Thursday, April 30, 2009

Depression

It seems to be quite easy to slip into a state of not wanting to do anything. ( I’m actually writing this quite a bit later than the date says.)
There were a lot of things that seemed to just add up at the same time. There was a lack of money from L. not working and medical bills. We couldn’t go out because L. was recovering and we were just coming out of winter with everything dead anyway. Couple that with dealing all the problems we were already dealing with for L.’s health and I lost pretty much any motivation to do anything at work, home or anywhere else.
I found myself starting to watch T.V. and play video games, two things I never really did before. I recognized the problem but doing something about it would require me to do something which as I’ve already covered was part of the problem. Since we had to delay moving to London for a year I no longer had something that I was working towards so I had to create artificial goals to give me a sense of control and accomplishment. I started to really concentrate on exercising as something to do and to get me out of the house. My brother in law also invited me to go with him to Burning Man so I tried to come up with some projects for me to do before then. Anything to distract myself from the current reality, while it would get better, it would take some time to get there.
The problem is familiarity. Now that the topic is on our minds, every TV show the topic seems to come up, or conversation about someone. While it might just seem like a weird phenomenon when you buy a new car to suddenly realize how many other cars on the road are the same as yours, in this kind of a situation neither of us wants to be reminded so it is extra frustrating that we are recognizing it everywhere.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

L's ongoing medical stuff

Probably one of the worst memories that will stick in my head for the rest of my life is the phone call L. got about her health. We were driving across a long bridge when she got the call from her doctor. She started crying and every question she asked made her sob more. I couldn’t console her because I was driving on a busy freeway. I couldn’t pull over because we were on a bridge. So not only was L. getting all this terrible news but I was helpless to do anything for her in any way.
L. had to go though quite a few surgeries and other “procedures”. The whole quality of life versus surgeries endured was something that came up many times. One of the main problems that we ran into was that she couldn’t work between surgeries (time between surgeries was spent recovering for the next surgery.) but her work is what she had her insurance through. If it wasn’t for worker’s rights laws and understanding people at her work we would have lost her insurance, and become bankrupt and destitute even with all the protection that we thought we had.
Spending so much time at the hospital has led to some interesting observations. Doctors get paid by the procedure and get sued if they don’t offer every option. The only person that is asking if it is a good idea to do something or not is a terrified patient. No wonder our medical system is so messed up and expensive right now. People standing outside the hospital with the I.V. pole in one hand and a cigarette in the other or the obese people that have their family bringing them chocolate cake and fried chicken must really also dis-hearten the hospital staff.
My sister in law was laid off from her job because of the bad economy so since she was not doing anything else she offered to stay for a while and help out L. It was nice for me to be able to go to work and not need to worry about her. One of the things that L. enjoyed while holed up on the couch was that as a project I had copied all the movies over to our computer. She was able to select movies with the remote without needing to get up and down for each movie. Another nice thing was to sign up for Netflix since they now offer streaming the movies through the computer. With the computer hooked up to the T.V. she had access to plenty to keep her from being bored.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Visiting Westpoint

L.’s Aunt came to visit her son (my friend D.) in Brooklyn. As part of the trip they decided to visit L.’s Aunt at West Point. D. had not been there yet either so he came along too.
West Point is an military university but it is an Army base first. this meant that we all had to go through a security check point. The amount they search the car is random but usually they just scan drivers licensees. The part we can’t figure out is what they are looking for when they do search the trunk. I mean it is an Army base, people carry guns and other weapons all the time. It is a university campus so I’ve seen plenty of cars with alcohol. The only thing I can think of is to display control. When we went L.’s aunt remembered her son’s I.D. but she forgot her own. They will let kids in without I.D. but not adults. So we had to wait for her Aunt to come out to the gate and vouch for her.
West point has been there for hundreds of years so the architecture of the buildings is beutiful. One of the fun things that we have done is to take bikes with us and ride them around the campus. Another thing that I did was that I wanted to fly kites there since I was trying to make sure the kites that I bought would work good that I was taking to Burning Man with me.