Thursday, June 16, 2011

More Tying Up Of More Ends

Since it's pouring down rain at the moment and I'm 38, not 28, and I've never liked being inappropriately wet, I'm going to write in my blog instead of taking Shadow out for her first ride of the season. Weather report claims that tomorrow will be sunnier; Shadow—that crest of chunk you're building up along your mane? We're going to start getting after that tomorrow.

At my last stop yesterday afternoon, the Conoco station at the junction of 26 and 395 (I bought a Coke Zero which I hadn't had before—note—I think it tastes like artificial sweetener—and Gardettos Select Premium Rye Crisps or whatever they are, which are so crunchy my vision judders when I chew them), I received an email on my phone from my scheduler at the SCCA (my phone is now only functioning as a clock, which is quite useful, and a camera, which is less so). A solution has been found for my bed situation! Starting with my next infusion and continuing on, my appointments will be at 7:30am, first of the day; they will be scheduled for 2 hours; and there will be a note in my file saying that I need a bed. I was relieved, pleased, and . . . abashed.

I've been very good at asking for what I need for my physical health—confident and secure that my requests are reasonable and appropriate . . . but really not good at asking for what I need for my physical comfort, maybe because comfort seems so luxurious? And this cancer path is supposed to lack luxury? Besides, who am I to say that my comfort is more important than someone else's? And when someone (or at least three someones) take time to figure out a way for me to be comfortable, well, I'm very glad, and I'm going to enjoy the bed, but I also feel beholden. And these people were simply doing their jobs. I don't want to dwell on it too much, but it made me think: if I, who grew up pretty indulged and very well taken care of, feel guilt requesting and receiving simple gifts—which may not even seem like gifts to anyone else—how might people feel who didn't grow up learning how to accept gifts? It might be, psychologically, a very difficult thing to be welcomed into a new environment and lavished with care and attention and belongings and relationships and, yes, expectations for response, if you weren't used to it.

I hadn't talked about this at all before, so it will just be two loose ends tied together—I recently received in the mail some recall notice from Toyota about my accelerator pedal and driver's floor mat. I skimmed the letter because I wasn't at all concerned about it, and read only that the floor mat, if wrong or not installed correctly, could get in the way of the pedals. Well, I'm pretty sure it's installed correctly. Anyway, I swung by Toyota of Seattle when I was in getting my hair cut recently, to have them check the floor mat so that I wouldn't have to make an appointment, and the guy told me that if I received a letter, it meant I needed to get my accelerator pedal replaced, and that I was at risk of it sticking and driving me into a brick wall or whatever if I didn't. That was two weekends ago, and I haven't had a chance to take the 4-Runner in for care. So, instead, I've been thinking about what I would do if my accelerator pedal did stick. I thought about this a lot on my 6-hour drive over here yesterday. In all the histrionics about these sticking pedals, I cannot remember a single suggestion of what to do if you find yourself barreling down a busy freeway (or winding country road), unable to slow down.

The first thing I would do, on my way to turning on my hazards, is turn the engine off. I would then hit my hazards and coast, as quickly and safely as possible, to the side of the road. I would then put the car in neutral or park, and turn it on again to see if the engine started racing, or if everything was back to normal. Depending on the outcome of that test, and whether or not I had a cell phone signal, I would choose my path. I thought about it the most when I was punching the accelerator to pass someone going under the speed limit, about 3 times—since I really did set my cruise control at the appropriate speed and stick with it—and, I will say, 4-Runner comported itself very well and got a respectable 24.3 miles per gallon on the way over, and performed no shenanigans trying to run away with me.

And here I am in Idaho!

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