Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

What started out to be a crazy overscheduled week really settled down rather nicely!

I went to the new rheumatologist yesterday with Hubby. I was not happy to have to go to a male doc, as I have found that female docs tend to be more understanding and in tune. However, I found the new rheumy very understanding and he really listened and heard all my concerns.

It was actually great having a new set of eyes on my issues. He did xrays and a sonogram of my hands and wrists, right there in the office, along with a complete blood workup! I loved one stop shopping!! I usually have to run to one place for xrays and another for blood.

I have a lot of neuropathy issues, always have, his fresh eyes have given us a new plan of attack as well as another diagnosis. He is confident that Fibromyalgia is also rearing its ugly head in my body. Not surprising as it goes hand in hand with Lupus and RA.

The plan is to try Lyrica which will address the neuropathies. The numbing, tingling, weakness and balance issues. As I have mentioned, MS has been ruled out before, and we are sticking with that assumption unless there is a reason to revisit it.

Also to be added will be Provigil, a medication that will help with what to me is the most debilitating part of the disease - fatigue. And, also the cognitive issues. Hopefully, I will be sleeping better with Lyrica and the Provigil will do its magic and I will be like a new person in a few months!

I am happy to have a plan of attack! And, I visit him again on 12/1.

Okay... on to my blessings! :-)

1. New rheumy. So far so good! And, a plan. I like plans.

2. Hubby! Home with me yesterday for the doctors, which was a very long comprehensive 3 hour visit. BUT, today he surprised me by staying home again! Yay!

3. Piano. Pumpkin is having her lesson as I type this... I love it! Christmas carols... have to get ready!

4. Hammer. We have spent this week preparing his application for Eagle Scout and planning his project. Part of that process was gathering letters of recommendation for Hammer. There has been an overwhelming outpouring of love and respect for him. :-)

Kathy, Karol, Dave, Bill, K, you all overwhelmed me with your letters. Thank you. Mom and Dad and Hubby... perfect and just as I expected... we have such a special boy and I am honored that he is ours.

5. Fuzzy. In the last week or so, he has been trying harder and pulling up into A's. If he wanted to he could have straight 100's... it's all about what you put into it, he has the ability. Just needs to work it!

6. Coffee!!!! After months of coping with our Keurig coffee maker malfunctioning and needing to be tweaked each and every day... My dad gifted Hubby and I with a new one for our anniversary - early! YOU ROCK, Dad! ;-)

Well, I think I have taken up enough of your time!

Go to go farm! LOL

be well...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fur Elise

Hello Blogging Buddies!

Not a lot going on here in my little corner of the world.

I am still coping and in a better place thanks to D'Nile. Is that the pyramids I see over there? Yep. Firmly entrenched, I am.

Feh. It works, and it is silly to worry without knowing what to worry about. And, the pain I can cope with.

Kids are good. Fuzzy is still learning to cope with the fact that he has to WORK to get A's in his high school honors classes. Pumpkin has one honor's class and she is learning to cope with that a bit too.

Hammer is halfway through the planning phase of his Eagle Scout project, which looks to be happening on 11/7. More on that once everything is official! Yay!

Hubby was cranky and tired mostly this weekend. Feh.

We basically had a very quiet weekend at home, which is really unusual and was really needed. I think we all enjoyed it.

The best part of the weekend was listening to Pumpkin practice her piano and hearing Beethoven's 'Fur Elise' which she worked on quite a bit. Very nice.

Tonight is a big NY sport night! We have the Giants on NBC and the Yankees on Fox! WOOHOO!

More soon...

be well...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Time to count blessings and not a minute too soon!
Panic mode is over, and I am firmly entrenched back in my denial place! LOL

1. I am grateful for my house, my home and my family.

2. I am grateful for my health insurance.

3. I am grateful for the meds that I have to help me and the doctors that are my partners in my healthcare.

4. I am grateful for the friends I have in my life.

5. I am grateful for my online friends, their availability and support have been invaluable over the last 7 years of coping with chronic illness. (rheumatoid arthritis, and for the last two years the brain thingy)

6. I am grateful for the technology that allows me to not only keep in touch but that lets me play stimulating and challenging games - some for fun - some for brain exercise - all of which help me cope and keep my mind off of worrysome stuff.

7. I am grateful for my pets. Yes, even though cleaning up cat hairballs and dog puke sucks, the unconditional love and joy they give daily far surpasses the difficulties they present on occasion.

8. I am grateful for Boy Scouts. Hammer has begun the planning for his Eagle Scout project which should be executed in the next 2 weeks. Fuzzy will begin planning his in the new year as he is just completing the last badge. Scouts has afforded the boys many opportunities for leadership, community service and personal growth.

9. I am especially grateful this week for my Hubby realizing that a hug, a cup of coffee and a snack would go a loooooonnnnng way.

10. I am grateful for the outlet that my blog and Facebook give to me and therefore, I am for YOU, the reader.

11. I am also grateful for the clarity health issues have given me in life. It sharpens into focus that which is truly important; those special gifts and blessings that no illness can take away.

Life is good. Thanks for being a part of it!

be well...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hold On Loosely

... but sometimes I need you to hold me completely up.

And, today, Hubby did that. Thank you, hon.

Tough day, and he came home early bearing gifts of Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee and a cheesy bagel twisty stick thing and most importantly, just his hugs.

My appointment for the neurosurgeon is going to be November 10th. The day after our 18th Anniversary. That is three weeks from today. That is too long. Too long to worry until, too long for discomfort. :(

Next week I have the appointment with the new rheumatologist.

Today, Fuzzy's pediatrician appointment was cancelled further pushing back our paperwork for the school. Ugh.

Onward and upward...

be well...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Walk Like an Egyptian

You know what? I like denial. I like my 'denial' world better.

Does that make me a bad person?

::: sigh :::

More soon...

be well...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hot n Cold

Listening to Yankee game as Hubby watches in on tv - ALCS! GO YANKS!

Must be MEME time!

Which do you prefer?

1. Man or Woman? Ummm, I am married to a man, but I am a woman... not sure what the creator of this meme was going for here! LOL

2. Facebook or Twitter? Teh Bookface, baby!

3. Donut or Twinkie? Donut

4. Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi? Diet Pepsi, if plain. Diet Cherry Coke Zero if going for a flavor. lol But coffee is best!

5. Fish or Chicken? Chicken, unless I can get shellfish!

6. Pads or tampons? Both

7. Brother or Sister? I have neither, so can I also have both?

8. Red or Orange? Red

9. Regular Iced tea or Raspberry Iced tea? Regular black tea, with lemon and no sugar please.

10. Mixed greens or Iceberg lettuce salad? Iceberg for me!

11. Laptop or desktop? Tricky... lately desktop.

12. Couch or chair? Couch

13. Hamster or bunny? Bunny! (although, I have never actually owned a bunny...)

14. Batman or Superman? TOTALLY Batman. Rich, smart, and body that don't quit! Booyah!

15. Yankees or Red Sox? Well, that is easy. Yankees!

16. PC or Apple? PC, although I am intrigued by the Mac. I love my iphone and we do own ipods too.

17. Hockey or Basketball? Hockey! Go Devils!

18. Football or Soccer? Football!

19. Ketchup or Mustard? Ketchup

20. Cake or Pie? Cake. Cheesecake, specifically. ;-)

Okie dokie... that was fun!

be well...

Friday, October 16, 2009

And So It Goes...

Need to do a stream of consciousness post here...

So, our new insurance started and my rheumatologist who is at the #3 hospital in the US for rheumatology (behind Mayo and Hopkins), Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, is NOT in it. Crap.

So, I have an appointment with a highly recommended local guy. We will see how it goes. I will still go to see my HSS rheumy once a year out of my own pocket. I will not give her up completely. And that is another thing. I LOVE having a woman doc. Not ONE woman rheumatologist in all of northern NJ. ACK. Pisses me off.

My jaw/spasm/pain/lower lip thing is still happening. This may or may not be related to the rheumatoid arthritis. I may need to be retested for MS as this is a common MS symptom. It may or may not be related to the brain thingy. Ack.

My right hand is swollen and painful. That is unusual. Usually, my left is the worst one and the right is just achey. Strange. Both my elbows are swollen and clicking and are red and inflammed. Right hip doing its usual annoying achey pain thing.

My diet. Well, I haven't gained, but I haven't lost either. That made me cranky and I cheated all last weekend, but I still didn't gain. Not bad. I was mostly good this week, but not great. I am keeping track of the calories and most days I have been under, but probably not the best choices.

Fuzzy and Pumpkin have both had reality checks that they may have to actually improve and utilize study habits to get the A's they usually get without lifting a finger in school. LOL I have worked with both of them some, but they were both a little resistant. Also, they have slacked on their chores lately. So, they have the punishment of 'Going Amish' hanging over their heads this weekend...

Foolishly, the Terribly Twosome also tried to act 'entitled' this week. Very, very dumb. Nothing pisses their father off more than when they act unappreciative and feel 'entitled' to their goodies. ie; computer, vid games etc. Again... a reality check was delivered.

Hammer has been great. He always is happy to help, never forgets his chores, and is ALWAYS appreciative and understanding. His biggest problem is writing. He hates it. Having Asperger's/being on the Autistic Spectrum he has fine motor issues and being dysgraphic - where writing actually hurts and is very difficult is one of his issues. Although, over the years he has gotten much better, it is a really difficult hurdle for him and something that I need to prod him to work on. It is hard sometimes because I hate causing him discomfort. :(

Even though we have been in school since 9/9 I am still compiling paperwork for Fuzzy's asthma plan. Tuesday we go to the doc's office to get that all settled. sigh.

Things have really been hectic. Lots of Scout meetings, school meetings, doc appointments etc. I really hope it all settles down.

I am going back to Atlantic City with my mom on business again this year in November. I am looking forward to it, as always. It is nice to get that time with my mom.

Tuesday night we have a meeting with the scoutmaster planning out Hammer's Eagle Scout Project. I am excited for him because he worked so hard on all his badges and this is the last step. If all goes smoothly, Hammer will be the 50th Eagle out of this troop!!! A special honor indeed.

I haven't seen Kathy and my sweet little nephew J in over a month. It is just a little under a month for my cousin Karol and my other nephews. This time of year is always hard. School, holidays, crazy stuff. Sigh.

Hubby and I will be celebrating two milestones soon. October 26th will be 19 years from when we became 'officially' engaged, with the ring and all. And, then exactly two weeks later on 11/9 it will be our 18th Wedding Anniversary. Wow. Time flies... sometimes it really seems like yesterday. How could it be 18 years? I don't feel like 18 years have passed by... yet it has.

There are many who never thought that we would make it this long. Our romance was quick and whirlwind... how could we really KNOW. Well, we did. And, we still feel the same. I was very lucky to find my other half, a best friend that I can laugh and love and journey through all of life's challenges with by my side. :-)

Okay, enough rambling for today...

be well...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday (brought to you by 'holy crap! A week has gone by again?)

The Union doctor and his tools.

The rebel company camp.

The cooking area and commander camp.

A Union infantry uniform. Authentic.

View from atop Little Round Top.

Yes, Virginia, a week has blown by! Yikes!

Some Gettysburg pics above for your enjoyment!

1. Gettysburg. I really, really love the place. The people are so nice, the history is all around you, and there is so much to do and see.

We saw 2 groups of reenactments. The first set was mostly Confederates out of Virginia representing Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, up on the extension of Seminary Ridge, near General Longstreet's Memorial. The doctor was a Union doctor of the Army of the Potomac, that was with them and he was very knowledgeable. Gave a great talk and demonstrated with actual Civil War instruments how he would amputate legs etc. A good doctor would do 3 legs in about 5 minutes, moving quickly from one to the next. Would only clean their tools to keep them from slipping out of their hands.

The second reenactment group was from 124th New York Regiment! They were celebrating their anniversary of being called to service 148 years earlier in 1861, on Sunday, October 11th. They were an all volunteer regiment. They did some line formations and demonstrations of rifle firing. No balls in the rifles, just the powder which gave a good bang!

We also visited Little Round Top. This was the extreme left flank of the Union line which Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his 20th Maine were told to 'Hold at all costs to the end.' And, they did. Even though they were facing 3 times as many soldiers, they held the high ground, and when they ran out of bullets they began the first and only bayonet charge ordered in the Civil War, the last ordered in any battle since, as well. They held the line, captured more soldiers than they had to guard them (thankfully their reenforcements arrived before anyone noticed, but the Rebels were all unarmed quickly), chased off the rest of the Rebs into a retreat. The 20th Maine saved the Union line from collapsing unto itself and thus ended day 2 of the Battle of Gettysburg. (can you tell I LOVE this period of history?)

2. Hubby. He organized a great trip for the boys. Our kids have already been to Gettysburg and probably will return again, but many kids in our troop would never have gotten this opportunity and were exposed to the living history of the Civil War. It wasn't easy to arrange moving 30 plus kids and some parents to the Battlefield and around it. Good job, honey.

3. Mom and Daughter time. Pumpkin Muffin and I really enjoyed our time alone with each other at the hotel room for night 2 and 3 of our trip. We went to the pool, had dinner and snacks. Relaxed and watched tv together, and got to talk a lot. Very nice.

4. Hammer. He helped me so much with all the camp laundry and regular weekly laundry over the last 2 days.

5. Technology. It does make life easier to connect and share.

Okay... that is all I have the brains or brawn for today.

be well...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thankful Thursday

WOW! Time flies doesn't it? Loved the above pic... he he he...

Here we are at Thankful Thursday again!

1. Gettysburg Trip. I am really looking forward to getting away and experiencing Gettysburg again. I love history!

2. Coffee. A must have everyday, even on trips!

3. Laughter. I watched the first episode of the new show 'Modern Family' last night. We have them all tivo'd. OMG, I laughed so hard I lost my breath and cried. It was great!

4. The Arts. Dancing, singing, music, painting, sculpture, etc. The beauty and talent of those around us can be awe inspiring. Listened to some Mozart last night... brought tears to my eyes. Watched dancing show and was amazed at some of the talent...

5. Farmville. Totally addicted and having fun with the distraction it provides.

6. Life. Whether easy, hard, painful, fun, happy or sad it is to be lived and savored. Autumn is my favorite season, watching nature's exquisite show aflame against a grey blue sky is like none other!

Leaving for Gettysburg tomorrow after some more running around! Ack! Will check in at some point next week, maybe over the weekend if there is time!

be well...

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Still Standing

Mondays. Never know what they will bring!

We got hit with the engine light on in the car. Ack.

Thankfully, our local 10 minute oil change place has a computer thingy and it said that it was the oil pressure sensor which may/or may not have been fixed by having an oil change. It worked. They changed the oil and the filters and the pressure came back up and the light went off.

YAY! We leave for our Boy Scout trip to Gettysburg on Friday and we do NOT need to be worrying about anything with the car when traveling about 5 hours from home!

In preparation for our trip I am rereading the book 'Killer Angels'. It is the book that the movie 'Gettysburg' was based upon, in case you are not familiar with it. I have read the book many times before, I am guessing this may be around the 12th time. Definitely more than ten.

I am going to do a presentation for the Scouts and parents about the Battle of Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge and the spot called the 'high water mark' of the Confederacy, by the 'copse of trees'. I am going to try to make it more real for the boys, have them stand in positions of both Blue and Grey soldiers and really get a feel for how it happened.

This is my third trip to Gettysburg personally, so being familiar with it already will help sharing this amazing place in our history with the boys.

It is a busy week around here! Hubby has his 'Man Scout' meeting of all the leaders tonight. Tomorrow night is the Senior Patrol Leader meeting, which Fuzzy runs as the 'head' scout, and all the patrol leaders, their assistants etc. It is basically a planning meeting. Then, Wednesday night is the regular scout meeting.

Thursday morning as a member of the Board of Health I will be working the free flu shot clinic at our Senior Center. Just regular shots, not H1N1. Then, Thursday night is Fuzzy's high school Back to School night. Friday morning is a meeting at the school with regard to his asthma and the special 504 set up we have to manage it.

Somewhere on Thursday and Friday we have to pack for the trip as we leave in the mid afternoon on Friday!

As I said, busy, busy, busy! Never a dull moment around here and no time for my rheumatoid arthritis to be acting up. Not sure how that is all going to play out, but I am doing better. The hip has settled down to a dull ache and I have no problems with putting weight on it! Yay! I may still look into taking a prednisone taper though... not sure.

Fuzzy and my dad are shooting in trap/skeet league together this fall. It is Fuzzy's second time around, my dad's first. Today, Fuzzy hit a new high with 17 of 25 in his trap rounds! He was thrilled.

I guess that about catches you up with us!

be well...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ode to Joy

I am listening to Pumpkin Muffin playing 'Ode to Joy' on the piano right now. Yay! After taking a year off, she is back to piano! I am so happy.

I have a funny Pumpkin story for you all.

I don't know if it speaks to the power of female persuasion or my daughter's bossiness, but here it is.

The first week of school in their Spanish class they decided to do a review of basic conversation. The kids were broken up into groups. Pumpkin was paired with two boys. One is a friend, J, whose mom is from somewhere in South America and J has been learning Spanish his whole life.

Pumpkin in her daily recitation of every detail of her day (yes, EVERY detail) tells me the next day that they only got a 95% because she must have spelled 'Aloha' wrong.

Aloha? I asked her why did she have 'Aloha' on there at all. She said, 'Mom, it's Spanish for 'hello'!' (read this with all the condescending teen attitude you can muster)

I state, 'No, Pumpkin. Aloha is Hawaiian for hello. Hola is Spanish for hello.

Pumpkin: blink blink

Then, 'Oh, well there ya go then!', followed by hysterical laughter from the two of us.

I asked her to please ask J how come (being from a half Spanish home) he did not step in and point out this glaring error.

So, the next day, Pumpkin comes home and begins her daily recitation of every detail of her day.

I ask, 'Skip to J, what did he say about Aloha?'

Pumpkin smiles and said, 'J said he thought it was just a different Spanish word for hello because after all, I am usually right!' (read this with the smug satisfaction of a woman who has realized she has got it going on!)

So, there ya have it.

Again, not sure if it was her confidence, or her bossiness, but my daughter has got some man management skills! LOL

ps. My hip is feeling better. I can put my full weight on it. That is key. The pain is doable.

Looking forward to the Gettysburg trip. The Boy Scout Gettysburg Campsite is awarded once a year via a lottery system. It is very limited. By October 15th of the preceding year you have to apply. Then, in February of the year you wish to camp, you receive notification of whether you received your first choice or second choice weekend.

As you can imagine, a three day weekend like Columbus Day is a tough one to get, so were lucky. The campsite I believe is also only open May thru the end of October.

Another cool thing is that there are 2 battle reenactments that weekend, one Saturday and one Sunday that the boys are going to be able to witness!

As I mentioned, we visited Gettysburg as a family before and loved it. I also went when I was a kid. I love history. (and science, and english, and yeah, just learning in general... lol)

Being in Gettysburg is awe inspiring. The history is EVERYWHERE around you. Even in the building that houses the Starbucks you can see the holes in the brickwork from small cannonballs and musket fire. It is really amazing. If you ever get a chance to go, do it.

Okay... signing off...

be well...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I am sure you are all familiar with this phrase!

RA SUCKS. Ok... enough whining, I was having a good week and in spite of my latest flare issue resulting in trochanter bursitis or hip impingement or just plain old BUM RA HIP ISSUES, I am going to CONTINUE having a good week.


1. Hubby. I asked Hubby to stay home so I could load up on the vicodin and get some 'better/more' sleep. And, Hubby stayed here, working from the house. Thank heavens for technology that makes this possible! Internet, Blackberry, fax machines...etc.

2. Kids. All three have gone above and beyond in supplying help to Mommy during the latest flaring and this hip issue.

3. Boy Scouts. It provides great leadership skills and experiences. For the family too. Next weekend we have a Scout trip to Gettysburg. It will be our second as a family. The boys and Hubby will be camping ON THE BATTLEFIELD. Soooooo awesome. Pumpkin and I will be camping at the Marriott Courtyard! LOL

Positive energy and prayers needed for my hip and flare to go AWAY so I can keep up in Gettysburg next week!

I may have to do a prednisone taper. I am thankful that I have this opportunity, yet its side effects make me hesitant. So, waiting at this point to see what happens.

4. Autumn. Oh how I love that crisp feeling in the air! No other season gets that snap. Nature's kaleidescope show is soon to begin on the trees... sigh. I love it! ::: sigh :::

5. Coffee. Tried a new flavor from Green Mountain called Pumpkin Spice. Not as awesome as Gingerbread, but close! Yum.

ps... coffee machine still acting up. BJ's has one on sale thank the caffeine gods.

6. NCIS and NCIS LA! I love both these shows! Yay! I am just happy that the new fall season is upon us and we have NEW things to watch! Some just fun, some thought provoking, some full of adventure and puzzles.

7. Life. It is good. I have people I love all around me. My kids, Hubby, and parents. I have friends who care. A roof over my head and money to pay the bills. Books and computer to entertain and educate.


And, that fact is NOT lost on me for one minute!

8. Pets. Even though Libby keeps pooping on the front lawn and pissing off my dad, even though Tina still hates me and loves Hubby who hates her, even though Suzy knocked over the hamster cage AGAIN yesterday, even though Pumpkin (the cat) is very obviously declining as she ages --- I wouldn't trade the love, comfort and entertainment that you all provide on a daily basis.

The hamsters could go though. Anyone? lol

9. Diet. It has been a tough two weeks. Feeling the loss in my clothes, but the scale stayed the same. First, I went 2 pounds while Aunt Flo visited, and now, I am back down but still holding at 10 pounds total. This is pissing me off, but this is also how we women lose. So, I am waiting out the plateau. I can't exercise because of the hip... frustrating.

I believe that covers it. :-D

May this entry find you well and happy in your world!

be well...