Thursday, April 1, 2021


I went to the urgent care yesterday, and I will schedule a F/U visit ASAP, and perhaps the result of that visit will let me know whether or not I should be concerned. Until then I have things to do, people to be. I just packed my car for my first show of the year, which will happen this Saturday. It has turned darned cold and windy out there - after temps in the 70s and 80s we will have a hard freeze tonight. There is a saying around here that one should never plant one's crops until after Easter. Sometimes there is wisdom in the old sayings.

But that's not what I am here to talk about. Nope. I am here to talk about my visit to the clinic. I walk in the door, dude hands me a mask. I jammed it in my pocket and walked up the stairs. Up there the nurses all started squeaking, I have no idea what they were saying. I told them that I am hard of hearing. They then yelled something, I was all like "Huh?" 

The smart nurse grabbed a piece of paper and wrote on it "You have to wear a mask". I put the mask across my mouth. "YOU HAVE TO COVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE!". I responded that I needed to breathe, so that's all you're going to get. She then sent the other nurse off to get a face shield for me. I slapped it on the back of my head so that the clear plastic projected forward at a jaunty angle like a baseball cap. Yeah, I am fed up with this crap, and while I hate the fact that the front line "Ve are chust followink orders" troops have to bear the brunt of my obnoxiousness, sometimes you just have to be that guy.

Eventually my number was called (I was the only one there) and off I went to be checked in and checked out. Stuff was mostly okay, and one thing was greatly improved - two years ago I was in the exact same place to have some dog bites attended to and my pulse ox was 89%. What the ever livin' heck? That sucks. I used to be able to breathe! I remember it! It was not long after that visit that I decided to take on my lung issues in as direct a manner as I could - I started running. Yesterday I learned that my pulse ox saturation is currently 99%, mainly because the meter stops at two digits. So I dealt with that one issue in a straightforward way, using tools at my disposal, one day at a time and many laps per day.

The doc-in-the-box then showed up. I placed my shield back on top of my head, to stop any random virii that might be falling out of the ceiling tiles, and the doc proceeded to start talking. Went through the whole "I cain't hear sheee-it" schtick again, told the ol' boy that I depend on lip reading. Then the amazing thing happened - he stuck his head out the door and told the help that he needed a clear mask. He slapped that clear sumbitch on his face and I could actually understand what he was saying and the next thing you know we were both sittin' there on the Group W bench, playin' with the pencils, tellin' all kinds of tall tales. I thanked him for taking steps to improve our communication and he said that I was well within my rights to request a see-through mask. How cool is that! Hence the title of this post. 

Anyway, got the test results back today, no surprises, but also no answers, so I will go see my PCP next week for more tests and random BS. Never a dull moment, I tells ya!

Here is a piece I saw on the teevee today - mandolin hero Sam Bush. You might think you have faced some tough times or had some medical issues, Sam is here to tell you you haven't seen squat.

Here is Sam and The New Grass Revival accompanying my main man Leon Russell in a concert back in 1980. Time does indeed fly:

I trust everyone is having a great week. Resist we must, we must throw off the chains (and masks) of our oppressors.


Beans said...

God, I hate not being able to read lips. I can hear pretty okay as long as there's not too much background noise, but those metal roofed buildings with no sound baffling, like you find everywhere now from restaurants to stores, just screw up my hearing.

I've begged pharmacy techs to please remove their masks while they are standing behind the plexiglass barrier, but, no, not in this county where "Orders! Must! Be! Obeyed!" is a thing, while the surrounding counties are of the "Meh, personal responsibility rules, whatever" is the rules of the road.

Glad you found a doc and a place that could and would be flexible enough to help you.

Sixty Grit said...

A friend suggested that why people don't like to wear the clear plastic masks is because they are difficult to breathe through (there is foam rubber around the edges, so he might be right). My guess is that they are more expensive than the cloth kind. The only real answer is that people need to stop being herd animals and actually be heard, or something.

Some Seppo said...

My wife started mumbling about the time she retired. At least that's my take on it, hers may differ.

I've been on the Group W bench a time or two. The father-rapin' stories are hilarious.

We did end up riding the Shiloh National Military Park battlefield tour Wednesday. Largest land battle of the War of Northern Aggression. The battle was actually all about Corinth, MS 25 miles down the road, the strategic nexus of both the north-south and east-west main rail lines in the Confederacy.

The Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was a fun tour, but being an architect in my mind I enjoyed the FLW-designed Rosenbaum House tour in Florence, AL much more.

More learnings on this trip: always check to see if the wife remembered to bring cat food.

Some Seppo said...

PS, I hope you get well, or at least feel better soon Sixty.

ndspinelli said...

We have a friend whose husband dropped dead in El Paso in Super Bowl Sunday. She is deaf like you, Sixty. She was in shock and unable to read lips of cops, docs, etc. I can't imagine being deaf and not be able to read lips. Is your move completed?

Sixty Grit said...

First, thanks for the kind words - the latest news is that my condition is the result of old age and there is only one way to recover from it, and I have to tell you, I am in no hurry heal, just sayin'.

I wish I had seen the FLW house in Firenza, but I missed it. I once toured an FLW house that was set up on the National Mall, years ago, maybe it was a Usonian home, maybe not, but what I remember was, me being a hulking 5'9" tall that it seemed, well, cramped. Small. Claustrophobic, which I am not. I guess the architect didn't want anyone taller than he was to feel too expansive or comfortable. He achieved that goal.

I have decided to stay put for now, Nick, no reason to add any stressors to my life. Plus I just have too much to do without even starting on repairing my house. Was your friend deaf from birth? Because, at least in my case, I slowly acquired lip reading skills as my hearing diminished. A person who has never heard the spoken work might never learn to lip read - at least that's what they taught us in ASL class.

This morning's adventure involved a kind woman who wrote instructions for me and I, in turn, taught her a few simple signs such as "sit down". She was very sweet and we had a good ol' time. But I have to tell you I am kind of tired of enduring being quizzed by masked weirdos. So with medical adventures, as in life, I am staying put.

Sixty Grit said...

Oh yeah, my cousin lives in Corinth. She likes that area. No matter where we move we end up in Civil War historical areas.

Amartel said...

60, hope you're feeling better soon and nothing serious amiss.
I had a health emergency last month which turned out to be a big ole kidney stone and associated infections which really knocked me on my ass. The problem was, initally, even getting IN to see a doctor. They were covidtesting people in the parking lot who presented with even one of the covid symptoms. Then you had to come back another day to be seen if your test was negative. Kinda slowed the process of "health care" (as in diagnosis and treatment of the presenting complaint) down. Considerably. Especially since it took a while for the docs to figure out that my high fever and chills, pounding headache, fatigue, etc. was stone-related. First my doctor did a telemed visit (after negative cov test which makes total sense) and prescribed flu pills. Then urgent care gave me some oral antibiotics which barely made a dent. Then the ER finally thought to do a CT scan after I mentioned my history of kidney stones (which had been treated at that same hospital) which was followed by hospital stay and IV antibiotics and surgery. Now the bills from this excessive incompetence are piling up. They make their money on the "co-pays." Our healthcare system has gone from great to avaricious suckage in just a few short years. Thanks, Obama. And punkass John Roberts. And all the rest of the DC swamp.

Sixty Grit said...

The destruction of this republic is on John "Why do you think I import young boys?" Roberts. But my experience in two ERs this week was that both places were completely empty, even the guards were bored out of their minds, and they never even bothered to take my temperature - which is fine with me - I am still using it.

This morning's guy actually took his mask off to talk to me. Awesome. I got the sense that even he is not buying the hype. They certainly weren't stacking the dead COVIDs like cordwood, and more and more the scam element is becoming obvious, at least until the new "arrivals" are flown here from the Mexican border. Then things will get to poppin'.

Having endured kidney stones twice I have a great deal of sympathy for what you are going through. I go into shock instantly, roll around on the floor in the worst pain I have ever experienced, and generally don't recommend them to friends or family. Glad you made it through, sorry about your net worth, but what are you going to do, eh? That reminds me, I am going to go drink some more fluids - I never want to go through that again. Hell, having my heart sliced open wasn't as painful as a kidney stone.

Hang in there, bubba.

Trooper York said...

Hope all is well Sixty. It is important to get checked out even if the quacks can't find out what is wrong with you.

I know I can't shrug it off like I used to do and the wife nags me incessantly if I don't run to the doctor after any trifling symptom.

Just eat and drink moderately and work your way through it. I am sure you will be fine.

Amartel said...

Yeah, all the facilities I visited were pretty empty including the ER. I talked to a lot of nurses during my hospital stay and there are few covid in-patients anymore. (Sooooo, we've flattened the curve, right?) Most of the people where I was were cancer patients. One of them kept getting up out of bed and trying to leave. An alarm would sound. I was like, run brother run but they always got him back to bed. Also, I got the sense from the nurses that they're not all that thrilled about the vax.

ndspinelli said...

Sixty, Meniere's disease in her 50's that was debilitating so the drastic step of surgically cutting the nerves in one ear. Totally deaf in her right ear, about 10% hearing in her left. But no more vertigo. The poor woman could hardly walk across a room w/o losing balance. She's a good lip reader. Smart as hell, U of Chicago undergrad and law school. Reads 500 page books in 2-3 days. We were reading the same book in February. She finished in 2 days..took me 2 weeks. Reading puts me to sleep.

ndspinelli said...

Amartel, Many medical people are refusing the vaccine, particularly RN's.

Amartel said...

"sorry about your net worth, but what are you going to do, eh?"
Require them to provide a line item detailed bill and check it for accuracy.

Some Seppo said...

Glad you're mending, Amartel. Just remember Radar O'Reilly's adage, "Better to hold the phone than to get a kidney stone."

Sixty Grit said...

Thanks, Trooper, I have already scheduled another follow-up appointment - AKA F/U 2!

Meniere's disease - that's rough, Spins. In my life I have experienced several minor bouts of vertigo which I resolved by moving my head around so as to slosh the liquid in my labyrinth and that cleared it up. I can't imagine what it must be like to live with that for any protracted period of time. I hope she is okay.

As for the "vaccine" and its passport, I see some states are pushing back against that idea. Too bad that concept has any traction at all in this country.

MamaM said...

As I was sitting outdoors with MrBill in the sunshine today (still in the 40's here--with a warm afternoon sun) with the birds singing and the wind chimes playing their a disordered version of "Amazing Grace", when MrM came out to tell me he was back from his follow-up visit to the Dr and his PSA was down to zero six weeks after surgery! That was good news to receive on a Good Friday!

Sixty, I'm glad you're finding your way through the weirdness and compromised communication to receive the care and attention needed to continue to keep on keeping on. Same for Amartel. Reading about the difficulty and excessive incompetence encountered is maddening as part of the current approach, with a delayed sense of gratitude also coming up (alongside the dismay and anger over what's been taken away, farged up and lost) for the good experienced in the midst of turmoil.

Some Seppo, if you're still reading this thread, I intended to leave a comment regarding my adventures in cat pilling on Sixty's past post, but didn't do so as I hadn't found the words needed to respond to that story of blessing and loss. So I'll put my pill comment here on this "just have to live with it" thread in the hope it might offer another method to try if you haven't already done so.

For the past two years, we've been giving our cat, MrBill 2 pills a day of Methimazole, and he's doing fairly well on it, so far realizing two more years of a good life that wouldn't have been his or ours to share together without it. MrM gives him the noon dose, and I handle the midnight one. The method used was shown to me by a vet several cats ago, and it works for us though MrM claims to be better at it and says MrBill tells him I could use some "skill practice". Most of the time it's easy peasy, even with a cat with claws or a feisty personality

It goes like this:

Get the pill out and ready to hold between thumb and forefinger of your right hand. Casually pick up the cat with the left and place it on a hard surface (waist high works best-- like a table or counter that can be spritzed with Clorox spray afterwards) where the cat can sit on his own and not gain any claw purchase.

Calmly place your right hand (pill between fingers) on the cat's chest, and wrap your left arm loosely around its back like a hug to hold the cat in place without triggering alarm. From behind his head come in with the thumb and forefinger of your left hand and place them on either side of his jaw (behind the canines). Quickly and firmly lift the top half of the jaw up and back, which tips his head slightly back and creates a gaping maw in which to throw the pill. (MrM says "be sure to throw it in or it gets all slimy and doesn't work as well! While I tend to go with sort of putting it in.) Immediately lower the jaw and hold it closed for a second or two while he swallows, scratching the top of his head and telling him he did well. The whole thing can be done and over so fast the cat barely has time to think of escape, form a protest or turn to bite.

Believe it or not, we're now at the point where MrB knows its pill time and comes to find us as a matter of course. Every now and then the pill comes back out, and we have to do it over again (that's what brings out the "skill practice" remarks), but mostly it works with the cat tolerating the procedure and dignity maintained all around.

As a two-person job, one person can do the fetching, holding the cat in arms, while the other gets into position with pill in hand. Both need to remain calm, however, with only the pill giver doing the holding on the hard surface while the other stands by. Too many hands involved along with a tense approach can trigger fight or flight, so the other part of the "skill practice" involves staying calm and confident it will work.

Here's hoping it does.

Sixty Grit said...

You are the master, MamaM, we are just students. My Beni cat got a couple of extra years and for that I am grateful.

Glad MrM is doing well - that is not trivial business and zero is the correct number at this time. Hang in there, MfamilY, enjoy the freezing sunshine.

Some Seppo said...

MamaM, it's always an adventure when pilling a cat. Ours knows that once the dinner plates are being cleared his dignity is about to be assaulted. We once found him hiding by standing next to a living room curtain with only his head buried in the fabric.

He was told that day he was lucky he didn't have to live by his wits.

MamaM said...

Cats are something else, a combination of pride and squish. The head in the curtain story makes me smile.