Blah, blah, blah…

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Cinco de Mayo as well as Kentucky Derby Day.

I’ve been working double-time to get a couple of digital things ready to unveil, but today is not the day for that.  In my last post, I gave you the brief skinny about what I’ve been up to these past twelve months.  One of the major things was my home improvement trials and triumphs as well as custom art pieces I’ve been working on, but, again, I don’t want to reveal those until certain aspects are 100% complete.  So, that leaves me with some of the less interesting stuff to share today.  That being said, I’ll try to keep it brief…

I’m sure you all remember the devastating Hurricane Irma from last September.


Thankfully, my neck of the woods didn’t get the worst of it.  But it was an extremely long night (not to mention long days of preparation beforehand).

What was left of my shed.

After the hurricane, you can see all the standing water as well as the preparation we took in boarding the windows, etc.

View from my front door during Irma’s trek up Florida.

We lost power for a minimal time (quite different than when I told you about our month-long ordeal when we had Hurricane Charley).  My son got stuck at a friend’s house, so I was nervous about him.  It was scary in the new house.  But I’m not complaining.  I’m so thankful we didn’t suffer any major loss.  We lost a lot of shingles, our shed, and the covers to the cable and electrical boxes outside the house.  Insurance paid efficiently, and life went on.  The next day, we were trapped in the neighborhood until the city came to take away some trees that had fallen across the road.  And the worst of it all was that we had no garbage pick-up for several weeks because the city was busy collecting hurricane debris.  When we finally got out to look around, we realized how really lucky we were.

This uprooted Oak stood less than 1 block from my house.

There were broken trees, missing roofs, broken power poles, and downed lines.  It’s just proof that Mother Nature deserves our utmost respect.


I mentioned to you in my last post that I discovered the “absolute best bed in the world.”  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It was my son who discovered it, but after he got his, everyone else in the house got one!  It’s a brand called Purple, and the mattress is AMAZING!  (I haven’t tried their pillow or other amenities.)  If you’ll watch these commercials on YouTube:  The Goldilocks one and the Raw Egg one, I can testify that they really do all that!  (Seriously, when my son got his, we all laid on it on top of raw eggs, and they didn’t crack!)  Remember, with my lupus, I have pain in my joints more often than not, and though my last bed was relatively new and a nice bed, I still woke up with a significant deal of pain each day.  Now, every night when I lie down on my Purple mattress, I literally feel each and every part of me being cushioned and yet gently supported.  And when I wake each day, while I still have the “normal” stiffness associated with my lupus, I am no longer in pain associated with sleeping!  Seriously, this is the most remarkable bed, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about it!


A couple of months ago, I had bronchitis that just wouldn’t go away.  After 5 weeks on antibiotics – literally the only oral antibiotic that I am not allergic to – I was feeling worse than ever.  Things got so bad that I thought one day I was ready to die!  Honestly, I couldn’t breathe, and it scared the crap out of me.  I called my sister at work and asked her to take me to the emergency room or else I was going to call an ambulance.  So, Michelle left work and picked me up, but on the ride there, I started fearing the emergency room (because of my history with MRSA when I almost lost my leg).  I decided to go to the walk-in clinic instead, and after bloodwork and x-rays, it was determined that I indeed had pneumonia.  However, because of all my allergies, they couldn’t prescribe me any oral antibiotics, and they said I needed the infectious disease doctor to prescribe me IV antibiotics.  And he wasn’t available for another week!  So, I got a breathing treatment there, a breathing machine for home, a high dose shot of steroid there, and a high daily dose of oral steroid for home to last until I saw him.  Once I did see him, I was prescribed a new IV antibiotic that’s in its own drug class called Invanz.  Except once the nurse started the IV, I had an allergic reaction!  They had to stop the IV, and I had to wait to see the doctor again until the next day.  However, later that night, after my throat swelling went away and my mouth stopped itching, I realized that with that third of IV bag, I actually felt the best I had in weeks.  So, I asked the doctor to allow me to continue taking it with a pre-dose of 2 Benadryls.  That continued every day for 12 days, and after about one more week of taking it easy, I felt MUCH better (except for my poor arms!).


So, looking back, I can see that I was unable to keep this as short as I’d hoped. Thanks for sticking with me if you’ve read this far, and I’ll try to make things more interesting in the future.  As a parting gift, I’d like to offer you a photo of my girl Cleo wearing her Halloween skull sweater.  Isn’t she sweet?

Now, tell me:  Have you ever lived through a hurricane or other natural disaster?  Is your interest piqued by that Purple mattress?  Are you allergic to any medications?

34 thoughts on “Blah, blah, blah…

  1. I have a new memory foam style of mattress, young Rachel. My only issue is that it remembers me. Were it the case it actually liked me then all would be well. The issue at hand is that I suspect it does not. Having said that, I’m so pleased you’ve found one that works for you. I wish I had!

  2. Hurricanes? BTDT (once in Hawaii, twice in Florida, and I’ve forgotten how many in North Carolina). Oh, yeah, great fun.

    I need a new mattress, so I’ll look into the Purple. (I had been wanting a hospital bed, but none of my many doctors can come up with a diagnosis that will get my insurance to help pay for one.)

    My penicillin allergy wipes out a few whole categories of antibiotics (because of cross-sensitivity), and I get horrific side effects from erythromycin, so I’m pretty much restricted to doxycycline, although OTC topical antibiotics don’t give me any problems.

      • Having been using a CPAP machine since January for obstructive sleep apnea has probably also decreased the overall level of autoimmune inflammation, as evidenced by my needing a lower dose of the drug I take to control the vertigo due to autoimmune inner ear disease. I’m still having some problems with getting a proper CPAP mask fit, so when that finally gets resolved, I’m hoping to see more improvement in labs and other symptoms, too…. Glad to see you make an appearance in the blogosphere! I hope this means your health is also improving. 🙂

  3. Glad to hear you were pretty much unscathed from Irma, Rachel. I watched on TV as so much of Florida was slammed! I felt for everybody from up here in the safety of upstate New York.

  4. My youngest daughter Felicia has lived with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) since 12 and was part of an OSU and Children’s Hospital (Columbus) study. Joints like a 65 year old from their measurements and comparing bending and other stuff. She had bad reactions in her baby and toddler years to penicillin. She went off the Prilosec and Vioxx, (later Celebrex meds) due to the tearing of her stomach and intestines lining! No, Prilosec cannot protect organs, just makes you less likely to feel sick to your stomach.

    Felicia’s 32 now and does hot yoga, swims in pools, soaks in warm tubs and hot showers feel good. She runs on grass. . . She doesn’t want to quit since lubricating her joints is still suggested to keep them going. Natural foods with no additives and not preservatives. She eats out and “pays the consequences.”
    I think Luanne Castle has some kind of immune system disease, as does her husband. I love her, Midwest girl in her 50’s, from Michigan. She writes poetry, “Doll God”and “Kin Types.” I have reviewed those two books.

    I will tell Felicia about the Purple 💜 mattress! So cool, Rachel!
    Hoping the nerve endings and joints will stop irritating and flaring! Huge Hugs!! 💖 Robin

  5. Hi Rachel! It’s great to get an update on you 🙂 I’m glad things were not too bad for you regarding the hurricane, but the photo of the tree is frightening. Also, I’m happy you are feeling better and hopefully your arm is better too. Love the photo of the cat–she’s so cute. Keep the posts coming Rachel–it’s always nice to hear from you!

  6. Yes, my KIndred, when it rains, it hurricanes for some of us… 🙂 I swear outside of hurricanes & mattresses,we live much the same life. Sigh. I am thrilled for every inch of relief you find in any regard. Hope your Mother’s Day has been lovely for you. If not, there’s enough lovely in you anyway. Huge hugs… xo

  7. What a year you’ve had! So relieved you’re feeling better! Happy to hear you found a good mattress. Makes all the difference for day and night! (((Hugs))))

  8. Good to have you back, Rachel. It’s good that you can write about your lupus and allergies to antibiotics, and I’m sure writing helps you to come to terms with it. I’m suffering from the world’s worst headaches at the moment, and I’ve known some black moments of despair, and speculating about serious conditions which my headaches might predicate.

    Yes, indeed, I have lived through hurricanes… in England, believe it or not. In 1987, the old, established oak trees in our garden bent over double. Our house sustained very little damage, although many of our neighbours did. The worst thing that happened to us was that, in the small hours of the morning, the boot of my husband’s car flew open and his sheet music (worth about a grand) blew out. He was chasing it around the drive in his pyjamas.

    The next morning, we set off as usual to take my daughter to school, and when we arrived only four children were there, as many roads in our village were blocked by trees.

    • Oh, wow! That’s such an incredible story! I hope he got all his music back. Best wishes with your headaches! I know they can be debilitating, and often nothing helps and you just have to wait them out. I’ve only recently discovered the power of ice on the migraines which I found worked better than any pain medicine. Please let me know how you’re doing. ❤

  9. Hello again Rachel.
    Yes, I think he got most of his music back. As a matter of fact, it’s a bit windy again here – what we call Storm Ally and you over the pond are calling Hurricane Florence.
    My headaches are better but not completely gone. I’m pretty sure the problem is a strained shoulder (through using the computer too much). I am taking tablets and doing exercises three times a day.
    Hope you are managing your condition. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • I guess I missed your comment here before. I was having shoulder problems and got cortisone shots which helped a lot faster than the other things they were having me try such as exercises, etc. Do they do cortisone shots there? I’m glad the headaches are at least getting better. That’s a step in the right direction anyway. ❤ *HUGS*

      • Yes I’ve had cortisone injections in my hand and in my wrist, four times during the course of my life. Hurts like hell when they put the needle in, but then it’s bliss. But do keep on with the exercises, as they will help repair damage, rather than just alleviate pain.

  10. I am allergic to penicillin. So I can’t take antibiotics that contain penicillin. Once there was an earthquake here in my area (I live in Italy, near Venice). We left the house at night. It was bad waiting in the car. And I had forgotten my meds. Fortunately, it was all over in a few hours and without damage.

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