Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting for a call

My "Patient advocate" with Workman's comp let me know she is now managing my care, and will make an ENT appointment for me... let me know where it is, and when -and send me as letter to remind me....
 Ummm... I was told by my Doc that this is really sort of urgent. Not sure I need to be having an appointment so far ahead that I need a REMINDER LETTER . Do they think I'm going to forget that I have no voice?

So as I was typing the above, my referral appointment from my Doc called. But I can't schedule with them because it isn't who WC SAYS I can use. Guess laws here are slightly different when its WC related.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where was I?....

Oh yeah. Doc appointment. Never mind I arrived at 3:15 for my 3:30 appointment. I was not called back until almost 4:30 pm, and the Doc didn't see me until 10 past 5. He was hasty... for him. He recommended an immediate as possible visit to an ENT (Ear nose Throat) specialist for a look at the vocal cords.
 Myself, I have become worried. I don't want to sound like this the rest of my life! What if's: This is how my grandkids remember my voice sounding? I can't talk to my Mom/ Dad/ kids? (Dad can barely understand me if I talk LOUDLY in a clear voice, before this) I can't talk to friends and family... because I simply have zero voice to use? I can't sing along with my favorite songs....
 I fret.

 My Mom's cousin June passed away Monday. She lived near Tulsa. We are headed to her funeral in the morning. (Mom and Ralph are here.) I knew June from the Taylor reunions... one of my favorite relatives there... the second we have lost on Mom's side of the family this month. :(

My voice is NO better. Thursday will be 3 weeks since I breathed in the acid fumes. Two rounds of steroids, faithfully taken... plus an added inhaled steroid. I have had to use the 'rescue' inhaler a few times in the last couple of weeks. Coughing up thick nasty stuff. The dry AC air seems to help a whole lot more than the moist/ humid air. I have tiny bit of "voice" after a few hours out of humidity. Weird, as humidity is supposed to 'help'.

 We had almost 3" of rain last night... in a VERY short amount of time! I am so thankful for the rain, we truly needed it! The weather has been 'cooler' so the AC hasn't been on... so I have got to breathe a lot of humid air... and can fairly state the humid air does NOT help me breathe. The humidity was so high today, we HAD to have the AC on, even with a high barely over 83*.

My most outstanding prayer requests are not for myself... what is a voice, after all? But for the Parker family  as Joshua enters  his last days. the doc's do not say he has 'months', but possibly weeks. His sister Bethany may well be in her final days, as the struggle to balance juvenile arthritis and heart disease wage war with one another. (Treating one exacerbates the other, so you have five year old in constant pain... )
and my friend Krista Malone- Bill's former boss. She has had to resign from her job due to health issues and complications from yet another vehicle accident. (She was hit- in no way to blame.) She needs financial stability.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Update on the Voice...

Originally, the ER Doc told me that if my voice wasn't 'improved' by Saturday, to go see my regular Doc.
By Saturday my voice was improved. Practically anything is an improvement over NO voice AT ALL.
So I didn't go see my regular Doctor. I expected my voice would continue to improve. It has not. At the urging of family and friends... and my boss.... I went for a follow up visit yesterday.
My doc put me right back on the same steroids I had completed a run of immediately after the incident. He also added an inhaled steroid. Asked if I had been running a fever. My answer was, "Not to my knowledge."
After listening to my chest, and turning his hearing aid all the way up and leaning in really closely to hear my answers to his questions... I was told I have laryngitis. (Duh, you think?)
So I was dismissed, and given a printout of my visit... including all the vitals they took... I was 100.1* ! That's a low grade fever- but for me, I can't ever get the thermometer to register normal. MY normal is in the low 97's.
I was ordered to NOT TALK. I may whisper if I absolutely MUST say something important.
Secondary follow-up will be Tuesday, and if I am still hoarse, I will be sent to an ENT for a look at the vocal cords.
That's all from me. You can call me, but I can only listen... so if you need me, text or send me an email or instant message.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

OK, OK... I'm GOING already.

Just because I can't talk doesn't mean I can't hear you.

After a couple days of prodding, my boss got hold of the powers in charge of medical issues at work. I jumped through all of the hoops like a trained bear... and go back to see my own Doctor tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.
 Knowing MY doc, that probably means I will get in to see him by about 6:00pm.
He is very good at giving each patient however much time they need- which annoys the heck out of the clinic staff. But the patients love him.

So anyway, he will listen to my voice, stick a stethoscope on my chest to hear the lungs, advise me that breathing battery fumes is bad for me. I'd really like to know WHY I am still not able to talk.
Again this week with the "Oh I bet your husband/ family is THRILLED!" comments.
Seriously, do women really talk that much?

Sometimes my voice is just a tiny bit 'off', but most of the time it is seriously off key. I've been told I sound like a teenage boy hitting puberty. I can go from deep and raspy to high and squeaky in one sentence.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Summer just keeps steaming along...

We are just few days from Grandson Tyrel's SIXTH birthday! I made him a little cowhide print vest- aiming for the Toy Story Woody look.
I looked up vest patterns online- then took a brown paper sack and made up my own. The first attempt, I was trying for reversible.  I couldn't quite manage it. And Mr C and the boys said it looked WAY TOO SMALL for a six year old.

So I tried again. The second one came out well. My worst moments were attempting to make a sturdy felt star. I couldn't get a template to download or re-size to what I needed. I tried free handing. I tried folding squares and cutting a bit larger than the small template. I tried five pointed stars, I tried six pointed stars. I butchered my entire supply of gold felt. I had purchased some yellow star shaped plastic buttons and resolved to just use one of those.
Sam spoke up and said that when he was a kid, if he got 'clothes' for his birthday, he was always disappointed... but if it was something like a vest that was REALLY wanted, and it had a lame plastic button or felt star for the sheriff's badge, it would of been pretty disappointing.
We had found a metal Concho star at Hobby Lobby. It attached with a thick screw- and I was concerned about it being held on with a nut, so I didn't buy it.
 I was running out of time to get it done and mailed off. I had to be in Siloam to take care of some business, and went on to see what Atwoods might have. There I found a string bolo tie with a sheriff-ish metal slide. I debated on that, or driving the 40 miles in the opposite direction for the Concho.  Being right there- the bolo tie won. It is simply pinned to the vest.

As long as the sewing machine was out, and I already had created two vests- I thought I would try my hand at some little tutu skirts.
Those are going OK, I have made two and have two left to do for grand daughters.
I am thinking maybe two more vests are in order- for Gavin and for Jasher. Alana is at the age where she would still (I hope) enjoy a tutu skirt. Gavin, I feel fairly sure will still like a vest. However- the older grandkids.... what can I do for them? Nothing they would like! I'm sure they would find Cowgranny sewing them something pretty lame. Maybe, just maybe- purses for the girls... but what about Connor?


I have now finished three of the skirts.... Jennifer, I need Alana's waist size before I can start hers.
Meanwhile I have another special project, which When it is finished, I INTEND for it to be used and not just 'admired'!
Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


The boys got a Piano Guys CD for their birthday last month. I often find it starting to play the moment I turn on the ignition. My favorite track on the CD (Vol.2) The Lord Of The Rings .
It was the track up on my way into work this morning.
I thought about the lessons one can gain from the LOTR books.
One is a lesson on love.
Frodo was taken in by desire for an inanimate object- The One Ring. He was used by it and abused by it, as he tried to deliver himself from its power.
In the end, he wasn't able to deliver himself.
He returned from his adventures, and went on with his life- never quite happy.
I wondered if this might be the allegory of a person who seeks to have greatness through wealth or riches?

Samwise made vows. He loved his friend, protected him, and carried him, even when he was at times reviled for his efforts.
In the end, Sam returns and finds love, family, and has children. He was at peace and able to be happy. Sam loved a person- and was not swayed from the love by objects or circumstances. He was willing to set his own life aside.

Like a soldier?  One who travels far to protect a greater good, one who bands with his brother soldiers to fight the enemy. Sam returned to find most of what he held most dear gone, or nearly gone, and had to continue his fight in order to restore the home he had already fought for in other lands.
The battle came home- it wasn't just left in other places.
Kings and Stewards out of their rightful places... battles waged internally. The RIGHT person or thing to be done may not be readily apparent. It may take searching, discerning, and overthrowing wrong thinking.
Merry and Pippen... we learned that even the smallest and seemingly insignificant among us have mighty works to do in places we may least expect to be called upon. Stay faithful in the little things.

My ride to work is very short- but all of these ideas must have been forming for awhile... they were just all  right there in my thinking.
Maybe my brain has been busy with the question Mr C asked the twins and I awhile back... "Why do you want to watch this movie, I don't see anything good about it." At the time, I had no answer, he really didn't want or expect one.

Monday, July 15, 2013

PSA... Battery Acid fumes are bad for you.

Edited to add:
I am adding to this blog post because it has been getting quite a few "hits" from search engines regarding battery acid fumes.
My voice was affected for MONTHS. I needed to carry a rescue inhaler with me, even though I had previously NEVER been asthmatic.
There was no permanent damage to my vocal cords, though one specialist suggested I may need to learn to speak in a different register.
It has been more than 18 months since the incident. While I HAVE gained my voice back, I remain extremely sensitive to airborne particles of any sort.
If you are reading this because you have breathed in battery acid fumes- GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. You can be susceptible to secondary pneumonia or even a phenomena known as "dry drowning". Don't take a chance! (Thanks for reading my blog!) 
  I didn't realize until this morning that I haven't blogged in a week or so.
My "big event" of the past week, most are already aware of- but I missed telling my Dad and Kathie (sorry!) and a few others who might care.
Not that I could TELL anyone... and getting a call from Mr C or one of the Individuals might make it seem worse.

Thursday at work- Boss Tim's last day. He was out the door pretty early to get to his new position over in Fayetteville. New boss Chris was still on vacation. Freshly minted but not sworn in Assistant Manager Chad was on duty. The store, of course, would be swamped with customers. I was just ALMOST finished with my tasks in receiving and shipping- gathering the last few items we had surplus of to send to the warehouse to be redistributed.
In one of my foraging trips into the customer end of the store, I had noticed a customer milling aimlessly about and asked if he needed help. He showed me he had a battery in our Testing/Charging Station. It still had quite a bit of time left to charge.
So I went on about my job. The battery charger beeped to indicate that it had finished. Chad and the other clerk on duty were both very busy, so  I stepped up to help the customer. The Testing Station is an enclosed box with a Plexiglas door. It indicated a "bad" battery. I turned off the charger, opened the door, and began to disconnect the battery from the cables. I noticed that there was a fairly large puddle beneath the battery. I told the customer to please not move the battery until I could neutralize the acid. Our store uses soda ash. I poured a cup of the soda ash slowly all over the acid, nudging the battery around and tilting it to get the neutralizer under the battery. This took a minute or so. Customer asked if I could sell him a replacement battery. I walked around the counter to the computer, and started to ask him questions about his vehicle in order to get the proper battery for his vehicle.
Within a few questions, I realized I was having trouble breathing. I couldn't get enough air to ASK any questions. I got Chad's attention and had him take over with the customer. He told me to "catch my breath" and take a break.
Within a few moments more, I had zero voice. As long as I didn't exert any oxygen to speak, I could do my job, but my breathing was labored.
Chad kept me for a bit after I finished the shipping, to make sure I was OK. I said I thought I was going to need to go see a doctor. This was his first HOUR as assistant manager- he wasn't sure where to get an accident form for workmen's comp.
I went on home, and tried to tell Tom what had happened. he was home for lunch, and on a tight time frame. And the van had a flat tire. He took the car back to work- leaving me with the useless van. Daniel and Sam were working, and would be home in a couple of hours. In those couple of hours, the heaviness in my chest grew from just tightness to a weight like  an elephant  a very large cow was on my chest. I decided I should go see the doctor as soon as the boys got home.
They walked in the door a few minutes past three- and I gave Sam time enough to change out of his wet clothes (He is a dishwasher). We headed to the local Doctor's office across the road from O'Reillys- the nearest place for medical attention. I walked in and with Sam's help, got across that I needed to see a doctor and why. The receptionist called the doctor and in short order, decided that the Emergency Room was a better choice for me. Sam drove me on into Siloam. I was taken back quite quickly. I didn't have breath enough to give medical history to the triage nurse. My BP was 188/118.
 In short order, I was seen by a doctor, had a chest Xray, and was given two breathing treatments. They took blood for a battery of tests from a vein when I first arrived. After the breathing treatments, the nurse needed blood from an artery. That  ranks right up there with childbirth on the pain scale... but fortunately doesn't last as long!
My blood oxygen levels were greatly increased, and my blood pressure down to acceptable rates.
I was given prescriptions for steroids, and an inhaler like asthmatics carry. Told to see my regular doctor if my voice didn't return by Saturday.
Friday I still had no voice. I could get a whisper out if I HAD to. By Saturday I was merely very hoarse, and on Sunday much improved, but even today, I am still raspy.
I am told I need to stay away from places where I could pick up illness, as I am susceptible to chemically induced pneumonia and the steroids suppress the immune system. I am coughing up thick green phlegm, which seems to be what is keeping my voice raspy.

So... breathing battery acid fumes is bad for you. I didn't even know it really made fumes, in all the times I've cleaned up spills at work. (None of the prior spills were in such an enclosed space as the testing station box.)
If you breathe battery acid fumes, you should not wait several hours to seek medical help, but head at once to the Emergency Room. Even if you think you "will probably be OK"... get it checked out.

Edited to add:
I am adding to this blog post because it has been getting quite a few "hits" from search engines regarding battery acid fumes.
My voice was affected for MONTHS. I needed to carry a rescue inhaler with me, even though I had NEVER been asthmatic.
There was no permanent damage to my vocal cords, though one specialist suggested I may need to learn to speak in a different register.
It has been more than 18 months since the incident. While I HAVE gained my voice back, I remain extremely sensitive to airborne particles of any sort.
If you are reading this because you have breathed in battery acid fumes- GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM. You can be susceptible to secondary pneumonia or even a phenomena known as "dry drowning". Don't take a chance! (Thanks for reading my blog!) 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Reconsidering long held beliefs...

I don't know where I ever got the notion that being a vegetarian meant that one simply ate plain vegetables. Like, a meal would be a salad and a can of green beans. I never considered that vegetables might be made into actual main dishes, such as lasagna.

 We have had some nights lately where we have eaten vegetarian. Not totally on purpose, but because it happened to work out that way with some hearty vegetable dishes.

(LOL, maybe I should work on this... and then make a cookbook- "The Accidental Vegetarian".)
(Or perhaps, "What was I thinking?!!!! .... What Can I Do with 20 lbs. of fresh spinach, ten zucchini plants, and three bushels of Green Beans")

Not that the green beans have begun coming off yet... but any day now!
I had never thought of  making lasagna using zucchini instead of noodles... but Tommy tells me the Zesch's did, and that it is awesome! (At the moment I am cooking fresh tomatoes, onions, and garlic into a sauce to use making the lasagna tomorrow. The boys brought home three- fourths of a gallon of fresh sliced tomatoes from work Wednesday, saving them from being tossed out.

I was running out of squash ideas, but this should be good! I am considering trying to make refrigerator pickles using squash instead of cucumbers.

Now, I venture into (religious) beliefs.
Thinking about losing a child, as compared to losing a spouse or a brother... This has been on my heart.
I have been thinking there is a reason that God sent Jesus as his SON. The relationship between a parent and a child is deep and powerful. It is a love you don't really CHOOSE, but that you accept. If you have lost a child, you know how rending it is to your very being. Yet, God sent Jesus... his SON... to die.
The Bible refers to the church as the "bride" of Christ. It is a different kind of relationship than that of a parent and child. It is a developed love, based on choice. Often, when a spouse passes away, a person chooses to love again- and to remarry. This doesn't lessen the value of the first relationship... it is its own unique blending. Love of a husband and wife is a choice... love between a parent and a child is blood... it is very LIFE.
I don't know that I am expressing myself very well here.
Grief from loss is grief, no matter the relationship. But the bonds that come from the blood of parent and child are, to my thinking, deeper than that of marriage. Which is why God sent his son... not his wife... as the ultimate sacrifice.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


In my last post, I was grumbling about the anticipated grouchiness of my boss upon his return from vacation. I was honestly ready to quit if given any grief when I got to work Tuesday.

My was I surprised... Not only was he NOT grouchy, he was downright jovial. He came up and shook my hand and said, "Thanks you for all your hard work, it's been great working with you!"
 He announced he is leaving the store to pursue a different career within the company. He will be gone by this time next week.
The now official new manager will be Chris... the fellow whose little boy I kept this past winter. I anticipate some changes for the better within the store.

I did get to go see little Jasher this past weekend. It was a VERY short trip, and looked like I was not going to get to go at all, when the flight I was booked on filled up suddenly, due to an earlier flight's cancellation.  Daniel and I were #8 and 9 on the standby list, with four seats available. However, #2 thru 7 happened to be a family with small children that really needed to stay together... so Dan and I were able to make the flight. It was the ONLY flight with even a remote possibility of being able to seat us, all day.

I also got to see four of my kids and four of the grands. I sure wish I was able to be at home and have the grands come visit together... I would love to have Tyrel , Gavin, and Connor , then Alana, Kimber, Nickole, and Dakota. (Though I think Dakota is probably too young to visit away from mommy just yet.)

Ben, Tommy, Daniel, Becky and I helped finish up Ben's apartment, as the renter had wanted to move in this month. Ben and Tommy had mostly gutted and rebuilt the apartment over the past few months. Together, we got it totally finished and ready to go. Next project, their kitchen!
For now, I best go see if there is any squash to be picked. Have a blessed day and thanks for reading!