When the Stove Exploded and That Was the BEST Day of the Week

— 1 —

I’d been seeing ads for weeks on BBC for talk shows promoting interviews with Benedict Cumberbatch.  I could only wonder why anyone would give the child such a name and, more importantly, why he hadn’t immediately changed it when he decided to pursue a career in acting.  Then, after all the interviews were over, I found out who he was.  The brilliant actor who stars in the BBC series Sherlock and as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.  LOVE.  HIM.  But, did not get to see any of his interviews because I was being snarky about his name, dammit.

— 2 —

John and I love to watch Face Off together, a reality show that pits make-up (like major make-up and prosthetics) artists against one another.  The judges send someone home each episode until the final challenge, when the top three competitors create complicated creatures to win the title.  Mine and John’s favorite won, which was the cause of much celebration in our living room.  One part of this year’s competition I can’t get out of my head, though.  There was an artist on the show, a young woman with feminine, quirky style and no small amount of talent.  She had a tattoo curving across her chest just under her collarbone that said, “Looks That Kill”.  Poster child for bad decision-making at tattoo time.  How’s that gonna look when she’s seventy, has had two open heart surgeries, and gravity has taken its toll?  A look at that just might kill.

— 3 —

Normally when I’m doing serious writing, which I’m supposed to be doing because it’s November and I signed up to do NaNo, I read only the furthest things from my own genre.  Paranormal YA usually gets me through.  This year I decided to try something different and stream episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” before I fell asleep at night.  I was too busy being a full-time nurse, full-time mom when the series actually aired, so I’d never seen it.  I fell head over heels in love.  Until Season Five started.  I don’t know what happened to the writers, directors, or whomever was in charge, but after a few episodes I was too depressed to watch another episode.  It was awful, dreadful, and disturbing.  Don’t go there.

— 4 —

Mid-week I was deeply into my Buffy-induced despair when my chiropractor stopped showing up for our appointments.  Mind you, this is the guy who stressed how important it was that I have adjustments three times a week even thought that is very difficult while I have no transportation.  He missed two appointments in one week – no phone call, just a note taped on his office door.  If he doesn’t show Monday I’ll be putting a stop payment on his checks. And he growled at me during my last adjustment.  That’s just not normal.

— 5 —

Since my Internal Medicine doc is retiring I asked a good friend who she sees, since I knew she had the same insurance I have and lives near me.  She suggested a doc I remembered fondly from her days as a resident.  That’s an exceptionally good sign since we had three new residents every month and I was at that hospital for years, so I only remember the very best and the very worst.  I called and made a new patient appointment for January.  I got a call back a couple of days later from a medical assistant saying that Dr. H would not be accepting me as a new patient because she would not write my prescriptions.  In fact, none of the doctors in the practice would write my prescriptions, but there was one (Dr. T, who I don’t know from Adam) who would agree to see me.  To say I was stunned puts in mildly.  This office had not received my medical records yet (different computerized records system) and so the only fact that knew about me was that I was taking narcotics on a regular basis and have been for several years.  I assume they put my name in CASPER, a system that does a fabulous job listing patients, the controlled substances they are taking, who prescribed them, and when they were last refilled.  I have never tried to obtain pain medications from anyone other than the current doctor I had an agreement with to manage my pain, and I have never tried to refill a prescription before it was due.  But without knowing that I have had four cervical spinal surgeries and more therapies and treatments than I can count these physicians have labelled me a “drug seeker” and want nothing to do with me.

— 6 —

Since obviously my new Internal Medicine doc, whom I was not allowed to choose myself, would not agree to manage the “pain control” portion of my medical treatment I went in search of someone who would.  There are only two pain management specialists on my insurance plan.  They share an office.  I can’t pronounce either of their names, and their receptionist was appalled that I thought I was worthy of her doctors’ valuable time.  Four and a half days of their week is spent doing procedures, so they don’t have time to see office patients and write prescriptions.  That’s what she told me.  When I listed all the procedures I’d already had that hadn’t worked (long list) she perked up a bit at the thought that there might be a new, expensive treatment out they could do to me and bill my insurance company for.  So I have to have my retiring doc send her a referral, and explain why I left my last pain management doc.  She wanted more details than, “He’s incompetent,” so I’ll just send her the two-page single spaced letter I sent him with suggestions for improving his practice.

— 7 —

So yesterday when my internet went out it was almost pleasant to be able to call the Devil’s minions who work for Time Warner Cable and complain.  But then, just as I was settling down with a book to tell me exactly what I’m doing wrong parenting a teen boy there was a loud noise from the kitchen.  It was a metallic grinding noise, and when I raced into the kitchen there was smoke pouring out of the oven, which I’d been pre-heating to bake some bread bowls for supper.  I opened the oven door just a crack, saw flames, and shut it again.  I turned the oven off and tweeted about it. I had to do something while the smoke cleared.  Coincidentally, our microwave has been dead for a couple of months.  And our fridge is twenty years old, freezes things set in the back of the fridge, and won’t completely close because the gasket is shot.  So Michael and John measured, we checked the available balance on our Home Depot card, and off we went.  The bad news is our card is maxed out, so if our washer or dryer dies I’ll be laundromat girl.  The good news is there will be some creative meal-planning around here until the appliances can be delivered a week from now.  Nothing that can’t be cooked in a crockpot or on an electric griddle.  How does that curse go: May you lead an interesting life?

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08. November 2013 by Angie
Categories: books, Creative Writing, family, frugal, pain | Tags: , , , | 13 comments

Comments (13)

  1. Oh dear me, yes. This does sound like that curse immortalised in one of Terry Pratchett’s books. It’s frankly disturbing how household appliances all die together, like cubic white lemmings. Maybe writing for NaNo will give you some escape? No? (This is me trying to be supportive) As for dear, wonderful Benedict, he has asked nicely that his fans not refer to themselves as Cumberbitches. It’s derogatory, he says. Dear man…

  2. Yikes! Tough week. Hope next week goes better.

  3. Wow. I thought our toilet’s tank cracking and flooding our hallway at 10:15 p.m. was bad! (Oh yeah… this happened while my husband had a stomach bug ravaging his lower G-I.) While my husband ran around like a headless chicken and put down towels to clean up the water (thankfully clean), I called the local Best Western and got us a room for the night. Thank God we live in town!

  4. And, what in the world is wrong with Benedict? It doesn’t go with Kennedy, mind you. 🙂

    The oven. Sigh. I’ll be the first to attest that you can live without a microwave. Ours broke a few years ago, and we never looked back. Stove …. That’s a different story. Sorry your stove story is worse than mine.

    IF you end up at the laundromat, there actually are some benefits. It’s peaceful. Seriously. And it forces you to fold the clothes immediately, instead of living out of a clothes basket or Rubbermaid tote. But no one you know does that. 😉

    • I thought about you during the whole ordeal. It was kinda like “could be worse, I could be pregnant with four other kids in the house” sort of thing. I really hadn’t missed my microwave much, but hay, I’m a sucker for a sale. And a laundromat with wifi would be FABULOUS. M copuld drop me off and carry all the heavy stuff in, then come get me and carry it out when it’s all over – forced writing time!

    • Oh yeah… I totally fold my clothes immediately.

      *locks the laundry shed door so you can’t see in it*

      • I want a laundry shed! I thought bringing my washer and dryer upstairs would force me to fold stuff faster, but it just makes me walk around it more often :/

  5. I’m with Dianna, I used to love going to the laundromat. So there’s that. Also, there are several neighborhoods in my area that “pain management meds” are available, if you need to go that route.

    Ridiculous. That is all.

  6. I am so, so sorry for the week you had. I thought mine was bad because I live in senior housing and knew we were having an inspection on Wednesday. This seems to happen only after I have torn apart my fabric shelves or a closet and then have about 24 hours to make sense of the mess. Your week beat mine, hands down. I also can sympathize about your problems in finding a physician who will help you. I have been that route too and only recently has my internist agreed to write my medications for fibromyalgia. I used to have to go to the rheumatologist for the prescriptions but lately, the internist has agreed. Have you tried a rheumatologist? They seem much more compassionate, in this area at least. I lived in Maine for three years and the internist there was more than willing to write for my meds, stating that it is far more competent to have just one person writing and keeping track of a person’s medications than several physicians. That was what I told my internist back here, and then he started writing my meds. I pray you find someone with some compassion, who will take care of your needs. If that fails, I would waste no time in contacting the Chief of Staff as well as the Chief of Medicine at the hospital(s) where the above mentioned physicians are affiliated, advising them of how you have been treated by staff members and their office minions, relaying your surgical history and your medications and ask just what you are supposed to do in the face of such treatment. I will be rooting for you. I might also be tempted to complain about those physicians – for making judgments without even seeing you – to your county medical society as well as the AMA.

    • Thanks so much! You have suggested some options I hadn’t even thought about. Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees 😉 Thank you for your prayers – I am a firm believer in the power of prayer!

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