Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Still tired but not worn down

My burst of energy the other day left me.  I'm left with the normal fatigue that is annoying but not debilitating.  I do, however, still have the congestive heart failure.  I've had some moments of shortness of breath when doing next to nothing and still get tired easily.  I'm waiting to hear from the hospital near us about the cardiac rehab.  I have an appointment with my regular doctor on Friday as a follow up to the procedure; I don't see the cardiologist until next month.  I have some questions for her, which I should write down because I won't remember them tomorrow, let alone Friday.

It's hot and muggy this week.  I haven't used the a/c yet although it's in the window.  So far it's tolerable.  I do have to watch out for the heat now and not let myself get too overheated but worse case scenario, I can go into Zach's room.  He has his a/c on.

We looked at new mattresses and box springs for him.  His are in horrendous shape and it's made difficult sleeping for him, which isn't great in light of the fact he already has a sleep disorder.  Found one we really like but will look around some more just to be sure.  Liked the salesperson, too.  She was really nice and helpful.

Still eating vegetarian although it's not easy having to cook two meals.  It's not any easier to have Zach just cook for him and Tom as the kitchen is tiny and no way can we both be in there at the same time.

OMG  the ice cream truck just went by.  I haven't seen one here in years.

Back to eating well...ahem...I fixed a cajun stew to go over rice that Tom ate with his chicken last night so I didn't have to fix two complete meals.  Tonight they're getting hamburgers and baked potatoes (Zach will get his french fries...can't stand potatoes any other way) and I'm fixing myself a sweet potato in the oven.  I'll have a veggie burger and salad to go with it.  The guys can have something else.  Maybe I'll fix corn on the cob to go with it as well. Need to use it up before it goes bad.

I'm doing well losing weight.  My scales are sensitive enough to register ounces so I can see weight loss even in ounces per day so that helps my mood a lot.  Losing steadily although I expect it to slow down very soon and possibly stop for a while.  It's frustrating but I can gain weight on 1200 calories a day when I get to that point.

Time to start the hamburgers and then I'm off to knit the rest of the night with some breaks for laundry.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Had a really good day today.  Tom took me to the store because I can't drive until tomorrow so I got the shopping out of the way so all I have to do tomorrow is errands and the credit union.  I still can't lift much so the guys have done the heavy stuff, like bringing the groceries in and putting the screens in.  And the air conditioners.  It's going to be very warm this week so we'll need them.  It's better if I don't try to work in the heat so I relented and let Tom put the a/c in my room.  Now I just have to put things back together since we had to move stuff to make room for it.  I didn't put it in the window I used last year because it's the window I get the good breezes in.  So I opted to leave that one for the window fan, which I can take out easily if I need the a/c.  Otherwise it's mercilessly warm in there all summer long.

I've been doing some cooking because I can't use prepared foods because of the high sodium.  I'm going to have to bake my own bread because bread is extremely high in sodium.  It's not fair.  Still we'll be eating much better than we have for years.  I was careful not to overdo it today.  Took plenty of breaks and drank water, although I can't have as much as I want because of the congestive heart failure, which will be with me for the rest of my life...which is looking longer than it did a week ago.

I've been working on an afghan because the pattern is nice and interesting without being obnoxiously intricate.  But as it gets warmer, I'm going to have to switch to smaller projects, like socks and baby clothes.  I'm using up some of the stash and now have room in a couple of the bins so I can put the rest of the yarn away.  I hope it's the rest of the yarn.  I might find more in the basement and in my closet.  But for now I can get rid of the stuff that's still just hidden in corners.

I have lots of baby sport yarn so I can make some baby blankets and sweater sets.  That's not too hot to work on in the summer. 

Well, time to put my bedroom back together, load up more yarn into the bins and then finish up supper.  I can't believe how much better I feel already.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Strange pieces of metal living inside me

I'm back from the hospital after staying overnight.  They put a balloon in and then a stent because the main artery was occluded by 75%.  Zach says that congestive heart failure saved my life.  Now I know he's right because that could have caused me a heart attack at any time in the near future.  Not a maybe either.  A definite.

I didn't knit a lot but I got tons of compliments on the Monkey socks I was knitting.  I think I did more un-knitting than knitting because my mind wasn't too clear after all that messing around with my heart.

It's so good to be home!  I have to take it easy for the next few driving or lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk.  So I'm planning on lots of knitting and watching the inventory in my dvr.  Plus the dvds I started:  Babylon 5 and Farscape. 

Next week they'll contact me to set up cardiac rehab but fortunately I'll be able to do that closer to home.  It's 3 days a week so driving up to Fond du Lac that often would really tire me out.  Plus this leaves me more time to do other things, like cooking from scratch and working on my crafts.  I pretty much have to cook from scratch anymore because I can only have 1500mg of sodium a day and nearly everything except fresh fruits and veg have some sodium in them.  Even chicken breasts (separate from the whole chicken) have had chicken broth injected into them.  So I'm going with my plan to eat vegetarian.  I was able to eat vegetarian while there because they had room service where you ordered your own food.  I had the best veggie burger ever there and some low-sodium tomato soup and raw veggies for supper and a low-cholesterol egg omelet with mushrooms, green peppers, onions and tomatoes for breakfast.  No cheese.  I'm hungry all the time but losing the weight is much more important than feeling full.  I'll have to be determined about this because I know the enthusiasm will wane eventually. 

I have to keep records of my daily sodium content, daily fluid content (8 cups of fluid a day), my daily weight in case I start to retain fluids and my blood pressure.  I had to buy a blood pressure cuff so I can keep track.  I'm also considering buying something in the way of exercise equipment.  Not a treadmill because we just don't have room and since this would be for those times when it's not possible to walk outside, which I can't do right now in my neighborhood because it's too steep.  I do have videos and dvds so that is a possibility as well, but a stationary bike still might be the better option since it will fit in my bedroom and I can use it when others are around.    I just need to think it out.

I'm feeling a bit sore today.  I didn't have any pain in the hospital but walking around the store to get to the pharmacy brought out some soreness.  I'm on Plavix as well as a baby aspirin a day.  The dr prescribed the baby aspirin but I already have some and it's cheaper to buy them off the shelf and there's no difference (according to the pharmacist).  It's $5 for a single 30 day prescription and under $4 for a bottle of 100 enteric coated baby aspirin.  Way cheaper if I just cut a regular aspirin into four pieces.

Well, I think I'm going to finish up online and lie down for a bit.  I do still get tired and I'm a bit achy but I am looking forward to getting better.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Finally getting some answers

I saw the cardiologist yesterday and my heart cath is on Thursday.  I'm not sure why I sat around waiting for my appointment for a month and then everything is rushed all of a sudden but I'm glad we're finally doing something about it all.  He expects to find some narrowing or blockage which he will take care of with a stent or a balloon but I also have a scar on my heart, which indicates I've had a heart attack at some point in my life.  As I have never had any symptoms at all, he calls it a "silent heart attack."  Which is frightening on many levels. 

I have to lie on my back for 4-6 hours afterward so I'm taking my kindle, loaded up with library books and other books I've already got on there since holding a heavy book over my head will get very tiresome, very quickly.  I don't think I can knit while flat on my back though.  I will be taking some knitting with me in case I have to stay overnight.

I don't look forward to all the bills coming in as we already have a $800 to pay on just the Emergency Room visits.  It really sucks to get sick in America since only those who can afford it get the care they need.

I'm still working on the bobbles and lace afghan, minus the bobbles.  I found some black yarn in the same Simply Soft Eco brand.  So it's coming out black and brown.  It looks okay together, actually, although I think it would be best as one color.

I might take my sister's socks with me to work on as well.  I'm supposed to only pack a "small" overnight bag but my knitting usually takes up more room than my clothes and toiletries.  I mean...shouldn't it?

Well, I have to make a trip to the store to pick up something for Zach's supper on Thursday and some meds and maybe a new set of summer pjs to wear at the hospital if I have to stay.  They'll probably make me wear the gown but I hate not having pants on.

They're trimming trees across the street today but I think I can still get the car out of the driveway.  Boy, are they loud!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Making progress

I got most of the house cleaned up yesterday.  Nothing like imminent company to force your hand.  Zach did the heavy work, like shifting things and mopping and scrubbing.  Still, it took a lot out of me and I am barely moving today.  Sore and stiff.  I took my maximum amount of pain meds before I went to sleep last night. If I had any pain, it didn't wake me up.  I was zonked clear through until 8:30 a.m. when Professor needed out.  I just stayed up at that point since the alarm was set for 9:30.  At least now I have a head start on the house and can continue to make progress.  We were going to work out in the yard today but it looks like a storm is moving in so we'll wait for it to pass.

I've been knitting constantly and joyfully.  I'm using up my stash although, since I'm not a fast knitter, it's taking a while. I just found out my nephew and his wife are having a baby boy so one of the baby blankets I just finished will do nicely as a gift.  I have enough yarn left to knit up a sweater as well but it would be a warm one so I have to figure out how old he will be this winter.  I don't know when he's due yet.  I like to knit them up larger so they grow into them and have time to wear them.

I also found an afghan pattern that I think I have enough yarn for.  It's bobbles, lace and cables but I really dislike bobbles so I'm leaving them out.  Saves on yarn, too.  Plus it's faster.  Still working on my older sister's socks.  I'm using Cookie's Monkey pattern.  Haven't used it in years but it's fun and easy to remember.  In purple.

I bought some sock yarn I saw at JoAnn's the other day.  Both sets of skeins were self-striping and beautiful so I got them while there was enough yarn for the socks.  I also found a hairpin lace set that I picked up. JoAnn's has improved since I was there after the opening.  More variety in yarn, needles and other crafts as well.  Now I don't have to go to Hobby Lobby for anything.  Thankfully as I hate their policies and politics.

I think I'll catch up on laundry today and maybe paint the Sun Face I got at the thrift store the other day.  Now that the dining table is cleared off.  I also want to get my pencils out and do some drawing again.  I pretty much have to start over again since it's been years since I picked up a pencil.

I also plan on reading as I just picked up some books from the library yesterday.  Not to mention the books I own and just got from the thrift store.  Some Neil Gaiman...American Gods.  A Tad Williams book (I loved Tailchaser's Song so I thought I would try another of his books.)  And some books on Greek mythology and ancient Greece.  I've been passionate about that since my grade school years.

Well, I think I'll go grab some lunch and then settle in to get some more knitting done.  I'm able to move around more so I need to keep at it instead of just knitting all afternoon.  Still, the fatigue gets to me and it's hard to get up and get going most of the time.  I'm trying to push through the fatigue, hoping that eventually I'll gain more energy from the exercise.  I have an appointment with the cardiologist next week so I'll find out what the results were from the stress test.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I'm still here

I have been spending more time offline knitting and trying to utilize the minimal amount of energy I have in cleaning the house.  Not succeeding on the latter function at all though.  Still...getting a lot of knitting done.

I determined that I have too much yarn and it needs to be knitted up rather than discarded.  So I'm looking to either finish up old projects or frog them and re-use the yarn for something else.  I frogged a sweater that I was no longer in love with and turned it into a very nice baby blanket.  I'm finishing up a Greek Key afghan that I did love but got tired of working on and found a scarf that was nearly done and now is completed.  I have some baby sweaters that need buttons sewn on and a young girl's cardigan that I'm working to finish up as well.

Today I organized...well, that's a very loose description of what I really did, which was just stuffed yarn in bins that I stuffed in a corner.  I now have four bins of yarn in my bedroom and still have 5 bags of projects hanging on the crafts rack in the dining room.  Not to mention the 3 bags of projects that are in my bedroom. 

But I'm making progress and that makes me contented. 

I have my appointment with the cardiologist on the 17th of this month but I'm not making progress with my diet at all.  It's the lack of energy to do any cooking that will enable me to eat more healthful foods.  Since nearly everything I eat must be cooked from scratch to avoid the high sodium levels in all processed foods.  Plus I've just been hungry all the time. And since I can't drink anything to fill me up in between meals because of my fluid restrictions, I'm failing in both and drink.

But I wake up each morning trying my best so as long as I don't just quit, maybe eventually I'll make it.

In the meantime, I'm knitting up a storm and watching a bunch of things on the dvr and Amazon Prime.  Not to mention my dvd collection. 

And since I'm nearly done with the afghan, I'm going back to working on it while watching Ballykissangel on Amazon.  Yep!