Sunday, July 30, 2006

What I'm learning about blogging....

is that it can be addictive! I've stumbled onto the blogs of a group of writers (published and otherwise) and I'm seriously fasinated, and beginning to think there's something to this writing thing after all.

So, how is it folks that blog get all those "friends"? I'd love to start yet another one just to put writing in, but I'm not sure if its worth the effort if no one is reading.....

Friday, July 28, 2006

the fog is lifting

after a long discussion with the pharamacist, I am now taking a totally different medication for the heartburn.

I can feel already (after 2 days off the other pill) that the depression has gotten less severe, now I just wonder how long the nightmares will continue ... I'm thankful that I don't remember them when I wake up, but it does make sleeping a little frightening

The up side of the depression was that I just working on cleaning and tidying and putting away, so the work area is a lot cleaner right now....I'm hoping that won't last!!

Meantime, I have requested a list of the approved doctors on the medical plan so I can try to find someone that will actually take the time to listen to me and try to "connect the dots" so we get some kind of picture instead of just a too close view of a pointillistic painting!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

medical bulls**t

I am now totally convinced that doctors are idiots...or at least the one we've been seeing is. Here are my examples for today:

Part I: Post Polio Syndrome

My husband had polio as a child, and in the last 6 months or so, he has begun to have a burning sensation in his leg where there basically has been no feeling and no muscle since he had the polio. He asked the doctor at his last visit to get him some information and/or refer him to a specialist to have this evaluated. After my having to make TWO follow up phone calls to his office, the doctor called back and basically told him it could be post polio syndrome, or maybe not, and at first discussion was going to give him some sort of medication (who knows what!) and it was "no big deal".

Needless to say, I was less than pleased with that response, and so was Nick, so I did some on-line research. The consensus of doctors in the field at this stage of things is that because he had all three types of polio with significant muscle issues in that leg, that he may or may not actually have PPS, but that he should be evaluated by a doctor trained in neuromuscular disorders to rule out other issues as well.

I'm thinking that since this requires a speciality that the doctor's group doesn't have, he's not going to do anything about a referal unless we press the issue. I will be doing more research.

Part II -- RX, depression and other issues

Part of the reason for the somewhat erratic posting on this blog in the past couple of months has been that I have had persistant issues with depression, especially in the last 3 weeks since I had seen the doctor. After yesterday's RAGE over the lack of proper information that Nick was given, I began (in my muddled little brain) to question what I was being told.

I couldn't figure out why since the doctor's visit this issue had seemed to grow out of my ability to control it, and I was seriously beginning to think I was ready for the "funny farm", not to mention it was making it impossible to get anything done on my art or anything else.

So, I decided to take a look at the on line information about the medications that have been prescribed for me.

Drug #1: Nadalol -- this is a beta blocker that I take for my blood pressure. The nice side benefit to me is that it also has totally eliminated the migraine headaches that I was plagued with. This is not the only version of this drug, and some of them (especially the newer ones) are less "toxic" in terms of side effects than others. The decision for me to use this one has been totally an issue of what it costs versus what some other ones cost, a decision which may need to be revisited after my researching.

What I learned today about the side effects of these drugs: fatigue, dry mouth, eyes and skin, trouble sleeping, nightmares, swelling of hands and feet, depression

Drug #2: Hydrochlorothiazide -- this is a diuretic that is given in combination with other high blood pressure medicines. I've been on this one for longer than I have the Nadalol.

What I learned today about the side effects of this drug: weakness, light sensitivity, rash, jaundice

Drug #3: Famotidine -- this is a medication that blocks acid production in the stomach. I began taking this medication (its available over the counter) to control the heartburn that I had been having that Tums and similiar products were not controlling. I did tell the doctor when I saw him that I was taking this medication and why, and his response was, "no problem, you can just keep taking that".

What I learned today about the side effects this drug: fatigue, muscle pain, depression, rash, jaundice

Why I think the doctor is an idiot: even though I have mentioned issues with swelling in my feet and a rash and the fact that the last blood work I had done showed an elevated liver enmzine, he seemed to have no problem telling me to keep taking the third drug and actually wanting me to add a fourth one (Tricor) that is supposed lower cholesterol but has side effects of fatigue, muscle pain and liver damage.

HELLO, what are we thinking here??

At any rate, today I will be having a long discussion with a pharmarcist and then making another phone call to my doctor's office. Meantime, I've stopped taking the Famotidine, and I can already feel some difference in the depression issue....

Medical care in this country is SERIOUSLY BROKEN!!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I was able to get the submission guidelines for one of the two magazines I was looking now, working on 500 words about a bear show that I attended/participated in.....

Meantime, thinking about the long spoken of novel, or story, or whatever it is going to become. I stumbled on to a web site (ok, not exactly true, there was a wonderful article in the USA Today that talked about civil war locations and Shiloh was one of them), there is a lot of background information on this site that may be useful.

So, what does it mean that I seem to write in parathetical phrases? Maybe I just like the look of those cute symbols ([{<>}]) or is it because I can't focus on just one thought....everything being a cue to some other random rambling?

Today's exercise for writing: what kind of writing do I want to do?

1) Well, I'd really like to get the civil war story on paper (now if I can just let go of trying to be absolutely sure of what REALLY happened, and just let the story happen!)

2) the cookbook -- this sounds easy on the surface, but it also includes stories about the people the recipes came from -- and perhaps because of that, an easy place to start?

3) some kind of "how to" -- not sure what here, just that I think I know about a lot of stuff, and maybe someone else would be interested in what it is .... now to figure out which thing

4) something that earns me a little money ..... okay, this is probably the WORST reason to write, or maybe not, at least it provides some motive to continue and finish I think the magazine articles are the best place to start

Ok, that's my list for today! Now to get some work done on something!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Working on a dare.....

or something like it. My daughter called me last night and asked me why it is a certain artist that I know can get paid to write for a magazine and I'm not. To quote her "you write better mom".....well, we'll take some of that as the "my dad can beat up your dad" type attitude, but it did set me to thinking.

So, I'm going to see if I can get editorial submission guidelines for the magazine she was looking at (as well as another one that is its competition), and see if I can submit something to each of these.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I have begun reading E.B. White's One Man's Meat. The first essay in the book is titled Removal, and was written in July of 1938.

I like the way he draws pictures in your mind with his words. There's a wonderful simplicity about his choices of words, yet a lot of power to the images they create.

There is a section in this essay where he is talking about TV and its remember, this was written in 1938!

When I was a child people simply looked about them and were moderately happy; today they peer beyond the seven seas, bury themselves waist deep in tiddings, and by and large what they see and hear makes them unutterably sad.

I got a letter from a lightning rod company this morning trying to put the fear of God in me, but with small success. Lightning seems to have lost its menance. Compared to what is going on on earth today, heaven's firebrands are penny fireworks with wet fuses.

And the world has only gotten more so in the years since he wrote that, we seem to have not learned anything from our experience, like morons unaware of the world's history we are stumbling blindly on toward repeating it again and again.....

Saturday, July 15, 2006

heat, packing, sorting, reading, writing

I can say here that I officially hate the heat. It has been so hot upstairs the past 2 nights that we have not even tried to go up there to sleep. [my kingdom for an air conditioned house!!] but have slept in the family room with the ceiling fan and the portable swamp cooler running and the patio door open to let in what ever cool breeze is available [careful to keep the screen closed, tho', not wanting any mosquito bites for fear of what Nick calls "West Vile Nirus"]

I think the heat makes me crazy [ok, MORE crazy] at any rate, I don't think I function as well mentally anyway.

It took me the better part of 2 hours to clean out one bookcase and move the books from a second one into the emptied one yesterday. I'm thinking this is just a preview of the packing to come sometime in the near future. {sigh}

Anyway, as I was cleaning out bookcase number 1, I ran across a book titled One Man's Meat by E.B. White....and embarked upon a "boy do I feel STUPID" excursion. This little book (less that an inch thick and about 5 by 8 inches length and width) was a text book for a class that Nick took in his freshman year at CU. It is a compiled group of essays that were originally published in The New Yorker or Harpers when White wrote them in the late 30s and early 40s.

So far, so good, but here is where the "stupid" part begins: this E.B. White is the White of The Elements of Style, you know, that lovely little book that everyone had to have for college composition classes? that's the guy [now I'm almost afraid to find out what else Mr Strunk, his authoring partner wrote!]

Stupid part II: did you also know that this is the guy that wrote Stuart Little? {while we're doing confessions, I've never read it and only know anything about it because it was made into a cute movie}

Anyway, all of this prompted a discussion about why I've not been working on "the book".....mostly because I have absolutely no idea how to begin, how to create the characters, etc., etc., this a giant case of "writer's block" but mostly being afraid.....afraid of....???? who knows

So I'm going to read that little book (which I'm told has some great stuff in it), re-read Cameron's The Right to Write and try to figure out what I'm doing....

You as readers are invited to come along for the ride (fasten your seat belts, it might get bumpy!)

Friday, July 14, 2006

being the buttinski

Ok, I just couldn't stay out of it....called my dad's doctor and asked for information about counseling and support groups for my folks.....voula, information provided (does this come under the catagory of asking for what you need?)

Since that was so successful, I'm thinking about calling the surgeon's office next to ask for more specific information about the support belt dad needs for his surgical hernia!

all of this has set me to thinking about why is it I have no problem asking for what I see other people need, but not so good about doing it for myself.....still fighting the "don't be selfish" mind set perhaps

Thursday, July 13, 2006

on feeling older......

my daughter is moving into her own place this week, now this makes me feel older! I remember the first place I moved into on my own, and how excited I was to be able to do things MY way

I do sense a much different feel about my daughter's move than my own, tho'.....I couldn't wait to leave, having spent months and months battling with my parents over just about daughter really hasn't lived with us for almost 3 years...she's been out and about, finishing college, doing her own thing, but this is really her first place that she will have to really take care of....and its time

So, today I will be collecting and packing things for her that we will take to her on stuff, a bathmat or 2, bar rags (12 brand new ones!), a brand new coffee grinder (and a box of coffee), and other exciting stuff

My sister and I were talking about being the "sandwich" generation.....still caring for children to some extent and beginning to have to care for parents too.....I'll be putting my foot in it today, having decided that a phone call to one of my dad's doctors is in order to see if there is some way to get him the counseling he needs to get through all this.

Here is another prayer being seemed to me while he was in the hospital that he really enjoyed and seemed uplifted by the visits from the hospital chaplain. So, how to give him that connection again without created absolute chaos at home for him.....perhaps what I'm asking for here is a change of heart in my mom...something to consider

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What happens if I win?

Ok, I've been giving this some thought.

I admit to having wanted (since I was very young) to be the best at something and have every body know it. Perhaps that competitive edge has been what has helped me survive some very ugly places.

So the past few days I've been thinking about what happens if I win....I'm a finalist is the ACE awards from North Country Teddy Bears, and I'm waiting to hear if I make the finals for the URSA with Bears 'n Buds.

But I'm beginning to think of this in a different way. Just because I win one of those awards, is that the "goal"? What do I do then? Sit on the laurals? I think not.

More and more I'm feeling that important part of the art is the journey. The important part is not the having, its the creating, and all the other things really don't feel that important when I'm in the middle of creating something that is going well.

One of the things that Julia Cameron writes about in The Artists Way is asking the universe to give you what you need. I guess I'm trying to figure out how to do that.....

So, what do I need? Right now, this is the list that's at the top of my mind:

1) to get through all the necessary paperwork so we can get the loan and get a vehicle of our own

2) figure out where we really want to be and get on track to moving there

3) find a way to help my dad get through his depression following his surgery (how do you give a man who's whole life has been doing things that require physical strength something to look forward to if that strength will probably not return)

4) keep creating new things and find a market for them

So, this is my list today......I'm officially "asking the universe" it a prayer for help if you will......and now I'm listening for an answer