Thursday, August 28, 2014

Painful, Scary Renal Scan .. and Some Laughs too

 The blow from the humpback whale splashed back down on its back

Yeah ...I always laugh when I am grabbing my flank when in exacerbating pain.  About a #6 pain to be almost specific.  No that wasn't funny.  But some other things were ...or so ridiculous that I am laughing in retrospect.  What a day!

Anyway ...on the way home I was pondering how I should write this post.  Should I just write one long post beginning with the elevator ride up to the urology office?  Then write a blow by blow of events?  Who says blow by blow anymore?  Do you ever hear that expression used?  I never do.  Obviously once upon a time I did and it apparently just surfaced from the information long buried in the dark recesses of my mind. Now I'm seeing whales ...which the way ...have nothing to do with my day.  I guess it is because they have blow holes and so ...well can see the connection.

Suffice it to know that I mostly believe I am fine.  I'd feel even better if I didn't feel sore now.  And btw is quite illogical that I could possibly have any kind of stricture because as stated in previous post has been 3 years and 5 months or so since I had the last ureteral stent removed.  What?  N-o-w ureter is gonna say, "Whoa-a-a!  It's been 3 years, 5 months or so since that last stent.  I've worked hard to fight that unwanted, obnoxious scar tissue squatter ...that tried to take up residence so many times.  True ...I have nice accommodations ...but we and I, SeaSpray ...can't have that.  But ...I  must've been daydreaming or something.  Ya can't blame me ...I mean all those lovely  rhythmic peristalsis of smooth muscle tissue in my walls moving your whizzie winkles through must've put me in la-la land.  Oops - sorry SeaSpray."

Nah ...I know that didn't really happen.  But I really have imagined conversations between my internal organs.   I'm not sure what that says about me.  :)  Well that's for another post.

But I digress.

Enough with my inane humor.  Great coping mechanism ..and amuses moi.  :)

I am hoping it was just a mistake but if it was am I gonna have to do it over again?  Seriously!

I am actually quite tired now.  It was a long day and then I shopped at Costo after the test and didn't get in until 9ish.  But we do have some delicious raspberries and strawberries ...and Kirkland paper towels ...and stuff.   I do love Costco.  All is right with the world after shopping there.  :)

Okay ...I will write about the entire day when I return.

The kids are coming over bright eyed and bushy tailed early in the morning.  I am planning a swimming day since the water is warmer now.  It's been so cold that swimming was not doable for at least half of the summer, unless you like swimming with the polar bears.  And even that would be refreshing except we've had cool temperatures during the day and even colder at night.  I didn't even blow up the raft this summer.  Any tan I have is from playing outside with the kids or gardening.  I was bummed tho that we finally had a really hot day and I had to go do the renal scan.  I almost called out a couple of days ago for a health reason and I confess that I really wanted to today just because it was hot and would be a great pool day.  "I'm sorry urodoc ...I can't come in today because it's hot out and I want to go swimming.  I'm sorry hospital ...I am canceling my expensive test today so I can go swimming."  I'd never do that.

Well ...I want to get that bacon on before they get here ...and eggs, so we can get outside early and make the most of the warm weather that we are finally having.  Time to close these baby blues.  :)

And I want to write about the scan while fresh in my mind.  I guess I just didn't want to write thoughtfully tonight.  While I hope it is because she made a mistake ...I hope it didn't cause any damage, etc.  Now that I am still and feeling my flank and bladder is causing me to wonder.  Can't wait to hear from urodoc.  Or actually news is good news.

Okay I can't wait to not hear from urodoc.

Time for bed.  :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Drawn to This Photo

Light shining through clouds Photo credit

What a beautiful picture.  And mystical.  I can imagine that being a portal between heaven and earth.  Oh wouldn't it be neat if we could see past the veil ...into the spirit world?  Well ...I'd only want to see the good things and not evil.  My mind's eye sees angels traversing through this portal.  :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Time For the Mag III Renal Scan With Lasix (follow-uo) - Revised with pictures

The pictures above are this SeaSpray's view during the renal scan in 2012.  The renal scan pictures always remind me of a galaxy ...far ...far ...away.  :)  I also always try to figure the test out but frankly ...I'm so clueless. I also ask staff but they don't give up any info either.  I can at least deduce that the brightest spots once the lasix is introduced is the urine collecting after the lasix has been given halfway through the test.  The good news is that even though it may slow down a bit in my right kidney always moves all the way through now.  And who knows ...maybe this year the numbers will be even better.  :)

I am supposed to have the Mag III renal scan with lasix on Wednesday.  Supposed to being the operative words.  Something else physically has come up - so stupid really ...but I want to feel good when doing the test.  Hopefully this will resolve by tomorrow morning because I have to decide.  I also would n-e-v-e-r intentionally cancel so close to an appointment unless I had a good reason and also would not cancel a big test so close to the scheduled date.  I am really bummed about this because it also involves a certain amount of psyching myself up to do it and I just want to get past it.  I am still believing for a good report, but admittedly I am always wanting to know what those kidney function numbers are.  They have been going up the last couple of years since 2010.  And I also want to know because at some point - soon hopefully I will be having knee replacements and it is imperative that I never have a relapse that could cause an infection in my body because one orthopedic doctor told me if that happened I would automatically be put on prophylactic antibiotics for 2 years and if new knee got infected would have to come out.

All that being said ..the fact is that my last stent came out on March 17th, 2011.  Since it has now been 5 months and 8 days since said stent was removed and I haven't had any relapses just HAS to mean I am healed.  I would be shocked if it happened now.  A relapse with my right ureter.

But ...I am still glad to get those numbers before surgery.

It took me a long time to believe I was healed.  Truthfully ...even now if I feel certain sensations in certain areas ...relapse goes through my mind but I do move past those thoughts quickly.  I must remember to clarify that with my urodoc.  But I do recall him saying that people with hydronephrosis may always feel some aching.  Which would explain it then.  But I thought that was healing too because if I am recalling correctly my kidney has not stayed enlarged.

Anyway ...I have to decide by tomorrow.
PS - it occurs to me that I had forgotten about posting on my not-so-fun endometrial biopsy experience.

*Mental note made.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Excited! :)

 Green Butterfly - abstract, green, butterfly, colors

I love butterflies because they are symbolic of hope and new beginnings.  :)

I am EXCITED about something I am doing tomorrow!  Joining actually.  :)  Talk about a green light in my spirit.  Talk about a green light ...not only is it a green light is a big FLASHING ...NEON ...GREEN  kind of green light sign.  This is so on target for me and I look forward to this and all associated possibilities.  I do love it when plans come together.  :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bee STING? BITE? To One of My Girls! (Revised - update on this calamity at the bottom of this post ;)

First - OWWWWWWW!!!!!

Second ...okay bees don't bite.  I heard the buzz near me ...didn't see anything ...and then YIKES!  PAIN!  Usually bee stings leave a welt but I don't recall seeing blood in the center.  I'd show you a picture ...b-u-t ...

Third - I revised the title because maybe the "B" word was to bold ..not sure.

I think it flew up my loose sun dress as I was standing with my hands in the pool.  Sometimes bees build nests under the rim.  I wouldn't know this year because we've hardly used the pool due to the fall weather and COLD water.  But lately I've been waiting to turn the filter on so that the water heats up in the tank.  Hope springs eternal that we will still get at least ONE week of daily swimming in before closing the pool this year.  Yesterday I told Mr SeaSpray that he might actually get his wish to close the pool on Labor Day.  I always resist closing it so early even though I know many people do like to close it on that weekend.  Then today I told him that even if we can get one week of swimming before we close it I will look at it as a vacation and so I don't want to give up just yet.  Anyway, one of the hoses sprung a leak yesterday and so I was waiting for the hot water to empty out of the filter so that I could turn it off again.  I can't run the filter long because water shoots out of the leak.  Mr SeaSpray will be fixing that when he gets home later.

But I digress.

I felt the sting as leaned over to turn the filter switch off.

On the upside ...if it was from a bat bite ...I'm good for two years thanks to the recent boosers.

Egads ..the whole area hurts now.  This is not a good area to be stung in. It's the biggest welt I've ever seen.  Damn bee.  And now's time to get the ice.  Guess I should've done that immediately.  Now the welt is the size of a half dollar.  No definitely don't want to be stung in this location of the body.  Oh and I might as well add some ice to a nice tall glass of sun tea ...then find an Adirondack chair in the sun.
Update:  The darned sting area is pink and circular ...larger than a silver dollar and ohhhh sooooo ITCHY!  But the itching is affecting areas beyond the inflammation.  It's making me crazy, but I know that scratching will just cause it to get worse.  Furthermore ...I can't exactly walk around scratching myself there.  Well ...I could ...but it certainly wouldn't look right.  I have never had this kind of swelling and itchiness from a bee sting.  So I took two Benadryl before bed but I don't think it helped.  I can't take it during the day because it causes me to want to sleep standing up ...or something like that.

I also put some 2013 poison ivy OTC medication on it and didn't stop the itching either.

Isn't this just the dumbest think?  Yesterday a friend commented that between the bats and insects the critters must like the Jafra products I wear.  :)

I haven't even told you about the Kamikaze fly and the flypaper yet.  That was last week.  :)

By the way ...anyone that could tell me how to stop this itching would be my HERO.  Just saying.  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Confused With a Capital "C"

I do pray and have asked God for direction ...but again ...I shall do the things I said below and then do some serious praying ...and then ...listening.

I think I've demonstrated over these last 8 or so years that if there is an opportunity for me to avoid surgery ...I am gonna seize it.  Not this time tho ..well it's not my mindset anyway.  I am so very  frustrated with a capital "F" and I don't know what to think.  I'm also stuck and in limbo ..sort of and I definitely do NOT know what to do.  ????  And the one thing I could do to help myself ...I have not done long term with any consistency so that it would have it's positive effects.  Actually I went backwards and so even though I am back to my best success ...I've squandered so much time.  Anyway this latest confusion/uncertainty comes after having my physical last week.  My PCP has given me a mixed message.  Basically what he pushed for when I saw him in the spring nor he is pushing for something else that I have to say I-am-not-on-board-with-it-in-any-way-shape-form-or-whatever.  No way - no how ..uh uh ...NOT gonna happen ...says me.  But ...then here I am.  And while he made some valid points and I do understand ...although some would say apparently say not enough since I am non compliant.  But then to that I say ...I know my body and it just is not the right thing for me if I don't even have the mindset or green light in my spirit for it and everything in me screams, "NO!"  I do admit he had one suggestion that I was somewhat open to ...he did have a good point.  What would be the harm in investigating in person?  It doesn't mean I would agree ...but I c-o-u-l-d just investigate for myself.  Still ...I don't see it.  And I can and did present counterpoints.  Of course then he pulls out the trump card and while he unnerved me ...he cares.  He definitely is not one of those doctors that just rush you in and out again and whatever the patient does ...the patient does.  NEXT! 

Anyway ...this past spring he was pushing me toward the surgery ...even challenging what another doctor said who cautioned me against it until I did some other things.  But now he seems to be pushing me to something else.  At one point I couldn't hold back a grin and I said, "If your not tenacious - your nothing.", and he did give me a slight grin as he continued pressing me on it.  I respect him and know he does have my best interest at heart.  I have been perplexed over this ever since.  Darned me anyway!  I've just had it with so many things and just want to go forward ...but then I am wondering all over again.

So ...I am going to set up a consult appointment with the operating surgeon for September.  And I am going to have to go back to PCP to discuss this further.  And from these keystrokes to God's eyes ...I HAVE to do what I HAVE to do!!!!  I definitely need God's direction and help.  Stop pussyfooting around SeaSpray!  Just stop it!

Do you ever wish God would just drop a big sign out of the sky?  With directions ...maybe even choices ..go this route vs that route - you choose your consequences.  I mean if I knew GOD said to do something ...I'd be on board with it for sure.  Just saying.

Why is it that sometimes we humans don't do the things we know we should and then do the things we should not?  And why are some people so much better at attaining their goals? 

My life has been on hold like you can't believe.  I suppose a therapist might tell me that my subconscious gains to maintain the current status quo are greater than breaking past them and moving forward.  Maybe at one time but I don't believe that is the case now.  I have plans - some good ones.

Okay so what is it then?  I would tell anyone else to do whatever they have to do to get to where they want to be and don't let life just pass them by.  Stop living passively.  Make things happen.  Make a list.  Pros and cons.  What is in your way ...what is stopping you from achieving your goals?  What do you have to do to remove that wall or hurdle.  What is the outcome if you succeed?  What if you do nothing?  Okay ...enough whining.  :)

I am happy to say that all lab results were good.  A-1c, lipids, etc., all good.  

I guess I am making some lists tonight.  And writing out some plans for how to achieve my immediate goals.  Life isn't black and white but I do find that writing things down does help me to focus better versus seeing my life through an abstract prism in which my thoughts never really land long enough to take root.  Writing ...for me ...makes everything more concrete, giving me a better perspective well the venting being cathartic. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Orthopedic Wing Fasion Plate :)

 I went on line to find out what kind of shoes would be good to wear immediately after the knee replacement while still in the hospital.  I didn't find the information I was looking for but I guess that is because I almost immediately just began looking in Zappos.  I did buy a pretty pair of walking sneakers in the spring (Turquoise one of the colors :), but even though they weren't cheap I don't think they have the give I might need when first walking.  I don't know what to expect.

Anyway all became a moot point once I caught sight of the pretty plaid shoes pictured above.  I just LOVE them!  I love the plaid fabric.  I love the bow and that the trim is patent leather.  I love the design.  I love, love, LOVE these shoes!  And I am seeing pretty red lipstick ..or pink (depends), a black pocketbook - maybe with patent leather trim, black - maybe red leather gloves, silver jewelery (or not), black stockings (or not), and so on. :)

Well ...I could just slide right into them ...and then what a fashion plate I'd be on the orthopedic wing.  Just saying.  ;)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

This did NOT make my day.  Ugh!  *SHUDDER*  It was HUGE!  HUGE I tell you!

I casually opened the curtains and then the sliding door ...just like I do most mornings when we have warm weather.  SCREAM!  I did ...SCREAM (just once), when I almost TOUCHED this spider as I was about to grab for the screen door handle.  I have never my entire life been this close to a spider this GINORMOUS and he was on the INSIDE!!!  I've never my entire life seen a spider this big ...anywhere .  I would've measured it ...if I wasn't afraid it would jump at me.  I'd be out cold! 

 Ha!  Forget anesthesia in the OR - just dangle, then drop a big scary, hairy, muscular, spider down onto my chest.  "We're sorry SeaSpray ...but due to hospital budgetary concerns we've replaced the usual anesthesia medications with something more cost effective. We now use BTN, also also known as Back-To-Nature anesthesia.  LOOK u-u-p now. "  ;)  Oh I am so setting myself up for a nightmare tonight.  This definitely is not the post to write before bed.

Gosh it scares me just looking at that spider even now.


What kind of spider is this?  Where did it come from?  And is it a female?  Did she lay eggs?  Inside?

I ask these questions because this week daddy long legs(DLL) spiders are popping up everywhere in the house and I am wondering if one of those laid eggs inside.  Fortunately  ...that is the only spider that doesn't totally freak me out.  Sometimes I can even pick them up by the leg and put them outside if I don't have to hold it for too long.  It's not easy ...but I do try.  Other times I apologize for killing it.  I am near phobic about spiders.  I don't even like the word arachnid.  Just saying.

Anyway these DLLs have walked across the sofa, walked up kitchen window when I opened it and even walked out of my curler bag I left in the bathroom.  I've encountered at lest five of those spiders in the house this week.  Son said they probably just walked inside except I haven't noticed any spider parades going on.  What if there is a family and they have relatives and friends?

After Googling, I learned that daddy long legs can't hurt humans and some people let them stay inside because they eat insects.  I'm not on board with that though.

And regarding the scary spider pictured above ...thankfully younger son was here and removed it for me.  Otherwise I would've just slammed the sliding door shut, waiting for someone to come along and rescue me.  It would've been creepy though ...waiting ..knowing it was there.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

If At First You Don't Succeed ... BUT ...I Could NOT *Believe* it ..NOT AGAIN?! And NOT URINE!! :)

 Yummy dessert one above.  Yummy dessert two - see below.  :)

Sometimes you just have to laugh.  :)  A week ago this past Thursday night I decided to make a nice ...great for summer dessert for the orthopedic office I go to.  So this dessert was just a little thank you to the doctor and staff.  In my perfect world I would've brought it in at my last appointment but I don't get things done as easily as I used to although thankfully that will change soon.  Anyway ...I made the main part earlier in the evening and then all I had to do was make up the (from scratch) chocolate icing.  It has to sit overnight in the refrigerator.  I had already gotten the ingredients out and so at 1;30 in the morning I just had to heat the butter and milk, followed by blending in the other ingredient ..after which I pour the thin icing all over the top.  I double the recipe so it is a bit thicker and looks smoother over the Graham crackers on top. And is why it spills over a bit onto the foil.  I prefer using the Longaberger dishes. Then VOILA!  And it serves a lot of people even though it is only in a 9x13 pan.  It is surprisingly heavy ...I guess because of the creamy filled layers.

Pleased with the results ...I then began to clean up.

However... to my my utter DISMAY, I saw that the wire whisk had snapped in the mixing.  I don't know why I did this but when I got the electric mixer out, I decided to use these flimsy little whisk attachments that I now know are for eggs and other light things and not for mixing powdered sugar.  *SIGH!*  I've never used these and ALWAYS use the regular heavy steel attachments.

So then I began to obsess a bit because I R-E-A-L-L-Y wanted to bring that dessert in the next day and I R-E-A-L-L-Y did not want to have to make it again.  Plus I didn't have all the ingredients anyway.  So I stared at the broken whisk attachment as if doing so would somehow make it alright.

You see my concern was that possibly a tiny shaving of metal or more could've gone into the icing and maybe even into the filling.  I mean God forbid someone should get a lacerated colon because of some dessert I brought in.  But I wasn't ready to give up yet.  I tried to match the to broken ends up with a bright light behind it to see if they fit together perfectly.  I thought they did ..well mostly.  I wasn't 100% sure but they seemed to fit perfectly.  *SIGH!*

So then I stared at the cake top more.  I contemplated removing the top layer off since the graham crackers were still firm.  I did have the ingredients for the top of the dessert.  But then how would I know if a tiny sliver went into the filling?  Then I looked at the stupid, flimsy wire whisk again as if staring would make it all okay again.  Total denial I tell you.

But in the end ...I am a confessed perfectionist with a capital "P" when it comes to food prep of any kind and of course I could not in good conscience give it to anyone.  "Oh FINE!"  I'm not bringing it to them!"

However, I still put it in the fridge.  I was thinking that m-a-y-b-e I would just take the top layer for us and it's not likely anything fell in.  Yeah that's it ...I'll sacrifice a family member or myself all for some homemade dessert.  Well ...we and the people I've made it for, really do like it ...a lot.  :)

But then the next day I told a friend what I was considering and she asked how I know a piece of metal didn't drop down into it.  And again I sighed and said I know she is right.

And truthfully ...I am the queen of the "What ifs?", and so I know I really wouldn't have given it to anyone.  I just was having a hard time letting go.  :)

So this past Thursday, I again made the same dessert for the office.  I just added some powdered sugar in the center, topped with cherry filling.  But I still had a little snafu.  I had bought fresh raspberries for the top.  It's not in the recipe but I think fruit is a nice addition.  (I'm thinking of adding fruit inside when I make it again.)  But they disintegrated into a syrup.  Perfectly sweet tasting raspberries from Costco but they were all just seemingly melting down.  Now I realize they were doing it in the store which explains the syrupy mess on all the packages.  (I will complain and get my money back this week.)  And so I couldn't use them.

I packed the tray into a basket and then with ice I packed it into a soft cooler carrier.

And then because I didn't want the dessert to slant to one side of the tray in the car ...I placed something against the seat do that the cooler would stay even.  That was a mistake.  *Sigh.*  It was a mistake because when I stopped short at a light in the town just before their practice ...the dessert flew forward, heading down to the floor, but I did manage to save it.  However ...there now seemed to be a bulge in the front that wasn't there previously.  I kept trying to feel for whether or not the dessert was now out of the tray and mushed against the liner.  I couldn't believe it and wondered if maybe I wasn't supposed to bring a dessert in.

But I decided to walk it in anyway.  As I rounded the walkway, I was glad to see their doors were all open to the outside since the dessert is heavy and I wouldn't have to juggle and already compromised dessert.  But I became alarmed when I thought I smelled car CAT urine.  It was so strong that I bent down to smell the carrier on top and it wreaked of cat urine.  OMG!  Are you KIDDING me?!  HOW could THAT happen!?  But then I didn't want the receptionist see me smelling the cooler an so promptly stopped.  But then at lightening speed as I walked in the doors, I wondered  "How could I have missed this?  What if it is inside?  Oh GREAT!  Now I am handing off a smushed ...CAT URINE ...WREAKING dessert to say THANK YOU?!  And I am going to tell her to ignore the smushing because it will still taste yummy?  Oh by the way don't worry about the cat urine you smell because you can see there is a plastic cover over the pan.  ENJOY!"  And my worst fear was the humiliation of her smelling it too.  "OH NO!"

The receptionist on the phone waved me in to the check out side.  I didn't mention the Cat urine smell and secretly hoped I was mistaken because I didn't smell it now.  I was glad she was on the phone so that I could open it first. No worries.  No cat urine smell.  And the dessert was only a little bit smushed on one end.  Indeed the basket and my stopping it from hitting the floor saved the day.  The bulge on the front of the cooler was the paper plates that had lifted out of the basket that I had included with the desert.  She thanked me and happily carried it too their refrigerator.  Mission ...FINALLY accomplished! 

And then there was the cat urine smell again ...right when I walked out of the office doors.  Some cat must've marked it's territory.  I told Mr SeaSpray and he said that some shrubs have that odor but I've never noticed it there before.

Ha ha!  I can honestly say that I have never put so much frustrating effort into getting a dessert to someone.  I mean I've mildly burnt some batches of cookies and brownies, burned myself, cut myself when just finishing a fruit salad, unknowingly used old baking soda that produced a flat dessert and I had to start over and I'm sure there's more ...but none of it was as stressful. 

Now I think it's funny though.

Also ...since I stopped working ...I do enjoy baking/making things for people.  It's downright joyful!  And I used to only do it for my former private doctor and also my urologist.  Actually, I've done the most for him and his staff because he has done the most for me.  Any of you that are familiar with my blog know what I'm talking about.  I went through a lot and he helped me, went the extra mile many times and anything I did couldn't possibly compare with the help I received.  And now it seems I am healed!  :)

 Ha!  But if I ever do get back to work on a treadmill lifestyle ...then it will be back to Costco cookies for a thank you.  They do have quality desserts tho, especially at Christmas.  :)

Anyway ...I guess this time ...the smell of CAT URINE was the icing on the cake the stress department that is.  ;)

The second dessert.  The icing was really darker.  I don't know why the top isn't as smooth.  I guess I didn't push the graham crackers far enough in to the cream filling.  This is why I double the icing recipe.  :)

I know some people don't like fruit fillings but I do wonder how an entire layer of fruit right in the middle layer of filling would taste. Why not?  Chocolate covered raspberries and strawberries taste good.  My favorite desserts involve fruit, cakes and creamy fillings.  :)