Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Saturday, June 27, 2020
Medical Probes and Dashed Plans

It's been a very quiet week except for Friday, and that was just a long day. We had to do the usual shopping on Wednesday, and James had physical therapy then as well. Thursday we both had to pick up prescriptions at Kaiser and I had a blood test so they would renew one of my prescriptions, plus we went to Costco for trash bags, popcorn, and mandarin orange cups. The highlight of the day was going to JoAnn, which is having a moving sale (their new Kennesaw store opens mid-July). James scored eight tiny bottles of Testor's enamel. I got mostly "to do" and "remember" stickers for my journal, a few autumn-themed iron-on patches, and three more rolls of Scotch tape, since there is no such thing as too much Scotch tape. 😃

Tonight we went to Fried Tomato Buffet for the first time in months. We found out they were open when James stopped by Hobbytown on Thursday to get some paint. They have changed it so you are served like at a cafeteria instead of picking your own food. I made the server laugh. "What would you like?" "Barbecue ribs. I want the ribs. Lots of ribs." She piled about seven in my plate. "What else?" "Nothing. I came for the ribs." 😉 (I did get some black olives, too!) I was pleased with their solution to the problems. All staff were wearing masks and gloves. Instead of going around the bar, you stand on one side, behind plastic barriers, and tell the lady on the other side what you wish on your plate. You walk down the bar and pick things, and she hands the plate to you at the end of the bar. There's a separate line for the salad bar. The server puts your drink on the table and then steps backward.

(We didn't take the power chair, and a good thing: as we got closer and closer to the restaurant—we went when dinner started, at four o'clock, because we knew the tables would be limited—the sky got darker and darker, and then it started to mist, and as we turned on to Greer's Chapel Road the wind picked up and snapped something on a light pole next to us. The bang made us jump! By the time we arrived at Fried Tomato, the wind was whipping the rain into a frenzy, but, oddly, it wasn't raining all that hard; we hardly got damp. Usually when it starts to storm like this the rain comes down in sheets, what I call "Georgia Monsoon Season.")

Friday was our "adventure." Unfortunately it was a truncated adventure. Originally, since we had to go to Kaiser's Southwood office for James' urology exam, and that was practically halfway to his mother's house, we had planned to finally deliver his mother's and his sister's Christmas gifts, Candy's birthday gift, and the Mother's Day gift, all excursions that had been put off due to the COVID-19 restrictions, and treat them to lunch. Candy has also had some health problems lately not associated with COVID (an infection in her foot) and been back and forth to doctors, had her foot in a cast, etc., and we wanted to see her. We planned to get things done at the doctor, then drive down to Warner Robins, go out for lunch, and come home after rush hour was over. But we got a message from Candy on Tuesday asking us not to come; she wasn't feeling well again and didn't want to spread any creeping crud.

So we went off to Southwood via the freeway. I swear that since the shutdown people are driving even crazier than before. You have your heart in your mouth half the trip.

The appointment took a little longer than expected. Dr. Starr wanted to go over James' recent CT scan with him. He showed us the kidney stone (very small, seemingly attached to the kidney wall), the little gallstones, and the lipoma. He does not believe either of the stones is causing the chronic UTI, but, if it does turn out the kidney stone is responsible, it would need to come out. He also checked to see if James was properly emptying his bladder, and did some other exams. James also had an x-ray; the doctor wanted to get a shot of the kidney stone so he could monitor it to see if it was getting larger. Unfortunately it didn't show up on the x-ray.

When we finally got done with all this, we headed back, stopping at Krystal for lunch. Traffic on I-285 was just as bad as on the way back. What fun.

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» Saturday, June 20, 2020
And More Medical Chat...And Friends! And Books!

James had a CAT scan scheduled at the Glenlake Kaiser office on Wednesday morning, to try and diagnose what is causing his chronic UT infections. Another dreary visit for him to the doctor. Hoping to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, I suggested I go with him. If they wouldn't let me go in (they said they wouldn't), I could wait outside on the bench outside the entrance in the shade and read; they told him the CAT scan would only take about ten minutes, and then he had to pick up a prescription which was already ordered. I had a double protein at Tin Drum, so then we could drive by, pick up lunch, maybe even stop at the Barnes & Noble not a half mile from the restaurant before driving home. James likes going to that store because they have the best magazine selection.

Alas, not to be. At ten o'clock James realized his appointment was for 10:20, not 11:20 as he thought, and he had at least a half hour drive to get there. He threw his clothes on and grabbed his wallet while I backed out the truck and loaded the power chair, and then while he drove to Kaiser—Tucker hadn't been walked yet, so I couldn't go—I tried to get ahold of someone at Kaiser to tell them he would be late. I was so nerved up I accidentally hung up on the first person I talked to, but got a much more sympathetic second person, but they couldn't say whether radiology could still fit him in.

They managed it, and he got in for the scan about a half hour later, he went to the lab, he picked up the prescription, and he went past Tin Drum and picked up our lunches, so everything got done, but I was bitterly disappointed. I had planned on us having a nice chat on the way there, enjoying each other's company, and instead I got stuck home when I really wanted to see something other than four walls or another damn supermarket.

(The scan showed some interesting items: James has a few small kidney stones [not blocking anything], a few small gallstones [ditto], and a benign lipoma in the muscles of his right hip, which explains why he can't sleep on his right side without pain. But nothing to explain the chronic UTIs.)

While he was out, I called up Kaiser again about the emergency room bill from last July that Wellstar keeps sending us. We are only supposed to pay our deductible whether we go to a provider emergency room or an out-of-plan one, but Wellstar insists we still owe them over $1200! I'd already called about this in January and again in March, and they assured me they'd take care of it, and we did not owe anyone anything. This time I spoke to a nice lady named Betty who assured me she'd get the problem sorted [later: she did] and that she would also correct the overcharge we got from the company that makes James' orthopedic shoes.

Thursday I got my chance to pay a call on Kaiser; yes, we had to pick up yet another prescription. They wouldn't let me go in, so I indeed got stuck outside, in the heat, on the bench (this one not in the shade). James' urologist consulted another specialist, who said it was okay for him to take Ciproflaxen for a short time; that using it just for a week should not damage his heart, so he got that to take home. It was also time to go to the supermarket again.

James has been wanting chicken and dumplings for a while now, but no one serves them any longer—"Folks" has closed and the only fast food chicken place that made them closed; we discovered just recently they still serve them at Vittles down the street. So while we were at Barnes & Noble after our pharmacy trip, he called them to get an order to pick up. We won't do that again. There was little chicken in the meal and what there was was dry and stringy. It was mostly dumpling. The sauce made me sick all evening.

Friday we had a much better meal—we went out to lunch at O'Charley's with Alice, Ken, Mel, Phyllis, and Juanita. We hadn't seen Juanita to actually talk to her since March! She was just getting over poison ivy she'd contracted cleaning the yard. Discussed all sorts of things including whether DragonCon will be held or not, and if they will roll over memberships [later: yes, they have decided they will, and we are going to do it, whether it's held or not—we can't risk it], television, books we are reading (Alice is getting into reading about Chinese culture after seeing the film of and then reading Crazy Rich Asians), and of course all our doctors' appointments!

Saturday was pure relaxation: while I tidied up some things and vacuumed, mostly what I did was read the copy of The Annotated Black Beauty that I got out of a box of books John and Oreta were giving away on New Year's Eve. (Boy, if I'd known then what I know now, I'd sure have more disinfecting supplies in the house!) The graphic drawings of how a "bearing rein" (a device to hold the horse's head up in place while he's in harness) harms and torments a horse really brought it home how brutally some horses were treated in the 19th century.

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» Saturday, June 13, 2020
Sweet and Sour

An uneventful weekend, for which I'm heartily grateful. The big event of the four days was James' appointment at the Shepherd Center to get evaluated for a new power chair. We are supposed to be able to order a new one every five or six years, and it is six years in November. We are hoping they will let us have a new one, as one of the two motors is leaking oil and will need to be replaced, and it is best to replace both motors at the same time. The wheels also have dry rot or the rubber is chipped. Plus it's all banged up from the car accident where it was thrown across Olive Springs Road. Anyway, we'll see. Apparently Kaiser is now using different rules to approve them and has been turning requests for them down. If not we will have to just have this one fixed up. We tried to emphasize that without it James cannot go to work or really go anywhere—even the Glenlake Kaiser office!—that doesn't already have carts, like a supermarket or Walmart or Costco, and the technician must see how little James can move, because she tried to get him to walk in the hallway for six minutes, and he could barely manage two.

On Friday I got a shock. My old bank branch closed and I needed to re-establish my safe deposit box at the new bank built next door. Well, while James was at physical therapy, I went over to the bank to do that because the sign said "NOW OPEN." What it failed to say was "Open by appointment only." Whoever heard of an appointment to go to the bank? There weren't two people inside the building and they still wouldn't see me. Plus the bank employee asked for my name and telephone number to call me back, and never did. If I didn't have that stupid Access3 loan, I'd pull all my money out of the bank and set up a credit union account instead.

In better news, I found the wonderful farm which makes the sweet onion relish I love was now shipping their products without a charge. I ordered more of the sweet onion plus a spicy version for James, and the new bottles arrived on Friday.

Plus I have finally washed the winter things to put them away. Just about one month behind.

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» Saturday, June 06, 2020
Happiness is Friends
Another week, another visit to Urgent Care on Tuesday with James having signs of an urinary tract infection. Of course they wouldn't let me into Urgent Care, but I requested to go in to use the bathroom—I was feeling poorly myself—and after that I just tried to blend into the woodwork. Another guy was doing the same thing; we both just sat there and minded our own business. James was only there an hour and a half because he'd talked to the doctor beforehand and they were waiting for him. We picked up his antibiotic and went home.

Nothing much else going on for the week except that we watched a "Murdoch Mysteries" Christmas story, the first of them, A Merry Murdoch Christmas, which hit all the Christmas tropes: orphans, stolen gifts, some Christmas grinches (one of which was Inspector Brackenreid). It also involved what Quantum Leap called "a kiss with history" in featuring a young Mary Pickford (she did come from Toronto, but she was known as Gladys Smith back then), and also involved the European Christmas demon, Krampus. I had no idea Krampus was a tradition in Yorkshire, where Brackenreid is from. Oh, and we finally watched The Rise of Skywalker. Don't know what all the fuss was about: Star Wars was always intended as a flashback to the movie serials of the 1930s. Fans seem to expect it to be complicated and with depth. It's just supposed to be fun. Wish the script had allowed the viewer to pause for breath, and wish we'd seen more of Rose Tico instead of them making up a new female character, but I did love the final scene on Tatooine.

The best thing about this week was having Hair Day! We didn't have any lunch this time, people just brought snacks, in case everyone just wanted to come and go, but no one wanted to go. We sat around talking about books until almost two in the afternoon. John and Oreta had brought two big boxes of books they were getting rid of, and gave me two old series books. I also picked up a Mrs. Pollifax book and picked up about three books I thought James would be interested in.

It was so nice to have intelligent conversation in person after so many weeks.

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