Saturday 31 October 2020

Halloween Weekend Reflections

Still walking... Tried to put "other things" aside again today, and went for a walk to get the most out of another beautiful autumn day. One never quite knows if it will be the last!

Not many leaves left on this tree, but all the more on the ground!

N.B. reflections in the water on the bridge...

Photographer's shadow on the right... ;)

There were quite a few other people out walking in the park and along the river on this lovely day (even if I managed to keep my distance and even to keep most of them out of my photos). Actually, I think there were even more people visiting graveyards today, though - as is the tradition here for Halloween/All Saints. (So today I chose not to walk across the old cemetery where I walk often enough anyway - including yesterday.)

Besides the fine weather, another reason for all the people out walking today may be that the region of Sweden where I live (Västra Götaland) is back on a tighter leash again, when it comes to corona restrictions. (Together with -so far- four other densely populated regions, which in total means about half the population of the whole country.) So... Once again, there is not really all that much left to do except to go for walks (which is encouraged, as long as we keep distance). As for shopping, it's okay to visit grocery shops and pharmacies, but we're strongly advised to stay away from big shopping malls etc, and also from museums and other such places that tend gather a lot of people. On the whole we're supposed to limit the number of people we spend time with (esp indoors) as much as possible - preferably to "the people we live with".

Well, "me, myself & I" have pretty much been doing that for nine months already... Without blogging and some other online contacts, it would probably drive me nuts. (Possibly it already has, without me really noticing until I fell down the rabbit hole to the health care labyrinth lately.) 

While certain aspects of the internet sometimes annoy me too, I was reminded again the other day to feel very grateful for it, when I had a phone call from a friend who has neither a computer nor a smartphone...

Weekend Reflections 


Monday 26 October 2020


'Who are you?' said the Caterpillar. This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, 'I--I hardly know, sir, just at present-- at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.' 'What do you mean by that?' said the Caterpillar sternly. 'Explain yourself!' 'I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, sir' said Alice, 'because I'm not myself, you see.' 'I don't see,' said the Caterpillar. 'I'm afraid I can't put it more clearly,' Alice replied very politely, 'for I can't understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.' 'It isn't,' said the Caterpillar. --- 'Well, perhaps your feelings may be different,' said Alice; 'all I know is, it would feel very queer to me.' 'You!' said the Caterpillar contemptuously. 'Who are you?' Which brought them back again to the beginning of the conversation.

Carroll, Lewis. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (pp. 27-28).
Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.

My own adventures in Wonderland, continued.

(Cf. previous October posts 'Check-up' and 'Upside Down')

Monday (last week): Waited for doc to call (as previously agreed). He did not.

Tuesday: After a lot of button-pressing and waiting I got in touch with a nurse – who sighed and let me understand this was not the first time she'd had to sort out missed phone calls and messed-up bookings for this dr.  She said she'd have him call me back ”before lunch”.

Apparently doctors don't have lunch until late in the afternoon (or perhaps not at all); but eventually he did call, and even sort of apologized (even if he obviously wanted to blame most of it on the computer system). Followed by another rather confusing conversation, not really making me feel much wiser. (Cf. Alice above.)

Thursday: Walk in wet weather to ECG & BP appointment with nurse. BP even higher than last time. ”I'm not surprised”, I said (having felt very stressed over the past week). Nurse said to go and sit in the waiting room again; and the doc would see me in a bit. 'A bit' turned into an hour or so, watching staff running to and fro. Caught sight of the same nurse again, and asked How long...? She: ”Has he still not come??” … and went off in search of him (again). Finally he turned up. In spite of eye contact this time (our previous encounters have just been voice calls over the phone), still a lot of confusion. For one thing, he seemed to assume I was already further along in the ”plan” (gradual change of medication) than I was; while I argued that if I was supposed to be, that had not been made clear to me. A rather heated discussion followed. (In my own head afterwards, images of duels in the Harry Potter films turned up...) On the one hand, I was able to ”give him a piece of my mind", and  eye to eye this time. (For example I told him straight out that if he had taken a different approach from the beginning, explaining things properly, that would probably have made things easier for both of us!). On the other hand, I'm still not sure that wasn't all mostly ”water off a duck's back” on his part. Anyway, once again it ended in a kind of truce. Besides not having much choice, I do realize that he probably does know a great deal more about the latest progress in medicine than I do. (His communication skills and his ability to enter things correctly into the booking system, on the other hand...)

Back to the waiting room again, as I also wanted a couple of additional lab tests over with while I was there anyway. (When talking to the nurse on Tuesday, I had also asked her to check if those had been ordered at the lab, and she promised to remind the doc of that as well.)

You probably already guessed. Those tests had still not been ordered. So the lab nurse had to go and ask the him to fix that (I imagine her watching him like a hawk while he did it). She then came back, took my blood, and I was free to go...

... to a chemist's shop to collect new correct dosages of the medicines currently being changed. To be honest, I was half expecting the pharmacist to have to call the doc as well; but to my relief, the prescriptions had come in. They still caused some frowning on her part; but she was the calm and flexible kind of person and sorted it out.

Before walking back home again in the rain, I decided that what I really needed after 3+ hours of frustration was good old shopping therapy, in spite of it being lunchtime rush hour...  I am still careful about keeping distance, though, and limited the shopping spree to three shops. But I ended up successfully spending money I got for my birthday (back in August) on a soft jacket/cardigan + a new winter handbag  +  a bunch of flowers. 

This week, besides continued step-by-step changes in dosage, I'm also shifting my intake of pills from morning to evening, according to doctor's orders. (Except the one I'm supposed to quit taking altogether from Friday anyway. I really could not see the point of changing the time of day for that one, for the last week only...)

The doc is supposed to call me again this Friday. Hmmm.


Sunday 25 October 2020

Autumn Colours / Weekend Reflections

 More from yesterday's walk. Photos from the top of the park - where in summer there is also a kind of miniature/crazy golf course (closed now) - and looking down to the river.

Today the rain is pouring down outside, so a good day to rest and catch up indoors instead. We're also back on "normal" or "winter" time today, which always feels a bit confusing to me the first few days (even if on the whole, I usually find the change in the spring harder to get used to).

Hard to tell in the last photo what's above vs beneath the surface - or perhaps reflected! ;) (No, there is no layer of thin ice involved, even if it kind of looks like that in the photo.)

Weekend Reflections

Saturday 24 October 2020

Autumn Colours / Skywatch


I'll get back to reporting on "other things" another day. Meanwhile, here are some photos from today, to prove that I'm still upright and walking... :-) Today's walk went from home to the park in the city centre - and passing two old cemeteries on the way. I kept my camera busy so this is just a selection...


SkyWatch Friday

Sunday 18 October 2020

Upside Down Weekend Reflections

 More autumn photos from earlier this week:




Not upside down - but
one ear up and one down!

Sculpture "Mate Hunting" by Marianne Lindberg De Geer (2010)

I'm glad I've been able to get out and about a bit with the camera. Even walking the same old paths, fine autumn days with some colour still left in nature are good for the soul as well as the body. On this occasion, the water reflections as well as the rabbit sculpture in the park served both as distraction from and reminder of still being in "Wonderland".

As the saying goes - sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words; so here is a collage I made from three scanned postcards of Alice in Wonderland illustrations...

Short translation: Not yet feeling quite confident about results vs side-effects of changes in my blood pressure medication, recently suggested by a new doctor (cf another recent post).
I might add that I think I have a physical check-up booked with a nurse this week, and also another phone appointment with Dr Who (whom I have still not met in person). I say I think, because when I tried to check online (as one is supposed to be able do now with some things, using digital ID), what I found did not quite match what I was told over the phone. And when I tried to call, it turned out they had shut the surgery down for a couple of days to go away on a staff training course. (I'm hoping a course in doctor-patient communications.) (Of course they referred to emergency numbers. But my questions didn't qualify for that...)

While waiting, here is another brilliant snippet from Very British Problems (copied from Facebook).

 Weekend Reflections

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