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Central Coast Adventures for the Chronically Ill
Forgetting my medication, using a cane in public, getting over myself
Last Friday, my husband and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on the Central Coast; specifically, we split the day between Carpinteria and Santa Barbara. We arrived midafternoon on Wednesday and wasted no time getting to know the lay of the land and seeing the sights.
Neither of us had ever been to the Central Coast (and, we learned, gods forbid we don’t dare call it Southern California, but if you look at a map…
Everything went smoothly Wednesday in terms of travel and getting settled. Then, at some point, I realized I had forgotten to refill the pill pack I keep in my purse for taking at lunch. I’m on a regimen that I try very hard to stick to lest I bear the consequences. I suffer from migraines and my current regimen has kept them at bay for months, where prior to that I would get them at least once each week. Plus I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia close to a decade ago and have had all of the tests ruling other things and what I’m taking now keeps the pain at a manageable background level. So, two propranolol for migraine prophylaxis, and one duloxetine plus two ibuprofens for my fibro at lunch; then three propranolol, one duloxetine, two ibus, and also atorvastatin because the propranolol has had an adverse effect on my cholesterol, plus magnesium and riboflavin for migraine prevention, and a few others just to cover all my bases.
I knew I had filled the full seven-day pill minder when I only needed five, so I could squeak by if I filched those extras out for my lunches. So Thursday morning I went to do just that—and found that I had inadvertently missed them when setting up my pills. (Side note: I run through the alphabet when I set up the pills just so I don’t forget anything, but clearly that’s not fail-proof.) Realizing that I had actually already missed a dose and only had two pills left to get me through four days, I immediately sent a message to my doctor, called the pharmacy, and waited.
Spoiler alert: Rite Aid filled the prescription and the dilemma was solved, but not without the creeping beginnings of a migraine (why???) which I staved off with sumatriptan and acetaminophen—taken with a mimosa, of course, because vacation.
This was the first vacation where I packed the cane. On a recentish trip to Kaiser, I picked one up at the suggestion of my Dr. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have one around for bad days. Now, nearly all of these vacation photos have me with a cane. At first I tried to keep the cane out of the photo but that was vanity at work. And the cane did help. So now I’m owning it. Using a cane is not yet an everyday need, but we walked more than I usually do —14 miles!—over those four days. My balance is always a little wonky but when I’m sore and my joints hurt I’ve had some close calls. But enough of that.
What I did on my summer vacation?
Lunched with two friends (Larry and Stephanie)
Shopped two bookstores (Book Den and Chaucer’s) where I bought three poetry books plus a book of criticism.
Explored three museums (SB Art Museum, the manuscript museum, and the Carpinteria Valley History Museum where I bought books on local history) plus the historic Santa Barbara historic, the most beautiful courthouse in CA.
Noshed at seven restaurants and one bar (The James Joyce!)
Perused several antique stores (found two Keeler pieces!)
Strolled the Santa Barbara Zoo (I fell in love with Jelly Bean and Benji, baby emus)
Found the viewing area for the Carpinteria seal sanctuary (which took a crazy-long time for us to find because of my sense of direction and our poor cell signal, thus going the wrong way for a bit, and that was the one walk where I neglected to take my cane *or* my hat)
Walked the Carpinteria boardwalk along the beach and the salt marsh park
Walked downtown Summerland
Walked downtown Carpinteria
Walked downtown Santa Barbara; and
Scoured Carpinteria Public Cemetery for family history (thanks, Mike Damron!)
Among the reasons we chose the Central Coast was research for my book. We found my great great grandfather B.B.’s father-in-law, Moritz “Maurice” Bleuel’s gravesite and farm. We found the site of the furniture store owned and operated by B. B. and his brother Theo, but because the newspaper ads say only “corner of State and Cota” and therefore there are four possible corners, I had my husband take a picture of me on each one, all while rolling his eyes. I’m sure passersby were curious about the lady who wanted her picture taken in front of Cost Plus World Markets.
The SB museum and courthouse are on the block where Theo’s house once stood, of course long since gone, but it felt good to walk the same ground. I spent a good deal of time in the evenings paging through Newspapers.com and Ancestry, following the breadcrumbs and trying to get a more accurate location for these places that I wanted to place my feet. One interesting fact I dredged up was that, upon marriage, B.B. deeded half of his property ownership rights to his wife. This strikes me as progressive for the day. The next step will be to determine where that property was.
And go back.