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[personal profile] ladyfalcon
Friends, don't use Q-tips. Your ear canal cleans itself naturally, and you're at a far greater risk of jamming bacteria down your ear canal and making yourself sick than you are of doing anything beneficial.

Also, if you are me, the first time you use a Q-tip in five months, you will promptly jam it straight into your own eardrum. Fucking ow.

Luckily, I am visiting the cardiologist/internist tomorrow afternoon. On the agenda: cardiac arrhythmia, lymph nodes that have been swollen for two months, and now, eardrum inspection. Find out where on the spectrum from 'perforated' to 'you just jammed something pointy at me really hard, fucking ow' it is.

Also let me just tell you, briefly, how tired I am of people acting like I don't know what the fuck is going on with my own body. Like I'm overreacting or being hysterical when I want medical attention because my heart isn't beating properly. I had to get in an argument with the secretary at my school because she was having trouble finding a substitute for my Monday afternoon classes (Very Expensive Cardiologist only works at his private practice on Monday afternoons, he's in the hospital the rest of the week), and first she wanted me to see someone else (No.) and then she apparently wanted me to ignore the problem entirely because "You're very young for something to be seriously wrong!"

I didn't mention that I had a legitimately serious heart problem before, that started when I was even younger (sixteen) and that required (non-invasive) surgery when I was twenty, because it was none of her fucking business. But then, whether or not I decide to seek medical attention with the doctor of my choice is also none of her fucking business. I mean, yes, it is statistically unusual for someone my age to have a serious cardiac problem, but there are outliers for any statistics, and I happen to have been one of them. I am sorry that your business is of less concern to me than my cardiac health.

I am also very annoyed because one of my co-workers let me in on the contents of our new contracts, because they had her copy-editing since no one who works at our company speaks or writes very good English. Basically, there's a huge punitive fine if we ever steal one of the students (fine, any company with brains already has this rule), but then also, we are now no longer allowed to have second jobs or individual students who we see outside of any other company or organization.

It's like the very situation for which the phrase 'oh hell no' was invented. Fully half of my income comes from my individual students, and it's that and that alone that leaves me able to make ends meet, even when things like visits to the Very Expensive Cardiologist come up. The official line is that they want us to always be available for substituting if the need arises, but in the five months I've worked there, I've substituted a total of four times. That's NOTHING. It's far more likely that a teacher will have a huge spate of lessons canceled by students, and will be absolutely up a creek when their smaller pay packet comes.

Also, the time that I am not actually employed working for the company? That is MY time. They are frankly not paying me enough for the type of almost suicidal loyalty signing such a document would require. Colleague said that she actually questioned the new rules while she was editing, and the secretary tried to put her off with a 'yes, but how will we know what you really do while you're not here, anyway?' Which is like, great, except that if you somehow do find out, we are now subject to fines for breach of contract. Give me a fucking break.

Part of me almost hopes that they do try to make an issue of it, because I am completely serious when I say that I will quit before I sign that document, and then they can tell the kids I've been teaching for 5 months why I'm not there any more, and my exam-prep people why they're switching teachers as exam dates draw ever nearer, and I would LOVE to hear them explain it to Mr. Valin, who pays $30 to see me for an hour and a half three times a week EVERY WEEK, and I would particularly like to see them break the news to Energon, the people who invite me to parties and promise to call the foreign police and complain if my visa gets denied, and who are pushing for me to move to Dobris and who I basically love and who basically love me. Because here's the deal - I'm a good teacher. My bosses know it, but I don't think they really appreciate it, or what it means to my students. I kind of would like for them to find out.

Erin

Date: 2009-05-24 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skadi.livejournal.com
Let me preface this with comment with the following reassurances: you are probably fine, I'm glad you're seeing a doctor, everything will be okay...

That said ... holy crap, of course you know your own body! That's super annoying. I have a friend who found out she had a hole in her heart at 22 years old. She found out because it threw a clot and she had a stroke. Fortunately, she's okay, but statistics only work for the "typical situation." And while I'm sure you're okay and everything will work out, it's great that you take this seriously. Good for you that you're seeing a doc!

Date: 2009-05-25 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyfalcon.livejournal.com
The funny thing is, I'm not at all freaking out about this generally. I've had heart problems, my mother's had heart problems. You go to the doctor, they fix it or tell you what to do, everything's fine. The part when I start to freak out is when people try to downplay the entire thing, or try to convince me to ignore it, usually for transparent personal reasons of their own; either their own views of conventional medicine (my boss) or to get out of having to re-arrange my schedule around doctor's appointments (the receptionist). Then I tend to get aggressive.

Thanks though, for being both comforting and supportive. Basically all my home friends and my parents are all "Yes obviously a doctor is a good idea", but day to day mostly I hear various people acting like I'm crazy for even thinking twice about this.

Date: 2009-05-24 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] radanax.livejournal.com
Sorry to see that your work has gotten you so vindictive :o

Date: 2009-05-25 04:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyfalcon.livejournal.com
I've always had a taste for being vindicated, and if that means I'm just naturally vindictive, than so be it.

Date: 2009-05-24 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lostsailors.livejournal.com
I think I would have thrown your history in that person's face, but that's just me. When I ask for something, it's serious, I don't like the implication I am overreacting.

Date: 2009-05-25 04:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyfalcon.livejournal.com
I think I would have normally, too, but between my boss AND the Russian doctor and now this new person acting like I'm absolutely nuts to even be considering my cardiac health at this point, I was kind of at the end of my tolerance for even talking about the subject.

Date: 2009-05-25 12:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarcasticwriter.livejournal.com
I fear this is becoming a pattern, but I am going to again respond to you by freakishly parroting an obscure Penn Jillette story in a way that is not at all stalkerish:

Penn was a great fan of Q-tips, until he perforated his eardrum, had an infection develop, and had to have surgery under general anesthesia. He is virtually deaf in that ear.

I am not stalkerish for knowing this fact, because I can't remember which ear it was.

Anyway, the moral of this story is, never put anything in your ear that's larger than your pinky finger. Also, and this is my personal tip, always be very careful when using earplugs to gently break the vacuum seal before pulling them out of your ear. 'Cause ouch.

Date: 2009-05-25 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyfalcon.livejournal.com
That's exactly what I'm talking about. I will occasionally use a Q-tip if the inside of my ear becomes freakishly itchy, but even then I am totally aware that it's a terrible idea. I honestly don't know what people who use them every day (like my brother) are thinking.

Also I don't use earplugs since I can sleep through anything (I actually woke up in the middle of the night last week because the street outside my house was completely silent for about five minutes, when usually there's a constant noise of traffic that by now I find ocean-like and soothing), but if I ever do, I will keep this tip in mind.

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