Sunday, March 22, 2015

New floor

When I went shopping for homes, the last thing I wanted was brand new carpet newly installed in the house... and in fact, there was one house that didn't quite meet my needs, but that  had a flooring allowance as it needed new floors. A second house had a few of the things I wanted, but would have been too hard to manage with my knee if I was having another flare up.... also needed new floors.

But it was the last house that I settled on that had everything I wanted (except the wood floors). This particular home came with stained white carpet through out. Since most new home buyers would shy away from a pee stained carpet, I got a bit of a deal on the home.

Sadly, my dog felt that it was wrong for her to let someone else pee on her floor and had to make sure her sent was more dominant - a dog, just being a dog, I know... but uck!

I've also spilled foods - and while I can treat stains, the truth is that I knew the carpet was on it's way out, so I wasn't eager to spend any time removing those stains.

The cat did her part as well, since she seems to think that it's her duty to leave me presents all around the house (vomit) - sigh....

But the tax refund and bonus from work have come through - it's time to get the flooring replaced. I've picked out some nice bamboo hardwood flooring and am hoping to place the order for them tomorrow and have them installed sometime towards the end of April.

I can't WAIT to have a floor to be less ashamed of.

We'll be treating and putting an underlayment in... I can only hope between that and speedy wiping I can keep the new floor from getting smothered in urine.

Sadly, this means packing up the first floor and relocating a ton of things to the garage. I think most of the furniture will easily fit into the garage. My yarn stash will probably get taken to the basement into rubbermaid tubs. I'm hoping while I have the rooms bare, we can take a little time to paint the bedroom and touching up some of the paint in the other rooms.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Four Years post Hysterectomy

Warning: There may be a bit of TMI in this post.

But, I've been telling strangers about it because it just has me completely struck in irritation... and apparently I need to talk about it. So, let's revive the ol' blog and see if I can't get this down and out there and out of my head for a bit.

June 2011 I had a partial hysterectomy. At the time, they were considering taking the ovaries as well... but since they thought it was adenomyosis, the plan going in was to take the ovaries if they found any sign of endometriosis (which I have had in the past and is notorious for coming back) and if they didn't - then they could leave the ovaries. They always planned on leaving the cervix so that I would have less downtime as the result of the surgery.

Sure enough, no sign of endometriosis - so I kept my ovaries. Since I wasn't looking forward to surgical induced menopause, I was kind of relieved. I did know that if there was any chance there was endometriosis hiding in there, that I could start spotting. And in fact, some women do spot for a year or so post surgery if they keep their ovaries. But I was fine.  When I started spotting a year ago, I thought... hmmm... wonder if they had missed some endometriosis. Since I had been warned spotting was a possibility, it didn't shake me up too much.

But then about two months ago - I started passing large amounts of clear mucous. I wasn't too concerned about it. I'd passed some in the past and knew that it was related to cervical issues possibly in the past - assumed this was the same and just kept an eye on it. If it was going to get cloudy, or darkly colored, or bloody - I was going to go in to get checked. It didn't and about a week later it stopped. (I did toss out the specific container of lubricant that had been used a couple of days before it had started... I just thought that maybe it had introduced some bacteria or something into my system).

Well, funny enough... about a month later. My period started. Yep. Post-hysterectomy 'miracle' period. I went to the doctor this time. To be completely honest, I was still thinking something cervical as far as an infection or something. Nope. A true menstral period, not spotting, but a true flow... albeit, a light flow.

This time I went in. I got checked out. Sure enough... it's a period.

Verdict? My crazy cervix is actually smaller than normal as apparently it was 'boggy' (what the heck does that mean anyway on a surgical report when talking about body parts???) ... in the surgery they removed the 'boggy' uterus and removed as much of the 'boggy' cervix as they could without causing more recovery time for me - leaving just a smidgen of it.

And... that itty bitty bit of a cervix has decided to grow an endometrial lining. Not endometriosis since that has to occur outside of the uterus and cervix area to be called endometriosis... basically my cervix has decided to turn into a miniature uterus.

So, my next question was.... hmmmm... so there's actually an endometrial lining? Does that mean that there could be 'implantation'... Immediate answer was, "Of course, you can't get pregnant - without a womb you'd never be able to carry it to term." ... technically that doesn't answer my question. I didn't ask if I could have a baby as I'm pretty aware that a cervix isn't sufficiently large enough to support a placenta. But I had asked if there could be implantation - like a tubal pregnancy or something like that where the egg implants outside the uterus. Technically, yes. Hopefully if it did happen it wouldn't be quite so dangerous as a tubal pregnancy but there's nothing to prevent it from happening. Ideally, the cervix that was left after surgery would have had a small amount of tissue attached over the other end of it to prevent eggs from traveling there - but there wasn't enough healthy uterine tissue to use to do that.

Then he proceeded to try to tease me/laugh at me for even asking the question because it was so far fetched that anyone would worry about getting pregnant post-hysterectomy.

Only... he's not the doctor who would know that I had gotten pregnant while using condoms, gotten pregnant while using birth control pills, gotten pregnant while using condoms and birth control pills, and gotten pregnant after a tubal ligation.

I did my best to resist the urge to kick him in his teeth. Suffice it to say, I won't go back to him again. I basically just said that I wanted to know if it was possible, not probable and that if I felt the need to use birth control it was my own decision - not his. Not that I think I need to invest in serious control (not like I'm having sex that often as it is)... but a condom isn't going to be the end of the world and if it helps avoid a potential health complication from a tubal pregnancy, then I don't see the reason I wouldn't consider it.

In the meantime... I've had to borrow quarters twice because I have no 'products' in the office. I've bought enough for at home, but never thought about keeping them in the office again. Silly, I know. But I'm completely out of practice dealing with this.

Again... more TMI.  I think it's solved a piece of the mystery with some of my gut health issues. I've eliminated every single food trigger that I know of for my diarrhea.  But I was still having issues... occasionally it's after I eat food that might have been cross-contaminated. But there were times where I'd go for days on end with it and know that everything I had cooked during that time should have been safe for me to eat. While I still think some of the food I buy at restaurants are triggering the issues (not that I eat out that often - but it seems like it's within 20 minutes of eating their food that I see the symptom)... there's another trigger I hadn't connected.

My period. I knew I was still 'cycling' through hormones as with my ovaries, I would still have pms and acne break outs... but at least the cramping was better (sigh, that's back again as well, albeit quite mild).  But I hadn't timed the 'cycle' with my diarrhea that was suspect for why I was having it. It's spot on - starting a day or two before my period and running for five to seven days. For two periods now, it's been spot on that I only have it after eating someone else's food or during the five to seven days around my period. It wasn't until I was have a true period that I had connected the dots and remembered how bad the diarrhea had been during my period.  And sure enough, when the period stops, so does the diarrhea.

SIGH...

Right now the plan is to try to live with the period. While it's definitely an inconvenience and one that I'm no longer used to... the pain is definitely mild. The inconvenience is mild. I'm not loosing buckets and while the cramps suck big time - at least they are still mild - like take two ibuprofen, mild. Unlike before when I was taking ibuprofen and tylenol (opposite each other) every two hours (so I stayed within recommended dosages) AND strapping on heating pads to my back and stomache AND spending days on end in bed coping with the misery.

The uterus went because I had adenomyosis. And technically, I have to be cured of that with it's removal as it's the build up of endometrial tissue within the muscle walls of the uterus. No uterus, no muscle walls, no adenomyosis.  So, hopefully that means that even if it's another 10 years to natural menopause (it ought not be that long)... it won't ever get that painful again. But if it does get painful, then I go back in. Wonder what they call it? Not sure the insurance company would approve a second hysterectomy. In fact, I'd think they'd call foul on that attempt. Surely there's a name for it. Wonder how many of those procedures they do on a regular basis?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Frugal New Years Eve for the chronically ill

99.9% of the time, my son spends New Years Eve with his father.

Which means I get to go to bed early.

And I usually splurge on a good take out meal, watch a pay-for on-demand movie, and crash at around 10pm ... which isn't all that different then the regular nights when I usually eat a 'eh' take out meal, watch a free, on-demand movie, and crash at around 10pm.

But, it's still special ... to me.

My son is 11 and is going to be home for New Years... so the movie will now be PG-13 or R rated (if he lets me - lol, he's got a bigger idea of what is 'inappropriate' than I do for him)...

And the 'treat' has to be something we both enjoy.... which doesn't really fit with my plans to snarf about 8 oz on shrimp that I splurged on and bought to enjoy ....

So, we may end up each getting a treat - right now he's hoping for ice-cream cake (and I'm wondering how small of one I can buy)...

And I'm still hoping to be in bed by 10pm.

ETA: Sadly, I learned a lesson from this frugals New Year... I forgot that I shouldn't have anything with shellfish... managed to initiate a gout attack... I was in enormous pain until the 17th. Sigh... no  more shrimp for me.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Moving - two months later

I've been picking through my to-do list and slowly plugging away at it. Not very fast... but bit by bit. Of course, 90% of it was done by my eldest son, but hey - at least it's done.

In another month or two maybe it will start to feel a little more like home.

My updated list:

Garage:
Clean the tiny bit of mold off of antique dresser and move it to basement.
Move fish tank to basement.
Once last toy boxes are removed and unpacked - list moving supplies on craigslist
Set up drop zone bench
Order shelves and hooks to set up around the drop zone bench
Set up shelves above drop zone bench

Master Bedroom:
Unpack last two to three boxes of craft items that just don't know where to go.
Buy two new surge suppressors to set up one per bedside table.

Master bathroom:
Find and install a medicine cabinet and put meds and supplements away.
Install new shower head

Kitchen:
Sort out all the misc things that have been on the kitchen island since the week we moved in when I needed to have things handy while I unpacked everything else.
Pick up 8  command adhesive hooks to hang up measuring cups and spoons on inside of cabinet door
Pick up more shelving plastic to line shelves
Install the last shelving plastic on shelves

Dining Room:
Find and buy a new table & chairs
Move empty china moving boxes to garage

Living room/desk area:
Move empty boxes and wrapping paper into garage
Unpack file box of files and set up new filing system in the new filing cabinet (talk about a yucky chore)
File and sort through remaining paperwork
Touch up paint on walls
Sort out items to hang on walls
Figure out bench/storage for keeping near the door for dog walking chores
Install the programmable thermastat

Entry way:
Build shelving unit that got unpacked, but not assembled for kids bedroom
Take the two shelves out of the hall closet and reinstall them in the entry closet for storing wrapping paper better

Kids Bedroom:
Touch up paint on shelving unit already in room
Move in the shelving unit from the entry room
Unpack the two boxes already in the room - and then relocated remaining toy boxes from garage to start unpacking those as well.
Put away remaining toys

Kids bathroom:
Fix leak around showerhead with plumbers tape

Half bath:
Pick up a long extension cord and command adhesive hooks so the cord is less obtrusive to the automated cat litter box
Set up the sticky mat to catch cat litter

Laundry room:
Set up new shelves
Make baskets for laundry sorting
Toss out old laundry sorters that don't work in the space

My favorite thing is that I crossed off more items from my list than I added.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Online shopping

I really am glad that with my health issues, I can shop online for almost anything.

BUT... it's really frustrating sometimes. The only benefit is that I know that while I search and search for the RIGHT thing? I'm not burning gas or energy I can't afford to spend.

I can search dozens of online shopping sites and never leave the comfort of my chair.

My current search has two goals.

1. New dining room table and chairs... I'm looking for medium cherry wood finish, 48" or less across round/oval table with simple lines, simple chairs. If the chairs are upholstered? I want it in a dark colored fabric or vinyl. Ideally, I'd like an expandable table, but can live without.  I'd prefer regular table height, but will live with counter height if that's what I can find. Right now? The only option close to what I'm looking for is running around $1500 - $3000... and yeah. Not in the budget.

2. Entryway furniture.... I want to create a drop zone in the garage with a bench (with cushion) and cubbies for shoes and misc under the bench, a cubbie shelf to hang over the bench with hooks for coats, purses, etc... and cubbies or shelving unit that can go to the side of the bench....  preferably not in white. I can find expresso colored bench and coat shelf; and black cubbies. I can find nice wood shelves and bench in cherry or white, but not the matching coat shelf for over the bench.

Seriously? Options people ... options.... why is this so hard?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Moving - three weeks later

Most, but certainly not all - boxes are unpacked.

Most, but not all furniture is in it's final resting place.

But it's been a few days since I've gotten anything done and I'm at the place where I'll do even less (if I don't hold myself accountable).

So, time for a list - room by room:

Garage:
Clean the tiny bit of mold off of antique dresser and move it to basement.
Move fish tank to basement.
Once last toy boxes are removed and unpacked - list moving supplies on craigslist
Set up drop zone bench
Order shelves and hooks to set up around the drop zone bench

Master Bedroom:
Unpack last two to three boxes of craft items that just don't know where to go.
Buy two new surge suppressors to set up one per bedside table.

Master bathroom:
Find and install a medicine cabinet and put meds and supplements away.
Install new shower head

Kitchen:
Sort out all the misc things that have been on the kitchen island since the week we moved in when I needed to have things handy while I unpacked everything else.
Pick up 8  command adhesive hooks to hang up measuring cups and spoons on inside of cabinet door
Pick up more shelving plastic to line shelves

Dining Room:
Find and buy a new table & chairs
Move empty china moving boxes to garage

Living room/desk area:
Move empty boxes and wrapping paper into garage
Unpack file box of files and set up new filing system in the new filing cabinet (talk about a yucky chore)
Touch up paint on walls
Sort out items to hang on walls
Figure out bench/storage for keeping near the door for dog walking chores
Install the programmable thermastat

Entry way:
Build shelving unit that got unpacked, but not assembled for kids bedroom
Take the two shelves out of the hall closet and reinstall them in the entry closet for storing wrapping paper better

Kids Bedroom:
Touch up paint on shelving unit already in room
Move in the shelving unit from the entry room
Unpack the two boxes already in the room - and then relocated remaining toy boxes from garage to start unpacking those as well.

Kids bathroom:
Fix leak around showerhead with plumbers tape

Half bath:
Pick up a long extension cord and command adhesive hooks so the cord is less obtrusive to the automated cat litter box
Set up the sticky mat to catch cat litter

Laundry room:
Set up new shelves
Make baskets for laundry sorting
Toss out old laundry sorters that don't work in the space

Geez... that's not a small list, is it? sigh.

After working on this list, there is good news. I wasn't able to come up with anything to add to the list for the loft area where my son's wii and tv is set up. Which means I actually have ONE ROOM DONE! lol A million more jobs to do, but one room is as ready as it will get. :-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

MTHFR - Moved in, still settling in

We're in the house.

We're not done unpacking.

But, we have the critical things sorted out and now it's down to figuring out the rest of it.

I plan on doing a box or two every evening... but I've been hitting stumbling blocks.

First stumbling block is my son's bookshelves.

They weigh about 50 pounds each unassembled.

So, tonight (assuming I feel up to it) - as I've managed to come down with a cold on top of everything else.

  1. Open the packages
  2. Carry each piece up the stairs individually
Tomorrow night (assuming I feel up to it)
  1. Assemble shelf #1
  2. Using my wheeled movers, I'll shift it into the wall space I need it to go to
Thursday night (assuming I feel up to it)
  1. Assemble shelf #2
  2. Wait for my eldest son to pick up shelf #2 and put it on top of shelf #1
Which reminds me, I'll need to get furniture straps that can fasten the top shelf to the wall to avoid tip-over.

So - basically, something that would take a lot of folks a single day on the weekend to accomplish - will take me at least 3 evenings and however much longer after that to accomplish my goal.

In the meantime I'm getting an upright freezer delivered this week.

I'm irritated with myself for not having taken a really good look around the garage. Because even though we have light switches on both sides and even a water faucet with a hose in the garage. I can't find a single electrical outlet in the garage. Who does that? Who would build a garage without any electrical outlets?  Especially given that this is a newer house and even the unfinished basement has a set of electrical outlets every four feet.

But if we truly can't find an outlet, we'll have to put the freezer in the basement (which is not my first choice). I'd rather have it on the same floor as the rest of the house - but in the garage, where there will be space once I get things put away.

Other major tasks ahead of me:
  • Finding a better solution for craft storage (I have a TON of craft supplies). I want to find a better, more attractive solution for storage than what I have been doing. But so far, I've had no luck in finding anything flexible enough and compatible with my style.
  • Once the bookshelves are in my son's room, we can provide him a box of books/toys per week to put away.
  • Cleaning supplies. I ended up with FOUR big boxes of cleaning supplies. No idea where they all came from other than the fact that I basically went through a few phases in my life where my house would be dirty and I wouldn't have the energy to fix that... but assumed that buying more cleaning supplies I didn't use would help. Silly, huh? But now I need to sort it all out. Some I will not be replacing once they are used up. My go-to cleaning supplies lately are vinegar, dawn and baking soda... and that's probably going to be it for a little while.
  • Once some of the rest of the unpacking is finished and I can gift away the moving boxes, I want to set up a 'station' in the garage that would be a drop zone. I want it to have a bench with padding and a space to put shoes/boots under the bench. A few shelves for storing back packs, etc... and a place to hang our coats. I've been to pinterest and have ideas of what I want... but right now there's no space in the garage to set it up. And instead the drop zone is right inside the garage door and it's literally where people need to walk and is a mess.
In the meantime, I'm struggling with timing. The task I'd like to tackle first would be to get my craft supplies sorted. However, I also plan on replacing the carpeting in the house in February/March time frame. Which means if I sort it all out and find the furniture (which I haven't found the furniture yet)... and get it all moved into the bedroom, it has to get moved in a few months again. So, I'm really tempted to leave it all in my garage. But I'd hate to have it in the garage when winter hits. So... do I stick it all in the basement, keep shopping until I find the right solution... and then order it after the furniture arrives? I can access it from the basement, but that's just not where I want it stored long-term. But, that might be the next several weeks... every evening take a box or two of crafting supplies to the basement ... get them out of the way in the garage which may make way for the finding space to store cleaning supplies and setting up the drop zone. Then if I focus on a's bookshelves, he can also be working through his pile of boxes at the same time. 

At least it's a plan of attack... not perfect, but something.