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Thursday, October 6, 2011

My adventures

Pardon me, while I step a little bit out of my normal blogging mode.  Yesterday, October 5, 2011, was a big adventure for me.  It began by waking up at about 0430 hours (for those unaccustomed to the 24 hour clock or "military time" that's 4:30 a.m.).  To some that is no big deal like my friend, Wade (alias for privacy sake).  To me, the person who stays up late for the peace and quiet to finish a day's work, that's early.  Or as our main characters' would say...o' dark early. 

You may say, well there's always coffee or caffeine and you'd be correct. The problem was that I had lab-work scheduled for 1100 hours (11:00 a.m.) and they had to be fasting.  Fasting meant no Dr. Pepper for me until after the lab-work was done. 

So after getting dress and ready to go, Wade takes us from our small town to the northern most point of the DART green line about an hour away.  After dropping me off, he goes to work as a firefighter, thus accounting for the early hour.  It is about 0615 when I select the day pass which includes round trips and transfers. Thanks to a sweet unnamed gentleman for helping me decide that was the correct choice. The sun is still asleep but the trains are running. When the next train arrives and the passengers disembark, I find a seat to settle into for the long trek.

Having been to the VA many times before, I know to bring a book to keep me company.  I selected from my friend's personal library, Without Remorse by Tom Clancy. My journey within my journey began while awaiting my fellow passengers to board. I read as the train trekked down the line taking on people and letting off others. Occasionally, I'd look out the window.  Mostly it was dark out and all you could see were vehicle lights twinkling below us.  We must have been elevated about two stories above the traffic. 

Nearing the transfer point to the next leg of my journey, I put away my book into backpack. I disembark the train.  Oops, I discover I got off the train too soon. The blue line isn't here after all.  So I approach some people waiting and yet another unnamed sweetheart of a gentlemen explained that I should be at the West End station.  He added that the train on this track should get me there and I could get on the blue line from there. I do as instructed.  

This time as the new train becomes elevated, I notice the orange-peach colored clouds as the sun struggles to meet us. Then I delve back into my book trying to keep an ear out for my stop. Something in my subconscious alerted me before I was aware of the reality.  My stop was there and I wasn't ready. I quickly disembarked tossing the book into the backpack as I waited for the cross walk light to allow us to proceed. 

Now dear readers, this is about three hours from the time I left home.  Nature called loudly as I entered the now familiar first floor of the VA. I took care of business.  I waited and read for another couple hours fighting off the urge to sleep.  I finally was able to get my lab-work done. 

I wait my turn and was greeted by a lab technician who seem very quiet at first. I forewarned him that I was sometimes a hard stick and he nods, verifying the tests. He has on a radio that wasn't very loud but he appeared to know the words to the song and sang beautifully while drawing my blood.  When he was done, he said "You weren't that hard of a stick." I explained that sometimes I am but you never know when. He quipped, "Are you unpredictable?" It made me laugh as I said "Yes, and you have a wonderful voice." He blushed slightly as he wished me a good day.

I left the lab and went to the mini store half-way between the lab and my assigned clinic.  Inside the mini-store, was the caffeine my brain was craving to stay awake and the food my tummy wanted.  With the purchased diet Dr. Pepper and small Ham & Swiss Lunchables in hand, I went to the VA Cafe across the hall. I devoured the food, drank the caffeine and proceeded to the clinic for check in. It has now been about 6 hours from the time I left home. 

About a half hour later the male nurse weighs me and then takes blood pressure, etc. which all look great. We have a pleasant conversation about all the things that I need to do now that I've reached the half century mark. I get my flu shot before I depart to wait some more. 

When I finally see my provider of care, she is pleasantly pleased to see the obvious change in my weight and overall appearance. I got a standing ovation from her. That made my day.  We went over the labs and I did great on all of those.  A vast improvement from a year ago.  Diet and exercise does work folks.

I depart the VA about 10 hours or so after I left home. I make my way towards my son only to discover that I missed the connection so I call him. While starting on my way to the secondary location, I'm approached by a man who asks, "Ma'am, can you spare a dime."

I say, "Sorry Sir, I have no money. I'm having to hitch a ride with my son."  His eyes look slightly disheartened but understanding my plight.  I continue walk on my way.  My son and his fiancee' locate me at the designated corner.  He hops out I jump in the back as he quickly gets back in the front.  I direct her all the way to my friend's house.  We make one stop where they buy me dinner.  After which, my godchildren get to see their "cousin" and their soon to be "cousin-in-law".  My son gets to see his Godmother and introduce everyone to his fiancee'.  All is right with my world even if it has been about 14 hours since I left home.

Thanks for allowing me this slight departure from our normal blog. As always, I appreciate your comments but please keep them G-rated. If for any reason you have problems posting a comment please leave a message on our website's guest book.

Lynn Hallbrooks


  1. What a long, dreary day. Good to see that the lab results were favorable, even though it took a loooong time to get there! I couldn't go too long without Dr. Pepper myself.

    Great departure from the norm :-)

  2. I had to do a fasting blood test when I was pregnant. It has to be the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard. Deprive a pregnant woman of food? Women with children will understand what I mean I am sure. I went immediately to get food afterwards but nearly passed out at the shopping centre. I had to call my husband to come and get me(waking him up, as he was sleeping after night shift). At least you made it home without that experience.

  3. Hi Amberr,

    You see I no longer have a vehicle of my own, so this was my first time doing all this train switching thing. If I was in my own vehicle then I would have slept in and left a lot later. This whole not having money has definitely taught me humility.

    As for the Dr. Pepper, I had to ween myself off of Dr. Pepper. Now I only have them when I'm extremely tired. They can't be in the house at all because we are all trying to cut back on our soda intake.

    Thanks for liking my post today.

  4. With my second child I had to do the Glucose Tolerance Testing so I know what you are talking about. They should have told you to bring a snack. Then may not offer that because some people might cheat and eat in between tests.

    Actually I can go awhile without eating...it's when I start to eat that I keep eating if I don't watch myself. :)

  5. Kudos to you for getting through the fasting part for your labs!!! And way to go on having good B/P and weight loss! Tough things to achieve for sure, but so worth it in the long run. Keep up the good work, and the amazing way you write!

  6. Lisa,

    Thanks for all of your kind words. Very tough to get the right attitude for diet, exercise, and just generally doing the right thing.

    I'm living with my friends. That's been the key factor as we both need to be on a low carb diet. I help out with the kiddos and housework which is exercise. Plus since I no longer have a vehicle, I have to walk more places. My Godson likes to walk to school so my friend and I take turns walking him...sometimes we all three walk together.

    It was so worth the long wait on Wednesday to see the look on my provider's face. She was so happy to see how I looked and with the awesome numbers on the lab work. I think I made her day as much as she made mine.

    Have a great one!