After some lovely 50-degree days this past week, winter has apparently decided to come back. When I left work, enormous snowflakes were coming down; snowflakes so big, they explode on your windshield and leave a mark about the size of a quarter. Of course, by the time I got home, the precipitation had turned into small ice pellets. Which I thought was sufficiently weird.
Today I stopped by the post office and picked up my box, which had one of these in it. Jason knows to be properly jealous. As a result, I'll be blatantly unavailable for the entire weekend.
I've been sick again for a couple of days, and had a bit of an epiphany after going to see the doctor. As a result, I don't really feel compelled any more to find a name for what's wrong with me. If there is anything wrong, that is. The doctor's convinced I just react to viruses differently than most people, although he's very willing to refer me to any specialists or anybody I might want to see.
I think in the past, I may have fallen a bit into the "If I can just put a name to it, I can get it fixed." trap that a lot of people seem to get caught up in. Before I go any further, let me just say that sometimes it is important to put a name to things, or find the reasons why something is happening in our bodies. My dad's case is a good example of that. Mine, however, is not, and here's why:
1. I'm not actually dying.
I'll be the first to admit, the fatigue, sometimes shortness of breath, not wanting to move at all, and the rest of it, can be a bit scary at times. However, I've never been hospitalized, and I suspect that after this amount of time, if it had been required I would have been.
2. It's not getting worse.
I had a couple of worse-than-normal spells in college, and one long one before college, but other than that they've been pretty predictable in seriousness/length of time. And since I've been out of school, the spells have tended to be shorter rather than longer. Especially recently. This could be due to better eating, more regular exercise, the substantially lower amounts of stress, or whatever. It doesn't really matter; the important thing is that they aren't getting noticeably worse, or more frequent. Rather the opposite in the last year and a half, really.
3. It's not seriously debilitating.
Anymore, I'm down for one-and-a-half to two days, three tops. That's about the amount of downtime I'd expect from a bad cold, and when I'm not having a spell I feel fine. It's not as though I'm laid up in bed for weeks upon weeks. Actually, I probably have only the average amount of sick days, as I live alone, and don't work with kids. I haven't had a cold or the flu at all this year.
So, given all that, is it really reasonable for me to burn through my deductible and spend valuable hours and days seeing doctors and specialists, trying to hunt down the Phantom Diagnosis That Matches All My Symptoms? No, not really. All the major treatable possibilities have already been ruled out, and being able to say "I have Syndrome X," where Syndrome X has no treatment, nobody really knows what causes it, and even the name really only exists to give a label to an allotment of symptoms with no other known cause, is not really helpful to me.
I'll still get sick, and spend a day or two at a time not doing anything that involves any effort at all (shockingly enough, this means no reading, and no video games. It takes entirely too much effort to turn pages and press buttons), and probably still complain about it, and it won't be all rainbows and sunshine, but I'm done looking for non-existant solutions to (relatively!) minor problems. I'm supposed to get some pulmonary test done before too long, but after that, I'm done.
I bought some index cards today, and when I got home I found out that they were more like index heavy-papers than index cards. I must be old-fashioned, since I don't actually buy index cards to make tiny paper airplanes with. Silly me.
On another note, I'd like very much to be able to read the website of what is rather commonly supposed to be one of the better conservative magazines, without having my intelligence insulted. I'm talking about National Review, and I'm not talking about blog posts.
No, Michael Ledeen wrote in this article:
"[The Iranian mullahs] whisper to American diplomats — who then promptly inform the Washington Post, afflicted with grave credibility problems of its own — that they are prepared to deliver al Qaeda terrorists into our hands, if only we will be kinder. I have lost count of the number of times this empty promise has been trotted out (this regime could no more abandon al Qaeda than it could abandon Shiism; terrorism is too deeply embedded in its DNA)."
Al Qaeda is Sunni. There's very little they hate more than Shiite Muslims. And as Ledeen so helpfully pointed out, the Iranian leadership is Shiite, leaving Iran with very little reason to protect Al Qaeda members. I know this, and I can just about guarantee that Ledeen knows this. I, after all, am a younger-than-25 software engineer in the heart of the Midwest, and Michael Ledeen is "resident scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute."