Chronic Pain

A 51 year old female living and dealing with lumbar back pain and fibromyalgia. Sharing things I do for relief, reduce stress and control weight gain.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The good and the bad

The good....Met with Mr. R this morning.  We did a lot of good in an hours time.  It usually takes a little longer.  I've been needing to seem him for several weeks now because I was down to one program I could tolerate.  I text him a couple of weeks ago and I didn't hear back from him so I just pushed it a little longer.  He's told me time and time again if I don't answer you please please bug me.  He gets so many emails and texts every day from patients it easily happens.  I could have done that but it was just as much my fault as his because I really wasn't wanting to go through the process.

Saturday I was so annoyed with my stimulator I could have thrown the remote across the room.  9 programs and 0 working.  Twice during the day I took the time to give each one a try again.  Being a 9 on the pain scale day you just couldn't deal with me.  My husband was tired of hearing me gripe about it.  I think he was worried I'd really slam the thing across the room.  It was just so frustrating.  I sat down to text Mr. R and realized his number was one of the ones that didn't transfer to this temporary phone so I was in a pickle.  I found his associates number and text her but by Sunday afternoon no word back from her.  Finally I remembered I had his business card in my charging bag.  I text him and begged to see him ASAP.  He put me down for this am @ 9.

When he came to get me from reception area the first thing he said to me was an apology for not replying a couple of weeks ago.  He fussed at me because I didn't bug him.  I told him no worries it was just as much my fault.  Desperate now, I was definitely planning to bug you, I told him.   Within an hours time he had three new programs for me that I hope stick around for some time.  One is the best I've ever had.  Puzzles me why they just don't last.  I asked Mr. R about this and he said everyone is different.  He has some cases he programmed a few weeks out from surgery and never needed again.  Some people call him once a year and a handful that he sees several times a year.  He said my case was difficult from the start.  We've always had trouble finding that "sweet spot" so it's not surprising to him that I continue to need reprogramming.  I can live with that as long as we don't get to the point that we can't find a way to make it work.  

He shared with me that St. Jude has a new battery coming out in 2-3 years.  It's still in trial right now in Europe.  When it is cleared to be on the medical market he said it will be perfect for me.  You won't feel any stimulation at all.  It will just work without the stimulation.  When you turn it on it just blocks the pain but you don't feel anything.  So if it's zapping me in my stomach it wouldn't matter because I won't feel it.  This news gives me hope that things can get even better.

The bad....on the scale today I'm UP half a pound.  139  I started weighing everyday the day I started the new water drinking method.  I wanted to see if it was making a difference.  Everyday that I weighed I was 138 which was half a pound down from last week on Tuesday.  I started weighing everyday on Thursday.  So how shocked was I when I weigh today thinking it might even be lower and bam it was up!  They recommend you shouldn't weigh everyday for that reason.  Your weight can fluctuate day to day when dieting.  If I wouldn't have been doing that I probably wouldn't have been so disappointed because I would have looked at it as up half a pound and not a whole pound.  

So needless to say I did not feel the need to snap a picture of this "weight gain".  Figured you all would take my word for it.  I've been pushing myself hard in the pool since I can't do anything more than I already do on my recumbent bike.  Previously I mainly was doing PT exercises and stretches.  I've been swimming laps and water jogging so maybe I've put on some muscle?  I was shocked at the calories you burn water jogging.  In 10 minutes it is as much as I burn 30 minutes on my bike.  

The bursitis in my elbows and knees is giving me heck.  I really thought the additional time in the pool would help but it seems to be making it worse.  My elbows are keeping me from sleeping.  Every move I make wakes me up.  I've been staying off the free weights to see if that would help but it's been a month now and seems worse.  I have an appointment with my rheumatologist next month hopefully he can give me some advise. 

I've had my feet up and on the heating pad while typing this post.  Time to get up and get something done around here.  I want to try and pickle some of my banana peppers.  To many to eat.  I've been putting in everything from my salad to on my sandwich.  

Hopefully next post I have pictures again.  I haven't tried to put pictures from this "other" phone onto my computer.   I'm afraid it won't be as simple as with my iphone.  It takes awesome pictures though.  13 pixels.  I took a picture of my husband in the pool last evening from some distance.  My dog just happened to be on the steps of the deck.  I noticed when I zoom in to just him in the photo it doesn't even get blurry.  That part of the phone I love.  It takes better quality pictures than my iphone.  

Enjoy the rest of your week.   
Not giving up H.O.P.E.

Six steps to successful communication
Think of the word "ladder" to help you remember

L ook at the person speaking to you
A sk questions
D on't interrupt
D on't change the subject
E mpathize
R espond verbally and nonverbally

Friday, August 23, 2013


Water, something we all need.  Something we can't survive without.  How much do we really need?  That my friends, is something we all try to figure out.  Over the course of the last 10 years as I went on and off diets I still tried to drink enough water.  The Institution of Medicine (IOM) says that 15 plus cups a day for men ( thats 125 oz ) and 11 a day for women ( thats 91 oz) is recommened.  This is total fluid intake from all food and beverages.

80% comes from drinking water and other beverages and 20% from food we eat.  If these percentages are accurate for us based on our food intake that would make 9 cups for women and 12.5 for men.   I know 20% to get from food seems like a lot, but there are more foods than you think that have a high percentage of water.   Look it up you can find a huge list.  Eating these foods can help you increase the "fullness" factor.  Some experts say when asked who much do I need that you can purely judge by the "follow your thirst theory".  I think thats fine if you want to make sure you stay hydrated.  If your trying to loose weight and you follow this guideline you won't get enough water.  I always drink more when I am dieting.

I'm one of those people who never leave home without my water bottle.  I can't stand to be thirsty and not be able to have some water on hand.  If I'm shopping and have finished my water in the car, I'm very willing to pay that buck fifty to not have to wait until I'm home to drink some water.  But am I really getting enough water?  How much do you think is enough?  Enough to quench your thirst?  Enough to loose weight?  I always have on my mind, "Drink some water" dieting or not.  Not drink "more" water.  

A few years back I heard somewhere that you take your body weight divided in half and that is the amount of water in ounces you should drink in a day.  For me that would be 69 oz's.   So that would be 8.625 cups of water.  That's not a lot.  The problem was I never took the time to see what 6-8 glasses of water meant.  Meaning, when they say a glass it equals 8 oz's and that equals a cup readers.  Stay with me, I'm getting to a point.

I mentioned in an earlier post about leaving one app and changing to another for my food diary and tracking my calories.    In doing this I connected with an individual that had a weight loss victory and offered me an opportunity to hear his story from his FB page.  I let him know that I was not on FB so he gave his website address.  I was able to watch some T.V. interviews regarding his successful weight loss story.  He has written a book on how he was successful in doing this.  "Losing Weight is Easy"  by Blake Slyvia.  Webb address is  You can check it out for your self but I will tell you what I took just from listening to his testimony.  bda=before/during/after  Drink your water before during and after.  It's not just important to drink it.  It matters when you drink it.  

We've always heard  that drinking a glass of water before eating helps you to feel full and eat less.  Honestly, I never do it.  I'm always sipping on that big bottle I carry around so I don't feel the need to.  I do drink lemon water with my meal 80% of the time.  I've read many articles and seen on health shows that your food digests better with water.  Even more so with the lemon.   I even heard to not drink during the meal but after.  I can't tell you what the reasoning, I don't remember.  Blake talks about drinking the water before you eat, with your meal, and after your meal.   I really put some thought into this and took time to make sure of what equaled that glass.  8oz's  Remember?  The cup.....I poured a cup of water into my favorite cup to see how much it was visually.  Then I drank it all.  All at one time.  It wasn't hard and not overwhelming like looking at my "big mug" of water.  When I see that, I realized it overwhelmed me and I didn't think I could possibly drink more.   

After finishing that cup I refilled it to drink with my breakfast.  As soon as I finished it I made my ONE cup of coffee I love.  That's how I usually get my morning water done.  I don't allow myself the pleasure of a cup of coffee without drinking water first.  I finish breakfast and I'm so full and thinking how am I possibly going to drink more water?  Already forgetting it's just a cup!  An 8oz cup of water.  Why do they say a glass?  That sounds like so much more.  Turns out it went right down and I felt full.  Not "stomach ache" full but "good" full. 

 I decided to try something.  I took out a sharpie and wrote on my cup.  111  As I drank more cups between breakfast and lunch I started to see that 9 cups of water is really easy.  Just using the bda method gives you 9.  Anything in between is lagniappe.  Every cup I drank I made my mark on my cup and before you know it I had 9.  It just seemed so easy.   I tried this yesterday and today and I can tell a difference in the way I feel.  Do I believe it is going to drop my weight faster?  I don't believe it will.  I do believe without a doubt that I'm not feeling hungry and having to battle staring at a big thing of water and convincing myself I need to finish it and more.  Before by in between snack I drank the same way.  bda  Soon  I was thinking I need to write about this on my blog.  Some of my readers may look at water the same way I did.  

I have not read Blake's book nor am I trying to promote it.  You can check out his FB page or website to decide for yourself if your interested.  Obviously there is way more to his book than when to drink your water.  He seems very committed to helping people who need support to get started on their weight loss journey.  

On occasion I watch Dr. Oz depending on the subject.  Chris Powell was on there today so I decided to watch.  He is a personal trainer and host of Extreme Weight Loss.  I've never watched the program but my husband has.  He's been pretty amazed by some of the stories.  
He said something today that I said found useful.  Calculate the number of calories you should be eating by taking your weight and multiply by 12.   Doing this to quickly check it out I discover my goal is 200 calories over.  My weight loss has been slow but it's working so I'm going to leave things along.  I'd like to see what changes may happen with my new way of drinking water first.  It will probably just take longer to achieve my goal.  If I were not able to exercise I'd definitely adjust the goal.  

I hope this post gives someone some useful information or possibly some hope that you too can set some goals and achieve them if you put your mind to it.  If you have a computer or a smartphone you have plenty of tools right there to help you.  Good luck and happy dieting.  Drink up....water that is!

Living with H.O.P.E. (hold on pain ends)

In memory of Olivia Grace Caston; born June 7, 2013    In the words of her MiMi
"Now in heaven as an Angel August 23, 2013 (her original due date)"
May God touch her parents hearts and ease their pain of losing this precious gift that was theirs for just a short time.   So many people are praying for you and your family.  God Bless

****Mimi is a friend of mind.  Being a grandmother and also "expecting another"  my heart simply aches for her very deeply.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One more down

A little more progress.  Down one more pound.  This is going to be a slow process I can tell you.  Heres what's happening.  I have a calorie limit which I don't meet then add in the exercise and I have a bit more added to daily allowance.  So what do I do?  I feel free to eat more.  Not because I'm hungry but because I CAN!  This can't be good.

The program I switched to has an awesome support system if you need it.  I don't really think I do, but I decided I needed to justify my unjustified behavior.  I started a conversation about it and within minutes I had numerous responses.  Well what do ya know, everyone said, "It's your calories, eat them and don't feel bad about it."  Just what I needed to hear.  One thing I don't like about the layout of this application is when I add in the exercise it adds to my daily limit.  Of course this is what I will try and blame this bad habit on.  On weight watchers you just earn them and they are there.  It's not so enticing if you don't see them within your allowance.  Does that make sense?

I find it easier to cook something healthy than not.  Sunday for dinner I had a 6oz grilled breast which I had marinated over night.  It was nice and tender.  No knife needed.  A baked sweet potato and some corn on the cob that was off the hook.  We had some friends over on the 4th that brought fresh corn to put on Dru's grill.  We've grilled corn before but not this way.  He soaked in cold salt water (husk on) in a pan for 15 minutes.  The husks stayed on while on the grill.  I did everything the same but in my rice cooker instead.  That corn was so awesome.  Didn't need anything.  No butter, salt or pepper.  I assume leaving the husk on makes the difference.

I know my chicken looks really funny but I cooked in an iron skillet and I let it brown pretty good.  It was still juicy and tender.  It cut it in strips after cooking because it was 12oz and I only wanted 6.  I ate the other 6 in a salad the next night.

That evening I finally got around to making me some more breakfast egg muffins.  I love making these because it's so nice to have something quick and easy to eat that's not frozen out of box. This time I added broccoli florets in them.  It added some texture and additional flavor to a food that I'm really not that crazy about to start with.  For some reason I like them like this though.  Not scrambled, fried or boiled but baked!

Now they go in baggies and into the refrigerator where they are good for a week.  I have one with two slices of turkey bacon.  So quick and easy.  Everything in the microwave.

My son stated a new job yesterday and I'm so happy and proud both for him.  He is learning a trade and working on getting back on his feet and not dependent of his family so much.  It is a real change for him to leave a world of something he is so comfortable doing.  I personally hate leaving my comfort zone.

Hump day tomorrow!  Good night everyone.  Gentle hugs!

Friday, August 16, 2013


When I first lost my job in May of 2011 I went crazy with some time on my hands.  Of course I started a job search right away but my life had many changes happening in those three months following.  I don't remember how I stumbled across the first survey site but I remember learning that there are so many of them and some are not for real.  You do your part but they don't do theirs.  

I wanted to do this in my spare time so I signed up for a few.  Like with anything else your name gets around and other companies asked me to join their site also.  Some I accepted and some I did not.  There are different rewards for giving your time to take them.  Some give you points based on the length of the survey.  Short surveys = small points and longer ones = bigger points.  Up to 50 maybe?  When you reach a 100 you can cash out or just let them build up.  This particular site, my first, I've earned $10 quite a few times.  You can donate to charity or have it put in your pay pal account.  On average it takes around 3 months for me to get to that amount.  I've done it in a month, sometime 2 but the longest is 3.   Last year at Christmas time I ordered some things on line and paid with my pay pal account.  Kind of made me feel like it was free!

I know $10 dollars doesn't seem like much but it starts to add up.  I don't even save mine.  As soon as there is $10 I move it over to PP and let it sit there.  Another type of company  gives points for trying products in your home.  It could be something new and improved and it could be something brand new that hasn't been on the market yet.  Here are some examples of what samples I've been asked to try:

Cake mix: 4 each, 1 a week and a survey to follow on each cake.  To qualify for completing you had to bake and complete the survey that followed each one.   Oh gosh, they were so good and I had no argument on trying chocolate cake.   After completing last survey I received a larger than normal amount of points. ( can't remember the number )  

Another time I was asked to try a new product that was being tested to see if favorable to put on the market.  Cheetos with filling in the middle.  Of course they ask you to not share this with anyone, eating or speaking of.  They were good.  My husband liked them too.  Same deal, filled out survey and received larger than normal points for a survey after finishing.    I've never seen the product on the market so I guess the responses were not positive.  

I recently broke my watch and one of the companies I do surveys for doesn't payout cash.  You earn points for prizes or gift cards.  I decided to take a look and see if I could find a watch that would be ok for everyday use.  I didn't have a lot built up but found one that I could get and it's a pretty decent watch.  Serves it's purpose, so I'm happy with it.  It is gold/silver mix with links.  I wear both, so it was perfect.  Plus it was free!  Just cost me my time.  
sorry it's blurry :-(
There were many other things to try.  One of the last was some tissue paper. lol    In the survey I said I wouldn't use this kind.  (They asked about different brands)  Turns out it was the brand I said I didn't care for.  In the end when they told me brand, the one I said I wouldn't buy, I felt silly because I gave it all good ratings.  Honest ratings, it is good tissue.  

Secret is out....Quilted Northern!
The most recent thing I've been asked to test is the new Galaxy S4 smartphone.  In the survey they asked if I'd be willing to use for one month, take a survey during use and another at the end.  My reward if I follow through is a $50 Amazon card and I get to keep the phone.  I ended up getting picked and the phone arrived on Wednesday.  Wow, what a difference from my i phone.  Apple is just so easy to use!.  A friend has the same phone and told me once I figure every thing out that I'd probably love it and not want to go back to the other.  They asked me to keep notes of questions, things I like and don't like.  There are several things I really love about this phone, but several I DON'T.

One of the first things I missed right away was my Fooducate app.  An andriod phone has the app but it doesn't have all the features.  Important ones I wouldn't want to do without.  I had to go with another and I'm not as happy with it.  I miss seeing the weight watchers points listed with other results.  It wanted to limit me to 12oo calories a day!  Are you kidding?  No way.  I'd starve.  I had 2000 with Fooducate.  I managed to get the app to let me adjust that amount.  I'm trying 1800.  Oh well.  It's only a month then I can go back to my other app I prefer.  Unless.....I decided to continue to use this phone.  Doubtful.

The last one I'll mention is a survey co that just random sends me a survey.  It always says you'll be entered in a bi weekly drawing for a large sum of money.  I did it a few times and decided I was going to stop that one.  What's the chance I thought?  Then a surprise came in the mail.  A $5 check.  It was from the survey company as a thank you.   I don't get one every time but I love being surprised by a check in the mail box.  Even if it is only $5.  I've continued to take them now and then and over the past year I've probably received a total of $30.  Not a lot of money but it's fun to be surprised.

Most recent surprise check
Hope I didn't bore you with all this survey talk.  I thought maybe some of my fellow chronic pain friends may want to look into it.  Some time I can't sit long enough to finish one but lying down I can usually get through it.  It tells you in the beginning how long it will be so you can decided if you'd like to take it or not.   I do feel however that if you don't take a required amount they will stop sending.  If you want to know some reputable ones email me and I'll tell you some names.  There are some you want to stay away from.  They cause you to get a lot of junk mail and you never get any surveys to take.  It seems when you do you never qualify.  

Have a great week end.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Happy Day of Birth A

Today is my granddaughters 4th birthday.  She is one special little girl.  I know all grandmothers think "their" grandkids are the sweetest.  A has a nurturing character.  She's been caring for her "babies" before she could care for herself.  Which by the way she did early on.  She was ready to potty long before most little girls her age.  And when she had "other business" if you know what I mean, she wanted a book and the door closed! 

1 year old 2010

Two special days in my life (apart from my wedding day and birth of my own children) is the day each of my grandchildren were born.  It is still so clear in my head.  I hope I never forget as I age.  I got a call shortly after arriving at work from my son that her moms water broke.  The plan was for A to be born at the hospital where A's mom and her moms family is near.  This was an hour trip from Baton Rouge.  They left not long after we talked and I became a nervous wreck.  I'd been anticipating this day for months.  All my co workers wanted me to leave at that moment.  I wanted to wait and see when she arrived and make sure it was "true labor" and she would be admitted.  I guess they thought I was selfish and why would I chance missing it.  I wouldn't dare, but my back surgery was 2 months and 1 week previous and I was still struggling sitting for very long.  My fear was driving there and turning around and going back.  

I decided to take my chances and wait.  I left at noon, went home and packed for an overnight stay if necessary.  All experienced mothers know that first birth can take quite some time.  So needless to say the overnight bag was needed.  I felt confidant I would be there in plenty time.  When I arrived little progress had been made.  Mom was pretty uncomfortable and dad was nervous and pacing.  Oh, and hungry!  The sweet ending to the story is that A came into this world, thanks to God, healthy and being her very dramatic self.  I tell her the story all the time of the male nurse who cared for her right after delivery.  He let us stay near and watch him do all the important little tests and they do right after delivery.  At one point he stepped from his station and said to us, "I know already, she will be an actress!".  To this day, she has made his statement true.  

here is that "drama" hours old
Nonna with A (1 day old)
The last I'll say on that is all my life I had wondered what it would be like to see my children become a parent.  It was a very emotional moment for me.  Her mom had to have a C section so us grandparents, family and friends were "waiting" for my son to come out and tell us when she was here.  Just seeing his face when he walked through those doors almost brought me to my knees.  We hugged and cried.  Both our lives changed forever.  

2 years old 2011

Her life has been different that most little girls but you'd never be able to see this in her manners or her character.  Although there are times when we wish/want more for her we know there are children who have much less in life.  She has two sets of grandparents that love her dearly.  Very different lifestyles which is an advantage for her.  Her mom's parents live in the country and she has had wonderful experiences growing up in a quite area.  They have a garden, animals to feed and does things that city kids do not experience.   She is exposed to things there that some never see the beauty in.  

3 years old 2012
When she comes here, another different experience.  One with her dad and even different with us.  We live close to everything you could imagine.  Not far at all to get to anything.  Our back yard has very little grass in it, not at all like her maw maw and paw paw's property.  She loves being at both places and takes with her different memories from each.  I know she is actually blessed in some ways that A gets to be exposed to different life styles and takes with her memories of all kinds.  She loves us all and prays for her family every night.

4 years old 2013

On to another subject!  Weigh in Tuesday.  When dieting I only weigh on the 7th day.  When I'm not  I'm constantly checking just to make sure things arent' getting out of hand. (as they did).  For some reason yesterday I got on the scale a day early because I couldn't stand it.  I just knew I'd gained.  I didn't care if it was the same, just let me not have gained I prayed.  Stand on the scale and was shocked!  Wow, 138.  That would mean and pound down from last week.  This can't be right.   I got off and got back on.  138 again.  This is great I thought.  I get to post some progress tomorrow.  

Why was I worried?  For starters I went to dinner with friends last Tuesday night.  I ate ok, well not really.  I had an appetizer (something I rarely do, spoils my meal)  My meal was a chicken breast with grilled veggies on top (sauce involved) broccoli and rice.  The other no no was the two mixed drinks I had.  I didn't even bother to look up to add to my program.  The rest of week went great until Saturday and I had a piece of birthday cake.  It was my granddaughters celebration with us so a good enough reason for me.  I love love birthday cake.  My weakness.   A friend of mine made the cake and her cakes are to die for.  Yummy!  Even had ice cream.

So you can see my surprise of why I saw that number.  No way I said.  My thoughts were right.  There was no way.  It just took another day for the calories to set in of the drinks, cake and ice cream.  Here is one day later.  Half pound up from last week.   Where I started two weeks ago.  Guess the cake and drinks showed up today :-{    I remember from last year that the first couple of weeks not a lot happens.  I did forget to measure and it was after lunch when I remembered so I'll wait and do that tomorrow morning.  Fingers crossed no changes there.

I'm so happy I'm home today with no where to go.  It's a 3 hive day and my night gown is best thing to be in.   I took the time to charge my battery last night knowing it had been almost a month.  Bad idea to wait that long.  It took an hour and 40 minutes to fully charge.  I've got to get on a regular two week schedule.

Happy birthday A....Nonna has been thinking of you all day.  Hope it has been very special and fun.  

Living with H.O.P.E.

Choose to.....

Choose to love..........rather than hate
Choose to smile...........rather than frown
Choose to build...........rather than destroy
Choose to persevere...........rather than quit
Choose to praise...........rather than gossip
Choose to heal...........rather than wound
Choose to give..........rather than gasp
Choose to act...........rather than delay
Choose to forgive............rather than curse
Choose to pray.............rather than despair

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week one

So the first week was not so bad.  I really haven't been hungry at any time.  It was more of a case of "habit" eating.  That's the hard part...the in betweens.  Very few snacks in the house and a lot of fruit.

This program I'm doing is based on 2000 calorie a day but it also tracks points for you also if you doing it that way.  I decided I'd just stick with the calorie counting for a couple of weeks to see how it goes.  Funny thing is I went over my points every day but one.  I feel like I get less food this way than on weight watchers so thats odd if you ask me.  

So here I am at a week.  Half a pound.  I'm ok with that because I lost half an inch in my waist.  (my bigger concern)  All the new things I bought after loosing 17 last year were looking and feeling to tight.  This is also bad for the hives.  I'm not going to let the scale drive me crazy like last time.  As long as I feel different and healthier I'm happy.

I scared myself a little this past week end.  I noticed a spot on my leg last Thursday.  I was shaving.  No doubt for me that it was not there just a few days ago.  It's really hard for me to see clearly past my thigh.  It's about two inches off to the side of my shin bone about half way down.  I simply can't ben over that far.  My dermatologist said, "watch for changes, or anything new".  Of course I thought the worst.  To me it looked like my previous melanoma but not raised.  I decided not to worry myself about it and just have it checked.  Heck, that's what I have health insurance for.


after freezing today...a little sore

As he walked in the exam room he said to his nurse,  "I don't think we can see her today wearing those Auburn colors!"  ( an orange top and navy skirt ) You have to know him, he is such a jokester.  I told him I felt silly because the nurse already told me it was ok.  He assured me I was not "silly" but "smart".  Waiting and watching is silly he told me.  99% sure not a melanoma lesion but I can't recall exactly what he did call it.  He froze it and said it should form a scab and come off.  If it doesn't then I need to go back.  Woo hoo, NO needles, lancing or cutting like last time.  Glad I went.  One less worry. I've have a lot of others though.  Which is why I had to dash off to my next appointment. 

I had my therapy session with LL after my dermatologist appointment.  We had plenty to talk about.  I just wish I could figure out the answers like she does on my own.  The good news ( if you can call this good) I've maxed out my co pay so for the rest of the year I don't have to pay anything for doctor visits.  I had cut back to every other week so I may return to once a week until the end of the year.  On Friday I have my 3 month with the PM doctor.  Nothing to tell there.  It's just mandatory.  Not like he can fix anything.  I sure wish he could explain those 4 weeks of pain on top of "normal pain".  Thank goodness it's settled.

My granddaughter came to visit this week end.  I feel so guilty because we didn't do much.  She's content with that.  The child spends a lot of time in the car so I guess when she makes it here she's happy to stay put.  We left the house one time to go to the $Tree. With an agenda.  1)To get these cookies that her and P love from there.   Nonna was out at home.  This is the one thing I wish I didn't have around here.  I couldn't let her eat the entire package. 2) To get her mommy and her maw maw a gift.  When she realized I didn't have these special cookies and we decided to go she asked to get them a gift.  You see she brought me a gift she picked out "just for me" and she knew I'd love it. A special flower with lady bugs on it's leaf tips. They wave at you as soon as the sun comes up.  Well, guess what? She picked for her home in Ville Platte?  The same thing.  LOL.  I thought it was so cute.  I asked if she was sure thats what she wanted for Maw Maw and mommy and she said, "yes Nonna, I love it.  It's so pretty".  Guess mine was to.  Such a sweetheart <3

Mastering a puzzle of the US of America
My stimulator is working pretty good.  I could use a tune up but it's not urgent.  I hold on as long as I can and usually turn on by 10ish.  If I turn on right when I get up I can't run until bedtime.  It just gets to annoying.  The first few hours it really feels soothing though.  99% of the time I turn off as soon as I'm out of the pool or finished riding my bike.  Within minutes of it being off I know that even though I couldn't stand it any longer, it was helping.  It's really hard to explain unless you know what it feels like.  

Having dinner with some friends tonight.  I'm going to try and not blow my diet. I don't do this often, so what the heck?  I may just have myself a drink...or maybe two?

Good night to all.  Living with H.O.P.E.  Theresa