The state of Steph

Over the weekend I was finally able to have some intimate time with my man. Only 24 days after surgery! Technically I was supposed to wait another week but well, we couldn’t hold out. ;)

Of course, this brought george back temporarily. Barely any cramping. Then he disappeared.
Then today, two days later, without warning – george re-appeared – bright red and flowing. WTF!!! And horrible pinching pains on the left side again! It’s a good thing I have my post-op doctor appointment today.

I went to a pain management doctor today for the back pain I always have. This doctor talked about epidurals and surgery and steroidal injections into my spine! I told him I only want his advice on further NON SURGICAL treatment options. So he’s going to get me an MRI and also refer me to a specialist who can teach me to do gentle stretches.
I have back pain since my car accident in 1994, which leads my back to go out about 3-4 times a year. Each time, I’m out of work for about a week. But today I was not presenting pain symptoms. He felt my neck and shoulders and asked me a lot of questions, and gave me a preliminary diagnosis of Cervical Spondylosis (arthritis of the neck). I’m not shocked by that at all since thirteen years out from the car accident, arthritis is a given.

I just want the bleeding to go away so I can spend more intimate time with my man. We’ve waited weeks to enjoy each other, dammit!

4:46pm Edit: I went to the post-op appointment and had to walk two and a half blocks from the parking garage in the pouring rain. I had my raincoat on but my pants got a soaking. The good news is that doc tells me I’m healing up just fine. And she also explained the images she took of my pelvic region during surgery, and drew on the images with her pen to illustrate where the Endo was. Click here and here if yer not easily squicked by pictures of innards. Sorry about the crappy huge font – I couldn’t figure out how to make the font size smaller on my boyfriend’s Photoshop software, and I don’t have Photoshop installed on my ‘new’ Mac Mini, yet.
Doc tells me that the bleeding is within the realm of what could happen for the first month post-op, especially once resuming sexual activity. She tried to talk me into taking Lupron, which is chemically-induced menopause. But I’ve seen the effects of that on a friend recently, and I’m not into simulated Niacin flush hot flashes that last 20 minutes or more on a regular basis. So I’m to continue taking the Yasmin for a year with no interruption – no taking the sugar pills for the ‘week off’ to allow a period to occur. We’ll see how it all goes. The only side effects to the Yasmin so far have been slight nausea on the first day, and breast tenderness/swelling as of last night. I feel like I’ve already gone up a cup size. :(
But so far, no reports of extreme depression or any of the nasty side effects listed in the booklet.

Some day life will get back to normal and I can stop talking about george and post-op stuff. ;)

As feared

The end of my first week back to work has ended in tears.

george is due tomorrow and my hormones are all out of whack.

And this week I started drinking again to the point of getting drunk due to work stress.

I ran out of my anti-anxiety medicine last Sunday, so I’ve been taking my muscle relaxers and a bit of wine to cope. But last night I joined friends at the tiki bar and got smashed on two drinks (well the 2nd drink is more like five-in-one and is appropriately called The Zombie).

Today my shoulders started to seize up and my lower back began to ache.
Then I got joint pain in my shoulders and wrists and knees.

Then without warning, a panic attack came on at work where suddenly I felt as if I was being smothered. I gasped for air and my heart raced and panicked. I maintained very well on the exterior but inwardly the panic grew. Why was this happening at work? Why right now? I grabbed the bottle of Ensure I’d had with my lunch and scanned the ingredients for anything speedy or caffinated. I saw nothing. But shit, the next call will come in at any second – I work in a phone queue, and then what? What if I still can’t compose myself by the time the call comes in?

I was waivery-voiced but maintained, and by the end of that next call, I was composed again.

Depression was starting to seep in, and hit full blast when I had a bunch of calls at the end of the day that added to my work load and made me stay a half an hour overtime. I’ve done that four times out of five this week so far. That’s typical, too.

And also this week, the managers expressed a need for volunteers for the weekend because they’re short staffed. I felt pressed and obliged. I will be working Saturday. I need the money anyway and I’m off on Monday for dead ex-president’s day, a day off I can never understand being granted to people. But then, I’m wholly unpatriotic to begin with, so of course I don’t understand.

The idea of working six days straight on my first week back to work when my period is due on that sixth day of work however caught up with me today and I became depressed. I barely make it through a five-day work week as it is. Now I know that six is just too much and sets me over the edge.

My depression worsened when, at the end of the work day and talking to my boyfriend, I realised that I’d not packed any club clothes or makeup. But yet I’d agreed to meet up at a friend’s house so we could all carpool to the club tonight. A bandmate of my boyfriend is playing tonight in a side-project band.
My shallow side kicked in hard. “I can’t show up at the club dressed in work clothes”, I whined.

So I came straight home from work. But in that hour and a half commute home, the depression sank me even lower.

On February 14th, it took me TWO and a half hours to get home because of traffic. I thought I’d take a short cut to avoid the massive backup. I studied a map and off I went. And went. And went. And missed my turnoff. And got turned around and lost.
I should have been sobbing from that experience, but I went numb. I stared ahead as I drove. Silent. Numb.

I got home and whined for sushi and my man and I walked to the local sushi joint. But I forgot my special wheat free soy sauce. So I had to walk back home and get it.

Even the sushi sucked.

And here I am, two days later, sore eyes from sobbing right after my boyfriend left the house to go off to the club, and then after that off to a hotel for the weekend for a game convention. I’m normally not sobby like this. He goes off to see his friends for game every Sunday, and has band practice twice a week, and goes to game conventions twice a year for an entire weekend.

But today I am all weepy and emotional because of several factors. It was my first week back to work after surgery. I am PMSing already. I hate the commute and knew I would likely have a meltdown based on that alone Real Soon Now, anyway. Hell, my first month on the job, I cried every week because of the friggin’ commute and the Big Brother crap imposed on us at work.

I feel I have no choice. I keep saying that. People must be paid back. I have to get out of debt. I have a credit card and two department store cards to pay off again. I have two loans to pay.

And then I listen to a story on National Public Radio (NPR) about this military couple. The wife got her legs blown off in Iraq. Her husband helps take care of her now but after 19 years in the national guard and not seeing active duty, suddenly they’re calling him up for Iraq. And he’s going. WTF. This country is so screwed up.

And I sit here sobbing because I can’t go to a club because I have to be up at 5:30am to get ready for work tomorrow. What a weak piece of shit.
Hormonal whack aside. I don’t care. I usually listen to other peoples’ tales of woe to strengthen and embolden me to go on. But today, that didn’t work. I’m sore. I’m achey. I’m whiney. I’m sad. I’m depressed. I’m ready to quit.

I know I will carry on. I always do. But right at this moment, everything’s just too much for me to handle. “If I can just get through tomorrow.” I say that every fecking workday of the week. That’s how close I always am to meltdown. That close.

If I can just get through tomorrow, I will have two days off of work to do nothing but lay around for most of the day.

I already miss the week I had just laying on the couch with the laptop, looking out the living room window at the hummingbird that often visits the flowers outside the window. I miss that so much. I got to work on my family genealogy that week, something I’ve not been able to do at a stretch like that for two years.
That’s all I want all of the time – the week I just had off – minus the surgery and recovery part, of course.

Post-op, Day 9

Last night I was able lift and shake the blankets back down over the bed before crawling in.

In the middle of the night I realised I could roll over onto either my left or my right side without pain.

However, this morning, I had some pretty bad gas pains which felt like searing hot pain throughout my pelvic region, just as I was getting up out of bed. It didn’t help that my boyfriend made me laugh so hard I cried first thing in the morning before I could even get out of bed. He was on his way to work and was being silly with the cat. I never knew a cat’s tail and bum could be used as a grenade launcher or machine gun!

So, laughing still equals danger.

Oh – I forgot to follow up regarding the sore throat and mouth. My sore throat never fully went away – since sugery – so it’s not from being intubated. I’ve been fighting something.
Also, my gums are STILL healing where they were scraped while being intubated.
On top of that, about three days ago I developed cankre sores on the inside of my bottom lip, further proving that I’m fighting off illness. I’ve been applying Benzocaine daily, and trying to remember to take my vitamins.
Today I woke up with a caked nose and throat. I’ve spit up phlegm several times this morning and it’s dark brownish yellow.

Great.

Now, my boyfriend had re-developed a sinus infection while I was away in Tahoe. He felt much better by the time I got home, and we cleaned the house prior to surgery. However, he’s been smooching me this week and it’s likely that he was still carrying infection and passed it on to me. After all, my immune system has been compromised from going through surgery.

If I get a sinus infection AGAIN from my boyfriend, I’m going to be VERY pissed off. He should have gotten on antibiotics when this happened the first time. *I* did!

There’s two other issues, still.

  1. My jaw grinding has not subsided since the surgery. It took me over a year to cure myself of TMJ after the car accident in 1994. I know I can do this again, but it’s an unwelcome side effect I was not anticipating to have to deal with. I haven’t worn my jaw splint since about 1997, so it would have to be refitted. I’ve been a decade overdue for hiring a dentist, anyway, so I’ll bring it up when I finally do go see one in the next month.
  2. I’m having nightmares. This is normal from what I’ve been reading of women who’ve had laparoscopic surgery. Last night’s nightmare involved a reworking of my first day of ninth grade. In the dream, I’d already on my first day met the two girls who would be my best friends through all of high school. I also had met the backstabbing white trash girl a grade ahead of me and she was already being crappy to me at lunch. And then there was my friend, G. I met her years after moving to California, but there she was on my first day of ninth grade high school in my dream/nightmare. So at least it was pretty cool and grounding to have G there. I remember that in the lunch line, I had to be careful of what I was going to eat because of my gluten issues – not something I worried about in real life back then. And the lunch of the day was mussels in the shell, but when I looked at the shells, the word ‘scarabs’ came to mind, and the lunch ladies were trying to tell me that it was ‘crab’ being served.

    The shells kinda looked something like this:
    Fossil shell from Houlgate, France
    Only, the shells were oval like scarabs, and the ridges were more pointy I guess you could say. They were definitely slate coloured like the fossil pictured above.
    Crazy.

Today’s goals are to drive my car (just want to move it, it’s been sitting in one place for four days, now), try sitting at my desk for a longer period of time, and try eating solid foods again.

Wish me luck!

The Weekend

Saturday, we picked up our Seattlite friend from the train station and took him out to sushi, Christmas lights and Tiki. I am fortunate to have had two sugar daddies that night, cuz I didn’t pay a dime. ;)

After we had dinner, we drove over to a neighborhood on the island that’s famous for nearly every house going over the top with Christmas lights. It’s dubbed Christmas Tree Lane. We walked up one side of the street and down the other side, gawking at some of the hideous houses. The worst crazy house had an American flag all done up in Christmas lights, with drummer boys on each side of it. We took some pix, maybe when I’m not so lazy, I’ll post some.

From the Christmas lights, we went on to the Tiki bar, where we got suitably smashed. Although I’m such an accomplished alcoholic, I think I was the more sober of the three of us, and I weigh much less. We each had at least three drinks. We came back to the house and stayed up chatting with our friend til after 2am.

Sunday, we all slept in nice and late, and then enjoyed a lengthy breakfast. Afterwards, we got ready to go on to our family destinations. We took our friend to the train station so he could go do Christmas Eve dinner with his family, and then we went on to my boyfriend’s father’s house to have dinner.

Today we had to get up relatively early to prepare food for a potluck gathering of friends, and of course to unwrap presents.
My man got me a SNOG CD, a bath tray, lots of bath soaps and salts, a genealogy book (a manual for researchers and writers!), “The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook”, AND a Dr. Strangelove special edition DVD!
I got him the entire collection of the 1960’s TV series The Prisoner, as well as a sketch book by Alan Lee for Lord of The Rings, and the V for Vendetta graphic novel.

I also managed to get a couple loads of laundry done before we were off to our friend’s house. The early afternoon with friends lasted well into the evening, and we didn’t get home til about 10pm. It was a nice time spent in a low-key gathering – there were ten of us plus an infant, and we’ve all known each other for years. Over half the group is our regular Pissup Night group, so there was no social awkwardness for me. Woohoo!

The only downsides to this weekend were the fact that my back began locking up again today. I thought I was starting to recover, but before we even left to our friend’s house, my back began tightening. It grew worse over the course of the afternoon. I took two Soma while at my friend’s house, and I just took a 600mg Ibuprofen now. Hopefully I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

Speaking of sleep, it’s time to get my pajamas on and head to bed. I’m excited that I have leftover food from the potluck to take to work tomorrow – it’s one less thing to worry about having to prepare for the workday.

I hope you all have had a nice weekend and have enjoyed time off for whatever purpose. I was happy to have the free day, and even happier that our group of friends at one point had a round table rant about some of us having grown up in Fundamentalist households. It’s good to be understood. Many of us tonight it seems are non-Christian or downright athiest. All seem to still enjoy the idea of gathering on a free day off work, in spite of the meaning of the day at hand for others. I had a nice time. :)

Aches, pains and forgetfulness

I’ve had major aches and pains throughout the mid to upper back all day today, extending to my shoulders and neck. By this evening, however, I developed acute photosensitivity, followed by my jaws hurting. And now I have a moderate headache.

So now I’m paranoid that it’s onset of flu, which I’ve not fallen to in years.

Earlier today though, I was convinced that my back was ‘going out’ again.
It’s been a few months since my back/shoulder/neck has given me grief, so I guess it’s time again. As of early afternoon, it hurt to turn my head to either side or tilt my head back.

I looked up some doctors on my health plan but nobody’s open on a Saturday. I didn’t want to go to the emergency room to beg for muscle relaxers, because it’s so expensive to even enter the goddamned E.R..

And I don’t know of any good walk-in medical clinics in this area, and I didn’t feel like driving to San Mateo where I know there is, or at least used to be, a good clinic that accepts all types of insurance.

Once the migraine started, I popped half a percoset. Thanks to my boyfriend, who has quite the stash leftover from his throat surgery. But it’s not a muscle relaxer. That’s really what I need. I laid stretched out on the bed for about twenty minutes, slowly stretching and moving parts of my back, shoulders and arms. That helped a bit. I should inflate my yoga ball and start using that again, too. Haven’t used it since we moved to the new place in July.

There’s something else that’s been affecting me, too. More and more, I notice how much memory loss I have. I always seem to shrug it off as stress, but lately it’s become kinda scary and so I’m wondering if I should see a neurologist and/or get an MRI.

Today I told my boyfriend some of my immediate plans for the day. I then walked into the computer room and that quickly, I forgot what I said I was supposed to be doing for the day, and I had to ask him what it was I’d just told him I’d planned for the day. Needless to say, he was a bit concerned, too.

This evening, I wanted my bottle of water. I was in the kitchen when this want developed. I knew the water bottle was in the bedroom. But as soon as I exited the kitchen, I went into the bathroom, then stood there wondering what I’d gone in there for. I had to focus and really think, and then it came to me – I was in the kitchen on my way to the bedroom for my water bottle. How I ended up in the bathroom instead, forgeting entirely within a span of about 8 seconds what I set off to find, I have no idea.

This concerns me greatly. I’m far too young to have dementia. But I know my head bowed out the windshield of a car back in 1994, and I know I’ve had memory loss ever since. But this is getting scary, as I said.

A few weeks ago, I took it as a game when it happened. My boyfriend and I had made plans for a Saturday. When that day arrived, he had to keep reminding me to get ready to go. I decided to not tell him that I had no idea why he was getting us out of the house. Happy to spend time with my honey, I followed along, got in the car, and enjoyed the ride to wherever we were going.
I grew concerned after we got about ten miles away from town when I still didn’t know where we were headed to, but I stayed quiet about it. At the time, I felt more excited, like a kid being taken to a surprise. That won out over the concern for my memory loss.

The place we were headed to? A pumpkin patch. So that ended up being kidlike fun once we took the exit and I finally remembered where we’d planned to go.

But today… the memory loss was scary. It’s been scary like this before. I just never talk about it. Is it stress or is my brain deteriorating?
I have full medical coverage thanks to my boyfriend’s domestic partner insurance. I need to look up doctors tomorrow and make some calls – leave some messages. I need to schedule time off work and GO to the damned doctor.

Job interview

I spoke to six people over 4 hours yesterday!

The interview seemed to go well at first. I spoke with the helpdesk department (which I’m interviewing for), a system integration guy, and a couple of quality assurance (QA) guys.

Well, the QA guys grilled me gestapo-style on Linux, so naturally I blanked on most of the answers. As a matter of fact, looking back, I also blanked when I tried to tell the system integration guy what products my last company produces.

Overall though, I liked everybody and they seemed to like me. Even the QA guys reminded me of friends and former co-workers, so there was a bit of familiarity to guide me in addressing them.

I’m my own worst critic though, so after the interview, my feeling was that I didn’t get the job. It was a fun time though, like a pop-quiz at school, where I got to find out how much techie stuff I still remember and how much I’ve forgotten.

Honestly, with how high-stress the dotcom industry is, I’ll actually be relieved to get a rejection from them. I keep vowing never to go back to the tech industry, and I keep allowing people to guide me back there. Why can’t I break out of this cycle?

Anyway, the waiting has begun, as has the flip-flopping of emotions. I’ll find out this coming week if I’m hired or not.

Today, my gut feeling tells me that ‘vacation’ is ending, which gives me low-grade panic at knowing I may actually be called back to the high-stress dotcom field.

But if I am called back, who’s to say that this time I won’t dig it? What if this gig is better than the last few years’ worth of anxiety?

Now…the outstanding issues:

Certain things were purposefully ommitted during the interview that I’m dwelling on now.
1) my back goes out several times a year, and
2) george.

They expect me to lift up to 80 pounds (36kg). I told them during the phone interview that I could probably lift closer to 40 pounds (18kg), but I didn’t say why.

During the in-person interview, the bossman brought up how a former hire had over time set more and more restrictions on her job, relying on more people to help her instead of being able to do it herself.

Her issues were not health-related, though.

I felt that disclosing my health issues would preclude my being interviewed and/or hired. At the time, it wasn’t such a big deal, since I was humouring my friend by applying to begin with. But now…if it went well enough that I’ll be hired…now begins the sticky aspect of timing of disclosure.

Do I tell them as soon as an offer is made? Or do I wait til the issues start happening (which would be as early as June 2 for george, or sooner if my back goes out).

If I tell them at the time of offer, and they revoke the offer, saying that I’ve wasted their time in interviewing me, well, I don’t consider it my problem, and here’s why:

If I told every prospective employer that I need to miss 1-3 days of work per month because of severe menstrual pain, and that I need to miss anywhere from 1-3 weeks of work per year because my back goes out, how often do you think I’d be hired?

Now ask yourself these questions:

How often does the average new parent need to take time off work for their newborn and family issues?

How many days of work does the average person miss in a year due to cold and/or flu because they’re not as germ-cautious/hygienic as I am?

How many hours of work monthly does the average parent miss due to having to pick up or drop off their offspring?

Now, how are my time-off issues any different from the above? I’ll miss some days of work here and there, just like anybody else. What business is it of theirs WHY I’ll miss work?

Hmmm. Actually, I think I have my answer. What business is it of theirs, indeed!

well, this week certainly sucked…

Friday – had emotional meltdown due to lack of sugar in diet and onset of PMS and stress over being unemployed. That same day, I got an email from a company my friend works for, asking me what my availability is for interviewing with them. I’d had a phone interview on Monday the 24th (forgot to tell ya about that), and I was not feeling too confident about how it all went. Firstly, I wasn’t looking for that job. My friend told me to send him my resume so I did. Few days later, phone call pop quiz on what I know about junior system administration and tech support. It was a neat call and I giggled when I got answers right because it’s been so long since I’ve done some of this stuff. I shrugged after the call – since I wasn’t expecting to get that job, I won’t be disappointed if I get rejected. Then on Friday the 28th they emailed me. I set up an appointment for May 13.

Monday – woke up to find my neck/shoulder went out again. So now we’re up to four times in the past 12 months (November, February, March, May). Spent all day on 800mg Ibuprofen. Also spent the day trying to configure a Macintosh monitor for a PC running Linux to no avail. That evening, I got a frantic call. I sped to SF and spent 4 hours in hospital E.R. with friend who had complications to her medication, then spent another 4 hours sitting with her at home to make sure she was okay. Took a muscle relaxer that night for the neck pain/stiffness.

Tuesday – emergency appointment with masseuse to beat the knot out of my shoulder. Slept most of the rest of the day. Still couldn’t tilt my head to the left or look over my left shoulder.

Wednesday – Had a date with the boyfriend (so one good ray of sunshine this week!). Also, still couldn’t tilt my head to the left or look over my left shoulder.

Thursday – Cleaned the house due to XXTREME NESTING as a result of PMS. Went to pick up my friend at train station, got lost. While trying to get my bearings, car overheated for the first time ever. Had to stop at a gas station for 40 mins to let it cool down. Added antifreeze and water, which drained out. Kept adding anyway – maybe it’ll hold a couple miles. Car cooled down – fired ‘er back up, drove a couple miles, overheated again, stalling this time right in front of a train station. Not the same station my friend was at though, so she got back on the train and came to the stop I was at. Called another friend who picked us up and dropped us at my place. I just left my car at the station overnight.
My back HAD started to feel better until the stress of being late for my friend, then my car dying twice hit me. So I went right back to not being able to tilt my head to the left, and looking over my left shoulder was quite difficult.
One bit of good news Thursday night was that my friend gave me a 19″ monitor for my linux box (the other one died a few months back and the mac monitor wouldn’t configure correctly). I took a muscle relaxer for the pain last night.

Friday – Boyfriend dropped me at nearest train station. Took train to station where my car was parked. No harm to it overnight – good. Still won’t start. Called for a tow. The towing was free, thanks to me getting good insurance coverage. Got towed back to the island, where I left the car again, and walked a mile and a half (2km) home. Experienced mild cramps as I walked because george is due to arrive today, but I was pleasantly distracted by all the Victorian mansions along Grand Avenue. When I grow up, I want to live in one of those homes!

So now I’m waiting to hear back from the auto shop. They look really busy so it could be a couple days. That’s fine, since I expect to be bedridden within the next 24 hours anyway due to george. Good timing in that I don’t have a job, but I have to have transportation to the job interview next Friday.

Oh, and of course, I still can’t tilt my head to the left or look over my left shoulder.

Why do I bother

Date: Mon Jul 12 09:55:21 PDT 2004
Location: home
Music: Insanity – Oingo Boingo (playing in my head)
Mood: effing pissed

On July 2nd, I called my doctors in Michigan and my doctor in San Jose,
and started the process of records transfer. I asked the secretary at
my San Jose doctor’s office to pose some questions for me to my doctor,
including whether or not she can bill AAA directly or if I should pay
her and then file claim with AAA.

Before hanging up, the secretary wanted to be sure she got the information
correct.
She said, “you’re a new patient and we’re getting your records?”

I said, “No, I’m an EXISTING patient and you’re getting my records.”

Secretary: Oh, so you’re moving away and we’re sending your records to the
new doctor?

Me: NO! You’re requesting my OLD records from my OLD doctors in Michigan!

Secretary: Oh…

That day, the secretary called me back TWO more times and we had the SAME conversation twice more. It ended with me giving her the doctor’s
snail mail address and fax number AGAIN.

I SWEAR, the whole goddamned thing went just like a Monty Python skit:

FATHER: Guards! Make sure the Prince doesn’t leave this room until I come and get him.

GUARD #1: Not to leave the room even if you come and get him.

GUARD #2: Hic!

FATHER: No, no. Until I come and get him.

GUARD #1: Until you come and get him, we’re not to enter the room.

FATHER: No, no. No. You stay in the room and make sure he doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1: And you’ll come and get him.

GUARD #2: Hic!

FATHER: Right.

GUARD #1: We don’t need to do anything apart from just stop him entering the room.

FATHER: No, no. Leaving the room.

GUARD #1: Leaving the room. Yes. [sniff]

FATHER: All right?

GUARD #1: Right.

GUARD #2: Hic!

FATHER: Right.

GUARD #1: Oh, if– if– if, uhh– if– if– w– ehh– i– if– if we–

FATHER: Yes? What is it?

GUARD #1: Oh, i– if– i– oh–

FATHER: Look, it’s quite simple.

GUARD #1: Uh…

FATHER: You just stay here and make sure ‘e doesn’t leave the room. All right?

GUARD #2: Hic!

FATHER: Right.

GUARD #1: Oh, I remember. Uhh, can he leave the room with us?

FATHER: N– no, no. No. You just keep him in here and make sure he–

GUARD #1: Oh, yes. We’ll keep him in here, obviously, but if he had to leave and we were with him–

FATHER: No, no, no, no. Just keep him in here–

GUARD #1: Until you or anyone else–

FATHER: No, not anyone else. Just me.

GUARD #1: Just you.

GUARD #2: Hic!

FATHER: Get back.

GUARD #1: Get back.

FATHER: All right?

GUARD #1: Right. We’ll stay here until you get back.

GUARD #2: Hic!

FATHER: And, uh, make sure he doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1: What?

FATHER: Make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1: The Prince?

FATHER: Yes. Make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1: Oh, yes, of course.

GUARD #2: Hic!

GUARD #1: Ah. I thought you meant him. You know, it seemed a bit daft me havin’ to guard him when he’s a guard.

FATHER: Is that clear?

GUARD #2: Hic!

GUARD #1: Oh, quite clear. No problems.

FATHER: Right. Where are you going?

GUARD #1: We’re coming with you.

FATHER: No, no. I want you to stay here and make sure ‘e doesn’t leave.

GUARD #1: Oh, I see. Right.

Also that same day, I called my lawyer to inquire about the lawsuit.
However, it was after 5pm his day and he was leaving.

The lawyer laughed at me and said, “It’s been TEN years? GOOD LUCK!”
I asked him if there was any paperwork he could submit to help me out
and he said NO. He said, “given the fact that AAA gave us such a hard
time about this last time, you’re chances may not be very good, especially
after ten years. You’re going to have to go through a LOT of tests and work
and x-rays to PROVE this is related directly to the car accident.”

So on Tuesday, July 6th, I called the lawyer’s secretary and asked for the
case number. She informed me that her office SHREDS ALL RECORDS after 3 or
4 years.
I exclaimed that I did not know that, and that I had moved out of state
3 years after the accident.
She said I would have been given notice and could have had copies made
but she guessed that I never got the notice cuz…I’d MOVED AWAY.

This fight, so far, was a TOTAL loss.

Fast forward to this morning.

I called the doctor’s office to check on the status of my records transfer.
I got the same effing tit secretary on the phone as last time.

Secretary: …no..we did not get any fax.

Me: I GAVE you the information last week!!!

Secretary: Oh…hang on, let me talk to the doctor…

[put on hold with dead air]

Secretary: The doctor says No, she cannot accept AAA to pay for the
insurance, you will have to pay out of pocket.

Me: Yes, fine, that’s what I expected. I will bill AAA later. The question
HOWEVER that I had for you was, Did you receive a fax from my doctors in
Michigan of my old medical records?

Secretary: Oh…hang on, let me talk to the doctor…

[put on hold with dead air]

Secretary: No, we did not get a fax, you will have to come in and fill
out a form to release medical records.

Me: OH. You know, that would have been SO nice of you to tell me LAST
WEEK when I called, but instead you asked me for snail mail information
and had to call me back twice more to get the information straight!

Secretary: OH! But was that me??? I show only one call from you that
day!

Me: YES. I called ONCE. YOU called me back TWICE.

Secretary: …

Secretary: Oh, but I would have to write that down if I did…are you
sure it was me?

Me: YES. And you SHOULD write it down but I don’t think you did!
Now LISTEN! I GAVE you the doctor’s information! DO YOU HAVE IT?

Secretary: …

Me: *SIGH* I will come down there then and fill out paperwork and I
will talk to the doctor DIRECTLY. YOU need to learn how to do your
job – I’m letting you go now, BYE. *click*

This fight, so far, CONTINUES to be a TOTAL loss.

Now, let me just state for the record that this person is the REPLACEMENT
secretary for the OTHER retard who used to work there, and let me just
state for the record that THIS woman is Retard, Part II, with a heavy
accent of some sort. Perhaps Latino, perhaps Mid-Eastern.
I can’t tell, because both cultures say my name as “Tepanie”.
But I digress. Screw the language barrier. She’s Retard, Part II anyway.

I’m seeing red, I’m so pissed off.

This doctor is really good, but she keeps her office staffed with titbags!!!

GAH!!!!

And on the health front, my knees have continued to ache. I was SO
stiff yesterday, I could barely assist my bf who sprained his ankle
last week.

And I bicycled 10 miles, twice last week, and went swimming once, too.
And I did a lot of walking because my car is parked around the block and
I had to be the one to drive my bf all over last week and there is no
close parking (he’s got the assigned spot in the carport).

So the argument cannot be made that I am not getting enough exercise.

It’s been more and more difficult to crack my neck again lately, too,
and my shoulders are constantly on the verge of seizing up and making
my back go out again if I so much as stretch in the morning or lay on
my side at night.

I NEED to be looked at, and I DON’T have health insurance, and AAA is
*supposed* to pay my medical bills for life.

I DON’T have any proof that AAA was ever told in a court settlement to
pay for my medical expenses for life. As far as I recall, I DID ask for
this information from my lawyer years ago, and somehow he could not or
would not produce it, which led me to believe it was more a verbal finger-
waving at AAA because he KNEW he had no weight with it, and of course he
went and billed me for it, anyway. That’s what I think happened.

I *could* subpoena AAA for records on the case, but they probably purged
my records after 5 or 7 years, too.
I just called my lawyer and left a message with that question. If I get
a negative reply, I’m hiring a new lawyer and I already know of one locally.