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December 01, 2022, 8:47 p.m.

Miranda has been in rare form this week, first on Tuesday with me, and then yesterday with Asst Ed, such that Asst Ed and I came to the conclusion that Miranda sees questions or requests for clarification as a challenge to her authority.

I pitched a story about a meta-analysis of research that suggests that children and adolescents with ADHD have a higher risk of binge eating disorder, and that kids with ADHD should be screened for eating disorders. I pitched it like I pitched every other meta-analysis I've covered for the past four years, but her responses indicated that she either hadn't read my email and just clicked on the link to the abstract and didn't understsand the abstract. She asked me if there were any new findings, which made no sense to me because meta-analyses are not original research: they include previously published studies that the authors use to find and track trends. When I mentioned that and asked for clarification, she got snitty with me, and said our readers get information in "lots of places, so what does this add to what we already know?" It sounded like she didn't want to cover a meta-analysis because it contained previously published studies. Like it was dawning on her for the first time that meta-analyses use previously published studies in the first place. Like she didn't know what a meta-analysis WAS.

It was surreal how suddenly things that were never an issue raised all kinds of questions. I really wonder if she was having some kind of cognitive lapse. Even Asst Ed, who was CC'd on the emails, said she had no idea what all of Miranda's questions were about. It's like if you've been putting a dash of cinnamon in your banana bread for years, and then one day someone who has always enjoyed your banana bread looks at the recipe, sees cinnamon on the ingredients, and asks you why you make banana bread when people can get cinnamon in other food. There was a big disconnect there, like if people can get cinnamon in other food, why make banana bread?

And if you're scratching your head right now trying to see the logic behind that question, you know how I felt. So help me, I was looking at my monitor like this:

I went in late yesterday, at 10:00, so I was finishing up at 6:15 when there was a knock on the glass doors across from my cube. I looked up to see CEO standing there with a big smile on his face. "GO HOME!"

And then Comms Chief walked past on his way out. "Can't wait for our coffee next week!"

So I said in group chat: CEO just told me to go home, and Comms Chief just left, so who am I to argue? Goodnight, all.

Let her remember that there will be times when I am in the office and she is not, and I will have opportunities to interact directly with the people who intimidate her. I don't have those problems. I don't get intimidated by rank.

Yesterday it was Asst Ed's turn to deal with Miranda doing weird flexes. Asst Ed messaged me about how Miranda was pretty much thinking aloud to herself in chat about words in a weekly news e-blast blurb (which, fortunately, I have nothing to do with). The blurbs are maybe 30 words each and she had eaten up two hours of everyone's time with fretting over word-choice for ONE blurb, until Asst Ed messaged me saying, "I cannot express how little using one word or another in this means to me."

At least I'm not the only one.

In other news... Went to dermatology practice #2 yesterday and have decided to switch over to him as my dermatologist. He asked a lot of questions. When did the leg lump flare? When did the scalp flare? He made note that they happened at the same time.

"Do you have muscle pain?" No.

"Do you have any eye pain?" No.

"Have you had any sores in your mouth?" No--WAIT A MINUTE. I did have those horrible sores like every canker sore in the universe met up in the back of my throat when I was sick.

"How long did your cough last after the flu?" Six weeks.

"Did you get a chest X-ray?" No.


"Okay, I think you need a chest x-ray. I think a lot of this is related, and this is a long shot and probably not what it is, but I want to rule out sarcoidosis."

I felt like I was in an episode of House.

"Did anyone ever do a biopsy?" No.

"Okay, you need a biopsy, too. Go off the clobetasol and come back in three weeks. Stay on the Seysara, but I need to see where the inflammation is and the clobetasol hides that."

So December 21st is my scalp biopsy.

So then, remembering what Infinite Ocean said in a comment a while back about how things can be more expensive in fancier offices because the practice has to pay for all of that, I asked about lasers.

"What did you get before? Take off your mask? Yes. Perfect. But I don't have Halo. I like it but it's a hugely expensive machine and actually I like BBL combined with Fraxel better. I charge $1,400."

I thought, "Infinite Ocean was right." I mean, that's $850 less than what the other practice wants for Halo with BBL. Yes, Halo is both ablative and non-ablative, but my skin is in pretty good shape that I strongly suspect I don't need the Halo ablative, and the more I read up on the difference between Halo and Fraxel, it sounds like Fraxel might actually be better anyway, and it has less downtime.


Now I know what some might be thinking. "$1,400?" But here's the thing. The only stuff I put on my skin is sunscreen. No primer, no foundation, no powder, no blush. And I get my hair done only three or four times a year now, vs eight or nine, not only because it's easier on my scalp, but because the silver blonde gray "greige" doesn't make me look so drained when my skin is fresh. I did the math and between the make-up and the hair, I'm saving a good bit of money, about $1,000 a year.

He whipped out the instruction pad for pre-laser prep and wrote the price with a Sharpie right on the instructions. "It's laser season, so January, February, in there. We won't do that and the scalp all in one day. What did they do for analgesia?"

"They put glop on my face and I had to wait for about half an hour."

"Okay. Here I write you the prescription and you put the glop on your own face before you come in. It's a long process, takes about an hour, so if you do it yourself and then come in you won't have to sit around in the office an extra half hour waiting."

Well, alrighty then!

So after he left, the medical assistant went over everything with me again.

"So, I pay when I book the laser?"

"Huh? No, you pay when you come in for it. You *can* pay when you book it, or you can pay some now and pay the rest the day of. But you don't have to pay anything ahead of time. There is only one thing we request a 50% deposit for, but that's not it. You can schedule it now or when you come in for your biopsy."

The other practice collected payment at booking. I suppose that's a good way to keep cash-flow, but it's kind of onerous to the patient because if the patient has to cancel, they issue a credit to your account, not a refund.

So I canceled Monday's appointment with the first practice and now will just go to him. I'll get the lasers early next year. I got the x-ray right in the same building, because to hell with Miranda and hurrying back to work, and apparently I don't have sarcoidosis as my lungs look lovely and "unremarkable."

Best part is that his receptionist lives in the sister property to my building. She used to live in this building, but she was here for so long that she needed to transfer to the other building because her apartment got super outdated and they needed to renovate it. Ha, I'm glad they put the new appliances in before I moved in.

And now, for the ghost in my kitchen, here.

(It's probably a washer that needs to be replaced.)

Last Five
Not too bad for a Monday.
On Affirmative Action
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