Tuesday, March 29, 2016

National Black Forest Cake Day!


This holiday was yesterday. One of my fave cakes!:iconinloveplz:I even had a black forest cake for my birthday back in November. What's better than having chocolate, whipped cream, and cherries all made into a cake? A few of my fave things. It also looks pretty. Last Friday was National Pecan Day. One of my fave nuts!:dummy:I think it's a tie with this and walnuts, for me. 

I wore part of my Halloween cat costume during the day for Purim. Just the punk looking black ears (the ones with a bunch of silver studs), the spiky collar, and some silver cat earrings. The earrings seem to have an 'I don't care' sort of attitude. Just wore regular clothes with it. Thought it'd be fun to have something on for it.:iconthailandplz:I read one of the megillot (plural for megillah. Has the story of Esther) I have, watched a couple of music vids, and watched a Purim spiel. A Purim spiel is a play based on the story. The Purim spiel I watched was actually broadcasted from a synagogue. One of the Reform ones that broadcasts their services so people can feel like they are there, when they physically can't be. Really cool for people who might be worried about getting sick when they go to a synagogue. Especially when it might draw a big crowd.:iconusaplz:I'm still a bit weary of big crowds, knowing how easily I can get sick now. Theirs was funny and cute. Basically Broadway themed. Some Cats, Phantom of the Opera, etc. parodies. They had someone imitate Donald Trump for the Haman role.:iconseychelles-plz:Haman's the villain. The songs were hilarious, and most of the time they did great with them. The kids were slightly off, but not bad. (The adults played the main roles. Many congregations have the kids do the whole thing.) I kind of felt like I belonged there, since there were cats in the play. All in all, it was a nice Purim. 

Yesterday I watched the last episode of the 2nd 'season' of Fairy Tail. I think it should be more like a 2nd 'series', since it was just over 100 episodes. (Also, has a different look compared to the 1st season.) Same with the 1st season. The last episode seemed a bit lacking.:iconswissplz:And, kind of teased us. Acting like a new arc was just starting. I think I read that Fairy Tail will be on hiatus for a while. Not sure exactly how long. Should be interesting to see what happened to the members after Fairy Tail disbanded. We only know what happened to Lucy and Natsu. Apparently, if I really want to find out before it comes back, I can read the manga. I like the anime a bit more. But, then again, I only read the first few chapters. The designs and how things are laid out might be different at this point in the manga. 

It appears Gintama's going on hiatus after this week's episode, too. This is my top fave anime, so I'll be more upset about this one.:iconwtfukplz:Although, I think in order to keep up its greatness, they may need some time off to lay out and plan more stuff. These last couple of story arcs were really intense and depressing at times. They've killed off 2 major characters already. The 2nd one happened during last week's episode. It was surprising. He was painted as a villain for one of the arcs a while back up until that episode. He really wasn't. He even wanted to help the 'good guys' in the end. Actually made me feel something for him. I didn't really care for him much when he was first introduced. A lot of things about him made more sense in the end, too. Both the 'elite' police and the Shinsengumi united in order to defeat the enemy. (They normally hate each other.) Apparently, Shouyou is alive. Or, at least he seems to be. He also seemed to be the enemy's boss. But, Gintoki was forced to behead him in the past. I'm thinking maybe this 'imposter' just has his head. But, he smiles just like Shouyou did, and has the same memories. Even moves similarly. It seemed to mentally break Gintoki when he saw that his teacher was still alive. Should be interesting to see how they end it.

I'm almost through with MAR, too. It appears that 3 main characters were killed off in 2 episodes. For some reason, I think they might have been whisked away to the real world. But, they did disintegrate in their world...I don't know. I think the king of Chess is really Ginta's father. (Ginta's been told that his father was killed in battle.) He's finally shown himself, only he's masked. A couple of the characters said the way he talked and fought was familiar. Also, I think he's the one that's suddenly bringing landmarks from the real world to theirs. They already had the Eiffel Tower fall in the middle of a field. Plus, some famous statues. The queen of Chess wants to kill all humans in both worlds. What is she then? Or, does she want to kill everyone but her and that king? She seems to be the most powerful character in the whole series. Maybe more powerful than the king. She also managed to clone the princess, Snow, and put her in the real world. Koyuki, who's from the real world, is possibly the original princess. Both of them can sense what's happening to each other in either world. That part's really interesting. Snow felt like a fake when she found out, though. 

Apparently some people think IBD is essentially just about 'bathroom problems'.:icongermanyplz:I noticed this when I talked to someone who I thought had a similar thing, recently. I've also read some questions that were asked on a Crohn's forum, that were similar with the subject. I've read articles and other forum posts (from that same forum) explain that it's a lot more than that. Some blogs, too. Many of us, no matter which IBD we have (Crohn's or UC), have extraintestinal issues on top of it. Extraintestinal manifestations have to do with things outside of the intestines. So, here are some of mine. My hair's starting to fall out again, although slower than it did last time. My nails have become much softer, bend easily, crack easily (already had one of them crack straight down the middle), and grow quickly. My skin seems to be doing something weird. Hard to describe. Sometimes I feel so full, I don't want to eat. Yet, this might be before I've eaten anything for the day. There's no food in my system at that time. I know I have to eat in order to take my meds, but if I didn't have to have food to take them, it'd be a different story.:iconlietplz:I get sick a lot more often. This is mainly because of the meds I'm on, but this contributes to it anyway. I also feel a lot more tired and weak half the time. I think people should realize that there's a lot more to it. Not to pity others, but realize it's not just a 'bathroom problem'.:iconinsultedplz:I'm also nervous to take heavier/more potent meds than what I've already had. Maybe it'll be the opposite of what I'm thinking will happen, and they'll help with the extraintestinal issues, too. That would be awesome! 

I'll ask my gastroenterologist about referring me to a nutritionist at my next appointment with her. I'll ask her, because I'll have to have someone that knows how to deal with people who have IBD. Some have never dealt with that. My primary care doc might not know where to start. It might help to talk to one for most of these things. I already know some of them are caused by malabsorption problems. So, a nutritionist can help more with those. Like, tell me to have a certain amount of protein, which would probably be more than the average for someone who doesn't have that problem. I know some people have to have more calories than people who don't have IBD. I don't really want that. It might be hard to keep up half the time. But, I guess I'll just have to see what happens with that. My primary doc also wanted to schedule an appointment. My yearly physical is coming up, so it might partially have to do with that. It's scheduled for a week after my gastro appointment. She's also trying to keep track of what's going on with me

On Saturday, I went to the democratic caucus for the first time. The only other time I might have gone to a caucus was when I was little. I certainly wasn't of voting age back then, though. This was held at my old high school. I hadn't stepped foot on that campus since I graduated. It was a bit weird.:iconhanatamagoplz:Many things had changed. I know when I attended there was a lot of construction going on. So, it was interesting to see parts of the finished product. We all met in the gym. I think the gym was different, too. Like it wasn't there when I went. (I think we had a different one.) Maybe it was the layout? Our precinct seemed pretty large, and luckily started out near the entrance. I knew some of the people from it. At least, 4 neighbors and one person I went to high school with. Might have been 2 more members from the neighborhood I'm semi-acquainted with. But, I found out a lot of the neighbors I didn't know were there, too. It was nice to see. The majority were for Bernie Sanders, including me. Some people ended up switching from Hillary Clinton or undecided to Sanders after some discussion. Some people seemed to be a lot more passionate than me, so I let them speak up about Sanders. Clinton's side was interesting, too. Everything was kept civil, which was great. Sanders actually won our state, Alaska, and Hawaii by a landslide. It was close to 75% for Sanders and 25% for Clinton for our state. That's pretty good.

Thinking it was so nice and sunny looking out on Sunday, I decided to go for a walk. It stayed nice out until about halfway through it. It started to really downpour, and got heavier until I got home.:iconwtfromanoplz:I was absolutely soaked, but it felt good. It wasn't really cold rain, which might be why it felt good. Felt like I had a natural shower. But, my coat, which isn't made for rain, is still slightly damp. I also wanted to take a pic of the gorgeous view we get of the mountains, but the clouds rolled in. You could barely see them. So, I took a pic of the trail through a green belt I usually go through. There was a robin that made it into the pic. Didn't realize it was there until after I had taken a few shots. It was funny and cute.:iconchibihungaryplz:I tried to get a pic of a squirrel that was darting around, but it was too fast. Ended up just getting bushes with weird grey blurs under them.

Decided to try out Smashwords' self interview feature. It was interesting. They have questions already prepared, or you can add your own. You can flip through their questions, too. So, you don't have to answer all of them. I decided on: What are you going to write next? I mentioned possibly a memoir, a sequel to Alliance (my first novel), or a detective novel. Those are essentially the ideas for my next novel I have at the moment. The only thing I didn't like was after every question you answer, you have to save and then 'publish' it. Why not just have it be submitted with one click?:iconnorwayunimpressedplz:Also, you get an email every time. Even if you just edit that one answer, you get another email with the same info. You can have up to 10 questions and answers. I only did one. Had to go back to edit it, though. Each one goes to their author's interview section. People get to see the newest first on there. So, it's like a little bit more publicity.

Got to playing my clarinet yesterday. Played for the full 45 minutes. (Hopefully in the near future, I'll get it up to an hour.) Felt good. I got to get back to playing it on a regular basis. I continued with the way I planned to do my practices, last time. Where I go over something repeatedly until I improve on the areas I always mess up on. The way I used to practice. It can be tiring, though. Did pretty well, anyways. Didn't have to stop and repeat things that often. I could tell that there was some improvement, too.:iconyayhanatamagoplz:

Studied a bit more of the kanji , and the kanji . When is pronounced as 残す or のこ.す (noko.su): to leave (behind, over), bequeath, save, reserve. As 残り or のこ.り (noko.ri): remnant, residue, remaining, leftover. When is pronounced as さむらい (samurai): warrior, samurai. As (shi): man (esp. one who is well-respected); (suf) person (in a certain profession, esp. licensed), member. 騎士 or きし (kishi): knight. 士卒 or しそつ (shisotsu): officers and soldiers. 戦士 or せんし (senshi): soldier, combatant, warrior. 博士 or はかせ (hakase) or はくし (hakushi): (usu. はくし [hakushi]) doctorate, PhD, Dr. (as a title); (usu. はかせ [hakase]) expert, learned person. 武士 or ぶし (bushi): warrior, samurai. Interesting that there are a couple of ways of referring to samurai. Took one of the vocab chapter tests on JapaneseClass' site. Got about 93% on it. Not bad.:aww:Also, this one tested less vocab than the previous one. The one before that had about 150 words/phrases. This one had about 67. Quite a difference. It'd be great if they spaced the amount of vocab evenly for each chapter. Oh well. I didn't miss a single one from the practice part this time. Translated another line from a You Maga article.  

Read an article in Japanese on RocketNews24's original site. It was about Hanami or sakura viewing. Apparently, having lavish banquets under the sakura trees while they're in bloom is becoming popular. Normally people have casual parties. They usually drink a lot, too. The author of the article mentioned how much it sucks when you brought the alcohol to those banquets, and there isn't a bottle opener of some sort. So, there's a new ring (like you put on your finger) out that's designed to be used as one. I think there are other ways of opening it, besides getting a fancy ring...He said it looked cool, though. 

Tomorrow night should be fun.:la:Since it's the 5th Wednesday, the support group's going to have a potluck. This time at someone's place. It's usually a nice social thing. A 5th Wednesday doesn't pop up that often. We usually bring some KFC chicken tenders. Although, one of the times we brought donut holes. I think donut holes would be better...Either way, it'd be nice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

National Ravioli Day!


This holiday was on Sunday. I love ravioli!:iconyayhanatamagoplz:To have a day devoted to it is awesome! I usually have the beef filled ones. But, I've also had spinach and artichoke, a mix of different cheeses, and a pesto filling. Probably others that I can't remember at the moment, but shows a little bit of the variety out there. There's a bunch of different sauces you can have with them, or just have them by themselves. I actually like most dumpling-like things.:iconheroamericaplz:Monday was National French Bread Day. A nice, crispy, just came out of the oven French bread is the best. 

St. Patrick's Day was last Thursday. I kind of think of it as: Getting In Touch With My Irish Heritage Day.:iconseychelles-plz:We did our annual traditional Irish-American corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and soda bread dinner. The soda bread had sugar on it this time, which was pretty good. People used to warn me about soda bread. That it's an 'acquired' taste.:iconusaplz:I liked it the moment I had it. I think it was like that with mince meat pie, too. (The modern sweet version, not the actual traditional savory one.) Having the soda bread sweet is interesting. I think I like both versions.:iconitalyplz:

Tonight's the start of Purim. I'm not going to any parties for it this year.:iconhongkongplz:I might dress up in costume tomorrow.:iconchibihungaryplz:Might reuse parts of my Halloween costume...Or at least just wear the ears, maybe the mask I didn't wear on Halloween (it's weird, I'll take another look at it), the choker, and maybe some cat earrings. I have quite a lot of cat-themed earrings. Just simple and fun. It's a lot like Halloween in many ways. People dress up in costumes (either of the characters from the story, or as other people/creatures/things/etc.), you usually eat candy, the adults are told to drink enough so we can't tell the difference between the villain (Haman) and one of the heroes (Mordechai), there are special triangular pastries/cookies with a variety of fillings for it (hamantaschen), sometimes people act out the story through skits, sometimes there are carnivals, etc. It's a lot of fun.:iconthailandplz:I actually can't drink, so I can't do that part, but there's plenty of other great stuff to it. When the story's recited, we tend to do different things once certain names are read. Like, stomp our feet, boo, and/or use groggers or noise makers when Haman's brought up. I know that the congregation I like the most usually has a pretty sizable crowd for Purim. Since I'm still on an immunosuppressant, I don't want to be in a potential environment where I could easily get sick.:iconlietplz:I got sick there after going to Yom Kippur evening services. I'm trying to protect myself from getting sick, yet again, as best I can at the moment. It's only been a little over a month since I was last sick. I can have my own party at home, and maybe watch vids for it, too.:iconeduardplz:I have different versions of the megillah I can read from, as well. 

Last week was tough for me physically.:iconwtfukplz:My IBD suddenly got worse last Monday. The pain has pretty much been constant, but frequently fluctuating between 'annoyance' and 'can't stand it anymore'.:iconnataliaplz:So, I emailed my gastroenterologist on Thursday. She responded surprisingly quickly. About an hour and half later. She sounded very worried. She wanted me to do a blood test and another nasty test right away. I got to the blood test last Friday. I couldn't do that other test. With the way it would have been done there, I think I would have passed out.:iconhanatamagoplz:In the near future, I might try the clinic where I had it done last time. They were able to do the part I might pass out on...If I can't do that one, I'll have to get a sigmoidoscopy. At least, that's what she said before this email. Not sure how it'll be now. I'm scared of that, too. 

As of right now, I've gotten 3 blood test results back. One was a basic panel that they always order for people, one for the ALT, and the last one was for my sed rate. I was normal with the first 2. Although, a couple of readings for the basic panel were close to breaking out of the normal range. The ALT one can indicate liver damage. So, yay! No liver damage!:dummy:My sed rate was actually the closest its been since they started monitoring it. It measures inflammation, and can be an indicator of remission. I've come very close to the remission range for it once before, but it just got worse over time after that. The normal range is 0-20mm/hr. I had 26 this time. My highest, back at the end of June, was at 44. According to that, I like that it seems I'm getting close to remission again. However, I don't 'feel' better.:iconwtfromanoplz:I actually haven't felt this bad in months. My symptoms seem to be just as bad as they were back then, too. (Although, at times in different ways.) I'm getting really frustrated and scared of it.:iconchibichinaplz:Hopefully the other blood tests will show something that reflects what's happening with me. Maybe that nasty test I've been avoiding will indicate something. The blood tests might not be enough. I think my gastro mentioned something like that before.

I scheduled an appointment with her the week before I emailed her. It's for the beginning of next month. I thought that was pretty soon, but she wanted me to make an 'urgent' one for sooner. There was only one available in between now and then. It was close to that date anyways, so I'm sticking with it. She definitely thinks I'll have to switch to remicade or humira now, and wants to discuss it at that appointment. This scares me, too.:iconawkwardplz:

She wanted to prescribe prednisone 'in the meantime'.:iconromanoplz:I just got off of it last month. Plus, one of my main symptoms might have been brought on by it. I also had some bad side effects. Just as I started taking prednisone, I went down a dose of azathioprine, and down a dose of balsalazide. Now that the prednisone has made it out of my system (supposedly it takes a month after you finish taking it), I have less meds in my system to combat it or keep it at bay. It makes sense that it'd be hitting me hard.:iconohboyamericaplz:

My body couldn't stand being at the dose of azathioprine that my gastro wanted me at. The balsalazide helped a great deal at the beginning, but it seemed to become useless after a while. She wants me to stop taking it after I'm through with my current prescription of it. I think that's in a few days. So, the only thing I'll be on for a little while, for this at least, will be the azathioprine at a lower dose than what would supposedly help me. That's also a scary thing to think about.:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:I've been kind of in a waiting game for a while already. Haven't really found the right med since I was diagnosed back in July. I remember, at the beginning, my gastro said it might take a while...Maybe my body's reacting before it shows up on things like blood tests? Also, I'm going to space out what little of azathioprine I have until my next batch arrives. So, I might be in even more pain. But, at least I would have some of it in me, rather than nothing at all. I should get my new prescriptions soon, though.

To somewhat distract me from this, I joined Instagram. It's been interesting.:iconchibigilbertplz:People seem to really like my pics.:iconcblushplz:I've been experimenting a bit with the filters, too. I'm starting to like them, and for a lot of pics, they seem better with those filters. I'm also thinking of taking at least one pic a day and posting it on there. I might not post all of them on other places. Although, that might be different for deviantART.  

I managed to get enough gumption to take a selfie of myself.:iconhongkong-wantsursoul:I've always felt weird about being in pics. (Same with being in a video and audio recordings. Even if the recording is just me playing my clarinet.) It was worse when I was at my heaviest. Now that I've lost so much, I'm a lot better about it. Although, I still feel a bit weird. Hopefully, that will change more in the future.:icontinoplz:Took a pic of Rosie today. She almost seemed to be saying: "Ah, you humans, taking a picture of me again!" But, she's so cute, and she was staring at me for a while. It's tempting if you stare at me like that...:iconpolandplz:

I was so nervous on Saturday about what's going on with me, I decided to message someone who also has Crohn's. I've also known her for a while. Used to go to the same synagogue. Didn't know she had it until recently. Anyways, we ended up going to brunch at a local breakfast place called Elmer's yesterday to talk. After that we went to a place called Mora for ice cream. I got half a scoop of cheesecake brownie ice cream, and the other half was dulce de leche ice cream. They have about 3 different kinds of 'dulce de leche' ice cream. I got the original. They have such a wide variety, it can be hard to choose. But, I think I chose wisely.:iconfeelingfullplz:After that we talked more in the driveway as she dropped me off. It was nice to talk to somebody who might at least somewhat understand what you're going through. Although, everyone is different with this thing. 

Interestingly, I went back out to Elmer's for a late dinner. Found a new fave there, too. It was their pot roast dinner. The beef gravy was probably the best part of it, but the rest was good too.:iconchibispainplz:Tonight, Dad and I went to a place called the Boat Shed. She had a gift card that I think was given to her for her presentation at a medical assistants' meeting. Pretty cool. The dinner in total, after the gift card and without the tip, ended up being $6. That's $6 for 2 people...:wow:That's really good. The only downside really was getting there. It's a bit weird. We ended up having to go down a long staircase, and it's literally right on the water. It was also raining, which made things a bit slick. At least they had a railing for the stairs. I got their smoked salmon. It was decent, but needed a touch more flavor.