I’m sure there are others who feel the same way. I’m so sick of all the illnesses we’ve had in our household. I believe there has been at least one illness infecting our home since before Christmas. We are on our second strep incident in less than a month. I have some kind of virus…feeling much better than I have in the last 5 or so days but still have a hoarse voice, cough and extremely tired. On top of the day-to-day illnesses, I’m fairly certain that I’m pretty anemic now too. I had an abnormally heavy cycle over the weekend and a Crohn’s/UC flare-up began on Sat. And, it’s not a minor flare-up. A good amount of blood loss in outputs.
I know my doctor will again push daily shots of Humira. I’m very much against the treatment. I think he was using a scare tactic by telling me I had to take the shots to prolong my life so I can see my kids grow-up. Hmmm, not exactly the best thing to say to a person who is dealing with Post-tramatic stress and severe anxiety due to her step-father being killed in a horrible construction accident on Christmas day ’09; which was in a string of deaths affecting our family. I was literally scared to death of death. It was all I could think about. I didn’t want my hubby going to work. I didn’t want my kids going to school. With that aside, I’m still shocked my doc used this approach. At the time I thought ‘ok, this is really serious. I’m going to have to take the shots.’ I’ve been through numerous docs in the last 15 years and he is one of the ones one I’ve trusted the most so that does weigh-in on my decision. On the other hand, I’ve been in much worse shape…like in the hospital without food for several days. I wasn’t bleeding, not throwing up, not in sever pain…was the Humira really necessary??
Over the course of the last 18 months and a few unfortunate situations, the trust I had in my doc has been trickling. In the past, I’ve respond well to antibiotics and he refuses to use them in treatment. We used to have a relationship where he presented the options and then together we choose what to do…not anymore.
When this Humira issue began budding its ugly face, he even presented me with paperwork to apply for charity assistance due to the drug’s cost. To me, the cost doesn’t even qualify as a reason to consider not taking the shots. Giving my self the shot would be a compliance issue. However, the largest reason is their own pamphlet/brochure! Every single page addressed the side affects of the meds..in a rather large font size for a brochure. Then you begin considering why each page is designed around these warnings. Did the government require the warnings? Is the company that unsure about their product? It is a product after all, not just a treatment.
No matter the reason, after a flex-sigmoidoscopy, I was able to get around the shots. However, I continued and still have this pain in my upper abdomen off and on. I should have been scheduled for a colonoscopy not a flex-sig. I questioned it twice and the nurses insisted the flex-sig is what I needed. When I was on the table and the doctor walked in he was prepared for a colonoscopy. Ugh! Duh! He claimed that he had changed his mind after my appointment and someone forgot to call and tell me. Accidents do happen and I settled with that. We proceeded with a flex-sig just to get an idea of the amount of inflammation in the lower portion of my colon. Turned out, it wasn’t bad enough for the shots.
I went back for another check-up and again complained of the pain. I had noticed by then the pain did correlate with how many outputs I was having. If I was backed up, the pain was there. If my outputs were fairly normal, there’s no pain. He said his guess is that the lining of my colon is thickening causing some discomfort when I’m constipated. He once again began his debate for Humira. I insisted on first having a colonoscopy (my preferred choice), or even in the least a CAT scan. He chose the scan. I thought about it and called back saying I really thought a colonoscopy was warranted. Nope, he wanted the scan….which ended up showing ZERO, zip, nothing…expect for a $5,000 bill. Still no answer to my pain but it got me off the hook where Humira was concerned. He said that over the last 5 years, I have had ‘smoldering inflammation’ that will end up with the need for surgery if I choose not to take the shots later down the road. Generally, the main area of inflammation is in the last 32 cm of my colon. Therefore, I will likely end up with a colostomy. Again, a scare tactic?? I truly believe a lot of this has to do with the endometriosis which surrounds my colon in the same spot, just on the outside of the colon. My GYN tends to agree. My GI disagrees. But she’s a she and he’s a he.
I missed my last GI appointment because he had to reschedule – I’ve yet to reschedule. I’m almost out of my meds and now with the bleeding as it is, I’ve got to buck up, stop avoiding the problem and do something. Recently, I saw a friend of mine who also has Crohn’s and the same doc. He’s been pushing the Humira on her, too. All I said was that I was having some issues with him. She said she was too. Then I brought up the Humira. We both have the same reason for our issues. Why is he pushing so hard? I’m just not convinced that the pro’s out-equal the con’s in this instance. Especially since he pushed her to take Remicade and high levels of prednisone. Neither treatment helped. She ended up having surgery and as a result of those meds she’s now been diagnosed with has Lupus and osteoarthritis…she has two biological children and two step-daughters.
Should I even bother going back to him though? I’ve been seriously considering just changing docs, yet again. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. I don’t even feel like I can go to our local support group for suggestions because he is an intricate part of the group. And, then I begin asking myself, why is he practicing like he is…I don’t want to think about the possibilities…..
Thanks for listening!!
In the last year or so my hubby’s soda pop consumption has increased dramatically. At first I didn’t realize just how much he was drinking. When I found out he was going to our small town gas station every morning, and drinking at least 52 oz. just while he was there, I became concerned. Especially for his health but when you start adding up the money he spends it’s an item you actually have to budget for each month. I tried buying can soda as well as the 2 liter bottles but he rather prefers the fountain soda.
So when I found a giveaway at The Freebie Junkie.com, I was pretty excited. The contest loot includes:
Winner’s choice of black/silver, white or red/silver Fountain Jet
CO2 which makes over 100 liters of soda
2 reusable carbonating bottles
A sample pack of flavors
and 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice
How does SodaStream nutrition stack up against national brands?
Check out the full list here
Calories Carbs Sugar Sodium Caffeine
All SodaStream regular sodamix uses a mixture of Splenda® and sugar. Diet flavors are sugar-free, sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener. Comparison is based on 8 fl. oz. serving size (0.34 fl. oz. of SodaStream sodamix per 8 fl. oz. of water). Info provided from The Freebie Junkie.com
My general practitioner once told me that 80% of people in the U.S. are either dehydrated or borderline dehydrated. Primarily from drinking so much soda pop and coffee. We become tired with fatigue and begin consuming more soda pop and coffee. Which in turn de-hydrates us. It’s a vicious circle. Even though one of my New Year’s goals is to drink at least 70 oz. of water a day, I know I’m guilty of my coffee addiction (and sometimes Mt. Dew). Whether we win the SodaStream or not I truly hope it becomes the new trend in our country saving people both money and bone structure.
I’m crossing my fingers, toes, legs, eyes and all in hopes that by some chance win the contest. I would love to give this a try to help my husband cut down his gas station soda pop addiction!!
Stop by The Freebie Junkie to read more and enter her contest! While you are there check out all of the other awesome freebies or nearly freebies.
Thank you to Angie of The Freebie Junkie for providing us all with great offers and freebies!!
Through most of college I had two choices for working on papers and projects. Using the library computer lab, the computer lab in my dorm or on a Macintosh at home or on loan from my mom. Back then, no one and I mean no one used Mac’s. It was such a hassle to convert files back and forth between Windows and the Mac. Losing data, reformatting, etc… Ugh! It frustrates me just thinking about it.
In recent years, Apple has cleaned up its image and products…first it was the iPod, iPhone and now the buzz is the new MacBook Pro and iPad. My Dell is almost 7 years old. Which is almost unheard of considering the software that’s used on it. There was a period of time when I had hardly used it because my PC was the only machine with my Adobe software. A little over a year ago I was able to put the Adobe CS 3 onto the Dell. It decreased my productivity and it slowly began having numerous problems. Last week it stop working. I’m not an impulse buyer…I’ve done it twice with big buck items and both times I’ve been bit in the butt. For the last 6 months or so I’ve been doing my homework. Not all designers use the Mac but a high percentage do. After the Dell decided to get an attitude I was forced to make a decision. And, thus….
I’m now a Mac Daddy Girl!!
I’ve had a few problems with my Verizon USB stick working and have yet to put on the Adobe CS?. That’s my project for this weekend. Unfortunately, with my current workload, I do not have the luxury of waiting months to decide which version I should purchase. I am excited about checking out the App Store. I’ve heard about some very nice inexpensive apps that will make life easier.
With these new tools, I hope to be closer to finishing my new blog layout. Cross your fingers!
**Special note…Tuesday’s Top Ten Tips will be about combating Cabin Fever in your children. Check back tomorrow!!***
Last week, as the co-chairperson, I was part of a group of women who completed the making of our first school cookbook. Although it was a relief to have it complete, I did enjoy the process and would do it again. We worked with Morris Press on the project and look forward to seeing the final product.
It was a fairly simple process to enter recipes however, their system works best with Internet Explorer. As a Firefox user I ran into a few hiccups such as making changes to recipes to then find the changes weren’t saved. I bit frustrating after spending a great deal of time entering recipe after recipe. Another disadvantage I found was the inability to submit our class recipes. Each class was given a task of creating a special recipe: A recipe for Love, a recipe for building a snowman, a recipe for a scarecrow, a recipe for learning, etc… Due to the lack of food ingredients they would not accept these unique recipes.
We were impressed with the pricing and selection of free designs. There are various layout choices, font choices, divider choices, a free list of kitchen tips and a free list of contributors.
We saved $0.25 per book by typing the recipes ourselves. It was simple to do. We found many mistakes or blips from contributors…issues that someone at Morris Press would not know how to deal with doing.
Tips for making a successful cookbook for your organization or school:
- Use TypNSave software to enter recipes
- Designate groups specific types of recipes. For instance, our pre-K classes brought in appetizers, Kindergartens brought in Soups and Salads, 1st Side dishes, and so on.
- Set guidelines ahead of time…such as measurement abbreviations. They provide suggestions on each page for abbreviations.
- Have a typing party! Get a group of gals together with their laptops and type away.
It is rewarding to know that the proceeds from the cookbook sales will be given to our school’s playground equipment fund…our equipment desperately needs replacement. Next, we begin our marketing plan….
Have a Happy Monday and great week!!
Snow is on its way, ugh, a neighbor just had robins in her yard. That’s early for us…but doesn’t that mean spring is right around the corner?? Why are we getting 10 inches of snow?
So last night was Pickle’s monthly 4-H meeting and I left the evening yearning to be a young 4-H’er again. Pickle choose his club because it was his daddy’s…which I think is pretty sweet. The club meets in a nearby town, out of our school district, where my hubby grew up. I lived there for 2 years but have lost touch with many friends. We are both meeting new people and I’m re-connecting with old acquaintances. Last night, while riding in the fanciest semi-tractor he’s even seen, he finally got to know his first two ‘friends.’ Yay!
The meeting was called to order, treasurer’s report, minutes, etc…then came the demonstrations. The boys went first since they were headed out to see the semi. The first little guy made electricity from a potato…way neat! The next demonstration was the ice breaker to one of Pickle’s new friendships. A demonstration about firearms. I’ve never seen the boy so focused and attentive. (At the last meeting his other new friend did a demonstration about trapping…a rapport was immediately built.) Then the guys took off and the girls stayed behind to hear one more demonstration from a little gal who was making brownies. My mind began wandering and reminiscing. The club to which I belonged was all girls. Lots of demonstrations on baking, quilting, sewing, knitting, arts and crafts, etc… One of the best ever that I think about often as I bake, giggling as I go, was a how NOT to do a demonstration on baking cookies.
Two girls worked together…one demonstrating the proper way to bake – hair tied back, hands washed, ingredients prepared, recipe in hand, correct measuring utensils, etc… The next demonstrator had dirty hands, hair dangling in the batter, chomping on some gum which was then accidentally dropped it in the batter. The gum was picked up followed by digging a dirty finger into the batter for a taste test. Yum-no! The final scene had the audience rolling when she ‘borrowed’ (without asking) baking soda from the other gal. As they fought over the box, it opened sending soda flying everywhere, some landing in the bowl, a puff in the air and an unrehearsed covering of the ‘not-so-proper’ baker’s face. I was hilarious! (If I don’t say so myself.) We had a blast doing that demonstration! I had a blast in 4-H and credit those years for the person I am today.
Now, back to reality…the brownie demonstration came to a close and it was announced that a local florist would be teaching the girls about flower arranging…my heart went pitter-patter. I had forgotten how much I love to arrange flowers. A little known fact you probably don’t know about me is that in college I took a semester course on flower arranging. It came in very handy for our wedding. I did the arrangements for the reception. If only I could master growing the flowers.
I’m no green thumb…in fact, I’m more of your purple, black and pink thumb variety that’s been hit by a hammer. I pretend to be a gardener who designs beautiful landscaping around my matching wrap around porch and home. If you’ve talked to my neighbors, you’ll understand why I should just stick to arranging the flowers and not growing them.
After watching the florist make up a couple different arrangements, each girl made their own. As I watched the girls go crazy over the flowers it made REALLY want to have a little girl. It was so much fun to see them squealing with delight. Unfortunately, the meeting did need to come to an end. What better way to conclude the workshop with the throwing of a wedding bouquet! What fun we had! The girls left with smiles on their faces and an arrangement in their hands.
I left running for the truck so I could get home and look online for open floral assistant positions. You, know, in my free time.
Oh, and the boys had a great time too. :0)
This past weekend I had the opportunity to meet some extraoridnary people and inspirational bloggers while attending the 2010 iBlog Conference.
Since this was my first blogging conference, I went in without expectations. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with the generosity of each speaker as they share tips and secrets to their success. It was a wonderfully intimate atmosphere where I was blessed to meet or interact with almost every attendee.
The Hotel Pattee was amazing and a breath of fresh air. The decor in each room was represented of a different theme. I roomed with a good friend who is also a dairy mama. It was as those they knew which room was most appropriate for us. We stayed in the Quilt Room where quilts were everywhere and there was an emphasis on the dairy industry. What’s more, the room reminded me of the room my mom and aunt shared as children. We still stay in it from time to time. This trip was the first trip in a long time that I did not end up being sick. I have to credit that wonderful room with keeping my anxiety at bay.
The entire weekend was outstanding. Most importantly, I’m confident that this experience will assist me in arriving to another “bucket list” goal of becoming a freelance writer. In an effort to better market myself I will soon be moving to http://www.themagicfarmhouse.com where I will be able to promote myself and services.
I will keep you posted!
I had hoped to share more of this past weekend’s Cub Scout Campout but it’s the Crohn’s disease that I need address today. In an effort to help others with IBD or IBS, please note I will be openly discussing the Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Disease symptoms.
Two Friday nights ago I ended up in the ER or the ED as they’re calling it now. The Thursday before I woke up with a soreness in my back on the upper left quadrant. On Fri., the pain had increased and moved to the front, in addition to the back. pneumonia has been going around and although I didn’t have any cold symptoms, I had a friend who also didn’t have the cold symptoms but did have pneumonia. So I thought it’d be best to go in to my family doc so I didn’t end up in Prompt Care or the ER over the weekend. Wishful thinking at least.
I was able to get in with his nurse practitioner who did send me for a chest xray to rule out pneumonia. She said it could be a lot of things and that we would start there. she did warn that if I were to develop a rash it could be Shingles (Yay! Great!). She also recommended going to the ER if I became feverish or if the pain increased. By midnight I was experiencing lots of pain no matter what I did…sitting, laying down, laying on my side, standing, stretching, etc… Then my abdomen began to spasm as though there was a child inside kicking non-stop.
So as many do, I jumped on the ol’mighty internet where I read myself scared. It could be my pancreas…the same place my sister-in-law’s mom has cancer. Then I mentioned to my hubby that according to one of the diagrams, the pain is located near my spleen. He answered by saying “Ya, I’ve heard a ruptured spleen can’t be good.” The combo of the pain and fear prompted me to get dressed, put my shoes on and hit the road. Thirty minutes later I was exiting the interstate and taking a right to the ER parking lot. The doctor initially thought it was a kidney stone. They gave me pain meds which relieved some of the pain and then waited for the CT scan and blood draw results. The CT scan showed a clear kidney but heavy amounts of stool in my transverse colon. My blood study also showed that my hemoglobin had fallen from the last draw putting me at 10.6. :o(
I already have an upcoming appointment with my Gastro so from there I followed up with my nurse practitioner about three days later. Due to the drop in my hemoglobin she did another blood draw. It dropped even more. She suggested seeing a Hemotologist. This is a road I’ve gone down a couple of times. In our area there’s only one doc who specializes in my type of anemia.
**Background on anemia treatments attempted….About three years ago he prescribed iron infusions. It was during the winter and the day of my first infusion the truck gelled up. I was able to get to the farm and pick up my in-laws car but I was still about 20 min. late to the appointment. Since I still had another 40 min. drive, I had called ahead to give them a heads up and make sure I could still get the infusion. Long story short…they said to go ahead and come. By the time I arrived I was pretty stressed. They started the iron drip and I went into anaphylactic shock. It was the scariest experience ever. It began with nausea, back pain, then I couldn’t breath and finally I went temporarily blind. After some serious Benadryl the nurses got everything under control. The doctor felt that the combination of not being pre-medicated with the Benadryl and the stressful morning resulted in the anaphylactic shock. We attempted it a second time with the same result.
Back to the real story…I ended up agreeing to see the Hematologist after talking with the Gastro at my appointment Oct. 18th. The next day I received a phone call from my Gastro at about 6pm. I haven’t seen him since Jan. Based on my last three scopes and a CT Scan that’s a few years old, he strongly felt that I needed to begin administering daily shots of Humira. I explained that I will not begin taking the medication which has numerous side-affects, based on a guess of how my colon looks at this time. I asked if he would like to do a full colonoscopy or a CT scan. I had the CT scan done this morning.
The technician indicated that if they found something serious I’d be notified before the end of the day. Otherwise I should hear from my doctor’s office before the end of the week.
So now we wait. And search for additional research. And, contemplate finding a somewhat local support group.
I’ll keep you posted…and tomorrow my post will be light-hearted and will focus on the skits from the Cub Scout campout.
Thank you for staying tuned!
I just finished reading a post on BlogHer by Susan Nieber. (taken from BlogHer.com) “Susan Niebur writes about the joy of life after cancer at http://toddlerplanet.wordpress.com and http://motherswithcancer.com, where twenty mothers with cancer share their stories every day. She also blogs about her work for NASA at http://womeninplanetaryscience.com”
(quote taken from BlogHer at http://www.blogher.com/together-we-can-fight-breast-cancer-our-actions-and-our-words)
In short, the post entitled ‘Join BlogHer and the Army of Women to Fight Breast Cancer,’ speaks common sense like a Pastor speaks the Bible, yet many of us, including myself, are unintentionally blind to something very important that we could be doing. Participating in research! As I’ve written before I’m constantly pondering life & death.
- I’m only 34 but yet my sister-in-law who’s only a couple years older than I, lost her mom to breast cancer almost three years ago.
- My other sister-in-law’s mom is currently fighting a horrible battle with Pancreatic cancer. Sadly, they’ve take her off all chemo and radiation. The tumor remains the same size after several weeks of both.
- That same sister-in-law’s step-mom had thyroid cancer 2 years ago – I’m happy to say she is in remission.
- One of my closest friends in college lost her mom to Ovarian cancer a year after my friend graduated…that was 12 yrs ago.
- My mom’s cousin just passed away in June from a rare colon/stomach cancer – her kids are my age.
I’m getting a little off of the main road here but I want to make the point that my generation is losing so many of our loved ones at a young age due to cancer.
In Susan Nieber’s post, she points out that we could be doing much more than just wearing ribbons, walking, running & watching telethons (these are all very important that we all need to continue doing). As she has asked me, part of her BlogHer community, I’m asking you to join the Avon/Love Army of Women fighting breast cancer by signing up for emails about future studies, and participating in easy, online studies or studies in your hometowns when they apply to you. Then blog about your decision and help build this Love Army.
In addition to joining this effort, I also encourage you to look for other movements which pertain to cancer in general!!
I LOVE Kenny Chesney’s new song “The Boys of Fall.” It reminds me of times gone by at high school football games and now Pickle’s first year of JFL. Football is one of many signatures of fall. The title of Kenny’s song reminds me of other boys of fall. Last year, I had a lovely time taking some of my most favorite & special pictures of ‘my boys of fall.’ I’ll include one of each…
And, it doesn’t stop there…Bow Season starts in 5 days & we’ve been watching for some other boys of fall lurking around the Magic FarmHouse. As luck would have it we’ve been able to spot several of these ‘boys,’ as they chow on our beans & corn. Which is nice to watch, however, not so good for our feed next year. Do you know what kind of ‘boys’ I’m talking about yet? Let’s see…
He’s not my favorite one or the biggest but I’d defenetly settle for him as my first kill. This year will be my second or third time hunting deer. Once Willis & Pudder lit up our lives, I decided to stay out of the stand and just be mama in the camper. This year has been an epiphany for Willis who is suddenly addicted to going hunting and staying in our ‘sky cabin.’ Prior to this year he was too afraid to crawl up the 14 foot ladder – he’s been there once last month and wants to go back just as soon as possible.
And, this will hopefully be Pickle’s first year hunting. For his birthday & early Christmas present he received his first 20 gauge. Between my work load and school volunteer responsibilities, football, Cub Scouts, housework, the house renovation and outside work, I’ve had a shortage of time to get both of us enrolled into a hunter safety course. Ok, simply put, I’ve not stop to take the time. In my defense it’s been hard to schedule around football practice & games.
***Side note: How do some of these women have time to maintain successful blogs, home school, be business women and mamas all at the same time?***
Anyway, this time I may have blew it & we might not make our hunter safety coursework. Tomorrow, I hope to know for sure. Pickle has decided he’ll miss his last game to go through the course this coming Sat. From what I understand the state doesn’t require the class but it’s always been my rule that the boys complete hunter safety prior to hunting. And, I’m not budging on the rule.
So there you have it….all of **MY** Boys of Fall!!