Tag Archives: doctor

Hold music that puts us to sleep

Greetings, readers. It is Muzak to the rescue. Yes, dear readers, it seems like every time you call somewhere important and only have time to speak to a human being, you get put on hold after the automated beginning of the call. Today I had just such an experience. In between the automation and the person who was going to help me, was the music. Muzak, I suppose, or a service like it. I’ve heard many instrumental songs on hold over the years, some peppy, and some dang-near put me to sleep. Today’s was somewhere in the middle.

I vividly remember a decade ago, calling a doctor’s office with a specific question. This was before doctor’s offices had web-pages, and everybody had to call in with their questions. I was on hold for one hour and twenty-five minutes . . . with the same song, over and over and over. For a while I actually contemplated, when the person picked up, beginning my conversation with, is this your idea of torture? But they would not have known what I was talking about. Suffice it to say, it must have been a very important question, or I would have hung up after twenty minutes. Waiting is not one of my strong points. But yes, this doctor’s office had one song on a loop that repeated every two minutes or so. I couldn’t put the phone down, because what if they answered right at that moment? There is a scene for a comedy show for you.

Back when I was a little boy, my parents and I would visit big cities, and go into elevators in hotels. Muzak was there too. The music must have been from the older generation, because I remember my mother starting to whistle to it, and I didn’t know any of the songs.

In waiting rooms for dentists, doctors, etc., Muzak can still be heard. I suppose these offices can purchase a subscription and have the music beamed in by satellite. No commercials and no local ads, just music.

Today I’ve got music choices such as Spotify and iTunes. I can listen to the real recordings from the original artists any time I want to. But when you are out and about in a doctor’s office, in an elevator, or on hold on a phone call, you listen to what they are playing. If that is two hours of the Carpenters, let’s hope you like the Carpenters.

One song that must be on Muzak’s top ten list is “Fly Me to the Moon.” Do I like the song? Sure. Do I want to hear a crackly muffled version of it? No. But like every time you get put on hold, you take what ever music they play. It beats having dead air for so long that you think they have hung up on you.

I just had to rant and rave today about this topic (dictated on a Wednesday for publication on Thursday) because I had to make an important phone call and had to waste ten minutes of my day listening to Muzak. As soon as I got off the phone, I said to Rebecca, there is a good blog topic for ya.

That’s it for this one. Please leave a comment on Facebook or down below with your Muzak experiences. Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

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My health, what is the worst that can happen? My heart could go splat

Greetings, readers. An incident happened yesterday afternoon which has seriously made me reconsider what is going on in my life right now. I am now making it publicly known that I am having some minor heart issues. At least I hope they are minor. I was sent home early yesterday from my fast food job because my irregular heartbeat would not calm itself. I am glad I am getting it checked tomorrow.

While I am at the doctor’s Thursday afternoon, Rebecca will be putting up the blog from home. I am taking off tomorrow completely to rest before my stress test. Let me explain the current phenomena. The heart goes wrong when I’m stressed, when I’m tired, or quite often after I sit down from an activity. The fluttering sensation lasts about 5 to 15 seconds and then goes away. If anybody can give me information about what this might be, please leave a comment in the comment section or catch me on my Facebook page. Any info would be most helpful.

I know that pessimism is a bad trait but last evening I could not help but think of all the bad things that could go wrong in the coming weeks. What is the doctor going to say? What is the stress test going to show? I’m so paranoid, I’m going to pack an overnight bag in case the doctor sends me right to the hospital. For those of you who want a chuckle, yes, I was a boy scout for one day and remember their motto is always be prepared.

I also began to do an overview of my life last evening, starting from an early age and going right on up through the years. I had a happy childhood, and high school was fine, then things started to go wrong. Because of my disability that no one in my family wanted to address, myself included, I did not graduate from Penn State University. I failed. Later on I got married. That didn’t work either. I failed. My writing career is not that much to speak of, less the blog and a few small completed works. I won’t call that a failure, but I’m not paying the rent with my royalties. I’m sure you can see the pattern here.

I also started to think about my time at Bear Spring Camps. Oh, the joyous childhood memories I have with Mr. Greco, Dave, and everyone who has camped there over the years. I consider them all my family. With this season’s camp week approaching in a few months, last night I asked myself just how many more years do I think I’ll be able to go? As a naïve youngster, I thought I would go until the day I died. Well, this camp season might be it for me. Perhaps not. But I don’t see myself going for another 25 years. Either health or lack of money will prevent that.

Yes, readers, times change, people’s health deteriorates, and the carefree happiness of youth turns into the hard reality of adulthood. I will have some of the test results by the end of tomorrow. With all the information in, I will be able to make a plan about staying at my job or having to give it up to take care of my health issue. I hope not, I actually love my job.

Well, this macabre entry has gone on long enough. I’ll close on a cheerful note. Views of my gaming channel videos have improved slightly. Rebecca told me this morning that I need to add my full name to the tags, as it will make it easier for people to find said videos in a YouTube search of just my name. Thank you very much to Rebecca.

Rebecca will chime in tomorrow and we’ll both be back as usual next Wednesday. Until then, take care, have a great few days, and happy reading.

I might have to get my left leg looked at again

Greetings, readers. I slipped and fell on September 5th and all X-rays that were taken were negative for breaks, thank goodness. However, today on November 1st, I am still hobbling around. This is really beginning to worry me. It is so bad in fact, that I have to put another chair near my recliner so that when I stand up I have something to hold on to for my first steps. The left leg just does not want to move.

I am seriously considering going back to my doctor and asking for more X-rays. Half of me wants to do this and the other half does not. If there is a slightly cracked bone that the initial X-ray missed, I would likely be casted or put into a boot. I have seen with a co-worker of mine that a boot and a greasy floor don’t go together too well. There is a possibility that I would just need physical therapy for the muscles. In that case, that will eat into my work time and my free time. There is a laugh for you.

Speaking of my free time, ha ha, when I come home, instead of writing or working on personal projects, I’m usually asleep by 8:00 on a work night. I used to stay up until 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. No more. I come home and switch off the engines. The other day at 5:30, I turned on an old football game on YouTube (an exciting one), and because I was so exhausted, I feel asleep. When I came to, I said that’s it, bedtime. The time was 8:30.

Another worry of mine is for my December 1st performance. I’m planning to sing to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album for the folks at Addison Court Apartments. Now, I love to give a good show, but I’ve just not felt up to doing full-scale rehearsals. The leg just hurts too much, and I have to go to bed so early. I am debating whether or not to post pone my show for a month or two. I will keep you up to date.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the World Series and my team is not going to win. There is not much of a chance that the L.A. Dodgers will blow a game 7 at home. I just gave away my secret; yes, I am pulling for the Houston Astros. They’ve never been to the World series and a championship would be great for that city. I am also keeping up with the NFL and was very unhappy to learn that the New England Patriots traded away their wonderful back-up quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, leaving us with a few more years with the cheater Tom Brady. As a matter of fact, the whole New England Patriot organization are cheaters. Sorry, Robert Kraft, I’ll be a Patriots fan again when you sell the team … which will be the 32nd of neverwherey.

Lastly, my condolences go out to families affected by the terrible terrorist attack in New York City yesterday. Why can’t we all get along?

So until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, do tell your friends about this blog, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Blog schedule for July and August

Greetings, Joe’s readers. You are seeing a lot of From Rebecca entries lately, and while I hope that all of you enjoy reading my pieces, I know that you are partaking of Joe’s blog to see what is on his mind. Last week, Joe’s friend Dave came to visit on Thursday, and two weeks before that Joe had something personal came up. Please bear with us, both entries this week will be from me, and this will continue off and on just another month. There are reasons for that.

This week doctor appointments have knocked out the working together time for Joe and me. Today Joe is at a check-up with his primary physician, and tomorrow I will be helping my husband Darren and his mom at an urgent doctor’s appointment for her; with her mobility issues and bringing the car around to the front of buildings, it is so much easier to get my mom-in-law to her appointments if there are two of us. To make up for the lost work time tomorrow, I am writing the blog entry for Thursday too.

Next week will be normal for us, working Wednesday and Thursday together. As usual, Joe will dictate the blog posts while I type, then we will edit. Joe will be busy getting ready for Bear Spring Camps, so I imagine that his other writing will be halted for the time being, but he will do the blog.

The following two weeks, the first two in August, Joe will go to Bear Spring Camps in Maine, and I will do those four blog posts from home. I will be spending time with his cat Keekee during regular work hours, so those entries will be a little later in the day than usual, but I will get them up on those Wednesdays and Thursdays.

After that, Joe will be back and we will go back to normal with two blog entries a week from Joe on various topics. I expect him to come back with lots of motivation and ideas for the rest of the year, as he does after every vacation at Bear Spring Camps. He will be raring to go with ideas for writing, cleaning, organizing, and improving his life in general. It is always an exciting time to be working with him.

So hang it there with us for the next month. I hope you will like my posts, and Joe will be back before you know it with more of his thoughts and wisdom, plus he will be here both days next week.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

My day so far, June 2, 2016

Greetings, readers. I had a truly unusual morning. Small parts of it were delightful, other parts make me glad that it is therapy day. Here’s what happened.

I got up this morning at my usual time, was in the process of getting dressed, and the next thing I know I’m down on the floor. After saying a few choice words in frustration, I got up, finished getting dressed and I took my meds. I felt fine up until that moment. The reason for what happened is one of two things. A petit mal seizure which is very unlikely, or, my guess, I passed out from a momentary drop in blood pressure. Either way, we will be making doctor’s calls as soon as this entry is published.

Am I overly concerned? Not really. But I do have two trips coming up, one in July and one in August, and I would like to have options for my transportation. I hate to feel restrained and restricted. When I have mornings like this, I feel like calling off everybody and packing it in. But I am not a quitter, so I dust myself off and continue. I never have been a quitter, not even from childhood. I wasn’t very good at sports, but I was out there every day playing Nerf football or Whiffle ball.

I’m a little bit apprehensive about what the doctors will tell me to do. Luckily I have an appointment with a heart doctor tomorrow. What I don’t want for this weekend is for him to order a battery of tests. If he does, I’ll have to deal with it.

After meds and coffee, I literally fought with my computer all morning. Just when I thought I was able to work on some personal projects, my computer would run updates and need to restart. Oh, bloody hell! After a while, it almost became laughable. By 10:30, I shut down what I was trying to do and just listened to music. Things got better, as I met my girlfriend for coffee at Panera while we waited for Rebecca to arrive. The three of us chatted and had a pleasant time. I seem to have turned the corner from my frustrating morning and hopefully the rest of today will be more normal. Wish me luck.

As I wrote yesterday, we have a day off tomorrow. So until Wednesday, take care, enjoy the next few days, and happy reading.

Friday’s blog entry… today {Sunday, April 10th}

Greetings, readers. Friday was a most bizarre day, complete with early morning doctors appointments for both Traci and me. We had to be there by 8AM, so it was quite an early start for me. The alarm on my cell phone said, “Wakey-wakey” at 5:15! No, it doesn’t really talk. Ha-ha.

By the time Traci and I got home, we were both exhausted. I called off Rebecca and took a nap which lasted nearly all afternoon. It lasted so long if fact, that I completely missed my therapy appointment. Oops.

Anyway, the doctors told us that we’re both going to be fine. I always like good news. Speaking of news, I saw on the blog’s dashboard, that this entry is going to be #499. So, if all goes according to plan, #500 will be posted by mid-Wednesday afternoon. 🙂

So, until Wednesday, take care, have a great weekend and happy reading.

 

My life without a car

Greetings, readers. I have been without a car since 2008. I enjoyed the years I drove very much, but an accident totaled my vehicle. With the money situation the way it is, I’ve been told by my accountant that even a used car is not in the current spending plans. For now the occasional Zipcar will have to suffice.

In the early years of my driving career, I would drive past our local airport and head for the back country roads. They would twist and turn and that drive really kept my skills and reflexes up. The only time I really drive distances now is in August when I go to Maine in a rental car.

Even though I have Meals on Wheels, a lot of times I like to have an evening snack when I watch TV. Luckily there is a store nearby, but it is a drug store with a small selection of food in it and their prices are not cheap. For me to go to an actual supermarket I would have to either rent a Zipcar or take the bus. The bus poses two problems. First, I’m going by someone else’s time schedule. And second, depending where I get dropped off, I would have to lug my bags back home. It is not the worst thing in the world, but when you have a convenience store right in walking distance, that choice is more expensive but quicker.

The only doctors in walking distance are my psychologist and the dentist. My general practitioner and, most importantly, my neurologist, have to be reached either by bus, cab, or Zipcar. This can get a bit expensive and inconvenient. For my next doctor’s appointment, I will need to get a bus an hour and fifteen minutes early, because the next scheduled bus would make me late to my doctor’s appointment. And as much as an hour could be between the end of an appointment and the next bus.

I don’t mind taking alternate transportation when it is needed, but I’ve cut my Zipcar usage way down. Basic insurance is covered by the company, but yearly dues and full insurance are two yearly major expenses for me.

If I had my own car, I could hop in it tomorrow and go visit Walnut Grove, Minnesota, if I wanted to. To accomplish this in my current situation, would require a check of the Amtrak train schedule, one of the many long distance bus charter companies, or an airplane. With money tight, I think I’ll just stay home. My point is, that if I just want to get up and go, I can’t. About 75% of my life must be planned out.

Zipcars do help. But that sense of freedom, of hopping in my vehicle and going anywhere anytime is gone for good. From now on, I will have to walk, take a bus or a cab, or some other means of transportation, to get where I’m going. This coming Sunday for Easter, as happened this past Christmas, my girlfriend’s friends have invited us to have dinner, but they have to come pick us up in their car. Although this is not the most terrible thing in the world, I do feel a little bit like a burden to them. Perhaps next holiday, we’ll rent a Zipcar and pick them up.

If I have to take my girlfriend somewhere, like to her doctor or to the hospital, the Zipcars are $9 an hour, and we would book it for at least 3 hours to be sure we have enough time. My lowest tally with her has been $27. That is not exactly the same as her chipping in $5 for gas if I took her in my car. Plus, if all the Zipcars are rented and she needs to get there in a hurry, we are calling a taxi cab. And once again, we wait for them. If we want to take a drive to see the scenery, or go for a special lunch someplace that is a few towns over, I would want to rent that Zipcar for at least 3 to 4 hours, and we are talking about $36. Sometimes we just don’t have that to pay, so we don’t go.

Do I miss my car? Absolutely. With all the expenses, such as gas, upkeep and insurance, I’m probably lucky that I don’t have one. Knowing my luck, I would crack a cylinder head and it would be a $3,000 repair. Do I miss my freedom? Absolutely. But in 8 years I’ve learned to adjust. Things are more difficult without a car, but I am making it work.

Until Friday, when we will have another interesting blog post for you, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

I took Traci to the doctors today and a busy rest of the week

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I took the day off so that I could help my girlfriend get to her doctor’s appointment. We rented a Zipcar and I was glad it wasn’t cold and snowy; cool and raining was bad enough. Traci and I left at 1PM and got home at 4.

Regular work hours resume tomorrow. One thing on the agenda is to make a list of all the topics I want or need to tell my accountant on March 2nd. One topic of conversation is the deposit for Bear Spring Camps, which must be sent in post-haste. Another is the payment of the yearly Zipcar insurance.

Also, my therapy appointment and bingo are tomorrow. I will be glad for both. Dr. JoAnn helps me get through the week, while a relaxing game of bingo ends the day on a pleasant note. On Friday, my easy day, Rebecca and I will write a blog entry and tidy up loose ends to get ready for next week.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days and happy reading.

 

From Rebecca: Health care

Last week I was sick with what I thought at first was a cold, but turned out to be an infection. I went to the doctor’s, got antibiotics, and I feel much better now. It reminded me of how nice it is to have health care, and to be able to go to a doctor when needed.

I have had health care for periods of my adult life, but many times I have not, and my first impulse is not to call a doctor when something happens. Over time, I have developed an attitude of wait-and-see when things happen with my body. Two or three times a year, I get a lower back ache that lasts about three days and then goes away. I have chronic pain in my legs that is usually low-level and manageable, and when the pain increases above a certain level I will take some over-the-counter pain reliever until it subsides. When I didn’t have a doctor or could afford one, I learned to make do, and it became a habit.

When my cold last week didn’t get better, in fact it moved to my eyes, I still thought I would wait it out with cold medicine. My husband, Darren, urged me to go to the doctor, but I didn’t think it was that bad. I suggested he call the doctor’s office, describe my symptoms, and get their opinion. Darren called, the office said that not only did I need to come in, but that I was also highly contagious. Yikes. And they had an appointment that afternoon, if I wanted it. I said yes immediately. Turns out that I had a sinus infection and pink eye. I got antibiotics and forty-eight hours later I was no longer contagious. I got tired easily for a few days this week, but I feel much better.

It is nice to have a medical office to call with health questions. This is a luxury to me, having someone a phone call away to answer medical questions and give me information. It is nice to have a regular doctor that I know and who knows me. It is nice to have the right medicine at the right time. And it is nice to have it covered by insurance, so I can afford to do it.

I just have to remember this the next time something happens with my health.

Top ten list of things that are going on in my life right now – Dec 2015

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I thought it would be a good idea to post a top ten list of things that are going on in my life in the current moment. Most are good things, a few of them are perhaps not so good. I don’t think I would consider any of them “bad”. Life is a journey and a struggle and every once in a while we get a peach pit in our peaches and cream. So here we go.

#10. Fog. [The last four days State College, PA. and surrounding areas have experienced thicker than usual fog. This morning I awakened early as usual, looked out my window, and could not see the buildings across the street. Very unusual. State College is prone to bad weather from time to time, but thinking about it, I must admit fog is the phenomenon we have the least.]

#9. Learning to win on the WWE 2k16 wrestling game, PS3 version. [As my regular blog readers may remember, recently I got a copy of this wonderful video game. It is much more difficult than I was expecting. I am finally learning how to win on it. My overall record is 2 wins, 11 loses, and a whole bunch of just watching the computer playing against itself. Fascinating game. I must be careful, because I can play it for hours, which is not good for my very mild seizure issue.]

#8. Christmas decorations going up and excited about Christmas. [Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Even though I can no longer have the big, real Christmas tree with tons of ornaments and lights, I do try to decorate a little bit to remind myself of the great days when Mom and Dad would spruce up the house and would make it look magical. Pop never let us turn the lights on once tested until Christmas morning, which made it seem more wonderous.]

#7. I am enjoying Spotify music service. [For $9 a month, I am considering Spotify to be a steal. I have found tons of songs and complete albums to listen to. Also, you can click and drag songs into playlists you create. So far I have four lists: my collection of 70s and 80s songs, Beatles songs done by the a tribute band The Coverbeats, my favorite list of KISS songs performed live, and Christmas songs. If you are on Spotify and want to listen to my playlists, drop a comment here or on Facebook and I’ll send you the link.]

#6. Working on a new budget for the new year. [I continue to struggle with money. I keep running out before the end of the month. Here today on the 9th of December I was already talking to my accountant about the slow leak in my wallet. I bought some new pants, a belt, and underwear last night and even though I should have been expecting the amount, the bill gave me sticker shock. I needed the clothes very badly. My old slacks were literally worn out. I need to find a way to get what I need and make my money last longer at the same time.]

#5. New issues with Zipcar. [Up until a month or so ago, my dealings with Zipcar were great. Recently … not so much. The last two times I’ve tried to rent, I’ve either had an issue with the vehicle or none were available despite the reservation I had made ahead of time. The last time, the car that was supposed to be mine for the morning was in for maintenance. I was not told about this – oh joy, oh bliss. The friend I was going to drive to the train station, and who had agreed to pay for the rental fee, had to take a cab. I am picking her up this Sunday, let’s hope all goes well. If not, Zipcar and I will have major problems.]

#4. Doctor appointments for both Keekee and me. [Keekee’s appointment is for a semi-annual wellness check, complete with vaccination, clip nails, and new bag of food, just to name a few things. I have a neurologist appointment in January, to make sure my brain is running the way it should. These appointments made this list not because they are particularly noteworthy but because of the expense it will take to get us there and back. I will either have to take a bus, a taxi, or rent a Zipcar. It is easier to take a cat in  carrier in a Zipcar. Some bus drivers don’t mind, others do, but it is legal. Also, I have a routine dentist appointment in a few weeks.]

#3. Waiting for a notice from the copyright office for my play Kimberly. [We sent in the application, play, and the check a couple of months ago. I want to know that is done by the time Rebecca’s husband Darren is done with the novel based on the play, so that we can then copyright his work.]

#2. Six book sales at the end of November. [Whoot. I was very excited to check my CreateSpace e-store page and find three sales for each of the Bear Spring Camps books. Yay, team! It is not enough to pay the rent, but it is a start. And I am glad that people are still enjoying Picking Up Where We Left Off and Tales from North Bay and Beyond.]

#1. My girlfriend and Thanksgiving with family. [Traci has been my girlfriend since late September, and she went with me to spend Thanksgiving with David and family. Regular readers will know that she got along great with the family and we all had a wonderful time. This is in the #1 spot because Traci was so happy to be introduced to the family and both she and I are happy to have each other, as well as them.]

So, this sums up this top ten list and my life at this moment. Although things are definitely on an upswing for me, I am still grateful for my therapist. She still continues to help me quite a bit.

There will definitely be a blog on Friday, on an as of yet unknown topic. Until then, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.