Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fired up the swamp cooler

Before the temperature got to the high of 91F today, I decided to turn on the swamp cooler.  In just a couple of minutes I could feel the difference, and could lower the fan from high to low.  I keep a couple of windows open in the kitchen and bedroom, and the living room in between has a nice flow of air.  I'd take this over A/C any day, especially since there is no humidity to speak of, and just about a 4 hour window of hot weather where I even need the cooler running.  Once the sun starts to go down I can turn it off until tomorrow afternoon.

I think I'm successfully off the meds - YAY! - even though I'm not totally "off" the pain.  I can survive it all now, although gym exercise (beginning in another 3 weeks) and eating more will no doubt always be a problem.  I will be glad when I can get back to the gym even though I'm no longer going to worry about an exercise program.  My legs were looking so good and now there is just flab where the muscles used to be.   It's kind of disheartening, but I want to just try to enjoy the physical effort and toned up muscles - not worry about how much I can carry or how far I can walk.

Now if I could just get excited about what to fix for supper when I'm still full from lunch!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I want Spring back!

This is about as hot as I like it - 83degrees!  The next 3 days are going to be in the 90's but we'll be back in the 70's next after that.  I hate hot weather!

I think I'm past needing prescription pain meds, but I did take an Alleve capsule last night before going to bed. 

I had to deal with a load of laundry this morning.  I worried about the weight of the laundry basket and wet clothes that I needed to carry across the street to hang them dry.  I got out an old scale which I can't really rely on for accuracy, but weighed myself, and then again holding the laundry basket.  Ten pounds for the basket.   One doctor told me to only lift 8# and under for 6 weeks; written instructions for post op say 15#.  So I went with the written advice.  I think the load was lighter coming back with the dry folded clothes.  Water is pretty heavy.

The storms are really scary and I hope everyone is staying safe.  I don't have even a closet I could take shelter in, so I would probably just hide out in the bathroom, which has a small window over the tub.   I don't think this area is ever under serious threat of tornados, and I'm sure not knowledgeable about what to do during an earthquake, So I don't worry  about any of it.

I have to give credit to my feeling better to the coffee I have in the morning.   I'm back to using half & half after a few weeks of coffee with 2% milk.  The milk is ok in a pinch but the coffee just didn't taste all that great to me.  Now it's a wonderful way to start the day.  I love mornings, including the coffee and breakfast foods.  I just wish eating dinner was as satisfying.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Still holding on

Another Monday and I'm really hoping to be noticeably improved this week.  Yesterday was another day spent in pajamas and doing little or nothing.  My back hurts from sitting so much.

Saturday Jeannie took me to the Farmers' Mkt., Target, the grocery, etc.  It was tiring but it felt good to be back outdoors and on my feet.  After all the shopping we went over to Mather Field and walked.  I walked only 20 minutes and was finished, then sat on the bleachers with the girls while Jeannie walked a number of laps at a faster pace.  I was absolutely spent by the time I got home and didn't have a very good night.  I need to walk a whole lot more since I know it is better than sitting!

This has nothing to do with anything I usually write about, but I thought I would mention it in case someone out there is having the same problem, that is, Dry Mouth.  I've been noticing it for a while when I wake up at night and can't swallow or move my jaws because my mouth is so dry.  I've seen a TV ad for Biotene and decided to try it, so I bought the toothpaste and oral rinse at Target on Saturday.  I used it before going to bed and can't believe how well it works!  I'd give it an A+, and would recommend it for anyone suffering from dry mouth due to medications or other reasons.  The two products cost me about $12 which is a little more than regular toothpaste & mouthwash, but it absolutely works as advertised and is worth every penny.  We are bombarded with ads for products that don't live up to the hype, but this one has been absolutely perfect for me!  End of endorsement.....

After a rainy week in the 60's we will be going up into the 90's this week.  I think temps will go back down a bit then, and I certainly hope so as I can't really get away from the heat.  It's so strange not planning a trip somewhere but I do hope that I'll feel like doing some camping in a month or so.  I want to try out my new tent!  I just re-read that last line and I guess I'm going to live if I can think about setting up a tent!

I hope readers in Arkansas and the entire area threatened by tornados are ok.  The videos and pictures being show on the news are devastating.

Although I'm still not able to spend much time on the computer, I'm trying to read and comment on a few more blogs each day.  Sometimes it takes a lot of energy just to read!

Friday, April 25, 2014


Jeannie took me to my post op this morning, and my mood has been swinging wildly for the last few days anyway, nearly driving me crazy today.  I've gone through periods of wanting to just sit and cry, as well as those of just plain depression.  I have been able to eat though not nearly enough to make much of a difference in my weight, but it's a start.  I weigh 110#, which is about a 14# loss from when I went into surgery.  I'll be working on that over the coming weeks, although I'm not going to be so obsessed with it.

I saw one of the hospital doctors and not my surgeon who was not in the hospital today.  He and another doctor poked around enough to bring on some pain, and I finally broke down and took a pain pill when I got home.  I have about 8 of them left so when they are gone, that's it.  I think I can wean myself off them during the coming week.

Things are looking positive although I don't feel it yet - in time I'll be back to my old self.  I'm restricted on how much I can lift, and the only exercise they want me to do until the 6 wk mark is to walk.  I asked how many miles and how fast, and was told whatever I feel comfortable doing.  I hate it when they won't be specific, so I'll work myself up to 3 miles in an hour.

I think I've gotten the message that I don't need to be backpacking at this stage of my life, so I'm crossing it off my list of goals.  I'll be happy if I can just do some car camping this summer; if I get to the point I feel I can do more then I might change plans a bit.  

Right now I'm feeling pretty crappy!  I know better days are ahead.  Thanks for all the good wishes.  It's comforting to know that folks are sending me good vibes, and I'm so appreciative of my blog readers.  I hope I can get back in my old routine soon - I just can't read much at a time and it's hard to focus on anything, but I know that's only temporary. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Just hangin' in there

I guess I should post an update, and tell you that I have been pretty quiet because I still am in pain, and that has put me in a very pissy mood!  My post op is scheduled for this Friday, and yesterday was only the 2 week mark since surgery, so it's very likely I'm as good as I can be for a little while longer.  I avoid the narcotic pain meds as long as I can, but usually end up taking at least one a day.  I sometimes wonder if the side effects are worth it, but I don't want to experiment with other types of meds since I know this one works.

I've been trying to eat although I probably am eating about one-third of what I need.  It's a good thing I have some organic pop tarts!

I stayed at Jeannie's house last weekend, and watched her and the girls color easter eggs.  I was glad it wasn't me having to do it - I sure dealt with enough messy eggs, spilled coloring liquid, and all when my kids were little.  I enjoyed just being an observer this time.

We went to Amy's (my sister) house for Easter dinner.  I was able to eat a little bit and it was delicious, but I just have a limit and won't go over what I can take in comfortably.  Here are the girls in their Easter dresses before we left.  By the time I got to Amy's I just didn't feel like dealing with my camera, so I missed photographing a good family gathering.

At first I tried to keep up with reading all the blogs, but it's almost more than I can deal with for now.  I know things will soon get better, but until then I'm just mostly staying in my recliner and watching CNN (following the Malaysian plane disappearance, the Korean disaster, and a few others.  I don't do well with all the commercials though and can't hit the "Mute" button quick enough.  The worst are eHarmony (the guy who announces on that one gives me chills as he sounds like a real pervert!), Christian Mingles, etc.

I mentioned to Jeannie that I had a taste for meatballs and wanted to buy the ingredients as soon as I feel like shopping.  By the end of the day she told me Donald had made meatballs for me!  I am very lucky to have my kids and their spouses & children; they have kept my spirits up. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Breakfast with my daughter

I was running low on milk so Jeannie brought me some this morning on her way to work, plus a box of Pop Tarts (the organic kind).  She also brought along her own breakfast and I had coffee ready.  Since my surgery I haven't been able to really enjoy coffee, and I'm sure it tasted so good this morning because I was sharing with my daughter.  My sister, Amy, is hosting Easter dinner on Sunday and I'm looking forward to being with family.  I hope my appetite is more close to normal by then although I doubt it will much different.

I have been trying to read blogs but can't read many at a time, and I comment on even less.  My brain is still working on less than full power!  It won't be long until I'm back to normal, I hope.

I've noticed the past few days I am beginning to get some spam comments, all to the same post.  If I continue getting them today I will disallow anonymous comments for a while and see if that does it.  I hate to do it, but I'm not going to let a few jerks ruin my good mood.  

I received a jolt to my good mood today, however.  I moved from North Carolina in 2008 and transferred my residential status to South Dakota, including my health benefits.  Medicare made the change immediately, but as many letters and phone calls and I've made to NC, they just ignored me.  I waffled between "I don't really care who processes the claims" to "This is costing extra processing fees, delays for the doctors waiting for payment, etc."  A couple of weeks ago I wrote to the Feds' Retirement website and among other things, I again brought up the thing with NC, saying that if I didn't get action on changing my address very soon I was going to write my congressman.  As anyone who has worked for the federal government knows - a dreaded "congressional" causes all kinds of extra work; the problem must be solved and action taken within a stated amount of time.  If the deadlines aren't met - well - I never worked anywhere that the deadlines weren't met!   Today, about 2 wks after my complaint, I am suddenly receiving statements from the proper BCBS office!

Please note that Medicare took care of their part in the very beginning, while BlueCross, a private insurer, didn't bother.  Five years it took them, and all it took me was to write the word "congressional".  Note that I'd been told the office responsible for fixing it was NC, so I'd say they had a good thing going - "processing" my claims which amounted to forwarding them to the office responsible for examining the claim and for paying it, which would be California.  This is ironic because I'm considering just changing my address permanently to California.  

I don't mean to stir anything up, but I think Medicare works so well we should go to a single payer for all health insurance!   

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A New Day

It took me only a minute to realize what was different when I woke up this morning.  I still hurt like hell, but I realized I was HUNGRY!  Now hunger today versus what it might have been 2 weeks ago are very different and I still can't eat a whole lot at one time, but just having the sensation of wanting food gives me a whole new lease on life!

Throughout the day I catch myself smiling and I know I'm eventually going to be ok.  I won't be the same as I was before, and I have the feeling that a lot of things will change - I will change - and it will all be good.  I hope to take what life gives me and to MAKE it good.  Of course my kids and their families have been an invaluable help to me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hanging in there

Of course I have nothing to write about, so I'll just tell you things are about the same as the last time I posted.  I hurt like hell!  Tuesday will only be one week and I wish I had a little more patience.

I woke up at 5:30 this morning to take pain meds and then fell back to sleep until 10am.  Not sure how anyone can sleep as many hours as I have lately, but I guess it's what I need. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014


My surgery was on Tuesday morning, and I spent the night at Jeannie's house.  She brought me back home last night because it's easier for me to get in and out of my bed than on a couch or recliner.  I spent the entire night last night losing everything I had eaten or drank since the operation.

I am in so much pain I think I might die before I get better.  Fortunately I sleep a lot of the time, although it isn't a deep sleep and isn't restful.

Hopefully I can write something more positive in a couple of days.  The doctors, nurses, and everyone at the hospital who took care of me were fantastic!  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Absolutely Do-Nothing Day

For some reason today I haven't been motivated to do anything.  I dread tomorrow when I can't eat anything, and can only drink clear liquids.  To me that will mean water and cranberry juice!  It wouldn't have been difficult 3 months ago because I didn't eat much to begin with, but now I'm getting used to 2000+ calories a day.  Maybe I can sleep a big part of the day.

I'm getting a little tired of the plane search coverage.  I think they have it all wrong - that plane was pulled onto a UFO and is halfway to the Andromeda Galaxy by now!  When I go to South Dakota this year to renew my drivers license you can be sure I'm going to drive there this summer, as they allow renewal several months in advance of the holder's birthday.  I don't want to drive there in November, for sure, and I just can't see myself getting on a plane.

So my surgery is on Tuesday and I will spend the night at Jeannie's house.  I'll probably post later on in the week, depending on how I feel and how much pain relievers I will need.  See ya.


Friday, April 4, 2014

Not quite finished

Not finished with dental work, that is.  I still need a cleaning, and that has been scheduled for May 15.  It's probably what I dread most, all that scraping just drives me crazy but it needs to be done.

The dentist called me yesterday to see how I was doing, and asked me to call the office today to let them know.  I did have a lot of discomfort at the sites where the pain killer was injected - it still is a little sore - but nothing I couldn't endure and I got a good night's sleep.  Since I will be taking pain meds after next week's surgery I didn't want to deal with them for this pain, and I can't take any kind of aspirin because of the surgery.  I will just tough it out!

I had a problem with my tv starting last night - I figured I hit one of the buttons on the remote by accident, but the more I tried to fix it the worse it became.  I had this same problem shortly after the U-Verse was hooked up.  This morning I called the installer who was gracious enough to give me his phone number in case of problems like this, and within about a half a minute he told me how to correct the problem.  That is so much easier and quicker than having to go through normal channels with a service provider.  For that reason alone I like AT&T much better than I liked DirecTV, but I don't care for the remotes of either one.  There are too many buttons and most of them are for selections I will never make.  I just want to click ON, find the channel I want, and click OFF when I'm finished.  I have recorded a few programs and gone back to view them, but that doesn't happen very often.  I wish AT&T offered a "simple remote" for folks who aren't interested in all the extras.

Does anyone else but me wonder at the conduct of the investigation of the missing airplane?  I just don't believe it is where they think it is, or that it went into the water at all.  Are satellites still watching the area to spot debris of a plane wreckage?  If they are, it is never mentioned.  I sometimes think the only reason I watch the coverage of the search is because I love hearing the Australian accents! 

I'm so happy to see the sun this morning, although it alternates with rain.  It still isn't quite warm enough for me, but the temperature will rise steadily in the next few days.

It's hard to believe the weekend is rolling around again.  I don't know where the time goes, but I feel that I have to keep my eyes wide open so I don't miss anything!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dentist down, Surgeon to go

Thankfully I made it through the dental work today.  For some reason it took longer and more medication to numb the area, and I wonder if it's been partially due to my state of mind and emotions the past week.  

The dentist and his staff are so patient and so great, and took all the time it needed so that I didn't feel any pain whatsoever.  He also asked periodically throughout the procedure whether or not everything was ok and whether I was pain free.  I feel so lucky to have found him, and I get a discount on the cost of all procedures, possibly a senior discount, or maybe because my daughter and her family are patients there.  Whatever the reason, every little bit counts.

Son, Joe, took me to the appointment and picked me up.  On the way home I was saying how I am worried that the hernia repair will take a long recovery time, and that it will probably change all my plans for the future, especially hiking and backpacking.  He thought for a minute and said "Well, maybe you should go on a backpacking trip with Steve (another son) and me, and let us carry the heavy stuff.  It probably won't happen, but it was so sweet of him to think of it.  He should be starting his new job by next week.  He was given a glowing recommendation, called in for an interview, shown around the hospital, and offered the job on the spot.  (He was also complimented by one of the doctors on the suit he was wearing - this is the suit that we all had fun shopping for prior to his graduation.)

The medication has mostly worn off so I decided I should try to eat something, avoiding the latest work, of course.  I don't know why but I can't stop eating!  When I thought I was finished I made a batch of blueberry pancakes, and ate every single one.  I'm not getting the exercise so I'm going to have to reduce the calorie intake - very soon.

Now I intend to take it easy for the rest of the day.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tweet Tweet!

I have lately watched way more TV than is good for a person, but I am really interested in the disappearance of the Malaysian plane.  I usually watch CNN, and the host of whatever show is on says "Tweet me with your questions".

Well yes, I have lots of questions and they are better questions than many coming in to CNN.  But how do I Tweet without an iPhone?  Possibly I could do it with my Jitterbug phone, except that I have text messages blocked, and I don't want to go through the hassle of unblocking them just to Tweet!

But why can't I send it from my computer?  I have done a lot of research and finally found out that I could register on Tweet.com and indeed tweet from the computer.  In the process of registering I ran into a roadblock I couldn't figure out and said "hell with it".  I really didn't want to send a message anyway.  I don't understand why CNN or anyone else doesn't just give you the option to send an email, but most insist you use Facebook or Twitter.

I got a shower, hair wash, and got dressed this morning, and I look and feel much better.  Yesterday was a real waste!  I just got back from Costco where I needed to buy eggs and coffee beans, but a box (72) of Eggos caught my eye and into the cart it went.  I love those things once in a while and they make a good quick snack.

Now I have to go to the grocery to get milk and a couple of other items, but I just hate to get in the car again.  Maybe after lunch I'll feel more like it.

My dental appointment tomorrow has been moved up from Noon to 10 am.  I will have to get up and get a move on in the morning, but I'll get it out of the way sooner.

Although there are some clouds in the sky, the sun is shining today.  But with only a high of 62F expected, it is only warm in the direct sun.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Another day in my pj's

It's after 7 pm and I'm ready for bed since I never got dressed this morning!  I have no motivation and am somewhat anxious about my surgery, one week from today.  Also on Thursday this week I will get the 2nd root canal finished.  That will be it for dental work for a while until I'm feeling better.  I am actually not feeling bad physically, but emotionally and mentally I'm a nervous wreck.

The rain that started yesterday evening and lasted all night and all day has been brutal.  I am so happy there is moisture being absorbed into the ground, as well as snow piling up in the mountains.  But I am sick of the rain!  It has also been cold all day and I haven't moved far from my little heater.  I'm still going to have a bowl of ice cream pretty soon, and will just turn the heater up to HIGH.