Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Updates, Wonderful surprises and sea horses :)

Sorry I should have gotten on here and posted sooner. Tuesday I went to the hospital for the Echo-Cardiogram ... A fancy word for an ultra sound of your heart. The poor little tech! I am always wanting to know what they see, and if it's good or bad? Of course the technician cannot tell me anything. He just "takes the pictures, or in this case movies". So I asked anyway! Of course I knew his answer and had a response ready for him, he told me he "was not allowed to comment on what he sees", so I told him "Fine then I will just read your expression". Of course I couldn't, but the poor young man must have wanted to finish that A.S.A.P. and get me outta there!
He told me as he walked me out ... that I probably won't hear anything for at least a week or 10 days. The test has to go from him to another cardiologist who can read it and evaluate it, then he has someone type up a report, and with the "scan" send it off to the doctor who ordered it, then she has to talk to my pulmonologist about it before they can decide what if anything needs done. Whew! And, we wonder why medical things take so long! It used to be you had one doctor who birthed you, gave you your first "exam", took out your tonsils, birthed your children and then gave you hormones when you went through "the change". Now it takes 5 different doctors to do that, and that doesn't even include your heart or lungs. Yikes!!
Really, I love my doctors. I am very pleased with them, and trust them completely. I think that is very important. So, even though I get impatient .. I am glad they take their time and discuss me as much as they want.

I am still perplexed though why my Primary Doc (whom I adore) didn't mention to me that I have been diagnosed with Hypoxia? Yep, it said so right there on the chart. Not ... "possible hypoxia, not test for hypoxia. It said known disorders emphysema/copd and hypoxia.
I still cannot find very much about it online. So, I will be patient and wait for my next appointment to ask questions. This again is where I say ... If I don't know what it is, or what it can do to me then I can live in denial and be perfectly happy.

I also got a call from the surgeon who will do the biopsy on my thyroid. My consult appointment with him is on the 11th @ 11:00. hmmmmm Eleven used to be my lucky number, maybe that means good things?!?!

I have another appointment on the 4th for a bone scan. Eventually, when you are on long term steroids it weakens the bones. I didn't know that. Not sure how long to get results from that. But (maybe this is the wrong thing to not worry about?) I am not so worried about breaking anything right now. One would actually have to move around to break something. Really, I am just trying to make this light hearted. I understand the importance of strong bones. My mom died from heart complications after she fell and broke her hip. So, I promise I take this very seriously.
I seem to be following both my mom and dad as far as illness's go, only on a much more rapid pace. At my age Dad was still barefoot water skiing and Mom was snorkeling in Mexico without a care in the world.

I have had a few wonderful surprises in the last few days. One of my and my Mom's best friends got a hold of me on facebook and said that her and another friend were going to be in Bend the end of August and could I meet them there? She said that if I couldn't for medical reasons then they would just come down here to see me! I cried, and cried and cried. I miss my mom so badly. Even in the last year after she moved to Arizona we talked at least every other day. We used to get together with a group of girls (woman) to have craft weekends. Usually in October, and always full of girl time, shopping, good food and we actually accomplished some craft project. Being around these girls will be a nice link to my mom. I miss being around her friends and my step-dad (who has moved on) to talk about mom and share stories or laugh about her.

Also in today's mail I got such a nice letter from my Aunt, mom's sister. Unexpected surprises! I love her, she is so kind and I loved the fact she thought about me enough to write. Sounds silly I know, but really with the exception of my brother who I talk to on the phone regularly and we see each other when we can ... I have very little contact with family on mom's side or dads.

Those were my wonderful surprises. These days it doesn't take much! We had Layla tonight and her and I sat in my sitting area on the front porch and painted rocks. We didn't get to finish because we coated them too heavily with paint and they wouldn't dry before bath time and bed time. But, we promised to finish them tomorrow before "family swim". From 5:30 to 8:00 they have family swim at our local pool. It's not crowded and we take Layla there. I look forward to it all week. Last time Bill went with me, this time maybe Brittney ... I can't take her by myself anymore (last summer we went 3 or 4 times a week) because I get too winded and have to leave my oxygen up in the bleachers during busy times. So with Bill or Britt there I can get out and hook up every once in a while. Layla loves to ride me like a sea-horse and I try and remind her grandma is old and can't give rides to such a big girl.. she's not falling for it. So, sea-horse it is!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Marinated Chicken with rice and peas

1 cup white rice
2 cups salted water
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon peanut oil (or to taste)

add water and rice into small sauce pan and bring to boil; Cover and turn down to low to simmer for about 20 minutes ... do not remove lid.

Bring out to shallow bowl and add 1 cup frozen peas and 1 teaspoon peanut oil. Stir and set aside. You can serve this cold or warm.

2 skinless, bonless halved chicken breasts
1/2 cup Kraft Light Asian Toasted Sesame dressing. (I use reduced fat)
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 cups La Choy Chow Mein Noodles

Put chicken and dressing and soy sauce into a zip lock bag and marinade at least an hour but can do the night before)

In a seperate zip lock bag add the Chow Mein Noodles and pound to small enough mixture to use as a coating for breasts... Can be as large or small as you want.
Turn out to a plate so you can coat the breasts.

In a small baking dish spray bottom with non-stick spray
remove breasts from zip lock bag reserving the marinade and coat with Chow Mein mixture and place into dish. Pour marinade over top and cover and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes.
Keep an eye and if they are getting too brown turn once and cover with foil to finish cooking.

In the mean time turn out rice and peas in the center of a platter. Once chicken breasts are done remove and slice breasts and arrange on platter. Serve.

4 easy servings out of 2 breasts :)


This is another recipe from Southwest the Beautiful CookBook.
This will be one of my favorites that is wonderful in the mornings, or for brunch or even after a great dinner.

You can leave off the powdered sugar and use for a bread for meals.

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees) just a little warmer than room temp
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

vegetable oil for frying

Add the yeast to the warm water, stir to dissolve and set aside for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Bring the milk to a biol in a small saucepan over medium heat; remove from heat and add the shortening, salt and sugar, let cool to room temp. Stir in the yeast mixture.
Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir into a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a cloth twoel and let sit for 20 minutes.
On a lightly floured oard, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into triangles or squares about 3" size. Pour the oil into a large, heavy saucepan to a depth of about 3". Heat the oil over high heat until it reaches 400 degrees or until a bread cube browns in 30 seconds. Fry the pieces of dough in the hot oil, 2 or 3 at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining dough.
Makes about 36

I sprinkled powdered sugar on mine, But you could also use granulted sugar ... or nothing and serve as a pop-over type bread for any meal.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bring on the tears

Ughhhh ... I hate it when I get like this. Everything yesterday and today has brought on tears. Bless Bill and Brittney for trying to take my mind off of things, but as much as I "pretend" in front of them .... right now, I am NOT O.K.. I am sick and tired of being afraid. I can't stand that things have been coming at me on a regular basis with such frequency that I can't get used to the first thing by the time the 3rd, 4th or 5th thing hits. I do my best not to let Bill and Britt know how serious this can be until I get ANY results. And, for some time now I don't have any results, hell ... I haven't even had some of the tests and biopsy's they want me to have. And the latest Hypoxia or Apoxia I didn't even know they thought I had it or needed to be tested. It's just all so frustrating.

I am doing my best to remain positive, but honestly I am having a time not dwelling on WHY ME?? I see my friends going here or traveling there, or going rafting or camping ... And, honestly I am jealous. Then I get pissed at being jealous! I hate those kind of people! I want to be someone who can hold their head up high and not be hateful toward healthy people just because I have a flawed gene pool!

I have read backwards on some of my blogs, and one similar theme is ... "Let me have my pity party for a few days, then I'll get over it and on with living as good of life as I can."

I unloaded on Bill today for no reason. He just was trying to be helpful to me and I yelled. That is so out of character for me. I have no excuses. I just told him to please not take any of this personal, that I just sometimes need to vent and unfortunately for him .. he is always in my radar. I told him after I calmed down that I am doing my best to deal with all this and hold it together and go about every day chores and tasks as though nothing is wrong. But, how many people get illness's thrown at them every 3 months that are life threatening? Until I was 35 I had never even had a broken bone!

I tell Bill to please understand my self esteem is SO low right now. I have this cannula on 24 hours a day. I can no longer wear perfume, earrings or necklaces or rings. I have gained weight and at the moment can't exercise even to keep my muscles from constricting at night. Because of the steroids I am on I am puffy. I am not sure why but my arms, fingers, hands, feet and legs are swollen. I am having trouble even wearing flip-flops I bought a few months ago. My legs and feet are swollen so much the skin is tight and wakes me up at night cramping.
I am even getting cramping in my throat and tongue. My fingers and toes when I try and bend them only bend so far because of the swelling. I am losing coordination and I know it's from being so swollen.

So ... I hope this Echo Cardiogram on Tuesday can show them what the heck is wrong with my heart. Then maybe after that I can get answers about my Thyroid and get back to my normal Copd life. It's pretty sad when I look forward to "just" the effects of Copd! That is my normal now, and I have almost figured out ways to live with it for the time being.
Thanks for letting me vent.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

One of those days

I had one of those nights sleep where every little thing woke me up. Cramps in my legs, my feet started hurting, I couldn't get comfortable ... Just a crappy nights sleep. Then I woke up and realized I had a dentist appointment to get 3 fillings.

As if that wasn't a bad enough way to start a day that I would rather have stayed in bed anyway ... When I got home from the dentist I got a phone call from Becky at my doctors office (she is the scheduler). At first I thought I was finally going to be given a date to have the biopsy on my thyroid, but nope. She told me I have an appointment at the hospital next Tuesday for a echo cardiogram. I asked her what for and she said it's for my "Apoxia" or "Hypoxia" I couldn't understand which one she said. I never even knew I had it, and don't know what it is. All I could find online were that both Apoxia and Hypoxia are something to do with lack of oxygen saturation... Nothing new there, but these two diseases don't have happy endings.

Somewhere along the line and with all the tests I have had shouldn't someone have mentioned this to me? I am so frustrated.
I even asked her if she was sure I was the patient she was supposed to call, and she said yes.
So ... I have yet to hear about my thyroid which has started showing effects ... difficulty swallowing, problems with my cannula wrapping around my neck, taking in deep breaths and hoarseness.
And instead of getting that issue resolved now I have this one? UGHHHH! I really do feel like screaming some days. It has literally been One thing after Another for the last 15 months.

These are the times I need a push. These are those moments when I have had enough and I am tired of being positive and I don't think I can handle ONE MORE THING!

I think I'll call it a night.

Oh, I have a few recipes I will try and post tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Summer Heat

I was remembering back to last year with the heat. I remember it was uncomfortable, but did not stop me from doing anything ... I just did whatever it was a little slower.
I was going down to Veterans Park and walking every morning, I think about a mile. We rented bicycle and road around downtown (on level ground) and I did it fairly well. I would take Layla to the swimming pool and at that time she couldn't swim so most of the 2 or 3 hours she would "ride" my back like I was a sea horse! I could vacuum and dust and be a little out of breath, but O.K., I could even go downstairs and do laundry once in a while.
The only thing I remember last year was the forest fires burning all around us and the smoke in the air would make my lungs burn. If I was out in it long enough it would contribute to my being out of breath ... But remember I still was not on ANY oxygen and doing alright ... Not winning any races, but living slowly.

This year ... No forest fires and the worst of the summer doesn't get here until August and I am already breathless. With oxygen, without oxygen it doesn't matter.
I went out this morning and for maybe 10 minutes I was bent over weeding ONE flower bed and when I came in I was scarily out of breath with my pulse racing to 142, and I did not exert myself. I have ordered an oxi-meter so I can keep an eye on oxygen saturation. Only because at the doctors when she had me walking around (not in the heat) with O2 on and with an oxi-meter and blood pressure checks as soon as I got to a certain point my pulse would rapidly increase and my blood pressure would zoom while my O2 went down, so we would increase O2 and start again. That's how I got on 5 liters per minute. So I am wondering again if it's time to increase the Oxygen level?
I keep a note book inside my blood pressure kit (that also takes pulse rate) and every day at different times, under different circumstances I test myself. While I have been sitting resting, after I get out of the shower (which is a hard time for me), after I come in from doing anything outside in the heat.
It's amazing too me how different the #'s are.
It worries me sometimes how fast my heart rate can climb. To the point where I get shaky, my vision gets fuzzy and I feel like my heart is going to get pushed out of my chest. Needless to say during that time my breathing is labored and fast also.

I still have not heard from the doctors about doing a Thyroid biopsy. And that infuriates me! I am not a doctor and I have no idea if this is what could be making my heart do what it is doing ... But, if it is not what is causing my heart to race then I need to find out what is and fix it. Here is where I say, I am sure 100% that my weight is playing a factor in my lung issues and my heart issues. However, I am no heavier than I was 8 months ago and 8 months ago I wasn't scared of my own heart.

So in this heat I am doing my best to be smart. That is easier said than done some times. I LOVE gardening. It does something to my soul. I LOVE watering the yard. So, there are times I know I shouldn't be out there doing what I do ... but I do it anyway.

I made a Mexican desert last night that was wonderful. I will be posting the recipe in a few minutes. YUMMY!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Can electricity for your oxygen concentrator be tax deductable?

COPD International Is the electricity for an oxygen concentrator tax deductable for COPD Patients?

Members of the COPD community often ask if the electricity used to power an oxygen concentrator is tax deductable. The cost of electricity to operate your oxygen concentrator may be a medical deduction. Compute the cost, then ask whoever pre...pares your tax return.

To compute the cost, do the following:

1. Look at the label on your concentrator. It states the number of volts and amps the concentrator uses. The example uses 115 volts at 4 amps.

2. Calculate the number of kilowatt (KW) hours per year.

115 volts x 4 amps = 460 watts (W)

460 W x .001 KW/W = .46 KW

.46 KW x 24 H/day x 365 days/year
= 4,029.6 KWH/Y

3. Multiply the above result by the cost per KWH for electricity. You can get this from your electric company. In this example we used 8 cents per kilowatt hour.

4,029.6 KWH/Y x $0.08/KWY = $322.37

posted in our blog at: http://www.copd-international.com/COPDInfo/

Original source: http://www.portableoxygen.org/See More
COPD information at COPD-International

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Copd Foundation talks about depression


The Link between COPD and Depression
July 14th, 2010 | Author: Lillie Carrero

Most COPDers have probably already heard that the changes that come with a COPD diagnosis may increase their risk of depression. However, what many of them might not know is that 40 percent of people living with COPD are estimated to be suffering from depression as well.

Information about the actual relationship between COPD and depression has been limited until recently. A study conducted in the UK, published in the European Respiratory Journal, investigated 169 COPD patients over a one year period.

Researchers were trying to find out if symptoms of depression increased during times of exacerbation and their findings showed that the symptoms of depression for COPDers increased significantly from baseline measurement, during exacerbation. Those that participated were also found to have higher overall depression scores at baseline.

According to Dr. Vijai P. Sharma, “depression in people with COPD is reported to be more common than in the general population.”

“Even in the general population, 1 in 8 people would experience clinical depression more than once. As for people with COPD, more patients are likely to experience recurrent episodes of depression,” he says.

Why exactly is there a link between COPD and depression to begin with? Well, many people diagnosed with COPD report having trouble sleeping, eating and working. Most importantly, participating in the activities they enjoyed the most has become difficult.

Emotional changes occur as well. A person with COPD can lose confidence when they’re constantly dealing with an incessant cough and shortness of breath, among other symptoms. Being diagnosed with a chronic disease usually means having to change a lifestyle for COPDers and that can translate into a feeling of despair. Without a good support team, many individuals can start feeling empty, hopeless, and sad, all of which are signs of depression.

Although the negative impact of any chronic illness can be said to cause depression, experts are saying that the incidence of depression seems to be higher in people with COPD, compared with those suffering from other major chronic diseases.

Dr. Rachel Norwood of the National Jewish Medical and research Center in Denver says depression is “more prevalent in people with COPD than in people with other chronic conditions, such as heart disease and even cancer.”

Why is this depression more prevalent in COPD? Well, according to Norwood, this could be due to some organic or chemical-reactive component of COPD and one such component could be the nicotine ingested through smoking. She states that “smokers have a higher rate of depression than individuals in the general population” which she refers to as the “double-barreled situation.”

“Depressed people tend to smoke, and smoking can cause COPD. Impairment and dysfunction associated with COPD makes a patient even more depressed which leads to more smoking,” she says.

To make matters worse, some COPDers struggling with depression are not even being treated for it.

It’s recommended that someone living with COPD and starting to experience depressive thoughts or symptoms should seek medical help. Fortunately, depression can be treated and your doctor will be able to provide such treatment.

Also, it’s important to get involved in activities that will boost your mood. Participating in a pulmonary rehabilitation program can help lift your spirits along with aiding you stay active and healthy physically.

I would also advise getting acquainted with other COPDers, through support groups for example. They will have the best insight into the battles you are fighting because they are going through it themselves! In fact, they might be able to offer tips on what helped them cope with the disease.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Staying focused

I am doing my best to remain focused on happy moments, beautiful things, simple pleasures, Layla's giggles ... all things simple and effortless that brings a smile to my face.

I am still venturing out to the yards when the weather lets up a little. To be honest I have missed most mornings because I am still in bed. That is really unusual for me. I have always been up before Bill our entire marriage. Most times by 5:00 or 6:00 at least. These days even if I go to bed at 9:00 p.m. I am still sleeping and not out of bed until 8 or later. So, by the time I up it's already hot outside.

I have been back to the kitchen and making some wonderful recipes ... but they are labor intensive. Cutting, dicing, chopping, roasting.. you know, all things I used to breeze through now take me hours.
I try so hard to just push through my feet hurting, or being so tired ... but honestly it's getting more difficult.

I still haven't heard from anyone regarding the biopsy of my Thyroid. I am tired of contiplating whether these things I am feeling are a symptom. So, I just assume they are normal and try and get over it. The only thing that really bothers me is the lump in my throat. And, like I have always said... It's not that it is painful, it is just very annoying. And the hoarseness. If I talk for periods of time my voice gets gruff, if I talk on the phone the same thing.

I still am doing all I can to convince Bill that sitting around the house is Unacceptable. There are so many things I want to do and see and we have nothing but time. Yes, we'll have to start saving for a few of them, but for the most part I am easily entertained. I just can't see sitting in this house when I am still able to be mobile.

That is always in the back of my mind. Even though I am on oxygen and have a cannula and tanks with me all the time, these ARE my days. I can still walk (although slowly with breathing breaks lol), I can still shop, I can still swim, I can still do so many things ... Instead of sitting inside.

I am having one of those days where it's hard to find positive things. I hate myself when I get like this. I should be grateful for what I have and can do because there are plenty who can't do as much as I.

Jalapeno, Cilantro, Corn Fritters

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup Corn Meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Jalapenos seeded, and finely minced
3 tablespoons chopped finely cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs,lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons extra rich sour cream (if you can't find it you can use room temp cream cheese or butter)

PREHEAT oven to 350 and oil fritter pan well. (having oil laying on the bottom won't hurt, it will turn the tops golden brown while cooking.

Combine Flour, Sugar, Corn Meal, Baking Powder and salt. Blend all ingredients well.
In a seperate bowl: Combine Eggs, Milk, Vegetable oil, Sour Cream, Cilantro and Jalapenos.

Mix together all ingredients and spoon into Fritter pan. You can also use mini muffin pans.

Cook 20-25 minutes. Remove and let stand about 5 minutes to set then remove to baking sheet to finish cooling.

Garlic Soup

This creamy soup of onions, garlic, tortillas, chicken stock and cream can be pureed for a more refined soup, or left slightly chunky.

(I took a few cups out and set aside, then with an immersion blender pureed the rest of the soup, then added the original.)

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
26 minced gloves of garlic. I used a zester and just "grated them ontop of the onions)
2 tortillas, diced
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper taste

In a large pot heat the butter and olive oil over low heat; add onions and garlic, stir and cover the pot tightly with a lid. Allow the onions and garlic to sweat over very low heat for 1/2 hour or until very soft.

Remove the lid and stir in the diced tortillas, dry mustard and cumin. Cook, stirring for 10 minutes. Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in heavy cream and salt and pepper and simmer over medium low for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Then, either serve or remove a few cups and puree the rest then add back in the rest of the soup. Or, puree the entire soup.

Avocado Butter

1/2 cup unsalted room temp butter
1/2 cup mashed ripe avocado (about 1 large)
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons cilantro
2 minced garlic gloves

place all ingredients into food processor or blender and process until blended smooth. Taste and season if desired. Spoon into molds or air tight container.

Lasts in refigerator one week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Around 7:00 this morning I went outside and it was beautiful. About 75 degrees, just perfect. I strolled around the front yard and picked a few weeds out of the garden and took a few pictures.
I love my yard, and gardening was always my joy. The last couple years I have not done as much as I would have wanted to. Bill built that screened front porch for me when I was a smoker so I would have a nice place to go to and smoke. I love it there, but sometimes sitting out there now just makes me wanna have a cigarette. No chances of that happening, just once in a while the longing comes back.
Anyway, I go out there early in the morning and drink coffee and just enjoy the quiet neighborhood.
The first picture I took of an arbor we put up 2 years ago. About 12 years ago we had a tenant of ours that couldn't pay rent for a few months, so we made a deal with him to build us this fence instead of paying rent. Then we planted an Oregon Grape Vine and trained it along the fence. It has taken 12 years, but it has almost made it over that arbor! LoL It was our plan to have it grow the full length of the front fence and once it got far enough we would put the arbor up. We put it up and slowly it's going over the top. Maybe by the end of the summer it will reach the other side.

I forgot to mention Thursday I got a large envelope in the mail from my Aunt (my mom's sister). Inside were some pictures of mom (love that!) and she sent me some of my mom's recipes and some of hers that her family loved.
So, I will be back to making family dishes again. Also I heard from my cousin and she told me to expect some from her and her sisters as well.
I am so glad to have help rounding up family recipes. I am having a difficult time getting them from my dad's side of the family ... which is a shame. His mother was the ultimate Southern Lady and a wonderful cook. I would love to have some of her recipes for Southern food.

Well, Layla should be here soon. I am hoping to have a good day today. So far so good. I took my new anti-inflamatory and I am hoping it will kick in soon and help with my aches and pains.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just a note

We will have Layla tomorrow so I thought I would blog tonight before bed.

Last night was the worse nights sleep I have had in a long time. My legs, feet, hands and hips are so painful. Last night they actually woke me up burning and cramping. I am not sure what brought this on, but even today my feet are swollen and painful and my fingers hurt.

I went outside this morning and it was hot, I abruptly came right back in. I didn't even take time to turn the water on. I have had issues when I do anything physical my heart races, and it seems worse when the air is heavy.
So, I go out early and then lock myself away during the day. If it's not too hot in the evening I'll go out and water and do some weeding.

This is something I learned quickly last summer. And, if and when the fires start to burn I will be inside. And, if I go out I will have a scarf or something around my face. Last year that about put me in the hospital. My airways just closed up.

Anyway.. I wanted to note my hands and feet and hips and fingers. I went off the anti-inflammatory for a few days until I could get something that worked better. I took my first dose today. Maybe it will take a few days to help?

Baked Southwest Chicken Breasts stuffed with jack cheese and peppers

3 tablespoons "southwest season mix"
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
6 boneless, halved chicken breasts skinned
12 thin slices of Jack cheese about 2" x 3"
1 red pepper sliced in 1/4" x 3" strips
1 yellow pepper sliced as above
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375
Lightly oil baking dish
mix bread crumbs season mix, set aside

With a sharp knife cut a pocket along length of breast
line pocket with slice of jack cheese tip w/ rows of red then yellow peppers, sprinkle with chili powder and 1 teaspoon cilantro then top with 2nd row of cheese and close w/ toothpicks.

Coat both sides of stuffed breasts with bread crumb mixture and place into oiled baking dish and cook 10 minutes covered, then uncover and cook about 15 minutes more.

Remove to cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes, remove tooth picks then slice diagonally and serve ... spooning red "red pepper sauce" over the top.

I served this with the rice a roni chicken salad and corn salsa w/ a couple limes to squeeze over the chicken. It was Delicious! Bill said it was better than anything he ever got from a mexican restaraunt. That was a big compliment from him, mexican food is his favorite.

Red Pepper Sauce

1 clove garlic, minced
2 shallots or 1 small red onion, diced
1 red jalapeno or serrano chili diced
1 cup chicken stock
2 red bell peppers roasted and peeled (to roast seed and cut in half and put under
broiler until skins turn black. You can also roast them right over your burner if
you have a gas stove. Once roasted the peels just slide off.
Salt and pepper to taste

In a sauce pan over medium heat, bring the garlic, shallots and chili's and chicken stock to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Transfer mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and add diced roasted bell peppers and puree until smooth. Add salt/pepper again to taste.

Can be made 2 days in advance and refrigerated then reheat when ready to use.

Rice a Roni Chicken Salad

1 box chicken rice a roni
2 cups chicken breasts cooked, cooled and diced
2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped

Make rice a roni according to package directions, remove from heat and cool then combine all above ingredients.


in a bowl combine
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1 teaspoon curry powder
mix thoroughly and add to salad

Cover and refrigerate overnight so flavors can blend.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

No news, so it's back to denile

Have I told you I adore my primary care doctor? Well I absolutley do! She is kind, caring and understanding.

This appointment was my re-scheduled "well woman" check up. But we had the ultra-sound results to go over regarding my Thyroid.

First she says we'll start with all the "history" questions the Well Woman check up requires. So we begin and I begin to tell her which grandmother died from complications of a Stroke, which grandfather died of Emphysema, Which parent died from heart disease or lung disease .. the answer is BOTH.
She asked about siblings ... I tell her 2 older brothers. Both have High Blood Pressure issues, both are over weight, one is borderline Diabetic and one passes Kidney Stones regularly. Other than that they still are very active and fairly healthy.
Everything in the "exam" was healthy. Yeah, Yippeee! Something is healthy! LoL

Then she begins to talk about the Thyriod and says I have 2 nodules that by themselves wouldn't be much to worry about, but because there are TWO of them and because they seem to be solid masses that is cause for concern.
This is where I dive into denile) So, she is talking to different doctors to see which one will do the biopsy with my "poor folks" insurance. She will let me know when one approves the procedure.

Next I am scheduled for a bone scan because I am a Chronic Steriod user ... That is part of the treatment when I get exhaserbations.

So... I know No More than I knew before I went there, but she did tell me instead of waiting a month to see me again, she needs to do it in weeks this time. She says I am one of her patients she can not leave alone for too long! LoL

Oh yeah... She also asked me when my next appointment was with my Pulmonologist? I told her sometime in Novemeber. So, she was on the phone to him when I left asking to fit me in A.S.A.P. . She is concerned about my pulse and my oxygen levels. When my pulse goes up... my oxygen levels drop. I asked her if that was Thyroid related and she said it didn't appear to be because my Throid levels were normal. Go figure I would be different.

She tells me I am always a challenge, and each appointment with me she schedules longer just in case something is needed.
Also, she put me on a new anti-inflamatory which I forgot to pick up on the way home, so I'll have to go tomorrow and get it.
My feet and hands are so sore and swelling.
Awe..... Life ... It can be a challenge!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Devils Food Cream Pie

2 small boxes devils food pudding mix
1 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 container of cool whip
1 cup coconut
graham cracker pie crust either homemade or store bought

Make pudding mix according to package directions for pie.
Fold in cool whip and mini chocolate chips
Spoon into pie crust
Top with Coconut

Chill until set (an hour or two) and serve.

A few possible changes:
Adding 1/2 cup slivered almonds in addition to, or instead of choc chips
Toasting coconut then coating entire top of pie.

This tastes like an mounds bar. So, with the addition of almonds it would be like a almond joy. Either way ... IT'S YUMMY!

Fiesta Rice Salad

This recipe is from a book my mom bought me. It is full of the most beautiful pictures and awesome recipes!
The book is called Southwest the Beautiful cookbook. The recipe's are by Barbara Fenzl.

Salad ...

1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups water
1 cup corn
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup black olives chopped
1 cup red pepper
1 cup green pepper
1/2 cup minced cilantro


1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin ( I used the southwest season mix)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice and set aside and let cool completely
In a large bowl add remaining ingredients and stir well.

Can be pressed into an oiled mold and refrigerated several hours and then un-molded onto platter .. topped with Cilantro or lime.

(A wonderfully light summer salad)

Southwest Season Mix

This recipe is from a book my mom bought me. It is full of the most beautiful pictures and awesome recipes!
The book is called Southwest the Beautiful cookbook. The recipe's are by Barbara Fenzl.

1 Tablespoon Chili powder
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seed
1 Teaspoon Coriander
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Place all spices into a spice grinder, or coffee grinder, or food processor to thoroughly blend. Transfer to a glass jar to store.

Can be used as:
a rub for meats
as a seasoning on steamed veggies
in casseroles
added to bread crumbs for coating fried foods.

I doubled the batch and use it all the time. It's a wonderful change on barbecued steaks. It is great on corn on the cob.

you can add more Cayenne pepper if you prefer a spicier and hotter mixture.

My pulse is racing

I just wanted to blog quickly to document (some call it documenting, I call it whining or bitching! LoL) this pulse issue of mine.

A few months ago my primary care doctor asked me to document my pulse and blood pressure. I used to go the the grocery store and use the machine in the pharmacy ... Now I have one at home. I try and write down the specifics at least twice a week at different times during the day, and while resting or coming home from the store .. or other activity. "Other activity these days is limited to walking to the car (then catching my breath), or pushing a shopping cart around the grocery store slowly. Then each month when I see my primary care doctor I take her my list and that lets her know where I am at and have been. It gives her a better picture than just taking my pulse once a month in her office while I am sitting in a chair resting. A few times she has had her nurse walk me around the building with a pulse meter and an oxi-meter on. Each time that has happened she is AMAZED how quickly my oxygen lowers and my pulse races. This is part of the reason I am now on 24 hours of oxygen.

Anyway .. this morning before I started blogging recipes I wanted to make a note of my pulse issue.

Recipes to follow. :)

This morning I woke up feeling nervous and my heart was already racing. After being up for an hour or so I went outside to walk around my front yard which is very small. I was so out of breath and my heart was beating so hard my eyesight became blurry, so I came in and took my blood pressure/pulse. My blood pressure was good (it has been anyway) but just that stroll around my 2 flower beds in my small front yard sent my pulse up to 128 beats per minute.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Symtoms of Copd or Thyroid... Or a combination of both?

I am still here.
I have been struggling with everything.
I am not sure what the heck is going on? I don't know if this is the Copd progressing or the Thyroid showing all it's effects.
I know this...
Out of nowhere my throat will feel like it is closing. Even with oxygen all the time I am so tired. If I were to sit in a comfortable chair and allow myself to shut my eyes, I would be sound asleep. My legs and feet and hands are so sore that it hurts to walk or even sit down. I get cramps in my throat and even my tongue. My eyes are dry, I think that is a side effect of the Spiriva. They start to burn about 4:00 in the afternoon and don't stop until I shut them to sleep. I have tried drops and it doesn't seem to work.

I know this "isn't lady like" to speak about ... but from the cannula's and filters on the concentrator, my nose gets FILLED with "stuff". I literally have to spray saline solution in it every night and morning just to clear it so I can breath.
I have been removing the filters and cleaning them every morning. I went to the oxygen supply company and got extra filters so I can rotate them.
Maybe I am just being over sensitive?

My appointment is coming up Thursday with my GP. This was supposed to be the "well woman's" check up that was postponed last time due to Thyroid test results. So, I am not sure what to expect with this appointment. I already had my ultra sound and blood work for the Thyroid, so who knows what will happen at this appointment. One thing I have learned lately is that nothing goes as planned.

I know I need to be better about coming here to blog. I just have been not wanting to complain. That is the point of this isn't it?!

These things are the reality of Copd and Emphysema. I have good days, I have days that I am cheery and happy and carefree ... Even with the cannula.
Then I have days that I just want to cry when looked at. That my self esteem is lower than low.
I have days that even though my lung hurts and my breathing is difficult I can push through and have a decent day.
I have days that I totally overdue it and pay for it for a couple days.

Lately because the Thyroid is adding to my discomfort I just have seemed the most uncomfortable I have been since diagnoses.

I have been doing some cooking. I will post some recipes tomorrow.
For now... I am off to bed.