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Tid Bits of Help: Learning new stuff – Microsoft 10

WOW, what I’ve been learning in the past week!

Well, it all started with having some sort of computer issue in the first place. I wasn’t able to download Windows 10. Then I got this crazy message that I had a “BSOD: Error 333 Registry Failure” on the dreaded blue screen. It had the message telling me that if I turn off my computer, more damage will happen and may not be recoverable. Swell! Then within the screen message – call Microsoft at … and it gave a toll-free number to call.

Well, with all the changes Microsoft has been making of late, I went against my cardinal rule – do not believe these screens or any phone calls from “Microsoft”. Yep, I called. Why? Because I honestly thought that this was legit – because of all the recent Microsoft changes.

WRONG! Do not fall for this.

However, because of this horrible mistake and finally listening to my little voice, I called Microsoft. Well to be more accurate, I went to the site and clicked the link to have a tech call me. The Microsoft tech (yes a REAL one), was able to fix what was “fixed” that could potentially cause more harm. Then asked me to call back, because the scan would take up to two hours. When I called back another wonderful person (yes a REAL Microsoft tech) set up my Windows 10 download!

Huzzah!!

Well, today I was wondering about Microsoft Security Essentials – I had that on Windows 7. It turns out that Windows 10 has Microsoft Defender built in – no need for a virus protection program! While researching (OK, same article) how to make sure it’s activated I found TWO handy icon/keyboard functions to know.

First one. On your keyboard, press the Windows icon + x. The screen that pops up gets you:10-18-15 keyboard icon

  • Programs & Features
  • Power Options
  • Event Viewer
  • System
  • Device Manager
  • Network Connections
  • Disk Management
  • Command Prompt
  • Task Manager
  • Control Panel
  • File Explorer (this look is a lot different)
  • Search
  • Run
  • Shut down or Sign out
  • Desktop

The second handy thing, on your keyboard, press the Windows icon + i. The screen popping up gest you:

  • System (display, notifications, apps, power)
  • Devices (Blue tooth, printers, mouse)
  • Network & Internet (Wi-Fi, airplane mode, VPN)
  • Personalization (background, lock screen, colors)
  • Accounts (yours, sync settings, work, other users)
  • Time and Language (speech, region, date)
  • Ease of Access (narrator, magnifier, high contrast)
  • Privacy (location, camera)
  • Update and Security (Windows update, recovery, backup)

Note: when it comes to Personalization, still right clicking anywhere on the screen still gets you to the personalization options. However, this too is vastly different than what Windows 7 offered.

So “dinosaur” that I am, I’m going back to playing with my desktop computer and see if I can learn more. Why “dinosaur”? Well, I’m one of those folks who believe that phones are for making calls (and I guess taking pics). Computer time is for the computer, and I’m not at all for texting. Why? Because forcing me to work at my desk is better. Actually talking with people instead of texting is better for all of us (besides, people are forgetting how to spell correctly). Looking up while walking is always a good thing.

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Finding the Positive in My Experiences

There are times in a person’s life when they’re just not sure of themselves. You know, sometimes not comfortable being in their own skin. I was told/taught at an early age (three) that I’m not pretty; Mom wasn’t sure how to make sure I wouldn’t grow up to be vain. But that slap across the face and telling me that I wasn’t pretty took care of that concern. Mom wasn’t sure how to reverse that teaching (that’s what Dad told me after Mom died). So, over the years I had a lousy self-image and low self-esteem.

I’ve gotten better.

Then I became a person with a chronic condition (I’m not nearly as bad as others) and I didn’t want to admit I have epilepsy. I rationalized that I perhaps had a mild seizure disorder that wasn’t serious and would go away. I mean when you have one seizure, then a couple of years would go by… of course I wouldn’t (willingly) believe that I have epilepsy.

This morning I was thinking about how special today is; you see 32 years ago today (Valentine’s Day) was the first time my husband said “I love you.” I remember this because I had tried to say it the night before. He gently put his hand over my mouth and wouldn’t let me say anything. Well, that hurt. But in the morning he fixed me breakfast and said those three wonderful words. Then the silliest thing, we went to the store, looked at Valentine’s cards handed one to each other (the one we would have bought) and hugged and kissed in the store. Silly yes, but definitely a memory that has stayed with me all these years.

You see with my seizures I have gotten to a point where there are a lot of things in my life I’ve seem to have forgotten.

So, while I was reminiscing about 32 years ago, I was going thru some cards and letters I’ve kept over the years. I have the first letter he wrote me – he went out of state for work. It took him a while because he’s not the greatest at writing, but he wrote me. Don’t misinterpret, we talked every other day. As I got further into the stack of cards I found the cards from co-workers from my days at HDS (that job that I would still be working at today if they hadn’t merged, or at least I like to think so). I was in the first group to be laid-off, we had a farewell celebration. One of those “goodbye, we’ll miss you we wish you (those of us leaving) the best of luck.” I still have the gifts I was given and the cards. I was reading the cards. I truly liked working with all my former co-workers, I still like them and miss them, but you know with that self-esteem thing I didn’t really think they liked me all that well. I had always thought they simply tolerated me.

As I sit here thinking of all that’s happened since 2005, I think that perhaps being forced to go to the higher stressed job was a good thing. Because you see that job, was where I had my record amount of seizures – even two in one day. That job is where the co-workers were afraid of me, my seizures, so they did their best to drive me away and forced my leave of absence. If I hadn’t gone thru all the massive stress of that job I truly believe that I would not have had all of those seizures. I wouldn’t have had the tests (including surgical test) I did in 2007. I believe that I wouldn’t be seizure-free since August 2007.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI will always miss working at HDS. I do miss all my co-workers (I do still keep in touch with some, even if it is only via facebook and we have gotten together for dinner). But I do know that re-reading those cards, does remind me that I have made a positive impact in my life. They tell me that yes; I am a good person, that people found a positive value in me and truly wished me well. While yes, I need to know that for myself (I’m still learning), it is good to know that others have felt that way about me.

Seizures in the Oddest Places

a acid showerThis Aunty Acid comic reminded me of an “event” – my first seizure to really scare my husband. (That’s saying something since a previous one was while we were on the bike going 50 MPH!)

I was getting ready for work, doing the usual shower thing – much better for waking up – when the next thing I know I’m in my robe and in bed. Not sure what freaked ME out more:

  • the fact that I had another rotten seizure (at that time I’d have one then a couple of years would go by then I’d have one seizure)
  • that I was in bed with my robe on (THANK YOU honey for putting the robe on!!)
  • or I was in bed with EMT/firemen standing around me and my husband in the doorway

I can look at this comic, years later and can laugh at the visual. I’ve gotten past this particular embarrassment. I know I had no control over the situation. What I do now – everyday actually – is be very thankful that I’m seizure-free since August 2007!

Besides, I was in much better physical shape when I had that seizure than I am now! (I would really be embarrassed NOW) Sometimes in our lives we need to be able to look back at something and learn to not be upset about what happened.

(Oh, the reason my husband was more scared – I had stopped breathing and he didn’t know what to do.)

Did I Inherit Grandpa’s Curiosity?

G n GGASP! I’ve become my Grandparents!

While this isn’t really a bad thing, I wish I was more like my Grandmother she was amazing with managing their budget and still got to go on great vacations; there is one aspect I’m concerned about.

What is that you might ask?

Well it’s the “let’s check out the new store so and so just built” thing.

Back in the early 1990s they were living in Deltona, FL and a new Walmart was built in their general area. Grandpa was excited and he really wanted to go and see the place. I asked why, it’s just a store. (What’s a Walmart anyway? At the time we didn’t have any in the area of MI I’m from.) Grandma told me that this is something that will make my Grandfather very happy. THEN she threw in “besides Honey, going to a store like this gives old people something to do.”

OMG! All I could think of was all those wonderful trips they used to take and now going to Walmart was a highlight???

Well, not long ago Kroger opened a superstore not far from my home. Shortly after it opened I thought, hmm, might be interesting to go and check it out. Then WHAM it hit me, I sound just like my Grandpa and that Walmart store!!! From what I’ve read it’s basically a grocery store on steroids with amenities. According to an article the place features “an on-site wine and beverage steward, a fresh sushi bar and a Starbucks. Other features include a diverse offering of fresh meats, an extensive produce department, organic foods, and a bulk natural foods section.” Then the article goes on to brag about the LED track lighting, skylights and heat reclamation system for air and water, and that the new place includes “an extensive health and beauty care department, a large selection of baby items and Kitchen Place, which carries small kitchen appliances and basic kitchen needs. The store also offers a convenient drive-thru pharmacy and an onsite fuel center.”

Gosh! Who wouldn’t want to see that? Well, as the store has been open for over a month, and I’ve driven past it quite a few times already, I guess I’m not in that big of a hurry to visit. But, I’m thinking that my “inner Grandpa” might win out and I’ll check out the store in the near future. I can always say his spirit is guiding me…

How Many Blessings Does it Take?

Tootsie Pop OwlCounting blessings, sometimes it resembles the Tootsie Pop Owl: 1, 2, 3.

But then you realize that Blessing number 2 makes you think of 3 or 4 more blessings. Then those blessings remind you of others and of course you end with the blessing of: Thank You God for my life.

I always thank God for my blessings. It’s always easy to ask God to step in and help, but how often do we actually take the time to say Thank You? Do you say thank you for the “little” things? Like not being late for an interview (traffic was better than you thought it would be) or thank you for the last leaf bag not bursting open (because you only had a few leaves left so you over stuffed the bag).

Everyday I have many things I’m thankful for:

  • My husband has been cancer-free for two years.
  • I have been seizure-free for six years.
  • Our home
  • Our family and friends
  • My husband – that he’s even in my life. (he’s my rock/my life)

Kim nowEvery night when I pray, I start with Thank You God for everyone and everything in my life. Thank you for my Kim (he’s the love of my life), our home and thank you for today. Sometimes that’s it, other nights I will ask for help – for friends, family and sometimes for me.

I’m thankful for waking up in the morning. I’m thankful for the abilities I’ve been given and those I’ve learned. I’m thankful for friends/clients who refer me to their associates. I’m thankful I can help my Brother when he’s out on the road, there is the occasional thing he needs done that he just can’t get to (it seems smart phones aren’t always all that smart).

Yes, being Thankful is a lot like counting your blessings. Well, why not? All those things on my thankful list, are my blessings. No matter how you feel about a Higher Power, whether you believe. For this we will go with, yes I do – there is a God/Divine Being. While you will not see me in church – I believe in God, not religion. (There is a difference and not for this topic)

Something to keep in the back of your mind, are people thankful for you? Are you a person who helps, and/or brings a smile to someone’s face? Or, are you the type of person that people are thankful to see you leave? Please don’t take your blessings for granted. For this Thanksgiving, besides being thankful for your blessings, do something (no matter how big or small) nice for someone. Hold the door open for that person struggling with their hands full and trying to figure out how to open the door and not drop something. Smile at complete strangers. Give your complete attention to the person your talking with – ignore your phone/pad. Do something unexpected for a family member/friend/co-worker. Then be thankful you have the ability to do such a task.

Feeling Loopy? It’s the Drugs, Man!

I saw a story on the Today Show (aired 11/8/13), the topic is generic drugs and reactions.

The loophole they mention refers to the warning labels. It seems there are generic medications that do not have accompanying warning labels, or at least not the same detailed information as the brand named medications.

But there is one issue they forgot to include, fillers.

ALL medications have a filler of some sort. The filler helps with forming the tablet, filling the capsule, adding flavor to the liquid along with a variety of other functions. The FDA regulates that generics must have the same chemical composition. However, there is NO regulation on the fillers. The generic companies are not required to match that part of the “recipe”. Even the various generic companies don’t use the same fillers. These fillers all by themselves can have harmful side effects.

prescription-drug-addictionsBoth of my seizure meds list drowsiness as a side effect. One, when I first started taking it, was only available in the brand name. Then it went to generic. Perfect, more affordable. But I couldn’t understand just why I was feeling more tired and foggy. It was the same dosage/strength it shouldn’t change how I react. Right? I had been on the brand name for years, why would I suddenly have issues? Since I had prescription coverage at the time, my doctor had to write: dispense as written. Then when I lost my insurance and found out that my medication was $600+ for a 30 day supply I had to start looking for the most compatible generic. I finally found one, made here in the US 98% matching the brand. The drawback? Not every pharmacy carries that particular brand, and you can’t buy directly from the manufacturer. When I was started on the second medication I was told to decide which version I wanted: brand or generic. I was told by the doctor that (on this medication) the side effects are much different and to get me acclimated to the medication I had to decide which version to take.

Swell.

If and when the FDA enforces warning regulations on generic medications, I hope they consider the issue of the entire chemical make up of each drug.

You should always question your doctor and/or pharmacist about your medications. Know up front what could happen. If you choose generics, ask: does the chemical make up match the brand? How closely does it match? When I started my research I also found that the generic prices ranged. Here in the US, that one that 98% matched the brand (buying via Canada) was $78/month. The generic version from India (only 75% matched) was $18/month, buying via Sam’s Club (with membership).

The Little Things That Make You Happy

Those of us with medical conditions (of various types), whether it’s serious allergies to medications like penicillin or those with heart conditions should wear a Medical ID tag of some sort. Should you ever be in an emergency situation this is one of the first things emergency responders look for. The site to order your bracelet is: http://www.americanmedical-id.com

As I have mentioned before, I have epilepsy (notice I did not say I am epileptic – but that’s a different post) and hypoglycemia. So yes, I wear a Medical ID bracelet, I have since 1995.

The first one was stainless steel, nothing fancy, but it listed both conditions, my medication allergies and the one medication I was taking. In 2007, I had another medication added and found a new medication allergy. Because I was depressed about the new medication and was post surgery I decided to get a pretty bracelet. That one (I wear currently) is sterling silver and has a nice link for the chain. So yes, this cheered me; I had a nice/pretty piece of jewelry. Since I’m going to be wearing one of these for the rest of my life, I wanted something nice.

But there’s one thing wrong with sterling silver. While the bracelet chain is still beautiful, the tag isn’t doing well. You see, sterling silver tags for the bracelet don’t hold up well. Last year the scratches started showing, to the point where you can’t really read the thing. (I’m sure the necklace tags hold up much better.)

Crud! Now what? I still want something that looks nice, actually different from what “everyone else” is wearing. (Never have been big on conformity.) Then it dawned on me, a friend of mine makes jewelry. Kris’ business is called Peacock and Lime and she creates wonderful items. Of course what triggered my thought to contact Kris was the fact that the American Medical ID site has one of her bracelet designs. So why not go directly to the source and get a design (stones/beads) that I would like best?

custom bracelet-2So, my friend designed a wonderful bracelet for me (pictured) based on the beads I wanted, something more ME. I’ll receive it in the mail within a week or two. Yes, this is another little thing that brings a smile to my face and helps me to feel good. Remember, seizure medications can cause depression and as we all know in life little things make a person feel better. I do always remember that on the up side I haven’t had a seizure since August 28, 2007, it was five days after the surgery to remove the electrodes from my brain.

My neurologist tells me that I will have to take medication for the rest of my life, even though I don’t have seizures. I guess that’s OK because I do on occasion worry that the seizures will return.

So, share with me, what are the little things that make you happy? I have two other bracelets from Kris and this one will add to my collection. I will always look at them and be happy that I have such a gifted friend and that she made me such a bracelet that speaks more to my nature.

Oh for the record, YES I feel that a Medical ID of some sort is important!! While I normally share e-magazine links (because the blog is also in the magazine) and don’t advertise, I also feel it is important to share the love and brag about friends and family.