This “blogging each day” endeavour is not off to the best start. This morning I had already written down some words about the crappy, crappy night. I wrote them in a draft file on my cloud based notes app (Joplin). These words somehow got lost in the synching process, when I was updating the file with new prompts to possibly write about. So the short version: I had a crappy, crappy night. Which wouldn’t have been such a big deal had I not agreed to postpone my regular appointment at my neurologist’s for 8:00 this morning. It’s usually a good idea to do it first thing in the morning, because I don’t miss too much of work then. But I’m still on my Christmas / New Year time off FROM work, so there wasn’t any good reason to schedule the appointment first thing in the morning.

Around 14:30 – after I got home from the errands I had scheduled for today when I realized I would be up and about anyway – I went back to bed for a nap. That wasn’t as restorative as I had hoped, but there’s nothing I can do about that now.

I made up for that with “opening” my last Christmas present: “Hot Chocolate Bombe with Marshmallows”, which was quite nice, even though it might look a bit weird.

Photo of a mug half filled with hot chocolate and small marshmallow balls
Marshmallow-y hot chocolate

The neurologist’s practice was open the first day of the year (obviously) and it showed. Patients – like me – coming in for scheduled appointments. Patients coming in and asking for a new prescription. Patients coming in asking for an appointment. Or thinking they have made one, but obviously not for today or for that practice. Patients at the neurologist can be a bit confused or difficult to understand sometimes, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, when you think about what a messed up brain might do to you. I’m always impressed watching the staff patiently dealing with all of that. And I’m always humbled and grateful that my MS hasn’t messed up my brain or bodily functions yet.

As always I also left with a new prescription after all the usual tests and a quick chat with the doc. In 2024 the German health system launches the “e-prescription” as in a electronical one. I admit I read that it was about to be launched, but until now hadn’t looked into what that means. I thought I’d need a PIN for it (though that’s only necessary if I want to use the “health data file” feature). At the practice and the pharmacy they all called it “stored on the insurance card”. But that’s not quite true, is it? From how I understood it, the information is digitally stored somewhere and my card just allows the pharmacy to access that data. Semantics? Maybe… I don’t know enough about the (supposed) advantages of all health data going digital, but I’ve been around long enough to know that every digital system with data stored can be hacked, so I’m always a bit cautious with things like that. It’s not that I can bow out of the system though, I think.

Of course it was also the first working day of the year at the pharmacy, where at the moment only one of the three cash register / terminals can handle the electronic prescription. They are waiting for the new terminals to be set up, but don’t know when that will happen. Next downside for the staff there is that they don’t have the name of the prescribed drug (or anything about the patient) printed on a piece of paper anymore, but always have to check the computer before they head of to the back to get the drug from one of the many shelves or drawer. Fun for everyone involved, right?

The last medical related news for me today was that the patent for my drug Fingolimod obviously expired and now there is a generic which is cheaper so my health insurance requests that this is prescribed. I’m fine with that, it’s just a bit weird to see a different box of it.

If it had been a normal (work) day I would have been back home around 9:30 to have breakfast, probably while also checking my work emails / working. I’m not doing the intermittent fasting as diligent as I used to for a few months in 2023, but I might get back into that. But just having a coffee in the morning was something I often did before I even got serious about the intermittent fasting. I had scheduled a hair dresser appointment for 12 so I spoiled myself with a buffet breakfast at a cafĂ© before heading over to the hairdresser. That’s been ages ago and I still don’t feel hungry. The upside of a well stocked breakfast buffet.

It seemed to me that the people out and about all seem to be still in a relaxed holiday / Christmas spirit. No stupid / rude drivers on the roads, no impatient rude costumer at any checkout queue I was in. Friendly company at the hairdresser, where the woman who was sitting kitty corner to me and I exchanged sort of supportive / encouraging smiles during both of our procedures. I wonder if men do that at the barber shop as well or if they stoically don’t look left or right?

Shortly before I entered the supermarket parking lot something must have happened with a car and a delivery truck. Both vehicles blocked the way out with their hazard lights on. Or maybe thy just broke down at the same time, because I didn’t see any damage on the small car and now broken glass or something. Anyway, it could have turned into a mess, because who decides who gets the right of way at what time? Luckily an older man braved the rain – yes, rain, of course, all day, all the time – to play traffic warden and regulated traffic in the way that he made sure to signal which drivers were supposed to go and which had to wait. And that worked fine on my way in and out. So hats off to that guy.

Today’s Music: In my car a lot from the “Wildwood Flowers: Best New Folk & Americana” playlist from Tidal. I thought I should give more music a try. And a lot of it was fine, nothing that totally hooked me yet. When I started typing this I knew I needed something with more oomph. One of my many non-resolutions for 2024 was to check out more of the many, many bands Frank Turner has toured with. Liking those bands seem to be a musical consensus among a lot of Frank fans and it’s not that I feel the need to be part of that gang and be a fan of all those other bands as well, but I tought there might be a few which I might like. Therefore it’s been a lot of “The Menzingers” this afternoon, the new album and right now the first one. I like their sound alright, but might need a more focused listen to pay more attention to the lyrics / song topics, which are always such a big deal to me as well. I have to admit though, that Frank has set the bar quite high in that regard.

While I’ve been checking this post a last time, edit and tweak and such, Tidal moved on from The Menzigers album to similar music and played a song from “Off With Their Heads”.

Woah, now THAT is oomph I can get on board with and also lyrics I think I like, because in a way I can relate. “Clear The Air” at least, which was the second song, when I switched to their “station” after “Nightlife”.

The third song is “Disappear”. Woah. I might spend the rest of the week getting to know their music a bit more.

Reading: I’ve finished Katie Cotugno’s “Birds of California” during my late breakfast / brunch and quite enjoyed that one. A review might go up on Goodreads later tonight or tomorrow. Next book probably “While Justice Sleeps” by Stacey Abrams.

TV: I did indeed watch “The Lost City” last night and had fun with it. The plot of course is absolutely outlandish and unrealistic, but that was clear from the start, so I wasn’t surprised. I admit I would have liked to see Brad Pitt a bit longer if only for sentimental reasons. Memorable line from Sandra Bullock’s character Loretta, a romance-adventure novelist, while she had to climb up a cliff to save her life:

My skill is sitting and thinking and eating when I can’t think.

Sandra Bullock in “The Lost City”

Yeah, that sometimes sums up my (work) life as well, I’m afraid.

TV plan for tonight: Possibly a bit of vintage Gilmore Girls as background sound – my umpteenth rewatch has me at mid season 4, so there is still quite a while to go. And then later tonight I’ll tune in with the Worlds Darts Championships, because I’m my brothers’ sister and find that fascinating. Fingers crossed for Luke Littler, because… why not?! A “wunderkind” story is always a nice story to follow in days like these, right?

There is no way I’m going to be able to keep up with such long posts once I’m back at work on Thursday, will I?

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