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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

One of Those (CENSORED) Days

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, bitching, complaining, rant

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?"
"Yes!"
"So you can legally write a prescription for the drugs?"
"Yes..."
"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?

48 comments:

Mike aka Proof said...

That really sucks. Hope there was some small catharsis in the retelling.
Hope tomorrow goes much better than today!

Julian said...

So sorry for the level of suckitude you were doused with; but Twain said, allegedly, that a man should start the day by consuming a dead toad, because after that, his day could only get better. And btw- a dear friend of mine, who recently passed away, God rest his soul, was a pharmacist in a small nearby town, for over 40 years. The first few times that druggies with very obviously forged prescriptions, he did the right thing, calling cops, etc. It was a total waste of time and effort, as he had to show up in court, sit for hours, give a five minute testimony testimony and watch the drug forger plead down to a small fine. Eventually he just told everyone that he was out of whatever their Rx was for and told them to go to Walgreens or CVS. His philosophy became, screw it, I'm busy.
Good luck for the rest

Squidball said...

Truth is stranger than fiction. You just can't make this stuff up. Thanks for the chuckles, and sympathies to you and family for a trying day.It will take something wild to top this one. :-)

Jess said...

I had a lens fall out of my glasses two weeks ago, while on a three day trip through the Hill Country of Texas. I was lucky to have my wife's glasses for the readers at the bottom, which proved handy for tightening the loose screw with the ten dollar piece of crap screw driver included with the crappy repair kit bought at a local pharmacy. A trip to the eye glass store finished the repair, since they have experts that can see the tiny screw.

I don't recommend too much of the current news, unless you want to add laryngitis to your current ailments, or be part of the news. I had to limit my exposure to the madness, since I'm getting old, cranky, and have too many thoughts of how to get even.

Savannah Sue said...

I feel your pain Mr. J, as I have really bad tinnitus as well. I have to use a fan as white noise which somewhat helps when I’m trying to go to sleep at night. I certainly hope the rest of the week goes better for you and that your UTI disappears…

Gee M said...

There is some good news...Hubbard is out, Berry came in second to last, and the (sorta) women's soccer team lost again...knowing millions of Americans are hoping to see you lose may have a detrimental effect on your performance...ya think?

Dan said...

Oh, good Lord.
I pray your days get better and your "adventures" become less of a pain.

I do feel just a little bit guilty that I was glad it all happened to you and not to me, though. Sorry.

RayK said...

Just wanted to give a big 'Thank You!!!' for taking one for the team. All that bad juju concentrated in one spot had to suck, but it made the day better for the rest of us who didn't get any of it.

Hope your UTI gets better, and that you find a live toad on your breakfast plate in the morning.

dogbrain said...

Ouch!

Hoping better days are ahead for you.

Bobo the Hobo said...

God spun The Wheel and your name came up? Yikes! Sorry it all compressed into one big spitball of suck and hoping your UTI clears up soon. BTW, whoever came up with those new patient forms should be publicly flogged on national television.

Anonymous said...

Life is indeed, as an old adage has it, just one damned thing after another.

On the bright side— Okay, I've only heard about it, but I swear it's out there somewhere— at this point the law of averages practically demands that both of us are due for some dandy days ahead!

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Sorry to hear about your UTI saga. I went through the same thing last year; the antibiotics had about the same effect as sugar pills, but heavy doses of cranberry juice and daily gobbling of dried cranberry capsules (at COSTCO) seemed to do the trick. Also layed off any alcohol. Hardly scientific, but these days, what is?

Haven't seen any toads here in parched Arizona, but we do have tons of tiny lizards....all alive and scurrying all over the place to eat insects, but I guess they don't count.

Hang in there with the UTI.

Fish Out of Water said...

Could be worst. You could have woke up yesterday,. turned in your bed and realize Nancy Pelosi or Omar, or AOC, Maxine Waters was sleeping soundly next to you. ;-)

NaCly Dog said...

Sorry to hear all this. A brief prayer sent ascending.
A UTI may be telling you don't be such an athlete.

But there is future happiness, always. Remember, you are a National Treasure.

Pennoak said...

I thought when you said the Dr juggled your manly bits, you were going to say that he gave you a cystoscopy. Now that is an ouch. Hope you’re doing better today.

Nancy Dickerson said...

Oh help! Your experience at the doctor's office just makes me cringe. And the dentist who called the police: sickening! How can we expect to protect ourselves? Maybe he should have kept a gun in his bedside tray? Then it would be a shootout the police would notice--maybe! May things go better for you this week.

Rod said...

Jeez. Worst string of irritations and best "sermon" I've heard for a while. I'm not going to complain about anything. Would this help? Load up a truck with "Clan"; take some wind chimes, and go camp by a remote lake for a while. Maybe better stay under a tarp so you don't get sun-burned or pooped-on, and be sure the dome lights are off in the truck.

Easygo said...

Re: the urinary tract infection. My (former) doc underprescribed the amount of the correct antibiotic. Should have been 2 weeks, not 1. Idiot.

Jerryskids said...

Thank you for that! Now when my daily aggravations get me down I can always say "At least I don't have a urinary tract infection" to cheer myself up.

Sortahwitte said...

My friend, Stilt. A wise man once said: "This, too, shall pass."
And then I broke his nose. A speedy recovery and passing of all travails.

TrickyRicky said...

Sincere condolences in regards to your very, very trying day. The UTI and tinnitus are, I suppose, part of the oh-so-painful process of growing older. The frustrating parts, such as insane tech failure loops and couldn't care less "helpers" seem so unnecessary and are the worst components of a terrible day.

When one adds in the depressing and frankly terrifying descent of our once wonderful country into servitude and madness, it's hard not to feel like the only component of one's wardrobe is a hair shirt.

Cheers, stiff upper lip, and all that rot.

Fred Ciampi said...

I remember way back when in San Francisco in the mid to late 1800s there was a lot of lawlessness and some certain folks got kind of pissed about bad guys just running amuck and there not being enough law enforcement to make for a peaceful society. These peace loving folks decided that they should be more vigilant and watchful about lawbreakers. And from that the vigilantes were born. After a few hundred lynchings the city fathers decided that more law enforcement was needed. And the rest is history.

Shelly said...

Oh my. I can feel your pain about the UTI and the tinnitus. Many years ago, when I had a raging UTI, the doc prescribed an antibiotic that had no effect on it at all. But I had to take it all until he would give me another kind. All the while the burning pain when "going" continued unabated for twice as long as necessary. I too have had tinnitus for many years. Too many loud concerts and listening to music with headphones while mowing the lawn. Most of the time, you can just ignore it because other sounds take precedence. At night, quiet in the dark, clang clang clang went the trolley. Most times I put on music to put me to sleep. It works. These things you just put up with because the alternative is much worse.

Ole Scrapper said...

Lordy sir... al capp had a gezzer that had a cloud walking around with him. I'm thinking your cloud has some boomers with the rain, scheesh. Hope tomorrow comes up with a bit of "Clan" to push the day forward.

Bobo said...


@Fred….but just think - if the city fathers would have kept their noses out of the vigilanty-ism, maybe the lawlessness could have been wiped out completely and law enforcement would never be needed again. Swift and sure justice for wrong-doers.

Stilt, I too feel your pain. If something goes wrong for me first thing in the morning I know more is to come following. Might as well go take a nap to trick karma into thinking a new day has begun.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

Thanks for the reminder! (goes and tightens glasses screws)

Eskyman said...

Besides my condolences, all I can offer is a suggestion: get a portable charger for you phone! These days they're pretty cheap, and I carry one in my glove compartment, just in case, and it's been a lifesaver more than once.

Here's one at Amazon, but there are lots & lots of them available: https://smile.amazon.com/Portable-26800mAh%E3%80%902019-Capacity%E3%80%91Power-External-High-Speed/dp/B07Z8X9SHX/ref=sr_1_11?crid=3I88RCL47GT3P&dchild=1&keywords=cellphone+battery+back&qid=1628096691&sprefix=cellphone+battery%2Caps%2C682&sr=8-11

Colby Muenster said...

Well, look on the bright side. There's the.... Erm.... what about..... or the, you know....

Never mind. I do hope and pray it gets much much better!

I think maybe, if I were a doctor in that situation, I'd call them in a prescription for a high strength laxative, and tell the druggist to put it in an oxy bottle.

@Fred C.,

It would seem San Francisco did not learn their lesson. Time for the vigilantes to reappear methinks.

@Gee M,

I never thought I'd be rooting for American athletes to get beat, but the women's soccer team kneeling at the flag pushed me over the edge. Go Australia! I'd love to see that purple haired b*tch go home empty handed.

Fred Ciampi said...

@Colby
Yes, it is time for the vigilantes to rise again in about 100 cities. I grew up in San Francisco when it was a nice place to be. Moved to Appalachia 30+ years ago. Not sorry for the move. Our 8 kids, 17 grand kids, and 24 greats love it here too.

Anne said...

Cranberry is already mentioned--and you can get cranberry capsules, thus easily taking a LOT, and you can put cranberry sauce in your scrambled eggs or your salads, etc; and you can enjoy dried cranberries--a lot like eating raisins. Once over the UTI, you may want to include either capsules or cranberries in any other form, on a daily basis, as a preventative.

jayjay said...

Did they order a urine culture and sensitivity? Perhaps you need a different antibiotic.
The test will show which antibiotics are sensitive to the infection. Just a thought.

John the Econ said...

I'd suggest reading some Johnny Optimism to restore your perspective, but...

Remedial courses - A new one to add to the list: I understand that every state employee and contractor of the state of New York is now going to have to take a new course in "sexual harassment" designed by Andrew Cuomo to teach state employees and contractors how not to behave like Andrew Cuomo.

If I was your dentist being held up by a sociopath, I'd have written a prescription for estrogen, or perhaps a colonoscopy prep. Since nobody can read doctors handwriting, how would he know?

Submitting your personal data to a phishing site: I wish I could say this was an aberration, but probably not. For decades now, doctor offices have been the top sources as the leakage of personal data for identity theft. You were right not to submit. In fact, I wouldn't do it in their office either, since it's probably the same web system you were submitting to (without the benefit of malware protection) You might have to find another dentist unless you want to do another blog post like this regarding the fun you'll be having when your ID is spewed across the dark web. (Been there, not fun)

Anonymous said...

@Fred Ciampi, the difference and problem today is that we do have a supposed "law enforcement" bureaucracy in place today that is dedicated to only enforcing the law against otherwise pliant, law abiding citizens. It won't tolerate vigilantism.

Anonymous said...

OMG...your me! I am on my 5th UTI in a year. My doc was giving me 250 MG of CIPROFLOXACIN HCL every 3 months for the UTI's. This last time he up'd the dosage to 500 MG twice a day for 7 days and within 2 days the UTI pain was gone. The urgency to go finally is going away and I'm on day 4 of the medication. Whatever your doc gave you, ask for the one I'm on if you haven't had it before. If all else fails, buy a TEN'S unit and shock your genital pain away. I'd let you borrow my TEN'S UNIT, but if you used it, I wouldn't want it back LOL

When you get your next pair of new glasses, put the old ones in your glove compartment of your car. You'll always remember they are there (hopefully) and will have them if the newer ones break. I've used toothpicks for screws... put one in the hole, then break it off.Put a couple of those in the glove box also.

Last week I had my first Amazon package stolen off of my porch. Hope the thief likes the $15 meat thermometer they stole along with the batteries. Hope they use the thermometer spike up their arse.

Mary the Former Democrat of 36 years. If I could afford a T-shirt I recently saw, I'd buy it. It says on it: When I Die Don't Let Me Vote Democrat (love it!)
My 103 year old house is falling apart and I can't even afford a stinking new T-shirt.
(thank you for your sense of humor and your wonderful views of our changing world. Get Well soon!)

PS... I am not Anonymous. I just hate Google. Mary the Former Democrat

Rod said...

INVITING AN OPEN DISCUSION ABOUT TINNITUS: There's been mention of that malady so I want to mention a few things: (1) I have periodic not chronic Tinnitus but in just one ear and that makes a difference to ear Dr. If in both ears he'd keep trying to diagnose but one ear: No. See a neurologist. (2) When Tinnitus really gets going a LOT, both steady & loud which is NOT all the time.... it can also start a thing called Nystagmus IE Twitchy eyes IE Dancing Eyes. And along with this is some mild imbalance but NOT serious vertigo. (3) And finally a self-discovered thing I'll tell the Neurologist when can get in to see them: When both both one-sided Tinnitus and Nystagmus are going strong; I can close one eye (one eye only); & both T & N will stop in a few seconds if not sometimes immediately. But they will return & build back up again when I open both eyes. QUESTION: Does any of this sound familiar to others with Tinnitus? BTW: Both Ear & Eye Drs. & Dentist all say those parts and senses are OK. Many thanks for any useful input. - Rod

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- What a delight and much-needed balm all of your comments are! Obviously, there's nothing special about my various trials and tribulations. And they're even funny (barely) when I can gripe about them. But sheesh! Happily, today is going in a much better direction.

Responding to various comments at semi-random, I've definitely added cranberry tablets to my daily regimen of meds and supplements. And my UTI is pretty much gone; apparently it just takes a couple of extra days for the inflammation to calm after the Cipro has nuked the bacteria. So THAT certainly helps reduce my stress!

It was suggested that I have a charger for my phone in the car - and I had one! But when I plugged my phone in, the car gave me a message that it was a "bad USB device" and wouldn't work. Because it was that kind of day. Since then, I've tried another cable that both the phone and car are happy with, so I think I won't have a recurrence of that problem.

I actually have a TENS unit, but I never even considered using it on my unit (so to speak). Seriously, I'll do a bit of research to see how that can be used to reduce pain when needed (and I'm assuming the electrodes do NOT go directly on the, um, lightning rod).

Regarding vigilantes, in an effort to keep this blog from disappearing I'll just say that it's a very interesting bit of US history. And that we can learn from history.

Group hug for my fellow tinnitus sufferers. When I was first afflicted (and I've got it pretty bad) I went to the top audiologist in the area, who gave me a useless hearing test and said "okay, you've got tinnitus." In full panic mode, I asked him what could be done to stop the incessant screeching in my ears. "Well," said the expert,"some people put a bullet in their heads." So I didn't really feel like I got my $400-worth for that particular medical opinion. Happily, I do just fine these days by always, always, always having white noise, music, or other sounds to help drown out my ear-banshees. You should see my collection of vacuum cleaner recordings!

It's just now hitting 4pm, which kicks off happy hour around here (I know it should be 5 o'clock, but I'm pretty sure that daylight saving time is in play somehow), so I'll wrap this up. But again, THANK YOU for the messages of fun, support, and advice!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Rod- Wow, that's an impressive and confusing set of symptoms! My tinnitus is in both ears and is constant. Stress makes it worse. And it doesn't give me nystagmus, although as a party trick I've always been able to make my eyes perform in a nystagmus-like manner. Not that it's a talent that has improved my life any. I hope others here can give you some useful advice!

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

@Stilton: To quote Alan Jackson, "It's five o'clock SOMEWHERE." Also, if you want to do a Marty Feldman imitation, look left, cross your eyes, then look right...

Ben Rumson said...

Stiltie, I hope this run is over soon for you.

The King to Winston Chuchill. "How do you manage drinking during the day?" " Churchill, practice."
All the best to you. Thankfully haven't had the urinary tract problems, but only the much minor one of the glasses screw coming out. After the first time requiring help, I used a screwdriver made of good steel and a SMALL bit of blue loctite on the threads. No trouble in the years since.
Now carry the screwdriver and reading glasses with me in case.
Also always a book to appointments. Current one,Killing the SS, next one American Marxism. Also space the depressing ones out with things on Mining, firearms etc. No Snoflake reading, limit my exposure to the negative news (most in so called mainstream media)
Had to unsubscribe from The New American magazine in the '90s as too much exposure to what is going on was getting me down.
We need to know these things, but dwelling on it too much is harmful to our health.
Negative breeds negative and the opposite is true also.
All the best my friend...

herbssolutionsbynature said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Navyvet said...

I've had the same issues with a CC company (not to name names, but their initials are Master Card). English was barely spoken and even less understood. I canceled the card and went though the hassle of informing the affected companies. Still the charges showed up on the new card. Another call to the "help" center and talking to someone not very fluent in English. I asked how that happened. "Oh", I was told, "the scammer simply called them and they gave him my new account number." Arrrrggghhhh!
I went on line and found a cc company that advertised that their help center was in the USA, which of course could still mean someone who didn't speakee English. But it has worked out fine......so far. Their initials are Discovery. Good bye Master Card.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Navyvet- Sorry you went through that but I appreciate the tip if I need a change in CC company!

Colby Muenster said...

So.... the purple haired b*tch won a bronze medal along with the rest of the I-hate-the-USA team (save one member who actually stood for the flag). Dang.... I would like to express my extreme thinks to all the USA Olympic team members who are proud to represent their country. I also sincerely hope that any potential sources of endorsement contracts to these anti-American women stay away in droves (thanks Harvey Korman).

Dan said...

@Pennoak. I had to have a cystoscope exam many years ago. When the guys back at the shop asked me how it went, I told them “Have you ever seen a corndog?”

@Stilt. University of Texas in Irving?

@NavyVet. If you get in the card market again, check out USAA. My experience with them has been very positive, to include going through the bogus charge thing. Their commercials suck, but their credit card and insurance stuff seems pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Just a note from someone with 3 Rare Diseases who has taken sooooo many different medications in the past 30 years since the 1st rare disease was diagnosed. I was put on 500MG of Naproxen for the inflammation running rampant thru my body, and it really helped with the pain. Way back then,the pharmacy barely gave any info on medications. No note that I should take the anti-inflammatory with food, so now I have like 6 or more ulcers which bleed all of the time & has required 2 blood transfusions in the past 4 years. They also did not mention that anti-inflammatory meds can cause SEVERE TINNITUS. The first week of gobbling them down I noticed my ears were ringing, a lot. By about the 3rd week of use of the med, I was walking with my dad and I couldn't hear a word he was saying. I kept telling him to "TALK LOUDER!" After saying that like 5 times, he asked me "what's wrong with your damn ears?" I didn't know it was the Naproxen that was making me deaf with bells ringing non stop in my ear drums! Once I slowed down on how much I was taking, the tinnitus s.l.o.w.l.y stopped. It took more than a couple of years for it to go away. I still take the Naproxen, but now I cut the pills in half, and I eat before taking half a pill, and eat after taking it. I also found out, several decades later, that you NEVER LAY DOWN soon after taking anti-inflammatory meds as they will lay in your stomach and start burning holes in it. So if you take ANY OVER THE COUNTER anti-inflammatory meds, switch over to Tylenol and eventually the tinnitus will gradually go away.

If you wear the TENS while peeing, you may give yourself an extra jolt of electricity which maybe might enlarge something that will make the wife happy. LMAO

Mary the Former Democrat

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Colby Muenster- Frankly, I was sorry the women's soccer team even got the bronze. Refreshingly, a number of medal winners have proclaimed their pride in representing the USA. Good for them!

@Dan- I see what you did there (grin).

@Mary the Former Democrat- Wow, sorry about the rare diseases! But thank you for the additional tips on the proper usage of anti-inflammatories - useful information!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that WAS a bad day. I can only help with the tinnitus. A few years ago I was starting to have more frequent bouts with those sounds and the tinfoil hat didn't help so I went to the ear doctor. Poking around the ear didn't yield any insights so she ordered an MRI, which revealed some sinus congestion that I was kinda aware of but it wasn't too bothersome so I'd just been putting up with it. Anyway, I started using saline spray, 3 squirts per nostril twice a day, and after about six weeks the tinnitus faded away and hasn't returned. I still use the spray each night. During the dry winter months it keeps the sinus cavities moist which helps with virus protection. I'm convinced it helped keep covid away. When I asked her about it at a later visit she said that studies show that the saline spray is as effective as hand washing at keeping viruses at bay. Try it for a couple of months and see if it helps.

Anonymous said...

And Cipro...I've used it, our kids used it when they were young, but some people have severe allergic reactions to it, even if they've used it before. If you (or anyone) reacts to an antibiotic, get in touch with your doctor right away. Check online for a list of the usual allergic reactions, or read the fine print on the info sheet.

I didn't use to even think about that until an otherwise healthy co-worker had a severe reaction, in spite of having used Cipro before. It got so bad that he couldn't endure it any more and decided to cash in his chips. Early 50s, an ourdoors type, excellent health. Sadly missed.