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» Thursday, February 13, 2020Stop the Rain--I Want to Get Off
So we've been following this weather pattern. It gets cold for a few days. The air is bracing, and you can sleep deeply at night. Then the rain comes in and it gets warm. It's wet, clammy, but still not cold enough to sleep properly. Urgh.
So far February has been mostly boring. And I was wishing for boring, so that's fine.
Trouble is, it keeps being peppered with these little things like the neverending rain. Normally we like rain. Rain mean James gets to telework if it falls on one of his weekdays. Rain on the weekend is a pain because we can't take the power chair out, which means James doesn't go anywhere but supermarkets. And that certainly fits the description of "boring." Saturday we had a little dusting of snow that promptly turned into slipper slush. James decided discretion was the better part of valor and didn't get to go to his club meeting.
But we got a double whammy last week.
On Wednesday I sat down with my copy of TurboTax and played with numbers. And boy did we get a shock. I figured we might owe money. Last year we had a month of my old salary and the unused annual leave I got in a lump sum which was taxed to the max, and those would override the fact I wasn't taking any deductions. This year I knew would be a different animal. It turned out to be a mountain lion. We're getting a small amount back from the state, but we owe an enormous amount to the Feds because I had my withholding at about $13 a month. (Yeah, I went in there and changed it. There goes $100 a month out of my pension check.) This combined with knowing we were going to owe Emory St. Joseph the co-pays for James' hospital stay last month was one whammy.
Alas, that paled to what happened last Friday. Thursday we started a series of James' doctors' appointments that were partially already arranged and partially a result of his hospital stay, and he went that day to the podiatrist so he can get new orthopedic shoes (the old ones are three years old and very scuffed). Today we had the cardiologist and tomorrow we have the nephrologist.
Friday we went to Kaiser Glenlake for James' MRI to determine if he had spinal stenosis. It took about 20 minutes, and then we thought we might stop at MicroCenter on the way home. We got back out to the truck, let the ramp down, got the chair on it, and I started the lift. About halfway during the process there's this terrible racket like the lift is struggling, although it gets all the way up. We stared at each other in bewilderment. Then I looked down. The "shoe" (that's what they call it), the little curved piece that comes around the triangular cog when the ramp goes up, and which folds the ramp up when there's nothing on it, was bent to the left and twisted. The terrible noise was the metal frame of the shoe grinding against the part that the rubber roller at the tip of the shoe usually rolls up against when it is straight.
James grumbled about having to call Mobility Works and my having to take the truck up there on Monday and more money going out, so I asked why we couldn't take it up there right then? We couldn't go to MicroCenter—if we let the chair down again the ramp might not come back up at all—so we'll see if they can look at it. Maybe they kept that part in stock, and if not, we'd order a new part. And maybe they could tell us the best way to get the chair down.
So there we stood eventually all looking at this bent piece, and the service guy said "let me take this around back and check it closer," and drove off to the back with the truck. About ten minutes later, he and Scott (who's our contact at Mobility Works) came back out. There is no way, they said, that it bent like that by itself. Not only that, but the spring that holds the ramp up was also broken, and part of the shaft was bent. Basically the whole lift would be eventually unusable; it would fail because sometime while we were in the Glenlake office, someone hit the lift and then just drove off. Mobility Works told us to call the insurance company and if the adjuster didn't understand the structural problem, they could call them and they would show him or her just what's wrong.
So there I was on the phone with Nationwide as they talked to James about all the broken parts, standing at the back of the truck, juggling the phone, my insurance card, and my tablet case (I was reading at Kaiser and while we were waiting at Mobility Works). I kept talking on the phone as we got back into the truck preparing to go home, and when we crossed Hwy 41, and when we used the small road that cuts through Cobb EMC's property. It is only when I try to find the Mobility Works card in my tablet case for the Nationwide representative that I realize it is not in the cab with me.
Like an idiot I left it on top of the power chair!
So we turned around and went back to Mobility Works, with me having a cow all the way there because of the tablet and also because I had a cross-stitch kit in there with my good Gingher scissors. We got back to the parking lot, where I figured the Case Logic pouch I had everything in had fallen off, hoping no one had run it over. But it wasn't there. Went back inside just in case. Not there. They start helping us look for it. In desperation I started walking back up the road to 41 in hopes that it was at the side of the road.
Just then Scott who had just left for the day, came back down the road with the case in his hands. He found it on the other side of 41, at the side of the road leading through the Cobb EMC facility; I guess it had stayed on the chair until we went over a bump and then it bounced off.
It didn't get run over and everything appears to be safe except one corner of the tablet cover is cracked. I was furious at myself for doing something so stupid. And also royally pissed at whomever hit the damned lift and didn't even say anything.
Case Logic, on the other hand, makes good tablet cases. Thank you, Case Logic!!!
To make sure we could get the chair down off the lift and then raise the lift back up (otherwise the truck cannot be driven), they took off the bent "shoe" and another part. So the ramp will not stay up anymore; it has nothing to hold it. When we got home we had to tie it up with some rope and three bungee cords.
And this of course means James will have to use the rollator at Anachrocon. Oh, aren't his back and ankles and knees going to love that.
At least the insurance is going to cover the claim. The adjuster came on Monday, could see all the other damage we couldn't, and said we'd be seeing the check next week.