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Well, I got my new glasses yesterday in the mail — it was late in the evening before I checked the mailbox, and they were ice cold from being outside.  I had to let them warm up to room temperature before I could put them on without them fogging up.  The lenses work great, or would do if the frames fit.  The ear piece needs a sharper bend in the end to keep them from sliding down my nose.

I called the VA just now to see how I would go about getting the frames adjusted.  Simple.  Just drive 120 miles up to Amarillo and they’ll do it without an appointment — and since I won’t have had an appointment, they won’t reimburse me for mileage on the 4-1/2-hour, 250 mile round trip it would take to do that, never mind the 3/4 of a tank of gas I’d use in the process.  Or, for free, I can show up at the parking lot in front of the VA clinic at 7:30 in the E-flat morning, to spend 3 hours each way barreling down the highway at 60 mph (100 kph) in a vehicle with the suspension of a buckboard, and be the only woman on a bus jam-crammed full of of weird, sweaty old men I don’t know, riding in an unpadded seat wedged in cheek by jowl next to some dotty old coot in overhauls, to go all the way up to Amarillo to spend at most 10 minutes in the optometry clinic and then cool my heels for three or four hours waiting for the bus to load up that same bunch of weird, sweaty, exasperated, old men I don’t know and haul us all the way back to the parking lot at the VA clinic by 5 o’clock.  Of course, I can pay some optical place here out of my own pocket to do it, unless I can sweet-talk one of their techs into adjusting for free glasses they didn’t sell me.  I bought my last pair of glasses as well as a replacement lens from Walmart.  Maybe I can get them to do it.

As if dealing with the VA was not confusing and frustrating enough, now they have this thing that if you live more than 50 miles away from the nearest VA hospital (see above), they will hook you up with a local “civilian” health care provider, and they have hired a company to do this for them.  Dealing with this company (TriWest) is almost as confusing and frustrating as dealing with the VA.  This afternoon, TriWest called me to tell me they had scheduled me for a radiology appointment at Covenant lakeside Women’s & Children’s hospital next Tuesday (I have to be there at 8:30 a.m.), but the little darling I talked to didn’t have a clue what the appointment was for or who I was supposed to see. (No, it was not for the ultrasound. They’d already called me three times about that appointment. They called me two weeks ago to schedule itfor tomorrow morning. Then they called me this morning to remind me about the appointment tomorrow, and then they called me this afternoon to tell me they’d scheduled me for an appointment for the exact same thing tomorrow afternoon. . .)

Bless her heart, the girl at TriWest was really trying to be helpful.  She gave me the hospital’s address (I worked at that hospital for over five years.  I know where it is.) and a phone number. Armed with that dearth of information, I called the phone number she’d given, told the lady who answered that I had an appointment at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and I was trying to find out why.  The lady I talked to transferred me to the person who keeps the surgery schedule.  Nope.  No me on the surgery schedule.  So that lady transferred me to another lady in the endoscopy suite and no, I was not on that schedule either.  No, ma’m, I don’t know the doctor’s name or why I’m being seen.  That’s what I’m trying to find out.  So that lady transferred me to the radiology department.  Eureka! I have an appointment for a barium swallow because I have a hiatal hernia and have been having reflux episodes that wake me up at night. I’m to be fasting after midnight Monday night, although I can take that one pill I’m supposed to take first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I’ll just have to take it 30 minutes earlier so it will have time to do its thing before I dump a big glob of barium-laced goo on top of it.  I can take the rest of my medications afterward, including the one I need to take with food.

In other exciting news, the garage door opener remote my landlady brought by the other day doesn’t work any better than the one I already had, and more often than not, neither of them works at all, and I have to operate the door from the switch on the wall next to the utility room door (and traipse in or out through the house in the process).  I called Overhead Door Company today and told them my problem.  Since the door opener unit is less than 20 years old (1999) they might can replace the remote (that’ll be at least $50/£40, thank you very much), but there’s no guarantee that replacing the remote will solve the problem.  For $79 bucks (£64) (plus parts), they will send a guy out to take a look at the unit to see if he can get it to work reliably with the remotes we already have.  If we do, in fact, need to replace the remotes, he will be able to tell us if they can get us a replacement remote for our make and model unit. (He may also be able to fix the lights that are supposed to turn on when the unit operates, but don’t).  I wrote my landlady an email to that effect and volunteered to make all the arrangements.  I hope she lets me call and get a guy to come out.

I have to be all the way across town at the UMC Breast Imaging Center at 10 a.m. tomorrow for my ultrasound.  It isn’t the first ultrasound I’ve had to have.  There are several breast cancer survivors in my knitting group (including one who finished her chemotherapy fairly recently) and they all expressed concern when I mentioned having to have it.  But, like I told them, I’m not going to worry about it until somebody hands me a breast biopsy report that says “carcinoma.” Then it will be entirely appropriate to worry.

Needless to say, we as a group are very aware of what women who have had breast cancer have to go through.  Several of us make the knitted knockers for our local branch of this worthy charity, and several (including me) knit/crochet hats for people who have lost their hair while undergoing chemotherapy for any reason, not just breast cancer.  There’s a service here that gives the hats away free to those patients who want them.  As I’ve noted herein on previous occasions, there’s nothing a knitter likes better than an excuse to knit something . . .

2016_12_11-04In the knitting news, I’ve done two of the three sets of cable crosses in the modified version of JT’s Cabled Man Cowl that I’m making for CJ Cherryh’s wife. (I’ve already made CJ’s one. See below.) It will have a matching hat.  She likes blues and greens, so she ought to like the colors of this yarn.  (I’m about twice as far along now as I was when this picture was taken and over halfway finished — only about 14 more rows to go.)   I’ve only ever done this pattern in the Homespun yarn.  I’m going to have to try doing it in a “regular” yarn and see what it looks like.  I might check around and see what else I have in my “oddball box” that might work for it.  With the modifications I made to the cowl pattern (I decreased the diameter by ten stitches), I might be able to get both cowl and hat out of a single regular skein of yarn.  Come to think of it, I haven’t knitted anything for me lately . . . .

2016_11_23-01Anyway, tomorrow after my ultrasound, I also have to get groceries and do some other miscellaneous rannygazooting*+ about town.  I need cat litter, too.  And today I got my pittance from the county clerk ($40/£33) for doing jury duty, which I have to go put in the bank.  I’ve already spent part of it on a new desk top, which I ordered this morning.  Don’t know how long it will take to get it.  If $10 is all it costs to ship it from where-ever it is they ship it from, it will probably come overland by ox cart** so I won’t be looking for it to arrive before next year.

At the moment I’m enjoying my supper of some of that pasta salad I made the  other day with tuna, Del Monte canned English peas and diced carrots combo, elbow macaroni, diced Vlasic kosher dills, chopped black olives, diced raw white onion, and mayo, which I’m spooning onto some Pita Crackers and popping into my little kisser.  What with the diced things and macaroni, it’s a bit chunky and keeping it balanced on that little triangular cracker as it travels twixt spoon and mouth is proving to be somewhat problematic.  I’ve pea-ed on myself several times in the process. . . .

*rannygazoo is the noun.  The verb is rannygazoot, with a “t,” as in “zoot suit” (with a drape shape and a reet pleat).
**I hear Amazon has started delivering things by drone.  I’ll be surprised if it works, especially in those (large) parts of the U.S. where gun racks are considered standard features on pickup trucks — and especially out here in the flatlands where there are too many kids with .22’s, 360 degrees of unobstructed view, and time on their hands.  A shooter game with real prizes.  What a concept!

+The High Numbers, one of the more famous bands you’ve never heard of.

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