Monday, April 30, 2007

Having A Hard Time Bouncing Back

After I left the hospital last week I really expected to return home and resume my normal activities. Wrong! I didn't realize how sick I was. I not only did not resume my normal activities, I am also not bouncing back. No Bouncing! But, I am counting my blessings because I'm still here for one thing, and my strength is returning for a second thing, albeit, slowly.

I have discovered a few things along the way that is helpful in understanding my condition. I was tested a few years ago for a disease called celiac sprew. The blood test was inconclusive, and the biopsy also showed negative.

Doctor McBride (John Lowe's personal physician) told me that I would have to eat a normal intake of wheat everyday for at least two months in order for the test to show positive. I told him that there was no way I could do that without getting sick, and having diarrhea everyday.

He did the test anyway and as we expected it didn't show positive, but Dr. McBride said that it didn't matter what name we put on this problem, the symptoms are the same, so obviously, my body won't tolerate wheat and many other foods.

Kenny and my sister Sharon have the same symptoms. They also took the same tests I took which also came out negative. Kenny has been on a gluten-free diet for about 13 years. He had a very strange problem in that his feet hurt. They were hurting so badly that he was literally forced into crawling, or walking on his knees, anything to stay off his feet.

He worked at Boeing in Seattle, and had gone to every doctor he could think of that dealt with the problems he was experiencing. Finally, I believe it was his boss who suggested he see a doctor who deals in alternative medical practices. Finally! Someone understood what was going on. He had an infection in his intestines!

He was put on medicine to kill the candida yeast infection, and was told to go off wheat, milk, sugar, caffeine, and avoid all foods that could have mold on the skins, such as: carrots at a salad bar. He was amazing! He ate exactly what he was told to eat, even eating unleavened (yeast-free) bread! I tried it, and hated it! Bread has to be really good for me to enjoy it.

He got better! He isn't as strict with his diet as he was then, but still does well.

One thing we've both noticed is that when we eat wheat: we want to cry. That sounds funny but, we both feel anxious, jittery, emotional, and we can't cope with the smallest problem.

Wheat also causes me to have diarrhea, sinus infection, (this happens because wheat and milk cause congestion, then becomes infected) my ears go temporarily deaf. I also get patekia, (spelled wrong. It means blood spots appear on the skin because the blood vessels have burst.)

My tongue can also bleed. I was told by a nurse that there are thousands of capillaries in the tongue and naturally they bleed also. I had asked several doctors why my tongue bleeds, not one of them had an answer, but my friend and nurse Carolyn Mathis knew immediately.

My left ear is pretty deaf from the infections. I hear 80 decibels below normal in my left ear, and 40 decibals below normal in my right ear. I have meiner's disease, and could go permanently deaf in both ears if I continue to eat wheat!

My uncle Jim had Meiner's disease most of his life, and he spent at least 20 years totally deaf in both ears. I don't want to go there!!

The reason I believe celiac sprew is the answer is because of an experience that Robyn had. She was in relief society at church when a lady began telling about a health problem she was experiencing. Robyn was impressed by the spirit that she should listen and pay attention, because this problem is in her family. As she listened she thought to herself, "This sounds like my grandmother, my mother, and my aunt Peggy." Sharon related the incident to me, and I took it to heart. That's when we all got tested.

I've read a lot about celiac sprew and one thing I learned is that if the condition goes untreated (treated would mean avoiding wheat) that the body would develop intolerance's to other foods.

That is exactly what has happened to me. Rice is the only grain I can eat. There are a few berries that are ground into flour that I use to substitute for wheat. Such as: teff, quinea, and buckwheat. Buckwheat is a berry not a grain.

I have been getting along well by adding these to my diet. I make banana and zucchini bread with teff and rice flour, I use buckwheat for pancakes, and I use quinea in making a salad.

You boil the whole quinea grain, rinse it in cold water, and add it to lots of fresh vegetables, herbs, and an olive oil dressing. If anyone is interested in the recipe, I would be happy to share it.

Quinea and teff are very nutritious and we should be using them along with wheat in our diets in order to get all the nutrition that is offered.

Because I went so many years with this disease undetected I now have food indolence's to wheat, barley, corn, soy, oats, (actually, an intolerance to oats was discovered when I was a baby.) I can't tolerate milk, chocolate, caffeine, or all simple sugars.

People always ask me what I do eat. Many good foods that our creator put on the earth, that's what!

I eat meat, fish, eggs, all fruits and vegetables, and the few grains or berries I mentioned earlier.

It just means I can't ever have cookies, pie, cake, donuts, pudding, chocolate, pizza, bread, and
many other foods. That is the discouraging part!

I love the foods I can eat though and tell people that I eat like a queen. But it's a very restrictive diet! A friend said years ago, "If I knew I would get sick eating certain foods, I would never put them in my mouth!) I shot this response back, "Those are the words coming from a mouth that is able to eat anything)!

People who can eat everything are very smug about it, and have absolutely no idea what they're talking about when they think they can easily go without foods that a part of the normal American diet. It's just plain hard!

One thing I learned on the web concerning cheating on a celiac sprew diet is that it can cause colon cancer.

My sister Jeri died of colon cancer a year and a half ago. I can't help but wonder if she had celiac sprew and didn't know it. She had unexplained diarrhea for it seems to me 10 years. She just wrote it off as colitis.

Help! I Can't Remove The Old Wallpaper!

Mike and I have worked so hard since last October on houses. It is nice to have most of the work done! We love the two-toned paint as I've mentioned in another blog. And, we love our new carpet. It is the same as in the Arizona home with more of a blue tint to it. It's a blue green. It's very soft on the eyes.

I made the mistake Saturday of removing some of the unwanted wallpaper. I don't know if it was a mistake or not since it had to come off sometime, but I worked for a hour or more on a border in our bedroom and three partial walls in a small bathroom. It should have come right off, but only the top vinyl layer came off, leaving the paper underneath stuck to the wall.

I used wallpaper stripper, but to no avail. They must have glued this stuff down. I found wallpaper paste under the sink that they used, and I guess they intended for it never to be removed.

I can see now that I might have to make the surface as smooth as possible and just paint over it! If you get it wet enough it will come off 1/2" at a time. One problem is that it takes of the paper off the wallboard. Ug! Frustrating!

Bad News On Our Clinton Home!

If getting our Clinton home sold and closed wasn't frustrating enough we have now been faced with a very serious problem! Our Realtor and the buyers Realtor both emailed us and sent pictures of our roof that was about to cave in around the skylights that were apparently installed incorrectly seven and 1/2 years ago!

The buyers son got on the roof to check out the dryer vent and noticed it. The buyer Betty, had to have the whole north side of the home re-shingled because the company would not guarantee the shingles if done partially.

She had to have new skylights put in, and much of the plywood around the skylights replaced because it had rotted and was covered with mold (No wonder I was sick!)

All total it cost her $6000. She said she doesn't mind covering part of the expense, but would like us to go in half or something.

We are not responsible for the problem! I understand that she shouldn't have to cover the expense, but I think it would be the contractor who installed the skylights that should be responsible. Her insurance company wouldn't cover it because it was a preexisting problem and suggested that our insurance company should cover it.

Mike's sister Kathie is our insurance agent, and agrees that could happen, but a new problem exists because Betty already had the repairs done.

She should have contacted us and we could have contacted our insurance company to inspect the roof. Kathie said that the insurance companies want to inspect before repairs are done. Otherwise it would be like having a car accident, fixing the car, and then calling the insurance company. I'm hoping it will be okay because Betty's insurance company did inspect the roof before the repairs were made.

Oh Brother! What's next?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Our Trip Back To Utah

Robyn, I just wrote the longest blog, and totally lost it! I was telling you how I almost died! I'm so mad I lost it because I will never get the same words back again.

We left Arizona on Saturday after working four hours in the house so we could leave. Basically we had everything done before hand, but it still took a long time to pack the car, and finish up on the inside. We totally packed the refrigerator with all our grains, cans, etc., from the pantry, and then lowered the settings to 1 and 2. The fridge runs more efficient when full, and the heat will ruin the food.

We set the automatic furnace/air conditioner to 90, and either John or our neighbor Tom will set it to go on the first of June, and then turn it back off the first of September.

We arrived in Vegas about 5:00 PM Saturday evening, and had a wonderful visit with DeeAnna and Hughie, Uncle Dee, and DeeAnna's step sister Kay. Melissa and Shann and Deirdra and the grand kids came over to visit on Sunday. I love it when they come to visit when I'm there.

We arrived at Amy's house Monday night about 7:00. We arrived later than we normally do, because we stopped in Springdale to visit Steve Page. He showed us his new home, and we went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant.

After we left his house we made another stop at Cabala's to buy a blow-up bed to sleep on at our condo until we got the carpet in and our furniture delivered.

We slept that night at Amy's, and awoke Tuesday to a four-day nightmare. It wasn't really - but it was a lot of work, and very hectic.

Pam had told me to call her if I needed help with the painting. I needed help alright! She and Joan came over and helped paint all morning long, and then returned at 6 PM, and worked until 10. Mike and I worked until midnight, after working all day long. We were exhausted, and it wasn't done yet. As a matter of fact, it isn't done yet.

We got most of the painting done before the carpet was laid. We love our new carpet. We must be very boring people because we have two homes and could have totally different looks in each, but no, they are the same. I've had the color, pongee tint on the walls in the Clinton home, the Arizona home, and now in the condo. I can't help it. It's my favorite!

The furniture wasn't supposed to be here until 2:30 in the afternoon which would give us more time to finish the painting in the morning, but they were ready to come at 8:30.

Mike told them no way! They came at 12:30 which was still early, which was hard on me, because I had to work very hard in order to be ready for them. It was nice to have furniture again.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Moving to Idaho

Our son Mike has been one of the engineers at the Bountiful Temple for several years. He was asked when he hired on if he would be willing to transfer to another temple when the need arose. He told them yes. Well, the need has arisen, and Mike has been offered, and has accepted, the job as head engineer at the Rexburg Temple in Idaho.

We're very proud of him, and feel their family will be blessed. Idaho is a wonderful state to live in. Our neighbor lives Arizona during the winters like we do, and goes back to Idaho, only about 20 miles from where Mike and Susan will be living. He gave the school system a rave review Sunday while we were at church.

Another advantage is that they will live in a smaller, country like community, where I'm hoping will have less crime. They will have several acres, where they can have horses, and ride their fifth wheelers. All-in-all, I think they will love it there.

We'll sure miss them though. The good thing about it is that they will only be 3 hours away from our Utah home, and they could have been sent clear around the world, or at least across the country.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Summerizing Our Home

Our neighbors, friends, and family have been giving us advise on what to do to get the house ready for when leave it empty for the next six months.

Charlene (Charlie) says to leave the air conditioner on 87. Others have told us to turn it right off.

We've also been told by others that our new carpet could shrink if it gets too hot in here.

Bishop Holton says it can get up to 120 degrees in the house, but he turns his thermostat off anyway.

Our neighbors Donna and Cecil agree that it gets that hot but, they turn theirs off also.

When I asked about the cabinets that Charlene warned would warp in the heat, Donna replied her cabinets were just paper.

Our cabinets are quite nice, but even if they weren't the replacement cost is what I would worry about.

Bottom line: I think we are going to leave it off. I hope we won't be sorry.

John says he will come up once a month to check on the house. I hope he will pay special attention to the cabinets and carpet.

I am going to call the carpet company we bought from and ask if they've heard about the shrinking problem.

Mike did buy a new thermostat will will allow you to control how often to run the air. We would like to keep it off, and have John turn it on to run only during the hottest hours of the day, and during the three hottest months of the summer.

Charlene also told us to keep the fridge on, but put the thermostats on both sides on 2. To fill it with bottles of water, canned goods, and flours, spices and grains. The food will stay fresher in the fridge, and the fridge will stay cooler if it's full.

We've been told to put antifreeze in all the sinks, and toilets. It is a coolant as well as protects against frost. We definitely don't want any water problems in this house.

We have heard so many horror stories of people returning to their homes in the fall, and finding their homes full of water, due to cracked pipes! I can't even imagine!

Well, I'd better quit writing and get going on this house. I have a lot to do!

Kenny Is On His Way Home

It's a little hard to get ready to leave when you have company, but actually, I worked so hard last week when Chris was here, that I need the rest while Kenny is here anyway.

He got back from St. George visiting his father on Sunday. We had just gotten back from church and had dinner ready when he called and said he would be here in within 15 minutes.

I rested on Sunday, and Monday, and Tuesday. It wasn't really a rest though. After playing tennis and pool, Kenny told Mike I had worn him out! But, it was a different kind of rest.

Kenny really wanted to visit the many gardens in Phoenix. He wanted to see the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, and was especially interested in seeing the Frank Lloyd Wright Gardens.

There's so much to see here, and he didn't have much time this trip to get everything in. We'll, be sure and get those on the list to see the next trip he makes here.

Bye Kenny. Be safe! We love you!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Babysitting Lydia

Lydia and I hung out together last night. We had a Grandma/Granddaughter date. Okay, we didn't do too much, after all, she's only 5 months old.

Mike, Chris, and Dave went to an Easter Pageant, at the Mesa Temple.

After working so hard in the yard yesterday, and in the heat, I was beat! All I wanted to do was stay home and relax. And, what a better way to do that than to enjoy my newest little grand baby.

She enjoyed watching Fox News with me. She going to be very intellectual! She watched the news as intensely as if she was watching cartoons. We have the cartoon channel, it might have been a good thing to see how she likes that too. She only watched for about two minutes really, because I'm not sure TV is good for baby's to watch.

She had a bit of a tummy ache. I knew she needed to burp, but she just wouldn't do it. She cried for a little while, as I patted, rocked, and walked, and eventually, she got the burp up by herself.

She played with her toys for 15 minutes or so, just enough time so I could do the dishes, and then she wanted to be held again. Actually, she wanted her diaper changed. It was pretty dirty!

The only time she cried after that was to eat or get to sleep. About 8:45 she was ready for her last bottle, which put her to sleep. We just cuddled until a little past 10:00 when everyone came home.

All in all, we had a good night!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Playing Pool With Kenny

Kenny got here Monday night. He was scheduled to arrive here at 11:00 PM our time, but the plane was delayed and he got here at midnight. It was now 3:00 AM his time.

We only had yesterday to do things, and then he left this morning for St. George in a rental car to visit his dad. He will be back Sunday (Easter), and we will have Sunday afternoon, and all day Monday and Tuesday to visit, and then he goes back home on Wednesday.

We leave for Utah on Friday, which means we only have time to finish things up here on Thursday. Of course, we will be working everyday until then.

We didn't do much with Kenny yesterday. Just visited. But, we took a walk over to the clubhouse and played pool. It was quite amazing! He was showing me tricks where you use the dots to decide how to put a ball into a certain pocket. Well, at end of the game we had both gotten in all our own balls, and we're trying for the black ball. It was his turn and neither of us could believe what he did.

He used the dots and then figured out just how much he would have to be off that dot to get the ball into the other side of the table, and into the corner pocket. Wow! It worked!!!

We were both amazed. He said, "That was luck," I didn't agree at all. I had just watched him take the time to figure out the science to get that ball in, and yes, there was a certain amount of luck since he only had to be off by a inch, but what he figured out, worked!

I'm going to work on this and see if I can perfect it. But, Mike and I will be busy every day until we leave, and I don't know if we'll have time to play or not.