3-21-15 Saturday (Test Fails)

Baring teeth smile This wasn’t a good week.  Monday I went for a physical/check up.  As typical, I had my blood drawn for a cholesterol test.  The nurse also pricked my finger and took a little more blood.  A few minutes later the Physician’s Assistant comes back and says “you have diabetes”.  He’s got an Indian accent but not very thick.   I asked “what?”  He repeated.  I was very, very, very shocked.  In fact, I was speechless.  I said, “I don’t understand.  How’d we get to this?”  He said he told me at my last check that I was heading this way.  He prescribed a med, and said the front desk had literature for me.

Now I have to tell you.  I don’t remember anything serious like this.  Yeah, I remember being told to lose weight.  Maybe the word diabetes was mentioned?  But if it was, it certainly wasn’t made to sound important or scary.

I got my 10 or so page report and left.  I was upset.  Later, I looked at the report and saw where it said my A1C was at 6.7%  I also says, normal range is between 3.9 – 7.0.  OK, so I’m high but how is that diabetic?

A1C

I did some Googling and checked reputable sources like WebMD, American Diabetes Association, etc.  So I read that if my test is 6.5% or higher 2 times in a row, even if it’s below 7%, it’s still considered diabetic.  I call the doctor’s office and a day later retrieve my previous result.  5.9% 15 months ago (1/2014).  ??????  First off, I’m very annoyed that if this was bad back then, then why’d we wait 15 months to check it again?  Meanwhile, another source says > 6.5% = diabetic.

a1c-graph-216x241Above: Per American Diabetes Association

Alternatively,

“When the A1C test is used to diagnose diabetes, an A1C level of 6.5 percent or higher on two separate tests indicates you have diabetes. A result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes.”

-Mayo Clinic

Here’s what I know.  Diabetic or not, what a wakeup call.  Pretty much immediately I signed up for Weight Watchers.  This time, I won’t be rewarding myself with Weight Watchers snack cakes and ice cream bars every night.  Complex carbs aren’t too hard for me since we already eat whole wheat pasta and brown rice.  I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to take those meds.

I also feel like the Physician’s Assistant failed me.  I was scheduled for a follow-up with him in a month but have called and rescheduled with my regular doctor.  AND if my regular doctor continues not to be available, I’ll need to look for a new doctor.

I said at the start, it wasn’t a good week.  Maybe having this issue is just the motivation I needed.  Wish me luck!

Crying face  In other news, my boss gave his notice.  He’s staying with the company but going to a different department.  I’m bummed.   He’s a great manager.  He gets stuff done.  I’m going to miss him.

Smile  Back update… It’s made a lot of improvement.  The pain is very tolerable.  I hope it will all be gone soon.  Maybe those pounds I lose will ease up that issue as well.  No doubt.

Thumbs up  I started Weight Watchers on Wednesday, 3/18/15.  My Mom asked, “why’d you start it midweek?”  It felt good to tell her that putting it off until Monday wasn’t beneficial.  Starting the diet was a “sooner the better” situation.

Annoyed  On Saturday I had to work.  I hate working Saturdays.  It kills our weekend plans.

Open-mouthed smile  Coming up this Monday, Jim’s hours change from 9:30 – 6:30 with 1 even later night in the week to 8-5, no late nights.  After a year of a craptastic schedule, he’s back to a better one that will enable us to get to Augusta earlier on Friday.  Now he has to get used to getting up earlier!

Party smile  We picked up season passes for Carowinds.  Strangely, we’ve lived here 5 years and have never been there.  It’s only 45 minutes away from us.  We drive past it on the way to Augusta.   

Angel  On Sunday we met Jaime and Ruby for brunch at On The Border (Mexican chain).  I resisted a Bloody Mary (5 points).  I didn’t eat a single tortilla chip.  I ordered a grilled chicken, rice, veggie thing on their “Border Smart” menu.  It was delicious. 

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That’s all I’ve got.  Any dieting/diabetic tips?

3-15-15 Sunday (Lounging With A Taco)

OK, let’s kick this off with some photos I’ve had on my phone. 

2/14/15 at the Augusta WifeSaver

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Now you know I’d never take a picture of someone and make fun of them.  It’s just not right to mention the hideous head of hair on this one.  So instead, I’ll give you a tour of one of our favorite LOCAL (7 locations) chains called WifeSaver.  We LOVE their chicken tenders and I love their fried pork shop sandwich. 

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So, here’s the soda machines.

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I forgot to take photos of the other areas of the restaurant.  Oh well.

Speaking of seats (work with me), get a look at these.  I go to Taco bell maybe 2-3 times a year.  One day I went for lunch and here’s what I saw.

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It’s like waiting room furniture in the middle of the dining room.  Who wants to slouch over a coffee table to eat their meal?  Fail.

Just for fun, instead of providing the Taco Bell link, here’s one with Taco Bell related funnies.  You’re welcome.

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OK so here’s how the spinal injection went on Monday, 3/9/15.

steroidWe had a short consultation with the doctor.  He gave me the typical expectations, procedures and warnings.  I changed into shorts, left Jim in the exam room and off to the procedure room I went.  I laid face-down on a table.  My skin was prepped.  I felt a little burn when the local anesthetic was administered but nothing more than the pinch/burn felt when it’s given in the mouth by a dentist.  Next, a contrasting solution is given.  This helps them see the spine during their fluoroscopy (live X-ray) use.  Next is the steroid.  I felt some pressure on the spine and with a groan the doctor would pause, allow the pressure to subside and then inject more.  A Band-Aid and a walk back to the exam room finished the process.  I’d say it was all about a half hour.

c-arm_fluoroscopy

I took the remainder of the day off.  I pretty much vegged.  Jim worked from home.  I’m sure I could have managed to work, but I really just wanted to relax and allow the steroid to work it’s magic.

heelsThe next morning I was able to tie my shoes without much pain.  Yay.  Unfortunately, the next days after that I felt like I was heading downhill again.  Overall I think it’s a little better.  I was told the biggest change is 24-72 hours and then can take up to 3 weeks for the full affect.  Meanwhile I’m on day 5 as I type this.  I have a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks so we’ll see what happens.  Maybe I need a second round?  I certainly don’t want to skip to disc removal surgery.  Oy.

Here’s a 90 second animated video that shows how the procedure is done. 

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The word Payday circled in red marker on a calendar to remind you of the date you receive your wagesWork is going.  We’ve been busy and taking Monday off put me behind so I’ve worked my ass of this week trying to catch up.  I did have 2 more evaluations done regarding my income training and I passed those so I’m officially W2, paystub, 1099 and retirement income calculation savvy.  Well not really.  I’m still way confused on some of it but it will all become clear in the future with practice.

3-8-15 Sunday (Incubation)

saturdayWhat a week.  It’s over.  I had my panel interview (2/23/15) for that Underwriter 2 position.  It went well.  I guess it went well enough that the next day they called and made me a sizeable offer.  I have an issue with the hours though.  Every Saturday to most every Saturday doesn’t appeal to me.  Unfortunately, I’m not willing to give up my Saturdays for any price.  I stalled the recruiter and negotiated with my current department.    Negotiations went into the following week.

On Thursday (2/26/15) we suffered through Snowmaggedon.  It started Wednesday evening.  Big, fluffy white flakes.  This time, no ice storm, just snow.  We were all set for a 2 hour delayed started so that was nice.  I slept in and then off to work we went.  The roads were slushy; that’s about it.  It was great snowman snow.

I didn’t pass my first 5 income case studies so that sucked.  I got 3 out of 5 right.  4 out of 5 is required to pass.  They were stupid, stupid mistakes. 

Friday night?  Off to Augusta for the weekend we went.  On Saturday, 2 different guys were supposed to come out and give us estimates on terra-forming our site, well building it up, for a future roof over.  One missed the appointment time and the other “called in sick”. 

The next week was weather-uneventful.  I did pass my next set of income case studies so that’s a relief.  I passed 5 out of 5 this time.  I was extra careful.

promoI did get my promotion to an Underwriter 2 so that was nice.   With a promotion, I got a raise but wasn’t able to get nearly the amount I was offered. Go me, somewhat.  I turned down the other position and received a “glad you can stay hug” from my boss’ boss and her boss.  It was really, really nice to be wanted and appreciated.  I wished it was more financially appreciated, but a hug is nice.

On Wednesday (3/4/15) I went to OrthoCarolina for a look at my leg/back/spine/whatever. I was X-Ray’d and then examined.  The doctor said I have a bulging disc (already known since MRI 1/2/14) and a pinched nerve.  I need a shot into the spine which is done at another office.  I think it’s Cortisone.   After the shot, I have a followup appointment 3 weeks later.  If I still have pain, I’d need a disc removed.  I’m so freaked.  I don’t even want to talk about it.  As soon as I mention things like this to people I start hearing the good and the bad stories.  It just makes me upset.

MRI Lumbar Lateral 01-02-14 - Edited

My shot is scheduled for Monday and Jim has to take me. I guess some people feel sick or whatever so they don’t want me to to drive.  I’m so excited to get rid of the pain, it’s like Christmas or something.

I’m worried about Dasher.  Aside from the cancer/age spots on him, and a cyst on his back hind area, and Insulinoma (insulin secreting tumor of the pancreas, he peed in the bed Friday morning.  Yep, at 5:59am (my alarm is set for 6am), he stood at the foot of the bed and peed.  Right on through to the comforter, sheets and mattress pad.  He’s never done that, especially in front of us.  I guess he really had to go but wondering if it’s a sign of something else.  We’ll see what happens this weekend.

We left work early on Friday and headed to Augusta.  Nothing special, we just thought a little extra time would be nice.

Walmart is a great source for strange photos.  Here’s a couple from Saturday. It’s an incubator just sitting there.  No signs, just a trophy on the top of it that could somewhat, loosely, be associated with an incubator.  My brain went into overload, thinking of scenarios of why it’s there. 

“No time to shop with a preemie at home?  Bring it in and incubate while you shop.   Now at Walmart.”

-- “Ever since our dog ate my last preemie, it’s just not safe for our little Jimmy to stay home by his self.  Now I can take him along, throw him in that ink-u-thing and get my shoppin’ done reaaaaaal fast like.”   -- Eunice Ann (A real Walmart customer from the trailer park behind the store)

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It was a fun and relaxing weekend.

2-22-15 Sunday (Chiropractic Flashbacks)

MondayIt’s been a long week even though I didn’t work a full week.  Let’s see, Monday, I had a phone interview with my company for an Underwriter 2 position in the personal lines and loans department.  I’m currently a level one in the Home Equity department.  I’ve mentioned how I’ve been passed up for a promotion previously due to budgets and layoffs.  As a side note, now my department is hiring for positions we laid off in August and October.  I shake my head.  Anyway, the phone interview went so well that he immediately scheduled me for an in-person “panel interview” which means 2 people will interview me.  That’s for this upcoming Monday.  I have a lot of questions.  There’s so many rumors circulating that make this position seem like a bad move.  I’ll find out for myself.

Also on this glorious Monday, Icemagedon 2015 started.  At midday it was snowing, sleeting and raining.  Not just rain but freezing rain.  On my drive home, my windshield was icing up.  It was remarkable.  I’m glad the car was warmed up enough to throw the defroster on.  When I made it home, the car was covered in ice.  It was amazing.  It rained and froze all through the night.  I didn’t take any typical frozen patio furniture photos.

laundryOn Tuesday, I called in to our work’s weather line and the recording said a late start for 10am.  Looking at everything covered in sheets of ice, I thought, no thanks and stayed home.  I’ll get paid 2 hours and take the other 6 in PTO.  It was worth it to me.  Too nasty out there.  Meanwhile, Jim has a work laptop and had to work from home.  I did like 92 loads of laundry to celebrate the day off.  Go me.

Wednesday at work was all about catching up with the work load.  We were behind.  Overtime was opened up and “encouraged” by management. 

Sciatica-and-ChiropracticI’m still having this hamstring/glutes pain issue.  Thursday I went to the Chiropractor.  Not the guy who recommended the expensive machine treatment but rather my previous Chiropractor.  I only stopped going to him because there was a Chiro in my building.  Oh, and not the Chiro who wanted to schedule all 26 insurance approved adjustments right away and then during treatment showed me a nature video that was tragic.  I got measures, examined, adjusted and then therapy and given a treatment plan.  He said I will likely feel an improvement after 3 visits.

Chiropractic visit #2 on Friday for an adjustment and therapy.  I told him I felt slightly worse and got the “it will get worse before it gets better story” and I’m hopeful that he’s going to work his magic.  Although, by Friday night I felt like it was worse.  Getting into bed and trying to move more toward the center of the bed was tragically painful.  I winced, yelped, cried out and had my eyes roll back in my head on several moves.  I hate this shit.  AND while I’m whining, I still have a cough.  Depending on my position at the time of the cough, it hurts my leg like a mother. 

lostUnrelated.  I love Amazon.  I order a lot from there.  I’ve got a Prime Membership (now it’s like a $100 a year).  On a previous post I’ve mentioned that we ordered an auto-propane tank switching valve thingy.  I was alerted via my phone that it had been delivered; it was left at the door.  Not uncommon at all.  Well, it wasn’t there.  I checked all over and even walked to the neighbor’s house on either side of us and didn’t see it there either.  I gave it an extra day to allow time for a neighbor to come forth.  Nope.  So I went on line to file a claim.  I had this “they better ship me another ASAP and not make me wait” attitude as I navigated the site.  Easiest ever.  I pulled up the order, clicked on “where’s my order” and then clicked “replace”.  3 seconds later, bam, an email.

“We've placed a new order for the item(s) and we'll ship it to the same address as soon as possible. There is no charge for this replacement order. We have also upgraded the shipping method at no additional charge.”

I am so impressed.  I wonder if they have an algorithm that compares how long I’ve had an account, that I’m a Prime member, my total purchases, and weigh in the price of the item that’s lost to come up with how they should handle it.  If I just created a new account and ordered 1 item for $200, would I have gotten the same handling situation?  If not, smart of them.

We’ve decided to stay home this weekend.  I’ve had this cough + the hamstring issue + worked late Friday night.  We’ll enjoy hanging around the house and maybe getting some stuff done too.  No promises.

Saturday night we had dinner with friends George and David.  George was once a resident at the Augusta campground.  He eventually moved to Aiken and then later to Charlotte to move in with David.  We went to a Mexican restaurant. The food and the company were great!

Fuddruckers-Sign-bigSunday we went to lunch at Fuddrucker’s  and did some shopping.  Fuddrucker’s was quite tasty.  We’ve been to one years ago and weren’t impressed and then again a year or 2 ago and liked it but we don’t have one all that close to us.  Well, it’s a half hour away.  This particular time I was very impressed; the burger was juicy and not greasy.  Well done.  The patty’s are freshly made and the buns baked in house.  Yeah, I know it’s a chain.  But we like chain burgers like Red Robin and Five Guys.  Back off!

That’s all I got!

2-14-15 Saturday (Cold Wake Ups)

My hamstring issue took a turn for the worse.  It was so good for a several days but then was acting up again.  It’s not as bad, but it still hurts and I’m not sure what the deal is.  Maybe when it feels good I over-do it?  It seems to hurt in the mornings and at the end of the day.  During the day, it’s fine.  So I’m guessing morning pain due to stiffness and evening pain because I stood making dinner, cleaning up the kitchen and other chores?

As I type this, it’s the end of the day Wednesday and I have completed 3 of 5 income training days.  There’s so much that goes into calculating different types of income.  And, it’s not as easy as taking a year’s income and dividing by 12 for a monthly figure. 

In the meantime, today I received my level 1 exception authority.  I passed 10 out of 10 case studies.  It’s more of a status thing for me.  An accomplishment.  An ego booster.  Whatever you want to call it, I’ll take it and brag. There’s not many people with exception authority including many coworkers who have been there way longer than the 2 years I have.  I’m not perfect, I failed it the first time around.

In other news, I reconnected with a friend I haven’t seen in about 10+ years.  He No smile Garretwas a my first boyfriend (1989) and I’ll always have a special place in my heart for him.  Isn’t that how it goes though?  He found me on Facebook.  Through the years, I’ve searched for him online but his name was all too common to get a good hit. I had tons of old photos I had scanned in years ago so I emailed them to him for laughs.  Strange hair colors, late 80’s hair, and the like.  Good memories.  That’s me in the photo. Click to enlargafy.

OK, so now here I am again on Saturday.  I finished my week of income training and passed the assessment so far.  Next will be case studies and then I should get certified.  In a couple of months I’ll go into another income class to learn how to do self employed income, partnerships, C Corps, LLC’s and all that stuff that I’m clueless on. 

Cavagna (52-A-890-0006C) Auto Changeover Regulator KitThis weekend we’re at the RV in Augusta and it’s cold.  Overnight was upper 20’s.  RV’s use propane heat.  We like to sleep cold but sometime in the middle of the night, my feet felt like icicles.  By the end of the night, I remember waking up and it feeling warm.  When I woke up this morning, Jim told me the propane ran out and we had no heat.  At 5am he went outside and had to switch the tanks.  Brrrrrrrrrrr.  This started off some research and purchases.  Our RV holds two larger (larger than grill size but can’t remember how many pounds) propane tanks.  When 1 runs out, nothing happens.  There’s a manual lever to switch the tanks but that doesn’t help at dark-thirty in them morning.  We called a local propane delivery service to find out about one of those jumbo tanks that they’d come and fill like so many of our campground friends have) and for the expense of the initial setup and all we decided to go ahead and buy an automatic propane tank switcher.  We’re only here on weekends and typically only need the heat at night.  The sun pretty much heats this box up during the day.  So we took a tank to be filled, and I ordered an auto-switcher on Amazon.

Saturday evening, well more like old-people early bird time (4:30), 8 of us went out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, Ming Yat.  The place has been open since 1981.   We had a great time!  Once we got home, Jim went back to enjoy happy hour at the Capri Lounge but I stayed in.  Aside from hamstring issues, I have a cold with an annoying cough.  I vegged and watched hours of Three’s Company on TV.  That in and of itself was painful enough.

That’s all I’ve got!