Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Reader Dear,

you're soon going to be having a fit of your own about all these posts where I mention my little episode.  Nevertheless, here we go:

When I returned from the hospital after the seizure and was bemoaning the fact that I was no longer allowed to drive, my kids chorused, "Mom, just use Uber!"

But then the HM took me away on vacation for two weeks.
And I had lots of kind folks offering rides.
And I hitched rides with the HM a lot.
 I even tried walking (I traveled to the mailbox very often without a car).
As well, I had a great excuse for  just staying home and blogging*.
Reader Dear, I was dragging my feet (if there's a pun, it's intended).

However, I am pleased to announce that this very morning (cue the drum roll) I called for an Uber ride.  (It was in order to get to an appointment at the health center, so I couldn't just shrug my shoulders and decide to stay home [HM had other commitments, so he couldn't be my chauffeur])

Therefore, as I said, I called for a ride.

Milton would be showing up, Uber informed me.

"This is my first-ever Uber ride!" I gleefully told Milton when I climbed into his car.

As it developed, we had a pleasant ride together to the health center.
When I exited the car, I asked.  "May I take your picture?"

Then I added, "I'm not saying I can make you famous, but I'll do my best!"

Ladies and Gentlemen:
I'm pleased to present Milton.  Moved here from NYC to be near family.  Has driven for Uber for four months.  Is a very friendly, likeable guy.  Driver par excellence.*

*Please Please spread the word, Reader Dear.
(If you do your best,  I'll have done mine!)
Coming home,
David was my driver.
We had a good ride, too.
And I asked for his photo.
But, you see, with David I couldn't offer fame; he's already famous**
**And it's a good thing, as this photographer did such a lousy job with obtaining his pic.
**How wide-spread the fame, I'm not sure.  For myself, at least, I'm well-acquainted with at least one of his many brothers!


*Oh, you've noticed, Reader Dear?!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

After the fit that I had

back about eight weeks ago, PennDOT* sent me a letter:

Basically (but in a much wordier way) it proclaimed the "Notice of Recall of your Driving Privilege" (capitol letters, theirs; as though it is a distinguished title of some sort) the same thing about which the doctor in the hospital had warned me.
This sentence in Penn DOT's letter informed me:
"If you do not return all current driver's license products, this matter will be referred to the Pennsylvania State Police for prosecution under Section 1571 (a) (4) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. "

Well, Reader Dear, I did not wish to have the state police showing up at my door with a pair of handcuffs, so, I made steps to deliver the (now considered precious) Driver's License to the Penn DOT center.
A friend dropped me off at 1:15 on a Friday.  I was planning to summon the HM to pick me up when, perhaps an hour?

Reader Dear, I walked in the door and gasped.  There were at least sixty or perhaps seventy persons seated and milling around in the big, open room.  I looked for the check-in desk and there was a line, which I joined.

When it was my turn to get a paper slip with a number, I asked the young man approximately how long I'd have to wait.

"Well," he responded.  "It's a long wait.  We're short-staffed today.  It will be at least two hours.  Maybe two-and-a-half.  Maybe more.  But here is your number.  You will be called in the order that you came in the door!"

"Ahh.  A long wait, for sure!" I exclaimed.  "But, you're saying that I will be called in order?  Someone coming later won't be called before me?"

"That's right," he assured me (He gave me other instructions and information, as well; I won't bore you with it right now, Reader Dear).
I found myself a seat (nothing comfortable to be found, all of them hard and plastic, but thank goodness for chairs!)  For a while, I watched and waited.  I used the Ladies Room (an only-one-person affair [for this massive crowd?] and somewhat dingy and dirty [but, thank goodness for a Ladies Room!])

I waited some more, half-heartedly read a magazine I'd carried along in my anticipation of a one-hour wait.

Then I had a sudden inspiration:  Since I don't get out much these days, why not peruse the shops around the PennDOT center.  The building is in a long strip, out of the area I'm used to shopping.  I could at least stroll around and see what was out there?
I went back to the check-in desk. 
"Sure," said the guy.  "Just check back about every 20 minutes or so.  You've still got more than a two-hour wait at the very least."

"REALLY?" I asked. "But an awful lot of people have come in after me.  Are you sure you're going according to the numbers?"

"Yes, yes," he answered.  "And the letters."

"Wait, what?" Reader Dear, it was time for a little interrogation.

"You've got a 'C' number.  That means every time they call a 'C' number, it will be closer to your spot."

"Now, wait a minute," I told him.  "You told me that absolutely I'd be taken in the order that I walked in the door."
"Yes, yes.  You will be!" were his final words. (Don't get nervous.  I'm only talking about his final words in that one conversation, Dear Reader!)

Let's skip ahead about a half-hour (or two).  The guy at the desk had allowed as how I could leave the building and have a little look-around outside.  Fortunately, though the weather was cold, it was not too bitter.  I walked out onto the sidewalk and spotted a Goodwill Store immediately next door to the PennDot center.  Eureka! I thought.  I can easily spend time  here, away from the madding crowd, yet handily close to it.

As soon as I walked in the door of the Goodwill Store, I spotted an interesting array of vintage model cars (two shelves worth!)  Wow.  I chatted with the sales person, and she verified my assumption that someone must have donated a life-time collection.

It was a tempting display!  I had to preach myself a little sermon:

"They are taking your license due to a seizure.  Don't let them make any excuses such as Complete Insanity for extending the restriction!  NO BUYING OF CARS!"  (Perhaps, Reader Dear, I was just pining for the use of a car, any car!)

I spent a long time looking at the cars.
"Don't rush," I said to myself as my sermon veered off in a new direction.  "You want to spend at least an hour here!"

Reader Dear, fortunately, it was a nice big Goodwill Store.  I tried on a few pieces of clothing.  I looked through books.  I shopped the housewares section and the toys.

I did not take his picture (and rue it now), but struck up a friendship with Leon (an adorable, curly-haired five-year-old in the toy section, happily playing with a toy golf bag and clubs).

"Would you like to have that toy? (I had noticed him playing with it for a very long time) 
He nodded, and I told him,  "I'm going to get it for you.  We need to find your mama first.  Where's your mama?" 

His eyes lit up and he ran to find her.
Dear Reader, jumping over lots of other small details (as this story is getting quite as lengthy as my PennDOT wait), when Leon thanked me bilingually ("What do you tell the lady?" his mama had prompted him) it was the highlight of my day! Gracias.  Thank you!

But, time keeps passing.
Reader Dear, I'm sick of waiting!
I'm sick of returning to the check-in guy at the PennDot desk.
I'm sick of hearing "Still a long wait."
I'm sick (I must admit) of entailing the details for you, Reader Dear!

When I had returned to the still-overflowing crowd in the PennDOT center for the final time at 3:45 ( I had asked the check-in guy once again about the wait and got the same respons [still a long wait]),
 I had asked the woman seated next to me:
"How long have you been waiting?"
"About an hour,"  she had replied.

It was about four-fifteen when they called her number (do the math, I beg you, Reader Dear [lies and corruption at the PennDOT center!  They were clearly not taking the numbers in order!])

"I'm liable to be here another two hours!" I thought to myself.
My blood pressure was rising (I just knew it).
"I'm liable to have another fit (of one kind or another)!"

One of the windows where (what do I call them, customers?) were being addressed, was directly in front of me.   The man behind the counter was temporarily free.  I rushed to the counter.
"I'M AN OLD WOMAN!" I declared. (What, did I assume that was not evident?! No time for sermons to myself, however).  I rushed on,  
"All I've got to do is turn in my license because of a seizure.  I've been waiting for three hours!  I did not eat any lunch!  (Was there a reason I threw in that fact? But, I'd had no time for speech-planning, as I noted, Reader Dear)   
"I was told we would be taken in the order that we walked in the door!  That is not true!!"

The poor man tried to refute my charge.  But I pointed out my evidence, and he had to admit it.  All the "C" numbers would be called in order.  But the "C" numbers are randomly called.  Along with every other group of numbers--randomly called!  They are only called in order according to your letter!
I threw a little fit.

He very grudgingly huffed, "You got your license?"
I handed it over.
He gave me papers to sign.
"You want an ID card?"
"I was told by the check-in guy that by law I have to have one."
"You don't," he said.
"Well, I think I want one," I said.
"Wanna use your old photo?" he asked.
"Yes," I said.  "If it's quicker."
"Yep," he said, and disappeared for a few minutes.
"Here you go," he said when he came back.
"Sign these  additional papers," he said.
Six minutes later I was leaving the center with my ID card in hand.

Sigh.  End of story!
Except for this:      



*Pennsylvania Department of Transportation


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

I was So Wired up That Night!

(Reader Dear, in case you were sleeping through the prior post, I'm referring to the night of the sleep study at the sleep lab) One would not suppose that it would be easy to sleep in such a wired-up state.   However, after a few hours of TV watching,  I decided to give it a try.  I reached over to turn off the bedside lamp, miscalculating my reach just enough to send the TV remote crashing to the floor.

It put me into a quandary:  Should one call out for the attendant, just because one doesn't  know how far one can lean down to retrieve the remote in one's wired-up state?
Should one stretch as far as possible with the risk of crashing to the floor oneself?
Or, hmmm, should one just sit on the edge of the bed and pick up the remote with one's feet (even if one has to make several attempts at this) ?

Well, Dear Reader, you've followed one's thought processes all the way to the retrieval of the remote!  I turned off the TV, turned off the lamp, turned off all thoughts of further wakefulness, and gradually took leave of my senses.

Though I awoke several times throughout the night, tentatively and painstakingly rearranging myself on the bed (from left side to right side and back again),  it was a relatively restful night; but, short!  It came to an abrupt end when Diane entered the room with a cheery "Good morning!" at six a.m

"We let you sleep late!"* she announced.

*Dear Reader, I tried to tell myself that "late" is a relative term.  I imagined a groom at the altar, waiting a whole half-hour for his bride to appear.   Or someone waiting thirty minutes to eat one's goose, after it's been cooked.**
**"They let me sleep really late," I said to myself.

Diane removed all the wires.
"You can take your time getting dressed," she told me.  "We (the night staff) leave at six-thirty, but a morning person comes in, and he can let you out the door."
  Just like coming in the building the evening before,  it gave me a strange feeling to make my way through deserted halls.  I sat in the empty lobby for a while, waiting on the HM to collect me.  Upon his arrival,  I walked out into the open air, and the sun was just kissing the horizon.

The parking lot was almost empty.  The morning was lovely and clear.  The air was brisk.
"Wow!" I marveled.  "Wow, if it weren't so early in the morning, I could really enjoy this time of day!"

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

When was the Last Time

Dear Reader, you spent the day picking dried glue from your scalp and hair?

Just in the event that you are prompted to now ask me: "Why ever would you think to make this odd inquiry?! "  I'll respond with the proper answer:   
"Well, since you asked, I'll not only tell you, but will also show you, my dear!"

It was officially called a sleep study.
A.  Conducted at an official sleep lab.
B.  Ordered by an (official, though it seems unnecessary to mention it) physician.
C.  Ordered due to my health event of a few weeks back (officially called a seizure).
D.  The attending woman employed by the sleep lab told me she'd be using (officially approved) glue at spots on my head.
    d1. "I'm sorry," she apologized.  "This won't be very pleasant.  I have to sort of scratch your head.  The glue doesn't smell very good.  There are 34 spots where I must attach wires." 
    d2.  "You're going to be picking this glue out of your hair all day tomorrow," she also explained.

So, there you have it, Reader Dear!
Here are additional details (which, you'll notice, I am not leaving you to pick out of your own imagination.  Oh, goodness, no. As I said, I've got photos!)

Be at the facility by 8:30 p.m. were the instructions. The sleep study will be completed, and all attachments and wires removed, at 5:30 a.m. (gasp!)

The HM delivered me to the facility promptly at 8:30 p.m.

"This is exceedingly weird," I had expressed to him as we made our way there.  Night had arrived, and it was dark, but still hours away from my usual going-to-sleep time.  I had packed a small bag with my pajamas, toiletries, and reading material, as suggested.  I carried my pillow.

The ground floor of LG Health Kissel Hill houses Urgent Care.  In the lobby, the place seemed deserted except for the wailing of an infant from somewhere inside Urgent Care.  I studied the signs, eventually found an elevator, and went to the second floor.  All hallways were empty of other humans and exceedingly quiet, doors closed.

Ultimately, of course, I found the Sleep Lab.  It was populated by two staffers.  Again, it was exceedingly quiet.
"Am I the only one here?" I asked.
"No, there are three others," I was told.  " You are the last to arrive."
Then I was shown to a room:

I studied it curiously as I deposited my bags and pillow on the bed.
"Hmm," I mused, " it's like a tiny motel room without the frills, and with a surveillance camera and a pile of equipment tucked away behind the headboard of the bed."

There was an attached private bathroom with a towel and washcloth and small walk-in shower.  Additionally, there was a smart TV and wi-fi service.

I found it slightly amusing, and quite acceptable.

"I'll be taking care of you," said Diane, my attendant.  "First thing I'll do is attach the wires.  Then you can watch TV, or read, or do whatever you wish until you are ready to go to sleep."

"Do I need to notify you when I am ready to nod off?" I asked.

"Oh, no," she laughed.  "We'll know!"

Oh, yes, of course--the camera and the wires!

Had yet to remove glasses before nodding off

Go ahead and go to sleep, Reader Dear.  When you wake up, I"ll continue the story...

or whenever I've finished picking dried glue from my scalp and hair, whichever comes first.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Just One More

St. Augustine posting, Reader Dear.
I can't help myself.
And, after all, I'm not eager to leave this place
(you know what I mean--don't want to stop re-living Florida; don't want to stop re-living thoughts of bitter cold back home [gleeful little thoughts of the winter weather I was missing]!)

There was the Bridge of Lions, built in the 1920's, that spanned the Matanzas River..
It ran from the old part of St. Augustine over to Anastasia Island, where the hotel in which the HM and I were staying was located.  This meant that we crossed the bridge several times during our two-day stay. 

Reader Dear, I've got to describe two of these trips over the river, because at that time, HM and I did not cross the bridge together. 

We had finished our dinner at Harry's Seafood Bar and Grill (where Catalina did or did not grant this blogger a visit).  From our spot on the balcony, we had had a lovely view of the bridge, and were watching as evening arrived and the lights of the bridge came on.

Then, too, there was a nearly-full moon in the sky to light up the night. I was still reveling in the high degrees of delight we were experiencing in the state of Florida.

"Oh," I said, "Oh!" to the Husband-of-Mine.  "I wish we could walk the bridge right now. There's that walking lane, you know. And,
look how fantastic the night!"

But then I sighed.  The bridge was kind of a long one.  The car was parked a few blocks away in the other direction.  It wasn't going to work.

"Well," said HM.  "You could go.  I could pick you up on the other side."

Now, Reader Dear, it's not like me to ponder my actions so briefly*. 

However, "Great!" I said to HM.  
"Pick me up on the other side!  I'll see you there!"
And, just like that, I was off at a brisk pace toward the bridge.
The night was inspiring!
It felt good to walk briskly! 
The moon was reflecting on the water so brightly!

I watched the cars passing by as I walked.  I was sure I would notice HM, but I did not know how long it would take for him to fetch the car.  

Come to think of it, nor did I know how long it was going to take me to transverse this bridge!   Was it a half-mile long?  A mile?  Never while driving the bridge had I pondered its length.
Don't worry about it! I said to myself, and continued to walk at my arm-swinging best.

But, it wasn't long until another  unpleasant thought arrived: Yikes, the battery in my phone has died; the  HM doesn't know it. Suppose this bridge gets too long for me?

Calm down, I thought. There's not a lot of traffic; maybe he could slow down enough for me to hop into the car.  

Er, I'd have to be sure I saw him and flagged him!  He'd have to see me and stop!  In spite of the lights, this bridge is pretty dark.  There are NO other walkers.  If I collapsed on this walkway, no one would see me!

Oh, for heaven's sake, get over it, you worry-wort! I said it out loud to myself.  (Because, well, there was no one else who could hear [or benefit right now, despite the great wisdom]).

I kept on walking and was still enjoying the walk, but I watched the cars intently.  After quite a while I could see that the end of the bridge was in sight.  All would be well.  

Except, hmm...
where was the HM?!  Surely by now he'd have made it to the car and crossed the bridge!  I must have missed him. 

to be continued...

*(Did Catalina inspire me, Dear Reader?)
Oh, wait; give that idea no further thought!