Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And in today's news. . .

Not sure if I can handle much else. I've been so scattered lately, life keeps piling up and just when I think I can't handle one more thing on my plate, one more thing shows up. One of my surrogate dads passed away on April 28th. He was in his late 80's so he was more of a surrogate grandpa. We bonded over Peanut Butter. He just adored the not-so-little guy and was constantly giving him carrots and lettuce. Don and his wife Mona would pet-sit for me and Peanut Butter just stole his heart. Don and I spent quite some time talking to each other. One of his daughter's committed suicide as a direct result of untreated bipolar disorder and it's like he looked at me like I was his second chance with his daughter. He was always so supportive and loving; one of my biggest cheerleaders. He will be greatly missed.

Peanut Butter broke off one of his teeth. Goofy pig did it at the vet's office when he took a flying leap off of the exam table, missed my lap and did a face plant on the floor! I wish I had a video of that. I guess this makes him a redneck pig. He broke one of his top teeth and he only has four teeth total so he does look a little country. . .  It should grow back but right now he's having trouble eating :( I'll be putting in a call to the vet when their office opens.

Got my PICC line taken out on Monday! It's a good news/bad news type deal. They pulled it because getting my infusion hurt in my armpit. My line had been coming out because the lady changing the bandage wasn't being careful at all with it and then blamed me for not holding it in place. I didn't even have gloves on! I know how these bandage changes are "supposed" to be done. The line being pulled out at least 2 inches made getting the infusion hurt. I felt it in my armpit. The doctor told the nurse to pull the line and to discontinue all IV medication. So I am completely PICC line and IV medication free! The bad news: I've been continuing to deteriorate this whole time, even with multiple courses of different IV and oral antibiotics as well as oral and IV anti-virals. She said that I'm incurable, that the lyme & co-occuring viruses are going to continue in their cyclic nature and continue to get worse and leave me with worsening lingering problems. She ordered more labs and put me on two oral antibiotics and an oral antiviral but didn't sound too hopeful that they were going to do anything. If they do help then it means I'll be on oral meds for the rest of my life to try to manage the diseases. If they don't help (and it seems like neither of us thinks that they will) then it's going to be about managing the symptoms to give me a quality of life. Right now, I am close to being bed-bound so I don't have a great quality of life. I can manage to sit and/or stand for 10-15 minutes at a time and then I am back in bed. I am so grateful that my therapist's office has the stereotypical couch so I could lay down for my appointment today :) Still waiting to find out about a pain management doctor. The new laws are a blessing and a curse! My PCP can only do so much, her hands are tied because of these new laws. I was told about a place in West Palm Beach that is run Mayo Clinic-style but is focused on Eastern techniques of medicine. I doubt they take my insurance but I've been told they have a scholarship program. I'm going to look into it. Just because Western medicine has given up on me doesn't mean that all hope is gone. Doctors did say that alcoholism is incurable. While I'm not "cured,"  I'm also not drinking, proof that a state of remission is possible. I'll take remission.

The shit has hit the proverbial fan. Thing 1 told Thing 2 tonight that she needed to move out, preferably by Sunday. Thing 2 doesn't see that not following house rules is disrespectful and is also very unaware of how she effects those around her. It's like she's oblivious. I see that she is still very attached to victimhood. I told Thing 1 that it's her decision if she wants to ask Thing 2 to leave. It all started with an innocent house meeting. I have been feeling very ill and I lost my temper at one point. The two of them can't seem to communicate without one or both feeling offended and disrespected. Thing 1 looks at me like the model tenant/housemate and wants Thing 2 to be more like me. Apparently, I know how to hold my own by stating and holding boundries without lashing out on those around me. According to Thing 1 I have never lashed out at her and when Thing 2 is not feeling well that's all she does (is lash out). This is not for me to try to figure out. I couldn't sleep so I spent a good two hours composing a letter to the two of them, sharing my observations and thoughts. I think better when I can take a step back from the situation and gather my ideas. I think it's kinda ridiculous to ask Thing 2 to vacate the property by the end of the month when Thing 1 is leaving at the end of the month and will be gone for 3 1/2 months, here for two weeks and then in her own place. So, they will have a total of 5 more weeks under the same roof. Thing 2 and I manage to get along and work things out without too much trouble. The biggest problem is how much toilet paper that woman uses. If it's all going down the toilet I'm surprised that it hasn't backed up. I don't know. Thing 2 continuing to live here is not my call. I'm going to leave the letter out in the morning and we shall see how the day goes.

In the kitchen: Awhile a go I found a recipe for Slow Cooker Cherry Almond Steel-Cut Oatmeal and it is super YUMMY! Yesterday my lightbulb went off: why not make overnight, slow cooker breakfast quinoa?! So I toyed with the idea and what the changes would need to be and my first batch is in the slow cooker right now. I was a little afraid of ruining it that I went with a 50/50 ratio of quinoa and steel cut oats plus I changed the rest of the flavor profile. I can't wait til it's done!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Brain Fog!

Gee, I just read thru my old posts and realized that I had already posted the zuccini carrot muffins as a recipe for zuccini quick bread. Upon reflection, pureeing 1/4 cup of the raisins with the applesauce like I stated in the quick bread recipe rather than with the "buttermilk" is a heck of a lot smarter. I was wondering why I had to add more almond milk :) I like the muffins better because of the addition of carrots, walnuts raisins and sunflower seeds. Plus, the muffins are portion controlled. Per muffin: 218 calories, 26g carbs, 12g fat, 4g protein and 5g fiber.

Eh? Speak into my good ear please!

Finally finished all of my hearing tests, including checking the pressure in my inner ears. Good news: there is nothing mechanically wrong with my ears. What I have is neuropathic hearing loss. Oh, the interesting things lyme can do to the body.

Had another procedure done to check out why I'm having tummy trouble. The doctor told me that I am "a varient of normal," meaning that I'm abnormal without being abnormal :) I got a huge kick out of being called a varient of normal. More tests to be done and I know we'll get answers. For all we know, the tummy trouble is a side effect of the IV med I'm on.

Speaking of meds. My pain and fatigue have been thru the roof! I've been doing a lot of crying because of pain which is not normal for me. It takes a lot for me to cry from pain. I'm deep in a flare and I don't know if all the IV treatment is doing anything at all. Maybe the best thing would be to just treat symptoms and ride the flare out. Sooooo, I went to my primary doctor yesterday to talk about the pain and to get referrals to a pain management doctor and a rheumatalogist. I lost it in the exam room when she was examining me to see which areas were tender. Oh that was bad! She put me on a strong muscle relaxer. Let's just say it's a medication that I did not respect in the past. I was scared to take it and desparate for my body, not my emotional mind, to be able to have some relief. I don't expect the pain to magically be taken away by a pill; that is totally unrealistic! I took it and I got this fuzzy headed feeling which I didn't like. Amazing because that is the feeling that I used to chase! I was grateful when that sensation abated. My body was able to breathe! I think having some relief I did too much so I'm hurting today. This medication makes my pain just tolerable and I'm wondering if adding a mild opiate would give me a better quality of life. I'm not jumping on that train just yet. I want to give myself a couple of days with this medication and see if doing less is all I need to do. One day, one moment at a time. This is all new to me. Every time I have taken the muscle relaxer I have called my mom and checked in with her, told her how I was feeling physically and emotionally and how much I was taking. I am being completely honest and accountable. What a life I live!

Peanut Butter is sick. He's not deathly ill by any stretch of the imagination. Just sick enough for me to worry :) A touch of a respiratory infection. Two weeks of antibiotics and he'll be fine. If only my medical crap was that simple. I'd be lost without that little guy. Oh wait, he's not so little. He weighs in at 2.85lbs! My man's dog weighs 4.4lbs. My guinea pig is almost as big as his toy poodle! Craziness. It's also crazy that my manly man would be soooo in love with an apricot toy poodle :)

In the kitchen: Made some YUMMY zuccini carrot muffins. The recipe is adapted from Joy the Baker. I came up with a way to sweeten them without using any sugar. I wish I had pictures of them. Actually, I haven't eaten them all so I can still take a picture. They are amazingly good.Totally vegan, gluten free and sugar free! I really astonish myself in the kitchen. So here's the goods:

Zuccini Carrot Muffins:

3 cups barley flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt, fine
3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
3 tbsps fresh ground flax seeds
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp almond milk with 1/8 tsp apple cider vinegar added to it ("buttermilk")
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp almond extract
2 cups shredded zuccini
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup raisins, divided
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin or use paper liners (I was able to make 17 muffins). Set aside.

In a blender or a food processor combine 1/4 cup raisins and "buttermilk." Puree until the milk looks brown. Stain mixture thru a fine mesh strainer and discard "pulp." Add enough almond milk to get back to 1/2 cup milk (does that make sense?). Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together flax seed meal, "buttermilk," vegetable oil, applesauce and almond extract. Mix thoroughly then add zuccini, carrots, raisins, nuts and sunflower seeds.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together. Make sure all of the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the batter. It might look like you need more liquid but be patient. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins with a standard ice cream scoop and place pan into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. I started checking my muffins at 15 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer toa wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!