Sunday, February 28, 2016


Not sure if it is the hydrocodone or hormones, but my emotions have been from one end of the spectrum to the other.  I think part of the issue is that I am struggling with all of the medical bills from my back and knee.  The other part is the stress of trying to save for getting a house.  Or better yet, dealing with pain 24/7 is never a happy experience and tends to bring people down.

Honestly, getting a house this year is pretty much out of the question.  Mainly because I am having to deal with a lot of physical/medical issues.  It really sucks, but you know, it is what it is right now.  I think I should just accept the situation and focus my energy on getting better.  There has to be a light at the end of the tunnel where my health is concerned (and that is not death).

Sometimes, I look back at my choices and maybe, getting a personal trainer was a bad idea.  I probably should have used that money elsewhere.  However, who is to know how long I have had a slipped disc all this time.  As for my knee, they was going to happen sooner or later - who really knows.

I know I am tired of the pain.

As for my birthday this year, it does not look like I will be doing what I had planned, either.  I had been saving to go on a really cool trip to Las Vegas for my big 5-0.  However, I really cannot walk long distances and the trip would be wasted if I went.  It really makes me pretty sad to think about it.

As I sit back and take it all in, it is pretty depressing.  I am just trying to sort out how to just concentrate on one day at a time.  Stop looking at the big pictures and let that other stuff go.  Maybe there is some hope, but it is pretty slim.  However, I need to look at other positive things to do and work on those projects/goals.  That should be what I do next.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Endured Enough...

I finally got hold of the back specialist's receptionist on Monday.  I am scheduled for a shot in the back next Monday.  I am pretty tired of the pain and my hope is that the shot will provide me some relief.

My knee has started acting up as well.  Next month, I will arrange to get the new shot in my knee as the orthopedic has suggested.  I cannot stand for long periods of time before my back starts bothering me pretty seriously.  It is pretty annoying.  The part that really sucks - I can sit with no pain, but that is not helping me with getting the weight off my body.

I did manage to make jambalaya for dinner for the next few days.  So, that should help.  I am trying to sort out meal that are easy to put together and do not require a whole lot of work.  Jambalaya did require a lot of work, but the end product is so much that I have leftovers for awhile.  That works for me because I can enjoy that and have a salad to make it complete.

That is where I am at this point.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Feeling Defeated...

I know the dogs are fed up with me right now.  I can barely stand up without excruciating pain.  It is completely maddening.  Walking and Standing are sheer hell.  My back and knee are at it again.

It has been nothing but difficult dealing with the pain.  Hydrocodone does not seem to do anything with the pain.  To compound matters, I feel pain down my right thigh and shin.  

I took the dogs out for a walk about 7 PM and when I came back, I just cried.  It hurt that bad.  I hate being in such pain that I have to cry and wonder why - why did this happen?  Did I make a poor choice back in 2014 to try to get into shape?  Is this my punishment for doing that?

I seriously hope that I can get through to the back specialist for the shot next week.  I am tired of trying to reach out to get this scheduled and nothing is getting done.

To compound matters, the stupid A/C is not cooling.  Very UN-cool.

Maybe the dogs will allow me to head off to bed shortly and allow me to just sleep all of this off?

Techie Take Over...

Yesterday, while I went to pick up something for lunch, I dropped into Office Depot to pick up a notepad.  I am a notepad snob.  There are times and places for sticky notes, but sometimes, I want the plain, old fashioned notepad. 

The one I bought for work is to be used for quick notes.  The one I have at home  - I use it for a project I saw on-line.  Basically, I write down something each day that I am either thankful, grateful, or feeling blessed.  I put the notes into a jar and check them at the beginning of next year.  It is supposed to help with obtaining a more positive attitude.

Anyway, while I was on my walk to the check out counter, I came across the new portable Logitech keyboard, K380 Multi-Device.  Oooooo...

I was checking out the Logitech site regarding my squeezebox radio and touch and saw this keyboard.  The selling point is that you can connect to at the most 3 different devices using bluetooth connectivity.  The keyboard supports connections to Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Android, iOS (iPhone/iPad), and Apple TV.

Okay - this is really promising.  It uses two AAA batteries.  At the top left corner of the keyboard, there are three yellow or blue keys (depending on which keyboard you get).  Each key is a bluetooth connection to a different device.  Now, that is pretty awesome.

Set up is a breeze.  Once you unwrap the keyboard, you remove the yellow sticker so that the battery connectivity can take place.  Next, you press down on the first bluetooth key for 3 seconds, then set up the bluetooth connection on your device.  I cannot wait to get this keyboard set up on my Kindle Fire device.

Right now, not finding any issues with the keyboard.  I am sort of looking to see if I can use this as a replacement for the KVM device I have set up to switch between my work and home PCs in the living room.  I can see some issues, but there are always some sort of difficulties that you have to address from time to time.

I am looking forward to using this keyboard more.  It felt good and works really well.  

Post more as I use it more...

Sunday, February 14, 2016

What To Do When Food Suggestions Just Do Not Work...

This is partly my fault.  I generally shop for groceries once a week and lately, I have been slacking off due to the back pain.  The whole ordeal of getting groceries, then trying to get them up the stairs to be put away is a daunting task.

Most of the time, I can manage to stand long enough to cook breakfast.  However, lunch has been a sandwich or something bought from a fast food place if I was at work.  Dinner has been pretty late in the evening due to lying down to rest from the day.  At that point, I really do not want to eat because I do not want anything from a fast food restaurant.

Today, I was trying to decide what to do about lunch.  Breakfast was sticking to my insides since it was a bit bigger than normal.  However, it was time to eat something.  I decided on making grilled cheese sandwiches.

The grilled cheese sandwiches tasted so good.  Also, they were still pretty warm and that made them taste even better.  I think the bonus here is that I got out of my 'What do I really want to eat' rut.  

Yesterday, I had a a really good burger with Random Cathy's husband, Big Tea.  I will write more about the experience later.  However, I would love to go back to that restaurant and try some of the hot dog/sausage offerings.  The point was that I did not want another burger, especially one from one of the chains.

The grilled cheese sandwiches simply reminded me of how warm and comforting foods like that are.  It made me feel good and they tasted so very good.

Sometimes, you have to go back to some basic staples just to get out of a food rut.

Another Valentine's Day...

Another year and another Valentine's Day.  No pity party - just decided that maybe rather than feel rejected, I needed to spend Valentine's Day showing love to myself.  I have not always been kind to myself.

There should be no shame in being single on Valentine's Day.  I am tired of people thinking that there is something wrong with me because there is no one in my life.  So, I decided to never settle.  If it is never to happen for me, then you know there is something greater out there that I have to do on my own.  

However, I am no longer going to sit here and allow people to make me feel less than a person because I am not with someone.  It has only added to my own personal issues where I feel less than I should.  I really dislike the voices left in my head telling me so many negative things.

Life is not perfect, but none of us are perfect in this world.  I accept everyone, even those who are toxic to my life, as they are.  

So, time to spend learning to love myself and whatever makes me unhappy, if I can change it, I will do that.  Otherwise, I will have to change my attitude.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kidney and Bladder Update...

Yesterday, I saw the nephrologist.  I got the results from my ultrasound, 24 hour urine collection, and blood work.  According to the doctor, he states that my kidneys are functioning at about 60%, so that puts me in stage 2 of kidney disease, but he made it seem like the high end.  

My kidneys and bladder look normal, so that is a good thing.  His thoughts were that the high blood pressure and diabetes were taking a toll on my kidneys.  My blood pressure logs showed that the average was about 143/94.  It is a bit high, so he is going to prescribe a low dose beta blocker to help lower the blood pressure.

The hydrocodone and trivandizine are starting to help numb the back pain.  I have an appointment for an MRI on Monday.  I may end up getting the shot in the back sometime next week as well.  Not thrilling, but if it helps with getting rid of the pain and I can walk, I will have to do what needs to be done.

To be perfectly honest, I was very happy to hear that my kidneys and bladder were looking normal.  Not happy about the protein coming out with the urine.  However, what is really irritating is not knowing what I can do to fix that issue - other than take more medications.

I will have to really make better strides at changing my lifestyle.  This is not where I want to be at any point in my life - pondering what else is going to go wrong.

I asked Random Cathy for meditation recommendations.  Perhaps, my anxiety is really working me over more than anything else.  I simply need to learn to let go.  

Last night, I ended up over at ALoft in Frisco with the dogs.  As I approach my apartment, I hear this screeching noise.  I get into my apartment and it is 80 degrees.  I simply rolled my eyes and figured - here we go again.  Yes, I was angry, but I just resigned myself to the fact that this is how it is going to be.  Yes, it is annoying as hell.  However, I cannot control how issues are handled in the apartment complex anymore.  I simply have to just call in the issues and move along.  No amount of getting pissed off is going to fix anything, especially after the office is closed.

Maybe that and the medications at night helped mellow me out, but I was just truly worn out from everything.  I worried about having to charge for things that I should not have needed to do, such as staying at a  hotel because the apartment won't cool.  I figured, God will help me sort all of this out - I just have to trust him.  At that point, I simply tried to go to sleep.  

I love my dogs dearly, but man, trying to get some sleep with the two of them can be a real headache when we are in a different place from home.  They are funny about strange places, but they never forget their schedule.

Positive Note:  Just have faith - it will work itself out in the end.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back Pain Is No Joke...

Yesterday, I visited the back specialist at the same office where my orthopedic doctor works.  My back was already in prime form and I had already cried a few times over the pain after walking the dogs a few times.  Just standing on the scale was a very painful experience, so I knew something really is not right, but what is it exactly?  

I barely made it through the X-Rays.  I had to stand for getting the X-Rays and standing still is really hard on my back.  Luckily, the technician doing the X-Rays was kind enough to give me a few breaks to bend down for some relief.

The back specialist entered the room shortly after the X-Ray experience.  He seemed to know exactly what the problem was and showed me - a slipped disc that is touching the nerve in my lower back.

Well, now, I know it is not a stretching issue or sciatica.  It has just been frustrating the past two years, but now, everything makes sense as to why the horrible pain.  The doctor also noted I had several hard muscle knots in my back as well as an area where I had a really bad spasm.  When he hit that area, I screamed and did not mean to do it.  It just hurt that bad.

Right now, he has prescribed a stronger pain medication and muscle relaxer.  I have to take the muscle relaxer at night.  A friend takes it and tells me that I would sleep well.  Last night, that did not happen for me, but that was probably my nerves due to seeing the kidney specialist today.

I have to go for an MRI, then see the back specialist in 3 weeks.  At that time, he will see if my insurance company will approve for my getting an injection in my back.  However, end game looks like there will be surgery to fix the disc.  

All I can say is the following:

I understand why my mother wanted to kill herself all of the time.  When the pain is so bad, it really makes you depressed.  It is even worse when you feel nothing can be done.

I will never take walking without pain for granted ever again.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Looking For Dietary Help...

A lot of what I cook is what my mother used to cook.  I think we all cook what we are used to eating.  However, I know that those recipes are not carb friendly for someone like me.  I decided it was time to look for somewhere that would provide ideas for someone like me.

I went to one site and checked out their Diabetic plan.  Nutshell, it made no sense.  When I took the education course, the dietitian indicated that we should have 175 g of carbs all day.  The break down was 45, 15, 30, 15, 30, 15 - breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner, and evening snack.  (Not exact, but provides wiggle room for the 175 g).

The site showed that 50% of a meal was comprised of carbs.  Wow!  That is a lot.  Breakfast would be 60-70g of carbs.  I thought - How can this plan be good for a diabetic?  I had joined this site a couple of times in the past and the last time, I asked them about this plan.  The site claims to have registered dietitians on staff, but would not budge on the recommendations from their staff in regards to those with diabetes.

I think the best solution at this point is to look further into sites that are geared for Diabetes.  More importantly, I may schedule an appointment with the dietitian on staff where my PCP is.  It is only $30 to see her and I can discuss the diabetes and ways to make sure I am eating properly.  I may even get some decent recipes out of it.

Diabetic Living has provided me with several recipes.  However, I have been looking for help on losing weight at the same time.  Seems to be that I can lose the weight, but something will trigger me to start gaining.  Perhaps, this can be of some help.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Pain No One Sees...

Before anyone tells me to go see a doctor, I already have an appointment.  However, that does not stop the debilitating back pain.  Yesterday, I stood in the kitchen to make breakfast and that was a true chore.  My back was seriously killing me and taking the shower afterwards was a literal hell.

I pray that the doctor on Wednesday can see what the issue is with my back.  All of this pain really depresses me because I cannot do the things I really would like to do.  

The times where I can walk with no pain, I do not take them for granted anymore.  I treasure those times and try to search for what I can do to enjoy more time without pain.  I kid you not.  I feel bad for the dogs because I have to cut their walks short due to the pain.  

When my knee was acting up along with my back, people could understand I was in pain.  It looked like I was in a lot of pain.  Now, I do not think people notice it as much.  Well, I have one friend who makes no notice at all, even when my knee was in bad shape.  I rode in her car and we had to walk a distance before we got to the restaurant.  I did not say anything because it would have made no difference to her.  As long as it is not her pain, she sees nothing.  I think when I had the knee pain, I could meet her places in my car, but that was about it.

Some days, it is difficult to keep up the smile on my face and act like everything is okay.  Today, the back pain was so bad, I finally ended up back in bed and fell asleep.  When I woke up, my back pain was still there.  The dogs got an even shorter walk than normal.  I hate that, but hoping that they will be happy to go for a ride with me.

That is another thing - shopping.  I cannot make all the rounds that I used to do.  I have to do them on separate days.  Otherwise, I pay for it with really sharp back pains that make me bend forward like a little old lady.  I can never stand straight.

I really wish I understood what happened to my back in June 2014.  Whatever it was has really caused me a lot of grief for the past 1.5 years.  My hope is that on Wednesday, I will find out more.  I pray that the solution will be easy.

Exciting Burger Adventure...

Yesterday, I went met up with Random Cathy's husband, Big Tea, then we met up with Glen and Shane to experience a burger at Knife.  This fit into my foodie side and I do love a good hamburger.  I was excited to get out of my regular Whataburger/Burger King/Wendy's/McDonald's rut. 

Big Tea and I met Glen and Shane at The Highland hotel in Dallas.  It is located at 5300 Mockingbird Lane.  Knife is located inside the hotel.  I had peeked at the menu on-line and already determined this was not your regular burger joint.  So, I made sure I was prepared for a bit expensive burger.

I chose the "Magic" burger which came with cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, onion, and tomato.  It is served on an english muffin.  Now, I know - Why an english muffin?  However, I do not like a whole lot of bread.  I prefer to eat my burgers with less bread and more burger and condiments.  

Big Tea, Glen, and Shane got the "Ozersky", which came with American cheese, red onion on a white bun.  When I saw their burgers, I thought the burger looked good as well.

The one thing I was a bit wary on was if fries came with the burgers or not.  For many high-end restaurants, those places tend to nickel and dime you on the sides.  Luckily, Knife realized - You cannot have a burger without fries!  Each dish is served with their salsa verde fries.  Before you think the fries are drown in some salsa, which may be tasty, it is simply a seasoning put on the fries.  Big Tea was able to get regular fries.  I decided to be different - I wanted to try avocado fries.  Avocado fries are slices of avocado, dipped in a tempura batter and fried.  It is served with a salsa mayo dip.  The dip was a bit spicy, but not overwhelming.  It was very tasty.  Getting the avocado fries was a $3 upcharge.

The burger was incredibly juicy.  In fact, I had juice running down my hands it was that juicy and that was not from wet condiments.  I really enjoyed the burger and the english muffin worked for me.  I was able to taste more of the burger and condiments as I like.

I did eat the pickles, but not on the burger.  I think my fellow burger foodies felt the same - the only type of pickle to be on a burger should be a dill.  Knife's pickle was more of a "bread and butter" type - sweet.  They were good on their own, but not appropriate for a burger.

Overall, I was very impressed with the burger, but in all honesty, I probably would not go back there for a burger.  Mainly because Knife is not a burger joint.  Knife is a very nice place to have a really nice dinner for a special occasion or business dinner.  I loved how the place looked - it was very warm and cozy.  However, I would not want to visit the place just for a burger.

I hope to join Big Tea on another burger excursion.  That was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed meeting Glen and Shane.  It is a lot of fun to try a new place - it opens up new areas to visit to get out of that rut.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Feeling Blessed...

While it may not seem like much, believe me, after a week I have had so far, I felt I had a lot of weight on my shoulders.  The beginning of a new calendar year and trying to meet the deductible needed to get one's insurance company to kick in some money is difficult enough.  I know many families have to pay more than me to reach the deductible, but that whole business makes me wonder why does the initial deductible to reach so stupidly high?

Being a type 2 diabetic, I can usually meet my out of pocket payment to reach my deductible quite easily.  I just have to refill my two insulin prescriptions and I am done.  Still, that is a pretty hard figure for one to hit out of pocket at the beginning of the year.  It really stinks.

This year, I got those prescriptions refilled before the end of the year.  Therefore, rather than costing hundreds of dollars, they cost only tens of dollars.  However, I have other bills to pay - kidney specialist, orthopedic, and now, a back specialist.  That does not include the gynocologist, endo, foot specialist, and my regular PCP.

Monday, I had to see the orthopedic for an update.  He would like me to consider getting a different kind of shot that would naturally provide additional cushion in my knees.  Better than getting a knee replacement.  My knee is a tad sore with the cold weather, but overall, that cortisone shot did wonders.  I just need to get my back pain figured out, so I can get moving properly.

Next, I ended up at a lab for a blood draw and drop off my 24 hour urine collection.  Oddly enough, I was asked for yet another urine sample at the lab.  I thought - you have all of this - why not use it?  Oh, well.  I know that I will have to pay out of the pocket for all of those tests.  Five vials of blood were drawn and the guy who pulled that blood ended up blowing my vein.  That does not feel good right now.

I had all of that on my mind when I went home for the day.

Yesterday, I got a whole new set of medical bills.  I wondered how I would be able to pay for it all.  At that point, I remembered my Christmas money and left over cash jar money.  Together, I could manage, but my plan had been to deposit it in my savings account.  I went to bed accepting that the money would be used for my medical bills.

I got up this morning and started doing stuff for work.  In between times, I started working on the budget for my next paycheck.  I went to check my bank accounts to make sure the apartment complex had deposited my checks.  To my amazement, I was shocked that my checking account had more money than I expected.  When I checked, I found that my IRS tax refund check had been deposited overnight.  I sat there and cried.  I can move some of the money into the checking account for Bo and Chloe's vet bills and the rest can be used for paying the medical bills.  

Wow - someone knows when to make sure I get that money at the right time and I am very grateful for that.