Thursday, June 21, 2012

Journal entry on empowerment - long

Yesterday was interesting, empowering, and very satisfying - even if it was a bit disconcerting. Since moving to The Villages, I've been searching for a primary care physician that would listen to me. Instead of finding that, I've found one two who wanted to walk in and begin telling me the results of tests and what they were going to do about that. When I would try to describe what I was feeling, I was shushed, ignored or else I felt that the doctor was making fun of me.

Yesterday on the second visit with my second primary care physician, the doctor walked in and began talking about my tests. I had a cartoid artery doppler sonogram, and the results were not very good. 50% blockage one side, 40% the other. Of course, the doctor said that this test did tend to provide an screening and the results were often a bit higher than actuality. I asked if I could speak, and I told him that I thought I might have been having TIAs because I occasionally felt as if I were "bonkers". That was the only word I could think of to say. He said something about turning to his ???? - perhaps he said thesaurus. But, the important thing to me was that he interrupted me when I was saying something I felt was very important.

Now, the first visit, he spent some time telling me that he allotted only 20 minutes per person and that if I had more problems than 20 minutes allowed, I would need to make another appointment. I felt some discomfort with his manner the first visit, but I was trying hard to find someone for primary care since I have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The doctor said that "bonkers" was not in the medical dictionary - You did say "bonkers". Yes, sir, I did. He turned to his computer and pulled up something on the screen and displayed it on the large screen. I don't remember what else he said, but this dialogue made me feel he was making fun of me, and I said so.

He became angry and said I might need to see someone else. I was a bit stunned. So, I asked, will you tell me my A1c number? He said, "NO. This session is terminated. Your next doctor may request your records." And, he stood up.

I stood up and said, I believe I'm entitled to my records; then he called the front desk to tell them that I was terminated as a patient. I am still in a bit of shock, but I stood and walked out - somewhat shocked.

So, I stopped at the desk to ask about my records, and the standard charges would apply: $1 per page for the first 25 pages and 25cents per page thereafter. I thanked the women in the office. At the office window I saw the woman who had referred me to this doctor. When I said we had terminated our relationship, she was not surprised but said, "Well, it took us four tries before we found someone."

End of incident description.

For several weeks, I've been having times when I can't think properly, times when I feel disoriented, anxious, and unable to express myself. My vision has blurred, but I thought that was because I had been working on small crochet projects, intensely focused. I found that I could not figure out what was going wrong with a computer program that I had been able to work just fine previously.

I really wanted to tell the doctor those things. I am concerned that I'm having TIAs, and his findings with the cartoid artery emphasizes that. I need to make some changes in my lifestyle - more than I've already done with the diabetes (which hasn't been going well). I have also been very depressed. And, I've been alternately very angry and apathetic.

The empowerment comes from being able to tell the doctor that I felt he was making fun of me...from resisting any retorts or anger and just walking out. I did not have to feel put down, made fun of or talked down to. I did not have to put up with his attitude. (And, I'm sure he felt that he did not have to put up with mine since I did not laugh at what David said were probably jokes. I sat there quiet and probably stony-faced.)

Outside, David and I talked for a moment as my anger built, then I walked to my car and drove away. I went to Cracker Barrel Restaurant to have some tea and think and maybe cry. David, God bless him for being so loving, simply followed me there, and we sat quietly while I cried in my tea for a bit.

I am not crazy. I may be having TIAs, but I have taken this doctor's words about my cartoid arteries and my triglycerides to heart...literally and figuratively. I am no longer depressed. I can do something about the triglycerides, and I have researched cartoid artery problems and TIAs. I know what to look for now. I am not helpless nor losing my mind - at least not yet.

Meanwhile, the computer problems are primarily incompatible software communication and my ignorance (not stupidity nor crazy) of html computer language. A kindly person has taken over what I have done, and I was able to figure out how to send him all of my files. I am still me.

I know that I am still in pain with my fibromyalgia, that I need to monitor my blood sugar more closely and my diet, that I need to begin an exercise program, that I need a primary care physician who will listen to me and help me understand the changes that my body is experiencing as well as run necessary tests and who will practice the "art" as well as the "science" of medicine with me.

So, I am enlightened, empowered, and on my way to better health. Thanks to a doctor who was not my style.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

St. Petersburg satellite crochet coral reef

At the last minute I contributed three items to the St. Petersburg, FL, satellite crochet coral reef (sponsored by Florida Craftsmen Guild) that is part of the the Reef Project by the Institute For Figuring. In the multitude of colorful and fanciful creations, I was asked to contribute some star coral and a school of fish. Star coral can be colorful and are definitely exciting. Closed star coral look like the "buttons" of Irish crochet, and that's how I made them. Then I added the tiny yellow centers. Open star coral look like tiny cups with picots around their edges - often picots in colors different from the cup.

So here are my star coral (open and closed) and my few little fishes.The rest of the photos that I took of the exhibition are at


Sunday, June 03, 2012

You are The Moon

Hope, expectation, Bright promises.

The Moon is a card of magic and mystery - when prominent you know that nothing is as it seems, particularly when it concerns relationships. All logic is thrown out the window.

The Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. You may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if you have any past mental problems, you must be vigilant in taking your medication but avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. You can and should trust your intuition.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

"In my dream, the angel shrugged and said, if we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination and then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand."
— Brian Andreas

On my soapbox about poverty

Last night I had dinner with a group after a wonderful barbershop chorus concert.

One man across the table from me was from Memphis, and we talked about how poverty was causing once prosperous neighborhoods to become slums - in much more graphic language than that. We agreed that poverty was a major cause.

Another man said he'd seen a tv opinionater interviewing someone in a "welfare" line (my words, not his): Do you have a car? yes Do you have a television with cable? yes Do you have a cell phone? yes Then why are you here looking for a handout if you have all these things?

I answered about the lack of public transporation, the cost of telephone land lines, the fact that cable television is the only affordable entertainment for many poor people.

But, this morning I awoke angry: I am angry because these things are true. A person in poverty stricken Clarksdale, Mississippi, may pay $20 for someone to take them to the grocery store where they will spend their $18.21 in food stamps and their $3 in copay on 3 necessary medications at the drug store next door. They may buy a gallon of distilled water for $1.19 (or 89 cents if they can get to Wal-Mart) for their mother's oxygen machine or their own CPAP. They may spend $4.80 for 8 rolls of cheap toilet tissue for all 5 people in the house for a month. They'll buy hot dogs and sandwich meat, along with 3/$1 veggies, microwave popcorn and soda. Hot dogs and sandwich meats provide cheap protein. Popcorn and soda are the monthly treat. That's it. And, I suspect the food stamps won't cover all of it. In some places toilet paper can't be bought with food stamps.

We make missionary trips to other countries and continents to help people in distress. It's easy to build a church or a school building - and those things need to be done. It's not easy to solve the problems of poverty in our own very rich country. The answer is not necessarily political or religious. Some churches send missionary teams to cities to help repair homes or work in soup kitchens or some other type of organized humanitarian outreach. But, that is just picking up loose pebbles on the edge of the landslide.

I freely admit that I am one of the privileged people of the world. I have food to eat, a great home, air conditioning/heating, a washer and dryer and enough money to pay my home maintenance. I drive a car anywhere I want to go. I can read books that I get from the library or buy for my Kindle. I have several hobbies and the materials to make things. I have someone who loves me and makes sure that I am okay. I am blessed beyond my ability to appreciate.

My anger fizzles. I don't have any creative ideas about how to stop poverty from taking over neighborhood or even cities. I don't have any creative ideas about how to help my god-daughter get out of poverty. I will cry and rant and rave when my less-than-normal-intelligence schizophrenic god-granddaughter seriously hurts her mother or worse, but I don't have any idea what to do to prevent it. No government agency or religious group or humanitarian relief exists to provide this granddaughter a safe home. No one has resources to put the small group home to work. My god-granddaughter will end up in jail, homeless, or dead, and I can't do a blasted thing to prevent it.

I pray. I send money occasionally, boxes of necessaries (cost of shipping more than cost of contents), gift cards. I call, I pray.

I hope they have enough to eat this week. I pray that some church food pantry will be giving out meat so they can have protein. I call to let her know that I care.

So what about the people who stay locked up in their homes in cities, afraid to go outside because of thugs, thieves, drug dealers and users, and others who prey on the weak? What about the rural poor who don't go to the few free clinics around because they can't pay someone to take them? What about ......??????