Saturday, December 13, 2008

My First Clinical Trial Questionnaire And Other Stuff

In a previous blog entry, I mentioned the organization called forMemory and that I had sent them an e-mail asking to participate in their study.

Well, that questionnaire was in yesterday's mail, so I brought it to work with me so I could fill it out, and I am glad that I have done so, because it revealed a few things about what is going on with me that I had not noticed before. I won't list all of them, but just the most imporatant ones.


One symptom I answered "yes" to (which we haven't discussed here) was "Getting lost", and I have for a very long time been "directionally challenged".

For example, if I make a right turn at the wrong time, I often cannot visualize what I need to do to get back on track, and if I make a wrong turn and don't realize it until much later, well then, it's even worse: I get disoriented, and start guessing and instead of turning around and going back, I get this "I can do this", syndrome and get even more lost.

"Poor or decreased judgement": Yes. I once almost ordered a white fireplace mantle, even though the rest of my furniture is oak. If SHE hadn't stopped me, I would have had to return the thing or look like an idjit when company came over. So I guess that's one thing she was good for! ;)

"Problems With Abstract Thinking": Oh HELL yes! I am often accused of having no common sense, even though my IQ is 146.

A prime example is that just tonight I read an account of one of the posters over on The Straight Dope, who, thinking he had forgotten to roll one of his car windows up because of the rain, went back downstairs, slipped and injured his ankle. (He had had a shitty day up to that point anyway, he says).

Well,my concern was for his ankle. It would never have occurred to me to ask him, "Well, was the window up or not????" Do you see what I mean? I have what some people call "tunnel vision".

The window was up, by the way.

"Auditory Hallucinations": Yes. Quite often, I think I hear someone calling me while in my apartment alone - awake. At other times I'm in the REM stage of sleep, and I hear someone (female voice) calling my name very emphatically:
"BILL!!!!", and I nearly jump out of my skin, and then I have to calm back down. It's only ever just my name, not sentences and stuff.

Okay, that's some of the questionnaire answers. Now I want to tell you about an "Anger Episode" at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, and this is very unusual for the "German Boy", because I have hardly ever lost it like this.


Okay, I'm down at the baggage claim section in the customs area, and our bags aren't on one but two carousels: 9 & 10. (These 2 numbers will be in my mind for a very long time. You'll see why in a moment).

Because we came from Germany, we have to claim our baggage twice: once in customs and again upstairs in the main terminal.

So the carousel starts up and the bags begin to arrive on #9.

Ten minutes later #10's bags start to roll out and all of a sudden now it's like I'm watching a damn tennis match looking for my bags, and I'm wondering how to solve this little problem when an idea hits me: "Maybe that airport employee at end of the carousel straightening the luggage will know when the last piece of luggage on 9 will cross!"

Does that make sense to you? The guys down on the flight line could put a blue-colored tag on the last bag and that lets the guy know that those are all the bags which will be on that carousel?

So, I walk over and as I start to ask that question "Excuse me, but is there a way that you know when the last bag comes out........"

"Carousel 9 and 10, Sir!, he interrupts. So I thought he hadn't heard me and I tried again.

This time I didn't even get to open my mouth: "9 and 10, Sir! 9 and 10!!!!"

Well, SHIT!

I walk back over to 9 and resume watching for my luggage, but the longer I stand there, the more pissed-off I get, so I decide to let him have it:

"Listen, I came over here and very nicely......."

"9 and 10, Sir, 9 and 10!"

"That's right", I say. "10 does come after 9", and it's great that you know your numbers, however (voice volume rising now) my question called for a yes or no answer, and you could have given me an answer and everything would have been fine, but no YOU HAD TO BE A DICK, AND ACT LIKE SOME KINDA COP BECAUSE THIS IS PROBABLY THE ONLY JOB YOUR SORRY ASS CAN GET!!!!!!!!!!!!!" And then I turned and walked back to wait for my bags.

Except for the noise of the bags dropping out of the chute and the carousel, you could have heard a pin drop.

What is significant about this is two-fold:

1. I was tired from the 10 hour flight with no sleep

2. I was behind on taking my AD meds

Since I am single and was travelling alone, you'll have to take my word for it, that this is highly unusual behavior for me, and had he come after me, I think I probably would be in jail now, because as far as I was concerned, it was clobberin' time.

What I don't know is if it was the lack of meds or the jet lag that caused this?

I'll check with my therapist and let y'all know.

Enjoy your weekend and thanks for looking in!



Timespanner said...

Personally, watching out for the bag on one carousel at an airport is enough of a concentration effort for me. To have to watch two would just about have me up the wall. All you did, Bill, was ask the guy a simple question about the blue tag thing. He, on the other hand, didn't want to answer the question, by the sound of it. Most likely because customer service isn't part of what he does, perhaps. He spoke to you rather rudely and ignored what you were actually saying.

Hey, maybe it was the lack of meds, but it that had been me, I'd have been rather growly myself. Especially after that length of flight. Just my tuppence worth.


Bill Craig said...


You know, I have all kinds of empathy and respect for people who have to do stuff like this, (wait staff, for example are always thanked and tipped properly), but this guy had NOTHING I could relate to other than his surly attitude, so I did. ;)

Ttom said...

Hey Billy-Bob Ledehosen-Nose,

Maybe you should return to Atlanta and ask that guy in German. Isn't home a good place to be!

Glad you are back dude!


Bill Craig said...

Thanks TomT

Good to be back home!


Beth said...

Sorry your trip ended on a sour note.. the guy was inexcusibly, rude, and I can't say I blame you. Then again, I have a awful temper!
*HUGS* Welcome back!