I wish I could report that things health-wise are going as smoothly as they were when last I posted, but unfortunately that is not the case.
The wound from my minor surgery of nine days ago has healed beautifully, and other than some residual ugly bruising and mild tenderness that I really only notice when I'm rubbing moisturizer on that arm, recovery from THAT has been a breeze. It's nice not to have that painful lump anymore or have half my forearm go numb at random if I bump it at the wrong spot!
Unfortunately, there is something horrible going on with my ribs on the right side of my chest (or possibly a nerve on that side, since the worst of the pain seems to have originated in back by my spine and moved around forward--it's now retreating back toward my back, which would fit the profile for a pinched nerve, although this would be the first one my t-spine has treated me to). I took four days in a row off over the weekend and early part of this week, mostly because I couldn't move without screaming, and saw my GP's nurse practitioner on Monday (the MDeities were all booked, and I was desperate enough to take a chance on a new-to-me provider). She at first said she suspected shingles, but since I countered that there was no rash and I hadn't been around any poxy children (plus The Roommate is healthy as a horse and I think if there was shingles in the house he would've dropped like a canary in a mineshaft by now because he gives me regular back rubs and would certainly have come into contact with the affected area), said more likely I had broken a rib or two coughing and/or just had REALLY bad costochondritis (a known issue I've had for a few weeks, although previously that's stuck closer to the sternum), and suggested a chest x-ray. I said okay, well, how would you treat the various components of the differential diagnosis? Would knowing there was a break (or two) change anything? She said high-dose steroids for any/all of the above, since I can't take NSAIDs, and call back if a rash pops up. I said in that case could we just try the steroids, since I've had a chest x-ray recently enough to rule out anything crazy like a giant malignancy and probably already glow in the dark? She conceded that I had a point, wrote for the steroids, and to my great disappointment, didn't give me anything else for pain, stating that the steroids should help with that.
Today was my first day back at work since the situation became untenable, and I can safely say that the four days of bedrest were helping more than the damn steroids are, because I'm in agony. No sign of a rash, so that's good, but I was tempted to break my own "no going to the ER just for pain" rule after work today, rationalizing that if I submitted to a chest x-ray that revealed one or more fractures, THEN I might be able to get a painkiller of some kind that is safe for me to take. Ultimately I decided that that would be a waste of medical resources with sketchy odds of success, and that my mental health probably wouldn't hold up well if I went and sat in an ER for six hours, got another dose of radiation, and then had some asshole medical provider sneer when I mentioned "no NSAIDs," despite the bleeding disorder being ALL OVER my medical records and/or freak out that there's no un-inked spot on my back to put their stethoscope or penis in my pants to legitimize my suffering in the eyes of The Establishment, label me a drugseeker, and send me home more miserable than when I arrived even WITH a demonstrable injury (this has happened before), so just came home to rest up for tomorrow.
In light of the above, and the amount of pain I am in, I am more tempted than I have ever been in my adult life to seek out some kind of illegal relief, which kind of makes me question the wisdom of this whole "war on drugs" we as a society are fighting over here, if the end result is that a law-abiding citizen can't get a small amount of legally-prescribed pain meds and is, as a result, thinking (but not acting! Not worth it! Especially while looking for a new job!*) outside the box, but what the hell do I know?
Given my current level of abject misery, my plan is to call my GP's office back tomorrow and ask for her advice on the situation, given that any benefit from the steroids (and I don't think at this point that they've helped all THAT much, honestly) is wearing off as I finish the dose-pack. I would've tried that today, except that even if I'd managed to talk my actual doctor, who has treated me for ten years and knows I'm not a fucking addict, into prescribing something that would help me, drug laws in these parts would require me, myself, to pick up a physical copy of a prescription and hand-deliver it to the pharmacy, and that wasn't feasible within the context of my workday today (thanks again, "war on drugs!"). Hell, I'll even leave work, come in, and let them do the damn chest x-ray and maybe a varicella titre for good measure if they want, since I need some routine labs drawn in the next week or so anyway, although I think more likely this is a pinched nerve or more fun with costochondritis, neither of which would show up on x-ray, but maybe if I submit to some unnecessary medical tests it'll convince someone I'm serious about needing some help?
And how are all of YOU?
* Yeah, all of the navel-gazing above is what I'm talking about INSTEAD of that, but in a nutshell, despite every other manager at Eclecstasy thinking I'm pretty great (unless they're all lying to me and offering me their personal contact information to use them as references in an elaborate attempt at organized sabotage, which on top of being ridiculous would, I think, reflect greater teamwork than most employees at our location are even capable of...), the most senior on-site one hates my face over something silly, and nothing I've done has changed that, not a year and a half of near-perfect performance since said silliness, nor gifts of fresh kale and eggs, nor generally trying to stand up for said manager when their name comes up in workplace gossip in a negative light. I'd kind of like to sit said manager down and be like "hey look, I love my job and I'm good at it, but all of this hating of my face you've been doing is really overshadowing the good to the point where you stand to lose a good worker, so is there ANYTHING I can do to help change that or do you just personally dislike me enough to make a poor business decision and drive me to leave Eclecstasy through unprofessional gossip and meanspirited discrimination?" That is not, however, a conversation I think would mix well with steroids and extreme physical pain, so I'm going to keep chewing it over for now (and filling out applications, because it doesn't hurt to see what else is out there).
There's a chance, since the manager in question has claimed in the past to be a reader of mine, that they have waded through several paragraphs of my boring bitching about rib pain to get to this point, in which case a) what blog? Not mine! If you could prove this was my blog and find any legitimate reason to fire me over it, I think you would have by now so if what I am about to say resonates with you, gentle reader, in regard to any particular employee of yours, that is entirely coincidental (please see my About page), b) Seriously though, "Eclecstasy's" handbook-stated policy on social media and blogs only asks that I as an employee refrain from divulging proprietary information, blogging on the clock or with company-owned electronics, behaving illegally and/or immorally, or speaking to the news media or posting on behalf of the company, which I don't even name on my personal FaceSpace to actual friends I have known for years, let alone to the tiny and occasionally-unfriendly readership of this-here lame little pseudonymous blog, so simmer down, and c) HIIII, I'm thoroughly scared of what your hating of my face could mean for my ability to support my family and advance in my career, and willing and eager to do absolutely anything necessary to make you not hate my face. Maybe make a list of thou-shalts, thou-shalt-nots, and things I can do to help you in any way for me and approach me with that in like a week if you want to resolve this without discussing my blog, because an online hobby I indulge in on my own time and without giving identifying information has nothing to do with my job performance? Also, if you're ever wondering how I feel about you, my job, or life in general, you could just ask me at work instead of combing through my blog for hints. I don't think there's enough overlap in our interests for that to be fun for you and it creeps me out a little (if you legit enjoy my writing then that's cool, read away, but know that I prefer to compartmentalize by conducting business at work and face-to-face). Just a thought!