Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My hair update

It's just over two months since I shaved my head in support of my step daughter-in-law's ordeal with chemo therapy to treat her recurring breast cancer.  (That's me on the left.)
My hair is growing "in leaps and bounds" as John says.  On his return from his recent five day hunting trip, he couldn't believe how much it had grown.
There still isn't enough hair to do anything with though.  It can't be styled.  It sort of just sits there.
But there is enough to give me "bed head" in the morning.  Now it has to be wet down and put in place.

And I found out yesterday that it is now long enough to bother me if I don't wash it.
You see, I have very oily hair and while it was really short, that wasn't an issue.  Well, it's become an issue again because I have just enough hair that the oils are very noticeable to me.  And I can't abide the feeling.  Yucko!
My hairdresser has advised me to wait until my December 18th appointment before she does anything with it.  She figures that by then, there should be enough hair for her to actually work with.  That will mark exactly four months to the day since my head was shaved.
I'll put more progress photos up at that point -- the before and after shots.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I did it. I did it!

I slept over seven hours straight last night!  Haven't done that since I don't when.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I came to consciousness this morning and looked at the clock. "5:45 am???? Can't be,"  I thought.  "This is my first wake-up."
Then it hit me.  "I've slept more than seven hours right through.  Unbelievable!"
The CPAP machine registered 7.8 hours but it takes me close to a half hour just to get to sleep, I'm sure.
I woke up on my back, suggesting that I slept the bulk of the night that way.  I go to sleep on my left side, and switch to my back after about two hours -- that's usually my first wake-up.  Switching to my right side some two hours later causes my next wake-up.  Then I usually wake again when I revert to my back some two hours after that, etc.  I know I can move to my back without waking up, but I cannot move to my side unless I'm awake.  So when I rolled to my back the first time, I must have stayed there.
That Tylenol Arthritis is obviously giving me systemic relief, something I'm sure the doctor will be pleased to hear on Thursday.
And of course, if I continue to enjoy the benefit of improved sleep, things can only look up from here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sorry for the lack of posts

It's been rather busy around here the past couple of days.
You see, we had a "wood gathering bee" yesterday.
And in preparation for said bee, Friday was spent grocery shopping and cooking and baking.
First, we went for our flu shots on Friday morning before hitting the grocery store.  When we returned from there, I had to bake two pies (one apple, one blueberry). Once that was done, I had to prepare two lasagna dishes (one with yucky green stuff, one without).  Then I had to clean up from that preparation.
By the time all that had happened, it was drinky poo time.  And oh what a glorious day it was for drinks on the deck.  On the 26th of October no less!  That was followed by dinner, followed by an early bedtime.  My day was done (read:  no time to blog).
Yesterday, I didn't even have time to finish reading my morning newspaper before the first car arrived (my two step-sons) to start the wood hauling.  They and John got to work right away.  About an hour later the next car arrived (my little chickadee, Pauple, and my striking young man).  Pauple joined the men on the wood detail.
My striking young man wasn't feeling up to snuff but he managed the energy to help clean the deck and the patio of the mess of leaves that collect there.  Little chickadee and I moved the leaves from the edges and he pushed them off and away from the house.  He worked very hard.  (My muscles are still letting me know how hard I worked.)
At 1:30 pm, I prepared the Caesar Salad; the lasagna was almost ready to come out of the oven.  We had a wood shed full of wood and the boys were ready to eat.  And eat they did!
By 4:00 pm, everyone went home and the kitchen was returned to its normal state. (Of course, my little chickadee had helped with the clean-up before she left.)
Suffice to day, I was again tired to the bone, but not nearly as depleted as John.  I sent him to take a massage bath to ease his aching muscles, which he did.  He'll thank me later for that piece of advice.
So my faithful readers, please forgive me for not having posted while all this was going on.  I'm sure you'll understand that I had other, more pressing priorities.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aaaaah, it's Thursday!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Thursdays?
This is my massage day and I soooo look forward to it.
I spend the morning lolling about in my jammies (although I do get on that bike for 30 minutes, and I most certainly do my stretches and exercises).
At around noon I jump in the shower to get all spiffed up and ready for my therapist.
She always arrives promptly at 1:00pm (today will be 1:30pm), sets up the table and converts my sanctuary to a private treatment room for an hour.
When she leaves, I get dressed and relocate to the living room, where I relax for the rest of the day, allowing my body to retain maximum benefit from the massage.  Sometimes, I nod off before dinner.
The therapy always leaves me in a very mellow state.
Thursday is truly a wonderful day in my world!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Remembering "Bullies"

Talk of late has turned to bullying since this latest, most public of teen suicides.  And as I read the many letters and columns in the newspapers about past cases of bullying, I find myself recalling my experiences.  

Yes, I said experiences.  As in plural occurrences.

I was a victim of bullying.  And not just once.

As I think back on my life, there were many instances of my being bullied.  And I knew it was wrong at the time.  I knew I was being victimized.  But I wasn't heard when I brought my complaints to those in positions of authority.  More often than not, I was told to "get a tougher skin" or "grow up" because "that's life, don't you know?"  

It started while I was in grade school, as early as grade three.  "Red head, piss the bed," the children would taunt as they danced around me.  How could they know that I still wet the bed, I wondered?  Of course it didn't help that my mother handled my late-age bed wetting in the worst possible way.  (She too taunted me about it, only making the situation worse.  I would continue to wet the bed until age twelve.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Success, maybe?

When I saw my doctor on Thursday, she suggested that I try introducing Tylenol Arthritis to my daily regimen of meds.  Three times a day, every day, she said.  It should help give me relief in my hands.
I questioned the effect that might have on my liver, so she offered to monitor me with a blood test in two months if I was concerned about that.  (She also assured me that as long as I didn't exceed the 3xday dosage, there was no need for concern.)
As of that evening, I started taking Tylenol Arthritis.
And I can happily report that it seems to be working.
My hands are soooo much better than they have been in a very long time.
Such a simple solution.
Who'd a thunk it?

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This being Thursday, I am very much looking forward to my massage therapy session this afternoon.
Lord knows I need it!
On Tuesday, my physiotherapist gave me a couple of new exercises to do to help with this damned bursitis.  Every time we add new exercises, I find new pains for a while -- although it's always short term pain for long term gain.  She has never steered me wrong yet so I know I will soon be seeing the benefit.
Yesterday, we ran around doing errands and added a side trip to the book store (we both love browsing there!).  Too many stops for me and I wore myself out.  Oooops!
This morning, I see my (new) family doctor to have my physical.  I plan to discuss with her this issue of bursitis vs need for hip replacement.  I really don't know what to think about my right hip.  I need guidance!  (I also need help understanding the why of the bursitis in my "new" left hip.)
Of course, the other hot topic with her will be my hands.  They continue to be problematic but the swelling is very intermittent.  I'm sure it would be much easier to diagnose if something would remain persistent long enough for her to witness it.
In any event, I'll come home from that appointment to get ready for a wonderful hour of massage therapy, after which I will probably take a short nap.
My angel and her husband are joining us for dinner this evening and I'm quite looking forward to their visit.   Haven't seen them in quite some time so that will be an enjoyable way to end my Thursday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My "Get up 'n go" ...

... has got up 'n gone!
For the past couple of days, I have just been "blah" in the energy department.
No explanation.
I've done pretty much nothing.
Which, of course, doesn't help because the less I do, the less I can do.
On Saturday, I managed to get in 30 minutes on the bicycle in spite of myself (forgot to do my stretches & exercises -- oops).
Yesterday, I did my stretches & exercises but couldn't get on that bike.  Just couldn't muster up the strength!
Today, I've already done my stretches & exercises (took everything I had!) and I will do the bike (I promise).
I have to.
My hands continue to be a major problem.  They ache terribly if I hold them lower than my waist.  That suggests swelling, although there is no visible evidence of swelling. (John says he can see the swelling.)  The redness is there though.  If I hold them up (like a surgeon entering the OR), I can feel the blood rushing downward and the relief of pain.  As soon as I lower them, the pain starts again.  Really, I can't walk around with my hands up in the air all the time!
Yesterday, my knees were giving me trouble again.  I moved in a certain way that caused my right knee to feel like it had come dislodged.  And the pain remained for the rest of the day.  I think the left knee was hurting in sympathy with the right.  Today, they feel almost OK.  I'm concerned that perhaps I didn't get the benefit from those Synvisc shots that I thought I had.  I guess my jury is still out.
Both hips are still an issue too, causing me to wake frequently to change position.  Obviously, my quality of sleep is way down.  I guess I need look no further for the "why" of my no energy.
I'm seeing my doctor for my physical on Thursday morning this week.  I booked extra time to discuss the matter of my osteoarthritis and the bursitis in my hips (and the frequency of mack trucks visiting me during the night).  I'm hoping she has some suggestions ...
Who knows, maybe there's something I haven't tried yet.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Colours

Don't you love going for drives in the autumn and seeing all the beautiful fall colours?

Fortunately for me, I don't have to go very far for that enjoyment.

This is the view I see every time I approach home at this time of year ...

Gorgeous isn't it?

All I have to do is look out any window to take in the beauty that is all around my home.

And that is just one of the reasons I love living in the woods!
(Photos courtesy of John T. Fowler,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Enjoying "Alone" Time

My houseguest went home yesterday.
It was such a joy having her here.  We were calling this our "personal spa" and she declared it an excellent spa indeed.
Mostly, we just sat and read.
Each afternoon we had tea and biscuits.  And we chatted.  Just getting to know each other that much better.
It was a delightful couple of days.
But she wanted to go home yesterday because she was worried about her cats.
She'll be back early tomorrow because our husbands will be returning some time mid to late afternoon.  And her husband needs a drive home from here.
In the meantime, I get to enjoy some solitude of my own.
Short, but sweet nonetheless.
At 1:00pm today, my massage therapist will arrive and will find me already mellowed.  I'm sure she'll notice that I'm not nearly as tight as I usually am for these sessions.
Solitude is good for the soul ... not to mention what it does for my well being.
Aaaaaahhhh, we take what we can get.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.
Tomorrow, families gather to give thanks for their bounty (some families will do that today).
John will leave at dawn tomorrow for a week's bird hunting with his son.
My favourite step daughter-in-law and I will spend the week here, finally having the quality time together that we never manage at any other time of the year.
Our week is fairly well filled with commitments though.
Tomorrow, we will go to my little chickadee's place to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with her and hers.  We will spend the night there since neither of us relishes the idea of the long drive back in the dark.
Tuesday, Suzanne has to present herself at the hospital for blood work.  We'll do that right after we breakfast with my striking young man (bonus!).  Then we'll head back here for quiet time together.
We'll enjoy a full day of doing nothing on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, she has to present herself at the hospital again on Thursday for a chemo treatment.  I don't know yet if I have to take her in for that, or if she can go alone (she might need a driver).  If she does need a driver, I will be cancelling my massage therapy in order to accommodate her.
Our husbands will be home on Friday and then the rat race will start again.
But, in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
We have much for which to be thankful.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm really in a funk

I am in such a funk I shouldn't be allowed to be near anyone.
I shouldn't even be blogging, it's that bad!
So, in the interest of preserving my reputation as a level-headed, all around nice person, I'll close here.
That's all I have to say for today, other than ...
(Sing along with me)
The sun will come out tomorrow ...

Monday, October 1, 2012

This is week four now

Frankly, I've had enough of this.
It's now been four weeks since my hands flared up.
And there's been very little change.
When I wake in the morning, they are throbbing something fierce.
Throughout the day, as long as I don't use them, they aren't too bad.
But the pain starts again as soon as I start doing anything -- and I mean anything.

  • Lift a coffee cup.
  • Read the newspaper.
  • Make the bed.
  • Get dressed.
  • Drive the car (holding the steering wheel is especially painful).
  • Type (or write using pen & paper).
  • Work in the kitchen.

You name it.  If I do it, my hands hurt.
I went for bloodwork this morning.  I'll book an appointment with my doctor to have my physical mid-October.  We'll discuss the findings then.
That will be six weeks since the onset of this problem. I wonder if my hands will be any better by then?