121220 An isolated day off
I should already be in bed, of course. I start work at noon, and that is only 8½ hours from now.
It is Wednesday, and I love my work. I think I love my surprise days off even more. When people call me and ask me if I will work on a free day, I usually feel upset by their asking me. Of course, I can be swayed. If I get the call from a hospital, instead of their cell phone, I listen more carefully. I have sympathy for pains, such as wrecked backs and ankles. I also will grudgingly come in when the caller suggests they have dysentry, or any other plumbing problem involving sudden cramps or flatulence (or worse).
Nobody bothered me today. But I'm dopey. No, actually I'm a lot worse than that. I'm cold, I'm weak, I'm hungry AND full at the same time, and I'm miserable for .. no reason at all.
A few days ago I met with a friend (and customer) who is also a retired nurse, and she says I should go see my doctor right away. Blood pressure pills (other ones too) can cause depression, and they can switch me to something else which may not have that particular side effect in my case. Well, I would have gone directly to see my doctor if I could have pried myself out of bed properly.
It's not that I didn't get up. I actually woke up every hour or two all 'night' long. But I'd get cold, and return to bed again. It was sunny. I saw the sun coming in through the small basement windows here. No, just a few more minutes. I wake up an hour later. I do that again. And again.
I finally get up, sort of, around 230pm, with a staring thing. I just start looking at something in the room, perhaps a shadow, or my cup of tea, or the blanket. I notice that my elbow hurts, and then also realize another five minutes has been lost, and I'm not actually on my feet yet.
So I realize it's December, and the sun will vanish if I don't pick up my pace. As it happened, it did vanish before I actually got out the door. But it was nice to see the daylight.
My doctor's office is both close to me, and far. So I cannot walk there, but it is near the St Patrick subway station, at Dundas and University. It's in The Village by the Grange, the new reincarnation anyway. I go to the receptionist; it is not a person, but a computer terminal. It asks me first for my OHIP information, and then the rest of it. I am advised that there are two people ahead of me. No problem.
Faisa is the nurse who greets me with my surname then first name. She takes me to room one. Then she casually mentions that I will be waiting there for at least an hour. I'm glad she said something, because I don't want to hang around Room One for that long. It took me so much effort to get out, I'm not going to spend it trapped in a small room with a sink. She asked me if I was going to return in the hour. I agreed, but also asked her to remove me from the system. I did not want to get charged for a missed visit because I was a few minutes late; I could sign in again when I got back.
I ran an errand, checking out the stores and the food court. I must check out the burrito place there some time: $5.25 for a chicken one. The Village by the Grange feeds the many students who attend OCAD, the Ontario College of Art and Design. I surprised myself when I saw how many buildings belong to OCAD. Each one had a paper sign on the door, saying the entire campus was closed from Dec 22 to Jan 02, and wished all Happy Holidays. Most of the buildings on McCaul had something to do with OCAD, or were condos.
So I got back to the Appletree clinic, and had a nice visit with the doctor. You see, I should have had a visit with my cardiologist. That was for late October. I got a call, and it was moved to late November. The day prior to the appointment, I got a voice mail message saying I should not come tomorrow, and should talk to the receptionist. So I phoned her, and she explained that my specialist was only working one day a week now, and not a full day. He told her that he wanted me to phone in January to make an appointment. Oh no, I think, because that means I won't see him until April or May. I beg and whine, because my medicine has run out. "The doctor doesn't renew prescriptions over the telephone any longer." I needed a solution, not a policy statement. "Your family doctor can renew these for you now." I wasn't so sure, because he sent me to the specialist for this in the first place. "If there is a problem after you see your doctor, call me back. I think it will be fine though. Merry Christmas, Dave."
So as it happens, my doctor didn't mind renewing the meds. He wanted the specialist to fine tune them, because my blood pressure numbers are so high. I advised him that my specialist is a very nice man, but he doesn't talk to me at all. The learning part of my visit with the specialist was not there, I explained. In fact, I didn't know there was a problem between me and him until my family doc read the letter the cardiologist wrote to him. "He refuses to lose weight or to follow my instructions." While it's true I haven't lost any weight, we didn't talk enough for him to give me instructions. I wanted advice on my swollen ankles, and this terrible fatigue I have (on each visit so far). He motions with a single raised finger, and says "Breathe in. (he moves the stethescope) And again. (moves it) Again. (moves it) Cough please. (moves the thing to my leg) Very quiet please." And so on. Oh, and he has a machine which automagically takes my blood pressure ten times. He told me that my pressure goes close to normal near the end of the tests. That was nice to know.
So now my "work" is done. What should I do now? I have no motivation at all. I wander slowly, checking out the stores, seeing which ones are newly vacant. I have a fantasy of renting one of them, and finding a product or service which will not only pay the rent, but provide me an income. I know this is only an empty dream, because these successful businesses have been forced out by the very high price of renting here in downtown Toronto. One of them was a barbecue house, a place I remember from years and years ago. The floors were worn out where the customers liked to walk. The chopping block had the centre all used up. There was only a single lightbulb on, and no signs of meat there for a long time. Sigh.
Eventually I get to corner of Dundas and Elizabeth streets, where there is a Longo's express supermarket on one side (with a built in Starbucks), and a real Starbucks on the other side. I go into the real Starbucks, and just sit reading my ebook for hours with a coffee.
It is getting late, and I wander east, through the new Canadian Tire. There was a time when their huge selection of kitchen things would make me want to get everything that was on sale there. I looked at it, and just shrugged. I handled a lovely deep nonstick 5-quart skillet. Ok, whatever. Stainless steel deep fryers. Yes, that's nice. I'm not sure my words convey the boredom. I wanted to be interested, but couldn't care. I left, and went to the Eaton Centre's new food court called Urban Eatery.
I'd like to tell you I found something wonderful to have, but each place I went to seemed more boring than the next. Japanese stuff reduced by 30%; thanks. Come sample the Butter Chicken; it's okay. Welcome to KFC, can I help you sir? Uh, I guess not. This happened at each place- I'd approach it, their staff would try to take my order, and in the end, it didn't matter enough for me to order anything at all.
In the end I went to the McDonalds there, and had another coffee, just so I could sit down again for a while. They say they will be open during the holidays. Good to know if you find yourself at the Eaton Centre this holiday season.
So by 1000pm, I was on the bus heading home. I was exhausted when I started, and came home feeling much the same way. I was cold, and was glad to fall asleep.
At 252am, I heard a weak beep sound. I've been hearing that sound for ages, but for some reason, got up motivated to find the device. I went through two boxes of things, and while I did NOT find the watch I was looking for, I did find a lot of missing electronics, such as USB cables and thumb drives. I had been wondering where all of that stuff had gone. It was close to where it was supposed to be.
So now, here I am at 430am, and I'm not only alert, but my mind is mostly clear. I am NOT cold. I am NOT hungry. I am NOT distracted by small sounds or images. I had better go to sleep very soon.
I wish this mental clarity would have happened earlier today. I hate wasting my days off this way. Oh, and I also hate the exhaustion from a short night I will experience at work. Sigh.
Gawd. Has facebook really taken over the personal web log? It's scary.