Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dr. Google and the slide towards imminent death (and wrong diagnosis)

Somehow I have a big lump. It's small and round and sore, almost like a tiny tumor. I have been worrying about it ever since its discovery. It's definitely not supposed to be there.

Definitely a sign of imminent death.

I turned to Dr Google who exclaims, in full pictorial horror, that "Bartholin's Gland Cysts" happens to old people so I've just confirmed that it's part of the inevitable slide towards my demise.

I texted my sister, next, a nurse. She tried to reassure me. "It's common."

"How long do they last?"



I waited until my cubicle neighbors left for their coffee break and called my doctor for an appointment. "I have a lump" I said as three people marched back into the office. Fuck! Of all the days not to take the usual twenty minutes.

A few hours later, I found myself on a steel table.

Doc grabbed her magnifying glass.

"Oh I could see why you thought it was a Bartholin's gland cyst -- it's right near it. But no, it's just a big pimple. An infected follicle gland. You're fine."

A zit?? You're kidding me.

I went home and lanced it over the sink. I don't recommend this at home but I will just say yoga classes come in handy in the most unexpected ways..

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"Sorry your mom died several months ago, here's some strawberries." <-- what my condolence note may as well have said.

Today I was looking over my credit card statement and noticed a charge for "Linus & Gwen*, sweet treats, $48" for 2 days ago.

Hmm, I remember taking one of my favorite teenagers to get ice cream but I didn't think Baskin Robbins had a parent company, and I didn't think we spent almost 50 bucks. Who's Linus & Gwen?

I scrolled a bit and saw the ice cream charge confirming indeed, it was not that.

Where else did I go Tuesday? How could I have purchased almost $50 of sweets two days ago and not remember it? And where are the treats?! If I bought something delectable, there's zero evidence of it. I haven't gone foodshopping in nearly two weeks. There's NOTHING to eat in this house. I had to satisfy both my hunger and my sweet tooth last night with a vitamin D pill. There is no way I bought any goodies two days ago. Even if I had, $48 is an odd number. Occasional treats are usually only obtained in single servings.

It was such a mystery I called the store.

"Hi, I'm looking over my credit card statement and I see a charge from your company, can you tell me more?"

"Sure! What's your telephone number? I'll look up your order."

I gave her all my info and she said, "yep, okay, it says here you ordered a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries."

Me: "What? When? Is this a subscription? I mean, I remember placing an order a few months ago but nothing recent."

Them: "Oh this order was placed Feb. 11, for delivery to your friends. It includes a condolence note."

Me: "OHMYGOD wait... you mean THIS is the order that was supposed to go to my friends after their MOM died? Why is it only going out now?"

Them: [cough] "Um, it's not going out now... it's scheduled to go out in two weeks. But that must be why the charge is appearing now."

Me [after checking my credit card statements to make sure I didn't pay for duplicate orders]: "I did NOT realize this wouldn't go out for months. Why didn't I get a note? Why wasn't there something that indicated the delay?"

Them: "There should have been..."

Me: "Well, I'm checking my email and my spam filter and everything and don't see it. If there is a notification, it needs to happen at the time of the order and be more obvious. I can't imagine how I would have glossed over that."

Them: "Sorry. Hey, we have white chocolate truffles on sale for 42% off, would you like to order some?"

Me: [Wanting to say "AYFKM, what, so I can have it in 3 months??"]

Anyway I told the woman I wasn't trying to be a difficult customer, but this was a pretty big deal. My gift was supposed to express sympathy after a loss. I didn't want to send JUST a card which so I sent something sweet. Meanwhile, as far as my friends knew, I never even acknowledged their mother's death. Also, I sent something to everyone else in the family (from another company) making the omission even more obvious. So no, I'm not buying white chocolate truffles!

I eventually talked to a customer service supervisor who apologized profusely and reimbursed shipping (yay?). But wow, the next time people die and I need to acknowledge it, no strawberries!

*Name changed to protect the company's privacy.