Really long, but worth the read. I hope you'll read it all. A TL;DR will be at the very end, though.
So a lot has happened in the last almost four years. In October 2013 I moved to CA to live with @KWierso. I also finally quit smoking completely that month. In April 2014 we decided to move to Oregon. Partially due to our supremely awful upstairs neighbors, but mostly for better reasons like cost of living, school options, and weather.
I absolutely love living in Oregon. Even though my health has taken a severe dive since moving here I am still happier than I can ever remember being in my entire life. Life with KWierso is amazing. In September 2014 I was officially diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We tried to avoid it, but the PCOS weight gain stayed on too long.
My A1C was 12.3 when I was diagnosed which is insanely high. Through hard work, and medicine I've managed to bring that down to 6.1 as of November 2016. I am on several medications, and I have to inject insulin every night. Still, that's a huge improvement. My wonderful doctors, and I are very encouraged by the progress thus far.
We're sure I'll continue to succeed in my goal to lose weight, and eventually reverse the type 2 diabetes so I can come off of all the medication. While I haven't gained any weight in the last almost three years I haven't gained any, either, and that's a good thing. Right now I'm dealing with severe physical pain, and will be starting a weekly physical therapy session soon to try to get it fixed.
The weight has caused me to suffer from plantar fasciitis which is a stressing of the plantar fascia (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. Basically the weight causes strain on it so it over stretches when you stand/walk, and then when you stop it fights to return to its normal state it causes a great deal of pain. I also, apparently, have high arches which is not good if you're overweight. So I have to wear insoles that support my arches, and do these silly exercises every day to control the foot pain.
My feet still hurt, though. A lot less than they did before I was diagnosed, given the insoles, and taught the exercises, though. Still, it's a problem. My biggest issue right now is the muscle group around & under my left shoulder blade. I can't stand or walk more than a few minutes before it goes out causing me to have to sit down for a bit.
It has lead to me needing to use motorized carts at stores just to do stuff like grocery shopping, and when I cook I have to have a chair nearby to sit often. Needless to say I'm eager to get this fixed so I can get my life back. I started college at the Oregon Culinary Institute (OCI) in May 2015. I was able to transfer my credits from the Culinary Institute of Charleston, and I finished all of the management classes in November 2015.
I had to take a temporary leave from school in January 2016, though. I was about to start the in the kitchen classes, and I was still unable to handle much in the way of physical activity. Thankfully this school is incredible. Everyone there was understanding of my situation, and agreed that my health was more important.
I was also suffering from severe pain from an impacted wisdom tooth. The extraction required a referral, and it got messed up by the office I was referred to so the oral surgery that should have happened before February 2015 ended up not happening until April 2016. I was in so much pain I was taking Vicodin daily, and I am so glad I don't have to take that anymore.
The last bit of the health stuff going on is that I was diagnosed with a very rare (so rare my GI hadn't seen one in his entire career of 30+ years) type of throat tumor the day before Thanksgiving in 2016. It's not overly common for the tumor to be malignant, but there's still a chance it won't be benign.
I have had to reschedule my endoscopy with ultrasound procedure they need to do in order to determine a surgical plan to remove the tumor several times, because of weather issues. Portland has been dealing with lots of snow & ice so far this year. I've had to reschedule all of my appointments at the OHSU bariatric center thanks to all the icy roads. I love snow, but wish it could have waited until after all of my important appointments.
My rescheduled Endoscopy with ultrasound is happening on February 24th. It better not snow or sleet that day lol. So that covers my health issues. Life outside of the health issues has been pretty wonderful. Wes and I adopted two cats. We got Bastet (Bast for short) in November 2014. She's a pure bred Russian Blue. She was liberated from a Cat Mill, put into a general shelter where she gave birth to kittens, the kittens were put down right after birth, and she was later moved to the shelter at PetSmart.
That's where we found her. She had been through a lot, and had some behavioral issues. The woman in charge of her care at PetSmart was not deterring her from biting, and was taking her home every day where she was forced to be around the woman's cats. Bast does not like other cats, and so it caused some trust issues as well as some behavior problems.
Well, we travel several times a year for Wes' job as well as visiting family. When we took our trip to San Fran in August 2015 we left Bast alone for the first time since we adopted her. When we came back, less than a week later, she was a mess. She didn't trust we'd come back any time we left the house for weeks after that. She'd greet us at the door when we came back from the store, and she'd follow us around the house as though we were going to abandon her any second.
I felt awful so we started looking for a companion for her. I have rehabilitated cats many times, and so I knew what needed to be done to ensure Bast not only accepted a feline companion but bonded strongly with them. I was determined not to cause her any undue stress or make her feel unloved or unwanted.
So we searched for a female kitten. I knew introducing a kitten would increase the chances that Bast would accept, and bond for life with her. I also insisted on a black cat. I always wanted one, and they don't usually get adopted so I felt it would be a guaranteed easy find. It took months. Finally in December we found a local family run shelter on a farm. A cat sanctuary that was just delightful.
Unfortunately they didn't have any female kittens available. There was, however, a bunch of adorable male black cats available. The first one I saw that I loved was already spoken for, but the second one I fell for was available. His name was Bear, but that just did not suit him. He was cuddly, sweet, and absolutely adorable. He was so tiny, too. He has grown a great deal.
With lots of hard work, and patience we followed the proper introduction process to ensure that their bond would be flawless. It worked. It took months, but it worked. Their full bonding process didn't happen until December 2016, though. Wes and I went to Hawai'i for a work week. My first time leaving the continental US, by the way.
It was a gorgeous trip, and we had a lot of fun despite most of our plans being changed due to weather haha. We had the always wonderful @bacoose checking in on the cats while we were gone. When we came back the cats had bonded so much they now actually cuddle! I never imagined they would bond that strongly. It makes me so happy. I'll upload some photos later.
Business wise I have had to cut back my bakery business quite a bit due to health issues, but I have been able to work on my skill sets. I've tried new recipes, and even branched out into chocolates. If I reach my weightloss goals by July I will be relaunching my online menu so people can place orders once more. My menu will be vastly different as I've learned shipping cookies is more difficult than mailing chocolates, and similar items.
So I think I covered everything. Wes and I are making a few trips this year. Going to SC in May to see my mom, my best friend, and get the rest of my stuff. Then to San Fran in June. We may make another trip somewhere in the early fall/late summer, and then (unless we're at war with them thanks to our incompetent in Chief) a work week trip to Cancun in December. I can't wait. I've never left the US.
So, that's my update. I promise shorter journals from here on out.
TL;DR: Health issues include Type 2 diabetes, & an extremely rare tumor in my throat. We live in Oregon now. I'm taking a medical leave of absence from school. I'm starting physical therapy soon. We adopted two cats: A Russian Blue, and a DSH. Their names are Bast & Horus. I got to go to Hawai'i in December 2016, and I'll get to go to Cancun in December 2017!