Life in the time of Wuflu, Part 39: Oh, the things you will see

(With apologies to Dr. Seuss, who, interestingly enough, was a liberal, at least for his time. Now, he’s simply memory-holed.)

It’s been a couple of weeks since our last episode of “As the Wuflu Turns”, and things continue to get slowly but surely more “festive”. Spring hasn’t even sprung and Portland continues to burn, the southern gates have been thrown open and of course, Dr. Seuss has been un-personed, or at least 6 of his books have been. I’m sure the remainder will follow shortly.

In my area, gas has risen 45-50¢ since the selection of a new resident for the White House. Food prices are also going up lickety-split, and spot shortages have once again made an appearance. I’ve noted them in multiple stores recently, and they seem to be in the sorts of food that one might buy when things like beef are priced out of your now-reduced reach. The good news is that new stimulus checks will soon appear and unemployment bonuses will be extended, alleviating the issue for some time.

For those who are interested, guns and ammo aren’t happening. Period.

In the light of recent developments, I’m repatriating the family Roth IRAs to a (perceived?) less risky location closer to home. Since we’re both over 59 1/2 and the accounts are over 5 years old, all I have to do is pay the taxes on what remains of the gains, and trust me, that won’t be a big hit. We got hammered on those accounts the last time the market tanked, and the holder of the accounts couldn’t manage to execute changes expeditiously. Shades of the Reddit/Gamestop/Robinhood debacle. It honestly never occurred to me until that whole sh*tshow that it could have been a deliberate move. Live and learn. Only the Approved Winners shall win.

We haven’t reached a decision on how to employ the funds yet. I am seriously considering a (very) small stack of these, because in gold we trust. However, there are also other items to be considered, such as an alternative energy system for The Freehold. While the power system here is still good, I’m seeing a lot of little blips, more than I’m used to. I don’t know if I’m making more of that than I should, but electricity is a useful thing and I’d hate to be without it for an extended time. Sure, I have a generator, but those eat gas. Something that eats sunshine strikes me as preferable. Fortunately I don’t feel that I need to be in a rush to make a decision.

Mrs. Freeholder has issued a momentous announcement-she is retiring at the end of the school year. The Wuflu-inspired follies in public education have finally tipped the balance away from her love of kids, and she’s erasing her chalkboard for the last time at the end of June. It will mean a hit in the income, but one that is survivable. We’ll have a few lean years, but once the last two things we owe for are paid off, as long as Social Security and state pensions are OK, so are we.

In related news, I’m going to be getting more serious about gardening.

Houses continue to sell extraordinarily well. I’m told interest rates are the reason. I wonder if those buying are getting traditional mortgages or adjustable rate ones. If it’s the later, they may be singing the blues in a year or two. But for now, let the good times roll.

A few more businesses have failed. A few more optimists have opened businesses. Hope springs eternal. As usual, I’ll wish them well.

This weekend was the first warm, dry weekend we’ve had in a long while. I’ve noted quite a few RVs on the move, which is unusual this early for this area. But people are getting more and more restive being cooped up at home. North Carolina, while having Republican majorities in the state House and Senate, has a Democrat governor, and he is doing the typical Democrat Governor thing in the face of a pandemic where 99.7% of the sufferers survive-he’s squawking about masks and the need to stay at home.

In the larger metro areas, which themselves are quite Blue, masks are the order of the day. I was in Moscow on the Catawba (Charlotte to the uninitiated) this week for my quarterly injections of MigraineNo, and I was astounded at the number of people in masks, including folks driving and walking around in the fresh air with no one within 100′. Those things appear to have become, to urban dwellers, some sort of magical talisman. And someone is making a killing selling masks with messages (“Black Lives Matter” is still popular) or worse yet, sequined or bedazzled.

Heaven help you if you are caught without a mask, or within 6′ of another human being, even with a mask. You’re going to attract a lot of dirty looks and disapproving stares. Fortunately, no one makes any untoward remarks. I don’t know if they’re smart enough to realize that could cause an altercation that no one needs, or if they’re afraid the unmasked one would have to get within 6′ to punch them in their overly Blue nose.

Speaking of migraines, we seem to be getting them back in control. Thirteen in January, six in February and one so far this month. Permit me some inside baseball here, because it might help someone else out. And forgive me, but it’s gross and disgusting. Skip it if you wish. I wish I could have.

Things got really bad in January. Along with the migraines, I suffer with GERD, or what most people know as “acid reflux”. GERD and migraines are co-morbid conditions-about 22-23% of the folks who have one have the other, and when one acts up, the other acts up. Mine were practicing one-upsmanship. The Gerd got worse, then the migraines got worse, lather-rinse-repeat. It wasn’t fun. It got pretty bad-bad enough Mrs. Freeholder was trying to drag me to the local ER. Instead, I called my doctors. GP first, who unceremoniously punted on first down. Then Gastro Guy and the Neurologist.

Neurologist changed up some meds and moved my next appointment wa-a- up. Also made it a mandatory in-person. No tele-medicine for that one.

Gastro Guy scheduled me for a combination endosocpy-colonoscopy, or what they like to refer to as a double-ender. (Knowing the other meaning of that, I had to grin at their sense of humor.) He went up and down with his scope (down first, I asked) and found no big problems, but did find some healed and healing damage in the esophagus. He also found 3 polyps in my stomach and yet another polyp in the colon, which means colonoscopy #5 in another 5 years. Biopsy reports were all negative, something I’m quite grateful for. Apparently there is more left for me to do here.

His big comment was that my esophagus is {something}, and I forget the medical term. What the term means is that it gets irritated easily, and when it does, Bad Things happen. That triggers the vicious cycle mentioned above. So now I’m taking an old med that I once took for the migraines, because it soothes the savage esophagus. Makes me sleepy as the daylights, too.

I’m also minding my diet better, and trying, sorta, to lose a bit of weight. Fizzy drinks are strictly limited, and they can’t be diet drinks. Those are more fizzy, and more likely to cause issues. And he’s right, because when I’ve tried my weakness, Coke Zero, it hasn’t gone so well. I can drink a Cheerwine just dandy, though.

I also did something on my own-I discontinued the handful of various supplements I was taking because “they may help with your migraines”. I went down the list, looking up each in turn, and the thread that ran through them was:

  • Headaches
  • Gastro-intestinal issues
  • Chest pains

Yeah, those all sounded familiar, so out they went. And within a few days, I’m starting to do better. The next step is to have my GP do a bunch of blood tests, see which if any vitamins and minerals I’m low on, and supplement only those if needed.

Even with good doctors, and I think I have some, you have to take charge of your own care. Do your homework. The Internet doesn’t have a medical degree, but if you got average smarts, you can use it to help yourself out.

I’ve been listening to the scanner a lot lately, and I’m hearing a lot of overdose calls. That fits in with various news stories I’ve seen about an increase in overdoses nationwide. It seems that Wuflu causes increased drug use.

We live near our county’s airport, and I’ve also been hearing a lot of folks on the unicomm frequency, including some who are obviously doing lessons. I’m jealous, because I always wanted a pilot’s license. However, no flight physical for me, because migraines are a bar. You can’t have had one in 6 months and I can barely make 6 days.

Our Neighbor Across the Street’s wife was finally able to have her Wuflu-delayed shoulder replacement surgery, which because of the delays, turned into a full rebuild, including “reversing” the joint (the socket is now where the ball was and vice-versa). She’s doing well with the rehab, and then the poor lady developed a hot gallbladder-one of the stones was the size of a golfball per the surgeon. She’s back home now and doing better, but that’s two major surgeries in 4-5 weeks.

While in the hospital, her husband was allowed to visit once per day. he could stay as long as he wanted as long as he was out by 8 PM, but when he left, he couldn’t come back that day. Because Wuflu. Apparently you get it from walking out hospital doors or something.

There are probably other things I wanted to mention, but they’re escaping me for now. (I’m also quite sure some of you are saying “Yeah, and there are some things I wish you’d kept to yourself!”) So I’m going to give this a read-over and hit the “publish” button. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

1 thought on “Life in the time of Wuflu, Part 39: Oh, the things you will see

  1. Coming here is educational. Never heard of Cheerwine and I have visited kinfolk in Arkansas multiple times.
    I was asked today about the possibility of shoulder replacement and responded “I don’t think they really do ’em.” Time for some research!
    Good luck on the migraine reduction, GERD, etc.

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