A Brief Relief?

I saw a doctor and got temporary psych med prescriptions. I’m waiting for them to be ready. That should bring some relief by tonight. This doctor wanted me to alter an existing appointment, I forget why, so I go back Friday to see the kind, understanding, pretty doctor (locum) again. My regular doc is back soon, so she’ll be gone. 

Today’s doc was naturopathic and suggested cranio-sacral therapy (?) for PTSD in Wallingford. I’ll look it up. She says they found a way to get Medicaid to cover it. She also wants to believe my toe numbness is due to high blood sugar, but I’m seeing diabetics online who have the same side effect from the med I take and say it goes away as soon as they switch meds, so I want to try an alternative. I’ll try to do the intake for longer term psychiatry tomorrow. 

A small present I got myself arrived, so hopefully I can get the broadcast TV channels well and watch Jeopardy regularly. 

I got an email blast from a temp agency I worked for years ago, seeking an executive assistant. They’re interviewing me Monday morning. I expect absolutely nothing out of this. They treated me pretty badly in 2012-13 after I did a great job for them in 2011. I mentioned the idea of unionizing temp workers, and they banned me from their Facebook page. It rubs me the wrong way that they’re even open on MLK Day, let alone having people interview then. 

I emailed a bunch of information to the community mental health ombudsman, and he claims interest in helping but won’t deal over email. I’ve emailed and left phone messages for Larry Gossett about a few things, but the man never answers. I’m ready to vote for someone who responds to constituents, rare as that is. 

So call this all cautiously relieved. Never count your chickens before they’ve hatched.

UPDATE: Two meds filled, one not ready until tomorrow.

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General Update

APARTMENT:
I went back to SHA. She’s submitting my file today and expects me to be approved. She said it might happen Friday. It’s a 2nd floor unit, and it has a dishwasher (hooray!). I’ll have to see later about getting a ham radio antenna outside. The rent is 30% of your income, updated annually. You also pay electric. The deposit is $300. She’s being extra cautious because of the way the feds pore over everything. Their check on me had temp agencies I worked for in college and the address where I first lived with a friend outside DC for two months in 1999-2000.

SHOULDER:
The x-ray results were done right after I got them March 30th, but I only got them yesterday. They say everything is normal. I gave a copy to my physical therapist and got a doctor to request an MRI. She said they’ll want the PT notes, so my therapist is submitting them. They really make it hard to get an MRI and strongly discourage it. But my therapist thinks I have a cartilage issue, for which they might have to do a “manipulation under anesthesia”. You get *general* anesthetic, and they move your arm all around to force it back to its proper range of motion, breaking up the cartilage. Then you have more aggressive physical therapy. I’ve had general anesthesia once before and don’t look forward to the vomiting. (Why is my phone correcting physical to phytoplankton?)

FOOD STAMPS:
I finally got a form from DSHS, and my therapist filled it out to say I’m disabled. I need to scan and submit it.

MENTAL HEALTH CARE:
My new home clinic referred me to a separate place for medication management; they don’t do it there. This is part of the stigma of mental health and illness–why should it be done at a separate facility in a different network? No other body part gets separated out like that. I have lots more paperwork to fill out then a 2 hour intake. Hopefully I can get them to prescribe klonopin; apparently many Medicaid mental health places won’t. If I get med management there, they’ll want me to switch my therapy there too, but I’m pretty sure you still get just one hour every two weeks, which is definitely less than I need. The doctor I saw showed me that I’m listed as “medically complicated” in their system.

TRANSIT:
I’m behind on writing an article on late night transit service. I do have at least one rider who works late and is willing to talk with me about it. I also got a short email reply from the venerable Jarrett Walker.

Indirectly and unexpectedly, I got one of the ORCA cards being given to people who live near the new U Link stations. It’s good for free trips through the 13th. I start dog sitting in Burien Friday though.

HAM RADIO:
I really badly want to get back on the air already. The guy with a spare radio to loan me should have it back now, but I haven’t heard. I could use my client’s car to pick it up from Burien which is slightly closer. I go to the Spark Museum in Bellingham tomorrow. Weather-wise, it should be a good day to go north. I have to wake up at 4:45am, and take a couple Whatcom bus schedules with me.

I have to get my hat back from my last clients and may have a free movie to see tonight. I’m at Top Pot now. It’s not what I should eat, but food is the one human need I can control.

Quelque-chose a penser

What advice would you give a diabetic in 1915 (before they discovered insulin)? How about a PTSD victim from the Civil War? A schizophrenic in the 18th century? A depressed denizen of the 17th century? A sleep apnea sufferer in the 16th century?

Now, imagine someone who’s in the exact same position today. You don’t really think medicine has reached the point of isolating, identifying, and treating or curing every malady people suffer, do you?

I Was Right! Again! Mexico’s Sugar Tax Works

Admittedly, I didn’t know Mexico had already enacted a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks and junk food (Washington State tried this in 2010, but a misleading $22 million campaign from groceries and junk food companies promptly reversed it by initiative). Mexico’s tax took effect in January 2014, and preliminary results seem to show pretty clearly that people are consuming less of this toxic “food” as a result. This is a critical tool we need to use if we’re serious about fighting–and preventing–diabetes and obesity. I hate diabetes, and we need to be doing everything we can to keep more people from getting it.

But according to the researchers, who analyzed data on household consumption in 53 Mexican cities, purchases of sugary beverages dropped 6 percent on average in 2014 compared with pretax trends. And by December 2014, they’d gone down by 12 percent, compared with previous years. The study adjusted for other factors, like the overall downward trend in soda consumption, wages and unemployment.

Mexico’s Sugary Drink Tax Makes a Dent in Consumption, Study Claims (NPR)

We Need a Sugar Tax. And a Documentary on Groceries.

Fun fact I learned from a food documentary: grocery stores now make less money from selling food than from fees food companies pay them to put their products in high-visibility parts of the store (e.g. the ends of aisles). I’m telling you, as many food documentaries as there have been in recent years, there’s a gold mine of secrets, and maybe profit, in a good documentary on our grocery infrastructure. Having worked in one 2007-08, I really think people would be shocked by what they don’t know.

Also, as I peruse different groceries thinking about our obesity and diabetes epidemics; my own diabetes and extra weight; what foods are cheap, easy to get, promoted most, healthy and not, and our federal laws around them; it seems totally obvious that we need a significant tax on sugar. Subsidize produce instead of sugar and carbs/commodity crops, but we need a sugar tax to incentivize healthier eating habits and make sugar-laden foods more expensive and less accessible. We’ve taxed cigarettes for decades, we clearly need a carbon tax, why not a sugar tax? The revenue could be put toward health care, nutrition education, organic farms, community gardens, or any number of good things linked to food, nutrition, and health.

New A1C Number

My new A1c reading is 9.2. Last one (August 19) was 10.4. Not as good as I hoped, predictably with my mood being weak lately, but an improvement at least, and still don’t have to start insulin. It should be checked again in about 3 months, or late January/early February.

Diagnosis: No PTSD

So…apparently I have most of the *symptoms* of PTSD, but I don’t quite fit the DSM-V’s definition for it. (Seriously, the 5th edition is costing the DSM some real credibility) Possibly because of my meds and/or previous therapy. I can still be treated for the symptoms, though it will be a bit difficult or uncomfortable. I’m to relive or describe in maximum detail the worst child abuse events I can remember, and keep doing that until it upsets me less and is more manageable. It’s not gradual.

In other news, my therapist continues to be very attractive. 🙂 I noticed a ring on her ring finger, but I’m told that’s usually just for fashion when worn on the right hand (such customs make no sense to me).

Even with several errands done entirely on foot, my phone says I only walked 6200 steps today. We’re supposed to get 10,000 a day. My blood sugar hit a new low before bed last night–108! Before dinner it was 160. My meter says my total average is 189.

I finished watching Downton Abbey Season 4. 🙂 I’m going to start the Danish series Borgen after I watch Grand Budapest Hotel. The library’s movie selection is really good, and keeps me pretty entertained without having to pay for cable, Netflix, Hulu, etc. Libraries are great democratic institutions.

I need to get two yahrzeit candles to commemorate the lives of people who died in October 2000 and 2002. It’s a Jewish custom I follow. QFC didn’t have them, and temples don’t have the best hours or locations.

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada, Indigenous People’s Day in Seattle, and the great Lenny Bruce’s birthday. He was a martyr for the First Amendment. RIP.