Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31 - Life is good. And today was definitely a good day to be alive!

So, I've recently gotten a little perspective on the weight thing. I read that Christian Bale dropped down to 122 pounds in order to play his character in the movie The Machinist. And he's 6' tall!! Also, there's been a lot in the rag mags about all the weight that Matthew McConaughey has lost to play an AIDS victim in his latest flick. Lastly, Yahoo has been reviewing their favorite stories of 2012 and one of them was about an overweight chick who lost 100 pounds. She's now 5'4" (same as me) and weighs 110 and she looks fantastic! Based on all this, I've decided my problem with the weight loss (other than the fact that it's continuing) is that it was an unhealthy weight loss. I feel like a sack of skin with bones stuck in. Whoa. I just had deja vu. I swear there was a similar quote to that effect near the beginning of my blog. It was something one of my favorite heroines had said. Anywho, sorry, a little ADD going on there. So, I'm not waiting any longer for the weight to stop falling off before trying to gain back some muscle tone. As far as I'm concerned, if the chickie in the Yahoo article can make 110 look healthy and good, then I still have some leeway to play with and I should feel free to start doing stuff that burns calories. With that in mind........

Friday I worked on clearing out that incredibly heavy foot and a half of snow that got dumped on us, from the driveway. I had to make 3 separate trips for an hour each time but I managed it. I also posted an ad on on a whim. I haven't been on a date for 4-5 years now so I figured it would be fun. And I posted loud and clear about not only my cancer, but my accident too, and warned of my scars. I figured this would be a good way to distinguish the men from the boys. As it turns out, guys don't seem to really care. Within 3 hours I had my first date set up for Saturday.

So, Saturday saw me cross country skiing for the first time in 3 years. Match Brian and I did an hour and a half loop at Mendon Ponds Park. It felt so good! We were on the trail and he looked up at a flock of geese going over and he asked me if I knew why one side of their vee was longer than the other. I replied no, why? He said because there's more geese on the one side than the other.........I pushed him over on his skies (or attempted to but since I'm wussy girl right now, it didn't quite work). LMAO!

Yesterday I spent 3 hours non-stop cleaning my house, then I went outside and spent another 45 minutes shoveling our new snowfall, then came back inside and cooked up a big batch of seafood bisque and croissants just in time to have Match Neil over for dinner and a night of shooting zombies on the Wii. We had a lot of fun!

This morning found me up before the crack of dawn, puttering around, taking care of the animals. I then sat down to play Harvest Moon for a couple of hours until the sun woke up and started shining merrily. I then did a quick cleanup on myself and headed back to Mendon to put another hour and a half in on my cross country skis. It was so peaceful and pretty. I wish I had thought to grab my new camera from my purse!

So as you can see, I'm working hard on getting some muscle put back on. I'm currently trying to line up a snowshoe date for tomorrow with Match Amherst, I have a hiking date this Saturday with Match Steve, and I'm working on a snowshoe date with Match Tom for Sunday. Phew! I'm kind of forcing these men to combine exercise and dating. It makes for a win-win sitch for me! LOLOLOL!

Okay, the only improvement I have to report wasn't actually on my list. And it's probably a little TMI but I'm going to share any way. My girly thing finally came back after being MIA for over 3 months!! Mind you, I wasn't too torn up about it being gone, and normally I wouldn't be all that excited about it being back but any bodily function returning to normal HAS to be a good thing, right?

I've been staying away from the scale again but plan on weighing myself on Wednesday morning. I will have 5 days of exercising under my belt by then so we'll see how that goes. I believe that muscle weighs more that fat so maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and my weight will be up from the 123.4 that it was on Christmas. Although....can you build muscle in a short 5 days. Guess I'll see.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 27 - I had an improvement to report today but upon copying my lists from the last time I had reported on them, I discovered that I actually have a number of improvements to report. How bleeping exciting is that?!? So, here's what's happening:

- Mucusitis is gone!
- Diarrhea is gone!
- Gagging is happening only every other day!
- Water pik is only needed twice a day!
- I stopped using my humidifier every night! (Although not because I'm now producing spit but because it was making me damp at night which then gave me the chills and I was more afraid of catching pneumonia than worrying about waking up 3-5 times a night due to dry mouth.)

No Improvements:
- Sporadic sleeping still happening.
- I'm still losing weight.
- 10% of food tastes meh, 10% of food tastes okay, 80% of food tastes rotten.
- I still have thrush.
- Back of tongue still swollen.
- I'm still not producing spit.
- Garbled talking.

- Bullfrog effect still going on.

Cool. I added color. So, items in red I really have no control over. Items in yellow, I'm thinking I should be able to do something about....kind of.

The sleeping issue. As mentioned previously, the melatonin didn't really do anything for me. Although JT mentioned that he thought you had to take it for a week or two to get it to build up in your system before it would be effective. Unfortunately, I had already moved on. I bought a sleeping aid called ZQuil by the makers of Nyquil. It didn't seem to do anything either. Since I'm on vacation until next Wednesday, I'm not too wound up about this issue right now. I'll wait and see how cranky I start getting from lack of sleep once I'm back to work full time. Then I'll start researching other options. Jer thinks I should ask my doctor to prescribe some Lunesta or Ambien. I poked around on the web. Lunesta may not be safe if you have a history of alcohol abuse <ahem>. Ambien, on the other hand, can potentially cause sleep eating. How cool is that? That could come in handy in regards to item 2 on the list......

Have I mentioned I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed? Here's my blonde, female, Polish move for this week. I hadn't weighed myself since 12/17 because it was just too depressing watching the scale go down, down, down. On 12/17 I had weighed in at 125.2. I decided that since I was going on vacation, I should be able to really bump up my eating. So, for 4 days straight (12/21-12/24) I made sure I was eating every 3-4 hours. I basically kept my tummy constantly full. On Christmas morning I decided to finally weigh myself again, thinking the scale had to have gone up at least half a pound. Alas, it said 123.4 (This is less than what I weighed when I got married at age 21!). I was SO bummed. I kind of moped around all day because of it and then in the evening, the lightbulb went off. I didn't weigh myself right before embarking on the four days of stuffing my face. For all I know, maybe I HAD gone up a pound or so from whatever I weighed. Doh! So, slightly cheered, I hopped on and started working on the third item on the list which will help the second item on the list......

I'm still limited to mostly liquid and some soft foods. So I did a search on creamy soups and bisques on I found 8-10 recipes that sounded interesting so I printed them out, made a list of ingredients and hit Wegman's yesterday. $160 later I was back home with a very large amount of fresh vegetables and what not. On a side note, I passed a display of eggnog in half gallon containers while shopping. Since I've been drinking the eggnog milkshakes, I thought maybe I should give actual eggnog a try. Once I saw that it has 280 calories in 1/2 cup, I was sold. Thank goodness I hadn't looked at the price before sticking it in my cart because that may have changed my mind right back to not buying it. It rang up at $7.99 and then discounted a $1. For a half gallon! Holy cow! Anyway, last night I got busy in the kitchen. I made a cajun pumpkin soup which was okay. I made a roasted eggplant/garlic soup which was really good. I made a spinach/potato/broccoli/cauliflower/cheese soup that was actually a bit yuck but it's got some hefty calories to it and a ton of good for me stuff (plus it made 12 servings which I will feel too guilty tossing in the garbage) so I'm going to try to force myself to eat it. And lastly I made a different pumpkin soup that called for molasses. Turns out I'm not a fan of molasses. The recipe went in the garbage but I can probably make myself eat the soup. So, the eggplant is definitely a recipe I'll be making again. I'm taking a break from the kitchen today but I still have a stack of other recipes to try (one of them is peanut soup!) in the next couple of days.

Lastly is the thrush. Today is day 6 of once again religiously dissolving 5 of these lozenges on my tongue throughout the day. I'm going to keep doing that for 14 days straight and if I still have thrush at the end of 14 days, I'm going to have to call Dr. A and see if there's anything else we can do. I have to think that some of the discomfort in my mouth and throat would be reduced if I could get rid of this darned yeast infection.

So, that's the health report this week. Nothing much to report on the "fun" front. Santa was VERY nice to me. Who says naughty girls don't make the list! Ha! Due to today's storm, I am not currently ensconced in Patilda's cute little house. My manservant has been a busy bee. I think we're just about ready to clear out the two downstairs bedrooms so we can start remodeling them. It will feel good to get that project underway. My happiness project has stalled out. I may be starting it in February instead of January. I've been a movie watching fiend for this vacation. The Avengers, Cowboys & Aliens, The Amazing Spiderman, Django Unchained, Dark Shadows, Quantum of Solace, Ted.........speaking of which, Kim said that the Bourne Legacy was really good so I think that's where I'll head right now.......

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21 - Today is just a purge of all the random tidbits that have been plaguing me. I'm hoping I can get them all out of my system and stop being a mopey whine ass.

Melatonin isn't doing squat and I even took it twice last night! Not sure I'm supposed to do that but I was getting a little desperate. Meanwhile, it didn't help and now I'm running on 3 hours sleep today. Bleah.

Jer was complaining that he usually gets me alcohol for Christmas and since I no longer can drink (tastes horrible!) he's at a loss. Went to the movies with Luke last night and he was complaining that he usually buys me gifts that revolve around food and since I'm not eating, HE'S at a loss. It made me laugh to have them complaining about how difficult I'm making the gift buying thing. Dorks! :-)

JBB has been riding my butt about my weight. Due to her efforts, I made a peanut butter and banana smoothie this morning that wasn't too awful. With a scoop of protein powder, it was 425 calories. I resolve to drink one of those every morning for the next week and a half.

And thank goodness, only 6 hours and 19 minutes until 11 wonderful days off from work. I am SO looking forward to it! There will be knitting, movie watching, Wii playing, and book reading galore. (Kim - I'm slowly working my way through The Passage so that I can get that mailed back to you!) (JBB - the book you lent me is next on the list after that!) I'm also going to buzz into the Syracuse area to spend a night with Patilda, barring any bad weather, just for the heck of it.

Since the start of my adventure, I've noticed I'm much more aware of every time cancer is mentioned, whether it's a magazine article, or in a movie, etc. And on top of that, it seems like a large number of people who have had cancer, also get cancer a second time in a different place. Kind of like once exposed, you're more susceptible. Is this true or am I being over sensitive??

The gagging thing is still going on. Usually twice a day. Every day I have to resist calling Nurse Jane and crying to her that I need (want!) more pain meds. They sure made life a much more pleasant place to be. I'm once again pissed that alcohol has been ruined for me. It would have made a good substitute for the pain meds AND added some calories into my diet. Empty ones I know but hey, I'll take whatever I can get.

In the movie theatre last night I wore a turtleneck, a sweatshirt, my coat, and my gloves and I still froze my ass off the entire time I was there. I had to permanently change my thermostat at home a couple of nights ago too. I usually keep it at 67 when I'm home and awake, 64 when I'm not home or asleep. Wednesday night I woke up in the middle of the night (for the third time) and even with a blanket, a huge down comforter, and being on the second floor (where all the heat rises to) I was shivering! So, it's now 70 when I'm home and awake, and 67 when I'm not home or asleep.

This morning I tried walking in a manner that allowed my thighs to rub together. Personally, I think your thighs are supposed to touch, at least a little. I think it's gross when I see the twig legs on women in magazines. They look like they've been riding a horse every day for 10 years straight. Anywho, I was unsuccessful getting my thighs to touch. On the bright side, I reenacted the exercise for Kunkel at work this morning which made her laugh so it was good for something. :-)

Yesterday I went to Dunkin Donuts and told the chickadee behind the counter that I'm trying to gain 20 pounds and asked her to make me the most fattening drink that she could think of. I walked out of there with a frozen mocha caramel latte something or other. And yes, the first couple of sips made me scrunch my face in disgust but I eventually got used to the taste of coffee again. I had forgotten that that is yet another item I have given up. I hope my k-cups stay good for a while! Anyway, when I got back to work, I used the rest of my lunch hour to create a spreadsheet of the most fattening drinks at DD as well as Starbucks to keep in my purse. The closest thing I could find to what she had made for me was 1050 calories. She rocks!

Luke mentioned that Flag's supposedly has a really good seafood bisque. He and I are going to try to meet up and go check it out sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Okay, I'm off to get something productive done for work. I hope everyone stays safe for the holidays and that Santa at least brings you something that makes you smile!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19 - Skeletor checking in for the week. Down to 125.2 as of 2 days ago. Been avoiding the scale since then.

Running out of the pain meds has, to put it mildly, SUCKED. I had a 20 minute long gagging episode at my desk on Monday that ended with me puking into my garbage can. I'm back to only sleeping for 2-3 hours at a time with a lot of insomnia in between. I've been dosing up on Nyquil the past 2 nights but boss guy told me to try something called Melatonin. His ADD/Asperger's syndrome kid has a really hard time falling asleep so they feed him this "natural" supplement 1.5 hours before bed. I picked some up at lunch so I will be trying it tonight.

It's been over a week and still no word from Dr. A. It's probably just as well. After my appointment with Dr. C yesterday, I've had it up to my eyeballs with doctors in general (although not you Karen, you don't count because you're my friend, not my doctor, just so we're clear!).

So, my appointment with Dr. C was at 9:00 and I was back at work by 9:35. Kunkel was blown away. She said at least 15 minutes of that had to be driving time! I told her what a wham, bam, thank you ma'am type of dude he was. She now believes me. So, he scoped me, did some prodding around and said that I looked like I was exactly where I should be at this point and there's no cancer to be seen. I was like okay, but I was wondering about this gagging thing and what I can be doing about it? According to him, he has never, ever, ever had a patient complain about gagging after surgery. Are you shitting me?!? First Dr. A tells me that I'm weird because most people get their sugar taste buds back first and mine are still dead. Now Dr. C is telling me that I'm weird because I have this gagging thing going on?? UGH. On top of that, he said the only reason he was seeing me was to verify that the cancer hadn't come back, not to try and solve the gagging thing. Well, great. Dr. A doesn't know what to do about it and Dr. C doesn't want to be bothered.

Long story short; he didn't think it was a good idea for me to be controlling the gagging thing with pain meds, he thinks I just need to get used to the wad of flesh in my mouth. He said 1 out of every 40 patients has to go back under the knife to get de-bulked (excess flesh cut away) but they don't make that call until 1 full year has gone by after the surgery. I told him that Dr. H had mentioned this but that Dr. V had pooh-poohed it. He said that if Dr. V was confident enough to pooh-pooh it this early in the game then it's extremely unlikely that I will need to get it done seeing as how he's done thousands of these.  And that's that. He waved at me and walked out of the room.

And since my week was already going so wonderfully well, I stopped home for lunch yesterday to find that Dr. V had sent me a bill for my portion of his work. $2500! Who the heck sends out whomping big bills like that 6 days before Christmas?!? Luckily, grandma left me some money when she passed away 2 years ago. I socked a wad of it away and will now be using it for this bill as well as any others that come my way. Thank you grandma! XOXOXO I also made sure to check my insurance coverage and it looks like I'm liable for up to $4k which is a good thing to know so I can keep an eye on how much moulah is flying out the door to all the different medical peeps involved in this process. Of course, at the end of the day, $4k is a small price to pay to hopefully be alive for another 5, 10, or however many years. :-)

 In other news, I found a copycat recipe on-line for MickyD's shamrock shake. Made it the other day. Wasn't all that thrilled with the taste. No clue if it's the recipe or my taste buds though. Guess I'll find out when the real thing comes out in March.

Man-servant is spending a lot of time at the house. The fan in the family room looks fantastic! I walked out into that room ~15 times the first day after it was installed simply so that I could admire it over and over again. He now has the laundry area of the basement totally gutted. Still don't know what's actually wrong with the dryer though. Might be giving the economy a boost in January. New mattress, new washer/dryer combo, 50" flatscreen for the living room.......Obama is going to love me!

Lastly, I preached today. I told myself that I wasn't going to be one of those people but then I went ahead and did it. I have mixed feelings about the event. I went to Direct Buy to pick up some wine glasses that I had ordered (in September, mind you!) and the incredibly hot, young kid at the loading dock was outside on a smoke break. I followed him in, we checked out my goods, I signed off on them, and he carted them up to take them out to my car. As we were walking out of the building, I casually mentioned to him that I had been diagnosed with tongue cancer back in June. He said "oh, I'm sorry to hear that" and you could tell by the look on his face that he was wondering why I was sharing with him. So, I told him about them hacking out part of my tongue and putting a part of my arm in its place. I showed him the scar on my arm. Told him about the 60 pounds that I've lost and what a living hell the whole thing has been. I then told him the reason that I was mentioning it was that I saw him over near the dumpster when I pulled in, smoking. And that if he had even the slightest interest in quitting, that I would highly recommend it. I told him that even though I had seen all the commercials, and read all the warnings, I had never actually known anyone personally who had gotten cancer from smoking so I had the attitude of "can't happen to me". So, just in case he also had yet to meet someone personally who had cancer from smoking, let me introduce myself, my name is Cathy Quinn. He was very good natured about it. We talked about how hard it is to quit. I told him that it's been over 6 months since my last cigarette and I STILL dream about smoking sometimes. The whole convo ended on a laugh so I'm hoping I didn't sound like too big of a jerk. In the end, he's free to take it or leave it, in regards to my (hopefully not too preachy) warning. I just felt like getting it out there, even if I only have the nerve to do it this one time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14 - Okay, it looks like I'll be running out of pain meds this weekend. Which sucks for my Tuesday appointment but is good since I've been stressing about whether I'm addicted or not. I won't be calling in for a refill so we'll see how next week goes. I made sure to give my boss a head's up. I was thinking along the lines of bursting into tears or something. He told me to try "try really hard to play nice with your coworkers". Say what? Guess he thinks I'm going to be angry? Either way, nice show of compassion boss guy. Not.

Never got a call back from Dr. A. I'm thinking she's done with me at this point. Or maybe she doesn't want to waster any more time with me until after my appointment with Dr. C. Who knows. I'm pretty much resigning myself to having thrush for the rest of my life at this point. Bleah.

I researched the green milkshakes. It IS MickeyD's. Turns out the shakes have a bit of a cult following too because they are not sold by all MickeyD locations. They have an entire website dedicated to Shamrock Shake sightings. How weird is that? So starting the first week in March, I will be on the lookout for these shakes.

This week I have put pressure on myself to try out new foods. Wednesday for lunch was a chocolate cream pie. Didn't taste good but I was able to eat it because it's basically just pudding and whipped cream. Yay. Wednesday for dinner was pizza. Managed half a slice. Didn't taste good and was difficult to swallow. Thursday for lunch was a cannoli. Two bites glued to the roof of my mouth. Thursday for dinner was nachos. Managed to eat a handful. Didn't taste good and had to chew the chips REALLY well. Today was our holiday outing at work. We went to Next Door Grill from 12:00 - 3:00. I nibbled on a little of EVERYthing they served. My favorite were the toasted bread disks with the crumbly blue cheese. The bread disks were crunchy but they totally disinegrated upon chewing which made them easy to swallow and the blue cheese actually tasted like blue cheese. Are you seeing the cheese theme this week? I always say that steak and sushi are my all time fave foods but I think it's actually cheese. Here's a pic of Leo and I at the shindig. This was taken with the new digital camera I bought myself for Christmas. It was supposed to get wrapped and put under the tree but.......

That's pretty much all that's going on with the health stuff for now. I'll report back in after my Tuesday appointment. In other news, I'm happy to report that my man-servant finally came back to work. He's been here the past 3 nights and stuff is really getting done! My curtains are finally hung in the kitchen, the phone lines throughout the house have been fixed, more demolition has occurred in the basement, and right now my ceiling fan for the family room is getting hung.

My big winter project (with the man-servant's help) is to get the rest of the main floor remodeled. My office will stay an office but it will be a much nicer one. The other spare bedroom is going to become a walk-in closet/dressing room for me because hey, I can. And the family room out back is going to be turned into a reading nook with a gas fireplace and everything. Woo hoo! I can't wait!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11 - I feel like a broken record but there's nothing I can do about it. I still have thrush. :-( I called and left a message for Dr. A yesterday letting her know. We'll see if she has any new ideas on what to do about it. It made for an even more unpleasant than normal dentist visit yesterday. When the slightest pressure makes the inside of your mouth bleed, it ain't pretty. On the bright side, the dental hygienist (DH) said my teeth are looking good and she can tell I've been doing a good job taking care of my mouth. Meanwhile, the swelling thing in the back of my throat seems even worse than it has been. I just took the pain meds 2 hours ago but I still feel a very strong urge to gag so drugs aren't even helping at this point. Ugh! I hope it doesn't prevent Dr. C from doing a scope next Tuesday because I really want to know what the hell is going on and what we can do about it. And now that I'm thinking about it, I'll have to make sure to take the pain meds an hour before that appointment because if he does scope me, there will be a camera getting shoved up my nose and down my throat which sucked the first time he did it and will likely be much worse now with the mess that's going on in my mouth/throat. <sigh>

The DH mentioned that the salt/baking soda thing was a good idea but I should really only do it once a day. She said 3-4 times a day and I'm likely killing the good bacteria in my mouth as well as the bad bacteria. So, I've decided to use it right before bed each night and just use regular water the rest of the time.

I scrolled back through a couple of blogs and it looks like I weighed 127.8 on 11/30. This morning I weighed 126.8. Only down one pound over an 11 day period! I think that's progress! I took myself to the Crab Shack this past Saturday and had a bowl of lobster bisque. I also got a bowl to-go which I ate last night for dinner. The nice thing about bringing it home is that I was able to run it through a strainer and get all the lobster chunks out. Made eating it a ton easier although yes, it was depressing as all get out to have to toss a quarter of a cup of lobster meat in the garbage. There's always a price to pay, right? I'm planning on taking Patilda there this Saturday for dinner and I'll be sure to get another bowl to-go. I'm still doing pretty good with drinking an eggnog milkshake every other day too. I know Dr. A wants me to eat one every day but I just can't do it. I don't want to get sick of them and then not eat them at all! I actually got a strawberry milkshake last week to try and mix things up. They forgot to give me a straw so I wasn't able to drink it until I got home at which point I discovered it totally tasted like freezer burn. Gross! It went right into the garbage. I guess not a lot of people are keeping milkshakes moving this time of year. Meanwhile, I'm getting kind of excited for St. Patty's day now. I think Mickey D's is the chain with the green milkshakes. Sammy/Mark introduced me to one of those last year and it was SUPER yummy! I just might be able to step up my milkshake intake for that particular flavor!

So, I posted last week that I was going to start hoarding money, not shop, that I had enough clothes to last a lifetime. Yeah right. At 126 pounds I am now a size 4. I have never been a size 4 in my life. Back in high school, when I weighed 118 pounds, the smallest size I could wear was a 9 because of my lovely, child bearing hips. Anywho, my pants are once again hanging off of me. I can't even begin to describe how sick I am of going through my closet and removing everything that no longer fits. (Yeah, I'm once again shocked to hear myself say something like that but it's true!) Some of which I didn't even get a chance to wear!! I went to Walmart and bought a bunch of plastic totes. I am now packing up all the 'big' clothes for storage. I'm also carefully vetting everything for "style" and I have a growing pile bound for the thrift store as well. I'm not huge into fashion but once something has sat in your closet for 15 years, it doesn't hurt to take a close look at it and make sure you're not going to look like too big of a doofus wearing it today. I had also forgotten that I used to buy myself clothes at the thrift store that I totally loved but that were too small. I would tell myself that as soon as I lost 10 pounds I would be able to wear them and hey, since I was shopping in a thrift store, it was cheap as dirt anyway. I am now able to wear two pairs of jeans that I bought years ago but never managed to fit into and let me just say, they are super cute and it was totally worth the wait! And all of this rambling leads up to the fact that I went on a bit of a spree on Saturday night. It was the bisque! It gave me an energy surge! I am now the happy owner of a credit card for The Dress Barn. (I seriously hate that name but I love their clothes!) (And I normally frown on credit cards for individual stores, but there was a 15% discount if I signed up. My total went from $325 down to $276, how could I turn that down!?)  I bought 5-6 pairs of pants and a couple of dresses in a size 4. (And I might have bought a few tops/sweaters as well........) So, I am once again outfitted for work. Let's hope my weight is finally stabilizing and I can be done with the shopping, and the trying on, and the cleaning out of closets, and the packing for storage, and the...............

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4 - My high hopes for the lozenges have been dashed. It's been a week. I still have thrush. Doc didn't say I HAD to stop taking the full dose after 7 days so I'm still doing 5 lozenges a day. I also received an e-mail from Sush today with some getting rid of thrush tips. Gargling with saltwater was one of them. It made me realize that I stopped using the salt/baking soda rinse in my water pik a while back. So, this morning I started it up again. I've used it twice already today and will use it again before I go to bed. He also said to eat unsweetened yogurt and avoid high sugar foods. I'll try the yogurt as soon as I get back to Wegman's but due to the ongoing weight loss, I have to ignore the sugar advice.

I have an appointment with Dr. C for 12/18. I guess Dr. A's persistence paid off. We'll see if he does a scope and what he has to say about the swelling that doesn't seem to be going away.

My weekend with Kit at her cabin was a ton of fun! I managed to get half of a scarf done! Now I have to work on getting it mostly completed so that she and I can meet up at a coffee shop and she can teach me how to "cast off" when knitting. (How cool am I that I now know knitting lingo??)

Kit did a great job at trying to keep me fed. I was "mommed" nearly to death for a day and a half but I've added applesauce to the things I am now eating. It makes my tongue sting but if I coat up with the Lidocaine ahead of eating it, it's not so bad and gives me a new vehicle for transporting calories into my body. We also tried lobster stuffed tilapia and mashed potatoes and gravy, neither of which really worked from a swallowing standpoint but "A" for effort.

The cabin was just as gorgeous as I remember. One big room that is kitchen, dining room, and living room combined. A separate bedroom and bathroom on the main floor and then a spiral staircase going up to a huge loft with two beds. The staircase goes down to a really clean, nicely laid out basement as well. Kit let me have the bedroom on the main floor because the spiral staircase was intimidating even if I wasn't on heavy pain meds and I'm usually up 2-3 times a night still.

Spending the weekend there has re-motivated me in regards to my dream to own some wooded land that I can someday build MY retirement cabin on. When I got home Sunday night I immediately made up a household budget in Excel and I am now tracking where I am spending every nickel and I'm going to start socking money away like crazy into my savings account towards my land dream! I WILL make it happen! This means no shopping trip to Lord & Taylor this weekend for new pants for the company holiday lunch. It's just coworkers, nobody I need to impress so any pair of black pants is sure to look nice with the red blouse I bought. I have enough clothes to last a lifetime so I'm cutting myself off no matter how much fun it is to shop when you're skinny. Saving for land is more important!

Unfortunately I was up during the wee hours Sunday night/Monday morning, throwing up (I hope Kit is okay, I need to check in with her and make sure this was just a 'me' thing!). And I did it again when I got up to get ready for work a few hours later. I HATE nausea. I couldn't decide if I felt bad enough to just stay in bed the entire day or if I felt okay enough to work from home. I decided to start working from home and see how I felt as time passed. At 9:00 am I realized I hadn't taken my pain meds in a while and my tongue was burning. I checked the spreadsheet I've been keeping and it had been 13 hours since I had last taken the meds! I was pretty proud that I had made it that long. So, I went ahead and took some pain medication and the next thing I know the nausea is totally gone and I felt absolutely fine. WTH? I don't think the meds are supposed to cure nausea so is that a sign of addiction??! I'm freaking out a little over here!

Winter is here so I've started lotioning my entire body when I get out of the shower. I figure not only is it good for dry skin but it has to be of some help to all of the scars as well, keeping them supple and moisturized, right?

I've decided to move the sleeping thing off of the list of no improvements. Even before this adventure I was always up at least once a night for a bathroom break. Now I'm up for a bathroom/water pik/get a drink/take pain meds break which lasts ~20 minutes instead of 5 but still isn't too terribly disruptive. Besides, I really want to take something off the darned list for the mental boost it causes. :-)

- I'm sleeping in 5-7 hour blocks pretty consistently now.

No Improvements:
- Some things taste meh, some things taste okay, some things taste rotten.
- Mucusitis on the good side of my tongue burns.
- My tongue is still swollen and touching the back of my throat, making me gag.
- Diarrhea is still going on.
- I'm still losing weight.
- I'm still using the water pik 3 to 4 times a day to keep my mouth clean.
- I'm still not producing spit.
- Garbled talking.
- Bloated face every morning.

I started reading a book called The Happiness Project. It's about this chick who is pretty happy with her life but feels that she should be more appreciative of it and could probably be happier. She did a slew of research on what causes/creates happiness, then she defined 12 areas of her life where she felt she could improve her happiness, one for each month of the year. Then for each month she laid out 4-7 "resolutions" for herself that would help her achieve more happiness if she accomplished them. I'm only up to April so far but I'm really digging this whole idea. I've written pages of copious notes detailing my own ideas for a happiness project. I'm planning on kicking mine off on January 1st. Make it a year long New Year's resolution for myself. As a bonus, when I have nothing exciting to report to you on my physical health, I can always report to you on how my mental health is coming along. Ha!

Alas, I actually thought I would be done with the blog by the end of the year. Thought I would be eating somewhat normally by now and would have put all the unhealthiness behind me. Since that's obviously not happening, my new goal is to be eating normally by March 1st. I sure as hell hope I can achieve that!