Rheumatologist and bad Critters (no biscuit)

Had my Rheumatologist appointment yesterday. It was actually pretty confidence inspiring. My GP doesn’t seem to be inclined to do anything other than the “she’s sick, give her antibiotics” song and dance. She asks one or two questions, looks into my ears and throat, and that’s it.

But the Rheumatologist was extremely thorough. He grilled me about my past medical history–and was quite scandalized that I hadn’t been referred to him sooner–as well as all of the symptoms I’ve been experiencing. And then he ordered up a barrage of tests including a chest x-ray and eight (eight, ouch) vials of blood for a full spectrum test. And he had me scamper back with the x-ray films straight out of radiology so he could look at them immediately.

Plus, I like him. He was sort of funny in a fatherly/grandfatherly sort of way, with a definite huff and snort about him that’s both charming and intimidating. He was also quite fascinated and amused by the fact that I have a skunk, told me it was a good thing I’d gotten a skunk and not a dog (this while he was perusing my allergy test history.) And he also gave me some more pills to take. A burst and dwindle 6-day supply of steroids, just in case the chest x-ray, which was clear, didn’t catch the underlying cause of my cough. So, hurray for the Rheumatologist.

Read and critiqued the worst, most offensive story I have ever seen on Critters the other day. I re-wrote my critique three times to de-rant it and it was still pretty castigating. The story itself was really badly written, but the part that got me was how appallingly sexist and anti-gay it was. But it wasn’t sexist and anti-gay in an in-your-face, I have a point to make sort of way, but in a this-is-just-how-it-is sort of way, which freaks me more. The author seemed to just assume that women were ruled by their hormones, their brains nothing but weak little organs geared towards obsessing about clothing and other people’s fat deposits. And the anti-gay sentiments! Agh! Women who don’t wear make-up and high heels must be lesbians, and a woman isn’t attractive if they don’t wear such things, and of course a gay person going straight would obviously get accolades for doing so from her co-workers and the medical profession . . . and . . . and . . . gah! I’m just agog thinking about it again. I nearly put it down in disgust over half a dozen times. I deserve ice cream and cookies for slogging through that whole thing.

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12 Responses to Rheumatologist and bad Critters (no biscuit)

  1. fin9901 says:

    Sounds like you deserve more than just ice cream and cookies for dealing with a story like that. (Time for a Ben & Jerry’s run?)

  2. katen says:

    Well, kudos to you for slogging through that story and getting it done. I used to belong to a horror writers critique group, but I came to a point where I could not take the amount of gore some people were pouring into their 5000 words.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I quit a horror-only group for similar reasons. Plus I couldn’t keep up with all my critiquing obligations so dropped the one that I was receiving the least benefit from.

      Oh, and this awful story was 13K. Thirteen thousand words. GAH!

  3. may I ask, why are you allergic to dog’s hair?

    (I was allergic to cat’s hair when I was little, it would trigger my asthma, but during my adult years I haven’t been sick of cat’s hair….)

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I’m allergic to dogs, cats, and dust. Especially dust. I’m not sure why. Stupid immune system is my guess. Heh.

      I went for a whole allergy test barrage when we were thinking of getting a dog earlier this year, ’cause I knew I was at least marginally allergic. I wanted to find out how allergic I really was and what my options were. Once we adopt an animal, it’s for life, so I wanted to discover if I was severely allergic before we made that sort of commitment.

      But then we met skunks and it all worked out . . .

      • Isn’t that something? That’s prolly why I liked poodles coz they NEVER shed like cats. I haven’t been petting our cats that much and no hair is being shed in this house (except the bunny’s hair — mini-lops are the worst when it comes to shedding, other breeds don’t, anyways…)

        Why is the skunk’s hair different from the rest?

        • Eugie Foster says:

          It’s actually not the fur that I’m allergic to so much as the dander (skin flakes) and the saliva.

          We were thinking about adopting a greyhound rescue because of their personalities, short fur, and cleanliness earlier this year. We spent some time hanging out with a bunch of greyhound rescue people and their doggies, and while I had symptoms, they were pretty mild. So then I went in for allergy testing to see how allergic I was according to their tests, and to see what options I had to control the allergic reactions. As it turns out I’m pretty allergic to dogs. But they also have allergy shots that have a pretty good track record of diminishing and even removing allergic reactions that looked pretty promising.

          We were almost set to start up adoption procedures when we went to Fantasm and saw our first domestic skunk. And that was that. I’m not at all allergic to skunks. It’s much better this way. If we’d gotten a dog, I’d have to be very careful about how much I kissed and hugged them close to my face because I wouldn’t want to hit my allergy trigger levels. With Hobkin, I can smush him and hug him, and stick my face in his fur as much as I want. Much better for everyone involved.

        • Eugie Foster says:

          Why is the skunk’s hair different from the rest?

          Oops, forgot to answer this. Um, actually, I have no idea what the difference is between skunk and cat/dog hair/dander/saliva. But I’m not allergic to ferrets either. Some people are allergic to some things and aren’t to others. Don’t know why. But I’m very grateful to have a bunch of animals that I’m not allergic to.

          • Aw, that’s so nice. Glad you’re not allergic to ferrets or skunk.

            As far as my allergy is concerned, I’m allergic to cosmetic. Not make up. Just cosmetics, even if it says “good to sensitive skin” I’m highly sensitive to everything. I used to spend a lot of money on some cleanser (i.e. Clinique), spent over $100 worth of cosmetics such as mask, lotion, face cleanser, morning moisturizer, you name it. I had to go to the doctor once and got treated for some allergy reactions. My face looked like I had been attacked by “poison oak” right after I’ve used some of these cosmetics. NEVER again. I can wear make-up, but no cosmetics of any kind such as cleanser, the only thing I clean my face is the soap recommended by my dermatologist.

            Thank goodness I have no other allergy besides cosmetics…

  4. soyfaerie says:

    EIGHT VIALS!?!?!! Dang! I feel weak when they take 4! I’m surprised that you didn’t pass out! At least they’re being thorough, but DANG!

    What/where is Critters?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Eight. Yes. Yuck. Actually, I’m fine with them taking a lot of blood. I don’t mind the volume so much as the changes between the vials. No matter how fast and dexterous the lab person is, the needle still gets jiggled a bit in the vein. I hate that.

      Although the lab person who took my blood had a very gentle touch and was very swift, which I was grateful for.

      What/where is Critters?

      Critters.org (not the same thing at all as which is a wonderful LJ community for fuzzy creatures and their human companions run by ) is one of my online writers groups. It’s a standard critique/get critiqued by sort of set-up, but I like it because it’s got such a large membership so I get a pretty cosmopolitan selection of readers, plus it’s passworded, so I don’t need to worry about first electronic rights being sacrified. I always run my stories through Critters.org before sending them out to market. The extra twenty or so sets of eyes and reader sensibilities tend to catch things that no matter how often I read a manuscript, I still miss.

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