Showing posts from January, 2007

How much can a heart take?

As I write this, Ed is on his way over to Lakeland. We got the phone call at 1:15. When the phone rings at that hour, and it lists Mom's number, its never a good sign.

Jane has heart failure again. This worries me because:
-She recently had bronchitis
-She's had several heart attacks
-She's had heart failure before
-She's diabetic and has bottomed and topped out before (including a time where she had both in one ER visit just over a year ago)

So, I ask, how much can a heart take? Does it bounce back from all of the episodes, or does it get weaker and weaker? She had to take a medical retirement a few years back due to her health, my fear is that these episodes will take a toll on her mobility.

Please spare some good thoughts. Oh yeah, if you have the answer to my question, let me know.


It seems that many things I've done in my life were completed before my peers. I got married first, then of course, I got divorced. I bought a house, then built two more. I had kids. That one my siblings beat me to it by many years, but as far as the peer set goes, Ed and I were the first.

In many respects, I feel it is a good thing to have blazed the trail. The divorce was a tricky minefield, but it made me a stronger person. I've remarried and he accepts my flaws. A couple of friends are going through this pain right now. As I write this, I'm so incredibly thankful that I went through it and can give support and be a sounding board for others going down that path.

Both friends are going through rough patches in this and I want you both to know you WILL get through it. I think you better people for not staying in a relationship that was making you miserable. Throwing in the towel takes incredible strength-and I'm here to listen when you're not feeling a…


Ed and I had high hopes that moving to Florida would mean many of our friends would visit us in the Sunshine state. Honestly, we bought a four bedroom home with the thought that many would want to escape the cold and yuck of winter.

Here we are, two and a half years later and our most frequent visitor is already a Florida resident. (If we had our way, she'd be here every weekend, right, Donna?) As such, the original plan of putting a Murphy bed in that fourth bedroom has been scrubbed and it's full speed ahead on the home office with computers for each of us.

One friend that was made through Yahoo groups and the DISboards has visited with his family and made contact again today for his wife and son to visit during Easter Break. I'm looking forward to the wife's approaching retirement so that they can move to Lakeland. We get heads up whenever they're coming down, their son is the same age as our older son and they're nice people to be around.

Older friends, w…

All Hail Neurontin

If you've ever suffered from insomnia, you can understand my praise right now. For the past two nights, I've been able to sleep for more than 3 1/2 to 4 hours. It is amazing how much more rested I feel today with 7 hours sleep that was uninterrupted! Yay, Neurontin, or rather, the generic equivalent.

I wake up with pain, but not the excruciating "Oh my God I'm going to hack my leg off at the knee to stop this!" pain I had been experiencing. However, now that I'm not feeding the body the Vicodin through the night, it seems like I have had to bump up from a pill to a pill and a half during the day. I see the doctor on Wednesday and will bring that up.

Nurse Kathy brought up that this really isn't RSD, she felt it was more a peripheral neuropathy. She sent me some links, and while the symptoms of the two are very similar, I do fit the PN diagnosis much more closely. Instead of specifically seeing a pain managment doctor, I'm probably headed to …

Signs the Apocalypse is nigh...

Commercials on the air that surely mean the end is near...

Ad comes on with happy peppy music from my youth. The Buzzcocks. It's a nice flashback to the 80's and clubbing at Spize, Spit, Malibu and Shout...except the music is being used for a FRIGGIN AARP commercial. Uh uh, got a while to be eligible for that !

Speaking of money, one of the car companies has been Spinal Tapped. They are using "Gimme Some Money" and each time I hear it, I picture Michael McKean like he appeared in the movie, in a suit and a Beatleseque mop top, singing ever so jauntily.

So, are they desperate for money, or is the end near? You tell me...

Another one for the weird medical issues list....

There's a new medication in my life, to go with a new diagnosis. Tentative, but still, my nurse practitioner felt that what I presented is, in fact, RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). This is a neurological issue that is indicated by severe, burning pain; tissue swelling; and sensitivity to touch. Those knives in the calves and stinging pain I've mentioned are indicative of having it.

As such, I've been put on Gabapentin (Neurontin) to curb the overactive nerve endings. It's supposed to make me dizzy and tired and coexist with the Vicodin to help me sleep. I'm still waiting.

The weird part, which we all know is par for the course with me:
Nurse Kathy continued to triage when I called for her input and informs me that the pain is a neuropathy. This is a disorder affecting *DIABETICS*, because their circulation in compromised. The Gabapentin is supposed to increase blood flow.

Hmmm, I have circulatory issues. I have neuropathy/RSD and yet I AM NOT DIABETIC! Ad…

Double Edged Sword

I love having the blog. It's been great for airing things, good and bad. Many of you comment after a new post comes up-and it becomes a springboard for good conversation. Thanks.

The down side is that sometimes there are things I want to get off my chest, but I don't feel the freedom to blog about it. Suffice to say, there's an issue that bothers me, but I won't be posting about it. Not yet, anyway.

Vacation days...

Yesterday, Monster Jam came to Tampa. As my men are fond of this event, I asked the boss if perhaps I could use some of my vacation time to get off work at 6pm and send two of them over to the stadium for this event. Older's son's sensory issues, coupled with his indifference for it (unlike his younger brother), made this seem like the most logical way to handle this event.

Boss decided Friday morning that I could take a whole vacation day in an effort to cut our payroll budget at the store. We're set up that sick days and personal days are counted in our payroll dollars, but vacation days are not. Okay, works for me, I'd do something with older son while the other two enjoyed the event.

Alas, Ed went to buy the tickets and they were sold out. I now have a vacation day, so this means we *must* do something with it. :) The kids had asked last week for Sea World and the Zoo, so the Zoo was today's destination.

It was a great day for it-nice warm temperatures, …

Smiling Son

Chef Jr. is not a morning person. I have to say he comes by it honestly. Wake him for school in the morning and he's a class A crab. A half hour later, he's his usual happy go lucky self. His usual M.O. when he's happy is to sing, hum or whistle the way through the day.

This morning, I used the speedy way to chipper kid and snuggled with him for a few minutes. Mission accomplished, he set about getting ready for school in a good mood.

As I'm preparing the boy's lunches, he begins whistling. I realize what he's whistling and laugh. His repetoire this morning was the theme music to the Enzite commercial. You know, the one with "Smiling Bob" that sells medicine for erectile dysfunction. I am laughing, but I can't explain to him what is so darn funny.

I guess he figured that he was happy, and "Smiling Bob" is happy, so why not whistle the "Smiling Bob" song!

Sea World

We headed over to Orlando and visited Sea World yesterday. The fun in having annual passes (APs) is that one does not feel any pressure to try to cram everything into one visit. We got there at 1:30 and made a circuit around the park. The only hard and fast I had is that I wanted to see Believe, the new Shamu show. On our first visit, we'd seen some of the dress rehearsals for the show, which opened three weeks later.

Our impression of the park is that it is always immaculate, with employees everywhere. Each encounter with their staff is positive. I get the impression that they took Disney's idea and improved on it by giving their employees free beer!

We stopped at the stingray tank, which is a given with the boys. If there are stingrays anywhere nearby, they'll spend some time petting them (and getting splashed a time or two). Next up was alligators, then penguins.

The hollow leg child chose this point to insist on his ice cream. Mind you, he ate every morsel of h…

The leg

The leg, what fun it has been.

Healing is a slow process. Ed commented that the wounds have become much shallower and they have. However, I'm now experiencing some fun in the form of nerve damage. Sometimes, my lower calf feels like people are sticking chef's knives in it and twisting to and fro. It typically happens when I'm not very active, but it happened at work the other day and was pretty bad.

I called Nurse Kathy (lol) and presented symptoms and my theory that it might be RSD, albeit a much milder form than what she's dealing with. It sure sounds like nerve issues. I've called the doctor to let them know (again) about this issue, but for now, I'm dealing with it on my own. I suppose he wrote the script for the Vicodin with multiple refills because he saw this noted on my chart.

I have noticed that it gets much worse if the wounds are allowed to dry out or if there is too much pressure on them. The sucky part of this is my lovely adhesive allergy. …

Punchbuggy Blue

This evening I had to run out to the local supermarket so that the kids would have lunches. As the leg has been pretty bad today, I opted to use the store's motorized scooter.

At the checkout, the front end manager orders one of the young men to assist me out to my car. This is a service they cheerfully offer to do, and I usually cheerfully decline. However, today I just didn't feel like schlepping the stuff to the car on foot.

The young man and I make small talk on the way to the car, and once we stopped at the car, he lit up. "This is your car?" When I said yes, he tells me that he LOVES seeing my car in the lot because he plays punchbuggy, lol. He'd recognized my car in the lot off and on for the past two years, but didn't have any idea who the owner was shopping in the store. We ended up chatting about Beetles for a few minutes, which was very nice.

I like driving my car and catching the reaction of little kids. Sometimes, the big kid's reacti…