If had known I was going to live this long…I would have taken better care of myself. Author Unknown
Going to the doctor is a lesson in frustration at best these days. And you can’t even go to one doctor anymore. You have to pick yourself apart like Frankenstein’s assistant and go to 87 different doctors. My current list is: eyes, stomach, endocrine system (diabetes), neck, foot, allergist, skin, boobs, and ears. It’s positively gruesome! Going to the doctor is a full time job. How do people who are not retired fit this all into their schedule?
Did I retire just so I have the time to take care of my body parts? Sometimes I wonder…This is just downright ridiculous. Another thing that really REALLY chaps my grits is that when I do drag myself to one of to these doctors, they don’t even freaking listen to me.
Recently I went to the doctor because I suspect that I have post-menopausal sluggish thyroid, a common problem with women my age. My symptoms point to this pretty clearly. Tired all the damned time, extremely dry skin (I could slather myself with lard and it wouldn’t help), very low “normal” body temperature (97 on a good day,) feeling cold even on a day when it’s 100 degrees, and extremely high cholesterol. I have to run a fever to get up to a normal body temp.
I explained to the doctor that cholesterol meds make me feel like I’ve been dragged behind a truck after being run over by said truck several times. And I listed the above symptoms. He hummed and hawed, said “I see” and wrote me a prescription. I foolishly assumed that it would be something to help the thyroid situation. But NOOoOOoo.
I got to the car before looking at the paper work. Not only did he not give me anything for the thyroid symptoms, he wrote me a prescription for DOUBLE the amount the cholesterol meds that I had just explained was reducing my quality of life to that of a garden slug on a bad day. I was so outraged that I wanted to storm back in the office and declare that he was so stupid that he couldn’t poor water out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel of the boot. Instead I decided to fire him. He doesn’t know this and I don’t care.
So back to square one. I’m going to go back to how I used to take care of myself. Attempt to figure out attempt to treat myself and find a doctor or some sort of alternative health practitioner that listens to the patient, and not the numbers on a test recommended by drug companies.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. American Declaration of Independence
Yes, I am getting tired of getting damned sick and tired of being told what to do. I’m getting even more tired of being told what I can’t do. It seems like every time I turn around there’s a new law governing my every day behavior, even in the privacy of my own home. I am labelled politically incorrect, out of touch with “reality”, antiquated, and an old grump by those who seek to tell me how wrong I am for believing what I believe.
Here all this time I’ve been living under the assumption that I lived in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Here I thought that I have a right to have my own opinions, and to speak freely about them, even in public. Well silly me.
Maybe because I’ve lived almost 60 years in our America I have to ability to look back and see how much things have changed. Some things have changed for the better, other things, not so much, some even worse. The rights of women to equal treatment under the law, and freedom of our own bodies took an enormous leap forward and then we looked away to other issues thinking that was a done deal. Now as a nation we women are backsliding.
One rather silly example of how times are changing is the example of cigarettes vs. marijuana. When I was a wild and woolly 20 something smoking pot was highly illegal and smoking a cigarette was not any different from having a cold beer on a hot summer day. Well damn, now that I’m older and don’t really care much about smoking the funny stuff, it’s becoming legal and cigarettes are now the evil villain that many think should be legislated by law out of my life. If I want to smoke a cigarette with my morning coffee the only place I can legally do so is in my own back yard. Quite frankly I would be less nervous about firing up a joint in the local Starbucks than I would be lighting up a cigarette.
Every time I turn around there’s a new law about some ridiculous thing that should be no one’s business but my own. There are many silly stupid laws that I’m outraged that our tax dollars pay for the lengthy contemplation and passing of. Things like what size soda pop I can buy, what I feed a child for lunch, how many times I mow my lawn, when I can water it. What kind I medicine I can take or not take, even the decision to stop taking medicine if I so choose to do.
The medicine example has me riled up because I got a call from a nurse working for my insurance company. She explained that they monitor my prescription usage and noticed that I stopped taking blood pressure medicine. She went so far as to say that if I continued down this slippery slope of not taking medicine I might lose my coverage. Highly indignant I explained that I lost 20 pounds and that took care of the blood pressure issue. I also told her to note in my file that I did not want to receive any more calls from a “concerned” nurse and what medicine I consume or do not consume is between me and my doctor. That statement right there is a political hot potato.
Another thing that is bugging me under the surface and just came to the front of my consciousness lately is; what is the real reason my blog is sitting dark and neglected? I told myself and you readers that I’ve been busy with other things. Personal issues, family issues, etc, etc. blah, blah, blah. I did a pretty good job of pretending that was it until it dawned on me that I was lying to myself and making excuses. I did some serious soul-searching and finally admitted to myself and now to you, dear reader, that I had become afraid to speak my mind.
And why am I afraid to speak my mind? There are a many reasons, but a few come to the front. The main one is that I see on the news everyday people in this country with our alleged freedom of speech who speak their mind and get slapped down…hard. Often I think “well that was indeed a rather asinine thing to say, but really? Should they lose their job or even get tossed in jail on some trumped-up charge, or audited by the IRS, for saying what they said?” This well and truly frightens me.
There are times when this blog develops cobwebs. Sometimes it’s because I get into a mope and decide that I don’t have anything worth saying, despite a body of evidence to the contrary. Other times it’s because my life gets incredibly busy. I get hit with curve balls, side winders, and then a life drops a piano on my head.
Well no that’s not exactly what happened this time. Life dropped a piano on my mother’s head. Mom, a five foot three, grey haired, 75-year-old lady, suffered through a home invasion. Some sick monster tail gated Mom into her courtyard, forced his way into her house, and hog tied her with her own extension cord. Thank God, he did not do anything worse to her than tie her up. However she still had to suffer through the terror of not doing how bad it was going to get.
While she lay there tied up in her own bed, this reprehensible bastard ransacked her house, defiled every nook and cranny of her home, robbed her of $300 cash and even wandered around the courtyard out back. He eventually left and she screamed for help and the neighbors came to help her, the police were called and all that good stuff.
So anyway, my reason for not writing about all the wild and crazy things that happened when I went to New Orleans is that I turned around and went screaming right back there only a few weeks after I unpacked from the last trip.
All six of Mom’s kids pretty much made a unanimous decision that the only thing to do was for her to move to a different apartment. She was terrified and relived the event every time she set foot in her apartment. Staying there alone was just not an option.
My sister stayed glued to her computer and helped do all the internet searching to find leads on apartments while Mom and I did the footwork. My brothers did the actually heavy lifting and moving. We got lucky in a French Quarter Miracle kind of way and found an incredibly lovely, recently renovated studio apartment. It’s one block away from a little grocery store, and one block away in another direction from a 24 hour deli that delivers. It’s like staying in a little hotel suite with a full kitchen and 24 hour room service.
The end result was that Mom’s kids, working together, managed to pull a rabbit out of our hat. We got her moved out of the scene of the crime and back into the French Quarter in a really cool apartment, all in a matter of days.
Looking back over the last two weeks, I don’t know how we managed it, but we did. And it was a wild ride, even by New Orleans standard.
I don’t know if it is a function of my age. I’ve been around long enough to see fashion and social trends come and go and then come around again. One thing I’ve figured out over the years that the “coolness” of a style has a direct relation to the price. In other words:
Inexpensive + comfortable = you should not be caught dead wearing that item or combination (I have always ignored this rule)
So expensive you could use it for a down payment for a car + so uncomfortable that you hobble around in pain = the cutting edge of fashion (I spring for expensive on rare occasions, but not the uncomfortable part)
I treat myself to manicures and a few days ago I was in the salon reading a fashion magazine while waiting my turn. I flipped through the pages chuckling at the same silly articles on “how to get your man” that have been in women’s magazines for the past 50 years.
Then I came across a picture of a young woman riding a bicycle. She had on the most ridiculous combination of different must haves and fashion faux pas I’ve ever seen. A quick glance down the list of items she was wearing told me that it would cost about $6,000 dollars to get her complete look.
Let me see if I can paint a picture of this woman. Shoulder length hair, red lips, interesting eye makeup that would last 5 seconds on hot day. On top she wore a thigh length hounds tooth coat, and elbow length black leather gloves. Right, a perfectly practical outfit for a bike ride.
Then down her body, sticking out under the dressy coat was a pair of faded, ripped at the knee jeans, rolled up to her calf. And then we get to the pièce de résistance, her feet. On her feet was a pair of crumpled off white gyms socks and a pair of black patent leather Birkenstock shoes, with her funky gym sock covered toes sticking over the front edge of her shoes. Elbow length gloves and gyms socks? Oh please. I was so outraged that I had to stand up and walk around. I pretended to contemplate nail polish colors to hide the fact that I was pacing around in a major snit.
Anyone who was alive in the 60 and 70s knows what wearing Birkenstocks used to mean. You get an immediate picture of a hippy girl wearing a matchstick skirt with unshaven legs and armpits, hauling around a guitar and burning incense, thinking that it covered up the smell of pot smoke.
So why are Birkenstocks suddenly the height of fashion now after all the years? I’ll tell you why. The fashion industry got ahold of them, tricked them out with a bit of rhinestone and patent leather and now they cost NINE HUNDRED DOLLARS a pair. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
So anyway back to my original statement. There are no rules worth paying attention to when it comes to fashion. To make my own statement I tried out some hair chalk I saw advertised in the magazine. The result? I walked around yesterday with lavender streaks in my hair. Yee ha! And happy Mardi Gras. Mr. Husband and my mother-in-law were taken aback, but the ladies in my art class got a kick out of it.