Saturday, January 29, 2011


This is the mountain I climbed (hiked up, really) back in my healthier days - Mt. Timpanogos, in Utah. I think the part we went to is the little dip after the first peak on the left. It is called the "saddle." We hiked at night and after we got to the top we laid there and rested and watched the sky. We came back down in the morning and as it grew light I realized how high we were and that we had walked along the edges of cliffs and I was terrified. Despite the terror, I would like to get healthy enough to do this again.

Photo credit to Chris Weber, who hiked with me, and cheered me on the entire way. The lucky woman lives out there and gets to hike in the mountains almost every day. I will also never forget Larry, who when I almost gave up said he would carry me if I stopped. He practically did have to lift me up that final little climb to the top and I probably wouldn't have made it without him!

Recap #2 Addendum

Fall I don't remember! The picture is dated October 19, 2010. Notice I hurt my LEFT elbow. Of course that is also the elbow I completely shattered three years ago.

editing to add - I remember what happened. This is when I hurt myself in the Burlesque dance class. There was part of the choreography where we got down on the floor and did things with our legs while lying on our sides. I didn't actually fall, but somehow when I went down on the left side my arm hit the floor just right to burst a blood vessel and it was bruised for several weeks - that little lighter spot in the middle was a bump where the blood originally pooled. I may actually have hurt a bone in that one too, but I never got it checked.

Friday, January 28, 2011

2010 Recap #2: Falling down.

Fall #1. If I recall correctly, this was in March. I may be wrong on that, but that is what seems right. My car was broken. I think this was when something was seriously wrong with the brakes. I drove it to the garage down the street a little ways, maybe half a mile or a mile from home. It was an unseasonably warm day, and had been raining all week. I was wearing flip-flops, I had actually taken off to go somewhere.. the store or somewhere else that didn't require serious shoes. It was on the way the THE NOISE started, so I just drove right to the garage. I started to walk home, despite bad shoe-ishness. I slipped on some mud right after I started and went down on the knee - right into more mud and gravel. There was gravel embedded in my knee. I tried to call Debbie for a ride at this point, but she didn't answer. I had to walk all the way home, which now was a BIG DEAL. By the time I reached home there was blood running down my leg. Picking out the gravel really hurt! I survived, but had a small scar afterward....
Then came... Fall # 2! (May) I was walking on the "Rails to Trails" trail with Garet. I must have turned my ankle and down I went landing on, you guessed it... my left knee again! The trail is cinder-type gravel, but no gravel stuck in this time. It was a much deeper wound this time!
Despite the knee wound being deeper, the more serious part was on the right side. I didn't even notice it at first because the knee hurt so bad. Once again, the walking home the time we walked a little way I realized my ankle kind of hurt along with the knee. By the time we actually got to the neighborhood it was pretty damn painful. I kind of wanted to ask Garet to go get the car and come back for me, but I didn't want to be a baby, so I kept on walking. Duh! Poor choice!
Fall #3. December 19. Michael got a well-paying, professional gig, playing for the Cardinal Stage Company production of "A Christmas Carol." As a performer he got comp tickets for one show so I got to go see him without spending the thirty bucks, YAY! After the show Michael, Travis (a fellow performer with Michael), and I were walking to the car. I unwittingly hit a patch of pure ice on the sidewalk, slipped and went down on... you guessed it... the left knee, followed by an equal and opposite reaction which then involved the left hip (my bad one, of course - everything that is bad on me is on the left side, no wonder left means "evil!"). This picture is two days after the fall. Please note the reddish-colored, triangular scar from Fall #2.
Strangely, however, that bruise didn't go away. It grew and grew, ultimately reaching all the way to my ankle. It was funny, though, I didn't really limp, didn't feel like I needed to. The knee was extremely tender to touch, however, and especially at the end of the day the joint inside was very sore and painful. Ten days after the fall it looked like this...
January 26 it looked like above, still a bump and some bruise, still sore, especially at night.
January 16 it looked like above. Sorry the pictures are out of order.

Somewhere in there, I think about two weeks after the fall I went to Dr. Karin. She worked on it, but it was so tender she didn't do too much. She said we'll let it heal some more and then explore it again. When I went back she touched it a little deeper and guess what... I totally screamed in her office! She said for it to still be that bad, there has to be a bone broken in there! Yes, you can break your knee! She said I could go get an x-ray if I wanted to confirm it. I asked if she would do anything differently if we had an x-ray and she said no, you don't cast knees. You have to keep your knee moving or you use mobility. If you're amazed I will back her up by testifying that when I broke my elbow - yes you can break your elbow too, and I saw the x-ray on that and it was broken literally to pieces - the orthopedic surgeon said the same thing about joints. As a matter of fact I went to physical therapy for the elbow for months and still lost a certain percentage of mobility. I saw Dr. Andry sometime in the last couple of weeks and he said the same thing about keeping it mobile. For some reason the fact that it is broken totally upset me. I saw her again today and she worked on it some more.

End of recap #2 in other health news...

I mentioned that I saw Dr. Andry. We have switched around my medicines again because I have been feeling SO bad. I haven't been able to go to the dancefit classes since about the second week of November... I was at hip-hop one night and became so ill I thought I was going to pass out or die. Apparently I looked like it too, based on the other class members' level of concern! In the end it took about four weeks to determine that it was a newly prescribed potassium supplement that made me so ill. Ironically, I was just starting to feel better from that when I fell and broke my knee! So I haven't been able to do much exercise when I had been doing about four fifty minute classes a week. I started with belly dance only three Mondays ago because it doesn't really have any impact, but even it makes my knee hurt by the end. I tend toward depression and probably have SAD. Last year I started buying full spectrum light bulbs and have one in every room (maybe two years ago - was that when Katie lived here?). This year, however, it is really bad. It is probably part of the reason I haven't been writing much. I cry a lot, my sleeping is off, my eating is strange - basically everything is wrong. One of the things we did - "we" meaning Dr. Andry and I - was decide that I need an anti-depressant, so I started Welbutrin. I have taken it before and it seemed to help. It's been about 10 days (I just looked at the bottle to figure that out, smart huh?). I don't really feel better yet. Most anti-depressants have a cumulative effect and Welbutrin is among them, so it might take a couple of weeks.

I saw Karin again today. The minute I walked into the office I started crying. I had a VERY BAD night last night. My left leg (see, the left side) has some kind of lymph problem and swells a lot. Yesterday it got bad while I was at work. I felt really bad. I went to bed early, but awakened in the night in a lot of pain. My leg and foot were so swollen that the skin was stretched so tight it hurt. Because I can't take the potassium supplement I had to cut back the diuretics, so now it has been long enough that my leg was terrible, despite a fantastically expensive "lymphatic drainage massage" thrown in there. At some point in the night I was bawling, and wanted to call Debbie and ask her to take me to the Emergency Room. At the same time I figured there was nothing they could do about it and it would cost a thousand dollars so I didn't do it. As Karin worked on my leg - not just my knee, she also did some lymphatic massage and stuff - I cried and talked. By the end of my visit I actually had an ankle again AND a diagnosis! I am going to copy the email I sent the her tonight below titled "It All Makes Sense"

"Adrenal Fatigue" + Menopause, or at least pre-menopause.. yesterday at work I had a moment when I said, "My gosh. I suddenly feel like I have a fever. Maybe this isn't just sinus, but a fever and I've really been sick all this time." I didn't even think to register "hot flash." Part of the reason I haven't been able to sleep is because half the night I am freezing and the other have I am burning up...

I think also instinctively I have known what nutrients I need... in the past couple weeks or so I have bought supplements of B-Complex, D-3, and magnesium and kept thinking I should start taking the fish oil again. Everything I have read lists so many of my symptoms I feel like screaming, "YES!" It makes me feel like I'm not just crazy, only a little bit crazy, but have something real, too. Too bad there's not a magic pill to make it all better.

It also makes sense that it would become worse since Michael moved away from home, not because of Empty Nest sadness, but because I haven't been cooking as much, and despite my goal of eating more whole foods, have been eating more processed foods and eating out more often. While he was at home, even when I was baking I was subbing almond meal and flax meal in baked goods to try to give HIM more fats. We'd also eat lots of quinoa and more whole grains... I think the last batch of quinoa I bought I haven't used one bit of.

After I left your office I didn't go back to work -which I had already planned and had okayed before I left. I went to the store to buy assorted unnamed beverages, came home and ate a little bit and drank some unnamed beverages and slept until about 5:30. I woke up and called Gillian because we had talked about going out tonight to the puppet show Michael was playing in for girl's night, but our plan had become ethereal by the time I felt so bad and left work. We decided not to go. I ended up feeling better after sleeping and talking on the phone to Gillian and another friend. I went to the puppet show and was amazed by the brilliance of my son and his friends and fellow performers. I also saw a guy who had been at the yoga workshop last night and felt positive enough to go over and talk to him. I told him I wanted him to see me when I was happy so he'd know I didn't cry ALL the time!

So now I am staying up too late, as usual - another symptom I noted!I plan to blog and then try to sleep again so I can feel better tomorrow.

THANK YOU for giving a name to the summary of all my symptoms. gave me a sense of relief in itself, PLUS something new to research on the internet. What fun! :)

So yeah, I am only a little crazy. Thank God/Goddess. I am going to talk to Dr. Andry about it too the next time I go. He will probably try to prescribe something else! I jokingly refer to him as "Prescriptions "R" Us" I have an essay in mind to write about him with that title. I DO think he is a good doctor, however. I think it's kind of funny because his father is a chiropractor and Dr. Andry Jr. has a big wooden plaque in his office with the quote all chiropractors display, about good medicine is about care of the spine, yet he became an allopathic M.D. and writes prescriptions like crazy.

"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."

-Thomas Edison, Inventor

Well my goodness. It is incredibly late. Despite my sleeping this afternoon I need to get to bed. Somehow I thought making a mostly picture post would be quick. I should know better. At least this is my real self and not my sick, depressed self. Writing compulsively is the norm for me! I plan to post pictures of the puppet shows on facebook tomorrow. I thought I would do them tonight, but it's too late now. I will demonstrate a modicum of common sense! Surprised?

Good night!

Editing to add: "Unnamed beverages" refers to Gatorade. They make a sugar free version of it now. I have been drinking a quart of it every day because of the electrolytes and not being able to take the potassium. If your potassium gets too low wake-up-screaming-in-the-night leg cramps occur and they are NO FUN. Karin doesn't like me to drink it because of the sucralose. The "alternative medicine" crowd are VERY against artificial sweeteners.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

2010 Recap #1: Books I read

One of the goals I used to make when I made the uberlist was to read a certain number of books, and that a certain number had to be non-fiction. I think the last two years I made the list the goal was 25, but I am too lazy to go back and look. In 2010 I read 22 books:
1) Amy and Isabelle: a Novel - Elizabeth Strout
2) Grace Notes - Bernard Mac Laverty
3) The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
4) The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs
5) Earthly Possessions - Anne Tyler
6) The Return Journey - Maeve Binchy
7) Midwestern Love Songs (Short stories) - Jeff Rosenplot (A friend IRL)
8) Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
9) Up Island - Anne Rivers Siddons
10) My Secret Garden - Nancy Friday
11) Boy - Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl
12) Such A Pretty Fat - Jen Lancaster
13) Pleasures - Women Write Erotica - Ed. Lonnie Burbach
14) Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat? - Peter Walsh
15) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver, Stephen Hopp, and Camille Kingsolver
16) Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
17) Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
18) The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
19) Julie and Julia - Julie Powell
20) Loving Frank - Nancy Horan
21) Sabriel - Garth Nix
22) Good Harbor - Anita Diament

Eight of those were non- fiction: 4, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19. I read a higher number of non-fiction than usual. I guess because I found books about subjects where I had an interest that were non-fiction, yet written to be entertaining and easily read. The Year of Living Biblically was a book club selection of which I hadn't heard. I enjoyed it and want to read his other memoir as well, in which the author reads through the entire encyclopedia. I plan to write my memoirs (actually have already started) and reading others' memoirs feels like some good learning.

Editing to add: My forays into erotica were a test to see if there is well-written erotica out there. I also read a couple in 2009. I had wondered if it might be a market where I could write and publish a book quickly in order to make some money. What I discovered is that my imagination and experience are nowhere broad enough to try to enter that market!

I would like to get my book reading volume up again in 2011. I have a good start, two are already completed and I am on number three right now. I hope I find some more wonderful books both fiction and non-fiction. There are plenty of them out there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hello again!

I know it has been a long time. I've become one of those people who wastes too much time on that damn Facebook and forgets about the important things in life. No more! i AM GOING TO BEGIN BLOGGIN AGAIN ON A REGULAR BASIS. i'M NOT GOING TO COMMIT TO EVERY DAY BECAUSE SOMETIMES THATS JUST. DAMNED CAP LOCKS!!! Too. Hard.

I thought a lot about it while I was at the grocery store tonight...okay, not really, I only thought about it for about three minutes while I put the stuff in the trunk and parked the cart in the cart corral. I just thought it would sound better if I acted like this is a well-thought-out plan. So here is my half-baked plan. I have been two years without making an uberlist - so I wonder how my life has been without the giant goal sheet... it would have been 110 this year! I want to think about the different areas of my life and what happened in them in 2009. I'm only introducing tonight. I plan to make at least one real entry this weekend. My goal is to not leave the house until I go to work on Monday morning, so surely in there I will find some time to write. Now, however, I must go check everybodys' status updates! haha!