Sunday, February 18, 2018

Improving (This post involves TMI)

I'm still in terrible pain, my head and shoulders remain heavy, and muscle spasms come and go. Otherwise, I'm doing a little better.

I drove across the street to the grocery store a couple of days ago to pick up bottled water and a few other things (I almost barfed from the pain), and I've done a little bit of walking around outside (the weather is a beautiful 70 degrees during the day right now, which helps immensely). I'm still living on ibuprofen and the occasional stronger pain med (a PRN prescription that I've had for years and almost never use). I'm eating pretty regularly, but my digestive system is still being a jerk and I'm having to medicate heavily in that department to force things to move in the correct direction. That's not doing my HKPP any favors, but HKPP is most likely the reason it's happening to begin with, and potassium isn't correcting it. I've upped my Magnesium Citrate dosage in hopes of finding some kind of balance. Believe me when I say nobody wants to be on Mag Citrate, but it's a daily supplement for me and has been for a long time. My acid reflux disease, which I've had more than 20 years, is also at its worst thanks to Gastroparesis. I awoke from a dream at 4 this morning where I was at the grocery store mulling over which antacid to buy, so even my subconscious is tired of this crap. LOL

I'm so cranky and exhausted from this misery, but trying to move forward and get better.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

An Update

I'm mostly upright, but weak and in a lot of pain.

I've taken a shower, washed dishes, put something in the crock pot, and even gone outside for a walk a few times. It was so miserable, I thought I might pass out from the pain. My upper body is twice as heavy as it used to be. I feel very "top heavy", as if I'm trying to balance a giant bowling ball on my neck and shoulders. Unfortunately, the giant bowling ball is just my big 'ol head. I'm still nauseated, but trying to eat regularly and take my medications.

I've got a long way to go before I can consider myself back to my (quite frankly pathetic) version of normal, but I look forward to getting there. Because there is better than here.

I rescheduled renal clinic from early March to early April. Hopefully, I'll be up to traveling by then.

I've been passing the time by watching Pokemon TV and the Olympics live feed online. I'm obsessed with both. I'll return to my reading marathons after the Olympics. I have a lot of books to talk about soon; I've torn through quite a few since the last book post I wrote.

Facebook still makes me want to scream. Twitter is a realm of insanity as always. I occasionally remember that I have an Instagram and post something. I forgot about Tumblr and Words With Friends (until now, actually). I joined Reddit; still on the fence about it.

This goes without saying, but I'm really freaking tired of mass shootings, and I'm really freaking tired of lawmakers offering thoughts and prayers, accepting big donations, defending weapons of war, and doing absolutely nothing tangible about the crises of our nation.

I am in far too much pain to sit here anymore. Talk to y'all soon.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Things are bad at the moment.

I'm not going to go into major medical detail right now, but I have had a pretty bad episode, and I have been bedridden for several days. The pain was a 10 on the pain scale for a little while, as heard by my screaming and probably scaring the neighbors (hopefully they didn't hear me, but that's unlikely). I had my thumb on the button to call for an ambulance for a few hours, but I didn't go through with it.

I am, however, having to sedate myself to escape the extreme muscle pain I'm in. Most of my episodes are paralytic in nature, but sometimes my body surprises me with an episode of myotonia. This is what happened, which nearly resulted in passing out because of the location of the muscle; a vertical muscle running down the back of my head, neck, and shoulder blade. I haven't been able to turn my head since late night Friday. As of this morning, I can turn it about an inch. I have been successful in shuffling across the hall to the bathroom, and to pour water to take pills. Swallowing pills has been a battle...I'm amazed how challenging that is when you can't move your head at all. At any rate, I eventually get them down. Otherwise, I'm in a crumpled pile of agony on my bed, alternating between lying on an ice pack and a heating pad.

This episode is in addition to the bout of gastroparesis that was already making me sick. Gastroparesis is digestive paralysis, caused by a number of conditions. In my case, I assume, it's a result of muscular dystrophy (primary periodic paralysis, if you're new here). I ate a few pretzel chips yesterday. I'm drinking protein drinks today. That's all I've been able to do. My digestive system is a huge issue, and sometimes I think it's going to kill me way before MD does.

The medications I am currently on to deal with all of the above are making my body weaker (as I have complained about in previous posts...most medications aren't very safe for MD patients), but it's either take the meds right now and hope for the best, or find someone to put a bullet in my head. That's where I'm at. I'm being as cautious as I can, and it is a well-proven fact that I am safer at home than in a hospital subjected to protocols that don't acknowledge the risks of my rare disease.

In summary, some parts of my body are contracting too much, and some aren't contracting enough. If you know anything about that, you know that means absolute disaster. Thanks for thoughts or prayers or whatever it is that you do. I don't know when I'll be back, but I'll be back.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

My subconscious self is far more creative than my conscious self.

I had a dream recently. If you are on my Facebook friends list, you already read this. I just wanted to post it here for future reference.

A little girl of about 3 or 4 years old would evaporate into stardust and travel in a stream of green light to other worlds, where she would observe and intervene in their perils. I don't know if she could speak, but she had supernatural abilities in these worlds. She visited what appeared to be the Aztecs in another dimension, whose civilization was saved by her, and she was rewarded by the King with royal/god status and chocolate. I remember seeing things from her height/perspective, most specifically, adults in robes and headdress, and a large, beautiful pyramid that was green with mossy life. The girl returned to her own world, where she lived as a little girl again until she was called by the stars. The last thing I remember, she was in her mother's arms and began evaporating into stardust again, her mother crying "Return! Return!" in hopes of stopping it, but she became a stream of green light and passed through a series of glass...things...I don't know what they were...and she was gone.

That's what I posted on Facebook as soon as I woke up. I decided to do some research, and my best guess on the glass things is that they were lenses.

The lenses were rectangular, however, and there was no refraction or convergence. The stream of light simply passed straight through multiple semi-transparent objects and disappeared into the sky.

This is what she looked like when she evaporated and began traveling through the lenses.

This is almost exactly what the pyramid looked like, except it was covered in green, healthy moss. I don't remember seeing stairs, but they could have been on a different side from the one the girl was looking at (again, I was viewing from her perspective).

That was one vivid, unexpected dream, and a welcomed break from the usual anxiety dreams and recurring nightmares. I'll take more of that, please.

© 2018 All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 2, 2018

Why I Invested In A FoodSaver

I received an Amazon gift card for Christmas, and used it to partially pay for a mini Instant Pot. The Pot broke upon second use, and I sent it back to Amazon for a refund. Instead of getting a replacement, I decided to buy a FoodSaver instead (the small $59.00 model).


I've been tired of throwing out freezer-burned food, especially leftovers and frozen vegetables. It pains me to waste food, and I want to reduce the occurrence. Freezer bags, plastic wrap, and storage bowls, even giving my best effort to remove the air, isn't working.

I've been hoping to find a way to use fresh out-of-season produce year-round.

I've been wanting to get away from tomatoes in aluminum cans.

I've been wanting to save money by buying in bulk, but only cooking for one makes this problematic. Vacuum-sealing will allow me to portion properly, so I'm not overeating out of guilt.

Proper portioning will help me lose weight (something I still need to do).

Because I really dislike eating the same thing over and over, being able to portion and freeze meals will give me the variety that I prefer.

Throwing out leftovers from the fridge is unacceptable. Freezing it for reheating later is the solution.

The bags are BPA-free plastic and far less waste than throwing out plastic bowls. (Let's face it, nobody wants to hand-wash those slimy bowls. They never truly get clean enough, and they smell and stain. I always throw them out.)

I will no longer have to buy multiple bowls and bags in different sizes, and be stuck using products that are often way too big for what I'm trying to freeze. I will be cutting my own custom-sized bags.

I can finally store spices and fresh herbs in the freezer to prevent early expiration. I tried this last year, and even my herbs went bad from freezer burn. It was frustrating!

FoodSaver claims that food lasts 1 to 3 years in the freezer with their system. I will be testing that!

Vacuumed bags take up less space in the freezer, allowing for more efficient freezing.

I will have the option of sealing important belongings during a hurricane, if I choose.

Owning a vacuum-sealer should resolve all of the above. Ultimately, food saved is money saved, and it will eventually pay for itself. Hypothetically, if I previously threw out $8.00 worth of food per month, it is paid for in a year, including the cost of bags, with no food waste.

What I've done so far:

Yesterday, I vacuumed-sealed a quart of root vegetables, a pint of stir-fry peppers and onions, a tiny roast, and a large beef stew prep that will go straight into the crock pot when I'm ready.

Today, I'll experiment with cooked food. I'm slow-cooking chicken for future tamales. I also plan to prep sweet potatoes for Parmesan fries and will seal them in small batches for cooking later.

It may not sound like minimalism to have another appliance on the counter, but looking at the big picture, it absolutely is. Waste and plastics are reduced; space and money are gained.

I'll keep you posted on how this goes!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Say hello to my little friend!

My aunt and uncle found out that I lost my car, and are loaning me one of theirs. I cannot express my relief! Mega thanks to them always for caring about my perils.

Systemic disease is kicking my butt, but I look forward to feeling well enough to hit the road again. I have errands to run, doc appointments to keep, and nieces to visit. God willing.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Adventures in Minimalism 1/18/18

Winter cleaning and organizing is underway.
Here are a few things I've done over the last six weeks:

I tackled the kitchen junk drawer.
Photo 1: everything out and on the stove.
Photo 2: a drawer that's "Tuff & Tidy". :-)

I cleaned and organized my largest closet.

The hangers are turned backward to show myself what I'm wearing
throughout the year. What isn't touched in 11 months will be donated.
I own way too many dollar store shirts, but I do seem to wear them!
That's a huge pillow on the shelf. It says so right there on the package.
Except it's not. Wal-Mart is a capitalist realm of lies and deceit.
(See you soon, anyhow, Wally World. Whether I like it or not.)

Welcome to my basic white girl bathroom.
Someday, I'll have matching towels. But not today.
Today, I just need my entire world to be made out of that squishy bath mat.
(The bathroom closet is currently in progress. I'll post a pic of it someday.)

I made a pillow for my butt.

I have owned this Care Bears fabric for over a decade.
I finally put it to use and covered a stack of foam squares.
It's duct taped underneath because I'm a loser who can't sew.

I sorted papers, which seems to be a never-ending task.

I've got a problem with paper. I can't seem to get rid of it.
I don't think I've reached hoarder status, but it's a minor flaw.
(As opposed to my major flaws, of which there are many.)
I seem to constantly find random bags and baskets filled with
various papers and I wonder how it happened, as if I have pesky
gremlins stashing paper around my apartment after midnight.
Alas, the gremlin is a prematurely-aging crazy lady with paper issues.

Friday, January 12, 2018

What the heck, January...

I drove Midori the Gypsymobile to the grocery store today.
I stood in the cold, handed the keys and title to a tower, and he took her away.
Walking cane in hand, I made the short trek home without my only asset.
I will miss her. She was a great car, and had a long life. what? I don't know. I'll do what I can to save up some money so I can eventually buy another used car. Only Heaven knows how long that will take, but it's all I can do unless a generous soul wants to give or loan me a couple grand.

In the meantime, I live across the street from the power company, a grocery store, dollar store, coffee shop, and an Asian restaurant. The water company is around the corner...not the easiest walk in my condition, but I'll get there. I'm not near my bank or pharmacy, which is concerning, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it in a few weeks. My local doc is 2 miles north, so I'll have to find a ride there and home when it's time to go back. My docs in Jackson probably won't be seeing me at all this year. Living rural is a challenge where getting places is concerned. No taxi service, and no meal deliveries.

Actually, I do have groceries delivered every eight weeks or so, from Schwan's. That helps! Budget permitting, maybe I can reinstate my Home Chef subscription eventually for once a month delivery.

Saying goodbye to my car wasn't the only challenge of the day. I also had to factory reset my phone. It wouldn't stop freezing every few seconds. I was hard-booting it several times an hour, and couldn't complete text conversations or use several apps. I reset it to its default settings. So far so good, and I'm currently trying to convince family and friends to text me. I lost photos, videos, phone numbers...everything.

Me and all things mechanical don't get along very well these days, it seems. I received an Instant Pot for Christmas, and it broke on day 2. I had to send it back to Amazon. Sheesh.

The universe is making me take this minimalism thing seriously, isn't it? Ha! It could be worse. I've had less than this, and I survived. I'll survive this too.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Twitter Art Exhibit 2018

"Making A Wish"

Colored Pencil on 6" x 4" Bristol

2018 Twitter Art Exhibit

Stay tuned for details. :)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Diving Into Books

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I had a goal of reading all of the books in my possession, and I also downloaded a ton of classic books from Project Gutenberg. In addition to that, I have the Hoopla and Overdrive/Libby apps so I can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from libraries. Thankfully, I have access to my local library as well as my family's library in Louisiana, so what I can't find at one, I can usually find at the other. It has worked out great, and I have read 30 books in 8 weeks.

I'm going to be talking about some of them here, or at the very least, list the ones I've read.

But before I go any further, here's my Goodreads account. If you happen to be on there, feel free to friend me to follow my progress.

What I've read since November:
I recommend reading the author's interview/commentary after reading or listening to the book. It helps to explain some things. I thought it was ok, although I dozed through part of it. I am sure it made a great movie.
I read it on Christmas Eve.
Who knew there was a prequel that described the creation of Narnia and the wardrobe? Apparently everyone but me. It was good.
I love this story and it feels different now that I know the back story. I'll read the rest of the series soon. (I did watch the movies already).
Plenty of crying, just like the last Mitch Albom book I read.
Absolutely fantastic book that I recommend to everyone. Everyone. Read it.
Doyle was racist/prejudiced to a disgusting degree. That aside, I've always liked Sherlock and Watson. Hound of the Baskervilles is still my favorite after all of these years.
Much validation found here.
Idealistic nonsense. He writes pretty sometimes, but there's little substance.
Heart and Brain is my favorite comic.
I could say so many things about this book, but I won't ramble on. I think it's good that she finally became honest with herself about who she was, and made an effort to do something about it. I don't know whether or not she actually changed in the long run, but her journey was interesting enough to carry me through to the end. I appreciated her honesty in spite of not relating to her needs. I think she was lucky to have been given the opportunity to travel the world and write about it.
Boring and racist. I stopped listening an hour in. I'm almost sure Christie was a Nazi, as she hated Jews and foreigners.
"In a 1985 study, blah blah blah..." over and over. Zzzzz. Disappointing.
Rated G and a fun read. I'll look for the rest of her books.
I finally know who Paddington is.
I'm studying minimalism, as per my 2018 goal.
Sad and memorable.
You'd think I would have loved this, but I felt that much of it didn't apply to me. Maybe I'll use some of the writing prompts someday, but otherwise, it wasn't terribly useful.
Meh, this wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. He's kind of condescending. I felt the same way about Douglas Adams, so maybe it's an atheist thing. I think it's entirely possible to be atheistic without being an ass about it, but some people clearly didn't get the memo.
This lady is overboard, but she has used her obsession to her advantage. Overall, I think her efforts are very successful.
This was a long audiobook and somewhat forgettable, although I will probably buy small red plates someday to test one of their theories.
I know very few people who don't love Anne by the end of the book. I am no exception. I thought she was a bit ridiculous in the beginning. By the end, I was crying and looking for the TV show.
The grammar is seriously lacking in the first book, but this stuff is legendary. I loved the movies, even the ones that made me mad. I'm now on book 4. I'm reading the ebooks as well as listening to the audiobooks (which are very well done). HP fan 4 life.

In Progress:

P.S. - I don't get paid for anything I share here, ever.