Weekend Interlude


an intervening episode, period, space, etc.

First things first...Happy Valentine's Day! This is a special day for many folks, and we are no exception. Ah, memories...

Then there is this picture that seemed apropos:

[Couldnt resist. Chalk it up to my wacky sense of humor.]

Ok, on to the real reason you are probably here: an update on Mr. T. And that's why I titled this post "Weekend Interlude," as in an intervening couple of days before the action resumes in our adventure...big time. But first, allow me to digress...quite a lot...

Yesterday was beyond wacky. Wacky cubed, you might say. We started the day right after coffee (breakfast was a protein bar on the run), dashing off to the cardiologist's office on the west side of Winston-Salem. Mr. T was scheduled for a cardiac ultrasound (as mentioned in my last post). His heart rate has responded well over the past week to the higher dosage of meds, although he became aware of his blood pressure monitor lighting up the little red light for "irregular heartbeat." Still, things seemed to be more positive than the week before. 

After the test (which was a new and interesting experience for him), we decided to move our Valentine's meal out forward a day and try out a new spot for lunch (I mean, really...how many people actually celebrate Friday the 13th, I ask you?). Although the last thing Mr. T needs right now is to be exposed to all and sundry germs, you just can't help wanting to have a special time out together. I was wearing a red sweater (see picture) I knitted several years ago for Valentine's Day in the pattern called Minimalist Cardigan, plus a heart-shaped pin, so that counts, right?

We headed to downtown Winston and were the first folks in the door of The Old Fourth Street Filling Station (click here to go there: http://theoldfourthstreetfillingstation.com). We started with the hot, creamy Spinach Dip and pita chip appetizer and then polished off the day's special lunch offering, hot and crispy fish & chips. Excellent on both counts! By the time we left, we probably could have auctioned off our table to the gathering crowd.

Next up, a trip to the AT&T store in HPNC. Beat me, beat me with a stick. So why subject myself to this torture? My iPhone took a dunk in a cup of Diet Pepsi about a month ago and has not been the same since...imagine that. It finally refused to take a charge this past week, breathing its final gasp on Wednesday. The AT&T tech confirmed the demise, but guessed it might be a problem with the charger port...possibly including a bad battery. Repair the "old" one (which is only 14 months old) or buy a new one? That is only one of the many questions that consumed the next three hours of our lives.

[As you read the following, please remember that I am certainly capable of making choices between Choice A and Choice B. I help clients do this all of the time! I can even factor in Choice C, but I usually find adding a third consideration just muddies the waters without giving any greater returns. I'm all about narrowing it down to the manageable Magic Two. If options begin to balloon beyond three, I start getting downright twitchy...to use one word for it. So, to recap: having two options is ideal. Three can be dealt with. Four or more makes me crazy. ]

Wouldn't you know it, the phone was two months beyond warranty (which may or may not have covered a soda-swim). So, the AT&T tech hands us a card for a local (thank the good Lord) repair facility. Mr. T calls them and is told it could cost $75-125 to repair...and while the estimate visit was free, they were backed up and it may take 3 hours to be able to give us an estimate. Ok, Choice A to consider: take the dead phone to CPR (Cell Phone Repair...how clever...:-).

Next on the agenda was the discussion about a new phone. I am reasonably happy with both my iPhone and with AT&T, so I thought this part would be easy, since I was not entertaining other makes or other carriers. I was, however, thinking that if I had to buy a new iPhone, that I might go ahead and get a 6 like Mr. T has or a ginormous 6-plus like Missy M uses (upgrading from my current much-loved, pretty, petite, bright yellow...albeit dead 5c). 

Back in the analog days when I worked for Vanguard Cellular (which was eventually acquired by AT&T), you picked out a phone, you picked a rate plan, you paid for the phone and one month's bill in advance...and they activated it, hey presto! You've got cell! That was so 1996.

Now? Good grief. It seems they are all about financing the phone...which I did not want. And if I bought the phone outright (to get the best pricing), I had to sign up for a two-year contract (which my previous carrier Northstate, who was bought by AT&T, never required, so I'm grandfathered in), which I'd rather not do. And even if I agreed to the 2-year contract (which the Tech admitted was going away "soon"), I would be paying MORE per month...for the same minutes and data plan. So, Choice B was buy a newer model of iPhone from my current carrier and pay more per month...for nothing.

Putting some distance between ourselves and this daymare, we headed across town to CPR...to leave the dead phone for an estimate. Lo and behold, in the same shopping center was a Verizon store...and Missy M had just directed me (on a call on Mr. T's phone) to bite the bullet and get some competitors' (namely T-Mobile and Verizon) information. Enter Choice C. 

Blah, blah, blah...numbers basically the same, except an offer for a monthly "bounty" for leaving my current carrier. Nice guy, but still...I'm sinking fast. Heading to T-Mobile (back across town), I hit my wall. I asked Mr. T to head home, realizing I simply couldn't manage Choice D.

At home, we switched gears, moving back to the realm of arrhythmia. Mr. T's ultrasound had been read and he had a call from the Electrophysiologist (EP). They talked, discussed what would happen next, and before he had hung up the call for long, there was a message from the electronic patient record application used by Wake Forest Baptist Health that he had a cardiac  ablation scheduled for Zero Dark Thirty on Monday. Wow! 

What's a cardiac ablation, you ask? Here you go...from the National Insttute of Health: "Cardiac ablation is a procedure that is used to scar small areas in your heart that may be causing your heart rhythm problem. This can prevent the abnormal electrical signals or rhythms from moving through the heart."

Read more on the subject here: (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007368.htm) Cardiac Ablation Procedure

Then there was a call from the nurse who talked about what to expect (a 4-6 hour procedure, done in the hospital-based EP surgery suite) and told Mr. T about the blood thinner med he had to begin...now. 

Before we could dash out of the door to pick up the meds at the pharmacy, he received a call to say "his" iPhone was ready to pick up. Say what? Yep, they'd determined the problem was a faulty charger port ("good deal of rust in there") and had repaired it (for much less than quoted).

Well. Choice A it is then! That settled that...for now.

So we are enjoying the intervening space in the wackiness...also known as our Weekend Interlude. Missy M and the Grand dogs arrive tomorrow, and Monday morning will be here before we know it. And then?

We shall see. We shall see. Regardless, we shall be together. 

Stay tuned!


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