On the mend and the one where we finally got an answer




I spent so much time on my back over the past week, you’d have thought I was getting paid.
*Straining my neck to see if I have bed sores.*

I started watching the series Outlander while home with the flu. I’d read the first book years ago, then forgot about the whole thing. WOW. (the first season has 16 episodes-unheard of!)
I know it’s far fetched and not exactly great fiction, but WOW.
One morning, I awoke to an email from Netflix reminding me that the next episode of Outlander was available….don’t they know I haven’t stopped thinking about that since I went to sleep yesterday?
SO much violence, sex, and sex-violence, I can really only handle a few episodes at a time in my delicate state of mind. *giggle*

I still sound like I’ve got a pack and a half of Marlboro red a-day habit. That’s attractive.

I still have moments where I feel like crapola. And a few moments where I feel ok. I’ve still not got back to the gym for fear of a coughing fit and plus, low energy. 
Next year, (or is that this year?) I’ll be the first in line for the flu shot.

My Aunt texted me the other day asking if I was feeling any better and stating that it was a good thing I got the flu prior to our upcoming trip to CA.

Me: Yes, I’m getting better. And yes, luckily for me, this was the best time to get the flu; aside from Callie being sick too, I didn’t have anything pressing this week. 
She applauded me for having a good attitude. I do like to be applauded even if it’s via text.

***

The Callie saga. I didn’t go into details before because her symptoms were all over the place and they made no sense. If you are a dog person and care to see what the deal was read the next long part of this post. If you don’t have a dog and have no need to know, skip this part.
*On Saturday night I’d noticed that she was drinking a lot of water. I caught her standing over her bowl and then just staring at the wall. I had flashbacks of Ozzie; he did this often and then we learned he had a brain tumor and staring at walls was an indication of brain issues. (headaches)
She was fine the next day and I didn’t give it another thought.

*Tuesday, the day that my Flu was in full force, Callie amped up her weirdness for me. She didn’t eat breakfast. (eating is her favorite thing) She was drinking copious amounts of water. Then I noticed she was shivering/shaking. I was concerned. The Coach was in Miami but would be back later that night and I assumed he could take her to the emergency vet to see what was going on. But then I noticed that while laying on the tile floor, she had urine leaking out of her; almost faucet like. I called my vet and they were able to get me into their sister location that afternoon. Nothing like being very sick and having to pick up a sick 68lb dog and putting her into the back of my SUV.


*We were at the vet for almost 2 hours. The Dr. ran blood tests even though she had bloodwork done the week prior for her Rymidyl RX refill. (a common Arthritis anti-inflammatory) The bloodwork today is coming out totally different than last week and the DR. is very confused. Her blood sugar is scarily low and he can’t figure out how she is still LIVING with her blood sugar so low. He tested her urine and was shocked at how ‘watered’ down it was.


*The Vet wanted to run some glucose type tests the next day and asked us to please get her to eat that night. She needs to raise her sugar levels or else.


*Wednesday she was able to eat breakfast but had been leaking watered down urine all over the house all night. I had towels on top of every one of her beds and kept swapping them out.And I awoke twice in the middle of the night and took her out.  Coach dropped her off for the new tests in the morning and would pick her back up later in the day. When he picked her up, she seemed ok. They left the iv/catheter in her leg (first I typed arm, she doesn’t have an arm) in case we had an emergency during the night. They said her sugar levels were even worse today and that was after eating breakfast. They did an ultrasound but didn’t see anything ‘alarming’ on her kidneys or in her belly. They instructed us to bring her back the next day to check sugar again and remove the iv/catheter. We started giving her some Prednisone (steroid).


*Thursday the Coach took her for sugar testing and removing of IV. Her sugar reading was still bad; 70. But better than the 41 it was on Wednesday. The Dr. is throwing out some ideas of what she might have gotten into.

1) Did she get into any medicinal marijuana? Ummm NO.
2) Any chance she ate some sugarfree gum that has xylitol in it? This is lethal to dogs. I’m a big fan of sugarfree gum, but I don’t leave it lying around and I haven’t had gum in the six weeks since I got my Invisalign. Also, Callie isn’t the dog who gets into stuff; she never has been.  

*Friday, her cortisol tests came back normal. Still waiting to hear how her insulin levels were that they tested on Wednesday. We’re both wondering if the Dr. knows what he’s doing as it’s taking forever for us to get an answer. The urine leaking is slowing down, she’s eating better and we’re basically feeding her small amounts all day long to keep sugar levels up. Just a few weeks ago, I was chastised about her weight and told to cut her food down….now, it’s anything goes.


*Saturday, the Coach woke up to several small piles of bile/vomit around the house. Suz was in a flu coma and heard nothing. Callie finally had an appetite later in the day and seemed ok.


*Sunday, she acted normal. No pee leaks. No vomit. YAY!


*Monday-we finally got a call from the Vet at 7:30pm. He has a diagnosis and it was something he mentioned in passing earlier last week. They did see something on the ultrasound on her pancreas; a small node of sorts and they think what she has is an Insulinoma. An insulinoma is a malignant pancreatic tumor that inappropriately secretes excessive insulin, resulting in profound hypoglycemia.”

So. having an answer is so much better than the unknown. He was happy to know that she was now eating and not leaking as much urine. We will continue on this path until she isn’t happy anymore. He realistically said she could have another 2 weeks or another 6 months. And at 13, we’re not going to do anything invasive whatsoever. 

*sigh* 

We have several trips planned, so I’ll be losing sleep worrying about the ‘what ifs’ while we’re away. 


On a funny side-note; when Callie was at the vet’s office most of Wednesday, they noted to the Coach that she ‘looks so sad’ so she must not feel well. 


Ummm actually, that is JUST HER FACE. She always looks like that. You’ve heard of resting bitch face? Callie has ‘resting sad face’.  My poor sweet cow dog. 
She’s hasn’t had the most ideal life, but since living with us the past 4 1/2 years, it’s been all gravy. 

I promise I have good things to write about. I feel like Debbie downer lately on the blog, but hopefully, I’ll be shooting sunshine and rainbows out of my butt (ouch) again soon. 


XOXO

Flu, I’ve got you Flu.

We had a very busy and awesome weekend. I hugged, loved and was dazzled by around 185 guests at the Night To Shine event on Friday night. (this was my 3rd year volunteering) I, along with some good friends greeted each guest and got them into Limo’s for a ride around the church parking lot, then to the event center where they were greeted like royalty on the red carpet.
I ended the night with what I would call a stress headache; maybe I was a bit overwhelmed with all the excitement, the hoopla, the cheerleaders bouncing around, the noise from the happy guests….or maybe I’m just getting old?
When I woke up on Saturday the headache was still there and I was exhausted. I made a comment to the coach that maybe I’m on the spectrum because it just seemed to be too much for me this year. (There are a LOT of guests on the spectrum, and I do believe they were in better shape than me. And no, I’m not poking fun at people with disabilities, you know better.)

Sunday night I started coughing and whipped up some hot tea.
Monday morning I awoke feeling like the dead.
Achy body. Chills. coughing. my joints were on fire.
Ugghhh.
I knew it was the flu because I have that fake doctor’s degree.
I spent the day in bed.
Finally, at around 4:00 on Monday afternoon, I remembered that there was an antiviral that you could take to ward off the effects.
I call our Doctor’s office and left a voicemail. (they haven’t answered the phone in 5 years-very annoying)
On Tuesday morning I was anxiously awaiting their call as the Coach was leaving for Miami for the day; I’d been hoping he could just pick up the RX for me.
They didn’t call back until noon and told me that they no longer take our insurance anymore and I’d have to come in and be seen in person and pay. ;(
Eff it.
My window was closing in because you’re supposed to take the antiviral 48 hours or sooner once you know it’s the flu.
“I’ll just suffer through, I’m a big girl”
Well, Tuesday night the ‘razor blades’ in my throat coughing was endless all night. If only I could get the cough to settle down, then I won’t feel like throwing myself off a bridge.
Heck, I don’t even know where a bridge is in my town.
Wednesday I crawled into the walk-in clinic and waiting over an hour to be seen.
They did the Flu test and guess what? I got 100%!

The kind Doctor told me that I was too late for the antiviral and to take Mucinex DM and Tylenol.
I really should have been a Doctor.

I asked him if I had got the flu vaccine if I could have avoided this and he shrugged his shoulders and said: maybe, maybe not. You never know. 
The one time I had the vaccine, I was extremely sick with the flu and I vowed to never do it again.

I still feel like hell, but I know I’m gonna live.

In the middle of all this, Callie has been having issues and I had to take her to the Vet (with the flu, but I wasn’t officially diagnosed. The coach was out of town and it was up to me)
She’s back at the vet again today for testing and I could not be a veterinarian, because I have no idea what is going on with her.

The Vet did ask the Coach when he dropped her off this time if she had got into any ‘edibles’ in our house. (we don’t, but that doesn’t stop her from looking like she’s had some edibles)
Good lord, if I had those, I probably wouldn’t care about having the flu.
Say a good word for our Cow dog if you can.

Also, an unseen (until the day I had the flu) water leak into one of the bedrooms…..I found wet carpet and a moldy (behind the dresser) wall. That’s probably good for the ole’ respiratory system.
Waiting on the plumber now. I’ll keep my distance from him, but I need that fixed asap.

If Suz, her Callie, and her house could just calm the eff down, that would be great.

XOXO

Donning my nurse cap

Our sweet Lindsay has been having a time lately.
Before her trip to New Zealand, she had to have an embedded wisdom tooth removed. I was afraid that all her 23 years of wisdom would go with the tooth. Alas, it didn’t. She came home for a few days and recovered just fine.
She’s also had an enlarged tonsil for quite a while and with the fact that she *sometimes* exaggerates her health issues, we kind of ‘poo-pooed’ this notion that there was an issue.
Finally, this was bothering her so much and for so long, I sent her to my ENT before her big trip.
He said he didn’t like the way they looked, but wasn’t too alarmed. She has big tonsils….just like her Mom. She came by them naturally.
She had a recheck after her trip, and the Dr. said they ‘absolutely have to come out now’.
He was alarmed at how much larger they were at this point, and she really wasn’t feeling great anyway. Could it be from those big ole things in her throat?

She had them removed on Wednesday. In case you were wondering, they won’t let you take them home so that a scrapbook page can be made. But, I had to ask anyway.

Big Sister Lolo stopped by afterward, and we had a little meeting on my bed. Just like old times.
Good Lord, it took 20 years for these two to interact like this. Thank you, baby Jesus.

She did great during the short procedure. But then again, she just had to lay there, and she (like me) is really good at that.
She’s staying at the homestead with us for the week while she recovers.
Mama nurse is feeding her all the necessary foods after something like this.
Mac N Cheese
Mashed taters
Jello
Pudding
Ice cream
Fruit pops
Yogurt
Apple sauce.

You know, kind of how we ate when we were 23 with the metabolism of a mosquito.

It’s great having her home even though she’s not feeling so hot. It is weird for me, though. Usually, when I talk to myself during the day, no one answers me. I now have a witness to my weirdness.

Each night for dinner The Coach and I have our regular food, and Linds has her soft food. She said: “It looks like you guys don’t like me very much.”

But we do. We like her SO very much.

FYI: I was kidding about the scrapbook. Who has the time?

XO

I didn’t mean to be this much work. And what’s the opposite of an anti-vaxer? That’s me.

Getting older has been a lot of work. Maintenance, if you will. 
But now I go regularly for dermaplaning….oh how I love to have someone take a razor blade to my face. 
I strength train 3x a week at the gym.
I had laser vision surgery. (I still have excellent eyesight)
I have my teeth cleaned 3x a year. 
I get mani’s-pedi’s on the regular as well as getting my hair did. 
I finally bit the bullet this year and had my big toes rid of the chances of ingrown toenails…those were a b*tch to deal with and I’m happy to say I’ve had none since then. 
Wow. Now that I write all that, I’m a lot. 
But, I’m guessing other women my age are doing all this maintenance too. I know the Coach is very limited in his maintenance, but I don’t think he’s worried about his skin tone or very close veins as I am.   
Turning 50 has been so much fun though because you get to add in all the medical stuff too.
I’m already faithful to my lady Dr. who smears me yearly and flattens my breasticles into pancakes. 
But she kept telling me I needed a colonoscopy and the shingles vaccine.
Well, that doesn’t sound fun. 
But, I was so wrapped up in getting my first dental implant and traveling that I put those two things off until this year. (the implant was a 6-month process)
I finally conceded and had the colonoscopy and it wasn’t as horrible as I’d imagined. 
I wasn’t going to skip the shingles vaccine though. I got the chickenpox on my 29th birthday and I’ve never been so sick in my life and I wasn’t taking any chances since they’re in the same fam-damily. 
So about 6 months ago I went to my favorite pharmacist and asked for the shingles vaccine and I actually had to wait a few months because it’s in demand. 
See, I knew I was doing the popular thing. 
Anyhoo, when it was finally available, I did my grocery shopping, then popped in front of the pharmacy with my bags of fuel and just before she gave me my shot she said: I’m sorry, but this WILL hurt and you might feel crappy tomorrow. 
Dang. No foreplay with this lady. 
She wasn’t kidding. It stung and I felt a bit lightheaded for a few minutes.
The next day I woke up pretty achy and my arm hurt pretty bad. Later in the afternoon, I felt like I had the flu. Luckily, I didn’t need to be anywhere that day, so I took it easy and laid around.
I lived. I was all better the day after.
You have to get a second dosing 3-6 months after the first and I went back this week for my second. I planned to do this on a day where I had no obligations the next day, just in case. 
I found out that I was also due for my tetanus and my Measles. (MMR)
I said, well, why not?
I could only get two vaccines at once because I only have 2 arms. Lucky octopus’s. 
I opted for the shingles and the tetanus. 
As she’s about to stab me this time, she says: The tetanus is known to be really painful for a few days.
Does she have anything nice to say?
So, that was Monday. I felt a bit achy yesterday and both arms were hurting. 
Today, I’m much better. I was able to have a great workout at the gym and I’m happy to know I’ll be shingle-free for life. (fingers crossed) Also, if I happen to sit on a pair of rusty scissors, I’ll be in the clear. (you cringe, but I did that back in the day-my skinny little thigh!) 

Double battle wounds for Suz.

I’m trying to figure out what’s next.
Cataracts?
No, we don’t have cats anymore…just our Callie dog. 

Anyone else struggling to try to keep up with your health/beauty/time? 
Bee healthy
Bee proactive
Bee good to yourself

The time I wanted to take down a nurse.

Well, I’d put off my colonoscopy as long as I possibly could. My Dr. was not having any more of my shenanigans, so I finally went to see a suggested gastrologist. I chose a female Dr; I always choose a woman if the circumstances are involving any (or near) my lady parts. Call me crazy, but I’m more comfortable with someone who has similar parts as I do

The pre-op exam was good, the Dr. was pleasant. I was able to schedule my appointment within a week and there was no turning back now. I was given a RX for the prep part. This is a newer one that is being used and I was kind of the guinea pig for my Dr.
Clenpiq
It was all straight forward. I was scheduled for Tuesday morning, so I began my fasting on Monday morning and had the clenpiq at 2pm and 8pm along with tons of water, juice, tea, flavored water, ginger ale, jello and ice pops. The jello and Ice pops were lifesavers and I almost felt like I was having food. Almost.

I stayed home all day. (you’ll be very friendly with your commode!) I did a lot of busy stuff to keep my mind off food for most of the day and then I watched some TV later on. At one point I saw a dog food commercial and I thought: “wow, I bet that tastes good”

I did survive. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I’m the type of person whose personality changes (and not for the better) when I’m hungry. I become cranky and lash out at anyone and everyone.
I’d never make it as a homeless person.

The morning of Coach drove me to the appointment. I’d already placed my order with him for an egg sandwich and coffee from Einsteins when he picked me up.

While in the reception area, I used the ladies room one more time to empty my bladder,  even though I’d not had any liquids since 11 the night before.

Then, the nurse/assistant calls me into the pre-op area. Carlos looks over my chart and asks if I’m still having my menstrual cycle or if I’m in menopause. Sadly, I’m still dealing with it. He then said, “Oh, you’ll have to give me some urine for a pregnancy test.” 
I kind of made a face and said, I might NOT be able to since I just emptied my bladder.
He said he needed only a few drops and for me to just try.
As I’m shutting the door to the restroom I hear another nurse say to him: “Well if someone is having anesthesia, they should ALWAYS know to have a pregnancy test, it goes without saying!” 

I was PISSED!!
HOW DARE SHE? Doesn’t she know I’m hangry! 
I’m tired and I’m not thinking about possibly being pregnant at 51!

I was able to produce a small amount, I walked out and handed it to my nurse Carlos and was ready to let the other lady have it, but she was with a patient and I held it in.

As Carlos is taking my blood pressure and my pulse, he asks if I’m nervous because the darn machine was losing it’s mind. I told him, I wasn’t nervous, but I was PISSED at the other nurse because I heard what she said while I was in the bathroom.
He assured me that she wasn’t complaining about me, but she was angry with the receptionist who checked me in, it was her responsibility to let me know I’d need to have a pregnancy test.

Oh.
Gotcha.

Within a minute my heart rate and blood pressure went down and the machine didn’t sound like a carnival on Saturday night.

Carlos finished all his questions and next was the Nurse anesthetist; he had a hundred questions for me as well, then he told me to open my mouth as wide as I could.
Me: “This is my first time but I don’t think this is how you do it”
I thought he was going to wet his pants.
He then proceeded to tell me I have the biggest set of tonsils he’s seen in a long time. He said I had a really nice pair.

Me: “Well, thank you.”

You gotta take compliments wherever you can get them. 

I felt fine the rest of the day and everything I ate tasted just a little bit better after not eating for 36 hours. That was a record for me.

Quite possibly the best-tasting Sammy ever. 

I don’t have to do this again until I’m 60, but you know I’ll try to put it off as long as possible.

If my mouth doesn’t get me into trouble, my high cholesterol will.

The Coach and I were discussing a large purchase the other night and he said: “let’s just do it, we don’t know how much time we have left.”
Me: “Oh, I know exactly how much time YOU have left.”
Coach: “wow, that sounds menacing.”

I was kidding because I know for sure he’ll outlive me. Unless he continues to drive as he does, then we’ll most likely die together with him at the wheel.

Did I tell you I just lowered my cholesterol by 27 points?
Did I tell you I had high cholesterol? 
I don’t think I did. I used to be so good at sharing important things, but lately, I’m so involved in myself.
I’m proud to say that my good cholesterol is really good. But my bad one was really bad.
I really was always a bit miffed about having high numbers, to begin with. I eat well. No processed foods and limited fast food. (I’m weak for Chic fil A)

Back in October my sweet and very thin Dr. told me to lower my numbers and my weight.
I was a bit offended. People, truthful words DO hurt.
She did agree with my thought that if I were 3 inches taller, my weight would be great.

Even though I strength train 3x a week and do cardio at least 2, my weight (waist size) has been slowly been going UP. I blame peri-menopause. I even blame it for the thinning ozone layer.

I wish I knew how exactly I lowered my numbers. (my weight was down only a few pounds, but it fluctuates 3-4 lbs depending on the day)
For my cholesterol, though I did a few things.  I avoided the daily piece of bacon that the Coach makes. He’s a bacon connoisseur; even making his very own cured bacon. He would still offer it to me after I said I needed to lower my numbers and I’d say:

DO YOU WANT ME TO HAVE A STROKE? 

I suppose if you talk to someone like that, the answer might be YES.

A vegan burger and NOT a bacon burger

Anyhoo….less bacon in my life and I was taking two Plant Sterol gel caps daily. I get them at the Vitamin Shoppe.  I had read about them somewhere and figured I didn’t have anything to lose aside from bad numbers. I have one in the morning and one at night along with my daily joint pills.
You’d never know I was such a pill popper by looking at me, but I have an innocent face and a horrible mouth.
For a while there I limited my cheese intake too, but that didn’t last long. Rats love cheese.
I’m still a work in progress, hoping that my numbers go down more before my next appointment in six months.
Also I hope Dr. Thin gains a few of my pounds….that’s what you get when you hurt my feelings. 🙂

Have a great day.
XO

Gin in the morning

Sometimes I open my mouth and my Mother pops out.

I noticed about a year ago a dull ache in my right index finger…..within a few months the dull ache was also felt in my right birdie finger. Not that I’d ever shoot a bird…..

It hit me.
This is what arthritis feels like.
*Oh SNAP*

A vision hit me from the past. Actually, the past day was in November of 2009.
The day my Aunt, Uncle and beloved Mother came for Thanksgiving and with them they brought this strange concoction and placed it in my fridge. 
Gin soaked (golden) raisins.

They swore that eating 9 of those raisins daily helped with arthritis pain.

I gave them strange looks and laughed at their apparent senility.

*OLD PEOPLE and their silliness*

Well, lo and behold I am NOW an old silly person myself. I honestly thought that would come much later, but unlike most of my life, it showed up early.

Hi, my name is Suzanne and I believe that 9 gin soaked raisins a day actually diminishes most of my arthritis pain.

The way I know it helps is that when we’ve traveled (even for a weekend) and I didn’t have them daily, the ache was more than dull. My joints crave the gin soaked  raisins.

I’m neither a fan of gin or raisins, but I’m really NOT a fan of aching joints.

Here is the link if you’d like to try this yourself. And no, I’m not intoxicated now or when I ingest them…..the alcohol content is very low. The magic has something to do with the juniper berries used to make gin mixed with the golden raisins. You can do your own research on the web. For me, I know it works.

Thank you Beverly!!

XO