Friday, February 25, 2011

Optional Activity: the Ultimate Luxury

At last, a chance to enjoy a bit of my vacation, now that I'm at the half-way point, done with the current round of snow-shoveling and waiting for the next, which has been predicted to come tonight into tomorrow. At least we had a bit of melting before the big blast, which took care of all but the largest, here-until-May piles of plowed snow which are now even larger because they occupy the only good places to put it. I don't have any plans that will require getting out early to shovel, so I may be able to look out and say, "I think I'll stay in today." People talk about what they would do if they won the lottery. I think that being able to avoid doing something unpleasant because you don't need to do it is an ultimate luxury.

I also completed the task which served as an excuse to take some time off, sneaking between the snow storms for the quarterly trip to Sioux Falls for the wife's doctor's appointment. I use the singular because efforts to coordinate with other doctors had failed despite three months' effort. (It sounds like the next trip could be more successful, but I'll believe it when we're there.) We also found out that the doctor is leaving, as is her primary physician here (again), which means rebuilding relationships while hoping nothing important falls through the cracks. On a cynically positive note, the way things have gone in the past, having someone new take a fresh look might not be all bad.

Teleconferencing is becoming increasingly available, which is usually a poor substitute for an in-person visit. But since these visits often consist of talking about tests that can be done here (assuming the results are relayed to the doctor, which is far from a given; a test about which I'd written in the past failed to get sent, which is far from the first time, and like the others no one could be persuaded to answer the phone, much less provide an explanation) this is a better-than-nothing solution that reduces the need for what we just went through yesterday. We recently had one, and they tried to replicate the in-person experience by having us spend most of the time waiting while looking at a video feed of an empty chair. But it did get the job done without a day-long road trip and the arrangements necessary to take it.

I know, I did use the trip as an excuse to take some time off. But I go back to that lottery thought, which is that doing something because you like the idea feels more luxurious than doing it because you must.

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