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      Tuesday, March 01, 2011

otherstuff
02:43 PM - 03/01/2011

The topic: Last night

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We went shopping to CostCo. Really needed it (got my money for the injury portion of the accident last year; took what they offered, it sucks, but I just don’t feel like fighting them any longer, too tired - put the money in the bank for the cats).  I used the cat money.  We were out of hamburger and roast, one potato left, not much of what we bought was taxable, most of the stuff was food items.  Cat litter and kibble was taxable, as was the calcium.  Anyway….

I like to buy the biggest packages of meat and roast that they have.  We bring it home and I split it up, use my food saver vacuum thing, I put the individual packages in a ziplock freezer bag and have meal size portions to just pluck out of the freezer.

I don’t weigh the roasts, I just cut them up and after a meal, there’s usually enough to use for tacos or burritos later on.  I do weigh the hamburger.  I try to get each portion to be exactly twelve ounces.  Now, there are two options for the burger.  There’s the big lump package (which I reach for) and there’s a package with individual burger rounds…well, more like patties with holes in the middle.  I have no idea why they have this, unless it’s ready to be used on the grill.  The hole throws me, but maybe when they’re patted down, they are someone’s idea of the perfect burger patty. Brian’s gotten these in the past and I wasn’t thrilled with them. It’s the same meat, the same cost, but it throws my rhythm off when I divide them up.  He’s asked me about it before and I told him I preferred the bulk meat.  It’s one of those personal things that’s just hard to clarify to someone else’s satisfaction.  I do the work, let me get what I need and just shut up about it, okay? It’s not a big deal, don’t make it into one.

So, last night, he decides to grill me on it again.  “Why don’t you like these?”  Argh!  There weren’t really that many people shopping and I kinda sorta just lost it.  “Why does it matter?  Why do you always bug me about it? What difference does it make?” 

“Well, I just thought it would be easier for you to split when it’s already split.” 

“So, how much do you think each one of those rounds weighs?  Do you think they’re exactly twelve ounces?”

“Probably not.”

“So how would that be easier for me? I’d still have to be splitting them up.”  And as I walked away to check out the roasts, I’m still talking, loud enough for him (and the few people around us) to hear.  “I don’t know why you bug me about this, I have my way of doing it and I like doing it my way.” 

“I just thought it would be easier for you…”

“Why are we having this conversation again? No, it’s not easier for me, because…” and I look up from the meat. There’s a well dressed man, late forties, early fifties, looking at the various meats and he’s grinning from ear to ear.   He sees me looking at him (like “WTF are you smiling about?”) and he says “I’m married, this sounds familiar and I’m a husband so I have to take his side.”

Grrrrrr….men.

      Thursday, March 03, 2011

otherstuff
11:29 AM - 03/03/2011
The current weather is cloudy and lukewarm...not warm, but more like lukecool
I'm "are you serious?"

The topic: Credit cards

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For those of you who've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember my high frustration level with the Citibank Corp credit card we have. And how I declared that we wouldn't be using it.

Well, we haven’t.  Not since 2008.  Yay us!  Back in 2009 they sent us a letter stating that there was a problem with some accounts having been compromised and that we’d be getting new cards and a new account number.  I wasn’t concerned because we weren’t using them.

Fast forward to last month.  In my email was something I’d not seen in over a year.  A message from Citibank that my statement was ready. What statement?  I go to check it out. Great, I can’t access it, the number changed. I signed up with the new card (circa 2009) card. See a balance of $150.81. WTF?  A charge on 1/10/2011 “REVERSE ATTM” with some numbers after it. I do some googling and it looks like this came from ATT. But I know damned well I didn’t make it.  This card had NEVER been used, I’d never even activated it. I never used it online for anything.

So, I call.  Explain that I hadn’t used the card, what is this charge? Well, it looked like something AT&T did. Okay.  They’d check into it.  I print the page (good thing, you’ll see why). The following week, I still hadn’t heard back so I called again. Was told “I’ll put in a dispute for the charge, close this account and set up a new one”.  The next day, when we were walking, when we got home, Citibank had called and left a message.  It was the first person I’d spoken to, she said that it was something they’d done and she didn’t know why, but that it should be resolved on their end. Basically, don’t worry about it.

So, I didn’t.  Two weeks later, the new cards have arrived, the charge is now on the new account. Why?  So, I call this morning. First call I’m speaking so someone in disputes and he does some deeper research for me. The charge came from AT&T.  It originally went onto the card I had before the card I had before the card I got last month.  Okay, to make it simple.  I quit using card #1 back in 2008. Account hacked (which they notified me about, I didn’t notify them), they send me card #2 in early 2009.  A new charge shows up on card #2 that I didn’t make, I call, they research, nothing changes, I call again, they close that account and send me card #3. So, this charge originally went onto card #1. It happened back in 2009, but he can’t tell me a date since his system doesn’t go back that far.  The charge was made from AT&T Mobile, the Citibank system caught it as fraud and didn’t pay it.  And now, somehow, it was reversed (paid to AT&T, in other words) and put back onto card #2. He said “you’ll have to call AT&T to get more information”. 

I say thanks and hang up. Stare at the phone.  I pull out all of the AT&T invoices.  They’re paid via automatic withdrawal. I don’t use the credit cards to pay utility bills. I would have used a credit card when we upgraded our phones, but I wouldn’t have used the Citibank, since I didn’t want to be charged that huge interest amount. I’ve got files all over my desk.  On top of it all, I have the copy of the Citibank statement.  I call AT&T.  I didn’t enter my phone number so I didn’t have to listen to the menu, I was put right through to an agent.  She went back through all of the payments we made in 2009 (I already had the stack of statements on my desk). There was nothing for $150.81. She went back to 2008.  Found where we upgraded a phone, the charge was $149.99.  She said “with tax..” and I replied “where would sales tax be less than a dollar?”  Then she asked “could you tell me exactly what it says on the statement?”  This is where I was glad I’d taken the copy, since the new online account doesn’t show what was on the old statement (card #2), they zeroed out the old statement and transferred the balance due to the new account (card #3).  I tell her “REVERSE ATTM” then she asked if there was an account number.  I read off the numbers following the ATTM.  She plugs that into her computer.  Guess what?  She asked if I knew Milan M.  For privacy issues, she can’t give me a last name.  I said “no, never heard of that person”.  She said what’s strange is the charge just now showing up on my account. But now I KNOW 100% for sure that I didn’t make this charge. Not that I doubted it, but now I’ve got ammo for Citibank.

I get her name, thank her for her time and call Citibank. Second time this morning. This time it’s a heavily accented woman. NOOOOO!!!! shuteye 

My frustration level is getting high at this point, please don’t make me speak with someone who will have a hard time with me getting motormouthed (which happens when I get excited, I start talking really, really fast).  I tell her I want to speak to the dispute department.  She said she had to ask me some questions, since the card number I gave her wasn’t a good one.  How could that be? It’s a new card!  I realized at that point that I’d put the wrong card through the shredder.  But the first person helped me, what was this woman’s problem?  So, we’re doing the back and forth and my phone went wiggy. I could hear someone else talking, my phone was cutting out and then I just heard a loud beeeeep.  I picked up the corded extension, same thing.  Phone company must be working on the lines (they do that a lot).  After finding my printed page (after having gotten to the root of the problem with AT&T, I had started putting all of the paperwork back where it belonged: two years of AT&T invoices and credit card statements from 2008 and 2009), I called Citibank again. This time, when the phone was answered, there was no accent and I explained the situation and was put right through to the dispute division.

And I think it’s done. She said that having this charge put back on the account after all this time made no sense to her, either and that she was going to have to turn it over to the security division so they could more deeply research it. But it’s settled that it’s not something that I owe.  This took over two hours of my time this morning.  What a PITA.

otherstuff
04:04 PM - 03/03/2011

The topic: A reminder

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Sometimes I upload photos to the gallery that I don’t post here. And I often never even say anything about them here, so remember to check it out every once in a while if you want to gaze upon my incredibly talented photography skills…. rotfl

catstuff
04:09 PM - 03/03/2011

The topic: Mickey update

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I can’t see where I mentioned it here, but Mickey had a bad couple of weeks last month.  He didn’t want to eat and had a runny nose and icky eyes.  I weighed him and he was down a pound from when he’d been diagnosed with the CRF.  I do see where I said he was four ounces from gaining it all back, but not where I mentioned him not feeling well.

Anyway, I weighed him a little while ago and he’s actually up a couple of ounces from the CRF weight!  Yay!


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04:16 PM - 03/03/2011

The topic: And a Pete update

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Pete has been getting the Flagyl/metronidazole since Saturday night. He will pick at tuna.  He will sit in the kitchen and wait for some tiny bits of raw beef (I split and packaged our Monday CostCo buy yesterday).  This morning, I saw him finishing off some soft food in the bathroom.  Good news!

Yesterday I saw him poop for the first time since last weekend, it was down by the pool and I waited until he was finished.  Still looked pretty nasty, but I attribute most of that to the not eating. 

He’s done a fair job of cleaning off his butt (I would have done it earlier this week but he kept hiding someplace and I couldn’t find him and didn’t really want to stress him much more than he was already stressed) and today he’s acting a lot better than he had been.  I’m still giving him the meds (he only got one yesterday, he got his first pill pretty late in the morning and he went under the bed when I was looking for him to get the second pill.  Unfortunately, Brian was in bed, so I couldn’t start moving furniture to get to Pete. Needless to say, he only got one pill yesterday.

He did get a pill this morning, I’ll keep giving him this stuff until Saturday evening.


Monday, on the patio
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catstuff
04:23 PM - 03/03/2011

The topic: Little Bit is coming out of her shell

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I think. *lol*

 


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She was in the new cat chair by herself last month and didn’t run when we walked by her.  She just looked at us.  Enter Miss Elizabeth, who claims said chair as her own. She laid next to Little Bit and Little Bit didn’t budge.  No hissing or growling at all.  Nice.

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A few days earlier I caught her up in the cattreehouse.  Fitting since that was her special place before the tree was cut back.

.

catstuff
04:27 PM - 03/03/2011

The topic: Phoebe

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Just because I like this photo. It's Phoebe.

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catstuff
04:28 PM - 03/03/2011

The topic: And the old man of the house

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Oliver. On a folded lawn chair by the pool, catching some warm rays.


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catstuff
06:20 PM - 03/03/2011

The topic: We share our pillows with cats

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Not a problem.  The other night, Oliver at my forehead, Richie behind my head, up against me, I woke up and I could hear my heart beating, rapidly in my ears.  It’s a really strange sensation.

It was beating way too fast, I felt okay, but it was just going thumpthumpthumpthump.  I tried to calm my breathing (although it didn’t seem like there was a problem), I’d slowly count to ten and inhale, slowly count to ten again while exhaling. Still the rapid heartbeat. Scary thing.

Then I moved my head away from Richie. The thumping stopped.  It wasn’t me at all, it was him.

Cats. Gotta love ‘em.

      Sunday, March 06, 2011

otherstuff
11:05 AM - 03/06/2011

The topic: One of my repeating rants is

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How the utility companies tell us to “cut back! cut back! We’re running out of ______”, then when the consumers cut back, the utility companies start screaming “oh, no! oh, no! The consumers are cutting back, WE can’t cut back, it’s impossible, we have overhead, we need to raise rates to pay for our way of business!” then they raise rates and charge the ratepayer for the lube to make the screwing a little less painful.

Here’s a perfect example.

The rich get richer at the purse of the middle and poor classes. We pay for their play.  It sucks.

otherstuff
06:39 PM - 03/06/2011

The topic: I spent the afternoon

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catching up on paperwork. Haven’t reconciled the company checking account since November! That was a surprise, I didn’t realize it had been that long.  Kind of hard to do paperwork when there’s no money coming in, ya know?  Anyway, it’s not as bad as I thought it was.  I still have to make up a box and pull 2009 and put 2011 in that drawer (there was a time I needed two drawers, one for AP, one for AR…sigh).

Anyway, I’ve got most of everything done, listening to American Anthems, popped a Miller Lite, have a few more in the frig, Brian’s at the property, said not to worry about dinner and I’m feeling pretty good right now.

Brian doesn’t like beer and I cut way back on it.  I don’t know why, it’s yummy.  And makes me feel really good.

popped a Miller Lite, have a few more in the frig, Brian's at the property, said not to worry about dinner and I'm feeling pretty good right now. Brian doesn't like beer and I cut way back on it. I don't know why, it's yummy. And makes me feel really good.

      Saturday, March 19, 2011

otherstuff
08:50 AM - 03/19/2011

The topic: Do ya ever have one of those weeks/months

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where you’ve got so much to do that you don’t even know where to start and having your mind overwhelmed,  you do nothing?

That’s me.

So, I’ve been reading. Trying to get used to not having the computer on all day, just in the morning.  Saves electricity (as our last two electric bills prove).

I’ve got one person I exchange Christmas gifts with. And her birthday is shortly after Christmas.  I still haven’t wrapped those presents.  I’ve got a ton of ideas and the materials to put them to the test for shirts and jewelry. 

I’ve been reading.

rotfl

catstuff
08:55 AM - 03/19/2011

The topic: I weighed Mickey this morning…

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9lbs 4oz. He's still gaining! Woohoo!

      Sunday, March 20, 2011

catstuff
07:50 AM - 03/20/2011

The topic: Brian spent the night at Ranchita

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So, I had the bed to myself. I slept really good.  Not because he wasn’t here, but because the cats had more room and I wasn’t crowded.

Anyway, early this morning, but after I’d gotten up around four to open the sliding door off the living room (since cats are nocturnal by nature, I like them to get a little dark time outside… biggrin ), I heard growling. Like “you wanna make something of it?” growling. One of the cats came running into the bedroom and up into the window.  The growling was coming from outfront. Odd. I’ve not seen enough cats out there to get into a fight in a long time.

So, I got up, threw on my robe, grabbed a flashlight and went outside.  A cat who, in the dark anyway, looked like Bobby, went running from under the cars and trucks. But there was not another cat in sight.  I went back inside, went into the family room and noticed that the cats in there were looking towards the garage.  Okay, now it makes sense.

There’s a vent to the outside at one of the far walls.  It’s got a big screen in front of it, it’s built into the wall, so it’s not like it can be pulled out. And then there’s the actual vent, with slats too small for a cat to squeeze through. I’ve noticed some mornings the cats all sniffing around the area and when I went outside to see what they were smelling, there was cat spray around it and probably on it.

So, I think we had a little aggression from a free range cat smelling a caged cat (yeah, it’s a big cage, a yard sized cage, but it’s still a cage) and they started posturing. 

No harm, no foul. Back to bed.

otherstuff
10:37 AM - 03/20/2011

The topic: Just got back from Sprout’s

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A small healthy food type of store.  A lot of the fruit and veggies come from local growers, the prices are lower than the big grocery stores. 

I’m making lasagna tonight (even if Brian’s not home when it’s cooked, lasagnas keep well….great for leftovers) and I thought it would be nice to have garlic bread with it. Yesterday, I hit Alberton’s and got ricotta and mozarella cheese.  CostCo carries mozarella, but it’s this big assed block; I’ve tried the splitting and freezing, but I forget it’s there and end up tossing the frozen cheese out years later. I thought it might be fun to make my own sourdough bread and my own garlic spread and do my own toast.  I’ve been in one of those kinds of moods lately.  To make the bread, I use a recipe that was in my very first breadmaker manual.  I needed some plain yogurt, which is why I went to the store.

While I was there, I bought some fresh broccoli, carrots, celery, dried split peas (I’ve not made pea soup in ages), cornmeal (yay! I’ve never had plain cornmeal, usually use the mixes, but the boxes are all so small and spendy, I think I’ll make my own cornbread), sunflower seeds and some Santa Fe trail mix (spicy…yum!).  I also picked up some shredded romano cheese and sliced turkey. 

I was very proud of myself for passing by the bulk candy. I looked, but the past couple of weeks, sweets really upset my tummy (and that sucks), so that made it easier to keep going.

Oh, I got a refurbed Cuisinart Soft Serve ice cream machine on deals.woot.com a couple of weeks ago, it got here yesterday.  I think I’ll be making lime sorbet this week, we’ve for sure got the fresh limes.  More yummy!

otherstuff
10:55 AM - 03/20/2011
The current weather is cloudy and cool
I'm content

The topic: Ponderance

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My previous entry got me to thinking.  Why, when someone says something is “spicy”, do I immediately think of food with a bite to it?  A little pizzazz and wow?  I considered that maybe there’s a difference between a spice and an herb, but from what I can find online, there isn’t one.

But even though spagetti or lasagna have oregano and basil and garlic in them, I don’t consider them “spicy” like I would a salsa that has jalapeno or cayenne pepper in it.

rolleyes

 

      Monday, March 21, 2011

catstuff
07:16 AM - 03/21/2011
The current weather is cloudy, cool, and showery

The topic: Silly cats

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I’m looking out the window, it’s between rain showers right now.  I was watching Ronnie walking along the wood railroad ties that make the retaining wall by the pool. 

He was under the lime tree and I guess a drop of water fell on his back.  He jumped and looked around.

Well, it was funny at the time.

Now, it’s pouring again.

otherstuff
07:20 AM - 03/21/2011

The topic: Well, I didn’t make the lasagna last night

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I got too late of a start on the bread.  Since I want to just use one jar of premade sauce and add to it to double the amount, it’s going to take more time that it would have using all jarred sauce.

And shredding cheese is time consuming. *lol*  I’ll probably get started around two this afternoon.  By the time I was ready yesterday, it was four.  I don’t want to eat that late.  I sleep much better when my tummy isn’t full.

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

otherstuff
09:11 AM - 03/24/2011

The topic: I hurt!

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Brian had to leave early Monday to meet up with a client so we didn’t go walking.  Knowing I need to move, I got out the Wii.  I haven’t used the Wii in over a year. 

I did the step dance, I did a couple of ski jumps and I did the hula hoop.  I was on it for twenty six minutes, total. Burned like fourteen calories. *lol*

Tuesday morning, it was raining. We didn’t walk.  I Wii bowled.  Two games.  Beat my high score, hit 197!  Yay!

Yesterday morning, I was in pain.  My back hurt.  My front hurt.  I couldn’t take a deep breath without hurting. 

Now, the sucky thing about this, if it had happened twenty years ago, I’d have thought nothing of it.  But I’m not twenty years younger and my mind heads off to that place where the scary stuff resides.  Usually I can keep that door closed, but you give me an uncommon muscle ache and it starts to squeak open.  I spent the day on the sofa yesterday on a heating pad and slept on and off (it didn’t help when the cats kept getting on top of my side or chest and the pressure was unbearable.  At one point I had four cats on me.  Which always makes one of my head voices start in on me.  “Aren’t pets supposed to LOWER your blood pressure?”)

I’m feeling a little better today.  After I clean my bathroom floor, I think I’ll hop on the bike.  That’s lower impact on my upper body than the Wii.

      Friday, March 25, 2011

catstuff
11:32 AM - 03/25/2011

The topic: Charlie is at the vet’s

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Yesterday afternoon I noticed him straining in the litterbox.  He did pee a little, so I figured he should be okay.  I started him on amoxicillan.  This morning, he was in the litterbox and we thought there was a cat fight due to the yowling.  It was Charlie, by himself. 

He did pee later on, but I called the vet’s office to see if I could get him in.  I don’t want to take a chance on him blocking this weekend and ending up in the emergency clinic with him. 

They were booked for the day, but took him in as a drop off. 

Poor little Charlie Tuna.

      Saturday, March 26, 2011

catstuff
08:34 AM - 03/26/2011

The topic: Charlie came home yesterday afternoon

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He was “partially blocked”.  Vet said he had a lot of struvite crystals.  Probably because he’s such a stressed cat (he’s aggressive to the others on a regular basis). 

He was catheterized, his bladder flushed, the vet admined lydocaine so it didn’t hurt so much to pee.  He said there’s no infection, but just to be safe keep Charlie on the amoxi. 

Now, the bad news.  Charlie gets buprenex three times a day.  And the worst news.  He’s supposed to get fluids today, tomorrow and Monday morning to help keep him flushed. 

Charlie is impossible to hold unless he wants it.  I have no idea how I’m going to do this.  Brian can’t help, he’s way too squeamish.

Oh, well, pray for me.

catstuff
10:19 AM - 03/26/2011

The topic: He got the fluids!

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I was so stinking nervous beforehand.  I’m thinking “how badly am I going to get hurt?”  Seriously, that’s what Charlie can be like. 

He got his busperin or whatever it is this morning, the first dose he moved his face and it shot all over the wall (it’s just a teeny, tiny bit, though).  Luckily, there was an extra one in the bag since the vet gave him a dose before I picked him up.  So, I got another syringe and gave him that (only .1CC). 

Then I had breakfast (sweet potato pancakes) and took to calcium tablets to calm my nerves; I knew what was coming up.  I got him to take his amoxi (wasn’t hard, love those pill pockets).  Then I heated up the fluids, filled the syringes.  Charlie sat on the kitchen counter, watching me with interest. 

He wasn’t so interested when I grabbed him up, put him against my shoulder and had the syringes in the other hand.  We went into my bathroom, I closed the door, turned on the light and sat on the floor, Charlie between my legs. The first try didn’t go so well, he moved because the needle stung and it slipped out.  I got it back in again and pushed the syringe.  He got almost all of that, he got away from me.  I got a towel, placed it on the floor, put Charlie on top of that, then kind of wrapped his legs, then started the second syringe. 

He was like WTF? But he got all of that syringe.

Yay!  I lived!  I didn’t get scratched or bitten. Whew.

      Sunday, March 27, 2011

otherstuff
08:14 AM - 03/27/2011

The topic: If I was the magical queen of the world

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Anything that was used with the intent to hurt someone else, would change into something that couldn’t do harm.  Like a rock would turn into a nerf ball.  A gun would turn into a water pistol.  Once the intent was gone, the object would switch back to it’s original form.

Same thing with words. And maybe once people (nations) got used to not trying to hurt one another, this world would be a better place.

      Monday, March 28, 2011

otherstuff
02:38 PM - 03/28/2011

The topic: *Sigh* It’s official.

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I’ve got high blood pressure.  For the past decade (at least), I’ve been saying “oh, I can do it by myself, diet and exercise, doncha know…”, yet there it is.  Still high.

Two weeks ago I had a major bout of something extremely painful in my chest.  I thought “gall bladder, it will go away”.  It did, it went away.  Felt like crap, but it went away. Had the chills and a very wet cold sweat, my hair was soaking when it was over, but it went away. Took my blood pressure, it was good.  Then last Monday, we didn’t walk, I figured “fine, I’ll get on the Wii Fit” hadn’t been on the Wii Fit for over a year, but I got on it for twenty-six minutes, yay me. I did the ski jump, the step routine and one round of hula hoop. Had another chest pain thing around lunch time. It wasn’t as bad as the week before and it went away more quickly, but I’m starting to get a little concerned.  Understandably. Tuesday, it was raining, we didn’t walk, I bowled two games (got my high score ever! 197!).

Wednesday, I could barely move.  My back.  My front. My God. This was it, I know it was. Brian had to go shopping. We needed food, but I wasn’t in any condition to get up and walk around.

Thursday, still pretty sore.  Felt nervous and edgy.  Got worse when Charlie started straining in the litterbox.  Took my blood pressure, scary.

Friday, took Charlie in.  Took half of a prescrip Naproxin (Aleve) for the pain.  Naproxin can cause high blood pressure.  I took mine.  168/114.  It didn’t go down much.

I called the doctor’s office, made an appointment for this morning. 9:30.

Took my bp a couple of times this weekend, it was never as bad as it was last week, but it still was high.

Went for our walk this morning, the one I dislike the most.  Because fifty percent of it is gradual uphill. Puff. Pant.  Took my bp when we got home.

122/82 -  heart rate 114.

Eat breakfast, take a shower, get dressed, get over to the doc’s office. bp is back high.  I’m on medication now. Supposed to make a note of my reading for the next two weeks and report back to the doctor.  Then after a month, I’m supposed to see him again.  I’m also back on the simvastatin for cholesterol.  And we have a possible diagnosis for the pain.  I think he said it was probably Helicobacter pylori.  I got meds for that, too.  He said to not start that until next week.

It’s official.  I’ve got high blood pressure.  Maybe now I won’t be so worried about it.

biggrin

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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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