Tuesday, March 31, 2015

For those who came back - milder day

While I am still bothered by things, I vented and let it go.  There is nothing I can do about it except look at what I do and work on me.

Doctor appointments/PT keep filling my day.  When I got back from the SSB I had a message from the cardio office.  They had made the appointment for the carotid doppler for me on Wednesday.   Surprise - I have two other appointments!  I got that one cancelled, but rescheduling is going to be difficult I know.  But I will give it a go.

I have found that I can walk better.  Yesterday for PT I had to park in the parking garage.  That entailed a lot of walking.  And I could do it without breaking into a sweat because of the pain.  In fact, I didn't have pain.  So the PT is definitely working on my back, but not my shoulders. Each time we work on them, I am in pain the next day.

I am a little upset with DIL - not enough to make an issue, but at the same time a bit put out.  They will be gone at Easter - again.  She has been good about rotating major holidays - except Easter.  Last year the excuse was that her grandmother had just passed, and they were going to the beach to be with her mom and get her mind off the death.  They are going again this year.

A few years my SIL suggested we rent a house at the beach next to or close to a house they would rent.  That way the families would have some extended time to be together and the second cousins play and get to know one another better.  DIL said she didn't like the beach.  Her actions have shown she apparently doesn't like the beach with OUR family.  She goes with her mom and also with her dad (they are divorced).  Oh well.  I just miss seeing my son.

Allergy season is alive and very well here in the Houston area.  Everything is blooming, and I am miserable.  G kept trying to tell me I had a cold (and gave it to him).  I stopped using the Flonase that I got from the pulmonary doc because it makes the glaucoma worse.  That has lasted one day.  I am miserable.  But I see the ophthalmologist on Wednesday.  That will be a primary question for her.  If not Flonase - what would she suggest.  Bet it won't be anything!!!

So today is eyeball puncture day.  Got a late appointment, and I am really worried about parking.  But G is dropping me off then going to a plant nursery for parts for the riding mower at the SSB (??? - doesn't seem to go together).  So I don't have to park.  He will afterwards!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Gets my goat.

Hypocrites.  They really get to me.  Just today on a neighborhood board I came across one.  Someone posted the question of wanting to know if there were any charities that accepted small sizes of toiletries.  This particular woman has seemed like someone who is kind-hearted and charitable.  I suggested a group in the Houston area that distributes items to the homeless.   Her response was that homeless people are homeless because they choose to be.

I responded to her that I prayed that she would never fall on hard times that made her join the ranks of the homeless.  Then I don't believe she would continue with that attitude.  Then several more commented with statements that were far more harsh.  

So she did a pm telling me that I knew nothing about her, etc.  Well, no.  I am sorry she didn't like being called out with her attitude.  And I responded just that.

Then it got me thinking.  People who claim they follow Christ are among the worst.  Her response to the question was much like so many of these "Christians."  My son included.  He doesn't recognize that bad things can happen to good people.  There are so many folks just barely making it out there, and it doesn't take much for them to become homeless.  But I could see him making the same type of statement.

It's strange how people look down on those on public assistance - that is until they find themselves there.  Then it's ok - for them but not those others.  I am special.  I deserve help.  I cannot help myself.  It just doesn't take much to find oneself in need.

G worked in the county "charity hospital."  He saw people who had bad times and ended up on welfare.  They, for the most part, didn't like it, and tried to get off as soon as possible.  Often that meant they had to work two or even more jobs.  Wasn't easy for them.

Then there are those who think they deserve what amounts to cheating - after all we are talking about large companies here.  They make plenty of money.  So what I get from them after putting in just a little of absolutely ok.  I deserve it.  This goes from accepting too much change to cheating the company out of money.  They have plenty.  Well - at the end of it all, someone does pay.  And that's the rest of us that play by the rules.

Politicians that want to cut medicare, food stamps, other medical benefits and on and on - hypocrites.  They sit there with their huge salaries, great retirement plans, Cadillac health plans.  But that isn't for the diminishing middle class, and certainly not for those who need a better salary.  Nope.  Not at all.

I realize just how fortunate I am.  While my retirement isn't great, I can live on it.  Sure - I would love an increase since I basically have the same monies that I had in 2000.  We got one small increase ($100/year) a couple of years ago, but I do have an annuity with the state.  Don't get much Social Security that I paid into (being an organist) because of it, but then that applies to a lot of government workers too.  I have a fair health insurance plan.  I have a roof over my head that is paid for.

Sorry for the rant, and if I stepped on toes, I am a little sorry.  We are supposed to treat others with the same respect that we want for ourselves.  The old WWJD bracelets always tickled me.  Those same folks would deny help to their neighbors. That isn't WJWD  (what Jesus would do).

This is just another rant here.  It hurts me to see others hurting.  I know some of those on the street corners are scams.  I realize that.  They are among those trying to get something for nothing.  There's a lot of that.  But so many of those are mentally ill people.  There are shelters for them, but honestly - when you look at those shelters, I am not sure I would want to be in one either.  Guess that's why I am so glad our Life Group at church made bags of "snack" foods that don't require refrigeration, water and socks to give to the homeless makes me happy.  

So if you leave me because of these feelings, I really will miss you.  I just had to vent my feelings though.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Gotta' brag - again

that's my girl.  gotta brag (again) on her!


March 28, 2015
Cook Middle School eighth-grade student Katie Gill plays for the Southwest Zone team in the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program tournament, from which she was elevated to the next phase. Gill was selected to the Olympic Development Program Women’s Development National Team selection camp.
March 28, 2015—Cook Middle School eighth-grade student Katie Gill has been selected for the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program Women’s Development National Team selection camp, to be held May 22-25 in Diamond Bar, Calif.
Gill was the only CFISD student in her age group selected to compete, and one of three from the Southwest Zone. Out of 12 teams of female athletes born in 2001 or later, Gill was one of the top 70 athletes invited to go back to California in late May to try out to make the Development National Team.
Out of the 70, approximately 20 will be selected for the next step.  If invited back, Gill will be invited to attend two additional training camps in June and August, respectively.
Gill has played water polo for two years, and plans to play at Jersey Village High School next year for Coach Stuart Webb. 
“I am very happy for Katie making the National Team Selection Camp,” said Allie Gill, Southwest Zone girls’ head coach. “Katie was a leader for our very young team at the ODP National Championships and had a great attitude the entire season. She is very coachable and was an asset for the Southwest Zone Development Team. She is a hard worker and has a bright future in the sport.”  
Cook Middle School eighth-grade student Katie Gill has been selected for the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program Women’s Development National Team selection camp.
Katie Gill defends for the Viper Pigeons club team at the 2014 USA Water Polo Junior Olympics.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I AM still around!

I am still coughing, sneezing and blowing the nose a lot, but I am still around.  We went to the SSB last Thursday (the previous Thursday - after my last post).  I was really in pretty bad shape.  I must have been running a fever because I was freezing the entire week.  I am still sure it was/it allergies because all the plants and trees are putting out copious amounts of pollen.  I hate to have an attack like this because it takes so long to go away.  Once I begin coughing, I cough for weeks after.  I think I need to make an appointment with the pulmonologist because this time my chest feels like an elephant is sitting on it.  I am wondering if I have developed asthma.  I really sound like a hypochondriac!

My prayers that G wouldn't get sick and blame me weren't answered.  He sees no relationship between him having to use the push mower at the SSB and his attack.  He is sure it is a cold and I gave it to him.  I don't see how since I had mine for over a week before he came down with the cough and so on.  After talking to SIL, I am wondering if perhaps we have a bug.  She said there was one going around in Austin that she caught.  It took her three weeks to get over it!  The thing that makes me wonder is that we both are having headaches.  I didn't think anything about mine because I get such strange things anyway until I talked to her.  So perhaps my self-diagnosis was incorrect

There are many topics that have been floating around in my head as food for a blog post.  One in particular is something that has been really bothering me, but I am thinking it would become controversial.  I really don't like to post things that are really controversial.  That isn't my real intent here.  So that means I have completed this bit of trivia for today!!  Have a great weekend.  I don't know what the rest of the weekend brings for me.  With G hacking over there - he won't want to go anywhere, and with the bad temper it puts him in, I don't want him to go anywhere!!  He is a terrible bear.  Typical man getting sick.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Praying hard!

I thought that what bothered me Saturday night and Sunday night was allergies.  I couldn't use the CPAP because it irritated my nose (particularly the left nostril).   I have been sneezing and my nose is just flowing - like an allergy.

I cancelled PT today.  I couldn't see me being able to do physical activity with this mess.  So when Krissi called me to pick up Katie at school I said sure.

I was talking to her about G saying I have a cold rather than allergies.  We talked more and she said none of her team was sick.  THEN she remembered, and so did I, that the girl who rode with us from the airport was sitting right behind me - hacking.

I am fervently praying because if G gets the cold, he will be impossible to live with.  Men don't do sick well, and he surely doesn't.  AND I will be trapped with him in the truck for 6 hours on the way to the SSB.  Geesh!

With all the itching of eyes, nose and ears, I am still hopeful for allergies.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I survived - barely

Our flight landed at 12:30 a.m. today.  The flights to and from LA were completely full.  In fact going they over booked.  There was a family who were completely separated.  Dad had no seat, but fortunately he was employed by United - so he flew in the Flight Attendant's area.  But I felt sorry for his son.  He was way in the back of the plane - alone.  The mom and little girl got to be together.  But checking on the boy was difficult because the beverage cart completely blocks the aisle so much of the time that they couldn't get back to him.  The man with the mom said it would move, but for some reason it didn't work out that way.

Walking is difficult for me.  We have discussed that.  Well!  Being with athletes is not for the walking deprived!  Especially water polo athletes.  They have legs that are stronger than steel!

Krissi was the "team mom" which meant she drive the 15 passenger team van.  Parking is at a premium at best - but she really was nervous about backing that whale so we would be parked pretty far from the venues as it was.  Then Saturday night when a dinner place was chosen I knew she wouldn't be taking the van, and no one else would be driving either.  The parking lot for the hotel was tiny.  Add all these 15 passenger vans, AND all the parental rental cars meant it would fill rapidly.  So they were going to walk it.  It was ONLY 5 blocks.  I asked them to bring something back.

Over the two days I really believe I walked about 5 miles.  Another thing that could have been problematic was the sun.  Here is Texas we are such wimps - our pools for swimming events are enclosed.  California has their pools outside.  The stands have a roof - for afternoon coverage.  Our games were before noon.  The sun was bright.  I am fair, plus some of my meds make me even more apt to burn.  Surprisingly I didn't!!!  I did use sunscreen, but I was still surprised!

Now the real news - she made it to the next phase to the National Team.  Ultimately, this is the road to the Olympic Team.  It is a long, hard road.  She made it to the next training camp.  There were three girls from each region chosen.  Then from there she has to make it to the NEXT camp.  And from there it is the National Team I believe.  As she gets older and continues to make the teams - then it is the Olympic Team.
This is the final awards ceremony.  The girls are sitting here at the end waiting for the announcement of those who have made it to go on.  Katie (for those who don't know) is the one in the center with the large, very curly hair!!  She is so nervous at this time waiting for the names!!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ummm, Friday the 13th

And I am doing something I hate!  I am boarding the plane to California.  I. Hate. Planes.

It's not because I am afraid of flying.  Once I am through security (generally) I am fine.  I hate security.  If you remember the last time I flew OUT of LAX I thought I wasn't going to because they "screwed" up boarding passes.  Of course this time, in the back of my mind, is the stupid thinking of "oh, Friday the 13th - bad luck."   Those seats are meant for pencils.  They keep making them smaller and smaller.  All to get more passengers on board.  Yuck.  That's why I love the train.

I had dreams of taking Katie since it's Spring Break here and take the train to California. But the schedule from Houston to Los Angeles isn't hard and fast.  We have to yield to freight trains.  She would love to take the train.  We talked about it one day that I picked her up from school.  So it's on the plane we will get.

The CPAP and I have made friends for the most part.  Night before last, I had it pulled so tight that it hurt.  Last night I backed off a little and I was much more comfortable!  It showed that I only had a partial event last night.  Now how I could stop breathing for a partial "event" is beyond me, but OK!
Tuesday my therapist did measurements again.  My ranges of motion have greatly improved.  He was going to ask the doctor for orders for another month with the goal of going into strengthening exercises.  I do feel the flexibility improving, and I am very happy with my progress.  Yesterday he spoke words of terror however.  We will begin working on the legs.

I have been babying my legs since having the knees replaced. I have been afraid of - well, pain.  So I haven't been doing as I should.  Shoot - this is the story of my life these days.  The arthritis hurts.  I know I should get up and move, but I don't because of the pains.  Well - that isn't going to be the way for about a month. Hopefully I will begin gaining strength so I can move better!

I am out of touch until Tuesday I believe.  Our flight lands Sunday night about midnight.  I doubt I will be visiting here on Monday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I read the directions (amazing isn't it??) for the CPAP mask.  I followed the steps.  I tightened the straps over the head.  When they did it, I had my wig on.  Then tightened the ones across the face.  That mask was plastered on my face - but it worked.  No squeaks nor fart sounds!  No blowing me across the bed.  It worked.  At its highest - I didn't realize it was there.  I thought it was still ramping!  But I still didn't sleep well.  Getting up early just about killing me!

We started the day taking the truck to have its oil changed.  That meant breakfast out.  Heaven.  Then we went to Life Group.  In addition to the "lesson," we made bags for the homeless that are begging on the street corners.  G said that for us they would have to be standing in the doorways of the medical center where we are going (feels like daily and some days twice a day).   We just don't go places where the homeless are .  Oh well.

Then we met Brian and family for lunch.  The restaurant we went to used to be delicious.  Today it was not good.

I chuckled to myself.  DIL is saying she wants to become a nurse anesthetist.  This girl doesn't have the brains to do that.  She had a hard time in high school, and she has started college before.  Money is on her getting pregnant with #4.  I don't know how she thinks she is going to go part time but thinks she can complete her BS (or BA) in nursing in 4 1/2 years.  Nope.

Then she will try to work for 2 years at one of the two county hospitals that are for the indigent.  G worked with them before he retired.  You have to have a lot of  patience with those folks, and Christina doesn't,  She went to a medical assistant school.  Worked in an office for a couple of days, and walked out.  No notice.   Nothing.

I really don't mean to sound so negative, but this girl/woman has been like this since I have known her!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Got the machine.  Put it on, and it nearly blew me out of the bed!  So I changed the setting - some.  It did ramp as it should.  For you lucky folks who haven't had to use one of these - that means that the air comes out slowly and then gets up to the full force.   It is supposed to give continual pressure to keep the air passages open.

As I laid there, the mask would leak air.  And not silently.  It could be a squeak or sound like a kid making farting sounds.  Loudly.My previous machine felt like it gave constant air flow.  This one feels like it pulses.

When I first put it on, I used a setting I thought would be appropriate.  (When I was at the office - when the technician showed me what to do - but AFTER she had me remove my glasses.  Not. A. Good. Thing!!!!)  That setting would ramp.  It would blow for a while, and then STOP!  You feel like there is no air in the world when that happens!  Then it would start ramping up again.  It did this three times and then I decided I had to change that setting to turn it on.  I am such a fast learner!  Three times?  Really???

When I changed it all back, it worked fine - with the exceptions of farting sounds, and I slept poorly because of all that.  I must have finally fallen asleep very soundly. I woke about 8 (after falling asleep about 12:30) my mouth was as dry as the desert.  So first thing I did this morning was to up the humidity of the machine as high as it would go.

I ordered the HDMI cable from my stand-by Amazon.  I paid for express shipping.  I am supposed to get it today.  We will see.  Doubting is my long suit!

Monday, March 09, 2015


Traveled the 15 miles to pick up the CPAP this morning.  The technician was really nice, and we had a  nice chat - and therein is the problem.  We DID have a great time talking - about her impending wedding (she isn't a young woman) and wigs.  Strange thoughts together, but you know how it can go!

So we measured and got me the correct mask, then the machine was packed up and I was on my way.  I got home and really didn't do anything with it until about 3.  That's when I opened it.  No hose that runs from the machine to the mask.  To cut to the chase, I called.  All calls go to Customer Service - not here in Houston even though it is a customer service number.  AND it has to be approved by someone to send me another one.

Why didn't I just go back?  It's pretty far, it's flooding here, and that freeway is horrible.

So I began looking for a supply here in Houston.  There are plenty.  None have CPAP hoses!

G made a great suggestion, which at first I thought was stupid.  He asked if I still had my old CPAP machine.  Why yes, but this one is so much smaller I doubt the hose would fit.  But I tried anyway.  IT DOES!!!  So even if they approve this, it would be at least a day before the decision is made.  I don't believe it would get here before Friday, or if it is Friday, we seem to get deliveries late.

I ordered the Amazon stick - what ever it's called.  My tv has a usb slot.  The device is HDMI.  It's like I have been trying to put a square peg in a round hole for weeks.  I finally pinned SIL down at dinner last night and found out what the problem was.  Of course, he SAID he would go out today and get an adapter.  Not holding my breath.  So I ordered one form Amazon - rushed delivery.

Why?  because at least G will have that so he can watch the new program about the detective that is in the books he reads.  If the adapter gets here tomorrow - we can see if it works.

Disasters averted - I think.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

CPAP available Monday

When Caller ID shows "toll free call," "name unknown," "no name" or something like that - we don't answer.  And we are luckier that our phone system announced the CID!  The "No Call" lists are a joke.  We still get these ridiculous calls.

But yesterday I just had a suspicion when I got one of the Toll Free calls came in, I just thought it might be about the CPAP machine - since I had not heard anything about it.  And it was.  So I get to travel to North Houston Monday to pick up my machine.

This time is different.  I have a co-pay, and I will be renting the thing for 13 months.  It is a rent-to-own thing.  Strange, at least to me.  My last one (10 years ago) was completely paid by insurance.  Times change.

Other "stuff" - thought I would post some new photos of the youngest grands.  Before that - Katie is playing with a HIGH SCHOOL today.  She made 8 of their 12 goals.  Way to go my 8th grader.

Delaney (5), ,y son Brian, and Holden (3) with his back to us

Holden - this boy is usually smiling and is tough as a boot!

Delaney who is a Diva!

These were taken at a birthday party.

Friday, March 06, 2015


I did not realize just how out of shape I had allowed myself to get.  Until this round of PT.

So how did this come about?  Well, first of all the knee replacements.  In a way, my dear ortho doc scared me about my knees.  I have mentioned that he said he would rather I not kneel because of the pressure on the knee caps.  I had a huge weight lifted from my shoulders when I was talking to Marnee (SIL) whose ortho assured her that it would take a lot more than kneeling to break the knee cap.  Of course then I fell at the SSB and kept slipping on the floor trying to get up because there is no strength in those knees - so I was trying to pull up on the bed - which kept moving away from me.  It was comical I guess when I think back on it.  But that caused my knees that had been protected for five years from any pressure to really be sore.

But enough of that.  I also have been babying my arthritis.  As I told the therapist, my mind tells me I need to move even though it hurts, I don't want to.  When there is the degeneration of the back, and sciatica pain that has been a constant companion for over 30 years only getting worse, it is hard to do things. My back would hurt so much that I would break out in a sweat.

So inactivity has lead me to be weak as a baby.  So when we began the shoulder exercises, they seemed so easy.  Well the next day my shoulders were so sore that it hurt to drive.  We did a few more rigorous back exercises yesterday, and my back, hips and legs are sore.  This is so ridiculous I cannot even call it sad.

My real goal is to be able to walk.  I have difficulty getting through the grocery store because of back pain.  I really would like to be walking around the neighborhood again.  There has been a fear that I would get "x" away from the house and the back will begin to hurt so badly that I cannot go on.  That's what happens.  But I have hope, and I am sure Clyde does. I know he would love to go on long walks with me!

Sorry for the pouring out of frustration like this, but it feels good to put it down on "paper."

The scheduling in becoming less crowded!  Yeah!  Of course, this next weekend will be busy.  Krissi, Katie and I will be flying to Riverside, California for the first round of competition in Junior Olympics with this select team.  This will determine if Katie is chosen for the national team.  I am not sure how many games are on the docket, but I would bet something like 6!

One funny thing about it is that Krissi won't have to rent a car when we get there.  Good in that we save that much money.  Funny because the reason is that the coach, who usually drives the team around in the 15 passenger van, isn't old enough to rent the van.  She isn't 25 yet!  So guess who will be driving the team.  From LAX to Riverside - all around Riverside - and back to LAX on Sunday.  Anyone have some tranquilizers for my daughter??  I guess it's a good thing we live basically in Houston so we are used to horrible traffic.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

My life has to slow down

I thought this round of doctor's appointments that fall about every 6 months would stop by now.  Nope!!

This week is just as full as the previous two when I was home - can't count the week at the SSB.  This week began with seeing the sleep doc on Monday.  Now I have to wait for the company to call me about the machine.  Yesterday was the eye puncture and PT.  I am so sore - we did new exercises that seemed so easy at the time.  Today was a funeral at church.  I didn't stay for the meal - there were women there and they were falling all over each other. But I pick up Katie from school at 2:30. Tomorrow cardio doc and Doppler of the carotids and PT.  Friday WAS going to be my free day, but G called the pool company to see about putting in an inline chlorinator.  Boo.  They will be here between 8 (!!!!) and 10.  And HE has a doctor's appointment.

The funeral was sad - as they all really are.  She and I were contemporaries.  Her cause of death was metastatic breast cancer.  Her battle was so very hard.  It mist have been more advanced when she discovered it.  Even though I have known her (not close friends - just kind of nodding acquaintances at church) after I left she became much more involved.  But as I learned today, our lives really paralleled one another a lot.  RIP Shirley.  You have no more pain.