Ear, Nose and Ducts

Earlier this year I began doing the Insanity work out. And then I quit doing the Insanity work out. Last year, around November-ish, I started feeling not-well. I hedge a bit at using the word “sick” because for the longest time I was never full-blown sick. It was mild (and I mean really mild) congestion with the feeling that something was stuck in the back of my throat. Coughing and the constant swallowing in an attempt to dislodge whatever was stuck there resulted in frequent sore throats, and as time went on it got worse, but never really horrible.

I stopped doing Insanity because it seemed to get really bad while working out. I’d end up way more out of breath than I should be and coughing, and I’d get more congested. When I stopped doing the work outs, it got better.

On Halloween this year, we had a guy come out to inspect the heating and air units in the house. As usual, he changed the filters. The filters were really really filthy, especially in the second unit, the one that handles the basement/media room. When he popped that bad boy out and started changing it, he started coughing and so did I. That night I had a terrible sore throat and a head ache to go with the coughs, and by the next day I was is horrible shape. I stayed home from work the rest of the week recovering. While I got better, I never got well. I didn’t even return to the pre-Halloween me.

I went to the doctor and got some medicine to treat bronchitis, which I may or may not have had – but since I haven’t been given antibiotics for anything in nearly a decade I don’t think my taking some now is going to hurt anything. However, even with the meds, the coughing didn’t go away. So it was time to try something else.

On Sunday morning last week, I woke up and made a concerted effort to stay upstairs. Within a couple of days I was coughing less. It didn’t go away entirely, but it lent credence to the theory that the problem was allergy related, and that I was allergic to something downstairs. So, we called up a company that cleans out air ducts to come and clean ours.

They came on Wednesday and cleared a handful of trash bags worth of stuff from the vents. Dust and mold (probably the culprit), and nails and bottles and cans… it seems that when they built the house many years ago, the construction guys would drink a soda and then just put the waste in a nearby air duct rather than throwing them away. You’d think that perhaps a duct cleaning would occur when the house was finished being built, but apparently not.

With all that out of the way, I found myself breathing a little easier. And yet, I still have the feeling that there is something stuck in the back of my throat. I decide to give in to my 21st Century Internet tendencies and go to WebMD. For over a year I’ve been telling doctors that I have this feeling, and they’ve continually told me to take allergy medication. Over on WebMD though, I find that this is also sometimes a symptom of acid reflux. You see, acid gets out of your stomach the wrong way and into your esophagus, and your esophagus tightens to prevent it from going further or something like that, hence the feeling that something is stuck in your throat and why coughing doesn’t help (coughing is air coming from the lungs, and while air and food go in the same hole, there are two different tubes they travel down, so no amount of air from the lungs will help a problem coming from your stomach). I get myself some antacids which WebMD recommends to combat acid reflux, and lo and behold I’m feeling better. I wish I could get back the money I spent on doctors and prescriptions. Oh well.

And I’m feeling better just in time too! I’ll start exercising again this Friday… after Thanksgiving.

Insanity’s End

People who follow my Twitter or are my friend on Facebook might have noticed my daily Insanity workout posting has stopped.  This is because I stopped doing it.  Not just the posting, but the workout.  Here’s why…

I love the workout.  It’s great.  And in the future I want to do it again.  I didn’t hurt myself, which a few people kept telling me to watch out for.  My knees are fine.  My back is fine.  My arms are fine.  However, my lungs may not be.  Or maybe it’s my sinuses.  For some time now, since last fall, I’ve been having issues with feeling like there is something stuck in the back of my throat.  I cough and hack and it doesn’t clear up.  I drink water and OJ, I use cough drops and other medications, but relief is only temporary.  I’ve been to a doctor and they believe it is likely allergy related, but allergy medications don’t seem to be having any effect.  One thing is clear though, the more I did the Insanity workout the worse it got.

So for the time being I am back to my less strenuous workouts of push ups, sit ups, dips, squats and walking.  And I’m also hitting up the doctor again to see if we can find another way to proceed, because, frankly, I’m really sick and tired of feeling like this.

NaNoWriMo 2010 Begins…

I’m actually a couple days late with this.  I’m also off to a pretty poor start.  In any event, I’m participating again and am now working my way toward 50,000 words.  Last year I broke 5,000 words, which is the farthest I’ve ever gotten and double the year before.  My goal this year is really just to break 10,000.  Of course, I’d love to get the whole 50k, but I also like setting manageable expectations.

This year I’m actually dusting off an old idea and I really want to finish it.  I’d like to get this idea down on paper, and maybe stop having it hang around in the back of my head as one of those things I really should write.

My profile, as always, is here.  Feel free to add me as a writing buddy.  And to throw a little inspiration your way, enjoy this little music video…

Painting the Walls

First off… no, I am not redesigning the website again. I do have new header images planned, but they are on the back burner for now.

If you have lived in apartments, then you know that many of them don’t allow you to paint the walls. So, you end up living in a box surrounded by some shade of white or beige. For many years now, one thing I have wanted more than anything was to paint my walls. Now that I own a house, I can.

But what color to paint? This is the crux of most of my troubles of late. The kitchen, the dining room, the bedrooms, the den, the media room, the bathrooms… what colors? what shades? Every wall already has a color, but the previous owners took “earth tones” far to literally and the whole place is some variant hue of brown. From a nice chocolate color in the kitchen to faux finish light swirls in other rooms to bland flat medium brown. And faced with the ability to choose any color I want, I find myself unable to choose a color.

The walls will get painted, that is a certainty, but what color and when? That remains a mystery.

Personal Responsibility in Transit

As always in the afternoon, I’m riding the bus… At the MARTA station, a man gets on and asks the driver what is the best way to get to the Gwinette DMV. The driver tells him to get off at the Buford Highway/Beaver Ruin Rd stop and transfer to the 30 bus (we are on the 10) and the 30 will take him there. So the guy says, “Tell me when I need to get off.” And the driver replies, “Sir, I can’t be responsible for every passenger’s destination, so just list for when I announce the Beaver Ruin Road stop and get off then.” The guy just nods his head and says, “You let me know.”

Of course, we get on up Buford Highway, the driver calls out that the next stop is Beaver Ruin Road and transfer to the 30 bus, and of course when the bus stops, the inquisitive passenger doesn’t get up. I wish I had been paying attention because I might have told the guy about his stop, but I was reading my book.

A few stops later, the guy gets up and asks the bus driver, “So how much longer until my stop?” “Which stop?” “I got to go to the DMV.” “Sir, I told you that you needed the Beaver Ruin Road stop, I announced it a while back. You must have missed it.” The guy stomps his feet, “You didn’t tell me to get off!” “Sir, I can’t be responsible for the destinations of every passenger, I told you the stop you needed, I announced the stop, it is not my fault you didn’t get off.” The guy is furious, he starts stomping some more and yelling obscenities and banging his hands on the hand rails.

The bus driver remains calm, “Sir, you have two choices, you can either stay on this bus and we will come back around to that stop in about a half hour or so; or you can get off at the next stop, cross the street and catch the southbound 10 and take it back to that stop.” The guy is screaming, “I don’t want to wait, I don’t want to switch buses! I wanted you to tell me when to get off this bus!” “I did.” “No you did not!”

This “Did not”/”Did too” argument went on for a while, then finally the guy decides he’s had enough of this “Nazi bus driver” and his “flagrant racism” and gets off the bus. The driver tell him he’ll need a transfer to which he replies, “You can take your transfer and shove it!” As we pull away the driver is shaking his head and says, “Now not only did he miss his stop, but he’s going to have to pay for the bus again.”

A couple of people behind me started talking in hushed tones about how mean the driver was being, and all I could think to myself was, “What?” Seriously, how hard is it to pay attention for your bus stop? And really, do you expect the driver to remember which stop thirty different people want to get off at and to individually remind them that it is time to get off? Sure, the driver could have done it, but I’ve ridden the bus with that driver before and he never does it, but he does clearly announce every stop, local destinations, transfers, and all that, which some drivers don’t.

7 November 1999

I win.
I got a new webspace provider that gives me alot more for less. 100MB of space, 5GB transfer allowance, 25 pop accounts, unlimited forwarding… all for $20 a month. It rocks.
So I went to a party last night, mostly just a party by a couple of friends, but I found out later that it was doubling as the birthday party for the leader of the Anti-Squadleader Society (or ASS). But fear not… The Squadleader prevailed.
The party wasn’t all about the clash though… it was about drinking, and talking, and being physically attacked. One should never have to yell, “God dammit! She bit me!” Biting can be fun, and playful, especially in foreplay. But unless both participants are willing (or in a fight) there should never be blood drawn. People who get violent (either intentionally or unintentionally) when drunk should not get drunk. You should never ever exceed your limits. Having less control is fine, having no control is not.
And that leads to another incident at the party, and a problem that I have. One girl got sick – too much alcohol. Partly I’d say it was the guy mixing her drinks that did it, but also because occationally this girl doesn’t pay attention to her limits. Well, she gets sick, and I instantly sober up. A buzzkill. All I can think about is making sure she is okay.
I’ve done this before, I do this alot. In fact, the last time was at a party the leader of ASS threw. Great party… up until people started passing out. 11 by night’s end. And one of them almost didn’t make it. One of them stopped breathing, and because I’m the mother hen, I was still up at 8 a.m. when it happened and watching over this moron passed out in the back yard. I didn’t panic, I resusitated him, he puked on my face. And the ASS master who was sleeping when this happened (burned out on drugs) has never said ‘thank you’ for my preventing his getting into deep shit if the moron had died in the back yard.
… breathe in … hold ……… breathe out … calm … centered … peaceful .
Sorry, some things just get me going, and this is still one of those soft spots. One that’s never going to heal until I’m okay with it, because I know that the person who could end this with 2 words… never will.