A Perilous Passage…
Absence from Social Media explained..
Our Hero Fears His Head Will Swell Larger Than Mt. Wilshire And Burst Ingloriously..
Various Farm Victories and Travails..
On Sunday, I woke up at around five in the morning with a familiar, weird dryness and swelling in my left, inner cheek area. This particular symptom filled me with dread, because I knew the potential consequences right away. I had been through this before. For me, whatever causes this (internet med pages indicate it can have 13-20 different sources), it manifests itself with a slow, powerful swelling of my inner mouth. By morning house-church services, I could feel my upper lip swelling and dragging, but by late afternoon my lower left jaw was expanding. I had to beg off on a farm-to-table invite from the Riley cousins, and when Mary returned later that evening, my whole jaw had expanded. I had become “prognathous,” and I looked something like the actor Ron Perlman, except a little more alarming. It’s one of those hugely disfiguring conditions that leaves you wanting to remain in the house, so as not to scare children and small animals.
Mary and I share the same distaste for useless urgent care visits, but some online nurses at BlueShield didn’t even need to see a picture of me. They could hear it over the phone. “Mr. Riley, if that swelling goes round to the back side and occludes your breathing passages..”
Enough said. I had actually been thinking that (and denying it) for a few hours. We trooped off, towards midnight, in the direction of Loma Linda 24 Hour Urgent Care. Very nice people. If you know me, I’m no fan of commie-virus masking, but this was one of the few times in the last year I’ve been grateful for a mask. By the time, the admitting nurse asked why I was there, I simply removed it.
“Oh my!” she said.
The young doctor (they all look like teenagers to me now) concluded that I was having an allergic reaction to my blood pressure medication, even though I’ve been taking that same medication for two decades or more. “Sometimes,” she said, “allergies can just pop up after years of exposure and this one has a reputation for that.” Fair enough. The swelling had started to recede the very moment I walked in the door, but this allowed me to take a Benadryl, which pretty much knocked it out. By the next morning, second dose, I was back to normal. As to the actual root cause, I’ve come to believe all of us, doctors included, are up against the human body’s uber-complexity. Take almost any symptom you have, go over to your favorite online diagnostic tool, and you’ll find that rash you’ve been complaining about has ten or more possible explanations. Getting to the actual diagnosis is a function of your budget and how much the symptoms really bother you.
The California “Fair Plan”
Anyway, having averted the crisis of my jaw swelling to the size of Wilshire Peak and obscuring the morning sunrise, I went home only to endure a kind of arthritic attack on my left knee. I could barely hobble across the bedroom floor, and, in this state, worried about legal bills and the expense associated with various repairs we have to make around this place, I received a call from our insurance agent. “Bad news, I’m afraid,” he began. “Your California Fair Plan fire insurance — the one California uses effectively to keep private insurers from writing rural area coverage, has gone from $39,000 a year to $67,000 a year.”
Mary overheard the conversation and shook her head.
“Count it all joy!” I yelled. “Yippy! Governor Newsom is trying to put us out of business. One MORE chance for Jesus Christ to beat back that pagan half-wit!”
All Things Considered
Many of my good friends are leaving California. On the other hand, quite a few are remaining, and they are getting fighting mad. The State of California seems determined to encourage crime, discourage home-building and destroy small business. On the other hand, the County of San Bernardino stands as a kind of older, stronger brother, willing to protect us against the bully on the block. Nationally, inflation is raging and gas prices are making people budget their travel and leisure dollars more carefully. On the other hand, field trips and dinner theater are WAY up over last year. When I have a week of failing knees and elephant man face-swelling, I feel the weight of my 62 years. On the other hand, the Commie virus has pushed me towards 60 minute cardio work-outs, supplements, and a personal quest for whatever’s left of the “Biblical Caleb” in me. (Look him up; quite a dude.)
Where We Look To You
We are here in pre-civilized California for as long as you, and the Lord, want us to be, (not in that order). We have too many signs that people actually NEED this place. I talked to a delightful couple who live in West LA this last Saturday. They escaped Soviet Communism and they have twin boys. We talked about a world of topics, but they said one thing that truly startled me. “You have to remember that a favorite tool of totalitarians is this: the more absurd their commands, the more absurd the beliefs they make you embrace, the more they can control you.” The past few years of social distancing, untested “vaccines,” “drag queen story hours,” “defund the police,” and “apologize for your privilege” came into sharp focus.
In other words, our guests feed us, and strengthen us, in more ways than I can say. We’re here as long as you need us, because WE NEED YOU.
Tags: Absurdity, Caleb, California, California Fair Plan, Health Care, Medicine, Soviets, Swelling
Categorised in: Farm Journal
This post was written by Jim Riley