Tuesday, December 20, 2016

National Cupcake Day!


The holiday was a few days ago. I love big cupcakes. They're like personal cakes.:la:Our local international market does really huge ones. The frosting/topping is usually like twice as big as the cake part. I've only had one of theirs. I think it was a cherry one, with a whole cherry hidden inside the topping. 'Starbucks' or the Barnes and Noble's cafe has big ones, too. I like their red velvet one.

Speaking of baked goods, we recently went to a local bakery downtown. I live in a Norwegian-themed town. (Has influences from other Scandinavian countries, but Norway is the main one.) It was settled by Norwegians. Anyways, this bakery is pretty famous in the area, and their baked goods are Scandinavian influenced. In fact, some of them are actually pastries that you might find from that region. It was really crowded this time. Could barely move around to see what we wanted.:iconhanatamagoplz:Probably was because of Christmas coming up. We get a lot of tourists this time of year.

The last time we were there was about a month ago. (Before that, it had been many years since I was there last.) I got a maple bar, Dad got something else for herself (can't remember), and also got an orange cinnamon bread. The maple bar was a bit stale, but there was a very thick layer of icing. More than what many of the local markets usually have. That was a plus for me. It still was pretty 'meh'. The bread was interesting. It had bits of orange peel in it, and icing on the outside. It was good heated up with melted margarine. 

This time I got a frosted cinnamon roll, and we're sharing an apple cinnamon bread. The cinnamon roll had apple pieces, walnuts, a touch of orange, and was very buttery. Lots of frosting, too. It was more like a meal in itself. Really good stuff.:iconchibispainplz:Probably heating it up made it even better. The apple cinnamon bread is pretty decent, too. It also has icing on the outside. Maybe next time I'll try their actual Scandinavian pastries. Not sure if their breads are, but a pastry that is would be interesting.

Had my gastro appointment last week. She's puzzled by what's going on with me. She wants to start over with everything, starting with a colonoscopy. She doesn't have much of the info from my previous gastro. Things like the notes on my symptoms, and not many of the blood tests. She does have some of the info about my previous colonoscopy in July 2015. They apparently had done something weird with the biopsies from that area

She also seemed kind of patronizing when I asked about doing an endoscopy as well, like last time.:iconromanoplz:I remember that my stomach was slightly affected, and so was my duodenum. (From the pics they took.) I said I do have some stomach pain right now, too. I thought it would make sense just to look up there, especially if we're doing a complete do-over. She asked me where my stomach was in kind of a flippant way. Instead, I showed her where all the pain was, to show her that it encompassed pretty much everything in my digestive tract. She immediately traced the outline of my 'stomach' with her finger. Funny thing is, she actually traced where my heart should be.:iconseychelles-plz:I know that the stomach is near the heart, but it's not in the same spot. Heck, I've had to take some anatomy in classes (some college level) in the past. Had an anatomy section in AP Biology where we dissected things like piglets, and we looked at anatomy in Animal Science 101. (Had to for the meat class, too. That was lovely...:iconitalyishorrifiedplz:) Just a couple of examples. I'm no expert, but I at least have some basic knowledge. It was odd.

She told me I wouldn't have to take that Golytely laxative this time. That stuff was horrendous.:iconlietplz:The first glass was ok, but I threw it all up after a sip of the next glass. It was sudden and made a mess, too. (Good thing I had been on a liquid diet, though.) I had to get an anti-nausea pill, yes one, just to try to drink more of it. I didn't even get to the halfway mark. It was enough, though. For a while, every time I had water or a certain Gatorade flavor, it would taste like that stuff. Anyways, she said I could take miralax instead. That is like a million times easier. 

Apparently, they want people to order their prep kit. So, I went to order it, and realized that it actually costs. Around $30. That's quite a bit. Last time I had it through Group Health, and the 'prep' wasn't anything extra. Except for the co-pay of that anti-nausea pill, which wasn't much. This is actually out-of-network, but GH covers all this as if it were in-network, since my primary referred me to them. I think she has to ok everything they do. Also, one of the things in the kit that I saw on there was Golytely...So, she kind of lied this way.:iconpolandplz:I emailed the 'patient portal' about all of this, and even gave suggestions to a better way of doing it. Since I've done it before, I already have miralax (could get more if need be) and could get other stuff like Gatorade if I need it, and they could just email me when to start the miralax/liquid diet/other schedule stuff/etc. Simple and much cheaper. I also asked if I have to have this 'kit', will GH just cover the whole thing? So, hopefully they'll give me some answers about all this. The colonoscopy itself is next month. I did get an answer through their patient portal yesterday afternoon. They said they forwarded my email to the nurses that will work with the gastro who's doing the procedure, for 'review and response', and will get back to me as soon as possible.

She thinks some of my symptoms might be caused by azathioprine. Since she doesn't have the notes my previous gastro made about my symptoms, she's confused as to why I stopped taking balsalazide, and switched to aza. I remember that balsa. worked well right away. However, it seemed to stop working at some point. I wasn't getting better at that time. I was taking 9 of those horse pills a day. I wanted off them partially because of how big they were, and the amount I had to take. Felt like just taking all my pills was a meal itself. It filled me up so much. She told me I might need to drop aza. and go back to balsa.:iconawkwardplz:

I got an email from her yesterday about the blood test results. She wanted to see how the aza. was being metabolized. She didn't share the actual results, but said that my system was low on the aza. Saying that she'll explain it at my next appointment with her. That seems weird. I'd like to see the results along with her notes. It feels like she's keeping something from me this way.:icongermanyplz:Also, does this mean that the aza. isn't being absorbed well or something? Is it too low? Is it normal? I don't know. That also seems worse to just leave it at that. A very short message. 

I know she might be frustrated with my case, but the way she's treating it lately seems almost unprofessional and rude.:iconhongkongplz:There were so many great things I had heard about her, she was great at the beginning, but now I don't know what to think. At least, she's being much more thorough than my previous gastro, she actually communicates, and she's trying things. We'll see what happens after the colonoscopy. 

Another peculiarity, for me, was when she said that people with Ulcerative Colitis don't have pain as a symptom. Every where you look it up, including on CCFA, they all say one of the most common symptoms is abdominal pain. (There are some who don't have pain, but not many.) She's actually on the CCFA board, so this is even more strange.:iconusaplz:Both Crohn's and UC patients experience this symptom. Although, she did say I could have both, or just Crohn's. I've personally thought that I don't have UC, but Crohn's. All the tests/procedures have indicated it in the past, except for the IBD blood test result. Both my current and previous gastros have said that it's not a reliable test...:iconswissplz:But, I don't think someone should spread false information about something. Even if I most likely don't have it. I'm growing slightly suspicious of her, but maybe she just had a down day, and I'll see what happens in the future. There were a lot of 'ifs' and 'could bes', too. She doesn't really know, but it was interesting to hear the possibilities. 

I'm still having problems with sleeping because of the pain. So, it seems like an endless cycle at the moment with that.:iconsighingplz:Also, still not experiencing much hunger, unless I've fasted or have been put on a liquid diet. Sometimes when I think about food it makes me queasy. It still tastes good, though. I don't like the feeling of what food might be doing to me, which is partially why my body might be against the idea of it. It's tragic, to me, to equate food as pain. I love food!:iconcomebackplz:I'm still trying to make sure I eat at certain times. I've been slacking a bit on my snacks. I think I should still keep those up, even if my dinners tend to be bigger lately. That's the other thing, sometimes (especially with dinner) when there's a lot, I don't have a problem, after the fist couple of bites, finishing most of it. Also, after every time I eat or drink (doesn't matter what it is, or how much), my belly swells up like a balloon. Feels scary.:iconchibichinaplz:I sometimes feel like cutting out the area that hurts the most with a sharp knife, find the 'issue', and show it to my gastro. It's silly (and I'd probably die quickly), but I think my mind's trying to make sense of it, too.

I finally finished re-editing and making an outline of Alliance. It took a while, and I stepped away from it for about a month, but it's done. There were a lot of mistakes, and it ended up being about 400 words less. Amazon ok'd it and made it 'live'/republished it much faster than they said they would. Smashwords quickly ok'd it for their regular catalog. It was flagged while they were reviewing it for their premium catalog. Apparently, they weren't sure who published it or something. I do mention both Smashwords and Kindle in it, but that's for mentioning editions, and one other thing. I want to represent both, since I used both of them. Should give credit for that, at least. I'm still the publisher, but they gave me platforms for it. I uploaded it again, this time without the mention of Kindle. It was approved soon after, and I checked which one they approved. Apparently, the first one that mentioned Kindle. That's interesting. Maybe next time I won't be worried about changing it to only say one of them. I probably should ignore that sort of flag, unless they deny it, and the reviewer actually tells me what was wrong. They'll soon have the revised edition 'arrive' at their other distributors. Like Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, etc. But, yay! The revised edition is ready at both Amazon and Smashwords.:iconranranruuplz:Wanted to make an outline of it so that I have all the important bits/framework handy. I'm thinking of making a sequel to it. I probably could turn it into a series. There's so much more to their world. I feel like the first book barely scratched the surface. 

I'll re-edit Sweet Endless Terror next. I don't think there will be many mistakes. It's hard to read much of this one in one sitting for me. I get flashbacks of some of the nightmares they're based on. At least, the stories are actually toned down quite a bit compared to those actual nightmares. Anyways, I might have to go through it in short bursts. I'll republish it, too. Especially, if I find a lot of errors. I also have many other recurring nightmares, so maybe in the future I'll write another anthology

Started watching an American TV show called Zoo on Netflix. (I normally bring up Japanese dramas on here.) Been watching things on Netflix more often in general, to distract me from the pain. Anyways, I'm kind of addicted to this one, now. Just have one more episode to the first season left. It has 3 seasons, but Netflix only has 2 of them. I don't see how they can make more than 1, even if I'm almost finished with the first seasonShould be interesting, though. It's based on a book. 

It reminds me of Animal Farm. Only the animals don't actually speak a human language (like in Animal Farm there's the "4 legs good, 2 legs bad" line), and it's all animals from around the world, not just farm animals. In this, the animals have had enough of what humans have done to them. Like, hunting them, keeping them as pets, abusing them, testing on them, eating them, etc. They apparently get a 'defiant pupil' in one of their eyes. So, you can tell when they've changed. Reiden's (?) products all have the same main ingredient called the 'mother cell'. They supply most of the world's animal products. (In their world, obviously.) Things like pet food, animal medicine, food for zoo animals, pesticides, etc. That mother cell is making the animals evolve/mutate at a faster rate. So, traits that might take centuries to develop take almost no time. That's the theory so far. The animals have attacked technology, all birds can communicate with each other, all the animals seem to be attacking/killing humans, they're smarter, and more. There was one human that was injected with it, and he developed the 'defiant pupil'. He could communicate with wolves. He later died trying to rip his eye out, because he couldn't stand what it was doing to him. It'd be interesting if other humans had it, too. They also travel the world. They probably didn't actually travel to some of these places, but it's still a cool thing. Interesting actors, too. Many of them have been on popular shows (like Game of Thrones and Mad Men), and have interesting backgrounds to their characters and themselves.

I also went a little crazy with the Hanukkah decorations this year. For the past few years, I hardly put anything up. I wanted to be more out with it, needed to focus on something happy, and it was kind of a comforting thing to do. It's a very minor holiday, but it's one of my faves. Get to light candles, sing, have oily foods, play games, etc. Not a bad, low-key, very warm holiday.:iconthailandplz: It's also referred to as the Festival of Lights. Managed to figure out how to get a ceiling dreidel hanging/canopy decoration up. 

I used it while I was in college. For a couple of the dorms I was in, the rooms were long and narrow. Perfect for putting something like this up. There were hooks close to the door near the ceiling, and hooks near the ceiling on the other side. Often, people would walk in after they saw the decorations, and immediately start asking questions. Particularly about Christmas, and what Hanukkah (in their minds) had to do with it. Usually very religious Christians. Usually those questions got pretty intense/personal. They were just in utter disbelief that I don't celebrate it, there's no Jesus in Judaism, that they're totally different religions, and Hanukkah had nothing to do with Christmas or them. Then, they usually wanted to try and convert me. It was quite a...strange experience. I'm usually the one that wants to educate people about it, so I might have been a little too nice about that.

Anyways, this time I used pushpins. I started out with different types of strong tape, but they didn't work. This has worked well so far. It hasn't fallen yet. Rosie is annoyed by it. She can't reach the hanging dreidels. Also, all the dreidels have shins and nuns. (On both sides.) In the game, if you get a shin you put half your pile into the pot. With nun, you don't do anything. With hey, you get half the pot. With gimmel, you get all of the pot. So, they only have the 'negative' letters. I didn't notice that before, and seems odd. I also put up dreidel-shaped lights around a window inside, because I thought it'd be easier for me right now. After using one of the more durable tapes, it's stayed up, too. At least it's visible. Another side of holiday is to have people outside see things like the menorah. It's us being visible, and I think we need that more now. Although, that makes people vulnerable, as well.

Tried out the Japanese version of Cold Case. It was somewhat good. The characters acted very much like their American counterparts. I think it was a collab with the original creators and the people behind the Japanese one. There were some Japanese touches, but it felt like something was lacking. Somewhat flat. I got bored of it by the 2nd episode. Probably will drop it.

Almost finished with Soshite, Dare mo Inaku Natta, or And Then There Were None. This one has been really good. Lots of twists, turns, revenge, and betrayals. Never know who's really a 'bad guy' or 'good guy'. And, with the last episode I saw, there was one of the biggest twists. Interesting to see how it'll turn out. It's very much like Nowhere Man, and a little bit like The Fugitive. There are quite a lot of unique elements to it, though. Since I'm dropping Cold Case, this is the only Jdrama I'm watching. Almost through with it, too. I really like their dramas. They seem more original and/or unique than many American ones. British ones are good, too. I could pick up GM Odore Doctor again. It's about an eccentric doctor who's into dancing. I had barely started it a long time ago. Not sure about it. I could also watch the Japanese movies/specials on my growing list. Those have a different 'feel'. Although, it would be nice to go through more of it. We'll see. 

I did watch the live-action movie of Kuroshitsuji or Black Butler. It was better than I expected, but still not that great. It was a separate story set a little into the future. The original story is set in the late 1880s, in England. This one takes place in Japan, I think. The main character is a girl who has to act/dress like a boy in order to inherit her family's business/estate. She has a similar background as Ciel with his parents, being kidnapped, and tortured. Also, with meeting Sebastian and making a contract with him. Even with the semi-evil aunt. Also, the company's name is the same. She's also the Queen's 'guard dog', like he is. (Not sure who the 'Queen' is in this timeline. They never show her in the movie.) I love the actor that played Sebastian, but frankly, I don't think he was the right fit. Even his hair didn't seem right. And, I know that basically bringing the manga/anime version of him to life will be different; it could have been much better. I've seen snapshots of the musical, and the actor that plays him in that is much better. Similar build, the hair's more relaxed, (saw a short video with him in it) he's much better at getting the personality down, etc. This movie version didn't seem very well acted, either. They actually had Meirin and Tanaka. Meirin is a maid who's also an assassin, and Tanaka is the previous butler. In rare instances, Tanaka does give Sebastian advice in the manga. He's not always shown as a happy oblivious elderly person who sips tea all day. He's apparently still a powerful swordsman. In the movie, he only appeared once at the end. Meirin had a more important role. I'm a little disappointed that they didn't have the other servants. Like the chef, Baldroy, and the gardener, Finnian.

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