Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm sorry to be out of touch...

I've had some issues of my own and now my Dad is in the hospital in Raleigh and not doing very well. I saw today that I've lost one of my blog followers and that makes me really sad. I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted, but I really couldn't help it until now. (Sitting in a hospital room watching nurses and techs come in and out all day leaves me lots of time to do computer catch-up!) If my lost follower reads this, please come back! I miss you!

My 85-year-old Daddy broke his hip over a week ago. He had surgery, but he's just not rallied yet. They finally got him sitting on the side of the bed yesterday, but he hasn't been up on the new hip yet. He's frail and old and we're very, very worried about him. He'll probably have to go to a nursing home before too long.

Me? Well, after seeing a very expensive Allergy Specialist, I have finally found the right medications to control my hives. They're not really gone - just covered up and manageable. When Daddy's situation is straightened out I'll do some more trial and error to see if I can figure out what's causing them. But, for now, they're under control as long as I'm medicated.

I'll be heading back to the mountains tomorrow so I can get caught up at home for a few days before I'll probably come back down here. So, bear with me. I promise to post as often as I can manage. Don't un-follow me, please! I love all of you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Aw, Geez....

Photo from
I guess I'm in this for the long haul. The hives came back with a vengence as soon as I stopped taking the prednisone. And steroids are not good for you at all, so I can't take any more. I've been back to the Doctor twice, more medications have been prescribed, meds that I was already taking were ditched (in case they were causing the reaction) and I've had bad reactions to two of the new ones. One made me violently ill and so dizzy I could hardly stand up and the other put me to sleep for 18 hours straight. I've eliminated any questionable things from my diet and my environment and it makes no difference. One Doctor said he thought I had a milk allergy, so I've eliminated dairy from my diet for the last five days. (That's a hard one. There's dairy in EVERYTHING, even non-dairy creamer!) Right now I've found one antihistamine that will knock the itch down to a tolerable level and the only side effects are some digestive issues (I'll spare you the details) and mild sleepiness, but the rash never goes away compeltely.
Photo by lanikai92 on flickr

I'm acting like a bear -- rubbing my back on door trim -- to get to the places I can't reach!

I'm feeling quite depressed. It could be all the meds I've been taking, or it could be that I'm just disgusted by this whole thing. And reading the internet is not always a good thing because I've found people who have had hives for YEARS with NO relief. We've had some beautiful spring-like days recently that I have not been able to enjoy because I'm too sleepy to go outside. A two-hour nap each day is not an unusual thing. Or, it could be that I'm tired of paying for Doctor visits and for drugs that don't work. (Why won't Walmart give me my money back when I've only taken one pill out of a $58.00 prescription?) These things I've been taking are no more than a shot in the dark to see if we can find something that works and our screwed-up health care system isn't helping.

Well, you probably don't want to hear any more about this, so I'll stop. Good thoughts and prayers are always appreciated and that just might work better than anything the Doctors have to offer! Thanks for letting me rant.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I think this is the first time I've put food on my blog. No... I think I posted some pictures of strawberries from my garden last year. Certainly it's the first time I've posted a recipe. The reason is that I don't cook. It's not that I can't cook, I just don't cook. At least, not very often. It's too hard to cook every day for just one person. I don't entertain that often but I like to cook for other people.

But, every couple of weeks I make a batch of this granola because I eat it for breakfast nearly every day. I got the recipe from a dear friend many years ago and I find that it fills me up and doesn't disappear and leave me hungry again by 11:00 in the morning.

Here's the basic ingredients:
  • 4 cups oats - the "old fashioned" kind, not quick oats.
  • 1 1/2 cups of sunflower seeds. Be sure to get the raw, unsalted ones. Ask me how I know.
  • 2 cups of almonds - you can use slivered, sliced or whole.
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil.
  • 1/2 cup of honey.
  • 2 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon.
In a 9x13 baking pan, mix the oats, sunflower seeds and almonds. In another container (like the measuring cup), mix the oil, honey and cinnamon. Pour it over the oats mixture and mix it up really well. Be sure all the dry ingredients are coated.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven, stir well, and turn the oven down to 250 degrees. Bake for another 20 minutes. Take it out and stir again and bake for another 20 minutes at 250. So, it bakes for a total of an hour. Don't over-bake. Stir every once in a while as it cools so you don't end up with big clumps stuck together. Store it in an air-tight contaier when it's completely cooled.

You can alter this in any way you like. Sometimes I add flax seed or wheat germ. You can use any kind of nuts - I just like almonds. You can change it on a daily basis by adding your favorite ingredients after it's baked. Like, raisins, dried cranberries, or any kind of fruit. And any flavor of yogurt. Use your imagination.

This morning's dish had some applesauce and vanilla yogurt with a little dusting of nutmeg. Now you know one of my favorite things.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hives update

Over the past six days the only places I have not had hives is on the bottoms of my feet and on the top of my head. Every place in between has had it's turn with itchy welts for 24 hours or so. And I'm talkin' EVERY where... They sprout one place for a while and disappear and then appear somewhere else.  Here's what a patch of them looked like yesterday:

After my visit to the Doctor I learned that 70% of people never figure out what causes their hives. I got my perscriptions for steroids and antihistamines filled, and today.... VOILA!!! No hives! Nothing itches and I actually got quite a bit done because the perscription antihistamines don't put me to sleep and the steroids make me a little hyper. It's an unbelieveable relief. The plan is to finish the course of steroids over six days and take the antihistamines for a month before tapering off. Oh... I hope they don't come back!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Just so you know...

Sorry I've been absent. Here's a quick update of what's going on.

Last week I woke up each day determined to get to work on some jewelry, but something always came up and it never happened. Then, I went to the Triangle area the weekend of 2/25 for my Brother-in-Law's birthday and a benefit for the American Cancer Society. I stayed with my sister and BIL for the weekend and had a good visit with my Dad.

Last Sunday evening I started to break out in hives. I've never had them before and it was a little scary, as they crept all over my body. On Monday I got some Benadryl, which helped with the itchy welts, but I slept most of Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday was a good day - most of the spots were gone. This morning I woke up covered again and this time my mouth and eyes are swollen.

I've been on the internet reading about hives and decided that I needed to see my Doctor since I've had them for five days. There's got to be a treatment for this that won't make me stupid and sleepy. One cause can be stress and I thought I didn't have anything stressful going on in my life, but now I'm stressing because I have hives and they've interruped my life at a time when I need to concentrate on making jewelry! We'll see what the Dr. says later this morning.