The more I think the more annoyed I am.

June 13, 2009 at 3:23 am | Posted in Pandemic Thoughts | Leave a comment

Two weeks ago, my middle child started running a high fever. She developed a slight cough, runny nose and a headache. I didn’t think much of it at the time. After a few days, she bounced back and was fine.

The next day her younger sister, who has asthma, spiked a 101.6 fever at school. We took her to the ped and was told it was just a cold. We asked about flu…ya know because of the new flu. We were told that they were not seeing any of that. She ran high fevers, had diarrhea, said her tummy hurt, coughed some and had a runny nose. We used her nebulizer a couple of times. After 3 days her fever came down some but the next day it shot back up so back to the doctor we went. She had developed an ear infection so she started antibiotics. They seemed to help but even so her fever persisted for 3 more days before breaking and going away.

My oldest also developed a runny nose, fatigue, low grade fever and a cough during this period. After a couple of days of that her fever shot up to 102.5. She also ended up on an antibiotic but like her sister, her fever ran for 3 more days in the same pattern. She was also so sick that she couldn’t manage to eat her food so I kept her hydrated and fed through her g-tube. Her cough did change as well so I took her back and her antibiotic was switched to one that covered bacteria that tend to cause respiratory infections. Finally, she started to get better after being sick for nearly 10 days.

I took her for a recheck and was told that it was likely that she and the other girls had the flu. Given the fact that most of the flu going around is the new one, it was probably that according to the doctor. I asked each and every time we saw a doctor if they were seeing influenza and was told no each time. I was told they were seeing a lot of respiratory virus but not influenza. Well apparently they were wrong.

Now the Minnesota Department of Health has released a statement that includes this little gem

the number of confirmed cases in Minnesota has more than doubled over the last week, including an increase in hospitalizations, with 221 cases identified as of June 11 and 46 hospitalizations. An average of 30 cases per day have been identified over the past three days.

They also say that  A/H1N1 has been widespread in Minnesota since mid-May.

I have heard over and over again how we are a well prepared state for a pandemic and that we have great communication with public health officials. I am not sure I have found that to be true in my own personal experience. If it was so widespread, why were my two high risk children not offered tests or Tamiflu? We made it though and luckily without serious incident but it could have been very different. I am not sure who to be angry with since I am not sure where the problem lay. Either the health department isn’t doing a good job at communicating with health care providers or our pediatrician erred on the side of not getting worried about a pandemic and dropped the ball with us. Either way, my children did not receive the care they should have and that upsets me.


Nothing like a looming pandemic

May 7, 2009 at 4:17 am | Posted in Lunatic Ravings | 1 Comment
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There is nothing like a looming flu pandemic to make you really, really glad you quit smoking. I always worried about catching the flu’s we knew about because of smoke and hence got the shot every year in the hopes that would work.

It feels good to know that every day my lungs are bit stronger and more able to handle respiratory illnesses. It feels like creeping closer to a due date. Every day that a baby stays inside, the better the lungs get. Every day that I don’t smoke, mine sorta do the same thing. I am hoping that counts for something.

Off my rocker…maybe

May 1, 2009 at 4:15 am | Posted in Lunatic Ravings | 2 Comments
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I admit it. I am having a tough time with this apparent possibly impeding swine flu(and yes, I will call it that) pandemic. I think I have become obsessed.

Actually that happened a long time ago with The Stand. I developed a horrified fascination with pandemics. I have read books about 1918, freaked out over bird flu coverage and worried about SARS. Definitely also did the whole Ebola thing in the 90’s and thanks to Hot Zone, I still find Ebola Reston disturbing. More disturbing since I lived in the DC area at the time though I didn’t have a clue about what was going on then.

Now though it is like seeing my nightmares start to come true. OK…so far not the worst of them but the unknowns still freak me out and even more, the lack of control freaks me out more. IT could be anywhere and I don’t know it. It doesn’t feel all that empowering to sing Happy Birthday as I wash my hands as is recommended.

The other measure of bizarre control I have discovered is buying canned food and other items. Starting last Saturday, every time I go to the store I buy more and more. I keep telling myself it is for just in case. Just in case this spreads and even if it is mild, we will be ready. Just in case all hell breaks loose, society breaks down and Randall Flagg appears is probably closer to the truth.

Yes…they really do suck

April 16, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Posted in 5K | 3 Comments
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I can’t run for now. It sucks.

I went to the doctor last week and I do have plantar fasciitis as well as really really need new orthotics. I was casted for them this week and will get them next week. I am also starting PT next week.

In the meanwhile, I am sleeping in a pair of really awful boots to stretch out my plantar fascia as well as doing lots of stretching and strenthing exercises. I tried to continue running and by Tuesday was in so much pain that I could hardly walk. That is a no-no.

I think I am going to start doing some pool workouts and work with my running coach who is really a personal trainer the rest of the time. I am hoping she can put together a couple of routines for me to continue to get into shape. I would like to go back to running when I am able but I want to condition and strengthen in the meanwhile so I will be in better shape.

Ugh…this sucks. I really wanted to run that 5K in May. Maybe I can walk it?

My feet suck

April 6, 2009 at 3:04 am | Posted in 5K, life, Quit | 3 Comments
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I think I need to see a podiatrist. I am pretty sure I am developing Plantar fasciitis. I also have pain under the ball of the second toe of left foot along with shin pain in both legs.

I know the cause of most of my problems. I have flat feet. I do have custom orthotics but they hurt like hell. I bought some over the counter ones that were working really well until I put them in my new shoes. I think I over corrected because I looked at the bottom of my shoes and the slight wear so far looks like I am supinating.

Perhaps I should have done more research first. I probably should have bought neutral shoes to accommodate the orthotics or just wear the stability shoes I did buy without the orthotics. After all, the guy at the local running store fitted me with them without including the orthotics in the equation. I didn’t bring them with me.

All of my issues are compounded by the fact I am a new-again runner and overweight. The good news is that I have gone to 5 minute intervals and it doesn’t actually feel bad when I am running.

It just hurts like hell afterwards. It seems that all I do is ice, stretch and try to strengthen my lower legs and feet these days when I have time.

Moving on

April 3, 2009 at 4:22 am | Posted in life, Quit | 5 Comments
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I have increasingly been realizing that I have reached a new stage of my quit. I am not posting here as much and it has been days since I have been to the quit support site. I am have been setting down those crutches and am starting to walk or even run on my own.

I think I need to find a new direction to take this blog in. While the rest of my life will always be lived “beyond the haze”, I don’t need to live the rest of my life in the throes of the quit. It is time to transition into the life that staying quit is making it possible to live.


March 25, 2009 at 4:31 am | Posted in Home, life | Leave a comment
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I think I have mastered the art of it.

Two years ago Dave and I removed a large corner unit from the family room that was original to the house. Don’t worry-the house was built in 1989 so we didn’t remove anything historic or even remotely beautiful. By removing it though, we were left with a carpet-less spot and some unfinished drywall. We bought a throw rug to cover the bare spot and decided to ignore the wall until we could find time to deal with it.

About 9 months ago we finally took care of carpet and sometime in the last two years we deliberately started to not see the wall area. Finally we made time to paint the room today. It is now a lovely beige.

Next on my list is painting the foyer and living room. I will report on the progress of this sometime in 2011.

Socks…now I have to care about socks?

March 22, 2009 at 3:40 am | Posted in 5K, life, Quit | 1 Comment
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The last time I ran wool was itchy and I used it for hiking as one part of 2 layers. Now apparently the wool has become smart and apparently not itchy. Go figure.

The sock choices are endless. There is Smartwool, injingi I think, Beluga or Belaga or Balega or well something and goodness knows what else. Socks even have arch support and provide compression.

The only constant I can find with real runners is that cotton is BAD. Hmmmm guess what I have been running in. yeah. So far I have suffered no ill effects but apparently I will be doomed if I continue.

Since the lowly sock has evolved from a mere foot covering that keeps a foot warm into a highly specialized specie, I am going to investigate my options in the morning. First though, I am going to take one more run in my lowly cotton socks before I assign them the status of endangered specie.

Next on my list to learn about for running is Body Glide which sounds like some sort of sexual lubricant to me.

Shoes….I hate them.

March 21, 2009 at 5:21 am | Posted in 5K, life | 2 Comments
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Running shoes are sooooo frickity frackin confusing. 20 years ago I went out and bought a pair of Asics and was happy. Now…there are neutral shoes, stability shoes, motion control and I don’t know what else. Oh and trail running, cross training and shoes to wear in case I need to run on broken glass I think.

What I do know is I have flat feet. Bare footed, I tend to over-pronate. In shoes, I am not sure I do. My favorite running shoes in the last few years have been neutral…not that I really ran in them though I did give some half-hearted attempts. I have recently tried some motion control and they hurt like hell. I am going to try some stability ones now. I do have orthotics but they also hurt like hell. Seriously, who lies down and have arches that are the exact same way when they stand. NOBODY! But yet that is how they cast you for orthotics. So I have wonder how things that fit me when I am lying down but pretty much turn me into a supinator when I stand really work. Combine those with motion control shoes and well, we have gone into overdrive.

The cool thing is that I can have these shoe conundrums because I can RUN! I can BREATHE! I ran 3 times this week. I had my day off today which clearly served to confuse me more about shoes. I am back on tomorrow. I think I have been bitten by the bug though. I am thinking beyond this race and bought the 2009 race book for Minnesota. The best race that I found so far has a beer stop halfway and another one at the end. Clearly I am not a true runner yet.

Can’t catch me now!

March 18, 2009 at 2:30 am | Posted in 5K, Quit | Leave a comment
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I had my first running class tonight. We are training for a 5K. I RAN! I did it without coughing or gasping for air. Yeah…I am tired and a bit sore but in a good way.

I finally figured out what had been going on in my head. Someone on the quit site posted about having intense cravings more than two months in at the same time he was dealing with a personal situation. A few lightbulbs went off in my head. I realized that I was afraid at failing¬† another new thing… my class.

If I had given in and smoked, I would have been giving myself an excuse to fail at the running class. The closer the class came, the worse the cravings were. Once I figured it out, the cravings got better. I am happy to say that since I got though the first class that they are pretty much gone!

I can train for the 5K. If I have stayed smoke free this long which is something I didn’t believe in the past that I could do then I know I can be successful at this.

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