My husband's taken my son to the urgent care clinic with a fever of 102.5. Either strep or flu, probably strep given the sudden characteristic collapse in early evening. If it's strep, he'll be fine by tomorrow afternoon on an antibiotic. No reason to wait to see the pediatrician, which would take 3 hours from the workday given the office's "speed" and actually cost more (we pay a percent at urgent care, $30 copay at the pediatrician). With the urgent care clinic, you can sign in online and they'll call you when they have space. Keep the sick kid from having to wait among hacking people with other germs, feeling bad. If he has flu, I need on Tamiflu pronto, though my husband says it's not working so well this year.
My aunt's broken ribs from coughing (pertussis?) and my husband's grandmother has been moved from assisted living to the hospital with the flu. I feel terrible for not going to see her but have heard she is hacking and even choking constantly. Having had eight weeks of antibiotic resistant pneumonia myself in just over a year, I am hesitant. Argh.
I am reminded that this week last year, two thirds of my daughter's class at school was absent with a stomach virus and substitutes could not be found. No matter--classes were combined. Class photos were taken that week, and the classes looked tiny and teacherless. Kids were hurling cookies at the Valentine's party.
On a completely unrelated note, I've been thinking about disability and self definition. A few times recently when I've been asked for my employer during registration for a radiology or hospital procedure, and I've said, "none," the clerk has responded, "homemaker" and typed that into the computer. Now one doesn't have to look at me and think of the definition of "homemaker" very long to figure out that I am not up to the physical tasks required. This feels odd to me. While maybe they are seeing beyond the disability and defining me as more than a "none," since people are often defined by their occupations, if I were a man and said, "none," would they not mark me down as unemployed? Or would they mark me down as a homemaker? I do have to say this term was not my favorite even when I was taking care of preschoolers full time. Maybe I've just been taught to overthink words too much.
But here's another one that bothers me. Handicapped. Especially when a couple of times a young man referred to me as "handicapped." When I gently said, "disabled," he more pointedly, in an exaggerated way, said "handicapped" to his coworker. Now at this point gentle turned to anger. While I am typically a calm Frida and realize that people just haven't heard why some terms offend people, for someone to insist on such a term struck me as an attempt at control or letting me know my place (perceived as lower than his). He only stopped when I asked him if he still used racist or outdated terms for different ethnic groups. Why does this word rankle so? It makes me feel as if I'm described as helpless, as completely unable (though I'm not able to be a homemaker). Person first language is obviously best. I do have difficulty understanding the resistance of people to using the descriptors that a minority group prefers. What is their attachment to outdated words?
My husband just called: strep.