Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Friday, January 31, 2014

Can't get moving

There were several things I wanted to get done today, but still haven't gotten dressed.  I keep putting it off and will now wait until I get into my gym clothes late this afternoon.  

After reading Barney's comment yesterday about contributions, I checked the web for information, and found that the page in our monthly booklet was probably copied word for word from Snopes.com.  I got a comment today from Shadowmoss that also referred to Snopes, although it sounds like she and I read different parts of that website.

I guess it depends on how much you trust Snopes - although I have no reason not to trust them.  They have become well known as a source to turn to in determining whether a widespread rumor is true or false.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Overcast skies

I sure haven't been blinded by the sun today.  The streets got wet now and then but no rain to speak of.  Now it looks like Sunday may be the magic day for rain.

I finally visited the dental office that my daughter and her family go to, and discussed my situation and made an appointment to get started on dental work.  I think that is what is ultimately causing most of my physical problems and it's time to take care of it.  I know I'm going to lose some lower molars but so be it.  

The lady at the desk told me that she had Donald make a birthday cake for her son, and that it was an incredible work of art, plus tasty as well.  They also had my name in their system from back when I was visiting CA from NC a number of years ago.  Sometimes doctors and dentists can't take new patients, so I feel good about getting an appointment.  I've already filled out the paperwork and was told if I have any pains in the meantime, to call night or day.  Donald's mother also goes to this dentist and her name is Martha, so I will have to get them to call me Marty - I guess Gypsy wouldn't be appropriate in this case!

I can't imagine what it will be like to get some energy again - I'm looking at having to do a major housecleaning if that happens, just in time for spring.

Thanks to the readers who commented on yesterday's post regarding contributions to charities.  It's a shame when good people are taken advantage of by scammers who don't care about helping anyone but themselves.

Personally I am a complete sucker for a homeless vet with a sign at the street corner.  I know that most people will say it's not a good idea to give them money, and maybe it isn't.  But I keep a supply of $1 bills in my wallet and if a guy looks to be close to my age and probably a Vietnam vet who is homeless, then I don't care.  And once that $1 leaves my hands I don't know or care what they do with it - that is their issue and it's passed beyond my control.  If I was homeless I might drink it or smoke it, and I won't ever judge a down-on-their- luck person in that situation.

Well I may have stirred up some controversy on that subject, so fire away at me, but please be nice about it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rain, finally!

We are finally getting some rain and it looks like there will be more off and on for the next few days.  I hope it's enough to make at least a small dent in our water situation, and that it reaches the Sierra in the form of snow.

I started out to run some errands this morning but just turned around the block and came back home because of pain.  This is so aggravating as it can be as bad as a gallbladder attack.  All I had for breakfast was two slices of french toast with maple syrup - not exactly what I would think of as a meal high in fat.  I'm really stumped as to what I can eat and what I can't.

I don't have much in the way of blogging material today but I did read some interesting info in the monthly magazine and newsletter provided by the mobile home park.  This has to do with donations, and something to think about before you make your contributions. You may be as surprised as I am.

American Red Cross:  The President/CEO's salary for the year was $651,957 plus expenses.

March of Dimes:  The president receives a $375,000 base salary along with numerous expense benefits.

UNICEF:  The CEO receives $1,200,000 per year ($100k per month plus all expenses including a Rolls Royce.  Less than 5 cents of your donated dollar goes to the cause.

GOODWILL:  (This I found shocking).   The CEO and owner profits $2.3 million a year.  You donate to his business and he sells the items for PROFIT!  He pays nothing for his products and pays his workers minimum wage!  $0.00 goes to help anyone.

Salvation Army:  The Commissioner receives a small salary of only $13,000 a year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.  96% of every donated dollar goes to the cause.

American Legion; VFW; DAV; Military Order of Purple Hearts; Vietnam Vets Assn:  All of these organizations' National Commanders receive a $0.00 salary and your donations go to help Vets and their families and youth!

Make a Wish for Children's last wishes:  100% goes to funding trips or special wishes for a dying child.

St. Jude Hospital Research:  100% goes toward funding and helping children with cancer who have no insurance and can't afford to pay.

Ronald McDonald Houses:  All monies go to running the houses for parents who have critically ill children in the hospital.  100% goes to housing and feeding the families.

Goodwill makes it so easy to drop off donations, but there are many more deserving local charities, many of whom will pick up items from your residence.  When I lived in Sacramento in the 1980's I regularly bagged up clothing and household items for Americans for Retarded Citizens.  I will definitely look for an alternative to Goodwill in the future.  I believe Salvation Army will send a truck to pick up household/furniture items, although I haven't used that service.  

Note that I am passing along what was in a local booklet, and I can't verify the information.  It is something to think about though.  Comments welcome.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Aging Brain

I read an interesting article today which implies that older folks don't remember things as quickly because their brains have so much more stored info than do younger brains.

" who has the better memory: the young person who knows a little and remembers all of it, or the older person who has learned a lot and forgets a little of it?
His research, published in the January 2014 issue of Topics in Cognitive Science, argues that studies on memory ask the wrong questions. It could be that older, wiser heads are so chock full of knowledge that it simply takes longer to retrieve the right bits. (It's important to note that the research is aimed at healthy, aging brains, not those afflicted with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia, which rob the brain of memory and other abilities.)"

I think this makes a lot of sense and no doubt all you readers who have so many things crowded into your brains will agree.

I visited my doctor this morning who determined I have bronchitis, and put me on the "Z-Pack" antibiotics. She went through all the blood test results from yesterday and explained why some might be on the "low" side.  There was nothing she seemed to worry about.

She spent a lot of time discussing diet, things I can eat, how often, things I might avoid to begin with at least.  I don't think anyone expects me to pop back up soon after surgery, and the recovery will go on for a while longer.  I'll get through it.  Just driving downtown this morning and two trips to Costco (the pharmacy didn't have my meds the first trip) should have me pretty wilted, and I am tired but I will make it.

I'm back on the daily low dose aspirin, so it won't be long until I look like a battered woman.  It's been so nice looking at my arms and hands clear of bruises.

I sympathize with commenter Nancy1340, and am glad her aunt recovered from the effects of the flu shot.  I worry about getting the shot, but feel I have no choice in my run down condition, as well as the fact that I'm around my little grandchildren quite a lot.  They bring things home from school and of course they pass it on.  I could not deal with the flu right now - so I'm between the proverbial rock and a hard place!

After a run on beautiful sunny weather I believe we are in for a few days of rain, which we need desperately.  I hope the mountains get plenty of snow pack, as that ultimately becomes our water source.  Folsom Lake reservoir is so low that the old gold rush town of Mormon Island has been uncovered.  (I just checked the weather widget on my computer and it looks like they've cut the expected rain days down to just one.  Not good.   

Monday, January 27, 2014

I did leave the house today

After getting dressed I decided I didn't feel like going anywhere, but then got a message from my doctor that I could go to the local clinic for my blood tests and flu shot, no appointment necessary.  Since I have an appointment to see her tomorrow morning, I wanted the lab results to be available, so I left the house in a hurry!

I was really in pain a couple of hours after dinner last night - I think I ate too much ice cream too soon after eating dinner.  Usually I have the ice cream shortly before I go to bed.  I took the maximum dose of extra strong painkillers, which did nothing to ease the pain.  It disappeared after I lost everything in my stomach.

So I am not going to count calories or try to stuff more food into myself than I feel good with.  The heck with it - I am very disheartened, but I just give up.

That flu shot hurt more than I remember from last year.  Maybe next year I'll be really healthy and won't bother to get one.  Isn't that something to look forward to?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Do-nothing Sunday

At nearly 1:30 in the afternoon I still haven't showered or gotten dressed.  If I decide to stay as I am, I can just crawl back into bed tonight as I am!

I tried to find out where is the Quebec River, as I mentioned in yesterday's blog.  Can't find a trace of it!  Maybe it is called by a different name now, but you would think the internet would have some reference to it.

Barney commented on my doctor's advice that folks over 65 shouldn't take NSAIDS.  I did look up a couple of websites that sort of support that view - the American Geriatric Society warns that NSAIDS can lead to decreased kidney function as well as cardiovascular disease.  The AGS report also warns of Tylenol in that it can cause liver damage.  So I guess seniors are between a rock and a hard place if the AGS is to be believed.  Their conclusion seems to be that doctors might prescribe opioid pain relievers - which is what I so diligently quit using when I found them to be just too delightful!  I guess what one takes to relieve pain is between the doctor's recommendation and a personal choice.  The doctor doesn't have to live with the results of the pain or the side effets of pain relievers.

I found a packet with 4 Mucinex tablets left over which supposedly expired in 2012.  I took one and the effects were remarkable, so I've taken the rest of them, 12 hours apart.  Now I'm out of them and should go buy another package of them.  But then I will have to get dressed!  Rats!

My ice cream stash is going down a little at a time.  Last night I had several scoops on top of a slice of cheese filled crumb coffee cake.  I don't think this is exactly what I should be eating but it sure tasted yummy.

I'm enjoying my book - the English cozy - they always make me think of how nice it would be to live in a small English village.  Although in reality, living in an old small village anywhere has its down side - you are forever considered to be an outsider unless you were born there, and gossip is rampant.  I know that was true in Ireland, and I just let it roll off my back.  I can't complain though, as I was very well accepted by the folks who mattered to me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday morning errands

I decided to go to the library this morning to pick up some CD's and DVD's if I could find anything of interest.  I found 4 CD's that I will listen to and possibly download some songs into my iTunes, and one DVD that is a travelogue sort of thing.  Also got a book in large print - an English "cozy", meaning a mystery in an English village setting, with no graphic violence.  Just a fun little mystery story.

I stopped at Rite Aid to get a small bottle of Tylenol.  I've been told by a doctor that I shouldn't use NSAIDs (motrin, ibuprofen, etc.) since I'm over 65 and they sometimes lead to liver damage, (or maybe it's kidney damage, neither  of which I want).  He recommended Tylenol which I've never liked or used up until now, but sometimes ya just gotta go with the flow.  I can try it anyway, but I was shocked that every single item in the department comes only in huge quantities and for huge costs.  What happened to the little tin of 12 aspirin or other pain relievers?  I don't need 250 of anything, except maybe the vitamins and supplements I take.

Several people mentioned my 3 mile walks along the American River.  Let me tell you it doesn't seem like 3 miles at all when I'm walking with my son and talking all the way.  We get to a halfway point and stop at a rest area with picnic table, and then start back after a brief rest.  I always wonder when I'm starting out if I will make it at all, but it's pretty easy once I get going.  Much easier than walking along the streets in my community, or on a treadmill, both of which are terribly monotonous.

Coming back home I drove through the old neighborhood I lived in during the 1980's, called Sunriver, where all the streets are named after rivers.  In my travels across the country I've crossed over or driven alongside many of these rivers, so when I get bored I'll pull out some of my large state maps and check the rivers against my list to see how many I've connected with.  I don't need an excuse to pull out my maps, but this is certainly a fine excuse if I did need one.  A few of the rivers are outside the U.S., such as the Tiber, the Yukon and the Quebec rivers.  I know I've never seen the Tiber or the Yukon, but will have to check a Quebec Provincial map to see if I've been anywhere near that one.  I always loved the study of Geography, and the streets in that subdivision were so evocative of near and far away places. 

I got on a scale yesterday that registered 109.2, meaning that I've gained 5# since my post op.  I was mildly disappointed that the number wasn't higher.  I am already sick of trying to eat constantly and wish I could go back to eating when I'm hungry and stopping when I'm full.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Why on Friday?

Why is it that if you're not feeling so good to begin with, it always gets worse on a Friday.  I spoke to the advice nurse this morning about my cough and congestion.  She told me (among other things) to drink hot tea with lemon and honey.  If I ever eat or drink anything with honey they should know I'm delirious!  I absolutely can't stand honey, never could.  It is way too sweet to begin with.

Joe emailed me to see if I was up for a walk on the trail and I figured, why not.  I hoped I'd feel better out in the fresh air, and I did.  His youngest daughter, Keira, went along with us but since she is definitely not a walker, she opted to ride in a stroller!  We walked the same distance as before - about 3 miles round trip.  We stopped for a longer period, and watched as two horse patrol ladies came close to where we were.  Of course Joe and I had to go meet the horses, but Keira wasn't having any of that.  There was a mare and a big, big male horse - didn't get in the right spot to determine if he was a stallion, but I doubt he was.  He had such a beautiful nature, really a sweet boy.

This is the side trail we take back to the parking lot.

We used to live across the street from the houses along the fence line to the left.  

Don't forget you can click on a photo to enlarge it.

I'm feeling much better after the walk and may try the gym later on.  I certainly don't feel so great just sitting around at home by myself.  I just won't give any hugs - that's a big order and it's difficult to see my kids & grandkids without hugs.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Win some, Lose some

The win part is that I woke up during the night and this morning virtually free of the abdominal pain I have had since my operation.  What a relief, and I just hope it holds out.  I should feel energized and do all sorts of things around the house that need to be done, right?  Wrong!  I finally convinced myself it's ok for me to lounge around as long as I want to, so that's what I'm doing today.  Other than fixing meals, that is.

But on the "Lose" side of the equation I am developing a chest cold, and I would worry about it turning into pneumonia if I hadn't had a vaccine last year.  I suppose there are other lung issues I can worry about.  I picked up a cough somewhere, probably from the grandkids who all go to school or preschool, except Arianna, and her big sister Autumn no doubt brings the germs home from her school.  I won't miss the chance to be with my grandchildren when possible, so it's just a crap shoot, more or less.

I did make it to the grocery yesterday and bought lots of Haagen Dazs ice cream!  I don't know what it will do to my cholesterol levels (and don't really worry too much about it), but if I dared eat a pint a day I would have my weight back in no time1!  That stuff is soooo good and soooo rich.

I've been forwarding Joe the congratulatory comments, and he appreciates each and every one.  Thank you all so much.  He went back to school a number of years ago and wanted to enter the RT program back then.  There are such a limited number of spaces that they are given out on a lottery basis.  Each year he took college courses towards a degree while hoping to "win the lottery", and at long last he was accepted into the program.  As I understand it, there are so few qualified teachers available for the program that they can't expand classes to meet the demand.  I'm not sure why this is but possibly potential instructors can make more money by working in the field?  At any rate, Joe also completed the requirements for an Associate of Science degree, and hopes to go back fairly soon to get the Bachelor of Sci. degree. 

The past couple of days I've been filled with a longing to see my two grandsons in New York.  Of course that is impossible now, and for now I am not committing to going any distance this year.  That will no doubt change as I get to feeling better.  I have to renew my driver's license in South Dakota in November - a long way off - but at that time of year I'll have to travel there and back by plane.  I might as well not get that far ahead of myself and just try to live for today!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Nothing new

I wish I could call up the energy to get myself to the grocery.  The last time I shopped I bought some individual size (3.6 oz) cups of Haagen Dazs ice cream - a perfect size for a snack or dessert.  I'm out of them and think I'll just buy the larger size, chocolate and vanilla.  No off-the-wall flavors for me!

Yesterday my son, Joe, took his final exam and passed it, so he is now an official respiratory therapist!  I'm so proud of him.
I'm not going to write any more today because I feel too crappy.  I just took an Alleve and am hoping it will reduce the aches and pains.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Back to my old haunts

Yesterday evening was my first trip back to the gym, and it was like going the first time ever.  I didn't realize I'd have to start all over from scratch, but I believe it shouldn't take me quite as long as it did the first time to get into decent shape.  My weight has shot up to 110# though.

Those wily doctors all told me I could do whatever exercises I felt like doing, but little did I realize there would be so much I don't feel like doing, at least at first.  But I'm going to do a little better each time, until I surpass where I left off!  Today I think I will just walk a few miles on the treadmill, but you never know.  Last night I was completely aware of when the endorphins hit my brain (or whatever they do) - all the pain was gone in an instant and I was enveloped in a warm sense of well being.  That's heady stuff, and the feelings of well being are still with me.

This will be my first time driving my car for a while, and I have mixed emotions about it, which surprise me.  

I'm back home now after just going to the gym.  I had a list of other stops I wanted to make, but after a mile on the treadmill I just wanted to come home, have lunch and a protein shake.  It's amazing how much fun walking can be out on a trail with a partner, as opposed to the monotony of a treadmill or by oneself.

I could use a snooze right now and then maybe I'll feel like going back out later.  Have a good day.

Monday, January 20, 2014

I finally got out of the house this weekend, and on Saturday went with Jeannie & fam. to a nearby mall.  I don't normally like to go anywhere near a mall, but I jumped at this opportunity to be out and about.  

It was a pleasant experience for me as there were no crowds at all considering this was a Saturday.  It's sad to think that a way of shopping will be gone in a few years, run out by online shopping in my opinion.  Think what that will do to local tax bases, employment, wages, etc.  

I got a new watchband at Sears watch repair, and the tech put it on the watch for me.  Good thing because I couldn't even see the tiny little screws that hold it.  No service is why I quit going to local discount stores for a watchband - they quit doing the replacement.  I'm very happy with the band and with Sears, and am willing to pay for service.

I was really worn out from the walking I did and just the sitting up for that length of time.  Yesterday it was time to do laundry - 2 full loads.  I can wash them at home but I don't have a dryer, so that meant 2 trips across the street to the laundry room for each load.

This morning I got an offer from Joe to take me down to the American River near where we lived in the 1980's.  He runs along the river parkway and has told me how low the river is now.  He has seen deer in that area, including a big buck, but I doubt they will be visible in the middle of the day.

Steve and Joe used to meet me at the end of the street when I got home from work in the 1980's - the rule was that they couldn't go down to the river until I went with them.  Of course they spent entire days there but I was ignorantly blissful back then.  This first picture is usually where we went - I took a chair along for myself and set it in the shallow water, while they swam and played in the cold river.

I was surprised to see the mountain lion warning a couple of places along the trail.

We went back to Joe's after walking a little over 2-1/2 miles, and he quickly cooked up some shrimp - delicious and welcome after my exertion in walking that distance.  According to the app on his iPhone, we walked 2-1/2 miles averaging 3mph.  I didn't think I could do that well and am thrilled.  It's so nice walking with someone rather than on my own, and I enjoyed being along the river again.

I'm going to the gym later on today, and I'm really looking forward to it.  What were once fairly decent muscles now look so sad, and I'm determined to get back in shape as well as to gain a whole lot of weight.

The more I write on this blog the more screwed up it becomes, with photos out of alignment, etc.  Maybe the published version won't be so bad.

I think I need a short nap!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Totally Bored!

I am getting more bored by the hour lately, but still don't have the energy to get in the car and drive to places I need to go.  Now with the weekend coming up I know I won't take the car anywhere.

Thanks to all who have patiently explained things like converter boxes, analog vs digital, etc.  I seem to want tv but then I don't, and there is no clear cut winner so far.  Trying to replace boredom with boring shows doesn't make much sense.

It's ironic that as we get older we like to slow down, but at the same time technology is driving the world and everything in it at a faster and faster pace.  It's too bad we don't have a choice.  I know I'm a bit eccentric in my distaste for a lot of hi tech gadgets and equipment, but I honestly am tired of getting used to something and then - poof - it is updated and completely changed.  It isn't that I'm so stupid I can't keep up, it's the fact that I don't see the need to fill my brain with stuff I don't even want to know.  I'm retired, ya know, and I keep very well informed with things I'm interested in, but don't see the need to be bothered with things and ideas that I no longer care about.  I know we each have our levels and areas of interest and while I respect the techno geeks out there who love every new gadget that comes along, I just don't fall into that category.

It's an hour past lunch time and I'm not the least bit hungry.  This is really agonizing and I feel like a glutton.  I guess one can't be much of a glutton on about 1200 calories a day though.

It looks like CA is going to be in a severe drought situation while the probability of multiple forest fires looms.  I've often wondered why there hasn't been any move to develop and build desalinization plants on the U.S. coasts.  Some day it may come to that, and then we'll be scrambling.

I'd better stop before I piss too many people off!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hangin' in there

I walked again this afternoon, about twice as far as yesterday which still isn't very much, but it's a start.  I can't say I feel all that great for doing it, but I know it's necessary while I'm getting enough strength back to go to the gym.

Most of the morning, as just about every morning, I spend a lot of time reading backpackers' and hiking websites.  As anyone who reads my blog will know that my last faint dream is to be able to get back out on the trail for a multi-day hike, carrying everything I need in a backpack.  You probably realize, as I am beginning to realize, that it's very doubtful that I'll ever be able to do that again.  But I'll keep on dreaming, and keep on working out to get in shape for it.

I am currently fixated on an excellent website provided by a former Glacier Park official - everything you need to know about hiking and backpacking in Glacier.  Wow, I thought!  This is exactly what I'd love to do.  But this morning I came to the section on grizzly encounters!  I have to say I've lost a lot of enthusiasm for going into the Glacier backcountry unless I found a group of at least 3 others to hike with.

Add to the grizzly problems, I have read a lot about mountain lion sightings in the west (including the American River Parkway near where I live) as well as an increasing number of sightings in the Appalachians and just about everywhere in between.

In all the time I've spent in the eastern mountains and forests, alone most of the time except for my dog, Smoky, I've never worried about a black bear encounter.  I've seen plenty of them when I lived in Asheville, NC, and they will almost always give you a warning or else clear out before you know they are there.  But grizzlies and mountain lions - I think my 73 yr old heart wouldn't live through an encounter!  But I can still dream, can't I?

Thanks to everyone who wrote about my TV dilemma.  I have an analog TV which I love - perfect screen size for me.  What I would need is a converter box and some sort of antenna, both of which should be cheaper than buying a flat screen which I DON"T like.  I just think the screen on the flat ones look squeezed from top to bottom, and spread out from side to side.  I guess you can get used to it if you have to, but since I will never be much interested in TV why should I try to get used to it?  I just want something for occasional viewing while I'm recuperating at home, or on rainy days.  As soon as I can, I will go to Best Buy and see what they might have in the way of converter box and antenna.  No, I don't like to order stuff online when I don't understand it to begin with, how it works, how to hook it up, etc.  I want to hold the item in my hands and look at it, and talk to someone who can explain what I should do with it.  Ya just can't teach an old dog new tricks, as the saying goes.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I love getting company

Last night Steve called me on his way back from Berkeley where he had been attending business meetings, and wanted to know if I would like to go to the grocery.  Of course I did, and picked up a lot of good stuff at Bel Air.

This morning Jeannie stopped by on her way to work with a bag of laundry I had left at her house (I didn't leave it on purpose, I don't think).  It was all washed and ready to wear!  She also brought me some soup Donald had made.

This afternoon Joe and his 2 girls stopped by with a coffee cake they had bought for me.  The girls and I ate most of it then and there.  Enteman's must have gone out of business because they have almost no product left on the shelves.  Steve thinks they were part of the recent revival of the Twinkie brand, which is owned by giant food corporation whose name I don't remember, and who must have bought out Enteman's.  I hate it when a long-time good product gets gobbled up by a company such as Kraft, Nestle, or the like

I decided to try walking a bit this afternoon and circled the small block across from my house.  It is the size of maybe 1/3 or 1/2 a regular city block and I made it, although it was tiring.  

I really wish I had tv service, but no amount of internet research indicates how I can get tv without a contract.  The ads say they have it, but there is no information about it or how to get it, the cost, etc.  I do know Dish TV offers no contract service but you have to buy all the equipment and follow their instructions on installing it, etc.  I can just imagine myself installing that equipment, getting on the roof to hang the dish, etc.  I will just have to get through the boredom of my next few days and weeks until I can drive again.  And I'm so thankful for my kids' thoughtfulness and generosity.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I just went outside to get my mail and walked into a beautiful sunny afternoon!  Though we desperately need rain, I am happy to see the sun, especially right now.

This morning was very chilly, and I hurried to the kitchen to start my coffee maker.  (Coffee is beginning to taste good again.)  On the way back to the living room something didn't seem right.  I realized my pajama bottoms had slid down to my knees.  That is pathetic when I can't even hold my pants up!  I don't have a scale, fortunately, so I can't say if I'm still losing weight, holding my own, or gaining a bit.

I made egg muffins this morning and had two for breakfast.  They tasted so yummy, and the best part is that I have enough for a couple more breakfasts.  I want to go to the grocery this afternoon to pick up a few items but I just can't get myself to get into the car and go anywhere.  I think I'm having more pain than I should at this point, but I'm not sure exactly whether I should be experiencing any pain or not  It is so tempting to take an oxycodone, which is exactly why I won't do it.

Jeannie and her youngest, Arianna, have had a 24 hour virus which it looks like I escaped by a few hours.  Donald stayed upstairs in  bed trying to avoid catching it.  All the kids are either just  getting over coughs and sneezes, or on the verge of having them now.  So far I've been lucky and seem to be weaving around the germs!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Beginning to get better

I just took my time getting up this morning and then napped on and off throughout the rest of the morning.  Joe came by with his two girls and I had some lovely grandma time with them, plus just talking to my boy.  He took and passed the 2nd of his 3 Board exams this morning, so that leaves just one more to go next week.  Then he can start applying for a job.

I asked him if he would like to go over to In n Out Burger, just outside the Park's gates, for lunch for the girls and bring a hamburger back for me.  It was very good but about all I could eat at one sitting.

I'm not ready to drive anywhere since I still get very dizzy and lightheaded when I stand up (sometimes), so I'll try to prolong it for a few days at least.

I've been working on a grocery list and it's fun to be able to just jot down anything I like, such as coffee cake, and not give a darn about additives, sugar, etc.  I'm going to buy at least two Entemann's coffee cakes, which probably won't last me a week.

My own bed felt so comfortable last night and I'm looking forward to climbing back in it a couple of hours from now.

I started reading blogs today but only got through about 4 of them.  Slowly but surely I'll get back to my normal reading list but it may take a while.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm Home

I'm back home tonight after spending a couple of nights at Steve & Meg's house.  It has been truly wonderful to be taken care of by the family all this time since my hospitalization.  They've also been stuffing food into me, so I'm on my way to getting back to normal.

My house is cold but I've turned the heater up as well as turned on the small electric heater I usually keep near my chair.  And I know I have a warm bed waiting.

Thanks to all my family.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Enough of this!

I had my post op visit yesterday and hit a whopping 105.2 on the scale!  I've had enough of this craziness and have made up my mind I'm going to get well, gain weight, and get back to living again, as soon as I can manage it all.

The visit went well - I can do anything I want to do as long as it doesn't hurt - work outs at the gym pretty much without restriction, and driving as soon as I an off the oxycodone.  I've gotten myself down to 1 pill a day in the evening, which makes my evenings and nights feel much better.  When I get back home I may trying using a pill cutter and get down to taking 1/2 dose.

I left Jeannie & Donald's yesterday afternoon and will be at Steve & Meg's for 2 or 3 days - probably go back home on Monday and try to get back into somewhat of a routine.  My normal route right now is mostly laying around 24 hrs.  I'd like to get back go the gym but will have to be able to drive, so it's just one thing contingent upon another.

Donald is doing extremely well after his surgery and is even up walking with a brace, and sometimes without crutches.  His recovery will take some time but he sure has a good start on it.  Soon we will all be using the gym and feeling much better.

Several people have mentioned drinks such as Ensure, which I used while in the hospital and now and then at Jeannie's house.  I found the vanilla drink to be ok but I sure got sick and tired of it in a hurry.  I have written before, I am not a big fan of smoothies, shakes, or anything that blends everyting into one consistency.  I prefer the separation of taste and textures in my food, although I don't mind the high protein shake with frozen fruit before and after workouts.  I know they will taste better to me than Ensure.  It is really a matter of getting enough food to expand my capacity to eat more food.  At my weight, there just isn't room to stuff myself with anything.  

I hate to become obsesed with weight, calorie intake, etc., so I probably won't weigh myself for a while.  I will beat this thing and get healthy again.  And I promise that my next blog post will be about anything but my health!

Friday, January 10, 2014

I haven't posted for a couple of days because I haven't been feeling very well, but also had troubles linking to Donald's WiFi.  He fixed that for me this evening so I just wanted to write a short post.

I am anxious for my post op which is tomorrow afternoon.  I'm hoping the Dr. can recommend a pain med that doesn't have the side effects of the narcotic drugs.  I have it down to where I am only taking one pill in the evening, and it relaxes me so that I can sleep through the night fairly well.  It also makes me unsteady on my feet which is not a very comfortable feeling, but at least my memory is getting better.

I will probably be staying at Steve and Meg's for a couple of nights.  By the middle of next week I should be able to be on my own although it surely won't be as nice as being with company.

I have to do something about my weight and have absolutely no clue as to what it might be.  I got on Jeannie's scale yesterday and it registered 108.  I don't know what I weighed at age 10, but I'm sure it was more than 108!  I just don't know how to get my appetite back.

Take care, and I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A setback day

I'm having one of those setback days today - on the one hand feeling a whole lot better, but on the other hand having more kinds of pain that can really be challenging.  I'm trying to cut way back on the oxycodone since I'm sure it adds to my problems and no doubt makes the pain worse.  I figure if I can skip a dose and get it down to 2 pills in 24 hours, then dropping it altogether won't be so difficult.

Steve wrote and invited me to visit and stay a while at their house, so I will probably do that on Friday evening and be there for a few days.

I just talked on the phone with my two NY grandsons about the fine looking snowman they built.  They told me it is 7F there right now.  My brother Bill, who now lives in Milwaukee, reminded me of the blizzards of the late 1970's when the Ohio River froze over.  My husband and I walked about halfway across with our kids until it got too bumpy and impassable.  It was an awesome experience.  I think it was the same year that the Cincinnati Bengals beat San Diego in the playoffs - the Bengals wearing short sleeve jerseys.  Many of the crazy fans, my husband included, also wore short sleeve shirts to the game; the phsychological factor must have worked because the Bengals handily won that game, only to be beaten the following week somewhere in warmer climes.

I'm not sure when I can get back to regular reading of blogs, but I'm still not able to to read anyting for very long.  I'm sure anxious to know what you are all doing!  Take care.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Still at Jeannie;s house

She just won't release me into my own custody yet!  I'm feeling bad about staying so long especially since Donald's knee surgery is coming up in a couple of days.  The medicine is making me crazy - losing my memory and just wreaking havoc with my system.  I'll be glad to see the surgeon this Thursday.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I just realized it's shortly before 6 pm and I hadn't yet turned on my computer!  I'm pretty worn out from a quick trip with Jeannie to my house.  I dropped off a lot of things I won't need until I get back home, and picked up the newspaper and mail.

Last night Jeanne and Donald went out to dinner with friends, and Joe came over to stay with the girls.  His own two girls had sore throats and a cough, so he left them home.  He is so good with kids, keeping things evenly divided between short intensive bursts of ativity and quiet times.  Autumn read to us from one of her christmas present books.  That girl is an astounding reader.  I had fun watching and sleeping, while catching a snooze now and then.

Yesterday moring Joe took the first of three exams to become Board certified, and I'm sure he was glad to get a good night's sleep last night.  He passed the exam with flying colors, and we all hope the next two will go as well.

I think I need to lie back down again.  I wouldn't be in much pain except fr the holes they "drilled" in my abdomin. 

I would love to write each and every one of you personally to thank you for the wonderful comments you have left, plus the encouragement and support.  So a very big "THANK YOU ALL" will have to do for now

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I woke up to a beautiful sunshiny mornng.  There have been a lot of those mornings lately, and now I can really enjoy them.

I was thinking about all the comments of love and support I've received lately, and then it dawned on me how many of you are, or have gone through much worse (and probably with a lot less complaining!  And god bless those who take care of us and see us through so many difficulties.

Last night Jeannie, Donald and the girls played a game involving cards, memory, charades, etc. and it kept me entertained - a nice family evening.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow can be beautful

I'm just as glad to not have to deal with it now, but I can still admire it.  My son took this photo from his back deck looking out into the snow beyond.
 I am resting a lot and really enjoying the food I'm able to eat.  I'm not pushing a lot of food into my system but just what tastes good to me, which is just about any food that Donald cooks.  I still have the pain from the air that was injected into my system, so if anyone wants to tell me I'm full of hot air they wouldn't be far off the mark:~)

Just a word

I'm at Jeannie & Donald's house tonight just relaxing.  I am sincerely grateful for all the thoughts, prayers, and warm wishes from everyone.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

This is Gypsy's daughter, Jeannie. I am writing this post, as I sit next to her in her hospital bed. I am happy to report that she is recovering well after a very rough week following her gall bladder surgery. She was terribly sick and in pain, but started feeling much better last night. They started giving her nutrients through a PIC line (she hadn't been able to eat anything since 12/21), and they performed the ERCP that was originally scheduled for January 14th. Fortunately, they were able to remove all stones and the temporary stent from the bile duct. Also, they confirmed that there were no leaks from where the gall bladder had been, so that was good news. Today she ate a little bit of food and is feeling pretty good (so good that we are about to take a walk around the hospital halls). She may be released as early as tomorrow (a great way to start the New Year)! She'll be staying with me for as long as I can convince her to (so far she's agreed to at least one night). :) I've been reading her some of the posts as they've come in, and she plans to catch up on the rest of them over the next couple days. She really appreciates everyone's concern and kind words! She is looking forward to getting back to her normal routine, so you can expect to hear from her soon!  Wishing all of you a happy and healthy New Year!!