Monday, 27 April 2020

Slow week in Quarantine

Well people... much like everyone else its been a slow week around here. Sometimes I like that I have an excuse to be lazy - ie Brad won't let me exercise yet in order to allow my organs to heal properly... I know this is smart since I was in such a state so I am agreeing to this... however, this coming Tuesday will be 2 weeks.... and I intend to start my 'build it back to normal' bodily exercises at that 2 week mark.

Also on Tuesday I have a call appointment with the Endocrinologist - no idea what to expect from that.

Basically this week we have just been puttering with the garden - I got a few more things planted as they were eaten in house and sprouted in glasses - we sat in whatever sun the clouds graced us with, Brad has been walking Robbie and we had a couple of days stuck indoors during rain. We went for a 2 hour drive around the island one day just for a change of pace and saw a few areas we hadn't previous scoped out... found some interesting spots, too.

We stopped at a farm stand on our travels and picked up some ribs which turned out not to be what we expected and were really tough and chewy once we had them rubbed and cooked on the BBQ with some asparagus... It was good, just not what we had thought we were buying. A lot of meat though for the $20.

Realized yesterday that my bank card is missing. When I last went in to the hospital I gave it to Brad since I just keep it in my back pocket and didn't want to lose it.... not my brightest idea as now it is lost. We have to go to Duncan to get another because while I can order one I will still have to go to a Scotia bank machine (our island does not have a Scotiabank) to PIN it, so might just as well go across and do it all at once instead of waiting for the mail and then having to go across anyway.

Grateful that to our knowledge, so far at least, no one in our family has contracted the dreaded C-19.

I have returned my rings to my fingers, chubby though they are... although I notice today that the rings are spinning, which is always a good sign - if a whole lot of annoying.

Still drinking tons of water, making the effort to 'stretch' my bladder as per Dr instructions.... ie when you would normally go - wait 10 more minutes...

I think its working... yup let's go with that for now...

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Making bread with homemade yeast

My bread machine arrived a couple of days ago.

We had been nursing a starter (yeast) like a 2 day old baby. Very odd I agree, but it sure worked.

3/4C Flour and 1/2C Water in a jar, mixed so that no dry flour remains - wrap paper towel over jar opening with elastic and coddled in warmth (ie wrapped in a tea towel and cuddled over a movie) eventually creates bubbles in the yeast. You can cap it with a lid and refrigerate for up to a week before using half and re-feeding. Just warm it up to room temperature before using.

I have since learned to double this recipe as my bread recipe required all of this starter and your only meant to use half at a time and then 'feed' it another dose as above (ie 3/4C + 1/2C) to keep it going...

The new machine

First loaf kneading (dual action blades in this bad boy)


No comment...

Upside down it came out pretty good, right?!

Right side up the top had fallen.. must have shut the door too hard not thinking....

Still fluffy and delicious though.

Tried it again yesterday and...

Nice one! Just made sure not to shut the RV door hard and it held - mostly.

For a hell of a good laugh I highly recommend David's video on YouTube here: Cruising the Cut recently posted of his bread making attempt -- which had me in hysterics this am.... perhaps its the typical british humour but I loved it. Anyway, I do hope you get a laugh from it as I did.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Wrinkles in time

Never expected to be happy to see wrinkles anywhere on my body yet here I am...

5 days since I was given my thyroid numbers... and my first dose of thyroid medication.

Giddy that my water intake has removed a large amount of water from my body and now the weighted fat suit has gone... or feels gone. I had had to remove my rings because I was soon to be unable and almost couldn't even then - get them off...  I managed - barely...

Today I will try to put them back on and then I will know if this progress known as wrinkles on my hands and fingers is enough...

I'm feeling sooo much better, the pills don't kick in for another week yet they say but .... the water is working! I find that because I don't want to get up and down all night going to the loo I stop drinking water about 6pm (for years now). So I've been drinking 3-4 cups of water in the am and 3-4 in the aft but by morning there is a hint of Charlie horses in my toes, calves and what I now understand to be my kidneys - not my back (as I had previously thought).

Given how bad those Charlie horse spasms were, I was clearly severely dehydrated... I didn't know then but -- okay understood! I shall now endeavour to do a better job of hydrating my body around the clock... by drinking a few ounces at a time throughout the evening and having a swig in the night if I'm up using the loo anyway...

I have a phone appointment with our Dr later this am as I have some questions I hadn't thought of on the last call...

My saggy eye sacks have all but vanished and I have feeling back to about half of my thyroid which became numb just as I began this medication... timed that right! Not a Dr - just observations of my own body - I do not know what any of it means....

No idea as yet if my thyroid can be saved or if I've screwed my kidneys... these things will all be answered in time I suppose... but what I drink is still coming out as per normal so this is promising. Doc had said my symptoms would get worse before they got better ( that was concerning because anyone who knows me knows I don't go to the Doc until I HAVE to) but fortunately that has not been the case - the water made a massive difference right from day one and has been getting better and better with every passing day.

In any event I am feeling much better and while I haven't tried walking any real distance yet I am sure I will eventually get back to it. Once in a while I lay on my yoga mat and 'ride my little bicycle' and do small stretches just to get blood flowing through my muscles...

Right now Doc just wants me to rest so my organs can recover from this self-inflicted stupidity I've put it through.

I get it -- I need to take better care of this vessel.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Thyroid update

Okay so we heard from our family Dr, he had spoken with the specialist and sent my prescription down to the pharmacy.

It will be about 2 weeks before the medication takes a good hold and my blood work will be re-checked in 3 months at which time they will adjust my dosage dependent on the results and my weight at that time.

He hopes to have me sorted good and proper by the end of the year.

Yikes... I think I should have seen a Dr much sooner.... I keep telling you I'm blonde, cute but definitely blonde.

The specialist rang up and I have a virtual appt scheduled for April 28 with him.

I have just taken my 3rd dosage of this pill now and already I'm feeling better, the mind is a powerful thing I suppose...

Anyway, it will be a long road to normal (a 2020 rule apparently) but I am on it at least.

Our family Dr was dumbstruck that this escalated the way it did so rapidly although he said it does happen in rare cases,

So ladies over 50 be mindful and visit your Dr like a normal person - 50 is NOT the new 20 - unfortunate as that is.

Brad had good news though, since he stopped his morning yogurt breakfast he is no longer pre-diabetic and the Dr said his blood work looks 'beautiful' now. Typical man!!!

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

What's right with Katie? Not much as it happens.

So its been eventful around here....

As you know I've been struggling with something but didn't know what... well now I do.

So in January it began with Constipation

February brought Chills, Droopy Eye Bags and a sensation of a Tingle under MY right side of the nose, Charlie horse cramping in hands, feet, legs, arms, and back.

By mid-March it added Lethargy, Fatigue, Weight gain, Dry skin, Heavy limbs, Walking stability problems, Depression, Evening low oxygen breaths, Stress and finally a Numb tongue causing slurred speech (this one since just Sunday).

Brad rubbed my feet Sunday night before bed and I noted in the night that one leg felt normal while the other (he spent less time on) was still 'fat'.. so he massaged most of my body Monday and I was going to the bathroom like crazy.

A quick Google on our Dr recommended WebMD and seems the likely problem is Hypothyroid.

Monday night Brad managed to convince me to go to ER because the results of severe Hypothyroid is irreversible coma. So I went, feeling like a complete heel for dragging this poor Dr down to ER when it could have waited... she sent me home with a requisition for bloodwork to be done yesterday.

Brad also had a requisition for bloodwork he hadn't done yet so together we braved the hospital environment once again with masks on (they make you wash hands so gloves are a no go) before 8am to beat the rush (not so much - 8 people in front of us).

Once home I called our Dr as per instructions from ER Dr and arranged a phone call appointment for 1130am this (Wednesday) morning... yes, today.

After supper last night I got a call from the Director of Medical Biochemical something something from the Lab...

He asked if I was aware my thyroid had been checked -- I was.
He asked if I was under treatment for hypothyroid -- I wasn't.
Had I ever been -- no never.
He wanted me to go to ER -- but I have a phone consult tomorrow, I said...
He was clearly surprised to be having this conversation because he had not expected me to be coherant.
He wanted me to ring Dr first thing and get my phone call bumped up to asap. Okay.
He then gave me my numbers, in case the Dr couldn't access the lab work.

My FT4 which should be between 7 and 15 was at 3.
My TSH which should be between 2 and 5 was 124.

I've no idea what these numbers are or what they mean, though the meaning is clearly that I'm out of wack... my thyroid is on the fritz.

Check my pulse he says, it should be between 50-60, if it falls below 50 go to ER immediately....


So I pass this info on to Brad and he immediately insists we go to ER, I argued that the guy seemed to think I'd probably be okay until my phone call since I was still coherant.... but Brad would have none of it.... of course.... as this Director clearly thought I should be in a coma with these numbers...

So a quick grab of PJs and the iPad/charger so we could communicate since he was not allowed in to the hospital (Covid - 19 rules) and off we went, Brad waited outside in the Jeep.

Wasn't in there but half an hour.

Nurse Sam was fantastic as was Nurse Jazzy the night before. Sam called our Doctor who happened to be the one on call last night -- and he read the report online -- left instructions to give me a 125mcg dose of Levothyroxine (synthroid) and I was cleared to go home. Yay!

Doc will consult with said Director this am prior to his consult with us (he wants to go over Brad's results too) which his office already scheduled.

Biggest surprise of yesterday was that on Monday I was weighed in ER and by Tuesday (22 hours later) having drunk 6 cups of water over and above my morning French Vanilla -- I had lost 5 pounds!! All clearly water weight... Yikes but still a ways to go. Good news though is that this 5 lbs puts me in the realm of my 'normal' winter weight gain levels... Whew.

And I'm still coherant! Go Me!!

I will know more in a few hours once I speak to Doc but for now, I am relieved to be on the radar and receiving treatment... the nurse last night advised that it will be about 2 weeks of medication before everything is working properly once again and Brad claims (yesterday anyway ;) ) that I will do nothing until it is sorted...

Take note: I do require nagging -- back in 2002 I had a stroke and it took 3 days for me to acknowledge there was a problem... I don't like to bother Drs... and to be fair, if it wasn't for the Pandemic, I would have been to the Dr before this... just didn't want to risk the Covid unnecessarily.

I'm clearly going to need to take better notes and visit my Dr more often than my once yearly (at best) visit... fine, I'm getting old -- I get it already... don't rub it in.

At the end of the day, I'm still cute so to hell with it! :D

Monday, 13 April 2020

Better garden pics

These pics were from a few days ago, but I got lazy....

Planted more herbs 
Sweet Basil and Parsley

just because I had extra seeds
Thyme, Dill and more peas

Set out a bumble bee water source, pollinators need water too and I kept finding them in the 5 Gal pail needing saving, so...

Second tier planted

again, second tier if you look closely you can see the toilet rolls I used to allow more room for roots before planting outdoors...

Bell peppers of every colour in back and I moved the carrots up from below to this top tier where the soil is deeper.

View from the top where the peppers and carrots are... shows all 3 tiers and our little seating area which we enjoy when the sun is out.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Silver Bells and Cockle Shells

We planted our garden today....

Time to transplant from these pots to the garden bed. 

Before - with Chief Superintendent Robbie

Bed full of weeds

Got the bed cleared of all the weeds

Right side

Left side

Planted everything in the ground - Right side

Center garden

Left Side of garden

Drew up the garden plan so that I can tell what is what since I'm not exactly a green thumb...
I can recognize most of it, but the garlic and green onions look the same from above ground.

Tomorrow is herb planting day... I didn't get to the second tier of the garden as my back was getting very tight.

All in all we spent 5 solid hours outside doing gardening today, in the sunshine and warmth. The longest we've spent outdoors puttering in months and months...

According to those who never get it right, we are expected to have full sun and double digit temperatures and I look forward to many more days sitting out amongst the dapples of garden sunshine.....

Friday, 3 April 2020

Got corn and 4X as far

Written: Friday April 3rd. Yeah, yeah I know.... I'm doing the best that I can...

Update: Houston, we have corn! -- that is all I'm saying on this subject.

I managed to walk 4X as far as I did the other day. You may recall that we went for a walk and I had to stop just passed the neighbours driveway.. (again, these are 5 acre plots here)... today I went to the 4th driveway before stopping, waiting for Brad & Robbie to go the rest of the way and back before joining them again to continue the walk home.

Its actually snowing, fluffy hail. We can't hear it in the RV because of the trees but once we got to the top of the driveway we realized it was raining... by the time we got to the next driveway the rain had turned to snow - we could see it on Brad's dark blue coat. Our inside gadget tells me that it is +4C outside ( I don't know ... something like 35F).

Once back at the RV we put out the awning and sat down to enjoy some fresh air. Our neighbour lady was leaving her house and we knew from Facebook that it was her birthday today so we went to the end of our site and sang Happy Birthday as she drove by... she put her window down to say thank you from about 10ft away. She is 24 today.

We then sat back down outside for about 10 minutes before I cracked and had to come inside for the cold. I'm just a girl after all! The cutest in the world, admittedly... but I don't like the cold! LOL

Really beginning to wonder if this is Covid but no way to know as there is no fever, cough or anything other than difficulty with some motor skills, heaviness and charlie horse muscles - my nose has been running but it has been for ages because of the hot/cold furnace flow which causes me to yawn - which makes my eyes water - which makes my nose run... its a vicious cycle... I tell you I sure do miss central heating!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

April 1st but this is no joke

April 1st finds us isolated, yet somehow communities are closer than ever... banging pots, singing and/or generally making noise at 7pm to show support for our front line workers.

Who would have ever thought that those workers many considered to be 'invisible' would be the saviors of our society...  putting themselves at risk even knowing from first hand experience just what the end of that risk looks like... loneliness and fear. Unable to have family with you when you pass would be very difficult and these front line doctors/nurses/aides are stepping up and being there for our loved ones in that circumstance. For this, we thank them yet again.

What was once considered an 'inconsequential' job by some, the local stock boys/girls at the grocers have now become our front line soldiers that the world would not survive without. This virus will teach many of us (some in my family, that shall remain nameless) that the idea of a 'class' of people is a ridiculous notion -- everyone matters!!

The idea that age is a factor turns out to have been only because it originally showed itself in an old folks home with close proximity and lack of privacy and not due to age at all. Babies, 30's and 40's ... all ages are dying of this now...

WTF is going on with Trump?! Finally he seems to have got it - they must have told him that all these deaths would affect his re-election chances because his sole focus has not been on health this whole time... 2 months of economic blah blah, market manipulations while giving bad advice to the populace as a whole is now devastating the entire country... and they have no idea how bad it is because they are so far behind the curve now that they (he) honestly believe they are first... Absolutely disgusting what has been allowed to go on down there. Our condolences to all Americans as they begin this very long and now devastatingly painful journey, the likes of which the world has yet to see.

You may recall a few weeks ago, I calculated - using China's numbers (they locked down everything instantly) that the US would lose 3.75 Million lives - even Trump is now saying it could be 2.2 Million deaths - if everyone keeps apart, yet no national order to do this has been put in place... I noted then that they were looking closer to Italy's numbers at that time...

Now, 2 months in - the US is in a ballpark all its own- having played fast and loose with trying to keep the stock market from crashing and burning at the expense of letting this virus run wild through their populace- I cannot even imagine how bad it will get as they are now so far off of even Italy's numbers... Spring break in Florida, Mardi Gras in New Orleans... what a mess!!

Personally, we are coming up on 3 weeks in Quarantine now, although we 'reset' our 14 day count every time we have to go somewhere... Brad follows all possible precautions with mask/gloves/goggles, cleaning everything before putting it in Quarantine in our outdoor shed for 5 days when we then allow it to come inside, since 'they' say the virus lasts on items for up to 3 days, we do 5 to be sure and I also track when/where he goes so that if something comes up (someone on a local Facebook page noted last week that she was at the grocers on Mar 13 and is now ill), I am able to check and he was not there that day - as an example.

I am feeling better, having no idea, of course if what I had was Covid or as I believe - a magnesium deficiency. I was able to get a bunch of transplanting done yesterday and will likely try to do a decent walk this afternoon assuming the bloody rain will stop, as 'they' say it will. Feeling less 'cloud covered' in my head - I'm sure you understand what I mean by that...

Stay home, stay isolated, stay safe!!! Do it for you, for me -- for 'them' - whoever 'them' is for you.