i like to think i woke up early because i went to bed early last night (1:00); but it could've also been due to the fact that i had a hernia surgery consultation appointment at MGH this morning. the weather was nice for a change (usually when i have a doctor's appointment it's raining for some strange reason) so i decided to bicycle into boston, about a 20 minute ride.

my appointment was in the same wang building i usually visit, but the 4th floor (gastrointestinal surgery department) instead of the 6th (internal medicine). what struck me right away was the layout of this floor, completely different that the other floor. there was a reception desk with what appeared to be a few seats for waiting. i signed in, gave the secretary my paperwork, and made my co-payment ($22/specialist). "you can wait inside," she told me.

inside was the actual waiting room, a much larger space capable of fitting a few dozen patients. the ceiling was unusual, like maybe they took the room and twisted it 45°. closed doors from each wall would occasionally open to call somebody else inside. there was over a dozen patients waiting. most were older, some were accompanied by spouses/friends/family.

it wasn't just for gastrointestinal surgery; it was also for general surgery from the large signage on the far end of the room: bariatric/metabolic, colorectal, endocrine, and even cancer.

my appointment was for 11:00 but i waited more than half a hour before they called my name. a nurse led to an examination room, asked me to verify my birthday, then left me alone and said the doctor would be with me shortly.

doctor berger didn't even bother knocking when he came into the room. he was tall, handsome, and had that fast-talking personality of a surgeon. a young woman doctor shadowed him. he already had his gloves on, ready for action. "drop your pants," he ordered, after our initial introduction. i hesitated briefly. it was one thing to have my privates manhandled; it was quite another to have somebody else watching. i figured this was no time to be shy, and between the two of them they must've seen their share of wieners. i pulled my pants down.

i stared straight ahead while doctor berger was giving me my 3rd hernia exam in a month. a few times i flinched from the pain. "i don't think it's a hernia," he said, leaning back in his swivel stool. my symptoms were too "squirrely," which was his exact word. he said it's probably epididymitis. "epidermalitis?" i repeated. "i want you to massage that area for 2 weeks. if it still hurts, call me." he demonstrated what me meant on my knee. he laughed over the irony of such a simple remedy. "if it still hurts, what then?" i asked. he'd probably then send me to a urologist, who would prescribe some antibiotics to treat the inflammation. but he didn't think it's a hernia, and being a hernia surgeon, his diagnosis does have more weight.

i walked back out into the waiting room with my shirt untucked. i grabbed a business card from the reception desk and left.

on the one hand, if the diagnosis is true, i'm glad it's not a hernia and i don't need surgery. but on the other hand i'm back to square one again, not knowing exactly what's causing this mysterious groin pain. and massage my "groin" area? and not in a good way, but a bad way, targeting the area that's causing the pain. just thinking about it makes me weak-kneed.

i saw online there was a citizens bank nearby but i couldn't find it, so i decided to go back home instead. midway somewhere in cambridge i decided i still needed to visit a bank to deposit a check, so i detoured to union square, the closest place i knew that had a citizens. i should've just taken prospect street, but instead i took the most circuitous route, going down beacon street, cutting across through dane street to somerville avenue. afterwards i went to market basket to get a gallon of milk, some oranges, and a case of soda. i've refrained from sodas for a while now, but suddenly have a craving for the stuff again. when i got back home i ran into my old high school classmate alex delaney with her little boy in a running stroller. we chatted briefly and i noticed she took a peek at my unhealthy groceries. so embarrassed! i wanted to explain, but figured that would just make it worse.

i had more than an hour to kill before my 2:00 meeting with client N. i had some cereal for lunch then took a shower. i took the motorcycle since i could swing by belmont afterwards. besides presenting the interactive i built, i was also there to set up a machine. unfortunately the touchscreen monitor was missing a power supply and we needed a DVI-to-VGA adapter (video card was DVI, monitor was VGA). fortunately i found out they weren't sending out the hardware until another month; what they were sending was just my interactive (either via ftp or on cd-rom). we ran it on molly's machine and got some feedback from a few people.

afterwards it was a straight shot from western avenue to the arsenal mall in watertown to belmont. only the dog was home. i let her out into the backyard, she peed, then ran to the steps and barked to get me to let her back inside.

i spent the next hour watering the plants, adding more mulch, and repairing some squirrel damage (they dug up a few of my seeds). there was some dandelions on the lawn but i didn't have time to do any weeding today. i left soon afterward my sister came home. i took one of the cars because i had to bring back some mulch for my own cambridge garden.

there was a present waiting for me on my doorstep. i couldn't remember what i'd ordered until i got inside the house and realized it was probably the 3/4"-14 NPT tap tool i got on ebay ($9.95 + $4.25 shipping). this will be used to create threads on the plastic black rain barrels.

i said i would get those interactive revisions done by noontime tomorrow, but i had some time and did them in the early evening, uploading a version for client N to download. lacking the proper imagination for cooking, i just heated up some frozen pizza for dinner.