Marginal Thoughts.

Meet the Hatfields.

Maxis offers various game add-ons at the www.thesims.com site. I downloaded a whole new house and a prefab family to go with it.

Here's patriarch Ulysses Hatfield.

He and his very busy wife Ruby Ann are the parents of three rotten little brats. I didn't even bother to learn their names. I can't stand them.

Every time their poor mom tried to get a bath so she could go to work clean, one of the little brats would giggle and jump in the tub before she could get there. Oh, yeah. We all know how much kids love to take baths. Mom ended up having to go to work all stinky.

I'll definitely be checking out that "truant kid gets sent to military school" option for this family before very long ...

The Hatfields have only the finest in outdoor living:

Trash in the yard ...

A convenient outdoor tub...

And an honest-to-God outhouse.

I didn't build the house that way -- Maxis did all of this. I immediately sold off all the furniture in one of the little brats' rooms and converted it to a bathroom. Ulysses and Ruby Ann both said "Yeccch!" when they saw it. Guess this whole indoor plumbing thing is new to them.

Tune in tomorrow, when I introduce you to the next new family on the block. They make the Cleavers look like the Manson family.

... All content copyright 1999-2000 by Nicole Willson. No ripping me off.

3/7 -- MRI This.

I actually thought my vision had improved somewhat in the last few days. It's still bad, but objects I look at with the left eye seem to be coming into slightly clearer detail, and I didn't see as many floaty blind spots in my vision.

My second appointment with Dr. Quack was today, and I had visions of our appointment going something like this: "Wow -- that left eye has made amazing progress! Did I say you needed an MRI and a neurologist? Ha ha -- silly me! You're fine. Now off you go, little lady, and don't bother me again until you've got a real problem."

Pfui. Our appointment started out with Dr. Quack saying, "You didn't get the eyeglasses I prescribed for you yet!" and me snarking out "I thought I might wait until the vision in my eye clears up before I get new glasses." And it went downhill from there. I couldn't see a freaking thing when he had me look at the eye chart with my left eye.

"But you could see some of that last week!" he said.

"Yeah, I know, asshole. This condition tends to get worse before it gets better, according to the colleague of yours who appears to have two brain cells to rub together," I felt like replying.

And I actually feel kinda mean picking on Dr. Quack. He's a nice guy, really he is, but he's such a freaking scatterbrain. Bill sat in on the examination with me, and afterwards we both agreed that he clearly hadn't reviewed my records and had no clue about the optic neurosis until Bill mentioned it to him. This even though my second opthamologist told us that Dr. Quack was the one on Friday insisting on a trip to a neurologist, stat. (They're colleagues -- that's why they'd been consulting each other about me.)

And even though Dr. Quack's an older man, he's got a full set of braces. That gives him a terribly disconcerting air of innocence and youthful exuberance. For some reason, that makes it really hard for me to summon the necessary degree of annoyance when he goes off babbling about new glasses.

Anyhow, once he remembered the optic neuritis, he did indeed insist on a visit to a neurologist. Today, if possible. Immediately, if feasible.

I responded to that news the way I seem to respond to even a little bit of stress these days: by bursting into big stupid ridiculous baby tears. As if that wasn't humiliating enough by itself, Dr. Quack had put some weird yellow drops in my eyes before checking them out, and Bill told me later that it looked like I was crying pee. Great.

It's time to come clean and admit to what's been bothering me so much: According to what I've read and to what the second opthamologist told me on Friday, some people who get optic neuritis go on to develop multiple sclerosis. (In various information pages I've found on the web, the percentages I've seen have been anywhere from 7.5% to over 50%.) That little tidbit of news has been gnawing at me ever since. I know the trips to the neurologist and the MRI are necessary, and at the same time I'm having a serious case of "Fuck it -- if that's the problem, I don't even want to know."

I feel weird admitting that here. Some stupid part of me feels that even naming the possibility makes it more likely to happen -- I know how stupid and superstitious that is, but it's still eating at me.

I haven't breathed a word of it to my mother yet. She knows I'm upset about the neurologist trip on Friday but doesn't really know why, and I can't bring myself to tell her. Even though I wonder if I ought to mention it just so she can brace herself, I can't see any reason to scare the hell out of her, and I know how upset she'd be to hear this. "Hi, Mom. This condition I have might be an indicator that I've got or am going to get a serious degenerative disease with no cure -- but don't worry."

I did talk about this -- the optic neuritis and its relation to MS -- with a co-worker today. Her response, "Oh, lord, don't even think about that," seemed well-meaning but highly unrealistic. It's pretty much all I've been thinking about for days. Hell -- wouldn't anyone?

Anyhow, that's why Dr. Quack's insistence on a neurologist flipped me out, although his response when Bill asked him why it was necessary was vague enough: "Optic neuritis is a neurological problem, not an eye problem." He never mentioned MS. When he saw how upset I was, he told me not to worry (here we go again) -- he said most people with optic neuritis "do fine," whatever that means. He sent us to an office on the floor above his. Friday was the earliest I could get an appointment there, which gives me a few more days to really stew about all this.

I wish I had a pithy conclusion here, but I don't. I wish I wasn't such a hysterical ball of jelly. I wish my damn eye would clear the hell up and all these doctors would just leave me the hell alone. I wish I didn't sound so pathetic and whiny about all of this. I wish I could just stop thinking about it.

This is me, not worrying.

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