Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Back to work!

I am sorry about neglecting this blog lately. I don't have any excuse at all. I've spent a ridiculous amount of time by the pool, playing with corgis, organizing some closets, and just trying to tie up some lose ends before the mad rush back to school. This week I will work three days. Next week I will probably put in two or three. School starts the 16th for me and the 19th for the critters.

RA update: I saw the doctors last Wednesday and she said my response to humira is remarkable and that my prognosis is excellent. *huge sigh of relief!* I have felt so much better. There is mild pain in the affected joints, but that is from the damage from the disease. But, the swelling is nearly gone and there is no inflammation. My liver is happy too. I won't say the "R" word, but this might be it, or the road to it. 

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lovely blogs

Amanda at All Flared Up, one of my favorite blogs by a gal living with rheumatoid arthritis, passed on to my this sweet little award. I like these recognitions, that people like my blog. Now it is my turn to pass on a little blog love. Please visit these blogs that I find lovely, either in appearance, or in their heart.

At Heart of a Cowgirl you can see bunnies very single Sunday. Bunny Sunday is my favorite blog post every weekend.

Laurie at a capacity for joy has an incredibly lovely blog. She used to work for a sophisticated magazine but now keeps her talents all her to herself and shares them with us. Her blog is a feast for the eyes.

Parsley at Seasons of my Mind has the cutest backgrounds! They change all the time and are wonderful I bet she changes her clothes several times a day!

Beth at The Education of Mrs. Howard is a real live friend of mine. She writes with a really entertaining voice. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Route 66 in NM and an RA update

Old route 66 runs right through the heart of Albuquerque and many of the motels and signage from the era still exist. I apologize for the iphone pics. I did take my Nikon, but never seemed to grab it when we left the hotel.

The last two picture look like I stepped back into the 1950's or 60's. 

RA update ~ My rheumatoid arthritis seems to have been tamed by the humira. I usually take my shot every other Thursday, but we were halfway through Oklahoma City last Thursday, on our way to New Mexico, when I remembered I did not get my shot. I quickly checked the internet for info on taking the shot late and learned I would be fine. As soon as we got home, man of the house gave me the shot. The humira is not without possible side effects. Fortunately they are rare. I am more at risk for serious infection, so if I get sick or run a fever I need to call the doctor. 

I am not sure how long I will be on this treatment. From my research, I have learned that these biologics ( humira, embrel, remicade) just seem to quit working. I am glad that my treatment seems to be working, but I have such ambivalence regarding my diagnosis. I really think I have some denial going on. That doesn't mean I am going to stop treatment or not go to the doctor. It means I just haven't reached full acceptance.  In time...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday in New Mexico

Noodle came to New Mexico prepared!

Yesterday we spent the day in Old Town Albuquerque. We drove through the downtown and the old Route 66 area to get there. What an interesting drive! I loved the original Route 66 motels and signage. Once in Old Town, we found a parking area and here is Noodle using the stuffer to pay our fee. You found you parking space number, folded up your $3 and stuffed it into the slot. Very low tech!

Old Town is just lovely. The colors, the adobe, the shops and sounds and smells were all wonderful. The people were gracious and very friendly.

 Older daughter just had to get a picture of this sign. She was tickled that someone would draw a hula hoop around the guy!

We had lunch at a little hole in the wall hamburger place that was packed and had the best food. After lunch we went to the museum of natural history.

The dinos were very, very cool!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shameless Hussy

Hibiscus is the flower that most flaunts and teases in my garden. She just puts it all out there for every one to see.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Headed to the Land of Enchantment

We are taking a short vacation to New Mexico. Yay! We will base ourselves in Albuquerque and daytrip from there. Noodle has been planning her take-along bag for several day....which Webkinz to take, pencils, note pad... "Mom will we have internet? " She needs to check her Webkinz pets online. 

We are staying here. We have a two bedroom king suite. I like to be comfy.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Yesterday evening we dodged the thunderstorms moving through our area. We could hear the thunder, see a few lightning flashes, but we never got the storm. Even still, we got the rainbow and the most surreal orange light from the setting sun.

The rainbow was complete. We could see the beginning and the end. It was also a double rainbow.


Friday, July 09, 2010

A surprise in the mail...

Yesterday I made my daily trek across the lawn to the mailbox. I sorted through a stack of junk mail, a few catalogs, a new EOB from the doc ( I have officially met and exceeded my deductible! ), and I came across a little envelope from the land of Enchantment. "Who do I know with that address?"  I asked myself.

In the envelope was a sweet note from a fellow blogger. She wanted me to know she has been inspired by my journey. Her note made me realize how often and how deeply we touch each other. Long ago we wrote notes and letters and kept our connections in that way. Many of us still write and stamp envelopes and make treks to the mailbox. 

Today, so many of us choose to blog, facebook, and email. I used to feel it was easy and superficial. But these are the days we live in. And that little note in the mail, reminded me that it is not the medium, but the message that is important. (OK, I stole that last part from Marshall McLuhan but it is true!)

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A work in progress

The man of the house has been building a retaining wall around the pool. There is still a lot of work to do, but he has made really good progress. We still need sod and will get that in before fall. The red dirt area to the right might be more patio. I like the little corgi prints from the pool across the patio. 

On this side we are working on a rock garden and I have a little patio garden that is hanging in there. 

I really like this area that man of the house put together. The grasses are not doing real well, but the oleander has some blooms.

I put some hibiscus in the rock garden and they are in bloom every morning. I just love them.

The potted plant is mexican heather, love it! I cannot remember what the other plant is, but it has wonderful purple flowers. We are going to add a vertical trellis here and plant mandevilla.

Mandevilla waiting to be planted.

Patio Tomatoes

The patio garden I have not killed yet. That is an accomplishment for me!

Man of the house built this little garden outside our bedroom window a few weeks ago. We need some sod here too and I think we are going to build a path along the garden. 

Last spring a generous friend gave me some ugly, dead-looking stalks. She promised they would be wonderful, and just sick them in the ground. The corgis chewed up a few of them before I planted them, but this guy survived and I love it!

If you have any ideas for me about our pool area and gardens, I would love to hear them!

Monday, July 05, 2010

The year I met my deductible...

I have a few EOBs (explanation of benefits) in the mail, and by the time I get those, I will have easily met my deductible. I have never done that before. Ever! This year changed everything...

On Wednesday I had the HIDA scan and it was interesting. I had to lay under a machine that took pictures as a radioactive dye made its way through my liver, gallbladder, and upper part of the small intestine. I got to watch it and the whole thing took about two hours. 

On Thursday, man of the house gave me my Humira shot. He did a really good job and I am in his debt.

Friday I got a call from my doctor that the HIDA scan was normal, but my GI symptoms pointed to a possible ulcer. She put me on prescription strength prilosec. I am so relieved not to have to have surgery. Also, another liver enzyme panel was done and the numbers were normal. Yay!

So, how do I feel? The RA has calmed down a lot. The inflammation is gone but there is some stiffness. Most importantly, I am not in pain. I'm still having GI troubles, but hopefully the meds and a new diet (start tomorrow) will take care of that little problem. Overall I feel pretty good and I am grateful for insurance!