Sunday, August 22, 2010

OW, My Arm! And...The World is So Small

Again, for those who might need to have a chicken pox vaccine, I relay my experience thus far:

So I didn't fair so well the first week or so after, like I'd been hit with the flu stick. Then came the sinus headache that I contained with my usual ibuprophen + pseudrophedrine hydrochloride (I do not make enough money to buy the brand names, currently). Little did I know that the ibuprpophen was doing double duty!

About day 10, you know, also known as "The Day of the Lesions" (if they were to show, that is), I rolled over to get out of bed and OH DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN, what sin am I being punished for now, because my left arm HURT. It seriously felt like something had taken a bite out of the "wing" that I'm developing back there (a whole 'nother blog post entirely). There was what looked like a red circular burn-welt just about where the PIT (pharmacist in training) had jabbed me...

But it was early...before I did not immediately put two and two together, oh no, first I ran over to Andy and was all, "Did you do this? Do you remember me smacking the back of my arm last night? Do we have spiders?!?!"

And my arm got worse and worse as the day went on, with the little circular welt swelling quite nicely into a big fat arm feeling...every time I flexed my wanna-be girl muscle, or even, you know, just bent my arm, I could feel the skin stretching back there as it hadn't since the aforementioned "wing" appearance. (Seriously, NOT the best gift my body could have given me for my 36th birthday, no way, no how, wings? Where did those free weights go?)

Anywho...I think it finally hit me the next morning, after tenderly exploring the area, that there was a definite BIG OWIE feel right where I'd gotten stabbed with virus 10 days previously. But dude! 10 days! I went to the pharmacy (it's across the street from my work) just to verify that I wasn't going to die from an ever increasing swelling that stemmed from my arm.

Nope, that's just what fat does when it's "fighting back." Um, what? Yep, peoples, I was informed that, you know how hard it is to lose weight? It's because fat is much stronger than we give it credit for. Hello! It is currently fighting off a chicken pox vaccine! Most likely by swallowing it up and making it into a pocket of nasty!

Because I dunno if you've ever lost a ton of weight as you crossed half the Pacific Ocean on a 32' sailboat, but when I did? I was sick ALL THE TIME, to the point where I begged a doctor friend (I know! Me? Voluntarily go to a doctor for advice?!?) to help me figure out if I was allergic to the Island or something! Oh no, he said noting I was about 50 lbs lighter than he'd last seen me on the mainland, I was basically suffering from every cold that my body, or rather, the fat in my body, had fought off by, um, surrounding it and sealing it up in the fat cells. (i.e. SWALLOWING it up...tasty sounding, I know.)

Yeah, I left thinking that maybe doc had had too much pau hana on the brain (we were in Hawai'i, it may have been Friday....) but here was a Seattle-based Pharmacist (not in training) telling me the same thing, sort of. This is why we get all sicky feeling when we're losing weight, yeah, there is the lack of food and fun stuff, but um, also as the cells are giving up the ghost? They are giving up the nasties that they stored inside them.

This insight does not make me happy as I am almost (not quite, maybe next month) determined to start losing the weight my last two incapacitating bike accidents have piled on...especially since I can finally walk a mile without my hip hating me for a week (or seven). It's hard enough for me to say, g'bye 15# of love and comfort, g'bye an extra 5 that snuck on when I wasn't looking (ice cream, I'm looking in your direction)....but now I might be reliving some of the uber nasty Hilo and Tahoe colds and flus I thought I'd seen the last of?

And worse yet, I'll be showing these viruses to a whole new set of people who may have never left their home state. Ah the human body and it's more bizarre aspects...sure does give a whole new concept to the small world aspect of the universe.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

So Memorable I should Blog It

Today, Saturday August 14th, I left the house without a sweater.

Yup, August. The 14th. First time, all "summer," t-shirt, shorts, and sandals. And also, yes, I too am a little sad and bewildered about the non-existent climate change and am wondering if this means it's finally summer or if I only get one week of it this year...

I know there was a day or so...maybe even a couple days a few weeks ago where it was warm enough to be out and about in just a t-shirt, come the middle of the day/afternoon, but those were work days, and I left home early enough to still need my fleece, as the mornings were chilly.

This being a Saturday? I didn't start my errand running until after 11 AM, and boy howdy! SUN! Warmth, I might even have worked on my farmer's tan as I ran from the A/C of the car to the A/C of the grocery store! I am not proud, just, you know, no longer used to temperatures over 68 degrees...

It's supposed to hit 92 today.

Hotter than LA.

Mind boggling.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chicken Pox Vaccine, Part 1

No, the title does not imply I'm about to write an epic saga about the pox, the vaccine, or my limited interaction with it.

It's that there will be a part 2 to the vaccine in about a month...and what with my swiss-cheese memory these days, I thought that if I wrote about it, and the fact that I was jabbed on the 6th, it might prompt me to make the '30 days later' second appointment.

If I don't turn into a brain-sucking zombie first.

I don't know the mechanics of the vaccine except to say that they injected me with a live virus, I heard the word "attenuated" at one point and the fact is, aside from the double-sided pdf I printed out from the department of health which tells me I could die? I'm not looking too deeply into what is floating around in my system because I am already SUPER OOKED OUT about the fact that I had a lovely pharmacist-in-training inject LIVE VIRUS into me. And hello? I could die? Super awesome news there.

Anyhow, I think I last posted about my non-chicken-poxed status like at the beginning of the year? That would be when I was supposed to get this over and done with. But because it was left up to me? And my adoration of voluntarily going to a doctor's office? I put it off as long as I could. And then some.

Thanks to bureaucracy that again, I do not care to understand, only be mad at, my own doctor could not inoculate me. I'd have to go straight to the department of health! And thanks to messed up economies we keep hearing about, actually no, Dept. of Health could not help me, because I am not currently a patient of theirs (which is a big catch-22 in the making, but I'm leaving it there).

That's when I thought about yellow fever, and malaria, and hepatitis B. No, I'm not a hypochondriac. At least I don't think I am... But I do reimburse quite a number of folks for getting those vaccines before they go off on their Global Non-Profit trips (you learn a lot working in the accounting department, let me tell ya, you want all the good information? Make friends with the A.P. department...just sayin'). A travel clinic who can get access to the Yellow Fever Vaccine has GOT to be able to get a hold of a couple doses of Chicken Pox Vaccine. And then I kinda let the information simmer until about June, cuz, um, yeah, possibility of GETTING the chicken pox from the vaccine is not zero...and I am a chicken. (HA!)

But I finally manned up (womened up?) and called up my local pharmacy, which is also a travel clinic, and ordered dose #1 (to my knowledge not covered by my health insurance, but I'm told I need to revisit that...I hope I didn't lose the receipt...), and got stabbed by, as I mentioned before, the pharmacist in training (PIT) last Friday.

I currently feel like poo.

I was fine the rest of Friday, though I fell asleep really early... and Saturday morning I was able to get my act together and go help shop for "business casuals" for a friend, and then totally fell into a puddle of tired once back home....and the same went for Sunday, but I was having to muster the energy ALL DAY...but was able to be okay during the 3 hour birthday party for a friend's daughter....then yesterday....

My energy is coming and going in such sharp shocky spurts that I feel like a diesel engine trying to burn up the dregs of it's 36 year old tank. I hope this is normal and not the start of the pneumonia that there is a chance of in however many hundreds...fingers crossed. And double crossed if it means that in 6 days I don't wake up with the spots. (The PIT called them lesions. Yes, I know that's what they really are, but um, PIT? Really and truly, call them pox or spots, NOT LESIONS! Am I not scared enough already?!? Sigh.)

On the bright side? If I catch the pox, I won't have to go in for the second (costly) dose! (If you're wondering, I think it was $130...but again, not sure where the receipt is...)