Friday, September 26, 2008

The Little Throat Tickle That Could....

Hey Y'all,

Well remember my little throat tickle? Well, it has turned into an upper respiratory infection, which has landed me with a day home from school! I went to the doc on Wednesday, who promptly gave me a Z-Pack and told me, by the way that I had an ear infection too! She tried to get me to take Thursday and Friday off... but substitute teachers are scarce these days... so I made it through yesterday and took today off. I went to bed early last night with Zorro and Zoe and this morning I am feeling a tad better. My voice still comes and goes, but my nasty cough and coughing fits are under control. So I am looking forward to a day of sleep and TV.

Tomorrow I have a class! My writing class from this summer is meeting at Coastal from 9-1 tomorrow. We are meeting to discuss our big presentations that we have coming up in November. I am looking forward to seeing and chatting with everyone!

Alrighty, I am going back to the sofa now!!
:) JKP

Monday, September 22, 2008

There's a Wee Tickle in My Throat....

Happy Fall Y'all!!!

I love the fall! It is my favorite time of year. I don't live in a part of the country that has a lot of trees that change for the season, but I love it just the same. I have always loved fall. I don't know if it is because I am a fall baby... but October and November are my FAVORITE months of the year! I love all of the oranges, reds and purples. I love the whole idea of scarecrows and apple and pumpkin pie. I love the cool nights and mornings. I love the warm autum afternoons. Fall just makes me happy. I think I like fall so much because all of my good childhood memories are from the fall. And then there's Halloween. My favorite day of the year!

I woke up on Saturday with a tickle in my throat. I thought it may just be allergies.. but it has turned into a major tickle that chokes me when I try and talk. Not a great thing when you are a teacher.... This sounds like it is becoming the Horry County Creeping Crud.....

I'm off to nurse myself with some NyQuil and hot tea! Mmmmm... pumpkin bread would hit the spot right now!
:) JKP

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy....

Hey Y'all,

I honestly can't believe that today is already Sunday and another week is about to begin! Since last Tuesday, when I last posted, I have been really busy with school. I am just trying to tread water at this point! I think things will be alot better when I get off of the prednisone. It is just that everything is magnified by 100 percent now. Normal things that don't bother me at all, are of course, making me crazy! I had a last minute meeting after school on Friday with my principal and he informed us that we are moving into our new third grade wing on Friday, Nov. 21st. While this is great and I am very happy that all of this is happening BEFORE the holidays... it takes alot to move. Especially a classroom! So the next month or so is going to be interesting.

I did take some time out and enjoy myself this weekend! On Saturday, Uncle Rich made his way down to my end of the beach and I met him and Aunt Brenda at P.F Chang's for a yummy lunch on Saturday! Y'all.. I think I am still full! While I was out at the Market Common I ended up running into some friends that I teach with, so I went back into P.F Chang's and hung out with them a while longer. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking through Handpicked, Anthropologie (oh, how I wish I was rich!!) and Barnes and Noble. It was kind of a cloudy, windy day, so it was perfect for taking a stroll through the stores.

This morning I was up bright and early, and I just chose not to fight it. I set up my stuff at about 7 a.m. and I got a lot of school work done. I made my spelling lists through December and thought out my lesson plans for the next month or so. I wrapped up at about 12:30 and took Zorro on his second walk of the day. I think Zorro actually prefers the sleep deprived me... .he gets more walks out of the deal! We also took some time to decorate our house for the fall season. I took my Department 56 Halloween Houses out of the attic and put them out with my orange and purple fairy lights. It looks very fallish around here! Zorro decided to sleep through this part. I've gotten alot done this weekend, which is good. My writing class from this summer is meeting again next Saturday from 9-1 at Coastal, so I had to really get my ducks in a row this week.

Well, my hands are killing me, but I am going to try and finish working on a baby sweater!
:) JKP

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ceasar Is Fixed, But I'm Still a Hot and Sweaty Mess!

Hey Y'all!

Good News! Ceasar is all better! The air conditioning is working again! And all it took was one Power Transducer. I really have no idea what that is. Y'all Google it. I was so happy to get in my car and have air after 2 weeks! I literally drove home with the air on high. My windows were fogged on the outside.... that is how cold it was in my car!! YIPPPPEEEEE!!!! It was the coolest I have been all day.

My day started at 1:00 a.m. so I could change my jammies that were soaked due to my hot flashes. Then I had another change at 4. Today it was so hot and humid, I was really worried that I might have a heat stroke. I got home a few minutes ago and took my second shower and washed my hair. Again. Tonight we have PTA at school. I am not going. I am terrified I will faint in front of the parents. Besides, since we are remodeling, there really isn't room. I'll catch the November meeting!

Alrighty, I am off and I'm in search of something cold to drink..... I'm of course, still hot!

p.s. The new season of House starts tonight!

:) JKP

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Am Slowly Returning To Normal... Whatever That Is!

Hey Y'all!

This is going to be a quick post... The Closer season finale is on! I haven't been the best watcher of this season... since I have been going to bed so early.. but I have them all DVR'ed and ready to tune in on a sleepless night!

Both of my Dr's appointments went well today. I am slowly healing and it looks like the Sweet's Syndrome has abated for now. I still have a few weeks left on the evil drug... but knowing there is an end in sight might make things better. I have started to take some Lasix to help with all of the swelling that the evil drug is giving me. My joints are really bothered by all of the extra water. So every few days, I take a Lasix and my joints feel better for a while. It is mainly my back, knees and wrists that suffer the most. YUCK!

I really enjoyed my day in Charleston today.. it was nice to have a Monday free! I had to take Mom's car for the trip. Poor Ceasar the CR-V... his air conditioning stopped working about 2 weeks ago. As in no air. As in no blowing air. As in NADA! As in me on steroids, dying of a heatstroke and NO AIR IN MY CAR!!! IN THE SUTHERN' HEAT!!! So, knowing it was going to be bad and expensive, and me being VERY POOR at the moment, I kind of put off taking Ceasar in to the shop! On Saturday, I needed an oil change and my 80,000 mile tune up, so I bit the bullet and asked them to look at the air. I had already been on the internet and heard/read that sometimes the air compressor just blows up in the CR-V after about 60,000 miles. So I said a Hail Mary.. and went forth. Praying that the result would not be the $2,000 one! It turns out the mechanic had seen the same problem in a CR-V the week before and he knew exactly what to do! So all in all... I had to have a part ordered and I am going to have it replaced tomorrow after-school. Then, it will be igloo time!

Speaking of igloos.... in my room right now, my ceiling fan is going on high, the air is on 72 and I have my monster standing fan blowing on my side of the bed. Zoe is in heaven! Zorro is burried under blankets on the sofa! I will be very happy when I am not hot all the time! I think Zorro will be too!

Later gators!
:) JKP

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Think Something "Boney" Is Going On Around Here....

Hey Y'all,
This is what was waiting for me when I arrived home from school on Thursday.

Do you think Zorro is stockpiling for something? Who knows! Zorro gets a chewy bone about every other day. Sometimes he hides them and I roll over them while I am sleeping. Sometimes, he leaves one on my pillow for me. Last week, I was in the back yard and found a hiding place where he has been stashing these when I am not at home! The other night, he ran into my bedroom and then ran out with a bone. Then I come home and find this.

Zorro has been a very busy boy! He has also been a little under the weather. Zorro has allergies and has been having a hard time since the begining of August. Recently, he started not eating his food, which is very unusual, and it signals that something is not right with his food. I did some quick internet research and discovered that the company that made his food, has been having TONS of complaints and Consumer Reports wrote an article on them. This really upset me and explained why Zorro has been so sick! I was feeding Zorro a brand that had a very good reputation, but suddenly and recently, they have sold to MARS, Inc. and the ingredeints they have been using in their food is just not accpetable. Zorro is such a smart boy, he knew this! So on Friday, I went and visited Coastline Pet Supply. The owner was wonderful and very informed about "healthy" dog food. I learned so much and now Zorro is on a new food... Ealge Pack's Holistic Select Senior. We even switched Zoe and both seem much happier and they have tons more engery. Zorro is still wheezing a little, but he has more pep in his step. So folks, don't be afraid... make sure you know what your babies are eating! AND DON'T FEED YOUR PETS ANYTHING MADE BY NUTRO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Zorro says, "No more Nutro, But I'll have another chewy bone please!"

I actually took the day off of school tomorrow. I have to drive to Charelston for 2 Dr's appointments. One of my appt's is for the sore on my leg that is no more! My leg is all better except for the skin peeling where the sore was. So I hope this is the end of it! I am still on the evil prednisone, but I have tapered down to 40mgs. I am still having mega hot flashes and not sleeping... but at least I am weaning myself off! I also forgot about the horrible shakes I get when I come off of the steroids. I can't knit today because my hands are shaking. I did finish reading a couple of good books though. I am also about to put a movie in.... Fool's Gold.
Well, the little man wants a walk... that's a good sign! I'll write more after the Dr's tomorrow!
:) JKP

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't Be Puttin' No Lipstick On a Pig Now.......

Hey Y'all!

OMG! I am in a serious time warp! Since I haven't been feeling that great over the past few weeks, I have been going to bed early. REALLY EARLY. Like, so early that the sun is still out. Most nights Zorro and I are in the bed by 8:30! This is unheard of for me, but it is the only way I can manage my four hours of sleep each night that the prednisone lets me have. I am looking forward to returning to my vampire way of life soon.... (I am a true night owl, I always have been) but as long as I am on this horrible medicine, I don't think that is going to happen! The upside to all of this is that I get to school really early. I have time to run through Chick-fil-a and still have time to spare. My team is worried. I am worried.

Anyway, apparently due to my early nocturnal doings, I have missed the mudslinging that has begun in the presidential race. And oh my, it's a doozy! Y'all know that I am suthern' and all and "puttin' lipstick on a pig" is akin to the "pink elephant in the room." It's a phrase that we use to make light of something. To point out something. Well, apparently it has been taken to far. I heard a little about this debacle between Obama and Palin this morning online, but my kids were coming in the room and I didn't have time to investigate further. I stayed at school WAY TOO late today, and got home as the 6:30 news was coming on. So anyway, basically a remark Obama made was taken way out of context towards Sara Palin. But this is what gets me... she just used the "lipstick" remark about hockey moms in her speech at the RNC. So, some think it's a slip of the tongue, some think it's a crude remark.... You say tomato, I say tho-ma-to......

I guess now we will really see what this race is going to be like. I am still undecided, but I am leaning McCain's way.... we'll see. Obama's theories on education scare me just a little. Is it too much to ask for someone who has taught in a public school, for more than 5 years to decide policy for our teachers and children? And I don't mean someone who was a teacher for 2 years and then went into administration. We need a true educator, one who has been in the trenches daily! With munchkins!
So we shall see! I have a feeling that things are about to escalate in this presidential race!

Well, it's the witching hour for me. Nighty, night!
:) JKP

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just a Quick Note...

Hi Y'all...

I'm still here! Getting back into the swing of things yesterday was tough! I think both me and my students enjoyed having a "surprise" day off on Friday. Finally today, things were more normal. We seemed to be on more of a schedule and without any tropical storms or hurricanes looming we could focus on what we had to get done today!

I am very excited, tonight I have supper club with all of my friends from the Coastal Area Writing Project that I took this summer. We are meeting at Abuelos, one of my favorite restaurants! I can't wait to see and catch up with everyone. Since school started my writing has gone by the wayside, as I thought it would. It will be nice to reconnect with everyone and maybe get some ideas flowing! I have noticed that this year I am better about not bringing as much home, but since I haven't been feeling great, I come home and rest up for the next day.

My leg is so much better, you wouldn't believe it! I will post pics tomorrow. I go back to Charleston on Monday to be re-evaluated and hopefully I can get off of this dang prednisone. I haven't slept in over a week! I actually got in bed at 8:30 last night, took a Tylenol p.m and only got 4 hours of sleep. Then when I wake up I am covered in sweat because of the hot flashes I am having. Zorro is so not happy with me right now! Not to mention that the prednisone makes me literally want to cry.. LIKE ALL OF THE TIME! It also makes me very anxious! I am so ready to get off of this merry go round!

Well, let me go.. I've got to take a bath before I go out to dinner...
:) JKP

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Hannah Aftermath.....And Knitting Too!

Hey Y 'all...

Well, we survived Tropical Storm Hannah with minimal damage.

Our only wind damage was one of my ferns. It was knocked over by the 30 something mile an hour winds. We did have lots of rain and at one point the road in front of my house resembled a lake, but all in all, we were fine. We didn't even loose power. Our lights flickered twice and that was it. I went to bed about 2 a.m. (thanks, prednisone) just as Hannah was coming ashore in North Myrtle. I didn't hear a thing, and Zorro didn't either. If we have to have storms, those are the kind to have. I am really worried about the folks in Cuba, the Keys and the Gulf right now, IKE looks like a monster storm!

With all of that time on my hands Friday and Saturday, I embarked on a new knitting project. I have about 5 friends who are all preggers right now and are due within months of each other. I have been scouring Ravelry for cute baby patterns and I came across several. I casted on for this garter stitch baby kimono (a pattern by Bernat) Friday afternoon. Thanks to the prednisone, I've had to put it down for a while, my joints are hurting. (One of my weird side effects.)

Here is one front and a half of a front of the kimono. I am using Baby Bernat Jacquards in Spearmint Candy for this project. The yarn does this cool striping effect. It really makes you look fancier than you are! This is just garter stitch and simple decreases and a little shaping. I love the pink and green combination, it looks darling!

This is what it looks like partially put together. When I finish the front, I have the back and arms to knit. All in all, this is an easy knit. There has been a House marathon on USA this weekend, so I've been watching and knitting! I've decided I need to do more of this to get me through my prednisone doldrums. Oh, how I hate thee! But, oh how much better I feel!

On another note, Zorro wants you to know he has everything under control, including all of the blankets in the house. The medicine, which shall not be named, is giving me terrible hot flashes. So Zorro has taken this opportunity to steal every blanket in the house to stay warm while I have the air really going. Bless his heart!

Alrighty, I am off to finish watching House.... and Army Wives is new tonight! Yippee!

:) JKP

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Sweet's Syndrome Timeline

Hey Y'all!

Well below chronicles my whole debacle with Sweet's Syndrome. My first lesion appeared on my leg around the 30th of July. It is now September 5th and I am just starting to heal thanks to some prednisone. Although it makes me feel yucky, it is really helping my leg.

This is what my lesion looked like about three days after it appeared. We began to think it was a spider bite or maybe even staph. At this point I was in some pain, and I was on 2 antibiotics.

This is the lesion about two weeks after the first picture. This was taken the day before I went to the surgeon for a biopsy. At this point, I am in alot of pain and my leg is really swollen. I am having a hard time standing and walking for long periods of time.

Another shot on the same day.

Another shot, same day, you can see how large it is.

Slide of 1st biopsy by the surgeon in Myrtle Beach.

My leg as of last night, Sept. 4th. This is after 1 dose of prednisone.

Another shot from last night. The black looking things are my collection of stitches from the 2 biopsies that I had done.

In this picture you can see how large the lesion turned out to be. I am a short person, so it took up almost the majority of my lower leg.
So that's it. I should be a whole lot better by Monday. I'll post pics throughout the weekend so you can see how I am healing. The scary thing is, these things can be recurring. No thanks!
I am off to track Hannah!
:) JKP

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Battening Down the Hatches!

Hey Y'all!

Well, remember in my last post how I said that Myrtle Beach was going to be fine and we were in school for the next two days? Hee.... I was somewhat wrong. We got word this morning about 11:30 that school was cancelled for tomorrow due to the "unexpected nature" of the tropical storm Hannah. So I find myself with a day off tomorrow! The weather experts still can't determine where she will actually make landfall, but I do think that the weather is not going to be fun tomorrow night. Luckily, I had an inkling that this may happen, and visited the grocery store on Tuesday. Yeah, I'm psychic like that. So Zoe and Zorro have bones and water. Most importantly, I have cheese doodles, movies and yarn. We are set.

Y'all.. that nasty evil prednisone is working! I am starting to feel better! My sore is getting a little better, and it did not hurt as much today. Also, my leg didn't swell as much either. Tomorrow I am going to post a timeline of pics for this Sweet's Syndrome that I have. It will blow your mind when you see how this thing literally took over my leg. I am so thankful that the pain is lessening. I actually took Zoe and Zorro for a stroll tonight and didn't have to limp. Don't get me wrong, my leg is still repulsive, but by next week it should be gone. Let's just hope another one doesn't pop up anytime soon. Although, I must say... it has been a few years since I have been on the prednisone. I forgot how bad it makes me feel. But it does give me lots of energy! p.s. visit the link for Sweet Syndrome above... it made CNN!

I've been upstairs tonight pulling together baby yarn for some projects that I need to work on. I have 5 friends who are expecting babies within the next 6 months, so I need to get busy! I have found some cute and easy baby sweater patterns on Ravelry that I am going to work on over the weekend. Luckily I graded all of my papers last night, so I can play and rest my leg this weekend.

Well, I am off to watch the Republican National Convention. You know, I am interested in politics... however.... these past two weeks of conventions has given me the best nights sleep in a long while. I am going to be lost when they are over! Give me a crowd and a speech and I can call it a night!
:) JKP

I'll post tomorrow and let you know how we are doing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Paging Dr. Gregory House... STAT!

Hey Y'all....

I am wondering if that hospital on the show House is real. Is there really a Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital? Surely there is a Dr. House this point I think I could qualify as a patient!

Anyway... the doc figured out what is wrong with me. I had another biopsy done yesterday and today it came back and they have concluded that I have Sweet Syndrome. I wish that meant that I was chronically nice, but it doesn't. It's a syndrome that some folks with Crohn's get.. and lucky me! My sore on my leg is larger. I have four new stitches to show for their exploration yesterday. My students are very impressed at my collection of stitches these days! I have to start on a round of prednisone and take it for the next two weeks. I have a follow up appointment on the 15th. So hopefully I can return to the land of the living soon!

In other news, we are still monitoring Hannah. She can't make up her mind if she is a hurricane or tropical storm. By all accounts, I think that Myrtle Beach is going to be safe. We are going to school for the next two days, so I think that means we are in the clear. My kids have been really excited about the storm, though. I had to pull out some hurricane stuff because they were so interested. We go online during the day to check out the progress of Hannah, Ike and Josephine. Tomorrow we are going to write a Hannah poems. Hee! If you can't beat them, join them!

I off to bed... I am so tired! I just finished grading 10 sets of papers. What a glamorous life I lead!
:) JKP

Monday, September 1, 2008

We're Off to See the Wizard.....

Hey Y'all,

I hope that y 'all enjoyed your Labor Day today! Zorro and I have been taking it easy all weekend. The thing (as I have termed it!) keeps getting larger and more painful on my leg, so I have spent the weekend taking it easy. I take my pain meds at night, mainly to get some sleep! The pain meds do help with the swelling of my leg, foot and calf. Tomorrow I have an appointment in Charleston for the doc to take a look and see if we can finally get a diagnosis. I am a little worried that it keeps getting LARGER, but oh well. It has definitely grown an inch since the surgeon did the biopsy last week. Good Times! Today I went to Target to pick up some bones for Zoe and Zorro and I ran into several teacher friends. Instead of looking at me and saying hi, they looked at my leg first! Yesterday I went to Walgreen's and instead of greeting me, my pharmacist said "Oh, can I see your leg?" So, I am still a medical mystery.

Zorro and I are off to watch Nim's Island and to monitor Hurricane Hannah on The Weather Channel!
I'll post when I have a diagnosis!