Thursday, June 28, 2018

Crawfish Surprise Recipe

Before I get into the good stuff I want to apologize to those who have commented on my recent posts and I have not replied. For whatever reason, I am no longer getting an email saying I have a comment.  I'm trying to figure it out. 

Now on to the good stuff.

Years ago, one of my daughter's friend made this recipe and it was so delicious but I never got around to cooking it until last week. OMG! 

Warning: If you are on a diet or have high cholesterol I would eat this in moderation!

As promised to some of you here is the recipe.

1 stick of butter.    
2 packs of crawfish
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
Garlic powder (The friend didn't write how much). I just did two shakes.
1 Can of mushroom soup.
Package of broad egg noodles.
A cooking spoon of sour cream. (You can leave out if you don't like it)
Creole seasoning to taste. (I use Tony's Chachere's but I'm sure salt and pepper will suffice)
Block of Velveeta cheese. I used 16 oz.

1)  Melt the stick of butter in pan.
2). Add diced onions and bell peppers. Cook until translucent
3)  Add crawfish. Stir and wait until it heats up.
4) Meanwhile, start the water for noodles. Add butter or oil to prevent sticking. Cook noodles according to the package.
5)  When crawfish is warm, add mushroom soup, seasonings, sour cream and garlic powder.
6) Add one cup of cheese and let melt before you add another piece of cheese. Continue to add as much as desired.
7) When noodles are done, drain. Mix with crawfish mixture in pot. Stir and serve. Enjoy.

Until next time...pray for all those people who are experiencing all the disasters with floods and fires.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What Is Clonus? PT Graduation!!!

All of my life, I have been able to put my foot a certain way on the floor and my leg will shake up and down continously. When I put my foot flat or stand up it stops. I have control of it starting and stopping at will. ] It's not because of nervousness. It actually feels good.

However, I can see how it is involuntary because when I start it just goes until I stop it. I cannot just shake my leg that fast without putting my foot in that position. So I guess in that case I guess the action could be involuntary.

For six weeks during PT (Physical therapy) clonus would begin when I was struggling and straining to do an exercise.

The first time my PT, Monica  saw me do it voluntarly she told me not to do that and she put a name to it, Ankle Clonus. I informed her I do it all of the time. She told me to stop it and that it tightens my tendons. I told her I've been doing this for over 40+ years and I've seen no adverse effects.

I became curious and googled clonus. There are several different definitions but this video pretty much explains it. It is short and sweet.

They didn't mention it occurs with people with spastic cerebral palsy. I disagree that I cannot control it, because for the most part I do most of the time.

On Health the site states there is a problem with the electrical pathway involved in muscle movement.

Conditions that can lead to clonus is cerebral palsy, stroke, muscular dystrophy etc.

Spasticity often occurs with clonus. I have spastic and ataxic cerebral palsy. It involves long-term muscular tightness. That describes me.

I found my last orthopedist report from 1983 down below.  It shows as you can read that I had unsustained clonus in the ankles and it has been present for a long period of time. In my mind, the report proves my point that the ankle clonus is not doing me any harm.

I remember as a little girl when I went to church and sat between my parents, I would rock side to side and/or start the clonus. One of them would always put their hand on my leg for me to stop it because it was making the pew shake or the rat-a-tat-tat noise would echo.

My Hubby sometimes does the same especially in church, if someone is in the same pew as us. My point of view is if the people don't like it they can go sit elsewhere. I do stop if it makes noise.

i am ecstatic to inform you that I have graduated from PT. YEA!

PT Certiticate 

Until next time...remind someone you love that you love them.

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cops Need Better Hand Signals

This morning I was driving from the church in my small town of about 1000 following an elderly lady. There's a stop sign at an intersection of the main highway. Most people just slow down and then go. There should be a yellow light. 

Anyway, the lady in front of me just slowed down at the stop sign and turned. I admit I yielded a little more and turned following her going the same direction. As we got on the highway a cop put on his lights and got in front of me so I assumed he was only stopping the elderly lady. She turned left off to a little road. He put his hand out waving forward so I thought he was letting me pass and started to pass when he half blocked me with his car pointing to where the lady was. So I turned on the same road. 

He went to the elderly lady and was talking to her.  Then another cop arrives. This female cop came to me after talking to the male cop saying that he stopped me because I didn't stop at the stop sign. I admitted I didn't stop and just mentioned I was coming from the church following the lady. She asked which church. I told her. She said to stay put until the other cop comes talk to me.

So I retrieved my driver's license, insurance and registration. He finally finishes with the elderly lady and he comes to me and informs that I did not stop at the stop sign and trying to pass him when he was saying to stop was not safe nor legal. I did not argue with him. He said he was going get information and be right back.

As I waited I started thinking of his hand gestures. His hand gesture was waving me forward not to turn. I was behind him so how am I supposed to know he was stopping both of us? I contemplated if I was going to point that out or if he gave me a ticket for that I would just accept it and pay the fine for the not stopping but I would fight the other one he would come up with.

He finally returns and I immediately asked him if I could say something? He said yes. I explained to him that his hand gestures made me believe he was motioning for me to pass him. I was not trying to pass him and get away. He said, "Okay. That's fine. I'm just giving you a warning, it won't be in the system or anything. After signing the warning, he told me to keep safe and have a blessed Happy Memorial weekend.  I reciprocated.

Notice, he did not give me a response to my comment in regards his hand gestures.

I was shaken, upset and angry. It just irritated me that he accused me of trying to pass him. I made it home cried my frustration to my sick husband. (Please pray that nasty illness he has goes away soon and doesn't transfer to me just as bad.)

I am thankful that I was only given a warning. 

It's crazy, the one time I go without Hubby to mass in a very long time I get stopped by a cop.

Until next time.....when you come to a stop sign, STOP. Have a safe and blessed Memorial Weekend.

P.S. I didn't forget about the post on Clonus. Working on it.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Physical Therapy

I went for my follow-up two weeks ago with my Neurologist Neurologist Nurse Practitioner. She started asking me questions. Most of the answers were on my chart. Anyway, she said they were concerned about my falling and balance. I reminded her that before and after the Ritalin and Welbutrin, I didn't fall a lot and my balance, well I have Cerebral Palsy. DUH! (Okay, I left out the duh verbally.)

She insisted I see a Physical Therapist to help with my balance, get orthotics and some kind of percussion vest since I have a history of pneumonia.  I haven't had pneumonia in ages. Probably because I take the pneumonia shot. So to make her happy I agreed to be evaluated by the PT.

The staff and PT were awesome. However, when the PT came get me she was walking behind me with her arms out on both sides of me to catch me if I fell. It made me uncomfortable. I told her don't do that. She said, "I just want to catch you if you fall." I asked her to stop and told her if I fell I would just get back up. She backed off a little.

I really like my PT and I know she was just concerned.

After a slew of questions, she tested me. I laughed at some things and I have to admit I gave her trouble until she told me she was testing my balance and risk of falling. 

Here are a few tests of many: 

She made me stand up from sitting with and without the support of my hands  I was able to stand with support no problem. Without using my hands I did it but it was unstable. No surprise to me.  Sometimes if I stand up from my couch or bed I'll fall back down two or three times until I finally find my balance.

She made me stand with my feet close together and stay still. I was not to move. That was a challenge because I kept moving. I would sway. Then I had to do it with my eyes closed. That was funny but it makes you realize how important your sight is to balance. I kept swaying.

Another test was walking up steps. There were three steps. She told me to walk up the steps without holding the rail. Yikes! I felt iffy but determined. I went up one step fumbled, regained my balance and walked up the other and so on with same results. Then she told me to walk down the steps. That was fairly easy. Of course, when I got down to the bottom and stopped I woobled but I didn't' fall.

I had to stand up and lift each leg. That was hilarious. That didn't go so well but I didn't fall.

She told me my ankle tendons were tight and could be a factor in my balance. "SIGH" When I was a child I had the surgery to lengthen the tendons to loosen them.

I was sitting while she was putting things in the computer. All of my life I have been able to put my foot a certain way on the floor and my leg will shake. I can stop it anytime I want.  It's not because I'm nervous, it's just something I've done all my life. It is sorta habit sometimes but it feels good.

She informed me it was clonus and not do that. My next post will be about that subject and I promise it will be very soon.

All in all, she said I was at Medium risk for falling. Actually, I thought it would be high.  She suggested I visit her twice a week for six weeks. I grudgingly agreed.

Today is the end of my second week. I realize I can walk backward. Slowly and carefully. PT has benefited me a little. Most of it I think that it just been my life for 55 years. But I understand that since I'm older (If I hear that word one more time I'm gonna scream!) I'm prone to broken bones or serious injury if I do fall. It's frustrating to hear professionals tell me what they THINK they know about me. They just read the paperwork, if they actually DO read it, that I have Cerebral Palsy. They assume things because I have CP that doesn't pertain to me.

I was so tired last week because I was running around working on another project plus PT. I'm not used to being on the go 2-3 times a week. Last week was 4 days.

I will fulfill my promise I'll go six weeks but I will be done. I may take some exercises to strengthen my muscles etc but I shall go along with my life like I've always done.

Oh! My PT didn't think I needed a vest. Thank you very much! I already have orthotics in my shoes. They asked if I had any assistive devices. I told them I had walker from surgery but it is in my junk room.  I refuse to get any canes or other things like that. Now if they suggest a scooter to go around the yard I would certainly go for that but she said no.

Until next time, tell someone you love them.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Team Effort

In December, I received a letter from Medicare that they would no longer pay for Nuvigil or Provigil for me because I did not have narcolepsy, shift work sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea.

I have taken this drug for many years to help with my excessive daytime sleepiness.

I went through the appeal process but I was denied every time. My pulmonologist who is also certified in sleep disorders also wrote a letter to Medicare and they continued to deny it.

I went 2 weeks without my medication and I was listless, sleepy, unfocused, depressed and in a fog. I looked online to see if I could get help but I did not qualify. I searched a few online pharmacies but I was afraid to trust them and sometimes the cost was just as expensive.

In the meantime, I went to my family doctor for leg cramps. If you've been a follower you know I have spastic/ataxic cerebral palsy. If you have just begun following me, well now you know. 😃 I've dealt with cramps all my life. However, they have become worse to where it nearly made me cry. Cramps would wake me up and had sleepless nights walking them out during the night. I had been on Xanax for years for cramps but they obviously stopped working. She did blood work and my electrolytes and iron were abnormal so she had me drinking Gatorade and taking iron pills. But cramps continued although follow up blood work showed potassium and electrolytes were fine.

I also mentioned to her about my dilemma with my excessive daytime sleepiness medication. She referred me to a neurologist who also specializes in sleep disorders. It was a few weeks to wait for my appointment.

In desperation, I went to my pharmacy and asked if they could help me in decreasing the price from $600/month until I saw the neurologist. They sympathized with me and they gave me a really nice discount. I thanked them graciously but I did not want to put them in a hole either. They are a  Good Neighbor Pharmacy in my small little town. I actually cried when they told me the special price for me.  I thanked them and told them they had no idea how appreciative and thankful I was. The assistant came and hugged me and said it was okay. That's what they were there for, to help customers.

You would never get that from chain pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens or Walmart.

When my neurologist appointment finally arrived I liked him and his staff immediately. They were proficient, nice and understanding.

He prescribed Valium at night for my cramps. He said he gave it to his patients with Cerebral Palsy with cramps like I do. Thank God it worked. My cramps are a lot less.

He started me on Ritalin for the excessive daytime sleepiness. It worked some but after 3 hours I crashed and it zapped my appetite. I made myself eat but I was beginning to lose weight.  I had worked so hard to get to 90 lbs. I struggled for 1 month or so. It just wasn't working for me.

I called his office and he changed the Ritlan to Wellbutrin. Although Wellbutrin is mainly used for depression it does help some people suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness.

Not me! Ironically, I became depressed. I felt that black hole swallowing me up. I was sleepy and felt useless all of the time. I was also falling and my balance was worse. I tried for a few months before I called the neurologist again because I know some medications take a while to get into your system.

Although I felt like a pest, I notified his office. They were concerned with my depression and falling as was my husband. As I waited for a callback, I decided to make a Plan B for in case they couldn't help me.

I contacted my pharmacy again and asked them what would be the maximum price they could give me without putting themselves in the hole selling me the Provigil without insurance. I was thinking I could handle up to $150. It would be tight but it would be worth it. They gave me a very nice price I could work with. Bless their hearts.

A few hours later my doctor's nurse called and said they called Medicare and they approved it. A few minutes later my pharmacy called and said it was approved. I thanked them and told them I appreciated the hard work they did. When I went to pick up my medication I hugged the pharmacist. They told me it was a team effort with the doctor and them. About 4 days later I received a letter from Medicare stating that the drug has been approved and the prior authorization is good until 2019, then it will have to be prior authorized again. 

The day I took my Provigil I became myself again. I am functional, not falling, alert, awake and happy.

I'm trying to think of what I could give to my pharmacist and neurologist and staff as a token of appreciation for their hard work and team effort. I know they say it is their job and it is what they're there for but I want to show them how appreciative and thankful I am. I'm thinking of a small fruit basket with a thank you note. Everyone should like fruit right? 

Do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks for still following my inconsistent blog. I do appreciate all of you.

Until next time...Be thankful for your health and the medical team who cares for you!

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