Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Errands and more errands...

Today was an errand day, an early errand day. I don’t usually do mornings, but I needed to get my blood work for the spinal tap done, and I had a free breakfast sandwich at Panera, which means getting there by 10:30 AM. So, I was super productive early.

On the way to my first errand, I called the new podiatrist for an appointment, because my left foot is getting worse and worse. I wonder if the prednisone was masking the problem. Now that I am only on 10 mg, the pain is back. When I have been sitting or sleeping, getting up and stepping on it is excruciating. But them more I walk, the easier it is.

I have been having a problem ever since I had the plantar fasciitis in March. That issue was cleared up, but then I had swelling and cramping and pain. The swelling has slowly ... very, very slowly ... gone down, but I still have some. I have trouble with the outside edge of the bottom of my foot and to top of the middle. And nothing that my GP and I have tried has really helped, except for the high dose steroids, which I cannot stay on full-time. Hence, trying a new specialist.

I was trying to get to October before spending the money on a specialist, but I am worried at just how much worse my foot is now compared to before I did this last round of high dose steroids. SIGH.

First, I went to the lab to get the blood work done for the spinal tap. Because I am charged for each stick (visit) rather than blood work order, I went ahead and did my kidney and thyroid blood work, too, even though the latter was a couple of weeks early. I don’t think that much matters much, since it will be four months since I last saw the Integrative Medicine Specialist.

After that, I fetched my prescription from Walmart. This is the final increase on the saliva medication. I have been worried about the money, because the price went from $26 a month to $63 a month.  However, I was able to pick up this month’s bottle for only $55. That is $8 less than the normal GoodRx price.

I had wanted to also pick up a few groceries for Becky’s visit, but I forgot to put an ice pack into the thermal grocery bags that I have. So, that errand will have to wait. Maybe we can go together after she gets here, but I would rather go ahead of time so that more time with her is spent playing games and watching streaming and eating tasty things whilst we do so.

Then, I headed to Target in order to get my flu shot. I went there because you get a $5 Target gift card for doing it there. I wanted to use that to get a second basket that I discovered would fit on the shelves of my new refrigerator freezer. Also, getting my flu shot meant that I could redeem a $5 Amazon gift card from my insurance company. That meant that I could use it to buy the magnesium that I need and free up $5 for grocery money for Becky’s visit! 

The baskets would help with the fact that the refrigerator is 2 cubic feet smaller than my last warranty replacement refrigerator, especially since I can put things on their side or stack them up without having to worry about them falling over.  The baskets also mean less bending down for those lower shelves, which means less pre-syncope for me.  And they makes it easy to just pull one out and dig for what I need ... or organize them, as these need to be.  

I just dumped the shelf contents in them, which are contents that were just dumped from the old freezer to the counter and then back to the new freezer.  I thought about organizing them and taking another photo, once I saw how they looked in this one, but that would be disingenuous.  I can always post one, maybe, once I turn my hand to working on the freezer.

Next on tap was to race over to Panera before 10:30 so that I could redeem my free breakfast sandwich. The Target pharmacy did not open until 10:00, so I was cutting it rather close. I ended up having to phone in the order to get it in under the wire and then pick it up when I got there.

Finally, I went to Goodyear to get some service on my beloved, ancient Highlander. You see, Becky and Gary had a problem with one of their vehicles. When I Googled their issue, I stumbled across this article about maintenance needed over time, not miles, when you have older cars that have low mileage. And it suddenly struck me that we have been looking at mileage and not time with my Highlander. It has been five years since the last maintenance and so I called yesterday to discuss the matter.

Today, the service manager, August, who has been working with me for four years, double-checked the brake fluid and then went through my service history. What would be due in December was the coolant service and the fuel injection service. Since I have the money in the Highlander savings account, I wanted to go ahead and get it done.

The call to Goodyear was a bit difficult for me because the serviceman with whom I have been working since I moved here retired. Jim was amazing. The first two (okay three) years, all I did was weep when I called and came in. I wept everywhere. I was so sad and anxious and worried and afraid … a real mess. Jim never treated me as anything but a normal person and was patient and gracious and kind to me. When August came, it was difficult for me to learn to trust him, but I have. I depend on these men to advise me and guide me with my car, working as hard as I do to save money whilst taking care of it the best way that I can. On the call, since August was gone, I had to talk with Josh, who is the new Jim.

Josh was sweet. After he closed for the day, he called August at home to say that I would be coming in since Wednesdays are his day off. When I walked in today, I asked for Josh and was distressed that he was gone, but August greeted me and said he was all ready. The hard thing is that I don’t remember what people look like. Not even Becky. Not without looking at photos. So, I never remember him. But he remembers me. And my beloved Highlander. I am blessed mightily by him and by the service I get at Goodyear.

My next car thing is the timing belt. It is due at 90,000 miles, but that would be 10 more years at the rate I am driving. Since my vehicle is 14 years old, I am planning on doing it soon. But it is a HUGE chunk of change. It might actually wipe out my savings account. I am saving $40 a month for the Highlander. I think that I need to be saving more. But where would that more come from? Right now, I don’t think I could increase anything until 2020. Or rather December 2019. At that point, I would be done with the television, fillings, and phone payments. But that assumes that I don’t have more medications, which is probably a foolish assumption. SIGH.

So, that meant that I came home, exhausted, at 12:30. Amos was very, very happy to see me again. He strongly dislikes not going with me. And, to be honest, I strongly dislike not having him with me. Taking him to therapy with me has made separation harder for both of us.

The rest of the day has been a blur of naps and wakes, snuggling with Amos during both.  I did manage to walk on the treadmill and to make my next batch of my beloved Baked Oatmeal.

What made my errands easier was Becky. She is so very merciful for hanging out on the phone with me whilst I run errands. She had a long list of To-Dos herself and managed to get a few things done whilst talking with me. However, once I got to Goodyear and settled down at their new workstation, we parted company. How very thankful I am for the blessing of her friendship and the blessing of cellphones and unlimited calling!

I despair, often, of how much misery I must endure, the illness and the suffering. But I am working to be cognizant of the myriad ways that God has provided for me and to give thanks to my Good Shepherd in that moment.

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