I have been having trouble with my larynx lately. They checked my thyroid. Fine. They checked a couple of other things. Nothing. Then I saw a laryngologist.
He said I had some inflammation at the back of my larynx. He said it was most likely caused by reflux. I already take a proton pump inhibitor, so we also elevated the head of our bed (THAT took some getting used to!), and I try to avoid eating after 8:00 p.m.
I think there is more going on, however. For the past month or so, I have had terrible tension in my shoulders and neck, and pain going throughout both. I think this tension has been translated into my larynx. I have started physical therapy to try to overcome this tension. LadyBug went with me because her left arm hurst and she can't straighten it. Quite the pair, aren't we!
I am about ready to try a 10-day vocal silence. I did this once before, several years ago. It is not an easy thing, but is preferable from always feeling like something is stuck in my throat. I am trying to get a summer job, though, so I'm not sure how this will work. I may just have to do vocal rest instead, and just take it easy on my voice.
I went in today for a minor surgical procedure. This was done in the doctor's office, instead of the hospital, since it was SO minor. I had a cyst removed from my scalp. It felt, while still in, like it was a huge pocket of whatever-it-was, but once out, was about the size of a small pea.
I remember my dad had one removed from his scalp years ago. It seemed to me that there were several, but mom said it was only one. Of course, I was young, and her memory isn't what it used to be, so who knows?
The doctor numbed the area around the cyst, then cut open my scalp, removed the cyst and sewed me back up in just about 30 minutes. We had a nice conversation while he did it. His daughter is the vice-president of one of my choirs next year, and his nurse's daughter is the president! LadyBug sat in a chair right there in the room reading her magazine and avoiding looking over at me the entire time. Go figure.
Speaking of LadyBug, she continues radiation. She is almost to the end of her first week. She has had 4 treatments, with only 24 more to go! Every day, a different lady from our church picks her up and takes her 90+ miles to the clinic, waits the short time she is in, and brings her home. Some of them go to lunch with her, others bring her directly home, arriving around lunch time. We are truly grateful for all the assistance, especially since I am going to have to get a summer job to pay for our roofing project!
Kissa works at our local Sandwich franchise, and ZeldaPrincess still works at our local grocer. We don't know how soon LadyBug will be able to work at all. WE know her coworkers are anxious for her to be better. None more than the lady doing her job right now! They all pray for a speedy recovery (and return to work!).
School is almost out, with only two more full days left. It is late now, and I need all my strength for this coming week, so I will bow out of further blogging. You can check out another post at my No Apologies blog if you are desperate for reading. Good night.
I've always heard of Overhead Costs. People and businesses talk about them all the time. I never fully appreciated it until today, though. I called a popular Do-It-Yourself-Type-Home-Repair Store today to find out how much I will need to save up to buy shingles for the south side of my home. JUST the south side of my home. Only.
Their bundles cover 33 square feet, and each bundle is a mere $22- $25. Sounded reasonable. I even have some money saved up just for this cost. Then I did the math. My home is 15 feet from the peak to the edge of the roof. It is 78 1/2 feet long (give or take a couple of inches). That means it is roughly 1178 square feet. Using that measurement I was able to determine it would take 36 bundles to cover just the south side.
At $22-$25 per bundle that is between $800 and $900 to shingle the south side of my home. I guess I will save up for a little while longer....
I finally finished the shelf--with adjustments--and installed it. Here is the finished product:
I feel much better about it now that it is done, but I think I will turn to different pursuits, still. My next project is a black suede case, with fringe, for my conducting baton. I have already done two other cases of different materials, and may post some photos when I am done. After that, I still have a HUGE didjeridoo to complete. I also have my book to edit and at least a couple of songs to write or arrange, so I think my creative powers will be occupied for awhile.
I still need to make some adjustments, because of issues over the stove, but here is my next project. It is designed to fit over and behind our stove. This might be my last wood project for awhile. I realized I am NOT a painter, and I also don't know if I have the patience to deal with more right now....
LadyBug has had a couple of echoes done on her heart lately. The doctor was a little concerned, because she keeps getting short of breath, but her oxygen levels are fine.
The good news is that she does not have any more pulmonary embolisms. The bad news is that they aren't sure what is exactly wrong with her. They will continue to monitor her.
After her last pre-radiation visit, she has had difficulty straightening her left arm. The doctor had a sonogram done of it to find out if she had blood clots in her arm. She does not. He will continue watching her to see if it improves. We will update this as we receive more info from the doctors.
I am almost done with my year. We had one of our concerts on Thursday, then State Choir on Friday. Our choir got a I, a I-, and another I-. What this means, for those who don't know, is that we did not "Take State," but had the highest score you could get without doing so. We were disappointed, but still happy with these high scores. A I is like an A in grades. I is the highest score, V the lowest, so a I- is like an A-, whereas a III+ would be like a C+, etc. It takes a minimum score of two I's and one I- (with the highest possible score being three I's) to take State. This coming week, we have our last concert, and the very next day, I go with our senior class on their "Sluff Day" activity to an amusement park.
On Friday, our high school has a short day, with a hamburger lunch, and activities. That same day our elementary does a special program. I will direct the entire student body of about 500 kids in three songs.
After all we have been through this year, I am looking forward to this year being done, and with the addition of a mixed-voices chamber choir next year, I am excited for the new year to start already. Before that happens, we will still have our Relay for Life event.
And to top it all off, tomorrow, I sing in a quartet for a conference, then on Friday, I sing and play with a small band for a class reunion! Maybe I'll go get some sleep. I get the feeling I'm gonna need it!
Yesterday, we were planning on having a day at home. I was going to mow the lawn, and LadyBug was going to enjoy a nice day inside (I know, but she can't get in the sunlight just yet because of chemo). Then later in the day, we planned to head to Inklings' town to get a couple of things, the foremost being blocks to elevate the head of our bed.
Mere moments before I was going to start getting the mower out, I noticed I had a text from Dee Ice. He said he and Inklings had been at a yard sale and found a wheelchair for LadyBug for $5! He said it was a pretty nice one, so we said to go ahead and get it and we'd be down in a half-hour.
Upon arrival, we found that he was right--it was a fairly nice chair. Inklings told us she would loan it to us if, when we were done, we would take it to my mother and father, since their chair has been appropriated by relatives. It only being $5, this sounded more than fair to us, so we agreed! The only thing was, we couldn't figure out how to attach the foot pegs.... So we drove back to the yard sale and asked them how to do it. They showed us, and we were able to use the wheelchair for our Walmart visit.
The yard sale did have a few things we could still look at, though, and one of them required that we go back and get our truck. Two hours later, we were home again, and decided to go to the college town just north of us. Kissa wanted to see that city's Miss ____ Pageant. One of her friends was running (and won!), and she wanted to be there to support her. Her talent was an Aerial routine that she and the rest of their dance team had learned how to do this year. For those who don't know, this is where they suspend two long pieces of silky fabric from the rafters, and the girls climb up and do all sorts of twisting, spinning moves. Very cool stuff.
Afterwards, we returned home, where Kissa started watching "Undercover Blues," one of my favorite movies. Big mistake. Two nights in a row of getting to bed late about did me in!
Skitl came home for the weekend because he has a dentist appointment Monday. I had him help me put the blocks under the head of our bed. They say that if you elevate your bed's head 6" it will help fight reflux. I hope it does. They also say that you body doesn't even notice the 6" elevation. They were wrong. I hate it! My back aches so much today I don't know if I will ever get used to sleeping that way! And I kept having to scoot back up in the bed. We'll see what happens, but right now, I'd almost rather have the reflux.
Well, happy Mother's Day to all my friends and family! Happy birthday to my loving wife, LadyBug! Take care, all!
Just had a visit with the doctor this week (having voice problems, due to reflux!), and I have some new numbers. I am still only down 55 lbs., but I have some new figures to be happy with.
First: 108/66 -- I don't think my BP has EVER been that good!
Pulse: 58 -- Go Cardio, Go!
For those who might ask, my Thyroid numbers were EXACTLY in the middle of where they should be!
There are no nodules, just some inflammation. He told me to elevate the head of my bed 6" (exactly...7 inches is not as good, nor is 5!), avoid eating after 8:00 p.m., and be kind to my voice (no yelling or otherwise abusing it). I will also continue taking my Nexium (no, I am not getting paid for that endorsement).
I have found my creative outlet for the month. I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves. It did take me a few days, and I worked primarily with simple tools, so I was quite pleased with the results. If nothing else, I had fun!
LadyBug had her first appointment with Dr. Rads' office on Thursday. They started the mapping process for upcoming radiation treatments, using a Sharpie to mark places that will help them calibrate the machine. When she returns on Thursday of this week, they will (I think) put permanent tattoos in at least some of those places. She said they told her the right implant is in the way, so will need to be deflated before they can calibrate the device. She will see Dr. Plastics one more time in order to take care of that.
She will have two more visits in preparation for radiation, then will start treatment on Friday, May 13. That is the same day as our choir festival, so neither ZeldaPrincess nor I will be there, Kissa will have to take her, and we will hope it all goes well. We don't know how this will all go over, nor how LadyBug will respond. Some of our friends have offered to take her to her appointments, so that will help in the costs for gas, etc.