We had a really hot day today, so when things cooled down enough, I went out to water the garden plots and sunflowers.
Which is when I found this.
All the leaves on one side of this one have been eaten!
This is the first of the large sunflowers that has had this kind of damage. 😦 At least the top didn’t get chomped off.
One of the more recently chomped smaller ones is showing signs of recovery.
It also had a friend!
We’ve got a lot of grasshoppers and locusts this year, but this is the first green one like this that I’ve seen. 🙂
When I was done and dragging the hose back to the house, I found Creamsicle napping on top of the straw bale. 🙂 My coming close for a picture woke him up…
I caught him mid stretch. 😀
Today, my husband and I had our doctor appointments that we should have had back in March. They were supposed to be physicals, but the doctor wasn’t expecting that. Which is when I found out he does physicals in the mornings, when, as he put it, his mind it still fresh. Which was not a problem, since we had lots to catch up on. He hasn’t seen my husband since December, and has seen me only while I was accompanying my mother.
Us all having the same doctor is coming in handy.
Before doing a full physical, he wanted us both to get fasting bloodwork done. For my husband’s part of the appointment, we updated the doctor on his upcoming visit with the pain clinic. Even though he hasn’t seen my husband in more than 6 months, he remembered that we’d already been waiting for almost 2 years, so he was a bit shocked that this was going to be a first visit. We also told him about the appointment at the cardiac clinic to discuss my husband getting a defibrillator implanted. He had questions about that. Mostly, why does my husband suddenly have such a low ejection fraction? It turns out that the cardiac clinic has not been sending any files to our doctor, so he had nothing. He still has nothing, really, because the cardiac clinic has not been able to find why my husband’s ejection fraction is so low, and are openly perplexed by him. The doctor has requested for us to remind the clinic to send the files to him, so he can see what’s going on. Same with the pain clinic, when the time comes.
In our previous province, all medical files were electronic, and could be accessed by any authorized doctor. So my husband could go from his GP to the specialists at the pain clinic (all 4 or 5 of them that were assigned to his case), to any other specialist, and they would all have access to the same information. Here, there is no connectivity. When our previous doctor suddenly moved out of province, we had to pay to have our files sent to the new clinic. A GP can access the electronic files at their own clinic, but not the files at the heart clinic or the pain clinic. They all have to send their files to each other, as needed. All of the specialty clinics should be sending everything back to the primary caregiver every time, so that at least that one person has all the information. Why that isn’t happening for my husband, we don’t know, but the doctor was not happy with having so much information missing.
We spent some time talking about my husband’s medications, and the problems he’s been having getting refills for the painkillers. So that’s been updated but, after we get the bloodwork done, he wants to look at switching my husband to morphine, and focus on pain management a lot more. There’s one medication in particular that he was wondering why my husband is on at all, and he just didn’t know anymore. I suspect the total number of prescriptions my husband is on will be reduced.
I’m happy to see him being pro-active about it. The previous doctor didn’t want to change anything until after my husband was seen by the pain clinic, but that took so long, the doctor moved out of province before that could happen!
My own part of the appointment was short. I have only one prescription, and I’ll see him again after my bloodwork is done. We ended up chatting a bit about my mother, since I’ll be bringing her back to see him tomorrow.
As for our follow up appointments, he started to ask if we could book them in the mornings when I mentioned I’d asked for the afternoon, because of the drive. When he realized how far away we live, he completely back tracked and said to make the appointment for whenever works best for us, and to book another “joint” appointment, and he will accommodate us. Since our bloodwork requires fasting, we will book the appointment after we get it done, which likely won’t be until Monday.
So we’ll have at least one more medical appointment this month, on top of the others.
With this doctor wanting to work proactively on managing my husband’s pain, I suspect we’ll be back fairly regularly.
By the time we were done, my husband was at his limit – and we still had the drive home to do. He was worried about his appointment at the cardiac clinic next week. The letter said that there have been a lot of delays, and to expect to be there for as long as 2 hours. That’s after a 1 1/2 hour drive. We’ll have to make sure to call in advance so they can have a stretcher available for him to lie down on; something they were able to arrange to do for him before, after a previous appointment was so late, he ended up walking out because he was in just too much pain. They’re a cardiac clinic. They don’t take into account any other issues a person might have, unrelated to the heart, unless it’s brought up directly.
Another reason why not having central files is a problem. When he goes to any specialist, he has to explain everything else to them. At the cardiac clinic, he could see any one of a team of 5 that works together, so he has to explain his disability, and why he uses a walker, all over again with each one. Otherwise, they assume that his use of a walker is related to his heart condition.
It’s frustrating, to say the least.
At least now we’re able to actually get appointments and treatment. The months of delays because of the pandemic shut downs have really messed things up for him. Our province has once again had more people testing positive for the Wuhan strain of coronavirus, and people are freaking out and demanding things shut down again. What the media isn’t including in their reports (though it’s on the provincial government website, for all to see), those new cases are from 5 days of testing, and represent only .9% testing positive. The total number of positive and presumptive positive cases for the province since March is .03% of the entire population. A person is more likely to get hit by a car than test positive for the Wuhan strain of coronavirus. People don’t seem to understand risk factors at all anymore, and the panic means people like my husband are having a hard time getting medical care. During our appointment, the only time it came up at all was when I mentioned we were supposed to have today’s appointments back in March, when everything got shut down. My husband’s appointment at the cardiac clinic got cancelled. While my husband did get one appointment rescheduled at the cardiac clinic, for a test in nuclear medicine, next week will be the first time the cardiac team will be seeing him. He’s had a couple of telephone appointments, but that’s it. He had also finally gotten contacted by the pain clinic just before the shut down, which that added a few more months to his wait.
If things shut down again, lack of treatment would certainly mean his condition degenerating further. Lack of treatment is more likely to kill him, than any of us coming in contact with the Wuhan strain of coronavirus.
He is certainly not the only person in this position.
Frustrating is really quite an understatement.