Nothing Much Archive

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!

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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.

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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……

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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……

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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.

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Posted March 17, 2016 By Ruth


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General update

Posted March 14, 2016 By Ruth

I hung on till the appointment Friday evening, and the doctor confirmed another sinus infection.  She wasn’t happy about it being the 2nd one in barely a month.  And warned me if I end up with a 3rd in equally short order they may end up prescribing me the heavy duty nasty drugs which do bad things to how my body copes.  I’ve taken them before.  I know what my body does.  Its bad.  So cross your fingers this is the end of it.

Mother Nature appears to have remembered its only March here in Upstate NY



That is much more like what I’ve been expecting to see.  Here’s hoping it won’t kill the apple crops.

Most of my seeds have sprouted, and I’m considering replanting the ones that haven’t.  Seriously considering planting out the snap peas and other such cold lovers this week.

Arty’s been enjoying this warm spell, while Apollo hasn’t started shedding yet and I’m sure he’ll be delighted by the return of normal weather.

I saw my first Bluebird of the season this week.  Cross fingers he’ll stick around!

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Sick again

Posted March 10, 2016 By Ruth

Woke up Monday with a scratchy throat.  I drank lots of hot tea and tried to ignore it.  BTW, this home-made cough syrup works almost as well on a sore throat as it does on coughs.  Though next time I make it I’m cutting the amount of lemon in half.

But by Tuesday morning it was obvious it wasn’t going to go away so I called my doctors office.  No openings available till Friday evening (and that with a different doctor in the practice)!  “But you can go to the urgent care in the same building if you want.”  Yay.  I hate going to urgent care, especially for something as minor as a scratchy throat, I always end up sitting there for hours.  I took the Friday appointment, figuring I could always cancel if need be.  If I didn’t really really like my doctor herself I’d have already changed doctors because of things like this.  But I really really like my doctor, and she LISTENS to me, and I’ve just had a painful lesson in how important that is…….

By Wednesday morning I was pretty sure that what I actually have is the early signs of a sinus infection.  The sore throat being caused by the post nasal drip.  My sinuses themselves don’t hurt that badly yet, but my ears itch, which is a “good” sign of a sinus infection.  Still wasn’t feeling really sick.  Worked a 4hour shift at work after spending most of the day out in the 70degree early spring weather that Mother Nature gave us.

This morning, Thursday, I have almost no voice, and am feeling decidedly draggy, though I still have no real sinus pain.  Maybe its not a sinus infection, though my ears still itch.  I don’t work today, but I am supposed to work tomorrow morning.  I’m sitting here trying to decide if I should give in and to go urgent care.  One thing for sure, unless I’m feeling better by this evening I won’t be working tomorrow….

In other news, all my tomato and pepper seeds have been planted, along with seeds of the Tzimbalo Melon Pear, which caught my eye as I was seed browsing.  Peppers have mostly sprouted.  If the weather holds the sprouted pots will go out into the greenhouse next week.  Which seems awfully early, and I keep waiting for Mother nature to dump a couple feet of snow on us…..but I have to admit I wouldn’t mind an early spring.  I hope it stays decent though, if we do get a hard freeze after this 2 weeks of warm (that’s currently being predicted) its going to totally kill the apple crops.

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The Joys of Home Ownership

Posted February 28, 2016 By Ruth

I’ve griped before about the state of the plumbing in our house.

Infact, I stated at least once that I thought they’d used grey electrical conduit as water pipe.  Turns out I was wrong about that.  When we redid the shower in the master bath just over a year ago, I got a better look at the pipe being used, and discovered that it’s actually a type of water pipe called “polybutylene“.  And that there’s a reason why it’s no longer allowed by code.  Basically, for no obvious external reason at all, it splits randomly.  Resulting in lots of water mess.

We’ve been replacing it as we run across it in the house.  Eventually we’re going to have to hire a proper plumber to come and crawl under the house and remove and replace all of it under the house too.  Since that requires pulling down all the insulation and water barrier in the crawl space (and since it all needs new insulation) we’ll probably combine the projects, a bill I’m not looking forward too.

Of course that means that we keep running into splits in it in the places we’ve not gotten to yet.  Thankfully all such have been INSIDE the house, but cross your fingers for me, I figure it’s only a matter of time before we get one in the crawl space.

Yesterday it was in the water line carrying HOT water from the water heater.  All internal pipe, no exposure to cold.  Husband turned on the hot water yesterday morning and had no water pressure and went looking and discovered that the entire area around the hot water heater was saturated with water.  God only knows how long it’d been spraying water.

Husband proved again that he’s no handyman.  Last time we had this problem I found the breaker for the water heater no problem.  This time he couldn’t find it and shut off the whole house in his panic to try to stop the water.  Which no, didn’t stop the water.  That required crawling under the house to shut off the water.  Cause he forgot that LAST time this happened we had his father install a shut off on the cold water in line to the water heater.  Even though he’d just looked at it to find the leak.  He did at least have all the clocks reset by the time I got home from work……

General update

Posted February 25, 2016 By Ruth

The broccoli survived the cold, I keep forgetting to take pictures, I’ll try this weekend.

I started my hot pepper seeds this week, I’ll wait another week or two before starting the tomatoes

I’m still torn over what exactly I want to grow this year.  I both want to narrow down my growing choices and at the same time I want to try 20-100 new things……

I think I’m going to try potatoes again this year.  One of the things I picked up at the end of last season was one of those “make it yourself” cedar raised bed kits for about $25 (which is cheaper than buying the lumber would have been).  It’s designed to be stacked so you can make it tall instead of wide, or both, so I’m thinking I’m going to try it for a potato bed.

Our snow is mostly gone.  And has been replaced with nasty freezing rain.  Which isn’t actually an improvement.

Shadow (the Siberian cat) has been diagnosed with a possible grade 2 or 3 heart murmur.  His workup to confirm the murmur and how bad it really is has been scheduled for the first week of March.

Trouble (the calico cat) had a fairly large bump appear out of nowhere on the side of her face, right between eye and ear.  This is a really bad spot for this sort of thing no matter what it is as there’s not alot of spare skin there, never mind the nerves for eye and ear being so close.  So the bump was removed, biopsy says it’s a benign “inclusion cyst”, so as long as it doesn’t grow back there shouldn’t be any further issues.

For some reason I’m not looking forward to taking the dogs in for their yearly checkups this year.

The appointment with my primary care doctor to request a new referral to a new rheumatologists office went well.  I did my best to be as honest as possible about both how I handled things and how I perceived the doctor and office handling things.  And she was still pretty darn peeved for me.  Which made me feel better cause it wasn’t just me being over-reactive or something.  Now the wait begins to see how long it’s going to take to get into the new office.

In other news we now have confirmation that when I get really really stressed and frustrated my blood pressure tries to go through the roof.  I normally sit below 110/70-60 and occasionally even lower.  So when I walk in with a blood pressure of 140/98 they get pretty upset.  Talking to the doctor helped though, before I left they took it again and it had already dropped to 132/78.  I know there are folks with blood pressure much higher, but for me, that’s high.