Monday, September 10, 2018

One Happy Camper

Check out this picture. See the lady with the huge goofy grin?

Hey. No judgments. Although I'll admit that characterizing my face as goofy is a major understatement. She's smiling so hard that her cheeks are screaming in pain for several reasons:

First: She's holding her most adorbs grandbaby (also her only) on her lap.

Second: While snuggling said precious bebeh she's looking at this amazing view and is able to say that she now lives there. 

Third: All the things that she hoped for in this Reasonably Well post back in May 2017 have materialized. Woot! A family with two little boys have purchased and moved into our old home, we found and purchased a home on property, and have MOVED IN. Granted, even though all of the financial and legal paperwork (whew!) is signed and safely tucked away in John's filing cabinet, and as far as the state and county are concerned we do indeed have a new address; in spite of all that we are still living up to our ears in moving boxes. But I don't care. It's super easy for me to look blissfully past those boxes since I have a drop dead gorgeous view of the Cascade mountains past the cardboard and strapping tape mountains. 

Most importantly, our new house is a master on the main ranch with a daylight basement. Everything that I need is on the main floor and I have only to maneuver two steps when getting myself from my car into the house. Pretty spiff, I think. Also much safer. John says that if I even come close to taking a tumble on those steps that he will build a ramp. I really want to avoid breaking any more of these old bones. 

Speaking of my history of falling, did I ever share with y'all my experience of tumbling down a full flight of stairs in our old house onto a hardwood floor last Christmas? No? Actually it was an impressive show of clumsiness that still makes me stupidly proud: as I was bouncing and flopping on my way down, I marvelled that I could MAKE A FORTY FIVE DEGREE TURN MID FALL at the staircase landing which allowed me to continue flailing my arms and legs all the way down to the bottom of the stairs. 

Not to brag or anything, but very few people possess the ability to make that maneuver. I take pride in that. What can I say? It's a gift.

Fourth: I am making progress in learning about and reducing the tremors in my upper body that have plagued me for the last few years. I haven't shared much about this struggle with y'all; one reason (among many) being that the tremors in my hands had become severe enough to make typing on my laptop next to impossible. Which made posting to Reasonably Well very difficult. 

Hunt and peck typing with one finger makes it really hard to keep a blog going. Eating soup with a spoon? Forget about it. And don't even get me started on tweezing eyebrows. Ow.

My sense of humor and patience had completely evaporated and writing about it all here on the blog just seemed to remind me how much I was struggling. I am certain that denial factored heavily into my reluctance to document it all. So I didn't. 

But working with a young smarty-pants neurologist and after several months of medication reductions, adjustments, and additions, I can happily say that it's a "two-hands-all-fingers-on-the-keys" typing experience today. Which is not to say that my neuropathies and tremors and restless leg syndrome have been cured; not by a long shot. But having legible handwriting and steadier hands goes a long long way in brightening my state of mind. I'm hoping that my balance issues will improve as well; however Smarty-Pants Neurologist isn't promising anything yet, and I'm learning to live with that uncertainty. I'll take any improvement no matter how small. 

How could living here not help facilitate calm and renewal?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Something New

My friend Karen and her family visited me last weekend, and as usual it was great fun. While she was here, she asked me when I was planning to write another post because she was tired of seeing a picture of my broken arm every time she visited Reasonably Well. And as usual, this was a good observation.

So here I am and I'll make sure to add several pictures to this post. All of which provide something far more enjoyable to look at than that annoying cast. Here's one of my favorites:

 Doesn't Marcus look as though he's thinking, "Graaaaammmmmmaaaaaaa! Enough kisses already!"

These were taken on the weekend after my cutie patootie grandson Marcus was born. I love being a grandma.

Here are some of the last pictures that y'all will see of our yellow house. We accepted an offer on our home from a young family with two little girls this week. It makes my heart smile to think that this home will have teensy kiddos living here.

I wonder what Lulu and her Santa Lambchops will think about our new house? We are moving to a home that checks all of the boxes on our wish list. It has a master bedroom on the main floor which means that the likelihood of me tumbling down stairs will decrease considerably. Hopefully. It is situated on five acres, half of which are douglas fir trees and at 1100 feet elevation, has a great view of the mountains.

I find myself becoming aware that I simply cannot tolerate noise as well as I used to. I feel an acute discomfort when I am in a noisy environment. It is blissfully quiet at our new place. If all goes as expected, we will move in to our new digs mid-August.

Moving should be an interesting experience. I'll keep y'all posted.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

I've been busy lately.

Imagine this beauty attached to me right about at the shoulder.

So the good news is that I have my stitches out, my black eye is finally beginning to fade and my broken arm is sporting a new and improved splint that has velcro so that I can take it off to shower!

What's that? I haven't shared this latest catastrophe with y'all? Sorry. My bad. Guess I should start at the beginning, then.

Like a lot of people with autoimmune disease, my balance isn't great. So about two and a half weeks ago, my crummy balance led me down an outdoor set of concrete stairs face first. Wasn't pretty or pleasant. I ended up with a gash over my eyebrow, an impressive black eye, a broken arm, and couple of broken ribs.

This has made me crabby.

It has also made me rather odiferous too. Ever try to bathe one handed? Especially when that hand is the non-dominant one?

Luckily, it will all heal. As a matter of fact, I now can take my arm out of the splint and have begun doing very limited range of motion exercises. I can almost camouflage my black eye with makeup, and the scar over my eye should heal well. The ribs will take longer to heal than my arm, but the feeling as though I have been hit by a tank has passed. Whew.

 My fatigue in response to my injuries has been overwhelming, and I'm not surprised. It must be the demand for healing has sapped me of much of my energy.

But enough about me. How have y'all been?


Comment away to your heart's desire, people. I have finally figured how to successfully publish your observations, questions, and pithy responses. So keep 'em coming. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018


So I've been having problems with my blogging platform, Blogger. It has made publishing the comments from y'all impossible. The issue may be in my laptop, or in the mysterious workings of Google and Blogger, who knows? In the meantime, I think it may be a good idea to hold off on writing any comments until I get this figured out. If you have sent in a comment that was not published, I'm sorry about that. But I'm on it.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's a Balancing Act

Happy February! Hope y'all had a great January.

I was sitting here this morning, feeling grumpy. It seemed to me that my life since Christmas had been pretty boring.

It didn't help that I had yet to have my first cup of coffee.

After about half of a steaming mugful I realized that as usual I was letting my bratty inner child unleash her crabby-pants attitude. As I sipped my coffee, I reflected on the past month. I had to grudgingly admit that BICJ did indeed have a few valid reasons for her crankiness: I had developed some vasculitis in my feet and legs, needed three weeks to recoup my energy after going whole hog for the holidays, and had to endure not one but TWO UTIs in the past six weeks. Then needed to have the bursa in both hips injected with steroids for a very very chronic battle with trochanteric bursitis.

I get these injections routinely and over the past year have developed a two day long post injection reaction that involves alternating between feeling hot and sweaty, and having chattering teeth chills. Dr. Young Guy has assured me that while these side effects may be uncomfortable, they aren't dangerous unless I spike a fever during these episodes. I get up to five months total relief of hip pain after the injections and so have decided that two days of sweat and shake episodes are worth enduring if I can count on being pain-free after.

After mulling this over, I decided that I needed another cup of coffee or I would lose my tenuous control over BICJ and the results wouldn't be pretty.

Properly reinforced by another large swig from my wonderful goat mug from Glacier National Park and after another recollection, it became clear that BICJ and I were focusing far too much on the negatives from the past month or so. Because those weeks were chock full of amazing positives as well:

A delightful weekend in the Cascades to celebrate Son's birthday.

Lulu got a new outfit for the occasion.

Then there's the fact that my kitchen project is all finished...

.......and the basement is well on its way to a transformation from one big storage pile to a brand spankin' new family/bath/storage area.

But best of all, I've seen a glimpse of spring!

See that one brave little camellia blossom?

I'm excited about my upcoming Mumsy/daughters weekend. I'm going to hop on a train and let my girlies ferry me around, one stop being the Swan Lake ballet.

Golly. Isn't life grand?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Looking For a Great Rheumatologist

The Doctor by Luke Fildes found on Wikipedia

Over the last week or so, I have received three requests for the names of good rheumatologists in various cities.

Interesting. Typically I get one or two per year.

It is hard for me to address questions like this for lots of reasons. I do not share the name of my rheumatologist, Dr. Young Guy, because he asked me not to. I don't know any others in my area, either.

I sincerely wish that I could offer better answers because I understand how important it is to have really good care. The only thing that I can share that may be helpful at this point is the names of several Sjogren's centers around the US, which I shared in a previous post, Show Me The List. This post was written three years ago, so there may be other centers developed since. If you know of others, share and I will update the post.

Also, if you have an exemplary physician, and if you get permission to share her/his name on Reasonably Well, share in the comments section.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tell the Tooth

tooth image courtesy Wikipedia, here. 

Hi all. Reader Shara wants to know: have you had dental implants? What was your experience with them and do you feel they were worth the hefty cost?

What great questions, especially for those of us who are saliva-challenged and have all the dental problems that brings.

I have had two implants, the most recent about two years ago. I am very happy with the results but had to deal with two issues before I found my dental happy place:

First, the healing process was lengthy and inconvenient. I healed without incident but this required a few appointments which required coordination between the dental surgeon and my dentist. Much confusion arose over the temporary tooth (required while permanent prosthetic tooth was being made) but it eventually was found and inserted.

Second: the cost. Even with our insurance covering part of the cost, I was still floored at the resulting bill.

I think it was all worth it. The implant teeth are even better than my original ones. They are truly permanent, wahoo.

So. Have you had a dental implant?

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Christmas

I know that I have used this video before on Christmas day, but I enjoy it so much that I may use it for several more.

I wish you all a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Well. With four days to go, I am ready for Christmas.

This has me worried.

It's never happened before. Typically, at this point I am rushing around for last minute gifts, frantically turning out sugar cookies and fruitcake and anything else I can think of that heavily involves sugar and butter and flour.

But this year, I have workmen in my kitchen. For the past three days and for another two, I am having work done in my kitchen. Currently the backsplash is being installed which basically makes the kitchen a "NO JULIA " zone.

I've had mixed feelings about that. I want to be in there obsessing about Christmas food; but on the other hand, I have already made my fudge and my neighbors have been sharing an abundance of Christmas cookies and candy with us all week. Which means that we already have more treats than we can possibly eat. So I don't need to be in the kitchen right now, actually.

Hm. A new kitchen AND I don't have to bake another thing before Christmas. Nice.

I have all the presents purchased and John, bless his heart!, has wrapped them all. They are all under the tree looking all festive and pretty. The house is reasonably clean except for a last minute tour of the bathrooms with toilet cleaner and windex in hand.

I've forgotten something, I just know it.

Lulu and Frodo tell me to relax. As long as there is doggie treats in their stocking.

I'm trying to kick back and just enjoy the holiday. I hope y'all are too. And I want to wish you the merriest Christmas ever.