Allergy Update

I went to the allergist yesterday (when I was talking about it with my mom later, we both wondered why I hadn’t gone before. I guess my method is to suffer and complain, rather than get some, you know, help).

There was an extremely long wait–it turned out that the person before me didn’t know to leave the exam room (I discover new things about people every day). Once I was in the room, however, the doctor was lovely! He asked lots of questions (How old is your house? How many pets?) and looked in my nose (I wondered, of course, if my nose was presentable!). He wrote me a prescription for a medicated nasal spray. When I was at my primary care physician’s office, she recommended that I use a saline spray. He asked me why I thought spraying salt up my nose was a good idea! I had to explain I was doing it on doctor’s orders. So, I’ve stopped snorting salt, you’ll all be thrilled to know.

It turns out that before he worked where he is now, he was the head of allergy stuff (not the official name) for one of the hospital systems locally. I was pleased that I’d stumbled onto him–full disclosure, I went to my insurance’s find a doctor thingie and looked for an allergist who was in-network. He’d won an award for spending time with patients, so I chose him. Lucky, no?

He also didn’t think much of the blood test I’d had done, so in slightly under two weeks, I’ll be getting a skin test. I was so relieved that it wasn’t another blood draw (vasovagal syncope is just so embarrassing!) that I really don’t mind being scratched with needles for a few hours. And I’ll have the results when I leave.

I’m then hoping that I can get allergy shots. I don’t know if he’ll start with grass, since that’s what provoked such a reaction, or if he’ll go with whatever I’m allergic to most (and has shots available). I know it’s a time and money commitment, but I’m already buying Claritin twice a month and spending twenty bucks a pop on it, so I think I’m trading up. One thing I’m not looking forward to is that I’m going to have to go “cold turkey” for a week on the Claritin so that we get a good  reaction. And the nasal spray won’t have fully kicked in, if at all. But I want this to be better, so I will endure being sniffly and stuffy and feeling like my brain is draining out of my head for a few days.

All-in-all, I’m cautiously optimistic.

PS: I am allergic to cats (not as severely as other things), so of course, the day after I see the allergist, my cat decides to snuggle with my face. I’m already having trouble breathing, and now there’s a giant, furry creature blocking what little air I get! Love you, kitty. 🙂

Adventures in Allergies

This morning, as I was getting dressed, I noticed that I had a rash on my upper chest. By the time I went downstairs to verify with my mother that I had had all of my immunizations, it had spread to my back.

Here’s a bad picture June 2016 004.JPG

It actually looks more inflamed in person (my excessive paleness tends to wash everything out). This site has a good picture of what it looks like.  It also went down both arms and legs:

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By the time it spread to my legs, I was officially freaking out, so I decided to go to the urgent care center that was in-network). I’d never been before and we got slightly lost (explain to me why Ohio doesn’t CLEARLY label all of its roads?!).

But we found the place. Everyone was extremely nice and seemed appropriately concerned. It turns out that I was having an allergic reaction (probably to freshly-mowed grass last night that didn’t show up until today because of all the anti-histamines I take). I had an extremely itchy throat last night, so that makes sense. Normally, when I’ve been out in the yard, I avoid the times when someone is cutting grass or has just mowed, but I needed to talk to the lovely young man who mows for us. I also, on the advice of my primary care doctor, take a shower after doing anything in the yard, but I was tired last night and didn’t. Lesson learned!

After noting that I had the rash “all over”, the wonderful doctor prescribed Prednisone which I’ve started (by the way, an in-clinic pharmacy? Great idea!). I’m not too itchy–the doctor thought because of my Claritin. I’m also washing all of my bedding.

I would REALLY like to stop having medical issues. Please? (And yes, I know that other people have it FAR worse, but I’ve never met anyone who breaks out because someone mowed. It’s silly!).

Butterfly Garden, Day 1

As promised, I have some pictures of the butterfly garden in progress.

This first picture is what the site looked like before I began:May 2016 003.JPG

The high-ish grass there isn’t ours. The state owns that and haven’t been mowing. No, I don’t know why. Nor do I know why they don’t put it up for sale. There’s a little creek where all the trees are.

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This is the second step. Since we don’t want one million weeds in this bed, I put down barrier material. Then I ran out of newspapers, so I grabbed some cardboard boxes. I guess not having proper recycling in our community for almost two years is a good thing? You’ll notice that I put the boards in the pattern and filled in? And that people on TV do fancy things with measuring and stakes and spray? That’s because people on TV can work with numbers and I can’t.

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Here’s the next barrier, landscape fabric. This is for both weeds AND to keep all the lovely, precious dirt in the raised bed. We had lots on hand–good since I used up most of it!

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And here’s the final-for-the-moment stage. It’s not excatly an octagon, but it has eight sides, so that’s something. Step two awaits the shipping of the next two boxes of raised bed since, as I said, numbers are not my friends. And then…dirt! And eventually…plants! Perhaps even butterflies!

Gosh, am I tired!

Progress Report

Hello all!

Thought I’d update some stuff (and not just because my brain is too tired to come up with a more entertaining blog).

First, classes are over for me until August. Woo! My students and I have earned a rest (although when I asked during conferences, most were working and/or taking at least one summer class). It’s a little unreal that my weekends will not be devoted to grading papers and my week days devoted to grading in-class activities. Nor will I have to fit in things like laundry and grocery shopping around the all-consuming class work. It’s amazing to me how much stuff goes into to teaching only two classes. I don’t know how people teach four!

Second, I have begun the endless slog of yard work. Most people have these cute little yards with tame little plantings. Our yard thinks it’s still part of the wild! So each year, there’s the wrestle-the-yard-into-submission phase before any of the fun (fun? Is yard work fun?) begins. This morning, I took a weed wacker to some of the overgrown stuff and tried to uncover the plants I had put in last year. I found most of them, but I’m afraid I either wacked some or weeded them–I get a little vigorous about things I guess. The one shining star is that we are putting in a butterfly bed. It’s going to be an octagon! I’m going to try to take pictures as I progress. Eventually, it will be filled with things that butterflies like, such as coneflowers (echinacea if you’re fancy) and black-eyed Susans and liatris (which I spelled right, I think. It looks funny!).

Third, I’m trying to do spring cleaning. Yes, I know it’s almost summer. I don’t like cleaning and I felt just awful for most of April, so *raspberry.*

Fourth, as I mentioned, I finished writing a novel, so I have to start going through that and fixing things. I write a fairly clean first draft but 1) there’s always something I missed (usually typos, but I do occasionally change almost all of a sentence, so there’s this weird artifact left). I also want to make sure my world-building is consistent–I like to discover as I write, so I always have to go back after I’ve made up my mind. As soon as it’s ready, I’m going to see if anyone wants to publish it. Fingers crossed, knocked wood, hurried mumbled thanks in advance to any publishing fairies nearby…

Fifth, I’ve started writing a new book. It’s more of a straight mystery. I’m excited by it. For one, there are a few irritating characters that are a blast to write. For another, I think it’s an interesting conceit. We’ll see!

Sixth, I’m beginning an exercise class on Saturdays through my college. It’s weights and stretching. Since I’ve not been going to my regular class, I though I’d try this out. In general, I need to be more active–it’s good for body and mind!

Seventh, I have the surgery to put in the metal parts of my dental implant Friday the 27th. Although my dentist explained how unlikely anything is to go wrong–and assured me that it’s less traumatic than extraction, I’m still a bit nervous, probably because I’m a worrier by nature. There is almost no chance that I’ll be updating this blog until the 31st of May at the earliest. So  you’ve been warned.

Eighth, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve resumed this blog. I can’t promise that I’ll write everyday, but I think I can write most days. I’ll do my best, which is all anyone can ask.

What are your summer plans? What’s happening? How’re doing? Anything new? 🙂

Mothers’ Day

In the US, Mothers’ Day is this Sunday. I decided that my mom should get her flowers from me a little early, since there might be a rush closer to the day. I decided that a basket of violets would be pretty (plus had wanted some African violets). So I bought these and had them deliveMay 2016 018.JPGred:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cute, right?

When I got home, however, some other flowers had been delivered:

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This is what might, charitably be called gorgeous and bountiful. And it was sent by my lovely brother and sister-in-law, who obviously have REALLY good taste, darn them.

I guess I’m celebrating National Feel Inferior to your Siblings Day! In any case, celebrate your family if you get the chance. Even if they are really annoying. 🙂

Quick Announcement

I’ve finished the novel I’ve been writing. It seems like it took forever, compared to the first. Now all I have to do is revise it thoroughly (I’m one of those people who writes without a lot of planning, so then I have to go back and make sure anything I added or changed my mind about is consistent with my world and characters). Then I’m going to send it out. I did that with the first, but apparently what I was writing had over-saturated the market. Or at least that’s what I tell myself! It’s a shame though, because it would have been a fun series (and I had the general gist of the next two books all set up).

Weirdly, I’ve already started the next book (I hope!). This one’s a pure mystery–at the moment, at least. Ideas have a way of getting weird when I write them.

How’s your journey to the next thing going for you? Anything exciting?

Evil Dead Excitement

I just got an email that Netflix is sending me the first Evil Dead!

I have a weird relationship with the Evil Dead series. In order, I watched the third one, Army of Darkness, then the current TV series Ash vs Evil Dead and now I’m going to watch the first one, then the second, Evil Dead 2 and then the remake, Evil Dead.

I admit that this makes no sense. And I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long–I like Bruce Campbell and (some) horror movies and (some) cheesy movies, and frequently funny movies. I was obviously busy wasting time going to college and reading books!

I’ll let y’all know what I think when I’ve seen the rest of the films and how I like them.