Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rain rain, go away...

Seriously...it has been raining for what seems to be every day for the past week (at least a week). I measure from last week, Wednesday, to be exact, because that is the first day we started to move in to the new house. Other than the weather playing a factor into the move (about a 22 mile move), everything is going fairly well.

We decided to paint the bottom floor rooms of the new house before we move everything in. We know that we're lazy, and that it would take us 2 years to finally get around to doing one room...but the house needs it. There are some mismatched paint patches on the walls here and there, every wall and ceiling is the same boring light peachy color, and there are some random stains (look to be dog oil and food).

I took part of last week off to start the move. Day 1 consisted of cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. The people before us ran window units and never seemed to dust, so it was extremely dusty. They also used a lot of hair/makeup/perfume products because cleaning the master vanity/sinks was a bitch! Not to mention left shavings...yuck. But it could have been much worse. Sean said that when he was a kid, they moved into a house where the guy left used condoms...Also, I got the steam cleaners out to clean the carpets. Watched deer in the lot next door, and went back to the old house to load up my car.

We moved the dogs in last Wed evening. They were nutty. New territory. And of course, Bonnie had to mark her spot on our newly steamed carpet...doh!

Needless to say, the past week has all be kind of a blur of busyness. Moving, trips back to the old house, work, many trips to Home Depot, painting, cleaning, moving, night moving....

I'm taking a few days off this week to move and organize as well. On the bright side, my commute to work is about the same...around about 20 miles. But it's only about a 35 minute commute with beautiful scenary, rather than the Leander-Austin commute of about 1 hour on the concrete jungle of 183...I am loving the commute.

I've passed by Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Mansfield Dam everyday. With all the rain, Lake Travis is looking fuller and fuller. Last week, they had some of the gates open and the water was splashing up on the bottom of the Low Water Crossing bridge. We also went down to the Apache Shores boat launch to check it out, and the water was definitely flowing...fast. Then sometime in the past week, it slowed down. The water looked like it was more of a normal level below the Low Water Crossing bridge. Today, they've opened 4 gates at Mansfield Dam, the most since the floods of 2004. Sean said that the water was flowing over the Low Water Crossing bridge today.

Some parts of central Texas got about a foot of rain over night. Leander/Cedar Park/Georgetown were also hard hit. I went out to the old house (Leander) this morning pack a load in my car. The ditch to the entrance of the neighborhood looked like it had completely flooded over previously because of the way trash and debris were spread about. But it had subsided when I was there. Sean called me to ask about the house, but the house is fairly uphill from the drainage ditch and far enough from the San Gabriel River that it was fine. Luckily in our new house, we live on top of a hill, so we're good here as well.

Well anyways, I must get back to unpacking a bit...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Adrenaline dose for the day

This morning, I went in for my regular twice a week visit to the allergist for injections. On either Monday or Tuesday, I get 3 shots; then on Thursday or Friday, I get 1 shot. So today I got 3 shots. Nothing out of the usual...

After I got the shots, I went to sit in the waiting room and started to do a crossword puzzle. Within minutes, I started coughing and got really phlegmy. I didn't think anything of it. But it was constant for minutes. My palms itched a bit..I thought it might be dry skin.

Cindy, the nurse came and asked me if I was okay. I said that I felt fine. She asked if I had the coughs and phlegmy throat before the shots. I said no. So she took me to the back of the office and into a patient room.

That was the beginning of a bad allergic reaction (and the reason why they make you wait 30 minutes in the lobby). Usually, I have a local reaction where the area around the injection shot swells up. Today, I had a systemic reaction where it reacts within the body.

Cindy took my blood pressure and pulse, then called Dr. Otto in. Dr. Otto ordered an adrenaline (epinephrine) shot. First thing that came to my mind was that scene from Pulp Fiction where they give it straight to the heart..I'm like..um...shit...what have I gotten myself in to? But luckily, they injected it in the back of my right arm, the same arm that gets 2 injections..so the count is up today with 4 injections!

They stayed with me in the room for observation. My hands started to itch even more. Cindy checked my local reactions. As the shot began to kick in, my hands trembled. I felt uneasy. Kind of like I was having a panic attack. My heart fluttered. My hands trembled more. I could not control them. It is the most unnerving feeling not being in control of your body. The fact that I was fully aware of what was going on drove me nuts. Having to sit there, with the extremely fast adrenaline rush...They observed me for about an hour until the jitteryness subsided enough so that I could drive to work.

Apparently, she said that if I had waited longer, my body could have gotten worse (anaphylaxis to anaphylactic shock). Cindy said it was a rare occurence in the clinic, but boy it must have been my lucky day.

The epinephrine shot is supposed to help counter the effects of the anaphylactic symptoms by opening up the airways and getting the heart to pump harder to get the blood flowing better. Dr. Otto said that it used to be used commonly to treat asthma.

When they released me, I still felt a bit jittery, but not as bad as the climax of the adrenaline high. I got in my car and drove on to work. I could tell that I wasn't quite normal, though. I had a harder time focusing on the way to work (luckily, it's not that far from my allergist). And when I got to work, I was still riding the high side of the effects.

Once I got to work, I took a Prednisone that the doctor had given me. The Prednisone would also help counter the effects of the anaphylaxis as well.

What goes up, must come down...

The coming down from the adrenaline shot was just as bad as the climax. I felt like my body had been on a roller coaster ride. So high, to so low. I felt like I had taken 20 downers with a glass of beer. My face felt like it was melting down...meaning, it was difficult to even smile. The fatigue set in. And the clumsiness was definitely there, too. I was hammering a ring on the mandrel, and kept missing the mandrel. Yup, I'd stay away from the torches today...

I ended up leaving work around 3:30, since the thought of sitting in traffic for an hour while battling my fatigue from the downside of the drug effects scared me to death. I just hit the freeway and the tollway and was home. Good thing, because I could tell that it was harder to focus (and it's a 20 mile commute). I got home, let the dogs out and back in, then curled up on the couch with my Beagle cuddled up to me and watched a bit of tv in the dark.

The coming down part lasted for way too long...it wasn't til about 7pm that I finally felt much more like myself again...

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Throwing tantrums (or at least trying to)

We had a busy weekend, wakeboarding the entire time. Yesterday, we were supposed to go behind the boat in the morning, but the rain messed up our plans. By the time the rain had passed, we knew that Lake Austin would be chop-tastic. So we ended up heading down to TSR instead.

We ran in to Nealia, Bret and Swami there as well. Nealia was rocking the front box, and Bret was trying some crazy things like a backroll or something. I missed it, thought. Swami was there to give me advice on hitting the front long rail.

Needless to say, I felt really accomplished yesterday. I landed every grab off of the straight kicker (heelside switch) -- grabbing indy and tindy (yeah yeah, but I'm learning). Tried two 360's, not getting the handle as usual. Did my regular routine (front box, back box, sliding on the water, front rail, straight kicker...). But I ended up doing the best I had ever done on the front straight rail. Two times, I got to the end of the bottom flat section, then the ramp up threw me off. Granted, I keep going up 50/50 (in my head is a yelling Ryan Doyle, "No one rides the rails 50/50!!!" from camp)...but I am hitting it switch. And one time I rode it, my board turned from 50/50 to a backlip (backwards). No this was purely accidental, and I just had an "oh shit" thought in my head, but held it out till the ramp up, where I fell in. But apparently it looked good because I got quite a few complements on it. Maybe my balance isn't as bad as I thought

Today, we were on the boat in the morning. It was the same thing this morning..rain, so we delayed it and ended up going on the boat around 7:30am. Sean and I have been demoing boards lately, since it looks that I'll be getting a new one around a 130-132 range. Right now, I have one that's too small (125) and one that's too big (134)...so will sell my other ones.

Last weekend, we demoed the Ronix One in a 132. The board is extremely zippy, fast when you set a hard heelside edge on it...so fast that it caught me by surprise and my butt dragged in the water. And holy pop! I didn't even try to jump toeside, but just edged into it and stood tall, and got good pop off the wake. Good pop heelside as well. Last week, we also tried the Liquid Force Melissa 130. I wasn't quite impressed with it...I mean, it's a nice board, but my vote was definitely the One over the Melissa.

Today, we tried out the Liquid Force Watson 134 (they didn't have any 130s to demo) and the Liquid Force Jett 132. The Jett was good, got some good heelside pop. But I was more impressed with the Watson. So the final decision is between the One and the Watson. I think I'm going to go with the Watson in a 130...basically, it seems to be a good all around board. Good pop, easy to break loose. Whereas the one is much harder to break loose, meaning more faceplants or backplants! So we'll sell some my old gear first before sinking another $400 (ouch!) on a new board (the 130 version is brand new, so no chance of getting a used board..doh!).

I think I've pretty much given up on getting women's gear at this point, since there aren't that many choices out there in my size range. And I can do without the pink...

After boating, we hit up Hula Hut for lunch. Then watched Laura and Donnell board for a bit before putting the boat up. Sean and I ended up going back to TSR. We love the sliders...

I felt really accomplished at TSR today, too. I decided to grow some cojones (figuratively speaking) and go for a tantrum off the straight kicker..now this is my switch side we're talking about as well. I spoke with a kid at the park yesterday who was throwing tantrums off of it, he told me a little bit about what to do. And Bret said that it would hurt as much as trying a 360 off of the kicker (which are pretty painless, actually).

So today was the day...I would give it a try. It took me a while to muster up the courage. I hit the kicker switch a few times, trying for grabs and landing them all (not grabbing all the time, though), just to get my confidence in hitting the kicker. No problem. Then I went for it, threw my head back...landed in the water on my butt and back so hard that the water shot up the back of my life vest and it rode up a few inches higher. I laughed all the way back.

The next run I had, I asked Devin how to do it. He said to get a progressive edge into the kicker, and at about half way, start throwing your head back. That sounds so sketchy and scary to me. But he knows what he's talking about...

I try again, not the greatest approach..same thing, landing on my butt/back. No big deal. No pain, no gain. So did the walk of shame back to the dock.

On my next run, I would try harder, commit to it. I did start throwing my head back in the middle of the kicker, an unnerving feeling. And when I ended up hitting the water, I landed on my upper back and shoulders. Holy shit that was the most akward landing ever. And it hurt. Well on the bright side, I did get more rotation than before! But I think it's going to be the type of thing that I'm going to try 100 times before I get it. I'm slow when it comes to learning things that are athletic...

I walked away from that crash with a headache, and swore off trying tantrums for the rest of the day. I was fairly worn out from riding yesterday and this morning.

But I had to go home on a good note. The line was dwindling since we were close to closing time. The A-Frame was the next beast to tackle. I have been wanting to hit it for the longest time. My complaints...it's a far swim. So I want to try it when it's quieter. In the winter, it was too damn cold to swim that far. I tried and tried and tried to edge out to it many times. The majority of times, I didn't edge enough, so ended up hitting the front box. Then I edged too much and rode around the far side of it. Then finally, I knicked it, rode up maybe 1 or 2 feet, ended up 180'ing off of the far side and rode away switch (thank god I have been practicing my switch riding there!). Yes! I finally hit the A-Frame..well..barely, but still I count it. So I went around again, thinking..okay, I have it this time...I hit it, did my best to boardslide it, went up a few feet up the upramp, then fell off the far side. And it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.

By the time I landed in the water, I was closer to the end of the A-frame. It's a harry swim because you have to go to the blind side of the front box. I watched the cable, and thought I had a clearing. As I pushed my board forward, I saw the cable look like someone was coming right for the front box, so I left my board and swam backwards. Sure enough, some novice had hit the front box, crashing on his tailbone and into the water. I knew it was clear from there, so I swam on. Close call.

The swim back to shore wiped me out, causing me to have a small asthmatic attack as I got out of the water. I was done for the day. Feeling fully accomplished!

But now I'm sore as hell...I'm going to whip out the massaging chair that Sean's cousin, Karen sent us for our wedding present...

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Friday, June 15, 2007

It's official...the house is ours!

We closed on our new home today. Lots of signing papers and whatnot. Needless to say, it's been a whirlwind event. Long story short, we went with 1 loan officer, then found a better deal at another..but they really took their sweet ass time as interest rates increased on a daily basis, couldn't promise what they did in the beginning...so we ended up back at the 1st place..luckily, they still had the lock on the interest rate from the original application. With such a convoluted process, we are extremely fortunate to have the 6% loan (right now, it's at about 6.5%!) from the first loan officer. Some of the up front fees seemed higher at the first place, but in the end, we would have lost thousands at the second place in the long run (after they mislead us). So, for more upfront fees, we got the better rate and also exceptional customer service (1st place loan approval was 1 day; 2nd place loan approval was about 2 weeks, no lock, interest rates rising)...

So anyways, we ran into a few stumbles. Like the taxes being off by quite a bit. The problem with that is that the current owners owe us about a half year's worth of taxes. We are doing no escrow on the loan because we will stock the money away in an interest bearing account and pay it at the end of the year (we are both disciplined when it comes to money). So if the tax comes back as much more than the half they pay us now, then we have the right to go ask them for more money. However, it is an agreement between the buyer and seller to settle. The sellers seem like really good people, as they were very friendly and nice, and do foster a lot of kids. So we don't think we'll have a problem with them. But you never know...

Buying a 'used' house is quite an interesting process. There are so many details involved...seller's agent, buyer's agent, etc etc etc. I'm still mindboggled by it all.

When I got home, Sean told me that the loans funded. So it's ours! The sellers are doing a leaseback of 5 days, so we won't be able to move in until Wednesday...

The whole debate is..what city are we in? We can claim either Austin, Lakeway, or Bee Caves according to the post office. Our papers either say Austin or Lakeway. But according to the closing people, they say it's Lakeway. Damn, and I always wanted to live in Austin ;)

Anyways, time to pack some more!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back on TV tomorrow morn!

That's right, the long awaited 3rd part of our guest appearance on Uncommon Threads is showing tomorrow!

Date: June 12, 2007
Time: 7:00 AM ET/PT
Channel: HGTV

Show name: Old Cover, New Trick!

I'm sure my teeth will look extra sparkly white like they did in the other episodes...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Something else to add to my medical charts...

Thursday evening, Sean and I went to pick up some tickets for the pro-wakeboard tour in Ft Worth from one of the guys on the 360wakeboard forums. We were at his place, chatting away. Then all of a sudden, my vision started to fade to black...like one of those slideshows where the pictures fade...I knew what was happening. It had happened to me a few times in my life. It was the moment before you faint. I tried to combat it, trying to control my breathing, taking deeper breaths. I started sweating. At that point, I was insistent on leaving, since I didn't want to pass out in this guy's house who I had just met.

When we got in the car, I told Sean what was going on. My hands and feet got super tingly, so tingly that it hurt. I was sweating profusely. My limbs became really heavy. My stomach was tied in knots. I was trying to fight the blacking out part...

During the car ride home, I closed my eyes. And I was instantly out. I can fall asleep in the car easily, but not that easily, especially since I had a leg propped up. I was out. Then I hear Sean say something, and I respond, "I just needed to rest my brain". He said he said something before that, but I didn't respond. And in a bit, I was out again, until we got home.

When we got inside, I felt much better. Since I was okay, Sean went to HEB to get the nachos he was craving (he really wanted to get them on the way home, but I was like..just get me home...) The fainting feeling had passed, but I made myself stay up a bit longer to make sure I was okay.

I did some research as to what it could have been...something tied to my Hashimoto's Disease? anemia? (I used to be anemic) low blood pressure? breathing issues? heart issues?

Friday morning, I felt mostly back to normal, but just a small headache and groggy feeling. I called my Endocrinologist to see if it could be tied to the Hashimoto's. They said most likely not since my hormone levels are normal, but they would send me a lab request to get my TSH, T3 and T4 levels tested to be sure (my last test was in late April and in normal range). So then I called my primary doctor, told the appointment person what happened, and they were kind enough to sneak me in to an early appointment this morning.

The diagnosis was low blood pressure. I have always been in the low range, and even test myself at the grocery store machines and end up in the low range. But none of my doctors (all 3 of them) have ever said anything about it, I guess because I've been fairly asymptomatic...til now.

I consulted with my doctor a bit. They took my blood pressure 4 times, 2 times sitting, and 2 times standing. Plus listened to my heart and whatnot. My heart sounds normal. And they took 3 vials of blood from my left vein, which left my arm hurting for the entire day. But she said that it could be circumstantial, like just a sudden drop in blood pressure, standing up too fast, standing up too long (which is what I was doing), an irregular heart palpitation...she said next time, go to the ER.

So what does this mean for me? I need to eat more salt! Basically, do the opposite that the whole world tells you to do. Ironically enough, I was cutting back on my salt intake since it is deemd so bad for you. But now I will be salting everything up! One website also said to take in some caffeine. Well, I guess I'll be doing some research about this...

PS. No, I am not pregnant. Everyone keeps asking me that. I was having my period at the time, so that's why I thought anemia may be a cause...no babies for me!

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