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Archive for August, 2010

I don't recognize myself

August 31st, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I lost about 10 lbs while in the hospital, mostly in my face and upper body. When I look in the mirror I don't recognize myself because so much weight is gone from my face. It's very weird and disconcerting. I wanted to lose weight, but not exactly this way.

I went to see my gallbladder Dr yesterday. According to her they took the gallbladder about 3 days into my coma. They based the decision on elevated liver enzymes and my blood pressure falling. She said it was a good thing they did because when she took it out, it was infected and would have failed shortly. Everything is fine with that now, but she said I had Kidney cancer. I said that was the first anyone had come right out and said that. I had been told it could be and they weren't sure, basically I had a mass on my kidney and they didn't know what it was. She started back-tracking and saying well it is a mass, it doesn't say it's cancer. So I don't know. I have an appt with the kidney dr next Wednesday and will hopefully know for sure then. And hopefully it's not cancer. My mom started freaking out when she heard, she's a worrier and always thinks the most negative way first. I try not to worry until I know I have something to worry about, since I think that's a waste of energy and just makes you feel bad. I'm remaining optimistic until I know for sure what the diagnosis is.

The gallbladder dr was impressed by mom in the hospital. She thought she was wonderful and she was. There everyday and helping me however she could. The same with my dad. I definetly would have had a much harder time if they didn't live near and could help me.

I finished reading the library book 61 hours by Lee Childs. Mystery - pretty good.

simple financial life

August 29th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

When I woke up from my coma in the hospital I had a very hard time talking loud enough for anyone to hear me. I had had a breathing tube over an inch in diameter stuck down my throat for several days and the strain on my throat took a while to diminish enough for me to talk very well. My voice is still very raspy. Anyways when I woke up, my mom wanted to know if there was anything they needed to do right away.

Fortunately I have tried to make my life as simple as possible and have all my monthly bills set up to be paid automatically, so they were all taken care of. I had just transferred a few thousand into my checking to last me a few months. The first thing that came to mind however were my library books. I always have books due every week.

I tried to explain where the books were in my house but my mom couldn't really understand me and since they are scattered it was hard to remember all of them. So my dad took my library card to the library and explained the situation to the librarian. She just renewed everything until the 9th of September and erased the fines I had for the books that were overdue from while I was in the coma.

One of the things that worried me though was if I had paid my 2 credit cards. I usually do around the first of the month, but my short term memory was shot and I couldn't remember what I had done the week before I went to the hospital. Since I always pay in full and on time I figured even if I hadn't paid and owed one month finance charges I would be able to call and hopefully get those reversed when I explained the situation after getting home, but when I got home I found I had paid them on time already so it wasn't an issue.

My parents were getting my mail while I was in the hospital too and my car insurance renewal came. But it has a long due date - it's not due until Sept 19th so they just held on to it. My dad said he would have found my checkbook and paid it or just paid it himself if I was still in the hospital.

I had just finished updating my financial information and given my parents that so I was glad they had it even though they didn't have to use it this time. I had a medical power of attorney for them that I had drawn up years ago, but they didn't remember they had it. The only thing I regret was not updating my will. I've been thinking about it for awhile and just haven't got around to doing it. I would really like to get it done before I have to have anymore surgery, but right now I have so little energy, just the thought of it wears me out. I will try to get it done in the next couple of weeks.

My mom cleaned out part of my fridge, but I still had some food spoilage and they took out the trash for me. I had $20 in Walgreens register rewards that expired while I was in the coma so I lost those. All in all though my life went on pretty well without me in it Smile I had no expectations that I wouldn't be coming home that night after my Kidney stone though, so I'm glad that I had already set up ways to cover my basic living expenses.

I finished reading the library book The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu. Paranormal - very good.

a long post about why I haven't posted in so long

August 27th, 2010 at 10:47 am

Around 10 pm on Aug 10 I started throwing up. This was accompanied by severe back pain on one side. Since I'd had several kidney stones before I knew the symptoms and started with my normal procedures to pass one. Usually they pass. I've only had to go to the hospital twice before. Once it was gone by the time I got there and once I spent all day and it finally passed without any interference from them.

Anyways I started drinking lots of water and took some Cranberry pills. The problem with the pills is I kept throwing up so they weren't getting into my system. I need to buy some juice to keep on hand. This lasted all night untill I was only throwing up water - nothing left in my system and still in pain. So I checked with the local Urgent Care but they didn't open until 8 and they didn't have any equipment to deal with kidney stones. So I called my mom and dad to drive me to the hospital in the next town.

Unfortunately they were busy and it was more than an hour before I got checked in. They said the previous day they had only had one patient. They did an ultrasound and found out I had a 12 centimeter kidney stone. The dr planned to go in and reconnect my kidney around it.

That was the plan anyways. When he got in he got the stent around the stone and hit a pocket of infection which went thru my whole system putting me in septic shock. The pus and infection infected all my organs. There happened to be a clinical study being done in the hospital right then on septic shock and how their drug might treat it better. They contacted my parents and they had 30 minutes to decide whether to allow them to treat me or not. My parents knew people who had died from septic shock or who had been sick for more than a year recuperating from it. The mortality rate is 50%. Mom consented to the study.

At that point they went in and took out my gall bladder because it had already become infected. I had a very difficult time coming out of the anethesia. Once they had me woke up, they turned around and put me in a coma for 8 days, while they tried to flush all the toxins out of my system. After 8 days they woke me up.

I was incredibly confused at first and was kept in ICU for 2 days. Then they moved me to an Intensive Care room. By the third day I could stand with help. On the forth day I could walk slowly using a walker. On the fifth day they sent me home to my parents. This was last Sunday. I was so happy to be out of that hospital and the shower I took when I got to my parents is problably one of the 10 best feelings in my life.

At first I was incredibly tired after doing any little thing. Even lifting a spoon to eat was a hugh chore. But I gained strength each day. By Wednesday I was walking without the walker or a cane and Thursday I went up and down the stairs without a problem. So my parents brought me back to my house last night.

I still get tired very easily, but I just rest for awhile until I have more energy. Mom and I are walking about a 1/4 of what we did before. I try to add a little more each day. I have a hard time eating since I'm not hungry and nothing tasted right. All the antibiotics wiped out my taste buds for now.

Because I was in a clinical trial I don't know for sure if I got the drug or a placebo, but based on my recovery and things the nurses said I'm pretty sure I got the drug. Eventually they are supposed to let me know.

I still have the issue of having a 12 centimeter stone in my body and they saw an unidentified mass on my kidney from before. That could have been the pocket of infection or it could be something else. I have follow up appointments to deal with it. I also have a ton of bills coming up with no idea right now what this will cost. I have a $2000 deductible so I'm sure it's at least that much.

But for now I'm alive and home and not in pain - so I feel good. My concentration isn't that good so I'm not reading as fast buy I did finish the library book Whiplash by Catherine Coulter. Mystery - very good

Card Pool

August 10th, 2010 at 01:46 pm

There is another website like Plastic Jungle that sells gift cards at a discount - it's called Card Pool. Last night I got the following cards for me and my dad.

From Plastic Jungle

2 $100 J.C. Penney cards for $86 each. Saved 14%. My mom probably spends a $100 a month at Penney's. She gets her hair done in their salon as well as shopping there so this is a very good deal for them.

From Card Pool

$100 Chili's card for $89 - saved 11%
$82.89 Kohl's card for $72.94 - saved 12%
$50 Red Lobster card for $46 - saved 8%
$25 Bed, Bath and Beyond card for $23 - saved 8%

The Bed, Bath and Beyond card was for me. All of these are cards are for places we go frequently and would spend money at eventually. By buying the cards we saved $54.95. That's a much higher amount than we can get in interest right now. Plus I get another 1% or almost $5 for paying with my credit card.

I read the following on Money Saving Mom:

If you’ve been considering signing up for Swagbucks, this is the week to do it because you’ll get 70 bonus Swagbucks when you sign up – as opposed to the usual 30 bonus points. Just sign up and use code BackToSchool to get 70 bonus points added to your account.

I finished reading my book Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - pretty good.

rainy Monday

August 9th, 2010 at 01:53 pm

We've had rain for at least an hour a day for the last several days. Today it's rained about 3 times. Which is terrific, but may be what's causing my allergies to go berserk. Yesterday while walking mom and I saw a mushroom the size of a soccor ball.

Ran errands this morning - library, food pantry, bank and King Soopers.

At King Soopers I got another can of beans for the food pantry for .33. I got another bottle of Minute Maid lemonade for free since I bought another mini watermelon. I also got 2 things of Mentos gum for free and some bananas. I spent $3.29 total.

I was in the express lane and the woman ahead of me must have had 30 items or more. She waits till the guy gets completely done ringing her up and bagging before finding her check book in her purse. Then several minutes fumbling thru the checks to find the next one, asking for the date and finally giving him the check. Frown

I finished reading the library book Touch the Dark by Karen Chance. Paranormal - pretty good.

this and that

August 8th, 2010 at 01:05 pm

I got my mail for the first time in 3 days. I have a locked box so often leave it for several days. I got the Walmart gift card I ordered from Plastic Jungle, a $10 rebate check from Kraft, 2 trial size bottles of Pantene shampoo and conditioner, 2 sample sizes of Dove shampoo and conditioner and a free pedometer from Nature's Bounty plus some coupons.

Perfect timing on the pedometer since my mom broke hers yesterday. I'll give her this one. The shampoo will go to the food pantry.

I got enough swagbucks to get another $5 gift card from Amazon and have enough to place another book order there. I wait till I have $30 in gift cards and then place an order over $25 to get free shipping on the books.

I was watching a new cooking show on the Cooking channel yesterday called Bill's Food. He was making lunches for his kids to take to school. He made white bean and tuna salad. It looked good so I made it today and really liked it. I added lemon juice to mine, but it's really simple and healthy.

Take a can of white beans and rinse, add a package of tuna, chop up some celery and add olive oil, salt and pepper and a splash of lemon juice and mix together. He added parsley to his, but I didn't have any.

School starts this week so it should get quieter around here. I haven't been runniing around so much so I've been much calmer and I've really enjoyed it this last week - except my allergies are going crazy. I usually get them in the spring and fall, but for some reason they started early. I've heard several people complaining about allergies lately.

I finished reading the library book Stormwalker by Allyson James. Paranormal - ok

inflation, stagflation, deflation - does it really matter?

August 6th, 2010 at 02:19 pm

They are all bad for people who are savers. Heard on the news today about how much food prices are going up because of bad weather accross the world and other events. World wheat prices are up 92 per cent since early June. Corn and Oats are also way up, along with coffee. I don't care about the coffee, but the rest of it impacts many of the things I buy.

Here's a good article about it:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/russian-whea...

Not much to do about it, however it turns out. Just keep my stockpile going and try to buy items at the best price I can.

Finished reading my book Turn Coat by Jim Butcher. Sci/Fi - excellent.

Grocery day

August 5th, 2010 at 01:47 pm

Today I passed on the following to my niece

"make sure you change the address on your king sooper card. They send you coupons periodically based on what you buy. Yesterday I got a bunch of coupons from them. I usually get at least one free item. Yesterday it was a free bag of mini peeled carrots. King Soopers has a sale on them this week buy 1 get 1 free. So with my coupon I got 2 free bags this morning."

I went to both Safeway and King Soopers today. Safeway was first. I spent $4.37, $3.08 of that was for food pantry donations.

1.75 - Pepperidge farm goldfish - pretzel type
-1.00 - .75 q doubled
- .25 - Safeway q
-----
.50 - food pantry donation

1.29 - 18 ct eggs

15.00 - 12 pouches Starkist tuna
- 4.44 - Safeway q
- 1.00 - 2 .25 q's doubled
- 1.00 - 1 .75 q doubled
- 2.00 - 2 buy 2 get 1 q's
- 3.96 - 2 buy 2 get 1 q's
------
2.60 for 12 = @ .22 each. 6 for me and 6 for pantry. I have no idea why 2 of the buy 2 get 1 q's took off 1.00 and 2 took of 1.99. I never understand Safeway receipts.

At King Soopers I spent $6.80, .33 for the food pantry

1.00 - Gold Peak Tea
-1.00 - ecoupon from playing King Soopers Summer of Saving game online
-----
FREE - goes to my Dad

1.69 - 2 liter Minute Maid lemonade
-----
FREE wyb a watermelon. I bought a $2 mini watermelon. This goes to the food pantry

1.74 - Goldfish pretzels
-1.00 - .75 q doubled
- .75 - shortcuts e-coupon
-----
.01 moneymaker

3.98 - 2 lbs peeled mini carrots
-1.99 - store sale BOGO
-1.99 - King Soopers home mailer q free item
-----
FREE

.68 - 1 can Kroger pinto beans
- .35 - King Soopers home mailer
-----
.33 - food pantry donation

2.19 - 1 gal milk
1.65 - tomatoes on the vine @1.30/lb
2.00 - mini watermelon
------
5.84

Food pantry gets

6 pouches tuna
1 bag goldfish pretzels
1 can beans
1 bottle lemonade

I finished reading the library book Bullet by Linda K. Hamilton. Paranormal - excellent.

passing on frugal tips

August 4th, 2010 at 02:12 pm

My oldest niece is in collage and needs to save money where she can. My sister gave her $200 a month to buy food - which is plenty if you know how to shop. She has to pay for gas and internet, fun stuff and eating out, but isn't sure how many hours she will get to work at Target.

Last year she bought her text books used until I told her about renting them instead. So last semester and this she's renting her books from Cheggs. She saved a ton of money.

She doesn't get the newspaper - to her that's an expense rather than a money maker like it is to me. So I'm sending her what deals I see that are valid at Target, Walmart, King Soopers or Walgreens that only rely on printable coupons. I've been giving her free food all summer to start her off too.

She's excited about getting free/cheap food, but of course at first you make mistakes and don't get the deals you expected. You still make mistakes after years, because you are in a hurry or whatever, but not as many.

I'm also sending her other money tips as they occur to me and I think they apply to her. It's fun to mentor someone in frugal ways Smile

I finished reading my book Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - pretty good

I also read the library book In Serena's Web by Kay Hooper. Romance - a good popcorn book.

multivitamin moneymaker

August 3rd, 2010 at 01:48 pm

Went to Walgreens this morning and did 2 transactions for Alive multivitamins. Walgreens has a 15% off you entire purchase right now that's good thru tomorrow. They also have Alive multivitamins for $10 with a $10 RR wyb them. I have a $1 coupon for the multivitamins also.

10.00 - Multivitamin
.59 - taxes
------
10.59
- 1.50 - 15% off
- 1.00 - coupon
-------
8.09 - got back a $10 RR making 1.91 on each one. I got 2. I was down to about a half a bottle of vitamins that I got free in January so it was good timing.

I got a letter from my old employer saying I still had some money in my 401K. I rolled everything over to an IRA last year, so that was surprising. I had 115.xx in my account from a settlement of 8 years ago that just now was dispersed. Nothing like expediency when lawyers are concerned. Anyways they are just sending me the cash. Always nice to get money out of the blue.

I finished reading the library book Demon Night by Meljean Brooks. Paranormal - excellent.

2 year anniversary

August 1st, 2010 at 01:06 pm

I retired 2 years ago today. It is still wonderful. I sleep at least 8 hours a day. I don't have aching shoulders at the end of a day working on a computer. I don't have a constant headache - most of the time. I still get weather and allergy related headaches, but not as many stress ones. I've lost some weight. I'm eating better. I haven't done anything special, I've just lived the way I want to live and enjoyed it.

I've never lived in the past. I don't have a lot of memories of the way things were. I figure the past is over and done with. You can't do anything to change what happened so it's not very relevant to me. My sister lives in the past. Hoarding all the hurts from over the years. I think that's not a very healthy way to live.

Before I retired I always lived in the future. When I was small it was "I can't wait till school ends, or starts, or it's christmas, or I can drive, or I can move out of the house etc"

When I started working it was "I can't wait till the weekend, or my vacation, or my next raise". Once I made my goal to retire early much of my thinking was "I can't wait till I retire".

Now that I'm retired I finally live in the present. I don't really think about the future that much and if I do it's usually just a couple of days or maybe a week ahead. I enjoy this. It seems to be calmer and more satisfying. The future can finally take care of itself and I will enjoy each day on it's own merits. The day doesn't have to be special in any way. It's special just because I can do what I want as I want.

I finished reading my book Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole. Paranormal - excellent.