I’m working on a post for tomorrow or Saturday that’s heavier on real content. But I also promised (or threatened) that I’d post whatever the week delivered. So here goes that.
On my first week (allegedly) offline, Robert Burns’ line about how best-laid plans “gang aft agley” was a dominant theme.
I thought I would spend the week thinking Deep Thoughts. But.
Notice I’m posting this at 5-something a.m. In other words, nope, not from the library. From my cozy flannel-lined bed with a big pot of tea on the warmer beside me. Which is nice. But.
I spoke too soon when I wrote that I’d managed to quit Comcast after a mere three tries. I should have realized that, Comcast being Comcast, the fact that I had their written agreement to end my service on February 2, followed by multiple confirming emails that, yes, they were going to end my service on February 2 … did not in any way imply that they actually would end my service. Ever.
This is the company that directs all attempts to quit it to their “retention” department. The company whose seven-day-a-week chat line for ending service yields only the information that nobody is on duty, ever, and oh hey, give us a call instead!. The company that, if you do call or allow them to call you (which I won’t), uses “retention” scripts written by psychologists for maximum manipulation not only to keep you on board but to entice you to buy more and pricier services. The company so notorious for its arm-twisting to keep any customer from departing that people wishing to become former customers have resorted to lying about their reasons (“I’m entering the Peace Corps and going to Malawi”) so the company will “permit” them to exit.
In short, the most hated company in America, beating out such giants of customer service as United Airlines and such pillars of honor as F*c*b**k.
And here I thought that I’d actually get away from them after a mere three attempts. Ha!
Of course I love having Internet. But that’s just the problem; I love having Internet. So much so that I want it GONE. Still working on that. Deep Thoughts must wait.
The week has also been occupied with minor, but brain-consuming, medical matters, with several doctor appointments including a trip to an out-of-town oral surgeon.
The good side of this is that Commentariat member RW has taken it upon himself to fund the tooth extraction — with extreme gallantry and sometimes over my protests. Thank you AGAIN, RW.
The good side, too, is that next week a nasty, infected root-canaled tooth will be out of my head. It’s been unsymptomatic, but friends and readers may be right to suspect the bad tooth has something to do with my formerly iron immune system turning to mush.
It’s funny, though. When you get inserted into the medical system after years of self-care and doctor avoidance, it’s like being in a scary sci-fi movie — and not one where you get to be the hero.
Tech. It changes fast — and not necessarily for the better.
I thought it was hot stuff when, at last month’s exam, my town dentist took instantly computerized xrays rather than those old cardboardy films. Golly gee whiz, Ma.
But this week at the oral surgeon’s, everything was so much higher tech I thought I was in one of those movies where they harvest your organs and give your innards to oligarchs who crave immortality.
I had my first experience with a panoramic xray — where you just stand in place and the machine goes ’round and ’round your head.
I previously thought that taking temperature by sticking something in the ear was the Latest and Greatest, but the surgeon’s staff read my temp by simply pointing a gadget at my forehead and not touching me at all.
Then everything — xray, blood pressure, heart rate, and I don’t know what else — was projected onto a giant screen for the enjoyment of staff, patient, and every casual passer-by in the building.
Now, this may all be familiar to you guys who regularly hang out in the medical world. To me, it was novel and rather terrifying.
The surgeon’s staff also made me fill out more extensive paperwork than anyone, ever. And (oddly) not one word of it had to do with teeth. His office staff now knows that I consume about one alcoholic drink a month, that I’ve never had cancer, that I had my tonsils out at 16, and that I’m taking vitamin C, elderberry, and monolaurin for my immune system (thank you, FM, SF, RW, JW, D3, and Ellendra, among others).
Even with my selective dodging and weaving (never fill in the blank for SSN or give a home address if you can help it), the deep queries convinced me of the outfit’s organ-harvesting intentions before I ever stepped within the ominously whirring circle of the panorama machine.
But. I had to laugh. Because his fancy four-foot panoramic projection of my facial bones barely even suggested the infection in that tooth (which is apparently just getting started). For a good look at the problem, the surgeon had to have his assistant call up the xrays my small-town dentist emailed him. He projected the dentist’s view of that troublesome tooth and concluded that, yes, it should be yanked.
Whatever that impressive panorama might reveal to someone who knows what to look for, it didn’t do much of a job revealing … the very issue for which I was there.
But OMG, it was all terrifyingly impressive.
If you don’t hear from me after I go in for the extraction next week, you’ll know I was right about the organ harvesting business.