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Valium? Really?

More often than not Google searching is our friend. But, then again, sometimes it is not. This is a tale of when it was both....

Beginning on Sunday, or so I think it was, Bruce began experiencing a very stiff neck. As is my usual fashion I told him to take four Ibuprofen on a regimen. He agreed to, or at least as often as he remembered. Monday morning he left for Sacramento bright and early, taking a 6AM flight. As the days went by, his neck hurt more and more, so much so that he had to turn his whole body when  he wanted to look sideways. He asked me if I thought it could be something serious to which I replied, "probably not." Well my friends, here's where Google comes into the picture---Bruce searches for "stiff neck" and finds meningitis. Before I go any further, lest you think Bruce is a hypochondriac or something, he is a man who has taken one sick day in 20 years. And that was for a kidney stone procedure!

Nevertheless, he is a man with a stiff neck and generally exhausted after months of cross country travels so meningitis sticks in his head. Again, Wednesday morning he questions me on whether I think he could have anything serious going on. Again, I say probably not. You notice I didn't say definitely not so as the day wears on his anxiety and pain grow. Around 9:00 PM EST, he calls to say he is on his way to the hospital emergency room as he is now having trouble walking straight and his neck feels like it is exploding. I get out of bed, and here's where Google comes into the picture in a good way: I pull up the map of LA, and as he drives, I tell him how many more blocks it is until he reaches his destination. Although the hospital is a mere 5.5 miles away, in the 6PM PST traffic it takes 45 minutes! Naturally as the time went on, he grew more and more anxious. His phone died as he walked in the door.

After about an hour, because his phone went to voice mail, I called the ER and spoke to a nice woman who said they were changing shifts, but he was resting comfortably. Whew! Later on I learned that his blood pressure had skyrocketed to 180/120 explaining his neck exploding feeling! From his descriptions it sounds like Kaiser Permanente is a model of efficiency, from having a doctor do the triage, to having a pharmacy dispensing medications nearby. I was delighted that no x-rays or cat scans were done; instead, the doctors relied on the old-fashioned, and mostly reliable method, of taking a good patient history, examining the body closely, exuding confidence, and using the knowledge they learned in medical school. So often today, instead of all that being done first, multiple unnecessary imaging procedures are done with predictable outcomes. I explained to Bruce that while people have symptoms, more often than not, there is no real explanation for them. Throughout my radiology career, and this held pretty constant over the years, nearly 90% of all imaging exams are read as normal. That is why my preferred method of dealing with pain is "tincture of time." When that fails, it is time to see a doctor!

Enough already Gail, what did they think was going on? A strained muscle is their best guess. They prescribed Valium, which everyone of a certain age immediately relates to the novel, Valley of the Dolls, which I read as a young teenager, undercover of course! Same goes for The Godfather. Unlike today sex was not something much out in the public eye, unless of course, you could get your hands on the aforementioned novels! Anyway, turns out it is the gold standard of muscle relaxers and it is already working like magic!

He finally called me around midnight with the details, drove back to his motel room, and after taking his Valium, fell into the best sleep he's had in months! So, with the help of the Valium, and "tincture of time" all will be well. :)

While he was getting more and more uncomfortable in California on Wednesday, I was out shopping. Sounds bad, but Christmas is mere weeks away so I do what I need to do. While at the shopping center up the street, I see that the Albertsons is finally a thing of the past, with this machinery picking up the pieces.
In the background is the new Applebees, which has to just love all the noise and mess nearby!

I mentioned on Monday that I had a busy week planned but did not give you the specifics. Well, FAVO is tonight, so because I was going to be at AAA for Thursday and Friday, I hung the walls on Wednesday after taking Angela to the body shop around the corner. While there we learned that WAWA purchased three acres on the corner of Pineloch and Orange Avenue. As a result, four buildings will be coming down, including a once venerable breakfast place, Clarkies. Things are spiffing up around our part of town for sure!

Here's one wall of FAVO:
If we end up using this space on a regular basis, there will be some spiffing up going on there as well!

Long ago and far away, just kidding on the far away business, Jonathan and Bill worked for Martini Graphics as did their friend Ha, who is now my friend. Ha works for AAA and thought I would be a good fit for their annual Christmas vendor sales days. Whew--that did not come out just right! The bottom line is I'm spending two days from 9-2 in the headquarters of AAA and it is nice. They provided a cart for my things:
which made it very easy indeed. Ha has been nervous about how things would go with me reminding her it isn't the first time I've done something like this and what will be, will be! Most Sundays she and Maria come to visit me at the market. Two years ago both Maria and Ha were jobless, but if you can imagine, they both got jobs and they are in nearby office buildings. She came for lunch and I convinced them to let me take a photograph.
Super great ladies! People came and went and I ended up selling 24 things, more than Sunday's market.

Directly behind my table there was this super interesting trophy, which I'll tell you more about another time; for now, I will tell you that the globe is from 1911 and is so interesting. If I were a collector, I think globes would be something really cool to collect.
For now, I'd better get myself going--off for another pleasant day! And I hope night at FAVO.

Oh yes, in case you are wondering, Mr. Bruce is now home, slept comfortably in his own bed last night, and is generally on the mend! Valium indeed.
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