Tuesday, March 31, 2009

At last

I have been suffering from dermatitis (nasty skin rash) for a few weeks. It seems to stem from multiple causes, making elimination of those causes complex. I kept fooling around with my theories, and watching the rash wane, only to re-bloom worse than before. I finally had to see doctor yesterday, and got a hefty steroid shot to hold me until I can see the dermatologist he referred me to. I'm waiting for the call as to when that might be. Thank-you shot for some improvement, today, but I've got a very long way to go. I actually shocked the doctor when he saw the worst area—a several square inch patch from below my right shoulder to below the elbow. It's all over my body, to a lessor extent, but that patch was oozing and crusted—nasty! I'll keep you posted.

Sister Linda called from SC last night. She and hubby are back there, for a bit. *sigh* Enough said.

Back to our story. 

The next major event in our lives was Curtis' marriage. This advances us to 1985—we'd been in Wichita for 10 years, and slaves to the restaurant for nearly 7 years. The kids all worked in the restaurant with us, and learned valuable work ethics from an early age. They found out what hard work is all about, and learned team work. 

Curtis married on a Tuesday, of all days. They were being sensitive to us. We were closing the restaurant on Tuesdays then, and they knew that it would prevent a hardship on us, if they didn't force us to either close the restaurant on a busy weekend or make the other employees try to do without us, so that we could attend.

The poor quality photo above is of their vow exchange. Our first fledgling leaves the nest. Hugs.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Here it comes!

I thought I'd publish a spring "thing" before the predicted weather hits, tonight. I don't think we'll get hit too hard, but winter isn't going down without a fight! 


Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm having a blast with my DSL!  You have each been through your surprises when you got rid of your dial up. It's finally my turn. It is a whole different world. I've been on other computers on high speed. But to be visiting my same old sites from my same computer is just overwhelming.

The installer/technician labored all day getting me going. It is the farthest he's ever "pushed" DSL, and was a major struggle to get it the last 400 feet. In fact, he got it to literally right outside the front door, but had to work a different angle to get the last few feet.

But—I'm going, and loving it!  

Mel is off this week with spring break, so my schedule is different, but will resume my stories soon. Hugs!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I was going through one of my two 'medium' packing boxes of photos, (which I'm going to organize some day) and came across the one above which I just love. I don't know what prompted me to take a shot of the cat "eyeing" my beta fish (red one in left edge of bowl) through the fishbowl—but I think it "speaks" its 10,000 words.

To catch up on some stuff...

René and Jenni (daughter and 14 year old grand) came to visit us from Wichita for a few days. Their spring break is this week, (René teaches 5th grade) and they decided to take the journey, leaving dad to watch the dogs. Mel's break is next week, so he was running his route, but cancelled one field trip to enjoy their stay. It was fun, and so good to have them. 

My telephone company technician succeeded in pushing the DSL out this far, and I'm signed up to start receiving  it on Monday!!! I can hardly wait—I'm counting the minutes. I hope I'm first on his list, and won't have to wait all day! The cost winds up at about the same as the additional phone line which we'd wanted which started the process to begin with. And, Mel dropped some satellite programming, so the cost will be about the same as before. I think divine intervention played a role.

I slept in BED last night! Some of the changes I've been making are starting to "click" in. I think my treatment next week will be the icing on the cake, and I will be able to get back to normal (for me—lol). 

My endocrinologist visit went well! I told her right off that I'd gone back on my estrogen, and brought a report (which I've hung on to since 1994) which states that estrogen (in animal studies) "coaxes brain cells into forming new connections with one another, thus allowing the cells to transmit messages back and forth." That report, and my explanation that of all MSers are female convinced her that there might be a real connection between MS and estrogen, after all. And regardless, she agreed that if it makes me feel better—keep doing it! My thyroid test improved, too, and I've upped my medication slightly to get a still better # there. 

I think that brings us back up to date. More soon. Hugs!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Sorry about the long pause in our story. Things got a bit hectic, and the time to write was just never when I had the ability. I'm back to my poor sleeping—and then only in the recliner. Having tried everything that has usually worked, I decided to arrange another "treatment". That is scheduled for the 25th.

But, my crazy pattern of "shooters" (starting at roughly 23:00 and easing around 05:00) reminded me to tell you of another story—that of colic.

Curtis (my first born) had terrible colic as an infant. He was a miserable baby in obvious pain. I could set our clocks by his first awakening scream at 05:00. It was as though someone stabbed him in the gut with an ice pick. He never napped, and required constant & intense entertaining to get him through the day without continuous crying. Magically, at 18:00, the ice pick went away, and he fell into glorious sleep until 05:00 the next morning. This lasted until he was 10 months old! (hospitalization and lots of tests when he was 6 months old ruled out other maladies) On the wonderful day that it disappeared, I woke up at the normal 05:00, and by 05:05 was convinced that he'd died, since the scream hadn't occurred. But, a check revealed that he was alive and asleep! By 06:30, I had a chair set up in front of his crib watching his chest rise and fall! But, the colic was gone! After that, I was stuck at home with a 10 month old that wanted to sleep all the time—because he could!

I had thought he had the granddaddy of all cases—until Jenni (René's daughter) arrived—remember that René and I are not blood related. Jenni was definitely the world's worst! Her colic lasted around the clock, and even a brief nap was unusual. René or Danny had to be up with her all night—they alternated. I had no idea one could survive on so little sleep. For the first time, I was grateful for the experience I'd had with Curtis, and I was able to offer reassurance, and to relieve René & Danny for spells away from her. It was during one of my "watches" that, while holding her & feeling the pulsating grips of pain coursing through her body that it dawned on me—Jenni has "shooters"!!! That is when I knew that colic is neurological. I've since discovered that many fellow MSers have children who had severe colic.

The picture today is during one of Jenni's rare naps, while grandpa held her. We laugh, today, that we actually have a picture of her asleep! René says that we just caught her blinking! Anyway—the picture is a treasure, and the story is more food for thought.   Huge hugs! 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

Just a friendly reminder that we change time tonight. Before bed, move your clocks forward (ahead—lose an hour's sleep) one hour.   :)   Huge hugs!

Friday, March 6, 2009

bad news/good news

We just had a bad news—good news situation. The bad news is that the second phone line we'd ordered in the house so that we could receive calls if we were on-line cannot be installed without undue expense. We are in such a rural area, that we have little/no cell phone reception so that is useless to our receiving calls. And, the only high-speed available to us (either through ISP or phone company) is pricey satellite, which is also unreliable in case of storms, etc rendering reception poor. So we'd decided to "splurge" on a second phone line to separate computer and telephone. The new line was to have been installed yesterday, but they never showed. I called about that this morning, and they sent a man out today. As I said—he could not accommodate the request without costing over $200! Butt, (the big butt, again) the good news—the installer is pretty sure he can boost DSL to us!!! Soon!! I'd said we were on the waiting list, but that meant waiting and waiting and waiting. He needs to do some checking, but thinks he'll have our answer early next week! Keep your fingers crossed, but I'm encouraged that I'll have high speed next week. Hurrah!

I had another good night's sleep last night, and made another profound discovery—two discoveries, actually. 1) the rash I've been experiencing (over most of my body) was medication related—too much Neurontin, and is starting to clear up. 2) I can achieve the slight elevation needed in order to sleep, while in bed, and won't have to sleep in the recliner!

As I nestled in the recliner, last night, I pondered what it would take to duplicate this position while in bed. I was thinking pillows, but a picture of a body pillow which we already have flashed to mind. When Mel got up for work, I ran the idea by him. He put the pillow in our bedroom, and we kissed "goodbye". Not only did I drop right back to sleep, propped in bed, but I decided to try another "no-no" a little later—I rolled over onto my right side! Shooters are sensation and pressure sensitive, so I haven't been able to sleep on my right side in about 19 years. The trial worked, and I fell asleep on my right side!! I slept there for about 30 minutes until I awoke, naturally, to begin my day.

Divine intervention interfered again! I guess, then, that the news is ALL good!  Huge hugs!

Thursday, March 5, 2009



I actually got some great sleep last night—at last! The old adage, "too soon old, too late smart" applied, but I finally got through my thick skull how to accomplish the difficult task of sleeping. You'd think that after 65 years, I'd have it down pat—but the MS throws curves into the "normal"—so I had to readjust. I had been trying to do things MY way, but finally remembered that I had to do it MS's (the shooter's) way!

In 1996, I was keeping a log of my "shooters". I went through a spell, back then, similar to the recent sleepless, painful episode I've been going through, recently. I've already explained that shooters are unbearable—that I WILL NOT (cannot) live with them—so whatever they want, they get! It is a matter of survival. I must either get rid of them, or get rid of myself. Simple.

In 1995, I'd had a total hysterectomy, and although I was already post menopausal, the shooters wanted estrogen, I discovered. (without ovaries I was incapable of producing any) So, in my 1996 log I experimented, and that is when I started on hormone replacement therapy. Shooters were happier, but they wanted estrogen every 8 hours—not just once per day. Okay—you got it! Another discovery, back then, was that shooters wanted me to be slightly elevated, and not on a flat bed—you may not get horizontal, but must sleep in a recliner! Okay you got it! Now, after some time of the 3 estrogen per day, I gradually was able to resume sleeping in bed instead of a chair.

All of this finally returned to mind, and I realized that I'd lapsed back to 1996 levels, having stopped the estrogen. I wrote that I'd re-started the estrogen, but was trying to resume sleeping in a bed. (of all places) But, last night, I decided to try the recliner sleeping, again. It worked! After my pre-bed spa soak, I reclined in my chair with a pillow & blanket—instant zzzzzz! I slept until Mel got up for work. After a half-hour, or so, I decided to try bed. The next thing I knew, it was 09:30! I got about 8 hours sleep total, and only took 2 Neurontin! YAY! YAY! YAY!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009


During the intolerable heat of 1980, we had to take some drastic measures, as we were living hand to mouth, and expenses were overtaking income by a landslide. The old AC in the restaurant was not able to keep up with the demand, and was struggling to keep the dinning room semi-comfortable. The customers dwindled, and those who dared venture in, had little appetite. The kitchen was not air conditioned, and  was actually life threatening—a meat thermometer sitting on a shelf out of the direct heat from equipment read over 130°! What it was for Mel and cooks working over the grills, deep fryer, and steam table is only imaginable. We did obvious measures such as rotating wet shirts, salt tablets and plenty of drinking water to prevent dehydration, and lower body temperature, but there was no relief in sight, and we needed to do more.

Our solution was to do our necessary deep frying (tortilla chips) and baking first thing. When those were done, the fryer and oven went OFF for the day. After breakfast, the grills went OFF. We put out a notice to our customers that due to the extreme heat, we would operate on an emergency menu after breakfast. Our mexican food was all micro-waved to order, so was no problem. We put out a menu of cold foods including salads, a cold cut plate, a fruit salad, sandwiches, stuffed tomatoes, etc.. We substituted potato salad for french fries, and Mel's potato salad was such a hit he had to keep it available for the rest of the time (16 more years) we operated the restaurant. The customers loved it!! The cooks loved it!! Our pockets loved it!!

The AC didn't make it, however, and we had to buy a new one (ouch!) We also had to buy a new one for the house. The air conditioning companies boomed that year!

Looking back, I think I should make Tee shirts for us that say, "We survived the summer of 1980!"      Hugs!