Sunday, May 31, 2015

kid compliments...

Two things that some kids said to me recently that made me feel proud:

1) "At least you get out and play with your son. My mom just sits at home and works all the time." (She's probably working her butt off to support him, I thought, but then I thought about how sad the look on his face was when he said that to me..)

2) "You know, you laugh a lot more than my parents do..." (I wondered if they probably save their laughter for when he's in bed and they're unwinding?)

I didn't know the parents of the first child. He's a boy who is now in grade 5, a boy who I used to supervise when I did lunch supervision in the grade 2 class... 3 years ago now. He remembered me clearly and when it just so happened that a spontaneous softball game took place with Thanan and his friends and this group of grade 5 kids, he took the time to say how impressed he was that I was out there with my son.

The second comment came to me when Thanan's friend was over at my house. I know his mom fairly well and the comment struck me odd, because her profile on facebook makes her life look perfectly happy and content and she's always smiling. So that made me curious and I continue to wonder how much of facebook is fake.. or maybe not fake, but just shows the good stuff, incomplete.

I took both of those as compliments, though. I try to be a good parent, as hard as it is sometimes with the way I physically feel. I try to have some sort of involvement in my son's day, each and every day. I try. Sometimes I just feel too crappy, but still, those are the days we cuddle instead of play baseball or badminton or golf or soccer.

And both of those kids said those remarks within earshot of Thanan. That made me feel good on a different level, because I caught him smiling after they said it as he looked at me. I was smiling back, of course.

Appreciate your kids. Appreciate the chances every day to be involved in their world. You are important to them, they look up to you every day for support and direction and love and encouragement. And even if they don't tell you stuff, you can be guaranteed they and their friends notice things!

Jules :OD

Friday, May 29, 2015

getting to know your gallbladder...

October 2014.. Thanksgiving.. upper abdominal pain after eating a very satisfying meal. It felt like supper just wouldn't move from my stomach down into my digestive tract.. at all. It just seemed to sit there causing pain, bloating and gas for hours. But I didn't know. I chalked it up to indigestion and eating too much turkey and stuffing.

December 2014.. Christmas event. Pain after eating.. quite painful. Nausea, loss of appetite, pain under the right rib cage and then radiating pain up the middle of my back and into between my shoulder blades. 4 hours later, it went away. Again, indigestion, I thought.

This type of stuff kept occuring over time, and I never really thought much of it until April when I went in to talk about pain I was having and was asked by the Doctor if I was having gallbladder pain. I was clueless.. I didn't know what gallbladder pain felt like. After I was informed, I gave it some thought and realized that in retrospect, I had been having GB pain all the way back to that Thanksgiving, and probably before. But those attacks were so vivid that the dates stuck in my mind. Hindsight is 20/20. And it's funny because in some of the medical scans I've had, ultrasounds and whatnot, for other diagnosis, the technicians have asked me if I was in pain, but they never really elaborated. So I think I can trace this issue back as far as 3 or more years.

Since April, I've had 17 gallbladder attacks of varying duration and severity. My worst ones were at about an 8 on the pain scale (out of 10), but I never went into the hospital because it's inconvenient to end up in the ER, and I never felt like I was dying. My official diagnosis, this time, is "multiple moving gallstones." Apparently I'm nice and jam packed with them, to the point where anytime I eat anything (not just fatty foods), and I activate my digestive system and therefore, the bile transfer, I can set off an attack.

So I saw my surgeon and will be having surgery on July 2nd. Apparently I'm a PR2, which means I'm not an emergency yet, but must have it out within 6 weeks. Guh. Another surgery. Yay.

Here's what I know about the whole thing now, so you can reference it, not that I'm suggesting you use my words as gospel. This is just my experience, and I know that it varies from person to person to some degree.

  1. Adjusting my diet has been difficult but as a happy side note, it's a great natural weight loss regime. Cut out as much saturated and trans fats from your diet as you possibly can. I eat less than 2g of saturated fat daily. I also have to cut out sugar, so I eat less than 5g of sugar per day (that's for my candida). Between those two omissions, I've lost 15 or 16 pounds since April. If you're looking to lose weight, pretend you have GB issues and just omit these things from your daily diet. 
  2. Read the labels on your foods. Both the fat and sugar content are right there to see, plain as day. But don't look just at the "Fat" content. They break it down into Saturated, Trans, Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats. Eliminate Sat and Trans, keep Poly and Mono fats. 
  3. Eating more small meals throughout the day instead of 3 big meals is very beneficial for reducing GB pain. I've become a grazer. I'm like a cow.. just munching on stuff every couple of hours. I still eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I'm finding the meals are never as large as they used to be. 
  4. Coffee seems ok, but that's because it's a natural fat and I drink it black. Peppermint tea is soothing, and I drink tons of it, or other tea throughout the day because liquid in the system seems to help. Drink more water, too. Do not drink carbonated beverages. 
  5. My GB pain feels different each time. It can be any or all of the following and of different severities depending on what you've eaten: stabbing pain under right rib cage (or through the right abdomen somewhere), firey burning pain in middle back and radiant upper back pain that sits between your shoulder blades. No position is comfortable and nothing takes the pain away (no home medications anyway). Nausea. Decreased appetite or no appetite. Severe bloated feeling and increased gas. Feeling of being flushed in the face, but not feverish. Chills. Unable to take a satisfying deep breath, shallow breathing.
  6. I didn't have any real luck with the whole apple cider vinegar/apple juice fix, nor does buscopan really work to take the pain away (I've only tried it twice. Once it worked, the second time it didn't).
  7. If a gallstone is on the move there are two MAJOR risk factors. It can either block the bile duct into the liver, or it can block the duct connecting the GB to the pancreas. Either situation can be fatal. If it blocks the one to the liver, you will turn jaundiced and you need the ER. If it blocks the pancreatic duct, it causes pancreatitis and you definitely need the ER. If it blocks the pancreas, digestive enzymes can't pass from the pancreas to the intestine, so they begin to actually digest the pancreas itself, causing sometimes irreparable damage. Not cool. 
  8. GB stones can't be laser zapped away. Even small stones can become lodged in places that aren't cool, so blasting a stone just makes more smaller stones instead of one bigger one, and can increase a chance of a stone doing damage just by sheer quantity of stones. If you have GB pain, it needs to be addressed and will likely at some point need to be surgically removed. 
  9. There is a laproscopic option these days for surgery. They will try that first and if it's too inflammed by the time they get in there, only then do they have to open you up with a big long incision to remove it. Otherwise it's 4 incisions that are about 1.5" long and far less recovery time. 
I guess that's what I've learned about my current health woe in a nutshell, thought his post probably seems quite wordy by now. I decided to write about this because I know when I wrote about my thyroid cancer, treatment and recovery, it helped a lot of people who were researching it. So maybe this can help other people in this little predicament too. 

Jules :Ohealthissues(

Thursday, May 28, 2015

It bloomed!

I've lived in this house for something like 7 years now. This lilac was planted within the first year or two, I can't remember. It's a President Lincoln Blue Lilac. I wanted it because of the word "blue" because I love lilac's but wanted something out of the ordinary (which is purple or white).

I kid you not... this is the FIRST year this plant has bloomed more than one cluster of flowers. Last year was the first year it bloomed at all, and it was juse this tiny little 5 flower blossom, if I recall correctly. So this year, it has TWO clusters!! TWO!! AND they look purple before the blossoms open up but then they open and they are blue!!

Stoked beyond belief. I thought about hosting a party to celebrate this, no joke. I pictured my family and friends gathered around the lilac with beer in hand toasting the blossoms, myself standing there giving a tribute speech to the bloom. 

Well, I didn't do that, but I do want the world to see the lilac bloom and I'll honor it this way.

Three cheers for the blue lilac bloom! Woot! Woot! Woot!

Jules :Oyay!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My phone makes me look like an idiot...

My phone makes me sound like I have a studder.

I'm bummed because I've come to terms with the fact that my blackberry that I just got in January is having trouble. The keyboard may just be failing.. or something. I type, and I use punctuation, and lots of times the alt key doesn't work on it, so instead of getting a comma, exclamation mark or question mark, I just get the letters n, m, or v.

Do you like thatv
(That's what my texts look like, should have been: Do you like that?)

Grr. Also.. it has developed a tick or something. It adds in multiples of a letter I've typed. So instead of: How are you today? I get: Hooow aree u todayv

If a person were to read my texts literally, it would sound just like I'm studdering! Eff sakes. The trouble is, I'm a die hard blackberry user. I love it. I get bugged and taunted all the time for my choice in phones, but I'm happiest with a blackberry in my hand. I love the physical keyboard and hate touch screen keyboards. I don't want any other phone because it seems like the only smart phone out there with a keyboard still is the blackberry. I'm loyal and dammit, I must have my needs met!

I think there's a company downtown that services phones. I might have to take it to them and see if it's fixable. The one piece of solace is that I only paid 1/3 the cost of this phone, so it's not too crappy if I have to pay to fix it. But still...

Such is life with technology.

Jules :Owtfphone!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Double Flowering Plum...

The first thing to bloom in my back yard this year was the double flowering plum shrub I planted 2 or 3 years ago. It seems like it always takes 3 years for plants to really take off after you put them in the ground. Regretfully, I didn't take a photo of the whole thing in bloom, but as if it read my mind and felt my despair, it offered me one more late bloom. It's such a delicate pink flower, and when it grows up, the shrub will be really beautiful. Here are some snapshots:

I've seen double flowering plums that were sort of pruned almost in a bonsai way. When this one grows up, I'm going to try and train it to me more tree like rather than bush like, but we'll see. If that's not successful, I'll still love it the way it is. I hope that someday when I'm ready to leave this place, the new people look after this yard. I'd really hate to see it overgrown with weeds and not be upkept. 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

My razor story...

Sure, if you compare the number of curves on a woman's leg to the number of curves on a man's face, there's probably quite a difference there. Sure, if you compare the density and thickness of a man's whisker to that of a lady's leg hair, the man probably wins that one too. But you know what? Women have to shave as often as men, and we get razor burn too! We also desire the closest shave possible.

But what products do women have? We lack in razor quality compared to what the media brands as men's razors. Men.. oh men.. they get 5 totally sharp blades to do the job. And now they have swivelling heads to hug the curves of the face. Women are at the back of the pack, with a maximum of 4 blades that dull after using them just a few lousy times. Men get vibrating razors, even!

Suffice it to say, I've always felt like I've never had the shave that was possible. So the other day with my sister, I pondered out loud "what razor do you use?" while looking in the women's shave section. She said "Palu bought me a men's gillette.. this one with 5 blades and the swivel head.. and I LOVE it!"

So I finally decided to venture into the men's shaving section myself and picked up the one she recommended. It's a Gilette Fusion ProGlide with a Flexball (as seen here). The first time I used it I thought I'd gone to shave Heaven. It luxuriously just glided over my skin and took off every nasty leg hair down so low I didn't even have to shave the next day! Worked wonders in my armpits too.. and other ehem.. unmentionable locations (my toes.. I'm talking about my toes). And NO cuts because the blades are actually SHARP! I'm telling you something. I'll never again go out and buy a ladies razor! I like the silver color of this one, too. I don't need pink or purple!

I not only encourage women to follow my lead, but I suggest men go out and give this razor a try too! I'd have gotten the vibrating one, but I couldn't quite wrap my head around why a razor needed to vibrate. And really.. I can't imagine shaving around the unmentionables with a vibrating razor.. a person could get carried away, what with it vibrating and all, and frankly, that's a scary thought. *shudder*

Anyway, that's the thought (revelation) for this go around. See you next time!
Jules :O!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Quick catch up

Been a while. There's probably nobody left out there reading my blog, but today I sat down to do other things on here an thought "Hmmm.. I miss blogging." So, here I am.

I've been keeping myself really busy lately. You know, dealing with being a parent and subsequently managing Thanan's issues. I had to nurse my foster guy back to health (never seen him so sick). Have been drastically monitoring my dietary intake (even more than normal) because I now seem to be having gall bladder attacks (surgery's in the beginning of July). I've been working as much as I can doing my contractor assistant job, it's going well enough, I can't complain too much about that scenario, other than the fact that the work is exhausting. But I got a $5/hr raise, so that's pretty great. On the days I work doing that, I literally work from 7:30am to 9pm, considering the foster buy job as well as the contracting. Factor in parenting too, I suppose. Thor and I have been seeing as much of each other as we can, even managing to fit in full on family time with Thanan when possible (love that). I had really bad tendinitis in my left arm, so I couldn't play my instruments, which was a bummer, but oddly, the contractor work has restrengthened it and now it's feeling better. Go figure. All the doc's said to rest, rest, rest it.

I've had a few really odd/funny/obscure thoughts, but now that I'm sitting down to write, I can't think of them. Whenever I do, I'll write posts for them.

Well, that's it. I'm still here. Gona try and get back into the blog... after May long weekend. But who knows... that's when I start to get serious about my yarding and gardening. ;)

Till next time!

Jules :O)