Tag Archives: health

The tale of my second rheumatologist.

30 Jun

I am home only for 2.5 weeks.

I had been suffering from pain on my feet, knees and fingers for months now, and sought Rheumatologist no. 2, who I will refer to now as AL, because he was the only one who had a convenient schedule when I went to the hospital to see my cardiologist.

He was relatively young, took detailed notes as I went over my complicated medical history. I should have noticed the lack of patience, the condescending tone, and it was only after I was on my third visit, PHP 2,100 poorer on consultations (without receipt) that I had admitted, with a sinking feeling, that I should have gone to a different doctor from the get-go (he even suggested it). He told me I had bursitis and even told me to Google it. He said I had osteoarthritis in the knee, but he couldn’t explain the pain and stiffness of my fingers. He was pretty adamant that it was not rheumatoid arthritis, that he wouldn’t give me treatment for that even if I had tested postive for the rheumatoid factor, if he had consented to it. He thought, I’m asssuming because I am overweight, that I might have diabetes. (With the exception of elevated white blood cells, everything in my blood count and urinalysis was clear.) He gave me a long explanation about how I should take my meds (Arcoxia) the same time each day, saying, with exasperation, you understand this right, because you’re a chemistry teacher. On the third time in his office, he seemed satisfied when I reported that the pain has lessened somewhat. The pain on my tendon is still there, though, and he said he had already tried all possible treatment options, with the exception of a direct shot of corticosteroid, because I was leaving in a couple of days and I had to rest it for 24 hours. So it’s like… Okay, just ask yer next rheumatologist in Indonesia, and don’t forget to get your kidneys and liver checked because of the Arcoxia.

Well, it’s my fault. I should have gone with my gut or my common sense. Bad doctor, stupid patient.



22 Apr

I’m back to Semarang.

Actually, I had a health emergency last week and ended up spending three days in hospital. A couple of days later I returned to the Philippines. And now I’m back. Better health-wise, but I guess I still have a lot of pent-up anxiety. I must learn to get a better hold of it, of myself, because while I know I am not at peak stress, my body begged to differ.

I’m at that point again when I am starting to get unsure and have that feeling of wanting to get out. But then, I signed for two more years, I have mortgage to pay, I’m not ready to give up the kind of lifestyle my work has afforded me. But yeah, I am not centered. There is something lacking if life is just waking up, going to work, getting back from work, and waiting for the weekend and the next holiday. I know I’ve been really fortunate, but yeah, I don’t live like I am. I’m not making the most of it.

What’s a cat lady to do?

8 Apr

I’ve had this persistent symptoms of allergy (basically itchy all over) for a few weeks now. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a doctor and persisted on an IgE specific test. I realized too late why he was a little hesitant (aside from the possibility of a false negative or a false positive result): it cost about 150USD. So anyway, yesterday (because it has been terribly busy at work) I went to the hospital to get my results.

It says that I was allergic to cats.

I felt crushed. Does this mean I have to get rid of Kitty Cat, who is basically the only thing I look forward to after a long day at work? Does this mean I cannot spend time at home back in the Philippines, because getting rid of seven cats (Basil has died) is out of the question? What’s a cat lady to do?

Of course, there are options, like immunotherapy or allergy shots. But still, it was terribly saddening. Why cats and why now?



30 Dec

It’s been almost two weeks since I came back home. This pretty much sums it up:

I have at least managed to meet my 2016 Goodreads Reading Goal (16 books) due to a feverishly paced reading of All the Light We Cannot See and me remembering to add a book I probably finished this year. 

Right now I am halfway through Sophie’s Choice and I’m hoping to get it done by reading around a hundred pages per day. That aim had been foiled for the last couple of days, but I’m determined to achieve momentum so that it’ll be the first book I finish in 2017 with much time to spare so I can read succeeding books at a leisurely pace. (The natural choice for the next book is Primo Levi’s memoir The Periodic Table.) I have no illusions for when work resumes in January: definitely I will be immensely busy preparing graduating students for external exams. Thankfully I wasn’t given any test setting duties for the internal exams this time around, and will only serve in vetting a couple of tests. 

I have one week here, and due to my laziness and procrastination, I have to sort out my affairs within three days. Or two, ideally. I still have to collect documents and see my flat, which I have not laid eyes on at all yet, and then ask about having it leased for a couple of years because I lack funds and time to get it furnished. I have yet to see a rheumatologist to speak about an alternative to the oral corticosteroids that I have been taking to manage my auto-immune condition. I have not much hope in the latter, because the probable alternative – immunosuppressing anti-organ rejection drugs – just might mess up with my egg cells. I don’t plan on having kids yet,but I don’t want to have to come to a point where I have no choicr about my own fertility either. But still it’s something to discuss with a specialist. 

It’s New Year’s eve tomorrow. How quickly time passes. 

Slice of life

1 Nov

Only four periods of teaching today, although I do have an extra class later. New student, came from a national school, had been receiving after-school (and weekend) classes to make up for that year he missed (they didn’t have chemistry in his previous school). We’re almost halfway the second term but he is almost done with all the things that we needed to cover: one year of classes. He’s doing so well, and he likes the challenge of the subject, and it’s gratifying for me as a teacher. 

Not so much for marking. I’ve got a ton of papers to check. It just so happens that when I start on another pile I get distracted and I want to do something else. So it just keeps piling up, along with other teacher grunt work like lesson plans. 

Later my most senior students will be sitting for their last exam in chemistry. It’s a multiple-choice test. Ironically it is the most difficult for them. I’m just happy that it’s gonna be over soon. The stress. The emails. Okay, I didn’t even receive a lot of questions or clarifications about hard to answer items except from a couple of my most diligent students. Had I given my number, I’d have been bombarded with even the simplest queries on instant messaging, at all hours. So nope. 

I’ve recently re-installed Neko Atsume on my phone. My LG G4 had a bootloop problem and when I got it fixed, the technician had to obliterate my files. So yeah, I have to work once more to get back all my cats and my yards and my goodies. Sighs. But Neko Atsume is such a great stress reliever. 

Not that I’m stressed out. Surprisingly, I am not. I’ve had worse, definitely. Everything is actually peachy. That’s why I don’t understand why my eye keeps acting up. Last week was particularly terrible. The pressure on my right eye was too great. I couldn’t do anything but gobble 24 mg of methylprednisolone per day. It’s the only thing that keeps the pain at bay. Too bad for shit side effects. 

Holidays are in a few weeks. I already booked tickets to and from Manila. Definitely will be home for Christmas. Germany likely in June. Let’s see.

Rainy days are coming.

6 Nov

Been going to the gym for about a week now. It’s about half an hour’s walk from where I live, and my gym buddies/housemates are pretty adamant about making the 300k IDR monthly membership worth every hundred. So yeah, we only got Wednesdays off (I have CCA which usually runs til 5 pm, and my other housemate has Bible Study) and so far my laziness has not worked their magic on them. Lol. Well, so far, after an hour of walking and almost an hour of working out, none of my clothes feel different. My pants are still tight. My belly is still round but no longer soft. Lol. The last time I weighed myself while in the gym, I weighed heavier.

So much for my motivation.

But lol. Peer pressure.