Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Health Updates

I went to my doctor's appointment last Thursday and the test results still show a very high level of insulin resistance. My blood sugar is still holding its own, but I missed the diabetic range by only 1 point. Because of this, the gynecologist recommended I start Metformin.

I wasn't happy about medication, but at this point I agreed to go for it. My family doctor wanted me to start it last March, but I declined and told her I would lose weight.

I didn't lose any weight.

We debated for a while on whether I should take regular Metformin or extended release. The extended release is said to be easier on the side effects, so I went with that option. I also like taking it once a day rather than multiple times with the regular version. I'm taking 500 mg for the first week and going up to 1,000 mg for the second week.

I go back in January for more blood work. Depending on the results, my medicine will either stay the same or be raised to 1,500 mg a day. I'm sincerely hoping there will be enough improvement to not need the higher dosage.

My doctor warned me that I would be extremely sick the first few days of taking medication, so I waited to take my first pill on Friday evening. This way I wouldn't be sick at work. The first two days were horrendous. Horrible diarrhea, nausea, puking, and headaches. I spent the entire weekend in the bathroom. By Monday things were better. Now I only have a headache and some lethargy. I'm fully expecting the weekend to be bad again since my dose will go up on Friday.

She also wanted to prescribe me a medication to help with the hair loss, but I decided not to do this. I didn't want to start two medications at the same time. She claims that my metabolism being "out of whack" and the stress going on in my life could be contributing to this. The Metformin should cause things to be in better balance, which may help with the hair loss. It apparently helps with weight loss as well, but I'm not getting my hopes up. We will wait until the follow up in January and see how things look.

My Pap Smear came back normal. The number of cysts were less, and they were smaller. Good news! My poly-cystic seems to be under control for now. She even said babies wouldn't be completely out of the picture at this point as long as things stay under control. Of course I need to find a husband first... but anyway...

Overall, not the worst appointment, but not the best. We'll see how things go.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Look What I Got!!

New glasses!!
I CAN SEE!!!

I decided to get my eyes checked after my co-workers noticed I was all up on my computer screen trying to read things. Plus, it was time for the yearly exam anyway.

Sure enough - my vision changed. The doctor said it was a slight change, but enough to mess things up a bit.

My vision insurance through work is absolutely amazing. There was a $30 co-pay for the eye exam, and they covered $400 on a new pair of glasses (or you can get contacts, but I don't wear those.). I was able to get a really nice pair with anti-scratch, anti-glare, and all the fancy stuff for nothing. Can't beat that.

I can tell the difference in prescription. I have to concentrate on something before I can see it clearly. Things also seem blurry when I turn my head too fast. This is normal. Whenever my eyes change, it takes me a day or two to get used to them. It almost as though my eyes get confused.

The good news is I was able to read all the street signs while driving home. Yay!



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happenings...


Went to watch my nephew play the Pee Wee Football Superbowl (for their division) on Saturday. It was absolutely freezing! The temperature was only 37 degrees. By the time the game was over, my feet were numb. That was with a pair of tights under my jeans and two pairs of socks. My Dad was determined to go, but it was just too cold for him. We found a spot in the parking lot that overlooks the football field, so he was able to watch the game from the car.

Bub's team won. (Bub = my nephew. The Princess = my niece. For future reference.)

Bub and Grandpa. He's number one! (Identifying information blurred to protect our boy.)


I'm so glad I went. He starts middle school (7th grade) next year. Their football games are on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at like 5 or 6 in the evening. With my work schedule, it will be impossible to get there. I live an hour and a half away. Looks like it will be two years before I get to watch him play again.
     
Tuesday was election day, so I voted. I can honestly say this was the most interesting voting experience I've ever had. Unfortunately traffic home from work was terrible due to rain and accidents, so I got to the voting poll at exactly 6pm. The official informed me that I was the last person in line to vote. Let's just sum it up by saying the people who came behind me were not pleased. Their reaction resulted in a fist fight and the cops being called. Yikes!

I also went to the gynecologist last Friday. I took a vacation day because usually her visits are quite long. Thank goodness! She was running behind schedule due to an emergency, so I waited over an hour to get in. This was my annual check up. I told her about the problems I was having earlier in the year and brought her copies of my test results. I also let her know which problems were still occurring (mostly the headaches and hair loss).

First off, she was extremely unhappy with my weight gain. I didn't get a lecture, but I am fully expecting one on my next visit (more on that later). We think we've figured out the headaches. I started charting my migraines on a app on my phone. It turns out that my worst migraines are when there is a change in my birth control pill. I take three weeks of white pills, two days of blue pills, and five days of green pills. The two blue pills are nothing and the five green pills have a lower dose of estrogen. She says the drop in estrogen is causing the problem. We changed my dosage around so there is not such a drastic drop.

She was also concerned about the test results from March. We know the hair loss was caused from a hormonal imbalance, but she is extremely concerned about the insulin resistance. I have a follow up appointment with her next week to discuss this and some medication options. She was so behind that we couldn't go into detail at that meeting. I'll let you guys know what happens.

How was your week?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Similar Plot = Plagiarism?

As many of you know, I am a writer. I have several manuscripts that have been sent out to publishers, and I'm still waiting to hear back on those. In the past, I released two books through self-publishing. I enjoy the freedom of self-publishing. It's fun. It also allows me to share smaller works that wouldn't fit a trade publisher since they tend to prefer larger works.

I've been working on a small collection of Christmas themed short stories. This is my favorite holiday, and I wanted to explore writing about the holiday season.

As of right now, I have about 5 stories that are completed. I had this great idea to release one short story a week (and by short I mean about 6,000-10,000 words each) starting in November and leading into Christmas time.

I have a great friend, with a English degree, who has been helping me edit my work. I sent her my latest story last weekend. This is what I hoped would be my first release for November. However, there was a small problem she discovered.

It turns out that my plot is very similar to another self-published short story. She says that it almost exactly follows the other person's story as far as plot points go. The setting, characters, and dialogue are very different, but we are now wondering if this should be a concern.

Here is the comparison:

Other Short Story - According to my friend. I did not read it.

  • Woman is secretly in love with boss. Boss is a business man and also a lion man/shifter of some sort. Woman is a secretary.
  • Story starts off with woman pining over man. She asks him out. He turns her down. She resigns.
  • Pining, pining, pining, 
  • Man goes over to woman's house, professes his love. They sleep together. Big sex scene. He asks her to marry him and meet the family
  • No references to a deity.
  • Entire story is about 6,000 words.

My Story - "The Christmas Wish"

  • Woman is secretly in love with boss. Boss is a business man. Woman is a secretary. No paranormal/lion people in my story.
  • Story starts off with couple sitting by Christmas tree telling their children how they fell in love.
  • Flash back - Woman is pining over man. She asks him to be her date at company holiday party. He turns her down. She goes alone and sees him flirting with other woman. She is heartbroken and resigns.
  • Pining, pining, pining, 
  • Man goes over to woman's house on Christmas Eve, professes his love. No sex scene. (I don't care if I'm 32, my father would kill me.) He asks her to marry him and meet the family
  • Flash forward - The couple are all mushy. The kids are grossed out by their kissing, and there is a sweet scene of them decorating the tree with the kids.
  • Since it's Christmas, there are some references to God, religion, etc.
  • Entire story is about 6,000 words.

So here's my question ---- Are these two stories similar enough for mine to be considered possible plagiarism? 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 2014 Ipsy Bag

Ipsy bag is one thing I allow myself to splurge on each month.

Here is what I got in this month's bag:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Daily Devotional Books


I am a huge fan of daily devotional books. Even though my feelings on church have changed over the years, I still find it important to study the Bible and try to grow spiritually.

My Dad's church in northern Indiana used to always give out daily devotional books for the month. He isn't really into them, so they were passed on to me. His new church here in the Indy area does not do this. Luckily, my Dad is friends with a really nice older woman at church, who happens to subscribe to this publisher's series.

It's called Our Daily Bread.

As you can see from the picture, this one is from last year. She gave me the entire series for 2013. I figure the year doesn't matter much since the dates pretty well remain the same.

The Front Cover
There are a few things I really like about this series, The first is that it's simple. You get a very clear, but short, message. If you want to go into more detail, they give extra Bible readings to expand upon. Some of the other series I have read have pages upon pages of explanation. I tend to prefer things short, simple, and to the point.



I also really like that the Bible verses are written in the book for you. Most of the ones I have read in the past list the verse and you have to look it up. It isn't a big deal. Still, it's nice to have it all in one spot. I can throw this in my purse and still keep up with my readings when traveling or whatever.

King James Version, but I think they also do other Bible versions too.

I just think these are very well done. I like to read before going to bed. My evening routine has become reading my daily devotional, reading the verse of the day (I often end up reading the chapter.) on Bible Gateway, and then reading a chapter of whatever book I am currently reading.

This all helps me wind down before going to bed.

Do any of you read daily devotional books?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Outlander: My New Favorite Thing

I have been told for years that I need to read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It's an older series - started in the early 1990's.

People I knew from the blogging world would recommend it. A few friends from college recommended it. Even my sister's mother in law is a huge fan. It wasn't until a few months ago that I seriously took the time to get into it. This was mostly because I heard a television series was being made from the book series.  I don't subscribe to Starz, but I am lucky to have friends that do. It works out well. I'm one of those people that likes to always read the book before seeing the movie/tv show.

The series follows Claire, a nurse from the 1940's, who travels through time (accidentally) to the 1740's. While there, she meets Jamie Fraser. They fall in love, and the series follows the ups and downs of their life together.

There are currently 8 books. I have read up to the fifth book- The Fiery Cross. I'm about a third of the way through it so far.


I adore this series. What I love so much about it is that it fits into so many different genres. Yes, there is romance. The relationship between Jamie and Claire is what holds the series together, but there is so much more than that. It's historical fiction. I learned more about the history of Scotland in the first few books than I ever did before. It talks about religion - Jamie is a devout Catholic. Diana Gabaldon does a good job of showing the horrible way Catholics were treated when England took over Scotland and when they tried to immigrate to the New World. The series has action (wars being fought), sci-fi (time travel), horror (some voo doo stuff happens when they first come over to the colonies). It's a series women can read and enjoy, but a man could also love it. In fact, I know several guys who read the series too.

The author takes a long time to write each book. It totally makes sense when you think about how much historical research she has to do to make each book accurate. She has mentioned in several interviews that she actually travels to the places in each book and researches the history in person. All of this just to make sure it is correct to the time period.

For me, it's more about the romance factor. I enjoy reading romance. The relationship between the two main characters is very well done. Who wouldn't love a man who says stuff like this:

*swoon*

I made sure to read the very first book before watching the television series. The first season is based off the first book, and it actually follows the book very closely. That's rare. There are only a few extremely minor things that were altered for tv.

The promotional poster
Everything from the actors they chose for each part to the costumes are perfect. They took time to make it right. As a fan, this is something I appreciate.

Claire in her wedding dress
Jamie in his wedding outfit.

I even adore the theme song and opening credits. It manages to capture the mystique of the show.


Plus, the fans are hilarious. Go to Twitter and search for #OutlanderPickupLines You will crack up laughing. This hash tag was created in honor of the wedding episode. Some of them are truly hilarious.

Ha ha!

Have any of you watched the show or read the book? What do you think of it?