If We Were Having Coffee Guest Post– May 23/2015: Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

Shamrock Afternoon Tea

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here once again. Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Willow has plumped the cushions and started a cozy fire so we can warm ourselves while we have a cuppa and chat. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Well. I have to tell you this story – it is rather humorous and underlines the happenings of unintended consequences. I have been having issues with restless legs in dialysis. For those who have not encountered this, it is when your legs move, sometimes violently without your intention that they do so. It can happen during treatment or sometimes during sleep or when resting. When it continues for a long period it becomes very annoying. To address this the docs dole out sedatives. The thing is they do not want patients addicted or just out of it, so they gradually increase the dosage until the condition is either gone or tolerable. I have been taking two pills before dialysis for months now and they have been working. For some reason they stopped working recently so we have been adding more and more. Friday night I tried a new medication and it just knocked me out – I slept through dialysis and all went well. So far so good. When we were done, I went to the emergency department door where the pick up is located for my handicap transport. It was 11:00pm and my p/u was scheduled for 11:30 pm. I went outside and had a smoke (a rollie) but it was a bit cold so I went back inside. There is no area marked for the pick up, so I rolled over a wheel chair and sat facing the entrance.

I sat down with my coat on and my tote bag beside me and promptly fell asleep – left over effects of the medication. I don’t normally sleep well, but there in that wheelchair I had a grand time in slumberland. I awoke after what I thought was a 15 or 20 minute nap, checked my phone to see the time and realized that it was 12:51. The handicap transport (Para) finishes at midnight. I tried calling them and of course there was no answer. Sigh, now what? I knew that the hospital had taxi chits for emergencies so I walked back to dialysis and spoke to Kathy who was the head nurse on the overnight shift. She was surprised to see me and I explained what had happened. She called the on-duty social worker who hangs out overnight in Emergency. They were having a code Blue in Emergency and she said she would get over as quick as possible. I fell back asleep in my trusty wheelchair facing the dialysis desk. At 2 am I woke up again and still no social worker. At 2:15 she bustled in half running with a taxi chit. She explained that they were still too busy in Emergancy so she had gone up to Intensive Care on the other side of the hospital to get the chit. We filled it out and I called a taxi.15 minutes later I was home – at 2:30 am.

So, we seem to have found a solution to the restless legs, unfortunately it has the somewhat unintended consequence of keeping me asleep well after dialysis. Ha! Would you like a refill of your cuppa? A sweet perhaps?

Congratulations Ireland for being the first country in the world to welcome gay rights and marriage with a referendum. The historic vote passed with over 60% agreeing, at this point of writing (still a few more votes to be counted). Definitely a resounding welcome for gays to Ireland. The lesser item on the referendum – the reduction of age limit for President to 21 – appears to have resulted in a “No” decision at this time. When the gay rights vote is dissected there were some smaller rural areas that voted strongly against gay marriage. Given the heavy Catholic presence in these areas, this is not surprising.

However, in keeping with the title of this post, I suspect this is going to create some strong divisions within communities. We are not talking about legislation to increase armed forces or change foreign policy – but rather legislation that will put strong personal beliefs in direct, daily conflict within communities. This is legislating beliefs, not hardware or policy – things that are seldom if ever seen by the general public. Now strict Catholic Aunt Ethyl will be living next door to a flamboyant gay couple and see them at the market daily and share a fence, a paperboy, a mailman, and milkman with them. This is going to take some getting used to and is going to produce some serious conflict in the near term. That being the unintended consequence, it is a big step towards equality and fairness in society.

On that note, that’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and watch the fire. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If We Were Having Coffee Guest Post – Mar. 01/2015

Pay It Forward

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul, I’ll be your barista today and I’m happy to be here once again. Please come in and make yourself comfortable. Willow has plumped the cushions and started a cozy fire so we can warm ourselves while we have a cuppa and chat. As usual, I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy ourworld-wide readership. Also available is a large selection of spirits for addition to your cuppa or in its place. We can relax while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

I was delighted to see the above picture over at “I Didn’t Have My Glasses On…” http://

ididnthavemyglasseson.com/2015/02/27/our-job/ on Friday. I asked Beth if I could use it and here it is. She used a quote to accompany the pic; “it’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. it’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” – l.r. knost

Last week’s topic of Compassion is still rattling around in my brain (what there is left of it – Ha!) I was waiting for dialysis on Friday, and a gentleman of about 50 years came up to me to chat. He walked very slowly and looked pale and thin. He was pretty rough looking with a well-worn winter coat, worn down sneakers and, hanging out from under the jacket, a hospital gown. He had been smoking, as I had, and I thought he was going toask for a cigarette – and it was my intention to give him one. Instead, he asked if I was a patient. We chatted for a while and he was concerned about his kids – the two remaining at home were 16 and 19. He was from a small Northern town about 800 miles from Ottawa and had flown in for some tests. It turns out he has massive infections and the doctors are sure he has cancer but have been unable to locate it. They kept him, of course, He introduced himself as Tim and said he had been in for 3 days now and was concerned about his kids. He had relatives in his home town and they were looking in on the kids, but Tim had no idea how long he would be hospitalized. I didn’t tell him, but when I had cancer, it presented as an infection as well, and I ended up in hospital for weeks to start and then months later.

We chatted and I told him some of my experiences with cancer and assured him that the doctors and health care providers in the hospital were world class and would take excellent care of him. I mentioned that it was hard to get cigarettes as an inpatient – especially if you don’t know anyone. He laughed and said he four left and was pacing himself. As rough as his position was and as much as he had no idea when he would get out, he didn’t ask for a cigarette. I told him I knew how hard it was for an inpatient smoker (they frown on it at the hospital) and how I knew cigarettes were difficult to come by and so I opened my pack and took out half still in the foil wrap and passed them to him. He was astounded and said he didn’t now how to thank me. I’ve been there before and saw the opportunity to pay it forward. As little as I knew him and given his situation I couldn’t think of anything that would please him more than that. And I was right, he was at a loss for words as I got on the escalator to go for treatment, he stood at the bottom, saying “thank you” over and over. I hope his journey is a tolerable one and that his kids still have him to look up to in the coming years.

Prescription woes

Things have been OK this week for me. It has been brutally cold although it warmed up some today and it looks even better for next week. I had a major battle with my drug store this week over some prescriptions, but we seem to have come to a bit of an- impasse and I’ll have to speak to the insurance carrier next week to straighten it out. I got what I needed but it wasn’t easy. Stupid stuff like the doctor forgot to put a charge code on the most important prescription so instead of calling me or the doctor, they set the prescription aside and did nothing. I enquired and they explained and so I gave them shit and got the doc to call them. Then they said they didn’t deliver on Saturday. This was Friday and I don’t have a car at the moment and travel by Para Transpo – a handicap service – with whom it is notoriously hard to get short term appointments for rides (long term or recurring are fine). It is an injectable drug that I have to start on Sunday in preparation for a small operation on Wednesday. It is not an option. I have gotten $1,500 worth of medications from this pharmacy this week (I replenish every 3 months and most of that cost [$1,350] are two drugs that counteract effects of the dialysis) and they were arguing that they don’t deliver on Saturday when they had the prescription since Tuesday. I was ready to call a taxi and go down and give them a piece of my mind. I threatened to take my business elsewhere and they made arrangements to deliver – I only live about 1 mile from the drugstore. I hate having to threaten to get anything done especially when the problem was not caused by me. I will just call this a small rant – cut short due space limitations. !@#$%.

Otherwise things were all right, although dialysis went awry on Friday – kind of blew up. When the dust settled I ended up  with only 1⁄2 a treatment – better than none. One of the needles wasn’t set right and half way through slipped from the fistula and created a hematoma – a large bruise under the skin created by blood out of the vessel that is very painful. It’ll calm down in the next few days, but it isn’t reasonable to reneedle through a hematoma, so that was it for Friday’s treatment.

That’s about all we have room for this week, so it’s time to settle in with another cuppa and watch the fire. Sweets anyone? Please join me in thanking Willow for her invitation to tea. We are all honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Willow is over there serving her guests and chatting it up. Let’s go see how she is today. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you back here for sweets and beverages of your choice again next week.

And of course  the

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  WEEKEND COFFEE SHARE

over at Part Time  Monster  and Gene’O’s

If We Were Having Coffee: Guest Post – Oct.12/2014

Upbeat People

 

Here we all are posed for the photo while having tea – a handsome group indeed

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again in the garden tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. As you can see above, it was reader photo day and aren’t we a handsome group? I’ll be happy to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

Sound asleep

 

I’ll start our chat today with a funny that happened in dialysis Friday night. I get a different nurse each time, depending on their schedule. Friday night I had Marcie – a very funny, cheerful nurse of about my age who enjoys verbal jousting and is not above flirting (she’s single). We had a few good laughs as she was hooking me up to the dialysis machine. I had taken a prescription drug before entering dialysis that was designed to stop random leg muscle movements (called restless legs or crazy legs) which are sometimes a side effect of dialysis. This had been troubling me for a while and I had just gotten the prescription right. So, as soon as Marcie had me hooked up, I fell asleep -apparently a side effect of the drug for the side effect of dialysis. I slept very soundly, even through the unhooking at the end, the holding of the needle punctures to stop bleeding and the bandaging of the site. Normally, I would do the holding and help with other parts of the unhooking – but tonight I was dead to the world. Finally it was time to leave and Marcie had to shake me awake. My first response upon waking was to comment on the restless legs medication: “Wow that was awesome.” Of course Marcie did not know why I had slept through, had left the unhooking all to her, and she responded in a flat emotionless tone: “I’m glad it was good for you.” One of the passing nurses and another patient overheard us and burst into laughter. “You two sound like an old married couple.” It took me a minute to figure out what was going on and when I did I blushed and explained my comment and the new medication. We all shared a great laugh. Do you find that cheerful people keep your spirits up and make life so much more pleasant? Do you have any stories about situations where an individual made a positive difference because of their attitude?

Para Transpo Bus with Driver

Would you like another cuppa and a sweet? It’s a bit cool today, so the hot drink is feeling mighty warming.

I was on my way back home Friday and had a chat with the bus driver. I have a walking handicap from the dialysis treatment and so I qualify for handicapped transport – called Para Transpo here in Ottawa. It is an excellent service (in general) and with an appointment they pick me up at my door, drop me at the hospital

and then return me home afterwards. My driver tonight was a regular – an upbeat gentleman in his 50’s who always has a smile ready. I was early as dialysis had gone very well (no interruptions) and he was early as well – so we started out 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I asked him if he was done for the evening and he replied that he had one more pick-up after he dropped me off. I suggested his next customer would be happy to see him early, and he laughed and said he doubted that. He continued that his last pick up for the night was a young handicapped man who was returning from a local bar to his home. Apparently this was a regular Friday night pick-up and my driver felt somewhat awkward entering the bar to find the young man. He described the bar as an establishment for young people and said that every time he darkened the door everyone turned to check him out. He said the feeling was one of nervousness, as if they were all waiting for him to demand which of the bastards had gotten his daughter drunk the night before.

A Busy Pub Full of Young People – Hooley’s Pub, Ottawa

 

I found this amusing and wondered out loud at how our perceptions of our surroundings change as we age. Thirty years earlier, he or I could have walked into such a pub and no one would have even noticed us. He laughed and said that Para had a number of elderly ladies in their 70’s to 90’s that used the service to get back and forth to their local bar at the Legion Hall (The Royal Canadian Legion is a non-profit veterans’ organization started in the 1920’s – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Canadian_Legion). They would go in the afternoon and return home tipsy and happy that evening. My driver seemed to be implying that partying does not have to be confined to the youngsters. There is a place for all of us, no matter the age. Do you have any thoughts on that? Have you found that where you fit has changed as you grew older? Have your likes and dislikes around socializing changed over the years?

Royal Canadian Legion

 

Would you like another cuppa? I think I’ll have a sweet as well. Willow and I are honored that you dropped by the marquee in the garden today to visit. I hope you’ve

enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here in the garden again next week.

 

For the Fall Chills we have Irish Coffee to warm the cockles of the heart.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

Photo credits:

http://www.gardenconnections.co.uk/english-tea-and-roses-homestay_c141.aspx

http://www.picgifs.com/clip-art/sleeping/clip-art-sleeping-630119-687352/

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/06/19/no-quick-win-for-para-transpo-bookings-commission-finds-out

http://www.montrealgazette.com/

Senator+fans+cheered+Alfredsson+scored+second+period+Hooley+Elgin+Street+Ottawa+Sens+mile+Thu

rsday+April+2012/6529469/story.html

http://tamworth.ca/?page_id=157

http://www.cookiesorbiscuits.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Irish-Whiskey-2.jpg

 

If We Were Having Coffee: Guest Post – Oct.05/2014

Prizzlies or Grolars?

We’re up under the marquee today.

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

 

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again in the garden tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. It has gotten quite damp here recently so Willow and I have arranged some comfy chairs and sofas under the marquee where we will be warm whilst we sip our cuppas. The addition of some heaters has made this little nest quite toasty. I’ll be happy to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your weekbeen?

Polar Bears are changing as polar ice reduces

There has been a lot of talk this week in Canada – my home country – about the fate of one of our national favorites – the polar bear. Since the 1980’s the amount of ice cover in the polar region has reduced from 75% to 45%, a significant loss of territory for the bears who used to live on the ice. As a result the bears have reduced in average size by over 100 kg (220 lbs) and have found themselves rubbing shoulders with Grizzly bears, who are moving further north. Apparently they get along quite well and have been interbreeding – a situation that has never happened before due to the lack of territory overlap. The new bear crosses are called either Grolars or Prizzlies. Interesting names aren’t they? Which one would you pick for our new bears? What do you think of global warming and its effects? Have you seen any changes in your weather or animals?

Burying Nuts

Speaking of weather changes, our squirrels (which I mentioned last week) seem to have stepped up their nut burying. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them as busy as this year. I wonder if this has any significance to how long or cold our winter will be? Do any of our readers have any experience in this area?

Would you like another cuppa or a sweet? There is lots so don’t be shy.On a more personal front I got very upset at one of my doctors earlier this week. You would have been proud of me though, as I managed to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut. Running my mouth would have accomplished nothing. As a dialysis outpatient, I have treatment 3 evenings a week at the hospital. There is a rotation of doctors who come and visit us each Monday evening to make sure all is well and to make any adjustments necessary in our treatment. Last month I had been having a serious side effect from the dialysis and the doctor had prescribed a new medication to help the problem. I had been taking another med for the same purpose but it was no longer working. The directions on that med had been to take one pill immediately prior to dialysis. So, I got a new prescription and the directions said the same. It didn’t seem to be working at all for the first hour or two, but I had put up with the issue for two weeks, thinking it would eventually be OK.

( Dialysis Treatment – she doesn’t come with the chair.)

( Dialysis Treatment – she doesn’t come with the chair.)

 

Anyway, Monday, the doctor came to visit and I asked him about it. He seemed surprised and asked when I was taking the medication. I told him just before treatment as it said on the bottle. His response was that I had it wrong and was supposed to take it 2 hours before treatment not just before treatment. I was about to rip him a new asshole, when I realized that would accomplish nothing so I kept quiet. I tried it the new way Wednesday and Friday and it worked like a charm. Have you had any doctors gave you wrong information? And then tell you it was your fault? Arrrgh! That makes my blood boil just thinking about it.

Would you like another cuppa? I need one to calm down a bit. And I think I’ll have a sweet as well. Willow and I are honored that you dropped by the marquee in the garden today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here in the garden again next week.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

Sweet Anyone? In honor of our British Host Willow.

Links to  all photos in order in which  they appear.

https://willowdot21.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/64ab7-dsc04615.jpg

http://static.theglobeandmail.ca/3f7/incoming/article20904367.ece/ALTERNATES/w220/78743935.jpg

http://www.wildlifeonline.me.uk/images/graphics/caching_grey_squirrel.jpg

http://www.isiomakidneyfoundation.i8.com/renal%20remedies.htm

https://willowdot21.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/84394-jubilee_afternoonteafinal2.jpg

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