Thursday, July 22, 2010

"That's Not Our Department."

I go to a community college, and around here it's pretty notorious for adult women coming back to school to go to the nursing program. (We have a very good nursing program, and our X-Ray tech and sonography programs are similarly great.) That's a tale for another post though.

This semester we implemented a new idea; credit based registration. Previously, returning students had been able to register for classes before anyone else, and were able to do it online. Now it went by people with the most credits going first. I believe this so that people who have been here longer can get into the classes they need first.

I have logged about fifty three credits in the four semesters that I've been here (I had one particularly nutty venture where I took eighteen credits in one semester). The first day possible, I went ahead and registered for all my classes.

My financial aid was going to be able to cover everything, but it was going to take a few weeks to process my paper work, because that's just how they roll. I went to defer my payments, and skipped merrily away, glad all that was taken care of.

Sadly, today I went to go and check on my classes, and to my dismay--I HAD BEEN DROPPED FROM ALL OF THEM. No e-mail, no phone call, no nothing. I sure get handfuls of letters and phone calls if I owe them so much as a penny, or when they want me to donate to them, but not when it comes to anything important.

So I march myself down to Student Services and find out that my deferred payment had never gone through. I told the cashier I should have been notified. She gave me a deer in the headlights look and murmure; "That's not our department."

This is completely typical response here. Financial Aid down? Go to Student Services to Financial Aid, not their department. Records lost? Not Student Services department. They lose your paperwork (this happened to me twice)? Not their department. Need your ID? Not their department. Need your login fixed? Don't ask IT!

I hate it so much.

I did get registered for new classes, and I'm still only on campus two days a week, so I guess it's okay. :/

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Saga of Who The Hell Knows?

For the past seven months, I've been suffering from MagicRandom! illness. My symptoms include such fun things as searing joint pain! Random low grade fevers! Rashes! But wait, there's more! For no extra cost, the Universe threw in super fatigue and HAIR LOSS.

What a bargain, what a deal!

The hair loss is what bothers me the most. Even on days when I wake up and can't make a fist, or on afternoons where I'm laying with my face covered by a cool wash cloth to bring down my fever, I'm most bothered by the handfuls of hair that have been coming out in the shower, in my hair straightener and in my hair brush. I quit using the straightener and I refuse to cut or dye my hair for fear of anything else going wrong with it.

It's all just vanity; I will admit that.

My insurance is not only sucky, but in my town there aren't many doctors that accept it. (My mother, She Who Must Be Kept, works in a city about forty five minutes from town, and there are more doctors there that accept it for obvious reasons.) Until this year, we didn't really go to the doctor. We did have one through the low income care network, but she left and we didn't much care to go and find a new one. It wasn't a choice; by the time we needed medical attention it had reached emergency levels, and beyond colds and general winter misery, no one gets too sick in my family. I mean, I have asthma, but even that's pretty well controlled. My family would simply take ourselves up to the Doc in the Box, or Urgent Care clinic, get an order for antibiotics or get X-rays for the sprain or strain and carry on.

But this past fall when I began to get sick, we got back into the care network and found a new doctor. Part of the reason we didn't like the low income place was because it's all the way across town, and takes about an hour an fifteen minutes for me to get to on the bus. This isn't a trip I much like taking when I'm sick enough to go to the doctor.

I went to the doctor with my symptoms, and she, suspecting an auto immune disorder, ordered some blood work and gave me T-3s, a narcotic. Yes, there is prescription strength ibuprofen, and yes, that is what one is supposed to be started on. But anyway, my blood work came back clean, and so She Who Must Be Kept and I scheduled another appointment.

The doctor promptly said since the blood work was fine, it must be in my head, and that my weight was contributing to the issue (which may very well be, I am a chunky bitch, and I do admit that). But neither did she refer me to the care networks social worker for an evaluation, nor did she send me to the nutritionist, both of which are standard protocol. So we reported her to the administration of the care network and found ANOTHER doctor.

Doctor #2, whom She Who Must Be Kept and I like quite a bit, said she couldn't figure out the problem, but she didn't think it was in my head, but it could be fibromyalgia. Well, that was a bit of a stretch, huh?

So Dr. #2 wanted me to see a rheumatologist. Great, a specialist who can help! Oh wait, there's a wait list? A SIX MONTH LONG WAIT LIST? Fucking great. Fast forward to me having the winter from hell between the crutches I was on due to an accident and this joint pain.

Finally (FINALLY) I got to see the specialist this week. There was a problem with my appointment. They said on my paperwork nine o clock, and the first confirmation call I got said I should get there at eight thirty. Okay, that's fine. The second confirmation call said my appointment was at nine thirty, and to get there at nine. Uh... 'Kay. So She Who Must Be Kept and I get there at nine fifteen.

The nurse then says my appointment is at ten. When we show her the paperwork, she says they're much too busy to keep track of who is supposed to show up when. This does not inspire confidence, does it?

Anyway, I get in, and the doctor is lovely (and I adore her toe nail polish). She doesn't believe it's lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or arthritis, or my weight. She does believe it could be Vitamin D deficiency, which I hadn't even considered. Food is a very poor source of that vitamin, your body makes it with sunshine. I have an allergy to the sun, and therefore do not go out in it, so this makes sense. She also scolded me and told me to get on calcium because I don't drink milk and don't eat enough dairy, but did praise me for the twenty pounds I've managed to shed in two months, AND for almost completely cutting out soda.

So I went and got a blood draw. A SEVEN VIAL blood draw. My thyroid has come back fine, but I have to wait a week for anything else.

I really, really, REALLY don't want it to be fibromyalgia. I do believe in the validity of this disease (I know people with it), but even my specialist said it's a garbage pail term. It basically means, in quite a few cases, that they can't figure out what's wrong, so here, take this diagnosis.

I'm not on prescription strength ibuprofen, which only makes me drowsy, but I'm not complaining too loud.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

"But I'm a Moooooooom."

I went out to dinner last night. Going Out to Dinner is sort of an event for me. There's Grabbing Some Food, Running to Get Some Supper and Going Out to Dinner.

Grabbing Some Food means going to Little Cesar's and getting a five dollar pizza, or running to McDonald's and ordering off the dollar menu. This typically happens early in the afternoon when I have a lot of other thinsg to do that day.

Running to Get Some Supper involves any drive thru, but preferably Taco Bell, and getting a meal. I do not mean dollar menuing it up, I mean gettign a value meal, taking it home, and plopping down on the couch to watch a movie and eat.

Going Out To Dinner means puttign on real clothes and shoes, and going inside somewhere to sit down. You know, Bob Evans, some Chinese, Fazoli's, something like that. I don't do it often, and when I do, I want to have a good time.

So when I go out to eat, I don't typically enjoy it when there is a screaming toddler and a mother who is ignoring the child. I went out at about ten o clock at night to Steak and Shake (which is neither an appropriate time for a child, nor is typically a place where I would imagine a child being) to avoid that.

But no, sure enough, sitting in one of those half table/booth places, there was a very young mother with her best friend and her baby, and an adorable two year old, who refused to sit down, stop pushing her stroller, or even stop running around to other tables.

This child was so disruptive that the waitress wouldn't sit anyone else in that half of the restuarant. The mother steadfastly ignored her child until she looked over and noticed someone looking at her with a raised eyebrow or a frown.

The little girl almost tripped the waitress while she was carrying trays of hot food. When the mother denied her the right to push her stroller around, she began to howl so that my dining companion and I could not hear one another speaking.

And what got me was--who has their little kid out at ten at night to eat? This was not; "We're here because this is the only time we can come." This was; "We're here because I want time with my friend, and to hell with the rest of you."

The kid wasn't even wearing shoes. :/ That seems good and healthy, what if someone had dropped a glass and the girl stepped on it?

The mother repeatedly gae me dirty looks when she noticed me watching her child. It made me laugh because, well, it was funny. Sorry that you have a kid, I guess? But that doesn't mean that I have to enjoy that my patty melt is now tainted with your kid caterwauling.

I get really really tired when I see people go; "Being a parent is soooo haaard. Look at what a good job I'm doing. I do everything for my child. This sucks. BUT I NEVER COMPLAIN! Everything is for my child."

Here's the thing; you had a baby. I don't know the circumstances surrounding every birth, but there's a pretty good chance you made the choice to have a baby, or at the very least participate in the act that resulted in the baby. Now you take care of it, you don't get a medal for that. Everything is going to revolve around your child, because that's what a parent does. You don't get a pat on the back for doing what you are supposed to do.

This is why I don't have a child. (Even though little kids are cute as hell and I want to eat them up. I wasn't mad at the little girl, I was mad at the mother.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ridin' On the Buu-us.

I don't have a license. Even if I did, I wouldn't have a car to drive. My family isn't set up for two cars--we couldn't afford the gas, insurance, or even the purchasing of two cars. My city is pretty small, but I can't exactly walk everywhere. So when I can't get a ride from my Parental Unit or a friend, I have to take--

The Bus. Yes, I use a capital 'B' for that. I ride the city bus. Service starts at six fifteen Monday through Friday, and ends at five forty five. I know this sounds like a long time, but most of my friends start hanging out at about three, so we get about two hours to do whatever it is we're doing before having to ride the bus or hoof it home. The Buses do leave at fifteen after and fifteen 'til (kinda. I think about four times in my whole time riding the bus they've ever stuck to that schedule, and of course it was when MY Bus was running late so I missed my transfer) so you never really have to wait too long.

So you trek down to the nearest bus stop, which are sometimes in the *randomest* places, and wait. And you wait. And you wait. And then the glorious, glorious monstrosity arrives. You climb on, drop your fare in, get the tissue paper transfer...

Well, that actually takes a minute. See, even though about every third rider needs a transfer, they are never prepared. They have to fuss with the little booklet, slide it up, rip it off awkwardly so you either get a super long slip, or a tiny stub. Thankfully, all the drivers hate transfers and never even look at them.

So you go down to the transfer center downtown and duck and dodge past all the other people to get to your bus to get to your destination. Getting to your bus is probably the worst part of the adventure. There are people who slooooooo---oooooo----oooo-wly meander towards their bus. And they are typically dragging one of those wire carts of groceries, so you can't get past them. Or they are standing and chatting, ignoring you while blowing cigarette smoke in your face, or they are rushing like you.

But you find your bus, and you climb on, and give your transfer. And then you observe the old people falling asleep, the couple with the screaming baby (who is ALWAYS on the same bus as YOU) who sit three seats away from each other, screaming their marital issues for the whole bus to hear. They never get kicked off because the bus driver *also* enjoys the free entertainment.

But Meredith really needs to quit talking to Charlie behind Sam's back. Just sayin'.

There's the kid who is kicking seats and shouting and trying desperately to get Mom's attention. Finally--FINALLY you push the button to get off the bus and into the blinding sun or the blistering cold or the pouring rain.

I really hate riding on the bus sometimes. I hate that it runs late, and I hate the people on it, and I hate that the bus driver decided everyone under a certain age needs to start giving him their money so he can count it, which holds up the line, which makes everyone wonder why you don't have a student pass.

-.- I want a car.