Archive | March 2011

ER Trip

I went to the doctor yesterday to have a lesion removed from my left upper eyelid caused from sun damage. He doesn’t think it’s cancer but he’s sending it to pathology just to be sure. I was the last person of the day and by the time I got from Cumming to Dawsonville (about 20 minutes) it was hurting really bad. By the time I got my antibiotic from Kroger I was in so much pain I was crying. I ended up driving to the ER I was in so much pain.
The whole left side of my face was in pain. I couldn’t even touch it. The ER doctor thinks that the swelling from the eye put pressure on the nerve that zigzags down your face and that caused the pain. It took a shot of Morphine and then a shot of Diluadid to make the pain go away. They also had to give me Benadryl cause the Morphine made me start to itch really bad. They gave me something for nausea but with no food and two pain med shots I was pretty sick to my stomach. Good times! LOL! It feels better this morning, but the swelling has gotten worse and under my eye is swelling also. Blah!
Here I am this morning. Sorry I didn’t get all prettied up for you guys! I just didn’t have it in me. 🙂 Oh, do notice how clean and pretty my teeth are! I had to go to the dentist yesterday also!!! What a day!

Simple Life

In an attempt to change our life style into a simpler life I have managed to make my hubbies life a little more complicated. It’s alright in the long run he will thank me for the compost and fresh vegetables, if I don’t manage to kill them all this year.

First, we (HE) built a raised garden. We are both completely jealous of the old man down on the corner. I sear that man has never done a thing in his garden. I’ve never even seen him plant anything! Still every year it grows and grows and grows! It’s a miracle I say! From what other people say he wakes up before dawn and does it all. I like to think little elves do it and would love to know how to get some to move into my yard! I’m willing to build them a little elf house even!

Anyway, yes, I ramble I’m pretty sure I mentioned that in my introduction. Our garden last year didn’t do all that well. I think we got one bell pepper and some tomatoes. The deer beat us to most of the tomatoes. Don’t get me wrong they did try to share. I just don’t like the idea of eating the other half of a tomato that a deer left me in her kindness. So this year we are trying it again. Instead of tilling the ground and adding stuff to it we built a raised garden and started from scratch. We are going to put some type of fencing around it. It may or may not help. We will see.

Here is my wonderful new raised garden. I will take more pictures later when I have wonderfully huge vegetables growing in it! 😉

Here is my poor hubby building my compost bin. He really is a GREAT husband! He puts up with me and all of my crazy ideas! Thank you Sweetie!!!

This weekend…

I know I haven’t talked about Sjogren’s much, but now is the time. Part of the reason for this blog is to talk about it. This year I am going to be an ambassador for the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation. I decided that writing about it was one of the things that would help people. A person with Sjogren’s feels alone much of the time. People see you in public and think,  you look fine so you must be fine. That is not the case. We have our good days and we can get out and do things then we have our bad days. If we have to out on our bad days we fake it the best that we can. If out in public I will not let you know how bad I am hurting. Of course that is just who I am.

It is hard for me to put this out there. I don’t really talk about my problems online or in public. Until recently I didn’t talk about it much to my family or friends. As it seems to be taking over my life I am talking about it more. I want people to understand. I also don’t want the others that have Sjogren’s to feel alone. You aren’t crazy, no matter how many times you go to the doctor and they can’t figure out what is wrong with you! On average it takes 7 years to diagnose a person with Sjogren’s. I want to change that or at least help change that.

The past 3 days have been bad for me. Sjogren’s can cause many things. I have come to the conclusion if you don’t know what is causing it then blame it on Sjogren’s. That doesn’t really seem fair, but for the most part it is true. Even if you do know what it is, more than likely it is still caused from Sjogren’s. It surprises me when something is not caused by Sjogren’s. This weekend I have been having a flare. Or should I say a flare within a flare? The past few month have been some of the worst months yet. The medicine is not helping and I have been in pain almost 24 hours a day.

This past weekend I had a gastro flare, which is also caused by SJS (Sjogren’s) I get to where I feel fatigue to the point that I can’t get up or do much. Sometimes I get to where I feel fluish. I am tired, achy and have chills. My gastro flare seems to be all of these things with nausea and headaches. My Hiatal Hernia also started acting up. I’ve had bad chest pain from it.

I have had gastro problems for years. I finally went to the Gastroenterologist last year. I had a study that watched the food move through my stomach. I found out that I have mild Gastroparesis.  This would explain why I feel like puking after I eat, but it does not explain the pain that I have often. I have different pain. Sometimes it is right under my ribs and sharp. It feels like something heavy is there. I also have pain around my heart. I feel like it is a heart attack. The pain is so bad and I am doubled over. I had an endoscopy and found out that there is nothing causing my Gastroparesis, so the doctor thinks it is caused from Neuropathy. My Neurologist says he doesn’t think so. Hmmm… After many visits with my Neurologist I am going to change doctors.

Last time I felt like this it lasted almost three weeks and it got to where I couldn’t eat before it got better. I hope it doesn’t last as long this time. The pain is bad enough in my joints. The nausea, aches, chills and fatigue just put me out.

And the winner is?

We went to a birthday party yesterday and I decided to bring a potato salad that I had made for the first time last week. It’s called Big Daddy’s Grilled Blue Cheese-and-Bacon Potato Salad. I love it, but my husband hates it. He wouldn’t even eat all of it on his plate! I thought that I must be crazy or something if he disliked it that bad. Then my brother tried it and he really liked it and my mom tried it and she loved it to. I have decided that my husband is crazy not me!

So I made the potato salad and brought it to the party. Everybody loved it! Every time I went into the kitchen people were raving about the potato salad! I was so proud of myself! Hehe! After a little bit another potato salad came out of the fridge. I tried that one and it was great also! So I’m posting both the recipes here.

Here is the one that I made. It is so easy which makes it perfect for a party.

Big Daddy’s Grilled Blue Cheese-and-Bacon Potato Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Other: 35 minutes
Yield: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3  pounds  baby red potatoes, cut in half
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 1  cup  mayonnaise
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4  cup  white balsamic vinegar*
  • 2  teaspoons  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
  • 1  cup  thinly sliced red onion
  • 4  ounces  crumbled blue cheese
  • 6  bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Place potatoes in a single layer in center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring up foil sides over potatoes; double fold top and side edges to seal, making 1 large packet.

2. Grill potatoes, in foil packet, covered with grill lid, 15 minutes on each side. Remove packet from grill. Carefully open packet, using tongs, and let potatoes cool 5 minutes.

3. Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add potatoes, tossing gently to coat. Stir in onion, blue cheese, and bacon.

*Balsamic vinegar may be substituted but will darken the color of the dressing.

Here is the other yummy potato salad! Now if someone could tell me a cornichon is I might be able to make it!

Cold-Fashioned Potato Salad

  • Prep Time: 35 min
  • Inactive Prep Time: 9 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds red potatoes, large diced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 tablespoon very thinly sliced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fine chopped cornichons
  • 1/2 cup small dice red onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place potatoes into a large heavy-bottomed pot. Cover with cold water and place over medium heat. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and remove lid. Gently simmer until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and place into an ice bath to cool. Remove skin by rubbing with a tea towel. Slice potatoes into rounds and place into a zip top bag. Add the vinegar and toss to coat all of the potatoes. Place the bag into the refrigerator overnight.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, tarragon, garlic, cornichons, onions, and celery. Once evenly combined, add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Soap Scrubby

I’ve been saving up my bits of soap in the shower knowing that some day I would make something to put them in. I’ve become a very frugal person. Well, to a certain extent. I’ve made changes in our lives to save money and the environment.

Soap Saver

I found this great pattern for a soap saver at Joy of Life. It doesn’t look like she is blogging any more, but I figured I’d link her anyway. I am using Lily Sugar’n Cream mixed with tulle to make these. I cut the tulle into strips of about 1″ – 2″ and tie them together so I can use them. I use a strand of the yarn and a “strand” of the tulle. I like the tulle with the smaller holes. It is not as rough as some of the other tulle. I guess it depends on how scratchy you want your soap scrubby. I wanted it to have some texture to exfoliate but not enough to take my skin off!

I was really pleased with the outcome! It suds up really well. The first time I put it on the shower floor while the water is warming up to get the soap mixed into the fabric. After that it suds up right away. They are washable so I’m making extra so I can always have them around. Mom wants some now. I guess that’s what I’ll be working on next!

Q-tip Basket

I recently had to start doing eye cleanses which involves dipping q-tips in a baby shampoo/water mixture and rubbing it on the edges of my eyelids. The joy of dry eyes! This is supposed to help my eyes and help my brand new plugs in my eye ducts. By the way, I love the new set. The first plugs were too small and kept popping up and I was pushing them back in all day and they rubbed on my eyelids. After a week of that they fell out on their own. The new ones are the next size up and they stay in! I can’t even tell that they are there. I even have tears in my eyes now! My eye drop usage had dropped greatly. I’m not waking up 4 or more times a night to put drops in my eyes! Yippy!

Q-tip Basket

OK, my dry eye rant/celebrations is over. Back to my regularly scheduled post on my q-tip basket! So, like I said I have had to use large amounts of q-tips and to tell you the truth… I’m lazy. I like things to be easy. My q-tips belong in the cabinet in their original packaging. Well, after a few days that package then belonged on the counter. I got tired of seeing it on my counter and having to open the little flap to get inside and try to pull a q-tip out. That is when I began dreaming of something to hold my q-tips on my counter that was cute and of course handmade. Here is my nifty q-tip basket!!!

This is part of a set that can be made. I made the large one and decided to fold it. I’m not sure as to what the height ended up being. I just made it taller than the q-tips and on the fold I crocheted in the front loop only for that round. This was an easy and fun project to work on.

Have a wonderful night!

I found this patter on Raverly: Vanity Basket Trio by Julia Kroyan

Hello world!

I am a mother of a 16 year old boy, 19 year old daughter, 8 cats and 11 fish. I am a  wife to a man who is willing to put up with me, I live life the best that I can and deal with what it dishes out in my own special way. I have Sjogren’s Syndrome and  depression (plus other crap), love to crochet and garden, spend as much time outdoors as possible, and a little bit of everything in between… I enjoy pretty much anything that is new but I’m far from being an expert on anything!

A few years ago my life changed yet again. I went through a divorce and married the man of my dreams. Funny thing is, it all started with a blog. Before my separation I started a blog about my life and concerns with my marriage. I blogged religiously. There wasn’t a day that went by without a new post or several. A few months after I started, my marriage did end. We separated and went our own ways. While blogging I met many wonderful people online. Many who I still talk to today and one that I married.

The first time I saw his blog I felt a strange connection to him. We were both going through similar things so I just wrote it off to that. We commented on each others blogs for a few years and that was it. One day I decided to add one of those chat things on my blog and he decided to chat with me. From there it led to the phone and eventually we met in person. By the time we met in person I already knew he was the one that I was meant to be with.

A few months later I moved to Florida. My son and I were going to live there until Stephan retired from the Air Force. I was supposed to be there a year and a half. I moved there on a Friday. I was excited to start the next phase of my life. It was great! We were three blocks from the beach and starting a new family.

Then Tuesday rolled around… my new husband to be came home with orders to go to Turkey for a year! I ended up living in Florida for three months and moving back to Georgia. We got married on November 25, 2009 and he left for Turkey on November 26, 2009. For the next year we were back to our internet relationship. Only this time instead of a state away we were half a world apart! His daughter moved in with her mom for the year that he was gone and my son and I lived in an apartment  in GA.

During that year my health problems were getting worse. I finally went to a Rhuematologist and after a few tests and what not I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome. It can take many years to be diagnosed so I was pretty lucky that everything lined up just right. I’ve had symptoms for years, since my teens. I had never thought much of it. It was normal for me. At the time I would have flares, but they would only last for a few weeks or so. I mainly had stomach problems, fatigue, dry eyes, dry mouth, and brain fog. Things have changed a lot since then!

Before Stephan’s year was up in Turkey I got to go and visit for a few weeks. We made that time our honeymoon time! We had a great time. Turkey is beautiful. If you ever get the chance to go then go! There is so much to see. We also took a short trip over to Chios, Greece. We rented a motorcycle and rode around the island for a few days. It was amazing and just so free feeling. We didn’t make reservations we just went and stopped where and when we wanted to.

Stephan finally got to move back to the states and ended up in Alabama. He was four hours away this time. We decide that I would stay in GA since he would be there for less than a year. The time he would be there was also split between two school years. I decided to just stay here and keep my son in school here. His daughter wanted to move back in with him, so she moved from her mom’s to Stephan’s in AL. We all saw each other on the weekends during that time.

Again it was getting close for his retirement. He was figuring out the paperwork and what needed to be done. He was waiting for his Top Secret Clearance to be renewed and then he was going to drop his paperwork for retirement. Well… that didn’t happen. The Air Force with their super spy network found out and sabotaged our plans yet again! This time he got orders to go to Kosovo for six months. We had just bought a house in preparation for our family all being together. This time his daughter decided to live with me, since she would end up in this school in six months. She didn’t want to have to change schools yet again.

While Stephan was gone I lost my job. This gave me time to do a lot of the improvements on our house before he came home. This time before he came home he had all of his retirement in place. We weren’t going to take the chance of him being sent off again! He got back to the states in May 2010. He had a  little more than a month in AL before he could start his terminal leave. In July of 2010, a little more than 2 1/2 years after we got married, we FINALLY got to live together! For the first time in our married life we were living under the same roof!!!

He officially retired from the United States Air Force on September 1, 2010. Due to the job market it took a while for him to get a job. It was not easy during that time. Money was really tight. After nine months he found a job and has been there since.

At that time I was in pain most of the time and going to so many doctors that working, taking care of a house and a family seemed impossible. When I was working I couldn’t keep up. There were so many days that I came home and fell asleep and didn’t wake up until the morning. I didn’t have the energy to do it all. My memory was getting worse and there were many times that I could not remember how to do parts of my job.

My depression and anxiety was getting bad. I have clinical depression so I have been on medication most of my life. I started in my early twenties. I didn’t realize it how bad it was getting until it was too late. It tends to sneak up on you. I ended up in a mental hospital for a little bit but it really helped me turn around and get back on track.

After trying for a few years I was able to get Disability. Not working has made life easier. I still have issues but not as bad since I’m not pushing myself to do everything. Well, that’s the low down on the past few years, well eight years.

I will talk about my medical issues on this blog. It isn’t for sympathy it’s to let others that have the same or similar issues know that they are not alone and to educate those of you that just don’t have a clue as to what it is like for us. I’d also like to take a stab at educating those that think we are faking it and that it is all in our head. 🙂

I do my best to see the positive in everything no matter how bad it is. I use jokes to get through everything. I am not good when it comes to filters on my mouth or my hands so if you think you might be offended when I talk about the loony bin or any other crazy ass shit I say you might not want to visit here often. I can’t change what my life is. I can only try to make it better and not give up on the things that I love. This will pretty much be a blog of my learning experiences whether new or old. Come along for the ride or jump off while we are moving cause I’m not stopping!

Jen