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Life in the Health Scare Lane

Let’s just get the bad news out of the way upfront…anal cyst, 9.2 A1C, and 180/I don’t remember the bottom number blood pressure.

My doctor pretty much just flipped out on me at least about the A1C and blood pressure (they took my blood pressure three times just to make sure it wasn’t ‘white-coat hypertension’).

The upshot was my Metformin was increased from one tablet per day to two tablets per day. My Lisinopril was increased from 2.5 mg per day to 10 mg per day.

She agreed with me that perhaps I shouldn’t be eating two pints of Open Nature ice cream in a sitting two or three times a week (big surprise there NOT since that’s a minimum of 2000 calories right there not including anything else I was eating during the day).

I gave up the ice cream that day (July 12, 2017); I’ve seen too many friends and family members lose limbs to unchecked diabetes and that is NOT the way I want to go!

I’m supposed to be checking my blood sugar every day too but as usual I am very resistant on that. I have checked it twice since July 12, 2017.

I was frustrated about the high blood pressure since it had been normal (well, slightly high at 123/77) on June 22, 2017 and in stroke danger range less than three weeks later. Yes, I had been taking my low dose of Lisinopril faithfully for that 3 weeks. It had been slightly high (143/80) on June 8 2017 but that was because I hadn’t been taking ANY of my medications for ANY of my conditions since appromixately June 3, 2017.

I bought a home blood pressure monitor and so far my blood pressure has gone down but still isn’t as low as it should be.

As for that anal cyst, that whole mess has been a comedy of errors.

I’ve been waiting to see a surgeon since June 22, 2017–there have been three referrals sent by my doctors’ office to two different organizations.

The first one (Bend Surgical Associates) said they never received the first referral, and when I called them to set up the appointment myself (as recommmended by my doctors’ office) they 1) wouldn’t let me do so and 2) never called back about the status of the referral.

I asked my doctors’ office to resend the referral and they did so on July 6. Another two weeks went by and I still never heard a word from Bend Surgical Associates (almost tempted to shorten that word to ASS since they have been so unhelpful!!)

At that point, I requested that the referral be sent to another organization and my doctors office sent it to St. Charles Surgical Specialists.

St Charles Surgical Specialist called me the same day that they received the referral which would have been wonderful except for one little thing–they do not have any offices in Bend where I live.

Their closest office is in Redmond (16 miles away one way) and their other offices are in Madras (42 miles away one way) and Prineville (32 miles away one way).

My transportation is shanks mare (walking), Bend’s city bus system (yes they offer a bus to Redmond at $6.00 each way), my bicycle (oh yeah that’s going to happen–not in THIS lifetime or the NEXT!), or a cab that would probably cost $40.00 each way.

So we are back to the drawing board, waiting for yet another referral to another surgical team that 1) will respond to the referral and 2) is located in Bend.

Another Yearly Update (This Seems to be a Pattern) LOL

Again I didn’t realize that I hadn’t updated this blog in over a year. Back when I started blogging I was updating the blog daily, sometimes more than once per day. Then again, I didn’t have a job and I also had a lot of blog material due to my various and sundry roommates (and my mother, my life in general, adventures with cops, etc).

A lot of the changes are referenced in the post directly below this one, but I did want to detail a few others mostly because the aforementioned post would have been 10 pages long (no joke) if I had included everything that has happened in the last year or so.

In July 2016 I posted that I had an impossible roommate and that was all I was choosing to say about that at the time (mostly because part of her impossible behavior was to stalk my social media accounts, Twitter, Facebook page, etc and make comments such as “Why do you call yourself a domestic goddess? You don’t do ANYTHING around the house”–said the woman who didn’t clean her bedroom even once in the 13 months she lived here–I only wish I was joking.)

I’m not going to spend time here rehashing everything she did or said in those 13 months, but I will say this much about her: she was an alcoholic with THREE convictions for drunk driving (breathalyzer in the car, lost her drivers’ license, the last DUI also included 2 charges of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, on probation, supposed to be completing community service, etc) CAN I PICK ROOMMATES OR WHAT? LOL.

She was also pushy, bossy, snoopy, rude, demanding, asked inappropriate and highly personal questions, lied more often than most people breathe, totally untrustworthy, and only understood boundaries as they applied to HER.

I finally grew a spine and evicted her May 1, 2017. I had another roommate lined up but she couldn’t move in until June 1, 2017, and it turned out that she was allergic to my cats so that fell through. At that point I decided NO MORE ROOMMATES (if I ever have a significant other, I would consider a roommate situation but that would be based on LOVE not my financial need.

I am currently one very happy lady nearly 90% of the time because I have my house to myself and because I have a job that I love!!

Yearly Update, Read All About It LOL

Again, I really had no clue that it had been over a year since I posted ANYTHING on this blog. Back when I first started blogging I was posting daily (sometimes more than once a day). In my defense, back then I had no job as well as a very ‘interesting’ life (crazy roommates, problems with my mother, so on and so forth–if you are really interested, read all about most of it here on this very blog).

In December 2015 I went to work for Safeway as a checker, and in December 2016 I moved into the file maintenance department at the same store. Reasons for the move included learning new things and I was also promised 40 hours a week by my supervisor (sadly I found out later that she didn’t have the authority to promise me anything and that at most I should have gotten 20-25 hours per week)

Approximately a month after my move into file maintenance my boss (the one who promised me 40 hours a week as an incentive to get me to move into the department) had a stroke. Things hadn’t gone smoothly before that mostly because she wasn’t willing to train me on hardly anything, presumably because she thought I would then take her job. A secondary problem was that the lady had very poor communication skills to the point of fighting with vendors as well as other employees.

The person who took over my boss’s position had also not been trained on all aspects of her job so it was like the blind leading the confused LOL!!

After several months of feeling unhappy and incompetent (solely because I hadn’t been trained) I started looking for another job. On Monday June 12 2017 I was offered a job at Market of Choice (a small regional chain with 12 stores located in Oregon). I accepted the job, attended orientation on June 21, 2017, and went to work as a Kitchen Clerk on July 2 2017.

I am extremely happy with my decision to leave Safeway for several reasons.

1) I am getting 40 hours per week and have been getting that many hours (plus overtime nearly every day) since I started.

2) I am making $12.00 per hour (I was making $11.75 per hour at Safeway but was NOT getting 40 hours per week)

3) There is little to no micromanagement at Market of Choice. If you know what you are doing they leave you alone and let you do it.

4) My job is very physically demanding and there is no waiting around for anything. In an average day at Market of Choice, I walk over 10,000 steps. I sweep, bend, walk, squat, stoop, etc for the entire shift. I go home exhausted every night and that’s a good feeling.

5) I couldn’t find the soda aisle at Market of Choice so I gave up soda–not one drop of soda, diet or otherwise, has passed these lips since July 2, 2017. I drink water, green tea, iced black tea. I get my caffeine that way and don’t have all the sugar going into my body (I was NOT drinking diet soda!!). I feel much better and my energy level is unbelievably high

6) The physical activity has helped with the arthritis pain in my knees and feet to the point that I can now walk up and down stairs with little to no pain. In fact, I now choose to take the stairs nine times out of ten.

7) Because I earn nearly $500.00 a week before taxes, I can afford to pay my own space rent (that means no more roommates, I haven’t had a roommate since May 1, 2017–and I am happy as a clam about that. They have all been insane in one way or another, and their craziness made me crazy and unhappy).

8) I like nearly ALL of my coworkers *this was true at Safeway too* and they seem to like me, which makes stressful days less stressful.

Yearly Update

I didn’t realize that it had been nearly a YEAR since my last post.

Time freaking flies when you have a REAL job. Yes, boys and gerbils, Suellen has been working as a checker at Safeway for slightly over 6 months now.

I just got a HUGE raise too, from $9.35 per hour (just 10 cents over Oregon’s minimum wage) to $10.75 per hour.

I’ve also decided to go with the medical and prescription coverage provided by Safeway, since Oregon Health Plan –in its infinite wisdom — decided to terminate my coverage with no notice to me effective May 31, 2016.

Safeway insurance will cost me $7.00 per week, and while there may be a deductible, it is still better than trying to get through to Oregon Health Plan on the phone (don’t even think about their website because it is a JOKE).

I’ve had several roommates come and go since the last post as well. In September of 2015, my longest term roommate moved to California to help take care of her father.

I didn’t find another roommate until January of 2016, and he was a DISASTER. Worse than ‘Andrew’ “The Queen B’ and the Commoner put together. He or his friends stole almost $300.00 cash from me, and if I can’t trust his friends (who were all up in my house nearly every day) I certainly can’t trust him. Also, he or his friends let my cat Mick out…..was gone for 10 days and I was convinced he had passed away.

Two months after the theft, a friend of a friend moved in. She lasted 6 days. She let my cat Mick out at least 2 times in 6 days, stole toilet paper from my bathroom while I was at work, stole towels from the laundry room (she used them to wipe her ass with after the rest of MY toilet paper mysteriously HA HA disappeared), stole a plate and used it as an ashtray, hid the towels and plate in the garbage, broke an antique plate, and hid that in the garbage as well. She was smoking in my house, totally disregarding the “No Smoking, Oxygen in Use” sign posted prominently on the front door.

Her final act as she left (not having the courage to tell me face to face) was to leave a cigarette butt and a turd floating in the toilet. TACKY!

In March of 2016 (March 31st to be picky about it) I found my current roommate. Living with her is extremely challenging, and that is all I am going to say about that situation.

More Craigs List Bushwa

First volley in the latest bullpucky round re Craigs List:

saw your advert few minutes ago. you should reach me at jphillip856@gmail.com.. .I have a concert tonight and am setting up after work today, 6:00 to 10:30. I would come to your venue to view
it,if you’d like me to come check it out… Or, I will be home after that from 8:40-11:50 tonight. Would either of these times work for you? Please let me know; if you won’t be around

My reply:

We can set up a time for you to look at the quilt. Please be aware that I am requiring cash for all purchases, no checks accepted.

Philip Angel
7:33 PM (15 hours ago)

to me
Thanks for your response, I’m ok with the asking price and the
description stated so I would like to send payment asap to you via
UPS Next Day Air from my bank.
Please let me know if a certified check is ok.. After my check clears
my Mover will come and pick it up at your location… I would have
come and take a look of
it but I can’t… My business trip come earlier than I plan(on a
business trip ). If you can get back to me with your info below…
I’ll mail the check out asap. Need your FULL NAME to write on the
check and FULL ADDRESS with Apt #/suite # ,Your Cell Number and your
FINAL asking price…. to mail the check out asap. Thanks

Sent from my HTC One on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network

Craigs List Scam (2015 Version!)

Another scammer, different email address (again, I received this exact same BS on 4 different items).

computer wasn’t working this morning ,can we set up a time for me to look at it. Just give me directions then i can locate the place . I’m going to work out,but if I hear before I leave, I could be there this evening or tomorrow morning. If not, would tomorrow night work. I teach piano so am flexible mornings and evenings. Will wait to hear. If gone, please leave message bettiecoach9zv@yahoo.com . Thanks

Considering the fact that I have nothing else to do other than play games with Craigs List scammers, I again decided to play along!

We can set up a time for you to look at the stereo and the other items you are interested in. Be aware, I am requiring cash for all purchases, no checks.

Tara Carr
1:12 PM (0 minutes ago)

to me
Hello! let’s do like this, actually now I’m not in town for now, I
came to visit my mother so I wont be able to meet with you but am ok
with the condition as seen on the advert, I’ll proceed in issuing a
Check out to you and when you received the check, I will make
arrangement for pick-up. So get back to me with below details asap.

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Postal Code:
Phone Number:
Last Asking Price:

And as soon as this is provided, the payment will be overnight to you
and I will let you know when its mailed out. I need you to be honest
with the sale as I am a God fearing person.

Sincerely,

“The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not
protect you.”

Ummm, again email addresses not the same and the email from “tara” has a male avatar. Last time I checked Tara was a female name.

Craigs List Scams (Revisited)

First email (and I received this exact email on FOUR different items)

i will be leaving out of the state to see my father who is sick and i need you to replied my email before thursday afternoon, but I didn’t hear back from you, i will check the next seller. What is your phone number to call / text you to arrange on how and when to meet with you for viwing of it before payment, my email to contact me to is leighayrpariseauyrk5354@yahoo.com sorry late responding been working doubles at work.

Sent from my iPhone 6 plus

I figured it was a steaming large load of what the bull left behind but decided to play along for sh-ts and giggles.

We can set up a time for you to look at the book. Be aware, I am requiring cash for all purchases, no checks. And the price on this one is non-negotiable since it is a very rare item.

Immediate reply (note different email for reply, and ignoring totally the “Be aware, I am requiring cash for all purchases, no checks.”

Yvonne Norman
12:59 PM (2 minutes ago)

to me
Thanks for the response, actually now I’m not in town for now, I have
to rush down and visit my father who was rushed to the hospital, and i
wont be able to meet with you but i am okay with the price as seen on
the advert, I’ll proceed in issuing out a Certified Bank Check across
to you IMMEDIATELY which you can Easily cash without any problem at
your Bank and when you received the check, I will make arrangement for
pick-up. So get back to me with below details Now.

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Postal Code:
Cell Phone Number:
Agreed price to sell :
once this is provided the payment will be overnight to you and i will
let you know when its mailed out. I need you to be honest with the
sale as I am a God fearing person and i need you to be real. Thanks
God Bless You

“The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not
protect you.

Life in the Atorvastatin Lane (More Medical Fun, NOT!)

Okay so Safeway makes a mistake and gives me 90 atorvastatin rather than 30 as usual. I think YIPPEE!! mostly because this means I don’t have to refill the prescription for another 3 months. Being a good little sheep of a person (most of the time) I take the medicationevery single night as I am supposed to.

So all is well, at least for me. The complication comes because the last fill (for 90 pills, again, instead of just 30) was the last of that prescription–so once they ran out and I called Safeway to refill again–about a week ago–Safeway had to call my clinic for a authorization.

My clinic authorized the refill but sent me this message through the patient portal:

“We received a refill request for your Lipitor. We refilled this, but based on the dates, it appears this may not be a medication you are taking consistently. This is one that does need to be taken regularly to help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, heart attack, and other complications.

We would like to check your lipids. This will be a fasting lab, so you will need to go in the morning before you eat anything. I will fax these orders to St Charles for you to go at your convenience.

If you have any other questions, let me know.

I left you a message for call back to discuss this. If you prefer to communicate through mychart, that’s fine with me.

My reply:

“I take it every single night. The last time it was refilled somehow Safeway gave me NINETY pills instead of just THIRTY. I have been taking it every night before I go to bed.

I don’t feel that I should be punished for Safeway’s mistake.”

Their reply:

That makes sense. You are in no way being punished for this–I am curious as to what I said that has made you feel like that. That was not my intent AT ALL.

We would still like to check your fasting lipids, just to see where you are at.

Thanks for letting us know,

My (hopefully final) reply:

I don’t like going to St Charles for much of anything mostly because of the need to take a minimum of 2 buses there and at least 1 bus back (if I want to go anywhere else, it’s an additional bus).

The sentence above is mostly what I was referring to when I mentioned being ‘punished.’

I cannot do this until either late Monday or sometime on Tuesday, I hope that is okay. Monday I have my water aerobics in the morning and then I see Steve Baker at Bridges in the afternoon (I could go to St Charles after seeing Steve).

This is hilarious as well as retarded!!

Yes, boys and gerbils, my clinic is now on my case for not taking my atorvastatin every day as I am supposed to which I am doing and have been doing. Without even discussing the situation with me, they are sending me to the hospital so my lipids can be tested.

Fine and dandy! Can you tell I am not thrilled? I have done NOTHING wrong, in fact I have taken my atorvastatin more regularly than I’ve taken any other medication that I take (and I take a lot!) but now I am getting ‘punished’ for not taking it simply because Safeway made a mistake when filling the prescription!

Life in the Flooding Lane

My roommate and I have a leak in her bathroom and bedroom (Mr Rooter tells me that the valves next to the toilet are leaking, and they wanted $661.60 to fix the leak with no guarantees that it would be fully fixed).

Mr Rooter had supposedly fixed a leak under the house 2 days before the leak in the bathroom started, for which I was charged $471.00. I borrowed $250.00 from a friend for the half down that Mr Rooter required, and still owe them $221.00.

Looking for a good plumber (preferably not one that is associated with a big plumbing chain) who would work with us (ie taking payments), as I am unemployed and my roommate is on SSI.

I am unemployed and have no money coming in (my roommate pays the space rent although it is my house).

As of May 4, we turned off the water to the entire house so that the bathroom and bedroom could be dried out.

We will be using buckets to flush the toilets, and have some drinking water in the refrigerator (also my roommate is planning on buying bottled water to drink and cook with).

Also my next door neighbor ran a hose from his house to ours so we can have water for doing dishes and flushing the toilets

However, we can’t live without showers, baths, doing laundry, etc for very long.

We may be able to get a non-plumber who has plumbing skills but we still need to have money to pay him or at least partially pay him.

I am trying to scrounge up $100.00 for a ‘down payment’ but the going is slow.

Right now the “Fix Suellen’s Plumbing Fund” sits at $40.00, because I sold a vintage camera to a local antique store yesterday

Trazodone Tribulations

This story starts about 3 weeks ago, when I called the Safeway Pharmacy at 3rd and Franklin to try to refill my Trazodone prescription. Much to my surprise their automated system said that the prescription was no longer valid; I tried 5 separate times, thinking that I’d entered the prescription number incorrectly. I got the same message each time.

My records showed that the prescription was valid through January 28, 2015 so I was more than a little confused about why I couldn’t fill it again.

I called my doctors’ office the next morning to see what was going on, and the medical receptionist said that they would send a new prescription to the pharmacy. I was told it would take about 3 days for the prescription to be filled. I was also told that if this happened in the future I should talk to the pharmacy first before calling my doctors’ office.

During the 3 days, I discovered that I had grabbed an old Trazodone bottle rather than the most recent one. I’d also figured out that I’d called the prescription in about a week before it was eligible for a refill. I had at least a weeks’ worth of the pills left. So I figured I would be able to refill the prescription in a week or 10 days.

Apparently the prescription had never been sent to Safeway by my doctor either, since I picked up several other prescriptions during the month that didn’t include the Trazodone. But since I had several pills left it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Once the 16th of January rolled around, I tried refilling the prescription and got the same message from Safeway. I took the bottle to the pharmacy itself and found out that their records showed that the prescription strength was wrong. Once we got that straightened out, I got the refill that same day.

I also thought nothing more about the communication with my doctors’ office since I didn’t need them to call in the prescription. To be honest, that isn’t quite true. I was pretty ticked off that a medical receptionist had apparently made the decision to not help me get my prescription, and I really didn’t think that she was qualified to make that decision. It turned out that she probably had nothing to do with this mess.

There are several Mosaic Medical clinics through out Central Oregon, and up until April 2014 I was being seen at the Greenwood clinic. After about mid-April I went to Bridges Health which is also a part of Mosaic Medical. In fact, one of the doctors at the Greenwood clinic was the person who referred me to Bridges Health.

Then yesterday January 29th 2015 I receive a phone call from my doctors’ office at Bridges Health wondering why I had contacted them about the Trazodone since “it wasn’t prescribed by us.”

I about fell off my chair because it was prescribed by a doctor at Mosaic Medical, which is basically the same thing as Bridges Health. In fact, the brochures and signage for Bridges Health have Mosaic Medical all over them.

I did point out that the prescribing doctor was located at the Greenwood clinic, and that it had probably been Mark Press who prescribed it. Robin (the nurse from Bridges Health who called me) basically ignored that and went right into ‘how long have you been taking this’ and ‘what was it prescribed for.’

Hey, Nurse Robin, YOU are the one with access to my health records for the last 4 plus years. YOU should be able to answer your own questions by simply looking at those records.

I’ve been a client at Bridges Health since April 2014, and was a client at Mosaic Medical’s Greenwood clinic for 3 years and 8 months. I transferred to Bridges directly from the Greenwood clinic. Additionally, Bridges has all my records from Bend Memorial Clinic, Central Oregon Radiology Associates, and St Charles Medical Center (our local hospital), so I do think that Robin could have found the answers to the questions about the Trazodone by simply accessing my (exhaustively complete) records.

I was also more than a little irritated that the call came nearly three weeks after I’d originally contacted them. If this had been a really important medicine such as my Glipizide (for diabetes) or my Eliquis (powerful blood thinner), a three week (well, to be picky about it, an 18 day wait including weekends and holidays) wait for my medication and/or a call back could have been seriously injurious to my health, which would have been rather ironic since they are in the job of trying to keep me healthy!

Even though the Trazodone was prescribed simply to help me sleep, I don’t think that a nearly three week wait for a callback about any medication is appropriate.

I also don’t think it’s appropriate to jump to the conclusion that ‘we didn’t prescribe this for you’ without checking my medical records. Really, would I have called them about the problem if they hadn’t prescribed the medication?

Additionally, I do not have another clinic or doctor that I regularly see unless they have referred me to said clinic/ doctor. So, who would have prescribed the Trazodone for me? The man in the moon, maybe???

I also think if someone is calling me about a medication that they DID actually prescribe that they should KNOW what it was prescribed for.

Robin–the nurse who called–pretended to be concerned about how long I had been off the medication; I say pretended because if she ware really concerned about it she would have called back 1 or 2 days after I originally called them, not almost three weeks later. As it turned out I was only without the Trazodone for a couple of days, not long enough to feel any withdrawal symptoms (not that Robin would have cared, because again if she gave a rip I wouldn’t have gotten the phone call EIGHTEEN DAYS after I contacted Bridges!).