Been a while.

I haven’t even looked back to see when I last posted here.  If I had to guess, I’d say this time last year?  That was when all the shit hit the fan, health-work-life wise.  Let’s see, the cat was sick, I was out on leave for vertigo while my boss was on maternity leave, which she started immediately after she and I had a falling out over her wanting me to do a job at work that I was having a tough time doing.  My disclosure of that was insufficient, she sent me and the whole office some pretty pissy emails around that, including a passive aggressive one to me rescinding support she had promised in the coming months, leaving me to do a job that she knew I couldn’t do on my own.

This time last year, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  It did.

While my boss was out on leave, she was nevertheless in communication with everyone else in my office, everyone but me.  She went to the conference I missed (vertigo, last June), and was mad that I wasn’t there.  How do I know?  She cut me out of a meeting that was in my area, that had been requested with me initially and which I had opened up to her and another member of our office.  She just -snip- stopped cc’ing me in the middle of planning.  I found out later in June that the planning had continued without me.

She was about to come back from leave and it turned out she had to rush to do our employee evaluations, they were using a new process.  Ok, so she sent me and my coworker emails telling us to send in the metrics we thought we should be evaluated on.  I did.  She ignored it, within moments of my sending it she sent something back to me that was totally different, and which…and here’s the rub…included the job I had told her in April that I couldn’t do.  Even got an official accommodation around it, but they wrote the accommodation so specifically that it left her wiggle room.  And wiggle she did.

I ended up leaving my job.  I complained to HR, to my boss’s boss.  I got a deep lack of support.  The idea of going into the Fall semester knowing I no longer had support, knowing my boss was now out to get me again (and please, I’m not being dramatic, she was a very vindictive and tantrumy type….the last time she was this mad at me she had revised my job entirely and put me on an attendance plan, instituted a policy that I had to attend every departmental social event, no I’m not making that up….it was in my HR file…she yelled at me and stomped around the office for weeks.  It was terrifying for someone with PTSD, struggling to work full time with serious health issues).

So I left.

And it’s been nearly a year.

And I’m having anniversary effects.  Because this was a really bad time of year last year.

I’d like to say that this year has been a nurturing calm one full of recovery and self discovery. That’s not the case. I’m depressed, officially now it seems.  It’s not like my health problems went away, but now I don’t have to drag myself to work.  Which is good, because it was killing me, mentally and physically to do that.  But now I have quite a bit of unstructured time.  When I feel very bad, this is ok because I need that time to rest and recover.  But occasionally, I’ll have a stretch of days or even weeks where I don’t feel VERY bad, or where I feel mostly ok aside from a few acute issues (like nearly passing out in the bathroom after eating last week…makes me thankful I’m not working) and I don’t do well with unstructured time.

I’ve tried structuring it but it’s not like I have boundless energy for activities.  That’s the issue, if I had that energy or the guarantee that this day or that wouldn’t be a sick day, I’d be working by god.  But I don’t, so I can’t work.  But that also means it’s hard to make plans, and to keep plans.  For example, I tried going to Chinese New Year this past Winter with a woman I’ve been trying to become friends with. A fluctuating round of nausea (intense, soul crushing nausea) reared up and halted that at the last minute.  I was so disappointed.  I cried.  I don’t cry often anymore about my health, but there are some things that’ll do it.  A new and frightening symptom, a symptom that suddenly gets and stays worse.  Having made plans finally after the snow from one of the many (many!) storms we had had receded a bit only to have to cancel them, knowing I’d soon have to hole up for another two or three record storms.  That did it.

So why am I officially depressed?  It’s been a year of this: It’s been lots of doctors’ appointments and you know how I hate those.  It’s been applying for disability, an inherently degrading and hopelessness inducing process which also btw means you can’t take doctor breaks.  if someone sends you to a specialist, you have to go or it looks like you don’t care about your health, aren’t taking it seriously, so why should the disability people?  They apparently don’t know about doctor fatigue, both the doctor and patient side of it.  It’s been too much unstructured time but not enough health to make and keep plans to structure it at all.  It’s because it was a brutal winter here near big historic northeastern US city.  It’s because it’s June again, and this time last year was so awful.  It’s because the last five years at work have used up all that I had to give – and before that was grad school and my division head telling me that he didn’t think it would be “fair” to even consider health accommodations.  It’s too many years of pushing through and past and down and going going going to get things done – and now that I have space to stop and breath, I see that I have nothing left for me.  No social life, no chance for one, no ability to even do a great amount of volunteering (I did try in the Fall – I taught a class a the local public library, but health problems meant I had to cancel and reschedule three out of only 6 classes.  This Spring, they decided they didn’t want me to teach a class again, not surprisingly – I’m tutoring but no class).

I’m surviving right now, but that’s about all.

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Not quite spring cleaning

I cleaned up my blog roll a bit today.  There were some deadends on there (I miss you Queen!) and some links to pages that hadn’t been updated in years, so out they went.  I added a new one, Adam Tilted: Thoughts from a Dizzy Dude.  Hi Adam!  Stop by his blog and say hello.

That is the extent of today’s cleaning I think.  Very little actual cleaning will be done here at Chez Dyspatient.  Possibly tidying up the kitten room a bit.  My god he’s a little slob.  Ah and I just (literally just now) discovered that he is slowly eating his cat furniture.  I turned from my desk to see him chewing on the corners of the cat bed part on top of the cat tree, just in time to see a “GULP” swallow of something.  So I went over and found bits of carpeting all over the place, but more alarmingly, long strands of vinyl looking stuff and staples sticking out.  Yep, staples.  One loose even, sitting on the lower tier of the cat tree.  Oh good lord.  Well, hoping he didn’t eat a staple.  My living room now has a delightful lemony smell, due to the lemon wedge I just rubbed all over Mr. Riley Finn’s chewing corners.  Cats are supposed to hate citrus.  Every cat I’ve had has hated citrus.  But Riley just came over to me and rubbed his face all over my lemony hand though, so he may just think of it as seasoning.

Orange and white tabby kitten in a "cat tree".

Riley in his chew toy.

So the holter monitor is done.  And of course while I had it on, I only had little bursts of that pounding thing, not the sustained for a half hour kind that I had last week and earlier this week.  Eh.  I dutifully recorded it all on the crappy paper…ok, actually I used my iPhone’s notes and speech to text utility to make a log that I then transcribed to the paper one the hospital gave me.  Still quicker and more accurate than me whipping out pen, paper, phone to look at time, remember to push the button on the monitor, drop pen, mis-write something horribly and have to cross it out and start over next to it, oops that takes up too much space, just cross it all out and write a new entry on the next line and while I’m doing that I have another palpitation and should I just fold that into this log entry or add a new one?  Did I mention I have a bit of dysgraphia?  Hence personal peeve about the paper log.  It takes me three times as long to put print on paper as it does to make an electronic text notation.  Especially with speech to text capability.  But that’s done and I’m glad.  Now, back to work on Monday.  Woo-frikkin-hoo!

Still trying to see work as something I can do for now and enjoy the parts of that which are enjoyable.  Sometimes it’s tougher than others.  And I’m not sure how well I will be able to work with this heart thing but I’m gonna give it a shot.  It’s all I can do.

caution

This week, I was told that I would  get several of the accommodations I had asked for at work.  Prior to this week, I’d been told that the review of some of my requests had been postponed indefinitely, and some of my requests had been just flat out denied without review.  With my body having learned the new trick of very delayed gastric emptying, it made for an exceptionally stressful 3 1/2 months.  The levels of despair I had at having a job that I had loved start to crumble around me while trying to take care of my decaying body, they were significant.  Last week, I saw someone at my husband’s employee assistance program for a referral to mental health.  Husband works at a BATH, I figured his EAP was more likely to have a good referral list than my employer.  Also, the degree of separation made me feel better about disclosing about work stuff.  And lastly, given what I’ve seen of my employer’s HR practices in my first year there, and especially these last few months, I didn’t have any sense that the EAP they had chosen would be better than a high school guidance counselor.  trip hazard caution sign

I’m glad I went.  I think what made me feel best about it was that I asked “what if the first person I see isn’t a good fit?”  I was told they wanted to hear feedback on that and if it wasn’t a good fit, they’d try to find someone else.  The day I went, I’d had a big, I guess what they call “come to jesus” talk with my boss.  The general theme, without getting into details I”d prefer not to on my blog, was that “this is not ok”.  I needed that counseling appointment after, believe me.  “What was the worst that could happen?” my husband asked me that morning on the way in to work.  “Well, it could end in tears and cops.”  Elaborating with the counselor:  I could run from the meeting crying and lock myself in my office and they’d have to call security to come take me out,”  “that’s not so bad….” says the counselor.  I laughed.  I don’t want to cry in front of them.  “why?”  Yeah, that’s a tough one.  Why does anyone not want to cry at work?  Or in front of people in general?  I don’t think that’s weird but it is tough to but words to why I don’t want to.

Little brother made someone cry at work this week.  He was at a doctor’s appointment and his supervisory staff decided to take a long lunch, he told me.  When he got back, there was bedlam – he was set upon by several employees at once with demands for this and that right now and outrage that “no one was here!”  The person who he made cry is sort of thin skinned I think.  I’ve met her, so I’m not basing this just on him.  That said, I think my brother would be really tough to work for.  I think he and my boss are similar in some regards, not the least of which is they both seem to think it’s ok to blow up at work.  I don’t.  I think you need to express when you’re angry or upset but you owe it to yourself and your coworkers to find a more productive way to handle that than what comes across as rage, either seething or explosive.  But as my brother put it:  “I offered for her to go home, I know she was upset.  Instead, she runs into the break room where everyone is…I mean come on.  At least go into the bathroom or something.  So now she’s done that, and everyone is like ‘oh god what did you do to her?’ and I’m like ‘you know what?  you only get to do that once and have that effect.  you can’t unring that bell.  you cry again any time in the next 5 years and everyone’s going to start thinking maybe you’re unstable.”

That about sums it up.  So even with good cause, that’s a pretty good summary of why not to cry at work, at least not visibly (or audibly, as I’ve been witness to sometimes…closed door but screaming and swearing and crying, oh boy).  Go out, take a walk, sit on a bench, clear your head.  Get therapy.  Talk to your peeps.  Post a blog.  but try to keep the waterworks out of the office if you can.  Unless someone died.

I’d like to say I am optimistic about work now, but I am not.  I want to be.  Maybe it’s because the same day I was told they’d try out some accommodations, some massive screwup happened that I am attached to (I didn’t cause it but I was a part of it).  I know that took the wind out of my sails a bit.  But I think the reason runs deeper.  My trust is broken there.  3 and 1/2 months of this, it takes a chunk out of you.  It leaves a mark.  So I proceed, with caution and with good faith and a desire for this to work, if not actual hope.

browser buggery

Been trying to post for the last few days but to no avail.  Seems like it’s a browser issue since using Firefox fixed it.  Grrrr.  Very annoying WordPress.  I use Chrome.  up to date Chrome.  And it worked just fine until a few days ago.

what makes a man Mr. Lebowski?

I’m reminded of this conversation between the “big” Lebowski and the Dude from the Coen brothers’ right now.  What’s on my mind is what sort of person goes into what sort of medicine.  I think most of us know that the claim of “I want to be a doctor!” is driven by many factors.  They are not factors I can personally relate to, but I cohabitated with and was married to one for a bit during his residency and the first few years of his career as an attending so I have a little bit of a glimpse into the world of docs in training at least.  A little.  And I realize that it is limited by the specialty.  Which brings us to the set up.  Not only is there some set of causes which end in the drive to be a doctor, there are factors which also determine what specialty or type of doctor they want to be.  This lend themselves to stereotypes.  Ortho docs are jocks.  Internal medicine = nerd.  Surgeons have a god complex.  ER/Trauma doctors are adrenaline junkies.

While you’d be an idiot to rely on the stereotypes as universals, is there a grain of truth to them?  Clearly there will be certain specialty specific cultures, just like there are cultures that go with any profession.  And what I’m wondering right now is what that is for gastroenterology.  As a patient, no field has given me more trouble than GI.  Admittedly, I have a sampling bias.  I’ve had GI problems my whole life.  And I did have a good GI doctor as a kid, but I had the misfortune to need to see others in his practice from time to time and let me tell you, those people were class A dicks.  GYN is a close second – reflecting on my hospitalization in 1992 for “pelvic pain” and loss of consciousness highlights an interaction of the two (in the context of 20 year old me, still a lot of rough edges back then).  I was in on a weekend, via ambulance to the ER, after a horrible episode in my dorm.  “Why is the top number getting higher and the bottom number getting lower?” one of the student emergency response team members asked while checking my blood pressure and waiting for the real responders to arrive.  “Because I’m going into fucking shock” I said, then leaned over the side of the bed and puked into a trashcan.  At the hospital, I was bounced back and forth between GI and GYN like a ping pong ball.  On the unit, no one wrote orders for pain meds, my regular meds, or food.  I remember crying while talking to the nurse, who reported that the covering GI doc thought this would be a good time to take a “vacation” from Zantac to see how I fared without it.  I was told there was “free fluid” on the pelvic ultrasound, discharged and told to follow up with GYN.  Which I did and which was a disaster.  I now know to carefully choose my GYNs.  Back then, I was just going to the guy my mother saw.  But with GI, it doesn’t seem to matter how carefully I screen them.  It’s like the old black and white sock drawer game*, except in this drawer, I am starting to think all the socks are the same color.

And so I’m starting to wonder if maybe there is something about the specialty, about gastroenterology that selects for jerks.

My current GI is on her way out.  My last appointment, she took quite a bit of time with me.  That time was to tell me to change my diet to an IBS diet – she didn’t have a suggestion but she promised she would find one, kudos on that I suppose, except I’ve tried the fibery diets and found them to do nothing except accelerate the symptoms; work out – and when I said I have a hard time with activity because of the fatigue, joint pain, and heat intolerance, said “work out in an air conditioned gym” and when I reminded her of the joint pain, said “join a gym with a pool”.  I said “sure, if I want to poop myself in the pool” – for a GI doc, she’s a bit squeamish on the poop references.  I didn’t know it at the time, but I found out later that she called in a refill for protonix that was half what I take – not listening, not reading the chart, or not caring?  She then left for vacation and I was left to try to find a refill for my meds, which cost me a $40 copay per month, and which I spent $80 on to fill for the last month because of her oversight.  Apparently money is no object to her, as she made clear by the “join a gym” comment.  Um, I’m sorry, I make less than $40k a year, have massive student loan debt, and just had to move AGAIN.  I don’t have the fucking money for a gym, let alone one with a pool, and even if I did, there isn’t one near me.  If she really felt strongly that this was the key, why not offer me some help in getting a PT consult and make suggestions for ones that offer aquatherapy?  That I keep a blog came up when we were talking about my recent GI symptom history, I mentioned something like re-reading my blog I noticed my symptoms actually had picked up in January.  She looked perplexed.  I explained “I write an anonymous blog about my health problems and experiences”.  Then she looked like I’d said a dirty word.  Oh dear.  Well, she’s one of those.  The genetics med guy I saw was actually very happy to hear I wrote a blog and had a small community of people I could turn to for support.  “We all have sort of complex or mystery illnesses, so we share a lot of the same challenges” I told him.  And speaking of the genetics guy, at my GI appointment I mentioned I had been diagnosed with EDS/hypermobility disorder since my last appointment with her and said I’d been told it could have GI manifestations.  “I don’t think so” she said and looked it up on the computer.  Based on one broad couple of second search, she said “no”, except for something she said by long special name, and I said “something vascular?” because it had angio in it.  Again, she made the face.  I’m sure she took this as evidence that I know too much, which is of course totally illegitimizing if you’re a patient.  You’re not supposed to know what “angio” means!  You must be a hypochondriac, even though you’ve lost over 10 pounds since the last time I saw you…. (oh they have ways to explain that too.  I had a GI doctor who grilled me on eating disorder questions when I had lost 35 pounds at the start of all this, then at a follow up appointment his staff suggested I was using laxatives).
Just to show you what my soon to be ex-GI doctor missed in her 3 second search, here are some highlights:

So, I had resigned myself to her being what I call a vending machine doctor, i.e. one who writes my scripts and does little more than that.  But it seems she can’t even get that right.  I left messages about the script, which a resident called in while my doc was on vacation (after just having come back from a quite lengthy conference) and which has no more refills after today.  No call back.  She should be back from vacation.  Maybe she took a post vacation vacation.  If I had to guess what makes someone choose GI, I’m leaning towards money.  I did a little research, it’s one of the better paid specialties behind things like spinal surgeon.  What makes a GI doctor?  The ability to deal with poop and a desire to make some serious money for writing scripts for motility drugs and PPIs.

*Sock drawer puzzle:  Cathy has six pairs of black socks and six pairs of white socks in her drawer.  In complete darkness, and without looking, how many socks must she take from the drawer in order to be sure to get a pair that match?

Missing

Ana, where are you?

Your address gives me this:

screenshot of blogspot message saying this blog has been removed.

Huh?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope everything is ok.

If you ask

be prepared to listen to the answer.  Queen’s post got me thinking about how and when and why people ask things like “how are you?” “are you getting better/worse?” and “are you ok?”

This is my single best piece of advice I can give to anyone who is struggling to find ways to support a friend or loved one who is experiencing an illness – really any long term crisis or effects of trauma.  As a child abuse survivor and a person with chronic often debilitating health problems, I run into these sorts of questions with some regularity.  As a younger adult, I was not great at navigating them.  I’m getting better.  For example, I now know to preemptively tailor my discourse depending on my relationship with the asker and their level of “needing to know”.  Work and casual acquaintances get a limited version unless more detail is necessary for some practical purpose (e.g. continuing sick leave or ability to travel).  Friends and family though, they are tough because they should care when they ask, that should be why they are asking, but often I find that they don’t.  It’s probably inaccurate to say every time I get the “then why the fuck did you ask?” feeling, it’s because the asker doesn’t care, even when they act carelessly.  They may just be asking or reaching out for the wrong reason.  Here are some of the wrong reasons I’ve encountered, roughly in order of least to most problematic:

  • Reassurance.  This is by far the most common one I’ve experienced.  The “reassure me that you are ok because I am so worried about you!” line of inquiry.  I call foul on this one because come on, the last thing someone who is suffering with burdens like this needs is to have to candy coat stuff for a friend or family member.  Better not to ask, but do something nice or helpful for them.  And if you are so paralyzed by fear and concern for your friend or family member that you can’t even bring yourself to do something, then a quick “I’m thinking of you” is a reasonable way to reach out without burdening your friend or family member to selectively share with you so YOU feel better.  Sometimes your friend or loved one doesn’t really want to get into it, sometimes s/he does but only if s/he feels that the listener is going to LISTEN.  Another uncaring ear is not what is needed right now, and ears that are attached to heads that are full of only self concern are, in some ways, worse than uncaring – they are demandingly uncaring.
  • Guilt.  Haven’t called in a while?  Haven’t “been there” for your friend?  Feeling bad about it and want to show that you aren’t a big jerk?  Well, odds are your friend would appreciate a nice gesture or maybe even a chance to talk, but s/he is unlikely to be thinking very much about how much you suck.  See, s/he is wrapped up in his/her own world of shit and is not sitting around ruminating about how much better life would be if only good old so-and-so would drop a line.  If you decide to do something out of guilt, try to be more sensitive to your friend or loved one than to come across as punching a friendship time clock.  If you can’t muster up a sincere effort, then see my advice above or just leave it until you are ready and really actually WANT to be there for your friend.
  • Obligation.  Much like the guilt one, except more likely to happen in families.  See guilt for most of it.  I’d add that if you are in fact the family of someone in a bad situation, and if you’re not an asshole, you really should try to at least be practically helpful now and then.  Think about what you legitimately can do without putting yourself out too much though.  People with chronic illnesses can be mighty sensitive to any whiff of grudging, resentful assistance or listening.  Therefore, if you can’t do something with a genuine, sincere heart, in most cases you may as well keep your help to yourself because if your friend picks up on your attitude, it’s going to suck.  If you are wondering what things would be appreciated or helpful and don’t think you can or want to ask the person, ask someone who actually IS there for them.  That person will likely have some good ideas, even if it’s for ways to help them so they can better support your friend or family member.
  • Martyrdom.  Yes, it happens.  The trauma/drama vampires.  I don’t have too much to do with them, I think I’m not really needy enough for them.  I have run into a few at work.  They love to hear all
    edited screen shot from Nosferatu with dialogue bubble reading "Oh did you hear about Carol?  The Poor thing!"

    * gossiping coworker or trauma vampire?

    about the troubles of others.  It makes them feel as if they are being compassionate.  They are, however, not deeply invested in other people’s troubles and there is a certain perversion that will creep in.  They will likely share private information with others so that they can express their compassion and receive social approval for it.  There is no advice I have for these people because they are sick, truly fucked up individuals on whom any advice would be wasted.  My advice is for everyone else:  keep away!  If you’re the target of their “compassion”, learn to change the subject.  Ask them about their mother or something.  If you’re just a friend or member of the network who is now being regaled with tales of a tragically sick colleague, classmate, friend, or distant family member, at a minimum, do not reward this parasite with praise or anything positive.  Ideally, if you’re up for it, you can consider a subtle reprimand like “wow, I had no idea so-and-so was dealing with so much. And she’s ok with you telling everyone about this?” and if you’re a good, stand up person and want to help, or just offer support, reach out directly – not through the trauma vampire – and tactfully.

As a person who daily deals with limits which are sometimes impossible for me, I would honestly prefer patience, compassion, and respect than a possibly misdirected demand for me to brief you on my troubles.  I’d trade all the flowers and cards and abbreviated visits and meandering awkward conversations for that.

* Photo © 2009 Nosferatu photo by King Chimpcreative commons license

searching

I believe I’ve blogged about this before…the search terms that lead people here.  What a terrible shock for them to find a sincere blog.  I say this because the word “trick” in my blog title means I get hits from a-holes looking to undertake various sorts of medical scams.  The most recent and breathtakingly dumb search term was “fainting convincingly”.  So for that person and any other who comes here looking for tips on that, here you go.  Here’s how to faint convincingly.

Get sick.  Get a grinding illness that drags the life out of you and turns your day to day into a struggle to be effective, competent, and unmiserable.  Then, go about your daily activities.  Don’t overly limit yourself.  Sure, your blood pressure’s low enough to earn you a hospital admit if you were over 70, but fuck it, you’re young and expected to get out and do stuff, so off you go into the 85 degree weather with your water bottle and salty snacks.  Eventually, something will tax you – whether it’s an overheated room, working through lunch, or a sharp wave of pain from either your intestine or reproductive organs.  And the next thing you know, you will start feeling like you are hooked up to a car battery that your body is trying to jump start.  A bad tingling feeling all over, buzzing in you head and a throbbing static-filled ringing in your ears, graying vision and the feeling that you are overheating and need very much to get down on the ground and vomit.

Ah, then the fun part.  Vision is nearly gone, everything you hear outside your head sounds like it’s coming from the bottom of a barrel which doesn’t much matter since what you really mostly can hear is the sounds in your head, like the babbling profane half prayers coming from you mouth (which feels rubbery and like you’re operating it by remote control).  Then the retching and sweating and roaring vertigo overtake you.  You then realize that you are not where you were.  You have time traveled, you are on the floor or maybe wedged up against the wall, your head hurts, your arms hurt, your leg is bent in a strange angle (you realize each of these things in small peculiar pieces as your brain comes back on line).  You hear people around you speaking loudly, maybe yelling your name and mostly you want them to shut the hell up and go away.  You still want to vomit.  You may.  You might have peed yourself.  You are shivering and want to sleep.  If you are really lucky, I mean if you are really into it and going to give a class A fainting, you might come around to exactly the same way you felt before you lost consciousness, then do the whole thing over again multiple times until someone cools you off, lays you down with your legs up, and maybe provides you with oxygen and fluids.

So you see, it’s so simple to faint CONVINCINGLY.  I hope that helps.

not welcome

You know how in your WordPress dashboard you can see what the search terms are that brought people to your blog?  Get a load of this:

screen shot of "top searches" for blog traffic, underlined in red are "how to fool a doctor to get on disability" and "how to trick your doctor to upping your pain meds"

are you fucking kidding me?!

Gaaaah! What the hell is wrong with people?  See, this is why I think I am not actually a pessimist or a cynic…Because things like this actually surprise and dismay me.  If I were truly a pessimist, if I actually thought the worst of people, I wouldn’t be so taken aback to see shit like this.  Someone is sitting out there, probably at work, googling crazy shit like this.  And it’s thanks in no small part to assholes like this that medical providers are so unfortunately quick to make rather nasty assumptions about patients.  Oh I know that there are provider characteristics at play too, but I’m sure that there are people out there who are not dicks but who have had one too many dealings with a scheming, foul fuck.

You’ll have to excuse my extra spicy language today.  I’m in a rotten mood – I spent the day yesterday waiting for HR to get back to me on what should have been a relatively simple request but which they managed to confound and tied up in a morass of misapplication of ADA, all of which confounding was triggered by the kind of suspicion that is justified by the existence of the sorts of assholes who google ways to pull off various medical scams.

More on that later.

I guess I should be very happy I have a primary care doctor who still tries despite the existence of this sort of rotten person floating around and pissing in the patient pool.

new look

Decided I needed a theme update.  It’s too bad that WordPress keeps the editing of the template all locked up unless you upgrade.  Bummer.

So I went with a different repackaged theme, largely to prevent text overrunning in the sidebars.  This theme isn’t too different from the one I had before.  Also, I added an image to the header.  It’s a piece from a recomposed slice of an abdominal CT scan.  I figured all that radiation exposure should be used for something, other than taking up space in my medical record.

abstract image created from top slice of an abdominal CT scan.  Reds and greens, blocks and spheres

Abd CT, 2005 showing not much considering all the pain and weight loss. Maybe they just weren't looking at it the right way