Or: Around The City In 80 Days
Since leaving Portugal and heading back to the USA 80 days ago I’ve moved to a new domicile 6 times. Yep, I have been forced to move every 2 weeks or less. This despite having rented a studio apartment for 2 months straight. Oh, and I have been frightfully ill for over 2 weeks.
In another 14 days, I’m leaving the country again. Hopefully I will be able to stay in one place longer than 2 weeks once I get there.
Trialfacts Recruitment Specialist
What exactly is this new-new job, you might ask?
Did you know that up to 50% of medical trials fail to recruit more than a single participant into their study? They end up cancelling many studies, despite sinking tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of time into it, because they simply can’t recruit enough participants. Those studies that do go ahead are hamstrung by lack of power and validity due to not getting enough participants. Even among those that do recruit, 80% fail to meet enrolment timelines, resulting in delays in new treatments and medicines.
Well, my new-new job is to solve recruitment for researchers and research centers. I work for a company that takes that headache away from researchers who never learned about it in grad school (God knows I didn’t in my research courses…), and sends a steady stream of participants their way so they can focus on the study itself.
I get to talk to researchers about their studies and hear them declare with shining enthusiastic eyes about their projects and how they are going to change the world. I am the researchers’ contact person, and I tease out exactly what kind of participants they need, and how we might be able to recruit for them much more effectively than they could do themselves.
I love the job, the work, and I work with fantastic people to boot. Additionally, I can perform this job from anywhere, as long as I can be available a few hours a day during Australian business hours. This position feels like it was “made for me,” and I’m doing my best to make the most of it!
Paint The Town... Noisy?
I moved into the apartment I had rented for 2 months. I came back to Tucson to work back at my old clinic while the current provider is out of the office on her “baby break.”
Everything went fine for the first couple of weeks in my tiny efficiency apartment, but then the owner decided to have the other half of the guest house/duplex renovated. Suddenly I am being woken up every morning to hammering and sawing and smashing of things RIGHT NEXT TO MY HEAD.
Now remember, I am working online from home 40 hours per week at this point at the research job and the teaching job, and also seeing patients at the clinic 3 days per week.
Run Away, Run Away, Run Away!!
The good news was I got away from the noise.
The bad news was that the heater broke the first day I was there, and I was f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g so much I could barely function. Yes it actually gets cold in Tucson. And yes, you can stop laughing now, oh ye of Northern Places. It got down into the 20s during that time, and I had to go buy a radiator heater for my room so that my fingers wouldn’t get so cold I couldn’t type anymore.
“84 and Flying High”
I have been walking around with this picture of her in my purse and whipping it out to people and saying “look at my Great Aunt Jane! I’m blood related! I hope I’m flying high when I’m 84, too. YOU GO GIRL!!!”
But you want to know something funny? I have not called her lately to tell her how much I love her, or amazing I think she is. Not since receiving this picture, anyway. I shall have to fix that forthwith.
Let It Go, Tucson, Let It Snow!
However, I must fully hand it to my music theater friends, who absolutely nailed it. They already had professional lights, costumes and cameras ready/rolling/directed because they were filming a brief version of “Les Miserables” that evening as their new year’s party. In fact, I was a tramp in “Master of the House” and “Lovely Ladies.” No, you can’t have any pictures. Okay, well, maybe one or two.
I left for a different party a few hours before midnight, and therefore missed the incredible show put on by these preposterously creative humans… while the snow was falling, they started prancing around in front of professional cameras under professional lighting wearing their 1800s garb and surreally belting “Let It Go” from Frozen.
I did enjoy a fantastic snowfight and games with my other friends, but I must admit I’m a wee bit jealous that I missed out on the video made by these fine individuals shown above.
Back To Life, Back To Reality
I started developing a bad cold at this point, and pretty much didn’t leave the house for four days, and really appreciated the extra space to amble about in the few times I was actually vertical.
Unfortunately, the landlord neglected to block out the bigger apartment I was staying in, so I had to move again another couple weeks later, back into the studio. He swore blue that the work would be completed when I was to make the move. I assumed he was telling the truth and was correct (foreshadowing: ASS-U-ME), so I wandered off to spend the weekend with a friend in Prescott.
Sunshine, Illness And Grief In Northern Arizona
Unfortunately, while I was driving up to Prescott, my friend had a close friend die (hit by a truck on their bike), so it was a somber time. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful time, and I got to enjoy some special time with special people and experience Prescott for the first time.
Nellie Bly: The Biggest Kaleidoscope Shop In The World
We met at Nellie Bly, known as the biggest kaleidoscope shop in the world. Nellie Bly is an enchanting, otherworldly, miraculous and wonderful place brimming with crystals, shells, colors and fractals everywhere. They even have huge flowerpots that they have turned into kaleidoscopes that three people can watch at a time. They also offer to take your picture through one of the kaleidoscopes. If you are homesick for the stars, this is a place you must experience.
Then I got back to Tucson, and the studio apartment. Remember the studio? That I rented for 2 months straight, and seem hardly to have been in? And where all the construction work was going to be completely finished next door when I return from Prescott “I swear to God you won’t have any more problems?” Yeah, that studio.
So I got back in the late evening, and before even unpacking, I dashed straight in to take a hot shower to clean out my sinuses and lungs, which were desiccated and clogged from the drive. Unfortunately, instead of the hot steamy water I was desperately craving, I was instead awash with crushing disappointment from cold water, plugged sinuses and a continued painful hacking cough.
I went over next door to check the water heater, and it appeared someone had deliberately turned it off. I tried to turn it on, but it was gas heat, and the auto-starter wasn’t working because they had allowed the pilot to go out as well. I didn’t have any matches, or the courage to try lighting a pilot even if I had. So I went back into my bathroom and sobbed.
It now being 2 am in the morning, I was not at my most rational. Also note that I had continued to way overuse my inhaler to try to keep breathing, which makes my heart race like it’s in the Indy 500, and markedly worsens symptoms of fear, worry and anxiety.
So I did what any thoroughly irrational person would do. I called my friend in Japan, because it was only 6pm there, and cried and whined about how much my life sucked, and she listened. I was near full panic-mode, thinking I was progressing to pneumonia from whatever crud I already had. I had terrified myself into a tizzy by the time I got her on the phone, and I latched onto her like a drowning shipwrecked sailor flailing around the water who finds a floating piece of sea trash.
Bless her heart, she talked me down from ”frenetic hysteria” to “moderately dismayed;” a huge improvement. She further convinced me that I was not in imminent danger of death, and talked me into going to the clinic tomorrow to get checked out by a health professional. Besides myself.
Did I mention I don’t have health insurance? Yeah, I’m kind of “high risk” right now, with moving all over the place, minimal stability, sick as hell and not thinking straight. Not one of my easiest travel moments.
Other than that, it’s been a pretty boring, uneventful and easy couple of months.
How about you?