Getting ready for company..

Living On Oxygen for Life

This is how K looks out for me. He’s awesome. I meant to post this last year. I just wanted to show you that there are some really great spouses out there. There are so many things that are just too hard for me to do and that’s when K steps in and takes over. I love this man.

Me: (finally lying in bed with Bipap & oxygen on totally exhausted from working along side K to super clean the house) Thank you so much for your help K.

K: (while mopping the hallway) Is the music too loud?

Me: No. Right now I don’t care about the music or the light being on. I’m exhausted. What you’re doing is so appreciated.

K: (stops mopping) This is what you wanted done.. What you needed, right?

Me: What you’ve done is awesome. You’ve gone above my expectations. Thank you.

PCV13… the other Pneumonia shot..

Living On Oxygen for Life

PCV13
Yesterday, I went to my Primary Care Physician to receive my shot called PCV13 (Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine). This shot is what I like to call the “other pneumonia shot.” Based on the website Vaccines.gov:

There are currently two types of pneumococcal vaccines: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).

There are more than 90 types of pneumococcal bacteria. PCV13 protects against 13 types and PPSV23 protects against 23 types. Both vaccines provide protection against illnesses like meningitis (infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) and bacteremia (blood infection). PCV13 also provides protection against pneumonia (lung infection).

If you’ve already had a “Pneumonia shot”, most likely you’ve had the PPSV23 as it came on the market in 1983. It was called Pneumovax and made by Merck and now referred to as PPSV23. You can read all about what these vaccines are and when they were created at: Immunize.org. It’s all so confusing.. I know. Just give me the shot already! Sheesh!

But wait… for some reason, you have to be of a certain age or have a qualifying illness to obtain the PCV13. They are expensive and not all insurances will cover it. From what my doctor has told me… they are about $100 per shot and he has to order them in small amounts at a time. It’s not like ordering a batch of flu shots where the doctor knows they will be used up.

Technically, I do not qualify to receive this vaccine. Check the list at the Vaccines.gov website. However, my doctor felt so strongly that if I were to come down with Pneumonia… Well, let’s just say that better not happen *knock on wood*. Seriously, it’s a thought that I don’t even want to imagine because it would be very, very bad if not fatal for me. Sorry for the doom and gloom there.. My bad! Anyway.. ALL of my doctors agreed that I should get a PCV13 shot and so I went in on Friday because my doctor finally got it (it took about a month).

I was sitting there in the doctor’s waiting room when the nurse called my name and that’s when some sort of dinging started to go off. We both looked around asking what was that?? I knew that I heard that noise before. I said, “Could that be me??” and I lifted my purse up to my ear and sure enough it was my phone. K was trying to let me know that he’s been texting and calling me but I had my ringer turned down. Hey, I’m in the doctor’s office! It’s a rule to turn the ringer down. Sooo… I was explaining to my nurse as she whipped out the syringe that K and I have our phones linked and we use the “Find my Phone” app to know where each other is at anytime. It’s great because on that app you can play an alert tone so that you can either find your phone or get someone to answer their phone! The nurse and I were laughing and that’s when she stabbed me in the arm. I was NOT prepared for the shot to sting like it did. I was like, “Ouch that hurts!” She said, “Oh yeah, it will sting a little bit.” No kidding, right? But, I wasn’t going to be a baby about it. I’m tough…

By the time K met me at the mechanics to drop my van off, I was already starting to feel the vaccine move into my shoulder joint. The Flu Shot does the same thing. It makes my joints in my arm hurt for a day or so but for me that was child’s play compared to how I responded to the PCV13. I’m not saying that my reactions will happen to anyone else. I think it’s just that my body is not very strong and it wasn’t quite prepared for this. By the time I got home, about 30 minutes later, the joint pain spread to my left rib cage and it hurt to inhale deeply on the left side. That freaked me out a bit. K had to help me out of his car. We took a nap and I slept with a heating pad which helped me get a little sleep. When I woke up, K helped me sit up in bed because my arm just wasn’t getting the job done and my breathing wasn’t as good as it should be. The stress of dealing with the side effects of the vaccine was wearing me out. I knew I had to just get through a couple of days of feeling like crap, and then I’ll be right as rain.. right? And before I forget, I asked my nurse if I still had to get my flu shot in October and she said, “YES!” Ugh! Another stabbing! haha!

Today, I just feel really tired and slightly warm as if I have a tiny fever (it was only 98.9F). No big deal. My arm is doing better now. I can lift it up without too much aching. I think because I kept moving it around yesterday really helped make it feel better today. The heating pad helped too! Thank you K for the advice even though it was the last thing I wanted to do was to move around an arm that REALLY hurt.

Would I do it all over again, if I knew what I know now? Yes I would because I will protect my body from whatever illness I can. I love living and I love life. Most of all, I love K and I want to continue to be with him for as long as possible. I can hear you saying… “Awhh!” I know, I’m so goofy and that’s a good thing. If I can find humor in things while feeling not-so-good, life will be ok. Love to you all!! Hey check out my NEW Need a Hug Project blog. That’s where I will be updating all the packages of afghans that I ship out. FOLLOW it if you don’t already. Have a great day!

Need a Hug Continues…

Living On Oxygen for Life

Good afternoon everyone! I LOVE to crochet as one of my many hobbies. Last year, [2014], I made it my New Year’s Resolution to crochet many lapghans/afghans to just give away to those who have breathing problems all at my expense. My afghans have reached out to people who live in New Zealand, the UK, Canada, and various places in the U.S.A. My goal with sending these afghans was and still is to give the recipient a HUG and to let them know that someone cares about them. So, I named the project: NEED A HUG giveaway.

Now that it’s 2015, I have decided to continue this project but I need help to buy the yarn and pay for the shipping. That’s where your help comes in. My goal is to make this more of a community feeling of reaching out to give HUGS to those who have trouble breathing. If you’ve experienced breathing problems, you know just how difficult life can be. So, with your help, let’s send warm hugs to them. *hugs* These breathing problem can be anything such as: Asthma, Restrictive Lung Disease, Pulmonary Hypertension, COPD, and so many more that it would take forever to list. Even people who use a Bipap or a CPap can be a recipient. My goal is to make your sad day better, to wrap you in a warm hug with one of my afghans, and to remind you that people care about you.

I have opened a GoFundMe account to help with the cost of only Yarn and Shipping in order to continue the Need a Hug giveaway. So, please tell your friends and family about this project. All money donated will only be spent on the purchase of yarn and shipping expenses. If you feel the urge to donate to this project, you can do so at: Help Need a Hug.

If you would like to enter the Need a Hug giveaway, please email me at: goredrider@gmail.com and include your name, address, and a brief bio of why you have breathing problems. I will make them and give them away in order I receive the entries. It generally takes me 3 to 4 weeks to make one afghan. So, please have patients. *HUGS* to you all!!!

I just want everyone to know that if you don’t have the funds to donate, please don’t. If you do have the funds, any amount of help is appreciated… whether it’s a $1, $5, or whatever… I’m not doing this to profit. Whether or not you donate, you can still enter yourself in the Need a Hug giveaway.

needahug2015

gofundmepic

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August & September Need a Hug Giveaway Afghan

August & September Need a Hug Giveaway Afghan

June 2014  Need a Hug giveaway

June 2014
Need a Hug giveaway

January 2014 Giveaway Lapghan Deadline for entries is January 31. Drawing on February 1, 2014.

January 2014 Giveaway Lapghan
Deadline for entries is January 31.
Drawing on February 1, 2014.

AfghanGiveaway

3 inch granny square afghan.

3 inch granny square afghan.

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SpringAfghan

Afghan for a Friend

Mother-in-Law Afghan

Afghan #1

Reality…

Living On Oxygen for Life

I’m not invincible. Though, I like to think I am… *grin* I have weaknesses and I cry. I have bad days that make me feel like I’m dying and I struggle to find the one thing that will show me the goodness of life. A lot of the times it is the memories of fun things I’ve done with my sisters, family or with K. Other times, it is the comments or emails that I receive through this blog or my Facebook page. I take a lot of pictures and turn them into photo books for this reason too.

While in the hospital, earlier this month, my younger sister called me. She was surprised that I was laughing and cheerful and she asked me how I could be that way. I told her that it’s better to laugh about it than to cry. She asked me if I was scared and I said laughing, “Heck yeah I’m scared.”

Even though I have all these medical problems that make me feel bad (a lot!), I don’t want to leave with them a memory of me crying. I’d rather have them think of me as a happy person. Does that make sense to y’all? That doesn’t mean that I never break down and cry. There is only so much stress, bad news, pain, and struggling to breathe I can handle.

It’s ok to cry. It doesn’t mean that you feel sorry for yourself as long as you don’t wallow in it. To me, it’s like a reset button or a relief valve on the mounting stress. So, am I always the happy-go-lucky gal you see? No, because life is hard and filled with challenges. Filled with tests of strength. I’m up for the challenge. It’s just sometimes it gets to be too much.

This month has been exceptionally challenging. Thank you all for being there for me. *hugs*

Life is beautiful….

Living On Oxygen for Life

Life is beautiful. You just need to know how to find that beauty. It comes in actions, in words, kind gestures, and even the small creatures that we take time to capture in pictures. Photography is one of my passions. It’s something I can do without tiring myself out. It gives me joy and that “feel good” feeling when I see the pictures on the computer. Sometimes these pictures end up in an Shutterfly book or a mousepad. Wherever the pictures end up, I refer back to them when I feel a need to give myself a boost. They make me happy. So, I want to share them with others.

Lately, I’ve been busy. I went to my niece’s wedding and reception and I took my camera. It had been a while since I felt the pull to take pictures. I use to be a real shutterbug. My family could tell you that I would be very obnoxious with taking oodles of pictures of them, much to their irritation. They would know that when I took out my camera, I would go nuts snapping candid pictures. But you know, once they saw the pictures, they liked them.

With my niece’s reception, I was glad that I took my camera. I kind of grumbled about taking it because I didn’t want anything extra to carry around. However, during the wedding, while we and other guests were in reception area, I learned that the photographer wasn’t staying for the reception. So, I immediately started snapping up pictures of everyone there and I took pictures of the cake cutting. There aren’t many things that I feel I CAN do but taking pictures was something that I could do that made me feel useful.

Feeling useful is something I struggle with. With my energy declining and my breathing ability getting worse, pushing myself to do things that are harder now gets to be an internal struggle. But keeping myself moving forward and staying active keeps me alive.

So, seeing all the little things that are beautiful, such as a butterfly in flight or a botanical garden that looks like a jungle reminds me that life is beautiful.

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Don’t forget to enter to win the HOPE necklace, curtesy of Josephine’s Jewelry. The giveaway is open to everyone. Please click the menu link above to read the details and then email me to enter!!! Remember to FOLLOW my blog so that you won’t miss a thing! Love to you all!

Slowly getting back to normal…

Living On Oxygen for Life

For those of you who follow me on my Living On O2 for Life Facebook page, you know what has happened over the past two weeks in my life, K’s and K’s family’s lives. K’s father lost his long, hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away on February 22, at 6:30am.

Even though his passing was expected, it is something of an experience that I would never wish on anyone. I want to thank everyone who has emailed me or left a comment on Facebook concerning thoughts and prayers for K & his family. They are truly, TRULY appreciated. I am just now starting to get back to where I feel like being the me you know and hopeful love to hear from. Let’s just say that this was a huge emotional learning experience for me. It made me think of or become aware of the “End of Life” situations that I have of yet realized until now.

I write this to you knowing that this whole sad experience is NOT about me. It’s all about K and his family. My older sister was a HUGE help to his family and to K. She came down and cooked up so much food that they didn’t even need to cook at all. She helped K’s mom in so many ways. I feel so blessed for my wonderful family who just basically dropped everything, rearranged their work schedules within moments notice to come down to help or just be here for us.

I just wanted to thank everyone for the thoughtfulness that they’ve shown. *HUGE HUG*

I plan on having another “Need a Hug?” giveaway sometime this month. Sorry I had to skip February. I will get a picture up of the next lapghan/afghan I plan to give away. Be sure to email me at goredrider@gmail.com if you’d like to enter. You can enter anytime. You do not need to wait until there is an official giveaway posted. Just please take a minute to click on the link above in the menu called “Need a Hug?” to see what to write in your email. If you’ve already entered and haven’t won yet, I still have you entered! I know that Nicole has received her lapghan in the mail that she won in January! That picture was just precious Nicole!!! Thanks for sending it to me! I needed the smile.

I hope you are all well and I know some of you are still experiencing some chilly weather while I’m down here in Texas all toasty at 80 degrees! So, stay warm… Spring is coming!

Hooray!! Thanksgiving is coming!

Living On O2 for Life

Hello to all of my subscribed readers and visitors! I’m so excited that I finally broke the 10,000th view of my blog. I haven’t even been blogging for a whole year yet. Though, the one year anniversary is coming up soon. Yippee!! Not only is that news exciting… Thanksgiving is coming!! Though, if you are Canadian, you’ve already been able to enjoy the holiday. You lucky ducks!

K (my husband) and I have decided to cook our very first Thanksgiving meal just for us. I know, I can’t believe I haven’t done it already for all the  years that we’ve been together (25 years). Whoa! I’m not even going to THINK about how long 25 years of being with someone is. Although, it’s pretty darn fabulous. The poor guy. haha!

Seriously now, let’s talk TURKEY! I have to take diuretics which gets rid of excess water from my body. So, eating any extra salt is really a no-no. Booooo! That drags for a LOT of people. However, when I was 10 years old and had my open-heart surgery, my mother got me use to eating less salt. There are only a very few things that I feel that REALLY need salt to make it taste better when I sit down to eat my meal. Some people are hopelessly addicted to salt… like my mother, who will even salt her pizza. So gross! What’s up with that anyway???

There are several ways I try to combat a high sodium diet. I read labels in the grocery store, I use food portion control, and I try not to add a bunch of salt when cooking. I really like Mrs. Dash, especially in scrambled eggs. YUM! Another thing I’m thinking of trying to find is an APP for counting sodium in the everyday food we eat. It would be great to have if we go to a restaurant and that information would be readily available on an APP. Don’t you think?

Here’s a crazy challenge for all of you! Pick one day this month and count the total sodium in the food you eat for that day. You will be surprised at how much sodium you eat. Don’t forget the sodium content in the beverages you drink. IE: soda. Let me know your total and I will post mine!

Sign up to follow my blog so that you will be sent an email whenever I add new posts to Living On O2 for Life. I don’t want you to miss a thing! (see right column of my blog) Have a wonderful day and continue to take care of yourself. Get your flu shot! Flu season is here!