February, 2023

Winter in Wisconsin always feels the longest to me in February. This is traditionally the month where I and I suspect others get thoroughly sick and tired of the cold, snow, and ice and are anxious for everything to start melting as the days get a little longer and a little warmer. While I eagerly awaited the spring thaw, I kept busy (and warm) indoors with various work, house projects, pet and partner snuggles, and even a little family time.

After a couple months of waiting, our new range hood/exhaust fan finally was stocked and shipped after several false starts with other suppliers. The handyman I hired installed the unit with little issue and wow, what a world of difference it makes to my sensitive lungs to have proper ventilation while Luke cooks up his delicious feasts in the kitchen! A couple of highlights this month are pictured below.

My GI specialist got me in for an esophagogastroduodenoscopy (aka EGD) and an enteroscopy. The whole process from check in to check out at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Eau Claire took about 3 hours but unfortunately, they could not find the lesion that showed up on my CT scan the month before during my annual post-kidney cancer checkup. They scheduled me for a follow-up CT scan in May to see if it’s still there or has grown in size. I’m hopeful that whatever happens, it will be something easy to tackle.

A couple days after my procedure, Luke and I made the 3-hour drive to Pardeeville for a late Christmas gathering with my immediate family. We enjoyed hanging out, eating yummy food and exchanging gifts. Afterward, Luke and I drove into Madison to meet up with my best friend and her partner for a much anticipated Thai dinner at Sa-Bai Thong. It had been quite some time since I enjoyed my favorite dish of vegetable panang curry with peanut sauce and this experience did not disappoint. It was also the first time Luke was able to meet my best friend so I was eager for that face to face to finally happen. A good time was enjoyed by all and before we knew it, it was time for Luke and I to head back home to Menomonie. Thoroughly exhausted, we pulled up in the driveway shortly after midnight. All in all it was a good, albeit long, day.

I spent some time working on my travel plans for this year. So far, I’m scheduled to be in Massachusetts for a month in April, Washington for a month in May/June and also a month in September, and finally a month in Oregon in October. I’m excited to finally make it out east and get to explore the New England area and spend much overdue time with a good friend I haven’t seen in years. I am also looking forward to checking more spots off my list in the southwest, west coast, and Canada this year.

The animals were good as usual this month. Sif enjoyed his quarterly grooming appointment and was quite the fluffy and even more handsome guy afterward. Siegward, unfortunately, gave us a scare when he wouldn’t stop vomiting for 4-days. After a trip to the vet for an x-ray and blood draw to rule out a blockage or any sort of pancreatic issues, we determined he most likely had a hairball stuck and aggravating his esophagus, causing some stomach upset. We treated him with anti-nausea medication, hairball gel, fluids, and a special GI diet. He quickly returned to his normal, sassy self which was a huge relief for Luke and me. Last but certainly not least, Alvina was a perfectly adorable angel all month, like normal.

We were blessed with a Winter storm right around the time Siegward got sick which dumped a foot or so of more snow on an already deep blanket that has built up over the winter. It was pretty to watch from the inside but it did prohibit me from being able to make it to Madison to meet up with a friend who was in town visiting. I’m hopeful that we’ll get another shot at hanging out in March when she’ll be back in town.

I switched medications for my depression from Wellbutrin to Cymbalta this month and while I did experience some waves of light nausea, the anxiety and sadness have noticeably dialed back which has been really nice. Together with my Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), my chronic pain level has noticeably improved as well. I don’t experience the same energy boost that I got from the Wellbutrin, in fact I have to fight what I refer to as the “blahs” from time to time but I’m hopeful that after a full six weeks, things will level out and I’ll get to enjoy a more pleasant calm and steady wave on the emotional ocean that is life. With my anxiety dialed back, I’m excited to give CPAP another try and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new machine. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my claustrophobia does not get in the way again so I can hopefully enjoy better sleep and then, perhaps, less chronic pain as well.

Overall, it was a good month, not without some ups and downs, but nothing I couldn’t handle. This next month I get to look forward to celebrating my 43rd birthday as well as hitting the road to head east for my first pet/house-sitting gig of the New Year. I’m excited to see how everything pans out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s