Friday, June 28, 2013

Another Week: Rummage Sale; Hit Paraders; and Prescription Glitches

I put off picking up my new pants in Alexandria until #1 daughter had packed stuff for a rummage sale. I went up yesterday, helped her get boxes and a chair in the van, and talked for a while. I also picked up the pants.

Earlier that day I'd been to the clinic to get very cold nitrogen sprayed on a troublesome wart. It's been around for years - decades - and started peeling off earlier this week. That got my attention, so instead of just trying over-the-counter wart removers again, I went to the family doctor.

Turns out, warts are complicated little critters. Among other things, our immune system is 'blind' to them. Part of what the cold nitrogen does is let my immune system know there's a problem in that area. I plan to study up on warts: maybe this weekend.

I recovered a Peter, Paul, and Mary songbook from the rummage sale items: and found a booklet of sheet music, "20 All-Time Hit Paraders." It's from the mid-60's, but so am I: so for me these still are "hit paraders."

I left requests for prescription refills in a local pharmacy's newish automated system yesterday, then spoke with someone at the pharmacy to verify that the refill requests had arrived. This time the person told me that the prescription that routinely gets lost - wasn't in the system.

That didn't surprise me. Then she told me that ever since they started using the new system, quite a few months back, refill/new prescription requests for narcotics simply disappeared after customers entered them.

This was news to me, since there was nothing in the beeps and recorded messages telling me - and nobody had mentioned this known glitch to me. Annoying and frustrating as that is, I'm glad she let me in on the (secret?). Now I know that I have to call the pharmacy, talk to a human, and ask for the refill/new prescrip. that way.

As Cobra Bubbles said in "Lilo and Stitch," I think, "knowledge is power: and I like power."

A few minutes ago I spoke with someone at the doctor's office that's supposed to handle refills for that particular prescription. I learned something new there, too. Most of the office closes at noon on Fridays: a fairly common procedure. Someone may call me back, or the message I left will get lost in the shuffle, or maybe something else will happen.

I'll know more after mid-afternoon. I hope.

That didn't take long. Someone called back from the clinic around 11:10: the prescription request arrived, is being processed, and is in the mail. I'm hoping that this refill will be SNAFU-free: and will be more certain when I actually have the stuff.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Remembering Giol

Giol, #1 daughter's pet rabbit, died this week.

My wife came in Tuesday evening, worried, and told me that Giol was lying on his side and not breathing. She wanted me to make a closer inspection, and I can't say I blame her for doing so. We all liked that little furball.

He was in his pen, lying on the grass, on his right side, eye open, and definitely not breathing. His death probably came some time during the afternoon or early evening: and was, from all indications, quite peaceful.

My daughter had found him, years ago, at a animal clinic/pound in Alexandria. He was one of a number of rabbits recovered from a botched breeding operation, and was nervous: even for a rabbit. I gather that he had not been treated well by the humans or his fellow-rabbits.

#1 daughter thought he was cute: nothing unusual there. There are very few critters she doesn't think are cute. She named him Giol, and took him home with her. Giol was something in the neighborhood of a lop rabbit, with ears drooping and a lovely fur coat. A grayish fuzzy patch on the back of his neck gave him 'character,' and was a legacy of his less-than-happy experiences at the breeding operation.

Giol calmed down rather quickly, under the circumstances, and lived at various times with #1 daughter, in our house, and in a portable rabbit run we built for him. My daughter was moving back to Sauk Centre, having found a place where she could keep pets. We liked the little fellow, but several members of the household are very sensitive to pet dander: which made life a bit more complicated.

I wish that Giol could have lived long enough for #1 daughter to take him back to live with her. But he had a long (for a rabbit) and rather good life. At least, I hope so. We made a point of moving his rabbit run periodically, giving him several square yards of fresh grass to supplement his rabbit kibble. Then there were the occasional apple cores and other treats. He was particularly fond of mint.

I picked up #1 daughter around 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, driving her back to Sauk Centre. We picked up a styrofoam cooler and several pounds of ice on the way, which we used to preserve Giol's body until the next day. #1 daughter and I stayed up rather late, distracting ourselves by watching a few episodes of an anime series we like.

By early Wednesday afternoon, #1 daughter had picked a spot under some lilacs in the back yard and dug a rabbit-size grave. It had been Giol's favorite spot on those occasions when she had him out of the rabbit run. She and I laid him there, still looking as I'd seem him Tuesday evening. She set an apple core by his head, and plans to plant mint there.

Sentimental man that I am, I'm weeping while writing this. I miss that little fuzzball.

These photos, taken a few years ago, are from earlier posts.
(September 28, 2009)

Giol, #1 daughter's rabbit, under the back stoop: his new favorite place outside.

Giol has this "cute" thing down cold.

As #1 daughter observed: from this angle, Giol looks like a fuzzy eggplant. With ears.

Caught in the act! The infamous "chips" incident.

(June 23, 2009)
My wife came up with an excellent idea for keeping Giol out of the way.

Simplicity itself: Place laundry basket on floor; place rabbit in laundry basket. Result: instant rabbit playpen.

Then, the rabbit realizes how easy it will be to jump out.

Putting another laundry basket, upside down, on top of the first worked quite well: until Giol learned that he could push the top one off. #1 daughter eventually used duct tape to fasten the top on.

(April 10, 2008)

#1 daughter brought her rabbit, Giol, along with her. That was a treat, for me anyway. Our son likes the rabbit too. Giol likes to nap behind the couch, and under the chair I use in the living room. It's a bit of a treat, feeling his whiskers when he sniffs my feet.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

A Rabbit This Time

I drove to Alexandria, about 20 miles down the road, to get a pair of pants this morning. More accurately, to select two pairs. The legs will be cut to length in about a week. I'm not particularly wardrobe-conscious, but needed to replace a seriously worn pair.

On the way, on Interstate 94, I saw work in progress on the new power line. A crew was stringing something, using a helicopter. Unhappily, I couldn't get a photo.

This afternoon I took #1 daughter's rabbit to the vet here in Sauk Centre, to check out a lump in his nose. Apparently he's been bumping it into something: with results like what I'd experience if I tried opening doors with my forehead.

The rabbit took his trip pretty well. On the other hand, he had his nose pointed toward the door of his carrier on the way out. On the way back, his backside was pointed toward me. I don't think I was on his 'favorite people' list just then. ;)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Even More Eventful Week: For Me, That Is

The good news is that there's nothing seriously wrong. The bad news is that a blood vessel in my right hand burst today.

I noticed a lump on the back of my right hand around noon, maybe a quarter-inch tall, a little less than an inch wide, and a bit over an inch long. It didn't hurt, but I was pretty sure that it hadn't been there earlier.

There wasn't any trouble moving my fingers, and it wasn't particularly sore: but when something shows up that fast, I take notice. Particularly since it seemed to be coming out on the palm side of my hand, just a little.

My wife took a look at it after her nap, and said I should get it looked at. That had been my impulse, but have learned the value of getting a second opinion: particularly hers.

A doctor at the local clinic could squeeze me in at 2:00 p.m., and about a half-hour and an x-ray later I learned that I'd burst a blood vessel near the surface of that hand. It's one of those things that happens, and not cause for concern. I may have a funny-colored hand for a month, but the body is pretty good at cleaning up after a 'spill' like that.

Now, I have some catching up to do. There's a post due tomorrow morning that won't write itself.

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An Eventful Week: For Me

This week's been eventful, in a way. The weather got warm enough, finally, for our new-last-month central air system to start sending cool air through the vents, and I saw two hummingbirds at the feeder yesterday.

Even better, there's blue sky and sunshine outside again today. That's been a rarity so far this alleged summer.

The other 'big deal' was my taking a member of the family down to St. Cloud yesterday afternoon for oral surgery. Good news, it's gone well; bad news, I missed my hour at the Eucharistic adoration chapel down the street; good news, I made a call that started the ball rolling on getting a replacement for me on that shift.

So far, it's been a good week.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Another Week: Photos and Fuzzy Eyes

My wife gave my hair an arguably-overdue trim yesterday, we had sunlight for a few minutes this weekend, and my eyes still feel fuzzy. There's something extra in the air that doesn't play well with eyes, noses, and - in my case - throat.

Happily, #1 daughter got photos of last Sunday's Corpus Christi procession. (Sauk Centre Journal Blog (June 9, 2013))

None of that's particularly astounding, astonishing, or amazing. But it's some of what happened this week.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Prescription Processing Problem: Another Month, Another SNAFU

Good news: After spending more than two hours on a round trip to St. Cloud, Minnesota, I got the signature needed and have my medication.

Bad news: Filling that particular prescription got bungled, again.

The 'Vexed' part of this post appeared on my Google Plus account this afternoon. (June 4, 2013)


A frustrating situation. A medication that I need is 'controlled,' so the pharmacy isn't allowed to fill the prescription until the day after I run out.

The situation would be acceptable, but quite often the request for a refill gets lost in a bureaucratic system. I'm inclined to believe everyone I speak with: the pharmacist who sends the request, the office staff who don't ever see the request: everyone.

However, I am left without a needed medication.

It happened again this month, so I am off to a city that's about an hour's drive from here, to personally carry the signed paperwork back to the local pharmacy.

My sincere hope is that the paperwork actually gets signed and processed today.

If I sound vexed: you're quite perceptive.

'Protected' from a Prescription

The medication is a controlled substance: Methylphenidate. It's a sort of generic Ritalin, can be habit forming, and certainly shouldn't be misused. I understand why some reasonable precautions need to be taken when distributing the drug.

However, losing the authorization form on a regular basis seems to go somewhat beyond 'reasonable precautions.'

I keep taking methylphenidate because I need it to keep my brain working properly: and because I am an irascible old coot who is too stubborn to let a routine bureaucratic SNAFU get in the way of my health.

Not everyone who needs medications is like me, though. I've wondered how many cases where someone 'stopped taking his meds' and died as a result are cases like mine: where the poor soul got tired of monitoring a 'routine' process.

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