Since I am a researcher, I always say yes when they ask me to participate in studies. That being said, emailing me four hours before the appointment to say, "Oh, by the way, can you come in earlier to donate 6 tubes of blood for X study" is not very polite. Seriously people, you couldn't have asked me, oh, say...yesterday?? I have a hard time believing you didn't know about your blood-collection deadline yesterday. But, you know, whatever.
Since I am a "Skinny white woman," and have been on IV steroids, I get to go have my very first Dexa bone scan to make sure that, at my young age, I do not have osteoporosis. Why my race has anything to do with my bone density I don't know. But, whatever.
Additionally, since my short-term memory is practically non-existent, I *also* get to go in for a 4-5 hour long memory test so that they say I have no memory. Fun times at Johns Hopkins.
I finally remembered (by writing it down) to ask how lupus causes gastroparesis. Turns out it's a relatively rare manifestation of the disease in which the autonomic nerves (i.e., the nerves that do things automatically...things like heartbeat (mine is screwed up), blood pressure, (also screwed up) and stomach function). Apparently my brilliant immune system has decided to attack such nerves. Lovely.
The only "good" thing that came of the appointment is that I was given permission to start exercising again. Apparently I can "just ignore the joint pain" because exercise will not make the arthritis worse. So I guess that's nice; I no longer have to be a couch potato...if I ever get the energy to get off the *#$! couch.
Fun times, my friends, fun times.
P.S. You know you've been to the laboratory too many times when you sit down and say, "No, I don't faint when my blood is drawn, no, I'm not on blood-thinners, and no, I am not allergic to anything you are about to use," before the phlebotomist has time to ask any questions.