Tuesday, January 31, 2012


It all started in October. I had a bit of a stuffy nose; a bit of a stuffy nose that didn’t go away. Then I got a couple migraines. Annoying, but I’d had a stuffy nose before and I’d had migraines before, so I marched on. Everything was hunky dory, until my right elbow started killing me. Killing me! I had to go to the doctor to have it looked at. While there I asked her opinion about my stuffy nose. Was I using my Flonase? Yes. Taking my Zytec? Yes. Weird. She had a look see and diagnosed me with a sinus infection and Tennis Elbow. I would survive. Rah!

Finished up antibiotic, continued taking allergy stuff as always . . . no improvement, with the nose or the elbow. But seriously I couldn’t rest the elbow. This was leading up to Christmas my biggest sales of the year; I had to sew on. The nose, however, that should have been cured. So I get a second course of antibiotics, plus a steroid. Two months had passed. The stuffiness was still there and I decided this is obviously just the way my nose it going to be for awhile. Meanwhile, I’m terrified I’m allergic to our hypoallergenic dog. In fact, I had started wheezing.

Complete weirdness strikes on the 14th of December. I start getting this intense rhythmic pain behind my breastbone, that’s radiating across my chest. Of course I’m thinking heart attack, but really? Everything else was fine. I called the insurance companies nurse line and explain my symptoms and the nurse says, “You need to proceed to the nearest ER or call an ambulance.” We did neither, but went to the local urgent care clinic. They did a chest x-ray, ran an EKG, and I was given a breathing treatment. Everything came back clear and after the breathing treatment the wheezing stopped and eventually the chest pain. The doctor was convinced the pain I was experiencing was from airway constriction that was causing the wheezing. I was put on another around of antibiotics, breathing treatments (Albuterol) and oral steroids. She was sure I had a sinus infection and asthma. The tightness in my chest came back again and I wheezed, even on all the medications, pretty much daily.

Then something really exciting happened. I got undressed to take a shower one morning and I had a couple hive-y scratches on my torso. Weird. I took my shower and when I got out I was covered in hive-y scratches. It looked like I had been attacked by a leopard or tiger, with sort of dull claws. I assumed I had scratched myself with my soap puff thing. I avoided it the next day, and had scratches again. I showed them to Joe. He was worried I have an alien inside desperately trying to get out. I hoped not. Then I realized I could write on myself and whatever I wrote would develop into hives. They weren’t itchy for the first couple of days, but that changed also. They mainly happened on my core being, extending a bit up my arms and down my legs. Without scratching I would be covered in what appeared to be scratches all over my body.

We were headed out of town for Christmas weekend and I just had to ignore everything going on and make the best of it. The wheezing was pretty hard to ignore and I had to repeatedly do Albuterol treatments, which just about sent me off the deep end. My body felt completely out of control, shaky, miserable, hated it. But I could breathe after the treatment, so could I really complain? After Christmas I would go in and see my doctor again.

The hives were however, freaking me out. I’m thinking Lupus or some other horrible autoimmune problem. Finally after exhaustive internet searches I came across dermagraphia. Dermagraphia can be a reaction to antibiotics. I returned to my doctor right after Christmas and she sent to the allergist, a gastroenterologist, and off for a barium swallow, after she had a bit of fun writing on me.

I was sent to the allergist, because he’s a great diagnostician and hopeful he’d see a link she wasn’t. Unfortunately, he just thought I was a super interesting case, but hasn’t a clue what going on. He did do skin scratch tests for allergies. A skin scratch test is when the nurse or doctor scratches your skin with a little plastic device containing a specific allergen. The presence of a hive would indicate you have an allergy and the size can determine that severity of the allergy. I was worried everything was going to come back positive, because I got a hive if you touched me, let alone scratch me. Never the worry. The allergy scratches caused huge hives and the non-allergy scratches caused little hives. It was easy to distinguish the difference. The test showed that I was allergic to basically everything I already knew: every tree known to man, tomatoes, bananas, carrots, some grasses and some mold, but thank God above not dogs or roaches. Just the idea of the roaches grossed me out so much. Nothing new there. Nothing to explain the wheezing, stuffy nose or hives. Crap.

And I was also sent for a barium swallow, which everything was fine and to the gastroenterologist and maybe figure out what the chest pain was about. I met with him and his was positive it was classic heartburn and we scheduled a scope. He found I had a Schatzki Ring, a constriction in the esophagus, which he expanded and lo and behold I have scalloping in my duodenum. Which by the way, basically mean Celiac’s Disease. CELIAC’S DISEASE! Crappity, crap, crap!!! We waited a week for the results, but we knew what it would be . . . wait for it . . . um yeah. . . Celiac’s Disease. Crappity, crap, crap!!! It does explain a lot of other problems I’ve been having, but not everything.

Did I mention my boys had blood tests in the fall that indicated they may also have Celiac’s Disease? They will be scoped in the next few weeks. Should be a blast.

The last week has been working on our gluten-free diet (GFD). Thank the powers that be for the internet, because it’s been and excellent source of information. It can take several months to totally rid your body of gluten, so I’m hoping to see improvement in the next few months. Is the wheezing, stuffy nose and hives related to the Celiac’s? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, I have to admit I’m pretty sad. I’m hoping I’ll feel so much better that never having a warm slice of French bread again and the like, won’t bother me. I see commercials for certain foods and get a little bummed out and sigh. Joe says, “Oh Honey.” It helps a bit.

The whole time I've been feeling awful. I truly just wanted to sleep. The pain in my chest was pretty debilitating. The hives have been controlled pretty well with Zyrtec, but I have breakthrough and I'm itching all over and hot. I get hot flashes when I "flare" up with hives. And my ears get hot and feel thick inside, which drives me insane. Then there's the wheezing and shortness of breath. It's all sort of miserable. I seem to have good and bad days. Today was bad. About an hour after eating some yogurt for breakfast, I feel like a golf ball is headed down my esophagus. The pain was so bad it sort of knocked me out. I had to go lie down. I woke up an hour later and the pain was gone, but I was still exhausted. It's all just so strange.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We're all going to do a really good job pretending like I haven't stopped blogging and there have been regular updates. Got it!

I've been sewing up a storm in preparation for the Christmas rush. A lot of that sewing takes place in the evening while watching T.V.. with Joe. There's always a little pile of strings left on the end table, and I've been know to lose NEEDLES! So, I created this little armrest trashcan, pin cushion thingy. I'm also going to add a little elastic strap for my scissors. Unfortunately, I only had black elastic, so I'll have to wait until I get to the store.

It's simply a fabric basket attached to a 5 1/2" by 14" length of fabric. At the opposite end of the basket is a pocket filled it with poly pellets for weight. I also added a little pin cushion stuffed with polyfil.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cards, Cards, Cards!!!

My Etsy shop has been overrun with cards for Valentine's day. Unfortunately my supplier for "flesh" fabric for My Dollies ran out of the wonderful stuff and I was put on an immediate hiatus. I came pretty close actually cleaning the house and doing the laundry, but instead I got crafty with my Stampin' Up supplies.

I've recently become a demostrator, after years of buying the stuff. So I have a new found need to get crafty and create, everyday.

Here's a few things I've made. They are all available at www.bitsofme.etsy.com.

I would just like to mention I'm very proud of these pictures. I spent a few minutes late one night and actually learned how to use my camera. A few adjustments here and there and voila, magic.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Card Organizer

Every year we get all these great photo Christmas Cards. I've been keeping an album for about five years, when I thought it would be more fun to make little books instead. I now gather up all the Christmas Cards, waiting until the New Year to make sure all the stranglers are in, and make a book. Here's this years.

I'll be offering these at my Etsy shop, so come over and check it out: www.bitsofme.etsy.com.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Nooky Little Post

Santa brought a Nook and I've loving it. I just had to make it a cover. Luckily our world is so super cool I could order one from Etsy. Check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/BirdifulStitches.

Here's the cover I made from Birdiful Stitches pattern. I'm all about initals right now, so I had to add a "K". I'm not the greatest at sewing, but didn't have a problem following this pattern. Turned out great!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

With only 13 days left until Christmas I'm having a blast keeping up with demand.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Zines, Mags!

I'll openly attempt at least two months of this year were passed at the pool soaking up the rays (best money I've ever spent)and reading magazines. I'm completely up on fashion, cooking and the goings on of celebrities. I have an addiction to magazines. My mailbox confirms this once or twice a week. Each promises to solve all your life's problems. I don't think they, the mass media, nailed it yet. I still can't get my fussy eater to touch, let alone eat a veggie, and my week nights are still hectic even with the greatest 30-minute meals. But with each article I stuff my brain full of more information. Some of it is useless (pretty anything from US; a subscription I share with a friend). However some makes me into a complete geek(I know things no 40ish suburban mom should know, directly from Wired). Most the information I receive from these zines is stuffed into the little corners of my mind to pop out at gatherings with friends, leaving them with more evidence that I'm quite nuts.

A couple of years ago my magazines started to guilt me out. How can I spent money on this? The US weekly issue ISSUE was solved when I started sharing a subscription with a friend. Seriously I can not spend $70 dollars on something that offers me no usable information. US is purely entertainment and I can get that for TV. Oh but the "Who Wore It Best" section calls to me like the Sirens called to the Sailors. I rarely resist and therefore I was saving money by getting a subscription. A-Ha! They got me.
Magazines have become so discounted, I had to buy a subscriptions to any magazines I picked up one or twice a year, because the subscription price was around the price of two at newsstand prices. Again saving money. I have a recycling center near me and all my mags go out the door to new owners or to be recycled. Luckily, I will not have to have the production crew of Hoarders over anytime soon and the guilt is dissipating.

Seventeen was my first subscription and I felt like such a seventeen year old when I read it at fourteen. At around seventeen I stopped getting Seventeen of course and started with Glamour. I have had a subscription to Glamour for twenty-four years. Can you believe it? Out in the world I'm sure there's someone very impressed by their 75 year anniversary with National Geographic, I assume they are better person for it. But I have really been through a lot with Glamour. At seventeen I cut out pictures of my favorite fashions and I made a scrapbook. It's funny to see that most of the stuff I choose you could walk down the street with on today and not be laughed at. O.k. there's a few neon pieces that might get a few stares, but no laughing. Fortunately, I didn't like shoulder pads, so that spares a lot of ridicule.

But Glamour was with me during the college years, dating, getting my first job, marriage, first baby, second and third.Over the years my interests have changed and so have my concerns, but I assume I'll always getting Glamour. The covers didn't embarrass me until I was around 37. My dad was over and a Glamour was lying on the table with a teaser on the front cover in giant letters that read something like "Have even bigger and better orgasms." From that point on they was relegated to my bedroom or bathroom. There's nothing better than hanging out in the tub with a new magazine.

When I was around thirty I went through a period where I was going to get smart about the world and finances. Time, Money and Newsweek showed up in my mailbox and I tried. I mean I really tried. They couldn't keep my interest. With a new baby in the house, Parenting and Parenthood magazines were more fitting and they kept me up-to-date on everything to freak out about. Then came Family Fun, and I must admit it was really fun.

There was "O"prah. Paaahh! I couldn't be that deep every month. I've had a ton of "A-ha! Moments," but they never amounted to much.

I am crafty and I do get several scrapbooking magazines, my favorite of which went belly up, Simple Scrapbooks. Creating Keepsakes just expired and I will let it go . . . I haven't scrapbooked in a year. If I get my butt in gear to scrap, I'll probably get a new subscription.

Martha Stewart's Living and Everyday food are loved along with a new edition Food Network Magazine. I get Rachel Ray's Everyday but I will not be renewing. I will never ever make Lamb Chops with Pomegranate Sauce and Saffron Pilaf. That ain't happening here.

When Real Simple hit the newstands I knew I'd found my match. Organizing, life stories, great recipes, little crafty things it was a match made in heaven. They seriously do have ways to make your life simpler. I use lots of little time savers from Real Simple and they work.
That just reminded me . . . .what happened to Hallmark magazine. That was so pretty.

For the good and the bad of it, I love magazines.

Now the real reason I sat down here was to show you what I have going on at my Etsy shop Bitsofme. I've been cooking up monsters and dolls. Santa's little workshop, right in my shop.

I'm running a Cyber Monday sale 10% the entire shop with the coupon code CYBERMON used at checkout.