Archive for Medix

Cowboy Classic Ford Pickup

Cowboy Classic

Earlier today, Damsel and I were at the clinic where I had a follow up appointment for a blood test I took earlier this month. On the way out of the parking lot, Damsel took this photo of a classic mid-50’s Ford stepside pickup truck all decked out cowboy style with saddle and rope. Wickenburg is big into rodeo, especially the team roping event and this cowboy’s rigs suggest he is one of ‘em.

The appointment at the clinic was with my nephrologist (kidney doc). We actually saw the doctor’s Nurse Practitioner who analyzed my lab results which show that the kidney functions are currently “good enough.” That’s good to know that I won’t be needing dialysis or a Kidney transplant anytime soon. She forecast that with my numbers the probability is that I wouldn’t be needing any of that until I’m 120 years old.

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Lifestyle Change - Diet in Particular

Chicken over Cauliflower Rice

Ever since Damsel retired about 20 years ago, we have enjoyed preparing delicious meals on the weekends. She runs the kitchen while I run the smoker and grill. Occasionally, I help in the kitchen (sous chef role) with meat cutting and grinding or with shredding cheese and other kitchen helper labors of love. Thus far, we have been able to prepare just about anything we see in a recipe or on the TV cooking and food channels or on internet social media.

A few weeks ago, Damsel went for her regular annual session with the family doctor. He checked her over and pronounced all the vitals to be within limits - however, he wanted her to get some routine blood work done. Her initial report was that triglycerides were a bit too high and the doctor prescribed another more specific blood test. The results from that test indicated a marginally high blood glucose level, also known as pre-diabetes.

The doctor’s advice was to change her diet to cut down on carbohydrate intake. Well, damn! just about all of our favorite foods are laden with carbs. We did some research on low-carb diets and actually found some literature on understanding the pre-diabetic condition and preparing meals with low carbohydrate counts. We also found other sites with recipes and information, one of which had the photo above of a “Garlic Butter Chicken with Parmesan Cauliflower Rice” recipe. It looks pretty good, no?

So, we’re both going on a low-carb diet. No more potatoes (and most other starchy root veggies), pasta ( :( ), bread, pastries. fruit and a host of other goodies with high carbohydrate content. The only good news is that un-prepared meats of all kinds have zero carbs. Her diet will be to reduce blood sugar and mine will be to lose the 15-20 lbs that the doc has suggested.

Between a couple of low-carb cookbooks and websites like the one linked above, we should be able to prepare delicious food for our diets. In any event, we will not be denied wholesome, tasty meals just because of reduced carbs.

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Classic 50-ish Dodge Pickup Truck

50-ish Dodge Pickup

In what might be a prelude to the 24th Wickenburg Annual Classic Car Show and Fly-In, this clean 50-ish Dodge Pickup passed us this morning while we were on our way to the clinic for lab work. Damsel took several shots of the truck through the windshield as it approached us. This was the best one - Click on the image to enlarge.

We’re planning on attending the Car Show/Fly-in event on Saturday. Will try and get some pix posted then of both cars and aircraft.

The lab work was routine blood tests for both of us. We try and keep a regular check up which is prudent at my age and beginning to be for Damsel who qualifies for Medicare this winter.

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Unaffordable Care Act

Chart -2015 to 2018

My former company’s retirement plan is conducting their annual enrollment period for healthcare insurance this month. The retirees, their spouses and dependents may select one of several plans during the open enrollment period.

I went on the website to make our selections for the coming year and, much to my annoyance, the premiums are going up yet again. I decided to look at the recent history of the rates and came up with the chart above. The image has neither legends nor scales, but I am going to explain them.

The four vertical cubes represent 2015 through 2018 and the height of each shows the relative amount for the premiums. I limited it to these four years since that is the period when the Obummercare mess has screwed up the system for everyone, not just ACA exchange subscribers.

The chart applies only to Damsel’s insurance premiums that we pay monthly. I did not do the complex analysis of my Medicare and Medigap (for the 20% that the .gov doesn’t pay) which I may do one of these times. Below are the results according to the chart above:

  • Increase from 2015 to 2016 - 10%
  • Increase from 2016 to 2017 - 30%
  • Increase from 2017 to 2018 - 12%

That’s a whopping total of 52% increase over a period during which we realized NO additional cost of living compensation. We are on virtually a fixed income. The last Social Security cost of living increase was exactly canceled out by an increase in my Medicare part B premiums.

This is yet another example of how the Government screws us up by trying to “help” us.

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Road Closure

Road Closure

Damsel snapped this photo of one of the ADOT highway advisory signs a couple of miles south of Wickenburg, AZ on US 60/93 Northbound. I thought this was interesting since the section of I-15 that is closed is over three hundred road miles from this point. I presume the Interstate 15 closure is due to one of the California wildfires currently raging out there.

We were returning from a urology appointment in the Valley. The urologist had a little bad news when he inspected the interior of my bladder and found a small, non-invasive tumor. This is not as serious nor as invasive as the tumor he resected three years ago, so it will only involve an office visit down in Litchfield, AZ to resolve. Sedation, similar to that given to colonoscopy patients, will be applied during the trans-urethral procedure. This will not take place until October, since we have plans for much of September.

It’s a bummer that there is a recurrence, but we likely won’t have to endure more than the office procedure. Good thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

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Keep on Target for Breast Cancer Awareness

six-shooter bra

The Wickenburg Community Hospital sponsored a Bra Decorating Contest to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness month. There were a lot of nice entries, but my favorite was this brilliant presentation of pink targets and pink six-shooters in pink holsters. I loved it (and it got my vote). How could you not if you are into guns and target shooting.

There must have been a couple of dozen entries, most of them very creative and beautiful. The Arizona Flag and Red/White/Blue bra was very nice too. Click here to see the Arizona decorated bra.

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Transporting Mom Home

Transporting Mom Home

After over a week in rehab, we finally got Mom released back home to her assisted living ranch. We were a little disenchanted with the rehab center since they were not spending much time helping Mom get better. As for Mom, she HATED it. So, after a couple of days of tweaking and pulling chains, they released her. The hospice folks arranged transportation and we fell in behind them while they took her to the ranch. All I can say is that she is back in her element with friends, an excellent caring staff and some actually good food!

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