Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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NaBloPoMo – Day 14 – Sick

So I’m totes sick today. It started with a sore throat and a headache yesterday, and today I’m feverish/chilled/headachey/fuzzy headed. I worked from home today – I couldn’t take a sick day because there was stuff that happened while I was away that I had to deal with – but I was able to do it via teleconference so that I didn’t go into work to contaminate other people. Unfortunately, I had to teach tonight and I have no idea even how one calls in sick when they are a course instructor and nor could I just teleconference into the class, so I just warned my students that I was sick and they should probably keep their distance. Hopefully I’ll get a good night’s sleep and feel better tomorrow.

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My Final Day in Quarantine

So I genuinely thought I’d blog on all my days in quarantine since, you know, I’m stuck in quarantine and have nothing better to do than blog. But, as it turns out, when you are stuck in quarantine you end up with nothing to write about because ohmygodsoboring! Today, thankfully, is my last day in quarantine as my doctor said I would no longer be infectious by the weekend, which is good because it’s playoffs in one of my hockey leagues starting tomorrow (and I specifically asked about it and she said I’d be fine to play on Saturday).

My throat is still sore – yesterday was the worst it has been but today seems a bit better. I guess it just takes some time for the ulcers in one’s throat to heal even after the virus has burnt itself out. My eyes look a lot better though – here are some photos I took of the progression of my zombie eyeballs over the week (not for the squeamish!)

Monday:

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Tuesday:

Eyeballs are still zombified

Wednesday:

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Thursday 10 am:

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Thursday 1:30 pm:

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Friday:

IMG_2193

It’s weird that my eyes actually looked better on Wednesday than Thursday, but I’m not zombie eyeball-oologist, so maybe that’s just how zombie eyeball disease works.

I’m going to spend my last evening in captivity bleaching every surface I’ve touched this week as well as laundering all my sheets, towels, and everything I’ve worn. Because being sick wasn’t bad enough – apparently I now have to clean too! Ugh. Worst. Disease. Ever.

Thankfully I’ve had a few friends who I’ve been able to chat with on the phone or by FaceTime over the week and I’ve had my wee kitties to keep me company too:

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Only one more sleep ’til freedom!

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Quarantine: Day 1

So I’ve been in quarantine for more than a full day now and I have to say: quarantine is not for extroverts. I’m pretty sure I’ve got cabin fever, which, happily does not involve an actual fever but, sadly, does not involve a cabin. I kind of wish I was at a cabin. Anyhoo, here’s some random thoughts I had today, in handy bullet list format.

  • Last night I decided to make pasta for dinner, with homemade pasta sauce. Figured it would be soft on my sore throat and full of healthy veggies. Didn’t think through the part about how the first thing I do when I make homemade pasta sauce is chop onions. Did not feel good on my zombie eyeballs.
  • Being home alone is very boring when it is forced upon you.
  • I can’t believe I am bored when I own several devices that are capable of accessing all of human knowledge and entertainment. Yet here I am.
  • Some have suggested that I’m having all the illnesses right now because for the first time in a long time, my stress level is low, so my adrenaline & cortisol levels have come down, allowing infectious agents to take over. Last semester was super busy and stressful because I was teaching a new course that I’d never taught before and then right at the end of the semester I went through an unexpected relationship break up that was really hard on me. I’d just sort of recovered from all that stress when my immune system decided to go on vacation, leaving me undefended. The lesson here is: never be not stressed.
  • I do not like the sensation of squirting saline up my nostrils, but I’m doing it in the hopes that it really will help make my sore throat and cough go away.
  • Things I have missed out on – or will be missing out on – due to my illnesses:
    • two hockey games
    • Arts Council fundraiser
    • movie with Kalev
    • book club
    • strata AGM
    • my boss’s birthday tea (for which I bake cupcakes that have now gone to waste)
    • massage appointment
    • cleaning person coming over to clean my place (I had to tell her she can’t come on her usual day because I’ll be here, being all highly infectious)
  • I also had to reschedule two important work meetings that could not be conducted without me there in person (Not going to lie – that does make me feel a wee bit special!)
  • I’m choked that I bought a monthly transit pass for March. You need to take transit most weekdays out of a month to make it a good deal and since I’m being forced to stay home four days this week, plus I stayed home sick two days last week, I would have been better just paying per trip.

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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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Gimme Sympathy

Yesterday afternoon at work my throat started to get a little bit sore. Being a “walk it off” type of person when it comes to illness1, I had a cup of tea and figured that should fix me up. Went to a board meeting after work and then my salsa dance class.

This morning, I woke up with my throat burning like the fire of 1000 suns. But the thing was, I had a meeting at work where I needed to review some stuff with a governance group and I was on their agenda for 50 mins of their 1 hour meeting. And the only co-worker who could reasonable have covered this for me is away on holidays for spring break. So I dragged my sad little self into the office to do this meeting, update the documents we were reviewing to give back to them, and then came home sick2. On the way home, I stopped in at the grocery store to get some stereotypical sick person groceries:

My sad little grocery order

I ate some soup, drank some OJ, and then went to sleep for several hours. My kitties joined me for this epic nap, because they are such good caregivers. Or possibly because they just nap all day anyway – I’m not usually here during the day, so it’s entirely possible that this is how they normally spend their time.

For anyone who knows me, this is a monumental day, as calling in sick to work goes against ever fibre of my being3. And given how sore my throat is and how tired and weak I am at the moment, I might have to call in sick again tomorrow4. Two sick days in a row for me – I believe that is a sign of the end of times.


Me and my kitty caregivers

  1. A trait I inherited from my Dad, for sure. []
  2. When I mentioned to the meeting chair, who had commented that a few people weren’t at the meeting because they’d called in sick, that I was also sick, she said that something was going around the office, as tonnes of people have been off sick. Which was the first I’d heard about it! I thought everyone was just away for spring break! []
  3. Seriously I have – and I’m not even exaggerating – 6 months work of sick leave accumulated in my sick bank at work because I so very rarely call in sick… and my sick bank has been ported from each of my previous two employers, as all the health authorities in the area have portability of sick time and other things. []
  4. Which will really make me sad, as there is an ethics rounds presentation about a zombie apocalypse that I *really* want to go see at lunch tomorrow! []

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Sick :(

Back when I was a student the first time around, I often got sick after the end of exams. My theory was that during exams I was stressed out, so my cortisol levels were high and one effect of cortisol is to suppress your immune response. Which meant you were susceptible to catching germs and once exams were over and your cortisol levels came down, your immune system kicked back in and started fighting off those germs, resulting in the symptoms of the cold or flu or whatever it was you were sick with.

Well, apparently things are different in my old age because even though I’m not quite finished with my 6 weeks of crazy school times (I have a client presentation for my digital marketing class on Saturday and a paper and presentation for my health care management class on Monday, then a couple of things left for my philosophy/business ethics course), I’m sick. It started with a sore throat on Saturday1 and now I’m sniffly, sneezy, and headache-y. Do. Not. Like.

  1. The last time I had a sore throat the night before a half marathon, it turned out that I had H1N1 influenza, so as long as this illness doesn’t isn’t a pandemic, it’ll be an improvement over that time! []

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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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Icky Sicky

When I was in university (the first time1 through), after exams, I would always get sick. My theory for this is that during high stress periods, like exam time, the stress hormone cortisol is high. One of the functions of cortisol is to depress the immune system, so all through exam time, when my cortisol levels are high, my immune system isn’t responding as it should to, say, the cold virus. Once exams are done, my cortisol levels come down, my immune system kicks back up, and responds to said cold virus, causing the signs and symptoms of a cold2.

Well, apparently old immune system habits die hard, because ever since the end of my MBA core program, I’ve been feeling under the weather. Where by “under the weather”, I mean sore throat, coughing, achy3, and I just want to curl up in my bed and sleep for a week. (And before anyone says anything, let me clarify that this started well before I had my flu shot!) I have to say that I’m ever so happy that (a) it’s a long weekend this weekend and (b) I actually get the weekend off – I’m going to sleep in all three days! Oh sleeping in, how I’ve missed you!

  1. Or first three times, depending on if you count each degree as it’s own “time”. []
  2. I have no idea if this is actually true, but it’s my theory and I’m sticking to it []
  3. Of both the muscle and head variety. []

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A Brief History of Vomiting

So I have an excellent excuse for not blogging yesterday: I was too busy barfing.

I hate vomiting. I mean, I know that no one *likes* vomiting, but I really, really, really hate vomiting. I also have a tendency to experience petechia when I barf – the blood vessels in the skin around my eyes burst from the pressure of the barfing, so I have purple dots all around my eyes. As far as barfing goes, yesterday’s wasn’t even that bad – didn’t have any petechia at all!  I’d been out for a run with Alicia and near the end of the run, I said that my stomach was feeling a bit off, but I chalked it up to being hungry, having not eaten since lunchtime and being at the end of a 17 km run at 7:30 p.m.  By the end of dinner, I was pretty chilly, but I chalked that up to having gotten sweaty from running in the sun and it now being after sundown and I’d cooled off. During the drive home I had put a sweater on and had the heat turned up, but I was still chilled. When I got home, I immediately jumped into the shower, but despite the very hot water, I still couldn’t get warm. And my finger tips were numb, which I thought was weird. And then I was hit by nausea and thought, “oh my god, I’m going to barf.”  You know what is a very unfun thing to do? Being super chilly, dripping wet from your shower, but you can’t towel off because you are too busy barfing. Very unfun. I was slightly feverish and headachy for the rest of the night and I still felt off this morning, so I called in sick and spent most of the day sleeping. Fortunately, I’m feeling better, though I’m still a little scared to eat anything but bland foods.

But, like I said, this was nowhere near the worse vomiting I’ve ever experienced. There are a few instances of barfing in my barfing history that really stand out in my mind. If you are squeamish, turn back now. You’ve been warned.

My first memory of a really horrible vomit was when I was a little kid kid. I’d just eaten Chef Boyardee canned ravioli, so when I barfed my barf was the same bright red as the tomato sauce. And, really, it kind of looked like canned ravioli, which, incidentally, I couldn’t eat for many years after that.

There was this one time in high school when I was vomiting and I couldn’t stand the sight of the vomit (probably thanks to that early my-vomit-looks-like-what-I-just-ate experience) which only served to make me vomit more, so I kept flushing the toilet the entire time I was vomiting. Which caused Sarah to decide my new nickname was “Flush.”

I also remember having some horrible projectile vomiting when I lived in Hamilton. My then-husband was positive that I must be pregnant, because there’s no other possible reason a female could barf, right? The next day he became extremely ill, as did his friend and his friend’s entire family (who we’d been visiting) so my vote is on food poisoning for that one.

The next really horrible instance of vomiting that really stands was on a trip to Seattle. This instance involved gnocci, a night club, and, most unfortunately, 151. It was the first and only time I’ve ever puked until everything in my system had been purged, to the point that I was puking bile. It also earned me the name “Puke-ahontas.”

Then, of course, there was the instance of coffee ground vomitus. Because nothing says awesomeness like when your throw up is black.  I was actually a little afraid when I felt so nauseous after my long run yesterday that it was going to be coffe ground vomitus again, as that happened after a run of similar length and the doctors were never able to figure out why that happened, so it was actually made me feel a bit better to see that my puke wasn’t black and gritty.

Anyhoo, I’m pretty tired, despite the fact that all I did today was sleep and drink tea, so I’m guessing my body just needs more rest to finish getting over whatever it was that made me puke yesterday. And so it’s back to bed for me!

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I Am A Cyborg, Just Like My Car

I wrote this last night, but it appears that my computer messed up and didn’t post it.  So I’m posting it now.

I Am A Cyborg, Just Like My Car or IUD, Yeah You Know Me.

So, fair warning: if you aren’t interested in reading about my uterus, you may as well stop reading right now.

Now that no one is reading, I can say that today I had my IUD replaced.  And it hurts like a sunovabith. (Another fair warning: there will be swears).

I first got an IUD five years ago and I distinctly remember it being by far the most excruciatingly painful experience of my life.  In fact, at the time I thought that perhaps the way the IUD prevents pregnancy is by being so painful to insert that you think, “Holy holy holy shit. And that’s just a teeny tiny little thing. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have a freaking human being go through my cervix! That’s it – I’m becoming a nun!”  I was told when I got that IUD that it has to be replaced every 5 years and, honestly, I’ve been dreading it ever since.  I made my appointment for today after work and it seemed like no sooner did I get to work, but it was the end of the day and time to go to my appointment!  Time flies when you are not wanting it to!

On the plus side, the doctor I went to this time did it much faster than the one who did it the first time1 so although the pain was awful, at least it was over relatively quickly.  After the insertion, they tell you to wait around for 10 minutes to make sure that you don’t faint or anything. And in those 10 minutes, although they tell you that the pain should go away, it actually got worse, and I had to lie down and wait for another about 15 minutes or so before I felt OK enough to go. They gave me some Tylenol 3, which I distinctly remember making me totally loopy when I had them after I got my wisdom teeth out, but now they seem to take the edge off the pain, but aren’t giving me any sleepiness.  Which I could really use right about now!  I tried to nap and I think I dozed off for a few minutes here and there, but mostly it’s just shifting positions to try to alleviate the cramping pain.  I feel slightly nauseated (from the pain? from the meds?) and I just want to go to sleep – I’m really hoping it will dissipate over night!

Anyway, not really much point to this posting. Just venting.  Please excuse any typos – looking at this screen isn’t helping.  Going to try to sleep.

Update: a few minutes after finishing writing that, I threw up. Hard. And I hate throwing up. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.  Also, throwing up makes all the little blood vessels around my eyes burst, so I have all these little purple dots on my eyelids and around my eyes2. I didn’t sleep well last night and although I felt better than yesterday, thank FSM, I still didn’t feel that great so I called in sick today so I can stay home and rest. Which seems to be helping. And now I think I’ll try to nap.

  1. and this time they had to remove the old one and then insert the new one and it still seemed faster than the first time, when they only had to insert one []
  2. petechiae as it’s known to the medical nerds []