not resembling the Antikythera Mechanism
Thursday, September 7 2017
Shortly into the afternoon, while waiting for a medical professional to get back to her about the wisdom of eating non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on an empty stomach, Gretchen took her temperature and it was an astounding 104.1. She called the whoever (it's never really a doctor at this point in the collapse of American healthcare) and was told to go immediately to an emergency room. So back we headed to Northern Dutchess Hospital, with me driving and Gretchen lying in the back seat. The wait in the emergency room was almost non-existent. I could've gone back to the room with Gretchen (as others were doing) but I stayed out in the waiting area, trying to do work. But the WiFi wasn't connecting to the internet, and my cellphone reception kept coming and going. All I could really do was read the news, feed my 6502 processor nostalgia, and make witty retorts on Slack. I tried to learn about ShipMyOrders.com, but I couldn't figure out where the meat of the documentation was, particularly across such a marginal internet connection.
It seemed like we would be there for awhile, so I decided to go get lunch. The only logical choice for lunch in Rhinebeck is Aba's Falafel's new brick & mortar store. Roy (Cathy's airplane-pilot husband) and an assistant were running the place when I arrived, though I was the only customer aside from a woman eating out at a table on the sidewalk. Roy asked how things were, so I explained how it was that I was in Rhinebeck. This was why he refused my money when I went to pay for my delicious falafel sandwich. He also gave me a sweet Turkish coffee, a flavor I have not had in my mouth since 2005, the only time I've been to the Middle East.
I walked all four quadrants of Rhinebeck to see what my coffee options were, and was surprised to see that the only apparent coffee shop is a little candy store called Samuel's. I guess it was Samuel running the counter, and while I waited he dealt with the woman in front of me. She was another local business owner and they were discussing the difficulty of finding and retaining good employees. In a free market generally the solution to scarcity is an increase in price (or, in this case, pay), though that never came up.
Back at the emergency room, I continued passing the time as I had while a small trickle of other patients came through. One of these was an older man whose sugery had "all split open." I didn't notice at the time, but he'd been dripping blood on the floor for the thirty seconds he'd been waiting.
Eventually a doctor came out to get me, and I joined Gretchen in her little emergency room room. She explained the situation. It seems an abscess had been detected on one of her fallopian tubes and this was the cause of all her trouble. To address the problem, she would be receiving intravenous antibiotics and would have to stay in the hospital for days. That came as a bit of a surprise, given how reluctant hospitals are to fill their beds with patients. But it was a relief finally having an idea of what the problem was. Of course, I'd been pretty certain this medical mystery was getting solved today, as it was unlikely anyone would be letting her temperature climb above 104.
I drove back home and resumed my workday, though it wasn't easy to focus on the mundane tasks of the day. Also, my colleagues were interested in knowing about Gretchen's case, so I kept giving them updates. I mentioned that the doctors would be removing Gretchen's 15 year old IUD, and of course all the ladies on the team had only heard bad things about IUDs (you never hear the many stories of women whose IUDs haven't caused problems). I even jokingly suggested that when it came out, the IUD would perhaps resemble the Antikythera Mechanism. So, not long after, you can imagine my amazement when Gretchen sent me a picture she'd taken of her freshly-extracted IUD and it didn't even look discolored. Reports were that it didn't smell bad (the nose is a diagnostic tool) and so was unlikely to have played a role in her ongoing infection.
I had a typical night by myself, though I spent a lot of it on the couch in front of the teevee, continuing to watch season 3 of Halt & Catch Fire. It occurred to me at some point that this show appeared to be engineered from the ground-up to pass the Bechdel Test.
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