October 31, 2013

When a Doctor Doesn't Listen or Only Looks at a Test Result


A better title might be:  "When Your Doctor Doesn't Listen and He Forgets to Read Your Lab Results"


This post has nothing to do with decorating!  But today I totally need to vent.  Last Thursday around lunchtime (a full week ago) I went to my doctors office. I knew I had a UTI (urinary tract infection)... If you don't like icky details, or think this might be a bit too personal, TMI.... as in way to much information, you can just skip reading the rest.  

If you've never had a UTI, be thankful...  because honestly they suck!  I get about one per year and I seriously know when I have one.  It constantly feels like you have to go pee... and when you do it burns like a son of a gun!  I also get internal pain similar to cramps, but since I don't get cramps anymore (hysterectomy) I know when the pain is not normal!!!  Bladder infection... Ugh!

In the past, a few times I've been able to self cure by drinking cranberry juice, taking cranberry pills, making parsley tea, taking extra vitamin C and garlic pills and drinking tons of water...  But if that doesn't work after a few days, a doctors appointment for antibiotics is an absolute must.

I don't like taking antibiotics and I prefer not to because they kill both the bad bacteria (usually e Coli) and also they kill all the good bacteria.  We need the good bacteria in our system for digestion and to fight off other bad stuff.  After antibiotics often comes a yeast infection (which by the way I also get once or twice a year and it also sucks big time).  As you can imagine, because of this I don't go to the doctor for antibiotics unless I absolutely have to.  

Note: UTI's are much more common in women because our urethra (tube where the pee comes from) is only about an inch long... and occasionally stuff backs up into the bladder... Yada yada...  Isn't it so fun being a girl.

So a week ago, at the doctors office they had me pee in a cup. Not my favorite thing to do, but it must be done.  They do an in office test on it and the doctor comes in and he tells me, NOPE, your fine... Your urine is sterile.  Seriously, I'm thinking No... because I knew something was wrong and I knew it was a UTI.  The doctor says NO to antibiotics... but I do get to go the the lab and get blood drawn and pee in another cup for a urine culture.  Yay, lets do a lab experiment and see if we can grow anything in it.  Which is great if it works.... They should have results soon (like the next day) and then my doctor will see that I am right, call me and tell me, get me the medicine I need and then I will be fine...  Antibiotics usually get rid of almost all the pain in less than 24 hours... and you usually only have to take them for three days for UTI's.

I don't hear anything from my doctors office on Friday... I continue to try to self cure throughout the weekend and I am still a bit uncomfortable, but I am dealing with it.  I do afterall have a high tolerance for pain.

I did not hear anything from my doctors office on Monday or Tuesday either. I figure well my tests came back fine... because obviously they would have called me otherwise. So by now I've researched the internet and found out every other thing it could possibly be... because I am still way uncomfortable and this is so NOT normal!!! 

Come Wednesday afternoon, yesterday (five full days after I was at the doctor and had lab tests) I am like dying!  So uncomfortable, need to pee like every 3 to 5 minutes, burning torture...   I finally call my doctors office at 4:30 in the afternoon and talk to his nurse.

I tell the nurse of my dying pain, burning, peeing constantly (it's only like one teaspoon each time I go, but it feels like I have to go sooooo darn bad)... My body is constantly trying to rid itself of this foreign bacterial substance (e Coli) so it keeps trying to flush it out. OUCH... It's not working... Did I say OUCH!!!  I proceed to tell the nurse that I need the doctor to call me in an antibiotic.  "I don't care what the tests say, I HAVE A UTI (urinary tract infection/bladder infection) and it's killing me!"  She proceeds to tell me, I'll give the doctor a note.  UM NO!  Didn't you hear me?  I need him to call an antibiotic in like NOW!!!  (I didn't say it that way, but it was implied).

I tell her, "I had lab work done last Thursday at lunch time.  Six full days ago...  I never heard anything back so I assume my labs are fine, but please look at them and tell me what the urine culture says."  I hear her flipping the pages and guess what happened next??? Yep...  "Please Hold".... I'm on hold for a couple of minutes.  She comes back on the line "The doctor just sent an antibiotic to your pharmacy, you should be able to pick it up in an hour"... Just like that, the doctor magically called in a prescription when a minute ago you were going to give him a note???  I ask again, "What did my urine culture result say???"   Um, well... (pause, pause) um, It did test positive for e Coli. 

Are you kidding me?  "Why didn't someone call me sooner??  I've been uncomfortable in burning torture pain for six days now.  The doctor specifically told me if anything came back abnormal they would call me immediately..."  I'm sorry... That was it, that was all she could say.

I know it's wrong to wish ill will on anyone.... and I shouldn't do it.  But... I wish my doctor and/or his incompetent staff (who just shove lab results into a file without thoroughly reading them) could feel what this feels like for a week...  Just for one week, not forever.  I think that would help them pay more attention to patients (important) information!  (Please forgive me Lord!)

The lesson I've learned from all this is this... the next time that I know I have a problem, I'm not going to take no for an answer from the doctor.  I'm not going to wait for lab results when I know perfectly well exactly what is going on with my body.  If I tell the doctor once a year that I need antibiotics, that is not too many antibiotics!  I will make sure he gives me a script for them on the spot.  And if he says no, I will have him refer to my file to this particular incident...  Because suffering for five extra days, Ugh... It's not going to happen again!

Thanks for letting me rant...

Diana

BTW - I got antibiotics last night and I'm finally feeling a little better.

October 30, 2013

Halloween - To Celebrate or Not To Celebrate

I don't normally share my faith on my blog.  Don't get me wrong it is a huge part of who I am, but my blog is about decorating... so normally I don't share it other than in my about me section

However, today I wanted to share what we decided to do this year for Halloween.  

We are Christians and for years I have heard so many stories and philosophies on why we should or should not celebrate or participate in Halloween.  I've heard stories of all kinds of evil, witchcraft, calling back of the dead and debauchery that goes on during Halloween... (All Hallows Eve).  I don't like scary costumes, people jumping out at me or haunted anything!  I definitely don't like evil or ever want to participate in anything evil.  But I've also read via Wikipedia and several other places that All Hallows Eve has religious roots or pagan roots.  Then I've heard how its the eve of All Saints Day, followed by All Souls Day, which are both supposedly Catholic or Christian based.  Honestly, I don't know much about any of them other than I've heard many conflicting stories over the years.    

I do know that I enjoy adorable children, meeting new people and making new friends!  For several years we have gone to or volunteered to work at our churches Halloween alternative "Harvest Festival". We have been very blessed to do so.  However, I've always felt that maybe we should be at home sharing what we believe with others regardless of what day it is.  After all I am a Christian every single day!!!

I went to Party City and had stickers made, I know I could have done this on my computer myself, but my printer doesn't like me lately!  So, Party City made it easy.  I picked out my background and told them what I wanted it to say.  The employee and I looked over it, adjusted the font to something I liked and 20 minutes later we were finished. I went to Target and purchased a variety of full size candy bars and one alternative for those who can't have chocolate... Full size because I do want to be a house they will remember.  I still remember the few cool houses that gave out the full size chocolate bars when I was a kid!  And let me tell you, that was more than a few years ago :)


What we believe is simple!  John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life."  That is it, it's that simple.

This year we decided to stay home and pass out candy for the first time in 7 or 8 years and I am totally looking forward to it!  

Blessings,

Diana


October 25, 2013

From Simple SnapShot to Amazing Wall Art

Last weekend our family went for a bike ride along the California coast in Newport Beach.  At one point we pulled off of the boardwalk to take some pictures of the sunset.  While admiring the expansive coastline I decided to put my rental bike into the view for a few snapshots.  I was thinking it might make a great piece of wall art.  The only camera I had with me was the one on my iPhone.  I snapped a few photos and then sent them to my email so I could play with them a bit.

It was a gorgeous day and the iPhone photos don't do the scenery justice... however I knew with a little tweaking/editing they could be amazing!

The photos were taken at about 6:00 p.m.  Here are the raw photos that I took with my phones camera.






These three pictures were all taken within the same minute. The difference in lighting is because on and iPhone you can touch the screen where you want it to focus.  In the top two lighter photos I had touched the blacktop area as the focal point which lightened the photos.  In the bottom picture I allowed the camera to self focus which allowed the sunset to show.  I used two different angles of the bike not being sure which I would like better.  I have decided that I definitely like the side view the best!

Today I played with the photos on PicMonkey.com to adjust the lighting, brightness, exposure and colors.  I also played with a black and white frame and matte to see what it will look like when it is framed.

Here are some of the color variations I came up with. 



Notice the difference between the colors and intensity.  The same photo can be changed to look like different pieces of art depending on the look you prefer.










I like the look of this last photo being almost black and white with the bike frame being the only color in the picture.  

When you look at the original raw photo compared the what the final framed art will look like, you can see how easy it is to make a simple snapshot into a work of art.




Keep in mind, art doesn't have to be expensive!  It can be something as simple as a snapshot you took on your cell phone.

Until next time,
Happy decorating!

Diana

October 17, 2013

Fall Wreath in 5 Minutes for Less than 5 Dollars

I love warm Autumn colors and Fall leaves.  So although this year I was inspired by many beautiful mantles that I have seen on the internet, I stuck with using simple fall colored leaves and pumpkins.  It is similar to the mantle I did last year with a few new additions.


This year I leaned a large gold gilded mirror on top of the mantle... and I made an 18 inch Fall wreath in about five minutes for less than $5.  I bought a basic grape vine wreath from my local craft store on sale for $3 and used a handful of silk Fall leaves that I had leftover from last year. I just randomly stuck the leaves in around the wreath and then hung it from the mirror with twine.


It was super simple and adds a nice extra splash of Fall color...

Happy Fall Y'all


Diana

Vintage Glass Bottle - Flea Market Find

Last weekend we went to our local flea market.  I hadn't been to it in awhile since I'm trying to finish all of my current projects before buying more :)  

I found this vintage glass bottle and I couldn't resist it.  I was first attracted to it for the numbers on each of the four sides.  Then I noticed it was old license plates.  The bottle was made as a Walker's Bourbon collectible decanter in the 1970's.  The bottle is in perfect condition and I was able to get it for only four dollars.  



It's a beautiful bottle on it's own but I got it to use as a floral vase.  As soon as I got it home, I cleaned it up and then picked some flowers from my garden to put in it...  It's a perfect vase for my long stem roses!


October 11, 2013

DIY Linen Spray - Simple Holiday Gift Idea

Have you ever wanted to make your own Linen Spray?  I have... and today I did.  It is surprisingly simple to make and I am obsessed with how amazing it smells!


I went to my local health-food store and picked up a few essential oils so I could make a few different combinations.  To make linen spray it only required three ingredients.  

Note: I also picked up a couple of spray (spritz/mist) bottles to put the spray in.  I made enough to have one bottle for me and one to give as a gift. 


Ingredients:

Pure Orange Essential Oil
Distilled Water

Also needed: Fine Mist Spray Bottle

Directions:
Put 2 cups of distilled water into a container (or mist bottle)
add 15 drops of Lavender Oil
add 10 drops of Orange Oil

Put in sealed mist bottle (shake well before each use)


Yes, it is that easy! 

The lavender is the main scent used in most linen sprays. Lavender is know for having a relaxing calming effect on humans.  I added the Orange Oil because it adds an additional sweet smell to the spray and also because citrus can be used as a natural bug repellent.  Many bugs (and spiders) do not like citrus (or citronella) so they will avoid wherever citrus is sprayed.  I don't know about you, but every now and then a spider will climb into the sheets.  There is nothing I hate more than waking up with a spider or mosquito bite.  Also, the thought of a bug in the bed is totally creepy. So I've decided to give my sheets and pillows a few sprays once a week.  They smell amazing and once a week should be enough to keep the citrus activated to keep any unwanted critters away.

I had read that essential oils that are heavily diluted with water will not stain. However, I was not sure about the orange oil because the color is quite intense in the pure oil.  However once it is mixed with the water I could not see any color.  After putting the mixture into the mister bottle, I spritzed my crisp white sheets and pillow cases and also all around the base of the bed.  I saw one spider in my room earlier this year so mentally I like the idea of spraying around the bed!  After spraying much more than necessary all over the sheets and pillowcases (as a test) I do not see any residue of any kind.  I now feel totally confident recommending it.

I used my P-touch label maker to make labels for the bottles.


With essential oils a little goes a long way!  The 15 drops I used to make this spray did not even make a dent in my one ounce bottle of oil.  I could probably make about 40 more bottles before I would use the up the oils.  

If you are looking for an idea for homemade gifts to give this holiday season, this is a great one and it is a super easy DIY project.  You could make several of them very quickly and they would only cost a few dollars each.  Wrapped in clear cellophane with a ribbon tied at the top, this would be an adorable gift!  

Until next time...
Blessings, 

Diana

These oils can be found online linked to the photos below:

     

Fine mist spray bottle (5 oz.)  link below:

October 4, 2013

Fall Mantle Ideas

Having been busy working on my daughters new apartment lately, I have yet to get my Fall mantle decor up.  Today I was looking around the web for any cute ideas and inspiration for this years mantle.  I could do it the same as last year, but I'd like to change it up a bit.

Here is a picture of last years Autumn/Fall Mantle -


Last year I decorated only the mantle.   I did not include the entire fireplace surround or the wall above the mantle.

Today I am inspired by a few fully decorated fireplace areas.  I love all of the details that went into each one of these.

This first one is from The Frugal Homemaker.  I love her use of reclaimed wood, natural elements, burlap and baskets!


This next non traditional Fall decor mantle is so elegant!  I love that the colors are not the normal fall colors, but it is still so warm and inviting.  This mantle is from My Blessed Life and it is definitely my favorite so far this year. 



The peacock feathers and twig wreath are unexpected and I like that! The feathers add a nice pop of color to the area without being overwhelming.


Notice that even the books are Fall/Thanksgiving related... and an extra pop of teal. Gorgeous!


I am feeling inspired to get decorating now.  I hope that if you haven't already, you are inspired too.


Blessings,
Until next time...

Diana