Monday, August 27, 2012

Isaac Brings Rain

Our neighbor's pond - full to overflowing. Photo taken through rain spattered window.

Today all eyes are on tropical storm Isaac - well at least all eyes that live in states that border the Gulf of Mexico.  Fortunately, for us who reside along the Gulf in Southwest Florida, Isaac decided to veer farther westward.  We've been having bands of rain and wind but, for the most part, it has been a fairly well behaved tropical storm.  Hope it will behave itself when it reaches land - wherever that ends up to be. 

Photo above - Raining again.
Photos below -  Pond next door is starting to back up into our neighbor's front yard.

This raining season has been wet and our ground was well saturated before Isaac swung by.  Hopefully we'll not get the predicted amount of rainfall since the storm shifted its direction farther to the west . . . hopefully ! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Still No Answers

I have returned from Jacksonville with as many answers as before I left. Guess blood work is infallible and if it says nothing is wrong, then that is the supreme word.  

It would be nice to know why I feel so fatigued. I go to bed exhausted and wake up exhausted. Most mornings I lay in bed with my eyes closed, not because I don't want to open them, they are closed because I cannot open them. My eyes are so dry that the eyelids adhere to my eyeballs. I keep eye drops on my nightstand next to the bed and grope about trying to find it so that I can force a drop or two under my eyelids to lubricate my eyes enough to get them open.

 My mouth also is dry and has made eating a choir and not a pleasure. The act of swallowing food is much like swallowing a mouthful of cotton balls. My throat too is dry, many times food sticks and I find myself choking and gagging. The same goes for swallowing pills, I've resorted to purchasing chewable vitamins because I've had vitamin tablets lodge in my throat and block the passage to my tracheae. Thought I was going to die of asphyxiation. Only a person who has experienced chocking knows what it's like to try to take a breath and not be able to inhale . . . believe me, it is a terrifying experience. But nothing is wrong - doctors say it is not Sjögren's syndrome.

I have problems with dry nasal membranes and have tried a multitude of saline nasal sprays and aloe gels. I recall going to a doctor about 6 years ago because I had a bad case of the flu. I didn't mention anything about my dry eye, nose, mouth, throat problem, but as soon as the physician viewed my nasal membranes he prescribed a round of antibiotics for my flu and a steroid nasal spray for my nasal dryness. It would have been nice had I been able to use it but, like so many things, I had a reaction to it.
I have reactions to many medications. Where once I was able to take anything without worry, I now have reactions to even simple OTC meds. My dry mouth and throat have led to heart burn, acid reflux and there are signs of damage to my esophagus. However I cannot take Nexium because of allergic reactions and side effects. I took Prochlorper (for nausea) and suffered extreme restlessness, which I later found out was a serious allergic reaction called "akasthesia".

I get sharp little pains, like a pin prick (if you've pricked yourself while sewing you know what it feels like - startling yes, but on the Richter scale of pain it rates, at best, a 2) these sharp pricks can occur anywhere, from my scalp to my feet. I also get really quick, intense stabbing pains, mostly in joints (could be arthritis) and then there are the intense cramps in my feet, where my toes bend in directions that I never knew were possible. Yet again, there's "nothing's wrong" with me. 
Some time back I began noticing things left permanent indentations on my skin. I have marks from ten years ago caused by a pair of reading glasses, marks on my arms merely from having crossed my arms. I cannot wear reading glasses, sunglasses, visors, hats that rest on my forehead, or socks with elastic tops (I've spent hours pulling out the elastic from the tops of socks). Also cannot wear tight belts or clothes that have elastic waistbands or sleeves with elastic in them.
Three months ago I wore a soft, stretchy, sports bra (one that I've had for years and thought it was pretty much all stretched out) but when I took it off I found it had made a depression from my left shoulder all the way to my armpit. The impression is almost an inch wide at the shoulder and widens to about two inches alongside my left arm and breast . . . that was 3 months ago and yes the impression is still there. Well, so much for my ever wearing a bikini top . . . or for that matter strapless dresses or spaghetti strapped tops. But . . . according to the doctors there's nothing wrong, I do not have an auto-immune disease.

I am paranoid about going to the dentist or the ophthalmologist. The last time I saw my dentist, he rested his wrest on my left eyebrow. Since his hand was in my mouth there wasn't much I could say or do at the time. But that simple act left me with a left eyebrow that sags and is lower than the right brow, creating the illusion that my right eye is larger than my left eye, because there is more space between the right eyelid and the brow than between the left eyelid and its brow. I hoped no one would notice but not long ago a friend looked at me and said; "My god, Anna ! What's wrong with your right eye?  It is huge ! "
Well, Sandra, that's a long story, but I'm perfectly normal. Really, I am! There is nothing whatsoever wrong with me.

Since my condition is not "life threatening", only "life altering", the doctors aren't concerned and the only thing they could suggest was that I see a psychiatrist so that I can "cope" with the situation. I've been coping with it for over 10 years and don't need a therapist to sit back and ask me; "And how does that make you feel?"

Monday, August 6, 2012


Well, to start off with I'm going to be away for a while.   About 3 months ago I broke down and finally made an appointment with the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.  So we'll be off to Jacksonville where,  hopefully, I may get some answers as to what's going on with me that my local doctors can't figure out.  I have put my etsy shop on a temporary vacation and will reopen it  when I return, if all goes as planned  I will also be listing a number of new pieces in my shop, AlmostPrecious.
Troubles?  Yes I've been having them lately with electronics.  Maybe I'm DC (Direct Current ) while everything around me is AC (Alternating Current ).  All I know is it seems that I've been frying a number of electrical things lately.  Most recently it's been my Cannon Printer.  About 3 months ago it ran out of black ink - we replaced the cartridge - then it began printing pictures with strange horizontal lines running through them and the text wasn't sharp and clear either.  Just this past week the 3 month old black ink cartridge died - normally (with me) they last at least 6 months.  Again we replaced it but then the printer would not print anything in black.  Okay now an email is sent off to Cannon tech help.  We are instructed on how to perform a "Deep Cleaning" of the inking apparatus and are told to do this not once but 4 times to thoroughly cleanse the device.  And, they said, if that does not cure the problem then the  printer needs repair or we need a new printer.  Well after 4 deep cleanings there was still no sign of black ink on the test page.  Guess I need a new printer.  :(

Yesterday as  I breezed through the living room I glimpsed out the window and caught sight of something.  It was outside of our front yard just on the street side of our chain link fence.  I stopped and focused hard on it to figure out what it was.  It appeared to be a bird, a really big bird, but it wasn't the Canadian geese, or a large crane or heron, nor was it a hawk or a vulture.  I called my hubby, John, to come take a look.  He too was baffled but thought it might be a feral peacock.  Upon closer inspection - through a pair of binoculars - we found it to be a wild turkey.  John called our neighbors, Mike and Linda, who are avid bird watchers.  They know that wild turkeys are native to Florida and even to our part of Florida, however they had never been seen in our neighborhood before.  I wish I could have gotten a photo of the bird but it was rather timid and when we went outside it flew off into the tall trees at the back of our property.  Early the following morning we saw it again but only for a short time.  It, being very skittish, took flight when a little Cattle Egret landed in the yard next to it.  We've no idea where the turkey went, hopefully it headed out to less crowded country and won't become someone's Thanksgiving's Day feast.
Okay - enough said.  I'm off to do some laundry.  Sort out what I need to take with me and start packing for the trip to Jacksonville.   Sigh - if only they had  Dr. Gregory House at the Mayo Clinic, I'd be sure to get some answers.  :D
You all take care, be happy and healthy and enjoy each day of your wonderful lives.  Until I return, I shall miss you.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Follow The Directions Man !

Went to Ikea ... man how I love that store, and not just for their Swedish meatballs either.  :)
I needed some storage containers - inexpensive ones.  Ikea had an assortment of CD storage boxes in various colors and prints, just cardboard and paper with a few metal rivets and a metal frame to hold the label onto the box.
When I opened the package there were all these parts and a sheet of "directions" (of sorts)  what I liked the best was this  . . . I think it pretty much says it all . . .
Fortunately the CD boxes weren't that complicated to figure out.  They didn't have that many parts and, given the fact that I've seen a cardboard CD box before,  I was able to put them together without having to resort to making an emergency phone call.

So here they are, all ready to put junk stuff into.  Are any of you fans of Ikea ?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fire in the Sky

I saw the cloud just before sunset, it billowed up between the treetops and the upper portion of the cloud swept across the sky as though a painter's brush had passed through it.  At first I thought little of it ... just another pretty white cloud but then the sun began to dip into the horizon, sending its golden orange light up into the clouds.  And so I rushed to get my little camera, keeping my fingers crossed that the photo would turn out acceptable.
The first photo shows the beginning of the sunset upon the cloud.  It almost looks like a raging forest fire with billowing white smoke . . . or an erupting volcano.   But watch as the sequence of pictures continues.  I hope you enjoy these straight out of my little old Cannon, point and click camera as I, a very non-professional photo snapper, was.

And then a close up of the fiery inferno of cloud and setting sun.  Hard to beat the artistry of Mother Nature, isn't it ?

In the end I've finally given up and have gone back to the old Blogger format.  I had grown tired of the constant stopping and starting of my typing cursor and the aggravations with numerous things like photo downloads and setting up a post for timed publishing - Only to NOT have it publish and I'd have to go in a manually publish it.  I'll see if the old format will do a scheduled publishing ?  Wish me luck! :)

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