Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{May 20, 2007}   Identity

Since I’m now sure I’ll be staying in Vancouver, what with the having of the job and an apartment and other such necessities, I decided it’s time to actually get settled down a bit. In addition to unpacking my stuff, I’ve actually found myself a family doc who was willing to take a new patient*, found the eye doctor that I used to go to and really like (who had moved offices and the optometrists she used to work with weren’t too forthcoming with where she had moved to… but I found her new office, which turns out to be way close to where I live), so I made an appointment with her, and found myself a dentist**. Since I only work four days a week, I have Fridays off to run around and do such things as going to appointments. And that’s what I spent yesterday doing.

At the doctor’s office, I was just having an initial “meet & greet”***, where I got to meet the doctor and she took my history, height, weight, blood pressure and such. And I would like to tell the internets that my blood pressure is:


For reference, “normal” is 120/80. So mine is lower than “normal”, which is a good thing. When I first found that I had low blood pressure (mine has been like this for years), I tried to find out if there was a clinical cut off for blood pressure that is “too low”****, but from what I could find, as long as you aren’t fainting, you are probably OK.

In the afternoon, I went to the optometrist. Apparently my eyes are very healthy for someone who is pretty much blind. She put the drops in to test for glaucoma and the drops that dilate your pupils… she took some pics of my retina and showed them to me (retinas look pretty cool, FYI). I talked to her a bit about laser eye surgery – she recommended the surgeons who did her laser eye surgery and I think that when (not if, but when*****) I get it done, I’ll go with those guys. I think that if my optometrist goes to them herself, that’s probably a good sign.

Here’s a pic I took later on, because I thought my eyes just looked so freaking creepy:


The other thing of note from this appointment (and the thing that prompted this blog posting’s title) was, since it was the first time I’d been to this office, they took all my info… name, address, phone number, family doctor’s name, occupation. Occupation. What is it that I do, exactly? I had run into the same issue at the doctor’s appointment earlier. How do I explain what I do in less than 1000 words? I started to explain it, but then changed course… “Oh, it’s hard to explain… just put down “scientist”.” The optometrist happened to be walking by the reception desk at the time and thought this was quite funny. Then I felt the need to justify myself, “Well, I am a scientist…. I just, don’t exactly do science right now.”

I don’t do science right now. I don’t do science anymore. I’ve been identifying myself as a scientist for many, many years now and it just sort of hit me that I’m not a practising scientist anymore. That’s going to take some getting used to.

On the plus side, when the receptionist inquired, “Ms? Miss? Mrs?” I got to say “Dr.” This seemed to fluster her a bit: “Oh, I’m so sorry!” It’s amazing to me the level of respect that is automatically afforded to you the moment you inform someone that you are “Dr.” It seems rather silly to me, but I totally take advantage of it any chance I can get.

*which is no easy accomplishment in Vancouver, let me tell you!

**gee, let’s guess who now has medical and dental coverage?

***that’s what the receptionist called it.

****the cut off for high blood pressure (hypertension) is above 140/80, although I believe there has been some debate about that recently.

*****the “when,” of course, being related to whenI can find a way to make a few thousand dollars to cover the cost.

et cetera