Monday, January 26, 2009


****Sorry this is wordy!! YOU may want to grab a cup of coffee, tea or diet coke to get through this!!****

I don't like to rant...but I think I am over-due!!! As most of you know I have been dealing with this whole "heart" thing for a while now....all seems to be going well. At my 3week check up after the angio-gram the cardiologists seemed very pleased that my LDL and Cholesterol levels had liver enzyme levels elevated ever so slightly. So, the decision was made to drop the lipitor down to 10mg. a day...and wait three months and have blood drawn at that time. Well, I had my blood drawn week before last, went to my apt. on Monday of last week with hubbin in tow. My levels were almost a carbon copy of the previous levels...except for one of my liver levels (ALT) had risen from last is at almost double what they consider normal...normal is anything between 6 - 40 U/L??? Mine is at it is a little more than double. The doctor told us they don't like to see these levels rise, but that does happen sometimes w/Lipitor or any statins...but they usually only get concerned when they rise to 3 times the norm...that they do not consider changing the Lipitor dosage unless that happens. So we're still OK...but he wants me to go to my Primary Care Physician in 6 weeks and have another test run.(I was a bit perplexed as to why my PCP should run this test instead of the cardiologist, after all he's the one prescribing the Lipitor!) OK...this is where I'm about to get a little mouthy. First, he asks..."have you had to take any of your nitroglycerin tablets?" to which I answered..."NO...thank the Lord"! which he did not comment!! I did go on to tell him I do have some chest pain from time to time and explained when it happened and how I felt...he just basically said, "oh that's probably your chest cavity muscles that could be weakened or your diaphragm!" OK...could you elaborate on that such luck!...He then wanted to go over the list of meds I was taking, he did not like something...I could tell by his tone!! I went over the list of the 2 meds he had prescribed, another med I take for my stomach and then the vitamins I have added since menopause and this whole heart issue developed. I take a woman's vitamin as directed along with calcium and Vit. D...which was encouraged by my I'm in the midst of menopause and my cardio will not let me take Hormone replacement, b/c he thinks they could cause blood clotting and of course we don't want I suffer w/the side-effects of the BIG M...but believe me I probably don't suffer in silence! However, I adhere to his rules because he has deemed this "best" for me! I also decided to add 200 mg. of CoQ10 to my daily intake...b/c of research I have done on it's positive effects on heart issues and help alleviating side-effects accompanied by Lipitor. It is suppose to help w/cramping which is a side-effect of statins. Ok...folks, I did my research and EVERYTHING (including some cardiologists reports!) I've read and gathered has said it is a good thing...that it is mostly vit. E and it is suppose to help with keeping your arteries pliable...wouldn't you want pliable arteries if they have plague in them??? I mean it makes sense to me. WELL, the cardiologists did NOT like that I was taking something he had not prescribed and proceeded to tell me THAT was probably what was causing my ALT to elevate and HOW could I possibly put in my mouth and ingest something that had not been FDA approved (sounds like he may have stock in the pharmaceutical company that makes Lipitor!)...hmmm...I never thought about a natural substance such as Vitamin E as something BAD for me and believe me I'm not overdosing on the stuff...I'm taking 200 mg. a day...I started out with 100 mg....but the cramping was still there, so I went to 200mg...the studies show that you can take much more...but I DON'T b/c what I'm taking seems to help! THIS is after he just sat there and told me that Lipitor causes some folks liver enzymes to elevate...but not to worry b/c mine weren't 3 x the limit! Then he decided I needed to another stress test to determine how much I could work out (because according to him I needed to be working out...uh...I want to're the one who told me to hold off for 3 or 4 months!!) He seems to be so full of contradictions, he's really starting to tick me off! Oh and this was mentioned only after he tells me for the SECOND call my PCP and set up the blood work for 6 weeks out...then he had the gall to say...almost like he was "wiping his hands clean of me" that he would see me in a YEAR!!! this point my head was almost spinning like the possessed child in the movie The Exocors***, you know the one! WHAT...I have have not answered...???? Then he walks out of the exam room! I'm still sputtering and stuttering...but he's already started his dictation in the hallway and can't be interrupted!!

I went in on Tuesday for the stress test (of course it was his day off so I couldn't get the results then)...I was told I would get a call back from the doctor by Thursday...I get a call late Friday 15 minutes b/f the docs office closes...and I'm not here, they leave a message for me to call on I wait till today to get my results...after calling in...I received a phone call about 3 hours later...and the nurse proceeded to tell me that I could work out...but COULD NOT get my heart rate over 120 bpm...ok that was a surprise...seriously 120 bpm...I get that rate going up and down the stairs...they mentioned that my heart rate was up to 150bpm while I was there...but it seems that there was some stress to the heart during that time (I knew I was getting tired, but felt no pain in my chest) for safety sake they wanted me to keep my rate at 120. No explanations...nada!! I asked her lots of which she had NO answers...and when I asked her "due to the recent developments from this test, did the doctor mention if he needed to see me sooner than 1 year out?" SHE did not know...nor did she attempt to find out...she did tell me that my cardiologist was sending a detailed transcribed letter to my PCP and that maybe he could explain it all to me! OK...that just made my heart rate go WAY over 120 bpm! I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere with Nurse "doesn't-know-a-thing! So I decided to "let her go" and then immediately called my primary and talked to his nurse...she told me they had not received anything from the cardio...but as soon as they did she would schedule me time to see Dr. B...she too, wasn't very happy with what was going wasn't 5 minutes later, she calls back and tells me the report just came in the afternoon mail...and that she was going to get me in ASAP! OK! can anyone explain to me my cardiologists attitude...why? oh why? do these Cardiologist think they are above explanations...why do I have to see my PCP to find out what another doctor is thinking! I'm so livid...I tell you, if my heart doesn't blow a gasket by Thursday (my appt. date) I'll be lucky! I'm not at all happy with the cavalier attitude of my cardiologist...who if you remember told me after my angiogram...that he WOULD NOT sit by and let what happen to my dad, my mother and brother happen to me. I've been thinking all along about getting a second opinion...NOW I know I'm going to...loosing my parents and brother to heart disease has certainly enlightened me about some things...but it also occurred to me that they all went to the same clinic that I am currently going to; a different doctor but the same association...hmmmm...and look where that got them! I know that sounds a bit crass...but I'm just a little peeved about this whole thing...first the man scares me to death and tells me all the things that are wrong or could go wrong...then gives me some meds...and basically after 2 visits tells me he'll see me in a YEAR, then has his nurse relay (vaguely) that I can only work out and get my heart rate up to 120bpm and then doesn't want to see me again! That just doesn't seem right...uh huh...that's not how I roll...I want answers as to WHY? AND I don't want to WAIT another dam year to talk to him and find out...why?? WHY I can't get my heart rate up to over 120 bpm AND if I will ever be able to get it up any higher? Will this change after some time on the treadmill???....will, I have to continue the beta-blockers once I start exercising? Is it the 75% blockage in one of my arteries that is causing stress on my heart...or is it the 30-50% blockage in the LAD artery or the 40-60% blockage in a lesser artery causing the problems? Or ALL the above??? Why can't they do a little balloon or angioplasty? I know I can't be stinted (they certainly went over that enough times) but what else can be done? Plavix...have they EVEN heard of that and if they have...why can't I take it??? Yea, folks this doctor with the "God" syndrome is not answering my questions and I'm not going to take it anymore....So bare with me during this rant...I just have to let off some steam...or I may blow that gasket after all! Just so you all know this took place in a matter of about 10 appt. actually lasted over 15 minutes (this is the time I spent in the exam room...not the 45-50 minutes I waited to see the doctor in the waiting room...and probably 5 minutes of his time was spent in the hallway trying to find the nurse to track down my Lab report from the week before!) I sound peeved???

Whew...I already feel better and I just KNOW there are many of you out there that probably know some of the answers to my questions. I'm seeing my PCP on Thursday...I start Yoga on Wednesday...I fly to California on Thursday night...and I want ANSWERS before I go! OH!! and I know "they" recommend one glass of red wine a day for women to keep there heart healthy...I think I'm overdo for a case!...and believe me they have a LOT of nice little wineries in northern California...and by golly...that's just what I might do...relax a what I can...and above all FIND A NEW DOCTOR!! and possibly do a little "self medicating" while I'm at it!

Thanks for letting me vent...I'll try harder next time to only post "good" things!

One more thing...if any of you out there have good questions you think I need to ask my Primary doctor on Thursday...please don't be shy about letting me know...I've thought of a lot of things...but you guys out here in blogland are so smart...I thought you may have some good questions to ask. I know some of you have been through similar any "wisdom" you have to pass on or questions you don't think I've thought of are welcomed.... So fire away...ladies...and gents!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 darling daughter emailed me to let me know that the "family" pictures she had taken of all of us at Christmas were all we have left to do is pick the picture/pictures we want to have blown up into the portrait that our children so "wisely" gave us as our Christmas gift this year. They knew we would love this gift...and I must say...this is the FIRST time I have ever liked a picture of myself.

Now, I know my daughter is a very talented artist and photographer...but I think she's a pretty good therapist, too...she managed to make me FEEL so great about ALL of these pictures...and I couldn't be happier with any gift I've ever received. I love all the pictures she has taken...but this little photo session was one of the BEST times I've had for so many reasons...but I'll let you decide for yourself...I mean...look at my kids, look at my adorable and lovin' hubbin...I am so very blessed...I love my family...and I feel so lucky that they are all so much a part of our lives.

NOW the task of picking the perfect ONE...this is just a few of the ones she sent...they are all equally as good...this is just a sampling...I think I'm going to have a very hard time picking just fact I'm pretty sure I'm going to want all of them!! "rock" as a daughter and a photographer, not only are you beautiful...but you "capture" beauty in all of us...part of the reason I smile is b/c of add so much fun and laughter to everything you do...thanks, I love you for making life so much fun for all of us! just warm my heart with your smile, charm and quiet humor...I can't help but beam...I'm one lucky mama! Emily, you add so much to our family, not only with your "loving" heart...but with your true grace, beauty and charm. And last but not sweet hubbin...without you...I would not be complete...thanks for our children...and thanks for loving me!

NOW...look at these faces...and tell me how I'm going to just pick one...

This is the first time I've ever had a picture taken of myself that didn't make me cringe...I'm now actually using one of the pictures she took of me...for my blog...Jackie seemed to help me relax and have fun, I didn't even know she was taking half of these pictures, which actually is best for me...I guess that's another reason she is so GREAT!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'll be back....

I finally got my new I'm going to be very busy trying to figure out how to be a techno wizard! Hmmmm...I might be gone for a while...:)...until then...wish me luck!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

FAMILY...jump shot!!

Look what we did over the holidays....oh! how delighted I am...of course...that may change after I see myself in print! For Christmas the kids...our daughter, Jackie (the "best" photographer, EVER), her husband, Nat, our son Marcus and his lovely wife, Emily...blessed us with the gift of a family picture! Our daughter took us to a couple of different locations...first day we tried just around the land we own...but it was WAY too we all got dressed "back up" in our casual finery the next day (not as windy or cold...yea!)...and went to a wonderful area on the North Side of town, where we were able to find several incredible places for our daughter to set up her tri-pod, set the timer...get into place and shoot. This picture is one of our LAST ones for the day....our daughter said..."JUMP"... you can see by the badly the young un's are showing off with how high they can ALL jump....geez...mine and hubbins timing was WAY off...OR we just never really got that far off the ground. In any case it was a fun filled day...we have several great memories from just hanging out and taking pictures in a public place. Interesting how folks re-act when they see people posing for photos! Even more interesting is what was said among all of us while we were waiting for the camera to "click"...we have some real clowns in our family!!

**Just so you have a point of son and I are almost the same height...and I had on 1 1/2" to 2" heels...that little booger, his wife, our daughter and son in law...can JUMP! Hubbin and I are wimps...and he was counting for us along with the light on the we would jump at just the right moment...hmmm...I never have professed to being athletic...and WHAT is with my MOUTH being wide open...seems I must have thought you could jump higher if your mouth is open...and your arms are above your head....hmmm! Fun times...really, and my knees are feeling almost normal again!! LOL! **

Thanks KIDS...we already know we're going to love ALL of the pictures...even the ones with the wind and the dogs misbehaving, shedding...and not smiling! Thanks to Jackie, too...for all of her hard work on photo day...and the many hours I'm sure she will spend putting the pictures together for each of us...we love your work!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


NOW that I have your attention I thought I would bore you first with the most pathetic looking tree...EVER...don't feel too sorry for her...she's had over 20 years of life with us...she was suppose to be sent to Christmas tree heaven last year...but thankfully we held on to her for one more year! We thought possibly we would be in our new dream house by this time when we were packing away last year...but just in case we weren't we decided to keep her around one more year...and thankfully so...b/c we're still here...the tree is however...gone as of today...she went to the ole trash heap in the sky...Lord knows nobody wanted her...not even Charlie Brown...she has broken limbs, scraggly boughs and tilts like the leaning tower of Pizza...not to mention the lights we originally pre-lit her with over 20 years ago...have finally started going out...can you believe that??? All the lights were still working up until about 2 years ago...then slowly but surely they have started to go out...and we've had to re-string that's a chore...when the tree was originally pre-lit by my most meticulous husband! Each limb having lights down and back on each and EVERY one of them...yea...I just got tired of trying to figure it all out and tossed some lights on there...and left the burned out ones on...b/c can't see them anyway! Lazy...maybe...but I just have too many things to do other than worrying about unstringing dead lights to be replaced with live lights...when at the end of the season...all of it is going AWAY!! FAR, FAR AWAY!!

Thankfully our Christmas faired much better than the ole tree and was a wonderful Christmas time for all of us this year...all our family was together and we certainly did take advantage of the time we had to spend together. We opened WAY too many gifts...but hey...that was too fun...we ate more than we should have...but what are New Year's Resolutions for if not for eating too much at Christmas...and we really got to spend some quaility time together...hanging out, going to the movies, acting goofy, cooking...washing some more and washing MORE dishes...see a pattern here??? But, hey with my new sparkly clean counter tops and backsplash, plus new sink in the kitchen it did make it a much more asthetically pleasing area to be in...Seriously, though we had a wonderful Christmas and I pray everyone else did too!


As far as my title and snakes go...I just wanted you to know that it's not REAL snakes...but instead these precious little or big snakes...that you make to keep drafts from coming in under windows and doors. I saw this idea in a darling book my daughter shared with me when I visited her in Colorado in is called "Simple Sewing" by Lotta Jansdotter (doncha just love that name). I decided I MUST have that book, I ordered it from Colorado to be delivered in Texas when I returned home...isn't the internet GREAT for things like that!! The idea was for me to come right home and make several of these to send back to precious daughter and her husband BEFORE the winter storms blew in...ummm...well, as you know things happen, life gets busy and if you're like me....good intentions sometimes do not come to fruition as quickly as we would like! So...while in Colorado I gathered up some of our daughters favorite fabrics, took measurements of all windows and doors...and decided to come a few coordinating fabrics and get these things made and on their way...well, guess what??? I did that...YESTERDAY....all DAY...I made a total of 11 snakes and used over 45 pounds of cheap white rice!! There are still 2 snakes that were sent off with our darling daughter and her hubby this morning without rice...but I did give her strict instructions on how to do this (like I even NEED to do that...first, she's really smart and creative and secondly, she has THE book...but you know I'm a mom and I just had to do that!!)...and told her the sooner the better. I hope she's not like her mom too much and waits till summer!!

By the looks of it...our grand-dog Corrina may want her own snakes to cuddle up to...she just hung around with me most of the day...sniffing the snakes (probably wanting to tear into them for the rice) and just snuggling like she knew what they were for...too cute!

Hope you all have a very BLESSED and HAPPY New Year...I'll have some announcements coming won't want to miss....hopefully, I will know something by the end of next week or the following Don't you just love a good mystery? Feel free to guess...but I think most of you will never guess what is up for our family in the coming year. Excluding...the two or three ladies I have shared the news with...and I'll help you all out with a clue of has nothing to do with becoming a grandmother OR LOLLIE as I want to be called! Dang it!! Well, of course the year has just maybe??? Nah...not likely!