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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Are you in, or are you out?

Last week, I met with my new allergist. He seemed like a good doctor, very thorough, explained everything to me, EXCEPT... except he had a comb-over! Who still does that? We all know youíre losing your hair Mister, get over it!

A friend of mine used to call that hairdo ďsavings and loanĒ because you save a little on one side to loan to the other. That still cracks me up.

Anyway, the doctor is actually very nice, he did research in Paris and speaks French so I have an extra little bit of like for him. We conducted our entire appointment in French, and his accent was pas mal du tout. He asked me if Iíd be interested in participating in a study for a new asthma medication which is now in its 3rd stage of trials. I said sure. I mean, Iím not really doing anything else right now, why not do a good deed for science?

Of course, I got really excited when he told me that it could potentially pay $450 if I get accepted into the study. Next week is when Iíll find out if I qualify or not. Iíve counted my chickens before theyíve hatched (meaning that Iíve already started fantasy styling with my $450 aka Marc Jacobs boots. Come on 450!)

In the meantime, Iíve got some new medication/placebo Iím using, and a detailed chart I have to fill out every single day with medication times, other symptoms/aches/pains etc. Iíve actually got to work.

Today they took blood, urine, my pulse, my blood pressure, measured my height and weighed me, then conducted a whole battery, and I do mean battery, of lung tests. Man, itís really hard doing all that forced breathing. It takes the stuffing right out of you. Imagine this: youíre breathing into a tube (your lips are wrapped around the tube) and youíre asked to breath in and out twice, slowly, then youíre asked to immediately take a deep, deep inhale, then exhale with all of the speed and might that you can muster over a 6-to-8 second interval. Meanwhile, the research assistant is trying to encourage you with ďkeep going, keep going! More! More!Ē At the same time that you are nearly blacking out for lack of oxygen, you are watching lines on a monitor slowly draw your breathing pattern in etch-a-sketch style. Trippy. I had to do it three times, and all three times the drawings of my breathing didnít really change. I felt like such a loser--I couldnít even improve my performance after 3 tries. Duh, the last time was the worst because I was exhausted! But itís hard being a results-oriented person and watching your results go down as you try harder and harder. I was completely fixated by the drawing, wondering how to turn my angular lines into smooth round ones, but obviously there were no knobs that I could fiddle with, so...

Then I had to listen to the researcher tell/admonish me that I am not functioning at 100% of my lung strength, and donít I feel bad? No, I donít. If I am not wheezing, and can engage in all of my normal activities without any hindrance, then I donít overmedicate. He thought I should be using my albuterol inhaler more. I agreed with him that I am probably accustomed at this point to the way that my lungs feel, and that operating at 65% seems natural, but he was concerned that I am undermedicating. I think itís really funny that every single allergy/asthma professional that I have met in my life is in perfect health. Not a one of them has a lung condition. I even had a crazy old allergist who SMOKED! And had the nerve to tell me not to! (Not that I smoke, but come on. How can I take a pulmonary specialist seriously if he engages in the one activity that has been scientifically proven to damage the lungs???) Iím not saying that 65% is good (Iím Type A! Only 100% will do!) but if it feels ok to me, whatís the big deal? I really donít think that my quality of life will improve by 35% by being a 100 percenter. But who knows?

Maybe in my old age, I am accepting mediocrity, and have complacently become a D student. The thought is just revolting.

But thereís no way I can feel crappy today. No way at all. In yoga class, I did a headstand to crow and jumped back into chataranga like a fucking star yogi! I ROCK AT 65%, yo!

The best news around these parts is that Sigerson Morrison has finally decided to open a store in Los Angeles. Apparently, they will be ready for business in the Fall, and just a hop, skip and jump away from my apartment. I think Iím going to write them a fan letter and see if I can be a retail whore or maybe work for them in some sort of graphic design capacity. I just heart them to death. Hilary pointed out that I am becoming a work/exchange addict--first yoga (exchanging work for free classes,) now a shoe store (exchanging work for discounts on shoes.) I say there are worse things to be accused of. Iím all about the trade.

5:53 p.m. - 2002-06-12

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