receipt of the e-mail and you're good to go.
Sure.  Easily a  good hour and half later, I'm ready to upload to their server.
None of the three worked.
Grrrrr, I hate computers.
Yesterday afternoon, the e-mail informed me they had reset everything and all should work fine.
This morning, I'm still trying.
When I told them nothing worked yet, they thought it would be a good idea to send me THE NEW PASSWORDS that they had assigned when they reset everything yesterday.
Voila.  Everything works just tickety-boo now.  Imagine that.
Have I mentioned that I hate computers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Physio day

Today is physio day.
Which means a trip into the big city.
This will be my first outing as the new me.
No, I will not be wearing a wig.
Just a sun hat to protect my head from sunburn.
There's gonna be some 'splainin' to do when I get there!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The new me

Some weeks ago, my step daughter-in-law and I were discussing her status as she travels her second journey of breast cancer treatment (she thought she had conquered it thirty years ago).
The idea of losing all her hair was distressing her and the loss had already started.
I promised her that when it happened, I would shave my head too.
Last week, she took the plunge and asked her daughter-in-law to shave off what little hair she had left.
Yesterday, I let her do the honours for me.
Think of the freedom.
My showers will be so much quicker now.
No more blow drying and curling my hair.
I truly have "wash and wear" hair ... for a while.
Think of the money I'll save on haircuts ... for a while.
And who knows, as regrowth happens, I might even find a style I really like!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Now for the knees

The time has come to address the issue of my knee pain.
When I saw my orthopaedic surgeon last week, he assessed my knee x-rays and explained why I have the discomfort I have.  But the arthritis is early-stage and surgery would not be recommended at this point.
Good thing because I wouldn't even consider surgery now.  I have discomfort, not excruciating pain.
My concern is that because of the difficulty that I am having with my knees, it is affecting my gait.  That in turn is affecting my hip which will hasten the need for replacement of my right hip.
Truth be known, I'd prefer to delay any further surgery for as long as I can.
So, what can we do to alleviate the pain in my knees which right now causes great difficulty going down stairs (or any downward incline when walking).  They also ache terribly after about a half hour in the car.
Cortisone shots are one option but I really don't want to go that route.
When I asked about pursuing Synvisc injections, he told me that I was a perfect candidate for that treatment because my arthritis is at exactly the stage where good results are usually had.
He wrote the prescription, I found a doctor here in town who can administer the shots and today was the day.
OMG it hurt!
Now I have to stay off my feet for 48 hours, no weight-bearing anything (which means I can't do my stationary bike for the next two days).
And next Friday, and the Friday after that, I do it all again.  (And yes, she told me it would hurt just as much each of the next two times!)
Why oh why does it have to cost me so much to be tortured so????
This had better work!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

It was swimmers' ear!

It took my ENT guy a nano-second to diagnose my recent bout of ear infections.
Swimmers' ear!
Yup.  Without my having been in an infected swimming pool.
Seems it's not all that unusual for someone who wears hearing aids to have the problem in the heat wave conditions we've been experiencing this summer.
Stays hot and muggy for days on end, one sweats a lot.  (And Lord knows I do that!)
Well, so too do the ears sweat.  The hearing aids are actually a plug, preventing the sweat from leaving the ear.  Perfect breeding ground for bacteria.  And before you know it, an infection develops.
Makes perfect sense when you think about it.
How to prevent it in the future?
Find at least an hour in each day to NOT wear the  hearing aids. (Like, when I'm sitting in front of the computer, perhaps looking for my dead people.)  And use a small fan to blow air at the ear (or hold a blow dryer away from the ear) to  help dry it out.  That will go a long way towards helping prevent future infections.
I was with him for less than five minutes and problem solved.  Just like that.  Such a smart man.
Makes perfect sense.  But really, who'da thunk it?????

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dem Damn Yanks!

We went to Toronto again this past weekend.
Back to see my boys play ball.
They were supposed to beat dem damn Yanks.
'Cept it didn't happen that way.
Friday night, they lost.
Saturday afternoon they lost again.
We weren't at Sunday's game -- that's the one they won.  Naturally!
On Sunday, we went to Bracebridge to visit with my cousin -- the one I hadn't seen in 47 years.  Now I've seen her twice in the space of a month and a half.
This time, we got to meet her sweetheart of a husband.  They took us for a drive around the Muskokas and we stopped to have a scrumptious lunch.

After an equally delicious breakfast on Monday morning, we bid them adieu and headed home.
Yesterday was rest day for me, although I did go see my massage therapist.  For reasons beyond my control, I've had to cancel my usual home session on Thursday this week.  Fortunately, she was able to fit me in yesterday.  It was very much needed!
Today, I'm going into the big city to see my ENT specialist.  We need to figure out why I'm getting these danged ear infections.  If we can.  Then I'll visit my physiotherapist for her ministrations (which usually happens on Tuesdays but was bumped to today since I have to see my ENT guy).
Anyway, I've gotta get out of here, so see ya later.
Tempus fugit.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday to MOI!

Finally, it's my birthday.
I've been on a countdown since the first of August, just like a little kid.
And now, at last, my day has arrived.
The Ottawa Citizen horrorscope for today reads:  "Birthday Baby:  You are insightful, charming and unique.  You are curious and intelligent."
The National Post reads:  "If Your Birthday is Today:  Singer/actress Whitney Houston (1963-2012) shares your birthday today.  You are convincing and a tower of strength to those around you.  You are courageous and determined once you have set your goals.  You like to be well-prepared and will educate yourself for any endeavour.  (You do your homework.)  You are also a giving, generous person.  Work hard to build or construct something this year because your rewards will soon follow."
I will leave it to others to assess its accuracy.
Lots to do today too.
Have to pack so we're ready to leave bright and early tomorrow morning to head off for Toronto to cheer on my beloved Blue Jays.  (They are so far out of contention that it won't matter but we are not just fair weather fans ...)
My Angel and her husband and son are joining us for dinner this evening and I am so looking forward to seeing them.
And of course, it's Thursday today so at 1:00pm, my massage therapist will arrive to do her magic, leaving me in a perfectly mellow mood to participate in that birthday dinner.
Life is good!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Serendipitous, indeed

Yesterday afternoon, our handy dandy fix-it man dropped by for a visit.  He wanted to assess the damage done in the woods as a result of that storm we had a while back (you know, the one that left us without power for 30 hours).
Anyway, he insisted that I go along for the trek.
He couldn't believe that I was able to do it without pain (in my left hip).  I couldn't believe I was able to do it at all!
I also couldn't believe the amount of devastation back there.  Trees -- huge ones -- are downed all the way through.  It will be days of work getting that mess cleaned up.  Fortunately, he knows just the man for the job and will arrange to send him in.
One thing's for sure though -- we won't lack for firewood for the next couple of winters!
And another thing I found out?
While there was no pain in my left hip for having made that trek, my right hip sure did object to it.
As did my knees.
Of course, my right hip had been giving me fits all day yesterday, presumably because I had slept on that side most of the previous night.
What is serendipitous about this event, you might ask?
Well, I'll be seeing my surgeon tomorrow morning.  Because I made that trek yesterday, I have concrete evidence to report of the progress in my left hip, and the decline in my right hip.  I'll also discuss the state of my knees -- they're becoming increasingly problematic.  As I understand it, if I don't do something to resolve the issue in my knees, my right hip will only worsen.
Best be getting on that wait list to have my right hip fixed sooner rather than later.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My "Pre" Birthday Party

Yesterday, we had my "pre" birthday party.  That's what I call it when the celebration is held prior to the actual day.
It was kept small -- a select few friends and of course my little chickadee, my striking young man, and Pauple.
I prefer that my birthday be celebrated on the actual day (and that will still happen, with my Angel and her husband and son) but my actual day falls on a Thursday this year.  Unfortunately, some people in my life still have to report to jobs during the week so in the interest of having certain important people attend, I acceded to holding a party on the Saturday afternoon before my real day.
And I'm glad I did. 
 My striking young man was trying to figure out just how much tax this must be.*
But really, did it have to be the hottest day of the year?  I don't know how high the temperature soared yesterday, but it was unbelievably hot in our home.  We don't have air conditioning, relying on ceiling and floor fans to cool us when need be.  I can assure you, they don't do the trick in this sweltering heat that we've been experiencing this summer!  Add eleven people to the room and, well -- you get the picture.
In spite of the heat, it was a wonderful afternoon spent with fabulous people.  They enjoyed the burgers and salads, (and the cake was out of this world!) and everyone was headed home by 7:00pm.
Today of course, I'm paying the price for having had such a wonderful time yesterday.
The Mack trucks were back last night, in fine form I might add.
Fortunately, one of the gifts I received (thank you, my little chickadee) was Jeffrey Archer's novel "Sins of the Father."   So I can lose myself in that while I recover over the next couple of days.  (I started reading it last night and so wanted to stay with it, but I kept nodding off!)
I should be back in form by Thursday, when my Angel, her husband and son will join us for a more intimate, quiet celebration of my birthday.
(* The rate in 2012 is 113.79% -- there are many applicable taxes!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's August already!

Here we are, the first day of the best month in the year.
I've always loved the month of August.
It's the month in which I was born so of course that makes it very special.
It's also the month in which my little chickadee was born, so that doubles its specialness.  (Don't you just love how I make up my own words for purposes of this blog?  Sure hope people don't come here to look for justification of word usage!)
Anyway, suffice to say that I love the month of August.
This morning, I upped my bicycle time to 60 minutes -- that's one full hour of biking.
Tomorrow is the last day of using these cursed drops in my ears.  I broke down this morning and put my hearing aids on though.  Couldn't tolerate the silence any longer and I figure if the infection isn't cleared up by now, it isn't getting any better by tomorrow.  And frankly, the only way I can tell if there's improvement is by seeing if I can wear my hearing aids.  They seem to be OK so I'll assume that I'm healed.
Tomorrow I also have to go have x-rays of my hip in preparation for my appointment with the surgeon next week.  I'm also having x-rays done of both knees so I can discuss that situation with the surgeon when I see him.  I don't want to pursue surgery yet but I do want his opinion about my options.  What I want to do is be referred back to my rheumatologist for injections in my knees -- I've heard that the shots are a very effective alternative to surgery.
August already -- summer is almost over yet it's only just begun!