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I haven’t addressed the political atmosphere and news that’s been bubbling out of the melting pot of the United States. The ingredients, sous chefs, and master chefs are allowing the criminals that think McDonald’s is fine dining dictate the dishes, recipes, and menu; then the restaurant workers don’t even get to prepare the dishes themselves, but are forced into the fridge as the mob princess waltzes in with the salt and pepper, sprinkles it on a McFlurry and calls herself Master Chef.

Err, I may be a little hungry. Someone get the girl a salad and spinach ravioli!

One of McD’s Top 10 Failures: McDo & McSpaghetti

What it all boils down to is I’m tired of being told I’m being served gourmet spinach ravioli in a delicate butter sauce with broccolini, and I’m really being served Chicken McDo & McSpaghetti.

I may need a little bit more time to find my words. Perhaps it’s time to mine my drafts.  😉

 

 


Image from Zimbio

Doctor Who: The Doctor, Jodie Whittaker

Have you ever had a wonderful doctor that you actually recommend to people because you genuinely feel they’re splendid in their job?

They’re the kind of doctor who keeps up on their specialty and know what they’re talking about. They have a great bedside manner. The kind of doctor who is willing, and even encourages back and forth dialogue. The kind of doctor that you want to hug during emotional moments, and on the way out of the appointment.

They even have excellent office staff, nurses, medical assistants, and APRNs. How often does that trifecta happen?

How often do you really get to keep that sort of doctor? Whenever I have this type of Wonder Doctor, I always wait for the other shoe to drop. Whenever I tell other people about my Wonder Doctor/s I can see the initial look of doubt on the face of the person I’m telling.

The more I mention my Wonder Doctor/s the more it seems they’re actually more elusive than *loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, and unqualified love. 😉

In very early December I called the office of my pain management and spine specialist doctor. I needed to confirm my upcoming appointment and let them know I needed refills prior to the appointment since we misjudged the timing during scheduling the last time I was in the office. The nurse answering the phone said,

Oh… you didn’t get the letter?

Um, no?

And I didn’t call you? You were on my list my call, I could have sworn.

Well, no, James [name has been changed to protect Todd] you didn’t call and I didn’t get a letter (nervous laugh). You’re starting to worry me.

I’m so embarrassed (really, really nervous laugh from James). Doctor Awesomesauce is leaving the practice. I swear a letter went out, but sometimes … I’m so sorry you didn’t get a copy.

And that’s when I burst out crying while on the phone, and apologized to James.

I’m so sorry you found out this way.

Can you tell me why she’s leaving? Is she going to a different practice?

She’s not. She loves this place, but while her family is still young and her child/ren is/are small she wants to be sure to be there as they grow. It’s very important to her.

I understand that. I was a stay at home parent for years, and am one again. (wipes snot and tears) I wish her well, but of course I have to be selfish for a moment. Will you be moving to the new doctor’s office?

No, unfortunately. Thank you for asking, you’re the first.

Sure. You guys have been great. Are you able to tell me who’s taking over the practice?

We don’t know who’s replacing her yet, but it’ll be a few months. It shouldn’t be past March, however someone will call you sooner than that. If not, you should, um… get a letter. With, um, all of the contact information for the new doctor.

NOTE: I did not get a call. Nor did I get a letter. Shocker, right?

I did get my usual 3-month refill for my daily medication, and single month refill for Tramadol. That helped ease some anxiety.

She was my White Rabbit of Wonder Doctors. When I got off the phone with “James” I cried for what felt like hours. Deep, sobbing, grieving cries. Much of it was because of what I described above, and much of it was because this I felt out of control. I felt anxious from not knowing who would be taking over the practice, and not knowing when that would occur. That was a rough, impossible weekend.

Throughout December, January, and February I called the number listed on the practice’s web site for Pain Management and Spine Specialist section. It directed me to my old doctor’s phone number, so I left messages there letting them know I was still interested in setting up an appointment with the new doctor. The longer I went without knowing anything, the more anxious I felt. In March I started to panic when my prescription for my daily medication reached two weeks. When I reached only a few days it was full blown anxiety attacks, especially since my pain levels have been increasing versus simply being a flare up.

I called my primary care doctor at that point and explained the situation. She was the one who referred me to Wonder Doctor in the first place, especially as friends in and out of the practice. She insisted on an in-office appointment so I complied and went in the next day. Of course we talked about my pain levels, which she keeps close track of along with the rest of my health, and updated all of my medications as we do every appointment. We had to remove the Zoloft since I was getting over a severe allergic reaction.

She agreed to give a one-time refill on my Gabapentin/Neurontin, which not only helps the Fibromyalgia but the myofascial pain, carpal tunnel, and osteoarthritis. She then asked me if I expected a refill on Tramadol. I hadn’t asked for one since I had been without it since mid-February after stretching it out. I tend to try to stretch it out for emergencies, but got yelled at by my pain doctor for that since she said it’s not managing my pain properly. No pain medication taken daily can relieve more than 25-to-45% of chronic pain, and that’s why Tramadol when used properly is given to take 2X a day 12 hours apart with the exception of specific, special instructions for, well, exceptions. When I explained what Wonder Doctor and I discussed and usually did, and how I handled Tramadol, she looked through the shared notes on the system and saw I wasn’t lying. She called in Tramadol too.

In case you couldn’t tell, I really, really love my PCP. Since at least as early as 2004. I’m still waiting for the other shoe on her to drop. ::sigh::

When I went to the reception nurse to check on my next appointment, she gave me the number for the new Pain Management and Orthopaedic Specialist taking over Now SAHM Doctor and set up and appointment for me for two weeks later. That was early-ish April. I prepared myself for a doctor who would be like my first Rheumatologist.

He’s young, tall, seems to know his stuff regarding my medical issues, and he’s open to back and forth discussion. He’s open to continued research. He’s open to discussing how alternative therapies can help support relieve pain so that any pain medication I take is at minimal dosage. After that appointment, we had a check-in two weeks later since we adjusted my meds and got results from a urine test. At that appointment we both agreed to continue treatment, and both signed the contract regarding opioid use and other pain med usage, how to behave in the office, how to use (or not use) alcohol and other drugs, how to approach ERs and hospital visits, how to approach other doctors, etc. He’s really, really thorough.

I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

If that shoe does drop, I’ll have to remember that when God closes one door he always opens a window*.

 

*Full quote with thanks from  John Grogan:
Many of the qualities that come so effortlessly to dogs – loyalty, devotion, selflessness, unflagging optimism, unqualified love – can be elusive to human.

*2 I’m sorry not sorry for mixing metaphors. 😉


I “suffer” from MNBIS. It’s tragic, really. I don’t know how I manage. 😛

I always seem to have the best blog subject ideas when I wake up in the middle of the night. I’m up either from pain or having to use the loo, and I’m still in pain anyway, and I’m having difficulty going back to sleep. As I’m dozing, I have dozens of amazing ideas every week for subjects and I manage to write them in full in my head.

It’s funny that cognitive, pain, and dexterity issues prevent me from writing these amazing entries in the middle of the night. Short tweets on my phone or Kindle? Okay. Short entries on my phone, eh, but that’s really, really inconvenient even when I’m awake.

What’s really funny is how cognizant it feels while having these ideas and even writing them in my head. If I do get to actually writing it down on paper, and I see it during daylight hours, there are so many typos and grammar issues it’s illegible. The handwriting itself looks like an abstract artist’s dream. Which I suppose it is, since I enjoy creating abstract art.

Hm. There’s a new way to look at it. Midnight words turned into abstract swirls of colored thought.

So maybe not so tragic after all. 😉

 


Happy Friday [I forgot where I got this image, sorry… I just googled for Lemonade Happy Friday]

I made just a few changes around here. I updated to a floral spring header and background color. I also slightly adjusted my blog tagline; I only shortened it. No one has hacked my account again, which by the way pisses me off. At least they only post short weird ad-like oddness. Still.

The changes you might notice if you visit my blog after today are due to me. 🙂 The appearance changes are legit.

Happy Friday!


Navel Gazing, found on zuco.org

It’s been ages since I’ve talked about headlines. The news cycle went from weekly to daily. Now it seems to have gone to hourly half of the week. When I turn off all technology for an afternoon and evening, or even a full day, that’s the day that I miss several seemingly-important headlines.

Even when I don’t miss a day or two, the trick is really figuring out which headlines are the important ones. Sifting through them can be an emotionally draining chore. No one really talks about that part, do they. I appreciate having the comprehension ability to understand it out on my own. I appreciate being able to sort the facts from the exaggerations. I’m grateful for knowing how to research what I learn in order to prove or disprove what I’ve learned. I never take anything at face value. I always consider the source.

I also always make sure I have enough coffee. That’s the other trick. The comfort-food aspect makes a difference. Why? Because so much of the news is anxiety-inducing, sad, angering, upsetting. It’s important to find wholesome news and stories; uplifting and inspiring images. We need to do more than inform our brains. We need to positively feed our emotions. We need to educate ourselves, too.

I enjoy learning about new scientific discoveries. It’s exciting learning about our space programs. Finding new animals and plants is fun. I’m not beyond looking up recipes, either. 😉  I love to be able to share these things with my family.

We have to stay balanced. The headlines can’t become everything.

I know I sound like I’m tooting my own horn, but let me be clear here: I recognize that sometimes I’m wrong. ::gasp::  Oh, please, it’s not like I haven’t admitted that before.I know it seems odd but I needed to purge this before I could continue with anything else. It’s a self-affirmation I needed to see in writing.

 

 

 


My beautiful grandmother passed away on September 22nd 2017. She was there the day I was born. I was there the moment she died. I miss her so much that I don’t think I’ve ever missed anyone more. Because it’s permanent.

Gram was my first favorite person in the entire world. Her love has always been unconditional. I do believe in Heaven. I do believe she’s in Heaven because with the life she lived there’s no other place she could be in an afterlife. I believe she’s watching over her entire family, and loving us as she always has, maybe even more purely.

Except Gram’s not here. I can’t hug her or kiss her. I can’t feel hugs or kisses from her. I can’t hold her hand. We can’t have silly misunderstandings because her hearing was so bad that hearings aids were worthless.

Well, until I figured out using really big writing boards to write Gram messages would work.

Well, they’d work as long as you aimed the board at Gram’s one good eye. And the writing was large enough.

Oh, those conversations were fun. Sometimes I think out loud, and I’m talking “with” my Gram. I wait for her responses and imagine what she might say. I try to use her as my inspiration in doing better. It’s hard. She was a wonderful wife and mother. She was a devout Catholic, devout to the faith right until her final breath. She was a wonderful friend. She never tore anyone down, even if she had a complaint. The worst she would say was a gruff, “Oohhhh, I don’t like him!” without resorting to personal insults.

Gram was kind, generous, loving, silly, intelligent, and she’d light up a room. I can’t think of anyone who ever met her that disliked her. While taking care of her during those last couple of weeks I learned that she sang for the Star Spangled Banner for President Harry Truman’s daughter. She was more well known as a singer than I ever realized. She was classically trained in NYC, which I knew, but I didn’t know she was trained by Professor Fuchs. He trained Lilly Pons.

I miss her. I just… I still can’t really comprehend that I won’t see her again. Yes, I was there when Gram died. I was holding her hand and kissing her face, whispering in her ear that she was surrounded by me and my Grampa. Yes, I sat with her while family came to pay respects. I floated through that night and the weekend, stunned, feeling lost. My days and nights had been consumed with caring for her and my Grampa.

I went back over the weekend to take care of Grampa, but luckily my Great Aunts and some of my dad’s cousins took over for me so that I could rest. I was running on empty and disbelief.

Yes, I put on a face and appropriate clothes and continued floating through a wake that never ended. It never ended, but I don’t remember much of it except seeing a couple of my cousins’ babies.

Yes, I put on my face again with appropriate clothes and floated through the funeral. I know it was a nice service, and the music made me cry. Ave Maria. How Can I Keep My Heart From Singing. Amazing Grace.

I know that I stiffly made it through the cemetery. I still have some of her roses.

I started to come down from floating during the gathering after the funeral. All of my cousins were there, and almost all of their babies. Seeing those little ones with my Grampa, and seeing them make him smile and laugh was priceless.

I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want my cousins to leave. I wanted to hold their babies forever, snuggling them and loving them. I wished it didn’t take a death in the family to bring us all together like that.

It’s been very difficult for me to be emotionally functional these past few months. I’ve been more anxious, and very depressed. With the lovely New England winter, my Fibromyalgia has been flaring up terribly. Depression and anxiety are making it worse. I had been ignoring the pain and anxiety, but that weekend it hit me because I had to pay attention. The pain eased for a few weeks, and then the cold settled in and the season hit hard. The pain, of course, increases the anxiety. The cold hits my arthritis. The snow storms trigger migraines. The pain worsens my depression.

It’s a cycle. I don’t think I’ve had a worse winter.

I was in a daze through the holidays. I still feel as if I’m in a daze much of the time. I cry easily. Don’t worry, I’ve been seeing my therapist. It helps.

None of this is getting easier. I don’t miss her any less. It’s still raw. I’m just going with it, letting it happen.

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