This was actually on Saturday, but every day should be Cat Day!Or, at least people should appreciate them each day. I've had a certain affinity for them probably since I was born. I've always been around cats. Most of them were rescues, and definitely deserve a lot of love.Yesterday was National Banana Split Day, and National S'mores Day. 2 of some of my fave desserts.I rarely have a banana split, and I usually feel like it's too decadent or something. S'mores can be fun. You can do them at home, too. I've roasted marshmallows over the stove, and put that between the normal stuff, chocolate squares and graham crackers. I like to roast the marshmallows to the point that they catch fire.Fun to blow it out afterwards. (I also use a fork to hold it over the stove.) I sometimes use Nutella in place of the chocolate squares. And, sometimes I don't roast the marshmallow I just microwave it all together. Have to be careful with that, though. The marshmallow can expand quite a bit if you heat it up for too long. Then, it becomes a gooey mess in the microwave that you'll have to clean up...
This is my wallpaper for August. It has Tsuna in his Hyper Dying Will mode and Reborn. Tsuna's doing one of his specific techniques. Only Primo or the 1st aka Giotto could do it before him. (Tsuna's considered the 10th or 'Decimo' generation boss of the Vongola.) And, Tsuna modified that version for himself. He named it Zero Point Breakthrough: Revised. He can absorb his opponents' flames, purify it, and add it to his own storage of flames. No one truly knows how much he can absorb and use afterwards. Simply because it increases the amount every time he uses it. He actually absorbed a character named Ghost, who was from a parallel universe and was a huge giant like being. (He almost seemed to be made entirely of flames.) I think he was a failed attempt Byakuran had when he tried to bring another version of himself to this world. He kind of mutated on the way. But, he was incredibly strong, a loose canon, and didn't speak. So, basically after absorbing him, Tsuna powered up quite a bit. Reborn was the one who trained him to get that technique perfected.
My Paris calendar features Jardin du Luxembourg, or Luxembourg Park. It's a large park that tends to be crowded with students, neighbors, and tourists. Yet, it can be a relief from the busy Paris streets. There's a large octagonal pond, known as the Grand Bassin, that's in the middle of the park. You can rent small boats for children, there's a puppet theater, pony rides, a merry-go-round, and a large playground. Between 1615 and 1627, the Luxembourg Palace was constructed at the northern end of the park for Marie de Medici, who was nostalgic about growing up at the Pitti Palace in Florence.
My Jewish calendar's main pic features a Torah mantle made out of velvet, silk, metal thread, and chenille; Netherlands; after 1735-1737. Like it implies, a Torah mantle goes over the Torah like a cover. This one actually looks old.Some of the really old stuff they've featured, doesn't look all that old. But, this seems to look more its age. Interesting floral patterns. Odd that they didn't list who made it, or even have it as 'anonymous' or unknown. This probably has a story behind it.The 2nd pic features a dress, unknown maker, made out of cotton; Netherlands; 1930-1940. It looks like it's faded and has a floral pattern. I can pick out that it has pinks, reds, and tan colors. That's all that's visible. Looks like it's a little girl's dress, unless the perspective of it is skewed. The last pic features a tefilin bag, anonymous maker; made out of textile, thread, and wire; Netherlands; 1870-1890. This one doesn't look that old. Tefillin or phylacteries are a small set of black leather boxes (that have long black leather straps for putting/wrapping it on) containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with verses from the Torah. They're worn mainly by Orthodox men. Apparently, men are obligated to wear them, but women aren't. Many have discouraged women from wearing them in the past, but are slowly turning around on that stance. (Ever so slowly...I haven't felt the need to wear them, but think other Jewish women in general should be able to have that choice.) It's worn during morning prayers. One is worn on your left upper arm (corresponding to the heart), and the other on the forehead (corresponding with the mind). I've read some people like to have pretty ornate looking bags for them. This one seems simple, but nice. It has a small red plant-like pattern in middle, and the rest is mainly beige. The border of the bag is kind of dark green or grey. Hard to see in the pic.
The month-long holidays are: National Panini Month, National Peach Month, National Sandwich Month, National Goat Cheese Month. Some are for important causes, some are to make you appreciate things you may take for granted, and some are just for fun.
Weather's been a bit weird lately.We'll have a day that's pretty cold, then a warm one, and back and forth. It finally rained yesterday, though. Hasn't really rained in this area for a long time, and we really needed it. Still, most of the rain happened during the morning, and by the time I went for my night walk, it was pretty dry again.The grass has turned yellow and straw-like. The blackberries are starting to come out at least. We have a lot of blackberry bushes in this area. On Friday it's supposed to be cool and rainy. That might be nice.
Tried to do both my walks yesterday, but I didn't want to get stuck in the rain that morning. I pretty much have kept up with doing 1 walk a day for the last 2 weeks. I need to get my other one in soon. Hopefully, I'll get to it tomorrow.I started getting back into doing my sit-ups twice a day on Sunday. I'm starting out with 5 of them each time. Really basic, but I think it's good to start small with it. I might change it up in a week or 2, and do 10 twice a day. The most I had gotten to before was 90 twice a day.I don't think it'll be wise to work up to that again, but we'll see.
I've been having more issues with eating lately.Things seem much bigger than they are. Half the time, I'm starting to forget or just want to skip meals. I've never felt like that before. I like to keep my calorie range to 1200-1600 each day, and break that up between 5 small meals. I don't think it's good to be at 1200 too often, but I use it as the least I'll do. If it's a touch above 1600, it's fine. It's just a reference point. I might need more calories in the future, with my IBD, but I'll do this until my doc or a nutritionist tells me otherwise. I made it to around 1400 yesterday, and I felt like I ate a lot more than I did. I'm writing down the calories as well as what I eat in a small notebook now. To stay on top of the calories, to see what I eat, and how it affects me. I've felt nauseous lately, too. So, it just adds to the feeling of not wanting to eat much. Even Rosie, my cat, is trying to get me to eat more. When I usually eat those meals, she finds me, acts like I should follow her, looks at her food bowl when I do, rubs against my legs, meows repeatedly, and then stares at the refrigerator. She has plenty of food. She just is trying to give me a hint that I should be eating. Sad when even Rosie is picking up on it.When I start preparing a meal, she gets really excited, happy looking, gives me long cat hugs, and starts eating her own food or sits calmly close to me on the hard floor. As I eat, she's been kneading her paws, lying down (on the carpet near my feet, not on the chair) next to me quietly, etc. It's weird. Not really the norm for her.
Finally got the last lab test from the blood draw that was done at the end of last month, today. But, (before I got it) my gastro emailed me last Friday saying that it 'suggested' that I have Ulcerative Colitis instead of Crohn's. All the other tests, symptoms, etc. seem to point towards Crohn's.She said as a follow-up, I should get another blood draw that day. I also know that the other test results are good indicators to see how my system is taking the new med. This feels like some weird adventure I didn't sign up for.
I met with my gastroenterologist on the 31st. She was pretty positive that I had Crohn's, and said that the final test result might make it more definite. It didn't really...Although, seeing the results today, yeah I might have UC instead. But, I've read that they may have to do more tests to truly determine it, if it's like this. I don't have the common characteristics of UC. Visible bleeding is the main one, and I don't have that...Even the guy who did my colonoscopy didn't see any signs of bleeding. At the appointment, she gave me some papers on Crohn's and some on IBD (Inflammatory Bowl Disease) in general. There were also some papers on the med she wanted me to start with right away. I'll probably have to get blood tests done at least every 3 months in the future. I mentioned my hair was falling out, and she told me to try and eat more protein. It's still coming out, but it doesn't seem like so much that it's visible to everyone else yet. Just looks 'thinner'.
On our way back home, while heading to the ferry, a guy, who clearly had road rage, yelled at us (Dad and I) for about an hour. I thought he'd just verbally attack Dad (which was bad enough), but he eventually directed it towards me. It was half scary and half amusing, because he seemed to not know how to sound hurtful. Calling us Canadians, because he thought they were rude. The stereotype is that they're very polite. He didn't swear at us. Said there was a mob of 100 angry people around us. No one was out of their cars, and most just looked like they were scared of him than anything else. He gendered my dad correctly, and referred to her as 'miss'. He could have used better words/examples to be a lot more threatening. His voice just sounded scary, and he kept going on and on. We weren't sure if he was going to get out of his car and attack us.We didn't say a word to him. It added to the stress I felt for that appointment, and when I finally got on the ferry I fell into a deep sleep.
I started the new med the next day. It's called azathioprine. It's used both as a 'mild' chemo med and an immunosuppressant. Some use it for leukemia, some for organ transplants, and others use it to treat their IBD. The med itself sounds a bit scary. If you use it for a prolonged amount of time (like, for several years), you have a higher risk of getting lymphoma.Since it's an immunosuppressant, I have to be extra careful around people who are sick, cuts, hospitals, vaccinations, etc. Which is lovely, because I'm normally pretty healthy and don't think much of that stuff.I started having one of the smallest doses for a week first. After that, the doc told me to take 2 of those pills. That first week, I noticed I was feeling more sleepy after taking it. This second week has felt weird.I do feel sleepy right after taking it. But, I also feel weaker, semi-nauseous, noticed I have a bruise I don't remember getting, feeling like I'm much heavier than I am, etc. I've also read that it can have a side effect of anorexia (I didn't think a med could induce that...), making you not want to eat. I have to watch that closely, too. It's scary, because I don't know what's really going to happen in the future with this, if it's the right one for me, etc. More unknowns. It accidentally stuck to my tongue about a week ago, and it tasted and smelled like exhaust to me. It doesn't have a plastic-like coating like balsalazide does. So, now I'm nervous it'll stick every time I have it. I decided to space out those 2 pills in order to make it easier on my system. One with lunch and one with dinner. The other meds I've read about, aren't exactly easy on the system either.
I just emailed my gastro about the test that suggested I have UC yesterday, other questions I had, and some of the new symptoms I have. The email from her on Friday asked me how I was, so I took that as a reminder to tell her what's been happening so far. Haven't gotten a response back yet. Although, I did notice that she seems to do a lot on Fridays, so she might respond this Friday. We'll see. Hope I didn't sound like an idiot, but they did keep telling me to use it for any questions or 'concerns'.
Along with trying to learn the most I can about IBD (it was more about Crohn's for a while), I've been trying to get back to my normal 'stuff'. It feels good to get back to some of it. Like I'm more 'human'.
Hopefully, I can figure out the title to my nightmare anthology soon, and get going with the rest of the stuff I have to do before I publish it. Can't wait to really get back to playing my clarinet!I only played a little on it when I got it back on the 1st, just to test it out. Getting back to drawing would be nice, too. Hopefully, I can finish editing that meme with Junko in it, put it together, and post it on dA soon, too. It's taking a while, and I'm not doing the editing on it too often. I can move on to other drawing memes afterwards. Plus, I have some writing memes that might be nice to do, too. Really getting back to learning my Japanese on a regular basis again would be good, too. I might have come up with a better 'schedule' in order to get to everything including the 'extra' things.
Hoping to go through more of my closet soon. I stopped about a year ago. I think I got through about a third of it. Many of the stuff in there is unwearable (full of holes, tears, etc.), some I'll never want to wear, some are too big or too small for me (many of the things that are too small are from when I was 11 or 12), etc. I had to take a lot of it to the dump last time. Mom was the one that tried to encourage me to keep a lot of it. Some of the stuff in there, I think, were originally hers. I also have a mountain of beaten up ratty looking shoes that fill up the left side, along with things on the hangers above. It's a mess there. It'd be cool to see more of the floor on either side of the closet...
I'm putting together a list of easily digestible foods. Just for reference. I might try to eat more things from it. I won't change my entire diet, but it may make it easier on my digestive tract. Again, food doesn't cause the disease, but certain foods can make it feel worse during a 'flare up'. It's like treating a side effect rather than the disease, if you decide to drastically change your diet that way. Doesn't prevent flare ups or anything. Just might calm things a bit. Kind of like giving it a little break from having to digest complex things along with what the disease is doing to it. I already have bananas, leafy vegetables, oatmeal, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, salmon, chicken breasts, eggs, porridge, and more on my list. I didn't think sauerkraut and kimchi would be easily digestible. But, I know they're both fermented. I used to like kimchi, but stopped eating it, thinking about how spicy it was. (After being in the hospital twice, most of my flora and fauna in my gut were wiped out. I was told to stay away from spicy food because of this. I love spicy food...Turns out, it's usually not good for IBD, either.) Might try it again? I love sauerkraut, too. So, that might be good to get back to.