Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Good News for a Change

Because our company deals with homeowners we work with a lot of people who have just recently bought a home or are trying to sell a home. Realtors tell them to call us to make that pink bathtub and tile white for resale. Sometimes only to refresh the old tub and make it look new again so people don't see their bathroom as a deal breaker.

In the last month we have been hearing about a lot of movement in the housing industry.
Yesterday alone I had 3 people tell me their homes sold at asking or over with multiple offers. Two of the 3 said they sold their homes in 1 week.

One woman who has been looking for a home for 4 months said that it’s a whole different world than it was 4 months ago. In the past 8 weeks she lost out on 2 homes because she was outbid. She finally got her new home but it was just above asking price.

This is great news. Okay not that they had to pay over asking but that housing values are going up and that money is moving and shaking again. I realize that in my neck of the country things like this happen sooner but if it’s happening here it will begin to move about and that is such a positive indicator.

I personally believe that people during a down market do tend do to the things they need to do to sell their homes. And doing those things will automatically make it sell faster. When in a hot market they don’t stage or do the things necessary because they just assume they don’t need to. But I don’t care if it’s a hot or cold market you should always organize, clean and stage your home to sell. You wouldn’t sell your car when it’s filthy or littered with MacDonald’s bags, assorted strewn litter, maps and sippy cups etc. So why do you think you should sell your home that way?.....and so many people do! Never could figure out that logic.

On another positive note I read online on NPR today that the site Careerbuilder.com, (the job site) said their survey found that 53% of employers expect to hire full time employees. They also stated that 4 in 10 plan to hire contract, temporary, or project workers. C’mon 53% is pretty damn good coming out of this recession. You may not need a new job but sadly there are a million or so who do! That not only helps my business it helps all of our businesses.

Now I haven’t heard a lick of this on the news. I suppose that isn’t good to know.
Who wants to put the public at ease?
Maybe the logic is because in the steel and rust belt things are still depressed. But wouldn’t this give them hope? I have also noticed that on our local news the Cash for Clunkers was a HUGE success. Dealership owners were always on TV talking about how great it was for their bottom line, albeit their horrific load of paperwork for the government and waiting on their cash. Point being it brought the people in the door and they sold inventory and they were very happy!!
So why the hell wasn’t that on the national news? Only the negative of the whole program was all I ever saw on the national news. And you know there are dumb people out there that only hear and see what is put in front of them and don't look any further. Those assholes of course are always the loudest. Honestly I wish good news would get out as fast and as loudly as bad news does.

The other good news is that there HE was on the front page of the Life Section of the USAToday. Hmmmm………
It’s made my day so much better……I only see the positive here.....only see the positive.
Sigh.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday's Books, TV and Dog Walkers.

I began reading "I know this much is true" and I can't put it down.
I love when a book grabs me from the first page. That doesn't happen often but both books I have read from author Wally Lamb have done just that.

The first book I read of his was given to me by an acquaintance who knew I loved to read. She did it as a thank you. What she didn't know is that I hate paperback books. Hate them.
So I never read it. Besides it was an Oprah's Book Club pick and it said so on the front all large and proud. I didn't need that - I never much like Oprah's choices in books so it was another reason not to read it as far as I was concerned.

We were taking a 2 week vacation to a rental house at the lake where we now have a home. We never ever have had 2 weeks of nothing to do. NEVER. This was going to be a first. (and last)
I know me well enough to know that I would be antsy without work etc. So I brought 10 books. One of which was, "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb.

I opened the paperback and remembered why I hate them. So uncomfortable to hold and so small. I read the outside and then put it down and grabbed another. The 2nd time I picked it up I decided to peak inside and read a bit. I began reading what I thought would suck. Oprah book clubs books make me daydream while reading and that shouldn't happen. I shouldn't be thinking about shaving my legs, or cleaning the oven, when I am reading. If I am wondering about the font of the type it's a sure sign the book is not my cup of tea.

I opened She's Come Undone and couldn't put it down until it was finished. My husband begged me to put it down at 3am and come back to bed. I absolutely loved that book and could not even imagine how this man could have written this. He thought like a woman. I kept thinking this had to have been written by a woman. "Wally" must be his pseudonym.

So here I am blogging and thinking about this book - see what I mean? It's a good book.
897 pages of a good book. It's a biggie but I am determined to read it all. Not being on vacation it may take me a bit longer.

Another Monday morning topic is my husband's dog walking "friends"
I walk the dog all week until he comes home. He gets the night shift and weekends.
It was a deal we worked out long before we had the dog.
But here is what I have noticed.
He apparently doesn't seem to know any men who walk their dogs.

Take this morning for example.
Izzy loves to watch the joggers go by. She can have her nose buried in the grass and as soon as she hears a jogger she will look up and sit there proudly as they jog by.
This morning two pretty women are coming up to us and I am watching Izzy watch them when one says, "Oh is that Izzy?" I say of course, "Yes" And they said, "HI IZZY" in a sing songy voice as though they know her as they jog by.
Now I am thinking, who the hell are these young frigging pert women? They don't even have a damn dog!

I see Libby coming towards us. Libby is a black lab that is 1 year old. She lives 3 blocks from me on the same side of the street. Last evening Rick took Izzy out and he ran into Libby and her mom, who I refer to as Blonde Mommy. Rick comes home and tells me that Blonde Mommy is divorced and she and her 3 blonde little girls live in their house with Libby. Libby is crated all day and gets a bit over zealous (who wouldn't if crated all day) so she and Rick allowed the dogs to be off leash and play down at the pond. (not allowed to be off leash in the neighborhood or there is a big whooping ass kickin' by the HOA Nazi's) He told me that Blonde Mommy asked if they could have a play date and maybe come to our home and have them play and wear 'em out like they were doing there.

I asked Rick, "Who actually is the play date for the dogs or Blonde Mommy?"

He laughed and said, "the dogs - don't be silly"

"Do you speak to any men who walked their dogs? "

"The men don't say hello, the women do."

"Oh so you don't say hello to men?"

I say hello to everyone, the women are the only ones who respond.....and hey wait a minute what about Joe who loves my shoes? Joe and I always stop and chat."

Okay you got me on that one - that is for a sure a Bromance.

"Boy you are the popluar old guy in the neighborhood aren't you?
Both sexes are loving up ole Rick aren't they?"

He laughed but I would say it didn't hurt the old man's ego!
He keeps telling me that when he turned 50 he became invisible to women.
I always knew he was full of shit on that one! I think he attracts even more.

Now to TV. Tonight is the last night of Nurse Jackie. I love this show. It stares Edie Falco.
She is so great in this show. She plays this flawed character to perfection. I cringe at the shit she does yet you seem to understand and forgive her for some reason. She makes her empathetic even when she is doing something so wrong. But who I think brings so much to the show that gets so little recognition is her "intern" nurse. (is there such a word for a nurse) Zoe is a hoot. That character is priceless. She makes Rick and I laugh like crazy. The show is so good I wish it weren't on Showtime so more people could see it. But then again regular TV would never have anything this good on it because there is no laugh track. The dialogue is real. The people and their flaws are real and big and ugly. The problems in the work place are so real at times it's uncomfortable. It's a train wreck and it's emotionally tugging. How often do you get both?
I just love it.

Speaking of work......

Friday, August 21, 2009

Yipee! It's Friday

Okay today is a slow work day - not good.
Being in your own business you tend to look at this differently than say if you are slow at your job that someone else has to worry about the $$ and you can cut out early.

While at the new doctor's office yesterday I went in with my list.
My plethora of issues.
Poor fella.

I was whining about losing my libido. I miss it so. I even told him how one female doctor reponded when I told her that I missed my libido and asked how could I get it back she responded with, "OH you are ONE of those."

Apparently she saw the letter S on my hospital gown as I sat on that crunchy paper table in her exam room. Ah, ha she knows! And nothing was done about it because she insisted nothing was wrong with me. Another MD bites the dust.

So Wednesday when I mentioned this to my new doctor I handed him the blood work from the lab that was done in late June. I circled some things I thought were very relevant.

He looked at the paper work, looked at me and said,
"Did the other doctor see this lab work?

"Yes, she did."

"No medication or discussions were given or had?"

"Nope. Just the previous comment was made."
>
Your testosterone is 0 - zilch - nada - you are a dried up old prune.
Okay he didn't say I was dried up - he probably just thought it.
>
He then asked if sleeping was on my list -

"Oh yea, if I get 3 straight hours I am thrilled to pieces.....a walking zombie but thrilled to pieces."

He showed me what I had circled on the lab results.

"I'm wondering how you slept at all with your progesterone so low."

"Oh great....so this can get better?"

"Yes and we will get there."

"Dare I ask about my estrogen?"

Sure. It's not great either.

Before he had a chance to discuss with me his thoughts I went into mine on HRT and bio-identicals. I know that a lot of women swear by their synthetic HRT replacement drugs. I also know that drug companies paid for a lot of studies and to market them very well to tell woman that HRT replacement drugs do not cause breast cancer or cause a higher incident of said cancer.

However I don't buy it. My mom died from breast cancer at 44 years old. Her sister died from breast cancer and it is rampant on my mom's side of the family. I want to take no chances.

I want bio-identical hormones. I have been studying this for a few years now knowing this day was coming. Everything I have read or seen has me convinced this is the way to go for me.
I understand if you choose another route - but for me this is what I need to do for my life. Everyone always says to me that it will make them have their periods and they want them to stop. Well not for me. Lucky me had my uterus removed in 2000 from constant tumors . I have my ovaries and cervix so I did not go into menopause back then but my cycle stopped. To me it was the best of both worlds. To me. (don't write me and tell me I am a horrible person)

When I was done yammering about HRT and finally took a breath he smiled and said he couldn't have said it better himself because that is what he would recommend as well.

I came home to tell my husband that I was in menopause and what we were doing about it.

He said, "I thought you would be bitchy like my mom"

So you're saying I'm not bitchy?

"No more than you've ever been" he said with a smile

"Gee thanks."

"No seriously I thought it would be horrible - I can live with this."

"Oh good becuase I was so concerned about you while I am dealing with this."

"Okay that didn't come out right did it?"

"Nope."

"But I know what you mean - I just wanted to see you sweat."

"So you are getting testoterone and the others and you'll be my horny slut muffin like before and we're getting an 18 year old moving in with us?"

"OH. MY. GOD. THIS TRULY IS A SICK AND TWISTED JOKE MARGARET!!"

I know. I know.





Thursday, August 20, 2009

Damn, I went and made Plans

My mistake was making plans. I made plans and they just got screwed.

Rick and I have a wonderful life. We are still smitten with each other and have carved out a nice little life for ourselves. We know we are fortunate. Oh we don’t have lots of money but we have this relationship that I wish more could have. It’s so rewarding and fulfilling. So here we are with no children at home and having a grand ole time. (his daughter is 29 and living out of state as of today)

Then we do something stupid and get a puppy. It changed our lives. I am so in love with this hairy beast but if I knew what I know now I would have waited until retirement at least. So much work and time.

Now I have an 18 year old niece coming to live with me. It’s way too long of a story to just plop in here now. But this will mean a whole new life all over again. My husband is supportive on this but I know how much he will miss our time. He loves this young woman and knows she needs our support and guidance right now so he is willing to do all of this. But he mentioned this morning that he will miss me. I’m right here I told him but I so understand what he means. We’ve become very spoiled and we are that sickening couple who always want to be together. I know it makes me want to puke every time I say it so I get what you are feeling.

In the mean time I am in the midst of menopause I found out yesterday at the doctors, I am getting an 18 yr. old and dealing with an ailing puppy.

What the fuck is wrong with me? Are there enough drugs for all of this? Am I completely and utterly crazy? Why now?

As I told my niece, you never stop learning lessons. You just have to keep your eyes open and be open so you see them.

Well my eyes are wide open – c’mon bring it on!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Izzy - the crazy Chocolate Lab

So now that I have shared my issues with health let me share Izzy's.

After this dog flu hit our pup she has developed other issues. First let me tell you that it's been all over the news about this dog influenza so it has been spreading like wild fire here in DC/Northern Va.

We noticed that Izzy got sick each and every time she had a vaccine. Of course there would be the round of antibiotics etc to make her well. Or did they? Then about the time of this upper respiratory flu stuff she began to sneeze - a lot! She was having a myriad of symptoms. I mentioned to my husband that i think all these drugs have taken all her good flora and now she can't fight anything. He poo-poo'd me. As each day went by and it all became worse. I am with her 24 hrs a day. I see her chewing herself, sneezing, having dry flaky skin, losing hair, excessive tearing, ear itching, chewing her paws, scratching around her genitals and she had gotten a very foul order as well as a fouler than normal poo. (That wasn't all but that is a good deal of them)

My pretty baby had now become my stinky girl!
When we mentioned all of these things to our vet she insisted she had an allergy to her food.

We buy special food for her from the lab breeder. It is not the stuff you get at the grocery store all filled with fillers and corn etc. It is good food for a lab. I knew in my heart this was not a food allergy. The vet insisted and was a bit condescending to me about it when I suggested this could be candida albians/systemic yeast. She smiled politely and brought me a bag of soy infused dog food. I said I wanted to try things my way first and if it didn't work I would use her food. She acted like I was trying to kill my dog. Just the opposite. You want to keep giving her drugs. She can't take any more drugs!
I did not want this puppy eating soy based food. That is so bad for a dog. So I bought the vets expensive food and brought it home. I have not opened it yet. She did say I could bring it back if my way worked. "if my way worked" was said in a passive agressive way let me tell you.

Izzy is having some die off - which means she is getting some symptoms a bit stronger but not bad. She didn't have the rashes but she has a slight one on her belly now. I know that is from the toxins coming to the surface. Friday begins week 2 where it's amped up a notch. She may get lethargic next week - which truth be told that ain't a bad thing! I could use the down time. However it is for her own good. The foul smell is so much better. We are bathing her every other day - she hates it but she stinks! Besides we are using something that is good for her with this condition. Last night while playing with her on the floor I noticed that she didn't smell anymore. So I know this is working. She has also stopped sneezing.

So it's like this poor dog really is my child - we are both dealing with the same thing. However I think hers will be resolved sooner. I think I will be changing vet's if I can find an open minded one. God it doesn't matter what degree they have as long as you call them Dr. they don't listen or trust you. They just can't think outside the box.

In the meantime I expect next week to be difficult for Izzy but after that she should only continue to improve. Boy we 2 girls are a real mess aren't we? Only difference is Izzy is still playful, happy and loveable. I am Ms. Cranky Pants.



Monday, August 17, 2009

I survived

It was a great weekend. No kidding.
No issues. Fun, sun and laughing.
Doesn't get any better than that!

The nieces and nephews were a ball.
No snarky remarks from parental unit.

I don't know who these people were but they can come back anytime!

I wanted to make a couple of shout outs.....

To Jessie Earth Mom....can't seem to leave you comments on your blog. Wanted to respond to a couple of things you've mentioned. And you are right - Seattle is the most beautiful place on earth. A cold clear blue sky day in February is my favorite when I lived there. Too bad there aren't enough of those!

Mrs. Mayberry - aka Tallulah - Your salad looks great. I make something similiar but not with orzo so I am going to give this a try this weekend. LOVE, love, love fresh salads and veggies. Your meals always looks so good. Will you marry me? (p.s. how is Izzy. was his test positive re:gluton?)

Irregular Tammie - your philanthropy and good deeds makes me feel I am not doing enough. I used to be a Big Sister for 9 years in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters org and I have always volunteered. But somewhere in the last 2 yrs I haven't done anything. Thank you for kicking my ass so I can get started again. It is exactly what I needed to get my selfish ass moving -- who knew that peer pressure in a blog would work. Thank you!! (and Good Job Woman!)

Mr. McKnob - you're scaring me with this Glenn Beck shit. Enough said.

Katie - The dog is really coming alone - a post on this will follow this week.

Lottery Official - You're wrong. I did have the winning ticket damn it and you owe me 102 million dollars immediately. I'll take it in large bills thank you very much.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Real Quick.....

Have had a lot of emails regarding what kind of Doctors I used. So here ya go.

They were all M.D.'s and 2 were Endocrinologist along the way. I didn't even mention them in my story or this would have gone on for days.
Endocrinologist was the absolute worse ones!!.
Their lab numbers were all off the mark.

Stay with me here, no nodding off just yet.....

Example....In 2002 the AACE (American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists )finally listened to the the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB) that issued new guidelines for the diagnosis and monitoring of thyroid disease. (After years of testing and studies.) Bottom line what this comes down to is this.....They changed the current TSH range from 0.5 to 5.5 TO 0.3 to 3.0........... When more sensitive screening was done, which excluded people with thyroid disease, 95% of the population tested actually had the TSH level between 0.4 and 2.5. So as a result the NACB recommended reducing the range. Meaning, anything below or above could be a sign of thyroid disease.

Now the sad part about the endrocinologists I saw - all were using the outdated lab test numbers. So to them I tested normal. WTF is what I was screaming at them. When I would ask about this they would poo-poo my internet findings and library books I would drag in. Oh they thought I was just another google freak who was wasting their time. A book written in the 60's or 70's by Dr. Broda Barnes explains it all so well and even suggests treating the symptoms and not the numbers and why. This book was poo-poo'd by both Endrocrinologists.

These were not old farts either. 1 was 40 and 1 dr. was younger and was part of a very large practice. Always written up as one of the best in the DC Metro area. Yea, right. Arrogant fuck is what they were. Condesending is an understatment.
Sadly I am not alone in this because I hear this other people, mostly women, who are dealing with this disease. But first things first, must rid myself of systemic Candida so we can jump on the thyroid again.
<>
But hey it could be worse.......like my family is coming to visit today at our lake house.
Well only my step mom and 1 sister our of 5 and an assortment of neices and nephews.
I will get through this....I will get through this....I will get through this....I will get through this....
No matter their negative comments, I will get through this.....I have a full bottle of Tanqueray, I have my Big Guy, I can drown myself in the lake if necessary, but I can get through this. (say it a few more hours and I may even believe it)

See ya'll after the weekend......because I will survive this.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Part 2

I went back to see my new doctor (let’s call her dr. Kate) to see how the diet was progressing. I did not know if I had an issue with gluten and for those of you who do not know gluten is in everything and especially everything good. Here is a definition….. the insoluble protein constituent of wheat and other grains (rye, oats, and barley). It is obtained from flour by washing out the starch and is used as an adhesive agent, giving to dough its tough, elastic character. It is a common cause of food allergies. For some people, ingestion of gluten results in potentially life-threatening malabsorption.

The diet was very very difficult but I was determined to do this if I could feel well again. Some of the things I had to eliminate were dairy, breads, pretzels, pizza, breads, cereals, crackers, croutons, salad dressings, pasta, cookies, cakes, pies, soups, gravies, sauces including soy sauce, beer, candy, imitation seafood or meat, luncheon meats, anything fermented or malted, seasonings, condiments like mustard, ketchup, semolina and my god the list goes on and on.

So for 1 month I very little of anything I liked. I was perpetually hungry. I would ask to smell my husbands food so I felt like I was having it. I would make him meals and then eat my own boring ones. I was feeling better within a month….still hungry but feeling better and the swelling was better. I went down 2 sizes in my jeans and my Flintstone feet while still a bit swollen at least looked like Wilma’s instead of Fred’s. However I only lost 1pound – huh? Now I am sick as a dog but I admit the shallow shit concerned me more. I wanted my skin, hair and body back damn it. All this work and so frustrating.

I went back to see Dr. Kate I did not have Celiac disease or a gluten allergy. So now what? Back to the beginning. She wanted me to stay on the diet since I was doing better but in the mean time my organs were failing and she was scared. That in turn scared me.

My kidneys were not functioning at full capacity and we were worried I may have kidney failure as well as my thyroid was all over the place, my adrenal glands were in fatigue and now my liver enzymes were off the charts. I wasn’t drinking when she asked me to stop so that wasn’t the liver issue. Besides I am not an alcoholic and she knew it and she knew that was not what was doing this to my liver but she didn’t know what exact thing it was either. This lovely doctor would call my home just to see how I was doing. She would tell me that she would think of things in the shower while washing her hair and then call me. We were on this mission together. Although we were losing.

On one of my follow ups with Dr. Kate I mentioned a symptom that was new and annoying and embarrassing to tell her. As soon as I mentioned it to her it was like EUREKA! She was so excited. She turned around from her writing and said, “My God I think this is yeast!” I didn’t have what I thought was a vaginal yeast infection so I did not get it. She proceeded to explain to me systemic candida. So she wrote down the name of a book and told me to get it and follow that diet to the T. She said that could be why I was feeling better on the gluten free diet but not getting well. Most yeast foods or foods that feed the yeast are gluten and that was helping. So off I go with another diet that was even more difficult than the 1st one but now I was used to not eating anything much so no big deal if I could get well. This diet you couldn’t even have fruit and it was last summer and it was a killer for me. I love summer fruit…….but it’s sugar.

There was a die off of symptoms that made my own symptoms so bad that I was bed ridden for 2 days. It was bad. (The leg pain is mind numbing and yes I had one doctor tell me it was fibromyalgia.) But after that all was going well. But it only got me so far.
I stayed on this way of eating for 19months. So hungry most days. I really couldn’t eat much of anything. My big treat was usually a handful of raw almonds. WHOPPEE.
I lost another whole 1 lb during that 19 months. (exercising as well) My husband was so shocked he kept thinking I would be so skinny after that. But not lucky me.

This is a stubborn and tricky disease to kill. Apparently I have had this forever so it was going to take longer. The symptoms of this disease mimic hypothyroidism. Sometimes even lending itself to causing hypothyroidism. After a year I felt like I got only so far and couldn’t get further – a plateau of sorts. Sometimes I would have these awful flare ups and I didn’t eat anything wrong so we never knew why.

Dr. Kate moved to a new practice and they too did not take insurance. Here I was paying $903.00 a month for health insurance and no fucking doctors were taking insurance anymore here in DC Metro. The office she moved to would not allow me to go off site to have the blood work done at a Blue Cross/Anthem in network lab. So now I had to pay $250 for a doctor’s visit and $600 for blood work and $903 a month for health care that wasn’t doing anything for me. I had to leave her. I could not financially afford this and hope to be able to live. But by this time my kidneys were really working, I was peeing all the time, the liver was still not where it needed to be and my adrenals and thyroid won’t either but we were going in the right direction.

I went to another doctor who’s toupee was such a distraction for me. There were times he spoke and all I could think of was just reaching over the desk and straightening out his damn crocked toupee. He constantly told me over and over how Suzanne Somers came to his clinic in Santa Monica. BFD I wanted to scream at him.

He gave me a lot of herbs and supplements and I was getting no where. He had me do the dreaded stool sample and it showed Candida Albians. Surprise! So Dr. Kate was correct I did indeed have this dreadful issue/disease. But Dr. Toupee didn’t have a clue where to go next since the diet was doing nothing for me and neither were his holistic herbs and supplements. A year of this and I was at another stand still. He allowed me to introduce some foods and to see how this affected me. Sugar feeds yeast. I found I could take some sugar in moderation and it was okay but really best if none. I found that Gin or Vodka was okay with no reaction. YIPEE –I could at least drink to forget my problems I suppose. I had to drink Gin alone without my tonic because tonic has sugar. Sugar free tonic sucks. And I will not ingest aspartame & most sugar substitute shit is made with the toxic chemical of aspartame. I have found a sugar substitute I love and its natural so I can make my lemonade or even my kool-aid if wanted.
I have never liked pop so no issue there. But beer, wine and other fun drinks I sure do miss – big time!!!

This toupee nut job got me to another level of feeling well but not cured. The organ issues were the same. But I couldn’t keep going when he was clueless and it was so expensive since he didn’t take insurance.
I actually considered dropping insurance but what if God forbid I did have to go to the hospital those bills would bankrupt us I feared. So onward I went.

I began doing my own internet and library research. I found some wonderful information on the net. I bought a product which got me to another level and then I hit a wall again. But a couple more symptoms were gone.

Then I did a colon cleanse and it got me to another level – even more symptoms were gone. But still not well. My last visit with Dr. Kate she asked to take me off the thyroid medication to start fresh and get this fixed and since that was affecting my thyroid to see how it was when we completed it all. So I have been off my thyroid medication now for over a year and only doing this friggin’ diet and supplements and the colon cleanse.

I found another local doctor who had this himself and his practice isn’t far from my home. I go to see him on August 31st. And as most doctors here, he does not take insurance. I have a good feeling but I don’t want to get my hopes up. But I kind of am and I know it but it’s so hard not to.

Sometimes I try to think, was I ever mean to fat people? Is that why I have been given this? Is there a lesson here for me to learn? Am I not empathic enough to people who are ill or who have life threatening illnesses? What is this all about? Sometimes I even think that since I won the lottery in a husband that I may be getting paid back. You know, you can’t have everything. I don’t know but I don’t understand why this can’t get fixed. Why can’t anyone help me? I am doing my due diligence and I work very hard at making myself well. I watch others who eat like pigs and are thin or that smoke and never get sick or who do all things wrong and live great lives. What else can I do?

Most doctors don’t even know about this. Others don’t believe it. God how I hate doctors! Their arrogance is astounding.

So here I am today – it has been since 1989 that I have been gaining weight and feeling like shit. I am still swollen, in pain, and wishing like hell I could have the body I deserved and not the body I have been given of late. I have been worse, oh much worse. I have been larger and I have been oh so much more swollen. But I am still not normal and no one knows what to do. Okay normal is not what I am going for – I’ll never be normal…..I’m going for healthy and well.
I want all my symptoms to go away, I want my weight back to normal and I want to be pain free. Apparently that is a lot to ask for.

Today I eat nothing with yeast and of course no sugar to feed yeast. I sometimes will have salad dressing or cheese with no reaction. After 19 months on that diet and it didn’t help me I have bent the rules at times. I don’t believe that the diet alone is the answer. And neither did my doctors but who knows. I do miss food. I would give my right arm to share a bottle of wine with my husband….weekly….hey a girl can dream.

Stay tuned for what happens after I see the new doctor. I also will share what is going on with Izzy and how it pertains to a lot of the same things.

But for now….There is actually some good in all of this…I finally found it. When I was 112lbs my big ole boobs really looked big. I was very self conscious of them even though everyone wanted them. Buying clothes was so difficult because a shirt would fit everywhere but the boobs. And unlike Pamela Anderson I prefer to not have my buttons pulling and looking as though the boobs are trying to escape. Now that I am fat you don’t notice the boobs as much and it’s easier to get clothes because my body has caught up to the chest.
I guess that can be the silver lining in this story…..it’s pathetic but it’s all I have right now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Part 1 -

Never shared but it’s time…..

I was about to write about something and then realized you don’t know any of the back story. This will be boring for ya’ll but if you read it you will have a better understanding of the coming blogs over the next few weeks. Not all of which will be about this but some and you’ll need to know where it’s coming from.

As I have mentioned before a few years ago when my husband lost his job as VP of HR in aerospace he did a 180 and went blue collar. We call it "The Happier, Much Poorer and Much More Tired years of our lives.:

I too lost my job about 6 months later and he asked me to join his company. I went kicking and screaming but I did get to work from a home office and not have to worry about wearing heels, makeup and nice clothes. Or having that pesky extra income for things like say, oh I don't know…..food, a roof over my head!!

While my job before had me working from home on the days I was not traveling it wasn’t quite the same. So for the most part I was always in a train, plane or automobile. That got old after 15 + years but the pay never got old I admit.

At the same time that I came to work here at home for his business my health issues escalated. That was a truly a God Send or whatever you wish to call it. I could not have worked during all of this for anyone other than Rick. No one would have understood nor could I have gotten my swollen Flintstone feet into a pair of 3 inch heels.

A lot of my health issues were with me from childhood and they were always just considered my idiosyncrasies. Not health issues or concerns.
As I got older some were becoming more and more difficult to live with or they were getting “stronger.” Then in 1989 I began to gain weight. Not much at this point but enough to concern me. Of course the vanity is what bothered me not the actual pain, yes sadly I am that shallow at times. By 1990 I was getting chubby. I was feeling awful and honestly it became harder and harder to move, think clearly, and function as a normal human being.

By the mid 90’s I was fat. I got myself a nutritionist and got a personal trainer. I kept a food diary. I ate less than a skinny person and worked out like a fool but to no results. I was not losing weight. My trainer asked my husband if I was lying. Of course I cried. I learned I had will power and by the buckets. And my other ailments multiplied. I was now dealing with brain fog.

I went to a dermatologist for the changes in hair and skin. I went to an internist for the edema that was all over my body. You could poke your finger into my wrist or leg or anywhere for that matter and it would leave a deep dent like it was bread dough. I had a myriad of symptoms that no one could diagnose. They would think one thing and then insist the blood work said no.

We were moving a lot then so I would have to start all over again in a new state, city and with a new doctor. It was expensive, frustrating and exhausting.

I learned that if a doctor sees you as over weight they don’t look any further or don’t hear what you say. I learned that for the general public I was now invisible. I knew I was treated differently at this weight than at my normal weight. It hit me like a ton of bricks at the department store. I left my purchase and walked out crying. I also knew I ate better than I ever have and yet can’t shake this. I swore at that skinny bitch at the store and vowed I would come back at my fighting weight and bitch slap her into next week.

I was in my 30’s when I began such an intolerance to heat it was unbearable. My fingers, feet and my back would get tingling sensations that was uncomfortable at best. My hair was falling out and my skin went from oily to dry, itchy and painful. I went from long hair to short at this time to stop the hair loss showing so much. My complexion that never had a zit was getting zits and rosacea. My skin hurt from the swelling and it also was constantly dry and itchy and felt like I had something crawling on me. I had a fullness in my throat area that was so damn uncomfortable but again no one knew why.
My allergies became worse and I got every cold, flu and healthy issues out there. It was as though my body couldn’t fight anything no matter how hard I tried. My immune system was compromised.

Then as each doctor told me nothing was wrong with me it got worse. By 1998 I was now in a full blown depression. I never understood depression I now realize looking back. I thought you could snap out of it. I found myself in a black hole and so alone. I was scared. I went to work & put on my “Peggy” face and did my job. I could have won an Academy Award. I came home and retreated from the world and even my wonderful husband. I didn’t want to talk. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to do anything. I never slept. I hadn’t slept much in years but now if I got 45 minutes of sleep I thought I was getting at least some sleep. I distinctly remember one day having some very dark and morbid thoughts and the only thing that saved me was the thought of not being able to do this to my husband. That is the only reason I am still here today. I just couldn’t do that to him.

I went to a new doctor. He asked about my marriage. He assumed if I was depressed it had to be my marriage. Dear God that was the only thing right in my life right then. My stress from my job was over the top. My health was horrible and I am so stubborn I was determined to plow through. My husband was trying like hell to help me, he was scared too, I was slipping away. He was supportive and it just fucking pissed me off that this arrogant piece of shit doctor was not listening to me and my symptoms. I went in with a list. All he saw were my tears and my weight. He didn’t listen. He gave me an enormous box of Effexor (anti-depressants) and told me to keep a diary of my food. He told me to exercise at night so I’d be tired. I told him that exercise gave me energy it didn’t tire me. But I came home and started the food diary, the effexor and did pilates at night. I didn’t sleep for 3 days. I called and told the dr. that the effexor was like speed and that I couldn’t keep taking it. He said take ½. You just couldn’t stop you had to wean off it.
I just stopped. Fuck him was my attitude - what the fuck did this arrogant ass know anyway?

I went back to Dr. Sensitve a couple of weeks later and he looked at my food diary and called me a liar. Now why in God’s name would I lie? I am in pain. I want answers. I was not lying. I even wrote how I had 2 Oreo’s. If I was lying why would I tell him the bad things I grabbed?
I left there crying my eyes out and muttering ASSHOLE as I walked out of his office.

Insomnia had me walking the house in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep. One morning I got on the internet and inserted my plethora of symptoms on to this site. It came up that I had hypothyroidism. Well that sounded nice to have a name but they check my thyroid…..I was told I was normal. ALL of my symptoms were on this chart.

2 things stood out to me though from my childhood that I remember very well.
1. Right after my new step mom became my mom she took me to our family doctor for our back to school physical he had my mom come into the exam room with me. He explained to her my idiosyncrasies and told her that if my temperature was 98.6 then I had a fever because my temp was never more than 96. (hypothyroid 101)
2. That I never went to the bathroom (BM)more than once a week. I can still hear him tell my step mom that while that wasn’t normal for us, it was for me and if it gets particularly difficult for me to just give me some Metamucil. (hypothyroid 101)
Those were 2 of the top symptoms for hypothyroid and these were issues I had been dealing with since I was a child before my mom even died.

I actually was elated thinking I found out what was wrong with me. Upon further search I found a woman who wrote this great book on the topic. She was here in DC and she had a very helpful website. I clicked on that link, bought her book and devoured the information. She had a link to doctors in the area who worked in this arena as well as with patient’s comments about them. So I got myself an appointment right away.

This female doctor was sympathetic and discussed how your TSH could read normal but that does not mean your thyroid is functioning well. She went into great detail that made so much sense to me and to what I had been dealing with my whole life really. At this point I was a mess. More symptoms than I have even mentioned here. Add to that my perfect cholesterol was now in the high range and I was getting bigger and more swollen by the day. I had no energy and it was a real struggle to move from pain and lethargy. She got me on a protocol that appeared to be working. We were increasing it along nicely. I had lost some of the symptoms and weight was just coming off. Not doing anything different than before. (a diet of no processed foods nothing white, only veggies, protein, brown rice and I quit alcohol – that was the painful part) I was getting very hopeful that this was going to be over soon. I was going to get my life back. But then the swelling came back.

I remember going home for a visit for a funeral. I left wearing 1 size pair of jeans and 2 days later they didn’t fit me so I had to drive 6 hours home with them unsnapped. I felt horrible. My face was swollen. I walked in the door and my husband said, “Oh my God what happened to you? Do you feel okay?” I burst into tears.

I got in to see my dr. the next day and she was so shocked. She thought this swelling all along was just thyroid. No matter how we moved the meds it didn’t work. Up on T3 or up on T4, free T3 or free T4. I was all over the place and getting worse. Now my adrenals were failing.

I had been on a waiting list for a doctor whom the author used and it had been almost a year and they finally called in the midst of this. I thought what have I got to lose.

I went to my new doctor. (by the way this dr. helped co-write the book I mentioned above) We did a whole new panel of blood. And I might add that this was now the 3rd dr. I was going to that did not take insurance at all!!!!

My adrenal glands were in fatigue, my liver and kidneys were not functioning at optimal function and my thyroid was all over the place. In the course of a year nothing they did fixed me. I could barely get out of bed but I not only did I worked like a dog to build the business with my husband.

After another trip home to see sick family I came back horribly swollen again and I called the dr. immediately and she got me same day. She couldn’t believe what she was looking at.
I seriously looked like someone had put an air pump on my toe and just blew me up.

We went through everything I did. I told her the only thing that was different was that I ate things I don’t normally eat. My family is Italian. There isn’t a carb they don’t make, love or feed you. If you say you aren’t hungry the retort is, “then just have a sandwich-as they put it down in front of you.” So yes, I ate pasta and I had two slices of pizza, and a pepperoni ball which I so missed and all in the course of 3 days. My dr. admitted that while that really had me off the wagon on my diet she certainly understood but to her that didn’t explain why I was looking like this. Then she asked me a few more questions and she said that I could possibly be having an issue with gluten. So I left to get blood work somewhere that would take my insurance and in the meantime a brand new diet. YIPEE.

Part 2 tomorrow…..if you're still awake that is.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Not a fan of Mondays

All is right with the world this morning.

I know none of you give a shit but I really do…..My Yankees swept the Red Sox.
Nothing could make me happier…..well okay if we can keep the momentum going into October!!!



I have been watching this news report about the mom who was driving on the wrong side of the road and killed her nieces, herself, her children and 2 other adult men. Something just doesn’t seem right to me and no one is asking the right questions. She had alcohol and TCH in her bloodstream they are saying. Of course her family is stumped because she doesn't drink much let alone in the early morning or with her children etc. And they report she doesn't smoke pot. But it’s hardly been mentioned that she called her brother after eating at the McDonalds and told him she was feeling disoriented and having a hard time and was feeling odd. Could there be more to this than a woman who they think is drunk and high? I just think there needs to be more investigating than assuming here. Why do we always assume and not really dig? Either way I realize it’s all so damn sad anyway you look at it.

In the mean here in our nations capital it is hotter than Haiti out there. This time of year makes me long for fall and 65 degrees. It’s supposed to be 105 with the heat index today, the temp really only reaching 98. This is the only place I have ever lived where you get 100% humidity and it doesn’t rain. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest and now the Mid-Atlantic and I have to say the winters here are great but the dog days of summer are killer. I would just skip late July, August and September if I had my way and jump right into October. Hair is flat, boobs get all sweaty underneath and I am crankier than normal. Now that was a pretty picture wasn’t it? Ladies you don’t want big boobs in summer trust me on this one!

Walking the dog in this heat is tons of fun. Throwing a Frisbee is only fun if throwing in the water in these temperatures. And since I am landlocked until Thursday night it just plain sucks. I can’t even begin to image how the dog feels with that big ole coat of hers.

I’m off to make a nice cold beverage…..like my favorite Lemonade and Gin. Shhh.....don't tell my boss.




Friday, August 7, 2009

Bromance a Brewin'

My husband has met this man while walking the dog. His dog is the cutest dog named Winston. Winston sort of reminds me of Ernst Borgnine. Like this one….

Winston wants nothing to do with our dog but that hasn’t stopped my husband and this guy from having a Bromance.

For some reason, this tickles my funny bone big time.

I honestly think if you heard this exchange outside my office window. 
You would never know it was between 2 men.
Big macho men no less. Both big in stature, over 6’2” and over 200lbs.
Neither have that metrosexual look like this.
My husband is walking Izzy in his crocs that look like a pair of slip on canvas loafers.
These are the shoes.



The exchange goes like this.....
Winston’s owner says, “hey those are great shoes.”


Rick says, “Yep they are so comfortable too, can you believe these are Crocs?"

"Get out really? "

"Yea, I know I thought Crocs only came in those ugly plastic kids shoe.""Me too. Where did you buy these? "

"Online. Actually, my wife got them for me – she knew I would love the croc insert and she was right. She loves her croc flip flops and they sent her a coupon via email. These are not like wearing shoes at all man."

"Do they come in other colors?"

"Oh, yea, other colors, and styles. They have a lot of shoes that aren’t those ugly plastic things."

"I have to check into those. Online you say?"

"Yep online - just google it. Like I said my wife did it."

"We should get together over a couple of beers."

"Yea that sounds great! "

"Great and then maybe you can tell me where you got your hair cut."

Okay, the last line I just made up, because seriously this whole thing is so funny to me.
But the rest of this is the real deal - I mean seriously who could make this shit up?

I met his twinkie wife while this was going on.
She seems very nice but very young. She is a school counselor.

So it looks like we’ll be getting together the four of us to throw back a few and to discuss my husband shoes.
Which I might add I bought without him knowing and made him try them on.
Now I can’t get them off him! Gee maybe Crocs could have him do a commercial for them.

Oh, this whole thing just makes me smile.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Izzy Update

Well my little dog is feeling a bit better, less coughing etc. So much so that late morning she was leaping in the kitchen like a deer. No shit. She made herself throw up. And boy did that scare her.

She was looking for her little red box in the kitchen with her toys. I had to hide them because the vet didn't want her to have anything more than a chew toy.
Izzy doesn't quite see it the same way.
What I'm a retriever and I haven't retrieved anything in 2 days......is there a 12 step program for this people? I want to go outside and play.....I am getting anxious.....how about some Xanax maybe?.....if I can't have my balls to fetch and I can't go run outside and play with sticks what do you want me to do? huh? huh? huh?

The vet called shortly after the vomiting scene to let us know that she does not have Parvo. Thank God!!!

The influenza test has not returned yet. I told her what had happened this morning after she was trying to get me to play with her leaping and carrying on. The vet said you can't have her playing, jumping, leaping or walking a lot I think I told you all of that! Yes but how does one make a dog understand that it is to lay down all damn day? I explained that this is difficult because she is feeling a bit better so she wants to play, my God she's a puppy. I asked if maybe there were doggie downers or something to allow her to be calm. (I was only partly joking.) Because nothing I was trying was working. She suggested I give her baby Benadryl again.
It would dry her up and keep her calm. CALM? It sedates her.
So I gave her some more food and put a Benadryl pill in there and for some reason it makes me feel so guilty.

But then I keep telling myself that I am being a good mommy by allowing her body to heal and get better. I figure if I say it enough times it will sink in and I may one day believe this.

In the mean time she has fallen asleep at my desk....upside down no less.

But all this medicine is making her farty. It's so not good. So now I can't even wake her if I wanted and she is stinking up this room big time. It's burning my eyelashes.

I guess this is my pay back for drugging her. I told you she was a damn smart dog.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Izzy

Okay got a lot of personal emails about Izzy. So I thought I would take the time to share what is going on with my little gal.

Now I am new at this whole doggy thing and I just can't believe how in love I am with this puppy. She is 5 months old (21 weeks) and sick as a dog as the saying goes.

Let me begin by telling you she has never had a normal stool. It's always been what I refer to as "soft serve". As usual all my descriptions are like food - soft serve ice cream that is.

We have noticed that she is always chewing one area of her back leg and it seemed like she had allergies. But it wasn't a constant thing. We checked her skin and it was dry there so we change shampoo's.

Then this weekend she began to sneeze. We were convinced she had allergies now and thought come Monday morning we were going to call the vet and see what was going on.

By Sunday night she was throwing up mucus.....hey people you asked. She was all snotty, crusty eyes and they were all sick looking. She was coughing and it sounded like she had black lung or was a smoker for the last 40 years. She had diarrhea something terrible and she was lethargic.

Her pads were hot as were her belly and nose. I was a wreck. Rick didn't think it was necessary to go to the veterinary ER - he just laughed at me. I was overruled.

By bedtime she was coughing so badly it was breaking my heart. I was so damn mad at Rick that I screamed, "If this was a human child would you just say let's wait until morning really?" I wanted to hurt him I was so angry.

Neither of us got any sleep at all. I tried to pick up my 37lb baby and she wouldn't even let me. I thought if she would I was just going to put her in the car - the hell with Rick. But she backed away and wanted to be left alone. She was so far back in her crate I had to crawl in to reach her. But she didn't want to be touched. So I gave in and let her be. We gave her baby benadryl and that dried her up a bit and slowed down the coughing she slept for a couple of hours. Too bad her parents didn't....it was now time to get up.

I got her to the vet by 7:30am yesterday morning when they opened. No appointment and looking like hell. I didn't care what the hell they thought of my bed head and plain face I needed them to look at my dog not me. Izzy barely walked in. She just laid right down on the floor as I explained like a frantic first time mommy what was going on. They took her leash and headed toward the back. They asked to keep her all day. I admit I was fighting back tears. She went with them and then stopped turned back like she does when it's time for bed, she heads up with Rick and then turns to make sure I'm there like, "Aren't you coming too?" It broke my heart.

Her temp was just over 103. They gave her fluids and electrolytes via IV. They took stool samples and they took blood and checked white blood count. Some tests will be back tomorrow. By the end of the day I got to pick her up and bring her home. Her temp was down to 101 - Whew.
They had her quarantined so when they took me back to see her she was in her own crate. She was just lying there looking sick. Her tail wagged but she didn't move. I opened the door and she slowly walked out. That was a sure sign she wasn't feeling well. Her normal greeting is very energetic with slobbery kisses. They had just given her another round of fluids under the skin and she looked like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I wasn't aware of the injections so I asked what the hell that was just below her neck and they said the fluids. Jeez - they could have said something first becuase I thought she had grown a hump in the time they had her.

So the vet, whom I love, gave me the low down.
1. Izzy has a virus - she is very contagious. She has to stay 4 ft or more away from other dogs. She has an upper respiratory infection. We have antibiotics for this.

2. She has Giardi - this is awful diarrhea which a dog gets from another dog. It's a parasite. She has medicine for this as well.

3. Because they think she does have allergies to some type of food we have her on a bland diet as well. Separate issue but one we wanted to address to also help rid her of the diarrhea.

4. They tested her for Parvo which she was just immunized for so I pray to God she doesn't have that. They couldn't rule it out yet. She could die from Parvo most dogs do I think and I can't even bear that thought right now. We'll know about that tomorrow.
5. I thank God for dog insurance which we were smart enough to purchase. It is the cost of a nice bottle of wine per month. ($28) Or my favorite - Tangeray Gin. That helps me put it in perspective. Yea, I know ya'll thinking, boy this bitch likes to eat and drink doesn't she? Yep.

Izzy is to not walk, not play, no exertion. We are not allowed to take her to the lake this weekend. They do not want her to be in the car for 4 hours. She is to just eat, drink and rest. Which thus far has not been an issue. She no more wants to walk than any of us do when we are sick with the flu. She did pick up her tire toy today and dropped it in front of me....which means please throw this and let me retrieve. But I didn't throw it. Instead I rolled it and she watched it roll and then laid down and closed her eyes.

Now how she got this horrible thing to begin with. We think it was from taking her to Dogtopia. Remember when I wrote about how I was kicked out of the dog park when she was 4 months old? 2 snotty old women told me my dog was not socialized. Well hell no, she's 4 months old and not around dogs. How the hell is she going to get socialized bitch? Anyway, I decided to enroll her 1 day a week at Dogtopia to play. A good deal of neighbors swore by it. When we asked our vet she thought that was a great idea and said that she liked them there because it was very clean and kept clean and they monitored the dogs etc. So on Monday's we went there. So socializing also mean germs and bugs and guess what? Izzy got sick.

I am thinking this is like when you send your healthy child off to school with 20+ other snot nosed little monsters crawling with germs. They bring it home and mom and dad get sick more too. It's a normal thing. Doesn't make this any better but I realize it's not any ones fault.

So before she can go back to Dogtopia (doggie day care) she must get a clean bill of health from the vet and I have to have a doctor's note stating that. Rather funny but it's for the good of all who bring their dogs there.

So there you have it.
My little gal is sleeping soundly right now with her face almost completely under the sofa.
She's been sleeping most of the day and that is so good for her. I took this photo from the stairs so I didn't go downstairs and wake her. I hate that she is sick but I do enjoy the quiet while working I'll admit. (bad mommy!)



Monday, August 3, 2009

Running on Empty

Boy is it ever a Monday!

Our puppy is very sick. None of us in the house got any sleep last night.
I brought her in to the vet today and they asked to keep her most of the day.
She had a 103 temp and is coughing and vomiting and has diarrhea. Fun huh?
Poor thing. I can't believe how worried I am about her.

Yesterday my young neighbor who just found out she is pregnant left for a 2 week business trip to Malaysia. She and I were chatting over the fence yesterday about where she goes after Malaysia. She comes home for 2 weeks and then leaves for the U.K. for 2 weeks.

She has told me before that traveling wouldn't be difficult during her pregnancy and no one at work was to know that she was pregnant at least until the 4th or 5th month. However she is a 6 foot tall stick. If she eats rice it shows so I imagine she'll be showing by then. They may just figure she's pregnant because anyone who knows her knows she doesn't eat and lives at the gym or bar when not at work. Although she who never eats said that she was hoping to not gain any more than 10lbs. during her pregnancy. Oh pleeease!!! Her hubsand encourages this behavior. For all I know he may enforce it. Nothing would surprise me.

After her 10 day trip to Brazil she told me that it took more out of her and she found she needed a day of sleep to bounce back. DUH.
I asked if her doctor knew she was traveling this much. She told me that she told her doctor she had to travel but not to this extent or these destinations.

Now here is my question to you mommies out there. Wouldn't you want to take some type of precautions there? Swine Flu shot perhaps? I asked her about that since it's so rampant in Asia and she said she'd be fine. She didn't need a flu shot. I am thinking she's A. incredibly healthy or B. incredibly stupid or C. young enough that nothing matters or probably D. All of the above.

I figure she must know it's not the best thing to do if she didn't tell her doctor everything.
Then again, I did not bear children only raised them. So what the hell do I know. I could also be A. incredibly stupid or B. so old that everything worries me.

She feels that her job would be in jeopardy if they knew she was pregnant. While we all know it's illegal to fire someone for such a thing they do it all the time. They would find a way to move her to another department etc. I'm not sure the loss of a job is worth a baby but that's just me.
She is only 2 1/2 months so I understand not wanting to tell them. I still think that I would take precautions though other than poo-poo'ing it all like nothing is different.
For God's sake she won't eat luncheon meat or have an O'Doul's non alcoholic drink because there is 0.05% of alcohol in it. I would risk the 0.05% than go to Malaysia without a swine flu shot. But then that's me, I always error on the side with alcohol!