Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's my baby's birthday!

Today marks my little chickadee's 38th birthday.   (Yes, I'm allowed to admit that I have a 38 year old daughter, although I myself am still only 29!)
My daughter entered the world at 1:16 pm on this date back in 1975, and what a terrific addition to this world she has proven to be.
She has grown to be a marvelous young woman of whom I am extremely proud.
She is a terrific daughter and a truly fabulous mother.
But most of all, my daughter has become a wonderful friend.
She was an early talker, and has been bending my ear non-stop ever since.  In her early years, I can remember wishing she had never learned to talk, she did so much of it!  Now, I look forward to her daily telephone calls, and miss the days that we can't fit one in. One would think we'd run out of things to talk about but somehow, that never seems to happen.
She grew from an adorable toddler ...

... blossomed into a truly stunning young lady ...

... and matured into a beautiful woman, inside and out.

I'm so proud to call her my daughter.
Happy birthday Natalie, my beautiful one! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Cryogenic Surgery

Last Friday, John had an appointment with our dermatologist for his six-month full body check-up.  (I only need an annual check-up because I'm "boring" as they say in the business -- which is a good thing.)
Once he was finished and had received a clean bill of health -- he's to have another once-over in six months and if that too is clear he will also be moved to annual check-ups -- I asked the doctor to take a look at a spot on my arm that was causing me some concern.
I had originally thought it was a mosquito bite but it didn't go away.
She took a look and at first glance she said it was nothing.
Until I explained that every so often, it would be bleeding when I got out of the shower.
"Oops, shades of that spot on my nose," I thought.
So she took a closer look and decided to zap it with her handy dandy freezing tool. ("Cryogenic surgery" it's called.)
She had just used it on two spots on John, and she said it's her "go-to" answer for everything.  If she's not sure, she freezes it.
She didn't give us any special instructions or tell us what to expect as a result of having had this procedure done.  (John has had it done numerous times in the past, both by his family doctor and by our dermatologist.)
Fast forward to Sunday, and this is what my arm is sporting:
Now this is located right in the fold of my arm in line with my elbow.
Never has John had this kind of a response.  I don't know what to think of this development.
Fortunately, it finally broke late yesterday afternoon (a few hours after the above photo was taken).  I can only assume that it broke from its own internal pressure.
I have no idea if this is a "normal" response to cryogenic treatment, but we're going to take a copy of the photo to our next visit with the doctor.
Just in case she has difficulty believing what we will be trying to tell her.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Aspirin Desensitization Experiment

So I saw the allergist last Monday morning.
Most interesting visit.
His office was jam-packed when I arrived for my 9:00 am appointment.  I thought it might be hours before I got in to see him.
By 9:05 am I was sitting in the inner examination room, talking with the good doctor.
While the office was full of patients, (and noisy as hell!), it is obviously run very efficiently.
Anyway, the doctor took my history and asked if I had time to do the desensitization that morning.
I had the time but I must admit I was a bit taken aback by the approach.  So different from the first allergist I had seen.  He also explained that he would use the drug Celebrex because that's the safest one for this purpose.
He's the doctor!
He sent me off to be instructed on the use of a Peak Flow Meter, and the EpiPen (just in case!).  Once I was armed with both, I was back in the room with the doctor and he gave me a quarter dose of Celebrex and sent me back to the waiting room.
Fifteen minutes later he called me back and had me check my lung function.
Still good.  
He gave me a half dose of Celebrex and again sent me back to the waiting room.
Another fifteen minutes later he called me back to again check my lung function.
Still good.
I reported to him that I was feeling light-headed and slightly disoriented (which is my usual response to Aspirin, along with vomiting).  He wasn't concerned about that -- his concern was my breathing.  So I sucked it up and decided that he could concern himself with my breathing but if the disorientation continued or worsened with use of the drug, I would terminate the experiment.  Regardless to what his concerns might be.
This time he gave me the full dose of Celebrex and returned me to the waiting room.
After another fifteen minute wait, I was called back into the inner sanctum where my lung function was again found to be good.
He wrote a prescription for Celebrex, which I am to take daily.  I am to monitor my lung function morning and evening.  If it drops below a certain level, I am to call his office.  If I go into anaphylaxis I am to use the EpiPen and go straight to the hospital.  See him again in one or two months.  (I opted for two months, not wanting to subject myself to his zoo-like atmosphere waiting room any time sooner than I have to.) 
I drove home, arriving much later than I had anticipated, had lunch and called my physiotherapist's office to cancel my appointment for the next day.  I knew there was no way I could face the round trip to the city again after the morning I had just put in.  Then I promptly crashed for the rest of the afternoon.
The next day I again crashed all afternoon.  Very unlike me.  And that evening, I battled nausea to the point where I wondered if I should prepare a bucket beside the bed.  "Just in case."
On Wednesday again I slept all afternoon and battled nausea in the evening, although it was slightly lessened from the evening before.
On Thursday, I saw my family doctor and she urged me to stick with it.  It sounded like the effects were lessening and hopefully the benefits would kick in soon.  (I wasn't yet feeling any benefit from the drug.)
By Friday I was feeling almost normal.  We were out most of the day so I obviously didn't sleep all afternoon, but I didn't feel any compelling need to sleep either.  I did however, experience horrid nausea that evening.  In fact, it was worse that any of the previous episodes.
Yesterday, I again didn't sleep through the day so I guess that effect has run its course.  And there was no nausea last night so perhaps that's the end of the ill effects.
I'm still waiting for the benefits.  I'll know when that happens when I can raise my arms above my head without pain (shampooing my hair, blow drying my hair, using the curling brush -- basically "getting beautiful").
Bottom line:  I guess I am now among the many who take Celebrex for their arthritis.  That makes my doctor really really happy.  I will join her in her elation when the benefits become obvious.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My awesome Sunday

Had a wonderful Sunday, this past weekend.
Got up early (OK, not quite as early as I should have, but ...) and drove into the big city to meet my little chickadee et al to accompany them to my striking young man's soccer 'festival' in outlying Kemptville.  (Not allowed to call these events tournaments any longer, but that's what they are!)
I stayed and watched the first of his three games, which his team 'won.'  (They also don't keep score, but everyone knows who wins.)
After the first game, we went to visit my sister (and best friend) and her husband who have a vacation trailer in the area.  If one wants to see them on a weekend or during their holidays any time from May to October, that is where they will be.
I hadn't been to see their site since some time before 2005 so it was nice to go and check out their digs again.  They really do have a lovely home away from home.
We spent a fabulous four hours visiting while the younger gang returned to the soccer field (and MSYM's team kicked butt for the other two games!).  Then they came back to get me for the return trip to their place, where I stayed overnight.  The following morning, MSYM and I had breakfast at our usual hang-out before going on about our respective days.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Close as damnit!

That's what John says my weight loss progress is.
I am now down 19.8 pounds.  My little chickadee says I could call that 20 pounds.
But until my scale reads an actual 20 pound loss, and until the numbers relate to an actual 20 pound loss, it's only 19.8 pounds.
But "only" is quite satisfactory indeed.
This 19.8 pounds is since April 11th.
And it's 9.8 pounds since July 4th, when my "fat class" finished.
I'll take it.
Another 3.8 pounds and I will be down to what I was prior to my hip replacement surgery, following which I went up again.
I will be working very hard NOT to repeat that pattern.
It's almost time now to set my next weight loss goal -- another 20 pounds.  Wonder if I can do it, or if my body thinks this is my comfort zone?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My "no-party"

OMG that was good!

That first glass of wine after six weeks' abstention was interesting indeed!  The wine I drink is very dry and one must acquire a taste for it.  After six weeks away from it, I had to learn all over again that I really like the stuff!  (It didn't take long.)
My little chickadee came through with large wine glasses, and she brought me a pair so that if one breaks, I have a spare.  (They are actually red wine glasses but we don't stand on ceremony around here.  Whatever works!)
I know, I know, the photo actually looks more like beer than wine -- but it really is wine, I promise.  What looks like the "head of beer" is simply the reflection of light from the camera flash.  Honest!

The cake wasn't quite what we ordered and it certainly wasn't decorated to Baker Bob's standards.  The message was what we requested, and the wine glass is obvious (that was John's idea and was a surprise to me -- I quite enjoyed it!).
My striking young man helped me blow out the candles (it won't be long before he'll refuse to do that!).
Then I cut into the cake to serve it.
I wasn't really paying all that much attention as I placed the pieces on the plates but John was horrified.
"That's chocolate," he exclaimed in horror.  "I clearly ordered white cake with white icing -- absolutely NO chocolate!"
Then I looked and saw that I was serving up a chocolate cake with white icing and realized that the outer decoration should have been a clue -- it was all "chocolate" lettering.  Hmmmmmmm.
We'll be taking up the matter with Baker Bob -- the birthday girl gets a chocolate cake when the birthday girl doesn't eat chocolate?  Not a good scene!
So we have half a cake that I'm not going to eat.  Quite a disappointment to the day.  Fortunately it occurred at the end of an otherwise fabulous birthday.
It really is fun being 29!

Friday, August 9, 2013

As I turn 29 ...

... for the 35th time, finally, today I can have wine again.
Unfortunately, I have to wait until a respectable hour to do so.
But, wait I will.
I mean, really, what's another few hours when I've already waited 39 days?
My little chickadee should be arriving mid-afternoon (she's returning my car today, too!) and then ... let the party begin!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Busy day today

Today being Tuesday, it's into-the-big-city day for physiotherapy, a session I always enjoy.
John has to take me in today because my little chickadee has had my vehicle since last Thursday evening for their annual camping holiday.  She'll return it on Friday when she comes here for my birthday non-party.
After my physio session, we'll go to see my friends at the computer shop to pick up my birthday gift -- a webcam and headphones for my desktop computer.
Back in July I enjoyed a Skype call with my cousin who lives in Liverpool.  But I had to fire up the laptop to do it.  So I decided that it would be nice to be able to make or receive those calls from my computer and finally, after all these years, I identified a gift that John could get me for my birthday.  He was delighted, to say the least.
That first Skype call with my UK cousin was on July 1st so we could "toast" to Canada Day.  (It was also the day I resolved not to have any more wine until my birthday.)  We are planning to connect via Skype on my birthday and have a toast again -- my first glass of wine since July 1st!
I'm not sure who's more anxious for Friday to get here -- me or John.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Discouragement on the weight front

I'm getting really discouraged with my weight loss efforts.
There's been no movement in over a month -- other than up and back down, but no net loss.
I'm only just over half way to my original goal so I can't possibly have reached that dreaded plateau yet.
Although everyone tells me I look fabulous, this weight cannot possibly be my body's "comfort" zone.  I'm still, at the very least, ten pounds heavier than I should be (and about 18-28 pounds heavier than the "charts" indicate are my ideal weight).
Admittedly, if I were to get down to what the charts show I should weigh, I'd look a lot like Twiggy. Looking like Twiggy is certainly not my goal.
I simply want to get down to a healthy weight for me.
And I know that I'm almost there.  It's just taking forever to get there!
John keeps saying that "almost" counts.
Yeh, in horseshoes maybe.

Friday, August 2, 2013

One more week

Only a week to go until my birthday, and that coveted glass (bottle) of wine.   It's gonna taste soooooooooooooo good!
After a bit of a set back on the weight front, I'm back to within 5.8 pounds of my 'birthday' goal (but just 2.2 pounds of that tummy tuck doctor discussion goal).
I'll obviously not make the birthday goal.  But I guess the tummy tuck goal is still within range.
I have an August 15th appointment to see my doctor (she too is away on holidays right now) and I will discuss the hip surgery and the tummy tuck surgery with her then.
I'm guessing the tummy tuck will have to take a back seat to the hip.
Damn, maybe for my 65th birthday I'll treat myself to that tummy tuck.
What's another two years when I've already waited 30, right?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

This cursed hip

My physiotherapist has determined that it's time for me to see my surgeon and step up plans for replacement of my right hip.  What brings her to that conclusion, you might ask?
Well, I've been having increasing difficulty of late.
Especially sleeping.
I still go to sleep on my left side and thankfully, I can do that now with little to no pain.  But at some point I flip onto my back, presumably because I can't tolerate the pressure on my left hip. (You know -- that bursitis that I don't have?)
After being on my back for only a short while (those breathing issues you know!), I switch to my right side.  (I wake up for that change, simply because I can't yet make the move without almost sitting up.)
Then the fun starts!
I have no idea how long I actually stay on my right side.  But once the pain hits, it's excruciating.  No slow build up for me.  It's just right there.  Bang!
And the damned pain lingers -- for hours upon hours.
Driving too has become a problem again.  Since it's my right hip, I don't have to tell you how serious an issue that can be.  The movement of my foot from the gas to the brake sometimes causes intense pain in my groin.  (Pain on internal rotation -- indicative of the osteoarthritis.)
So, when I reported all this to my physiotherapist she encouraged me to contact my surgeon and get on the list for that next surgery.
Here we go again!