Friday, January 31, 2014

Catching Up

Having spent the past five weeks being ill, I've neglected blogging and most everything else. No one wants to read too much detail about someone else's body's issues.

So, just this much info: the bug that went to my lungs is long gone. The asthmatic bronchitis it set off has been the ongoing struggle.

I am now much better. Not all the way back, but at least functioning again.

  • I got all the Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree put away this week. I just did not have the energy before (and even a little moving around started the coughing).
  • I went to Tuesday morning Bible Study last week (it was cancelled this week due to weather/ice issues).
  • I taught my Sunday School class Sunday. It did pretty much use me up, so I had to go home instead of staying for church, but it was a big deal to me.
  • I went to the grocery store with Anne Marie yesterday and did my own shopping for the first time in a month. Now, grocery shopping is usually a chore, not a thrill, but it felt good to get out and do it!
One of the results of not being well for so long is a general withdrawal from the world. I would even let several days go by without reading the blogs I follow or checking out what's new on Facebook. This morning I enjoyed catching up on the blogs.

It will take a while, doing a bit at a time, but I will be catching up on a lot of neglected things!

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Miracle

In my last post I promised to tell about my miracle that happened last week.

It is a simple little story and won't take long to tell.

Last Saturday I was once again at the clinic. My bronchitis was not getting better and the medications were making me have constant tremors. My coordination was shot.

The doctor changed all my medications. This made sense to me, because I was not getting better on what I was doing. I left the clinic with a sheaf of new prescriptions.

Off to Walgreens. I stayed in the car (no point in coughing through the store) and Anne Marie took my prescriptions in. At the pharmacy she was told that one of the prescriptions, Levabuterol for use with the nebulizer, would be $289. It would not be covered at all by my insurance because I was not diagnosed with COPD. However, she would contact the clinic for a rating on the chance that there might be some way to get it at least partially covered by insurance. She really did not think it would be.

Later in the day Anne Marie picked up my prescriptions. Rather than $289, the Levalbuterol was $13!

Wow. That saved me $276. This is definitely a big deal for me.

And what came to my mind was the little white sock I put on my Christmas tree (see that story here).

God is in the little things, and I am thankful.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dosing My Way Through the Day

A couple of days ago I told my daughter and granddaughter that I had a new career--dosing myself. My day revolves around doses of medications. I have been fighting this respiratory problem since Christmas Eve. I completed one round of antibiotic (it seemed to help against the original bug, but the problem morphed into asthmatic bronchitis), a round of prednisone, codeine cough syrup, plus breathing treatments with albuterol delivered through my nebulizer.

I was coughing even worse and had constant tremors from the medication.

Back to the clinic. A change in nebulizer solution, a different antibiotic, a different cough syrup, and a change to a Flovent inhaler.

The cough syrup was the first to go. The hydrocodone/antihistamine did have a drying effect, but mostly it made me woozy. So I went back to Zyrtec for the antihistamine.

So, every day this is what I have to do:
  • Two puffs twice a day of Flovent
  • Antibiotic capsule twice a day
  • Nebulize three times a day
  • Eye drops (for glaucoma) three times a day
  • My regular medications (blood pressure, bones, joints, tremor) twice a day.
I'm beginning to feel like a walking medicine chest!

Now if it would all make me well, not just keep me busy.

I did receive a little miracle last week. I'll try to remember to tell about that tomorrow.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Chad!

The Birthday Boy
Yesterday was my dear son-in-law's birthday. He has been such great addition to our family since he first started pursuing our daughter when they were still only 15 years old. (Of course, then we had no idea what he would become for our family!) Their first date was 29 years ago. He is his parents' son, but I also see him as a son of mine.

The Birdies had such a busy, busy day yesterday that there was just a short window of time for birthday cake and gifts. I got a few quick photos, but forgot to check the setting on my camera. When I downloaded the pictures they were definitely sub-par--the setting was for landscape rather than people up close. I've got to remember to check these things!!

Chad is a good and loving father--which means sitting on his daughter when she needs it!
Megan gave her dad an Angry Birds speaker--and the inner lid inscription couldn't have been more fitting.
Chad and the Angry Bird

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Few Laughs from Christmas Eve

Our friend Gwen spends Christmas Eve with us, and after supper we have a little gift exchange. This year she had a good time picking out items with slogans for each of us. I am going to share those.

These first two were for Chad.
Chad has a very demanding job. He does not take it kindly when co-workers interrupt him just to chat.
He loves his tools and he loves his daughter more!
The next two are Anne Marie's.
This one makes me think of Judge Judy.
Okay, we know Anne Marie's had fun more than once, but the cat's expression is hilarious!
And then there is Megan's T-Shirt.
I'm sure Jesus has a great sense of humor and enjoys this, too!
And I received this nightshirt tee:

Wasn't this just perfect for me?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wandering Thoughts from Reading an Old Book

I just finished an oldie but goodie book, The Nonesuch, by Georgette Heyer. It is one of her many Regency Romances (a genre she basically invented). Set in the late 1700s to early 1800s these books feature characters from Britain's upper classes. They are witty, often funny, and a complex interweaving of the lives of a group of people within a certain social group. Of course, by the end love triumphs.

Thinking about the book I just finished and other books by this author, brought my thoughts to how glad I am to have been born in the U.S. Although this nation had its beginning as an English colony, its European immigrants came mostly from the "lower" classes. Although we have always had our elites, the ambition that drove so many to seek a better way of life by crossing the ocean formed a new kind of elite class, based upon accomplishment rather than by birth.

The characters in the Heyer books are of a class that believed themselves superior simply because of their lineage. A person's bloodlines were all-important. A person could be a wastrel, immoral, and foolish and still be socially acceptable because of his family ties. Wealth should be old wealth based on titles, land, rental of land to others to farm, and investments. The upper class must never, never work for a living. Wealth gained by personal work or commerce did not grant a person entry into the social circles of the elite. Because of this disdain for the working class, the elite spent their time finding ways to spend their time! Visiting, travel, dinner parties (with very strict adherence to rank in seating, etc.--it was important to be aware of every person's placement within their system of ranking), handicrafts for women, sporting events for men, going for rides, going for strolls, playing cards and other parlor games, and so on. There was a constant search for entertainment. (Well, that does happen today, also.)

Of course, there were upper class people who found worthwhile things to do with themselves, from charitable works to writing to politics. But the real, progress engendering, social changing work came from people who had to work, whose creative juices were not stifled by class strictures.

Okay, that's the impression gained from reading books, and not to be taken as the result of any kind of study or expertise! There are always exceptions. Think Florence Nightingale and her work that eventually made nursing a skilled and respected field.

America inherited people desperate to work, to improve things, to change their lives for the better. Class meant little, accomplishment meant a lot.

Of course, some of these workers created things that made them very rich indeed and a new class of elitism grew up based on wealth. It seems to be an element of human nature that once a family has wealth, they become separated from whatever their roots may have been.

But I do like that a person is less apt to be judged by his family these days, if he has lived a decent life. Accomplishments of all sorts are admired. A person can become "somebody" by his own effort, no matter what his background is. (Yes, I use "he" or "his" in the longstanding generic sense. So much less complicated than the awkward his/her or the increasingly common use of "their" rather than generic "his" or "his/her"--which creates a grammar problem with singular/plural.)

This is not to minimize the growing non-working class that is supported by the working class. Every stage of social development seems to produce its own problems. No perfection here; the U.S. is not Utopia.

But I am glad not to live in a time and place where the first thing others must know about a person is his antecedents, so they can judge where he "fits."

I do enjoy a Georgette Heyer book from time to time. They are a pleasant read, they show a certain time, place, and social order that is interesting to visit. And the author has a sense of humor. She also did very extensive research into the period in which she set her stories. The slang expressions used by the characters are a hoot.

Hmmmm...this blog wandered around to places I did not mean to go, and in which I certainly have no expertise. I started out just thinking about how my ancestors came to America from different places and times and found their own ways to make a living and to develop their own social circles. The ancestors I found in building a family tree on have all come from the British Isles. They were not from the titled and upper classes! Through the years some have prospered, some have not. Inherited wealth has not been a factor, as far as I know. Everybody has worked.