Random 5 for March 27, 2022 – Medical care, processes, bugs, fabric, April

Backwards or forwards – The medical practice I went to for breast cancer checkups was purchased by our big box local hospital group. The old practice was small but very tuned into patient care. When you went for a mammogram, it was read immediately and you met with your doctor all in one visit. If they needed another scan, they did it on the spot. There were no multiple trips all the while wondering if cancer has returned. I loved it. This week I got a call rescheduling the mammogram at a different location. I asked about the doctor visit and was told I’d have to contact him directly. I’m not even sure he’s at the same location. So…they took a great thing and turned it into what was done in the 1990s. That’s progress?

Just to nail the point home – I had breast cancer in 2003. Over the years after treatment, there were occasions when they needed a second set of images. Sometimes it involved an MRI, a CAT scan and on two occasions, a biopsy. All this is nerve wracking. My yearly checkup was in December, so all these visits were punctuated by holidays, vacationing staff and tight schedules. It could take a month until I got the “all clear” signal. I pushed the checkup out an extra month over a few years, so it was in the springtime. About five years ago, my doc joined the recently purchased group and the “all at one time” was standard practice. I loved it. Why anyone thinks that the old way was better is a mystery to me.

Well, this is weird – Spring always brings its surprises. We had (and maybe it will return with the warm weather that is currently on hiatus) a box elder invasion by our front door. You can’t go in or out without some of them coming inside. The cats are enjoying it especially Sasha who is always on the lookout for a tasty bug. I’m not a fan of chemicals and especially not at the front door so I turned to Mr. Google. Water with a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle kills them. It doesn’t stop another group from coming but after a few days or regular spraying, we are down to single digits. I don’t remember them from last year. We don’t have a box elder tree anywhere near us, so I don’t know where they come from.

What happened to the fabric stores – The new house needs window treatments. We’ve done a few blinds and solar shades but the eating area in the kitchen needs fabric to soften the room. I can easily make most styles. Fabric stores are dinosaurs. Even the two local stores that sell fabric have a very limited selection in home decorator fabrics. They don’t carry the books where you can order. I can’t buy fabric on-line. You don’t get a feel for the scale or true colors. I looked at a design place but was blown away by the price. Making them myself cuts the pricetag but the fabric for one window shouldn’t cost more than my first automobile. I can travel to the nearest big city but there are no guarantees I’ll find more or better selections. Maybe I’ll have to settle.

Goodbye March – I’m glad to see March leave. It’s been a very up and down month in many ways. April is peppier. Hopefully the weather will stabilize and moderate but there are no guarantees.

So how was your week?

 

52 thoughts on “Random 5 for March 27, 2022 – Medical care, processes, bugs, fabric, April

  1. I’m so sorry your doctor’s office has gone back to the old way – that is always so much more stressful! Waiting and multiple visits is never fun.
    Our local Joanne’s got remodeled a year or two ago and now they have a lot of decor fabric in stock. I don’t know if you have one of those nearby, but it might be worth checking out?

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    • We do and I did. Locally they used to carry aisles and aisles of decorator fabric but now it’s down to two aisles. They also had the hanging samples that you could order. That’s gone. They had a pattern I liked but the colors weren’t right. I ended up with fabric from Hobby Lobby (who does not carry much either but I was lucky). It’s made by a well known designer and a third as expensive as the on I found at a designer store. It’s my first attempt at roman shades so I thought it prudent to try it on reasonably priced fabric first.

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  2. The practice should have kept subscribing to the theory of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Years ago, my mom had to have a MRI done/read/reported ASAP. In order to get this done, we drove to Sylvania, Ohio from Lincoln Park, Michigan to a place where this could be accomplished. Back then, you had the usual wait time. So we drove to Ohio, were there a good part of the day and had to drive home in rush hour. But, the immediate turnaround of results didn’t happen – the doctor recommended this place – they said “no, we’ll send the results in the ordinary course of business.” It took them a week and my mom felt badly that I’d used a personal or vacation day to get this done, when we could have just gone anywhere to get the MRI done. I used to sew all my own clothes in high school. I shot up suddenly and was 5′ 9″ tall with long legs. Pants looked like I was waiting for the floods and long sleeves did not come anywhere near my wrists. Finally, clothes for tall women became the norm and I’ve not sewn anything for many years. I feel badly as the console is downstairs with boxes of holiday decor piled on top of it.

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      • Yes, for me it was out of necessity back then or look like my clothes belonged to my little sister. It’s been years since I’ve been in JoAnn Fabrics or a similar fabric store. I am behind in every aspect of my life so sewing would not fit in either!

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        • I sew home projects like window treatments because you can truly save money there but I don’t really have an interest in sewing anymore. Harder to thread the needle these days! 🙂

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  3. I hope you get the all clear again this year! Somehow your posts have not been showing up in my Reader lately. Today I Googled “Kate Crimmins blog” and found you. I will go back and read some of the posts I missed to catch up! Good luck on the fabric. I used to sew but gave it up.

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  4. So many types of stores are dinosaurs! It’s such a shame.
    I’m sorry they crapped up your medical system for breast care. Out here they have pretty much done that with all medical care. There is so little communication now it’s scary.

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  5. Our GP practice is located on the grounds of the hospital along with other medical offices. They’re all separate from the hospital itself in theory, but in practice (no pun intended) everyone seems to be linked in some fashion. If our doctor sends one of us for images or labs, it’s always to the hospital’s facilities for each. One hand washing the other, I suppose. It’s not inconvenient, but it’s not exactly convenient either because as you point out, it involves a separate appointment. Sometimes our calendars feel like nothing but medical-related appointments. I’m looking forward to April also. -Marty

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  6. So sorry to read about the lack of service for mammograms. To get your results on the spot? That would be wonderful. Here I am used to waiting a couple of weeks, for a letter with the all clear to arrive. Which is satisfactory for me, but wouldn’t be if I had previously been diagnosed with breast cancer. I would be worrying too.
    I used to sew all of my own window treatments but I haven’t done so for years. And now that I’ve moved I wouldn’t even know where to start looking in my new geographic area. In my old province there was a town about 45 minutes away that had a cluster of fabric stores in one neighbourhood specializing in upholstery and curtain fabrics. I don’t know how my mom found out about this Mecca, but she did, and we used to make trips there when the need arose. I’d say ask around, but who even sews anymore??? Maybe put out a query on social media? Good luck, Kate!

    Deb

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    • I’ve settled on something that I like from one of the big box craft stores. It will do. I tried a designer who sells fabrics but the cost was 4x more. That’s pretty outrageous for a cotton-linen mix. It wasn’t a heavy upholstery fabric. Now I have to figure out how to make a roman shade. I’ve done a lot of different window treatments, lots of swags and jabots but never a roman shade. It look simple but those are the famous last words. Yes on the mamo results. It’s a different ball part when you’ve been diagnosed in the past.

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  7. I’ve never gone to a medical practice like the one you describe that did everything all at once. It’s always been dribs and drabs, here and there. The better to waste my time, I figure. I don’t know what happened to the fabric stores. My favorite local one just disappeared. Is there no demand or is there no fabric to sell?

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  8. Sorry about your doctor. I agree, the all at once is so much better. My place still does it all at once. The doc is there and sees you right after the mammo to let you know how it looks. This late snow/freeze is going to kill our just budding Magnolia tree though. I guess we will have to wait another year to see it in bloom. This happened last year too. We have yet to see it bloom. Glad the sassy cats are keeping busy!!! I wish it was spring already.

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    • At our last home we had an early blooming cherry tree and there were a few years when the buds froze and no blooms. So sad! I don’t know why more places don’t do the all in one. The wait to have it read isn’t that long and it’s done.

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  9. My sister still sews, and she knows a couple of fabric stores. I think at least one of them is in a small town. Quilters need fabric stores. If you know a serious quilter, you might ask. I hope you’ll be able to find something for your curtains.

    I used to love the fabric store in our little town. My mom made lots of my clothes, so I enjoyed sitting on the high stool and looking through the books and then walking around and choosing a fabric. They even had a fabric section at J.C. Penney.

    In 1992, when our daughter was in the Russian Far East, I made the mistake of having a mammogram before the trip my husband and I took to visit her. Before we left, I was told the mammogram showed something and I’d need to take another test when we returned from the trip. So I was worried about it for the whole trip. It turned out to be nothing, but it would have been nice to know that sooner.

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    • There are two fabric stores locally but they cater to quilters. I’m looking for home decorator fabrics. They are a different weight and scale than the cotton that quilters use. I’m going to try one more place before I decide to go with the one I found. Doing the mamo before the trip was definitely not a good idea. Most call backs turn out to be nothing but one of mine resulted in two rounds of cancer surgery. For a long time (like 10 years) I was freaked out when I went for my mammogram, fearing they would find something. I am currently 19 years out from my diagnosis so I’m feeling safer but you never know.

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      • Yeah. I’m not surprised the quilting stores limit their fabric to quilters, although my sister has found heavy fabric at one store. Don’t know if it was home decorator fabric.

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  10. I can see why it would be frustrating to have to wait a month for test results. The only places I know of that sell fabric are Hobby Lobby ( very limited) and Joanne’s .

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  11. I pass two fabric stores on the way to the supermarket. Both look like they are mainly for quilters. I quit sewing for the girls and myself 40 years ago, because the best shops had closed. Making curtains or drapes would be easy for you, but without reasonable choices of fabric, what can you do? I hope you find something that will please you.

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  12. I worked with a woman whose husband was in his first year of medical school. One of the classes was on how to keep the office visits to ten minutes! Really?! The doctor I have now is great. She schedules the appointment for forty minutes and if needed takes extra time. The first time I saw her I was kind of shocked…she is so young she could be my granddaughter!

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  13. Medical care has been “optimized” over the years (and I probably don’t have to tell you who it’s been optimized for) and it really can be frustrating.

    I am completely with you about the loss of fabric stores. We used to have several in a ten mile radius and now we have just one, which is a craft/fabric store, so mostly for quilters. I want to see the fabric and feel it myself… not something that can be done online. Buggers.

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    • Ditto! I had a sample sent to me. They sent the wrong one. I opened it up and the first thing I noticed was the glaring white background. Nothing in my house is white. I didn’t know how I could have picked it. I didn’t.

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  14. I experienced a less than satisfactory medical appointment this past week myself. These days, it’s certainly nothing more than a business. If it works for them, great, if not move right along. We have one chain fabric store in this area, and they sell the same fabric year to year. I know so many people who buy fabric on line, but I just haven’t gotten the hang of it. Bugs are not something I like in the house, but we keep dealing with those ridiculous stink bugs that somehow get in from outside.They don’t really do anything, and I only see one every few weeks, but I can’t figure out where they come from. I hope April is a good month, but I need to get through the first week of appointments before I can call it one way or the other.

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  15. Medical care is more complicated now. Add to that after a certain age they want to see you TWICE as often as before…..my desk calendar is full of things these days; all of it is a bother but better than the alternative of something sneaking up on me! It is a shame about fabric stores disappearing – my sister is a quilter and I’d go with her to pick fabric a few years ago and it was so much fun. She orders fabrics online now. It’s sad to me that now there are so many things we must order online or on the phone or whatever. I’m less “mobile” than I used to be – shopping was FUN….I miss that.

    Pam

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    • Shopping used to be therapy for me. These days not so much. A lot of the stores have changed. No beautiful displays. Just merchandise jammed together and good luck finding your size. There are some things I don’t like to buy on line. Fabric, wallpaper and pants. I like to see them, feel them and try them on!

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  16. I had an almost all in one mammogram some years ago. They’re part of a different health system than I’m currently in. It was exceptional to get the results right then. And when I was uncertain, they brought the doctor in and it the results were explained and I got my questions answered. Since medicine is run by insurance companies these days, I wonder if they have changed. And I understand the value of getting results fast. My mom had breast cancer in 1974. Even thirty years later, the yearly mammogram caused considerable stress. Waiting sucks.

    You have made me reminisce about late summer. Before school started, Mom and I would go to the fabric store and pick out patterns and fabrics for school clothes. She was really good. I could pick the collar off of one shirt and the sleeves off another and no matter what, she could make it happen. I did not inherit the sewing gene. I think there is still a JoAnne’s in Springfield. I don’t sew but I want a simple sewing machine. I can make things like a flax sac at a much lower cost than I can buy. And occasionally mend something or hem pants. I don’t like doing those things but it would be handy. I don’t see how people could buy fabric online, especially for home projects. Do you have to live in NYC or LA to find fabric stores?

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    • I live within an hour or so of Philadelphia and there are a few stores there but even some of those have closed. When I did window treatments for my last house, there were several fabric stores and if they didn’t have the bolt, they had books so you could look at the fabric, then order. Miss those days. It took many, many years because I didn’t freak out at the annual mammogram and the wait for results was excruciating. Equipment has gotten better so there aren’t as many false positives as there used to be. I consider myself lucky as they found mine before it had become a tumor. It was just some dead cells.

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  17. Caring about the patient first and foremost medical practices are few and far between anymore, and I’ve seen several join larger, impersonal groups or hospital groups. I had the best family doctor growing up and I’ve only had one other doctor I truly felt listened to me since. I suspect that things are broken into separate visits because they can charge for each visit and make more money. Certainly, they don’t care about the inconvenience to their patients!

    I abhor bugs of any kind! I get freaked out when I have to swat a fly and then clean it up! Trust me, I’d be spraying that stuff all over my door and porch and any cement to keep them away!

    I made an apron in home economics ins junior high school. I haven’t used a sewing machine since then (we’re talking about back in the very early 70s here!). It might almost be easier to see if you can find some floor length pre-made curtains you like, then cut them down and add some lace or other adornment around the edges to make them your own? And probably cheaper in the long run!

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    • I’m going to make roman shades and that’s hard to do with premade drapes. The selection of those isn’t so great either. Most are solid colors or geometric patterns. I’m looking for a vining soft floral with just the right colors. I made a skirt in junior high. I didn’t like the pattern (a-line) so I rarely wore it but I made a lot of my other clothes. My most ambitious was a lined suit jacket. That turned out very professional. My mother sewed for a living so I had a great teacher. I agree with you about the billing. I get prolia shots twice a year. For some years, it was one appointment with an endocrinologist and the other was just the shot. Now I have to have an office visit with a PA with the other shot. She doesn’t do anything but weight, blood pressure and oxygen level. Enough to bill for an extra visit.

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  18. Medical services in the US leave something to be desired . . . but Canada has its own issues about medical care. Plus lots more snow and cold temps. Brrr . . .

    So I guess I’ll stay put. 😀
    Hope you get good news (the “all clear” signal) soon.

    We have a fabric store around us, but I’m not a seamstress so I couldn’t say whether the selection is on par with what you grew up with. My mom sewed up a storm.

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  19. That’s some amazing patient care; I’ve never heard of an “all-in-one” mammogram visit. I was called back for more imaging after my first mammogram and you’re right, it is nerve wracking. (Thankfully just “dense tissue.”)

    I am forever impressed with folks who can just whip up a pattern on a sewing machine!

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    • My mother sewed for a living so I learned young. The all in one visit was the best! Obviously if you needed an MRI or CAT scan or biopsy that was another visit. Last year they changed the protocol to include a chest x-ray and that was in the same place, at the same time. Easy peasy.

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