Thursday, May 04, 2006

It's going to be a good day cause I said so.

5/4/06 Thursday
It’s 60 degrees this morning. Yesterday it got up to 78 degrees. That felt pretty warm to me. I suppose I will have to get used to warmer weather cause it was in the 90’s in Texas. I heard on the news this morning that there were hurricane force winds in Lubbock which isn’t far (by Texas standards) from where the farm is.

Also a ton of rain and hail in Abilene which also isn’t far away. (about a hundred twenty miles) Hail is a definite problem out there. Because I am thinking of putting a woodworking shop in the garage it would be smart to have a carport to protect the cars. As you can tell I am thinking about the farm quite a bit nowadays.

Cherie left for work and I am getting ready to go to Ann Arbor to see the doctors. Cherie is real worried as she is prone to be. She was going to take a day off work and go with me. I guess she wants to protect me. She kept focusing on how the docs had threatened to take my license all day yesterday and even this morning. “Cherie, I’m a big boy. I can handle this” I told her. She knows I get confused easily when asked questions and thinks they will trick me. My wife has few flaws. Worrying over something till it grows into a fear is one of them. Part of my job as a husband is to provide security and reassure her things will be alright. My years as a business owner help that because I always worked to instill confidence and a positive attitude in my employees. That and being a motivational speaker. Having a can do attitude has helped me when I would make myself be positive. That wasn’t always easy when I was wandering homeless and lost or being put in jail because the courts didn’t know what to do with me.

Fred just called and asked me to pick up a newspaper for him this morning before I leave for Ann Arbor. Best get moving folks cause I leave in twenty minutes. The brain is working well. Running at an 8 on the Bob scale. Hope to stay that good, at least for the doctors visits. I’ll post this and check my E mail and hit the road.
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I made it to the VA hospital with only the normal questioning of which exit to take. I’ve been coming here for maybe three years and at first would have to keep written instructions available because I would forget. Repetition helps me remember but I can still forget on rough days. I was also able to make my way to the Neurology section without asking for the first time. As always, whenever I go to someplace like this where there is more I must process I slow down a little. I would say I am down to a 5 or 6 on the Bob scale. Stress causes that. They are busy this morning so I have time to write this while I am in the waiting room. I think I will work on The Love Story. (The story of how Cherie and I met, broke up, and met again) I started writing that quite a while ago, maybe a year or more but never finished it. I looked it up last night when I remembered it existed and can see I was waxing eloquent when I wrote what is there. I promise to get it finished.

Gee, going to the doctor was not the most fun I have had. They were swamped. My first clue came when finding a parking spot was like a treasure hunt. I was working on The Love Story while waiting patiently for a doc. My cell phone rang. I answered it to hear Barb’s voice. “What are you doing May the tenth?” she asked. I asked her where she needed to go and as she started to answer the lady who does the paperwork came in and, pointing to a sign, said “You can’t use your cell phone. It’s right there on the sign”. OK. I told Barb I couldn’t talk and hung up.

Back to this laptop I continued reviewing what I had written on The Love Story and the phone rang again. Looking furtively to make sure the cell phone police weren’t watching I dared to answer it again. This time it was Allen. “Allen, I am at the hospital in Ann Arbor. I can’t talk now. I’ll call you later. With that I went back to reading the computer.

Every time I come to this hospital it brings different emotions. First of all are all the veterans. They are in varying degrees of health. Some look fine as I am sure I do, some are in wheel chairs or using walkers. Many wear badges to show what branch they were in, what war they fought in, or their pride in this country. These badges are in the form of hats, jackets, and patches, with messages or symbols that identify them. Here I am humbled. Sure I’m a veteran but I never saw action. Nobody shot at me while I was in the service. I saw more gunplay out on the street than in the service. I am grateful for all the benefits and help I get from the VA but will be the first to say I really didn’t earn it.

The other thing this hospital does for me is make me understand how lucky I am. In this neurology waiting room there are many others who also have traumatic brain injuries. (TBI) One stumbled and fell when his leg went out from under him. I rushed to help him but the nurse beat me to it. This guys wife was there in a wheelchair. She talked the whole time we were there. Her husband spends some sixteen hours a day in a wheelchair and the rest in bed. She takes care of him and is also wheelchair bound. She has survived four bouts with cancer. I loved her positive attitude. Inspirational.

They finally got me into an examination room so I settled in, knowing it would probably be a while. Getting this laptop out I resumed working on The Love Story. It was going good and I got a couple of paragraphs done when the nurse came by and seeing me on the computer stopped. “You can’t use that here. There are no wireless devices allowed. It’s on the sign in the waiting room” he admonished me. I protested that I was not online or using the wireless to no avail. Oh well. I put it up and waited patiently. (More or less)

Waiting. Waiting. Watching doctors scurry by. Watching my watch. My appointment was for 9:30 and it is approaching noon. Hope they don’t go to lunch. The nurse stopped in to apologize explaining that they were way behind because some of the previous appointments took allot longer than expected. Finally a doctor came in. She was asking questions as she looked for my file on the computer. Finding that she found who I was. Now she knows me and what problems I had. I told her “I know you guys are swamped so I’m doing the same as the last time”. My hope was to make this a quick visit but to their credit it wasn’t. She took the time to check me out and get a history on the last six months since I was here last.

I told her about how the Zomig doesn’t touch the migraines when they are bad. She asked how many migraines I had so I guessed at five a month. Suppose I should look in this journal and see. That’s one of the reasons you keep it dummy. (Me, not you guys)

She did question me closely about the seizures. I am not good at being cagey so I explained that I would slow down on occasion but had not had any “seizures” per se. Now she wants details on a slow down. What were they like, how did it affect me. I told her the analogy I came up with a few days ago about it being like having a dial up internet connection versus high speed. That seemed to satisfy her. (Big sigh of relief)

One of the things the doctor asked me was if I had someone taking care of me at home. I said yes and explained it was my first wife and that we remarried after she saw me on TV. The doctor looked at me with recognition and said “I heard about that”. I guess our story is one of those that makes the rounds. Still strange to me.

She brought another doctor in to discuss medication. They were asking things like “Have you taken a triptifan before?”.(Or something like that. Don’t remember what it was called) “I don’t have a clue what a Triptifan is” I told her. They went into an explanation that vanished from my brain as they told me. I just hope they send written info with the prescription. I have high blood pressure which contributes to migraines so they will put me on a regimen of daily medication to see if that works. She explained that it was a kind of experiment because no doctor knows how a medication will affect different people. I understand that well.

Finally, at 1:00 I am done. I called Allen from the parking lot to see what he needed. He told me that today was his appointment with Family Services so he wanted to know if I wanted to go with him. I would have like to but it was too late. I asked him to call when done and let me know what happened. Then I came home where I am writing this now. Just got here so I will check my E mail and post this entry.
I was asked to post a picture of the Buick so here it is

1 comment:

ByronB said...

Glad the check-up went OK - you couldn't do half your caring if you didn't have any transport.
Ahhhh! Like the Buick!!