Parotid Problems Part 2

I’ve had issues with my saliva glands, also known as the parotid glands. In 2013 I had to have the right parotid gland removed because there was a stone in there that was blocking the path for my saliva to enter into my mouth, so the gland was filling up with saliva, which caused it to swell up, which is very painful. Over the years my left parotid gland has gotten bigger, and had occasionally caused issues, but never this bad.

We went to the emergency room yesterday to get some antibiotics, because you can’t just go to the pharmacy for antibiotics. You need a prescription. So they told me to also follow up with my doctor so I can get the referral to a surgeon who will order all the tests so they can determine if I should have surgery and I’ll have to wait for approval from my medical insurance company. This could literally take several months. Several months that I’ll be in so much agony every day when I eat.

Eating is what causes this. So far I’ve discovered sweet and salty foods are causing my problems the most because sweet and salty foods cause you to generate saliva. Also chewing itself causes it to swell up. I googled what I can eat that doesn’t generate saliva and it said breads, fiber and oats. I had some toast and just chewing the toast caused it to swell up. So I had some malt-o-meal, which is not sweet and I don’t have to chew it, just swallow it. We have oatmeal, but it’s maple and brown sugar and I was afraid the sweet flavor works cause problems.

I have a heating pad that I place on my face to bring the swelling down. That worked great yesterday, but it’s not helping that much today. The swelling is so bad that I can’t touch my teeth when I bite down.

Here is a picture from when my right parotid gland was swollen from this same issue.

Here is a picture from after I had the surgery.

So yeah. I’ll go through that again. At least I hope so. I hate the thought of going through this again, but I’m literally going through the pain that led me to having this surgery again. So even though it’s not pleasant to look at, it’s necessary so I don’t have this horrible pain.

And don’t worry. I’ll still have glands under my tongue to produce saliva.

My Elder Scrolls Online addiction vs. EverQuest

I have had this game on my PlayStation 4 for probably 5 or more years, and I played it here and there over the years, but I never really got into it because I didn’t really understand the mechanics of the game.

Last month they introduced the 10 year anniversary of Skyrim and I bought it because I had played Elder Scrolls Online, and I wanted to see what Skyrim was like. It’s basically the same thing, but not an MMO.

The introduction of the 10 year anniversary of Skyrim made me decide that I wanted to at least try to play Elder Scrolls Online again to give it a chance, but my problem was I had too many quests going and I was kind of confused about what I was supposed to do. So I thought, let me go to Coldharbour and finish that quest which ended with me killing Molag Bal. Then it started Cadwell’s Silver, then Cadwell’s Gold which are basically the other factions. But I hadn’t finished my factions quests, so I went on a mission to finish that. It was all so confusing to me, but now I get it.

My necromancer character Ilren.

My website’s name Xanapus comes from a game very similar to Elder Scrolls Online called EverQuest, which I played for about 6 years. ESO is similar to EQ, but also very different. Like we had to download maps for EverQuest, Elder Scrolls Online have their own maps already in the game, and they have markers on the maps that tell you where everything is so you don’t have to guess. They also give you more information like what you have completed on that map, and it has a zone guide.

EverQuest didn’t really have a quest diary or journal like this when I was playing. You literally had to print the quests out and write on the paper to check things off on the quest list to keep track of your progress. I literally have a notebook with hundreds of pages in it lol. Elder Scrolls Online keeps track of everything for you, and even tells you what to do next. And they mark things on your compass which gives you the direction of the person you need to speak to or the item you have to loot or the direction of the place you need to go to.

One thing that I really love about Elder Scrolls online is that I can use a game controller. I wanted to use a game controller so bad with EverQuest, but I could never figure it out with game controllers that I bought for PC way back when. They just never worked for me and were a complete waste of money.

I still have EverQuest installed on my computer and I see that they have a quest Journal now. It’s a bit different from Elder Scrolls Online, but at least they have one. The map is pretty much the same as when I last played the game, but I did notice that they have more continents because they have so many more expansion packs than they used to.

Also the thing that really bothers me about EverQuest is that they disable most of your gear if you’re not paying a monthly fee. Elder Scrolls Online has a monthly fee service that allows you to play all of their expansions, but if you don’t pay for it, they don’t disable your gear. In order to play the expansions, you have to pay for them, which I honestly don’t mind. I’d rather not have a monthly fee. I bought 21000 Crowns which are normally $149.99 for $89.99 during their Christmas sale and I used the crowns to buy some expansions.

Another thing about EverQuest is that you had to buy spells, then memorize them to put them into your spell book, then you had to add the spell gems to the spell gems slots. With Elder Scrolls Online, you just buy your spells with skill points and those spells upgrade the more you add skill points to them.

And I love that I’m getting epic gear for rewards and I can upgrade those epic gear items to legendary with crafting if I had the components. In EverQuest you had to do so many quests and crafting for so many hours, days, even weeks or months to get 1 epic and it was a weapon. In ESO all my gear can be epic or legendary, not just my weapons.

Oh another thing is that the quests are always your level, no matter what level you are. In EverQuest if I went back to do a level 4 quest and I’m level 50, I don’t really get a good reward because the reward is a level 4 reward. Which makes it feel like you’ve wasted so much time. No matter what level I am in ESO, the rewards are always worth it, and if they’re not, then I can deconstruct the item to get the materials for crafting.

I’m not trying to mansplain, I’m just really excited about playing this game and I just wanted to talk about it. I don’t have anyone to talk about it because no one I know plays this game.

Scariest day of my life

Yesterday, October 19th, 2021, was the scariest day of my entire life.

I woke up and went to the bathroom, just like any other day. The only difference is I was having trouble urinating. It was like there was a plug in my urethra preventing the urine from coming out. Except, something was coming out. I stood up and looked in the toilet and there was a long dark, almost black stream going down the inside of the toilet. I turned the light on and I could tell it was blood. I continued urinating standing up and blood just poured out into the toilet.

I went to the living room to tell my life partner that something was seriously wrong. He went into a full on panic because this isn’t something that happens every day. I was in a state of shock, and I was more trying to calm him down rather than worry about the blood in the toilet.

We drove to the doctor’s office to see if they could see us even though today is actually when we have an appointment. They couldn’t see us, so we went home and figured we would just go to our appointment.

I had more urges to urinate, and it was painful. I went to the bathroom and continued urinating blood. Suddenly it started sputtering, and I saw several blood clots, but I continued urinating blood.

We decided to go to the emergency room. They did a CT scan and couldn’t find any reason for why I’m urinating blood. No kidney stones, no infection, no obvious visible reason. The doctor told me that it’s possible I might have bladder cancer, but I would have to go see a urologist so they could run a camera through my urethra to my bladder to look to find the issue.

Last night just before bed I urinated one last time and sudden sputtering again, several blood clots, then regular urine with no pain. This morning I woke up at 5 am to urinate and it was fine. I went back to bed and woke up at around 8:30am and went to the bathroom and everything seems to be back to normal.

This is the scariest thing that has ever happened to me in my life, and I’m 51 years old. I’ve been through a lot of drama and trauma, but this one thing that happened to me yesterday was the worst thing to ever happen.

I don’t drink soda, or alcohol. I drink coffee in the morning and then I drink water the rest of the day. That’s all I drink. So I don’t understand why this happened. Now I can’t even drink coffee because the paperwork from the hospital said no caffeine for awhile.

We go to the doctor today and I’ll show him the pictures of the blood in the toilet on my phone and give him the papers and the CD from the CT scan from the hospital and I’ll have him refer me to a urologist and get that taken care of as soon as possible. That’s not something I want to mess around with. I’ll update this blog when I get new information.

Thank you for reading.

Update October 24, 2021: I woke up this morning, went to the bathroom and it wasn’t painful, but there was blood. I went 4 days with regular normal urine, then it was back, but it was only that one time. I’ve urinated several times since then, but I just wanted to update this to say it happened again this morning. Tomorrow I’m calling the urologist to find out if they got my referral yet and if so, could we make an appointment for as soon as possible. I don’t want to wait too long to fix this issue.

Update November 1st, 2021: I saw the nurse practitioner at the urologist today. He said the CT scan shows I have an enlarged prostate, which the ER doctor apparently didn’t tell me about. I’m now taking Flomax. Not looking forward to those side effects. Anyway, they’ll run the camera to my bladder in december.

Update December 15, 2021: I went to the urologist today and they put the camera into my urethra to my bladder and there wasn’t anything wrong with my bladder. I was able to crane my head so I could look at the TV monitor and he showed me a big lump that was inside my bladder, but he said that that was my prostate pushing on my bladder. Other than that there is really nothing inside my bladder that would give anybody any worry to believe that there is anything wrong with me. As he pulled the camera out, you could see that the urethra was getting smaller because my prostate was pushing on my urethra. So no cancer. No problem.

Style Me Up i-Loom Disabled App

Today is a very sad day for me because I just discovered that the i-Loom app on my Samsung Galaxy tablet has been completely disabled. This is what I see when I open the app now. I can no longer log in to the app and use the more than 40 patterns that I have bought over the last few years.

I had a strange feeling this would happen. When I noticed that they stopped posting on all of their social media accounts, then their website was completely gone, I had a feeling that all of my patterns would eventually just disappear, or they would block me from accessing my account. And that just happened to me.

I know that a year or maybe 2 years ago they discontinued their app on Android, and it was only available on iPad. But I was still able to use the app that had been installed on my tablet, so I didn’t really see it as that big of a deal. I recently asked people on Facebook who had an iPad if they could do me a favor and install the app and see if they could create a new account. One person did install it and she told me she got this notice that you don’t have internet access, which I have gotten when trying to connect to the community and the boutique.

So, even though it is only available on the iPad now, you can no longer create an account, and I have a feeling that whoever still uses the i-Loom on their iPad will no longer be able to sign in as well.

Style Me Up has completely abandoned their brand, their app, their product, which you can still buy online. I would say that they have completely abandoned all of the people who have spend money on their product, only to take it away from them. I would imagine because they weren’t making any money on their products. I tried to do a Google search to find out any news about their company and I can’t find anything. It’s like they just disappeared off the face of the Earth.

This really sucks because I thought this was an excellent product and they had an excellent app that gave you step by step, row by row instructions for making a bracelet. There is nothing else like it anywhere in the app store. The only thing I can find is an app that allows you to create your own patterns. There is also a PC program called FBD which stands for Friendship Bracelet Designer, which I have been using for many years and I had copied all 40+ patterns that I had bought from i-Loom onto FBD, so I didn’t really lose them. I had a foreboding that this would happen and if I didn’t copy all of the patterns to the computer, then I would lose them forever.

So I am sad that they have blocked access from using their app, but I’m glad that I copied all of the patterns to the computer. Always have a backup plan.

Friendship bracelets

I’ve been working on my friendship bracelets for my Etsy shop a lot lately. I made 2 of the neon rainbow arrowheads, 2 of the rainbow arrowheads and 2 of the rainbow weaves. I made a rainbow lightning bracelet and I was about to start making the second rainbow lightning and 2 neon rainbow weaves when my life partner asked for breast cancer awareness.

My life partner asked for a total of 5 breast cancer awareness bracelets for his cousins, then I asked for names and next thing I know, he’s naming 7 people. I’m like omg lol.

So I started working on the 2nd breast cancer awareness bracelet when my hands started to hurt. I took about 2 days off and holy hell, the 3rd day my hands are in absolute agony. I have carpal tunnel syndrome, so I can only make so many of a certain craft before I have to stop to rest.

This may be a teenage girl’s craft, but I really enjoy it, that is until my hands scream for me to stop lol.

I am making these with an i-Loom using patterns I’ve found on the internet. I originally bought the i-Loom from Amazon for $25. Great purchase, but they don’t sell them anymore. The i-Loom uses an app that used to be available in the Google play app store, but it has been discontinued and it’s now only available on the apple app store.

I had used a “My Friendship Bracelet Maker” clipboard before using the i-Loom, but I switched because the myfbm only allowed you to make bracelets with 10 strands. You can make a bracelet with 30 strands with the i-Loom. I mostly make 12 to 20 strand bracelets.

Way back in 1987 when I started making friendship bracelets when I was 17, I had to attach the bracelet to my pants with a safety pin, which would create a rip in the knee of my jeans. I had to sit with my knee up to work on these and it was quite uncomfortable. I’m so glad technology has given us an easier way to make these bracelets.

Unusual credit card activity detected

When I woke up this morning, I checked my email, like I always do, and I saw this. It said it was from Bank of America and the subject was security alert unusual credit card activity detected. Great! What has life thrown at me today?

So I opened up the email and I saw exactly what you see in the image. Do you recognize all of these transactions? Declined transaction for $149.96 and approved transaction for $397.77. Uh… no I do not recognize these.

Of course, I didn’t click on anything because I wasn’t sure if this was a phishing scam. So I opened the Bank of America app on my cell phone and immediately it asked me if those were transactions that I made or if I recognize them or whatever. I went through the whole process to mark it as not my purchase, not my responsibility and they closed my credit card down and are sending me a new one.

I am the cheapest person on the planet. I would not buy myself something for $150 or $400 that’s just going to be consumed into my body and pissed into a toilet. It’s just not going to happen. And if this was a gift basket, you can bet it’s not happening. I am not paying $400 for wine that I don’t even drink. I don’t even like the taste of wine. I don’t care if someone wants wine as a gift, they’re not getting it from me because I can’t afford $400 for wine. Heck, I can’t afford $400 for anything.

I waffle on getting anything new because I know I don’t really need it. I may want something, but as long as I know that I don’t need it, I’m not buying it. And I certainly don’t need to send gifts to people that cost $150 and $400. Never. Going. To. Happen.

Thankfully the first one was declined and also thankfully the second one was still pending which means the merchant never got any money and so the bank didn’t actually lose anything.

As for my credit card. My credit card was paid off. I had a zero balance. I still had some things being charged automatically, like my Dollar Shave Club charged me $15 for a razor cartridge and a toothbrush, my website charged me $12 for hosting and there was one other charge that I can’t even remember what it was, but it is legit. But the total that my card is at now is $35 and I will be paying that off in a couple of weeks when I get paid. So you can imagine that if I’ve paid off all of my debt, I do not want to have to start over with a new debt of $400 for wine and $150 for Gourmet gift baskets. I want a $0 balance. $35, fine or zero preferable. But I am not putting myself in debt again for a gift for someone I don’t even know.

Oh and my credit card is in my wallet all the time and I never take my wallet with me anywhere. I keep my ID and my debit card for my checking account in my cell phone case. I don’t know how my credit card got compromised. The only thing I can think is that one of the companies that charges me for services was hacked and that’s how they got the credit card number and the three digit code on the back. That’s the only thing I can think. Well, now I have a new credit card coming so I have to change everything to charge the new credit card.

I hope this doesn’t happen again.

Style Me Up i-Loom

I bought this i-Loom from Amazon in January 2018. At that time I had a 10 inch Nook hd tablet that fit perfectly in there, but it stopped working and now I use my 7 inch Samsung Galaxy tab a6 Nook. It is a bit tiny, but it still works.

Style Me Up doesn’t seem to offer any help with their app, which by the way has been discontinued for Android. It’s now only available for iOS iPad. The app still works on my tablet though. My issue with the app is there are 6 duplicates of each pattern in the app and because of that, I can’t make any custom patterns.

I would love to see an app that has a simple interface that allows you to create patterns in the app and not just allow you to make bracelets from patterns they create.

I have program on my computer that allows me to do that, and I can save patterns and the image of the pattern and look at it on my tablet, but it doesn’t show me which row I’m on, I have to just remember where I’m at or put a piece of paper on the row I’m on. But it would be nice if that program is an Android app.

I copied their interface and added the pattern like this, but I had to create 48 pictures just to be able to keep better track of where I’m at in the pattern. It would be nice to see an app similar to this that allows you to insert the image of a pattern, and then tap the button to go to the next row.

The Style Me Up i-Loom is an awesome product, and I don’t understand why they have given up on it. They haven’t posted anything on social media since 2016 and their website doesn’t exist anymore. It’s such a brilliant idea, and it would be nice if there were more apps available.

Blaze Keto Pizza

There is this new pizza place here in Bakersfield. Well, I should say new to us, honestly, I have no idea how long they’ve been in business since their website’s about us page doesn’t say. They’ve actually been in Bakersfield for a few years, we just never went there because I’m always on some diet, and pizza is never something I can eat, until now.

A few days ago I was thinking about Keto breads, so I thought to myself, I wonder if there is a keto pizza crust recipe, so I went to Google and the first thing I saw was Blaze Pizza. I went to their nutrition calculator and I chose these options. Keto crust, white cream sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, and olives, and this is what it shows. It’s basically 2g Net Carbs and 130 calories per slice, and they slice it up into 6 slices.

We went to the mall today for shoes and while we were out there, we decided to go to Blaze and have lunch. The pizza is small at 11″, and they said they normally make personal pizza’s for people, but come on, this is too much for me because even though it is low cal and low carb, it’s still 390 calories for 3 slices. I am not putting 780 calories into my stomach for 1 meal. So my life partner and I shared it. Also, it wasn’t cheap. It was $18 and change for 1 pizza and 1 fountain drink. I’m not sure we want to spend $40 for lunch for both of us.

Anyway, it was good and the next time I want pizza, I know where to go.

Smaller Appetite After Surgery

I have always had a huge appetite since I was at least a teenager. At dinner, my mom would always make enough so everyone could have seconds, and I was typically the only one who would actually take seconds. I was so skinny and my mom never understood where that food went because I never gained any weight no matter how much food I ate. I kind of hate my younger self right now lol. I was also active, and when I say active, I mean like gym class, running from the school to escape bullies, then walking home from school. You know, typical teenage angst lol.

So the time of my life I’m referring to was when I was around 13 years old and I was 150lbs. Fast forward to when I was 26 and I was still 150lbs, then I quit smoking and that all changed. Suddenly I was gaining weight because I was discovering how wonderful food was. Before then I was eating to survive on what we could afford. After, I was eating for pleasure, and I wasn’t holding back. I was getting a lot more food than normal and within 2 months of quitting smoking, I had gained 50lbs. So there I was 200lbs with a fat belly all of a sudden and my appetite was out of control, but I was trying not to go over 200lbs.

Over the years I’ve gained weight because of my enormous appetite until I was at my highest last year at 267lbs. I bought a Fitbit Charge 4 watch and a Fitbit Aria scale and I tried working on my weight. When I got the scale I was 265lbs and by January this year I was 254lbs, then the surgeon told me to lose 15-20lbs for my surgery and then I went down to 230lbs. Now after surgery I have gone down to 225lbs.

And now to the subject of this post. I had my surgery where they reduced the size of my colon, which is a nicer way of saying they removed a section of my colon to remove the possibility of colon cancer. But ever since I had my surgery, I haven’t been very hungry. They fed me 6oz of soup and some other things like pudding or jello and some juices and milk. Well, that tiny amount of food and drinks made me feel so full. When I came home from the hospital I was still getting full from such a tiny amount of food. I left the hospital on Thursday and today is Sunday and I’m still getting full from 6oz of soup. I made myself tomato soup, a 3oz glass of sugar free Jell-O and a chocolate pudding cup and I couldn’t even eat the Jell-O or the pudding. It was literally too much food.

This will be to my advantage to help me reduce the size of my stomach. If I eat and I get full fast, then I won’t have the chance to make my stomach too big again, and that will help me lose weight, especially when I go back to eating my Keto food. This will also prevent me from even wanting to go to a buffet because if I’m not hungry for such a huge amount of food, then I won’t be tempted to go, thus I won’t overeat and gain weight again. So I see this as a huge win for me.

How long do you think it will take me to get down to 200lbs if I am 225lbs now? I pretty much lost 22lbs from mid-January to the end of March. So do you think I will be down to 200lbs by June or July maybe? And if I get down to 200lbs by then, I will just keep going and lose all the weight I can possibly lose. I really would like to get back to 150lbs, but I will be happy if I can get down to 160 or 170. When I finally get down to the weight I want to be, I’m going to continue to maintain my weight by eating Keto foods, and if I still lose weight, well then good for me.

PlayStation Store for PS3, PSP and PS Vita are closing forever

Well this is frustrating for me and I’m sure many people. PlayStation has announced they are closing their PlayStation store for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable PSP and PlayStation Vita. That means if you don’t have all the games you’ve bought installed on your system, you better back them up now because I fear as soon as the PS Store is gone, your downloads are gone.

I have completely deleted every paragraph in this post because I went into complete panic mode and assumed without doing any research that if they close the store down on your platform, that you would lose the ability to ever download any of your purchased games. It’s just not the case. Here is a video discussing everything that is happening.

I am so relieved that I was wrong about losing every game I ever bought if I don’t back them up. I am going to buy games and expansions for games I already own that I wanted to buy, but never bought because I didn’t have the money before it’s too late to buy them. When I say expansions, I’m referring to things like Minecraft skins packs and texture packs and whatever other packs I didn’t buy before. Also, Little Big Planet costumes and whatever else is available to add to the game. I am also trying to acquire memory cards. I bought a 64gb memory card for the PS Vita on Amazon and that will take a very long time to get here. I don’t know where it’s coming from.

Well, finding this video was a load off my mind. I already backed everything up, and when I say everything I’m talking 134 PS Vita games, 21 PSP games and 5 PlayStation One games that I bought or got for free from my PlayStation Plus membership on the PS Vita. That is a lot of games. 160 games to be exact. I’ve already bought 1 new game, I’m just waiting for my stimmy to come to make some new purchases. Of course, I won’t go nuts because I don’t know how much I will be able to play those games, I just want to get them before I regret never buying them. What is that? Fear of missing out? Yeah, I have that lol.

Anyway, I signed a petition that is begging Sony to rethink this move. If you want to sign, that would be wonderful, and who knows if that will even make them listen.