Category Archives: Uncategorized

All About Me

My lovely, lovely friend Mrs We3three tagged me in a meme and I thought, why not?! It gives me a reason to blog, reasons being a little thin on the ground for me lately. I’ve left the British spellings on things because it tickles me to see it. Apparently this meme started with Cold Tea & Smelly Nappies (which sounds like two very unappetizing things together) so please address any issues there.

1) First off tell us your name and what you do… I blog under my real first name, Molly, and it is fairly easy to find out/know the rest of my name due to publication. But for the sake of trying to remain somewhat anonymous lets leave it at Molly. I work in Cancer Care at the moment and love working in medicine with patients, even if I do get sad a lot.

2) I live at home with… Mr. MM and our two cats Zuzu and Fat Boy Sal.

4) My favourite thing to eat is… Chocolate. All day every day. I love a lot of specific foods and dishes but chocolate is definitely top of the list. Mattar paneer is probably second beneath that.

5) When I get cross I… uncross. LOL, a lil’ British v. American humor *kneeslap*. Actually when I get “cross” I swear, much more than I should obviously, but it makes me feel better. Most of my swearing is on Twitter, so all of my Twitter friends most likely believe that I am a foul-mouthed broad liable to peel the paint off of very walls with my language. In reality I only swear when I am alone (generally while driving), on Twitter, or with Mr. MM. I swore the other day at work (while on break and well-away from any patients) and my coworkers were completely taken off guard because they didn’t think I swore. LOL. If only they knew.

6) Sometimes I worry because… bad things happen all the time and they generally always happen to me. Of course this isn’t true but my brain doesn’t know that half the time.

7) My favourite book is… 80% of the books written by Mercedes Lackey. Mark me as a nerd as you may, I love the Valdemar series, the 500 Kingdoms series, and the Elemental Masters series.

8) My favourite toy is (easy now)… my nook. I’m not sure I mentioned that I love to read. Honestly this is one of the best things anyone has ever gotten me. (Thank you hobi!)

9) I dislike… large groups, arachnids, cleaning, rude/annoying people, politics, lies (hence my dislike of politics), and injustice.

10) When I grow up I want to be… someone who has done something good in the world. Honestly. I’m happiest when I know that something I’ve done has directly benefited someone else, especially when it makes them happy. For a misanthropist I am remarkably affected by the happiness of other people.

I’m not going to tag anyone because I don’t know if anyone even reads my blog anymore. But I want you, yes YOU, to take this and do it on your blog and then tag me so I will know that people still actually do read me.

Being my own doctor

He doesn't believe me


I’m just going to lay this all out on the line as none of this is what I would consider to be private information I wouldn’t tell friends. It’s just that working for so long in the medical field I have this annoying little voice in the back of my head going, “but this is private patient information and it’s in violation of HIPAA!” However the patient is me and I’m putting the information out there so would it just please shut up already.


I have Fibromyalgia (FM). This sucks. I also have what was diagnosed as Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD). This also sucks, in some ways quite a bit more than FM does.  I have a feeling in the way bitty back of my gut that I may only have UCTD and all of my FM symptoms are caused by secondary disorders arising from UCTD.  However it would be close to impossible to prove it and I have so many FM symptoms that it does me better to simply keep the diagnosis.


What inspired me to write this post today is because I got a bit of information last night that confirmed something I’ve been SAYING all along; I knew it to be true and yet all I’d get were some pats on the head and a “well maybe, but..”


In this particular case it is very much my own fault that I didn’t prove them wrong before this, but what I want to write about today is my growing realization that I am, and must continue to be, my own doctor.  And how frustrating this is.


The results I got last night were that although I’ve been taking iron supplements and my iron levels are fabulous (for probably the first time in… well a long time) but I am still dangerously anemic. I knew this to be a fact and it is why I resisted taking iron supplements for so long. Therein lies my mistake, I could have proven this years ago if I had just taken them. It is also a mark of the failure of the medical system that I feel like I have to prove the doctors WRONG in order for them to listen to me.


I also expected this because even though I was taking the iron, I was still having my familiar bouts of dizziness and momentary blackened vision when I stood up quickly. If you know me in real life and you see me stand up, stand for a few moments looking blank, and then continue on my way it’s because I can’t see a damned thing and I need to wait for my vision to clear before I can walk. I don’t remember a time when this didn’t happen.


So now, here I am, with the proof that something else is wrong and where does it get me? Nowhere. There are an almost unlimited amount of things that could cause my anemia, and most of them are scary. The ones that aren’t scary are the ones they can’t really prove, all they can do is slap a sticker on me and send me on my way. “This one is anemic, so refuse to do surgery on her even though there’s nothing she can do about it.”


And I can just see an un-ending future of trying to explain to new doctors that I am, in fact, not iron-deficient and no I can’t fix it so yes you’re going to have to figure out a way to heal around it.


Beyond that, it was this morning that I was doing some research into non-iron-deficient anemia and I decided to re-familiarize myself with the standards of UCTD. It was a diagnosis I had never really understood beyond that it made my body attack itself. During this research I stumbled across a syndrome that can be caused by UCTD/MCTD which explains a number of things I’ve had for years. Things I went to my doctor and asked her if they could be caused by my disorders to which I never got a good reply.


Good reply? I never got a reply; I got vague promise to look into it and nothing since then.


And yes, I could ride my doctor like a prize-pony until I got a response but all that would get me is my doctor throwing lab-orders and MRI’s at me until I or my medical insurance cried ‘uncle.’


So instead I settle down in front of Dr. Wikipedia with a dictionary and some paper to take notes on and wade through such enlightening terms as “Erythroid hyperplasia with accelerated production of red cells, reflected by reticulocytosis, and slight macrocytosis in peripheral blood.”


And in the end, what does all of this time spent in research get me?: an upset doctor who doesn’t trust Wikipedia or internet sites. Sometimes the information IS wrong, or misleading, but it’s a fuck-load more than I got from my doctor.


I don’t have an answer for other people who find this blog while in their own quest to figure out what the hell is wrong with them when the doctors won’t listen. All I can do is thank God for Wikipedia and close to a decade of experience working in the medical field. I can at least read through an article and have a small understanding of the gist of the medical terms. I can’t imagine how confusing it would be for someone who hadn’t worked with these terms before.


And I can hope that armed with specific questions and requests for the doctor I’ll be going to see tonight, I might, just might, get to figure out what’s wrong with me. Although it’s not as likely as I’d like to think considering that I’m going to a physician I’ve never seen before because it’d be two weeks before I’d have been able to get in with my PMD.


Honestly at this point I’m wondering if I should fuck-all and go straight to a Rheumatologist with this. Maybe I’d be able to get in for an appointment sometime before next year… maybe.


And please, my friends, I know that you care about me and I appreciate all of your well-wishes ahead of time. Please don’t feel that you have to write something for the sake of my illness. I know that you’re all thinking it as you read. Make du’a for me, and don’t worry about commenting to tell me that you made du’a.


And if you are someone who has Fibromyalgia (FM) or Undifferentiated (or Mixed) Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD/MCTD) or both, let me tell you a few things I’ve self-diagnosed:


1.)    Stop, immediately, drinking and eating anything that has aspartame in it. The moment that shit became big back in the 90’s I knew that it made me flare up. Anyone remember Clearly Canadian when it first came out? It used to have aspartame in it and it would make me sick. I flare up whenever I have anything with aspartame in particular, although I try to stay away from any artificial sweeteners at all.


2.)    Dark colas make me sick as well. Not as sick as diet colas, but anything with caramel coloring makes me feel achy.


3.)    Things that have a lot of preservatives really also affect my FM and UCTD. After I eat them I become very fatigued.


4.)    Too much sugar affects me, but I will say that this may not be related to my FM and UCTD.


If I can think of anything else that I know, personally, makes me ill, I will write about it. Otherwise just keep an eye on yourself, if you feel yourself flare up, think about what you did/ate recently and remember it. And the next time you eat/do those things, see if you flare again. It’s the best method to find out what works for you.

I’ve Lost My Blogging Mind

I know its been forever. Actually 6 months plus. I don’t even know if anyone is even reading my blog anymore, but if you are- thank you and I’m sorry.


So, do you want the good news or the bad news??

Lets start with good news because there’s more of that.

1.) Mr. MM got into the program at the University. Alhumdulillah rabil alameen. He’ll start in less than two months inshAllah and he’s already started studying.

Really, alhumdulillah for everything. This step was so important for our future and God has blessed us by it.

2.) Mr. MM has been working. A lot. Alhumdulillah. He’s the main bread winner.

3.) We’re healthy and happy. Alhumdulillah (keepin’ that the refrain of my life.)

And now for the bad news (which is still a blessing from God.):

1.) I’m still unemployed. Alhumdulillah. Just gotta always say alhumdulillah. I think, after 3 years of being married, I’m starting to get the hang of this hausfrau thing. Well, ok. I’m working on it. But I’m better, I swear I’m better!

2.) I did not get into the program at the University that I applied for. And really, alhumdulillah for that. I don’t know why, but God has made me very content about that outcome. InshAllah one day I will be in it. But it will happen when it is meant to happen. Alhumdulillah.

I guess that I haven’t been blogging much because I don’t have much to say. Life is very normal here, alhumdulillah.

I saw the cutest baby squirrel this afternoon. He was scampering across the road. He was so cute.

My cats are annoying but I love them.

Oh hey! we got another cat. Sal. Saliminio. Fat Boi. Baby boy. He’s a year old and twice the size of Zuzu. They get a long great, playing, wrestling, sleeping together, grooming each other. They’re besties.

Uhm… yea.

Life is pretty uneventful right now and I have to ay alhumdulillah for that because I’ve found that as I get older, uneventful becomes more attractive.


Internetting FAIL

All internet to the Middle East is tenuously supplied by one choice underground cable that runs under the Med Sea from Europe; actually from Italy to be exact. Around this time last year that cable was cut and it knocked the Mid East off the internet for a good week.

Apparently again that same cable has been cut off the coast of Italy and whoopsy daisy here we are again without internet. The internet companies in Egypt are now relying on satellite internet which means that the net is very, very, v e r y s l o w. I’m at work with a 36 minute wait on downloading my emails.

This is 1990’s dial-up slow.

Thank God for DSL. Well, at least when we have it again.

I’m wondering why something wasn’t done after all the knee-jerk reaction talks in response to the cable-fiasco last year…

And how does one really actually cut a deeply embedded underground cable lying even yet more deeply underwater? Its not like someone was digging a backyard pool and accidentally snapped it.

This is a giant Internetting FAIL.

Coincidentally this also happens to be my 100th post since I moved to WordPress.


I shall be back online again when the big boys pull their pants up and get to it.

Knowing the Middle East that could be a week or more.


Welcome to Egypt one and all.

MS Office

Now so indepth that it makes your phone calls for you and a pot of coffee in the morning.

I just have to find which tab those functions are under..

*off to search*

A Cold World

Sometime yesterday or the day before Boosy was killed by a dog.

I am so sick at heart that I’m not sure what to say. Why Boosy? Why not that stupid white cat that hisses at everyone?

Today I was supposed to bring her to Umm Travis who was going to be her new mommy.

Today the driver told me she had been killed and that he threw her body in the trash.

She was just a cat right? I shouldn’t be so upset?


Ruh-roh, Reorge!

Whats my name again?

Yesterday and today are slow days because I’m new to the job and at the moment the only one in the office: the execs are in all day meetings with a potential client.

Throughout my multi-cultural life I have encountered a multitude of variations on the pronunciation of my name. In fact, it is so hard for some of Mr MM’s family that he told them to call me Maryam (some of you may know my issue with being called that, but whatever, I don’t complain.)

Since moving to Egypt and having the chance to talk extensively with British and Irish expats here I realized that the American pronunciation of my name (of which I prefer obviously) is in fact a MIS-pronunciation of it.

Standard American of Molly: Mah-lee

Standard UK: Moh-lee

One British woman quipped, “well its not spelled with an ‘A’ is it?”

Illusions shattering, glass everywhere.

But truth be told, I don’t care at all how its pronounced in England, I like it to be pronounced “Mah-lee” because THATS my name. While overseas though I have taken to attempting to pronounce it in the original fashion just because its easier for people to understand for whatever reason.

Today I have encountered what I believe will only be the first of many mistakes in regards to my name: confusion as to my sex. While no Anglophone would make that mistake, Molly is not a common name to find here, even among expats, and Egyptians have no cultural reference on which to base their assumption of my sex. In response to an email I sent to the AUC I received this response:

“Dear Mr. Carlson,”

Aw, shucks. Call me Molly, Mr. Carlson is my father.


how does one discuss mental disorder in a country that does not recognize/understand it?