[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 23 {209.5} “Remotely Meeting Doctors”

I met with Doctor-Number-Thirteen and Doctor-Number-Nine without physically meeting them. With current events interrupting normalcy, perhaps even ravaging traditional society, it was less than three months ago that I wouldn’t have considered meeting doctors remotely. Not just for fiction research, but going to a doctor’s office was always just how it’s been. I hadn’t even thought that -Nine would have videoconferencing capabilities. Three months ago, no way, but going forward, this might be the norm.

I think these healthcare changes will almost overwhelmingly be good.

When I called to schedule an appointment with -Thirteen, a telephone-based doctoral service for basic situations, the most difficult part was setting aside the time and energy to making the 20-minute phone call to create my account then answer questions to medical details. If these options had been available to me months ago, how would these essays have changed? The doctoral characters would be less prominent, since I wouldn’t have met them in person and had to deal with some of them. I might have taken a cue from the helpdesk callers over the years – if they don’t like the answer, they just keep calling back until they get the answer they want.

My fee for talking to -Thirteen was $0.

I’m not sure what long-term feels I might get from -Thirteen, or even -Nine’s office that sent me a bill a month or so after I went to their office, but it was nice because -Nine had been eager for me to have me as his patient rather than, I guess, doctor-hopping as I had. I was mostly reasonable in this because like the helpdesk example above, I kept getting terrible advice from unsympathetic doctors. When I talked to -Nine again, this time through an emailed link on my smartphone to create a secure videoconference, [the language of this will change and become more succinct if this pandemic remains as mysterious as it is now for months into the future,] he was happy to see me and the conversation was great.

I told him that my headaches had returned.

He had referred me to the sleep doctor, so I updated him on that, and I said that it seemed like physical therapy was the biggest help, so he will be sending a referral along. I’ll give them a call on Monday, if they don’t call me first, for an appointment either in person or via videoconferencing. -Thirteen had mentioned that she had some, and she laughed nervously while telling me, interesting experiencing with this. We’re all dealing with these nuances, between talking to doctors and managers. It must have been two days ago, then, that I talked with my manager about the general situation. His kid was screaming in the background and I fumbled with the videoconferencing software.

The important thing now is for me to consider whether to continue my employment.

I took a quick browse around craigslist and there are still jobs out there, but there are significantly fewer, apparently, than there have been. craigslist was where I found employers at some more interesting places. I have to decide over the two weeks. -Nine wrote for me a two-week medical leave – and validly, too, since my back has been hurting almost all day as my essay this evening “Focusing Out Pain” will outline – with a request to follow-up with him at that point to see how I’m feeling.

Let’s say I do quit.

If we project best-case scenarios, I have enough savings to last me for a while. I’ve created a spreadsheet for myself to track the time I’ve spent on things throughout these two weeks. Let’s say it’s a high-pain day like today. I might spend more time playing videogames to take my focus away from pain, then once I’m feeling better, work on writing projects like this, clear out drafts, or do whatever I feel like. The weather outside has been nice enough that, were it not for my back pain even now, I might have considered going out for a drive to see how things are like right now. My only major current expenses are rent and utilities. Everything else is insignificant, so I shouldn’t drain money too quickly.

What if I do drain my money quickly?

What if something worse happens to my back? I am currently under the impression that given enough days of rest away from thinking too much about stress, I’ll be fine. My job is good enough, and we are in the middle of uncertain times, but my job is also stressful enough to induce this stress every few months. Whether it was because of standing still for 40 hours a week for work this time, or internalizing the stress from work before with a poorly-configured ergonomic desk, I can’t predict what the next event will be but I can be sure that it can happen there again because of the amount of high-stress, high-focus required for that job.

Where would I go for my next employment?

I’m not thrilled to find myself in advanced tech support. When I was setting up the appointment with -Thirteen, I was impressed by how robotic the rep was, only deviating from the script to admit that he was human with an utterance about being unable to speak today. I might like a job like that while I work toward clearing off my plate so I can have more time for writing. I would want something where I can show up, do the work that’s requested of me without having to think about whether I need to guess on how to do it and where any guesses are potential problems to work on later, and leave. I want as unambiguous work as possible while I’m still pursuing my dreams of writing. When I move somewhere cheaper, my expenses will be even cheaper than they are now. With those risks assessed, I feel uncertain about quitting there.

However, I feel more certain that if I can’t row, I don’t feel good.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 209.5
Last week’s weight: 210.0
Difference: I weighed myself on May 30 here, so here are more current thoughts: I am losing weight, but I’m not feeling strong at all. I feel the weakest I’ve been in months. But I guess things are moving along?
Inspirations: Working through current thoughts and giving some updates on doctoral communications.
Related: Past weekly column entries, along with Sober Living essays, and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: I went with the Rowing template over the Tripping On template because Rowing is the primary slot and should have been the primary focus for this essay, even though it was only tangentially related to rowing.
Written On: 2020 April 25 [4:45pm to 5:21pm]
Last Edited: 2020 April 25 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.