Monday, December 3, 2012

Sharon's Sad Post-Thanksgiving Saga

Traditional After-Thanksgiving Hike - West Prong Trail - GSMNP
November 24, 2012

To say that I am in the midst of a full blown tussle with life is putting it mildly, so let's just say from the outset that this will likely become a whine-fest of epic proportions.  My hope is that you will ignore it and move on.  Not the post - please don't ignore it.   Ignore the whining and know that at some point, I'll return to the version of myself which I actually like!!   

I need some help quickly, so will start with this plea.........

1)  If your blog is set up through Blogger, read on.   If not, move on to whiney post subject #2!  When trying to upload today's picture, I received that unexpected message that I had reached the end of my 1 GB picture storage limit and could no longer post pictures to my blog without upgrading to a paid subscription.  This happened once before and somehow (unfortunately, I can't remember how), I was able to get around it.  This time, however, no dice.  The only way I was able to get today's picture uploaded was to compress it which makes the quality horrible.  Many of you who post through Blogger have been blogging longer than I have and post LOTS more pictures than I do.  Do you mind sharing your secret?  Are you paying for the extra storage or is there a way around this?  And let me EASY way around this.  Technology is not my strong suit and I have absolutely ZERO additional time to fool with it.  As important as this blog is to me, maintaining it HAS to be simple.  If it can't be, the pictures will have to go.  Suggestions please......................

Moving on..............

2)  We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.   Bill and I enjoyed a perfect post-Thanksgiving Day hike (of which I'd love to post some pictures if I could) and celebrated the one year anniversary of my beginning the 17 Day Diet.  My weight on Friday morning was exactly 25 pounds less than my weight on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving one year ago.  Unfortunately, the post-Thanksgiving euphoria hit a resounding thud by Saturday evening as the dull headache, scratchy throat and hoarse voice indicated an upcoming problem which I chose to ignore and lived to regret.  I took some over the counter meds, gargled salt water and moved on.  We were having dinner guests Sunday evening whom I always look forward to spending time with, plus I really didn't feel bad and at that point, truly hadn't come to the realization that I was getting sick.  By Monday afternoon, my thought process included calling my doctor and requesting an antibiotic with the idea that we'd nip this in the bud from the beginning.  Tuesday morning, I met Becca for coffee.  Although it seemed the chest congestion was getting worse and the dry, hacking cough more troublesome, I still was not giving in to the fact that I truly was sick.  By Tuesday afternoon, I was on the sofa where I stayed until Saturday.  Can't recall ever having anything quite like this.  Thankfully, never any fever, nor the chills and pain associated with flu.  Just a deep, unrelenting chest cough that has left every muscle in my chest and back prone to spasms from the incessant coughing episodes.  This is something I try every which way to prevent because with a compromised (translate: non-existant) immune system, it is likely this cough will persist throughout December.  Needless to say, it has been a depressing, discouraging week in which I've felt myself getting further and further behind.  I've been unable to attend a couple of events which are important to Bill forcing him to attend alone and I've missed some important choir rehearsals for our Christmas Music performance which is now less than a week away.

The saga continues..................

3)  Since Monday evening, I've have existed on three things as it has been ONLY these three things that have sounded or tasted good to me.  I have eaten oatmeal, cereal and cream of chicken soup.  I've tried throwing some yogurt in, but that just didn't work.  This may sound impossible, but I've managed to eat enough of those three things that I've gained some weight and am above my scream weight.  That's got to turn around although I suppose there's some humor to be found in what crazy person gains holiday weight eating oatmeal and cream of chicken soup.  Unfortunately, food still doesn't sound or taste good, so the oatmeal/soup/cereal diet continues.  

But the tone of this post is about to change.....................

Yes, I am still sick.   Yes, I am discouraged as I've yet to buy the first Christmas gift for my family and I have LOST an entire week.   Yes, our weather all week last week was gorgeous and I was unable to hike a single time.   Granted, I've felt so bad, I didn't care, yet nothing makes me feel better than time out in nature.  Yes, I have settled into a gloomy outlook for the upcoming weeks and that is so not my normal way of looking at things.   I've got to find some fight and turn it around.   

And I will..................

It started Saturday morning with a trial early morning run to Walmart just to see how I did and if there was any stamina at all.   Two traditions of giving that Bill and I celebrate together are buying items needed for the Mission of Hope (gifts for the children of rural Appalachia) community drive and the annual Christmas Brunch (a special "nice" brunch for the homeless and low income families of our community) sponsored by our church.  Believe me, no matter how rotten I've felt this week, it took only about 30 seconds of choosing hats, gloves, scarves, underwear, socks, etc. for folks WHO HAVE NONE OF THOSE THINGS.   For all these days, I have laid on a comfortable sofa in a beautifully decorated den (which I would post pictures of, if I could!!) knowing that at some point each day, Bill would call and say, "do you need anything?"  And that we were able to easily afford the prescription I needed plus anything I wanted that would help me feel better.  Go armed with a list of items for folks who likely have NONE of those things and it'll put things in perspective very quickly.  Yeah, I lost a week and my Christmas shopping may include more gift cards than usual this year because of it, but that's o.k.  I can afford those too!!

And last of all, but certainly not least..................

Please, PLEASE remember my blog friend, Jo, who blogs at A Well-Kept Life.  Jo and I began blogging at approximately the same time and we live in the same state, so there has been a connection from the beginning.   Just a few short weeks ago, her husband was suddenly, almost without warning it seemed, diagnosed with esophageal cancer.   His condition has deteriorated rapidly and their heartbreak is palpable through the written page.  My heart breaks for them.  Hospice has been secured and he has chosen to forego any further treatments.  Please remember them in your prayers.  I cannot begin to imagine what this precious friend of mine must be feeling.

So once again, from me you receive a long and rambling post.  With or without pictures, it's "me" and is pretty much a reflection of why I named this blog, "Gains and Losses:  LIFE Through Sharon's Eyes."  Please do two things for me...................

a)  If you have any insight regarding the picture saga, help me out.   Posting the pictures is important to me and you've always seemed to really like that.  I hate to have to eliminate that aspect of the blog.

b)  I'd rather have some upbeat comments on what your week has been like than sympathy because I've been sick.  For starters, tell me what you and your family do each Christmas to "give back" to your community or those less fortunate.  I know you all - I don't think anyone reading this will say they do nothing.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


  1. Karen@WaistingTimeDecember 3, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. I can empathize with the eating because of my recent issue. I can't tell you how much gelato I ate in one week! And chicken broth. Congrats on your one year milestone.

  2. I hit the wall with the picture issue earlier this year. I debated it and just bought extra storage. It went against my grain, but in a cost/benefit assessment I realized I liked blogging and the amount of money was relatively small. For me, it's been a good investment. Hope you're feeling better and are getting your energy back. I will pop over and visit Jo.

  3. Blogger - a lot of my pictures are on my facebook page, so I just bring the picture up on FB and copy the url, and load the picture that way into blogger. It doesn't seem to count as "yours" so it shouldn't count against you.

    Cream of chicken soup is really high in sodium, so it may just be water weight - and actually whenever I get sick, my weight goes up about 4-5 lbs in JUST water. Its like my body is holding it in reserve, and when I get well it magically disappears (I figure all the junk in your chest has to weigh something...) A good solid cold is a strict 8 lbs of fluid gain, even if I eat NOTHING. So a sick body cannot be counted on for accurate weights.

    I'm so sorry you are sick and I hope you get better soon! *hugs*!

  4. I moved from blogger to my own hosted site because I post so many pictures. It's just easier that way. I have pretty much unlimited storage now. You probably should just bite the bullet and pay for the extra storage with blogger as the easiest solution for you. I like posts with pictures :D

    I know you didn't want sympathy, but I am sorry you are feeling ill and having these other issues.

  5. This is the Mission of Hope I thought you were referring to:

    I know several people who have gone, and my brother and I are still considering going next year too.

    Feel well soon.

  6. Hi there, Sharon. Sorry not to have visited for a while---a busy (but very nice) Thanksgiving season and other things cut into my computer time. I'm sorry to hear you've been sick, but so glad you had such a nice Thanksgiving and were able to hike. We also hiked (along with family members) the day after Thanksgiving. It was lovely.

    One of the things we enjoy doing at Christmas is filling a shoebox with goodies for the local Meals on Wheels organization to take to seniors. Since I am gift-wrapping impaired, covering the shoebox is a bit of an ordeal for me, but filling it is great fun! :-)

  7. Hi Sharon,

    I'm not on blogger, so forgive my comments. 1) Wordpress gives you 3GB of pics for free. 2) I don't really know if this makes a difference, but do you have your camera set to take Large photos (most pixels.) Does that make a difference in how much storage it takes? I set my camera on Medium or Medium Low just because those pics load quicker. 3) Can you delete some of the old pics from your photo library (storage?) Will those pics disappear off the blog if you delete them? I wonder this for myself because I am nearing my max storage.

    So, does the med you take for your RA suppress your immune system?? What a bummer, if that is the case.

    I always love finding a special way to give to the charities I love the most. This year we are having a 'shoe drive' for the kids in Haiti, and I never would have thought of it, but some special ladies from the missions committee suggested that we put the shoes under the Christmas tree on the platform at church as they come in. This will make it fun and special, I think.

  8. Poor Sharon. Poor, poor Sharon.

    Okay, now that we have that out of the way... :) (Seriously, sorry you've been feeling poorly!) ...I can't help with the blogger issue. I gave it up when they wouldn't let me have my own domain name. (Greedy Google!)

    I don't have a "traditional" Christmas thing anymore. I used to be heavily involved in the Angel Tree program, but since I no longer work for the company, I don't have access. My parents' church is *always* up to something good, and I just contribute towards that now.

  9. Aw, so sorry you feel crummy...and I hope today you are feeling better. Yeah I'm with some of the others in that soup is high sodium, and my body also holds extra water when I'm sick. Take care of yourself friend!!

    No insight on the pictures, though if the cost isn't too much I'd probably pay it...but I'm not sure what it is.

    We normally do the Angel Tree for Christmas picking a girl and boy...this year however there was a special blogger out there who had little ones that we wanted to be Santa for, so we did that. And because we had a financial gift from family, we were able to go above that and donate to heifer international (it's so fun buying chickens and sheep and llamas..ha!), KARM, the local food pantry in blount co, and our local church's need list called "The Box". Being blessed with the ability to give extra this year makes my "Joy" level soar. :)

  10. Thanks, Sharon, for the mention. I hope by now you're feeling better. We sometimes just have to give our bodies what they will accept as nourishment when they are in distress.

    We donate food to a local charity and we have a friend who always knows of a needy family at Christmas. I love going shopping for children or adults who are needy. Sometimes it's because of a house fire and they have absolutely nothing.

    Again, thank you for the prayers.

  11. Yep, I hit the Google "photo wall" a couple of weeks ago. I pondered switching to Wordpress, but didn't want to deal with the time it would take to move everything over, so bit the bullet ended up paying the extra $$ for more memory. It's only $2.50/month, so I justified it by reckoning I pay much more for my other hobbies.

    Bright spot for this past week - taking an excellent hike on Friday to the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. Althought the day was cloudy and showery, I had a great time in a beautiful place. Photos and blog post to follow later this week. Something to look foreward to! :)

    Hope you're feeling better soon.

  12. Hi, I'm a total dummy about anything tech, but there are different ways of saving photos, some which take very much less memory. I'm not sure if you are already doing that or not.

    Love love love that you are 25 pounds less than last year!!! I am down about 12 pounds from this time last year.<<which is so much happier than gorging myself on holiday treats.

    :-) Marion

  13. Hi Sharon, So sorry that you have been so sick... I have been lucky and haven't had the 'crud' in a long time.. I do know that even when you don't eat much---being sick plays havoc with one's weight... Just concentrate on getting well--and then you can get your weight under control.. Bless your heart.

    I will pray for your friend, Jo... I know that life is hard for her now. So sad...

    About Blogger, you do have some options:
    ----1. Just pay for more storage since it's not that expensive (that is what I will do when it happens to me).... By the way, I publish about 8-12 photos every post, have done almost 900 posts since 2009, and have never had to pay extra... Maybe it's the way I upload/download pictures... I do reduce my pixels but still allow them to enlarge to 10 x 16.....SO--I don't know how others run out of space and I don't...????????

    ----2. Switch to Wordpress (3 gigs free there);

    ----3. Start a new blog on Blogger (back to 1 gig)

    Hope you can come up with a solution that works for you...

    Get well, my friend.


  15. Ah hope you feel better very soon!
    I've never paid for more gigs or pics ... I've had 3 blogs for years (more than 10 yrs.) - on one blog I post a lot of larger pictures, and the others are usually smaller pics but many pics. All on Blogger. Hmmm.
    Hope you figure it out!

  16. Like Buttercup and Linda I decided that blogging was a hobby that brought me a lot of enjoyment and the extra cost for the storage was well worth it. Isn't it funny how we sometimes deny ourselves simple pleasures worrying about money? Luckily it's a small investment for the return of all the joy sharing your photos with others can bring! Feel better soon.

  17. I went ahead and purchased the extra storage. It's not expensive and I think it is well worth the investment. Thanks for dropping by my blog this morning. I woke up at 3am and GOT up at 4, so breakfast is going and dinner is in the crock pot (see, I think about food all the time, too). Now, I have a few extra minutes to drop by your beautiful blog to say 'hello'! Sorry you've been so sick.

    Praying for Jo and her husband.