|January 2008: Heading Home
3rd entry for January
Appointments At Home
Mountain View, CA, Day 30 at Walton & Sons Masonry, Site: 1
Monday, January 21, 2008 Eight Months
January 9, 2008. UCSF Radiology
Storms have continued in the Bay Area since we got home. Sometimes the month of January is cold but very sunny and clear. But this year we are having entire weeks of rain. It’s unusual. But I don’t mind. I’m in my hometown and I can always catch up with a friend for a cozy lunch somewhere.
On Wednesday, January 9, Dennis and I had to drive to San Francisco for his radiology appointment. Since our Dr. Weber left USC Norris Cancer Research Center in Los Angeles, we’re in the process of switching our cancer vigilence to UCSF. As part of preparation before we meet his new oncology specialist, Dr. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, he had to get new scans: PET, CT, and MRIs. While our Honda is in for repairs we are driving a Saturn rental from Enterprise. So we were challenged to get around San Francisco without our GPS system. We had to find radiology at a building in the China Basin. It is a gigantic building with an underground parking entrance at 4th & Berry Streets, located just off the King St. exit of I-280 where it ends at the Port of San Francisco. In this high-rise, we had to go to Lobby Seven on the second floor, which gives you some idea of the size.
|Radiology is in Lobby Seven. I walked down this ourdoor walkway to find a coffee shop. 1/9/08|
We arrived at ten. The waiting room for imaging was very pleasant. The chairs were not overly cushy but decent with arm rests. There were some excellent prints on cheerful walls. The extremely kind and busy receptionist, Gabriel, welcomed us as if we were family. Dennis disappeared behind closed doors and I remained in the waiting room where Gabriel took care of me for the next five hours. Indeed any UCSF staff person passing through spoke to me and asked if I needed something. I was escorted to the ladies room. Someone brought me a bottle of water. Gabriel brought me a small pillow with a towel over it and had me sit with my foot propped up on a chair. The culture at UCSF radiology is one that is personal and humane.
In Mountain View, it was another damp and chilly day. In San Francisco the clouds descended and became fog. On the ground floor, construction and the garage surrounded our huge building. There was nowhere inviting to go especially on a bad foot.
I inquired about a coffee shop and Gabriel sent me down a long outdoor walkway that connected two buildings. I found Speciality with outdoor tables and chairs where I would normally choose to sit. But there were overhead vents everywhere along this walkway that were extremely noisy and also it was damp and cold. Inside, it was dark and the only seating available were high tables and high stools without backs. Loud noise disguised as music was playing. There was a wide assortment of pastries and excellent coffee. Determined, I sat on a stool by the window counter and read over coffee and pastry. There was nowhere to prop up my foot. I held out for forty minutes and then made my disconsolate way back to the waiting room where I read Charlie Wilson’s War for the next three hours. I am repelled but fascinated by this amazing story. My confidence in how our government operates has eroded even further. At the time I had not yet seen the movie.
|When I did I felt it was too short. It skimmed a complicated plot too lightly and was an unsatisfying summary.|
|It was noisy outside the coffee shop as well as cold and damp. I sat inside and took a photo through the window.|
I thought Dennis would drink that terrible stuff for an hour and then have his PET-scan for an hour and then he would be done by 12:30 PM. Wrong. About 1:30 he followed an aide through the waiting room on his way for an MRI. We waved.
Several patients passed through during this time all men with wives. During my last hour a cheerful English woman settled down near me and began to knit. So we talked. Her husband is fighting cancer. They live at Point Reyes in Inverness on eight acres with a view of Tomales Bay. That’s pretty darn ideal. They’ve raised two boys and have two grandkids so we found plenty of material for a nice visit.
Finally we left at three. Dennis says they no longer make you drink that stuff. They put it into you intravenously. Thank god. If I was ever required to have a PET-scan I’ve always known that my nervous stomach would never be able to keep that stuff down. Dennis says it is very cold and they wrap you in blankets and tie you down so you don’t move. He tries to hypnotize himself with the rhythm of the machine noise and go to sleep because it takes such a long time.
“What if you get an itch?”
“You don’t get itches.”
I would. I’m an itchy, restless person. Dennis is not a complainer like me.
We got back to the bus and in the late afternoon we went to the Fish Market. I had my delicious trout dinner with rice and coleslaw. We ate lots of sour dough bread with butter. Oh my gosh, the Fish Market has the best loaves of sour dough anywhere. When we’re out of town we miss our sour dough although we did develop a new hankering for sopapillas served with honey when we were in New Mexico….
This took a few hours and we were back by eleven but I was absolutely worn out. After we put the slides out I took a nap. Dennis disappeared into the masonry so in the afternoon I went out in the car and had a long comfort lunch at Marie Calendar’s. I brought home a take-out dinner for Dennis. At five I went out again. My friend, Dona May invited me over for a cocktail hour with hot-spiced buttered rum. It was wonderful to see her and be able to sit and visit for a few hours. We caught up on all the news and it was a terrific respite for me.
|Leale's RV Service in San Jose. Technicians went over our list and made a work plan. It was rainy day. With the slides in, the dogs and I waited in the bus. I worked at my desk on my computer.|
January 11, 2008. Appointments
After Catherine, I drove to Menlo Park to have my hair done by Sigrid at Textures. While I was there, Sally called and invited me over for lunch. It was late afternoon by then and I was pretty hungry, as I didn’t eat breakfast in the morning. When I left Menlo Park I called Dennis and discovered that he was at the Fish Market having a late lunch with James. So I sat around and talked to my sister for a few hours and we got caught up. It was cozy to sit inside and visit on another damp, gray day. It was early evening after I left Sally’s, I found Dennis and James schmoozing on the bus. The three of us sat around and talked for hours.
January 12, 2008. My Women's Group Meets at Our Bus
|Left to right: Karen, Elsa, Mary, Jimmie, & Sophia.
Below: Standing by the dining table, Karen is sure she's gotten the best of Mary. Bullshit or mendacity is never tolerated. On the couch Mary pins Karen down while Sophia and I laugh and wait for Karen's quick response. It will be a good one, I know. Rudi likes to snack on kibble while he keeps us company. He's jumping down to get another one.
|Dennis gets in on the act with Rudi and Margot. 1/12/08||Karen stays overnight and bunks on the pull-out couch.|
January 13, 2008. Christopher Parry's 37th Birthday Luncheon in Capitola
Chris lives for pizza. He chose Woodstock Pizza because it is new and he hadn’t tried it yet. They make unusual combinations of specialty pizzas so we all tried something new in the way of small, individual pizzas. For his birthday, Chris wanted a gift certificate at Hollywood Videos so after lunch we stopped there and then we went to a park and took the dogs for a walk. This was a mistake as the turf was uneven and I didn't have shoes with good support. My ankle ached for days after.
|With Karen and our two Cotons we drove to Capitola. Above, we are on CA-17 approaching Los Gatos. We have blue skies with clouds over the Santa Cruz Mts. We are hoping the beach will be sunny.
01/13/08 11:10:34 AM
|Chris shares his Capitola 2-BR apt. with a roommate. We stand in the front yard and Karen takes a photo of the three of us.
Chris holds some cards and gifts.
Jan. 13. Sightseeing in the Santa Cruz Mountains
After we dropped off Chris, Dennis took the back road towards home, cutting over to nearby Soquel in the foothills below the Santa Cruz Mts. We drove northward up the canyons created by Soquel Creek and Hester Creek on San Jose/Soquel Rd. to Summit Rd. in the Santa Cruz Mts. Just east of this canyon is another north south canyon created by Loma Prieta Creek in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The Entrance Station is just off CA-1 near New Brighton. The park stretches northward up the Loma Prieta Grade (Porter Gulch, Bates Creek, and Aptos Creek) to Hinkley Ridge and Hinkley Creek. The park has many hiking trails. The Ridge Trail comes close to 2400 feet in elevation. The epicenter of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake was in this park.
Jan. 13. Driving by Dennis's old property on Schulties Rd.
This is where Dennis used to live and we both have many memories of the area. The sunshine encouraged us to make a couple of scenic sightseeing loops so before we came to CA-17, Dennis turned left onto the Old Santa Cruz Hwy and then left again onto Schulties Rd., the narrow mountain lane that leads to the eight acres of property formerly owned by Dennis and Jan Walton. This entire watershed south of Summit Rd. drops down towards the beach towns of Santa Cruz.
A portion of Schulties Rd. between Summit Rd. and Dennis's property was destroyed during the Loma Prieta earthquake. The one lane road split in two dropping six feet and leaving no direct or quick way to drive out of the area. Scott Walton still lived on the property with his mother. He and his friends used some private equipment to build up a drivable slope between the down side and the up side. By then Dennis and I lived in Palo Alto (where the quake took out power, brought down bookcases and smashed all the antique china in my china cupboard.)
We stopped to look at the gates of what was once the Walton property. It is steep property that climbs up to CA-17 just where 17 crosses the summit of the mountains between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. In the photo, the house sits on a rise directly above us on the right. This is where Dennis raised his can-do, rough-and-ready mountain boys: Jan's sons, David and Dan Soden, and their boys, Brent and Scott Walton.
|Following the dark pink line, from Capitola we drove north up San Jose Soquel Rd. where we turned west on Summit Rd. and eventually turned north towards Los Gatos on CA-17. The pale pink line shows the sightseeing loop we made from Summit Rd down to Laurel Station at the tunnel and then around to Redwood Lodge and up to Summit again. Then we went down Burrell to Wrights Station at the tunnel. I've highlighted (1) Wrights and (2) Laurel. The map shows the other track stations from (3) to (6) on the west side of CA-17. Map found at: http://www.geocities.com/rayhosler/tunnel/tunnel.html|
|The house sits on a steep slope to right.|
|Near left, this driveway leads down to the old "Getting In Touch." Today Laurel Mill Lodge provides a gathering place for groups such as weddings.|
|Laurel Tunnel and Laurel Station the Old Railroad Between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz
Above left, view of what was the tunnel at Laurel Station. It was 5,792 feet long. It was blown up after Pearl Harbor. Currently, congested and dangerous, CA-17 is the only direct route between San Jose and the cool Santa Cruz mountains or the sunny Santa Cruz beaches. Today, many feel that the loss of this train line is a great tragedy.
"In 1876, the South Pacific Coast Railroad was incorporated. This is the railroad that built the line from Los Gatos through Lyndon (later called Lexington), Alma, Aldercoft, Eva, Call of the Wild, Sunset Park, Wright’s, Laurel, Glenwood, Clems, Gibbs, Meehan, Eccles, Olympia, Mt. Hermon, and Felton. They built seven tunnels, including the 6,208-foot Summit Tunnel and the 5,792-foot Laurel Tunnel. They absorbed the Santa Cruz and Felton, rebuilt the line to Santa Cruz, and enjoyed considerable success hauling timber, fruit, produce, black powder, and other goods." http://www.mnn.net/roarhike.htm
"Train service continued for another 60 years before being derailed by the automobile and severe storms in the winter of 1940. They ripped up the tracks in the summer of 1941, as the military dynamited the tunnels in the paranoid days following Dec. 7, 1941. During the glory years between 1900 and 1925, trains crowded with passengers ran to Santa Cruz for sun and play on the beach." http://www.geocities.com/rayhosler/tunnel/tun3.html
|Following the red line, from Capitola we drove north up San Jose Soquel Rd. West of this canyon road is the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. There are many trails and historic sites. http://www.virtualparks.org/maps/forest_of_nisene_marks.html
The Loma Prieta Earthquake
The epicenter was located at 37.04° N. latitude, 121.88° W. longitude near Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains, approximately 14 km (9 mi) northeast of Santa Cruz and 96 km (60 mi) south-southeast of San Francisco. The earthquake occurred when the crustal rocks comprising the Pacific and North American Plates abruptly slipped as much as 2 meters (7 ft) along their common boundary-the San Andreas fault system. The rupture initiated at a depth of 18 km (11 mi) and extended 35 km (22 mi) along the fault, but it did not break the surface of the Earth." http://pubs.usgs.gov/dds/dds-29/
"This major earthquake caused 63 deaths, 3,757 injuries, and an estimated $6 billion in property damage. It was the largest earthquake to occur on the San Andreas fault since the great San Francisco earthquake in April 1906." http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/states/events/1989_10_18.php
For more maps of the Loma Prieta Earthquake epicenter and of our sightseeing loop see at the bottom of this page.
|Photo of a house destroyed by the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake near Summit Rd. Many houses slid off their foundations. Now there are stringent constructions laws which require the house to be tied to the foundation.
|Property and road off Summit Rd. The Loma Prieta Earthquake did break the surface of the earth. Summit Rd. dropped about 3 ft. and made a dip but didn't break apart. http://pubs.usgs.gov/dds/dds-29/screens/056sr.jpeg|
Jan 13. Remembering Getting In Touch and Tamian
In the year just before their divorce, Jan and Dennis opened up their property as a membership club called Tamian, after the name of a local Indian tribe. Getting In Touch went backrupt and members, including me, transferred to Tamian. We were able to hang out on the beautiful redwood property of the Waltons, lounge by the pool and eat meals in the lodge. What fun it was to hang out with an extended family and to find a private nook at night to watch the stars in your sleeping bag at night. Surprisingly there was often sun at the top of the hill when there was still fog below in the Santa Clara Valley or on the beaches. Tamian was a start-up enterprise and Dennis didn't have a lot of help. In 1982, I was a professional writer working for Nolan Bushnell at Catalyst. I had a word processor and a printer available to me so I volunteered to help Dennis by producing a monthly Tamian newsletter. (This was before desktop publishing. I had to cut and paste text and photos and larger heading letters and then photocopy the master.)
We stopped to look at the driveway entrance to the old Getting In Touch and then turned south and east climbing up Redwood Lodge Rd. until we emerged once again on Soquel San Jose Rd. Then we turned north and retraced our route back up to the westward turn onto Summit Rd.
Jan. 13. Recalling Santa Cruz Mt. Hotels at the Turn of the Century
Other hotels built in the Summit area included the Terrace Grove Hotel, Arbor Villa Hotel, Hotel Miltonmont, The Willows, Summit Hotel, Bohemian Bungalow, Jeffries Hotel, Woodwardia Hotel, Edgement, and the Anchorage.
Next we thought it would be fun to see Dennis’s second house his first in the Santa Cruz Mts. (House No. 1 was located in Los Gatos.) We turned north onto Chase Dr. and stopped to admire all the fancy brick work Dennis applied to the veneer of this house. As a young Journeyman mason, Dennis worked all week doing masonry and then spent his weekends creating his own masonry masterpiece on his own home.
Now we were really into our sightseeing tour, so Dennis turned back to Morrell Rd. and drove us down Wrights Station Rd. This entire watershed north of Summit Rd. drops down towards the valley of Santa Clara. At Wright's, the road comes to a T intersection at Cothran Rd. on the left (north) and Cathermola Rd. on the right (south). Cathermola ascends eastward up to Mt. Umunhum Rd. one of the Santa Cruz Mt. peaks (el. 3,486) to the northeast of Summit Rd. Cathermola runs along the northeast edge of a reservoir, Lake Elsman, owned by the San Jose Water Works. It is part of the Los Gatos Creek Watershed. Although these roads are maintained by public taxes, no one is allowed to drive on them except for local residents with permits. I guess we could have gotten a ticket or worse. (See Water Works article.)
|A pretty view from Redwood Lodge Rd. near Soquel San Jose Rd.|
|The Chasewood house once owned by Dennis Walton and his family.||View looking southwest as seen from the road in front of the Chasewood house.|
|In 1887, Fred Loomis, who had moved to the Summit area in 1882, built the Summit Hotel. This hotel, sitting on the crest of the ridge, was an immediate success. Patrons traveled from the San Francisco Bay area of the Santa Clara Valley on the train to Wright's Station where buggies picked them up and drove them on up the mountain. Along with the usual walking trails and gardens, the hotel boasted a croquet field.|
|Wright Station where Cothran Rd. turns north presumably up to the old Cothran property.|
|Jan. 13. Wright's Station and Wright's Tunnel
Such notables as Jack London, George Sterling, Ambrose Bierce, Herman Scheffauer, and Mark Twain journeyed to Wright's Station on the railroad, then either walked or rode in a hotel buggy up the hill to Bohemia.
The Southern Pacific Railroad Company established Sunset Park at Wright's in the 1890's as a weekend tourist attraction. To attract the weekend business the company cut the usual rate from $5.00 to $3.00. This move increased trade and on busy weekends several trains, each hauling ten cars with fifty people per car, would climb the mountain grade to Wright's and take the spur siding a few hundred yards to Sunset Park.
Bridge and Wright's Station photos from http://www.geocities.com/rayhosler/tunnel/tun1.htm
Cothran and the San Jose Water Works
In the early 1900s Edward E. Cothran, a prominent San Jose attorney, bought 500 acres high in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Cothran and his sons, Shelley and Ralph, operated a small sawmill at the ranch. They bought their supplies and picked up their mail at Wrights, a nearby settlement that had grown up with the coming of the South Pacific Coast Railroad.
After WWI San Jose in the valley began to look for more water. San Jose Water Works (SJWW) began quietly acquiring land. By the early 1930s the Cothran property was surrounded. The Cothran-SJWW feud started in 1933 when Ed Cothran cut a couple of redwoods on his property. The water company claimed that he had muddied Los Gatos Creek. They sued him for $10,000. Cochran and his sons, Shelley and Ralph fought back. Over the years the fued escalated to charges of insanity and attempted murder.
In 1936 SJWW bought Wrights, “lock, stock and barrel.” They tore down all of the buildings in the town. At this time, SJWW employed men on foot and on horseback“riders”to give “special protection against contamination of the creek at this point.” The special protection included armed deputy sheriffs who patrolled the land on horseback along Los Gatos Creek “from Los Gatos practically to the headwaters near Mt. Loma Prieta.”
Rights-of-way were granted to land-locked property owners to enable them to reach their homes; but the roads, once public property and paid for with public tax monies, were now on the water company’s property.
In 1949 the San Jose Water Works closed Wrights Station Road. Shelley took on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
With the end of rail service in March 1940 and the closure of Wrights Station Road nine years later, area residents found their only way out was by Summit Road. This added miles to their travel. This was not only inconvenient, but posed a very real danger of being trapped by forest fire. In March 1973 Shelley's fears were realized when his home and property burned. Shelley continued to fight until he died in 1985 at age 94.
Mountain Network News, “Shelley Cothran” http://www.mnn.net/cothran.htm
Here is another reference to the SJWW:
"But this beautiful man-made lake and clean, clear water are not without cost. San Jose Water has protected this lake and their 10,000 acre watershed with armed guards. They have battled with neighbors, trespassers and would-be developers. Their Burns guards were often brusque and threatening. And the company was quick to turn to the sheriff, lawyers and law suits to maintain security.
As property manager William Moore admits, they haven’t been the friendliest of neighbors. But he also pledges some softening in their approach. While they will still block would-be trespassers, they promise to be more courteous and less confrontational, especially to local mountain people."
Mountain Network News, “Secret Places in the Santa Cruz Mountains” http://www.mnn.net/lake_elsman.htm
In my research I ran across reference to SJWW plans to log the virgin redwood forest from Lake Elsman down to Los Gatos. It is probable that they need to drum up some good will before the public hearings.
|The bridge at Wright's Station, taken in 1999. You can see it in the left corner of the 1907 photo below. Wrights Staion was destroyed and is only a memory. The tunnel entrance lies a short distance ahead of this bridge.|
|Morrell House near Wright's Station, after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720|
|You can't see the tunnel anymore. It is fenced off and everywhere trespassing signs are posted. The tunnel and reservoir is nearby but we couldn't see them.|
|Jan. 13. The SJWW Bullies
Dennis has many complaints about the San Jose Water Works. They are a nasty piece of work as the story about the Cothran family indicates.
When Dennis's boys were growing up they liked to hike down to the Lake Ellsinore and fish. It wasn't legal but of course it was a tremendous temptation. One day Scott Walton and some friends were caught by a SJWW "rider". They were taken to Juvenile Hall in a Sheriff's car, chastised by cops wearing guns, thrown into a cell and generally treated like dangerous criminals. Dennis went to get him out. They'd scared Scott half to death and Dennis was furious. He knew that the inside guys at the SJWW used the area for their own private camping and fishing grounds. The boys weren't out trying to steal a car, they just wanted to fish. They were not harming the environment any more than the "riders" were. They could have been brought home with a reprimand.
The roads here are still private and this spot is still probably used as the private recreation area for insiders at the SJWW.
|Wrights thrived with the arrival of the narrow-gauge railroad in 1879. This 1907 photo shows the community already in decline. Wrights tunnel in the background is 6,208 feet long.|
January 14, 2008. Appointment with Dr. Mohammed Kashani-Sabet, UCSF Melanoma Center
At 10:00 AM, Dennis checked in at the UCSF Melanoma Center, 1600 Divisidero, and filled out a short form. The waiting room and the receptionists were pleasant. He was called into the examining area at 10:30. An assistant weighed him, took his blood pressure and asked the usual questions. He was escorted into an examination room, given a gown and asked to take off all my clothes. He did so and sat on the edge of the examine table as indicated by the assistant. I came into the room with him.
We waited. We waited for two and a half hours. We waited from approximately 10:40 AM to 1:10 PM.
I was lucky. I had clothes on and I kept on my jacket. It was cold in there. After the first hour I stepped out into the hall and spoke to an attendant, asking how much longer we would be kept waiting. Of course he didn’t know.
About 12:10 PM, after an hour and a half of waiting, Dr. Kashani-Sabet’s Nurse Practitioner came in. Evelyn Martinez gave Dennis a physical exam and asked him the usual questions. She showed us a thin summary file and asked about the location of his medical file history. “We need your files.” We told her they’d been sent and that we knew from Dr. Kashani-Sabet’s assistant, Marcelo, that they had been received. Perhaps Marcelo erred in the placement of his files perhaps not. However, one thing is clear: by noon on the day of Dennis’s appointment, Dr. Kashani-Sabet had not attempted to review Dennis's files prior to seeing him. (If he had the missing files would have been located.) Essentially he knew nothing about Dennis.
I complained about the long wait and the chilly room. Nurse Martinez brought Dennis a blanket to put over his legs and at that time she said we should be prepared for “a delay” because Dr. Kashani-Sabet had just been called into a “tumor meeting.”
At about 1:10 PM the great man finally arrived with his retinue. Evelyn Martinez returned and several others. The surgeon who removed the original melanoma lump from Dennis’s arm, Dr. Leong, accompanied Dr. Kashani-Sabet. Suddenly there was a rush of people in the room. We weren’t expecting Dr. Leong and I don’t think Dr. Leong was expecting to see Dennis. He greeted him by the wrong name and was quickly corrected by Nurse Martinez. He had also removed some lympth glands but he did not look at Dennis’s arm or under his arm where he operated. I don’t think he remembered what he had done or where. Other than for the sake of form, I don’t know why he was there. Dr. Kashani-Sabet did a brief exam and asked Dennis a few questions.
Then Dr Kashani-Sabet asked Dennis how often Dr. Weber checked up on Dennis when he was at UCS Norris Cancer Research Center. Dennis said that now it was twice a year. “Well, we better stick to his schedule,” Dr. Kashani-Sabet said. “Let’s plan to have you return in July.” With that, everyone departed. They were in the room for less than ten minutes. Dennis dressed and we got out of there as quickly as possible. The final blow was when the desk said that they don’t validate for the surrounding parking garages. We had to pay for the privilege of being parked at Divisidero and Sutter for four hours.
The fact that Dennis was left stranded, sitting on the edge of a table in a hospital gown, in a cold examination room for 2.5 hours, seems more than a little extreme to me. I get the feeling that everyone is processed at ten o’clock in the morning and then left to sit and wait like so many horses placed in stalls in a barn. The system is obviously very convenient for the doctor and very inconvenient for the patient.
Even one hour is pushing the envelope for the time a patient should be left waiting in an examine room. Anything beyond that takes the form of tremendous disrespect and indifference by both the doctors and by the UCSF system. This is not the way things are handled at USC Norris Cancer Hospital, nor at Stanford Hospital. Dr Weber is a charming man who makes each individual feel seen and respected. Appointment times are within a thirty minute margin. Dr. Weber had always personally reviewed Dennis's most recent scans and he did a thorough body exam. If the USC Norris Cancer Research Hospital is any example, then I feel sure that doctor-patient visits at UCSF could be managed differently.
To add insult to injury, it was clear that neither Dr. Kashani-Sabet nor Dr. Leong knew anything about Dennis. They were in a hurry and not prepared. After much preparation on our part, we both looked forward to our initial meeting with Dr. Kashani-Sabet. If Dennis’s past medical files were required, than I am astonished that the doctor had not at least glanced at these files before the appointment. Why did we bother? The entire scenario was a farce. Dennis already had reports from UCSF radiology that his tests were clear. He is not in any present danger and so we might as well have stayed at home and avoided a half-day of hassle.
Dr. Kashani-Sabet’s examine was brief and cursory at best. If the intent was to meet Dennis face to face for five minutes, this could have been accomplished with Dennis dressed and sitting opposite him at a desk in an office. If the purpose was to perform a body examine, this was, for all intents and purposes, performed earlier by Nurse Practitioner Evelyn Martinez. It could be accomplished as a separate appointment with her and presumably she would not be so busy nor make him wait for hours. But then he gets an annual dermatology exam by Dr. Rothman at PAMF so a body exam by Nurse Martinez or the busy Dr. Kashani-Sabet is actually superfluous.
Next we had to drive across town to China Basin where Dennis spent more hours finishing up the required MRI with contrast. This time while waiting, I took my bad ankle for a walk over to King St. where Sally told me I would find a Border’s book store and a coffee shop. I found a nice upholstered chair and waited in comfort with a latte and a carrot cake. It turns out that this location is on the corner of the new Giants baseball park. The first time we drove over there we didn’t notice where we were.
We arrived at radiology at 2:00 PM but the appointment time was screwed up so we didn’t get out of there until 5:20 PM. It was a long and frustrating day. We drove back to Palo Alto and stopped at the Fish Market for dinner. We hardly said a thing. We were both stunned at the treatment that Dennis had received at the hands of UCSF and their VIP doctors. We were so shocked we couldn’t put our outrage into words.
A few days later, we decided to change our plans and have Dennis switch to an oncologist at Stanford Hospital for his next six-month checkup in July. In any case, this would be closer to our home base and more convenient in terms of travel. UCSF has an excellent reputation but Sally says there is always a difference between the way patients are treated at public hospitals (Univ. of Cal. at San Francisco) and private hospitals (Univ. Southern California). Hopefully, Stanford Univ., a private institution, will do better by us.
|Enroute to 1600 Divisidero. We are in the rental Saturn without benefit of our GPS. I'm the navigator and we're taking the long way around to get to our destination. We're on Sutter St. at 8th St. 1/14/08 9:34:56 AM|
|We've made it up to 7th St. We're running late. I dropped Dennis at the door and parked the car. 1/14/08 9:35:16|
|Melancholy portrait of Rudi. This is how we felt after our visit to UCSF.|
January 19, 2008. Grooming Appointments for Rudi and Margot
I spent most of Friday afternoon working on Rudi. Dennis pitched in and worked on Margot. Once the mats are out they can be bathed. Without a bathtub, this can also be backbreaking especially for a woman who fractured her ankle three weeks ago. We set up some planks for a table and bathed and rinsed them in tubs of warm water. They were filthy!
Meanwhile James dropped by and kibitzed while Dennis and I labored over the dogs. Later my friend and former PhotoShop teacher, Sharron Evans dropped by after her Foothill College classes on Friday afternoon. The dogs were put inside to dry but we all sat around outside enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.
|James sits outside and chats on his cell phone with Lilia while Dennis and I set up to wash the dogs.||Margot is combed and tied up waiting for her bath. Friday, Jan. 18, 2008 at 1:42 PM|
|Finished with the baths, I'm happy to sit down and rest my ankle while visiting with Sharron Evans and James Boyer. 1/18/08 3:14:28 PM||We've had a lot of rain so the Vit. D is feeling good....|
|Margot has the thick curly hair of a Coton. Rudi has the long, thin hair of a Maltese, allthough they are half brother-sister and both Cotons. They still look shaggy but they're clean and combed. Ready to go to the groomer at 4:00 PM. Darn! I didn't get a picture of them after they were groomed. 1/19/08 12:11 PM|
On Saturday we had to comb the dogs all over again. A bath gives them more snarls and mats then ever. But finally we conquered every last hair and brushed them into submission. At last I brought them to Tasha who can groom them both very quickly doing the expert part of cutting and trimming. They emerged Saturday evening looking like the little purebred Cotons de Tulear that they are.
Just in time, I came home to shower and change and we loaded everyone in the car for a delicious meal at the home of Myrna and Roger and their dog, Laddie. After dinner we enjoyed their home theatre to watch La Vie En Rose starring Marion Cotillard, who is nominated for Best Actress in the Academy Awards for her interpretation of the indomitable French singer Edith Piaf. It’s a marvelous film.
|You two have to stay clean. No running around!|
This was fun and it’s a good thing we had this get-together because two weeks later I had a viral cold and we couldn’t invite anyone over for the Super Bowl.
|The Lovers, Lilia and James. 1/20/08 7:04 PM|
|We all routed for the Patriots in the afternoon and now we're cheering on the Giants at night.||Dennis is looking glum. Maybe his team looks like they're going to lose.|
|We drove north on Soquel San Jose Rd., turned left on Summit Rd., left on Old Santa Cruz Hwy., left on Schulties Rd. to stop at Tamien. Further down Schulties Rd. we stopped at the Laurel Tunnel and then at Getting In Tourch. We returned on Redwood Lodge Rd. to Soquel San Jose Rd. Left on Summit Rd and right on Morrell Rd., left on Wright's Station Rd. to the old Wright's Station. Back up and a brief trip down Summit Rd., right on Chase Dr. to see Dennis's first house in the Santa Cruz Mts.|
|(A) marks the beginning of the road we took northward up Soquel San Jose Rd. The blue line shows the route we would need to drive to visit the epicenter of the Loma Prieta Earthquake at (B). From Soquel Dr. turn left on Trout Gulch Rd. and then left on Fern Flat Rd. The epicenter is actually just south of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.|
Elsa Walton, Walton Masonry, Mountain View, CA, Monday, January 21, 2008