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Tuesday Evening 1700

I have a doctor's appointment to go to in a little while and I have to decide whether to try to walk or take the bus. If I walk I will arrive sweaty but this doc rarely asks me to remove any clothing and besides one usually has to wait a while so the sweat would probably dry anyway. The real question is whether to arrive with my back screaming in pain. It might be good to pull into the garage with the car making all those funny noises, but it can still be nerve wracking to drive that way, you know? If it hurts when I stand for more than ten minutes, it hurts when I stand for more than ten minutes, and the clinic is more than ten minutes away on foot.

The other choice is one of two buses. I absolutely despise the buses here. I actually am not that het up over the fact that the drivers are well-paid: they should be. They are on the front lines dealing with the dangerously unpredictable clientele and are charged with delivering them safely and in a timely fashion while negotiating San Francisco traffic in vehicles that are only barely maintained. I would kill myself after five minutes doing what they do. Management, I'm not so sure about. Maintenance is obviously in the toilet. Those areas need some work, as do Dispatch and whoever is in charge of the general procedures are for keeping buses running on time. Contrary to public perception, that is the job for people in dispatching. Drivers cannot do much about traffic or buses that break down. And yeah, I think it is ok if a driver stops and runs into McD's to take a piss or Starbucks to get a cup of coffee. You ever do a job where you are strapped to your seat the whole time?

</soapbox>

I hate them though because they are crowded, dirty, messy, smelly, loud, and slow, although my particular journey this evening is usually negotiable in a reasonable amount of time, as traffic doesn't get bad until right about where I get off the bus. That leaves crowded, dirty, messy, smelly, and loud. This is mainly the fault of the riders and Maintenance. Although there is some anthropological interest in riding in the back--always ride in the back: it's more interesting and somewhat dangerous so gives you a thrill ride--it does not outweigh all the negatives most of the time.

But it would shorten my time standing and thus decrease the amount of pain I'd be in and how sweaty I was on arrival. I'm already planning on walking home so I will get some exercise. By that time my back will have loosened up and probably be ok. I know I could stretch but I think it would take about 30 minutes of stretching to do any good. Ten minutes doesn't help, in any case.

OK I have about ten minutes to make up my mind. Must find relatively clean clothing..

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
daisydumont
Mar. 17th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
oh, i'm sorry to hear your back's that bad! i guess by now you've made your choice and gone along to the doc. hope there's help for you there!
eriktrips
Mar. 17th, 2010 10:01 am (UTC)
I have been referred to physical therapy at SF General. The only problem there is that it is more than a ten-minute walk away but taking a bus is dumb because it basically drives three miles to get me to a place that is a mile away from where I live.

I'll figure it out somehow. It hurts like @$%!^& for about an hour and then it loosens up, but that first hour is getting worse. I think I need to learn some stretches or something. I've tried on my own but all I know is to do whatever feels better; I don't know if that actually is better.
daisydumont
Mar. 17th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
PT has helped me a lot in the past. like a fool, i don't do them after i feel better, so things get bad again. if you get an expert therapist, one who's intuitive about the body, they can really do you good! hope that's what happens for you.
eriktrips
Mar. 17th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC)
I will try my best to make myself go. The big obstacle is that I have to call them. I might ask Nan if she'll do it. I hate being such a wuss about the phone but I really do not like it and will allow all sorts of things to happen just so I don't have to use it. Not good.

I need staff.
oldcroaker
Mar. 17th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
Good luck, I had my yearly physical a week ago I can't do anything for long they know that.

From the time I checked in to the time I left+3hrs. He always comes in the room to find me flat on my back on the table. This is Blue Sheild in action get that I pay for the abuse.

It is a sick sick world.
eriktrips
Mar. 17th, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
Wow. I've been going to the same city-funded clinic for 13 years and although they are a bit slow, I usually make it out in under 2 hours. Tonight was unprecedented: 1.5 hours, start to finish. And they were short-staffed! I think they must not have had any seriously ill patients. Or lots of no-shows. Or something.
zoe_1418
Mar. 17th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
I hope this worked out OK.
eriktrips
Mar. 17th, 2010 10:14 am (UTC)
I took the bus there and walked back. The bus was actually ok until a guy started playing music on his cellphone--which was fine with me but another guy decided he was going to be the enforcer and told him to turn the music off.

I got off the bus shortly after the argument started. I don't know how it ended. You have to know when to leave well enough alone.

I'm off to physical therapy next week. We'll see what they can do.
almostinfocus
Mar. 17th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
As much I as enjoyed visiting San Francisco, I must agree that the busses (and riders) could use some improvement. They are as you described, and what surprised me is how many people try (and succeed) to enter through the center door to avoid paying. It seems accepted (or at least tolerated) behavior. That would never happen here. It's not so much that I care, but it made the rides even more annoying because the people who did this push and shove in their attempt to get on without being noticed by the driver. So anyone getting off or standing by the door is pretty much a target to get knocked down. Again, very annoying.

Sorry about your back. I know all too well what it's like. Hope you're feeling better.
eriktrips
Mar. 17th, 2010 10:10 am (UTC)
Yeah the buses are a total free-for-all. And they keep cutting service because we are facing the same budget crisis everyone else is facing. It's like throwing an anvil to a drowning man. They can't afford to pay officers to keep people from coming in the back doors and they can't run enough buses to keep them from being so overcrowded that it is always a stampede no matter whether you are coming or going.

I'm hoping to be able to walk my usual routes without much pain soon. Fortunately, SF is a small city and good for walking. You just have to learn how to get around the biggest hills.
isindra
Mar. 17th, 2010 07:01 am (UTC)
I feel your pain.
The public transit here is so hard to use (paratransit is awful too) that I am going to have to get another car when I go back to work.

I hope your doctor does something to help. Pain is so inconvenient. ;)

Give the kitties hugs for me.
eriktrips
Mar. 17th, 2010 10:17 am (UTC)
Hugs gladly administered. :)

I'm being sent to physical therapy at SFGH. Not my favorite place to go but it's what I can afford. For a public health system the people are actually usually nice, but again, it's always slow and often "interesting" when that's not really what you came for.
(Deleted comment)
eriktrips
Mar. 17th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it is muscle spasms due to scoliosis and, um, accelerated muscle development after age 35. :)

We've done x-rays and except for the multiple curves, my spine is ok. So it is probably muscular. We'll see what PT can do.

Soap! That's a new one. So far I've been told ibuprofen, taking computer breaks (!), and yoga. I'll research the soap thing and the yoga. I'm taking ibuprofen and don't believe in computer breaks. ;)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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