A couple of pluses of gambling midst the Coronavirus: Fewer people are in the casinos so getting a “favorite” machine is easier. My experience is that folks are also pretty nice inside my favorite casinos. Yesterday, I was leaving Tuscany Suites and a young Black woman, very pregnant was also exiting using the doors next to mine. At one point, the young woman turned and saw that I was carrying two bags and immediately said, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you. Let me get the doors”. She pushed open my doors and I then congratulated her on her pregnancy, and we both left smiling.
When I’m watching TV I am also playing “Vegas Slots” on my iPad. Weeks ago I paid 7.99 to join and ever since my points have been growing and growing. I generally let the machine run on its own, stopping only to “tap” when a bonus comes up. I am happy to announce that I am currently up to 1 billion points. I tell friends my good news and they have the audacity to ask what I get with those points. It’s about prestige and winning and no need to buy more points and….I have one billion points–how many do you have?
For the last a week or so I have been in a battle regarding blood donations. I had a September appointment to give blood and answered the questionnaire the way I have always answered. No, I am not pregnant. No, I have not had sex with anyone who gets paid for sex. No, I have not been in Europe lately. But I answer yes to “Have you had cancer?” It was a few growths on my bladder 11 years ago. The growths were removed as an outpatient and have not returned. Since 1911, I have made 14 donations, some whole blood some double red cells. A couple more times, my iron levels weren’t up to snuff and I had to reschedule.
As usual, I had geared up for the September appointment, eating plenty of red meat and spinach and even adding a few iron pills. I also drank lots of water.
A new young lady took me into her office to go over my questionnaire and she stopped at the cancer question. The new girl then excused herself and came back with an older person I had never seen before. The older person asked me the kind of cancer that was in the growths. I didn’t know that detail, so she said she was sorry but I could not donate and a stay would have to be put on my account until I was approved by the Vitalent home office as a donor. “But I have been donating for years!” I said, clearly frustrated. The lady was not to be moved and was not particularly sympathetic either. I was told I needed to know the kind of cancer cells that were removed and was given a card with a number to call at the “Donor Counseling Service.” I was so mad at this delay, that when I was leaving and was asked if I wanted to set another appointment, I shouted “No!” and left. I immediately drove to Ethel M and bought a chocolate bar — and it helped.
So I called my doctor and asked the girl who answered if she could check my record and tell me the type of cancer I had in 2011. She took a while, but finally said, “Transitional Cell Carcinoma.” I wrote it down and then called the Donor Counseling Service; talked to a female who heard my story and then said I could fill out an appeal form online and submit it and a decision would be made. I did as I was told.
I waited a week, heard nothing and called again, telling my story to a gal named Kim and asking if a decision had been made. Kim at first told me that Vitalent is so busy, what with Covid 19 and questions about blood donation, that it would be two or three months before I would hear anything.
“Two or three months!” I said in my outside voice. “I’m old and who knows, maybe I don’t have that time to wait around.” Kim relented, asked for my donor number, paused a little and then said, “Why you’ve been donating all along!” Yes, that was the point. Kim then said “You need to talk to a manager at your donor site to take care of all this.” I was relieved some common sense was being displayed. However, I did not trust the manager route, so I added, “But the folks at the donor center seem to need permission from headquarters.” With that, Kim started typing and she typed for a long time, finally saying, “I’m going to help you. You should get a letter on this subject within two weeks; if not, call us back in October.”
Incidentally, online the Vitalent folks say cancer patients like me must have been cancer free for one year before donating again. How about nine years?
I thanked Kim for her help. I will now haunt my mailbox. Giving blood is one of the only good things I do and (swear word), I want to keep doing it as long as I can.
Yesterday a friend left me two phone messages. The first was to tell me she wouldn’t be available for our daily walk because her pool man was coming early The second message said to disregard the first message because somehow she mixed up Thursday with Saturday. The pool man is coming Saturday. We took our walk.
I was glad to hear that someone other than myself gets “notions” — ideas about when something is going to happen when in fact, that thing does not happen then. I have turned up at the hair salon at 11 a.m when the appointment is at 1 p.m. and the correct time is written on the calendar. I had a “notion” that the time was 11 a.m. and never checked further. I once missed an interview, sure it was on Mother’s Day when, in fact, it was scheduled the day before Mother’s Day and that correct date had been written on the calendar also. I “knew” i knew the correct date…when I didn’t.
I have always said I had an unorganized life because I am “creative”. Notions are just part of the story. And when a friend has notions as well, let’s just say I cheered.
My garage door recently quit working The garage door man came and said the date on my garage door motor was 2004, so it was time for a new motor. However, new motors of the kind I need are on back order, so I have to wait. When I first lived in Chicago, I parked on the street, even in snowy icy winters, requiring me to chop myself out (with an ax and help from friends) of parking spaces in Lincoln Park or later, out of my parking space behind a Rogers Park condo and on an alley. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when much later I was able to buy a house with a garage and a short driveway to the street. And now, when my garage door remote control isn’t working properly with the garage door motor, I think I have a problem? Nope.