After a 3-hour SCID (probably the Clinical Trials version, but I’m not privy to such details), I think I’ve acquired some new diagnoses: insect phobia, panic disorder, and perhaps a touch of OCD. Probably more. As with most elements of a study protocol, this interview was not supposed to provide any benefit to me, so there’s no reason for them to share with me any of the findings.

Of course they’ll tell me of any finding that would exclude me from the available studies. Perhaps this morning’s blood work or this afternoon’s MRI will reveal an unacceptable illness or deformity. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Today I was allowed to go for my first unaccompanied walk in the building. I visited the “farmers market,” which, at this time of year anyway is more of a bakers-and-crafters market; ogled some gift-shop tchotchkes; and checked out two library books. Tomorrow promises to be slightly warmer, so I may venture out to the rest of the campus. Thursday will be warmer still, so I plan to walk to town, even though I’m likely to encounter even more Xmas hoopla than in this allegedly secular institution.

One of the most disturbing things I’ve discovered here is that the soap dispensed in the bathrooms contains triclosan. I’ve mentioned it to three nurses, only one of whom seemed concerned, and none of whom were aware that triclosan is a harmful substance that’s been banned by the very government that pays their salaries. The ban applies only to “consumer” products, not products used in health care settings. But aren’t patients in hospitals essentially consumers? I really don’t understand this double standard (and life is too damn short to look it up).

Nurse N was kind enough to bring me two bars of innocuous soap, but that won’t do much to save us all from drug-resistant bacteria or endocrine disruption. The main thing I accomplished with my complaint was to cement my reputation as a crank. If I keep this up, they’ll surely let me go.


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