Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Belated 4th of July!


Hope people who celebrate it had a great one!:dummy:To people from everywhere else, I hope it was still a good day! I marched in a local parade with the LGBT section as an ally. They lumped both the Pride and Trans groups together. Kind of nice. Seemed more inclusive this way.:iconthailandplz:I was one of the designated candy people. My job was to hand out candy to little kids. Specifically Starbursts. One of my faves, too...:iconawwwplz:(I was able to keep some for myself.) The kids were going nuts over it. I might have been a little too generous with it at the beginning. Probably another reason why some of them came running over. The crowd cheered for the group loudly. It was really cool sounding. By the end, I was extremely sweaty. Didn't help that it was really hot out...:iconitshotplz:It was nice seeing people I knew in the group, and others I saw along the way. It was pretty fun, and an interesting way to celebrate the 4th.
This is my wallpaper for July. It features the first generation boss and guardians from Hitman Reborn. Kind of a chibified-cat version of them. Giotto aka Primo or the boss is the one with the yellowish hair. G, he's their Storm Guardian, is to the left of him in the front. Ugetsu, the Rain Guardian, is to the right of Giotto. Knuckle, the Sun Guardian, is right behind G. Daemon, the Mist Guardian, is to the right of Knuckle. Lampo, the Lightning Guardian, is next to Daemon and is the last one in the box. Alaude, the Cloud Guardian, is outside of it. Makes sense, because the Cloud Guardians are known to be aloof, hate crowds, and tend to help the family out on their own. Almost like they're outside parties, helping only when it interests them. The text on the box translates as: Please pick up. I needed something cute as a wallpaper with what's been going on with me lately.:icontinoplz:

My Paris calendar features their summer fair. There's a garden that stretches from the Louvres to Place de la Concorde. There are green metal chairs scattered throughout for people to relax, watch the fountain, or people watch. There are sculptures, fountains, and many different kinds of flowers and trees there. From the end of June to the end of August the garden is host to a summer fair. Which is complete with rides, games, barbecues, a climbing wall, trampolines, merry-go-rounds, and cotton candy. Sounds like it'd be fun to go to.:iconheroamericaplz:

My Jewish calendar's main pic features 4 spice boxes, made by J.M. van Kempen & Zn. Silver; Voorschoten, Netherlands; 1920. We use spice boxes for Havdalah. Havdalah is a short ceremony marking the end of Shabbat every Saturday night. They look like they're made of silver, and I can't tell if they meant that with the 'Silver' part.:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:It's not the normal way of writing it out. Anyways...they're pretty and 2 have Dutch written on them, and the other 2 have Hebrew on them. The 2nd pic features a Shabbat lamp, made by Hendrik Dauw. Made out of silver; Leeuwarden; 1783. Kind of looks the same as the one from last time. Cool to see one that old, too. The last pic features a circumcision chair, made out of wood and velvet; Utrecht, Netherlands; 1820. To be honest, I didn't think they had a special 'chair' for it. I haven't gone to too many bris ceremonies, though. I think I've only gone to one or two when I was little, and nearly passed out while they were doing it.:iconhanatamagoplz:It can be controversial, as well. (Even within the Jewish community.) There's a blessing written out in gold Hebrew letters on the chair. It doesn't look like they know who made it. It's cool that it looks like it stayed in relatively good shape over the years. 

The month-long holidays are: National Baked Bean Month, National Bison Month, National Grilling Month, National Hot Dog Month, National Ice Cream Month, National Blueberries Month, National Horseradish Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun.

Wow. Last month was really dismal with the amount of posts here...:icongermanyplz:Again, I hope to do more in the future. The heat the last couple of weeks has been oppressive. Hard to go on my desktop in such heat.:iconwtfromanoplz:Or, much of anything. It's been averaging around 90 degrees. Sometimes going into the mid 90s. (There may have been a couple of days where it hit 100, but I wasn't sure if I should trust those sources...:iconpolandplz:) That isn't normal for us. I could see it maybe being more common in someplace like Arizona, not here. Looking at some of the international temps, we were hotter than places like Rome at times. 

Another reason I haven't been on much is because my health stuff got worse.:iconlietplz:It got so bad that I had to go to Urgent Care. They ran a few tests while I was there. Then, the next day they scheduled an ultrasound for my leg. Good news is I don't have clots.:iconyayhanatamagoplz:The other test results have not been so great. 

The doctor that saw me at Urgent Care gave me some antibiotics, since he wasn't sure if I had a UTI. Those antibiotics made me incredibly sick. I was throwing up, had a fever, dizzy, etc. Made me more miserable than I already was.:iconwtfukplz:Luckily, after calling the nurse hotline, they told me I could stop taking it. I was fine after a day without it.

I also suddenly had a nasty looking rash on my heel that was spreading, and there was a lot of swelling around the area. They immediately made an appointment for someone to look at it as soon as I called the nurse hotline, again. He looked at the rash and swelling, and was very concerned. He took pics of the rash, and gave me a better antibiotic. One that didn't have the horrible side effects I had with the other one. The rash is gone, and the swelling is nearly gone. The area that was swollen still feels like it was badly bruised, but at least it's healing up.

My new doc was so worried about the test results, she immediately called me over the phone about it. I like how 'involved' with it she's been with it so far. Seems like she's doing everything she can to help me. She recommended that I start a no dairy, limit wheat, and no soy diet. Then, she referred me to a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterology department called me early the next morning to schedule an appointment. I didn't even get the chance to call them yet. They were quick.:iconusaplz:I tried the diet my doc told me to do, but it made me feel worse after 2 days. So, I stopped it.

The gastroenterologist who saw me was very nice, honest, and listened to everything I had to say. The only problem was, since she had such a thick accent, I occasionally had a hard time hearing her. Not all that often though. She ran a few blood tests, and ordered an endoscopy and colonoscopy for me. Endoscopy is going in from the mouth end and going all the way down to part of the duodenum. It's just after the stomach. The colonoscopy is going in from the butt end and going through all of the colon. That leaves out the small intestines, but that's harder to get to. I think they have to do some sort of imaging, like x-rays in order to get the small intestines. They wanted it done right away, and the closest opening was 2 days later. Which means I had to start their special diet right away. Which later made my stomach feel horrible what with throwing up so often with the antibiotic that didn't agree with me, my regular doc's diet recommendation, going back to my normal diet, and then this. It felt like I was all mixed up, dizzy, and irritated.:iconromanoplz:

They wanted me to start a low-protein diet right away. The next day, I could only have clear liquids. I also saw my new doc for the first time that day. She seemed overwhelmed. Totally understandable. After my appointment, I had to grab the 'gravilyte' from the pharmacy. It's a very strong laxative. Huge amount of it, too.:iconchibichinaplz: 

I was told to drink half of it the night before, and the other half in the morning a few hours before the appointment. My appointment was for pretty early in the morning. I was cool with the first glass of the stuff. Then, I suddenly threw up while I was just starting the 2nd glass.:icondisgusted-hongkong:Afterwards, I tried to continue, thinking maybe after I got rid of some of the nausea I'd be fine. I threw up again. Not knowing what to do, I called the nurse hotline again. The doctor on call there ordered one anti-nausea pill for me, and said after a half hour of taking it I should continue trying to drink the laxative. I felt a bit better, but still had a very hard time downing that stuff. I stayed up until 3am trying to drink it all.:iconsadnessplz:Thought if it was going to take me so long, what would be the point to stop and continue only a few hours later. I got to just over half of it, and couldn't keep my eyes open. 

I was worried that they wouldn't be able to do the procedure, because I didn't finish the laxative. Turned out having about a month and a half of diarrhea, going on a clear liquids diet, and having half of the laxative was more than enough. I was so clean my gut was making a lot of noises.:iconseychelles-plz:They said it does that when there's nothing there to work on. It was funny and a bit painful at the same time. I was put under for it. There's no way I was going to stay awake for it. I started to wake up about halfway through, but they just increased the meds for me, and I went under again pretty quickly. I wasn't very aware of things, just lots of machine noise, some talking, and feeling like I was in a jet. 

They said my stomach and duodenum were mildly irritated. My entire colon was very inflamed. They took several biopsies of each area, too. They gave me an anti-inflammatory med for the time being until they know more. I have to take 9 a day for at least a month. They're huge pills. At least they don't smell.:iconswissplz:The doctor who worked on me, said I could take all the pills at once or space them out. It won't matter. So, I've been having 3 of them 3 times a day like it's suggested on the bottle. Much easier for me to handle. The bottles are huge, too. Kind of like big towers. I've felt quite a bit better with them already. I still am having problems, but it's not as bad as before.

My gastroenterologist called me about a week later. She said from the biopsy results, and the notes by the other doc, it looks like I either have Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease. To narrow it down, I have to do another blood test. She doesn't want me to do it until a couple of days before our next appointment. And, she wants that appointment to be scheduled for the end of this month. So, I have to wait a while. Plus, she'll be able to better see how the test result values have changed over time this way. At least we know it's one of those. She's leaning more towards Crohn's, because I have a family member who has it. Although, he's somewhat of a distant family member. Apparently someone else in our family history had it a while back, but I didn't hear about it before. Plus, having my stomach and duodenum be mildly irritated is another sign. Some of the symptoms would make sense for it, too.

Also, since it sprung up suddenly and with the symptoms I've had, it most likely has nothing to do with my diet. Nothing's changed with it, and I try to eat relatively healthy. I was even more so before it all started. (It changes a bit when I'm sick and nervous, but the diet itself has not changed.) A lot of people were suggesting diets to me when I posted on facebook, at the time before my doc called me and we knew there was a form of colitis. The people on facebook that suggested those diets had just the colitis issue pop up, and it was brought on by eating certain foods. So, it's understandable that they'd try to help me. But, looking online on info about what I might have (either UC or CD), those diets may have harmed me more.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:I'm glad they found something that helps them though. 

Since I've been losing weight pretty quickly with what I have, I might have to add more calories to my diet. Not to mention add more nutrients to it, considering a lot of them are just going right through me. I might have to have more salts, in order to balance what I lose and absorb. (Already having at least 1 low-calorie Gatorade bottle a day. 2 if I sweat a lot, or my gut's really bad.) I'm losing proteins and fats, too. So, in this way I might have to calibrate a bit in order to keep being healthy. I don't think I should take away too many things, or limit things more. Like I would have in any of those diets. I always try to have a balanced diet, so this shall be interesting if I want to continue that. I'll ask the gastroenterologist about it, and I might need a nutritionist who specializes with people who have it. I'm kind of glad I'm losing weight with it. It's just going too fast, and not in the best and most balanced way.:iconhongkongplz:I'd get really nervous if I dip below the low end of my average body weight. 

She said I'll have to be on more meds in order to feel 'normal' again. I most likely will have to for the rest of my life. I already take one that's like that. I just don't want to have to take a lot of meds. I realized recently that I might not need to take my omeprazole, but I should go through that with one of my docs and ease off of it. Stopping it suddenly won't be good. She said some of the meds for either UC or Crohn's have a lot of side effects. She said we can go over them in detail during our appointment. She mentioned one of the meds only had a couple of side effects, and I might try that first. I've read what sort of treatment people have to use when the meds don't work, and it's kind of scary.:iconshockplz:I really hope mine's easily controlled with the meds. 

She also said that she'll give me more info on what I have during that appointment. Plus, she'll hand me some brochures about it. Seems like it's going to be a lot of info thrown at me all at once. Yay!:iconnorgeplz: 

Finished watching Magi, and Ansatsu Kyoushitsu or Assassination Classroom. I really liked Ansatsu Kyoushitsu! I don't think I liked it much at the very beginning. But, it certainly gotten better over time. Another season is scheduled for the Fall (I think). Yay! There's more!:la:Magi was just ok. I had a hard time finishing it. I had put it on hold for a while, because it was getting a bit stale. I'm glad I went back and finished it, though. There's apparently one or two other seasons. I most likely won't watch them. Kind of felt like I was being dragged through the mud. I really liked the concept, though. 

The finale for Kekkai Sensen or Bloodline Battlefront is coming up soon. They've postponed it for about 2 weeks now. I want to know what happens!:iconrunrunrunplz:They left at such a cliffhanger, too. I've really liked this show! I hope it gets another season. It's rivaling Gintama for me. That's saying a lot. Gintama's still my top fave anime, but KS is getting close. KS's funky, hilarious, has awesome fights, emotional, plot seems pretty unique, each character has such personality, etc. I'll miss it if this will truly be the end.:iconcomebackplz: 

I also finished reading Sacred and Profane by Faye Kellerman. Started the next book in the Decker/Lazarus series we had, which is technically the 4th book not 3rd. This one's called Day of Atonement. The beginning is apparently centered around the High Holy Days. That starts with Rosh Hashanah and goes through to Yom Kippur. (Yom Kippur is aka the Day of Atonement.) The biggest holidays on the Jewish calendar. I love that she has Jewish elements along with the detective/mystery aspect. It's not a 'religious' book, but it tends to center around an orthodox community. Even if the case doesn't involve anyone from the community, Decker fell in love with Lazarus who is Orthodox and the more he knew about Judaism, the more connected he felt. He's technically Jewish since his 'birth' family was Jewish and they were apparently Orthodox too, but he was adopted by a Baptist family. His birth parents wanted him to go with another Jewish family, but the paperwork got mixed up. Anyways, apparently in this one it starts off with Decker and Lazarus' honeymoon. He apparently hasn't officially converted yet, but has become observant and is studying with the head rabbi from Lazarus' community. Apparently, there's going to be an Orthodox guy who joins up and learns about killing from a serial killer. He ends up becoming more secular too. The first book was about a rape that happened at a mikveh or ritual bath house. The second was about 2 girls who were found in the woods burned alive and put out in the open. Lazarus' sons had found them and were scarred by what they saw. They were a pretty complex case, and Decker was under a lot of pressure. It's usually pretty heavy, but the way it's written, keeps you guessing and there are some funny moments. It's rather 'earthy' too. 

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