Tag Archives: general updates

Love/Hate/Interesting Update 3.27.17

I know it’s been ages since the last time I blogged about anything.  My personal life is going to get a lot crazier before it gets calmer.  Eventually I might write about some of the stuff going on when I feel like it’s the right time, but right now I need to deal with everything in private.  Thanks for your understanding!

Some days I have roughly the thinking capacity of a Marshmallow Peep, so I thought doing a Love/Hate update would be a good way to tiptoe back into blogging.  I’m also going to start adding an “Interesting” category to these updates for random tidbits that don’t fit into the “Love” or “Hate” categories.

Love:

-My service dog Vegas!  I just realized I haven’t written about him at all, so here’s the official announcement: I GOT MY SERVICE DOG!!!!  His name is Vegas and he’s a two-year-old English chocolate lab (so basically an American lab that looks like it shrunk in the dryer).  I’ll do a longer post about him complete with photos once I have the proverbial ducks somewhat superglued into a row.

-Chocolate. I’m female, it’s delicious.  Need I say more?

-Parks and Recreation.  There is no such thing as seeing this show too many times.  Leslie Knope would make an awesome president!

 

Hate:

-The horrifically large amount of bullshit that is out there, both on the internet and in general.  In the words of Scar from “Lion King”, I’m surrounded by idiots.  It’s getting old, to put it nicely.

 

Interesting:

So apparently eyes can get freckles!  I finally quit putting off going to the eye doc, where I learned that one of my eyes has a freckle.  I didn’t even know eyeball freckles were a thing, but apparently they are.  (Side note: Eyeballs look like Mars in photos. Just saying.)  The freckle doesn’t have any feeder vessels, so they know it’s not a tumor.  (I mention that because I totally heard “It doesn’t have any feet or vessels”! 😛 LOL)

Okay, that’s it for today!  If you have any questions about service dogs you’d like me to answer, leave them in the comments, and I’ll address them in a future blog post or vlog!

BEDS Challenge Wrap-Up and a Big Announcement!

I decided to wrap up the BEDS challenge early.  Life has been super hectic, and the weather has been craptastic and wiping me out.  Plus, I got some Big News, and once I share it, you’ll understand why I need to save my energy.

Okay, here is the Big Announcement:  I am starting service dog training on the 5th!!!  I’m getting my dog from Can Do Canines.  If you need a service dog and are in this neck of the words, I highly highly recommend them.  They are beyond fantastic.  Unlike some organizations, they will customize the training for individuals’ needs.  If your needs change during the course of your dog’s life, they will work with you to add new tasks as much as they can.  When I first applied, my primary disability was chronic pain and fibromyalgia, so I wrote on the application that I needed a mobility dog.  When I was diagnosed with POTS, CDC changed the category from mobility to seizure alert. (I do not have epilepsy, but this is the skill category they use for people with POTS.)  This way I can still get help with some mobility things, but we will also be able to work with the dog on helping with POTS episodes.

I don’t know anything about my dog other than it’s a he.  I’ve been jokingly referring to him as Eddie, because that’s the dog on “Frasier” which is one of the best shows ever.  Yep, I’m weird!

I still want to blog as much as I can about the training process and life in general, but removing the pressure of blogging every day is helping me breathe a lot easier.  Thanks for your understanding, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

BEDS Day 1: Howdy!

Good morning!  For those of you who are brand-new to this blog, I recently created the BEDS Challenge, which stands for Blog Every Day In September.  I’ll do my darnedest not to miss a day, but I’ll tell you right now that I’m not going to have the energy for lengthy posts every single day.

My body is loving the cooler weather!  I’m starting to feel halfway human!  I’ve been playing Pokemon Go with the hubby.  (Side note #1:  If you are wheeling fast-ish down a hill, POGO will yell at you and tell you it’s unsafe to play while driving!  Side note #2:  Canadian geese are annoyingly unafraid of people.  I wouldn’t be so afraid of them if they knew how to respect personal boundaries!)

Esther has been loving the cooler weather too.  She was ready to break down the glass patio door!  She seems to love summer and fall the best.  She’ll sit or lie there sniffing the breeze for hours.  It’s so cute to watch!  I would love to have more cats, but my annoyingly practical hubby says that one cat and 70ish pounds of service dog will be all the animal circus we need as long as we’re in this apartment!  (Still waiting for the call from Can Do Canines, by the way.  I will let you all know when I get the call saying it’s time to start training!)

I guess that’s about all for today.  See you back here tomorrow for day 2!

 

Introducing the BEDS Challenge!

I have to be honest.  It’s been a rough summer.  I spent about half of it stuck inside from the extreme heat, and the pesky POTS diagnosis didn’t help either. I passed the time by watching tons of YouTube videos.  I always enjoy watching YouTube videos made by people in the chronic illness community.  (I can understand some American-accented videos without captions.)  There is this thing in the YouTube world called VEDA, which stands for Vlog Every Day In August.

I have my own channel and I would have loved to participate in VEDA.  But since there is no way I could film, edit, and caption videos every day, I came up with an alternative.  I present to you the BEDS Challenge!  (Blog Every Day In September).  I am in a huge mental and creative rut right now, and typing takes a lot less energy than producing videos, so I am going to do my best to blog every day in September.  I won’t be writing lengthy posts every day, but I will at least pop on here with a photo or a blurb about something random.  I really need to do this for myself.  I need something to focus on and work toward while I recover from this summer and wait not-so-patiently for Service Fido’s arrival.

My first BEDS post will be up on September 1st.  If you want to try the BEDS challenge along with me, then by all means do so!  Hope you’re all doing well!

POTS Diagnosis and Holes In The Health Care System

As I mentioned briefly in my last post, I was recently diagnosed with POTS.  POTS stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.  It’s a form of dysautonomia, which is an umbrella term for diseases that affect the autonomic nervous system.  POTS is fairly common in people with fibromyalgia.  There is so much I want to say about all this but I’m exhausted and my brain is full of cotton balls at the moment, so this might end up being relatively short.

Out of all the fibro-induced diagnoses I’ve received in the past year and a half, POTS is definitely the most frustrating.  I have to constantly drink electrolyte solution and eat tons of salty snacks just to be able to move around a little bit each day.  Recently it’s been discovered that people with dysautonomia often have extremely low blood volume, and therefore patients could see improvement with partial or whole blood transfusions as well as supplemental oxygen.  (Because of the low blood volume, many people with dysautonomia don’t get adequate oxygen dispersed evenly throughout their whole body.  My limbs will actually turn blue and breathing gets extremely difficult if I don’t take my medication.)

The problem is the science is far ahead of the insurance companies at this point.  Most insurance companies aren’t willing to cover transfusions for people who have normal blood counts, or oxygen for people whose O2 levels aren’t dangerously low.  I’ve been asked if this is the doctors’ fault, and it’s not.  Doctors do not determine how much a treatment or medication costs.  Insurance companies make that decision.  I am beyond frustrated with the American health care system right now.  Medical care should cost a fraction of what people are currently paying.  People living in one of the richest countries in the world should not be going into debt for their medical care.

As for my personal POTS treatment plan, that’s a little up in the air right now, because of the insurance crap.  My daily POTS med is inexpensive and actually does something, so I will definitely keep taking it.  I’ll be seeing a cardiologist in August.  I also plan to see if Mayo Clinic is currently doing any research studies on medications or treatments, since it’s close enough that I could be there and back in a day if need be.  Research studies are free for participants and sometimes you even get a stipend.  At first I was extremely hesitant to talk about all this, but then I decided that if it helps even one person, it will be well worth it!

 

Love/Hate Update 6/15/16

I’ve hit another blogging low.  I’m done apologizing for that, though.  Sometimes my health kicks my butt, and there isn’t a darn thing I can do besides take care of myself the best I can.  I want to start posting more about what I’m reading.  I’m working on a post about the books I read in May.  But for now, here’s another love/hate update!

Love:

-Herbalife green tea.  I am seriously obsessed with this stuff!  Click here to check out my Herbalife website!  I’ve also posted pics of it on my Instagram account, khammar29.

-Esther snuggles

-chocolate cake

-spending time with Justin in the evenings

Hate:

-all the stupidity on the internet.  I can’t even.

-how I second-guess myself all the time and overthink every little decision

-how I constantly make up BS excuses to avoid writing

-being accused if being anti-feminist because I wear nail polish and have no desire to pursue a career in math or science.  I never said that women and left-brain careers don’t mix.  I’m saying Kati and left-brain careers don’t mix :p

I guess that’s all for now!

 

 

 

Long Overdue Update

Things have been rough on my end over the past several weeks.  I had the worse flare-up I’ve ever had since I’ve been diagnosed with fibro, and that made my mental health go down the toilet.  I used to kick myself whenever I shared anything that was less than positive, but then I decided that if sharing the truth will help even one person feel a little less alone in their own suffering, then it’s worth it.

The reason things got so bad was because the temperatures have been all over the place.  There was a 45-degree drop in temperature awhile ago, I don’t even remember when.  Up till that point, I was doing alright and seldom needed my narcotics.  I had managed to stretch out the bottle and it had lasted me over a year.  Then I ran out right before the 45-degree drop, which was so stressful on my body that I passed out and had non-epileptic seizures from the pain several times.  I finally got a new prescription and the drug bust commenced.  (As in, busting open the bottle and popping the much-needed drugs!)

I was extremely hesitant to share this with anyone, partly because of the stigma against narcotics and also partly because I am still recovering from being in a church community where some people were extremely opposed to all forms of western medicine.  When I have a flare-up, I still wrack my brain trying to figure out what I could have possibly done to bring it on, which does wonders for my mental health as you might imagine.  I’m learning the hard way that that kind of mental and spiritual damage does not go away overnight.

As for happier news, some of you may already know that I had been in the process of applying for a mobility service dog since last fall.  Well, I finally got it finished and my application has been accepted!  The next step is a home interview with a trainer in the next couple months.  I will share more about all this when there is more to share!

Okay, the brain fog is kicking my butt so I’m going to stop here.  Hope you’re all doing well!

Love/Hate Update 1/22/16

This is going to be a really quick update.  It’s been quite a week: Fluctuating temps, high pain levels, car repairs, a phone that is rapidly going to the surplus shop in the sky, and I’m probably leaving something out.

Anyhoo, here we go.

Love:

-St. Terese.  I will probably piss off a lot of Protestants by saying this, but the saints have become spiritual ancestors for me, especially St. Therese.  Had she been alive today,  she may have been diagnosed with some of the conditions I have.

-Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”  The book, not the Disney movie.

Hate:

-The disdain that many people have for the more liturgical, traditional denominations.  I don’t deny that there have been some unfortunate issues in Catholic churches, but there are many evangelical/contemporary denominations that are rife with corruption as well.

A Big Bang Theory-Style Review of My Week

Since I’m weird, I decided to write an account of recent events in the style of Big Bang Theory episode titles and synopsies.  Here goes!

The Star Wars Spoiler Dilemma:

Justin is afraid that his coworkers are going to share spoilers about the new Star Wars movie and decides he must see it this weekend.  Kati decides she must Netflix and binge-watch episodes 4-6 so she can see the new movie with Justin.  (she would like it known that she has, in fact, seen most of A New Hope, but that was forever ago.) She is outraged to discover that everyone and their grandmother has wait-listed every copy of episodes 4-6 in existence EVER.

The Cacao Powder Mishap:

Kati opens a shipment of hippie-chick organic stuff only to discover that the bag of cacao powder has sprung a leak.  After washing her hands several times, she still smells like cacao and will likely go to her grave smelling like cacao.  Which is, admittedly, better than smell that ensued the time a baby got sick and puked all over her.  

The Geekery Realization:

Kati plays a game in Facebook in which you replace random words in movie titles with the word “spoon.”. Every title she lists could be considered geeky, and she decides she has lived with Justin too long.

The Indiana Complication:

Kati is feeling like she is on top of holiday prep until the Christmas cards she orders online somehow end up in Indiana, forcing her to frantically run to the store for more cards.  

The Norbert Suggestion:

Justin mentions a coworker’s service dog in passing.  When he can’t remember the dog’s name, Kati vehemently suggests that they call him Norbert, much to Justin’s chagrin.  

The Lizard-Spock/Fire Interlude

While waiting outside during a fire in one of the other apartments, Justin and Kati play “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.” While writing this post, Kati remembers that the game was her idea and cannot believe what a geek she’s become!

Love/Hate Update 12/2/15

I know my blogging consistency has been craptastic lately.  And realistically, I’m not sure how soon that will change.  I do want to write more (blogging and otherwise), but right now my PT sessions and my PT “homework” is taking up most of my energy.  I’m also realizing that I just don’t function well when I don’t keep my living space clean and organized.  So that’s where most of my time and energy needs to go right now.

I did manage to throw together a love/hate update, so here you go!

Love:

-The new apartment!  Justin and I were housesitting for my parents while he was in school.  (They are now retired and RVing.)  We moved into our own place at the end of October.  My body LOVES it here.  There are three elevators, so there’s a plan B and a plan C if the one closest to our unit breaks down.  We have our own washer and dryer, so I can do several teeny loads instead of one big mammoth load.  The building is only 15 yers old, so there aren’t any mold issues.  My asthma has been flaring up a lot less since we moved here.

-reading about random acts of kindness

-green tea, all kinds of flavors!

Hate:

-systems that perpetuate spiritual abuse and other types of abuse while pretending to have it all together.  (I’m talking to you, Duggar parents!)  Toxic chemicals come with warning labels.  It should be the same for religious institutions.

-all the crappy societal messages about how we should hate our bodies and shame ourselves for indulging in holiday goodies