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El Paso and a day doing Social Security disability evaluations

Last Friday I flew to El Paso on Southwest airlines to do a day of social security evaluations. The plane was quite crowded and I ended up sitting next to a young mother with her infant son and 4 year old daughter. I remember those days well–and the little boy cried most of the way until he fell asleep.

The airport is small but nicely arranged and it didn’t take long to get my rental car and directions to the Hampton suites–very nice hotel and very nice people. Eddie, their van driver, drove me to Los Bandidos for a real Mexican meal. The restaurant was quite colorful and noisy with a group thoroughly enjoying their margaritas. I had a shrimp quesadilla–not on the menu but quite tasty.

The next day I spent two hours driving about to find the place I was supposed to be—but had written down the wrong address and so I ended up with a view of the train yard and so forth. Finally I called and was directed to the correct place.

The examination area was located in a chiropractor’s office and I got a glance at the latest acupuncture techniques–always interesting to read about how ‘regular’ medicine rejects these very old and traditional methods of treating all sorts of things.

The assistants were helpful although one had limited English understanding—the applicants were similar to others I have encountered. It is amazing to me how many people want disability because they think it will pay their medical bills–although they have done little to help themselves–as getting and taking their medication, losing weight and so forth. They claim no money but yet they have ample tattoos and have missed no meals. But everyone gets evaluated and that was my job.

I was really tired at the end of all of this as I had to demonstrate each activity to each applicant and they were scheduled every 20 minutes from 8 AM until 5:40 PM. That is a lot of bending, stooping, twisting, and so forth.

So I drove about a bit–and found a sushi restaurant at the end of the block–and lucked into a two for one deal–a California roll and a Vegas Roll. I also got to watch them being constructed–most interesting.

The next morning I prepared to leave, thinking I might drive around a bit and take some photos–but I discovered my passport was missing. I dumped out everything–twice; retraced my steps to the sushi place, looked under the bed=–asked the hotel if they had found it–and then called Los Bandidos–on Sunday they did not open until 11–only the chefs were there and they did not speak English. Finally I drove there–and the manager had my passport—she inquired about my weight loss and my new hair style–complementing me on how good I looked——RELIEVED—was the best word. I had visions of identity theft.

The plane home was packed and I had the misfortune to sit next to two women who laughed hysterically the entire flight. I was so happy to get off that plane and make my way to my truck, still patiently waiting for me–and then drive home.

The dogs were happy to see me—as was husband—.

More photos of El Paso on my smugmug site at

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