Tag: health and wellness

Fever dreams

Sarah came over last night and hung out for a while. She left around 9:30 and I went right to bed. I had taken NyQuil around 8 PM. I was asleep before I hit the pillow. I slept fine until around 1 or 2 AM, and then I got restless. My throat was scratchy and that made it difficult to sleep. So did the fever dreams. I don’t think I actually had a fever, but the fever dreams were there. I felt so-so when I woke up this morning. Still a little scratchy throat, still uneasiness in my head. But no other symptoms. I wonder if I caught some kind of summer flu that my flu vaccination is more or less fighting off?

I’m still not back on a routine, but I’m hoping to get there soon. You know: up at a certain hour, breakfast, pack lunch, back to the gym, etc. Kelly went to the gym last night but I wasn’t feeling up to it. Maybe today.

I’ve got to get a tire pump for my bike so I can pump up that rear tire and make sure that it just lost it’s air and is not actually flat. I may get to ride my bike into work after all this week. Stay tuned.

Reading has crawled to a near halt, although I am still progressing on The Count of Monte Cristo. When that’s done, I’m eager to start in on Charlie Stross’s Saturn’s Children, which I also bought as an eBook. Oh, and the eReader for the iPhone released version 1.1 this morning. I upgraded right away.

TGI trans fats?

I’m about a day behind on things here because of my lack of Internet at home. Only a few more days of this to go. Things should be back to normal on Monday or Tuesday so bear with me.

Busy day at work yesterday.

On the moving front, I did a few more change of addresses, and some more packing last night. In particular, I got the telescope boxed up and the back room closet all packed up. Tonight is going to be a big night. Another bulk trash night, to say nothing of a whole bunch of stuff getting done around the house in preparation for the move on Saturday.

On the wedding front, called our travel agent today and paid the balance of our honeymoon trip. I owe Mom a list of people for the rehearsal dinner, and I owe he11o_sunshine information for the “info sheet” that is going into the invitations. There simply hasn’t been enough time in the day, but I’ll do my best to get it taken care of today.

Received the September issue of ASIMOV’S in the mail today. Kelly got the checks we ordered in her mail. vickyandnorm would like them: they are Disney checks.

Dad and I went for a walk around Greenbelt lake after work, and then after that, we headed over to TGI Friday’s for dinner. We had a nice dinner, and when it came time to order dessert, I glanced through the menu and immediately decided on their Oreo Chocolate Cake, which I’ve had before, and which I find delicious.

“I’ll have the Oreo Chocolate Cake,” I said to our waiter.

“We don’t serve that any more,” she said.

I was devastated. “Why not?”

“Because of trans-fats.” She didn’t really seem to grasp what this meant.

“Maybe you guys should remove it from the menu.”

“Yeah,” she said.

Dad ordered a Brownie Obsession. When our waiter returned with it, I asked her if I could speak to the manager. I told her it wasn’t about her, I was just fascinated by this trans-fats thing.

The manager came by a few minutes later, and as he described it, “This is a silly corporate thing. They are trying to make us [TGI Fridays] perceived to be health conscious, so we are removing all trans-fat products from our menus. Personally, I love the Oreo Chocolate Cake and think this whole thing is silly.”

“Why don’t they just have a section for low fat desserts and section for regular desserts?”

“I don’t know,” he said.

Later he came back and placed an amusing sticker over the Oreo Chocolate Cake on the menu: “Forced into early retirement”.

Nevertheless, the fact that a restaurant is making this kind of decision on my behalf bothers me. It bothers me for the same reason that soda machines being removed from schools bothers me. It presumes an unalterable lack of self-control on the general public. And it takes the decision out of the hands of a person that has self-control. What right does a restaurant have to determine what I can and can’t eat? What right do they have to determine what is and is not healthy for me? This seems to be a determination for me and my doctor; the restaurant should stay out of the equation.

Restaurants will always have limited menus, and therefore, narrow down our options for us. That’s understandable. But this is the first time I’ve heard of a narrowing down of options because of perception. While I understand that there are health concerns with some of these foods, but like anything, they should be treated with moderation, not banned. I think we have to question this, else what are we to expect next? People abuse alcohol in the same way they abuse food. Alcohol has been shown to have health risks when abused. Should restaurants start banning that too?

Thursday morning

Up at 6 AM. I noticed that the old TV, DVD player, microwave, and a few other items were removed from the trash pile overnight. None of them work right (and the microwave doesn’t work at all) but maybe whoever took them can fix them and get some use out of them. I forgot to mention yesterday that I also remove the DirecTV post that has been in my front yard these past 5 years. It’s strange not seeing it there now.

My arm wasn’t too bad when I woke up this morning, but it got cranky as soon as I lifted up my backpack.

Kelly and I took the train into work. I head to Boston tomorrow and Dad heads out here. Kelly is picking me up from the airport Saturday night. Dad and I have a Tigers/Orioles game on Sunday. I printed my plane ticket for tomorrow. I have a small amount of packing to do (I’m only staying one night) this evening. My flight it at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

Busy morning at work but I was pretty productive. I’ve got a meeting coming up in about 25 minutes and then my schedule is more or less clear for the rest of the day.


Took a sick day today because of a bad night of allergies and arm aches, which led to antihistamines and pain-killers. I’ve put myself on the DL for our game next Wednesday as I think I need to give my arm some rest.

I made as good use of the day as I could, considering I couldn’t log into work to check email. I did more packing, and made good progress on that front. I also did some cleaning. I got a haircut. I put out another ton or so of bulk trash for pickup tomorrow morning. I did my last bit of grocery shopping at the old house and the last bit of lawn mowing and bamboo trimming, too. I won’t miss the latter.

Kelly came over after work and we made dinner: ravioli, veggies, and a salad.

When it was close to sunset, I went into the backyard and sprayed a hornets nest that had formed under the back door. I bought this stuff that shoots 22 feet. I saturated the nest, as instructed, and in theory, I should be able to go out there tomorrow and remove the nest.

There was a full moon tonight and I took the telescope out so that Kelly finally had a chance to look at it. The angle was bad (tree branches, etc.) but I made up for it by getting a clear view of Jupiter the 4 Galilean moons. When I put in the more powerful lens, we were able to make out the bands of Jupiter. It was pretty cool to see.

Not a whole lot of reading today. I’m 354 pages through The Count of Monte Cristo.

Make-up day

I took a sick day today in order to fit in doctors appointments and stuff like that. I worked from home in between. Incidentally, it was one year ago today that I began my month-long vacation, most of which was spent in Europe.

I had a physical today and the news was good: I am still alive.

Actually, it really was good. As far as my doctor can see, I am in great shape. The blood pressure issue I had 2 years ago was either a fluke, or all of the exercise and diet changes I’ve made have cured it. My blood pressure was “excellent”, as was everything else. I have some labs that I need to get done to check things like cholesterol, but I can take those in at my own convenience.

I picked up our wedding license from Anne Arundel county today as well, checking another item off our list of wedding-related things to do.

It was my plan to mow the lawn too. I went out back and cut back a bunch of bamboo. I was about to start mowing when the neighbor boy, Josh, came by. He told me he was trying to raise money for a church trip and offered to mow my lawn for $3.

“Three dollars?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said.

“You’ve got to up your asking price.” I’ve got a pretty big yard. I studied the yard, thought about how much I needed to get done, and said, “Tell you what, you do the front and back and I’ll give you $20.” That’s what we agreed to. He did both front and back yards and I gave him a crisp new $20. Made my day a little easier and allowed me to get little more done.

But still not as much as I had hoped. I had hoped to get some packing done today, but I ran out of time. I had to call into a work meeting from 6 PM until about 7:30 PM. Now it’s about 8 and I need to get ready for bed. Back to work tomorrow. And I’ve got a softball game after work.

I’m 270 pages through The Language Instinct.

The second half of 2008 begins tomorrow.

Blood, sweat and tears (not necessarily in that order)

Up at 4:20 AM after getting to sleep after 10 PM. When I woke up, I was in no mood to go to the gym, but I ate breakfast, got ready, and headed into the office. By the time I got to the office, my mood was better and I went to the gym.

25 minutes of cardio today, abbreviated mainly because I became famished while on the elliptical. Even though I ate breakfast, I was still hungry and the feeling was growing more intense with each step. So I made it to 25 minutes and called it quits. When I got back to the office, I had my “second” breakfast (toasted peanut butter and banana sandwich). I feel much better.

You’d think the big news this morning would have been that Obama won North Carolina and nearly split Indiana, all of which was good news for Obama (it would have been better if he had decisively won both, of course). But no. The top story this morning (while I was at the gym) was the fact that northern Virgina area experienced a whopping 1.5 magnitude earthquake.

You didn’t read that wrong: 1.5.

For those of us who lived in Southern California, a 1.5 magnitude earthquake making top story in the news would be the equivalent of a 1.5 cm snow storm making top-story of the news in Boston in the middle of winter. Of course, this isn’t Socal, but still, a 1.5 earthquake is what happens when a truck passed by on the street.

I may be biased here. I lived through numerous quakes, including the deadly Northridge quake in 1994–in fact, my family lived in Northridge at the time, and had to relocate for a few months while damage to our house was repaired. It got to the point, eventually, where I didn’t even get out of bed for anything less than a 5.0 magnitude earthquake, mostly because I am a heavy sleeper and I simply slept through them.

I’m donating blood this morning. The Red Cross is here at my office taking donations and I signed up a while back. I have a 9:30 appointment. This will be my second time donating. The first time, my blood type was identified as O positive and since then, I get at least 1 call a week from the Red Cross, asking me to donate blood. This, despite the fact that you can only donate once every 45 days or so. If ever the term “vampire” applied…


I didn’t feel great when I woke up this morning, and I once again had some swelling around my left eye, and hives. My guess is that I have developed an allergy to Ibuprofen, which I took late last night. Or I’ve developed an allergy to alcohol, which seems less likely. In any event, Benedryl took care of the problem and by 10 AM, I felt much better. I’m scheduling an appointment with my doctor for a general check-up and I’ll ask him about it.

Fairly busy day today, but the retreat was over. It was nice to be able to work with my team face-to-face for a change. In particular, I spent a lot of time with Carol and Rob, who together, are like Abbott & Costello.

I had lunch with Beth today, at a Mexican food place near the bowling alley on Pico. It was really the only time we had to talk while I was out there, and the first time we’ve talked since she’s been in her new role. It was good to get to see her.

Kelly came by to go to lunch with someone she used to work with, so that I saw her around noon. I saw her again at 4:30 when she was with Laural. We headed over to Eric and Laural’s house in the Valley and had dinner there. Eric must have been cooking all day. We had all sorts of delicious foods: homemade flat-bread, on which we put homemade hummus. There was an excellent tuna dish that we also put on our flat-bread, made with delicious avocados and sushi-quality tuna. There was homemade pizza, which was outstanding. For the main course we had salads and pasta with crab meat. And for dessert that was a strawberry dish. The strawberries were marinated in sugar and balsamic vinegar, and then served with a Marscapone cheese and vanilla bean sauce. Yum!

It was really nice getting to hang out with Eric and Laural at their house–something I did only once before when I worked for Eric, way back in August 1999.

Eric drove us back to the hotel after dinner and we were both exhausted.

What weather!

It was awesome out yesterday when I left the office. I decided at the last minute to walk over to Crystal City Sports Pub, because it was so nice out. The temperature was about 84 and the skies were crystal clear. Eventually, there were about 6 or 7 of us who gathered for happy hour, but I was the only guy in the group. At one point, I managed to knock over my beer which quickly found it’s way over to Susan, who sat across from me. I felt terrible about that, and when I replaced my beer, I made sure to replace hers as well. It was almost 8 PM when Kelly and I left and headed back to her place. I made us some macaroni and cheese for dinner, and after eating, I was tired and went to bed. Kelly came to bed some time later.

Even throughout the night, the weather was simply gorgeous. The ceiling fan was going in the bedroom and it created a nice cool breeze. Nighttime temperatures cooled down a bit, but it was so comfortable–the perfect weather conditions, really. Even this morning, as I write this, there is a great breeze blowing in from outside and it looks to be another great day.

I woke up this morning with some swelling under both my eyes. Not quite like two weeks ago, when I clearly had a severe allergic reaction to something, and yet still, it makes me a little uneasy. I took an antihistamine just in case. I feel fine, and the swelling neither hurts, nor bothers me in any way, except for it’s presence, which disturbs me. I’ve always been perfectly healthy and to have something like this happen twice in two weeks (after turning 36) is a little stressful. It could be a dust allergy–something I know I’m allergic to because I was tested for it. When I get back from Santa Monica, I’ll probably make an appointment with my doctor to get it checked out.

Payday yesterday. Also, Kelly had kindly taken a portion of the change I had sitting at home to one of those bank change machines, which netted me $67. I’ve got plenty more change sitting at home, but this was a nice little bonus from the collected coffers.

Feeling better

I took a sick day from work today. The allergic reaction I had took a lot out of me and I felt like I needed a lot of sleep. Plus, I wanted to call the doctor and check with him on what had happened. Indeed, it sounds like an allergic reaction and benedryl was the proper course of action. No other symptoms since taking it and I should avoid the shampoo product I used at the W. (I’ll probably avoid all W products, and possibly all Starwood products at this point, just to be safe.)

I have lazed around in bed all day thus far. In fact I am still in bed as I write this, but I feel like I’ve gotten plenty of rest, and it’s about time I got up and got a few things done today. I did manage to watch the first two episodes of the BBC miniseries, Planet Earth. They were amazing. I plan on (finally) finishing up I. Asimov today and starting on In Memory Yet Green later today. Back to work tomorrow.

The aftermath

Remember how I mentioned not washing my hair at the hotel Saturday afternoon…? Well…

Sunday morning we were up around 8 AM I felt pretty sluggish. My head was pounding at around 6 AM, most likely from the alcohol, and I felt a little dehydrated, but water took care of that. I texted people, organizing a brunch and we lazed around until 9:30 AM or so. I felt great.

I showered around 9:30, making use of the hotel shampoo. A very short time later, I noticed some swelling around the inner corner of my right eye. It didn’t hurt, didn’t itch, but swollen it was nonetheless. I also started feeling hot–feverishly hot, in fact, but I kept it to myself initially. We waited.

Shortly before heading down the lobby at 10:30, I finally asked Kelly if she thought it was hot in our little room. She said no, and I was pretty sure something was wrong. She felt me head and agreed that I was more or less burning up. I felt nauseous and just wanted to lie still, but the show must go on, so we headed downstairs to meet people, and bring the luggage of those who had already checked out up to our room.

Eric joked about me wearing sunglasses, but when I took them off and he saw my eye, he stopped joking. By this time, I had cooled off but now felt chills and I knew I couldn’t go out to breakfast with the group. I still wasn’t sure what was wrong with me. I assumed it was pink eye, or something. However, I had an itch on my right rib cage as we approached the elevator. I pulled up my shirt to find a nice sized hive there. Believe it or not, I was mildly relieved because at least I was pretty certain it was an allergic reaction to something. The only thing that we could deduce would cause this was the shampoo in the hotel room.

I was talked into walking around the block to where everyone was having breakfast and I must admit the cool air felt good. But it was stuffy in the restaurant and I wanted to lay back in bed for while. Over my feeble protests, Kelly came with me, and with all my clothes and shoes on, I pulled the covers over my head and tried to lay perfectly still. Fever and nausea came in ever receding waves. Finally, at noon, we collected all of the luggage and headed downstairs. I got Kelly in a cab to the airport (she was heading of on a business trip) and we said goodbye to Eric, Ryane, Norm and Vicky. Then Jen, Jason, Lisa, AJ and Denisse took cabs up to Jen and Jason’s place where we hung out for the rest of the afternoon.

Within minutes of my taking Benedryl, all of the bad feelings, hives and eye swelling went away. I wasn’t sure about driving, but we ate some pizza before leaving and I felt much better. Doug and Rachel came over–Doug with very little memory of the evening before, I should add–and we got to say goodbye to them too. We picked up the car, and I drove to Newark Airport to drop Lisa off. Shortly thereafter, I let A.J. drive the rest of the way home.

I was home at around 7:30 and I felt so much better. I called Mom and Dad, opened a few remaining gifts I received (including the BBC DVD series “Planet Earth” from Norm and Vicky), cleaned up the house a bit and got ready for bed. I spoke to Kelly briefly and then turned in for the night.