It's been so long since I've given a good update and I've missed so many birthdays. I keep hoping to post belated birthday pic spams, but I'm just going to give a shout out now before it's next year:

Happy Belated Birthdays to my dear friends [personal profile] hanarobi, [livejournal.com profile] addie71, [livejournal.com profile] jan_u_wine, [livejournal.com profile] julchen11, and any of my flisties I missed the last few months!

The US Coast to Coast Total Solar Eclipse on August 21st! So has everyone in the US gotten their eclipse glasses? I got certified American Paper Optics glasses on eBay and they came in the mail this week. Is anyone in the Path of Totality? Is anyone making plans to travel to it? I've seen partial eclipses before and wasn't impressed, but only learned the last few months that you only get the good special effects if you are in the Path of Totality and even 99.999% won't compare. The closest vantage is 8 hours south from where I live and I've been making tentative plans to drive down. But it all depends on the weather, kitty health, and the shape my achy foot is in. Anyone else planning on traveling to see it?

Much to report but I'll suffice with telling you about my friend D's 65th birthday bash last Saturday in the yard of her farmhouse out west of Baltimore. She hired our favorite local band ilyAMY to play a 3 hour set, and they were wonderful as always and enjoyed the Shire-like setting. I've been meaning to see them for years, but only first saw them last November, when I really needed them, for national reasons you can guess, and it really helped. Anyway, there were tons of cake and food, and more wine and beer, and to top off the hobbitiness, she had some grand fireworks, and people sent off burning lanterns into the sky. It was beautiful. Thank goodness we had a deluge for a couple of days that only ended a couple of hours before the party to keep all foliage moist and keep the celebration from burning the whole damned countryside down, because they would have sent them off anyway if it was dry--yoy! The party was in the middle of my Tuxie-medicating time, so I missed the first couple of hours, unfortunately, but I still had a really fun time. I enjoyed helping break things down and cleaning up and got to chat with some of the band and D's friends at the end. Most fun I've had in a long time. It was glorious.

Also glorious were the peach melba bonbon's that just came in the mail from the most generous and talented chef [personal profile] minoanmiss. <3 OMG, they were yummy and it's astonishing how quickly they disappeared! Those sweets made up for a really frustrating week of customer service annoyances, scam artist encounters, foot aches, and such draws on my time and energy, and together with the spring-like weather today in my beautiful town and purring kitties, life is good.

And thank you to everyone who gave me suggestions on getting a new cellphone a while back. I got an iPhone 7 Plus I am happy with. if you'd like to call or text me, please send me a PM or email and I'll give you the number.

Lots more to tell, but time for bed. Goodnight!
lavendertook: bingo walking away (leaving)
( May. 9th, 2017 10:05 pm)
The intersection where I got hit by a car is listed on the map in this article on pedestrian hits in DC in the WaPo today. One of the smaller dots, but there. 2nd and G Streets NW. Not quite the way I'd want to be in the newspaper, but at least it's not a counting among obituaries, so there's that. It's dangerous stepping out your front door, Frodo.

Hi! I took off work today due to feeling run down. My knee and the whole leg and foot have been hurty lately, so the accident is still reminding me it happened. Lots has been going on here, good and bad, and I keep wishing I'd post more here. I will keep trying.
lavendertook: (sleepy reader)
( Feb. 15th, 2017 08:05 pm)
I was supposed to go into HQ today, but I came down with a bug last night, so fed the cats in the morning, called my supervisor, and slept until early afternoon. Then I teleworked for a few hours with my organic space heater Tuxie scrunched next to me on the couch, and Moo not far away. I've been getting sick a lot the last several weeks with weakness, aches, and runny nose, but this one comes with a low fever and chills, just to be extra-special. Being able to telework and kitties make it better, though. I cancelled my breast MRI appt for tomorrow and rescheduled it for next week--good plan since my fever has been inching up a little all day. I plan to sleep a little later tomorrow and then telework, depending on what the fever decides to do.

Everyday the news is filled with new horrors. The road to impeaching Buttercup is opening up, but what will come behind him isn't any better--it's whether you want your horrors chaotically broadcasted, or slower, quieter horrors.

There have been ICE raids in Highlandtown, Baltimore--the agents wear jackets saying police, which is so misleading--and there was a big protest on Sunday, but I wasn't up to going,and probably won't be up for the ones coming up. But as my friend P says, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so there will, unfortunately, be plenty more opportunities to help, and every week is a good week to call one's legislators (unless you live in DC and don't get any representation, so you are pretty screwed). My state is kind of awesome. Go Attorney General Frosh! Go Maryland!

Sorry I haven't been posting much--I want to post more pics, but most of what I have to say lately isn't uplifting. Except for my fluffy cats! Go cats!
lavendertook: (Default)
( Nov. 6th, 2016 08:37 pm)
Our leaves peaked Friday and are past peak today. So there's as much brown and bare as color now, but there's still a lot of color and green still yet to turn. It's been a beautiful week here. This pic is from 2 weeks ago:

DSCN5567

Cats: Tuxie is doing well. I succeeded in doing 2 blood glucose curves on him a couple of weeks back--the first day was really high, but he was just getting over whatever digestive upset he had--whether it was from a lot of bad food or a virus. The next day, his values were very normal and his tests at the vet went well, except for raised pancreatic values, like me and Moo had. I need to start spot checking him, but I wanted his ears to recover from the pin cushion I had made of them. It's been great to see him climbing both cat trees again and he's been a cuddle bun. Moo is still being a painfully slow eater who I have to monitor for a good hour or so in the morning and evening so her food doesn't get devoured by the Tuxie monster--good thing they're cute.

Health: I had a tooth pulled and just got the sutures out yesterday. In 3 weeks I'll have an implant put in. I'm on celebrex for my foot and pinched neck nerve pain. I've had a couple of podiatrist appointments, am sleeping with a night splint on my left foot, which is helping, and getting orthotics made. More appointments to go. The neuropathy in my left arm from the pinched neck nerve is still troublesome, but the celebrex is helping with the pain some. Unless it gets a lot better in the next couple of weeks, I'll probably need to do some traction therapy for it this winter to try to stretch the neck discs some, after I get through with the dentist and podiatrist. I'm just not sure what that's going to require time-wise and whether I'll have enough work leave time for it. The hot flash and anxiety problems are ongoing.

I met up with a science fiction meet-up group for lunch at the Museum of the American Indians cafe in DC. I had my first fry bread, but it wasn't hot, so not that good--will have to get fresher fry bread sometime. I even had breakfast at Denny's that morning for my full Thomas-Builds-the-Fire experience, but driving into DC made me nervous, and my anxiety level was a little high to make the day fun, what with the election and my personal chemistry. There were beautiful beaded clips in the gift shop that made me think of [livejournal.com profile] deluxvivens. I've been thinking of her quite a bit lately. I really miss her. Walks in the autumn beauty and framing pics of it, snuggling cats, and good novels remain the best medicine for me. And watching SNL election skits online really helps.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/211499.html with comment count unavailablecomments
lavendertook: (Default)
( Nov. 6th, 2016 08:37 pm)
Our leaves peaked Friday and are past peak today. So there's as much brown and bare as color now, but there's still a lot of color and green still yet to turn. It's been a beautiful week here. This pic is from 2 weeks ago:

DSCN5567

Cats: Tuxie is doing well. I succeeded in doing 2 blood glucose curves on him a couple of weeks back--the first day was really high, but he was just getting over whatever digestive upset he had--whether it was from a lot of bad food or a virus. The next day, his values were very normal and his tests at the vet went well, except for raised pancreatic values, like me and Moo had. I need to start spot checking him, but I wanted his ears to recover from the pin cushion I had made of them. It's been great to see him climbing both cat trees again and he's been a cuddle bun. Moo is still being a painfully slow eater who I have to monitor for a good hour or so in the morning and evening so her food doesn't get devoured by the Tuxie monster--good thing they're cute.

Health: I had a tooth pulled and just got the sutures out yesterday. In 3 weeks I'll have an implant put in. I'm on celebrex for my foot and pinched neck nerve pain. I've had a couple of podiatrist appointments, am sleeping with a night splint on my left foot, which is helping, and getting orthotics made. More appointments to go. The neuropathy in my left arm from the pinched neck nerve is still troublesome, but the celebrex is helping with the pain some. Unless it gets a lot better in the next couple of weeks, I'll probably need to do some traction therapy for it this winter to try to stretch the neck discs some, after I get through with the dentist and podiatrist. I'm just not sure what that's going to require time-wise and whether I'll have enough work leave time for it. The hot flash and anxiety problems are ongoing.

I met up with a science fiction meet-up group for lunch at the Museum of the American Indians cafe in DC. I had my first fry bread, but it wasn't hot, so not that good--will have to get fresher fry bread sometime. I even had breakfast at Denny's that morning for my full Thomas-Builds-the-Fire experience, but driving into DC made me nervous, and my anxiety level was a little high to make the day fun, what with the election and my personal chemistry. There were beautiful beaded clips in the gift shop that made me think of [livejournal.com profile] deluxvivens. I've been thinking of her quite a bit lately. I really miss her. Walks in the autumn beauty and framing pics of it, snuggling cats, and good novels remain the best medicine for me. And watching SNL election skits online really helps.

Tuxie and his little shaved leg.

TUXIE

Tuxie is doing lots better. When he first came home after 3 nights at the emergency clinic 2 weeks ago, he was so full of love, he nuzzled me for hours--he's usually more of a rub against your legs or a short rub to your hand if he's liking being petted, but if he could have purred himself into my pores he would have, he wanted to be so close. He rubbed on Moo as if she was Saki, and got hisses to back off, then she came up and snuffled his face, so it was OK. He's since gotten back to his usual more self-contained sweet self.

The great thing is his neuropathy has reversed. He's walking totally on his toes and jumping into the bathroom window and on the sunroom cat tree like he hasn't in almost 2 years, which is wonderful to see. He's still looking interestedly at the kitty condo in the living room without jumping on it, so I don't know if his neuropathy is all the way better, but it's something. The vet lowered his insulin dose when I saw him the week before, and we'll see if it can be reduced further when we see the vet this week. I don't know if he's going into full remission, or just will be able to be on a small dose of insulin from now on--I'm sure hoping for remission. So the seizure may be due to having been able to get the carbs out of his diet a few weeks ago, but we can't know for sure without doing a brain MRI, which involves anesthesia, which I'm not willing to put him through, anytime soon at least. He's on an anti-seizure pill I give him twice a day for 3 months--he loves pill pockets, so it's easy.

I got a pet glucosemeter, lancets, and test strips, so if he ever has another seizure, I'll know if he is hypo- or hyperglycemic, and know whether he needs insulin or a sugar source, so I don't make the same mistake I made this time that made things worse. I got a lesson on using it at the vet, but I have some reading up to do on how to set it up still--bleh.

Read more... )
lavendertook: (Default)
( Aug. 31st, 2016 02:28 am)
I had a mammogram this morning and it went well with no abnormalities. So I had a great day off work celebrating, until I came home this evening to find Tuxie having a seizure in a corner. I worked with him a while (I did the right thing in giving him Karo syrup dabs, but the wrong thing in giving him his evening insulin dose--I am not well enough versed in diabetes care). I got him eating well and I thought we were out of the woods, but then he face planted in his food and had another seizure, so we are at the emergency clinic. They gave him some dextrose and got his blood glucose levels normal. He will be OK--I will probably need to leave him until tomorrow for monitoring--I'm waiting for the doctor to brief me. I am very glad he did not die on the way to this clinic like Saki did 11 months ago--when we got to the stop light and I saw him move I shouted with joy. It's going on 3 am so I canceled my 8 am dental cleaning. So tired. Not sure how much teleworking I will do tomorrow--glad I have some leave hours saved up. Oh, my poor little boy.
lavendertook: (Default)
( Aug. 27th, 2016 09:32 pm)
For the last 20+ years that I've been walking around Greenbelt Lake, more often than not there has been one Great Blue heron about. I think for many years it may have been the same one. A year or so back it wasn't around much, and since then we've had a smaller more rumpled looking one around. Now it's been joined by a Great Egret. A regular I see by the lake said he's seen 3 of the egrets, But so far I've only seen the one.


Great Egret (for some reason this pic isn't showing up on DW--link on the link to LJ below to see it)
Read more... )
lavendertook: (Default)
( Aug. 13th, 2016 12:53 pm)
I'm feeling lonely and unmotivated even though I have so much to do. All I really want to do these days when home is to sit and read novels beside purring cats. I don't give myself enough permission to just do that. Tuxie is sleeping next to me--he's gotten to be my constant snoozy lefthand fuzzy attachment whenever I sit the past year since Saki died, and I am lucky to have him and appreciate what good company he is. He and Moo are very good and easy companions. Except I worry because they sleep too much even for cats and I worry if I should be doing more to try to get them a little more active. It's been a couple of years since either climbed the cat trees at all and they jump up on very little. But my perceptions of how active cats should be may be skewed by having grown up with siamese cats who tend to be a little more active, and these guys are 10 and 11 years old. Do ya'll worry about your pet parenting? Gotta learn to let go of what I can't control and solve (snoozy cats gonna snooze), and be easy on me and give me some love.

I cancelled going to a scifi meet up luncheon in DC this afternoon due to the excessive heat today and expensive parking. And I have so much clean up to do around the house--the more I get done the happier I will feel so I'm going to concentrate on that. One pile at a time. Go through papers. Throw things out--make my habitat something I can feel good in--and when I accomplish that, get back to making and studying and creating. I feel so boring.

July and August so far have been mega-hot, which is extra hard because of the anti-cancer med I'm on and will be for 2 more years, then I hope will be better--yes. And it's been a time filled with Trumphobia, which has felt like the nightmare where you are running but are getting slower and slower as if you're going through molasses and IT's getting closer--I know so many of us are sharing the same nightmare feeling. But that has been easing up the past weeks with the polls. Nate Silver's blog is my Happy Place. It's been a tough month on so many of my friends.

I can't wait until late September when walks will become a joy again. Just a couple more weeks. Spring and autumn, those are my seasons.

I had the yearly thyroid ultrasound on Thursday, and will see the endocrinologist in 2 weeks with hopes that my thyroid nodules have not grown. We've been monitoring this for 2 years and so far so good. Doctors visits make me nervous since the breast precancer diagnosis--I hope I can go back to them being routine sooner than later. My spirits are more down than up, but this is a year of grief and recovery from health problems, trauma, and family losses. Next year will be better, right?

I saw my first monarch butterfly of the season yesterday by the lake. I went back last night and looked up my Verid entries. Remember Verid the monarch and the adventures she took me on? If you didn't know me in 2012, you might like these pics and stories. I still have good caterpillar and chrysalis pics of her I never uploaded. I will have to download them from the back up drive sometime and post.

I listen to NPR radio a lot. The weekend NPR shows that used to delight or interest me make me more often anxious the last couple of years. Is it me (a glass of water makes you anxious, child), or the stories they are telling? Anyone else having this problem? Will talk about the couple of movies and books I've enjoyed lately in another post.

OK, off to get Things Done. I hope this weekend is treating you all well. *hugs my flist*
OK, now I'm just being existentially trolled. Yesterday, when I was putting the sun room back in order, I noticed my finger was feeling stiff, and saw it was swollen and purple and red. I don't recall hitting it or bending it wrong. The stiffness went away in short order, and it never hurt, but it's still purple and red now.

It is, of course, my middle finger. Very cute existential demons, very cute--laugh away.

I expect it is just a burst blood vessel--what I googled doesn't seem at all alarming. So I'm not going to worry about it unless it starts hurting, turns green, starts singing "Daisy", or doesn't resolve in a couple of days. Anyone else have this happen?

Weird. And just . . . enough already, OK? O_o

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/199445.html with comment count unavailablecomments
OK, now I'm just being existentially trolled. Yesterday, when I was putting the sun room back in order, I noticed my finger was feeling stiff, and saw it was swollen and purple and red. I don't recall hitting it or bending it wrong. The stiffness went away in short order, and it never hurt, but it's still purple and red now.

It is, of course, my middle finger. Very cute existential demons, very cute--laugh away.

I expect it is just a burst blood vessel--what I googled doesn't seem at all alarming. So I'm not going to worry about it unless it starts hurting, turns green, starts singing "Daisy", or doesn't resolve in a couple of days. Anyone else have this happen?

Weird. And just . . . enough already, OK? O_o
They kept moving around my uncle's surgery day, but he got through his surgery well this afternoon, and I talked briefly to him this evening. That's a relief. And my cold is finally moving on, and my lower leg is feeling better, too.

Last Sunday, [personal profile] mererid took me to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, sort of a mix of a botanical garden and a zoo. We only walked around a little more than half of it, but still saw a lot. My favorite critter viewing was of those who hung around free outside the enclosures, like this hummingbird:



Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/192637.html with comment count unavailablecomments
They kept moving around my uncle's surgery day, but he got through his surgery well this afternoon, and I talked briefly to him this evening. That's a relief. And my cold is finally moving on, and my lower leg is feeling better, too.

Last Sunday, [personal profile] mererid took me to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, sort of a mix of a botanical garden and a zoo. We only walked around a little more than half of it, but still saw a lot. My favorite critter viewing was of those who hung around free outside the enclosures, like this hummingbird:



Read more... )
I had a great trip for a couple of days visiting my awesome and lovely best friend[personal profile] mererid. She picked me up in Phoenix and drove me down to Tucson to stay with her and her excellent partner R and their exuberant and well-coddled quaker parrot, Baby. Sunday we drove into the Tucson Mountains southwest of town to the Tucson Desert Museum.



There we saw nicely landscaped local flora, and fauna in enclosures, but I especially enjoyed seeing the fauna not in enclosures, and I'll show you lots more pics in another post. My hobbit dolls had fun there, too. We also drove around some of the neighborhoods of Tucson and its signature murals.

Read more... )

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/192048.html with comment count unavailablecomments
I had a great trip for a couple of days visiting my awesome and lovely best friend[personal profile] mererid. She picked me up in Phoenix and drove me down to Tucson to stay with her and her excellent partner R and their exuberant and well-coddled quaker parrot, Baby. Sunday we drove into the Tucson Mountains southwest of town to the Tucson Desert Museum.



There we saw nicely landscaped local flora, and fauna in enclosures, but I especially enjoyed seeing the fauna not in enclosures, and I'll show you lots more pics in another post. My hobbit dolls had fun there, too. We also drove around some of the neighborhoods of Tucson and its signature murals.

Read more... )
lavendertook: (moon sailing)
( Oct. 28th, 2015 08:48 pm)
I have a breast MRI tomorrow to keep track of those pesky calcifications.

Please wish me luck.

That's me--bringing the fun, always.
Thank you for all the well wishes on my post form last night--I so appreciate it. <3

Saki got through the surgery well--it was a very large wide ranging thyroid mass he took out and everything seemed to be going perfectly when closed her up, but when he took out the breathing tube she started to turn blue, so they put it back in, and the same thing happened later--the arytenoid cartilage in her larynx was not opening, so he put temp sutures in to keep it open.

It got pretty hard to telework as the afternoon went on and they couldn't tell me anything, so I had to stop early and take PTO. A, my downstairs neighbor dropped by for a little while for morale support, which was very sweet and was there when I got the call with the bad news. The vet office told me I could come in at 5 and be with her, so I did. Her breathing was very labored while I stood with her in the hospital a few hours last night, but got better except when coughing up fluid, and her vitals were all good, so I was able to take her home last night, instead of taking her to the emergency clinic for the night.

She is coughing up less now. She had been frustratedly trying to drink and kicking her drinking cups around during the night, and can't drink, so it's affecting the complicated cat drinking mechanism. She started to do a little better when I syringed her water this morning, so I brought her in for subcutaneous fluids today and they took out her catheter, that they left in if she had a crisis last night, so at least we're past that. I'm giving her pain meds every 7-8 hours--that may be affecting her ability to swallow as well, I suspect. She licked a little food, but that's all, but the doc didn't expect her to want to eat this weekend if all had went well. I am continuing to syringe her when she is wakeful to keep her throat from drying.

Monday I take her in and the doc will try to remove her laryngeal sutures, and we find out if it is temp paralysis from the anesthesia or swelling, or if it's perm laryngeal paralysis from nerve damage from the surgery. With the sutures in she can breathe, but she can't drink. So if it's perm, then I'll need to put her down and not make her drag on miserably. The doc has never had this happen before from this surgery.

She meowed weakly on the way home again today from the vet, which was such a heartening surprise that made me blubber--I didn't think she would be able to, so maybe her throat is healing. She does seem to be able to move her tongue a little better when the pain meds--buprenorphine-- are wearing off. This is hopeful. I'm continuing giving her syringes of water when she is wakeful to help her dry throat. But we are so in the woods right now, and my worst nightmare about the surgery is happening and she may be going through all this suffering for nothing instead of dying peacefully while under anesthesia. But maybe we'll get that miracle and she'll pull through to better times.

I'm sleeping on the futon couch in the living room to be with her, since she hasn't been liking sleeping in bed for a few of months now despite pet steps, and she seems to appreciate the closeness--she's been staying close and following me when I have to get up. She is getting around fine and peed in her box when we got home from the vet today, so that was good to see. So we wait and see and stay close all weekend and hope on a miracle on Monday. Moo and Tuxie have so far been excellent and are giving Saki her space. I think they understand the gravity of what we're dealing with and I'm very appreciative.

Please keep those good wishes for us coming--they're very needed.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/182488.html with comment count unavailablecomments
Tags:
Thank you for all the well wishes on my post form last night--I so appreciate it. <3

Saki got through the surgery well--it was a very large wide ranging thyroid mass he took out and everything seemed to be going perfectly when closed her up, but when he took out the breathing tube she started to turn blue, so they put it back in, and the same thing happened later--the arytenoid cartilage in her larynx was not opening, so he put temp sutures in to keep it open.

It got pretty hard to telework as the afternoon went on and they couldn't tell me anything, so I had to stop early and take PTO. A, my downstairs neighbor dropped by for a little while for morale support, which was very sweet and was there when I got the call with the bad news. The vet office told me I could come in at 5 and be with her, so I did. Her breathing was very labored while I stood with her in the hospital a few hours last night, but got better except when coughing up fluid, and her vitals were all good, so I was able to take her home last night, instead of taking her to the emergency clinic for the night.

She is coughing up less now. She had been frustratedly trying to drink and kicking her drinking cups around during the night, and can't drink, so it's affecting the complicated cat drinking mechanism. She started to do a little better when I syringed her water this morning, so I brought her in for subcutaneous fluids today and they took out her catheter, that they left in if she had a crisis last night, so at least we're past that. I'm giving her pain meds every 7-8 hours--that may be affecting her ability to swallow as well, I suspect. She licked a little food, but that's all, but the doc didn't expect her to want to eat this weekend if all had went well. I am continuing to syringe her when she is wakeful to keep her throat from drying.

Monday I take her in and the doc will try to remove her laryngeal sutures, and we find out if it is temp paralysis from the anesthesia or swelling, or if it's perm laryngeal paralysis from nerve damage from the surgery. With the sutures in she can breathe, but she can't drink. So if it's perm, then I'll need to put her down and not make her drag on miserably. The doc has never had this happen before from this surgery.

She meowed weakly on the way home again today from the vet, which was such a heartening surprise that made me blubber--I didn't think she would be able to, so maybe her throat is healing. She does seem to be able to move her tongue a little better when the pain meds--buprenorphine-- are wearing off. This is hopeful. I'm continuing giving her syringes of water when she is wakeful to help her dry throat. But we are so in the woods right now, and my worst nightmare about the surgery is happening and she may be going through all this suffering for nothing instead of dying peacefully while under anesthesia. But maybe we'll get that miracle and she'll pull through to better times.

I'm sleeping on the futon couch in the living room to be with her, since she hasn't been liking sleeping in bed for a few of months now despite pet steps, and she seems to appreciate the closeness--she's been staying close and following me when I have to get up. She is getting around fine and peed in her box when we got home from the vet today, so that was good to see. So we wait and see and stay close all weekend and hope on a miracle on Monday. Moo and Tuxie have so far been excellent and are giving Saki her space. I think they understand the gravity of what we're dealing with and I'm very appreciative.

Please keep those good wishes for us coming--they're very needed.
Tags:
lavendertook: close up of saki alert (Saki)
( Sep. 29th, 2015 06:48 pm)
Saki's pre-op went well today. X-rays and ultrasounds showed no infiltrates in her lungs, so hopefully the thyroid tumor is an adenoma and not a carcinoma, and her heart looks strong, so we're going to go ahead with the surgery on Friday.




Without surgery, the tumor is likely to grow until it blocks her ability to eat and push on nerves, and perhaps become a carcinoma and metastasize, so it would be a crummy way to go. Anesthesia is never a sure thing especially for an old cat, so I might lose her Friday, or the tumor might come back again, or she might not recover from the surgery and go down, but my doc is good and experienced with this procedure, and he's gotten her this far beyond hope, and says her prognosis is good, that they recover quickly from this kind of surgery, so it's the best option. And if we are truly blessed, it might make her thyroid hormone levels come out normal for the first time in years and she'll get a new lease on life for a couple of years. If she makes it through the surgery, she may come home with a drain, that will come out at her post-op appointment on next Tuesday. I'm hoping I will be allowed to telework Friday through Tuesday so I can keep an eye on her while she has the drain.

I am feeling a little better to get through this first big worrisome hurdle, and I got to see all her inside doings, but Friday is going to be really scary. Please hold us in your thoughts and cross all your digits for us.
Tags:
Pics still from the car on the way to Laramie:


Still in Colorado--here we're approaching the little church at Virginia Dale, CO . . .


. . . and the rocks there, which look a lot like Vedauwoo, for those in the know, and those in the not know, you will see Vedauwoo next post.

Almost across the border . . . )
Here's some more pics from the scenic tour [personal profile] hanarobi wonderfully took [personal profile] shirebound, [livejournal.com profile] mirabile_dictu, and me on to Laramie. All of these pics are still on the Colorado side of the border. Eath and sky are large here.





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Two good things happened this week with SCOTUS supporting ACA and same-sex marriage rights.

Let's make a third good thing with charges being dropped against the brave woman who took down the confederate flag, for a start on this one. Go here to sign petition. Yay to civil disobedience when the laws are wrong.
lavendertook: (2015)
( Jan. 1st, 2015 09:24 pm)
Happy New Year, my friends!!!

DSCN3303

Today, I started the new year off right and went on a day hike with an lgbt hiking group from Riverbend Park, VA down to Great Falls on the Potomac River, pictured above. So beautiful. It was 5 or 6 miles and my knee is feeling it, but it was a beautiful day for it. I've been wanting to go on a hike with this group for a while, but they're usually longer and more challenging than I can yet handle. This was about my limit for now. There was a slight ocean scent on the breeze off the river--I never made it to the beach last year, so that was a very welcome scent.

Last night, I went over to [personal profile] synecdochic and [personal profile] sarah's party. We watched a vid of Into the Woods with Bernadette Peters, ate the wonderful foods, including buttery choco chip cookies they made, I met the famous Ginnycat,, and had a really wonderful time, but left before midnight, because I was up at 5:30 am.

So I've been more social this new year's than I've been in many months. I'm very glad I got out last night and today. This has been fun. Much cleaning, chores, and finishing of getting cards out the next 3 days. Of course, there will be walks, a swim, much cat hugging, and perhaps another BoFA viewing, if I can fit it in. Then the first day of my new job on Monday.

I am surrounded by snoring cats, and the sleep waves are heavy in the air . . .
lavendertook: (meezer fishbait)
( Oct. 25th, 2014 10:25 pm)
I'm going to catch up with everything outside of work the last couple of months in this entry. I'll save work stuff for another entry. So, outside of work, besides adjusting to the new work schedule, with my new normal of body maintenance tasks, the last 2 months have brought more challenges, which is why I've been so scarce here. I've really missed sharing stuff with ya'll, but I'm working hard on trying to get enough sleep to keep me healthy and I just keep running out of time each evening.

CAT HEALTH

Tuxie was losing weight this summer and he needed to, but it was faster than his diet could probably account for, and I was worried about him. He was diagnosed with diabetes the end of August, so along with Saki's usual maintenance runs, I've been at the vets more weekends than not the last 2 months. He is doing well now on the insulin and diabetes diet food. It was very hard in the beginning because I was terrified of sticking him with the needle, and our practice session at the vets was rough on him, but it's easy on both of us now. He is doing really well, has gained back some weight, and looks filled out again. In fact, he seems to enjoy the whole needle ritual--he's just that kind of boy. I give him a sprig of catnip with it, so that helps. He is mostly liking the special diet food, and with any luck we might get him into remission in the coming months.

More whinging and stuff yonder . . . )
. . . try your luck . . . try your luck . . .

So I've been doing lots of research on my post-lumpectomy diagnosis of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which is a heavier dose of the atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) I was diagnosed with in August. It is not invasive cancer, though its presence increases my risk of that developing. I may never develop invasive cancer. If I do one day, it is almost as likely to pop up in either breast. It could take the form of lobular cancer like my mom has, or the more common ductal cancer. There just hasn't been enough research on this uncommon condition for them to know. And I doubt there will be much more in my lifetime--that's not where the diminishing research money is going to go. There's no telling--it seems to be much more of a wild card than having the BRCA gene, which I thankfully do not have. Hopefully, after I reach saturation on the info, which I think I"m approaching, I'll start getting back more to what passes for normal life and not be all-cancer-all-the-time, but right now it's still all consuming and overwhelming.

I've gotten over being mad at my surgeon for seeming cut-happy to me in not presenting prophylactic bilateral mastectomy as a more aggressive course than is normally recommended, and presenting my odds, my cancer risk, on the high side, when the data is really unreliable. Enter the Cancer Casino. Six month diagnostic monitoring and a regimen of hormone therapy (tamoxifen, Evista, or Arimidex pills) is the usual course for LCIS at present and lowers your risk by more than half. Some women and trans men with my diagnosis do choose the prophylactic bilateral mastectomy option as best for them, which reduces your risk to less than an average woman without risk factors, and if it stopped being recommended for this condition, then they couldn't get it covered by insurance, so it's important that it remains an option as viable for this condition.

But it's not the choice for me right now. Though my odds might be 50/50 in developing cancer, the odds of developing chronic pain from a mastectomy is over 12%, and much, much higher if you choose reconstruction, along with big risks of surgical complications down the road, like 30-65%, and if that happened to me, the pain would be compounded with regret that I had a chance to have not gone through that and maybe never have developed cancer either, and I brought this pain on myself, because that really is how I roll--I know it.

My thoughts on reconstruction surgery come from my liminal spot on the trans and cis spectrum, and my thoughts on cutting one's body to suit cultural concepts of what your gendered body should look like and interrogating your internalized perceptions, including the Hollywood industry's impact on people everywhere on the continuum, so it's complicated. Mastectomy includes the loss of an erogenous zone for me--that is not a negligible thing to this old sex radical--no reconstruction work can return that to you once the nerve connection is severed, not in my life time or the next generation's, I suspect. I value that as an intrinsic part of my bodily existence. Again, this bodily experience isn't universal among women, but my experience is not unique, and it should matter to more women than I see in articles and forums--it should matter to more people discussing mastectomies who supposedly take the sexual experience of women seriously and like to castigate cultures that are not their own for practicing clitoradectomies.
Read more... )
lavendertook: (gwaihir over misty mountains)
( Mar. 31st, 2013 12:34 am)
We finally got full sunshine today, and the buds on the trees are starting to open, so it finally feels like the first day of spring. That helps. We're definitely 2 weeks behind on spring now, after winter coming over a month early, so it's been quite a slog this year.

The vet was supposed to call me today about a question I had concerning Saki's medicine dosage, and never did. This definitely isn't working out. I feel so let down by every end of the medical establishment at this point. Infrastructure? Just not working here. Surprised? No. I lost my dad to surgery and poor aftercare, so am familiar with this tune.

As I have a lot of hunting among reviews to do yet, and yelp.com hasn't worked out too well for me, I was wondering if any of you have used Angie's List and found it helpful? Have you found any other review source for veterinary, medical, and dental providers useful that you could suggest?



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Read more... )



Greenbelt Lake, 10-12
One great Blue Heron has been living on the lake since I came to this town 19 years ago. I don't know if this is the same one I've seen every year, but it just may be. I call hir Dinosaur and greet hir with this name whenever we meet. Another Great Blue visited with hir a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't seen the second one since, though ze might be around.
Dr. K called with test results yesterday, and as we suspected, Saki's thyroid is rocketing, which can explain all the symptoms she has right now, so the advice was to go up on her thyroid meds. I do like everything about her approach that I'm picking up from what she says and how she reacts. I think I've got a good medical guide for Saki now, and that is a big relief for her senior years.

The problem now is that going up on the thyroid med is suppressing Saki's appetite and is wiping her out, and I'm still worried if maybe we're going up a little too fast, so I may need to call back tomorrow. Poor thing has been through a hormonal roller coaster the past 4 months with the prednisolone lowering her thyroid levels and making her miserable, and then her thyroid levels shooting up when we went down to a pred dose she could tolerate. The pred shot her up over a pound and a half, and then with its lowering she's gone down more than 2 and half pounds, which is a lot on her little frame. And it's going to take a while for her thyroid to stabilize, and if the meds suppress her appetite she might lose even more weight, and that's worrisome. And hopefully, she's not having an IBD reaction from the drop in the pred in addition to the thyroid rise. So we're no way out of the woods yet. At least her kidney values look good now, because the rise in blood pressure that comes with hyperthyroidism flushes them out nicely, so her renal disease is in check.

In praise of fatness, I'm really glad Saki started from a point of being a little overweight. If she started from the prescribed weight, she wouldn't have room for a weight drop like this. Yes, being very overweight is generally hard on the body, but I think in more cases than not, being a little overweight from what is considered standard for pets, as well as humans, is actually better for health and shores the body up against the wasting away that is part of advanced aging, and eventually, the medical establishment is going to stop trying to blame obesity for causing conditions where there is no scientific basis and catch up with me. (-;

Here's a portrait of Her Sakiness I took Thursday:

Saki, 3-7-13
It's a bit of a stuffy, William F Buckley, Jr. look for her; she is a much more spritely, sunny, and loving person than this pic might suggest. But I love how her nose is shining in it. And luckily, she likes that nose being pet. If you gently run a finger down her nose, it will be licked and nuzzled.

And let's try another angle . . . )
Tags:
I'm starting to feel better today, so the antibiotic ear drops are doing their job. Tomorrow everything should be covered in white--forecasters have just upped the number of inches we should expect, so it's definitely coming. It might be a good day to bake, if the power holds.

The pics below are from around the lake last October, before Hurricane Sandy yanked all our colors away. So here is a memory of bright colors to contemplate on a snow blown day:

10-12 Fall colors

Follow the memory of falling leaves . . . )
lavendertook: (pink crabapple blossoms)
( Mar. 4th, 2013 11:17 pm)
Crocus.3-8-10
I took this pic 3 years ago. The lawn full of crocuses across the street are all in bud and ready to open, and maybe they'll get to do that at the end of the week after the storm comes through.

Since last summer I've been having repeated ear infections that have all resolved in 2 weeks, until now. This one started February 17th, right before I had a job interview followed by a day of jury duty, and then at the end of that week I had a marathon cleaning day and applying of flea treatment because Brigit left us with some fleas, the initial treatment last month didn't work, and we were all getting bit up--that was a woman of steel week, but I think I have mostly gotten rid of the fleas. So, I'm going into the 3rd week now of this ear ache, and the pain and worry got to me today, and I'm starting to feel sicker overall, so I went to a walk-in clinic to get it checked out and got some antibiotic ear drops. I've got an infected ear canal, but nothing worse, luckily. I liked the PA I saw and I was in and out in an hour and a half, so not bad.

I also did some vet calls today because Saki is losing too much weight since we reduced the steroid level she was on for Inflammatory bowel disease/small cell lymphoma. I still don't have full faith in this vet, and am still waiting for a call back, but in the meantime I scheduled a consultation at the vet I took Brigit to and found I really liked the doctor, and the receptionists knew what they were doing as well. One of the receptionists at the one I'm going to now drives me nuts, and did not pass on my message to the vet on Friday. Anyway, a second opinion on Saki's course of treatment would be really useful at this point in any event, and I can decide afterward if I want to switch vets. Saki is all spunky as normal and eating well, but she's a pound lighter than she was now before she started the prednisolone, which initially blew her up 2 lbs and made her feel cruddy. I'm thinking it may be time to try her on chlorambucil, but we'll see what each vet has to say. I'm worried about my little woobie.

So a big getting health in order day today before the storm moves in tomorrow night. Hopefully, I'll sleep a little better tonight, and get well for dealing with what needs to be done for my Saki.
lavendertook: saki scritched under the chin looking sideways at camera (saki's got ur numbah)
( Apr. 18th, 2012 12:06 am)
Saki is home safe and we are so appreciative for all your well wishes!!! Thank you!!! I have the best flist eva!!! *hugs all round*

We came home around 6 pm to a power outage and it was only restored an hour ago, or I would have reported earlier. Saki came home slightly wobbly, unable to hold up her heavy eyelids, but strung out and unable to sleep, hungry, thirsty, purry, and loving everyone like a happy little drunk. I say the last, because, usually, the kitty home from the vet tries to avoid the hazing scrutiny of her furry room mates, but Saki was eager to greet and touch Moo and Tuxie and spread the punch-drunk love. I had to withhold food and keep her to a small portion until tomorrow. I'm not sure if it was the post-anesthesia or pain killer that left her restless. Here's her sweet little, closed-eyed, strung-out self:


More pics and report here . . . )
Tags:
I took Saki to the vet for a dental cleaning this morning, and to get a microchip while anesthetized, talked a while with a sister feral carer in the waiting room, and then heard on the radio that the space shuttle Discovery was presently making its passes over DC. So I drove on to the highest hill I know of in Greenbelt that has a bit of a view of the city, as I had been thinking of doing yesterday, and met an elderly couple there who were watching for it. Just as I got out of the car, we saw the piggyback shuttle on the back of the plane passing over the city at 10:15 am and making its turn towards Dulles. Actually, what I saw was a big white thing in the sky in the distance, but yay I saw it! That was indeed a lucky catch. Here's a BBC article on it. I was able to hear the plane carrying it, too.

I need the good luck vibes. I'm a scared mess over Saki going under anesthesia today. I didn't used to be this fretful, but I woke up with frightful thoughts of Saki dying under anesthesia, and was terrified when the phone rang a few minutes ago, which was just a call from the mail carrier. So please wish her luck.

Saki is doing fine--she's her loveable, social 13 1/2 year old self, full of a thousand winsome sounds and gestures. She asked for a vigorous game of foot fight yesterday and jumped into the bathroom window this morning from the edge of the bathtub, which is a good leap I haven't seen her do in a while. It's just that she's balancing hyperthyroidism and kidney disease. Her creatinine was up at the upper edge of normal last month and I've been fretting over her health, giving her lots of multivitamin and omega fatty acid treats, and enticing her to drink more, in addition to the thyroid pill and kidney diet I've had her on for a while. I think the glucosamine treats I'm also giving her daily must be helping, since she did that good leap this morning. She's so easy to pill, thanks to duck flavored pill pockets that she adores--she gobbled her amoxicillin I've had to give her the last 2 days before the dental cleaning right down in pill pocket portions, and it's a nasty smelling pill, so those pill pockets and Saki's love for them is quite a blessing. And her weight is staying stable--yay for her not minding sitting on the scale a couple of times a week.

She's been trying to get out the door to explore the hallway lately, since last time I took her to the vets and let her run up the stairs, and though we're on a second floor with an inside hallway, I decided to go ahead and get her microchipped while under anesthesia today. So Saki is becoming a cyborg today. Let's hope Discovery is passing the technological torch to Saki for a safe go under anesthesia. I'd appreciate it so much if you held her in your thoughts this afternoon.


My friend Cathy knits alpaca catnip-filled mice and sent one to Saki in February. As you can see, my 13 1/2 year old kitten absolutely loves this mouse. She holds it sometimes when she sleeps in her bun bed next to me on the sofa. (-:
I've been down with a cold the past week--sore spotty throat, congestion, and tiredness, though I think it was incubating for at least a week beforehand. Then my immune system decided to launch a lightning strike on the micro-aggressors and lifted my temperature almost 5 degrees F--from 97.8 to 102.2--in a little more than the space of a half hour early last evening--thanks guys for the fun ride!
Ride to ruin, and the world's ending, and a red, runny nose . . . )
lavendertook: (rainy stream)
( Mar. 8th, 2011 09:51 pm)
Wonton soup, fried rice, and spare ribs hit the spot so well tonight after yesterday's fasting. I got hit with some awful bug, or maybe food poisoning--fever, chills, throwing up, the works--on Thursday. I thought it had lifted Saturday morning only to have it come back with a vengeance that evening, and Sunday, not sure what was going on, but sure my digestive track still wasn't working right, and I wasn't ready for a job interview Monday. So I rescheduled for Wed, fasted all yesterday--the biologic equivalent of pressing the off button to reset this whole damn errant machine, and it seems to have worked and I'm better today. Yay!!! Saki and Tuxie took good care of me all the time I was abed sick--Saki holding my head with velvet paws and a musical rumble, and Tuxie tucked in my arms against my chest and tummy.

So another editing job interview tomorrow-- wish me luck!
What's been happening the last month )
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