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!
Monday, March 25, 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019
I went and picked up the prints and the VCR/DVD yesterday. The prints are still in the car, as I should get the back parking lot parking lottery either Friday or Monday, and I can bring them in and have maintenance hang them on my office wall.
Whoops, better go clock in. I've been on my phone hotspot in the break room and chatting with a co-worker!
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
As you know, the hospital I work at moved both in terms of model and location a couple of years ago, and we were recently given the opportunity to bid on items at the old place we'd like in a silent auction. I bid on four items, including one I've been bugging materials management about for about five years. I'm going to pick up the small stuff today and the big one on Sunday with the help of a friend with a truck. Here's my loot:
|It's purple! And a garden...|
|This was above my desk at the old building. It's a Ray Harm print of an indigo bunting.|
|Yes, I still have VHS tapes. This VHS/DVD player should help with that.|
|And finally, I got my card catalogue!!! Whoopee!|
Okay, let's go see what news I can glean from the Web.
Friday, March 15, 2019
Thursday, March 14, 2019
But the wind is gusting up to 58 mph and the rain is coming. We're staying home after all tonight and will celebrate our friend's birthday tomorrow. The Herbie (trash bin) and Rosie (recycling bin) have been taken to the kerb but the recycling one keeps falling over. I chased a lasagna carton down the street earlier. The trash one has its top off, but everything's in a bag at least in that one.
I had a blood draw today with YKWIA. Our doctor does it two weeks before our appointments. It went quickly, so we ate at a Subway afterward, went and got some medicine from the pharmacy, went to the library, and we were still home by 6:20 or so. I took out the bins, fed the animals, and he let the dog outside. Not
W I'm lying down and stretching my back out some.
I'm hoping we don't lose electricity with the wind, but I'm charging thing up things now just in case. Earlier we were on the road and the traffic lights kept going off and back on. There are some questionable boughs in the maple trees out front as well. So here's hoping it will all be alright.
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Anyway, sorry I haven't physically gone to the computer and blogged instead. I've been fairly busy as of late.
I've spent some time setting up the new phone and tablet. The phone I've geared towards listening--things like Pandora, audiobooks, podcasts, music on the SD card, etc. The tablet I've geared towards reading, especially Kindle and Project Gutenberg.
We haven't played the game in a while as one of the players is away visiting family in another state. So the first weekend of this month YKWIA and I went to the Lexington Chamber Orchestra concert at Tates Creek Presbyterian Church and had a very good time. Otherwise, it's been all about doing stuff around the house on the weekend and getting some relaxation in. I haven't read much else, just a bit of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, and while I had to turn in The Labyrinth of Spirits (which, as a new book, was due in 2 weeks rather than 28 days), I got it as an Audible audiobook. Today as I was waiting at a doctor's appointment I went through the book up to where I left off. I was on chapter 19 (21 really, as it has a prologue, etc.), which sounds great but the thing has over 700 pages and while the chapters are short, there are over 170 of them! I'm not sure I can listen to it at work and still focus on my paperwork like I can with music, but I have a device that plugs into the car cigarette lighter that syncs up with Bluetooth to my phone that allows me to play music and answer calls even though I have an old car (18 years old!) that doesn't normally have that functionality. I can also play the audiobook through the device.
Brenda stopped by the other day with a wonderful orchid for me. She'd found it at Kroger for $2, in a plastic pot and finished blooming, but healthy and there are about three plants in there. It's a type I haven't had before with a very prominent pseudobulb on the bottom with leaves coming from them. I've seen them in the store--they have rusty, spidery, small flowers in just clusters of them, and I've really wanted them. I'm not sure what type it is, perhaps a miniature Cattleya or Dendrobium.
Speaking of which, it's almost spring, and I read with interest that the Bluegrass Orchid Society was having their first meeting of the year tonight, with a talk on Dendrobium species and their care, but I had the doctor's appointment and then we had planned on going over to a friend's house for his birthday. He is battling cancer, and had gone out with his brother and sister-in-law, and was just too tired to get together tonight, so we'll go see him tomorrow. So by the time we got home, it was too late to change plans and go to the meeting. I would have loved to have taken the new orchid, though, and get an identification, but oh, well.
I fed the animals and then YKWIA went to the computer and was watching some weird, twisted soap opera he discovered on YouTube, while I went to my room to lie down for just a bit, and the cats came with me, the one purring on my belly and the other at my feet. I wound up falling asleep for two and a half hours. I got up and did the dishes, plugged in the electronics to charge tonight, and then decided to write a bit. But I can tell sleep is coming fast. I didn't sleep the best last night, kept waking up in fact, and woke up at 4:30 am to pee and almost just got up for the day. I toyed with the idea of going and getting another bookcase for my office since I had the appointment and therefore parking in back of the hospital, but that would have meant going to the storage unit in the dark wee hours of the night, and I thought that wouldn't be particularly prudent. So I decided to go back to sleep, and it's good that I had the parking, as I woke up at 7:16 am, and had to be at work by 8:30 am. I was about 15 minutes early, but if I'd had to ride the bus this morning that would not have happened.
Work has been very busy and I've done really well with productivity and while it can be frustrating, I'm plugging on. The other day I was able to pull off a minor miracle to get a family's MRI scheduled next day, with the help of my co-worker who does the authorizations, and my boss let me come in at an ungodly hour of the morning so I could call first thing. It was touch and go for a while (I got pulled out of a meeting because the family got there and the university had accidentally scheduled a sibling instead, so they were being told there was no appointment made). I'm working on some difficult surgeries, and I have three denials I have to work on for a single case agreement tomorrow. That's when you ask the insurance company to treat your out-of-network status as if it were in-network for that one case only. I've had one other case I tried it on, and it worked, so it's worth a try, and it works better, in my opinion than an appeal. But I don't have much experience in it.
I had applied to the Lexington Public Library in February for a library programming position, but I haven't heard anything, so I'm assuming I didn't get it. LPL does usually send an e-mail, and I haven't received that yet, but it's been a month or so since the position closed so it's not looking good. :(
Tomorrow I'm at work until 3 pm again as I have a blood draw at 4 pm. My family doctor always does a blood draw two weeks ahead of the main appointment. Kudos to my boss, who let me off for a total of four appointments this month, although they're all after 3:30 pm at least. It was five but I rescheduled my appointment with the ophthalmologist to April. My endocrinologist is next Monday; it had already been rescheduled by them from January since she wasn't going to be in that day, and when I tried to reschedule, it was going to be August! So that one had to stay. I need to reschedule one I missed during my bout with the respiratory virus in January, and I have made an optometrist appointment for an exam on the first weekend of April. Yay for weekend appointments. I'm switching dentists and need to get the ball rolling on that, too. But all my appointments were clustering in March and so I'll wait on that till maybe May, I think. Then I can have the second cleaning of the year in November. I did have the DMO plan for Aetna, which paid more fully for services but had a very limited range of providers (mainly Aspen Dental). I switched back to the PPO, which costs a little more but has many dentists so I could go to one I've been to before and liked, one that YKWIA goes to. The reason? Aspen called me up one day insisting I pay a bill I didn't know about before they turned me over to collections. When I asked how much I owed, it was $1. Yes, you read that right, $1. I paid it there over the phone, but it kind of ticked me off that they would do that, threaten to send me to collections over such a trivial amount when I'd never even been billed. Anyway, I like Dr Kleier, although she doesn't have the later hours they did. So I'll have to wait to go there.
Okay, I guess I should head to bed. 6 am comes early, and with the time change, it's a struggle. Good night!
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Saturday, February 23, 2019
Friday, February 22, 2019
This foray into pinkeye infection has really not been fun. I am feeling a little better tonight but my eyes still hurt a bit and feel gravelly. Not to mention YKWIA is having issues so he can't read comfortably, and that's an issue. But I think it's almost run its course for me. We have managed to watch several episodes of 'The Umbrella Academy' over the last couple of days. I never read the Dark Horse comic, so I don't know how much they've stayed faithful or veered away from the comic, although YKWIA is a little familiar with the original. But I am enjoying it. The one I'm identifying with the most is Number 7, Vanya, known as The White Violin, who has always been told she is the ordinary one without powers, although obviously she does, for when she goes off the needs after been on since childhood, something starts happening. I'm not finished yet, we're still watching. But I'm enjoying it. They're all damaged, they're all dysfunctional, and a lot of miscommunication leads to issues. And it's delightfully weird. When I did collect comics, most were by DC, but in the Vertigo imprint, like Sandman, The Dreaming, Death: the High Cost of Living, The Books of Magic, etc. The main series I'm watching that is comic-based right now (with my roommate on Hulu; whereas 'The Umbrella Academy' we watch on my Netflix) is Marvel's 'Legion' , which as a comic book is weird in its own right, but the Noah Hawkley series starring an immensely talented Dan Stevens is a story that's just on acid and extremely well done.
Thursday, February 21, 2019
On the other hand, I'm kind of bored. I don't really feel 'sick'. I did watch an episode of 'Sherlock' yesterday by myself and later 'Legion' with my roommate. Today I may try to read. I am a little light sensitive. And my roommate is now having some issues with his eye, despite my wiping down everything with Lysol wipes, but of course, I was probably contagious the day before. :(
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
I can't sleep because my feet - especially the tops of my feet - are really hurting, along with my hips and back. It's all arthritis. It's raining hard outside and the rain that moved in is to last for days. I took some ibuprofen, rubbed my feet with a muscle rub, filled up the humidifier of my CPAP, and I'm going to try to sleep again.
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Monday, February 18, 2019
So on Friday, the same day my phone went out, my check engine light came on. I went to Advanced Auto Parts today and had the codes checked, then came home and used my roommate's phone to call my mechanic. (The replacement has not arrived at T-mobile yet). It could be a vacuum leak. But it's nothing that's going to leave me stranded somewhere, so I'll try to get it fixed as soon as possible, but I can't right now.
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Book 7 for the year: 'What Color is Your Parachute? Guide to Rethinking Interviews' by Richard N. Bolles. Overall very good, and it was very comforting considering how nervous I get during then. He definitely had good advice for the future.
I started a fiction book as well, and I am about 60 pages in. It's called 'The Labyrinth of Spirits', a novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, part of a series called The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There are four in the series, but they can be read on any order or alone. I'll let you know how that goes. :)
Saturday, February 16, 2019
- The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
- Overcoming Distractions by David A. Greenwood
- Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD by Susan C. Pinsky
- Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide by Rachel Wilkerson Miller
- What Color is Your Parachute? Guide to Rethinking Resumes by Richard N. Bolles
- The Inefficiency Assassin by Helena Sagura
So the good news is I didn't have to upgrade to a new phone or spend a lot of money that I didn't have. I have paid off the phone (it's about 2 1/2 years old, a Samsung Galaxy S7), but I've also kept insurance on it, and so I can exchange it for a new phone of the same model, and it'll just cost me $5 for a fee (I guess that covers their shipping it to the store). It may come as early as today (I was at the store when they first opened, and it shipped quickly), but with the weekend and holiday it could be Tuesday, I guess, at the latest, unless UPS runs on Presidents' Day, I'm not sure about that. So here's hoping it'll be today. She said if it came it should be around noon, and it's a little after eleven now. Of course, they'll have to e-mail me, or I also gave them my friend's number.
I also called the Lexington Public Library yesterday and spoke with the human resources director, as I have an application in and I was afraid they might call while the phone was out of commission. So I guess it also shows interest. It's a librarian position doing programming (as in events, not computers) for patrons. Keep your fingers crossed for me; I'd love to get back into the library field, and I'm excited about this job. Don't get me wrong, I'm very grateful to have my current job, but I love librarianship so much more.
I am working on the Doody's Core Titles again this year, as a librarian selector where I select and rate medical books based on my knowledge of Orthopaedics and Paediatric Nursing. I've done it for many years. I also just had another book review published. So I am still pursuing librarian-related interests.
While I was T-Mobile, they talked me into a free tablet, with a $10 addition to my bill for another line but no money down for the actual tablet. So I've been setting that up and I haven't felt too bereft without the phone. I shared something on Facebook to either message me on Messenger or call my friend's phone at the house if they know it. I checked and everything's backed up with Google, including my contacts, so that's good.
Other things I did yesterday: I got one new windshield wiper because my passenger one had broken and was being held on with tape, and I also went to the credit union with my friend, and the pharmacy, two grocery stores, did his laundry (I'm working on mine today, after I bake bread). Apparently, I shouldn't try to bake bread before caffeinating--I put all the ingredients in, set up the menu, but forgot to hit 'start'. I checked about an hour and a half into what should be the bread baking part of the cycle, and it was just sitting there. Sigh. It should be working now, though. I also did the cat litter yesterday and brought the garbage containers back to the house after being emptied.
Today my main to-dos have been on getting a shower, then there's the bread, my laundry, possible trip to Fresh Market for more Belgian endives, possible trip to T-Mobile for the phone, and game notes.
It's sunny this morning and we didn't get the snow that they'd been predicting. So it's been a good couple of days so far. I didn't manage to call my doctors about rescheduling some March appointments (I've got 5, and while they're late in the day, that's probably too much to expect to be let off work. I was going to reschedule a couple at least. I'll have to call about them Monday. Most of my appointments fell six months ago, but they were spread between September and October, and then my endocrinologist had to reschedule my January appointment, and it looks like a giant cluster within two weeks.)
So now I'm listening to Pandora (the Passenger station) and I plan on doing a little reading later and hopefully, I'll watch some of a DVD collection I have out from the library, the first season of 'The Librarians'. :)
Okay, I think I'll go for now. I won't promise to write later, but I will do my best.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
I've gone through an entire 124-tissue box of facial tissue. I got another one today. Even the kind with the lotion has rubbed my nose raw to the point of needing to put more lotion on it. Tomorrow I should get an order of some medical supplies from an online store that takes flexible spending cards, and one of the things I got is the nasal gel you use when you have a CPAP, as they can dry your nose out a lot. I'm looking forward to that stuff. I also got some extra pen needles (I take seven injections a day, but I tend to get just one box with my prescription, and that's only 100--so you can do the math).
Anyway, I'm feeling up to short bursts of the Internet, although I'm still spending a lot of time in bed and taking my non-drowsy cough syrup and trying to hydrate. I guess that's best for now.
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
I have been off since Friday and I've mostly either run some errands or relaxed, visited friends, etc. Last night was a very quiet New Year's Eve. We visited a friend who got us all Subway sandwiches, and then I hung out with the cats and watched the ball drop and YKWIA spoke on the phone with a friend in the Chicago area.
The following new year's resolutions are on track:
- Reducing soda intake. I drink way too much diet soda. I'm going to limit it and try to transition to some coffee. I did drink one today, but considering on the weekends I've been drinking two 2-litres and some days at work I have five out of the machine, I definitely need to work on this, both from a health standpoint and money one. So I'm going to try to limit it to one a day, then taper off to coffee, and then taper that further over time.
- Blogging! No more waiting two weeks or a month between posts. Granted I was sick a good portion of last month, but my blogging was pathetic. I'd like this blog to flourish, and it really hasn't been of late.
- Watching my blood sugar better--testing, taking medicine, and not eating so much out of the snack machines. I did take all my medicine correctly earlier, but this will really get tested at work.
- Done my friend's laundry.
- Done all the dishes.
- Made bread (in progress).
- Backed up the computers (in progress).
- Gone to Kroger (three times), once for sweetener, once for bread yeast, and now I'm going for a zucchini.
- Bought a MegaMillions ticket.
- Ordered a game for a friend who gave me his Amazon gift cards to do so (he doesn't have a computer, but he does have an Xbox One S, and I checked to make sure this Xbox 360 game, which is older, should work).