Monday, February 28, 2011

Doctor, doctor, give me the news

For those of you not on Facebook, I spent most of yesterday at the Stanford Emergency Department.

I had another one of those allergy-welt attacks and this one was bad. When it started to come on, I took a double dose of Benadryl just like I always do, but it continued getting bad. I took a shower to try to cool myself down and try to get rid of the allergy, but that didn't help. While in the shower, I also realized I had some swelling in my throat. That's when I decided to take myself to the ER.

This time I didn't get lost going to the hospital. Navigating Stanford was not easy, but I followed the sinage a little better and was able to easily find the entrance. I went in (through security who had to check my bag and scan me for metal on my person) and was seen right away. Well, that's not true. I was triaged immediately and was given a bed, but it was another 30 minutes until I was seen. In their defence, I was already on the decline when I went in, but still had throat swelling so I went in anyway. I'm glad I did. It was real eye opening to me.

I got there sometime around 11sih and around 2, I was finally given some Predisone and Pepcid. I then got the option to drink a liter of water or have an IV put in. I opted to drink the water and sucked it down in 15 minutes. LOL. I was told not long after that I would be going home soon.

Then they checked my blood pressure. When I was triaged, my BP was about 200/140. Not unusual when I'm in the midst of a mild panic attack due to an allergic reaction. When they checked it around 2:30, it was only down to 195/120. Because of this, they kept me for observation. They couldn't send me home until they felt it was safe. At 4:45, I had only come down to 180/119, but the attending didn't feel the need to keep me anymore. She said that they couldn't diagnose me, officially, as hypertensive because it could have just been circumstantial, but because I did admit to having a history of borderline-high BP, she insisted I find a primary care doctor and get the BP checked out asap and get a referral to an allergist.

She also suggested the possibility that what happened to me was not an allergic reaction, but it could be a carcinoid which is a tumor-like growth that kind of mimics allergy symptoms. Going to an allergist will either confirm or reject this idea. (In all honesty, I'm thinking this or something like it is the culperate here. These allergy attacks have no obvious source or trigger.)

I don't like the thought of having to see a ton of doctors all the time now, but I want to see 40, so I'll bite the bullet and do it.

I also got a prescription for an EpiPen. Did you know those things cost $85?? Me either. Craziness. So now I have to carry one around with me all the time just in case. I never had allergies until the last few years. This kinda sucks.

My head is always killing me, too. This is because of my elevated blood pressure and steroids. Tomorrow is the last day for the Prednisone, so hopefully the headache will be gone by Thursday. I'm not sure if I should take anything for it, so I'm just living with it right now. Thankfully tomorrow's the first of the month, so work should be real easy.

So now I have an appointment with a doctor on the Stanford campus. I opted to find someone there so they could have easy access to my ER records. Friday morning at 8am. It should be one of the first of the day, so I can still get to work on time.

Why is it that my health issues can't be small? They've always got to be something big. =o\

Friday, February 25, 2011

What you mean he don't eat meat? That's OK. I make a lamb.

What's up my fellow bakers?

I come today, bearing a wonderful gift: My Birthday Cake. This is the cake that my mom has made for most of my birthdays over the last 31 years. I am still trying to perfect the execution, but I'm getting better every time. LOL.


Doesn't it look tasty?

This cake is made with Pistachio Pudding! It's also kind of a weird green color, but trust me: It's delicious.

Here we go...

The ingredients:


1 white or yellow cake mix
1 pkg pistachio pudding mix
4 large eggs (I only had jumbo, but that's just fine)
1/2c orange juice (no pulp please)
1/4c water
1/2c vegetable oil
3/4c chocolate syrup
powdered sugar (or, if you don't have any like me, use chocolate frosting)

Combine the first 6 ingredients and mix well (I used my hand mixer for a couple minutes).

Then pour 1/2 - 2/3 of the batter into a prepared bundt pan.


Take the chocolate syrup and mix it into the remaining batter


And pour it on top of the original batter. Don't mix it! Let the magic happen on its own.


Place in a 325 degree oven and bake for 45 - 50 minutes. When a toothpic comes out clean, let it cool in the pan, on the counter for an hour. Then you can turn it out.

When it's completely cool, dust with the powdered sugar. That's the traditional way. But since I didn't have any in the house, I took some frosting that's been in my fridge for about 2 months and melted it down. I drizzed about a 1/4c of chocolate frosting on top.

When you cut it open, you see the magic:


Truth be told, I was impatient and cut into the cake while it was slightly warm, so it was a bit crumbly. It's best if you make this early in the day so it's nice and cool by the time dessert rolls around. lol.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

See you later.

We buried my grandmother today. We met the family (my aunts, uncle, cousins, great-aunt, and my mom's cousins..about 15 of us total) at the San Joaquin County Cemetary in Stockton. We didn't have a priest or anything. My mom's cousin's wife said a lovely prayer and a few people shared stories of my grandma, then the cemetary guys put her urn down in the grave with my Great-Grandma Lupe (grandma's mom). My aunt Kathleen brought calla lilies for us to each toss down to my grandmothers. There were tears, but there was also some laughter.

I'm still processing the finality of everything. On Sunday she'll have been gone 2 months.

The buriel was planned for today because it's my Great-Grandma Lupe's birthday. I believe she would have been 104 or so. She's been gone 20 years. My grandfather's birthday was yesterday. He would have been 78. He's been gone 30 years. We didn't visit his grave. I'm a little disappointed since he's in the same cemetary.

Whenever I go back to visit my grandma, I plan on finding his grave.

Anyway. Like I said, I'm still processing, so I don't really have anymore thoughts to get out.

Oh..I do think that my grandma said hi to me the other day. I think it was on Monday. I was walking into the kitchen, passing by the windchimes that hang in the opening over the counter between the kitchen and dining room, and the chimes closest to me clinked together. I really don't think I was walking fast enough to create a breeze. I really think it was her letting me know she was here. I was caught off guard for a second and just stared at the chimes. I finally said "Hi Grandma" and went on with whatever I was doing. It was comforting to think she was here with me.

I've always felt my Papa was my guardian angel. Now I think I have 2.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Girl, Interrupted.

My aunt called today to let me know my cousin is in the hospital at Stanford and asked if I wanted to come by and visit. I hate hospitals, but I agreed to go visit. My cousin has been in and out of hospitals for a long time and I wanted to help make her visit a little more comfortable.

The reason she was in there? On Tuesday she went on a bender on Crystal Meth and went bananas. She's in the psych ward on a 72-hour hold (plus the weekend). She might get released tomorrow, but it depends on her behavior. Apparently she got really riled up last night and wanted to beat some people up. She's always had rage issues and has gone to anger management before.

Anyway. She's always had drug issues in the past, but I think my grandmother's death pushed her over the edge. She's been erratic for years, so I think my grandmother's passing was the catalyst for a breakdown.

Sitting in there with her, watching some of the other patients scared the crap out of me. I could very well end up in some place like that at any time. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to keep a breakdown away. I've always been on the edge, but I guess I'm stronger than I've always thought.

This also just makes me realize how crazy my family is and how sheltered I grew up. Craziness runs in my family. On BOTH sides. It's no wonder my aunt, cousin, and I are all screwed up. We never had a chance.

So, on my way home, I picked up a few things to feed my vices: cigarettes, fast food, and ice cream. No, they don't make me feel better in the least. They make me feel crappy. But at least I'm not doing meth. Or cutting (though the night's not over).