Or two, depending how you look at it.

Yesterday I had my birth control implant (Implanon) taken out, because it was at the end of its three-year life, and a new one put in (Nexplanon this time – same idea next generation and I have no real idea what the difference is). I wasn’t looking forward to this, since removal involves basically cutting a hole in your arm to pull the old one out, but it wasn’t too bad. A shot of Lydocaine and a small incision that didn’t even bleed too much; she started cutting right away and then stopped for a minute when I told her it hadn’t gone numb yet but even that first cut only hurt a little. Putting the new one in just uses a gun sort of thing (link has line drawings of insertion) so that’s easier than taking the old one out. I’ll be 51 when this one expires, so I may not need another one.

This thing has worked great for me; I haven’t had a period in three years (or a baby either – actually it has the same theoretical effectiveness as the Pill, but it’s more effective in practice because you don’t have to remember to take anything). This varies – some women do have periods or spotting, but for me it’s been completely bloodless.

Next challenge was this morning’s breakfast with the company CEO. This is one of those things where you can just sign up to get a chance to talk to the guy in person; he was going to be in town so I did. There were actually two of us, which I think made for much better conversation because we were able to bounce ideas off each other, remind each other of thigns, and offer slightly different perspectives on what’s going on in the local office. (The CEO mentioned to me afterward that he normally does this with one person at a time and often they’re a bit tongue-tied.) Good food, too; we took him to a local coffee grinder’s that has their own coffeehouse.

The next challenge this week (or maybe challenges plural) happens because Ted has been working at the same company since 1996. As a result he has about a week more vacation than I do. He’s taking all next week off, while I’m only taking Tuesday. As a result, I need to drive separately to the lake house this weekend, so I have a car to come back in. It’s about 2.5 hours each way, though the trip down might be up to 3 hours with holiday-weekend traffic. This will be my longest drive since that incident in Taipei, but I think the glasses have had their effect. My brain has had plenty of time to come to accommodation with the way my sight changed after LASIK, which is what I think sparked the original panic attack in November 2009. I’ve also had enough experience with this to feel sure now that even if my head feels odd or light, my brain isn’t going to explode and I am not going to have a stroke. It’s been 5 years and that is plenty long enough to be crippled as a driver. I’m still a little nervous but recent drives have been going well including driving on the highways across Portland to and from the airport a couple weeks ago. (I could take Amtrak if I had to, but that would be half an hour to the station there, a trip similar to the time to drive, and then another hour back to my house, riding MAX from the train station. An extra hour and a half for me plus an hour round trip for Ted, taking me to the train station.) I have a Phryne Fisher audiobook to listen to; it’s volume 20, the last one so far and the only one I haven’t read so it’s a special treat. Also, I think Phryne, fearless pilot and racecar driver that she is, ought to be a good influence.