Friday, August 27, 2010


10: 30 pm: I drop one teeny, tiny 5mg tab of Imovane into my palm. Place it on a cutting board and saw it roughly in half with a steak knife.

10:31 pm: Down the hatch it goes. OK, I was warned that there would be a "metallic aftertaste", but this feels like the whole interior of my mouth is coated in some kind of deadly, chemical, industrial waste. I fight my gag reflex and wait for the taste to die away.

10:32 pm: I am heading for my bed to lie down when the first jolt hits me. My heart pinwheels. I don't feel so good. Don't panic, just lie down and relax.

10:35 pm: I'm feeling increasingly nervous and giddy. The foul taste in my mouth has not dissipated one iota. I lie in the dark and wait to start feeling sleepy.

10:36 pm - 11:05 pm: I do not start feeling sleepy. My heart pounds and races. Adrenaline floods my body in waves 2 to 3 minutes apart. I sweat. I think to myself "I'm having a bad trip" and giggle maniacally. The giggling amps up my anxiety so I shut that down and concentrate on breathing. Slow, shallow breaths so as not to hyperventilate.

11:06 pm: I realize that this "sleep aid" is not going to suddenly change tactics and allow me to drop off. Gingerly I get out of bed and go back to the living room where Ken is still up listening to podcasts. Fortunately my motor skills are not impaired.

11:07 pm - 12:3? am: I lie on the couch breathing through the horrible, miserable waves of anxiety. Thank God Ken is there to hang out with me, but he'll have to go to bed eventually. Am I going to be doing this all night?

12:3? am - I doze off on the couch.

1:00-ish am - The worst of it has passed. I get into my own bed and sleep the rest of the night. My mouth still tastes like a toxic waste dump, but it's fading a little.

How bad was the anxiety? If a panic attack is 10/10, this little half-tablet swooped me up to a solid 8 for a full 2 hours.

Sleep aid FAIL. Never again. The rest of the Imovane is going back to the pharmacy a.s.a.p. to be trashed. Oh well. I guess it was worth a try.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Post-Appointment Update

The good news: I'm not anemic!

The bad news: I'm not anemic! i.e. We still don't know why I'm so damn tired.

The doctor sayeth: my iron is low but my hemoglobin levels are fine. Anemia is a condition of low hemoglobin, therefore it does not apply to me.

So what now? Now he thinks that maybe I'm having a poor quality of sleep due to stress, which is why I'm constantly exhausted. Therefore I have in my possession an exciting prescription for drugs! To make me sleep like the dead! Par-tay!

Actually it's the lowest dose of the weakest sleep aid on the market*. Imovane. Half a tablet per night to start. Sometimes, he said, the body just needs its sleep habits reset, so after a couple of weeks I might be fine and not even need a sleep aid anymore. Assuming that's actually the root of the problem.

We'll see. In the meantime, drugs! I'm gettin' my downers on tonight, people! Woooo!

Edit: *Or so claimed my doctor. Wikipedia, I have just discovered, has another opinion on the matter. Serious withdrawal effects can occur if it's taken for more than 7-10 days in a row. These withdrawal effects can persist for up to two years. Gah. I will be proceeding with extreme caution. Maybe take it every other night, and not for long. Drugs are scary.

Shuffling Along

Probably the most exciting thing that I've done this week is take a chance on a new kind of cookie. They're maple syrup flavoured creme-filled sandwich cookies. I haven't opened the bag yet. It's one of those things that could go either way: really good or really gross. If they sound good to you, TOUGH LUCK! They're only available in Canada. Since most of you aren't Canadian, you'll have to drool in helpless jealousy of me and my potentially delicious cookies.

I have been watching the movie Rent from a DVD, in installments. I can't handle more than around 45 minutes of sincere rock opera at a time. It's fun, but it's just, it's intense. Two and a half hours run-time. My attention span for we-sing-almost-every-line-of-dialogue theatre-with-a-conscience is limited.

Nothing much else is going on, because I'm still too fricking tired. I've run myself down working 8-hour days this week (Monday through Wednesday). Even getting driven to work and back again every day doesn't help enough. I'm dragging my feet like they're made of lead. CURSES! It's frustrating. Next doctor appointment: two hours from now. Goal: get a referral to a hematologist. This chronic fatigue thing is not working out for me!

Yes, I will be leaving early today and working a short day tomorrow. Yes, I know I shouldn't be pushing myself. But to a certain extent I have to experiment with my limits to see whether I've improved or not. I'm not being a martyr to work; I'm just being a little too optimistic with regards to my stamina experiments.

At least work is back on track. A few people in my department went and lost their minds while I was away. I had to come back and clean up a huge political mess that came up because some folks can't handle themselves or get along with others without my direct supervision. I was disappointed, but not surprised. At least it's been well-established now, in the minds of my bosses, that I'm indispensible. Just in case they weren't already convinced. That's always a good thing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Babyland Revisited

11 adults vs. 5 children. The kids won hands down. Us adults didn't stand a chance.

Not that we were technically competing. There wasn't any particular game or challenge at stake. The kids simply took over every resource available: attention, space, and sound being the main ones. I had forgotten how it becomes impossible to carry on any kind of coherent conversation around children.


Aside from feeling extremely overstimulated by all the shrieking, banging, and having my nose grabbed repeatedly by a curious 8-month-old (No, it does not come off my face. Nope, not now either. And still, not coming off.) it was an enjoyable evening. This was the first time I'd seen most of my church friends since last year; since I stopped attending church. I thought it might be a little awkward, but it wasn't really. There wasn't any more social tension than there ever had been when we were all in the church band together.

The party was hosted by a couple who have not yet jumped on the baby bandwagon. (I'm sure it's only a matter of time.) The wife, C, is a foodie, so of course there was an enormous quantity of yummy things to eat. There was pulled pork which had been roasting for two days. I went back for seconds. She had also prepared a beautiful fruit punch, served from a large bowl with a ladle, blueberries and raspberries floating on top.

The fruit punch proved to be very popular until an unfortunate incident in which someone (Hi, Ken!) dropped a serving-spoonful of pulled pork into the punchbowl.

C also made special treats just for the kids. She kept several pieces of chicken aside on the grill, completely unseasoned, because she knows that most kids don't like fancy herbs and spices. Do you think that any of those kids would even try a single bite of that chicken? Of course not. In fact, the only thing any of them seemed to want to eat was bread. Nothing else would pass their lips. Spiral pasta with a light olive oil dressing on it? Nope. Cucumber slices? Nuh-uh.

When dessert time came around the kids were willing to eat the watermelon, strawberries, cherries, and chocolate cake. They all turned their noses up at the home-made strawberry mousse ice cream that C had spent two days preparing. Little did they know that the "cake" they were wolfing down so enthusiastically was actually a chocolate zucchini bread. Zucchini! Ha! Take that, you finicky whiners!

Don't get me wrong. They're all great kids. Smart, and fairly well-behaved considering the oldest of the bunch is only 5. Predictably, I was smitten with the baby and took any opportunity to scoop her up and bounce her on my knee.

That didn't stop the remaining adults from breathing a huge sigh of relief once the last kid left. A rich silence settled over the room. Then of course we had to make fun of one couple who is expecting their first child a week from today. Enjoy the peace for one more week! we told them.

They're good people. I wish them all the best.

Monday, August 16, 2010

She's Back!

Back at work, that is. Not 100% better yet, but good enough to drift around here in slow motion and get a few useful things done.

I won't bore you with any more detailed descriptions of my ailment, but I do have to make a correction. I was wrong about the normal range on my blood test. According to my doctor's office, normal iron is anywhere between 30 and 80 units, so my measurement of 15 units is officially "not that bad". Whatever that means.

Anyhoo, mainly right now I'm feeling really grateful to be back at work. Sitting around at home for days on end was starting to drive me bonkers. I was even starting to hate the sight of my bed, after spending so many hours lying in it. That's never happened before. I knew I must be truly going insane when I started hating my bed.

I'm also thrilled to be eating a hot lunch from our building's high-class cafeteria. I had gotten into a rut of nuking a Zoglo's soy-broccoli patty and throwing a sandwich together with hummus on a whole-wheat bagel. It was the least labour-intensive healthy lunch I could come up with. Not bad either, except that after around 10 days in a row the novelty wore off. What I'm eating for lunch today doesn't matter; what matters is that's it's not another freaking Zoglo's patty!

So tell me, what's the longest illness that any of you have ever had to suffer through? Did you ever end up hating your bed?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Still Here

Every night I go to sleep believing that Tomorrow Morning I will wake up feeling like myself again, ready to get back on track. So far, I ain't seeing what I been believing.

After ten hours or more of sleep, I barely manage to drag myself out of bed. First priority is breakfast: a shot of iron syrup with an orange juice chaser. I have enough energy to do an abridged yoga routine and wash up. But after breakfast I have to have a rest because you know, eating oatmeal is so effing exhausting.

Then I get online and go through my work e-mails which takes up to an hour. That'll be all the work I do for the day. That and calculating how many paid days off I have left. (Not many. Fortunately I've always been the type to save for a rainy day. Looks like that rainy day may finally be here.)

Preparing and eating lunch is ever more tiring than breakfast. Well, of course it is - it's a bigger meal. All those buttons to push on the microwave. So much fork lifting and chewing. Yes, I am eating healthy foods, trust me. But not so magically healthy that they can give energy. After lunch is serious siesta time.

Around 4pm in the afternoon I finally start to feel refreshed, like maybe I could accomplish something other than just eating and breathing. I go for a short walk outside, just to clear my head. I feel more like myself than I have all day. This is when I start believing that I am on the mend, that this "burst of energy" is a sign, and that Tomorrow I'll be able to gather all my resources and start living normally again. You already know how that ends.

That's been my schedule for the past two weeks. At least I'm getting a lot of reading done.

On Tuesday, for a change of pace, I went and lay around on my mom's couch. At first I wasn't so sure that going there had been a good idea. Ken gave me a lift, but the timing interrupted my afternoon siesta. Consequently, I was a cranky baby. My mom's couch is not nearly as comfortable as mine, and for some reason I was having flashbacks to every unhappy memory that had ever been created in that house. (No shortage of those, let me tell you.)

Later on my step-dad showed up to join us for dinner, and the visit took a turn for the better. With the three of us around the table in our traditional seats, it felt like the Bad Old Days again, except that things were very good. We were a happier family together on Tuesday than we ever were when the three of us all lived there together. It was pretty sweet.

I realized that I have been holding back on feeling happy about my parents' reunion because I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know for a fact that this honeymoon period has to end and that inevitably my mother will feel the need to resume complaining about my step-dad. Part of my self-comforting strategy when it came to their almost-divorce was remembering that at least, when it was all over, my mom would no longer be spending any time with my step-dad and at least that would mean that she wouldn't be able to complain about him much anymore. Now there's no longer an end in sight.

I've decided that I'm going to have to set a boundary with her. No more complaining to me about her marriage. I lived through the worst of it as a kid. I continued to hear complaints throughout my adulthood. And of course things only intensified during the 2.5 years of their separation. Now I'm done. I'm going to claim the right that I should have had as a child: to be protected by my parents from having to worry about their relationship. I'm going to tell her, with love, that if she feels the urge to complain about my step-dad, she should do so to her friends, her sisters, or a therapist. But I'm done being stuck in the middle of their conflicts. Despite being 37 years old, I'm still the child in this dynamic, and being stuck in the middle of their conflicts is too painful for me.

If she had protected me throughout my childhood, and these conversations were a sign of a more mature, intimate relationship, that might be OK. But it's not like that. It's just more of the same of something I'm so over. So I'll have to talk with her. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I called my doctor's office this morning, as promised. The phone was answered by an automated message: "Doctor So-and-so [my doctor] and Dr. Thus-and-thus [his partner] are away on vacation until August 23rd." *sigh*

I believe there is still one doctor working over those two weeks, and the office is open, but there is only one receptionist on duty and I'm guessing the remaining doctor is going to be all booked up with emergency cases from the two absentee docs. Just in case there might be an opening I sent in an e-mail pleading my case, but it looks like it's going to be August 26th (an appointment that was already on the books last week) before I have a chance to get further medical attention.

I can hear you all now, clamouring that I should just go to a different doctor's office. Well, another part of the Great Canadian Medical System is the invention of the Family Health Group, or FHG. There are also FHN's, FHO's, and FH something elses, but honestly I'm not sure what they're all about. All I know is that if your doctor is a part of one of these groups, you have to sign an agreement that you will only see them or another doctor from their group if they're away. If you go against that agreement and it's not an emergency, they have the right to kick you out of their practice. The government supports this by financially penalizing the primary doctor if the patient goes to see a doctor outside the group. So let's say I were to go see a friend's g.p., that doctor would bill $30 for my visit to the Ministry of Health, and the MOH would then deduct $X from my regular doctor's billings for that month. Or something like that. Anyway, it's bad, and doctors don't like it when you cheat on the agreement.

I'm sure there's some point to it all, say preventing hypochondriacs from visiting every doctor in the city sequentially for the same problem and running up a huge bill for the public health system. I think it's also supposed to ensure that patients always have access to a familiar doctor as one doctor in the group is always supposed to be on call for emergencies. Frankly I have been lucky and healthy enough not to care about what it all means until today. There's not much information available online. I'm going to have to do some asking around when I get better to find out more.

How about some good news for a change? OK, so I had a pretty good weekend. On Saturday I went for a shuffle around a mall with Ken and bought a new pair of pyjamas so that I can convalesce in style. On Sunday I got my hair cut. Ken had somewhere else to be, so I figured I'd take the TTC and meet him at the hair salon. Judging by my performance at the mall on Saturday, I thought was capable of shuffling to the closest subway stop, and the rest was just sitting. Sit on the train. Sit on the streetcar. Sit in the stylist's chair. So maybe I overestimated my resources a little. I made it to my appointment on time, but I was a little worried that I might pass out by the time I got there. It took me a while to catch my breath. Oops. Anyway, I got a good haircut, so at least I don't feel scruffy anymore.

After the haircut, Ken drove us both to our friends' house, where I had nothing more challenging to do than sit on the sofa and enjoy myself for a few hours. I had already decided that I would be taking the week off work, so I decided to stay out late and tire myself out for the sake of a good time. Right now staying happy is of paramount importance, and I'm glad to say that psychologically I'm feeling pretty darn good, all things considered.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tough Love

Okay okay! You guys have a point. Thanks everyone, especially Jameil the firestarter, for that tsunami of tough love. You're right. I should be demanding more of my doctor, and I will. I promise you all that on Monday I will make another appointment and prepare a list of questions. What's the plan to treat my anemia? What's the plan to find out what's causing it? Whatever happened to that referral to a hematologist that my doctor mentioned last year and never followed up on?

I never took it that seriously because it didn't affect me all that much before. Also, previously I only saw my blood iron levels creeping slowly but steadily up as I took my iron supplement. They've never dropped back down again like this. It's definitely something to be looked into. I appreciate the push from all y'all because it's too easy, especially when one is feeling like crap, to not deal with it and to avoid the prospect of uncomfortable medical tests. But that's a foolish and shortsighted approach.

For the record, my doctor is actually pretty good for a Canadian general practitioner. If I go in with a list of questions prepared, he will take the time to answer them. He does listen to what I say, which is more than can be said for the average g.p. here. Keep in mind that the Canadian health care system only pays doctors $30.00 per patient for a consultation. Out of that fee, the doctor has to pay his or her own office expenses (rent, receptionist salary, office supplies, medical supplies like syringes and gauze, etc.), and income tax (which in Ontario is around 35% to 50% of one's gross income for the upper middle class tax brackets), before he or she can even begin to consider take-home pay. No wonder doctors cram in as many patients per hour as possible, especially the younger ones who often have tens of thousands of dollars of debt for medical school tuition to pay off. It's not right, but that's the system. So you really have to speak out and stand up for yourself to get a g.p. to give you more time. My doctor is good because he'll give me more time if I ask for it. That's more than can be said for many doctors, who mostly just want to push a prescription at you within the first three minutes and that's all you'll get.

Specialists get paid more, so a referral to a specialist is always the best thing if you want some real quality time and attention.

The fault is partly mine because I haven't pushed hard for more tests. I seem to get the kind of medical problems that don't respond to traditional Western medicine. For example, until I was in my early 20's I suffered from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It had a huge impact on my life. But the doctors just shrugged and said "you'll have to live with it". In the end I got help from a naturopath and health food store books and supplements. I learned what I can eat and what I can't, and cured my own IBS. It hasn't been a problem in years.

Then there are these vague episodes of fever and weakness, sometimes combined with joint pain. I've been suffering from them on and off for ten years; have already had every relevant test on the blood test form; even saw a rheumatologist; and no one can find a thing wrong with me. Basically it's a reaction to over-stress, and the cure is rest. That's as much as any doctor can tell me. This time no diagnosis, but the advice is the same: live with it. So I carry on seeing my naturopath and trying to practice the best possible self-care given the variety of life's many demands on my energy.

Who knows? Maybe this time I'll follow the anemia thread and it will provide some answers. It's worth a shot. But as for the other stuff? I live with it. It costs me a few weeks out of every year, but it could be worse.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Test Results

On Thursday, Ken, God bless him, drove me to my doctor. I had rehearsed what I was going to say in my head. I rehearse because my doctor, while very friendly, is always in a hurry. I try to figure out a way of telling him all my symptoms in as few words as possible before he dashes off to his next patient.

This time I was going to say: "I've been feeling progressively more tired for a month. I tried to push through it, but I can't even function at work anymore."

I made it to the doctor's office a few minutes late due to a nasty traffic jam. We would have been even later, but Ken knew a side-street shortcut. We drove the last mile catching air off speed bumps and doing the "rolling stop" through stop signs on a quiet residential street. When I finally got there I had only just selected a chair in the waiting room when I was called in to see the doctor.

"How are you doing?" he asked me.

"I've been feeling progressively more tired for a month," I said. As I drew breath to go on he said:

"Let me guess. You tried to push through it, but you just can't function anymore."

I was impressed. I guess he's seen this before. Glancing at my file, he seemed sure that it was my anemia. I'm not sure if I buy that. I've been technically anemic for a few years now, but I was never conscious of it affecting my energy. One's body adapts to a lower level of oxygenation over time.

"Well," he said, "let's see. What could be causing your fatigue?" He pulled out a blood test requisition form and started checking off almost every box on it. Curious though I am to know what's ailing me, I had to stop him.

"I've got to tell you," I said, "that the last time I had more than two vials of blood taken I felt fine going into the lab. But after they took my blood I got the shakes, and then I ran a fever for the next three days."

"In that case," said my doctor, taking a fresh lab req,"let's start with checking your iron, and then we'll move on to other tests only if it's necessary." He checked off two boxes on the paper and handed it to me. Two vials. That seemed reasonable.

When the lab was done with me, Ken and I stopped at a diner for some lunch. I kept trying to slide as far down in the booth as possible, so that I could rest my head on the back of the seat. So tired. I drifted off into a zone of no-thought. Then I caught myself trying to lie down on the seat. I stopped myself. People are going to think I'm stoned, I thought. I felt stoned. I picked at my lunch. Then Ken held my elbow as I shuffled to the car.

I called in for my test results the following day. The normal range for blood iron levels is 60 to 160 micrograms per decilitre of blood. My level is currently 15. That seems super-low. On the other hand, the first time the doctor ever tested my iron levels they were at 12, and I felt fine. Like I said, the body adapts.

So there are two possibilities. My iron levels had gone up with supplementation into the 20's last year. Maybe my body lost its ability to cope with less than that, and since the levels went back down, it's all useless and weak from lack of oxygen. The other possibility is that something else is wrong. My doctor said to take my iron supplement and come back in a month if I don't feel better. A month! I'd better feel better in a month. I can probably get paid for up to three weeks off work, if I pool all my sick days and vacation days for the rest of the year, but that's it. I could afford to take some unpaid leave too, but honestly I don't want to be away from work for that long.

I could go back to the doctor and request that he do the additional blood tests, but considering my anemia and my body's tendency to over-react to having blood drawn, that might just make my situation worse. The last time I had the bad reaction to a blood test was when I did two sets of blood tests only a couple of weeks apart. It was too much for my body to handle. So I should probably wait at least three weeks to recover from this round, and take my iron syrup, before I go back to get bled out some more. Gah.

The other consideration is that I've had multiple episodes of illness and extended fatigue in my lifetime, and all the tests available never yielded any answers. 19 times out of 20, my well-meaning doctors have had absolutely nothing to offer me by way of diagnosis or cure. In the end, there's nothing to be done but to wait it out. Eventually I always get better on my own. At least so far. Yet another reason not to be keen to get an entire pageful of tests.

I've never taken more than one week off work since I started working full-time when I was 23. Until now. I guess the "silver lining" is that my brain is as sedated as my body, so I don't even have the energy to feel bored. This week of doing absolutely nothing has flown by. I'm trying not to stress about my situation. If I have to be off work for an extended period of time, I may as well try to enjoy it. Relax, catch up on my reading, go for a shuffle outside when the weather is nice. I'll pretend I'm retired. Dang, my 94-year-old grandmother is more energetic than me right now.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Yes, there will be beautiful, inspiring butterfly photos, but first there will be some whining. So bear with me, because I've been saving it up for a while.

I've been feeling progressively more crappy for almost four weeks now. Just, tired. Then tireder. Then too tired to function. It started with the walking. I'm a big walker. I don't have a driver's license, but that's fine by me, because I love to walk, almost anywhere, in almost any weather. My commute to work is like this: 15 minutes of walking, 10 minutes on the bus, 15 more minutes of walking. My second walk of the morning is the best part. It takes me by the side of a huge, beautiful park, filled with trees, wildflowers, and songbirds. I look forward to that walk.

Three weeks ago I found that I was just too tired for it. I could make it to the bus stop, and then after my usual bus ride I had to wait at the corner for The Infrequent Bus to take me the last three stops to my office. It killed me to get on that stinky bus and get driven past my beautiful park. I fought it, I did. But I was too tired.

I had trouble at work. Mornings were the worst. I tried to hide it when other people were watching, but I was shuffling around the office. Couldn't lift my heavy feet off the floor. And cranky? Man, I was cranky. There were a lot of times when I felt the need to go back to people and apologize. But there was so much to be done. I took a Friday off to try to recoup; stayed at home that weekend for three days, just resting. Otherwise, I pushed through. I'm willful, if not wise.

The week that my assistant was away, I felt I absolutely had to go in. I had a lot of help from loyal colleagues to do my own job and hers. I pulled some very intense long days and got even crabbier. I started to dislike myself for being such a grump.

I woke up in the mornings feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath

Finally, this weekend, I cracked. I couldn’t push through it any more. I crashed. And since then I’ve been almost too tired to move. I’m so done in that I’m actually going to see my doctor tomorrow, which is unusual. I’m not one to run to him for ever little thing. But I’ve been resting for a few days, and I’m still so tired that it actually feels like a significant effort just to put together a blog post. I’d rather just lie around and stare at the TV, or even the ceiling. But then, like I said, I’m willful.

The last normal thing I did, in a well-meaning attempt to Think Positive and energize myself through exposure to beauty, was go with Ken to visit a butterfly conservatory. I’m not sorry that I went, even though the drive was long and the adventure exhausted me further.

The photos can't describe how fantastic it was to walk into the 5,000 square foot greenhouse filled with dozens of big, tropical butterflies. They were everywhere, flying within inches of my nose, decorating every surface. The sensation of being surrounded by a constant flurry of colour and life was transporting.

Ken flinched when they came too near to his head. I wasn’t worried. I figured they’re programmed to fly accurately. If they miss us by such a close margin that we feel the whoosh of their wings, that’s just a sign of their fearlessness. At least that’s what I thought until a big one, each wing the size of my palm, flew thwap into my face. Then suddenly I was all AAAAAAHMAHGAHD! GIANTBUGGETITOFFME! Outwardly I just yelped, but after that I started dodging when they got too close.

Another time I was pointing out a new type of butterfly to Ken, when another butterfly spontaneously landed on my pointing finger. It was so unexpected that I reflexively shook it off, and then immediately regretted my reaction as it flew away.

This is a Blue Morpho eating lunch. Why is it called a Blue Morpho?

Because the tops of its wings are blue.

An Emerald Swallowtail:

This one is either a Rice Paper Butterfly or a Wood Nymph, I'm not 100% sure which:

This is the nursery, where freshly hatched butterflies dry their wings among chrysalises that are still waiting for their turn.

I'm not sure what these are, but dang, they're pretty.

Here's a shot of the interior of the conservatory. Ooh, a waterfall!

There were also birds, turtles, big goldfish in the pond, giant African snails, and at least another dozen types of butterflies. I have around 60 photos that were worth keeping. These are all you're getting because it's taking Blogger around 5 minutes per photo to upload right now. :-pppp

Enjoy! And I'm going to go back to lying around. Here's the bright side to being a little feverish: when our AC can't keep up with the afternoon sun and the temperature creeps up to 80 degrees, I feel cool as a cucumber. Anything under 78 and I'm reaching for my fleece blanket. If it wasn't for Mr. Sweaty here (sorry Ken) I'd turn the AC off completely. But I guess the healthy person gets to set the standard for a healthy environment. Especially when he's taking care of me.