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Friday, January 12, 2018

No such thing as a free lunch


I hear Roku in the living room. Miss Big Savings over Cable TV worked hard for her streaming, avoiding that great resource, information from those who know. Every time I questioned her on a price, a reason, alternatives, she consulted her phone and asked google. She is terrified service providers will learn she doesn’t know something. I know children must get over this reluctance to get on with life; however, I won’t overlook lack of facts.

In the course of installing Roku, I cancelled TV service and limited streaming to no more than ten dollars a month, the price differential of TV versus Roku. That meant downgrading Roku to $7.99 basic, not the $10.99 service selected. I could go on, but I had Laura in information overload, and quit when I had to explain “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Our second ice storm of the week is in progress. School was cancelled again today, the fourth time since the new year commenced. I have no problem with that; whether on city sidewalks or township berms, little kids need to walk home from their school bus stop, and it takes too much experience and chutzpah for them to navigate ice.

Earlier this week I had the much anticipated follow up appointment with the new neurologist. Together with his new MRI of my brain plus the record of all images from George Washington, which I signed a release for him to obtain, I expected him to second my opinion that I never had a seizure, probably never would, and could discontinue Keppra. I read the new MRI report, that basically said nothing evident except capillaries are getting old.

I left early. I could take the interstate, overshoot my target and backtrack a few miles, or take the valley road, always a pleasure. I’ve explained my valley roads, down the hill, over the river, up the hill. Except, these roads all are balanced on ridges, for want of real hill sides and interstate quality bridges when they were built, back in the day they were named for the farm on the property.

It was raining, temps were dropping. I expected slippery conditions and was prepared. At the bottom of Steels Corner Road, two cars were in collision heaps on each side of the T. On Akron Peninsula Road, four more cars were in separate collision heaps at Bath Road. Crossing the river at Bath, cars were off on the berm. I couldn’t tell why.

I started up Yellow Creek Road. Big trouble abounded, no turning back. This road’s ridge is in terrible trouble, little room remains for road as the ridge tumbles straight down to the creek. Cars off to every side, but courteously had their noses far enough into the ditches to have their backsides off the road.

Up, up the hill, until we closed in on the Yellow Creek/Revere intersection. The road uphill was closed; workers were throwing salt by hand on the intersection, and we were detoured up Revere road. The operative word is “up”; Revere is still uphill until the Market Street intersection. The little train kept chugging up. Everyone left ample room for the potential disaster. The car ahead of me nosedived into the ditch. We kept moving. A car well ahead lost traction and stopped.

The car behind took the left hand lane to pass it. The downhill traffic wisely stopped and the little train kept on climbing through the ice. I eased around, never changing pressure on the accelerator. The tires were turning, looking for purchase, but not sliding. They grew hotter and hotter; I didn’t flinch. The Land Rover ahead had cleared the top, the big truck behind was closer and closer, but not stupid. My little car kept on until….tires caught, slipped, caught, slipped, caught, caught, caught.

The new neurologist had not received the George Washington images. “I even called them myself. You cannot quit Keppra until I see them.” I got another signed release from him and took the freeway home.

I called GW to learn the protocol for obtaining the images. The options were to deliver the release in person or to mail it. In thirty days I will receive the images. I wonder if doctors have a secret handshake.


My back door, the morning I saw the new neurologist.

22 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Having driven a couple of 'slip' roads recently myself, my heart was skipping beats for you Joanne! I drove back via the main roads too. Crikey, another month of waiting. (eyes skyward.) Glad the entertainment is up and running at least! YAM xx

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  2. My heart was in my mouth reading about your road trip. So very glad you made it safely.
    And sigh on the medical record transfer issues. They can be fast when it suits them, but not when it would suit you.

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  3. What a drive...but couldn't the neurologist have called you to say that he did not have the images and put back the appointment?

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    1. Here's what I think: his back up staff is useless. They did not follow up on this. When there were no images in my chart was the first time he knew they weren't there. I know doctor offices with first class back up staff. I don't know any as bad as this doctor's.

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  4. You were brave to be out driving under those conditions...I've been know to cancel appointments for much less. I try to avoid doctors wheneveer possible...not that I think I know more than they do but that I don't want to know what they may know. If that makes any sense at all.

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  5. braver than I. I would have rescheduled. tell him if he won't take you off the Keppra you'd rather have CBD oil (or whatever the marijuana extract is that they use to control seizures). has the advantage of being a natural substance. you'd think that those who built cities where it snows would have had the good grace to build them on flat land.

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    1. Actually, Fairlawn is on flat land. I just had to to through the valley to get to it. My motto is: never lose your edge. Even if it means the road less traveled.

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  6. That's a beautiful stained glass window on your door.

    We are having a lot of rain where I live but not too far away is the highway going north. It shuts down several times a year due to heavy snowfall or accidents or both and this year was no exception. A huge deluge of rain came in over the past 2 nights and the same storm system dumped a huge amount of rain on the highway northwest of me.

    Keep safe and I hope you too enjoy the streaming.

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  7. I'm glad you arrived safely. But the lack of records must have been very frustrating - for both you and the doctor. Grr.

    I was thinking Grandma was being awfully lenient to get Netflix with no strings attached :D Now we hear the REST of the story . . .

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  8. Your back door is so very pretty. The drive to the neurologist, less so. Quite scary sounding in fact. I hope the images get things sorted for you to stop the Keppra.

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  9. That road trip was quite something, Joanne. It must have been a relief when it was over!

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  10. Your driving over these icy roads shows reflexes working well I think.

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  11. What with neurologists and slippery roads Joanne you seem to have had quite an exciting time.

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  12. Your driving in those conditions sounds superb.

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  13. Some cars ride over ice much better than others, but BadPenny is right. You have to know how to drive them.

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    1. Once on Yellowcreek, no turning back, literally. Do or die.Fortunately, I can drive a car in winter. And, I wanted to keep that doctor appointment. A bitter disappointment.

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  14. If someone said to me, “Arleen, I will give you five million bucks to drive on hilly, icy roads”, I would say no. Been there, done that (for a small paycheck), never again.

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  15. You are both brave and determined.

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  16. We had freezing rain up here in Ontario, as well. How incredibly frustrating that records were not sent and received. We have had similar experiences and our doctor likes to blame the company that types out the transcripts. He says they are usually two to three weeks behind schedule. Traction control, good tires, and common sense all help when driving in slippery conditions. -Jenn

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    1. I put off tires for one more year; they're good enough for a fairly mild winter like last year. They're not adequate for this winter, and I'll adjust my driving habits accordingly. Won't use the valley road until spring.

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  17. oh what miserable weather. I detest going to the doctors and am like a little kid. Spent yesterday having CT scans and doctor visits and still know nothing. Such is modern life.

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  18. Doctors' office staff! My son and his very pregnant wife (twins) drove through Rhode Island's last week blizzard (the one that shut down the East coast) to a doctor's appt. the office swore was not canceled. When they skidded their way in, they were told everyone at the office had left 2 hours before. Turns out the phone person was based in Florida.

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