Monday, June 27, 2011

Checked out...

I think Amy has decided that I've "checked out" on things. She's about correct. The work situation is not improving and it's all I can do to sit there and pretend that everything is OK when I know that it is not. I am trying very hard to maintain a positive attitude but even that is getting more and more difficult. I've taken to listening almost exclusively to my music all day. The headset is my closest companion these days and Christian music helps me keep a better prospective on things. {grin}

Amy wants me to go walk with her three days a week - under the guise that she needs to do the "healthy baby routine" and wants me to walk to keep her company. This past weekend, we were supposed to go visit my sister for her grandson's first birthday. The finances said "no," so we didn't make it. Amy volunteered to go to church with us on Sunday and then invited us over for dinner. (We ended up staying all day.) She said she thinks we should come to dinner every other week, just to get us out of the house. I said they could come to our house some, too. LOL - she said they have better food than we do. (This all tells me that Rex and Amy have been discussing my apathy and lack of interest in anything. That's OK; it means they care about me.)

I was talking this over with Ron. He thinks I've about shut down, too. I guess they are concerned. They shouldn't be. I'm not dangerous. Just 'done' with things. I am finding it hard to be interested in much of anything, and I have to force myself to do the very little that I am doing. I haven't been in to play in my craft room except one or two times since I put it together. I walk in, look around, and then walk back out. I have a couple of things to mail out that I made, and I want to make a baby card for Amy's sister-in-law, so I will be in there this week. Beyond that, I don't have a clue about things.

This should be "annual review" week but our supervisor hasn't even scheduled them. We are having an "organizational" meeting tomorrow so I'm wondering if there are going to be things said that will mean some of us (ahem, maybe me) won't be scheduled for a review period. Even if I am scheduled for one, I know that I will be skewered. Absolutely. No doubt.

I heard back from the insurance company. They are reviewing my case and will let me know within 15 days of the receipt of my letter (which was 8 days ago, so I may have only 7 days left), but the letter didn't say if it was 15 business days or just 15 days. I am hoping that I don't have to fight them any more on this.

We shall see. Not sure what is in store for me but I'm trying to keep a stiff upper lip about it all.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

EcoStore USA

I was recently contacted by Maggie from EcoStore USA to see if I would test out a couple of products and then post the results on my blog. She let me know that this company was an extension of a 20 year old New Zealand company and that they made plant-based, non-toxic household and personal cleaning, baby and pet products without nasty chemicals.

I checked out her blog, Super Savvy Mommy, and the Web site before I made any decisions, and then contacted her to let her know that I was game.

We have incredibly hard water here so I was particularly keen to try the dishwasher detergent and a bath/body wash. I figured if those two items were winners, then the other products should be winners as well.

I received the two items yesterday via FedEx and will use them for a few days before I post anything.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unique Child Study

Many of you know that I write a blog for my grandson, Isaiah, detailing his struggles and triumphs. It began as a way to document his achievements and how he has overcome the developmental delays in his life. ( Isaiah was diagnosed with one of the autism-spectrum disorders when he was just three. He turned eight in April and has come a long way.

Yesterday, I received an email from an organization conducting an online survey for the study of unique children. This is the email that I received:

Dear Teresa,

We are researchers at Columbia University's Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences studying how children who are unique in some way are identified and developed. We are currently collecting stories from parents with children who have been identified as gifted, children who have unique artistic, scientific, or physical abilities, children on the autism spectrum, and children who have been identified as having attention disorders. We think participation in this study would be of great interest to your readers, and we would like to invite you to write about our survey on your blog.

While all children are unique, the goal of our study is to identify how children with unique developmental abilities or trajectories develop over early childhood. Parents have different experiences and observations of their child's development and they have different personal resources with which they access services or programs. Parents also differ in the type and extent of their support networks and social relations. And finally, parents make different decisions when finding the right academic, extra-curricular, or other placements for their children. We would like to give parents the chance to tell their stories. Survey responses will help us understand the experiences of unique children as well as their development over time.

We are collecting stories of parents of unique children through an online, semi-structured survey: You could help our research tremendously by encouraging parents to participate in our study.

We thank you in advance for taking the time to read through this invitation and for considering writing about our survey on your blog. Please feel free to contact us via e-mail at or by telephone at 212-854-3440 with any questions that you may have. You can also find us on Facebook at


Peter Bearman, Principal Investigator
Cole Professor of the Social Sciences

I have checked out the Web sites mentioned and the Facebook page. I also took the survey (up to the point of submitting it) with Isaiah as the subject. If you know of anyone who would be interested in participating in this survey, please pass this information on. I highly recommend that you check it out and, if so inclined, participate in this study.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

two pieces of news...

Had my MRI this morning. I tried to get them to take a picture of me all wired up - oxygen cannula, pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff, EKG pad, IV... but no one had their cell phone with them to take a picture. That was too bad.

I will say if this typing sucks it's because I finally got enough good stuff to knock my butt out...xanax, fentanyl, and versed. She still had propanol up her sleeve if that hadn't done it. She did have to give me an initial injection and then a booster about half-way through it. It was nice... told her that I'd lift my right leg if things were getting tense. I made it until the last 3 minutes and then knew that I was so close that I'd just close my eyes again and do my best to not move. It was tough.

This was a closed MRI, too so it was quite confining. They gave me a CD with my images on it. Too bad I can't tell anything except that there really is a brain in there. Nice to know... Sometimes I had my doubts.

They will send the copy by courier to my doctor so hopefully they'll let me know soon if they see anything or if they see nothing.

Next news.... there will be PINK in my future!!! Amy's sonogram showed the baby was wearing pink booties. Yup... it's a girl. They called us, Rex's parents, and my mom. No one else will get told until tonight after Rex gets home from work so mum's the word. Rex is worried about the budget now since there won't be too many hand-me-downs from his sister (on boy #2) or his brother (2 boys there). But she's not going to go overboard on the stuff that can be gender-neutral, like car seat, stroller, etc.

We're so excited.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The fun just never ends around here...

I went to bed Thursday night as per my normal routine, which is watch the news and head to bed about 10:20, right after the weather. I didn't even get out of bed all night (as in, my bladder behaved and I got to sleep all  night).

I got up Friday morning and could barely walk. My right big toe had swollen up over night and it hurt to put weight on it or try to walk in a normal fashion. It was so odd. I thought at first that I'd gotten bitten by a spider (since I've seen so many of them around here). I checked all over my foot and didn't find any puncture wounds. I decided that maybe I'd just bumped it somehow and that was why it was swollen and hurting. I figured it would get better during the day after I'd worked the kinks out of it.

I went to my ear doctor appointment and then took Ron to our family doctor's office to have his blood drawn for his kidney appointment. Didn't even think that while I was THERE I should maybe go ahead and see if the doctor could take a look at my foot. I was just thinking about getting him done, getting breakfast (neither of us had eaten yet), and getting to work. With my work situation, I'm trying to be absent as little as possible so they don't have more ammunition when it comes to review time.

Got Ron all taken care of and met my step-daughter at my work so she could take Ron home for me (that saved me nearly two hours of driving time and it was all her idea! woo-hoo!). I got into work and decided that my foot was really hurting. I tried to walk as little as possible and keep my foot up on the CPU. By the time I got home my foot was throbbing something seriously. I got in the door and started icing it and looking up on the Internet what could possibly be causing this pain. I followed a "does your foot hurt here" flow chart and ended up with three choices - turf toe, cellulitis, or gout. I didn't think I'd done anything to warrant Turf Toe but I didn't have the other symptoms for cellulitis or gout.

By this morning, I was in serious misery. So, back to the doctor's office we go... My doctor was not on call and the one that was - although nice - didn't really do too much to check my foot out. No x-rays, no immobilization device, etc. But, he did have the lab draw blood to see if I had gout. I got the blood work results sent to me in email this afternoon and everything (so far - they may be running some more tests) was within normal limits. So, no elevated white blood cells, red blood cells, etc.

Turf toe... that was his thought. With the moving, picking up boxes, bending up and down, etc. over the last few weeks he thinks that I could have irritated and/or sprained the ligaments of the joint of my big toe. It usually happens to athletes on artificial grass, hence the "turf" moniker. Doctor said that it could take 2-3 weeks for the pain to go away and to keep it iced and elevated. Yeah, that'll happen... NOT. I'll ice it as much as I can and elevate it as much as I can but following those exact instructions just aren't going to happen.

Another thing the Internet (WebMD) said was that the toe should be immobilized. Not sure I can do that although I think that it would be better for my foot if I could. If I'm not better in a couple of days then I'll be calling the doctor back to see what she thinks.

Until then... Can I say "Ow!"

Friday, June 17, 2011

X-rated post!!! Beware - I'm fuming!

We got a copy of our insurance benefits coverage today. That was great because I was going to request one anyway. I wanted to see how our insurance policy handled Cochlear Implants. Interestingly, I found they cover it AND consider it a prosthetic device and not a hearing aid. That made me happy because I figure that I can use that information in an appeals letter (which the insurance lady suggested I write). What has gotten my goat though, is they consider a PENILE IMPLANT a covered prosthetic device!!!! While I sympathize with men who need assistance to perform in the bedroom - some for very good reasons, I'm sure - I cannot fathom how their need  for SEX is more important than my need to hear! (Men, I'm sorry - I "get it" because I am married to a man, but seriously....? A penile implant is a prosthetic device but a device screwed into the side of my head is not?)

I wrote the following two letters to our insurance company:

First letter:

Medicare has revised how they classify this surgery and how this device differs from traditional hearing aids. Please see these Web sites for information:

Traditional hearing aids conduct sound through air using the auditory nerve. I have no functioning auditory nerve on the right side. I’ve tried traditional CROS hearing aids with no success. They amplify sound and send it to the good ear. Unfortunately, they amplify all sounds, including rustling of papers, typing on keyboards, etc. Those noises are very annoying and drown out conversations. I also have Meniere’s disease and only one functioning balance nerve. I suffer from bouts of vertigo.

Without this surgery and the associated device, I will be forced to continue living life struggling to be a part of everyday activities. Currently, I lose portions of conversations in group settings, such as staff meetings, because if I cannot look directly at someone to try and “see” what they’re saying I often miss what is being said. This has caused complications on my job since if I miss something, I don’t always know that I have. Consequently, I have missed important things in meetings that have negatively impacted my perceived performance. In fact, I have been written up for this and put on probation of sorts.

The Osseointegrated Auditory Implant (commonly referred to as the BAHA system) works on bone conduction instead of air conduction. The system works on a titanium screw and mount being inserted into a bone in the skull behind the ear. After the bone has fully integrated the hardware, an external processor is clipped onto the mount and sound is transferred through the bone, creating the sensation of “hearing” in the affected ear. This is a prosthetic in the truest sense of the word. A hearing aid amplifies through the hearing nerve, increasing the ability for the nerve to process the sound. This system simulates hearing but without the processor, there is nothing to transmit the sound waves through the bone.

With this system, I could do the following, which would improve the quality of my life:

• Hear sirens before the emergency vehicles are upon me
• Be able to hear where sound is coming from
• Be able to participate in group conversations without constantly twisting my head back and forth to try and catch everything
• Be able to walk and carry on a conversation with someone without losing my balance due to moving my head to hear and then back to see where I was going
• Be able to walk and talk with someone without having to make sure that person is on my ‘good side’
• Be able to talk on the telephone and still hear someone trying to tell me something that I might need to hear regarding that telephone conversation (right now, they are both canceled out because I can’t process both conversations with one ear)
• Be able to hear people in the car, especially if I’m driving, because they’re sitting on my bad side
• Quit asking people to please repeat themselves because I can’t hear or understand what they’ve just said
• Have the television at a normal volume level instead of an increased volume level

I would greatly appreciate this device being considered as a medical device instead of a hearing aid. As you can tell, a hearing aid is much less invasive and much less complicated than an auditory implant into the skull. There is no way I can afford to have this surgery or hope to have a more somewhat normal life if this is not approved as a medical device instead of a hearing aid.
That letter didn't help any and the lady I've been dealing with at the insurance company suggested that I write a letter to the appeals department. She said she tried everything that she could think of to get this covered or to get it listed as something other than a 'hearing aid'.

Second letter:

Attention Appeals Department:

I am writing to ask that you reconsider the coverage for the Bone Anchored Hearing Solution (even though it’s called an “aid” it is really a prosthesis). Many insurance companies fall in line with what Medicare and Medicaid cover and they completely fund this procedure. I understand from reading the benefits book that insurance covers prosthetics, including but not limited to arms, legs, eyes, breast prosthetics, PENILE IMPLANTS, and Cochlear implants. I find it extremely disturbing that a man can get an implant for something so he can have SEX but I am denied the opportunity to hear because the device I need to hear is not considered an implant. That is truly sad. I would like to compare side-by-side the Cochlear Implant and the BAHA.

  • Uses direct bone conduction for the treatment of hearing loss
  • Surgically implanted in the bone under the skin behind the ear
  • Externally, consists of a sound processor that picks up sound vibrations
  • Internally, consists of a small titanium implant secured in the bone behind the ear and transfers sound vibrations through the bone to the functioning cochlea
  • Requirements for this device: single-sided deafness in individuals who do not have a functioning auditory nerve and who have not benefitted from other kinds of hearing aids
  • Costs associated with BAHA: Less than $50,000 including the external processor (Via Christi's charge currently is less than $39,000)


  • Uses electrical stimulation of the hairs of the cochlea for the treatment of hearing loss
  • Surgically implanted in the bone under the skin behind the ear
  • Externally, consists of one or more microphones, a speech processor, and a transmitter
  • Internally, consists of a receiver and stimulator secured in bone beneath the skin which converts the signals into electric impulses and sends them through the cables wound throughout the cochlea
  • Requirements for this device: functioning auditory nerve; not benefitting from other KINDS of hearing aids(that use air for sound conduction), including the latest models of high power hearing instruments and FM systems
  • Costs associated with Cochlear Implant:  Including only the post-operative cost, including the programming of the device, usually 5-6 visits during the first three months - from $50,000 to $100,000 (Warranties for the devices are $300-$400 per year)

These two devices - although different in physical structure - perform the same function:

They provide an alternate pathway for the conduction of sound. Neither of these devices are "hearing aids" but rather they are substitutes - like an artificial limb - for the real function of "hearing." As a person without a functioning auditory nerve, I believe that I am being unfairly denied the full coverage benefit that someone who does have a functioning auditory nerve receives. It is not my fault that my auditory nerve was destroyed by Meniere's Disease. In addition, while I sympathize with men who require a penile implant so they can resume sexual activity, I cannot fathom how their problems result in "prosthetic coverage" whereas my lack of hearing and having a somewhat normal conversation with someone does not warrant "prosthetic coverage."

I would greatly appreciate this coverage being re-evaluated and the Bone Anchored Hearing Solution be placed in the same category as the Cochlear Implant. Waiting until I am 65 to be covered by Medicare seems like such an unfair option.

I sure hope this works or I wasted money on a perm. LOL - love the curls again, though!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adorable Blog Award

Somnia over at You Are Loved bestowed the Adorable Blog Award on me the other day and tonight is the first time this week I've had to sit and thank her for it.

This is an award I've not seen before and I am tickled that she thought my blog was adorable.

The rules say I have to share 10 things about myself and then pass the award onto three other bloggers. I think this has been around a bit so I'm going to look for three new bloggers to pass this on to. I found a couple of new blogs this week that I'm really enjoying so I'll probably pick them and find one more.

The 10 things about myself are going to be harder. What haven't I told you all??? Let's see...
  1. I'm terrified of snakes.
  2. I'm even more terrified of spiders. This new place has spiders. Every morning I find a wolf spider in the kitchen sink. I've learned to be cautious - go into the kitchen, start the water in the other sink, grab the spray hose and then blast the monster down the garbage disposal, as it's running. I don't know where they're coming from but I wish they'd go away.
  3. (this is new) I've been approached to do 4 video blog entries about Restless Leg Syndrome - they'll come to me and I'll make $50 per video (3-4 minutes each). Not bad...
  4. I love grilled veggies in the summertime and wish that I could have them year round.
  5. I eat when I'm stressed and I just can't seem to change that (or, I don't want to change it - haven't decided whether to admit to this or not)
  6. I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a teenager but chose something else because of fear of reptiles and snakes (see #1 and #2 above)
  7. I love to watch reality TV shows. Cheesy - I know, but I don't watch the scummy ones or ones that are all about the 's' word (s.e.x.)
  8. If I won the lottery, I'd probably end up broke because I'd give it all away. I have too many people that I'd like to help. I would pay off all of my own bills, too so that I didn't have to go back to work.
  9. The older I get the more I suffer from anxiety attacks. Don't know the cause but they sure are a pain in the rear. I think something about being tortured by one of my older brothers while I was growing up might play a big part in it. He took great fun in physically restraining me and then torturing me, sometimes holding me captive under blankets to where I thought I wasn't going to be able to breathe. To this day, I have trouble covering my face with anything. Big baby, aren't I?
  10. My favorite color is pink. Second favorite is purple. I love them together.

That's 10. I think most of them are new.

I was reading some of my archives the other day and I wrote some pretty good stuff back when no one was reading them. LOL - I might dig them back and repost some of them. They were "good junk."

Now, on to my recipients...

I recently found these two blogs and am enjoying reading them:

Orchid at Orchid's Daily Voice
Romance of Roses

I'll have to hold off on #3... I'm reading some new ones and want to be able to honestly be able to recommend them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I haven't forgotten you all...

Been super busy at work and the weekend went by way too fast. Isaiah's new pool burst a seam and spilled 4800 gallons of water in their backyard. Rex is traveling this week so Amy and I had to take it apart last night. Tonight, we'll take it and exchange it. Poor Isaiah... he was so upset that it sprung a leak. He still thinks in absolutes, so when he found out we'd have to take it down, all he could say was that "now, I'll never get to swim again." We explained to him that he'll get a replacement pool this weekend. He's in Vacation Bible School this week, so that will help keep his mind off the fact that he can't go swimming every night.

My ear doctor appointment is actually Friday, not Thursday like I thought. Ron will be with me so maybe the doctor won't be in such a big hurry to get out of the room. We'll see...

On the 50 followers email, I promised "something" to one of you. That person is Jo-Anne Rambling. Jo-Anne - if you'll email me your mailing address I can get this item off to you. I won't say what it is yet - prefer to wait until you actually get it.

One more week until we find out if the baby is a girl or a boy. The 22nd is the big day. We're all pretty excited but I think my mom my be the most excited of all. Hard to tell...

I better get my lunch heated up and eaten before my break time is over. I've been too busy to take an actual lunch period so squeezing it in where I can.

Later dudes and dudettes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday - Sunday - Sunday...

Where did the weekend go? It went much too fast, that is for sure.

Yesterday was spent taking part in the town's city-wide garage sale. I put some stuff in Amy's neighbor's sale because Amy and I decided we (she mostly) didn't want to do one by ourselves. I was a bit disappointed that we didn't but it worked out OK. The neighbor was going to hold hers Friday and Saturday, which sounded better than just having it on Saturday. After I committed to it, I found out that "Friday" was only from 3 until 7 and Saturday was only from 8 until noon. That's really not two days, so that was a bummer. But, she did do most of the hard work and was very organized in how she ran it.

I gave a lot of people some really good deals just to get rid of stuff and then I donated four huge boxes of stuff to Am-Vets. Since I've down-sized so much I don't think I'll ever have enough stuff to have another garage sale on my own.

Ron wasn't feeling very good this morning so we skipped church. We had a really big thunderstorm last night and it rained for quite a while this morning. We really needed the rain. Poor Isaiah though... Amy and Rex bought him a swimming pool last night and he had big plans to play in it today. I don't know if it's going to get warm enough or clear up enough for him to go swimming today. (Postscript... Amy posted pictures on Facebook of Isaiah getting into the pool. You can tell he's freezing but still having a good time.)

I want to get into my play room and work on some things but I'm just not into it right now. Actually, I'm not into too much right now. I just  don't have any drive or ambition these days. I'm really disappointed in the insurance company's decision to deny payment for the device. I sent them a really long, explanatory email this morning so maybe that will fall into the hands of someone who can make a decision in my favor. Without that, the surgery just won't go forward as planned. That totally sucks. I was really looking forward to being able to function in a somewhat normal fashion.

I had a really bad week all around and each piece of news I received built on the previous piece of news until I just kind of spaced out. I am really ticked. Oh well... Got to get my positivity flowing again. I haven't been too successful at it this past week. Today starts a new and (hopefully) improved week.

I hope you all have a great week. I'll try to be in a more upbeat mood the next time I post.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What a difference 24 hours makes

Insurance says that they still consider the device a "hearing aid" and, as such, will be paid at the benefit rate of other hearing aids... $600 per ear, every three years.

{sigh} I explained that it would be SCREWED to my skull and that it does not conduct sound through the air but sound waves via bone conduction. I explained that Medicare FULLY funds it and has revised what they consider as a true hearing aid. I explained that Medicaid FULLY funds it.

So, old people and poor people can hear again, but a working-class stiff can just be deaf.

Bat rastards...

I'm not giving up yet, though. I've got some feelers out there trying to come up with a different code or something to get past this $600 limit.

Good news though... If I do end up getting the surgery, they will do general anesthesia.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Borg

Yep... Assimilated... yeah, baby - that's what I'm talking about.

Image Google Images
Insurance approved the BAHA surgery!!!! I see the doctor on the 17th and we'll discuss my costs, the color of my receiver, and the surgery in general. The most important thing, for me, is the sedation.

This is an artist's rendering of the BAHA system (Images Google Images):

It's not too big and I think it will blend in with my hair just fine.

Monday, June 6, 2011

They say...

That when God closes one door, He'll open another. I do believe that, and I believe in the power of prayer. I've had many doors closed in my face and many others opened. Many of the prayers I've prayed did not turn out the way that I expected them to.

My faith is what keeps me going. There are days that I certainly struggle with faith and have to pray for it to be increased. My prayers to save our house - by some miracle or another - did not come true. But, the miracle of having this place to live did come true. I've prayed for a job closer to home and applied for a couple that I was qualified for. I felt like one of them was really "my" job. That didn't pan out so I just have to be patient that since that door closed, God has another (better) door for me. Even though I know this, it was still very disappointing to find out. In fact, I would even say that I was really seriouslydisappointed.
Some people have said that because I 'say' I'm a Christian that I think I do no wrong. That is so far from the truth. The truth is that I know I do wrong every single day. The difference is that I'm forgiven. I have to ask for forgiveness every day. I have a personal relationship with Jesus and the Father and I go to them in prayer. I'm not one to do the "thee" and "thou" stuff... I talk in plain old-fashioned English. I don't always keep my cool. Sometimes, I'm downright angry. Bitter. Ticked off. But, I know that I know that I know... In all things His love and mercy will provide.

Take for instance, a prayer from this past weekend. Many of you will say that praying for a "thing" instead of a "person" is not appropriate. That could very well be true if the "thing" you're praying for is material greed. I was in a unique position here - not a good unique position, but unique just the same. I was having car trouble. I had my front brakes replaced in late March or early April and didn't have any additional problems. All of a sudden (over the last couple of weeks or so), my brake light would come on when I'd begin braking and come to a stop. Sometimes, it would come on when I turned a corner.

It was very odd and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. Rex checked the fluid levels and they were all good. He took it out for a test drive. Couldn't find anything wrong with it. Then, this past week the light started staying on all the time. It only went out when I was at a full stop and even then, not all of the time. It was very odd.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I'm driving down the road to take Maisey to the groomer - 45 miles away (we haven't found one locally yet) and my turn signals start messing up. I turn on the left one - it flashes twice and quits. I turn on the right one and the LEFT one flashes. How strange is that???? I started praying for my car telling God that no only do I not have money for an electrical problem in my car, I really don't want to be stranded on the highway, either. I said I'd heard of other people praying for mechanical items and reported "healing" (correction of the problems) so I said that if He could and would do it for them, I was asking for the same.

When Ron and I went back to pick Maisey up that afternoon, I showed him what was going on. Mind you, the brake light is staying on 100% of the time now. We both prayed for the car again. Ron got out the owner's manual and read that if the brake light is staying on, it usually means that the brake fluid level is low. So, we went to the auto parts store and I asked the guy if he'd mind coming out to take a look. I said that Ron was an amputee and could not do it (he didn't have his leg on) and I had no idea where to look. He came out and said that I might be a little low, but not enough to make the brake light stay on. But, I bought the smallest container of brake fluid there was.

He put all the reservoir would hold in and there's still fluid in the bottle. I asked him about the turn signals and he didn't know what the problem could be but sounded like it was in the steering column. That doesn't sound cheap at all.

But... my car is absolutely functioning correctly. The brake fluid fixed the brake light problem and my turn signals now work correctly! Now, how's that for a miracle??? The brake fluid is in no way connected to the electrical or turn signal problem. All I could say was Thank you, Lord!

My Facebook status says this (which was borrowed from a friend and very true for all of us): God works His magic by giving us the strength to handle just about anything that comes our way. And for what we can't handle alone, He gives us friends and family.

And, He gave me blogging.

New hair-do

I needed a hair cut very, very badly. I'd been putting it off because I'm waiting to see if insurance will approve my "osseointegrated mastoid implant to reestablish hearing" and if they do, then I wanted to be prepared as far as hair goes.

You see, they'll permanently remove some of my hair follicles and I don't really have that many to spare. I have very fine hair. I was letting it grow so I could get a curly perm. I know, they're totally out of style, but after this surgery you can't wash your hair for two weeks. TWO weeks. 14 days. I don't go 2 days without washing my hair. Not because it gets oily or dirty, but because I have to put so much gunk in it to keep it from falling completely flat within an hour of me getting ready for work. I just couldn't see going two weeks without washing.

I also didn't want to go back to the extremely short hair that I've been sporting lately. As much as I like that style, I do have a little bit of vanity and I don't really want to look like something from The Borg. I'd like to be able to at least partially cover the receiver until I get used to the thing.

Enter... permanent. Except one of the reasons I quit getting them was the cost factor. My hairdresser is very good at what she does, but a cut and perm would set me back $85+ and I just didn't have it. That's why I've been putting a hair cut off.

But, good news was just around the corner. We took a tour of the wellness center that we get free membership to and they have an on-site hair salon. Awesome! She had an opening for Saturday morning so I made plans to get it taken care of. I saw on her door that a cut + perm was $54. That was a much more reasonable amount to me, plus I didn't have to drive 40 miles each way to get it.

When she was all done, and I was getting ready to write my check, she said she had a coupon for first time clients and my bill was.... $27!!!! I was flabbergasted. Thrilled!

Plus, she did an excellent job on my hair. Not too curly; not too loose. It's not frizzy and the texture is really soft.

Here I am.

I am not photogenic at all so just ignore that part.

(LOL - those are one pair of my reading glasses. Classy, eh? I have glasses all over the house and a pair in my purse. I have these tortoise shell, a pair of pink ones, and a pair of purple flowery ones.)

The hair is long enough to mostly hide where the sound processor will attach to the abutment.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cool Beans! I hit 50 followers!!!

Yay! I know I promised a while back that when I hit 50 followers, I'd do a giveaway. That day has come!

I just need for you to leave a comment that you're interested in getting something from me and I'll do a random drawing.

I have to think about what I'll send. I'll try to make it gender-appropriate. It could be a Kansas souvenir. It could be something that I either have already made or will make special for the recipient.

I'll leave the commenting open until Saturday and then next Sunday (6/12), I'll draw a winner.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Well, that was a bust

I told them I didn't think 10mg Valium would cut it. I took 1/2 Xanax this morning and the other half on the way to the doctor's office. When I got there (40 minutes later), I took the Valium. They waited 30 minutes to give them time to kick in and make me sleepy.

They never did. The tech could not believe that I was not only up and fully functioning, but that I didn't even look like they had given me a thing. I said that I've had Valium maybe 4 times in my life with this same result. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I drove home about 30 minutes after having an injection of 20mg of Valium. It just doesn't have the desired effect on me.

But, I was willing to give it a shot because I didn't really feel anxious. I went in, got comfortable on the little narrow table and thought the "tube" they were going to put me in was pretty tight. We discussed how far in she'd have to put me and how still I'd need to lay. We discussed putting towels around my head to help me keep my head still and I said that would not be a problem. I was pretty comfortable.

I asked for a dry run. She agreed.

She put me in the tube and about 30 seconds later I said, "This is not going to work. Get me out." I was calm but very firm in the fact that I would not be able to lay there for up to an hour. If the Valium hadn't done anything noticeable in 40 minutes, then whatever it had done, would wear off before the tests were done. We tried to find something else that we could do. Nothing today. She kept telling my doctor's nurse that I was just not fazed by the Valium at all.

I have an appointment for IV sedation on June 22 at a local hospital. That's what I asked for in the first place. I've had 10mg Valium in an open MRI before and didn't work. I've had Versed in a closed MRI and half-way through it they had to give me more.

10mg Valium...

I bet some of you are saying that this dose would knock you flat on your butt... It will relax me - for about 15 minutes. I have driven less than an hour after having 20mg Valium injection. They think 10mg is going to be enough to keep me sedated through this thing.

God, I hope so. I think I'll take a Xanax before I leave the house.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Scalloped chicken ala Me!

Rex is out of town this week and my daughter - bless her little pea-picking heart - was never much into cooking even when she wasn't pregnant. It wasn't for lack of trying on my part. I did my duty to try and show her how to cook when she was growing up but she just was not interested. She cooked when she was married before, but not a very wide variety of things.

When she moved back home with us, I did all of the cooking except for just a very few times. She has a couple of things that she can do, and I think they both involve rice. But, she tries...

Enter Rex... Mr. Can-do Anything. Literally. He did the cooking before he got married and has mostly done it since they've been married. Especially now that Amy is pregnant, he does all of the cooking. So, now that he is out of town, it has become my responsibility, once again, to make sure that Mrs. Sickie and Isaiah get dinner. Otherwise, the poor child would be forced to fend for himself most nights - cereal or peanut butter and jelly. The smell of cooking food makes her sick.

Tuesday night, I didn't feel like cooking so we did a frozen Lasagna thing. It was pretty good for a frozen meal. Last night, I fixed my "on the spot" version of scalloped chicken. I was flying by the seat of my pants because I knew I hadn't really thawed out enough chicken for four people (Isaiah no longer eats like a little boy - the kid is growing!). But, because I cut up the chicken into chunks, we had enough for dinner and for Ron, Amy, and I to each have lunch today. Not bad for a pretty cheap meal.

Directions: (sorry, no picture; I should have taken one because it looked really good)
  1. Wash and chop whole potatoes (I used a combination of golden russet and red new because that's what Amy and I had on hand). Put into your oven-safe casserole dish. Add dehydrated onions (Amy hates the real thing), "Table Blend" Mrs. Dash, Pepper to taste.
  2. Wash and cube boneless, skinless chicken breasts (my package had three good-sized pieces). Add to the potato mixture.
  3. Mix 1 can each of Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soup together into a bowl; add 1.5 cans of water. Pour over the potatoes and chicken. Add more Mrs. Dash, pepper, and maybe just a tiny bit of salt.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes or until potatoes and chicken are done.
  5. Add shredded cheddar cheese to the top and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until melted.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MRI Friday afternoon

Got the call this afternoon that my MRI is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 2:15. I will be given oral sedation so I hope it's strong enough to make me totally relaxed. I am nervous.

I have to have a driver to come home. LOL - that will be Ron. I don't know what's scarier... the MRI or Ron driving home. He's driven lately but I've done the wheelchair loading and unloading. He might have to take the manual wheelchair and load it himself.

We shall see.

I'm very tired this week and haven't been on the computer much. I don't know what is up with me.

I think I'm going to bed. Hopefully, I can sleep.