Sunday, December 4, 2016


Today (12/3/16) so did not go the way I thought it would or wanted.  Mid morning my parents were out running errands and Addi & I were chilling on the recliner watching some Duck Dynasty.  My mom called to say that our vet called.  The vet and our trainer Bob talked about some of Addi's aggression issues.  While Bob had been telling us all along that Addi was a trainable dog and we'd be able to work through her aggression issues after he consulted with our vet it was  decided that it was just not a good situation for her to stay in our house.  The big concern was if she went after Princess Bear (PB) or my nephews.  If she was willing to try to go after my Dad like she did the other day and he's 6' and 285lbs there was no reason to think she wouldn't go after a child.  The first solution Bob came up with was to relinquish her to a no kill shelter.  The shelter he had in mind was a shelter that he works with weekly.  He takes dogs from the shelter to the prison and the prisoners train the dogs.  My mom and I were OK with that solution.  We hated that she wouldn't be with us but under the idea of wanting the best thing for her could handle this solution.  There were a few calls from our vet while he was explaining what the process was.  You have to love a vet that is taking time from his precious time off to try to help a family.  I was on the phone with the vet and our house phone rang.  It was the woman who worked for the rescue we adopted Addi from and had fostered her.  Now to be honest I can't say I was a fan of this lady.  While I respect anyone that rescues dogs we had a few problems with this woman.  When we adopted Addi she came to us with a raging staph infection around her spay incision (she had been spayed 5 days before we adopted her).  Now I didn't notice the staph infection while we were at the adoption event.  I actually didn't notice it until that night.  When things settled down I was petting her and said something to my mom.  My parents had an appointment with the vet for 5 days later.  How do you not notice a staph infection on a dog near their incision site?  Weren't you caring for her incision?!!?  The next thing that gave me pause was the fact that this lady had the paperwork for Addi's microchip.  That is something we definitely needed so it could be transferred to our names.  She promised to send the information to us.  It took 3 or 4 phone calls from me and over a month before we received the paper work.  Seriously?  So I was not a big fan of this woman.  So there she is calling us telling us that we can't relinquish Addi to the no kill shelter but we have to turn her back over to the rescue.  Initially I was pissed as hell.  I didn't care for this woman or have a lot of faith or trust in her.  At first she talked to my Dad and there was no other option than to turn her back over to them.  My parents asked that I do the information call with the volunteer so I did that.  I gave the woman every little bit of info from the fact that she was terrified of storms, hated the vacuum, loved chasing bubbles, her future need for surgery and everything else.  It was a long, draining call.  The volunteer lived about a 1/2 hour away and said it would take her a bit to get ready.  We went about packing up EVERYTHING of Addi's from her shirts, jackets, all her toys, her treats, elk antler chew, pillow for her kennel, a new bubble gun so she can chase bubbles and her meds.  While we were waiting my mom sent my dad to the store to buy a new bag of her food.  We didn't want her to be any more stressed than she was already bound to be and then have to acclimate to a new food immediately.  All in all it took the woman over 2 hours to get here.  2 hours of my mom, PB and I crying because we were so upset.  2 hours of trying to get as much cuddle time as possible in with Addi.  The woman that is going to foster Addi is a trainer so Addi is going to get some really intense training.  In addition our trainer Bob agreed to continue working with Addi.  We did ask if it was at all possible that we be given the chance to readopt Addi.  The volunteer also offered to give us periodic updates on how Addi was doing.  I made copies of the paperwork so there is some record of our intentions hoping to readopt her (we wrote it on there).  I then said to hell with my surgery restrictions and picked up my 42 pound baby and placed her in the kennel for her trip.

In so many ways this is so much more painful than losing a dog to  death.  There is always going to be a part of us worrying about her.  There is a sense of failure that despite everything we did, obedience school, private trainer, etc, that we couldn't get her to work past the aggression issues.  Addi is the 8th dog I've owned in my life and the first that didn't die of old age.

I can also go into the fact that the volunteer seemed surprised when we mentioned not only a trainer but obedience school.  She was actually a bit snarky.  I suppose that there are times people adopt animals and just say screw it and give them back.  That is not something my family or I would ever do.  I suppose that some people when adopting a dog and then finding out that the dog had some health issues and needed surgery would say screw it and give her back.  Again, not something we would do.  That is part and parcel of pet ownership.  Below are some pics I took of my baby and a video of her chasing bubbles when PB broke out the bubble gun at home.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Send Nail polish or chocolate ASAP

This has just been a crazy week.  I'm still recovering which is going well but slow as molasses.  Wednesday I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck and 1/2 my face was very swollen.  It wasn't fun.  Enter yet another sinus infection.  I finally was able to get into the Dr. today and I'm now on prednisone and an antibiotic.  I'm really hoping this clears up very quickly!  Princess Bear (PB) had an appointment at her orthodontist the other day.  She'd actually missed a few months with all the craziness of me being sick.  She's rocking lovely Christmas color bands but her mouth is really bothering her since she hadn't had an adjustment since the summer.  I've had to go to school the last 2 days to give her Tylenol.  Yesterday I had to pick her up early since she overheated. 

Then to really add to the fun Addi, our dog, hasn't been feeling well.  Addi is kind of a hot mess.  We adopted Addi in August and things on one hand have been great and the other have been very dicey.  When Addi is good she is so very good.  It's just that she has shown some aggression and also is completely terrified of the vet.  The first time she was at the vets she growled at him so our vet gave us the name and number of a trainer we've been working with ever since.  The trainer is very positive about things whereas our vets are not.  In addition Addi seems to target PB the most.  I'm not sure if it's because PB is the youngest or what but if Addi is awake and in the same room as PB she tried gnawing on her arms and legs.  We're always having to pull her off of PB.  It's not cool.  Now please understand at this point this dog is very loved by everyone in the family, including PB.  So we're spending a ton of money on a training and trying to incorporate everything the trainer has taught us.  Oh please throw into the mix that a month ago at the vets Addi was completely loving up on the vet and giving kisses and then turned around and bit him.  I honestly have never dealt with a dog like this.  She's also kind of picked me as her favorite human and she's very much my baby which is making this whole thing super stressful.  When we took Addi to the vet a month ago they discovered that her "plumbing" isn't anatomically correct and consequently she'd very prone to UTIs.  So we have this dog with a medical issue that isn't going to resolve any time soon and she's completely terrified of the vet.  She was showing symptoms of a new UTI so my Dad and I took her in to the vet today.  They put us in a special room that has a mechanical table that is supposed to be less scary than being picked up and put on the table for the exam.  The entire time Addi cowered under the chairs.  Our vet tried taking her on a walk in the back halls just to see if she would calm down.  Addi yanked so hard on her leash that she got away from the vet.  My dad & I hear "watch's on the loose!" and recognized our vets voice.  I fling open the door to the exam room to see Addi running past.  She saw me and turned around.  UGH!  Since she'd previously bitten a vet she's supposed to wear a soft muzzle any time she's being examined.  It was so not happening today.  The vet put her on one medicine for some of her symptoms and decided that we would bring her in so they could heavily sedate her and then get new sonograms of her bladder, etc next week and then we'd decide if she'd needed another antibiotic.   The vet also said he was going to call our trainer and talk with him to see what his opinion from a training standpoint is.  The vet also mentioned repeatedly that he would not keep Addi since she has shown aggression and people can sue so easily.  Not the news we were hoping to hear.  The appointment was at 10:30am. My dad called me around 2:30pm to see if Addi had been outside when I was around.  Nope.  Fast forward 2 more hours and the dog most definitely had a raging UTI.  We picked up a new antibiotic and further testing is on hold until this clears up.  At this point I'm upset that this dog apparently has some significant medical issues only in that actually getting her treated is so difficult.  The aggression thing also has me concerned.  I adore this dog but I also don't want my daughter hurt.  The stress level is HIGH.  I need some new nail polish or chocolate STAT!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

When does it end?????

Today I had yet again another meeting with the school Principal and PB's teacher.  This is the 3 official meeting with the Principal and there have been some quick office visits to appraise her of the situation from my point of view.  Princess Bear (PB) has a new teacher this year.  To say that I'm less than thrilled about her would be quite an understatement.  I had been "warned" about this teacher before PB even had her.  I went into the year with an open mind but the bottom line is that she sucks.  The first meeting was about what wasn't being followed in the IEP and lack of accommodations on the teachers part.  The 2nd meeting I walked in with a typed list of almost 20 problems.  At that meeting I pulled PB out of the inclusion science class that she was in.  Last year I wasn't thrilled about the science class but that teacher was doing a great job with accommodations as well as teaching some valuable skills like note taking. 

Oops- before I go to far let me explain that accommodations in a special ed room is when the teacher takes information and then breaks it down in to the level that the child can understand and learn the information.  Since PB is in 8th grade but her reading level is a 4th grade level there needs to be a fair amount of time explaining vocabulary and then breaking the information down to where she is actually gaining knowledge and not just memorizing something. 

So this year the teacher she has does NO accommodations.  PB was in 2 inclusion classrooms.  Science and Social Studies.  The amount of information that is taught in that classes is way too much for PB to deal with and that's when it's at a level she understands it.  At the 2nd meeting after repeatedly asking for more and better accommodations I pulled PB from her science class.  While she really loved the teacher in that class she was getting very frustrated because things weren't making sense.  I put her in a science class that in all honestly is too easy for her but there wasn't another option that would have been the perfect fit.  PB loves the teacher for the new science class so she's happy about that.  I just hate that because the teacher wasn't doing her job it made a problem for PB.  I'm not OK with that. 

The day before surgery I picked up PB and the aide from her classroom, Missy, who at this point is a dear friend to the entire family.  Missy has some serious health issues and can't drive.  A few times a week we take her to run errands.  The day before my surgery she needed to go to Walgreens.  PB and I were in the car talking while Missy was in Walgreens.  I asked PB how her day had been and whoa!  I wasn't expecting what came pouring out.  PB was very upset that her teacher had yelled at her for forgetting an assignment.  Some of the things the teacher said were "How old are you?"  "You're too old to be messing up like this" and "Maybe if you're having so many  problems in this class you should drop it too".  This was the FIRST assignment that PB forgot this year.  I was pissed to say the very least.  You don't go off yelling at a child for forgetting one assignment!  You also don't make them feel bad for dropping a class when in all reality it was the teachers shortcomings that prompted that change.  So I called my mom & filled her in.  We agreed to meet at the school and try to talk to the Principal immediately since my surgery was the next day and then the kids were off the next week for Thanksgiving.  Luckily the principal completely understood and agreed with us.  She did ask if I had talked to the teacher.  I explained that since every time I've tried talking to this teacher she has completely disregarded me (and gave several examples) that I was no longer going that route.  I would bring it to the Principal or coordinator instead.  The principal thought it was time for another meeting and said that since the teacher hadn't listened to the Principal or the coordinator that maybe I should take the lead.  I told the principal I had no problem with that but warned her that it would be gloves off and no holds barred.  I was done and my next step is the School Board and the media.  She understood and was OK with that.  In some ways I don't think she likes this teacher much and was more than willing to let me have a crack at things. 

Today was when we had scheduled the meeting.  Since I still can't drive and my mom never drives to work my Dad had to take me, pick up my mom and drop us off at the school.  On the way to the meeting I was listening to Rammstein which is my "damn am I pissed and I'm ready to kick a$$ music".  To say the meeting was interesting is again an understatement.  The teacher at one point mentioned that her children were honor students and she expected the same things from her students.  HELLO?  Do you not even understand what population you're working with????  She also flat out lied a few times.  That will in all actuality make it easier to nail her to the wall in the future.  We talked about how we expected PB to be treated and what kind of accommodations were needed.  I have to admit that I don't have horribly high hopes that things will actually get accomplished but I've done what I can before I truly make things ugly at the school.  On the upside my inner bitch was having all kinds of fun since it actually had permission to come out and play!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

And we all sang Kumbaya

OK so we didn't really sing kumbaya but Thanksgiving was actually OK.  There were no jabs, physical or verbal, thrown at any point!  For my family that is a totally successful holiday!  My sister had been warned that I was going to be there but not to plan on me helping in any way, shape or form.  Thankfully, she's been really good about calling and checking on me and was actually a bit surprised that I felt up to being out for that long.  First hurdle crossed.  My sister and my parents got along.  The last time I was at my sisters house she brought my mom to tears.  I wasn't really sure what to expect this time.  My sister doesn't do stress or company well.  She did very well this year for which I am INCREDIBLY grateful.  My sister also didn't (really) go on the attack with my brother in law or my nephews.  Another complete win.    

Since I was on couch chilling duty I did get some serious downtime with my nephews which was great.  Those boys are my heart right along with Princess Bear (PB).   My oldest nephew looked at me while Aretha Franklin was performing the longest version of the National Anthem known to mankind and said "Aunt I right?  Is this just awful?" Yeah kid but you've gotta let the diva do what she wants when she wants.  Her voice was great but it was at the speed of a funeral dirge!!!  My youngest nephew wanted to let me know that he told his class that his Aunt is the best because Kris Bryant is her favorite player. I'm glad the little things make you happy kiddo!  :)  I brought a Disney Christmas CD over for the boys to share.  My cousin Jen and I have a thing about Christmas music.  She who has the most wins!  The new ones I've acquired (so far) this year are Bret Eldredge, Kacey Musgraves, Darius Rucker and a Disney one I didn't have.  I'm loving, loving, loving the Bret Eldredge disc.  It's not at all country but more a jazz, smooth listening CD.  Absolutely great!  I have figured out that I just need to burn a copy of a CD as soon as I get it and give it to PB.  Then mine stays safe and scratch free!  After I gave her the newest Christmas CD she asked where my Michael Bubble CD was and asked for a copy.  You mean Michael Buble?  (another really great disc!).  So now I need to dig out all my Christmas CDs and start making copies for her.    Between the meal and dessert at my sisters the kids including my sisters nephew were listening to a Disney Christmas CD on my phone.  Her nephew is 3 and just a doll.  He thought it was so funny that Mickey & Donald were doing Christmas music.  I love watching the holidays come alive for kids!!!  

In other news I was trying to be nice and make labels for the Christmas cards my Dad usually sends out.  Thought it would save him some time.  I did the first set on  I have no bloody idea what the heck is going on but it doesn't matter what kind of adjustments I make the dang things won't print correctly.  Please show me where to bang my head into the wall!  So I said screw it and decided to make an Excel document so I could do a mail merge.  Admittedly I haven't done a mail merge this way in a LOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG time.  So I went to the trusty interwebs and googled it.  It's still cutting out some of the names on the list.  So I'll try it again tomorrow.  I will figure this out dang it!  

So that is life around here.  I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Adventures outside the house

Today was the first time I've gone anywhere since my surgery.  I'm still on driving restrictions for a minimum of 5 more days so anything that wasn't necessary has just gone by the wayside.  Today Princess Bear (PB) had a follow up Dr's appointment for the chronic UTI she had as well as the fact that she needed a release to return to PE after trying to take herself out during a game of Grog at youth group a few weeks ago.  She'd already had 1 follow up for the UTI but her Dr is very cautious especially since so many kidney problems run in the family and she had no real signs of  a UTI but was a sick kid.  My parents drove us to PBs Dr appointment and dropped us off.  They set out to get some holiday shopping done.  The good news is that PB is cleared to return to PE which she is thrilled about.  Since it's also December the Dr checked her scoliosis.  That remains the same which is good.  Now we just have to wait and see what happens with her urine culture.  The 2 of the last 3 quick dips were fine but then when they cultured it she had a massive amount of staph. Keeping my fingers crossed for more good news. 

My parents picked us up and we headed home.  PB has made her Christmas list and the biggies this year are an Addison Russell jersey/shirt, a Frozen themed bedroom makeover, a Holiday Barbie, a new Elsa, an archery set, some Real Tree or Mossy Oak gear (in neon pink of course) and a Hatchimal.  I should have just bought the damn Hatchimal when she saw it at Target a month or so ago.  Nooooo.  Let's wait until it's closer to the holidays I said.  Bad plan.  Apparently those little f$(kers are this years Cabbage Patch Dolls.  2 were delivered to Target today and there was a line of 20 people waiting.  They cost about $60.  The guy at Target told my mom we could try ebay or Amazon for the low, low price of $300.  Yeah- PB is not getting a Hatchimal for Christmas.  My mom was able to snag the usually priced $40 Holiday for $27 bucks and a new Elsa doll on big sale.  I've already ordered an Addison Russell shirt (at $30 compared to the $112 jersey.  wtf...why are jersey's so damn expensive?).  I have other stuff already put aside for PB so I'm hoping that the Christmas shopping is done.  Just the little jaunt to the Drs office wiped me the heck out.  I came home and took a nap. 

My dad then took us to Walgreens this evening since PB wanted to make "candy" and he still needed to buy an anniversary card for my mom.  PB was burnt by a pan on the stove a few weeks ago and has been very gun shy in the kitchen ever since.  She did want to do something to contribute to Thanksgiving at my sisters so I told her that she could make "candy".  I figure it was a way to ease her back into the kitchen.  We did the thing where you lay a rolo on top of a square pretzel and put it in the oven until the rolo is soft.  Usually people add a pecan.  My nephew as a major nut allergy so we went with M&Ms instead.  Of course since it is the day before Thanksgiving Walgreens only had Christmas M&Ms not the fall colored.  They turned out well and she didn't burn herself so I think we're back in business.  Over vacation I think I'll teach her how to make bark as well as do the candies in molds like we did growing up. 

We're doing Thanksgiving at my sister's tomorrow.  I did try to tell my mom that I really wasn't sure if I felt up to going to which I was told I was going and I was going to sit there with a smile on my face.  Yes you've got to love the holidays!  And family!  That said I'm looking forward to the online black Friday sales.  I'm sure I don't need another 20 nail polishes but Zoya is having a 70% off sale and they are my favorite mainstream nail polish brand.  I think some money is also going to be dropped at Alex & Ani as well as the Disney Parks store.  I hope whatever you do tomorrow you have a great time! 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Closed for business

So last Tuesday I had a robotic hysterectomy done as well as the scar tissue adhesion's from my c section cleaned up and some work done to put my bladder back in its rightful place.  Going into surgery was completely nerve wracking even though I was ready to be done with all the anemia complications.  Anytime I have surgery it scares the heck out of me since I'm Princess Bears (PBs) only parent.  Add the blood clotting issue I had to it I was a mess.  It was one of those situations I knew needed to happen and I knew it would be fine but I was a mess until it was over and done with.  The 2 nights before the surgery I had a combined 5 hours of sleep.  Then again the first few days after surgery I more than made up for it.  The surgery was just over 4 hours long and went off without a hitch.  The prepping for the surgery was interesting in that my veins are a serious mess and I'd been without anything to eat and drink for over 9 hours by the time the tried placing an IV.  Most of the time they've been having to call a crisis nurse for successful IV placement.  No crisis nurse this time.  Just poking and prodding until there was a viable vein.  I have some LOVELY bruises now.  The recovery room nurse was a woman from my church which in its own way was very comforting.  Before the surgery I had to sign paperwork saying that I gave the surgeon permission to remove whatever organs/pieces necessary.  I knew that obviously my uterus & fallopian tubes were goners.  I was really OK with that.   From all the research I did I really wanted to keep my cervix and ovaries.  My regular gynecologist was in favor of me having everything removed.  The surgeon was in favor of me keeping one or both ovaries if possible.  I was bummed about the cervix part but he is the guy with MD after his name.  He did let me know that barring some huge complications he was leaving my ovaries.  The newest research suggests that is the best route especially for someone under 45 which I definitely am.  The idea of going into instant menopause wasn't exactly on my list either!

I spent about an hour and a half in the first stage of recovery.  There is some sort of correlation between people who have a lot of red hair and having a high level of pain which is hard to get under control.  I will say that IV narcotics are a beautiful thing! Since I was going to be at least a 23 hour admission I was sent to my room for the 2nd part of recovery.  It was  a private room!!!!!!!  WOOT WOOT!!!!  After have some really interesting hospital roommates lately I was thrilled about the prospect of a single room.  My mom had also decided that she was going to stay with me as long as I was in the hospital.  It makes it much easier to have an overnight visitor when you have no roommate.  I remember very little of the day of my surgery after getting to my room.   I was getting IV morphine every 3 hours as well as norco and 800mg of ibuprofen alternated every 4 hours.  I did have a catheter in that I basically begged to have removed anytime I was awake & coherent.  I had to wait until the next morning to lose that which sucked.  I was able to sit up on the edge of the bed within 4 hours of surgery.  Again I have to say that narcotics are a beautiful thing in situations like this!  The nurse I had the first night knew my mom because of her job at the hospital.  Its always nice when people know mom & the Pastoral Care department.  You tend to get the best nurses and treatment.  Gotta take it when you can!

The next morning the residents came in at the butt crack of dawn and gave orders for the damn catheter to be removed and for a general diet.  I can't remember a time that I drank so much hot tea in such a short amount of time!!!  I was able to get up and go for a walk around the floor the first day which was awesome.  My dad had brought PB up for a visit the first day but since there was a chance I was being released on the 2nd day he didn't bring her up.   My surgeon came to the floor around 6pm and said he could sign discharge papers and start the ball rolling for me to go home.  That usually takes a few hours.  He did say he wasn't completely happy with the way the norco was dealing with my pain.  It was finally decided that staying a second night to stay on IV morphine as well as switching to percocet was the best plan.

My sister had come up to visit and brought the most awesome cinnamon rolls ever (that I didn't even eat until I was released and at home) and some books.  I was released Thursday afternoon and the first day at home is pretty much a fog.  The percocet and prescription strength Advil were working very well just making me sleepy as all get out.  All in all it was a decent experience that went off pretty damn well.  I still can't drive for another week which really sucks.  I'm still sleeping more that usual.  There are certain movements that are just out of the question for now but I am feeling better each day.  I can't say that it has been a bad experience.  I never pictured myself having a hysterectomy but it certainly wasn't an option.  I certainly never pictured myself with only 1 child.  Growing up I always wanted 4 girls.  In retrospect I'm not sure if I would have wanted 4.  While there is something so final about a hysterectomy I have to say that the past several months with all the anemia drama that I'm completely OK with this happening.  I need to be around to take care of the Princess I have!

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Yes it's been awhile.  Yes there is all kinds of things to talk about. I could get political (What in the hell is wrong with people?!!?) but I'll wait a day or two.  I could talk sports.  GO CUBS!!! That really will be it's own post.  Or I can do a general fill ya in which is what I'm going to do.  Things have been crazy around here.  Some good.  Some bad.  Some just life. 

The quick stuff:
-Dogs name is Addi.  Actually Addison but we never call her that.  My Dad & I wanted to name her Wrigley but my mom & Princess Bear shot that down.  The next best Cubs related name for a Cubs obsessed family is Addison since Wrigley Field is located at Clark & ADDISON! 
-PB is doing fairly well in school this year.  Her teacher absolutely sucks & I've already had to hold an IEP meeting.  We're also running into problems with high school placement & homeschooling is looking like more of an option.

Now the why of why I haven't been around.  Remember that anemia thing I talked about back in August?  Well, anemia has made itself the bane of my existence.  It's led to many, many, many Dr's visits, tests and ER visits as well as a total of 4 hospitalizations for blood transfusions.  Since being MIA I also had a D&C procedure done, was told that I most likely had uterine cancer.  That was an awful few days until the pathology came back benign.  Then was told that I needed a robotic hysterectomy because of the placement of my uterus and the scar tissue adhesion's from my C section.  That's a problem when there's really only 1 Dr in town to do said procedure and he's book a few months in advance.   It's now safe to safe that I've lost and replaced all the blood volume in my body.  My hysterectomy is scheduled for this coming Tuesday and while nervous I'm so, so, so very ready for this to be done and over.  I am somewhat nervous because it's been discovered that my protein C count is very high.  When you have a low protein C count you have a tendency to make blood clots.  I'm the opposite.  My blood doesn't want to clot.  It made getting ready for surgery a complete pain.  My usual pain pills & muscle relaxers for my fibromyalgia were a no no as well as Advil.  Also no vitamins since certain vitamins cause extra bleeding.  This time of year I tend to really push the vitamins so something just feels off. 

More than anything this whole thing has just been a pain in the butt trying to deal with every day life.  Am I too dizzy to drive?  My poor dad had to take PB to a Dr's appointment this past Monday because I was basically non functioning.  He didn't take my sister or myself to the Dr. so this was a really new one for him.  As it turned out I wound up in the ER and then admitted for another transfusion on Monday.  On the best of days I'm just very tired and worn out and wind up sleeping a lot.  On the worst of days I am that plus very dizzy, short of breath and damn close to a panic attack.  As I said I'm ready for this to be done.  I want off the roller coaster. 

So that's the why of why I haven't been around.  I'm hoping that after next week life resumes pretty quickly.  Hoping that you're doing well!