GI Tract News, Lunch, Kids, Lions, and Mom

Today was really a long one that was filled with interesting and noteworthy ‘things’.

It started early, for me, when we had to leave the house at 0900 so Diane could get to her 1000 gastroenterlogist appointment on time. It’s terrible having to start a Monday morning so early. As I say that, the memory of getting up early enough to catch the 0545 bus to Portland comes to mind making today’s early start much easier to take. What a life that was. Everyone on the bus became like an alternate, diverse family with whom I interacted two hours a day, Monday thru Friday … an hour in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon. There are some really interesting people who ride the bus, but that’s for another day.

We arrived at Good Samaritan Hospital right at 1000 and Diane was a little concerned about it so stuffed the Buick in a parking space  near the elevator. As she bailed out of the car and headed for the elevator, she flung instructions over her shoulder for me move the car to a spot that might not result in someone calling a tow truck. I did, going around the next corner, parking in a spot about head on to the one I just left. It took about 30 seconds and I think I almost made it to the elevator before the door closed and whisked Diane away to the 4th floor. Consequently, when I arrived on the next trip up, she wasn’t very deep into the paperwork necessary for a first visit to pretty much any doctor. Not all of them, mind you, just most of them. Ya know, maybe all doctors need paperwork on a first visit, medically oriented or otherwise. I really don’t know that for sure …

Perhaps Pat can clarify …

Anyway, she really wasn’t late because they always make you show up a bit early to fill out all their disease-specific paperwork, and sign it to verify that you have told the truth, all the truth, and nothing but the truth. I really don’t know what they say because Diane goes with me to all my doctor appointments and fills all that stuff out for me. I’m spoiled that way. She just hands it to me to sign and I have no idea which little boxes she checks on those things. Apparently she hits the right ones because I’ve never been visited by the Medical Paper Police.

They took her back to her assigned exam room almost right away, leaving me alone in the waiting room with a bunch of strangers. I had my iPad, though, so had a book to read. I also have Sudoku on it which takes up a lot of my time. More than is healthy, actually, but rumor has it doing puzzles like that keeps the mind alert.

She didn’t tell me what kind of exam they were going to make her take, but I knew she was seeing a GI guy (GIG). Though I lost track of how long she was gone, I learned that it was a long time because the doctor who was going to see her said he picked up the wrong chart and walked into his 1030 appointment room instead of the 1000 appointment room. As a result, she was in there almost an hour twiddling her thumbs. I’m guessing there. I doubt if Diane twiddles her thumbs, ever. I bet she was even a little bit ticked to be kept waiting so long. Then, again, having lots of experience with doctor’s visits, and the emergent nature of their business, it’s understandable that they cannot always stick to a rigid appointment schedule. Emergencies happen.

Once the doctor showed up, she discovered that she really liked him. She like him so much that she briefly considered dumping me, then decided that he was a bit too old for her. But, he’s a doctor. With a job. A specialist. I would have understood. Really, I would have. I wouldn’t have liked it, but I would have understood.

Bottom line for the visit, beyond really liking him, she discovered that she’s a “very healthy woman.” Straight from the doc’s mouth. He actually read all of her history, checked all her labs, going back years, then had her describe her tumultuous youth and told her he was going to fix her plumbing. You see, for many years now, the semi-doctors she’s been seeing have been treating symptoms, never resorting to methods that attack the ’cause’ of her tummy grumblings. What a concept! Fight the cause! I like that approach, as does Diane. She has a much better outlook on what’s going on, now, and will probably be nicer to me as this problem goes away. She said she would, anyway. We’ll see.

After leaving the doctor we had to travel all the way from downtown Portland, to Orenco Station in Hillsboro. That’s a HUGE condo complex that turned in to an entire town around one of the trolley stops for the MAX train. If we lived there we could see all our cars and never have to go anywhere, for anything. It’s quite amazing, actually. Well, it’s more than a short walk to Costco, but a neat place, even so. We were going to BJ’s Restaurant to meet up with Jerry 1, Coleen, Nelda, Linda, Jodi, Rick,  Jerry 2, and Tom for lunch which was scheduled for 1130. We were late, of course, since Diane had to twiddle for an hour, but no one minded. Because everyone already had assigned seats, Diane and I were placed at opposite ends of the tables that were jammed together to accommodate the group.

We ate, we talked, and we carried on for hours until the waiters and waitresses made it clear we should leave. We had worn out our welcome, but we tipped them anyway. They were a good group to put up with all the grief this group can provide.

Then we departed to the parking lot where we participated in a very public display of going our own separate ways. We’re a huggy group. We’re family. We were missing Vie. Jerry 1 departed for Vancouver in his tricked out 2013 Camaro, Tom & Linda left in their little Toaster Car, Coleen in her PT, Jerry & Nelda in their PT, Rick & Jodi in Rick’s PT, and us in our Buick. It’s Rick’s PT, by the way, because Jodi has her very own PT.

Rick, thinking I actually had real knowledge about tablet computing, asked my opinion about one for sale in a nearby Office Max. He wanted to get Jodi one. Jodi, who doesn’t fiddle with computers very much, is particularly suited to a tablet. Not having an opinion to share on tables, except that I really, really like my iPad, he then asked if I would look at it and see what I thought. It’s hard to say “No” when someone trusts you that much, so we followed them over to Office Max and had a look.

We poked and prodded all the ones they had on display, comparing prices, figuring out why some models were more expensive than others. Finally, a young man with no facial hair appears and asked if we had any questions. We did, of course. Rick asked him what he thought of the one he had in mind, and the kid oooed, and awwwwed over it, wishing he could get one. It was very believable, and we bought it, but we still had questions. Some of them he couldn’t answer so he guessed. That was OK because they were trick questions and we already knew the answers. Just having a bit of fun.

Now Jodi is the proud owner of a nifty little tablet with a Windows 8 operating system, which Diane really likes. Now. She didn’t like it on her computer right away, but she’s learned to love it.

An interesting part of this visit was Diane’s encounter with Edith, 81, in the tablet and phone cover display, about 10 feet from we who were haggling over the tablet purchase. This simple encounter highlighted how approachable Diane is because she got pretty much this lady’s life story, all the way back to Japan where her shoulder was crushed when she was very young and her left arm did not grow as it should have. The story went on to relate how Edith liked to change her phone fairly often because she like “flying under the radar.” Reportedly, she lives near her daughter in Orenco Station, making frequent trips over the past seven years to Vancouver, BC to gather information about her father’s military days and his association with Winston Churchill.

Really?

Winston Churchill?

The research was done at her husband’s request, before he died in Florida, that her father’s story had to be told. So, she set about doing that over the next seven years, writing a historical novel about all her father’s covert activities. We’re not clear on the name of this novel because we cannot find any reference of it on the internet, but Diane said it’s “FF1”. Edith also reported that a movie company is making a movie of this story in Hong Kong and offered her $14 million for the rights. Being wealthy already, having earned a ton of money as a graphic artist who designed many of the currently used major league logos, she said she told the movie folks to hang on to that $14 million and they would negotiate after the movie was done and see if she liked it. “I’m 81 … what do I need $14 million for?” she told Diane.

What a story! Diane said she was perfectly believable the entire time. But, we can’t find anything about this book. Elaborate and detailed as the story is, it’s suspect. But, who knows? Could be legit. Either way, we all had a good time in Office Max.

Then we went to Costco to get ‘stuff’, and headed home to see if the dogs were still talking to us after being left alone for over 6 hours. They were just happy that we showed up.

Just before we got home Jeff texted that he was on the way up with most of his girls – that would be Ziva, Daisy, Olie, Gilligan, and Baylee. The first three are dogs. They arrived shortly after we did so we got a dose of hyper energy from the dogs and little girls running up and down the stairs, and in and out of the house. It wore us out watching all that activity from the upper porch. Jeff takes Daisy in the back yard and uses a tennis ball flinger to throw the ball for her. She chases it until she can hardly walk so he has to pace her. Olie, the puppy, runs with her but her heart belongs to Gilligan. Energy plus.

After the kids left Diane and I had a snack. She had what she calls a quickie which is simply two pieces of toasted bread between which is placed a piece of cheese food before the toast gets cold. It’s just a modified toasted cheese sandwich. We had to do this because we had to go to the Lions Club meeting at the Village Inn. Well, it used to be the Village Inn. It’s called something else, now. That meeting lasted until 8 pm, then we went to visit with Diane’s Mom, Jean , for a while. We didn’t get home until 9 pm.

Again, the dogs were very happy to see us return. They greet us the same way whether we’re gone for 5 minutes or 5 hours. Very consistent.

Now it’s almost midnight and I really need to go to bed because I’m tired and I think I’ve used up my alloted quota of words for the day.

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