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Category: Medical

Broadway’s Fickle Regards

I just returned from an overly eventful 11-day trip to the East Coast, with the majority of that time spent in New York City. The original motivation for the trip was to see Book of Mormon and to escort a dear friend from Seattle to the East Coast – she was moving to Boston semi-permanently. Then, a few weeks into my whirlwind romance in September, I discovered that my new boyfriend was planning on being in NYC for 6 weeks and my previously-scheduled trip just happened to bisect his time there perfectly. So suddenly Dave and I had made plans…

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The Old Normal

As of November 1st, I officially lost my status as Temporarily Disabled Barbie. (At least according to the State of Washington.) When I had my accident in 2010 – a fall that shattered my kneecap into 5 pieces –they reconstructed the kneecap using two screws. Two screws that, on the x-rays, looked like Home Depot drywall screws, not the advanced medical technology I was expecting. I wasn’t allowed to bear weight on the leg for 6 entire weeks, which led to some staggering atrophy. During that period, a friend asked if my doctor had granted me a temporary handicapped parking…

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Can’t Stop the Train

There’s a massive sense of inevitability in the middle of a performance for an audience. No matter what you do, you can’t really keep the scene from moving forward, even if you have a very good reason for it. Though I suppose it’s technically feasible to do so, it’s as if we’re driven by magic onstage to keep things going no matter the obstacle. You can no more change the flow of a well-rehearsed show than you can change the flow of a river – doing so requires a near-Herculean effort. Today was fourth and final preview for my current…

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My Fantastic Voyage

For most of my life, I’ve had digestive problems of varying severity. Back in February, this manifested as an extended, painful bout that lasted weeks at a time, recurred every few weeks, and began to lead to malnourishment (and, counterintuitively, skyrocketing iron levels). After running a battery of tests, blood and otherwise, it was decided that I needed a colonoscopy, which occurred in May. The blood tests ruled out conditions like celiac, which was a relief. But we couldn’t rule out cancer since colon cancer has occurred in my family tree — that was a scary wait. I won’t varnish…

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The Iron Maiden

Yesterday, I went in for a monthly phlebotomy (ie bloodletting) as ordered by my doctor. You see, I have a genetic condition called Hereditary Hemachromatosis, which was diagnosed in 2008. (It surfaced about 30 years earlier than normal for women). My “treatment” is to go to the blood center and donate blood, sometimes more frequently than is typically allowed without a prescription. Hemachromatosis is essentially the opposite of anemia. Your body absorbs iron too well – which may sound awesome to anemics, but iron can only leave your body in blood, and as it builds up in organs it can…

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