News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

Ornery Week

First an update on Phil. Monday’s doctor appointment
turned into a half day seeing at least three doctors. An MRI was ordered and occurred on Friday. He has follow-up appointments on the MRI on Wednesday. I really hope they figure something out, because his finger throbs. Every little bump of it just sends him into agony. If he’s taken a pain pill (which produces motion sickness many times) it’s only crying. Without the pain pill, it’s screaming.

This was my week for being ornery. Most of the time I try to be gentle and quiet about things and avoid fights where and when possible. Not this week.

I had a little adventure on the way to the doctor. Our block is usually smooth sailing, but ahead of us on the corner where we needed to turn, I heard a jingling collar and what sounded like voices of a mother and daughter calling Cocoa. Then I heard growling. Every guide dog attack story ran through my head, and the dog sounded like it was getting closer to us. Had I known they were both kids, I never would have raised my voice the way I did, but I asked them to get their dog under control right now. I also said the dog should be on a leash if it wasn’t. Not diplomatic in the least. The kids reassured me the dog was on the leash, and a man yelled out the window that it was and to stop screaming at his children. Note to self. Not a good way to impress who appear to be new neighbors. I did apologize, but at first I panicked thinking of all of the working relationships which have been wrecked. It’s not just physical injuries. Many times it’s just psychological, and a dog just won’t work again. This is especially problematic if it happens near home. To add insult to injury, this little stop made me miss my bus, and I was a little late getting to the doctor’s office.

My doctor’s visit brought up one of the very few not-so-friendly debates between Kragneses. We have a running joke that if you’re a Kragnes, you’re right. The only question is what happens when we disagree. For a few weeks, I’ve been noticing that when I lie on my left side, my pillow speaker (for reading audio books) gets quieter within a few minutes. In the past I’ve been known to have a lot of wax in my ears, and I suspected that might be what was going on. Only thing was, there was some pain and itching too. That might have been the final push to get to the doctor. Because it might be an infection, it was ok to go.
There are home remedies for wax in the ears. Growing up, it was cu-tips, sometimes with water. And I swear, every time I went to the doctor, they would warn against it. My doctor yesterday warned against it again saying it has the potential to puncture something. I talked about Phil’s home remedy which is successful for him. He mixes vinegar and alcohol and uses a syringe to squeeze the mixture in his ears. Lavages work for me, but warm water under a lot of pressure applied with something a little thicker than a toothpick and a doughnut-shaped thing which limits how far into the ear it can go are more successful for me. Side benefits are that it feels good and doesn’t smell bad. It also helps to have a sighted nurse able to shine a light to see the angle needed to get the wax. Phil feels I trash his method, and I do. But if we could just agree to disagree, I could settle down. Trashing is not a one-way street. He contends that doctors simply want our money so discourage anything which might keep us away. If I’d just do his thing every few months, I might not have to go in.

So when I complained of the obstruction, his response was, “there are vinegar and alcohol in there. He contends I haven’t tried it, but I have. Based on my doctor’s and nurse’s responses, I’m not likely to try it again. They think it will dry out the ear with the acid being a problem. According to Phil’s doctors, the mixture brings the PH balance back into line in the ear. I suspect these things might address different problems or it’s simply different strokes for different folks. Both ears needed attention, I can hear much better after my treatment, and it’s a good thing. On the way home the rush hour traffic was absolutely brutal, and I needed every last bit of hearing plus Zane’s skills to get across Hennapin Avenue!

Next week is the lovely colonoscopy. If you can believe it, they called yesterday and wanted to reschedule it yet again, because the doctor had another conflict. I switched to a different doctor within the same practice at the same time. I just want to get this nonsense done.


Comments on: "Ornery Week" (1)

  1. Jeanie Vejil said:


    I sure hope something can be done for Phil’s hands. That’s got to be simply miserable for him.

    As for the vinegar and alcohol mixture, that same remedy was given to me by a former internal medicine/allergy doctor, but I’ve only used it a couple of times as I’m not much of a wax builder. I guess different strokes work for different folks!

    Best of luck with the colonoscopy.

    Jeanie and Ms. Trudy

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