Margaret Dilloway, American Housewife

Come for the books, stay for the fun.



Blood Clots and Grafts and Other Things

I’ve been having a run of bad health luck lately. I got an ablation to correct an extra heartbeat, and my leg hurt afterward. It wasn’t swollen but it hurt as if I’d done 1000 squats on one side and I was dragging it all over the place. My foot burned or felt like pins and needles. My calf ached.

Finally I got an ultrasound and found there was only 70% blood flow. The vascular surgeons opened up my artery (where the wire for ablation goes in) and found the artery walls were basically hacked up. There was also a large blood clot that they removed. They put in a graft and now I have a lovely 7 inch or so scar in my groin down my thigh.

So, if you ever have surgery, be vigilant in monitoring your symptoms afterwards. And if your doctor’s office doesn’t call you back then call them again.

Anyway, I’m off work for 2-3 weeks so I might actually get caught up on my blog!


Breast Lumps and Blooming Hulthemia

“The doctor would like you to come in for another test.”


A few weeks ago, I went in to the gynecologist and had my lady-tests, including a breast exam. The nurse gave me a form to get a baseline mammogram.

Thursday night, the night before the mammogram, I felt a small lump in my left breast. It felt harder than the rest of everything. So when I went in, I told the techs about it. They gave me a sticker to put over the spot.

I viewed the mammogram slides, vainly trying to decipher the images. All I saw was the arrow.

In the mammogram room, a sign reads something like, “You may be asked to come in for more tests. Please know that the vast majority of these tests reveal nothing significant. We understand this is nerve-wracking. Blah blah blah.”

I’d forgotten about the mammogram over the weekend.

Monday morning, I got a call from telling me the doctor wants me to get an ultrasound. I took the first available, which was today.

“It looks okay to us,” the tech said, “but if you feel something, we’ll look.”

Luckily, all is well. Phew.

It’s also good to know that if you feel something, the docs will check it out for you. She told me if it did change or got bigger or if I felt any other changes, or saw skin changes, to come in, but right now it looks like normal tissue. Just a weird thing, apparently part of normal for me. I have fibrocystic breast disease, which is not really a disease as in it causes you to be sick, but rather just a condition.

This morning it was cold and cloudy, and I thought it would rain. It didn’t. It got sunny and hotter and humid.

This afternoon, my Pink Lemonade Hulthemia bloomed for the first time!

These are the roses that Jim Sproul (the guy who helped me with the Roses book, if I haven’t told you two million times) developed.

I have never seen one in person. They are very striking. The kids and I all oohed and ahhhed over them. And they smell really good, too.


I also keep finding holes, sometimes not eaten all the way through. I didn’t know what was causing them, but then I saw these black things, which I think are caterpillar droppings.



I go out in the evening and morning and even the afternoon, searching for the caterpillars, but I haven’t found them yet. They are not bothering the tomato plant nearby. I just looked it up; I guess some are nocturnal. I’ll have to go out with a flashlight tonight and catch them in the act.

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