Monday, March 28, 2011

(((((((((( Ring Ring, Ring Ring )))))))))

I received a really unspecific call-back time - someone (we don't know who) will call sometime Monday between 1 pm and 5pm (no, we can't be more specific)... So I've been sitting here for over 2 hours waiting for the phone to ring.  I hurried through a call from hubby because I didn't want to tie up the phone line.  I used my pay-as-you-go cell to make 2 other short calls.  And still, then phone doesn't ring.  Yet, as soon as I leave the room to pee (heaven forbid!) I know that it is going to ring.  And I refuse to take the phone to the little girl's room.  Even I have standards!

I was under the assumption that this company had a maximum call-back policy (48 hours if it is a non-emergency). I know I know... people are busy, it's Monday, the "busiest" day of the work week.  Things get put aside because they are less important.  Your number gets forgotten on the list until the next day - when they are liable to call between 8 am  and 1 pm while I am at work, and knowing my luck, won't leave a message.  Or the person you left a message with on Saturday forgot to press send on the e-mail notification.  Or they took down my home number incorrectly.  Or the call-center building in the middle of nowhere had a power failure and their computers didn't back up the information which was to be sent out so someone could call me... or 101 other unforeseeable circumstances completely beyond my control.  I hate waiting for phone calls.

If you've never heard this ring tone from the movie Bedtime Stories, listen, you'll get a chuckle... I'm about to the last "ring" right about now!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday's Reflections Etc.

Yes, I know, I fell off the Ten on Tuesday wagon... sorry.  There's just been a lot going on and not a lot of time to post.  I'm taking care of me right now and trying not to sweat the small stuff.

I'm very sad today.  I found out yesterday that a long-time email / FB friend passed away.  She battled cervical / ovarian cancer and was told she won, only to find out a couple years later the doctors were wrong.  During radiation treatments they had damaged her kidneys to the point she needed a transplant.  Then more and more tests.  More and more doctors.  More and more opinions.  And finally a verdict that no one wanted to hear.  I'm very very saddened by the failure by the doctors in her area to properly diagnose, treat and follow up on her cancer.  She did everything she could to tell them something was still wrong.  They didn't listen.  She fought very hard but lost her final battle on Sunday.  Rest in peace Steph... I'll miss you're crazy antics, your collection of furry and scaly and swimming creatures.  I'll miss our emails and FB chats.  You were one of my cheering squad during my brain surgery and I'll never forget your support.  Rest pain free forever my dear friend.

I have been going through a gauntlet of appointments - physio, acupuncture, massage - and I'm starting to feel better.  I'm not saying I'm 100%, but I notice a little thing here and there.  Like the feeling returned to my thumb and finger for a couple days.  And a little more energy.  I have been doing a bit more yoga.  Yoga is helping keep me calm and centred.  I plan to go for another infrared sauna tomorrow.  The sauna helps with detoxing my system and helps my arthritis.  I'm taking my iron supplement and powdered barely greens every day.  My physio tapes my shoulder blades in place helps take the pressure off of my brachial nerve.  This helps with pain management.  So I'm taped 5 days of the week.  Acupuncture is doing a little of everything - detoxing, pain management, centring.  I really find it helping.  I haven't really had a headache in I don't know how many weeks :)  I still don't sleep well, but that's something to work on.  My strength is very slowly improving too.  Little steps on the big road to recovery.

Hubby and I are confirmed as puppy owners-to-be.  Or more correctly, we're going to be owned by a Weimaraner :)  The puppies should be ready to go to home at the end of April, early May.  We are extremely excited.  We spend hours reading, researching, browsing products and food.  We go to the pet shops and look at all the fun stuff we get to buy her.  Compare food and treats.  And we argue back and forth about it.  I know how very important all this stuff is and will be for puppy, I just never thought we would argue about it!

We're deciding on names...  Whadda you think??

We both like:
Lily or Willow

He likes:
Skye or Lacey

I like:
Portia or Sela

(Photos are all courtesy of our breeders at Breica Weimaraners)  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Feeling Better and Worse

Chinese medicine is doing something.  Along with the acupuncture and cupping and heat treatment, the addition of liquid iron to my diet to help my anemia, I'm feeling like a human being.  Really, almost normal.  (well, normal for me!)  I don't have the dizzy spells I was having which leads me to believe it was more an iron deficiency issue than a POTS issue (hopefully!).  I've had 3 treatments.  I go for my 4th on Monday, then I have a couple of weeks off as there were no openings.  I'm pleasantly surprise, and a little relieved.  Feeling better was the whole goal here.  One step at a time.

In addition to the liquid iron supplement I am also taking barley greens once a day.  I have to mix it with V8 juice, just can swallow that "green" flavour on its own.  So, that is some much-needed protein my body was lacking.

I'm eating.  And I'm hungry!  And food is staying with me so I'm actually benefitting from the nutrients for a change.  I know, I know, it's only been 4 weeks, but I'm noticing the slight differences.  

Yesterday I went for an infrared sauna.  Very different from a traditional Finnish sauna that I'm used to.  It heats you, not the air, so you can breath and it is more comfortable.  It also doesn't just make you sweat but improves your immune system, cardiovascular system, detoxifies, improves the appearance of burns and scars... and the list goes on.  It is good for conditions like arthritis, bronchitis and much more.  I was roasted in about 25 minutes at 70C / 158F, but it doesn't feel that hot.  I know I can't handle a traditional sauna much over 50C / 120F.  

At physio we have started strength training.  Very very gradually.  I'm talking bicep curls with stretch banding - 3 sets of up to 10 reps.  Right now I manage 3 sets but at most 7 reps.  But it is a start.  And my shoulder blades are taped in place to 1 - minimize pain and 2 - reduce pressure on the brachial nerve bundle.  I'm happy with my progress so far, it's only been 2 weeks.

And on the puppy front... Macy's litter was born March 4th and China's litter on March 10th.  Hubby and I are sooooooooooooooo excited.   Sometime in May we will have our own sweet baby girl Weimaraner.  We've seen tons of pictures and chatted online with the breeder.  We send emails back and forth and she answers our questions as soon as she is free.  Poor breeder, she had the flu when the first puppies were born, moved (including her horse and all the dogs!), and was just settling in when the second litter arrived.  I don't think she's had much sleep!!  We are very happy with her knowledge and how quickly she gets back to us.  We can't wait until May!!

And on the worse front... I was supposed to go see my great-aunt this morning.  She was admitted to our hospital from her home 3 hours west of here.  But I'm running a low fever and feel blah so I don't want to pass on anything to her.  Probably a bit of a bug.  Ugh.  I hate feeling like this.  I'm hungry, but my tummy has been rumbly and I don't want to put anything in it except maybe some ginger...  I hope this passes soon.

Oh, and also on the better front - I have had headaches that go away within a few minutes, without taking anything for them.  Not sure why, but I'M LOVING IT!!  Headache "free" for a couple weeks now! (BIG SMILEY GRIN!!!!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


My sense of time is very strange right now.  I'll ask hubby what day it is and not understand that it's already Wednesday.  Where did Sunday, Monday and Tuesday go??  I'm chalking the time warp to stress and fatigue and 101 other things running through my head lately.

So because of these time warps I'm stuck in, I really owe you an update... so here's the Cliff Notes versions... because seriously, I lose track of time and it'll take me hours to do a full update.

EMG Nerve Study Results:
I have a possible answer for the shoulder issues.  Brachial Neuritis.  There is possibly a lesion on my brachial nerve.  This caused the arm / shoulder issues just after my brain surgery in June.  Good news - it's not a permanent condition.  It's on average a 2 year recovery.  I can live with that. 

I've been for 2 visits.  I felt better after my first visit - more centred and refreshed.  I was so stressed at visit #2 that I don't think I could relax even if you drugged me.  But I have 4 more visits booked.  I will continue to see the acupuncturist, who is actually a Dr. of Chinese Medicine (BIG GRIN and thumbs up!) for a couple of months.  She is working on not only my arm / nerve issues but also my horrible digestive tract and my arthritis - which is out of control right now because of the cold - warm - dry - damp - snowing - cloudy - sunny - can't make up it's mind!! weather forecasts lately.  She explained some of my EMG results and will review my MRIs as well.  She is taking in the Western medicine findings and treating where she can with acupuncture, inferred and some other heat therapy, cupping etc.  She has discovered a couple things without me telling her about them too and I think she is a genius.  From my pulse she could tell my GI tract has been acting up lately.  From my tongue and my eyes that I'm severely anemic again - due to the GI issues... And a few other things.  I started an iron supplement and a green powder supplement to try and help the GI and anemia.  She is AMAZING and I'm so happy that I was referred to her.

I went to see a new physiotherapist yesterday.  He comes very highly recommended and I can see why. (He's the physio the local doctors go and see....  he's gotta be good.)  My consult was only supposed to be a few minutes for him to decide if he would take on a patient with brachial neuritis as he has not dealt with it in his 24 years of practice.  I was there an hour and a half.  And I came out with another appointment on Friday, two homework exercises and hope.  Hope of regaining all of the strength that I lost.  Hope of returning to my new normal life.  And finally understanding what all of the MRI, CT, and EMG reports mean.  No one has ever gone through a report with me.  Until the new physio and my acupuncturist that is.

I continue to work 4 hours a day and I'm still dragging my butt arm by the time I get home. (Like Igor in some horror film... my arm hanging limply in front of me...)  But I feel like I'm at least accomplishing something most days.  The dizzy spells I have from time to time cloud my thinking and I feel like I haven't done anything.  But it's getting better and I can at least see 1 place on my desk right now that is not a foot high with file folders.  My bosses continue to support me and are amazing through all of my return to work.  The young lady they hired to assist me with the filing, copying, etc is working out very well.  It's great to have the help.  I don't feel like I'm floundering as much anymore.

The long-term disability assessor is going to send someone to assess me at work.  Don't know what it will entail or what will be involved.  But I'm looking at it as a positive.  Help me get back to my new normal.

We're looking at getting a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm just a little excited, and a little anxious!!  And we're going to get MY puppy!! MY DREAM PUPPY!!! My "I've wanted one all of my life" puppy!!  Hubby spends every evening on the internet researching breeders and the dogs.  We have sent away several applications to breeders in Canada and the US.   I have 3 books checked out from the library sitting beside me on the couch.  Hubby sits and reads it out loud to me after supper.  (I'm too tired to focus on anything lately... darn anemia!) (And I've also been SUPER B!T@HY lately because I'm so tired... poor hubby)

Doesn't she just make your heart melt??? This isn't the actual puppy.  Someone else owns this little sweetheart... the litter we're interested in isn't born yet... (this is actually the mom of one of the litters!)

and finally...

It's up, it's running great.  There are 5  2 new fishies living here now, for starters.  2 angel fish and 3 2 bronze corydories.  I love to sit and watch the fish play in the current from the output.  And they love to come to the side of the tank when we're standing close.  They almost beg to be fed! (Argh... do to a phosphate problem in my tank the 2 angels and 1 cory died within 12 hours of posting this so I had to "amend" it... back to the beginning with the fish, again.)

For today, there's the last few weeks in a nutshell.  I'm exhausted.  Time for some down-time.