Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

Good-bye to March!
March 31, 2015

March brought us over 5 inches of rain here in South Texas.  It brought a lot of gray skies and cooler than normal temperatures.  March brought me a lot of sewing time with our granddaughters and a little time working in the yard - very little.  The girls and I planted some flowers in logs and in hanging baskets.  It brought beautiful green new growth on trees and shrubs and an abundance of colorful flowers.

March brought ups and downs on Mom's health, but we seem to be on a definite upswing and I hope that continues. March brought Ron's sister to spend time with his Mom, giving him somewhat of a break. He still paid her bills and did her income tax report, but he knew day to day she was not alone.

In March I actually completed two quilt tops.  I just need to turn them into quilts now. I have experimented with some new quilt patterns; some I enjoyed, and some I didn't.  Spending time sewing is a mini-vacation for me.

March brought allergy testing and the start of allergy shots for me.  I am eagerly awaiting improved health with fewer allergy problems.  I know it will take time, but I am hoping for a good outcome.  I have spent hours in doctors' offices for me with the allergy situation and hours in doctors' offices with Mom, but neither of us had an overwhelming schedule of medical appointments.

Today I went to the office a little earlier than usual.  Ron had taken my car in to get it inspected before he went to the office.  Then he had a job at South Padre Island (or maybe it was Port Isabel).  He was out of the office for at least a couple of hours.  I stayed busy with a little cleaning and waiting on customers.  I did a little sewing and some bookkeeping.  Our computer tech helper called and checked out a problem I thought we had, but it turned out not to be a problem.

Mid afternoon, Ron said he was not going out again and I could leave.  I headed home to get ready for the quilt group.  We had a nice turnout.  There were seven of us in all and each one of use worked on our own projects.

 After quilting, Ron and I talked a while and then I talked to our daughter-in-law in New Mexico.  It is always fun to chat with her. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015

Encountering Other 
Hearing Impaired People
March 30, 2015

Flowers blooming at restaurant where we ate Sunday

Sometimes it is easy to tell that someone has a hearing problem: they ask you to repeat after almost every sentence you speak.  That is a major clue.  This evening I ran into a friend who I don't see often.  This friend goes to our church but sits on the other side of the auditorium.  I see the friend sometimes in the courtyard area of the church during Sunday School and in those cases, we are often the only people around, so it is easy to hear each other.  But this evening, we ran into each other in a very noisy setting and my friend understood very little of what I said.  I recognized the look in my friend's eyes that I often have had in mine over the years as I would try to figure out what might have been said. My friend said, "I have some trouble hearing also."  I noticed.  The friend did not know that I had gone deaf.  It is easy to think everyone knows; but often they don't.
Another lovely, unique plant from the restaurant

Sometimes, a person has learned to lip read after years of difficulty hearing and it can be hard to notice that they are struggling.  Just yesterday we were talking about our son David who as a child had a hearing problem.  My mom commented one day when David was about 4years old, that he only seemed to hear when I yelled at him.  I began experimenting walking up behind him and talking and he did not seem to hear.  Then in front of him I would just mouth the words and not say them aloud and he would get them.  We took him to a specialist and after he got tubes put in his ears, he was hearing before he came out of the recovery room.
Quilt top I finished yesterday
Doctors don't see patients too often and they are thinking of so many other things, they don't often check their hearing.  If someone in your life seems to have to have things repeated, experiment with their situation.  Maybe it is just one ear that is bad.  Try to encourage them to seek professional help.  So many won't go to a specialist because they have heard how expensive hearing aids can be.  Sometimes a simple, inexpensive one can make a lot of difference or can show them what they are missing, making them more willing to spend the money on a good hearing aid.

So much for my advice.  I think that people have heard my story and are aware of Sudden Hearing Loss, but I am finding out that is not the always the case.  If I can ever answer questions for you, don't hesitate to ask.

Close up of a portion of the finished quilt top
This morning started with my allergy shots.  It is funny; I give one shot on the left and one on the right.  I always bruise the left side, but not the right side.  Silly little thing, but I just think in that way - statistics.  So far I have bruised the left side 100% of the time and not bruised the right side 100% of the time.

It was after 10:00 when I got to the office.  I spent time this morning paying bills.  After a late lunch, I worked on a bank deposit and Ron took it to the bank and checked on my car that he had taken in early this morning for some repairs and an oil change.  I had time to make one small quilt block this afternoon at the office.  Little by little I may get enough made to do something fun with them.

After work, I took him to pick up my car and I went to my mom's house to check on her and woke her from a nap.  Then I went to one store at the mall and found myself a new Sunday dress.  It can be an Easter dress, but mostly it will be my Spring and Summer Sunday dress.  It has been MANY years since I have bought a Sunday dress, especially one in a brighter color than the brown and black combination I have in 2 of my 3 current Sunday dresses.

I went to another store for one quick purchase and then picked up supper for Ron and me on my way home.  I had not really expected him to be home yet since he was doing his mom's income tax return, but he was already home.
Quilt blocks I am working on at the office in my spare time

During the evening I talked to our daughter-in-law in New Mexico.  She had some tales to tell about them spotting some Bobcats lately.  We had some good laughs as we chatted.

Today's mail brought a package of fabric I had ordered from my current favorite quilt fabric store, the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The Shutterfly book I designed and ordered with pictures from Stephen and Kristina's wedding arrived in the same mail delivery.  You wouldn't think it could be a better delivery, but some of our customers had sent checks for work we had done for them, so it was a great mail day!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015

A Great Sunday
March 29, 2015

Black-bellied Whistling Duck
Today was a great Sunday!  The Sunday school lesson was very well taught (by my husband), church had a good crowd (as we did in Sunday School).  The pastor brought a very good sermon as he continues in a series called Foundations.  The sermons remind some of us and teach others what the foundations of our faith are all about.  It was just a very good sermon.

This morning I met a couple of new people at church.  Both of them had been coming for a while, but when I would see them, I knew I would not be able to  hear.  One had not been in church the last two Sundays and she said she had been out of town.  The other had been in our church many years ago and is back following some serious medical issues.  It is so hard for me to meet new people knowing I may misunderstand what they are saying, but I am trying.

After church we went to lunch with Jeff's family - or at least most of them.  The three oldest boys wanted to go home for leftover pizza instead of going to Luby's.  Those of us who went had a good time.
 Time to decorate Easter Eggs for the hunt next Sunday evening
The two oldest girls came home with us.  The oldest of them has a loose tooth that is giving her some pain.  She wasn't too sure she wanted to come, but as soon as we got in the car and I asked if they would decorate some Easter Eggs for me, and she cheered up.

I think they did a nice job of their decorating. 

 Then the second oldest (9 years old) sewed for a while.  

We enjoyed watching the birds and ducks.  

During their decorating time, I finally finished the quilt top that has been on the design wall for weeks.  Now it is time to put another one up there.  I am not real sure what is going up next but I think it is going to be for the youngest in Jeff's family.  She is now in a regular sized twin bed and I have not made a quilt for that bed.  I have part of it laid out and it is going to be a very simple one for now.

I took the girls to their church activity at 5:30 and then went to Mom's house to see how she was doing.  I had picked her up for church this morning and she looked good, sounded good and was full of smiles.  While I was at her house, I set up her sewing machine so that Carmen can use it and showed Carmen some of the things about the machine.  I got home about 7:00 and relaxed for a bit; I checked emails and Facebook and sent a few notes.  Then I did a little sewing. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 28, 2015

Splendid Saturday
March 28, 2015

Today was beautiful!  Splendid!  Outstanding!  Gorgeous!  There just aren't enough words to tell how amazingly lovely the day was after weeks of rain, clouds, winds, etc.  The sky stayed crystal clear all day; there was a cool breeze; everything in sight is either green or a colorful blooming flower.  I would have loved to spend all day working in the yard.  I was able to spend some time weeding and mowing, but  not as much as I would have liked. 

The first thing I saw when I opened the curtains in the sewing room was this Black-bellied Whistling Duck standing on this trunk of an old dead tree.  It spent a lot of time there.  I had taken some photos of the duck, with the sunrise reflecting on the side of the house next door.  Ron came in to borrow my camera and returned it, so proud of the photos he had taken of the same setting not knowing I had just taken some. 

Since I needed to do my allergy shots, I got up early to do them with Ron here (a rule on giving myself the shots is a competent adult must be present - as per the allergist).  About an hour later he left for the rest of the morning.  I worked in the kitchen, the yard, the sewing room, and read a little.  A little after 10:30 I left to pick up Mom and Carmen.  Mom was not ready when I got there so I pulled a few weeds in her flower bed.  We got to our house at 11:30 and Carmen started cleaning, Mom started reading, and I started mowing the backyard. 

The backyard was in desperate need of being mowed.  The weeds were tall and thick.

Ron came home as I was starting to mow and offered to take over, but I told him I would do part of it while he took care of unloading some things from his car.  The weeds are thick and soft so they just seemed to "play opossum" as I mowed.  They played dead and laid very still and then after I mowed they popped back up.  I will need to mow again in a few days to have another run at them.
The sunshine glistening off the water in one of the fountains in the backyard
After I did about half of the mowing, I turned it over to Ron and came in for a shower.  The mosquitoes were not nearly as bad as they had been the last few days.  I think the city had sprayed our area since there was a fund raising 5K run this morning in the neighborhood.  It was nice not to battle them the whole day, but I did wear the mosquito netting over my hat.

While Ron finished, after my shower, I fixed tuna salad for lunch.  The four of us had a light lunch of the tuna salad, crackers, chips, or tuna sandwiches as well as pimiento cheese for sandwiches or with crackers.  Following lunch I baked a cake and while it was in the oven I sewed for a few minutes.  Later I frosted the cake and we ate some.  Carmen got a lot done and the house is nice and clean.

Around 4:30 I took Mom and Carmen to a Dollar Store so Mom could do a little shopping.  I picked up a few things and after taking Mom and Carmen home, I got home about 5:30.  I just relaxed for a while in my clean house and then started looking for some things I am missing.

Years ago, Ron and I bought some special made street signs.  For years I have asked him to mount them on posts in the backyard.  Today he dug the holes and put up the poles.  Now, I can't find the street signs!  I have seen them recently, but can not locate them today!  After all his work, we can't enjoy the completed project yet.  I am praying that I will remember where they are real soon.

Ron spent all afternoon working in the yard or going to get things he needed for the project.  He also planted several small palm trees that our yardman had removed around our office. They were coming up in the concrete parking lot and causing problems. 

After having supper, I pinned another two pairs of rows for the current quilt project and have them ready to sew.  Then I only have a couple more rows to add and that top will be complete.  I am eager to get it done so I can move on to the next one.

This evening I was able to talk to our daughter-in-law in New Mexico for a while.  She and our son are both feeling better after battles with allergies. 

March 26 & 27, 2015

Days Seem to Run Together
March 26 & 27, 2015

This lovely hibiscus greeted me to start the day.
With the change of Daylight Savings Time, I think we are supposed to feel like our days are longer.  It is dark when we get up but it is light longer in the evenings.  Somehow, my days seem to just run together, into an endless day.  The mosquitoes are so bad that I can't really get out and enjoy the longer daylight outside.  I have not seen them spraying this area, but maybe they have done it.  If so, I think they just encouraged the nasty little bugs to move to my backyard.  All the water features add to the issue, but everyone is battling them this season.

Thursday I was up early so I could give myself my first allergy shots at home while Ron was still here. Then I need to wait through the 3 hours following the shots when I need to be with my Epi-Pen in case of an allergic reaction.  I could take the pen to the office, but then I must be sure it gets back home, etc.  So we are going to try to do the shots early and I will stay home during the 3 hours I am to have the pen with me.
There are now 8 blooms open on this pot of Amaryllis plants
After Ron left, I did a little sewing on the quilt top in progress and now have the bottom half together in one piece and the top half is in rows.  Another hour and the whole thing should be together.  I just need an hour when I can really focus on what I am doing.

At the office, we had a good day.  Ron sold a large safe we'd had on display for a long time.  We were glad to sell it and the people were glad we had it.  We also had a couple of other good sales and he was out of the office much of the day on jobs.  That is always good.  I spent the day waiting on customers and working on a quilt block.

About 3:30 my sister had been texting me with questions about Mom's medications so I just went to Mom's house so we could get them worked out.   Janet had tried to finish the napkins she was making at Mom's, but ran into trouble with Mom's sewing machine and so I took the five she had not completed to my house and finished them for her.  Shortly after I finished them, she and Mom picked me up so we could take my sister to the airport for her return home.   We hated to see her go, but she is having a big family gathering at her house Sunday.

We said our good-byes and then Mom and I went to Jason's Deli to meet Ron for supper.  We had a good meal and a great visit with a teacher from our church school.  She is a delightful lady and it was good to chat with her.  She and her husband are moving soon and we will hate to see them go.

Following our supper, I took Mom home, but kept her car so I could send mine in for work.  My car needs an inspection, air-conditioning repairs, and a couple of other repairs, so I think it will visit three different repair places next week.  Maybe the inspection can get done Saturday.
 Arriving at the office this Green Parakeet was on the wire behind the shop
 while two were up under the awning over the area where I park. 
Friday morning I tried to get to the office earlier than my normal 10:00 since Ron had that safe to deliver.  Our two oldest grandsons both came to the office for much of the day.  They are always a joy to have around.  They bring us lots of laughs and good conversation.
One of our grandsons checking out a new light fixture.
While the safe was delivered, I waited on customers and cut out some quilt pieces.  I prepared a bank deposit and did some other bookkeeping chores.  After Ron's job was complete I picked up pizza for all of us.  The boys were going to meet the man who helps them with electronics on Fridays, but the train had the road blocked and the round about way to get to the radio station where the man works is not on our grandson's beaten path yet.  He is a new driver and does not know his way around very well yet.  So we enjoyed an extended lunch until the train was out of the way.

During the afternoon I got to the bank and there was a long slow line, so I pulled out my Kindle and continued reading the murder mystery I have been enjoying.  Back at the office after my errand, Ron left on another job and I did some cleaning.
Friday night supper spot
Being Friday night, we met our friends for supper and conversations.  We had a good time back at the Mexican restaurant that we had visited recently and the food was good.  Much of the time we were the only people in there, but maybe that caused sound to "bounce around" and I had some trouble hearing.  Conversations overlapped each other.  Normally the guys have one conversation and the ladies have another.  I finally got a setting on the Cochlear Sound Processor that worked well.

Oh, that reminds me, I had another of those experiences after supper Thursday night where my Sound Processor jumped off my head.  They time, it really jumped off and stuck to the car door as I was getting in the car to drive home.  As I sat down I realized it was dangling from the door.  I had not really felt it leave - scary!  I thought the door had just jarred it, but it yanked it off.

These have been good days, but long, busy and productive.  Now that I am taking the allergy shots, I needed to switch my antihistamines to the evenings instead of mornings.  I don't seem to be sleeping them off by the time I need to get up and they leave me sleepy in the mornings.  I guess I need to take them earlier in the evenings.  Adjustments are always frustrating to me.  I am a creature of habit.

 Sunset on our way home from supper

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 25, 2015

Sudden Hearing Loss  -
A Medical Emergency
March 25, 2015

This blog was started almost 2 years ago.  The main reason I started it was to help others who had suffered from Sudden Hearing Loss as I had in January of 2013.  It was also to help all people with various types of hearing loss and those who care about them, to better understand the world of a person who is deaf or hearing impaired. 

For many years I had been hearing impaired, but on that Friday in January, 2013, I lost almost all the remaining hearing that I had.  My diagnosis was Sudden Hearing Loss.  We had never heard of the condition and almost everyone I have talked to says the same thing - they never heard of it. 

What has struck me as very strange now, is that just over 2 months ago a friend of ours, a former staff member at our church seems to have suffered Sudden Hearing Loss in one ear.   I say "seems to" because I don't think all testing and treatments have been completed.  Now this evening, we have heard of another man we know well, has lost hearing in one ear.  He is to see a specialist tomorrow for more examinations.

Normally, Sudden Hearing Loss is just in one ear, and that is probably the case with me.  I was so near deaf in the other ear that it just seemed I had lost hearing in both, when actually I truly was already half deaf.  I was blessed to have a friend from high school years who was a facebook friend and she was often up in the middle of the nights.  She has a daughter-in-law who is a Doctor of Audiology and she gave me a lot of wonderful advice.  Much of the advice I got from others was not helpful, but her advice was amazing.

The friend I mentioned is named Sharon and she pushed me for early treatment, saying there is only a tiny window of time where medical intervention has proved to be helpful.  I did not get as much treatment as quickly as she suggested and there were many factors.  At the time I went deaf, Ron was seriously ill with the flu.  He had been in the ER just a couple of days before I lost the hearing and was too weak to really do much to help me.  My GP felt it was an emergency but the specialist he sent me to didn't pay enough attention to realize what was going on. 

As I have said in this blog before, "If you or someone you know suffers from Sudden Hearing Loss, get medical help at once.  Go to the Emergency Room.  Keep seeking help until you find someone who will listen."  The ENT I was sent to, scheduled me for a hearing test in two weeks after the initial exam.  I returned to my office, got on the computer, chatted with Sharon, did more research, and called and canceled the appointment with the ENT for two weeks away.  His nurse asked why and I said I wanted someone who would fight to save my hearing.  That doctor called back soon and got me an appointment for the next day for the hearing test.

In my case, my hearing did not return.  For many it does.  In my case, my hearing had been so bad before the Sudden Hearing Loss, that in the end, I was better off with the Cochlear Implant than I would have been if my hearing had returned to its previous level.  The hearing can return in 2 weeks, 2 months, or up to 6 months, with 6 months being rare.

In a comment to the man who just lost his hearing this week, I said he needed to get help quickly since there was a very small window of time in which he might be helped.  I also told him that there is not a small window of time in which God can work.  God can still bring healing.  Both of these men have normal hearing in their other ear (the one not suffering the Sudden Hearing Loss).  Because of that, probably neither would qualify for a Cochlear Implant by Medicare guidelines, but neither of them is old enough to be on Medicare.  Each insurance company has their own guidelines.

Earlier in this writing, I mentioned that my friend Sharon was often up in the middle of the night.  That was important to me because one of the treatments for Sudden Hearing Loss high doses of steroids and steroid injections into the ear.  Steroids made it next to impossible for me to sleep and I would sit up most of the night doing research on the computer and I began to notice Sharon was almost always online.  She would pray for me, encourage me, and advise me.  She was such a blessing during that time.  I can't imagine having gone through that without her.

Tonight I just felt it was important to again share about the need to treat hearing loss as an emergency.

Today for me was pretty routine.  After I got to the office, Ron left on jobs and didn't return until late in the afternoon.  I worked a little with some fabrics,  did some filing, some bookkeeping, and waiting on lots of customers.  It was a good day, but nothing special.  Sometimes, that is good!

After work I picked up a prescription and some staples - milk and bread, and came home.  I had supper alone as Ron continued finishing the tax things.  Later I sewed for a while and read for a while.  It was a nice evening.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 24, 2015

An Evening Sewing Circle
March 24, 2015

Today my Amaryllis plants have 5 blooms open.
Today was another of those unusual days.  I don't know where it went off track, but I think it did.  I had an appointment at the doctor's office at 10:30 with the allergist.  She had left a voice mail last Friday about it, changing it from Monday to Tuesday.  She had also talked to Ron about it and he had texted me about the 10:30 appointment.  I was running a couple of minutes late, which I VERY rarely do for a doctor's appointment.

I arrived at the office at 10:32, but had trouble finding a parking place.  It was probably 10:35 when I checked in with the desk.  It turned out that the doctor had called Ron to see where I was.  She thought the appointment was at 10:00.  As far as I could tell, she had no one in the office but left me waiting in the waiting room until after 11:10.  I had a good  book, so it didn't really bother me, but I am sorry Ron had erased the voice mail after he listened to it for me.  I never erase them.  I would have played it for her to let her know she had messed up thinking it was at 10:00.  I gave myself the shots and then had to come to the house to leave the serum in the refrigerator.
Before coming to the house, I tried to get a gallon of milk at Walgreen's, but the display cases were empty.  I asked at the check out and they said the delivery man had just arrived.  I took the things I had just purchased, to the car and went back in but the delivery man went off somewhere else in the store and was not stocking the shelves.  I had to get home and then to the office, so I left without the milk.

Black-bellied whistling duck claiming rights to the top of the driftwood.
At the office, Ron prepared to leave on a job and I was doing bookkeeping.  Soon after he left, my sister came to visit while Mom was getting her hair done.  We had a good visit.  After she left, I got busy with customers and Ron returned from his job.  I went to the bank to make a deposit and when I got back he said I could deliver some merchandise for him to a customer and then come home.  He didn't have to offer twice.
 Janet SEWING!
At the house I made a big bowl of chicken salad out of some chicken breasts I had cooked Sunday evening. The salad was super good.  Janet, Mom and Carmen arrived about 5:00 and we started sewing.  Janet doesn't sew, but has been wanting to make her own dinner napkins so she can make ones to go with her decor.  I cut them out (10 adult size and 3 smaller ones for grandchildren.  She finished 5 of them this evening.
 Mom working on her crochet practice
Janet wanted me to take a photo for her to send to our other sister who also does not sew.  The other sister commented about the bowl of jelly beans on the table but not the napkins!  We are all a mess!
Carmen sewing squares together
Saturday, I had given Carmen a stack of fabric squares and told her to lay them out on the design wall and I would teach her how to make a quilt.  She only got a few done Saturday before we left to go get groceries.  Tonight I told her to work on those and ignore my house.  She did insist on taking out the trash and later doing the dishes after supper, but mostly she sewed and had a good time.  I told her it is just practice and to enjoy it.  Mom brought some practice crochet with her, so we were all busy.  Hopefully Janet can get back over to finish the napkins before she goes home.
Above you see Janet ironing her napkins.  Below is the fabric she is using.  They are turning out to be very cute.