Tag Archives: convenience

It Can Kill You… or Have No Effect

26 Mar

My wife suffers from occasional “phantom smells,” where she smells cigarette smoke when none exists. Of course, going online for advice doesn’t help, where the end results could be dire… or transitory. Flip a coin.

Any medical professional will tell you, “If you’re concerned, go see a doctor.” Self-diagnosis is usually wrong and observation and tests can eliminate a lot of different things. I remember going into the urgent care about five years ago with what I thought was A.Fib (atrial fibrillation) or erratic heartbeat. Turned out to be gas, but I had been convinced it was A.Fib because I had seeing commercials for medications for that condition the last couple weeks!

But let’s get back to a less dire symptom–phantom smells. Again, it won’t kill you, but it’s annoying. I’m a pipe smoker, so I can tell the difference, and so can my wife. It’s not my smoke, it’s something like cigarettes, but not really. When it happened to me, I got a little freaked out, since I have a lot more personal experience. (Turned out to just be the candles I lit near me going out.)

Checking out the Internet for possible reasons for this weird and annoying symptom, Broward Sinus Doctors list several reasons, the top ones being:

  • Non-allergic rhinitis
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Nasal polyps
  • Tumors

So… it could be a stuffy nose… or cancer. (shrug)

Our family takes its health seriously, but at the same time, we try not to go into the hospital unless it’s a serious condition. As I’ve ranted on before, family practices aren’t, emergency departments are scary and take forever (speaking as someone who worked in several), and urgent cares still take their sweet time. I’ve been to my acupuncturist and my chiropractor once a month; the last time I went to a “regular” doctor was July of 2019, and that’s because I broke my clavicle from a bicycle accident.

Nine times out of ten, you’re going to waste a lot of time, spend a lot of money, just to find out it was nothing. We have emergency insurance because… well, frankly, it’s not worth it pay several hundred dollars a month for nothing. We make too much for Medicare, too little to pay for a decent plan, so it’s either pay a lot for not much or pay when we really need it. Thankfully, my employer has this no-pay, use it only if you’re really sick insurance, which is frankly what we wanted.

So how “chronic” does a condition have to be to make the step inside the doctor’s office? How painful does a symptom have to be to take “extraordinary measures?” What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you need a break from healthcare, I guarantee my books have no mention of hospitals or doctors or insurance in them. My main characters are pretty robust. So why not buy one? Or if you’re paying too much for insurance, and a $1.99 is too rich for your budget, download one of my stories for free!

“You Pay For Convenience”

1 Sep

Convenience itself is a commodity – you can sell it as much as the product you’re selling itself. It’s important to remember that when approaching two-day shipping, getting into easy classes, or easy relationships – the prices are going to be higher even though you’re satisfied now.

This is why this is Maxim #2 for me, or to elucidate: “Things that are easier to get usually come at a higher price.” The convenience store is the easiest to understand. Same things you can buy at a grocery story, it’s easier to get to, and the lines are shorter. However, your options tend to be brand name only, there’s a lot less choices, and the prices are always, always higher. So depending on your situation, the reason you might buy that box of Frosted Flakes ™ there is because you believe your time is worth more than the extra money you’d be saving if you went to the grocery.

This can be carried over into many, many areas – which is why it’s a maxim for me. Take relationships: there is Ms. Right and Ms. Right Now. In my own life, I only had eyes for my main crush in high school that I was blinded to the woman who was dying for me as well as the other smart women who (in retrospect) I should have pursued. Because people are unpredictable and unable to be easily categorized, I figured (easily skipping over other factors) that it was less painful (rejection) to pursue the one girl I wanted than the ones I could have.

Better example is after I broke up with my first girlfriend, I simply wanted another woman to date, so I lucked out and found a woman online (for context, this was 2000, so online dating was a relatively new thing). Things took off and we had a good, but brief relationship. This woman was not who I would normally have pursued, but I wanted someone, ANYONE, to help me avoid the grief from losing the woman I loved. Of course, when the new woman decided not to pursue the rebound relationship, that grief came back in spades. I sought out counseling, and eventually, sought out a new career in a new place.

To take it in another direction, our entire online economy is based on convenience. Amazon grew by leaps and bounds because of its ability to get us stuff we wanted now… or sooner than we could find it in our hometown. When the pandemic hit and their supply chain was damaged, Walmart and Target suddenly went big because their system wasn’t affected and THEY had what we wanted right now.

Remember, you pay for this convenience, not just in cash, but in how you perceive the world. You now expect this convenience from Amazon, and when they suddenly couldn’t provide it, you sought it from others. Now we wonder why we can’t get this in other parts of our lives. Why can’t other people in my social media see things the way I do? Why can’t our government fix the problems with a simple click?

And what’s our response to this? We get angry… and depending on your situation, anger reveals itself in many ways. We had riots in several cities across the US last night; interestingly enough, NONE of them were covered by any of the normal news outlets, although Twitter was buzzing about them. Why? Because anger is also convenient. We’ve had riots so long that it’s no longer news. It no longer gets clicks. And it happened on a Sunday, when no one’s checking news anyway. So why bother reporting it–wait until Monday.

So convenience has warped our view of the world, and because things are easier and cheaper, we’re not willing to travel farther to get the things we want at a better price. Gee, no wonder people are lonely and miserable.

Wow – didn’t realize my rant would lead itself there. I try to stay on the lighter side of care. However, I must ask you, did I go too far? Is convenience truly the bane of our modern existence or has it been our salvation? Am I completely wrong? Let me know in the comments below!

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