Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Appreciating the Good :)

I was on my way to a pharmacy a few towns away to pick up a medication for Mr SeaSpray and Amoxicillin for this wicked throat infection that I have.  Amoxicillin - YAY!  However as I entered into the next town I noticed the car battery light on.  Uh oh.  This can't be good but if I just keep the car running I should be okay.  Right?

Fortunately I decided to pull over to read the car manual recommendations.  Darn!  This isn't good.  But I only have to go about 5 more miles and then 9 back.  What could go wrong?

I REALLY wanted that Amoxicillin!

But then I imagined myself with a dead battery on the side of the road and despite the lure of the greatly desired amoxicilllin, I headed back.  But first I pulled into our new mechanic's lot and he came right out.  He tested the alternator.  We need a new alternator.  The car was only running on the battery and so I shut everything off that drains the battery and headed back home.

I did what I always do when I come home in the afternoon.  I pulled up alongside our fence to get the mail. Then after I stopped the car in the driveway I did the 2nd thing I always do ...I began looking at the mail before getting out of the car.  But after lifting a second envelope something goldish brown dropped down into my crotch area and I began to scream because I thought it was a spider and I hate and am afraid of spiders. *SHUDDER*

But then it began buzzing and I began screaming more.  Do bees hear the screaming?  I wasn't sure if it was going to go up my blouse or where it was and my instinct was to swat it away but that could also provoke it even more and I really did not want a bee sting.  Still screaming I couldn't get out of the car fast enough.  The bee followed but fortunately flew away. 

This actually worked out well.  True ...we need a new alternator and I didn't get the Amoxicillin, but at least I didn't get stung by that bee.  And even more important ...if the alternator was going to die then I am glad it was today and not on Friday when I will be driving farther away from home on much busier roads down in another county.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fantasizing About Antibiotics and Other Thoughts

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. Romans 15:13

I'm not usually so negative but have felt challenged in the hope department lately.  The verse above is one of my favorites and I need to be mindful that God is bigger than any problems.  It doesn't mean people won't go through awful things.  Bad things do happen to good people.  But he does promise to be with us always.  Speaking for myself ...I always feel better about life when I focus on the promises of God and his love.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  I choose faith.  Photo credit.

I think I made a mistake in not going to the doctor today as I think I may have strep.  Or is it possible to have such a bad sore throat, swollen glands and aching ears and opting to drool at times versus swallowing and still not have strep?  I didn't feel like showering and getting my achy ears wet, but will I really feel more like it tomorrow?  And I am NOT going to the ER.  Oh well.

Anyway ...I have really been wanting to blog except that I have had this awful block with writing ...or ...I write but then keep it in drafts ...or I post and just as quickly take it back down.  I don't know what is wrong with me regarding writing ...a hobby that I have been passionate about in the past.  I am disappointed that some bloggers no longer blog.  But others still do.  And that isn't why I haven't been writing.  Just an observation.  And I miss the ones that have stopped.  Also, I know many have gravitated to fb and I am just not big on facebook.  Or twitter.  I'm a blogging purist.  I just love writing and reading what other bloggers have written.  But ...I've also been remiss in reading too.  As a matter of fact ...I've been remiss with keeping up with email too.  Again ...I don't know why.  it almost feels draining to expend the energy.  Is that depression?  Because I don't feel depressed.  I have used the "O" word a lot this past winter and spring.  Overwhelmed.

I have been watching TV although not as many news shows as I used to.  They all end up saying the same things anyway.  If I do watch ...my favorite television news shows would be The Five and Megyn Kelley on FOX.  I don't always agree with them but do think they are fair.  I'd love to hang out with the Five crew.  :)  I also want to get Dana Perino's book, "And the Good News is ...Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side."  I hear it is a number one seller and people from both parties are enjoying it.   I've heard it's a good read, positive and great book to give to a young person starting out.  Who doesn't need some good news and encouragement these days?

I don't know ...life just seems weird these days.  I wonder if anyone else feels this way?  I've had some personal reasons that caused me to feel overwhelmed but most of that is resolved now. 

I also really like Judge Jeannine's show on Saturday nights and appreciate how she tells it like it is and does not mince words.  If it weren't for her I wouldn't know about the danger that we are all in regarding an EMP attack or solar flares taking the grid down.  BTW ...if that happened (God Forbid!) we would all be catapulted back to the 1800s.  Also 90% of the population would be dead in a year.  I cannot understand why our government has not moved on fixing this problem.  It baffles the mind - seriously.  The last I knew ...the UK, Russia, Israel and I think N Korea have protected their grids.  How is it that the United States has not fixed this yet?  They say it is not expensive to fix.

Anyway ...I have been watching TV, with sitcoms being my favorite.  (Mash, Frasier and Everybody Loves Raymond :)  I just want to laugh.  It's an escape.  I've also been reading a lot.  I'm currently and thoroughly enjoying reading, "Les Miserables" and am glad I decided to read it first before watching the movie.

And I am making more time to listen to music ...which at this point feels like a respite for my soul.

I guess this news junkie, SeaSpray, has been needing to escape from the reality of what is going on in this country and abroad.  It is awful beyond words.  :(  I do listen to political pod casts and talk radio.  I don't think the talking heads on TV give you all the facts ...not even FOX.  I think the masses are asleep.  Some just don't pay attention or care and assume life is the same old, same old.  It's not.  And then those that do pay attention are not getting all the information in the MSM.  I 100% believe if they knew the truth about certain things that they would be concerned.

And I am not saying these things to be political.  I think many things are beyond being partisan and should be a concern to Americans regardless of ideologies.  How can one make accurate judgements if the facts are withheld?  For example ...why aren't all the news stations ...including FOX shouting from the rooftops every day about protecting us from the grid going down?  That is a huge concern.  It is also known that the Chinese and Russians already have internal access to our  electrical grids.  I just do not understand why we are still so vulnerable when it is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix as compared to other national concerns.

Then there is the fact that this administration is allowing thousands of people to come into this country illegally and without vetting them.  Our national security is being greatly compromised by allowing this to happen.  I can't even get into this right now.

Okay ...I did write much more but will save it for another time.

I just can't believe all the bad and at times alarming news everywhere.

And I know that I am not the only one to feel great concern. 

I have really felt powerless.

If our elected leaders won't fix things what chance do we have of effecting positive change?

I've always been the eternal optimist type.  Not so much anymore when it comes to how our government is managing things.  I think corruption runs deep within both parties.  It's like what was once considered right is wrong and what was wrong is now right.  I've heard a lot of people say this even in the news.

I cannot believe all the things I keep deleting because I feel afraid to speak my own mind about some topics.  This is so not me.  But now it is.  If anyone would've told me I would feel like this in the United States I wouldn't have believed it.  And there is so MUCH that is wrong that I don't even know where to begin.  And does it matter anyway?  To quote a former Secretary of State, "What DIFFERENCE does it make?"

And while the people slept....

Friday, May 15, 2015

N-o-o-o-o-o ...NOT The "C" Word - Avoiding the "C" Word

Dog bracing himself above bath water to avoid having to get in
I know this feeling.  :)  Photo credit

Monday night, I finally got in to see my urologist after delaying for various reasons since this past November.  I've cancelled SIX appointments since then and that is not at all the norm for me.  Admittedly since March ...I have been afraid to go in because I thought he might use the "C" word.  But that was for yesterday's appointment.  The first five cancellations were due to illnesses or family emergencies. I wasn't overly concerned because it was to be a follow-up appointment for the renal scan I had had last year and I knew the test results were normal.

Anyway, back to that "C" word.  This past March I had a urinary tract infection with significant renal colic in my right kidney.  I endured really strong kidney spasm's (at worst up to about a 8 and 2/5 on the pain scale. (lq2m) I'm just messing with medical people with the 2/5. ;) that began in early evening and lasted into the wee hours of the morning until I fell asleep.  Luckily for me I had percocet left over and was able to take that to help with the pain.  I also packed a bag for the hospital ...just in case.  A SeaSpray's gotta be prepared.  :)  Fortunately the worst pain was gone by morning.  Given what my past urologic history has been (although resolved since March 2011), it is something to follow up on.  The following morning when said urologist called to check up on me from the night before, he mentioned the "C" word and I agreed ...but since then have been avoiding. The "C" word being cystoscopy ...although the other night, I think he said cystogram.  Whatever.  They're both "C" words.  Oh ...and he used the "R" word too - retrograde.

I'm not afraid of the procedure.  Although, I would be if I knew it was being done in the office.  But I feel a bit squirrely about it ...sort of ..well ..okay ..fine ..I do ...feel squirrelly about it  ...BECAUSE ...well because  ...I don't want to wake up to a stent in me.  Then I would be very concerned I had gone backwards from being healed.   And so if I don't do the test then I can't go backwards.  And I know that is flawed reasoning because if something is wrong you want to head it off before you are  at more risk and then playing catch up.  I do know better. 

In the past there were other UTIs, some with renal colic and some without and they went away with antibiotics, but then it turned out that I had that ureteral stricture.  But that was before I had ever been stented.  Well ...okay there was one time after being stented that the URI was the warning and that went into renal colic as well, but I also had the stricture.  Another time  - no UTI but just renal colic.  I did wrestle with this chronic condition.  BUT it all stopped after I finished up with the last stent ...a BIG stent that was in me for 11 weeks.  Thank God my urologist worked with me.  And now I have been stent free for FOUR years and 2 months.  It simply doesn't make sense that my ureter would close up again.  Right?

So using that logic, then I really should not be concerned about the "C" word.

My urologist did use the "C" word last night, but is having me repeat the mag III renal scan w/lasix first and earlier than I would normally have to.  Then he will decide after that.  I appreciate his encouraging me. And I am a person of faith and I need to be more trusting that everything really is just fine.  Actually I do.  I just have this part of me that does this for whatever reason.  And obviously ...now that I have finally gone in I will follow through with whatever I need to do.  Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.  And so I will.

And there WILL be a good outcome.  :)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Projectile Weapon - The Foley Catheter

I don't know what it is about me that brings out my zany imaginations with medical situations I find myself in or about to be in.  Maybe foley catheters are just amusing.  I don't know why.  But they also have a potential for danger.  I shall explain.  Ha!  My sense of humor is coming back.  I'm already feeling better since my earlier wee hour whine.  Sometimes you I just have to vent.  :)

Boy ...it really is a good thing that I did not have to get admitted into the hospital last Week.

Especially if I would've had a foley catheter placed in me. Heck ...a foley with this cough right now could be considered an occupational hazard.

A few dry coughing spasms from me and said foley would've shot out like a projectile weapon at any unfortunate soul who happened to be in the line of fire ...even across the room.

First the WHISTLING sound ...because of the high rate of speed with which said catheter was honing in on it's ill fated subject.

Then "SNAP!,"...as it hit said ill fated subject.

Followed by a big "SPLAT!," as the foley bag ...in tow, landed on top of the really unfortunate ill fated said subject.  And yes ...I know the urine filled bag is heavy but urine schmurine - heavy schmeavy.  Everyone knows it is the velocity that makes the difference.  Physics 101. 

Never underestimate the powerful force of a dry cough.

Projectile foley - it could happen.  ;)

Like missiles, I tell you!  ;)

 Bard® Silicone Elastomer Coated Latex Catheter   5cc 12 FrBardex Red Rubber Urethral Catheter 16Fr

Feeling Defeated and Miserable and So Weak

Infant Decongestant Remedies
 Photo Credit

Admittedly, I may wake up with blogger's remorse and delete this whiny post but for now ...I also feel discouraged ...concerned ...and if honest maybe a bit more than concerned. 

I know. 

So much for my positive words.

I've been praying a lot.

The good news is that the right kidney pain subsided for the most part by Thursday morning.  And the worst of the uti symptoms are better.  I stopped the pyridium but started it again. 

Since Friday though ...I've been having intermittent low back pain at about a 4 and it is really wearing on me.  And I'm not going to write a lot about this but I haven't felt right in the middle of my body since Friday night.  Everything ...like every organ or whatever is in there is feeling all out of sorts and it's scaring me.  There was only one other time this happened in my life and that was December, 2005.  Everything feels so sensitive that I don't even know how to describe it.  Pressure, bloat, sore.  No nausea tho.  And no fever.  That's good  No fever - no serious infection.

I want to go to the doctor but I can't leave the house with this dry cough part of the URI.  I am taking Benzonatate every 8 hours, drinking so much water, tea and honey, cough drop every 2 hours if I need it or can and run into the bathroom to turn the hot, steamy shower on and just just breathe.  I might have to in a second if I don't get on top of it.  I don't DARE be away from steam and hot liquids!  Frustrating with a capital "F!"

I had to turn the shower on FOUR times after going to bed last nite.  And several times all day.  I'm so drained and sleep when and where I can.  And drink hot liquid.  It is scary when you can't get air in.  I can't help but to think about people having to live like this and worse, on a daily basis.  My heart goes out to all those with serious chronic lung conditions.  Every easy ...clear breath is a gift that I know I've mostly taken for granted.  And my breathing is clear and the URI not as bad, but for the love of God ...does anyone on this planet know how to eradicate the dry cough???  It starts as a tickle.  I try to not react but if I cough more than once or even drink something cold or try to talk ...that's it, I begin the decent of no return.  You ...I have to mentally stay above the sensation and then sometimes I can get past it.  Mind over matter and all.

And what the heck causes this dry cough?

Anyway ...hopefully tomorrow will be a major turn-around-day. 

Well there is an upside to all this.

With all this reclining, etc., I don't have any knee pain.  ;)

Oh and it is all gonna be so wonderful just being able to feel good doing all kinds of things again.  :)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pain Scale - 16 :)

Not verbatim, but close.

Urologist: "So ...Your pain was a 16?"

Me:  "What?  No.?  I had a 5/6.  Did I say SIXTEEN?"

"You said 16."

"Oh. Not intentionally - I know better than to do that because I know medical people don't like it when patients do that."

I could almost feel him grinning over the phone.  :)

Sixteen.  An even number, but an oddly exaggerated number had I really meant to use it.  Everyone knows any dramatic pain scale exaggeration begins with a 50 ...at least..  Besides if I were gonna exaggerate last night ...it was 110.  Just saying.  ;)

Healing By the Hour


"In the happy moments - praise God. In difficult moments - seek God. In the quiet moments - trust God. In every moment - thank God."  ~ Author unknown

Things are better ...but I am wondering.

 I really thought I'd be heading over to the ER twice last night.  I was especially concerned when I was feeling quite nauseated while the flank pain exacerbated despite the percocet and at that point I also had pyridium in me too. I could also feel my right kidney with every step forward with my right leg and pressure in my rlq.

I am so very grateful that my urologist prescribed meds for the UTI.  I will be having a follow-up visit with him after I finish the medication and am feeling better from this awful upper respiratory infection.  And since my immune system is compromised at the moment I am really glad to have avoided the hospital.  I really would not want to have to go to a place where super bugs could be residing and looking for some vulnerable patient to hitch a ride onto.   Just saying.

Anyway, I appreciate that my doctor followed up with a phone call this morning, checking to see how I was doing.  And also informed me of potential symptoms to be seen for if they occurred.  I told him I felt much better and that was true.  Then after said conversation, drinking water caused me to feel nauseated but I also wonder if it is the medication.

I remember the first time a ureteral stent was removed (with the first urologist) and that night 3 tiny kidney stones caused another block.  I kept drinking water to try to help the situation but that water ended up coming back up.  Also when I did have the most serious stricture ...probably undetected for months, I never had any issues with drinking water, i.e., feeling nauseated or pressure.  Maybe kidney stones cause the water to come back up.  And ...admittedly with the symptoms I have had since last night ...I am wondering about the possibility of a kidney stone.  But unless my ureter has been miraculously widened, a kidney stone would have to be seriously lubed up to pass through that ureteral corridor.  As a matter of fact the pressure of a stone well oiled passing through said narrow corridor would cause it to shoot out like a rocket.  I can hear the medical staff now ..."Take cover!  INCOMING!"  ;)

I do ache but NOTHING like last night.

When all these symptoms began to occur, I looked up contemporary praise and worship music on You Tube and let that play throughout the house to encourage my faith that everything was going to be alright.  I believe that positive words and music can cleanse the atmosphere and set the tone for good outcomes.  Earlier in the day I played a message from Joel Osteen, entitled, "Your Words Become Your Reality."  Actually, I played it three times.  :)  I highly recommend Joel's sermons and I always come away from his website feeling so encouraged and uplifted.  :)

So, even in the writing of this post ...I am mindful of not allowing myself to get into fear about this urology concern and am believing for the best and that it probably is just a urinary tract infection that I allowed to go to far before calling my doctor.  I should have known better but I was just feeling so weak ...which of course could have really backfired because the urinary infection was probably also exacerbating said weakness.  I won't make that mistake twice.

I chuckle when I think of my clearly telling the urology receptionist that I did not have any flank pain on either side and then an hour and a half later ...I sure did have flank pain.  I remember saying the same thing when I had UTI symptoms in June 2008 and then that night I ended up in the ER with major flank pain, etc., and so I think I just have to stop saying that.  Never again shall I tell a urology receptionist that I don't have flank pain.  Just don't say it.  Murphy's law and all.  :)

Thank you to anyone who prayed for me that may've seen my prayer request in the previous post.  :)

Here is a link to Joel Osteens sermon about the power of our words: http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/WatchOnline.aspx