Hard Problem of Consciousness


On Thursday, I had a to-do list. Call the doctor. Call the charity. Get the permit renewed. So, how did accomplishing everything on said to-do-list go? Well, let’s see…

I called the doctor on Thursday, around the time that my ears started popping and breathing became more of a struggle. The receptionist double-booked me with some other poor, unfortunate person and I ended up seeing the doctor yesterday (Friday) at 8:15. Getting my dad to agree to that early of an appointment wasn’t exactly pleasant. (He prefers appointments that occur in the afternoon, or at least after 11 am.)

Anyway, the doctor said I had a sinus infection. He was going to prescribe some antibiotics, but when I brought up that the number of antibiotics I can actually take is in the truly single digits (as in, one), he changed his mind. He said that he would hate to give me antibiotics and end up causing the sinus bacteria stuff to get resistant, leaving me with no real option for fighting off the infection. He did prescribe some Flonase spray, which helps some with the swelling. He also sent me for an x-ray. When I told him that I had had the FESS a few years ago due to the multiple sinuses being blocked, he said that it was possible that my sinus cavities had begun accumulating fluid and that if that was the case that I might be on my way to a new set of blockages.

I checked out that claim and found that most people who have the surgery don’t end up having to have it again. The ones who do have the blockages return and end up having the surgery over are people have persistent infections because, much like with the iron infusions helping keep the blood pumped full of iron but not really treating what causes the anemia, the surgery is basically just a bandaid for whatever caused the blockages in the first place. In some cases, it’s acid reflux. (Got that.) Sometimes, it has to do with asthma. (That one, too.) Sometimes it has to do with subpar surgery. (I hope that isn’t true.) In other cases, the person has an immunodeficiency. (That’s been suggested in the past, but never really studied.) And there are still other causes, like the people who have fungal sinus infections or just have a really persistent bacterial infections. All of it is basically a lot of epic suckiness.

So now I wait to find out if anything showed up on the x-ray. Chances are that even if something did, UAB won’t manage to call to tell me until the Earth spins around the moon and the sky catches fire. They’re just that good about keeping patients informed.

My mom was the one who called the charity. She and my dad have to go next week to sign up to get appliances. Maybe sometime soon we will actually have a fully functioning kitchen again. Yay. It will be nice to have more than the stovetop, fridge, a thirty-year old microwave, and teeny-tiny convection/toaster oven. It will be nice to be able to wash dishes without having do the manual labor of washing them. (Yeah, we don’t have dishes and, even if we did, I’m not exactly a fan of washing them by hand. Getting my hands [or any body part] wet is one of those weird things that causes high anxiety for me.) I want to be able to use the oven as an oven and not as a make-shift pantry. (Yep, that’s how we use it now.)

As for the permit, I have to take the written test again in order to get a new permit. Apparently, each permit can only be renewed once, which I think is stupid. Just because I don’t want to have a full-on license, because it would do me no good as I only drive when I absolutely have to (in an emergency) and I’m always with a licensed driver over the age of 21 when that happens. So I have to study for something so I can be prepared in case something shitty happens, which, knowing my life, will inevitably happen. My mom suggested I just get a new non-Driver ID, but I’m not so certain that my dad approves of that idea.

And now for the not-on-the-list stuff:

Oh, dad brought some stuff home yesterday from the church dude’s storage unit. Most of my part of it is clothes that I haven’t been able to wear since the time between losing all the post-gastric bypass weight and gaining it back. I haven’t told him that because I don’t really want to have him get pissed.

I’ve been a little frustrated recently because everywhere I seem to turn, someone who is undoubtably mentally ill/disturbed/broken is being called evil or a monster or something. Whether it’s Jeffrey Franklin, Adam Lanza, Jared Lee Loughner, kids and adults with an Autism-spectrum disorder who get a bad rep, or patients of some psychiatrist who happen to have personality disorders, everyone seems to classify people who don’t process or react to the world in the right way as “evil”. I don’t see them as evil. What they did could be seen as a bad act, but that doesn’t mean that they were evil. It just means that on some level their brain (and possibly other parts of their “wiring”) didn’t work right. Whether it’s a chemical or biological issue or a reaction to be abused the majority of their life (that’s often the case of the more sociopath-like personality disorders), they usually end up doing something because their brains have gotten fucked up by something. And I hate that people are so quick to just write them off as demonic or devilish or something equally bad. They’re just sick. And I know that makes people uncomfortable to admit, but it’s true.

Anyway, I’ve been reading sad books by John Green and sobbing about Gretchen, which is great for my sinus congestion and for my plan to have a more positive year this year. I think that this loss will be easier, not because I loved Gretchen any less, but because on some level I already knew that they had euthanized her. (I wanted to say executed, which is sort of what it seems like they did. But euthanasia’s all in a day’s work for them.) More people seriously need to start adopting pets from high-kill shelters.


About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.