Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Fat Butt: 5 weeks on Victoza



Well, it's been about 5 weeks now since I started on Victoza, so I figured it's time for another update.

I'm down about 15 lbs total.

Since I started doing the injections at night, and gradually worked my way up to the full dose, the nausea is all but gone. I do get a slight queasy feeling in my tummy quite a bit, but nothing I can't handle.

The slowed digestion is very evident. I've learned that it's more about how full my digestive system is than anything else. On a normal day I'll eat 2 small meals (usually lunch & dinner), plus one snack (usually in the evenings).

I've noticed the past few days that I've been hungrier than normal (since starting the meds), looked at the calendar and realized that I'm probably going to start my period soon (my cycles have been unreliable since my miscarriage, so it's hard to tell). So it appears that I still need to deal with that hormonal change on a monthly basis, regardless of what meds I'm on.

Back to the slowed digestion - some nights I have heartburn. Bad enough to wake me up. I'll take a couple of Tums, and that usually eases the symptoms enough. It's usually completely gone by around 10am.

The other difference is my bowel movements. Prior to starting the meds I had one per day, usually around 8am (there's a story behind my schedule, believe it or not, if you're interested I'll share, LOL). Now I typically have 2 per day, at no regular timing. On top of that about once per week I have one painfully large bowel movement. Normal consistancy, just a lot of it. Since I also pretty much consistantly feel bloated, I'm blaming both on the slowed digestion.

But all in all, the side effects aren't bad at all.

I go back to my doctor in around a week, so we'll see what he thinks at that time.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Excruciating. In more ways than one.

I'm pretty sure I had another miscarriage.

I can't be sure, but... I'm pretty sure.

No positive test this time. No test at all.

Three months after my miscarriage my cycles are still completely screwed up, so I wouldn't know when to take it anyway. I try to remember to pee on a stick once a month, but... eh.

So here's the story.

Even though my cycles have been messed up, I've not gone longer than 4 1/2 weeks between cycles. Usually 3 - 4. I was expecting my period any day, but day after day it didn't come.

I knew I was late when Jason asked me why I hadn't started yet.

The same time I was waiting for my period to start I had the same excruciating pain in my back that I had 3 months ago.

Of course, 3 months ago, with no history of miscarriage and a LONG history of back problems, I thought my back was acting up, even though the pain was different.

This time, I recognized it immediately. The same pain. In my back, but just slightly off to the left side.

Excruciating. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a 73.

And this is coming from a woman who has been dealing with back pain for 10 years.

But it only ever lasted a few seconds. The longest time maybe a full minute. Then it would go away.

I was worried. Waiting for my period to start and a pain I recognized as occuring the same time as my miscarriage? Yeah, I was worried.

Then my "period" started. Maybe a week later than I expected. Heaver than normal. More clotting than normal.

Probably because it was an early term miscarriage. Probably.

Until now, I've only ever told Jason.

I just don't feel like re-hashing it again and again. I cried twice, and try not to think about it. In fact, this happened several weeks ago. I just didn't feel like sharing it yet.

But I like keeping my progress up to date on my blog. Both for my readers, and for my future reference. So there ya go.

As always, thanks for checking in.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: Fertilomat.com

Most of my regular readers realize that my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for several months now, to no avail. So when I recently got asked to review a website that estimates a woman's fertility, I jumped at the chance.

Fertilomat asks you a series of questions about your current health & lifestyle, then uses those to calculate your chances of becoming pregnant (they also offer another version to health professionals - click here to learn more).

So I logged in and answered the questions. Just from my answers alone, I garnered a ferti-index of 38. This means I currently have roughly a 38% chance of getting pregnant.


Considering this doesn't involve a medical examination of any sort, I would have to say it's probably fairly accurate.

In addition, it takes your answers and suggests things to do to improve your chances of conceiving. For mine, most of the advice related to losing weight, something I already know to be true. So again, it appears to be a fairly accurate tool.

To sum it up, I would say that if you have fertility concerns you should absolutely start by seeing your obstetrician, or at least your family doctor. But I also know that whether you are currently TTC, starting to try in the near future, or already struggling with infertility, sometimes we just want some answers, some more information. And if that's where you are, then Fertilomat might just be a good place for you to start.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Selah.

I wanted to post this when it first happened, as a prayer request, but I didn't have access for a couple of days. Then she was improving so quickly, it lost it's urgency.

But the truth is, prayers are still needed. Lots of them. And so I'm calling on my prayer warriors once again.

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Two weeks ago my 19 year old niece was in a serious car accident. She was in the backseat, riding with a couple of friends, when they were t-boned by an SUV. There may or may not have been a semi involved (there are conflicting reports). The vehicle that hit them was estimated to be travelling at 70 mph at time of impact.

The driver was treated and released for minor injuries. We haven't heard from her since she was released. According to her twitter feed she is back to work and shopping for a new car.

The passenger is being treated for a skull fracture, and remembers nothing of the accident. She remains hospitalized.

My niece was brought in unconscious as a Jane Doe. She had no ID on her, and so hospital staff had to wait until the driver could identify her to notify family. She was brought in with a serious concussion, internal bleeding, a fractured vertebrae, broken ribs, and broken thumb.

Once a scan revealed no signs of brain damage, the internal bleeding was the most serious problem. However, within 36 hours it appeared that the bleeding had stopped.

Because of where they are, her vertebrae & ribs cannot be set. Her thumb is still so swollen that it cannot be set.

Perhaps more troubling is that she does have brain damage after all. Once her internal bleeding stopped, they moved her to a rehab facility. The neuro team there said essentially that her brain bounced around inside her head and is bruised "everywhere".

She still cannot remember anything from that entire day. She struggles to remember her name or to perform basic math problems. She cannot stand or walk. She cannot lean forward. She has no emotion, and is apathetic towards everything. She does not feel hunger, and does not care to eat. She has short term memory loss, and also seems to have a difficult time grasping new information.

The neuro team says that this is all normal considering her type of injury. They say her prognosis is actually very good, it's just going to take "a really long time" for her brain to heal from the bruising.

And now they think the internal bleeding has started again (why would it start again if she spends all her time in a hospital bed? is it possible that it never stopped? how do they even know this stuff anyway?).

In addition, they have discovered that the muscles of her hip have separated away from the bone and herniated. I don't really understand all the technicalities of this, but she will need surgery to have any hope of normal function. Unforunately the surgeon says her body is still too traumitized to withstand any non-life-saving surgery at this time. So they are looking at performing the surgery in the next 4 - 6 weeks, depending on her recovery.

To be honest, I try not to think about it too much. Because when I do, I end up crying.

Although the doctors say her long-term prognosis is good, it's still very scary. So scary. First we pleaded with God for her life, now we plead for her to return to "normal".

I hate that word. But I don't know what else to use.

I ask you to plead with me, asking God to continue to heal her body, for her to regain function, and for this entire experience to be used, in some way, to bring glory to His name, to draw her closer to Him.

Selah.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fragmented Updates

I have quite a bit to update ya'll on, lots has been going on, lots of things rolling around in my head. Finding time to put pen to paper finger to keyboard has been difficult. At least the time to put together the updates I need to.

So for now, I leave you with some fragments, and a promise of future updates.

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Jason's new business is still going well, but has hit a bit of a lull. So he's looking for some new ways to publicize.

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A business associate of Jason's offered to trade Jason's services for a used hot tub. A really nice, was $8k when it was new hot tub.

We're tempted, but we also estimate it's going to be at least a year before our deck is finished, and I really don't want a hot tub hanging around, uninstalled. For a year. Or more. What to do...

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The heat & humidity we've had this summer reminds me of marching band. And makes me wonder how I ever survived.

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Also, I fully acknowledge that I'm a total wuss because of air conditioning. I grew up without it. My parents got a window unit when I was 14, but kept it in their bedroom with the door shut.

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Jena starts Kindergarten in a few weeks. Way too soon.

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I really need someone to come over and clean my house. Any takers? On a regular basis would be even better.

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I guess that's it for now. As always, thanks for checking in!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Serious Topic for a Little Girl

Do you remember this post? The one where Jena sees no difference between herself and a dark-skinned cartoon character? Well, I think she sees the difference now.

You see, Jena goes to a very diverse school. White, Black, Asian, East Indian, mixed race, etc, etc, etc. Three of the kids in her class are bi-lingual. One is tri-lingual. And those are only the most obvious differences.
And for the past two years Jena's best friend has been African-American. And Jena has insisted that they are "almost sisters".

She had never seemed to notice differences in race or ethnicity, never blinked an eye at physical differences. Except tattoos. She's always been obsessed with tattoos. Since before she could talk. Lord, help us when she gets older.

So imagine my surprise when on the ride home from school (and yes, the best conversations happen in the car), she asked me if I knew that Katie* had "different skin".

Now in these instances, I prefer to play dumb, and let her tell me things in her own words.

Me: "Really? How is it different?"

Jena: "It's brownish"

Me: "Oh, so just the color?"

Jena: "Yeah"

We sat quiet for a few minutes.

She then proceeded to tell me the color of every kid in her class. Keep in mind, she knows nothing of the different "races".

So, according to Jena:

Katie is brownish.
Another child is grayish-yellow.
Another is yellow-ish gray.
One is brownish-yellow.
Another is blackish-brown.
Her skin is silvery.
Another's is silvery whitish yellow.

When she finished, I felt compelled to intiate the next part of the conversation.

Me: "Isn't that awesome?!?"

silence

Me: "God made everybody, and He made us all different. People come in all different colors, and isn't that beautiful how He did that?"

Jena nods.

Me: "I just think it's amazing how we can all be the same, because we're all people, but we can all look different. Isn't that cool?"

Jena nods.

Silence.

Jena: "Mommy, did you know there are people out there who don't like brown skin?"

Shocked into silence for a second. Wow, this conversation got really serious, really quickly. Never thought I'd have this conversation with my 4 year old. Realize I need to gather my thoughts and respond quickly.

Me: "There are?!? Why?!?"

Jena shrugs

Jena: "They wish they could rub the brown skin off until there's just blood."

Shocked by the graphic nature of this description.

Me: "No way! Why would anyone want to do that?!?"

Jena: "I don't know"

Me: "Me either"

Jena: "I think they're mad because they're skin is different"

Me: "Well, that's silly. God made everybody, and God only makes awesome, beautiful things, so if He made someone a different color, that means they have to be beautiful, just how He made them."

Jena: "Yeah!"

Me: "So those people shouldn't be mad at the people with brown skin, they were just born that way. If they wanna be mad at someone, they can be mad at God!"

Jena: "Yeah!"

Me: "I'm glad everyone's different. It would be boring if we all looked the same"

Jena: "What are we having for dinner?"

She's usually pretty good at letting me know when the conversation's over.

It never dawned on me I'd be having a conversation on such a serious topic with her until she was much older. But I'm glad it did happen when she was young enough that we can be intentional about our approach with her.

Let's be clear: racism is taught. And it will not be taught, or tolerated, in our home. Period.

As always, thanks for checking in!

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*name changed to protect the innocent

** inspired to write down this true story after reading this post on another blog

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Article: Nine Signs that you Might be an Introvert

One of my dear friends recently shared this on my Facebook. I can totally, totally relate. Check it out.

Nine Signs that you Might be an Introvert

Here are the statements from this article that I most identify with. I say "most" because, really, all of it.

"I tend to get a little overwhelmed and shut down in large groups."Yep. Drives the hubs a tad be crazy that the gal who will talk his ear off when we're alone will completely shut down when we're out. o-v-e-r-w-h-e-l-m-e-d.

"Being alone is an activity to me..."Absolutely. It took Jason a little while to figure out that me having some alone time, with him on shift and Jena with a family member is necessary to my sanity. I'm not doing "nothing". I'm saving myself.

"Every introvert knows the exquisite joy of slipping away... and into the bathroom, where you can close the door and let your brain settle down."And now I need to call my dad and explain why I took long showers all those years. I also distinctly remember taking insanely long showers the year I lived in the dorms at college. It was the only place I could go to be by myself. The only one.

"We're not minglers."Give me a purpose, a role, something I actually have to talk about? I'm good. Ask me to just randomly mingle with folks socially? Probably not going to happen.  So awkward.

"Any attrition in our friendships can be a problem because replacing an intimate is difficult." Preach it. While I have hundreds of acquaitances, I have very few friends. And I've blogged before about how they all moved away. And even though two of them moved back, I hate to say we haven't quite reconnected on the same level that we were before. I am currently in a situation where the one intimate friend I have the most contact with lives over 120 miles away.

"I don't need to join the fun. For me, watching is the fun." Throughout the years I think this is one of my biggest pet peeves. I'd be sitting there, all happy, watching everyone have a great time, having a great time watching everyone have a great time, and some well-meaning extrovert would approach me and ask what's wrong. My quizzical face or response would be met with them telling me how something must be wrong because I'm not joining in. On occasion this would lead to an argument because they would insist that there was something was wrong that I wasn't telling them, while I insisted that there was nothing wrong. Once in a while, they would leave, angry with me for not telling them what was wrong.
Seriously. This scene has played out numerous times in my life since childhood. I could write the script.
You know what's wrong with me? YOU. I was having a great time, enjoying myself here in the sidelines, until you came up and informed me that something must be wrong with me, then proceeded to hound me about it until we were both actually upset. Geesh!

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What about you, dear readers? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Care to share a story?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Why did the snapping turtle cross the road?

So.... we've got a snapping turtle. Well, we did.

There's a pond on the neighboring property, but this is a first for us. Every morning it's in our yard, on our driveway, etc.

Every. Morning.

Buddy (rightfully) sees it as a threat, so goes insane barking at it and attacking it. For hours.

It is in his blood after all. Defeat the threat or die trying. And at his age, the hours of "fighting" the turtle leave him absolutely drained.

Buddy's so tired. He'd been at it probably 2 hours when I took this pic

The first time the turtle showed up I brought him inside, worried about him losing a toe or something. The second time I realized that he stayed away from its head, so just left him.


But I couldn't figure out why this snapper kept coming out of the water to visit our property. I finally gave Jason the okay to break my no-killing-things-on-our-property rule and take care of it. I couldn't risk the dogs getting hurt, or worse, it being in the weeds or something and surprise Jena one day. Not worth the risk.


So on the day the deed was to be done, sure enough, there it was. Headed right for the driveway. I got Jason, and as he was putting his shoes on, I went back outside to make sure it was still there.

And then we figured out why she kept visiting us, on dry land.

why yes, that is in fact an egg she is laying in our front yard

And now I feel bad. She's a momma.

In the end Jason scooped her up with his snow shovel and put her in a storage bin to relocate to another lake miles away. He was going to a job for his business that day and said there were plenty of places between here & there to drop her off.


Jena: "But what about the eggs?"

Me: "Well, the dogs will probably dig them up & eat them. No biggie."


Jena: "But what about the baby turtles?"

Me: "What hunny?"


Jena: "But what about the babies?"

Me: "You're worried about the baby turtles inside the eggs?"




Jena: {{ nods head }}

Me: "Oh... well... hunny, you realize if they hatch we'll have a lot more snapping turtles, right?"

Jena: {{ looks distressed }}

Me: "Well, maybe Daddy could dig them up & take them with momma turtle"  {{ looks at Jason }}

Jason: "Jena, they're just not gonna live, okay?"

End of conversation. We left the eggs where they were. I'm secretly hoping the dogs have taken care of them by the time we get home tonight.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Guest Post: Filing Insurance Claims

As you may (or may not) realize, I unfortunately have had way too much experience filing insurance claims. Whether it was related to medical bills stemming from my car accident, or as part of my job when I first started working at a dermatology office, filing insurance claims has always been just so. much. fun. for me. (please tell me you get the sarcasm there).

So when Hannah from My Claim Source asked if she could do a guest post about the difficulty of filing an insurance claim, I thought, why not? Maybe it'll help one of my readers out some day. So let's all give Hannah a big welcome:

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Filing an insurance claim, be it health, car, home, or workers comp, is exhausting and no doubt a daunting task especially for those who have never done it before. Most people are intimidated to do so not only because of utter lack of information, but just the amount of work - tons of paperwork, a lot of going back and forth with different people, long frustrating hours on the phone - will just about send anyone running for the hills.

Well, it shouldn't be like that. If you have all the necessary information to back you up and if you know the correct person to talk to, then it wouldn't be as complicated as it needs to be. 

MyClaimSource.com is an open resource for consumers looking for information on how to file a claim. You will find insurance providers’ contact information (phone, email address, mailing address, and website address listed on the site), tips and tricks, even discounts certain providers offer. The site also aims to be an open forum to connect those looking to file claims with people who already have, and who may be able to offer tips and advice on claim filing with a given provider.

Drop by anytime and find the information you need on filing a claim. MyClaimSource.com will be able to help individuals make an informed decision and make the no-fun task of filing insurance claims a little easier.

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As always, thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jena's Brush with Fame

During our trip to the Smoky Mountains, we decided to see a show at The Comedy Barn. Excellent show, clean humor, kid friendly. Seriously, go.
source
Well, much to our enjoyment, Jena was selected to go on stage and help with the dog act. Despite her shyness, that girl can rock a stage performance like no other. Seriously.

And so she went. She stood on stage with four other girls while a dog jumped over them. Great fun.

Later on, the same kids, along with a few others, went back on stage for a dance number of sorts.

It was only after this that we realized why there were so many Honey Boo Boo jokes during this particular show.

source
She was there.

In fact, she was on stage with Jena.

And her dad was on stage at one point. And her mom. And her bodyguard.

True story.

Now, if you recall, we do not have cable or satellite. In fact, I have never seen the show. The only reason I even have a clue what any of them look like is because one of my co-workers is obsessed with the show, so I finally googled to see what the fuss was about.

Otherwise, I may have never known...

And that, my readers, is Jena's brush with fame.

Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's on my...

vanity:We don't have a vanity in either bathroom
In our master bath, the only things on the sink are the hand soap and a cup for drinking water.
In the hallway bathroom, soap, cup, plus toothbrush holder.

perennial to-do list:
cleaning! Laundry, dishes, tidying up, floors, etc, etc, etc. Always.

refrigerator shelves:I badly need to go grocery shopping, so not much. Some Bob Evans sides. Milk. Jello. I think that's it.

itinerary:eat dinner, take Jena to Vacation Bible School, go grocery shopping, pick Jena up, nighttime routine

playlist:What's a playlist? Get off my lawn!

nightstand:we don't have one. Jason is opposed to them, believing they only exist to become cluttered with junk

workout plan:bwahahahahahahaha!

iPhone:Psshht. Apple. My Galaxy I just got, so not much. Candy Crush. Facebook. Netflix. Pictures.

top 5 list:Top 5 what? I'm confused. I'm gonna go with top 5 dogs to add to our pack, because that's what's on my mind lately: Anatolian Shepherd, Kangal, Great Pyrenees. Yeah, I really only have three.

bucket list:So long. Dive with sharks. Heck, dive in the ocean at all. Visit Hawaii, Europe, Alaska. Dive the Great Barrier Reef. Own a new car (like an actually new car, not just new to me). See a Broadway show on Broadway.

mind:why am I so tired lately?

blogroll:Like who I read? Okay, here are a few:
A Yellow Rose of Texas
Crazy Texas Mommy
The Bloggess
Burgh Baby
Momastery
Crappy Pictures
Misconceptions about Conception
Fire Wife Katie
Living that Life
Elsewhere

walls of your favorite room in the house:
right now it's one wall in my living room. Flat screen television mounted, family pic on one side, Jena's school pic on the other. Love.

last credit card statement:
payment + interest. We haven't used a credit card in a couple of years, but are still paying on our home renovations :(

TV every night:Netflix. Current osession is Rescue Me.

Hope you enjoyed!

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this post inspired by this post

Monday, July 8, 2013

Liebster Award


That's right folks, I have been nominated for my first ever award! I'm so excited! In the past I have seen Liebster Awards on other blogger's pages, and was sooooooooo jealous, LOL! I wanted one.

And now I have one, thanks to Dana over at Prudent Wisdom.

So, here's how this is supposed to work, Liebster Awards have a sort of chain-letter approach. You get nominated. You accept, and write an obligatory post (11 facts about yourself, answer 11 questions from your nominator, and ask your recipients 11 questions), nominating several blogs that you enjoy to also receive Liebster Awards. Spread the love, and all.

Yay! An award, a blog prompt, and I get to nominate some of my favorite bloggers as well! Does it get much better? Probably not in the blog world, LOL. So here goes:

11 facts about myself:
1) I've always had a thing for youger men, and Jason is three years my junior

2) My siblings and I are in the beginning stages of planning a celebration for my parents next year. Why? To celebrate FIFTY years of wedded bliss. What a great example for all of us!

3) I am the youngest of my siblings. So is Jason.

4) My siblings drive me crazy. I also love them more than life itself. And I'm pretty sure both feelings are mutual.

5) I play several musical instruments (but only one well), but cannot match my voice to a musical note by looking at sheet music. I sing by ear. And not that well.

6) We have not had any cable / satellite for nearly three years. And I don't miss it at all. We only get one channel right now, and it doesn't come in clearly. Mostly we use streaming Netflix.

7) I was raised in a strict Independent Baptist family, but now attend an inter-denominational church, and do not consider myself to belong to any particular religious denomination

8) I accepted Christ as my Saviour at church camp at the age of 10, rededicated my life to the Lord at age 15, and have been on an ever-developing journey of faith ever since.

9) My fears are: bumper cars, water slides, and chickens. Analyze that, ha!

10) When I was single, I decided I was only getting married once. I still hold to that.

11) I like big dogs. But not crazy about little dogs. At all.

11 questions, and their answers, from my nominee (Dana):

1) How do you work blogging into your schedule?
    Most of my blogging occurs on my lunch break at work.2) If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
    Oh, my list is so very, very long! Lately I've been dreaming of southern Europe, so let's go with that.
3) If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
    My Grandpa. He passed away when Iwas six years old, and I still miss him. And all of his kids & grandkids get to be there too.
4) How often do you blog?
    It varies. I try to set it up to post daily, that's my goal. But as for the actual writing, it tends to come in spurts. I'll go days without writing anything, then have other days where I crank out three or four posts in no time. So I try to pre-write, and then schedule, my posts, to keep it more even for my readers.5) What is your favourite color?
    For most of my life my favourite color has been blue.
6) Is your house decorated in any way with firefighter decor?
    We have a fireplace room that I've dedicated for all of our firefighter decor. So far it's pretty spare. A few firetrucks on the mantle, a few pics on the wall, a decorate fire hydrant in the corner.
7) What would be, or is, your favorite vacation spot?
    If I had to pick one all-time favorite, it would be the Great Smoky Mountains. Can't get enough of the place!
8) A sentence or two describing a happy moment from your childhood?
    Popping tar bubbles with our toes on the road outside Grandma & Grandpa's farmouse.
9) What is something you recently learned?
    Learning some new responsibilities at work. Not really at liberty to discuss.
10) Which do you prefer, coffee or tea?
    Sweet tea, thank you.
11) What is your favourite season of the year and why?
    Autumn. I've always liked autumn, and it just keeps getting better. Cooler temps, football season, now our wedding anniversary and Jena's birthday. Can't get any better.
My blog nominations:



- Fire Wifey




- A Yellow Rose of Texas





11 questions for my nominees:

1) How do you usually spend your free time?
2) How would you like to spend your free time?
3) If you could live anywhere, where would it be, and why?
4) How long have you been blogging?
5) High heels or flats?
6) What advice would you give to your former 18-year-old-self?
7) What color is your car?
8) You just won the lottery, check has been deposited... what do you do first?
9) On an average day, how much time do you spend watching television?
10) Have every played an organized sport? if so, what / when?
11) Do you have any siblings?

Thanks for checking in everyone! And be sure to check out all my nominees and their awesome blogs!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My Fat Butt on Victoza



Well, it's been three weeks on my new meds, so I figured it's time to give you an update.

I have lost nine pounds in those three weeks. To me it's still surprising, considering how much I struggled to drop just one pound before starting the Victoza.

I haven't had a follow up with my doctor yet to see how my levels are faring, so no update on that front. Although I have pricked my finger a few times, but my sugar levels have stayed within normal limits, and I haven't felt any drops in my blood sugar, so I stopped pricking myself. Because I like to play it dangerous that way.

And sticking myself in the gut isn't as bad as I feared.

I will say my endocrinologist was not kidding about the side effects.  You have to work your way up to the full dose of 1.8 mg.

I started at 0.6 mg and by the 2nd day noticed a change in my appetite. I guess you would call it that. One of the things that Victoza does is slow your digestive tract, meaning your food stays with you longer. My doctor advised that if I started to feel even the slightest bit of that "satisfied" or "full" feeling, then stop eating immediately. "or you will throw up". And yes, that is a direct quote.

That was enough to scare me, and like I said, by the 2nd day at 0.6 I noticed that I would eat maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of what I normally would before I felt that satisfied feeling. So I stopped. Immediately.

I also experienced a bit of gas, in the form of belching. And it was gross. Tasted like... rotten garbage. Ick.

After a week I upped it to 1.2 mg. The first day I felt really sick all day. Enough to stay home from work. So I dropped it back down to 0.6 for another three days. But then Jena got sick a couple of days later, so I don't really know if I was having such severe nausea as a side effect, or there was a virus going around.

Got up to 1.2 mg and didn't notice any major change this time.

The disgusting belches persisted.

After a week at 1.2 mg, I upped it to 1.8. First two days I didn't notice a difference. But the third day (yesterday) at the full dose I was moderately nauseaus all morning, and didn't eat breakfast (because of the nausea). We went to Chipotle for lunch, and I ate about half a burrito bowl, stopping when I felt the slightest hint of the full feeling. No problem.

Wrong.

About half an hour after I ate, I was seriously nauseaus. I managed to stay at work, but about two hours after lunch went running for the bathroom. My entire lunch came back up. I felt a lot better after vomiting, but was still nauseaus the rest of the night, and slept off & on from around 6pm until we went to bed at 10pm. I did decide to try some Jello at some point, and although it stayed down, I definitely felt sicker after eating.

I can only imagine that I ate too much, even though I stopped when I felt the full feeling, and that was the cause of the vomiting.

I did some reading of message boards online, and found that quite a few people find that giving the injection at night eases the nausea. Still others recommend gradually increasing from 1.2 - 1.8 instead of doing it overnight as I did.

So I'm gonna do both. I had been giving myself the injection in the morning, but skipped this morning's injection so I can give it tonight. I'm also going to go back down to the 1.2 for a couple of days, and try gradually increasing to the 1.8mg.

I understand that because of the slowed digestion the loss of appetite / inability to eat is normal, and okay. And because of the way it helps regulate my sugar, hypoglycemia shouldn't be a concern from lack of eating.

Still, it's weird. Basically yesterday I ate half a burrito bowl (which exited my body relatively quickly), and a small cup of Jello.
Today so far I haven't eaten anything.
And I'm not hungry.

A few other issues besides side effects:

- my insurance isn't covering it. So far. The doctor has sent in several prior authorizations, but I ended up having to get another sample to cover until we can get it covered.

- the week I was at 1.2mg was also that time of the month. I wonder if that's why I didn't notice a difference. In fact, I probably ate more during that time than on the 0.6, and I definitely had cravings. Leaves me wondering if the hormones associated with menstruation are actually strong enough to override the side effect of appetite loss for one week out of the month. Interesting...

- Jena has noticed me not finishing my meals, and has tried to use it as an excuse not to eat.
Now, let me be clear, we have never forced this child to clean her plate. Never. I don't believe in it. But we do ask that she eat "a good amount". It varies, and is up to the parent's judgement. Reasons it might vary might be: what she's had to eat earlier in the day, how long it's going to be until we eat again, etc.

Knowing that Jena was watching me has always been a reason that I've feared any sort of diet. I want her to eat healthy. Period. And I don't want her to grow up with food issues. We strive to give her healthy meals & snacks, and for the most part let her body decide how much is enough.

Navigating how to explain my lack of appetite to her without giving her the idea that she can or should not eat as much herself is going to be difficult. She watches my every move, loves when we eat the same things ("Mommy! We match!").

So, that's my latest fat butt update. I'll keep you posted on my progress, especially once I get my updated labs done in a few weeks.

As always, thanks for checking in!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Better care. More information.

Did you hear about the new law that got passed? Finally. Lawmakers are choosing to protect citizens, as well as a patient's right to make an educated choice, over private businesses and their monetary gain.

Finally.

You haven't heard of it?

It has to do with how patients are treated inside non-hospital medical facilities.

A law was passed requiring medical offices that perform elective procedures must have an agreement with a local hospital in regards to patient care in the case of an emergency. Now, obviously legitimate clinics would already send a patient to the emergency room in the off chance that something went wrong. But sending a patient on their own to the emergency room is not the same as having an ongoing relationship with that hospital, who knows your doctors, who understands the procedure, etc. This statute mandates better care for the patients.

Offices that are unable to enter into such an agreement with a hospital will be forced to close their doors. There are opponents who argue that this will limit the availability of medical care. But do you honestly want to receive elective medical care from a doctor if no hospitals in the area are willing to enter into a relationship with that practice? Would you send your children to such a doctor? Probably not.

Another part of the same statute requires that doctors provide additional information regarding the elective procedure to the patient. That's all. Giving the patient more information and then allowing them to make a (more) educated choice as to whether or not to proceed. I for one think that any medical procedure, elective or not, should be taken seriously, and the more information you can provide to patients to help them make that decision, the better.

Unfortunately, there are some who oppose this part of the law. Can you believe it? They're concerned that if the patient is given more information, they might choose not to have the procedure. Well, isn't that their right? Don't you trust individual citizens to make intelligent, educated decisions over what to do with their own bodies? Do you really think withholding information is an ethical way to treat your patients?

I don't. Can you imagine going to the doctor, and finding out that they didn't want to give you all of the information regarding an elective procedure you were considering? What would your reaction be?

I think if I were ever put in that position, I would definitely reconsider that physician, if not the procedure itself.

I still can't believe you haven't heard of this amazing, awesome new law. This law that puts patients rights first, both their right to exceptional care, and their right to make an informed decision.

*************************

The truth is, you probably have heard of it. Except the media and certain sides of a political argument have been referring to it as an "anti-abortion" law, trampling on the rights of women everywhere.

The State of Ohio recently passed laws requiring that abortion clinics enter into agreements with local hospitals, for the case that an emergency arises.

Additionally, part of the law requires that the doctor inform the patient whether or not a heartbeat can be detected.

That's all.

Better care. More information.

The law does not limit a woman's ability to walk into an existing abortion clinic and obtain the procedure. It does not even limit the stage of pregnancy at which abortions can be performed.
It simply legislated that medical professionals who choose to perform the procedure must provide better care, and must give their patients pertinent information prior to performing the procedure.

Better care. More information.

Yet pro-abortion supporters would have you believe that this is a travesty against women in our country. The media has blown up with how devestating this is for women's rights.

But is it, really?

Better care. More information.

Those opposing this law would rather women went to clinics with an outdated standard of care, would rather withhold information from women, in the name of being able to perform a greater number of abortions than they would to work within the new statutes to ensure truly exceptional care for women everywhere.

Better care. More information.

As a woman, the idea that providing me with more information would lessen my ability to make the "right" decision, angers me. It suggests that we as women are too weak to make educated & informed decisions on our own. Opponents argue that hearing the heartbeat will be to emotional, will change women's minds.

To suggest that a woman cannot think beyond her emotions is a sexist, oppressive argument that hinders any progress of gender equality. Stop it.

Better care. More information. Period.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

If My Firefighter Were Here

I penned this the evening of June 30th, shortly after learning about the deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona.

Monday, July 1, 2013

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