Procrastination (But I Digress)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Interesting Times

"May you live in interesting times" is running like a loop in my head--that song that plays over and over, except that sometimes I say it in my head very sarcastically, a sort of f**k me and sometimes I say it reverently, like wow, life is great!

So it looks like I haven't posted since December and sooo much has happened since then.  The Australian Open did not have Nadal and I found it harder to be as interested in the early rounds.  It improved in the later rounds, but I guess not enough to inspire me to write about.  Now they are playing at Indian Wells.  It is close enough that I could go, but far away enough that I don't.  A little is televised, but so far I only watched Nadal's first match.  He looks good, but I can't say that he looked great.  It was the early round, so there's not much reason to turn on the heat yet.  We'll see.  The Williams are not there, but on paper it looks like Sharapova will go deep.

I also went to the hospital for the first time in my life last month.  Emergency appendectomy.  Apparently 1 in 15 people have their appendix removed, so I guess it was my turn.  OR I had a really bad stomach ache and they thought, what the hell, let's see if this surgery does the trick.  In fairness to the excellent Doctor (but really what do I know) that I had in the ER, he seemed pretty confident that I had appendicitis even when I questioned his diagnosis.  Me questioning him was pretty funny--like arguing with a Judge.  What was I thinking, but I digress.

The hospital was really awful--not a bad hospital as hospitals go, just awful as even the best hospital would be.  I had my sisters there, which was great.  They handed me things that I couldn't reach and they were nice to the nurses that I just cursed at.  They went and got me things I needed and made me laugh, even though sometimes I could only do it on the inside because it hurt to laugh out loud (and I had a mean persona to keep up for the nurses).

My surgeon couldn't speak English very well and after the surgery he yelled at me for being "flabby"  I repeatedly asked what he meant and apparently my fat cells absorb the saline that he wanted me to pee out.  In frustration he said "Don't you ever walk?"  Very groggy after surgery and lying on the hospital bed hooked up to an IV, I said, "I'll get right on that."

So anyway, my sister and I made a pack (or rather I made her challenge me) to walk or run 500 miles this year.  I've been keeping track of my miles (which are nowhere close to hers) and I'm at 12 today.  I started counting walking at the mall during lunch, but only if I count more than 2,000 steps.  Yesterday was just 1,920, so it didn't count.  This morning was a bonafide mile on the treadmill, so I've made 12.  I did a little rough math (very rough) and I will need to walk two miles per day for just about the rest of the year to make 500.  I could promise myself to work my way up to three or four miles a day to make up for the slowness of my start, but lying to yourself is just pitiful.  And it takes at least 20 to 30 minutes to walk a mile, not to mention all the prepatory procrastination lead time.  It's only March, so I'm still hopeful, but just barely.  My appendix is gone, so maybe it is ok again to have flabby cells.  Probably not.

And then there is money.  My goals for this year were to walk more (working on it) and to become more fiscally responsible.  I worked out a very strict budget.  Austerity was going to be my new mantra.  No movies, cut down on eating out, only six books per month on Kindle (really I just can't get myself excited about a library--you'd think I could--I'm a college graduate, but I digress), drive less, no extras. 

And then I went to the emergency room.  Just walking in the door was $1,400.  Then I had not one, but two ultra sounds.  I got an IV-- pain medication and saline.  I saw a doctor and two doctors I never met saw my ultra sound films.  I listened to the lady across the hall scream while our nurse ignored her.  I saw a lady come in all hunched over and heard her discuss her gall bladder problem.  Then they told me that I had a gall bladder problem.  [Really the first thought I had was, are they contagious?  But I digress.]  They wanted to do gall blader surgery, but first needed a CT scan.  How much is that, I was coherant enough to ask.  This very small ER that I went to, luckily, was small enough that they could just ask the girl in billing.   She did up a bill for me with an estimate for the CT scan.  Just my portion of the bill so far (without the CT scan) was over $5,000 and it would be another $13,000 for the CT scan.  I'm doing some math in my head--I think that my insurance only covers 50% of costs of the out of network hospitals and I'm very far out of network, so that's over $10,000 and I haven't even had surgery yet.  I don't have $10,000.  I'm on an austerity budget already.  So after the Doctor at that hospital assured me that I did not have anything serious like appendisitis, we left that hospital and drove back to LA to go to a hospital that was in my network.  Another ER, two more doctors, a CT scan, a surgery team, admitted to the hospital, moved to ICU for two days, then three more days in a regular room and I was now paralyzed by monetary panic.  Luckily I had the thought that I could sell my Mobile home and move back to my house and then I would be able to pay all these bills and my austerity budget would be eased by only having one residence again.  I felt so much better.  I just can't tell you.

Then I started measuring in my head---where would everything go.  And then I got back to my mobile home--my home--my own, just mine, home.  Boo hoo.  I don't want to move.  But I am a very good martyr I reminded myself.  Yes I am.  May you live in interesting times--f**k me.

So I made myself call the broker to list my mobile home and started telling him about the problems with the shower and bathtub.  He was the broker who sold me the place and he is shocked, shocked I tell you that I have those problems.  He will fix those problems even if I don't end up selling he tells me.  Wow.  So his repair guy doesn't call, but a few weeks later shows up on my doorstep to check out the problems.  Bruce is my guy.  He can fix my shower and bathtub no problem.  I say, can we replace my shower--that's what I really want, but no one will do it because it is too difficult to remove.  Yes he can, he tells me.  I am encouraged.  I shop for shower inserts.  I measure.  I disconnect myself from thinking about how much this will cost and how I can possibly pay for it and remind myself (haha) that I just survived a burst appendix.  Just when grand visions of remodeling and staying in my mobile home come into reach, Bruce does not call back.  Then just when I'm about to go into the depths of dispair, Bruce does call back.  He can reglaze everything and they'll be as good as new.  How much, I ask.  He doesn't know. 

We are in day two of a three day job.  He's shown up for the first two days, so I'm encouraged, but he won't give me a price.  I peeked at the bathtub that looks finished and it looks great.  I'm either going to be forced to move because of money or its going to be soo much harder to move because the place is getting more perfect.  If only I could pick it up and take it to Glendale.  It is a mobile home...  I do have a large slab in the back yard...  But I digress into impossible territory.

And then there is work.  That's really why I haven't blogged in so long.  As you can tell I have lots to say, but so little time.  I am so busy at work that I don't know what fire to put out next.  People call and I address what they make me, because I just don't have enough hours in the day.  I called a client back at 7:30 p.m. on Monday and did an amendment right then and there, because I knew that I wouldn't get to it for weeks, maybe months if I didn't do it right away.  Today is the first day in months that I don't have a court hearing or deadline that must be done immediately.  That's not to say that I really have time to write this blog, but now that the hottest fires are out, serious procrastination has set in.  I need to make a list.  I need to do my taxes.  I need to do accountings.  I need to... Darn, I really do need to get back to work.

Just one more thought.  I think about that cave in France where hundreds of generations lived without ever leaving the cave and I am in awe of the interesting times that I live in.  Kathy, you've just survived a burst appendix, what are you going to do next:  I'm going to Disneyland!