Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So more tests...

I had a CT scan of my head last week, to rule out the tumor we know is not there...I have been feeling nauseated for months and months, and my gastroenterologist wants to rule out all the possibilities, thus the head CT. There were no other symptoms, but this way he can check that block and move on.

Friday I get to nave a gastric emptying study. I will eat a radioactive egg sandwich and then lay in a machine for an hour and a half while they watch how fast that egg sandwich leaves my stomach. The doc really doesn't think my stomach empties too slowly, but that is another cause of nausea and another block to check off.

Later in the month I have an abdominal ultrasound, I think to check out the gall bladder, but I am not sure. Another block, another check mark.

He also prescribed an anti-nausea med, but I took one dose and felt like I had been sedated. It made me a little nervous how sedated I was. Of course, being a massive control freak, I am bugged about being sedated anyway.

I also have another sleep study this month, wherein they will decide which CPAP machine and which pressure setting are the right for me.

And really terrific...I don't get any kind of bill or statement at all when I am seen at the Air Force hospital, and when I see a civilian provider the entire cost is covered. (There is a hoop to jump through, I have to get an authorization before I see the civilian provider, but mostly that's not a problem. With the huge exception last year, when the doctor's office and the local Tricare office -- Tricare being the military health insurance -- and the regional Tricare office yanked me around for a couple months over whether or not I was going to get the drug infusion to treat my Crohn's disease. But so far, the military hospital here has been AWESOME.

I don't think the doc's gonna find a reason for the nausea -- he's already done an endoscopy and saw no problems -- but I am hopeful we can at least find a drug to suppress it already.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The view from our front door. And yes, those are the woods where the bear killed the moose this summer, the day we arrived on Fort Richardson.

Termination Dust. That's apparently what they call the first snows of the season on the mountain tops. And it's here. I took this photo a couple days ago. Pretty soon we will be able to put studded tires on the vehicles (snow tires with metal studs in them to improve traction. They are not legal in most of the country. They are really hard on the roads -- many of the streets and highways around here have grooves in the pavement from the studded tires. )

I guess we can start expecting snow pretty soon. The temperatures range from the high 40's down to the mid to high 30's. Quite the change from Tucson...


Here are the photos as promised. Tess and I took these photos from the Suburban, because we didn't want to get too close on foot.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Awesome Photos...

Trapped in my other computer.

I really loathe computers.

There's an area where they did some work and the ground was all torn up. So they sprayed this hydro grass seed stuff there, which works great. Now instead of torn-up mud, there is thick luscious grass. And two days ago, it was pretty sunny out.

Thick grass, sunshine = MOOSE! Three of them, snacking on this grass, just a block or so from our home, so Tess and I drove over there (because you just don't walk up to moose. They are cranky.) and got a couple of really good shots of them.

Because of a bunch of boring and tedious factors -- stuff so boring and annoying I just don't want to be bothered to explain and which you should be grateful I am sparing you... I can't load any of those great photos today.

But I will work on this stupidity and get some photos posted soon. Because along with the moose sighting, we have termination dust. That's snow on the mountain tops for you non-Alaskans. And gorgeous yellow trees -- I am so thrilled to be back in an environment where we HAVE AUTUMN!!!

In other news, I did a sleep study and have the tendency to stop breathing when I sleep. Up to 11 times an hour. Sleep apnea, in other words. Next month I will have to do another sleep study so they can fine tune my CPAP machine pressure and all that stuff.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Thirteen things I have spent money on lately...

1. Gas is down to $4.21 a gallon these days in Anchorage.

Down from $4.39 a few weeks ago.

$100 doesn't fill my gas tank these days, not the Suburban's gas tank. Very good thing we don't have to drive very far these days. (I know, we should replace it with something that gets better gas mileage, but it runs really well, it's in pretty decent shape, and the dogs are happy to ride in it. Mojo doesn't ride well in sedans.)

2. School supplies. I could not find a package of notebook paper anywhere in Anchorage, and ended up buying a couple non-spiral binding notebooks for Thor. I guess we are back to the Moscow rules of shopping -- if you see it and think you will need it, buy it. It won't be there tomorrow.

3. School clothes. My favorite was a t-shirt I got for Zach that says "the working man is a sucker." Next favorite -- pants for Tess that are actually girl pants (she usually prefers basketball shorts and boys cargo pants.)

4. Books. I find my way to Barnes and Noble even though it's surrounded by those one way streets. Plus Costco has new books all the time and I know how to get there.

5. Dog food. We switched to the organic chicken dog food from Costco because Abe seemed to not like the Kirkland dog food, and they had fairly substantial piles o' poo, which means they are not digesting enough of the food. And yes, organic dog food costs more.

6. A memory stick. Because for some stupid reason, my stupid new computer suddenly decided my stupid external hard drive should be the G: drive. It had been the F: drive, and some of the applications cannot be convinced that the external drive is there. So now we have a stupid memory stick stuck in the front of the computer as the F: drive.

Have I mentioned lately that I hate computers?

7. Textbooks. Just the beginning. Zach is going to be taking biology and physiology and chemistry and anatomy. Big bucks there for his textbooks. Plus we have 10.5 more years of college to pay for.

We are very hopeful the new GI Bill will actually help pay for the kids' college costs, like it's theoretically supposed to...

8. Starbucks. Not as much as I would like (see #1 -- it's not cheap to get to the coffee shop...), August was sunnier than July. Which wasn't hard, sort of like winning a million dollars is better than being hit in the head repeatedly. But it was still cold and grey and yucky too much, and a nice hot cup o'expresso with milk and caramel really hits the spot on cold days.

9. Tess's birthday presents. She will be 12 !!!!!!!!!! on Saturday, which is freaky. My baby is 12. I am old. She wants to go to the zoo and then have homemade potato soup. And open lots of presents.

10. Utilities. Well, luxuries, maybe. Since we live in government quarters, we don't pay for gas and electricity and water and sewer, but we do pay for the internet and cell phones and cable tv and a land line and Netflix. All of which are not luxuries, but requirements.

11. SHOES. I got a great pair of clogs at DSW. I love DSW. It's a huge discount shoe store. Weirdest thing...Zach actually got more pairs of shoes -- three!!! -- the last time than I did -- only two ;(. There is no DSW in Alaska. Zach needed shoes, so we went there when I was in Tucson for his freshman orientation. But DSW is now online, the clerk said. I have not checked it out yet. Because I just unpacked the last box of shoes, and I have reached the point where I must get rid of shoes before I buy more.

12. Tuition. The first of 11 straight years of tuition payments (assuming each kid goes to college right after high school, Zach's senior year of college will be Thor's freshman year of college. I will not get any new shoes that year.)

13. Groceries. Suddenly I am spending over $300 when I go to the commissary (the military grocery store). I was spending around $225 when we lived in Tucson, and Zachary lived with us then. The $300 is groceries for a couple of weeks, although I buy the basics - bread and milk and fresh fruits and vegetables -- more often. I am still getting used to the idea that it really does cost more to live here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Random photos.

This is my big back yard (okay, it's half an hour from my house, but still. I can drive here and enjoy the view. )


My kidlets.