What I Learned This Week – A Tough Pill To Swallow

Since last March, I’ve been complaining about crazy ear pain that starts off as soreness and progresses into a flaming red, hot, throbbing, painful ache that has been known to drive me to tears. When it happened for the first time (March, 2013), I was sure I had a small cut in my ear that had become infected. I should have known that nothing in my life is ever that simple. It became obvious after three rounds of antibiotics (and no relief!) that this was anything other than a simple infection. After a month of constant, nagging pain and a bottle of ibuprofen later, it was gone.

Three months later, it was back.

And three months after that, it was back again.

As it turns out, I am one of the lucky ones. Most people who share this diagnosis suffer for several years before it is diagnosed. Mostly because the disease is so rare, Doctors are not familiar enough with it to actually make the diagnosis, but also because it presents as an infection. I first heard the words relapsing Polychondritis back in August, but was just definitively diagnosed this past week after a CT Scan, blood work, two biopsies, an oncology consultation, three different ENT appointments, and lots of prayer. Relapsing Polychondritis is an auto immune disease which means the immune system attacks healthy cells in the body by mistake.

This disease effects 3 to 4 people in one million.

I guess you could say I hit the relapsing Polychondritis lottery.

There is no sure for this disease and the best medication to treat the flares is prednisone. If you know anything about prednisone, you know it is not a long term answer for an incurable disease. The Rhumetologist (whom I really like!) suggested that I start on Methotrexate. McDaddy and I have done extensive research on the medication and formulated a list of questions to discuss with the Doctor.

Ten months after the onset, I feel like I may be on the right road. I started taking Methotrexate this week. In fact, I took it yesterday. Because the medicine has serious, life-threatening side effects, it is only taken once a week. While I am only taking four pills per week now, I will eventually work up to eight pills per week. Though the pills are small, they are fierce. This medicine is typically given to cancer patients and those suffering with psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

There is a list of side effects a mile long. Some of those include, mouth ulcers, liver damage, hair loss, extreme fatigue and dizziness. All I can do is pray that the Lord will protect me from all of the horrible effects I read about. I had a dream night before last that I was holding my hair – all of it – in my hands after taking the medicine.

I realize that losing my hair wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen, still it’s a tough pill to swallow. The hope is that the medicine reduces the flares which will in turn reduce the amount of damage to my ears, nose, trachea, heart valves, eyes and joints.

As the four little yellow pills made their way down my esophagus yesterday morning, I prayed for the Lord’s protection and guidance as McDaddy and I continue to navigate this medical condition. I’d appreciate your prayers too.

That’s what I learned this week.

How about you?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Week

Somehow, I’ve contracted the crud. I’ve lost my voice. My chest is rattling and I’m hackin’ up junk. I went to my family Doctor today – after being miserable and on the couch all day yesterday – and I came away with an antibiotic and an order for a chest x-ray on the off-chance the rattle is still there in two days.

I spent the day on my big, blue, bloggy couch watching Investigation Discovery and drifting in and out of sleep. According to my Doctor, it takes three days to get a cold, three days to have a cold and three days to get rid of a cold… so, according to that I’ve got a ways to go.

On top of that, my mom and my granny are in the hospital – one in room 311, the other in room 312. Unfortunately, since I am hackin’ up green goop, I am contagious and not permitted to visit the hospital. This is one of those crazy times in

In the meantime, here’s what I learned this week.

1. It is tough to relax in jeans.

2. American Sniper is the best movie I’ve watched in a long time. Maybe in forever.

3. If you go to the theater to watch American Sniper, you should take plenty of tissues.

4. Orange marmalade and barbecue sauce makes a really good sauce for crock pot chicken breasts.

5. Stevie is interested in taking Karate. Mainly, in his words, so that he can learn to do a backflip off of a chair.

6. Aveeno unscented hand lotion is perfect for cracked, wintery hands.

7. The only thing worse than eating pretzels is eating unsalted pretzels.

8.  If your Roomba decides to lay down and die or shows ERR5 in the power window, you can save yourself three calls to Roomba, and some mechanical work on the thing because you need a new battery.

9. A battery for the Roomba will set you back $69.99.

10. Guacamole still makes me gag.

11. Neither my Rhumetologist OR my medical Doctor has ever had a patient with the same auto-immune disorder I have.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Week

I totally enjoyed having the day off from school the early morning alarm. After church last night, a large group of us went out for Mexican. It was well after 10 PM when we got home and it didn’t take long to figure out that I shouldn’t have eaten so much so late in the evening.

Nor should I watch Wives with Knives before bed.

That’s the first thing I learned this week.

Here’s a list of the other things I learned this week.

1. Methotrexate seems like a tricky medication for one to take.

2. After reading about Methotrexate and talking to a Pharmacist about Methotrexate, I have lots of questions and concerns.

3. It makes me so sad to throw away my favorite pair of jeans.

4. I had a lot more free time before Pinterest.

5. Since October, Alex has grown out of at least six pair of pants.

6. Although there are three years between them, Alex weighs only one pound less than Stevie.

7. If I commented what I’m really thinking on Facebook, I wouldn’t have ten FB friends.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?

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What I Learned This Week

It’s Tuesday and around here, that means its time for another edition of What I Learned This Week.

So, here’s what I learned this week.

1. I just found out about The Fire Challenge. Have these kids lost their ever lovin’ minds?

2. It is possible to have identical triplets.

3.  Even after backing down the same driveway several times each day for ELEVEN years, you should never take for granted that you won’t get too close to the grass and end up over the hill sideways in your vehicle. Or at least that’s what a friend tells me.

4. A vacuum cleaner can drive a six-pound dog crazy.

5. Kerfuffle is a fun word.

6. A new vacuum excites me.

7. A regular biopsy doesn’t hurt nearly as bad as a punch biopsy.

8. It is hard to beat a Chicken Fajita Chimichanga when eating at a Mexican joint.

9. I don’t think I’m meant to have an acrylic nail on my iPhone finger.

10. An auto-immune disorder is an aggravation.

11. Watching a murder investigation on Dateline just before bed is not a good idea.

12. Kitchen coconut oil is a great hair product.

13. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn is dating Tiger Woods.

14. Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken severed her spine in an ATV accident.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Week

I have decided I am going to hop back on the bloggy bandwagon. It has been some time since I’ve blogged regularly. I have so much to say, but I’ve been tired and busy and well, sometimes I just wonder if my business is all that interesting. Add that to the fact that I have a pre-teen kid who is becoming more and more self-conscious about what all I am sharing on the blog and well, you get my drift.

When I do start blogging again, I will definitely have to be careful what I share about him.

Can I just have my sweet LITTLE, INNOCENT, BABY BOY back, pretty please?

I’ve learned a lot this week. And lucky for you, this is Monday, which means, it’s time to share it all with you.

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. Just because a Doctor refers you to another medical professional requesting a test, that doesn’t mean that the medical professional will actually do that test. I should know, as I’ve attempted to have the same test done TWICE by two different Doctors with no success.

2. I am never ready for Christmas to be over.

3. I love my Christmas tree and wish I could leave it up for months without seeming like a dork.

4. I will never understand grown adults who go out in public in pajamas.

5. Mint M&Ms are the bomb diggity.

6. In my humble opinion, a theme park that closes at 6:00 pm is perfect.

7. A yorkie is a great companion for a 9-year old boy.

8. Joe Boxer always has some kind of crazy holiday commercial nonsense. But I’d be lying if I said their latest marketing campaign didn’t make me giggle.

9. Everyone should have a friend that they can send random texts throughout the day to.

10. I always get the heebie-jeebies watching Dateline.

11. Once a puppy gets to be a certain age, apparently they get big and brave and think it is perfectly acceptable to run straight to the road and hang out there.

12. A new, fresh calendar excites me.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Week

I have been going non-stop since 9:15 A.M. It is almost midnight and I am pooped. I had a rheumatology appointment and a cardiology appointment back-to-back and then I had several errands to run before picking up both boys after school. After that, the boys and I ran here and fro to mark several things off of my massive TO DO list, and THEN we went Christmas caroling with the Scouts.

On top of that, it’s What I Learned This Week night up in here.

So, here’s what I learned this week.

1. If you have a Facebook Yard Sale site in your area, you should join it and then start getting rid of crap.

2. The older Bentley gets, the braver he gets.

3. It is tough to see a five-pound black puppy in the dark.

3. Thanks to his new-found bravery, freezing temperatures and my impatience, Bentley will now be taken out on a leash after dark.

4. One can never have too many snowmen.

5. The clerks at Target are not permitted to throw gift cards away, even if they have a zero balance.

6. Tim Hawkins has his own Pandora station.

7. The Adam & Eve advertisement on Tim Hawkins’ Pandora channel has nothing to do with the Bible.

8. An ice maker will not make ice if the water filter is not installed in the fridge.

9. Christmas Pandora stations make me smile, especially when I’m wrapping presents.

10. You can breath new life into a Christmas swag by removing the dark red poinsettias and hot gluing some bright red glittery apples, glittery pine cones and a bright red bow from Michaels.

11. You know you are old when appliances and household items excite you.

12. When I discovered that three large pizza boxes fit on one shelf in our new fridge, I realized the new fridge is a lot bigger than the old one.

13. The Mint M&Ms are much better than the plain ones.

14. Bentley is no longer in an XS sweater.  =(

15. This fact makes me sad.

16. I thought once the novelty of Bentley wore off, the boys might not be so excited about him. I was wrong.

17. When it’s 54 degrees on December 16th, the SKY should be hauling me around town, not the big honkin’ Chevy truck.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Week At Satan’s, Er, I Mean Santa’s Workshop

It is shaping up to be a very busy week up in here. As in, I need to get out of bed thirty minutes earlier than usual. As in THAT. IS. NONSENSE.

Yes, you guessed it.

It’s Satan’s Workshop week. Er, I mean Santa’s Workshop week.

If you are not familiar with Santa’s workshop, let me take a second to explain. A fund-raising company sends you a list of items and the head of your workshop (or last year’s President) picks about 50 items from the list. A week or so before the workshop, the items, plus a cash register are sent to your school. Parent volunteers will then unpack and display all of the items. Then, throughout the week, the children will make umpteen trips to the workshop to spend every. last. dime. they have. The workshop will make a tad bit of money for the school and the children will learn valuable lessons about budgeting, giving, and patience.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far this week.

1. Heading up Santa’s Workshop for the third year is less stressful than it was the first two years.

2. Hand sanitizer is a must!

3. Children are eager to spend money. Every last quarter of it.

4. Heading up the workshop this year is a lot less stressful than it was the first two years.

5. The new, bigger, more modern mug style makes me smile.

6. There are lots of lessons to be learned at the Santa’s Workshop.

7. Most kids who are shopping would tell you it is not better to give.

8. Invest in some sort of change counter. And by some sore of change counter, I mean a device that does not include human hands separating the silver from the pennies in a pile of loose change in an attempt to round up $7.00 for the AVON silver hearts bracelet that “mommy will just love!”  The money in most cases will be sticky and hot and gross.

9. Have a giant calculator on hand. – And by giant calculator I mean a calculator that will be easy to see and easy to operate because before you ring up 97.9% of the children on the cash register, you will need to add their purchases up on a calculator to insure that they have enough money or else you will use every last inch of register tape ringing and voiding orders of over-zealous children that bring $17.00 worth of merchandise to the counter with about $3.00 worth of dimes in a ziplock bag.

10. Even though it is 36 degrees outside, it is hotter than all get out in the library. Dress in layers.

11. Do not forget to take your blood pressure pill before heading out the door.

That’s what I’ve learned so far this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Week

It is all Christmas-y up in here, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

After three days of arranging, arranging again and in some cases rearranging, I think I have everything exactly where I want it.

In other news… McDaddy told me some disturbing news regarding social media, blogging and nasty stuff that nasty people are doing. That, coupled with the fact that I have a pre-teen in the house whom is starting to become very particular about his business, makes me second guess having this blog.

It’s a shame that there are such vile, evil people in the world.

Here’s what I learned this week.

1. I hate snow, but I love snowmen.

2. The new Words With Friends update is AWE-SOME!

3. Bath & Body Works make some yummy smelling holiday soaps.

4. I hate to wait.

5. Even though I don’t have much of it, patience does pay.

6. It is tough getting back into the habit of moving our Elf on the Shelf each night.

7. An 11:00 PM alarm on my phone is a great help in this effort.

8. A decorated Christmas tree makes me smile. But, I rarely see a decorated Christmas tree prettier than the one in my living room.

9. My favorite Christmas “carol” is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

10. I have way too many Christmas ornaments.

11. December is going to be a BUSY month.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

 

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Week

The boys have the week off from school. You cannot know how excited I am that I don’t have to wake up at O’Dark thirty. In other news, my right ear – which up to now has remained Relapsing Polychondritis free – has been red and swollen for days. That means that my last flare-up was in September and now – just two months later – I’m dealing with this ear craziness again.

I am so frustrated.

There’s a pretty good chance I’ll be put on a maintenance medication to help prevent the flare ups. Will you pray for me, please? I have tried really hard not to worry or be obsessed with this, but honestly, it is hard not to dwell on it. I have no idea what my future holds, and sadly, I have no idea if my heart valves or trachea is being compromised as I type this.

Do you know how scary that is?

But, enough of all that….  here’s what I learned this week.

1. The horse’s small intestine is 50-70 feet long and holds 10 to 12 US gallons.

2. Emergency surgery to remove a tumor from the small intestines of a horse will cost more than $6,000.

3. Judge Judy works 52 days per year and makes $900,000 per work day.

4. If you’re a woman and love to laugh, you should seriously get some Anita Renfroe’s latest DVD.

5. If your puppy ends up yelping and limping three hours after his booster shot, he may have had a reaction to the shot. In this case, he will need an anti-inflammatory shot.

6. There’s a pretty good chance that water running you hear in the bathroom may not be the ice-maker. Rather, it’s possible the running water you are hearing is a busted water line in the garage.

7. When the temperature is twelve degrees outside, it is time to shut off the water valve to the garage water line.

8. The ice-maker in our freezer has decided to quit working.

9. The freezer isn’t freezing at it should be.

10. When it rains, it pours.

11. It would be nice if the iPhone had a wireless charger. Is that even possible?

12. The pumpkins on my porch are rotten.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

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What I Learned This Past Month

There is a rare auto-immune disorder called Relapsing Polychondritis. It occurs in 3.5 people per million.

Did you get that?

This rare disorder of the cartilage occurs in three point five people out of one million people.

Do you know where this is going?

Yes, you guessed it.

I hit the Relapsing Polychondritis lottery.

Do you remember when I had trouble with my ear in March, June, and again in September?

And yes, that ear on the right hurts just as bad as it looks.

After several visits with an Ear specialist, a CT Scan, several appointments with a head/neck oncologist, a needle biopsy, a punch biopsy, weeks of pain, six antibiotic prescriptions, two steroid prescriptions, blood work, and a rheumatologist appointment, I was diagnosed with this crazy rare disorder that is characterized by recurrent episodes of painful inflammation that causes deterioration of cartilage. This often painful disease can cause deformity and be life-threatening when respiratory tract, heart valves or blood vessels are affected.

As you might guess, this crazy rare disorder is not well known, not well understood and is often misdiagnosed.

Basically, the human body’s immune system begins to attack and destroy the cartilage tissues in the body. It is characterized by recurrent episodes of inflammation of the cartilage of various tissues of the body. Tissues containing cartilage that can become inflamed include the ears, nose, joints, spine, and windpipe (trachea). The eyes, heart, and blood vessels, which have a biochemical makeup similar to that of cartilage, can also be affected.

Oh, and as an added bonus, the course of symptoms for patients is often unpredictable.

That’s what I’ve learned the past month.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?

GO!