Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Year, New Start

Is how you start off the new year indicative of how the rest of the year will go? Because New Year's Eve I spent sprawled out on the floor in an alcohol-induced stupor. Sort of.

I was on the floor. Not passed out or anything. Just had an extreme urge to lay face down on the carpet. Go figure. But it was in my own living room and there were no witnesses to my shenanigans, so no biggie.

(Lest you take my spending New Year's alone to mean that I lead an entirely pathetic life please note that while I may, in fact, lead an entirely pathetic life I did have an invite to go downtown for Boston's First Night celebration - an invite to accompany son Rock Star and his gf Goldilocks but an invite nonetheless - but I declined because it was wicked cold even by New England standards, something like 10 below with the wind chill, no exaggeration.)

Anyway, it's not like I was really drunk or anything because I just had some Italian Prosecco sparkling wine, which the guy at the snooty wine store at the corner claimed was classier than California bubbly but every bit as good as, yet cheaper, than genuine Champagne, meaning, no doubt, that they were overstocked on Prosecco and needed to push the stuff on unsuspecting non wine connoisseurs like myself but, whatever, it was so yummy that I drank the whole bottle before midnight, causing me to have to resort to cracking open a bottle of cheap-ass red wine from Trader Joe's for my New Year's toast and once that three-buck piss wine is uncorked you gotta just finish it off because it gets worse with age, so I downed that bottle, too, which is a lame reason because I like cheap wine, though it's not like it mattered because all of this took place over a few hours so, despite the carpet incident, the result was more like a bit of tipsiness than inebriation even though the fact that this paragraph has been a single run-on sentence with what are most likely misplaced commas here, there and everywhere may suggest otherwise.


Truth is I don't typically drink that much. I blame 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve with Ryan Seacrest.' Seriously, the show was sooooo incredibly dreadful it literally drove me to drink. I mean, kudos to Dick Clark for making it back to TV after his stroke and all but he looks terrible (adverse effects of excessive plastic surgery would be my diagnosis) and seems past due for turning over the ball dropping duties in their entirety. Just - please, no - not to Ryan Seacrest. What with American Idol and his radio gigs and whatnot, I'm quite tired of his ho-hum semi-sarcasm. And after Ryan's co-host Kellie Pickler's second foray into the Times Square crowd, I'd had enough of her, too. Turns out her dumb blond shtick is best enjoyed in small doses. Don't even get me started on west coast host Fergie, who should never be allowed near a microphone without her fellow peas. As for Carson Daly on the other channel - Was he even awake? It was hard to tell.

But enough about crappy New Year's television, my opinions on which just needed to be recorded here for posterity, back to my story. New Year's Day I felt like total crap. But not because of my at-home partying the night before since I have a tried and true way to deal with that. Back in the wild days of my youth I determined that taking two aspirin and drinking lots of water before going to bed after a night of over indulgence helps prevent a hangover the next day. (Aspirin + water do not, however, protect against waking up naked, next to some guy you hardly know, and then ending up pregnant with his kid. Not that I'd know from experience, or anything, I'm just guessing that aspirin can't be that much of a wonder drug.)

So, like I said, no hangover symptoms, but I did wake up with swollen, stiff and painful hands. And, also, my left elbow (but not my right) hurt like hell. And I had general malaise (that's doctor speak for I generally felt like shit). And I had a craving for apple juice. Weird. Freaked me out so much that I almost went to the ER, except that I hate going to the ER with non-specific complaints because you end up waiting hours and hours to be prodded and poked by some overworked doc whose goal is to make sure you're unlikely to die within the next 24 hours so s/he can free up the room by sending you on your way with a big bill and instructions to follow up with your PCP.

Thus, I cut out the middle man and went directly to my PCP on January 2. (I was seen by his partner, though, because my PCP was away.) After being prodded and poked she determined I was unlikely to die within the next 24 hours so she sent me on my way with a big bill after drawing blood to run a bunch of tests.

Heard from her this morning that everything was normal except my liver enzymes were ever so slightly elevated - Guess that's what happens when you suck down alcohol - but not so much as to be concerned. Never mind that I still have the same symptoms (except for the apple juice craving, which resolved on its own), the tests proved that I not only was unlikely to die within the next 24 hours, I wasn't even sick at all.

Um, OK. So all day I told myself I was not sick and tried to use the power of positive thinking to will my hands into not being swollen. To will away the annoying pain in my left elbow that makes it hard to extend my arm all the way out. And it almost, almost worked. But then the doc called back and said, oops, my bad, one of the labs was not normal after all. Turns out my antinuclear antibodies are elevated. Not elevated to the extent that it's likely I'll die within the next 24 hours, but elevated to the extent that I am to follow up with a rheumatologist.

If I can get an appointment, that is. It was too late to call today but the doc suggested the wait may be 4-6 weeks (!) because there are too few rheumys in the area to meet demand. If that's the case it means that not only will I be miserable and in pain for that long, I'll worry the entire time that I have something 100 times worse than whatever it is that I do have. Woe is me.

Now don't go thinking the intent of this whole long post was to garner sympathy from the masses since that really wasn't the main point at all. Rather, this post was to show that with the new year, I'm going to try jump starting this blog again. I figured that the best way to reveal that my New Year's resolution is to get back to blogging was with a long-winded post about the humdrum happenings in my life. Come to think of it, though, just in case how you start off the new year is indicative of how the rest of the year will go, perhaps I should have started 2009 with a post about something like s-e-x instead.

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