Monday, December 26, 2011

Just a little of this and not much of that

The sparrows run along the top of the fence as if propelled by toy car wheels. The White Christmas compelled the birds to roost until the sun and fresh seeds drew them to the yard.

Mother Nature gifted us with a photo perfect day. The day began with large snowflakes drifting like feathers over a vent. The unique patterns melded into a soft white blanket covering the dry harshness of drought.

I spent the day with my family of choice.  Seeing the four men that my godsons became cheers me. I am proud of them, for them and for their parents.

The amaryllis bud taunts me. A couple of days ago I saw a sliver of pink. Today the bud seems ready to burst. Perhaps tomorrow it will explode with the color hidden under the sheath of green. The other two buds trail behind as if to allow each glorious splendor of its own.

How can we desire change but at the same time run from it?

You are still there in my heart, Dude.

Later.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Twas the night

Except for the dishes I washed and the cake I made, this day was a waste. I slept on the couch most of the day with Pogo and Momo lining my left side.

My amaryllis seems to be thriving. No flowers yet, but three stalks, the tallest almost a foot. Today offered lots of sun. I could almost hear the ahhhhs.

I am in a beat up state again. Owies cover my arms and hands.

The bed calls.

Later, Dude.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ferry across the Mersey



I picked up I.F. somewhere along the way. At first his influence affected me in minor ways. Gradually he gained more clout. Now I listen to him more and more and regret my responses.

Then G. joins the party with her incessant accusatory tone, railing my every move. I should ignore her but she makes that impossible. She shrieks her message with grating voice.

Then like an alcoholic who swears off the booze, the pressure begins to mount.  Soon I freeze in place, the solution hidden behind a wall of  recriminations.

I do not like my pals. When they begin to stir, I begin to panic. The process begins anew.

For most, this time of year represents joy. I just want to roll into a ball and sleep through it all. Selfish? Yes. The rationale for G. to harp.

An argument ensues almost every time; I lose most of them. Who am I?

Later, Dude.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Amazing

Fewer than 30,000. That number represents cases of PH in the U.S. 31,800,000: the U.S. population in mid-2011. Do the math.


Later, Dude.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Points to ponder


Children remind us to view life with awe, especially this time of year.

Pets remind us to love unconditionally and trust the ones who care for us.

Friends remind us we are not alone and someone cares.

PHriends remind us someone knows how we feel.

CFers remind us the quality of life outweighs the quantity.

Family reminds us of our beginnings.


You remind me how lucky I am, Dude.

Later.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Lost it

I flat wore myself out today. I proved the adage, "Use it or lose it." Apparently the two weeks I was sick killed what muscle tone and endurance I had. I walked in the door at 3 p.m. with barely enough energy to take my clothes off, do a Tyvaso treatment, which was four hours late, and feed the kitties.

What did I do to cause my arms and legs to ache? Well, not a whole lot. I closed my account at that vilified banking institution. I also drove through the pharmacy to pick up some meds. C and I went to lunch and then to Wallyworld and the grocery.

My arms, legs, knees ache. Time for the Tylenol and bed.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More random thoughts

Below are the start of blogs this month that did not go beyond the first sentence or two, thus the random thoughts title.

When things go wrong, we look for answers, excuses, anything to explain why events unfolded the way they did. Karma, God's punishment. Just desserts.

Years after you are gone, no one will miss you or even know you existed.

I am a bit aggravated. I managed to capture the lead in the Fantasy EPL League. I expressed pride in my accomplishment in a public manner. Of the five opponents, well, I got a congrats, but a look out now comment from one of them; a yeah for you; and then the son of a gun who said "Eek, I have not even looked at the game in weeks." The statement's accuracy aside, the speaker could be kinder. Look out now, Buster!! You have lit a fire under me that will make your butt toast.

Winter beats at my door hounded by a cold north wind. Despite the new weatherstripping, the chill wind blows enough through the gaps to snuff a candle.

Missing you, Dude.

Later.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rest easy

Another gray day. I received notification from the Tyvaso folks that my three-month re-certification  is tomorrow. Because I was sick, I did not check my mail for a little over a week. Well, I tried to call the senior clearance specialist. Same woman I have had problems with in the past. She did not return my call, so I called someone who sees this woman and promised to hand deliver the paperwork which I faxed. I guess I will find out soon if she got what she needed and the company will continue to pay for the drug.

Just got word on FB another of my PH friends, who had a transplant, has died. RIP Sheila Williams.

A couple of CFers I knew of also died recently.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seasons in the sun

I awoke to frozen fog. The wind did not blow, but somehow the day looked colder than reality. I snuggled under a blanket and a comforter with the kitties lining my left side. A football game and a couple of basketball games later, I stir from my cocoon. Eight hours later, the gloom prevails. Soon I will seek the warmth of the covers.

This year ends on a note of thankfulness. I am thankful I have gotten to spend quality time with my brother. I think he did not understand what my disease was like. I am older than he by four years. Now he calls about once a week to check on me. I have learned to appreciate my sister-in-law. We went to college together many moons ago. Then we went our separate ways until she met my brother again.

I am thankful for my Facebook friends. I continue to keep in contact with many of the folks I used to work with. Journalists move around. Most of my journalism friends no longer live here. I enjoy seeing their children and themselves growing up. Another group fills my soul with support. They catch me when I fall into despair. They encourage and empathize. A small group of your friends helps me keep a connection, somehow making it more real.

I am thankful for understanding. I am thankful for thoughtfulness. I am thankful for blessings.

Later, Dude.

Friday, December 9, 2011

All thumbs

 A special friend thinks she can transform my brown, kill everything in sight thumb into a green one. She sent me three African amaryllis bulbs. So far, the confidence in my abilities to change appears justified. Two of the bulbs have three shoots that seem to grow by the minute. The largest bulb has the potential, you can see the beginnings of at least two shoots.

My Tracleer shipment for this month appears lost in lala land. I will make more calls today. I have three pills left. To be fair, I think the problem lies with UPS, not Accredo.

That is all.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A cautionary tale?

Last night, not too long after I had turned off the lights, my doorbell rang. My apartment complex lies in a modest neighborhood but the complex itself shows signs of its age. Since the rent falls in the lower bracket, so does the tenant population.

I opened the door to a woman, who at first glance was a hipster. Jeans tucked into knee-high boots. Spiked blonde hair. She asked for a woman whom I was not. She told me she had locked her keys in her car and asked if I had a phone she could use. I brought the phone to the door and let her call her daughter in Perryton. She had no coat and I let her into the apartment to wait for the locksmith to arrive. Seeing her in the light, she must have been in her middle to late 50s.

I sat on the couch while she stood at the door waiting for the man to arrive. She talked nervously about how her 38-year-old daughter caused her trouble. Then she told me this was the third time in a month she had locked her keys in her car. She offered to pay me for use of the phone. Finally, the man came and the woman left.

I have energy to clean today, which means this ugly mess will soon stop hanging over me. I also have to track down my Tracleer shipment. Accredo scheduled the delivery for yesterday. Nope, did not make it. I called the complex office. Nope, not there. (UPS delivered my Tyvaso to the office this time. Accredo requires a signature. I wonder who signed?) I have noticed a new UPS guy, too. If I were to give him a grade: epic fail!! In the meantime, I have 1.5 days of Tracleer left. I have a FT friend who has an appropriate name for this situation: Helena Handbasket.

I am one lucky woman. I miss you, Dude.

Later.

Monday, December 5, 2011

As time goes by

Two years ago I lost someone whom I did not know well but at the same time I knew for as long as time and space itself. I will never know what if, but I do know what.

I ponder why you made such an impact, Dude.

You came into my life at a time when my life had turned upside down. I lost a career of close to 40 years. I had no time to make adjustments or even to make choices. I felt hopeless and vulnerable and numb. I was alone with me. All my friends worked and soon many of them dropped me from their lives. Out of sight, out of mind, I suppose.

Then, by chance or fate, I met you online. I fell in love with you in a long-distance, will never meet kind of way. You filled a hole in my being. I felt, as I am sure most of your many, many friends did, needed by you as well. Talking to you about your issues made mine disappear for awhile. You confided in me, and I grew protective like an animal momma with her babies. You hit a bumpy stretch and I wanted to do everything I could to make that path smooth. You hurt and I wanted to hold you and wipe the pain away. Yet even in that mess of a time, you showed me how one can let go of the anger and move on.

I grew to know you by the way you reacted to events in your life. I knew how you felt about the folks in your "real life," how you compartmentalized. Did you set up the Post-Thanksgiving Fantasy Hockey League with the players you did consciously or subconsciously? What would you think about how events played out after you died?

Once you told me you were sorry. Once you told me thank you. Two simple phrases that were more precious than any gifts you could have purchased.

That first year I grieved for you with an intensity I never believed possible. How could your death affect me so when I knew you for such a short time? I managed to get through the year with help from a couple of unlikely  friends who have continued to help me. I hope I have helped them in return.

Yep, Dude. I miss you. You still have a place in my heart.

Laters.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving thanks

OK, so maybe I can write today.

I am thankful for the little gestures. I am thankful for understanding people. I am thankful for kitties who look adoringly at me as they purr and pat my face with their paws. I am thankful for friends who step in to help others at my behest. I am thankful for the time I got to spend with you, Dude.

I hope to get out and run some errands with Connie. I am, however, sinking fast after a shower and washing my hair. Time to hit the couch for a recharge.

Laters, Dude.

P.S. I called Doc. I started a prednisone taper at 40 mg and I am taking three antibiotic pills a day, plus nebbing albuterol 4 times a day. I am a mean medicine machine. Ha!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

SOS

Life buzzes all around me. The holidays loom. Me, I want to hide. Life conspires against shutting myself away. For one thing, the kitties love to eat and they are not shy about letting me know they have no food in their dishes. I avoid leaving my haven.

Why do men seem to forgive more easily than women?

The great debate continues: Am I sick enough to call Doc? I have been sick two weeks tomorrow. OK. I think I answered my own question.

I worry too much, Dude.

Later.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful

I teetered on the edge of the abyss again. Again someone rescued me.

Later, Dude.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What a mess

I am having that debate with myself. You know the one: Am I sick enough to call Doc? I have bronchitis I am pretty sure. Do I try harder to do the albuterol and Mucinex, which I only half-assed did to begin with? If I wait until Monday to see if I am better, will I have to go to the hospital because I waited? Doc will want to see me I am pretty sure and I really do not want to clean up and go. I will have to decide soon because the office closes at noon.

The cloud hanging above has dissipated some; more like nagging now. I find something to worry about if I have nothing.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tired, so tired

I am tired today. Tired of my self-imposed isolation. Tired of feeling helpless when my friends need help that I cannot provide. Tired of offering help only to have it rejected. Tired of wanting to do more beyond my capabilities. Tired of feeling like a second-class sickie. Tired of pushing away those who attempt to break the barrier between us. Tired of feeling guilty for actions or situations over which I have no control. Tired of feeling like I cannot do enough. Tired that I worry about others' perception of me. Tired of how a simple gesture can become an obsession. Tired of feeling no one cares. Tired of disparity.

Miss you, Dude. Laters.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A setup for failure

I learned a lesson today. I hope I remember the wisdom I gained before I jump into anything or anyone with my ideas. I tend to offer advice asked for or not.

I stood on the brink of telling someone that by announcing one's intentions, one sets oneself up for failure. Failure offers its own rewards in sympathy and attention. "Aww, you will do it next time."

Examine the motive. Why would I want to tell someone? Who would it benefit?

Do you tell someone what seems obvious to you when it might cause a rift?

OK, I was reading Google News and this story says what I an trying to say.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/14/health/lose-weight-mouth-shut-secret/

So, I guess I am not that far off base. Just remember I care and I will try to be more understanding.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ragtime

My apartment looks like a cyclone blew through. I do not know why I am amazed at the wreckage, after all I basically did nothing for two days. The kitties did nothing to improve the situation. They still demanded their food, which in turn led to cat box demands and cat food cans.

I apparently left the living room closet unlatched and the boys drug out most of their toys.  Momo carried  around in his mouth the padded envelope in which my medicine came, occasionally stopping to pull a hunk out of it. Bits and pieces of plastic line his pathway.

Dirty clothes overflow the basket. Dirty hand towels litter every room. If someone saw my garbage, he might call "Hoarders." See, a stopped up nose can come in handy.

I slept most of yesterday, waking only for medicine every four hours. Today, so far, seems better. Ears still itch, nose still plugged, still achy, but not as bad.  Guess I need to see what I can salvage.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One word at a time

I stare at the blinking cursor. I check FB. I get something to eat. I stare at the blinking cursor. I check Google news. I go sit in my chair and look outside. I stare at the blinking cursor.

The world spins. I spin.

Miss you, Dude.

Later.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tell me it ain't so

Bronchitis brews. The tickle leads to a nonproductive cough. An irritation near the intersection of the clavicles burns along with a bit of acid reflux. My arms ache; my hands hurt.

Tomorrow I see the cardiologist for a regular checkup. I will sit and wait for an hour or more to see the doc for 5 minutes. He ranks as one of the best, so as long as I have no symptoms, we are good.

I feel so isolated.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wasted days

I spent the past couple of days asleep. Oh, I got up to eat, take meds, pee and feed the kitties, but the majority of the time I lay sound asleep on the couch having every intention of watching something on TV. Today I hope I can make a little headway on that list I mentioned. The few things I did do need doing again.

Nope, not today either.

Miss you Dude.

Later.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hi ho, hi ho

The chore fairy failed to show, so I guess I will tackle the gigantic list today.

First on the agenda: make soup. My little soup takes a 7-quart pot. By the time I add all the veggies, the concoction could feed dozens or myself  two meals a day for more than a week. A double recipe for cornbread just about fills out the week. Yummm!!! Good eatin'. I also will make some sort of cake or pudding.

Also on the to-do list: clean outside of kitchen cabinets with Murphy Oil Soap then Old English; sweep and mop kitchen; vacuum and dust; file bills and notices that threaten to spill out of the basket onto the floor; change the bedding; and the usual wash the dishes and clean the cat box.

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association declared November as PH awareness month. I have PH and I understand the importance of information, after all, my doc knew fairly quickly what my symptoms indicated. Other folks are not so lucky. Doctors tell them that their shortness of breath will disappear if they lose weight and exercise. Other docs might diagnose asthma or COPD. Only a right heart cath tells for sure if one has PH. I appreciate all the efforts of my fellow FBers who have PH, but I feel with the new settings on FB, that perhaps the messages should target nonPHers, not all of us all the time. Preaching to the choir.

The temperatures fell into the 20s two nights in a row. I expect to say bye-bye to the green any day now.

Hey Dude, you would be proud of my EPL efforts. (OK. The kiss of death hovers now.) Off to work.

Later.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

No more

Pogo darts; Momo howls. I am ready for bed. 

Later, Dude.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Deep in December

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEW1F9kZ-UE

One by one or sometimes two by two, the women in their 80s and 90s rolled into the house. Freshly coiffed, they wore their important occasion clothes and brought along memories of a lifetime.

Settled into straight-backed chairs with coffee cups perched nearby, the women ate Italian cream cake and laughed. They talked about children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The years melted away with the lime sherbet in the punch.

New neighbors and former neighbors dropped in with shy, polite teenagers in tow. Photos recorded each visitor; cards filled the coffee table.

What a wonderful tribute. Happy 90th birthday, Mom!

Later, Dude.

Friday, October 28, 2011

aaarrrggg

Anxiety steals. Anxiety throttles joy. Anxiety, like Audrey in "Little Shop of Horrors," desires to be fed. Once it gets a taste, the need increases.  Pretty soon you have a monster on your hands.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The above photo was taken by Steve Douglass, who is an outstanding photographer and is webbfeatproductions.com


The snow laden tree branches ripple like an Asian festival dragon. The weight of the wet snow atop leaves bends the branches to the breaking point.

Today would be a good day for your Kinsler to come through. I can sink a team's chances just by mentioning I back them. So mum's the word.

Glad you wuz born, Dude.

Later.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Waning days

I love baseball. The game.

I was thinking about the differences between love of the game and love of the game because of a certain team. The winning or losing of a particular team becomes the reason for the love of some. So if his team sports the worse record in baseball, his season ends before October.

If the team I follow for some wild reason makes it into the series, then all the better. If, however, my team fails to make the playoffs, then I can find a reason to support another team, such as manager X played for the Xs or manager Y was on a triple A team in Amarillo. I pick a side to root for to extend a season of a game I love.

I am not saying either approach reigns supreme or represents the only view, just making an observation.

Mother Nature plans a wakeup call this week I am told. Mid-80s today and rain and snow on Thursday.

Hard week, Dude.

Later.

Too many mountains

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_gxQt-bhik&feature=related

pa·tron·ized / pa·tron·iz·ing

transitive verb
1: to act as patron of : provide aid or support for
2: to adopt an air of condescension toward : treat haughtily or coolly

No. 2 pertains to the situation this time. I am slow to thaw and overly cautious in some areas of my life. In other ways, I am unwary and out there, ready for the pickin'. But I digress. I guess I tend to analyze the analyst. And I have no patience.

Sometimes I think I am fooling myself about my illness. After all, I am not as sick as most of the folks who post on FB and have PH and related diseases. I am somehow second rate even with a life-threatening disease. Is my pain tolerance so great, I do not notice? Or does pain hide around the corner waiting to show me his real face?

What a mess, Dude.

Later.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yesssssssssssss!!

Two cakes ordered.

Vampire sated.

Plates, napkins and cups purchased.

Satisfaction and pride for getting the above accomplished when I did not want to do anything. And I still have time for a nap.

Later, Dude.

Bedtime story

I learned my lesson. I cannot trash talk with impunity. I have never been good at it. More often than not, my team tanks immediately after I put taunt to paper. This time proves no different. Give it up.

After several days of nothing, today I need to visit the vampire, order a couple of cakes and buy festive napkins, plates, and cups. I am already telling myself, "Not today. Tomorrow." Typical.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A slice of life

One of my acquaintances has gone missing. I have looked and looked for her for years. She plays a major role in my life, yet she hardly shows her face in a positive manner.

Her frailty causes her to crumble at the slightest provocation. She seldom appears when I need her most, in fact she hides so well she might as well be nonexistent.

I spend early mornings meditating in my chair; a cup of coffee warms my hands. I ruminate about how events unfolded and spend time what-iffing. I craft scenes in my mind of meetings that probably will never happen.

One of my constant companions will not loosen her grip on me. She can freeze me in my steps with a sideways glance. She nags and inserts her opinion on any issue at any time. I have tried many ways to lessen her influence. Each of her small victories extracts an immeasurable part of me until I begin to wonder where I went. Will I eventually be gone altogether?

Another friend hangs around much too often and refuses to leave. Like a gray, cold, gloomy mass suffocating me; always there, always threatening.

The view from the other side of a mirror differs.

Later, Dude.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tedium

My to-do list reaches crisis proportions. Not so much the number of items on the list, but a time element will force me to act, and soon.

I spent the past two days lying on the couch, covered by a couple of blankets. My do-it gears frozen, my mind refusing to work. My motivation ran dry. I need something to prime the pump.

Eliminating the Lipitor from my regime has curbed the pain in my arms. I guess now we play deal a med to see which of the cholesterol pills will work without the muscle/joint pain. I am so lucky to have a lung doc who also has a specialty in internal medicine and critical care. He not only gets an A in smarts, but an A for bedside manner and good looks.

I miss World Series day games. Working and watching the game with one eye or listening to the game on the radio. *sigh*

Thinking of you, Dude.

Later.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bereft

Heartache

The great bathroom pipe leak ended yesterday when Deon told me the sink drained slowly and showed me a clump of hair attached to the sink hole cover. He fixed the upside down mirror and laid a whole new floor. Apparently the previous floor tile pattern was no longer available. All the work I did in the bathroom to clean the floor, baseboards and vanity needs to be done again.

I am taking a break from FB for awhile. I almost took a break from blogging, too. My head remains somewhere above my body most of the time. My heart aches.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Leak no more my lady

Let me see now. Today marks the fourth day in the saga of the leak. The guys finished getting the vanity back in, then said see ya after lunch. Well, they did not say which lunch did they? So they did not come today. The mirror still leans up again the wall on the patio and the sink. has no running water.

Just out the front door another big mess lurks. The guys emptied the shop vac in empty parking spots and the scummy residue greeted a couple of tenants when they arrived home. Then sometime overnight, someone barfed on the sidewalk in front of my door.

I did not have the energy to do anything about either problem today. Sometime during the night I totally depleted my spoon inventory. My arms and legs ache both in the muscles and the joints. My brain runs on power save.

I am thankful for many things in my life. You were one of them, Dude.

Later.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Visuals

























I love the top photo. It reminds me of cats I have known. Too bad the left front paw is photoshopped. Still, the photo gets the idea across wonderfully well.

I stole the graphic from a friend's FB post.

My mom has one of these folding, wooden racks. It was her first clothes dryer. I too have one of these nifty racks -- think sunshine smell.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nothing worse than ...

plumbing trouble, car trouble or insurance hassles. This time plumbing wins. A hot water pipe buried in the concrete slab underneath the bathroom vanity sprung a leak. The guys (three of them) spent most of the first day removing the vanity, mirror and toilet and then jackhammering until they found the leak. They temporarily patched the leak and left for the night.

Day 2: At 8:45 a.m. one of the guys rings the doorbell and tells me he needs an inventory of supplies so they could order for the day. I ask them not to come until 9:30. I grabbed some clothes, brushed my hair, did a treatment, took pills and left with a note on the door for them to be vigilant about the kitties. I spent most of the day with Connie and her youngest grandson. When I got home, the three guys had packed up for the day. Still no toilet, although the vanity sits in its usual place. Somehow the guys managed to cut the top of the vanity and it does not fit back like it did. And, since the toilet still sits on the patio (do not tell Jeannie about this, she would be planting violets or something!), I will get to share company with the three guys tomorrow, too.

As for my boys, I found both of them in the lower kitchen cabinet. Yesterday, Pogo, the nosey one, would sneak a look at the bathroom and the second one of the guys moved, Pogo would run low to the ground back to his hidey hole.

Miss you, Dude.

Later.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lost

Today I wonder where all this sadness comes from. The waves and waves of heaviness threaten to pull me under. I try to put into words what I am feeling but I find I cannot.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

That time again

Aching arms woke me this morning. I gained a couple of pounds (blame those evil chocolate chip cookies). Pogo pooped in front of the glass door and missed the cat box when he peed.

The cloak of sadness closes around me and tears threaten to further cloud my view. I grasp at the bits and pieces of what was and mourn memories that never were.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Where are you?

I am beginning to sound like some looney bird with a tinfoil hat. I am lonely; I want attention but I hate to ask. So I post cryptic messages on FB and hope someone asks me what bothers me. Sounds like some teenager.

Gosh I miss you Dude.

Later.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Little things

I woke up after a funky dream I do not remember now, but gradually the overall mood morphed into a warm blanket on a cold morning.

I discovered someone's hidden side. Having never met this person face to face, I formed an opinion based on what I saw. Gradually the outer shell chipped away and I think I saw some of the inner self. I liked what I saw.


I find this photo funny. Such a cute kitten.

Missing you, Dude.

Later.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I woke up this morning and you were on my mind

You have been on my mind lately. I ask myself what would Dude say about this? I bet he would give me two ha's for that thought.

I have had a few issues that I am sure you could have helped me with. The latest issue I would give my eye teeth to know what you thought. Should I keep my mouth shut or should I insert myself into the situation?
I have stirred the pot and will see where that leads.

I ate lunch with Boopie today. We ate seafood and caught up on the latest. I enjoy my visits with Boopie.

I stopped by chat last night for a bit. I did not stay long. The group has changed some, and I felt ignored. No blame, just stating an opinion. The situation makes me sad. I grow so tired of the sadness and ache sometimes.

Must be doing something wrong. Guess I should try something else.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

If I go to sleep, will it make it not so?

Whatever that means.

My life has taken a "Groundhog Day" turn. One day looks pretty much like the next. Sometimes the sameness soothes, sometimes, like acid etching glass, it eats away at my being.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Surely a song exists

I worked hard this morning. After two days of not much, I needed to do some chores and ended up accomplishing more than I planned.

I got the bedroom rearranged so my chair offers a better view of the backyard. I also vacuumed up two cats worth of hair. I dusted. I shined the glass doors inside and out. That job alone about drove me bonkers. I would notice a spot and then try to figure out which door and whether it was inside or out. On one of those trips outside to find a spot, Momo nonchalantly decides to join me. "Mooooomooooo," I say. He looks at me like, "who, me?" and goes back inside.

I got the bathroom cleaned and swept the kitchen. Amazing what collects overnight on the kitchen floor.

Looking at what I wrote, the list of dones does not seem as great as when I sat down to write about my hard work. When I first began, my lungs kept reminding my body about the lack of recent physical activity. SOB. Gradually I quit noticing the pants and puffs. Oh, I sat down many times in the beginning. The ticker seemed to go the other way. Instead of getting tireder, I seemed to find a bit more energy to do this or that, so the breaks became fewer.

Sometimes when I start cleaning a room, I find myself carrying out of place objects back to their homes. Then I see something else in that room and take it too. Probably not the most efficient method of cleaning.

Fascinating, my life, is it not?

Later, Dude.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Need an off button

I will cheer when this round of gloom and doom fades a little more. With G&D comes laziness or maybe you can call the mood apathetic. I cannot choose what to eat and even if I could, I do not want to prepare whatever I choose.

Every decision during my day goes that way. I need to vacuum. I would have to drag the machine out of the closet, pick up all the kitty toys and other assortment of objects that litter the floor. Then worry about not running over the o2 hose or vacuum cord.

Or I need to wash dishes. I still have some clean ones in the cabinet. If I am going to expend the energy to wash dishes, I should at least have enough to make  the effort worthwhile. See, you get the drift.

The grass in my yard would cause problems for the Lilliputins. Even the visitor cats have to leap about like lords in "The Nutcracker."

Miss you heaps, Dude.

Later.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The point?

When I do not wear my glasses and oxygen, my world skews.

I barricade myself in my apartment. I long for human touch.

I do not like friends any less, just myself. By failing you, I fail myself.

My drive sits in the garage. My life idles.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What a pain

The pain was so intense, I could not breathe. I shouted in my mind for the pain to please, please stop. Out loud I said ow, ow, ow and pointed to my back.

The day began with a quesy tummy, so I scrambled a couple of eggs, threw in some cheddar cheese and toasted a couple of slices of bread. I had come to the conclusion I needed food.

I had an appointment with Doc at 12:15. I arrived with my list of prepared questions and was ushered in promptly.

He said the statin could cause my achy arm muscles, even after using it for many years. So no statin for a week to see if the muscle pain lessens.

He wants me to try glucosamine chondroitin for a month to see if the supplement helps my stiff fingers.

He ordered X-rays of my lungs and one that included kidneys, spleen, liver and gall bladder.

The technician had me lie flat on my back on the table to do the organs X-rays. That went quickly and as I sat up, a searing pain shot though my back in the center. The intense pain almost sent me to my knees. I could not move, I could not breathe. Shrieks echoed in my brain as the muscles in my back locked and refused to loosen their grip on the pain. Eventually, I could stand and walk.

I headed back down to the second floor to see what else Doc had in mind.

Did the PFTs and the gas exchange tests. I blew 49 last time for FEV1 and 52 this time. Yay!!

Then I got to pee in a cup and donate two vials of blood for the vampire. On my way out the door after seeing the Doc one more time, he says I am scheduling a sonagram of your organs.

Back to the fourth floor. Back to lying flat on my back, then on either side so she could do the kidneys, too. OK, hop up she says. Like a good little patient, I try. The pain paralyzes me again.

I am not real sure where my friend pain came from, but I do not like the way she acts. Maybe she will move on soon, though I fear she will become a permanent pest. I avoid flat on my back because of my breathing. Now add to that pain. Good thing I do not suntan.

Such was my day, the first day of my 63rd year.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

She's off ...

Dear Me,

In a matter of 2.5 hours, you will begin your 63rd year of living.

You went to pick up a prescription this morning and treated yourself and Pogo to an iconic Mickey D's breakfast item.

You received a birthday card from a special friend.

A couple of friends called.

A bit of good news from UT means you do not have to pay for that med for at least a year, unless you win the lottery or discover you are the long lost beneficiary of a billion-dollar trust fund. That "gift" alone probably added a year to your life.

Hang in there me!

Later, Dude.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It is in there somewhere

Dear Friend,

You weigh heavy on my heart today. I know problems plague you. Some of life's cares you have to handle on your own, though I willingly offer to help.

How do you measure the success of a life?

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gray day

Today the sky wears her gray lady suit and sports temperatures to match. Unfortunately, my mood and body accompany the lady.

I cannot get enough sleep, even with 9 hours at night and a nap during the day. If this picture represents the rest of my life, where did the body go that matched my mind? I like the younger model. The mind still rocks along like it did in years past; the body tends to pitch fits.

Got the paperwork to doc this morning, got home and remembered I forgot to sign the papers. So I call the nurse's line and tell them to hold the papers; I will pick them up tomorrow. (In this case, my mind joined the creaking body in a little duh dance.)

I am conducting a little experiment to see if I can buy groceries once a month. I will buy meat on sale anytime and fresh fruits and veggies. I am hoping by cutting my trips to the store I also will chop the spending.

Dollar stores offer great bargains on cleaning supplies and cat litter.

What did you pay forward today?

Later, Dude.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hoops de do

Dear UT,

I will comply with your demands for more paperwork. Six months worth of bank statements, plus six months worth of copies of Medicare checks, etc., etc.

I get the feeling the folks in charge there have no idea what pulmonary arterial hypertension does to a person's mind, body and spirit. Ineptitude or lack of compassion allows personnel to have a jaded outlook on human nature. The employees reflect the corporate attitude.

Yes, in today's world, many people scam and scheme, perhaps even those unfortunate souls who have PH. Most of the PHers I know, including myself, have to devote what energy we do have to everyday living.

Perhaps the employees and supervisors could do the straw exercise for a day.

Sincerely,

A PHer

Later, Dude.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Playing the spoons

Yes, I have pulmonary hypertension. Most of the time, I have plenty of spoons. I go and do with the best of them.

For me, stress heads the list of triggers that eventually sabotage my body. The hassle I went through this past week cut me down at the knees. I did not realize this until the issue with the companies was resolved. Suddenly I could not get enough sleep. Somewhere along there I also lost motivation. Between the duo, my house falls apart, the weeds mount a new battle and the kitties bite me on the elbow or arm to get me to feed them.

I feel even worse during this time because I neglect my friends. I think of them, but I somehow cannot put fingers to keyboard (not as romantic as pen to paper, huh?) or even call them. I am ready again for a nap.

Venus Williams has Sjorgen's. She also has been treated for asthma her whole life. She should have a heart cath, IMHO.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tranquility

Sunday I made a list of 12 items I needed to do. Monday, I finished 5.5 of the chores. Today the energy fled. I woke up during the night twice with severe leg cramps and had to walk them off. I put a couple of gowns in the sink to soak and checked my list. I ended up sleeping until 3. I still do not feel great. I hope I remember this next time and do not try to do everything in one day.

I want to organize my medicines and equipment and put them together. Right now, the extra medicines sit in a box in my pantry, along side my neb and tubing. My daily meds rest in a basket beside my bed; the Tyvaso occupies a nook in the kitchen. The extra tubing for the concentrators I hide in the bathroom. See??? I need the tranquility of organization.

Chocolate cures almost any ailment.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New day

Thoughts flicker across my mind like a power point slide show. I cannot seem to focus before the picture changes.

Youngin' finds Austin to be everything Amarillo is not. The photos are his. He took them at Batfest, an annual event. Google if you want to know more. I especially love Batcow, but shoulder cat gets my vote.


 He has several friends in Austin and the odds of him making more friends are much greater there. He certainly lit up my world while he was here. Thanks, Alex!!

Pardon the interruption. I went to watch the sun come up. Without my glasses, my backyard could be used for a fairway. In reality, spots exist with dirt and rocks, so I guess rough fits the situation better.

A mockingbird landed somewhere nearby, offered his signature tune, and then flew on.

Today I am thankful for friends and all that friendship can mean. I only hope I can be that kind of friend, too.

Later, Dude.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 2

Last night I dreamed I was in a big room, like a lodge, waiting for something. You were there, sitting a couple of seats away. I noticed you did not feel well. R came into the hallway with a suitcase and apologized for being late. He said he would bunk with you.

Then I was in a room with you as you slept. I knew you had an appointment, so I was there to make sure you made your appointment. I would awaken you periodically to see how you felt.

R slept in another room and I felt I needed to watch over him too. A female person helped me watch over both of you.

Right before your appointment, someone came to get you for a birthday party. I warned you about the appointment and you told me you would be on time.

I woke up about 2 a.m. and remembered I had not taken any of my night meds. Rather than take them then, I forced myself to sleep again.

Now I have been without all meds for 24 hours.

Doc's nurse and I resolved the issue with the drug company -- I hope. Doc's nurse called me twice yesterday with the progress. One of the drug company's pharmacists called to tell me she would overnight the med via FedEx. She apologized profusely. Like one of my PHriends said, shabby from a company whose motto seems to be "We would never deny a patient their meds." Hooey!!!

I will now put away this topic until events reoccur.

Later, Dude.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 1

Today marks the first day in an experiment involving medications. The experiment will test my overall reaction PH-wise to instant withdrawl from one of my meds. Said med changed my life physically, mentally and emotionally. I had a life again.

I am tied to a railroad track waiting for some hero to show up and rescue me.

One of the criteria for a rescue involves a 6 minute walk. Doctors, drug companies and the government use this test of endurance as a benchmark. Perhaps that measure works in a sense, but each PH'er has his own  achilles heel.

My last 6MW, I felt great. The tech checked my sats at each turn. My o2 fell to 79 after the first turn and continued there for 3/4 of the walk. The tech decided I needed to up my o2. I had to stop and figure out the settings, which were unfamiliar to me. I bet that took at least 2 minutes. I resumed the walk and after a short time, she said quit. Needless to say my numbers showed no improvement.

This test in no way measured the way the new med affects me and my PH. Yet part of the hangup with my med and getting approved for a grant, focuses on this number.

Bottom line for today. The company withholds my med until one of two actions take place.
  • No. 1 I contact them and set up a payment plan. ($18,000-$22,000 a month x 12 months = infinity)
  • No. 2 The company finally runs out of things to ask for and submits the information to the judgment panel.
In the meantime, Day 1.

My house has fallen apart in the past week. Stress laid me out.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

End of an era



The last of the youngin's leaves Amarillo today. The two youngin's are special because they are the final ones. Ironically both will be together again, at least within shouting distance. I feel like a proud mom. I find it enduring that both kids would want to hang out with a couple of 60 someodd year old women. Speaking for myself, I had fun. Both kids will go far in this world. The electronic age makes continued contact possible, if indirect. So, have fun in your journeys youngin's; thanks for the memories.

I am my own healthcare advocate. I will fight to keep living. I will.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Good night Irene

Today mightly tried my patience. Not Tuesday per se, just circumstances. You see, an issue I thought was no longer an issue resurfaced. I have spent the past two days making telephone calls. I have spoken with several nice people but a call to a company's nurse finally got me some action. I hope the situation will be resolved tomorrow.

My stress levels measure off the charts lately. Not a good thing at all.

My friend who had the double lung transplant more than three months ago finally went home. She fights hard. The lungs work hard with no rejection. But what a journey to get to today.

I wonder if I am oxygen starving the creative side of my brain. Does that side of the brain die first?

What do you think, Dude?

Later.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dry tears stain my face

I am having a hard time again. Things seem out of kilter. I am sad. I want to hide. I question the motives of everyone. I tell myself I must be a needy pest.

*Sigh* I miss you Dude.

Later.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sorry. I am only me.

Gloom permeates the air like the heavy perfume an old woman wears. I offer a kind word and somehow it comes out preachy. So nevermind folks. I am done.

Later, Dude.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Unwelcome guest

An old friend paid a visit the past couple of days. I woke up and there he was standing over me like a vulture over roadkill. The visit surprised me. He had not shown his face for a long time.

As usual, he started in on me. "No one cares," he whispered in my ear. "You disappear. So what?"

After that topic wore thin, he started in on my pulmonary hypertension. "You are not as sick as ____," he accused. "Why do you do nothing all day?"

Then comes the harsh voice as he hurls accusations at me like knives in a sideshow act. "You are ugly. No one likes you. You do not do enough for others."

After a few hours of my friend, I long for relief. Often I run to the bed. Cocooned in the covers, hoping I will no longer hear my friend, I seek the release of sleep.

Sometimes his screeching tone pushes me beyond what I imagined I could bear. The incessant cacophany of recriminations begins to wear me down.

I think I have the necessary gumption to send my visitor packing for now, but he hangs out on the corner just out of sight, hoping he can throttle me.

I miss you bunches, Dude. EPL begins Saturday.

Later.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Coming soon to the electronic gadget of your choice

Season three of EPL Spit Cup Fantasy League begins Saturday.

Wish you were here, Dude.

Later.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thanks and more thanks

Sometimes I have nothing to say.

I am thankful for patient people.

I am thankful for kindness.

I am thankful for living creatures to cuddle.

I am thankful for living.

I am thankful I caught a glimpse of you, Dude.

Later.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Goooooaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!

Yesterday marked a big goal for your foundation, Dude. The first grants. You eased the load for four CFers. FOUR!!! I know indirectly at least one of them and I know you knew CFer X. I shared in the joy of the moment vicariously. A warm fuzzy feeling deep inside my gut.

I had a talk with the little actress as I drank coffee and listened to the world wake up this morning. I told her how I felt and imagined her responses. I said she no longer deserves to hang out in my thoughts. I released her from all deeds, imagined or not. Karma gets its due sooner or later.

EPL may or may not make this season, Dude.

My black eye fades, the cuts heal.

Later, Dude.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One of those days ...

Courtesy of bluebison.net

Later, Dude.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

That's swell

Edema (formerly known as dropsy) afflicts most PHers at various times in our journeys. The control of the condition often falls on diuretics and limiting salt intake.

Before I got a diagnosis, I had elephant ankles and a not-so-cute belly during a particularly torrid August. The pavement sizzled and I could not get my feet into tennis shoes much less dress shoes.

That Saturday morning I sat in my chair with my legs propped up on the ottoman. Momo chased Pogo across my legs, his hind legs digging a hole in my bloated leg. I felt a sting and looked at the leg. Hmmm. No blood, just a pinkish liquid flowing from the gash. I covered the wound with a clean washcloth (Bandaids were too small and I had no gauze and tape.). I had a friend check the seeping slash. I needed stitches.

Off we go to the doc at the emergency clinic. Everyone I talked to from the receptionist to the doc wanted to see the wound and then asked how it happened. Mind you I still am not bleeding much.

I am told to lie on the examining table and doc would sew me up. Well, I heard doc talking to a patient with allergies and another who had a fever. In the meantime, pink fluid drips steadily from the gash.

Finally he enters. I can tell he probably has not sewn up anything since medical school. He hems and haws (pun intended) and finally realizes he has to do it. He told me to wait a week and then have my GP (or whatever they call them) remove the stitches.

During all this swelling, I got a diagnosis of COPD. The doc prescribed an inhaler. Then the day the pharmacist told me I could not get the prescription refilled for another week, I knew I was in trouble. You see, the COPD was bad, but PH stood behind it. I went back to my GP. He took X-rays, discovered my enlarged heart and referred me to my heart doc.

After an echo, the heart doc sent me to Doc. He eliminated various conditions, got my COPD under control, and after a right heart cath, put me on Tracleer, a pretty new medication at the time.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Dude, I think of you often. What you might say, how you never seemed to sleep.

Later.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shiner Bock

My neighbor asked this morning if I would like to water my yard using her hose. She said she would be gone for a couple of hours. The whole yard got a drink and most of it revived. Hopefully the men can get the pipes fixed on Monday.

I bent down to unplug my portable concentrator and hit my eye on the table. The eye swelled nearly shut almost instantly and began to turn purple. Leave it to me to do such a klutzy thing. I need to do the vampire thing on Monday. If the eye gets bad, you reckon lung doc can fix it?

That about says it all about my day. Oh yes, they hired Juergen Klinsmann. I would love to hear what you had to say about him.

Later, Dude.

Summer sounds

The cricket choir crooned in the day; the soloist sawed, the soprano scatted. As daybreak neared, the tempo increased to a frenzy. Then a hush fell on humid air as the chorus began to depart until a lone cricket sang in the sunrise.

Tweeners on skateboards sail by on the sidewalks shouting and racing the summer.

Sparrow subteens soar onto the fence, scouting for seed and singing their success. Soon one by one, a crowd gathers. They swoop onto the railing below. Then full of bravado, they hop onto the ground. The others join the brave ones until a change in the wind sends them all flying.

The neighbor mows and edges her lawn, the best one in the complex. The other neighbor talks loudly under my window; her son interjecting when he can.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tired

I have been on the go all week. I am tired. I need a couch day. Tomorrow will not be that day, nor Saturday. By Sunday, I will not be able to move, forced couch day.


They fired Bradley today, Dude. Haha!!

Later.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Denial elephant

Some days I question if I am really sick. I wonder if I make my condition worse in my mind than the reality. I thought I defeated the denial elephant (borrowing a phrase from you, Dude) long ago. Or does denial allow us to live on a daily basis with a disease for which no cure exists?

I sometimes question the time I spend on the couch doing nothing. Am I lazy?

My finger joints hurt. Growing older or more problems related to the PH? Same with the muscle aches.

I am a good little patient.  I do not bother Doc with this silly symptom syndrome. That put me into the hospital for 10 days.

Lots of people are worse off than I am, so maybe I am not that sick.

Yes, I am sick, but I am doing OK for right now.

Later, Dude.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What I learned today

I ate an heirloom tomato tonight on my ham sandwich. Despite its ugly, not ripe yet look, the flavor knocked me out. I remember that wonderful flavor which most hybrid tomatoes lack.

The one I savored looked much like the tomato in the center, only greener.

I also have enjoyed the fresh squash and purple onion.

Some parts of the city got a bit of moisture this afternoon. Here the sky darkened, but refused to release its bounty. The temperature did drop into the mid-70s briefly, but now rises again.

Pogo and I sat in my chair in the bedroom. He purred awhile, slobbered some and then began a lengthy bath. I stroked his head, ears and chin. I began to brush aside the hair on his leg to the darker hair underneath. He zoned out. He must have seen my finger out of the corner of his eye. I am not sure what he thought, but he kicked me solidly in the chest and sprung out of my lap. Maybe he thought snake? I am thinking a new bruise will appear tomorrow.

Ten little birdies lined the fence this afternoon. Most were youngsters or small, anyway. My fence features a horizontal board about halfway down. The birds would flutter down to that board. It was as if they were leery about landing on the ground where the seeds were, so they played "dare you" until one would get brave enough to go for the seeds. Then another would join the first one, and another. If one of the birds flew away from the top of the fence, the alarm sounds; the bird flee. I know part of the fear remains the heighth of the grass, far taller than the sparrows standing on the ground. I am sure the scents of the neighbor's cats linger too.

Not long until EPL, Dude. I hope we play.

Later.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Morning melodies

I am learning to enjoy this condition termed retirement. Doing my own thing blesses me. I can spend an hour watching the birds preen and court. The rays of the early morning sun fall on the sparrow at just the right angle to see the dust go flying as he spreads his wings.

A vocal sparrow sends a message and Momo answers meow for chirp. Pogo lies on his side, the door runner his pillow. His nostrils flutter like a race horse's do when it rounds the back stretch neck-and-neck with its challengers.

When my body fails me, I lie on the couch and put together recipes in my head. When I finally arrive at something that sounds good and for which I have the ingredients, I put thoughts into action. This morning for breakfast I had chicken salad made from boiled chicken, a few walnuts, leftover crushed pineapple and mayo. I made just enough for one sandwich. Home cooking cannot be beat.

The weeds, at least the thistles, are like the wicked witch of the west when she was watered, slowly shriveling. Must be that poison. Sorry, K, I had no choice. The weeds came back as fast as I cut them down. Now if only I could get the yard mowed.

The couch will be the place to be this afternoon.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

To market, to market

Thunk! I hit the wall today.

Connie came about 7:30 and we went to the farmer's market. A small crowd of older folks milled about the dozen or so vendors. I bought tomatoes from Kansas, squash and purple onions. A cheesemaker from Hardesty, Okla., offered curds and hard cheese. I hope to buy some cheese next time.

With some additions from the freezer, I made pasta primavera for lunch. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch.

I went out almost every day this week or worked in the yard or house. I am bushed. Connie sprayed poison on  the weeds. The yard still grows wild; maybe it will be cut tomorrow, or not. I am going to rest.

An Aussie has the Tour title this year, Dude. From what I read, the race was a good one.

Later.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surfin' on the couch

Yesterday I worked in the house. I vacuumed two rooms, did scads of dishes, swept and mopped the bathroom and refreshed the cat box, swept the kitchen and took out the trash.

I managed to remain awake long enough to drop into chat for a bit. Visiting with the gang lifted my spirits as usual.

bluebison.net
 I hope the lawn gets a trim today. If an alligator should wander near my yard, he would indeed need an elephant to navigate the jungle.

The weeds I pulled late last week are beginning to return. *Warning! Warning! Warning! K, I am going to mention the p word.* I will bring in the Clint Eastwood of the gardening world as soon as the yard gets a haircut.

Chocolate cake for breakfast? Why not? Oh yes and meatloaf, carrots and squash casserole.

Looks like today may turn into a couch day. I feel pretty well, just tired and not overly tired at that. Life these days revolves around pacing -- trying not to overdo. Certain chores require daily attention, others can wait. I need to learn to back off rather than trying to do it all in one day. One of these days I may learn.

Miss you Dude.

Later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Messy not Messi

Five hours. I had better get whatever chore I am doing done by the alloted time. Once the energy leaves I am useless for the rest of the day.

Today I chose to cook. I made a meatloaf. I added a small potato cut into tiny cubes. I have a whole chicken slowly simmering. Later I will use some of it for chicken fettucine and some for sandwiches. Of course, Pogo will get his share.

I baked a yellow cake mix and used butter, dark chocolate cocoa, chopped walnuts, melted butter and sweetened condensed milk as a sort of sauce.

I steamed some squash with onions and placed them in a buttered casserole. I whisked an egg with a couple of tablespoons of sour cream, poured it over the squash, added a couple of generous handsful of grated cheddar cheese and topped the mixture with crumbled Ritz crackers.

I bought a can of lychee and now I am looking for a recipe.

Ding, ding. The last of the five hours ended and now I am ready for couch time.

Tomorrow I will use part of my five hours to clean the mess I made in the kitchen today.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The great escape

This morning early I decided to cut more weeds. I could walk without too much pain when I got up, so make hay before the sun shines. (I took a small liberty with the adage.)

Momo and Pogo watched the slaughter of all those notorious pairs (thistle and bindweed) from behind the screen door and yelled at me to let them come join me. They promised to help, be good, etc.

I can drift off to another world when I cut weeds and I must have traveled light years away this morning. My back was to the door when I realized the fussing had ceased and probably a good while ago. I glance over my shoulder and see Momo moseying across the patio, stopping to take a sniff at every little bit of debris.

"Momo," I yell, "what are you doing? Get in that house." Of course, he chose to ignore me, so I had to get up from the ground, wait for my legs to work again and then open the screen wider and say again, "Get in that house. Bad boy!"

I shut the screen door and went to the kitchen to do Tyvaso. When I went back to the bedroom, the screen door was open again and Momo AND Pogo were sniffing the bag of weeds on the patio. I told them to get in the house. Momo, who by now knows I mean business, went back into the house. Pogo on the other hand, continued to sniff, so I brought him inside.

I shut the glass door and put on the lock.

Momo sits moaning and tries to open the door. Maybe Houdini would be a better moniker for him.

Thistle and bindweed have a symbiotic relationship. Go to the base of the thistle to find the main root of the bindweed. I guess the thorns protect the bindweed. Thistles stand tall with huge tap roots; bindweeds start new offshoots via underground runners. Bindweed must be the Boston Strangler of the weed world. Nothing survives its ruthlessness, except its buddy thistle. The killer even attacked the bird spa, wrapping itself tightly around all four legs.

This gardening thing is fun, Dude.

Later.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I fall to pieces

Not a single part of my body does not hurt. My fingers acquired a marked stiffness followed shortly by my shoulders, hips and knees. Awk!!

The muscles in my arms, back and legs hurt to the point Tylenol will not touch the pain. Relief for maybe 30 minutes and then the Marquis de Sade takes over again. Of course today begins the weekend. No doc without the ER. I refuse!!

I did a load of work in the house today, thinking the effort might work out the soreness. The chores mounted up quickly when I spent time in the yard. So I did more than I should have and now I hurt some more.

Later, Dude.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tweet, tweet

I was about an hour late with the birdseed this morning. By the time I grabbed the container, the whole flock lined the fence, just like a scene from "The Birds."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2Im8Lu5pP0

I spent a couple of hours cutting weeds and blasting them with the spray bottle. I did not make much progress. The watering spurred the growth of weeds and grass. Now the yard needs a trim. Then the cycle will begin again.

Hey Dude. The U.S. women reached the finals. The officiating has been atrocious. At times the match today was more like Fight Club than futbol. We meet the Japanese on Sunday. They have played surprisingly well. The match should be a good one. We can hope for neutral officiating.

My body still hurts. I probably should give the doc a call. One more day, then maybe.

Well, enough said for today.

Later, Dude.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cat days of summer

I woke up later than usual, probably because I overextended myself yesterday. I did errand running with Connie though I did not buy or need anything. I enjoy visiting with her.

After I had been up about four hours, I starting aching and my joints began to get stiff. Plus *blush, blush* my hinney hurts from sitting on the concrete while cutting and vinegaring weeds.

So I took a Tylenol (unusual in the morning) and returned to bed. Now, at 4:22 p.m., I am thinking about bed again. Chalk this one up to worthless. Even the kitty boys sack out.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Of walks and weeds

Have you noticed being in the hospital allows certain situations which would never happen in your home? I would never entertain a married male friend in a nightgown, yet when I was hospitalized, that occurred.

I cringe at the thought of walking to the mailbox in a nightgown and robe. In the hospital, I strolled around the eighth floor in sleepwear.

I think having a gorgeous yard is a pipedream. I need to chop dozens of weeds off at the ground and apply vinegar or salt. For the bind weed, I need to deny them light by chopping them to the ground until they give up or put down black plastic. Then the grass gets no sun.  I thought about poison, and in fact bought some. Stupid on my part because no way my lungs could or should be around a product that warns you to cover up as well as possible from head to toe.

I will continue to water and hope for the best. At least birds and boys are happy.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Foodie heaven

I love my mornings. After I get the initial Tyvaso out of the way and feed the boys a couple of times, I sit in my chair with a cup of coffee and let my mind flit about.

Some thoughts like butterflies light briefly and then flutter away. Others I want to write about, but once I get to the computer, they evaporate.

The peacefulness begins the day. Then the birds stir. The males broadcast messages to the world, puffing up and strutting along the top of the fence. I know now the meaning of cock robin. The grass grows tall and the birds hop about looking for the birdseed I have tossed. Only their heads show when they land.

These birds have their own ideas about the spa. They choose to drink rather than splash.

Yesterday, Connie and I explored a grocery in the barrio. While much of the store has similar products to the one near my apartment, the one in the barrio offers many specialty items.

The meat case displayed rabbit and goat alongside the usual shrimp and steak. Oxtail and calf fries shared space with roast and sausages. The groceries here serve hot meals and salads. Red picnic tables with rolls of paper towels atop them grace the eating area in the barrio. The bakery features pan dulce (see photo).

After buying some peanuts from a girl earning money to go to a tournament in Odessa, we headed to a meat market. Harold's opened its doors in 1963. Walking in the door, the first thing I noticed was the aroma. Barbecue. The wooden floors, the dim lighting. The fresh ground beef, the arm roasts as large as platters. Efficient workers taking care of customer orders, wrapping choices in butcher paper.

Candy imported from Mexico sits side by side with Snickers and M&Ms The cashier told us about her new boyfriend and how good he treats her.

The farmers market opened this week. In another week or two, I will make an early morning trip there. I am a foodie at heart.

Later Dude.

P.S. I weep for the English language and other archaic practices going down the tube.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Soapbox 2

I am pretty darn tired of all the trash talking that passes for politics these days. The two major parties of this country spend more time and energy digging up dirt on their opponents than doing the jobs they were elected to do.

Some folks on FB believe the rumors that recycle themselves every six months or so. The crafty political machine works much the same way. Shout loud enough and commentary soon seems like the truth. Thus masses of folks believe so and so actually was spawn by a space alien and his henchmen cover up the truth.

The masses go day to day barely hanging on above the abyss of homelessness and hunger. They want a better life, so they vote for the man or woman who says he or she can change the pattern.

Knee-jerk reaction often backfires. When one jumps to conclusions or speaks before having all the facts in hand, disaster usually happens. We cannot take it back.

*She steps down off the soapbox*

Gosh Dude, I sure miss you.

Later.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If you need a friend...

...I am sailing right behind ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_a46WJ1viA

Today I am thankful; thankful for:

friends;

my health;

food;

shelter;

Pogo and Satchmo;

and most of all, those who care.

Later, Dude.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

PHooey

I wonder if cats speak a language that correlates with ours? For instance, "Do not bite the hand that feeds you."

I am pretty tired of aching all the time. Most seems like muscle, but some joints hurt, too.

Bleakness grows tiresome as well.

I spent five hours cleaning this morning. Several chores I wanted to do did not get done. Maybe tomorrow, though maybe not.

Many sighs.

Later, Dude.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rainbow sisterhood


Ten. Ten Little Indians. Ten friends. Ten women.

Ten who draw me like magnets attract metal. Ten who offer comfort, caring, criticism and craziness. Ten who overflow with empathy. Ten whom I have never met yet ten who are vital. A sisterhood of o2. An exclusive club none wanted to join. Bound by no ordinary ties, yet like thousands of other women.

Ten shore up my sanity when it appears I will crumble. Ten willing to help even when they suffer themselves.

To the ten: thanks from the bottom of my heart. I will never be able to repay your gifts to me.

Later, Dude.



Thursday, June 30, 2011

312 meters

Did the Doc thing this morning. He sprung the 6 MW on me. I walked 312 meters, which falls short of the last one. He said not to be too concerned. My sats fell to 76 on 2 lpm, so I stopped in the middle of the walk and tried to figure out how to boost the liters. Finished the walk with sats in the high 80s and doing 3 lpm. Doc told me o2 is the most important drug I can do to manage my PH.

We discussed Social Security and the hassles. SS did approve one of my three PH meds without too much hassle. I requested a refill on the Revatio in the last couple of days. Doc says that one should pass too because of its cost. Tyvaso continues to be hung up. Doc faxed a new letter to the panel yesterday. I bet I will hear something after the holiday.

Doc also told me about a new COPD drug the FDA just approved. He said I would not be a candidate for it. When I got home, I Googled and discovered the drug targets those with chronic bronchitis. I have emphysema.

I am afraid the U.S. women's world cup team faces several steam rollers. Our girls seem kinda whimpy or maybe too polite. Germany on the other hand fields big, tough women. The women's game has a ways to go to be as precise and beautiful, as say Barcelona. The matches do draw this Texan's attention, though. Helps to pass the time in the late mornings when the temperatures rise.

Time for some more pizza. I celebrated at lunch with Bella Pizza. I will have some more tonight. Yummm.
Later, Dude.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCTYxIsLThA

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Willing suspension of disbelief

Stream of consciousness:

I feel myself heading for the hermit mode again. I wonder if this can be attributed to laziness. I once again find myself overwhelmed. Life comes at me and I want to duck. Then I crawl into a hole and hope to avoid everything. Only I cannot. My mind refuses to shut up. Then guilt revs its unrelenting engine. I wonder if I really have a disease. Am I blowing everything out of proportion? You know, think negative and negative comes to visit. Am I in denial? When the pressure weighs heavy, I crumble into dust in moments. Today I need to visit the PO, which means getting dressed, which means actually doing the projects, the reason for the PO trip in the first place. The low so far this morning -- 72. Does make getting out hard when the temperatures are in the 100s. Will Al Gore prove to be a voice in the wilderness? I just do not want to. Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future. Regina makes me smile. I do nothing. Later, Dude.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Twilight zone

Still no resolution to the insurance hassle. I get calls and letters telling me I need to resubmit paperwork, etc.

Later, Dude.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Short and bittersweet

Dealing with pain commands lots of attention from PHers. If not the elephant on the chest, then aches from the meds that keep us alive. That description falls short of reality. List symptoms that push you over the threshold into torture, then you will understand.

A ray of sun dances across the makeshift birdbath like a flame flickers in the breeze. For a brief moment I felt your presence. I think of you often, Dude. The pain you endured. How you must have fought against allowing your body to rule your life.

Missing you, Dude.

Later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Something to remember

Big discovery here: duh!! If I get my mind off my own problems and try to brighten someone's day, I feel better too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Promises, promises

I am disappointed.

I try to live my life honestly. I try to follow the rules. I try to do what I say I will. I try to treat people fairly and the way I would like to be treated. I try to remember what goes round comes round.

After the mess that Medicare has afforded me so far, I say the great United States has let me down.

I now can understand why doctors refuse to accept Medicare. The docs and their staffs spend tremendous amounts of time with paperwork.

My doc spends much time with his patients; he is an exceptional doc. Yet he is now in a position to have to explain his diagnosis. Yes, I do need the PH meds. Just because I have COPD does not mean that the COPD caused the PH; it means I have both.

The stress this causes only makes my condition worse. And to add the cherry to the sundae, Medicare does not pay for Xanax. Talk about fertile ground for a panic attack. I will have to face that little dilemma pretty soon, too.

All this amounts to a government panel deciding which meds I need based on something in a book. They do not know my history. No one fits into the mold.

 PH is a rare disease. The experts know a fews facts about PH, but even those change as scientists and doctors uncover more. So I wonder if they employ the most up to date book for their assessments?

*sigh*

I know you understand only too well, Dude.

Later.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It may rain daffodils

"Dear Maintenance Gurus,
"Could I please have water in my backyard today?
"Thanks,
"Cindy, No. ????"

I left that note on the apartment office door early, early this morning. I started watering my yard about 9:30. Maybe my imagination flourishes but the grass does seem greener. The birds seem happier as well.


Must be nap time. Surely it is nap time. It is!!! It is!!!

Later, Dude.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Red tape blues

Accredo called yesterday about my next Tyvaso shipment. I took care of the usual questions and then explained about the hangups last time and asked about the progress of the next shipment. I then talked to an Accredo insurance person and she says my doctor needs to resubmit his letter explaining why I need Tyvaso. She said she expects to hear from Doc the first of the week and then a decision will be made.

I called Doc's nurse to ask about all this and to have them fax a copy of my sleep study to my new DME company. The company would not issue a new CPAP mask and hose without proof I have sleep apnea.

The nurse said Doc plans to work on the letter over the weekend and then fax it to whichever place it needs to go. She said she thought they (whoever they are. I lost track of the Tyvaso trail a couple of weeks or so ago.) required scientifically worded proof. Apparently a right heart cath and a whole slew of echoes and PFTs were not enough evidence to convince the panel of docs that my PH is primary, not caused by COPD.

Trying to find ones way through the maze of bureaucracy proves futile. I just wonder why, when I had regular insurance, the diagnosis drew not a question. They shipped the meds to me for about 7 months. I felt better and could do more. PH days became the exception not the norm.

When I moved to Social Security, suddenly the meds are not needed. When I am short of breath, "the COPD acts up not the PH." All this despite two right heart caths and pressures high enough to fall in the severe zone before I began the Tyvaso. The last echo I had indicated my pressures had fallen by half. Yet the panel of docs refuses this as evidence. My Tracleer and Revatio gain the OK, so why not Tyvaso?

The panel sits at a table with a checklist beside each member. If the document they judge does not answer their set-in-stone questions, then the diagnosis must be wrong. How can they say that?

If the letter Monday does not convince the panel, then I am no longer willing to fight. The uncertainty eats at me. I cannot let "them" take peace from me.

I wonder how many other of your friends would love some of your wisdom? I miss you Dude.

Later.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A cheap lesson

People fascinate me. From the Walmart crowd to the folks who tell all on FB, I would love a peek inside their heads. Some guys have control issues; others seem to live in a goody-two-shoes world where one answer covers all woes. Some fit the description of all hat and no cattle. Some friends apply caution to extremes; others do not know that definition.

People with their foibles add spearmint to the gum. Want to know a secret? If you keep your own mouth closed, you will learn about someone else faster. Cultivate listening. You will earn priceless rewards. You will learn you are not alone.

Falling into the "Oh woe is me" trap happens without effort and often without awareness. If you want to change your life, try changing someone else's anonymously.

OK, enough CL's philosophy for one session.

I still remember, Dude.

Later.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Of me and chores

Today I did chores, though not willingly.

I got paranoid that I might make myself sick if I lay around all the time. I slept most of the day yesterday. I cannot afford a hospital visit, so, dragging one foot behind the other for the first hour or so, I made myself work. I took mini-breaks. The longer I worked, the more breaks I needed. Dusting fell by the wayside. I decided to take a shower instead. Now I will coddle my clean body on clean sheets.

The Bruins won the Stanley Cup with lots of drama and excitement. I can feel the pride of Bostonians all the way here. You and the city deserve the win.


I think I may take a nap. I deserve it, huh?

Later, Dude.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hollow woman

I spent the better part of my day feeling empty. My world shrinks. I am not interested. Since the water issue remains unresolved, I find myself indifferent to a lawn and flowers. Even the birds seem not to care. Maybe offerings two yards over easily top the seed I specially bought for them.

Third day in a row I am worthless.

Dude.

Later.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Trying to learn tweet

I cracked the blinds in the bedroom just now. A herd of birds foraged for seeds I threw out this morning. And ..... two drank from the bath. Big progress. I am super excited because I now have water in the backyard, so maybe next year a real flowerbed and grass. This year I want to remove the weeds while encouraging the grass to grow. If a few of the wildflowers come up, all the better.

One of my PH friends died this morning. She had PVOD or pulmonary veno-occlusive disease. She went to many transplant clinics in hopes of extending her life. All the clinics told her she was too sick. She decided four days ago to withhold all meds except o2 and those for pain. Though I did not know her well, we talked several times on FB. She had children and other family. RIP Cheryl.

I did not do too much today and I am worn out. A couple of friends and I went to Olive Garden for lunch. I got some rolled up lasagna with 20 million kinds of cheese inside and marinara sauce with even more cheese.

Afterward we went to a girly-girly place to look for some earrings. All those rhinestones!! and in gosh awful colors. Lime green handbags as big as a miniature pony and featuring, what else, rhinestones. I about got girly-girled to death.

Missing ya, Dude.

Later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You get what you give

I am a firm believer in pay it forward. What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow. I have witnessed the truth in those adages time and again. The trait mirrors ones soul.

Four organizations that help people facing not only a deadly disease but a financial crisis work this principle. In my opinion, the groups deserve whatever help we can give. Each of us must decide how to pay it forward. There are countless ways, some that cost nothing but time or alertness on our part.

Giving has an added benefit -- joy for the giver.

Below are the links to the organizations which I feel deserve our help. Choose these or ones that are close to your heart.

http://www.cysticdreamsfund.com/

http://www.caringvoice.org/

http://www.phassociation.org/

http://donatelife.net/