Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Friday, January 19, 2018

Garden And More

The garden is certainly sleepy and very drab these days even though we have had a fair amount of sunshine along with the cold. And, we have recently started to get a little rain and also snow at the higher elevations.  This little stem of White Narcissus is the only flower in my entire garden.  Evidence of last nights rain shows as water drops from the petals.  How cool are those raindrops captured in the photo.  Didn't see it until I saw the photo on the computer.
And, the only other activity in the garden that I noticed is the Yellow Daffodils I planted last fall in two large planters.  The taped grids across the top are to save my precious bulbs from the many squirrels that traverse my gardens.  The squirrels have been very busy little fellows searching and digging for any little goodies they can unearth and carry away.
I have been busy taking care of necessary activities which seems to be quite difficult with coping with the intense pain, especially the burning pain that is radiating down my left leg to my ankle. I saw the Primary Physician on Monday and I had a chance to read the MRI report for myself.  I was more than surprised to see the more than I expected undesirable pathology.  Each vertebral space (seven) in my low back is showing broad bulging of the disc cushion into the spinal canal impinging on nerves.
That is the best way I can explain it even though there is a lot more trouble like worn out, dried out and old aged disc cushions.  You can laugh with me as I know that sounds very old lady dreadful!  Yes, humor aside, it is a little frightening ! ! !  My appointment with the Orthopedist is February 2.

Yes, life goes on and as you may know,  I am quite tenacious.  For reasons not necessary for this topic, I had to replace the straps supporting my water heater in the garage as required by California law.  I followed my usual methodical, thoughtful and slow approach and I am proud to say I think "my shirt buttons are bursting" with my pride with this accomplishment.  It was especially difficult because the straps have to be secured to the wood studs behind the sheet rock and the lack of good clearance around the water heater made for an almost impossible task.  I thought of removing the sink but really did not want to and did not have to.








Ya gotta do - what you gotta do !  Some day I hope to be able to delegate.  Maybe, a Home Maintenance Person and - - - why not add a Cleaning Lady ! ! !

I think this is about the time you can call  me CRAZY.  It's OK with me ! ! !

I hope you have had a good week and the Week End will bring good things your way.

Mary

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Slow Down

The days are flying by for me possibly because I am not able to physically take care of things like I have in the past.  And, my self imposed stress is causing me difficulty.  I have some deadlines to meet and I have not been able to get started with my afghan crocheting as I had hoped.  In a couple weeks my time management should go smoother for me.
I am very happy to say that I have an appointment the first of February with the Orthopedic Surgeon (that I trust) so I can discuss any recent developments in pain management procedures and his recommendations regarding my age and future pain relief to help me function to the best of my ability.

Since I feel pulled in many directions I will not be bloggling very regularly until I feel less stressed and in better control.

Give yourself time to Take Care Of Yourself .

Mary 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Medical Diagnostic Report

Yesterday while I was out to the store I saw this back brace that was reasonably priced.  I have a brace that I use frequently but it is quite old.  So, when I saw this one that has a removable lumbar pad cushion for added compression to the lower back I decided that I needed to buy it.  I have worn it a lot today and I would say that it helps more than the old one.  I think buying it was a good decision.
And, then this afternoon I received a telephone call from the nurse at my doctor's office with the MRI results.  It revealed that there is an increase in the degree of impingement on the nerves which would explain my symptoms.  The doctor's recommendation was that I have an Epidural Injection.  A needle is injected into the epidural space which surrounds the spinal canal and a steroid medication is injected which is suppose to shrink any swollen tissue and decrease inflammation in or around the nerve roots.


Well, through the years, I have had several epidural injections with poor or no positive results.  The last time was in 2012 when I went to Daly City near San Francisco to get the injection.  The doctor was highly recommended by a Neurologist I had seen for a consultation.  The doctor is an Anesthesiologist and is one of the pioneers in the field of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Spinal Injections.  I was very impressed with the doctor,  office  and surgical center.  Usually, a second procedure is done in six weeks if the injection gives some relief.  SADLY,  The procedure did not give me any relief.

I explained this to the nurse and told her I did not want to do it again.  By the way, the injection is painful and they can not put you totally asleep because you need to be able to tell the doctor where the pain is the strongest.  Then I told the nurse that I would like a referral to the Orthopedic Surgeon that I have seen in the past for regular follow-ups.  He comes to this area from the Bay Area a few days a month to see patients.  The nurse said that is who my doctor would recommend and she would send the referral.  The reason I want to see this doctor is that I respect his opinion and I want a consultation, especially since there continues to be new treatment approaches.

So now we start the "wait game".  But, I am very appreciative that the MRI results were reviewed by my doctor and I was notified promptly.

I am wishing all of you Good Health and Happiness.

Mary

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pain And Other Things

Yesterday, the MRI was completed at the local hospital.  The technician was exceptionally knowledgeable, professional and very nice.  It has been several years since I have had a MRI completed at that facility.  They have a very nice new department for the MRI which has replaced a modular trailer of the past.  The report will be available to the doctor in about two days.  But, who knows when I will get the results.  It may not be until my next doctors appointment on  January 18.  I am so tired of this continual pain and I have NOT noticed any difference with the anti-inflammatory medication I started taking.
When I was leaving the hospital the technician asked me where I was parked because a Medical Helicopter was coming into the Helipad  that was nearby.  The area was already surrounded with policemen and other designated personnel.  He said I might want to leave before they arrived.  It gets very windy when those  "big birds" arrive!  Since I have never been "up close and  personal" to a landing,  I decided to go across the street and park in a parking lot and watch it come in.  It was what looked like a perfect approach and landing.
This google photo looks exactly like the helicopter I watched.  Along with emergency pickups,  they also transfer patients from one facility to another.  I did not see anything in the newspaper about any accident nearby.  And, they did not look like they were in any hurry.  Hopefully, they were just making a transfer.
About a week ago my solar vertical lift gate started to have difficulty.  And, I usually attend to it almost immediately because I have gotten accustomed to the security that I feel by having the gate.  Maybe, it is a false sense of security !  But, I think I recall hearing that the homes with the least resistance are more likely to be targeted for mischief.  This is what the gate looks like.  All of the pulleys, cables, springs, battery, etc. are housed in this big box.
Well, anyway even with my pain, it was time to fix it.  And, it looks like it is the battery  (like a car battery) needs to be replaced.  The battery is the back up for the solar.  This one lasted 7 years and I can't complain about that.  So, off to the store to buy a new one to the tune of about $100.00.  Since the battery  "weighs a ton" my neighbor it going to put the new one in tomorrow.  The new battery will stay in the trunk of my car until tomorrow.  The gate which I bought in 1996 has been exceptionally good and has required very little expense other than a replacement of a battery every now and then.

This is a good photo of THE GATE.       A photo from a few years ago when we had snow at Christmas time.

Well, I think that is it for this time.

We are having beautiful sunny weather here in California.  If you are in a snowy state I hope you are warm and safe and cozy.

Mary

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Today Is My Son's 57th Birthday

As is often said by mothers of a certain age,  "How did this happen so fast"?  It can't be so. but it is !  He really is 57 ! ! !   If you follow my blog you realize that my memories of this time of new life has been very bittersweet.  Even though it was a challenging time of unknowns we carried on as best as we could.
His due date was December 5 but he wasn't born until December 20.  Having a Birthday five days before Christmas is not a desire of any child I have known.  So, it was not unusual for us to party and celebrate his Birthday in the middle of the summer.  I recall one year when we had a big party with a Pinata in a decorated garage where there was plenty of room to swing the stick to strike the suspended Pinata and gather the falling candy.
Another party that was popular at the time was to have a Birthday Party in an Ice Cream Parlor.  I recall arranging the party following his father's departure from the family!

I would so enjoy being able to be with my son today, on his Birthday.  However,  "I don't think it is in the cards" this year nor do I think it will happen in the future.

For many years we also celebrated his Birthday with a Christmas Cookie Party.  I would usually bake at least 20 different types of cookies. All the ol' favorites like Spritz, Thumbprint, Pfeffernusse, Sugar Cutout Frosted Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Snickerdoodles, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Chocolate Fudge, Molasses Crinkles, Old Fashioned Oatmeal, Ginger Bread Men and Swedish Rosettes.  All those cookies presented a beautiful display of holiday colors.  And, of course everyone of them looked especially celebratory if we chose to add a Birthday Candle!

It would be so nice if I had a color photo of the display to share.
From the moment I got out of bed this morning I have been in more pain than usual.  I believe it is from all the maneuvers during the physical exam yesterday at the doctors appointment.  I do not seem to be able to determine a consistent pattern of what causes the greatest pain aggravation.  Would you believe that when I saw the doctor yesterday, I had very minimal pain.  Go figure? 

That's it for today.  Be safe and take special care.

Mary

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Lily's Christmas Flashback 2009 And Health Update

My little love bug, Lily went to see Santa when she was four years old.  Her eyes are big because the room was filled with all sizes of dogs and there was even a miniature horse.  I miss Lily so much but it is great having the memories of lots of fun and lots of love she always gave. 
My goings out and about is very little this Holiday season primarily because of my continuous back and leg pain.  I saw the doctor today and he ordered the MRI as I requested.  But questioned if the insurance will authorize the test prior to me receiving Physical Therapy first.  I have never been refused any diagnostics in the past.  So, let's hope that I can get the MRI before the end of the year prior to my new insurance plan starting.  The new plan may have different requirements for authorization.

Additionally, at my request, the doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication.  The prescribed strength is higher than what I can get "over the counter".  I  was on the medication for many years in the past and it was effective.  They warn about taking it for a long time because of  the possibility of kidney and liver damage.  I have been lucky because my lab reports have always been within normal limits.  Be assured I will be sure to follow the lab work carefully.  The doctor was very thorough in examining me in regards to the extent of my pain.  My next doctor appointment is in a month.

I can hardly tell you how much , at a time like this,  I value my medical background as a Nurse.  And, also my experience  (out of necessity)  in having to fight  negotiate my own battles.  I may really need both of those strengths in the near future in order to receive the appropriate medical care.

I hope all of you are enjoying Holiday Festivities.


MEMORIES
Mary

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hectic Days Make For Hectic Pain And Some Whimsy

Thank goodness I have a Doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon.  He has been out of his office for two weeks!   I want to request an MRI because "things in my back" are definitely changing and not in a good way.  Since I can not take pain medication I feel we certainly need to know the current pathology of my back before selecting a treatment plan.

Presently, I have more stress than usual because I am still working on issues of important decisions that affect my life, mostly financial.  I do not think changing supplemental medical insurance plans should be so difficult and confusing.  Even though I am using the same carrier the process has been long and detailed with thorough inquiry of each answer on the application.   I am thankful I have not had any major medical issues in the last two years.  Previous medical conditions seem to be a huge issue!  I expect to receive all the policy documents today.  That's one more item I can mark off my  "to do list".

I am so tired of reading "fine print" in preparation of making current decisions which are necessary.  Also there is added difficulty with making all these decisions on my own without input from a trusted person.   These are just a couple areas I am working on.  For the most part everything is going well but these are very important decisions and it causes me a lot of stress and my pain level is getting near to unbearable .
Let's go in another direction.  My doctor has suggested that I have a glass of red wine in the evening for medical reasons not psychological.  Well,  I have never been much of a drinker and don't enjoy sitting alone with "my wine".  This subject took me in another direction. It's just a little Flashback.

This is an interesting piece of furniture in my home that I have enjoyed using in the past.
No longer is it stocked.  But, I think this type of bottles and glassware are very pretty.
 I enjoy the uniqueness and beauty of this piece of furniture and have never seen another one like it.  About seven years ago I bought it from Ebay.  At that time I was able to find several pieces that were very affordable even with shipping expenses.

Oh, I must show you this unusual plant stand.  It has beautiful hand carving from a tree log.  The detail is remarkable.  The skirt is separate from the base. What Craftsmanship!  I believe it is one of a kind.
 It certainly has been a fun conversation piece.  The delivery man said that it sure got a lot of attention at the warehouse!    And look at the detail on the shoes.  I truly love WHIMSY. 
Happy Holidays

Have a Great Day

Mary

Friday, November 17, 2017

Through The Window

The beautiful fall colors are so wonderful especially when I open the dining room drapes in the morning.  The beautiful burst of color the first thing in the day is so energizing .   And, I need all the energizing I can get !  It rained most of yesterday so it is great to see the bright sunshine .

My physical pain, especially left low back with radiation down to my ankle has been horrendous for a few weeks now .  My other joints, especially my knees and shoulders have also been problematic .  In years past both shoulders have been diagnosed with partial rotator cuff  tear .  I have been able to avoid shoulder surgeries by conservative rehabilitation .  I really - really - really do not want to ever have surgery again .  Remember, I do not have anyone to help me postoperatively.  A great deal of the time I am having a lot of difficulty  just walking !  I have a  medical appointment on Monday.

My reality is that friends that would and could help me have passed on .  And, you know my lack of family involment .  Recently,  I read an interesting quote that I think sums up my situation quite well .  "Old age is an island surrounded by death" .

Time to change the subject.  Yesterday , I made some very good soup .  And, that made me very happy  because for quite a long time I have had more failures (which has made me feel terrible)  in the kitchen than what I would like to admit .  And, that is far from my norm .


This is Pasta e Fagioli Soup from Allrecipes.  It was very easy, quick and flavorful.  I used what I had available and subbed small elbow macaroni for the seashell pasta.  Freshly grated parmesan cheese adds a nice additional flavor .  Cheese makes everything better - don't ya think?

And, here is a little something that also makes me VERY HAPPY  .


The Holiday Cactus plants are loaded with buds and are starting to bloom !  I have three plants and they all look great .  Last year they hardly had any flowers for some unknown reason .  So this is great .

Hard to believe that we are at the end of another week .  Wishing a Good Weekend to all.

Mary

Friday, November 3, 2017

Taking Care Of Myself


My blogging is going to be less for a while.  I need to get to feeling better.  I'll be posting when I feel like I have something noteworthy to share with you.  You may think I have stopped blogging but I don't think that will happen.  And, if that is ever the case, I will certainly let you know by blogging.

I would like to share a recent photo of my Granddaughter and Fiance'.  Aren't they stunning?


I can't help myself.  I have to post this cute photo of these little ones again.
I sure hope to feel better by the holidays and maybe I can be with some family for holiday joy!


I hope you all enjoy the coming days and holiday activities of your choice.  And, be Safe and Happy.

Mary

Monday, July 3, 2017

When I Was 21 - - - - - A Distressful Post

In 1960 I gave birth to my first born - a precious baby boy.  

            Yes, I am a lot more transparent than any time in my seven years of blogging - for various reasons. One, is that I prefer to have the documentation and also the  "the insight"  may provide some useful information.

It was a wonderful time, happily married to a loving nicely employed man, schooling finished for the time being --- and pregnant. And what an easy and healthy pregnancy it was, without a minute of morning sickness or any prenatal complications.   When the word "Glow" is used to describe some pregnant women,   THAT was ME.  I was so happy, happy, happy!

Even though we were temporarily living an hour drive away from our "stomping grounds", we decided to have our baby at the hospital where I completed my RN Nursing Program.   Being a petite lady weighing a little over 100 pounds (before pregnancy) I was what some call   "All Baby".   When my due date came about on December 5,    no signs of a baby about to be born. I was so very ready emotionally and everything was prepared for the joyous event. Unfortunately, it was two weeks more before my water broke at 3 AM and we were on our way to the hospital. It was lovely to be greeted by a familiar smiling face at the hospital. That face belonged to one of my nursing classmates. They got me settled and LABOR was on it's way.

The contractions were getting harder and harder but it seemed like it was taking forever for the dilation numbers to move along to a higher number. There were many, many hours of fierce pain. Whatever they were doing for me in regards to pain management was NOT working. The pain was so very harsh and unbearable. Eventually, medication was administered that put me out. And, I didn't remember anything until my baby was brought to me in my room all bundled up and crying. My baby was a very unhappy baby. Not the least bit interested in nursing or being held. I was very lethargic and felt worse in ALL WAYS than I had ever felt in my life. I don't believe I can put it into words just how horrendous the experience was for me.

Now it is time for a CAVEAT. The following  information may contain TMI. You may want to shift your mind to reading this as if it is a medical informational post. Remember, this took place years ago. Procedures and philosophies have changed drastically since that time.

Unfortunately, VERY unfortunately, obstetrical forceps were used to (pull out) deliver my 8 pound, 6 ounce baby boy. My body was severely damaged and required an extensive episiotomy (a surgical cut in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus made just before delivery to enlarge the vaginal opening). Many sutures were placed and the discomfort and pain was nearly insufferable post anesthesia. There was very little helpful medical guidance. Complete relief from the stressful physical situation took more than 6 months.

I gave birth on December 20th and was discharged from the hospital on December 24th with my baby boy who seemed to be very unhappy and seemed to never stop crying. Allegedly, he was physically healthy and did not suffer any abnormalities.  My mother was with me for a week but made it very clear to us that she did not plan on being a babysitter! And, she meant it!

With trying to be as succinct as I can in telling you what my son's childhood was like, I will say. From day one, every new life experience for him was traumatic and there were hours and hours and hours of crying. He seemed to have fear of everything. Yes, of course, all available medical care was summoned to no avail. To me as a parent it seemed as though the medical professionals considered him to be "just a bad kid".  There never was baby/mother bonding.   And, life was super challenging for our little family. To this day, his behaviors, I would say, continues to be borderline in interpersonal relationships. Nothing seems to come easy for him, but he manages to get by in the margins of life.
Now, let's flash forward many years to when I was in my early 50's. I started noticing some rectal incontinence. It started around the same time as my serious back injury. So a lot was going on with me and my body. The first question was whether or not there was an association with the back surgery. Many invasive and may I say disgusting medical tests were completed at Stanford University Hospital. Some nerve evaluations along with practically every test (for down there) that you can imagine were completed during a three hour session while I was awake. That was one of the most horrible medical testing that I have ever experienced but ,   not even close to the distress of childbirth. When it was completed and I returned to the waiting room the first thing out of my mouth to my waiting friend was "I Need A Drink".   And, I hardly ever drink!

The results of the testing was a referral to a Neurological Proctologist.

Studies show that a large baby , a mother with small pelvic bones , a prolonged labor , a baby whose head is in the wrong position during labor , or the use of forceps can be associated with the development of incontinence.  Rectal Incontinence being the most difficult to manage.

But, let's try to move along regarding the difficult life my son has experienced.  Throughout his life, I have felt so very helpless.  And, he was certainly misunderstood.  After studying medical literature, speaking with many doctors and feeling profoundly happy about advancing medical science I believe that my son experienced   BRAIN INJURY   at the time of his birth. It is my thought that my presence triggers a psychological and visceral response of PAIN AND DANGER for my son! So - so tragic !!  Additionally, during his childhood he experienced a couple concussions, one when he fell from a height during playtime with friends at a very young age and he was hospitalized for two days. The other time was when he was "beat up" at school.   Terrible ! ! !


On a positive note, just think of all the football players with the current attention about concussions and blunt force to the head.  Thankfully, there is a lot more information about Brain Health!

Painfully, I tell you that many years have gone by periodically without contact with my son. Additionally, he was on foreign land many years of his military deployment. At one time I made all the arrangements to visit him in Korea.  At the last moment he "shut me out" and I cancelled the trip. Additionally, when he came to visit for my daughter's wedding, he left town the day before the event.    But the time may have come - - - along with some medical and professional psychological guidance that relationships and health for my little family may be improved before I am gone.

I pray that with knowledge, medical evaluations/treatment, new coping skills and gentle guidance that the remaining years of life for my adult children will be flowered with comfort, understanding, peace, forgiveness and excitement.

What a beautiful day we are having here in Northern California. The temperatures are very pleasant but reported to be rising to the high 90"s by the end of the week.

Happy Day To You.

Mary

Saturday, February 18, 2017

I've Been Thinking About This For A Long Time


Did I get your attention? 

Now, seriously, I have been doing my homework and I am very close to making the decision about which model to order. And, I think this is the one.

 Luxe Bidet Neo 320 - Self Cleaning Dual Nozzle 

 Hot and Cold  Water Non-Electric Mechanical Bidet Toilet Attachment


Available in blue or white control.

With a rating of 4.5 out of 5 by more than 1600 reviews, I think it looks like this model would be a good choice. In addition, at $63.00 plus free shipping, why not!

With my skill level I should be able to install it myself. It sounds pretty easy and straight forward.

OK now, with continued research I came upon a caveat with the above product. It has nothing to do with the product but with the style/contour of the Kohler one piece, round bowl/lid toilet that I want the bidet for. My model toilet is one of the very few models that it will not work with. When I bought the toilets at the time of remodeling I did not even consider anything other than quality and appearance.

So, anyway with further research I found a product that "most likely" will fit/work. Not surprising, it is a lot more expensive. But, I kid you not - it does everything. How many things can a toilet seat do? If I said "dance" I wouldn't be surprised if it did!

                                 BRONDELL SWASH 1000 BIDET SEAT. 


Out of all the customer reviews from various sellers that I read all of them had very high ratings. That's pretty good!

As you can see, the appearance is different in that the seat back is raised and larger. This would not be a problem for me because I would be using it in the second bathroom. As I said, It is very PRICEY. Lots of "bells and whistles". But, nothing I wouldn't always use.  I don't make these kind of decisions quickly. So, I'll probably think more about it for a few days.

There is another alternative. That would be to buy a different toilet that would work with the first bidet I researched. But, then there would also be the expense of the new toilet and a plumber and the inconvenience. As the same as the first bidet model, this model is also an easy installation and something I could do.  Both of the Bidets could be used on another toilet if I was to move.


Now, you may ask - - - WHY, am I interested in this product?     In my next post, I will give you a little background.

Hope you have a good Holiday Weekend. We are having heavy rains and snow not far away up the hill.

Mary

Friday, June 10, 2016

Report Card Of Medical Annual Wellness Visit

Medicare's name for annual physical exam. However, it also included a teaching module focused on safety and topics specific to the aging population.
My Report Card was very good. Extensive laboratory studies were completed and all were within normal range or very close. My blood pressure is behaving. Or perhaps I should say that I am behaving and trying to take better care of myself when it comes to stress!

I am very pleased, especially considering the report notes that I have sixteen problems/health issues! There is a code for every little thing. Government!!!

It is wonderful that the correct medications, taken regularly as ordered can provide good health. But, it can often taken a lot of effort on the part of the patient and especially the doctor to find the best combination.

Unfortunately, my physician is going to be leaving her current position and start working for the local VA Hospital in anticipation of better working conditions and most importantly, better benefits. I will certainly miss her after six years of very good care.

It is the weekend! Have a good one!

Mary

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Daily Garden "Fix"

Isn't she lovely? This is the first time that I have ever grown a hydrangea plant in my garden. At the end of the growing season last year I picked up a few discounted plants from "here and there". And, this was one of them. The tag said "White Hydrangea" and nothing more! And, much to my surprise she is thriving and apparently likes where she is planted. Don't you think?

The Star Jasmine is blooming in its prime and has completely covered the wire fencing. Beside the hydrangea on the left, the gladiolus are also coming up. 
It has been another very hot day in the high 90's. However, I have been able to return to my schedule of working in the garden or watering for about two hours each day. My energy level is so much better than in the past. My garden really is my therapy!

Mary

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Temperatures are HOT

Even with temperatures over 100 degrees I have a sweet little pansy that is being a "hold out". I don't think I have had a pansy that kept growing and blooming this late into the hot weather. I guess it is like the "energizer bunny".
I have been looking back and reflecting a little about my garden when I first started blogging in 2009. And I thought I would do a little flashback with some photos.

Garden Vignettes




I enjoy all the "little spots" in my garden that give it my personality. I certainly don't want to overdo it and make it look cluttered or the individual "spots" will lose their significance.

Perhaps I will let the photos speak for themselves. 

ENJOY and take a moment and relax in my garden.

I am happy to tell you that I am feeling much, much, much better!  With a lot of prayer, meditation, awareness of my thoughts and mind control I have been able to return to normal blood pressure reading with the same medication dosages as before. I will continue to be cognizant of what helps me to stay healthy.

Wishing you a Beautiful Weekend.

Mary

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom
Did I do Something Wrong?

While You Weren't Looking

While You Weren't Looking
I Went Shopping - Thinking of the Holidays