Tuesday, 31 March 2015



Do you ever go somewhere for an appointment or to get something done and wonder how the hell they get anything accomplished?

I do. I have run into two situations where everything would have been so much better if the people who worked there just did their jobs and used a little of their brain power.

The first has been going on for a few years. I needed to change family doctors and gave my (then) cardiologists office the information. Well, for some reason the staff there don't like to send anything like reports to my family doctor. He has treated me for more than three years now and still only receives information if the report is sent to another doctor who very kindly forwards the information on. I have even mentioned this to my cardiologist and he says he'll tell the girls to send it. But nothing happens.

(UPDATE March 31/15) I have found another heart doctor. Must more responsible and diagnosed the problem very quickly. My family doctor gets all information about me.
And, after finding the new doctor and being diagnosed, almost instantly, I feel so much better and have heard from inside sources that the previous doctors ( there are three) don't send any information out to family doctors.


Now my family doctor is really nice and has always made sure my prescriptions are up to date. When I call the drug store and one of them has no repeats, he has been very good about refilling them when the drug store faxes them.

Then, about three months ago, something changed. A prescription wasn't filled. I called the drug store on it and they had faxed the request three times by then. I called the doctor's office and they said they never received it. This boggles the mind as they filled the other script that was faxed the same day. When I pointed that out they said it was never received.

Now this week, I needed my blood pressure medication and another med refilled. I called the drug store with one week to spare. Went to pick it up yesterday as I was out and it wasn't ready. The drug store only heard back about one script again. So they re-faxed and I called the doctor's office and was put through to the lady that handles that stuff. She told me that they only received the one request. I said I didn't understand that when the drug store had record of them both being sent. She just said again, we DIDN'T receive that one, only this one that was faxed right now. She also said the doctor isn't in on Friday and they don't refill prescriptions on Fridays, anyway, so I would have to wait until Monday and CALL BACK!!!!

WTF ! ! ! ! !

This is blood pressure medication ! ! ! ! !

Anyway the druggist was kind enough to advance three tablets to get me through till Monday.

There is something wrong with the staff there. This is not the first time we have had issues such as this. Another time, my husband had a specialist appointment that needed to be changed. The receptionist told him it was his job to call them and change it !!!!!!!!!!!????????

My hubby is not a doctor-going kind of person, so for me to get him there was a feat in itself. Then to have this idiot give him the wrong info. He didn't know that the patient can't call a SPECIALIST and have the appointment changed. Otherwise everybody and their brother would be calling them. It has to come from the doctor's office.

Anyway that's enough for today. My blood pressure is going up.

(UPDATE March 31/15) Found out they had someone else that was supposed to being going through prescriptions and making sure they got where they needed to go. However, they were okay at first and then got either over confident or careless about the job. That person is since gone, and things move much better now.)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Finally got a doctor's appointment . . .

But its with the neurologist.
So that's when I expect I'll finally know what is going to happen. Had a bit of an interesting day on Tuesday when I called them to ask what happens next.

I asked "Have you got the report yet?"
and she responded with "When's your next appointment?"
"I don't have one!"
       "Didn't you make one the last time you were here?"
"No, I didn't know I was supposed to."
       "You're supposed to make one every time you leave the office!"
"I didn't know that. No one told me to make another appointment. I thought I would be seeing the surgeon after this last test and you'd be calling me with the information."
       almost under her breath: "you're always supposed to make an appt." Then. "Well 
       luckily I have a cancellation next Wednesday at 1:00."
"Okay, thank you."
       "Well you finally got the spectroscopy done. That should let them know everything."   
       (or something to that effect)
That's when I told her that when I got to the hospital I questioned the nurse about the contrast dye being used for that special procedure. The nurse had said to me that the test had been changed to a contrast MRI. I was surprised, disappointed, but as I said they're the ones that know what they're doing. In the back of my mind was "I waited 5 weeks to get the same test I had last time?"

       "What do mean they didn't do it. Who changed it?"
"I don't know. That's what the nurse told me. She said the doctor had done it."
        "But that's what the doctor wanted. That's what he asked for. He asked specifically for that test. And that's why it was booked at this hospital. Because they're set up to do it."

So now, I'm upset. I have waited all this time, probably the longest five weeks in my life, and find out I didn't get the right test????? How long will I have to wait for this to be sorted out? I don't think I can take much more of this

w a i t i n g ! ! !

I told her I'd call the hospital myself because I was very ... let's just say annoyed.

Of course I got the machine, but basically my message was that I needed to hear from someone TODAY about this.

About a minute later I was called back and asked my name and number and he would get right back to me. And son of a gun if he didn't! Turns out the radiologist has the last say in what pictures they need. I guess its so the surgeon know where to go??

I don't know, but anyway I should find out on Wednesday April 1st. What a day to find out.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Last (?) MRI done

It got to be Thursday night and I still hadn't even received a reminder call. I thought it best to call them as me showing up and finding out I didn't have an appointment for whatever reason, may have lead to blood shed. Or at least a darn good screaming match.

When she answered I said I was just calling to confirm my appointment for the next day. She asks my last name and says 'yes you do; at 1:15'. Nothing else. So, knowing the answer, I asked anyway.

"Do I have to do anything special for the test."
"No. (pause) No metal on your body or clothes."

The next day I show up and proceed on the expedition to find this place. Well holey mackerel. I entered the hospital at the far east corner and walk down this long hallway forever to where there is a sign pointing to Diagnostic Imaging. I turn left and its another long corridor. I stop in where I thought it said to and the lady says: 'oh, a little farther. Go down this corridor to the end and turn right.'

Off I go and turn right to find the longest hallway yet. At the end I can see a little tiny desk with someone sitting at it. I thought at first it was an oasis, but as I got closer I could see it was a receptionist. She signed me in and gave me a questionnaire to fill out. (You'd think they'd have all this info by now. Just give me one that has the blanks for me to fill in or where I can say yes this has changed, or no that hasn't.)

I am 15 minutes early for my appointment, which I'm happy about. But then it becomes 15 minutes after my appointment and there is no mention that they may be running a little behind or something. I am patient, because even though I want to get this over with at least I have made it to 'the day'. After another 10 minutes they take me in where they hook up access to a vein for later injection. I asked about the spectroscopy and find out that they have changed it back to a regular MRI with contrast dye. Another one?????

Would have been nice if I had been told that. But anyway, I sat for another 15 or so minutes talking to someone else getting an MRI on her shoulder. She was a nice young lady and didn't feel right having an MRI when so many other people need them, but her doctor says he has to see what's causing the problem. Yet another nice, young person with manners.

It took about half an hour and it did seem like they took pictures from a different angle or something. I'm only guessing by direction the thumping noises came from. And for some reason, I moved a couple of times. I didn't even realize that I was moving.

I have to stay there for a few minutes after to make sure that the place where the needle came out stops bleeding. I see my nurse walk out and say have a great weekend to the receptionist and there I am alone. I checked my arm and figured I was safe to go. Off I  headed to follow the cracker crumbs back to the beginning.

So, here I sit, at home, not knowing:
when there is an appointment,
where it is,
with whom,
I guess I just wait for 'the phone call' that puts you into instant, albeit short, panic mode.

I hate sitting around waiting. I mean I can do it and all, but it sure as hell pisses me off. All I can do is keep reminding myself that we have the greatest medical system on the planet and that I've come this far; a few more days to see how the next chapter works isn't a biggie.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

What I am doing these days

I have taken some time from work for a few reasons. I had a rough year last spring in that I had a major infection written about in Wow, was 2014 busy ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 

Different things have been happening to me, like my jaw shaking, or headaches, or falling over like someone has taken my gravity away, or falling asleep with no notice. Each time one of these things happened, especially the falling I'd ask the doctor, they'd do blood tests for what they thought it might be and find I was fine.

Great! I was beginning to feel like a full fledged hypochondriac. Finally, after falling asleep behind the wheel (May long weekend - 2014 - southbound hwy 89) and narrowly escaping a head on, I waited for the doctor's office to open on the Tuesday and told him what had happened. They immediately did some more tests and started to set up an appt. with a neurologist. It took until November 11th for me to get in to see him. He ordered various other tests and on the 16th of December 2014, I was told they found a 'brain lesion'.

Lesion because it does not sound as bad as tumour. Tumour everyone automatically thinks cancer but a lesion is benign.

I was scared but also relieved as it meant I had a reason why stuff was happening. So I was to see him February 18th  and a second MRI was ordered with contrast dye. That gave them a better picture. But I have still not spoken to a neurosurgeon. They wanted to get me in to see him ASAP but apparently he wants all the tests done first. At first I was pissed off, but later I realized that that was a better way to use his time. I mean he is already busy doing cancerous tumors and so as much as I am going CRAZY waiting to know what is happening, it is finally only three more days till the last (for now) MRI which is really a fancy one called: MRS (Magnetic resonance spectroscopy ) that will give them a much better idea of what is going on.

I have no other appointments scheduled so I am not sure what the procedure is now. I guess I'll sweat it through the weekend and hear something the beginning of next week.

Also, to be continued

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

I have been going through and cleaning up drafts

Previously written in August 2009.

So we have been thinking about getting a new puppy. My Sidney is 7 years old this Saturday (the 15th) and I want another dog for him to play with while he is still young. Its also a good idea to get another dog while he's young as it makes the transition easier for him.

And I am thinking ahead. It will kill me if anything happens to Sid. He is such a wonderful little dog and I love everything about him.

So, I had been contacting breeders and not really having much luck. At first I was thinking of a Shih Tzu, Shetland Sheepdog, or Standard Poodle. Points can be made for all three breeds.

Finally narrowed it down to another Shih Tzu as they are the loveliest little dogs. All three breeds require a lot of work on the coat, but maybe the new one will go to a groomer (still deciding).

I put down a deposit for a male puppy and then waited; . . . . . and waited and waited. The females didn't come into heat for some reason and when she finally did have puppies we had already gotten another dog.

I had mentioned it to hubby at one point that I has always wanted a Standard poodle and he reminded me of that. Standards are $1500.00 and I just didn't have that kind of money at the time. Which is how we happened to buy a miniature poodle that I named Emma.

They have their own blog under the "Blogs I Like" header to the right.

I apologize for not keeping this blog up. I have been guilty of that with all of my blogs actually. But I have made a promise to myself to get back in the groove. I found I have so many things I want to write about.

* * * * *
Fast forward to Tuesday March 10, 2015

The reason I brought this post out from the dust was because on Monday February 9th, 2015 I had Sidney put to sleep.

I was right. It hurt so bad. I felt like my heart was broken. The only good thing is that he is not suffering anymore. I don't know for sure what was wrong with him, but there was something. I could see it in his actions and his demeanor, and especially the way he stuck to me. He had lost his site quite suddenly and was doing somewhat okay but suddenly he started to cry EVERY time he was more than a few inches from me. That was not like him at all. He used to bark when he wanted something.

Then he fell part way down the stairs, so I used to walk behind him and help him. One time he came up the stairs and only made it halfway. I heard him falling and thank heaven he didn't break anything. I started putting barriers up to keep him where I was, but sometimes he'd get past and down he'd go again.

If I was going downstairs and coming right back he had been trained to 'wait'. He would lay down at the top of the stairs and stay there until I came back. I didn't want such a short legged dog going up and down the stairs any more than he needed to. he had NEVER ignored that command. Until this one day. I was heading back towards the stairs and I heard him fall. He hit every step on the way down. All 15 of them!!!

I was so scared for him. So sad for him. I started to think about his quality of life. The noises that he was making were nothing like I'd ever heard from him before. I started to watch him and noticed that his tail was always down now; he never wagged it; he cried all the time; he slept on his tummy with his head between his paws (he never did that before); he didn't even pay attention to Emma any more. She tried to get him to interact with her, but nothing.

I think in those last few days after I had made the decision I saw that tail come up and wag once and that was when I asked him if he wanted to see Dr. D--------. He knew.

When we got him there he was given brownies. I thought that was so cool. And so did he! He always had a good appetite. And here he was getting the 'NOT ALLOWED FOR DOGS' CHOCOLATE.

We talked about him and he lay there the way you see him in the picture; all regal and stuff. Talked about some of the things he did. He used to go down a slide, and get slippers, and he could say 'mama' (all on YouTube) and he never had a mean bone in his body.

Then I asked if we could do this. The Dr. started the needle and within a couple of seconds he was gone. He just lay his little head down between his paws and that was it. My Sidney is gone. From my house but never from my heart and my memory.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Ever been depressed?

I mean really depressed. Not feeling sad or just a little off. I mean really full blown, crying for no reason, not enjoying life, wishing you could disappear, not being able to live, barely able to function, not able to get a thought together to answer a question, being glad (and sad) that breathing is automatic because otherwise its too much work, depressed?

All I can say is, it is the most horrible place to be. Take the depression test , and see a doctor. I'm glad I did.

I actually didn't know what was happening to me. I remember my husband would talk to me and ask me a simple question and my brain could just not come up with a response. And he wasn't asking me for the meaning of life! Sometimes it would be as simple as 'what do you want for breakfast?' I would look at him and my mind would register that he had said something to me. I would wonder why he was asking me this absolutely impossible question, but I could not for the life of me figure out what I was supposed to say to him.

I remember walking down to the park by us and walking along the bay shore. I would cry on the way there. I would sit, looking at the water and thinking if I just went in there I could drown myself. Then, I figured the water wasn't deep enough, anyway. Good thing I had forgotten that you can drown in 3" of water.

I was still going to work and there was this one girl there who was like a vulture on carrion. She used to pick at as often as she could and I didn't have it in me to fight back. I ended up taking a half sick day and as I was driving home thinking I could drive into the bridge abutment at 100kmp and that would be the end of all of this.

Except that a week before my doctor had given me 'the test'. He asked me the  'do you ever think of killing yourself ' question. I found out that 'yes' was a warning answer. He asked me to promise him that if I thought of suicide I was to speak to him first.

So that promise made me continue past the bridge and to his office where as soon as they saw me they put me in his office and he saw me right away. I was put on medical leave and made to promise him once again that I would keep in touch. He knew a promise would work on me.

Thus started months of talk therapy. I will have to take medication for the rest of my life or I'll end up in that space again. Oh, I tried being off meds to see if I could live without them, but the depression came back. More than once! But never as bad as the first time. Never. And if taking meds for the rest of my life keeps me away from that horrible place, then fill the prescription and give me a glass of water!

And as if that wasn't bad enough, it was happening to me at the same time as my brother was in a very severe depression as well. He tried to kill himself a couple of times. The second time he was released from the hospital, he went home on his third attempt he succeeded. It was also the day before my birthday.

Couple that with the fact that my Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and was at the stage where she would forget recent things. So at my brother's funeral my Dad was having to tell her over and over again, what was happening and why they were there.

I really don't know how he did it. He had lost one of his sons, plus had to tell my Mom whose funeral they were at and why. So he was reminded over, and over, and over that not only was his second son gone, but that his wife was 'gone' as well.
* * * * *
to be continued . . . .

Backyard Chickens

When I lived in the country I had chickens. Giving the chickens fresh water, collecting eggs, topping up the feeders. Just great. It NEVER, ever seemed like work.  Didn't matter what the weather was like, going out to the chicken coop was always a pleasure. Well, except for the night a raccoon came by and killed and partially ate 5 chickens. (If they want a chicken, while I won't be happy about it, just take one and go.)

Other than that I loved having chickens. They know you're a source of food and they also always knew when I had found a bug or had something that was going to be thrown out that they could have. They'd be waiting at the fence for you to throw today's treat in the run. They were especially good at cleaning off bones. The end of the day you just had to go and pick up the bare bones.

But there were two excellent reasons to have chickens. One, they are very soothing to watch and listen to. Better than fish in an aquarium. (The eggs are bigger.)

And two, for me there was nothing so relaxing as looking after chickens. I would come home from work and do my chores. I always put a date in pencil, on the top end of the egg so I knew when they were collected. Customers really enjoyed that.

* * * * *

I think with Mental Health Awareness so much in the forefront now, that having chickens can be a solution for some people. I don't know how many of you remember the 'old days' when most dentist's offices, and some doctor's offices, had an aquarium in the waiting room. We used to sit and watch the fish just go back and forth and it sort of kept your mind off the real reason you were there.

One of the complaints is that chickens are noisy. A rooster crowing first thing in the morning, and some times even in the middle of the night, is just not everyone's cup of tea. BUT, they have now developed sex-link chicks. That means that the male and female chicks are a different colour when hatched.  

"Avoid ordering Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, and Colombian Rock X, which are more difficult to sex as chicks. In sex-link birds the sexes have distinctive colour or marking patterns, which will greatly reduce the chance you’ll get unwanted males." this is a rough quote from Frey's Hatchery in St. Jacob's, Ontario.

There is one type that you can get where the males are yellow, and have grey markings down their back like a chipmunk. The females, however, are the same colour as chipmunks!

And you haven't seen cute until you've seen a day old chick.