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Uppy-Downy-and-Generally-Slammed: State of the Eugie

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It's been so uppy-downy-and-generally-slammed this last while that it feels like I haven't had the time or energy for more than tweet-sized posts. Finally managed to clear some stuff off my plate (although my @#^!& plate still way overfloweth), so herein a catch-up of recent good, bad, and meh:

The good:
• Had an appointment with my brand new rheumatologist yesterday. I remain royally displeased with the State of Georgia for forcing me to switch health care providers, as my previous rheumatologist was the best doctor I have ever had. But so far, I have no complaints about the new one, who is someone the previous one recommended when I told him I was having to change insurers. She seems both nice and competent, which is a remarkably difficult combination to come upon in doctors for some reason.

However, I'd been stable for so long under my previous rheumatologist's care that, as he put it, I'd "graduated" with him to only needing annual follow-ups. But this new one, because I'm a new patient with a slew of ailments, wants a follow-up in a month and then bimonthly visits after that. Sigh.

Also, since I haven't had any lab work done in four months (before I was having labs done bimonthly to ensure that the drug I'm taking to keep my immune system from rising up and declaring war upon the rest of my human suit isn't destroying my kidneys) and because I'm a new patient, she ordered a slew of bloodwork. TEN vials worth. Glad her phlebotomist was skilled, quick, and gentle, but still...owitch.

The bad:
• My car's check engine light came on last Friday. It was overdue for various tune-ups and maintenance thingums, so this was the final indicator of "can't put it off any longer." New spark plugs, new timing belts, a new motor mount clip, a fuel induction thingy, and we're down $1.5K. Because, of course, we weren't hurting enough financially this year. Ouch. A lot.

The meh:
• The Atlanta Film Festival provided fosteronfilm with an all-access pass this year, great for not only seeing the films but also powwowing with the filmmakers—film festival networking and all. But, of course, I can't go with him, not having either an all-access pass or the time to do so (see below re: late running legislative session), with the result that I haven't and won't be seeing very much of him this week. Came home for the first time in eight years to an utterly empty house yesterday. Far too quiet and utterly depressing.

   

Writing Stuff


• Finished my narration of "Honored Guest" by Ellen Kushner for PodCastle. Because the legislative session has run so late, my to-do list is scary-big, I'm behind on everything, and it was a last minute scramble to get this done in time. I would have liked to have done another editing pass on it, as I think my inflection and dynamic range in a few places could've used some fixing up, but I was already bumping up against the deadline.

It's a lovely story. I hope I did it justice.

• Resumed work on the short story "Rampion" that I began in February. Obviously wasn't able to finish it then. Added about 2K words, and it's looking suspiciously like it may turn into a novelette.
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On April 20th, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC), mtfay commented:
Ugh...
10 vials? I hope your phlebotomist was really good. THe ones around here usually leave me with a bruise from just 2. And unlike my spouse, I don't bruise all that easily.


Fuel induction thingy??? Don't know what that is, but odds are you could have just bought a bottle of Chevron Techron and it would have made the check engine light go off. We have that problem with Sandra's car all the time (It has 210K miles on it) and Techron usually takes care of it pretty well. I would also be somewhat dubious about a motor mount unless they showed you the old one and it was all rusty or something. On the other hand, I have a brother-in-law that diagnoses all that mechanical stuff for me so I don't actually have to learn it.


Edited at 2010-04-20 06:37 pm (UTC)
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On April 20th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
Re: Ugh...
> 10 vials? I hope your phlebotomist was really good.

She was. I'm accustomed to being jabbed for 2-4 vials every other month, but when I saw the pile of vials she brought out yesterday, I was rather aghast that they were all for me. Fortunately, I don't bruise all that easily. The few times when I have bruised, the phlebotomist was really bad.

> Fuel induction thingy???

It came down to "carbon on the valves" (which Matthew and I shared a wry chuckle over). And the induction part was not, by far, the costly bit. That was the timing belt replacements.

> I would also be somewhat dubious about a motor
> mount unless they showed you the old one and it
> was all rusty or something.

It wasn't rusty; it was broken. And there were two broken motor mounts. Both were optional to replace in the grand scheme of things, and we opted not to replace the second, more costly one. The first one was going to be easily accessible to the mechanic when he replaced the timing belts, so they agreed not to charge us labor for that, only the cost of the part.

It would be good if we had a mechanic friend or relative. But we don't. So we have Hondas, which we've found to be long-lived, dependable, and generally forgiving of neglect (we realized over the weekend with all the car stuff and all that the Prelude is over twenty years old!). But occasionally, they do need upkeeping.
On April 20th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC), mtfay replied:
Re: Ugh...
>It came down to "carbon on the valves" (which Matthew and I shared a wry chuckle over). And the induction part was not, by far, the costly bit. That was the timing belt replacements.

Heh...yeah, a $9 can of techron will fix that.

Yeah, if you keep up the oil changes and don't do anything too weird, cars can last a long time. Heck, Sandra's Lumina is 11 years old now...and it has 210K miles on it!
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On April 20th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC), peadarog commented:
Didn't know you were another member of the auto-immune club. Sounds like you're a lot worse off than me, but glad you have at least a good doctor.
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