Ghoti Out of Water

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Adventures in Rheumatology March 1, 2010

Filed under: adventures — DK @ 8:57 pm
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Not my hand. Or Rheumatology related. But it contains joints, so, you know...

For months now I’ve been in pain.  It started at the end of September, just before Ren Fest, with sickness and fevers and chills and suck.  Then it was followed with joint pain.  Mostly in my toes and fingers, but occasionally in my knees and elbows.  Then I kept getting sick and kept hurting.  So I decided to see my doctor.  She said “Sounds like it could be lupus or RA, let’s send you to a Rheumatologist.”

So she did.  And a month and a half later I went.  Today.

The appointment was for 1pm, and I was called into the exam room at exactly 1pm.  Which was kind of awesome.  The nurse took my BP and my temp (which, oddly, was 99.4.  When I take it at home it’s always 97.5ish, though I wouldn’t say it’s a fever) and took off by 1:03.  Which was also awesome.  I hate having to explain everything to my nurse only to have to say it all over again when the Dr. gets there.

Around 1:20 Dr. Z finally entered the exam room.  We chatted for awhile, then he manipulated all my joints and listened to my lungs and my heart.  Then he told me what he thought.

1. Post-viral Arthritis.  There’s very little information on the interwebs about this, and most of it is related to autoimmune diseases like Lupus, RA, etc, etc, etc.  He mentioned, though, that Post-viral arthritis also attacks the tendons, and I’ve been having tendon trouble.

2. Sjogren’s Syndrome. This one actually makes a lot of sense.  It makes as much sense as Lupus, I suppose.  Dry eyes, dry mouth, joint pain…  It was the dry eyes and dry mouth that probably made him suggest it, paired with the fact that my joints don’t swell, they just hurt.

He still had the nurse take four vials of blood (“You’re getting off easy” she said) to test for Sjogren’s, Lupus, and other sundry autoimmune diseases.  I will be going back in one month for a follow up.  Though he didn’t mention it at all, I’m hoping that I get test results before then, but I’m not holding my breath.  In the meantime, he said to keep taking ibuprofen and continue “living with it” unless things get worse.

 

Hold Me…. February 16, 2010

Filed under: adventures — DK @ 3:59 pm
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Accountable, that is. In the very, very near future, I plan to embark on three endeavors that are going to require me to have more drive and determination than I’ve ever had in the past. I have a history of saying “It’s too haaaaaaard!” (yeah, yeah, that’s what she said….) and running home to mommy. But enough of that. I need to do things that I can get excited about, or at least that make me feel a little better about being a silly retail slave because I will be MORE than a silly retail slave (and before you tell me I already AM more than a silly retail slave, understand that I am aware of this, but society often really only looks at your job as to what makes you who you are).

I really don’t feel like I can do this alone. And I know I’m not. I have an amazing network of friends and family that continues to grow and to support me and to support me in my growing. In some ways, they have all had a hand in helping me decide my next three steps. I’d actually like to take a moment right now to thank AE for help brainstorming help recently and over the last three years.  Without her I wouldn’t have been doing craft shows and I wouldn’t have nearly as many ideas bouncing around my head as I do right now.  So what are my plans?

1. Continue to build and push Danger Kitty Designs.  It’s not going to be easy.  I fell into a rut and I’ve also falling into an inferiority complex what with rejections and really great competition out there.  But I decided not to let it get me down.  I’ve come up with a couple designs, and I’m going to push forward.

2. Start up a new blog that will render my current two blogs useless.  It will be a combination of the two, and I will be making a very strong effort to post Monday through Friday.  The new blog will launch April 1, which should give me plenty of time to come up with my writing schedule, layout, domain, hosting, etc.  In the meantime, I will probably ramble here with the same frequency (or lack there of) as I always have.

3. Once finances start mellowing out, I would like to start reupholstering stuff and turning it around to sell it.  This is my most tentative of plans for a number of reasons.  For starters, it requires me to spend money.  The other two I can do practically for free given the fact that I have a ton of fabric and a boyfriend who can host my website and help me with the technical stuff.  Secondly, it requires me to take up space in my teensy weensy house.  If I can’t offload the furniture easily, it will quickly become a burden, and in turn so will I.  But it’s still an aspiration I have, and it’s still something I would like to be help accountable for.

So there is it.  My plans for the future.  What do I need from my readers?  Encouragement.  Support.  Ideas.  Promotion.  Love.  Adoration….  You know, the usual.

 

Checking in… about halfway February 10, 2010

Filed under: adventures,goofball — DK @ 9:02 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m about halfway through my six-week ban on spending.  I think I’ve been doing pretty well, but there have been a few unavoidable things, plus one seemingly necessary splurge.

I did really well in January.  The only things I spent money on were going out with friends, and frankly, I think going out with friends is absolutely necessary.  Especially celebrating your awesome buddy’s birthday by dressing up as her goth cousin and going bowling…

I am full of angst. While wearing my awesome bowling shoes

Because my awesome buddy has a public persona to keep up, I will leave the pictures at that.  Rest assured it was quite possibly the most fun I’ve had ever.  I highly recommend going out and doing something mundane with your closest friends in wild costumes.  Seriously, it will improve your life tenfold.  And I’m saying this as a shy person who prefers to blend into the background.

Then February rolled around, and I think perhaps I was going a little stir crazy.  I decided I needed to surprise The Hippy with a short trip, so I blew some cash on a hotel room.  He has since guessed correctly what the surprise was, so it’s not really a surprise, but it should be fun.  Seriously, who manages to guess that I’m taking them to the Spam museum?  WTF?  Or, perhaps, FTW.  I also found an amazing deal on makeup (because this summer I need to play the goth role again, and I don’t want to need to borrow makeup every time), which I wasn’t going to buy yet, but I got my makeup FREE, just paying shipping.  So, yeah.  I also bought a soda, because I forgot mine at home, and I brought some trim to complete a project.

So, between the last four weeks, I’ve spent about $150–less than that, actually.  Which isn’t BAD, I guess, but it’s not great.  Which is why I’m extending the challenge through March.  And maybe April.  That, and the fact that I’ve got doctor’s bills looming, and I don’t want to have to rely on tax rebates.  I would like those to go to savings.

Really, the point of this is twofold.  One: To save money, obviously. Two: to be aware of where my money is going.  If I’m making a conscious effort not to spend money, it’s much easier to know where my money goes when it goes.  It’s not rocket science, or anything.  It just forces me to be creative and figure out ways to do without or do with what I already have.  Especially fabric.  Seriously.  I have too much fabric.

 

Ways I’m reminded I actually love The Hippy February 1, 2010

Filed under: goofball — DK @ 4:35 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s been a little exasperating, but over the course of this season, The Hippy has decided he loves football.  I don’t hate football, and once it’s on I get rather into it, but I kind of liked having a man around that wasn’t sports obsessed.  Last night he even freaked out a little that we couldn’t watch the Pro-Bowl because we don’t have cable.  I was less upset than he, but I still managed an “I’m sorry, baby.”  He sprung this on me, though…

TH: Did you hear Brett Favre is retiring and opening up a bakery?

DK: What, seriously?

TH: Yeah, he’ll be specializing in turnovers.

DK: UGH… (followed by a smack on the shoulder)

TH: What?!  I had to do it!  It was the first sports joke I ever understood!

So, the joke itself was pretty awful, and it’s probably been around many a block and could be applied to just about anyone in the NFL.  But what tickled me so much was how proud he was to finally get a sports joke.  And that’s something I can giggle about for years to come.

Provided I remember.  I have zero memory (okay, slightly above zero).

 

The best laid plans January 29, 2010

Filed under: adventures — DK @ 12:33 pm
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Subtitle: wishing I would have taken a picture of my toast…

For no reason other than it would have been sort of artistic.  But what do I know?  I technically haven’t eaten anything yet today.

A few days ago I really wanted to write a post about how amazing echinacea is.  Since I started taking it, my colds, generally, have been less severe.  Usually my colds knock me on my ass, and I have the unfortunate luck of getting colds probably more often than most people.  I started getting a cold last Friday, and by Sunday I was convinced I was all better.  Thanks to the echinacea!

Then it came back!  And yesterday I even lost my voice.  So this morning, in a fit of sleep deprived non-thinking, I though I should probably bulk up on not only the echinacea, but also my multivitamin.  I haven’t been taking my multivitamin regularly because by the time I’ve eaten, I usually forget (or I’ve used my fluoride mouth wash, and I can’t drink anything for 30mins).  The only time I really remember to take anything is first thing in the morning.  So, I though, what the hell, I’ll just take my multivitamin now.

Do not.

I repeat.

DO NOT take a multivitamin on an empty stomach under any circumstance.  Half way through my breakfast I realized something was wrong.  Within seconds I was telling The Hippy to call my work and tell them I won’t be in from the bathroom floor.

Seriously.  No multivitamins on an empty stomach.  In fact, where it says “Take with food” it should really say “Take with food.  No, seriously.  TAKE WITH FOOD.”

So, instead of waxing poetic about the wonders of echinacea (which really does seem to work, despite the relapse I had), I am giving you a grave warning about multivitamins.  Not one to ever want to end anything on a negative note, I will leave you with this:

Aldi lasagna is amazing.  I will never make lasagna again, because this lasagna is so freaking good.  Except there’s not much cheese on top.  Even still, it’s the best lasagna I’ve ever had.  Honestly.

 

Who doesn’t love tots? January 24, 2010

Filed under: cooking — DK @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

Okay, I know I said I’d post this recipe from my dear friend Marti, like, eons ago, but I appear to not have… what’s that called again?  Oh, yeah, free time.  But I’m sitting around right now, so I figured I’d share this amazing recipe with the world, with my notes on what I do differently…

Shepherd’s Tot Pie

Ingredients:

1 T. olive oil
1 lb. hamburger
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 – 1 1/2 c. frozen peas & carrots  (I actually use peas and corn because I don’t care for frozen carrots)
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 T. worcestershire sauce
2 c. beef broth (I don’t bother buying canned … just make up 2 cups of instant from granules), heated
1/2 bag (aprox) frozen tater tots (I use Crispy Crowns because I like the surface/potato ratio better than tots)

9″ x 9″ casserole dish, greased with cooking spray

1) Preheat oven to 350-degrees

2) Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Brown hamburger for a few minutes, breaking it up as you cook. Add onions and saute together until onions are soft and hamburger is browned all the way through. Add peas & carrots, stir together with meat mixture, turn off heat and set aside.

3) Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour to make a roux and cook a few minutes. Stir in worcestershire sauce. Add hot beef broth and wisk to make a smooth gravy. Add gravy to beef mixture and stir to combine.

4) Pour meat mixture in casserole dish. Arrange frozen tater tots on top of beef mixture.

5) Bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until sauce is bubbling and tater tots are browned.

I think the next time I make this I will actually use ground turkey and make chicken gravy.  Just a tiny, tiny bit healthier, I suppose.  But it’s also like two recipes in one, which means I can make something crazy easy, but it doesn’t have to taste the same every time I make it.  And we could definitely use some variety in our meals.

 

My trip to Aldi in 1000 words or fewer January 20, 2010

Filed under: adventures,goofball — DK @ 12:45 pm
Tags: , ,

Photo from Aldi.us

So, I went to Aldi today very nearly terrified (also perhaps because of other relatively terrifying things I need to do today all compounding).  I found it okay, which was a plus, and since I’d often watched people outside the Aldi next to my bowling alley, I had a pretty good idea how to handle the shopping cart thing.  I was not prepared for entering the store, however.

My first thought was, “Holy crap, this place is tiny, I’ll never find what I need here.”  It wasn’t until I drove home that it occurred to me why Aldi is so small compared to your average grocery store.  Think, for just a moment, how many brands of potato chips there are out in the world.  Your average grocery story probably stocks at least 4 different brands of ONE kind of chip.  Multiply that by every single type of item in the store, and you’ve got yourself some major real estate.  Aldi keeps it simple by having one brand… Maybe two if they happen to be carrying a national brand at the moment (when I walked in there were Pringles right inside the door, and I also saw Aldi’s house brand a few feet away).

There are, essentially, only four aisles in the Aldi I went to.  I imagine it’s similar at every other Aldi store, since they utilize pre-fab architecture most retailers have today.  The aisles are stacked with cases of items–think Sam’s Club, but on a much smaller scale.  There is sort of a logic to the layout, but it isn’t the same as most groceries.  For me this made it hard to find stuff.  However, now that I have an idea for it, I’m confident that I will now be wandering back and forth, not because I don’t know where things are, but because I forgot to look for something when I went past it, which is exactly what I do at every other store I shop at.

I’m happy to say that I had 16 items on my list and I was able to purchase all but two of them.  The reason I couldn’t purchase those two is because they were brand-specific: Act Total Care mouthwash and Gillette Fusion blades for the Hippy.  This was easily solved by a quick stop to CVS.

I’m not exactly sure how much I saved–I haven’t, and likely won’t, sat down to do the math.  My 14 items came to just under $28.  Maybe those same items would have been pushing $40 at Cub, but I’m not sure.  If I find a receipt lying around, I’ll try to compare.  One thing I know for sure is that The Hippy’s razor blades cost more than my shopping trip.  Good thing I only have to buy those every few months (and good thing I get to take stuff like that out of what I owe for rent and utilities…)

Ultimately, I do think I will keep going back.  Especially if I notice a big difference in my grocery bills.  The real test will be when it comes time to buy meat, so perhaps I will report back.