What I Learned This Week: #187

Monday, March 15 – Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Week in Immunity(ish): Both me and my Mother were Covid vaccinated this week, nearly a year to the day of being locked down as the pandemic made its way across our part of world. We went through a drive through center at the University of Cincinnati. She had her passenger arm poked and I had my driver’s arm poked. The crew was cheerful and kept things moving. Very impressive. I feel much better about my future in a Covid world.

The Week in Medical Care – Routine Stuff: A year of Covid has definitely aged me to a point where I have ailments…general anatomical malaise that can’t quite be diagnosed as a disease or condition other than having an old body. So, I decided to find a primary care physician. Just picking a doctor made me remember how much I hate the basic process of medical care.

After trying on my own for a few days using my insurance company’s doctor listing, I finally asked them to send me a list of doctors in a specific zip code who were accepting new patients. Instead, they sent me a list of over 200 doctors all over the city; but, they sent it in a format that I could export to an excel spreadsheet.

I got the list down to 10. When I called the first one, the phone disconnected. That was a “no.” The second one’s phone system was so complicated that I couldn’t imagine if I was sick and needed to navigate through it, also a “no.” A live person answered at doctor #3, but she said the doctor was not accepting new patients. “Is anyone in that office taking new patients?” I asked. And, luckily, yes one doctor was. And that is my new PCP. Seems like as good a method as any of picking medical care. And I’m glad I’m not sick. The next appointment for new patients is in May. I’ll try to keep it together until then.

The Week in Medical Care – A Small Rant: Taking my Mom through her eye care emergency last week I came face to face with two related things. First, elder care in this country is terrible. Second, medical care for single people in this country is a joke. The speed and complexity of medical care is tough for anyone to navigate, much less elderly people who may be hearing impaired, or simply need more time to grasp ideas. If I don’t sit in while my Mom gets care, I have no guarantee she has grasped what happened, what the doctor said, or what she may or may not need to do. When we left her one week check up they gave her some instructions that I had to repeat to her two more times before she got. And, yes, she got it.

Which brings me to the related idea that single people without dependents to assist cannot get ample care. There isn’t anyone to join me with the doctor or to drive me to and fro. I can’t get a routine procedure without having someone waiting for me in the lobby. Yes, I have friends who will step in, but that’s not the same as having an advocate and having my independent lifestyle interrupted.

The Week in Art: One of my co-workers is fascinated with my collection of miniatures and it has made her spend a little time on the internet looking up miniature based sites. She finally saw something she couldn’t resist, miniature framed artwork. She bought me two pictures of witches, a private joke between us. It was cool, and even though one picture was of my childhood arch nemesis, The Wicked Witch of The West from The Wizard of Oz, I put the pictures on my cube wall. To counter the negativity of a nemesis looking down on me, I ordered some pictures of my own. This week my mini art wall went up. It took a minute to straighten them up, but a few days after these picture were taken we actually found a working, miniature level. It’s nerdy, cool.

The Week in Elderly: At my part time job I was talking to one of my young co-workers, a senior at the High School of Creative and Performing Arts, where she plays french horn. I asked her to recommend some music for me since I considered her an expert. She asked what I liked and I listed a few things, but when I got to DaBaby she busted out laughing and said she hoped she could be listening to new stuff when she was older. I laughed too. I laughed because just saying DaBaby sounds funny to my ears, like I’m trying to be so hip, or cool, or extra, or fleek, or whatever. Also, she never got around to a recommendation.

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