Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Good news of the health front!

May 31st, 2005
I saw Dr. Hori again today for another checkup on the infection, and it seems that I'm stable on the Zyvox and my blood work looks good. He also gave me the go ahead to start the Humira again! Which is what I have been waiting for! It seems like such a long time ago that I was on a routine with all my meds and such. I wrote in an e-mail to my mom today that I feel like a regular arthritis patient again, almost :)
I have to see Dr. Barthell to get x-rays and have her look at my surgery site to make sure it looks okay to her. But it seems like I'm almost back to normal and I HOPE that once I'm on the Humira again that I will be able to taper the prednisone and start getting back to a more normal weight and lose these HUGE cheeks that I've grown over the past 17 months!!! It's going to be a good summer, I'm going to be able to work Mariner games and work full time at the Herbfarm and start making some money to have some FUN!!!
I'm working at Safeco tonight at the Mariners vs Blue Jays tonight. The Mariners have won 3 in a row and seem to be playing a little more relaxed baseball, which is so NICE to see. The games that we've been winning have been close, the past two have been by 1 run, but we've held on and had some great defensive plays behind the pitching to save the games. Bringing back Pat Borders, I think, was brilliant. Especially since Dan Wilson will be out for at least a year, if not retiring from baseball all together. Yesterday Meguel Olivo was sent down to AAA to work on his offense I'm guessing since he was hitting only .150. But the pitchers are reacting so well to Borders behind the plate. I think because he's worked with Moyer and Sele before and they trust him and his calling of the pitches. Not that Olivo is a bad at calling the game, but he isn't a seasoned vet of the game and I just don't think there is the trust that there is with Borders. In last nights game the announcers said that the battery of Moyer and Borders was the oldest in MLB history with Borders being 42 years old and Moyer at 41 or 42 (I don't remember exactly) But my goodness, that is funny! The offense is picking up as well, which is good to see. Sexson belted another homer yesterday and Jeremy Reed was the hero of the past few games with crutial hits and RBI. He also got his first ML homerun in Tampa Bay on Saturday! So congrats to Mr. Reed! Anyways, I think I should get my things ready and head down to the ballpark. I believe that we are going up against one of the best pitchers in the league tonight in Roy Halliday. Good luck Mariners :)

with love, Anne

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Pattered by rain drops

May 19th, 2005

Ever have one of those days where it's not a bad day because nothing has gone wrong or nothing is out of the ordinary, but you just don't feel like you really want to be a part of any of it? I had a ok day at work, again nothing out of the ordinary, just doing my thing out in the dining room. Ron was running around trying his best to perfect the already perfect restaurant for a special VIP guest tonight. Everyone else was doing thier jobs and being normal and working hard. Maybe it's all of the rain. I love the rain, and it's been stormy and gusty the past two days. It just wears me out sometimes. I even slept well last night and got up and got ready for work in a good mood. I bought my very own travel mug so i could make tea or coffee and enjoy it on my commute. I even had a very filling bowl of oatmeal. I was also wearing a dress and sandles, so i was very springy and cheery looking as well. Once I got to woodinville i was the first to arrive (Carrie had been in but was at the Thurs. morning meeting at willows) so i did a few open the restaurant things like tidying up and sweeping the entrance. Sally came in next and is always a treat to see. She's always happy and seems happy to see you. I like her so much. When I was sweeping the front walkway outside, Rachel, our new pastry chef arrived, and she is a very cheery person as well. So as far as the first few hours of my day went, everything was peachy. There were some changes made to the layout of the dining room for tonights dinner, which again isn't unusual or bad in anyway. I got to work early enough to have enough time to be as detailed as i wanted and have a low stress day. But sometimes when you know that a VIP that means so much to someone there can be a underlying stress that you don't really realize. and maybe that's it. I kept feeling myself trying to make things perfect for Ron. I just know how much these two days mean to Ron and Christine and the Herbfarm for that matter. I was talking to Christine right before I left to go home and I suppose that started to bring me down a little. She asked if I had talked to my brother Tom about how Carrie had asked Thomas to come and APPLY for the server position at the HF. It pissed me off. That just seems so rude to say "hey, I know you've done the job, people here like you, you know the business well, and I think that since I'm extremly desperate I think I'll ask my genious nephew to come and APPLY, instead of " Hey Thomas why don't you come work with us, I know you are good at what you do and it would be great for both of us. How about i make it worth your while and you come back and work with us!" She just pushes people away and takes advantage of very nice people that turns them into hurt people and makes me just want to take all I can from her instead of, I don't even know what. AND on top of that, all of the service staff this past paycheck got a nice little bonus in thier checks for the past few weeks of being busy. No cooks got the bump, no pantry stewards, no office staff, no dishwashers/prep cooks, no dining room set up girl. Just service staff because they were bitching that they were understaffed, which they were, but so was everyone else! I guess that's why I'm pissed off, carrie, again. I'm glad that the servers are getting attention because otherwise they will walk. But me getting my little payraise is almost a kick in the ass when they are getting bonus checks for friday the 13th and then another in the paycheck. I said something to Christine that at the time just flew out of my mouth without thinking too much about it. BUT I said that i was planning on working my ass off the next 6 months and show them how much they need me, and then go in and see what she offers as far as pay, also tell her that if i'm not shown enough love that i should move on and go to school and start doing something with my life because making under 13 dollars an hour isn't what a 25 year old woman should be makng. Let alone be setting tables and being called a set up girl. For Ron being so into titles seems like he would give me something a little more interesting that Dining Room Pre-Set. I guesswhat I'm getting at is that i just don't really feel appreciated the way I would like to be. Not that i don't feel welcome or appreciated by my co-workers, I do. But Management SUCKS! she is so cheap in areas where she should spend a little more and extravagant in areas where it just doesn't make sense. She is a great business person in some way and just HORRIBLE in many others. And it seems like she thinks that she is joking with people and being sarcastic, but she doesn't know how to pull the whole thing off and it just makes her odd and i don't like to be around her and I'm uncomfortable. I just don't know. And I'm getting so fat, and ugly, and gross! BUT! the silver lining in that is that i'm also getting healthier arthritis wise. It's a hard line to pull, I'm failing as of now.

I'm getting weaker,


Monday, May 16, 2005

Nickki and Cohen

Some pictures of my best friend and her youngest child Cohen moments after his arrival. I got to be there with them and it is something I won't ever forget. Doesn't Nickki look amazing for just giving birth!?! Cohen Theodore born 11.10.2004

Saturday, May 14, 2005

May 14th, 2005

I worked the Mariners game last night with Stuart as the spotter. We were playing the World Champion Boston Red Sox, and actually won! I don't know if it was a Friday the 13th happening or what. But it was one of the funnest games I have been to in quite a long time. It was good to see the M's score some runs and get rallies going in more than one inning.(Seattle 14, Boston 7) Working the game last night made for a long day since I had to set The Herbfarm in the AM and try to be done by a reasonable hour so I don't get caught in too much traffic. However, we at the Herbfarm were a little bit full, cramming 6 additional people in the main dining room for a total of 71. Poor servers... Anyways, I got out of Woodinville by about 4 and was a the safe by the time they opened the gates for ticketholders. I was so hungry when I got there so I went to the cafateria and got a salad and a turkey on rye. It was so good, but I ate so much I didn't eat for the rest of the day. Seems like that has been the way it's been the past few days. I won't eat breakfast, then I'll have one large meal and not eat for the rest of the day. Which is cool with me, but I don't know how healthy it is. But the game was very cool. Sexson and Ibanez hit back to back homeruns and Beltre hit his first Safeco Field homerun that went 440 feet to center field. It wasCRUSHED! and to top off the entire night, when Stuart and I were going down the elevator to get to field level who walks on the elevator? Dave Niehaus and Ron Fairly! I was a little shy, but we made a little small talk about the game and all the runs scored. I got the feeling they didn't appreciate how long the game took and the poor pitching on both sides, but I thought it was good to have a good run output in front of the home town fans especially against the world champions! An update on the Mariners for tonight was a 6-3 loss to the same Red Sox. The series is tied with one game apiece with the rubbergame tomorrow afternoon. The Sonics are also in town playing game 4 at the Key versus the Spurs at 4 pm, I think it should be a heated game, lots of emotion. Game 3 was very aggressive, should be a good one!

I'm going to turn in my review tomorrow. I got a raise, but i have to say I was a bit surprised at the raise. Disappointed really. But I asked Jason to read the review paper carrie gave me after we met, and I think that he had some good points and was honest with me. I hadn't seen that point of view, and I suppose I didn't want to. But now it just makes me want to work harder the next six months to show her and the rest of my co-workers how good I am at my job and how much ICAN help out now that I have a much better use of my hand. But it also pisses me off that my hand is what is being held against me. I know I had to miss time off, but I did my best to find a good person to cover and train them. I wrote a detailed procedure and even came back to work WAY too early from the wrist fusion surgery. Now that I'm writing this I want to talk to her and tell her she has a few good points, but I feel that she's holding my disability against me when it hasn't. If anything I've become a more valuable employee and should be rewarded. I also feel slightly hurt that I'm her niece and I get no accnoligment for sticking with the company for so many years and doing all I can to help this restaurant be the best it can. Now I'm pissed off. This afternoon I was feeling selfish for even thinking that I wanted a raise or better benefits! Oh well, I'm going to sleep on it and see how I feel in the morning...

Jason is working late cleaning fava beans for the Taste of the Nation event that many of the fine dining restaurants are participating in. The Herbfarm included. But that means that I don't get to hang out with him. It's so funny, since we moved in together we see less of eachother and have less hang time together. I guess it's been a few weeks and we've both had weird schedules. I think he has tomorrow off, so i'll try to get off at a reasonable time to hang and watch some sporting events with my honey :) On that note, I must go pee and get to sleep!


A small set back, no worries though

I had been trying to taper my prednisone starting last week since I had been feeling so good. So I dropped down to 19 mg from 20mg. and I was hoping that I wouldn't feel a difference and be able to continue tapering a mg a week. However starting to feel the need for naps and feeling slightly achey all the time, i decided that it wasn't yet time to drop to the teens on the prednisone. I think that I will wait until I start on the humira again and then I know I will be able to drop for sure!
Even though I took a nap yesterday and felt achey today I still worked both HF and Mariners and felt good to do that. I don't think I'll be too worn out for HF in the morning.speaking of that job thing in the AM i must get sleep! goodnight.


Friday, May 06, 2005

Less stress and feeling good

MAY 5, 2005 --- 05.05.05

I had my employee preformance review today and it went well. I stated my case for a increase in pay and I don't think I'll end up being offered what I deserve and I'll have to decide how I want to go about that when we get there. I have a feeling that it will be a while unitl she gets back to me on the next step of the review process. Especially since I was so eager to get the review done this time. I'm going to be taking on looking after the retail side of things for awhile and see how that goes. It seemed like we talked about a lot of things and I suppose we did meet for about 45 minutes. All of the "areas with room for growth" were pathetic. She searched for three things to gripe me on and I had very good responses to all and made them pretty much non-issues. One of them had to do with focusing light bulbs... another was about my "flappy jeans" with I haven't worn in 2 years!!! oh, the shirts I wear also show too much skin... com'on they are sleeveless, not low cut at the neck and high at the waist. Anyway, i was very calm and collected, I had told myself before I met with her that no matter what my downfalls on her point of view of me were, that I would take them into consideration and not get defensive and talk too loudly, which I seem to do when i get all excited about something. Overall though there were way more attributes that room for growth topics. And on another note she seemed to get defensive when I mentioned the fact that I have worked for her and Ron for the past 8 years filling in when they needed someone and I was in state. I also mentioned that I was good at what I do and I like what I do. I think as a whole I stated a good case. But as I said, we'll find out in a few weeks when she gets back to me. I'm just glad it's over for another six months! Less stress for my poor little head should make the body feel better.
I didn't have a nap today for the 4th or 5th consecutive day. I was tired tonight when I got home, but I didn't wan't to fall asleep since it was already so late in the evening. So I watched the Rockets beat the Mavricks from the start of the 2nd half. Mavs didn't do poo poo in the 4th quarter, it was sad to watch them shoot and miss nearly every shot from the 8 minutes mark to the end of the game. Houston also went on a 18-0 run at one point. Anyway, after that I got some ironing done that has been piling up from work. After an hour of that I got sick of it and stopped for the night. Now I'm just sitting in bed testing the new wireless card from the attic bedroom. So far so good!
Today is Nickki's 25th birthday and it's also 05-05-05. She called me this morning to let me know that Sarah and family will be leaving WA as of tomorrow I believe. I didn't get to see her and meet Ethan. I tried to call Nickki tonight on my way home when I was in stop and go traffic on the 520 bridge, but she was up at the cabin with Sarah. I tried the cabin, but it was busy. I'll have to call her tomorrow to see how the entire visit with Ray went and how 05-05-05 was for a 25th birthday.
That's all my wrist can handle for now, even though it is feeling better i just can't over-do it until these bones are fully fused together.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

My arthritis story.

The begining of me as I know me.
First a little background info for any people reading this that don't know me. I'm 25, living in Seattle and working as much as my tired body will let me. I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at age 16, but i began feeling pain in my wrists soon after I turned the ripe old age of 15. But you must understand that i'm a very stubborn person when it comes to some things, and for some reason being a self concious teen i didn't feel like i wanted a doctor telling me my body was off somehow. Anyways, I finally decided to get treatment when I was 16 and found out that I didn't like doctors much and thought that i would be just as well off treating myself by sleeping and ignoring the swelling and pain. That worked well for about two years... I would have morning stiffness that i could deal with, yes it was annoying, but not as annoying as that damn doctor telling me what to do! Soon after i turned 18 i came down with some sort of nasty cold or flu that set off my immune system horribly. My mom and I had taken a trip to Arizona to visit family and watch some spring training baseball games. I don't remember if one of my family members had been sick and i got the bug from them or possibly from the stress of traveling and all that airline air! Long story short with this fact, my arthritis took over and I went on to lose over 25 pounds in few months, and could work about 15 hours a week. Which I still don't believe I was able to work at all. I used to have to set an alarm for an hour before i wanted to wake up and take some pain medication, try to not move for that following hour so it could have a chance to work. Then when my alarm would go off for me to wake up for real, I would have to take more pain meds just so i could have the flexibility to drive to work and walk to my desk once I got there. I actually only worked for about 6 months before I thought that I was seriously killing myself by trying. I worked for the Herbfarm in the accounting office from March-September that year. I have memories of me trying to fall asleep and wishing that I wouldn't wake up the next day and have to go through the pain of getting out of bed the next morning. Everything was painful. And yet, get this, I still didn't want the help of doctors. My parents didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to do. I thought there was no hope, for a time I didn't want there to be any hope. I was in the mind frame that I could never have a normal shot at life because i was a mess. I could hardly walk, all I wanted to do was sleep, and I would beg my mom to shoot me so i could have peace. (I can't believe you are still reading this, I'm so depressing, but thanks, it does get better, I promise!)
Needless to say that one day my mom was talking to her sister that lived in Arizona about me and somehow they came upon the idea of me becoming a snowbird. Or maybe it was my mom's idea that she asked Kim about, I don't recall anymore. But anyhoo, the idea was born and I decided that sunshine felt just as good as sleeping sometimes, so it was worth a shot. I moved down to Salome into the Betts household in October of 1999. Since Kim and Rick had opened a bakery in Salome a year or so before, in exchange for them letting me stay with them, I would help out at the bakery as much as I felt i could. The dry air felt so good down there!!! Within a few days I was feeling better, homesick, but i could certinley feel my bones drying out. I liked working at the bakery too. I found out that i liked selling donuts and talking with all the fellow snowbirds, finding out where they were from and what the plans for the winter were. It's amazing how small the world is. I would get so excited when someone from Washington State would stop in for coffee or pizza. It blew my mind that so many people in this TINY town knew where I grew up.
So I liked working at the bakery and loved the sunshine. Kim used to compare me to a lizard because i was happiest soaking up the rays of the sun. I couldn't get enough, i was feeling better and taking less pain medication. I was even gaining some weight back, and working at a job that i liked and was good at. Plus, I got to drink coffee and talk baseball with some of the grandpas of the town, I could hold my own in a conversation, actually no, I owned those conversations, I am always right when it comes to baseball! Damn it!
Rick's mother, Morita, would come into the bakery every morning with Zeke and have their morning coffee and donut. Zeke would do the crossword in the Arizona Republic and Morita would gossip with the locals and always ask how I was doing. We were partners in pain as we used to say. It was funny, I could always tell when a rain storm was coming usually a few days before it would rain. I would be slightly tired and a little more achey. I would warn people that the rain was coming. I was the finally a weather girl like I had always dreamed of being, just not in the way I thought... Life has a funny way of working out sometimes. Anyways, Arizona was doing my health well, my spirts were rising again. I would continue to go down to Arizona for the Fall and Winter months (basically the baseball offseason) for 3 years.
In the summer of 2000 Nickki had the idea of buying a house and Debra and I would live all together. But she also sat me down and told me that basically if we were going to go out into the real world that I would have to be able to bring in a steady income. Which means getting help, going back to doctors and getting real treatment for my arthritis. It sounded like a plan that I needed to follow through with. My family was sick of seeing me in pain and withering away. Nickki had finally gotten through to me and I went and saw a specialist. The doctor I went to see was very cool and easy to talk with. The assistant to the doctor was a very cool person as well, a actual person that understood that i was a person and not another file with symtoms to fix. It's a good patient/doctor relationship.
The first thing they decided for my treatment was to try to stop the damage that was happening and eventually try to repair damage that had happened. They started me on 25 mg of prednisone, a anti-inflamitory pain medication, plaquinil, and methotrexate. My only concern with all of these
drugs was with the methotrexate, since it was a drug that is a form of chemotherapy, i couldn't drink alcohol for at least 6 months. I eventually got over that and decided that they knew what they were doing with my situation and I had to start somewhere if i wanted to get back on the road to good health.
When i started taking the prednisone it was so funny, I had so much energy I was talking fast and wanted to do everything under the sun that i hadn't be able to do in a few years. Prednisone is a anti-inflamitory steriod, which did me wonders. I felt like i had been given my life back within a few days on this magical stuff. It was like speed though, i couldn't sleep very well, and just wanted to clean and walk around the neighborhood and be active! When I went back to see Dr G, they began to taper my prednisone because odviously i was on a little bit too much. Life was a little more normal after that. I was still loving having less pain though. The summer of 01 washing cars became something that i loved to do. I would wash my parents cars and mine at least once a week and when gramps came over or Nickki, i would wash theirs too. I was a car washing, prednisone taking little freak! I began gaining my strength and decided that I would spend last Winter down south in Arizona. Going back was good, I worked A LOT down there that year. But I had the energy most of the time. I got to work the night shift with Andy and Rick making the donuts, I became a good donut froster! It was also my responsibility to make the turnovers and danish everynight. I really enjoyed working that shift. Then I would go back to the house and sleep for a while and go back around the lunch time hour and let Kim have a rest at home. I would usually stay though the dinner rush and help close up the bakery and count the till while the rest of the crew would do the cleaning and finish the dishes.
When I got back from AZ that spring Debra and I had been talking about moving to Phoenix and starting a life out in the desert because it was cheaper to get a place and the sunshine was good for my health. But as I was back home with my family and feeling ok, health wise, in Washington I didn't really want to leave my family and friends here. I let Debs down majorly there, because we had made plans. But she was living with my parents and that summer we decided that we would try a few courses at GRCC to extend our minds a little. It was a good thing, brought Debra back into the world of brainiacs, like she belongs. And gave me a sense that i could do something well and learn new things. We took 2 classes that Fall quarter at Green River, a sociology class and a Northwest History class. We both we top students in the classes. Once finals were over I didn't quite know what I wanted to do, but i knew I needed a job. I didn't have enough money to go back to school and I just needed cash flow. It's so funny how things work out sometimes... About 3 days before our last final, I was looking in the classifieds for a job, I wasn't finding much, so i went online to check my e-mail and Carrie had written me asking if I would be interested or have time to do dining room set up for the restaurant. I was interested. My only concern was would I be able to do it physically. So I e-mailed Thomas to find out the specs on what the job involves, since he had been doing it on a fill in basis for quite some time. He said I could handle it, so i set up a try out day with Carrie.
On December 16th, 2001 I had my try out day with Thomas and was a little nervous. But the job sounded like so much fun. I got to basically play house everyday and get paid for it. Setting tables... It sounds so simple, but it is so detail oriented that it's stressful sometimes. I'll have to post a picture of one of the tables all set and in it's glory. It's not hard whatsoever, but again, so many details that make the difference on how the entire dining room is pulled together. Long story short with the job end of things, I enjoyed it and accepted the job they offered. It was a long drive out to the Herbfarm, but at the time I had just been given a Cadillac from my Grandmother who no longer drove and knew I needed a nicer car than the car I was born in (yet another story altogether) Anyways, I had a comfortable ride to get to work and wasn't concerned with the commute. I also could do much of the folding for the restaurant at home and could make my hours fit around the rush hour traffic if I desired to do so. It was exactly what I needed at the time and I'm still working at the same job currently! It was a absolutly wonderful turn in my life to have a full time job that I loved and I could do physically. I also really enjoyed the people I worked with. I was very shy at first, but I eventually came around and opened up a little. The Herbfarm is where I met Jason. I'll have to have a whole new section on just Jason because he's just too good to be just an add on in another story!
Moving on now, and to recap a little... Here I am now in my story at 21 years old, my first full time job and feeling like I just might make it out in this little thing we call life. Thinking of actually moving out of my parents nest and making a life for myself. I was living a halfway normal life and getting stronger every week from my new job (there was a lot of walking to get used to and standing when i was folding) I was actually getting treatment and making headway with the medicines. Life is getting better every single day!
To be honest now, it's taken me way too long to write this over a span of days, and frankly I'm just tired of writing about it :) ... So as of today I'm a ripe old age of 25, the past 17 months have been filled with surgeries (4), physical therapy, many infections (my body doesn't desolve the desolvable stiches and that led to ongoing problems), which was also filled with course after course of antibiotics and those wore me out to no end and made working difficult! But this last surgery (I had my wrist fused in February and the steel rods taken out in April, a month early again because my body was being a bitch and wouldn't just let them be) I think I see light at the end of this one handed tunnel! I'm seeing a infectious disease doctor that has confirmed that I super antibiotic resistant staph. infection which hasn't helped my arthritis and all that jazz. I'm currently on a new antibiotic that I think is working because after less that a week of taking it I have more energy that I have in months. I suppose it could be just a coinsidence (sp?) but I have a good feeling that finally this will work. I'm also looking forward to being able to start taking the Humira again, I can certinly tell when I take that, it gives me good energy and feels like it greases my joints up :)
Thank you for reading my little story, sorry to cut it like I did at the end, but what can I say I got impatient, if you know me at all, you know that it's nothing out of the ordinary.