Coffee heat rising

Struggling Along…

Wow! When they say the Land of Old Age ain’t for kids, they aren’t kidding! What a horror show the past few weeks have been.

And…no end seems to be in sight, except for the obvious one.

It’s not like gettin’ old isn’t bad enough in itself: you’re sick all the time, under siege from doctors who want to inflict treatments that are probably pointless, and the ordinary tasks of daily life come to feel like more than you can cope with.

And, speaking of “under siege,” you literally are under siege from every scam artist on the planet.

Apparently they figure that as your faculties fade, so does your skill at dodging crooks. And…they’re probably right. These lists appear to be pretty readily available to anyone who’s willing to pay a few bucks for them. There’s this, for example: for $325 cash on the barrelhead, any scammer on the planet can get access to phone numbers from some 52 million old folks. Conveniently organized by categories such as “pet owners,” “religion,” “gender,” “auto owners,” “new movers” — on and on and on — these things hand you over to the hustlers. No wonder the phone jangles every day!

I’ve had to block numbers from entire area codes. This is fine (sorta) when the area codes are in Los Angeles and waypoints, where I don’t know anyone and don’t do business. But the ba*tards spoof local area codes, trying to trick you into thinking their noxious advertising and scamming calls are from neighbors or local businesses. The Phoenix area, which prides itself in aping LA’s endless sprawl, has three area codes. Since I no longer work in the East Valley nor do I still have much of a social life, I’ve blocked two of them.

This prevents people in the East Valley and the West Valley from calling me. Only problem: my dermatologist’s office is on the west side and the Mayo is on the east side. Neither of these worthy outfits can reach me on the phone.

Same is true for certain friends who use only cell phones. One of my dearest friends has canceled her land line and uses only a cell phone…which has a banned area code. To get in touch, she has to email me.

I did try the strategy of BLASTING phone solicitors with the loudest, most eardrum-shattering noise you can come up with. Rather than carry an airhorn around the house all the time, I’ve found that SCREAMING into the phone as loud as you can, at the top of your voice, seems to get you on the pests’ do-not-call lists.

You shriek:


It does seem to work, at least to a degree. In the weeks since I’ve started this li’l strategy, the nuisance calls have dropped from eight or ten a day — starting as dawn cracks! — to maybe one or two.

And speaking of BLASTING….

M’jito is dragging me to the Mayo next Monday, pretty much over my dead body, to be subjected to an MRI of my brain.

This entails sticking you inside a metal tube and BLASTING EXTREMELY LOUD NOISE into your ears. It sounds absolutely unholy. Apparently some people completely freak out from this “exam,” a procedure for which the term “torture” sounds a lot more appropriate.

And it also seems to me to be utterly unnecessary. Why subject a person to a test to prove…what? That you can barely remember your name, after you’ve told the dear doctors repeatedly that you can barely remember your name?

Well. You and I have a fair idea of why. It’s spelled $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$….

I do not want to be subjected to this. But he has threatened to have me declared incompetent if I refuse to submit.

Whether he could actually get away with this is unknown to me. But what IS known is that if he tries it, he will end our relationship forever and aye.

Since I don’t relish being permanently alienated from him, I’m going along with the torture scheme. But if I’m right and nothing is wrong with my brain (!!!!!), this will be the LAST time I go along to get along when someone demands that I subject myself to anything I don’t want to be subjected to.

Airplanes are roaring away outside: r-r-r-r-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-m-b-le …hour after hour of it. Apparently it’s coming from Sky Harbor: they must have changed the morning flight patterns. What a racket!

My mother actually used to enjoy the sound of fighter jets practicing take-offs and landings at Luke Air Force Base. The locals in Sun City got blasted with that gawdawful racket every morning. She would sit on the back porch, serenaded as she had her first coffee of the day. “The sound of freedom,” she called it.

Uh huh. And coming from Sky Harbor, what we call it is “the sound of cash.”

It pretty much obviates the scheme to move to Fountain Hills. Planes flying into Sky Harbor at dinner time and out of Sky Harbor at breakfast time BLAST YOU OUT OF YOUR SEAT if you dare to sit on the back porch to enjoy your coffee. And the houses out there are built so flimsily, that they barely block the noise even if you stay inside with all the doors and windows shut.


And…speaking phones ringing at the crack of dawn: RINGY DINGY DINGY!

Pick up the phone, ready to blast the solicitor.

Nope: it’s the plumber. He’s sending his son over to dig up and repair the back yard’s leaking irrigation system.

Goodie. Nothing like a little chaos — preferably expensive chaos — to make your day.

4 thoughts on “Struggling Along…”

  1. I don’t know if it helps, but I’ve had several MRIs, and in my experience they really aren’t all that bad. I’m not a fan of small enclosed spaces, but it was tolerable for the amount of time I had to lie there.

    They can be loud, but depending on the place they’ve always either given me hearing protection or offered me headphones with music to drown out the machine. Truth to tell, I kind of like listening to the whirrs and hums and clanks as the machine does its thing. It’s a little like being inside techno music, which is definitely not my usual genre, but the thought makes me smile.

    I hope you have a smooth experience and the results come back fine. I’ll be thinking of you Monday!

  2. “And it also seems to me to be utterly unnecessary. Why subject a person to a test to prove…what? That you can barely remember your name, after you’ve told the dear doctors repeatedly that you can barely remember your name?” OMG, this had me rolling!
    Good luck with the MRI.

    • I suspect they think there’s a brain tumor in there. Even if the possibility is a long shot, they would be remiss in not checking…so, obviously, they would need to jump through this unpleasant hoop to protect the clinic from liability for a lawsuit.

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