Thursday, July 2, 2009

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

I think it has something to do with my doctor's office. It's got messed up ju-ju.

First of all, I really don't like my doctor. Haven't really since the beginning of our relationship, which epitomizes several things that are fucked up with our health care system. I always feel rushed and have a really difficult time getting her to slow down and answer my questions. Then there is the fact that she is Korean and I only understand 1 out of 3 things that she is saying, but end up feeling like a racist hillbilly when I ask her to repeat things so I can understand what the hell is going on with my body.

As a result, I only go into that office when I absolutely have to. I've even set it up that I can just call in when I get sinus infections and they'll usually just write up the prescription. Most of my other care needs are met by my chiropractor and acupuncturist. Both of which my insurance won't pay for, but ultimately keep me healthy and out of the overcrowded traditional health care system. Sigh.

Most of my visits to the doctor coincide with days that were already ridiculous to begin with and become more ridiculous during the visit. Two years ago, I was there the day after breaking up with my boyfriend, convinced I had ass cancer. Turns out it was just hemorrhoids (Hell-o, old age), but I was so distracted by the thought of dying alone with ass cancer and having my dead body eaten by my cats that I dropped my wallet on the street near the hospital and spent the afternoon scrambling to cancel credit cards, get to meetings on time and eventually picking the wallet up from the good Samaritan that found it and returned it to me totally intact.

Last fall I was there numerous times trying to figure out why I was chronically fatigued. At one point, it was twice weekly to have blood drawn. After the appointment where the doctor finally informed me that there was nothing physically wrong with me and recommended that I speak with a mental health professional (I ultimately went to acupuncture and was fine after two sessions), I dropped my keys in the toilet in the office bathroom and smacked my forehead on a cabinet fishing out said keys...and then spent an extra 20 minutes in the office bleeding out of my skull and being stared at in the waiting room. It must have been disconcerting...most people don't go into the treatment area unscathed and come out with a gaping head wound.

Yesterday, more of the same. I woke up with my period, thus beginning a fabulous day of cramping and fatigue. I was an hour late for the doctor's appointment, blaming it on my blackberry instead of my own incompetence. Then, the diagnosis.

To give this some context, over the weekend I was in Bend and, for the first time all summer, I got some sun exposure while wearing something other than a cycling jersey. I am really careful about sunscreen (my mother has had skin cancer and I'd had suspicious lesions removed as a teenager), but I did manage to get some color on my shoulders. And noticed that there were a few places on my left shoulder that weren't tan at all. Same with a few spots on my left leg.

I have a healthy sense of paranoia about these type of things, so I called the doctor on Monday morning and, two days later, found myself sitting in the waiting room. I've got a burrito in a paper bag on my lap and despite my best efforts, the whole area is starting to smell like steak and hot sauce.

The doctor first looks at the spots on my leg. Both look like scars, but are small cysts. Nothing that can really be done about them unless they start cause discomfort.

Then she takes a look at my shoulder and asks me if I know what athlete's foot is. I'm sort of confused, as we aren't looking at my feet and, again, I'm having a hard time understanding what she is saying. So I ask again and she tells me again, slowly, that I basically have athlete's foot on my shoulder. Not the EXACT SAME fungus as what causes athlete's foot, but a fungus nonetheless. And there is no way of determining how long I've had it or how much there is until my entire back gets tan.

Really? Seriously?

Its an easy enough problem to solve and apparently many people that spend significant time in synthetic exercise clothing get this type of skin issue. This doesn't really help my state of mind a whole lot. I'm already feeling decidedly unsexy this week...I'm three weeks overdue for a haircut, cramping, hemorrhaging out of my uterus and my legs still look like someone took a cane to them after short track last week. Now I have a fucking mushroom colony growing on my back.

With this I go back to work and try to get a memo written before I ride up to Tabor to "race." Around three, my nose starts bleeding profusely for no reason. I'm on a conference call and have no kleenex, so I end up sitting in my office for twenty minutes with a tampon stuck up my nose so I don't bleed all over my dress.

And finally, Tabor. I got my ass handed to me two years ago in the Cat 4 race and have been avoiding lining up since then. But Tuesday morning I opened by big mouth and told Sam (who is in the hunt for the series win) that I'd go try and help her if I could.

I helped set the pace for the first two laps, then my legs decided that enough was fucking enough. We had one of those "Hey legs, this is a RACE," "Hey Lindsay, you haven't been training for a month, so fuck off," that I ended up losing. Badly. I got unceremoniously spit off the back and spent the next five laps doing $15 hill repeats and getting heckled by my friends. Including a half naked man wearing only his bib shorts.

I was glad to get home in one piece after that kind of day and managed to have an almost debacle-free evening at home. Stepping on the walrus-cat can hardly count, as I do that every night.

Next up: Eight Hours of Independence MTB race as a team with Sam on the Fourth of July. This could be really fun or be a total suck-fest. Depends on how long I can stay upright, I suppose.

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