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Showing posts from 2011

Ending And Beginning Anew

2011 was a roller coaster year for so many people. My year began with a lot of stress, which eventually got sorted. The summer was crazy with stuff for Joan and Rick's wedding, and September gave me a new brother in law. September also brought someone new into my life, and the rest of the fall season seemed to go by so quickly with him in it. I think the best thing is that this entire year I've been so healthy, for the most part! I've lost some dear phriends, and gained many new ones. I'm praying that 2012 brings many good opportunities for my family and friends, and a cure for PH!! Happy New Year everyone!!

Well, Crap!

Those were the words used many times by a sweet phriend whenever she was trying to express frustration over something. Those were the same words many of my phriends who knew Annette used today when we found out she had passed away this morning. It came as a surprise to so many of us. She had some health struggles in the past year in regards to her PH, but lately, many who talked to her reported that Annette said she was feeling ok. Annette died in her sleep, which is the only thing that brings me some comfort. I am hoping that she went peacefully.

Annette's PH journey began a little over 7 years ago. She posted quite often on the PHA message boards. She was a 1st grade teacher, and once she was put on Flolan, she tried so hard to keep up with her job. Eventually she had to resign, or retire. I can't remember which. After that, she did volunteer reading in classrooms. She also did so much with the Omaha PH support group. She helped raise awareness by being a part of a large fund…

Merry Christmas!

I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you're able to celebrate with loved ones. Remember that Christmas is not about the gifts we give, it's about the wonderful gift God gave to us: His son, Jesus. Jesus was born to show the love God has for His people, and to show that we should all be sharing that love with others. He is the reason for the season!

Layaway Angels

Last week I read an article about a woman who went into a Kmart (I can't remember what state), and asked if she could pay off some layaways for people who had toys on their list. Since then, I've heard of at least 8 other stories of total strangers paying off layaways for people, mostly at Kmart or Walmart. There were a couple instances in this area, too. I think it's so wonderful that there are some very giving people out there, and I only wish that I had more money to be able to do the same thing. These people are being called "Layaway Angels," and the name is certainly fitting! They are bringing unexpected joy to the families of people who might not be able to have a good Christmas. To me, their kindness is definitely what the spirit of Christmas is all about!!

Ooops

My mom didn't make it over here today like she wanted. She was too busy cleaning and getting ready for my sister's arrival on Friday. Oh well, that's ok! I changed the bedding and didn't start a recipe until later in the afternoon, so I only made one thing instead of two. I made the pecan turtle bars, and MMMMMMMM. I'm not sure I can share them. lol I'll make the other cookies tomorrow, and maybe the pecan pie. We'll see how much energy I have!

So, I take my Revatio (Viagra) pills at 7am, 3pm, and 11pm. It's supposed to be taken 8 hours apart. This afternoon around 3, I was on the phone with my mom while I was trying to open the new bottle of Revatio tablets I had, and during the conversation, I thought I had taken my dose. After I got off the phone, I spent 5 minutes struggling to remember whether or not I had swallowed the pills. What the heck??? This isn't the only time I've done this. There have been plenty of times that I go to take my pill…

Getting Prepared

Christmas is 4 days away, and it's hard to believe! I am pretty much set gift-wise. I've wrapped everything except for K's gift, which is in a huge box. My wrapping paper won't cover it at all! I was going to buy some more, but my mom said she'd bring some over later. Once the box is wrapped, I'm definitely done!

My sister, Lisa, is going to make her way home from NC tomorrow. They are driving, so they'll travel to PA to where my aunt lives and spend the night before finishing their trip on Friday. There's no way they could make that trip a full day with an almost 3yr old! I'm so excited to see them! They will actually be here to celebrate Christmas ON CHRISTMAS!! Usually they would come the day after, but this year, they'll be here earlier. My family will be going to Mandy's house for dinner and opening gifts. I'm looking forward to it so much! I'm crossing my fingers that K will be able to come for dessert. It would be nice if he …

It's A Major Award!

Wow, I won! I was not expecting to win, but I did! What did I win? Well, in my last post I mentioned a blog giveaway by Sunshine, and the deadline was last night. There weren't too many who entered, but by random draw, my name was picked to win the prize! I will be receiving a cookbook that supports the Cayman Humane Society, and also a little surprise (which I can't wait to see!)! Thank you very much, Sunshine, for doing this blog giveaway! I've entered a few of these on various blogs before, but this is the first one I've ever won! I will definitely post some recipes that sound delicious or that I end up making after I receive it in the mail! :)

Do You Like Giveaways??

Then sign up for this Christmas giveaway, ending on Thursday at midnight EST!! It's a great cookbook filled with hopefully delicious recipes, and supporting the Cayman Humane Society on the Cayman Islands! This giveaway is being....well...given away (hehe) by a lovely blogger I've been following for quite some time named Sunshine! I'm always jealous of her posts because she lives in such a beautiful WARM place!! lol Anyway, if you'd like to participate in this giveaway, please follow the link! Good luck to all who enter!!

http://suchlifeinthetropics.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-treat.html

Holidaze

Yes, I'm here. I haven't posted in several weeks, but I am here and I'm doing ok! I keep wanting to write something, but I either A) Have so much I want to say and by the time I want to write I'm tired and I just go to bed, or B) I just have so much I want to write that I don't know where to start, and then I figure maybe I'll do better tomorrow. Tonight, it's a combination of both, and so with that, I'm posting this short blurb to say that I am around, and that I really do hope to be able to write something with more sustenance very soon!!!

Cure?

The only cure for PH is a lung transplant. Not everyone is eligible for one, not everyone wants to go through one. It is not an easy fix. Transplant brings along many complications, and an entirely different set of medications for life. This is why we need more PH awareness and a cure!!

Inhaled Medication

Ventavis (iloprost) was the first FDA-approved inhaler treatment for symptoms of PH. It was approved in 2004. Ventavis is taken 6-9 times a day, depending on the response of the patient. Ventavis can cost around $60-70,000 a year.

The biggest complaint I've heard from patients on Ventavis is the amount of times a person needs to take the treatment a day. In order to fit up to 9 treatments, it needs to be done about every 2 hours. Another complaint is the setup and the cleanup, which can be time consuming. However, Ventavis has helped many PHers, so I guess you just have to look at the benefits outweighing the annoyances.

Oral Medication IV

Adcirca (tadalafil or Cialis), was FDA-approved to treat PH symptoms in 2009. It works the same way Revatio works. The difference is that Adcirca is taken once a day, whereas Revatio is taken three times a day.

Oral Medication III

Revatio (sildenafil or viagra) was FDA-approved for treating PH symptoms in 2005. It works by relaxing the blood vessels in the lungs, which allows the heart to pump more blood into the lungs easier than when the vessels are constricted. Revatio is taken 3 times a day, 8 hours between each dose. Revatio costs at least $10,000 a year. Nitrates or nitric oxide should NOT be taken with Revatio, as it can cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure.

I began Revatio on August 16, 2007. I felt the need to add something along with the Tracleer, because I didn't feel it was doing enough for me almost a year after taking it. I still waited pretty long before asking about Revatio, but when I finally did, my PH doctor agreed to let me try it. I really feel that the combination of Tracleer and Revatio have been keeping me stable in the last few years! I hope it continues that way, but if I need to, I can increase the amount of Revatio I take before considering another drug to add to my daily regime…

Oral Medication II

Letairis (ambrisentan) is another oral medication that can be used to treat symptoms of PH. It was FDA-approved in 2007. It works much in the same way as Tracleer does, only it is taken once a day. Also, just recently monthly bloodwork to check liver enzymes are no longer required, although some doctors may want their patients to continue to get theirs checked. Letairis can cost around $70,000 a year.

Oral Medication

Tracleer (bosentan) became the first oral treatment for PH, being FDA-approved in 2001. It is taken twice a day, 12 hours apart. Tracleer can cause liver damage, which is why monthly bloodwork is required by all PH patients taking this med. Tracleer can also cause severe birth defects, which is also why women taking Tracleer must also have a monthly pregnancy test. Tracleer costs almost $70,000 a year.

Tracleer was the first PH med that I started. I took the first pill on Oct. 12, 2003. While I didn't notice any huge difference for quite awhile, the first tiny inkling I had of the med working for me was almost a month after I had started it. I had to go vote, and on the way back to my car from the building, it suddenly dawned on me that I wasn't as short of breath as I usually get from walking a distance. I got in my car and cried. Months later, I was dancing at my sister's wedding. I couldn't believe what a change Tracleer made in my daily living, and it made me incred…

Another Medication

Remodulin (treprostinil) is another treatment for PH that can be delivered in three ways: by IV through the veins, or subcutaneously (under the skin), or by inhalation (called Tyvaso). There are also trials that are being conducted right now for oral Remodulin, and hopefully that will be approved at some point as another way to use this med. Depending on the dosage a patient is given, Remodulin can cost at least $100,000 a year.

If I were to need another drug added to the regimen of pills I'm taking every day to treat my PH symptoms, I would probably ask my doctors about adding Tyvaso. Once again, the IV treatment would be risky. The huge drawback with the subq version of Remodulin is the pain. I have known many PHers who just can't bear the pain that goes along with that way of using Remodulin. So I'm not sure I could do it, either! But the inhaled version seems to be much easier, so I would go along with that IF I were to need something more.

The Gold Standard

Flolan (epoprostenol) was the first FDA-approved treatment for PH symptoms. It only lasts a few minutes in the blood stream, which is why it needs to be delivered continuously by IV through a permanent catheter placed in a large vein going into the heart. Complications can include jaw pain, foot pain, headaches, rashes, as well as site infections. Not all patients experience all these problems. Flolan can cost approximated $100,000 a year, but may be higher depending on a patient's dosage.

I have not been put on Flolan to treat my PH symptoms, and I may never need it. It's a powerful medication that has helped many PHers improve, but the risks may outweigh the benefits for some. In my case, because of the 2 holes in my heart, my cardiologist feels that Flolan would be a last resort option for me, most likely if I were waiting for a lung transplant. The risk of line infections is too great at this point, when I'm doing considerably well. But I know if I ever needed Flolan, I…

Eisenmenger Syndrome

I know I have mentioned that I have Eisenmenger syndrome. Tonight I found a great link describing exactly what it is! I hope you're able to spend a few minutes reading it!

https://www.memorialhealth.com/healthinfo/content.aspx?pageid=P08482

If you don't want to click on the link, the info is copied below:

Eisenmenger Syndrome

What is Eisenmenger syndrome?

Eisenmenger syndrome is a condition that includes a collection of symptoms: cyanosis (pale blue or grayish skin due to decreased oxygen in the blood), pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs), and erythrocytosis (increased number of red blood cells in the blood due to decreased oxygen in the blood).

Eisenmenger syndrome primarily affects adolescents and adults with certain congenital heart defects that were repaired late (after the first year of life) or that were never repaired. Eisenmenger syndrome, however, can occur in infants or children born with pulmonary hypertension; therefore, sympto…

Oxygen

Oxygen is something that some pulmonary hypertension patients may need. Some patients need it more than others, some may only need it at night, and some don't even need it at all. I am one of those who was told to use it at all hours of the day, despite the fact that my oxygen saturation levels (sats) never get to 90%. Normal oxygen sats are from 95-100%. For me, because I have Eisenmenger's, it's pretty much my norm to be hovering in the high 70 to mid-80% range when at rest. When I exercise or vacuum or something more physical, I dip into the low 60s, sometimes even into the high 50% range. Yes, that would be deadly for any normal person, but I am not normal!! lol

I found out this past May that there isn't any proof that oxygen really helps Eisenmenger patients. I can actually understand why that is, since no matter how much oxygen I'm on, I will never get my sats into the normal range, and that especially goes for when I'm physically active. I thought hearing…

Diagnosis

Pulmonary hypertension may be suspected after having an echo, however, this is not a definite way to diagnosis PH. A true diagnosis of PH is done by having a right heart catherization (RHC). During this procedure, an accurate measure of the pressures in the lungs are taken to determine whether or not someone has PH.

Cool Dream!

On Tuesday, K. told me that he saw a buck crossing near the area where he was getting his truck looked at. I was a little sad because I was hoping to see a buck when we walked along the trail a couple Saturdays ago. So we made plans to either try going Tuesday night, or maybe Wednesday, and also maybe this Saturday if the weather wasn't too bad. So Tuesday night, I had a dream:

K. and I were walking along a trail, and K. went ahead of me to see if he could find a shortcut. I stood waiting for him and looking around, when suddenly I heard a noise behind me. I turned slowly, and there standing so close was a huge buck! I tried not to gasp since I didn't want to scare it away, but I definitely dropped my jaw in shock. And instead of backing away slowly, I just reached out my hand. The buck moved a little closer and allowed me to pet it. I PET A BUCK!! Now, I know in real life you can't do that, but this was a very cool dream!! So, I'm standing there petting this enormous b…

Abbreviations

PH = pulmonary hypertension, a general term used to describe PH.

PAH = pulmonary arterial hypertension, which means the right side of the heart is affected. PAH can be treated by 9 currently available FDA-approved PH meds.

PVH = pulmonary venous hypertension, which means the left side of the heart is affected. Unfortunately, for PVH, many of the treatments available for PAH cannot be used to treat symptoms. These meds can actually worsen PVH patients.

Hope this isn't too confusing!!

Categories

Pulmonary hypertension can happen without any known cause, which is rather frustrating for those who are diagnosed this way. This is known as idiopathic pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension can be diagnosed secondary to a cause, like connective tissue diseases, congenital heart defects, chronic liver disease, HIV, drugs, and toxins. This is known as associated pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension can also be genetic, which means it can be inherited. This is known as heritable pulmonary hypertension.

It's November, And That Means......

....it's PH Awareness Month!! Once again I'm going to try blogging every day for PH Awareness. I hope I can do it, since I've been bad at blogging every day!!

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the lungs. It is rare and it is incurable, and can be life-threatening if not treated.

Anyone can have pulmonary hypertension. It does not discriminate by age or race. However, it does occur more frequently in women of child-bearing age.

Pulmonary hypertension symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue. Simple daily tasks can become very difficult with PH.

Pulmonary hypertension is not a contagious disease. Very often, people with PH do not even look sick. For this reason, it's often considered an "invisible" health problem.

Clean Freak

I spent the majority of my time on Friday and Saturday cleaning much of my apartment. Oh, I did the dishes and cleaned the bathroom, and vacuumed, but I also did a major dusting in 2 of my rooms, the bedroom and the living room. I have to admit that I did so much dusting as a kid for weekly chores every Saturday that it doesn't cross my mind to dust that often here. In fact, I don't remember the last time I dusted. Which is BAD. And I'm sure it's not good for my lungs. So, I spent a lot of time cleaning things, and throwing things out. I have a hard time parting with stuff sometimes. I see something I've been holding onto for years (sometimes decades), and every time I do clean, I think, "Hmmm, I could still use that," or, "Oh, I remember this!" And then I'd put it back where it was sitting forever. So, I chucked out a ton of items yesterday including jewelry (that was beyond tarnished), some stuffed animals, lots of old candles, candle stan…

Unexpected Accomplishment

Yesterday, I went to a park that had a lot of different trails you could walk, and it was huge. Now normally, I'm not always a fan of walking. Treadmill, sure. Walking down the street,fine. Going for a very long walk, especially when the temperature isn't all that warm, ummm, no. And that is my automatic thought, nope, I can't do it. Well, my biggest motivation to at least try it out this time was K. lol After getting some hot drinks, we got to the park, and began walking along one of the trails he thought I'd be able to do. It was nice, I'd honestly never been on trails before. We eventually started seeing deer, which was cool! I mean, I've seen deer before, but mostly dead on the side of the road. That is not cool! We kept going and going, stopping every once in awhile when there was a bench along the way. I was enjoying myself, not minding the weather too much, and not feeling too badly or terribly short of breath. Shocking for me!!

The trail seemed to go on …

One Less Pill To Swallow

A couple months ago, I emailed my PH doctor about possibly getting off of Coumadin, which is a blood thinner. I've been on it for about 10 miserable years. I was put on it the first trip I made to the Cleveland Clinic, and I just really have not enjoyed being on it. So I thought I would just ask about the possibility of being on a daily baby aspirin instead. I asked my PH doctor to consult my cardiologist. And then I waited and waited for an answer.

Several weeks later, I emailed my PH doc again about another question. I just wanted to know, for the heck of it, if I'd be able to get a tattoo. I sent the email off, and again I waited.

This time, the wait wasn't as long. Within a couple days, my doc emailed back. He said he hadn't even answered my first email (duh!). He said first of all, that he had consulted with my cardiologist, and they both were not sure I needed to be on Coumadin. My mouth dropped, and quite honestly, I started shaking with happiness!! WHAT?? I was …

Where Are My Posts? Part Deux

Yes, I'm slacking again. I would like to talk about a certain topic I've had a hard time with for a long time while living with PH, and that would be dating. Now I'm not a newbie at it, I have dated, and I have had a boyfriend, but it was years ago. Too many years ago. It was also before I had to wear oxygen all the time, and before I had to start taking major meds to treat PH. After all that happened, it was really hard to find someone who wanted to deal with everything. One person I found and truly loved was Euan, but he also had major health issues going on, and so it made it so much easier for us to relate and eventually fall for each other. And sadly now he is gone.

I've been on several dating websites, but most recently I've been on one that is totally free. I purposely put pictures up with me wearing oxygen, because well, that's the truth. I figure if someone doesn't like it, they don't have to say anything. Why lie and have someone find out late…

Where Are My Posts?

I have been so neglectful in posting. Most of the time when I want to write, it's so late that I decide to maybe wait until the next day to do it. And then of course, I have so much to write about now that it would take me all night. lol

My sister got married on Sept. 24th, and it was a pretty perfect day all around for her and her new husband. Nothing really went wrong or haywire, and the weather was just so beautiful! I didn't have to worry about carrying around a sweater, since it ended up being sunny and warm. The ceremony was wonderful, there were lots of people in the church. The family pictures were taken in a very beautiful building in downtown Niagara Falls called The Giacomo. Bridal party pictures were taken at The Giacomo as well as the Niagara Falls state park. By the time we got to the reception, my feet were killing me from walking around so much that I took my shoes off and didn't put my replacement shoes on until after dinner! There were around 240 guests c…

Mittens | Vote for the Next Pet Star - Photo Contest | Show Us Your Pet's Healthy Smile

Mittens | Vote for the Next Pet Star - Photo Contest | Show Us Your Pet's Healthy Smile

I have entered Mittens into a contest!! He needs votes! lol The contest ends on Oct. 21, and you can vote once a day. He could win a year of cat treats, among other things. I'm sure he'd only care about the cat treats! LOL If you could click and vote for him, he would much appreciate it!! Thanks!! :)

Wedding Weekend

My youngest sister gets married tomorrow! Last night was the rehearsal and dinner. My sisters and I went out for a drink afterward, and had a nice time together. This afternoon I'm going with Joan to get a pedicure. Tonight's a dinner with much of my family at my parents' house. And tomorrow is the big event! I sure hope I have the energy for everything! I might need several days to recover!

Happy Birthday To Me!! :)

Today was my 36th birthday! I planned on it being pretty low key, and it was until Mandy asked if we'd want to go bowling after having cake at her house! I haven't bowled in a few years, and I thought it would be rather entertaining to watch the kids play, so I said sure thing! I left the house around 5:30 to pick up a Carvel ice cream cake at Wegman's. I got an Oreo one, which I thought would be the right size for 7 people, and there's a lot leftover. It was tasty! We headed to the bowling alley afterward, and got ready to play one game. The kids got to play bumper bowling. I think my score would've been a heck of alot better if I used it, too! LOL The kids were so funny to watch! H would dance to the music playing while trying to throw the ball down the lane. And S would just run up to the lane and let the ball go flying! The finished their game a lot quicker than we did. We kept having issues with the ball getting stuck in the gutter, and then our turns all got …

A Sweet Sign?

I was sitting in my kitchen earlier today, just playing around on the laptop, when all of a sudden, I heard a music box go off. It was very brief, only maybe like 10 seconds, but enough to make me completely stop what I was doing and stare toward my hallway in shock. I didn't recall having a music box! So I got up and walked near the bedroom, trying to think what I might have in there that plays music. Nothing. I went down the hallway and stood in the entrance to the living room. There across the room sat the snow globe I received from Euan the first time we ever met in person. I went over to it, and turned it upside down, and gave the winding part a turn. It played the exact same music that I heard just minutes before. I haven't touched the snow globe in about 8 months. There was no rhyme or reason for it to go off. All I could think of was that yesterday was Euan's birthday, and tomorrow is mine. Perhaps he wanted to let me know that he was still around in spirit, when s…

About Time!

In the mail today, I FINALLY got the letter stating that my Medicaid spend down was paid for the month of September. It's about darn time!! I will be sending my check for October a heck of a lot sooner, probably by the end of this week. Talk about stressing me out. I sure hope this doesn't happen every month!!
I also got a letter stating that my food stamps will be increased again next month. I guess they really want to make sure I'm eating. lol Can't complain about that, though!!
I got pretty sunburned on Saturday from being out in the sun for at least 4 hours at the air show. I admit I forgot to put suntan lotion on, but I used the spray my sister had for the kids twice. The sun won out, though. My arms would look a heck of a lot better if I hadn't been wearing a regular tshirt. Now it looks like I have a farmer's tan, which will NOT look at all good with my sleeveless dress for the wedding!! Today I tried sitting in the sun for about an hour, seeing if I coul…

The Air Show!

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I had one amazing day today at the Air Show! We got onto the air base after 9am, and explored all the many different air craft that was around. It was really neat! The air show started around 11am with an extremely moving tribute to all the first responders of 9/11. It was rather emotional, and very well done. Then there was about two hours of incredible performances by a variety of planes and jets! I was most impressed by the B2 bomber (stealth bomber), which is the triangle-looking jet pictured down below, and also by the Thunderbirds! They were the main attraction, and the crowd love them!! They are the last several pictures below. Hope you enjoy the pictures!! I had over 100 of them, but I didn't think I should put all of them up in my blog! lol I am just so glad I went today, it was a great day!!



















September Weekends

This week seemed to go by quickly, probably because Monday was Labor Day. The weather wasn't all that great, reminding me miserably that winter will be here sooner than anyone wants. I went out to lunch on Wednesday with Renee and Dee, and it was a nice time! We enjoyed our meals at Michael's Restaurant, and then talked forever after. Then we got back to my place and talked forever again! It's always so nice to have such good friends to share so many things with. I'm glad we were able to hang out for awhile!
Thursday, Mandy and I went to Wegman's for some sushi, since it was her first day of having no kids all day. Her son was all dressed and ready for school, with his backpack on, at 7am. lol A little bit too early!! I'm so glad he's enthusiastic about going, though! I hope both he and his sister have a great year!
Tomorrow I'm going to the Air Show at the base for the first time ever! I've always heard the air shows going on when I was growing up, …

Anytime Now!!

My financial state gets turned upside down last month. I do all of these things to crunch numbers, lower bills, make arrangements for help, and within about a week, I'm somehow able to pay for my bills again, including the medical insurance.
And yet, here I am, still waiting on the good old state of NY to actually tell me my first payment to them was accepted, and that I will have my appts and such covered for September. Come on!!! I bend over backwards to make sure I'm not screwed, and yet, it doesn't seem to matter!!
My caseworker did tell me on Friday that I should just tell whoever I see that I did pay for my Medicaid spenddown for September so in case Medicaid doesn't cover my 20%, they can submit the bill over again. How friggin annoying! I guess that's what I'll be telling the lab tomorrow when I go for bloodwork. I just don't want to end up with bills for anything, because I DID what I was supposed to do!! ARGH!!!

Celebrating Your Special Day

I got my first birthday card today, even though it's not until the 17th. It came from the place I had asked to help me with payments for my Medicaid spenddown, and I was surprised to get it. It was a very nice card, and I just wanted to share what it says on the inside:
The Wonderful Thing About Your Birthday
Is celebrating footprints from afar the magical miles of memories that has made you who you are. Steps that at times seem faded and sometimes full of fear your birthday is a reminder that you did persevere. So as you celebrate your life reflect upon it with a smile because the path that created you was worth every single mile. Gifts that can't be sent for they will be with you all year long as you make your next footprint. *APJ*
I admit that I got a little teary eyed reading the card, because the words ring so true. While some people hate the fact they are gaining years and getting older, I relish it. My parents were told they didn't know how long I might live, so I thank God for eve…

September Days

It's just barely into the 2nd day of September, and I'm already missing the summer. Summer hasn't officially ended by calendar standards, yet to me, whenever September hits, I immediately think fall. Which then immediately reminds me that the dreaded winter is coming soon. Booooo.
Tonight I did something I've never ever done before. I went to the movies. BY MYSELF. I checked to see if the final Harry Potter movie would still be playing tomorrow night (well, really waaaay later tonight, since it is almost 1am on Sept. 2nd), and it wasn't. OH NO!! I did NOT want to be seeing this final installment of the series on a much smaller screen at the cheap theater, and I definitely did not want to end up seeing this last movie just on my tv. There was only one time it was playing, and that was 9:40pm. So, I decided to just go on my own! And I have to say, I really enjoyed it! I felt so daring. LOL! I liked the movie, and I won't be giving away any details for those who ma…

Changes

Only a couple more days of August are left, and most nights are already feeling as if it's fall. I'm really sad that summer is ending. I mostly don't like the thought of it disappearing for another 9 months because for those months, I will be mostly cold!!! I know that soon I will be putting away my summer clothes and dragging out the fall/winter ones. I'll have to encase my windows in plastic to keep winter drafts from coming into the house. I need to figure out ways to keep my place warmer without blasting the heat (which I never do). I really need to find out how to keep my feet and legs warmer, because they are the parts of my body that just get coldest the fastest. Long underwear and 2 or 3 pairs of socks and slippers don't seem to be cutting it with me!! Before long, it'll also be bath season!! If only there was a way to stay in the tub all day so that I wouldn't be cold!
The weather changes are bringing me headaches almost every day, literally. Most o…

Painting Project

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I had purchased 2 paint by numbers in the spring to work on during the summer, since I didn't think I'd be so busy. Well, I was busy! So I didn't start the first one until the end of July. I worked on it mostly outside in the backyard on my new little table set. I finally finished it last night, and I love it! I plan on getting a frame and putting it in my kitchen. I started the other painting tonight, but that one is insane! It's so much harder than the other one, and will take much more time! I do love painting, though! I just wish I had a natural talent at it rather than relying on numbers!

What's Shakin?

I was at my stove early this afternoon making some grits for lunch when my fridge started making a horrible noise. Now, all summer my fridge has been making noises off and on, sometimes sounding like it's thawing out, but when I check it, everything is fine. But this noise was totally different, and it almost seemed like the fridge was moving a little bit. I stared at it and said out loud, "What the hell is wrong with my fridge now??" I glanced in the computer room and Mittens was on the rug, frozen in the middle of cleaning, and staring at me wide eyed. Several seconds later, the fridge stopped making any noise. So then I thought, oh great, it broke! But when I opened it up, everything seemed fine. Hmmm, oh well. Back to cooking!
Minutes passed by, and something in my mind said EARTHQUAKE. And 10 minutes after that, I got an alert on my phone saying that an earthquake had indeed happened, but in Virginia! Whoa! I can't believe it could be felt way up here, although, …

FINALLY!

I got up at 9am this morning and proceeded to make several phone calls that I realized I needed to make today. The first was the Medicaid office in Lockport, who told me I had to call my caseworker in Niagara Falls to find out the information I need so I can send in a check to pay for Medicaid for September. Give me a break!!! I left a message for my caseworker, and guess what?? SHE NEVER CALLED ME!! I did, however, finally get the paperwork in the mail this afternoon!! I opened it up, read everything, wrote a check, and flew to the post office to mail it! I sure hope that it is enough time to get there, or else I'm going to be royally pissed off!! I swear, I accept this stupid changes, and I still get screwed over because the dumb state is late sending me the info. At least it feels that way!!
I did go out to lunch today with my good friend, Erin, and her daughter. We went down to The Silo, which was rather nice! Today felt like fall, which was not nice. Not for me, anyway. lol B…

Awesome Groom!

I saw this on Yahoo! earlier today, and it made me cry. And I'm not a big cryer usually!! Sure wish I could find someone this thoughtful and sweet!!

Bill Shrinkage

I spent Thursday afternoon on the phone with Verizon and Time Warner. Verizon changed my phone plan back down to 450 minutes (UGH), and also completely blocked texting for me. I am thankful for a smartphone that allows all sorts of apps, because I found a free texting app that actually works pretty decently. So, even if I didn't have to crunch my bills, I would have gotten rid of texting anyway after finding this app! In total, I'll be saving about $30 on my phone, which is good!
A friend had told me that Time Warner had a cable modem package called Road Runner Lite. He said he used it for awhile when he had to crunch bills. So I asked the service rep about it when I called, and she said that they never sign people up on that package if they are using wireless service because we would call and complain about how terribly slow it is. What she ended up offering me was an upgrade to what I already had, but for almost $15 less a month. Ooooook, sign me up!! Even though it's onl…

Guess What Came In The Mail?

I knew that after typing about not receiving information about the Medicaid changes yet that I would probably get it today. Sure enough, when I checked the mailbox, there it was. I don't understand exactly what I need to do, so tomorrow I will be calling my caseworker, and hope to heck she won't take another week to get back to me. Sigh.

I See You

My mom had her first cataract surgery yesterday, on her right eye. My parents had to get up at 4am to make sure they were at the place by 5:30. Why in the world do they start those surgeries so darn early???? I'm very relieved that I didn't have to bring her just because I'd be a walking zombie for a few days!!! Everything went just fine, though! I went over to the house after rehab and had some lunch, helped my mom get some things for her lunch, and then she went to lay down in her bedroom. I stayed for a couple hours doing updating on her computer, and I also washed the dishes before I went back home.
This morning my mom had to get the patch taken off, and when I called to see how she was doing, she told me how shocked she was that she could see so clearly! I'm really glad that she's able to see so good! So, I'm hoping next week's surgery goes just as well for her, so she can see almost perfectly with BOTH eyes!!

Waiting and Planning

I kind of took the weekend off from really stressing about my finances, and spent a great two days in Lewiston at the annual Art Festival. The festival is one of my favorite things in the summer! At least 100 artists set up booths with a wide variety of artistic ideas, everything from glasswork to paintings to jewelry to woodwork, etc, etc. That's just a whole bunch of talent gathering together!! This year, my sister Mandy actually had a booth!! She had her beautiful jewelry and glasswork, and she really did well with sales! I think she's already trying to plan some new ideas that she'll be able to include for next year if she's able to get a booth again. I'm so happy for her, and very proud that she could participate!!
Sunday evening I went to dinner with Joan, my cousin, Ryhan, and my Aunt Jane, who were both in town for a couple days. We went to Applebee's, and Ryhan asked a ton of questions about the wedding, and Joan moving to Canada, and where they were g…

Surprise! You're In The Hole!

On Monday, I received a letter about my food stamps, and I knew something was wrong. According to the paperwork, I would be getting more money starting next month for food than I thought I should be getting. UGH, it got messed up again?? After reading the letter, the reasoning for the extra money was because I would be paying for Medicare Part B premiums. I knew this was wrong, because Medicaid pays for those premiums. So, I tried calling my case worker on Tuesday. Of course, I had to leave a message with her. Since I hadn't heard anything, this morning I just decided to write a note and send it to her in the mail. I got it all ready to go, and then got a call from her. Wow, surprise! I told her about the notice and what I thought was a mix-up, and she said that she would adjust everything and there would most likely be a change, which I totally expected. So, I went on about my afternoon, spending a couple hours painting outside while it rained around me (I was under the garage do…

Wide Awake

It's 1am here, and I feel wide awake. I had a bad headache after dinner, so I finally took an Excedrin for it around 8pm, which I knew would probably keep me up later than usual. Considering I was pretty tired almost all day, I find it ironic that now I can't sleep. Sigh.
Yesterday, I brought Shelby to the vet with mom. Shelby had her laser treatment, but I'm wondering how much it's really helping her. Her back leg keeps giving out often, and I feel bad. I don't know how much pain she's really in when that happens, but I'm hoping it's not a lot. No matter what, though, Shelby always has a cute little smile on her face. I think that makes it so hard to know what to do for her, because that face makes it seem like she's always happy!!
By the way, the sister kitties were gone. However, they had 2 more kitties in there! A long haired black kitty and a short haired orange kitty occupied the cage. When I went over to look at them, they were both sleeping t…

Finally, An Answer (Maybe??)

Thursday I was discussing this situation with my sister, and I brought up how I was wondering what the heck was still going on with my tongue. I told her I wasn't really sure now if it was the pill that was the culprit, considering it's been 2 months of not taking it, and I wanted to chop off my tongue on Tuesday b/c it was hurting so bad. I said I was looking up oral thrush again, and still, none of the pictures I saw really represented what my tongue looked like. However, when I stuck my tongue out at Mandy (no, not to be mean, just to show her!!), she said she thought I had it. Why? Well, she had 2 kids that had it when they were babies, and she remembered what it looked like. Sooo, when my nurse called me on Thursday afternoon, I told her what Mandy thought, but I did say I wasn't really totally sure. My nurse said she'd ask my doctor, and had called me back 10 minutes later saying my doctor wanted me to try Protonix, which I guess was for acid reflux. I was thinki…

July, Over And Out!

In 20 minutes, a new month begins. I can't believe how incredibly busy July has been. I remember during the winter, I kept trying to think of things to do to keep myself busy during the summer. I bought 2 paint-by-numbers so I could do them since I have not been working on jewelry much lately. I thought I'd have plenty of opportunities to do them, but I've only worked on one of them twice so far! August promises to be a bit less chaotic, so perhaps I'll be able to do more things around the house, and the paintings! I just don't like the fact that this summer is disappearing quickly!!

Is This Thing On??

Here we are, a week later since my last post. I swear, I had very many good intentions on blogging this week, but then either something came up and I'd forget, or I'd just plain forget, or I would get ready to do it and figured I was too tired. Ugh. I think part of it is laziness, too! Anywho....
Sunday was Joan's last bridal shower in Canada, and it was nice. It was a cash shower, and there were no games involved, but we sure did eat. If what we had at the shower is any indication of what the reception's going to be like after the wedding, then I might as well start fasting now. Holy smokes, the food just seemed to keep coming! There was antipasto (antipasta??), which included lots of tomatoes and cheeses, ham, pasta salads, etc. Then bowls of pasta were brought out. After awhile, they brought out chicken covered with some kind of mushroom and bacon sauce, little potato puff things, and cooked green beans and carrots. And a salad. Everything was pretty good, although …

Just Some Thoughts

I've been having such a lazy Saturday, and it's been rather nice. I didn't have to worry about getting up early to go to rehab, or bring my mom to the doctor's, or bringing Shelby to the vet. I got up a little late, read the news in bed for a bit, and eventually got showered and dressed. I didn't sit down for breakfast until it was 12. I really haven't done too much since! I shut the a/c off in my apartment, despite the fact that it's currently 90 degrees and feels like 97. Am I crazy? Well, most people would say yes. lol However, I'm so sick of the a/c being on, that I just wanted to use the fan. I'm a little warm, but not uncomfortable. I do wish it would rain, though, so maybe the mugginess would go away!
I got a text alert earlier stating that Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. Now, while I cracked a joke about it, that maybe she should've said yes, yes, yes to rehab, I have to admit that the situation is rather sad. And, w…

Melting

Today was very hot here. Opressive. Although there was a lot of wind going on (which I think was a saving grace from downright hell), the temperature was in the 90s, and it felt more like 108 at one point. It doesn't get THAT hot here! I know I'm not supposed to really be venturing out in weather like that, but I had to bring my mom to her eye appt at 9:30, so we left at 8:30. We didn't get back home until almost 4. After the appt, we ventured around the mall for a couple of hours, something I haven't done in, years?? I just don't shop like I used to! We met my friend, Renee, for lunch at Panera Bread, and had a nice time chatting and laughing! Then we went into the Hallmark store, where I bought a gift for Mo's baby shower. On the ride back to the Falls, my mom fell asleep. I wish I could've, too, but I was driving!! We stopped at Mandy's house for a little bit, so my mom could give the kids shirts she bought for them. And then we finally got home.
I w…