[Sober Living] Real-Life Error Message

In technical support, we prefer to have the error message present while troubleshooting, especially if we can recreate the same issue, in order to diagnose the root cause of issues and resolve the issue permanently. I suppose it’s the same in the medical field. When I went to Doctor-Number-One through -Four, including Neurologist-Number-One, they thought I was fine because I had to wait until my headaches subsided before I had the cognitive ability to drive…

In effect, I had cleared out the error message.

Especially early on into my talks with doctors over this overall headache issue, it might be the equivalent of saying, ‘I have a computer issue’ versus, ‘when I boot up my computer every Wednesday morning at 8am, it crashes with this particular error code, and when I reboot it, it starts up, but doesn’t work well until I reboot it again.’ The former is a vague issue. The latter is a concrete issue. You can start to dig into the specifics of the latter whereas the former needs more information.

It’s too bad I can’t drive myself in with a headache.

Well, it was too bad, until now, where I’ve had my two-plus-week tension headache, so I can’t not drive into Doctor-Number-Seven, whenever that may be, without a headache. It would have been ideal to get this issue sorted out before it’s escalated to the point where now I have the lingering tension headache, acute migraines when my eyes are exposed to any light without my two-year-old pair of sunglasses on, and the returning heavy-weight champion headaches, those lovely hypertension headaches that point to spinal issues that feel like you’re having an aneurysm.

That last one was the one that woke me up four hours early.

All I can do is remain calm, wade out the worst ones, try to manage through the mild ones, and take breaks when I can. I hate to say it, but from my experience here, the American healthcare system does not seem to invest much time into preventative maintenance. I was never walked through what I could to take back control of my health. Sure, some of the medications worked, and I hadn’t anticipated that these headaches would be worse than they were four years ago, but others made me feel worse in various ways I’ve written about extensively.

In that way, medicine can learn from technical support.

When I am a Doctor Of Troubleshootology, a term I coined when I worked in the healthcare industry as a technical support person, I will thoroughly research the issue with the “patient” computer and user to figure out the root cause. These are simple issues with simple fixes. Human beings, yes, are more complicated. You can’t, say, replace an ailing person’s entire body just because one or two parts of the body aren’t working, like you can with one or two programs on one ailing computer.

But there’s more that could have been done to prevent my current scenario.

I am currently writing this in the following state: I am wearing sunglasses because the lights are too bright here. I have an eye patch over my left eye because it hurts to open it now. My right eye has the stains of light overexposure, resembling fireworks. When I wore my current glasses earlier today, I had migraines that would prevent me from doing anything other than sit in agony for between thirty seconds and three minutes at a time, but at least I didn’t feel the dizziness that necessitates the eyepatch, now, I think.

I was hunched over in pain before I started writing.

Why write? Well, I have to stay awake through the remainder of my shift, or at least until I’m sent home. When I got the idea for this essay, I pounced on the idea, because although I write which seems like quite a bit of work, it’s actually not too bad for me to sit and type with my eyes closed, which helps with the whole staying awake thing and the whole focusing on something so I don’t focus on the pain thing. That’s the thing I’m realizing now. If I have something or someone to focus on that’s not making me feel terrible, then I can normally manage well enough.

I am managing well enough by taking frequent breaks.

The meeting I had with my manager was confusing and possibly… well… let’s just say the implications weren’t favorable to me as a person but more to the company as an operation. Of course, I can’t concentrate for more than a few minutes on anything now, so I could have been reading wrong where there was nothing to read. Either way, it does feel better to be writing. If I can express myself, then I don’t have to keep it bottled up. I can find that psychological tension and release the valve while I wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait-wait for any short-term or long-term relief from this.

I wonder if I’ll ever want to return to these to reread how it was like in this mindset?

Let’s say it was something easy like a worsened eyeglass prescription, some stress management, and maybe some sort of mild root cause. Would I look back and think about how quaint it was to consider how much pain I was in throughout all these essays? Would I feel fortunate that they fixed it? Would I take it for granted? I’ve learned many objective things about medicine, the mechanics of headaches, the human body, as well as many subjective things like my pain tolerance levels, my ability to cope with situations, and these in-the-moment essays capturing how it’s been like for me. I think this useful knowledge to spread, which is why I am writing about all of this like I am. Plus it takes my mind off the fact that it feels like my body is self-destructing. It’s probably not. I’m not bleeding randomly.

I would like these real-life error messages to get repaired rather soon…

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: The nice thing about writing stuff like this is that it’s great for framing. If I’m getting error messages in my own personal life often enough to write about it, there’s a problem.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Picture: If I had made a picture, then I would have taken a photo then put in like an augmented reality-style error message atop that photo.
Written On: 2020 January 14 [23 minutes, from 12:14am to 12:37am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 January 14 [Possible edits adapting from Gdocs to WordPress. Would this be the second draft, then?
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.