Friday, November 8, 2013

DON"T Pull That Thread!!!

How many times have we heard that?  Or said it?  We live in fear of pulling that loose thread and having all hell break loose.  Yet, we've all done it, right?  There's something so tempting about pulling it.  Whether it results in a lost button or a lost hem, there is danger in that first pull...

I've learned a sad truth.  After age 50 or so, that loose thread starts with your primary care physician.  Just walking into her office with a seemingly "minor" problem initiates the launch sequence.  With one small tug, you are sent into the dizzying world of referrals, specialists, tests, tests and more tests.  And this phenomenon occurs in waves.  The first is around age 50.  The next wave happens in the sixties.  We're experiencing our second wave and it is not FUNNY anymore!

With each pull of the thread the threat gets worse. It can start with something as innocent as a yearly exam.  You mention a problem with indigestion as an aside.  That leads to blood tests, the dreaded occult blood stool test which in turn lands you in the gastroenterologist's office.  "Probably nothing, but..." leads to a colonoscopy preceded by a three day prep (you do have a history of constipation AND you are on pain medication AND your other conditions preclude you to need a longer prep...). With a little 'snip-snip' a 2mm polyp is removed and the "screening" becomes a "procedure" and it goes from $0 co-pay to $300 co-pay just like that!  Oh, and by the way, since they also checked from the mouth down, they found some stomach ulcers.  New medication changes, a few dietary considerations and see ya in 3 months for another quick look-see. And, by the way, since we found something in your colon, we'll repeat the colonoscopy in 5 years, not 10.  Super! Sorry.  Oh doc, I also have a funny bump on my nose.  Trot to the dermatologist and by golly--you have cancer.  Come back in 2 months and we'll try to remove it.  TWO MONTHS?? you say.  OK, then, we'll see you in 2 weeks.  But what about this marble sized mess on the top of my head?  Oh, that's nothing. Don't worry about it.  We'll cut it off but it will grow back.  Just don't mess with it.

These incidentals are just condiments to go along with the main course.   Between the two of us we have Parkinson's Disease, severe back issues (too numerous and technical to go into here--trying to keep it light, and all that), Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Hip fracture, knee fracture and back fusion with enough Titanium to build a space shuttle, Migraines, Chronic Pain, Mobility Impairment from nerve damage, arthritis and way too much stress.

Who pulled that first thread?  If we had never gone to the doctor in the first place we never would have been diagnosed with any of this stuff.  Oh, to be young and naive again!

As if things weren't bad enough with the health analogy, the thread philosophy applies to home repair as well.  Last time the boys were both home Dave asked them to take out some shrubs from the front of the the house a few weeks ago.(In this photo Matt is either directing the operation or mocking me as I scream, "NOOOOOOOOO")  They all thought it looked so much better and would be really great when they re-landscaped it, built a retaining wall, put some benches and a BBQ grill with a card table and folding chairs and lawn gnomes all around. How about 50 or so little lighted doo dads all over?  It all sounds so magical.  Again I scream, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"  They laughed their heads off.

Within a week Dave had contracted to have 6--which grew to 8--trees removed from our property (see previous blog).  Now that the trees are gone, there is a whole bunch of clean up that needs to be done that was never done because of all the trees being in the way covering things up.  AND, guess what? The fence that the trees were holding up because they had grown around it is coming down and will have to be replaced.  Our neighbor would like to help with the cost but can't right now so--ouch--the thread just got pulled a little more.  When that is done there will have to be some repainting of part of the fence and then we may as well paint the other part that was replaced by Matt a year ago.  And, while we have the paint out, there are a few areas of trim waaaaayyy up close to the roof that we neglected when we painted the house 2 years ago that should be done.  As you may recall, that whole house painting project came to a screeching halt when I did the half-gainer off the roof.

The really great thing about all of this is that I'm sitting just steps away from the Pacific Ocean as I write this.  Nothing can hurt me when I'm here.  I'm not even stressed out writing this.  I'm not.  I'm not.  I'm not.  I'm not.  I'm not.  I'm not.

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