Archive for February, 2007

A Wasted Morning

February 21, 2007

After spending a little over an hour trying to find a phone number for the VA Clinic in Panama City I did make an appointment for an “Orientation Session” at Panama City.

I actually found the phone number by calling the American Legion Post in Panama City.  The VA web site has no listing of phone numbers of branches.

Once I had the number I was put on hold for fifteen minutes on Monday afternoon and finally gave up to try it again on Tuesday morning. It only took ten minutes this time.

The orientation was scheduled for nine AM the next morning and Aileen and I drove over leaving at seven thirty in the morning. I had spent a fair amount of time on the computer Tuesday getting a map of the area of town where the clinic is located in the Navy Base. Getting to the base was not all that difficult and once inside we stopped at a visitor center to find out just where the clinic was located. After leaving Aileen at the door and then driving about a quarter of a mile to find a parking space I arrived at the clinic just five minutes ahead of time. Following an hour and a half of drivel we came away with absolutely nothing that we did not already know. I have a meeting with a doctor scheduled for March 1. Then I might be able to get the medications that have been prescribed. What a total farce they have made of a simple procedure. They will almost surely furnish me the medications that my own doctors have prescribed. Why not just give us a discount and forget all the hoop jumping that is now required. When the federal government gets involved things get out of control in a hurry.


A Bump in The Road

February 19, 2007

It has been over a week or two since I have devoted any time to this small part of my daily life.  For the last week it was because I was confined to the hospital in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

On Saturday, Feb 10 while on my daily walk which is the first activity of most every day I had some mild chest pains which were shortly followed by shortness of breath and a very tired feeling.  Fortunately, I was very near my first stop where there is a very nice bench in a small park.  I rested for awhile and the pain left but I still felt very tired.  These were symtoms I had experienced twice before in years past and I felt I could not ignore them.  I did decide to finish the first half of my walk at my home and after discussing the situation with Aileen we proceeded to a close medical emergency center.  After their exam they pronounced me due for a hospital visit and transported me there via ambulance.  We had in mind going to Sacred Heart hospital some ten miles east but the ambulance decided we were going west about the same distance to Fort Walton Medical Center.   Aileen was delayed in leaving and drove east only to find that I had gone west.  This started out about ten AM and by two PM Aileen had not arrived at Fort Walton.  I was a lot more concerned about her than I was about me.  Just before calling the sheriffs dept she walked in.

After various tests and catherizations they put in a new stent.  Due to some lack of communications by the staff I was not advised to not eat breakfast one morning which added another day to the stay.  All told I was treated very well and left one week after entry in fairly fit condition.

Now my problems are dealing with the Veterans Administration to get new medications.  They are very adament that I must physically appear at their clinic to get any change in medications.  I had previously regestered with the VA in Pensacola and had been advised that I could receive treatment in Panama City which is much closer.  Trying to find a phone number for them to make an appointment was quite challanging.  You can’t believe how may different numbers are available that will either not answer or if they do put you on hold for indefinite times.  I finally wised up and called the American Legion in Panama City and got a phone number for the VA.  As yet I have not been able to talk to anyone other than an answering machine but will try tomorrow morning.

So much for the miracles of modern medicine.


February 8, 2007

Yesterday I received an email from a local home owner advising me that a sign had been posted somewhere in our sub-division asking anyone who found an MP3 player to call a phone number supplied in the sign.  I first verified that the phone number belonged to someone in our sub-division and then called her.  Her description of the unit fit and we agreed on a spot to leave it and they would pick it up.  I put it in the agreed place and took my walk.  On the way I picked up a penny that has been laying on the road for a couple of weeks.  When I got back I found the player was gone and a nice card and a ten dollar gift certificate to a local restaurant replaced it.  What a nice surprise.  So here I am ten dollars and one cent more than I started out with.  Indeed the economy is picking up.

Little Things That Keep Me Busy

February 7, 2007

One of the more significant reasons that I wanted to get out of a condo on the gulf and into a real house was that I have a need to fix things or at least work at something that requires both mental and physical activity. That is hard to come by in a condo where someone else does most everything needed to survive. Of course that also involved some form of small gas operated engine going most of the time.

The day as usual started out with me taking my morning walk of roughly one and a quarter miles which is the perimiter of our sub-division. Today there was nothing unusual but a few days back I found a nice little device that was a poor copy of an ipod.

Ah, I said to myself. I have hinted at this a couple of times but so far it has not materialized and I still ponder the days activities as I wander about the place. It turns out that it did not work so I put out a bulletin to our home owners who have furnished me with email addresses. I got one reply that this lady has two grand children that have these players, one black and one pink. The one I found was pink. She was to check with the kids and get back to me but has not respondes as yet. Just a few minutes ago a neighbor called and said there was a sign in front of a house near where I found it that is asking anyone who found a pink player to call them. I will do that in the near future.

Next I filled the bird feeders in the back yard and checked the bird bath. It was pretty well covered with green mold that forms in about two weeks. I cleaned it out and put in fresh water. We went out to buy some cards and on returning I noticed a mark on the garage door. I got a wet rag and cleaned it off and as I was returning to the house I noticed some dirt on the front door. I wiped it off and behold the whole door was in bad need of cleaning. That kept me busy for about 45 minutes. Then I thought of the dirt that has been accumulating at the bottom of the window sills that is only visible when you open the window. That got me involved again and it required removing the screens to get at it. I noticed a lot of very small vines on the screens so decided to wash them. It turns out they don’t wash off. They are all grown right through the mesh of the screen and must be removed one at a time.

Now it is time for my nap.

Unusual Visitor

February 1, 2007

When I went to the window at around seven this morning I saw an animal eating the fallen bird seed in our back yard. After some research I have determined that is was an oppossum. He seemed quite contented and did not mind the flash of my camera. I later turned off the flash and took several more pictures. He was there for some 20-30 minutes and left while I was doing the crossword puzzle.

This was not the only strange creature that has stopped by. A couple of years ago when I went into the back yard from the front yard and came around the corner I spied a very large snake right up against the house outside of the sliding door. At that time I did not have the good sense to go back and get my camera. Instead I took a long handled rake and prodded him off from our patio. He disappeared into the folage and I never saw him again. The best guess was that it was a cotton mouth snake. It was well over four feet long and quite large in diameter.

On the lighter side I made the decision yesterday to install a clock controlled switch to turn off our big 50 gallon water heater for most of the 24 hours and have it on only during the hours we are likely to be using it. Hopefully this will reduce our rather large utility bill somewhat. I located what I thought I needed on the Home Depot web site which was priced at $40.00. This seemed like a lot better deal than the nearly one hundred dollars I was quoted at another location.

As it turned out that price was for a 120 volt model and I needed one to open both sides of the line at 220 volts. All told with the extra fittings and wire it came to $72.00. Installing it took me a little over an hour and I enjoyed the challange.im000958.jpg