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I met with my friend, and aide, Nutty Van Gruber today. She helps me understand the agenda in the Senate, which is important, as I am a United States Senator and need to have this information.

There are a bunch of people around here just handing me big handfuls of cash and asking me to agree to things. I'm not sure this is how it is supposed to work, but I am now sixteen million dollars richer, and I've agreed to support a bill called the Bill of Whites. Apparently, this bill allows any American citizen to murder up to five other citizens per day (yes, those figures are per day), as long as those citizens have a lower net worth than they do. Now that I have sixteen million dollars, I'm definitely in favor of that. I can't believe I was the last holdout from the GOP on this one. It was just an oversight. I'm definitely not a RINO.

I flew back to Maine today after going for one of the moustache rides that Angus King likes to give me in his office. I am attending an axe festival and refereeing the "combat axe combat" event where two groups of twenty five people go into the woods and throw axes at each other. Whichever team kills everyone on the other team wins two tickets to the Maine State Fair. You can't get in any other way.

I'm going to tear into another steamed cock-dog right now. I got a package of the home variety. They are in your grocery's meat section. If you don't see them on display, aggressively ask one of the employees, and if they give you any trouble, push the motherfucker to the ground. Have a shoe with dog shit on it handy. Do unto others what the shoe will do to you.

On Friday I got a phone call. My long term disability, own occupation, that I have paid for since fourth year of medical school, has approved my claim.

Whew. Intense relief.

I was thinking about attorneys, because I went down with the fourth pneumonia March 20, 2021, and have been out ever since. They are supposed to pay after three months. But they are short staffed and I will bet that the long haul Covid-19 is overwhelming them. My pneumonia was NOT Covid-19 and they paid me back in 2014, so I'd said hurry up. Re due diligence I did the rounds of specialists in 2014 and this time too: pulmonary, asthma/allergy, infectious disease, primary care, psychiatry. No one has named it anything except the psychiatrist in 2012 who said it's PANS/PANDAS. The other specialists universally shy away from that diagnosis, which is still considered bogus in the US. I looked into the antibody lab testing, but mine are back to (a new) baseline and insurances won't pay for it. It is considered so bogus that Seattle Children's Hospital Lab has a page dedicated to it: Do NOT DRAW THE CUNNINGHAM PANEL. There is a lab in upstate New York that will run it, but it is $1000. It might help to have a baseline, but if no one believes me... what is the point?

I am wearing a Zio Patch. This is a two week cardiac monitor. The older cardiologist was reasonably nice, considering.

Him: "It's not your heart."

Me: "Yeah, I didn't think so. Pulmonary wants me to do a bubble study. Is it worth doing if I am getting better?"

Him: "No."

Me: "Cool. I was not looking forward to air bubbles injected in my artery."

Him: "Pulmonology needs to give you a diagnosis."

Me: "I am on my fourth pulmonologist. The only diagnosis I have to date is PANDAS, by a psychiatrist in 2012."

Him: "Pulmonology needs to give you a diagnosis."

Me: "Theoretically, if there are antibodies to tubulin, that could cause the lung dysfunction by the antibodies being blockers."

Him: "I will do a Zio patch to check your heart rate."

Me: "Should I push it? Try running and get hypoxic?"

Him: "Yes."

Interesting and annoying as hell to read his note afterwards. Not one mention of PANS/PANDAS. I'm like, well, fuck ya'll, but if it isn't that, come up with something. Bipolar mania does not cause pneumonia and they know that very well. I wish I could see the consult sent to cardiology: this is Dr. Liz, who is very smart but obsessed with PANDAS, handle with kid gloves.

Jerks.

The other funny/ridiculous thing is that as he left, he said, "You are very smart."

"Thanks." I said. "Put a good word in for me with the CEO."

"I will."

Because I had asked the CEO if I could come on board with my patients. He said, no, they had four docs who started near when Covid-19 started and they need to fill their panels. I had 650 active patients. Fixed his wagon, and NOW they are advertising for an Internist. Snort. Would have been cheaper just to take me. It's for next summer, so could be that someone is leaving or retiring. I ran into another doc who is a few months older than me at the Farmer's Market and he says he's retiring next year. Med-Peds primary care and he is 60. I think Covid-19 is making huge numbers of docs retire. Hey, screw this, I am done, I got enough money. Oh, it's probably his position that they are hiring for.

So anyhow, they are advertising. They also have a sign up: "Hiring for all positions." I am considering turning in my CV and saying, "Yes, I want to apply to be CEO."

"Uh, we have a CEO."

"You are hiring for all positions. I am way more competent. You should hire me." Heh. Nasty.

Anyhow, I am wearing the Zio patch. And yesterday I went mushrooming up in the Olympics. B drove me all over after we'd stopped and picked. Chanterelles. We each got about 4 pounds and then stopped. He got a grouse later on, with a 410/10 shotgun. I asked about shotguns. He explained the different kinds. He said I should try it but maybe have a lesson first. I said, "Well, yeah, since I've never fired a gun."

"Never?" He is looking at me sideways.

"Never. Well, a paintball gun. Pop gun. Potato gun. Squirt gun. Also a long bow, a recurve and a crossbow. After all the photography, I am damn good with a crossbow."

"You would be good with a gun."

I grin. "Ok, lesson then."

BUT the big deal is that we drove around looking at the fall leaves for hours: and up as high as 5000 feet and I never felt short of breath. I did going up the very steep slope mushrooming, but no more so than him. And I didn't realize we were that high! So my lungs are better! I can start pushing it!

Heh. I am not supposed to sweat in the Zio patch much. I think the stickies will fall off. It's attached to my left chest and I am supposed to wear it for two weeks, no bath, no sauna, don't put shower directly on it. Well, I've already ignored the last. I won't push the exercise to heavy until the last couple days, since it may fall off.

BUT I can go to altitude! I think I mostly need the oxygen at night. And flute and sustained singing. But I can test the latter two. Mountain climbing and I MIGHT GET TO SKI AGAIN!!!! Oh, boy. B is pretty pleased too, I think.

Haven't got the money yet. It will not make me rich but I can live on it. They owe me four months worth today. Think I will call them. The disability doesn't kick in until you've been out three months, and first pays in the fourth. So... they have my direct deposit info. I think I will rattle some chains today.

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