Today, my mom phoned with the news that they have finally scheduled my mysterious un-named "is your hip replacement broken" test, which will occur on Dec 3rd. (Thanks mom!) This is all sorts of good news, since it means that I can stay in Champaign for a week longer than I thought, which means that I might have a chance to celebrate Thanksgiving for the second time this year (for those of you who do not live in two countries at once: Canadians and Americans celebrate Thanksgiving at different times, hence twice the opportunities for turkey-based deliciousness).
So, yes, I can now book a flight, usefully plan out my life, and begin to fret about what this mysterious hip test will involve. The woman who booked the test apparently told my mom that I had to be accompanied by a responsible adult or they would not do the test, which is medical-speak for "honey, we are going to fuck you up in deeply serious ways. Snuff films will look like happy-fun-cuddle-sparkle sessions after we're done with you." If whatever they're doing to you during the test will leave you in a state where it is not medically ethical to release you out of the hospital on your own recognizance, you can be pretty sure that it will involve the phrase, "Now, we're going to try to numb you, but you will probably feel some discomfort. Just try to hold still."
The last time I had to have a responsible adult accompany me to a test was when I was having heart problems thanks to the world's worst case of mono (Super Mono!). I had to have (three times) something called a tilt table test, which is when they don't let you have anything to eat or drink, strap you to a bed, tilt the bed vertically and wait for you to throw up and faint. Sometimes, they give you some medicine to help the process along (though I never got any because I fainted 30 seconds into my first test). Not only did I have to have a responsible adult accompany me, but I also had to take a pregnancy test to make sure that no fetuses were going to be tilt-tabled, which resulted in me having to get a blood test from some intern who, after 15 minutes of poking around, finally stuck the needle in the side of my elbow and proclaimed, "Where the blood?!" (true story).
So, yes, whatever this mysterious test is, I know it involves a needle jabbed deep into my hip socket, and beyond that I don't think I want to know. It's best to focus on Thanksgiving and the prospect of eating my weight in candy corn. Besides, at the moment, I have other concerns. Yesterday, I mentioned that I'd been woken up by a man ferreting out the gas leak in my water heater (that's what she said). Well, last night I was cuddled up in bed reading a book when I realized that I had a terrible headache. Since I was not dehydrated or hungover, I decided to investigate the water heater, which my landlord had fixed. When I opened the door to the room where the water heater was, I was overwhelmed by the stench of gas. Apparently, the landlord needed to give the water heater a dose of Beano along with a new valve because it was hell-bent on causing a gas explosion. (Happily, my landlord is wonderful and competent and is already at work fixing the problem).
Though it was late, I called the gas company again and they sent out a very cranky man who had a red-eyed, ferrety face and was none too happy about being dragged out of his warm bed at 1 a.m. (which was the time he eventually arrived at). When he arrived, I said, "Thanks for coming," whereupon he responded, "Yeah, well, normal people are sleeping at a time like this" and gave me a look as if to imply that I had obviously caused a gas leak in my heater through some form of debauchery. Clearly, I had been involved in a devil-worshipping S&M three-way, the dark sexual energy of which had been so potent that it caused the water heater to burst apart at the seams.
For 15 minutes, ferret man stuck his gas-detecting wand into various dark crevices of my house (that's what she said), all the while complaining about being forced to be awake at this hour. I did not mention to him that he was getting paid to be here, whereas no one was paying me to sit up at 1 a.m. reading Philip Roth's "The Human Stain" trying to focus thanks to a massive gas-induced headache and wearing two pairs of socks because my floors are so cold and my boot-slipper-things are still drying out after my great "walking 2.5 miles in the rain" adventure, which is a recipe for ennui if I ever heard of one. Long story short, the cranky gas man turned off the water heater, wrote my landlord a note, and I finally fell asleep.
One of these days, I'm going to have to post pictures of my house, so that you do not think that I have been living in squalor. My place is actually pretty nice (working fireplace, hardwood floors, big backyard, huge living room, etc. etc.), it's just that the little black raincloud that follows me around apparently does not distinguish between Freaky Cyborg Hips and water heaters. Does anyone else get the feeling that I need some sort of "demon be gone!" ritual?