Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

Finding your way around

~*~ You can look on the right hand side of this page and see what the catagories are, or you can just scroll down until you find what you're looking for ~*~ To leave a comment you need to sign up for a google account. It's quick and easy and they expect nothing else from you. LoL

This I know.................

This I know.................

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tuesday I went back to the Dentist. I had a scheduled appointment for them to finish cleaning my teeth. Just as I thought... still having problems with the pulled tooth. I still have somewhat of dry socket, and now a small infection to go with it. All I know is... tooth pain hurts. Getting a tooth pulled and then having issues with it makes your entire jaw hurt and your entire self mostly miserable.
I have been on the antibiotics for 2 days and I already have huge relief.

For the last week or so I have been REALLY short of breath. So much so I almost gasp for air occasionally just to try and force air down into my lungs. First off I checked my oxygen machine and the dial had been moved from 2 down to about 1/2. I fixed that issue, which I am sure happened when we were moving Britt's stuff around and changing the office to a guest room. No biggie. However it didn't fix my issue about getting air in, or being tired during the day.
Bill brought the newspaper in this morning and on the front page it said that Air Quality had been in the dangerous zone for a week. Pissed me off!! Why do they wait a week to tell us? I had been doing yard work, going grocery shopping, helping the kids move. Had I known it was the air... I would have once again locked myself in the house.
I'll wait a few days being inside and see if that helps my issues.

I have an appointment tomorrow with my Primary Doctor. I have (as usual) a lot of questions for her. I need her to give me a referral for another mammogram, I need to ask her if there is a stronger rescue inhaler (the pro-air isn't working), I need to find out if any of my medication is making my eye-sight worse. I swear within a year... I can't see ANYTHING! And, hopefully I will get great news about my heart tests.

So, I am getting serious now about this recipe book for our family. I have contacted some cousins to see if they have recipes that I don't, or ones that I can not miss putting in. I also requested some family pics from my cousins because sadly most of my Aunt and Uncles have passed away. I remember people saying... why didn't we get this information while our family was still alive. That happens SO often. I think people just don't want to imagine not having their parents or grandparents around. I know there isn't a week that has gone by that I don't want to call my mom to ask her some question about baking, or crafting or something.

Anyway, I have been going through recipes. I can't put them all in, there are just too many of them. I have went through Mom's recipes and her Mom's recipes twice now and have settled on a pile of "must use" recipes! LOL

Even before Mom died we talked about putting together a recipe book. She was infamous for her entertaining. I kept putting it off and finding excuses not to start it... then like everyone else in the world I watch the movie "Julie and Julia". A week or so later I started thinking of what kind of book I wanted.

Like Julie ... I will be making each recipe...because I need something to focus on, but also because I love these recipes and because I want to include a picture of the finished product.

I have made some prior to this "idea" of mine... so I will remake those and include pictures.

This is NOT the time to lose weight. Not that I have been doing so well anyway. I am remaining the same, but losing ZERO.
It really brings family memories back. My dad was from Virginia.. he loved Southern food. He rarely got it, especially after his mom died. I made Grandma G's (not dad's mom) favorite Corn Bread the other night with Split Pea soup and I thought of Dad. He loved Pea Soup.. but Corn Bread was his Comfort food. He said when he was little and his tummy was upset his mom would put Corn Bread in a bowl and pour warm milk over it. :) I have a feeling there will be a lot of memories surfacing until this book is finished.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Split Pea Soup

1 Bag Split Peas
1/2 cube butter
1/2 cup 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream
8 cups water... plus 4 more later
1 carrot diced small
1 large shallot or 1/2 yellow onion diced small
1 cup of smoked ham cubed small
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot add 8 cups of water, Split Peas, carrot, onion and ham, and salt and pepper.
Bring to boil then cover and let simmer 30 minutes until peas are tender.

Remove 1/2 of soup (mostly peas) and blend until smooth and creamy (I use an immersion blender). This will give the soup a creamy texture. Then pour back in pot and add butter and heavy cream, and the rest of the water (4 cups) Return and let simmer about 10 minutes until flavors blend. Salt and Pepper to taste before serving.

Serve in bowls with dollop of sour cream.

This is my Grandma Gorsage's .... She writes on the card "This Is My Best Recipe"


1 Cup Flour
3/4 teaspoon Arm & Hammer or Cow Brand Baking Soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or soured milk (love that! lol)
3 tablespoons shortening or lard

1. Sift, then measure the flour. Sift again with the baking soda, salt and cornmeal. (I didn't sift.. I just added dry ingredients then whisked it until combined)

2. Combine well beaten eggs, buttermilk and melted shortening or lard.

3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring only until smooth.

4. Turn into a well greased pan. Bake in hot oven.

8x8 inch pan. Temperature 425 degrees F. Time 25-30 minutes or until golden brown

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mild COPD May Hurt the Heart

(I got this from a friends page. Unfortunately we both share Copd.)
Thanks for the great article Barb <3

Study Shows Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Is Linked to Impaired Heart Function
By sl(this,'','prog-lnk');"">Jennifer Warner
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Jan. 20, 2010 -- Even a mild case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may have a major impact on the heart, according to a new study.

"This study shows that COPD, even in its mildest form, is associated with diminished heart function," Susan B. Shurin, MD, acting director of the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of
which funded the research, says in a news release. "We now have evidence
the presence of even mild COPD may have important health implications
the lungs."

Researchers say heart failure caused by lung disease is well documented in people with severe COPD, but this is the first study to show a link
mild forms of lung disease and impaired heart function.

"We found that there appears to be a linear relationship between lung function and heart function, and even a small hit to the lungs
affects heart function as well," says researcher Graham Barr, MD, DrPH,
assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University
Center, in the news release.

"These results raise the intriguing possibility that treating lung disease may, in the future, improve heart function," says Barr. "Further
research is
needed to prove whether treating mild COPD will help the heart work

COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and is strongly related to smoking. It includes the conditions of sl(this,'','embd-lnk');"">emphysema and chronic
bronchitis. COPD makes it
progressively more difficult to breathe.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure heart function in 2,816
adults aged
45 to 84. Of the participants, 13% were smokers, 38% were former
smokers, and
49% never smoked.

The extent of emphysema in the participants was also determined with breathing tests and images of the chest.

The results showed the link between lung disease and impaired heart function was strongest in current smokers. But researchers also found an
between mild emphysema and decreased heart function in people who had

"We used sensitive measures to pick up small differences in healthy people," says Barr. "We demonstrated that even mild COPD is associated with
reductions in heart function, probably since not enough blood is
entering the
heart due to vascular problems in the lungs."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I have missed my blog. I didn't realize how much I love writing. I am computer-less. We have 3 decent desktop computers and then I have my beloved laptop. All of them quit. I found the BEST computer guy/man. I gave him all the computers in varying degree's of disrepair and he promised to deliver back to me One Screaming desktop and One Wonderfully clean and fast laptop! YIPPEEEEEE!! I should get them back next week. So..... For the moment being the most wonderful daughter that she is Brittney is letting me use her laptop. I just adore her, she always comes to my rescue!

I still have not heard about my heart test. I am sure not hearing means things are fine. If not, I am sure I would be on some new medication right now. Still, it wouldn't hurt them to pick up the phone and call and re-assure me. I go back to my primary care doctor on the 30th and I am sure she will fill me in.

The 3rd (I think?? can't remember, my memory sucks lately!!) of this month I went to the dentist and had a tooth pulled. After a week of it killing me I went back last week and she said I had a dry socket. I don't recommend this condition to anyone. It hurts like hell. Anyway... She cleaned it out, packed it with some medicated gauze and sewed it shut. That was a week ago... and today it still hurts like heck. I go back the 27th to have my teeth cleaned and I am sure they will tell me something else is wrong now. Did I mention, I am not thrilled with this dentist?

All my meds are still working the way I think they are intended to. I am able to fall asleep at night and sleep almost all the way through the night. I wake up feeling rested, then by around 1:00 every afternoon I am EXHAUSTED! I don't know why? I actually could sit down in a chair and fall asleep. I have never been like that my whole life.

A few days ago I was talking to my big brother and we were trying to figure out something dealing with this cookbook idea. He asked for a couple recipes of Mom's and I told him I would send them to him. The next morning, I looked, and looked, and looked and couldn't find them ANYWHERE! I was frantic to say the least!! While looking for her recipes I went through box after box of her things that I had put away to deal with later. :( God, I miss her so much! I knew we were close. I knew we had so much in common. I knew when I got good news or terrible news she was the first one I wanted to share it with. Anyway, it just made me sad, and thinking a lot of her and how much I miss her.

Britt and Layla haved moved out. Fernando (Britt's boyfriend) and she got a wonderful house together. I am SO happy for them, and me too.... LoL... They live close by, about 5 minutes! :) It's a great house with a nice fenced yard for Layla. I think this is Britt's time to be happy. You know how in life these things sometime go in cycles. Well I think this is her time, and I couldn't be happier!!

I will do my best to get back here more often, even if I have to borrow Britt's computer to do it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Family History

I had a long talk with my big brother a few nights ago. I feel really bad for him. He used to call mom religiously every Sunday and they would spend an hour or so talking. So, now he calls me. I look forward to every call we share. It's not always every week, and it's usually not Sundays... but we talk much more now than we used to.
I need him to step in and be Mom and Dad's voice once in a while too. It's nice to be there for each other.

Anyway this chat I decided to use his memory since mine is so bad lately and find out what he knew about our family illness's. I think I knew as much as he did, but didn't want to think about it.

I was most curious about time lines. My dad's mom died of complications of a stroke. Her husband (my grandfather) died of heart disease and lung damage. My dad had 1 entire lung removed from lung disease and then 5 years before he died he had another 1/2 of the one left removed. He had a heart attack and had a defibrillator (pace maker) put in about 2 years before he died. He was on oxygen for about 5 years before he finally died of a heart attack.

My Mom's father died of emphysema, I can't recall if he was on oxygen. I know he smoked up until the day he died. His wife (my grandmother) had diabetes and ended up dying during a heart surgery. My mom had suffered for years with a leaky heart valve. She dodged surgery for years. Her lungs were also bad from smoking although she would never admit it, and snuck cigarettes right up to the time she died. She was diagnosed a year prior to her death with Micro-bacterium Gordonae.... A lung disorder similar to Tuberculosis. It is very rare and from what I understood the meds are just as damaging as the disease... Causing blindness, foot swelling, kidney failure, and the list goes on. I remember her being put on oxygen at different times over the 5 years preceding her death. She ended up being scheduled for heart valve surgery (for the leaky valve) and days prior to her surgery she fell and broke her hip. She had hip surgery and never recovered from it. Over the years though she had many stints put in due to clogged veins.

This is my newest realization. People tell me you can get better from this disease.
They say "this is not a death sentence". Hmmmm.
I know my family history. I can look back and with truth and assurance tell you within 5 or 10 years of being put on oxygen both my parents died from complications from lung disease... but eventually died of heart problems.

I have Severe Emphysema/Copd and now have been told I have Tachycardia... I am on oxygen. If you were in my shoes.... Would you not think of death? Would you not see your years numbered? Wouldn't you want to live every moment happy and not fretting the pissy stuff?

I am scared, but I am determined one way or another... I am going to get through this with dignity and grace. I am going to be happy if it kills someone! LoL

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I still have not heard anything from my tests. I called on Friday and she told me it should be some time this week. I worried enough waiting for the results of my lung tests and diagnoses... This time it's my heart and I am worried. I have tired all kinds of things to lower my pulse and nothing helps. Those deep breaths I was talking about I figured out are me trying to slow things down a bit. You know that feeling when you get out of breath, or over excited and need to take a breath to slow yourself down? Well, that's how it feels.
I am SO tired all day, but I am sleeping better at night than I have in months! Odd isn't it?

I haven't been watching my weight the last 2 weeks, and I am so dissapointed in myself. I need to get back to lots of veggies and stay away from the carbs.

My diet seems to be the least of my problems. I know the new meds the doctor gave me are doing wonders. I am sleeping at night, my legs aren't bothering me, and my mood has been "leveled" out. I seem more calm, even about explosive issues that we seem to be going through right now.

Bill and I are hanging in there. We have good moments, not exactly total days... but good moments. I feel unimportant. I feel less attractive. I feel like I am not taken seriously anymore. My role in the family has definatley changed and I need to get used to it.
If I say anything to Bill he strikes out at me. Even asking him easy questions like... Burrito or Taco can make him strike out at me. I know he is stressed. Financially we are struggling. We have never struggled before and this is difficult for both of us.
I just want us to get back to being thankful for the time we have. Especially the last week I have been so scared, and suddenly very aware that these conditions I have are the ones that killed my parents.
Bill, who used to pick up on my moods and fears so easily... now is blind to everything.
I get really tired of explaining my need to let the stress and anxiety go and try to be happy and to love each other. Life and all it's struggles don't seem so important to me anymore. If we don't have as much money... we'll survive. If we can't do for our kids like we used to... they will understand. It's just life.... and I want to live a life to remember, not one to forget.

Anyway... It's late and I am going to get ready for bed. I just wanted to stop by and let you all know I am still around.