Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Finally, A Bill I Want to Open

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Who wouldn't want to see a bill like this one every month?  I wish I could say that the massive credit was due to the solar panels, but it isn't.  We held our own there and only used 4 kW the entire month of March.  The credit is from the energy audit changes that we made late last year (new windows, more insulation in the attic,etc.).  For all that work, the utility companies paid for the $400 energy audit and gave us almost $450 toward the work that we did. 
Of course, that only pays for 1/4 of the new gas tankless hot water heater that we put in. But, heck, anything helps!
4 more days until back surgery.  The oral steroids are working their magic, but I am down to one every 12 hours and they run out on Tuesday night.  So that leaves me with a day and a half of no protection.  I may try to "cheat" the remaining pills out just a bit each time to try to cover more of Wednesday.  Thursday is coming...slowly but surely. 

An Update on Me

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wow, it's been 17 days since I last posted.   A lot has been going on and not all of it is good, unfortunately.  This back pain I've been dealing with since last May has gotten the better of me.  After several months of chiropractic treatment (don't do it!), physical therapy and two epidural shots into my back, I am now facing surgery on April 30th. My first epidural wore off just shy of the 2 month mark and the second one actually made my pain worse.  Where I was just  feeling sciatic pain all the way down my left leg, now I feel it on both sides.  Actually, right after, it felt like a mule kicked me right in the butt.  Good thing that's subsided.
The thing is, it's difficult to get comfortable and has been for quite some time.  Definitely no standing because the "buzz" in my leg quickly turns into pain around the 20 second mark.  If I stand long enough, I can no longer feel my leg.  It's as if it's fallen asleep.  What little benefit I got from the second epidural is now wearing off and sitting is becoming more painful as well.  My life now consists of trying to get through each day of work and then collapsing in a painful heap on the sofa.  Except for bed, it's the only place I am not in a lot of pain.
The orthopedic doc gave my Hydrocodone, which doesn't do diddly for the pain.  I've found good ol' ibuprofen takes the edge off but then I worry about what it does to my stomach.  I don't want to trade this back pain for an ulcer. 
The neurosurgeon, who specializes in minimally invasive surgery, was concerned that my pain was "on the wrong side" because my herniation is on the right but my pain is on the left.  I guess I'm one of the 3-4% that are weird like that.  He ordered another MRI which we did on the 11th.  I didn't see the pictures, but he said it shows that the disc herniation has gotten significantly worse since the first MRI in December.  Yea!  I'm not surprised...it's evident from the pain levels.
So, for now, I am counting days until the 30th.  I just have to make it through 10 more days counting today.  The surgery is minimally invasive and is over 98% successful.  The surgeon will make a 1-inch incision in my back, insert a series of tubes down to my spine by pushing my back muscles out of the way.  Then they will remove a small piece of bone over the herniation and remove the herniated piece of disc.  Just an overnight stay to make sure I come out of anesthesia, am eating OK, walking OK, etc. is needed.
I'm so sorry I've been absent and only posting sporadically over the last year, but now you know the whole story.  I have watched life pass me by for almost a year and can't wait to get back in the game.  And, if you don't mind me asking, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I go through this.  I haven't had surgery since having my tonsils out when I was 6, so I am scared to death.

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