Thursday, September 01, 2016

So it begins...

The days of school work getting sent home to be finished, because someone was to distracted during the lesson to get his work done. When we sat down to do his home work he refused to do this page. His reasoning was that he already corrected the mistakes, so He feels he did it and the changes he made are correct so no need to rewrite the whole thing.
    No amount of incentives are getting him to change his mind either.... I'm about to lose my mind!!!
Have I mentioned lately how much I hate homework, especially if it was something he was supposed to have done in school?? He brings home more work that he didn't finish in school than actual homework.


Friday, July 01, 2016

That time of year again...

  The Potter County Fair entry forms are due today! Yes, my boys' rabbit and goat form are in, just barely but they are there....lol.... I mailed the rabbit papers yesterday so they could be postmarked by today and hand delivered the goat papers last evening too. Talk about last minute, but if you know me you know that is the way I am.
    Now the challenge is to get the boys to not change their minds about which rabbits and goats they want to show between now and fair week. In the last weeks they have changed their minds so many times. I guess that is one of the problems of having so many animals and telling you kids that they have to pick only a few to take to the fair. Trust me folks, the struggle is real. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Craziness...



Almost four months, and you'd think I'd have something to write about... or not?
Wow. I don't even know where to begin, really.
Daisy had boy/girl twins on March 5th. *K* named the babies Dana and Dexter.



Bubbles had twin bucks the next day (March 6th) so in three days we had three sets of twins.


Of course both does had their babies at night so no good pictures or video could be taken right away. The lighting in the barn is horrible even in the daytime.

I bought *K* another copper satin doe rabbit to replace the one that died a few months before. Her name is Cindy. She is much larger now but this picture is from the day I bought her.


I bought another milk goat. Her name is Willow and she a half sister to Bubbles.


Then this happened on April 4th! Yeah, crazy, right? But such is life here in North Central Pennsylvania.





... and did I mention that this happened at some point? No, probably not! Kittens! They are cute but I really could have done without.


... and then there was more of this on April 9th...


We had baby bunnies!

The baby goats played in the yard...

Buttercup had a baby boy that *Z* named Buddy, on April 16th.

   So, as you can see there is a whole lot of nothing going on here. Oh, and we built more garden boxes and got the garden area fenced in. YAY! Sounds really nice but I still haven't gotten anything planted in the boxes.
   Life just isn't turning out the way I had planned it, so long ago. It has taken a detour recently. As much as I've always felt I am raising my boys alone, even with their father living here, it is real now. I've known it was coming for at least the last two to three years so it isn't too much of a shock. I can honestly say it doesn't feel much different because he was never present anyhow. He wasn't really interested in any of the projects I was working on or even anything the boys wanted to show him or do with him. Financially things are going to be a little more stressed until I figure something out, but that department has always been stressful anyhow. At least now I know I'm the only one who will be spending, so it'll be easier to save for something, instead of hoping that he didn't spend all of the money I was trying to set aside for something we needed. Its going to take some getting used to but we (the boys and I) will be okay. If any of you have any suggestion on things I can do to make money from home, please let me know.  












Friday, March 04, 2016

The full circle of life here on the farm today...

   This morning I started the day mentally preparing myself to send the last of our pigs to the butcher. All the other times that we've sent pigs to be processed, I haven't really thought too much about it because the intended purpose for raising those pigs was for meat. This time, we are sending two sows that we kept for the purpose of raising babies. The thought of eating them never crossed my mind until recently when our financial situation, unexpectedly, changed. Red is three years old and Peaches (out of Red's first litter) is one and a half years old. They were both really good moms and had big litters (13 to 16 piglets each), so my heart is heavy today as I prepared to send them off to be processed. Once they are loaded onto the trailer and off the property, I will be okay. I will enjoy the meat just as much as I have any other pigs we've raised.
Peaches sharing her last meal with the ducks and chickens.
   Soon after starting my morning chores my heart lightened a little because I realized that Shay (one of *Z*'s goats) was definitely in labor and we would have new babies in a few hours. 

Shay cleaning her new babies.

Shay cleaning her babies.
   Actually it didn't even take two hours. Within an hour of me noticing that she was in labor she delivered a set of twins. A buck and a doe.

   When it came time to load the pigs, Red decided she really didn't want to go for a ride. She squeezed through between the barn door and the trailer and went for a walk about!

Red on her last walk around the farm.

Yep there she goes back the other way!! I was half expecting to see *T* following along behind her with a bucket of feed...




   I was not helping but was told that Red did NOT want to get in that trailer, and it took quite a lot of convincing before she finally did get in.

 
Red finally on the trailer.
I guess Peaches wasn't nearly as hard to load.
Peaches on the trailer.

So, with the pigs on their way down the road, it is time to focus on the new additions. Meet Sage and Sarah!


Sage and Sarah - Shay's twins.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Duck eggs...YAY!!

I've been looking for the ducks' nest, but couldn't find it. The way they've been acting I was sure they were laying, but I hadn't seen any eggs. I found their nest! There were three eggs in it yesterday and two this morning.

Given the choice of eating duck eggs or chicken eggs, I choose duck eggs.

Click here to see a post from 11 years ago today

Click here to see another post from 11 years ago today.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

I said I needed 200' of fencing ...

... and he asked if I really needed a 50' by 50' garden! He should know by now that by the time I say I want something I've already done the math. 


Apparently he forgets my stories about the garden that was started when I moved here, and the ones I had the first few years I lived here. I wish that I had taken pictures of it. They were lovely! Planted in rows and deep mulch between the rows and plants to keep the weeds down, so they were different than the one I have planned now. I want to have mostly raised beds now. After not having a garden at all for several years, I put in four raised bed three years ago and they worked really well for me. Now I am ready to expand the garden again.
   Here is a picture of my little garden from 2013

I have since fenced it, but the fencing I used is low enough that my goats have learned to jump over it and get into the garden. I bought 200' of welded wire fencing a couple of days ago and want to get started but I have to wait for the ground to thaw before we can drive fence posts. I could start making the boxes now.


   Nineteen days away from the first day of Spring and its 56° F. so we are getting closer to being able to start planting.
   The first of the baby goats are due to start arriving next week, so I'm hoping to be able to post lots of cute pictures soon. Last week one of my heavily pregnant does died suddenly one morning during chores. I have really don't have any idea what happened to her. She was having a hard time getting up on and I tried to help her up and all of a sudden she acted as if she couldn't breathe and she was gone just that quick. I was quite shocked by the whole thing. She hadn't really shown any signs that anything was wrong other than the day before had started to have a little trouble getting up on her own. She was due to kid March 11th but she didn't show any signs of being in labor, just having a hard time getting around and getting up on her own... the next morning she died.
   Two days ago I went out to the barn to find a set of twins had been born during the night and were dead. I had their mom's due date written down as the 17th of March, so I wasn't expecting them yet, but they did not appear to be born early. They were fulling developed an were even all dried off and Mom's udder looked like they had nursed. I'm really hoping that this isn't the way the whole kidding season goes.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Real Talk Tuesday...

   Today I want to talk about phone calls. I'm not even sure where to start but I think its something that a lot of people don't understand about me. I really don't like making or receiving phone calls, if its an unknown number or if I don't know the person I'm calling. For a couple of very personal reasons the phone ringing, and me not expecting it, sets off one of my anxiety triggers. It has taken me a while to realize this but it takes me back quite a few years ago to a time when I was really struggling financially and almost every time the phone rang there was a bill collector on the other end. In that same time frame I had taken a second job to try and recover from my financial troubles and wouldn't you know that second job ended up being a receptionist at an animal shelter. Well, I'm not sure how many of you know this but probably 90 percent of people who call or come into a shelter, are not inquiring about an animals to adopt. In fact its quite the opposite!  They either have a box of kittens they say were left at their house (which I rarely ever believed), or they were calling because they had a dog who they couldn't (or should I say they didn't want to take the time to train properly, or they hadn't done their research on the breeds characteristics), or they were moving, or having a baby or whatever the excuse of the hour was. The job also required me to return phone calls that were left on the answering machine during hours that the shelter was not open. So majority of my time there at that job was spent just dreading that door opening, or the phone ringing, or even having to make a phone call because I never knew what craziness I was going to be facing at any given moment. Because of the policies at that shelter it wasn't like I could just accept every animal that was being brought in. There was quite a protocol that had to be followed and if it wasn't followed then I'd get into a lot of trouble. So that was very stressful for me.
   My main, full time, job I was working in retail. So, I was dealing with customers (and answering the phone on occasion) for at least 6 of the 8 hours that I was there. So, for the few hours I was home at night I REALLY didn't want to see or hear another human being. When the phone would ring I knew it was most likely a bill collector anyhow so I'd let the answering machine get it. If it was a friend I'd sometimes call them back right away and other times I'd just put it off, because I just wanted my alone time. Needless to say, this became a very bad habit. When I was home that my down time, away from humans. I did not want bothered. I lived alone with the exception of my animals, of course, and down here on this dead end road there was little traffic so t was the perfect escape.
   So that was like 11 or 12 years ago, so what is my problem with phone calls now?? Well, lest see. It could be the fact that I have small children and every time I am on the phone one or both of them think they need to be in my face asking or telling me something in the loudest voice possible. Or, maybe its that if the kids aren't making a fuss, I'm trying to get dinner ready, or its chore time, or maybe by this time its homework time, or possibly its bath, story time and bed time....
  Are any of you noticing that phone calls are just not normally fun for me? If you call me and leave a message and I respond back by sending you an email or private message on Facebook, instead of of an actual phone call - PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL. It has NOTHING to do with you, honest! Email and messaging are just easier for me most of the time. I might not always have a chance to call someone at the moment I think of it, but I may have a few seconds to send out a quick post and you can respond when it is convenient for you.
   Recently I had someone ridicule me and say that I was hiding behind messaging instead of calling and dealing with an issue over the phone. That wasn't the case at all. I really did want to address the issue with him but my daily schedule doesn't always work out so I have a spare half hour or so that it would have taken to resolve what he was confronting me on and quite frankly I felt the 'issue' he wanted to talk to me about wasn't my problem to begin with, so no I was not going to take time out of my day to make a phone call about something that I didn't want involved in.
   So, please, if you call someone and they don't return your call immediately or they send you a message in another form, try to be a little understanding. Its probably nothing personal against you.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Just plain tired...

   
Yesterday I was just so tired. At first I couldn't think of a reason why. I had been up until about 1:30 am but that really isn't anything out of the ordinary, for me.
   Since it was Saturday I was able to sleep in later than normal, so I hadn't even gotten out of bed until after 8 a.m. I didn't have time for my tea before going out to do barn chores, like I normally would, because there was a scheduled power outage that was to start at 8:30 and I needed to get the animals watered before we lost power.
   After chores we left to check on a friend who has  recently had surgery. When we got home I went to my room to read. With no electric there wan't much else I could do, right? I know, I know, there are lots of other things that I could have been doing, even with no electric. I have no idea how long I read before falling asleep but I woke up around 1:30 p.m. The electric had come back on at some point between 11:30 and 1:30. The rest of the house sounded pretty content (I could here the boys talking to their dad and the tv was on downstairs) so I just rolled over and went back to sleep. The next time I woke up it was 3 p.m. WOW!! "I have slept most of the day" is what I thought to myself. But a wise women once told me not to feel guilty about taking a nap because if you are able to sleep, your body must have needed it.
   Once I finally did get up I felt so drained. I had no energy at all, my mouth hurt, I just felt icky.
I was hungry but didn't feel like eating because my mouth hurt - I think I forgot to mention that I had six broken teeth extracted a week ago. There were supposed to be 7 pulled but somehow the dentist missed one, so I have to go back in tomorrow and have that one taken out - My gums really hadn't been bothering me, until yesterday, not even the first few days after the extractions.
   I'm wondering if everything was just finally catching up to me. I had been under a bit of emotional stress (over the chicken incident - refer to previous post) in the last few days. I hadn't really been eating much of anything, for a week, because really what can you eat when you have open holes on both sides of you top jaw.
   I hadn't felt that tired in nearly a year, since before my gallbladder surgery when I was so sick. Oh. and I hadn't had any tea or coffee at all yesterday either.... I didn't have any tea in the house and quite honestly I was too lazy to brew a pot of coffee.... yes I was that tired! Hahaha ...
   I did feel a little bit guilty because it was 64° outside and I had promised my bunnies that I'd clean their trays the next warm day we got. At least they are trays underneath they cages so the bunnies are not sitting in the poo, but the trays are getting full and need cleaned. But with the pee and poo frozen solid it isn't easy to do. Thankfully today I feel better and could clean the cages, but everything froze up again last night. I guess that is that will have to wait til another day. Spring has to be coming soon, right?
 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My rant for the day...

  When are people going to learn that animals are not a convenience item? They are a long term commitment. Some people seem to think they can acquire animals and keep them until its no longer fun for them, or the weather isn't warm enough, and they don't want to go out in the cold to feed them, or all of the sudden they realize that they can't afford to the feed it takes to properly care for the animals. Do they think maybe they should have done some research BEFORE getting those animals, and made sure they have the means and resources to care for them throughout the year? No, they didn't, because they just figure that when its no longer 'fun' for them, they can just get someone else to take care those animals..... and in the spring they'll either decide to go get the animal from that person who has been taking care of them all winter or buy new animals.... and the cycle starts all over again! 

I warned you that this was going to be a rant. And its something I should probably keep to myself. But wheres the fun in that? [laughing to myself] I guess I just need to get this out there, because I can't be the only one who has experienced this. Or maybe I am the only gullible one who gets myself into these situations, I don't know. 

Here is a bit of a background story to help you understand why I'm upset today...... A few years back I had someone ask me take their animals because they were in a bad situation at that moment and needed someone to care for the animals "for a while". Even after agreeing that they would give me a set dollar amount (and a very low cost at that) to pay for feed costs, I had seen nothing. The animals were here for months and I contacted the owners, stating that if they couldn't pay for the feed I had into them or at least come get the animals at that point, or find other accommodations for them, I needed to sell the animals. It was agreed that I would sell them and keep the money I got from the sale as payment for feed and care over the months that I had the animals. 
Fast forward to a week ago.... I got a Facebook message from the father of the person I had dealt with before. The message stated that some of the chickens I acquired in December were his.
WHAT??
He wanted to know what the plan was before he had a bill that he couldn't pay. Again, WHAT?? Why do you think any of these chickens are your's?
He said that 14 of the chickens I got (in December) were "on lone" to the guy I got them from and he was supposed to get them back in the spring. And from what I'm getting, he thinks I need to return his chickens or replace them with pullets in the spring.
Really? I have fed, watered, and housed these things for over two months and I did not know anything about your involvement, until now. So let me ask you, if you had gotten animals from someone and two months later another person shows up stating that those animals belong to them. HOW WOULD YOU FEEL??? In my mind I've paid for them. If nothing else because I have money into their feed and care.... not once in those two months have I seen any help from anyone else. No money, no feed, nothing. And that doesn't even include the time and money that the guy who I got them from had into them. How long can you expect someone to take care of "your" animals with no help and you still consider those animals yours to do with what you want?

And may I add that its always the nastiest coldest part of the year when there is no natural food for these animals, and feed costs are at their highest, when people think they can "lone" their animals out. Do you think I like freezing my hands, face, and feet, etc. to take care of animals that aren't even producing anything for me at the moment... NO... I don't .... but I also know it is part of owning animals. You have to weather the bad days as well as the good days. Why should I be expected to put in the hardest part of the work so someone else can come claim them for the summer, when it takes a lot less feed and labor to keep an animal. In the summer there is tons of food growing in nature and the chickens could pretty much fend for themselves and do quite well. Furthermore when I got these chickens I knew nothing about the deal you had with the other guy, so if you feel you are owed chickens - then take that up with him, not me.
I'd like to offer him a solution to his (and his son's) problem of acquiring animals they can not take care of for the winter. How about come fall put those animals in your freezer and let them feed you for the winter.

If I'm being a cold hearted wench then be that as it may, I don't feel I owe him anything.



Monday, February 15, 2016

Who is thinking about the County Fair in February???


That would be me. Not only does it help pass the time on a cold winter day, it helps me know what our plan is come spring time. For example: My boys like to enter the doe with litter and meat pen classes. We have to plan the breedings for those litters to be no more than 70 days old at the time of the fair. Same goes for the meat pens, but depending how your bunnies grow out, you don't want them too big because the meat pen bunnies have to be at least 3 pounds but no more than 5 pounds at the of the show. Roasters have to be under six months old but at least five and a half pounds but no more than eight pounds. Stew rabbits are required to be at least 6 months old and at least 8 pounds. Oh, and on top of all that, the entries need to be sent in by July 1st - 4 weeks before the start of the Fair. So as you can see it does take some planning. You can't just wait until the week of the fair to decide what you are going to enter.
This is my son *Z*'s Doe and litter

The meat pen that *Z* entered.

We took 24 rabbits to the fair last year. Here are both boys in front of some of the rabbits.


The boys were thrilled (contrary to the look on *K*'s face) that every rabbit they entered got something. All but one got at least 3rd place or higher. The one that didn't got fifth and still got an honorary which happened to be rainbow colored and my 4 year old (at the time) was into everything rainbows at that time so he thought he'd won the big prize -  and wouldn't you know that is the ribbon that got eaten by the rabbit. *K* was so bummed!
So, hopefully, with a little planning now we will have more bunnies to enter this year. The boys love showing their bunnies and goats at the fair. Planning for showing goats will have to wait for another post... oye.

We have a new arrival and some heartache here at the farm...

   Molly, the miniature Mediterranean Donkey, came to live with us two Saturdays ago. I have wanted to get a donkey for several years. Last week I was talking to a friend of mine who mentioned that he is trying to cut down on the number of animals he has, and also mentioned he had a mini donkey for sale. I had to have her!



   She has been here for a little over a week and seems to be settling in nicely. I'm hoping she will bond with the goats (especially the babies once they start arriving) this winter and stay with them once I put them out to pasture again in the spring. Some of my older does are pretty set in their ways so its probably going to take more than a couple of months for Molly to win those girls over. Any babies born this year and after should bond with Molly from the start win no problem.
   I'm hoping Molly will fill the void we have right now in the 'protection' department. We had our old Chesapeake bay retriever, Whiskey, who thought he was a Great Pyrenees. He was raised on a farm with a Great Pyrenees for a few years before we got him. He loved people but did not like strange dogs or other critters in the pasture with "his" animals. This past year he has been slowing down a lot and not quite been up to par in the protection department. I'm not really sure how old he was but we've had him for almost four years and the lady we got him from said she thought he might be at least 5 or maybe 6 years old then. Sadly, Whiskey passed away yesterday. He will be greatly missed.

R.I.P. Whiskey. You will be greatly missed by our family.

Four years ago today.

Six years ago today.



 

Monday, February 01, 2016

Beef Barley Soup

   I love soup. I love leftovers. During the winter months I think I could live on soup and nothing else, and be very happy. The only problem is that I am the only one in my house who loves soup that much. That being said, I can almost hear my family cringe every time they hear my soup pot hit the stove top!
   My stock pot holds 8 quarts so they all think we are drowning in soup by the time I get the pot full. I love it because I don't have to cook for a few days, and will still have enough to put some in the freezer for another day.


Beef Barley Soup

2 quarts water or beef broth
3 Tblsp. beef soup base (L.B. Jamison's) - optional if using beef broth instead of water
1 pounds for ground beef, browned and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 cup pearled barley
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup corn (I used frozen)
1 cup frozen mixed peas and carrots
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

Bring water and soup base (or beef broth) to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for two hours or until the barley is tender.


My blog post from 6 years ago today is posted here if you are interested.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Lets talk about me ...

   I'm not really sure why I can't get myself motivated to let everyone know how things are going here at Seldom Seen Acres, but I just don't seem to take the time to do it. I'm sorry.
   I know I've always kind of kept this blog about my animals but I'm veering off that for a moment to talk about me. I have something I need to get out there. I'm not sure why but I feel I need everyone to know what I've been going through. So this is going to be a long post, as I should have been keeping you all posted as I went along and I didn't -  or couldn't because I just plain didn't feel like it.
   Honestly, I had a couple (okay, more like four) years that I was really sick. I just didn't feel right but couldn't put my finger on what IT was.
   The last week of October, 2010 - I was laid off from my job of 16+ years when I was 5 1/2 months pregnant with my second child. That pregnancy was nerve wrecking enough, because I rarely felt the baby move and at least half of my appointments the midwife couldn't find a heartbeat. I'd get sent for an ultrasound to make sure everything was fine - and it was. But it took a tole on me and I kept questioning if maybe I should have left well enough alone and been happy with just one child. I was constantly afraid some freakish thing was going to happen and my baby would die before I ever got to meet him, although at the time I didn't know whether he was a boy or a girl. So on top of all of that I got laid off from my job... yes, I did! Talk about anxiety and depression setting in. At the time I didn't know that is what was going on but now - several years later - I know that is what it was. Add that too what ended up being a complicated emergency c-section for the delivery of my son in February 2011, with little to no help once I got home, complications with the incision site, etc, etc. I ended up with so much anxiety that it took everything I had just to cope with day to day life taking care of an infant, a two year old, their father, all my animals, and my home.
   In October of 2011 I ended up in the ER because I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I had laid down to rest in the evening while the kids were taking a late nap and there dad was not home. I was so exhausted, and while laying there my heart started racing. Of course I panicked. The thoughts that run through your head when you are home alone with two very small children and something like this happens, are not very good ones. I took my pulse and it was 160 bpm. I'm sure, now, a lot of it was my adrenaline because I was thinking 'whats going to happen to my babies if I die'. I called my mom who came over and called T home. I ended up going to the hospital by ambulance but by the time I got there my heart rate was back to normal and they couldn't find anything wrong. This heart racing thing would repeat itself every few months over the next year or so. I didn't end up going to the ER again just my family doctor. But again, when I was at the office my heart rate would be normal, so they chalked it up to anxiety. I started noticing that even when my heart wasn't doing its racing thing, there were times that I'd get kind of sick to my stomach and just not feel right. I'd get light headed or kind of dizzy feeling. That would lead to me getting nervous and my heart starting to race again. I dealt with this for a long time. The 'episodes' stated getting closer and closer until it got to be at least once a day it would happen. I was scared to go out in public because it was so debilitating when these feelings started. If I was out somewhere and it would start, it would be gone by the time I got home. So I kept thinking it really was just anxiety, but I didn't want to be put on medication for it because I hate taking meds of any kind.
   By the fall of 2014 I was sick all of the time. I had had a sinus infection or a cold almost all year and I was just sick. I couldn't explain to anyone how I felt, I just didn't feel good at all. I had been to the doctor for sinus and ear infections in Sept and Oct, but they just wouldn't clear up. I continued to have fluid behind my eardrum, especially my right ear, even after being treated for a double ear infection. On October 24th,  I started getting a headache. The kids wanted to go to the local Fire Dept's Halloween party. I didn't want to go because the pain in my head was to intense and for some reason T couldn't go with me but was going to meet me there. My mother, being the great lady she is, went with me and the kids. I don't really remember the party that much. All I really remember is how sick I was and how much my head hurt. I thought I was going to pass out at any moment -  and the look on my mother's face every time she looked at me. I knew she knew I was sick and was worried about me. That night I didn't sleep well because my head was hurting so bad. The next morning Mom ended up taking me to the ER. They did a bunch of tests and scans and gave me some pretty potent pain killers. They concluded that I had a lot of sinus congestion on the left side of my sinuses -  that was odd as it hurt on the right side over my eye. Anyhow, they sent me home with drugs and told me to follow up with my doctor if the headache returned. I was in bed all weekend and by Monday my back had started hurting and I was generally sick all over again. I don't remember actually having a headache just my head feeling strange because of the pain meds. I couldn't eat or drink without getting really sick to my stomach... so I just slept, and slept some more, only getting up to go to the bathroom. Tuesday I went to my doctor's for blood work. Of course he did an exam and told me "if you'd lose weight you'd feel better". Really? He I am sicker than I've ever been in my life. I can't even sit here and talk to you with out crying and can't even tell you all the places I'm hurting or feeling sick and that is your answer? I've been this exact weight for at least three years so I don't think that is my problem today!! I left there so discouraged! I went home and went back to bed. Wednesday morning I got my kindergartner off to school and laid down on the couch until my mom came to get my 3 year old to take him home with her so I could rest. Then I went to bed. Sometime that day the doctors office called to say my blood work came back and I was slightly dehydrated but not much. "Just get some rest and we'll see you tomorrow for your follow up". I honestly wondered if I'd still be alive the next day, that is how sick I was. When T got home from work he and mom decided I needed to go back to the ER after he talked to the doctor in person and all Doc offered was some more pain meds. In the ER I had more scans more blood work and was told I had Acute Kidney failure and was going to be admitted. I remember the feeling a kind of relief wash over me because someone had finally found something wrong. Not because I wanted to be sick but because I knew I was sick and no one believed me, until now. T wasn't happy because I had to stay in the hospital. He has this strange sense that he can't handle the kids or life on his own, so I need to be there. I  really wonder what he would do if, heaven forbid, I ever die. I ended up being in the hospital from Wednesday night until Saturday afternoon. My creatine level still wasn't down to where it should be but the doctors felt that they would continue to drop as long as I kept drinking lots of fluids.
   Even after leaving the hospital I still got that strange dizzy feeling every now and then and just felt there was something else going on. I talked to my doctor about it and he said he thought it was because my body was no adjusting to the creatine levels, since it could have been off for a long time and we didn't know it. Okay, whatever. I could tell he was back to the 'she's fine she's just got anxiety over being sick" thinking.
   Over the couple of months the sickness returned to almost the same level it was before. Thanksgiving 2014 was horrible but of course I brushed it off as being anxiety because Mom's house was full of a lot of noisy people. I left early and sure enough, shortly after I got home I was fine. Early in December I returned to the doctor and told him I thought I was ready to be put on anxiety meds. He gave me the lowest dose and I only took it once. Wow, that was the worst mistake ever! Even the lowest dose knocked me out for seven hours.  By the end of January 2015 I was so sick at least every other day that I couldn't function well. I knew I had to go back to the doctor but was putting it off, I'm not sure why but I did. I was talking to a family member, one day in late January, about my situation and she asked if I'd ever had my gall bladder checked. I told her that the only thing that was ever mentioned about my gall bladder was one morning when I was in the hospital back in October, during shift change I had over heard the nurses going over my chart and the one nurse saying they had done an ultrasound of my kidneys and everything looked normal but they did find cholelithiasis. I had asked her what that was and she said "gallstones". I hadn't given it much thought as none of the doctors had mentioned it and the only thing I knew about gall bladder attacks were stories of severe pain. I didn't' have that so gallstones never crossed my mind.
   February of 2015 I made an appointment with the doctor again. As it turns out there was a new doctor in the practice and I was to see her that day - probably the best thing that has happened to me in five years! After a thorough exam and lots of questions she ordered all my blood work to be redone again because it hadn't been done again since the first week of December to make sure my creatine levels stayed down after reaching the normal level. During that appointment I asked her if there was anything in my chart about the gall stones. After looking through everything she did find it. It was like a little light went on.... she nodded her head and said "I bet that is your problem. I wonder why no one ever mentioned it before?" Remember the only one who ever mentioned it was the nurse, thank you Paula!
   March 13th, 2015 I had my gallbladder removed. I had a few issues with digestion for a couple months following surgery but I feel SO much better. No more general sickness, or heart racing issues. I was still having a lot of sinus issues during 2015 and still had fluid behind my right ear drum no matter what we did. I still got dizzy occasionally, probably due to the fluid, but nothing like I had been through in the last five years.
   In mid November 2015 I got a horrible toothache and abscess in my lower jaw - in a molar that had been capped at least 20 years ago. I was put on antibiotics but couldn't get in to see the dentist until mid December. The antibiotics cleared up the infection and also seemed to help my ear issue a little. On December 18th I had two, bottom right, teeth extracted. The capped molar and the molar behind it, that had been broken off at the gum for many years. During that appointment I also asked the dentist about starting the process of getting upper dentures. All of my top molars are broken off at the gum line. There are only six teeth left, on top, that are not broken off. One of those is a root canal that was done eleven years ago and I can feel that it is badly worn. Now that I've done more research on root canals I wish I'd never had them (I have two total) done in the first place.
   The dentist told me I have two options for my upper teeth. Either fix up the remaining six teeth, which all have issues, and get a partial or pull them all and get a top denture plate. He also told me that even if I fixed up my remaining teeth and got a partial they would probably only last another five years - yeah, they are that bad!
   I'm thinking these bad teeth are a big part of all the sinus and ear problems - not to mention the high platelet counts that I've been having these past few years. Did I mention the platelet counts? No. I think I forgot that, but yeah there is that too. It has started to come down since having those two bottom teeth taken out so hopefully that continues. I'm feeling so much better than I was a year ago but I'm still not where I want to be. My mouth doesn't really hurt but I sometimes have a lot of ... what should I say? Kind of like pressure, maybe. It feels almost like I have something stuck between them, but I don't even have any teeth there to have something between. Does that make any sense? No, probably not. The teeth never hurt when they broke off either. I'd be chewing something and, pop, there went part of my tooth. I'm guessing I've lost about one a year for the last ten years. Even when I did have dental insurance it wasn't enough to cover what needed to be done to fix them. They weren't really hurting so I just kept putting it off. So here I am almost 41 and getting top dentures. I've kind of known my whole adult life that this was coming and should have done it at least six or seven years ago.
   So, yeah, this is the start of a new journey... I'll try to keep ya posted.


Six years ago today

 
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