We all have them: one or more days in which every little thing that can go wrong does go wrong, and the universe seems designed solely for the grand purpose of driving us crazy. That's how my last 48 hours has been and I'm really, really hoping that I'm at the end of a bad luck streak rather than somewhere in the middle.
For instance, my annoying urinary tract infection wasn't quite gone (ouch) after finishing my antibiotics, so my doctor told me to come in for an office visit. I showed up early as I always do, confident that I could fill time playing games on my smartphone. Which immediately ran out of power. So I waited in an exam room for over an hour with nothing to do and nothing to look at. And more importantly, nothing to listen to - I have bad tinnitus and I'd just as soon be waterboarded as sit in a really quiet room. Usually, my phone can play some soothing white noise...but not this time.
So I was fairly unraveled by the time the doctor finally arrived. I described where my pain was, after which he had me drop my drawers so he could pinch, pull, twist, squeeze, and do other allegedly medicinal forms of origami with my genitals. I was then told that everything looked okay from the outside and the doctor had no idea why I was still feeling pain. So that was time well spent.
While standing at the checkout desk, one lens spontaneously leapt out of my eyeglasses (along with the teeny-tiny screw to hold the glasses together). So I was more or less blind when driving home, and arrived to find Mrs. J in the earliest stages of widowhood since I was gone WAY longer than expected and hadn't called.
Then today, I had to be filling out a "new patient" form online to see a new dentist. As previously reported, my old family dentist is quitting the business because he got tired of having to take remedial courses in fighting human trafficking, fighting the opioid crisis, installing an expensive filter to take environmentally dangerous silver out of any wastewater even though he hasn't done a silver filling in the last 20 years, and small practices like his are increasingly the target of violent drug thieves.
An amusing digression: not long ago, a violent guy came into the little office and threatened bodily harm to the dentist and his receptionist unless he was given a prescription for narcotics. The dentist managed to stall long enough to make a phone call to the police...
"I've got a guy here who says he's going to hurt us if we don't give him a prescription for drugs!"
"Are you a doctor?"
"So you can legally write a prescription for the drugs?"
"Well, then write it for him! We don't care about those kinds of things." (click)
So yeah...there goes a good man and a fine dentist. But he did give me one last check-up and found a couple of cavities that had bloomed during the pandemic. So I contacted a new practice and was faced with that "new patient" form online. I filled it out (and it was a LONG sucker) but when I hit the "submit" button I got screaming warnings from my antivirus software that the information was about to be routed to a known phishing site. You know, the kind you'd rather not give your name, address, birth date, and social security number to.
I tried a second browser and got the same result. After which I alerted the dental office and was assured that "other people are filling out the form just fine." Yeah, I'll bet they are. But I was given the option to come in to the office at my leisure to fill out the 20 page form using their office iPad. Which for all I know still routes the information to Russian hackers.
Moreover, I was already a little touchy about the subject of computer security and identity theft since that same morning, I'd discovered that someone was using my charge card number to buy Major League Baseball hats and dine heartily at Buffalo Wild Wings about a thousand miles from where I live. So I had to cancel the card and will have to relink a new card to about a dozen sites.
But wait, there's more!
Daughter Jarlsberg is changing her health insurance and has just set up a new Blue Cross Blue Shield policy through (God help us) Healthcare.gov. But here's the fun part: they won't give you a member ID until you've paid the first month's premium. To pay that premium, they give you a link to a handy website that you can't access unless you enter the member ID which you can't possibly have because you haven't paid yet and, apparently, never can.
This took me to a long, long phone call to customer service ("Home of English As a Second Language!"), during which an electronic eyebrow was raised because the service person discovered that my name was associated with a credit card that had just been canceled. Even I didn't believe my subsequent explanation that, oh yeah, someone chose today to buy...um...baseball caps with my number so I had to cancel the card a couple of hours ago.
But eventually, payment was sorta kinda made and that highly coveted Blue Cross ID number will soon be winging its way to our currently ant-infested mailbox along with a sprinkling of condolence cards from folks still under the impression I died at the doctor's office.
Which brings us up to this very moment, when it's time for my brief but still painful exposure to the day's news. Clan MacGregor, where is thy sting?