Ohhh dear Lord…what have I done to piss You off this time?
Okay. Last night I made an appointment at the Urgent Care to get the probably-not-broken (I hope) hand X-rayed at 2 p.m., allowing time for choir and the service and for driving back & forth.
This morning when I awaken, the paw is notably swollen — a new development. Though I manage to bring the swelling down with an ice pack, I figure this is a clue to a fractured knuckle or other bone near thereunto. I’m pissed, but glad I’d made the appointment.
Twenty to 10, I hop in the car and head out to the church…
Well…to the end of the driveway.
There, right across the street, is some guy whom I’ve never seen and who has The Look of a denizen of the far side of Conduit of Blight Blvd (which marks the border of a meth slum). He’s standing there peering around and punching at a cell phone.
Taking notes, are we, buddy?
He can see me leave, and he also can see there’s no other car in the garage.
So…I drive around the block and circle back. By the time I reach the Funny Farm, our guy has crossed over to my side of the road, gone around the corner, and is now standing next to the east side of my house, punching more data into his cell phone.
After a quick command decision to cut choir and church, I pull into the garage and holler for the dog, loud enough to be heard. Hope the guy hasn’t been watching long enough to know the dog weighs all of 25 pounds, not all of 95 pounds.
Why am I staying here? Is this God asking me that question?
I need to move either to Sun City — a ghetto for old folks — or to Prescott, where it’s probably snowing right now.
Actually, it’s not. Snowing in Prescott, I mean. Just damn cold: 36 degrees. No. I do not want to live in Prescott much more than I want to live in Sun City. But…do I really want to live a half-mile (or less) from a vast swath of dangerous blight?
Ohhh well. Having made the decision to abstain from church, I managed to move the Urgent Care appointment up from 2:00 p.m. to noon, the earliest moment when they have their X-ray equipment working. That rescues the afternoon from chaos, anyway.
Friday night (is this really already Sunday?) Ruby & I went for a doggywalk after dark. A neighborhood community party was going on in the park, and, attracted by the happy sounds, I decided we should walk down the road that separates Upper from Lower Richistan and follow it over to the park. It’s quite dark along that stretch. And…in the past five or six years, a developer purchased a piece of horse property which he converted into a small HOA of ugly two-story McMansions, surrounded by an ugly stuccoed wall. Just fit right in to a neighborhood of sprawling single-story 1950s-to-70s ranchers, eh?
Oh well. Aesthetics aside, the builder took as much leave of his senses as he did of his taste. Between this fine wall and the city sidewalk, in a little easement about, oh…maybe six or eight feet wide, he planted several sissou trees.
These fine plants get HUGE, and they’re extremely aggressive. Their roots will heave every wall and pavement within 40 feet of the trunk.
Not surprisingly, one of these charmers has lifted a whole slab of sidewalk along the way to the park. Since I rarely walk down that way (the park being, alas, a good place to stay away from in the absence of, say, a German shepherd), I’d forgotten about this little eruption. Sooo…trotting along behind a charging corgi, I tripped over it and fell flat on my face!
Wrecked my glasses — that’ll be $200. Wrenched my right hand. And blasted the patella on the right knee.
Fortunately, I was able to flag down a driver cruising home from his law office. He drove me and the dog back to the house — we were about a half to three-quarters of a mile out.
These small dings hurt like the dickens, especially the hand. I applied ice packs, of which (given my various recent adventures) I have a-plenty residing in the freezer. But though they still hurt, I really do NOT want to spend yetanother night in the Mayo’s goddamn ER, not after just barely getting over a two-month bout of bronchitis that I believe I picked up there.
I didn’t think anything was broken. But two days later, the hand is pretty badly swollen, Naturally, it’s Sunday. Made an appointment at the local urgent care joint this afternoon, where I hope they will X-ray it and tell me yea or nay, is a knuckle or metacarpal busted
Lucky thing I only busted my glasses, and not a hip…it was dark as pitch down there, and if I hadn’t been able to get up and step into the roadway to wave my paws and holler, I wouldn’t have had a chance of getting anyone to notice me.
Come to think of it, though, it’s kinda remarkable that a nearly 75-year-old broad could fall flat on her face (twice! this is the second goddamn time — the first was at a dead run) and not break anything., Now that the pain has subsided (presumably under the influence of three ice packs), I doubt if anything is actually broken, except for a chip off a dental crown.
Thankful though I am that no more serious injury was done..HOW could I do without these little interludes? Let me count the ways….
Into the third day of a passing storm. It’s supposed to clear tomorrow…today the sun peeked through for several hours, but then the sky clabbered up again and more rain fell with abandon.
Think (hope!) the bronchitis may be starting to clear up. too. In the morning it feels almost like an ordinary cold. But of course, that’s after I’ve been sequestered inside a closed-up bedroom with two hot steamers running for 10 or 12 hours.
In fact, this morning it seemed improved enough to assay a doggy walk. For day after day, poor little Ruby has been trapped in the house by the rain and by the Human’s ailment. Alas, by the time we got to the outskirts of Upper Richistan, the threat of more rain had escalated to a promise. So we had to cut our expedition short and hurry home — just reached the front door when more rain began to pour down.
Thought we’d try again as the weather cleared but then decided I’d druther go back to bed. Plus as I was peering out the front door to check on the downpour status, I spotted a shady pair trotting past the house, transparently stealing and garbage scavenging, almost surely homeless (read “drug addicts” in these parts). On the way home we saw another sketchy fellow going through a garbage bin in the alley behind Josie’s house. In the rain. Uh huh: N.G.
Back at the Funny Farm: yesterday’s extra CPR Call Blocker coding seemed to have had an effect. The number of nuisance calls dropped to two. I thought I’d found the key to blocking nuisance calls from “Name Unavailable,” but another got through. Called CPR’s excellent customer service; the guy there says blocking “Name Unavailable” doesn’t block “Unavailable” calls, each of which has to be separately, manually blocked. Now I’m thinking the only way to deal with this constant harassment is to tell everyone who needs to reach me that the only way to get in touch is by email, and then unplug the phones. Or cancel the service.
As the day passes, the apparent improvement in the epizoõtic backtracks, and by mid-afternoon it again feels like I can’t draw enough air into the lungs to sustain life. So it was back to bed in the confines of the closed bedroom filled with steam.
This is the kind of sh!t that makes you doubt the entire premise of “Aging in Place.” Really? I’m on the far end of being able to drive around the city when I don’t feel well. What is gonna happen when I’m 80 and I come down with this kind of crud? Or something worse? How will I get food? How will I care for myself? Will I die on the floor with no one to notice till my skeleton has been cleaned by the ants?
I see My Beloved Employer, the Great Desert University, whose administrators are always on the lookout for a way to generate another million bucks, are building an old-folkerie for self-styled intellectuals, to house the aged on the campus. Lots of stuff to do. And you even get to go to classes on the campus!
Whoop de doo.
Well, so let’s look at that with the least jaundiced eye we can manage.
Okay. In theory it looks like a good idea. A lot of stuff is going on at the campus. You would be surrounded by young adults, and if you were ambitious enough and influential enough, you might even be able to engineer some activities that would allow you to interact with the critters. Usually a healthy enterprise, this.
However…truth to tell, Tempe is Chez Pitz. Despite the presence of the university, it’s a bedroom community that doesn’t even faintly appeal to me as a place to live. “Old” is the New N*, particularly among the Millennial set: your chance of engaging with the (mostly commuter) students on the Great Desert University campus is almost nil.
However-ever, one would be to some degree — nay, to a large degree — insulated from the overall Southern California-style ticky-tacky of the East Valley suburban lifestyle.
Yes. But. You would be housed in a multi-story apartment building: a rabbit warren. No yard. No privacy to speak of. No distance between you and your fellow inmates. And not just any apartment building, but a storage bin for old folks.
What would I do with my little dog in a place like that?
Well. You know exactly what I would have to do with my little dog: find some other home for her. And I would never be able to get a dog again.
Sorry. but a goldfish a substitute for a dog does not make. Life is not life without the companionship of a dog. That is fact.
Thus, quite possibly, a life proctored by protectors who will be there to call 911 if you fall and you can’t get up may not be a life at all.
Tomorrow the weather in lovely uptown Phoenix is expected to be “sunny along with a few clouds.” Let’s hope that’s true. And let’s hope it applies to Life, the Universe, and All That…