“You really should blog about this, or at least, something”
“Yeah but then I would have to do the whole spiel about how long it’s been since I last posted”
“But the longer you don’t post, the more awkward its going to be when you finally get around to doing it. I really hate writing “I’ve been away too long!” posts”
“But there is SO much you haven’t talked about, to just jump into something is going to be so random. Face it, you blew it again. Another blog joining the abandoned blog wasteland”
“Well I still like this blog, and everyone has times where life gets busy and the blog goes to sleep for a while. I’ll just write some intro basically saying, I’ve been away too long but I’ve missed it so I’m trying.
“Well, its worth a shot, go for it then”.
Source: Greg Westfall
I’ve been gone for so long, and then it got to be so long, I thought I had to have a really good post when I finally did write something again. Well that just led to more procrastination so here I am!
I’ve been feeling a bit like the kitty in the above picture lately, my batteries need recharging in the worst possible way! The reno’s on the house might be starting next week. I know, might? Well the contractor had told us, he only works on one project at a time. It made perfect sense, which is why we’ve been waiting for the work to start. Well now the reno he is working on at another house is at a standstill. His materials are going to take a week or two to come in. So, that means he can start at our place. But (big but), he will have to go back to the other project when the materials arrive. He said he would not leave anything unusable.
The first thing being worked on is the main floor bathroom, and then he would like to start on the upstairs bathroom and work his way down. I told the The Hubs that if he could just focus on completing the main floor bathroom in that time, before moving to another area and leaving it unfinished for a week or more, I think that would be okay. I of course have no idea how much time it takes to do any of this work!
The bathrooms are getting new paint, ceramic tile flooring (just have the stick on laminate stuff now, and its coming off!) vanities, sinks, faucets, toilets and light fixtures. The main floor bathroom is also getting an exhaust fan…since there is a switch for it, and right now the hole where it should be is empty, and covered in duct tape! It’s quite small in there so it might not be a *huge* job, but then that’s if everything goes as planned of course.
Last weekend I threw a double birthday party for my sister and my nephew. My family was over for my nephew’s birthday, but my sister had no idea we had planned to celebrate her’s as well! We all played Wipeout on the Wii…silliest game ever but I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time!
This weekend is my grandparent’s 60 anniversary party. I’ve been a bit (okay a lot) stressed over it, because it was planned a long time ago, but then basically nothing happened. All of a sudden, we all found out it was still on. Of course that has meant last minute scrambling. I think I still want to add more to their gift, but then its the problem of, “what do people in their mid 80’s really need?!” They also say they’re trying to get rid of ‘stuff’ so I hate giving them trinkets they just don’t have room for. So far its consumable things, like a set of jams and a spreader from a little farm marketplace I love, and a glass jar of good mixed nuts for my grandfather. I’m thinking of embroidering a tea towel, and maybe making some pumpkin bread or scones. Maybe a gift card to a food shop I know they visit. Think I’ll be hitting up the stores for a basket and cello wrap tonight!
Tomorrow I wake bright and early for my food contribution. I’m making the coleslaw and the tomato salad for 30 people. I don’t eat either, which means I’ve never made either! I love tomatoes but I just can’t stand cucumbers, which is half the salad. I love pickles but they don’t have that cucumbery taste! Never been a coleslaw fan either, I’m using a recipe from Barefoot Contessa (my fave food network personality), and just omitting the blue cheese. Not really looking forward to having my kitchen smell like cabbage at 8am tomorrow, but my reward will be a Tim hortons cheese bagel so I’ll make do!
You squeeze your eyes shut against the scorching heat. Where he is, its 25C hotter.
You put on a tank top. He puts on his bullet-proof vest.
You complain about your annoying neighbours. He lives in a room with two other men, behind concrete barriers to protect from bomb blasts.
You complain you don’t feel like cooking tonight, so you order take-out. Tonight he is too tired to walk the mile in the heat to the dining hall so he doesn’t eat.
You try to get around to seeing your friends or family, but you’re busy. He just worked 18 hours, and still came online to say good-night because he knows you worry.
You use the internet to do some reading, surf around, listen to music. He uses it to let his family and friends know he is still alive and misses them.
You used to get annoyed with having to tell your parents where you were going. He can’t tell you where he is right now because it could cost him or his unit their lives.
Your power goes out for 2 hours, and you complain about the crappy area you live in. He loses power for over a day and eats a cup-of-noodles made with water heated by the sun.
You hope you don’t get stuck in traffic. He hopes he doesn’t hit an IED.
You plan renovations on your home in the next couple of months. He doesn’t know when he’ll get to come home.
I was mentally reviewing how often I have to do asthma ’chores’ a day. I have to suck on my preventive inhaler twice, two times a day and blow on my peak flow meter 3 times, twice a day. That’s 10 times. If I’m flaring and have to take my rescue inhaler, it’s even more often. Any asthmatic will tell you, having asthma can really suck and blow!
There are ways to monitor your asthma to help keep you well though, like the peak flow meter. In case you’re wondering what the heck a peak flow meter is, here is mine:
A peak flow meter a small hand-held device with a little slider and numbers on the side that you blow into as hard as you can, that measures airflow. You do this 3 times, recording the highest number without averaging. The number the slider stops on is your Peak Expiratory Flow rate number, or PF for short. I never even knew about peak flow meters, until I was feeling really lousy and kept coming across it on websites like The Asthma Society of Canada. I find it useful because it helps me decide when I need to increase my medications, sometimes even showing when a problem is beginning before I can feel it. It also lets me know when I should see my doctor if my medications aren’t working as well as they should.
Preventative inhalers, like the Symbicort that I take, contain corticosteroids that help reduce inflammation and strengthen lungs.
In asthma the bronchi inflames and constricts, reducing airflow, resulting in a lower peak flow number. Although there are charts out there saying what your PF should be according to your height and age, your personal best number is usually more important. This is the highest number you can reach when healthy, usually after charting for a week or two. If I was to follow the recommended charts, I would already be in yellow zone.
Bronchodilators or ‘rescue inhalers’ such as my Ventolin above, work to relax and ease constriction in the bronchi. Holding chambers like my Aerochamber help to get more medicine in my lungs instead of my mouth.
Asthmatics have “zones” they use to keep track of how they are doing. They are set up just like a traffic light.
Green zone. 80-100% of your personal best. You have no symptoms, you feel good, and can be active and go about your usual activities. This is ideally where you want to be.
Yellow zone. PF 80%-60% (or 50%*) of your personal best. This is the caution zone. You might be feeling symptoms like coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, or shortness of breath. You can’t do all your normal activities and may be waking up at night with symptoms. Start taking your rescue inhaler, and possibly increase your preventative inhaler depending on your action plan formed with your doctor. If medications don’t help, see your doctor.
Red zone. PF under 60% (or 50%*). Symptoms are severe and requires emergency care. Follow your action plan. Continue taking your rescuer medication and go to hospital or call an ambulance.
*There is a difference in opinion on how low is red zone, talk to your doctor about which percentage is right for you
This is my peak flow chart for the last month, you can see the yellow dips.
As my friend Kerri at Hold Your Breath to Breathe reminds me, “listen to the symptoms before the meter”. Sometimes, you feel lousy, you’re having symptoms, you check your meter, and its green zone. Huh? I’ve had it happen a few times. So I figured, well its green I guess I’m alright. Almost always it was in the process of dropping. The meter isn’t the be all and end all. If you’re having problems breathing, take your rescuer. If you’re feeling really horrible or meds aren’t helping, get yourself to your doctor or the hospital.
I’ve never been red zone thankfully, although before I was put on regular medications I was close. There were nights then I probably should have gone to an ER, but since I hate hospitals I avoided it. I know, not that smart of a decision!
I decided to write this post as I’ve been having a problem with flaring off and on lately. I just called the pharmacy to refill my rescue inhaler only to be told all the name brand Ventolin was used up over the weekend(that’s the blue puffer you have probably seen before). Thank you smog and high humidity. The only generic Ventolin I can find here now is Apo-Salvent and I hate it. It has a horrible aftertaste and I find it doesn’t work as fast or as well. Doctors might disagree but its been my experience. Hopefully they will have it in tomorrow!
And although it probably doesn’t need reminding, I am not a doctor, so if you are unsure about your asthma treatment or symptoms, please see your doctor!
I’ve been speaking of my friend that was recently deployed to Iraq, and thought it only fair I give him a name. Sunny is a private type guy, and being in the army I thought it was safer to use a nickname to protect the innocent.
Sunny and I met almost a year ago while playing a certain war type game online (no, not that one, I’m not shelling out money for it!). Actually I was attacking him just as he joined my team. We became friends, and it wasn’t long before he told me he was in the reserves as a United States Army MP and would be leaving the next year for Iraq. Next year sounded far away, so I didn’t think too much of it. What I really knew of the military experience could fit on your pinky finger.
He’s a chocoholic who has a soft spot for animals. To show you his sense of humour, when he found out Dusty was apparently born with no testicles, Sunny gave him a new name – Ballzack. He always asks now how Ballzack is doing.
I was sad when he left for training camp, as he was not allowed to tell me when he would deploy, any day could be the day he would be gone. There were rough days, where I think he questioned the entire decision, he was exhausted and missed home. But when he injured himself, he didn’t fess up it still kind of hurt, because he didn’t want to be held back from being deployed with his unit. I learned quickly that when you’re in the military, you’re never really off duty. Where else do you have a boss calling a 11pm surprise meeting?
If there is one thing that he has taught me, its patience. Something that everyone who knows me ribs me about. One heated conversation I remember vividly. I admit I wasn’t handling him having to leave all so well. When he said it was simple, I got angry. It was then he said something that I remind myself often, “It’s not easy, but it IS simple – I have NO choice”. I smartened up a lot after that. There was no point getting angry at something that was not going to change, and it was doing nothing but making it worse.
The week he left for Iraq I must have checked my email 20 times a day. After almost a week came the short message that he was okay, and safe. I felt like I had been holding my breath the entire time! Even after 12-18 hours of work in 125F heat he will use his internet connection to say goodnight, he is safe, and hopes to talk soon.
Today, after 4 or 5 days of not having much chance to talk, he finally had a bit of time. It didn’t take long before he asked what was bothering me. When I told him I was tired and cranky, I earned myself a new nickname for the rest of the conversation: Cranky Pants. He said it would do one of two things: 1. Piss me off or 2. Make me laugh. Thankfully it was the latter!
Sunny’s friends call him a super hero because he’s always willing to help people out. It’s no surprise at all that after his tour he wants to become a police officer.
Speaking of after his tour, he hopes to come up to Canada to meet me, The Hubs, and ‘Ballzack’ afterwards. I think even our hottest summer would be a break from the heat for him right now! Sometimes when we’re out The Hubs will point out places I should show him (it’s really cute), I should start keeping a list;) Anytime I mention my soy ice cream he gags, so we’ve decided we’re going to set up a taste test to see if he can actually tell the difference.
Right now I hope for quiet year, and Sunny coming home safe.
This is my first Friday Flip-Offs post, but I’m sure it won’t be my last. Get rid of all the crap pent-up during the week so you can actually enjoy your weekend! I apologize as I can’t attach the blog hop links at the bottom, WordPress.com can be limiting not allowing most HTML coding. Please click the above pic to be taken to Kludgy Mom’s blog where you can add your link!
And now, my Flip-Offs for this week:
To my new chain smoker neighbours. FLIP OFF! I think its great you aren’t smoking inside your new house. Wouldn’t want it to get all stinky and nicotine stains on the furniture of course. Oh, see that window? Yeah, look up, now to your left. Yeah, see that? Thats MY open window. To the new craft room I spent 3 weeks fixing and painting for me. Guess where all that smoke you’re blowing is going. That slam you hear? Thats me shutting the window in 30C+ weather, with no central A/C so I don’t end up in the hospital because of my asthma flaring because of all YOU. Your smoke filling my house could land me in the ER. So I say again, FLIP OFF, seriously.
To the solicitors knocking on our door, pushing us to go with their hydro company. FLIP OFF. See that no solicitor sign? THERE FOR A REASON. Getting pushy, in my face, lying etc are NOT going to get you anywhere with me. You are not looking at any bill of mine, I don’t know you from jack. If I want something, I don’t need someone with a clip board coming to my door before I get it.
To the weather. FLIP OFF. Swinging between so hot that eating is too much effort and then sharply dropping so that I’m hiding under a blanket is pissing me off, and is probably a factor in my the Hubs and I having colds. Make up your damn mind. Oh and thank you for waiting until I was out in full jeans before jacking up the heat yesterday, making my jeans stick to my legs like gum.
To the internet psycho pseudo-Christian who decided it fit to get nasty with me for my different belief, FLIP OFF. Me not believing what you do is NOT offensive. It affects you in NO way. Attacking me and saying, “So that’s cool you just believe when all your family dies they’re just laying in the ground rotting” doesn’t make you a better person than me, God or no God, I’m sorry to tell you.
Ahhhhh, that’s better, Now bring on the weekend!