Coffee heat rising

Adventures in Medical Science: Allergy Edition

So, ohhhhh goodie, here I am at the Mayo Clinic (again!!! an hour’s drive through rush-hour traffic!) to be tested for allergic reaction to one of the several OTC meds that elicit tingling lips and swelling tongue.

They just gave me a tiny, tiny dose of ibuprofen and my lips are already tingling. Damn it! The wounded paw and the elbow and shoulder spavined in a fall a month ago still hurt. Though all that is slowly getting better, I still surely would appreciate being able to use some aspirin, or some ibuprofen, or some acetaminophen.

Apparently ibuprofen ain’t gonna make it, though. The microscopic dose they just gave me is already eliciting tingling lips and tongue. Of course, that could just be stress…I hate, hate, hate being in hospitals and doctors’ offices. My blood pressure goes right through the roof every time I have to come into one of these places.

Hmmm…. Interestingly, even that tiny bit of the stuff they gave me seems to be masking some of the pain, though. If I knew for sure this was not going to cause an eventual anaphylactic reaction, the trade-off would be worth it. But…if a ridiculously low dose like this one makes itself known, what would a full OTC pill do?

Nothing good, I’ll bet.

Finished the client’s latest math project and sent that off to him. He says page proofs for the book will arrive from the publisher in a couple of weeks (so he’s told). This is good. Very good.

I really, really would like to have a bunch more of these kinds of writers. PayPal having shut down my business with the mainland was NOT a good thing. I reckon if he’s happy with the results of the paper I just sent back to him, I’ll ask if he can refer me to other Chinese mathematicians and scientists around the US. He must know some, because academics have to go to conferences and they meet each other there, if they haven’t run into each other in various university and corporate settings.

Hm. In fact. Maybe the thing to do would be to see if I could get myself invited to one of those conferences. Yea verily, maybe the Kid and I could make a presentation on editing your own golden words…the implication being “Why an ESL Author Needs an Editor.”  😉

Another thing I could do, mebbe, is offer to proofread the page proofs for him. If I threw that in as a freebie, I’d have this one on the string for the rest of eternity…and he’d probably tell his friends.

But if I’m going to do very much more of this kinda work, I really, truly DO need to learn LaTex. This is the freebie software that mathematicians use because it handles equations handsomely and it sets type. Sorta…at least, it sets type well enough for a scholarly journal, or to produce a PDF to publish online.

When we first started copyediting for Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, the Kid and I took a LaTex short-course at the Great Desert University. Unfortunately, it was taught by a woman who had to major pedagogical shortcomings:

  • She couldn’t speak English — not intelligibly, at least.
  • And she assumed everyone in the room was fluently techie…an incorrect assumption.

Upshot was that neither one of us absorbed a thing. Even when you go to what LaTex’s users consider to be a beginner’s guide, it’s well nigh incomprehensible. And as you study this guide, you quickly realize the program is extraordinarily cumbersome. Its strongest recommendation is that it sets mathematical expressions in type.  If I were an art director for a journal or a publisher of scientific books, any day I’d rather use it solely to create jpegs of equations and formulae, and then paste those into InDesign.


Welp…been here two hours. They just gave me the final “large” dose — which is just a standard OTC ibuprofen tablet. Other than a slight headache and lip tingling and the tongue tingling, nothing has happened. With any luck, maybe this “allergy” is all in my beady little brain.

The stuff sure has helped with the hand and arm pain. But the tingling stuff gives me the whim-whams, big time. Some things may be worse than a sore hand and a spavined elbow. Like…f’r example…anaphylaxis.