November 7, 2022 - Spinach and Brussels Sprouts

Health insurance is part of my compensation package as a bus driver at SLO-RTA, so I try to take advantage of the benefit when I remember. Back in June I booked an appointment to get a referral for a colonoscopy that is about a year overdue now. My previous physician in Colorado gave me a referral for one last year but I moved here before I got it done there, so I tried to use his old referral to set up a colonoscopy appointment here but needed to get a local referral first instead, which I finally did. Okay, breath.

Once I got the referral I drove over to the radiology place that would do the colonoscopy to set up the appointment, but I wasn't in their system yet, so I couldn't book the appointment even though I had the printed referral in my hand. Then I forgot about it and finally called them back to set up an appointment and they're booked out until, get this, April 2023. Yes, I am a little sarcastic about that. I've been working on reducing my sarcasm usage, and this is not helping my sarcasm-to-less-sarcasm ratio. I apologize for that. I'm a work-in-progress, changes like this will take time.

Now, I don't want to totally slag my healthcare network because a few weeks ago I didn't feel well at all and found out through an online chat with my healthcare center that I could walk in anytime without booking an appointment. That is an amazing thing in my opinion. And not only the walk-in part, but the online chat feature as well. As a result I walked-in first thing the next morning and killed two birds with one stone by getting some labs done that had also been ordered back in July. Both the labs and the checkup by the physician all happened within a few hours. It was pretty spectacular really.

The clinic is walking distance from my apartment, and if I take the shortcut across the train tracks it's an even shorter walk, maybe 10 blocks. I was feeling pretty chipper after the whole thing because my blood pressure reading was almost impossibly low. Like, hold on, that machine might not be totally accurate, low. For awhile a few years ago I got blood pressure checks a LOT. Why you may ask, and it's a valid question. At one point while I was touring with Sugar Still I discovered the existence of paid clinical drug trials and started doing them. Unlike many of my friends, I qualified easily as I don't smoke pot, have no ongoing pharmaceutical prescriptions, and I'm in pretty good health. The intake technicians looked at me like I was a unicorn. Anyway, during one of those trials, since I was getting multiple blood pressure test per day, I discovered that I could "beat" the blood pressure machines to get good readings. I'm not kidding. All I had to do before each test was walk for 20 minutes and then meditate for 15 minutes. It became almost infallible for me. However, it didn't work as well as I hoped all the time, and over time I realized it was because the accuracy of blood pressure machines fluctuates pretty wildly. If you get a poor result on a blood pressure test, consider asking them to switch machines. Also, try walking to your appointment, arrive a little early, and use a meditation app in the waiting room.

Okay, so enough of that. A few days ago my physician contacted me to discuss my lab results. She said for the most part they looked very good except that I had a troubling B-12 deficiency, and recommended I come in for B-12 shots or take B-12 supplements orally. I opted for the pills for some reason, fear of shots? Fear of scheduling ongoing appointments? A little of both actually. But I also immediately asked what I should be eating to address this deficiency ongoing and she said "green leafy vegetables" to which I responded, "Ah, yes, spinach, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, I've been a little short on those lately. I'll work on that, and I'll pick up the prescription tomorrow."

The next morning I drove to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription but they were temporarily out of stock. On the way back home I stopped at the Smart and Final and bought a double-size bag of frozen chopped spinach. I've been adding it to the curry I made last week, and I've been adding it to burritos and omelettes. Yesterday I bought frozen brussels sprouts as well. I'd been buying fresh before this, but not eating them quickly enough and then watching them spoil in the fridge, so this feels like a viable solution so far. I'm certainly eating a lot more of them frozen than I was fresh.

No big epiphanies here or anything. But I wrote something and posted it. Go me! I apologize again for the sarcasm. I proffer to use less in the future.

Oh hey, I had a lot of fun exploring the tide pools during low-tide yesterday, so here's a photo of a starfish.