Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

a week i had dreaded is past

by Rain Trueax

Blue butterfly image from Stencil and altered at Dreamscope

There are many divisions among people-- some political, others created by cultures. One is not much discussed but very real-- avoid doctors until absolutely necessary or head for a professional at the first hint of a problem. This division doesn't cause bad feelings between the two sides-- although both might feel their way is best.

I come from a long line of-- see a doctor only when something is seriously wrong. Hence when I developed a ganglion cyst a year and a half ago, I headed for the computer and talked to my friends who'd had the same thing earlier. Pretty much today, a computer is a good source but also can be wrong, of course. 

 The thing is a ganglion cyst is unsightly but not a health hazard. There are situations where I will go in-- like high blood pressure when under stress, suspicious mole, pain that doesn't go away with logical treatment or where there is no explanation. Off and on, I keep track of my oxygenation level, glucose and blood pressure. For the last couple of years, there hasn't been anything that isn't more or less normal for me.

Which is why I had not seen a doctor for two years when I finally had to yield to the system with my doctor notifying my prescription provider that no more prescriptions without a physical. I take two meds that I consider essential-- controlling blood pressure and cholesterol. There are certain things that tend to run in families and heart disease is one from mine.

Of course, a physical taking longer, when I got the notice in the spring, between our schedule and the doctor's, the first appointment was the end of August. I tried to forget about it until the time got closer.

The week ahead, I began writing down my bp with time of day, systolic and diastolic readings so that he'd not increase my meds based on white coat syndrome.  Then two days ahead it was the lab for the tests that would actually tell if something wasn't going well. I also put some thought into what I'd wear to the exam. It's important to look good as it makes a statement all its own-- so it was one of my recent tunic purchases (dark green and black pattern), black leggings and my beaded, leather moccasins. All easy to get off.

Finally the time came and I was called back. One thing I knew I'd hate was being weighed... I have put on weight in those intervening two years (and I was overweight then). I know a lot of why, metabolism is a factor but in the last years not enough exercise and poor food choices. I had no idea how good strawberry cheesecake was until I got into my 60s. I knew I couldn't eat desserts and not get fat-- I was right. These days, at least I have the memory of how good it was even if I might only eat it once or twice a year... Unfortunately, at least for me, weight is easier to put on than take off... 
As expected, I didn't like being weighed, but the number was no surprise. I was also not happy to learn I'd lost an inch of height since my youth. Heck! I know it's not osteoporosis as I had that test the last time in and my bone density is strong. I don't have spinal problems as in no pain there; so guess this is a natural compression of aging. Maybe doing more stretches can bring it back... 1/4 inch or so anyway ;)

My actual time with my doctor was pleasant in that he's a nice guy, takes his time, explains things and has been my doctor for twenty some years (Ranch Boss's too). As he was getting the computer to come up (for years when I'd see him, he'd come in with a thick file), I asked how he was doing. I don't suppose they get that question a lot. He said he was doing well. I asked, still like being a doctor? I don't want him retiring soon. He said he did but not the computer part. 

Anyway the numbers did come up and, surprising me, all my results were in the normal range. When the exam was finished, I told him the reason I dread the physical is that my body might feel fine-- nothing that isn't part of being nearly 74. But those tests, they might find something that the body was not yet showing me. I know the argument-- find it ahead of time, but maybe it'd never show up without the tests.

He said, well, keep one thing in mind-- insurance can cancel someone's coverage if they don't go in for a physical for three years. I guess that makes sense and I will keep it in mind. Anyway, it was a big relief to me when this week was over.

There was one neat thing that came from the visit and I didn't learn it until Ranch Boss told me later. Before I was called back, a sweet looking older lady had come into the waiting room and was chatty. He said after I left, she turned to him and said, Wow, your wife is sure a pretty woman. He told her he agreed and considered himself a lucky man. Another man from back in the corner chuckled. 

My husband said he and the older woman continued to chat a bit. She was shocked at his age and said that can't be-- then told him hers-- four years younger than us. Well, it's not like we don't consider ourselves old and feel lucky to be here. When you get to this age (if you haven't yet), you will find it's difficult to figure out people's ages even those of us who don't do plastic surgery, etc.

The other neat thing about that woman, besides the compliments was that she had come there not for her own appointment but as support for a friend, who had already been called back before she had arrived. The aide checked that out and then ushered her into the back to be with her friend. What a nice woman.

Okay, so a week I dreaded is behind me and autumn immediately ahead. I decided that for the immediate future, I am only going to post in this blog once a week, on Saturdays. Now, there might be unscheduled posts, when something comes up, but regularly speaking-- just Saturdays. I have one book to finish, another to start, and then come the edits. I won't have a lot to share here that doesn't relate to writing or creating covers and trailers. Then later in the fall, we head for Tucson and remodeling we hope to see done on our home there. When in the desert, there should be more photos to share.

If I was writing politics for here, I probably could bang out more than one a week even with a heavier fiction schedule. I feel intensely about a lot of things, but I still believe it's important to keep politics away from this blog, as it is such an incredibly divisive time. I want this to be a place that is about peace and creativity for readers and me. People can find anger and fear plenty of other places. 

Even with my issues blog, I try to keep it to an exploration of subjects facing us, not an attack on anyone. I am not sure what's going on, but we are in unsettled times-- to say the least. I will enjoy disappearing back into my fourth Hemstreet witch's story, with the fifth hopefully to get a rough draft before the year ends. They have gotten more complicated as they've gone requiring more thinking and research-- of the fifth, that will be especially true.


Tabor said...

Glad you got to the doctor. I am one of those who heads to the doctor whenever a symptom does not seem normal. I get a physical once a year and since I have changed doctors several times because they are leaving, I want to have my doc remember me. I have given up on writing about politics as I am a liberal and many on the far right do not understand social services are essential to a functioning country and I will never convince them. I feel they consider any non-voluntary spending a devil in the details. I also am well into a community of scientists and am sorry that many people cannot understand actual science that tells us many more like Harvey are ahead.

Rain Trueax said...

Yeah, Harvey was a thousand year flood and those don't come along all that often. Part of our problem today is we are building in locations we should not. The Gulf Coast is relatively flat too which let the water spread out. I read that they'd been warned their dams were at risk in a big one. It's just a combination of so many things and among them how earth's climate has always changed-- whether we are making it worse by what we do is just another part of the equation for today, with each side of the divide seeing it differently.

Because I've seen a hundred year flood here, I told my husband we need to consider getting a supplement to our policy for flood coverage. I read that only 20% of those in Houston had flood insurance. They didn't think they were that close to water. I know we are and a storm that sits there for days (Eastern Oregon has had one of those and it wiped out a town many years ago) can inundate anyone. Humans have so little real control over the earth-- much as we might like to think we do. We can do it damage for sure, of course...

joared said...

Glad your medical appointment and test results went so well --- probably because of the cheesecake. Guess we each have to figure out what works for us in terms of medical care. When my longtime physician died died years ago, I made a point of selecting a considerably younger than me Dr. I wanted someone who would likely be with me the rest of my days. Also, wanted him to see me while I was vibrant and active which I hope he'll recall if I ever get to the point I'm more decrepit. I think it may influence the attitude toward me if he can recall when I was at my best.

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

The Cuters' pediatrician called it a Bible Cyst... in that you had Mom hold your hand still while your Dad smacked the damn thing with the heaviest book in the house, the Bible.
Glad you went to the doctor and that you are normal :-)

Rain Trueax said...

I also dislike changing doctors; so go out of my way to stay with one as long as possible. My doctor is younger than us but not sure how much-- he is graying now :)

The nurse said she'd heard hitting it with a book (not specific which volume). I wonder though about potentially breaking a bone in the process. lol