Today, I spent the day refactoring FormBot. I actually started analyzing what I would need to do yesterday, but I didn't touch any of the code yesterday. I started this morning shortly after I got to work, and I finished some time around 15h00. In the middle, I finished up a project at work and got a second out the door that evening (after 21h00, three hours after I wanted to leave), so I don't feel so bad about working on it while in the office.

It's strange just how jazzed I am about this. Normally, code is a living for me, but rarely is it a hobby. This, though, really has me psyched. I've been able to take what I've learned in the last few months working at HMS and I've successfully applied them to my own code base. I refactored out huge swatches of code into two modules, moved a third, shrunk the main program down to a driver, added some spiffies to shrink out some wasted code, and generally rearched over half the program. In a day. And it works.

That's the part that really gets to me about this whole affair. It works. I half feared that I would change around something at one point and break the whole mess, so I didn't even edit the code in place. I made backup copies
of everything, then edited those instead. As it turned out, I had no need of them. As soon as I got all of the syntax errors out of the way, the code ran without a hitch. I'm actually getting better at what I do.

I've even helped Bennie at work modify and improve one of the modules he's planning to check into CPAN. It doesn't sound like much, but it's the sort of little step that really has me excited. I've contributed to source that may well be used by more people than just me. I've made improvements to code bases at work that have become part of the generally accepted toolset and part of the development cycle.

I guess I always felt at my previous jobs that whatever code I contributed lasted the length of whatever project I had, and never seemed to go anywhere. Now I'm actually improving my skills, adding new features to useful things that people are actively using. I've gotten to the point that a massive rearchitecture and reeingineering takes me six hours, and the whole time I'm enjoying the rewrite and ultimately coming away with better, more elegant
code that functions just as well as, if not better than, before. 

Competency is a good feeling.

I feel about a thousand percent better now from three weeks or a month ago. I think my hormones were off. In fact, I'm absolutely sure that my hormones were off, but it had been over a year, maybe even eighteen months, since I'd gone to an endocrinologist.

That itself was a game and a half. Down in Texas, as long as one called one's endocrinologist and reported nothing new or no reason to change things, getting a new set of refills was simple. In Pennsylvania, however, one has to see one's prescribing physician at least once every twelve months to keep one's prescription current. This means more than a phone call.

Nobody informed me of this when I got here.

I used to see one endocrinologist, and he did a good job, don't get me wrong. However, after the first time I saw him, I ended up getting my surgery, and then I was off of my prescriptions for a while, and I had a huge backstock along with more refills, so I just didn't go back to see him regularly. Not knowing I needed to do so regularly, I just figured that when I needed more drugs, I could call him and he'd give me a new prescription.

Imagine my horror to discover that not only could he not refill my scrip but that because it had been over a year since I had last been in his office, he had to see me as a new patient all over again.

Now, I don't know what being a new patient is like in most fields, but in endocrinology being a new patient is jusy shy of going through the Spanish Inquisition. A special office visit taking upwards of an hour is not unusual, and endocrinologists are the type that can pick and choose their patients and set their own hours, and so they often do. When I called to get an appointment, I found out that I couldn't get one until the end of June.

This was in March.

I took the appointment, of course; to turn it down would have been foolish. I had plenty of pills left, so I wasn't too concerned. However, it was not to be. The endo called me back about a week prior to the appointment and
said he wouldn't be able to be in the office that day and he asked me if I could reschedule. I said yes, because saying no would have gotten me nothing. I was shy about a week on my prescription to get me to the rescheduled date, but I called my general practitioner and he gave me an emergency cover dose for ninety days which would neatly hold me through to my date.

I missed that one because of work.

I called the doctor the next morning, frantic and begging for a reschedule. The first date he had was December. That was far past the end of my drugs. I nearly flipped. However, Jessie was seeing a different endocrinologist, so I went out on a limb and called him. Lo and behold, he had an opening! In September! I took it, eagerly, and scheduled the day off of work.

My prescription ran out a week short of the day I could get in to see the new endo.

I wasn't about to ask my GP for another extension, so instead I hatched a clever plan to cut back my dosage by a quarter every day, so that I could over the time save enough enough extra pills for a three-quarter dose all the way to the date of the appointment, at which point I could go back on my full strength. This was a great idea, except for one tiny factor: I was going crazy.

There's this thing that happens to post-ops, that I inadvertantly discovered the hard way: after surgery, the body doesn't have to fight against all of the testosterone and so it takes a smaller dosage of estrogen to keep things on an even keel. Consequently, the extra dosage above and beyond can cause unexpected side effects, like crazy-bitch syndrome.

Jessie, I'm sure, would be willing to attest to my slow mental demise over that time period. It was nothing clear-cut, to be sure, and I had plenty of lucid days, but the frequency, intensity and duration of my freakings-out were all on the rise, slowly but surely, and at one point Jessie did indeed suggest that I go back into therapy 'cause I was wigging out like mad. 

Two days after cutting back my dosage to seventy-five percent, I felt human again. No more—or at least no more crippling—breakdowns. No more screaming. No more tears. I've been sane. Mostly. Almost. Some approximation thereof.

My new endocrinologist has officially dropped my dosage to the new level and suggested I keep it there. He's also suggested some other tweaks to my dosages to perhaps help me with breast growth, since I didn't wind up with as much there as I'd like. That, though, will have to wait until my November check-up.

Now I just have to remember to go get my pills from the pharmacy tomorrow. I'm out.

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