Nothing Much Archive

Heat (rash)

Posted June 4, 2016 By Ruth

TMI warning…..

A week ago I almost collapsed from the heat.  Steps have been taken, not only by me but also by my work, as I wasn’t the only one to have issues (for the record, they were taking steps to prevent it prior too, but the insanity that is the Memorial Day weekend sales resulted in alot of distracted folks).

I spent a couple days not feeling right after that, but by this time I’m back to normal.  Well, mostly.

I also picked up a case of heat rash that day.  In the fold of the hip between hip and crotch.  I’ve had it there before (not frequently, but if I’m going to get heat rash thats the spot), so I picked up a bottle of baby powder on the way home and reminded myself to use it regularly.

A week later and the heat rash is still here.  And I’m not a happy camper.  Even if I manage to stay inside for the majority of my workday I still sweat quite a bit at work.  Its the nature of the job.  And the rash has turned outright painfull.

Yesterday I finally gave in and picked up a package of boyshort style undies to wear for a while.  I dislike the style immensely, but any underwear with an elastic band around the hip is irritating the rash further.  I may actually have to see a doctor for this one……

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……but I don’t think I’m quite up to capturing my own swarm yet!



In a baby pine just over the line onto my neighbor’s property.  Who is, of course, out of town this weekend.  If the swarm is still there tomorrow I’ll try her cell phone and get permission to call a bee-keeper to remove it!

Update: swarm has been removed, I took a video, but its a HUGE file…..not sure uploading it is going to happen!

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Healing nicely

Posted May 22, 2016 By Ruth

See here for a description of the incident.


The Nexcare bandages worked awesome.  Except that the 2nd day (Friday) of wearing one, two hours after putting it on, I had to pull it back off because it was causing my arm to itch unbearably.  That day I wore one of the Curad bandages for the remaining couple hours of my shift with no obvious problems.  They might not be technically waterproof, but they did a perfectly fine job at sticking to my skin and keeping things clean.  The 2nd day (Saturday) I wore the Curad bandages however things didn’t go quite as smoothly.  I made it through the 8hr shift with it on, but the above picture is what my arm looked like after pulling it off.  This morning that irritated red area has evolved into rash bumps.


So basically either bandage is fine for short term use, but once again for any situation where I’ll need to keep a wound covered for an extended period of time I’ll have to come up with another solution.  Dammit.

At least I don’t work again till Tuesday, so I can leave it bare for a while and hopefully the rash will be gone by then…..

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Did you know drill bits are sharp?

Posted May 19, 2016 By Ruth

I KNEW, but somehow I’d never put that into context with human skin.


Yesterday I was attempting to drill out the holes for the hose hookup and over-flows in my new rain barrels.  Discovered that the 3/4″ bit was just a bit too small, and the 7/8″ bit was just a bit too big.  But in the process had a bit of a error……

In the process of drilling I had apparently not tightened the drill down to hold the 7/8″ bit properly and when I went to pull it out of the hole, I apparently did so at a slight angle, and the bit got stuck in the hole and came free from the drill.

Muttering rude words at myself I braced myself with my right hand and yanked the drill bit with my left.

I spare you a picture of the un-bandaged cut, but I promise no stitches were required, luckily.



Basically I managed to take off a nice layer of skin for close to three inches down the inside of my lower arm.  Missed, or didn’t go deep enough to hit, everything important there.  And yes, I’m up to date on my tetanus shot.

Washed it out, slathered on antibiotic cream, and Band-aids (yes, brand name ones, I have horrid reactions to the adhesives commonly used in such and the brand name ones are usually marginally less likely to cause me to break out in a rash).  And remembered that I was scheduled to work a full shift at work on Thursday (today as I’m typing).

See, big box stores like the one I work for try really really hard to be as clean as physically possible, but in reality are actually really dirty places.  ESPECIALLY when you have saws of all sorts running, and carry dirt and chemicals and all sorts of other things for sale.  Never mind the occasional bird in the rafters.  Which, btw, means bird shit on (and occasionally in) boxes.  Trying to keep everything spotless in a situation like that would require a literal army of cleaners who were willing to climb into the stacks, 20ft up, and wipe down everything almost daily.

Its hard enough trying to keep your average papercut from getting infected in that sort of environment.  Something like this?  Crap.  Digging through the first-aid kit I discovered a rather major failing.  I have regular Band-aids in all sorts of sizes and shapes.  I have telfa pads, gauze, medical tape, and vet wrap.  But I didn’t have any big bandages of an appropriate size to cover this sort of scratch without having to wrap my whole arm.  And since I’d rather NOT go into work looking like an attempted-suicide survivor the whole gauze and vet-wrap option wasn’t my first choice.

So I got in the car and drove to the local pharmacy to look at bandaging options.  Discovered that “x-large” does NOT mean the same thing from brand to brand.  While the over-all bandage sizes were all within 1/2″ of each other, the actual portion that covers the injury varies by AT LEAST that much in size.  My little scratch there was long enough that I had to pick and choose to find something that’d cover it all the way.  The Band-aid brand ones weren’t going to work.  Crap.

Nexcare’s waterproof bandages in xlarge were big enough, and sealed all the way around so that hopefully I’ll be less likely to get grime into it.



And maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to explain to everyone that, no, actually, I wasn’t trying to commit suicide with a drill bit…..

But just in case I also bought a box of Curad’s Performance Series xlarge bandages in “assorted colors”.  Maybe a bright purple bandage will freak people out less.


*all products mentioned in this post were bought by me for me

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Posted May 3, 2016 By Ruth

I keep forgetting to post this.  Apollo found  this fellow for me a couple weeks ago.  I have been assured that it really is a garter snake despite the lack of stripes.  Not sure I’ve seen one this strikingly marked before.


IMGB1737 IMGB1740

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Ankles update

Posted April 27, 2016 By Ruth

(post from the Ortho visit here)

Ok, first off, the one thing that NO ONE tells you when you’re handed orthotics.  You cannot just slap them into your shoes and go on with life.  Most of the time you have to convince your body to adapt to them.  Wear them for an hour or two a day, slowly expanding the time you wear them.  Doing otherwise will result in painful feet!

Monday and Tuesday this week were my first days wearing the orthotics all day at work.  I might have pushed it a bit fast, my feet aren’t quite thrilled.  But I’ve decided it’s worth it.

The last several months I’d get out of the car after the drive home from work, and hobble into the house because my ankles had stiffened up SO MUCH on the drive home that they’d refuse to work.  And although the magnesium supplement and ankle supporting shoes helped with some of that pain-stiffness, enough to notice, they didn’t stop it completely by any stretch.  Even on the best days I was hobbling into the house cause my ankles were just that stiff.

Monday I got out of the car…..and I could walk!  I was stiff enough to notice, but my ankles worked, I could walk instead of hobble!  And although it’s a harder measure, I’m reasonably certain that I was less stiff the next morning too.

I went to work Tuesday crossing my fingers that it wasn’t a fluke, and at the same time reminding myself that it could just be a once off and to not get my hopes up…..

Tuesday evening I got out of the car at home, and the same thing happened.  I was a little stiff, a little painful, but my ankles functioned, I could walk!  And again, this morning, I hurt, but not as much as I have been.

Also, while I’m wearing the orthotics I’ve had zero stabbing pains in the arches of my feet or in my ankles.  When I’m barefoot (around the house), or if I take the orthotics out of my shoes, I get the stabbing pains again.

It gives me SO MUCH hope, that this time we’ve found the problem, and that this is working to fix it!

So, the ortho appointment was yesterday

Posted April 16, 2016 By Ruth

There was some confusion over which doctor I was supposed to be seeing, apparently I somehow got scheduled with the total hip & knee replacement guy instead of the ankle/foot guy.  So I had to wait an extra hour to actually see the doctor.  Wasn’t thrilled.  But it got caught before I actually saw the wrong doctor, and the ankle guy was able to fit me in the same day, which is cool.

But once I got in to see him I think it was very informative.

He diagnosed me with what is essentially adult onset flat foot.  There’s a big long medical name for it, but that’s basically what it is.  Essentially my arches are falling due to damage to the tendons that hold those bones in place, which in turn is screwing with the rest of the foot and ankle structures.  It’s more common in women than men (by a factor of 4), and usually occurs after the age of 40 or so, so I’m a bit early, but considering how I’ve abused my feet and ankles over the years that’s not not surprising.  The fact that I’m overweight likely doesn’t help either.  Apparently most of my symptoms are literally textbook, the baby doctor who was following the specialist on his rounds made the comment that “it’s practically the living example of the test question”.   The only symptom that doesn’t match up is the stabbing pains in the ball of my heals, and considering the damage that this can do to the foot/ankle he’s holding off doing any treatment of that till we have the falling arches under control as its entirely possible it’s still all related.

The first step in treatment is orthotics for my shoes, we’ll see if they help.  I don’t have a problem with the concept, but considering how often I end up replacing the insoles on my shoes in order to survive my job I’m a bit worried about how they’re going to hold up.  We’ll see I guess.

Snow two

Posted April 4, 2016 By Ruth

Arty was wondering where his green grass and warm sun went


He was very upset at the cold and snow appearing out of nowhere.  He’s well on his way to being shed out for the summer, and isn’t the most cold tolerant dog to begin with.

Meanwhile Apollo was having a blast


And if you needed proof we got more than 6″ of the stuff by yesterday morning, there you go.  I guess this is why he was refusing to shed for so long.  His legs finally let go of their hold on the winter coat this past week, so hopefully this’ll be the end of it.

Yesterday afternoon they put out a winter weather warning for our county, another 3-6″ overnight-into Monday.  Yay.

As of 8am today, Monday, I’m thinking we got somewhere close to another 3″, but it’s still coming down, so we’ll see what the totals are.

I’ve been putting off getting new tires for my car, thinking the worst of the winter weather was over, and I guess this is what I get for thinking.  Drive into work today ought to be interesting, to put it mildly.

This isn’t exactly a truly “late” snow for the area, we’ve had snow on Mother’s Day on more than one occasion.  But after the early warm spring everyone’s pretty well horrified by it.

I guess this is what I get for putting away my winter boots a couple weeks ago.

Greenhouse is nice and toasty though.  Makes me wish it was big enough to climb into……


Posted April 3, 2016 By Ruth

I’ve been watching this storm work its way across the country, and not been amused.  The talking heads couldn’t figure out how much we were going to get, but as of early Saturday (yesterday) they’d decided on “trace to 3inches” for my area and north, and “2-6” for areas south as the predicted snowfall for Saturday, and another “trace to 3” for me for Sunday, with possibly more on Monday.

As of midnight last night it still wasn’t snowing here, though apparently south was getting at least some.

Woke up this morning to SNOW.

IMGB1648 IMGB1649 IMGB1650


Thats more than “trace to 3 inches”, and is, infact, closer to 6 in most areas of the property.  And its still coming down.

Apollo’s delighted at least……

Hands, ankles, and doctor updates

Posted March 26, 2016 By Ruth

I’ve griped a couple times about my experience with my (now) former rheumatologist and his office.  I’m very glad to be out of there.  It took them a month to print out a copy of my records at my request.  And then they tried to double charge me the fee for the records.  And no, that wasn’t unusual for them.  Every single visit they’d end up trying to double charge me the co-pay.  Apparently their receptionists don’t know how to code payments properly and their billing system (or person) is to stupid to check and see if there’s a payment paid before sending out a bill.

Anyway, the first appointment with the new rheumatologist was yesterday.  We’ll see how it works out long term, but short term I am seeing more progress than I was from the last doctor.

Hands: In college I was diagnosed with a “repetitive motion injury” in both hands, which, like most college students, I shrugged off.  Back in 2008-2009 I suddenly started having much greater problems with both hands, that was eventually diagnosed with the sort of arthritis that happens when you abuse your joints as a child.  Since my bloodwork was normal for the normal rheumatoid markers everyone (including me) just shrugged and went on with life.  Over the last couple years though I’ve seen signs that my hands may be getting worse again, and that was part of why I wanted to see a rheumatologist in the first place.  The last guy looked at the new xrays and said he saw bone erosion, and then decided he didn’t want to treat it.  This guy looked at the xrays the last guy did and says he doesn’t see arthritis at all.  He thinks it’s all mechanical, as in, there’s a joint problem yes, but not an arthritis type one.  Mind, over the last several months I’ve seen definite signs that my hands are getting worse again.  For example, typing has become a bit interesting.  I’m struggling to hit the keys that require extension of a finger.  Such as the “T” button.  I thought at first it was my keyboard, but cleaning the keyboard didn’t help.  A trial run on my husband’s keyboard proved it wasn’t just my keyboard that was the issue.

Ankles: Ankle problems are, as stated previously, fairly new to me.  Despite having sprained them all to heck as a kid.  However the bone spurs are still considered fairly minor despite the discomfort I’m in.  The new doctor is sending me to an orthopedic surgeon, not for surgery, but to discuss options for shoes and support braces etc, as I clearly need something if I’m going to continue working on my feet.  In some ways I’d love a job off my feet, but I’ve learned that I really need a job that keeps me interested or I go batshit behind a desk.

The new rheumatologist ordered new bloodwork, too, so I guess we’ll see what the results are.  I do intend to push to get additional info and help with my hands.  As long as things weren’t getting worse I was mostly willing to deal.  It was frustrating having had to give up alot of the handiwork/craft stuff I used to do because I could no longer do any for more than 15 minutes or so, but the discomfort wasn’t an issue in daily life.  But if whatever it is really is progressing then I wanted it figured out, and if at all possible stopped or slowed.