Anyway. Today I finally had my first appointment with the new rheumatologist. It went really well. I didn’t get any real new information, but at least this rheum is way friendlier and actually treats me like a human, rather than a pile of symptoms. Plus she actually listens to me and is interested in the things I’ve learned about fibromyalgia and so on.
Since my current meds aren’t doing enough for me, she offered two immediate possibilities, either switching the gabapentin with Lyrica (pregabalin), or supplementing it with Cymbalta. Both were things that the previous rheumatologist had suggested but I loathed working with him and never felt like going back1.
She also said that Swedish has a pain management clinic which should be a good fit for fibromyalgia specifically, and she’s referred me over to them. It’s apparently a cross-disciplinary thing where they treat it with a combination of psychiatry, ergonomics, and physical therapy. I already have two of the three “tent poles” (I’m between psychiatrists and have been meaning to get a new one anyway) but the ergonomics are based on my own experimentation and research, and the physical therapy is just for the acute issue I’ve been having for the last few weeks (which, incidentally, is probably rotator cuff inflammation, and it’s somewhat cleared up but still impairs my everything).
And of course some of the stuff she went over that is nothing new to me: improving my sleep, and reducing my stress. I already have a sleep study coming up in a week and a half (based on my current sleep doctor wanting to re-evaluate the stuff that Kaiser’s had done; she agrees with me that their methodology was quite suspect) and right now it’s just pain that’s an impediment to me sleeping well anyway. Well, and my cats being butts.
But, stress reduction is such an important thing. I’ve been vaguely mentioning some of the work stress (and indeed, the other day’s web development rant was inspired in no small part by aspects of our platform) but there’s a bunch of other stuff I’ve only been publicly vague about2.
I’m not at the point where I’m going to up and quit (I mean, not in this economy, obviously) but just once I’d like a job where it’s a good match for my skills, personality, and ethics.
I think it comes as no large surprise that I’m not fond of working in web development as a career. I enjoy it as a hobby, I like making things that work well but clearly the industry has moved along to practices which are fundamentally incompatible with how I like to build things. And that’s fine, I’ve never really considered myself a web developer anyway (hobbies notwithstanding). Most of my career hasn’t been in web stuff (except incidentally), but right now it feels like the only types of software jobs are web stuff, incredibly specialized intense things (finance, biotech, low-level firmware), or games. Areas where everything’s on fire and nobody’s happy, I don’t necessarily have the skills or subject matter interest, and everyone’s cut-throat and brosome.
With my health issues I’m in no position to start over from scratch, and I’m certainly not capable of working for myself or becoming, like, an educator or whatever. But I don’t really feel like I can work for others either, at least not with the sorts of expectations they have for me (or what I have for myself, anyway). So, I dunno what to do. Maybe I need to figure out some way of becoming, I dunno, a social worker for fucked-up transgender tech folks or something. Goodness knows that’s a huge industry here in Seattle. Not that any of them have any money and I’m not sure I’d be great at helping others with the sorts of problems I myself have.
Oh well. My current job is a reasonable holding pattern for now, even if I don’t have it in me to fix any of our many cultural and technical problems. It feels like screaming into a void, except the void is producing a 120dB 60Hz hum, and I haven’t found the oasis inside.
I just, as the kids say, can’t even.