Saturday, May 25, 2019
I've always had a fondness for swallowtail butterflies in particular. When the pipevine swallowtail lost habitat in San Francisco, they disappeared from the city. This man created the conditions needed to bring them back. For all that we hear about the destruction of our planet and denizens, this proves that one person's actions can make a difference in terms of fighting extinction.
Friday, May 24, 2019
I did it this morning because I'd woken up at five and was just awake, and couldn't go back to sleep. So I got up, took a shower, got ready, and did the update. I left the house at about 6:20 am, stopped by Kroger for caffeine, and went into work, getting there about 7 am. So I have until 8:30 am to just chill and do what I'd like. I've gotten my personal e-mail squared away. I'll check social media and the news. I'm on my hotspot on my phone rather than the hospital's WiFi because I promised a long time ago not to use the hospital's equipment to blog at all after someone had a conniption over something I'd written during a break at work. So, it's my equipment, my connexion.
Okay, let's go see what's going on in the world. I did see on my phone that Teresa May, the prime minister of Britain, has resigned. I don't care for her policies, or for the idea of Brexit. Not that it matters, I suppose, given that I'm not British and they don't care about my opinion. But she certainly was very polarising.
Friday, May 17, 2019
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Thanks to YKWIA for showing it to me, albeit for demonstrating that I shouldn't be so ready to follow emotion and get things out of vending machines.
Monday, May 06, 2019
Last week was mostly preparation for a colonoscopy on Friday. I won't say it was fun, but it was necessary, and not too bad.
We as a society are much more open about speaking up about colon cancer and screening than we used to be. I have to admit, I never thought about it (I was still fairly young) until Katie Couric spoke about her husband's cancer and the need for screening colonoscopies. It's not the most pleasant test in the world, after all--who really wants to be scoped up the butt after a day of clear liquids or more and prep that make you live in the bathroom for hours? But I have to say a couple of things here, having gone through my second one last week. One, the scope itself is painless and quick, and if you've done a careful prep, they produce good results for seeing the colon and any polyps or cancerous growths that may be there. Two, the preps are getting much better. Five years ago, when I had my first colonoscopy, it wasn't as bad as many had said (it seems preps vary on doctor and patient needs). This one, while I can't say it was a complete cakewalk, did its job quickly, was easier to get down, and it allowed me to sleep despite having to start at 6 pm the night before for the first part and 3 am for the second. It is called Suprep, tastes like cherry with just a little saltiness thrown in. There are two small bottles. You put one's contents in a cup, add enough cold water for it to be 16 oz., drink it, and then follow with four 8 oz cups of water over the next hour. Then your system turns to liquid, and after about an hour and a half, you may just want to go on to the bed. Then you get up five hours before your test and do the same thing again. I drank a little Diet Sprite in addition, and some more water, to stay hydrated.
By the time I was getting ready to go to my scope, everything was nice and clear, although I was eyeing the bananas on the table like they were ambrosia because I'd only had orange jello, veggie broth, and orange popsicles all day yesterday. But all the hard work in terms of diet and prep paid off. My scope went off without a hitch. Dr Belin and the folks at Colorectal Surgical & Gastroenterology Associates made it an easy experience. Literally, the only pain I felt was the putting in of my IV [I think I thwarted the nurse, as I'd given blood about a week before so she had to go through my wrist.] I wasn't sore or anything afterwards.
They found one polyp, which was removed, and that was basically the same as the test I had five years ago. I assume they'll send that away. They always give you pictures and everything looked clear. So I feel good about it. I was originally told that I should have them every 5-7 years because of the polyp they found on the first one and was all set to put it off to about 7. It's been 5, but after finding out my dad died of colon cancer, I thought I should have another one. They're recommending I have one every 5 years now. After my test, I was communicating with my stepmother on Facebook, and I learned that my paternal grandfather also died of colon cancer, and I came this mouthing to see if the frequency of the test should be changed but it is still five years.
Now if you're still with me, here's the thing. I have a good friend battling stage IV colon cancer right now He is in his early 60s. He never had a colonoscopy screening, despite a family history of a genetic form of colon cancer, so it wasn't caught early. My friend's brother, having lost a father and now with his brother.s diagnosis, has to have the scopes every year. He takes it in stride. I know people who have good access to healthcare (and one with a personal history of another type of cancer), who are old enough for the test, maybe even a decade or more in, and they won't go because of either the prep, the scope, or the fear of cancer. Others, like the friend who drove me today, are due for the screening but their health insurance is so high deductible that they can't afford the test. In a civilised society, that shouldn't be the case. I'm going to check with her because my understanding was that screening ones have to be done for free as part of the still-hanging-on Affordable Health Care Act.
Please keep the conversation open. Don't treat colorectal screening and testing like some taboo. Some still do. Encourage your loved ones to get tested. Get the test if you are 50 or over, or make a case with your insurance if you have any family history if you are younger. Prevention really is the key. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Read up on colorectal cancer and how to prevent it. You'll be glad you did.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
I cannot express the feeling of loss produced in me while I watched the images of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burning and collapsing. 800 years of history, beauty, art, and architecture were burnt away in mere hours. My condolences to the people of France, but it is a great loss for the world.
The thing that struck me the most this week (other than the footage today of Notre Dame burning, which left me crying and sick to my stomach at work today) was that on Saturday I went to the grocery and the man in line ahead of me, who was older, was getting items that obviously indicated he lived alone-single meals and canned goods, mostly, things that could be heated up easily without actually cooking. He was using an EBT card (Food Stamps) and was having trouble because he didn't have enough on it. The cashier checked his balance and he thought she'd run his card, so he started to use his debit card for the balance, which wasn't going through because he didn't know his PIN and the chip was confusing him. I realised what was going on and asked if he was trying to run the EBT first, because he was using the wrong card, and the cashier had him swipe his EBT card, leaving a five dollar balance, but he couldn't get that debit card to work to save his life. It had been about ten minutes. At first I was a little annoyed at the inconvenience, but as it went on I really felt bad for him. The technology was thoroughly confusing and thwarting him. I told the cashier that if it didn't go through in the next attempt to put it on my order, which surprised her. Things have been tight for me as of late, but it was only $5, after all. Finally, with two cashiers and a bagger helping, they got it to go through. He went on his way, never realising that I'd tried to help, and that was fine. But it was like looking at my potential future. He was alone, a little doddering, at the end of his monthly benefit, trying to make ends meet, and if he'd used the wrong card, that might have been the money for his electric bill or something. I'm sure for him the simple act of shopping for groceries was both frustrating and embarrassing, given the all the hoops he needed to negotiate, for which he was woefully unprepared. I thought of how I would have felt. It was very sobering. I'm 52 now and much more conscious of getting old than I used to be. I could see myself like that in 20 years.
Sunday, April 14, 2019
It took $163.00, $65 of which was the tow, so that wasn't that bad. It left me with very little until payday, but still, it's wonderful to have a working car again. I used it to do errands this weekend, getting medicine for a friend from the pharmacy and getting a few things at the store. On Saturday I also cleaned and organised it, vacuuming and detailing it. I need to wash it, as it's very grimy.
I loaded up my car with my winter clothes and library books yesterday and then took the tubs to the storage unit and the books to the library. There were only two tubs (I don't have a huge number of clothes). I have only four pairs of shoes, including house shoes, to put things on perspective.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Today I'm going to try to get the car fixed. They've just opened. I'm going to call Kenny at Mitch's Auto, get a tow truck over to the house, where the car is unlocked and the key is with YKWIA, and then see how bad it is quoted. If it's just a hose, it may be very cheap. If it's more, well, we'll see. I had a PTO request in for today for a now-rescheduled appointment where I was leaving at 3 pm anyway, so I can leave here and get over there to get the car (assuming I can get it fixed),
Okay, I just called YKWIA to make sure he's awake, and Kenny to get the ball running with the car. Wish me luck!!!
Thursday, April 11, 2019
My car has a vacuum leak and has been getting steadily worse. Yesterday I went to pick up my contact lenses from the optometrist, and the car died as I pulled into my parking spot--not just idling at a light or something. So today I'm on the bus. Not sure how to get all I need to get done today, but I'll try. But even though I came a little early I'd better get off of here and clock in, as it's just a few minutes away. I'll try to write later.
Thursday, March 28, 2019
I'm very fortunate to have an office of my own (it's due to the reams of patient information I deal with and the phone calls I make to insurance), and it's a purple office, which is a plus, with lovely afternoon light. I'm getting better at taking pictures without any patient information at all, I must say. My desk itself has lots of cubbies to separate things, a computer, a scanner, and a calendar--very productive and not full of knick-knacks.
Here's what it looks like now:
Oops, got to go clock in. I've been on my phone hotspot and I need to shut down and get going with my day. Have a great day!