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elvan

Update on Ellen aka @elvan

Posted by elvan Sep 5, 2019

I am sincerely humbled by all of the comments on my blog and all of the prayers and support I have received.  I wish I could tell you that we know what is going on with my son but, the fact is, we have no idea and he is not improving.  His personality is in a steep decline because of his frustration.  He feels useless (it is a feeling I am quite familiar with).  I talked to him today as I do pretty much every day, he said that the pain just keeps getting worse and that he does not know what to do, his next appointments are next month.  I don't know how to encourage him at this point. 

 

The cafe will be staying open until the end of September, I applied at the university in town where I have worked before. They ran a background check and just got results today, they want me to start on the 8th.  The job is as a cashier in the main dining area for undergraduates.  I love students and I am sure I will enjoy being around them although my former boss at the the law school says that she does this job in the summer and that it is not one that allows interaction with anyone.  She also said she THINKS it is sitting for the entire time...I CAN'T sit for any length of time or my back spasms will take over my life.  Seriously, if I have to drive over an hour, I am in screaming pain, no matter what I do.  I am not sure about parking, the garage is a very long ways from where I will be working and I had difficulty walking that distance when I worked at the bookstore years ago.  That was when my COPD was nowhere near as bad as it is today...I have to ask if they will provide handicapped parking..  I also have to ask about standing and if they can accommodate that need.  I filled out the application on line last week and I was called within 15 minutes of submitting it and asked when I could start.  I was a bit taken aback and I didn't ask any questions.  He asked what size uniform I need and I said, "uniform?"  He said that they have staff wear polo shirts...oh joy.  I told him the largest one he has so I won't feel uncomfortable,.  He asked if I wanted a men's xl and I laughed and told him it would probably come down below my knees.  I told him that I am not big but my back is twisted and I would prefer not to have that be too obvious.  He seemed really nice if a bit anxious to find someone.  I will work Sundays from 10 to 5...he asked if I could do 10 to 7 and I said there was NO CHANCE.  I do think this will be a much less physical job than the cafe but I really loved working at the cafe and helping them out.  I just cannot afford to work for nothing.  There are several staff members who are doing just that.  They are young and do not have responsibilities.  I have to sign papers at Human Resources tomorrow before 4:30 and I will try to ask them the questions I have.  I will also set up direct deposit which I was supposed to have through the cafe but it kept getting switched back to checks...I have not been paid for the last three shifts I have worked but I have been assured that I WILL be.  Oh dear God.

 

My husband is going to have cataract surgery at the end of September and will need to be driven to and from the hospital three times in that week...I HATE driving.  He is also supposed to be scheduled for a possible series of three epidurals because of back pain.  That would be in the opposite direction, another hour plus drive each way.  I don't know the dates of those appointments yet.

 

Our youngest daughter came for the weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment with her.  It was her father's birthday and she wanted to be here, she also wanted to help prepare his birthday dinner.  I had made a chicken enchilada casserole that just needed to be taken out of the fridge while I was at work and I made his favorite birthday pie...key lime.  She helped with serving and with dishes and she took us out to dinner the next night at a restaurant where I have not eaten in years.  The food was wonderful.  We watched a movie Sunday night and she left Monday morning to get back to NYC.  It is an 8 hour drive each way and I was nervous about her making that drive on a Holiday weekend, by herself but she did fine.  She made it back there and said she was really glad that she came.  She said she would see me in October and I said, "What?" She wants me to come and see her new apartment which has two bedrooms so I will have a place to sleep when I come.  I told her that I have to have oxygen while I am there and she said we will work it out.  She wants to pay to fly me there and back.  I also told her I am starting this new job and the last thing I want to do is to ask for time off when I just started.  I am not sure she has any comprehension of how tired I am all the time.  I try very hard to hide that fact but I cannot do it for very long.

 

I just want you to all know how much I appreciate you being in my life and how much your support has meant to me these past several days...actually these past 5 1/2 years plus.  I cannot be here as much as I used to because I am too worn out but I am trying.  I miss being here all the time but I am trying to read blogs and keep up as much as possible.

 

Love and thanks, 

Ellen

elvan

Just a head's up

Posted by elvan Aug 26, 2019

I may not be around much for the next bit of time...not sure how long.  It looks like the cafe is closing which means I really need to find a job.

 

My son is in constant pain and no one seems to be able to come up with a diagnosis, they are considering MS at the top of the list because he cannot feel his legs with the same sense that he used to, his vision is blurry, he has a violent and constant headache and he has a severe and chronic prostatitis.  In other words, you name it, he HAS it.  The GOOD news is that he quit smoking...again almost two weeks ago.

 

The pressure on his marriage is horrible and he has asked if he can stay with us for a while.  I reminded him that his sister is coming Friday and saying until Monday.  I have ONE guest room and I suspect the sofa would be uncomfortable although I have never TRIED it.  He and his sister do not really get along very well.  Saturday is his father's birthday and I have planned a dinner that includes chicken and NON GLUTEN free ingredients.  I did not expect him or his family to be here, I thought I was working and that the cafe was going to be open.  I am not sure I would be very comfortable having the family here anyways under these circumstances.  I love my step grandson, but I DO believe he is on the autism spectrum.

 

My cats have fleas and I am flea coming them every day as well as vacuuming my house every day and washing any blankets they slept on...I have not found fleas ANYWHERE except on them..  I am not talking about a LOT of fleas, just a few at a time but I want NONE.   

 

I have not physically recovered from working on Saturday and now this stress is seriously impacting my pain.  I am going to try to pick up some things in the yard, small branches and stuff and perhaps weed whack the stuff that comes up to my thighs.  My daughter in law cleaned out half of our front gutters yesterday where we actually had TREES starting.  The other side of the front and the back still have to be done.  I cannot do the back because it is way too high and the ground is too unstable.  I don't want my husband to do it because he can't SEE, his back is painful, and if he starts having chest pain, he cannot be up a ladder.  Obviously, our son cannot be climbing ladders either.  I am waiting for him to call me for a ride to the house.  He gets seriously angry with me if I don't absolutely agree with him about his step son.  My son is OCD and now that he is stuck at home, a piece of lint on the floor is enough to set him off, he does all of the housework, laundry, dishes, etc...and his step son is 13...they are BOTH acting like they are the same age.  His step son seems to purposely do things he knows will set Damon off...this morning, he threw a 32 oz container of yogurt at the kitchen wall.  He has knocked over bookcases in his bedroom right after it was cleaned, he is seriously angry.  This was supposed to be his first day at school.  Instead, after he came very close to punching Damon...they do NOT physically punish him...he ran away, out of the house and to who knows where...he did not have any shoes on.   This is the second time he has run away in less than a month.  It's a mess...my daughter in law is overwhelmed with guilt feeling like she is torn between the two of them.  I have tried to remind my son that HE is the adult here and he cannot take things personally that a 13 year old does.  That sets him off and he yells at me.  THAT will not continue, I am not going to take on his anger.

 

Sorry this sounds so dismal, it is not hopeless but it sure feels close to that right now.  I have no desire to smoke, I know that would not help ANYTHING, I am way past believing that it would.  I will be back when I can but, for now, I just cannot keep up with my life and the site.  You are all stronger than this addiction and that is saying something since this addiction lifts emotional weights when we are not looking.  It knows our weaknesses but we know ITS weaknesses too...it hates to be ignored.  

 

Love to all of you...say a little prayer for my screwed up family.

Ellen

elvan

2nd hand smoke

Posted by elvan Aug 3, 2019

I went to my friend's pool on Thursday and I was so excited because I had been completely alone the day before and I hoped this day would be the same.  No such luck, when I was about halfway through my workout, my friend and another friend showed up and did their usual routine before they work out.  They each chain smoked in the gazebo next to the pool.  Normally, it does not particularly bother me, I just move farther away, I keep on going.  It was a challenging time because the wind was blowing the smoke directly at me (at least it seemed that way) and I could feel myself filling with congestion.  I JUST wanted to finish my workout, I kept going and, of course, I get a bit short of breath when I work out, puffing away.  I tried to keep as far from the smoke as possible...I even tried to pull my bathing suit up over my nose...it didn't help with the smoke but it sure gave me a memorable wedgie.  I don't like the smell of smoke and I don't like it getting into my lungs...I used to sit there and smoke along with them a bit over 5 1/2 years ago.  I did notice that they are both smoking different brands of cigarettes, one is a menthol.  I am not sure why I even looked but I have to walk through the gazebo to get to the bathroom to change.  I ended up getting my full work out done and felt pretty amazing, aside from my wedgie.

 

I worked yesterday and came home and kept going and I have cleaned most of today...keeping busy is helping me to keep from being a worried mess over my son's health.  All of the prayers and love I have received from people here mean the world to me.  

Love and hugs,

Ellen

elvan

Just some updates...

Posted by elvan Aug 2, 2019

I have been trying to write a blog for days now...maybe longer but I wear out before I can get to it.  

 

I have been having on and off stomach issues for quite some time and after a negative gallbladder ultrasound, I agreed to have a scope so a doc look directly at my “insides”.  The procedure was absolutely painless and I remember NOTHING one they told me they were turning the IV sedation on. They looked at my esophagus, my stomach, and my duodenum. The results were that I have a severe gastritis and an ulcer.  I was put on Prevacid and I see the doctor next week for the results of numerous biopsies he took. I am not really expecting anything but it will be good to HEAR that I am okay. I honestly believe that I have noticed an improvement in the pain and nausea since I started the pills three days ago.  I had been on Prilosec before but since it was not making things any better, I stopped taking it along with a number of other medications that I thought MIGHT be causing me issues. Now, we wait.

 

My son has been ill for several weeks with a severe headache and back pain and pain in his joints along with swelling and redness.  He has deteriorated so fast that I am stunned. He has lost a significant amount of weight and believe me, he could not afford that.  He cannot walk without a cane or a walker...he is 33 years old. He has been seen by several doctors and needs an evaluation by a neurologist, he is also scheduled to see an ENT because he has terrible allergies and a rheumatologist because they think this might be reactive arthritis from a number of infections he has had.  He spent over eight weeks on antibiotics so his gut is a mess. They are considering MS, ALS, reactive arthritis, a tumor, and who knows what else. No WONDER I have an ulcer. It will be MONTHS before he can see a neurologist...he has an appointment for APRIL 2020, my head spun around when he told me that. He had a spinal tap but they only could screen for infection or increased pressure and he was okay with those things.  He has not been able to work in several weeks because he is too unstable to be cooking. I am terrified. I think about all of the possibilities all of the time and then I slap myself for doing that because, I am NOT a doctor and I do not have the knowledge or the ability to diagnose this. Please say a prayer for Damon...he sees his PCP next week, an ENT in three weeks, a urology follow up in two weeks, and he has yet to schedule the rheumatology appointment. 

 

Thanks for your prayers and KNOW that I am not smoking over any of this...NOPE.

 

I have to get to work this morning, may or may not be able to check back later.

Love you all,

Ellen

elvan

2,000 days!

Posted by elvan Jul 12, 2019

I hardly know what to say on this auspicious anniversary.  I certainly never thought 2,000 days ago that I would ever be here.  It has not been all sunshine and roses but a LOT has been. I am so proud of myself that I cannot believe I am here.  Yes, I have COPD and yes, it is pretty bad. I would give just about anything to have never smoked but, alas, we cannot go back and get a redo of adolescence.  I am so happy to have quit smoking and I celebrate this day with a certain reverence for the amount of time that has passed and for the challenges I have faced down.  

 

           Yesterday was a particularly difficult day for me, I had to take my husband to the eye surgeon which is an hour and a half away and, of course, I got lost.  This is my third time going to that office and my third time getting lost. My phone’s GPS stops talking while I am at crucial stages. WHY???? We left home early and were still almost 45 minutes late.  I was a MESS, I was so stressed out that I was shaking. Back in the day...I would have HAD to pull over to smoke, wasting MORE time and feeding into my anxiety. All the while we were driving, my husband was saying that he was going to vomit.  He gets very car sick. I told him to grab a cloth grocery bag from the back seat and just DO IT. His nausea was feeding my anxiety. On the way home, we hit dangerously strong thunderstorms with torrential downpours and strong winds. We were crossing a mountain when it hit and it made it harder than it might have been if we were not at higher altitude.  I could hardly see the cars or trucks ahead of me and I dropped my speed down and turned on my flashers. Pulling over was not an option. When we got home, I was exhausted but had things to do, feed the cats, check for damage around the yard, and get out of my dressier clothing. My little cat, Clementine, loves to carry around a toy of hers that is a plastic stick with a ribbon on it and a “mouse” attached by yarn.  I walked into the bedroom and stepped on it and literally went “flying”. I came to a stop on my left shoulder and knee and my right wrist...the little toe on my right foot was at a 90 degree angle to my foot. Good thing I am tough. I moved the toe back into alignment as tears flowed down my face and I got up and walked around to assess the damage. The left knee is bruised and swollen, the left shoulder is also significantly swollen as is the right wrist.  We won’t even TALK about that little toe that now rivals the big toe for size. Yes, I was tired, I was actually exhausted so after eating and showering and applying ice packs...I went to bed. I could not sleep because of the constant throbbing in so many places...but eventually I DID sleep. I would have been outside smoking like a chimney in the old days...2,000 days ago but I have long since quitting learned what a joke that was and how it would not have helped.  I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Friday, I am working today, walking with a rather decided but determined limp.

 

I will look forward to returning home and will be watching for that notorious stick.

Love,

Ellen

elvan

Not to Worry

Posted by elvan Jun 9, 2019

I have been struggling with some paralyzing nausea and shakiness for several days now.  I have to step away from the site until I feel better.  I am sure it will be alright but, for now, I am just going to mark everything as read even though I cannot read everything, I will be back as soon as I can but I do not want anyone to worry. 

 

I am making this so that no comments can be added, I know that you are all going to wish me well and I appreciate that but I cannot answer anything for the moment.  

 

Please take care of yourselves and your quits...NO MATTER WHAT.

Love,

Ellen

elvan

Mass shooting at Virginia Beach

Posted by elvan May 31, 2019

11 people were killed and 6 injured when a shooter opened fire at a large municipal building in Virginia Beach.  The shooter is dead.  No other details.

 

Prayers for the victims and the survivors.

Ellen

elvan

Happy Birthday @Barb102

Posted by elvan Apr 26, 2019

I had set a reminder on my phone to remember to wish you a Happy Birthday, Barb....when it went off, I was so disoriented that I thought I had to go to work.  I looked at the reminder and got up and fed the cats and made my coffee and came back into my room.  I went to set my coffee down on my dresser and I have no idea what happened but I spilled the ENTIRE cup onto my bedding, into my dresser drawers, and a little on my phone and my computer top.  I had just changed the sheets a couple of days ago.  I will not tell you the stream of profanities that came out of my mouth but I am sure you can imagine.  I have been doing laundry since then and I did not get any coffee because I only made enough for one cup and I refused to make any more.  

 

I REALLY hope that you are having a beautiful birthday Barb102 and know that I am thinking of you.

Ellen

 

 

UPDATE: CORRECTION...BARB'S BIRTHDAY IS THE 27TH, oh well nothing like a few greetings in advance, right?

elvan

Stuff happens

Posted by elvan Apr 21, 2019

I had a long day at work yesterday and I was really tired...that's my excuse.  I got home, went to the mailbox and got the mail and then went to the passenger side of the car to get some things out that I had brought home.  I was apparently not paying attention and I opened the damn door right into my face...I was wearing glasses which I expected to be embedded in my nose.  I almost lost my balance and God know what I would have broken.  Well, I look like a battered wife now and if anyone asks if I walked into a door, I will have to answer...NO, I OPENED A DOOR INTO MY FACE.  Hurts like crazy, my glasses are killing me because they rest right on the worst bruise, I have a terrible headache and I am going to bed.  I am exhausted and I am so embarrassed.  My daughter asked me if I am covering it with makeup...I told her that I haven't been anywhere and NO, I can't TOUCH it, I couldn't even stand a tiny ice pack on it.

 

Love you all, Youngatheart.7.4.12 and I are a GREAT pair!

Ellen

elvan

Cats and rabies shots...

Posted by elvan Mar 26, 2019

We had to get two of our three cats to a rabies clinic today to get their booster shots.  One of them was no problem, he is a big, mushy tabby but the OTHER one is a feral cat who showed up at our house several years ago.  I trapped him and got him neutered, wormed, and immunized.  

 

I had told Youngatheart.7.4.12 and Christine13 how anxious I was about this day.  Nancy sent me a message asking how it went...the following was my response and she asked me to post it as a blog:

 

OMG...yes, we got the cats to the clinic.  Mike went to the basement to catch the feral cat and then came back upstairs and said he could not do it and that he could not FIND the cat after he tried to stuff him into the cage.  Gee, I wonder WHY.  I went down there with the flea comb, he LOVES to be combed, and I talked to him and combed him and then I tried to get him into the cage.  He was fighting like a wild cat, he was biting and scratching and hissing and yowling and I told him that he could yowl all he wanted but that I am bigger than him and I will pin him down.  I ended up putting him in the cage upside down.  He couldn't splay his legs apart when he was so confused about being upside down.  I had ahold of him like he was a turkey about to go into the oven and I was bound and determined that I would not let go and I DIDN'T.  I got him into the cage and closed the door and went upstairs and yelled for help to get him into the car.  He had pee'd himself...he NEVER does that.  Mike insisted on cleaning him up and on cleaning the cage.  I told him that if that cat got out, I would shove HIM in the cage WITH the pee.  Yes, it smelled and it was gross but we HAD to go.  Damon, our son, came over and carried the cage to the car and also carried the other cat to the car.  He had to leave because he was working so he could not go with us.  We got to the site and I explained that the feral cat was really, really upset.  They gave him his shot while he was still in his cage in the back of the car.  I opened the other carrier and mush ball got his shot too.  They are done for three years.  Sweet Jesus.  I do believe that he nearly killed me.  I was about to wet MY pants, my chest, arms, back, and legs are throbbing.  I am not a wrestler but I am stubborn as Hell and there was no way I was going to give up the possibility of getting that shot for him.  When we got home, I carried him from the car to near the side entrance.  Mike was just going to open the cage and let him out near the road.  I said no damn way.  I carried him down the driveway and set the cage down with the door open.  Mike crouched down and kept trying to coax him out of the cage.  Are you KIDDING ME?  Leave the poor cat alone and let him come out when he is ready.  What a damn afternoon, BUT it is done.  I have no visible injuries, I was wearing a heavy jacket and gloves so he did not put holes in me.  He has apparently forgiven me because he took treats from me and he spent a very long time cleaning himself and looking embarrassed.  Poor guy, I think he is about 11 but I am not sure, he showed up here years ago and was a kitten. As I said,  I had to trap him and get him neutered and get his first shots and get him wormed.  He took off for four days after that because, once again, Mike did not listen and he opened the cage when we got home and the cat jumped up onto the railing of the deck and to the ground.  The deck was ten feet off the ground and the railing added another three and a half feet...OMG.  I was so mad at Mike that I wanted to kill him and, keep in mind, I was still a smoker back then.  I so hope that I can sleep tonight because God knows I didn't last night.  I was too worried about catching that cat.  Now I just have to deal with recovering from my wrestling match.

 

BUT, I didn't smoke over it and it never occurred to me...not ONCE.

elvan

Stepping away

Posted by elvan Mar 15, 2019

I am really not feeling well, I am so exhausted and overwhelmed, I think that I have to step away from the site for at least a few days.  I am just too tired to feel like I can make any comments that would be of any possible use.  I saw rheumatologist this morning, she really did not have much to say other than that she thinks I need a pain pump implanted to help with my pain.  I find that horrifying so I told her we will talk about it later...MUCH later.  I am sure she is worried about prescribing opiates...I get it, I have to investigate pumps and how effective they are.  She is talking about dilaudid.  I asked her how they will get a catheter between my crooked vertebrae and she said it would have to be a surgical procedure.  No...not now, I can't deal with it.

 

Please do not worry, just understand that my fatigue level is outrageous, my blood pressure is very low, although I don't think that is related.  I always have low blood pressure.  This was just low even for me...82/40.  They kept taking it and I thought my arm was going to fall off.

 

If you need to reach me, I will try to check PM's every day, I cannot deal with reading much else and I am not even sure I can handle that right now.

 

Love to all...

Ellen

I am so exhausted and in so much pain that I seriously have nothing to offer to anyone.  I went to down to the basement twice in rapid succession and I fully expected to go into respiratory arrest.  I am going to the bed...I cannot deal with any more...any more of ANYTHING.  I need sleep, have to work tomorrow and I HAVE to be awake and alert and helpful. It is my son's 33rd birthday and I have nothing for him that shows any thought ...I am not feeling like a 69 year old should be feeling....I am tired, I am so incredibly tired and overwhelmed and I do NOT want to feel this way.  Perhaps a night's sleep will help...PLEASE LET IT HELP.  There is not a point on my body that is not screaming,  I want my mom...pretty odd thing for a nearly 70 year old to feel, I just want to be comforted.

 

I am so sorry for my pity party, please feel welcome to kick me in the butt...I need you guys, you have gotten me to where I am, my level of fatigue is overwhelming.

 

I love you ALL...every single one of you...forgive me for being a wimp tonight.

Love and hugs and my very best, any my deepest gratitude to ALL of you.

Ellen

I am not feeling very well tonight, not sure what is going on but my entire chest feels uncomfortable, it's hard to take a deep breath.  I am probably just tired and we have a huge weather system coming in so who knows, maybe it is from THAT?  I blame the weather for everything.

 

I am going to get into my soft and fuzzy pajamas and put a heating pad on my chest.  With any luck, maybe I will sleep for a while.  I did not sleep well last night and I guess it might be catching up with me.  I took my husband to the cardiologist this morning, his blood pressure is still elevated and he is having recurrent chest pain so they are putting him on a long acting nitroglycerin to see if that helps.  The doctor was pretty disappointed that he was not feeling much better since the stent was put in.  There is nothing more that can be done surgically.

 

I am outta here...into pajamas, computer off, phone volume down, heating pad on chest, somethings that helps.  

 

Love you all...will be back tomorrow,

Ellen

Mike is on his way home, Damon went to pick him up.  He offered and I accepted.  I was so exhausted last night that I was incapable of communicating.  I did send Youngatheart.7.4.12 a message.  

 

The cardiologist drew a diagram on the white board in Mike's room, he explained that one artery was 85% blocked and that he placed a permanent stent there.  He said that the graft sites from the bypass surgery are holding well.  He did explain that there is evidence of severe, advanced cardiovascular disease and that there are some arteries that could not be bypassed or stented because they were too narrow.  He feels that Mike should be okay as long as he exercises and eats a healthy diet, his medications are to remain unchanged and he is to follow up locally with the cardiologist here in town.  He is to keep nitroglycerin with him for chest pain which is he likely to continue to have intermittently.  He can take two doses 15 minutes apart and if the pain is not resolved, he is to go to an ER.  I am exhausted and glad that THIS step is over.  He has an appointment Monday with the local cardiologist, that was made before this procedure.

 

Thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers...

Love,

Ellen

elvan

Cardiac catheterization

Posted by elvan Feb 1, 2019

Mike is tentatively scheduled for the procedure on Monday in Roanoke.  I am taking him to our local hospital for blood work today and waiting to hear from the other hospital as to a time.  It is over an hour away but it looks like the weather is going to be cooperative, except for rain.  It is going to be in the 50's so that will be nice.

 

He has been having much more "heart burn" and I made him use the nitroglycerin the day before yesterday, it took the "heart burn" away.  It is NOT heart burn.  I really will be glad when this stage is over.  

 

I will get back on here later, have to work tomorrow so will be a bit scarce for the time being.

Love,

Ellen