Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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I’m Highly Contagious with Zombie Eyeball Disease

In the latest instalment of Beth’s 2016 health woes, apparently I am now infected with the highly contagious adenovirus. Because apparently having a cold, which this year comes associated with the “100 day cough1 and then having food poisoning wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Last Wednesday night, I played hockey. I felt completely fine, other than my little cough, which I knew was just a holdover from my January cold, and suffering this devastating upper body injury:

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It’s not as bad as it looks. There was no damage to my nail bed – I only broke off the fake nail part.

It was the first time I’ve broken a nail playing hokey. I went home from my hockey game and decorated some mini-cupcakes that I’d baked to take the work the next day for a wee tea party we were having for my boss’s birthday. Then I went to bed and realized that my hands and feet were pretty cold, which was reminiscent of my recent food poisoning, but I didn’t feel the least bit nauseated, so I didn’t think it was that again2. I had trouble getting to sleep and I thought I was having weird anxiety thoughts about work that were keeping me up – which is really unusual because (a) I rarely have trouble sleeping and (b) no one should ever really get that worked up about Agile software development – but the next

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They were so pretty!

morning I realized that I actually had fallen asleep and was having crazy fever dreams. Because I had a fever. I actually got up and got ready for work thinking, “I’m sure I’m just tired from being up late last night due to hockey and cupcake decorating and not being able to fall asleep” and then “Hmm, I think I’m a little bit warm” followed by “But I need to bring these cupcakes in to work – they are so pretty!” I finally decided to take my temperature and it was 39 degrees C – not extreme fever, but definitely a fever.

And then I thought about the idea of getting on the Skytrain travelling all the way to work feeling like crap and who knows what I had that I could be spreading around to everyone on transit and who the heck wants to eat cupcakes made by someone who is fevered anyway and so I called in sick. And thank goodness I did, because I got back into bed and then continued to have that fever for the next day and a half, alternating between the chills (like I was wearing full length yoga pants, a t-shirt and a hoodie and big fuzzy socks and a toque and was still cold under my duvet) and sweating and chills and sweating for the next day and a half. I didn’t get out of bed longer than it took to either go to the bathroom or boil water to make Neocitran, for a day. On Friday afternoon my fever broke and I finally managed to graduate to sitting on the couch. By Friday evening I was feeling considerably better, other than the appearance of a slightly sore throat and, of course, the cough. I decided I must have had the flu and now I was getting better.

Saturday was the Hot Chocolate 5 km race and I since it was sunny and since I had been stuck in bed for 2 days, I decided that since I was feeling better, I would go, but I’d be responsible and just walk it rather than run. It was only 5 km and the fresh air and stretching my legs would be good for me3. It was actually quite nice to get out for a walk like that AND I got my first race medal of 2016 AND I got a delicious hot chocolate.

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First race medal of 2016. I think this is the shiniest medal in my whole collection!

I took it easy the rest of Saturday, but Sunday my throat started to be more sore and I decided that while a walk was one thing, a hockey game was an entirely different beast and maybe I shouldn’t push myself and instead should rest up and try to get 100% better for the playoffs. I also decided that if I still had a sore throat in the morning I would go see my doctor because maybe it was strep throat?

So today I went into work and called my doctor’s office as soon as it opened and got an appointment for 11:45 am and almost every person I saw at my office before I left to go to the doctor’s office said “What the hell is wrong with your eyes?” (or something to that effect). Because Captain Oblivious here managed to get ready for work – including putting on my makeup – without noticing that my eyes were the most bloodshot eyes that have ever been bloodshot. When I got to the doctor’s office my eyes were also the first thing my doctor commented on and she said, “You’ve got adenovirus”. Or more specifically pharyngoconjunctival fever caused by an adenovirus. Apparently this starts out with the whole fever and sore throat thing (when she looked in my throat she said “I can see ulcers in the back of your throat”) and then progresses to a conjunctivitis, a.k.a., pink eye (though in my opinion “pink” does not really do it justice), which will probably start to get all disgusting and goopy in addition to looking like someone filled in the whites of my eyes with a red Sharpie marker. Since this is a virus, there’s nothing I can do other than wait it out, though thankfully it’s a self-limiting condition. Then she said, “Adenovirus is highly contagious. You really shouldn’t go to your office this week at all.”

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Zombie eyeball

There’s some about being called “highly” contagious that seems so much worse than just “contagious”.

Of course, I’d already taken transit into work, had a few meetings at the office, and taken the bus to the doctor’s office. So my apologies to anyone I may have crossed paths with – I didn’t know I was highly contagious and then once I did, I did my best to touch the bare minimum of things I needed to touch in order to transit my way home. And now I’m stuck in isolation in my apartment until Friday. Which is like the worst nightmare of an extreme extrovert such as myself.

Before I left my doctor’s office I did ask two all important questions: “Will I be OK to play my hockey playoffs this coming weekend” (Yes.) and “Can I give my highly contagious adenovirus to my cats?” (No.)

My doctor did also tell me that sinus rinses have been shown to help with the cough, so I picked some of that stuff up along with some eye drops and enough groceries to (hopefully) last me the week4. So I guess I have squirting some liquid up my nose to look forward to before going to bed. Which is actually what I’m going to do right now because how the heck did it get to be 11 pm already?

Here’s hoping that I get a good night’s rest and that my eyes aren’t glued shut with zombie eyeball conjunctivitis goop in the morning!

  1. My doctor told me that people are having a chronic cough for like 3 months after a cold this year and so everyone’s been calling it the “100 day cough”… though when I just googled that, apparently that nickname has already been taken by pertussis, a.k.a., whooping cough. []
  2. And I hadn’t eaten anything suspect since the food poisoning, since I’m being careful to not get food poisoning again. []
  3. I was supposed to do the Hot Chocolate 5 km race last year, but after I signed up I found out it conflicted with my hockey playoffs and I couldn’t do it. And I didn’t want to miss it again this year. []
  4. Apologies to anyone I crossed paths with in the grocery store – not really much I could do that as I needed medial supplies and sustenance and I live alone – still haven’t trained the cats to do my grocery shopping #SadLife. – I did my best to touch only the minimum amount of stuff to buy the things I needed. []

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I Was Poisoned… By Food!

This posting comes with a TMI content warning!

I was on way to work on Monday and half way through my Skytrain ride, I started to feel nauseated, which is most unusual for me. I managed to sit through my 7:30 am offsite meeting for 2 hours1, got a ride back to the office from a colleague, and then had my (mercifully short) team meeting, but by then I was like “I am *really* not feeling good. I have to go home.” Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that I have to be practically on death’s door to call in sick to work2. I somehow managed to survive the Skytrain ride home and got into my apartment and then basically just dropped my bag, my coat, and my boots in the entranceway and crawled into my bed, where I curled up in a ball of nausea, foolishly thinking I could sleep it off. After awhile of suffering like this (combined with, for some reason, hands and feet that were freezing like they were made of ice), I got up out of bed, headed into the bathroom, and puked violently. Like, so violently my cats were starting at me in horror afterwards. I hadn’t eaten anything that morning, so the only thing I had to puke up was my morning coffee, which I’d consumed before the nausea set in. My morning coffee… and stomach acid. If you’ve never puked up the unholy combination of coffee and stomach acid, I don’t recommend it. It’s absolutely horrifying. It did, however, make the nausea come down quite a bit, so I was able to get into bed and sleep for several hours. I awoke briefly, talked to my mom on the phone3, downed some Neo-Citran in the hopes that it would help with my aches and chills4, and went back to sleep again until about 9 pm5. I was then awake again for about an hour, during which I talked on the phone and tried to each some soup – I managed to stomach about 5 spoonfuls – and then went to sleep again for another 10 hours.

So Tuesday, I didn’t feel nauseous, though my stomach felt off all day – at some points I’d say it was stomach pain, at other points it felt more just tender, and then at some point hunger set in to confuse me as to what sensation(s) I was actually feeling. I was also weak and still had a bit of the chills. I called in sick, and spent most of the day lying on the couch watching Netflix or reading6, with a bit of napping in there for good measure. At some point during the day, my back really started hurting, so I consulted Dr. Google, who told me that back pain commonly occurs with food poisoning, which supported my theory that I had been poisoned by food!
Stop Poisoning your body with food!

My guess is that it was from some leftovers that I ate on Sunday that were probably too old7, but since, depending on what bug is poisoning you, it can actually be from something that you ate several days before, so I guess I’ll never really know! I was in no shape to attend the Arts Council fundraiser that I was supposed to go to, which made me sad8.

At any rate, today I felt like 80% better – my only remaining symptoms were feeling a bit weak/tired and my brain felt a little fuzzy. I was scheduled to go to the first day of a two-day training session that I really wanted to attend, so I decided I was well enough to do that, but t it probably would not be safe to play my hockey game tonight9.

So basically, the universe is out to get me, given that I’ve had a cold for most of January/February, I *still* haven’t gotten rid of the cough, and just when I’d gotten back into a running routine10, I was hit with this nasty bout of food poisoning right when the weather got nice enough for more running! Fingers crossed that I’ll be better by the weekend, as I’m only 10 days away from my first race of the year!

Image Credit: Posted by Joseph Bergen on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. Like a 2 hour meeting that starts at 7:30 am isn’t bad enough?? []
  2. A trait I inherited from my Dad. My Dad went to work when he had shingles!! []
  3. Because there is nothing, imho, so comforting as my mom when I’m sick. []
  4. Which it did. []
  5. Which meant I’d slept right through my strata AGM. Not that I’d have been in any shape to attend it had I been awake. []
  6. I read an entire book! []
  7. Though I also had some goat cheese which could have been the culprit []
  8. I was hoping to finally meet the mayor! []
  9. Tired + fuzzy brained + blades on my feet just seems like a dangerous combination. []
  10. I went for three runs in a week! []

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Don’t Tell My Hands, My Achy Breaky Hands

A few months back, I noticed my hands were kind of achy. It was the day after a hockey game so I thought, “Meh. Probably just from holding my stick too tight. It is the start of the new hockey season, after all!” But then I remembered I played summer hockey season, so it wasn’t like I hadn’t been holding my stick all summer… but I didn’t give it too much thought, until I found my hands were achy again a few days later. And then again. And then I noticed that I seemed to be dropping stuff – like my keys or pens or my phone. I mean, I drop stuff all the time, but this seemed like it was more often than usual. Or was it? Maybe I was just noticing it more because my hands were feeling achy?

Anyway, I figured I’d ask my doctor about it – better safe than sorry, right? She asked some questions and took a look and said I had no signs or symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and though osteoarthritis wasn’t impossible, it’s probably just overuse. I do type a lot – and since I’d just started teaching a new course, I’d been not only typing all day long at work, but also typing all evening long several days a week when I got home from work. She sent me for X-rays to see if there were any signs of osteoarthritis – they came back negative, so overuse is most likely the cause.

I mentioned my hands to the chiropractor that I see (he adjusts my feet, which tend to get jammed up when I do a lot of running on account of my high arches, and loosens up various other muscles that hockey and running tend to make tight) and he told me about low-level laser therapy, which both he and the physiotherapists at his office are trained to do. According to him, the machine that they use is Health Canada approved as both safe and effective. I said I would do some more research, because I’m a skeptical person, especially when someone stands to make money by convincing me of something (he owns the clinic, so even having the physiotherapist do the therapy will result in him making money.). Also, I don’t know much about Health Canada’s regulations for medical devices. I know that Heath Canada regulates drugs such they have to be demonstrated as both safe and effective for specific condition or conditions in order to be given a Drug Identification  Number (DIN), but I also know that Health Canada’s regulations for Natural Health Products are such that a product has been be shown to be safe to get a Natural Health Product Number, but it doesn’t have to actually have been shown to be effective1! Also, when you say something is effective, you have to say what it’s effective for. You don’t say “this drug was shown to be effective”, you say “this drug was effective at reducing pain” or curing a particular form of cancer or getting your blood glucose levels under control, etc. Given that I don’t actually have a diagnosis beyond “my hands are achy, on and off, and maybe it’s because I use them a lot?”, I was a bit skeptical that Health Canada could have certified the machine to be effective at curing on-and-off achy hands – though perhaps just “pain relief” is a possibility. Anyway, I went to the scientific literature and to Quackwatch and it seems that the results are equivocal. This machine may work for some indications (e.g., pain relief, but maybe not better than just applying heat) but we need more and better designed research studies.

At any rate, I figured that it seemed like this machine is safe enough to try to see what happens. I have some physiotherapy coverage as part of my health benefits, so it’s covered. So I booked a consultation with a physiotherapist to see what their assessment of my achy breaky hands would be. Her assessment was the same as my doctor and the chiro – probably overuse and omg, your forearms are ridiculously tight! – and she recommended giving the laser a try. So I went for 6 rounds of having laser beams shot into my hands:

Laser beams being shot into my hands

Having laser beams shot into my hands

During the few weeks that it took to go through the six sessions, I really didn’t notice any difference. But I took a week off after session #6 to see how my hands felt. I didn’t think much about it over the week and at the end of the week when it was time to email the clinic how I was feeling…. I realized that my hands hadn’t been achy on and off this week. I still noticed them if I tried to open a tight jar lid or lifted something heavy, but they weren’t just randomly aching on and off the way they had been. And despite it being cold out, the cold wasn’t making them ache the way it had before either. Now, I have no idea if the laser therapy actually caused this to happen. This was n = 1, with no control group, and potential confounding variables. The achiness may have just resolved on its own. Or this could be a placebo effect. I’d also gotten a massage during this time and had the massage therapist work on my super tight forearms, so maybe that fixed stuff2? At any rate, my last treatment was just over three weeks ago and my hands still seem to be better – though I’ve has a massage in that time and, as I type this, I feel a slightly ache, but that’s probably because I’m paying a lot of attention to this right now given what I’m typing about!

So, in conclusion, I can draw no scientific conclusions about any of this, but I’m happy that my hands aren’t aching so much anymore.

  1. There is some language in the regulations around having to show efficacy, but this can be just photocopying pages out of pharmacopoeia (i.e. a book about making drugs that is “published by the authority of a government or a medical or pharmaceutical society” (Source) and since there is not necessarily any requirement that things are actually shown to be effective/efficacious to get into those books, it’s a bit disingenuous to say that this is sufficient to demonstrate a product actually works. []
  2. The physiotherapist had suggested that I do a bunch of stretches several times a day and do alternating ice and heat baths for my arms, and I basically did the stretches a couple of times but then never did them again and never did the ice/heat bath thing, so I don’t think that was really a confounder in this. []

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90-day Fitness & Accountability Challenge

When I was in Toronto at Christmas, I had the good fortune of hanging out with Dr. Dan and Mr. Rick. There was dinner and beer and shopping and other such things of a celebratory nature. And there was also a discussion of an idea Rick had come up with: the 90-day Fitness & Accountability Challenge. The long version of it is over on Rick’s blog. The quick version of it is that Rick has motivated, inspired, and recruited a group of nearly 30 people to make a commitment to challenge themselves to improve their fitness levels over a 90 day period. The challenge each person is taking on is personal – by first assessing our current level of activity, we then said “What can I do that will push myself out of my comfort zone?”

For me, I’ve been doing 4 runs per week since November as part of the YVR Nike Running study that I’m participating in, so I decided that to really kick it up a notch, I’m going to do 6 workouts per week. The workouts have to be a minimum of 30 minutes and will likely consist of 4 days per week of running, plus hockey and possibly some yoga and maybe some skiing. I’m going to set up some spreadsheet awesomeness to track all this – Dr. Dan did some kickass tracking widgets over on his blog and that inspired me, but that will have to wait for another day. I can tell you that since the challenge started on Monday, I’ve done two runs and a hockey game, and I have two more runs and two more hockey games scheduled before the end of day on Sunday1, so I’m starting off strong. I think scheduling things in advance will be the key for me in this challenge. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how things progress!

  1. In fact, on Sunday I have a 13 km run in the morning, a mid-day hockey game, and an evening hockey game scheduled! []

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Massage Therapy

Given that I do a fair bit of running and hockey, and I also have a desk job, I’m extremely lucky to have a good health benefits package that allows me to get some much needed massage therapy. When I started working in Surrey, I started going to Starr Family Chiropractic, for both chiropractor (Dr. Ian) and massage (Greta), and they are absolutely fabulous. I highly recommend them to anyone in Surrey looking for these services.

However, when I changed office locations to a different place in Surrey, their clinic became rather out of the way for me. I Skytrain to work most days, and getting to Starr would require me driving to work so that I could drive down King George after work (i.e., during rush hour). Especially given how insanely busy I was this fall, that just wasn’t workable for me. So, as sad as I was to stop going there, I decided to find myself a new massage therapist1 And I managed to find one that is across the street from my place in New West at the Columbia Integrated Health Centre and I quite like my massage therapist, Dennis2.

Also, much to my surprise, at my last massage therapy appointment before I left on holidays, they gave me this pointsetta to thank me for my business:

Day 155

I thought that was a really nice touch!

So, if you are looking for a good place for massage therapy, I recommend both Starr Family Chiropractic and Columbia Integrated Health Centre3. And thus concludes today’s four postings about businesses that I like!

  1. Have you ever noticed how awkward it is to stop seeing a massage therapist (or hair stylist or any similar type service person) that you see regularly? It feels like you are breaking up with them! So awkward. []
  2. I also saw Elulu one time when Dennis wasn’t available and she was pretty awesome too! []
  3. Again, blog posting is not paid and I didn’t get any free services for blogging. Just want to share stuff I like! []

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#mayhealth

Where the hell did April go1? It seems that tomorrow is the last day of the fourth month of the year. Which means that we are just one day away from the May Health Challenge!

As you may recall2, last year some fine Guelphites put out a challenge to anyone who is awesome enough to take up said challenge. And that challenge is to set a small, but challenging, health-related goal for the month of May. And then tell people about it – because research shows that publicly stating your goals makes it more likely that you’ll stick to them. Last year, my challenges were to (a) eat breakfast every day3 and (b) do some kind of exercise every day4, as those were two things I’d found I’d fallen out of the habit of doing when I turned my life all topsy-turvy by taking on a part-time MBA program in addition to my full-time job. I’m happy to report that those habits seem to have stuck with me, as I am in a routine of eating breakfast most days and am actually on day 121 of consecutive days of doing some kind of physical activity5!.

For this year’s May Health Challenge, I decided to again look at what bad habits I’ve fallen into lately – and thus come up with an area where I can work on re-establishing a healthy routine6 and one thing immediately came to mind: I haven’t been making dinners at home very much recently. And when I do, they have more often than not been of the quick – and not quite as healthy – variety. In fact, reading Mark’s7 blog posting about his May Health Challenge, I saw this statement which pretty much sums up my dining of late:

I eat out because of convenience (laziness), a perceived lack of time (poor planning), or as a social event (I have good friends).

The thing is – I actually love to cook! I love to take fresh ingredients, chop them, mix them, season them, and make them into a feast of deliciousness! I like to put on some music and dance around the kitchen as I do so. On occasion, I even do so with a nice glass of wine. But lately I’ve just not been that organized, so even if I do feel like cooking something, I don’t have any of the things I need to cook something wonderful – and that is if I can come up with an idea of what I want to cook. When I’m busy – as I have been at work and school for more months now than I can even count – I tend to feel overwhelmed by end of the day that making even the smallest choice seems impossible. What should I have for dinner? I have no idea. I’ve already made 100,000 decisions today and I’m all out of decision-making capacity!

Happily, I know exactly the fix for this problem of mine: meal planning. If I actually sit down on, say, Sunday evening, and plan out my meals for the week, I can then (a) not have to make last minute dinner decisions and (b) plan out my grocery shopping accordingly, so I have everything I need when I need it, thus resulting in a less stressed out and more healthily fed Dr. Beth.

Here’s my plan for this week – since May 1 is Wednesday, I figured I’d get a head start and include this whole week:

Meal planning - Week of 29 April 2013

Friday I’ve marked in a “school night”, since I have class on Friday and will go out for dinner with classmates8. My challenge isn’t that I have to cook for myself every day, just that I have to have planned my meals. I think that even just being more thoughtful about making a conscious decision about what I’m doing for my meals will help me be a little more aware of what I’m eating, rather than just kind of going along not paying much attention and suddenly realizing I’ve eaten at restaurants more than half the days in a month.

You’ve probably also noticed that I haven’t made a plan for Sunday just yet. I actually just sat down and planned out the other nights tonight, in preparation for this blog posting, and kind of ran out of steam. I’m taking suggestions if anyone has any good ideas!

For my second May Health Challenge, I’m going to do something that doesn’t, at first glance, sound like it has anything to do with health. I’m going to pick my outfits for the week on Sunday night, when I do my meal planning. “But what could this possibly have to do with health?” you ask? For me, it’s about my mental health. I find that on weeks when I pick out my outfits for the week and line them up in my closet so that each morning I can just grab an outfit and put it on, I feel so much better than weeks when every day I get up in the morning, am completely indecisive about what I want to wear, scramble around to find a shirt that goes with the skirt I finally picked, then am not able to find the sweater that goes with that outfit9, and on it goes. When I can just grab and outfit and go, I find I get to work feeling more relaxed/less frazzled and ready to take on the day!

So there you have it – my May Health Challenges! What are you going to challenge yourself to do this May?

  1. Not to mention January through March. []
  2. “May” recall! Get it?? I slay me! []
  3. Which I accomplished. []
  4. Which I managed to do 26 out of the 30 days of the challenge – as the 31st was reserved for celebrating! []
  5. As part of 101 things to do list to do some kind of physical activity every day for a year! []
  6. This is actually a good time to set up a new routine, as I recently broke up with boyfriend, so all my routines that I’d established over the last ~a year we’d been living together are gone anyway. Yeah, I just revealed my breakup in a footnote. I’m a heartless bastard. Or one who doesn’t like talking about this stuff on my blog. The jury is still out. []
  7. Mark being one of the aforementioned Guelphites. []
  8. Going out for meals on class weekends is actually something that I really enjoy – it’s a chance to socialize with my classmates. And in an intense program like ours, the support and camaraderie really does help you get through. []
  9. My office is freezing, so I always have to have a sweater. []

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Death’s Counterfeit

                                            Awake, awake!
Ring the alarum-bell! Murder and treason!
Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake!
Shake off this downy sleep, death’s counterfeit,
And look on death itself! Up, up, and see
The great doom’s image! Malcolm! Banquo!
As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites,
To countenance this horror! Ring the bell.
-MacBeth, Act 2, Scene 3

DSC02144When I was a baby, I didn’t sleep a lot. My mom says that she always had the impression that I didn’t want to go to sleep because I thought I might miss something. Not much has changed in 35 years. Though I do like sleeping, I always feel like there’s so much to see and read and do and not nearly enough time to fit it all in1!

In one of Dr. Brené Brown’s talks, she talks about the pervasiveness of scarcity – where we always feel like we aren’t enough and we go to bed thinking “I didn’t do enough today”. Given that I’m always trying to do all the things, I’m definitely no stranger to this sentiment – but it usually comes after me staying up far later than I should, thinking, “I just need to read one more article” or “finish one more assignment question” or “write one more blog posting”. (A recent interview with Brown in the Washington Post was titled “Exhaustion is not a status symbol” – which really resonated with me, as “exhausted” is my typical answer to the question “How are you?”). Lately, I’ve been making an attempt to go to bed not thinking that I haven’t done enough. Instead, I’m trying to think “I’ve done more than enough today! Time for some well-earned sleep! There will always be more that could be done, but in the grand scheme of thing, must it be done? Not really. The world will not end simply because I haven’t done every single possible thing that could be done. Part of this is about acknowledging how much I actually do – which is a lot – and part of it is about recognizing my limitations – as much as I hate to admit it – as a mere human.

Comfyness Not only is cutting into sleep time with the thought that “I haven’t done enough” not overly good for one’s mental health, sleep deprivation is also bad for your health. It’s linked to obesity, as well as a host of other health risks. And getting ~6 hours of sleep per night – which I would consider an average’s night sleep during the week – affects your “coordination, reaction time and judgment”, resulting in impairment similar to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% – the warning level for drunk driving ((Source.)).

Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed.
-Arthur Schopenhauer

So, does all this mean that I’m going to get a proper 8 hours of sleep every night now? Knowing me – it’s doubtful. But perhaps I’ll try to be a little more reasonable about it – recognizing that it’s OK if I don’t get everything on my to-do list done and that I’m more effective after a good night’s sleep anyway.

Image Credit: Photo of me & my friend Sheila asleep in the car is my own photo. Alarm clock photo was posted by Guilherme Tavares on Flickr.

  1. Case in point: I’ve started drafting this blog posting on Dec 5, 2011 (!), but haven’t gotten around to actually writing it until more than a year later! []

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I Declare December The Month of Vegetables!

Vegetables
I’ve decided to get serious about vegetables. Along with my slothiness when it comes to exercise, I’ve been rather lackadaisical when it comes to my fruit and vegetable intake. I mean, it’s not like I’ve been eating *no* fruits and veg, but I haven’t been eating enough and I certainly haven’t been getting enough variety. I’ve been better in recent weeks, since I started making a bit of an effort to up the fruits and veggies, but I think it’s time to kick it into high gear.

Now, I know you are probably thinking, “Beth, have you forgotten that December is the month of shortbread and gingerbread cookies and egg nog and other such tasty treats?” Rest assured, I have not. I really do expect that I shall be partaking in festive goodies. But that’s all the more reason to focus on the veg! Filling up on healthy fruits and veggies will (a) make sure that I just have one tasty treat, not an entire tray, and (b) don’t feel guilty over those treats!

I do have a few specific plans in place help me be successful in this month of plant-based goodness. These include:

  • planning my meals in advance, so I’m not just throwing something together quickly and forgetting the veg
  • keeping stocked with cottage cheese that I can have with fruit for breakfast1
  • keeping stocked with some canned fruits and vegetables so that if I run out of fresh stuff, I’m not completely fruit & veg-less.
  • keeping stocked with V8 juice2
  • stocking up with veggies that I know Devon also likes3, so that he’ll be inclined to make a tasty veg on the nights he makes dinner.

I’m sure I’ll come up with a few more strategies, but these should get me going.

Also, just after I posted my blog posting about using my epic fail from the November Threeway Challenge of Awesomeness as a learning experience rather than beating myself up over it, I saw this article over on Lifehacker: Want to Create a New Habit? Get Ready to Break It. It’s all about how we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we try to create a new habit – like exercising every day – and then we don’t succeed every.single.day because it that’s just setting one’s self up for failure4.

For the record, I have actually scheduled in my exercise for this week. Today I biked 11 km on the stationary bike when I got home from school; tomorrow, Thursday, & Friday I’m going to yoga; on Wednesday I have a hockey game; and Tuesday & Saturday I’ll do some biking. I shall keep you posted on how this experiment of thoughtful scheduling and veggie-focusing goes!

Image Credit: Posted by Martin Cathrae on Flickr.

  1. This will also help with my desire to actual eat breakfast regularly. []
  2. Yes, I know it’s crazy high in sodium, but I like it, so I know I’ll drink it, and I have low blood pressure, so I’m not overly concerned with sodium. []
  3. He’s picky about veggies, but does like, for example, asparagus, beets, and kale, and can tolerate squash. []
  4. In conclusion, the Internets say I’m right! woohoo! []

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Why, Oh Why, Do I Still Have the Zombie Plague Virus?

Or, you know, a cold. The question remains: Why does my body insist on maintaining this hacking cough, this running nose, these achy sinuses, and, did I mention?, this hacking cough?

I don’t generally get sick that often, but when I do, boy, do I1. Or maybe I just get whiny about it2. Of course, it’s probably the fact that I don’t slow down tends to make these things drag on. In my defence, on Friday, I actually make the conscious decision to *not* go out after work for a run or a ride on the exercise bike or a yoga class, as I had intended to do as part of the November Challenge. Because I actually stopped and thought about it for a minute and remembered that the November Challenge is about being *healthy* and the healthiest choice to make when I’m that sick is to actually let myself rest. The November Challenge is also meant to be a *challenge* and slowing down and resting is challenging for an overachiever such as myself. I’m not going to say I don’t feel a twinge of guilt over it, but I do think it was the right decision.

So, I’ve rested and I’ve also gotten a proper night’s sleep two nights in a row since then, and I will do so again tonight3. So can I be done with this damned cold now please?

  1. That sentence totally makes sense. I think. I’d blame the cold meds, but I haven’t taken any. I rarely take meds, because I am my father’s daughter. []
  2. From the outside, it amounts to the same thing, I think. []
  3. As it’s a holiday tomorrow in lieu of Remembrance Day today, so I’ll be taking advantage of not having to get up at 6:30 am like I do on workdays. []

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Have You Gotten Your Flu Shot?

Flu shot Got my flu shot at work today. One of the benefits of working in Public Health is that every fall a nurse pops her head in my office and say “Who wants a flu shot?”

If you don’t happen to be so lucky as to work in a Public Health Unit or have a flu shot clinic set up at your workplace, you you can check out the BC Flu Clinic Locator