Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday Tales, Where Does Love Bloom?

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to the teasing word, bloom. From Steal My Heart, a new WIP for a new series.

The girls placed new tablecloths on a few tables in the tasting room. Rich color accentuated the wood plank walls. Their business already looked like something from a wine cellar. Expanding upon the current theme should be simple enough. However the girls had plenty to talk with Brent about regarding his suggestions and what could be done in their planned renovations. With the closed sign displayed for a few hours, the girls focused on the questions they had for Brent, prepped a few of their favorite food items, and set a few bottles of wine out for him to choose from. Nixie suddenly stopped, giving Carolyn a befuddled look. “Do grapes actually bloom?”

A knock sounded on their front door, interrupting her reply. “Look, you really are nervous, you can’t even remember about our prime ingredient. That’s your queue. Why don’t you go let our guest in?”

“Seriously, I thought maybe you could open the door and give me time to look all casual sitting at the table.”

“No, you need to be the one to let him in. It shows him how happy you are to see him, how excited you are.”

“I didn’t think I should seem so eager. Isn’t that a common downfall of dating?”

Giving Nixie a gentle push, Carolyn retreated to one of the tables. “Playing hard to get is overrated. Stop looking all the dating advice, and do what you want to do. I don’t think Brent is too hung up on the latest dating trends.”

Nixie ran her hand through her blonde hair. Smoothing the front of her dress, she took a deep breath then let it out slowly. Walking toward the door, she corrected her slouching posture, and appeared confident, though her insides were jumping around frantically. Placing her hand on the doorknob, she licked her lips, and instantly thought of Brent’s mouth, and wondered how he might kiss. “Dear Lord, I’ve got to get out more.”

Opening the door, her mind went back to the couple of times she’d seen him. The first time wearing his work clothes, he’d looked rugged and strong. Yet, the next time at the zoo, he was casual, yet well-dressed. He definitely knew how to outfit himself. Unsure what to expect, Nixie’s eyes widened when she saw him there in pressed slacks and a polo shirt unbuttoned enough to reveal a peek at his tanned chest. Reaching out a hand to shake, Brent quickly changed his mind and pulled her in to a full hug. “You look beautiful. I don’t know what smells better your hair, or whatever you two have cooking up back there.”

“Oh, it’s probably the cinnamon rolls.” Unsure what to say, within the first minute of his appearance, Nixie completely melted into appreciation. If this guy wasn’t 100% genuine, he was sure one hell of an actor.

Still holding onto her, he leaned in again, taking a gentle sniff of her hair. “After careful consideration I must say the cinnamon rolls have nothing on the delicious way you smell.” Pulling away, Brent look toward the back, visibly embarrassed. “So where’s the other half of this operation?” Peering around, he brought his gaze back to her. “I bet I sound ridiculous, don’t I?”

“Not at all, you don’t sound ridiculous. I’m quite flattered.”

“Yeah well my cousin Austin was telling me I should try some bold tactic when I saw you again. I’m not much in the dating scene, so I thought I’d give his advice to try. But instead I kinda sounded like a weird perv.”


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Monday, July 20, 2015

Tuesday Tales, the Eye of the Tiger...

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to the teasing word, Tiger. From Steal My Heart, a new WIP for a new series.

"Who needs a tiger when we have a cougar?" Nixie wrinkled her nose never taking her eyes off the beautiful woman and her obviously younger companion. “What am I doing wrong?”

“You aren’t wrong, absolutely nothing is wrong with you. Will you be easier on my poor best friend?” Carolyn snacked on popcorn, staring into the tiger enclosure. “You had a great idea to come to the zoo, it’s been way too long. I guess I’ve been way too stressed out.”

“Nothing like childhood to bring a smile, huh?” Finally turning around away from the snuggling couple, she snagged a few pieces of popcorn from Carolyn’s bucket. “Today, we don’t think about men, wine, money, business, or being an adult. We pretend we are young again, when these creatures fascinated us.”

“We are supposed to not think about men when you just described them perfectly? You know, creatures, but, maybe not fascinate me as much as irritate me.”

“You’re still judging all men by some glied-face named Charles. We should ban the name Charles from our vocabulary.”

“As good as done, I won’t ever use that name again. At least not today, not on such a beautiful day.”

Before the sun beat down relentlessly from the clear mid-western sky, the girls took the opportunity to visit a nearby zoo. The early morning dew still sparkled on blades of green grass. Smells of enclosures without the harsh stench of wildlife invigorated promise of the warming day. Animals readied for guests , if not domesticated, at least accustomed to human presence. The heat drove them inside shades or quasi-caves making morning the perfect time for the girls to visit. Neither one had been to a zoo in years, evidenced by youthful enthusiasm, frequent giggles, and pointing in many directions.

“Why can’t things be as simple as today, all the time?”
Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of flexible! Tuesday Tales Main Page

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Leflunomide - DMARD 101

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers...My life took a turn a few years ago when I became sick and started a quest to find out what was wrong. Several doctors, tests, and what seems gallons of blood later returns the result as Rheumatoid Arthritis, commonly referred to as RA.

Swelling between thumb and first finger web
RA frequently attacks more than joints in the body. According to rheumatology.org :

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Swelling below my ankle bone

RA is a chronic (long-term) disease that causes pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion and function of many joints. While RA can affect any joint, the small joints in the hands and feet tend to be involved most often. Inflammation sometimes can affect organs as well, for instance, the eyes or lungs.
The stiffness seen in active RA is most often worst in the morning. It may last one to two hours (or even the whole day). Stiffness for a long time in the morning is a clue that you may have RA, since few other arthritic diseases behave this way. For instance, osteoarthritis most often does not cause prolonged morning stiffness.
Other signs and symptoms that can occur in RA include:
  • Loss of energy
  • Low fevers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry eyes and mouth from a related health problem, Sjogren's syndrome
  • Firm lumps, called rheumatoid nodules, which grow beneath the skin in places such as the elbow and hands
Today, I'm going to talk about a new medication I've been prescribed- Leflunomide *(AKA Arava). I'd never heard of this drug until my doctor suggested giving it a go. The side effects of most medications these days can be overwhelmingly scary. Looking at possibilities of liver damage, kidney damage, some cancers, etc, almost makes a person want to stay away from them all. However, my quality of life has diminshed to the point I need something to help slow the damage progression. According to rheumatology.org LEFLUNOMIDE


"Leflunomide (Arava) is a drug used to treat swelling and pain in arthritis. It belongs to a class of medications called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). This class of medicines can decrease joint damage and disability.

Fast Facts

  • Leflunomide is often a second-line drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis if initial drugs are not helping substantially.
  • Leflunomide can cause liver injury, so alcohol and certain other medications should be avoided, and blood work should be performed regularly to monitor liver function.
  • This medication can cause serious birth defects, and this risk may persist long after the drug is discontinued.


Leflunomide is used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It may be prescribed alone or with other medications, such as methotrexate. ***

Time to effect

It may take several weeks after starting leflunomide to experience an improvement in joint pain or swelling. Complete benefits may not be experienced until 6-12 weeks after starting the medication."

MY PERSPECTIVE------I've been taking this med for about 45 days. I thought I was in the clear of most side effects, however, just this past week, I've had horrible nausea lasting all day long. I can only eat when I'm very hungry, and ignore the nausea. But, cannot eat much before the sick feeling overcomes the hunger. I'm not experiencing any real relief from the RA symptoms, but, I know it could take several weeks to notice any improvement. Maybe the nausea means it's working?? Isn't that nuts, grr.

Leflunomide can stay in the body system for up to two years after stopping. TWO YEARS! So, if a person has a negative reaction, they may require a medical washout to remove the medication from the body. Basically, a washout procedure consists of another drug introduced into the body to remove the unwanted medication. However, further information would be best explained by a medical professional. When I saw the long half-life, this obviously concerned me. It's something I'd never thought about before. I believed when a person stopped taking a medication, it processed through the body and removed itself quickly. I learned something new with this drug therapy, that's for sure.

Washout Procedure
"Leflunomide has a long half life of up to 6 weeks. Adverse effects may be seen for a long time after the drug is stopped. A washout procedure can be considered in patients having severe side effects or in men or women considering conception. (If a waiting period of up to approximately 2 years under reliable contraception is considered impractical, prophylactic institution of a washout procedure is advisable)."

So, I'm not sure how this medication will work for me. I'm in the relatively early stages of introducing this drug into my body. I'd really like to know if you've had experience with this particular medication. Please leave me notes in the comments, if you'd like.

***I COULD NOT TAKE METHOTREXATE! the medication gave me horrible hives and skin discoloration.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday Tales is Stiff!

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to the teasing word, flexible. From Steal My Heart, a new WIP for a new series.

“So, how are the numbers looking?” Anxiously sitting on the front of the chair seat, Carolyn leaned forward practically against the accountant’s desk. “No pressure, but, we’ve got some plans.”

Placing her hand against Carolyn’s bicep, Nixie eased her backward. “Don’t attack the accountant. You’re so rigid, what’s wrong with your muscles?” Squeezing up and down her arm, she couldn’t find any relaxed spots.

“I’m as flexible as a Barbie doll.” Shrugging off her friend’s grip, she shifted back into the chair. “I’m nervous, that’s it.”

“Ladies, profits are looking good.” Smiling, she tapped the paperwork in front of her. “I don’t see why you shouldn’t apply for the business loan for renovations.”

“Seriously? That’s incredible!”

“Have you decided what you want to do?”

The girls looked at each other, then, back to the accountant. Carolyn used her eyes to signal Nixie on. “We have that space next to us still damaged from the tornado winds years ago. We think it’d make a lovely tasting room, maybe add a small café to the space. We are still deciding.”

Loosening her tongue from the knot of anticipation, Carolyn offered further details. “Not a full kitchen, maybe just salads and soups, but, we really want to showcase the wines. Our small space right now limits us from possibilities.”

“Do you know who you’d hire to do the work?”

“Maybe Brant Larsen, he’s helped us with the vineyards some.” Carolyn shrugged her shoulders, looking to Nixie for agreement.

The accountant interjected, unaware of the unspoken body language between the two friends. “Ahhh, yeah, nice guy, his family have the farm outside of town.”

Sitting stock still in her chair, Nixie said nothing. Avoiding Carolyn’s gaze, she didn’t even nod.
Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of flexible! Tuesday Tales Main Page