5 appointments . . .

This is a true story about an ongoing struggle to get me to keep an appointment at the VA clinic I go to.

Beginning at the end of last October, I had an appointment to be seen in a specialty clinic. The appointment was on a Monday morning, and beginning the previous Friday we started getting severe heavy rainfall that continued all weekend. When I went to keep my appointment, the clinic had been flooded, and all appointments had been canceled.

The VA sent me a secure message through MyHealtheVet.com to reschedule, with several optional appointment times to choose from. I chose the one that worked best for us, and sent a reply accepting it.

When the day came, there was extremely heavy wind, with a high chance of severe weather. I didn’t think our car could handle the conditions, given that we needed to travel at least 45 minutes each way at highway speeds (55-60 mph) with the high winds. So, I sent a secure message asking to reschedule. We agreed on a new date, which would be attempt number 3 to get me into the clinic.

A few days before attempt number 3 was to happen, my wife and I were exposed to strep throat, and needed to quarantine to protect others. So I sent a secure message explaining the situation and asking for a further extension. After a few messages back and forth, we agreed on a new date.

Then, a few days before attempt number 4, my wife had to go to the local ER. We thought that she was having asthma problems, but it was diagnosed as Covid-19. So we had to isolate ourselves for 2 weeks, and I had to ask for another reschedule.

The most recent appointment was yesterday – but because of extreme weather in Fayetteville, AR, all of the satellite offices of the Fayetteville VA healthcare system were closed, and the VA asked me to reschedule.

I’ve sent them a message asking when the next available appointments are that we can choose from, but at this rate, I have no idea when I’m going to be able to keep an appointment. It almost feels like the universe itself is trying to keep me away from there.

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Many Apologies . . .

I must apologize for missing both last Saturday’s Post, but also not posting anything about New Year. The Wednesday before January 1st, my wife started having respiratory distress, and as the days passed, it became more pronounced.

When I got out of bed on January 1st, she was in severer distress, and I told her to go to the local ER. It was 6pm. She went, and at about 9pm (all local time) she informed me over the phone that she’d been positively diagnosed with Covid-19. We don’t know how she was exposed to it, but she was released from the hospital, and was given an array of prescriptions.

Since my focus has been on taking care of my wife, I missed both the Saturday Post this past weekend, but also didn’t post anything for New Year’s Day. That’s fine, since I didn’t have anything about resolutions or otherwise profound thoughts to share.

Because of her diagnosis, my wife and I are in isolation for the next 2 weeks. I expect a full recovery for her, and so far I am not having any trouble that I can attribute to that infection.

Saturday Posts . . .

Also, I have some updates.

First, the experiment of my reconnecting with my family has failed. My parents do not want to deal with anything that has happened in the past. My father repeatedly told me that “you just have to let go of it” while my mother was quite different. She denies everything, including events that I was personally there to witness or took part in. For my own personal integrity I was forced to return to the total disconnect I had previously been enforcing.

Second, I have recently been watching a show called “Dr. G: Medical Examiner” which has me a bit riled up. The first problem I have with the show is that it seems that some states have laws which require an autopsy on nearly every death that happens within their jurisdiction – something Dr. G seems to revel in because she loves to “solve puzzles”. My problem with this is – what gives her the right to solve a puzzle about me if I do not care to have it solved? Another problem is that she seems to view ALL medical problems as preventable, and is particularly judgemental about any and all suicides. Has she never heard of “death with dignity”? If someone already knows that they are dying, do they not have a right to choose to end their own suffering early? Dr. G does not seem to believe this is an option. Since she currently works out of the Orlando, Florida, USA, medical examiner’s office, that is one jurisdiction I will not be visiting anytime soon.

Finally, I have recently gotten approval through the VA’s community care program to begin receiving chiropractic care at a local wellness center. I’m really impressed with the size and scope of the facility, but I’m not so impressed with the results I’m getting. To me, the first red flag was their focus on longevity – like they just can’t believe anyone wouldn’t want to live to be 115 years old. Sorry, but that was never a major consideration of mine. I’ll take every day I can get – but only if it comes with a good quality of life. So far, I’m not really seeing any improvement, and after getting acupuncture yesterday morning I had a very stiff neck and headache that lasted well into the evening.

New Year Resolutions . . .

I originally wanted to post this yesterday, because it was January 1, but after learning of Betty White’s passing I didn’t want to take away from the memorials to her life and achievements. So, I’m posting it today.

In addition to reading the books that were recommended by my dear friend Anita, I’ve also been watching several very good documentaries on Netflix. This post is about those documentaries.

In no particular order, the Netflix documentaries I’d recommend are:

What The Health

[Un] Well

Salt Fat Acid Heat

Down To Earth with Zach Efron

Kiss The Ground

Fantastic Fungi

The Game Changers

The Bleeding Edge

If you have access to Netflix – especially Netflix streaming service – you owe it to yourself and the planet to watch these documentaries. Together, they build a compelling argument against the currently accepted “traditional western diet”. They also present a very good foundation for building a defense against Global Warming.

While thinking about New Year resolutions – I’m compelled by having watched these shows to make the following commitment – I’m going to spend the rest of January 2022 as a vegan. If that succeeds in reducing my arthritis and other body problems, I’ll commit to that lifestyle in perpetuity.

Hernia Repair . . .

I’ve already shared that I had the corrective surgery for the hernia in my abdomen, but this update is to share that I’ve had the follow-up visit with the surgeon. He was very pleased with my recovery, and while he asked me to wait another 2 weeks before I start resuming my previous activities he said there should be no limits to what I do with my abdominal muscles after that.

I’m very happy with that. It is exactly what I’ve been hoping for, and waiting for, over the last 30 years. It is time to start getting rid of the watermelon I’ve been carrying on the lower part of my torso.

So, while I know I’m several weeks early, I’m announcing that my New Year resolution is that by the end of 2021, my abs will look more like what they did when I met my wife than they have for the last 10 years. I’ve known all along how to exercise to tone those muscles – now I have medical permission to start doing that. I’ve never had “six-pack” abs, but when I was a medic in the US Army my abs were flat, and that is the dream I have for where this will go. I just have to wait until the start of the new year before I can start. I’m excited!