Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Grab Bagging Into Cape Cod

Welcome Blog Hoppers (and my normal blog visitors who may feel like they just clicked into the twilight zone!!)  I hope most of you have made it over from Debby's Blog (I promise I tried to embed this like the others!)  ( to join me in the Club Scrap Cape Cod Blog Hop...(say that five times fast.)

I know my artistic talent is FAR surpassed by many of my fellow Hoppers and I guarantee you that they did not pick me to be last in the Hop because of my amazing creative ability or that they were saving the best for last. 

I was just the last person to sign up. (Shrugs)

I just hope I can make up for my crafty shortcomings with my slick, witty humor.

Today's focus is on the fabulous and already hoarded Cape Cod kit.  Now everyone raise their hands if they love the kit (right I see you all.)  Now raise both hands if you are saying there is no way I can cut into my wonderful Cape Cod papers to make cards (I see you guys too.)  So how about you pull out all those great Unmounted Stamps and make some cards with some Grab Bag papers.  What?  You don't have any Grab Bag papers?  Well I'm glad you asked because you can get your very own here (12x12), here (8 1/2 x 11), and I also like these (8 1/2 x 11 seconds).  When you amass a large collection of these papers you will end up with something like this...

Look at all that great card making potential!  So here's what I did, I pulled out some papers (Games Navy, Workbench Red and a Culinary White print (backside) and my Cape Cods stamps and I whipped out this little beauty.  The base card is just an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper cut in half and then scored in half again with mattes cut to fit.  No special formula this time.
 I was on a roll so I grabbed a couple more pieces from the box...
(Isn't it way better to have a cruddy picture with a cat in the way than a great blogworthy picture?)  This is some Architecture Grey, Workbench Silver, Down to Earth Green and another piece of the Culinary White print (turned over)-and one of my cats-A.J.  So I did the same thing with the papers (only the grey wasn't a full sheet so I ended up with this.)

A couple more stamps and I ended up with this...(I really need to use my real camera next time I do this instead of my iphone.)
Ok so I actually ended up with two cards like the one above and one card with the dark grey and silver but I hated the way I stamped on it and it's my blog so I decided not to post it!  Ha!  Finally I grabbed some Gratitude print, some Autumn Splendor light brown (and a Refresh text UM Stamp) and some more of the white and ended up with these...
So a whole bunch of cards with some fabulous stamps using some great papers that I got for a great deal-I've always been a bargain shopper!  (Note that I have been buying grab bags for a long time so your papers will be from more recent kits and will vary.)

So I sure hope you enjoyed your Blog Hopping today.  At any point you can go back to Club Scrap Creates to start the blog over or see a list of all of the Bloggers from today.

By the way-should Blogger be capitalized? 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

So Now What?

So this has been an up and down week so far (as it seems like they all have been since May 1st.)  

The good news is that blood work shows that the overall Cortisol level in my body is WAY down since surgery.  For example blood work from 03-26-2013 shows the level at 28 and then on 04-10-2013 it was around 30.  A normal person's should be between 6-19.  So, this was explaining the Cushing's symptoms etc.  Luckily the blood work from last Thursday showed the AM Cortisol level at 1.  Now this means that hopefully the adrenal tumor was the cause of the problem and it is now gone but it also shows I have basically zero normal adrenal function.  It means my other adrenal gland is still sleeping.  More like hibernation really.  Like a big black bear snoring on the right side of my body.  He's been enjoying his 2-3 year nap and doesn't seem to want to wake up anytime soon.

So in the meantime the Hydrocortisone I'm getting is what is keeping me functioning.   Sort of.  Between the surgery, the lack of adrenals and the medicine my body is a confusing mess.  Everyone is being so great and happy for the surgery recovery but so far it seems the medicine will be the devil of me for the next few months (at least.)  Any home remedies for waking a sleeping adrenal gland? 

I'm not too bad day to day until they start reducing the Hydrocortisone.  Then I start to slowly crash out.  Tired, abdominal pain, chills, nausea and just sort of this overall hazy feeling.  Like I'm not 100% present?  (Are you talkin to me?)  This appears to last 3-5 days but last time it got so bad I had to bump the medicine back up so I'm not exactly sure how long it takes before it evens itself out.  Then I feel better a few days and then it's time to lower the amount of medicine again.  Sort of a vicious circle.

All this is a little technical and TMI for most I am sure but again I wanted people out there who were searching for info on their condition to be able to read my experiences.
So there you have it.  I lowered meds yesterday in the hopes that by the weekend I would be feeling good enough for some Memorial Day company...we shall see!

Stay tuned for hopefully some crafting and cooking blogs coming up soon-all this medical mumbo jumbo is getting old...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

That won't be me...

Symptoms of Cortisol Withdrawl:
Abdominal pain, Confusion or coma, Darkening of the skin, Dehydration, Dizziness or light-headedness, Fatigue, Flank pain, Headache, High fever, Joint pain, Loss of appetite, Loss of consciousness, Low blood pressure, Nausea, Profound weakness, Rapid heart rate, Rapid respiratory rate (see tachypnea), Shaking chills, Skin rash or lesions, Slow, sluggish movement, Unintentional weight loss, Unusual and excessive sweating on face or palms, Vomiting

So I read a bunch of stuff before my surgery about how the withdrawl of Coritsol from my body, both from the adrenal removal and (hopefully) the cure of the Cushing's would be a long road.  There were all these side effects.  I'd be really sick, yadda yadda yadda right?  But the whole time I was thinking...

"That won't be me."

"I'm never sick."

"I'm not THAT sick right now so I'm sure it won't be that bad."  

"Not nearly as bad as all these horror stories you read online right???"

It's bad.  It's almost every single one of the things listed above.  Yesterday something happened that I don't think has ever happened in my adult life.  I couldn't get out of the bed.  I just laid there.  For hours.  In the dark.  I didn't even watch tv.  Finally mid-afternoon I moved to the couch.  Now luckily this adrenal "crash" that I experienced pretty much from Friday through yesterday I think was a direct result of them lowering the dose of my Hydrocortisone too quickly on Thursday.  So after a call to the doctor yesterday morning and upping the dose I was taking I'm back to feeling only "medium crappy" instead of like I was going to die.  (By the way I think I'm going to come up with a list of "how I feel" choices to pick from when people call or write and ask how I am.  Answers to chose from will include things like "Well I didn't hurt anyone today" and "I only felt like I was going to puke for 4 hours today, not all day.")

I don't say all this stuff for anyone to feel bad for me or anything but mostly for people who are Googling like I was and stumble upon this to see what it's really like.  It's odd too, the physical stuff is pretty bad but I will admit the mental stuff is a little scary.  I'm sort of in this daze.  Hard to focus, hard to get things accomplished, don't feel like talking out loud.  All of these things are so 180% away from my normal personality.  I think that was part of the whole staying in bed thing yesterday, not only did I feel horrible but I just sort of wanted to stay under the covers and make it all go away?

Wow-that was all kind of heavy and stuff-sorry about that...good news is I'm at work this morning.  Time to catch up on some things.  Apparently the people waiting to be paid don't really care about all the stuff mentioned above?  Go figure?  Bills are still due, payroll needs to be done, the mail piles up.  

Looks like this is going to be a one day at a time kind of thing.  LVP told me yesterday I wasn't Wonder Woman.  I was a little insulted...of course I am?  But maybe just not right now...  

Back to work...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

So one week post are things going?

Well to be honest, it's a little hard to say.  I'll start off by saying that the actual surgery was nothing like I expected and sort of kicked my butt.  I've had abdominal laparoscopic surgery in the past but this was nothing like that.  I knew they were going in through my side but it was kind of my side/back area and it left me all sore and bruised (big time.)  I guess when they move your organs around and stuff in there it can really mess you up.  Also apparently it took a lot longer than they thought.  About 4 hours instead of an hour and a half.  I still have some pretty significant back/side pain and it's just hard to get comfortable in any position.  

With some extra help last week from Dad and Mom and Leslie I was glad to be at home instead of the hospital and I'm trying to work my way back up to being able to do stuff (like putting on socks and drying myself after a shower-it's always the little things?)  I will say though that I actually feel worse than I did a couple days after surgery.  I'm not sure exactly why this is.  It could be the lack of Cortisol from the successful surgery (?) it could be the medication they are giving me to try to stimulate adrenal hormones.  Who knows.  Different websites and such warned that recovery would actually be worse than surgery due to the medications.  

So in the meantime I'm working mornings, resting in the afternoons and running out of programming on my DVR.  Hoping that in another day or so I feel like sitting up more so I can craft or scrapbook or something productive!  Lots of doctor's appointments in the next few days so maybe they will get all the meds straightened out and I'll start to feel a little better...

Thanks for all the notes and cards and such! (and thanks for not coming to the hospital!)