Five Things Friday Vol. 31

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

Today is my first day of ‘staycation’. Well, actually my first official day is on Monday, but since I usually have Fridays off, my staycation starts today and will be a full 10 days. I am so stoked. I haven’t taken any time off this year so far (except for my birthday back in March) and even if I was telling myself that I was fine, I think I’ve been kinda overdue for a break.

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Do you have “peak events” where you live? Electricity is most expensive during the peak hours for Time-of-Day rates Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Our electricty provider schedules these – usually two-hour –  time windows, called peak events, when hot summer weather causes people to use more energy than normal, and asks everyone to conserve as much energy as possible during the time. It keeps the costs for everyone low and makes sure that the grid is not overwhelmed. They make it kind of fun and send you updates afterwards on how you did. If you know me, you know I like a good challenge. Last time (a few weeks ago), we were the 4th most effecient home in our area :) There’s another peak event later today (5-7 pm).

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I had an annual physical check up last week with complete blood work. I am happy to report that all my tests came back normal (yay!). I just wish the doctor hadn’t just dismissed my inquiry about my now almost 2-year on-and-off journey with stomachache/heartburn/bloating/chest tightness as “GERD” and thrown a PPI prescription at me. I am currently in a phase of remission, of course, and didn’t have any symptoms, so I rejected that. If anything, I am convinced that I am dealing with low stomach acid, but when I inquired about a stomach acid test (and there are more sophisticated ones than the baking soda test which I have done repeatedly at home), he didn’t know about it (or hydrochochlorid acid (HCL) supplements, for that matter, which I have also experimented with) and insisted that if PPIs had helped before, I should just do another round of PPI treatment. Ugh, this is so frustrating. Why do doctors just throw prescription medication at you instead of getting to the bottom of your symptoms? I am willing to make lifestyle adjustments, if I have to (although most of the things that are recommended for GERD, I am already doing!), but don’t just dismiss my concerns.

So, I guess I am relieved that nothing else is going on that would have shown up in my blood work.

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I am really, really upset about this stupid recall election of our governor Gavin Newsom here in California and if you are eligible to vote in my state, I urge you to do so. You can dislike Newsom and still vote NO on the recall, because remember, this is not about our governor as a person, but about policies. For the record though, I think Newsom did a phenomenal job under difficult and unprecedented circumstances and this recall effort is a waste of money, IMHO.

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My avocado pit, which I put in water 3.5 months ago, had finally – after much patience – grown a root and was ready to be transfered to a flower pot and has now started to grow the actual plant stem and I am so stoked. Have you ever tried to grow an avocado plant from seed?

Happy weekend!

  1. Bummer about your experience with your doctor. I think they just default to prescriptions because that’s the quickest, most efficient way to get in and out of the room while maximizing profit. It’s as simple as that. And we’re a culture that rejects anything that doesn’t have a quick solution. This is the problem with for-profit healthcare. Family physicians are already the “lowest” paid (and I use quotes because doctors make really good money in this country, obscenely good) and they have a hard time attracting quality doctors. I’ve always had PPO so I don’t even bother going to a family doctor. If I have a problem, I go to a specialist immediately. That would be my recommendation, and if you have an HMO, ask for a referral.

    1. Thank you for the advice and insights. You’re right, doctors are supposed to get you in and out fast.. it’s unfortunate. I do have PPO and only brought up my issues with the GP because it was my annual physical…. but I already decided that I’ll look for a specialist if issues persist.

  2. I absolutely hate when medical professionals don’t want to get to the bottom of an issue, but just prescribe something. I mean, it’s one thing to prescribe something to “get you through” but getting at the root cause is much more effective.

    I’ve never tried to grow avocado – it would never grow here, for sure – but that sounds really fun. I have a cousin in LA who talks about their plethora of avocados in the season, and it sounds like the most glorious problem to have!

    Enjoy your staycation!

  3. We have had “peak events” this summer, and I am pretty sure that the electric companies are turning over Nest info, because we are having a hard time regulating our temperature at home ever since they said that they might be doing so. IDK. IDK. It’s been really strange. Of course, I’m dumbfounded by the fact that the reasoning for the winter freeze was because they didn’t have the appropriate capacity to winterize the power grid… and now we’re having the same problem in the summer. Profits over people though…

    I think recall elections are a waste of money, too…. but I might get behind a recall election in Texas. That is one that doesn’t seem like a waste of money, though I know it won’t happen. You’re not alone in your thoughts though – many of my CA friends feel the same way.

    Finally, my greatest annoyance is medical professionals who would rather prescribe RX than try and solve the underlying issue. I’ve had some really terrible experiences with that in my life, which has made me very hesitant to take medication. Currently, I’m beyond frustrated that we can’t seem to find anyone who can solve my hip pain issue (which isn’t phased by medication, so I absolutely refuse to take anything I don’t need). Because they can’t find an issue (or an RX), many doctors feel very dismissive. I can’t even get a follow up appointment with one of my surgeons because he wants me to do therapy with a psychologist, rather than talk about the physical manifestations of the pain. The pain psychologist told me that I should just focus on being a better wife (yay.), so I won’t see him anymore… but now I can’t see my surgeon either. I finally got my OBGYN to give me another referral… and I can’t see him until November despite calling in July for a consultation. Sorry, I have a lot of feelings, and I’ve had a rough 48 hours of uncontrollable and inexplicable pain… so your words definitely hit home.

  4. Have a wonderful staycation!

    We don’t have peak events but I am familiar with them from friends in NYC and the Dallas area!

    Yay for great bloodwork and boo for throwing medicine at things. A family member recently had some not great bloodwork and I was worried they were going to do that but the dr actually recommended a lifestyle change first and I was like “WHAT IS THIS? LOGICAL THINKING?!” Sometimes people need medicine, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes they can try to make some changes first :)

  5. Would your PCP consider a referral to a gastro doctor? They might be able to help you with your issue or at least speak more knowledgeably about it?

    We do not have “peak events” here, but we have a nest thermostat and get monthly reports that evaluate us compared to our peers. We definitely use our AC more now that we have kids than we did pre-kids. I would handle some discomfort when it was just Phil and me, but now I am team “use the AC” so our kids can sleep more comfortably. But we are still better than many in our area. We keep our AC at 76 which is comfortable for us, but I know many keep theirs in the 68-72 range! That would be FREEZING for me. We are very efficient in the winter, though!

  6. I haven’t heard about peak events until now, well done on being the 4th most efficient home.

    Enjoy your staycation, 10 days off sounds absolutely wonderful.

    Hope you can get to the bottom of what is causing your GERD, it sounds very uncomfortable and I can understand it must be frustrating not getting to the root of the problem.

  7. I’m glad your tests came back normal, but that’s awful that your doctor is basically dismissing your concerns. Is there another doctor you can talk to?

    Have a great staycation!

  8. I’ve never heard of peak events, aside from the stuff that happened with the Texas electrical grid. That sounds so interesting, but my apartment would definitely be one of the least efficient, haha. I keep my apartment COLD because that’s what feels comfortable to me. I love bundling up under a blanket!

    This recall election makes me so angry! Such a waste of time and energy and money. UGH. I hope it all goes the right way at the end of all of this.

    I hope you had a lovely staycation!

  9. Congrats on the avocado. I am trying to grow one bit I am really not patient enough. So frustrating. But its on my 101 in 1000 so I better get started. HA
    Also I totally get the doctor thing. very frustrating indeed. I just had a similar experience were I know my >Vitamin D levels are way to low and studies shows it influences a health condition I battle but no doctor want to vary in blood work? why?

  10. A few (late) comments… echoing others, have you asked for a referral to a specialist? If you can’t get that, do you have a separate OB/Gyn or women’s health provider who might be able to help? Or, seeing another provider in your current practice? It’s completely okay to change providers when one isn’t doing what you need them to do. I wish you could go out on your own.. Oh, one more idea… this would be tedious and annoying, but have you kept a super-detailed diary of what you ate, when, your symptoms, your mood, other things going on (e.g., exercise, stress at work, having your period, etc.)? That might help point to something?? Sorry for the overabundance of probably unhelpful advice, but it’s what came to mind as my BP rose while reading about your difficulties. :(

    And yes, I am totally PO’d and freaked out by your recall. What the heck? Not liking someone or the policies they put in place is a reason to VOTE in the next election. Not recall them! Sheesh.

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