Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Friday, April 26, 2013

Worse than I thought

I saw a specialist this morning who told me I have gallstones and need surgery.  Unfortunately, some stones have migrated into the bile duct, and before he can operate, I have to have them "cleaned out" via an endoscopy.  My worst nightmare - it won't just be a quick "in with the camera and out again".

I'm also waiting to get an appointment with the vascular surgeon to see what they can do with the aneurysm in my abdominal aorta.  Scary.

Then I will see the cardiologist on Monday, and an endocrinologist on Wednesday.  I'm not even sure I know what the endocrinologist is for, but my mind is glazing over with all the problems and all the specialists.  And there might even be more - some call me to set up an appointment and I have to call others to set it up. 

Ah well, I just hope they can get everything all done before June, or at least the middle of June, and give me some time to do some camping this summer before the drive to NY.  I probably won't try to stay in campgrounds along the way but will just stay in motels.

I hate having to let go of the job at Lassen this summer, for one thing, I think it means that a new stage of my life is here and I will have to let go of the old one - the one where I could do just about anything I decided to do.  I foresee a slower pace ahead, which may not be a bad thing, but I hope I can still manage to travel once in a while.  

I'm looking forward to being with family tomorrow evening as Joe & Sarah are hosting the monthly dinner.  I may take my camera along with me, but it usually just gets in the way.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Trying to hang on

Cranky Gypsy here.

My daughter, Jeannie, drove me to see my doctor on Monday morning - she explained some of the blood test results and we talked about further tests.  I had a CT Scan that evening, and yet again my daughter came to the rescue.  We had to go to the main UCD Med hospital and it was difficult to find our way into the parking area, partly due to the fact that it was getting dark and we had never been there.  The scan results as well as further blood tests were available today.

All of the sudden I have so many appointments I need a secretary to keep up with all of them.  Tomorrow will be the gallbladder doctor (I may have gallstones); Monday will be a trip to Auburn CA to see the cardiologist, and I'm still waiting to be assigned an appointment with the endocrinologist and a couple other doctors I can't remember at this moment.  Oh yes, I decided to get the endoscopy which I really don't want to do.  I'll just have to put on my "big girl pants" and get it over with!

I did get a B-12 shot at the doctor's office on Monday, and if I'm getting some energy from it, it isn't hitting all at once but I have felt a little better each day since then.  I even hung several pictures in the living room that I've been wanting to get on the wall since I've lived here.

Anticipating that I may have to either give up coffee or drink decaf, I bought a 3# bag of organic decaf coffee beans and will mix them with the other regular coffee beans I have on hand.  By increasing the amount of decaf a little at a time, I think I can make it work.  I also bought some Clausthaler non alcoholic beer (less than 1% alcohol) and it is tolerable, although about double the price of my Miller High Life.  I told Jeanne she may have to help me finish off all the red wine I have on hand!  We are now working on a blend called "Tractor Shed Red".  Sounds like a redneck wine, doesn't it.  Not bad tasting at all.  I'm sure glad I tasted a lot of life's pleasures up until the last couple of years, although the best are my kids and grandkids and I still can enjoy them. 

So I will do what I can to find out what's wrong with me, but only up to a point.  When I've had enough of doctors, then I will just quit.

I probably won't post again until I get all these appointments out of the way, but who knows, Cranky Gypsy may have a word or two to say in the meantime.  Thanks to everyone who has written their concern.  I appreciate you all.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Before beginning the arduous task of reading blogs that I've neglected during the past week(I haven't been on the computer nearly as much as usual), I thought I'd write a few paragraphs.

I am a little edgy today probably because of my upcoming doctor visit tomorrow morning.  Jeannie called me a little while ago and told me she would be able to take me to the doctor.  Hmmmm, I told her ok but that she would have to be careful not to tell the doctor anything I don't want her to know.  Because she is concerned, Jeannie is likely to say, "...but what about xxx?", causing the doctor's ears to perk up.  If you tell any doctor every little thing that has been bothering you, their eyes glaze over thinking about all the tests they can order.  

Last week I wrote my contact at Lassen, telling her about the issues I'm facing.  She told me to hold off until I see the doctor, and definitely to ask the doctor about me spending 3 months in an isolated place.  She said they have a couple of possibilities for replacing me as long as they have enough lead time.  Fair enough - I'll write her tomorrow, and will be glad to settle once and for all whether I'm going to work there.  If I don't, I plan to at least do some camping as often as possible this summer.

It has been hot in Sacramento for the last week, and looks like the heat will continue.  My swamp cooler still has the tarp wrapped around it, which I could probably remove easily enough if I get my nerve up to climb the ladder to the roof, but Steve has always hooked up the water line to the unit.  He and Meg are in the process of selling their house and trying to find a new one, and I hate to ask him to come over just for that.  They were here earlier this week because several potential buyers wanted to look at their house, and I should have asked him to do it then.  I'm staying cool with the windows open and a fan running, although it is definitely very warm inside between about 2 and 7 pm.

I would like to thank everyone who has written me privately to send good vibes and "feel better" wishes.  I really do appreciate them.  I'm not in a whole lot of pain right now, but have absolutely no energy or motivation to do anything.  I'll write another update after I get some answers from the doctor to my questions.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Short Update

To let you know I'm still alive I thought I would post a quick update.  

All the blood test results turned out better than I or the doctor expected, even though I'm still a bit anemic.  I have an appointment to see my doctor next Tuesday, and will decide if there is some kind of test that is acceptable to me to determine the cause of stomach pain.  Of course I know instinctively what is the cause, but the medical profession doesn't like to think their patients have any common sense at all.

I haven't decided what to do about going to Lassen the 1st of June, but I will call my contact there in the next few days to let her know what is happening.  I don't feel completely confident in being so remotely located in the case of an emergency.  There is no calling 911 there, and even if I can use the radio to reach the dispatcher, help would be an hour or more away.  Personally I wouldn't worry about it as I feel that what will happen, will happen.  It isn't quite fair though to put the Park Service in the position of being responsible for getting me out of there.  And God forbid it should make someone think that maybe they need to run electric service out to such a beautiful and pristine place.  So everything is still up in the air so to speak. 

Temperatures are going to climb beginning tomorrow, and are expected to reach 90 by Monday.  Subject to change, of course.

I'll be back when I have something good to say.     

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rode Hard and Put Away Wet

That describes how I've been feeling the past week, and  yesterday was a particularly bad day for me.  Ever since having a stent implant to open a blocked artery in 2004, I have been on a regimen of daily aspirin which has caused severe stomach discomfort.  A few months ago I switched to a generic for Plavix and things were better for a while.

Now I'm having real discomfort and pain, to the point of nearly going to the emergency room yesterday to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack.  I didn't think that was the case but there are so many symptoms that women sometimes have that are different.

I decided I was just having the stomach pain that is associated with use of blood thinners.  That pain radiates out to the chest, back, ribs, and who knows where else.  I  didn't want to take a chance on being kept in a hospital because I had an appointment with my eye doctor this morning!

I'm glad I saw Dr. G. as he always makes me feel better, even though my vision seems to be worsening.  According to all the tests and examination of my eyes there is no sign of any problems, but what I'm experiencing is probably due to early symptoms of macular degeneration.  The worst is that after having my eyes dilated I realized I hadn't brought my sunglasses with me and had to drive home in bright sunlight.  Thankfully I made it ok.

Tomorrow morning I'm having a series of blood tests to see if the B-12 levels, thyroid, etc., could be causing my extreme fatigue.  I have been anemic for at least a year and I'm sure it's because of internal bleeding caused by blood thinners.  What I won't do is have any kind of invasive tests.  I looked up the old upper G.I. series that they used to do, and it seems that the test is still done on occasion, and at much less cost than swallowing a camera.  Of course they can't see the detail that they might from a camera, but as long as I live I will never have anything put down my throat.

I'm sorry to write a post that is such a downer, but wanted to explain why I won't be posting as much until this clears up.  Usually it comes and goes, but for some reason it isn't going this time.  


Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Cure?

I haven't been feeling well at all lately.  Nothing extreme, but I'm just lagging.  I've decided to maybe post once or twice a week if I have something worthwhile to say, maybe more often if there is a reason to do it.  I'm just tired and don't know why.

I saw one of PBS's doctor shows they put on just about every week to raise money.  I started watching this one last night - this doctor believes in treating illness with good nutrition rather than medicines, where possible.  He gave a list of things he considers important for daily consumption to maintain good health.  One is to drink a glass of red wine daily; another is to eat dark chocolate daily.  I got so excited about those two I didn't pay enough attention to the rest of the list.

I went to Costco today and bought 3 bottles of red wine and a big bag of dark chocolates, and have started on my new health regimen.  I'll let you know how it goes! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Work has begun

I expected the yard man to arrive around 9 this morning, and was getting a little nervous when he didn't.  A little before 10 he arrived with a helper, and said they expected to get it all done in one day.  I asked them about lunch - whether they brought their own, or whether I could get them lunch at In-and-Out Burger which is just outside the park gates.  They said they had brought their own, so if everything goes well I'll add the lunch money as a tip.  I am just so relieved they are here and working.

About an hour after they began work the man next door came out and started talking - I avoid him like the plague because you can't get away from him as he never allows a break in the conversation.  Good thing I'm not paying by the hour, although I hate to see the workmen losing time either.  I think Ed hires this guy for small jobs once in a while so he probably has to be civil.  Back before the election Ed came to my door for some ridiculous reason but he really wanted to engage me in a political discussion. I knew right off that our political views were poles apart, so I cut it short before I got too aggravated.  It's a good thing I have Bruce on the other side because he is a wonderful neighbor.  I think we are two misfits in this place.

I called GreatCall this morning about the text messages I kept getting from my kids last weekend, and it turns out that since I don't have the $3/month unlimited text package the overage charges would amount to $11.50.  It was suggested I pay the $3 for the texting and at the end of the billing cycle I can cancel it if I want.  This will save me over $8 for this month and I won't have to worry if I get any more messages.  I may just decide to keep it, but I have until the 17th to decide.  The number pads on my Jitterbug are large and easy to read, so maybe I'll try texting once in a while.  Once again I found the customer service to be very good.

I think I discovered why my Sitemeter doesn't work on this computer.  I have a DoNotTrack program set up and in scrolling through the hundreds of tracking companies that are blocked, I found Sitemeter.  I guess I will keep it on the DoNotTrack list for now.  I used to see the counter every time I looked at my blog, but I'm no longer used to it.

I had some dinner rolls left over and just made croutons with them.  The croutons are so good I'm snacking on them, and they may never make it to soup or salad.

The yard man just left around 3 pm and will be back Thursday to finish up.  He will also bring rock to spread over the thin layer that was there to begin with.  I decided to get the rock and pay for it through him rather than have to deal with it myself.  So far, so good.    



Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm hoping the rain holds off tomorrow when the man is going to work on my yard.  There are some other outdoor jobs that need to be done before the inspection that will probably occur by the end of this week or sometime during the next.  I can only do what I can do, and I'm not spending a lot on any minor things they come up with as my roof will be the next thing I'll have to take care of.  That and the tub/shower walls which need replacing.  I'm not picky and will be happy with a laminate for now and upgrade to tile later.

The following paragraph was lifted from an email I wrote to my oldest brother who reads my blog.   

"The dream of selling my house and driving off in an RV is a dream of escape, and according to the old saying, "Wherever you go, there you are" reminds me that I would still find problems and sadness no matter what.  Usually I can get past those times without letting them bother me so much."

I would love to be able to buy a small RV and use it for trips when I feel like taking them, but that isn't going to be an option for me at this time.

I had brunch at Joe's yesterday and dinner at Steve's, and tonight I have to cook for myself.  I could get used to having a cook!

Nothing else going on here - wish me some good weather tomorrow so I can get this yard work done.

I was horrified to hear of the 75 vehicle pile-up at the VA-NC line a couple of days ago.  I drove that interstate many times coming back home from NY, DC, and MD.  I often stopped overnight just before getting to the site where the accident took place, and it was ALWAYS foggy.  And people ALWAYS drove too fast.  I was often afraid I'd get rear-ended by a driver who didn't see me in time.