Saturday, October 30, 2021

The only Halloween photo I have...

Halloween 1967

 I was eight, just out of casts and a wheelchair and free of leg braces for a bit. This is the only time we carved a pumpkin and my mother made this costume from old curtains. We lived near the equator and I was in pools of sweat just going down my street...

Still Tired But Better Everyday...

 Wednesday was trying on all fronts. My ride was a dear friend's husband rather than my friend because she was working during the appointment time. He arrived early and though the car windows were left open during our less than five minute ride and drop-off, he was also unmasked. He has been fully vaccinated and received both a booster and flu vaccine so I said nothing, preferring to keep conversation to a minimum. Upon arrival, I was dropped off outside, he went to park and then came into the store masked to be sure I had his phone number. I wore two masks and a face shield in the car and into the store.

Small and  mobbed, this Publix was renovated several years ago but never intended originally as a vaccination site. No one was making any effort to allow a six foot distance anywhere. The pharmacy had a small waiting area along the front and the few chairs were jammed together and full. I did my best to be apart from folks, but was surrounded until I was called.

While waiting, I watched several masked people. One was an older woman who made it her business to tell me I was in her way, pulling down her mask to make sure I could see her lips moving. Though I rolled  away, when she complained to the masked man behind the counter, he said I had a right to wait there and could she please pull her mask up and simply go around. She did but made sure he and I knew she was in a snit. Then there was a middle-aged bald guy who thought his mask was best worn around his chin. Do chins get COVID? I mean I've heard of COVID toes and fingers...

My time behind the portable screen was quick. The chirpy women giving the injections came to call me without her mask up and pulled it up when I asked. She spent most of her time telling me to relax my arms and asking which vaccine I wanted in which arm. I am not certain she asperated either needle and there was no attempt to keep me there for any amount of time after my booster to make sure I did not have an adverse reaction. Since the booster was different from my original COVID vaccine in March, I was fortunate not to have one.

What I did have and still do as I did with the J and J vaccine, is intermittent chills, extreme tiredness, pain at the site of injection and slight swelling in my armpit on the booster side. The flu arm was sore initially but is no longer.

The two COVID vaccination experiences are strikingly different and I honestly would prefer never to set foot or wheel in that Publix again.

It is in the sixties here today and I may attempt to clean my seldom-used screened porch...


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Jabs Done and So Am I...

 Both jabs done and I am going to bed...

Thanks to those who sent well wishes. More when I am up to it.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Oh For Fuck's Sake Part II

  For those of you who think booking  a booster and getting a ride is a snap. and why the hell don't  I just get on with it, I've spent from 10 AM to 2:45 PM in an attempt to do just that---to no avail. Publix is so jammed with free Pfizer that I cannot get past the list of those in my neighborhood to make an appointment. CVS and Walgreens are slightly less full but their requests for information are more involved and I get so far and then I'm timed out and must start over...So far I have made four attempts and for someone whose motor skills mean that I type a bit more slowly than the average person, it has been frustrating, and I am not new to being online. Unfortunately, this is the only way to make an appointment. I wonder what a more elderly or infirm individual does in this situation. And yes, as none of these sites provide J and J as a booster, I will opt for Moderna unless it is gone by the time I can get a jab.

Update: I was given a slot tomorrow late afternoon for both Flu and COVID booster. My ride will confirm this evening.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Declining vaccine efficacy

The Run-Around...

 Quite a few of you thought the chair situation an ordeal. Let me assure you that it normal and that the person I spoke with does know her job and because she normally deals with insurance paperwork and requesting prescriptions, it can take unnecessary amounts of time to schedule and get things done. When I got this chair in 2009, I saw the seating specialist in February and got the made to order chair in July. Repairs are usually done within days. The person I spoke with has in the interim sent me an Allen key kit free of charge which may help me tighten various items on this chair such as the break handles. Over time, these can become loose.

It has rained here today and last evening and has been cloudy since. Though the sun may yet shine, I expect more rain and despite the water, the temperature remains at a steamy 80 degrees. Lukas, who normally searches out the largest sun spot available has instead curled himself into a ball on our bed. A nap sounds great to me.

My attempts to schedule a booster are stalled. After calling the number for the homebound program from which I received my original injection on 31 March, I was told that the State is not doing boosters in my County at this point and given the main number to  Public Health which is only a recording advising that vaccines are available at local pharmacies. The website has no information on boosters or locations and when I visit pharmacy websites, I need to specify Moderna or Pfizer as J and J doesn't appear to be available despite having been approved for boosters. 

Apart from the fact that I am basically homebound due to mobility issues as well as transport concerns, at this point, I am scratching my head in bewilderment. It appears my original vaccine now offers only minimal protection as I am a bit past the six month mark since it was given, and I must mask up and go into a large store in which more and more people are maskless which increases my risk as an already vulnerable individual in order to take a vaccine to further protect myself.  My immediate response to this is oh, for fuck's sake! And I mean every impolite syllable of that response.

Bearing in mind that I've not been beyond the parking lot outside my door since March of 2020, I find the whole idea daunting as hell. I am also reading a letter from my insurer informing me that my doctor no longer accepts payment from them. She is with a university medical clinic and I was not aware that she as an individual could refuse any Medicare provider since that clinic takes just about everything...The same response above applies here.

Happy Monday.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Power Restored...

 With both electricity and internet out, it has been a quiet morning here. Currently a balmy 72 degrees, it promises to warm up which is unfortunate. Natives to the north are enjoying sixties and sunshine while the rest of us continue to sweat. Happily, I had a hot breakfast about 7 AM and was washing up when the outage happened and had not anything in the washer or on the hob.

 The household laundry was all done yesterday so I had the small luxury of clean sheets and coverlet. Groceries came speedily last evening but I guess I will have to change the instructions and explicitly tell the delivery person to place the bags on the concrete to the side of the ramp. It is apparently insufficient to tell them to put the bags beside rather than on the ramp. Last night all were placed in a neat line at the bottom of the ramp rather than at the side. This meant that I had to open the door part way and back up into the hall with each bag so as to avoid hitting the groceries and possibly tearing the paper. All ended well.

The phone call to the vendor for a service appointment was less than satisfactory. Apparently they need to order parts and the representative is supposed to give me a write up, date unspecified and no appointment as yet with a technician. It has been three years since it was serviced. I asked about a new chair and this set off a whole barrage of questions and the whole "You need a prescription and a meeting with a seating specialist" BS that I have neither the time nor any desire to deal with. Especially since it would involve public transport which is unreliable at best and going into a hospital. Since my insurance did not cover this chair then or now, and we have nasty breakthrough infections from COVID still killing people, I will either wait or find another way to get what I need in the future. The systems in place to meet these needs are ridiculously cumbersome, particularly if there is no change of diagnoses or change of need and no letter of medical necessity is needed because it isn't covered and there is already one on file from my purchase in 2009.

Lukas is doing his best but truly doesn't understand my glee at his deposits in the litter box. His vet is unworried as long as he follows a regular pattern in going and continues to eat and drink and take his meds. 

On the lighter side of things, I've discovered an author who wrote a trilogy of historical fiction based on the life of a ten times great grandmother of mine and an eight times great grandmother of hers. I am midway through the first book and thus far, completely captivated.

What has your interest today?

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Should I have gotten out of bed today ?

 Yes indeed. Both screws in my troublesome front caster decided to fall out today, leaving me at an odd angle and going nowhere since the small wheel was on the floor. Fortunately, I was in bathroom which is tiny and able to scoot onto the toilet lid where I could then collect the screws and caster from the floor, tilt the chair up toward my lap and attempt to put everything back together. For the moment all is as well as it can be. It is Sunday so of course my original vendor for this chair is closed.

FBK offered me the opportunity for what turned out to be a rather useless chat with a nameless individual who suggested I call the office tomorrow. Really? When I pointed out that the company website contains various "How To" vids for an assortment of problems with vans but nothing for wheelchairs, the response of, "That is a good idea, I will pass that on," struck me as being a bit late in the game. This company started selling chairs in the eighties and we've had internet and social media for long enough that someone at that mobility company might have thought for more than two seconds about this. Perhaps, as with many things, this idea has been suggested and rejected from another source. Either way.  I am not getting my hopes up.

Strangely, because I almost never eat it, I wanted oatmeal today. That seems a funny thing to eat with temperatures still in the mid-eighties. However, I happily followed the microwave instructions, awaiting a comforting bowl topped with banana and a few berries. The resulting explosion took more time to clean up than the oatmeal did to eat and if I deign to make it ever again it will be in a pot on the stove. Slow cooking has its advantages. 

Thanks to those of you who shared links for recipes of vegetarian Pho. I look forward to further investigation. No tofu will be involved.

Happy Sunday...

Friday, October 15, 2021

Pho Anyone??

I am looking for a good vegetarian version of Pho, Vietnamese soup in which the broth is traditionally meat-based. I'm also making my split pea soup and possibly some matzo ball if I get to it. My throat is scratchy and I have been short on sleep because Lukas has been waking me up between one and two in the morning. This means I don't typically get back to sleep until sunrise, if at all. While he is doing reasonably well, I am tired and very sorry that my posts have been lacking.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Soup's On, FBK is Blowing Up and I'm Hoping for Poop...

  That title about sums up my day. I was once again up before the birds, got some groceries delivered before 6 AM, did some chores then had a nice cup of tea before doing some meal preparation. On the menu this week: Skillet veggie fried rice, cauliflower gnocchi with  vegetables, salads and various veggie sandwiches along with a pot of split pea soup.

I was able to catch portions of the 60 Minutes interview with  Frances Haugen. I cannot say that I was terribly surprised by her disclosures. By now most people who pay any attention should realize that company manipulates its users to make money and keeping users on its platform is the name of the game.

Do I like it?? No. But my life does not revolve around it either. I've never purchased anything from an ad there, don't frequent hate groups, rarely post anything of a political nature and mostly communicate with friends and acquaintances who live far away from my locale. Would I be upset to close my account?? At this point, no. In fact, it is something I've considered doing.

 It wasn't until I read his book about social media that I fully appreciated Cal Newport's research and his assertion that as ubiquitous as it has become, we do not need social media and if we do choose to use it, we should consider how and when to use it, keep our use to a minimum and craft our use to our own purposes for having it or keeping it. 

In the months since the pandemic, my usage changed as I've made greater effort to communicate with folks privately rather than through posts to a feed. That is likely to continue. I do not post writing there and can't remember the last time I took a new photo as a post. Most people, particularly those who have grown up with various forms of social media, assume it is a must-have. Given a choice of platforms, I still prefer blogging and having to sit and craft an email over selecting an emoji from a pre-determined menu produced by algorithms. Once a writer, always a writer or perhaps I am showing my age.

In other news, Lukas is evidencing a back up. Whether from medication or lack of activity, I know not. If things do not right themselves with the use of a softener which he gets already, he may require a vet visit for an enema...

I will leave you with that cheery thought. Have a good evening.