Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Past Few Months...

The past few months I've been having super weird things going on with my chest...on a few occassions I've ended up either at the ER or the local urgent care center (it just depended on which one was closer!) with a racing heart, throbbing chest pains, piercing head pains, difficulty breathing, extreme dizziness, unable to stand up and feeling like I was going to pass out at any minute. After the episodes, I would find myself absolutely drained for at least the next day, if not two days after. My body seriously felt like I had just run a marathon and all I wanted to do was sleep to regain some energy. Each time I sought urgent/emergent care, the attending physicians or PA told me "it was just a panic attack" and to go home and take care of myself. One PA even told me to go to a happy place whenever I started feeling bad. Really??? The girl who is always chill is having a panic attack??? I've never had one before and why would I start now?! I will admit I like to rant & rave, but that's totally different than worrying about stuff and letting it consume me--consciously or subconsciously. I tend to think my primary care physician is pretty awesome and will do whatever she can to make me comfortable...she knows I'm not one to complain unless I'm at my wits end with feeling crappy. We tried several different anti-anxiety drugs while we did a battery of other tests and guess what--the anxiety meds didn't make any difference. Dr. Morin was pretty sure they wouldn't but she figured it was worth a shot. Well, the stupid episodes continued and I would just let it run its course while curled up on the couch in a fetal position. I figured the hospital/stat care didn't do anything other than send me a large bill afterwards and yeah, maybe that would cause a panic attack! Anyhow, the first part of February I decided to cut out meat and see if that made a difference. I'd just had another attack so I figured it was worth it. About 3 weeks later, I was at my dr's for a follow up and she told me I was getting put on a heart monitor for 21 days. I was a bit frustrated about being hooked up to a black box when I hadn't had any episodes since cutting out meat and we were in the process of moving. It wasn't the most convenient time to be put on one but I was ready for some answers...I have no idea how many times I accidentally set off the heart monitor--it made this awful squaking sound so needless to say, it was a bit embarassing to be around other people and have this hideous sound start coming out of me! I wore the heart monitor for the 21 days and nothing happened. I was SO excited! I called my dr's office to let them know but then they told me I had to wear it an additional 2 weeks--so 5 weeks of wearing the stupid thing?! I decided to bite the bullet and low and behold, I started having episodes again during Easter Weekend. Ah, maybe they do know what they're doing after all! Finally, I was able to turn in the monitor and schedule my appointment with the cardiologist to review the results. Yesterday was the big appointment day! Turns out--I wasn't crazy! The symptoms were not in my head and they were NOT panic attacks. For whatever reason, the electricity in my heart exits out just like it should...but then it decides it's not ready to leave and re-enters my heart, causing my heart to short-circuit and go into tachycardic episodes. That's why my heart would hit at least 160 beats per minute for hours at a time! I kinda giggled at the thought and wanted to ask if it was maybe my brain and not my heart because ummm, yeah, sometimes things don't always connect in my head! Thankfully, a daily med treats the condition and if I still have episodes while taking the medication, they'll go in and burn some of the tissue that causes the short circuiting. He also gave me some tips on what to do at home during the episodes so that I can re-set my heart and not have to seek medical care. All in all, I was so relieved to find out that I wasn't going crazy after all! Part of me wants to write a letter to the doctors who told me it was all in my head and be like, "Hey--I wasn't freaking out, turned out my heart just needed reset. PS You suck. Love, Bria." But then I realized--it is a small town and maybe someday I will need them to reset me so it might be best to be a nice girl about it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Going Green!

When Justin and I lived in our duplex on Shirley Lane, we tried curbside recycling for a while...however, we didn't have much luck as the students didn't always pick up on the correct day and the billing was so screwed up.
The other day, I was cruising the Peoples' Grocery Co-Op website and they had a listing for a new curbside provider.
The company, Carnahan Curbside, is located out of Olsburg and the owner came with great references from my sister's mother-in-law. While checking out other providers in the area, I was very disappointed in the lack of information or broken web links. In my opinion, if you can't have a website in today's world, I'm automatically skipping over ya!
Last Saturday, I sat down at the computer and signed up for Carnahan and by Monday afternoon the bins were on our front porch! My anal retentive tendencies kicked in and I decided to place the bins next to the trash can so we have NO excuse for throwing out something that could live another life!
But the best part of Carnahan??? The payment is taken via PayPal so no need to keep track of paper bills, you can check all your account info online AND new referrals get free service and so do we!!!
Justin was convinced that recycling is going to be a waste of money and being the penny pincher he is, that's a sore spot! I'm convinced that we will break even--if not drastically reduce our trash fequency by recycling.
Per the photo, after 4 days of recycling we've collected a lot of stuff! Three days later and we've only used 1 trash bag in an entire week! I didn't take a picture of the bins after 7 days because it's a bit embarrassing to see all our rubbish! Oh, and please let me point out--the beer bottles and pizza box are NOT mine! lol
Just to prove Justin wrong, I'm becoming very conscious of the packaging that our groceries, take out, etc comes in. If we're paying for the service, we're going to use it as much as we can :-) After my root canal last week, I've had more than my fair share of milkshakes...as much as I love Sonic, we have to break up because their drinks come in styrofoam cups. I can't recycle that! At least I can break down my paper cups from McDonald's and smoosh it into the recycling bin :-) Simple changes such as your drinking cups, grocery bags, etc will make a huge difference in the long run
If you want to check out Carnahan yourself, go to http://www.carnahancurbside.com/; and if you decide to sign up, our reference number is "4y6y"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Reason I Love Margarine...

Growing up, margarine was like the forbidden fruit in our household. Mom was a strict butter-only cook and refused to ever replace it with the "good stuff." She tried convincing us that it didn't cook the same, had a different flavor and was bad for a person. And butter's not?! Lol
When my brother got engaged, I started working on a cookbook for his new wife. Shawn is notorious for being a picky eater so I thought it would help if Nikki had some recipes he liked, but also some of our family recipes.
I knew off the top of my head what recipes my brother would want from Grandma Marcene--her mashed potato recipe, her frozen peas recipe and the strawberry-jello-with-banana-slices recipe. Such recipes are extremely easy and require no secret ingredient, other than MARGARINE!!!
We used to get so excited to eat with Grandma & Grandpa because we could slather everything in the yummy Country Crock margarine...and thus, the start of my love affair with margarine :-)
Almost one year ago, I received the dreaded call at work saying that Grandma wasn't going to make it. She'd been in the hospital after yet another fall and during a stroke that morning, she aspirated causing her lungs to fill with fluid and her organs were failing.
Our family was no stranger to such calls asking the family to gather by her bedside. But this time it was the real deal--the "Energizer Bunny" was no longer and even her doctor said he didn't expect her to come back kicking harder than before. Deep down, I wished it was just another false alarm but this time was different--she was at peace and I knew it was finally her time.
We managed to get through the holidays without her or Grandpa and it'll be weird not having them at our wedding in September. But at least I can think of her and smile everytime I get to eat margarine :-)
They say the memories will always live on so here are my Top 10 Memories of Grandma:
10. Every Christmas when we were little, Grandma & Grandpa would take us to Concordia to pick out a toy at Wal-Mart and then eat at Burger King...oh what fun!!! Especially the year one of us kids caught diarrhea half way between Clifton and Concordia!
9. One time when we were at the Yellow House, I was spinning Shawn around on the office chair & Grandma said to stop before he threw up. I didn't believe her since it didn't happen right then, but it did later that night and I think Shawn made sure to throw in a little extra just to prove me wrong!
8. After they moved to Clay Center, I was picking on Shawn and Grandma threatened to bend me over her red checkered apron. But, I knew she didn't have a red checkered apron so I kept at it--I quickly learned that it was a reference to not an actual apron, but a spanking!!!
7. In grade school, we were told by our parents that we were no longer allowed to ride with Grandma Marcene. In fact, if they wanted to take us anywhere, Grandpa had to be the driver. NO EXCEPTIONS!!! And we couldn't tell Grandma why--that was the tricky part!
6. I vividly remember riding downtown in Grandma's Buick Park Avenue when she blew through a red light and then asked us what color it was! Oh, we thought it was the funnest thing ever and were so excited to tell Mom & Dad...however, that led to Memory #7. In her last few years, she no longer could operate the foot pedals, so she used her cane to do so; her crippled hands couldn't turn over the ignition, but a pair of pliers did the trick! All her Assisted Living buddies bragged about how she was such a great driver while we cringed whenever we found out she was on the loose!
5. The summer Shawn got married, I stopped by Grandma's Hospital room to find her watching David Banner's "Get Like Me" music video. I asked her what she was watching and she said, "oh, I don't know--one of the girls just turned it to this channel." If you know much about my Grandma, you'd know why I about died seeing her watching rap music!
4. During basketball season, I'd call Grandma before the KU tip-offs and she'd tell me who all the starters were that night and who was on the Injury List. Even at 90 years young and loaded up on meds, she knew her KU ball players and their stats!
3. When I picked Mitzy up from the breeders, I took her to see Grandma & Grandpa...in all seriousness, Grandma was very concerned about how I'd keep the cockelburrs off of her! Once I reminded her that I live in town, her fears were eased and she cuddled up to Miss Mitzy
2. During High School, I would stay at the grandparents' the night before my tennis meets and debate/forensic tournaments. No matter how early my morning started, Grandma was in the kitchen heating me up a Tasty Pasty Nut Roll
1. During Grandma's last "fun" trip to Manhattan shortly before she died, she, Mom and I went to lunch at the Wareham and Grandma even managed the elevator to my apt in Aggie Village. In her crippled state, this was such a big occassion for her! Hearing her talk of her days working at the Wareham, studying at K-State and describing how Manhattan was during the 1940s was priceless :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mitzy's New Bed!

We've found out that the animals LOVE running around on our hardwood floors, but they HATE laying on it! Mitzy never liked the dog beds I bought her in the past, but I figured it was worth a shot now that she has wood, wood, and more wood to lay around on.

I was in Walgreen's the other day with my mom & Aunt Sarah Jane....I figured I'd pick one up there but I had no idea I'd find the best dog bed EVER at a drugstore of all places!  Turns out, they had an animal bed of Maxx the Sock Monkey.  We've been trying to go with a modern-vintage theme for our house, so who woulda known their new bed would match our decor?!

Now Mitzy and Malcolm take turns laying in Max. It doesn't matter that there's another "generic" bed in the bedroom. When Mitzy's laying in Max, Malcolm will go creep through the windows for a while--then, when he's ready to hop in the bed for a while, Mitzy will go nosing around the house. I'm waiting for the day of when I come in the house and they're sharing the bed, cuddled in the Yin/Yang position!

I still can't post a pic of Mitz laying in the bed, but I will as soon as I can!