Feb 22, 2007

SEATTLE, Washington – My ears continue to ruin the Action Barbie career.

No, no, no. Not because they're alarmingly flat and Spocky (my mother always jokes: "babies born on Midsummer's Night Eve are fairy changelings. Look at those elf ears. You're not mine, really." She's been embroidering this denial from several angles all my life. But I digress.)

In 2007, my ears – or rather, my sinuses – have stymied a Seattle Post-Intelligencer story on scuba diving the Hood Canal.

"I know you'll soldier through, champ!" my editor says.

"Normally, I am the Good Scout. But I could burst my eardrum."

We rinse and repeat that conversation several times. Eventually we share a moment of clarity: time for the doctor.

Except my G.P.'s in England, where I last needed care in 2003.

Clinics that welcome freelancers with shabby insurance are few and far between. "We haven't accepted a new patient in a year. I don't expect we will either," one confides.

Distressed, I blurt: "This problem is stopping my work. I'm desperate."

"Just go to the emergency room at Harborview [the county hospital], lie that you have no insurance and triage through to a nurse."

My ears may be mutant. My values are not. Forgettaboutit.

Pity my changeling superpowers can't magic away the pain – physical or bureaucratic. As my frustration reaches fever pitch, Marie solves the problem from Cairo, Egypt, suggesting the Country Doctor.

As Shakespeare once said: I am wealthy in my friends.

And how.


  1. Anonymous4:23 AM

    I can smell a story on medical tourism to Oxford. "Honey, I have a man in the Cotswolds for such matters."

    Could there be a follow on project for the Anti 9-5 guide? 'Self medication for cubicle outsiders.'


  2. I'm sure that when I need to find a doctor in Cairo, you will be there for me.

  3. >'Self medication for cubicle outsiders.

    Coffee, vino and too much internetsing, surely?

  4. Marie, my wifi is yours. Especially since I don't have to hold my breath and hang out the window for a signal.

    But don't need a doctor soon, OK? Kick that cold. Hugs, Ax.