Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving Indeed

It's not all about the turkey, you know! Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what you are thankful for. In my case, it's not proper usage of prepositions. 
 
I AM thankful that Hick is quickly recovering from his gallbladder surgery last Thursday. And that The Pony is here with us so I can spend two days preparing a meal that will be eaten in 15 minutes. He's actually a big help, trotting to and fro to bring me ingredients. We miss Genius, trapped in Pittsburgh, doing without bar and restaurant alcohol on Thanksgiving Eve. But overall, we've had a good year, in the worst of years.

You know what else I'm thankful for?
 

IT'S HEEE-EEERE! 

My $25 check from the Missouri Lottery, for that ticket that had the smeary barcode.
 
 
I sent it off way back on October 17, and it arrived in EmBee last Friday, November 20. Hick said I'd never get my rightful $25. And that now I didn't even have the ticket in hand to pursue the matter further, since I'd mailed it in. DUH! That Hick is such a lottery novice. The only way you can be paid by mail is to MAIL THE ORIGINAL TICKET to the lottery office.

My faith in gambling has been restored!

Hope you all had just as many reasons to be thankful, and maybe even had a bite of turkey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Anniversary To Me

It's been 31 years since Hick and I were joined in holy-moly matrimony. As I type this, there are only a few minutes left of my anniversary celebration. Don't even mutter/mumble that you were not invited. We had no guests. In fact, we barely had the groom!

I got up around 11:00. Hick was already gone. But he'd left a nice card on the kitchen counter. I went on about my business, making a shopping list for our Thanksgiving feast, planning to hit two stores before the bank, the gas station, the post office, and Burger King.

You might think that Hick had planned a special catered candlelight dinner for me, with a roving violinist (or a fiddler, as our people are wont to call them). But no. He had mentioned in passing that we should use the gift certificate we got for Christmas last year, before it expires, to the local catfish house. He said it on Monday, to go out to dinner Tuesday. I wasn't feelin' it. Besides, Hick had plans up until 6:00 that evening. AND there was the matter of The Pony possibly starving if we didn't take him along.

I set out Hick's anniversary card around 4:00. He hadn't been home all day. He was busy on our anniversary.

BUSY EATING CHINESE FOOD WITH HIS CANCER GIRLFRIEND!

What kind of an anniversary is THAT? I knew he was taking her to the hospital. We had rearranged a casino trip so Hick would be available. In fact, I'd told Hick on the way to the casino on Monday,

"I guess you're driving the Acadia to your cancer girlfriend's appointment tomorrow. You need to tell her, 'Cancer Girlfriend, you are NOT allowed to move my wife's seat!' And shake your finger at her while you say it."

Hick said he would take SilverRedO, but I said that was ridiculous, with him not supposed to lift 15 pounds after his surgery, and pulling himself up onto the running board while holding the steering wheel would mean hoisting way more than 15 pounds. So he HAD to take the Acadia.

He did NOT have to take his Cancer Girlfriend to eat Chinese. In my opinion, anyway. Hick said they didn't get out of the 11:30 appointment until 4:30. I believe that. He sent me a text at 3:00 to say he was still at the hospital. Later, he said the ONLY place he could find for them to eat was a Chinese restaurant. I LIKE CHINESE!

Anyhoo... Hick should have known how unpredictable these appointments are. He only takes her there 2 or 3 times a month! Hick shouldn't be going without food that long. He has THE DIABEETUS, you know. He said he got a beef stick out of a machine at the hospital. Probably after 3:00 when he sent the text.

Anyhoo... with the most recent lockdown in St. Louis County, Hick could not find an open restaurant for them to eat. I think he was back down in Jefferson County when he "...tried to go in Captain D's, but they had the doors locked!" Um. There IS such a thing as drive-thru service. I guess Hick's Cancer Girlfriend is too special to eat greasy fish in my car...

So... the big celebration is over now. I DID allow myself a slice of anniversary cake. By that, I mean an individually-wrapped Little Debbie Unicorn Cake, a box of which I had bought for The Pony, who tried one, and declared that he doesn't like strawberry, so I could have them. He left the box on the long couch.

Hick might have treated himself to such a slice of anniversary cake as well. IF he wasn't stuffed from his Chinese restaurant dinner...
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Let the record show that I don't mind Hick driving his Cancer Girlfriend to her appointments. I don't mind her riding in my car (except when she moves the seat!). I don't mind him getting her lunch/supper when they go. I'll probably even stay married to Hick for another 31 years.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Neverending Worry

I was concerned about Hick's gallbladder surgery on Thursday, with only The Pony there with him as a buffer between unconscious Hick and the Grim Reaper. So I was relieved to hear that the surgery was a success, and that Hick was being monitored for release. 

Another worry was how Hick would get his pain med prescription. The Pony said it was not sent in. That they gave him a paper scrip. Hick would be in no shape to walk into his pharmacy to pick it up. The Pony might be looked upon with suspicion if he tried to get it, because I'm pretty sure Hick has not listed him as an individual who can pick up his meds.

"Pony, Dad's pharmacy has a drive-thru window. You can go there, and he'll be right beside you in the car. They recognize him. He's a regular there!"

"Um. I'm not good with drive-thrus. I'll go inside."

"Well, if you let me know what time you and Dad start home, I'll meet you in town at the Gas Station Chicken Store. I can get the prescription, and you can bring Dad home to lay down."

We met, right there overlooking the moat that separates the Gas Station Chicken Store from CeilingReds, Hick's pharmacy. There weren't many cars in their lot.

"Pony. Ask Dad if they require a mask in there."

"He says they do."

"Okay. Look. That guy over there isn't going in. Maybe they only have the drive-thru open."

"Good thing you're getting it!"

"Yeah. I'll check it out. You get him home. Is he goofy? Or just sleepy?"

"He's reclined pretty far back. He talks really slow."

"Okay. I'll be home pretty quick. Don't bounce him around on his blacktopped hill! He just had his insides cut up."

"I'll go slow."

Off I went to CeilingReds. I drove up by the door, and saw a sign that said, "DRIVE THROUGH COVID TESTING." Huh. I had not seen one person walk inside. So I drove around to get in the line. Heh, heh! I beat a car coming in the side entrance from Casey's. I was second in line, behind a shabby gray sedan. It looked like an old man and old woman inside.

Dang! That line wasn't moving. A sign advised you to have your documents ready. A state ID, and insurance card. Maybe there was something else, but the print was smaller. I had my ID in my shirt pocket, knowing it would be required to pick up an opioid for somebody NOT ME. CeilingReds should have Hick's Medicare information on file.

A couple other cars were behind me by this time. It had been 15 minutes. I hadn't seen Old Man hold up his ID, or receive anything through the window drawer. I wondered if he was there for a prescription, or for a COVID test. Maybe it was that new kind where people stick a swab up their own nostrils. I hope they were still doing prescriptions through the drive-thru! I had to get Hick's pain meds!

By now it was after 2:00. I'd been in line 20 minutes, not moving. A truck pulled up beside the line. A big man got out, walked over to the gray sedan, and tapped on the passenger window! I put my window down, but I couldn't hear what he was saying. Old Woman had put the window down a bit. Not sure I would have done that with a stranger walking up. Stranger pointed over toward the window. He kind of threw up his hands, and went back to his truck and drove off.

The gray sedan's taillights lit up. It crept forward. Old Man opened his door a bit. Reached out his open window, but didn't pull anything back except his own arm. I heard faint voices. Then louder.

"Not until later tonight. Or maybe tomorrow."

Now what was THAT supposed to mean? Maybe they weren't giving the COVID test. The gray sedan left, and I pulled up. Huh. The shade was pulled down at the window. But I could see a sign up against the glass just past the drawer.

CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Closest store is at blah blah blah...

What in the Not-Heaven? I had spent 25 minutes sitting in a line at a closed drive-thru! Good thing that stranger tipped off the Old Man and Old Woman!

I sure didn't want to drive to the next town, to the closest CeilingReds. But I HAD to get Hick's pain meds! He was depending on me! Maybe my own pharmacy, NearMin, could fill it for me. I began composing my intended spiel in my head. It was only two blocks away. Off I went, to their drive-thru.

"Hi. I am trying to get this prescription filled for my husband. He just had surgery this morning. I spent 25 minutes in line over at his pharmacy, CeilingReds, only to find out they're CLOSED until further notice! Do you think you could fill this for me? I don't have his Medicare information, but I will pay cash for it if you can fill it."

"Well! He should be using OUR pharmacy!"

She was a real jokester. I hadn't seen her working there before. But I gave her the scrip, and filled out a half-sheet of info on Hick. 

"I'll go check. We might be able to find him in the system. I'll let you know."

"Thank you! I don't want to drive all the way over to Next Town. They might be closed, too!"

"You know, I've been seeing that on Facebook. The one over in Bill-Paying Town has been closing at random, too. I don't know what's going on with them."

Off she went. After 10 minutes, another girl came to the window to see if she could help me. No. I was helped. I was glad nobody got in line behind me! It took 20 minutes, but the original Jokester came back with Hick's prescription!

"We were able to find his information. You said you want to pay cash?"

"Yes. How much is that." I had my debit card ready.

"Forty-eight cents."

"Oh! Okay. Here." I handed her two quarters. "You can even keep the change!"

Man! That was an ordeal. Drug-seeking sure is a time-sucking, stress-inducing activity!
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When I told Hick about his pharmacy being closed, he got on Facebook to ask his GAL who works there if they were closed. As IF I'd make up that whole story! She said that somebody had tested positive, so they had to do a deep clean, which required them to close for three hours. 
 
Seems to me that CeilingReds should stay in the drug-doling business, and leave the testing to medical facilities. I'm pretty sure a lot of drug-seeking folks were inconvenienced by one person's curiosity about having the VIRUS. Because if I was having serious symptoms, I sure wouldn't go to a drive-thru pharmacy window to be diagnosed...
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Monday, November 23, 2020

Keeping Hick's Health From Going Downhill is an Uphill Battle

Hick is not a stickler for following medical advice. He's more of a HICKler. He makes up the instructions as he goes along.
 
When The Pony brought Hick home a couple hours after his gallbladder surgery, Hick had a folder of discharge information. The Pony had gone over it with a nurse, and had signed paperwork. He remembered what he'd read a couple hours before. He IS a former valedictorian, you know! He gave me the condensed version, then I read it for myself.
 
I sat down on the short couch, to talk to Hick, who was reclining in the recliner, a bit drowsy, as to be expected after anesthesia and a 60-minute operation. I had run my hand across Hick's forehead, and asked if he was feeling okay, and whether there was anything I could get for him.
 
"Your prescription is on the cutting block. I guess if they gave you a pain pill at noon, you probably can't take one until at least 4:00."
 
"No, Mom. They said every 8 hours! I'll go look at his pill bottle."
 
"Okay. I didn't open the bag. Mine was always every four. Maybe he has something powerful."
 
"No. It says every 8 hours. It looks like some kind of opioid with codeine."
 
"It said hydrocodone. I read it on the tag with the receipt. That's the standard painkiller I had for my thyroid surgery. Maybe it's a stronger dose."
 
"I don't need nothin' right now anyway. The Pony got me this ice water. I'm supposed to drink a lot of water. It don't hurt much, except in my belly button. And my belly because I need to take a poop."
 
"Do you want me to get you something for that when I go to the store tomorrow?"
 
"No. I'll get it tomorrow when I go to the storage locker."
 
"Um. You don't have any business going up there! You just had surgery. You need to take it easy for a couple days."
 
"I don't feel bad."
 
"You have air pumper thingies on your legs!"
 
"I'm supposed to leave them on for 24 hours. I can wear them up there."
 
"You shouldn't be sitting with your legs down. And I know you can't lift stuff."
 
"Somebody will pull my stuff out front for me."
 
"Take the Acadia, so you don't have to pull yourself up onto the truck running board."
 
"I can do that. I can sit in the back of the Acadia hatch and put my feet up if I'm tired."
 
"You don't need to be driving at all, though! Your instructions say not to drive until 24 hours after you've taken a pain pill."
 
"I'll be fine. I might go down to Casino Town on Saturday, to buy some guns."
 
"That's not a good idea at all!"
 
"I'll be fine."
 
"You need to follow your discharge instructions."
 
"Here. I might as well read them."
 
I laid out a snack for Hick to have around 9:00, to go with his hydrocodone. Some Ritz crackers, and cheddar cheese. When I got up Friday morning around 8:00, Hick was gone. So I went back to bed. He showed up again at 11:00, when I was in the kitchen taking my morning meds. He'd picked up some Dulcolax at his pharmacy for his intestinal issues.

"I seen it on TV. It says it works with the water in your system to make you poop. The bottle said you can take no more than 3 a day. You can take them all at once, or spread them out. I took 2."

"I can't believe you drove to town. I would have gotten them for you."

"I'm fine."

"But you had that pain medicine last night at 9:00, and it hadn't even been 12 hours when you left. It said to wait 24 hours before driving."

"I took another one about 7:30, before I left for town."

"WHAT? You're going to kill somebody besides yourself. You can't drive while you're on that!"

"I'm fine. I'm going down to Bill-Paying Town now, to see a guy about a gun."

As you clutch your pearls in horror, you'd better sit down. When Hick showed up back home Friday evening, I discovered that he'd driven 90 miles to Casino Town! And back! Oh, and that's not all. Hick had taken 2 MORE of those Dulcolax pills! Which is 4, in 12 hours, which is certainly more than the maximum of 3 in 24 hours. When asked if he had been drinking water like he was supposed to, Hick said,

"Yeah. I drank a whole bottle of water today."

It's really hard to keep Hick alive.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

There's a Hole in the Stomach, No Lies-Ah, No Lies-Ah

Just providing you with another little tune in your noggin. The Truth in Blogging Law requires me to reveal that there are actually FIVE holes in the stomach. Hick's stomach. He had surgery on Thursday, to remove his gallbladder.

Hick has been sickly for at least two months, getting the runaround from his nurse practitioner's office. Oh, they let him in (grudgingly) for an appointment, while making it clear that if he was sick, he shouldn't be there. Heh, heh. I guess they only want to treat well people right now. Like giving shots on the parking lot. Don't get me started.

Anyhoo... they ordered tests, and lost his blood sample without telling him for two weeks. Then took more blood. They did an ultrasound and didn't read it for a month or so. Then ordered another one. Hick had an EEG and a stress test and a lung x-ray. I'm pretty sure he's the unhealthiest six-million-dollar man ever.

FINALLY, after the second blood test, they notified Hick within a day to say that certain enzyme levels ruled out a heart attack (good thing, so he could quit waiting months to know if he'd had one), but pointed to a gallbladder issue. Which I'd told him all along, me being a VALedictorian, a fan of ER, but without the means to order and interpret tests.

It took another couple weeks to get Hick an appointment with a surgeon. Who agreed on the diagnosis, and asked why the two ultrasounds, since the first one showed the problem as well as the second. He set up a surgery date for Hick at a surgery center halfway to the city. Our local surgery center over in Bill-Paying Town would have been more convenient, but the earliest date was at the other one. They're about equidistant from Backroads, the difference being that I can DRIVE Hick to Bill-Paying Town on my back roads, but the other one requires highway driving, which freaks me out. I guess that's from the years I spent driving to the city to work at the unemployment office.

Anyhoo... Hick's pre-op information said he was required to bring a RESPONSIBLE ADULT to his 3-hour surgery. I asked The Pony if he thought he could be a RESPONSIBLE ADULT, and he replied,

"Well... technically, I AM an ADULT."

Close enough! The Pony drove Hick to his surgery. He had to be there at 9:30. Surgery was scheduled for 10:30. They planned to release him at 11:30 if everything went okay. In the meantime, the RESPONSIBLE ADULT was to remain IN THE CAR, ON THE PARKING LOT. So they could bring out paperwork for signing. And then bring out the recovering patient. Not a good fit for me, without bathroom facilities or air conditioning or heating or a comfy chair. 

Luckily, The Pony has a bladder like a reverse camel's hump, storing fluids rather than distributing them. AND he's pretty much impervious to heat or cold, and can entertain himself for hours on end with his new laptop. So off they went to surgery on Thursday morning.

The Pony updated me at 11:40 that Hick was out of surgery and in recovery, but they wanted him to drink some water before releasing him (perhaps to see if it squirted out any of the holes they put in him), and he was being stubborn, saying he didn't want any water. They went over all the discharge instructions with The Pony, who signed a RESPONSIBLE ADULT signature, agreeing that he was in charge of keeping Hick alive for the next 24 hours.

At 12:14, The Pony called to say that Hick had decided that he was in pain, so they were feeding him something so they could give him a pain pill for the ride home. It was probably the most expensive pain pill in the history of three-hour outpatient surgery, but allowed Hick to leave, and not live there the rest of his golden years, refusing to drink water.

Anyhoo... I had my gallbladder removed when The Pony was only a year old. I had three holes in my stomach for the surgery. Hick has FIVE! I cry shenanigans! Why did Hick get more holes than I did? How unfair is THAT?

Hick is recovering well. But of course you know there's more to this story...

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Steven Must Have CENT You, PENNY, Into My Life

Don't worry. I'm not going to burst into song. I'm only going to plant a tune in your head. Even Steven has been on the ball this week, sending me where the coins were, to fatten my Future Pennyillionaire Fortune.
 
TUESDAY, November 17, I was greeted by a cigarette butt penny at the Liquor Store! 

Funny how no smoking is allowed inside, yet there's a spent cigarette butt on the carpet. Did somebody bring it in and surreptitiously drop it? Because it's so hard to drop a cigarette butt out on the parking lot? I'm pretty sure if an employee (it's a family-run business) told a person they couldn't smoke in there, that family employee would have NOT allowed the smoker to just drop the cig on the carpet and stub it out! But what do I know? I am neither a smoker nor a liquor store employee.


It was a 2013 penny, face-down. Now in my possession, balanced precariously on the overflowing rim of my 2020 plastic Little Caesar's marinara sauce "goblet."
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THURSDAY, November 19, I was once again in the Liquor Store, seeking a PacMan scratcher that can't be found anywhere else. The Liquor Store was expecting me.
 

That strip of carpet by the counter is like a black hole for coins! They are always in the same place.
 

It was a face-down 2016 dime. I tried to get a closeup, but when I looked later, I had taken a picture of a couple of pebbles on the carpet! So I cropped and enlarged this one from the original. 
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That's 2 COINS this week, for a total of 11 CENTS. Not too shabby. The Liquor Store came through for me!
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2020 RUNNING TOTAL

Penny       # 123.
Dime         # 24.
Nickel       still at 10.
Quarter    still at 1.

2019 TOTALS
Penny     134
Dime        20
Nickel        8
Quarter      5
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Friday, November 20, 2020

Sleep Befalls Him

Remember that old movie, Death Becomes Her? I never watched it myself, but I remember it was right after my dad got a giant satellite dish installed in the yard, and my mom liked to watch this movie. My dad could never remember the title, and when he'd mention it, he said, "You know. That movie your mom likes. She Looks Good Dead."

Actually, today's story has nothing to do with that movie, other than my theft of the title.

Wednesday night, I had a vice-like headache. It started when I left for town, and got worse through the day. I'm sure it's a sinus issue. The area over my eyes hurt to touch, and I was stuffy and phlegmy and could feel the shift of the stuffiness to other areas when I laid down.

Anyhoo... around 10:00, as I was sitting in my dark basement lair, holding my vibrator (ON MY SINUSES), seeking relief from the headache... I heard a tremendous crash from above my head. I even shouted, "Everything okay?" No response. I heard the squeak of The Pony's bedroom door at the other end of the upstairs, and figured he was on the case. I heard Hick stomping around on his footless ankles, so I knew he hadn't turned over his recliner and knocked himself unconscious. I went back to aching and vibrating.

Around 2:00, I went out to my OPC (Old People Chair) to watch a recorded Cagney & Lacey. It comes on at 4:00 in the afternoon, on DISH 291, whatever channel that is. I didn't make it through the whole episode, because I fell asleep at 2:30, and didn't wake up until 5:45. That seat heater is magical. 

I was hoping my headache was gone, but it returned as soon as I sat up from recline. I went upstairs to bed. Lots was going on the next day, but by evening, my headache was gone. As I sat on the short couch, listening to Hick while he ate soup for supper (the liquid, too!), I was shocked at what he revealed.

"I fell out of bed last night!"

"WHAT? At least The Pony came to check on you."

"No he didn't."

"Isn't that the noise I heard around 10:00? It was horrible! I thought you'd fallen, and was afraid you couldn't get up."

"Oh. I dropped my phone."

"Your phone made all that noise?"

"Yeah. And The Pony came out and went in the kitchen for ice."

"Well, when did you fall out of bed?"

"I don't know. It was sometime early in the morning."

"I didn't hear a thing. I was out in my OPC, sleeping. Good thing you didn't need any help."

"Yeah. I don't know how that happened. I think we need a new mattress. The edge slopes down."

I agree we could use a new mattress. But I doubt that's what made Hick fall out of bed. Sometimes, he seems to levitate! To jump straight up and fall back down. I don't know how he does that. It's like somebody with restless legs, only with a restless body.