Friday, January 12, 2018

Colonoscopy Update

I’ve never worked so hard to get a camera shoved up my ass! Listen, people, I don’t really want to do it either but you’re the ones that said it’s time.

Sometime last fall, I got a checklist of maintenance items from my doctor: when to get a mammogram, when to get a flu shot, time to order my annual stool sample kit to check for early signs of colon cancer. “Please call this number….”

So I did. I asked for the stool sample kit and the woman on the other end of the line said that I didn’t need a stool sample kit. Noticing that I’m four years past 50, she told me that what I really needed was a colonoscopy. Not a stool sample kit.

Since Hubby has had one, I was aware of the preparation involved for such a procedure and asked if she could schedule an appointment with a GI close to my home which is outside of my coverage area. (We're talking about Kaiser here and although Kaiser is in Seattle as well as Portland, those are considered different coverage areas. My plan originated in Seattle but I live in Portland.)

She said she didn’t know how to do that and referred me to GI in Seattle. GI in Seattle couldn't do it so they referred me to Customer Service. Customer Service said I needed to find a GI in Portland and request a referral from my doctor who is in Seattle. My doctor said they couldn’t refer me to someone outside my coverage area and referred me back to Customer Service. Customer Service in Seattle referred me to Customer Service in Portland and they told me all I needed was temporary visiting member coverage. Click, click, click. Done.

Easy freakin' peasy, right?

I was then referred to a local Nurse who said she could schedule me for a colonoscopy but since I didn’t have a local primary care physician, I would have to see one first. I explained that I already had one but fine, whatever, I would happily see ANYONE who could get this done. 

Well, in that case....*hold music* Click, click, click. The nurse said I didn't really need to see someone after all. All she needed to do was send a “fit test kit.” What are they fitting me for? Ew. But fine. Send it.

Today, I went to the mailbox and retrieved the package. I opened it up and it was a freaking stool sample kit!

This is turning into a major you-know-what.

(Turns out a "fit" stands for fecal immunochoemical test which was somewhat of a relief but not sure we can call that a silver lining.)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Journal Entry - 1/4/18

During intermission at a recent event, I asked an usher on the balcony level of the theater if there were any bathrooms on that floor. She replied that yes there were, although most were on the first floor. (The location of the second floor bathrooms was not offered.)

Last week, at a local brewery, a woman sat next to us at the bar and proceeded to tell us that she lived with her mom. Her cat was dying. She’s as light as an owl. (We don't know whether she was talking about the cat or her mom at this point or how she might know how much an owl weighs.)

Yesterday's walk featured a beautiful sunrise. We saw several photographers on the trail and one women, wrapped in a blanket, still in her pajamas, sitting on a park bench just to take in the view.


We walked the trail along the river for a short while with an elderly, but active, neighbor who proceeded to tell us this joke:

A man was in the company of a woman who was the wife of another man
when, all of a sudden, he heard the telltale sound of a key in the door.
The woman told him to leave by way of the bedroom window.
Luckily for the man, it was a first floor bedroom.
Unluckily for the man, he left without his clothes
and it was raining.

It was early in the morning, and he was only a couple of miles from home
so he decided to jog.
All was well until he came upon a group of joggers.
Eventually, he caught up to them and joined their ranks.

The woman next to him kept glancing his way and eventually asked,
"Do you usually jog in the nude?"
"Oh, yes," he replied, "it's quite natural. I usually jog early in the morning and didn't expect to see anyone else."

This seemed to satisfy her. Yet as they continued on she began to steal glances his way again.
"Do you always jog while wearing a condom?" she asked.
"Oh, no," he replied, 
"Only when it's raining."

We have lovely neighbors.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It's a Cancer Thing

Someone asked me once why I wear mismatched socks. "It's a cancer thing," I answered, pretty much ending the conversation.

It started with my uncle who, after starting aggressive treatment for his cancer, started the practice. It caught on with his doctors, nurses, and family members as a way to keep things light in the face of a dire reality.

I still wear mismatched socks even though he's no longer with us. Now, it's more than a "cancer thing." Now, I do it to remember him and all the people we've lost to cancer - far too many people. It also reminds me to keep things light.

Cancer sucks and the reality is some people make it and some people don't but we have to remember that we're all in this together - this business of life and all that goes with it, including cancer. We need to help each other through it all. Sometimes, that's with humor or a smile. I wear mismatched socks to help me get through the stuff that's not much fun.

Today, I'm wearing mismatched holiday socks. Today, it's about not wanting to fold the laundry (people do fold socks, don't they?) so I grabbed a couple of clean ones out of the laundry basket.

This is what I pulled out and it makes me happy.

I've lost people to cancer. I know you have, too. Mismatched socks won't change that but maybe they'll make you feel better for at least a moment.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

More With Less

If you haven't finished with last year's resolutions, you'd better hurry. There will be NO leap second inserted at the end of 2017.

My resolution for last year was to get rid of any clothes I didn't wear in the course of the year. I have a pretty good pile going and I had better get it donated today because I probably won't be able to claim the deduction next year. (I expect a lot of people will be making donations today for that reason.)

Next year, I want to get rid of even more stuff. The idea came to me the last time I went on a two-week trip and lived quite comfortably out of a small suitcase. I know people who have to pack large suitcases for short weekends just so every contingency is covered, wardrobe-wise. Yet, it seems to me that with some planning, one can cover the bases with fewer, more versatile wardrobe selections.

I've found a couple of websites that offer advice on what constitutes the perfect wardrobe. The secret seems to be having a theme - basically, a color scheme. Stick to the theme and you should be able to make endless combinations with fewer pieces. Plus, less thinking.

Egads! With the clock ticking on the rest of 2017, my goal should really be to get off my rear end and do - well, something. I've been enjoying my day off today with some abandon - as in, I've abandoned getting anything done. Tick, tock - before the year is over, there are a few things left to do. None of them worth mentioning but all necessary to the function of living one's life.

So, without further ado, since we've had far too much of that, Happy New Year! May your resolutions for the new year be far more interesting and energetic!