A Crazy Summer ’14

I openly admit that my blogging generally dies down come summertime. The reason is obvious. I live in Wisconsin and there are precious few months where we can go outside and enjoy being outside. So come summer every year, I go for walks and trips to the cottage and fairs and other outdoorsy like activities. There has been more to this summer though and I wanted to give a general update as to all the things that happened to me this year over the summer now that we are getting towards the end. <sad face>

I did make a trip up to my mom’s cottage with my daughter this year. It was actually the first time in two years that I have gone up there as last year I went up to a friend’s parent’s cottage instead. I think the break was well placed however as my mom’s cottage felt fresh this year when it was starting to feel old. And really, though we did go up to the cottage 2 years ago, that trip was marked with a drought which caused the lake to stink so much that we left the following morning. So in reality we had not been there for 3 years. The trip went overall pretty well. We did a lot and we did nothing all at the same time. The highlight and lowlight was an innertubing trip down a nearby river which was fun except for when I flipped over and had a panic attack.1 I actually plan on heading out to the cottage again in a couple of weeks but I will likely cover that later.

My health has been fairly ok. I’ve had a couple of back flair ups but nothing too major. And my elbow continues its downward spiral. I had thought it was acting up more often, but at a recent doctors visit I found out that last year I stated the same frequency as this year. However, I do feel while the frequency may be the same, the level of pain is going up. I also think there is more constant pain than before as well. It’s definitely to the point where I always feel my elbow which I don’t think was particularly an issue last year this time. It was stiff always, but never painful always. I will say when I flipped into the river, one of the things that was going through my mind was that I can’t swim anymore due to my elbow which is definitely not a thought I would have had a year ago. Otherwise, I don’t think my Hemophilia has been a huge issue, no major surgeries. This is good.

Work has been going extremely well. I am pretty happy with my job right now. I finished up much of my work with ICD-10 due to a delay in the project by a year due to a federal bill that got put through. So after a couple of months of nearly no work, I was eventually moved to an area that I wanted to move to since I started working the call center. It is only temporary through the end of the year. But I am the main BA on the project (and really only BA on the project) which puts me in a position to really make a name for myself. I am also learning a lot about how I need to work. It has been a very good move for me and I have enjoyed the work so far and think I will continue to enjoy it going forward.

I don’t remember if I have mentioned my gardening in previous blog entries, but I generally garden every year. The last couple i have been doing gardening in boxes on my patio. This year has been very frustrating for me. I decided to try to start the year with spinach peas and carrots in my main box in hopes that they would be done by the time the real season started so that I could grow herbs in it as normal. However, the winter meant a later start to the growing season than I intended and the carrots and peas took well into mid-June to get anywhere.I also didn’t get much out of them either. The spinach turned out pretty good however and I got some really good crop out of it. I would like to do it again just for the spinach but it will take more thought on how to do it correctly. This box had a secondary affect on the rest of my garden as I was using the cage that I generally use for my tomato plant for the peas and I didn’t get it moved to the tomato until far too late and the tomato ended up less healthy than it should have been. It still is producing tasty tomatoes, just not as well as I had intended. I also planted lettuce with the tomato, but none of the lettuce has gotten past seedling. It has been at seedling for a couple of months now and I don’t know why it won’t grow further. Lastly I purchased a bigger container so that I could grow potatoes, they grew extremely well actually… until something dug them up and killed the plants. I don’t know how the potatoes turned out, I have been letting them grow as much as they could but at this point the plants look pretty much done and I should dig up what I got. Hopefully they are actually ok but this seems way early for potatoes. Still, it gives me hope that I can do this again in the future. The one plant that has worked extremely well has been a strawberry plant that I decided to do. I was not expecting a crop from it this year and I haven’t gotten much more than a few tiny berries, but this is normal for strawberries. The plant however looks extremely healthy. The real test will be how it goes through the winter… One thing that has surprised me by the strawberries was that I expected runners that I could use in other holes of my strawberry pot and so far that hasn’t happened.

My video gaming has dropped off almost completely until the last couple of weeks. And this leads me into the reason why this has been a crazy summer. I have gotten into a game called Ingress. Ingress is an Alternate Reality Game where you go to real locations in the world which have portals that you can see in your cell phone. You can then take them over, link them together to create fields and then the fields give you points based on the population density of the area and the size of the field. I have gotten really involved in the game, but of late I have been trying to take a step back from it. It is overall a really fun game but can be frustrating when others don’t play and the secondary problem I have is there is really no point in site. There are cycles that you can win, but there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable reward for winning, or even a history of who won. Just a memory and hopefully that works. The lack of point makes it hard to keep going with it full on and I don’t think I’m the only one who struggles with it as people fade in and out quite a bit. ┬áThe game is also kind of expensive. I mean it is free, but you have to pay for gas and there is a fair amount of driving to go from place to place. It is ironic considering the game was meant to encourage people to walk but the way they approve portals makes it difficult to get portals in walkable only places. I do recommend the game even if it is for a bit just to experience it as it is fun. There are bigger events that go on periodically throughout the world. And I am looking forward to taking part in my first in a couple of weeks up in Minneapolis. This is why I will be going back to my mom’s cottage for a second time this summer as it is fairly close to Minneapolis and will make for a more affordable trip.

Well that’s my summer in a nutshell. I do want to get back into blogging both here and at bucketgeek.com┬ábut it probably won’t get back to a great frequency at least for a month.

MDA Marathon

The MDA marathon holds an interesting spot in my heart. When I was a kid, for some odd reason I often found myself awake through the night what seems like every single labor day. I found myself awake the entire night not because I wanted to watch the marathon, but because I was having bleeding issues thanks to Hemophilia.

I don’t really know why always on Labor Day. These days school starts after labor day, but in those days it started a week or two before labor day. So it is entirely possible that I was not used to the work that classes put on my body and my body reacted in a negative fashion, conveniently in time for the MDA Marathon.

I would never in a million years consider the Marathon to be Grade A quality television. However, in those days, even the few cable networks that existed tended to put paid advertisements or rat races on. There was very little else to watch on television so the marathon was a welcome relief from my nightly pains. There would be a number of interesting talent and singing acts, it was like watching America’s Got Talent all night long, except the talent was actually good and worth watching from time to time.

When I was a kid, my mom told me that the MDA gave money to Hemophiliacs. I honestly can’t figure out if she was telling me the truth or lying in order to give me a better connection to the marathon and all the kids with MD. To make me feel more special. What I do know is that they don’t support Hemophilia anymore, whether they did or not in the first place. Continue reading “MDA Marathon”

Post Surgery Treatments

It has been a couple of weeks since my surgery which removed my Port-a-cath and put in a PICC line. Outside of the initial mess that the surgery caused me, everything has gone fairly ok I guess. I was on a 24 hour drip for 2 weeks straight. Last Tuesday, I was officially taken off the drip and put on an oral antibiotic instead.

Continue reading “Post Surgery Treatments”

Infection turns to Surgery

After 6 weeks, the infection finally burst out of my skin and my doctors finally took it seriously. They brought me in fairly quickly, stuck a needle in the site and drew out some of the substance in order to test it to see what it was. Surprise, an infection. The next day they were wanting to take out the entire port, not surprisingly. They wanted to remove the port before they even knew what it was that was wrong. That is how they operate. Continue reading “Infection turns to Surgery”

Infections Abound

A couple weeks ago now, I went to Ohio to see my brother. I haven’t been to his place in nearly five years, so it was a pretty big event. When I got home, my roommate brought sickness with, and so did my mom. It took me a few days, but eventually the sickness did catch up with me and I ended up quite sick and lost three days of work. Continue reading “Infections Abound”

Battling Infection?

I have a port in my chest which helps me take medicine for my Hemophilia. I need to take medication at least and due to this frequency, my veins can’t take the constant use. Thus the port-a-cath. It is a catheter that goes into a major artery and remains under your skin in order to help protect you against infection. In order to access it, you must insert a needle into the center of the port and then you can give yourself medications. Continue reading “Battling Infection?”