AM OT, PT, OMG

Knowing that you have a PT appointment in the morning is like having to go to gym class.  It’s usually not as bad as you imagined, but it is still something that makes you groan when you get up in the morning.

That was my experience today.  After waking up at 4:00 AM drenched in sweat.  Again.  I fell back asleep finally, then woke up to a frozen iPhone cheerfully blinging at me that it was time to get up.  Unable to just “snooze” it, I did a hard shut down (yep, half asleep even) thinking “oh hah, I don’t have to go to work today, I’m working from home!”  then fell back asleep until husband’s much later alarm went off.  Then I looked at the powerless iPhone still clenched in my hand, and remembered I have gym class…I mean PT today.  Crap.

I’m working from home today and tomorrow.  Right now, I’m taking a break.  A bad break since I should take a full break from the computer when I’m taking a work break, so say the occupational and physical therapists.  They are right, of course.  I’ve been working for the last hour and a half straight, editing calculus figures for a student who is blind.  This means lots and lots of mouse.  So break away from the computer in a moment.  On a related note, I really need to get a better mic for my dragon use.  I have the crap one that comes with it.  I may as well talk through a tin can with a wire plugged into my line in jack.  USB microphone is the way to go.  I had a gorgeous one that I bought at my last job, it was so fancy and nice.  I need one of those.  So I can blog and stuff without hurting the hands.

I am “discharged” from PT and OT, sort of.  I’ve been going for a month.  I’ve definitely made some progress.  Less pain, and better strength.  Baby steps.  PT guy said that we had two options.  We could do today’s evaluation and then continue to add exercises or we could take a break, I can keep doing the exercises he gave me (really just 4 very low impact things for core strength), and then come back for more PT when I’ve built up the strength. I said “I’m leaning towards option B”.  So B it is.  With the caveat that if I have questions or need a refresher, I can call and come in.  That’s cool.  Works for me.  I’m definitely in the baby steps phase.  I was thinking of making some kind of exercise chart.  I need visuals, otherwise I just sort of poop out and go “meh” and don’t do what I should do.  I’m  thinking something with star stickers.  I’ll post a pic if I make one.

In other news, my husband and I bought a couch as our christmas present to ourselves and we just got word that it’s in and can be delivered soon.  Wooo!  We’re probably going to postpone delivery until February since that’s the first weekend slot that’s open.  I am already working at home today and tomorrow this week (medical appointments, more on that in a moment) and I don’t love the idea of taking another day off right away unless I have to.  So, yay!  New couch is coming!

Tomorrow’s appointment is with the dentist.  I get the first of my four metal fillings taken out of my head.  I’m looking forward to moving a step closer to being metal free but not looking forward to the experience or the aftermath of sucking in metal vapor.  I’m going to ask for nasal O2 and advise them to be liberal with the suction.  From what I’ve heard, this helps.  I’m also going to premedicate with a crapload of benadryl and H2 blocker.  And husband is going with me (a) since I’ll be benadryl drunk and (b) in case I have a bad reaction to the metal vapors.  This is the dentist who said “I’m a little worried about anaphylaxis…”  And kudos to her for even considering it.  I figure that since the dental clinic is not only affiliated with, but also mere steps away from, Man’s Greatest Hospital if I’m gonna have a big awful reaction to having these things taken out, I’d rather have it there.

cold, seasonal allergies, or other?

For the last two days, I’ve had that sore throat & raw mouth feeling again.  Comes with a stuffy nose, was it congested before?  Yeah, I think so but not so bad.

Cold?  I spent three hours of each of the last two days of the week locked in a poorly ventilated room with a group of co-workers at an HR contrived event.  I very easily could have picked up a cold.

Seasonal allergies?  Some years back, when I was a grad student in the New England Outback, I presented to the school’s student health center with symptoms of sinusitis.  I remember sitting in the hallway feeling like pick axes were being driven into my cheekbones, feverish, and feeling generally awful.  The nurse who saw me said “You know, you’re in here every November with a sinus infection…I think you should consider taking something for your Fall allergies.”  Allergies?  What?  I don’t have allergies!  Turns out I do, likely to leaf mold given the October/November timing of it.  The hurricane took down most of the leaves, left piles of rotting wet leaves everywhere, so there’ a good case for allergy as the culprit.

Other?  Since seeing the reactions I had to metals in my skin test, and getting some counseling about foods with high nickel content, I’ve been trying to avoid chocolate.  It is high on the list of nickel rich food.  At the risk of overstating this, it is nearly tragic for me to give up or at least limit chocolate.  I did pretty well until Halloween rolled around….which makes me wonder.  Could this be a food mediated allergic reaction?  If so, we’d expect an increase in gut symptoms (check) and perhaps skin symptoms (red blotchy spots on my chest and neck?  Check).  It also makes me wonder if my November allergy symptoms are not so much respiratory trigger related as they are a by product of the inevitable increase in candy (chocolate) consumption leading up to and around Halloween.

And then there’s another.  Because my gut symptoms have been worse (for whatever reason, chocolate or no) and because I had to be up and at the HR event early for two days in a row, I’ve been taking a lot more anticholinergic the last few days.  This means more dry mouth.  Which means a good climate for an overgrowth of candida, which my tendency to oral and oro-pharyngeal thrush suggests is always lurking just around the corner.

So here’s what I’ve done.  I’ve increase the allergy meds, started using saline nasal spray, increased water intake (tough, I need to set reminders on my cell phone), I’m taking a week of fluconazole, and I’m avoiding chocolate.  That last one is hard with there still being so much Halloween candy around but that will drop off soon enough and it’ll get easier.

I think once I’ve gotten things tamed down a bit, and after the snow comes and we have less leaf mold about, I’m going to do a test with chocolate again.  It’ll be sad to give up chocolate for good if I have to, but it will be good to know if this is the trigger for so much of my “mystery” symptom set.

shine on

Looking for glare guards for a student.  This student has migraines and quite significant photosensitivity.  Oh boy can I relate.

I told my boss I found some that got good reviews and asked if I should forward the info to the student.  Boss says yes and get one for yourself if you want too.

Sweet, because at work I have a nice new computer (an all in one) that has a big shiny monitor.  I have never used a computer with a shiny monitor and I know that this is going to be an issue for me.  I’m also desperate to get some alternative lighting in my office because right now it’s overhead fluorescent lights.  Ugh.  I’m told the couch I asked for was delivered yesterday.  It’s not new, we’ll see if it’s un-moldy enough to stay in my office.  New has drawbacks too – some materials make me sick from the fumes.  I don’t know if it’s glue or dye or fabric treatments or all of the above but I know there are some pieces of furniture I basically have to run away from.  I am hoping the couch is good.  I need a place to get horizontal sometimes when I’m at work, like when my blood pressure or blood sugar drop into the craptastic range, or when a migraine is making me feel like I’m on the deck of a ship.

 

switcheroo

A little while ago, I posted about my search for a new shampoo.  It turns out the department store dumbass labeled the samples wrong that I used for my patch test.  In the previous post on this topic, I mentioned that one of the samples was just fine.  What I didn’t mention was that my skin reacted to the other like it had been burned.  So, it turns out that the one I bought a whole bottle of was the one I was HIGHLY allergic to.  Thanks department store idiot!

My husband and I went back to ask for a return/exchange.  He offered to handle it, which was good because for things like this, if I’m already in a bad mood, I have a habit of….um, well verbal evisceration is not an inaccurate description of what I do to foolish people who mess with my health by doing their jobs poorly.  It’s not exactly explosive, I’m not likely to raise my voice.  It’s more of a ripping someone a new one using no swears and no shouting but plenty of unveiled contempt.  So hubby went in, told them what happened, showed them the mislabeled samples, and voila, exchange.  I’m glad.  I don’t love getting that pissed off but I was not in a great mood yesterday (family shit) and I knew my threshold for stupidity was going to be low.

So now I have the right one, Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil shampoo.

Just in time for my first day at the new job!

product

The search for a new shampoo has ended with success, at least if my patch testing can be trusted.

Since April, my hair has looked electrified.  I suspect that there is a combination effect of my poor nutritional status (you don’t lose 10 pounds in a few months due to constant pooping without there being some ramifications for micronutrients), stress, and bad shampoo.  By “bad” I mean shit I’m allergic to.  I have since stopped washing my hair daily, stopped brushing or combing it when it’s wet, and modified my diet (removed the evil non-dairy creamer I was using and hey, like magic my gut has improved by about 60%!).  But still, I need a shampoo that is not going to turn my head into an itchy, bristling nettle patch.

Inspired by the allergist, I started patch testing.  Tried one my hairdresser recommended without a proper patch test and promptly had to rewash my hair about 5 times to stop the itching.  Tried a so called “hypoallergenic” one by Suave that burned my arm.  And finally, my lovely sweet darling husband went to a fancy store and got them to hand over two tiny pots of Kiehl’s shampoo, Olive Fruit Oil and Superbly Smoothing.  Patch testing the olive oil one and had a reaction. Did TWO patch tests with the smoothing one and DING DING DING!  WE HAVE A WINNER!  Woo!

And boy let me tell you, when I react to something, I really react to it.  It’s been nearly a month since I had the patch testing done at the allergy clinic and I still have red patches on my back.  In fact, one of them just reactivated (one of the Nickel patches) and is now all up and itchy again.  I saw my primary care last week, Thursday, and showed him.  He said, “Oh wow, look at that!  Can I take a picture?”  I said yes and he bolted out of the room yelling for the nurse “Get the camera!  Come and take a look!  You gotta see Dyspatient’s back!”  LOL.  Too funny.  He wants me to see a dentist at the B.A.T.H. he’s affiliated with to talk about whether we can remove my metal fillings now that we have some clear, controlled evidence that I am indeed exceptionally allergic to some of the metals that are likely to be in an amalgam mix.  I told him I had mentioned it to my current dentist.  “What did they say?” he asked.  “He said What?  you think there’s something wrong with amalgam?  Lalalalalala I can’t hear you!'” I said, with my hands clamped over my ears.  “He was kind of a douche” I added.  He said “Let’s see if we can get you in to see someone who’s not….” “…quite so douchey?” I prompted.  Not that I’m looking forward to having the metal drilled out of my head, and how they’ll do it with me being allergic to the shit they put in dental dams (yup) will be anyone’s guess, but I’m game for looking in to it.  I’ve been wondering about it for a while now, what with all the mouth pain, blisters, swelling, sores, and GI symptoms.

Mrs. Peacock, in the library, with the revolver!

One medical mystery solved this week.  Yes, you heard that right.  I finally have a few answers.  It doesn’t explain EVERYTHING, but it does explain something that has caused me significant disability in the past and which I have had to try to work around without really knowing what it is I need to avoid in terms of a trigger.

This would be the allergy test.

color photo of a woman's back with positive reactions to allergen patch testing.

Itchy-owie mess.

I had patch testing, not being super psyched about the idea of them injecting stuff under my skin since when I react, I react STRONGLY.  There were three patch test panels placed from the TRUE test – in the picture, these three panels are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd if you count from my left to my right.  Because I asked for it specifically, they also did metal testing.  The metal test involved two panels – they are on my right shoulder in the picture here.   Each panel, in both the TRUE test and the metal set, has about a dozen substances in individual disks which are placed on the skin and then held there with adhesive for 48 hours before removal.  At the 48 hour mark, the results are given an initial read.  I was told that the nurse would read it then I’d be sent on my way for the day, to return the next for another (final) reading.  In my case, at least one of the substances could have been read at about hour 12 I think.  The nurse actually made a little “oh” noise when she removed that particular panel from my back.  “Something reacted I guess?” I asked.  “Yes….it’s a strong reaction,” she said.  I told her “I react strongly to some things.  That’s why I’m having this done.  Two of the most severe were to the insoles of my shoes and to the elastic in my underwear, you know, around the waist and legs.  Blistering, itching, it was bad.”  She told me that she was going to have the fellow come look at this one before I left that day.  “Wow!” he exclaimed, “that’s a severe reaction.”  I felt like telling him he could take a picture if he wanted to.  This was  Big Ass Teaching Hospital after all.  I was told that I could feel free to go ahead and use hydrocortisone ointment on it despite the ban on that sort of thing before and during testing.  “We know that one is positive” the fellow said.  “And you can take antihistamines.”  I do.  I am.  This is my reaction on benadryl, ranitidine, and amitriptyline.

Which one was the severe reaction that now solves one of my medical mysteries?  It was a substance called Thiuram mix.  Thiurams are rubber accelerators. In the picture, the Thiuram mix patch is the lower right corner of the second panel in on my left shoulder.  The nurse brought me a pamphlet on Thiurams, and pointed out that it is found in some shoes and in the elastics of some underwear and bathing suits.  Well I’ll be…so now I know.  And I also know that it is in other things which, given how severely I react to it, I should avoid the hell out of.  Imagine inhaling this shit?

Other notable reactions included three spots that look like bruises on the metal panel, a strong reaction to Nickel (twice, it’s on one of the TRUE test panels and one of the metal panels), not surprising.  The marker was a little smudgy, but you can see that the panels with the most positive results are the metal panels (right shoulder).  The large hive on the first TRUE test panel on my left shoulder is the TRUE test nickel patch, I’m pretty sure.

tape and sponges

Paper tape, and some sort of adhesive panels, are holding a multitude of potential allergens tight against my skin right now.  I had the panels for cutaneous allergy testing applied yesterday.  A quick appointment in a chilly office with a nurse I may have taught when I was at Big Effing U in the New England Outback.  Small world.  I go back tomorrow to have the stuff removed and for a 48 hour reading.  Then back again on Thursday for a final reading and a meeting with the doctor.

One thing to note:  when the nurse was telling me how long to expect for these appointments, she said “Wednesday will be a little longer than today, you’ll need to wait 20 minutes after the nurse takes off the panels before the reading.  And Thursday will be the quickest!”  I said “Oh, I thought on Thursday the doctor would  go over the results and what they mean.”  “Yes!” she said brightly, without a hint of awareness that there was anything odd about the idea that the interpretation and talking part should be the shortest appointment of the set.

I know it’s not just me who thinks this whole thing is a bit backwards.  It just seems reasonable that the interpretation and discussion should be the part with the biggest time investment.  The appointment Monday was a total of 15 minutes – so Thursday, when the doc talks to me, is anticipated to be less than that.  I have this image of the doctor coming in and talking like those legal disclaimers at the end of radio ads for cars.

Sponge baths for me for today and tomorrow.  Blech.  I’ll be happy to have these things off my back.

no time!

I haven’t posted in a while – lots to do and so little time.  Work is busy, but it’s a good busy that I like.  Plus, most of the more annoying people are not around now that summer has officially started.  They all just take off, like migratory birds.

Two bits of news.

  • I saw the allergist at B.A.T.H. and he seemed ok.  He agreed that I should figure out what metals I am allergic to, and seemed a bit stunned that I had never had allergy testing before despite all the odd rash/swelling-reactions I’ve had in my life.  This post really helped me in presenting my history – glad I took the time to write it all out.  He didn’t seem to think that I have classic food allergy symptoms, missing the throat closing ones and I hardly ever wheeze.  But a nickel allergy is a good thing to rule out for me – sad that so many foods on the nickel free diet are ones I love.
  • I have an interview!  The phone interview went well, so I’m going in for a day of interviews.  The recruiter told me to plan to be there for five hours.  Holy cow.  Well, here’s hoping there is ubiquitous air conditioning and no awkward “let’s take the candidate out to lunch” moments.

Moving next week, and having my big chat with HR at my current job.  Still editing that EEOC complaint, depending on how that meeting goes I may be adding a bit more to it.  One of the big drawbacks to filing a complaint has been knowing that I’d deal with underhanded retaliation at work, so how great would it be if I could leave this job and file the complaint?  A big relief, for sure.  I’d feel a lot better about making the complaint if I didn’t have to worry about on the job fall out.

my life in rashes

A comment thread on Anaphylaxing’s blog made me think of this today.  All the strange rashes, itches, swellings I’ve had that went unaddressed or unexplained.  So here’s a history – it spans quite a bit of my life, hence the title of this post.  This is a long one, so, well, I’m just warning you now.  I think it’s helpful for me to put this all down since this week is my follow up appointment with Endocrine on the two mast cell thingy tests.  Next  stop, allergist.  So a catalog of rashes and swellings and things related is probably a good idea.  I am posting it because I think that it may be useful for other people who have similar issues – who knows, if I eventually get a somewhat unifying diagnosis, this history may end up being very useful.

When I was little, as in pre-pubescent, I had a couple that stand out.

  • The time the whole family realized we were allergic to Tide detergent.  This was unpleasant since all of our clothes and bedding had been washed in it at least once before we realized the cause of our mass pruritis.  This involved, if I remember correctly, a fine pink rash for me with deeper red at the areas of high contact, e.g. waist bands.
  • One of the few times our parents let my siblings and me sleep on the porch during the summer.  It was too hot to sleep in our attic rooms, so off to the peeling paint porch we went.  It was probably lead paint, so we were not often allowed to spend time out there.  But it was so damned hot.  I woke up with my eyes swollen shut.  No more porch sleeping after that.
  • Swimming in the ocean in Maine, where we went on vacation in the summer.  Cold, cold water.  I would paddle out to the raft, scoot up on it and then scratch and scratch and scratch.  I always thought it was something in the water that made me itch so much.
  • Any time I was bitten by a mosquito, I had these crazy over reactions where I would get golf ball sized beet red lumps.  Oh so itchy for days.  I scratched the hell out of them, gave myself a skin infection once from all the post-bite scratching.
  • Non-gold metal.  Got my ears pierced with hypoallergenic surgical steel.  I thought they were infected and kept treating them as if they were all thoughout adolescence.  And yes, it did occur to me that something was up when I realized I had a similar sort of thing going on where the button of my jeans rubbed my belly, where any metal touched my neck (including claps of otherwise non-metallic necklaces), and where the backs of various watches I tried to wear rubbed against my arm.  Eventually, an aunt (my dad’s sister) mentioned that she and all her sisters were allergic to non-gold metals.  Ah.  Right.  Apparently so am I.

Adolescent to 20s:

  • Aloe.  A well-meaning hair dresser spotted an allergic reaction to the clasp in my necklace on the back of my neck. “Oh, that looks so sore!” she said “Let me put some aloe on it”.  And it went from an isolated red itchy patch to a weeping bloom of blisters by the end of my appointment.
  • Underpants.  Underpants elastic to be precise.  I was never a fancy drawers kind of gal.  I preferred brightly colored cotton briefs, the kind that Danskin used to make.  I loved those things.  Pretty colors so they didn’t feel like what are now called “granny panties” and they weren’t all baggy and loose.  But at some point, I stopped being able to find Danskins.  So I tried Hanes, which looked so similar.  I bought them and wore them once.  After a few hours, where the elasticized waist and leg holes had been in contact with me I had itchy welts.  Thankfully, I was still not sexually active yet and therefore only had to deal with my sister’s amused and horrified reaction to my silly looking rash.
  • Almay hypoallergenic liquid eyeliner – BURNED my eyes.  It was as if I had applied a thin line of acid along the lids.  I went without makeup for over a week waiting for the blisters to subside.  I now see the words “hypoallergenic” and just laugh.
  • Back to the beach.  My sister was into the whole fitness thing. I wasn’t.  I wanted to be healthy, and look nice, but I never could be bothered to give my body the time that my sister devoted to hers.  But I would sometimes tag along with her on her various body favoring exercises.  One that I could get behind was walking at the town beach.  I might see boys or friends from school, that made it more appealing.  We didn’t sand walk, we stuck to the concrete sidewalk that ran between the ocean wall and the parking lot/street.  It was one of the rare times I would actually wear shorts and sneakers.  It was a three mile walk to go up and back.  On windy days, at about mile 2, my legs would start itching.  I assumed it was the wind blowing sand into my legs and irritating my easily irritated skin.
  • The foot thing.  Oh god the foot thing.  It was horrible.  I wore combat boots a lot as a teen and young adult.  No, those weren’t the problem.  The problem was that I did sometimes want to wear summer attire that did not involve long cut off jean shorts and ass kicking boots.  So the end of my sophomore year in college, I got a pair of canvas shoes and wore them TWICE before the itching and blistering started on the soles of my feet.  It got bad.  Really really bad. Saw a dermatologist who said “that’s contact dermatitis”, unhelpfully, and prescribed cortisone ointment…which only occluded the skin and did fuck all to help with what was now skin that looked like a pretty bad burn – it blistered, sloughed, and repeated several times over in a painful, awful cycle.  I reasoned that if it looked like a burn, I would  treat it as such.  I stuck to a strict regimen of domeboro soaks and silvadene ointment and it started to clear up.  At some point, I decided that this was likely to have been either initially caused by or opportunistically colonized by a fungal infection and I added Tinactin spray to the mix (yes, I was a pain in the ass self diagnosing patient already at the age of 19).  And that was that – it cleared up entirely, with some seriously disciplined care.  I could NOT skip a treatment, and I had to wash, soak, dry, and spray at least 3 times a day.  It came back the next year….the next time I was better at treating it fast and it didn’t progress too far.  Now I just prophylactically use Tinactin spray and I never ever put my bare feet into enclosed shoes.  Unanswered questions include:   if it was a fungal infection that started this whole thing, why didn’t I get it wearing heavy black boots and socks in August but instead developed it wearing  breezy canvas summer shoes?  Why was it almost exclusively on the soles of my feet and barely affecting the areas between my toes?  I don’t know – I suspect an allergic reaction to the insole material which then broke down the skin and allowed an opportunistic infection..but I’m not going to let it happen again to find out.

Still later…

  • Something in the air.  Starting my third year living in Michigan, every August my eyes would swell up and stay that way for weeks.  No clue what it was.  I looked stoned and beaten, red eyes with hugely swollen lids.  I tried using warm teabags on them to reduce the swelling.  I’d read somewhere that this can help.  Oh no.  It did not help.  Instead, my eyes both developed massive bruising after the tea bags.  “Oh great!” my husband exclaimed “people are gonna think I hit you!”  Ah, Ex-husband the doctor…what a great bedside manner he had.  He kept laughing every time he saw me, “I’m sorry, you look like a raccoon.  No, seriously, I am really sorry.”
  • Can’t stand up, can’t sit down.  Around the time of the second year of the eye swelling, I had this very strange thing happen.  I don’t recall when it started – did I wake up with it?  I must have.  One day every single joint on me swelled up.  Joints I didn’t know I had hurt – you don’t think about those places where things connect if they aren’t things you have voluntary control over moving.  My wrists and fingers were so swollen that the usual skin folds/grooves were flat, tight red lines.  I couldn’t fully straighten or fully bend anything.  I had to shuffle hunched over with my hands and arms crabbed.  Into the car and the ER with Ex-husband the doctor.  At the hospital, they had no idea what the hell was going on.  “Some kind of serum sickness, maybe you got bit by a spider” was what one of my ex-husband’s residents proposed (ex was an attending at that point).  About five years later, the exact same thing happened to my sister.  I remember she was staying with me at the time and she had to sit and scoot up and down the stairs of my townhouse because she couldn’t bend her legs enough to walk up and down them.  Hers was the same as mine, quickly came on and then receded over a few days.
  • Itchy legs explained?  My ex-husband and I took the dog for a walk one winter day.  Just around the block, but that damned bitterly cold wind that starts in October and ends sometime between April and May was blasting us the whole way.  I was bundled up on top and wearing long heavy socks and boots.  But my upper legs, well, it was just a layer of denim between my skin and that wind.  I got home and it was like my legs were on fire – sort of like how they would get walking on the beach with my sister but much worse.  Itchy, but also red and hot.  “I think you have cold induced urticaria” my ex said, with some interest, and proceeded to lecture on how this is the same sort of mechanism that underlies cold induced asthma (which he sometimes experienced, being marginally asthmatic).  It was the same voice he used the time he remarked, early on in our dating, “my god you have superficial veins…” (to which I replied “gosh, you say the most romantic things” and batted my eyes dramatically).
  • Petechial in Chicago.  Went to a conference with my (then) new post-divorce boyfriend in Summer 2001.  I had a poster session at the conference, my first post graduate research presentation.  After, we walked all over the place.  I started getting crampy while we were out.  I noticed that in addition to what I assumed were the start of menstrual cramps, my legs felt heavy and like they were full of hot sand.  Leaden would be a good word for it.  Great, new endometriosis symptoms, I thought.  By the time we got back to the hotel, I could barely move my legs.  Got into the hotel room, and ran a bath.  As I was drying off, I noticed the most alarming purple/red spots appearing all up the insides of my thighs.  They were so heavy and so intense that I assumed it was something ON my skin, something in the water that had discolored me, not something in my body.  But after developing, they remained for quite a while….at least two weeks I think.  A blanket of fine dark pinpricks with tiny violet-red clouds around them…where they were densely packed the  margins of the “clouds” blurred together obscuring anything remotely skin colored.  It went away on its own, only to come back the next month when I was menstrual again, slightly less severe but still remarkable.  I saw the (horrible) GYN I had at the time and requested some tests.  She ordered a PT and PTT.  I was called several days later and told my test was “negative”.  We had a long chat, that office shrew and I, about how a continuous value as measured and reported in a situation like this should not be interpreted in a dichotomous manner.  “This isn’t a pregnancy test,” I told her.  When I was finally able to talk to the doc, she said that my PT and PTT were both totally normal, and she had no interest at all in pursuing the matter further.  My interpretation was that she was an OB and didn’t give much of a damn about anything that wasn’t immediately baby-related.  It didn’t happen again, so I didn’t pursue it either.

aller-gee

Did you know that you can be allergic to semen?  I didn’t know this earlier today but now I do.

Let’s just say I’m thankful for magic mouthwash…and that this is going to be a rather awkward conversation with my primary care physician.