Thursday, January 31, 2008

I see a bad moon rising

There's a potential for all kinds of trouble on the way. But I'm not a pessimist. (HA!)

Our pastor's message this week will be on the Pre-Adamic race. I'm so thankful he told us beforehand so hubby and I could research it. We will be staying home and spending that service time in prayer. We strongly believe that teaching is not just divisive and wrong, but heretical, and it could lead to our leaving the church. The only church we've found anywhere close that teaches the Bible. Sad statement coming from the buckle of the "Bible Belt."

Chutt Chutt's toenail bed is becoming infected. I have an appointment to take her to the vet.

We're under a winter storm warning for snow and ice, which makes people here drive like lunatics. They drive like lunatics anyway, but it snows so seldom that they have NO idea how to deal with snow and ice. There are also no scrapers or sanders for the roads so it's just every SUV for himself.

Hubby was supposed to attend a special event next week in Atlanta, but while waffling about going, it sold out! Now he has to scramble to try to get tickets. Procrastination bad. He's also taught our oldest daughter the finer points of procrastination, and she puts off every distasteful job she has until the last possible moment. She does get the done, but it's always a time squeeze, which puts her under pressure that she thinks comes from me! She also has a tendency to be short with her siblings, making her the only impatient procrastinator in my acquaintance!


Post-vet update:

Sure enough, her toenail bed was infected. The vet gave us prednisone, a steroid for the swelling and pain; baytril, an antibiotic; and benebac, a preparation of beneficial intestinal bacteria which will be killed off by the antibiotic. Poor thing is so tired. she's sleeping a lot and very heavily this afternoon. I've caught myself looking for the rise and fall of her tummy to make sure she's just sleeping. I'll also be keeping an eye on her food and water intake. The prednisone is supposed to improve her appetite, but as much as she is sleeping I don't want her to skip food for dreams!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ow, that's gotta hurt!

During floor time this morning, one of the girls called me in - Chutt Chutt's foot was bleeding. Quite a lot of blood for such a small animal, I thought.

I held her and cleaned up her foot a bit while the girls cleaned up the carpet. I couldn't tell exactly where on her foot the injury seemed to be, so I called the vet.

By the time I got her to the vet (and in the better lighting there) I could see that the blood was coming from where her nail attached to her foot. Seems she caught her nail on the carpeting (it's not thick or shag) and it tore near the base.

The vet put a drop of nail glue (like you'd use on artificial fingernails - EW!) on her nail and trimmed it for me so I wouldn't have to for a week or so.

When we got home, Chutt was clearly unhappy. She wanted to zoom, but would take three or four steps and limp to a corner. She glared at me most unpleasantly while I was working on the computer, and spent most of the day sitting in the potty corner on the soft bedding.

When the bleeding was very thoroughly stopped, I tried to give her half a chewable baby aspirin, because she was grinding her teeth and quivering. She wouldn't take it, so I crushed it and rubbed it on a piece of cucumber - her very favorite treat. She seems much improved now, up in the hay basket and eating, chasing and nipping at Ginger less.

The vet suggested I give her floor time on a wood or linoleum floor, but I'm not sure how she'll like that, seems slippery to me. The vet said she seems in terrific health other than the foot, and that the nail problem should resolve as it grows out without incident. I'll keep an eye open for infection anyway.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A medical mystery, solved.

So, all the tummy issues hubby was having...

Doctor error.

No kidding. He's one of the hundreds you hear about. Here's how it all went.

In 10/07, our long-term meds ran out at our mail-in pharmacy, so we went to the doctor for written refills. He wrote hubby's meds, but changed one. I don't know if he meant to or if it was an accident, but he changed hubby's Benicar (for high blood pressure) to Benicar HCT. But he also wrote him a scrip for HCT (lowers BP through its diuretic action) which hubby had been taking for several years. Hence, a double dosage of HCT.

Within weeks hubby was sick and getting sicker. After two months he was too sick to work. They put him through all kinds of blood tests and even a colonoscopy, and although his electrolytes seemed wrong - normal for diarrhea - they couldn't find the reason for his tummy issues, muscle fatigue, joint pain and fever. Diarrhea is a side effect of HCT, magnified by the overdose. Now, class, can you guess what the symptoms of HCT overdose are?

Muscle fatigue, joint pain and fever.


Of course, we didn't associate the meds with the issue because 1) the doctor never told us he was changing the scrip, so we didn't know, and 2) I had been ill with tummy issues myself, so we just thought it was him getting it from me. And the #(*%#(%^@ doctor didn't make the connection because he didn't bother to look at the meds he himself was prescribing!

A month of not being able to work. Hundreds of dollars of tests performed. The inconvenience and discomfort of those tests. A specialist's time taken up doing unnecessary tests. We have since changed doctors and learned a valuable lesson. Here it is, kids, and there will be a test:

YOU are the only one who cares about the state of your health. Get informed. Know what you are taking and why. Know dosages, research side effects and overdoses. Yes, go so far as to find out if your meds will cause vitamin deficiencies or react to vitamins you take. Don't trust your pharmacist to know this information, and don't trust your doctor to tell you.

Oh, by the way, while we were learning this lesson, we discovered another little tidbit. We kept wondering why people kept talking to hubby about managing his diabetes (he isn't diabetic.) Turns out one of the meds the #(*%#(%^@ doctor had him on was for managing blood sugar. Why? We can't figure that one out. His only blood sugar tests were done non-fasting (the only accurate tests are done fasting) and were barely on the high side of normal. Not even borderline. So, hundreds more dollars for drugs to treat a disease he didn't have.

Medicine is a business, boys and girls. Doctors, pharmacists, hospitals - they are in it for the bucks. Not for some lofty humanitarian aspect.

You live in your body. You know it best. Listen to it and learn what you can about taking care of it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's growing in my schoolroom

I've always had a bit of a brown thumb. ("a bit" read: I can kill even artificial plants.) But when I read the review for the Aerogarden, I thought just maybe here was a Me-proof method for getting green living things to grow in my care.

My wonderful family gave me one for Christmas. With all the busyness of the holidays, I didn't have time to set it up until January 6, but here is a photo of it growing quite happily on January 20:

Amazing! The light turns itself on and off every day, the water lets me know when it's getting low, there are little food pills I feed it when the light goes on saying "feed me." I obey its commands and the little plants grow just like they are supposed to!

This first batch I'm growing are herbs, some for the kitchen, some for the cavies. I'm thinking, though (and here's where I get into trouble - thinking) that if they take off well, I might be able to transplant them and keep them growing this summer.

They have "kits" for tomatoes, flowers and herbs. I want to try them ALL! I'm so excited!

Friday, January 18, 2008

He said "Gimme a break" so I showed him my watch

My son called yesterday afternoon. I needed to come pick him up because he'd broken a tooth. This has happened before.

When he was 10 or so, he went down a slide headfirst (yes, he'd been warned) and broke both his two top front teeth halfway up. The dentist was able to make a bonded filling to replace the half that was missing, but his teeth have been very sensitive ever since.

When I got there to pick him up, I asked him, "So, how did this happen?" He said he was rough housing with a friend and the guy's watch hit him in the mouth. (Better a watch than a fist, I guess.)

His tooth was broken way beyond halfway, and it wasn't a clean-across-the-bottom break, but it also broke in half vertically also, the back half of the tooth shearing off. Extremely exposed nerve. I called every dentist for miles, but it was Thursday afternoon, and apparently the dentists here close early Thursday so they can have Friday off. Must be nice. The nurse at our usual dentist's office was so helpful, trying so hard to find us somewhere to be seen, but no luck. She finally said, "Take him to the ER, they usually have a periodontist on call." I didn't know that.

They didn't. The doctor wrote him a prescription for pain meds and sent him home with a recommendation to get some beeswax to seal it for the night. He was able to get us an appointment with a dentist who told me they had no openings, though, so I guess it was worth the trip.

We just got back from the dentist. There's not a thing in the world he can do, and referred us to an endodontist for a root canal evaluation. Do I sense a theme developing with this child's dental issues? We'll see what the endodontist has to say. And the credit card company.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rats! What are these people thinking?

For my teenaged son to attend a mission trip with the church this summer, attendance at spring church camp is required. From the research I've done, (talking to people, not published research papers) church camp is the #2 place to get lots of sexual experience. I've always felt that way, and the church camp I went to certainly held fast to the rule.

Add to that the location of this year's camp and date: Spring Break at Daytona.

Great. Lots of booze and "fast" college kids in less-than-modest clothing.

Unless there's one-chaperone-per-kid hanging on like a bodyguard to Jenna Bush, ain't no way my son will be going.

But I gotta wonder, what are these people thinking?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sometimes I just want to smack him.

My son is an amateur magician (and no, it's not him I want to smack.) One trick he does involves playing cards that have been prepared beforehand by burning. I have him do this particular chore on the front porch because it is cement, has no bushes, and is protected from the wind.

Hubby asked him to do it where he could supervise today. In the living room. All that lovely toxic, smelly smoke is stinking up my living room. I told him I thought it might be a good idea to do in the kitchen with the exhaust fan on. But NOOOO, he wants it done where he can "supervise." Supervision, in this case, apparently means being in the same room while hubby is glued to a football game and paying NO attention whatsoever.

So, there he sits, on upholstered furniture, flicking red ashes off playing cards into a wicker trashcan which sits on the carpeted floor under the wooden end table.

When he dropped the lighter down the cushions of the loveseat (after using it for 20 minutes and getting it good and hot) I left the room. They're on their own.

I'll bet you've figured out who I want to smack now, haven't you?

Wait a minute. Jesus was RICH?

Every week my pastor says something. Some little off-hand, throw away comment, that totally rocks my theology. This week's comment:

"Jesus had the most successful, wealthy ministry those days. That's why He needed a treasurer, to take care of the huge sums of money being handled. That's why they didn't tear his robe at crucifixion, as was their practice, because it was expensive - the guy wore designer robes!"

Okay, this is just outside my Jesus paradigm. I'm not saying it's not true, but it just doesn't fit with my perception of who Jesus was. I know he had a treasurer, Judas, so His ministry must have had some financial goings on. And I know lots were cast for his robe, it wasn't torn, which fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy. But it would surprise me very much to discover that Jesus had accumulated this world's wealth. And it would shock me no end to learn that He chose to wear "designer robes," that is, to make a display of his worldly riches before others. It just doesn't seem to fit with His message.

He is, of course, worthy of all this world's riches.

Lord, You are more precious than silver;
Lord, You are more costly than gold;
Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds;
And nothing I desire compares with You.

I believe this song and sing it both at church and home. But that He would humble Himself by leaving his heavenly throne, be born of woman, wrapped in swaddling clothes and raised as the son of a carpenter, just to turn around and buy "designer duds"? Hm. Excuse me while I do some research...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Littlest's favorite lunch

I hate feeding the kids from cans, but every so often we have to clean out the pantry. I don't normally buy a lot of canned fruit, but when there are a lot of fruit cans and it's lunchtime, my littlest will always ask for "fruit salad." By that, she means she wants to make pictures with the fruit, then eat it. For example, this "Ladybug on Hand,"

"Happy Face"

and "Duck".

I don't see the duck so much.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Hokey Pokey

or, "That's What It's All About"

One of our very few Christmas traditions is the birthday cake the kids make for Jesus. We light the candles, sing Happy Birthday, and eat the cake on Christmas Eve. Kind of keeps us reminded of why we do what we do before we tear into packages.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mauled by a Leopard

Sometimes when I don't blog, someone needs to send the Saint Bernards out, cause I sure could have used a shot from the cask on their collars this time!

My wonderful hubby gave me a copy of Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) with which to upgrade my most excellent computer for Christmas. Which I did, but without backing up the hard drive first. ALWAYS BACK UP THE HARD DRIVE FIRST. I knew that, but didn't do it, and we all paid the price (and are still making payments) dearly.

We lost it all. ALL of it. Every address, phone number, photo, document, application, bookmark, I mean everything. Hubby spent four hours on Christmas day just getting from Spinning Beach Ball of Death to start up screen. Not how he likes to celebrate. This is not normal for Leopard installation. Of all the people I have heard about, and all the people my favorite techie-type has heard about, I was the only one caught in limbo after this particular upgrade.

I was eventually able to reconstruct most everything except our bookmarks and address book, but it took a very long week of very long days. I just "found" my blog again (YAY!) so I can start writing nothing to no one once again. Aaahhh, technology.

I do love Leopard. There are so many improvements and it is a really nice OS. I strongly recommend getting "The Missing Manual" for it, because there's no better way to cover all that newness and learn all the cool things you could be doing if only you knew.

Well, it's nice to be back. I'll post more about Christmas, travel, holidays with family, the new New Year's diet, and more head spinning tedium.