Wednesday, April 25, 2012

They Walk Among Us...

In coordination with my quarterly kidney check on Friday, I was required to get blood drawn today in order for Sonora Quest to get the results to my doctor's office by then. I am no newcomer to this process since my surgery in 2005. That means I've been going and getting this done almost monthly for 7 years. Sounds simple right? Usually it's a routine process, but I think due to high turnover in staff, you really never know what to expect.

After cruising their over-packed parking lot for about 5 minutes, I spot a car pulling out rather slowly and wait for the end spot. After it's vacated, I realize the car to it's left has taken more than it's fair share of space and is literally parked upon the painted white line between places. I squeeze in scraping my tire against the curb, praying that I don't break the bead on my tire causing it to go flat. I'm parked so close to the car next to me, that I can't open the driver's door and crawl over the console to the passenger's seat and get out that way, but only after checking the car next to me, that it doesn't have a passenger that requires entry. I see a magazine, and can of Cashew nuts in the seat, so that satisfies my curiosity of inconveniencing another rider. 

I walk about a city block to the entrance of the office building and just as I pass the parking spot right next to the front door, it's occupant backs out....................naturally! I approach the front desk and stand behind a young man about 17 years old and wait for him to finish checking in. About 3 minutes goes by and I notice he's not checking in at all, but filling out the questionnaire that new patients are required to do. I step up next to him, there is plenty of room. I'm ignored for another 2 minutes as I try unsuccessfully to make eye contact with anyone there and there are about 5 people working behind the desk, just chatting away. A rather unattractive technician comes out of one of the room and looks at me finally, but asks if I'm with the young boy standing there. I reply, no. She says, are you sure? I involuntarily raise my eye brows and assure her I am certain! I then ask the youthful man if I am with him and he rather confusedly verifies I am not. Another woman comes walking up and is immediately attended to by someone else, who politely was answering her question about the questionnaire. Now the smart ass girl asks if I've seen the sign and points to a sign that is clearly out of the field of vision for people entering, placing it off to the left and only about 30 inches high. It is hand written with a Magic Marker, an index card that reads, "WAIT HERE".

Not wanting any more trouble for today, I do as told, but would  prefer to record all of this, for YouTube! Just as I approach the sign, a woman walks up to the sign ahead of me and now I am once again in line behind her. The woman says you were here before me, why don't you go ahead. I thanked her and did.

Finally I am handed the check in slip and fill it out. I'm asked for my insurance card and I supply it, I know the routine. I go to sit down. I wait about 10 minutes when I'm called up there again and I am asked, "Are you here for your monthly blood drawing or the 6 month drawing that your doctor requires"? I want to answer, "I only supply the blood, what you're doing is strictly between you and the doctor". Instead I look at her in utter amazement and here is what is going through my mind. I am of above average intelligence, I think. I took an IQ test once online and it gave me a 130 IQ. Really smart people are a lot closer to 140, so no one is going to ask me to run for president. 

I ask the less than bright girl when the last time I had the 6 month test and she replied, last month in March. I told her to go ahead and perform the monthly test, then. She looked at me with approval and told me to go back to my seat. I wanted to ask why she couldn't just figure that out on her own, but thought, if she's made it to this age and that's all the thinking power she has, well so be it.

Okay, here's the topper for the day. I go back to my squeezed in car and crawl over the console again to get into the driver's seat and am pleased to see that the same car is still next to me, so he didn't get a chance to hit my door backing out, but I'm running late to get to a friend's house and try to extend the time the left hand turning arrow give you at Scottsdale Road and Shea and get nailed real good by the red light camera, who will no doubt be sending me a certified picture of myself blowing the damned light!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm in Here!

Things that were normally part of your daily routine, that were taken for granted, suddenly change as we get older. Not wanting to elaborate too much on this sensitive topic, I refer to the time you spend in the bathroom. For years it was a minute of your time spent eliminating, then suddenly it's now an occasional gift. Today as I casually visited the rest room with my coffee and book and I don't think I was in there more than 3 minutes, there was a scratch at the door and I instinctively yelled, "I'm in here!" That sent me reeling back in time when I was in a household of 5, with one single bathroom and you never got to spend time in there without someone knocking on the door exclaiming, "I need to get in there"! You reply back,"but I'm in here!"

As I opened the door, I was just reading anyway, there stood Macy with a toy in her mouth wanting to play. I asked her if she needed to get in there and she went running away to play with her toy alone. Just as well, as I was getting tired of playing, "I'm Gonna Get It" anyway.

The second expression of old was whenever we asked our mom where a certain toy was, her canned answer was always, "Did you look in the other room"? We never really knew which room was the other room and I don't think Mom did either. Our apartment consisted of living room, dining room and one bedroom and as I've mentioned, one single bathroom. Mom and Dad slept on an in-a-door-bed that came out from behind a large massive door, that I later learned was a Murphy bed. Playing behind the Murphy bed, while it was in the up position was a favorite pastime. My own personal Jungle Gym, if you will? Also a great place to hide when you were in trouble. If you compare that to the existence that children have now, it's mind boggling. Day care, soccer practice, after school activities, the gym and parks every few blocks. 

When I was old enough to go outside alone, a group of kids from the neighborhood played marbles in a patch of dirt near our our apartment building. It was known as the empty lot. Whatever happened to my marble collection, I was pretty good?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Credit Card Fraud...

While driving home from my appointment, I received a call from an 800 number, so I hit ignore and continued driving. I heard the familiar sound of a voice mail notice, which is strange when solicitors call. I listened to the message and it was from Chase Bank's Fraud Department and they said it was urgent that I call them as soon as possible. So still driving, I hit the necessary keys and was asked to supply the last 4 numbers of my credit card. Sine they had just supplied them to me, I remembered them and did what I was asked, keeping in mind this is very dangerous when driving. Ten seconds and an involuntary lane change later, a Dude answered the phone and asked if I had made a purchase of electronics yesterday in Houston? Although I'd taken Ambien, even with the drugs, Houston was a bit far not to remember. I replied, no it wasn't me! Well, someone did use it and it seemed out of character for my credit profile, so they were verifying. They also told me that they denied the purchase, since I had just paid my AT&T bill the same day from Glendale, AZ.

Now is it just me or does everyone have this problem? This is the second time in 2 years someone has stolen my credit card number and frankly, it's never left my sight. Two years ago, it was used to pay off someones power bill in Michigan, another obvious fraud. They said they were going to overnight me a new credit card and hung up. I don't think 10 minutes went by when I realized, how do I know it was Chase that I supplied my pertinent information to and not some con artist? I worried all the way to Fry's where I was picking up my prescription and was truly relieved when the machine declined my credit card. Today, Tuesday, about 22 hours later there was a fresh credit card at my door and of course it required activation. When I called, I had to jump though some credit card hoops, once again giving them my mother's maiden name and I was asked if I wanted to hear some new and wonderful things Chase was doing. I politely explained that this is a new credit card, but I've been a member since 1983 and I'm pretty familiar with Chases features. She then said, did you know that you have $367 in Chase cash back credit, do I want to let it ride or should they send a check? I think I was fully stuttering when I meekly asked, "Can I get a check"? She said, sure and agreed to send it to me. Now let me get this straight, a credit card company is sending money to ME! I may actually be a little more accommodating the next time they want to tell me about their programs...

That Irritating, Annoying Voice...

Low and behold, the pain has returned and with a vengeance. That lower left pain in my gut that drove me to the hospital last week is fully in attendance. I made all the necessary calls with numbers provided me and no one returned my call. I've got to remark about the medical system as it is, is terribly inefficient. I saw a plethora of doctors while incarcerated in the local hospital last week and not a single one returned my call when the routine visit was over. Now, in my ignorance, I thought this is how a doctors builds a clientele, but no, I was on my own. I called Dr. Harvey, my buddy, and in his defense, he was honest enough to tell me that he didn't have any experience in internal medicine and referred me to a friend of his that specialized in Infectious Diseases. I called the number he provided and at first there was just no answer. No answering service or voice mail, just nothing. I tried again and it was answered by that voice. Crotchety is a word I've never used before and honestly it didn't really do her justice. It was more whiny, yet authoritative, but still really unpleasant. It kind of reminded me of a receptionist in a large office building, whose primary job was to keep people away from her employers. Okay, I've got it, picture Lilly Thomlyn as the switchboard operator! That's the voice.

I told her I'd received the number from Dr. Harvey, a friend of her employers and I was in the hospital last week with Diverticulitis and I'm afraid I'm having a relapse. Her reply and I was sure she was wearing a nose plug was, we're in the process of moving our office and Doctor is not seeing any new patients for a few weeks, (Pause) I tried to explain that I needed to see someone right away and could I at least get a return call from the doctor. Lilly said, and as if I were insane, "Of course not, Doctor has not "seen" you yet"! I felt like I was in the middle of a bad dream. A lot of things went through my mind, none of them included her survival, but instead I just hung up. I could see I was not going to get anywhere with her. My next thought was to go back to the ER. That's when I tried texting Dr. Harvey and telling him thanks anyway, but I couldn't get past his asshole receptionist. I think I used those precise words. About 2 hours passed and I was in my reclining chair contemplating my next move, when my phone rang and I didn't recognize the number. I answered and to my surprise, it was Lilly Thomlyn, the bitch, calling to make an appointment for me for this past Monday. I believe her words were, "Are you the friend of Dr. Harvey, Doctor wants to see you right away!" I almost couldn't speak because of the enormous smile on my face. When I showed up at 7:45 AM, 30 minutes early, Lilly couldn't even make eye contact. The doctor, an Italian gentleman about 45, was helpful, attentive and prescribed 2 antibiotics, explaining in detail why just one will not usually do the job. He told me to call him next week after a full 7 days of drugs to give him a report, although he gave me 14 days of drugs this time. He told me that if this is not successful, he'll have to put me back in the hospital for IV drugs, as they are far more effective. I didn't say goodbye to Lilly on the way out! Why is everything so difficult?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Where Did it Fall Apart???

No one really knows what causes a match between 2 people to go awry, but it certainly doesn't take much. As I said prior, I was kind of excited about going out with one of my Kays, but that ended rather quickly after meeting. It started with a thoughtful phone call to let her know that the restaurant we were to meet at, was not that easy to find. It didn't have a street exposure and she'd have to enter the shopping center to access it. She called me kind of put out, asking if I could have chosen a place MORE difficult to find? I politely apologized but between you and me, I'd sent much dumber people there to meet me and they've found it! So I asked her what type of vehicle she was driving and she told me. Just as she told me, I watched a car just like hers make a u-turn and completely miss the driveway and I asked if that were her and she said yes. I told her to pull over and I'd come to her. She did. We laughed all the way into the restaurant, Tutti Santi's on 59th Ave. We entered through the kitchen and laughed our way to the reception desk, feeling like the sneaks that we were. Everything was going along great. I told her after being seated that I chose the wrong side of the booth, as my good side is elsewhere. She asked where and I said, evidently another restaurant! She giggled, pointing out that I was looking at her better side. Here is my analysis of her. She was 60, but Google thought she was 65. I believed her. She was short and had an old lady's flat butt, but she was still charming. She showed her age, but then again so do I. Her pictures, although she claims they are recent, make her appear much younger, but pictures can do that. Kay is an Agnostic, but I'm okay with that. Suddenly, after I told her a story on why I believe in God, she said Fisher, is that a Jewish name? I said, not really. There are probably more Christian Fishers than Jewish ones, but I was born and raised to be Jewish, but frankly don't follow any organized religion. That's when things took on an entirely different meaning. She clammed up tight and I don't think she said more than 10 words after my disclosure. At one point I stopped talking to see how long the uncomfortable silence would prevail and it was endless. She finally grabbed the check and said that since I hadn't ordered anything to eat, she would take care of it. In my 10 years of dating, I've never allowed a woman to pay her way. I was raised differently, but in this case, it was obvious to me that she was either anti-Semitic or suddenly developed menstrual cramps! I looked at her and said, I guess we're not a very good match, aye? She stared at me for about 10 seconds and said, I guess not.

I thought for quite awhile what went wrong, but I can only attribute it to one thing. What a shame...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

K-K-K's, the Medical Field and a Terry.

Because nothing in life is predictable, why should the dating scene be any different? First, it's really hard to maintain any kind of dating or social life when you don't feel well, which is my current situation. It seems I'm having a relapse with my Diverticulitis and have had stomach issues all day. I DID have plans with Kay number 1 for today, but had to cancel due to not feeling like it. Honestly, I think Kay number 1 has social issues, as she continuously sends me emails that are 3 words long on the Match website, in spite of the fact that I've given her my phone number and email address several times and she's given me hers. Today's was, "Feel well soon". Kay is a registered nurse and I thought I'd get more than that from her, but no.

Let's move right along to Kay number 2. She cute and clever and actually I'm quite drawn to her appearance and size. A thin shapely 5' 4" with a face that shows her 60 years, but with grace. She was married to a wealthy doctor for 20 years and has been single for 10 years, same as me. She was reluctant to tell me that and I fully understand, as that shows a lack of ability to connect emotionally. She also has a history of a medical background, working as a Medical Tech, whatever that is? I think being married to a doctor for 20 years gives her more medical experience that most nurses, however. Yeah, I like Kay number 2 and we have a date tomorrow night, God willing.

My last Kay isn't a Kay at all, but a Kate. (New twist) She's got a career too. Yes, you guessed it, she's a former nurse and is currently following a career in law. As of yet, I'm not sure of what capacity. We've not spoken but emailed just casually and only through the website. She said to contact her when I feel better and sent me a really sincere and caring email about it. I kind of like her too.

Then there was Terry, who popped up out of no place, literally. She's a new member on Match, a youthful 50 years old and latched onto me like a sucker fish. She's totally unsociable and doesn't display any social or people skills. You probably didn't realize I was that observant, did you? Her first email to me started out, "Dear Friend". I initially thought she was going to try to sell me something and I told her. Her email said she lived in Chicago for 18 years and her capitalization and punctuation indicated a lack of education. She capitalized the first letter of every word in her email and no punctuation whatsoever. That worried me too. In my polite email in return, I asked why she moved to Chicago, where she lived in Chicago and how she was enjoying her time on Match. Pretty benign stuff. She replied that she was born and raised in Grand Rapids, moved to Chicago and her husband died. All of that information was nice to know, but where was my answer? She answered questions that I didn't ask and again used poor lettering. I decided that instead of chastising her and re-asking all the stuff I asked, I'd just not reply. That was the kind thing to do when you're not interested. a day and a half later, she sends me an email that is scathing and says that this is why she's not successful on Match or other dating sites, because people don't communicate.

I quickly realized that this poor wounded soul just didn't have the skills to be doing this and I explained that she will receive about as much as she puts in. She only posted one picture and between you and me, it wasn't a good one (I didn't tell her that) and her entire profile was 2 lines. She didn't answer hardly any of the questions on the questionnaire and didn't answer any of my questions on my email. Her reply was a simple explanation that she has a hard time typing. Oh well, next.....