SO…here I was, about to write a complacent little post about how NICE is it that I’m getting a little respite from the grinding workload this summer and how a friend is coming over and we’re going to go window shopping at the long-ignored “fashion square” upon which we ruminated yesterday, and ahhhhh isn’t everything beer and skittles…
Never fails, does it?
Our Fair City, in all its City Parents’ bat-brained wisdom, evades going so far as to fix worn-out streets by patching them instead of resurfacing them. They send crews around about once every 10 to 15 years to fill and spray oil over the cracks in your neighborhood’s streets. This enhances the Look of Blight so fashionable in our town and delays having to do the job right for another while.
Week or so ago, they threw flyers on our driveways (we call those “Burglars Enter Here!” notices) informing us that we were to keep our cars off the roadway, because if they came across a vehicle parked at the curb when they arrive to fill in the cracks, they will have the vehicle towed.
I’m sitting here, then, about to start scribbling today’s post, when the dogs go FREAKING BATSH!T.
The tarring crews are out in front, and they are flummoxed. Neighbor catty-corner across the street, a very beloved and nice neighbor, has left an SUV parked out in front of his house. The workmen are obviously trying to get a rise out of the house’s occupants. Some of the men are taking the opportunity to loaf, to inspect the car, and generally to scurry around aimlessly. No answer: Joel & Dita presumably are…you know…at work.
I call WonderAccountant, whose house/office is next door to them. She hadn’t gotten the message that the City intended to impound vehicles left parked on the street, but in any event, the car is not Joel’s. It belongs to a friend of theirs who’s trying to sell it. Friend lives in a gated compound and is not allowed to leave it out for potential buyers to see. Not that they could get in through the gate anyway. So Joel & Dita are letting the guy sell it from our street instead of his.
W.A. texts Joel. Joel contacts Dita. Dita is home but like all women around here, wisely not answering the door to strangers; she is going to run out and move the car.
Ah, the drama. Ah, the operatic flights of fancy!
Respite…yeah, OK…what was that about? Oh yes…
The nasty cough that was the only symptom (except for a brief 102.5° fever) of the late great homicidal cold is still hanging on. FOUR MONTHS LATER.
After 12 weeks of choking and gasping, accompanied by some unprintably disgusting effects, I finally gave up and visited Young Dr. Kildare. The reason I persist in seeing this man, despite his having moved his practice to a part of town where you have to dodge bullets to get from the parking lot to the door, is that his signal quality is common sense.
You don’t often find that in a doctor.
So I tell him I’ve been to WonderAccountant’s lung doc, who says it’s not asthma and who says the X-ray he ordered came back “clear.” YDK whips out his stethoscope and listens to everything you can listen to and says he can’t hear anything in the chest, either.
I remark that the evil Other Symptoms sound a lot like the cough you can get with GERD. He being a GERD veteran himself, remarks that it could be.
He suggests that I go back on the omeprazole for two weeks. If it helps, we’ll know it’s the GERD and a few more weeks of omeprazole should calm it back down. If it doesn’t help, then we’ll know it’s not GERD and then we’ll have to figure out what to do next.
Two long weeks later… Nothing. The omeprazole plus liberal doses of ranitidine have effectively zero effect.
Well, not quite zero. It’s gotten a tiny bit better, but not so much as you’d notice.
This means I really should go over to my “official” GP at the Mayo. But I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna because those folks at the Mayo are test-happy. Extravagantly test-happy. They are going to subject me to hour after hour of tests — which will entail endless drives to the far side of Scottsdale. And one of the tests they’d like to foist on me involves shoving a camera down my throat. I do not want a camera shoved down my throat. Enough medico-miseries are ENOUGH, already.
So I think…hmmmm…. So it’s probably not GERD. It’s not lung cancer (though it surely could be esophageal cancer but it’s probably not). It’s not Valley fever. It’s not pneumonia. What can we conclude from this?
a) If it’s not esophageal cancer, it’s likely not life-threatening; and
b) It probably has something to do with the Cold/Cough from Hell.
I’m not swallowing any more of the carefully husbanded stash of codeine cough medicine, which I think is contraindicated anyway because the reason I’m coughing so hideously is all the gunk that’s coming up. But I do have some Mucinex left over, purchased when I came down with this thing. It didn’t do a whit of good then. But…it functions to make you cough stuff out. What if the problem is that this hideously thick, gummy stuff is stuck in there and needs to be expelled? The worst that could happen is the Mucinex could kill me, and at this point, that doesn’t sound like an altogether bad thing.
So I try the stuff. And amazingly…next morning, the cough is about 90% better! It’s still there, but it’s not about to drown me, nor am I gasping for air.
Hallelujah, brothers and sisters!
So that’s relief number 1.
Relief number 2 will be engineering a chance to visit with my friend for several hours today. And even to go into a very fancy, very air-conditioned mall and view the way the One-Percenters live. Always an amusing prospect.
This relief is attenuated by the facts that…
a) A new version of Honored Clients’ 33-page (typeset!) tome on matters economic arrived yesterday, with a request to please turn it around in three days; and
b) The second set of The Complete Writer‘s page proofs are ready at the printer’s shop, and my Honored Spy there thinks the cover is still not working — suggests redoing it from scratch.
Welp, I got through 12 pages of the Chinese economic study yesterday, plus the headnotes of the 8 single-spaced pages of 11-point tables. So if I can get through six pages today and six pages tomorrow — not at all unreasonable — that may leave time to proofread tomorrow afternoon, or at least will make me only one day late.
Meanwhile, I have a presentation on Saturday and really wanted to have the book in hand to sell to the audience. This means those proofs have to be picked up today!!!!!!!!
It also pretty well guarantees I will not finish the Chinese paper tomorrow, because it will take a good half a day to rebuild the goddamn cover, and because I’m still not finished preparing the presentation. And the interior copy will need to be double-checked to be sure the three or four dozen changes came across OK.
So I propose to suggest that Dear Friend, who planned to drive today, leave her car in my garage and let me drive, thereby consuming my gasoline for the considerable drive to the printer’s shop.
If she agrees to this exploit, it will be an experience for her, since the printer is located in a part of town where…shall we say…nice girls do not go. It’s due south of the airport, in one of the most desperate slums in the Southwest.