Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Day In My Life......

As many of you know I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 2009. Sarcoidosis. I hate that word. As a nurse it was always so foreign to me. Only briefly mentioned in my VERY thorough nursing class. I had patients with it over the years but we weren't directly caring for that disease. These patients were forever showing up late for their appointments with the surgeon and stating "My Sarc - yes, a 4 letter word that I sorta pegged them with as being crazy and too lazy to say the whole word - My Sarc was acting up". Acting up? How does Sarc act?? Um hummm, whatever!
Or we also had the drug seekers - ends up being me stereotyping those patients - "I know you gave me Lortab #20 two weeks ago for uncomplicated laproscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder), Dr Mac, but my Sarc was acting up so bad and I had to take them all up sooner. Now my incision hurts and I need more."
Get a life!!!
Then my years as an ER Nurse...oh many times did I hear "My Sarc is acting up."


I started experiencing flu like symptons, joint pain, occasional fatigue - which went along with those flu like symptoms, some days worse than others. Some flare-ups worse than others in days of suffering - ranging from 3-4 hours to 4-5 days. Yep, I had the flu more than ANY of you guys!!!!
I blamed it on anything, worked too hard around our house - in the garden way too long - too many 12 hour + shifts in ICU - then I decided that it was all in my head. In 2004 the pain became so severe that my Dr said OK lets check some things out......lab after lab after lab = I DON'T have a clue why you are so inflamed, (sed rate thru the roof, joints hot to the touch) must be rheumatoid arthritis.
Off to a wonderful Rheumatologist who did every test known to man and finally decided that I had one of the "over 100 different types of RA that are Rheumatoid Factor Negative" 
OK Then! A diagnosis. I could treat my pain with Aleve and a hot tub and carry on.....until the "flu" would hit me out of no where...BAM...get me a bed, I'm going to die.....feverish, but hey NO fever....well I am always sub-low.....of course I am running a fever, where else would these chills come from. 


Then that immune system of mine - drive by my house or the building I worked in with a virus of any type and by crackies you can bet I had it, soon, and 10 times worse than you had it! LOL
I gave up my great 3-12 hour weekend night shifts in ER because I blamed everything on night shift.
Then this eruption of a small area in my scalp started. Inflamed. itchy area that would dry up but never go away and only flare up again for 8 months. Was at my family Dr for my 3rd virus in 4 months and showed it to her. She made a horrible face and said that must be checked. A dermatology appointment in 2 weeks? OH NO I AM DYING!!!! Those are 6-8 months down the road!
She treated me for a couple weeks with topical steroids and it was no better so she wanted to do a punch biopsy. She led me to totally believe it was psoriasis. The next week my RN daughter was in from Ga and went with me to get my results and we were going on that day for a day of play.
The Dr said "You have Sarcoidosis!" 
I was totally in a daze. Shocked out of my socks!
I asked well does that have anything to do with all my joint pain I have had for 8 years? I don't know, probably, here's a few print offs on Sarc.


We leave the office, get in hallway and I look at Robin and said "I only thought Sarc affected your lungs and black women?" She said "That's all I know about it, too."
Two fairly good nurses were clueless about it.
They started running tests and found out my lungs were full of little nodules but my breathing was still barely compromised. Short of breath on exertion but I had labeled that as FAS - yes that's what I heard a lot of patients being diagnosed with over the years "Fat A** Syndrome!! Of course that's why I was short of breath all the time! LOL
Fast forward 5 years and I have remained EXACTLY the same as I was when diagnosed! Praise God!
The lesion in my scalp is still there just exactly as it was, only it has ate a hole in my scalp thru the cartilage/meat/muscle and into the bone of my head, .......I will explain this further down breathing is exactly as it was, joint pain maybe a tiny bit better. Flu like symptoms very very very often now!


HOWEVER, around January 2014, maybe a little before, I started to experience incredible fatigue and new onset of muscle pain that was so severe that I could hardly tolerate it. I worked 3 - 8 hours shifts a week as a home health/ private duty nurse that was very laid back and yet it took everything out of me. This too shall pass, I kept telling myself.
Had a couple Drs visits and nothing really pinpointed that could be the culprit. 
I have spent the entire year +, at least 13 months, with this fatigue and muscle pain that can't be explained. 
I am a very busy person and fight thru the pain and fatigue most days but I've been miserable. I whine until I can't stand to hear it any more, myself. I am so sure that my family is totally sick of it, too.
Nothing helps, only briefly, I mean as in 12 hour Aleve may give me 1-2 hours of pain free relief but still no energy. Let it be known I have never been prescribed anything for pain, OTC so far in this journey. So what the heck is wrong with me?
No it's not Cancer (not that i know of) and for that I am grateful and yet I am so ashamed of the whining. I have a daughter who fought a long hard battle with breast cancer and never muttered a complaint. She is fine right now!!! PRAISE GOD, AGAIN!!! 
I have had two friends that just passed away from cancer and they were so gracious and never complained. Why do I complain so much? 
I guess I am just a big baby!
Actually, I whine, not really complain....I know, same difference...sorry!
I whine because this illness is a nuisance. A thorn in my side.
A disease that Dr's know little could that be why us nurses knew so little about it???? I think so!
A disease that doesn't ordinarily end your life, not that I want that to happen, but maybe why so few Dr's actually know a lot about it. Don't get me wrong I have the BEST family Dr there has ever been!! She admits that she doesn't know a lot about "Sarc" (I have just now started abbreviating it myself) and she has left it up to me to find a specialist at any of the local universities ie. UVA or Duke. Well I tried that a couple years ago and all the Dr's listed as sarc Drs had either retired, left the area, went into research, or really don't "MESS" with sarc! Yes, office personnel said that exact word to me. (She didn't want to hear about my "Sarc acting up, either!)  I gave up because at the time I was floating right along with no changes. 
Yes, I had a chest Xray last fall and it is exactly the same as it was in 2009!!! Whoop whoop!!!!


So why do I feel so bad every day of my life?
I often get online and research Sarcoidosis and there really isnt a lot about the disease on there. Lot's of forums and frankly after reading a few of their stories I decide that I am tough as nails and am fighting my way thru this crazy disease on my own. If I continue to work hard, in my 4-5-6-7 jobs that I think I need, because I WANT, and continue all my fairly strenuous hobbies that I am obviously doing the right thing and keeping myself from breaking down and having to go on steroids or chemo drugs and I don't want to do that due to all the complications associated with those drugs. 
I was placed on Planquinel in 2009, still on same dosage, which is max dosage. Is it what has kept me the same as far as my lungs and skin lesions? I dunno! My Dr doesn't know? Has it been my activity level? I dunno. I would say it has definitely helped. I am not a lazy person and it has ripped my spirit this past year feeling so fatigued and sore from head to toe. Down right pisses me off!! I do not do well with my wings clipped!! Here I go again, whine, whine, whine.
I really believe the whining comes from the unknown....what is wrong with me???


So last night after dinner where Danny and I discussed my situation, yet again. (I know he gets tired of me discussing how I had a spurt of energy and painted a room, planted the entire garden, scrubbed the vinyl siding with a toothbrush after doing the entire months laundry and baked three cakes one day....then the next day....I sat on couch all day and couldn't move until 5 pm and then I have written 2 chapters in my book and scrubbed two bathrooms and made a gourmet dinner in two hours flat!)
I got online and stumbled upon the greatest article ever about Sarcoidosis. 
They wrote this article about me.

WOW! That was an eye opener!
I didn't cry this much when I was first diagnosed and my family Dr and I got into a very heated emotional discussion over the phone and she basically told me she didn't give a rats rear what I had been diagnosed with that she knew nothing about sarcoidosis and would not be treating me.....and then she asked "Geeshhh, are your crying? Are you kidding me? What is there to be crying about? What a baby!"
True story!!
Needless to say I have a new Dr!!
There I was with a new freaking diagnosis and my lungs full of sarc nodules and only a dermatology NP to treat float your own boat Becky!

I get online and most the literature was what is sarc, how it affects won't kill you....(should say it will only make you wish you were dead, but it didn't) .....then some of those "crazy people" who don't have a very high pain tolerance on the forums. Ha thay don't have the same sarc as i do!

Until January 2014 I have dealt.....I still deal....My head has a hole in it that is very well hid by my hair that I am fortunate to still have, do not want Methotrexate mainly because of my hair falling out in that area and you guys seeing what I am talking about. Won't be pretty!
The mornings where I wake up and wonder the first thing 'how am I going to feel today?"
I have thought that there must be something else wrong with me besides sarc. Surely it didn't treat you like that, I mean in my 13 years with it (well 12 years before the harsh symptoms appeared)
it was mostly tolerable.
Then there it was in BLACK and WHITE!
Becky has THIS!!!
Pay attention to the part about the muscle pain and fatigue and the skin lesions eating thru to the bone.
This is what the rest of your life will look like, you are not crazy!
Oh well maybe I am crazy...a crazy S-A-R-C patient!


Why did I feel the need to share this?
You guys know I am an open book.
I needed this blog post for my reference as a timeline marker and I want to explain why I whine about being tired, sore, etc etc yet tell about the things I do on a continuous painting, gardening, all my jobs and hobbies....yet complain about my's not me it's my disease!!
Apparently I am just playing out the characters in the classic textbook Pulmonary Sarcoidosis 101!
Now I know what is probably going on....yes, that does make it more tolerable, I think??
Now you know, too!
Time to go on that hunt for a SARC Dr. Please let me know who you go to. I know there are a few of you sarc patients out there! A few on my Facebook friends list. 

Prayers are as always very welcomed!!
God Bless you all and thank you for taking up your precious time to read this!!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bedposts & Bedspreads

 Whew this is going to be a long post, where do I begin??
Ok, I will begin by telling you that I married into an awesome family.
Well back up a bit here Beck......
When I was all but a wee pup my mom and dad rented my husband, Danny's, grandparents home and lived there for a few months while we were building our house. His grandparents were Eldee and Etta Moran. Etta had passed some years prior to this but Eldee had just been killed when a tractor turned over on him on that farm. I think this was 1972.
The bed above is my king size bed that we sleep in now and I have been re-doing my room for a couple weeks...ready for new paint now and it is mostly clean and somewhat organized....YAY!!!
I posted that picture on Facebook with a little story about how the pillowcases came from my great grandma and several different pieces that were so full of sentimental value were used. 
I am getting old enough that I want to use my pretties instead of keeping them hid away and never enjoyed. This sparked a lot of interest from some of my family on Facebook and we all learned more about the history of some of these items.
 Well today.......Danny's first cousin, the beautiful Beth, called me. I haven't spoken to her in too many years to even count other than her Facebook stalking me...hahahaha!!! She called to tell me that she has something to give me that was her and Danny's Grandma Etta's. It is this BEAUTIFUL bedspread!!!! Etta made this bedspread from cotton flour sack strings that she collected from all the flour sacks that she used!! GOSH-a-motorcycles that was a lot of work!!!!
Of course what makes it even more special is that Beth chose to give it to me!! 
Yep there were one or maybe three thousand tears shed today! 
I think I heard a snif snif on the other end, too. Especially when she said it would look great in my bedroom on my bed. I said "No way! That is going on my other bed that Danny made me!" 
Then she got to hear the story about this bed.
Danny and I were married September 25, 1976.
Right before Christmas his Mom saw him rambling around in their meat house and he had drug a bunch of stuff out into the pasture field. She hollered at him and asked what he was doing. He said he wanted the old bed that was stored in the back of the building to use as a pattern to make him a bed like it. She laughed!! 
I can remember that day so vividly, I can't remember my own name nor what I had for lunch but I remember that day very well!!
I was 14 years old!
This bed is in the guest/grandkids room now. 
It's been around for over 38 years. 
SO....... Danny comes home today and I tell him all about the bedspread. I mentioned that I wished I knew more about the bed that he used as a pattern. It was a 3/4 head board that was OLD at that time. Boy if I only knew about all the things you could do with an old bed back then, it would be right here in my home today with me!! He proceeds to tell me that it was an old spool bed that belonged to Aunt Mandy. I must inquire with some family as to exactly who she was but I am thinking my father-in-law, Raymond's Aunt. 
Then he tells me that that bedspread will be very fitting for his bed that he made because the walnut lumber came from a tree that Grandpa Eldee had given him a few years before he died. The tree had fell on their farm.  Raymond and Danny sawed the lumber and then stacked it up to dry for a few years.
Then Danny took him a bride.......she needed a bed......then a bedspread......

So it appears this bedspread has come full circle!
My heart swells to full capacity!!
Thank You, Beth!!!
Can't wait to travel across the state to visit with you to bring her home with me, soon, really soon!!

I hope all you Moran's understand how much you all mean to me!
Love you guys so much!!!!
Now I must go polish that walnut bed my boyfriend made me almost 4 decades ago!

God Bless!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New words for me....Organizing binders and zero balanced budget.....

Seems that I broke another promise to you guys and myself.
I promised I would be back with new and exciting tricks up my sleeve but life got in the way.
Too many things to even mention on here other than several days were consumed with family time as we had a death in the extended family. The sweet little four year old son of my son in laws sister passed away in North Carolina. Not sure if they will ever know what happened to him but we can rest assured of where he is today.
I also took on two new part time nursing jobs, one home health and one is as school nurse sub for our local school system. I spent a couple weeks orienting to both of these positions and now I am on a 13 day break! Am I accomplishing things around the house? Not really!
I am, however, working on an organizing binder to help me keep my head on straight.
 Between photography and two nursing positions I don't know whether I am coming or going! I know that's nothing new! I will try to share pictures of my binder as it comes together. Just having it started makes me feel more organized already! I never knew it was so much to slapping a notebook with a calendar together....GEEEEZZHHHH!!!!
I have been working on this one for over two weeks and it's no where near where I want it.
I have also, along with the binder, started putting together a budget. I do not plan to work these three jobs for long :-)
I have never ever ever ever made or stuck to a budget and never even knew where to begin with one. I have always been one to pay something as it comes due as the money comes in for it.....budgeting ahead was not in my vocabulary! This system only partially worked! Yes, on occasion there have been things pushing the deadline.....well on more than one occasion!
I have been doing my homework so to speak, consuming many many hours studying other peoples ideas that they have shared for making and sticking to a budget. WOW have I been enlightened! I feel sometimes as if there is no way that I can actually do this. Then I put it on paper and it looks as if I should be rich! I have always sung the words to that song there's too much month at the end of the money! On paper not the case tho! If I can keep my fingers out of that money until it goes on a bill or where ever it was allotted via the budget to go I will be fine.
I am trying to set up a zero balance budget. You know where every dollar that is going to come in has been earmarked for a certain mortgage, titheing, car, groceries......sounds easy but it's not easy to just sit down and remember everything that will come up in a years time to spend your money on. Dear Hubs is actually on a salary so his paycheck is the same each and every week, which is a huge plus when working on a budget. He also has an expense check that fluctuates each week. I have decided that it will be best for us to use his paycheck and for me to set an exact set number of $$$ to contribute each week and put anything extra that I make in savings or to pay off a debt. His expense check will be put in a savings acct to save up for him a new work truck, or down payment on one.
Thank goodness we only have one store card that will soon be paid off and we have no other debt beside a car and home mortgage. I had that pretty little Jaguar paid off and no payment for 6 1/2 years but felt like I needed something bigger and traded in December for a huge Chevy Traverse gas hog money sucking money pit! Yes, that has been a thorn in my side for all these months. Enuf said? I have to figure in car repairs in the budget now that was never an issue in the past.

So wish me luck as I get these new organizing tools underway and start to see a more organized life!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.....(a challenge)

    Here I am after all these months of no blogging realizing how much I have missed it. I have a void in my life and need some structure and this blog is discipline for me. So many things have been going on in my life that were certainly blog worthy but I still didn't take the time to slow down and post about them. I will regret that one day....I use this blog as my memory bank to look back and remember what year it was that there was a manhunt in our neighborhood, the season I made the best pickles or a special sewing project. My computer brain is failing me but my virtual "computer" brain is always here floating around somewhere in cyber land.

   I will start out today with an explanation of why today and then try to catch up with a regular routine of blog posts.......


It's Monday.....need I say more?
Actually I am in a rut with no motivation....well maybe a lot of motivation but no real gumption or energy??? Not sure what my hold back is....INSPIRATION! That's what I have been missing. I know I have the www.'s and Pinterest and all sorts of inspiration out there but if I try to use those my ADD kicks in and I sit down to look up a new quilt pattern and before you know it I am baking a new cake or learning how to clean the grill the non toxic way!

Today is Monday and it's a fresh start to my week and to my new life of living a cleaner life......and in cleaner, I mean:

A cleaner more organized house.
A closer walk with God and all things HOLY!
A cleaner diet and lifestyle.
A cleaner EVERYTHING, work, hobbies, etc etc etc.....streamlined if I may.
A cleaner life in general.

(and not necessarily in any particular order were they listed)

It all goes hand in hand....a closer/cleaner life in any of these aspects will compliment each category tremendously. I think about how cluttered my mind and body and house and schedule and life are and wonder how I have time for God. If it wasn't for all HE has done for me and my family and a very persistent preacher who holds me accountable.......well I might not even make it to church regularly!!

So I have some great big goals that will obviously have to be broken down in little bitty maybe on a daily basis ;-) I know me! I also have this STUPID Sarcoidosis and it wreaks havoc on my body when ever it wants to....(Maybe my cleaner lifestyle will help those bouts become more and more infrequent?) So be prepared for a lot of posts for my journaling of this new life one little piece at a time as I march thru it all one little piece at a time. Who knows maybe some of you will want to join along and share tips and ideas??? That would be great if not just remember me in your prayers as I start out on living the rest of my life.......

Now as I get started on this beautiful sunny morning I will start by becoming a "list maker"!
Once my list is made I will start on my journey but I will leave you with this......

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. be continued


Monday, May 13, 2013

"I was featured" and a winner! Beautiful Buffalo Mountain, Floyd County, Va.

I never thought I could ever type these three words:
"I was featured"
I entered one of my many photos that I have taken of the view across the road in front of my little farm, into a contest for the best photo of Buffalo Mountain.
My photo of the mountain was from clear across the county but includes so many elements that depicts Floyd County perfectly, at least that's what I was told.
I won first place!
I won the cover shot!
I also landed a bio spot in the Floyd County Publications Magazine.
(My bio is on page 40)
This Magazine went out to 25,000 people!
I also won $100!