Saturday, August 20, 2011

Netbooks, Blisters and Blood Pressure

This week has been a pain in the ass. The only good thing is that I got a netbook from the Dell Outlet so I have a small portable laptop to use for stuff like this. My Dell Studio 15 is just too big, heavy and HOT to have it sitting on my lap for any period of time so it has been demoted to a desktop to replace the broken one. My new toy is a refurbished Dell Inspiron Mini 1012. So far I'm really liking it. I got it so I could spend more time on Lionbridge without being tied to the computer desk the whole time. The dogs hate that desk. :P

So... what about the pain in the ass part? Well. Last Wednesday Jake came home unexpectedly. His DOT medical card was expiring at midnight and he hadn't been anywhere for a new one. He went in on Thursday to get his card and failed the exam because his blood sugar was too high. OH GREAT! Diabetes! Just what we need. Insulin dependency is the ultimate death of a commerical drivers license. As long as you need insulin to control your sugar, you cannot qualify for a medcial card. You MUST find another job... Jake couldn't handle that. He's always been a driver.. a pizza driver, a mexican food delivery driver, a dump truck driver, a wrecker driver and a tractor-trailer driver. That's the only jobs he's ever had that he LIKED. Taking away his CDL would kill him. Possibly literally. So Friday he went to the doctor and they checked his sugar.. it was PERFECT! Not even close to being high. He called the office and they scheduled another appointment for Monday to redo his physical. But there was still a hitch.. this time, his blood pressure was high. So he also got an appointment to see a doctor on Tuesday to get blood pressure meds.

He'd been on BP meds before, but stopped taking them because they weren't working. Yeah. I know. Rather than going back and getting something else... he just stopped taking them. He got lucky the next time his card was up and passed (barely)... but not this time.

So Monday he gets his card, a three-month temporary card. They'll give him a yearly one next time if his bp is alright. Sugar was good. Tuesday, I take the day off to try to be as close to the action as I can because I know he's horrible about telling me what happens at these things. If I'm there AS SOON as he walks out of the doctor's office, it'll be fresh in his mind and I can get the details much easier than waiting 5 or 6 hours until I get home from work. He goes into the doctor's office and the waiting begins.

When he emerges, he hands me his prescriptions. I look and see Chantix! Yes! He's decided to quit smoking again! Now before you criticize the drug.. think about it.. it must be working for someone or else it'd be completely off the market by now, right? It worked great for him the first time he took it. He just quit taking the pills too soon (mostly due to cost) and started smoking again after a few months. The second time he stayed on it a bit longer but again relapsed due to stress. Then he went to the patches and had limited success with those. He quit for almost a year at one point, but got the itch one day sitting in a bar in Texas with some other Highway drivers and a pack of cigarettes was laying close at hand. Alcohol and nicotine... always go hand-in-hand ya' know. He's like me.. we rarely ever drink, but when you do... Smoke 'em if ya got 'em! I can't describe the feeling I had when he walked in the house that day with the smell of cigarette smoke wafting off his clothes. :( Damn.. he was doing so good!

So yeah.. he's on Chantix. He never had the scary side-effects that plagued so many people. His side-effect was crazy dreams. Not scary dreams, CRAZY dreams. Things that would never happen in real life coming to life in amazing clarity. HE LOVED THEM! HAH! He said he actually MISSED the dreams when he'd come off the Chantix.

So at this point I'm thinking we're heading over to the pharmacy (there's one right there in the doctor's office building! How handy is THAT?) when he diverts to the next check-in desk. What's up? "I have to get more blood drawn and a chest X-ray". Chest X-ray?? OH! OK.. Cause he told them about the coughing.. yeah.. just precautionary, right? Well, that's what I thought until two days later.. after he's already on the road again. He calls and tells me the doctor's office called and they want him to come back in next week because something was "off" on his blood work. And they're calling him in an anti-biotic because they saw what looks like pneumonia on his x-ray. Wha wha what? How does he have this and not know it. Just a cough.. no fever, no shortness of breath, nothing seemed out of the ordinary other than the cough. Figured that was just the cigarettes.. he ALWAYS woke up coughing when he was smoking. Shit. So now we wait.

And while I'm waiting... I'm covered in poison ivy! Three days into my15 day course of Prednisone and I'm still seeing new bumps appear. Shit. Will we ever catch a break? Ever?

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