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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Thursday 21 August 2003 (Day View)

21.08.2003Thursday 21 August – Doctor’s Appointment

The name of my medicine is Sporahexal™. It causes life threatening allergic reactions, which may include skin rash, itching, difficulty in breathing, vomiting, fever and joint pain, swelling of face, lips or tongue and severe abdominal cramps or diarrhoea – especially after several weeks. Other side effects may also occur in some patients. I should not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects, I may not experience any of them; nevertheless, I should go to the accident and emergency department at my nearest hospital. Sporahexal™ can cause bacteria normally present in the bowel to multiply and I may need urgent medical attention. My doctor has weighed the risks of my medicine against the benefits it is expected to have for me. It contains the active ingredient cephalexin monohydrate. Cephalexin belongs to a group of antibiotics called cephalosporins, which are closely related to penicillins, and work by killing the bacteria causing my infection, or by stopping its growth. There is no evidence that Sporahexal™ is addictive.
I went and saw Doctor Amanda Maitland at the Douglas Gordon Health Centre at uni, about what turns out to be a mucous cyst in my mouth and showed her my finger while I was there. She prescribed Keflex™, which the chemist substituted with an alternative, Sporahexal™. I am to take two capsules twice a day, until all are taken or I am incapacitated or hospitalised – whichever occurs first. I must also stop if I get a sore white mouth or tongue or vaginal itching – which I feel is unlikely given the circumstances. As for the cyst, I am to see a dentist or oral surgeon. The cheapest and most stimulating way to do this is apparently through UQ’s Turbot Street centre, where I believe they have undergraduates with knives. This reminds me of the time I was told I needed a hole chopped into my lung, and I let the young doctor practice on me. It was remarkably stimulating, due, I believe, to the total lack of anaesthetic rather than any inexperience on the young doctor’s behalf. I discovered something rather obvious – it hurts when having a rather large hole cut into one’s side. I also discovered something less obvious – the muscle between the ribs is incredibly strong, and took two doctors chopping with great force and another to brace me so I wasn’t pushed off the operating table. It’s also somewhat unpleasant having someone with a sharp blade using all their strength to slice through muscle, which feels nastily close to one’s heart, and without anaesthetic. You can imagine how pleased I was when not only was it unsuccessful, but I was told it was unnecessary – and quite probably not the right thing to do. I was further pleased to find out, after a month in hospital, that, while I shouldn’t have been chopped open, because I was I could easily have received treatment which would probably have prevented the subsequent re-collapse of my lung a while later. I did learn one good lesson from that prolonged and stimulating experience, and that’s to distrust all doctors, always – not that doctors are dishonest, but that they must believe that they are always right and that they will not communicate their doubt even if they’re not sure – and that is why I am online, researching my antibiotics before taking them.
This monitor is scary. I can handle all the lights dimming when I turn it on, and the impressive all-pervading magnetic power it radiates – I can even handle the way it turns off, giving up the ghost in one last outpouring of subconscious power, but what I don’t like is the way it, occasionally and seemingly randomly, redoes its all-pervading magnetic trick. I’ll be just sitting here and the screen will dim and blur, and I can feel the force emanating out, as I assume it degausses. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to do this or not – I suspect not. There’s something almost cosy about my old seventeen-inch monitor, which just sits there quietly, and turns on and off like a normal monitor. Ironically, my new, larger monitor uses less power, despite its apparently overpowered degauss. I think I’ll send it back under warranty just before the warranty expires, and see if it is supposed to have a mind of its own. Apart from its quirks (which it didn’t have before being abused for 2000 kilometres on the back of a truck), I must say I’ve been very impressed with this monitor, and haven’t actually seen another that I think can compare. Don’t even mention LCD displays – I don’t believe they’re fit to be used for anything more graphically demanding than word-processing.
My second lecture of the day was cancelled due to illness, and the three hours of practicals that followed aren’t much more than time during which we’re allocated a computer, which as I’ve got my own far better one at home, isn’t greatly appealing to me. This left me with a lot of IRC time, during which I fiddled around with my java code and had an argument about whether tabs are, by default, replaced with eight spaces or not under UNIX. They’re not, of course. They are replaced, by default, with however many spaces are necessary to preserve eight-spaced tab stops, which means that most tabs will be replaced by less than eight spaces, but it was a bit difficult to convince the arguer of that. After a creamy chocolate roll, I headed to my “Computer Organisation” tutorial with a bar of chocolate and chocolate milk – and all this after complaining that I couldn’t afford a candy bar. The tutor was late and the tutorial was boring but there’s a class exam on Monday and I haven’t even opened the textbook for this subject yet, so maybe going to all the tutorials will help save me somehow. I like to fool myself into thinking that by simply attending all the lectures and tutorials, wisdom and learning will somehow sink into my subconscious, ready to jump out during exams and other times of dire need. Of course, come exam time I realise I should do a little study, and proceed to do four months worth in a few days. It’s stupid, I know, but I haven’t figured out any solution yet. Anyway, after my tutorial I went and printed out a few notes for the upcoming exam, and headed to the doctor. I was considering getting a medical certificate saying I couldn’t type, but that seems a bit pointless now that I’ve completed my java assignment, especially as as I do appear to have adapted to typing with only two and a half functioning fingers on my left hand.
Comment by DM – Thursday 21 August 2003, 8:42 PM
  Ah yeah, the class test on Monday. I guess I really should look at the practice test sometime before then. Hope the antibiotics work.
Comment by Ned – Friday 22 August 2003, 1:14 AM
  Me too.
Comment by DK – Friday 22 August 2003, 6:55 AM
  I do not believe it would be possible for drugs to have no side effects. There needs to be a balance of risk/benefit to the person taking the medications. The idea of patient information leaflet is to provide the user as much information as possible up front, so that one can recognise side effects if and when they develope, and act accordingly. The chances of developing one or more of the serious side effects are very rare, otherwise the medication will not be approved for sale to the public in the first place.
Comment by Ned – Friday 22 August 2003, 2:01 PM
  Ah, like DDT. No wait, that wasn’t a medicine, was it?
Comment by DK – Monday 25 August 2003, 3:47 AM
  AFAIK, DDT has been (and still is in some countries) used in topical applications to deter insects from biting you. Not 100% certain though :-p
Comment by pat – Tuesday 31 August 2004, 11:06 AM
  Edited: Offensive
  Rough Translation: “Dear Sir or Madam, you appear to have genitalia on your head. Have you considered immigrating to Iraq?”
Comment by strange – Sunday 19 September 2004, 3:43 PM
  You are a very wierd person with 2 much time on your hands

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