Success at achieving some of my bucket list items!!

In the past couple of weeks I have managed to achieve several items on my bucket list and I’m so excited that I just had to write about it again, without adding new items just yet.

You might remember that my list is currently up to 20 items with some having been italicized to mark them as in progress the last time that I reviewed the list.

  1. At least once a month, taking appropriate precautions, get out and do something social
  2. To be a bridesmaid
  3. To visit New Zealand
  4. To live on the ocean
  5. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  6. Waist length hair
  7. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  8. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  9. Acceptance of RADS diagnosis and limitations that places on my life
  10. Despite RADS diagnosis, work on improving the quality of my life and work at getting back to work
  11. year-long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  12. Lose steroid weight and return to a healthy weight
  13. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  14. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  15. Go indoor skydiving
  16. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  17. Go on a picnic
  18. At least once a day, do something creative
  19. Resume dress-making
  20. Train Kai in Rally Obedience

Firstly, I’ve kept up with my aim of doing something social once a month, and with the help of the public library, their scent free policy and an extremely helpful librarian and other book club members, I was able to attend a book club meeting! That’s #1 on my list met for this month.

My hair hasn’t reached my waist yet but it is significantly longer than it was – if I straighten it – marking progress towards item #6. I also think that if I was 5′ something, instead of almost 6′ tall, that it would be waist length on almost anybody else!!! Though that would be cheating!!

I’ve pretty much come to terms with my RADS diagnosis though I’m still frustrated by the limitations especially as I have finally made it back to work admittedly in a very restricted fashion. So that’s major progress towards items #9 and 10.

While it wasn’t quite planned, I even managed #17 and had a picnic in my car earlier this week. I’d had a doctor’s appointment at the hospital and only just under two hours later also had a group to attend at the same hospital. Given the extortionate cost of parking I sat in my car for an hour and read my book, having a picnic lunch!

Lastly I got out my sewing machine and whilst I haven’t made a dress yet, I have turned an old T Shirt that I couldn’t bear to throw away into a cushion and I’m part way through a bigger project. #19 can be checked off!

  1. To be a bridesmaid
  2. To visit New Zealand
  3. To live on the ocean
  4. To own a Class B motor-home (Roadtrek ideally)
  5. Day-trip to Frankenmuth & Bronners
  6. Reschedule & enjoy my belated 45th birthday vacation
  7. year-long road trip following 70 degree (21 C) weather throughout the contiguous United States.
  8. Get out walking, locally and a little further afield on walking trails and then snowshoeing as determined by the weather
  9. Visit Harrison Hot Springs in BC
  10. Go indoor skydiving
  11. Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival
  12. Train Kai in Rally Obedience

If I take out all that have been accomplished or had significant progress made, as you can see, a lot has been accomplished in the last couple of weeks. So much so, that I’ll have to start thinking of some new items for my list as 8 of them have now been marked as either “in progress” or “accomplished”. It’s a great feeling!

How’s your list coming along?

 

Hiatus is over…. I’m back again…

I apologise for the long gap between posts this month. I ended up taking a three week hiatus while I was hospitalised. I’m now home and doing well.

The time in hospital allowed my doctors to adjust my medications and helped me accept both the limitations of my allergies and RADS, as well as to be less negative about the possibilities for disability accommodation. While I had many asthma attacks and was constantly having allergic skin reactions it was the longest that I have been away from home without having anaphylaxis in many months.

My heartfelt thanks to all the staff and patients who made that possible by accommodating my allergies and environmental sensitivities (RADS).

Also, my thanks to my friend who took care of Molly for me. As you can see, she had a great time usurping her dogs from their beds.

Kai was with me in the hospital so I don’t have any pictures of him during the last few weeks. However, he was a superstar!! He dealt with the overwhelming volumes of people and huge variety of noises and just kept on working day in and day out. It was hard to get him some real down-time while I was there so he’s relaxing at home now. Well deserved!

In this picture he and Molly are back in their favourite spots. Kai is curled up on my feet and Molly is next to him and all three of us are sharing my couch!

It’s good to be home!

Sleep… The irony of an insomniac having a sleep study!

Last night, in the latest effort to find out the cause of my breathing problems, I had a sleep study at the Superior Sleep Centre.

A sleep study is designed to help physicians diagnose conditions such as:

In my case, we’re obviously more concerned with looking for a breathing-related sleep disorder which can range from chronic or habitual snoring to upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) to frank obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or, in some cases, obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS).

However, as a life-long insomniac who suffers from night terrors from  C-PTSD the thought of a sleep study was rather funny. Added to which, since I’ve had my current breathing issues I haven’t been able to sleep anywhere but in a recliner, as I start coughing as soon as I try lying down.

Anyway, last night was the night. Kai and I packed up and headed to the centre for 8pm. We were one of the first to arrive so were soon shown to our room and asked to complete a number of forms and questionnaires before changing into PJs (shorts and a T-shirt in my case as I can’t stand anything around my legs in my sleep).

Then they hooked me up. 45 minutes later I looked even more like an alien than I did before. As you can see from the educational image below, it’s a lot of leads and wires. After a few reminders, Kai was phenomenal about leaving them alone. Though he delighted in being allowed to help take them off this morning!

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We then rested and read for an hour or so while the technician wired up other patients, then we did a potty break and she connected this lot up to the monitoring equipment.

We ran through some exercises to check everything was working properly and settled down for the night.

With the help of some extra pillows, I was able to get in a reasonably comfortable position. Kai had no such issues. He just curled up around my arm and relaxed.

Now, unfortunately, they had placed me in the room next to the shared washroom so Kai did take a while to fully settle and stop alerting to somebody being at the door but he didn’t take long.

My sleep was probably actually a little better in the centre than at home in that while it took me hours to get to sleep, once I got to sleep I think I woke up less and I certainly slept a little later than usual. However, we were still the first ones up and released this morning.

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It will take about 6-8 weeks for all the results to be scored and the information provided back to my specialist and family doctor. Hopefully, there will be an answer to my breathing difficulties.

Kai and I got home just before 6am this morning when Molly was delighted to see us. Everybody went potty and had breakfast and we all went back to bed! Well (to the reclining couch) where ironically I actually managed to sleep for another hour to so!

Now if only I could sleep, and wake up feeling rested, things would be really improving!Sleep-and-Baby-Quotes-5

So i joined the 21st Century and bought a Kindle…

As an avid reader, I have long insisted on reading actual books. There’s nothing quite like the feel of a new book, of being the first to crack the spine and being able to lose myself in the world within.

I did give in and start using an iPad for some reading a few years ago, initially for work, and then when travelling. Not because I liked reading on the iPad specifically but because one of the major funding councils that I review grants for decided to no longer send out paper copies and I just couldn’t justify the expense of printing the boxes full of paper copies to conduct the reviews. However, I still found myself printing some of the sections as I struggled to adjust to reading on an electronic screen. Over time that did get easier.

However, part of my problem was that I am an extremely fast reader and that I can turn a paper page far faster than technology could keep up. However, my iPad has pretty much come to the end of its natural life. It is a first generation and many of the applications are no longer able to be updated. When it kept shutting down when I was attempting to read I decided that it was time to look into something different. Initially, I thought that I’d just stick with paper books still. I love our local library and thoroughly enjoy finding new authors by randomly selecting books from their shelves.However, with being housebound for the past few weeks the library hasn’t been an option for me. I’ve also been finding that it’s

However, with being housebound for the past few weeks the library hasn’t been an option for me. I’ve also been finding that it’s becoming harder and harder to find books that I haven’t already read as the library itself has been moving more to the provision of ebooks with a decreasing emphasis on paper books.

Additionally, over the last year or so I’ve seen both the Kobo and the Kindle radically improve in quality and speed as well as being reduced in size and weight while still maintaining a good amount of content on an electronic page.

Faced with the likelihood of many more hours in doctors waiting rooms and at the hospital, over the coming weeks, I decided that it was about time that I looked into e-readers once more.

Given that the community I live in doesn’t have a Chapters store (just a small Indigo store) I knew that I would have to order whichever e-reader I decided on from the internet. However, I had had the opportunity to look at both the Kindle and Kobo in the past few months, as several friends own them, so I had a good idea of the actual size and weight of each.

I’d already decided against just getting a tablet as I really don’t like the new operating systems (Windows 10 and android).

I did think about getting a new iPad but when I reviewed how much I’d actually used my old one for for anything other than reading I realised that my iPhone has pretty much taken over for everything else.

So for me, it was a simple choice between the Kobo and the Kindle. I looked online and read dozens of reviews. In general, it seems that the Kobo Glow and the Kindle Paperwhite seemed to run the closest and be the best of breed in both types.

While some reviewers stated that the Kobo had a little more functionality in some areas there were also some quality control issues reported.

In the end, I decided on a Kindle Paperwhite for four reasons:

  1. My aunt very kindly sent me an amazon.ca gift card for my birthday!
  2. While I had both Kobo and Kindle accounts on my old iPad, I had far more content in my Kindle account and I didn’t want to lose that.
  3. On average, e-books tended to be a little cheaper to buy for the Kindle, than for the Kobo
  4. It was Amazon Prime day on the 12th July and they were offering the Kindle Paperwhite for sale!

So, on Tuesday I joined the thousands of other people taking advantage of the Amazon Prime sale and bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite and case. Ironically, the case cost me nearly as much as the Kindle itself! However, as Kai picks things up for me all the time a case was essential to protect the screen from his teeth!

My new Kindle, and case arrived today. Within a matter of moments, I had the Kindle set up. It was very intuitive, which is good as the paper documentation is almost non-existent.

I then switched my Kindle account from my old iPad to my new Kindle. This was when life got a little frustrating for me. I have 1,568 books in my Kindle account. (Remember, I did say that I am an avid reader!).

However, there doesn’t seem to be any way of

  1. Identifying which books had been read and which hadn’t until they were downloaded to a device, or
  2. Downloading them all to a new device in one go

So I have spent a couple of hours this afternoon downloading all 1, 568 books to the Kindle in batches of 10! The sync is still running several hours later and has now reached 93 pages in the index with just 741 of the books downloaded.

All 1,568 books were available on my Kindle via my Kindle account, but if I had just left them there I would always need to have a wireless internet connection to download the specific book that I want to read. Unfortunately, as my local hospital has a number of blind spots within its available wireless connectivity and I had opted against getting the Kindle with 3G functionality this wouldn’t always be possible.

Once all the books have downloaded to my device, my next step will be to go through all the books and remove the ones from my device that I’ve already read. If anybody knows a way of doing this automatically, please do let me in on the secret!

I’ll then be experimenting with the font size, backlight and other settings to get my Kindle set up as close to the look and feel of a paper book that I can. To that end, the case that I bought for it resembles a leather bound book in a stunning turquoise. So hopefully, I won’t be able to lose it either.

Oh, before I forget – how do I have over 1, 500 e-books without being in the poor house? The answer is a wonderful service called BookBub.

Anybody can currently register with BookBub for free. One you have registered you inform BookBub of your preferences for genres and every day it will send you links to books that are available that day in those genres, either totally free or for a very low cost.

By signing up for this service I have found some incredible new authors that have consequently led to me buying their other books (which is the point of the BookBub service I suspect). I’ve also found  some not so good books that soon get deleted. Interestingly, while I would never not finish the paper copy of a book I am quite happy to delete the electronic version if it doesn’t grab my attention straight away.

The next test will be for me to see if the refresh rate can keep up with the rate at which I read. It’s a little unrepresentative just now as I have some brain fogginess going on. However, based on the few minutes that I’ve experimented with it so far, I am very impressed.

So, to summarise, I may be a latecomer to this party but I am very much looking forward to carrying a ginormous library with me rather than having to pre-select the 5-6 books that I can physically manage for both travel and waiting room reading opportunities.

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