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Things [Don’t] Work Out

September  5

On the way home from today’s spectacularly unproductive junket to the Mayo, I eschewed the freeway and drove south through a middle-class neighborhood of Scottsdale, where my son’s best friend in K-12 used to live.

{there’s a sentence! does it even make sense??}  Two boys. Affluent. Brilliant fathers. Upper-middle-class incomes. Pals at a tony private Episcopalian school. One lived (in a tract house of the tackiest design!) in Scottsdale. The other lived (in an absurdly expensive house of wannabe richerati design) in tony North Central Phoenix.

The buddy’s father was a brilliant man. Chinese. Escaped the horrors of WW II and the Communist revolution. Graduated from Princeton(!). At the time I knew him, was Dean of the Great Desert University’s reasonably well-regarded College of Architecture. The mother: I knew her better and did not envy her. Very smart. Landed a civil service job with the City of Phoenix. Soldiered on.

Their sons — both of them — were clearly very smart, too.

Buddy and relatives are now living in Aspen, being no fools. 😀 The parents divorced. The father is retired; the mother lives in New Mexico now.

Meanwhile, another buddy from the K-12 era, now (like my son) a middle-aged man, has come down with a very ominous peritoneal cancer. He’s been surged and irradiated, but the assumption is…well, that ain’t the end of it. From what M’hijito says, it’s presumed to be terminal.

Terminal Buddy lives Back East now. So the plan is… This week M’hijito will fly East to meet his pal. They’ll rent a car, and make the Road Trip of Their Lives from New England out to Arizona, sight-seeing along the way.

And, speaking of terminal, I’ll have Charley the Golden Retriever over here for a week or ten days. Or more. He is now VERY advanced in his dotage and requires a lot of care…we’ll see how that goes. I hope he won’t be traumatized by being brought over here and left without his Human.

Written yesterday…and forgotten. Senility: ain’t it grand? Moving on…


Wednesday, September 6

Another nightmarish day yesterday, largely sucked down the drain by having to traipse out to the Mayo to get an answer to a simple question:

Where is this new doc you’ve assigned to me?

They have two huge facilities: one in north Phoenix and one on the far, far, FARTHEST side of north Scottsdale, a true drive from hell to get there.

Literally, I could not get through to a human on the phone! So I decided to drive up to the nearest facility and ask in person.

Thirty minutes through homicidal traffic; thirty more minutes of my time consumed driving home. Yes, I did discover where the new doc is: NATURALLY, way to Hell and gone out at the Scottsdale office building, almost an hour’s drive each way.

My son is bringing his dog over today, and tomorrow I’m supposed to meet a friend for dinner…how to manage feeding and wringing out the dog around that escapes me.

Maybe I can invite her to come over here.


I need to find a decent doctor “in the wild”: i.e., not associated with the Mayo. The adorable Young Doctor Kildare has left the practice he’s been with — this is the second time he seems to have experienced a catastrophe with a medical practice. They refused to tell me where he went, and I can’t find him.

The last time this happened — his former partners went off to form a new practice and left him behind — he ended up as executive director of a nonprofit.

I take this as decidedly not a good sign. To get on the outs with one set of partners…yeah, that’s within reason. But for it to happen twice? Maybe not. I fear he may be practicing mal…and so continuing to see him could be taking quite a risk. That is, assuming he continues to practice medicine at all.

The outfit he’s been with tried to claim I hadn’t paid a bill. They stood down when I showed up with a statement from the credit union proving the bill was paid. So that moment of incompetence tends to make me suspect the problem is with the practice he joined, not with the guy himself. But…who knows?

Since I’ve dropped out of choir and quit the brain-numbing volunteer job at the church, I don’t have any friends to ask for recommendations to a doctor “in the wild,” as the Mayodocs call those who practice in the general population. Posted a query on the neighborhood Facebook page. Talk about a pig in a poke!!

Heh! One of the other joys of senilitude is that every scam artist on the planet thinks they can take advantage of you.

Turns out there are mailing lists and phone soliciting lists organized by age. The phone solicitors and the scam artists think they can take advantage of older people because after about age 65 or 70, some or most of your marbles have rolled out your ears.

I no longer answer the telephone at all. Because…literally I am blitzed with scamming and nuisance soliciting calls.

Complaining to the phone company does no good. Nor does blocking specific phone numbers — because they spoof local numbers. Phoenix and its surrounding suburbs occupy THREE area codes. I’ve blocked calls incoming from two of them, because the only potential caller I know in the outlying areas is a dermatologist’s office on the west side. Also block calls from area code 213 (Los Angeles), among several others.


Ohhhhh gawd. It’s quarter to six. I’d better get going on the morning doggywalk before the traffic and the dog-walking hordes come out.

And so…awayyyyy!!

I hope….

2 thoughts on “Things [Don’t] Work Out”

  1. I’m confused. You posted a couple months back that Charley had passed, but now you write about keeping him. So he didn’t pass away?

    • Egad! I must be as senile as he is…which is frighteningly over the hill.

      In fact, I thought my son had arranged to have him put down, on the recommendation of a vet. But as it developed, Dear Son couldn’t bring himself to do that, so poor ole’ Charlie soldiers on. Or, uhm…staggers on.

      And that is no overstatement. The poor old fella is…well, even more senile than I am, which is sayin’ something. He’s alive, but that’s about as much as we can say. He appears to be nearly blind. He’s even more confused than I am (!!). Seriously: sometimes he just stands there with a sort of puzzled look on his sweet ole’ doggy face, as though he doesn’t quite know where he is or which way to turn. He doesn’t breathe: he pants as though he just ran a 10K…my guess is that’s a sign of pain.

      Probably in his hips. A vet gave Mijito two prescription drugs to help with hip pain. I gave him the evening doses about a half-hour ago, and FINALLY the poor beast has stopped panting and settled down in the hall…with any luck, to sleep.

      He needs to be fed a couple cups of kibble a day. But he can’t keep a whole cupful down — he’ll urp it right back up. So you have to slip it to him, a quarter-cup at a time. Poor ole’ fella.

      Frankly, I think working from home is the only reason M’hijto has been able to avoid having to put him to sleep. The insurance company discovered how much cheaper it is to not have to rent office space, a cafeteria, and parking for employees; so, as the plague began to die down a bit, they announced that henceforth everyone would be working from home…permanently. So now M’hiito is wrangling a team of insurance adjusters — over the Internet!

      And that has allowed him to care for the superannuated pooch, who at this point most surely could not be left alone for eight or nine hours a day.

      ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

      YIPE! Someone or something just banged against the west-side Arcadia door.

      It’s 11:00 at night.

      Oddly, neither dog alerted: nary a yap from either one of them. Traipsed out there to look around; called the cops. Couldn’t see any sign of anyone or anything out there. And the motion-sensitive lighting was still off.

      Probably a roof rat. Or a bat. The juvenile delinquents in Tony the Romanian Landlord’s handy-dandy for-profit reform school across the street are quiescent, far’s I can tell. Sometimes they’ll throw a rock or two at the house’s east-facing wall. But this came, I think from the west side. And since it’s behind a fence with a locked gate, they can’t get at that area easily.



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