Thursday, May 22, 2008

On this day in 1997 ...

... a cute little beagle-basset puppy was born. Today is Mowgli's 11th birthday. Happy birthday girl!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Good News

My brother was released from the hospital yesterday. He's on crutches and is still healing but it looks like he's on his way to a full recovery.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some Knitting Content

Because I know there hasn't been a lot of that around here lately. I have been knitting though. First we have the log cabin baby blanket for my niece who will probably be walking before I get this thing finished. I modified the pattern a bit and I think I ended up making it too narrow. I could fix that by adding one more strip of the lightest purple yarn at the top. Problem is that I don't have much of that color left. I do have plenty of the second lightest purple. Should I just use that and have it change order right at the end? Would it stand out? Would it matter? I just don't know. If Hanks were right around the corner and I could run in and see if they had one more ball of this color then it wouldn't be a problem. Also, had I kept track of which color was which (they are numbered, not named, the colors I have are something like 6, 7, 8 and 21 but I don't know what is what) then I could call them up and ask. But ... I don't know what i'm asking for! I could also just do a narrow strip of the light purple with what I have and call it done. Then there's the "wrong side" issue. I don't like a blanket having a "wrong side". Just doesn't seem right. I had thought of sewing some fabric to the back side but wasn't sure how exactly to execute that plan. Then I saw Sharon's comments on her ravelry page about sewing fabric on the back and doing a quilt tie thing. I just might have to copy that great idea. This also means I have to find coordinating fabric which will delay the blanket even more. Hmmm ...

And then we have another Mae Day Dress. It amazes me that only ten people on Ravelry have knit this pattern. It's so freaking cute I almost can't stand it. I made one in pink but took so long to do the finishing (seaming) that the baby I knit it for grew up. Go figure. So I finished that one for Simone and started a new one for the originally planned recipient in one size too big so that she can actually wear it when I finish it. I also modified the pattern to knit in the round this time so that I don't have to do the seaming at all. Yay! I'm using the yarn called for in the pattern this time around too which I am totally in love with. It's Vickie Howell's Craft by South West Trading Company. It's made with organic cotton and milk fiber and it's so so very soft and lovely.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Update on Tommy

So my brother is still in the hospital. The infection in his thigh and calf seem to be healing well but his foot is not. They are doing an MRI of his foot, hopefully today, to see if the infection got in to his bone. Then they are going to wrap his foot real tight to attempt to push the infection up into his leg in hopes this will help his body heal it. He's been moved several times and there's been a lot of drama involved (go figure) but he seems to be in a better spot in the hospital right now. They did an MRI of his head because of the massive headache he had and apparently that came out clear. They changed his meds a bit once they were finally told about the suboxin (long story that i'm NOT blogging about) and his headache got better. That's all we really know right now. I know family is checking here to find out more so I will post again when I hear anything new.

If anyone wants to call him he's at Arlington Memorial Hospital in Arlington Texas, room 5022.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Help Finding Yarn

So that I don't proceed to spend the next four hours searching the internet and drooling over yarn I can't purchase ... I'm asking for help from the knitters out there. I'm participating in a group of knitters who are knitting (obviously) and sending socks to David Boreanz (sp?) who plays Seeley Booth on the show Bones. In the interest of time and actually finishing said socks, here are my requirements:

1. weight: either DK or Worsted (to speed things up)
2. content: wool/nylon blend or even better would be a cotton/wool/nylon blend and even better yet would be the last one with something stretchy thrown in ... cotton/wool/nylon/spandex type thing
3. color: must come in fun color options. he likes crazy socks so crazy socks he will get. some sort of self-patterning/self-striping/funky color thing that appears as i knit. no colorwork involved here as i tend not to finish those projects.
4. price: cheap! not so cheap that my hours of knitting will be lost when the socks fall apart but also no pricey hand-dyed or big name label. good stuff that's on sale somewhere would be cool too.
5. washability: yep ... superwash if there is wool involved. no hand wash only please.


Holy Crap!

My brother (a long haul truck driver) is in the hospital in Arlington, TX. He has cellulitis and a blood clot in his thigh. He waited three days to get to the hospital because he was trying to get a load dropped off. It sounds like it's pretty bad. His leg is all swollen and he has a black thing on his leg that is flaking off. He's also dehydrated and has a high fever. What a mess. I hope this is a wake up call for him to start taking better care of himself. And obviously above and beyond that, I hope that he makes it out of this okay. Sounds like he may develop a limp according to the wiki page.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So ...

... the lab had an "unfortunate incident" which rendered my blood unusable for finishing the tests they were running. We got some results back but not all and I had to go back to the lab yesterday for another blood draw so they can try it again. But the good news is that from what the doc was able to see, he doesn't think I have RA or Lupus but we're still waiting for the ANA results to see if my immune system is attacking my body or not. I'm supposed to call him in a week to get the results. My TSH was fine but no T3 or T4 results and somehow we had a miscommunication or something in that he did not re-order those tests. He's as baffled by my rash as the rest of the docs who have seen it. (maybe the allergist will have a clue) He wants me to stick with my orthopedic surgeon for my ankles and get a family doctor to keep an eye on my blood sugar and my thyroid. I probably need to move on to the next option with my ankles which is steroid injections under x-ray. Sounds fun, no?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

a swift kick in the ass...

... is what I just got. According to my non-medical-expert research consisting of blood glucose testing and medical website reading ... I appear to have pre-diabetes. (i'm in the yellow in both diagrams) Groovy. And the things I am supposed to do to keep diabetes at bay longer is to lose 5-10% of my body weight and maintain an exercise schedule of walking (or some other similar activity) for 30 minutes 5 days a week. This is where the "swift kick in the ass" comes in. I don't have the energy to exercise nor are we scheduled enough. I'm just gonna have to kick my ass in gear and do it. I'm thinking of some sort of positive reinforcement (other than the obvious health benefits because hello, if that were enough i'd be out there doing it already) like allowing myself to purchase one song for my mp3 player each week that I walk at least 5 out of 7 days. At less than a $1 a song I could certainly find a way to fit that in the budget.

Of course there is also the diet issue. We eat pretty good but I'm going to start on the diabetes diet and see if it makes a difference in anything. Brett and I were talking this afternoon about working out a schedule to make ourselves stick to so we fit exercise in. It will also help us get moving earlier in the morning and hopefully get us prepared for our new schedule that will start on September 2nd. That's the day Houston starts at The Blake School and he has to be there between 7:30 and 8. It's about a 15-minute drive but with morning traffic I'm sure it will be more like 20 or 25. Then I'll drive across to the opposite side of town (another 20 minutes if not more) to drop Brody off before returning home to work. We're usually getting out of bed at 8am and getting to the daycare around 9:30am so that is going to be a big change for us. (before you call us slackers, keep in mind that several nights a week we step out to the office after the kids go to bed and work until 2am or so)

I also found that it's fairly common for people with diabetes to suffer from arthritis. The hypoglycemic-type symptoms I've been having are also symptoms of hypothyroidism and since my blood sugar is telling me I'm closer to diabetes than hypoglycemia (both run in my family - hypoglycemic grandma and diabetic grandfather & uncle) I'm really curious to see my test results on Monday. Luckily, the doc that I go see tested my thyroid (TSH, T3 & T4) along with everything else. Less than 48 hours until I get the results.

To Shake or Not To Shake ....

Every time I have pancakes for breakfast I end up with the shakes about an hour later. I have to eat some sugar to make it stop. So ... guess what we're having for breakfast this morning? Yep ... pancakes. And I have my handy little stab-myself-to-check-my-sugar device waiting. If I get the shakes and test below 70 then it looks like I have reactive hypoglycemia. My paternal grandmother has hypoglycemia so it wouldn't be out of left field by any means.

Off to make some pancakes ....

Friday, May 09, 2008

Things That Sucketh

Ya'll please excuse me while I vent. I've had enough already. Seriously now ... I'm only 31 years old. I don't even want to think about how much pain I'll be in by the time I'm 50. I wish one of these docs would figure out what is going on so I can try to do something about it. I've been going to an orthopedic surgeon, a hematologist, a rheumatologist and an ENT and all they have managed to do is tell me I have "several issues" but we don't know why yet and refer me on to more doctors. Now I have to add an allergist and an oral surgeon to the mix due to my CT scan results and was told that I need either sinus surgery or a temporary fix of an in-office procedure involving burning the swollen lining of my sinuses to shrink it down. Um, no thank you. (i'll spare you all the details of the nasal scope I endured with a hangover on Wednesday ... absolutely awful) I didn't even know my sinuses were involved here. Jeepers man! I know they are in bad shape but I've learned to live with that. What I'm not learning to live with is the unbelievable, unrelenting, increasing pain in my ankles. I don't know which issue is causing more of the pain ... the arthritis or the tendonitis due to me having a coalition rather than a normal joint.

I also have bilateral degeneration in the articular disc of my TMJ which I'm managing by wearing a bite guard and eating soft foods (i really miss my granola) along with heat packs and Advil. Honestly, Advil has become my best friend over the past six months. I'm sure my liver and/or kidneys would disagree at this point but it's better than a prescription narcotic. So all that pain I thought was in my ear turned out to be my jaw. I have a habit of teeth grinding which I have apparently sent into overdrive with all the stress over the past several months. Go figure. The good news is that the pain has seriously calmed down since I've stopped using my jaw so much. (not easy to do, by the way. talk about teaching an old dog new tricks!)

I'm trying to narrow things down since all these crazy symptoms popped up and all I've managed to accomplish is to add more doctors to my medical "team". I think I need a real life Dr. House. Anybody know one? I go back to the rheumatologist on Monday to get my latest test results back. Looking forward to that. You should have seen all the blood they had to draw. He ordered just about every test on the lab sheet plus hand wrote in the bottom "additional tests" area about six or seven more tests. Then I get to endure the fun of allergy tests a week after that. I had really, really bad allergies when I was a kid (think three shots a week) to the point that I could not walk through grass that needed to be mowed without having hives all over my legs from the grass seeds touching me. I also had a really bad episode after dusting some shelves when I was about 13. Scared my mom pretty good with that one. Most of my allergies went away as I grew up. The only things that seem to bother me still are dust and medication. Well, that I know of anyway. I actually hope they find me allergic to something I'm surrounded by because if they don't then that means it's an autoimmune condition which goes along with all the other funky stuff I've been dealing with and we're back to looking at lupus, RA and similar autoimmune diseases. The rheumatologist thinks I may have a collagen deficiency which is a model of RA (whatever that means) along with possibly hypothyroidism.

Ya know, I was a pretty healthy woman about two years ago. BEFORE I had a 12 pound baby. I honestly have not been the same since. Something got seriously out of whack when I had Brody. He better be glad he's so darn cute and entertaining! My body went back to normal very quickly after Houston was born. I don't know what happened with Brody. I now have a funky blood rash of varying degrees at any given time (called petechia) , arthritis in my ankles and jaw and probably other places as well, tendinitis and random bouts of dizziness and nausea. I also may or may not have decreased energy. I have resorted to drinking a steady flow of coffee throughout the day to keep me going. I thought it was just because I have two little boys that require a lot of attention as well as about fifty other things to deal with during the day. The more I think about it though, it may be a symptom too. And the weight ... ugh ... while i'm not obese I do have about 15 extra pounds on me that I can't seem to get rid of. I work really hard and loose 8-12 pounds and then it comes right back. It's a cycle I can't seem to break. I've never had that problem before. It's always been easy for me to drop pounds and keep them off. Is it just because I've hit that magic age of 30 where the metabolism supposively slows? Or is it hypoglycemia or hypothyroidism or both? I've learned they can both be hormone related and it's not uncommon for them to occur together. I bought a blood glucose test kit yesterday and am monitoring my blood sugar. It was a little low yesterday when I felt a little icky. I'm curiously awaiting my next round of the shakes to show themselves so I can test and see where my level is.

Well now that I've wasted a good part of the afternoon sharing my personal medical issues with anyone on the blogosphere who happens by ... I'm going to step outside to the porch and join my hubby and father-in-law who are getting their weekend started a little early. Unfortunately I'll just have to watch them drink beer instead of joining them. Seems these days all I have to do is look at a beer and I gain a pound and then fall asleep. I do have some yummy hazelnut coffee brewing though ... mmmmmm. Actually, I think I'm going to go play my piano for a while first. I haven't blogged about Charley recently but we are still getting along wonderfully. I have actually managed to reach the point that I can flip through a book that I have and play about ten different songs without too much effort or error. I absolutely love it! :)

(PS ... Angie ... I made the baked radishes last night and they are yummy! thanks for the recipe!)

Rocket Yarn at Work

Socks! Click here to check out some gorgeous socks knit with my hand-dyed yarn. Way to go Heather!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Questions ... for the audience (if i still have one)

Any good recipes involving radishes? I have a bunch from the garden and I don't like to eat them raw. I plant them every year and then I end up feeding them to the dogs. I was thinking there might be some sort of sauce/dip/marinade that I could make.

Anyone have a recommendation of a good "Diabetes Diet" book and/or cookbook?

Meet Simone Olivia

Thursday, May 01, 2008

My Zooted Dog

Well Mowgli hasn't yelped in pain once since she's been on her meds. She's pretty well zooted as you can probably see in this picture. She seems happy and is eating well and even ran around a bit with the other dogs last night. I could tell she was holding back from her usual antics but it was good to see her moving around that much. She was even able to jump up on the couch pretty easily and without yelping in pain. She's on a muscle relaxer three times a day, pain pill twice a day and steroid once a day so I'm sure she's not feeling much of anything right now. She's comfortable though so I'm happy. :)

And just a side note ... one of the best things about working from home and for myself is that I have her sleeping right here at my feet. She can tell when it's time to head to the office for the day after I get back from dropping the kids off at daycare. She heads to the office and assumes her spot for the day.