Saturday, May 14, 2005

Still no news

Actually, that's not totally true -- I did finally hear from someone from the doctor's office. After leaving a plaintive, "Will somebody please call me?" message (you are, of course, never allowed to actually speak to a doctor or even a nurse, but have to leave voice mail messages pleading for someone to call you back), I got a call on Thursday saying that the report was on my doctor's desk, but that he hadn't yet "signed off on it," and until that happened, they couldn't tell me anything.

So I waited the rest of the day Thursday, and no call, but when Bob got home, he called me and said that there was a message on the answering machine for me to call the automated system. The clinic has instituted this automated recording system where, when they need to tell you something, they record it, and then the system calls you and tells you the 800 number to call, and you call it and plug in your Social Security number, and they play you your message. Designed, obviously, to eliminate the possibility of you ever actually having the opportunity to ask a question. Your only recourse is to call back the next day and leave another voice mail message, ad infinitum . . .

Anyway, the message said that the doctor had reviewed the mammogram films and the ultrasound report, and he wanted me to get a second opinion. He apparently thinks it's probably nothing, but since he's not the expert, he wants me to see a surgeon. By then it was too late to call, but I called the surgeon's office (the same one I saw four years ago) Friday morning and, wonder of wonders, was able to actually speak to a human being, a very nice woman who got up and went and looked, and found that they still have my file from last time, and she gave me the first appointment she had available, which was Wednesday afternoon.

So, more waiting. Honestly, I keep thinking it's probably nothing, but then I remember the last time I was sure it was nothing, and ended up having a hysterectomy. I'm sure it's nothing. But, you know, I still worry.

The other thing that's had me stressed out is that the lease on my car is up mid-July, and I'm out of miles. Every mile over 36,000 costs me 15 cents, so while that's not a fortune, of course, it's money that I would rather not spend. And I knew I could turn the car in early, but I didn't know whether they would still make me fulfill the terms of the lease and make the rest of the payments, or how that would work. And I had that dent from when someone ran into me in the Target parking lot.

So I was stressing out about that. And to add to it, even though the lease wasn't up for over two months, the dealership had started calling me every day. Thank goodness they didn't have my cell phone number, but it was bad enough to come home every night to another message. I thought I might as well get it over with, so I didn't even make an appointment, I just drove up there this morning, and it was easy! Almost painless. I bought a brand new Ford Focus, silver, loaded, and my payment only goes up about $10/month.

I had a few things on my list that I wanted to be sure to get--a moonroof, a CD player, power locks and windows . . . I think that was basically it. The deciding factor turned out to be the moonroof (why is it a moonroof now, and not a sunroof, I wonder?). They only had one with a moonroof, and it was the one that had everything. It has leather seats, a six CD-changer, their highest-end upgraded audio system, heated mirrors and seats, remote on-the-column sound system control, antilock brakes . . . every possible option there is, it has.

I still prefer the Escort's body style, it's lower to the ground and more attractive, I think, but I'm pretty happy with this one. It's roomier inside, but it's still a small car. And the salesman really worked to make it work for me. With interest rates so low right now, lease payments would have been higher than buying it, so for the first time in about twenty years, I actually bought a car. It's some weird arrangement, I can't remember what he called it--flex pay? Something like that. The payment goes up $50 after three years (it's a six year term), but I figure I can trade it in in three years, just like I would a lease.

So it all worked out. The only thing I really negotiated was the extended warranty. I turned it down when they first offered it to me, but they came back with an offer that only raised my payment $6/month, and gives me free maintenance (oil changes, tire rotation, etc.) for two years, so I didn't see how I could turn that down. My mom said, "Did Bob go with you?" and I said no, I did it all by myself, and she laughed. I've done it so many times now that it just seems normal, but I can't say that I've ever enjoyed it.

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