Growing veggies!

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I bought some starter plants recently and they’re starting to take off!

I have three different sections. The peppers are on the left. The front is Poblano. Then I have three buckets of jalapenos. The very back is an older Serrano plant from two years ago that is still alive, but not doing that great.

The middle section is tomato things. There’s Lemon Boy, Golden Jubilee, Patio Hybrid, and Tomatillo.

The right side has squash! Green zucchini, yellow crookneck, and patty pan! I decided to put the patty pan in the biggest bucket, I don’t know why! 😁

I hope these do really well!

Either way, I need self care.

I had to go to the ER yesterday for mysterious chest pains. I’d say I’ve had about five episodes of chest pains within the last two or three weeks, but it was so fleeting that I wasn’t too concerned. It was more like I was aware. But they really only lasted about 20 seconds. It wasn’t such a pain that I struggled with it, it was more of a pulsating feeling with a light pain that simply let me know it was there. I was concerned, of course. It would sometimes happen at work when I am sitting at my desk, but most of the time when I was relaxing in bed.

But yesterday was different. I was at work, extremely busy. It’s been that way lately. The owner has been trying out new things and making changes, but it actually seems like he’s trying to give his employees ulcers and run his business into the ground. It’s the classic case of having a skeleton crew and working them into the ground, also compromising the integrity of the company. It’s been extremely stressful, but I have been pretty good about pushing on and sweeping my stress under the carpet just to get the job done. It doesn’t always help that my other office coworker is friends with upper management and can get away with doing less work and focusing more on personal matters, such as gossip, her cell phone, and anything else she feels like doing that isn’t work.

Anyways, back to my episode yesterday. I was taking and making a lot of calls, multitasking, and the chest pains happened again. My chest also felt tight, my hands felt slightly cold and tingly, and it started making me feel anxious. I felt weak and wondered what would happen if all of this lead to me losing consciousness at work. I wanted to take a break so I could process what was happening to me and relax to see if these sensations went away. But the phone was still ringing, my coworker was busy arguing for almost an hour with her bank about a missing deposit on company time, and I didn’t know where my manager was. I tried to keep working and ignore it, and it was unfair that I couldn’t just immediately create some space for myself to deal with my chest pain. I started getting more upset and anxious, and finally my manager walked into the office. I decided I needed to leave. I told her I was having chest pains and I should go. She seemed concerned and said of course I could leave, and I should call the doctor. I called the advice nurse in my car and she said go to the emergency room.

My chest pain went away on my way to the ER, but I needed to make sure I was okay. I got an EKG, some blood tests, and a chest X-ray. Thankfully, the tests they ran for my heart all came back good! I was very relieved. The doctor told me that she suspects my chest pain has been due to either acid reflux or stress. She asked if I eat a lot of acidic things, and I said not particularly. She told me to take note if I get chest pains again, and keep what I ate in mind. Honestly, I don’t even experience any of the other symptoms of acid reflux, so I am not going to dwell on that unless it’s further looked into by my doctor. As for stress, I told her I have been dealing with a lot of stress lately, and I am well aware that I usually sweep it under the rug. Most of my stress is from work! The only other things I have stressed over lately is my cat, and then I had to spend money on my car recently because one of my windows was having issues. Perhaps I believe I can mentally handle my stress, but maybe my body is tired of suppressing it.

And why wouldn’t my job be the main source of this stress? The fact that I felt I was too busy working to take a time out and concentrate on my chest pains is a sign of how stressful my job is. I had to make the decision to put myself first when I shouldn’t have even had to decide. I should have just walked away from the desk once I knew something was wrong and just left the damn phone to ring and ring. But no, I have to be too responsible and can’t let things in the office fall apart. Why should I even care that much at my own expense. Everyone else shits on that place, why should I allow myself to stress the way I do?

I am supposed to follow up with my doctor about my ER visit soon. I don’t know for certain what has been triggering the chest pains, but I do know I am stressed. The doctor said I should definitely spend more time on self care. I will because I don’t do it enough. And I should do so without explanation.

Post-Surgery Cat

My cat had surgery on the 18th. It went very well. He wasn’t himself afterward, as expected, due to the anesthesia and everything. It still stressed me out to see his spirits low and lethargic. Not much of an appetite. He had to wear two cones because he has a long neck. A soft fabric cone and a standard plastic one. The plastic one was so long that I feared he couldn’t possibly reach the food in his dishes. He would try to eat and give up. I decided to take off the plastic cone if I could be in the room with him so he could eat and relax, then put the cone back on when I leave.

Day by day, he started acting normal again, took his medicine with ease. This felt a little easier for both of us. The doctor told me they tested the tumor tissue and he is cured, which is great news! He would just have to keep the cones on and stay away from his tail until his vet visit on April 1st, which is this coming Monday. He didn’t seem interested in his tail at all. He was just enjoying the extra attention and spoiling. He took all his medicine and was healing great! It really felt nice to see his personality come back, even with a little extra!

But today something went wrong. I took the plastic cone off so he could eat before I left for work. I was in a rush and forgot to put the cone back on before I went to work. I came home and discovered he pulled at his stitches! I tried to take a picture to take a long look at it because he keeps moving around. There was a little dried blood and the stitches are obviously pulled. I don’t think he opened the wound, and really hope the bleeding was from the moving of the stitches.

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I was really upset, disappointed that I forgot the plastic cone. If his tail gets infected or healing takes longer, I will have let him down. I keep checking it and it looks like the blood as dried and healing has resumed, but let’s see what the vet says Monday.

Needless to say, the plastic cone isn’t coming off anymore. He will have to wear both cones until Mondays visit.

My cat needs surgery

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Well it turns out my little guy likely has a basal cell carcinoma tumor and it will have to be removed. They will probably take a few inches off his tail, but at least it seems it was caught early. I want him to have a long and healthy life, so I will do what I have to do.

I was able to give him the sedative but I could tell he wasn’t happy with it. When I took him back to the vet, it was a different doctor. It was actually the same nice doctor that euthanized Isis. I learned that she is the main doctor there! She was actually pretty amazing with Cootie! They had to sedate him further, but he was able to be examined and he’s a healthy cat, despite his age, and aside from that tumor on his tail.

He was groggy when I brought him back home and also the whole next day, but has been fine since then. His surgery is in like a week and I will feel bad when I have to sedate him and watch him go through the healing process. And he will lose a part of his beautiful tail. 😦

We celebrated his 15th birthday on the 6th. 🙂

It all started with a lump.

Just yesterday, I noticed my cat, Cooter, has a lump on his tail. I was petting him, one long stroke from his head all the way down to the tip of his tail, wrapping his hand around his tail all the way down. I usually wrap my fingers around his tail gently, but for some reason, this time I squeezed it just enough to feel the bones in his tail. He is a striped cat, and near the third stripe from the tip, I felt a lump on the right side. Not a pimple sized lump, but a small lump that is under his skin.

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I automatically got stressed. The first thing I began to fear is cancer. I lost my cat, Isis, on December 22nd, 2016. She had a lump on her ankle in 2015 and it grew. They said it was cancer and she got the leg amputated. A year later, she had more lumps in different areas and it was too late. I took her in to send her to Rainbow Bridge once I saw the beginning of her quality of life to degrade because I refused to let her know a worse level of pain. It was a horrible decision to make.

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Isis, December 2016

I have been meaning to write a memorial section on my site for her, and I will get around to it soon.

Anyhow, I immediately called the vet and they suggested I come in, made an appointment for today. I dread bringing my cat into the vet. He has a history of bladder crystals and he’s been blocked maybe about four or five times. I have to give him medicated food. Last time I took him to the vet was when he had an episode in 2014. Every time he goes to the vet, he acts like he’s 100% sure he’s going to be completely tortured. He gets violent when the staff tries to touch him. I have seen them break out with long gloves and a net, I’ve seen them get a little rough with him. I’ve been asked to place him in a plexiglass box to they can knock him out long enough to examine him.

Cootie is going to be 15 years old next month. He doesn’t need the stress of being roughed up by vet staff. Stress also triggers bladder crystals for him, so I hate seeing him stressed out. And using gas to knock him out is a risk for his heart. So of course I don’t take him to the vet unless I really need to. And a finding a lump means I need to.

I brought him into today and the vet assistant was asking questions. He was already growling so we let him stay in his carrier until the doctor came in. The assistant said when a lump is on the tail, it’s usually an abscess or cancer. I hated to know how high the odds for cancer are. After asking questions, she left and returned with the doctor sooner after. She was an older woman who quickly appeared to be scared of my cat. They brought a few towels in and tried to handle him, but he wasn’t about to let it happen. She quickly said she thinks it’s best she prescribes some Gabapentin to give him and help him calm down before I bring him back again. I told her I have tried to give him pills in the past and he refuses. I told her it would work best if she can make the medicine into a liquid compound that I squirt into his mouth and I would much rather pay for that. She called the prescription in and I am supposed to give it to him before I bring him back next Friday.

I tried to put the lid back on his carrier and he was hissing and swatting at me from inside his carrier. It was so frustrating and heartbreaking knowing my cat needs medical care but he just can’t handle visiting the vet. How will I ever get him the medical care he needs? I hope the sedative works and they can examine him next Friday. I need to know that the lump is NOT cancer.

Of course when he got back home, he was completely normal again.

 

Well that was short lived

I recently posted about the positive outlook on possibly returning to the gym without my back hurting as much, but I have been disappointed. I did something for work that required me to stand on a hard floor for four hours straight, and my back started to die about halfway in. It was very frustrating. It was like the pain was telling me not to get too brave because it’s not going away any time soon. It felt a bit better later, so I decided to do  Body Combat class that evening, but just modifying the moves to protect by back from any more strain. That was Thursday night and my back hurt the whole weekend.

I kept thinking I need to go back to the gym. I went to the gym three times within a week and didn’t want to lose the work I put in by backing away from going. My back was hurting on Tuesday, but again, I bargained with myself, thinking I could just go and do my best while moving cautiously to protect my painful areas. My back hurt the whole time and it was very angry when I got home. I even had to ice it. Today is a special Valentine’s Day Body Combat class that I really want to attend, but I feel myself getting pushed behind that fear of pain wall that is stopping me from going. It’s so annoying.

I’m not ready to go back to the physical therapist again. I have very little faith that they are actually even helpful. From my experience, all they seem to do is guess what’s wrong and use the least amount of their resources possible, and then have you do little stretches that don’t even work.

Day one of many?

After like two months of no gym, due to my back and stupid body hurting, I finally went to the gym! Yep, first time this year! I went almost a year with my back hurting almost every day, so I have been very reluctant to go to the gym even though it’s been feeling decent recently. Can I just enjoy being mostly painless for just a little while? Well I know I needed to return soon so I can get back to where I want to be. I started off today with a tiny bit of elliptical and a 30 minute Body Combat class. Lisa picked harder tracks to fill that 30 minutes, so it was a challenge. I feel so much heavier now. That extra weight sucks. But hopefully I can return to the gym painlessly to help lose some of the extra pounds. If I feel good tomorrow, I’ll go to the gym again!