1,000 posts almost makes up for this…


This pile of wood shavings is what’s left of my squirrel tree. My 23 year old pussy willow is no more. It cracked down the middle, and half of it was leaning on my house. I’m so bummed. What will my squirrels do?

My yard is forlorn and bare, and I am so very sad to lose my beautiful tree.

2017 – Not a Good Year (so far)

One of my squirrel friends this morning, sniffing a peanut I had just tossed out. He has nothing to do with this post. I just thought he was cute.

In my family, usually when we arrive at year-end, we tend to look back on the year that has passed and ask whether or not we are sad to see it go or glad that it is finally over.  So far, for me personally, 2017 has been a “stinker” of a year. I will be ecstatic to see it end.

April was particularly bad. March wasn’t that great either. I visited the Dentist early in the year for a cleaning, and I was told that the one tooth I had that was mostly filling and little tooth finally had deteriorated to the point that I had to deal with it. It needed to be crowned.  The first crown appointment was scheduled for March, and when I arrived and told the dentist that the tooth was hot and cold sensitive and generally a huge, aching pain in the ass, he said I needed a root canal. Getting in to see a specialist that didn’t demand thousands of dollars up front even though my insurance eventually covered the procedure in full proved to be a hassle. I did end up with a wonderful endodontist who made the root canal procedure simple and easy. The end result was a crowned tooth that no longer bothers me.

Six days after the root canal procedure I had my car accident. Actually, it was the little, old lady driving into me incident. I was minding my own business, mostly past her on her left, when she decided to drive into my rear passenger side door. That little fiasco ended up with me having to repair my car and replace a door, and while I wasn’t ticketed, I was listed by the police officer as a “contributing factor”. Why? Because she couldn’t stay in her own lane and decided to share mine? 

My poor baby (in April)

June brought me a jury duty summons for three months of Federal Jury duty service from mid-July to mid-October. I got out of it until September when I was called to appear. I then got excused when I showed them my doctor’s note asking to be excused for health reasons.

Which brings me to August and September. Anyone who follows me knows what happened in August. I ended up in the Emergency Room on August 16.  I had a colonoscopy on August 25. I had an upper endoscopy on August 28. I had a CT scan on August 30. I had a repeat CT scan on September 22. I was admitted to the hospital and spent five nights there from September 22 to September 27. All of this was thanks to diverticulitis.  I am on disability at the moment, and I have paperwork that needs to be completed and signed by the doctor before I can return to work.  I saw both my gastroenterologist and my primary doctor this week. I am on a low fiber, low residue and lactose free diet. Go ahead and Google that. There’s not much I can eat right now. I have been told that diverticulitis messes with IBS big-time, and it may be months before I am back to normal (for me).

Me, tucked comfortably into my hospital bed, with my best friend, the combination remote control-light switch-nurse call button on my shoulder

Unless I win the lottery in October and really, really great things start happening in November and December, I can safely say that 2017 sucked big-time. I will be more than excited to kick it out the door on December 31st. I am also hoping that by year end I will feel more like myself again. Fingers crossed, guys.

If We Were Having Coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d catch you up on how I’m feeling. Some days I’m really good, other days I do fine until the first stomachache hits. Diverticulitis sucks, and I’m not kidding. It sucks the life right out of you and makes you dependent upon having a restroom nearby, not to mention an understanding family while you moan and groan in pain until the latest bout passes. I was on two antibiotics and had to come off of one of them. The levofloxacin was affecting my joints and tendons. I could hardly move. I was so stiff and so sore I could barely walk. I felt 88 instead of 58. I called the doctor after seven days on it; I just couldn’t stand it any longer because it got a bit worse with each passing day. The day after I stopped it, the pain had receded but I was still stiff. Today I’m more myself. I can at least move around (I even did a bit of dancing). I’m still not eating very well (I’m afraid to as most things don’t stick around long). I’m down twelve pounds in a month.

I saw the primary care doctor yesterday; actually I saw my son’s doctor – what a nice man. He went over the results of my CT scan, and since (in addition to the acute diverticulitis) they also found two non-specific “bone islands”, they are obligated to follow up on them. I have to have a nuclear medicine bone scan (they’ll inject me with radioactive material to see if those bone islands are actively growing). If they are, I’ll need a bone biopsy to see just what they are. Chances are more likely that they are nothing, but they have to test and make sure. They are two very small spots – one of the top of my right thigh bone and one on my left pelvis bone. I had my flu shot while I was there, and my blood pressure was “textbook perfect”.

I’m working hard on getting healthy again. I’ve been passing my time quietly, trying to rest and get well. I’ve done quite a bit of reading. I cracked myself up the other day. I’ve definitely become a Kindle convert. I had a novel in paperback that I wanted to read so I picked that up instead of ordering the eBook version. I found myself doing the stupidest thing – tapping the page instead of turning it when I finished reading the page. I’m so used to doing that on the electronic reader that turning a paper page has become foreign to me.

I also finally gave in to temptation and got a new iPhone. Yes, I know Apple is rumored to release the iPhone 8 soon, but I also did some research and discovered that new model because it’s going to rely on Samsung’s screen technology is going to cost $1,000. That’s too rich for my blood just now. I’ll wait until the prices come down in a year or two. I’ve had an iPhone 6s for three months short of two years. It was a great little phone. I didn’t go for the Plus version when I bought it because I didn’t want the big phone. I gave in yesterday and got an iPhone 7 Plus. I love Apple and how seamless they make switching devices. Everything was backed up to the iCloud. I only lost a few text messages that I sent/received during the day yesterday. Everything else downloaded just fine – the screens were even set up just as they had been on my old phone. With Apple, all you have to do is go into each app, log back in, and you’re up and running. I only had two apps I had to delete and reinstall – WordPress and the Nokia Health Mate app. I also had to reinstall my iWatch, but that downloaded just fine from the backup from the day before. So far, so good with the phone. The size difference will take a little time to get used to; it may no longer fit in my pockets. It doesn’t fit into the cup holder in my car. It’s slightly bigger than my husband’s Droid phone. The graphics/screen are amazing, so much brighter than the 6 was.

I’ll close with a couple of squirrelly photos I took with the new phone. They’re not too bad considering I took them through a screen.

Coffee and book images courtesy of Pinterest


Diagnosis And Randomness

Still in pursuit of answers, I went for an upper endoscopy this past Monday. That went off as planned. I fasted from midnight the night before, and the test was at 11:30. My dear hubby took me. I was groggier this time; I even had to hitch a wheelchair ride out to the car. The upper endoscopy showed mild gastritis. No results yet on the biopsies he took. 

I went yesterday for the last test my doctor wanted me to have, a CAT scan. That was more of a hassle than anything else. I had to go to Highland Hospital, a place I’d never been. I didn’t even know where it was! I had to fast from 10:00 a.m.  The test was scheduled for 2:00. They didn’t do the scan until 4:10. I sat in the waiting room for over an hour!  Once called in, I had to drink six 8-ounce cups of a sorbitol solution over an hour, and then wait 30 minutes. The scan and contrast dye injection were the easy part. Drinking all that liquid is nauseating. 

I now have quite the collection of doctor/hospital wristbands. Too bad they’re not worth anything!

The doctor called today with my CAT scan results already. I have acute diverticulitis. Ouch. I’m relieved I now know why I’ve been so sick. I’m on two antibiotics, a difficult task since I’m allergic to penicillin and sulfa, and many other medications bother me. 

August has truly been the month from hell for me. In three weeks I’ve had an ER visit, a colonoscopy, an upper endoscopy, and a CAT scan. I’ve lost ten pounds, and I’ve missed five days of work. I’m eager to feel well again. I’m hopeful it’ll happen soon. 

On a happier note, here’s some cute bird feeder photos of my chubby woodchuck and his friends, the blue jay, the squirrel, and assorted sparrows. 

I’ve also got Chase, my faceplant kitty with his face pressed into the loveseat armrest. 

I took a short walk today and photographed a planter downtown. 

And my perennial favorite, the back door of the long-since closed Chinese restaurant with its “NO PRAKING” sign.