Monday, April 30, 2012

Request for those that pray

There is a little boy here that's my buddy.  He's such a sweetie.  He hangs out in our Awana class and my class kids call him their mascot and they all love him, too.  He's a toddler, cute as a button and has the best personality.  Every time I walk by him he'll put his arms out, come to me and give me a big ole hug.  His face just lights up when he sees someone he recognizes.  He loves everyone.  Sometimes, when I'm really lucky, he'll come to me at the beginning of church service and snuggle up, fall asleep and stay in my lap all service.  He's a precious child, a true gift from God and I love him to bits.

He's in the children's hospital's burn ward right now.  He grabbed a cup of scalding hot coffee and dumped it down himself.  Dad has medical training and had his clothes torn off in seconds, which really helped stop the damage from being worse.  He's got second degree burns on his chin, shoulders, down his chest and stomach and the worst part is where the coffee pooled right at the top of his diaper.  They did his de-briding (sp?) bath, where they scrub the dead skin off, yesterday and even though he was heavily medicated he passed out from the pain.

I went to see him last night and he's such a doll baby.  They are doing their very best to stay on top of his pain so while I was there he was feeling OK and was actually up walking around some.  His biggest complaint is that they have the IV tubing in his arm (port in but not currently hooked up to anything) and this big inflated cast thing on it to keep him from bending his arm.  He was not happy about that and it was so cute when he'd pick up a snack or his bottle and try to reach his mouth with it.  He couldn't because his arm won't bend, so he'd have to switch hands and you could just see the "UGH!" look on his face, lol, poor sweetie.

Last night he was running a slight fever, so we are all worried.

I will call later this morning to check on him.  I'm hoping that they are all sleeping this morning, so I'm not calling yet.

If you pray, please pray for my little buddy, his parents and the doctors.  They can use all the prayers they can get.

Thank you

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mawmaw's dementia screening results

Well, the doctor said he had been as generous as he could be in the scoring.  As in, if she got it wrong at first but then corrected herself, he gave her credit for it.

Her score: 22

He explained it to me this way:

30 is a perfect score
26-29 is a bit off but nothing to really worry about, could be explained by a bad day, not enough sleep the night before, being stressed and worried about the test, etc.
25 and below is where you get into marked dementia, the resulting issues it causes and support a person needs to still function properly.

He said that at 22 she's right where he would have expected her to be from what we've told him and what he's seen.  She can still do things like bathe, but she needs to be told to do that on a regular basis, she needs someone to be in control of her medicine dosages even though she can hold and swallow them, stuff like that.  Exactly what we are experiencing, in other words.

I looked it up online when we got home and found this description for her results range:

Significant effect.  May require some supervision, support and assistance.

Yep, that's our life right now.

So.  What did this test tell us?  Nothing.  Nothing that we didn't already know, but it did get the information documented officially and in her medical records in case we need that in the future.

He put her on a medicine to help slow the build up of plaques in her brain in hopes of helping her retain her current level of functioning.  He said that after we see how she does on it for a month or so then he may add another one that is often prescribed with the first but he never likes to start both at once in case there is an issue with one or the other.  Starting them separately lets him easily see which one causes any problems.

I did giggle because at one point he forgot about her hearing and started talking in a normal voice.  She was nodding and agreeing whenever he looked at her.  I butted in and said to her (loudly where she could hear me):

You have no idea what he said do you?
Her:  No
Me:  You better stop shaking your head yes when you don't know what he's saying, you might be agreeing to wash his car or something!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wounded Warriors

We met a group of Wounded Warriors last year.  These are active duty Army men and women that were injured while deployed.  Injuries ranged from missing limbs to brain injuries, abdominal destruction due to blasts, etc.  Horrific stuff.

Yet these people had the BEST attitudes of anyone you'll ever meet.  There was not a one of them that wasn't humble, funny, determined and SUCCESSFUL.  Several of them were wounded in the same incident on one day that they call "the day that sucked!"  The man who was most seriously injured was their medic, go figure.  He jokes that they fixed him first because they like him the best.  Their response is that they had to make sure he lived so he could tell them how to fix each other up.

See what I mean about their sense of humor?  :)

I could go on and on about these people, we consider them extended family and I hope they are OK with that label.  ;)

Right now I want to shout and brag, though!

Three of this group have been cleared to return to their units on full duty!  They are thrilled and we're thrilled for them.  I'm so happy for them that it brought tears to my eyes when I heard.  This is what they have been working for hard for and it's happening for three of them within the next few weeks.

I have NO doubt that more of them will be following in the next year.

Did I mention how amazing these people are??!?!?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Government WAY overstepping it's bounds

I'd guess that by posting that title I might end up on a "watch her, she's a homegrown terrorist" list somewhere.  Then again, I'm sure I've been on that list for quite some time now, right along with my husband.  You know, because he's in the military....therefore he's had training, experienced how the government works and therefore can't be trusted.

Big Sigh.

Carolyn, over at Krazo Acres has a great post up saying so much of what lots of us are thinking.  We're tired of the government doing whatever big business wants, which is stepping on the little guy.  You know - the responsible, self-employed business owner, humane farmers who don't pump their animals full of antibiotics 'just because' and who don't add crap to the meat that we can't say, or wash it in bleach right before selling it.

(There are a few *grown up* words in her post, just so you know ahead of time.)

Michigan wants it to be illegal to raise heritage breeds of pigs.  Yes, you read that right.  The average person should not be allowed to raise pigs that are proven to thrive on open air, pasture land and sunshine.  The average person should only be allowed to buy pigs raised by commercial outfits that live in tiny, cramped spaces with no room to roam and that get pumped full of antibiotics and hormones "just because."

This is beyond ridiculous.  It's my land.  If I'm within my land regulations (ie: out of city limits and livestock is allowed) if I want to raise good, clean, disease and medicine free meat for my family - get your nose out of my business!  If the government (and read that as the big commercial pig growers that are pushing for this) win this you can bet they'll try it in other states and with other animals.  I do NOT want my family's only choice for meat to be the medicine filled, extra fluid injected to plump up volume, dipped in bleach water stuff that comes in trays from the big grocery stores.  No way!

To read it, click -> Krazo Acres 
Then when you're done, follow her link to Bakers Green Acres and you'll get really mad.

We made fruit leather

Don't ask me why we haven't done this before.  We own a dehydrator.  We've dried all kinds of stuff in it, jerky, tomatoes, bananas, jalapenos, etc.

We took some of our applesauce and added a package of cherry sugar free jello mix to it.  I had a sheet that you're supposed to use for soft stuff like that, so we used it.  I had too much applesauce, though, so I put plastic wrap over two trays and spread the rest on that.

The plastic wrap trays finished first, by a few hours.

The kids love it.

I meant to take pictures for you, but you know how I am.  I took a picture of the applesauce all mixed up but forgot to take one of it spread out on the trays, partly dried and dried.

Then I cut it up and the kids ate it.  lol


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another family death

I just found out that my Aunt A passed away over the weekend.  She had cancer.  I didn't know.  When I was a kid someone in that side of the family was always *fueding* with someone else, so I can only remember one Christmas where everyone (I think, anyway) was together.  After I got married and moved away they finally all started to get along, but I was then out of the loop.

So, this is the second aunt on that side (Dad's side) to die from cancer in a year's time.  My Mom has had cancer twice, too.  I always tell my doctors that this is why I request the screenings religiously, it's more a matter of when, not if, I get cancer with the history both sides have.

Anyway, in the same email I was also told that my Uncle (on that same side, so A's sister) is in the hospital and not doing well.  He's fought heart issues for most of my life, probably a good 30 years.  He's had stints and valve replacement and leaking blood vessels fixed and who knows what else.  Now they say he's anemic and retaining water badly and they are concerned his organs may be starting to shut down.

I guess there's a good chance Uncle B will be next.

I'm glad they are all speaking now, just wish they had been when I was around, too.  I wouldn't know most of them if I sat next to them on a bench.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Anyone go geocaching?

We've done with the boys for years now.  They call it treasure hunting.

Well, the two younger boys call it treasure hunting.  The older one DID, but now he's too old for that silliness, so he calls it geocaching.

Whatever, he still gets super excited when he finds one!  lol.

We set out yesterday afternoon to find five.  We found four of them.  An unpredicted rain storm started moving in and the clouds messed up the GPS plus we're not tempting lightning, so we called it a day and headed home.

The neatest 'treasure' we saw in one yesterday, IMO, was a sand dollar.

I also found someone's sun glasses and left them near the parking area in hopes they might come back and look for them, but that doesn't count. lol

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Is it a man thing or a MY man thing?

We have a gathering to attend tomorrow night for a friend's birthday.  We've known about it for about two weeks now and yes, it's been marked on the calendar.  

Friday hubby calls from work and says that *so-and-so* (another guy at work) and his wife have invited us over for Sunday evening.

I told him that was nice, but we were going to be at the birthday party, remember?

Oh, yeah, I forgot about that.

Now - here is where the question lies:

If I were the one at work I'd have immediately gone over or called over to the guy's office and told him that, hey, I forgot, but we have a party to attend at that same time, sorry.

Did he do that?

You are correct.  He did not.

A few minutes ago I was looking for wrapping paper for the present and hubby says I guess I should call *so-and-so,* huh?


You haven't told him that we can't come yet?

No, why?

What if they bought a bunch of food to cook or turned down plans of their own or something?  You should have told him Friday.

Hubby:  "He has my number, too."
Me:  "Yeah, he used it to INVITE you.  After that, it's on YOU."


I found the wrapping paper and left the room.

About 10 minutes later hubby comes in the living room:

"I told him we'd probably be there around 7:00 or so."

Let's see.

The party starts at 6:00.  There will be dinner and general visiting and just relaxing to have a good time.  They are planning on a bonfire AT DARK if weather allows.  You know, 8:30-9:00 PM?  

Excuse me while I go bang my head on the wall.

Mawmaw's other self-mis-diagnosis

Mawmaw says she gets blood clots.  She says she had them so bad when she gave birth to her first child (a preemie who died as an infant, never left the hospital) that she couldn't walk and the doctor told her she'd never walk again.

I wasn't there.  Her husband was there, but he's dead (from diabetes, natch) so we can't ask him.

I'm betting, based on what I know of her, that she passed the normal blood clots that happen when you give birth, saw them on her legs, remembered how they didn't let you out of bed right after you gave birth long ago, put 2 + 2 together over the years and came up with 13.


Based on what she'd said about the blood clots that happened when she was in her early 20s (and NEVER since then) a doctor who joined the office she went to in 1995 put her on blood thinners.  A LOT of blood thinners.  Let's keep it short by saying it caused issues.  We (hubby and I) were in other states and Mawmaw's daughter (hubby's Mom) was still alive and living with Mawmaw at the time.  None of them or the doctors questioned anything.  She bruised all the time?  She bled a LOT from a teeny cut?  She falls down and gets cut quite often?  Well, that's to be expected when you're on blood thinners, of course.  You're on blood thinners because of the clots.  The clots that hadn't happened in the 50 years since her first giving birth and this supposed clotting episode.

So, when she moved in with us I immediately moved her out of that office and to a doctor I knew as a friend and knew we could trust.  We started cutting back on meds and she went from being on nine prescription meds. when she moved in to being on one prescription med, one med that you can buy over the counter for dizziness and an iron pill.

No more cholesterol pills, no more diabetic meds (she was on multiple), no more blood thinners.  And her blood kept testing fine.  They sent her to a heart and vascular specialist.....everything came back fine.

For three years she's been on no blood thinners.  Guess what?  No clots.

I really don't think there was ever a blood clotting issue to begin with but of course you can't tell her that.  In fact, she shows the regular doctor and the foot doctor 'my clots' every time we're there.  They all tell her the same thing....those are not clots, they are varicose veins.


Since she's so adamant that this happened almost 70 years ago, this doctor says, well, let's run a test.  Let's see if she does have the MTHFR DNA mutation.  She pipes up and says that she remembers a test being done on her legs that said she has that a long time ago.
1. It's a blood test, not a leg test.
2. She can't remember what city she lives in, but can remember these initials from years ago?

Run it.

If she does have it, it lends itself to other issues like chronic dehydration, so it will be good information to have as things progress.  Plus, it's genetic, so it will be good information to have concerning my husband and our kids.

If she doesn't have it that's good info. to have, too.  Will decrease her odds of certain things and the same for my husband and kids.

It took two weeks to get the results back, they just came in today:

Official wording:

No genetic clotting defect.

I know she could have clotting issues from other stuff, but knowing she doesn't have this is a great thing.  I'm quite confident based on the fact that she's about the most sedentary person I've ever met and she's not had a confirmed blood clot in over 65 years that she doesn't have any clotting disorder, but I'm especially pleased to know she doesn't have this.

Next appt. we should get the dementia test results and official diagnosis.  Will update when that happens.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I know I'm not the only one who's had freezes the last several nights.  I covered what I could and what needed to be...except for the fruit trees.  There's no way to cover those (well, except my satsuma, I did cover it because it's in a pot).  The peach and nectarine trees have small fruits on them already and the apples are in bloom.

I wonder if any of them are going to survive.

Mawmaw medical stuff

OK, to continue some now, because it really gets overwhelming dealing with it all, all of the time.

During the dementia test she did OK, I guess.  She knew the date, state, her name and birthday, that kind of stuff.  She didn't know the county, city we live in, how to spell the word *world* backwards and several other things.

The biggest one, though, was after the test when he's checking her leg wound to make sure that the diabetic healing cream is working and she pipes up and tells him that until that very minute she never knew she had diabetes.

You could have knocked me off the chair.  She was on diabetes meds. for roughly 12-13 years before she moved in with us.  She's not on meds. now because it's dietary controlled for the last three years (since moving in with us) but she goes to a foot specialist.....because she's a diabetic.  She has special shoes that the insurance company provides......because she's a diabetic.  They pull A1C tests on her to check her blood...because, well you get the idea.

No idea, she says.


Either she was screwing with him to get some drama (because she loves attention) or things may be a LOT worse than I thought.

Of course, this is also ignoring the fact that her mother died quite young and when she died her hands, feet and lower legs were 'solid black and hard as a rock.'  Sounds like diabetes to me.

Nope, according to Mawmaw, her mom died of breast cancer.  No matter how many doctors have told her, showed her pictures, information and discussed how she has the hereditary kind, it doesn't matter - her mother didn't have diabetes.

(No matter what she says, her mom did have it, she has it, her daughter had it and died from complications from it......yeah, it IS a family thing.)

I bring up the breast cancer self-mis-diagnosis only because it ties in with another self-diagnosis she has.

Thanks for the very kind words on my last post, ladies.  It does make me feel better knowing that others understand and I'm comforted to know there are prayers being said over this.  Thank you, truly.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More about Mawmaw

I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but it's hard with everyone not knowing the back story.

About 5 days ago she comes to me telling me her leg is just 'thobbing' (what she calls throbbing) and she has no idea why.  I make her let me look and, hey, you've scraped the skin off a patch and it's infected.  When did you do that?  Oh, about a week ago.  *Sigh*  Treated it at home for two days (over the weekend) and then took her in.  Her dr. wasn't available, so had them get her in with mine.  LOVE that man.  Prescribed her some stuff to help heal wounds on diabetics and called me out in the hall to find out what the other dr. had been doing about her obvious dementia issues.  NOTHING.  I've been asking, begging and doing everything I can to get them to test/document, etc.

So, my dr. is now her dr.  We've been back for a few more appts. and have more to go, but at least I feel like we're making progress.  Yay!

He gave her a short test involving some memorization, answering some questions, drawing some shapes that overlapped, etc.  Will get the results from that next time.  He also did quite a bit of blood work.  Most of it came back fine, sugar (A1C) was fine, so was iron, B12, liver function and a bunch of other stuff.  Cholesterol was a bit high but nothing he's worried about at this time, especially because she hadn't fasted for that blood draw because we didn't know they were going to draw blood that day.

What he did find was that her Vitamin D is practically non-existent.  Bad news in that you need it, but good news in that it might explain a bit of the memory, mixing stuff up, getting confused stuff.  I had given the nurse a short letter to give him before he came in the room giving him details on some of the stuff she does, the stealing stuff, what I call organized hoarding, telling lies about how she's treated, trying to sneak out of the house by asking neighbors to take her six miles to town and drop her off (no, she couldn't direct anyone back to our house, has no cell phone and has no idea what our number or address is), etc.  Explained that she, I think, made up her medical history to a certain point, etc.  I KNOW she lies to doctors about stuff because I bust her on it at darn near every appt.  She won't come out of her room unless you practically drag her out (unless you promise to take her to her precious Walmart, then she'll beat you to the car! lol).  Wants books to read but refuses to go into the library and pick some out, etc.

He's putting her on a prescription Vitamin D med. to work on that.  I told her, see, there's another reason you need to get out of your room and come outside with us, so you can get more Vitamin D. She then tells him how this just doesn't make any sense because "I'm an outside person, doctor.  I LOVE BEING OUTSIDE!"

Lying.   Through.   Her.   Teeth.

Yes, I busted her.  She got all mad, made annoyed noises and then made up an excuse for herself.

It's too cold here.


Yes, you read that right, it's too cold in this state for her to go outside.
Summer of over 100 degrees......too cold.

Right.  That's the issue.

Will tell you more next time.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


A tick!

OK, not A tick.......lots of ticks.

Yet another thing that having a mild winter has messed up.  It's early in the year but there are ticks everywhere already.  We've removed 7 off of us so far this year plus found two on the floor in the house.  Only 3 of those were from the days we spent walking in the woods.  The rest were after being at the city park, at a state park campground (read about this below) and one that I guess came from the back yard.

A Scouting camp out had to be postponed until they could reserve a new location because the first site was covered with ticks.

If you're outside at all, be sure you do your tick checks regularly!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The rest of the haul

We practice Leave No Trace principals on outings.

Leave No Trace is what Scouts and schools call it now.  When I was growing up my parents just called it cleaning up after yourself and whatever jerks came before you.

It's really sad the amount of trash we drug out of the (public access) woods with us.
Beer cans
food wrappers
fishing line
bait boxes and bags
store bags
empty shotgun shells

The thing that made me most mad, though, was that someone had gone out and set up a bait trap to try and gather sheds from the deer.  It was obvious that they had poured some kind of bait on the ground from the amount of traffic that area had gotten (prints all over).  They had then taken some of that orange plastic fencing like you see at construction sites and wrapped it all over around and on top of the bait.  Our best guess is that they did it when the deer were shedding their antlers and they were hoping they'd get caught in the fencing while they tried to get to the bait and they could just pick them up right there.  I have no idea if it worked or not, but they left it there when they were done and we found it because we saw the orange as we were walking around and went over to see what it was.

People are REALLY jerks sometimes.  Why walk around looking for sheds following deer trails like the other guys when you can maybe increase your odds by doing something illegal (you can't bait for anything here) and as a bonus, put some animals at risk of getting entangled, too.

So we drug all of that crap out with us, too.  I hope they'd be ticked to know that their poles and fencing are now part of my rabbit defense system in the new area where I planted cucumbers and peas this year.  So, thanks, jerks, for buying that stuff, I hope it cost you a bunch!  By the way, we stopped and reported what area it was in, too.  Hopefully they can keep an eye on it next year and catch the jerk.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Morel hunting

It's morel season.  The odd winter may or may not have messed up morel season, it depends on who you ask.  Time will tell, I guess.

I'd never even heard of morels until we moved up here.  It's a BIG thing here.  Highly prized for eating but also highly priced if you want to sell some.

We went morel hunting.  Of course, we have no idea what we are doing, so basically we went walking in the woods, which is a favorite thing to do for all of us.

We went out two days.  The first day we spent probably 3 hours walking and looking.  The second day we spent probably 6 hours out walking.

Our grand total:

One yellow morel.  That's not my picture, I got it online.  I didn't have a camera with me.

Yep, one morel.
We found some gorgeous creeks and two ponds, saw squirrels and rabbits and tons of deer tracks.  We also had picnics and just spent time outside enjoying the weather, nature and each other.  Wonderful.

Lest you feel sorry for us because of our small 'haul,' here is a partial list of the treasures the boys brought home:

a deer jaw bone complete with teeth
3 deer vertebrae
turtle shell
old Coke bottle
shiny rocks
fishing bobbers that had been caught in trees at the creeks

Oh!  I have to tell you this story, too.

We told the boys we were going to go mushroom hunting.  Youngest son replies:
"But, Dad, I can't shoot a gun!"