So, I wound up in the emergency room today. It was my second day in a
row week of having to leave work early, because I passed the point of being too damned hot and was in heat-exhaustion territory. I told the boss that she was maybe going to have to find herself a new greenhouse person, because I couldn't keep doing this, and she said back that what I needed to do was go see a doctor, because clearly this was a medical thing, and it needed to be fixed. The implication being that there's something wrong with me, if I can't work for eight hours a day in heat indices of 140-160F. So, a doctor. Which kind of glosses over the part where she's been scheduling me full-time hours but hasn't once brought up the subject of health insurance, which I think she's legally required to provide some kind of insurance if I'm working full-time hours. Though in fairness, I've been missing enough days here and there that it's possible I haven't yet worked enough hours at the right times to qualify for full-time status. I'm not sure how full-time status is actually determined.
But so anyway. Her answer was to see a doctor. So before I left work, I had the husband call the free medical clinic in town, who said to call one of the local hospitals and describe the situation to them, and then the hospital would make an appointment for me, or something like that. When I actually got home and talked to the hospital, though, the nurse I talked to said that it sounded like I was bad enough off that I should just go ahead and go to the emergency room instead.
A completely ridiculous amount of time was spent verifying my birthday and having people tell me that I had heat exhaustion. Absolutely nothing helpful happened. The doctor, when I eventually saw the doctor, said basically that I should drink lots of water, cut back on alcohol and caffeine, and consider the possibility that maybe I should look for a new line of work. All of which I was already aware of and doing, though caffeine is hard to give up and I hadn't cut it out completely, or very much, and the new-line-of-work train of thought is extremely depressing. Not something I want to be spending a lot of time thinking about right now. Job-hunting is a miserable thing.
So exactly how much water is a person supposed to drink? I mean, it's not like I was actually dehydrated: my urine was very nearly as clear going out as it was coming in, all day long, and I was drinking a half-liter bottle of water about every fifteen to twenty minutes. I could, it's true, drink more water than that, but I'd pretty much have to be doing nothing but drinking water, all day long, and not dealing with the plants at all. It's hard to see how that's to anybody's benefit: I could stay home and drink water all day. Also, the doctor said I should aim for drinking so much water that I'm having to urinate about once an hour, which is not far off of how often I actually was. So apparently I was getting it more or less right and being overcome by the heat anyway.
Which leads me to the conclusion that I need to be looking for another job. Even if I'm able to make it through the remaining six weeks of summer (or however many it is), and that's a fucking gigantic if, there's another summer where that came from next year, and then the year after that. This is not something I'm going to be able to keep up without some kind of serious injury sooner or later. Which of course just figures, 'cause this job I kind of liked, unlike the previous two.
Tomorrow, we've got a follow-up appointment with a different doctor about the heat thing, and then I go and try to work whenever that's over.
I saw this coming. I think I saw this coming. I've been anxious and depressed quite a bit this last week, and spending a lot of time worrying about whether or not I was going to be able to stay, not really seeing any ways to make it work out. And I've been telling WCW for months now that I didn't think it was going to work once it got really, truly hot -- I just kind of, as I was telling her, hoped that maybe it wouldn't really happen, like if I said it to somebody, instead of keeping it to myself, then the universe's natural tendency to try to make me look like a moron in front of people would work in my favor, and I'd end up staying.
Which maybe things can be done yet. I mean, I'm not sure which things, but it's not definitely over, either. It's just not looking very good. If this year follows the usual pattern, this isn't even the hottest it's going to get.
Meanwhile, adding insult to injury, I found mealybugs on my Marantas yesterday and had to throw them out (they're too easily replaced, and have too many crevices and hiding spots, to bother trying to fight the bugs over them). Which is depressing all on its own, because it means there's probably more on something else, somewhere in the apartment. I haven't had any luck getting rid of them on my Cereus peruvianus, not with neem oil, rubbing alcohol, or imidacloprid, and I've only maybe gotten them off of a Ficus lyrata and the Asplundia 'Jungle Drum:' it seems a bit much right now to be hopeful that I actually got those plants' bug problems under control.