Friday, October 19, 2012

Another Philly Visit

Thursday we made another visit to the PH specialist in Philly. We had to leave here by 6 a.m. in order to get there for 8 a.m. Nothing like doing a 6 minute walk first thing in the morning and before coffee. I did okay though except for some huffing and puffing. The doctor was not happy as I had gained 9 pounds which within a few minutes he could tell was fluid retention. This is not good. I have to admit that lately I got lazy, less diligent about my salt intake. Lesson learned. He also wants me to drop another ten pounds over the next three months and start some moderate excercise. I see my regular cardiologist on Monday and will discuss with him. It's always a balancing act keeping all the advice in my head because it isn't always the same. He feels the heart attack caused an insignificant amount of muscle damage but the other cardiologist saw the actual test and felt it caused some. More discussion with him on Monday.

It is a cold, rainy day here today. I am so glad we had nice weather yesterday. We were both so tired and I kind of wanted to do something else while in Philly but we had to have an unexpected echo done and that took a few hours. After that we had a quick lunch and Rob just wanted to get home. When we got home he took a two hour nap so I knew he was shot.

I have been busy working on the anecestry stuff. You think you have something all figured out and then you find something else that shakes it up. My  great grandmother is listed in a family book as having her father be James McGowin. Now I found her death certificate with his brother's name. I will probably have an entry all about her murder and the investigation I am doing, along with the help of some fine, very kind people who are in Alabama. They are going to go to the cemetery she is supposed to be at since she is not listed on that cemeteries find a grave record. I am so grateful for their help and information. I am still learning how all this works. It's time consuming and complicated. It's also very rewarding. Little would this woman ever guess that someday her great granddaughter would be pursueing all this and trying to make sure she was buried with at least a headstone. If not, she will have one as quickly as I can take care of it.
It's a matter of honor. Speaking of which........don't know if any of you have thought about this but when I was a kid I always remembered to thank people for things. I called or wrote thank you notes and I taught my son to do this as well. I have so many nieces and nephews that I give gifts to and never get any kind of acknowledgement from. Sometimes you even wonder if they got it. I have begun cutting back on these gifts as I feel I am encouraging their behavior sometimes. I actually had a nephew who called to remind me that he had a birthday the next week. I sent a card and money which were never acknowledged. Since I sent cash we tried several times to reach him. When we finally did we were told that he had received it but was busy and didn't feel like answering the phone when we called. Where are the manners people used to have?
I don't want to stop giving but I also don't want to contribute to people's feelings of entitlement. Where to draw the's a sticky issue.Any thoughts?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ancestry OCD

I have spent more and more time on lately. It's as though I am on a mission. I often plan to spend only an hour or so and then boom, I glance at the clock and three or more hours have passed. I have made great headway on my family tree. I was very fortunate that my aunt and cousin had done so much work on my mother's side and are still working on it. My father's side has been another story. I must caution you that if your parents are still alive you need to pump them for any information they can give you. I found every detail helpful. My grandmother always claimed to have Native American blood. She had high cheekbones and she really seemed to know this as a fact. I am spending countless hours trying to prove this now.
I have found her ancestor, James Monroe Poston Sr. who attended a naming ceremony for the Creek Indians (which are called the Eastern Cherokees.) Apparently, the Cherokee nation at that time was mainly in Tennessee. What compounds the problem of identifying WHICH James Monroe Poston he is, or WHICH John Poston his father was, is that at that time there were no social security numbers. There are fathers with brothers who all name their children the same name, who are all born about the same time. There is controversy among families over which ancestor is THEIR ancestor and which is not. I wish I had the money to hire an expert some days.

I have been struggling with my PH medicine and the side effects from it. Once again my stomach is upset constantly. I have tried removing nearly every thing from my diet at one time or another and it seems to make no difference. Each night I find it difficult to sleep with acid reflux a constant problem. I also suffer from insomnia. Three nights ago I slept three hours out of twenty-four. I can't use my breathing machine when that happens and the following day I feel horrible. It takes me a few days to get over such a bad night. I keep hoping that after time my stomach will calm down but I have been on this medicine several months already.

On Thursday I will be going to Philadelphia to see my PH specialist. We need to discuss what the heart attack means as far as he's concerned and whether or not the NJ cardiologist should put me on a beta blocker, something normally done after a heart attack. I have dreaded yet another medicine. The blood thinners and PH medicine, thyroid and diuretics, along with potassium are enough. Trying to remember to make medicine about 8 times a day is frustrating for someone who is tired and oxygen deprived. I do a pretty good job with using two pill cases for days of the week. I rarely miss any doses.

I got to a craft show Friday night. I didn't really buy crafts but there were people selling silver jewelery and I got a necklace I had wanted. It's a Tiffany's knock off at a fraction of the price. I have been trying to buy Christmas gifts to put away a few at a time. Unless something changes this will be the last year we will be able to buy Christmas gifts for our extended families. After July I will have another loss of income which will be significant. At that time I will be transitioned over to Medicare as well. I had purchased some gift cards and cannot find them, still hoping they will turn up. They weren't large ones thank goodness.

Today is the third anniversary of my grandmother's passing. I miss her so much. It is also the birthday of a cousin who has been a part of my life since I was four months old. She is a wonderful person who is going through a difficult time now with her husband's health.
Hoping I can finally fall asleep. I have to be at the periodontist tomorrow for a deep cleaning.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Visiting with a Friend

Yesterday I got to visit with my friend, Barbara. We met in our senior year of high school. When we met we were both going through a rough time. I had gotten married over the summer of my junior year and when I returned to my former high school they informed me that I could no longer attend that school since I moved out of my parents house. I had to go to the high school that was in the town of my apartment. The other students were overly friendly as they had formed their friendships. Barbara was friendly to me and I soon learned that her Mom was dying of cancer. She had lost her Dad at 12 and was living with her grandfather. She had a sister two years older than her. Life was difficult for two teenaged girls living with a cranky grandfather. Barbara quickly became engaged to her boyfriend Steve and she needed someone to help her plan her wedding. That was me. We went dress shopping and it was so awkward when the woman asked her if her mother would be joining us. She gestured to me and said "She's my subsitute mother." I was her matron of honor and I even taught her how to drive. (This is an ongoing joke.)

(This is the GetzenDanner family crest (my great grandmother's family from Switzerland originally who married a German and moved To Germany)

She had research her ancestry and has a beautiful book with pictures and documents of her parents and grandparents lives. It was great to see the photos of her Mom and see the strong resemeblence. We chatted about our kids (her daughter is a year younger than my son) and the days when they played on the floor while we visited. So many things have changed in our lives but the bond of friendship, built on a lifetime of memories, remains strong. I feel like my soul was nourished. As I left she stood on her porch and said "You know where I am." Yes, my friend, I know where you are and you always welcome me in the warmest way and make me feel cared for. Thank you. I need that, I really, really, needed that.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Hanging Around

The past two weeks I have been home a lot. Not so much by choice as necessity. I have been plagued with a problem that is embarassing to talk about. Remember that commercial where the woman pronounces diarrhea and it sounds like she is referring to a plague? For two weeks I have tried to adjust my diet, eaten mostly bananas, rice, toast, weak tea, ginger ale but nothing helps.
At this point, after Saturday night where I was up three times to go to the bathroom I have decided to see my primary care doctor. I have already spoken to the PH specialist in Philly who tells me it is not that medicine causing the problem. It seems a funny coincidence that my coumadin levels (blood thinner) have been higher than normal at about the same time this started but I have been told that is mere coincidence. I shall see what my internist says. She is very intelligent and insightful. I was lucky to get in to see her this afternoon since I just called this morning. She had a premature baby a few months back and has cut her office time down to three days a week.

Rob worked overtime Saturday morning but when he got home we had a quick lunch and went out for a few hours. There was a craft show just 20 minutes away and I haven't been to one in quite a while. We found a great sign that we both liked for Halloween for just $15.00. I will try to get a picture of it later. I also picked up some nice potpourris and metal dishes for them. There was a band playing with a good singer so we sat outside for awhile and just relaxed, sharing a funnel cake. We both needed to spend time away from our pets and phone. I love my pets dearly but they are quite demanding at times. They are very spoiled and being in the kitchen is a nightmare as I am dodging them at every turn while trying to cook anymore. We have actually at times put a gate up so they couldn't come into the room after I was tripped while making a quick turn. I fell on my chest and ended up with a hematoma in it that was painful. Duffy is a working dog (Shetland sheepdog) and he used to get a lot of excercise. He only weighs about twenty-five pounds but he pulls so hard on the leash at times that I can't walk him anymore. He needs to be excercised.  We fenced in part of our yard for him and he has plenty of room to run around in but he just lays on the patio near the sliding door instead. I feel guilty and I actually offered to pay two neighbors to walk him a few times a week but they declined. He is nearly seven and only wants to play at bedtime. The cat is another story. He leaps through the air and runs and lands and is all about getting from here to there in five seconds. He is nearly 11.

Well, I need to start getting ready for the doctor. I have laundry to fold before I leave. This week I am going to see an old friend tomorrow and then on Friday I go for blood work and then later to the therapist so it seems I will have a busy week as it continues to fill up. I'm glad because Rob will be working at least an hour late each night this week. When he's not here I miss him. He keeps my mind on the good stuff and when I'm alone I sometimes begin to think about the what ifs. Now that the weather is cooler I am going to try to have better meals because I can put the oven on. Yesterday I baked a chicken and it was great to have that smell moving through the house. I want to pick up a brisket today and on Tuesday I will use the leftover chicken to make chicken divan. Just one more reason why I love Autumn.