So, the weather folks are waffling a bit about the potential damage from Tropical Storm Beta. It may not be quite the storm that was anticipated earlier, but with flooding potential and strong winds (50mph) I’m not entirely sure about riding in a stranger’s car to get to my doctor’s appointment tomorrow. I know it is necessary and I know (because I looked it up) that a hernia doesn’t self-repair, and the sooner I get it patched and corrected, the better off I will be and with fewer complications. I just don’t feel entirely safe going for a surgical consultation during a tropical storm of any significance.
I got maybe 4-5 hours sleep last night, not nearly enough, but awake enough that going right back to sleep wasn’t an option. I mean, I tried to go back to sleep after the last potty trip, but all I did was lie there feeling my trigger joint going off in my thumb. That little fucker hurts.
I finally caught up with the haircuts; it has been 4 weeks. I really shouldn’t let it go so long, as it jams my little clippers. But it’s done and now I’m all clean and shiny again.
I guess I will see what the day will bring. The boys are fed, I’m fed and medicated, and coffee is starting to work.
Last night we learned that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died from complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She held on as long as she could.
I learned last night that saying things like “R.I.P.” or “she’s in a better place” is inappropriate. She was Jewish and it isn’t right to use Christian sentiments on the occasion of her death. Better to honor who she was by saying, in Jewish tradition, “May her memory be a blessing.”
I hope that there are enough Senators with common decency and integrity to resist Mitch McConnell’s push to replace RBG immediately. He refused President Obama’s SCOTUS nominee because “it is an election year” (in 2016), and he needs to honor that sentiment now as well, but he’s already signaled that Trump’s nominee will get a hearing on the Senate Floor. It’s going to be a colossal shit-show between now and the election.
There is very little I can do about RBG’s passing, or the shit-show in Washington, D.C. But I can vote in this election, and will do so as soon as I get my ballot.
In other news, closer to home, the neuropathy in my back flared up just as I was heading to bed — burning, tingling, pain all around my upper back near my right shoulder blade. I had already taken my night-time meds but apparently that didn’t help. I tried lidocaine cream. I tried a frozen gel pack. These measures only briefly interrupted the pain. So I tried a couple hits of Vitamin M, and I was at least able to go back to bed and fall asleep for about 5.5 hours. Now that I’m up this morning, the pain is still there in my back, but not a searing, screeching pain. Just the normal tingly pain. 🙁
A while back, my daughter requested a pocketed shawl, and asked if I could make one. I didn’t purchase the requested pattern, but made my own design. She picked out the yarn and approved the design when I showed her early progress pictures. Yesterday I finished the second pocket to be applied, and all of the actual crocheting part is done. There is some embellishment that I need to apply to both pockets before they can be sewn into place and all the other loose ends and tails get woven in. But the crocheting is done, and my right thumb and middle finger are now in pain with trigger joints. Not a smart thing to power crochet through a project, but I’m glad I got it done. Meanwhile, my right hand is sort of useless for much of anything today. I’ll let it rest and pursue other projects that don’t require a lot of repetitive motion.
Gawd, I hate getting older and watching my body fall apart in ways I couldn’t imagine when I was younger.
So, it’s 1:30a.m. I went to bed just after 10:15, and I was thinking “Please let me sleep until 6:30.” Nope, that didn’t work. I woke even earlier than my normal early waking. Bummer.
Oh well, might as well make use of the time.
Part of the doctor visit on Tuesday was getting the pneumococcal vaccine. Besides hurting more than a normal flu shot, that may also be why I was feeling ragged yesterday and couldn’t finish even the simplest dye job without a lot of ‘exhaustion pain’. It’s okay, I can finish the job later this morning (during “normal business hours”, right?), it just felt weird since I’ve made pretty good progress getting back my strength and stamina from the surgery. I just didn’t connect the vaccine on Tuesday with how I was feeling yesterday.
Last night just before bed, I got a message saying my test results were back for the A1C test. In March my A1C was 5.8. My test yesterday came back as 6.4. The note from the doctor said, “Your results showed A1c has increased slightly- but diabetes is still well controlled.” The standard range is 4.8 – 5.6 so I have some work to do. I am pretty sure I know the culprits that I need to further eliminate from my daily diet.
Per the doctor’s order, I scheduled an ultrasound for my abdominal scar and the underlying issues that feel like a hernia. It doesn’t hurt, but he wants to get a better look at what is happening in that area to make sure it doesn’t get worse and to get it fixed is possible. That will happen next Wednesday, and I can call ahead to get a regular flu shot. They were out of stock when I was there on Tuesday, and offered to hold one back for me when they got more in stock, so I’ll call later today and see if that offer holds. I really don’t want to skip the flu vaccine this year, especially.
Speaking of vaccines and stuff…. No, I don’t believe there will be a viable vaccine for COVID-19 before the election. That’s a stupid idea proposed by the Ignoramus-in-Chief who has no clue what’s involved in creating a safe vaccine. And now this week, thanks to Bob Woodward’s latest book, we are learning that Trump knew way back before the first case appeared in the U.S. that this was a deadly airborne virus, far worse than a normal influenza, and he deliberately chose not to reveal what he knew, and further worked to prevent anyone else from adequately informing the public. How fucked up is that? Now that this revelation has come out, he is claiming he wanted to downplay the virus to “avoid a panic.” Bullshit. He doesn’t care about the public health. He was only worried what the news would do to the stock market and his personal pocketbook.
A true leader doesn’t “avoid a panic” by blatantly lying to the public. He will be honest about the risks and dangers involved, but will also inform the public what sort of plan is in place for controlling a pandemic. The previous administration left a playbook for handling pandemics, and had personnel in place to watch for such things and to be prepared for it. Trump ignored the playbook and fired the people who were qualified to deal with something like this. Fuck Trump.
Public health should not be a partisan issue, but Trump is using it for political purposes. There’s no question he has failed the American people in soooooo many ways, and this is one of the worst things he’s done, in my opinion. Fuck Trump.
Anyway, I suppose I should try to wind down again and try to get back to sleep eventually.
Okay, so I’ve been mildly chastised for my failure to continue posting here. As I explained to my friend, with my surgery recovery reaching a sort of plateau, and other life going on blandly, I just didn’t feel compelled to post just to be posting.
First off, this is my Facebook profile picture I put up just a few days ago.
See? Still here, still smiling. Or smirking. Or whatever. 🙂
Anyway, my recovery seems to be continuing, although due to the heat around here I stopped taking my daily walks and my body suffered for that. I’m grateful the weather is supposed to cool off this coming week and I can resume taking my little walks. Also, since I had begun trying to work, I counted any motion or action as “exercise”, and the days I was standing up working I didn’t feel compelled to also go take a walk. For the last couple of weeks I’ve had to deal with some incredible nerve pain, usually running from the inguinal crease, down my inner thigh and into my calf area. It’s weird (to me) that I’ve learned to mostly distinguish joint pain, muscle pain, and nerve pain.
The pain was really acting up when I was at my daughter’s a couple weeks ago for Hurricane Laura. At first it looked like it would be no threat at all, but then it kept moving more and more toward the Houston area, and I didn’t want to hunker down in a mobile home during a massive storm overhead, so I went to my daughter’s place out in Crosby. We sat on the back porch sucking beer and waiting for the storm to hit. Then we got the alert that it had made landfall near Cameron, LA, and we barely got a breeze and no rain to speak of at all. I could have stayed home and been just fine, but you never know where a storm’s going to actually hit, and I enjoyed being with my daughter and her family.
Today things are feeling mostly okay – a bit of joint pain but I can work with that and the celecoxib is helping manage that. I’m seeing the doctor tomorrow about a different (new) problem, and might ask about increasing the dose, but maybe not since I’ve read that doubling the dose isn’t particularly more effective. I’m pretty sure I need to focus on mobility and exercise before leaning too much on drugs.
One thing I am particularly sort of grateful for, as far as my health recovery goes, is that I have landed upon a breakfast that I enjoy AND allows me to skip the fast-acting mid-day shot of insulin. I start the day with Lantus anyway, but if my blood sugar is below 130 at lunch and dinner I can skip the Novolog insulin. So for breakfast I have been having a small container of yogurt, 2 hard boiled eggs, and 2 Medjool dates. I’m not sure what the combination does, but my numbers are usually pretty good, and I rarely feel hungry like I need a snack before lunch I’ve also seriously limited grain-based carbs like pasta and rice and so forth during the day. I still have some, but not a lot, and I do occasionally have to get a shot of the Novolog. Oh well…. learning as I go. And I’m free to explore other foods for lunch, snack, and dinner, so it’s all good.
A friend recently sent me a Brother sewing machine that she never used, so I can start tackling the bundles of fat quarters I got last month. I saw them and couldn’t resist buying them (almost $300 worth of fat quarters), so now I have to use them into a quilt or two or three. I’m also building up a Quilting Wish List on Amazon so I can start buying the various tools and templates I will need, since there are a few particular designs I want to try, and the easiest way to do them is to use specific templates for easy cutting.
Not a lot else happening at the moment. I’ll give a report back after I see the doctor tomorrow, since I’m pretty sure there will be some new adventures in my future. UGH!
So, I got to bed near 10:30 and fell right asleep. And woke right up around 2:30. Figures.
I went on Facebook and it seems a LOT of people are complaining about insomnia. No wonder — the world around us is going to shit; people are stressing out over finances, the pandemic and the failed response from our government to deal with it; political shenanigans all over. It is often hard to ‘adult’ even during good times, but it seems lately that this is a particularly stressful time.
Last night when Nora O’Donnell (CBS Evening News) was introducing her upcoming stories for the evening, I just realized I couldn’t sit through the news — every story she introduced was worse than the one before, and I had to just shut it off before she even finished listing the stories to come up. And I imagine a lot of my acquaintances are experiencing a similar sense of overload with all the bad news.
Mostly my life is slowly coming back into its own again. Slowly. Like, I have discovered that a breakfast of yogurt, 2 dates, and 2 hard boiled eggs will pretty much carry me to lunchtime and my mid-day glucose is low enough to not need the Novolog (fast-acting insulin), and if I’m careful with lunch and afternoon snacks, my evening number is equally good.
Well that didn’t go well…. I typed the above portion 3 days ago, saved it as a draft, and failed to come back to it. And then my server wasn’t letting me log in. Bummer.
Anyway, now it is Friday, the electrical problem still hasn’t been fixed. Fixer’s brother looked at it Wednesday evening, said he’d be back yesterday afternoon (after an early morning fishing trip!), but that didn’t happen. And the lawnmower guys also didn’t show up yesterday, either.
There are things I can’t change, and I’m learning (slowly) to just not give a fuck about certain things.
Onward to other news ….
A couple weeks ago my baby sister traveled from her home in North Carolina to visit her foster mother in California, since her foster mother is dying of cancer. She drove instead of flying, to avoid being stuck in a crowded plane with strangers. Along the way she stopped to see other family members. Her return trip was planned to follow I-10 to see our brother in Phoenix, our sister in San Antonio, and then me and some others in Houston. But there was concern because she hadn’t been masking on all of her other family visits, so she decided to go north from San Antonio and bypass Houston altogether.
So, on Wednesday afternoon, I got a message on Facebook that she was in town visiting with my son and daughter-in-law. Well, whattaya know! So she came by here and visited for a short while. Having not expected her, I wasn’t dressed for company, nor was my house in order. Ahhh well, such is life. As I said above, I can’t give a fuck about things I can’t change.
It was a brief mid-afternoon visit, and then she was off again for the last leg of her journey home.
And now today is Friday. I’ve been up since about 3:30 and it is nearly 6:00 soon. I expect I will nap at some point in the day. But for now I will hit the ‘publish’ button and hope this gets posted this time. 🙂
(oops… forgot to finish this yesterday) Today (July 21) marks six months since my surgery. It’s been a challenging time, but I’ve made it this far, so I can probably keep going, eh?
First, a coronavirus update.
Last week we had 42,000 cases and 439 deaths. Houston/Harris County continues to be a hot-spot. And I continue to be leery about going anywhere for any reason.
I’ve not been taking pictures of all the scar progress, but here is my earliest picture
And here is this morning’s picture of the 6-month scar:
Grateful that the scar is quickly fading, although I’m a little freaked out that my navel has shifted about an inch to the right. I was not expecting that. I’m guessing that is because of scar tissue forming underneath in all those various layers of muscle and fat and so forth. I supposed a shifted navel isn’t the worst that could happen.
I am definitely glad that my glucose and blood pressure numbers are fairly normal these days, or as they say in medical terms “within normal range”. There’s really no such thing as ‘normal’, because every body is different and we all have our own normal. But my numbers are within a range of what is considered healthy.
I’ve not been walking like I had wanted to — both joint pain and heat have been disincentives to getting out and walking/exercising regularly. But I am generally more able to get around the house and do what needs doing, and that’s what counts. And with the current pandemic looming overhead, I’m in no rush to get out and about anyway.
It’s been a few weeks. Sorry about that. I’ve been mostly getting back to near-normal, so there’s been nothing in particular to report.
I did want to update the COVID-19 numbers since the last post:
Horrible. About 18000 new cases just since my previous post.
And the Texas GOP was hoping to bring 6,000 people to their convention here in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center downtown. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner finally cancelled it, said they can’t do it here. The local health officials called it a “clear and present danger” — not just to the convention goers, but all the people having to work the convention center, plus all the hotel workers, restaurant workers, taxi/Uber/Lyft drivers, and everyone else who might come into contact with the convention goers. Plus when those attending the convention carry the virus back home to their own families and communities. It’s insane to think they could have an in-person convention.
Oh, and the funny thing — while they expected people to attend the convention in person, all of the planned speakers were reported to be giving video-taped speeches, not speaking in person. Why? Well, because of the pandemic, of course. What the actual fuck??? The speakers can’t attend in person but they want all the delegates from around the state to show up in person?
Well, I failed to actually post this yesterday. Sorry. I’m feeling better today, so that’s a good thing.
Each day I do feel a little stronger and more able. My body still has weird shit going on sometimes, but I guess this is part of the recovery process.
It is beastly hot here, and just about everywhere else. Good thing about this weather is that my laundry loads are quite small. And with a renewed ‘stay home’ order (or at least masks required everywhere in public now, isolation, and strong suggestion to stay home if you can) I have no reason to get dressed. So, yaayyyyy for that, I guess.
I screwed up a custom dye job over the weekend, so I’m going to re-do that today. And then I have some orders to pack and ship tomorrow. And then I get to begin a new collection of Blog Reader Specials for the weekend, maybe slip in another of the custom dye jobs as well. We’ll see.
But for now, I guess I’ll post this up and get into the day’s tasks.
Got to bed just at 10:00, slept through until about 3:30. But it was a weird sleep with a lot of not-pleasant dream going on.
Sometimes I’ll wake in the night just to go to the bathroom, and then right back to bed. Lately, however, I’ve had a good long sleep (5-6 hours) and wake up feeling wide awake and ready to go into the day. Annoying as heck when it’s not even 4:00 in the morning and I’m already up. I’ve been trying hard to get to bed at 10:00, trying to regulate my body in hopes of getting a good night’s sleep. I think the new bed is helping in this effort, along with just getting my body regulated in other ways (diet, meds, exercise, etc.). I mean, it certainly beats waking every hour or so just to pee, which is what I was doing last year; I’m glad that isn’t continuing now, for the most part. 🙂
Later, almost bed time. It’s been a mostly rainy day, but I got the yarns ready for tomorrow’s dye session. Having done it once already, I have a fairly good idea how I need to do it tomorrow, so that will be good.
Amazon delivered some new toys today — a tripod for my digital camera and/or cellphone, to help me cut down on shaking from tremors when I’m trying to hold still and get a good shot; and a ring light with holder for my camera, cell-phone, or web cam, for doing live video feeds to Facebook; and a small light box with various doodads so I can take professional looking pictures indoors when the weather is crappy outside. 🙂
I’m looking forward to trying these goodies out later this week.
I’ve had a pretty good day, had a brief nap at mid-day. My numbers weren’t as low as I would have liked, but not high enough to worry about. Hip and knee are killing me, unfortunately, but I’m blaming the rainy wet weather. I anticipate a typical 5- or 6-hour sleep.
This definitely sucks. I spent a couple of days on my feet for some dyeing sessions, and then yesterday spent a lot of time standing up the reskein a new collection of Blog Reader Specials — 28 this time instead of my normal 24 skeins. It took most of the day, about 6-7 hours, with good rest breaks along the way.
Yesterday I had awakened around 3:45 in the morning, and didn’t have any naps during the day, so I was plenty ready for bed when 10:00 rolled around, and I assumed I’d sleep 5.5 or 6 hours. Nope. Got 3 hours or so, waking around 1:30 and not feeling ready to go back to bed. I was awake for a couple of hours until I felt sleepy, but only got about 2 more hours of sleep. Both of my waking up was prompted by burning pain in my right hip and knee joints. I took a Tramadol at mid-day against the pain and really didn’t want to take another in the night.
On the days when I’m already up and about I don’t usually take my exercise walks, figuring I’ve done enough, know that all motion and exercise counts. I truly don’t know if enough is enough, or if taking an exercise walk is needed even when I’ve already done the standing and moving exercise around the house. Today I have to be outside photographing yarns, so another good half hour or so of standing (if the rains stay awake long enough). I’ll see how I feel after that.
I am starting to feel disappointed that I’m not able to do what I used to do. I don’t know if I’m exercising enough or not. A lot of things I’m not sure about lately.
I have a custom dye session for tomorrow and Monday (redoing the job I messed up last week), so I don’t know if I should rest-and-recover today, or get out and get some walking exercise and then see what tomorrow feels like.
Tomorrow (the 21st) marks 5 months since the surgery. I have no idea how far along my recovery is ‘supposed’ to be. Some days I feel GREAT, and other days I feel like I’m going backwards. I even used the walker around the house a little bit yesterday since I was already hurting and needed to finish the task of reskeining.
For several years I’ve been squeezing my sexy butt into size 36 jeans. And then life changed last summer, and they started slipping. And life changed some more in the fall and then post surgery and weight-loss, they were down-right impossible to hold up without super-cinching a belt around the waist. And even then, without a butt to hang on to my pants still easily pulled down, without unzipping.
So the other day I went to a yard sale and got some shorts in a size 34. Nice, light-weight, comfortable. Pulled them up, buttoned the top and zipped them up. And they slid right off my hips anyway. Dang, I guess I lost more inches than I thought. I think with a belt they’ll be okay for around the house.
And yesterday, my daughter took me to Lowe’s for a new washer. I ended up getting both a washer and a dryer. Part of my selection was size of the washtub, but also how soon it could be delivered, since that was a major factor.
This is what I had:
And this is what was delivered to me today:
Besides taking up a lot more real estate, it appears I have a bit of a learning curve ahead of me. I had insisted on a top-loader, thinking I could do as I’ve always done — fill a tub and leave the lid up for soaking yarns, then turn the cycle dial over to Spin and the close the lid to spin out — no agitating yarns. Nope, this machine locks the lid for each cycle. Well, damn! I was reading the User Manual and it seems there’s a way to make it do what I need, but I have to fiddle with it to figure it out BEFORE I try doing it with actual yarns. I don’t want agitating hanks of yarns. 🙂
But I am feeling quite worn out the last couple days, so I’m going to chill for the evening.