Friday, June 27, 2008

It's a sickness, really

Wow. First of all, thank you to those who sent me emails about GERD. I'm hoping I don't have it but going to make adjustments as if I do have it so that hopefully this cough will go away. I'm feeling optimistic about all of this right now, and I didn't realize so many people seem to have it themselves. Tips of ways to get through it are always welcome and helpful. I don't mind coaching. :)

Because of my job, I am often informed of tobacco items in the news, whether in the US or in other countries. I read recently about certain places that banned adults from smoking in cars with children under the age of 16, and I have read of more places that are considering similar bans. What a great idea! I find myself frustrated when I hear people talking about non-smokers and legislators imposing on their rights by trying to tell them when & where they can't smoke. As far as I'm concerned, people can do whatever they want as long as it is not causing harm to others. And regardless of what smokers want to tell themselves, second-hand smoke kills. In fact, with me trying to find out more about my cough, I wondered if my exposure to smokers when I was a waitress and when I dated people in the past who smoked might have something to do with my cough, and I got really angry at myself for putting myself in those situations. I also got angry with smokers.

I also recently read that there are still effects from second-hand smoke when parents smoke outside the home but not inside. It does make sense that outside air comes into the house, but I didn't really think of how it would be a noticeable affect.

Anyway, despite the fact that yesterday was my day off of work and I wanted to relax, I found myself busy doing things that weren't necessarily enjoyable and were definitely time-killers. One of those things was working on creating a webpage for our family through Comcast. It's not the most user-friendly or even flexible space they give you, but it is free. So I started creating it, hoping that Joe might jump online every now & again and update some things there and maybe write a blog entry or two. It has some nice features, but I don't know if we're going to keep it around. I might continue to try to talk him into creating an account through here so I can add him as an author for this blog, or I might just write for him (because I do like writing and wouldn't mind if I really knew what he wanted me to tell people about things going on in his life). We'll see. But if I decide to keep that website around, I'll definitely let everyone know what that website address is.

So, even though I've been working from home since Tuesday, it's been a rough week for me. I got my first paycheck as an official employee and realized that I had mistakenly thought I was getting more money this month than was actually the case. That really put a damper on my Monday.

And since they had me decide if I wanted to start working from home part time or full time on Monday (and I hadn't made my mind up yet), I felt pressured into making a decision that I don't know if I'll be happy with. Then, they threw me into the least-liked system for this whole week, where I end up getting less calls and more frustration as the days wear on. Luckily, tomorrow I won't have to work in that system, which will be a nice change.

Anyway, because of that, I decided to put in a request to see if I could leave work early today, and they approved that request for me to end my shift 2 1/2 hours early, which is why I'm writing this now. I think I'm going to play a little bit on the piano or watch a movie or pull some weeds (we have like a BILLION in our yard, and they seem to be ever-increasing) or something else. I should've just taken the day off yesterday to relax, but I'm hoping to get a bit of that in today.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doctor's appointment

I went to the doctor's yesterday, now that I finally have health insurance again. I wanted to follow up regarding this cough I have. I have been coughing off & on (more on than off) for the past 1 1/2 years, give or take. It started before I moved up to Washington state. It didn't seem to get any worse or better with the move, as far as I can tell. However, lately, I have been coughing so hard that I sometimes throw up. I've had that kind of cough until I *almost* throw up feeling in the past with this cough, but I haven't actually been getting sick from it until recently.

When I arrived and paid my co-pay, they handed me a germ kit. It had a travel-size package of tissues, some hand sanitizer in a little square pouch, and a face mask so I wouldn't get other people sick. I felt silly just sitting around in the waiting room for about 30 minutes with a mask covering my nose & mouth. And it was not comfortable at all! Finally some guy came in to the clinic and put one on, so at least I wasn't the only weirdo in the lobby.

My appointment was late in the day, and so it took me quite some time to see the doctor. I didn't have to wait as long as I've sometimes had to wait in the past to see a doctor after being taken back to an exam room, but it was close to 45 minutes after my scheduled appointment before I saw him. Anyway, he asked me a series of questions and seemed quite puzzled. In fact, I think he was about ready to give up when I said that I sometimes take a Tums (and by sometimes, it's less than one a week on average).

Well, because of other things people have tried, my past chest x-ray that came back negative, and the answers to my questions, he seems to think it may very well be coming from GERD. The simplified version is that it may be acid-reflux related. So, I'm starting some pills (Prilosec) and some sort of tablet (they were out yesterday, so I'll have to go back to get those) to see if that helps. He wants me to do it for 6 weeks and then go back in to see the doctor. He said it might take that long for me to really notice a difference.

So, some of the things that are requested are short term & long term lifestyle changes, like losing weight (which I know I need to do but have been so stressed that it has been the last thing on my mind for the past 2 1/2 years). But I figure that if I'm going to do this, I'm going to go all in and do it the best way I know how. So hopefully I'll be feeling better and coughing less in 6 weeks when I go in for my follow-up appointment.


For anyone who knows me well, you will know that I have been an Aerosmith fan for years. The first Aerosmith song I heard was Love in an Elevator, as my brother rocked out to it in his bedroom. When I grew up and started hearing their songs like What it Takes, Crying, Crazy, Amazing, and Living on the Edge, I decided to pick up one of their albums. In fact, the first cassette album I ever purchased was their Get a Grip.

It wasn't until after then that I realized they were the same people who sang Love in an Elevator, but I was hooked. I started buying their older albums and realized I liked them even more than Get a Grip. In fact, I became so obsessed for a while that I purchased ANYTHING I could buy that was associated with Aerosmith, as far as music, interviews on CDs, tribute albums, and even a VHS or two of theirs.

They haven't really put much out since Get a Grip (other than various types of greatest hits albums), and what they have put out has been disappointing. So, my love for them has decreased a little bit, but I will always appreciate their older songs like Dream On and even their older tracks that were originally done by other bands, and they put on quite a show in concert.

So, when Joe and I were at Target the other week and I saw the tail end of what looked like a commercial for a soon-to-be released product of theirs, I got very excited. Today, when checking my email, I saw what confirmed my child-like excitement:

It's going to be released on Saturday, I guess. And Now, I've never been much of a video game fan, but when my sister's kids brought their Wii and Guitar Hero with them to Arizona for Thanksgiving last year, I played and had a LOT of fun, even though I was pretty much terrible. The one song I seemed most confident about was Aerosmith's Same Old Song and Dance. We had so much fun on the Guitar Hero, in fact, that Joe purchased a copy of it for himself shortly after we returned. His copy only came with one guitar, so we haven't yet played the game together. But if I got this bundle, we'd be able to play together and I'd even get an Aerosmith(!) guitar. How cool is that?

I have already added it to my wishlist. And while I was there, I added the Wii system, Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution (which I have played before and also loved), because those look so dang awesome that between all of this stuff, I could really get addicted to video games.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Looking forward...

So, I kind of had to cut short my blessings blog because I ran out of time on my work break. I thought about continuing it here, but I really don't have the time while on a break at work to do justice to any of it. Instead, I have a lot to look forward to in the near future that I wanted to share.

Now that I'm a "regular" employee at my job, I will be able to start working from home and will do so starting Tuesday (I get trained for that on Monday). I am still trying to decide whether I want to do it from home full time or part time at home and part time in the office. If I do work from the office a couple days a week, I'll have to worry about getting up at 4 am or somewhere around there only those days, and I'll get to sleep in until closer to 6 am the other days I work from home. By sleeping in, it means I *might* get to spend a little bit of time with Joe each night after he comes home before I have to go to bed. That'd be great, since sometimes it feels like we barely interact (like this week).

Tonight we're going on a date after I get off work. We need that. I don't know when we last had a date. I won a movie pass at work, so I'm thinking dinner & a movie would be a nice date, and I'm already really looking forward to it.

My cousin, Amber, has talked about coming to visit sometime, but with things being crazy in her life lately, I don't know when that'll happen, but I'm sure she'll love it here. The summer is the best time to visit Seattle. Other than about one week where highs hit the 90's, it's pretty nice outside.

My parents are planning on visiting at the end of August. I'm really excited to spend some time with them. And since my aunt & uncle lives so close to us and know the area better, I might get some chances to find out a little more about what is in my area. I'm trying to get out a little more and become a little more familiar with this city. In fact, I'm seriously considering starting a blog (yes, another one) where I can write & keep reviews of different places in our neighborhood to help us and other people who are interested in finding things to do around here (our city doesn't have a downtown presently, so a lot of people hang out around a mall).

Joe and I are going to hopefully be able to go out of town for Christmas this year. We're not quite sure about that yet, and I can't request vacation time more than 4 months in advance, so I haven't asked for the days off yet. But if it gets approved, we're going to go to Utah and spend time with family there. And Joe's sisters are going to be in Washington for Thanksgiving, so it'll be nice to see them and spend time with them and their families at that time.

We're hoping to have our housewarming party soon. In fact, I think that's one thing we'll talk about sometime in the next few days. All we have left that's planned to-do's include a wedding and a wedding BBQ before the end of the month.

Oh, and we might buy cats before too long. We'll see.

So, for those who don't have blogs or haven't updated them for a while, what's new with you? What sorts of fun things do you have planned in the near future?

Friday, June 20, 2008


I do have a blog that I occasionally post in when I'm feeling either especially grateful or the need to reflect internally a bit more on my blessings and be more grateful than I'm feeling at the moment. However, I decided to spend the last few minutes of my break today expressing my gratitude on this blog.

1. I have a wonderful husband. Neither of us likes cooking or cleaning (I'm not really sure who does), but he helps out. He is willing to get me a drink or drive me to work or do any of a number of things to help out, often without even being asked.

2. I have a nice job. It's one of those jobs I can leave the work and accompanying stress at work. Hooray for that.

3. I have a nice house. The fact that we had enough room to host people we've hosted is pretty awesome, especially in this economy and with housing prices being what they are in this state.

4. I have really great friends & family. My uncle Larry was willing to drop whatever he was doing and drive over the other day to help me get into my master bedroom when I got locked out. That's the second time he's already provided us with help around our house. His daughter and her kids helped us move. His wife invites us over for dinner. And that's just one small piece of my family, not to mention my friends.

Yeah, I'm pretty lucky.