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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Day Trip

Wednesday was doctor day again. About every six weeks I make the pilgrimage to Chico to meet with my Lyme doctors and evaluate the progress of my treatment.
I tend to drag my feet leading up to D-day, knowing that it will be long and exhausting. It's a three hour drive both ways. But, I like road trips. Always have. Provides an excuse to do nothing
but sit and watch the world go by. So I forced myself out the door and, after a necessary stop by Starbucks for a Venti-sized cup of motivation, I was off.

I listened to loud music on this trip. Had to change stations three times along the way in order to keep the groove going. There was a lot of angry chick music, which I found exhilarating. Even sang along. This is note-worthy because, over the past several years, I have not tolerated the sound of music well. Not just music, ANY noise. I find all of it agitating. It is just one of my many 'Princess and the Pea' idiosyncrasies courtesy of Lyme disease. So my recent ability to find pleasure in rocking out to Pink is a welcome milestone in my treatment.
On my first visit to Chico I discovered the best grilled veggie sandwich EVER at a Bakery called The Upper Crust. It was very upsetting when I stopped by the bakery on my last trip only to find that the grill was closed. Ended up eating a substandard replacement and vowed never to make that mistake again. So, on this trip, I made plans to leave early enough to allow plenty of sandwich time.

The problem with high expectations, of course, is the potential for not meeting them. The bakery was as I remembered it. Glass case full of delectables and a long line of locals. When the sandwich arrived, it was
beautiful, but, at first bite, my heart sank. Disappointment. It wasn't BAD, just not the best EVER like it was before. The bread still melted in my mouth but the peppers were too crunchy. I didn't even finish it.
Maybe certain pleasures are only meant to be experienced once. Sealed in the memory with all of the other spontaneous moments that we treasure and ponder now and again. Not sure if I'll return to The Upper Crust on my next visit. Guess I have six weeks to think about it.

With a bit of extra time on my hands, I decided to tool around downtown Chico. Being a university town, it's littered with trendy vintage shops and used bookstores.

Dreadlocks and bohemian apparel are definitely the mainstream. I love it. Although, I have to smirk at the notion that they actually seem to think they are rebelling against fashion. They ARE the fashion in Chico. They set the standard and all the new-comers clamor to fall in line.

But let's not get distracted by my tangents. The purpose for my day trip was to see the doctor. It's an appointment that could probably be done over the phone but they feel it is important that I sit in their depressing waiting room with all the other damaged mortals and then be transported to a quiet, sterile, cave to be left alone with my thoughts.

It's always unnerving when the silence is broken by the chatting hallway nurses, laughing about their recent outings or exchanging salon information. I usually try to keep myself occupied by reading a magazine or playing Scramble on my phone. This time I thought I would play with i-photography. I titled this pic of myself, "Reflections in A Doctor's Office."

The appointment was typical. Went over my improvements and current complaints. The night sweats have stopped, the sound sensitivity seems to be lessening, and I am much less aware of my foot pain. Doctor was encouraged and decided to add a new med to my list. This one is a hard-hitter and will probably knock me on my ass for a while but I only have to take it for 30 days. Doctor was a little concerned about the new growth pattern of my fingernails. They are turning up, away from the nail bed. He also thought my skin looked a little off. So, I'll be donating more blood this week just to make sure my thyroid is in check, etc.

With new scripts in hand, I was done and ready for the journey home. I had a pounding headache and was keenly aware that my Venti motivator from the morning had not done an adequate job, so I really felt a carmel frappuccino was necessary. Along with several Advil.

I took it slow on my drive home. I loved all the trees, farms, orchards, and hand-written signs advertising produce and flowers for sale.

On my way in, I had passed a cemetery along the 99. I didn't want to miss it on my way out. It wasn't a sad place. It was peaceful. It touched me. I don't want to be buried when I die, but there is something very comforting about a cemetery for those left behind. It's a place to visit. To feel like somehow you can still connect with that person that used to fill a tangible space in your life.
It was a long, exhausting, GOOD day...

Just for me.


  1. Love the way you capture the experience of the doctor's office. Perfect.

  2. we would make good travelers together...love a lot of the same small things (coffee, places to stop, food to eat, etc)...thanks for sharing all the details...i enjoyed living vicariously through your day. hope you are feeling better...


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