Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I had lots of plans for today. I wanted to give blood, but I woke up with a sore throat and a cough. It feels like it is extremely hot in the lab, but the thermometer says otherwise. The graduate student is gone for the day so I could take off my sweater and continue working in my undershirt, but that might seem weird if anyone walked in. Lying down sounds extremely good right now anyway so I think I'll call it a day and accept that there will be more tedious, mindless grunt work to do tomorrow.

I've worked while sicker. I spent about a week coughing for hours on end last summer while everyone else in the lab kept asking if I was ok. In retrospect, it would have made sense to go to the doctor sooner rather than hoping it'd go away on its own. One of the major advantages of being a student is being able to go to the health center with no marginal cost since we've already paid the fees. Thanks to a kindly nurse practitioner and $20 worth of medication I soon felt better. I was grateful for this small scale socialized medical system.

It doesn't always work well. Appointments during the height of flu season can be hard to come by, and mental health care focuses on drug therapy since there aren't enough doctors and psych grad students to keep up with the demand for counseling. For most routine issues, the system does work well. I need to go ahead and schedule my annual check-up for early January.

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