Sunday, April 02, 2017

The Barista is Always Right

By Fred Owens
The Barista is Always Right
I once worked as the substitute barista at Cafe Culture in LaConner. I had steady customers and got good tips, but I had a way of dealing with people. Like this -----
I wish I could discriminate. When I was the afternoon substitute barista at Cafe Culture, I served everybody equally. I fixed them a hot steaming foamy latte, one and all. But there was one group coming in the place, I wanted to shut the door when I saw them.
Decafs! You wouldn't believe this, we ran an honest coffee place, and these people came in and ordered decaf! I gave them the long stare, the long pause, thinking, but of course not saying, you want decaf? What is the point?
I never got used to it.
The soy latte people were not easy to like either, but after a while I got used to them. One day I even tasted a soy latte and it wasn't half bad.
I had no quarrel with the Chais. It wasn't my thing, but what the heck, they tipped as well as anybody.
Otherwise all were welcome, Democrats, Republicans, the employed and the idle, the rich and the poor, the religious and the scandalous, the happy and the depressed. It takes all kinds.
But the decafs, no.

Thanks for asking about my annual physical.

There has been a lot of talk about the merits of the Affordable Care Act and the Republican effort to repeal or replace it. I cannot present an opinion here with any authority. But I can report on my own success with health care  --- I just had my annual physical. I get Medicare. It works for me. Why not have it for everybody?

Santa Barbara is a great place for health care services because of all the affluent and educated people who demand it. Doctors want to work here. I go to the Sansum Clinic, which is the major clinic affiliated with Cottage Hospital, which is the major hospital.
Sansum Clinic is first class and friendly. My doctor is Bryce Holderness, from the University of Southern California medical school. He is a handsome young man right out of central casting.
I see him every March for a physical. Overall I did fine this year. My prostrate level is so low that I will not even need to be tested again, he said. My cholesterol is well within range, but I will be taking a new blood test in a few days. Hopefully it is still good. Same with sugar level, and other indicators from the blood test.
I have taken Lisinopril for the past ten years, a mild drug for hypertension. A lot of  people my age take this medication and it costs $8 for thirty pills. The drug slightly loosens the blood vessels and improves the flow.
I take Lorazepam, or Ativan, in a small dosage, as needed, for occasional anxiety. I have also had this same prescription for ten years.
The current problem is sciatica, a constant but not severe pain from my right hip to my ankle. Eight weeks now and not going away. X-ray reveals stenosis of the lumbar vertebrae. They took an MRI and will give me the results shortly.
Physical therapy is the preferred method. I do my exercises three times a day, and go to PT twice a week. Other options are to be avoided, the doctor said, unless absolutely necessary. Other options are more powerful pain medication, or surgery. Right now I take Alleve twice a day. I sleep well and the doctor told me to continue gardening work because the mobility is good for it.
Cataracts. I have them. They make night driving difficult. All the lights glow. Many people my age have them. A simple surgery some time next year will fix it. Next year because they wait for it to get worse so that they don't have to fix it twice.

Finally, there is a benign nodule or growth on my thyroid, the size of a walnut. It may have been there for years. If it gets any bigger it will be removed by surgery, but the doctors are not over-excited about this, having scheduled the next appointment for thyroid ultra sound in December.
Besides that, I told Dr. Holderness my life was good and I was not especially irritable or depressed. I sleep well, eat moderately, get exercise, have a nice girlfriend, etc.
I get Medicare and I pay $135 per month for Medicare supplement insurance. I do not have coverage for prescription medicine. In alternative medicine I have sometimes chosen acupuncture and hypnotherapy. I avoid the chiropracter, I think he promises too much.

Any questions?

Spring Subscription Drive. A $25 or $50 subscription to Frog Hospital comes with the promise that I will try my best. I have been writing this journal since 1998.
I have written some hundreds of issues of this journal, and some of it has been very good indeed and I would like to continue writing this, and I would like you to send me a check for $25 or $50 or punch the PayPal button.
You can find the PayPal button on the blog. Go to Frog Hospital.
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Fred Owens
1105 Veronica Springs RD
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

thank you very much,

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

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