Tag Archives: pneumonia

Snorting Eucalyptus

img_2864
The view from where I’m sitting.  Yeah, I know.  Gives a whole new meaning to “still life”  

Yes, snorting eucalyptus IS what I’ve been doing for the past twenty-four days, which WP was kind enough to remind me is also how long it’s been since my last post.  Even W noticed this strange silence in November, the month in which we are supposed to be writing our little hearts out.  I did the polite Canadian thing and kept my comments about the American election more or less to myself, except for sharing a few news stories on Facebook.  That’s been pretty hard.  Are y’all batshit crazy down there??  Well I know you’re not, and have faith that sanity will prevail.  You know, before we all die hating each other.

In the summer I was blaming my stuffed up sinuses and chronic cough on seasonal allergies, but I’m not sure what the heck is going on now.  Rather than complain (and rewire my brain for negativity) (seriously, that’s an actual thing) I tried allergy pills and nasal sprays and decongestants, and elevated my blood pressure in the process.  So I ditched all that stuff, but I still wanted to breathe, so now I’m using my little air purifier even though there’s already an air purifier on our furnace.  Our air is PURE, man.  And I’m shooting a eucalyptus based spray up my nasal passages more than the recommended four times a day.  It does not cause rebound congestion and it works very well, for about twenty minutes.  Then it doesn’t anymore.

My hematologist said my chest was wheezy, and suggested I go back to my GP for an inhaler.  So that’s next.  I’ve had pneumonia.  I don’t want it again.  I keep running out of tissues.  My life is hell.  No of course it isn’t.

Other than wheezy breath I’m healthy enough I guess, because the hematologist said to come back in a year.  Her pre-screener gave me longer than that. I think.  The first thing he said to me was “…so, you’re sixty-seven, you’ve got another ten or twenty years to go.  Because, you know, eighties….” I did not know what the proper response was to that statement but probably because of the blank look on my face he quickly changed the subject and went on to other things.  Weirdo.

And speaking of weird, W said if I had nothing to write about I could always talk about him.  Wow.  He should NOT be encouraging that.

I never had much of a love for Christmas when I was growing up (too much church and  too many crazy relatives) (although the food was good), but when I met W his enthusiasm for the holiday was infectious.  He still absolutely loves Christmas.   He puts up the outdoor lights in mid November.  This year he added two spotlights which sit on the front lawn and flash revolving red and blue lights all over our house.  And the snow. And maybe the sky.  When I’m sitting in the living room they also flash all over the ceiling and the walls.  I told him it’s a good thing neither of us is prone to epileptic seizures and God help our neighbours if they are.  He didn’t find that even remotely funny.

Maybe my eucalyptus spritz is hallucinogenic.  Because he loves the lights.  He found out they are now on sale so I suggested he go get a couple more and the sarcasm was completely lost on him.

I wonder when my brain got rewired for sarcasm.  There’s probably a doctor for that, hey?

In other news, I put shelf liner in my cupboards this week.  Our washing machine (age 22 years) died a noisy death and has been replaced by a newer but amazingly similar model (but this one is water efficient, so there’s that) which cost less than the price of repairing the old one.  W also loves a bargain.

And I love my ordinary little life with a husband who thinks it’s funny that I find him funny.  There’s always something to be thankful for.  Like eucalyptus being a scent that kind of grows on you.  That’s a big one for sure.

History Repeats Itself

Daily Prompt: Do-over!

Go back to a blog post you always thought could be better, or were unsatisfied with — now, fix it.

I’ve always thought every blog post I’ve ever written could be better, but what I’ve written is HISTORY, baby!  You can’t fix that.  So I’ve decided just to go back three years for this one lonely April post – the one and only post for April of that year.  Times have changed if you consider how blabby I’ve become on a daily basis in comparing then to now, but here we are in April of 2013 going through a similar sort of crisis at work being short-staffed and over worked.  Laura has left us to work elsewhere.  There’s a long sad story related to that, which oddly enough started right about here in 2010.  Suffice it to say I miss her like crazy.  And reading this has made me look SO forward to retiring in a year that I can almost taste it.

Anyway, with a few minor revisions, here’s what I had to say three years ago.

April is...
April is… (Photo credit: nataliesap)

 

Holy crap, I knew I was away from here for quite a while, but thankfully it appears there is still time to get in that April blog so my little list of months looks to be intact.  I’ve had pneumonia.  Not for all of March and April, although it kind of feels that way.  So that’s a pretty damned good excuse for staying mysteriously silent, wouldn’t you say?   Being sick did not stop me from sitting at the computer playing Facebook games while hacking my brains out, or from reading on my kindle until my eye’s wandered aimlessly all on their own and closed for hours at a time.

It’s been a long hard haul at work (when somebody shows up and we’re actually open).  Our manager had her knee surgery 3 months ago and is just now (next week in fact) coming back  part-time, short hours.  Laura’s dad passed away before Easter and it’s been a hard and stressful time for her.  We tried to keep things going, but consider this.  A couple of months ago we had two full-time and two part-time licensed opticians and two CSA’s on staff.  That’s six people.  Suddenly we were down to one full-time, one part-time (moi) and one VERY part-time CSA.  That’s like two and a half people.  Got a little help from other stores, but in the grand scheme of things, not enough.  Many times one or the other of us was there alone, trying to stay sane.  So now I know exhaustion makes you sick.  Doh.  Had to give my head a few shakes to stop caring about the stupid job long enough to focus on my health instead.

So now I’m on the last couple of days of monster pill antibiotics, still using my heavy-duty cortisone infused nasal spray and inhaler.  Next week I’ll  make a trip back to the doctor to make sure things are clear.  Like my lungs and my nasal passages.  I’ve been back to work doing as little as humanly possible because things like walking from one end of the store to the other to swipe my badge on the time clock can leave me feeling short of breath and drained of energy.  I have had MANY days off.  Like today.  Then I work two days in a row, and then I’m off again for two.  W. has been doing the grocery shopping and making me eat.

Nothing I looked up about pneumonia mentioned anything about it destroying brain cells, but I’m wondering if that’s a side effect.  The doctor asked me if there was any family history of asthma before he sent me off for a chest x-ray.  I said no, not that I was aware of.  Then he said he was going to give me an inhaler and I said ‘Oh!  my daughter had one of those!’  I don’t remember what it was for.  Allergies or something.  So I didn’t offer any further information because I’m pretty sure he prescribed it to her so he could look that up if he really needed to know.  It was a long time ago.  Mother’s can’t remember every little detail.  After a short confused-face pause he popped into the next room and  returned with the little puffer thing and began explaining how to use it.  ‘Oh!’ I interrupted him.  ‘My MOM had one of those!  But I don’t know why.’  Poor man.  He didn’t ask me to expand on that thought, perhaps realizing the futility of such a request.  He  just explained slowly and patiently and in minute detail what he wanted me to do next, probably hoping I would retain the information at the very least all the way back to my car and at most, all the way to the x-ray lab.  I got there.  They told me to take a deep breath.  Then they repeated the request.  I told them I DID take a deep breath.  And that’s when it dawned on me that lately I’d been quite incapable of doing any such thing.

But I can do it now!  I can INHALE, baby!  It’s a heady feeling, being able to breathe.  Not hearing rattle-y chest noises is good too.  I’m very thankful for these things.  You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.  W. is headed east in a couple of weeks.  He threatened to stick around until I was completely better so I’ve been acting completely better for his benefit.  His brother has just been moved into an extended care facility, and W. needs to get down there to deal with some things.  Staying here to look after me seemed like an excellent excuse for not going, but I’m not going to co-operate.  Time to face the things that need to be faced.

On a pleasant note, my fish, Phineas, is still alive.  He seems a little neurotic for a Beta, since they’re supposed to just hover and laze around.  Nobody told him that, apparently,  so he flits around like a demented little spaz most of the time.  In and out of the three-holed pottery thing and into the leaves and up to the water filter tube into which he is too large to be sucked up I hope.  He attacks his food.  Let’s face it, there’s a limited number of ways to amuse yourself in a 2.5 litre fish tank.    But, like I said, he’s alive.

And so am I!  Life is good.

Staying Healthy

Mostly what I do to stay healthy is not bother worrying about it. But I ingest mega doses of vitamins, just in case. B for energy, C to ward off colds (and scurvy 🙂 and D for sunshine. Calcium for my bones. Flax for something, I can’t remember what. Not my memory, apparently.

Last spring I was NOT healthy and I don’t want to go through anything like that again this year or ever, if I can help it. I developed allergic rhinitis and asthma-like symptoms and eventually pneumonia. It was not fun.

Spring is a beautiful time of year, but there’s always bad stuff blowing around in the wind. When allergens enter the body they trigger an immune reaction and the production of antibodies in the mast cells of the nose, eyes and lungs. The mast cells release histamines and other chemicals that irritate and inflame membranes and cause scratchy throat, itching, sneezing and watery eyes. I had all that plus a chest cold and difficulty breathing. And a really hard time being nice to people. There are a lot of side effects.

Basically, the body is objecting to the sexual activity of grass and trees. I don’t know how you can put a stop to that. It is also sensitive to spores, which are the reproductive particles or seeds of fungi or moulds. Spores are particularly nasty little buggers because they are smaller than pollen and can get deep into the lungs.

And that brings me (at last) to killer snow mould. (I added the killer part myself, because just saying snow mould on its own doesn’t make it sound nearly fierce enough.)

It’s a fungus that looks like spider webs and forms under melting snow. There is a lot of stuff written about what one should do to it so that it doesn’t kill ones grass. Personally I care very little about the damned grass, being much more concerned about how my lungs are functioning.

It’s been rather hard this spring to avoid exposure to all the snow mould, short of locking myself in a hermetically sealed room. But I have been avoiding going outside too much. I keep my windows closed. I don’t have an air conditioner, but I keep an air purifier going night and day. There is a heppa filter on my vacuum cleaner so that it doesn’t recirculate particles back into the air. I change my sheets and pillowcases frequently. I keep my cortisone nasal spray and my inhaler handy.

So far, fingers crossed, I’m winning the battle, but this has been the weirdest spring for slow melting snow. Our backyard still has mounds of it, receding as slowly as a hairline.

When it is finally gone and the yard has been power raked and aerated, it will be safe for me to open the windows and doors and embrace the season properly. Hopefully this will happen sometime before July.

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It’s suddenly June and….

…..another month bites the dust.  W. has been gone since the 10th of May (returning tomorrow), and I’ve had pneumonia.  But that’s cleared up and I’m now fighting mere allergies.  Which have my head completely plugged up, ears and all, even with a cortisone nasal spray and an inhaler on a daily basis.  Boo hoo, poor me.  Actually it’s getting better, but I like to milk these things for all they’re worth.

Dream Fairy
Dream Fairy (Photo credit: Alexandria LaNier)

I continue to read until my brain hurts.  I’ve done some amazing spring cleaning, store-room and various junk collecting spots (I’m embarrassed to admit they’re EVERYWHERE in this house…) and I’ve probably developed a severe reaction to dust along with all the pollen in the air.  A little air purifier and a cool air humidifier are supposed to help me sleep, but I’m wondering if all the noise they make is counter productive.  And I’m also trying to figure out why I get my second wind at this time of night so that I don’t feel even remotely like sleeping, and then it’s a huge struggle to get myself moving in the morning.My page a day forgotten English calendar has generally been boring the hell out of me, except for this wonderful little gem from the 18th of May, which was the birthday of Elias Ashmole (1617-1692).  What an unfortunate name.  The word for the day is pigwidgeon – “a kind of cant word for anything petty or small;  a fairy. ”  Since when are fairies petty??  Maybe they meant to say pretty.  “The word is of obscure origin and meaning.  Some have identified it with the name of a fairy knight favoured by Queen Mab, the wife of Oberon.”  (A fairy knight??) That just seems wrong.

Anyway, all that aside, Elias wrote a manuscript titled “An excellent way to get a fairy”, which reads:

“First, get a broad, square crystal, in length and breadth three inches, and lay it in the blood of a hen three Wednesdays or three Fridays.  Then take it out and wash it in Holy Water and fumigate it.  (Sounds pretty easy so far, right??  Crystals, hen blood and holy water being common household items.  I’m puzzled about the fumigator though, but that can probably be googled.)  Then take three hazel rods of a year’s growth, peel them fair and white, and write the fairy’s name, which you call three times, on every stick being made flat one side.  (So if you don’t know the fairy’s name, at this point you’re in big trouble).  Then bury them under some hill whereas you suppose fairies haunt the Wednesday before you call her; and the Friday following, call her three times at eight, or three, or ten of the clock.  (What kind of hills do fairies haunt?  Are they the size of ant hills?  or potato hills? or foot hills?  This is why I can never be good at this.  I just don’t know.)  But when you call, be in Clean Life and turn thy face towards the east; and when you have her, bind her in that crystal.”

Is it just me, or do you think there’s a couple of steps missing there at the end?  And after the mysterious binding, then what?  What exactly do you do with your crystal bound fairy?  Although this all at first seems like a LOT of information, apparently I need more.  And some motivation would be good too.  Otherwise I think I’ll just let the fairies get on with whatever it is fairies do and leave them alone.  Besides, Mr Ashmole never says in so many words that this excellent method actually works, and he does throw in a lot of tricky conditions that set you up for failure.  Like if your hazel tree is under a year old or your watch is wrong, the whole project is doomed.

And speaking of doomed projects, I’ve decided to take up painting again!  So far I’ve bought some new paints and a couple of boards and have drawn two outlines on them.  Whew.  All that in just over a week!  Now I need to decide on a place to start the actual painting without taking up a ridiculous amount of space and making a colossal mess.  Where the light is good.  In a chair that’s comfortable and where the table doesn’t wobble.  And a lot more conditions too numerous to get into.  I’ll get back to you on how that’s going.  Three Wednesdays from the next rainy Friday, if not sooner.

The April Post

Because holy crap, I knew I was away from here for quite a while, but thankfully it appears there is still time to get in that April blog so my little list of months looks to be intact.  I’ve had pneumonia.  Not for all of March and April, although it kind of feels that way.  So that’s a pretty damned good excuse for staying mysteriously silent, wouldn’t you say?   Being sick did not stop me from sitting at the computer playing Facebook games while hacking my brains out, or from reading on my kindle until my eye’s wandered aimlessly all on their own and closed for hours at a time.

april fools 2010
april fools 2010 (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

It’s been a long hard haul at work (when somebody shows up and we’re actually open).  Margaret had her knee surgery 3 months ago and is just now (next week in fact) coming back  part-time, short hours.  Laura’s dad passed away before Easter and it’s been a hard and stressful time for her.  We tried to keep things going, but consider this.  A couple of months ago we had two full-time and two part-time licensed opticians and two CSA’s on staff.  That’s six people.  Suddenly we were down to one full-time, one part-time (moi) and one VERY part-time CSA.  That’s like two and a half people.  Got a little help from other stores, but in the grand scheme of things, not enough.  Many times one or the other of us was there alone, trying to stay sane.  So now I know exhaustion makes you sick.  Doh.  Had to give my head a few shakes to stop caring about the stupid job long enough to focus on my health instead.

So now I’m on the last couple of days of monster pill antibiotics, still using my heavy-duty cortisone infused nasal spray and inhaler.  Next week I’ll  make a trip back to the doctor to make sure things are clear.  Like my lungs and my nasal passages.  I’ve been back to work doing as little as humanly possible because things like walking from one end of the store to the other to swipe my badge on the time clock can leave me feeling short of breath and drained of energy.  I have had MANY days off.  Like today.  Then I work two days in a row, and then I’m off again for two.  W. has been doing the grocery shopping and making me eat.

april
april (Photo credit: kygp)

Nothing I looked up about pneumonia mentioned anything about it destroying brain cells, but I’m wondering if that’s a side effect.  The doctor asked me if there was any family history of asthma before he sent me off for a chest x-ray.  I said no, not that I was aware of.  Then he said he was going to give me an inhaler and I said ‘Oh!  my daughter had one of those!’  I don’t remember what it was for.  Allergies or something.  So I didn’t offer any further information because I’m pretty sure he prescribed it to her so he could look that up if he really needed to know.  It was a long time ago.  Mother’s can’t remember every little detail.  After a short confused-face pause he popped into the next room and  returned with the little puffer thing and began explaining how to use it.  ‘Oh!’ I interrupted him.  ‘My MOM had one of those!  But I don’t know why.’  Poor man.  He didn’t ask me to expand on that thought, perhaps realizing the futility of such a request.  He  just explained slowly and patiently and in minute detail what he wanted me to do next, probably hoping I would retain the information at the very least all the way back to my car and at most, all the way to the x-ray lab.  I got there.  They told me to take a deep breath.  Then they repeated the request.  I told them I DID take a deep breath.  And that’s when it dawned on me that lately I’d been quite incapable of doing any such thing.

But I can do it now!  I can INHALE, baby!  It’s a heady feeling, being able to breathe.  Not hearing rattle-y chest noises is good too.  I’m very thankful for these things.  You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.  W. is headed east in a couple of weeks.  He threatened to stick around until I was completely better so I’ve been acting completely better for his benefit.  His brother has just been moved into an extended care facility, and W. needs to get down there to deal with some things.  Staying here to look after me seemed like an excellent excuse for not going, but I’m not going to co-operate.  Time to face the things that need to be faced.

On a pleasant note, my fish, Phineas, is still alive.  He seems a little neurotic for a Beta, since they’re supposed to just hover and laze around.  Nobody told him that, apparently,  so he flits around like a demented little spaz most of the time.  In and out of the three-holed pottery thing and into the leaves and up to the water filter tube into which he is too large to be sucked up I hope.  He attacks his food.  Let’s face it, there’s a limited number of ways to amuse yourself in a 2.5 litre fish tank.    But, like I said, he’s alive.  And so am I!  Life is good.