Of Blogs and Facebook and Doctors and Friends and Neighbors and Daughters and…

Since I am having problems with posting messages in Facebook, I’ll turn to my neglected blogs… I get tired of writing these at times.

What happened the other day was so unexpected – I was playing with uploading photos and I put several of them in Facebook. It caused the big deluge of the year! One friend/colleague told me that the one with Puig and Pacheco was historic, and that I should write a story about it. Two writers, one of them Canadian, wanted to be my friends, and then asked me to tell them what I thought about their books. This means I had to buy them and read them. Fortunately, I have some free time in my hands, and I don’t mind getting to know some new writers (mostly mystery – nothing “heavy” for me these days!)

I think that all this happened because the photos showed me with the “giants”, Borges and Cortazar (it doesn’t let me put the accent on the a — discriminating system! ;)), and with some lesser “giants,” Fuentes and Allende, and “others”.  Maybe they got the impression that since I was with them, hugging and laughing, I was some sort of celebrity myself. By association? Hardly! However, it is somewhat reassuring that people will react in this manner when the subject is not movie stars but literary giants! Most of them have not been awarded the Nobel prize, something that speaks even better of them and their stature (remember some of the ones from the Spanish speaking world who got it…)

Dr. Goodman came on Sunday to drive us to Baltimore, to a bookstore he knows there. Naturally, he knew I could not accompany them, but he nevertheless was thoughtful enough to invite us both. Guido did go, and it made me feel better as we are cooped up at home all day long! He goes out, but only to the doctor, the grocery store, the post office, the gas station – all very much fun places! I am grateful that even though I have not written much lately some true friends have continued writing, not asking me how I was because I had asked them not to, but keeping me company. It is very rewarding to have such friends! I did not feel like writing at all!

Today I had a telephone “consult” with Dr. Sivieri (the younger generation has shortened “consultation” to consult” and “prescription” to “script”…) Last week I had called Dr. Pennington’s office to ask them to fax the results of all my tests since my surgery to Dr. S., who wanted to read them before calling me. Two hours later they called me to tell me they had done it, and asked if I needed anything else. It amounted to 59 pages. Yes! And they did it as if it were the most natural thing on earth. We still feel that it is not fair that some people cannot have access to better heath care because of the cost. We are therefore doubly grateful that we can afford this MDVIP “system” (See P.S. for more info on this). At our age, and with all the health problems we are having, it helps to have good health care when you need it most! Besides, we are not spending anything at all on travel, “fancy” restaurants, even clothes!

Dr. S said that reading all those pages was “boring” because they kept repeating the same tests all the time! He told me they had not done any for Lyme disease or for mercury. He is going to get all these for me, and when I see him on the 24th he’ll do a whole set of new ones. He has also increased the dosage of my natural thyroid “med” – another word shortening. I now get it from Canada, as many complain about the quality of the one here.

Naturally, the telephone consult is equivalent to a regular visit, but I could not get an appointment until the 24th of March. In spite of the fact that Dr. S does not participate in any insurance, he is booked solid and it is very difficult to get an appointment with him. The consult was quite positive, and it makes me feel better. At least I am better emotionally if not physically. I am angry about it. Tomorrow Anita Hill will be speaking at George Mason University and I cannot go to hear her, even though some friends (thank you, Esperanza) have volunteered to drive me there. I am missing so many things… but as Dr. Goodman keeps reminding us, Guido and I have each other and we are together. I only wish I could at least get out of bed and walk! Going downstairs is not enough (no advice, please – just in case). It would also help if I were closer to my daughters. I would certainly have company and great food!

Back to the beginning, full circle. I was very touched when Rosana posted that she was sick (in Facebook), and that since Rafael was working at home that day (telecommuting, a great alternative) he could get her some chicken soup. That was enough for Valerie to drop by and take her “real chicken soup, not from a can” during her lunch hour!  I live with our daughters vicariously through this wonderful window – when it works, which is all the time, except today. And I talk to many friends too, near and far!

My refrigerator is literally bursting. My neighbor went to Trader Joe’s today. I had given her a list of things I need, but when she could not find some she substituted with others she thought I’d like. Two were great and unexpected – frozen grilled zucchini and eggplant form Italy, and frozen ratatouille from France. Super! The three frozen pear “tartes” from France are also welcome – not so the marinated artichokes that substituted the fresh ones I had asked her to see if they were available. Still, all in all, it was not too bad. She got the very small ciabatta rather than the larger ones, but this is also minor. Now I am stocked for a month at least. And the other neighbor keeps bringing us pasta and rice “Ethiopian” style, similar to the Italian but with lots of vegetables.

I splurged and bought some super “gold plums” from Harry and David. According to them, they come form the Andes. I wonder if they know that the Andes are in more than one country… I wish I could go to their store, but I have to get everything online. For some things it doesn’t matter much, but for food it does. The shipping is also an added cost, but there is nothing I can do. I even bought some envelopes (rarely used nowadays, but still necessary) online. Naturally, I pay more for the shipping than for the product. But then I order many items from amazon.com because of the free shipping on most (with a reasonable yearly fee). I also tried to buy regular coffee cups, something you’d think is quite easy. No! I have already received four packages, and they are all being returned (thanks also to amazon for their easy return policy). Can you find anything not made in China these days? I refuse to buy their goods mainly because I am afraid of being poisoned! And I am still confused about thinking and imagining things in ounces. Why can’t they use the decimal system?

Fortunately, it is much easier to buy good books. My Kindle must be almost full by now. I keep finding new and exciting books and I buy them right away so as not to forget. I also have a few “literary” friends who keep updating me on these!

Time to stop, otherwise this will go on forever. I want to thank again all the friends who have subscribed to this blog, and I would like to urge others to do the same. I still have to forward the new posts to many and it is cumbersome. If you subscribe (no cost!), you are automatically notified whenever there is a new post… and it is up to you to read or not to read! 😉

Now, beware the Ides of March!!!

P.S.  MDVIP is a national network of physicians who practice proactive, preventive and personalized healthcare, not just the detection and treatment of disease. The national network consists of 376 physicians and over 120,000 patients in 28 states and Washington, D.C. Each physician cares for up to 600 patients rather than the average 2500 patients in a traditional primary care practice. Patients pay an annual membership fee of up to $1800 per year, which includes a comprehensive physical examination and a follow-up wellness plan as well as medical records in CD-ROM format and personalized web sites for each patient. Patients may also be seen for illness as needed. The benefits of a smaller practice are same or next day appointments that start on time as well as unhurried visits and physician availability, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and enhanced coordination of specialty care.


About martisima

After over 50 years of teaching literature to undergraduate and graduate students, I feel I have earned my retirement (it happened when I was 72, five years ago). I do miss the classroom, however, but not the meetings and all other requirements of the profession. I love teaching, and wish I could still do it. But now I read for pleasure, and watch films, and listen to all kinds of music (no TV, though). I love to travel, and hope I can resume doing it soon. I need to get over my health issues caused by thyroid surgery three years ago!
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6 Responses to Of Blogs and Facebook and Doctors and Friends and Neighbors and Daughters and…

  1. Anna Amato says:

    OMG – as the kids say – I read your post and have so much that I want to say but there is one thing that I HAVE to write. About six months ago I went to the doctor for a follow-up and she was questioning my diet; so, what do you eat for breakfast, lunch etc etc Anna? I mentioned that I was eating tuna and olives and roasted peppers on romaine with olive oil for lunch. She asked how often. Now, admittedly, I am a person with a lot of allergies and am also a creature of habit, so I was eating that little salad about four times a week. Needless to say, I was sent for a test for mercury poisoning immediately and I can never eat tuna again. (ok, once a month but why bother) And I have to be checked every three months. Her nurses did not even know the code for the lab test until my visit. More thoughts on the rest of your blog tomorrow evening; I have to have fluid drained from my knee tomorrow and look forward to reading something other than a tax journal. Take care!

  2. martisima says:

    Thanks so much, dear Anna! I know about mercury. We eat tuna about once a month. (I hope Rosana reads this…) He is doing the mercury test with my hair (not a joke). Heavy metals are a huge problem and not many health care people know or care about them!

    Thanks for your input, and hope the procedure tomorrow goes well!

  3. I don’t eat much tuna these days! As for your tests, I’m glad they’re being thorough–but after all, this all started after the thyroid removal and your symptoms are typical of that.

    Hope you can move here before long!!

  4. martisima says:

    That’s what I keep telling the doctors, and ALL of them say there must be something else too, even Father… It makes me even more frustrated. Dr. Sivieri asked me today what I was like before surgery, and I told him what my former student said of me “like a tiny ant” (una hormiguita) running around! How can we convince them? I even told him my life is BS — meaning not what you think but “Before Surgery”, and AS, “After Surgery”…


  5. Valerie says:

    We have something similar to MDVIP here, but it is only $150 a year: https://www.onemedical.com/sf/doctors They are here, and in NY. I like them a lot!

    Oh, and people are often celebrities by association. Used to happen to me all the time with the tango “stars”. 🙂

  6. martisima says:

    Sounds great! Which of them is your doctor?

    So you think I am a celeb by association? News to me…

    Shame you don’t tango any longer. Teach Creg and you can go back to it! Takes two… 😉

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