Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A Week of Frustration

We pulled into the lot in the Yuma Foothills on Sunday Oct 29 after an easy 85 mile drive from Quartzsite. We had a bit of trouble figuring out how to open the gates but a neighbor came to help, and the lot owner showed up a short time later. We got backed into our private spot, joined about a half hour later by our friend Debbie, who came from Casa Grande to hang out with us for the week.



You can hardly see our rigs behind the fence.


When Debbie plugged into power the circuit breaker at the pedestal kept tripping. It was in the low 90s so she really needed air conditioning. Jim suggested she turn off the solar controller and try again. This time the breaker didn’t trip, but she still had no power. One of the guys heard sizzling and told her not to attempt plugging in again. This is not what you want to happen when it’s hot and a Sunday, since there was no way to get anyone to work on it.

Jim immediately posted a message on the Lazy Daze forum about her dilemma and got a few responses, the most helpful being to call Progressive Industries, the maker of the hardwired EMS we both have. They have a 24 hour hotline, so Jim called and explained the problem. They said to have the repair person call before working on it, and if it was the EMS it would be covered since Debbie is the original owner.

Luckily she found a mobile RV tech to come out on Monday morning, and it turned out that the EMS was fried. The tech was able to do a work-around so she would have power until she could get a new one. She is still in Yuma awaiting arrival of the replacement, which was supposed to be here early this week but is now scheduled for delivery on Friday. We did learn that it’s important to check the connections for any loose wires once a year, although our EMS is located under the kitchen sink in a location that’s really difficult to access. That is now on Jim’s list of things to do soon, as it could be a fire hazard.

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Progressive asked Debbie to email a photo of the cover, not the inside. The distortion in the print is a dead giveaway that excessive heat caused the failure.

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Now onto our dental experience. Jim had an implant placed back in March by Dr.Carlos Rubio in Algodones and planned to go back to him for the abutment and crown. He was told when he came back it would be about 3 days to get the crown after they placed the abutment and took impressions. When he called a couple months ago to make the appointment they now said it would be 10 days for the lab to make the crown. Not really wanting to spend that much time in Yuma, we decided to see if another dentist could do the crown. A couple of friends recommended Dr. Maria Fonseca, so Jim had several email exchanges with her about getting the correct abutment for his implant, (he gave her all the specs) and she assured him it would not be a problem. She also quoted a price quite a bit lower than Dr. Rubio.


I also needed a crown, and she was able to get us in on Monday morning, so off we went to Mexico. When we arrived at Dr. Fonseca’s office she told Jim that she was not experienced in Straumann implants, and was going to take him over to the office of another dentist who does them. Had she told him that to begin with he would have just gone back to Dr. Rubio, but now that we were there he decided to take his chances and go with her to Dr. Roberto Arce’s office. I did do some research and he gets great reviews, and he uses Straumann implants, so we were hoping for the best. X-rays were taken and the abutment was placed, which Jim said was more painful than when he had the other two implant abutments put on. Then impressions were made, and he was told to come back the next day to get the crown.


Dr. Fonseca then prepped my tooth for the crown, took impressions, and said mine would also be ready the following day. She was very gentle, personable, and seemed very competent. I just wish she had been up front with Jim about her lack of experience with the implants, but then this is Mexico and things are done differently here.

On Tuesday we made the 25 mile drive back to Algodones, and this time I went first. The crown fit well but the color was not a good match, so Dr. Fonseca said she was going to have the lab remake it, and put the temporary back on. She called the lab and had the tech come over to her office to look at it. I understand enough Spanish to know that the tech said it would have been helpful if she had sent photos, and she promptly pulled out her iPhone and showed him the photos she had sent over the previous day. They took some more photos and he said the new one would be ready on Thursday, which meant another trip across the border.

Then Dr. Fonseca walked Jim back to Dr. Arce’s office to get his crown, and it unfortunately was not fitting well and he wanted it remade. More impressions were taken, and we were both given appointments for Thursday morning. At this point Jim was very unhappy, but I have had crowns made in the U.S. that were the wrong color or didn’t fit and had to be redone. The difference was that it always took a couple weeks for the next appointment and the temporary crowns would fall off by then.

We went back Thursday morning, with me going first again, and this time the color of the crown was perfect, and took just a bit of adjustment before being permanently cemented on. For $300 I was very pleased, considering it would have cost probably 4 times that in the U.S.

Dr. Arce had a bit more difficult time getting Jim’s crown to fit correctly, due to the fact that the implant was placed slightly off-center. He said he would have placed it differently, but didn’t actually say it was wrong. Anyway, the crown was screwed on to the new abutment, some adjustments were made for Jim’s bite, and he was good to go. He does feel like the crown is too big, but that could be just due to the fact that he hasn’t had a tooth there for a year.

We had mentioned to Dr. Fonseca that we would like to also get a cleaning, so she was able to do that when we got finished. She does the cleaning herself, and it was one of the most thorough cleanings we’ve had anywhere, at a charge of $40. We haven’t had our teeth cleaned since December 2015 but had started using a new, very expensive toothpaste back then, Livionex Gel, which is supposed to prevent plaque, so we wanted to go a while and see what our teeth looked like. She said neither of us had much plaque at all and our teeth looked great except for some minor gum recession around crowns. I do have a couple of old crowns which she said should be replaced sometime in the next year, but they are not bothering me even though there is a hole in one of them, and I hate to rock the boat. Looks like another trip to Mexico next year.

Jim didn’t floss around the new crown that night, but he did on Friday night and the floss would not go through without breaking. On Saturday morning he decided to drive back to Algodones to see if there was another adjustment to be made, since we were leaving on Sunday. Turned out the floss they used in Mexico didn’t break as it was thinner, and Dr. Arce didn’t want to do anything else as he said things would still shift a bit. He was right, and now Jim can floss without it breaking, although it shreds a little coming back out.

It was a stressful dental week and we’re glad it’s over.

After our tow bar incident in late September we have been very nervous about towing the car, but we’ve checked and triple checked and there hasn’t been a problem. After arriving in Yuma Jim noticed that it didn’t look straight, and when we looked closely we saw a bend that shouldn’t be there. Not sure what this part is called but you can see it in the photo.


We were so focused on making sure that there were no cracks in the metal and that everything was hooked up properly that we completely missed the fact that this piece of metal was bent. No doubt when the one bar came off the stress of the car pulling on one side caused it to bend. No more hooking up until we get a new one!

While in Yuma I took advantage of Debbie’s sewing machine and bought some new sunshade fabric to make a new Protect-a-Tow to replace the one that was torn up after the tow bar arm came off. It was great having a big table on the patio to work on. By the way, this lot is for sale for $58,000, a good price for this area, especially with all the improvements they’ve made.


Jim also replaced our gray tank valve which had developed a tiny leak. He had a little trouble getting the new one back on but finally was successful.


We did do a few fun things while there. Although I couldn’t talk Jim or Debbie into joining me I took an early morning hike up Telegraph Hill on one of our non-dental days. I really like this 5+ mile round trip trail, a great workout, nice views, and a good way to ensure sore legs for a couple days after.



It’s extremely steep but at least the steep part is paved.


We also rode our bikes and walked around the neighborhood. It’s really flat there so the biking was the easiest we’ve done in a long time.

Fiery sunset on one of our evening walks. It’s getting dark way too early!


Debbie and I went to a thrift store and the Arizona Market Place one afternoon. It had just opened for the season on November 1st, so some of the businesses were not yet open, but we managed to find a few things we couldn’t live without. We also hit the new Yuma Sprouts that just opened in July.

One evening we all went out for dinner at Da Boyz downtown location. We like the atmosphere and the pizza and beer are always good. On the way we stopped to look at a used Blue Ox hitch, but it turned out to be older than the guy said so we weren’t interested.

The evenings were pleasant and we enjoyed sitting out for happy hour on our patio. One night we were joined by a fine feathered friend. It was too dark for a good photo but you get the idea.


We left Debbie on Sunday and almost forgot to get a photo for Debbie’s mom, but Jim took this right before we left. Me, Elliot, Rupert and Debbie.


We drove separately for 230 miles to our home for the next three months, McDowell Mountain Park in Fountain Hills, AZ, with very light Sunday traffic. We’ve already worked one morning at Fearless Kitty, did a bike ride, had happy hour with some of the camp hosts, and signed up for Anytime Fitness. It’s nice to be “home” again.

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  1. Boy I am glad that week is over too. Sometimes when it rains it pours. I hate the dentist to begin with, and would have gone nuts if I had to go back so many times. Glad that is over with and that y'all have pretty smiles.

    We really enjoy hiking Telegraph Hill also. Beautiful views.

  2. Dental work, ugh. Not fun anywhere, anytime! I can relate to the feeling of a tooth feeling too big -- that happened to me when I got my first and only crown (fingers crossed), and then it settled down after about a month. Now it feels perfect. Time to go back to McDowell already?? Where did the year go? Looks beautiful.

  3. Sounds like quite a PITA dental week! Your site in Yuma looks wonderful. We will be staying at my sister's new place in Yuma this time, it is a single wide on a quarter acre with hookups for us.Nice to know there is now a Sprouts in Yuma.

    Enjoy McDowell...I keep wondering if you'll end up with a condo there...

  4. Nice to have this week behind you.

    I'm amazed at how "crimson" Debbie's Lazy Daze still is. I don't remember what year it is, but I'm curious as to what she uses on it to keep it from fading.


  5. Despite all the frustration it looks like you got a lot done during that week. Your Mexico dental experiences bring back some not-so-great memories of my own!

  6. Oh, man! You most definitely had one frustration after another. Hope Debbie got things repaired and Jim's implant is working out. You certainly had a beautiful spot. Lovely lot! Very cool to see the owl!

  7. Hope nothing was damaged by the frying of the EMS. The thought is that a lose wire caused it? Great of Progressive Industries to come through. Others might have said faulty installation or wiring is not our problem. Bet she was glad to have you guys there with her. 90 degrees is the absolute worst time for this to happen. We’ve also found that many parks are not able to handle all the rigs pulling AC all the time in such heat. Our EMS has kicked on and off and on and off as the power fluctuates so greatly in even mid 80 degree temps in some parks. Really don’t envy you the implants and crowns in the first place. So far I haven’t had to have either. What a terrible dental week. Glad it all turned out OK in the end and thanks for the toothpaste recommendation. And then the tow bar and the gray tank valve. Good grief! Sure hope that’s the end of problems for a while. We had a black tank leak and David replaced the valve but just couldn’t get it seated fully so we had to call a tech to finish it. Nice job Jim! That’s some hike you took, wow the view down. Good for working off frustrations that’s for sure. Love that last photo, you both look very happy despite such a week.

  8. Glad to hear your dental woes are over. Fountain Hills sounds like just what you needed after that fiasco. Could a FH condo be in your future? :)

  9. Arrggh, glad you found some fun to get into with that exhausting week! I've heard of worst times in the US so at least the costs were reasonable. Sounds like your investment in good brushes and gel paid off too :-))

  10. I know how frustrating teeth implants could be, I have a few of them but fortunately they were placed when I was still working :) You have such a huge acreage in your home and beautiful too. McDowell is one of my favorite park in the Phoenix area. Perhaps its time to exit in the Fountain Hills?

  11. I know how frustrating teeth implants could be, I have a few of them but fortunately they were placed when I was still working :) You have such a huge acreage in your home and beautiful too. McDowell is one of my favorite park in the Phoenix area. Perhaps its time to exit in the Fountain Hills?