Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Yesterday I talked with the doctor who said I needed to go fill the steroid prescription. I did and had about three hours of sleep last night, was up another hour then got one hour more of sleep before the alarm went off at 7 a.m. I hope I get a lot more sleep tonight. I did make it to work today, although there were several episodes of me coughing to the point of gasping for breath. Yesterday I did manage to get to a hair stylist who took several inches of thin and dried out hair off. I was so happy to hear her say she saw some new hair growing back. My sides have lost much more than the back. I also got my tax prep stuff to the accountant and made a quick run to Staples. I had to get some more plastic envelopes to sort things for the new tax year. I am so anticipating a nice refund this year. Our income for 2009 dropped over $15,000 from the previous year. Rob was unemployed for half the year and with me being out on disability for five months total, we took quite a loss while our medical costs were thousands higher than the previous year. I am getting caught up and grateful for that.

I cannot believe I still do not have my Easter decorations out. We are planning to get them out tonight after American Idol then hop into bed. I have bought very little in the way of things for the Easter baskets that I prepare for the men in my life. (I have a husband, son and two furboys.) Furboys do not get baskets but a small toy and a treat. We had Duffy groomed last week and he looks so handsome. The cat keeps his fur immaculate so is self grooming. Since I have been sick again my Smokey has been hovering near me.

My eyes are tired and I'm going to sign off and shut down the pc and give them a rest. Stay dry.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sick again.......

The past few weeks I have been plodding along, putting into motion new things that are going on at work. There have been some big frustrations for me and I know that I cannot blog about them. I will say that my new boss is supportive and that has been a big help. While she tried to help me she was not able to make the decisions.

On Wednesday one of my coworkers came to work very sick. Or maybe it was Tuesday. Midday he left to go home as by now his voice was gone. He didn't return to work until Friday, by which time he was well. In the meantime I and another coworker came down with the same ailment. The other young man (who is one of my favorite coworkers ever) seemed able to throw it off and was taking some over the counter meds. I cannot afford to do that with the prescription meds I take. I made it through the week but last night I began to feel very ill and discovered I was now running a temp as well as wheezing from my chest. I called the doctor this morning and she agreed to see me. (They reserve a few hours each week for Saturday appointments for people who are sick.) She told me that I had bronchitis but didn't think I had pneumonia again. I already have three inhalers and she advised me to use them and gave me an antibiotic. I filled it and am trying to rest this weekend. She gave me a note and advised me to stay home Monday if I was not better, call her and come back in, possibly for a chest xray. I am supposed to get a lot of rest and I am on the sofa with the tv on. I sure hope I am feeling a lot better by Monday. I have no sick days. They were taken for the first days when I went out on temporary disability. It's a constant mind battle for me: when do I use a sick day as I can only call out four times a year, trips to an emergency room don't count as unscheduled call outs but with a large copay it's not something I can do frequently. I know in this economy I am lucky to have a job. I just wish I were healthier and didn't have to worry about losing it for call outs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sleep Please

I am having trouble sleeping. It's probably because I have so much on my mind these days. My brother took my mother yesterday to Motor Vehicles where they turned in my Dad's license so he can be taken off her car insurance. He has not driven in about a year and a half and since he is in the condition that he is, it was foolish for her to spend money on the insurance but as long as he lived in her house as a licensed driver she was required to. It was an emotional day for both of them. My brother often comments that my Dad is gone yet still here.

I believe I mentioned in another post about my hair. It has been very distressing to see handfuls coming out each day.
I have actually started washing it every other day to reduce the loss. The dermatologist sent me for blood work and for some reason the lab sent a copy here. Somethings I just do not need to know such as all the abnormal cells they found. I have been reading and I fear that my artificial heartvalve is the culprit. It can "TEAR UP' your red blood cells so that they cannot transport the oxygen. At work we often have to walk downstairs and across the building. Oh how I have come to dread this. Coworkers pass me and I am gasping for breath and simply must stop. One young lady, Janis, is a sweetheart and waits for me. She has health issues and recently returned to work herself. She knows how hard it is. It also appears that although I am on blood thinner my platelets are up to 445 which is high. Well, blood thinner does not affect the number of platelets it just makes them less sticky to avoid clots. My calcium is also very low. I cannot wait for the doctor to call me back and discuss the results. I am doing my best to shove all this knowledge to the back burner of my mind. Today I purchased shampoo recommended by a few hair dressers which they say will feed the hair follicles. $30 for the large bottle for each product. I also bought four tops for work and new earpieces for my Ipod. My Leprechaun got new Timberland boots which he needed for his warehouse work and three shirts. We had lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. We always get the tiny mini burgers and the salad bar. I treated myself to a glass of red sangria. Yum!
Rob has gained so much weight since we got married his wedding ring no longer fit him. It is being resized 1 1/2 sizes larger! It's a nice ring which he uses for dress. He has a different ring he wears for working.
We accomplished a lot today. Errands, shopping and some time just for us this morning. I am really tired but we will catch the HBO movie before bed. Hope to wind up the taxes tomorrow and check the bank statement.
It was so sunny and beautiful here today. Hope it was where you are too.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Yesterday we managed to move the furniture out of the way. Our guest room has the same furniture as Deborah and Raymond's if you ever watched the show. The armoire is VERY heavy but we managed to move it to pull the carpet up from the corner. We had to move the bed and everything except the computer hutch. We found the padding was saturated as well as the floor under it. We spent all day using a space heater and a blow dryer and a fan to get the floor and carpet dried. We went to Home Depot and bought new foam padding which Rob was able to put down with just a staple gun. That cost us about $35. Finally by after ten p.m. we were done and exhausted. In the course of removing the padding I managed to step on a hidden rusted carpet staple and my foot is sore. I am going to reach my doctor this morning and arrange for a tetanus shot. Not sure when my last one was. I called out of work to take care of that. We barely slept this weekend and when we were awake we were doing a lot of physically demanding things. I am tired. Going to take care of the shot, get some groceries and try to rest a bit. I do think we managed to get the carpet and floor dry quickly enough not to have to replace it. It doesn't even smell although I will have it shampooed.

Hopefully things will go smoothly today. Keep your fingers crossed!
By the way, many people in New Jersey are still without power. One neighbor told her that our electric company gave her an expected time of TUESDAY. Thankfully, they did better than that.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beware the Ides Of March

March has been really hard on us. After my blog posts yesterday we lost our power. It was out for nearly 24 hours. During that time I learned that FIOS is a major rip off because I paid a fortune for phone service so that in an emergency without power I would have phone service. WRONG and why did they not tell me this? You have a battery back up that if you don't use perhaps will last for hours. When they asked me to change to FIOS they never advised me of this problem, with my health issues I would not have agreed to it. SOOO our cell phones were not charged the night before, we each had one bar and we lost the house phone a few hours into the power outage. At dinner time I took some boneless chicken breasts and a stir fry mix that had a lot of soy beans in it, over to my mothers and made dinner for all of us.
Thankfully I always make extra food. We recharged our cells and the laptop and came home about 8 p.m. During the night I woke up in a sweat, the house was freezing and my heart was pounding. No doubt, the stress of it all. Our heat finally came back on about 8 a.m. this morning. I walked into our guest room which holds the computer hutch and Rob's computer, and found a wet puddle on the carpet. At first I wondered if one of my fur boys had an accident (which is rare for them) but realized it was just water. This morning we pulled the carpet back and the area is very large with wet foam padding and wet carpet. We have a fan and a heater trying to dry it. I think we may have to replace the carpet which is rarely walked on. It was builders carpet and is eight years old but we are good with keeping our carpet vacumned and shampooed. I'm sure it would be a minimum of $600 to replace it. We'll see what happens. It's just that on top of the dryer, Rob's major and my minor car repair, the grill replacement and Duffy's vet bill, we need a break. My Sheltie Duffy has developed something (a growth) just above his eye. Our visit last week included a blood test for his thyroid that we paid $50 for and I am still waiting for those results. I have called twice and been promised a callback. She gave us an antibiotic ointment with a steroid in it and told us to apply warm compresses a few times a day.
The "growth" has not changed and she said it would have to be surgically removed if it gets bigger.
We just need a break of time where nothing is going wrong and adding stress to our lives. We have enough already!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Soaking Saturday

We are getting p0unded today with heavy wind and rain. The rain was hitting the windows so hard it woke me at 4 a.m. I have actually been up since then. Once I wake I become aware of all the things I neglected to do before I went to bed because I was so tired. I then feel compelled to do them even though I am still very tired and my eyes do not want to open.

Yesterday we both got paid. I sat down and promptly paid bills and was truly amazed that $1,200.00 left us as quickly as it arrived in the bank. The cost of living seems so high these days.
I feel like I am being held hostage to have decent internet and television. If I go with the cable company for internet it means I must supply the router and set it up myself. That seems complicated. I am currently using Verizon Fios and it is ridiculously overpriced and doesn't always work as great as they say. They did give me a free wireless router and that I like. Still, not worth what I am paying for it. Several of my neighbors bundled using cable and their phone service is horrible. My son did the same thing and the phone has been a nightmare. All seem to be told it's their phone when they call. The phones that don't work seem to work find at my house so I think there is another issue. Rob is working today. We are getting caught up on our bills, even the medical bills that are still trickling in. I feel good about that. I just hope that I can put some money back into my emergency fund that was used as it is low.

I saw a doctor this week about my hair. I believe I blogged about this already, but my hair is drastically thinning out. I don't want to say falling out because it sounds so severe but each time I wash it, or dry it, or even brush it, there is a handful of hair. My internist blamed the illness, my lack of vitamins and protein in my diet, but suggested I see a dermatologist. He feels it might be those causes but is doing several blood tests, saying it's more likely something hormonal. I have been trying to eat soy and drinking soy milk which I am not fond of. I am also taking iron and a B complex vitamin, hoping that will help. It has become difficult to make my hair look nice for work. I can put it up but that seems to be causing breakage. I will have to get several inches trimmed off as it looks very thin on the bottom.

I am getting back into the routine of life as it was prior to my illness. I must say I actually feel better now than before it was diagnosed. I am hoping my energy will continue to return, even stronger. Things seems so much better than they did. Well, I am off to do some filing of papers and going to attemp to get my tax papers altogether so I can get them done. I expect a refund this year.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Another Week Draws to a Close

What a week! We had the dryer repair, the car repair, a major snowstorm and other minor ripples in our universe. Last night Rob came home after working late (we both worked a bit of overtime this week, he much more than I) and wanted a nice hot shower. He turned the water on and found there was no hot water. I was downstairs in the kitchen and felt the water heater which was ice cold. We have a neighbor, Ken, who was a plumber but who has a terrible problem with his back and has been out of work for quite a while. We called him and although he couldn't do anything physically, he told Rob what to do. It seems out darling fur givers had generated enough fur to clog up the pilot light and it had gone out. We got it lit temporarily and he will show Rob how to properly clean it on Sunday with a special kind of vacumn and tool. He refused money so I will buy his family a grocery store card as thanks. This brings our total repairs to over one thousand dollars in ten days (well including the purchase of the grill.) YIKES. Each time I even think of not working or going part time this is why I don't do it. My goal is to try to get my car paid off this year. In the event I would have to be out of work again for any illness, that would take a lot of pressure off.

I am feeling so much better than I did the entire 2009 year. That makes me feel so optomistic. Let me tell you, if you don't have your health you have nothing. I look back and don't know how I managed to go to work and perform. I was that sick for months on end. I am hoping as my breathing continues to improve, to build more stamina and get in better shape. I would like to lose even more weight as I think I have more energy from that alone.

I had a coaching session at work today. I was very pleased. They are impressed at how quickly I have adapted to the changes and my performance is at the top of their scale. I take pride in that. My new team are a great group of people. I am the "new kid on the block" and there are a lot of times I might feel left out but I shake it off. Although you spend a lot of time with coworkers I always try to tell myself that they will come and go and are not the people who are trulyimportant in my life. This last round of illness helped me to be more patient and tolerant. I find less and less bothers me as my focus is on MY health and reclaiming it. I am also trying to identify what activities will be relaxing for us as the weather warms up.

It's going on 11 a.m. and I have been up since about six this morning. I am tired and going to call it a day. Rob is working tomorrow and I plan to do a few relaxing things for myself in the morning. I am so glad that his check will be more next week and we can knock some of these bills out quickly. Rob got a small raise and that will help too.

One other thought.....my cousin in Maryland sent me a message. The blizzard damaged my grandmother's dogwood tree she loved so. For some reason, that upset me terribly. I realized that most days I have to push thoughts of her away so that I can function, especially at work. It just seemed that maybe the tree was not as strong without her and I think of her house being emptied out and her things dispersed. She loved her tiny home and her sentimental things that she treasured so. I have to tell myself that I carry her with me in my heart and in my memories but there are days I feel I would give anything to be able to see her smile, or feel her hug once more. Even though I told her frequently how much I loved her, I wish I had done it even more. I long to hear her voice just one more time. Rest in peace beloved one.