Monday, May 30, 2011

Gone Fishing

We went fishing with some friends this past weekend.  We went out before it got really hot out.  Here are some of the pics of our fun.  What a great time!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Orbit Mist Gum

I was soooo thirsty at the store today.  I had forgotten my handy side-kick, the water bottle.  I take it everywhere with me, I really do!  Today I forgot in my hurry to get to the store before it got too hot out. In the middle of the baking isle I suddenly realized how parched I was. To a normal person this wouldn't be such a big deal. But to someone with Sjogren's Syndrome, it takes over their existence until they are able to find a drink. OK, so that's a little dramatically stated but I wasn't able to think about anything beyond how I was going to be able to end the dry cottony feeling beginning to creep up into my mouth.  My daughter broke into my thoughts briefly with a complaint about how long I was taking. So jogging the whole way to the front of the store expertly evading all the little old smiling ladies, moving quite slowly and inadvertently taking up the whole isle, was just not an option.  So not fun! Then I remembered the little weapon, against dry mouth, that I have tucked into my purse.

Suddenly... WHAM! POW! KAZAM! POP...with Batman style noises into my mouth it goes.... Orbit's Mist Gum goes to work!

I don't know if I've ever blogged about this before or not, if I have and you've read it just ignore this post! I have told my friends about how much I like Orbit's Mist Gum before.  But, it's more then like, I LOVE this gum. My favorite happens to be Raspberry Lemon Dew.  It tastes like raspberry lemonade. Mmm!

The "Mist" gum has little micro-bursts in it, which encourages your mouth to create saliva. It's almost like the people who created this gum had a relative, with Sjs, whispering over their shoulder. The instant I bite into it my mouth is flooded with liquid flavor which saves it from dryness. To make the gum even better... The gum is sugar free.  Which helps cut down on the likely hood of cavities since people with Sjogren's are more incline to get them anyway.

I really feel like this gum should be the "official gum" of Sjogren's patients everywhere!  If you haven't tried some yet, be sure to do so!!

PS- I was NOT paid to write this post.  This is truly what I think about this product. Come to think of it, I think I will be sending an e-mail to Orbit because I love their gum so much!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"I am a good Mom, I am a good friend!"... It kept running through my head.

This morning my baby girl had her last day of preschool.  I cannot believe that it's done already!  It seems like just yesterday, that I was sniffling on my husband's shoulder, while we walked away from L her first day of preschool. There's only three months separating her from being my baby and being a kindergartner!

Anyway, her entire preschool went to a park this morning for a family picnic. The sky was a beautiful blue and the sun was already hot. Unfortunately for me I was naive enough to think that there would be enough shade at the park for everyone. Boy was I wrong.  My friend and I ended up sitting in the hot hot sun all morning.  We all had tons of fun and the food was great. But sitting in the sun for so long took a toll on me. I came home with a headache and nausea as well as having no energy at all. I ended up laying in bed, while L played in her play room, and trying to re-energize for a few hours.  By the time my daughter decided she was done playing my nausea was gone, my headache almost gone, but I still hadn't gained any more energy.

Once my husband got home he asked me if I wanted to take some dinner over to a friend's house.  (He's fantastically thoughtful like that sometimes.) L loves playing, with her daughter.  And it would have been nice to see her since she had been on vacation all last week.  The only problem was that I just didn't have any energy. None. All I wanted to do was get to the couch and collapse. I got really upset and collapsed on the stairs, in tears, feeling quite guilty.  I felt like a bad friend for passing up the chance to go over. And I felt like a bad mom because I knew L would really want to see her friend as she's been asking about her all week.

Then T reminded me that I needed to take care of myself.  He could see I was feeling guilty about having to put myself first for a change, because of my health.  He was right.  It helped me realize that my friend would have probably wanted to kick my butt if she knew that I was feeling guilty about all this.  And, of course, I had spent the morning in the really hot sun at the park with L....for L.  Had it not been for this morning I would have totally had the energy!

So, yeah, I had to put myself first this afternoon.  It didn't sit right with me but I know that sometimes I have to make choices in regards to my health.  And not all of the choices are always completely easy ones to make. I guess I just have to "put on my big girl pants" and deal with it! Ha!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Visit With My Rheumy...

I just went for a follow up with my rhuematologist the other day. We had to evaluate how I thought I was doing on the Methotrexate I've been taking.  I have only been on it for a month and a half, on a very low dose.  I have already seen some signs of extra energy, but not much else yet.  So Dr. A decided to up my dosage of the medication.  And then every two months I will need to up the dosage again. This will continue until my body decides it can't handle it, the lab work comes back with bad results, or I have seen no more significant improvement. Perhaps I will start showing more good side effects. Ie: more energy, extra salivary show, less swelling, etc.

While I was at the doctors I mentioned other symptoms that I have been dealing with as of late, that are fairly new to me. The first tends to be rather annoying more then anything else. My hands and feet have been "falling asleep" on me quite a lot lately.  The actual term for this is neuropathy. This happens occasionally to a perfectly healthy individual if your hand or foot stays in one position for too long.  It's been happening to me a lot lately, for no apparent reason. And weirdly enough, it's been happening quite a lot in my shin as well.  A weird place for that, I know!

Another new symptom I am dealing with is continual redness in my face. It looks as if it could be a malar rash from Lupus.  According to my doctor the malar rash is usually raised, scaley, or bumpy, in the shape of a butterfly on a person's face.  My rash is more subtle in coloring and texture, but it is in the location and shape of the typical malar rash.  So she is sending me to a dermatologist that specifically deals with the dermatological side of autoimmune diseases. For some time now my husband and I have suspected that I may possibly have lupus. I have been dealing with dizzy spells and sensitivity to light in regards to my eyes as well as my skin in the last six months.  And over the past five years I have had many other health episodes that I have been given a "blanket" diagnosis for that could have easily been explained with symptoms of lupus. So while I am not looking forward to having another diagnosis, it will make me feel a little validated about the concerns that I have been having for quite awhile.  

So now I get to hurry up and wait for another diagnosis from the doctors.  But I guess the first step is actually getting acknowledge that the symptoms I am having are not "normal".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Things I Do To Travel

When my husband and I went away on our overnight Bed and Breakfast trip it made me realize how much time it takes for me to pack and prepare for being away.

I first had to figure out what to wear on our trip. This probably does not sound very complicated to most people. However, this tends to be a pretty tricky thing for me to plan because my body's thermostat is broken. I am almost always either too hot or too cold.  It's especially bad when I go from one extreme temperature difference to another.  Like from outside in the winter air to a warm restaurant. Because of this issue I have to plan on clothing that will accommodate all these temperature issues that might pop up.  I generally dress in layers to help with this problem. Unfortunately, layers mean more planning and clothing for my overnight bag. But that's a problem I am willing to deal with the be prepared!

Next I usually debate whether or not I need an extra pillow for added comfort.  Also, the reading material and sometimes a reading light need to be pondered over.  Insomnia doesn't just attack at home!

Most of the time I need a whole other bag to include all the medications I need to bring.  I have my daily meds to pack. As well as the many different medicines that I could possibly need for side effects of my meds or various other reasons. Deciding which medicines to take and which to leave at home can be a twenty minute process at times.

Then there's my purse.... Hand sanitizer is a must for the immuno-suppressed person. Eye drops for a dry-eyed Sjoggie. Chap stick, so my lips are never dry and won't crack. Various medications I could need quite fast. Sunglasses for my sensitive eyes. My inhalator for an asthma attack that could pop up. A list of my current medications in case of an emergency. That's on top of all the other random things that could be found in my purse on a daily basis.

And all of this is decided before I've managed to do my hair so it's looks great. Which requires an added twenty minutes of my arms up in the air trying to curl and rearrange for my hair the way I want. That leads to my arms feeling tired and my muscles hurting.

Just rereading all that I went through to pack has made me tired, so I am going put up my feet and relax!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Inn at Westwynd Farm

So, I do realize that I have been writing a lot of posts lately filled with photos.  Some are almost nothing but photos.  But I truly haven't had too much to complain write about with my health lately.  Every Sunday and Monday I have to deal with the side effects from the Methotrexate. Then Tuesday through Saturday end up being pretty good health days for me right now.  I guess that means that the Metho. is working for me!


T and I spent some time at our favorite B&B Friday night.  We belatedly celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary. Every time we visit The Inn at Westwynd Farm we feel as if we are visiting a relative's house! There are always super yummy home made baked goodies sitting on the tables.  Opportunities for a hot cup of cocoa are endless. You don't even need to get me started on all the drinks and snacks available in the guest fridge! And the little details that have been added to the inn are amazing.  My favorite little detail is the Hershey's candy to be found in every room and the complimentary Hershey's bars in our own room.

We ate dinner on our own personal balcony.  The sounds of bull frogs, by the cascading rock waterfall, kept us company. And we watched the wind lazily blow dandelion seeds past us as we ate our dinner of bread, cheese, and prosciutto.  

Later we visited the working horse barn where we met some of the horses owners busily feeding their pets. We got to feed a few horses treats and learn about their quirks. As we wound our way through the barn we sporadically had barn cats following us. They all begged to be petted and one little outgoing guy rolled over for us to tickle his tummy.  We spent a better part of our evening divided between the barn and sitting on the porch swing on the front of the picturesque wrap around porch.

Breakfast the next morning was fantastic.  We were served warm fruit crisp topped lovingly with a dollop of home made whip cream. Our second course was hot-out-of-the-oven lemon orange muffins.  The butter slid off the muffins they were so fresh!  We ended our breakfast with a strawberry stuffed croissant french toast with home made strawberry preserves sitting on top. Just thinking about it now makes my mouth water. (What a great way to combat Sjogren's dry mouth right??)  As we sat devouring our decadent breakfast we were delighted to watch the horses cantering around in the pastures outside the dining room.  And when the horses were hidden we had fun watching the resident dogs sniffing around the gardens for any scents that might appeal to them.

I've gone on waaay too long about the inn.  And, no, I was not paid to write this post in case anyone was feeling skeptical. So if you are ever in Hershey Pa you should most definitely book your stay at the Inn at Westwynd Farms!

Part of the walking path.

One of the alpacha.  I am not sure of this is Paco or Taco.
One of the sides of the barn.
One of the resident dogs.
The walking path from the inn to the barn.
One of the 32 acres the B&B sits on.
One side of the porch.
These fine looking horses preside in front of the walkway up the inn.

Waterfall pond filled with fish and bullfrogs.
Another side of the wrap around porch.
Horses in the pasture.
Many of their pastures.

I love this photo. The tree has so much character.
One of the many winding fences.
I feel like fairies should live in that wysteria bush.
One of the many antiques through out the inn.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More L'isms

I was going through the little notes that I write down about things my daughter says.  I noticed that I have quite a lot of them to put in my memory box.  So I wanted to get them down in my blog before I put them away.

Random things L has said....

* "Stinkbug, I hear you! Show yourself bug! You better watch out because the stinkbug catcher is going to come in and get you!

* "Mama when I think of Mother's day I think of hearts."

* "Mama, let's collaborate on this art work!"

* "Mommy, you look stylish but you would look more stylish if you changed your pants." And I found myself changing my pants with out even thinking about it.

* "I'm about throw up, for real!  I can't draw this picture right!" Yes, she is a dramatic four year old!

* "Constipation, constipation. No no no. Constipation, constipation. La la la!" A chant we heard for a few days.

* "Mmmmm, bacon! I love it like a banjo!" My favorite!

* "Seriously dog?!? I'm trying to sleep here and you're barking in the middle of the night! How rude!" It was only seven in the evening, by the way.

* "I'm mad at the ice cream man!" This was said in conjunction with the first conversation listed below.

* "Why did you use your mean voice?"

Conversations with L... 

* L:  I missed the ice cream man?
   Me: Yes, but you got to play with your two best friends. And you had pizza, donuts, and a chocolate covered strawberry tonight!
   L: The ice cream man is more then that!

* Me: Don't pick your nose, get a tissue.
   L: Or I can just swallow them like I do.
   Me: Ewwww!
   L: Silly girl, I was kidding!

* Me: You'd better not be down stairs!
   L: I'm not down stairs. I'm two steps from being down stairs.

* Me: Do you know how much I love you? I would do anything for you!
   L: Like... Take me to the Chinese buffet?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gone Camping

We went on our first camping trip of the season this weekend.  What a fantastic way to spend a Mother's Day weekend.  The weather was AMAZING! I managed to get some great photos in the midst of all the fun we had.

Sparkler time!

L's and my favorite part of camping!
 Our cottage.
 Rain drops.
Going for a kayak ride with her Opa.  I love her little hands splashing in the water as they paddle along.
 Both looking at a bird with their binoculars.
 Beautiful weather
 L loves fishing with her Daddy.
 This was often where L was, looking for fish to catch!

 The view from our cottage. Amazing to see as the sun is going down!
 Of course we just had to sprinkle some fairy dust to see if we got any fairy visitors!
T's biggest catch, that was caught right on the edge of the water in front of our cottage.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tea Party

L and I had a Mother and Daughter tea party to go to at bible club last night. All of the girls in her class brought a Mom and Grandma.  L invited her Nana to join us.

Back on Tuesday we had nothing planned and I had a bored daughter on my hands.  So we made some pretty little sun catchers for all the moms and grandmas, in L's class, who came to the tea party. It was very easy for L to do and kept her busy for some time.  It also let her creative juices flow with the arrangement of the flowers.  She only needed my help in cutting the art into circles.  We were both pleased with the results!

Anyway, back to the tea party.  L just had to dress up.  She wore an adorable muslin flowered dress and pink frilly sweater.  As her accessories she chose white gloves adorned with little pink bows, some extravagant pink glasses, and a pink boa.  She went all out!  And, of course, she had to "suggest' what I should wear. It was so fun to see all the little girls dressed for the tea party, as they stood in awe at the table decorations. You could tell that they all felt special in their finery, with tea cups in hand, at the beautiful tables.

The food at the party made it even more special for L.  We sipped hot chocolate out of fancy little tea cups.  There were adorable petite butterfly shaped sandwiches, which my daughter promptly ate the wings off of at once. The adults had finger sandwiches. We had super yummy fruit and mini cupcakes with fluffy frosting dusted with dainty sparkles. My favorite were the delectable white chocolate covered cake balls. Mmmm!  Note to self: stop salivating!

The evening was so much fun for everyone.  I, honestly, cannot wait for next years tea party!