State of the Blog

As my mother likes to say, here’s the deal:

It’s all pollen’s fault. Well, not entirely. It’s also my immune system’s fault. And an odd reaction to medication.

My allergist recommended Zyrtec because it’s stronger. And it was! I was sleeping deeply and feeling more rested. Win!

However… It was also giving me emotional grief. I would burst into tears for no reason. I was stalked by a relentless, pervasive dread and anxiety. This went on for some time. Then I gained ten pounds. In a month.I was starving ALL THE TIME.

I made an appointment with the allergist. He’d never heard of such a thing.  (He should do a web search for weight gain+Zyrtech. There are even studies!) But he was willing to prescribe something else–Claritin X. It works! The main side effect is dizziness. Since I take it at night, that doesn’t bother me (although it pop ups at odd moments once or twice a week).

So, I was ready to re-start the blog. And then I went back to work. And was offered a third class–the week before classes started. So I’m a little busier than I intended.

But I have three blog ideas (two reviews and one funny (I hope!)). I’m going to try to publish at least once a week. And I’m restarting my novel (a mystery!). I’m trying to install one of those nifty word count doohickies on the blog.

Now all I have to do is lose all this weight and more besides. That’s not going as well (although I’ve been exercising well since that helps with stress).

What’s your current project?


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. 🙂

A Peculiar Person

After a strenuous day of interrupted plans, we’d stopped at the grocery store where, apart from a tendency for things to leap off the shelves, everything had been going fairly well. We barely had to wait for the cashier, who was friendly and efficient.

However, all boring things must come to an end, because then we encountered the peculiar person.

“Where did you get those bags?” she asked. Yes, we’re those people who bring our own bags. We even try to only use the ones for the store where we bought them.

“Oh, we got these ages ago.” They have since changed the design. I really like these bags because they are insulated and have handles that are long enough to go over the shoulder. Most store bags have these little handles that can only be carried in the hand. We have those too. None of this is odd, apart from the fact that the woman doesn’t seem to have much sense of personal space.

“We left ours at home,” she says.

“They should have some to sell here,” I say. The cashier tries to tell her where they are, but the woman interrupts.

“They sure are nice. I want one of those. Can I have them?”

I am helping the cashier pack and I’m not sure I heard her.

“Surely you can spare just one.”

What? No, the little part of my brain that was outraged when it heard about sharing in preschool says, these are mine. Get your own. But because I was raised to be polite (and there was no polite answer that I could come up with) I settled for intensely packing one of MY bags. The faster I could get out of there, the better.

“I mean, it’s just one. You couldn’t give me one?”

Did I accidentally enter another country when I wasn’t looking? Is this like those places where a person admires something in a home and is given it? Is this like Queen Mary around whom trinkets had to be hidden lest she took a liking to them and badgered her host into giving them to her? The hell?

I quickly finished and thanked the cashier. As I left, I heard her explaining to the woman where the bags could be found—to purchase, I might add.

I hastily put the groceries into my car, watching for the peculiar person, afraid she was going to want me to give her my car as well!

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:

June 2016 006.JPG


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!).


Yesterday, I had a migraine (ugh!). My treatment for a migraine is to take an ibuprofen and go to bed for a few hours until the worst part of the nightmare is over.

My cat’s treatment? Bouncing onto the bed and meowing loudly into my face. Twice.

Not sure that second one is doctor-approved.

The Good, the Bad, and the Irritating

Good: The implant went well–it’s a good sign when the dentist says things like “perfect!” I am more used to hearing “well…” 🙂 It doesn’t even hurt.

Bad: I often have weird reactions to medications (not bad, usually, but weird). This time, the antibiotic caused low blood pressure (something that I tend to any way) and being generally down (thus, no blog post yesterday). I’ve also been easily tired. The good in the bad is that Thursday is the last day I have to take the antibiotics.

Good: I had enough energy yesterday to get my Claritin and do some light grocery shopping.

Bad: Our list had three items. We bought a cart-full. Sigh. And I got WAY more tired than I should have.

Irritating (may veer into bad): My mom takes a migraine prophylactic and since it was a holiday yesterday in the States, we didn’t get it filled (we’re bad at holidays). Also, since it was a holiday, the local drugstore was closed. No problem since we were going out anyway. We went to the pharmacy counter and were told (a bit snippily, if I’m honest) that they couldn’t possibly fill the prescription unless the original pharmacy was open. Aggravating! Especially since I know there are drug databases (when my mom was in the hospital last, they knew every drug she’d been prescribed in the last ten years. In this age of technological prowess and databases, the only way to fill a renewal is to call the original pharmacy? Really? (I can only assume this is to prevent people who are addicted from getting more pills than they are supposed to. But who’s addicted to migraine prophylactics?)

Really bad: My mom’s already had a migraine today. She described it as a humdinger. For some reason, she’s still doing things. When I have a migraine, I go to bed and then whine a lot.

Good: We can get the medication today. After 11. Maybe see below.

Irritating: The phone thingie was acting weird which sometimes means that the order didn’t go through. And since I live in a town that’s about twenty years behind the times, there’s no easy way to check.

Bad: I saw an interesting take on the philosophy of grammar on Twitter and I’d really like to show the tweets (like I’ve seen on other websites), but I don’t know how. Is it Storify? Or something that one can do right in Twitter? Does anyone know?

Interesting: Something I saw on line recently said that posts published on Tuesdays were more likely to be read. Fame and fortune here I come? 😛

That’s it for now–how are things going with you all?



Notice to the Person who just Knocked at the Door

We don’t want what you’re selling, or even what you’re giving away. We are more than capable of buying our own wrapping paper, popcorn tins, and candy. I do not want, nor do I need, those cookies. Not even one box. I will not ever buy food that comes from a truck, especially if it’s not refrigerated. Therefore, I am not interested in your ice cream or steak.

If there some yard work that we need to do, we will either do it ourselves or hire someone we know. Goodness knows what would be left of the plantings in the yard after letting “some dude on a tractor” loose on them. We don’t need our trees trimmed or shaken for their seeds. We like for the leaves to mulch into the soil, so we don’t want you to rake them. We can shovel our own driveway.

This applies to handiwork as well. We don’t want you up on our roof (putting holes in!), tarring or “asphalting” our driveway. We don’t want you poking at our siding or our foundation, nor digging any holes.

Our souls are not your concern. They are well-taken care of, thanks. If we were interested in your church or your denomination, I assure you, we would be able to find it, since places of worship are well-marked. The fact that no one answers the door when you come around, anywhere on this street, might give you a hint that we’re ALL good.

“No” is a complete answer. It doesn’t require negotiation, nor will that help you. We’re not changing our minds, especially if you say “but we can do it right now.” We like to research and think about things. Not accepting no as an answer means that you are being rude, and I guarantee that I will be ruder.

So please, please, go away. Stop bothering us. We just want a quiet day. We promise that we’ll give you one.