Sunday, February 28, 2010

WOW but I'm feeling the after-effects of helping my friend move yesterday. My fatigue level is nearly as bad as the pre-iron-pill days. This is how I know my numbers are probably worse now than the last time I had a blood count done... I certainly feel worse now than I did a couple weeks ago. I wish I hadn't needed to go off the freaking iron pills for five days in advance of that procedure. (And I wish even more that Mother Nature hadn't timed an iron-depleting natural function to take place during that five-day span.)

But all in all, THANK GOD we managed to accomplish the move without anyone getting injured and with only one damaged item (the glass in one large picture frame). The weather held out so we didn't have to drive through ice and snow, and our middle-aged bodies held out so nobody ended up in the ER at any point.

Though I seriously considered an ER visit for myself during Mass today, when my brain went completely blank at one point while I was interpreting. Ugh. It was during one particularly long prayer sequence where I was signing for a couple of minutes without any break, and I reached a point where my brain and body just physically zoned out. It's a nasty, disorienting feeling and I'm glad it only happened once. (Which is one more time than I wanted it to happen, believe me.)

I have two doctors' appointments this week -- the hematologist and my primary care doctor. So, barring any of the "go to the ER" symptoms that my primary care doc listed for me in December, I don't have to do anything strenuous between now and those appointments. Which is good, because I'm absolutely drained.

I'll have to give Joe M and John a call later today, to see how the're holding up. After all, they still had stuff to do after we unpacked the truck and the car... they had to actually put away the things we unpacked. After unpacking, we could just go home and collapse.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Handle With Care

We're moving John R; I thought this box lid was amusing. I'm sure it originally said GLASS and THIS side up, but where's the fun in that?

Friday, February 26, 2010

I finished knitting my SECOND attempt at a hat last night. The first one turned out too small, plus it was full of mistakes because I'd never knitted something round on double-pointed knitting needles before.

So I used the REST of the yarn in the skein on another hat, which this time came out the correct size. Hat, Round 2 looks far better than its predecessor, because I was able to make it without the errors that marred the first attempt. There's a lot to be said for old adages like "Practice makes perfect" and "Experience is the best teacher". In this case, practice and experience made for a substantial improvement.

But the yarn from the first hat won't go to waste. I took the small amount of yarn remaining from the skein, unraveled the first attempt at a hat, and made a ball of yarn from them. I can use that yarn to make something small. Or, having learned my lesson from my first attempts at hat-making, I can use spare yarn to practice new types of stitch before I try to use an unfamiliar technique to make an actual project.

In the meantime, I'm looking forward to my next trip out-of-doors so I can wear my handiwork. :-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What the heck has possessed me to depress myself by reading the CNN Money site's bleak articles on job searching and unemployment woes? At this ridiculously late hour, no less? I'd better find something more uplifting to read, so I don't go to sleep (or fail to fall asleep) with these miserable stats as the foremost thing in my brain. That's a recipe for dreams that are stressful at best, depressing at worst.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Today's tests are done. They didn't find anything of note, so there's no ulcer. I guess I'm just a carrier.

This leaves us back at square one. More testing will ensue next week at the GI doc's office.

Right now, I need to sleep off the rest of the anesthesia.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The meds seem to be mostly done annoying me to death. I wouldn't volunteer to do this for entertainment, but so far, it wasn't quite as abysmal of an experience as I'd feared. The laxative tasted all right (I used the lemon-lime flavor -- other choices included pineapple, orange, and cherry). And the process of the meds actually working wasn't as discomfort-filled as I'd feared it would be. I had worse discomfort from an entirely different, unrelated biological process that decided to run in tandem with today's medicine-induced events.

So if you're going in for a colonoscopy, and you haven't had one before, don't stress over the prep. Some parts of it are annoying in the extreme, but compared to the side effects I was expecting, today wasn't so bad.

I am MORE than ready for tomorrow's two procedures to be O-V-E-R, however.

If I don't get to post again before everything's done... say a prayer that what they find is something easily treated, so we can treat it and put an end to the situation once and for all. Iron pills treat the symptom, but I want the symptoms AND the problem resolved for keeps. To coin a phrase, I'm sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
Bah. At the same time that the laxative is starting to kick in, an entirely unrelated set of nearby abdominal muscles is also going into spasm. Mother Nature, you are a nuisance sometimes. One "organ recital" by itself would have been quite enough for one day; I really don't need two different parts of my innards to perform a duet.

Gentlemen who might read this paragraph, be glad you're gents and won't ever have to deal with this particular combination of symptoms.

Liquid/Clear Diet Day

Coffee without milk is a novelty, but I'm not so sure I'm prepared to make a habit of it. For the rest of the day, if I feel the urge to caffeinate, I might opt for tea. At least I'm used to drinking tea without milk.

I mixed the laxative solution at 8 AM, per the instruction sheet. Next up: take the two pills at 3 PM.

Liquid diet day

Today's the liquid/clear diet day. Jello, broth, juice, coffee/tea (no milk) are OK. Nothing red, b/c it could interfere with test results. I foresee homemade sno-cones in my immediate future.

The part I'm not relishing is the laxative. Everyone I know who's had the test done said the test is nothing, but the laxative is horrid. Oh, well. File it all under "necessary evil".

Sunday, February 21, 2010

For CRYING OUT LOUD. What raving lunatic designed the freaking traffic patterns around the freaking Deptford Mall? Going from 1750 Clements Bridge Road (the Adelphia Restaurant) to 1800 Clements Bridge Road (Joann Fabrics) is less than a half-mile. A person could WALK it in a matter of minutes. It should be simple to drive from one to the other, right?

WRONG, because it's a farging divided highway and there is no place to make a legal farging left turn. You have to drive on Clements Bridge Road for a while in the opposite direction from your destination, make a U-turn, then drive *past* the strip mall where Joann Fabrics is located, make another U-turn, and THEN you can finally turn into the strip mall parking lot. What the flying bleep? Was someone frightened by a left turn as a small child? Why is there no safe, convenient way to go that short distance by car?

We got the scenic tour of Deptford after overshooting the place where we should have made the second U-turn. Large amounts of backtracking later, we finally got to our destination. Far less time and gas would have been wasted if there had been even ONE place to make a legal left turn. Good freaking grief.

Every time I encounter traffic-patterns-from-Hell, I bless William Penn and his grid pattern design for streets. The rest of the world should only have followed his example.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The hat that matches the purple scarf is in the process of being created. I never knitted a round item before... working with five double-pointed knitting needles (they all have a point on each end instead of just the one end) presents a unique set of challenges, and has occasionally spawned the use of the same Italian vocabulary that I normally employ while driving. ;-) It's been an interesting project so far.

I've been enjoying watching the Olympics for the past week. This is the first Winter Olympics since I was injured in 1994 that I've been able to watch competitions that took place during the day. So I've seen a LOT of men's and women's hockey and curling, along with some of the other events that are being covered during primetime. I still wish hockey had remained an amateur-only competition, instead of putting the NHL on hold for two weeks. I would rather see teams that have played together over the long haul than all-star compilations that weren't even able to be assembled in Vancouver until the second or third day of the Olympics because NHL games were still going on.

But, having said that, GO USA. I hope OUR all-star compilation of pro players beats out all the other all-star compilations of pros.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What I see when I look at my lap

This is the view through my magnifying lens when I look at my lap. Captain is determined to add orange and white trim (via shedding) to my purple scarf. He's decided to park on my lap, regardless of the fact that my knitting was already there. He wants his share of my attention, no matter how engrossed I might be in getting this scarf made. :-)

I get this sneaking suspicion sometimes that my cats are spoiled. ;-)

Ash Wednesday

It's Ash Wednesday. Normally, this would constitute a fast day for me, as well as being a day to abstain from eating meat.

But it crossed my mind a few days ago that until the cause of the medical issue that was discovered in December is diagnosed, treated, and resolved, I am most likely exempt for health reasons from fasting or going meat-free today or on Fridays in Lent. I need to get iron via diet as well as pills, and as of tomorrow, I actually have to stop the pills for five days. I need to be off the iron pills and aspirin for several days in advance of the endoscopy/colonoscopy combo next Tuesday.

Given the fact that for the next five days, my ONLY iron intake will be via diet, this is not the time for fasting or avoiding food that contains iron.

If the testing on Tuesday reveals the cause of the problem, which I hope it will, and it's successfully treated and resolved fully before Lent is over, I'll go back to abstaining from meat on Fridays and I'll fast on Good Friday. But I'm not going to do that until/unless I get a clean bill of health from the docs.

Freaking unknown issue. I hope it shows itself on Tuesday so we can get the REAL treatment under way. The iron pills treat the symptom, but not the underlying issue. I want the whole issue resolved so I can get everything back to normal and it'll stay that way without daily meds. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bulldozers are clearing the snow at 11:30 PM

Philly's streets department has had its work cut out for it, with two blizzards in five days. But they're working at 11:30 PM on a Sunday, clearing snow with two bulldozers. I'm impressed.
The good news is that the scarf I posted the photo of has grown significantly over the course of the evening, and is now the length of my forearm.

The "oh, dear" news is that I've noticed a few things that are different since the last time I knitted/crocheted for an extended period of time (shortly after I graduated college, if the truth is to be told). First of all, an extended period of repetitive motion makes my fingers ache far more than it did when I was in my early 20s. Second of all, I now get eyestrain if I focus on something that's at a fixed distance for too long of a time. So I will have to work in shorter sessions and take breaks.

But even with these new issues that I have to deal with, it sure is fun to be making something again. It's been too long.

FW:My scarf is begun

My scarf-to-be is two inches long so far.

Back to basics

I've been thinking a lot lately about getting back into one of my old hobbies. I've neither knitted nor crocheted in years, but I did both avidly in the past.

After seeing the amount of enjoyment that my friend Donna H and my cousin Maryann get out of crafting, I remembered how much I used to like making things. So I've decided to head over to the nearest arts and crafts store, pick up some knitting needles, crochet hooks, and yarn, and... make things.

I only knew very basic stitches, Back In The Day, so I bought some books on Saturday night with instructions for some more-advanced techniques. I figure that with one knitting book, one crocheting book, and one that covers both topics, I should be good to go for a while. :-)

I have a few reasons for doing this. One is... Just Because. Another is, I need a scarf. :-) And one other is that there's a crafts consignment shop in Center City. I'd like to visit them and see what sort of things they sell. If their inventory is comparable to any of the things I can make, then it'll be worth my while to create some items and head over there to sell them. We shall see.

I'm really looking forward to that craft store visit, which will take place after Mass today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Still snowing heavily at 4:45 PM

4:45 PM and it's still snowing like crazy. We had rain and sleet in the morning, so it's hard to visually gauge today's snowfall totals. My guess-timate is, "a lot". ;-)

It's Baaaack

It's baaaaaack!

Here comes Mega-Snow, The Sequel. This time, the tree is full of snow, which looks neat. (Last time, the branches were bare.)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The grand total: 28.5" in Philadelphia. Whew. It's just barely less than our largest-ever storm in January 1996, which was 30".

Compare this to last night's pic

Compare this to last night's photo. 11.5 hours later, snowdrifts are as high as my car's trunk snd hood. The latest forecast says we should get 20" to 28". I think we're flirting with the low end of that guess-timate already.
According to the Weather Channel, Philly has received 17.8 inches so far. I know that we have some snowdrifts outside the house that are thigh-high.

We're nowhere near done. Fortunately, the cats are highly entertained by the current Extreme Snowflake Channel that's showing on Kitty TV, aka the front window.

Blizzard update

Our front steps are entirely buried. There are thigh-high snowdrifts.

Blizzard at 1 AM

Welcome to our blizzard. I think I heard the Weather Channel say Philly's had 10" accumulation so far. We're nowhere near done.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Oh. Em. Gee! One of my Facebook friends just friended someone who I haven't seen in eons. He had the Judas part in a production of Godspell for which I was a band member, eons and decades ago. (Our production did something a bit different from the norm, and split the John the Baptist/Judas part into two separate parts.) So I sent him a friend request myself.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with that theater company. It's a pity they're not still around -- it would be a blast to be involved with something like that again.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The weather radio just sounded an interesting alarm. The winter storm watch for this area has been cancelled and replaced with a blizzard warning from 4 PM Friday until 7 PM Saturday.

Apparently, instead of thinking we MIGHT get severe weather when this storm system arrives, now they're convinced that we WILL get some heavy-duty winter weather.

I may have to set up that webcam to film the view from our back window again. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mondays are still my "recover from the weekend" day. The fatigue is unbelievable. At least now I understand what's going on and that there's an actual reason for feeling that way.

It was a great weekend to recover from, though. The Flyers won, we got to see my in-laws to celebrate their respective birthdays, and we got to see Joe and Bob.

My father-in-law turned 88 on Friday, and my mother-in-law turns 81 today. God bless them both!