Learning and re-learning to code

Image Credit: Pixabay
I started designing websites back in 2000 when living with my ex-boyfriend who was a computer science major at UNB in New Brunswick. He taught me HTML and CSS and set me up with a self-hosted website and domain name after a few months of playing around on Geocities and Angelfire. That’s when my love of blogging began.

At some point a few years later I took Web Design and Internet publishing through an online distance education school in Halifax. It was a 2-year degree in HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver, Photoshop and basic design principals but this was before WordPress. I used something called Greymatter pre-WordPress and used it for a few years for my blogs.

Over the years between 2000 and 2009 when I first purchased storyboutagirl.org, I had owned a number of domain names. I won’t bother mentioning any specific ones as honestly, I can’t remember and they don’t really matter. All were hosted WordPress sites, most of which were hosted where this one is now. At first, I mostly used themes that I got off the WordPress theme repository or free or paid themes online even though I was pretty much able to make my own or customize ones quite a bit. I started a few years ago mostly making my own themes.

Over the last few months, I have been re-teaching myself HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript and I’m not going to stop there. I have been mostly using w3schools and SoloLearn as well as YouTube video tutorials. As SoloLearn is completely free I plan to do everything they have to offer and the same with w3schools even if a lot of it is the same between both. I have also been reading the WordPress Theme Developer Handbook and the WordPress codex as well as taking some courses through Udemy. I plan to completely teach myself everything I can find online for free or cheap having to do with PHP, Java, Java Script, SQL, jQuery, C++, Ruby, etc.

While continuing to concentrate on WordPress theme development as well as design. I plan to eventually start selling pre-made themes and offering some free ones along with web hosting (which I sell now) and custom design which I am already doing mostly for friends and family on a relatively small basis. I really want to switch to full-time web design and theme development, maybe I will even tackle Joomla! as well at some point. Something I haven’t done beyond installing it for testing purposes.

I am really excited and hoping to take my career eventually in another direction on a part-time basis for a while continuing to work at the bank and maybe eventually down the road I will make it a full-time career. I would love to go back to school full-time and take something somewhere but it’s just not an option and I think I will do better just continuing to teach myself.

Tooth Extraction and New Projects

I am determined I am going to try and blog more. Maybe not every day but every few days to weeks. I am so horrible at it sometimes. I know I am not the only one but it sometimes bugs me. I have been sick for the last two weeks and have been off at home after a tooth extraction gone wrong. I was too sick to do much but lay on the couch but today I am feeling a slight bit better though I still have to rest and try and get rid of the infection (more about that in a moment) but because I am feeling a tiny bit better I decided to work on a few projects.

I finally got my mom’s website ABC Transcription Services set up on WordPress. I created the site a while ago from scratch but just didn’t have the time this summer to integrate it into a WordPress theme for a site she already had set up in WordPress through me. I finally did that and am pretty happy with the end result and so is she. I am really quite proud of myself. On top of that, I decided to get serious about hosting and design a created a new website for myself KC Hosting and Design and registered a domain name for it and now it is up and running now as well!

Now on to the tooth extraction. Two weeks ago I had a root canal fail and the cap (crown?) fall out after eating something. The following day I went to the dentist in Kentville an hour and a half each way from my house before work. I ended up calling in sick as I had to have the tooth pulled and it was a very rough extraction with lots of pain (they had to cut my gums in multiple places and I had a bunch of stitches as well) and swelling almost right away plus they said I had a pretty bad infection and put me on Amoxicillin.

They gave me 2 days off and I went back into work Wednesday and Thursday but by Friday I was in so much pain I was literally crying at work so I left and went back to the dentist. I got partway and had to call my mom to come to take me the rest of the way as I was feeling really horrible and felt like I might pass out. Obviously I didn’t want to take that chance behind the wheel and Eddie was at work so I pulled over.

They diagnosed me that day with a dry socket and said the infection was spreading but since I had a few days of Amoxicillin left to just keep on it and come back in 1-2 days if I was still having issues. Before going home they pulled out the stitches placed some bone graft material, and then the dry socket paste and left it open to control the pain and speed the healing. I made it through the rest of that day and the next but by Sunday the pain and swelling had spread further throughout the bottom of my jaw and cheek and up into my TMJ joint. I woke up Sunday morning with my eye almost swollen shut.

I went to the ER that morning in Annapolis alone. Eddie would have come with me but he had news the day before (Saturday) that his mother who his whole family had been estranged from for years had passed away the day before that (Friday). He was not feeling much like going with me and I was worried about him and wanted him to stay home and stay away from the ER so I went on my own. The ER doctor initially said that there was nothing really they could do for me other than write a few more days of Amoxicillin to cover me till I could get to the dental clinic on Tuesday as Monday was a holiday and they would not be open but he said I needed to be checked again by the dentist. He suspected that the infection might still be spreading underneath but on the surface, it looked ok but he was not convinced but had no way to really tell and I needed a dental x-ray which he could not do.

Just before leaving the ER he suggested that I might want to consider going or calling the ER in Kentville that same day (Sunday) to see if they could help me up there as it was a bigger ER and might be able to at least re-pack for the dry socket which is super painful on its own, never mind all the rest that was going on. I started home and called my mom and she called Kentville’s ER and they said I should come up and that they could help some. So by then I was exhausted and so she told me to go home, get a shower and she would pick me up in an hour or so. So we drove to Kentville ER later that same day.

We spent 4-5 hours in the ER that afternoon and early evening and finally saw a doctor who said they couldn’t actually do anything they said they could on the phone (this place is an hour and a half away) but the doctor took pity on me because he said he could see I was swollen, in pain and just feeling lousy and so he figured I needed a different antibiotic, a steroid for swelling and some anti-inflammatories to help get the infection and swelling and pain under control so he prescribed me Clindamycin, Prednisone, and Diclofenac and sent me home advising me to go to the dentist first thing on Tuesday morning. I already had Monday off due to the holiday so I texted my manager and told her what was going and she arranged for one of my co-workers to cover me for Tuesday and Wednesday in case as well.

On Tuesday I went back to Kentville again to the dentist again. They took more x-rays, said it looked like the infection was indeed spreading and not getting better and was now in my lymph nodes in my neck, my cheek and tissue surrounding the extraction site. They froze me, cut out some of the tissue, removed some fragments of bone that had come off or maybe it was part of the graft, not sure and basically made it bleed in the hopes that that would help speed the healing of both the infection, the inflammation, and the dry socket. It didn’t work

I was back again on Thursday and they decided to change my anti-biotics back to Amoxicillin, add a second anti-biotic Flagyl to cover all the bugs, since I was done the Prednisone at this point he added Dexamethasone which is another more potent steroid then Prednisone and told me to keep up with the Tylenol and Advil every 6 hours staggered (which I had been taking at this point since the day of the original extraction). Basically take one and three hours later the other and keep it going like that so that as one is at it’s peak you are talking the other so when the first wears off the second is starting to peak. They told me to come back Saturday for a follow-up.

On Saturday I came back and was still miserable, swollen and in pain and feeling really feverish, warn out and just sick as hell plus I was starting to experience a lot of numbness in my chin, cheek and the right side of my face. So I went back and they did another x-ray this time of the whole jaw and the dentist filling in said that it looked like the tooth that was extracted would have been really close to the nerve in my jaw which would explain the numbness. They were concerned that either during the initial extraction or when they debrided it a few days later when I had the dry socket or a few days after that when the cleaned and restitched it that they might have bruised or otherwise damaged the nerve in my jaw running through the area. He also questioned a spot that looked like it could have been a slight jaw fracture so he said he wanted me back on Monday morning (yesterday) to see a specialist in the clinic.

I went back yesterday and they removed the stitches again because it’s still not healing at all and is wide open to the jaw bone and so they cleaned it, packed it again with the same stuff they use for the dry socket and he gave me a prescription for Tylenol 3 for 3 days as I am not sleeping and just in a ton of pain still. At night laying flat back or on either side just causes immense pain. He said that he was going to be writing up a referral to the oral and maxillofacial surgery department at the VG and also call them yesterday or today to run it by them anyways to see what they said. I never heard from them so I am guessing they said to wait and see for another couple days.

So now I am waiting to see what happens from here. I am hoping it is starting to heal but not sure if it’s just some of the pain meds covering up some of the pain and the steroid covering up some of the swelling. I am still swollen despite all this and still in a considerable amount of pain so I guess the next few days will be the deciding factor. I don’t go back to work at this point until Friday so I still have tomorrow and Thursday off. Hopefully, I will not have to go back but I am concerned what happens when I run out of meds. Is it going to start hurting again and is the infection getting better or still spreading?

I hope I don’t have to go back and can return to work Friday but at this point, I just don’t know. I now have to start a short term disability claim at work because of the number of days I’ve been off. Something I have never had to do through them before. It’s so frustrating. I question too if all of this could have been avoided had the dentist not pulled the tooth two weeks ago on the day I came in and instead put me on antibiotics for a week and just packed what was left of the tooth and pulled it like a week later. I am not sure if that would have made a difference. I honestly don’t know. All I know is I hope it doesn’t keep heading in the wrong direction as it has been. It’s put my blood sugars through the roof because I have been on steroids, have an infection and also am on a soft food diet.

I am so ready for this to be over and to start feeling well. I don’t think Candy Cane Lane Festival is going to happen Saturday as I mentioned in my last post about our new car.

Work, Medication & Relocation

I am about half way through my third week back at work. I am doing six hour shifts this week. So far I am doing okay. Not great but okay. I am still having considerable pain but I am just glad to be back. I started Lyrica about the same time I started back at work (the night before). That is not going so great so far, not that I really expected much. It’s not really helping at all with my pain during the day. At night it makes me so sleepy that I am unsure if I am sleeping okay because of that or because it is helping my pain. I think more just that it is knocking me out

I started at 75 mg and was supposed to increase it after about a week slowly up to no more then 300 mg. I haven’t gone up at all. The reason is that I don’t think I would be a fully functioning human being if I did. I can barely tolerate the 75 mg. I tried last night just the one time to increase to 150 mg, today I struggled with every word at work, I was staring off into space and I felt as if I had cotton balls in my mouth. I am not doing that to myself again tonight so back to 75 mg I go.

I am going to see if I can get a prescription for 25 mg from my doctor and try going up more slowly from 75 mg. I can see why I hate this medication the first time I was on it. It really does a number on you. I am so dizzy as well. I am scared to drive and won’t drive right after I take it. So I take it at night. I am not sure it’s going to work for me but I need to give it some more time I think. It’s hard because I am tired of dealing with the pain which is still pretty considerable. I have pain which is sometimes feels like a stabbing pain and other times a burning or searing sensation down my leg. I have pins and needles and a numb sensation that happens often. I am also getting a lot of swelling still.

I want so badly to just ditch the crutches and walk but I am scared to as well. Sometimes I wonder if that part is in my head. If I am just limiting myself because I am scared. The medication is making me unsteady and dizzy, plus my leg tends to give out from underneath me but should I just stop using the crutches? I am trying to slowly come off them. I can put most of my weight on my leg with them. Without them though I tire so quickly and I hurt so much more. I really am not sure what to do there.

Anyway, so as you can guess from the title of this post, Edward and I have been considering relocating for a little bit now and guess what? We are moving! We’re doing it! Edward found out today he has a job in Digby at Gidney Fisheries! He starts November 19th and gave his notice at his current job today. He was concerned how his boss would take it but he took it pretty good and was happy for him.

I also put in my resignation at the bank today, or at least that was the plan. Instead though I am going to see if I can take a leave of absence at their suggestion. Apparently they have an option when moving to another city or town in the same or different province that you can take a transfer leave which gives you 90 days to apply to and get a position in the same bank with another branch, location or department. If you don’t get one then on the 91st day your employment ceases as if you resigned but it also gives you a chance to keep your benefits and seniority while I attempt to find something and 90 days in case nothing is available right away. I read somewhere I have to give 4 weeks notice to do this but they suggested it so hoping no one notices

When I mentioned I was resigning my manager asked me to give him about an hour before I put in my resignation and talked to his manager then came back and told me this. They said they hope I can stay with the bank. They have branches in both Digby and Yarmouth. Yarmouth is only about an hour’s drive. We could settle somewhere between Digby and Yarmouth if I got something there eventually. In the meantime my parents have offered to rent us the cottage they just bought for quite a bit less then what we are paying for rent here.

They bought it outright so no mortgage. We would pay the utilities and a small rental fee all in one, the utilities will be on budget plans that will be the same each month, they plan to keep them in their name I think and we just pay them one amount to cover it all and even if we don’t and we pay the utilities ourselves in our name we will still be ahead. We’d be looking at half to two thirds what we are paying here once everything is said and done. About a $200 to $350 savings a month over our current living situation here. Edward will be making a bit more then $2/hour more there then here, plus after 6 months he will have full benefits.

If I stay with the bank I will still have everything I have here (full benefits plus lots more) but be $1 to $2 less then I make here. So in the long run it would even out pay wise. I have a lead on a job outside the bank as well and have been talking to a recruiter for a domain registration and web design/hosting company that has an office in Yarmouth and one here in Halifax, they are really interested in me. I have actually worked for them before.

They are looking for both domain specialists (sales) and technical support in Yarmouth. I enjoyed it the first time I worked there but I left to go to Afghanistan and when I came back they weren’t hiring and I moved on to somewhere else and honestly never considered them again till now. I know a few managers and other employees. In the meantime I can do some transcription work for my mom who has a lot of work right now and could use my help.

Overall this is a move in the right direction for us I think. We will be getting out of the city which we both want. We are tired of it here. We will be living in an area we love doing things we love. We’ll miss our friends in the city but plan on still doing a once a month game night with them and they can come visit and we will be in the city a lot still. We have to keep our doctor in the city as there is currently a shortage and over 50,000 Nova Scotian’s who don’t have family doctors. Plus we like him and want to stay with him anyways

So anyway, in the long run though it will mean saving more and much faster. We can save a down payment now, it would actually be possible. I plan on taking the full amount we would pay for rent up here each month, pay my parents what they want and take the rest and put it in a savings account. Something we can’t easily access. Also it will be good as well because the cottage is 2 bedroom, or will be in a few months when we make it back into a two bedroom. So we will start the process again for fostering/adoption. We are so excited!