March 21, 2018

singingberthaSeveral sites are now offering DNA profiles for a price.  Ancestry.ca is such a site.  I have always been curious about my background; where I came from and what kind of people made up my genetic family.  I was adopted in 1948 at the age of 6 months.  In those days the powers that be must have considered a detailed medical history unnecessary.  All my adoption papers said was that there was no mental illness or venereal disease in the family.  Weird but then it was 1948 and just after the war.

To make a long story short, my dad while at an auction sale in a small town about 40 miles from where I grew up helped an elderly woman pull a wagon full of plants across the street.  They introduced themselves and when my dad heard the lady’s last name he asked if she knew of a baby given up for adoption about 35 years ago with the same last name.  She said no at first but later, just before she left for her house and my dad returned to the auction sale she asked him to bring me along to her estate sale which was happening in three weeks.  She told my dad she wanted to see me again.

After much persuasion, I consented to go to this lady’s estate sale which was a bizarre experience, to say the least.  My dad went ahead in his truck and my mom and I followed a short time later.  When I walked into the lady’s yard everyone went silent even the auctioneer.   My mom and I were taken into this summer kitchen and I was introduced to “relatives”.  Several of the older women started to cry.  They knew my birth mom and told me that I looked exactly like her.

This meeting at the auction site led to me meeting my birth mom, half-sister and one of my birth mom’s cousins.  After some time my birth mom and I went to the offices of Child and Family Services and it was confirmed that she had given birth to me.

My birth mom could not for reasons I do not know tell me the real name and the truth about my birth father.  While living in British Columbia I did a lot of research and found who I believed to be my half siblings.  My birth father had passed away a number of years before I found his family.  However, I had never had official confirmation that this man was indeed my birth father.

aaSisters 500x500My mom and dad adopted my sister four years after they adopted me.  I remember going to the nursey at the Women’s Pavilion in Winnipeg to see my new, 10-day old sister.  A kind nurse had invited my dad and me to come in to see the new baby.  I also remember that my dad and I were “chased” out of the nursery by the head nurse who was very upset that a “child” had been allowed into the newborn nursery.  My dad and I went to the park across the street while we waited for my mom to get my sister ready to take home with us.  My sister and I were adopted by a wonderful couple who truly loved us.

Back to my Ancestry.ca story.  My son and daughter in law gave my husband and me DNA kits from Ancestry.ca for Christmas.  My husband got his results two weeks ago but I was told that they were unable to get a profile from the sample I sent so I would have to redo it.  Even though my husband can trace his family back to the 1600’s there were a number of people with similar DNA profiles; people that were unknown to him.  Last week my son and daughter in law got their DNA profiles.  My son called us the day he received his and wanted to know how he could be related to a woman I will call Jane Doe; not only be related too but closely related as a sister or aunt.  I knew immediately who he was talking about.  Jane Doe was the only daughter of my birth father and my half-sister.  What made this so important to me was that I now have official confirmation that I was right about the identity of my birth father.  It truly is a small world.

You have to wonder how many secrets will be uncovered with these DNA profiles.  I did not realize when sending in my DNA sample that I would be given the names of people who had similar DNA profiles.

At the beginning of February, we noticed a feral cat that seemed to live under our deck.  Being the animal lovers that we are we immediately bought cat food and put out some blankets and a bowl of food for this poor creature.  My husband named the cat “Lollipop”.  It did not take long and Lollipop was joined by other stray cats.  It became a daily ritual to make sure the food bowls were filled.

To keep track of Lollipop and her “gang” my husband set up an infrared camera outside and a TV screen inside so we could watch the cats enjoying their buffet.  The neat thing about this camera was that it was capable of filming in the dark giving us a lovely clear video.  The first night the camera was up you can imagine our surprise at what popped up on the camera once the cats had finished their nightly feast.  Check the video below:

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March 14, 2018

3116583_400x400_bg-whiteOh, where to begin.  As you will have noticed on my February 5th post that there is not much love lost between me and the useless family doctors that were foisted on us since 2017.  I was ready to go escape into the wilderness.

My husband made a second visit to the Provincial Minister of Health.  As the meeting came to an end the Provincial Minister of Health told my husband he could put his name to any correspondence with Doctor Find or the College of Physicians and Surgeons.  As soon as this happened my husband wrote a letter of complaint to the big boss at Doctor Find.  It did not take long and she was on the phone with us.  After promising to fix what happened to us she put Numskull on the phone.  My husband held the phone receiver for 15 minutes while Numskull went on and on until she had talked herself out.  When finally able to get a word in edgewise my husband told her that we expected her to find us a proper, educated doctor.  Not even 30 minutes later she called us to let us know that she had the name of a Winnipeg doctor and clinic that were willing to take new patients.  Very impressive after the ridiculous information we were given during her first phone call to our house.

This clinic almost seems to good to be true.  It is located close to Bishop Grandin in Winnipeg.  Peter was first to have an appointment with the nurse practitioner.  She was very concerned that there had been no followup by his then family doctor or by a cardiologist following his heart attack in October.  Peter told her about his concerns especially his high blood pressure.   The nurse practitioner immediately made an appointment with our new family doctor.  Peter saw him five days later and the new doctor changed his blood pressure medication.  His blood pressure was under control within 24 hours.  The new family doctor sent Peter for blood work and an EKG.  Amazing this new doctor called my husband on a Sunday afternoon to voice his concerns over the recent bloodwork.  A doctor that shows this much concern is a keeper.  He faxed a second requisition for more blood work the next day.

My appointment with the nurse practitioner happened a week later.  I was very impressed with her approach and her concerns about my medical issues.  Unless she is a brilliant actor, I believe I can trust her to advocate for me.  I have an appointment to meet my new family doctor early in April.

On to a lighter topic.  Several months ago while browsing in the local thrift store one afternoon I noticed a whole wall of frames, some with pictures, some with matts and some just empty frames.  As anyone who knows me knows that I love to cover my walls with pictures, watercolours, oils, prints and other forms of artwork.  Family photos are hung on the main floor hall as well as on the shelves and walls in the downstairs family room.  That afternoon I bought up as many frames as I thought would work for me and thus a new hobby was made.  Since then I have spent many enjoyable hours searching for frames at the local thrift store and mixing matts and frames with suitable pictures.  My only problem is that I am fast running out of wall space.

So much for today.  Will try to blog more frequently.

 

 

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February 5, 2018

3116583_400x400_bg-whiteThis blog has been neglected for a while and the reason is that I was so devastated when I realized I had been had by my new so-called family doctor, Dr. Miraculum.  He was absolutely not a miracle but a horrible hindrance in my search for medical care.  He “was” my husband’s family doctor and when my husband asked if he would consider taking me on as a patient he immediately said “yes”.   I naively thought that the December 8th appointment had gone well and that he understood my issues and medications.  Dr. Miraculum will from now on be referred to as Dr. Looser.

My second appointment with Dr.Looser was on occurred on January 19th.  My purpose for making this appointment was to get a refill on my Elival prescription.  My suspicious nature immediately clicked into overdrive when he insisted on changing the dosage of this medication.  He changed it by cutting the dosage in half without properly explaining why.  I then broached the topic of changing my pain medication prescription over to him, he showed his true colours.  He made exaggerated claims about the dangers of the pain medication I was taking.   Dr. Looser finally agreed to give me a week’s worth of pain meds which he insisted must last me for three weeks.   He told me to wait in the front reception area and he would write out the prescription.  It seemed to take forever so my husband checked to see what was taking so long.  At this point, Dr. Looser’s nurse asked me to join her in a back consultation room.  She had in her hand several papers and the prescription.  She said that I would have to sign the papers she handed over if I wanted to get the prescription.  The papers I was given were a joke and the only purpose they served was that if I was a stupid enough to sign them I could eventually be called a criminal.  Needless to say, I had the wherewithal to say no to signing the forms and no to the prescription.

During the first appointment, I noticed that Dr. Looser had trouble looking at me; not my husband just me.  During the second appointment, it became even more obvious that this man had a problem looking at women; at least I hope it is women and not just me.  He took my blood pressure but refused to let me roll up the sleeve of my sweater or take my arm out of the sleeve so he could get a proper reading.

It seems a shame that I, a senior citizen, pushing 70 is made to feel like a criminal and painted with the same brush as a person who buys street drugs.  Around about 1998 I was put on pain medication by my family doctor at the time.  He has since moved on to bigger and better things; being a family doctor did not suit his long-term plans.  He sent me to the pain clinic where my prescribed medication was reviewed and deemed very suitable for my medical conditions.  Now suddenly the notion that pain medications make life tolerable for people with chronic pain has been replaced by the notion that pain medications have no place in society.  Trust me when I say that all the pain medications I have taken have never taken care of all the pain.  The medications make the pain tolerable and make it possible for me to get out of bed in the morning.’

My husband had an appointment with our provincial minister of health.  He told my husband that it had never been his or the government’s intention to deprive 70-year-old upstanding citizens of their medication for chronic pain.  However, our zealous doctors cannot comprehend the difference between a 70-year-old with chronic pain or an addicted street urchin who will sell their soul for Fentanyl.

On a more pleasant note, my daughter is in the processing of organizing the tea described below.

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3rd Annual Society For the Ethical Treatment Of Kraken Tea And Bazaar

  • Saturday, June 9 at 12 PM – 5 PM
  • Crescent Fort Rouge United Church
  • 525 Wardlaw Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3L 0L9
  • Public – Hosted by Natasha Klassen and 6 others
Details
3rd Annual Ladies Tea and Bazaar organized by the Society for the Ethical Treatment of Kraken.  New this year is the Grinder’s Underground Market (a new and larger area for vendors with a secret speakeasy kind of theme) a High Tea, Radio Play and new additions to the outdoor event area as well!
 
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January 10, 2018

These cartoons depict some of the doctors I have encountered since 1998.  Thank you to my dear friend Bette who created the cartoons.

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This endocrinologist nearly cost me my sanity. She did nothing to help me deal with the bad side effects of the Radio Active Iodine she ordered me to drink.  She was unable to control her temper when things did not go her way.

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His solution to my problems was diet. All my pains and problems would disappear if I took the diet pill he prescribed for me. He accused me of being lazy and uninformed.

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December 24, 2017

christmasglitter1Wishing all my readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Our Christmas Eve has been very low key so far.  We had planned to spend the evening with our grandson but he had a crazy accident last night.  Slipped on the ice and hit the pavement with his forehead.  When he arrived here at noon today his Papa took him to the emergency at 1:30 PM.  The bump on his forehead was massive and his eye was almost swollen shut.  It is now 8:30 PM and he is still waiting to see a doctor.

Tomorrow we will be going to our daughter’s house for Christmas supper.  She is an amazing cook and I really appreciate that she does the big Christmas day meal.  I will contribute a 7 layer salad and an assortment of drinks.

img129Christmas shopping this year was a breeze.  I only spent two hours in the mall; the rest of my shopping was done online.

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December 13, 2017

cropped-24237604_225x225Finally, I am able to share some great news with you, my readers.  I have found a new family doctor; Dr. Miraculum (Latin for a miracle).  I saw Dr. Miraculum for the first time on December 8th.   He showed me that he has the ability to listen carefully and the ability to care.  What a wonderful combination!  What a huge weight off of my shoulders.

Since I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Cirrhosis of the Liver I have had blood work and an ultrasound done every six months.  I had an ultrasound done yesterday and now am waiting for the results.   It is a worry until the result is in.  I always wonder if this will be the six months check up that has a nasty result.

My Christmas shopping is almost done.  Spent Tuesday afternoon at the mall and was able to find all but three items on my list.  Our Christmas will be very low key again this year.  Grandson will be spending Christmas Eve with us and then the three of us will drive into Winnipeg to spend Christmas Day with our daughter and her partner.  Our daughter does the most amazing Christmas dinner.  The only problem is knowing when tobathroomscale quit eating.

My project for today is to finish decorating my Christmas tree.   Decorating the rest of the house will depend on my energy levels.  I remembered to order 10 dozen meat Piroshki from this wonderful older lady.  They are absolutely delicious and my grandson loves to find several dozen in the freezer with his name on the bags.

This will be the end of my epistle for today.  Much too do and not enough time.

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November 27, 2017

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A belated Happy Thanksgiving to my American family and friends.  Now is the time when many folks begin to decorate for Christmas.  Even though the weather has played havoc with my pain and mobility, I have, in the last two weeks, managed to accomplish a number of items on my to-do list.  Completing tasks on this list fills me with joy.  The outside lights have been put up; the urns filled with the appropriate decorations; the lights and garland have been added to the two antique sleds, and the Christmas wreath is hanging on the front door.  The tree with lights permanently attached is up.  There is enough time between now and Christmas for me to decorate the tree at a pace that works for me.  The snowman and deer will have to wait until there is more snow on the ground.  Each Christmas I like to add a few new items to my decoration collection.  This year I bought two of the twig trees with lights for my front porch.

Another task completed yesterday was the ironing.  It has probably been six months since the last time I picked up an iron.  Ironing is not one of my favourite pastimes and as always I later suffer.  Later that evening, I had a horrendous bout of cramps in my hands and arms.

This blog is filled with much complaining.  It is the only place that I can express how I feel without being made to feel a fool.  It is hard for people to “get it”.  We are sick, we may have to use a cane, we may have to use designated parking and we may occasionally moan and groan when we are having a bad day.  Even in the worst days, if I look hard enough, I can find something to be thankful for.

The Monday evening chats will begin again next week, December 4th.  The chat room is located at The Chat Room    Chats will begin at 7:00 P.M.  If you are dealing with an autoimmune disease and would like to chat with others suffering from the same symptoms join us Monday evening.

 

 

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November 22, 2017

It is getting closer to the end of November however the weather cannot make up its mind what to do.  This coming Friday the temperature is supposed to be plus 5 C.  When the temperature dips below freezing on Friday night the roads will be a nightmare.  Today’s weather forecast calls for a few flurries ending this afternoon then clearing.  Wind south 20 km/h becoming light this afternoon. High minus 7.  With these type of weather changes no wonder my body feels like it has been to hell in a handbasket.

My parents would be celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary today. They were married on November 22nd, 1942. They met on a blind date in July 1942 and were married six months later. My dad was a Conscientious Objector and ten days after their wedding they were sent to Miniki, Ontario to a lumber camp. Upon arrival at the camp, they had to make their living quarters livable. Mom said when they woke up in the mornings that winter their pillows were usually frozen to the wall. My mom passed away December 2nd, 2006. Ten days before, after drifting in and out of consciousness for days she woke early on November 22nd and called her daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to her bedside. She spent quality time with each of us. That morning she informed my dad that he had to change out of the shirt he was wearing and put on good clothes because it was their 64th wedding anniversary and they would have a party all day long. And we did. It was a day that left us with the most wonderful and precious memories. Sadly the next morning, November 23rd mom drifted back into unconsciousness and remained that way until she passed. But November 22nd, 2006 will always be remembered as an incredibly special day when God gave us one more day with our precious mom.

My husband, believing that he was helping me find a new family doctor, made the mistake of calling Doctor Find Manitoba.  My last two family doctors have quit their medical practices.  When No Name quit I felt lucky because I found a new family doctor in a relatively short time.  To my chagrin, this doctor after a few years also quit practicing.  So just to clear things up I am not doctor shopping with all its negative connotations.  I am desperate to find a new family doctor who can take care of my medical issues without putting me through hell.

I received a call from Numskull at Doctor Find this morning around 11:15 AM.  She identified herself as a registered nurse from Doctor Find who had trained residents during her career as an RN.  In her case, I wonder if the RN title really refers to Registered Nurse or if it refers to Registered Numskull?  She led me to believe she was “da boss”.  Here in point form are many of the statements she made to me regarding my foolish desire to find an appropriate family doctor.  Of course, I was immediately looked at as a problem old lady since I did not volunteer to bow to and worship the one doctor I had seen since I became doctorless.

Living in rural community and being almost 70 years old Numskull informed me that she would not find me a doctor in Winnipeg.  When I mentioned that we would eventually probably move to Winnipeg she told me to call her back when that had been accomplished and she would find me a doctor in Winnipeg.  At the end of our telephone conversation, she again made it very clear that she would not find me a family doctor in Winnipeg at this time.  She again reiterated that at my age of almost 70 it was not in my best interest to have to drive all the way to Winnipeg when I needed medical attention.  She went on to say that I could expect all kinds of illness to crop up and of course I was a scared old lady so I needed to stay within my rural community.

Not agreeing with a new family doctor about his choice of treatments regarding thyroid medication and pain medication was no reason to find a new family doctor.  I would have to adjust to the new way of doing things and eventually learn to get along with Dr. Sadist.  No family doctor in Manitoba would give me a prescription for pain medication and if I wanted to remain on my thyroid medication and not do what Dr. Sadist recommended I would have to see an endocrinologist.

What concerned me at the start of our conversation or I should say mostly one-sided conversion since it was her side that did all the talking, was that she seemed to know way too much about my medical history.  I never gave anyone at Doctor Find the permission to delve into my medical records.

When I mentioned to her that the first time I made an appointment with Dr. Sadist in fall it was because at that time I had been suffering from restless leg syndrome for over two weeks.   Dr. Sadist informed me that we would not discuss the restless leg issue because this was my first appointment with him so this would be a meet and greet appointment   Numskull informed me that this was the way the new family doctors did things.  The first appointment always had to be a meet and greet.  Dr. Sadist still has not addressed my restless leg problem.

I mentioned that Dr. Sadist had railed against the doctors in the town where he had worked before coming to my town.  He claimed they were horrible because they prescribed so many opioids and benzodiazepines that the town had a real problem.  I told her that Dr. Sadist had told me that he had been told that he would not have that problem in the town I am living in.  To his dismay, he now knew that all the affluent people in my town were addicted to pain medications.  He told me this was the fault of the old doctors at the clinic who would have to change or get into trouble.  Numskull’s response to this was that the young family doctors were much better trained than the old ones.

Numskull informed me that the pain clinic would not recommend or prescribe opioids anymore.  I told her I had been at the pain clinic and they were okay with the medications I was taking.

I told her that Dr. Sadist insisted on messing with my thyroid meds.  He had insisted that I stop taking one of the medications immediately.  I told her that I was not prepared to do that since it had taken my former family doctors years to get my TSH number stable.   She told me that I would have to ask Dr. Sadist if I could see an endocrinologist about my TSH.  In a very condescending way, Numskull then asked me if I was aware of my thyroid numbers (She meant TSH).  I said, of course, I was, that I was very informed when it came to thyroid issues.  I told her I had written many articles about thyroid issues.  (As a side, I had a website and a message board for many years.  My message board had a membership of over 900 people.   Most of my 900 plus members had medical issues after ingesting Radio Active Iodine, cheap way of treating Graves Disease.)

Numskull kept telling me that she could understand that I was scared and upset.  At my age, it would be frightening to have to change my medications.  What does all this have to do with my age?  She has no right to made such judgments about me.  Of course when I asked her what I as an almost 70-year-old woman was to do; just suffer until I finally died 10 to 15 years from now she refused to acknowledge my question.   She, of course, refused to acknowledge any of my questions she did not feel like answering.  Her pat comment was, “Oh I know you are a very scared old lady”.

She asked me if I knew why doctors could no longer prescribe opioids? I said it was because young people were killing themselves with opioid abuse.  However, I was nearly 70 years old with a record of non-abuse and it was not fair that I was being punished for the abuse perpetrated by others.

Numskull then went on to give me examples of medical procedures that had changed in the last few years, things like pap smears were no longer done as frequently and that mammograms were not the best way of checking for breast cancer.  She started to give me some long-winded explanation.  I interrupted her and told her that I knew why.  Some of the technicians I had dealt with had told me why.  The government was trying to save money.  Numskull took offense at this and informed me that a woman did not need a pap smear if she had never had more than one sexual partner.  She told me that cervical cancer was caused only by HPV or the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted disease.  She also stated that mammograms were virtually useless.  She told me that young women’s breasts were too dense to see anything worthwhile and the older women were no longer at a great risk.

This old almost 70-year-old woman is going to lie down and stop thinking for the rest of the day.  Sometimes it is best we just clear our minds and forget about the nasty business of life.

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November 5, 2017

LuellatwoOn November 2nd I had a second appointment with my new family doctor.  For the last three years, I had been fortunate to be under the care of Dr. Newbie, a caring, thoughtful, and thorough woman.  She was compassionate and understood the needs of a nearly 70-year-old woman.  Sadly she decided to give up her practice and move on.  She assured me that before she left she would find me a new family doctor; one who would be willing to continue her treatment plan.

I made my first appointment with Dr. Creeper, the Sadist in October.  I was having terrible problems at night with Restless Leg Syndrome.  Instead of allowing me to talk about medical issues, Dr. Creeper, the Sadist informed me that this was a “Meet and Greet” which he explained was a “getting to know each other” appointment.   Even though I left without discussing my Restless Leg Syndrome I felt that the appointment had gone quite well.

You can imagine my shock and surprise when the November 2nd appointment “went to hell in a handbasket” in record time.  I told Dr.  Creeper the Sadist that I needed my usual 6 months of repeats on my pain medication.  His answer while sporting his sanctimonious smile was that he did not believe in pain medications; that there were other much better ways of controlling pain.  When I asked for an example he quickly changed the subject.   He proceeded to tell me that the old doctors at the clinic were making a terrible mistake in prescribing pain medications and that they would be held responsible and accountable one day soon.  He went on to tell me with his hand placed over his heart for added drama that if he continued to prescribe my regular regime of pain medications I would surely die.  My pain medication prescription has remained the same for many years and I can tell you that I am “not knockin on Heaven’s door” anytime soon.  I refused to argue with the idiot.  I did ask Dr. Creeper how I, a woman only 4 months shy of her 70th birthday was supposed to deal with chronic, debilitating pain?  He had no answer.

After Dr.  Creeper, the Sadist finally stopped his tirade about opioids he started in on my thyroid medications.  I take Synthroid 200 mcg. and Cytomel 25 mcg.  It has taken years to get the right balance.  My TSH is finally stable at .06.  For me, that is the right number.  According to Dr. Creeper, if he let me continue with the Cytomel he would have my death on his conscience.  He told me to quit the Cytomel immediately and go for another blood test in two weeks.  If I listen to this Dr. Creeper the Sadist I will probably die.  It is dangerous to just quit taking Cytomel.  It has to be done carefully under a doctor’s supervision.  When Dr. Creeper refuses to give me repeats for my pain medication I wonder how long I will be able to tolerate the at times horrendous pain without resorting to a nasty solution?

Dr. Creeper the Sadist also told me that when he was hired to come to the town I live in he was told that there was very little drug addiction going on here.  He told me that he had since discovered that the town was rife with affluent people abusing prescription drugs.  He again reiterated how the old doctors in the clinic would be held accountable for all the opioids they prescribed to the affluent people in town.  The way he said it, I got the distinct impression that he had a hate on for affluent people.

There is only one way to describe this idiot with his smarmy grin, he is a creeper.

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October 31, 2017

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Wishing all the Trick-or-treaters a happy and safe Halloween.  May your pillowcases, buckets, bags or carryalls be filled with all kinds of Halloween goodies.  The picture on the left was taken a number of years ago.  My husband, grandson and I would decorate the yard and dress up for Halloween.  The three of us have great memories of those times.  The grandson is now too old for trick or treating and Nana and Papa no longer have the energy to decorate the front yard.

We made a trip to Winnipeg yesterday morning and experienced one of those first days of winter when sections of the highway are covered in ice and other sections covered in a mixture of sleet and rain.  Not fun driving conditions.  Peter had a meeting to attend in Winnipeg and I took the opportunity to spend the morning with my daughter.  Thankfully by the time we left Winnipeg the highway was no longer a problem.

I received a phone call last week Friday informing me that my family doctor wanted to see me November 2nd to discuss the results of my latest round of blood tests.  Of course, this type of phone call always worries me; hopefully, the results will be close enough to normal so not to cause more health concerns.   Also received a notice last week that my six-month ultrasound is scheduled for December 13th.

A Reminder:  Weekly chats are scheduled on Monday evenings at 7:00 PM CDT.  If you are dealing with an Autoimmune Disease or Diseases please feel free to join our chat.  You will usually find participants in the chat room who are dealing with similar issues. The chat room URL is  Autoimmune Diseases Chat.

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