next_to_normal: Bruce Banner (Avengers) with the text "Well this all seems horrible" (Bruce horrible)
Motherfucker, do you have any idea how much fucking WORK it would be to move all of my literally thousands of icons to another site and then go back and update all the links on over 100 posts - to say nothing of the icons I posted to challenge comms, my picspams, the gifs I've used all over the internet, mood themes, my custom LJ layout, etc.?

I am not paying fucking $400/year just to save it, though, so brb, mourning all the fucking hours spent on graphics no one will ever see again.

A meme!

Jun. 24th, 2017 05:02 pm
next_to_normal: (D/E playful)
I haven't done a meme in aaaaages! Snagged from [personal profile] slaymesoftly.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Cordy grin)
Thank you for the well wishes on my last post - I meant to get around to answering them, but then I was in the hospital for THREE EFFING WEEKS, and by that time, it was like, old news, but I appreciated your thoughts. 

I had my surgery four days after I posted, and then spent the next two weeks developing every complication ever. No, really. I had surgery on a Tuesday, and was supposed to be released by that Friday. I actually did really well at first; I pretty much bounced out of bed on Wednesday and was walking around and everyone was impressed. (It was mainly laparoscopic surgery with one larger incision to take out the bad intestines, so I mostly just had small holes all over my abdomen and the pain was nothing compared to what I'd be dealing with before.) Well, on Thursday I start feeling lightheaded, and by Friday I am straight-up passing out in the bathroom. Turns out my blood pressure was a little high, and they way overcompensated with blood pressure medicine, so my bp then plummeted to like 67/40, hence: unconscious.  

So I had to stay in the hospital another few days so they could watch me, but in the meantime, my blood tests come back that I am anemic and showing signs of infection, so I go for a CT scan to discover that I have fluid in my pelvis that needs to be drained. Free fluid just kinda floating around in there. So they poked another hole in me and I had a drain for a few days. The fluid they drained tested positive for E. coli, so then I ended up on lots of antibiotics. But even after the drain had drained everything, my white blood cell count was still high, so I went for another CT scan, where they took out the first drain and put in a second drain to drain more fluid in a different place. Counting my PICC line (which is like a permanent IV line in my upper arm, so they could take blood and feed me through the tube and give me medicine all in the same port, it's pretty awesome, highly recommended), I ended up with a grand total of 7 holes in me. 

Also, throughout this time, they kept switching between letting me eat real food (the surgeon wanted me on solids ASAP, to make sure my bowels still worked properly) and putting me on feeding tube only or liquid diet because of all the drain insertions and CT scans and stuff, so I only ate solid food maybe four days out of the three weeks I was there. The hospital I stayed at was super nice; I was in a brand-new building just opened in the fall and had a private room with a fold-out sofa bed for guests and a bigger flat-screen TV than I have at home and a bathroom you'd see on HGTV. So we kept joking that it was like staying at an all-inclusive hotel, except the meals are terrible, lol. (The few times I got real food, it was actually pretty good. I just spent most of my days drinking Ensure and eating jello, when I was allowed anything at all.) My mom insisted that my bag o' tube food looked like a pina colada, but the nurses refused to add rum. 

FINALLY, two weeks after my surgery, and nearly three weeks since I'd first gone to the ER, they took out the second drain and let me go home, but because my bloodwork was still wonky, I had to give myself IV antibiotics for three weeks after. They gave me my own IV pole and everything. Since I also know how to give myself shots, I am now basically qualified in nursing care. 

Once they took the PICC line out (after the three weeks of home antibiotics) I was allowed to come back to work, where the plague has descended, so I have a horrendous cold. And possibly allergies. It's hard to tell. I also had my period for three weeks because my body was so out of whack after surgery. (No wonder I'm still anemic.) 

But THE PAIN IS GONE HALLELUJAH. I still have Crohn's and I still have diarrhea (have not had solid poop since surgery, shortened intestine means I may never have solid poop again, wheee), but it is a thousand times better than being in constant pain. It was actually pretty hilarious that BEFORE the surgery, they were giving me morphine and dilaudid, and after the surgery, I just took tramadol and tylenol. Surgical pain is nothing compared to scar tissue hardened to concrete in your internal organs. \o/

So, other than possibly hacking up a lung, I am doing well and hopefully will not need more surgery for a while (like, years).
next_to_normal: (Default)
Wheee, I am writing to you from THE HOSPITAL, which is where they send you when your internal organs misbehave as mine do. Short version: abdominal pain, vomiting, ER. I now have IV fluids and a feeding tube, surgery happening as soon as I am no longer malnourished.

Slightly longer version: I went for an MRI (in which I was required to drink contrast fluid and proceeded to vomit said contrast ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE, advice for good living: do not vomit in an MRI tube) which showed a 20cm stricture that basically is blocking food from getting through. I thought I could stick it out a few more weeks and was planning to have surgery probably early May. But then I started vomiting and couldn't stop, and went to the ER, and here we are. 

I yet live

Mar. 9th, 2017 11:37 pm
next_to_normal: (Spike/Dawn sigh)
I know people tend to post updates "so you know I'm still alive lol" and don't really mean it seriously, but in my case, I feel like the concern might actually be warranted?

To wit: I have vomited ELEVEN TIMES since the last time I posted. 

I joked on Twitter that my digestive system decided not to go to work on International Women's Day, so I wasn't going to, either. But really, I would prefer if we were both working, so get your shit together, you stupid colon.

I dropped out of the clinical trial, and thus upon exit racked up my ninth colonoscopy, the verdict of which was that some parts of my colon looked a little better, but the terminal ileum is still too swollen to get a scope through - which, incidentally, means it's also hard to get FOOD through, hence all the vomiting.

I started the latest new drug, Stelara, which is supposed to mumbledy mumbledy something and make me better. Who knows how it works. Or if it works. A lot of those vomits were this week (AFTER I started the Stelara). But it could take 8-12 weeks before I see any improvement, so. If this one doesn't work, it is probably surgery time, about which I have mixed feelings.

I am going home this weekend to pet-sit the Bad Cat (and the eleventy other cats) while my parents are on vacation. Chelsea is not coming, alas, so that ship remains on hold, but I trust they will become the Buffy/Spike of the feline world, they're just still in season 2. 

Sidebar: HOW IS BUFFY 20 YEARS OLD? I FEEL SO OLD NOW, AND I ONLY DISCOVERED THE SHOW IN 2006.

Things I cooked that I did not later throw up:

Scallops Provencal - I only used half a pound of scallops, but didn't halve the sauce, because then I poured it over angel hair pasta and it was delicious. All of my scallop recipes are basically the same, but whatevs. I like scallops. I like pasta. I like garlicky, shalloty white wine sauces. WHERE IS THE WRONG?

Lemony Asparagus Risotto - So, when I was in the grocery store, I was like, "I need 5 cups of chicken broth. Should I buy one container that's 6 cups, or two containers of 4 cups?" Turned out they were the same price, so I went with two containers of 4. Good thing, because this recipe actually required EIGHT cups of broth before the rice was really cooked and softened enough. Other than that, it was pretty good, which is handy, since I have a lot of leftovers and am now pretty much exclusively eating rice and toast. (See above re: vomit.)

Pics )
next_to_normal: (Christmas Chelsea)
Sorry I've been MIA for, like, forever. Lots of unpleasant health stuff. I... don't really want to get into it. There was a lot of vomit. Occasionally, projectile vomit at the Kennedy Center. 2017 is off to a banging start.

Welcome, LJ refugees. Sorry Russia is fucking with you. You know, more than they're fucking with the rest of us.

I have been cheating on DW a bit by posting on Facebook again. Mostly because I now have a bunch of Crohn's buddies on there, and I feel better about dumping my shit (literal and figurative) on those who identify? Also I post ridiculous pictures of my cat. Here, you can have those.

Read more... )

Oh, hey, I also has recipes from aaaages ago I never posted.

Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins

Salted Pretzel-Marshmallow Bars


I took pictures of those, too:



Desserty things taste good. (In the spirit of "this is my life now," I made them for a party I was supposed to go to, only to end up barfing and missing the party, so my coworkers ended up getting the goodies.)

How you?

next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
Cantaloupe Salad with Basil, Fresh Mozzarella, and Onions - When I got back from Italy, I was so inspired to cook All The Things, I went out and bought a basil plant and a parsley plant. (This was also somewhat necessary to replenish the balcony garden, since the great "My cat-sitter forgot to water my plants and it was 100 degrees while I was gone" of 2016 killed all my flowers, lol.) I immediately killed the parsley plant, lol, but the basil did pretty well. It's still alive, at any rate (and, booya! All but one of my "dead" flowers eventually came back, EVEN THE MARIGOLDS, which looked completely fried). Anyway, I was looking for things to use fresh basil in, and this fit the bill.

Lemon-Basil Chicken Salad
- Another "use the basil" recipe. Not that much different from my regular chicken salad, but good enough that I didn't get sick of it after eating it for lunch four days in a row, lol. It made, like, a whole chicken's worth of chicken salad, which is a LOT of chicken salad for one person.

Quadruple Chocolate Pudding Cookies - OM NOM NOM. The instant pudding mix in the cookies reminded me of [personal profile] mcmegan's mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Except with a lot more chocolate. Don't follow the recipe and make giant cookies. You won't need them. A little bit of these goes a loooong way. SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. But a big hit in work. The next challenge: QUINTUPLE CHOCOLATE cookies (yes, there is a recipe for them on that same blog). 

Shrimp Puffs
- I have had two cans of Pillsbury pizza dough in my refrigerator for way too long and haven't used them, so I finally broke one out for this recipe (even though technically it calls for biscuits, I figured it's all basically the same dough, right?). I also don't have a mini-muffin tray, so I made them regular muffin sized. I also couldn't find baby shrimp, so I used regular-sized shrimp and cut them into pieces. The pizza dough did turn out more doughy and less puff-pastryish than the biscuits probably would've been, so it's more like a mini shrimp pizza, but that's fine. If you're making them to serve at a party, maybe follow the recipe, but if you just sometimes like to eat appetizers for dinner (don't judge me), my way is just as good.

One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta - This was decidedly meh. I hate clean-up, so I'm all for a good one-pot recipe, but I don't think I'd bother with this one again. The goat cheese kind of overpowers the pumpkin flavor, and the garlic doesn't come through at all. Maybe if it was sauteed a bit in the pot before adding the other ingredients? Or possibly I just think I like pumpkiny things more than I actually do, because I am inevitably disappointed.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Glaze - Between this and the peach bread fail, I am starting to get nervous about making these bread recipes. This one didn't overflow, at least, but the toothpick in the center kept coming out gooey, so I left it in the oven for a good 15-20 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I also had to add twice as much heavy cream to make the glaze glaze-like. I don't even know how it came out, since I am taking it in to work tomorrow, and I didn't want to cut into it ahead of time to check. If the raw batter (so chocolatey!) and the glaze (just like a cinnamon bun!) are any indication, it is DELICIOUS. I just hope it's cooked all the way through. 
next_to_normal: (Anya popcorn)
I am now finished season 5 and finding that I remember NONE OF THIS.

Read more... )
next_to_normal: Kate Bishop typing on a computer with two fingers (Computer Kate)
So, a couple weeks ago, I had lunch with [personal profile] angearia and [personal profile] gryfndor_godess and they both mentioned that they were watching (or rewatching, in Emmie's case) Gilmore Girls in anticipation of the new "season" (4 90-minute episodes) coming to Netflix in November. And because I absolutely have the free time for a 7-season binge and NOTHING ELSE TO WATCH (/sarcasm), I decided to do my own rewatch. I'm up to season 4, and had some thoughts that essentially are an extension of our lunch conversation but were too long for text messages, so they became a post, lol. 

Read more... )
next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
I've been sort of up and down, health-wise, since getting back from vacation, but when I am capable of eating real food, I've been trying to replicate some of the best food I ate in Italy, with quite a bit of success, actually, so have some recipes!

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies - I actually made these before I left, because I was looking for a way to use up some overripe bananas. I took them into work, where they got compliments all around. They're not especially sweet, which made for a good mid-morning snack, I guess.

Eggplant Parmesan Dip - One of my favorite lunches was rather unexpected. I ordered eggplant parmesan, expecting it to be like what you usually get - breaded and fried slices of eggplant, layered with tomato sauce and topped with melted cheese. But this was completely not that, instead all blended together more like a dip and eaten spread on delicious Italian bread. The recipe I found replicates it pretty well, although without the melted mozzarella and parmesan on top (though I have rarely found a meal that cannot be improved with more cheese, so).  

Linguini with Slow-Cooked Zucchini, Basil and Cream - Another very surprising favorite meal, since I typically don't like zucchini. I honestly don't know what made me order it - it was close to the end of the vacation, and I think the rest of the menu was stuff I'd had too much of by that point, so I just wanted to try something different. Also, I hadn't had a bad meal yet, so I sort of assumed that EVERYTHING I ate was going to be good (even chicken liver and cow intestines, yes I ate those things) so why not give it a try? Anyway, the secret, according to NPR, is to cook the zucchini slowly over low heat. Could also be the pancetta, though. Anything tastes better when you put bacon on it. 

Ricciarelli Almond Cookies - We had these cookies in Montalcino and my mom loved them so much, she basically demanded that I find a recipe to make them when we got home. So I did, and I made them for my mom's birthday, and she loved them, so I'm going to call it a success, even though I don't think they came out exactly like the ones we had - those were a little lighter and fluffier, while these came out a bit more dense. 

Peach Bread - This one has nothing to do with Italy. I just stumbled upon the recipe while looking for something else and it looked really good. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a major fail. There was far too much batter for a standard loaf pan, so it overflowed and made a mess of my oven. I didn't even use all five peaches that the recipe called for - I cut them all up, but probably only used about four, and I can't even imagine how much it would've overflowed if I'd put them all in. And even though I left the bread in the oven for 20 minutes longer than I was supposed to, the middle of it was still soggy and undercooked. It's possible it was too wet because my peaches were too ripe, but I ended up throwing out about half of it and just salvaging the fully baked parts as a peach cobbler-y type thing. It still tasted good, but did not look at all presentable, lol.
next_to_normal: Three-paneled close-up of Buffy in The Gift; text: Big Damn Hero (big damn hero)
Hi, y'all.

Sorry.

Where'd we leave off? Chicken pox, I believe. LOL so much epic shit has gone down since then

(I GOT SOMEONE FIRED)
(I HAD SURGERY)
(I WENT TO ITALY)

so let's just start with the catching up.

HOW I GOT SOMEONE FIRED )

HOW I HAD SURGERY )

HOW I WENT TO ITALY )

So that's what I've been up to, tl;dr.

The most recent health news - after Italy, I was doing really well for about a week, and then suddenly for no reason at all had a fever and chills and worse than usual pain - which had nothing to do with my surgery, but also we could find no outside cause other than "haha you have Crohn's," even though the study drug seemed to be working pretty well? But I had to go get a CT scan, which showed the inflammation was really, really bad and for like a minute, my doctor was talking about more surgery - intestinal, this time - but then the fever and stuff just kind of went away. So I am currently on antibiotics that make me want to puke, and anti-nausea medicine so I don't puke, but otherwise seem to be sort of okay and am approaching the end of the 12-week trial, at which point I will have my EIGHTH FUCKING COLONOSCOPY, and then who knows? I can stay on the study drug if I want to, if it's working, since they miraculously haven't kicked me out of the trial yet, despite having a gazillion complications and breaking all their rules, lol.

So. That's me. How've you been?
next_to_normal: (Cordy WTF)
So that was the mildest case of chicken pox, possibly ever in the history of recorded medicine! I know I have a high tolerance for pain and illness, given the symptoms I deal with every day, but you guys, I barely even itched

I mean, I was expecting it to be pretty mild, given that I got the chicken pox FROM THE VACCINE so it was just a teeny, tiny dose. But I probably also have to give some credit to my unbelievably aggressive immune system, which I tend to forget can actually be useful since it spends most of its time viciously attacking my internal organs. But give it an actual disease to fight off - even while being handicapped by steroids - and it does a BANG-UP JOB, I TELL YOU. 

In fact, Crohn's-wise, last week was the best I've felt in AGES, presumably because my immune system was too preoccupied with battling the chicken pox to bother with its usual routine of acting like it's Donald Trump and my colon's full of Muslims. I should've injected myself with an infectious disease ages ago! Granted, it would've been a lot nicer if my feeling better hadn't had to coincide with my being literally QUARANTINED and unable to leave my apartment because I was contagious, but beggars cannot be choosers.

Though, let me tell you, if I had the choice between chicken pox and Crohn's? I WOULD ABSOLUTELY RATHER HAVE THE CHICKEN POX.

No, seriously, can I have them again? Please? As of yesterday, of course, my spots have mostly faded, I am no longer contagious, and I feel like crap again. I am contemplating going back to the vaccination place and seeing if I can get a yellow fever shot next, but somehow I don't think I would be that lucky twice.

It has occurred to me that, despite having been on immunosuppressants of various kinds pretty much constantly for the last seven years, I have never, in all that time, been sick with more than a mild cold (other than the obvious chronic illness, that is). That is... not normal. No wonder my poor colon is taking such a beating. My immune system is basically indestructible and Hulk-smashing every germ in its path. And that's not even enough to keep it busy! And I kid about the yellow fever (mostly), but maybe exposing myself to more germs is actually the key to keeping this monster at bay? At the very least, I'm thinking twice about next year's flu shot.
next_to_normal: (facepalm)
I swear to God, I am laughing hysterically at this, because if I don't, I will throw myself out a window.

So, in a previous post, I made brief reference to a chicken pox vaccine. Here's the full story: one of the requirements for the clinical trial I was trying to get into was verification of chicken pox antibodies in my blood. I don't know why, I guess just because of the risk of catching random diseases with a suppressed immune system? Anyway, I never had the chicken pox as a child, so when the vaccine first came out around age 11, I got it. 

Or thought I did. Apparently, it didn't take, because the blood test came back negative for the antibodies, meaning I had to get the vaccine again, and - way more annoyingly - repeat all the screening tests (including the colonoscopy) I had just done to qualify for the clinical trial. This was exactly 3 weeks ago, to the day.

NOW I HAVE THE FUCKING CHICKEN POX.

Yep. I got chicken pox FROM THE VACCINE. Because there wasn't already ENOUGH wrong with me, let's add CHICKEN POX to the mix. 

I'm actually not even surprised. Because of the Crohn's, I'm on steroids, which can somehow both make the vaccine less effective AND increase your risk of actually getting the disease from the vaccine, which they warned me about when I got the shot. But it's not like I really had a choice - I couldn't stop taking the steroids, or my Crohn's symptoms (which were already awful) would have gotten even worse. I couldn't wait until I was ~better, because my only hope of getting better is getting into this trial, which requires the vaccine. So I went ahead and got the first of two shots, and was supposed to go back for the second shot next week. I guess we can cancel THAT appointment. 

On Sunday night, I noticed a couple weird red spots, one of which happened to be on my arm, pretty near the spot where I got the shot. Then yesterday, there were more spots, so this morning I emailed my gastroenterologist to be like, "Uh, I think I might have the chicken pox?" He told me to come in, and then sent me to a dermatologist, who confirmed that it was, indeed, chicken pox. It's apparently (hopefully) a mild case, considering I got it from the vaccine, but still.

So I basically gave myself chicken pox. Not only that, I PAID SOMEONE MONEY to give me chicken pox, because my insurance didn't cover the shot. (I'm supposed to get reimbursed by the study, but it's the principle of the thing more than the actual money.)

OF COURSE I HAVE CHICKEN POX. OF COURSE. 

WHAT IS MY FUCKING LIFE. 

Oof...

Mar. 12th, 2016 03:37 pm
next_to_normal: (Annie scream)
Note to self: Next time, wait for the painkillers to kick in BEFORE clicking "post," maybe it will keep you from being quite so maudlin.

Everything is not ALL bad. My parents and I booked a trip to Italy for the end of June. My mother is significantly concerned about my health and particularly stamina re: sightseeing, but there is a FREE APARTMENT IN FLORENCE in the offing, so it was sort of a now-or-never proposition. I mostly just want to be okay enough to eat real food, because ITALY, but fortunately pasta is one of the six things I can actually eat? Albeit plain noodles without any sauce, but still, handmade-from-scratch plain pasta in Italy is probably better than just about anything I'd eat here.

I am sort of going stir-crazy because this most recent bout of pain and vomiting led to me working from home much of last week and all this week, so I have barely left the house. The one exception being Thursday, when I went to the ~theater to see Road Show, because I bought the tickets back in August and we already postponed once because of vomit and it's Sondheim - new(ish) Sondheim at that, so fuck it. I showered and put on a pretty dress that I haven't worn in, like, five years (because if everything is going to be terrible then at the goddamn fucking least I am going to reap the benefits of having lost 60 pounds, you know?). And by, like, an hour in, I was in significant discomfort, but fortunately it was one of those speedy, no-intermission shows. \o/ I just hope it didn't reflect on my face because I was in the FRONT ROW OMG so those poor actors were probably like, "Are we that bad? This woman looks like we are inflicting SUCH PAIN." Sorry, actors, you were very good! 

So, this is basically what we're doing now, taking lots of drugs and hoping for the best. Which, you'll recall, is how I ended up going to see Hamilton in a Zofran-induced haze (because you know it is impossible to get tickets and I WAS NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOT), or taking that trip to Nashville on a shit-ton of steroids, or the most recent Percocet-fueled weekend I worked through for a conference. (Though, to be fair, I'm not entirely sure I survived that last one, since I did start throwing up immediately after. Granted, it could've also been a reaction to the chicken pox vaccine, that's still up in the air. Or it could be from going off the Prednisone.)

(My LIFE. There are just SO MANY REASONS for me to puke, we can't even narrow it down.)
next_to_normal: (Buffy sigh)
I stole that phrase from [personal profile] cleolinda because it's pretty darn accurate. Basically, I am alive, barely, and conserving energy for things like remaining in an upright position during work hours and not puking in inappropriate places.

Trying to get into a new clinical trial, but being delayed by some bullshit about a chicken pox vaccine, which I have now had to get twice. To be followed by my SEVENTH colonoscopy in as many years - no, you didn't miss one, I just skipped over talking about number six, because I'd barely finished it before they were telling me I needed another one. So, you know, fuck everything, basically.

Pretty much at the end of my emotional rope, honestly. Prone to randomly bursting into tears at the unfairness of life. Wishing my cat would stop jumping on my stomach because it really kind of hurts but she doesn't get it when I try to explain. Reduced to trying to explain painkiller woes to a cat.  

Turning 32 on Tuesday. What the fuck.

next_to_normal: (Andrew cooking)
This makes me look like I've been a cooking fiend, but I was saving up links until I had enough for a full post, so this is going back to since I got back from Christmas.

Shrimp and Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce - Since Robert Irvine apparently only cooks for people the size of Robert Irvine, I had to cut this recipe way down - I only made 1 lb of scallops, left the shrimp out completely, and halved the sauce. I also made 1 lb of angel hair pasta, which was WAY, WAY too much, at which point I regretted cutting the sauce in half, lol. I actually made a second half-batch of the sauce for my leftovers. I was kind of skeptical when the recipe said to strain the sauce - I was like, but you're straining out all the good stuff! But it still tasted really flavorful, and I'm not gonna lie, I didn't mind making the sauce a second time since it went a lot faster when I was less careful with chopping and just throwing in whole sprigs of thyme, knowing I was going to strain it out anyway. 

Creamy Parmesan Mushroom and Spinach Tortellini Soup - I wanted a creamy tortellini and sausage soup, but I couldn't find the exact recipe I wanted, so I left out the mushrooms and added crumbled sweet Italian sausage to this. Not only is it delicious, it also reheats well. I ended up taking it for lunch a few days, and it survived the microwave just fine. 

I should also note that I ended up with this recipe because I bought all the ingredients for replicating a dish from my parents' favorite Italian restaurant, but then I chickened out because I didn't think my tummy could handle it. Anyway. it's called Vesuvio, and it's a breaded veal cutlet, topped with tomatoes and spinach, melted mozzarella cheese, and then tortellini alfredo on top. I did eventually make a couple attempts, and although I never quite got it exactly like Barone's, it's still a pretty stellar combination.

Pineapple Barbecue Sauce Glazed Meatballs - This was... disappointing. The sauce is fine, but good lord, this is a terrible recipe for meatballs. No breadcrumbs and too much onion (I dislike when recipes say things like "one small onion," because onions vary pretty widely in size, just tell me, like, 1 cup or whatever), and so the meatballs didn't really stay together in the pan. Also four tablespoons of butter? I never thought there was such a thing as too much butter, but the meatballs weren't browning so much as they were basically being poached. 

Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls - These looked AH-MAZING when they came out of the oven, but taste-wise, it was kinda meh. The refrigerated biscuit dough makes it easy, but I'm sure there are better garlic roll recipes out there.
next_to_normal: (what is this I don't even)
Hope everyone on the east coast survived snowzilla, or whatever we're calling it. Reports are that my area got somewhere between 17 and 24 inches (there is some hilarious ~scandal about the measuring techniques used at Reagan National Airport not being ~officially sanctioned by the National Weather Service, and therefore their 17.8" total is suspect and probably too low).

SPEAKING OF THE AIRPORT, I shouldn't even BE here right now. I should be in sunny, snow-free Florida. Cut for complaining )

On another note, I totally #wontheblizzard, because it was so windy, there is actually no snow on my car? I guess I got the low end of the drift. Since I live in an apartment building, there really is no "digging out" necessary - they shovel all the walkways and plow the parking lot, so all there ever is to do is clear snow off my car, and that's... negligible. I wouldn't park at Dulles anyway, so my plan was to take a shuttle to the airport and hope it all melts by the time I get back, but I probably COULD drive my car if I wanted to. (I do not want to.) 

There has been a sort of entertaining "will I run out of food?" thing happening, as well. Unlike everyone else who went nutso stocking up at the grocery store, I didn't want a lot of food in the house because I knew I was leaving. But because of the canceled flight, I ended up being home - and needing to eat - for an extra day and a half longer than expected. WHOOPS. Turned out I was fine, but if the storm had been worse, and I hadn't been able to make the trip at all, I'd probably be a little concerned about the coming week, lol. On Thursday, one of my coworkers was like, "Just order five days' worth of Chinese food tonight and keep it in your freezer, just in case," and at one point on Friday night, I did wonder if it was too late to order a pizza, lol. 

7:54 PM UPDATE: MY CONFERENCE JUST GOT CANCELED. HOW SOON AFTER A BLIZZARD CAN ONE REASONABLY ORDER DELIVERY?

 (j/k I am fine, I will not starve, but I will be super-sad not to be in Florida)
next_to_normal: Cordy praying, Willow watching; text: ask for some aspirin (Ask for some aspirin)
Hi y'all. Still alive over here. Sometimes I feel like maybe it's time to close the figurative doors on this place, since all I seem to do is use it to reassure people that I remain among the living, and to detail my body's ongoing efforts to the contrary. Mostly, I wish I had more to SAY, but I just don't have the energy to, like, think about things, lol. Which sounds lame and stupid, because it seems like dealing with physical pain shouldn't impact my ability to review television shows or make icons or whatever else I used to do, but... it does. 

I'm still doing about the same - lots of pain, lots of Percocet, no progress on the Entyvio. I'm starting another new clinical trial, but have to taper off the Prednisone first (which I am happy to do, goodbye hairy moon-face!) so it'll be about a month before I get the new drug. At least it's open label, so I know for sure I'm getting real medicine and not placebo.

Anyway. It also seems ridiculous to post holiday pictures now that it's MID-JANUARY, but whatever, here's Chelsea wearing a fancy bow for Christmas:

Read more... )
I meant to do the end of the year meme, if only to help myself keep track of all the TV I watched, but... meh. I also contemplated doing the hair meme that was going around, but then I remembered I'm allergic to selfies and so I don't actually have any good photos of my hair to post. Not that my hair is really interesting enough for a meme, anyway.

Uh, bad news for some of you: I FINALLY got around to watching Mad Max: Fury Road, and I found it pretty meh? Like, it was fine as an action movie, but I don't get all the wild love for it? I can see why the prominence of female characters in this kind of movie would make a lot of people excited, but, like, is that it? It seemed like there was a ton of backstory that was just... not explained (like why any of this was happening, lol) and it kind of surprised me that people who, on the whole, tend to place a high priority on STORY loved it so much when it's basically 2 hours of non-stop action with the barest minimum of plot to justify it. Maybe it's just not my genre, or I had too high expectations because it seemed like the entire internet flipped their shit over it. (I will say this: flaming guitar guy was as hilariously weird and fantastic as I'd been led to believe.) So, tell me what I'm missing, Internet!

I watched MM:FR as part of my Oscar movie challenge - my friends and I are attempting to see all the Best Picture nominees. So far, I've seen 3, the other two being Spotlight and The Martian. I LOOOOVED The Martian. It probably shouldn't have been in the Comedy category for the Golden Globes, but it WAS pretty hilarious, and Matt Damon is fantastic. We as a society really ought to stop leaving him in dangerous places, though. It's costing an awful lot in money, effort, and lives to keep retrieving him.
next_to_normal: (Christmas Chelsea)
And all Chelsea wants is her two front teeth back. We make quite a pair.

No, actually, Chelsea is doing just fine. Her stitches have healed up, she's eating regular food again, and as far as we can tell, she remains flea- and tapeworm-free. \o/ I, on the other hand, am having worse pain and diarrhea, so we're back to having the dietary diversity of a five-year-old (grilled cheese, goldfish crackers, and plain buttered noodles). Went to the doctor yesterday, and he added another steroid to my daily regimen, so we'll see if that helps. Needless to say, the Entyvio still has not kicked in, and, like, I want to give it time to do its thing (because if we ditch this one, I don't have many other options to try), but I also don't want to be in pain for another three months. 

Before I stopped eating real food again, I did try out one new recipe. I wanted to use up that goat cheese (I clearly bought too much goat cheese), and I found this Pecan and Goat Cheese Pasta, which appealed because goat cheese, pecans, and dried cranberries are a combo I really like in salads, but would never have thought to put in pasta. 

You know how experienced cooks are always like, "I just made up this recipe by throwing together whatever I had in the fridge"? I cannot do that. Whenever I have an ingredient or two I want to use up, I have to google what I have and try to find a recipe that uses it AND ALSO does not require me to buy more things. I don't know how to get good at the "throw in whatever's lying around" style of cooking, except to practice and watch a lot of Chopped, I guess? Anyway, I did get slightly adventurous and add sauteed shallots and garlic to the recipe, since I HAD THEM LYING AROUND, lol, and while it all tasted good, the goat cheese never really melted into a sauce the way I hoped, so it was a little dry.

I am totally done with my Christmas shopping - I actually finished early (for me) this year, i.e. a whole week before Christmas. \o/ Usually I am last-minute ordering stuff online and then freaking out because it has not arrived by the time I have to leave to drive to New Jersey. Which... has happened again this year, but ironically the one thing that hasn't been delivered yet is the VERY FIRST GIFT I BOUGHT way back on December 8th! It's not like they're shipping it from India or something, either, just Fredericksburg. I'm starting to think it got lost in the mail. (And yes, I emailed them, and they were like, "USPS says 1-2 weeks is the average this time of year..." They offered to resend if I don't get it by today, but that does not help with getting it in time for Christmas.) Even the last-minute gift for my dad that I bought off eBay on Saturday that wasn't supposed to be delivered until the 26th managed to get here early, but not the one that had two leisurely weeks to make it to me from 5 miles away.

ANYWHO. Here are photos of my Christmas tree and Chelsea helping/eating the decorations:

Read more... )
I opted not to torture Chelsea this year by making her wear her Christmas outfit. YET - there is still time, but really, the poor thing has been through a lot lately.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and all the other holidays to you all. Chelsea and I are off to the 'rents tomorrow, for a whole week, which I am hoping will give me a chance to rest up and feel less terrible in 2016! 
next_to_normal: (Chris perplexed face)
Remember when I took Chelsea to the vet and they told me she needed dental work? Well, a week or so after that, one of her teeth fell out, so I went ahead and scheduled the darn thing, which was yesterday. And all the dental stuff went as expected, but the vet ALSO was like, "Oh, by the way, Chelsea has fleas and a tapeworm."

AAARRRRGGGGHHHH

My immediate thought was to blame my parents and the literal COLONY of stray cats they are feeding - seriously, there are like NINE of them now - since I took Chelsea home with me for Thanksgiving. I mean, she's NEVER had fleas before, she didn't have fleas in the beginning of November when she went to the vet the first time, and now, conveniently, after a trip home, she does? She didn't directly interact with the stray cats, but a couple of them will let my mom pet them, and they'll rub against her leg and will come inside, even if they don't come in further than the welcome mat at the door. That's still enough to bring fleas into the house where they could've jumped on Chelsea. 

So they treated her with Capstar while she was at the vet and also gave her something for the tapeworm, and I spent all friggin' day today washing and vacuuming everything in my apartment. 

But then I started thinking? And I'm starting to wonder, like, did they possibly MIX UP THE CATS or something, because Chelsea does not seem to have fleas! I know "indoor cat flea denial" is a whole thing, but stick with me here...

For one thing, from reading online, it seems like when your pet has fleas, it's fairly noticeable? But there's been NOTHING to suggest it here. If I hadn't taken Chelsea to the vet, I would NEVER have guessed she had fleas. She hadn't been scratching, and I wasn't specifically looking for fleas or flea dirt, but I didn't notice anything on her, nor had I seen any bugs in the apartment that might've been fleas or any evidence of them, like flea dirt on the blankets where she spends a lot of time. (Granted, she is a mostly black cat, which makes it harder to spot, but my comforter is white, her favorite blanket is pale blue, and my sofa is beige, so you'd think I'd spot something there, right?)

Anyway, if that were it, I'd probably accept it. Maybe she just didn't have the fleas long enough for it to be noticeable. If she DID get them from the strays at Thanksgiving, it would've been less than a week. But then there's also what the vet said to me. He called me three times on Friday - the first during the procedure, because I asked them to call before they extracted any teeth. We discussed the dental stuff, and not a word about the fleas. I suppose it's possible at that point they hadn't spotted them yet?

The vet called me a second time after the procedure was over to let me know how everything went. Again, all talk about the dental. THEN he called a third time to be like, "Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention she has fleas." Unfortunately, at that point I'd stepped away from my desk, so he left a voice mail, otherwise I might've thought of these questions sooner. 

But in the voice mail, he said they noticed flea dirt on her, then saw a live flea. Later, when I picked her up, the vet tech told me that after they gave her Capstar, they combed dead fleas off her. I really wish I had thought to ask HOW MANY fleas they combed off. I don't need an exact number or anything, but like, is this a mild case, or were there a lot? The vet tech kind of made it sound like there were a lot, which doesn't really fit with my not noticing ANYTHING, so it would be another sign to me that they were looking at a different cat, lol.

The vet also said in the voice mail that they apparently diagnosed the tapeworm based on a fecal test, and THAT'S the part where I get really skeptical. Because they never charged me for a fecal test. There's no reason for them to have done a fecal test for a dental procedure. I suppose it's possible she just happened to poop while she was there, and maybe if she happened to poop after they found the fleas, they decided to check for tapeworms, but I'm SURE they wouldn't test it for free

Anyway, after a pretty thorough cleaning of the house, I STILL didn't find any evidence of fleas (neither did my parents, btw). And now I'm starting to wonder, like, are we sure it was Chelsea they found the fleas on, and not some other cat who was in for a procedure, and maybe they got the records mixed up? The afterthought phone call, the mystery fecal test... I don't know, it just seems bizarre, especially combined with zero sign of fleas. Or am I just in denial?

They did say that she'll poop out the tapeworm, so I guess I'll see it if she really had one? Otherwise, the only thing to do is wait and see if I didn't clean thoroughly enough and some fleas actually show up. 

(I should note that I am also somewhat sensitive to vet mix-ups, given that once my mother took Patches to the vet, and when she went to pick her up, they tried to give her THE WRONG CAT, and my mom looked in the carrier and was like, "UM THAT IS NOT PATCHES."  So we were actually joking about "make sure you check that it's really Chelsea before you leave!" Plus, the first time the vet called me, he was mixed-up enough that he thought MY NAME was Chelsea, not the cat, so...)

So what do you think, people who have experience with cats? Which is more likely? Is it possible for a cat to have enough fleas that it's noticeable to a vet who is looking at her for a completely different medical issue, but I as the cat's owner didn't notice a thing, and still can't find anything even when specifically looking for fleas? If I can't find any evidence whatsoever of fleas, does that mean we're clean, or should I be anticipating an outbreak in a few weeks or months or whatever?

Profile

next_to_normal: (Default)
next_to_normal

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2 345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Page generated Aug. 17th, 2017 11:23 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios