Sunday, October 2, 2016

First World Problem: iPhone 5S is Falling Apart...

When discussing the iPhone 7 with some friends, I was asked if I would be getting it.  Originally, I said, "Nah - I don't have the money to really spend for it."  Used to be, you could get the phone at a lower price with a 2-year contract.  Now, there are no such contracts like that.  One must pay so much a month for the phone.  I don't like that, but here we are.

For the past few months, my iPhone 5S has a problem with being able to hold a charge on its own.  I have to make sure that my mophie case is completely charged.  Once the mophie loses its charge, the battery on the iPhone may show 60%, but all of a sudden, the phone will shut down and when you try to turn it back on, it will display the battery with a small red streak and tell you to connect to power.  It is very annoying to say the least.

One of my resolutions was to move my apps and such over to an iPod Touch.  That has been working out really well.  I use the iPhone for some texting, but mainly for phone calls.  I try to stay off of it with FB and other apps.

This week, I started noticing that there was a light coming from the edge.  Also, if I pressed down on the screen, it was acting funny.  Upon closer inspection, the iPhone screen is detaching itself from the phone.  I thought - seriously?  Have I really been THAT abusive to the phone?  I mean, the phone is in a mophie case and it does not allow for any bending.  I rarely remove the phone from the case.

Point blank - the phone is breaking.  How odd?!

Considering Chloe's issues today, I have stayed home and not done the shopping I should have done.  Also, I have a prescription that I need to get refilled.  I needed to do that, but it is too late at this point.  I will deal with the prescription business tomorrow.

I did look into getting an iPhone 7.  It will increase my current payment, but not by a whole lot.  I may run by a store some time this week.  Actually, I will probably wait until I get paid this week, get the budget worked out, then from there, see what I can do.  I know I have t pay for installation fees and such, so if upgrading will cost about $50, that should not be too bad.

While I fully admit to being a tech junkie, I have gotten a bit better about not having to have the latest tech gadgets as they are released.  Technically, I should only be keeping a computer for 2-3 years.  However, most of my systems that I have are much older than that.  I still have the Toshiba laptop I bought 10 years ago this month, as a matter of fact.  It still works great, too.

However, the cost of such "nice to haves" is so much that I want to make sure I get my money's worth out of them.  For example, when I bought my father a 3-D Smart TV in 2012, I considered getting a new TV myself.  The problem was that my current Sony Bravia I got in 2007 was still working perfectly.  I have no complaints - it is 1080p.  So what if it does not have 3-D?  Do I really need it?  Nah.  Would it be nice to have?  Sure, but what would I do with my current TV?  So, I won't get a new TV anytime soon.  I might if I were to move into a house.  However, that makes sense to get a 65" TV for a larger room.  I could always put my current TV elsewhere and it would still be used.

Everyone is different, I suppose.  I hate having to get another phone.  However, I cannot believe that my current phone is just falling apart.  I suppose the product composition quality is not that great.  It was the only one iPhone 5S I have had the entire time.  Before that, I had an iPhone 3S.  It took me a while before I switched over to the iPhone.  I will say this much - I won't get a Samsung.  I got one for a company phone and I do not care for it too much.  

Next week, we will see if I make it to the store to get a new phone.  Or will I talk myself out of it?  LOL

Poochie Worries...

This weekend - on one hand, I have been somewhat productive in that I got dishes washed, made a pitcher of iced tea, cooked, and gotten some laundry done.  On the other hand, I spent most of the weekend in bed snoozing with the dogs.  Yesterday was a complete time waste.

Today, after the morning rituals with the dogs, I packed them in the car for a ride to Starbucks.  I needed a Pumpkin Spice Latte fix along with an Egg McMuffin for breakfast.  Granted, not the best thing for me to eat for breakfast, but I needed that out of my system.

When I got home, I ate my breakfast while the dogs found their normal spots.  I made out my shopping list and was trying to determine how to get it all done today.  My back is not cooperating again today, so I decided I would lie down for a bit.  Bo was quite eager to join me, but Chloe remained sleeping in the bathroom door way.  I might have let her stay there, but I know how she is - if you are in bed without her, she will pitch a fit.

As I put her in bed, I felt something wet.  I even stepped in something wet, which was very unusual.  There were little piddle areas around the bed where she had walked around.  I checked the bed - there were quite a few very damp areas on the bed.  Luckily, none of that soaked through to the mattress.  Something is not right with my old girl.

Rather than get upset, I remembered I had purchased some female incontinence wraps for her.  At the time, she peed in my bedroom because I was not getting myself together fast enough for her.  That was a few years ago.  I thought of getting that because Bo still has to wear a belly band.  (Generally speaking, when he has to go, he will let you know.  However, when you leave the house, he either gets that pissed off or anxiety hits him and he pees.  I think it is a male dog thing.)

I got her the wrap along with a pad and put it on her.  I removed the bedding that needed to be washed and put on some towels and another blanket.  I am very concerned for her because quite honestly Chloe never has accidents in the house.  She could have diarrhea and she would do her best to hold it and let you know she needed to go.  That is why when those days happen, I turn down offers to go out or break plans to do stuff.  She has always been so good about that and I know how I would feel in her position if I left her by herself and she was not feeling well.  As I always say, I am an asshole, but I try hard not to be one of those pet owner assholes.  I care about my pets because they are probably the only children I will ever have.  Chloe - my mother entrusted her care in my hands and I made the promise to take very good care of her.  I do my very best to uphold that commitment.

I sent an email to my vet describing the situation and also chatted a bit with the vet tech that works closely with my vet.  I had already decided I needed to take Chloe in for a recheck on her ribs and such.  The vet tech stated that there were medications to help with incontinence for pets, so it is probably simply old age.  How well I know - I have my own issues from time to time.  So, I laid down with Chloe and told her it would be okay.  We all have to live with things that no one speaks.

Before I took the dogs back out, the pad and the wrap were soaked.  I figured they might be, so the pad went into the trash and the wrap goes into the wash.  People in Target or CVS probably think I am weird, but I have to buy the extra absorbent Poises pads for Bo.  What the pet store provides is very similar to women's feminine napkins - regular.  Bo can drench one of those, so my mother at the time suggested getting the super sized Poises.  I would say that 99% of the time, Bo will fill it up.  There are some times that he will overflow the pad, then I look at how much he is drinking.  So, I used one of Bo's pads to put in Chloe's wrap.  She gave me this rather sad look and I gently petted her and said "Don't worry - this is only temporary and besides, it is no big deal.  You are still the best girl ever."

...and she is.

So, later in the week, I will be taking Chloe to the vet for a check up.  At that time, we shall see how everything holds up.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Update on My Back and Other Health Related Things...

On Monday, I went in for another set of test nerve blockers injected into my back.  Pre-surgical procedure was a nightmare due to the nurse having issues getting a good vein for the IV.  Ended up putting in the IV right under my wrist because she could see that vein.  Granted, I do not care for IVs period, this is really not an area I want an needle anywhere.  It is very soft and tender, therefore, when she inserted the "stick", it hurt like hell.

Compound matters - she had to remove the IV because it was not dripping.  So, I had to go through that hell again on my left hand.  Luckily, another nurse came in and she asked for a vein finder.  What an interesting tool!  The infrared is able to show all of the veins in the area where it is flashed.  That nurse got the IV in on top of my left hand with no issues. 

Frankly, I am a true weenie when it comes to this IV business.  I despise it.  I felt even worse because I without saying anything, I was crying because it really did hurt.  Today, I still have this massive bruise under my right wrist and it hurts like hell.  I have no unkind words for the nurses - they were very nice and caring.  This was my third time at this surgical center and all of the people there are very lovely, so I have no ill will towards any of them.  The IV business is a tricky one and I am a huge weenie when it comes to needles.  So, I thank them for their patience with me.

Then, anesthesiologist came by to check on my paper work.  The nurses had to draw blood from the IV 3 times.  Apparently, my potassium levels were high.  Now, he tried to put me at ease by telling me that it was probably due to pulling from the IV due to the fluid mixture being flowed into my veins.  Still, that makes me sit and wonder if that is what is causing my muscles, glutes and hamstrings, to ache so much.  The idea is worth researching just to make sure.  

The anesthesiologist also mentioned that I had more anethesia given to me on my last visit than the first one.  This guy did the work the first time I had a shot in my back.  Apparently, I moved while I was on the table.  I told him that the only thing I remember on that visit was I was discussing REM with the other doctor as he was injecting the medication in my veins.  After that, the nurse kept saying "Melissa, are you going to wake up?"  (Sounded like my mom, but you know how it is when you are that doped up.)  I explained that when I woke up, it was difficult to shake off the grogginess.

Before I entered the procedure room, the anethesiologist gave me a sedative.  That stung, but it made my head start spinning and relaxed my body before we got in the room.  I vaguely remember getting on the table and he giving me the medication to knock me out before I was actually OUT.  

Like last time, I had a hard time waking up from the medication.  Anesthesiologist was there by my side.  He told me that I had moved again and he had to give me more medication, so he was there to make sure I woke up.  I thought that was nice of him.

When I to go the recovery room, I got a coke and some animal crackers.  Once I ate and drank a bit, I had to put on my clothes.  For the first time, I actually felt like I did not have complete control over my body.  My back felt sore, but it was hurting before I had gone in for the procedure.

Like last time, I had to keep a pain diary for the next 3 hours.  Generally, my back was okay, but my muscles were so stiff and sore.  So, that made me a bit frustrated.  Since my father had driven me for the procedure, he had asked if we could stop by Fry's - he wanted to get some additional memory for his computer.  I said as long as I could get something to eat, which was not difficult to do.  I work in the area where Fry's is located in Plano, so we stopped by Casa Cha-Cha's for lunch, then I directed him to how to get to Fry's.  I had him avoid the high traffic areas, so getting there was pretty easy.

Yesterday, my back doctor said it would appear that the test worked.  Now, I have to be scheduled for two procedures.  In about a month, I will have a procedure to have the right side done and two weeks later, I will have the left side done.  At that point, I suppose we shall pray that life returns somewhat normally.

I was talking to a co-worker over the phone the other day.  I mentioned that two and half years ago, I had a couple of options of what I wanted to do with some of my bonus money from work.  I had set aside $500.  At the time, I had lost 35 lbs and I was doing a lot of walking.  Of course, you hear that one also needs strength training.  I thought I could get a personal trainer or I could use that money to get the hair around my chin removed.  (Apparently, I have too much of some hormone and that is the only place I would love to get rid of hair.)  I chose the personal trainer.  By June of that year, that was when I started experiencing back issues.  I do not blame the trainer - stuff happens all of the time.  However, I am saddened in that my original plan was to at least lose 50 lbs and get in some sort of shape so that I could walk the yearly Turkey Trot for Thanksgiving.  I have never been one who was a runner, but I could walk.  I had wanted to do that in order to see friends in Fort Worth.  While I am not a competitive person, I thought this activity would be really fun to do and also, I would not need to feel badly about eating so much because I would have done my exercise.

Now, I have trouble just walking the dogs.  While I try not to have a pity party for myself, I get angry for what has happened.  Sometimes, I will just think - Why in the hell did you just not go for the laser hair removal?!

I still would like to get into better shape in order to walk the Turkey Trot.  While I may not be able to compete with my friends, I would be there for myself and that would be all that mattered.

So, with that in mind, I saw my endocrinologist on Thursday.  My numbers look a bit better, but he noted the increase in a two week period.  I stated it was probably due to seasonal allergies and I take Claritin for that.  The medication has a tendency to raise my blood sugar.  I have to slowly increase the amount of extended release insulin from 80 to 90.  His goal is 110, but honestly, I would rather drop weight and drink more water, so I did not have to increase.  The more I increase my insulin use, the harder it is to lose weight.

I saw my dietician and chiropractor on Friday.  Dietician noted that in the past month, I had lost 3.8 lbs.  I will take that, but I am still swollen for some reason.  I need to take my water pill to help flush that out of my system.  She provided me with some tips on how to evaluate my food intake.  I already use my 9" plates for whenever I eat at home.  The smaller plate fools your mind into thinking that you are eating a full plate.  I work on the plate system where half of my plate is non-starchy veggies, one quarter is protein, and the other quarter is starchy veggies/grains.  I need to get in the habit of measuring everything.  When I get pretty OCD about my food intake, I do really well at losing weight.

As for the chiropractor, I explained that my muscles are so stiff and tense - you could put a piece of coal in between them and get a diamond within 15 minutes.  That is what makes it so difficult to walk.  It is even worse when you experience that sharp back pain, then when your muscles come into play, gee - give a person a chance, you know?

All in all, I really feel that I am hitting rock bottom.  I have to do something more and that will be sorting out how to get exercise done.  Everyone suggests water aerobics.  While I am not opposed to that, it is getting a gym membership to a place that has a pool, when are classes scheduled, and getting a bathing suit.  Money and research.  I would go back to the YMCA down the street from my apartment, but it does not have a pool and the only thing I could use is the recumbant bikes.  Also, most of the classes I would like to take, like Yoga, are during working hours.

I know my company has deals with various health fitness clubs.  I will just have to do the research, work the budget, and locate one nearby that can provide something for someone like myself.  All I know is that I need to have faith in that if I drop weight, that could very well help me out of my current health situation in more ways than one.  I really cannot go on like this much longer.