Wednesday, February 27, 2008

promises, promises

While my last post promised another forthcoming one, I failed. I've been on-and-off sick for the past few weeks, with my ailments ranging from the flu to migraines to severe anemia. I have spent more time in urgent care clinics than I care to think about, including two hours today.

When I originally went to the doctor the week before last, I first went to the urgent care clinic associated with University Medical Center. According to the website, it was somehow affiliated with the emergency department, which sounded weird, but as the primary reason for going was needing blood work done (and I could not get in to see my regular endocrinologist for two months), I somewhat naively assumed that they would be quicker at processing blood work, as they were attached to a hospital.

So, I get there, and it turns out that rather than the urgent care department being associated with the emergency department, the two are in fact one and the same. I filled out ER admission forms, and began to wait. And wait. After two hours (and I had not even been triaged at this point) I began to speak to the people sitting around me. Turns out that many had been waiting to be seen since the previous night. Several very ill-looking children were also waiting. The staff, one frustrated mother informed me, were doing the best they could by checking vital signs every two hours. I decided that waiting any longer here would probably not be helpful, that not only was it entirely possible that it would be twelve or more hours until I was seen, but that there were people there with much more severe problems than I.

So I decided to go to a regular urgent care facility. I drove to one, and after finding a parking space (no small feat--the lot was full and I parked in the lot belonging to another business a block away), as I was about to enter the building, a clearly disgruntled woman came out the door and told me, "Don't go in unless you want to wait six hours." I did not want to wait six hours, especially on top of the two I'd already wasted.

I called a friend (hi Travis!) who looked up another urgent care facility online for me. Once I arrived, I signed in and waiting 3 and a half more hours before I was seen. During my waiting time, several people who had been there before I got there got frustrated and left before being seen. But I waited it out. When I was finally called back, I was told that they could not even draw blood there, that I just needed to go to a lab the next morning and have blood drawn. In short, I had wasted a day.

This was before the flu and before the migraines. Maybe more on those (and the actual cause of my original visit) later. Incidentally, I am convinced that I may have picked up the flu from all those hours waiting in ERs and Urgent Cares. Gah.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

coming soon.

So, I am abysmal at updating. But I've been sick, and I've been busy. However, tomorrow (or in the next few days) I might share my horrible interactions with multiple health care institutions today. Right now I'm just going to cry.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

for love of self-presentation

I should not care what other people think of me. Especially not people who, if I ever see them again, will likely not remember me. Yet, yesterday as I was in Borders, I had an internal debate with myself over whether to buy a particular book. This was not for the normal reasons (i.e., I am broke and should not waste money on a book, I am busy and should not waste time on a non-academic book, etc.). No, this was because I was afraid of the silent judgment that would inevitably come from the cashier if I were to walk up there and purchase this book.

The book itself is about the Clinton marriage. I have always been fascinated by the Clinton marriage. Both Bill and Hillary are powerful, independent people, but they both rely on each other a great deal. Obviously, there is some pain there as well, and Bill has (had?) a bit of a philandering problem. I think the personal and gendered dynamics within their relationship would be interesting to read about.

I am, however, under no illusions whatsoever that this book will really, truly illuminate those issues. It is tabloid journalism. The only people who really know what that relationship is like are people who are unlikely to tell professional writers. But I like the idea of exploring these issues*. And the 20 pages of the book I had read sitting in Borders were interesting. So, I wanted to get it.

But I reasoned that buying it would be the equivalent of going to a newsstand and deciding that The National Enquirer was right for you.**

What was a fascinated-yet-interested-in-self-presentation girl to do?

Well, the obvious answer for me was to buy not only the tabloid-y and conservative*** book, but to also buy a relatively smart and liberal book at the same time (thus preventing the perception that I was some anti-Clinton right winger). It would be even better if the book were by a Clinton associate. Turns out such a book was on sale for $3.99! So, I promptly went to the front and purchased For Love of Politics and An Inconvenient Truth. I still felt silent judgment coming from behind the cash register, but I am completely willing to admit that that may have been my imagination.

*It could be said that the reason there is such interest in the Clintons' marriage is that Hillary Clinton is a female running for president and thus there is much interest in things surrounding her relationships, her makeup, her cleavage, etc. And, this is no doubt true. It is also undoubtedly true that many of the attacks on her are gender based (I support Obama, but my non-support of Clinton is policy-based). But I think I have been pretty reflexive about this issue (why exactly the Clintons' marriage fascinates me), and am fairly certain it is not simply because she is a woman running for the highest office. I am also, incidentally, fascinated by the marriages of John and Elizabeth Edwards and Elizabeth and Dennis Kucinich and Janet and Mike Huckabee.

**The obvious answer was to just go buy it online. But I was impatient.

***I assume it will end up being relatively anti-Clinton. I don't know. But, more importantly, I assumed that the cashier would assume it to be a Clinton-bashing book.