It wasn’t a palace but it was the bank’s and mine. I was living in a house that didn’t have pipes like swiss cheese and there was a kitchen that actually worked. In the other house, two of the burners on the range sort of worked and I had to slam the oven door to get it to close. My cousin had picked it up from its place beside a dumpster. I felt envious of the people who had put it there. Surely they had replaced it with better. But now I not only had a range that worked, I had a dishwasher and a washer and dryer. No more having to haul my clothes to the laundromat. I felt like I had moved on up to the East Side.
It was time for DD to come home and get ready to go back to California for her junior year in college. I went to DS1’s place and we loaded her things up. She had yet to see the house. I had moved all the furniture I could by myself so the rooms were barely furnished. The better to see the layout, I guess. When we came in the front door, I was feeling proud of my accomplishment. I waited for her opinion. “It’s fine. It isn’t what I would want but if it’s what you like, it’s fine.” Well. That partially deflated my balloon but she was being honest and that was better than if she’d lied. And it was true. It was my house and I was satisfied with it.
The responsibility of DD’s flight to the west coast fell to me. My brother-in-law had taken care of getting her to and from Spain and now it was my turn. I booked her flight out of Nashville. The despised drive to and from Atlanta was a thing of the past. The day came for her to leave and we packed the little Honda and were off.
She hadn’t been home long enough for me to get used to her being there so missing her wasn’t as wrenching as it had been before. It still wasn’t easy to see her go through the gate to board the plane. At least I didn’t dissolve in a puddle of tears for the next couple of weeks.
October came and it was time for the new computer system to be installed at work. One of my co-workers and I had flown to Missouri where we were trained on it and our brains were picked clean so it could be set up for our facility. It was a long process but interesting. I knew I was going to like it. It was a real time system. No waiting until day end to be able to view transactions. Now it was back to the hospital where the systems ran parallel long enough to transfer all the data. It didn’t all go smoothly but I’d found out long before that nothing in this life is perfect. What was comforting was it was Y2K ready.
For several years we’d been with the previous corporation, the billing was done for us. All the ins and outs of electronic claims was worked out in the IT department in Houston. Now it was up to us and I knew we were in over our heads. I asked for a billing system but I was turned down. We could do it. The management had confidence in us. I doggedly pursued it and had a man come out and demonstrate a program for us. It was no sale. It was the first time I’d heard “no” from the new owners. True, the system was priced at $10,000 and there were monthly fees but one lost claim recouped could pay for it. It was still a resounding no.
The news was full of dire predictions of what could happen when the year 2000 rolled around. Everyone was cautioned to lay in a supply of food and water. We were to have a plan to survive should the heavens fall.
The fireplace across the corner had obviously been used so I could burn wood if necessary to keep warm if the power went off for an extended period of time. I wanted something with less muss and fuss, though. It was gas log shopping time. I’d had the line run to the house and a meter had been installed.
There was a place some 40 miles away that had the logs I wanted. DS1 and family had a propane tank and they’d gotten a very attractive set of logs for their fireplace that was larger than mine. I measured and went to spend more money.
The store was doing a barrel house business. I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a good idea to have an alternate source of heat. I paid my money and came home with the logs in the trunk of the car. I had been told to contact the gas company to have them installed.
Next day, I rang them up. Sure, they could install the logs but it would be after the first of the year. They were all booked up until then. Oh, woe! What was I to do? That was part of my Y2K plan! All I could do was pray that the computers that controlled the electrical grid wouldn’t fail.
As for the rest of my “plan”, I downloaded and installed the Y2K patch for my computer, laid in a supply of bandaids and batteries, made sure I had plenty of candles and bought a windup radio. Plus I bought two more, one for DS1 and one for DS2. If everything went belly up and the disaster that was predicted occurred, at least we would be able to hear what was going on. If there were no power, I was sure the radio stations would have generators.
In the interim, I was enjoying my kitchen. I’d come home from work and cook up a skillet of fried potatoes ‘n onions and eat ’em all. Breakfast was usually eggs fixed some way, toast with avocado, OJ (I liked fresh squeezed best) and a banana. Always a banana. Many meals were accompanied by fake steak and phony baloney. I needed to get that soy in so I could get off hormones. Even though I ate eggs and dairy, I’d drink soy milk, too, so I’d be sure to get enough.
November was when I always had my annual exam. When I was called back to the exam room, the nurse had me step on the scales. Horrors! I hadn’t been weighing and I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. There was no way I could take off enough to make it any better. She’d taken my blood pressure prior to that and it was a good thing because I knew it was up. I was shown to the room, given a paper gown and sheet and I waited. And waited. By and by the doctor came in. Glancing over my chart, it was his turn to look dismayed. He said, “What has happened??” I asked what did he mean even though I knew what it was. He told me I’d gained 50 lubs since I was there a year before. Trying to act nonchalant, I said, “I cook and I eat what I cook.” “That doesn’t explain all of it.” He ordered lab work.
After the exam, I got dressed and the nurse drew my blood. Now I had to wait again but this time it was for a couple of days. The call came from the doctor’s office. My TSH was elevated. I had hypothyroidism. I had to start taking medication. My hairdresser told me to never miss a dose. One of my co-workers said I would have to take it the rest of my life. It was like being sentenced.
Thanksgiving came. I spent the weekend with DS1 and family. DS1 liked to have a real live dead turkey so my DIL obliged. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled anything that was supposed to be edible that came close. It was awful. I felt like I was going to choke. When the time came to carve it, I stood with my hand over my heart. DS1 didn’t appreciate my sentiments.
I don’t remember when I started using Google. It might have been before then but maybe not. I did know how to use a search engine and use it, I did. I’ve always been a curious sort so I wanted to know why I had developed hypothyroidism and what I could do about it besides medicate forever and ever. What I found didn’t make me happy.