Patsy Porco

Eye, Eye, Eye

In Aging, Humor on April 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

In the movies, the husband wakes up, rolls over, takes one look at his wife (who slept in full makeup), and makes mad passionate love to her, morning breath notwithstanding.

In real life, I roll over, my husband takes one look at me and says, “Oh my God! Do not go out in public today. People will think that I punched you.”

In all fairness, this is what my eyes looked like this morning, and still look like. Eye Eye Eye

On Friday, I undertook a spring cleanup in our yard. When I came into the house and passed a mirror, I noticed that there was swelling in the corner of my left eye. I figured it would go away, but the swelling got worse and now there is a big, swollen, red circle around my eye that leaks. The center of the circle is white. I self-diagnosed as having been bitten by a tick. I’ll probably go to the doctor tomorrow to see if I have Lyme Disease. I live in Connecticut, so the odds are good.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep my husband out of prison by hiding indoors. I’ll also wear sunglasses round-the-clock to spare my family’s sensibilities.

Off My Meds and Out of My Mind

In Humor on April 15, 2016 at 1:10 pm

I once temped for a lawyer down in the Wall Street area of Manhattan. She worked out of her apartment and used one of her bedrooms as her office. There was an alcove with louvered doors across from her living room where her assistant worked. When she closed the louvered doors, the assistant’s office equipment and desk were hidden from view and her apartment became a home again. It was a very clever arrangement.

What I remember most about this assignment was how she could turn anger on and off. There were times when I’d be in her office and she’d be talking to me pleasantly about that day’s duties. Then the phone would ring. She’d pick it up and start yelling at the person on the other line as if she’d been furious for hours about whatever that person was telling her. Then she’d hang up and continue talking to me as if we hadn’t been interrupted. It was good to know that her work-related anger was manufactured, just in case she decided to yell at me someday.

I thought of this today when I called my doctor’s office to request that they respond to my pharmacy’s repeated faxes. My doctor’s office has a policy that patients aren’t to call them for prescription refills. We’re supposed to request our refills from our pharmacy. If a refill needs permission to be refilled, the pharmacy faxes the doctor’s office for approval. It’s a system that could work … if the doctor’s office ever read their faxes.

My pharmacy faxed my doctor’s office for a week to get my prescription approved, with no response. When I had gone two days without my anti-anxiety medication (yes, I realize that present and future employers will now know that I’m anxious, but that’s pretty apparent as soon as someone meets me, so I’ll take my chances), I begged the pharmacist for a few pills to hold me over until the prescription was approved, because I had already gone two days without any medicine. They gave me three pills. This was on Monday.

This morning, Friday, I went back to the store and was told that the doctor’s office still hadn’t responded and I couldn’t have any more pills until the prescription was filled. I was now on my second round of two days without medicine which was making me really anxious. To top it off, as I mentioned, it’s Friday, and the office stops answering the phones on Fridays in the early afternoon, whenever they decide that they’ve had enough, and they don’t listen to messages until Monday. I wouldn’t be able to hold myself responsible for my actions if I had to endure a weekend (plus the two days before it) with my normal anxiety, compounded by the anxiety produced by not being able to get a response from my doctor.

So, I went home and called my doctor’s office. I pressed #4, which was the button to press for medical emergencies. Otherwise, I would have gotten a voice recording telling me to leave a message, which nobody would listen to. I got a nurse who, after listening to me calmly tell her my problem, told me that this was the line for emergencies. At this point, some lunatic-switch activated in my brain and I replied in an insane, frantic voice, while she was still talking, “This IS an emergency. I am losing my MIND and I need that prescription filled NOW!” That stopped her in her tracks.

“Okay, okay,” she said nervously, over my rant. “I’ll take care of it.” I think she was afraid that I’d come over there and talk to her in person. After I hung up, I calmed down immediately, probably because I had accomplished my goal.

Within the hour, I had my medicine and was working peacefully in my home office, which disappears behind its louvered door after working hours. It turns out that I learned a lot from that lawyer, especially that, sometimes, acting crazy is the sane thing to do.




A Life-Changing Conversation

In dogs, Humor, pets on March 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm

I went to Walmart the other day with my brother, Gus, and my dog, Rudy. We left Rudy in the backseat of the car with two half-opened windows, and walked toward the store.

Gus was very disturbed by my leaving Rudy alone in the car. “Somebody is going to call 9-1-1 on you.”

“Why?” I asked. “I’ve seen lots of dogs left in cars in parking lots.”

“But,” said Gus, “their owners all get reported to the police. It happened to Katy Perry when she ran into Starbucks and left her dog in the car.”

“Really? How long could she have been in Starbucks for someone to worry about her dog’s safety?”

“Probably five minutes,” Gus said. “But that’s enough for some animal people.”

I’m an animal person, and I have no problem with Rudy’s being in the car,” I said. “He loves watching people, which he wouldn’t get to do at home.”

“I know that, and you know that,” Gus said, “But there are a lot of do-gooders out there who will think you’re being cruel.”

“But, I’m not!” I said, apparently in a loud voice, judging by the stares from people walking past us. “He’s happy and comfortable. People call the police when they see a dog in a car with the windows up during the summer, when it’s hot. It’s winter now.”

Gus shook his head. “I know it’s winter, but it’s a warmish day. Someone is going to think he’s too warm.”

“The windows are open and it’s almost 50 degrees. He’s not hot and he’s covered in fur, so he’s not cold. Nobody is going to report me.”

“Let’s just wait and see,” Gus said. “If we come back and the car is surrounded by crying women and flustered police, then we’ll worry.”

“Things sure have changed since we were kids,” I said. “Mom said that when I was ten-months old, she and Dad parked outside a store in New Hope, during the summer, and left me in the car for an hour, with the windows rolled up. When they came out, she said I had sweat pooled under my eyes and my face was beet-red.”

Gus rolled his eyes. “It’s a good thing that they raised us in the 1960s. If they did that today, they’d both be in prison.”

“You’re right,” I said. “And since I’m the oldest, the rest of you would never have been born, what with them being locked up. What would have happened to me? I could have been put into the system and become a passed-around foster child.” We walked up to the store’s entrance pondering this.

“Or,” I said, as we went through the automatic doors, “I could have been adopted by millionaires who would’ve bought me a BMW and sent me to Harvard.”

Gus laughed. “Don’t laugh,” I said. “It could’ve happened. But probably not. Anyway, isn’t it interesting to think about how one action can change the course of many lives?”

Gus looked at me. “I think I’ll go back to the car and sit with Rudy,” he said. He turned and went back through the automatic doors.

dog in car




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