Category Archives: frugal

72 Hours of Fear, then RELIEF!

I started bleeding on the way home from John’s jazz band concert Saturday afternoon. It worried me, since I hadn’t had a period in years and my labs had been in the post-menopausal range for two consecutive years. But I was too exhausted and in too much pain to really give it any thought that day. I’d had a really demanding week physically and mentally. A lazy week compared to my pre-constant pain life, but really tough compared to my current isolated, in bed twenty out of twenty-four hours life.

The next day the bleeding was heavier. I stayed in bed all day. But I used my iPad to Google possible causes for vaginal bleeding after menopause. When I didn’t find any answers I liked I started selecting my own causes and Googling them. “Hypertension causes vaginal bleeding” – improbable stuff like that. Then I pulled up a medication app on my phone and checked every medication I’m on to see if any of them could cause vaginal bleeding, even though none of my meds have changed in six months. All that was left was the answer to my very first search: Uterine Cancer.

Monday the flow seemed lighter, so I put off calling my doctor. I shaved my legs and did my nails, just in case. When my hair was mostly dry I put it in a sock bun. Out of the way for procedures, still looks nice when it comes out of the bun later. I don’t care what anyone tells you: Medical professionals appreciate a well-groomed patient. Then I made the call and they arranged an ultrasound for today.

After the ultrasound the nurse practitioner assured me that not only did I not have cancer, but that the bleeding was just a rebound effect from having my IUD removed a month ago.  She said to call if the bleeding kept going or stopped and then returned, but clearly did not expect that to happen.

I called my husband with the good news from the parking lot. I’d prepped him for bad news since I thought is was inevitable. His voice was shaking when he answered, as I’m sure mine was just a few minutes earlier.

So I now have shaved legs, OPI Cajun Shrimp nails, and my tummy is full of celebratory hamburger. I think that went well!

See other takes on this week’s writing prompts at Mama Kat’s.

Angie’s Latest Addiction

How’s this for a conversation piece? A stiletto chair!

My mother-in-law was one of my best friends. Not many people can say that. In fact, when Michael and I were dating we’d go to see his family about 80 miles away a couple of times a month. He’d hang out with his brothers (except the eldest, who was in the Air Force and stationed 3 hours away) and his dad.

I’d hang with his mom. We’d go shopping. But not the shopping I was used to. We went to thrift stores, consignment shops, and places where we risked drive-by shootings, having hubcaps stolen, or contracting a disease if the items we bought were not properly sanitized. It was awesome.  We’d also hit yard sales – she’d haggle, I was afraid to. We’d go to auctions and estate sales. She rocked it, but I was afraid of over-bidding on something that wasn’t worth it. I tend to be competitive (duh) and get caught up in the moment.

Estate sales make me exceptionally emotional, especially when there are clearly no heirs because sentimental items are up for sale. If there are military medals I will empty my checking account to make sure no one hot-glues those to the butt of a department-store mannequin as an anti-war art piece.

Leaving the hospital the other day I was honored to hear a young veteran and an elderly veteran thanking each other for their service. I’d have been ugly-crying, snot and everything, so I took the stairs down. Incredibly painful, had to stop at every landing and take an extra pain pill and sit a while before I could get to my car in its handicapped spot. But the men were having a moment, and I didn’t want to ruin it.

Anyway, I’ve found a way to bid in estate sales online in my jammies. YES! the site is EBTH.com, which stands for “Everything But The House”. Clever, right? But here are a few caveats:

~Click the “Sales” button and only bid on things in or very near your city. I won something in my hometown and the pick-up was less than 48 hours later with only a 4-hour window. We only have one car that we can trust to get out of the county and back again, and my husband would be using it that day as part of his 6-day work-week. My super-sweet step-dad stood in line forever to pick it up for me, so I totally owe him a dessert. He likes strawberry-rhubarb if you have any suggestions!

~Click on the details of the listing. If it says “Blue Ash, OH” anywhere, DO NOT BID. This means the seller has paid to send their stuff to Ohio rather than divulge their nearest major city and state. If you are in or near Cincinnati, OH you can get some GREAT deals this way. Otherwise, don’t bid. Shipping will be ten times your bid – if you’re lucky. They throw these into random auctions, so BUYER BEWARE.

Otherwise, have fun! sign up and follow a few things all the way to the end to see how it goes. There are fabulous items, and even auctions where you’ll want everything (or maybe that’s just me!) I’m using it as a source for Christmas gifts for hard-to-buy-for people. Well, I’m trying! Here are a few random items I saw:

NO ONE has this. It’s the perfect gift for the stressed-out executive. Atlas holding the world on his shoulders (employees can’t name him, then fire them) and you twirl the art-glass globe so that every time you look through the eyepiece it’s different. Brilliant and beautiful.

Mexican folk art candle holder. I love folk art. I’m not telling you the name of my favorite artist, because I don’t want anyone outbidding me. If I get something I’ll share. You can set searches so that you’ll be notified if an item you want comes up for auction – sweet!

Architectural salvage I don’t have to ruin my shoes or break my back to get? Yes, please!

Neutral Chanel cork slides? I swear, if I didn’t live in my jammies I’d be all over these!

Diamond ring set in platinum with baguettes. Look at the wear on the prongs. An antique. You can even tell from the wear that the woman who wore it never took it off. This is a piece of history a true romantic would give to the woman he’ll love forever. Yes, there’s a reason I don’t go to live auctions. I’m incredibly sentimental!

Paging Dr. Pinterest

I’m joining in with Mama Kat this week about things I’ve pinned on Pinterest and then ACTUALLY DONE! Yeah, with my Pinterest boards that’s like one in a thousand, because I pin a million different brilliant things and then forget I’ve pinned them. It’s actually supposed to be about crafts and recipes this week, but I’ll have more than enough of those posts to come. These are about health.

I’ve been trying really hard to use my health care dollars more efficiently and to not use antibiotics at all unless I absolutely need them. A month on broad-spectrum antibiotics by mouth and through an IV at home would convince anyone antibiotics are nothing to be taken lightly. Neither are steroids, pain medications, or anti-inflammatories. I’m not a doctor and not trying to diagnose anything or dispense medical advice, but these are all things that were worth a 24 hour trial for me. All worked and saved money, discomfort, and time.

URINARY TRACT INFECTION:

I’m a fifty-year-old woman who has birthed two children. I’ve worked as a nurse for over twenty years, and gone many a twelve-hour shift without stopping to empty my bladder (let alone eat a meal). I know when I have a UTI. So when I called my primary care doctor’s office, told them I had a UTI, listed all my symptoms, and asked to have an antibiotic called in I was insulted to be told I’d have to make an appointment to see the doctor. Really? I was feeling compassionate that day, so I offered to compromise. “How about I come over and pee in a cup for the nurse practitioner?” I asked. Nope, not an option. So I set up an appointment for the next day. Men rarely get UTIs, but if they did you’d better believe their staff would call in prescriptions. Even the most timid would have patients come in immediately and work them in quickly. Dr. Pinterest, on the other hand, suggested a dose of Alka-seltzer 3 times a day until symptoms are relieved. Evidently it changes the pH of the urine and kills off the virus. I cancelled my appointment, and couldn’t help but be a bit smug about it. Anyway, it saved me a co-pay and a prescription I really couldn’t afford and I never had to leave home. YAY!

SORE THROAT:

We’ve had nasty viruses going around this winter, and allergies are still acting up because the weather is so unpredictable here in Kentucky. My husband and youngest son both had sore throats, but did not appear to have Strep. Dr. Pinterest to the rescue! They gargled with mouthwash and peroxide and perked right up. No antibiotics, no long wait and large co-pay at the Immediate Care Center on the weekend.

NOSEBLEED:

This one I learned the hard way (pre-Pinterest). A heavy nosebleed that won’t stop is controlled by Neosynephrine spray in the affected nostril and pressure (thumb and index finger) just where the nostrils divide. I paid $250 for that.

WASP STINGS:

Ground wasps can take over small holes made by moles, chipmunks, and other unappealing creatures. The only way to know they have done so is to mow over or walk over an opening. My husband was allergic to bee stings as a child, so when he came in covered with stings I was frantic. I ran out to see what we were dealing with, and got stung all over. I immediately gave my husband benadryl and made him sit beside me while I hit Pinterest. Soon we were using plastic cards to swipe the stingers out (try them in both directions), and then pressing thick onion slices to each and every sting. We didn’t even swell. Thanks, Pinterest!

HICCUPS:
Here’s my own Pinterest tip: a no-fail cure for hiccups a patient taught to me when I was a young nurse. Hiccups can be quite dangerous for people who have recently had major surgery or who have chronic lung disease.

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