Back in California, with my feet up.

Not surprisingly, it has taken me over a week to get over the exhaustion of the ‘wedding week’.  My fatigue has been extreme, causing me to nap frequently this week.  I know air travel can have this effect on someone with a chronic illness, so I should not have thought I’d not feel any differently.  Still, even though I have dealt with MS for well over thirty years, I have this naive little assumption that I’ll manage to just keep going the same as always!

Today was my first day back at ‘work’ at the Seniors’ Center gym.  I was welcomed back warmly, with just a touch of incredulity, as if there were concerns that I’d stay in Canada.  They needn’t have been so concerned, since I was not about to send Glenn back down here without me tagging along!  Even though the past few days here have been miserably hot (in excess of 30C), I am very glad to be home!  By the looks of the critters here, they are VERY happy to have us back, since they are all laying at our feet here in the living room.  There is an undercurrent of purring, while Peter is laying slowly squeezing his squeaky tennis balls.  ALL is decidedly well.

We enjoyed our time back in the Olde country, and it was just as hard as last time to say goodbye to friends and family.  It is especially difficult to be so far away from out granddaughter Willa!  Even though Claire and Evan insist they’ll be down to visit us here in January, I will believe it when it actually happens.  We get many promises and assurances of impending company that never actually arrives.  There are always legitimate reasons for the change in plans, but I do admit that we can sometimes take it a bit personally when we get cancelled on.  Self pity can be a rather addictive drug.

We got a quote for repairing the garage door that jumped in the way of my reversing into the driveway a few weeks ago.  It is comprised of five horizontal sections, but just three of them were ever so slightly damaged.  Turns out that each section will cost $300 to replace, OR we could opt to simply replace the whole door.  Since the door is about 40 years old, it would be very difficult to match the color and style of the old door.  This means we have the choice of $900 for the replacement pieces, plus whatever additional cost would be incurred to repaint the lot, OR simply buy a whole new door, for $945.  Tough call.

A few weeks ago I applied for an “Outreach Pass”.  This service is the equivalent of Ottawa’s ParaTranspo.  Today, I got a phone call from the folks at Outreach, asking me pertinent questions to determine my eligibility for this service.  The first question concerned where I would most often use the service to travel to.  I did not hesitate:  UCSF.  I explained that I was able to drive within a limited part of the southern pert of Silicon Valley, but no further north than San Jose.  San Francisco was WAY out of my comfort zone, but due to the requirements of the drug trial I have been on for over five years, I needed to access my neurologist’s office in UCSF.  The fellow conducting the interview, Tim, explained that Outreach ONLY serves Santa Clara county, but there are 3 counties between here and San Francisco!  This would mean that Outreach could take me to the edge of San Mateo country, which could take me to the edge of the next country, and so on.  Sadly, there is no service that could take me all the way to UCSF, besides a commercial taxi.

This means that Glenn will have to take half days off of work in order to take me for my appointments, which fortunately are now down to 3 appointments 3 times per year.  The trial is scheduled to end in 2017, so there is an end in sight.  Meanwhile, as long as I am still part of the trial, my medication is free of charge.  This is important, since the current market price for Gilenya is over $50,000 per year.  Even though we have an HMO, they would most likely balk at that kind of expense!

Tomorrow morning I need to call our vet.  Both Hazel and Peter need a check, but I suspect that the diagnosis will be the same for both.  Both of them love to spend time in our backyard, laying on the cool grass in the shade of the trees.  Months ago, when we arrived down here, we were warned about ‘grass fleas’, but naively never thought anything more about it.  Somehow, in all the tempest of moving, acclimatizing and finally settling down in a new country, we neglected to arrange for preventative treatments.  We didn’t notice anything amiss before we left for the wedding trip, but since returning we have notice that Hazel has a LOT of scabby damage on the back of her head, and Peter is biting at his back leg incessantly.  Looks like the rumored fleas have quietly gone ahead and wreaked havoc on our furry friends.  Hopefully, the vet will have a treatment for ALL of our pets, as well as our carpeted house!


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