Coffee heat rising

Where were we?

Or, one could ask, where are we?

Damned if I know.

Past few weeks, I’ve been too comatose to write much for Funny about Money. When I’m not running from pillar to post between doctors, orthodontists, and physical therapists, I’m so tired I can’t move.

Nothing much, though, is new here in the Valley of the We-Do-Mean-Sun. The weather is starting to warm up, though more gradually than normal. By the end of May, it should be hotter than a two-dollar cookstove, but in fact temperatures are fairly moderate. I haven’t been back to choir, partly because I’m just too damn scared to be exposed to The Disease — vaccine or no vaccine — and mostly because I’m so distracted by all the niggling little harassments I don’t even know what day of the week it is. Sunday could be Wednesday, Wednesday could be Monday…who knows?

Oh, indeed, LO! It is Wednesday: here’s Pool Dude.

Who’d’ve thunk it?

About every second day I’m trotting to a doctor or a dentist. Today I have to waste the afternoon at the orthodontist’s office. He wants to check the progress of the treatment he inflicted, which is supposed to kill off the infection that caused my regular dentist and orthodontist to want to pull the tooth. This is next to the tooth that has already been pulled and mightily f*cked up and that hurts all the time.

Complicating that matter, my beloved common-sense dentist looks like he’s about to quit his practice. He had some surgery that screwed up his body, and it appears that he’s just not going to be able to continue working. That is extremely bad news on several fronts: on his, obviously; but also on mine, because it is extremely difficult to score an excellent dentist in this city. There’s lots of dentistoids…every one of whom wants to carve up your mouth to the tune of God only knows how many gerzillions of dollars. About 99.6% of this suggested work turns out to be unnecessary when you go ask a second doc about it.

Always. Get. A. Second. Opinion.

Which of course doubles the number of traipses to doctors’ and dentists’ offices…

Still generally feeling miserable. The tooth hurts, but so much less so than the busted shoulder and the bunged wrist and elbow as to be almost unnoticeable. The shoulder, after thousands of dollars’ worth of physical therapy (most of it covered by Medicare/Medigap), is verrreeeee slowly getting better.

A friend down at the church — actually, the church’s financial officer — did a similar job on herself, only with more skill: she actually snapped the femur in two. Not bad, eh?

She said her doctor told her it would take eight to twelve months to heal as much as it’s gonna heal. Mayo Orthopod says mine will take eight to twelve weeks…but I believe it’s been about that long already. Unclear whether this is something that can even be expected to heal: it may be as good as it’s gonna get right now. If that’s the case, “as good” ain’t “very” good!

Latest discovery in micro-medical science: the daily multiple doses of aspirin have been making me sick. I’ve been dropping three or four aspirins a day, with the result that one well-known side effect — shortness of breath, a horrifying sense that you can’t get enough air into your lungs to sustain life — has kicked right in.

The cannabis dispensed through gumdrops does not seem to do that. They do cut the pain considerably, but…if I take enough to really work, they make me too sleepy to drive. And if you live in Phoenix, you drive or you don’t survive. A quarter of a candy will do the job, but I would really, seriously hesitate to get behind a steering wheel with a quarter of one of those things in my system. A half will keep me asleep through the usual 3 a.m. wake-up call, a bit of a Godsend. But of course, that suggests that a whole cannabis-laced gumdrop would send you straight to La-La-Land.

Meanwhile, we now suspect that the screaming crazy-making buzz and tingle in the lips and gums is peripheral neuropathy occasioned by the metal implant we put in the busted tooth, which has never been crowned. The dentist is hammering at Death’s Door, and that tooth has hurt me enough that I haven’t wanted to complicate matters with a crown that I suspect will have to be removed. Plus there’s an infection in the tooth right next to it.

So by and large, that’s how my days have been going: day of general misery followed by night of general misery followed by day of general misery followed by… It’s getting mighty tedious.

There doesn’t seem to be much to be done about it, either.

I finally talked MayoDoc into ordering tests for metallosis — sensitivity to implanted metals such as the titanium in the goddamned dental implant. That occurs at the end of this month. If we are all surprised and this test comes back positive, THEN the next step will be to have the orthodontist or an oral surgeon remove the implant. Doesn’t THAT sound fun?

Well, no: it sounds like another day of acute misery followed by another week or ten days of dragged-out misery. But if it works to stop this neuropathy horror, it’ll be worth it. But it’s a long shot: MayoDoc does not think the PN is caused by metal sensitivity. She thinks I’m a lush and that that the neuropathy is caused by drinking. I argue that one or at the outside maybe two glasses of wine with the large meal of the day (which is a lot of food!) alcoholism does not make. But of course she thinks that because I must be an alcoholic, my reports that I do not drink that much and I never drink without food are just excuses I’m making up.

If she’s right — that the neuropathy is caused by long-term alcohol abuse — then there’s not a thing we can do about it. That is a permanent condition caused by damage to nerves that will not grow back. I don’t happen to think she is right — because if she were, every Frenchwoman on the Continent would be spending her nights tingling and burning — but I’m not a doctor. Nor did I grow up in a household of Christian Scientists, as MayoDoc did…

Still, I persist in hoping that the neuropathy, which started suspiciously at about the time of the dental work, is a reaction to the metal implant.

Ironically enough, the condition that is forcing my beloved Old Dentist out of practice is exactly that: a reaction to a metal hip implant. And that reaction is…? Yep: peripheral neuropathy. He can barely walk for the buzzing and tingling in his legs and feet. When they diagnosed this, first he asked why the hell didn’t you warn me about this, and of course received no sensible answer. To what are we gonna do about it? he was told that the treatment is to remove the metal implant and replace it with a ceramic implant…which will require three more major surgeries!!!!!

He said thank you very much, but no thanks.

So now he’s crippled, nonfunctional, miserable, and is about to lose his livelihood.

One can only ask: Why the fuck didn’t they check for metal sensitivities before they stuck a metal hip replacement in his body???

How hard is this?

Not very, it develops: you get patch tests that will determine whether you’re likely to have a negative reaction. Given that they have such a thing as ceramic implants, wouldn’t you think they would run those tests routinely before ever doing any kind of bone replacement implant?

Why, indeed?

Clearly, if such a thing as “metallosis” or sensitivity to metal implants exists at all, they should be testing EVERYONE for that kind of sensitivity before they insert titanium. stainless steel, or cobalt/chromium alloys. How hard is this?

Certainly no harder than having to perform three(!!) extra surgeries to remove a fake hip and replace it with some other product. Certainly no harder than having to figure out what is causing some weird symptom, blaming the patient, and finally getting around to testing for an allergy. A chore that will absorb an entire day this week…

Wherever we are, it sure as hell isn’t Kansas, Toto!

 

Grrrrrrrrr! Stop the freakin’ world….

So I go to cancel this morning’s physical therapy misery so as to spend the full day coping with the various crises that have come up, only to find that somehow it’s gotten moved from 10:30 in the morning to 1:45 in the afternoon.

Why? I’m sure I should recall, but I most decidedly do not. Because I can’t remember much of anything anymore…

Have ALL of the appointments been moved to the start of naptime? WHY???

Oh well. We can deal with that later. Much later.

Slept all the way through till 4 a.m. and so should not feel quite so zombified this morning. But just now all I want to do is go back to bed.

  • Not cope with the cleaning lady underfoot all day.
  • Not hassle with the weirdly busted computer, entailing an hour or more on the phone with the Apple techs
  • Not drive to the locksmith and order up a wildly expensive replacement for the security lock key the cleaning lady has lost…

No kidding: wildly expensive is it. Those things cost $15 or $20 to replace. So as you can imagine, I start the day feeling a little aggravated. The slope looks steeply downhill from here…

At least (claims she), the keys didn’t have my address attached to them (let’s hope to god she’s telling the truth!). Otherwise, I’d have to have the locks themselves replaced. One of these Medeco locks runs about $160….not including the cost of having the locksmith come to the house and install it.

The computer’s gone whacko, apparently because of a keyboard command I unwittingly entered. Normally you can click through from one window or page to another. But there’s a stupid setting whose appeal utterly escapes me that causes the thing to “sweep” from one window to the next with an effect like an old Kodak slide projector.

I find the effect annoying to the point of being grating. And I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make it stop, because I don’t know what cutesie appellation Apple has chosen to call it so I can’t look it up in the support documentation. So now I have to get on the phone to Apple and fart around, fart around, and fart around some more. Just what I want to do to fill up the morning.

The locksmith’s shop is to hell and gone in Glendale. Not that far, but still…one more PITA. I’ll have to wait til the C.L. gets here before I can leave, because of course in this neighborhood I can’t go off and leave the door unlocked.

This accursed LA-style city…ugh! Have I said how much I hate driving around this place? It just gets worse and worse, the more they build, they more they gentrify, the more they “improve.” Every change inflicts some new confusion…and every damn day seems to bring some new change.

Really, I should go up to Prescott and look at real estate. This place is driving me crazy.

But first, speaking of driving me crazy, I have to find a new hair stylist.

The other day I drove out to Shane’s to get the annoying new short hairstyle trimmed. That would be the one I was forced to get because I couldn’t comb my nearly waist-length hair with a broken shoulder in the way. Shane is a great stylist…but he charges 60 bucks a hit. So as you can imagine, having to cut my hair off in a cute little pixie was NOT what I want to do. Oh well.

He’s in Scottsdale. Has been for the past several years. So I start driving driving… Come to the touristy 5th Avenue section, find his street (3rd Avenue) and…and…and… The salon is not there.

Huh?

I drive around and around and around and AROUND old-town Scottsdale and

Can.

Not.

For.

The.

Life of me…

…find Shane’s place. Finally I give up and come home.

This damn hairstyle he created is yes, very curly and very cute…and it has a forelock that falls RIGHT INTO MY EYE. I can NOT make it stay out of my face — the only way to keep it from fukkin’ blinding me is to take a plastic hair roller clip thing and pin it up on my head.

Which as you can imagine looks spectacularly fashionable.

Drove back into town to make an appointment at the salon in the AJ’s shopping center, which…of course…you had to ask? Is not there anymore.

Tried to find my old stylist’s salon up by the west-side university campus.

Gone.

So now I have to start completely anew and find a stylist, by guess and by God. And by God, am I pissed about that.

Moving on, I decide to cut the physical therapy this morning so I can traipse to the locksmith’s shop whenever CL fnally shows up. Call there and find my appointment isn’t at 10:30: it’s at 1:45. We cut the number of sessions from three a week to two, and I think we must have changed the hour from morning to afternoon.

Which is NOT when I want to be flailing my arms and legs in the air, dammit! About 1:45 in the afternoon is about when I run out of gas and wanna lay down for an hour or two — especially after a night that has ended at 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning. I am effin’ TIRED by early afternoon and mostly just wanna go back to bed.  So this is an annoying development.

So. Back to the hair:

Seems to me I have two choices.

  • Find a stylist who can trim the forelock out of my eyes. Or…
  • Let it grow back out. And grow…and grow…and grow…

It will take three or four years for the hair to grow long again. Three or four years of shaggy awfulness. Or maybe four or five years… Plus of course there’s always the “what’s she trying to prove?” question. The truth is, I’m way too old to wear my hair down around my shoulders. By the time it gets there, for godsake, I’ll be 80 years old!

For godsake, it’s 9:30. Where IS that woman?

Welp! There’s an easy way to cause her to show up: Pick up the phone and get an Apple tech on the line…

Adventures in Medical Science…again…

So this morning it’s out to the Mayo Clinic…again! Be there by 10 a.m. Along about 10 p.m. last night, I realized my car is low on gas. I’ll have to stop someplace to fill up on the way out there. That will add another ten or fifteen minutes to the trek, depending on how many people are in line.

Unless, of course, I get up off my duff and go buy gasoline right this instant.

This proposed test terrorizes me. Not because it sounds so horrible (well, yes. Yes, it does: not so much because it entails jabbing needles into your muscles and running electric jolts into them, by way of measuring how your nerves respond), but because when you look it up you realize that what they’re looking for is MS, Parkinson’s, or ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). All of those are truly terrifying.

My grandfather died of Hodgkin’s disease, in upstate New York during the 1920s. How exactly this disease is spread escapes me — apparently it’s caused by a genetic mutation. Or not: could have something to do with the Epstein-Barr virus, and yes, I have (supposedly…) had mono. WhatEVER: those represent two risk categories, both of which I happen to partake.

One of D-XH’s partner’s wives developed MS. One of her kids almost died when he got into her purse, found a vial of medication for it, and ate the stuff.

My college roommate died of Parkinson’s, after a lifetime blighted by suffering. A dear college friend’s fiancé came down with it, canceling their planned marriage and his planned career, for which he had just been accepted to medical school. One of my colleagues at the Great Desert University came down with it, too. He quit his job and went back to the Rez, whence he had escaped half a lifetime earlier. I, however, have no legal tribal affiliation, so I ain’t a-goin’ to some oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of nowhere. Besides, Oklahoma would not be my thing, anyway. Kayenta, maybe. The White Mountains: absolutely — great place to die! But Oklahoma? Not so much.

So we awoke with dire cosmic worries to contemplate this morning…it’s…oh yeah…back to earth! I forgot to fill up with gas yesterday. It’s a 40-minute drive out to the Mayo — longer than that at this time of day. And I’ve got all of a quarter-tank of gas in the car. So another decision begs to be made?

a. Leave the house ten minutes early and get gas on the way; or
b. Get up off my duff right now, race out, stand in line stand in line stand in line stand in line, and get gas before setting out.

Neither of these appeals one helluva lot more than the proposed test appeals.

Nor does driving through the rush-hour traffic in a fog of exhaustion. Last time I looked at the clock during the night it was 1 in the morning. Finally got to sleep sometime after that. Slept in this morning until almost 6 a.m. So I’ve had about 5 hours of sleep. My eyes feel like they have dust in them — a phenomenon that must have given rise to the “Mr. Sandman” image, hm?

Ohhh well. The coffee’s gone. I’d better get up and start slamming around.

Out of the tunnel of annoyance, into the daylight of hilarity…

Tuesday: The usual 4 AM a.m. wake up call leaves me, once again, without enough sleep by the time I finally give up and roll out of the sack. About three hours later, I decide I’d better walk the poor little dog, who has not been outside in for-freaking-ever.

So I’m lashing the dog up in the complicated lash-up required to keep her more or less in line wiithout having her choke on her collar and fly into a reverse-sneezing frenzy. Remember, a doggie walk in these stressful days has to be managed with one hand: normally it requires two hands to keep her under control at all times. So in the best of conditions, this stroll is going to be a one-handed wrestling match.

Phone rings, just as we’re about to head out. My friend who was going to drive me to the first physical therapy session in the morning. Yeah.

Well, says she, she has remembered that she has a couple of errands in Scottsdale. So she will need to drop me off about a half an hour early and I’ll have sit there and wait for the therapy appointment and then  after that little nightmare is over I will have to wait again for heaven only knows how long until she gets back from Scottsdale to pick me up.

To put it mildly, this is not a scenario that appeals. So I say I will find some other way to get there.

As a matter fact the “other way” will be for me to drive myself, over my son’s dead body and in direct contravention of doctor’s orders.

Frankly I believe I will have no problem driving over there one-handed. As a practical matter I drive around with one hand most of the time. Except of course when dodging my fellow homicidal drivers. This, after all, is why we have power steering. Right?

By 9:45, the rush hour will be over and it should not be too unsafe to get there. It’s only 3 miles. I can get down there and also back home with a series of right-hand turns… In fact the only left turn I would have to make would be off a neighborhood arterial onto a relatively tame main drag. Additionally, the parking at this place consists of a long row of single-car spaces, so you can drive straight through without having to back and fill to get out.

Ruby loves grass, probably because we don’t have any. So when we get into the Richistans, all she wants to do is wallow and roll in the luxuriant, irrigated lawns that grace the stately homes. And, we might add, sniff every drop of dog pee that has ever  been deposited thereon. And of course, dump on said grass. Preferably directly in the line of sight of the proprietors’ front windows.

It’s supposed to reach 90° by afternoon and it’s already getting warm. All I want to do is move along, get the doggie walk out of the way and get back home where I can sit down and put my feet up again. So while she’s sniffing around in someone’s grass, I decide to stride right along… As I’m marching toward Pretoria, dragging her highness behind me, I hear ssskkkkkkkriiichchchchch….  

Huh? Turn around, glance back, and there’s the poor little dog at the end of the lead: she has assumed the position and is now helplessly being dragged forward by the harness, squatting and looking much like a stuffed Easter bunny.

Oh, dear God! I stop. She finishes the job: all over the neighbor’s front sidewalk. So there’s a nice mess to clean up!

We continue up the way and of course, invariably, it does not matter what time of day or night you leave your house with your dog…you cannot avoid your fellowvdog-walkers…

Along comes someone else with two large black beasts straining at their leashes. On our side of the street. The only side of the street that has any shade.

So we have to cross the (hot!) (asphalt!) road and proceed down the sunny side of the street until we get past that patrol. They drag their human into a garage, but the human leaves the garage door open, thereby also leaving open the question of whether he has let his dogs off the leash to roam around loose inside there, ready to charge us as we walk past.

I’ve noticed, on the way out, that the Funny Farm’s front yard is sprouting a nice crop of dandelions and assorted other weeds. When I get home, I call Gerardo to find out when he figures he will be around again. He says he’ll come over tomorrow. How convenient. I tell him that I won’t be here tomorrow morning, but Luz will be here. I arrange to leave a check for him on the back patio table. It also means I will have to leave the side gate open, because he has lost the key that I gave him and I have never managed to go to a locksmith and have another one made. Nor am I going to do so tomorrow, given the circumstances. I pointed out to him that Luz will need to be alerted to his presence since she will be less than thrilled to see a crew of dudes invade the backyard while she’s here alone.

At any rate speaking of the dog and the doggie products, I did manage to pick up three weeks’ worth of doggie mounds out of the backyard this morning. This is the first time that I have felt up for even trying to maneuver the doggy picker-upper gadget… And SURPRISE! Nooooo problem! So that was a pleasant discovery.

As a matter of fact, overall the arm is feeling a lot better. It seems not to hurt (much) unless I lift it up and out to the side. Lifting the arm straight frontward seems to elicit scarcely a twinge… Though I will say I haven’t tried to raise it over my head. So I take this as a good sign. I hope.

One thing that is clear from this fiasco: you cannot live in Phoenix without access to a car…PERIOD. It very well may be that if you imagine you are going to age in place in a freestanding home, you’re simply going to have to be able to drive a car or to find some way to get some transport service — not volunteers, not relatives — to ferry you around. This predicament, of course, is what makes it possible for outfits like the Beatitudes to talk the elderly into consigning themselves to a de facto prison. The Beatitudes will ferry you to doctors and grocery stores — at some considerable inconvenience to yourself, but at least you can get there.

One way around that, I think, is to move into one of the newer apartment developments that are going up around the city. These things are roughly modeled on European urban areas: commercial and office space on the ground floors, with apartments on half-a-dozen upper floors. If you live in one of these places, you could in theory avail yourself of restaurant food and maybe even some (very expensive) specialty groceries. One of my friends works in such a place right now…apartment buildings and office buildings are mixed together with retail and restaurants in a single development. It wouldn’t be my first choice of living environments, but on the other hand it wouldn’t be my last choice, either. The Beatitudes would be my last choice. With Sun City as the second-to-last.

The big malls built in the 50s and 60s here are moribund. Plans are on the drawing board to convert one such mall — the venerable Paradise Valley Mall, home of Macy’s (defunct), Dillard’s (now renting out its second-floor offices to freelance entrepreneurs), Penney’s (on its way out), and the like. There is a freestanding Costco in that shopping center — one would presume they will close it because it will be way too tacky to go with the fancy production the developers intend to build… But if it doesn’t close… If it stays in place… Well! That would make such an apartment development look mighty attractive. The living space would be right next door to a place where you could buy anything your heart wants, in lifetime supplies. Costco also has a gas station that underprices the competition by anything from $.05 to $.13 a gallon. It would be across the street from a Target, an REI, a Dollar Store, and a slew of middle-class restaurants. And it’s just up the road from the Valley’s largest and best-stocked Fry’s supermarket, which competes directly and ferociously with AJ’s, purveyor of fine and overpriced goods And it’s also close enough to the Mayo Clinic that you could get there quickly, and the 911 people would drive you there if you asked, rather than telling you that they’re going to take you to the depressing facility at John C Lincoln. The truth is that might be a place for me to consider moving to.

Fact, I think I will ask one of my coreligionists, who is an ambitious real estate agent, if she’ll keep an eye out for me as that place is developed.
Later. Having been up since 4 a.m., I’m going to take a nap before the sun comes up. And honi soit qui mal y pense!

Hairsassination

Well, clearly I’m going to have to find some way to “pay it forward” to the church and most specifically to the choir. My gosh! Choir members have risen in mass to help me out. Yesterday morning a fellow named Kerr came over to collect me and drive me all the way to hell and gone out to Scottsdale to get my hair done.

He’s the gent whose wife fell and busted her shoulder last fall. He said she’s back to normal now. Her fiasco was significantly worse than mine because instead of just inflicting a set of cracks in the bone, she actually snapped it into two pieces. Ouch!

So it’s reassuring to know that in spite of having a worse injury, she recovered: apparently with no long-term ill effect.

At any rate, once we got to beautiful downtown Scottsdale, we found that my old and much beloved hair stylist Shane is still there! As requested he cut off the Rapunzel-esque locks into a cute, curly style… Yes, to the tune of sixty-eight dollars. And so now I will have to budget something to visit him once every two months. {grump!}

The mop needed to have about four inches of split ends trimmed off. But I rather resent having to get it all cut off. As a practical matter, though, with a crippled arm I can’t even wash it, much less comb the tangles out of wet hair or keep it combed and brushed between launderings. So… it is what it is, to coin a phrase.

Today, the pillar of the choir, D., is going to pick me up and take me down to the dentist’s office.

I made this appointment when a little revelation struck me. As I was reviewing the test results that the Mayo has posted on its portal, I realized that none of them is outside the range of”normal” except for the A1C measurement, which is a grandiose .1 above normal. The vitamin B12 level, which Dr. Fields blamed for the crazy-making peripheral neuropathy, is smack in the middle of the normal range. The last I spoke with her, she remarked that she could not understand why, given these improved numbers, the PN hasn’t started to go away.

This led me to wonder if there might not be some other cause for the present ailment. And lo! Looking around the hypochondriac’s treasure chest that is the Internet, what do I discover but that a titanium dental implant can cause peripheral neuropathy! The site that has the most detail that I could find seems to indicate that by “peripheral neuropathy” they’re talking about tingling in the gums and lips. Mine started there but has spread to the hands, arms, feet, and legs. One would think that might suggest some more systemic problem than just a local reaction to a dental implant. However… now that I think about it, before all this started I had an episode of burning mouth syndrome. That seemed to come out of nowhere… But maybe it didn’t! Maybe it was a response to all the damned dental work.

At any rate when I called the dentist and mentioned peripheral neuropathy, you could hear his ears perk up over the phone line. This is a very smart guy. And so I think it will be worth raising the question of whether the metal they stuck in my gums could be causing this thing. Elsewhere I learned that a test exists that supposedly can tell you whether you have a titanium allergy. I’m going to ask him if we can get that test done somewhere here in town.

D. picked up a bunch of things for me at a Fry’s here in town, and tomorrow she’s going to drive me to the dentist’s office. A week from tomorrow, my son is driving me back to the Mayo for another x-ray and a repeat visit with the orthopedist.

The result of all this gallivanting is that I didn’t read one word of the client’s magnum opus. In fact the stuff has been such a distraction and I’m so effing tired that I didn’t even think of it until just this minute. Tried to sleep in the afternoon to no avail. Now at 9:30 in the evening, I can barely hold my eyes open.

One thing after another

Incommunicado, I’m afraid, for quite some time. That’s because it’s been one damnfool thing after another around here.

Just now, the good news is that I managed to get the second covid-19 shot this morning. And contrary to what we read in published reports, so far the after effects are not especially dramatic. So that’s a relief. Within another couple of weeks, presumably I can feel a lot safer going out in public. A trip to the grocery store will no longer entail taking one’s life in one’s hands. At least, so it is to be hoped.

My neighbor, WonderAccountant, drove me down to the County Fairgrounds, one of the venues where the vaccine is being dispensed. We got in and out within 20 minutes, with exactly zero hassle.

I had to be driven to this appointment, we might add, because at this point I cannot drive my car.

And why, you might reasonably ask, can I not manage to drive my car to the vaccine-fest? That would be because four days ago while I was puttering around with the pool equipment, I tripped over the vacuum hose and fell face forward onto the cool-deck, escaping a tumble in the icy water and a smash across the face by a few inches. As most of us will do, I instinctively stuck my hand out in front to block the fall, with the result that I broke my shoulder.

That was grand fun. After some x-rays and two or three hours of general misery at the emergency room, staff at the Mayo opined that it probably would not need surgery. We’ll believe that after we meet with the orthopedist…next Thursday.

The upshot is, my right arm is pretty well crippled. It has to reside in a sling 24/7, which alone would be uncomfortable enough were it not that the injury is startlingly painful. The ER doctor gave me some tramadol, which I don’t feel I should be taking, because I’m not inclined to take addictive drugs. Fortunately, the aspirin that I’ve been scarfing down for the interminable crazy-making peripheral neuritis is keeping the bone pain more or less tolerable most of the time. That notwithstanding, the arm is basically useless, which complicates life considerably because I am inveterately right-handed.

Among other things, it makes it impossible to write with pen and paper and very difficult to type on the keyboard. In fact, just now I’m using Apple’s dictation function on the MacBook. This is highly problematic, because about two-thirds of what you dictate gets garbled, confused, and wierdified. For example the two sentences that I just typed came out looking like this before I edited the stuff using my left index finger to hunt and peck:

In fact, Justin now I’m using apples dictation function on the MacBook. This is highly problematic because about two thirds of what you dictate gets garbled confused and verified.

Very weirdified indeed.

The dispensers of the covid vaccine want you to use ibuprofen or acetaminophen after you have taken the shot. They recommend against aspirin. This presents a conundrum, because acetaminophen and ibuprofen do little or nothing for any of my standard aches and pains. It does nothing for the peripheral neuritis. Nothing, zero point zero-zero. I would say the ibuprofen that I dropped about two hours ago has helped a little with the fractured shoulder, so that’s something…acetaminophen does nothing. But meanwhile the feet, the shins, and the hands feel like a 120-volt electric current is flowing through them.

This latter phenomenon can be controlled to some degree, temporarily, by smearing lots of CBD oil all over your skin, and rubbing it in with Vick’s VapoRub. That would be nice if it didn’t stink to high heaven and render your feet so greasy you dare not walk across the tile floors, lest you launch a repeat performance of the poolside face-plant.

So the ineffable WonderAccountant, drove me down to get the second covid shot, my son having laid down an edict to the effect that I am not to drive my car. Normally I ignore such orders from on high, but this time I think he’s right that I shouldn’t be driving at all. And given the risk of fairly immediate unpleasant side effects from the second shot, I figured discretion was the better part of valor. Once again, as at the first three-ring circus, hundreds of people were in line, and once again everything went very smoothly.

Arriving back in the ’hood, we turned onto our street to see one of those nutty door-to-door evangelists handing out religious propaganda–or rather littering people’s front doors and door steps with it. And yes, when I got up to the house I found she had cluttered the front patio with her throwaways. What possesses these people?

You should have seen her costume! She was dressed just like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz! A big old floppy-brimmed black hat and a skirt (also black) that fell to her ankles. We haven’t had any of those fruitcakes around here for quite a long time. I hope she’s not a harbinger of a flock of incoming.