Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hooray, Pizza Day!

That writer who couldn't be quiet,
She recently went on a diet.
But what can she say?
Today's Pizza Day!
She must, at the very least, try it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It Could Always Be Worse

In June, when Dr. Arrigo looked me in the eye and said, "I think you have PCOS," I was devastated. However, after my umpteenth round of blood tests—none of which has ever made clear what was wrong with me exactly—and my fourth imaging test, it seemed that everything was pretty darn normal. Now, for most people, normal test results are a thing to be celebrated. For me, on the other hand, I would rather get a positive. A negative for me is not so much "Yay! I don't have a disease!" as it is "Crap! They still can't figure out what disease I have!"

So far I don't have the following conditions:
  • Pregnancy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Celiac disease
  • Excess DHEA
  • Too much Prolactin
  • GERD
  • Ulcers
  • H. pylori infection
  • And MORE!

Which I suppose is good news . . . or it would be if my body functioned properly!

Anyway, I followed up with a doctor here, who sent me to a different clinic, where they decided to do an oral glucose tolerance test.

After chugging my favorite sugar-laden beverage, I did the blood test and hoped for the best (worst). They said the results would be ready within a couple of days, so two Fridays ago I called them for my results. Yes, I realize I'm being a little impatient, but you would be too if one easily solved problem were at the root of all your health and beauty ills and you were just waiting for the doctor to tell you if it's true! They put me on hold for a really long time, transferred me three times, and then told me to call another number. I waited until the end of the day to call that number, got their answering service, then called back Saturday morning, when they were supposed to be open. Then they tell me I need to call back Monday. I call that same number on Monday, and they send me back to the first number I ever called. Exhausted? Well, I'm not done yet.

I called that first number again, then was put on hold for about 10 minutes before I was cut off. I called back, got shuffled through call transfers more times than I can count, and finally reached a person who pulled my file and read me my test results. I'd told them about fifty times at the test and on the phone that the tests the doctor ordered were insulin, glucose, and testosterone. I was a little surprised when the girl on the phone said, "Let's see . . . your hematocrit is great! It's at like 40!"

"What's that?" I asked.

"The iron levels in your blood."

"But I was only supposed to have insulin, glucose, and testosterone labs done."

"Oh," was all she had to say.

"So what were the results of the rest of the tests?"

"Well, your glucose was a little high, so you'll need to go down to the hospital where they'll do the three-hour test. Then, they'll probably diagnose you with gestational diabetes and keep an eye on you for the rest of your pregnancy."

All I could say was, "I'm not pregnant." That phrase looks all innocent with the period at the end, but it certainly wasn't an exclamation point sentence. It came out in a voice so angry it could barely be classified as human. I suppose that I shouldn't have been shocked when the girl replied,

"Uh . . . " and then paused for a full minute. But I was.

"What were my other test results?" I said.

"Um, this is all we have. You'll need to wait for your doctor to call you. Bye!"

I was so pissed, I left work, stopped at the store for some groceries, picked up a box of donut holes, then sat in my car in the parking lot until I was ready to drive without intentionally smearing nearby puppies across the pavement with my tires. Seven to ten donut holes later, I was ready to face the drive home. After a two-hour angry nap (a habit Lindsay Bluth and I share), I whined to Tim about it. After a night's sleep and a day's work, I felt better enough to joke about it. To this day I'm still shocked at the amazing insensitivity it takes to assume someone is pregnant when in reality they're being tested for one of the leading causes of infertility. Anyway, I began to suspect that they had done the wrong tests from the beginning, and that the lab tech had assumed I was preggers when she took the tests and just took the wrong ones.

So last Tuesday I called the clinic again and asked for some follow up on my results. I finally talked to a competent nurse, who did a little research and got back to me. Yep, they did the wrong tests, and I'd have to do the whole freaking thing again. The nurse I went to see the next morning was really TO'd over the whole thing. Her indignation made me feel infinitely better. She decided that they'd salvage the data from the last test and do another one. I still suspect that depending on my results, I'll have to take more tests.

They promised to call me back today, but since their phones roll to the answering service in 35 minutes, I'm willing to bet that's not going to happen. Oh well. It could always be worse:

Oregon Hospital Tells 71-Year-Old Grandfather: 'We Know You Are Pregnant'

PORTLAND, Ore. — John Grady Pippen of Gold Beach doesn't look pregnant. And he's not.

But after a hospital visit earlier this month, the staff gave the 71-year-old grandfather pain pills and paperwork explaining his delicate condition.

"Based on your visit today," the paperwork told him, "we know you are pregnant."

The retired mechanic and logger had sought help for agonizing abdominal pain at Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach.

Hospital administrator William McMillan says an errant keystroke caused the hospital's computer to spit out the wrong discharge instructions.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


I've been having a violent internal battle about synthetic fabrics. I know they're cheap and unfashionable, and I know they supposedly don't let your skin breathe. Every now and then I watch "What Not to Wear" and hear Stacy and Clinton rail against evil synthetics—particularly polyester.

It's likely that my daily dose of WNTW this summer has distorted reality for me forever. I cannot deny the tearing guilt I feel over the sins I now confess.

My wardrobe consists exclusively of polyester, nylon, and cotton-poly blends, with the occasional addition of spandex. I own one item of wool clothing, and it's a pea-coat that is currently stored with my other winter clothing. Most (possibly all) of the pure natural-fiber cloth in my wardrobe resides in the lining of my underwear.

In spite of my deep remorse over this gross overuse of synthetic fabrics, a part of me insists on defending my actions and my wardrobe.

What is really wrong with polyester? It's relatively wrinkle resistant, washable, inexpensive, and easy to find and wear. I don't feel like my skin is suffocating in it, so what's the problem? I also happen to be spending lots of money on my PhT (Putting hubby Through) at the moment, and definitely can't afford to buy too many expensive items. Considering that my current wardrobe would be considered "low class" by scorners of synthetic apparel, it seems like mixing in quality items one by one would simply serve to emphasize the cheapitude of my current clothing selections.

My TV-inspired-guilt-ridden half has been trying to buy a pair of cute wool pants from Express for the past couple of months, but to no avail. Either I have no time or money, or the store has no pants big enough to cover my increasingly round Hispanic booty (and yes, I'm even prouder of my behind than I am of my Spanish hair).

Now that I'm on a weight-loss regimen, I'm even more hesitant to purchase new clothing. I've already lost almost a full pants size, but I'm hesitant to make purchases because I can't be sure how far my hips will really shrink, where my waist will end up, and how long I can hold it all together. I'm fully ready to take my entire wardrobe to a tailor for a better fit, but I just can't bring myself to do it when I'm moving steadily toward the "off the rack" body I used to have—well, off the rack except for the short legs.

All of this talk about weight loss and the painful situation of my wardrobe has gotten me depressed. I'm going to go home and hide in my closet with my synthetic security blankets.

Mustard, Mayonaise, and . . . What's That Red One Again?

It's been nearly two months, so it's time to catch you all up on my recent adventures. If you didn't get the pun between the title and the first line, leave now. I'm in no mood to deal with people who can't read my mind. And you're all just going to have to live without pictures for the moment because I'm at work writing this while Adobe Acrobat is installing and I can't do much else.

August 9 and 10 (I think):
Tim and I packed our entire lives back into our '93 Rustbucket (just one of many benefits of having to pay graduate tuition on a writer's salary) and moved back to Provo. On a less whiny note, I genuinely love our new apartment. We got some new furniture from IKEA. When my mother-in-law and I finished our list of things we wanted to pick up and made our way to the "self-service area," I found myself in a massive warehouse that I have seen in my nightmares. I'm not kidding. I've had three or four nasty dreams set in that exact warehouse. Of course, none of them was as terrible as actually having to haul all of the crap I was buying from the shelves, through checkout, and all the way into the car in the tiniest little cart known to man.

A Few Weeks Ago:
I spent several hours of Tim's last free weekend before school writing a huge proposal for work. Fortunately he had some homework by the time I was in 15-hour-day mode. I lost a pants size writing that puppy. If that happened every time I worked 15-hour days, I'd get a more stressful job. As it is, I'm loving this one just fine. When I got back I moved into a different office. Now I share with Chris, whose only funky habits are groaning over things that don't work and . . . well, he's not the most entertaining officemate I've ever had.

A couple of weeks ago:
A wonderfully passive aggressive sign came down from our neighbor's road-facing balcony, but not before both Tim and I had memorized the stenciled words: "Brent Brown is committing fraud and criminal acts against his customers. My wife is very hurt by this. Proven in court." That last bit was written in marker as an afterthought. How precious.

I had to consume 10 ounces of "glucose drink." It was only slightly more disgusting than the Chilly Willy that turned my mouth blue Saturday night, but I felt a lot sicker afterward. It could have been worse. If they make me do it again, I'll survive. I hope they don't. Just so nobody asks, I'm NOT pregnant. For you technical folk, that's a negative on the hCG. My doc thinks I'm insulin resistant. I tried to tell her that I would never resist insulin—I'm not a very resistant person—but she wasn't buying it. Two days later I was chugging what I'm fairly sure was modified Orange Crush soda syrup.

18 Hours Ago:
Tim and I were reading The Host. We're both really enjoying it, though Meyer has a few writing idiosyncrasies that I hope she overcomes within her next book or two. I just can't stand how she builds suspense over things that don't turn out to be a huge deal, but she's so obvious about what they are, it's just no fun when you figure it out. It's like in Breaking Dawn when you find out *SPOILER ALERT* that Bella's pregnant *END SPOILER ALERT*. It couldn't have been more obvious what was going to happen, but leading up to it she wrote it like it was supposed to be this huge shock. It wasn't. Back to The Host, though. The story is pretty dang brilliant—probably the most stomachable book about aliens of all time.

Two Hours from Now:
Someone from the ward is coming over the give me a calling. I'll let you know how that turns out on Sunday, I suppose. My first guess would be ward greeter (they always ask the weird ones to do that). I'll be happy if they don't make me any kind of music person. My first calling in my Wymount ward was Relief Society chorister. I didn't even know how to lead music. If they were aiming for a way to embarrass me in front of twenty people once a week, they did a great job. Hiding out in primary was just what I needed after that.

Well, I hope you're happy with the ketchup. I'll probably do a picture post later. I know how much Sarah wants to see Denver and how much the rest of you miss my ugly mug. I wish I'd taken a belly picture so I could do the opposite of the pregnancy shots and show you all my weight loss over the next bit. Michael (my super-muscular body-building brother) made me up a diet and exercise plan, and I'm on my way to being fit. Or at the very least I'm on my way to being very tired of rice.