Friday, March 2, 2018

Coffee Talk

Come and join me for a cup of coffee! Let's catch up on life off the road. What do you take in yours? Do you want to try some of this Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate? I swear you won't taste it. I've been adding to my coffee, along with some half and half every morning.

So what would I tell you if we were having coffee?


If we were having coffee, I'd talk about all the wildlife around here. I don't know what it's like where you live, but here in the Chicago suburbs, we have more wild animals that you'd expect. Coyotes are abundant. A few years ago we had a major skunk infestation. The rabbits and squirrels eat all the vegetables in our gardens. This year, it's the opossums that are taking over. One day last week I was getting ready for work and looked out at my backyard when I saw 2 giant opossums walking around like they owned the place. Ewwwww! They are so ugly. They don't move very quickly and when I saw them walk onto our deck I heard Cocoa barking. She knew they were out there. I didn't let her out until they were gone, but she gave the backyard a good sniffing after that.

I really wanted to put a possum meme here but I couldn't look at them for very long.
If we were having coffee, I'd tell you how much I appreciate having my boys keep me up to date with the latest trends. Yep, my oldest son pays me for his car insurance on Venmo. My youngest son got me all set up on Snapchat (I rarely use it but the Bitmoji feature is kind of fun!). We also have the most interesting dinner conversations. Did you know that vaping is out and Juuls pods--not Tide pods--are in? According to my sons, Tide pods were never a thing. Somehow we got on the subject of Tinder...and it was a very funny discussion. When we talk about this stuff, I have to remind myself of all the stupid things I did when I was there age and try not to worry too much. Are things that much more frightening now than I was young? Or is it that now I know better? Swipe right or swipe left?




If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that my youngest son's girlfriend was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. She has had symptoms pointing to RA for the past couple of years, even having surgery in her feet. No medical provider that she saw for her symptoms ever tested her for RA. I sent her to my rheumatologist and after testing her blood received the diagnosis. I hated to get involved, but I hate even more seeing her suffer. She is grateful to finally have an answer and to be starting treatment. Fortunately, her presentation is not aggressive.


If we were having coffee, I'd ask you not to judge me while I share with you something really stupid that I did. After I saw my rheumatologist last week and was told my liver enzymes were going down, she told me that she was going to stop the offending medication (methotrexate). I had a celebratory glass of wine with dinner that night. I might have had one the next night too. By Sunday morning I did not feel well at all. It wasn't a hangover. I had pains in the area where my liver (and pancreas) reside. Even though I assumed that because my blood work improving I could indulge a little, clearly I made my liver and probably my pancreas very unhappy. While the pain slowly lessened over the week, I was sufficiently shaken up by the whole experience. I might be a couple weeks late to the party, but this lapsed Catholic is giving up alcohol for the rest of Lent.


If we were having coffee, I'd tell you about the bizarre experience I had renewing CPR and PALS* last week. A requirement for my job every 2 years, I usually do this at the hospital. This time, I had to look outside of the hospital for a program and I found one that could do both. As soon as I arrived, I knew that this was going to be sketchy. The nurse who led the class provided instruction that was erratic and filled with self-aggrandization. At one point during the "class", she started drilling us, pointing at us and shouting things like: "Wrong!" "Patient dead!" We took the final exam as a group with her giving us the answers, which explained her 100% pass rate. We finished the 6 hour class in 2 1/2 hours. I left the class feeling like I cut the course at a race. It wasn't a good feeling and I'm still a little unsettled about the whole experience.

We got all the answers.
What would you tell me over coffee? Do you have wild animals where you live? What were kids doing when you were in high school and college? Have you done anything stupid lately? Swipe right or left? Anything that jeopardized your health? Have you ever taken CPR?

*PALS=Pediatric Advanced Life Support

I'm linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday 5. On Saturday, I'm linking up with Coco and Deborah for the Ultimate Coffee Date.
















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72 comments :

  1. I have to take my CPR/First Aid/AED every two years for my jobs as well. I never heard of Juuls? Sorry to hear about you son's girlfriend. Hopefully she gets the treatment she needs and it will not consume her.

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    1. Exactly! I hope she is empowered by the knowledge of her diagnosis. It's so easy to get sucked into that chronic illness life--I've felt those tugs myself. Glad I'm a runner and am used to pushing myself.

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  2. OMG that CPR class sounds like an SNL skit! Our area is alive with wild animals lately. The coyotes howled all night. I fear my dogs would make tender morsels for them.

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    1. Now that you mention it, yes, that class was like an SNL skit. I felt like we were in a Seinfeld episode, actually. No soup for you!

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  3. YIKES, that CPR class? Is there a difference between a re-certification class and a "newbie" class (I hope!). That's unfortunate about your son's girlfriend, at least you were able to give her some immediate insight and support to her diagnosis. I'm amazed I don't see any wildlife when I'm out and about at 05:00...unless they're seeing me first and hiding.

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    1. Oh yes, it was a recert for me, about the 15th time, so it wasn't such a big deal. There is supposed to be a difference for new providers but this lady didn't make any accommodations for the one newbie in our class. It was awful.

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  4. I definitely wasn't aware that there was so much wildlife out in the Chicago suburbs! I'm glad you got your son's girlfriend to a rheumatologist--thank goodness her presentation isn't aggressive!

    That CPR renewal class does sound pretty sketchy. x_x I'm due for my renewal soon!

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  5. My son and I took a CPR class like that once too! I was so surprised by how cavalier the instructor was. I guess having a little info is better than no info right? Sorry to hear about your son's gf getting the RA diagnosis. She sure does have an amazing role model to help her kick it's butt though.

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    1. Awwww...It will be interesting to see how she handles this.

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  6. The coyotes have been insane in our area in recent months. I actually saw one hop my 4-1/2 foot fence. I didn't realize they could jump that high. Bizarre as it is, when we were kids, we had a 'pet' opossum named Henry! We kept him in a big cage in our yard...in the city! That CPR/PALS class is crazy but I've attended some that were similarly sketchy. Since it's not your first time I wouldn't worry about it, but sheesh!

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    1. The opossums in my backyard were huge! I could name them too but they give me the shivers.

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  7. I haven't seen a possum here (saw plenty of road kill in TX), and coyotes are still not real common, either -- but we have had a few last year. I actually did see one not too far from our house. Luckily we don't leave the dogs out unattended & Giz has a protective kennel.

    I'm so sorry about your kid's girlfriend, and while the reason you could recognize it sucks, it's a silver lining, sort of, right?

    Wow. I don't even have words for the CPR class.

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    1. It makes me angry that my son's GF was given the shaft all these years and even had surgery. I'm kind of anti-podiatrist these days.

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    2. My husband's dr told him he didn't have gout -- when he did. Despite testing for it & my husband's conviction that that's what it was. And it continued to go untreated for several years. The real kicker? He was on a diuretic for high BP. Turns out that's the worst thing for gout.

      He basically hasn't had a flare since they took him off of the diuretic. Yet my husband still goes to that dr.

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  8. I'm interested by that reaction it Mx--i never experienced that! I didn't drink much, but I've definitely had that equivalent. So weird how different bodies react. Glad you're are doing well enough to go off Mx though!

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    1. Liver toxicity is acually pretty common with MTX, even though they tell you it isn't. I wouldn't say I'm doing well enough to be off MTX, in fact she didn't want to stop it but I didn't want liver failure either. So she increased my Humira to weekly and may add another drug if my inflammation worsens.

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  9. Wow, that training experience sounds really weird! I can't believe she cut a 6 hours class to 2 and a half hours.

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  10. I live in the woods and have all kinds of wildlife. A fox naps in a stick pile in my yard, coyotes are everywhere, rabbits, skunks...I have it all.

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  11. Opossums are ugly. We had one living in our basement for 3 weeks!! I never saw her since she came out only at night.

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    1. Did you try to trap it? I would want it out of my house!!!

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  12. Oh man... I think I might have had a glass of wine too- what a bummer!
    We get all kinds of wildlife too... did you see the video of the giant BEAR in my back yard?

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  13. Umm that CPR class sounds really bizarre and dreadful!Can you report the teacher? It seems like she really didn't teach the class well at all!

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    1. I should, right? Maybe someone should go in and film her undercover. She made us put our cell phones away.

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  14. Down here, I have coyotes and prairie dogs, the coyotes are here probably because of the prairie dogs. My parents have the fun wildlife in the mountains. In the spring, they have moose walking through their neighborhood, and right now they have a pair of foxes. They really want them to have kits this spring. So darn cute!

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    1. They are cute but I don't want to share my backyard with them!

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  15. Oh my gosh, I would be completely unsettled if my instructor taught us that way, too. YIKES. I recert through the American Red Cross. Can't go wrong there.

    I'm sorry to hear about your liver. Take care of yourself, Wendy. WATER!!!

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    1. The PALS class is a little tougher to find than CPR. But I won't ever go back there.

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  16. We have all sorts of critters and animals in our neighborhood. We've had a couple of white tailed deer hanging around our driveway lately in the evenings. Of course squirrels and rabbits everywhere and then there was that nasty little opossum that found its way in our dog food storage container last spring. Yuk! But honestly, the creatures that are always rampant here in the south that I just can't deal with are snakes! Too damn many snakes!!!

    It would literally take a doctor telling me that I will fall over dead in an instant if I have one sip of wine to get me to give up my nightly glass. Maybe I really have a problem .....hmmm.

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    1. I'm glad you get me. I miss my nightly glass of wine. If that is a problem, then yep, my name is Wendy and I'm a one glass of winaholic.

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  17. I am now on methotrexate and am super scared to drink! I am glad that your liver enzymes are decreasing. The plus side is my joint pain/swelling has dramatically reduced in the last month, and it leads me to barely drink (not that I was drinking tons before but I definitely think long and hard about it before I do now).
    If it is working I don't see coming off of it, but man sometimes a woman just needs some wine without worrying!

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    1. You are so right! I don't drink much but I really enjoy a glass or 2 of wine with dinner. I'm a little gun-shy about the medications now. I swear, if the disease doesn't kill us, the medications will.

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  18. Okay, I know times are crazy but I do think the things we did when we were young were a lot crazier and more dangerous because we didn't have cell phones, which were basically a life line! I remember driving around the back roads of Western Pennsylvania when I was 22 years old just aimlessly looking for my friend's grandparent's house. No map, no gps... I had my cell phone but it was the kind you could only call on lol. How did I not get raped and murdered!?

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    1. When I look back to my youth (granted it was the dark ages), it all seemed so innocent. Sure it was the 70s and everyone was smoking pot, but there just wasn't all the technology. Kids now seem so wordly and I don't know if it's a good thing!

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  19. Possums are kinda cute when they are little, but I've seen too many scary ones in my backyard over the years, barring their teeth and hissing at Paco, to be a fan (and thank you for not posting a picture!). We are smelling the skunks as we run in the early morning, and I'm always trying to figure out if the smell is getting stronger as we run or if it's dissipating, because if it's getting stronger, we probably should turn around and run away, LOL!

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    1. I've been smelling the skunks too! I keep thinking that if I can smell them, they've already sprayed and are gone, right?

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    2. From you mouth to, well, the skunk's ears! ;)

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  20. We live in a wetlands, so we see weasels, ducks, geese, rabbits, and squirrels all the time. My favorite are the eagles and herons, which are less common but still frequent. My least favorites are the bears... I've never seen one, but I heard one outside our camping tent once!

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  21. Umm, that CPR class sounds bizarre! Is there any way to give a review on it? Or is she more of an individual instructor? So strange, lol.

    We get some wildlife around here but not too much. Occasionally we can hear coyotes outside.

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    1. It's a private business--I assume she's the owner. But she's not doing the training properly!

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  22. OK that CPR class sounds awful! Can you report the teacher?

    We seem to always have a lot of wildlife happening here - currently the turkeys seem to be everywhere!

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    1. I don't know what would happen to the CPR teacher--she owns the business. I just know I will never go back there again.

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  23. Hey Wendy! I live in GA, so yeah, we have lots of critters. I've been seeing a lot of deer on the side (and sometimes in the middle of) the road lately. That really shakes me up, since I go to the gym @4AM, work @7AM, and my route to both places is mostly back roads. As for dumb things, I am just glad that cell phones/cameras weren't around back when I was in high school and college, aaaannndddd that's all I will say about that ;). I took CPR years ago. Is there a way to report your *instructor*? Her *methods* are inappropriate at least and dangerous at worst. As a teacher, that offends me because actions like that are why some people think all teachers are untrustworthy (and why I must test my students all.the.time. to prove that I am actually teaching. What if one of her students gets in a situation and, God forbid, hurts someone? I cannot wrap my brain around that.... Thanks for sharing coffee with us today!

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    1. I'm sure I'm not the first person to have concerns about this woman! Hopefully she's been reported before.

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  24. Love all of this! At bedtime my oldest never shuts up as we lay in the dark.. but man... I hate to tell him to stop because someday I’ll miss it I just know it!

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    1. That was my oldest when he was younger. It's nice to see him so open and talkative again.

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  25. I'd report that CPR class to the body who administers it (Red Cross or whoever is sponsoring it). It's not like CPR is a race. It requires a level head to get the best possible help to the patient. Possum might be ugly, but they're amazing creatures. They can eat their body weight in ticks and while ticks are major lyme carriers, possum are not. They're great little critters to keep around. And yes, Tide Pods were never a thing. It cracks me up how crazy everyone went that all these kids were eating them. Anyone can tell you that it was all an internet meme that got out of hand and maybe 3 people even attempted to actually eat them. :P

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    1. I can't believe how the news jumped on the Tide pod thing and ran with it. Sheesh.

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  26. My son had to teach me about snapchat and bitmojis, too. I worry about keeping up with him when he gets a little older and can get into more mischief!

    I'm glad you were able to help your son's girlfriend get a diagnosis and that her disease isn't too aggressive.

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    1. I hope she gets the right treatment and her disease goes into remission!

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  27. The only animals I see around here are cats. I would also freak out at the opossums. They look "cute" on Ice Age. :-)

    That's a bummer about your son's girlfriend. But at least now she knows what it is and has someone that is also going through it and can help/answer questions.

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    1. There is nothing cute about possums!

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  28. Oh wow! That is scary about the abdominal pain!! It's good you recognized what was most likely going on right away. I hope you are feeling better now!!

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    1. I feel better but I don't know what's going on inside until I have blood work drawn again.

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  29. If we had a coffee date I would tell you about some of the CRAZY CPR classes I have had over the years! Yours sounds like the one I had a few years ago while teaching at a preschool!
    Glad you were able to help point your son's girlfriend in the right direction. It amazes me sometimes how DRs don't test for certain things unless we push for it.
    Hope you are feeling better and glad you will be taking it alcohol free for a bit.

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    1. I won't lie, I do miss my nightly glass of wine!

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  30. Hmm. I’m guessing she got paid to teach for 6+ hours too. That’s awful, really. Sorry about GF’s dx but at least now she can get treatment.

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    1. I actually think she owns the business. It was just so disheartening. You don't expect nurses to behave like that.

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  31. I work with school nurses so they offer CPR classes at work. I've never had an experience like yours but have you ever seen the Office episode where they have someone come in to teach CPR? As you can imagine it was a pretty ridiculous ordeal. That's terrible about your son's girlfriend! What are the chances? Glad you were able to point her in the right direction.

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    1. Oh gosh, I had forgotten about that episode of The Office! Heading over to look at it as we speak.

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  32. That class definitely sounded like it was shady. :/ I'm recertifying in a couple months and um, fingers crossed that I don't get one of those too! I feel like most of the time, they turn out okay, but every here and there, you wonder how the instructor ended up there as an instructor. ._.

    I've never heard of Juuls pods, but...maybe I don't want to know, haha.

    I'm sorry to hear about your son's gf's diagnosis--but good thing you recognized it and got her to get the care that she needed + that she doesn't have a super aggressive presentation!

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    1. I like that my boys keep me up to date--helps me with my teenage patients too!

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  33. Oh, I love possums! I know they are ugly and creepy looking but they really are so sweet. We have all kinds of critters around here. Right now the nasty snakes are coming out. Boooo. We also have coyotes, wild boar, and sometimes there are rumors of bear.

    I'm sorry your celebratory wine ended up causing you so much pain. That doesn't seem fair at all.

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    1. Wild boar? I didn't know they lived in Florida! I knew about the snakes, tho...

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  34. I renewed my CPR certification back in January. Our school district used to tel us that even if we were CPR certified that we should never touch a student in distress, and now we’re not only encouraged to do us but are required by the state to be CPR certified. It’s so difficult and frustrating to try and keep up with all of the changes to the requirements.

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    1. I agree with having teachers certified in CPR. Just taking the training and recertifying every 2 years gives you the confidence that you can help a person. I think that even if a person isn't CPR certified, they need to do all they can to open the airway and do chest compressions. You don't have to do mouth to mouth, but to just stand there and not try to save the person because you aren't certified just seems wrong! By the way, when my youngest was 18 months old, he was choking on a piece of meat. I automatically flipped him over and did back blows, just like we were taught all those years. I dislodged the meat and saved his life--a fact that I remind him of as needed...

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  35. I have to be current in CPR and First Aid for my job and I'm lucky I've found someone who offers it that does a great job, doesn't cut corners, and doesn't yell at the class. I've used her for the last three times and I hope she doesn't move away or retire!

    We have many wild animals in our back yard. It's always entertaining between the water fowl in the creek and the animals in the yard. Skunks are my least favorite, even though they're cute, they wreck havoc with their constant digging and occasional scenting up the back yard.

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  36. That CPR class definitely sounds sketch and would leave me feeling a bit unsettled as well.

    So sad about your son's girlfriend. She seems so young for RA. Hope that the treatment works well for her. I bet she's very grateful that you referred her to your doctor.

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  37. That class sounds crazy! I'm trying to get one scheduled for our office... I hope our instructor isn't like yours :-) I recently saw a coyote just trotting down the middle of our street, that was bizarre.

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