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Project and Other Things

Ok, well I finally started using MySpace. It's not that I didn't have an account, cause I did, it's just that it has always directed everyone here. So it's not like I'm late jumping on the bandwagon or anything. I've used it just to talk to a few people, but now I have some family on there, so I'm sort of using it a little more. I do have some different pictures on there, I think, and I do really, love, love, love my layout on there. I wish I could figure out how to customize Blogger layouts. I am so into the whole pink, black, skull stuff right now. IF ANYONE CAN CUSTOMIZE A BLOGGER LAYOUT FOR ME LIKE DESCRIBED ABOVE, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT! It so suits me! If you want to check it out, it's under my favorite links, or go here.
So on with today's topic......We bought our house here in Louisiana back in 12/06 and we've been busy every since. We are still unpacking, painting, peeling wallpaper, replacing ceiling fans, light fixtures, we need dirt to level out the backyard, and we have 3 full baths to remodel, PLUS a vacation for 10 full nights to Disney World and co. coming up at the end of April.
On top of that we have the every day stuff like homework, dinner, yardwork, shopping, laundry, family drama, housework and the like to contend with. One example is like yesterday Natalie's toilet overflowed. For some reason the flapper didn't shut when she flushed it, so water just kept pouring out of the toilet onto the floor. I couldn't get it to shut, so I hurried up and shut the valve off and asked her to get the mop from downstairs. When she came up she said she heard water downstairs. I went down to see what it was and found water raining from the light fixture in the downstairs bath. By time I got back upstairs all the water in her bathroom was gone. The bathroom downstairs continued to leak for some hours. We turned on the air, and have several fans going - but now it looks like we will have to paint the entire ceiling of the first floor. Just pray we don't end up with mold damage, or that the ceiling caves in!
Also, if that weren't bad enough, it's tax time again! And we haven't had our taxes done yet - I'm really fearful we might owe. I'm pulling out all the home improvement stuff, but I can't find my donation receipts for write off. Owing would be the worst as we have to save our $ for taxes and insurance (mostly flood - think Katrina, it made insurance down here go up to $5000/yr.) to pay later this year - plus we still have stuff to buy for Disney.
Oh, and I guess I can count out having my mastectomy/reconstruction surgery done before vacation. The plastic surgeon hasn't called back - still waiting for insurance approval, since I want them both done, and now it's too late, I'm not going to Disney sore. It will have to wait till I come back.
I also forgot to post pictures from the other day. It's crawfish season down here and that's what we had for dinner. They were good although a bit spicy from the boil seasonings. Ruben said he's had better. I thought it pretty much tasted like most shellfish, and probably woulda been good with some cocktail sauce or something. Anyway, here's the pictures from that and one of this huge ass dragon fly I caught in the front yard. We had a whole tree full of them!

Oh, I almost forgot! Just when I though I bottomed out, I lost another 2 lbs. It happened in just a matter of like 3 days. I really need to take those weight loss pills more regularly, cause when I do, this is what happens! Wahoo!



Well so far, at this point, all my diet efforts have stalled out at 12 pounds. It looks like I will have to make an appointment with a doctor to have my Thyroid checked out again (it's been years since I was last tested) as it may be the likely culprit. It wouldn't surprise me as both my Mom and Sister has had to take medication for theirs, but it somewhat worries me because to me it would add one more pill I would have to take for God knows how long. As it is, I go back next week to my pain doctor for my monthly exam and I think I am going to have to have him switch me from the Fentanyl patches back to the Morphine. Although it seems like we have finally found the right strength for my pain, I can't seem to get these damn patches to actually stay on for 3 days - even with the aid of a band-aid cover up. It seems no matter what, I am always finding them on the floor, on my sheets, or stuck to the inside of my clothing. So I end up going through patches faster, and not getting the needed medicine - but in either case, pill or patch, the medicine is just as damaging to the liver. Problem is I'm just in too much pain to live without a pain med. Not quite sure since when having (had) Breast Cancer felt like having Bone Cancer (?) We spent all last Saturday out shopping trying to get clothes for Disney, and at the end of the day, my feet (on top of soooooooo much more!) hurt so damn bad I have no idea how I will make it through 10 days at the park. Anyone have any good shoe suggestions? I was thinking about going to the Good Feet Store - I've never been, not sure if it's really worth it, or if there is a certain type of shoe I should buy, like maybe Birkenstock or something - I'd really love some ideas? I tried those gel shoe inserts, no help at all! I have major heal pain from spurs for one, I also have pain and a lump under one toe that I broke - then I have front leg pain (shin area), knee pain, hip pain, lower back pain (and on up the back through the neck and arms) all just from cancer or a side effect from the chemo pills I still take. Not sure really what is causing the pain, although I do know that my bone mass is also deteriorating, and without calcium, I can develop osteoporosis. I hate vitamins - two words, vitamin burps, yuck! But I don't want to be a hunched over old woman either, it's bad enough I already feel like an old woman, so I take them anyway, but I try to take them with food to avoid burping that awful taste back up. What's worse about vitamins, is those first couple pees. Vitamins really have a way of making urine smell potent. It's gross. Why can't adult vitamins be more like kiddie vitamins? Be flavorful and colorful....although it would be odd if my urine came our purple. Wonder what those spray vitamins are like, I have a friend that uses those. She can't stand to swallow the big vitamin pills, so maybe I should ask her if the spray have any weird tastes or effects. Hell I think at this point I would almost even be willing to do a vitamin injection on myself rather than taking another huge pill. Doing an injection is no huge deal after going through infertility, a needle in the belly fat or hip is no biggie. Much better than swallowing two huge ass pills that taste awful. I wonder if that's an option? I know they make b12 shots. I'll have to ask my doctor about that, cause seriously I could do it, and unlike Anna Nicole Smith, I wouldn't have a problem with using a sterilized needle and keeping the area clean and swabbed. I'll have to look into that. On a side note, it looks like I am finally over having Bronchitis, thank god. I was so tired of being sick. No more cough, no more fever, and it appears I didn't pass it back to anyone in the house either. It looks like we my have avoided a potentially serious disaster!


Preparing for another visit from the Tooth Fairy

After much procrastination, I finally got around to pulling Natalie's loose tooth this morning before she went to school. I put it off for a while because every time she would go to wiggle it, it would literally make me sick to my stomach. Yes, when I am sick, I am easily nauseated! So anyway, I went ahead and pulled it this morning because not only was it lose enough, but it had started going sideways into her other front top tooth, and a wide gap between her front tooth and her side tooth next to it had started to develop. I suspect this was happening because the tooth growing in was pushing it that way, but in any case I wanted to get the tooth out of there before she ended up with a permanent snaggletooth. As it is, Ruben's already concerned about her needing braces later in life, but I think the problem will work itself out. Of course there's no way of knowing for sure till it does, or till she's older - so we'll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, here's a picture of that beautiful toothless smile, and some other pictures I promised from previous posts. I'll post more on Flick'r in the coming days so be sure to check that link as well. Enjoy!


Lingering Cold

Things around here are starting to heat up, at least during the days with the highs hitting the upper 70's. Nice weather to have the windows open and leave the fans on. However, last week we had a few chilly nights where old man winter blew down some rather cool air. All that cold air really did a number on my lung that WERE recovering from bronchitis - now I'm full blown sick again. Hopefully a few more days of these antibiotics will have me feeling a lot better. I tell ya though, I haven't coughed quite this bad as my smoking days. It very much sounds like a smokers hack. For the first 2 or 3 days I ran a fairly persistent 101.5 fever, now the fever just comes and goes. Being sick is very exhausting! I just hope that I don't pass this back to Natalie - whom originated the cold, another lovely aspect of school! But on the positive, Natalie has made some wonderful friends at school. One of which is Heather who lives on the cross street next to us. This whole weekend she was either busy playing or begging to go outside and play. Ruben took a few pictures of her riding around in Heather little motor-powered car. I'll try to get those and some other pictures posted soon. I took quite a few today of salamanders basking in the sun out back. It's funny, Natalie and I sat for about an hour today and just watched all these lizards on our house, grill, and patio. It was pretty relaxing. Now if only I could beat this cold!


"Disney Diet" is in effect

As I mentioned below, Monday marked 8 weeks left till we are at Disney enjoying our vacation. And while I was making note that it was time to really start cracking down on losing weight, working out, and building up my endurance for walking - I have secretly been cutting back on my caloric intake. I'm on a borderline starvation or anorexic diet, as I hardly ate much to begin with. But in the last 2 weeks, I have already lost an amazing 12 pounds, just by cutting back alone - by not eating those last 2 bites, or by only having 2 cookies, by drinking some water instead of opening a soda just to take my medicine. It's made a huge difference. At this rate I just may meet my goal prior to April 30th, as I've not only started with cutting back on food and drinks, but I'm back on Phentermine & Topamax, and today I started my beginning work out routine. Let's just hope the next 18 come off just as fast!


8 weeks to go

Here it is, down to the wire. We've got 8 weeks to go before our trip to Disney, and I'd like to take off a few pounds, build up some endurance for walking, and try to overcome some of the pain and fatigue I face on a day to day basis. But where do I start? Let's see, let's go with losing a few pounds, it won't be easy, especially since I am hormonally challenged. It means I will have to work twice as hard. And as it is, I hardly eat. Yesterday the only thing I had to eat was a chilly-cheese dog, and a few sodas. I'm already down to eating the bare minimum. I know I need to cut half the soda out and replace it with water which will be almost impossible, and for this week, working out with my arm in a sling will also be impossible as well. But starting next week I can slowly start with a routine of 10, 20, 30 minutes and up of working out on my Elliptical Machine, Weight Machine and walking around the neighborhood. I have also started taking Phentermine and Topamax again, this is how I originally lost 90 lbs. in 2004 (and kept the majority off!). I doubt seriously if I will hit my goal weight in just 8 weeks with it, but I'm sure with it and exercise I will manage to lose enough to make my pants fit a little better. As far as pain and fatigue go, I don't know if there is much I can do about the pain part other than take my pain medication with me, and ask the doctor for two different type, one that is lighter for the daytime and one that is a heavyweight for the nighttime. I'm hoping that the little exercise I do get will help a lot with the fatigue. I hear it also helps with insomnia and sleep cycles - so we'll see. I just want this vacation to be very meaningful and lots of fun for all. Wow 8 weeks till check in for a nice 10 day long vacation with family, can't wait for the fun!


Hospital part 2

Yesterday I spent nearly 4 hours in the ER at Ochsner. I was surprised at how fast I was moved throughout the system. Upon arrival, I saw a triage nurse and was fast tracked into a room to see a doctor. Seems that late Tuesday night, while in the bathroom, I took a little spill and tripped over my own feet. Somehow, I managed to land on my knees and break my fall awkwardly with my left arm. While in too much pain to move, I just rolled over onto my back and spent t he better part of the night (until 4am) sleeping on the rug. When I woke up, I hurt so bad I barely managed to crawl upstairs. Over the last few days, the initial pain in my knees has decreased, while my arm and wrist has become more painful. I honestly didn't think it was broken, but Friday morning I found that I was in so much pain I couldn't even turn my wrist to do Natalie's hair. So I caught a ride into town with Ruben and had him drop me off at the ER. A few X-Rays later I had what the doctor claims to be the answer. He said it was not broken, however while having the X-Rays done, the technician told me she saw a small fracture in my wrist. He told me that was incorrect, what she was looking at on my films was most likely an old fracture that has healed - but I've never had a broken bone in my life. So in the end, I left there in extreme pain, but wearing the ever so stylish, expensive ($100 for the visit), classic, natural colored canvas arm sling. I'll be wearing this for a week while my severe sprain heals - if it doesn't, then I have to follow up with an Orthopedic doctor to find out what is wrong. It has been one hell of a week with having Bronchitis and now an arm in a sling!

On a side note, I got a call today from my brother in Vegas. Last week it was a letter from Social Security questioning his disability and threatening to cut him off. And this week he finds out that the state agency that is supposed to help make sure his bills get paid, stopped. This comes 3 days after his rent was due, in which they did not pay. Our question is, since he doesn't get his SS money and they do, and they didn't pay his rent, where is his money? Do you smell fraud, cause I think I do? I can't get a hold of my dad to find out what to do, but in any case one of us will have to FedEx out a check for $660 on Monday or he'll become homeless! Once again, I begged him to please give serious thought to leaving Las Vegas and coming to live with us in Louisiana. There's no one there in Vegas to help care for him. Both me, my dad, and my sister are too far away, and no one can count on our lousy good for nothing other brother to help - and he lives in Vegas but is too wrapped up in his own life to care about others. I hope I can talk him into moving. Ruben and I both worry about something terrible happening to him!