Monkey in the Middle

I spent the day yesterday at the walk-in clinic and the pharmacy.

This was the third different doctor I have seen at the walk-in clinic. After reviewing possible lifestyle changes to be made, and determining that they have all been made, this doctor wants to add another medication. I filled the prescription and I am thinking about taking it. He had not heard of the information I brought in with me about my cholesterol lowering medication causing an increase in blood pressure, and he did not think that there was any possibility that I might have an adrenal tumour, one of the factors listed by the Mayo Clinic that might be responsible for increased blood pressure; he listened to me and dismissed these concerns. For high blood pressure the Mayo clinic advises adding medication after medication, so that seems to be the logic he is using, more drugs. When I took the prescription in to the pharmacist, she pointed out that I was allergic to the medication he prescribed, after I had carefully gone through the whole allergy thing with him, it doesn’t inspire trust. The drug store consulted with the doctor and he then prescribed a completely different sort of medication. The information sheet for this medication states that if you have a heart problem you should not take the medication. Again, this does not inspire trust. I am putting off taking it until after I go in for the heart tests that the doctor recommended and is setting up. I don’t think I have a heart problem, but life is full of surprises, and the test results will affirm that there is nothing to worry about in that department.

I requested a flu shot at the doctor’s office, and he told me that they could not determine if my allergen was in the solution (bogus, not true, lazy or scared not sure which) and that I would have to go to the drug store to try and get the shot. Again, this does not inspire trust.

When I got to the drug store they wanted me to go to the hospital to get the flue shot. Shit!!! Monkey in the middle health care. I have been through all of this before, every single year I have to spend hours and hours and hours of upset trying to find someone who can read a @#&$%^$ label!!!! The hospital told me last fall that they don’t give flue shots, there is no use going through all of that again and wasting their time and mine. So I refused to get up off the chair at the drug store, I sat there and just kept talking, calmly, in a friendly manner. Eventually they gave me the spec sheet and it listed the non-medicinal ingredients. We went through them, we talked about them, we read through them a second time, a third time, I recited all the chemical names given to my allergen, we read through the non-medicinal ingredients again. My allergen was not in the flu shot. Eventually, after much urging and insistence on my part, they gave me the shot. I stayed in the store for a good 15 minutes to ensure that there was no reaction, said a friendly goodbye and finally headed for home.

My blood pressure may be high when I arrive at the walk-in clinic because I know I am heading for a difficult experience. Next time I will call ahead to see what doctor is working in the clinic, and if the doctor I saw yesterday is there, I will wait for another day to visit. Attila and I have been very lucky over the years, to have wonderful Family Doctors. Our luck seems to have run out.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

12°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Saturday 5 November 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 12.2°C
Dew point: 7.7°C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: WSW 13 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.”
John Ruskin
1819 – 1900

Trench

I took Tank in for regular servicing this morning, and was very happy to hear that the vehicle is in “very good condition”. We have been very lucky to have found this mechanic, he is honest and talented, a great combination. If he tells us something needs to be done, we have it done. When he presents us with a bill, we don’t even have to look at it, we just pay it. There are very few businesses in Canada that deserve that kind of trust.

When I arrived home with Tank, I noticed that all the runoff from the entire street was pouring into our driveway, creating huge pools of water. The blockade I had constructed in the spring had worn away. The trench I had dug in the spring had become blocked with pine cones, and congested with thick grass and roots. I was wearing my trusty old GoreTex parka, so I was well prepared to snoop around in the garage for a hoe. Trusty hoe in hand I tackled rebuilding the blockade, taking the matted grass and roots and accumulated soil from the trench and placing them on the driveway in such a way as to divert the flowing stream from the street into the trench and thus into the ditch. By the time I had completed the task, the pools on the driveway were shrinking steadily, deprived of their life line.

My blood pressure is still far too high, the quadrupled medication is not doing the job. I suspect the sudden problem could be caused by the medication I take for high cholesterol. When I became a senior citizen, the drug plan I became eligible for would not provide me with the dosage I needed, which was low. Instead, I had to take double the dosage needed, because those were the only pills covered by the drug plan. Insanity. The doctor advised taking the medication every other day, but at a double dose. I think this might have caused my blood pressure to skyrocket, the timing is about right, it is a documented side effect for a small percentage of people, and I might be one of them. My first plan of attack is to cut the pills in half and take a half portion every day, and see if that helps my blood pressure. My other plan is to try to eliminate store bought bread from my diet, it is very high sodium, a sandwich will put me close to my daily limit for sodium. Today I have been looking at low-sodium and sodium-free bread recipes. I stopped using the salt shaker ages ago, but just about all processed food is high in sodium, so it is a real challenge to stay within the daily recommended limit. Just one pickle can tip the balance.

Cold and raining here all day long. Now the wind is up. Looking out the window into the distant sky, I can see flocks of geese attempting to fly in one direction, but the wind has other plans for them. They drop out of formation one by one, turning to follow the wind. Closer, leaves fly past the window like yellow and brown rockets on a mission.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

8°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Friday 21 October 2016
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 8.2°C
Dew point: 6.7°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: N 27 gust 43 km/h
Visibility: 16 km

Quote

“The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.”
Hubert H. Humphrey
1911 – 1978

P.S. I would like to mention that no tears fell at my house today! The storm has passed it seems.

Waitin’ for the Window

Technology is changing so quickly now that there is no keeping up with it. Purchasing anything technological is like stepping onto a moving escalator, you are only staying in the same place and up to date with your item for a nanosecond, then it is uncool, and within months, sometimes days, it is obsolete. So, I use my old technology as long as it will hang in and do the job. My computers are an example of this.

I have an old G4, still going strong, but I never turn it on. It doesn’t do wireless, or play video DVDs, or run the necessary browsers to interact with most web sites. But it still works just the way it was meant to the year I bought it.

Then there is the iMac. Much newer, the iMac was the machine that helped me live through a horrendous end-of-the-endless-winter March, when I sat by my window for days and days, watching for the delivery van; there was no other traffic on the street, I could have heard it coming, but I watched all day long, and that sense of anticipation kept me from falling into the depths of cabin fever. The iMac is old enough that it will no longer be adequate for the requirements of operating system updates. It, like the G4, will move out of sight on the endless escalator of progress. So far it is used daily as our entertainment system. When that function becomes untenable, it too will cease to be used on a regular basis, and will sit in its perfection in a corner.

Now I use a 2012 MacBook Air as my daily computer. It is already aging, the battery no longer holds a charge for very long, but the operating system updates should be viable for a few more years. We tried to use the MacBook Air to run our short Tai Chi video when we were at the Rideau Camp last weekend, it only lasted 10 minutes on the first day, then it ran out of juice. I imagine I will be using the MacBook Air until it too is conveyed out of site on the moving stairway to heaven.

Attila and I have come to postpone purchases of technology until we have no choice because the old equipment simply will not function as needed. We wait for the window of opportunity that will give us a product that will move as far into the future as is possible. Atilla is using our first cell phone, pay as you go, a flip phone with a broken hinge and a dodgy battery, that we purchased the summer of 2006, 10 years ago. It can still function as an emergency contact device. Attila does not like to be called during his work day, when he goes to work we have no contact with each other at all until he arrives home. Having a cell phone for texting would be a complete waste of time for him. He has no need of a smart phone. I am keeping my eyes open for a heavy duty cell phone on sale, one that works well without data and bells and whistles. Perhaps this item does not exist. If I wait long enough something like it might come to exist at any time. I am waitin’ for the window of opportunity to open.

Tuesday morning was filled with errands. Attila had his prescription transferred from a pharmacy near the country house to a pharmacy near Mist Cottage, the same pharmacy where I get my prescriptions filled. They hire local people, the owners live in town, and the employees act as if they own the business and want it to do well. I called them this morning and the prescription was ready for pickup. When I got home I noticed they were using our country home address, so I gave them a call and gave them our current address, so I think we are now up to date.

I also made a telephone call to Toronto, and was very pleased to be informed that the conviction for parking offence ticket that I received in the mail is in the process of being cancelled. Thank goodness I can finally stop fretting about getting that thing cancelled, it took many telephone calls, and an email request, to get the cancellation started. I was told a letter would be sent to me in the mail, confirming the cancellation.

Also on my list was a trip to the bank. When Attila and I bought paint for the new garden shed, we sent in the forms to receive a rebate. The cheque arrived and needed to be deposited in our account. Luckily the bank is a short walk from the pharmacy, so I could park once and walk to the places I needed to go.

My next stop was the library. I returned two books that I had read, renewed a third book which I hadn’t had a chance to read, and selected two additional books. I was looking for a book by a particular author, Patrick Rothfuss, but the library did not have any of his books on the shelf. I will have to try the Ontario Library Service and see if I can find one of his books there. His work sounded interesting in a short article that I read, and I wanted to see if his books lived up to the hype.

The weather would have been lovely this week had it not been for the humidity. It is supposed to be very warm all week, with possible thunderstorms. The garden needs the rain, so a rainy day will be welcome. We have eaten fresh green beans from the garden for the last three nights, the same plants that we planted in the spring are flowering and bearing again after the long summer heat and drought. The Scarlet Runner beans are thriving, with plentiful blooms and lush foliage; Attila tells me there are quite a few beans which will soon be ready for harvesting. We have only had two tomatoes from our plants, a disappointing harvest to say the least. So far we have had no peppers from the plants that we put in in the spring. We harvested a dozen or so heads of garlic earlier in the summer. The garden wasn’t all that we had hoped this year, the drought took its toll. I hope to have a rain harvesting system in place by next summer, just in case another drought occurs.

My high blood pressure has not responded well to the doubling of my current medication. Three readings by doctors confirmed that my hypertension was no longer being controlled by the low doses of medication I was taking. It was hoped that doubling the medication would bring it down; it has not, the four readings I have taken were all unacceptably high. I have a machine at home that measures my blood pressure, and it is accurate when compared to the measurements taken at the doctor’s office. I have a follow up appointment next week with the drop-in clinic doctor, so I am hoping he can come up with a plan to bring my blood pressure down to acceptable levels. This is a sudden development, my skyrocketing blood pressure, it was normal when taken at the Emergency department in March of this year. I honestly feel the change is due to the overload of stressful events that played out this summer, culminating with the sudden passing of my brother. I will keep at this until I get my blood pressure back within the normal range.

Luckily our little house is very comfortable. This summer has been very hot and humid, only one day was comfortable enough to turn off the heat pump and open the windows. It isn’t as restrictive as winter, there is no snow to contend with, no winter coats, no boots. But it has been a summer where outdoor activity has been downright unhealthy for those of us who can’t tolerate extreme heat. Today I stepped out onto the back porch to fetch a water basin, and the air felt like warm soup, hard to breath and watery. I look forward to autumn.

At this point in time my writing rambles along like a bee visiting blooms in a garden!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

23°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 8 September 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.2°C
Dewpoint: 22.4°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: S 13 km/h
Humidex: 33

Quote

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.”
Thomas Jefferson
1743 – 1826

I wonder what he would think of the super-sized information highways of today!