My Week: Sometimes Thinking Is Hard

It’s been a strange week in this part of the country. I’m sitting here racking my brain trying to come up with an appropriate title for this post but none comes to mind. Even the phrase, “racking my brain”, is subject to an “either or”. There are some who say it should be “racking” and others maintain it should be “wracking”. Whichever. I can’t think.

DD and I had our base-touching phone call on Sunday. She and merm were going shopping so we didn’t talk as long as usual. Mostly, we discussed her pottery class that’s winding up. Or maybe it’s winding down. In any case, it won’t be going on much longer and she will have to decide what to take next.

Monday night, I was catching up on Facebook when I saw a status posted by one of my friends. “R.I.P., Dr. Mac.” I couldn’t believe my eyes. It turned out it was true. Our beloved Dr. Mac was no longer with us. After I went to bed, my sleep was interrupted off and on because so much was going through my head. No more Dr. Mac. I prayed for the family left behind and tried not to imagine the terror he must have felt in those last moments.

The next day was spent writing and rewriting my blog post remembering him. It almost wrote itself, yet it was one of the most heart-wrenching posts I’ve ever done. He was supposed to be invincible. Late that night, I was still adding and revising. I finally had to make myself give it up and go to bed.

Wednesday was a landmark day. I went to meet my cousin-in-law at his home so he could drive me to my appointment in what has become part of Knoxville. It was cold but not really bad weather. I could have driven the less than 100 miles myself but it’s nice to have a driver for a change. I go most places behind the wheel.

When I got to the house, he was finishing up the dishes. We had plenty of time to scope out his music room filled with guitars and posters of days-gone-by musicians. I was tempted to sit down at the piano but I restrained myself.

The trip there was full of conversation. He’s very easy to talk to and the miles went by quickly. I’d warned him I might have to make a pit stop or two on the way. My liquid intake wasn’t as much as usual so I got by with one. I had mentioned it had cost $37 to fill my gas tank recently. When he exclaimed over that, I thought he was being shocked at the price but he was envious. He said it cost $75 to not even fill his truck’s tank. I’d have to get a loan…

We arrived at the office complex 15 minutes before my appointment time. I’d made a copy of my insurance card, front and back, to go with the other papers I’d filled out beforehand. It proved to be a lost cause. The woman at the window insisted on the actual card so she could scan it. I might have known. There are scanners at the hospital and they do better with cards than copies of cards. I surrendered the other forms and records from my audiologist and she held out her hand for the manila envelope as well. I didn’t give it to her. It’s my last blank one and I’m keeping it. Sorry.

Almost an hour after I was scheduled, I was called back. I sat in an exam chair for 15 minutes before I poked my head out the door and asked for directions to the bathroom. When I opened the bathroom door, I surprised an enthroned occupant. Coming out, she said the lock must not work and offered to guard the door for me. I figured I’d take my chances. I don’t have too many thrills these days so I live dangerously now and then. She must not have pushed the button all the way in because it locked just fine.

Coming around the corner, I spied the doctor wandering the hallway. I recognized him from his picture on the office web site. I went back in the exam room and closed the door and waited. And waited. There was a stack of ragged magazines on the counter so I got the one that was in the best shape (September 2012) and was leafing through it when he came in.

How are you doing? Well, I’ve been reading old magazines and thinking you need a clone. ?? When I registered, I counted 10 patients on the sign in sheet and seven of them were yours. Oh. Well, when you figure out how cloning works, let me know.

He peered into my throat, up my nostrils (I hoped they were clean) and into my ears. Using a tuning fork, he had me tell him whether listening to it over the ear or next to my skull was louder. One ear, it was about the same. The other, there was a difference but I don’t remember what. Then he pinged it against his leg again and held the base to my forehead. I didn’t hear any difference. I asked what the significance was and he said something about conductive hearing.

After a few questions, he told me I was still four or five years away from being ready for surgery and he wrote an order for me to be fitted with aids. I asked if he would recommend one or two and he said two.

I gathered up my things, paid my $30 and went out to wake my cousin-in-law who was dosing in his chair. Visiting the facilities on the way out, we proceeded on to Earth Fare.

I’d looked online about somewhere I could get some vegan food. My CIL is most often vegetarian so I knew he could find something to eat anywhere. Earth Fare has a cold food and hot food bar with lots of vegan options. I ended up with some soy nuggets basted with a spicy Thai sauce (tasty but a bad choice), a samosa, grilled Brussels sprouts, and some broccoli. My CIL had much the same minus the sprouts plus pasta salad.

After we ate, we did some shopping and left.

Stopping at Walmart, my CIL noticed it was spitting snow. I routine grocery shopped. My CIL got a few things his wife (my cousin) had asked for. I kept telling him to let me pay for his purchases but Proud Man wouldn’t let me. He did let me put gas in the car but that was it. He wouldn’t take anything for his time.

It was after dark when I got home and I was pretty tired. It had been a long day.

Thursday, I was wiped out. Almost everything I’d eaten messed with my thyroid. The soy nuggets, Brussels sprouts and broccoli all three are on the no-no list so it was a triple whammy. I did the essentials but that was it.

My audiologist and I had been messaging on Facebook. She told me to call and make an appointment so I did. That’s when I found out she’s going to be out of the office for a couple of weeks and I can’t get in until the 19th. I have it on my calendar.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about hearing aids and found that it’s an FDA regulation that, in the absence of the doctor’s order, a waiver must be signed before purchasing. Guess I know why I was referred to the ENT. My audiologist believes in compliance. That’s a good thing. I learned that when I was working at the hospital. It’s not nice to fool with the Feds. It can be downright dangerous.

As for the type I’m thinking about getting (of course, I’ll take whatever advice I can get), I’m interested in the mini-BTE (Behind The Ear). It comes in a rainbow of colors and prints. I could get purple or zebra-striped. They would be almost impossible to conceal with my short haircut but if they’re pretty…

Yesterday, I don’t know if it was a holdover from my lunch on Wednesday or if it was something I ate the day before but I had what Mother would have called the “back door trots” all day. Not fun. That can wear a person out pretty quickly.

DS1 has been having problems getting a good signal at home with his cell phone. He was trying to forward his cell phone number to ring through Google Voice. I was his test person. He’d been using GrooVe IP but he was checking out another app to see if he liked it better. I asked about his mother-in-law and he said she was feeling better drinking a lot of fresh juices.

By late afternoon, I was feeling better. Looking at Facebook, I had another shock. The principal of the almost local middle school had been killed the day before at the Tomato Head in Knoxville. When I was looking for a place to eat, the Tomato Head was close to the top of my list. I didn’t know the lady but she was the second prominent person from this area to be killed this week. It was a freak accident. She and her husband had finished their meal and were paying before leaving. A car sped through the window and she was found under the car. She was pronounced dead the hospital.

I’d left my umbrella in my cousin’s car. She gave it to her sister (my neighbor & cousin) who brought it over yesterday afternoon. She said I might need it today. There was a chance I wouldn’t be able to venture out. I hadn’t checked the weather but I did when she said that. Hmmmmmm. A winter storm warning. Maybe…

Today is an anniversary of sorts. Twenty-six years ago back in 1987, I started working at the hospital. It’s so much nicer celebrating it as a Retired Person.

This morning, there was snow covering the ground—and the car. One of my friends from church called and I just knew she was going to tell me church had been canceled. No, she was inviting me to stay for lunch. I declined since I hadn’t fixed anything. I appreciated the invite, though.

The snow wasn’t hard to clear off the car. I didn’t want to take time to bundle up to clean it off and then put on a skirt so I wore sweat pants to church. They are black so it wasn’t really obvious they weren’t slacks. I wasn’t the only woman in pants which was nice.

It was Women’s Ministry Day so everything was done by women. It was a nice service and I attempted to take some pictures with the phone on my camera but, as usual, I didn’t do so well. So…no picture of the beautiful altar arrangement.

After church, one of the deacons gave me his prediction. This is the last snow for the winter. I reminded him that the biggest snow we’ve had came in March, 1993. Also, the year I started working at the hospital, we had 8″ in April. He agreed that April can be a nasty month.

BTW, I got a pair of my free jeans out of the box and tried them on. By wearing a pair of shoes with stacked heels, they barely clear the ground. I wore them to my ENT Wednesday. He didn’t seem to be impressed.

Genese won a Wordscraper game! I do believe she has so much on her mind it’s hard for her to concentrate or she’d probably slaughter me regularly. She crafted this board a day or two ago:

Clown

As you can see, we are both being pretty careful:

Wordy Clown

My letter selection is a nightmare.

I had an email from one sister saying the winter “storm” that passed through here was approaching North Carolina. There, it could be a real event. She’s hoping not to lose electricity. My other sister has PC Cleaner Pro that is supposedly a Microsoft partner. “It automatically does a scan regularly and informs me that my computer has multiple problems that need fixing. I thought at first it was a legitimate service. It turns out there is a charge of, I think, $30. How do I get rid of it? I have gone to All Programs to try, but without success. Norton is still there, and I need to delete it as well, for it was outdated years ago. It isn’t a serious problem, but is annoying.”

There’s serious and there’s serious. I looked it up and found this on the Microsoft web site:

One would have to ask “what & where is it suppose to clean”…Microsoft never offered such an item…Either way,being a “certified partner” isnt saying much at all, microsoft has many levels of certifications. Being a certified partner is at the bottom of the list..

One of the replies said “I found PC Cleaner online, I bought the SW for $39.95, and they have the exact same mode of operation [asking for more money to ‘clean the PC’], the sweet Indian girl makes her diagnoses the same way, and hands you over to the ‘sale closer’ where they demand $255 …… this company is Premier Tech in Phillipines (sic)- MS needs to call them and sort them out: 1-877-883-6643 or 1-877-522-8825

Luckily they returned my $39.95 through Paypal immediately.”

BTW, deleting something isn’t the same as uninstalling.

Twinkle is doing better with her eating. I’m not throwing away nearly as much of her canned food as I was. She doesn’t enjoy having me shoot B12 down her throat but she tolerates it. The little pointy bone on the back of her head isn’t as prominent as it was. Now, if I could just transfer some of my excess…

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