Miss Biggess Doggess Has A New Toy!


Flagstaff loves me.  The ball of yarn keeps getting bigger and bigger: that is to say, I am becoming more and more deeply involved with the workings of this tiny city that perches on the Coconino Plateau, at 7,000 feet above sea level, nestled among a flock of young volcanoes.

After my thirty-first medical provider visit this month, I was overcome by a sensation that something was lacking.

For one thing, I was drained to the tips of my finger and toenails from my appointment with the new Family Practice Nurse Practitioner.  I hate to think how drained she must have felt!

The purpose of this appointment was allegedly to seek a solution to my stubborn high blood pressure.  High blood pressure is bad.  It damages one’s kidneys, causes strokes and heart damage, eye damage, and basically messes you up, usually without any symptoms at all.

Having symptoms, like headaches and blurred vision, means the high blood pressure is getting to one’s brain.

God knows, I don’t need any more brain damage, so when I realized that my permanent headache and inability to read the Louis L’Amour paperback borrowed from the campground laundry room because my vision was blurry might just be high blood pressure symptoms, I went to the Walgreens and bought a fancy blood pressure machine.

The first time I tried it out, the damn thing read 165/106 (normal is about 120/75).  I ran it a couple more times and it said approximately the same thing.  I didn’t like that at all, so after a couple of hours on the phone I got the soonest primary care appointment available, which was two weeks away.  In between times I did all the things one is supposed to do to lower blood pressure, like exercise, breathing, meditation, cuddling with one’s Doggess, and fiddling with medication doses.  And hoping like hell that nothing bad would happen.

Last night my BP was dangerously high, so I took a rather large dose of my medication (don’t try this unless you’re medically qualified), and my usual dose this morning.  My BP in the office was perfectly normal, so of course I felt like a fool.

To make matters worse, I disclosed all of my psychiatric diagnoses and their respective meditations, and the NP completely unraveled.  Poor thing, who can blame her?

To her credit, she did a great job of picking out a team of specialists to help figure out what in the hell is wrong with my immune system and nervous system and skin, and whether all these are part of the same problem, or whether they are separate problems.  As for my blood pressure, she told me to keep doing whatever I did to bring it down, and gave me a script for more of that particular medicine.

Driving back from that exhausting appointment, I spied a grocery-store-cum-gas-station I’d seen before but never stopped at, because it looked down-at-heel and sad, like one of those discount groceries that appear and disappear in a matter of days like mushrooms after a good rain.  Today I needed gas, though, and the price was right, so I waited in line till a pump opened up.

After filling my gas tank, my mind returned to my own stomach.  The grocery had a Starbucks logo on the wall.  Hmmm, a green tea soy latte might perk me up!  I went in.

Have you ever had the experience of going into a drab, shabby building, and finding the inside bright, beautiful, and full of your favorite fresh fruits, veggies, and gluten free foods?  Heaven.  I got my green tea soy latte and headed for the aisles.

Half an hour into the orgy I came to the pet stuff aisle and was struck by a largish wave of guilt, since Atina had spent most of her day in the van, while I was enjoying my medical appointment and now shopping my heart out; therefore, I sprung for the $8 on sale “un-stuffed” furry critter with a squeaker at its head and tail.

I paid for my order (Jeezus Kreezus, $120 for those few things?  And this isn’t even Whole Foods!) and hauled my cart out to the van with my one good hand.  Atina glared at me from her spot on the bed.  She had good reason to be sick of being locked up!

The moment I cut the tag off the new Critter and threw it at her, all was forgotten.

She caught it.  It squeaked!  Just like the squirrels that taunt her all day around here would do if she could ever get her pearly whites on one!

Since then, the Critter has been relentlessly shaken, chewed, squeaked (my ears, my head!), and is sodden with Doggess spit.  Now she sleeps, worn out with worrying the new Critter to death.

The best $8 I’ve ever spent.

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  1. amazing that a toy can bring so much joy to a dog.

  2. Atina’s new toy sounds like it’s the dog’s bow-wow. And how about your salt intake? But I’m pretty sure that you are being careful about that. I know when my BP goes up from too much sodium. I get a peculiar faint clicking sound in my ears and I take an extra Verapamil.

  3. Oh my dear Owneress of the Dogess, I am so happy to read this post. You sound well and happy and I am happy for you. Let’s hope the team of doctors can sort out all your issues. Flagstaff is doing you good. And how amazing for the sad little place to turn out so happy and bright. Yes I see Atina lived her toy… To death… Love and hugs for both of you.

    • 🌞🌞🌞 just another sunny day in beautiful Flag! Yup, this quirky berg seems to be just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for your well wishes! Right back acha xxx

    • Thank you, O Oneness Bloggeress! Yes, lovely endless sunny days and beautiful mountains keep my mood on the sunny side. Atina is thriving, and that makes me happy. There are plenty of jerks here, like everywhere, but for the most part people seem optimistic. There is terrific cultural diversity. Lots of Dine (Navajo), Hopi, Latino, and other cultures. A few Jews, and I saw a lady in Hijab in the grocery store yesterday. I’m off to Sunset Crater now, which is a huge volcanic caldera that erupted sometime around 1075 c.e.!

  4. There is so much here….Are you planning to live in Flagstaff?

    • Gosh, I hadn’t planned on it, but I think Flag kinda likes me. The country around here is in my literary bones, as I’ve been intimate with the names of its places since childhood (I began my career as a cowboy at age three, when I wheeled up to our small town police station on my tricycle and announced that I was the new Sheriff of those parts). I do have to put off finding a proper horse and trailer until after “the big surgery” in Denver, whenever that is, but I am sore tempted whenever I see an empty trailer backed up to the National Forest, and I know just what the occupants are doing: they are having a blast ambling down the crushed cinder trail, their dogs rushing around trying to catch savvy rabbits and squirrels! I miss that life very much. I’m looking to kind of settle somewhere that I know will be there when I want to come in from the trail, as it were, and here on the Plateau that forms the top of the fabled Mogollon Rim, I just plain feel good, despite the physical plant issues.

  5. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  March 25, 2016

    You’re right! I sure wish all it took was an $8 toy to brighten my day πŸ˜‰
    Well… a call from a distant friend will do it tho!

  6. Laura,
    I love Atina and you can see the happiness in her face. Little Rikki has one but the squeak scares him. You sound great and are solving your problems. Yes, I’ve had an experience like that. Once my daughter and I were in Franklin, hungry and on the way out of town. We stopped for gas and they had a restaurant attached. Didn’t look like much but we had the best French food I’ve had in decades there. It was such a surprise. Anyway and btw, you write beautifully. Just a comment.

  7. That little $8 fix for your puppy…I wish you could find an $8 fix for you 😦
    Are you sure that new BP machine is accurate? I have the opposite….my BP is almost non-existent 😦

    • Yeah, it’s accurate. I changed my BP med dose and this morning it was 125/75. You and I should get together and do a BP exchange transfusion. Then we’d both be in the normal range! For that, anyway πŸ˜‰

      • LOL. I used to say (when something upset me) that “my blood pressure shot all the way up to normal!”
        That was a good read this morning….actually, it was perfect.
        Stay strong, Laura.
        BTW…did you go to school with a man named Marty?

  8. Thank you for the story of Atina and her unstuffed squeaky critter. Loved it. Hope your BP stays lower with meds. Hope your health improves. Realize, though, that sometimes one’s health simply does not improve.

  9. Little things in life bring so much joy.

    It sounds like it was actually quite a positive meeting with that NP, if she’s worked out a plan to figure out what if any of your medical problems are connected. I hope that the resulting appointments are a) less stressful and b) actually useful and helpful.

    • Thank you, so do I. The big one will be the Spine Institute in Denver, not yet scheduled. Still winter there!

      In retrospect I overwhelmed the poor NP, especially with my neuropsychiatric issues, which are actually the best controlled, ironically, and yet she literally panicked when she saw my med list. Oh well.

  10. Good things happen to good people who wait patiently
    Maybe this is where you need to make some roots
    I hope you feel better
    Its about time you found people who are sympathetic to your needs
    As always Sheldon
    Big hugs


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