Monday, February 29, 2016

Music: Huey and The News





Huey Lewis is a national treasure.

Self. Evident. Fact.

Greatest Hits At Amazon

I am lucky to have a dad who either whole-heartedly agrees or, at least, is willing to indulge me by sending wonderful links like this.

I dare you to listen to The News and have a bad day.

Dare you.


Huey Lewis & the News - Full Concert - 05/23/89 - Slim's (OFFICIAL)










More Music Mondays

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wildcat Sports






If you're just catching up, here's the deal: Alex is back. Willis is injured. Technical Fouls are the worst.


Overtime loss to Texas A and M:

Still Hurts, but here's what happened

And more, if you can stand to re-live it


Good win over Bama:

Recap and Takeaways

All the stuff that happened

I couldn't watch due to power issues; that's why we have youtube, right?


Next Up:

Today - 4:00 Vandy

March 1 - 7:00 Gators



More Wildcat Sports

Friday, February 26, 2016

Links and Lists: The Friday Five - No-Electric Booklist Edition






We had a bad wind-storm this week, and between losing 'electric' (as my grandmother would say) and 'internet' (two separate events), appointments, and errands and life....

Well, we're going a different direction for the Friday Five.


The 5 Power-Is-Out, All-Is-Lost, End-Of-Civilization-As-We-Know-It Booklist:


- Alas, Babylon

The definitive how-to survival book. If you are surviving a nuclear attack in a 1950's small town in Central Florida (Mount Dora).






- Collapse

"How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed."


- Emma

To remind us that civilization did exist without electricity.


- The Count of Monte Cristo

To remind us that swashbuckle-adventuring happens best without electricity.


Failure Is Not An Option and/or Moon Shot

The counter-measure to 'Babylon'. After all, we did win the space-race and manage to avoid thermonuclear war. #winning.



More Links and Lists


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This Amazing World: Temple Grandin







I stumbled on the movie Temple Grandin over the weekend, and was utterly rocked by it. Inspirational but not sappy; thought-provoking but leaving you heart-filled, not emptied-out. It came out in 2010, so as usual, I'm late to the party. But so glad I finally made it.

It's a biographical movie about a woman with Autism, who grew up in a time when it was seen as a psychological issue (usually blaming the mom, who presumably had 'withheld love' at some mysterious yet crucial moment), and the usual course was to institutionalize. This alone just makes my heart break, for all of those patients, and their parents and families.

But because of her family, a few key mentors, and an unbelievable amount of self-determination and bravery, Temple was able to go to college, get a master's degree and a doctorate, and crucially -- is now able to communicate to others what it is like to have autism, and help shape treatment and education for those on the spectrum. She is a bridge. Of the most unique and sturdy stuff.


Her speech at an Autism convention (as portrayed in the movie)
Amazon Movie (free on Prime)


My favorite of her youtube speeches:
2013 at a Humanities Conference

Her shorter speeches cut a lot of context from things that she says. To better understand her, watch the longer one, but these are still great in their own right:
At Ted Talks
At Google


Her story is compelling for so many reasons, not the least of which -- while I'm pretty sure my brain never quite worked in the 'normal' way, the way it works now, post-illness is incredibly altered. Like there's a road-block across my normal though-processing that I'm constantly having to drive around.

Sure I might usually get where I'm going but it takes a lot of different inputs and workarounds to get there. So I'm fascinated by the brain scans she talks about, and the ways they are beginning to identify the biological reasons why some folks are just 'wired' differently.

I love the story of her 'aha' moment: around age 40, when she realized that the way her brain works -- thinking in pictures, but more than that -- like a search engine for images, translating everything into an image and then pulling up every picture she's ever seen that is associated with it -- is completely different from how other people think.

Here are some of my takeaways from the movie and from her talks, as I've been mulling them over the past few days:

- the 4 types of a 'specialist' brain (and there can be a mixture):
Photo realistic visual thinking - poor at algebra
Pattern thinking (spatial visualizer) music and math -- poor in reading
Verbal facts language translation -- poor at drawing
Auditory thinker - visual perception fragmented

- it's okay to be eccentric. We need people who think differently. It takes different skill-sets to problem-solve, create, and implement solutions.

- when does normal variation become an abnormality? the line between geeky/socially awkward and the Autism spectrum is incredibly blurry. Just like the line between artistic/creative and bipolar can sometimes be.

- we lose resourceful problem solving skills when we fail to teach kids things like cooking, building, and sewing. (Hands-on, practical things dealing with concrete problems and solutions). I would add -- things like recovering from mistakes, and learning how to fail.

- the importance of the call placed on all of us to help others build on strengths and overcome weakness; to show patience and make space for those who are 'different not less'.

- the idea that policy makers need to directly experience the consequences of their actions, and that most problems need to be solved in individual contexts -- "what to do about mainstreaming Autistic children" is not the right question -- what child, what classroom, what teacher, what parents -- these are very specific and very different circumstances that lead to completely different answers. One national solution (to any problem) is rarely going to be the best thing for any given person.

- the silos need to talk to each other -- gifted groups, autistic groups, teaching groups, creative groups, engineering groups --- the world is big and getting bigger every day, so we compensate by making the part of it we encounter smaller and more perfectly tailored towards what we know and like. Step Out. Amazing things happen when a doctor volunteers at a homeless shelter, or an art teacher volunteers at a hospital, or an autistic woman teaches a class on neuro-diversity to a group of corporate executives.

- get uncomfortable -- be around people and circumstances that challenge you. Build on your strengths, use them to compensate for your weaknesses. But be bold. Walk through the frightening Door Of Opportunity.


She says what she thinks. and sometimes that makes people uncomfortable. Especially in that moment right before they realize where she's going with a statement. Which is awesome. We are so good at filtering out everything we disagree with or are uneasy about. And good at filtering our own selves, playing down the most eccentric, unique, parts of us.

Here is this incredible person who walks out on stage and says exactly how she sees the world. Who gets to the truth of the matter. Steps over convention and gets things done. How rare and brave and wonderful.


More About the Research: 

'Autism discovery' - brain imaging reveals language development differences


Monday, February 22, 2016

Music: Fort Atlantic




We're expecting a few gray, rainy days this week.

Fort Atlantic's kicking off the playlist.

Fort Atlantic: Let Your Heart Hold Fast
Amazon
Youtube





More Music Mondays

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Wildcat Sports: Coach Ulis For President Edition







It's been a ridiculous campaign season, but I've finally found my candidate -- Tyler Ulis for President. El Capitan took the reigns last weekend, and the cats found some fire.

Not to take away from Coach Payne, who deserves a ton of credit for keeping the kids together and giving the them the confidence they needed to step up.

But in an unpredictable season, it was great to see the team take the craziest wildcard of them all and hit one out of the park. (Yes, that's poker and baseball. You know what I mean.)

And Then: Revenge on the team in Orange.

It was a glorious week.

If you're just catching up, beware, though, there be injuries afoot. (Yes, I just switched to pirates. There was a version of this post that started 'Once upon a time, in a kingdom called South Carolina.' Roll with me here.)

Hoping for some quick-healing injuries, and that we can keep the momentum going.

Go Cats. BBN.



The Technicals Heard Round the Big Blue Nation

Conspiracy theories and Caption contest

When you crush a team by 27 points after losing your coach in the first 2 minutes... Everbody learns something


The Glorious Wonderful Stupendously Fun Win in South Carolina

What a night

Every week should be Tyler Ulis week


Against Tennessee:

It was a messy win but a really good one

Highlights and more about All the stuff that happened



Game Day Notes:

Get Ready for Texas A&M

What Cal Said and Injury Updates

Spoiler Alert: A&M is giving out T-Shirts.
Every. Single. Time. I swear.
If it weren't for Kentucky basketball, SEC fans would have nothing to wear while they wash their cars.


Other Weird Stuff:

Pitino is hosting a reunion of the '96 team championship.... in Miami.

There are new uniforms and logos. Again. Apparently now we're Pumas. Or something.



Next Up:

Texas A&M Today, at 6:30

Alabama Feb 23, at 7:00



More Wildcat Sports

Friday, February 19, 2016

Links and Lists: The Friday Five







I'm Reading:

5 Things You Can't Do in Healthcare (IT Industry) Anymore
Spoiler: Technology is important. So is data. So is security. And you need to actively engage your customers, aka: patients.


I'm Watching:

The X-files. The original seasons are on Netflix, and I'm working my way through these 5 rewatching-roadmaps. Nothing says 'geek' like charting out a sci-fi tv series. But there you have it. #datascience


I'm Using: 

Bing Search Engine to earn reward points. But it's terrible. Seriously, terrible. Almost everything I search for I have to re-search on google, and there's something about the way the results are displayed that's driving me up the wall.

Still... if you'd like to earn rewards, sign up with this referral link ; )


I Want:

One of these awesome retro space travel posters from JPL. They're free, but I really want a big-size professionally printed one.


Ask and it shall be given you:

Last week I was lamenting the soon-to-be-over free trial of PHPStorm. Turns out there's all sorts of options for licensing, and I was looking at the enterprise-company prices, not the ones for humble solitary programmers. Amen. Hallelujah.


Don't forget to check out the new web app if you haven't yet! Drug Allergen Search


Have a great weekend, yal!



More Links and Lists

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Announcing: Drug Allergen Search





Exciting day on the blog, I'm so glad you could make it!


The Official Announcement

There's a project I've been working on for a while that's finally ready for first launch.

I'm pretty excited about it, and if you want to jump straight to the end, you can check it out at:

www.DrugAllergenSearch.com

If you're interested in what it does and how it came to be, here's the background:


Background:

It's no secret that there is a ton of hype surrounding gluten-sensitivity. The last thing I want to do is open up a can of controversy, I can only tell my own story.

When I had my first major episode of this mysterious illness, I lost all the feeling on my right side along along with crazy burning pins and needles and motor control issues in my right hand and foot... 3 days later I was hit with the migraine to end all migraines that lasted for 10 days straight.

All of this -- the numbness, the migraines, the pins and needles -- all of it lasted for 6 solid weeks as my doctors tried to treat it as "complex migraine" and/or "stress". None of the migraine preventative medicine worked At All, so at around 6 weeks in, I decided that I would figure out what the heck was triggering them since I knew that it was not red wine, almonds, or "stress".

Working backwards, I realized that right before this happened, I had quadrupled the amount of dairy I was eating due to a combination of wisdom-teeth-surgery-recovery (aka: ice cream) and healthy-breakfasting (Greek yogurt).

So I stopped eating dairy, and within a week it was like someone had turned the volume down on all of my symptoms. I could finally breath and open my eyes and could almost think straight. Almost.

Then, in another act of desperation, I gave up gluten, and again got just a little bit better.

At first, it was just a loose theory so I was not very vigilant about it -- ordering regular salads and picking off the croutons, etc... it took months of gradually becoming more and more careful until I was finally ready to admit that I was, in fact, incredibly sensitive.

Eliminating gluten and dairy hasn't been a miracle fix. I still have many symptoms that I live with day to day, but it has brought me back to an almost-functional state. Not even close to being 'well', but well enough to get some momentum and establish a sort-of normal, even if it's a different normal than before.

I realize there is no medical explanation for why trace amounts of dairy and gluten could cause such crazy problems. And believe me I know that the world of gluten-sensitivity is fuzzy at best and downright nuts at worst.

I can only tell you that I have been accidentally hit, without my knowledge, on numerous occasions, and had severe reactions. And that there is a pattern to the symptoms that are triggered that makes it clear that they are somehow linked.

I don't blame you if you're not convinced, I can only say, as a person who has not had a real pizza in two years, I would love to be wrong. But in the meantime, I'm open to anything that helps keep my symptoms under control.

So... Having established that I'm trying to avoid gluten and dairy with Celiac-level ruthlessness... 


Problem:

One by-product of my gluten and dairy avoidance is that it has made me more aware of what Celiac and traditional-allergy-suffering folks deal with in order to stay well.

It turns out that while it's a pain in the neck to find food that's okay to eat, there are some shortcuts that make it a little easier, like looking for Gluten-Free Certified and Kosher labels. (And, of course, cooking everything at home, which is my usual route.)

But figuring out ingredients in medicine - over the counter, or prescription - is a huge pain in the neck. You have to go shelf by shelf, label by label, and there are many different ways that gluten or dairy can be hiding. Even the pharmacist will have to call the manufacturer, and it is a big pain to wait at the counter while they look up the info every time I pick up a prescription.


Solution:

www.DrugAllergenSearch.com

Using the API from Pillbox, which is a project hosted by the National Institute for Health and National Library of Medicine, I was able to come up with a way to search for allergen ingredients in different medications.

One search. Everything I need to know about what's in my medicine.

Well, almost everything. There are some ingredients that are a little fuzzy: "Starch" could be corn or gluten or rice or something else. And it won't tell you if there's been cross-contamination.

But it's a place to start.


It's been a great project to work on, and I've been learning a lot. There is a long list of improvements I want to add -- filtering based on MG amount or manufacturer, comparing two or more medicines to each other, comparing two or more manufacturers to each other, searching by product code...

It's a long list, and the app is a work in progress, but it's a pretty solid, stable version 1.0[beta], so I wanted to go ahead and share.

Check it out, and let me know what you think!


Monday, February 15, 2016

Music Monday: Snowed In (Again) and Loving It






It's probably a sign of exactly how much I am introvert that I absolutely love snow days -- the perfect excuse to stay inside be left to my own devices.

Today I am enjoying some Valentine's day flowers sent by my brother and sister-in-law, and listening to 'Spheres' while I work on my top-secret project to be revealed on Wednesday.

I hope your snow day is just as warm, quiet, and productive as you wish it to be.



Spheres - Einaudi, Glass, Nyman, Pärt, Richter
Amazon

Specifically:

Einaudi: I giorni - Andante
Youtube


Kats-Chernin: Wild Swans Suite - Version For Violin And Piano - Eliza Aria
Youtube


Fauré: Cantique de Jean Racine, Op.11 - Arranged By John Rutter
Youtube


Richter: Berlin By Overnight
Youtube


Igudesman: Lento
Youtube


Einaudi: Passaggio
Youtube


Jenkins: The Armed Man - A Mass For Peace - Benedictus
Youtube



More Music Mondays

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Wildcat Sports: Bouncing Back and Steamrolling Through The South East





It's years like this that I couldn't be more grateful for being a basketball school in the SEC. Every time you start to feel a little uncertain about the season, you run into a game like Georgia and feel much much better.







Say it with me and smile: 19 point win over the Gators

Depending on how March goes, we might want to call this team the "Bounce Back"s



One more time: Thirty-Four point domination over Georgia

The steamroller rolled on and I say ruthlessness is always a good quality to cultivate



Words from Coach: On South Carolina, injuries, and some other stuff



I don't care what you think about Tennessee or Peyton Manning, this tribute from the Punch Brothers is brilliant:





Next Games:

Sat Feb 13 at South Carolina 12:00 pm

Thurs Feb 18 vs Tennessee 7:00 pm
(aka: vengeance)



More Wildcat Sports


Friday, February 12, 2016

Links and Lists: The Friday Five




Inspired by both the "Friday Favorites" and "The Weekender" posts over at Foodie Stays Fit, and deciding alliteration should win the day.....

The Blog is announcing The Friday Five! Five random pieces of life for Friday. Fear not, Wildcat Sports will return to Saturdays, as "Saturday Sports" just sounds right.


The Friday Five:


I'm Watching:

Agent Carter.

Not a comic book fan, but I am just loving this show -- His Girl Friday meets Covert Affairs, with just a little bit of Eureka to keep you guessing.

Hooray for strong, smart female leads. In this case a post-war spy with fantastic hats.


I'm Reading:

A fantastic science article. Everything we've ever known about gravity. Spoiler Alert: We now have a way to detect it. Game Changing.


I Want:

New (to me) doctors to check out my Linked-In profile before our first appointment. For so many reasons.


I Need:

A do-over on beef stew. It was a valiant effort, but was just missing... something. Don't say onions.


I'm Using:

PHPStorm to work an a new web app I'm building. Good news is it's been awesome, bad news -- my free trial is running out and it's super expensive. Will have to find a backup plan soon.

An Official Announcement about the web app is coming next week, but if you want a sneak peek, you can check it out at: Drug Allergen Search!

Have a great weekend, yal!




More Links and Lists

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Faith: Looking At Lent From The Wilderness





So Lent isn't something I grew up with... My church did Palm Sunday and Easter like a champ but Holy Week was just rolled into one or the other, and Lent was one of those mysterious "Catholic" things, like Saints, or kneeling for communion.

Since then my faith journey has taken me from Southern Baptist to Coopertative Baptist... Methodist... PCUSA, ECO... and every now and then I'll crash an Episcopal service (which is soooo awkward --- there's nothing that says 'Book of Common wha?' like standing and kneeling at the wrong time.)

It's been a really interesting journey, though. I'm still a little fuzzy on the nuances of Reformed Theology and Presbyterian history, but then I'm not sure how many Presby folks know what I'm talking about when I drop Lottie Moon, Acteens, or State Sword Drill ('holla).

And it's made me really aware of church culture, worship styles, welcoming visitors... and how we sometimes confuse knowledge of church culture with knowledge of God.

I really want a T-shirt to wear when I crash out of town Christmas Eve services: "God and I are tight. Swear." 
Backside: "...but what if we weren't". Wham. Gotcha. 
Fine print: "Sorry I took your parking space."

Anyway... Lent wasn't something I grew up with; I picked it up somewhere around my 'Methodist' years. Which means I don't really have a standard way of practicing it and the rules have always been a little fuzzy. (True story: I only recently found out that Sundays "don't count" -- what?)






But as more people have crossed-over between denominations and faith practices, it seems like observing Lent has become less structured all around, even in the Catholic world -- giving things up, taking things on, traditional fasting, Facebook fasting... for discipline, for others, for God...

Oh yeah, God... another T-shirt idea: "Lent: It's more than a diet". Ha! It probably sounds judgy but it's cracking me up. It's also late. Sorry.

Right. So this year I am less sure about what to do about it. There are a lot of parallels that people use to frame Lent and they are almost always desert related -- 40 yrs of Israelite wanderings, Jesus' 40 days of fasting...

The thing is... it sort-of feels like I'm already in the wilderness, people. Life is about as stripped-down and as close to capacity as it can get.

I have tons of food limitations (Gluten and Dairy are my migraine triggers, and they are in everything. Did I tell you about that dream I had about peanut m&m's? It was glorious).

And I just don't have a lot of bandwidth to take on something new.

So what does Lent look like from here. And in this era of "choose your own Lenten adventure," what is Lent, anyways?

Helpfully, I received this in my email this week:
"Lent allows us to reflect on the amazing depths of God's love for us shown in Jesus Christ. The traditional practices of Lent, such as fasting and prayer, allow us the opportunity to discover what we desire more than we desire God, and more dearly attach ourselves to God and God's great love."





So if Lent is 40 days set aside to get to know God, the question is 'what would bring me closer to God and be reminded of His love for me.' And I think this year it's just simply old-school prayer.

Part of this time of 'wilderness' is that I don't feel very close to God when I pray. Which is not the truth of course, but I just don't feel it.

The words go up, and I know he hears them, and I know he sees me and sees all of this. I'm confident in that, but it's hard to keep sitting down to listen when I don't hear anything back.

Last year, as prayer seemed to grow dimmer I heard God more and more through studying Moses. There was a lot that I got out of it but I kept coming back to the idea that Moses' life was radically changed, more than once. Life in Egypt with the royal family, life watching sheep in Midian, and then leading the nation of Israel on The Longest Road Trip Ever.

His life became radically different. More than once. And it was okay. It was part of the plan. Which is crazy comforting when you find yourself in the middle of a radically different version of your own life.

This year's Bible study has been a little fuzzier. We're working through Revelation**, and other than 'take the long view', I'm just not getting a lot that's immediately relevant out of it.

So this year, I think the answer to Lent is prayer. Not giving up or taking on or doing more or spending less... but stillness. Stillness in God. Time in prayer. Even without an answer, even if it feels like a one-way conversation.

So I've arranged my grandmother's rocking chair, and grabbed my favorite throw, and printed out the church prayer list.

I think it's going to be good.

God has been full of surprises lately, rewarding my small clumsy steps of faith with much more than they deserve.

There are many days that I am done with this illness stuff. I am ready to move on. But God says not yet; "Not yet. Just wait. You don't even know what I'm working on." 

Fair enough.

In the meantime, there's prayer.






Are you observing Lent this year? What practices are you giving up or taking on? What are you hoping to hear or see or grow into?



**Random Note: I'm doing Revelation with a Bible Study group; Haven't been to the Sunday School class that's reading it yet... Either way, not a judgment on the study-groups, it's just a tough book!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Music: Josh Ritter - Sermon On The Rocks




I have some new music queued up and I'm afraid it's on infinite repeat.

I liked Josh Ritter back when Animal Years and Hello Starling came out, and got to see him with Hillary Hahn around that time... then kindof moved on, and he moved into a sort-of darker folk place...


But this latest record is something completely different -- like Cash and Dillon and U2 (Joshua Tree) and Paul Simon (and a little Billy Joel and Tom Petty -- I swear I hear it, I don't know what to tell you) all in one fantastically wordy and rocking CD.

Ritter describes the album as a messianic oracular honky tonk. With the sound of a rocking revival, and pulling from the biblical words and stories that live in our cultural heritage.

It's hard to pin it down as a message, though -- he grew up in church but left religion as an adult, and has been living in Brooklyn, so I keep expecting to find some hint of irony or wink at the sound and themes he's used...

But while the message definitely isn't reverant, he seems to use them sincerely..

And far from trying to rescue the honkey tonk from the heartland to be hipsterized in Williamsburg, it's more like a hand-painted barn sign: 'remember from whence you came' or more specifically: 'go home for a visit, lose the irony, put on some workboots, and when the neighbors ask if they'll see you at church, tell them you'll be out all night raising hell but you'll see them for Sunday dinner'.


I can't figure out if it's especially appropriate or inappropriate to post it two days before Ash Wednesday -- either way, good grief, would someone please write actual God-music that sounds like this.


Sermon on the Rocks
Amazon

Interviews with:
NPR
The Bluegrass Situation
Rolling Stone
Salon
His Blog


Where The Night Goes
Youtube


Young Moses
Youtube


Cumberland
Youtube


Gettin Ready to Get Down
Youtube
Live at the Fillmore


Homecoming
Youtube
Live at the Fillmore



It's definitely a well-list item to see Ritter this year. (He's playing Asheville and Charlotte in May, yal.)

More Music Mondays

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Weekend Links





There is a lonnnng list of random links and articles sitting in a staging folder waiting me to collate them into articles.

And every week I add to more to it. I've now come to a stage of acceptance that this organizing and collating is just not going to happen, so I now present: the random things I read this week.



20 Websites Every College Student Needs
I'm long out of college, but I love lists about what the 'kids' are into these days. Definitely want to check out Prezi.

7 Startups Posed to Join the Unicorn Club
Quick glimpse at innovators ready to break out in a number of industries

Why Innovation in Health Care is So Hard
Very interesting insights into the way the health care industry works, and the forces at work that can prevent growth and change. (Triple bookmarked.)

Paletton
Color scheme generator -- makes picking colors that go together much much easier.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Wildcat Basketball: The Season Rolls On





So... not a great week to be a cat.

The game against Kansas was a truly incredible, tournament-worthy game. High energy, both teams playing with guts.

The problem was foul trouble. But deeper than that, there was a point in the second half where we started playing like what we are -- freshmen. A little scared, a little frantic, and then people start taking random shots from weird places and making stupid fouls.... and the wheels start to come off.

It was a really great game, but I was not buying it as a moral victory then and especially not after Tenn.

The Tenn game was.... horrifying. Blowing a 21-point lead and losing to your next-door neighbor does not a good game make.


The season rolls on and I'm afraid we've had a glimpse of what March will be like. My fingers are crossed for an elite-8 finish.


The Links:

The valiant-effort-moral-victory Kansas Recap

The don't-give-up-on-them-yet Tenn Recap

What makes everyone feel bettter? New outfits. What is even better than new outfits? Complaining about them and the stupid new logo. Whether you love 'm or hate 'm, catch the unveiling live this morning at 10:30.


Next Games:

Sat Feb 6 vs Florida - 4:00

Tues Feb 9 vs Georgia - 9:00


More Wildcat Sports


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Strategery: Post-Appointment Rewards






I'm not sure exactly how many doctors I've seen in the past two years, but it's well into the double digits. Number of appointments that ended in tears? Well more than half.

Yesterday's appointment was actually okay, but it was a first-time appointment with a new specialist and involved a pretty intense 4 hour test.

And I have come to loathe first-time appointments with even okay doctors. I am tired of explaining all of this, tired of telling people who I used to be, who I am now, and hoping I've explained it in a way that lends urgency to the litany of symptoms and life-changes while at the same time gives the true impression that I'm dealing with it pretty well on the whole.

In short: "I'm okay, but not well, and need to be an involved partner in finding a good way forward. How do we make that happen."

Yesterday there were some significant roadblocks I wasn't expecting.. the worst of which was some craziness with the medial records system.

The deal is, if I see a doctor in one of the two big local networks, they see a partial list of some of the other doctors I've seen over the past two years. But it's a small sub-section. My current Neurologist? Not on it.

I'd forgotten this and it completely threw me, and I'd completely forgotten to bring the full volume-set of my medical records.

On top of that, though, is that the system apparently went nuts and told her (among other things) that my PCP was still the terrible doctor I haven't seen in two years, along with whatever ridiculous notes he posted, instead of my current, referring PCP who is awesome and has taken the time to get to know me and know my goals.

So it did not begin well. And then the usual 'explaining of symptoms'.. and then the 4 hour test.

So it was all okay in the end, but just another experience I would rather not have -- energy that I wish I could have spent doing something (almost anything) else.

The truth is that after two years, I am tired of doctors and their offices. Even the good ones, and even the good appointments.

So.

The good thing is that I know this and can plan accordingly. No matter how the appointment goes, I need some good incentives to look forward to, and thankfully I was well prepared when I finally got home!


A Few Of My Favorite Appointment-Day Rewards:



Udis' Chocolate Chip Muffins





My Favorite Peet's Coffee





Netflix (Specifically: The Finder)





A Card from My Dad

A Phone Call From My Mom

A Phone Call From a Friend



....and by the end of the day, it's all good. I almost feel ready to go another round with the Insurance company.

Almost....



More Strategery

Monday, February 1, 2016

Music: Cohen Covers Edition





A dear family friend is famous for sharing his music 'finds', and he gets full credit for this week's set.

Leonard Cohen is a favorite of his, and some of my favorites from the songs he's shared are the Jennifer Warnes covers.

If there's any better music to start the week off, I don't know what it is.


Jennifer Warnes: Bird on a Wire
Youtube
Amazon

Jennifer Warnes: Ain't No Cure For Love
Youtube
Amazon

Jennifer Warnes: Coming Back To You
Youtube
Amazon


Of course, the ultimate Cohen cover is 'Hallelujah'.. but I figure it probably deserves its own post..


More Music Mondays