athelind: (Default)
A lot of people keep defending President Obama's mediocre track record on progressive causes,* citing the close margin he has, and occasionally even acknowledging that he can't even rely on his own party members in Congress.

[ profile] bradhicks points out that Roosevelt, Johnson, and every other President who managed to accomplish anything of lasting significance faced the same kind of opposition, but knew how to use the power, prestige, and clout of the Chief Executive of the United States to get shit done.

The ones who didn't?

They didn't accomplish jack shit, for any cause, progressive or otherwise.

This is not the change I voted for.

*Most of his defenders also ignore his reprehensible track record in sustaining and expanding frankly regressive causes, including some of the worst stances of the Bush Junta on privacy, security, and copyright law, just to name a few.
athelind: (Default)

Last week, a flare-up in joint pain heralded another bout of Serial Flu, that one-symptom-at-a-time never-really-sick variation of influenza that hits me now and then. Body aches most of last week; congestion and post-nasal drip over the weekend; digestive upset on Monday, after work. As usual, I never felt bad enough to really consider myself sick, and, aside from a general air of lingering blah, I thought I was pretty much done with it.

This evening, I've got the Extreme Tiredness symptom, along with a slight resurgence of stuffiness, and a mild, general achiness that's not quite the same as the Crippling Arthritic Agony of last week. It's not done with me yet.

I had my flu shot this year (though not my H1N1, yet); in years past, if I had my immunization, "serial flu" would almost never progress to full-on flu.

I doubt I'm contagious; I'm not really in virus-spreading sneeze/sniffle mode. I don't really feel sick, honestly, just run down. [ profile] rikoshi and [ profile] tealfox, I'll give you a heads up if I'm not fit to share breathing space with the Saga group on Saturday. I should be good, though.

athelind: (Default)
I woke up this morning with a headache, but in a far better, more positive mood than yesterday.

Now I'm afraid to take anything for the headache, in fear that the good mood will go with it.

Addendum, 10:23AM: Well, I took something for the headache. It hasn't gone away, but the good mood is slipping.

athelind: (Default)



Thank you, Congressman Frank! This is your Crowning Moment of Awesome.

This is exactly how these crazy bullshit lies should be met -- must be met. It's "vile, contemptible nonsense", all right, and we need more people to come right out and say it.

Thanx to [ profile] cargoweasel and [ profile] circuit_four
athelind: (Default)
Last night, Your Obedient Serpent and his family had yummy, yummy BLTs for dinner.

During the night, this combined alchemically in my stomach with my acid reflux.

I am now having Bacon Reflux. This was my alarm clock, awakening me after five hours of sleep.

Bacon does not make everything better.


athelind: (Default)
This is quite possibly the nastiest cold-and-flu season of my entire life.

Not only are there nasty, stubborn strains running around, but I'm workin' retail, and getting hit with them all.

Yes, I have another bleeping cold. It started less than a week after I finally cleared up after the last one.

Thankfully, this appears to be a different strain than the last: it's much more runny-nose and much less gummy-cough. So far, anyway.

I swear, after this cold season, I'm gonna have as many words for phlegm as Hawaiians have for lava.
athelind: (Default)
Ever feel rotten, non-specifically?

About an hour before the end of my shift today, I realized that I felt tired, without actually being tired. I felt like I hurt all over, without the actual hurting part.

A couple of hours ago, I took a couple of naproxene. The general, overwhelming weariness is gone now... replaced by Actual Aching.

This might just be my chronic arthritis sneaking up on me. It's been chilly and wet for a couple of weeks, now. The fact that the most intense locus of acute pain is in the ball of my left big toe, which is one of the few places that I've had an actual medical diagnosis of arthritis, lends some support to this hypothesis.

On the other claw, it might be the opening volley of yet another bout with the fershlugginer flu.

I'm hoping the former. I've danced enough with Lady Influenza this season. People are starting to talk.

I'm still goin' to see Watchmen tomorrow morning.

athelind: (Default)
So, here we are on Day 2 of No Beef/No Dairy/No Fried Foods Lent.

Yesterday, I brunched at Jamba Juice, and for dinner, I served up a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Jalapeno Cheese Bread on the side (that counts as "incidental" cheese).

I started this morning with a few heaping tablespoons of BeneFiber in a 24-oz glass of water, then hit Starbuck's with [ profile] quelonzia for a soymilk latte and an apple bran muffin.

Let's just say that my system is now in the process of getting rid of all the rotten stuff I've been overindulging in for the last few weeks. Despite the Sudden Activity, I feel surprisingly good.

I'm also adding "No Soda" to the Lent List.

athelind: (Default)
It's that time of year again: Fat Tuesday, marking the last big occasion of self-indulgence before the beginning of Lent.

I'm not Catholic, but I've found in the past that Giving Stuff Up For Lent is a good way to push myself into establishing better habits, at least for a while.

I've let my eating habits go to Helena Handbasket over the last year or so, and it's time to get them back on track. The single thing I've found that improves my diet immensely is to Just Say No to Beef and Dairy: that, all by itself, eliminates the worst of the fast food out there.

So, for the next 40 days:
  • No beef. Exception: beef liver, because we have some in the freezer.
  • No dairy products beyond yogurt and "incidental cheese" (a little grated Parmesan on a salad or pasta, for instance).
  • Nothing deep-fried.

Time to crank up the salads, the salmon burgers, the peanut butter sandwiches, and the fruit-and-soy-milk smoothies.

The nice thing is that I like the salads, the salmon burgers, the peanut butter sandwiches, and the fruit-and-soy-milk smoothies; I just need to fall back in the habit of eating them regularly.

athelind: (Default)
That last post reminded me that we had an exceptionally long Fire season last year, lasting through most of the "Summer" and into early "Autumn". For months, the air in the Bay Area ranged from Unusually Smoggy to Choked With Smoke, and nearly everyone was coughing and dealing with sinus headaches -- even those who don't normally suffer allergies. Southern California, I understand, was as bad or worse.

Now, this "Winter", we've had both a stubborn strain of influenza and an exceptionally persistant strain of the common cold running around. The cold virus is one of those that hits, passes through the infectious sneezing-and-runny-nose phase fairly quickly... and then leaves you with lingering congestion and coughing up gobs of phlegm for weeks.

The 2007 strains were the classic "24-hour virus" -- sneeze sneeze sneeze, blow nose blow nose, wake up the next day fine. That was kind of a new experience for me.

It's tempting to draw a correlation between the constant respiratory irritation of the Fire season, and the continued, long-lasting respiratory irritation of this year's Cold season. Maybe weeks of smoke left our systems more sensitive to this year's virus.

The only hitch in that hypothesis is that, if the reports I'm hearing are correct, the Nasty Clingy Cold That Won't Go Away is spread across North America this year, not just the Golden State.

...smoke-induced viral mutation followed by transportation-mediated infection?
athelind: (Default)
As I was sitting in the Urgent Care, I noticed that they were position-dependent -- if I leaned back, they settled down and went away. Over the last couple of days (now that the hypochondria/anxiety has gone away) the pains have gone away completely -- so long as I sit up straight, or lean back slightly.

...did I just get an EKG and an expensive blood test for poor posture??

I don't think so, honestly. There must have been some trigger; there's nothing about "bruised esophagus" hypothesis that's incompatible with position-dependence. But, jeez.
athelind: (Default)
Man, "I'm Having Chest Pains" is one of those Magical Medical Incantations that makes everyone move Very Quickly Indeed.

It helped that the urgent care wasn't especially crowded.

They gave me an EKG (and chastised me for not coming in yesterday): it turned out normal.

They didn't do a stress EKG, just resting. Instead, they did a blood test to look for the specific proteins that heart muscle releases when it's damaged. That, too, turned out normal. Whatever it is, it's not heart -- that "bruised esophagus" hypothesis is as likely as anything.

So! Nothing to worry about, nothing to even slow me down. Even Saturday's chest flutter wasn't a matter of concern -- just my body's way of saying "either slow the bleep down, or WALK MORE OFTEN."

This is really just some mild discomfort. It seems positional -- if I lean back, it's less of an issue.

Thanks for the concern and kind words in the last post, everyone.

athelind: (Default)
...besides "I'm in my mid-forties", that is.

"I'm having chest pains."

Don't panic. I'm not panicking. Really.

On Saturday, I took a long, very brisk walk with my son-in-law setting the pace, and toward the end, I got a strange little "kaFLUTTER" in my chest. Twice.

I've gotten these before; back in '96, I got them a few times, while running after a bus. I went in and had an EKG at the local VA hospital, and it didn't seem to be anything.

Sunday morning, however, I noticed a mild pressure in my chest, and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. It could be any number of things (including a bruised esophagus from a chunk of food that didn't quite go down right on Saturday night), but I'd rather go in and feel stupid because I made a fuss over something minor than to wake up in the ICU feeling stupid because I ignored the warning signs.

I worked in a hospital for four years, mostly with heart patients, and the number of patients who said, "I thought it was just gas/indigestion/sore muscles until I keeled over" outnumber the patients who said "gee, I caused all this panic and it turned out to be nothing serious" by, oh, about infinity to none.

My doctor can't get me in today, so they directed me to the local Urgent Care. I'm just gonna grab a library book and go.

Updates when I get back.
athelind: (Default)
I felt myself getting sick on Tuesday, was pretty miserable on Wednesday, and this morning, I'm a bit dehydrated -- but I'm over it. I'm coughing up some stuff, but it's what I call "battlefield brass" -- the remnants of the struggle between my immune system and the microbiological invaders.

I don't do this. I don't get the "24-hour bug". I've never quite understood it when people expect me to be All Better the next day -- for me, a "cold" sticks around for a week, on the rare occasions when it doesn't give way to something more severe.

This is the second time in the last six months that I've had a "24-hour bug" (really more like 48, if you count the first onset of "is that really a symptom?"). I've had nothing more severe than that in that time -- knock on wood.

I'm running through the variables, and I'm startled to realize that it may be associated with my change in eating habits back in May.

Good golly, eating better just might make you healthier, in a tangible, noticable, everyday sense.

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