21. April 2013 · Write a comment · Categories: Random · Tags: , , ,

You would think this would be obvious to me after all these years: always read the ingredients!

I started feeling an ugly tickle in my throat mid-day Friday. Hallmark indicator of an incoming nasal infection/cold/something. I started taking some good ol’ pseudoephedrine as I always do, so my nasal passages can drain, and avoid getting myself a sinus infection. Perusing through the cabinets early Saturday, I discovered I still had some Mucinex DM in there. Awesome! Let’s start taking that! Been popping those every ~12 hours since Saturday evening.

Sunday rolls around, and the congestion is getting worse and worse. I have no idea what is going on, other than whatever this is is rolling in fierce. Tonight, I was actually contemplating taking some extra pseudoephedrine to supplant the Mucinex DM I already took. As I am browsing the cabinet, I find that there is some leftover Mucinex D in the cabinet; my old, go-to staple for colds. Now I am a little confused.

I always used the yellow/orange box. Why am I taking the green one again?

Let us take a quick look at the active ingredients again:

    Mucinex DM

  • 600 mg guaifenesin (expectorant, aka phlegm thinner)
  • 30 mg dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
    Mucinex D

  • 600 mg guaifenesein (expectorant again)
  • 60 mg pseudoephedrine (decongestant, what I need right now)

Woahwoahwoahwoah…I haven’t been taking any pseudoephedrine for the past 36 hours?!?

Shit. It’s no wonder I haven’t had any improvement in my congestion. Well. Glad we got that squared away now.

Take home message of this story? Always know what you’re taking for drugs, and why you’re taking it.

Thank goodness I finally went in for some drugs last week. I was starting to keep things under control by mid-week, but it took a turn for the worse Wednesday evening. Going into late evening, I had an obvious blob of gunk in the corner of my eye before going to bed. Almost a guaranteed indicator of conjunctivitis, which was even more likely to have been due to an accidental cross-contamination between nose and eyes1. Waking up Thursday morning, my right eye was definitely sealed reasonably shut, and my left had substantial amounts of dried goop. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back; I set myself up an appointment with the clinic in the prospect of getting some drugs.

I don’t like going to see a doctor more than I have to. I’m already aware of the concern with over- (or unnecessarily) medicating with antibiotics, so I already limit my attempts to solicit for antibiotics to a minimum2. However, it seems that every time I go in there, they give me a lecturing on how they would rather not give out antibiotics, that it takes a few days to determine if it’s bacterial or viral, etc. Admittedly, it would help if I would just establish myself a primary care physician (instead of using the student clinic on campus), but it’s this exact mentality that got me situated in my first sinus infection in the first place3. I’m not trying to play off as smarter (or better informed) than the doctor, but damnit, I’m working with you guys! Up until that first sinus infection, I think the last time I got prescription drugs/antibiotics was sometime in high school. I know there are others out there that look to (and do) abuse antibiotics, but I’m not one of them!

Regardless of the speech, this doctor was compliant and gave me antibiotics for both the eyes (polymyxin) and respiratory tract (amoxicillin), and I’ve been cleaning up nicely since then in combination with my normal regimen of pseudoephedrine and dextromethorphan. The last of my coughing fits4 was probably Friday, and the cough has been well under control since. A little more pseudoephedrine until I’m sure my sinuses are clean and extra nightly rest, and I should be ready to start running again late this coming week!

Tangentially, I discovered that the white hairs in my head grow faster than the rest of my hair that does have pigment. For as short as I keep my hair, this becomes shockingly obvious if I let my hair get a little too long before the next cut. Also, the growth of the white patches is making them more obvious. Discovering this while I post-processed pictures from camping weekend was a bit of a kicker. I suppose it’s only a matter of time; even my beard is going white bit by bit. I’m not that disturbed by it, thankfully; the fact that my hair is going white instead of grey feeds my elitist ego a little bit!

1Or the rare chance it could have migrated up my tear ducts. I don’t think that’s possible, but I am extremely fastidious about not cross-contaminating between nose and eye. I’ve seen that go wrong with far too many another person.
2I really would rather not get antibiotics unless whatever infection I have is debilitating in some sense, be it mental faculties, physical capabilities, or ability to sleep. I have to be pretty fucking miserable to give up and go get antibiotics.
3The first doctor essentially blew me off and told me to take cold meds (which I had been), despite it being worse than any cold I had had before. I went in again two weeks later and the nurse practitioner took one gander at my nose and said I needed to get on antibiotics ASAP. Ever since then, I constantly have to fight repeat bouts of it…really…thanks guys…
4I swear I have some variation of asthma once I’ve coughed too much; I develop an uncontrollable itch/spasm in my lungs and can cough until I puke, it gets so bad!

07. August 2011 · Write a comment · Categories: Rant · Tags: ,

Buffalo just finished it’s 25th consecutive day of having a high at 80˚F or above. Coming up on a full month of that, and the record streak was only 32 days long. Thankfully, the region should be dipping back down into the 70˚ range this week, but we’ll see how long that takes to settle in.

This heat used to be bearable. The humidity has made it worse, but I made due after I got back from the conference in Vermont relatively okay. However, I didn’t realize how unbearable it can feel when you’re sick.

Waking up utterly miserable was bad enough on its own. Having to take that and march through the day of heat and humidity just makes the day feel like a time warp. The body aches are that much more achey, the nasal congestion is that much thicker in the humidity, and whatever fever I woke up with Friday (only 100.7˚F) just felt like it torched me: my head felt like it was ready to rip open. It was a ridiculous chore to get to Walgreens that morning for drugs, and then to Wegmans for some juice/nutrition, only to make it back home and put myself back out with a NyQuil-like induced sleep for the rest of the day.

I’ve been confined to the apartment (and predominantly my bedroom) since Thursday evening. I’m far more functional today than Friday (after logging probably close to 50 hours of sleep since Friday morning), but today’s heat just drug out the day forever. I am so ready to get out of here and do something, but the heat and humidity just makes everything miserable. I’m praying it tapers off this week so Shakespeare in Delaware Park might be enjoyable before they finish their summer season!

Also, I blame the heat and humidity for exhausting me so badly on my run last Monday. That’s likely what induced whatever I’m sick with; I’m guessing it weakened my body’s immune response enough to let whatever ripe does of infectogens1 just run rampant. I think I’ll have to keep the exercise down to walks and bike rides until the heat and/or humidity subsides.

NyQuil-wannabe is settling in. Time to sign off and call it a night. I look forward to a less ranty and whiney blog post next time.

1Yes, I did just make that word up.

Out of boredom, I decided I wanted to install Windows 7 on my MacBook Pro1. I was quite adamantly denied that, however, because the Boot Camp Assistant was unable to move some files out of the way for the partitioning bulldozer. That got me thinking about that though. Really? Just bored? Yup…without any new technology to play with lately, I’m getting bored and want to experiment with new stuff. That, and I could use a Windows-based platform to test out my CiteULike API programming to tweak the Perl a little bit (if necessary) to play nicely on all platforms.

Healthy household is also denied. I’m slowly recovering, but now Emily has come down with something that seems to be stuffing her up2, but more noticeably she’s got a ripe cough going on. Maybe what I had wasn’t simply a sinus infection trying to get out, and instead moreso a sinus infection as a consequence of some viral upper respiratory infection? If so, she has my sympathies: the past couple weeks have been a sonofabitch on my system. At least I’m stocked with some major decongestants, for both the nose and the chest. I may have to float those her way and see if they help.

Now that I’m getting healthier, it’s time to get caught back up on real life. Got some wine to rack this week, a car to get tuned up, some windows to finish sealing, and some real cooking to get back to. I need to get back to doing some practice runs, but I really need to make sure this illness has cleared my system, lest I relapse back into the frightful mess again. *shudders*

1This is a minor issue because of the 128GB SSD hard drive that the laptop uses. Considering Windows 7 is a bit of a fatter footprint than Mac OS X, it would eat up ~1/3 of my hard drive space to give myself a useful installation partition.
2The whiteboard in the kitchen said, “You little fuck. I’m sick.” It made me giggle; at least she didn’t blame me for it! Anyways, I can’t tell how bad the nasal congestion is, as one can only really hear it when you’re sniffling, and that is kind of dependent on how runny your nose is, not how congested it is.
02. November 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Cooking, Random · Tags: , ,

I made some turkey and quinoa meatloaf over the weekend, which was quite delicious! I can probably afford to not pre-cook the quinoa with it, as there was plenty of residual moisture at the end of baking it. I even took the trouble to germinate the quinoa before cooking it, so technically it should have been far more nutritious. *shrugs*

The Apple Disaster still tastes awesome!

When did honey get so blasted expensive? I just loaded up on a couple bottles of it for sweetening tea (while fighting off this headcold), and they set me back nearly $15! I don’t recall it ever costing quite this much, but I really have not purchased this much honey in quite a few years.

Oh yeah, and the honey kick? It appears that it has some antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Additionally, studies have been done that demonstrate the ability of honey to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, although most of these are in a topical application of the honey. Regardless, implications for it preventing recurrence of rhinosinusitis is a huge perk if it will help diminish this infection in my sinuses.

On that note, now that I’m on a steady dose of pseudoephedrine1, I’m finally on a mild upswing after yesterday’s utter misery. Hopefully it will continue throughout the week, and I can be >95% by the weekend!

Now, back to watching Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb!

1Pseudoephedrine is the only nasal decongestant that really works worth a damn for me. I’ve tried some very hefty doses of phenylephrine with little luck in actually clearing any congestion. So I’ve committed to just using Mucinex D (or similar) decongestants; they’re loaded with 10mg/hour (in a 4 or 6 hour dose, 40/60mg respectively) pseudoephedrine and really hit the spot (although it leaves me a little brain-spaced for its duration).

So it is a pretty certain thing I’m fighting something off now. I’ve got the mucus of questionable color, and it definitely is exuding itself in a drainage-styled fashion. That, and I started out the day with a mild headache1, but man it’s turned into a monster since then2. At least I am now setup with some lemon/ginger/clove tincture for now, and use that to help ease the throat and system altogether through tomorrow.

In better news, I finally got to checking on the fermenting3 wine in the basement. Apparently it halted itself quite nicely around a S.G. of 0.996 or so (I didn’t do the temperature adjustment). Being that it’s essentially cleared at the moment, I almost wonder if I couldn’t bottle it as is without the last additive packet. I’m sure there’s some necessary components that do need to be added (e.g. some metabisulfite perhaps?), but a quick taste test of the wine seemed pretty good as is! A hint sweeter than I was expecting for a grigio, but we’ll see how that tastes after aging a bit. Now, I just need to muster up the energy to add the clarifying solution and give it another week to do its job before racking the wine into bottles.

1Took a single dose of ibuprofen just to help tame it and any nasal inflammation, hopefully. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any follow up doses and the initial dose wore out mid-afternoon.
2We are talking full double dose (800mg) and it’s barely taming the headache to something more manageable. NOT COOL.
3Or more likely not fermenting; the yeast had nearly completely settled out of the must by the time I got back from my vacation to visit the parents at the beginning of October. It looked pretty apparent the yeast was done doing its job. I was concerned at that point that maybe the wine got a little too dry.
26. October 2010 · 1 comment · Categories: Rant · Tags: , ,

Apparently running in Friday’s (rather) brisk weather is catching back up to me1. Between the heavy exercise load throughout nearly all of last week, and a wretchedly short night of sleep last night, a tickle has been arising in the back of my throat that could not be halted. Like, a tickle turned into a thickish, annoying drainage by the end of the day, and I’ve now consumed three cups of hot tea in an attempt to soothe it all.

The beast does not wish to be tamed…

I pray that I can kick this before it turns into anything more wretched. And on that note, I should likely turn in for the night.

P.S. – Need to purchase fresh ginger, lemons for tincture preparation!
P.P.S. – No attempts at dates or games this week; not sure if I’d be at my finest staving off an URI.

1Not to mention my left knee is still acting up. It does fine at the start of the day, but by the time I’m getting home, it’s popping unnecessarily going up the stairs to the apartment and fairly uncomfortable.