Monday, November 16, 2015
The Medical assistant who checked me in, took one look and immediately started laying out syringes and sterile cutting implements. Gulp! I admit I'd hoped for a plan B.
The Doctor began with several injections into the area on the right, below my toe joint. It felt as though there was numbness setting in there, and I was feeling confidant that the process would be bearable, until he tried to lever up the nail. Not happening!
Over a period of an hour, he kept adding shots and massaging the magical deadening agent into my foot. He made several attempts to do what had to be done but I couldn't stand it. I asked about other options, such as taking a course of antibiotics and returning once the infection had subsided. he said that was a possibility but it would be better to finish the job.
His final idea was to inject the nerve on the left side below the joint, with the disclaimer that this nerve should not be the one causing the trouble, if my anatomy followed the norm. Well call me Spock, or whoever is an example of backwards electrical wiring. It worked and I think he was as relieved as I.
Part way through our walk I received a text from my very elusive CPA. Over the years, he has saved us a lot by taking a fairly aggressive approach to filing our tax returns. He's not good at returning calls and now that his son works with him, he spends more time on the golf course than at work. That's entirely his business, except when I get audited and he won't respond to the auditor's calls either.
I laughed out loud when I received the notice that the IRS was going to audit us for 2011. The economy had been atrocious; we'd had to move our business as the old place had been sold; the new premises didn't have the power we needed to run our machines and The Artistic One had a major health scare. What could the IRS possibly find? Maybe they owed us money?
After months of believing our CPA had forwarded the piles of paperwork I'd hauled out of archives, to answer the auditor's queries, I now have my doubts that he'd answered them at all. (I have also hired a new CPA). I received a decision letter stating that I owed $90,000 in taxes; more than one third of that year's gross revenue! How did they come up with such a mythical figure? Did he just piss them off so much that they picked a number out of thin air?
Once I perceived that "Rocky" (his name should have made me wonder) needed special herding to get him and us, to the end of this process, I strategically decided to take a civil and pleading approach that did not give him an excuse to bail. I won't list the attempts I made to have a conversation with him and how stressed, frustrated and helpless I felt. There were days when I thought my head would explode.
In mid October, I received a reminder letter from the attorney assigned to our case. As if I didn't remember the looming court date in a few short weeks. I sent a text to Rocky and he replied, for once. "We're just waiting for the appeal auditor to finish. case is on hold until then". Hmm? Within a week, I had another reminder letter in my mail. I texted an urgent message to Rocky with no response. 48 hours after that, a personal call from the IRS attorney, warned me that the Appeals Auditor had not been getting any responses either and would be closing out our case the next day, and not to our advantage. I began bombarding texts: "Anybody out there?" "Do I answer the IRS, or will you?". "Name and phone number of person you must speak to attached". A response arrived "I already handled it" he said. "Have an appointment next week".
Trusting soul that I (no longer) am, I phoned my contact, to verify that this was true; realizing how ironic it is that the lawyer for the Treasury Department seems to be more helpful than my accountant. Rocky had indeed made a call and had a phone appointment to go over everything this week.
This text, in the middle of my hobble-along dog walk, was to share the result of that conversation. The sun was at an oblique angle, glaring back where the words should be legible. I'm no fool. I know that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of refraction. That's actually the only thing that ever made sense to me in Physics class; perchance due to the subsequent rainbow prisms. You can't read a text anyway, when the phone hand goes through the leash of a vigorously bouncing canine. I was dying to find out what was written and headed for a patch of shade with some grass to distract the sniff machine into some semblance of stillness.
Yay! There was an offer on the table to accept $6,000 in extra taxes and be done. Still an arbitrary number and not an amount I have in hand but a very good deal to get out of their clutches and move on. I was told there was an email waiting and a paper to sign and return. We hadn't reached the half-way point of our walk so we set out to finish as quickly as possible. Joke!
On the return portion of our loop, we were greeted by an enthusiastic female boxer, with no humans in sight. She was zooming back and forth and I grabbed her by the collar, to check for ID tags and prevent her demise, on the busy road, in diminishing daylight. Nothing.
There were a few homes with porch light on and one or two open garage doors. Our procession of three visited every one and asked if anyone recognized our stray. No one did. Using the other end of Brook's thankfully long leash, I was able to return home with one more dog than when I started.
Bringing an unknown dog into our home entails certain precautions. I have a cat. Not every dog is to be trusted. I have crates and cages and pens from my rescue fostering. I usually have some time to set things up beforehand. The Artistic One found himself holding a leash, with a bundle of nervous energy at the other end. Brook wanted to play with the newcomer and kept circling and pawing her new buddy. My toes were in danger of being stepped on or being squashed by the heavy wire dog cage I was dragging out of the garage to unfold in our living room. All the time conscious, through the chaos, of a time sensitive email I needed to read.
I fed the cat and the dogs. Boxer immediately upended her dish and trampled the soggy mess around. The cat was crossly stomping around on the relative safety of the kitchen counter, alternating between hisses at the interloper and meows designed to remind me she was usually first in line.
My early evening with my feet up evolved into a trip to the local vet clinic to check Boxer for a microchip. I tied her leash to the headrest in the car for safety. Unknown beast bouncing around while driving is not a good plan. The scan revealed nothing but the vet confirmed a healthy looking, well cared for pet. "Oh and by the way, she's in heat."
The rest of the evening went by fast. I scraped together something completely forgettable for our dinner and left messages at local animal shelters. I walked both dogs again before bed and was very pleasantly surprised that boxer slept through the night.
I took care of the morning dog walk and feeding, soaked my foot in Epsom salts and changed the dressing, as instructed. I called the Sheriffs' Dept non-emergency number and left word in case someone called them searching for boxer. I decided to wait until the shelters opened at Eight before heading for work with two dogs. After multiple calls, I gave up and loaded up my car for the hour drive to the office. I hadn't intended to send her to the shelter, anyway. Too many dogs get sick from kennel cough etc. due to confined conditions. Shelters are a last resort.
I did get some work done, in between multiple excursions to the grass verge outside, but was hugely relieved to get a call from Boxer's family. One of the neighbors on whose door I knocked had taken a photo of boxer and posted it on the neighborhood email group. Boxer's owners had been out looking for her far and wide and it was late when they saw that she was safe. Too polite to call after 9 pm, they had waited until morning to track us down. I offered to bring her home with me at the end of the day but they didn't want to wait to retrieve her. A twenty-something student son was dispatched to fetch Prodigal Boxer and bring her home.
The story was that someone had broken in to their house a few days prior. They had changed door locks and phone numbers and had removed dog tags to replace with new ones. They hadn't noticed that the fence was damaged and/or boxers can climb and jump at the best of times and this one was driven by natural urges, to boot. Leila the boxer would be visiting the vet for a "morning after" shot and to be micro-chipped.