Friday, October 31, 2008

Hey Guys,

So, I went to the doctor this morning. The doctor spent an hour talking to me. She ordered blood tests and check my ears and nose. She even had the nurse clean my ears out just for fun. (It's really not so much fun...I think there is still water in there.) And she prescribed a steroid and a sleep aid.

They took 8 viles of blood. The doctor said that the blood test would check for types of Arthritis, (particularly Rheumatoid), Lupus, Lyme Disease, and any other random abnormalities in my blood.

The doc also has me on a two week Gluten Free diet to try an rule out Celiac Disease. The steroid is supposed to help break the cycle of headaches, help my allergies, and relieve some joint pain. The test results should be back in three days with the exception of the Lyme test which will take a week and half.

So, I thought that while we help pass the time, it would be fun to take a vote. (I like polls.) So, go to the right and click on what you think the diagnosis might be. Don't vote for what you hope it is but what you think the symptoms sound like. Don't worry...there really isn't any wrong answer (well, I guess there is but voting is anonymous) and this is all just fun. And when I find out what's going on then I'll let you know.

I'm making a game of this so if you will, why don't you play along.

To review major symptoms:
Joint pain in upper neck, upper and lower back along spine, knees, and feet.
Inability to sleep for more than an hour or two
And minor symptoms:
Hot flashes and occasional night sweats
Nausea in the mornings
Chest pain
Abdominal cramps
Oh and I found out today that my blood pressure is slightly elevated (and it's usually very low).

Alrighty, Now you be the doctor!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hey Friends,

First I would like to thank you for all you hopeful comments. I've been feeling mentally a lot better this week and my head feels clearer cause I've gotten more sleep. I'm still very ready to go to the doctor, however, as I really want the joint pain to end.

But I have been making the most of my more energized self. Yesterday my Visiting Teaching companion and I went out to track some sisters that we've never met. We have a route consisting of four sisters, three of which are inactive. It took just under three hours but we managed to drive all around North Austin. We found that two of the addresses and phone numbers we had did not belong any longer to the sister's name on record. The third, however, belonged to a nice somewhat tired looking stay at home mother of three boys ages 7, 5, and turning three on Friday. We accidentally let her dog out of the apartment so we helped her track the very large puppy down. And we chatted with her a bit. She said it would okay for us to visit in November so even if we never see her at church we will be stopping by again. She probably could use a friend. She's only lived here since February and I know how hard it can be to make friends when you have to stay at home all the time. So, I'm excited to get to know her and break out of my awkward shyness.

I feel like in my time in Provo I became very outgoing. I loved meeting people. Yet, in 4 months in Austin I have reverted back to being a very timid mouse and most of the time people ask me to repeat things because they didn't even hear what I said. I've probably spent too much time using my "inside my head voice" all day. I need to practice my "outside" voice, if you will.

Anyhow, it was still great to be out visiting even if I did feel nervous. And our last visit was with a very active woman in the ward. We have visited her twice before and she is so great. I really like talking with her and her, will be two on Saturday, little girl is so terribly cute and funny.

Since I said that I could name ten sisters in Relief Society in my earlier post I decided to see if that was actually true. It took awhile and I didn't know last names for all of them but I did manage to come up with exactly ten names. I'm pretty proud of myself. (And glad that my estimation didn't end up making a liar out of me.)

On to other news...Monte and I have come up with a good idea for a pumpkin carving so we will be doing that this evening. Maybe I can take a picture of the pumpkin when we're done so that I can post something visual on here since other pictures are not available at this time. (sniff, I miss my pictures.) Luckily, most (not the most recent wedding pics) but most pictures I do have backed up on CD. After my roommate Shiloh's computer's demise I did back up my system earlier this year. (I would thank Shiloh for her loss but I would hate to bring up sad memories.)

Monte and I are also hoping for Trick or Treaters this year. I don't know what the area is like but we're buying some candy to give out in case little kids come knocking. We will also be watching old black and white monster movies. I am planning on going to library tomorrow to see what they have. I'm hoping to find "A Portrait of Dorian Grey" but "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" as well as "Frankenstein" would be great also.

So, if you have any suggestions of good Black and White, spooky, mysterious, or monster type movies then please let me know.

Well, that's all for now.
Take care everyone.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wow, I didn't expect responses so quickly. Monte and I got the computer all set up and I did a quick entry on Saturday to get things started. I check in on Monday and five of you have already left messages. I feel loved! :)

And just as I expected...a few of you did tell me off a little. haha So, to respond I would first have to say that unfortunately it will be some time till I can get some pictures up on the blog. We have to do a little data recovery. When the lightening struck (I wasn't kidding about that) it fried our internet cable modem as well as the motherboard on my computer. We're pretty sure that my hard drive is okay but because the hard drive is tied to the operating system on the original computer which was tied to the mother board...a bunch of licencing nonsense...we can not simply put my hard drive in this new computer and have it work so it will be a little while until we can get the information off the old system. But we are working on it. And when I have access to it again I will definitely put some pictures up from our wedding.

As to other news...well, it's been 4 months now that Monte and I have lived here in Austin. It's a much bigger city than I'm used to living in. I'm starting to figure out how to get around but the car situation is a bit sticky. First there was problems with my car (we're working on fixing those), then we had to transfer the title and get Texas plates for it (that took quite awhile to get done), and now the battery is dead or something cause it won't start. So, I spend all my time at home. You would think this would be conducive to writing on my blog (and hopefully it will be in the future) but with other problems going on I have been somewhat AWOL.

Besides the computer issues I mentioned earlier I have also been sort of sick. We're not sure what the problem is but it's been going on for months and particularly the last month it has gotten worse. After two months of marriage I went off the birth control I was on for fear that the hormones were causing the problems but I have been off it for two months now and I've only gotten worse. I also went to the gynecologist last week and he told me that the birth control would not have caused the symptoms I described so I have an appointment for this Friday with a family doctor.

Without listing all the weird problems that I've been having with my body, but because some of you may be interested, the more noticeable issues have to do with hot flashes and extreme night sweats, as well as all over joint pain - it hurts to get up in the morning, it hurts to fall asleep at night, standing after sitting or sitting after standing, walking up the stairs, etc. Most of the pain is in my knees, lower back and spine between my shoulder blades and my neck. Not to mention the headaches unlike any headaches I've dealt with before. I spent about two weeks not sleeping because of pain but lying in bed feel exhausted from 11 pm till 8 am and then 9 am till 3 pm and then feeling exhausted again around 9 pm. It has been terribly unenjoyable to sleep and then when I do fall asleep I usually have terrible dreams and am awaken by my whole body itching or waking up sweating with my heart beating so fast.

We tried washing and rewashing everything in the bedroom in case I was having an allergy attack. I've tried pain medications, allergy medicine, massages, and prayers. I went off the birth control. I've tried hot pads and hot baths but it's just impossible to get my body to relax. Monte will sometimes, when I'm on my stomach on the bed at night, lie directly on top of me because the pressure will help or rub my lower back till I start to fall asleep but I feel bad cause he's the one that needs to sleep as he has to go to work the next day.

So, with the lack of sleep everything seemed worse and I got really sad about everything. I also felt like a horrible wife cause my husband will get up and make his own lunch for work in the morning (which I used to do for him the first couple months we were married) and then work from 9 till 6:30 and then come home and make dinner, care for me, clean the house, and all kinds of other things (It took everything I had just to bathe). He's great...but if makes me feel bad because I want to do more for him.

I started painting again but didn't get very far before I started feeling too bad to be up so I have a canvas with some paint on it that doesn't look like much of anything yet. Monte and I purchased three molly fish about two months back. I've tried my best to take care of them but we are down to one now. One died of some sort of fungus and the other of mysterious reasons. The last it sad looking but he keeps holding on. So I keep changing his water and giving him medicine in hopes that he can pull through. I feel very attached to him and would be very sad if he died.

I still have a pile of thank you notes laying around as well. For those of you that gave us wedding presents please don't feel neglected. We have not forgotten you and I will get these thank you notes out eventually. It's just been hard to write or read. I'm worried that some people may be feeling unthanked or worried that we didn't get their cards but we got everything and we were soooo thankful so please just be a little more patient with us and we will get those notes out.

On to the good news.
Monte is doing well at work and I think he's enjoying himself.
We manage to get some parts together to build ourselves this new computer.
The holidays are coming up which are exciting. Fall is always so much fun. My parents and brother are coming out to Austin for Christmas. That makes me ever so happy.
It is cooling off here after a record hot summer.
We finally got callings in our ward.
I can finally name at least ten sisters in Relief Society so I'm getting closer to making friends.
With all the crazy first few months of marriage and issues and sickness Monte and I have become so much better about personal and together prayers and scripture study which is setting a habit in our home that delights me.
And it feels good to reconnect with you guys. I need friends right now and even though this is all electronic and everyone is far away it feels good to feel connected to you all in some way. I've been reading your blogs too and it makes very happy to hear about you all and to see how your families are doing. I wish you all the best of luck with all of life's trials. And I miss my girls. All of you. Take care of yourselves.

Love, Cassandra

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Before you get on my case about not writing
Let me explain

, there was this wedding...

And then a move...
Add a dose of the flu,
and a computer struck dead by lightening...

And well,
Long story short...

Once I was lost, but now I'm found.
I'm Back!
(and I missed you soooooooooooo much)