Monday, the well went dry. Bummer. Scary bummer. Mother Nature saying “The joke’s on YOU!”
While I’m saying “Hey … but … wait a minute … Can’t I fix that with software? “
So after I stop running around in circles and weeping hysterically — bet you’re glad you missed it — and with the help of a whole lot of people (it takes a village), we gather money to fix the well. Because we have been assured by both well contractors who work in our area that our well can be fixed. And they have the know-how and equipment to do it.
We need a firm estimate — real numbers. Not the vague estimate one typically gets from a contractor. A commitment to do the work before the ground freezes. Contractors are a lot like Mother Nature. You can’t control a contractor. They show up when they show up, work when they work. If you annoy them, they might not work and you don’t want that. If you haven’t seen The Money Pit, see it. It’s a hilarious movie, in a rueful way. Good for a guffaw mixed with memories of other jobs, other contractors. Waiting for them to show up, hoping they will show up. Feeling you should have a party if they do show up.
There is nothing more humbling than being in thrall to a contractor. You can’t do the work yourself. You need him and are committed. If he doesn’t get the work done when he says he will, for the price he has promised, you are so screwed.
In the middle of this sturm und drang, I had to go to the cardiologist. And the pacemaker lab. The pacemaker lab both fascinates and creeps me out. They mess around with my heart. Literally, tuning me up. Tuning me up? She does a read-out and tells me my heart has had no “incidents.” There’s a complete electronic record of everything my heart has — or has not — done since my last visit. She decides to skip a beat. Weird feeling. Then she speeds up my heart and skips two beats. If my heart is beating faster, missing a couple of beats won’t bother me so much, she says. Not really.
“I’m going to turn down your pacemaker to 55. I’m going to turn it down to 50 from midnight to 8 am. So it might make you sleepy. A little sleepy. Not a lot. You might not even notice.” I’m in favor in anything that has a prayer of helping me sleep.
“Okay. That’s pretty much my natural — or was my natural — heart rate. I mean, before all of the surgery and the pacemaker and everything.”
“That’s the point. Try to integrate the pacemaker with your natural heart rhythm. Uses less battery power.”
Battery power. “What happens if the battery dies?”
“How do you know?”
“Because it’s telling me it has 12.5 years of life left in it. Actually, you don’t have to worry about the battery. It’s the wires.”
“Yes, the wires that run from the pacemaker to the parts of your heart. They could come loose.”
“Then my heart stops beating.”
“What does that mean?”
“Well, it’s not quite that simple. There’s more to it than that. There are back-ups and fail safes and anyway, by the time you need a new battery, who knows what the technology will be?”
I actually find that comforting. I am one sick puppy. She gives me a souvenir pacemaker after I explain I’m a blogger and I like taking pictures of this stuff. It’s not exactly the same as my pacemaker, but it’s close. And there are no wires. But mine has wires and I can feel them through my skin. I can feel the wires, the little screws to which the wires are attached. All of it. I have no muscle or breast tissue there because I had a double mastectomy a couple of years before all this heart surgery … and I’m not a very big woman. But time to move on down the hall to the doctor himself.
“How are you?” asks my doctor.
“Fine,” I answer, skipping over the catastrophes of the past week. “Terrific.” I’m lying but, it’s easier that way.
Chit chatting, getting prescriptions. He tells me I need more exercise. I can’t argue with this. I do need more exercise, though I doubt it’ll happen. I’m anti-motivated toward exercise. It hurts. But I’m not going to tell him that. He wishes me a happy New Year. It’s Rosh HaShannah. Tonight.
Happy 5775. That is a lot of years.
And now, I’ve chased down the contractor. Firmed up a price. I was scared when the well went dry, but I think I was even more terrified waiting for that number from the well guys.
And winter is coming.