I suppose there’s one benefit to going out early to do my rounds this time of year.

The sunrises are quite pretty.

I’d still rather just see them through the trail cam files, or my early bird husband’s photos. 😀

And I’m really looking forward to the days getting longer again!

We’ve been busy with quite a bit of stuff lately, and not just because Christmas is fast approaching.

My husband and I had our joint appointment with our new doctor. It’s a follow up visit for me, and while my husband didn’t make it to that first scheduled appointment, it was sort of a follow up appointment for him, too, since we both had blood work done in preparation for today.

We were booked for full physicals, and since my husband is the more complex case, he did me first. I was a bit confused at one point, when he was using his stethoscope on my back to listen to my lungs, and started asking if my back was itchy. ?? No, not really. Your skin isn’t itching? You’re not scratching a lot? No; nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year. So what are these scratches from? *click* I just started to laugh and answered, cats!

David has developed the habit of jumping up my back when I’m at the kitchen sink.

He doesn’t always make it.

The doctor was pretty thorough with the physical. More so than our previous doctor, and more like the doctor I’d found shortly before out move. We talked about my blood work, and he was quite happy with most of it. My A1C was on the high side, but lower than the last time I’d had one done. We talked about my prescriptions, and I mentioned that I’d been on one of them before the move but, for some reason, when I got the prescription updated after the move, my dose was cut in half. Now, not only do I have the original dosage, but it turns out there’s a version that comes combined with my second prescription, and in a slow release form, so instead of taking several pills twice a day, I’ll be taking one pill, once a day.

It turns out he’s big on reducing how many pills people need to take – and not just in quantities.

When he was done with me and switching to my husband, one of the first things he asked was how much my husband needed the walker to help move about. He ended up NOT making my husband climb up on the examination table, and let him stay in the chair, out of consideration for his pain levels.

We’ve never had a doctor do that before.


It was a fairly confusing appointment, which is to be expected since my husband’s file has not been transferred yet, so he was basically jumping into the deep end and looking for the sharks. My husband had brought the printout that comes with his bubble packs – with all 12 medications on there – then had to add in the injections, plus the “take as needed” prescriptions. There was so much to cover, some things never came up at all, such as my husband’s use of a CPAP, even though we did talk about his sleep.

Mostly, though, we talked about his pain, what’s helping and what isn’t. When we told him my husband was on the waiting list for the pain clinic for 22 months now, he joked about how we were “almost there”, because the limit is 24 months.

Then he got serious.

He was not impressed that we’ve been waiting for so long. He asked what had been done about the delay, and all we could say was that the previous doctor would make a call every couple of months or so to confirm we were still on the list.

So this doctor is going to submit my husband’s file to the pain clinic again, and try to get him expedited – something our previous doctor said couldn’t be done. I recall, before we had moved out of province, that our doctors back then had been able to flag files as urgent, so that if there were cancellations or any other sudden opening, those people would be called to come in first. Apparently, in the years we’ve been away, that option is no longer available, but he’s going to do what he can.

The fact that my husband’s pain is not under control, with the pain killers he’s on now, was something else he was not impressed with. He would like to give my husband a “break out” pain prescription, but not until he’s had a chance to study what my husband is on now. He doesn’t want to endanger my husband more than he already is, with everything he’s on. Once he’s had a chance to study the list, he says he’ll phone my husband and talk to him about it. Then he wants my husband back again about a month after that.

He seems to be very proactive about the whole thing, and very interested in seeing what he can get my husband off of, if it’s not working the way it should. He identified three areas he wants to focus on, and recognized that it’s the lack of pain control that is greatly affecting everything else.

It’s looking like what I had hoped to be an added benefit with this doctor is going to work out well; he has psychiatric training, and my husband’s pain-related depression is one of the areas he plans to focus on. At the previous clinic, a psychiatrist came in only once a month, so my husband had been seeing a counselor, and it really wasn’t helping anything. There was nothing she could tell him that he wasn’t already aware of, and I don’t think there was any suggestion she made that he wasn’t already putting into practice (interestingly, these were almost all things he’d learned through his martial arts training). It was just another very painful appointment to try and get to, so he dropped them and his file was eventually closed. With this doctor, there won’t be any need to make separate appointments with other people.

I have high hopes for this new doctor.

I don’t want to make it sound like our previous doctor was incompetent. He wasn’t. He did know his stuff. I think it really comes down to lack of experience handling a case as complex as my husband’s, and being new enough that he was still going by the textbook, so to speak, rather than getting a complete picture of each patient as an individual. The problem is, we can’t afford to “break in” an inexperienced doctor.

All in all, I think it’s going to be worthwhile to drive the extra distance to see this doctor.

Plus, it gave my husband and I a chance to have a “date”, stopping for lunch on the way home. 😉 Then we came home to a wonderful smelling house; our daughters had just finished baking chocolate chip sourdough cookies!

My husband was pretty wasted, though, so he was more than happy to have the next day to rest while the girls and I headed into the city for our pre-Christmas shopping. Now, aside from a few things from the grocery store that aren’t good to pick up too early, we’re done. Hopefully, we won’t have to go shopping again until next year! It was such a long and exhausting day.

Thankfully, things have been warming up a bit, too. We’re actually supposed to go above freezing, tomorrow! Which also means the batteries are lasting longer in the trail cam. 😀

We’ve been talking with family about our curious vehicle occupants. There was that first morning, when the camera recorded the vehicle that backed up and stopped on the road, its occupants looking down our driveway. The next afternoon, the same vehicle slowed down to peer down our driveway again, but didn’t stop. So when I switched the memory card this morning, I was curious if I would see that car again.

I did not.

However, in the early evening, I did see a truck come almost to a stop at the end of our driveway, then keep on going. This happened shortly before my daughters and I got home, so it was full dark, but there were some pretty distinctive things about the truck, such as the panels added to the box to make the box higher, and the load that could be visible above them. It’s entirely possible the vehicle slowed down because there were deer crossing between our place and my brother’s.

This afternoon, my daughter and I headed out early to run some errands before picking up her sister. As we were leaving our driveway and coming to the stop at the intersection with the main road, a truck was coming down the main road and wanting to turn towards us.

I immediately recognized that it was the same truck that was in the video.

I could also see that it was being driven by our vandal, with his wife beside him.

Though he had to turn our way, he very obviously and deliberately avoided looking at us. He also looked really angry.

It still could be that, in the trail cam video, he was just stopping to let deer cross, but now that I know that it was him, it seems just that much less likely. It also makes me wonder about that other vehicle, too.


It’s been a year since he vandalized our gate, and several month since the charges were deferred to a restitution committee. Aside from passing each other in vehicles like this, we have had no contact with each other and I’d hoped that, by now, he’d come to accept responsibility for what he’d done. From the messages he’s left on my mom’s answering machine, he hasn’t.

He does seem to need to do “something” every month or so and, unfortunately, my mother has been getting the brunt of that.


Ah, well. I’m certainly not going to let him and his paranoia stop us from living. It is a pain that we need to have security cameras because of him, when we live so relatively isolated. It’s really the only thing that breaks the peace of living in the boonies for us.

But it is what it is, and we’ll just have to deal with stuff as they come. For now, that means getting ready for Christmas, and for some wonderful, cheerful company from my brother and his wife, tomorrow!

I am really looking forward to it. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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