Monday, November 23, 2015

on the first day of -- thanksgiving

The Cotton Thanksgiving Marathon is off and running.

I have mentioned before that our family seldom celebrates holidays on the day someone in authority decided we should.  Not because we have authority issues.  Well, not entirely.

Our traditional excuse for non-traditional behavior is that our respective schedules precluded getting together on what I will call "normal people days."  That sounds good until you realize we are talking about merely four people.

Today was ham.  We will save the turkey for either Friday or Saturday.  And then we will talk about a departure date south.

That date may have just moved into December.  In one more time, I informed you my right leg has taken on the symptoms my left leg suffered last September.  There have been developments -- as you can see in the photograph.  Not all of them good.

I wanted to get ahead of the infection curve this time.  Before I left Olympia on Thursday, Ken took me to an urgent care clinic.  The receptionist was very helpful until she asked for my insurance card. 

I whipped out my Medicare credentials along with my Air Force card declaring me one of the great retired.  She sheepishly informed me the clinic could not accept Medicare or Tri-Care patients -- in a military town.

Because I wanted to start the inevitable antibiotic regime I knew was coming, I told her I was willing to pay cash for the services -- knowing full well I was writing a blank check to the clinic.  The receptionist saved me from my hubris.  The clinic cannot provide service for cash.

Flabbergasted, I headed south on the train to Salem.  My first stop was the Salem Clinic -- where Medicare and Tri-Care are happily accepted.

The doctor's diagnosis?  Cellulitis.  He gave me a prescription for two antibiotics, injected my butt with a third, and sent me on my way.  My way turned out to be worsened cellulitis.

Yesterday I stopped at the emergency room in Bend's St. Charles Hospital.  That was a very reluctant decision.  My last visit in 2014 did not commend the place to me.  Hours of tests and prodding left me discharged with the same high blood pressure that took me there.  (good news -- bad news)  Not to mention the nurse who mistook me for her 8-year old son -- or husband -- and lectured me accordingly.

But in I went.  Whatever my misgivings were, everything operated smoothly.  I was admitted even before anyone saw my insurance cards.  The doctor actually listened carefully to my recitation of the facts, and concurred with the Salem doctor.  Cellulitis.  My medications were adequate -- with an additional injection.

All in all, one of the most pleasant medical experiences I have had in the United States. 

Now, I rest and watch and wait.  The infection seems to be holding in place.  And, for now, that is all I can do.  I do know I look forward to getting off of antibiotics; I have been on some variety almost continuously since late August.

As soon as my cold and the cellulitis let up, we will be on our way south to Mexico.  Whenever that is.  After all, the Cotton Boys -- and Girls -- are not well-known for their plans.

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