athelind: (Default)
Savannah beach! It's been a full month since I posted ... or, I'm afraid, cracked open my Friends List. I'm not sure how it happened -- I simply forgot!

At this stage, I must apologize: I'm not going to try to catch up on the backlog on my Friends List, and so that means I'm probably going to have missed Important Stuff.

My last post was a bad one to suddenly vanish on, too: "Oh, hey, emergency room, hospital, chest pains, SILENCE".

For the record, I've just been busy and distracted. The "clean bill of health" is, more accurately, "nothing immediately life-threatening -- see your doctor", which I have done.

At the moment, there's no solid diagnosis as to why I've had these "flipping" sensations in my chest for two months. They've ebbed and flowed, but at their worst, a month ago ... well, let's just say I don't plan to see Prometheus in the theaters.

My regular physician is arranging a referral to a cardiologist, but because all this happened literally days after switching from a PPO to an HMO program (all under the same provider), that hasn't happened yet. My new card finally arrived on Friday, though, so on Monday I can make things happen.

Right now, the likely culprits include Premature Ventricular Contractions [PVCs] and esophageal spasms, possibly related to my chronic, lifetime reflux issues -- I have a family history with both.

(I also have had symptoms that are clearly digestive; on the other claw, whilst hooked up to a heart monitor in my line of site after a thallium treadmill exam, I got hit with a couple of "flips" -- and I saw them on the monitor.)

I am trying very hard not to self-diagnose, but it's a difficult thing; I have the kind of mind that isn't happy until it's constructed a narrative. I want to make sure the cardiologist has all the relevant data when I go to see him; unfortunately, that means my brain is trying to filter just what data is relevant, and that turns into subconscious judgment calls whether I want to make them or not.

(As a minor grumble ... there's more than just one set of symptoms going on, but every medical professional I've talked to has tended to latch onto the very first set I describe, without letting me finish my litany of hypochondria the rest. This happens no matter what order I list them: it's always the first thing. "Okay, what can we do about this?")

... that said, at the moment, it looks like all this can be managed or even resolved with just a few tweaks of diet, a bit more exercise (but not too much more), and maybe some nutritional supplements.

Oh, and losing a goodly bit of weight, if for no other reason than to avoid the knee-jerk diagnosis of "he's middle-aged fat guy, I can stop thinking now".

So don't panic. There are probably a few more decades in this old dragon after all.


athelind: (YAY)
... an hour after my last post, I was in the ER for chest pains.

An overnight stay, lots of bloodwork, and a treadmill exam, and the cardiologist gave me a clean bill of health, at least as far as the ticker is concerned.

So it's all good, more or less; I just wish I'd held off before dropping a fairly hefty chunk of change on closing out that student loan, because now: MEDICAL BILLS.

Yay!


athelind: (happy)
Dear Princess Celestia:

This weekend, I learned some very important things about back pain.

First: don't touch your toes to "work the kinks out", and most especially, if you have trouble touching your toes, DO NOT I say again DO NOT push yourself until you CAN.

IT JUST MAKES THINGS WORSE.

Second: if you're tempted to skip a shower because your back hurts, DON'T GIVE IN. Hot water does everything that touching your toes to "work the kinks out" DIDN'T.

Third: the evidence seems to suggest that using an exercise ball as a part-time office chair causes more problems than it solves.

Your faithful student, Athelind Long

YULE!

Dec. 26th, 2011 09:25 pm
athelind: (Default)
Your Obedient Serpent flew his mother and stepfather up for the holidays. They're currently staying with his sister.

A very pleasant holiday was had, and festive viruses passed around. Yes, I've caught my mother's cold, and it's settling in very nicely, thank you.

Hopefully, it will have run its course ere week's end and the parental return to desert climes; at some as-yet-unspecified time, the clan is going on a cruise out the Golden Gate to the Farallons. 90 minutes at sea in December isn't much by Coast Guard standards, but it's been many a decade since I could lay claim to that banner.

Yule is passed, however, and today is known in some demesnes as "Boxing Day", so I should wish you all tidings appropriate to the occasion:




athelind: (food)
What the frak CAN you eat anymore? Meat's bad for you. "Carbs" are bad for you. There we go, that's pretty much every frakkin' organic molecule.
athelind: (Warning: Biohazard)
Sanitized For Your Protection. Click at your own risk. )

Hey, I put it behind a cut! I even put "tmi" in the tags!

athelind: (facepalm)
Yesterday, I asked myself a question that's come up a few times over the last few months: why do I feel hung over when I haven't had any alcohol? I had a headache that acetaminophen barely touched, and it stuck around all day, finally fading some time around 2300 hours.1

(Oddly, I seldom get hangovers when I've actually imbibed. Usually, I'm very careful to cut myself off well before bedtime, and to drink copious water before hitting the hoard. I usually add a single aspirin to my usual nighttime meds, as well.)

Since a goodly part of the ill effects of hangover come from dehydration, I've been assuming that the combination of dry winter air and the return of the heater have been the primary factors. Of course, in the summer, I was ascribing the same effect to warm overnight temperatures.

Yesterday, though, I realized that, while the headache was the most noticeable symptom, it was accompanied by what I will euphemistically refer to as "stomach upset".

Grauph. Not only do I have a wretched headache, but that milkshake from In-N-Out has triggered my lactose intolerance.

... wait a sec.

Eureka.
2

The form of stomach upset induced by lactose intolerance3 can, indeed, result in dehydration4, thus prompting the other symptoms.

Running through recent incidents in my mind, I realized that there did, indeed, seem to be a correspondence between Dinner at I/O with Strawberry Shake and a day of chronic headache and general malaise.5

The evidence seems to support the hypothesis that milkshakes give me hangovers.

No, I am not going to chug a milkshake before bed just to test that out.

Not even for SCIENCE!!


  1. IT'S NOT A TOOMAH!
  2. Though I was in the bathing chamber without pants, I did not otherwise emulate Archimedes.
  3. Yes, that. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
  4. That's why it's important to make sure you get plenty of fluids when you have the flu.
    Or dysentery.
  5. IT'S NOT ATTUMA!

athelind: (tell it like it IS)
Positive Attitude

The mouseover text reads: "Having a positive attitude is almost tautologically good for your mental health, and extreme stress can hurt your immune system, but that doesn't mean you should feel like shit for feeling like shit."

'Nuff said.


athelind: (facepalm)
So there I am at work, in what I hope are the last stages of a cold, running on generic DayQuil, GatorAde, and Fisherman's Friend menthol lozenges, blowing my nose whenever the store's empty, and hoping that bottle of hand sanitizer is keeping me from playing Patient Zero.

My sinuses are draining. My throat doesn't hurt, thank goodness, because working at a comic store entails a lot of conversation -- especially a comic store in a mall, where you have a lot of Curious Neophytes who wouldn't wander into your typical Android's Dungeon.

Nevertheless, the cold has affected my voice. It's not quite gravelly, per se, but there's that odd kind of vibration it gets when the vocal cords are ... pray forgive me if this is too vivid ... coated.

Not one but two different customers complimented me for my pleasant voice, and said that I should go into radio, or do voiceovers, or something of the sort.

As I'm suppressing a coughing fit.


athelind: (coyote durp durp durp)
I think I'm a hypochondriac, but maybe I'm just imagining the symptoms.


athelind: (ewd3)
I went to the doctor's today, to make sure some discomfort I've had in my back wasn't a kidney issue, since it was right where the kidney should be. It's most likely a pulled muscle or something similar, for the record.

As always, of course, they took my blood pressure. For years, it's been running around 120/85, which isn't great, but isn't terrible for a man in his mid-40s.

Last time I went in, a few months ago, it was at 110/80.

Today, it was at 106/76, which is pretty good for a guy in his twenties.

Please note that this is after six months of morning coffee, a habit I've never indulged in regularly before. The 120/80 period was when I was strictly decaf.

Well, coffee does have diuretic properties, and they do prescribe diuretics for high BP.

Or maybe it's just six months of not living with a teenager.


athelind: (Sci Fi)

Plastic Antibodies Effective In Living Animals!



Natural antibodies are proteins that are shaped to wrap around the molecules of a dangerous substance. The body has to be exposed to the substance to learn how to make them, and the immune system responses involved in the process can contribute to the trauma. Thing like antivenom serums are currently made by injecting a large animal like a horse with the toxin, and then filtering their blood for the antibodies—these natural antibodies can sometimes induce reactions of their own.

This technique creates synthetic antibodies out of plastic, simply by molding the polymer around the molecules.

This is insanely brilliant, and could open huge doors in medical treatments.

It's also one of those Amazing Advances of the Future that slipped by most SF writers.

In a space opera setting, since these are biologically neutral, you could actually have antitoxins that would work on almost any species! Call Sector General!

I can so easily see a Plastic Antibody Synthesis rig as part of the onboard medical systems of KLDR-4077, or a transhuman/posthuman character like Charlotte; it seems especially well-suited to her "rebuilt to survive in a toxic world" theme.


Regular readers will note that I've added another new "column" to my Subject Headers: "Here's Your Effing Jetpack." Yes, it's the 21st Century, and no, we don't have all the wonderful Jetsons technology they promised us—but we have so much tech that hardly anyone did foresee. And we take most of it for granted, including the ones that make this post possible. There are enough net-tech sites out there that I won't bother making note of the latest Cupertino Tchotchke, but if something weird, wonderful, and off the wall strikes my eye—well, Here's Your Effing Jetpack.
athelind: (Eye - VK)
Pupils equal and reactive is a phrase you'll hear on any medical show, and in a lot of real-life emergency rooms and accident scenes. It was almost a catch phrase on Jack Webb's classic paramedic drama, Emergency!, and that's where it entered my vocabulary, long before my own excursion into the rescue-response field.

The Original Meaning: When faced with an unconscious or unresponsive patient, one of the first things an emergency responder does is shine a penlight into each eye, in turn. If the pupils don't contract (are not reactive), or don't react to the same degree (are not equal), that's an indication of head trauma, concussion, and possible brain damage.

When Your Obedient Serpent Says It: It's usually in response to "how are you?", and invoked when the answer is "All Systems Nominal, with cause for optimism."

Because, you know, any day where you don't have brain damage is a victory, right? Any landing you can walk away from.


... I have no idea if this is a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full attitude.
athelind: (AAAAAA)
Observation: two cups of coffee within 90 minutes is my limit.

The third seems to produce mildly disorienting side effects, a little bit like anxiety, and a little bit like motion sickness while sitting perfectly still.

It's almost subliminal.

I'm glad I don't have to drive for a few more hours; I can sense my temper just looking for an excuse.


athelind: (outrage)
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.

[livejournal.com 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)
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.

[livejournal.com 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: (Warning: Biohazard)
Argh.

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. [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi and [livejournal.com 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)
Argh.

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. [livejournal.com profile] rikoshi and [livejournal.com 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: (big ideas)
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)
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: (cronkite)

YES!




YES! YES! YES!



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 [livejournal.com profile] cargoweasel and [livejournal.com profile] circuit_four
athelind: (Default)

YES!




YES! YES! YES!



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 [livejournal.com profile] cargoweasel and [livejournal.com profile] circuit_four
athelind: (food)
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.

Oorlp.

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