Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another soujourn to the VA

Well, my long day on the road yesterday finally ended at 11:05 last night. I got up before 7 yesterday (you know, in the middle of the night), showered, drank cold coffee, dropped my ballot off at city hall, and drove to my cousin’s house by 8. We were both mostly awake by then, but not exactly thrilled with the idea of spending hours at the VA hospital. We did our usual breakfast snag at the halfway point (McDonalds), and then as we got to the metro area I needed to find a branch of my bank. There are few in the Portland area, so I figured I would do best to google it on my phone. I pulled off the highway in Tigard, and as we drove a couple blocks to find a parking lot we pulled directly into the parking lot of . . . . A bead store!!! Whooppeee!! Had no idea it was there. Is that a meant to be or what!!! Of course Nick said, Rita you better get in there and shop!!! We have nearly an hour. I said, Okay, (well, duh!!) and did. As we came through the front door the lady said, “We are having a 30% off sale on all the seed beads and pretty much everything except things that are already on sale.” Well of course I had to stock up on some seeds and buy some copper headpins and a carved bone goddess and some green 18 gauge wire, all in all I saved neary $10.

We made it to the VA just in time for his first appt. I dropped him off and had to backtrack about 20 miles round trip to go to my bank, but it killed time and I had beads!!! I got back parked in the usual area (so I could actually find the car again) and tracked him down. The lab had been backed up over an hour and his doctor had kind of pushed him back behind someone else so we sat in the waiting room and chatted with a couple from Longview, WA who were shocked we had to drive so far to see the doctors. They pushed Nick to apply for travel reimbursement and he got it. He got $40 for gas, and was totally stoked about finally getting it approved. He had tried in the past and been denied. Now he will be paid every visit so he is very relieved. His doc didn’t know about one of his other appts, so if he had seen her right then we would have effectively been over an hour behind getting to the next appts. Instead, she said go to the other appts. and when you are done come back and see me. She said she would be there until at least 5 pm. We went to imaging first for blood pressure checks of his legs and arms. Oh, I also went in search of a snack while he was having blood pressures tested in his toes (visualize little tiny blood pressure cuffs). They were having a $6 sale in the sky bridge between the hospitals and I bought Tess a new tote bag to use as a diaper bag and I was buying myself one, too. The guy said that one is 2 for $6 so I got 1 for Athena, too. She will be delighted, it is covered with butterflies. Mine is purple (duh!!) with sparkly bits and Tess’s is pink with tone on tone squares.

He is diabetic and has many issues. We went to pick up a quick sandwich before the next appt., and there was a jewelry artist couple set up in the dining area. Nice work, more expensive than I could afford to pay, but some great stone combinations to tuck away for future reference. We toted our burgers with us to the next waiting room and ate while we waited. We then saw wound care (he has ulcers on his legs), and I saw the worst ulcer (it is really bad) and they said it was healing nicely. Couldn’t prove it by me, but they had seen it before. Then off to the eye clinic to have his retinopathy checked. On the way up in the elevator Nick said wait until you see the view from this floor!!! The wall facing the Willamette River is all glass, and the panoramic view of the east side of Portland and the river is just unbelievable!!! How amazing and breathtaking. Nice breather before the appt. We saw a different doctor this time and Nick liked him much better. He actually explained the differences in his eyes, what he was seeing and why the treatment last time hurt more than before. Nice guy. Then back to his renal doc, who had put us behind. By then it was 4:50. Good job on timing. She had just seen her last patient and spent about ½ hour with us.

Man were we beat. Of course traffic was horrible at that time and we decided to find somewhere to shop or eat or just get off the highway. Nick wanted to look at new cell phones so we found a store, then went in search of dinner. We did our usual drive-by on Wal-Mart in McMinnville and hit his home around 10:45 pm. More info than you ever wanted, but you can see the day was full. I came in the house at 11:05, sat down at the computer to check out some things and fell right asleep. Got up at 12:45 and went to bed. Still tired this morning. May wake up with coffee and a nap. Cat woke me at about 7:30. Bad kitty!!!

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