Monday, October 31
Had chinese buffet today....mmmm.....chinese buffet. Was planning to have salad and chicken wrap for lunch but wasn't looking forward to either since I've had that for lunch/dinner the last 3 days. So when my friend suggested going with him for chinese buffet, I was so there. Stuck with the stir-fry and white rice so still able to keep to my diet. Tonight cooked ground beef without tomatoes or marinara. Put a hot pepper in it for flavour. I usually use a hot pepper (habanero) for flavour when I cook red meat and then I take it out before it bursts so I get the flavour without the heat. Well, didn't get to it in time. Added wine, spices, garlic, onions and carrots to the beef. It was interesting. I had it with spaghetti. Jury's still out on whether it's good interesting or bad interesting. Too hot to really tell :)
Sunday, October 30
This whole turning the clock back thing never really helps me. People claim that they gain an hour and its great. I have to disagree. Maybe if I was like other people (normal?) I would think its great too but I almost always end staying up until after 2am the night we change the clocks back. Its weird but I seem to do it every year. Last year I think I was up till 5am or 4am, whatever. Last night or this morning rather, I turned the light out at 3am or 2am - not as bad as last year. Yeah I had choir practice at 930am and had to take the asthma meds at 7ish anyway so I set the alarm for 8am.
The landlord of my apt complex or whoever it is that sticks flyers under our doors left a flyer which had me a little miffed. It was a reminder to change the clocks back and also said to change the batteries in the smoke alarms as well. Helllloooo. Isn't that their job? Aren't they supposed to be in charge of that? I'm renting. Again, hellllloooo. I'm going to call them about that. Plus there's no way I can reach mine. I do have a step-stool but its not tall enough for me to reach the smoke alarms. Didn't make it to work yesterday but did go in today for a couple hrs. Still have much to do but feel a bit better about it and am glad I went in.
As far as the Singulair is concerned, I'm pretty sure that I'm allergic to it. I stopped taking it from Thurs and the rash has lessened every day since and is barely noticeable now and not itchy anymore. Also the cold symptoms which started Mon were completely gone by Thurs afternoon. This leads me to suspect that they may also have been due to some reaction to the singulair as well. I can't believe that nurse. She just dismissed me. She obviously had no idea who she was talking to. I read a lot of medical journals and also the entire panphlet that comes with all my medication. I also read additional material on the clinical trials for said medications. Tons of this stuff is available online if you are interested and know where to look. While it isn't a common side effect, it is listed and the way she just acted like it couldn't possibly be that just pissed me off. Imagine, telling me she gets rashes all the time. Can we say overshare? Plus, I know my body really well, I'm a little obsessed with it, I admit it. I know the difference between an acne breakout and an allergic reaction. I have been managing my health for years and I know how my body reacts to stuff and I listen to it.
Anyhoo, will call and try to get an appt with my real doctor who I haven't seen since June even though I've been to the doctor 6 times since then. She never has appts open and most times when I call, I need to be seen asap. So since I'm feeling better, I'll just get the next appt they can give me. I trust her opinion a bit more than the others I've seen. While I think they're competent enough, I think she's better. I'd really prefer to be on a lower dosage of the Advair.
I am of course exhausted (see above) so will try to get to sleep at a decent hour for once. Didn't get much done today after choir/church. By the time I got home from work, picked up a couple things at the grocery, it was already 440pm. Took a nap. Talked to my family and then it was 7pm. Too tired for laundry. Will have to do it bit by bit this week. Either that or wear short sleeve tees all week. I got sweaters and jackets and its warmed up some so it can be done.
Friday, October 28
I went to get a beer and forgot my ID, as soon as I ordered, the waitress asked for it though, so I had to walk back over to my bag to get it. The waitress took off her glasses (farsighted I guess) and moved my ID closer to her...then further away...then up close one more time. Then she said, wow, you could have fooled me. I do look younger than I am. I think I look like a college student now - agewise anyway but still young enough to get carded.
There was this kid (she looked about 10 or 12) in the lane next to us playing on her own. She and I chatted a little between frames. Eventually she asked, is she your Mom? - meaning my friend who's 2 yrs older than me. I was like, ummm, no, we're actually very close in age. A little later, both my friends had wondered off looking for the perfect bowling ball and she asked, is he your Dad? - meaning my other friend who's 3 yrs younger than me. I laughed then of course and told her that I was much older than I looked and was actually close in age to both my friends. She pondered this for a minute, then asked - how old are you? I said, 30. She goes - NO way, you look like you're 12. This really made me laugh.
Despite the fact that neither of my friends look anything like me and also not including the fact that all 3 of us have very different ancestries, neither of them look old enough to be my parent. I know I look young but not that young. I wonder whether she thought I was 12 because she was trying to categorize me. She and I were able to just chat so maybe she figured that I couldn't be an adult. Maybe she wondered why I'd be with them if I wasn't related to either of them. It was a little strange. This kid must not get out much at all.
I haven't had anyone think I looked 12 for at least 10 years. In high school, I got teased a lot about how young I looked. I was tiny, both in height and size. I didn't start wearing adult-sized shoes until I was 16. I caught up eventually, shoe-wise anyway b/c now I wear size 8 1/2 - 9.
In my early 20s, people thought I was still in my teens. I thought that now, I should at least be able to pass for 20something. But apparently I look somewhere between 12 and 21. Go figure.
Probably going to work tomorrow for a few hrs. Still have much to do on my report. I've finished analysing the physical data (thanks in part to a friend at work). I really need to get her something nice b/c she didn't once act bothered with my picking her brain for most of today and yesterday. Not even after what probably seemed like my 100th question on the analysis. I'm so grateful to her. So at least it's all down on paper. So now I have to get it on computer. Started inputting the data around 4pm. By 6pm, I got through 3 pages. Still have 8 more to go. Each page has 4-5 different sets of data for the compounds I made. I have to go in to have a chance at completing this by Mon. I will need to read it all when I'm finished and double-check tha data to make sure the correct data matches the right compound. Some of the analysis was hard because I didn't get very good data on my intermediates. Only final compounds are required to have extremely high purity so I let quite a few of them slide by with really crappy data. Crappy data that was very difficult to interpret and match up with what they were supposed to represent. From now on, I'm going to take greater care and make sure I get good data even for intermediates.
Forgot to turn my alarm on last night. Slept till 830am. Very bad. Got to work at 9am. Not good at all. Luckily my boss was off today. Also good that no one else came looking for me today. Really good that my desk is not in the same area as the other guys in my lab. Haven't been in lab since Tues and only went in for a minute to get some data from my bench. Never thought I'd say this but I miss being in the lab. So tired of this paperwork, but it has to be done.
Wednesday, October 26
I call the nurse at my doctor's office and tell her about said rash and she isn't concerned either. She told me "people get rashes like that all the time". I don't. I pay attention to stuff like that and the only time I get a rash is when I'm having an allergic reaction to something. But I've never had one on my face before. I get pimples, sure, one or two at a time. Never like this. If I had a working digi-cam, I'd take a picture to show as evidence. So I ask the nurse if she thought it might be an allergic reaction to the singulair since that's the only recent change. True I'm off dairy but I haven't started eating that I haven't before. So I don't know what the dilly is? I think if I wake up tomorrow and the rash is still there, I'm going to stop the singulair for a few days and see if the rash goes away. It's really itchy tonight, took an antihistamine 10 min ago so it should kick in any moment now.
The sore throat has morphed into another freakin cold. So I was coughing a lot and even sneezing today. And of course, I'm hoarse again. The dark depths of Mon night haven't returned so that's good.
Currently watching Sabrina-the college years - and Morgan just said the best line...Hellooooo, trying to express an emotion here...I just love her character's self-centered way.
Finally found the THING. I try to drink water a lot but often only have half a glass at a time. Then I get a fresh glass instead of finishing the old one so I usually end up having several glasses all around my apt. On Sun I was clearing some of these glasses away and there it was. Dead in one of the glasses. Still made me scream a bit b/c I was almost to the kitchen with it before I noticed. Ewww! Of course the glass had to go in the trash, wrapped in a bag which I knotted twice, just in case.
Tuesday, October 25
Wanted to take today off work but had the big review in front of senior management today. Yeah they changed it from Wed to today at the last minute. They told us about the change around 10am Mon. Good thing my stuff was done by Fri. It went very well, about 3h. Man, it was tough staying awake once my part was over and I had to follow along. Our team went out for drinks after. We got good words from the managers who attended, which is great. Always good to be appreciated for the work you do.
Today was ok. I think that part of the reason for how I felt last night is that I have a really bad sore throat...AGAIN. Started last night. Took some zinc, ginger tea (recommended by guy at work), honey/lemon. At this point, I'll take anything. Just so tired of being sick. So sick of it.
Have to start exercising again too. At least twice a week, not long but maybe 30 min at the gym. I'll take it slow. I had the most awful pain in my leg a couple nights ago. In the same place where it hurt after my car accident early last year. I had physical therapy for 6months. Never want that pain to come back. I have home exercises to do which I've stopped doing. I did do them then when I could move my foot.
Spoke to a friend I haven't spoken to in a while tonight. That pretty much wore out my voice. Also had to call my Mom and let know I was feeling better tonight. I knew she'd be worried. She was, glad I called.
Saturday, October 22
In other news, this whole giving up dairy thing is way more than I thought I'd signed on for. I was looking for breakfast this morning and debating whether margarine is dairy or not. Of course it is. I'll have to look for non-dairy stuff. Found this list and dairy is in so many things. I had some bread and oatmeal (with soy). After eating it and re-reading the list, guess what? THe bread has lactic acid. Right then and there, I went through my cupboards and fridge, separating all the things I could/couldn't have.
The good news is that 4 of the cereals I have are good (you may be wondering why 1 person needs 4 kind of cereal at once - I eat it a lot and like variety). 3 kinds of tortilla-type chips are good too. I tend to buy preservative-free ones anyway and most of them are also dairy free. Yay! The bagels I eat, good too.
The bad news: none of these for at least a month...pillsbury pancakes or french toast...ice cream =(...chocolate...chocolate soy...hot chocolate...homemade-like grocery bread...cream cheese...country crock margarine...and the list goes on and on.
Oh well, it's not for the faint of heart but apart from this morning's hic (the bread), I'm going to be a dairy-avoiding machine. That sounded cooler in my head.
Friday, October 21
I spent most of the morning completing my review slides. So at least those are done. My eyeballs hurt. I was not made to stare at a computer screen all day.
Still no sign of the thing, so maybe it left the way it got in. I don't need the details. My raid rant last night is all over now. I haven't bought any raid or other kind of insect-killing spray, just for the record =)
Was surfing on my TV and caught about 5 minutes of Walker, Texas Ranger. It reminded me of my uncles. We moved into my grandparents' house so my mom could take care of my granpa during his last years (he had bronchitis and was bed-ridden during the last 4 months). 2 of my uncles also lived there and you couldn't watch anything on TV without them providing a running commentary.
Seeing Walker tonight brought it all back to me. Also made me think of Macgyver. Cause both of those shows were favourites of theirs. Not because they loved them but they loved to criticize them. After some big 'take-down' on Walker or some feat of invention on Macgyver (who was forever making cool gadgety-things) Uncle T would say "I could do that!" or "That ain't nothing!". After which Uncle W would say sarcastically "Sure you could, You and what army..." They would go back and forth like this during each scene until the show ended. I can laugh about it now that I remember but at the time I found it very annoying. My uncles can argue about anything. It's amazing really. Kind of.
I have been on my emergency albuterol inhaler for over a month 3-4 times a day now. They changed my flovent to advair 250/50 then after 2wks to 500/50. After chest x-rays they said they thought that I have atypical pneumonia, gave me doxycycline for 10 days. Seemed to have helped a bit. I'm still not off the albuterol though. So now they've prescribed singulair as well.
So now I have to take advair, singulair, flonase and albuterol. I can't imagine how awful this would be for a child. I was reading on some med sites where parents were seeking advice because their kids had to take everything I'm on now plus prednisone. I can't imagine. I still have nasal drainage inspite of the flonase. I'm tempted to stop taking everything and just see how I'd do but I'm afraid that I'll end up in the ER. So I'm going to give it a month like my doc said and then see how I feel. At least I'm not on prednisone or theophylline. Both gave me nasty side effects when I had to take them in my early teens. I guess things could be worse.
As a teen when my asthma was quite severe, I can't even begin to desrcibe the number of home remedies I tried (was given, I was a very biddable child :) on recommedations from neighbors, well-meaning friends of my Mom, etc. Some were very gross like warmed shark & whale & cod liver oils and even worse than this was the liquid from a boiled snail - as gross and slimy as anything you can imagine, suprisingly tasteless though. I was also very anemic and had to eat liver - which my Mom cooked for me and I kinda liked it but she couldn't stand the smell herself. She also couldn't stand the smell of the warmed fish oils and would have to leave the room while I took them. This was back in the 80s in the caribbean. I'm pretty sure that such oils as those are not as readily available anymore (we got them from a local pharmacy), at least I would hope they aren't. I was either a very good child or my Mom is wicked persuasive. Probably a bit of both.
None of them seemed to really help. I guess that I'm just genetically pre-disposed for it. My Dad's mother died from asthma complications in her late 60s and my Mom's Dad died from bronchitis/emphysema complications in his 80s. Neither of them were smokers. Nor am I. It's just one of those things I guess.
I'm also going on an elimination diet (recommended by my doctor) where I'm not going to eat foods that are the most common triggers for allergies for a month. Which means - no dairy, nuts, bananas, strawberries, kiwi, tomato and chocolate. The hardest for me will be no ice cream/chocolate or dairy. Also much less pasta b/c if I can't have dairy or tomato what kind of sauce can I have? After a month, I'm supposed to introduce one thing at a time every 2 wks. This should help me learn whether the stuff I'm eating is also triggering my asthma. This is going to be hard so in preparation last night, I finished up the pistachio ice cream. I coughed for like 40 minutes afterwards. I suspect, I'll have to give that up for sure long term. This is going to be hard for me. I went to the grocery tonight to pick up a few things and stopped in front of all the foods I won't be having for at least a month. It made me sad, but I have to do it. I have to at least try it and see. The bananas are no problem as I rarely feel like eating them anyway and I've already given up both strawberries and kiwi even though I used to love both. Strawberries used to make my tongue itchy and the last time I had them, I got hives. Kiwi made my tongue itch as well and I decided to stop having it before my reaction to it could get worse. I'm trying not to think about all the stuff I can't have. No cheese either. I can live with that. I've sort of gotten used to this non-dairy cream cheese which I can have with the bagels I eat each day. So that's still good. Not as good as whipped cream cheese, but, what is? I used to have lactaid milk but I've switched to soy and am quite used to that now. Most of the cereals I eat are very plain so that won't have to change.
Thursday, October 20
So I saw it and dropped my floss in a panic. Peeked in the hallway closet for something to hit it with. All I could find was a long feather duster. So armed (foolishly) with that and my bath slipper in hand, I swatted at the dratted thing from the bathroom doorway. Then it flew at me. The huge damn, disgustingly, huge, brown earwig-type thing flew at me. I lost it then. Screamed and swatted wildy while I ran out of the bathroom towards the foyer.
Ran to the kitchen for something to spray it with. I was pretty sure it was now in my bathroom. What I came up with was a bottle of febreeze. Yes, no insect-killing spray. Only febreeze. Of course I haven't bought insect-killing spray in yrs so why would I have any? Obviously I've been too complacent. Trying to co-exist with my insect co-habitants.
The spiders, I can deal with. Mostly. If they follow the rules. If they run across my wall or ceiling when my glasses are off, they have to die b/c they it freaks me out when huge blobs move (huge blobs are what they look like without my specs). If they spin webs in my way and are nearby after I walk through said disgusting webs, they die. If they are too big, yup, dead again. They have to remain hidden or only come out after I'm out of the room or asleep. I don't care which. And most important, they cannot under ANY circumstances, touch me. Then they can go on their merry ways doing spider things.
So in my quest for clean teeth before bed, I ventured into the bathroom gingerly, spraying and hollering. Because everyone knows that there's nothing more scary to a huge earwig-type thing than a silly human yelling while spraying febreeze. I checked behind the shower curtain, nothing. Behind the door. Nothing. Next to the toilet. Nothing. So now I'm scared b/c I have so much clutter everywhere, God alone knows where it could be hiding now.
So my teeth are clean. Of course, I nearly gagged on the toothpaste in my haste to finish up. Damn loud TV. Thought I heard something insect-like.
I've checked around my bed and moved anything suspiciously brown from the immediate vicinity of it. Checked behind my curtains. Nothing. But now I'm afraid to go in it. To bed. I had it all planned to have an early night. But now here I am. Blogging to try to make light of it. If you don't hear from me. BE AFRAID! Shit! I really need to buy some Raid.
Wednesday, October 19
I liked a few of the songs on their first self-titled album, especially Cochise which probably got the most airplay. Their latest, Out of Exile is even better. The guitars on most of the tracks have an almost hypnotic cadence to them which draws you in. Makes me wanna just jump up and rock out! Especially, the first track - Your Time Has Come. This album is worth it just for that song and my other favourite - Doesn't Remind Me. The title track is mellow, well, it starts off kinda mellow :) This is a great rock album.
Tuesday, October 18
I've stayed away from Ben&Jerry's on principle, most of the flavors I've seen/heard of have too many things mixed together and also too many chunks of stuff I don't want in my ice cream. So I was in the freezer section just casually looking at the Haagen-Dazs. Then I thought of maybe getting some pistachio ice cream. That's the only other flavor I really love but I have to be in the mood for it. So I glance over at the B&J section and saw they had pistachio, I bought it and I have to say - it was so smooth and creamy and melt-on-my-tongue delicious. It made me think that maybe I need to reassess my B&J prejudice. I turned on the tv while I was eating it and guess who was on - Alton Brown - and he was talking about premium ice cream and why it tastes better than bargain ice creams. Something about the packing being more even in premium ice cream than in bargain brands. My take is that B&J Pistachio Pistachio = premium ice cream. And to my surprise, it isn't green. Maybe I'll have to investigate this further. I sense another quest coming on. I haven't had a food quest in quite a while.
My last food quest involved a search for the perfect chocolate-chip cookie (soft-baked or crispy). This started after ChipsAhoy changed their recipe back in 2001 (I've convinced of this). I used to love ChipsAhoy but then they must have changed something because they started tasting differently back in fall 2001. How do I know this? because I ate them a lot, ok. I have tried them a couple times since then but they've never been the same.
As for my quest - my research was extensive and involved personal sampling of over 15 different brands, some required additional trials. I was dedicated, I tell you, dedicated. I even baked some of my own. I took most in to work and they loved them. They kept asking when I was going to make more. The pressure was too much and I haven't baked any since (this was about 2 yrs ago). But I was looking for one that I could buy, no effort on my part other than paying for it. I did come up with a winner and though several people have disagreed with me about this, I stand by my choice. For me, the perfect choc chip cookie only has choc chips in it, no yucky peanut butter chips or nuts or God forbid, raisins (I really hate raisins! and I only like peanut butter on bread, not anywhere near chocolate or cookies).
My pick - Freihofer's choc chip cookies, the white box. I can't remember if that's the original recipe or not but I know I prefer the ones that come in the white box over the ones that come in the tan box. I haven't had them in over 2 months. Why? Because they are the one thing that I have absolutely no control with. Usually I can have tons of chocolate, ice cream, potato chips, cookies (as long as they're not Freihofer's) for quite a while. I have 2 or 3 and I'm satisfied. Freihofer's was another story. The local groceries frequently offer buy 1, get 1 free with Freihofer's. And I used to get 2-3 boxes. I'd put one in the freezer and one in the fridge to try to slow myself down. I normally like my cookies to be room temperature. But folks, there's just no wrong way to eat them. They are good warmed in the microwave, room temperature, cold from the fridge, and even frozen (though you kinda have to gnaw on them a bit but they're still good).
My turning point or at least the point at which I recognized thatI had a serious problem...I stood in front of my freezer and ate 10-12 of them... frozen cookies...standing...with the freezer door open. I was appalled at myself. I mean, I could have put them on a plate and taken them in and eaten them while sitting. Well I could but I don't remember if I'd had a bad day at work or not and just felt I really had to have them right at that instant. But I do remember doing it. I haven't bought them since. This has not been easy. Last month, they had a sale, buy 1, get 2 free. I resisted. Only because I repeating this mantra to myself "I'm not buying cookies, I'm not, I'm leaving without buying cookies". They had 5 different displays set up and I didn't even go down the cookie isle. They were trying to kill me. It was a trial. I still want them occasionally. I have choc chip cookies but only brands I can control myself with. So when I feel like Freihofer's, I just have 2-3 of those instead (like Pepperidge Farm or Archer Farms). Or I have a few oreos. They're good but you know, not Freihofer's.
There's this sweepstakes that Haagen-Dazs is having and the grand prize is a trip for 2 to Belgium for a week, hotel of your choice and spending money. Of course, the likelihood of winning is probably slim but worth a shot and doesn't cost anything to enter. So why not?
Sunday, October 16
It's that time of the month again so I took a couple extra-strength midol and went out last night in spite of the pain I was feeling. We saw "Proof" with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal. I thought it was both weird and interesting. Worth the money though.
The due date for my 20+ page report has been extended until first week in Nov. This is kind of good since I'm only half-way through it. They made other things higher priority. But it also means that it'll be longer b/c I'd have made more things by then which will also have to be included.
I also have slides to do for our biweekly meeting (due Wed - not bad, 2wks of work) as well as for our 6mth review (due Fri - toughie, summarize work done from April-now). We do this review for upper management. In addition to making compounds. Its going to be a long week. I really need to focus and plan my week well so that I can get all this stuff done in time.
For the 20pg one I have to do these calculations for each of the compounds I made. I couldn't remember how to do them at all since I haven't had to do any since my second yr chem classes. Feel so stupid not knowing and I looked it up online and in my old texts but couldn't find anything that made it clear enough for me. I really didn't want to have to go ask my supervisor to show me since it is kind of basic stuff. I haven't had to write reports that required this info before but most other people have. I looked through some old papers of mine tonight and found some notes from the class I took. I think I've finally figured it out now. Won't know until I go in Mon and can try it on the data at work.
Did some vacuuming today. Opened all my windows. Today's the first day in almost 2wks that it hasn't rained and it was great to be able to let all that fresh air in. There was a cool breeze as well. Went to a BBQ as well this evening with my pal. It was fun. In this crowd, I'm usually the only chemist. Very different discussions from when I hang out with my friends from work. The party was breaking up and then they broke out the pool table. Haven't lost my touch completely. I'm not a great pool player or a very bad one. I'm o.k. One of my friends has told me that I'd be a better player if I played 2-3 shots instead of one shot at a time. This is probably true but I have fun just going for it one at a time.
I must confess that officially we lost. A technicality to be sure but yes we lost. I made the eight ball but it didn't go in the pocket I called, so technically, they won. (That was just for you gradgirl =) but I won't admit it again)
Bedtime for me (yawn).
Wednesday, October 12
Atypical pneumonia seems likely (the link is probably way more than I needed to know). It would explain why I've been sick for so long. It doesn't have the characteristic symptoms that you would associate with pneumonia like coughing up green goo/blood or very high fevers and the incubation is 1-4wks. It starts off with flu-like symptoms which lasts 5-7 days then gradually becomes a persistent cough, with shortness of breath, chest pains just below the breatbone as the infection progresses. All of which I have or have had. Plus you're more susceptible to it when you have a weakened immune system.
The good news is that it can be treated effectively with antibiotics. I was a bit surprised at first when the doc had told me she was prescribing doxycyline and not some form of penicillin (which is the antibitotic I normally get) but she said that tetracyclines are better for atypical pnemonias. I didn't get to this link until today. The instructions on the doxycycline did not say to take it with food. I took it Mon night before dinner and was fine. Then I took it tues morn at 6am, went back to bed and set my alarm for 7. Woke up at 650am and felt like I was going to be really sick. The nausea was so bad I felt dizzy. That's when I thought that I should have eaten first. I staggered to the kitchen trying to think of what I could eat to settle my stomach and finally decided to have a slice of bread. Took one bite and barely made it to the bathroom in time. Let me just say that even with an empty stomach, it was not pretty. I also had a bit of cleaning to do. It was awful. I called the doc (as you probably guessed) and asked about that and they said I should eat, wait an hr, then take it. I guess, that's sort of what happened when I took the first dose Mon night.
I have to see the doc once I finish taking the antibiotics (8 days to go). My skin is kind of itchy. I don't know if it's due to the antibiotics. I haven't taken doxycycline before so who knows. It could be. Not hives in one concentrated place which is how my body usu reacts to allergens, just a general itching all over every once in a while. Even my face and ears. Weird.
Hopefully, I'll be able to think/talk about something else soon.
Today at 2:45pm, I was coughing quite a bit but as I was in the middle of setting up a reaction I wanted to get to a certain point with it. My inhaler was due at 3pm and I could tell it was almost time for it. So at 3 I was leaving the lab to go take my inhaler. Our lab tech was vacuuming the lab and chose that moment to try to act like he was going to vacuum my feet.
I asked him - don't do that please - he kept on so I said - don't mess with me now, please. He just kept on and I couldn't get by. I almost tripped. I really needed my inhaler and really couldn't explain/talk much at this point. Finally he stopped his crap and let me by. Then another guy in the lab starts doing this kung-fu stuff at me (matrix-like, jokingly, not serious - stuff like this happens in lab a lot, chemists can be very odd, I mean, interesting). Normally, stuff like this amuses me. But not then.
I swear, the 1 min walk to my desk was the longest ever with 'everybody an' dey brother jumbeeing my ass' (yeah I had to go trini on that one ;) [for the non-West Indians, that's 'every Tom, Dick, and Harry harrassed me' or something like that].
Half the time, they barely say hi when I go past them in the hallway. I don't know what was up with them today. Can't an asthmatic get to take her bloody inhaler without having to stop and explain to people while she's gasping, coughing and panicking? Then the kung-fu guy (yes he followed me out of the lab towards my desk) starts going on about how my cough kind of sounds like this old dog, blah, blah, blah...I escaped and missed the rest.
The Quiznos baby Bob cracks me up, I love those ads. I also like the latest verizon ad featuring Shakira’s song “la Tortura” with all the people doing the "weird chest dance" that she does in the video for the song, so funny.
Monday, October 10
When I spoke to my Mom last night, she was very concerned b/c I was so out of breath on the phone plus I'm still hoarse and she said that they should do a chest x-ray at the very least to rule out pneumonia.
I got it done today right after my appt and the doctor told me she'd call about the results. Of course the doctor's office never calls the right number for me and she left me a message at home to call them back. I didn't get this message until after the office was closed.
She thinks its either a bacterial infection or pneumonia. She also gave me a Rx for antibiotics (doxycycline) which she said is good for atypical respiratory infections.
I did my usual reading of stuff on it (see the link) and 2 fun facts about doxycyline are
1) It is only prescribed (100mg) twice a day in the management of severe infections
2) Used to treat Plague due to Yersinia pestis (formerly Pasteurella pestis)
So it must not be all in my head. I'm still so exhausted. Going to bed early even if I don't fall asleep right away, I'll just get in bed and lie down.
Sunday, October 9
My life's been like that a lot. When I moved to my current apt, my first apt on my own, I met a few neighbors here. Mostly widows in their 50s-70s. I didn't have a car my first year and a couple of them were godsends to me. One took me to get groceries every couple weeks which was such a big help for me. Getting groceries home on the bus which does not go down our street was something else. Especially in the snow. I can never thank her enough for that. Another one took me shopping for all the appliances and stuff I needed like vacuum, microwave, etc. She also picked me up from the hospital after a bad car accident I had. So anytime, either of them ask me for anything, big or small, I'm there. Because I can't really repay them but I'm glad for whatever I can do.
I try to help out whenever I can particularly because whenever I've really needed assistance it has come to me through acts of kindness from strangers (some who later become friends). I don't think you can really repay such things. And while it's great if you can - in the sense that you feel obligated to the person who helped you in your time of need and this obligation is lessened if you can do them a good turn. Sometimes, you don't get that. So whenever there's an opportunity to help, I try to do it. Even if it's someone who's never done anything for me - a complete stranger. I think it's better that way actually.
I was thinking about this because of my downstairs neighbor who's in her 80s (the jello lady). I give her rides every Sun to church and she thanks me several times before, during and after. Which, quite frankly, is a bit much. I think she's always offering the jello as a way to repay me. But I see it as a way to repay for the other random acts of kindness I've received. I wish I could explain this to her.
I'm thinking of stopping the rides becaue she is mentally draining. It stresses me out. She's also kind of a mean old lady. She's so negative. She hardly ever has kind words to say about people. And the times when I don't feel like going, I have to explain to her why, oftentimes more than once. And I hate it. Most weeks I want to go to church/choir but sometimes I just don't feel like it and if I didn't have to go through the whole explanation thing, I'd just stay home. I don't believe that you should go if you don't want to, if your heart's not in it, you know.
But what happens is usu one of two things
1) I call her to say I'm not going and she won't let me get off the phone unless I admit to being sick whether that's the case or not but it's the only way she'll accept that I'm not going or
2) I just go anyway.
I wish I'd never offered because now its like I'm stuck. I'm an adult and I live alone. No husband, boyfriend, mother to answer/explain to but I have to explain to her. It really bugs me. I'm tired of it and I want it to stop. If I get home early and she sees me coming in, she rushes out to ask me why/if I'm sick. Sometimes, I'm just home early. I don't want to have to explain. She also moves my mail up to my door upstairs. This bothers me (probably more than it should). She often comments on the mail I receive as well, like rollingstone and victoria secret catalog. Like its any of her business. I feel like she's trying to take over my life and its driving me insane.
My friend and I talked about it. About me telling her that I can't give her rides anymore. I'm not relishing the conversation but I think it needs to be done. Mainly because the only reason I want to move to a different apt is because of her. I just don't want to have to deal with it all the time. This is really not a valid reason to move b/c apart from that I love my apt. I love the layout, heat is incl in the rent (a must for upstate NY), I like the location (close to main highways and to the downtown area). I have windows in every room, laundry machines in my building. Everything else - ideal.
My usual way of dealing with stuff like this is to ignore it and hope things will change without me having to do anything. I dislike confrontation and avoid it if I can. I do 'have my say' when I'm really riled up but it takes a lot to get me to that point. But this isn't going away and I'll have to deal with it eventually.
Well, today I realized that I am one of those people who's head is lower than the neck rest so drivers behind me can't see my head either. I was looking in the rearview mirror and noticed this for the first time. This was a bit of a shock for me. I like to think of myself as very observant but in reality I'm not.
At least I can see over my steering wheel (my driver's seat is adjustable).
I think I must have a very positive self image most of the time. Maybe that's why I seem larger than life. At least to myself, if not to anyone else :) Granted I'm not in the best shape, have extra bits around the middle that have been there so long I refer to them as 'friends'. I was thinking that maybe if I started thinking of them as enemies, they'd be more inclined to go away...spontaneously...without any extra effort on my part. I'm a dreamer, I know.
Friday, October 7
Me at 3wks. My Mom is holding me up for the pic and I think my expression says "Take the picture already" See the furrowed brow? Barely any brows there to furrow I know :)
I've looked at this picture for years and only just noticed that it looks like I have a green bow in my hair (actually its something behind my head, not a bow as I first thought). I've been drawing myself at different ages from pictures. Lately, I've been in the mood to do self portraits. Did some from what I think I look like and other using a mirror. Maybe I'm searching for something and it can only be found inside myself. Maybe I've just been overly self-absorbed lately. I don't know.
Not a bad day at work. Made good progress on my 20pg report, I'm about a third of the way. Had group meeting with our client today so I had to dress 'nice'. Can't wear my scruffy jeans to meet and greet clients. Oooh...my feet were killing me. I wore these cute brown pumps which are a wee bit snug. Only had them on for 3hrs but it was more than long enough for my feet to complain. Luckily by 3p our meeting was over. It was 2hrs long but the time flew by.
Most days I feel like anyone could do my job and that it doesn't make a difference at all...that I don't make a difference...and that bugs me a bit. But today was good b/c our client explained a lot about where our project can go next and what parameters we need to have for our targets. He also explained the details behind the testing that they do on the compunds we make. Some of the results help us choose future targets to make. This is probably all very vague to most but I can't really elaborate. At my company and most in our industry, we have to sign several types of confidentiality contracts and in them you agree that you are liable for a lawsuit if you reveal confidential info. These documents were a little scary to me on my first day on the job during orientation. Anyhoo, today I felt like what we do does make a difference.
Thursday, October 6
Supposed to be rainy all weekend. Planning to do some painting. Got new paints today at 40% off. I have a plan for a series of three for my kitchen, at least a main idea of how I want them to flow from one to the other. Will probably post them to my flickr account when they're done. Of course that could be anywhere from Sun to 6 mths from now. I'm big on starting things but not so great on finishing. I get bored easily and often lose interest in stuff half-way through. My apt is littered with unfinished projects -
- like when I was going to make seat covers for my dining chairs (lofty title for the old metal ones I've got) but only got so far as buying the material and a mini-sewing machine and I even made one but my measurements were too snug and the material didn't have enough give to it to accomodate for this...and that's as far as I got
- or when I bought new inks, calligraphy text to compliment the calligraphy set I had from college because I was going to make all the cards I needed and planned to do this in advance - yeah right. Don't know what I was thinking considering that I'm such a spur-of-the-moment person/procrastinator =)
- or when I thought it'd be fun to take up needlepoint and bought yarn and needles, etc...well I opened everything and left it out for weeks before putting everything away...in my to-be-done-someday-when-I'm-in-the-mood box (I have several of these boxes)
I do manage to use the paints and sketch books and such for painting and drawing from time to time. Though not as often as I could. So my new plan is to make Sat morning my creative time. So armed with my paint supplies and rainy forecast, I plan to be very creative this weekend.So I call the doctor and they have a nurse call me back - they probably have a big red note next to my file to field all calls through the nurses. Anyhoo, I finally talk to the nurse and explain that I still need to take my emergency inhaler several times a day even though most of the cold symptoms are gone. I'm still coughing and still very congested.
So they're going to increase the dosage of the daily maintainer meds that I'm taking to the highest one they have. I was on the lowest one before my cold then they put me on the medium one for the past 2 wks. Now I'm going to have to take the max dosage they have.
I 've read probably more than I should have done on my meds. Cross-referensing studies that have been done recently and in the last 5 yrs or so. I have some concerns about taking the increased dosage. But what else can I do but take it? I just hope it works this time and I can finally get some decent sleep. Some of my reading makes me think that some of my nausea might be caused by the asthma meds I've been taking. I take them as prescribed and always rinse my mouth after each dose (that's so only a minimal amt of the corticosteroids will enter the bloodstream via the mouth, side effects are mild as long as the majority of it goes into the lungs but increase significantly if they end up in the bloodstream). But who knows. I know that Advair has lactoce in it which could be a problem for my lactose intolerant stomach but I always rinse so I don't know.
Had a suggestion to try a veggie diet which is great and all for some but I don't think that becoming a vegetarian will cure or relieve or give me better control of my asthma. Plus with being sick, I've not had nearly as much meat as I normally would. Maybe that's my problem. My diet usu consists of lamb (2x)/chicken 4-5 times a week. I don't eat out often and when I do I order chicken more often than not. Lately I haven't felt like red meat much. Last weekend I had the first real meat (wings Fri and ribs Sat) I've had in over 2 wks other than the 3 pieces they put in canned chicken soup (slight exaggeration =)
They had a 2-day seminar at my company and our client flew in to give a talk at the meeting. So of course I wanted to go ;). A lot of it went over my head but it was interesting. I must confess that my friend and I wrote notes to each other during most of it. 2hrs of chemistry lectures/questions....and I forgot my mentos which I usu take to seminars (to keep me awake)...takes a lot out of you (b/c I couldn't leave right after, had to be polite and stay for the following speaker). Luckily, they broke for lunch right after the 2nd speaker.
Fun facts to note
- the 2nd speaker used the modifier "uhh" 26 times in 5 minutes. I also counted other words - a fun game when you are bored. Another fav was "residue(s)" , 12 times/5 min.
- hyperemia = bad
My friend and I kept assigning either good/bad ratings to words we didn't know the exact meanings of, based on context. I so wanted to leave early today but have major report due next Fri and had to at least start it today (I have like 20 pgs to write...aagggghhh!) . When I'd had enough of that, I wrote up the reaction I was going to do (and leave overnight) but decided I wouldn't set it up until tomorrow. Just wasn't in the mood, you know. But when I got back to lab, my boss was still there and I guess I felt kind of guilty so I started cleaning up my bench a bit, still in 2 minds about whether I was going to do the reaction today or not. Good thing, I was there in my lab coat, looking productive. Guess who popped in with our group leader on a tour of our facility? Our client and so he made the introductions. So glad that...I was still there...looking productive. So I did set up the reaction after all. my boss left me around 5 and told me not to work too hard as it was nearing 530 and that I should go home soon. How cool is that? So different from my previous supervisors. Thank you God, universe, karma. I appreciate it. I really do.
Tuesday, October 4
When I spoke to the nurse last Mon, she said 7-10days which to me seemed like forever. But today's the 13th day and my stomach is so upset and has been all day. I think it's b/c of the nasal drip. But I started taking flonase b/c of a nasal drip about 1 1/2 yrs ago and it was fine as long as I took it consistently.
I have been taking it as prescribed since this cold started, yet my stomach is killing me. Maybe I have an ulcer. I'm also still a bit congested and am still clearing my throat every 5 min or so. Personally, I find that "clearing throat" sound very annoying so I imagine that my co-workers probably do as well. I sound like I have consumption.
At work, I've been trying to put on a happy face. When no one's around, I grimace a bit to myself. My boss caught me at it today and asked what was wrong. So I had to explain. I think I often give way more detail than I need to/people want to know but, that's just me, very thorough :)
If I'm very pre-occupied then I can ignore how upset my stomach is. I was quite busy today at work as I had a couple things to ship and slides to do. Have to get more sleep. I'm exhausted.
Monday, October 3
I volunteered to do this thing today for this professional group I'm in. It was supposed to start at 630 at a local university. I had it all planned. I'd leave work early ~5p, get home, change clothes, take meds, leave by 545p, get there on time while it was still light out (in the very likely event that I got lost again, it wouldn't be too difficult to re-orient myself). I even got directions from yahoo and emailed home so I'd only have to print them out. Seemed like a great plan.
I left work at 5 and got home by 520p but it took forever to find the right thing - that fit right and looked professional enough. Very tough call. Then I had to look for the directions again b/c my stupid aol account wouldn't let me open the email for some strange reason. Finally at 610p, I was ready to go. Running late but I figured I could skip the meet-and-greet which happens the first 1/2 hr and still have plenty time to get there for 7 when the meeting was actually starting. I got in the car and realized that I'd left the directions to the campus building in my apt. So I went back in to get them. 620p, I'm finally on my way and my mind is whizzing away thinking about what I'd have to talk about tonight. That's when I realized I had gone way past the street to the higway. So I had to turn around and go back. 635p, on the highway and think to myself-its fine, its ok, still have time, still light out, I can make it by 7p (trying to keep calm).
Now, I've been to this university at least 6 times. Gotten lost on the way there 5 times. Had to frantically call my friend/her husband(when she wasn't home) for directions 2 times. I don't have any luck going there at all. I get lost a lot. I've lived here over 3 years and I still get lost.
But this university is like my own personal freakin' bermuda triangle. It happens so often - the whole getting lost thing - and almost every time they have a function there, I get lost. Somehow, I'm able to find other places but not there.
650p I got off the highway 1 exit sooner than I should have and when I did it I realized right away but I thought if I just followed the road, I'd eventually be able to get back on the highway and take the right exit. So I kept going and there was no sign of said highway. I should have stopped at a Stewarts or gas station but I feel so stupid doing that all the time. Like a complete moron. I thought this time, I'd figure it out. After 40 min of being lost, I pulled into a Stewarts and parked. I just had to get home. Just couldn't deal. I felt sick to my stomach. I called and said I couldn't make it after all. Vaguely mentioned car trouble. Yeah I lied but I felt like I would throw up if I had to continue driving looking for it. I also felt incompetent enough without having to explain it on someone's answer service. Then I asked for directions to the main highway so I could get home. The nausea eased somewhat the closer I got to home. Actually my stomach is upset again so maybe it wasn't due to the whole being lost thing but more likely to the lingering effects of the cold. Still lingering after 12 days. I think I have some kind of low grade pneumonia. Is that even possible? Will have to look it up.
I have the absolute worst instincts when it comes to directions. I always seem to drive around in a kind of fog...thinking that the next street will be the right one. As if I don't know that my instincts can't be trusted. But I'm usu a very positive person and I don't dwell on my failings often. So I always think that the next time will be different.
I feel bad for bailing. I also feel kind of dumb for not stopping sooner and asking for directions.
While finally on my way home, I turned on the CD player(which I'd turned off while I was panicking/driving around aimlessly). I have it set to random and guess which song starts playing? It's a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, "Road Trippin". And there's a part of it that goes - let's go get lost, let's go get lost.Yeah, really. I was not amused. Well, I was a wee bit amused but not laughing out loud amused.
I'm exhausted, still taking my emergency inhaler round-the-clock but now I only have to take it every 5-6hr as opposed to every 4h which is how often I needed it last week. Tremors have started (a side effect of my asthma meds). In lab it was a little bothersome today.
Need to sleep now.
Sunday, October 2
Have my eye on some new paints as I'm out of several colors. I'm going to wait for them to go on sale though. They were 2wks ago and I didn't get them. Big sigh. Now I wish I had.
Saturday, October 1
- Baby, One More Time / Oops I Did It Again / Lucky...Britney Spears
- Bye, Bye, Bye...Insync
- Everybody / I Want It That Way / The One...Backstreet Boys
- Bad Medicine / You Give Love A Bad Name / Wanted Dead or Alive...Bon Jovi
- Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous / The Young & the Hopeless / The Anthem...Good Charlotte
- Material Girl / Like A Virgin / Like A Prayer...Madonna
- I Will Survive...Gloria Gaynor
- What's My Age Again...Blink 182
- You Remind Me / Someday...Nickelback
- Livin' La vida Loca...Ricky Martin
- Numb...Linkin Park
- California Love...Tupac
Songs I've tried but will never do again...most didn't sound the way they do in my head and/or were not in my range (too high or low)...many were suggestions from friends
- Crazy For You...Madonna
- American Pie aka the longest song ever...Don McLean
- All The Small Things...Blink 182
- Mickey...Toney Basil(my friend's pic, I knew it'd be too high but still give it a try)
- If It Makes You Happy / Soak Up The Sun / Picture...Sheryl Crow (I'd planned to do both parts myself but the DJ insisted on singing with me)
- Somewhere I Belong...Linkin Park
- Overprotected...Britney Spears
- Any Man of Mine...Shania
- Whenever, wherever...Shakira
- You Oughta Know...Alanis Morissette
Songs I've yet to do but probably will eventually
- Mr. Brightside / Somebody Told Me...The Killers
- Hannah Jane...Hootie & the Blowfish
- Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me)...Simple Plan
- Summer of '69...Bryan Adams
- Let It Out...Hoobastank
I don't think I've mentioned this before but I'm a major fan of karaoke, both performing and watching. There's just something cool about having a mike in front of people I don't know, they have no choice, they have to listen. This started in junior yr of college on a drunken dare :) it was so much fun, I've been a fan ever since. I also like watching other people.
I have a blast doing karaoke and it's not unusal for several people to come up to me during the night and give compliments and ask what song I'm doing next. Once I even gained 4 back-up dancers who loved the song I'd done previously and come up onstage during my next to back me up. It was pretty cool, I was pretty drunk. I used to go quite often to another karaoke bar and knew all 3 DJs by name. Sad but true.
Usually when my friends and I go out, not many of them go up to do a song but as long as I know they're there, that's enough and I usu do a few. Usually, I need to have a good buzz going before I do a song I haven't done before b/c you don't always know how it's going to come out. I generally only do songs I know well. This is key. If you know the song then you'll get the timing of it and then its all downhill from there. Sometimes though, I try to do a song and after it starts, I realize that it's just not the right pitch and I can't quite make the notes. I usu stick with 90s pop/rock but also do some punk as well.
I hadn't planned on singing at all last night for a couple reasons. For one thing, my voice is still hoarse and secondly I didn't want to have any alcohol b/c of the cold meds I've been taking so I stuck with iced tea all night. They started off playing "Are you Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet. I love that song and it always gets me pumped up. So I decided to do one song. Luckily I didn't have to go right after the karaoke pros. I did an old fav which I've done several times before, Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name". Even did a little air guitar. I usu do a little something extra besides just singing whether it be a few dance moves/air guitar/head banging(you'd have to see it ;)/twirls. Depends on the song/my mood/degree of inebriation :) It was fun, haven't done karaoke in a long time and kind of missed it.
Last night, they were so many people with really great voices. Voices that said - give me a record deal already! One of the pros did a particular fav of mine, Joan Jett's "I Hate Myself For Loving You". She did an amazing job. I couldn't have done it better which is saying something b/c I'm pretty good even if I do say so myself :) I had thought about doing it but I need a buzz and/or motivation (usu Lit) to work up the rage to do it well. You've got to have major attitude for it or any Joan Jett for that matter.
Kodak moments from last night:
- "The Wheels On The Bus" by Al. yes the ones that go round and round. Suprisingly, the DJ said it had only been requested once before :) In a word, hilarious.
- "Drop It Like It's Hot" by K. She knew all the words too. She was really good.
- My friend also went up and did a group song, first time karaokeing(don't know if that's a word or not)
- "Minnie the Moocher"(hi dee hi dee hi dee hi, ho dee ho dee ho dee ho), this was close to the oringinal, almost as good as Cab Calloway, the lady had some pipes.
- "I Hate Myself For Loving You", the real 'star' of the night
Overall, really cool night.