fenchurch: (Default)
Last week, just before it started, I stumbled across 40 Bags in 40 Days. The basic idea is to remove one bag of stuff from your life every day for 40 days... it doesn't have to be a big bag and you don't have to just toss it in the trash, but can donate it or recycle it if you can.

Since I hadn't had a chance to do any planning at all (I found this challenge the day before it started), my first day I headed to the garage and found the stash of shipping "air pillows" we had saved. We'd accrued quite a few before Christmas to use for mailing out presents... and they were very handy to have around for that, but at this point, we really don't need to be keeping them. So, I popped them all and ended up filling a plastic grocery bag with the remains. Day One down and it felt good!

Days Two through Five, under the cut. )

Some interesting things I've found, so far:

Once I get started, I have to work really hard not to expand my efforts well beyond my original daily goal. I'm working on pacing (this has been my downfall in the past when it comes to decluttering).

I hadn't realized that I'd have an emotional attachment to shoes (see above re: previous lack of interest in shoes). It wasn't like I had to force myself to toss those Vibrams, but I did find myself hesitating... for no other reason than that they were my first. I suspect there are going to be other things I come across where I have the same problem.

I already knew this, but it's nice to have the reminder... I really do feel better and I'm more productive when I'm not surrounded by too much clutter. Hopefully this whole challenge will get me on the right track with it. If not, well there's always next year!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Funky)
For those who aren't familiar with it... this is a holiday of sorts, created by the wonderful [personal profile] sdwolfpup about ten years ago (here's her post about it this year). The gist of it is that world could use more joy... and we should make an effort to do something, however small, to bring more joy into the lives of other people.

In the past, I've had a lot of fun with it... doing little things like leaving quarters in random gumball machines or getting a gift card for a local fast food chain, going through the drive-thru to just purchase a drink and then telling them to use the rest of the gift card for the people behind me in line, that sort of thing.

This year, I planned ahead and arranged to have flowers delivered to a few of my friends who live far away but I thought could use a bit of joy... and I'm really glad I did or More Joy Day would have been a complete bust for me this year. I haven't been sleeping well lately and I was just too wiped out to do much... so I didn't get any further from the house than the mailbox. I really did miss getting the chance to go out and do something random to hopefully bring joy to a stranger, so I may have to do something this weekend to make up for it.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I completely forgot to bring in the hummingbird feeders last night, which is a bit of a problem with our temperatures dropping down to 20°F overnight. So, this morning I stumbled into the kitchen, glanced out the window and saw a feeder-cicle... with one poor little hummingbird hopping from perch to perch, hoping to find an unfrozen "flower."

I went out and grabbed the feeder, brought it in, wrapped it in a dishtowel and started pouring boiling water on it to get it to thaw quickly. I happened to glance up and spotted that same hummingbird, now perched on the little hummingbird swing we have hanging nearby... staring at me. Seriously, staring right at me through the window (the hummingbirds often come stare at me through the window when the come to the feeder, but not quite like this). So, I didn't thaw it completely like I usually do when this happens, but just enough so that nectar would flow out if needed and stuck the feeder back outside... and that little hummingbird was already there and eating before I even got back in the house (while I was still only a few feet away).

I suppose if nothing else happens today, I'll know I made a difference in at least one bird's life! :-p

Fuzzy little hummingbird feasting from a partially frozen feeder. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Space Shuttle)
We did the introvert thing and stayed home this year... spending the evening playing computer games, then went down to the theater in the basement to watch the Space Needle go *FOOM* on the big screen at midnight, with accompanying chips, salsa, bean dip and guacamole... and sparkling apple cider. We'd considered getting tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra downtown, but really didn't want to deal with the crowds afterward and it turned out to be a good thing, since we've had snow this evening. Just as nice to stay home in our warm house in our pajamas.

Hope everyone has a fantastic 2017!!

Crossposted from my LiveJournal.
fenchurch: (Funky)
I know I haven't updated here in ages... and it's all because of that age-old conundrum of either not having anything to write about because life is so boring or not having time to write about things because so much is going on! In the last month or so, I've been making an effort to at least read my flist and comment when I can, so I don't feel quite as out of the loop as I might have. At some point, I'll have to see if I can touch on at least a few of the highlights from the last several months (because there really were some cool things), but for now, I'm back to tell another Numfar story!

The other day, we had a bumper crop of birds out at our feeders... there were several dark-eyed junkos on the main feeder along with a couple of house sparrows, plus a half dozen Steller's Jays hopping around on the ground below. We've got the feeders on the other side of some large picture windows, just so the cats have something fun to watch (we call it the Cat Entertainment Center). Numfar was sitting on the windowsill and was REALLY excited about the birds. In fact, whenever I'd walk by, she'd hop down and run over to me and try to lead me back to the window so I could watch the birds with her (the few times I did, she got VERY happy and would watch the birds, then head-butt me and purr).

Well, it was getting later in the morning and I really needed to take a shower. As I've mentioned before, Numfar nearly always guards me while I'm in the shower (she's done it pretty much since we first got her... starting in the other house and continuing here). With a few exceptions, she'll usually sit on the counter with her back to the shower so she can watch the door (as long as it's open... if it's closed, she'll sit over by the shower and chatter at me). Well, that day, I'd picked her up and carried her into the bathroom, setting her on the counter where she took up her usual spot. I hopped in the shower, turned on the water and looked over... just in time to see her jump off the counter and leave the room.

About two minutes later, [personal profile] rackham came into the bathroom, laughing. Apparently, the moment I started the shower, Numfar had headed out of the room and hopped up on the bed where she had last left Mr. Mouse. She'd grabbed him, brought him to the doorway and set him up there so that he was facing out and "guarding" the door, and then ran out to the picture window so she could watch the birds again, content in the knowledge that I was well guarded. It always amazes me just a little that she even thinks of doing things like that... but Mr. Mouse has been set out to watch so many things for her over the years and I would absolutely love to know what, exactly, she thinks he is.

Mr. Mouse guarding the bathroom door. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I've finally decided my best way to get back into posting here is just to dive right in and not dither on about how much I should try to get caught up on what's been happening in my life. At some point, if I end up going back and talking about stuff from the last few months, it'll likely be because current life stuff is way too boring and I'm filling the void with older adventures. :-p

This morning we slept in a little, but [personal profile] rackham reminded me early on that we needed to be out the door a bit after 9:00... so I had a quick breakfast and we headed out toward Blaine, WA (up near the border with Canada). Thankfully, I immediately entered in the address for the place we were going into the GPS, because it popped up with a travel time of about 75 minutes. At which point Rackham realized that it wasn't going to take us three hours to get there like he'd been thinking. *facepalm* So, we got to have a little more leisurely morning at the house before we had to leave for real.

It was a bit odd going up to the Canadian border without actually crossing (technically not true, though... after our appointment, we went up to Peace Arch Park and walked around, which meant we crossed the border several times -- and we still considered going across for a few hours since we had our passports, until we saw that the lines at the border were horrible), but we had an appointment for interviews for our NEXUS cards! The whole process is pretty nicely streamlined... we applied online, got the initial approval emailed to us, set up our interview appointment online and then went up to chat with a US Border Agent followed by a Canadian Border Agent... both of whom mostly just verified our identities, asked why it was we wanted the cards (shorter waits at the border!) and got our fingerprints (yes, for the first time in my life, my fingerprints are in the system somewhere). Oh, and answered any questions we might have about the NEXUS program. Turns out, it's even better than we thought... not only do we get to use the fast lane whenever we drive up to Canada (after the cards arrive in a few weeks), but it also gives us TSA Pre-Check and apparently Global Access (quicker time through customs) at airports! Sweet!!!

If we decide we want to do any flying into or around Canada, we can also run up to Vancouver at some point to get an iris scan done... not entirely sure it would be worth doing, since we're not likely to fly there very often. We have been talking about taking trips to Edmonton, Alberta and to Saskatchewan, but then it's just a matter of waiting to go through customs when we arrive. Amusingly, when we mentioned we were thinking of taking a vacation to Saskatchewan, the Canadian Border Agent gave us this look and said "Why?!?!" After we told him we were fans of Corner Gas, he laughed... but yeah, not exactly a hotbed of tourism. To be honest, I'm sort of thinking it would be worth doing the Edmonton trip, renting a car and driving over to Saskatoon or Regina to spend a few days and then driving back. Not happening this year, though. And next year we're really hoping to plan a trip to Guam... I haven't been back since we moved away when I was ten.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Godzilla)
We've had a huge windstorm here today and we've managed to not lose power, but a bit ago we had what I'm guessing was a power surge. My desktop lost power and the UPS it's plugged into started beeping like crazy (this is not supposed to happen... the UPS is supposed to level out any surges and also let the desktop keep power for just a bit when the power goes out). My husband's computer, plugged into the same outlet but with his own UPS, hummed along just fine. I reset the UPS and powered up my computer and things seem to be running just fine... but then I noticed in the kitchen that the microwave appears to be dead, too.

Nothing else in the house seems to have been affected (even the alarm clock that resets at the drop of a hat normally). I've checked the breaker box and nothing appears amiss... I'm thinking it's time to dig out the microwave's manual and see if it has its own built in breaker (I know some of the them do) that needs to be reset. It was just the weirdest power surge I've ever seen... and apparently a few other people in the neighborhood had similar things happen. Really hoping the microwave isn't permanently dead.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
Also known as Trying to Figure Out Remedial Adulting.

I decided the time had finally arrived to go through our piles of extra pillows and actually get rid of a few (you know how it is, you get a new pillow but think "This old one is still good! We can keep it for guests!"). So, yeah, I made a huge pile out of them and started comparing them, figuring out which ones could just go away and quit taking up space, when I remembered seeing a HUGE box in storage that was labeled "extra pillows." Thankfully, [personal profile] rackham is working from home today, because it was up on a very high shelf in the closet and he was able to get the box down easily. And then we opened it. Did I mention this box was huge? I mean, like REALLY huge. And it contained a grand total of two pillows. *facepalm*

Now we're sort of wondering about some of the other storage boxes we've got around the house and how many of them are only half full. Time to finally get around to finishing unpacking from our move over two year ago, I guess.

On the plus side, after all the sorting and evaluating of the pillows, we're ditching six of them (which still leaves us with *plenty* of extras for guests). I swear, the pillow thing is almost as bad as old tech... we pretty much have to force ourselves to get rid of that stuff.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
Followup on Numfar and the mouse: Still no idea where she caught it... I was assuming she would become obsessed with the area of the house where she found it (as an example, she once found a spider in a particular corner of our bathroom and now every time she walks into that room she checks that spot first... as if it is the room's spider dispenser or something), but nothing seems out of the ordinary from her today. I still just keep thinking back to how happy and proud she was... and I'm so glad that sort of thing doesn't bother me, because I think she would have been absolutely crushed if I'd freaked out about her first real kill (since I don't think bugs and spiders count). She was definitely bringing it to me to show off so I could be proud and happy, too. But again, soooo glad it happened while I was still awake.

Today we had just a few errands to run and had planned on spending the day working on projects around the house. First, we headed over to [personal profile] kehf's place... she was giving away her elliptical trainer, which is something I've seriously wanted (for those days when it's just too cold/rainy/snowy to go walking outdoors and I don't have time to go to the gym). With a bit of help, we managed to get it into the back of our car and got it home and set up before lunchtime!

We grabbed lunch at our favorite spot, followed by a run out to Home Depot to pick up a few things, then decided to go for a nice 30-40 minute walk on the Marymoor Connector Trail since we were already down in Redmond. And of course, after we parked, we had to do a quick look around to see if there were any Geocaches nearby that we hadn't found yet. Turned out we'd parked about 50 feet from the start of a Difficulty 3 / Terrain 4 Multi-Cache (Difficulty and Terrain are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the absolute hardest... and a Multi-Cache is a Geocache that has multiple waypoints with clues or information that eventually lead you to the final location). After a bit of dithering (because neither of us was particularly feeling like doing a D3/T4 today), we decided we could at least get started with it and work our way along the waypoints until it got too tough, then save what we'd figured out up to that point and finish it on another day. Ha!

I didn't keep close track of the time, but I think we were out there a bit over two hours... and for a great deal of it we were tromping through tall grass coated with a thick layer of fallen leaves, often hiding fallen trees and sloggy, muddy terrain. Probably the best workout I've had in ages, but wow... I am *sore* tonight, not to mention incredibly tired. We followed a lot of game trails to reach some of the waypoints, but also did a fair bit bushwhacking and climbing over fallen trees and branches and through thickets of shrubs and blackberries. And did I mention the mucky, muddy ground? Despite all that, it was pretty obvious that the terrain would be a whole lot worse at other times of the year (that area was actually a bit drier than it will be in the spring and there were relatively few blackberry brambles compared to how it will be later in the year). In the end, we managed to make our way over to the final location and found the cache! Yay! I love caches like this, where you actually feel like you earned every bit of the D/T rating to make the find. I still can't believe we did the whole thing today, though. Definitely not in our original plans.

And, even better, we did some detours along the way and found a few other caches and then got to go walking through "Doggie Disneyland" (aka the Marymoor Off-Leash Dog Park -- 40 acres of woods, fields and a dog's dream come true), which is probably one of my most favorite things to do. The place was hopping today, too, with dogs everywhere... running around, having the times of their lives and just being completely and utterly happy. All in all, it was a pretty good day.

ETA: Aha! I found a pretty good video about Marymoor Offleash Dog Park out on YouTube... just to give a bit of an idea of what it has too offer in its 40 acres.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Cats)
Oh my.

Well, it finally happened.

Numfar just came into the bedroom carrying something and chirruping happily. I was a bit confused, because we'd put Mr. Mouse (the beanie baby) in his spot on the cat tree for the night already... and that's what she usually carries around the house. Then she dropped what she was carrying, making even more happy noises, and I realized she'd been carrying around an actual, real mouse!! Thankfully, it was a deceased mouse.

I'm just glad this happened before I managed to fall asleep and that I noticed something was up, or my deep-seated fear of waking to find a dead mouse next to me on my pillow may have come true.

OTOH, this means she found a mouse *inside* our house. Considering we live in the country (seriously, we're just up the street from a very large dairy farm), I guess I should be happy that this is the first sign we've had of mice inside the house since we moved in.

And, you know, take another moment to be VERY happy there will be no dead mouse on my pillow when I wake up in the morning.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
A week or so ago, I posted this on FB: "On Saturday, I made drop biscuits to go with our leftover beef and barley soup... this evening, I made sausage gravy to go with our leftover biscuits. It's the Circle of Dinner."

And I really love being able to do things like that... leftovers from one meal that work well as an addition to the next. In that case, it was even better than that, because the beef and barley soup happened due to having enough extra beef to make the soup, leftover from what was needed for a previous meal.

A few days ago, I realized we had a couple of bunches of kale in the fridge that really needed to be used... so I went looking for a new way to cook them and happened upon this recipe out at the Weight Watchers website (which currently kinda sucks when it comes to linking to recipes, so I've included it here under the cut): Potato-Kale Soup. )

Before I pulled out the immersion blender, I decided to give it a taste and... well, it was really bland. I had [personal profile] rackham give it a try and we debated what we could add to give it some pop. We put a few tablespoons of the soup into a couple of ramekins and tried adding spice blends, finally settling on hot curry. And it was pretty good! Not the best thing ever, but if I end up with a bunch of kale and some potatoes I need to use, I'd probably do it again.

And then last night, I got to do one of my favorite things... I used it to make something else entirely. I cooked up some carrots and cauliflower, added some chopped up raw chicken breast and a little more curry, then dumped the leftover "Soup" in with it and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Oh my word, it was *perfect*. I would totally make that soup again, only not as a soup... but as a base for curries. I'm actually wondering how well it would freeze, so I'd have a quick and nearly ready-made dinner on hand.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Cake is a Lie)
Today is my LJ-versary! I first signed up for an account here (after just replying without an account for close to a year) using a code I got from [profile] reginaspina thirteen years ago today! Wow. Time sure does fly!!!

And in other "time flying" news, I totally missed the tenth anniversary of our car accident a few days ago. Well, I didn't miss it entirely... it sort of hit me late that night that I'd almost let it slip completely by without even thinking about it. So much progress in those ten years, with only a few last holdout problems from the injuries I got.

If anyone is interested, here's the amazingly coherent entry I typed up with two fingers on my left hand (pretty much the only parts of my body that didn't hurt in some fashion), very late on the night of the accident... when I was totally doped up on pain meds and absolutely exhausted and probably still just a bit in shock. "Sheriff Guy" still cracks me up, every time I go back and read it. I meant "Deputy" but for the life of me could not recall that word when I was typing things up. I tagged a bunch of the followup posts so they're pretty easy to find, too... although the most interesting ones are probably from just the few days and weeks right afterward (including photos of our totaled car).

It's weird how much that one moment has changed our lives and how much it changed the way our brains work. I still have issues with my shoulders and probably always will... but even more than that, we find ourselves subconsciously including "if I ever break my ribs again" or "if I ever have a broken shoulder again" into how we've set up our house. No joke, when we decided to buy a recliner to put in the reading corner in the master bedroom of the new house, I actually made the comment "And if either of us ever break our ribs again, it'll be a great place to sleep!" And when we were househunting, we really did find ourselves taking into account how usable the places would be if we were ever seriously injured again (and there were a couple of houses that got dropped because of things like not having a walk-in shower somewhere in the house). Hopefully, it's never going to be an issue again... but it really does have an effect on the way you think afterward.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I am so incredibly glad to see the end of 2015. It had its good points, it really did... but overall, I'm going to remember it as the year I spent being sick and unable to think my way out of a wet paper bag. I mean, I'm grateful we eventually figured out the problem (a sinus infection that we now think I first picked up *LAST DECEMBER*), finally managed to get rid of it (despite the horrible side effects of the methods we used... nearly a month of heavy duty antibiotics and that wretched Prednisone) and I'm also very glad that I found an ENT who much prefers finding non-surgical methods for dealing with things... although if the workarounds don't manage to keep the infection from coming back, surgery is still a looming option (probably could class this as a positive, because it makes me VERY dedicated to using the other methods).

I also managed to beat the Sinus Infection From Hell just in time to be able to take my planned trip down to San Diego to see Star Wars: the Force Awakens with [profile] jawajames and his wife, as well as [profile] brightcupenny, [profile] sirrogue and about 70 other people. Christmas was a blast with my in-laws in Utah, but I could have done without the stomach flu that hit while I was there (I blame my nephews, who had started passing it around before I even got there), but after having been a different kind of sick through most of 2015, the change was almost refreshing!

I'm really looking forward to getting caught up on life. Okay, I decided to cut text this because it's just me whining about how much the year sucked. Really. You probably want to skip it. :-p )

I decided to take a quick look at the goals I set for 2015 and wow, did that ever fall apart. )

So, that's it. Whining over and here's to a much better year ahead!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
I got to do one of my favorite things this evening... take leftovers, combine them with other ingredients I have on hand and make an entirely new dish! In this case, the leftover stuff in question was just a bit over a serving of the spaghetti sauce I made the other day. Behind the cut so I don't bore everyone with the details! )

Oh my gosh, you guys, it turned out so well! I'm definitely going to have to keep this technique in mind for future spaghetti sauce leftovers. Even better, it turned a single serving into four servings... so now we have leftovers of our leftovers!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
Had a really fun day! We went to [personal profile] rackham's brother's house for "Dinner" (which was more like a late lunch, but really was the last meal of the day) with him and his wife, as well as our friends [profile] gidgiddoni and [personal profile] tomte. Thanksgiving is always so much better with more people... and not just because it means the work for the cooking gets spread around!

I think I linked to all of our favorite recipes the other day, but I wanted to make sure to mention the Turkey Quiche again, in case you missed it. Absolutely the best use for leftovers I've ever found!

See all the lovely food, under the cut. )

Hope all my American friends had a fantastic Thanksgiving... and all my BtVS friends had a fun Tie-Spike-to-a-Chair Day!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Fenchurch Place)
So far, [personal profile] rackham has made the Eggnog Pie and has gotten the turkey in the brine, where it will sit overnight. I did the gingersnap crust for the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and we'll start in on that one soon... this year, we're trying something a bit different. In recent years, I've used evaporated goat milk in it and it's turned out pretty well, with just a hint of goatiness. This year I went looking for other pumpkin pie recipes that we might want to try and found one that called for either evaporated milk or half-and-half... and I recently discovered a lactose-free half-and-half, so we're going to try it out as a substitution in the Pumpkin Chiffon pie recipe. Really hoping it turns out!!

Later tonight I'll be assembling my family's traditional fruit salad (sadly, no recipe link for that one... I'm not sure it's ever been written down, it's just one of those things you learn how to make along the way) and then tomorrow we'll be making some Fresh Cranberry Compote. We've got other people who are bringing the rest of the dishes, so it should be a pretty full Thanksgiving dinner!

Tomorrow, aside from eating way too much food, we're planning on watching the Thanksgiving episode of WKRP in Cincinnati and, of course, the episode "Pangs" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And now for my annual sharing of the Turkey Quiche recipe! It's made using leftover stuffing for the crust... and is especially good when served with leftover gravy and leftover cranberry sauce. Yum!

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Space Shuttle)
It occurred to me today that I hadn't posted a followup to my last entry... it's been, um, interesting. The side effects of both the antibiotic and the Prednisone were not fun, but it gave me just over two incredible weeks of feeling *normal*. And then the sinus infection came back, just like it had every other time I'd taken antibiotics (about a week to a week and a half after I finished them). I got to my followup appointment with the ENT and had a CT scan of my sinuses (which was the plan all along) and, sure enough, you could actually see the sinus infection on the scan... but the good news? It was nearly gone (as the ENT said, if we'd done a CT scan at my first appointment, we would have seen nearly the whole area clouded up on the scan). So, I've been back on the super-mega-antibiotics for one more week and they seem to have done the trick. The funny thing is, I'd thought I felt normal after taking them last time, but it's nothing compared to this. I honestly feel like I'm waking up after being asleep for a long time. It's been amazing.

The other thing we discovered from the CT scan (and the reason it was done in the first place) is what's likely at the root of the problem... and why I've been extremely prone to sinus infections my whole life.

First, a bit of an anatomy lesson (pulled from Wikipedia): The nasal conchae (or turbinates) are long, narrow and curled bone shelves in your sinuses that divide the nasal airway into groove like air passages and are responsible for forcing inhaled air to flow in a steady, regular pattern around the largest possible surface of cilia and climate-controlling tissue.

As my ENT explained it, there are three on each side of your face: the superior, median and inferior. He was able to show me on the CT scan that the median (aka the middle) on my left side is backward. So if my sinuses get aggravated at all, they'll swell up and because it's not going the same direction as the others, it will get stopped up very easily... meaning it gets easier for nasty things to build up. Apparently, this can be corrected with surgery, but my ENT would rather avoid that if possible... so, the solution we've come up with, now that we appear to have finally beaten the Sinus Infection From Hell (doing some serious knocking on wood over here), is to use OTC nasal spray to try to keep all the membranes constricted. Once we know I'm well and truly over this... the idea is that I'd only need to use the nasal spray when I notice I'm starting to have problems. I'm really hoping this works, because the idea of nasal surgery does not sound like fun times.

Anyway, I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed that we've finally kicked this thing for real this time... I've been varying degrees of sick for most of the year and it's interfered with so many things I've wanted to do.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Godzilla)
Looking back over my calendar, I went to see my doctor four times this year for sinus infections (starting in May) and, thankfully, she noticed the pattern before I did. I ended up on increasingly more powerful antibiotics... and each time, the pain in my sinuses and ear would ebb away, but there was always this underlying ickiness that never quite disappeared. After the last time, she told me it was time to bring in the big guns and gave me a referral to an ENT. Well, that appointment was on Friday, and it was rather surprising.

I finished my last round of antibiotics about two weeks before seeing the ENT and, well, I'd actually been feeling okay... in fact, the day of my appointment was probably the best I'd been in ages. I figured I'd get in there, he'd look things over and not be able to find anything wrong. Instead, he listened to what had been going on, took a look in my ears and then up into my sinuses... and said "Yep, you've got a sinus infection right now." O.o Seriously, I was feeling pretty great that day. No fever, like I'd had when I'd gone to see my doctor those four times earlier in the year... and yeah, I was tired a lot and had been having a real problem concentrating and my sinuses maybe hurt a little, but all of those things had been going on for so long, that it seemed almost normal.

The ENT is pretty sure that I've had the same sinus infection since at least May... and decided to take a "nuke it from orbit" approach, so starting Friday, I've been taking some fairly heavy duty antibiotics and Prednisone (and will be for the next two weeks). And Saturday was horrible... the sinus infection was apparently fighting back, because it flared up something fierce and I ended up with pain in my ear and sinuses, having almost no energy and falling asleep really easily (there was a big Geocaching event that morning that we went to and ended up leaving pretty early, because I just couldn't stay awake). But by Saturday night, things started clearing up and, remarkably, I felt like a fog was lifting from my brain. It's been so incredibly hard to *think* over the summer. I'd noticed, but wasn't sure if I just wasn't getting enough sleep or something. Seriously, though, I haven't been able to handle new things at *all*. I've read no new books... I haven't been able to handle watching new TV shows and trying to learn new things has been like bashing my head against a wall. I've found myself making really stupid mistakes and I've also had a huge problem concentrating on doing, well, anything. Stuff ended up getting easily forgotten, without me realizing how much time had slid by. It's been frustrating and maddening and I feel like I've wasted most of a year. And in addition, my energy levels have been sinking steadily. Most of this has been happening over such an extended period of time, that I really didn't notice it until fairly recently.

Sunday though... it was like a heavy fog had lifted from my brain (I keep making jokes about having had a "Brain Cloud"). I can *think* again... and it's made me realize exactly how awful it had gotten and I'm frankly shocked by how bad it had been. I still got tired really easily on Sunday, but I'm hoping today will be better (although waking up at 4:00 in the freakin' morning probably won't help).

I've got a followup appointment with the ENT in three weeks... at which point I'll be getting a CT scan, to make sure there isn't any blockage, since *something* has been making this infection stay around for as long as it has, and the problems have been pretty much restricted to the left side, which is also a bit of a red flag. In the meantime, it sort of feels like I'm waking up after hibernating for six months.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Godzilla)
A month or two ago, I started recognizing the signs of an oncoming sinus/ear infection and did the smart thing... I got in to see my doctor (or rather, her substitute, since my doctor was still on maternity leave at the time) and she got me started on an antibiotic and it seemed to do the trick! I went about my merry way until a few weeks ago, when those signs popped up again, so back I went to the my doctor (who had returned from maternity leave by this point) and she decided to approach it as if it were the same infection, since this was only a few weeks after the first visit, and put me on a more aggressive antibiotic. And it seemed to help, for a few days at least. Last Friday and Saturday were fantastic! Probably the best I'd felt in a few weeks (good timing, because there was a big Geocaching event on the coast that weekend and we had a room reserved out there at our favorite getaway on the beach), but by the time we started heading home Sunday, I was getting increasingly miserable. Called my doctor's office again on Monday and had an appointment that afternoon... that was rather tough for me to get to, since I was just exhausted and feeling beyond crappy. This time, I had a fever and a full-blown raging sinus infection... Oh, yeah, and I was in the middle of an asthma attack and probably had been for awhile. I almost never have problems with asthma anymore and it was getting masked enough by other symptoms that it hadn't occurred to me that might be the problem... I was frankly quite relieved that it wasn't bronchitis.

So, now I'm on an even *more* aggressive antibiotic, a double-dose of Mucinex (it never would have occurred to me to do this, if my doctor hadn't told me to do it) and I'm using my inhaler a few times a day. I also ended up writing an email to classic Spike/Buffy fanfic writer Saber Shadowkitten yesterday to thank her... in her story "Humanitis," a newly human Spike gets a cold and is having trouble swallowing pills... and the solution is to put them in jam and swallow that. I swear, it's possibly one of the most useful things I've ever learned from reading any kind of fiction ever. Mucinex is very hard to swallow (it's big, tastes *awful* and is chalky, meaning it sticks to your tongue and throat) and my current antibiotic is horsepill sized. There's absolutely no way I'd be able to take any of it if I hadn't learned that little trick.

My fever broke yesterday (yay!! I was getting sick of feeling like I was freezing all the time, which is what usually happens when I have a fever) and the pain in my ears and sinuses has pretty much gone away, but my sinuses have gotten even more congested for some reason. I called the Pharmacist yesterday and he reiterated his suggestion from the day before to drink a LOT more fluid, telling me that this particular antibiotic can have a side effect of thickening mucus so that it doesn't drain as easily... which is why he recommended seriously increasing fluid intake, to offset it. He also said that I could try Sudafed, since it wouldn't cause any problems with anything else I'm taking.

Today has been a bit weird. I take my meds, use the inhaler and take some Sudafed and I've got about two hours or so where I feel somewhat approaching normal (or at least normal enough to do more than sleep or play solitaire), then the latter two start to wear off and I can't take more for a few hours, so I end up feeling crappy again and sounding like I'm trying to cough up a lung. But I *am* feeling better... when I think back to Monday, the difference is remarkable. I just have to keep reminding myself of that, because I still feel crappy enough that it's easy to think I'm not getting better.

I've been trying to figure out why I've been getting zapped with these infections so much this year and I have a theory: [personal profile] rackham started his new job in downtown Seattle at the first of the year and commutes by bus. I suspect he's picking up these things and bringing them home to me, without ever getting sick himself. Apparently, another friend whose husband works at the same office (and commutes on the same bus) has a really similar sounding cold right now... which just makes me even more sure my theory is right.

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
(Hint: you end up with too many of them.)

A week or so ago, I posted a realization on Facebook... that, as near as I can tell, one of the big secrets to successful adulting seems to be simply remembering to put things back where they belong when you're done with them. It's something I'm not particularly good at, but I'm getting better (in large part because I've discovered I really like being able to find what I'm looking for when I need it). This actually applies to something that happened yesterday.

Once upon a time, I didn't really wear shoes, at least not if I could help it. I owned, on average, about two pairs at any one time... preferring to go barefoot when I could (I even had ways of doing it stealthily) and wearing slippers that gave the illusion of wearing shoes when I couldn't, with usually a pair of sandals and a pair of skateboarding shoes for times when more shoe was required (the latter worked really well in the winter time... and unlike other sports shoes, they tended to be fairly flat inside with a lot of room for feet to spread as you walk).

Then I discovered minimalist shoes.

I love my Vibram Fivefingers. They've opened up this great new world to me and, I'll be honest, are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. I wear them hiking, walking, while doing yardwork, pretty much whenever... all things I used to do barefoot when I could. So, I watch for sales and when I find a particular model that I like, I'll buy several pairs, because I've learned that these sorts of things will actually get discontinued (seriously, before this I had very little exposure to the realities of shoe-buying). And then I discovered that there are other sorts of minimalist shoes out there... including my other favorite, Vivobarefoot. Their shoes look a lot more like normal shoes, but are designed to not confine feet the way normal shoes do and to still give some decent "Ground-Feel."

My previous favorites, Vibram FiveFingers Speed, got discontinued about a year ago... I managed to find some new ones out on eBay last year, but they're reaching end of life (and I sincerely thank my runner friends for telling me that shoes have a lifespan, because it honestly never would have occurred to me and I would have gone on being confused as to why my feet were suddenly starting to hurt), so I've been on the hunt for something to replace them.

And here's where it gets a bit funny. )

Crossposted from my Livejournal.


fenchurch: (Default)

March 2017



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