Thursday, January 17, 2019

Midweek on Wednesday

Not only midweek, but, mid-month, too!  Can you believe that we have reached the mid-point of this month?  Didn't we celebrate New Year's Day, just the other day?

Last night, when I checked my blood pressure before going to sleep, it was high.  High enough for me to check it three times!  I got lower readings on the second and third checks, but, even they were elevated.  So, I went ahead and took my blood pressure medication.

I have been trying to get to bed earlier, although, last night, "earlier" was 1:00 a.m.  But I fell asleep almost right away.  And I slept till almost 11:00 a.m., this morning, so I had plenty of sleep.

When I checked my blood pressure this morning, it was lower than last night, but still higher than recommended, and my heart rate was high.  So, I decided to take the morning blood pressure medication.  I checked the pressure another hour later, and it had come down, and what was even better (as far as I am concerned), my heart rate had come down, too.

What I am thinking is, my pressure went down, last week, because I was dehydrated; now that I have been drinking lots of water and am more hydrated, the pressure has gone up to a level that is requiring medications to keep it in check!  I am not sure how that makes any sense, but, it is the best I can deduce.  Needless to say, my doctor didn't call back, today, either.  I don't expect her to call now, but, when I do go to see her, next, I will bring up the fact that I called and she didn't return my calls.

The rest of my pressure readings during the day have been good and I haven't taken any additional medication.  I will check again, before going to bed, and take it from there.  It isn't a very satisfactory way of doing things, I fear, but, I don't know what else to do.  I am hoping that the medication dosages will be tweaked when I go back in February for my next check up.  Unless, I feel I need to see the doctor before that, in which case, I will try to get an earlier appointment.

My sugar levels have been good.

I went ahead and had a cup of tea, this morning, with milk and one spoon less sugar than I normally take; I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually palatable!  Not only that, I was OK with the level of sweetness.  I am hoping that, over time, I can reduce the amount of sugar, even more.

There was a very slight drizzle this morning and early afternoon.  But the forecast called for heavy rain this evening and thunder storms, tomorrow.  I decided that this afternoon would be the best time to go grocery shopping.  On the way to the grocery store, I stopped to put gas to the car, as I was down to almost quarter tank.  Gas was $3.05/gallon; I put $30 worth.  This is the first time I put gas to the car, in January.  My monthly budget for gas is now set at $50.

1/16 Groceries
I bought a salad kit, green beans, carrots, bananas, and beef steaks:

Cesar salad kit = $1.79
Green beans @ $1.49/lb = $.66
Carrots @ $.50/lb = $.30
Bananas @ $.59/lb = $.64
2 Beef steak @ $4.77/lb = $3.53 + $3.29
Total = $10.21

1/16 Receipt

Lunch was a bowl of my chicken soup.  For dinner, I had a salad, some of the beef steak, and some orange juice.  I cooked both pieces of beef steak; there is enough for at least three more meals.

It rained on and off in the afternoon, after I came back from grocery shopping.  I called and rescheduled tomorrow's routine followup appointment with the radiation oncologist as I didn't want to be out driving in the thunder storm the weather forecast says we will have tomorrow.  After that, I put away the laundry from yesterday and packed up the Christmas decorations that go into the suitcase in my closet.  The tree is still up. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- The rain slowed down long enough for me to run errands
- Gas prices have come down
- Dancer is continuing to do well
- My sugar levels are under control
- Being able to talk to family members by phone

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Call the doctor's office, again - DECIDED NOT TO
- Reschedule Thursday's medical appointment (severe rain in the forecast) - DONE
- Put away the rest of the Christmas decorations - DID SOME
- Housework: dust the living room, dining room, and family room
- Grocery shop - DONE
- Put gas to the car - DONE

Thursday's To Do List:
- Undecorate the Christmas tree
- Dust the living room, dining room, and family room
- Paperwork

How was your Wednesday?  What are your plans for Thursday? 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Rain on Tuesday, Too

This morning was overcast, but not rainy.  However, around 11:00 a.m., when I went outside to bring the trash cans in, it began to drizzle and it has been raining (a light rain, for the most part), ever since!

I did a couple of loads of laundry, today, including the knitted blankets I had out on the sofas, took down the Christmas items in the living room and dining room, did more dishes, and made a pot of  chicken and vegetables soup:

Chicken and Vegetables Soup
I used a bag of roast chicken bones and bits and pieces from the freezer, added a package of tomatoes and onions from the freezer, some celery from the fridge, and a can of mixed vegetables from the cupboard to make the soup.  I cut up the rest of the head of celery in small pieces and froze it, before it spoiled.   I don't like raw celery, but don't mind it in soups, etc.

Breakfast had been the last banana, before it got overripe; lunch was two bowls of the chicken soup.  Later, in the evening, instead of my usual cup of tea, I had another bowl of the chicken soup and a slice of bread and butter because my sugar level was low.  Dinner was a scrambled egg on multi-grain bread, toasted, and a slice of spicy, dehydrated mango for dessert.

I called my doctor in the morning with a question about my blood pressure medications, and left a message for her; she didn't call me back, so I called again in the evening and left another message.  However, she didn't return my call.  I suppose I will have to call again, tomorrow!  In the meantime, I am checking everything I am supposed to be checking and doing what I can to keep things even.  The blood pressure has been good; not too low but not high enough to take anything.   

I read a bit in the afternoon, but I am unable to finish my second library book before it is due tomorrow.  So, I renewed both books online and will return them both before the next due date.  I am glad I am able to renew library books online.

Cousin P called to check on me in the afternoon and we chatted awhile.  Aunt C called, too, and friend R.  I called my cousin R to see how she was doing as she is a special-ed teacher and the teachers union is on strike!

Today, I am grateful for:
- Rain for the garden and the newly planted peach tree
- Soup from the freezer and cabinets
- Warm sweaters and scarves
- Phone calls from family and friends
- Being able to renew library books online

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Grocery shop (if not raining!)
- Do a load of laundry - DONE
- Put away the Christmas decorations!  (Yes, the tree is still up!) - DID SOME

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Call the doctor's office, again
- Reschedule Thursday's medical appointment (severe rain in the forecast)
- Put away the rest of the Christmas decorations
- Housework: dust the living room, dining room, and family room

Monday, January 14, 2019

Rainy Monday

Woke up to the sound of rain, this morning!  We are definitely having a wet winter, this year!  A blessing, since we need the rain.  Hopefully, the rain will be accompanied by snow in the mountains, as well, because it is the depth of the snow pack (which melts over the summer to provide us with water) that determines if we have drought restrictions this summer or not.

I called the gastroenterologist's office this morning and confirmed my appointment.  They had been the ones to call me, earlier, to say that my insurance had been inactivated and they couldn't get authorization.  The insurance sent me a letter of authorization in the mail, last week, but the doctor's office phone line was busy each time I tried to call.  This morning, however, I was able to get through and confirm the appointment that was scheduled for noon, today.

Then, I called my primary care doctor's office regarding one of my other prescriptions.  I noticed, last night, that I was out of refills and I had forgotten to mention it to her when I went on Friday.  I tried calling the pharmacy to check if they had received a new prescription authorization, but it was closed by then.  Doctor wasn't in today, but the office took a message.  I called the pharmacy, after that, just to double check if they had received the authorization - well, yes, they had received it, but they need to special order the medication.  They will do that, today.  I really don't know why they sit on these things, at times, but, I am partially to blame for not realizing that I was out of refills, earlier.

Dancer greeted me with a meow this morning when I woke up!  Oh, I was so happy!  He even allowed me to pick him up and hug him!  Just for a minute, you understand, because it is really beneath his dignity to be picked up and hugged by Mummy (only Little Bless is allowed to do that with impunity), and he declined the spoon of canned tuna I offered him, but he curled up on the piano stool, next to me, for awhile as I responded to blog comments, etc.

Then, it was time to get ready to go to the doctor's.  Cousin P called as I was about to leave, so I told her I'll call her back, later.   I left home in good time, anticipating a clogged freeway due to the rain, but was pleasantly surprised to find the traffic flowing smoothly until it got closer to downtown.  But, I didn't need to go all the way to downtown for today's appointment, so I was early to the appointment.  Which gave me a little time to sit in the waiting area and read my prayer book. 

I was called in at noon, weighed, blood pressure checked, etc.  My pressure was "good" - low enough not to require this morning's medication, but not so low as to cause concern.  Maybe all my prayers for good health are taking effect?

This was a follow-up appointment with the doctor who performed the colonoscopy in August. He had asked me to stop taking the iron supplements for 1 month prior to this visit as he wanted to check my blood iron levels.  If they are OK, then, that is good news; if they are not OK, then, they might have to do further tests, which involves swallowing something with a camera at the end of it, to check my small intestines!  He described it as being a "pain in the a--" (his words, not mine).  Oh, lovely!  Let's just hope that I have good iron levels!  Sigh.

They did the blood tests before I left the clinic; I am to go back in two weeks' to find out the results. 

It was still raining when I drove home and, this time, the roads were clogged and some of the intersections were flooded! 

I came home and had lunch.  Then, replied to concerned texts from my daughter and cousin N (she and her mother, Aunt C, had both called and left messages at home, as well). 

There was also a text from the pharmacy saying my prescription was ready!  It was the one I had inquired about, this morning.  So, I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. 

But, I didn't go to the grocery store.  I just wanted to come home and not be out driving in the rain.  I might grocery shop, tomorrow afternoon, if it isn't raining too hard (according to the forecast, we are supposed to have rain, all week!)

After I came home, I did the dishes, cleaned out the fridge, cleaned Dancer's litter box, and took the big trash cans to the curb for pick up, tomorrow morning.  By then, the rain had become more of a drizzle.

When I was in the kitchen, putting away dishes, Dancer meowed at me!  I interpreted it to mean that he was asking for tuna!  So, I opened a new can of tuna and gave him a spoonful on his newly washed china plate and...he ate it all!  I gave him a second spoonful, as well, and he ate that, too!  Well, now!  That's more like our Dancer!

Recovering on the Sofa!
Later in the evening, I spoke with Aunt T, who called to check on me, and with cousin P. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- All the rain we are getting
- Safe driving in the rain
- A good visit with the doctor
- The pharmacy had my prescription ready for pick up today, itself
- Good blood pressure readings

Monday's To Do List:
- Call the doctor's office to confirm appointment - DONE
- Call the primary care doctor's office re. prescription refill - DONE
- Call the pharmacy re. prescription refill - DONE
- Go to the appointment - DONE
- Grocery shop for fresh produce
- Clean out the fridge - DONE
- Take the trash cans to the curb - DONE
- Do the dishes - DONE

Tuesday's To Do List:
- Grocery shop (if not raining!)
- Do a load of laundry
- Put away the Christmas decorations!  (Yes, the tree is still up!)
- Do some housework

How was your Monday?  Did you have a good start to your week?  What are your plans for Tuesday?

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Restful Sunday

Today has been a chilly, cloudy, day.  Although I generally try to open the windows and air out the house in the afternoon, today, I kept the windows closed and the heater on, all day!  January and February tend to be our coldest months.

I took it easy, today, and didn't do anything much.  I woke up with a slight headache, but, that wore off later in the day.  My blood pressure and sugar levels were good and under control for the most part; but, towards the end of the day, the blood pressure numbers climbed up a bit above what the doctor recommended they should be, so I took the first medication for it since Friday morning!  I have another doctor's appointment, tomorrow (a different doctor, the gastroenterologist, and I need to call and confirm before I go); most probably they, too, will check my pressure, so it won't be just me checking it with my little monitor.

Aunt C called in the morning and we had a nice chat.  She said she was wearing the socks I had knitted and given her, a couple of years ago, as it was a cold day.  Time to knit more socks, I think!  Neighbor T called, too, for our regular Sunday morning chat. 

Dancer is on the mend, I feel.  He has been eating his regular dry food, but has been giving a wide berth to the soft food!  He meowed at me, once, a rather small, tentative meow, when I was making my lunch, so I offered him some soft food (the dry food is available at any time, now).  He just looked at the first spoonful of "white fish and tuna pate" but didn't go near it!  I put spoon of "salmon pate", as well, on the same plate, and he sniffed at it cautiously, but decided he didn't want any of it!  The garden cats had no problem with it, though!  LOL!

Today, I am grateful for:
- A restful day
- A working heater
- Phone calls from aunt C and neighbor T
- Chatting with my daughter
- Dancer and I are both doing OK

Monday's To Do List:
- Call the doctor's office to confirm appointment
- Go to the appointment/or schedule a new one
- Grocery shop for fresh produce
- Clean out the fridge
- Take the trash cans to the curb
- Do the dishes

How was your Sunday?  What are your plans for tomorrow and the upcoming week?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Another Visit to the Vet on Saturday

It poured with rain, late last night, or rather, very early this morning.  I went to bed around 12:30 a.m., but didn't fall asleep until about 1:30 a.m.  Then, around 2:30 a.m., I woke to the sound of the rain.  It had ceased around 6:00 a.m. when I woke up, again, to feed Dancer (I went back to sleep, and slept till 10:00 a.m.).  But, it began to rain again, later.  The rain stopped just before noon.

Dancer spent most of the night cuddled next to me.  He purred but didn't meow.  He refused to eat even the tuna, last night and when I gave him fresh water in his bowl, he pawed the bowl and pushed it around, sniffed at the water, but didn't drink it.  He didn't eat the tuna I gave him at 6:00 a.m., either.  But I gave him another spoon of tuna around 10:00 a.m. and he ate a little of that.  The garden cats enjoyed the tuna Dancer had refused to eat!  And Dancer looked longingly at the dry food I gave them.

I checked my blood pressure twice in the morning; once as soon as I woke up, and again, around 11:30 a.m.  The first time, it was low (but not alarmingly so); the next time, it was a little higher, but low enough not to take the medicine (my doctor had said if it was below a certain level, I didn't need to take anything).  My sugar was a little above the higher level at fasting, so I didn't have my usual morning tea.  I checked it again at 11:30 a.m. and it had come down a bit, so I had a scrambled egg and a small glass of orange juice.

Then, a little after noon, I bundled Dancer up in his carrier and took him to the vet's.  Oh, he meowed in protest, all the way!  LOL!  Well, at least now we know that he didn't lose his ability to meow!

Apparently, he has an infection from the tooth extraction!  The vet said that, usually, if several teeth are extracted, then, they routinely administer an antibiotic.  But, with Dancer, since only one tooth was extracted, and since they are being told not to administer antibiotics as routinely due to the prevalence of antibiotics-resistant bacteria, she hadn't given him an antibiotic, automatically.  Well, it turns out that, maybe, she should have!  Because poor Dancer has red, infected gums and some streaks of white, too, which was a sign of infection, she said.  She said I did the right thing in bringing him in for a check up.

She gave him an injection of antibiotics - she said they could give him an oral antibiotic, that it was cheaper, but the injection was faster acting.  I opted for the injection, which cost $85.00.  At least, there were no other charges, such as a fee for the office visit, as it was a follow up visit.  She checked his temperature and it was normal.  She checked his weight and he has lost 1/2 lb. since his last visit, which was last week!  The vet assured me that he should feel better by Monday, but I am to bring him in, again, next Friday, as well.  She also said that it was OK to give him his dry food, as I said he is missing it.

He protested a bit on the way home, too, but not too much.  Then, as soon as I got home, I gave him a little dry food and, oh, he was a happy kitty!  He meowed once when I opened a new bag of food for him, to show his approval!  "Thank you, Mummy!"  "You are quite welcome, Dancer; enjoy!"

"Nom, nom, nom"
I rested a bit, after we came home.  I lay on the sofa in the living room and read one of my library books.  Dancer came by a couple of times for cuddles, although he didn't meow.  But, that's OK; I now know that he's probably feeling some pain and discomfort from the infection.

At 5:30 p.m., I checked my pressure, again - the numbers were good; not too low, but still below what the doctor said it should be when I should take my medicines.  I checked my sugar and it was low;  I debated whether to have my tea, but decided to eat an early dinner, instead.  Dinner was eaten at 6:00 p.m., which is practically unheard of, for me!

Today, I am grateful for:
- I was able to take Dancer to the vet for a check up
- Antibiotics to help him get over the infection
- The rain for the garden
- Phone calls from family and friends
- Being able to monitor my pressure, etc.

Saturday's to do list:
- Take Dancer to see the vet - DONE
- Dishes - Not yet

I haven't done the dishes at the time of writing this post.  I should probably go ahead and do that.

I haven't made a to do list for tomorrow.  There is plenty to do, but I might just take it easy, tomorrow, and see how I feel. 

How was your day?  What are your plans for tomorrow?

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Cat's Meow and Other Happenings

Dancer is not meowing!  He is usually fairly vocal, often answering me with a meow when I talk to him, but he's giving me the "silent treatment".  I think he's displeased with me because I won't give him his regular dry food.  He doesn't beg for it, but will sit by the laundry room door where I keep it, and look at me, silently, reproachfully, balefully.  He normally "talks" to the garden cats - sort of chirps at them - but he watches them silently, now, without a sound.  Yesterday, he refused to eat his canned cat food - even the pate.  He just sniffed at it and walked away!  I left it out for him but he wouldn't eat it, at all.  Finally, I opened a can of regular tuna and he ate some of that!  Today, too, all he ate was a little tuna.  And, he spends most of his time sleeping.  He used to sleep a lot, anyway, but very often, he'd wake up, walk around, meow at me, or sleep in the same room where I am.  Now, he's avoiding me, sleeping under the table or sofa in the other room.  I called the vet's clinic and the vet agrees that this is not normal behavior.  I have an appointment to take him in for a check up, tomorrow (Saturday) at noon.  Oh, he's going to love me!  I wonder if he'll meow during the car ride?

I woke up, yesterday morning, feeling exactly how I felt, just before I fainted in the bathroom, three years ago!  Clammy.  The phrase, "in a cold sweat" comes to mind.  I took the phone with me when I went to the bathroom and afterwards, I checked my blood pressure.  It was very low.  Afterwards, I began to feel better, but, I didn't take my morning blood pressure medication and I didn't visit my aunt as I had wanted to, as I didn't know if I should drive.  I called her and explained the situation to her and we agreed I should visit her when everything was OK.  I rested and checked my pressure a couple of times; each time, it was better, not quite as low as it had been in the morning, but I didn't take any of my medications, except for what I take for the cancer. I didn't bother to call the doctor's office because I already had an appointment scheduled for this afternoon.

I went to bed by 11:30 p.m., last night, and although I woke up once around 2:30 a.m. and went to the bathroom, I went back to bed and slept till 9:00 a.m.  I felt OK when I woke up, the pressure was a little low, but not what it was, yesterday.  I didn't take my pressure medication in the morning, but took it later, before I went to the doctor's because I began to feel one of the side effects of not taking it - my pulse rate increasing.  Everything was fine by the time I got to the doctor's - pressure normal, heart rate good, etc.  I had taken my blood pressure log with me as well as my pressure monitor and the doctor had me check my pressure with it while I was there.  We discussed what might be the causes of low blood pressure (possibly being dehydrated; I haven't been drinking a lot of water, recently), what to do if it happens again, and when I should call the paramedics.  I was told to monitor my pressure before I take my medications, and not to take it if it is low.  I am to continue keeping a log of my readings and bring it to my next appointment, scheduled for February.  It might be that we might need to make some additional adjustments to the dosage, etc. 

I brought up the fact that I had been feeling nauseated and threw up, once, but the doctor thought it might be a 24-hour virus or something I ate. 

Although my appointment was at 2:30 p.m., I didn't leave the clinic until 4:00 p.m.  Then, of course, I got caught to the rush hour traffic!  It was 5:30 p.m. when I got home.  I'm glad I don't have to drive in that traffic every day, anymore. 

Came home and had a cup of tea.  Friend M had come and planted a new peach tree for me - it is supposed to rain this weekend, so a good time to plant.  Hopefully, this little tree will get a good start and survive the summer heat!  We went with a 7 gallon plant, and it cost $45.00, plus another $9+ for a bag of soil amendment.

Dancer still isn't talking to me, but he came for a cuddle:

"I'm still not talking to you, though"

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to see the doctor
- Cousin P and friend R calling to check on me
- Dancer permitted a bit of a cuddle
- A new peach tree
- Chatting with my daughter

Saturday's to do list:
- Take Dancer to see the vet
- Dishes

How was your day?  What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Winter Roses and Other Happenings on Wednesday

Winter Rose
This rose is for those who, like my friend Bushlady, woke up to snow, this morning.   The rose bushes will be pruned, later this month, but, until then, they continue to bloom.

While I was out in the garden, I took a couple of other photos, too.

Last October, I bought two chrysanthemum plants to keep on the altar during the prayer gathering.  Afterwards, I planted them in the garden.  The purple one died, but the yellow one survived and has a flower (there are a couple of buds forming, too).

The photo of the oranges might be a candidate for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt, prompt #17 Orange.  I couldn't resist picking one of the oranges and having it as a snack! 

There was a knock on my door, this morning.  It was someone contracted by the utility company to trim trees that might come in contact and interfere with the power lines!  He and his assistant needed access to the backyard to inspect the utility pole and my pine tree.

Trimming the pine tree that is growing in the backyard has been on my to do list for a long time.  (Don't you love the English language?  In what other language can "trim the tree" mean both decorating a tree with ornaments and cutting it back to prune it?   LOL.)  But, my gardener friend hasn't been able to do it. So, today's visit by the utility company contractors was a blessing!  Especially since they trimmed the pine tree at no cost to me!

They didn't trim as much off the tree as I would have liked, and I might still nag friend M to prune a bit more of the tree, but now I don't have to worry about the power lines being impacted!  I'm glad I was at home to let them have access to the backyard.

They removed all the branches they trimmed, but I broke off a couple of sprigs for this week's "winter arrangement", along with a stem of paperwhites. 

I spoke with the dentist's office, this morning.  Apparently, I still need to call the dental insurance people to request that my account be activated, as the dental office was told that my account has been terminated!  Sigh.  I'm getting a bit tired of all these phone calls, back and forth!  So, one item crossed off the to do list and another item added to it! 

In the afternoon, I went to the grocery store to buy more canned cat food.  I've discovered that Dancer only likes the soft "pate" versions; he doesn't like the "shreds" and "bits" ones, that have pieces!  He also only likes the taste of fish, not chicken, etc.  So, I returned three unopened cans of cat food that had pieces in it and bought several cans of the pate versions, four cans of "salmon pate" and four cans of "white fish and tuna".  I also bought a loaf of bread ($1.29) and some bananas (@$.59/lb = $.78) for me.  Total spent, including cat food, came to $5.08.

January grocery spending to date:
1/4: bananas = $.99
1/9: bread & bananas = $1.29 + $.78 = $2.07
Total = $3.06

After that, I went to the fabric store, as today was the last day of their sale on broadcloth and other items.  I wanted to buy two yards of white broadcloth (regular price $3.99/yard; on sale for $1.99/yard) for a set of pillowcases I want to make.  Their quilt batting was on sale, too, for 60% off, so I bought one queen size polyester quilt batting (regular price $29.99; on sale for $11.99) and one small cotton quilt batting (regular price $9.99; on sale for $3.99).  I bought them both for projects I have in mind.  I wanted to spend about $20, which is my budgeted amount for my personal allowance, as I don't have a budget for craft supplies, as such.  The cost of the items came to $19.96, but, my total came to $21.86, with sales taxes.  I figured it was okay to go over budget by less than $2.00.  Especially since I "saved" $30 by taking advantage of the sale!

Fabric Store Receipt

Later in the evening, I changed the sheets on daughter's bed and did a load of laundry. 

Today, I am grateful for:
- Roses in winter
- Oranges fresh from the tree
- The pine tree being trimmed, free of charge
- Being able to exchange the cans of cat food without any problems
- Being able to buy fabric and quilt batting on sale

Wednesday's To Do List:
- Call the dentist's office - DONE
- Go to the fabric store - DONE
- Grocery store for more cans of food for Dancer - DONE
- Start putting away the holiday decorations
- Wash daughter's bedding/remake her bed - DONE

I accomplished most of the items on my list for today.  Taking down and putting the holiday decorations away will go on tomorrow's list.

Thursday's To Do List:
- Call cousin P to see if she wants to go visit Aunt T with me
- Visit Aunt T
- Take down and put away the holiday decorations

How was your day, today?  What have you planned for Thursday?