I was able to communicate with one of the many Bobs in my life last night. (Long-time readers know I’ve many friends named Bob and Dave. One childhood friend was even named Robert Davidson!)
The dear friend with whom I was a private investigator, and later worked together in a firearms emporium.
The one who lost the lower 12″ of his left leg due to diabetic complications. And almost lost his life.
Fortunately, things are going well as can be for him.
He’s been using a prosthesis now for about six weeks! He still has need of a wheelchair or a walker for some life activities.
The most important thing is he is active, continuing to test his limits, and has a terrific attitude.
One daughter is preparing to graduate from a local university; the other from Northwestern.
He is most proud.
I’m proud of him for his ongoing attitude. I’ve my own health issues – And he continues to show me that attitude is everything.
Thank you, Robert!
I’m still sick. Have spent most of the past three days in bed. Am planning on going into Urgent Care this morning. (This, after checking to make certain they took Medicare – some don’t – and that they don’t expect their 20% up front.)
Which is good, because I probably don’t have it.
The interesting thing in all this (to me, anyway) is that my temperature (which tends to run about a degree low, anyway) has been all over the map. Starting on Thursday @ 102°, then varying degrees of 101° on Friday and Saturday. It was even 99° – something one time!
And all I’ve been taking is a cough suppressant, which doesn’t work especially well…
(My own doc wants me to lay off the IB, as I’ve been eating them by the hands full for years!)
I do feel better at 99° than at 102°. Duh.
So, we shall see.
(Post UC visit – apparently, I’ve bronchitis (among other issues). I was chest x-rayed, breathing tested, steroid injected, and given antibiotics and an inhaler, and sent on my way. I’m feeling MUCH better, and my temp is much closer to normal. HUZZAH! Thanks for all your kind comments and emails!)
And now, to make good the promise of the blog post title…THE THREE DEGREES!
(If you abhor whining, read no further)
First, my former employer TMCCC contacted me regarding applying for early retirement. I’m currently medically retired due to my contracting lymphoma in 2008. I left active employment in 2009, after six months of chemo.
Obviously, the sooner they can nudge me out, the less pension they will have to pay. And current calculations are not very promising, regardless of my retiring now or @ 65.
So, it wasn’t a complete surprise when my private medical insurance carrier (thank GOD I paid the premiums when I was working!) contacted me to update their information.
This means contacting my physician with regard to my current condition and ability to work.
In spite of the fact I was awarded SSDI and private disability due to having cancer, I have many other conditions which make returning to the workforce problematic. Even though I AM currently in remission! (knock-on-wood!)
Working while diabetic is no biggee, working with the neuropathy (chronic nerve pain) that comes with it – not so much. And the arthritis. There was a time I could stand and sit for long hours. No longer. Now, sitting more than an hour or two is painful. Forget standing and walking much.
Oh, I can (and do) take various prescription pain medications. Which make me dopey and put me to sleep. And still only lessen the pain. They do not take it away.
And my fear is the private insurance company will say, well, you have been in remission over 5 years…SAYONARA!
And the private addition to my SSDI payment isn’t much, but it is 21% of my disability pay. And the total is still poverty level.
I rent a room in a friend’s home, and drive a clunky 2000 Oldsmobile. I lost my home of 18 years, 2 1/2 years ago. I’m not milking the system here.
And now I get to jump through more hoops in hope of keeping that 21%.
This is not a label I wear well. My leg disability onset when I was 12 (Legg Perthes – wiki) and other ‘issues’ have been added to the list as I have aged. (arthritis, diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer).
I spent most of my adult life labeling myself as NOT disabled, and refusing such aids as a built-up shoe (which I now wear, aka ‘Ed Sullivan’-the really big shoe*).
I used to jog, work out, lift weights. I ran the city police obstacle course. Back and mobility issues now preclude such things.
In the past year my lower back/hip began causing me chronic pain, largely due to one leg being 3 inches shorter than the other. My doctor expressed surprise I’d not really had any back issues until now. And prescribed me exercises and additional pain meds. (Yea!)
And with diabetic neuropathy, walking, standing or even sitting can be painful.
I’m NOT looking for sympathy or pity.
But, I do wish to share with you my most common, frustrating annoyance.
As my right hip is fused, I cannot bend forward, or even lean very much. This makes sitting (as at the dinner table) sometimes painful.
It’s amazing how much food can fall off a fork and into one’s lap (or more correctly, one’s belly)!
My dinner partner can lean forward and errant food can gently fall onto her plate, or the napkin in her lap. But me?
There are even times the belly is too far and it’s hit’s my chest!
At an Italian restaurant, my shirt sometimes resembles a bad guy in the movies, with 5 hits center mass.
And I look like a complete slob – which I am not.
I spend an inordinate amount of money on stain remover – or place the napkins on my entire torso, like some bumpkin at the Mayberry diner.
Yes, I have a multitude of chronic conditions, but this is my most annoying.
I guess I’m grateful.
*ask your parents if you don’t get the reference or the joke
Let me preface this post with I
don’t rarely get sick.
I had a minor bout of flu last Summer, for about three days. I’ve not had a cold in YEARS!
I’d like to say it’s because of my healthy lifestyle, but, that would be a falsehood. Because of my various ongoing ‘issues’, I get little exercise, and I eat the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.). Pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, spaghetti (now called pasta), some beer, Mexican food. If I eat veggies, it’s usually a salad, with Italian dressing, croutons and Parmesan cheese.
When I DO become ill, I usually don’t do it half way. Diabetes, lymphoma, skin cancer. And the whole fallout from that near-fatal auto accident some years back.
So, no one was more surprised than I when around Christmas, I began to wheeze upon exhaling. Just a tiny bit, at the very end. At first, I thought it was some fool revving his bike at 0600, while I was blogging(!) :-)
The Winter air quality in the Valley sucks – inversion, ya know!
Then, New Years Eve, I became congested, phlegmy. No sore throat pain, just throat-clearing nonsense. I thought it was a true cold, but, it just appears to be allergies, and reaction to the cold weather (28° F, in Phoenix this morning, cold and rainy New Years Eve Day!)
And this morning started with a minor sore throat and cough!
Guess it’s to the
drug store pharmacy for Guffaw!
Nope, not mine! :-)
My roommate, J, is having a medical procedure done today. Early. While not life-threatening or surgery, she has need of someone to accompany her. I am happy to do it, as she was there for me when I had my bouts with lymphoma and carcinoma, as well as many other times and ways.
I hope to blog something of a less personal nature later. Or not.
Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
THIS JUST IN – Subject is resting comfortably. Procedure seems to have been successful!
…or Death Doctors? (A natural extension of death panels?)
I take four pills in the AM, six in the PM, as mandated by my physician. Most months the computer that lives in my cellular telephone easily links with the computer at the pharmacy and I’m advised by text messaging when my medications are ready for pickup.
Every few months, the pharmacy computer determines that my physician needs to re-approve one prescription before dispensing. Or two. Or three. Or more. Some months, even with this additional computer in the loop, I get approval for all prescriptions quickly. Even with physician approval, on Sunday! Sometimes within two hours!
Ain’t technology grand? :-)
BUT, then there are the times that there’s a breakdown in computer communication. Like this past week.
I called in my prescriptions mid-morning Thursday, and the pharmacy computer advised me that two of the meds needed a doctor’s approval. The pharmacy texting system isn’t always working correctly, so Saturday noon I visited the pharmacy in my travels. All approved and ready for pickup, including ONE of the doctor re-approved ones. The second one requiring a physician approval – NOPE.
And, of course, the doctor’s office is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
When the pharmacy opened @ 0900 Monday, I called and the technician advised there had been no subsequent approval. She said she would re-fax the request, and suggested I call my doctor’s office to advise them of that fact. I did, and the message-taker therein said she would email the doctor, and someone would get back to me by 1700 Monday afternoon. Someone.
@ 1500, the doctor’s office called, and a medical assistant me advised they had received no faxes from the pharmacy. (Funny, as a fax sent the same day for another medication had been approved!) She advised she would alert the doctor regarding the needed medication. I asked her to let me know as soon as this was completed. She said she would.
She never called me back!
Now, if this were a vitamin supplement, or sugar pill, I wouldn’t care. But every medication is for either cholesterol, blood sugar maintenance, or chronic pain abatement. I can (and have) lived with the pain without medication; I did it for two years – it IS HELL ON WHEELS, though! What I don’t see myself living without is my blood pressure medicine. Without it, I’m well into stroke territory. And THIS is the medicine needing approval!
I had one pill left as of Monday PM. (Which is why I called last Thursday!)
At 4:30 PM, I received a text message my medication was ready for pickup at the pharmacy!
Ain’t technology wonderful?
When I started this blog, it was more just an outlet – it was something to do. Being on medical disability for lymphoma, compounded by arthritis, a fused hip, and diabetes, I told myself I would NOT use the blog as therapy.
Even though, on more than one occasion, I have! :-)
But one advantage of this window on the world is it can be indeed a window. And can be observed both directions.
Recently, I posted about Kilted To Kick Cancer. Cancer charities are especially personal to me, being a lymphoma survivor, and all. When I was diagnosed, and required chemotherapy, I was actively employed and had quality health insurance.
But, it wasn’t enough to cover the high cost of the chemo.
Enter a charity – who, upon my application, covered the bulk of the cost not absorbed by my insurance.
For this, and for many things, I should be grateful.
But, I get into myself, ongoing chronic pain issues, inability to work, low income, old bad car w/o A/C, yatta, yatta, yatta…
Then I get a view into the window!
I’m privileged to have many people follow me on this blog. I’ve no idea why they do. And while some are fellow travelers of the libertarian/conservative/gun totin’ kind, there are others.
Talk about an attitude adjustment! To see what this beautiful woman and her family are going through…
And so many others.
There are some allegations so heinous, if someone already looked askance at one, it is assumed one is guilty. (Michael Jackson comes to mind)
And we all know about assuming…(Thank you, again Don Brown!)
There has been a ‘news’ story floating around the past few days regarding Will Hayden, formerly of The Discovery Channel’s Sons of Guns. His ex-wife (or girlfriend) is alleging Mr. Hayden repeatedly raped their minor daughter, starting at age 11.
It may be assumed (there’s that word, again) that Mr. Hayden has substantial assets ripe for the attachment, and that as his persona was that of a cool, somewhat likeable, no-nonsense hard ass on the TV show, that these allegations might be spurious.
Of course, who knows?
I’ve a good friend for many years who was sexually abused by both her father and uncle – both of whom were upstanding community leaders – and they never were brought to justice for their crimes. I also know two men who were childhood victims of relatives. One perpetrator was a woman.
No justice for these folks was ever found.
My point is we don’t know the truth, yet, about Mr. Hayden. The Discovery Channel has sought to distance itself from the TV show and Mr. Hayden.
Is this simply an evil woman bringing unfounded charges to gain wealth, or vengeance, or is the evil in Mr. Hayden?
Regardless of the truth, I believe too much of this kind of heinous crime occurs, without earthly consequence.
Perhaps there is other-than-earthly consequence for such evil persons?
I certainly hope so.
(While I believe in ‘the system’, and ‘due process’, persons who destroy the lives of children in this manner should be drawn and quartered – Guffaw)
Chapter 3 – The Adventure Continues (you needn’t search, there are no chapters 1 or 2…this is like Star Wars!)
I did post previously regarding my neighbors to the South (we live in a common-wall townhouse) who were evicted after it was discovered they have lived in filth for two years, were hoarders and were running a puppy mill, illegally! And, after they vacated, so did their German roaches.
To OUR place!
The owner/landlady of the neighboring roach nest promised us she’d pay for ALL necessary extermination, etc. She has spend thousands having hundreds of bags of trash, dog feces, and even the built-in appliances removed from her rental. One of the bug guys told me when he moved the washer and dryer, there were dead and dying roaches TWO INCHES DEEP underneath!
They came and sprayed our place twice. The first time very thoroughly, including the front outside and our small back yard. The second time was kind-of a perfunctory, yeah yeah, we gotta spray again thing. We did tell them they couldn’t dust inside the walls due to my roommates asthma. Apparently, they took this as some kind of insult.
The incursion has lessened since they finished next door – after TWELVE (12) VISITS! But, the roaches have obviously established a beachhead here, and we needed to take further action.
As instructed, we contacted the exterminator to discuss our options. They said they would need to speak with the landlady for additional authorization, which was fine. But, they were very rude, as if they no longer wanted the money!?
So J. made an executive decision (after all, we’re living in her place). We went to a do-it-yourself bug place, instead.
Since Thursday last, we have been following instructions, removing all items from the kitchen cabinets in preparation of cleaning, spraying, drilling holes in the kickplates for special chemicals, and finally washing and replacing everything, and leaving bait. And we’re ALMOST done.
What A MESS!
BUT, this is certainly more thorough than the ‘professional’, and promises to give us more relief.
Or kill us…