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#MicroblogMondays 30: Schrödinger’s Problem

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Going hand-in-hand with avoiding dreaded tasks like getting my hair cut are things that I refer to as Schrödinger’s problems. While I don’t love the dentist or doctor, I’m not scared of the tasks that take place in the office such as a cleaning or Pap smear.

The reason I put off going to the dentist or doctor or any like task is the idea that if I don’t go, I won’t know about a problem. I’m aware that like Schrödinger’s cat being alive or dead whether or not the box is opened, if I don’t go to the doctor, the problem still exists. In fact, it could even be worse because I didn’t address it in time.

But I put-off tasks that could potentially bring me bad news. If I don’t go, I can’t receive the bad news. The same thing holds true for social situations where I suspect the person may tell me something I don’t want to hear.

Do you avoid things to keep yourself from hearing bad news or do you like to know definitively where things stand?

P.S. Before my mother asks: I have dental and doctor’s appointments scheduled.

P.P.S. Before anyone states this, I know this popularization of Schrödinger’s thought experiment is a bastardization of his actual statements on superposition.

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1. Mali (No Kidding in NZ) 19. Savannah (Because I Can’t Have Babies)) 37. Jen (Days of Grace)
2. Mali (A Separate LIfe) 20. Cristy 38. Mary Fancis
3. Lori Lavender Luz 21. Accio Baby! 39. Queenie
4. One and Done? 22. Solo Mama 40. Kasey
5. Gil (The Hardest Quest) 23. Lost Again 41. Laurel Regan @ Alphabet Salad
6. Middle Girl 24. S 42. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled)
7. Daryl 25. torthú il 43. Cynthia Samuels
8. Unpregnant Chicken 26. Junebug 44. Jessica
9. earthandink 27. Infertile Girl 45. My Path To Mommyhood (Jess)
10. No Baby Ruth 28. knottedfingers 46. Shannon
11. Savannah (Countless Tomorrows) 29. Shilpa 47. deathstar
12. Geochick 30. Buttermilk 48. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal)
13. Kim Court 31. Rachel 49. Deboshree
14. Journeywoman 32. Just Heather 50. Conceptionally Challenged
15. Isabelle 33. Baby, Are You Coming? 51. Kimberly
16. Non Sequitur Chica 34. The bespectacled mother 52. Surly Mama
17. Karen (River Run Dry) 35. Created Family
18. Parul Thakur 36. Good Families Do

40 comments

1 Mali { 03.23.15 at 5:37 am }

Yes, I can relate. I’m delaying right at the moment. Part of my delay is for that reason, but part of my delay is because I don’t want to seem like a hypochondriac! I can’t win.

2 Jennifer { 03.23.15 at 5:52 am }

I like to get things over with. I don’t love bad news but wondering just how bad things could be drives me bonkers. My imagination runs wild. I have however been slacking with some of my medical things just because doing things with a toddler is kind of a pain in my behind. 😛

3 Suzanna Catherine { 03.23.15 at 7:11 am }

Oh, yes, I can relate to this! I’m scheduled for a VERY extensive work up at a regional unit of the Mayo clinic. It will last 7 very full days spread over two weeks. I am already dreading it. And it doesn’t begin for another four weeks. I get palpitations just putting it into writing. I keep telling myself to put my big girl panties on and just do it, but it’s so HARD!

4 Tiara { 03.23.15 at 7:20 am }

I absolutely avoid situations to avoid the bad news I think might be there.

5 Molly @ The Modern Belly { 03.23.15 at 7:45 am }

I hate uncertainty so much, that I’d rather just get the news – good or bad – and be over with it. But I have other reasons for delaying things forever and ever, so I identify with the sentiment…

6 Gil { 03.23.15 at 7:46 am }

I don’t delay it. I’m never in love with having to do it, but I suck it up and go. I do that because I’ve seen the direct result of NOT going. And that is far, FAR worse. Most definitely.

7 Middle Girl { 03.23.15 at 7:46 am }

I lean toward avoidance, the dentist over the doctor. In social situations I’d just rather know where I stand.

8 Valery Valentina { 03.23.15 at 8:06 am }

just this morning I was given the option of not getting a (possible) bad review if I promise to leave my job in 4 months… HR will trow in one day off per week to give me time to find onother job, and 1 month pay at the end.
And you know? I am so very tempted to avoid conflict.
I know I have no future in this position, but now that I have this flight option it is very hard to even consider the fight option anymore.

9 Daryl { 03.23.15 at 8:15 am }

I’m all about delaying potentially bad news, even though I also have a tendency to play out every possible negative scenario (never the positive ones) in my mind, which is usually so much worse than just ripping off the bandaid to find out what’s really going on. It’s a special kind of torture.

10 earthandink { 03.23.15 at 8:52 am }

Only if I think the possibility of the news is very bad. That said, I then force myself to push for earlier appointments than I would normally have because I worry something’s really wrong and I want the finding out over with.

11 No Baby Ruth { 03.23.15 at 9:05 am }

I’d much rather get the news. However, I do delay going because I hate dealing with receptionists…

12 Ana { 03.23.15 at 9:14 am }

not necessarily with the dentist or pap smear (because I don’t expect a bad outcome from either of those), but yes I do this with other things. like we haven’t done our taxes yet because i’m afraid we’ll owe money. (also i’m lazy and don’t feel like doing them, but the fear is part of the delay).

13 Kim { 03.23.15 at 10:14 am }

I can totally relate to this post. As of right now, I have an obgyn appointment to schedule as well as a follow appointment for a non-urgent, but still important medical test. And the dentist? Um, no thank you.

14 Isabelle { 03.23.15 at 10:46 am }

I am okay with going to the dentist or doctor. Although I don’t like to get bad news, I want to get whatever it is fixed as soon as possible. My husband on the other hand delays making appointments for everything…

15 Kaeleigh { 03.23.15 at 11:00 am }

Funny, hubby and I were talking about Schrodinger’s Problem just yesterday. We decided being PUPO is like that. Both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time. LOL I’m writing a blog post on it!

16 Geochick { 03.23.15 at 11:04 am }

I tend to want to get things over with. Like in finally addressing my lingering cough. I ended up with 2 appointments the same week. 2 long appointments of tests. It was nice to find out about my seasonal allergies quickly. Now I’m annoyed that I have to wait until next week for my final two tests even though those are the ones that can potentially bring the worst news for me. (Asthma or Vocal Cord Dysfunction)

17 nonsequiturchica { 03.23.15 at 11:10 am }

I would rather get the news because waiting and thinking about all of the bad news possibilities is worse.

18 Karen (River Run Dry) { 03.23.15 at 11:15 am }

Haha, I’d rather know. It’s a control thing for me, I think. If there’s a problem, I want to know now and then I can spend all my energy trying to figure out how to FIX it.

Which, you know, most times there isn’t much to do about it. So it’s total wasted energy. 🙂

19 Lori Lavender Luz { 03.23.15 at 11:33 am }

I just hate medical procedures. I’m less worried about the results than about what I have to endure to get to the results. I guess that makes mea Schrödinger’s Scaredy Cat.

20 Cristy { 03.23.15 at 12:46 pm }

Definitely in the camp of wanting to avoid. Many times, I have to give myself a pep talk to get certain done (especially when I know it’s going to suck doing them). But there are times where avoiding is just so much easier. And even though I know it would be better to be honest and face the situation, it’s more comforting and easier not to.

21 Sharon { 03.23.15 at 1:20 pm }

I fear the unknown more than any known problem or issue. So to the extent that I put off medical or dental appointments, it’s more due to logistical challenges or calendar conflicts at work than to avoidance.

22 Junebug { 03.23.15 at 1:49 pm }

Ever since I had a wisdom tooth pulled out with pliers at a tooth cleaning session by a Norwegian body builder named Brunhilde, I dread going to the dentist. Since I came back to the US, I have started going somewhat more regularly but it took about 15 years to recover. I find that booking the appointment as I am leaving the last one works for me.

23 Shilpa { 03.23.15 at 2:43 pm }

Submitted my first microblog Monday post..feeling happy

24 Buttermilk { 03.23.15 at 2:51 pm }

I like to know where things stand. I am a truth seeker. Even if it hurts, I want all the information.

25 JustHeather { 03.23.15 at 3:41 pm }

Yes, sometimes I do the whole ostrich thing with my head in the sand… My most recent issue was putting off getting my car’s yearly check up (voluntary) before the mandatory check up. However, I finally got it done and nothing found wanting this year (woohoo!) and I’m going in for the mandatory check tomorrow (I bought a groupon deal for half off for it. woohoo!)!

26 torthuil { 03.23.15 at 3:46 pm }

I don’t usually avoid bad news, but the things I avoid the most are the things that I’ve been avoiding – the email I’ve taken too long to respond to, the appointment I’ve been procrastinating (which probably doesn’t even involve anything unpleasant). I think what I’m avoiding in those cases is the guilt of avoiding them!!

27 The bespectacled mother { 03.23.15 at 4:38 pm }

I have done the same a number of times and avoiding going to the dentist when there was still time ended with a minor but painful operation this week. I promise myself not to put off going to the doctor or the dentist, until the situation worsens, in future. Lessons learnt the hard way.

28 Sara-Lynn { 03.23.15 at 5:06 pm }

Ahhh, my husband is like this and it drives me CRAZY! I need to know and prepare for what’s ahead, and he would rather not know if it’s not good. Le sigh.

Just saying hi from ICLW 🙂

29 Catwoman73 { 03.23.15 at 5:22 pm }

I would certainly rather know if something was wrong with me, so I go to the doctor whenever necessary without hesitation. I avoid the dentist like the plague, but that’s because the dentist is evil, and he scares the life out of me.

I do loathe confrontation, though, and will avoid it at all costs, even if the confrontation is necessary to solve a problem or a festering disagreement. This is something I am working on- I am planning on taking a course in conflict management, because this is seriously impacting my personal and professional lives.

30 Jen { 03.23.15 at 6:16 pm }

I always want to know. But a member of my extended family is currently living with a terminal cancer diagnosis and it has made me reflect on my need to know. First she was told three months… then five years… now doctors say less than 12 months, but nothing clearer than that. If the worst came to the worst I’d want time to say goodbye but I don’t think the knowledge would be beneficial too far ahead of time.

31 Mary Francis { 03.23.15 at 6:40 pm }

I have to know! Usually I fear the worst, so the news from doctors, exam results, imspection reports, etc. were/are never as bad as I expected, so knowing is more often a relief than not.

32 Mary Francis { 03.23.15 at 6:41 pm }

Usually I fear the worst, so the news from doctors, exam results, imspection reports, etc. were/are never as bad as I expected, so knowing is more often a relief than not.

33 Kasey { 03.23.15 at 6:41 pm }

I definitely delay social interactions where I am anxious about unpleasantness. I don’t put off doctors appointments for that reason – that delay is a phone phobia coupled with being to busy to find a day when I can go.

34 Laurel Regan { 03.23.15 at 7:04 pm }

I’m a bit like you that way, wanting to avoid knowing about bad things. But thank you for the reminder – I need to make a dental appointment!

35 loribeth { 03.23.15 at 7:37 pm }

I don’t exactly look forward to things like dental & pap smears (let alone colonscopies and mammograms, etc.). But I am glad the technology exists. I would much rather catch a small problem before it turned into a big problem.

Like Catwoman, though, I loathe confrontation and will go out of my way to avoid it, if at all possible.

36 Cynthia Samuels { 03.23.15 at 8:45 pm }

I avoid things all the time. Not health – other stuff. The bad part is that then my husband has to deal with too many of them, and that’s not fair. I’m working on it.

37 Jess { 03.23.15 at 9:19 pm }

I always go, but then I perseverate until I get whatever results I’m waiting on (dentist giving me the green light or telling me I have a zillion caps, cholesterol okay or through the roof, every blood test telling me I have lupus…or I’m perfectly fine). I drive myself crazy with the what-ifs but don’t try to pretend it’s not there. Because if you haven’t noticed, my mind is a cyclone of weird terrors… case in point, my husband is away on business for a week and he sent me slightly cryptic messages yesterday while he was at a Lakers game (as a work function!), and sort of joked he’d send me a picture of Beyonce (who he didn’t actually see), but when the picture didn’t come and I realized the texts were kind of weird and short, I was terrified that someone had carjacked him in LA and was messing with me and the picture I would get was of my husband’s battered body. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? So instead of staring down my phone or hiding it under my pillow, I texted him that HE WAS FREAKING ME OUT and admitted what was going on in my mind. And it was all okay, no battered bodies or sadistic carjackers. So I can’t avoid or my mind goes to complete crazytown.

38 Justine { 03.23.15 at 9:54 pm }

I am in complete avoidance mode tonight. I have to have a conversation tomorrow morning that I’m dreading … today I had an excuse because N. had a fever of 106, so I couldn’t go to work to have it. (!) Unfortunately, I can’t avoid it forever…

39 Shannon { 03.23.15 at 10:02 pm }

I’m all about avoidance. I’ll avoid emails, conversations, appointments, whatever I can. Until I hear the bad news, it doesn’t exist. Even if I suspect that it’s coming.

40 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 03.24.15 at 1:19 am }

I’ve noticed I tend to drag my feet getting ready for things that are stressful or sad, like funerals. I usually don’t realize I’m doing it at the time, but I think part of my brain doesn’t want this thing to be happening. Maybe if I’m slow enough it won’t actually ever have to happen.

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