Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Review

Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2 by Annie Proulx.

I would have sworn on my life I've reviewed this book already.....this was my second time reading it. I really enjoy her writing-she just has a way of telling a story that sucks me right in. This is another of her short story collections-set in Elk Tooth, Wyoming. She really makes the characters (and fictional Elk Tooth) come alive.

Read it!

Poor pitiful Pearl

Last night when I was trying to sleep, my mind started playing the poor me game.

"Poor me! Why do I have to live with this acid reflux? Why me? Why do I have to give up all the things I love?"

Then I started thinking about my mother and my sister, and all that they went through the last years of their lives. Strokes, seizures, brain surgery, chemo, wheelchairs, etc....

And now I'm over it. I'll do the best I can to get it under control, and in the meantime, I should thank my lucky stars that I really do have my health. Acid reflux is not life threatening. Inconvenient as hell, yes. But manageable.

RIP

Billy Mays
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Review

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I love books where the heroine is crazier than me! By the author of Dark Places, this is another book you will be unable to put down.

The story of a reporter investigating the murders of 2 young girls in her home town, and how they tie in to her family and her past-it will leave you guessing until the very end.

I read this book straight through on our drive home from California, and when I found myself hoping she would write a sequel.

Warning-if you're a cutter, this may trigger you.

Book Review

Mr. Monk goes to Germany by Lee Goldberg

If I remember correctly, this book was written by the writer of the show. I love the show, but this book was very......flat. It's not that it was badly written, it just didn't ring true.

First off, it's written from a woman's perspective-and not a lot of men can pull that off.

Second, certain actions or phrases that would be funny if actually viewed do not come across that well in a book. It was like reading a script.

Skip it.

Book Review

Courtney Love: The Real Story by Poppy Z. Brite

I adore Courtney Love, I really do. I know, I know-she killed Kurt, she's a drug addict, blah blah blah. Whatever. You have to hand it to her-she knew what she wanted, and she got it. You have to admire her for that.

I learned quite a few interesting facts about Ms. Love after reading this book. Such as, she was a trust fund baby. And that she had Frances Bean taken away from her twice. Poor Bi-polar, drug addicted Courtney. She's like us, but with money.

If you're interested in her, you will enjoy this book.

(I have been slacking in the book review department, so I'm REALLY relying on memory, which is kind of shot right now-but I'll do my best)

Say what?

The last week of my life is one big blur. I don't know what kind of medicine they gave me last Friday, but the days leading up to the procedure as well as the days after are very foggy and jumbled in my head.

And even with double dosing the Nexium, my chest and throat are still on fire. I'm bitchy, foggy, frustrated, tired, and in pain.

How's that for a Monday?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vacation

We had a really nice time visiting Oldest and his family. I wasn't able to socialize as much as I would have liked with my daughter-in-law's family, but I'm afraid of my own shadow so no surprise there.

We played with the kids-





Bow and arrow courtesy of Grandpa Hubbs-which is what I called him all weekend. I started very young, so we're very young Grandparents. I found it hilarious.

Went to the beach-











The beauty of always holding the camera is that I rarely get my picture taken!

Barbecued-





And Youngest got his first lesson from a vocal coach-





Oldest in his studio-Smell This! Studios



Oldest is so talented, and is very much in demand. It was hard for him to take a few days off, but he needed it just as much as we needed to spend time with him. I'm so proud. He has a great family, and he's on his way to a great career. Warms my heart.

And look at these faces-





They make it all worthwhile!

That was easy!

If you ever have to have an esophageal scope, have no fear. They truly sedate you so much you have no idea whats going on. The last thing I remember is telling the nurse I was concerned about choking on the camera-the next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room asking Hubbs when they were going to start. Then I came home and slept all day.

They found no damage from the acid reflux, and saw no physical defect that is causing all the pain. He did say he wanted me to wear some sort of acid monitoring thing for 24 hours, which involves a tube down my nose-not going to happen. I don't remember too much of the conversation-I'm sure I'll learn more when I go back for my follow up. I just don't see me living with anything down my nose unless I'm heavily sedated.

It's been 3 days since I've made a serious effort to not eat or drink anything that causes me pain, and I'm still in pain. I expect instant results, damn it! Though I must say, it feels good to wake up on a Saturday not completely hung-over!

The guys bought me a sick-day present-a new rose to plant in the backyard. I'm looking forward to having a nice, non-drinking day playing in the dirt.

Update!

Apparently I was pretty loaded-I forgot the doctor took 2 biopsies. I guess the concern is that my acid reflux is caused by spasms-as in maybe I don't need all this medication I've been taking. Maybe I just need a different type? I'll find out more when the biopsies come back.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stop me if you've heard this before.

I saw the acid reflux specialist yesterday, and apparently kind of cutting out my trigger foods/drinks is not good enough. When he asked me about drinking, he said "You need to stop. Now. If we can get this under control then you can cheat occasionally, but for now, stop all your triggers."

So, here we go again with the quitting drinking and smoking. I know it's not a good idea to give up all your vices at once (add chocolate to that list as well) so I'm going to mainly focus on the drinking, and I'm sure the smoking will naturally follow. I shouldn't even say focus, I'm just doing it. I have to. I would rather not get throat cancer because I can't get my damn acid reflux under control. Besides, there are several other benefits-I'm really curious to see how my stomach looks when it's not fighting off the beer bloat. I've been doing abs every day for a month and I don't notice a thing. Hubbs does, but I don't. Anyway-

Tomorrow I get to have an upper endoscopy-you know, the camera down the throat and all? Freaking out a little bit actually. But I guess they sedate you so heavily you don't remember a thing. I'm afraid of the procedure, not the results.

Happy Thursday!

Oh yeah, I'm back to using Twitter. I like to be notified when certain sites have new posts. Call me lazy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I'm baa-ackkkkk

Vacation was wonderful. I'm having a little trouble getting back into the swing of things, but I'd like to post some pics when I get a spare moment.

I canceled my Twitter account. Over it.

And I have an appointment at the digestive health center today for a consult. This acid reflux MUST BE STOPPED!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Goin to California.....

with an achin.....in my heart....

We're going on vacation! Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Randomness

The steaks we had Saturday? The best I have EVER had. I really didn't want the meat to be superior to what I buy at Raley's, but it really was. I ate that whole 10 ounce sirloin too. It was good as HELL. Then I got drunk and danced with my husband all night, so I burned it right back off.

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I feel better today than I have on a Monday in a really long time. Know why? Because I'm SMOKING. God damn cigarettes, I swear. I'm really bummed that I started again after those 6 days off-I have just really lost my mojo. Youngest says I obsess/talk about it more now than I did during those 6 days, and I think he's right. I was more resigned to it then, like it was something I was doing. Anyway, my new quit date AGAIN is next Sunday.

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Hubbs told me this weekend that being married to me is like training a horse-you want them tame but you don't want to break their spirit. I thought that was cute. And very, very true. He has done an excellent job of helping me get rid of my crazies.

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We're going to the beach!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lovely, Lovely Saturday

I love Saturdays. First full day off, with one more to go.

Today we are having our first bbq with our MEAT PACKAGE! winnings. We've asked a friend to house-sit when we go on our trip, so I feel like we owe him an awesome meal. I'll let you know if it really is superior meat.

I am so excited about this damn trip-hanging with Oldest and his family, playing with grandbabies, and-we're going to the beach! I love the beach-when I lived in Oceanside I spent countless hours there. The running joke among my friends was if you can't find Lula, look on the beach. The past several times we've gone while on various vacations the weather was crap, so I'm really looking forward to playing in the sun, looking for shells, making sand castles, etc.. I am really in need of some down time, and I can't think of a better way to relax than hanging with my family at the beach. I'll take tons of pictures to bore you all with.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More Randomness

Apparently nicotine gum can cause nightmares. It's not a common side effect, But Little Wing pointed out that I have been reporting bad dreams since I quit smoking. So after a quick Google search, I discovered I'm not the only one. I knew it was a side effect of the patch, but had no idea about the gum. Weird. I won't report the dreams I had last night, but they were horrific. You know, when you wake up gasping? I did have a few cigarettes last night too-maybe it's related. I am having a hell of a time quitting this time around, not sure why. Too much going on at once.

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We're leaving next Thursday to spend a few days with Oldest and his family. I am so excited! I haven't even met the new baby yet (He's 2). Can't wait!

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My friend Terry and her boyfriend are coming to stay the weekend in August. She moved to Texas about 2 years ago, and I really felt the loss of my friend. I can't wait to see her!

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I have found that it really does help to have things you are looking forward to. My only problem is I'm easily overwhelmed, but so far I'm doing ok. And I'm trying to not listen to the voice that's telling me something will happen, the trip will be canceled, Terry won't be able to make it, etc... And I said this before, but it bears repeating. I really think the Chromium is helping me. It may only be a placebo effect, but who cares? I've actually been on a pretty even keel for a week or so now. It's a miracle!

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Last night at the grocery store, I was reaching for a portobello mushroom top when I just froze. My mind went blank, and I couldn't remember what the hell I was doing. This has happened to me before, but last night I almost cried over it, not sure why. Faulty wiring.

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The only difference between a blogger and that crazy guy on the corner talking to himself is a computer.

I'd give credit where it's due, but I can't remember where I saw that.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Randomness

I had a dream last night that Madonna was trying to steal my husband. She showed up, and they left for a concert alone together and didn't even say goodbye to me.

When they returned, I grabbed her by the throat and started choking her, while telling her "Don't you EVER come near my man again!"

When I was done with that, I grabbed her face and said "And lay off the plastic surgery! You used to be a beautiful woman-now you look like a FREAK."

Book Review

I forgot I finished this book.....

Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach

A mother's fight to give her autistic son a chance at a normal life, and all the troubles she encounters along the way. This book both made me sad and gave me hope, that there are women out there who fight long and hard for their children, no matter the cost.

This may not matter to you, but-this book is set in England, and I normally don't read books set in England because they irritate me, but our heroine is a transplanted American, so it didn't bother me.

I know, I'm a freak.

A decent read, at any rate.

Book Review

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.

This is one of the best books I have read in a while. I finished it in 2 days-I couldn't put it down!

A girl's family is slaughtered, and she fingers her 15 year old brother as the murderer. She then meets a group of people who not only make her question her original testimony (which she was kind of already doing), but leads her on a search for the truth.

I was really touched by this book, by the many paths a persons life can take, and how one decision can change everything.

I will warn you-there a few graphic scenes, not only when the family gets murdered but when some cattle are killed as well. I basically skipped those paragraphs.

An excellent book, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

That was close.....

I made it through yesterday without killing anybody! Go me!

I feel quite a bit better today, though very, very tired. I only did an 11 minute workout when I got home last night, but considering I did 30 minutes in the morning I tried to not beat myself up too much.

I did 30 minutes again this morning (elliptical and abs), then went for blood work. Apparently quite a few people with acid reflux also have some sort of bacteria that indicates you have an ulcer, or are getting an ulcer, or something of the sort. I was too discombobulated yesterday at the Doc's to pay much attention. And I do have to go for the esophageal scope, what fun! My voice has been incredibly hoarse for several days now, and my doctor is a little concerned. Well, that and the fact that I can't get rid of this burning in my chest no matter how hard I try. Even when I do follow a strict diet, and there has been times when I've done so, this burning still will not go away. So then I get angry and frustrated and decide to eat and drink whatever I want, then I suffer more, etc...

Anyway, all is as well as it can be right now I suppose. I am actually quite miserable, but I know it's temporary so it's easier to deal with.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Step away from the Lula

I am UBER FUCKING BITCHY today. I forgot how bad it feels to quit smoking. Logic says don't start again, right? I'm right back to swollen face-headache-bitchy mode. It goes away after a couple of days,though by then the fatigue sets in. After 6 days last time I was just getting to where my physical symptoms were almost gone, then I had to go and smoke again.

I've asked my loved ones to remind me of how badly I feel right now next time I want to smoke.

Happy Fucking Monday.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Holy Cow! And I mean that literally

We picked up our MEAT PACKAGE! today. Have you ever wondered what 120 pounds of beef looks like? Check it-(coke bottle added for reference)



Not pictured? 20 pounds of ground beef that wouldn't fit on the table.

I've spent my day reading through cook books and choosing recipes. We don't really eat beef, maybe 2 twice a month? So the things I know how to make with it are limited.

Tonight-Fajitas!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Dare I say....happy?

I just found out my insurance has decided to cover Nexium. It's the only pill that has helped my acid reflux at all, and when we switched insurance I had to stop taking it because it's almost $300 a month. (Don't even get me started on the pharmaceutical industry in this country)

Anyhoodle, now it's covered so I just called it in. This makes me very happy. I was really thinking I was going to suffer miserably with no relief for the REST OF MY LIFE. Because that's how my brain works. But now that I know there is relief in site, I actually feel a tad bit happy. Not manic, either. Happy.

Which brings me to this-I think (maybe? just a smidge?) that the chromium might be helping. It is kind of soon to say, but generally when I get severely depressed, once it starts to fade I get about a day of normal before the mania sets in. Bouncing off the walls in my head, everything is great let's do THIS! and THIS! etc...

But this time, I feel my depression just kind of fading away. And no signs of mania.

What if Nexium and chromium were all it takes?

Friday Funny, Part 2

I know I'm the only one who finds this hilarious, but the Nigerian scammer emailed me AGAIN, telling me my money is waiting for me at Western Union, and if I would just send the $380.00 processing fee he could release it to me.

My response?

Dear Dr. Nelson Collins,

What part of FUCK OFF AND DIE AND BURN IN HELL WHILE YOU'RE AT IT don't you understand? If there was money waiting for me at Western Union I wouldn't have to send YOU money to have it "released". You're starting to get on my nerves. Stop emailing me or my coven of witches will cast a spell on you which will make your dick rot and fall off.

Signed,

Tamara Smith

Messing with his head just amuses me so much.

Friday Funny

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Here we go

I can no longer live with this cycle of depression-blah-mania. I'm exhausted. Exhausted from 30 years of fighting to be normal. Exhausted from letting my moods run my life. Exhausted from not being HERE, connected to my family and friends, and life in general. Exhausted from talking myself out of hurting myself or just disappearing altogether.

I'm going back to therapy. I have to. I literally can not do this anymore, and the only thing that is keeping me going is the hope that therapy will help me. I refuse to take any of the mood stabilizers/anti-depressants. I've tried nearly every one of them, and the side effects are worse than the mood swings. But I've read some positive things about behavioral therapy that I'd like to try. I have a therapist, I saw her quite often for about 3 years. But I never got really serious, I just basically went in, said "I'm doing better!" got my Xanax, and left.

It's time to get serious. My life is at stake. I want to be happy. Not even happy, I want to be NORMAL.

I've also read some good things about Chromium for treating depression-and carb cravings, oddly enough. So I'm trying that and hoping to get some relief. I'll keep you updated to how it works.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Smile

I thought Deirdre would get a kick out of this-

Monday, June 1, 2009

EPIC FAIL

I have failed miserably at quitting smoking. I did so well those first 6 days, then I don't know what happened. I lost my resolve. I lost my mojo. I was so totally into it, and excited about becoming a non smoker. Now I don't seem to care. Well, I care, but obviously not enough to put forth any effort. I had a cigarette this morning and I thought to myself "You're not even going to try? Use the things you've learned? Chew a piece of gum?" And I thought, "Nope."

Tomorrow is a new day, and I will try again. I really think smoking affects my acid reflux, and it's been killing me. It didn't seem to bother me as bad those glorious 6 days.

Here's to a new day!