What’s Up Doc ?

When I decided to write this blog about doctors I have known, my mind immediately filled with so many memories, scenarios and opinions. I should explain I have seen doctors from both sides of the aisle, or patient bed. As a nurse of 40 years and a patient for 30 years, it’s been an interesting experience both sad, hostile, hilarious and most often, immensely helpful.

Physicians, like each of us are only human beings with hearts, brains and personalities that differ, one from the other. The primary difference we have is the fact they have been to college many years longer than most of us, the patients they serve. Many years ago, we revered our doctors and placed them in a place of near royalty. We didn’t question them and trusted them totally. With the advent of television and later, other forms of social media and the internet, we find ourselves becoming more knowledgeable about medical issues and don’t see doctors in quite the same light. This is a good step for humanity but it does put to rest the old image of the family doctor making house calls in his battered old hat, worn black leather satchel in hand working 24/7. I think this proved that physicians wised up as specialization grew. The playing field has also changed with more women becoming doctors. I’m not a feminist but I do think this is a good direction to grow into. I find most female patients feel more comfortable with a female physician. I, personally have three female doctors and three male ones. I am more relaxed and can speak more open heartedly and intimately with the females. Perhaps, a male patient feels the opposite emotions.
Before I get into some boring analysis about the world of medicine becoming too big for one person to know it all, I prefer telling you about some of the doctors I have worked with, known personally and gone to as a patient. Let’s just say medicine used to be confined to one encyclopedia but is now in volumes.

When I first got into the medical field, I was a recently divorced thirty-one -year-old with two small children to support without any child support. I was fresh meat on the job market and found a college education in American literature didn’t serve me well in the job market. After searching for a while, hanging on by my teeth, I got two job offers on the same day. I could go to work at one of the local banks as a teller or I could take the other offer to be a medical assistant in the back office of an ear, nose and throat group who were also plastic surgeons. I prayed I would make the right decision and now know it has had an effect on my entire life. I had a hard time imagining myself counting out dollar bills all day because math wasn’t really my thing. I also recalled how I had always wanted to be a nurse when I was a child, although in the fifth grade it might have had something to do with the crush I had a boy in my class named Clay who wanted to be a doctor. Therefore, the decision was made and I was off to borrow the money to buy two white uniforms and a pair of white SAS shoes.

I loved being a medical assistant and caught on quickly, or at least that’s how I prefer to remember it. Actually, I made plenty of mistakes but tried to learn from them. The three doctors who I worked for were as diverse as the seven dwarfs. If I named them I would call them Doc Steadfast, Randy the Goat, if you know what I mean and Money Bags. One was a bit older than the others and very set in his ways. The second one was a three-timed divorced doctor still in his late thirties who chased every blond nurse at the hospital in town. He often admitted he went into medicine because he thought it paid better than being an attorney. The third one was from a wealthy Beverly Hills background and brought a lot of business his way from that region of southern California. Incidentally, they were mostly “nose jobs.” All three of them were kind, one less patient than the others and two of them loved doughnuts. I was frequently asked to drive to the doughnut shop and pick up a box of mixed flavors. One morning I was heading out the back door as the older, more serious doctor was coming in and he asked me where I was going and I said, “I was asked to drive over to the doughnut shop to pick up an assortment.”

That kind, yet by then irate man, took me by the arm and marched me, actually dragged me back into the office and began to rant loudly at the other two physicians. He thought they should not be wasting my time since I was on the clock. Those three doctors descended into their previous juvenile states and the argument turned into a full-fledged brawl. They could be heard all over the front office, the back office and probably out on the street. That’s when I realized how all too human doctors could be. Donuts?

When I became a nurse, I again experienced the diversity of attitudes, temperaments and varying degrees of concern physicians have for their patients. One physician would always yell out loudly from anywhere on the ward, “Nurse, nurse, the poor doctor needs a nurse!” I was in surgery on occasion with a neurosurgeon who would always pat his female patients on the derriere while they slept and he did spinal surgery. Another more well-meaning obstetrical doctor would sing out loudly during his patient’s deliveries, “Shall we gather at the river?” as amniotic fluid flowed all over the delivery room floor. There was another kindly yet humorless older gent who gave all of his patients a Holy Bible when they were hospitalized.

It’s a hard way of life for them as we patients do not always understand the full weight of responsibility they bear. Being responsible for the life of another, day after day, makes you understand why so many young doctors are going into fields with less critical outcomes such as dermatology, podiatry, etc. There are also more and more who like the freedom of working in the Emergency Room. Some of these doctors are action junkies who like to deal with all that pumping adrenaline. I have often thanked God for the many good doctors I have known as a nurse and as a patient. There are a few I simply cannot be thankful for and admittedly walked out on those.

When I first began having trouble with my sacroiliac joints, many years ago, no one knew what it was. I was treated, guessed over, condescended to by many physicians. I finally found one at UCLA medical center who also didn’t know but at least took measures to make me feel better and pin pointed the problem. A name for my rheumatoid diseases did not come until much later. I recall the relief of him drawing a pen mark on my backside and showing his nurse and PT that he could touch the same spot each time to induce my pain. I knew he cared enough not to write me off. I also knew he believed me and how I had suffered at that time for three years without an answer. The medications and the physical therapy he ordered for me gave me hope.

I recall the young general practice physician I was seeing many years later opening my pathology report of my breast biopsy as I noticed her hands began to shake because she had to tell me I had breast cancer. I remember the bright young female surgeon who performed my mastectomy softly telling me in post-op, “We got it all.” Unfortunately, I heard that same, less joyful voice telling me two weeks later they dissected deeply into a lymph node and found cancer cell clusters within good cells. A year later, after going through radiation therapy, there is also a clear memory in my mind of my kindly, older dermatologist calling me on his day off to tell me a suspected skin lesion was actually breast cancer that had spread all over my skin.

So many doctors, some whacky, some fine, so many experiences some memorable, many forgettable have found their way into my life. I respect most of the doctors I have met as a patient and if I don’t, I never go back to see them again. I found you can respect a physician even if he or she can’t find the answers you seek. I started out respecting most of the doctors I’ve worked with over the years but have a few in my memory bank that were scary. They always had to work at losing my respect and some did.

The doctors I respect the most are the ones who can admit there is something they do not know, treat me or any patient with dignity and kindness. Compassion is wonderful when it shows up in a doctor patient relationship but isn’t always present. I try to give them a break. It’s a hard way of life.

74 thoughts on “What’s Up Doc ?

  1. Lovely post, Sue. You’ve certainly had an interesting career and I wonder how you managed nursing school with 2 young children. You’ve also endured more pain and suffering than one person should ever have to experience. It surely is a blessing when we’re paired up with a knowledgeable and compassionate physician, especially (as you noted in your blog) when they’re not afraid to admit they don’t know everything. Sending love and hugs to you this evening. Karen

    • Karen, I’m always pleased to know I have entertained or informed all readers but especially nice when people like you, who are special to me respond. I hope your life is not terribly complicated today. Good doctors are sure worth looking for…what would we do without them? Fondly, Sue

  2. Love it!! I gathered at the river 5 times in my life! With all the years of auto~immune illnesses that I have had, mis~diagnosis & “it’s all in your head”, of course my obstetricians left me with the fondest feelings & warmest memories & smiles. I enjoy your blogs immensely & am always in awe of you! HUGS!!

    • Terry, love the way you picked up on the old hymn. Now is the time in life I hope you are reaping what was sown and enjoying all those grandkids. I know you’ve been through so much with your autoimmune diseases and pray you have a good doctor or several right now to make life as very good as it can be. I always enjoy your communications, too. Always think fondly of you, Sue

  3. What a good insite into behind the scenes..an enjoyable read too. But what a struggle you have had Sue .,so much on one person and I know there is much more unsaid
    I hope you are feeling better from the trip
    chris

    • Chris dear, I have hopes you are recovering from your fall. I’m still worried and pray the headaches have subsided. I never heard how or what caused you to fall this time. We need you to feel well enough to enjoy your home after all the improvements you’ve put in this and last year. Finally, we are all welcoming spring as you are in your beautiful country. We’ve had record rainfalls in Oregon and WA states this year.
      Please do not be alarmed. Yes, my life has been interesting at times…well, pretty much all the time. I am recovered from that long trip to Portland on Thursday and feeling better, also from switching to Gabapentin from the Lyrica. I had tried it previously but it is working better now. I need to get both knees injected fairly soon because they are very bad but I am not a candidate for surgery and this is the next best thing.
      Hope your DH is feeling okay. I was just reading in a Guideposts magazine about a young broadway and TV star over here in the states who also has Meniere’s disease. Her name is Kristin Chenoweth. Do you know her? She is a tiny delightful and very talented woman.
      Well, onward and upward. Jim is out of town and I’m goofing off. Think I’ll get out all my Call the Midwife DVD’s and be lazy. Raining again today here in the NW. Love ya, Sue

      • Sue
        Well I tripped up on the deck! I Just went sprawling down on my side hip and head
        Wearing slip ons…DH always telling me not to
        Went out to a garden centre today but too much noise and colours and choice
        Head is better tho and just feels giddy and unsteady
        No haven’t heard of her will look her up on google
        Good you are feeling much easier
        GS moving home tomorrow some things have to go into store …going to be all different for them all
        Went for a ride around the villages tonite to get out..nice evening and everywhere looked pretty
        Enjoy your goofing around! Bet you miss DH tho
        That’s it for tonite
        Chris

  4. Sue, your last paragraph – THIS! I find now if I don’t sense this in a doctor of mine, I am likely to move on. Interestingly, my GP and Gyno are both females now. My Rheumy and my Dermy (both men) are both thorough, will seek until they find answers, kind, patient, and have great senses of humor. (I can pretty much say the same for my female docs. Gee… ) Your journey, insights, and outlook are an inspiration to me, and your friendship, invaluable. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, insights, inspirations, and medical life journey in chronic pain with us. I think I speak for all of us who follow, we are so grateful to have found a place to meet and share with others who walk our walk and know we are not alone in our journey.

    • Dear Lyn, Hey lady…you’re gonna make me cry. Thanks for all those kind and very sweet comments. I’m just sort of an open book on tape with the volume turned up. I like sharing anything that i think may entertain or inspire. I have had an interesting life. Indeed we are on a similar walk, so many of us and there is such strength in sharing and leaning on each other from time to time. Sounds like you have compassionate and smart docs. Good combination in a time of need. Sometimes I think doctors forget this is our lives and it matters to us even if it doesn’t mean more than a half hour of their day. When you find some who care…it’s wonderful indeed and a true gift from God.
      Regarding your entry on the last blog, I do remember your love for plant life. I hope those flowers in the basement come to life again. I’ve often had annuals come back to life. Blueberry bushes can be such fun but do be patient. Beth planted several one year and it took a few years for them to produce fruit. I was surprised at the nursery to see how many varieties of blueberries there are. I’m gradually cleaning out my pots on the porch but the weather is not at all co-operative. Seems strange to have to water all my new plants while it is raining outside but they will get too wet if I leave them out from under the porch roof. I have a new awning/outdoor shade to go up when the weather allows. We like one on the porch to keep the furniture from fading inside in the summer and also keeps the house cooler. Hope your DD enjoys planting as much as you do. Happy to see her in a good relationship. Such a lovely time of life. I’m getting excited for dry weather. Our tulip tree in front of the house is budding…I love that strange tree with all it’s twisted arms of branches. Well, it’s late and the eyes are fading. Much love, Sue

    • Lyn
      Did you see my picture on FB of the appe tree that grew out of my blueberry bush ? Mine are 4 years old and still not very big. But the one sans the apple tree is quite full of berries this year. I am hoping to plant more of them in the near future. I do love those berries. Good luck with them. They love water.

  5. Sue
    I do love that you share all your DRs ! We have discussed them a few times you and I over the years, Same for me when I started working with and around DRs my expectations changed, and they fell off that pedestal. My first RA Dr I actually got from a reference from a wise and caring nurse practitioner. 15 years I had been suffering from Fibro, I know now. And no one diagnosed me, sent me away with a variety of other ailments they thought were all in my mind. Then my hands were so swollen I was crying. RA she said, and it was. He was wonderful, not much of humor, but he knew he didn’t know all and always told me to share with him things I found.
    Two RA Docs since and now the third time is the charm, She is wonderful. My arthropod is great, male, and like one of the family, the new pain doc will be a woman as well, and on the 11 th I will meet my new spine doc , male and my sister says all business.
    But I really have learned, I don’t stay if I don’t relate with them, I don’t just take their meds or suggestions without question, and I find most of them like to discuss the why’s and such with you.
    Hope the gabapentin helps. It does me, the Fibro anyway. I do need something more to help me sleep and will speak with my RA doc about it, I postponed my apt because she couldn’t see me same day as the spine doc. Couldn’t do two trips in two days
    I used to have a very low dose zanex that helped me, but am finding they don’t want to prescribe it here. Maybe better luck with her.
    Chris glad you are feeling better. Like Sue, worried about you banging your head . So much rain here again all day, hard rain and hard wind. Now the sun is out and shining ! July weather !
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie dear, forgive me for not getting back to you yesterday. Quite often now, my eyes just start to blur after a few mins. online. Enlarging has helped but doesn’t help the fatigue and pain in the eyes.
      What a journey you have also had with doctors. I know you will always miss your great rheumy in AZ and am so pleased you have now found a good one. Interesting how trends in medicine are unique to different regions of the country and countries. I know what you mean about two trips in two days. Our bodies need a break. I know you are great about activity and exercising. It can only take you so far and then…down for the count to rise again the next day. Hope you get help for a better sleep pattern. It seems all doctors are now spooked by all the claims of addiction and worry over anything that can be addictive. Irritating, isn’t it.
      Yes, the Gabapentin is working better for me. Funny because it affected me so differently several years ago. Shows how we change over time. Some rain last night, dry now. Not sure I feel like doing any planting today because it’s methotrexate day. Maybe I will use my old basic rule of moving with determination and getting just ONE thing accomplished. One pot of flowers at a time. I’ll get it done that way. Love ya, Sue

      • Sue
        No worries my friend. I understand and know you will speak when you can. My body is in a sort of flare, I think from stress. I have been having one of my prednisone each day to help keep it a mild one. Even the injection yesterday didn’t really make a difference ( the Enbrel) But going swimming today and then work with the horse. Cause it is supposed to rain for two days here. My garden is overcome with weeds and I must see to it as well. See if the plants are big enough that I can differentiate between them and the weeds. haha ! Yesterday I pulled the old carpet out. Just moved things from one side to the other to achieve it. It looks better even with the bare floor. I am not sure if I will try to put the flooring down myself or wait until I have help. FM called this morning. He is concerned over the election, of course. Not sure how he is going to vote. They are allowed to vote using a blanche (white) card if they don’t want either one. Over 28% are expected to do that.
        Hope you continue to improve with your new meds. RIght now, I just need something to improve in my back. The sciatic on the left side is going all the way down into my foot. Pain all the time when I move. But the swim always helps and with the knee. Slowly it is improving.
        CHris, hope your going better as well. I found Absolutely Fabulous on Netflix last night. Loved that show, what a hoot Jennifer Saunders was.
        Well, must be getting on with it. I am burning daylight, to quote John Wayne !!
        Love ya
        Tonie

  6. Hi, When I moved to Houston had to get all new doctors . Now have 6, they range from really like to just ok. I love my PT, She’s the best. I miss my primary in Weatherford, had him for19 years. Very interesting blog. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. Love, Janet

    • Janet, when you moved to southern Texas from the northern part I did think about this because I know how disconcerting it can be. When we moved here almost 19 years ago from CA, same thing for me. I kissed a lot of frogs before I found some princes and princesses. I am pleased you feel comfortable and have no complete stinkers in the bunch. Competency and caring count for so much. You know when I went to my rheumy last week and asked her to look at my ankles she said certainly and I was sitting on the exam table at the time and she told me not to lean over and proceeded to take off my shoe and sock. After the exam she put them back on. When I had my mastectomy three years ago she made a point of coming in to see me at the hospital. There are many rare doctors out there and it often takes a search. It’s my hope you are doing as well as possible. How are your hands? I think of you often and am pleased with your critique of the blog. Love, Sue

  7. Hi
    Very cold and windy here..have got heat on in house
    Went out to have a picnic today in car ..with a view ….but came back DH not too good.thats how it goes with it all…have to try then give in if no good
    Tomorrow an inr test then Monday these crystals in ears to move
    I think thr concussion is getting better each day ..just comes and goes and if I twist my head. It’s better with no noise and on my own ans no reading
    Yes tonie Ab Fab is good..joanna lumley is good too
    You are busy again/still!!
    Chris

    • Chris dear, so relieved to hear from you and to know your symptoms from your fall are subsiding. Concussions take time, as you know. Sorry to hear DH is not doing well. Too bad about the cold. We had one day of warm temps today and tomorrow we descend back into rain. So sick of everything being green that isn’t supposed to be. I actually planted two pots on the porch today with geraniums and creeping jenny. Love how that hangs over the edge of the pots.
      Just for the record I love AB/FAB and think Joanna Lumley can be a wonderful actress in serious roles as well. I loved her in COMING HOME with Peter O’Toole. I’m sure you’re familiar with the tale by Rosamunde Pilcher. I’ve been immersing myself in MIDWIFE this week and have a question for you. What are horlicks? Is it like our hot chocolate or Ovaltine?
      Do stay warm and please don’t be the brave little soldier and rest like a patient. Hope the house has all well and no new surprises. Much love, Sue

      • Sue
        Horlicks is a malted drink more like ovaltine but it’s on it’s own really.its a white malted drink and it was mostly drunk back in the 50s they still sell it in the stores but its mostly hot choc drunk today. Actually I mite look at the ingreds to see if it’s got caffeine at all,I mite buy it again.they used to make horlicks sweets as well once
        I like rosamunde pilcher to read haven’t seen that film tho.
        Yep I’ll take the orders and rest..am doing and improving
        Chris

  8. Tonie, I must say that some of your not feeling well is because you are doing so much. I know, you will tell me if you don’t do it who will? But sometimes sweet friend you have to put your health right out there…first in priorities just to let your new biologic have a fighting chance. You have so much going on and if your body can keep up, that’s great, but if not, please watch it. I do so worry about you.
    I know you have so much to do around your mini-ranch and also know you are concerned for the destiny of your relationship. France is in such an uproar right now.So many of our problems just don’t seem as big as those of a whole nation in distress and danger. Such a beautiful country with such a rich history, it is tragic. Interesting voter neutrality method. I was hoping one of those candidates was a bit better.
    Sounds like Sweet Pea is getting her fair share of your time and energy. Hope all is well with the pups. SO grand to have Judy home and doing well. It’s late and I promise to write more tomorrow. Too much today…I definitely made a bad decision as to my strength today. Seems like we are always testing ourselves. Love you, Sue

  9. Morning all
    Yes, Sue, I agree. I do try to do too much all at one time. Today I rest. I do want to do a little bit in the garden, but not much, doggy spa day. Cloudy and cool today, 50’s only, rain this afternoon. I am leaving the yardwork until Saturday when it warms again and after the rain.
    I can’t make myself understand that I am not able to do all I want when I want. And my body pays the dues. I just love that work so much. Years of being in an office and all I really wanted was to work like this. Outdoors just doing anything. But, I will do what I can as long as I can. I just need to learn to not overdo.
    I am not worried about FM not coming back for good, it is just a question of when. Time is precious .
    Janet, so glad to hear from you. I think of you often, especially when I am with the horses, kindred spirits. I am glad you like your PT, makes a difference in how you do things. My swim is such a relief to my body. Nothing I do feels as good as that. I think my mare may be pregnant, but time will tell.
    Chris. Yes, I love Joanna Lundley. Those two together were quite the pair. I haven’t seen that movie Sue, will have to find it. She was in a lot of shows I saw when she was younger, but I didn’t know who she was.
    Well, more coffee is needed. Take care all. Dentist on Monday. Loose tooth, scary.
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, hope you have a couple of clean pups at your house and you got some rest as well today. I know you love so much of your life as I do mine but these vessels we live in pose such a constant challenge…each and every day. In spite of it all, I know the Lord gives us the deepest desires of our hearts as you pointed out with your current life compared to being in an office all day. Fading away after lovely day but too much sun I’m afraid but got lots of gorgeous stuff to plant…slowly. Stayed dry and sunny then an hour later thunder and lightning. Fog we had in the morn cam back tonight. Nuts. P.S. Sorry about th e tooth.Later, Love ya, Sue

  10. Chris, thank for the explanation of Horlicks. Now I will think of you every time it is mentioned on MIDWIFE> I pray you are feeling better each day. Such an ordeal you’ve had with these two recent falls. Hope DH is feeling better today. Thoughts and prayers for both of you.
    Lovely day today with my DD while the kids were in school. Went to a great nursery and spent too much money but got some wonderful plants. It’s one of the only places around here to sell scented geraniums and they are such fun and so pretty, too. Picked up two or three. Got several other unusual geraniums, herbs, bedding plants and all for pots. I don’t work in the yard at all, only the porches. My DD and her daughter and my son are all farmers at heart. We all get it from my Dad who could put an old stick in the ground and make it grow…almost. I might be stretching it a bit. We do all have green thumbs. Remember the new neighbor who backed into Jim’s precious Chevy Camaro? Met his wife yesterday…nice young woman and she grows plants in all her windows so gave her one of my many African violets. They’re all having babies like mad and I’m running out of pots. Well dear, it is late here. I hope today is a good day as you are now awakening in England. Love, Sue

    • Better again today..still heady but improving.mustnt have looked too good.one friend didn’t recognise me in town and rung up to see how I was next day.then today a shopp assistant asked was I ok.so I feel I should look after myself but I’m improving good
      Did Jim get his car fixed…..and fancy that this blokes wife is nice ….so you are into swapping plants..
      I love scented geraniums had a lot once,I liked the pineapple one
      Good you had some time out with your DD and enjoyed it
      DH was not too bad thismorning then not too good now..that’s how it goes
      Sunny but very windy here…it was the local council elections yesterday then we have the uk one next month.ugh so much of it everywhere.roll on summer..

      • Chris, I don’t like hearing that a friend didn’t recognize you. That points out how badly you are feeling. Kind of interesting how that works. Sometimes I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself on truly bad days. I understand the ups and downs you both must be going through and pray for rapid recovery for you. Less headaches is a plus but still a matter of concern. Please keep getting better as we all worry about you and miss you when you don’t pop in daily.
        I think all the scented geraniums I got are variations of rose scents. I love the little ones with curly leaves and they’ve always bloomed so abundantly. I’ll have to find a spot by the front door so the scent can be shared. Cold winds here also but hoping to have a bit of dry time to plant. Wish my body had the convictions of my spirit and mind. Guess I’ll have to accept two out of three.
        Yes, Jim got his car fixed right after the neighbor ran into it. He couldn’t stand it. Yes, she is very sweet and her DH is probably good, too, just a guy who made a mistake.
        Well, onward and upward on my jagged way of rest and work. Be good to yourself my friend. Love, Sue

  11. Morning all
    Chris, I too was wondering what horlichs was ! Thanks for that explanation. Kinda like the instant coffee people used to drink when I was a kid (not at my house) Sanka. I think it was the first one. Now we have wonderful coffee pots that give us one cup at a time. I use the refillable pod instead of those expensive ones you buy. I am enjoying my Kona coffee right now that my friends gave me from Hawaii. Such a wonderful flavor. Yes, my name is Tonie and I am a coffee addict !!
    Sue, clean doggies and lots of rest yesterday and last night. The new (old) pills are helping me sleep, not staying but at least going. And I do believe they are helping my back as well. I feel much better today. Have to go by the house today , get mail and deposit checks. THen on to swim. I so enjoy that swim. Then piddle around in the garden and with the horses. Next week I have to call the farrier to get Reds hooves trimmed. Sweetie’s can wait a bit. Maybe, see what he thinks. And I have to worm them both. Spring time ! Just gave Ceasar his this morning and need to give Brutus his also. I keep a large syringe handy for that and shoot it in their mouth. Learned that trick years ago with my daughter who hated taking meds. I had to sit on her and shoot it in her mouth ! Ha ! We still laugh about that .
    Sue your plants sound lovely. I planted a plant , the name of which escapes me at the moment ha ! Bush with blue bushy flowers. Always wanted one. And my purple Alliums are blooming, I just love them. I couldn’t remember what I had planted in the fall !! ALl my Iris are in bloom, purple, yellow and purple and yellow. I want to just fill my beds with bulbs so they bloom different times all year. Pack me up some violets and send them on !! I have my porch windows full of herbs and flowers right now. Thyme, sage, rosemary (no parsley ha !) and basil. They are shooting up nicely. I have seeds to plant yet different places of Four O’Clocks, they reseed themselves and make nice bushy flowering plants all summer and into the fall.
    Well long missive again. Hope all is well with everyone else.
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie
      You make me laugh…..DH has filtered coffee but I can’t drink it with the caffeine so I always have tea.but he’s found a really cheap one that is good.he filters it in the cup with a conical strainer thing
      Never mind the parsley you didn’t mention the wine…
      I’ve got those herbs growing too except the basil
      Oh what are four o clocks?
      Chris

    • Tonie, WOW. You do have so much going on. Hope the swim is refreshing and helpful in general but especially for your knees. Guess the rain stopped if you are planning on gardening. Nice part is the earth will be nice and soft for digging. Love the mental pic of all your flowers. Is your new plant a dahlia? They do come in a beautiful shade of blue. Not sure if an African violet would survive being mailing. Wonder how Jackson and Perkins ship their flowers? You have planned ahead so beautifully in your garden, both food, herbs and flowers. That’s the way to do it and cheaper, too. I love iris and yours sound so beautiful and colorful. Oh the colors of nature can only be made by the Lord. How can anyone doubt his existence?
      Horses need fixing, dogs getting their baths, and so much else. I envy you your morning coffee. I only drink a powdered latte on occasion. I, like Chris can’t hand the real stuff any longer. Gut trouble.
      I know your mind is on the elections in France because of the great effect it will have on your life with your FM. These months will surely go by quickly for you. Prayers for both of you because I know how very important this is for him.
      Much facing me today as I’ve been goofing off yesterday with DD then resting up from the goofing off. Doesn’t seem fair that even having fun hurts, you know? I want to plant a few plants if the rain lets up here. At least the porch is dry. I must be careful about lifting plants so plant, don’t water because they get heavier, move them and then water. Got a big jug of Vit B1 for the new plants. We had a clerk who thought it was for large animals and didn’t know where to find it but another one straightened him out. I thought of you yesterday. The nursery DD and I went to had so many beautiful chicks of all colors; even had one that lays blue eggs. How are things in your chicken coop these days? I currently have my Neato running now and George blocked off from getting downstairs. No more poop in the machine…What a mess that was. A couple of my antiques are by windows and getting dry so time to bring out the oils for them and rub them in to nourish the wood.
      Must chat with others, give my morning meds a chance to work then get to work, rest, work…Love, Sue

  12. Hello, all. I’m enjoying a quiet morning here in preparation for this evening’s concert. It is raining, so pup is not expecting a walk. I had my first full 8 hours of sleep last night in, well, a long time and it feels good! I’m not sure what today will bring, but I think I do need to make a store run for a few items. Wish someone had done that last night so I didn’t have to go out in the rain… I didn’t feel like it. SB was going to, but got called back to the hotel to deal with a shower that wouldn’t turn off. Sounds like fun.
    Yes, Sue, I knew when I bought the blueberry bushes that we wouldn’t have fruit for a while, so all is good. They are so tiny, it would be a stretch to even imagine any fruit on them. Hopefully, they will survive.
    Tonie, I did see that picture! Too funny. So a cute little foal may be a possibility… keep us in the loop. Hearing about your swimming reminds me how much I miss it. Knowing we will likely be in this house for as long as we can, maybe I’ll look into the idea of a swim spa again. Hm… we’ll see. A few people have gone solar in our development. DH got an estimate, we’ll see. It may be a consideration. Fun ideas to think about. Neither one cheap, however. Have a good weekend, everyone!

    • Lyn, good news that you had a good, restorative night of sleep. Sure does make a difference in the day following. Hope all goes well for the concert tonight. Wow, SB is learning so much and becoming a real handyman. Great experience for life. Seems like he grew up so fast.
      Solar panels sound great. Do most folks recover the cost soon? I remember looking into swim spas years ago and think it an intriguing idea. The only downside I have heard is that they are hard on the eyes due to the jets but with goggles, looks like it would work.
      As far as blueberries, DD and I saw, and I think she bought, a miniature blueberry bush at the nursery that was literally loaded with blossoms. It will be great in a pot. They sure are expensive to buy, the bushes, not the berries. Here we are in the NW and should have fresh eventually but for now all the blueberries and many others are from Mexico. We’re now getting strawberries from CA.
      Hope you are resting. Much love, Sue

    • Lyn
      Glad to hear of your sleep. I well understand. I would love a few nights of undisturbed sleep.
      FM wants to go eg tonight !solar as well. He has all the plans already drawn up, even a solar generator. It is exciting, and things to look forward to. Break a l

  13. Lyn
    I posted a message to you and it went somewhere
    So here we are again
    Eight hrs sleep …..I hope it wasn’t just a one off for you .what’s the secret?
    Lots of people have solar panels here on the rooves and they seem to make a profit from them as well
    Hoped the rain stopped for you to go out
    Chris

    • Well, Chris, I didn’t quite make the full 8 hours last night. I had difficulty falling asleep – ended up taking a muscle relaxant to ease me into it. But, I did get about 7 hours, so I’ll take that over what I had been getting. A work in progress, I suppose. The secret? I started hormone replacement therapy for that and another issue with my muscles. We’ll see how it plays out.

  14. Sue, our information says we’d recover the cost of solar panels in 8 years or so. So, food for thought. Not sure if we will pursue or not. We’ve not really had time to talk about it. Too much coming and going around here lately!

    Tonie, SB and I were talking about French politics just yesterday. Sounds like you have plenty going on as usual. Be sure to be good to yourself along the way. It rained here pretty much all day yesterday, much to the pup’s chagrin. She missed her walk. DH said he would take her today as I should rest up for tonight. Feeling like I’ve been through the wringer this morning. Would your new bush be a hydrangea? I love them! Did you see the pic I posted last night of the beautiful bouquet I was gifted last evening? It has green hydrangea and roses. What a surprise! So lovely.

    • Lyn, I know solar panels are wise and important, but such a boring way to spend hard earned money. I hope you’re having a celebration after your concert and are feeling well. We’ll have to see if we can give you ideas to help you find a good night of sleep. It makes such a tremendous difference. Let us know what you’ve tried that hasn’t worked.
      I have a back yard border on my patio full of hydrangeas. Two of the four are so large we have to prune them back each year so they walk across the patio and into the house…well, almost. I had no idea they would outgrow that space when I planted them 18 years ago. One interesting thing about hydrangeas is the way you can change their color tones by using different chemicals in the soil. Mine are lavender, purple, hot pink and white. I will have to look up the photo of your bouquet. SOunds gorgeous.
      Busy weekend and tried to work on potting, cleaning first, then planting. Back and legs held out for five pots thus far. Weather got chilly last night after a lovely bright day. The new flowers have been such a pleasure. It’s the first time in several years I have planted so many. Not really up to it for a couple of them. I often just sit and enjoy the view of the Columbia River from out front porch. So much cleaning up out there from a harsh winter…Jim has his hands full…ha, ha. Love, Sue

  15. Lyn
    Yes hydrangea ! I hate when my mind goes blank. It has rained here also, and is supposed to for the next week, and be cold. I have the heat on. Ugh ! It is supposed to be warm now. And with all the wet, I can’t get caught up, inky further behind. I really need to work in my garden, weeds out of control.
    It is an ugly day today, so I guess it is work in the house, get things cleaned up.
    Take care of you. I bought some blueberry seeds, which will really take a long time, but loads cheaper. We will see. I got strawberry plants, but they are in the fridge until the weather is good enough to make the bed for them and plant them. Supposed to be down in the 30’s one day next week. Hope you get to feeling better.
    Tonie

    • Tonie dear, greatly enjoyed our long chat yesterday. I sure hope the weather allows both of us to put into practice some of that spring fever we have. I’m getting there but have driven in by biting, chilled winds. Yesterday I wrestled with a large pot that had a large, stubborn ivy imbedded in it that was tough enough to make it through the winter so I should have known it would be hard to remove. Very sore today from that battle of woman versus plant. I did win but surely it will come back again just like bamboo…ivy is treacherous. Seems like I was busy all day doing nothing. You know? Do take care and know I’ll be watching the election in France tomorrow. Love, Sue

  16. Hi
    Am awake so thought I’d pop in here
    Busy weekend trying to clean out house.havent done it for a while with feeling giddy so doing a few things
    Next week will be busy
    DH has these head turning exercises Monday at hosp then in afternoon the manager from a garden nursery is coming to repot the big eucalyptus tree as the large pot is fraying. so he is giving us a new one.
    Tuesday I have physio….wednesday a double glazing man us coming about the misty unit in window.
    Can’t remember the other days but something going on each day
    Well try and get back to sleep
    Oh yes the outside table that went slightly corroded on the legs
    Well they let me keep it from last summer and were to give me a new one this year .when they had them in however they are not making them now.i like this one..so they gave me all the money back and let me keep the table…..that’s good as this one us a nice heavy mosaic one and the legs not too bad really
    Hope all have a good weekend

    Chris

    • Chris, now my head is twirling. Oh my but you must feel better for the coming week although it sounds you got through got a bit this past one. Please keep improving and oh, why does life have to be so complicated? Maybe it’s just a mental acuity test to keep us from getting Alzheimer’s. Seriously though, what a coming week. Hope the weather at least is good for you. You sound happy with the table. That’s good and by and large it sounds as though the folks you are dealing with have been fair and decent.
      I thought of you this afternoon while watching an old film, science fiction thing called Logan’s Run. Jenny Agutter from Midwife was the star in it. SHe was so pretty back in the 70’s and is still handsome woman.
      Our weather is more like fall than spring but thank the Lord the plants don’t know it and they are blooming anyway. Hang in there and hope the nursery man replants the tree for you into the new pot. Love, Sue

    • Chris
      Over here in the hardware stores you can pick up sleeves that will fit over those legs that are corroding. Maybe see if you can get them there. very easy, just get the right side.
      You are a busy lady. Take care okay ?

      • Never heard of those sleeves..sounds interesting I don’t think we have then here tho
        Have to google them to see

  17. Sue
    all the pulling, tugging and bending does get to you don’t it ? I slept very little last night and just didn’t have the energy to go to church this am. When I did doze off the dogs woke me up to go out, but wouldn’t because it was raining ! Prima donnas !
    So resting again today. Cool out with winds, but at least the sun is shining and it isn’t raining. I may make me some oatmeal cookies. Or not …haha !!
    Anyway, rest up for tomorrow is another day !!
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, I feel silly complaining because I do very little with just my porch pots. It is always a surprise how many back muscles as well as shoulder joints that can cry out. I sit on my little garden bench that is chair height and move it where I need to be. It’s so life affirming to deal with those beautiful little flowers and herbs. They are all so “eager” to get out of those little pots and get into a big one. It’s amazing how much they grow when they’re “released.” This morning when I went downstairs to feed the George, a tiny thyme plant I repotted yesterday had grown so much in just one day. You gotta love that B1 for a boost.
      I am sorry you didn’t feel well this AM. How much is doing too much and how much can you blame on any meds not doing the trick? Constant question for each of us. Looks like a beautiful blue day her but there is still that chill in the wind. Warm bright sun. Oh to have the body to do all we want to do. Hang in today while you wait for the results of the election in France. Much love, Sue

      • Fancy the thyme plant growing that quick..it’s gonna be a big one
        Do you find time just goes in the garden .i go out and one thing leads to another ,what between stopping resting and something else to do..
        It’s bright and sunny here in the day but goes cold as soon as the sun goes in
        Head manouvers for DH in morning ..hope he’ll be ok after
        Chris

  18. Hello all
    Sue, it was because I slept only a few hours. I feel somewhat better today, just wish the air would warm up. It is like March weather here. Warm in the sun, as Chris says……
    Well, I got a cry for help as I was dozing off around midnight. Thought at first it was on the movie. It was a hen squawk ! Grabbed my gun and flashlight. About a ten pound possum was crouched behind their laying nest, feathers all over, but thankfully no causualities. I shot him Yeah ! Now I have to go and bury him, ugh. Hate those critters. I guess they have a purpose, but not for me. Then I had to chase the terrified hens back inside, and get the baby away from mama(that was fun) and them both inside. I believe he squeezed in by the gathe, have to make sure it is tight.
    Now drinking a cup of coffee before mowing the lawn. Or trying to, my lip and nose are numb from the dentist. Sue, and Chris, I so agree. The plants just shoot overnight ! And yes, working in the garden is peaceful, mindless labor that I so love to do.
    Now to get to it !
    Tonie

    • Tonie, or should I call you Annie Oakley? Good one. Those poor chickens. Life is adventurous for those poor things. Hope all went well at the dentist office. I have a visit coming up soon, too. Jim’s been in Colorado all week visiting a friend and comes home today. I get more done when he isn’t home because I only have George to sit down and chat with. I’ve really missed him and think he is homesick and ready to come home today.
      I still have a flat of plants to put out but it’s that struggling with the weeds of winter in the ones I have yet to plant! Much to do now if my body will just tag along with my spirit and intent. I wish I could see your little farm. I’m sure it is just brimming with life of all forms. Hopefully your weather will take a warm turn and stay that way so the dear little shoots can grow. Enjoy today and hope you get a bit of rest in there, too. Love ya, Sue

  19. Chris, I trust all went well today for DH. Hope so. Had you both in my thoughts. Yes, indeedy..time does whiz by when I am planting. I can’t get too carried away because every part of me, back shoulders, knees start crying out and just then I hope the neighbors aren’t watching as I hobble around looking like I will fall at any time. Hope they don’t think I drink. Wish I could on some days. ENjoy your lovely garden. Love, Sue

  20. Well DH went to hosp.and they wouldn’t do the movements. As they don’t think he has it this time
    It’s called benine positioning vertigo.they did the proof exercise and his eyes didn’t twitch,so he just feels blimmin awful now from that
    So he’s being referred to the other surgeon now….but I think it’s his two bp drugs as its only since on those. His Menieres he’s used to
    So he’s gonna stop one and monitor everything , shame as it worked once when he had it done.but they can’t do the movement until they know which ear is affected as it could go the other way…disappointed really
    The man came and did pot.see how that pot goes.we have to buy again the pebbles we put on top…
    DH had to hammer the stake in more and tie it better…I thought it would have been a better job by the man ,but it’s out if the way now and done
    Physio tomorrow.
    Actually started reading a book after all this time..large print
    Cold today and no sun
    Just watered some hebes we put in the other day..funny name rhubarb and custard..it’s a lovely colour
    Me too Sue bent double walking about after being In garden
    Chris

    • Chris, I know your DH must be disappointed. Shouldn’t they have known that before they put him through all this? I hate to see him messing around with his current B/P meds because they appeared to have been working well lately.
      Sorry the pot man didn’t plant the tree quite as well he should have. Appears to be a lack of pride today in one’s work. Glad you did get a new pot. Oh yes, the old garden hunch. I’ll be doing well to water them today. Glad it’s a bit cooler. Jim coming home from CO today, so glad. Waiting now for GD after school. George will let me know when he hears the school bus pull up. Love, Sue

      • I know it’s all annoying…he’ll take his bp twice a day whilst he’s doing this.and Go back on them if it rises
        He was doing ok untill the dentist chair
        And we told her too
        It’ll be Good to get DH back..
        Good ol George
        Chris

    • Chris, hope you’re better today from the old gardening bend and lift. Good you’re reading again. I wouldn’t be doing very much reading without my Kindle and being able to enlarge the print. As it is I have enlarged all the print on my laptop. The eyes still get fatigue but at least I can see the letters. Well, I need to get a bit more done on the porch. Watering and about a dozen little flowering plants to be released from those tiny pots into a nice big one. Have a lovely little crawling geranium with a small pink flower to go into something that hangs on the wall. Now I have to decide where. Jim got home safely and fatigued but had a good time. He got out of Denver airport before a huge hail storm. Good to have him home. Have a good sleep now and a great day. Hope DH is well. Love, Sue

  21. Hello, everyone, sorry I have been away from here but have been busy “concerting” and recovering. Unfortunately, I only have a few minutes, so I’ll be speedy, but probably brief. Too much on schedule today!
    Chris, so sorry DH is having issues just when he was finding meds that were helpful. Maybe if they can get to the bottom of it they can find a way to make it all work. Let’s pray. Yay! You were able to read a bit! That’s progress. I know you have a full week ahead also, so be good to yourself along the way.
    Tonie, you go, Annie girl! Yes, I know ‘possums serve a purpose, but I confess they have never been my favorite, either. Thankfully, we have some dry days now after lots of rain, like you, and like you, it is still cold. We had freeze warnings overnight the last 2 nights. DH moved my blueberry bush pots close to the house last evening. Asked SB to do it the night before, but if he doesn’t do something right away… Well, you get the picture. Had to tell him about 5 times to make his bed before it actually happened this last time. He’s a good boy, but frustrating sometimes.
    Sue, I am sure both you and Jim will be glad when he returns. I hear you when it comes to weeding and planting. I can only do so much at a time anymore. My body just doesn’t deal with it well. Maybe I can ask my Feldenkrais practitioner for some tips. I just started with it, so am still learning so much. I had been very helpful so far and will probably be something I continue. As far as sleep, the biggest thing I’m doing that may help (in addition to Feldenkrais and relaxation) is probably the HRT I just started. In researching the weird muscular thing I’ve had going on, I discovered it can actually be a real thing that happens to some women in perimenopause and menopause due to the hormone imbalance. So… quick call to the Gyno office. We had already discussed HRT in respect to voice issues. Since that particular issue does affect voice, and I’ve had an uptick in sleep issues, she was quick to respond with low dose estrogen and progesterone. Pray this is the missing link to both issues, and maybe those pesky hot flashes as well! My mom had to go on HRT in low dose from her mid 40’s to age 60, so no surprise I might benefit also. We are not high risk, so I am comfortable with giving it a go and monitoring.
    Time has come for me to get moving. I must get the pup out for her walk early today so I can get to my Feldenkrais class on time. Full afternoon of whatever I can get done around here, then lessons to teach. Long day.
    Best to all!

    • Lyn, Hey busy lady. Good to hear from you. I definitely agree the hormone therapy should help any and all hot flashes. I had a hysterectomy when I was 36 and my surgeon put me on it right away. At that time it was just the estrogen without the progesterone. I was on a low dose treatment for the next 20 years. They tried progesterone a couple of times but it caused me to feel terrible so always quit it. It’s interesting that my breast cancer is estrogen receptive so the meds I’m taking for it, the huge shots in each hip once a month are working through that. It’s all so complicated you have to be an endocrinologist to understand it but that’s it in a nutshell. Hope you do well and feel better all over. It always helped my fatigue and mood.
      I hope the ongoing PT method helps you. Basically, any and all moving helps. It’s interesting how one can hurt from disease and hurt from therapy and movement. One is healthy and one is not. I guess it’s considered good pain. The good thing about all PT programs is the planning and knowledge that go into them but life also offers a lot of good exercise, such as stairs, gardening, walking etc.

      An old family joke around here was our battle to get our son to take out the trash and to mow the lawn. After he got married, he mowed his own yard faithfully every weekend and even edged it! He kept making cracks at us because we bought a trash compactor AFTER he left.
      I’m pleased you made it through the concerts and I’m sure, did well. What a trip for the soul. Love ya, Sue

      • Sue, interestingly, hot flashes were the least of my symptom concerns. Just hoping it can help the muscle tension, stiffness and pain, and sleep issues. Hot flash relief would be a bonus!

      • Lyn, regarding your comment today, I have no idea. My illness began when I was 42 and that was about seven years after I went on HRT. We can hope. As far as the sleeping issue…is it pain that keeps you awake, muscles or joints or just wakefulness in general? Sue

  22. Hello all
    Chris, poor dh, it seems he gets something going right and then it goes awry ! Your tree sounds like it will last now. Why didn’t they take the pebbles off the top before repotting ? Like Sue says. Lack of pride. Just the fastest way to get it done. Especially if it is a do over.
    Lyn, sounds like you are in the right track. Wish I could find it. I have had three fairly sleepless nights in a row. And I always wake up at 7 ish. This morning, I did sleep two more hours, but I feel really crappy with no good sleep.
    It is cold and rainy here. I did get the yard mowed yesterday and some work in the garden. It is supposed to rain today thru Sunday Ugh ! I had planned to go swim today, but just can’t.
    Sue I have strawberry plant to put out, but that will be next week when it is dry enough. Thursday is to the Spine Dr. Dentist went well, tooth fixed, cleaning apt made. Next Tuesday Fran will be home and I have to pick them up in Greensboro, NC. Hope Jim made it home safely and you are both happy. Hope he enjoyed his trip. Now a few days of recapping huh ?
    I really hate laying about doing nothing, but…..haha ! Nothing else to do. Rest today, tomorrow is another day.
    Hope everyone is well
    Tonie

    • Tonie, good to know it went well at the dentist and all is well with the teeth or at least better. Good to see what the spine doctor says next week. Is it a far drive? So Fran and DH coming home. Will seem strange without Ms Alice, I’m certain. How is Fran doing about all of that situation? Aren’t you going to be doing some house cleaning for them? I hope they appreciate you…just having someone to secure the place, water plants, mail, etc. Any new jobs this week?
      Of course you and FM have been on my mind and heart since the election. It is my sincerest prayer all will go well for him. So sad to see a nation in such chaos as France is right now.
      It sounds like you did too much yesterday but I know much of it you simply have no choice. More rain? Us, too. We have one more day of sun tomorrow and then it’s rain through the weekend. I dug and planted today for about an hour and that was it.
      Jim home and exhausted. Sounds like went continuously..touring, etc. He’s resting as much as life will allow. I had a problem with my pain pills today. Different pills than usual..big dry round ones and I always use capsules and they’re giving me a hard time over not wanting them. Finally agreed to take them back. I’m sure they aren’t supposed to and legally will destroy them but now saying they have to check with our insurance. I hate this kind of crap. Same capsule I’ve been on for years. Paid $210 for our share for a three month supply. AARRGH! Frustration upon frustration sometimes. Later, hope you sleep better tonight. Love, Sue

  23. Yes tonie you are right such a small thing to take off the pebbles first….I would have done it before they came if I knew that was gonna happen
    let’s hope that rain doesn’t come and you can get out and feel better with it

    Lyn
    Years ago I was on hrt and I found it helped my joints a lot…
    Im completely with you on asking SB for things to be done it’s the same the world over I think! It’s just how it is…..And your new classes sound different and interesting..hope your day finished ok

    Sue
    Glad you are both together again
    Did you have a celebration meal??
    DH is feeling better tonight off that one bp med.he says if his bp goes up he will take the other half of his other one he takes as well
    My physio wants me to see my dr. As she is concerned my knee keeps giving way.then it goes stiff for a few hrs can’t move it then it’s completely ok very odd
    So tomorrow it’s coffee with nextdoor and the deck step Is being brought back and refitted
    Then dr on Thursday…then Friday is free….huh…hopefully! Then that’s this week done
    I’m feeling a bit more content in the house not quite happy ,but content
    Chris

  24. Hey all
    Had a sad thing happen. The chicken’s little baby is dead. I went to put them up and she was sitting out in the pasture, I pushed her and the baby was under her dead. It’s bowels were locked, it looked like. I had a good cry, felt so bad for her. Hopefully she will try again.
    But on the other side, I got great news today. FM is going to finish the term out and then move here for good. Very happy right now.
    Sue, yes, I am going to clean Fran’s house for her. DId it before they came back. And I am picking up another next week. So I can do one a week. Fran is very good to me, always has been. I felt lost when I cleaned Ms Alice’s room. I think I am going to help her clean out everything when she gets back. I tried to do some in places where she was over the house. Sad thing to do. Nothing else has come about with the jobs, been too cold and rainy here. Today was beautiful and I got a lot done. Before the rain comes back again
    tomorrow. I go to Roanoke tomorrow for the spine Dr. It is about 65 or 70 miles one way. Not a bad drive, just lots of trucks on I-81
    I actually slept through the night last night. Felt lots better today. I need to knock myself out to stay asleep and I hate that. Otherwise I am awake off and on all night.
    Glad Jim made it back okay. I figured he would be wanting to rest . Sorry about your pills. Always something. So in hopes the insurance stuff changes soon.
    Chris, glad you are liking your home more. You will soon be fine. The more you get done and accomplished.
    DO take care
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Since we have communicated privately you know how excited I am for you and your dear FM. Finally, you’ll be able to have your life together. Maybe that’s why you are sleeping better. I am sorry for you sadness with the chicken and know life on the farm can be rough. I hope your plants are all popping up and it gets dry enough for you to enjoy planting new ones. Hope you get your strawberries planted out in the sun very soon. My porch is full of freshly potted pots. Love all the colors and possibilities I see. Been down the last two days with IBS. DIscouraging but better this evening. Later…much love, Sue

  25. It’s so good FM is coming over this year.wont be long now .good news
    Poor little chicken..sad to think of her pining
    Hope all went well tonie with the dr.and long trip
    I forgot to say Sue we do have rhododendrons here.in a lot of places they have become part of the forest and grown wild and have to be ripped up.but they do look magnificent in bloom. I had some in pots in one house,I do like them
    Went to drs she is referring me back to rheumy and physio for the knee.after that we went for a drive to Cambridge .it was a lovely warm day70 f and we sat by the river and just did some people watching ..walked a little around the colleges and market . So am sore tonight and I’m sure I will be tomorrow
    Ok that’s it will try to sleep now
    Chris

    • Chris, sounds like a wonderful day. I remember an oldish British film called The Student Prince, a comedy with Robson Green was filmed at Cambridge. SO beautiful with the river running through it. So you do have rhodies. They are not wild here but down the coast you can see them growing wildly on the beaches. Love the colors. Ours are huge and so beautifully colored. Hope you find some answers for your knees. I empathize so much with bad ones myself. I have an appt. the end of this month to have one checked and hopefully injected BUT the orthopod office would only make an appt for one knee and not both. Guess they make more money this way. Doctors, can’t hate them, need them too much and there are some wonderful ones out there. Love ya, Sue

      • I had the pleasure of meeting Robson Green once. I didn’t really know his work until after. My ex was in a movie with him and I got to stay on set , take pics and talk to people. It was so funny to hear them speak their lines in a southwestern accent, then cut and they are Brits again !! It was a documentary about the Gunfight at the OK Corral. It was on BBC and later the History Channel. Got some great pics that day.

  26. Sue, just general wakefulness, usually. Probably due to menopause, so should help.

    Tonie, hurray! FM has an end in sight, then time for a new beginning. So sorry to hear about the chick. 😦 Hope your doc visit went well.

    Chris, 70F, oh, how we’d like to see that here. It’s been 50’s-low 60’s. However, next week it is supposed to warm up again. Hope the Rheumy and Physio can help your knee.

    • Lyn, it will be interesting to see how you do on the HRT. As far as sleep goes I am a great advocate for melatonin and one very low dose Zanax. Always works for me as does the right amount of calcium, either with food source or a tab chewed up well. I personally prefer a glass of milk. It’s especially important with someone with my osteoporosis and treatment for it and now for you on HRT. Just keep an eye on all your supplements.
      I am sorry to hear your weather is still cold as is hard. Just rained all day and POURED a few mins ago so loudly I had to turn up the TV. Hope you have family plans for a get together on Mother’s Day and more of that wonderful food your family always seems to share. I got George a game that Sadie might enjoy on Amazon. It’s all wood and you hide their treats and they have to work for them by finding them. It’s washable and very safe…no batteries required. It’s called the TRIXIE mini mover. I use the Charlie Bear treats for George because he doesn’t get much exercise and they only have 3 or 4 calories per crunchy treat. Do you know those? I get those at Trader Joe’s or Amazon. Poor george our porky yorkie. Love, Sue

      • I will have to look into those, Sue, game and treats. Yes, will keep an eye on meds and supplements. Thankfully, my last bone scan (late 40s) showed great bones. My mom has great bones, too. My grandmother had osteoporosis, I think, though. The sun just burst through! Think I’ll bathe Sadie and myself and DH, Sadie and I will take a walk later. Having my Mom up for dinner – DH is cooking! He’s making chicken parmesan. SB is at his GF’s college graduation and DD has to work. Will see SB later, probably this evening. Not sure when I will see DD again. Maybe this week some time. She has been staying at her BF’s house.

  27. Sue
    Glad you are improving with the IBS..it takes its time to sort out.and so wearing
    My dr via suggestion from rheumatoid spec at hospital has given me vit d with calcium….I drink a pint of semi skimmed a day..so would vit’ d be ok on its own do you think…just don’t like to take more calcium than needed.
    Gonna get up and start the day
    Chris

    • Chris, It depends how much Ca is in with the Vit. D. You need approx. 1000-1200 mg of Ca per day and as far as the quality of it…always best if it’s food source and not a pill or chewable. For instance, my typical day is a bottle of Ensure in the AM with my daily handful of pills, and it contains 300 mg. of calcium. I eat a yogurt during the day and that’s usual a small amount of calcium of 150-200 mg, then with dinner a glass of milk. That varies. 8 oz. , 1 c. of milk contains 300 mg of Ca. There are other sources we eat like cheese, leafy dark vegies, etc. I don’t believe you can get too much Ca from food source. I know you can get too much from pills and chewables of it. As far as Vit. D3 that usually depends on how much sun you get. We don’t get much here and need to take 2000 units per day via tiny capsule. More is usually better than less with Vit. D3. Hope that helps. Love, Sue

  28. Hey all
    Busy busy week for me. And rain rain rain. Thursday night, storms and hard rain, all day yesterday and night. But today dawns nice and sunny with the birds singing. And I am worn out !! My trip to the Dr was, well, interesting. He looked over my MRI, asked a lot of questions, took xrays, and then we talked. He says, if I am at the end of my rope with this pain, that we need surgery. Non invasive, but putting spacers in where my discs have gone bad or missing and is causing my spine to shift. It is scary, but keeping on this pain and the inability to do what I want…..well. I am thinking about it. I will have a CT scan and another visit and we will talk some more. He looked at my it d levels and told me to make sure I was taking 5000 mg a day. And I am. Bone density scan had to be sent to him as well. He said my bones were too small for the hardware they normally use. I have my cup of ice cream instead of milk, don’t like milk.
    FM is appalled ! He said he worried all night and all day about them going from injections to surgery. Nice to be worried about. I wont do anything until after he is here anyway. Too much to do this summer to be benched for the duration.
    My brother and his wife came for a visit on THursday and we have been all gathered at my sisters kitchen for the last two days. Kids and grandkids and great grandkids, for them. Nice to get together like that. And hard for me to see my siblings all aging so much in between visits. (Like I am not !). I did go swim yesterday, although I felt like caca ! Had to go to supper , socialize, then home to bed ! Easy day today with some house cleaning (ugh) and rest.
    Sue , glad you are feeling better. I so feel for ya’all with that IBS, must be awful. Chris, I am watching a Netflix series called “The Crown” It is about the royal family when Q Elizabeth first comes into office. Interesting, though I wonder how much is true and what is exaggerated . Right now they are trying to get rid of Winston Churchill because of his age. I cannot imagine having to live like that. No life of your own. Not a fairy tale life if you ask me.
    Do take care all and have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mothers Day to all of you !!
    Love
    Tonie

    • Tonie, lots of news, some of which we chatted about online. I am sorry Bernard is worried but I know you will look into and take your time deciding. I would like to see you go to a university medical center for something this important. Let me explain why…because they almost always have the latest equipment, latest items to use in the spine or anywhere else for that matter, and the latest news on a surgery of this type. It NEVER hurts to get a second opinion. I know how frustrated you are. Believe me if my back pain could be solved with a surgery I would think about it but follow the above advice. Prayers for direction for you that you will know what to do when you need to do it. Glad you liked the spine doc.
      Good to visit so much with family of all generations. I only have one of my four sisters left and she is in CA and in poor health as well. I miss the old days of kids everywhere and tons of food and conversation. Good also to have Fran and the doc husband coming home. You will be busy and be pacing yourself, I know.

      Still feeling ragged today and now having bladder discomfort with the IBS. So often they go together. I’m drinking fluids, taking cranberry caps, Vit. C and watching what I eat. Seems better after keeping me awake half the night. Get so tired of all this crap. It seems it is always something. Think I got dehydrated with the IBS multiple trips to the john.
      So, you met Robson Greene. I have always liked his films. Jim hated his movie RECKLESS. I still love it and watch it from time to time. I think Jim thought it too long and silly. Have you seen that one? Well, need to watch my time on here due to eyes and headaches from eye strain. Do take care and I hope a change of weather will help you feel a bit better. All that traveling didn’t help and I know you have the airport trip coming up next week. Love you, do take care. Sue

  29. Sue, responded to you above. 🙂

    Tonie, whew. Well, you are wise to give the surgery thought and talk it over with FM. I know the two of you, and your doc, will find what is right for you. You are wise to not even consider surgery until FM can be here.

    Wishing all Moms and those who have fulfilled that role in any way a most wonderful Mother’s Day!

  30. Tonie
    What an interesting life you lead/have lead
    Robson green too!
    I don’t watch films but I see I will have too..I fancy the student prince…well yes ..but you know what I mean
    The Durrells is on tonite followed by grantchester…
    We were going to visit there on way back from Cambridge but too tired..so we will make it another trip.went there about two years ago.that was to visit ..The orchard…it’s a famous tea garden all apple blossom and deck chairs where all the early 1900s poets used to meet..Virginia wolf ..rudyard Kipling ..they used to come there and stay where Jeffrey archer now lives next-door…byron used to boat down from Cambridge ..it’s by the river
    Been a lovely day here .its not Mother’s Day here ours was in March .but all those have a good day
    My DD went to stay with a mate in Brighton she has a flat by the beach and is on her way back on the train
    GS has gone to sort out his house he had with his gf
    DH went for a walk.he is still off one of his no meds. All seems oKISH ..but walking seems to,keep it down
    Thanks for the info Sue on calcium I know what I’m doing now
    Well,off to do a shopping list for tomorrow..ugh
    Chris

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