I second the emotion regarding August and the entire year not being exactly one of my better times. Back from vacation, I feel like I need another one. I'm not complaining, just stating facts. The week prior to the beach was spent somewhat cleaning the house so it would be nice to return to, buying groceries because once on the island, I don't like to shop except for local produce and seafood.

Took my husband for a hearing test to see if he is eligible for cochlear implants. The neurologist suggested it, saying improving his hearing might help him feel more connected as his Alzheimer's progresses. Four hours of tests and sitting in the waiting room, filling out forms for him, only to be told he is not deaf enough.

We saw two doctors and an audiologist, came away with a slip of paper saying he was medically cleared for these new and very expensive hearing aids which are placed inside the ear canal, last four months, and then are removed by a doctor, replaced with new ones. Rough estimate, none of it covered by Medicare or our other health insurance, is over four thousand dollars per year.

My husband's reaction: he liked the first "doctor" (who was really the audiologist) because she talked loud and told him he could keep his crickets (tinnitus) if he wanted. He enjoyed the baloney sandwich I made with mustard, and brought for him although it was messy.

I also accompanied my mother to the cardiologist, having made an appointment for myself as well. She was fine, still in atrial fibrillation but has lost more weight, which seemed to concern the doctor more than anything.

My turn as the patient, he asked why I was there, looked at my chart from four years ago, asked what had changed and if I was under any stress. I remember laughing at first, then giving him the short version of my troubles. He was my father's cardiologist as well, so I've known him a long time. He is in the right field, as he has a compassionate heart himself. He took my blood pressure twice and it fluctuated from too high back to slightly above normal. He winked at me, "White coat syndrome, your Dad had it, too. But to be safe, let's run some tests." So next week is fasting lab bloodwork, a stress test and an echocardiogram...fun times. Maybe I'll make a dental appointment while I'm at it.

Today it is raining, misty and grey. Good sleeping weather, but home again, I don't sleep as well. Taking husband to neurologist at noon, then hopefully finding a good recipe for yellow squash that I picked yesterday in my garden of weeds. I hope it rains all day, lightly.