- January 28th, 2010
So today I got to make the schlep from TC to Saginaw to deal with some VA stuff (I'm asking for more money, as my diabetes has worsened according to their parameters). I was told it was a 2.5 or 3 hour trip. It's actually 3.5 hours, so that meant getting out of the house sooner than I thought. Seeing as how the appointment was at 8:30am, that meant leaving by 4:45am. Bleh.
So I get up and get outta the house with no problems. Colder than hell outside, and it's been snowing all night. Argh. Ok, whatever just get going. So I get to the bottom of the hill I drive down every day to go to work, but instead of driving to the left to go to work, I drive to the right to get the hell outta town. I'm heading towards I-75, and unlike Orlando, it's roughly 2 hours away. As soon as I make that right, everything goes to shit. It's 5am, and the plows do not get out until....I dunno, 10am? So the roads are covered with light, fluffy snow with packed, icy snow underneath. No big deal, I'm in town, I can go slowly because I can see where I'm going. But oh, as soon as I get out of town, streetlights go away. Seriously, there are no streetlights at all.
Now, I thought I'd driven in a whiteout before, but that involved going, "Agh, I can't see a goddam thing...oh wait now I can." Not here. Not even close. I could go a good 30-60 seconds without being able to see anything but white on the windshield. And that's NOT an exaggeration - I was driving by feel for the first 2 hours. Seriously, I want to give the person that invented rumble strips a great big sloppy kiss.
Oh, about the streetlights? I slightly misspoke. They have these hanging lights every mile or so that hand equidistant between the lanes at intersections. So as you're driving down them, the light will be slightly to your left, correct? Yeah, for at least a mile or so, not so much. Yes folks, I was driving on the wrong goddam side of the road for at least 2 miles with absolutely no way to tell that I was doing it. Well, that is until I met oncoming traffic. That was fun.
Then, after 2 hours, I finally get to I-75. Yes! I can *just* make it. But oh, look! Traffic on I-75 is going 25MPH. Holy hell, everyone is doing 25MPH on the interstate, there are 2 lanes but no one DARES take the left, because it's not got tracks worn in it because everyone stays in the right-hand lane. So I do that for about 20-25 mins, and then it just vanishes. No more snow, no more whiteout, roads are mostly clear. Ok, so 80MPH it is, and I make it about 7 minutes late. I'm still not sure that's possible according to Newtonian physics, but I *did* have a cat in a box with some 50% isotope, so that may have had something to do with it.
Once I got there, everything went according to how I thought it would. First appointment was the medical one, where they evaluated my diabetes and my high blood pressure since blood pressure can be caused/related to/exacerbated by diabetes. Then I had until 1:30pm until I had my mental health clinic appointment. Neat trick, I didn't even know I had one but ok. So I go and talk to this guy, figured I'd be in and out relatively quickly, but before you know it, 2+ hours have passed. Holy hell, can I talk. And this is the part that is sorta staying with me: at the end of it, he thanked me.
He thanked me for being "clearly of higher intelligence, intellectually in touch with [my] depression and able to be very specific and articulate [my]self" and for actually making his job easy and for making the session (or whatever you call it) enjoyable. For instance, he asked me on a scale of 1 to 10, where was my depression? I replied that there's no way it could be a 10, because then I'd be dead. He thought that was something that no one really seems to realize on their own (which I think is odd in itself, but I digress). He also didn't flip out when I answered "yes" to the "have you ever considered suicide?" question, which was a huge plus. I told him that for any problem I have (serious ones I mean, not what to have for dinner or some such), suicide is *always* considered, because it's *always* an option. But since I was sitting across from him, I've also obviously *always* dismissed it as a viable solution. I've had people give me a "look" or really get concerned when I say things like that, and the fact that he didn't was pretty awesome. And while he's obviously biased since he only got one side (I really and truly try and be objective and not paint myself in ANY kind of good light when it comes to she-and-I stuff), he thinks Jess is nuts too.
So after that, I got to drive back home where everything was the same as driving out there, but in reverse. Actually, the severity was less but it was still whiteout-y. Shame too, as the drive is really nice aside from that whole lack-of-visibility thing.