Medically Speaking

Ah, violent wind storms. Driving home through the neighbourhood tonight was like driving through the remains of an Epic Battle fought by large, plastic trash containers.

In other news, after 4 days of sharp, stabby uncomfortableness in my left shoulder (and eight years of general shoulder joint pain, shut up), I finally took myself to the doctor. An hour later, I left with an rx for an anti-inflammatory, an order for some x-rays, and the knowledge that I have “surprisingly good reflexes.” The doctor will likely send me to an orthopedic specialist, but she wants to see the x-rays first.

It took a little over half an hour to get my prescription filled, so I chatted with my mom for a while. She is well, Grandmother is well, Steve is…only slightly less well than his usual.

Grad school applications, GRE scores, and one letter of recommendation are in! Two more letters, and then they can send me my acceptance letter. Aaaany day now. 🙂

I made a pair of pants last week. Actual, wearable pants. Yes, the one article of clothing that has thwarted me for years and made previously readable sewing instructions morph into incomprehensible Greek has finally submitted to my will. Mostly because of my grandmother’s tutorial. 🙂 But still! I have committed pantsery Huzzah!!

mystery explained

It seems I’ve developed a new allergy of sorts. I’ve had these boughts the last week or so of nearly unbearable itching with some redness – but no rash, no bumps, but sometimes tiny little welts. When it happened again today, a nurse offered to look at it for me. She took one look at it and walked me over to dermatology to get an appointment.

It’s something called pressure urticaria. Exacerbated by pressure on my skin, we found out through a fascinating scientific test: the doctor scratched me with his car key.  (Lightly, mind.) It made the normal little white scratch mark, but a minute later there was a raised, red welt. No known cause (usually) and no cure, but the itching is controlled with antihistamines till it goes away on its own (which takes, on average,5-10 years).

Bizarre. But at least I don’t have to itch anymore.

EDIT: I did a little more research on some medical dermatology sites; apparently there’s another version of this called delayed pressure uritcaria in which the welts are more painful and larger and don’t show up till hours after the pressure is applied to the skin. It apparently can’t be controlled with antihistamines, just pretty hefty doses of steroids. Looks like I got off pretty lucky, all things considered.

a short trip

Yesterday, I fell down the stairs. ‘Slipped down’ is probably a more accurate phrase. I misjudge or misstep and nearly fall off or down or onto things all the time — key word there being nearly. I always catch myself. I have pretty good balance. Actually falling down is just not something I do a lot of.

So you can imagine my surprise when I’m suddenly prone, on the staircase, one hand half-on the railing. I had to sit there for several seconds not because it hurt – although it did – but because my brain could just not process the fact that I had fallen. There wasn’t even anything to trip over! The only explanation I came up with is that I was wearing very soft socks and walking down carpeted stairs, and I have a very bad and very old habit of walking on the balls of my feet. I guess I hit the stair wrong when I stepped down and the sock-carpet combination pulled my feet out from under me too fast to do anything about.

So now I have a lovely purblue bruise on my hip, I won’t be able to sit properly (er, well…at least, I won’t be able to sit however I want) for proably the next several days.

Upon waking up this moring and wandering around today I’ve decided, though, that the fall hurt me more than I realized at the time. My back (which got hit too) and arms are more sore and sore in different ways than can be explained away by just the cold weather. Oooooow.