Health Catch Up!

To catch up since the last posting:

The day after I got home from the hospital, a lady called me in the morning.  The phone wasn’t on because I was sleeping, as usual.  She tried two times.  Then she called Doctor Sturla’s office.  Debbie called me after 12:30p and said that the hospital was trying to get in touch with me.  I decided to eat breakfast first, but I noticed a voicemail on the little cell phone I get free from the gov’t.  It was the lady from St. Mary Mercy, thinking it was Lyle’s number, and trying to get hold of him to come and check on me!  Before I could do anything, the phone rang and it was her.  She scolded me for not answering the phone and demanded to talk to my nurse!  It turns out that St. Mary Mercy calls all seniors the day after their release and she assumed that I had fallen or worse and had an in-home nurse staying with me!  It is now supposed to be in my file that I am to be called afternoons starting at 1p!

Again a mix-up on Monday.  I was supposed to have the endoscopy and the colonoscopy on the same day.  No prep kit had arrived.  I called the pharmacy and Sonny said he hadn’t heard anything but asked for the doctor’s phone number.  After several calls, it turns out that Doctor Asbahi had me down for just an endoscopy.  So, no prep.  Debbie was furious again…

He said my stomach was ‘normal’ and I had the right amount of germs in my stomach.  (We need germs to digest the food we put there.)  Where the esophagus makes a sharp right turn, before entering the stomach, he found a slight narrowing and a small hernia.  No surgery for the hernia.  (I have figured out what I was lifting that caused the hernia and will not be doing that again.)  No blood leak there.

I got my will written and witnessed.  Then I got my DNR filled out and witnessed and Dolores agreed to be my proxy on the DNR, so I got that filled out and witnessed.  I mailed copies to Doctor Sturla.  And I gave copies to St. Mary Mercy hospital.  Plus, I have the wallet cards filled out and in my purse.  I tacked the will (instructions) to the wall for ‘Services Coordinator’.  I feel much better now.

They put off the colonoscopy until July.  Then another argument ensued.  St. Mary Mercy was not sure I would have the colonoscopy on Monday.  Doctor Asbahi’s office said I would.  I received a recorded message from St. Mary Mercy that the test was Monday but the time had been changed from 10:30a to 11:15a. I called Doctor Asbahi’s office and the nurse sighed and said, “We know.  But it’s still Monday!”  I guess that was a little give-and-take on both parts. 

I had to take the prep at different times than everyone else says they’ve taken theirs.  I started at 5p.  I am not used to large amounts of liquid.  I have everything measured out as I’m allergic to water.  But I had to swallow the 16 oz of prep with water right down.  Then 32 more ounces in 2 hours.  The instructions say one hour but Doctor Asbahi’s office said 1-2.  I was doing well for about the first hour.  Then I got really dizzy.  I did start going to the toilet, but I was more nauseous than bloated.  I got chills, mainly in the upper arms, and my heart started pounding.  Finally, toward the end the second hour, I threw up.  That helped.  My dizziness and chills disappeared, but my heart kept pounding.  I went back to drinking my Cherry Coca Cola, which calmed my stomach.  And I managed to eat almost an entire box of Melon Fusion Jell-o.  It was the only food on the list.  I called Doctor Sturla and left a voice message as to what was happening.

I had to stop eating (?) and drinking at Midnight.  I took the second dose at 3:30a.  I did get the first 16 oz. of prep and water down.  I was nauseous immediately, but I started to drink the rest of water.  This didn’t last at all.  Within a half hour I had thrown it up.  My heart was pounding so hard that, on occasion, I couldn’t catch my breath.  I was tempted to call 911!  But I did get in an hour’s sleep.

My blood pressure was through the roof at the hospital, but it didn’t bother me, I just wanted my heart to stop pounding.  After the procedure, I waited and waited.  Finally a nurse came up and said it would be awhile as Doctor Asbahi had gone straight into another procedure and would be doing that all day.  She said that all they found was diverticulitis, which I knew about, and everything was fine.  She sent me home!  It took a couple days for my heart to calm down to a normal resting beat, but I had urine problems for several days until that calmed down as well.

Debbie wanted to me “drop by the office” when I am “out in the area” for a blood test to see if there is still a leak.  Really?  When am I ever out in that area?  I told her I could be there the end of August when Rose gets back from her vacation.  Debbie got her nose all out of joint.  She said I needed to come in the next week (this week)!  I don’t have the money!  Then I found out there is a place next door to us that does this kind of work, but Doctor Sturla and Debbie will have none of it.  I guess they want the money.  So, when Rose gets back from her vacation I will go out there and if something is wrong, they can wait until September, because I will have to get my next check.  It could have all been done by this time, by just walking two blocks, but no…  So, if something goes wrong, it is not my fault!

God bless everyone for their prayers and well-wishes!  Thank you

Wrong Thursday....

Well, it is after 6p and the pharmacy is closed. So, apparently, the Thursday in question is MAY 15TH!

I called the doctor’s office and the receptionist put me through to the doctor who said, “Is this Miss Emmett?” I said, “Yes.” “Please hold” (How much you wanna bet he charges the insurance company for that?) Anyway, his NURSE…and I emphasize that as Debbie is an office manager who hates me…, Susie, says, “Hi, Miss Emmett. We have you scheduled for May 15th, that is a Thursday.” “I thought it was this Thursday.” “Oh, no, there aren’t any openings until May, but we will have you in and out and you will be enjoying your birthday on the 18th. Now, we will send you a Prep package in the mail and it will tell you everything you have to do the day before. And there will be a consent form for you to sign and mail back.” I said “fine” and then added, “I caun’t do an enema.” Susie said, “Oh, my, we don’t do that! Not really good for you. It is just something for you to drink and keep a liquid diet. We realize there is a leak, but it is very slow and you should be fine until then. If it isn’t in these two places, then someone else will have to start searching. But we are hopeful we will find it and fix it.”

I called Debbie. She was furious! She said she would talk to the doctor and make SURE it was THIS Thursday. I waited about an hour and then thought about the fact that I am almost all out of food (went to the store last month) and money to pay for it (more money for my driver). So, I called Debbie and said I wanted the May 15th one. She was unhappy but said, “If that is what you want, but I still think it is wrong. I will still talk to the doctor about it and if I call back, you will be going on this Thursday.” I said, “Okay.”
Well, too late now, Debbie! So, I have made out my grocery list and am going to the store tomorrow morning on the Senior bus, if all goes well.

To the Hospital

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and well-wishes…

Well, Rose, Dolores and I went to St. Mary’s Mercy Hospital in Livonia.  We waited forever in the room and talked and watched the news.  Finally, after doing their own tests, they decided to keep me.

I took along two books, puzzles, pencils, two hand held games, my Bible and a pair of pjs.  (What hospital is going to give up an chance of keeping you?)

I had missed dinner, but was told I was on a liquid diet and they brought me chicken broth and water.  The broth was horrid.

They put two bags of blood in me.  I had to have the pressure things for your legs to prevent blood clots.  They really really hurt.  And my right leg got RLS and the left one was cramping.  The nurse finally took them off and I used the bathroom, walked and then sat on the side of the bed, swinging my leg, and played one full game on my hand held (that is what I do at home).  When he put them back on, he said that unless I really needed the bathroom, he couldn’t take them off again.  A few minutes later, the left leg got RLS and I had to endure it, getting no sleep.  Plus I have blood spots and bruises all over my left arm.

This morning, the day nurse said I had to stay in bed and keep the pressure on.  The nurse’s aide said I didn’t and I could get out of bed and even put on the bottom part of my pjs. 

They have new food services in practice there.  The kitchen is open from 6:30a to 6:30p.  You are given a menu and a number and you eat what you want when you want, and it is included on your insurance like regular meals.  When I called, I discovered that I was on ‘full’ liquid diet, which meant pulverized chicken noodle soup (delicious), gelatin, pudding, pop (soda), yogurt, etc.  I ate pretty well…

Then, the doctor didn’t come…and didn’t come…and didn’t come.  Finally, he showed up and said that I would have the tests on Monday, maybe I should go home.  My doctor showed up and said, “I thought the tests would be done today.  Also, I don’t think your insurance will cover two days of nothing.”  And then he prescribed some new medicine, including iron tablets.  He told me that I can have those oral and rectal tests when he decided, next week or the next, when he thought I was really ready and sent me home. 

I called Dolores and told her and she said she would call Rose to see if she could pick me up.  But my doctor came back and said they were going to pay for a taxi to bring me all the way home!  We were all happy and I am now home and had lovely fish and chips for dinner.

When I first got home, I just took off my coat and took my usual 1/8th mile walk.  No heavy legs and arms.  No pains in the back or chest.  No heavy breathing.  Well, now I know for sure that was the problem.  But what caused it?  So, they are going to start looking through my body for a leak. 

But I will get some sleep tonight and feel even better tomorrow.


Cuz I'm Olde

Okay, I'm back from the doctor.
I'm olde.
He said that it ususally takes a couple of days to stop feeling drained even from a 24 hour virus, which apparently I had. 
Then, I have to add that I have COPD and chronic broncitis.
THEN, I have to add the anxiety/depression, which also affects breathing and blood pressure.
So, for me, it takes at least a week to recover from a virus and I should be feeling better faster now that I'm not afraid that I'm going to end up in hospital!
And as stupid as this sounds...I did walk better tonight!  Still breathing hard, but not huffing and puffing and I didn't have to sit down during the middle of the walk.
However, he pointed out that he got me the Rollator for SITTING!  I'm still walking well, but if I need to sit...SIT!
Thank you for your prayers and well wishes...they worked once again!  Thank you God, Praise Jesus!

Ah, but today does not end with the return from the doctor.  For those of you in the Metro Detroit area....yes, that was us!
At 8a, we had a very strong gust of wind (also classified as a mini tornado), that ripped the roof off one of the carports and spliced two electric wires!  So, it took out us and 500 houses!  We did get it back around 8:30p, so here I am.
I lost 4 pounds and I wasn't even dieting!  I'm just eating sensibly, so I called in a dinner order to Jet's Pizza, but I was a good girl and got a grilled chicken sandwich and a small garden salad.  Plus a cold cherry coke, cuz I need the coke! 
The doctor was proud of my new eating habits!

I was trying to plug in my old AT&T landline, so I would have a phone.  I got the other phone unplugged and now I caun't find the plug!  So, I went without a phone today and I'll go without a phone tonight, and I'll take the plunge and crawl around on the floor tomorrow and get plugged back in.  I need the sleep anyway.
I did get the a/c uncovered and needed it last night, as the low was 65 F.  It was about 75 F when we left for the doctor and I needed my winter coat 2 hours later!  It is in the 30s now and raining.  It might turn to snow, so we might beat the record, yet.
So, I had all the towels and washcloths that were packed around the a/c and I put my laundry in anyway, even though it is late.  Monday is my wash day anyway.

Not Breathing Well

Going to see if I can relax a bit.  Tony decided not to visit, which is fine as he is very busy and has a dying friend, but I had most of the photo albums out.  They are very large and heavy and if the doctor wants me to use my Rollator full/part time, I need the room to move around.  Very small apartment.  I found that if I replaced the pictures and moved the albums one at a time, sitting down inbetween, I could do it.  Much more room in here now.  The olde heart is a pounding and I'm huffing and puffing, but I got it done.

Now I need to rest a bit, and then get the stuff off the a/c.  It is very hot in here, 85F (I have heat exhaustion), and I could use it.  Unfortunately, if it goes under 65F at night, my a/c doesn't work, even though it is in the 80s in the apt.  Last night it went down into the 40s and I wore summer pjs, a sheet, the revolving fan and the window all the way open and I was still hotter'n Hades!  I hate spring weather!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I need to move the cabinet, with the microwave on top, out and get to the a/c.  To keep warm in the winter, I have to cover it and then pack towels around it and stuff washcloths in the places were the wind is still blowing through.  Then, I have to move the other table to plug it in and push all the furniture back.  But if the doctor sticks me in hospital (I don't think he will), I will able to just turn on the a/c when I get back.

And then, after dinner, I can take a shower, as I got my hair washed last night.  Wouldn't want to smell up the doctor's office!  Hahahahahahaha.

Barry Gordy and Michigan Blue-Eyed Soul
Copyright 2014

Barry Gordy was a man who was riding on top of the world.  He not only found a way to combine pop and blues but to help break the colour barrier, as well.  Motown Records dominated the charts.  His Black artists, still known as Negros, we adored by everyone.  I held hands with Little Stevie Wonder once at the Michigan State Fair, Teen Fair, and no one objected.  The Motown groups appeared at all the sock hops I went to where people like The Supremes and The Four Tops and The Temptations stopped in, mimed to their latest hit and signed autographs.  My depression was diagnosed at 14 and I still maintain that Motown kept me from being another teen suicide.

However…times change.  President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and our world was shattered.  Here was a man who promoted equality and getting us out of Viet Nam.  He was working on stopping the draft and freeing the young people of all colours from oppression.  Now what?

The British Invasion.  It sent many walls crumbling down.  It gave what is now called, The Baby Boomers, hope.  Look anyway you want to look.  Listen to whatever you want to listen to.  Take a stand against government, even if you can’t vote.  FREEDOM!

Barry Gordy had been riding high in the charts.  The radio stations were dominated by Motown.  Once the Beatles and Rolling Stones showed up, all that changed.  And no where more so that in the Motor City, itself.  So many changes, but this is about music.

High schoolers grew their hair, wore mini-skirts and bell-bottoms and at least every other garage in Metro Detroit had a band blaring out it.  And a lot of these bands were good, really good.  16 year old boys, raised on Motown, were belting out the blues in voices that Barry Gordy couldn’t understand.  What was all this blue-eyed soul? 

Michigan bands started knocking Motown groups off the charts.  CKLW, in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, was championing the way.  Other radio stations, like WXYZ, WJBK and WKNR were jumping on the bandwagon.  Soon, there would be ‘Underground’ (FM) stations who would break the hold of the corporate suits.  And Barry Gordy was floundering.  What to do?  Highjack the groups!

Barry Gordy came up with a very clever plan that worked quite well at first.  This is the way I heard it, and if someone who had a contract can show different (and I would welcome this), please step up.

Gordy starting approaching bands, like The Rationals, SRC, The Underdogs, with what sounded like a step up the ladder of success.  Join the Motown label!  Wow!  In Michigan, who wouldn’t want that?  So, here was his plan of attack.  He would sign a group, The Underdogs, and put out a single on a special label created just for blue-eyed soul, VIP, and then not push it.  I did see ads for Love’s Gone Bad, but they were in overseas outlets, like NME (New Music Express), a top music newspaper in London, England.  A whole lotta nothin’ here in the States.  Then, he informed the band that, since the sales were so low, he must have made a mistake about their talent and he wasn’t going to throw good money after bad.  Not good business form.  Oh, well, they were teens, they would push on.  But NO!

According to the contract, there would be a single and that was it unless Gordy decided otherwise.  Well, okay, they were teens, plenty of other opportunities.  No.  According to the contract, the group couldn’t record with anyone else for X number of years.  By that time, the teens would give up and go to college or get jobs or try other bands, if they weren’t under contact individually, but The Underdogs were over.  Gordy figured right.  The bands he signed gave up and quietly went away.  Lesson learned.  (The fact that many of them were encouraged by bad or naïve managers didn’t change anything.)

So, what happened with The Rationals?  Gordy wooed them, all right, but didn’t succeed.  And if there were a group that could make it, this was the one. 

Now, here is where the story takes a bit of twist.  There are those who maintained that Barry Gordy was behind it and those that say Aretha Franklin did it herself, for whatever reason.  The Rationals recorded top singing and writing artist, Otis Redding’s, Respect.  Before it could get out nationally, it got aired in Michigan.  Whether it was Gordy’s idea or Franklin’s, the point is, she rushed into the studio and cut her own version.  Now, imagine yourself a radio station programmer with limited space for new singles in your rotation.  You receive a copy of Respect by The Rationals and Aretha Franklin.  Who are The Rationals?  It sounds good.  It could just have legs.  But you know The Queen of Soul.  She’s proven her legs.  Who do you go with?

Which story is right is not the point.  The Rationals were dead in the water.  Right where Motown wanted them.  Detroit fan were furious.  “We want The Rats!”  “How dare Aretha?”  “How mean!”  “How cruel!”  But the cries were worthless and we forgave Franklin because she is a Michigan Treasure.  And the past is the past.  Dead water under the bridge.

But the baby boomers in Michigan have long memories and we will always have, to quote The Underdogs, “A bad taste in our mouths from bitter tears.”

That is my POV for ‘what it’s worth.’

Beating the Polar Vortex

Well, I did it!  After over a month indoors, due to unbreathable weather, I made it across the street to the bank!  I walked slowly and kept my shoulders down.  (Hunching shoulders makes it harder to breathe.)  I concentrated on only one side of the street at a time, as I can wait in the middle.  I wore my boots as our driveway is quite slushy and slippery, but the rest of the sidewalks, driveways and the street were clear.  I wore a warm hat and scarf, which I knotted over my breathing mask.  And I wore my sunglasses over my glasses to keep the cold out of my eyes.

The Polar Vortex has kept me inside as my lungs and diaphragm cannot handle the single digit cold air. 

Today the sun is shining brightly, which, seriously, has nothing to with the weather in winter, and it is 35 F/ 2 C and the wind is 3 miles per hour, meaning no windchill.  I’m glad we have F, because the mid-thirties is warm to Michiganians, but 2 sounds like we are back in the Polar Vortex.  (In F, that would actually be -17, which is closer to the weather we have had for weeks.)

So, I have laundry money and grocery money.  I order from Schwan’s, which comes here every other week and the lady next door orders with me and gives me a check.  So, my money was tied up in her checks.  One of them was from January!  Now, my account looks healthy and I can get food!  I, also, got the money for the bus to the store and to the play, and to pay my cleaning lady.  I feel wealthy!

About the Schwan’s: well, I ordered online and get the discounts and points and coupons (other than the ones in the catalogue) and that saves her money.  Also, we don’t have to both go downstairs for the pick-up.  Normally, this is no problem at all.  But the Polar Vortex kept me from ‘running’ across the street and depositing the money!  Her checks were piling up and I already got my Home Heating Income Tax return.  So, I was flush on paper, but in the hand!  I have enough to go to the store and get bread!  Yea!  I miss bread the most of all the staples.  I can stock up on crackers and peanut butter, but not enough room in my freezer for loaves of bread.

So, I’m currently a very happy camper!


I am a great Shaun White fan, but I was not surprised that he didn’t medal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.   I was not expecting him to Gold, for sure.

I am disappointed that Shaun was unable to medal at all, but not surprised.  Perhaps it was due to the bad conditions of the Halfpipe, but Iouri Podladtchikov, who complained the most, did gold.  And that was the point.

Kids today have no real games.  They are treated like adults, even when they are on a team at 4 and 5 years old.  Jump rope has become skip rope and another competition.  Does anyone just play hopscotch or tag or hide and seek and, if they do, do they do it just for fun?

Kids too young to really tackle the big waves in California, took the wheels off their roller skates and put them on wooden boards to mimic their elders.  Skateboarding took off.  Kids who couldn’t get to an ocean with big waves could get to the sidewalks out in front of their homes.  Teens started ‘improving’ their skateboards and jumping off of curbs, etc.  They skated in empty swimming pools and the Halfpipe was born.  Eventually, snowboarding was born for kids and skiing left to the adults.

This is a sport for people who truly understand “Duuuuude!”  Over-enthusiasm and throwing things in the air and jumping up and down for no basic reason.  People who have a lot of energy and think life will go on forever.  Who say, “I know it’s the Olympics, but I threw in the hard stuff anyway.  What’s “playing it safe?”

Shaun White is 27 years old.  He has injuries.  He has healed surgeries.  He learned the new YOLO (You Only Live Once, invented by Iouri) on an airbag, but totally froze when he had to do it on the snow.  He did overcome it, but not enough to win the Olympics.  As you get older, it takes longer for bones to heal, fractures to mend and bruises to fade away.  Mortality starts to set in.  When Shaun came in forth, he was articulate and knew how to hide is utter disappointment.  Iouri was beside himself.  He could barely get a sentence together.  He had to move around and hug his board and get back to the Olympic Village and PAAAAAR-TAY!  Shaun wouldn’t have been like that.  He was so like that the first the Olympics and close to it the second Olympics.  But he was all business in the third Olympics, and that is not a skate- or snowboarder.  When a reporter for the games, and former boarder, was asked if he thought Shaun would continue, he said, “Well, he has a lot of other things now.  Who knows?”  A lot of other things?  Kids, who skate- and snowboard, live to just get out of school, out of the house, to ride, ride, ride.

Again, I am a big Shaun White fan and I am disappointed for him.  But surprised?  Nope!  For what few games there are left for kids today, that are not destroyed by adults (remember the original X-Games? they were fun!), let them win and have the glory.  Adults?  “Leave them kids alone.”  (Pink Floyd)

No Hats!

Last night, at the  2014 Grammys, Metallica performed their classic The One.

This band has been kickin’ it since the 80s and they are getting on in years, but they weren’t wearing hats.

So what happens to the hair as we age?  Well, we mostly notice balding in men, although many woman are not running out to get wigs and dealing with it now-a-days.  Also, the hair is turning grey in streaks, patches and all over.

For some reason, men feel this is a disgrace.  Embarrassing.  Unacceptable.  Why?  It is a fact of life.  Some men go bald on top, some on the sides and some all over the scalp.  So, they wear those stupid looking baseball caps with pictures, patches and stupid sayings (some are even X-rated).  Let’s face it, men, when anyone sees you with a baseball cap indoors, they know there is no hair on top!

But Metallica came out with NO HATS!  Grey hair, receding hairlines, the whole works.  But they let it all hang out.  And it didn’t affect their playing one bit.  Had the audience on their feet.  One of the outstanding rappers was looking at his friend and shouting, “The One!  The One! Fantastic!”

Yup, starting at a certain age, we love you men for how you act, not for what you look like.  If you are wearing a hat indoors, it is rude and it screams, “I AM BALD!” so you’re not hiding anything. 

You rock, Metallica!  (In more ways than ‘one’!)

When You Have to Go to the Store
When You Have to Go to the Store

Last week I finally gave up and went the store.  When will the Polar Vortex leave?

Today I ran into two neighbors coming from the store.  They finally gave up, too.

The schools are already posting closing for tomorrow, due do to sub-zero temps.

When I told my friend I was going to the store the next morning at 9 am, she said, “You caun’t do that with your lungs and diaphragm!  I would eat bread and butter, first.”

I said, “They’re on my list.”

“I’d eat crackers.”

“On my list.”

“Peanut butter and jelly?”

“On my list.”

My friend, in her late 70s, shook her head and looked sad, “Then I guess you have to the store.”

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