Saturday, October 29, 2011

Puffy face, throat closing allergies

You’ve GOT to be kidding me… so I go in for my allergy part of testing the other day. This involves needles…

First she swabbed down my back with alcohol, then numbered ALL over my back 1-25. These needles were like little pinches all over my back.

skin test back

(not me ^)

Each needle with a different thing I could possibly be allergic too. Leave it on for 15 minutes… Dr and nurse came back in and checked them all. I was allergic to none of these.

She said the second part of testing is on my arms… more needles. And she said these would hurt. 6 in each arm. Needle needles. Each one filled with more allergy possibilities.

arm allergy test

Again, alcohol on the arms, numbered 1-6 on the right. and 7-12 on the left… these needles HURT damn it. And instead of 12, I got 13 since one hurt so bad I jumped back and had to get it again.

I sing the Oscar Meyer Weiner song when I have to give blood, I sing (and I do not sing well) because I’d swear like a sailor otherwise. Takes my mind off of it, sort of, and it makes the staff laugh. So if I can make people laugh while they stab me repeatedly, bonus.

15 minutes again… man some of them itch… that can’t be good… whatever #6 was… I was sure I was allergic, the puffy circle was really red… and most of my left arm itched… oh this should be good.

Dr came in with nurse again, and she asked me if I was scratching all over my arms. I said I didn’t touch them. She seemed surprised. Great, so I’m SO allergic to these things it looked like I helped out the red process?

So I know your dying to know what I’m allergic to, so here’s the list (in order of least dramatic to most traumatizing to me)

1. Mold- as in outside plants, like the rest of the free world… whatever, this does suck because I enjoy gardening, but I wear my good gloves, and will just take some allergy meds OTC, and call it a day!

2. Dust mites – Well that’s just gross. And after reading this blog on them I was even more grossed out. One of those things you don’t want to know, but now that you do it’s STUCK in your head


And I know everyone has them in their homes. But thanks to the doctor for giving me details on the fact that they eat our dead skin cells, and now I’m allergic to them and their feces. Yummy.

3. … it’s hard to type… I cried all the way home… it’s not allergic like I’ve got to get rid of something… but it’s allergic like I need to NOT be so close to it… it’s my Sophie. I’m allergic to dogs?


This breaks my heart. I was told she couldn’t sleep with us anymore… but it helps her get over the loss of her sister, Maggie…Maggie and Sophie sepia

I made it one night with her on the couch and she was so sad the next day. She thought she did some thing wrong. I can’t do it to her. And until I have horrible allergic break out reactions I won’t make her sleep anywhere else. She’s 7 years old, and boxers don’t live much past 9. I won’t hurt my Sophie. I won’t. She sleeps with me. Allergies or not.

4…. #6 now this one is weird. I’ve lived my WHOLE life surrounded by these. I’ve never had issues, and I know allergies can just show up after years. But it’s hard because I’ve always wanted to work with them… Cats of all kinds are my favorite animals, and that hard. I started going to school to work as a Vet Tech. I mean I LOVE cat’s. Here are my two.


(My Chloe and Boobie MaGee)

My parents have ALWAYS had at least 3 since I was little, and they still do. Meet the current residents of the Cat family.

Annie Bananie… she’s probably my favorite, and yes I have favorites, she was bought when I was in High School and still lived at home, so she’s still a part of my history… and she likes me.Annie and Me. 07-11

Sassy (Sassafras) who was my Grandma’s cat till she passed away and is now adored by my sister… Sassy once hated me, but she’s come around to tolerating me. I can pet her, and take her picture, so I’ll take that. I think since Miss Abby came along she’s passed along the ‘Hate JCat’ torch to her…



And this is Abby… or Abacus the Evil to me. She HATES me. LOATHES me. When I walk in my parents house she is ANGRY. Hisses, spits, swats. And Siamese are NOT shy, she chases me around! Not my kids, Blue, or anyone else but me. Oh Abb… someday you’ll love me… so see I’ve got fuzzy friends ALL over the place so I just can’t avoid them!

Doc says I just need a Hepa filter for my art room where the cats live. I just worry… will I some day break out into puffy face throat closing allergies around my two favorite things? I mean when all my babies are gone am I going to have to stop having pets? Go back to my love for reptiles?

I mean I loved my turtles, iguana, gecko, newts, toads and frogs but they are SO different then the love you get from a dog or cat.

Until I break out in throat closing, puffy face allergic reactions I will forever snuggle and kiss and hug my fuzzy babies. I love them, and they love me. They rely on my love to get through the day, and I know I rely on theirs.

After all my tears, sadness, and my pity party for one over this news, I thought the thought I do every time I feel sick, or have bad health news.

“Someone out there is worse off then you.” and I know that I’m lucky to have the few issues I do. So I’ll take my asthma, and my 4 allergies. I’ll take them and be thankful for who I am.

JCat McGack

Monday, October 24, 2011

An app to set a voice free

Celebrating my mom's birthday at my house, after cake we were all sitting around watching 60 minutes, a story on Steve Jobs. None of us have iPhones, or iPads the only iPods we have have spinning wheels on the front of them. But we are always amazed at technology, and this mans story.

So after the Steve Jobs story, it goes into a story about parents who love this one app, specifically an app that helps people with Autism one we know has Autism, so I pick up the remote to switch the channel to watch the new series "Once Upon A Time" we hear these words from the 60 minutes episode...

In the weeks since Steve Jobs died, there has been an outpouring of gratitude from his fans for the way his inventions, like the iPad, changed their lives.
Among the most passionate are parents of children with severe forms of autism, especially those who can't speak and appear hopelessly locked inside themselves. Those parents often say these kids understand more and know more than they're able to communicate.

Myself. My sister. My Father. My husband. My Mom. We ALL heard it. We just looked around the room, and tears ran down my face... did we all just hear the same thing?!
Frances isn't Autistic... but she has Dystonia  This has stopped my sister from speaking since she was 15 years old. She's 30. She can hear, she can think just fine, but her speech is what has been stopped. (we do finger spell some things, but the Dystonia has gone to her hands a bit too, so some letters are hard to read)
We all know too well that Frances is trapped inside herself. That she can't truly express how she feels most times. Limiting her story or her input to a finger spelled word, yes, no, thank you, and I'm sorry are her main signed words, or what she types into her Sidekick for my parents to read (after they get their glasses to read the words she types) 
How is Frances? I mean as an update she is good. She had DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) surgery done years ago, she's tried the drugs with none of them working, some causing BAD hallucination side effects. Yes she is better off with the DBS surgery, with out the generators she would be 1000 times worse, but no speech, she is silenced. 

Until now... this app. it's new to us. Well the whole world of apps is. Yes we live under a rock, I mean we KNOW of apps, and how people love them. But our VERY budgeted cell phones allow us phones to talk and text on, so again outside of an iPod with a wheel on it. i-anything doesn't exist in our world. 
Of coarse we went right to the laptop and googled the app, it's called Proloquo2Go and found out that you can get it on the iPad or the iPhone, we were thinking that Frances doesn't need a huge iPad to lug around, why not an iPhone. I can't wait for the field trip for us to go into the Apple store as newbies.
But newbie's that are grasping onto some sort of hope that Steve Jobs created something that will let my sister not only talk through this, but be able to express her emotions as well. Where we don't have to stop and read what she is saying, that we can sit around and have a conversation and she can but in like I always do! 
I mean imagine, if you have a sibling, and when you talk at the table with family, and your all talking over each other, and you can't get a word in because they keep cutting in?! We want that. Blue has never heard his sister-in-law, and neither has my best friend.
I mean to be around my sister, my family and to have her chime in after 15 years of silence... I mean... just trying to wrap my brain around the fact that my kids will be able to hear and communicate with their Aunt... fingers crossed this works out, that this is a technology that will not fix my sister, I understand that... but a technology that  could set her free. 

Here's to you Frances, and to hearing what you have to say. ALL of it. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

In sickness and in health

The kids were sick, so I took them into Quick Care. Their doctor doesn't like my cough, so I go across the hall to get checked out too. She says I sound like I'm getting over a cold. But want's me to get checked by the Asthma and Allergy Doctor, oh and the Podiatrist for the warts on my foot.

Appointments set for the next week...

Tuesday I go in for my foot, find out Planters Warts are gross, and I've got about 7 of them on the ball of my foot. He scrapes my foot down with a scaple (shudder) puts on medicine and a thin patch. Says "See you in two weeks" oh and he adds "It's going to hurt a lot"

Just the first two days did I feel like someone scraped off the bottom of my foot and put acid on it. But after that it was more of a slight pain when I walked on it. Borrowed a crutch so I could keep the weight off it.

Thursday that same week I went in for my Asthma and Allergy testing. I did horrible. I couldn't exhale on any of the test with out a horrible cough afterwards. They sent my over for blood work, and a chest x-ray.

Later that night, I had a temp of 102, the next day my coughing was worse and my temp was 103.2... I freaked went to the doctor to find out I had Bronchitis. The next day the A & A doctor called to tell me about my results of the blood work and x-rays but I had already found out the night before. She was worried about my cough and put me on Prednisone.

The next day was my dad's birthday, and so we went out to my parents to enjoy family time. My parents brilliant neighbors started a fire on their property (when you live out with a lot of land you can do this, unlike us in the suburbs) and it caught my parents yard on fire, and the neighbor behind them.

I guess I missed the memo as to when you have Bronchitis, you should NOT breath in smoke for 45 minutes. I was worried about my dad being up in the woods putting out a ground fire ON his birthday and with the assistance of the lazy crew of neighbors who STARTED the fire, but bitched about it and didn't care how much of the woods burnt.

I realized around 1 am when I couldn't sleep, then around 2:30 I STILL couldn't stop coughing and fall asleep, at 3:30 I called the medical on call doctor and she refereed me to the Hospital.

I sat in the toy room, with the phone hoping I could just take a hit off my kids nebulizer and call it a day, but I realized that every time I tried to breathe in, it felt like a big puff of smoke filled my lungs. I packed some things in my bag, and got ready to go.

I told Blue I was going to drive myself to the hospital, and see what they could do for me. He looked at me, and I looked at him. In the 33 years I've been on this planet, I've never had to drive myself to a hospital. (I've been pretty lucky. I've been admitted to the hospital 2 times. Once for Tink, once for Buzz. THAT is it)

Got there at 4 am checked in by a past neighbor friend, so that made it easier. They gave me an hour long abuteral treatment, so I sat and watched 'The Duggars" finally around 6am I was sent home. Stopped by the ol' 24/7 Wallgreens for my codine, and some benzonatate pearls?

15 days of hopping on one foot,
15 days of taking drugs, drugs and more drugs.
15 days of sleeping upright on 4 pillows.
15 days of barking like a seal.
15 days of no coffee, bland diet.
15 days of pissing myself (thanks to childbirth for destroying my bladder)

Well today is day 2 of no drugs, day 2 of coffee, and holy hell I feel like someone took a bat to me. I'm guessing coughing like that for 15 days will catch up to you.

I don't take drugs usually. I'm not a fan. Even with a headache I try to see if I can go with out Tylenol. Hoping some coffee, food and rest will heal me. Not really sure what happened in October this year... I missed out on a good part of it.

Oh and my foot? I went back 2 days ago, doctor said "Looks about 80% better. We will do it again, and hope to get it all out this time" he proceeded to scrape my foot again, with a nice stab wound to add to it (oopsie. fucker) add medicine, another patch. AND another 2 weeks of hoping on one foot...

This sure as shit makes me not take for granted when I do feel better, and when I have access to BOTH of my feet to walk on!

Well that is what I've been up to. Happy Friday Blogosphere,

JCat  McGack
(oh and that post a bit back about eating well, working out. That is SO on hold right now... November 7th is the new start date... we shall see about that)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Silent laughter

While at the Yeehaw Parade on Sunday, watching 3 hours of Corn Queens on haystacks, tractors, and horses, my family on the curb and I sat out in the street to take pictures, I realize that right behind me this was going on.

It's my sister, Frances, and Tink. Frances was playing around trying to put a sticker on Tink and it caused them to laugh and just have fun in the moment. Glad I turned to get a great shot of them laughing together.

Frances has a silent laugh, due to her Dystonia muscle disorder, but Tink gets it, and she was laughing right along. It's moments like these that make my heart happy to see my children interact with their Aunt. Communication is very little between them, since the kids can't read her messages yet, and Frances can not talk.

I worry more of a distance between them. When all I want is for them to love her as much as I do. I know as Tink gets older she will want to learn more, and be a part of speaking on behalf of Frances, or speaking about Dystonia to others. She already does. We talk about it. When she was just 3 years old Tink said that a lady in the drive thru didn't say hello back to her. Like how Frances doesn't say hello to her either. I cried right there in the McD's drive thru, not realizing that so soon she would ask why. I explained that Frances loves her, and would love to say hello to her. But she can not.

Since then Tink has been very understanding, she and once in a while she will just out of the blue say something about someday they will find a cure to fix it so she can finally hear Aunt Frances talk... I sure do hope so.

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Victor Borge


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I fall in love with your Http://...

I have to say that I fall hard in love with new websites. 
When I was pregnant with Tink I was SO into Huggies Mom board. It was amazing to find out SO much about things, about babies, life, life with babies, having a life with babies. I was a dedicated fan and chatted daily all the way up till I had Buzz.

Once I had Buzz I got hooked on True Mom Confessions I was SO into it I was just a yes/no from being a moderator, but went with no because I knew I couldn't dedicate to it.

Along came Blogger. Well I have to say I fell in love. 
At first I thought I had to be a writer, like my dear friend Sass was. But she explained it's more like a journal. A way to get people to read you, comments are the best ever, and to try out the SITS girls, we were some of the first to join, and I won their first BIG giveaway (still wear my 'Comment Junkie' t-shirt!) 

They were a regular blog that featured other bloggers. Almost like a place for all of us bloggers to meet each other. Loved it. I made, and still have friends who are bloggers, I've never met before, and may not ever. But our blog stories, weather they are the same or complete opposite connect us to learn about each other, and to realize that we are not the only crazies out there. And on that note, we may not be that crazy after all.

That was Feburary 2007 that I met Blogger, that spring I found SITS girls, and 4 years later, 3 blogs later. I still think it's one of the best sites and communities out there. 

Along came MySpace. I loved it. I loved blinkies, wallpaper, and all things to make my page about me. My friend D and I were excited to find all of our old friends, but some of them were stuck on this 'Facebook' page and so we joined the boring, naked blah world of Facebook JUST to stay in touch with those friends.

And then everyone started going to Facebook... and stopped checking their MySpace page. (I think mine is still up and active, I SERIOUSLY need to delete it) and now Facebook... well you know Facebook. And for those of you reading this 5 years from now, who knows what FB will be, or if it will still be THE site to be on. 

Trending sites are amazing, this world moves so fast, and technology is just growing at a ridiculous pace. 
I love change, and for that matter I can't wait to see the new 'Timeline' Facebook Page. Some of my friends are jumping the Facebook ship already and running to the Google+ site. A Facebook wannabe. 

Change happens and it's good. I for one am SUPER excited about the 'Timeline' Facebook makeover. I'm hoping they give us a warning, not like last time they moved things around and everyone bitched for 2 days about it. 

I do have to say people probably laugh when I tell them I still have AOL as my email. It's the free AOL, and yes I've been a member since 1998, same email too. So I evolve with the rest of the world, love change, but if your a good site and your good to me. I'm dedicated to you and most people think your paying me to brag about you. (I do this with products too. I think CBS reality shows and Starbucks coffee are great examples of  how I go on and on and on...)

And onto the last two sites that I NEED to survive lately. One is Shutterfly a FREE picture storage site. That also gives you the luxury of making your own brag websites, and rewards you with free prints the more you upload to them. I make wonderful cards, photo books, and SO much more through them. The are a great company that I stand behind.
BUT let me say this, you can edit with Shutterfly. BUT it's limited... hop on over to a free photo editing site and your day is complete. Let me tell you just a few months ago I came across Paper Momma's blog and she had links to 5 different free editing sites. 

It was a toss up to which I should choose, so trusting the advice of my wonderful friend Sass, I went with Picnik  which is a cute site, that is SUPER easy to navigate. It's free, or for $24.95 a year, you can get more editing tools. Let me say I've been addicted since July and I am SUPER excited about the free part!

Note that Picnik does NOT store pictures. It just edits them! Right soooo... check out something I just realized almost 3 months later with Picnik... you know that cool black and white picture that those expensive mall stores take of your kids and pop just the color they think is right. And charge you out the wazoo for the shots?! 

Here's a brilliant idea. Take your own shots. Upload to Picnik. Edit. Store to Shutterfly and print.
Check out what I did while tinkering with some parade shots I took on Sunday...
 Parade Pass out, I JUST colored the kids...

This one's my favorite of the color pop. JUST Buzz's Wuzzy Bear blanket. LOVE it.
This was color pop, with some white haze around the edges and the Combustion set at about 76%. I want to know what sites float your boat. If it's Google Map (LOVE the Traffic button, and the street level is awesomely creepy!) is a must, Youtube is of coarse on the list, oh AND I Tweet on Twitter... when I remember. You can follow me at @JCat_McGack over there. 

Happy Tuesday!