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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who Am I?

Yesterday, I had an appointment for the lower back pain I've been experiencing. The good news is that the nurse called me "fixable". The bad news? Meds and physical therapy. I'm sure the insurance company will want to cover all of that...

That's not the whole identity crisis part of the story though. That came as a result of giving my details to the patient registration lady. She asked where I'm employed and I had to say "I'm not currently working". Which I sorta choked on because, I don't know, I was embarrassed?

And THAT's not the identity crisis part of the story either. Nope, that part came after she printed out my paperwork and asked me to fill out one last form while I waited. And on that form, for occupation, it said "housewife".

Housewife? HOUSEWIFE!?!? I mean, there's absolutely nothing wrong with being a housewife. Except, that's not who I am. Am I? At least, it's not how I see myself. I wanted to yell - no! I was a webmaster for over 9 years! I just finished a grad program for marketing! I'm only on a break because the Drama Llama wasn't going to let me finish classes!!!

The extent to which so many of us define ourselves based on our careers is amazing. Amazing - and really sad. But that's really another post for another day. Today, I need to vacuum and do laundry and put a pork roast in the crockpot. But, you know, I'm not a housewife!

P.S. I mainly dealt with the doctor's nurse, who is made of awesome. The doctor didn't seem all that interested when he spoke to me for less than two minutes (no exaggeration there). She believes my issues are "mechanical". So I just need a tune-up of physical therapy, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers for a month, then we re-evaluate.

P.P.S. This is my first time on muscle relaxers. Twelve hours after taking the first pill, I'm still half-zonked.


Kathy said...

I know what you mean...when I stopped working, I felt sort of embarrassed to write "housewife" on forms. It's like people devalue you as a person!

I hope your "tune up" works, and you soon feel better. I took muscle relaxers once, when I was having neck problems, and they didn't do much for me. I don't know why...

I also agree about the assistants being more understanding/caring than the doctors these days!

colleen said...

How about self-employed writer or poet. I started using poet because I thought it explained some things about my non-conformist lifestyle. It was either that or clown.

Even though I'm a homebody who has not been able to work full time for most of my adult life (largely due to chronic fatigue syndrome) I'd rather lie than have my status reduced to the word "housewife."

Juniper said...

Can you not be 'not currently employed' without being a 'housewife'? what do they put for men, I bet it isn't 'househusband'! Couldn't you have 'resting webmaster' like 'resting actors' do? ;-)

It's not surprising our jobs are a big part of our identity when you look at how many hours we spend doing them.

Good luck with the meds and physio!


Toriz said...

Hey, don't worry about it... They consider me "retired" because I can't work due to disabilities.... I didn't know people in their 20s could be considered retired!

Whitney said...

What if you're not married, how can you be a houseWIFE? (I'm married, but I'm just I think I'm classified as lazy...not housewife...although I did have to do laundry today, clean the bathroom and wash the dog. I COULD make my husband do that stuff...if I thought he could do it right that is...

Karen S. said...

Okay, we are all housewives..BUT! You are mostly a WRITER! ..and ..a soul saver... (well you have made me fall to the floor before in laughter, yes really..well maybe not all the way to the floor)..but yeah I'd go for Writer every time!

Jazzbumpa said...

Cate -

I've had PT, and it can do a lot of good. I have greatly mixed feelings about meds.

If you have a low back problem, my advise is to skip the 2 minutes with an unconcerned MD, and see a chiropractor for your "mechanical" issues.

I wouldn't recommend something I don't do myself.


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Bummer about the title, but as a real housewife, I suggest you check out the book RADICAL HOUSEWIVES: maybe go a long way to helping you harness the mojo even while unemployed. :-)

C. Beth said...

I vote for SAHEP (Stay-At-Home-Educated-Person.) :)