Friday, August 28, 2015

Stressed!

A few months ago, we received word that the company that makes Mr. Fixit’s cancer medication was selling that particular division to another drug company. The transition should have been easy. He signed the forms to allow his information to go to the new drug company, and we returned it in a timely fashion. The transition was to take place August 15.

A set of circumstances cropped up that caused me so much stress I was about to lose my mind. It’s been very rough for the last couple of weeks.

Mr. Fixit’s prescription ran out and needed to be renewed before August 29. Since the 15th fell on Saturday, I called to request a new prescription from his oncologist Monday, the 17th. They faxed the new scrip  and received confirmation on the same day that the fax had been received. The nurse said I could call that same day to request the medication. His last dose is August 29. I decided to wait until Tuesday to give them time to get the fax into the system. I called. They told me that it takes 2 days for the fax to be sent to the pharmacy. I was told to call back Thursday. I said I would give them an extra day and call on Friday. I called Friday. I was told by the rep that it hadn’t been processed, but someone would call me back that afternoon or Monday, for sure, to make delivery arrangements. No one called. I was beginning to get upset. I called again Tuesday. Again I was told that someone would call me that afternoon or Wednesday. Every time I called I mentioned that his last day for the meds he had on hand was the 29th. No one called.

By Thursday I had given up. I decided that I was not going call again. Mr. Fixit had an appointment so see the doctor today (Fri.), and I was going to bring the problem to his attention hoping that his staff could accomplish more than I was. My stress level was out of sight. At that point, I didn’t know if an interruption in his meds schedule would be a problem. (I found out today that the medication stays in the system for 4 days.)

Finally at 3:30 pm Thursday someone called and said that the meds were scheduled for delivery Monday. I told her that wasn’t soon enough. We had to have it by Friday since UPS doesn’t deliver on Saturdays here. I explained to her the many phone calls I made and the fact that no one had the courtesy to call and explain what was happening. I also told her I had followed all their instructions to the letter. She said she would overnight it. She said that a signature was required on delivery. I said I would wait at home until the UPS guy knocked on the door.

Okay, great. I might mention here that from August 17 to August 27 I was practically tied to the house waiting for phone calls. It’s true that I have a cell phone, but I didn’t know what information would be needed, and I felt like I had to have all documentation close at hand.

Then I remembered after I hung up that Mr. Fixit had his doctor’s appointment Friday. I called our son to see if his son could come our house to sign for the package, but he had to work. I thought that Mr. Fixit could go to the doctor alone and I would wait at home. I realized that wasn’t such a good idea because Mr. Fixit has a problem with his hearing, and with English being his second language, he sometimes has trouble understanding what’s said to him. Again my stress shot up. Ben, our son, said he would take time from work to go with him. That worked out great.

The UPS guy did show up while they were gone. It’s a good thing I was there.

It seemed like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It was the perfect storm of circumstances.

Now that it’s over I feel like a wet dishrag, but at least he has what he needs. It ended okay. I hope I don’t have to go through that again. The responsibility is onerous.

One nice thing did happen. Yesterday afternoon, a large tree limb fell from the oak tree in the front hard. It didn’t hit the ground; it was hung on another branch. I decided while waiting for the UPS guy, I would get the handy-dandy branch-lopper tool thingy and try to get it down and clean up the mess. I snipped and pulled, snipped and pulled, but the darned thing wouldn’t drop. As it is my nature, I was worried that just as some little kid or small animal wandered into the yard, it would fall and we would be sued. I have such a pleasant outlook, don’t I?

Anyway, the UPS guy came and saw my problem. He pulled it down and even dragged it to the street. Wasn’t that nice of him? Now all I have to do is cut it up with the chain saw so the city will pick it up. I have to wait until someone is here with me in case I need a tourniquet. I remember too well what happened when I used the electric trimmer on the hedges.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Good at the Job

Car salespersons do not enjoy  reputations of trustworthiness. They rank usually right there with politicians. We recently had occasion to interact with a car salesperson. I won’t impugn his trustworthiness (although I do have my private opinion of him); I can only say that he was a heck of a salesman.

When we started car shopping, I knew how much money I had for a down payment, I knew the approximate book value of our car as a trade-in, and I had an idea of the monthly payment we could comfortably afford.  I had also done some on-line shopping and had my preference for the make and model of the car we needed. Mr. Fixit and I were on the same page. I felt prepared.

After speaking with the salesperson and explaining our wants and needs, he insisted that we test drive a vehicle. I didn’t want to do, but Mr. Fixit was ready to go. Of course, the vehicle he showed us was one with all the bells and whistles and way out of our price range. We went for the test drive. Mr. Fixit loved it; I loved it. I knew that would happen. He didn’t even show us the model we asked to see. He started talking money. Actually he started saying things like “What would I have to do to get you in that car today?” (It was the next to the last day of the month and they had quotas to meet.) I told him we had to think about it. He was persistent, very persistent. He offered to let us drive the car home. I demurred; Mr. Fixit wasn’t sure, but he knew our circumstances so he agreed with me. We left with the salesman’s sweetheart (seemingly) deal banging around in my head and wondering if everything he said was true and if we really wanted to sign up for such a big commitment.

It continued to occupy my thoughts all night. I came up with many questions about the deal he offered. I needed clarification. The next morning’s conversation with Mr. Fixit went like this: “Do you remember what he said about __________________?” He replied, “No, I don’t.” We had the same dialog on several items we had discussed the previous day.

We decided to go talk to him again with all our questions and reservations on the deal. On the way there, I said to Mr. Fixit, “I know you really want that car. We’ll do it if you want to. We’ll manage somehow.”

He said, “Let’s stop at the other dealer we spoke to yesterday (we had shopped around a bit.) and talk numbers to him first.”

We did. It was then the last day of the month. Time was short for the dealer to make his quota. We got the car we needed (not necessarily wanted) without all the bells and whistles. It looks nice, too. We signed on the dotted line, and I think we are pleased with it. The only drawback is that it doesn’t get the mpg that our little car did. It’s a small SUV. My knees no longer ache from sitting with my legs stretched out before me, and I don’t have to roll out of it. There is something about rolling out of a car that is very undignified for a lady of my body type and age. Mr. Fixit agreed that it is much easier to get in and out of for him, too.

I do have to say that the first salesman was terrific at his job. He almost talked us into buying something that we really didn’t need and really couldn’t afford. I’m still not sure of his trustworthiness, but he was a crackerjack salesman.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Oops!

This morning after Mr. Fixit went to paint at the trailer park, I decided to trim the short length of hedge at the end of the driveway. It was becoming difficult to see traffic coming around the corner. It was a good time to do it, because the temperature was only about 90 degrees.

I found the hedge trimmer and the extension cords and began the trimming. It’s a little bit hard for me because it’s a tall hedge and I have to hold the trimmer above shoulder height. In fact, on the low side (the ground slants) I have to hold it about head height. That trimmer gets a bit heavy.

As I was doing the sides, somehow or the other I cut the electric extension cord. Yep, lopped that sucker right off—with sparks, of course. What to do, what to do!? I changed my clothes, put on make-up, and headed for Lowe’s. I thought if I could find a new cord just like the old one perhaps I could neglect to mention the little mishap. The only orange one like the decapitated one was only 20 feet, and that wouldn’t do. I needed a 50 footer.
Dang! The only one I could find was red with a black strip. I think he will notice it’s not his extension cord.

I can just picture it now. He will come home notice the the injured orange one. His first question will be, “What happened to my extension cord?” The first question won’t be “Did you trim the hedge?” or “Did you get electrocuted?” I can see his upper lip get thinner and almost disappear as it does when he is p.o.ed. He will then tell me I bought the wrong replacement. I sure he wanted the heavy duty model, but they only had the medium one.

So here I sit near that road paved with good intentions, waiting the for the bus to take me to hell. But at least I will be able to see it coming around our corner. The hedge is now a couple of feet shorter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Public Service Announcement

During my dental appointment in May I had a small problem that was so small I didn’t even mention it to the dentist.

After I was given the local anesthesia, the doctor went out of the room waiting for the numbing to take place. I was sitting in the chair reading when suddenly my left hand started to shake. The right hand was fine. It was so bad that I almost dropped the reader. It had almost passed completely before the doctor began his drilling, filling, etc. so I didn’t mention it to him. I think it was that same day when we sat down for lunch, the tremors hit again. This time it lasted only a minute or so. After that I didn’t have a problem until today. I assumed that maybe the stress of going to have dental work done was the cause. I have no problem having work done. My dentist is very good and there is very little discomfort.

Today, I had another appointment for another filling. As usual he administered the local and left the room. I was reading when my hand started to shake again. It wasn’t as bad this time. I could stop it by making a fist. It passed while he was working on me.

Before I left asked him if there is anything in the anesthetic that would cause tremors in my left hand only. He said that it could have very well caused it. He said that he used one containing epinephrine (synthetic adrenalin) to prolong the numbing effect of the drug.  He said he  was glad I mentioned it to him. He marked my chart, “No epi.” He said he would just have to work a little faster next time.

I don’t know why this happened. I have had lots of work done and never had a problem. I had no inkling the first time that it was a problem with the anesthesia. I only realized it today.

This morning  as I was sitting in the waiting room, I was thinking what a relaxing place it was. The television was muted, the lighting was low, the music, though vapid, was almost like white noise, and there were very few distractions. I wished that it would take a while before they called me. It’s not often that I have a chance to sit in a comfortable chair with soft music and comforting lighting and  read. I bet not many people have that reaction when waiting to be drilled and filled.

My PSA is that if you get the shakes in the dentist’s chair, it may not be nerves; it would be epinephrine. Be sure to mention it.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Watermelon

Mr. Fixit and I have very different tastes in food. He would eat rice three times a day if he could. I would eat potatoes four times a day if I could. I like most vegetables if they’re cooked the way my grandmother cooked them. It took him several years to eat green stuff. He loves fruit; I could do without it completely. He eats bananas like I would eat chocolate. The smell of ripe bananas makes me gag. I don’t like watermelon; he loves it.

The other day he bought a small seedless one and cubed it. He brought it out to have a little snack and asked me if I wanted some. I replied with a quick, but firm, “No thanks.”

I decided when I was a little girl I didn’t like it. It’s not the flavor so much as it is a couple of other little things. For instance, I can remember going on Sunday picnics with Nanny and Granddaddy in the park. Of course, Nanny didn’t use paper plates and cups like everyone else. No, she packed her second best china, flatware, and glassware. No hamburgers or hot dogs either. The menu consisted of fried chicken, potato salad, bean salad, sliced tomatoes, sometimes macaroni salad,  (That’s macaroni, not pasta. If it had been called pasta, it probably would have been considered a foreign food.) Sometimes she brought along mac and cheese. There was always watermelon in a big tub of ice.

I learned very quickly that it wasn’t for me. We didn’t eat with a fork: it was sliced and held in the hands. The seeds weren’t picked out; you spit them out. I hated the juice running down my face and neck. I hated the juice running down my hands to my elbows. I hated that stickiness on a hot day. The worst part was getting those slimy black seeds in my mouth! Ugh! Disgusting I thought!  And spitting? Under normal circumstances, “little ladies” didn’t  spit. And I was a “little lady” with a lot of tomboy thrown in.

Then I finally reached the age of four or five when I learned I didn’t have to eat everything on my plate to save the poor, starving children somewhere in the world (I never have figured that one out yet. How could my eating turnip greens help the starving masses?) and I also realized that it wasn’t being disrespectful to say, “No thank you, Nanny, I don’t care for any.” That's when I ate my last watermelon slice. And I don’t think I have  missed it at all.

However, I wonder now if I had eaten watermelon and turnip greens, would world hunger have been alleviated?

Note 1: My younger brother didn’t like it either. He said the seeds looked like bugs.

Note 2: I do like cantaloupe. Nanny served it in bite size pieces  we ate with forks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Good Morning!

While my morning walk is not my favorite thing to do, I have come to terms with the fact that it must be done. It’s not only for the physical benefits, but I reduced my monthly outlay for insulin.

This is one thing that makes getting up and out by 6 am a little easier.

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This was the view this morning before actual sunrise. Beautiful!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Baseball Weekend

Noah had a four game series this weekend. The weather cooled off a lot so I went to all the games.

In the first game, they played to a 0-0 score in the bottom of the seventh inning. The bases were loaded. Noah came up to bat. (For some strange reason, it seems he ends up in some sort of high pressure situation every game. It makes me crazy.) I bet he was sweating bullets. I think it was on the second pitch he hit a beautiful line drive and drove in the winning run. Yea, Noah! He saved the game!!!

They won both games Saturday.

Sunday the weather was still holding. It was very, very hot in the sun, but bearable if you could find shade. They won the first game Sunday. The park is nice because they bleachers are covered, and there was a nice breeze blowing.

The second game was scheduled for 4:30 pm. It was still sunny and breezy, but storm clouds could be seen in the distance. Since the game was being played at the big stadium in the park, the only shade was the inadequate covers above the seating. Jason decided to put up the canopy because the sun was lowering in the sky and the shades didn’t help much. There was a nice breeze up that high. The breeze became slightly under gale force. The canopy was anchored in the front with tie-downs, but the back was untethered. There was nothing to tie the cords to in the back. I was sitting close to the back leg of the canopy and would grab it and hold it when it threatened to flip. Jason said we need some way to hold it down. I jokingly suggested my purse. He teases me about how heavy my purse is. This is his solution to the problem. He’s a funny guy.

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From the left: Jason, Mr. Fixit, and Alisa

(Click to enlarge for detail.)

Then, the sky darkened, the temp dropped about 20 degrees, and the wind picked up considerably.What started as a gentle sprinkle became a deluge. The game was called. We finally got everything together and went to the cars. My pants were so wet that there was a puddle in front of my seat.

The rain only lasted a few minutes and the sun shone again. The park didn’t provide a field crew and the pitcher’s mound was too muddy to continue. The game was called. We were ahead 1-0 but it was only the third inning so it couldn’t be called a win. Too bad they didn’t get the sweep.