Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Long Christmas Post ...Finally! :)


I can't believe I haven't written anything over the holidays favorite time of the year. 

I want to wish everyone a quite belated Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.  I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season.

I told everyone that we were downsizing our Christmas tree this year and I fully intended to.  But a friend of our younger son, one of the family members that own the business, greeted us just as we walked to the trees and with a big smile said, "I have JUST the tree for you and I know you will like it."  Talk about timing ...she was standing right next to it and happily twirled it around for us.  She was just about to have it put on the tree stand.  It was a beautiful Frazier fir tree, the only kind we buy now.  Frazier trees retain their needles longer, have firm branches and a pretty scent.

It was a large tree.  I told her it was pretty and that I liked it, but that we were looking at smaller ones.  Then I told her to hold it just in case.

Mr. SeaSpray picked out a different one and so I felt that perhaps I should get that one, although it didn't have enough branches for all the ornaments on the top.  I kept going back and forth between the two trees until all of a sudden I realized my ring had come off somewhere.  It was an instant feeling of not having my ring on (If only I experienced that one other time some years back.) And I exclaimed, "Oh no!  I lost my ring!"  The workers on the lot and some customers began to help me look for it.  I went back and forth between the two trees and checked the ground along the way too.  I thought it was probably near the larger tree.  I was upset about it because I really like that ring.  It is a delicate gold cross with little diamonds on it.  The lot owners were looking with flashlights and I went back to the other tree and then came back to the large tree.  It was so dense inside and I thought that as I graced my hand across the top of some of the branches that maybe it had caught on one.  But we didn't see it.  :(   I asked for a flashlight to look one last time ...and there it was resting on a branch at the top, sparkling as the light shone on it.  It actually looked pretty on the branch.

"I found it!  And the way the cross is sitting on the branch it looks like a SIGN that we should take THIS tree!"

Decision made.

We've been very happy with this tree.  Everyone is amazed that it only cost 38.00 because it is about 9 feet tall.  All trees on that side of the lot were 38.00.  We have paid much more for trees not as tall.  And I love what they did with the trees this year.  Each tree was upright on a stand that could be twirled around.  Mr. SeaSpray didn't have to dance the trees around and it's a good thing because I didn't cook any kind of roast (like an opiate for him) to encourage him to be in the mood for tree shopping.  ;)

All but one set of Christmas lights worked this year and so outside decorating was easy.  :)
Christmas dinner was supposed to be somewhere else this year, but then at 6:40 pm ...just before son and I left for church, I got a call asking me if we could do it this year.  I just busted out laughing hard ...that I bent over and was still laughing when I came back up.  Son was grinning and obviously wondering ...what was so funny.

I laughed because I had been very busy with the kids and I also began getting sick with a sore throat that I was sure was strep because it hurt so badly that I kept fantasizing about antibiotics.  But then I also thought about WhiteCoat and how he warns about inappropriate use of antibiotics and determined that I would try really hard not to go to the doctor to get that fix.  I had to shop feeling that bad.  I wasn't getting my basic housework done because I crashed every chance I got.  Then 2 nights before Christmas, I finally felt better, but still had to do a bit more shopping and go to Costco ...again.  Except it was an awful rainy, muggy ...too warm for December kind of night.  The rain was so heavy at times that I white knuckled the steering wheel on the way home.  I made the mistake of stopping at CVS pharmacy drive through to pick up medications.  I tried to tell the girl at the window that something was wrong with the pricing and also that it wasn't the right quantity.  Finally ...the pharmacist came over, checked it and said that we shouldn't have been charged at all because of a special coupon for one of the meds.  That meant we were overcharged by 68.00.  But then she asked me to drive around to the drive through again because other people had been waiting and so I said okay.  DUH!  It didn't occur to me until about 15 minutes into waiting behind the 2 cars that were behind me, that all she had to do was credit my card card.  Seriously.  I was also becoming increasingly concerned about the cold food in the trunk because of the ridiculously WARM, MUGGY weather in December, especially that night.  At the 20 minute mark of waiting I decided to call the pharmacy.  I was still on hold when I drove up to the window 10 minutes later ...again ...after a half hour in total of waiting.

I was was polite ...but internally apoplectic at this point because of the food in the trunk and the long wait and ...wait for it ...because even though I never LEFT the car ...I could-NOT-FIND-the-CREDIT-CARD that she needed to CREDIT the card.  I couldn't find it anywhere and concluded it must've dropped down somewhere when I called the pharmacy.  That was still ringing, BTW.  So I also didn't want to take the medication because I didn't want anymore mix ups with the cost or give them any other reason to hinder this process.  I was doing a good job of that myself at that point.  Controlling what I was really feeling, I stayed polite ...but then one tear ...then another ...then I just gave up, apologized for the tears and said I was worried about the food in the trunk and would be back after Christmas.  She apologized too.  Of course the card was only in the holder on the door.  I did check but apparently not well enough.  To my defense it is the same color as the car.  After finally getting everything put away, I had a mini meltdown over something the cat did.  My tears streamed down again and I ranted a bit.  But I think I needed that release because it felt really g-o-o-d.   I had just had it at that point.  I was just exhausted and frustrated and I also knew it would be better in the morning and it was.

I know there are worse things in life ...for sure, but have you ever had just one stupid thing after the other go wrong and then it's the simplest thing that makes you snap?  That was me that night.  Hey!  Can I blame it all on post menopausal hormones?  ;)  Someone once told me menopause is great because you can blame everything on your hormones.  Yeah ...that's it hormones.  ;)

But I digress.  

Back to the phone call.

I had just commented that for as much as I love doing Christmas dinner, I was glad someone else was this year.  I was envisioning some leisurely present wrapping, sipping on eggnog and just doing fun Christmassy things after church and actually getting to bed earlier than my usual Christmas morning hours.  No matter how much I plan, it seems this SeaSpray always manages to go to bed in the wee hours of Christmas morning.  This year would be different.

I laughed so hard because it just seemed so apropos to have this thrust upon me at the last minute after the week I had just had.  Normally, I would be prepared to have Christmas dinner, housework done and well ...would be on track for doing whatever needed to be done.  

"Yes, we can have Christmas here.  But it will have to be Chinese!"

So much for a relaxing Christmas Eve.

After everyone left last yr, I did state that we were dong Chinese this Christmas and no one seemed happy about it. I was just frustrated because I didn't get to see the presents being opened and I was also really tired that night.  

 I was tempted to cook the spiral ham in the fridge but quickly decided against that.  Nope.  Chinese food it will be.  :)

As son and I are getting ready to turn into the church, he asks me if we missed the service.  "Oh no ...not at all.  Sometimes the people that helped with the kids or something else during the first service leave just before the 2nd service starts."  Then I was wondering what the hold up was with cars moving forward and then noticed more turning down the hill.  So I asked the parking lot attendant if another service was starting soon.  He said no  ...that he was sorry to tell us it was just ending and had begun at 6 pm.  "Perfect!," I thought to myself.  Son was grinning.  Then we just laughed.

I realized why I made that mistake.  It was because little Wrenna's favorite part of the Madrigal dinner,was when the lights were turned down and the performers left the stage, holding candles and singing silent night.  I had checked the times of the Presbyterian church because they give out a candle at the end, turn the lights down while everyone sings Silent Night.   I was considering going there if she could come with us and their service times were 7 and 11pm.  I mixed up the service times between the 2 churches. 

Suffice it to know that I went to bed at 7:10 in the morning.  And suffice it to know that it is not a good feeling when you are going to bed when the sun is coming up on Christmas morning and will only have a few hours sleep. I never did that before.  I could've gone to bed sooner if I hadn't taken so much time with wrapping and instead used bags.  I get that from my aunt.  And baking.  And taking pictures of the tree, etc.

It was a fun day for sure.  Christmas is always extra special when sharing with children.   Thanks to our younger son and my m-i-l, there was so much food it was like having a private Chinese buffet.

However, maybe I am a traditionalist ...but home cooked food is way better on Christmas.  Plus the left overs are better too.  That being said, it was neat trying this for a change.

Also, I am only telling you of these silly things because I find it all quite amusing now.  Except for the wicked sore throat, it really was a fun Christmas season.  And we are very happy for older son and his family because they've moved into a BEAUTIFUL new house that is just perfect for all of them.  There is so much that I like about their new home and neighborhood, but my favorite is their 3 fireplaces and wood stove.  Talk about cozy.  :)

And one last thing.  I know I must be coming across as very superficial with these little things I complained about.  Thankfully, I have the ability to see humor in most things.  But most importantly ...when it comes to Christmas, even though I too get caught up in the lights, presents and other things of Christmas ...for me is ALWAYS about the birth of Jesus being born as God's gift to mankind.  John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

That's what Christmas is really all about.

Thank you God for the best gift of all.  :)

We are blessed and have much to be grateful for.

Monday, September 14, 2015


I almost blogged yesterday evening ...but opted to read my book.

I almost blogged when I came home earlier ...but took some calls instead.

And now to Costco ...instead.  I'm really not in the mood ...hence my stalling.

I also have tried to blog several other times.  I don't know why I have this massive block with writing.

I have some heavy duty things on my mind.  At one time blogging was so cathartic and I think still could be ...yet ...

And I didn't forget about the officer incident.

Just haven't been writing.

But ...almost.

I'm almost ready to write ...says this SeaSpray

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thought Processes

A rapid fire, "NoNoNoNoNoNoN-O-O-O-O!", audibly, but in an almost whisper, flew out of this panicked SeaSpray's mouth in the Costco parking lot.  It's amazing just how fast so many thoughts can simultaneously enter and process through my brain in a moment of significant concern and while also processing what had just happened.  I assume most people do that.  I froze on the spot just before putting the cart with the others but had turned to see all the car doors closed and my immediate concern was that I had locked my keys along with my purse in the car and now it was getting dark and the store was closing and it is not close to my house and so on.  I panicked because I habitually press the locks down whenever I am closing the car doors and I thought I did that on the passenger side since it was the last door I closed and I had tossed the keys up on the dashboard.  I even lock my car in my own driveway.  And it wouldn't be the first time I locked myself out.  I figured younger son would have to get a key from Mr SeaSpray and drive down to my rescue and I'd be waiting inside Costco with the night crew and, well I said, so many thoughts, even more than I've mentioned an all in about 15 seconds.  I don't know why but that both fascinates and amuses me.   You know ... your just having your usual normal though processes and then WHOOSH!  Major incoming thoughts at lightening speed.  I could've used some of that at my recent urology appointment the other day.  I think for the first time ever I only asked one question, didn't even tell him anything of what I had planned but instead just went with the flow, no pun intended.  :)

Thankfully, I didn't lock the doors.

Anyway, as stated  in tonight's earlier post, I will still finish post about police officer coming here.  And for the first time I actually stuck to my little list in that store only getting a couple of extra things and I did the same in the local store up here after that.  Miracles do happen.  :)

The tease ...and stuff :)


"Either you're a very nice person or your making fun of me.", said the smiling police officer as he rounded our fence, continuing to walk up our driveway to speak with me.  To be continued ...because right now, Hi Ho!  Hi Ho!  To Costco I go!  :)  I know, I'm teasing you now.

I really have to get there because I just found out that we are having our first born son's party here tomorrow night and I have much to do.  It's a bit far to drive for only fruit, eggs, bacon, bread and sauce, but I know I can count on their fruit.  I am surprising him with a pretty fruit salad in a carved watermelon with yummy fruit dip to go with it.  I bought 2 for one blueberries in a local store this week and I now know why they were on sale.  Mr. SeaSpray bought cantaloupes at 99 cents a piece and they don't have any flavor.  Don't you just hate that?  So, like I said the trip to Costco is worth it for the fruit alone.  And I am determined to stick to my list.

Actually, I did write most of the police officer post last week but I am going to cut out the part of the story that led to the stress that led to my actions that caused his visit.  It's a bit embarrassing and also long ...although funny, says me.  ;)  Not that the embarrassing and long has stopped me in the past.  Suffice it to know that it was just one of those crazy if it can go wrong days will and it did. :)

I also have some good news.  Double good news actually.  Great news with one thing, particularly given all I've written in this blog over the years.  But for now ...Hi Ho! Hi Ho! I really have to go! ;)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Today - MY First Day of Summer

This is an older picture for sure.  (Sons and granddaughter)  Our little first born granddaughter in this pic will be going into high school in the fall.  Boy time sure does fly by.  ;)

It is now official.  My first day of summer is today.  This is because today is the first day that I actually floated on the raft and frolicked and exercised in the pool.  Now it feels like summer.  :)

Keeping the pool warm has been a challenge because we have had so many cloudy days and cool/cold nights.  And when we did have hot weather I wasn't able to swim in the pool because of other activities.  I have gone in a few times with the kids but today was my official fun in the sun (pour moi :) pool day.  YAY!

I have been outdoors a lot though.  Every chance I get.  :)

Also the past I have written about how writing is a passion of mine ...thus blogging was so much fun.  I just don't know why , but I am having such a hard time trying to write anything ...anywhere.  I want to.  Sometimes I sit down to write because I do have things I would share ...but then I just go blank.

Actually ...I have a LOT on my mind.  I think that is the reason for my writers block.  I feel like I am in an emotional fight or flight state.  And so I freeze.  Once upon a time I was going to write a post about this ...fight or flight ...what kind of person are you if there is an imminent threat?  I know which one I am with a bit of a twist to it.

But I digress.

I need to get outside to water the gardens and maybe plant a little before it becomes SeaSpray versus the kamikaze mosquitoes.  :)

It sounds like such a little thing ...floating on a raft and swimming in the pool.  But I still feel good from doing those things and am going back in after gardening.  I LOVE night swimming too.  :)

Okay ...I am going to try to write another post later.  Maybe I'll tell you why the police officer was smiling when he rounded our fence to come see me after investigating a 911 call.  What a crazy making day that was.  :)

Monday, July 6, 2015

I KNEW It! Deer Tick and Renal Scan ...and What Do Deer Ticks and Foley Catheters Have in Common?

Picture of a Foley Catheter Close-Up in a Stock Photo
Photo Credit 

Doctors!  Okay much for my riddle of the day.  :)

I had to go see the PCP this morning (Friday) because this past Wednesday morning while getting ready for my foley/renal scan appointments ...I discovered an engorged deer tick that left a red mark.  Now to me ...a bug bite can leave a red mark although ticks never have before on me.  Anyway ...I called with the hopes the doctor would say don't come in, but of course the receptionist said he wants all patients with tick bites to come in.  And I know ...better to err on the side of caution.  Except this was no bulls eye.  And of course the bite just had to be in an embarrassing area that is reserved only for gyne and uro docs ...just saying.  And yes ...I knowww ..a doctor is a doctor and they don't care ...but to the patient ...this SeaSpray patient ...and I would think most patients, it's a big deal.

Anyway ...I wanted to be all ready for him when he came in the room and so I decided to lie flat on the table, head on pillow while reading my book up in the air and over my face so I could block the overhead light.  I was actually pretty comfortable.  I think it surprised him though based on his reaction.  While not my intent amused me.  I ended up giving him said book to read until I come back for a physical in a few weeks.  It's about an orthopaedic surgeon who died underwater while Kayaking in South America.  Good Read.  I've never really discussed it in this blog but I am most fascinated by NDEs, etc.

But I digress.

It turns out he wasn't concerned about it and we both agreed no one should have unnecessary antibiotics.  This would warm WC's heart.  :)

And I told him about how intermittently awful I have felt this past week.  Okay ..not awful but uncomfortable and definitely dealing with an issue that is messing up many plans.  Including my urology appointment that I had prior to getting the Mag III renal scan.  I purposely didn't eat all day yesterday thinking that maybe it was a virus.  Then in the wee hours of the morning, I remembered that this happened twice before in the past month.  I have been losing weight and not eating as much and I was wondering if the Metformin dose is too strong because I did have this reaction on a lesser dose when I first started it.

Sure enough, the PCP told me to stop taking it for awhile. I was relieved because I was becoming concerned.

And I know my routine colonoscopy was normal in December.

And I was telling people I was stressed about the renal scan (I have my reasons) and that must be why.  Normally it is so routine now.  But that can't be it because it happened earlier in the month.  And by the way ...I should NOT say I am stressed.  I never used to do that and I believe one sets themselves up to BE stressed and worse, if they continually do that.  Power in our words and all.

And about the renal scan ...well actually it is 1:09 a.m. and so I will just ask this rhetorical question to vent a little:  What is it about the nuclear techs at this facility (last year and last week), that seem to forget to lower the foley catheter bag when I am having (last year) and this year had a mag III renal scan with LASIX?  And another question: Why is the concept of the larger sized foley bag so foreign to them, particularly because if they use a smaller one they will have to drain the nuclear waste during the test?  They are always very nice.  It's just that I always have to make a case for the larger bag whenever I have new people.  But that's nothing.  Having my urine back up because it isn't flowing through the catheter is a big deal me anyway.

Last year I was very concerned this very expensive test would have skewed test results.  Because last year the nurse or tech (I don't recall which - both should have known tho,) forgot to lower the bag before the test started.  So after the lasix was given I began having awful back pain, etc. and I did react and just had to endure it.  Toward the end she saw the bag was still up on the table between my legs and the hose had a kink in it.  It is normal for me to put out 2000 ccs, more or less.  Imagine that backing up.  I really don't know what backed up and how much ultimately flowed out, but I think it was less.

Thankfully, last week the bag was lowered but after the test was finished, he put the bag up by my legs again, took the picture and walked out.  So I'm not worried abut skewed test results.  However, I was having an issue with the foley when I arrived to the facility (first time ever), and I  didn't know he left the bag up there.  I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable.  I had to stay there because they only had one nurse.  Normally that wouldn't be a big deal except that I was beginning to think something was really wrong.  I was feeling like I used to when coming out of a procedure except I hadn't had one.  I began pressing my abdomen which made it worse.  I didn't know what to think and just wanted someone to come back in.  Finally the tech came in and he saw he had left the bag up there and so lowered it.  Ohhhh what a relief that was.  :)

On the upside though ...I feel so much better since stopping the Metformin on Friday.  YAY!  I am due for some lab work, have lost some more weight and have been much more physically active than I had been in recent months, and so I am curious to see what my A-1c will be since having stopped this med.  I will be thrilled with a good A-1c report without this medication.

And I will be extremely thrilled with a good renal scan report.  The reason I was stressing over this particular renal scan was because of the urinary tract infection with renal colic I had a few months ago.  But logic would dictate that if anything were wrong that manifested in those symptoms, I would've known way before now.

Just saying.  :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Phone Messages, Divine Coincidence and Other Stuff

Micro Cassette

"Hello?  Dr H?  I'm calling to say that I have hemorrhoids.  Can you see me IMMEDIATELY?!"

OMG!  What the heck?!  I busted out loud laughing when I heard this message on my answering machine this morning.  And by an apparently confused woman.   My thoughts were racing through my brain at lightening fast speed as I imagined what this woman was like and how patients can get confused when trying to reach the medical staff.  I also thought that perhaps she was close to the doctor to be able to assume she could call him directly but then dismissed that because she apparently called the main number ...which then caused me to again think ..she's confused.

 This doctor has a phone number similar to mine and so I occasionally get his calls.

However it was clear with the next sentence it was my friend Donna, playing a prank on me.  Ha ha!  She actually was calling his office and mistakenly called me.  Although ...I say it was a Divine Coincidence which I shall explain in a moment.  :)

So ...I decided to call her later in the afternoon and I pretended to be one of her doctor's receptionists.  Of course I don't know any of their names and so I didn't identify myself.

Her answering machine activated, but she also picked up and so I waited.  To disguise myself I used a very soft spoken voice and said, "Hello Donna? This is Dr. H's office returning your call.?"  "Uhhh ...I don't THINK s-o-o-o?  I " ...and right then and there I couldn't contain myself and so I again busted out laughing because I just couldn't continue the charade.  DARN!   And then she busted out laughing as well because I got her with my little return prank. Oh how I wish I could've kept it going!  :)  I was afraid she'd see my name on her caller ID but then I didn't see hers when she called.

This friend is one of the funniest people I know matter what is going on in her life.  She could be going through something just awful and I will be laughing because she is just so darned funny.  She knows I care and she just can't stop with the humor.  :)  We both went through a phase (in the late 80s and early 90s), in which we left funny answering machine messages.  My personal favorite of mine was when I answered as FiFi DuFufon, the French maid for the SeaSpray family.  In the middle FiFi let out a high pitched,  "OOPS! Now flambĂ©!"  (The best line ever - says moi. :)  And it ended with my singing a little bit of a few French songs.  What can I say ...FiFi was um ...spirited. ;)  Our lawyer really liked my FiFi message.  :)  She did a fabulous Spanish maid on hers, which I played for an ER doctor at work.  Then he left an equally hilarious message on hers.  :)  Anyway ...there were all kinds of messages.  I don't know about her friends and family but I can say that they sometimes wore thin with mine when they heard it for the umpteenth time and they just wanted someone to pick up the phone.  :)  I know I've written about this before but talking with her has stirred up some fun memories.

But I digress.

Regarding the Divine coincidence turns out she is going through a significant challenge with something she has to do ad I was able to encourage her by reminding her of how she prevailed in a similar situation and how gifted she is in dealing with something like this.  She became inspired with an idea I suggested, reminding her how well she did in the past and she can do it again because she IS good with these things.  And she appreciated other suggestions to gather/present facts, etc.  I can't wait to hear how it turns out.  Together with God, I am certain she will do well and have a good outcome.

I haven't spoken with her in forever ...since she moved away.  Well ...once.  I'm thrilled she wants to come up for a visit and talk on the Adirondack chairs, just like we used to do so many years ago.  I told her I will cook some of her favorite things.  I just have to get through some things this month and a renal scan on July first.  That's another post.  Ha!  I know I often say, "That's another post.", and then I don't write them.  There are reasons.  Maybe someday I will be honest and share what is distracting me so much.  I'll see.

Anyway ...I just love Divine Coincidences.  :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Screwed Up!

Big time!

On the evening of May 19th, I took my first dose of 875 mg/125 mg of Amoxicillin and Clavulanate Potassium Tablets, USP ...for a most wicked sore throat.  Somewhere in the midst of taking this I missed taking 2 doses, meaning I only took one a day - twice.  And then I finished them.

Or so I thought.

Tonight, while rummaging through my top drawer in my vanity near my bed ...I discovered the antibiotic bottle had fallen in there.  Oh no!  I still have THREE left!  So of the 20 prescribed, I didn't take the last THREE!!!

I have never done this with antibiotics in my life.  Missed a dose here and there?  Sure.  But then I continue on.

However, I always FINISH the prescription!

And now I didn't!

So what does this mean?

God forbid, but will this set me up to be resistant to this med?  All antibiotics?

I feel fine now.

I feel so stupid ...and irresponsible!  But I have been really busy and apparently with me ...out of site IS out of mind.

Do I take the three?

Or would that be worse?

It would be worse.

I really am detail oriented and careful with these things.

I was resistant to urology antibiotics once.  Nothing was working ...but that was years ago and I didn't skip anything and they have worked on me since then.

BTW, what is Clavulanate Potassium?

Anyway ...I vented and am believing for the best.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Gratitude on Memoral Day


I just want to say thank you to all veterans ...veterans past and to the veterans currently serving.  I don't have words adequate enough that could ever convey the gratitude I feel for the sacrifices you have made ...and for too many , it has been the ultimate sacrifice - dying or incurring severe injuries and/or emotional traumas.   You've given up so much so that we can remain safe and free. 

With all my heart I say ...Thank YOU.

Blessings to you and your families - always.

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A Mundane, Simple Things ...Mostly Girly Post :)

Okay ...I'm not obsessive.  I'm not Obsessive.  I'm not obsessive. 

I'm not.

Just because I had to force myself into the shower after midnight - actually 12:33 to be exact.  And I was so tired. 

I blame it on the bed sheets.  It's their fault they are so clean, crisp, and newly placed on our bed.  Well ...alright ...I put them on the bed..  And ...I have this thing that I like being freshly showered after putting clean sheets on the bed.  It just feels s-o-o-o good.  :)

But ...I'm not totally obsessive about it because even if I have a morning shower I will sleep on clean sheets.  It's just that my favorite way is with an evening shower on clean sheet day.  But not after midnight.

So ask ...why did you shower so late?

Because I was really busy doing things around the house today and then I knew I had to go up in the attic to find an MIA summer clothing bag after younger son declared that there weren't anymore summer clothes bags up there.  Of course I knew he was wrong ...just like I knew the Christmas lights were indeed up there.  And we have great drop down stairs but with knee pain and my phobia ...I really have to be in the mood to go up there.  It was pure determination that motivated me to go up there tonight.  And sure enough ...I found the bag.  It was the big bag black with the white paper ducked taped to it that on blue marker, said "Summer clothes 2015"  and that it was exactly where I keep the seasonal clothes.

Anyway ...I didn't want to go up into the attic when I should have because I wanted to listen to Aaron Klein on streaming radio between 7-9.  He is only on on Sunday nights and I totally respect and appreciate his reporting.  If only the news outlets and other journalists did investigative reporting like he does.  And I include FOX in that mix.  But I digress.

Unfortunately for me ... I s-o-o-o was not in the mood to go up there and so I stalled until about 11:30 pm.  And that was stupid because I was just prolonging the inevitable. 

Then ...with the attic mission accomplished I decided I would just do a fast, get-it-over-with shower.  But for some reason I decided I didn't want to shower with the lights on, but instead by the low light of these little battery operated stars I placed in a glass vase with shells and beachy things that I put together.  The star light reminds me of moonlight.  After all ...if I had to shower this late, then moonlight was more relaxing ...even if I couldn't see as well.

However, once in the shower I decided to take a spa shower using my favorite spa products for my hair and body.  And I just love rinsing my hair with what I think of as a waterfall spray.  Which was okay in the moonlight type light.  Of course I also decided since I was all in with this that I might as well shave but this light was not conducive to it.

 Basically I shaved by braille.  What could go wrong?   Fortunately I didn't end up with psycho tub. ;)

After getting out of the shower I wrapped my hair in a big towel.  Then, to my utter dismay I saw that when I put the clean towels up I didn't put my hair towel up and so now I had used my bath towel for my hair.  What to do?  What to do?  I put the light on and because the laundry had gotten backed up from when I was ill last week, the only towels left in the closet were some hand towels.  Great.  So I dried myself with a hand towel.

Shower mission accomplished, I opted to sit here and write this post because I can't go to bed with wet hair.  Well I could ...but would rather not.  And I avoid using hair dryers and curling irons on my hair so it will stay soft and shiny.  What we women do!  I always say this but men have it so easy.  Shave - don't shave - they can do what they want.  They don't fuss with makeup and hair.  Well okay maybe hair.  But basically as they get older with grey hair or lines, they just get distinguished.  Women can get haggard if they don't take care of themselves.  It's s-o-o-o not fair!  Just saying.  :)

I'd rather watch TV but I know that if I do, I will eat things I don't want to eat because I am hungry. 

I have found typing to be non caloric and so I am really trying to just air dry my hair here.  ;)  And I absolutely know that I will weigh less tomorrow if I don't eat so late because I have been trying and also have been active.  I have goals that I've set and I really want to succeed.

Oh no!  It seems that my dog is passing gas behind me or there is a skunk just outside and the smell is wafting in through the a/c vents.  Ugh!  ANOTHER non caloric appetite suppressant!

And on that note  - good night!

 P.S.  And now I really am happy that I will be all silky soft and clean on the new sheets.  It feels so good and is so relaxing.  :)  The only thing that could make the experience any better would be if the sheets had been line dried.  The scent of line dried sheets is the best.

 Hmmm... now I want line dried sheets.  I'm kidding! 

P.P.S.  Oh yeah ...I never did write about my one phobia (or did I?) ...genuine ...although I'm not sure if there are degrees to it.  I will have to check my posts. 

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 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 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 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 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!," it hit said ill fated subject.

Followed by a big "SPLAT!," as the foley bag 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 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 least..  Besides if I were gonna exaggerate last night 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:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prayer Please!!! :(

I am experiencing about a 5/6 r flank pain right now.

I realized I was getting a uti yesterday morning.  By afternoon - late afternoon ...I began bleeding in urine and with some clots.  I would have called yesterday and should have but I also just came down with a horrible cold since Monday and feeling so weak and drained from that. I finally just got myself in the shower before 5 today.  All I want to do is lie down.  I could've seen my doctor today but I just was too weak to get dressed because of the upper respiratory infection.  I told receptionist that  That I did not have any flank pain on either side.  And 10 minutes ago this started.  Thankfully I do have Percocet.  I have been taking one to help with the aching and urgent feelings un my bladder and the flank pain is coming through that.  But I only took one at 2pm and so I will take another.  It takes my breath away.

I have been healed of the r. ureteral stricture for four years.  The last stent came out on March 17, 2011.  That says healed to me.

Please pray that this us just a UTI and no more.  And for the pain to leave and to just heal of everything.  I always have and still do believe in the power of prayer.

Thank you.  :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Post Christmas - 2014 Christmas Post ...Written on Valentine's Day 2015 ...Posted After St Patrick's Day :)

While laced with my usual Christmas humor (says me,) etc., in rereading this I can appreciate all the more how the aftershocks of such a health event can take some time to settle.  And then there have been other challenges.  Anyway, since there is still snow on the ground, I will put this Christmas/winter post up.  There was a time when I couldn't wait to write a blog post.  As a matter of fact blogging truly got me through the urology challenges - emotionally speaking, as well as the loss of loved ones and other difficult times.  And of course it was fun too.  I don't know why I've stopped.  Actually ...I have really been wanting to write.  My next post will be about a snowman that I made in front of our house, that I have a feeling was the talk of the neighborhood.  :)  Also, I added some pics of W&M at the end of this post.  :)

And most important:  Despite my whining in parts of this post ..I do believe we got a huge miracle with Mr SeaSpray being as protected as he was.  The doctors and staff were astounded.  Since it is not my story to tell ...I don't know what ...if anything I can share about it.  I'll see.  I do know that we are very blessed for all kinds of reasons ...but things happen  ...and I am oh so human ...hence I felt overwhelmed at times.  But ...ALWAYS grateful.  That is a given with me.  :)
This one is prolific, but also cathartic for me and I am getting it out of my system.  I guess I am putting closure on what feels like the lost Christmas.  Even though it was fun in many ways and blessings abounded with what was most important ...this was my worst Christmas since I was 13.  And what I share at the end of this post is proportionate to how strongly I feel about it all.  We'll see if I stay on track with my most nontraditional plans for next Christmas.  :)

Part of  me is hearing the theme song, "Let It Go" from the movie Frozen as I contemplate writing a 2014 Christmas post.  Let it g-o-o-o ...let it g-o-o-o-o ...  Ha!  After all, it is Valentine's Day today.  But hey ...why not finally blog my heart out on this wonderful snowy day?

So previously stated in a past post, I was pleased that the outdoor Christmas lights were put up the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Although that was only because we were expecting snow the day before Thanksgiving.  Still ...I think I will do that again this year - Christmas 2015.  Oh and my knees felt so good because of the Cortisone shots and it was the first time in years that I wasn't feeling knee pain while decorating.  I was even thinking that I would offer to help my neighbor put her Christmas lights up because I know she has lamented about them not going up as soon as she would like.  I don't even know the last time I had the thought to help a neighbor outside with their physical work because with said knee pain I have all I can handle with our own stuff.  And it was such a good feeling.  I mean to be thinking of someone else and actually think I could go over and help them.  Usually the ruts in the yard get me with every step into them.  If you have knee pain you know exactly what I mean.  And I am not saying this to complain ...just stating the facts.

And then I ended up walking over to her house to borrow a rake and I remained standing the entire time we spoke and trust me ...when we begin talking it is almost always a long conversation.  :)  Then I even walked home uneventfully and continued decorating.  It was like I had a miracle healing of my knees.  I was sooooo GRATEFUL!  And in awe.  I am telling you that I just have not had that kind of pain relief in years.  Not with cortisone injections in 2009, not with Synvisk injections in 2010 and not with multiple Orthovisk injections since then.  And also not with pain medication.  I'm not saying I walked like I used to or that it didn't hurt at all, but that it was remarkably less pain then what I had been dealing with on a daily basis ...even if I took pain medication.  I didn't even need pain medication.  It was wonderful

Then I was slowed down with an upper respiratory infection, but I finally caved, went to the doctor and a Z-pak saved the day and I began to turn around.  No one wants to be down for the count during the busy Christmas season. I know better than to take antibiotics unnecessarily thanks to Dr. WhiteCoat, but this time I just knew I had better go to the doctor.  And thank God I did because not only was it Christmas time but I would not have wanted to be ill with all the unexpected stuff we had to deal with by mid month.

Anyway ....Mr SeaSpray and I went to pick out a Christmas tree on December 8th.  It was bitter cold outside and getting dark because we had to wait until he got out of work.  With the Christmas music playing, the smell of all that pine and snow flurries falling I was feeling quite festive.  I know Mr SeaSpray gets a bit testy when we go tree shopping and he is not fond of dancing the tree around for me so that I can see all sides.  But no respectable Christmas tree shopper would ever buy a tree without first viewing all sides.  It's just the way it is a Christmas tree law of the universe ...or something like that.

And so after looking at about 5 Frazier Fir trees, we picked out a most beautiful Christmas tree.  It was the second one we had looked at. It was truly the PRETTIEST, tallest and heaviest Christmas tree we've ever had.  The tree was so heavy that Mr SeaSpray fell back but caught himself as he pulled it from the rack.  That never happened before.  And for the first time in 39 years of getting fresh Christmas trees, even he commented on what a pretty tree it was.  That just doesn't happen with him.  His comment was downright amazing, I tell you.  And I hadn't even tempted him with the aroma of a roast wafting through the house before we left.   I'm pretty certain that meat is the carnivore's opiate and admittedly ...this SeaSpray is not above using it.  ;)  Anyway, he and another guy carried the huge tree off to the truck.   I asked the owner if I could take a few extra greens and I was thrilled when the he said I could take as many cut greens as I wanted.  So I did.  My plan was to make four different outdoor planter arrangements to last for the winter.  But then everything hit the fan by the end of the week and they are still in a pile behind our house.  Oh well ...2015 Christmas holiday decorating is only 9 months or so away.  Ummm of this review for posting, ...make that 8 months away.  :)

We had to leave the tree in the truck until our younger son came home at 10pm.  Thankfully they got it set up that night.  It wasn't easy with the weight of it.  Oh gosh ...with the widow maker lurking in Mr SeaSpray's body ...we really could've had a very different outcome.  But it all worked out.  Thank God!    We've had large trees before but the weight and fullness of this one was because it was so dense.  As a matter of fact it was so dense and so perfect that I didn't even have them turn it around at all  ...looking for the best side.  Ha!  It was so dense that I half expected to see a family of raccoons and/or squirrels pop their heads out at me while I decorated.  Really.  Actually, I expected to see their little heads pop out at us every time someone walked by the entire time.  We also put 1000 white lights on it and because it was so dense we didn't even have to run them around the back except up at the top.  But the decorating got delayed because of other things we ended up doing and also because I had to wait for our son to do the top before I could decorate the rest.  Younger son is 6' 2" and even he had to reach far from where he was standing on the ladder to get at the top because the lower portions jutted out so far.  It was ridiculously big for the area.

I don't know why we misjudged it's size, but think Chevy Chase's Christmas tree in width and that ws with our pushing it into the corner.  This tree was so pretty that it almost didn't need decorating.  Then as if it wasn't already wide enough, as the weeks moved forward the branches straightened out even more (as Christmas trees always do,) and we just had a narrow path to walk past it.  The only other time we misjudged was the one time we cut down a fresh one out in the field for Christmas - 1992.  And that tree wasn't as large as this one.  Although we could only sit on the first two cushions of our sofa and that was a long sofa.  :)  Seriously I don't know how we both missed this but I think the density of it in conjunction with night falling caused it to look smaller than it was.

Ha ha!  The next day after the tree had been put up ...with a big smile and pleased with myself, I commented to Mr SeaSpray, "You must be happy that I didn't get all obsessive over the Christmas tree."  "YES you did!"  "But I didn't even insist the tree had to go right into the stand when we got home ...and I didn't even have you guys turn it around once it was set up? That never happens."  

Then I later recalled that I was insisting they straighten the tree because it was leaning forward a bit and it really was and if that came down it could've really hurt someone with the weight of it.  Okay ...I did have to resort to getting a lamp closely behind it to show them the silhouette of the leaning trunk.  Thankfully the 150 watt bulb was able to shine through the dense branches.  I don't call that obsessive but rather thinking ahead and embracing reality to avert a potential disaster.  Apparently men unite in resisting having to adjust the tree in the stand once it's been done.

Ha!  Younger son used to agree with me but once he grew a beard and became more involved in setting said tree up ...he predictably crossed over to the manly, back slapping, authoritative proclamation in unison with his father, "The tree is STRAIGHT!"  I just know that when I leave the room without even a hint of protest ...they know they've lost because I will be returning with...the light.  And it does work every time.  If there is any doubt your Christmas tree is crooked just get a bright light to shine behind it and you will know for sure.

But we really did pick it out and set it up uneventfully least as compared to previous years. It's both funny and frustrating how we humans can view something so differently.

After breaking an angel we had since the early 90s, this angel became one of my 2014 Amazon purchases.  She's much prettier in person and I was pleasantly surprised at how large she is.

Thank God a friend had told me about Amazon shopping and also for our older son putting me on his Amazon Prime or else there would not have been many presents from us to open, although I did do some shopping in stores too.

Anyway ....the nuclear department always seems to be in the bowels of a hospital and so we had a long walk down.  But I have to say that my knees were feeling so good that I gladly went back up to the gift shop, actually not even minding the walk or standing while shopping and then back down, or even going back up to leave.  I was beginning to hurt but still wasn't bad.  However ...I did so much walking and standing in the weeks to come in the larger hospital, combined with additional shopping, decorating and all the Christmas prepping that by Christmas day I was in a huge amount of pain and I didn't have time to relax because we were having Christmas dinner here.  So much for what I thought was a mini healing miracle.  You can't blame a SeaSpray for wanting something so badly that she just believed it was possible and had happened.

 I LOVE having everyone over for Christmas dinner.  It is my favorite holiday for all kinds of reasons.  It's just the BEST time of year!  :)

I was grateful for so much but admittedly frustrated and discouraged with what I didn't get done.  I didn't even bake one morsel!  It also didn't help that I like to put this pretty YouTube Christmas video on, "If Mozart Wrote Christmas Carols."  A well done, very traditional Christmas video.  Imagine Hallmark and Budweiser combined into one ...sans beer.  :)  I enjoyed it but it also reminded me of how imperfect this year was becoming.  And I do feel guilty even sharing my feelings about this because we did get a Christmas miracle ...actually a longtime miracle in keeping a family member safe and ALIVE Nothing trumps that and that was my initial feeling and still is.  But then with the stress of all that and the pressure of the holidays ...there were other things that went wrong.  The worst of those was that in the midst of the serious stuff we discovered that there is a major leak under the bathroom floor that we only found out about after the major damage manifested itself and there wasn't any time to address it.  Long story- short about that is that after the Holidays, the medical concerns, low insurance reimbursement and a few no show contractors we have finally found a GEM of a contractor and I am hopeful that this situation will be resolved once and for all in the next couple of weeks.  And I am hopeful that I will still have a favorable response from the claims adjuster when I inform her how much higher the written estimate is versus the check she sent out to us.  I asked her if that check took northern prices into consideration since the appraiser was from Arkansas and she said that it did. I asked this because someone had told me that insurance companies hire people from the south because they can pay them less and also they write up lower estimates.  I don't know if that is true tho. I feel that we had a good rapport when speaking on the phone previously and so I guess I will find out about said "rapport" on Tuesday.  The bathroom floor debacle has been stressful with a capital "S" for sure.

At one point just before serving the dinner, I secluded myself in our bedroom just to cry because my knees hurt so much.  Then I composed myself after a couple of minutes and joined everyone else.  I think my tears were from a culmination of everything that had transpired since things got complicated halfway into December' as well as my almost shock and utter discouragement at the level of pain I was having.  And I guess I was also experiencing severe disappointment that I could no longer breeze about as I had for the last month and a half.  And I had Percocet left over from the summer and had taken one in the morning and one later in the afternoon or I don't know what I would have done.  I think the worst part really was the realization that I was again being grounded with this stupid and excruciating knee pain.  If you read one of my earlier posts you'll see that I felt so good walking around after the cortisone injections that I also wondered if I could've possibly had a mini healing miracle.  And I know that sounds crazy but I pondered that because I had never felt as good as I did after any of the injections I had over the last 5 years.  Sure, I experienced relief but it was nothing like what I was feeling this last time.  So can imagine my profound disappointment as I was again experiencing the hideous knee pain.  I think that was wearing on me big time.

Our older son treated us to a delicious spiral ham that I cooked.  And family brought food too and everything was just yummy, except I rushed through it because for whatever reason ..okay ..pain...I was falling behind with getting things done.  And then finally when it was time to open the presents everyone rushed through that so quickly as is usually the case and I was disappointed that I didn't get to see some reactions when presents were opened or what they got from others.  Am I wrong to feel this way?  The joy of giving something to someone is seeing the joy they have when they receive it.  It is fun to give.  You spend so much time trying to find things you think they will like that it is disappointing to miss their reactions.  My family used to open one present at a time so we could all see what everyone got and also just enjoy it all.  Personally ...I just LOVE the anticipation of doing something fun like that.  My friend Iris and her family would take four hours to open presents.  But Mr SeaSpray's family always opened everything at once and I just let that happen all these years but never enjoying it as much.   I did have this tradition with the boys in which I would let them pick one small present to open on Christmas eve.  Last year I asked if we could do 3 at a time and that was nice.  But no one wanted to do it this year.  I guess I am coming across as being petty, especially if everyone else likes to just tear into everything.  But I also have a couple other friends that take their time too.  And don't misunderstand was still fun opening up the presents and seeing some of the reactions.  And I certainly loved my presents.  Santa was good to me.  ;)

Usually after everyone leaves, I will hand wash the gold flatware and Christmas dishes and Crystal, dry it all and put it away.  I'll load the dishwasher, wipe everything down and maybe leave a big pan for the morning ...or not.  And of course clean up all the wrapping.  Actually, I go through the big garbage bags of paper and pull out the perfectly intact bows and gift bags.  I can't believe people throw them out when  they are still like new and  to me's kind of like finding paper treasures.  :) 

However ...this year ...I could not do any of the cleanup.  The only thing I did was to soak the flatware to get the food off, rinse it and let it dry on a towel until I could wash it.  The knee pain was more than I could stand and so I just didn't do any cleanup and only put the food away.

Then after a little bit, I was still feeling so frustrated and even kind of mad.   I have NEVER EVER felt mad on any Christmas - EVER!  So from the opposite end of the house I hollered out to Mr SeaSpray and son, "That's IT!  Next Christmas we are having CHINESE!  I MEAN it!  We're HAVING CHINESE!"  And then I went to bed.  I never go to bed before midnight and especially not on Christmas.  I just love that nice warm afterglow of Christmas day ...thinking abut how nice it all was.  So this was all totally out of character for me.

I was just so overwhelmed with everything and felt like I couldn't put a cohesive thought together even after things settled down.  In all fairness to myself ...I can be a perfectionist, setting high expectations for myself even though I will easily give others a pass.  I mean if I had a friend dealing with the things that I was, I would be right there ...supporting her and assuring her that of course she would feel this way because not only did she have a lot on her plate but a few of them were pretty darned big.  And that is another thing.  I was missing Iris, Pat and my Mom soooooovery much and I just needed so much to decompress in their company, but they're in heaven now and so that was out.  And I suppose that even though we had a good outcome with the health issue, I think it was all beginning to hit me.  And then the uncertainty of it all and what does it all mean and it is so hard to see someone you love go through things like this.  And also ...I couldn't help but to feel a deeper sense of our mortality and realizing just how fast time really does fly by.  And btw ...some people can really be a bear when they are recuperating.  And of course I do understand they are dealing with their own issues and it must be really hard to be hit with something like this when you've been pretty healthy for most of your life.

And it's all been weird because like I said ...I feel all this gratitude for the good outcome and also despite the challenges of late ...that we are blessed in so many ways.   So this is not at all a pity party post.  I'm just telling it as it was when going through it all.  Well ...most of it- not everything.

And the thing is that feelings are feelings.  There is no right or wrong.  You can't help what feelings come up.  It's what one chooses to do with them that matters in the end.

I just think it's funny that my solution to it all was my decreeing through the house on Christmas night that we were having Chinese for Christmas dinner next year.  Ha ha!  You'd have to know how traditional I am to know how out of character that is for me.

But guess what?  I'm still holding too it.  We'll get so many selections it will look like a Chinese buffet in here ...a Christmas Chinese buffet.  I've since announced it to other family members and also said that we will have great appetizers and lots of deserts ...but the meal is CHINESE!  A-n-d ...that will free us up to start opening presents earlier.  :)

CHINESE food - Christmas 2015!

Just saying.

 W & M staying overnight after Christmas and patiently putting up with my learning how to use my new camera.  :)

Still patient...

Still patient...


Not so much.  :)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's NOT perfectly Safe .

Ha ha!  Having been a once upon a time frequent flyer with getting these tests, I've wondered about this myself.  As some of you may recall ...I think I glow in the backyard with the fire flies during the summer.  And now I can tell you it's pretty the way I reflect against all the snow and ice around here.  It's not so great for playing hide and seek tho.    Just saying.  ;)