Monday, March 31, 2014

Today is my birthday

It's my birthday! As Ian says, I'm exactly one day older than I was yesterday. Of course I don't usually describe myself as x years and y days old; I round down to the x years, so when that number changes, it's worth marking it and maybe even celebrating it.

Not that we did much to celebrate; we ordered pasta from Boston Pizza for dinner and it was surprisingly yummy. I've also been on a bit of a spending spree lately and I could call that buying myself birthday present(s). Because who doesn't want low-tarnish and firescale-resistant sterling silver sheet, wax detailer carving tools, sweaters, an assortment of twin sewing needles (they come in different sizes - I had no idea!), and awesome boots (black with laces AND zippers!) for their birthday? Not to mention a bunch of very tiny 1.5mm round faceted gemstones for use in some earrings I want to make, as well as a bunch of other tools and clothes.

I'm noticing this birthday more than usual, probably because today I'm turning 45 which means I'm in the next survey age bracket. I was in the 35-44 age bracket so I could kind of pretend that I wasn't all that old. But now that I'm part of the 45-54 age bracket, I can't really pretend to myself that I'm actually young anymore. I know that on the outside I'm no spring chicken but on the inside I feel like I'm just 25 or maybe 30 (although a better version of the me that I was when I was actually that age).

I don't know if everyone feels this way as they get older or if I feel this way because I wasted so many years trying to escape from reality. Back then I didn't think I was giving anything up but over the last few years, as I got mentally healthier, I wished I could have those years back. I'm coming to terms with the fact that those years are gone and that I have to let them go. That process had been going fairly well, at least up until today - because there's no better day to remind one of all the years that have passed than one's birthday.

Tomorrow I'll get back to accepting that those years are gone and I'm old(er). Today I'm celebrating the years I've been around ... and maybe buy myself some more "birthday presents".

Monday, March 17, 2014

Not much happening here

So.... it's looking less and less likely that I'll be finishing the Academy Awards red carpet post. The more time that passes, the less likely I am to finish a red carpet post, even if I started it early on. I just felt so awful for so long and I couldn't get it together to do the post.

Nothing much of anything other than me feeling sick has been happening. I'm feeling mostly better now but I still have a bit of a cough and my eyes are still a little icky and I'm still tired. It doesn't help that Gozer has taken up barking when we go to bed. We don't really know why she's doing it; I think it's related to me being in the bath.

At night we do our bedtime routine where she goes into the backyard, gets her cheeky stuff and her eye drop, and then she goes into her kennel for which she is rewarded a cookie and the kennel closes. I then run my bath and about 15 minutes later, she starts barking. It isn't just a bark; it's like a grrrrrrrrRUFF! The first few times, we took her into the backyard for a pee and tried to get her back into her kennel but she wanted a cuddle. After that, we ignored her. She continues barking every few minutes until she chooses to stop.

I think that stopping point is coming earlier and earlier now. The first time she did it, she barked all night long and kept us awake. Then she was stopping shortly after I finished my bath and went to bed. Last night I don't think she barked at all and I hope that this means that she's not going to do the barky thing again.

Aside from being a Barky McBarkerson, she's doing quite well. And so am I :)

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Green Day's American Idiot musical

We saw Green Day's American Idiot tonight at the Centre in the Square. The Broadway production was nominated and won a bunch of Tony awards a few years ago and since we like Green Day, we figured we wanted to see it.

Of course we knew absolutely nothing about the story or choreography or how the music made the story work or anything but that didn't stop us from going. Now we know that the show tells the story of a year in the life of three slacker/Generation X friends and the consequences of the choices they make during that year. I enjoyed the story because it wasn't a typically feel-good story where everything is wrapped up and great at the end; it was edgy and raw and had a kind of realness to it that you don't often see in musicals. I don't want to give you any more abut the story; if you want to know more, I'm sure you can find it online.

I will tell you that I wouldn't recommend the show to kids as there's simulated sex, simulated marijuana, and simulated heroin use during the show. Next to us was a family with two kids between seven and ten - I'm sure those kids will have lots of questions for their mom and dad when they get home.

The show runs about 80 mins long and runs without an intermission, which I really liked. It meant that the intensity of the show could be maintained throughout the entire performance and they didn't have to take time to get everyone in to it. They rearranged the music a little bit from the original album and reworked it to support multiple vocalists and a chorus but it was recognizably the same (and in some cases, I thought it was better). The choreography was interesting; the dancers were not all great at dancing in an edgy, raw way, which was sort of funny.

We also really liked the set, which was a huge black wall with a number of tv sets attached to it that were used to support whatever was going on. The stage was generally divided into three zones, each with its own lights, and there was also a general light show that was projected onto the wall. There was movable scaffolding, a couch, a mattress, and other items that were used as props.

Overall, we really enjoyed the show. It was a great story, a good use of music, an interesting choreography, and great sets and lights. We definitely recommend this musical if you get a chance to see it.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Gozer goes to the doggie dermatologist

My gigantic mouth sore is still gigantic but at least it doesn't hurt anymore. Unfortunately, I haven't been feeling well over the last few days. I think I'm getting a cold and I've felt quite weak and tired. This post should have come on Wednesday evening and the fact that it didn't means that the red carpet post will also be delayed.

On Wednesday afternoon I took Gozer to a doggie dermatologist in Guelph. We knew she had some yeast problems and food allergies but we also wanted to know more about her allergies. We suspected that she had environmental allergies as well as the others and we wanted to know if that was true and what we could do about it.

It was very overwhelming. Gozer didn't like being there; once we got into the exam room and the technician entered, she completely emptied her bladder all over the floor. I've never seen her break her housetraining before. She must have been so, so scared.

The doctor confirmed that Gozer has yeast problems (by taking a piece of scotch tape, using it on her paws, and then looking at it under the microscope). As for the environmental allergies, we had two choices: allergy testing to know what she's allergic to and then giving her immunotherapy (allergy shots), or giving her something to block the allergic reaction.

I decided that she should have the testing. She was sedated and it was hard to watch her go through that; she fought it and shook and shook and shook and shook, and she had trouble coming out of it afterwards. When we got home, she was so sleepy and didn't eat or go for a walk until much later in the evening. She was fine by the next day.

She's definitely got some environmental allergies - to maple, oak, timothy grass, alfalfa, cocklebur, pigweed, ragweed, dock (a very strong reaction here), storage mites, yeast (but she's not hypersensitive to it), fleas, and mosquitos. The trees, grasses, and weeds allergans will all go into Gozer's allergy shots. We've ordered the shots and will be giving them to her in a very specific dosing schedule. These shots will take her about eight to twelve months to work, if they work at all. If they don't work, then we'll give her the pills (actually a liquid because the pills might upset her tummy, and she has a sensitive tummy) to block the allergic reaction.

For the yeast infection, we had three treatment choices: frequent bathing with a special shampoo (but Gozer really hates baths), one drug (but it can rarely cause cataracts and Gozer already has one), or another drug that doesn't cause cataracts. We're going to give her the drug that doesn't cause cataracts. This is probably something that we'll need to give hr regularly, although if it starts to work we'll try to decrease the dose.

Right now we're going to leave the food allergies alone because even though she doesn't like her food, she's ok with it and we didn't want to do too much at once. When we decide to address this component, we'll put her on an exclusion diet, giving her either a Royal Canin Vegetarian diet or cooking for her with one protein and one carbohydrate. Once she's ok with that, we'll start slooooowly adding new proteins or carbohydrates.

Our poor Gozer. There's so much wrong with her.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Some of this and a little of that

Gozer saw the vet on Friday and she's healing up really well. The lump was benign, as I expected, and the stitch was pretty much dissolved. The vet is going to refer her to a dermatologist for allergy testing. While this won't help us with her food issues, it'll tell us whether she's got any other allergies.

For some reason I've developed a wicked sore in my mouth. It's just at the spot where my cheek attaches to my lower gum and it's about 1/2" long by 3/16" wide at its widest point, starting one tooth from in from the back molar. It's almost like the two are splitting apart there. My cheek is very, very slightly swollen and my jaw is a bit tender below that spot.

Of course this sore is on the left side. That's the side where I had the original cancer, where the lymph nodes were removed, and where I've got lymphedema problems. The lymph fluid doesn't circulate well on that side so it's no surprise that if I'm going to have problems it'll be on that side.

I'm pretty sure I don't have an infection but I'm watching the sore quite closely. If there's any more swelling, heat, or redness, in the area or more discomfort or if I start developing a fever I'm heading straight to the dentist. The concern with an infection is that it could spread to the jaw and that's bad because I've been on a bisphosphonate for over six years and I'm at risk for osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). I actually know someone who's been on bisphosphonates for as long as I have and who might have to have part to all of her lower jaw removed. I don't want that to happen to me, as I'm sure you can understand.

I'm watching the Oscars right now and I'm quite enjoying all of the gorgeous dresses and jewellery. I'm looking forward to doing this red carpet post!