running with medication

running20160306
17.21km 2.50.32hr 9.55min/km

Worse.Run.Ever.

The plan was 12 miles or 19km. I thought I’d split it up into 11-12km, a break for fuel then the remainder. Started off fine. First 10k was okay, the slower paced bits were either stoppage for traffic light or water fountain.

Convenient break at 11km at one of the parks. Had a stroopwafel and a bottle of energy drink. The second part of the run, argh. Went 500m then had to stop and walk. Simply had no legs to run for anything more than 1km or so. Ran some, then had to walk. Gave up at 16km and walked home. Out of breath and no energy. This is ridiculous, I did 28km last weekend and two 13km runs mid-week. I can’t go 11km and then bonk.

The only significant change from last week was starting on HBP medicine. It’s the third day but BP hadn’t gone down. [edit: measured at night before bed, 131/88. Okay, silver lining.] There is some anecdotal evidence that hypertension medication may aversely affect performance. ACE inhibitors and their cousins ARBs, of which Blopress is an example, are supposed to:

have no major effects on energy metabolism and cause no impairment of maximum oxygen uptake. In general, these drugs have no deleterious effects on training or competition.

In fact, one study concluded that ACE inhibitors enhances peak exercise capacity.

A couple of things may be at play here. First, I could have just had a bad running day, it happens. Second, medication affect different people in different ways. My body is not used to medication apart from anti-histamine and the occasional panadol. Mentally my head keeps telling me it doesn’t like the prospect of being on long term medication, and therefore may have contributed to a bad run.

There’s less than one month to go do sort this out. Adding to the stress of moving, unpacking, trying to find space to put stuff, selling things, finding an estate agent to list the flat for sale. Ha, no wonder my BP is high.

health check results are out

cholesterol201603

The results from the health check came back. Apart from high blood pressure, the rest were all right. Saw both the doctor who did the checkup and a dietician, which is part of the package. The report highlighted readings that were outside the acceptable range and both pointed out the highlight in HDL, or good cholesterol levels. The dietician actually said she has to congratulate me. I like this dietician, she said to continue with what I’m already doing in terms of food and exercise. She also agrees with me that we shouldn’t become overly dependent on medicine and supplements. I told her I take a multi-vitamin whenever I remember, but I’m not in the habit of laying out a row of pills in the morning that I have to take. She was supportive of this mindset.

Of course the big worry is BP. I know this for a long time, and have been avoiding it. May as well face the music. Went off to see sis’ family doctor who gave me blopress which apparently is a newer medicine with fewer side effects. Not sure why she said newer, if it’s already available in generic form. Low dosage, I’m to measure BP daily and go back to see her in a week. Just what I hate, seeing a doctor especially since it’ll possibly mean regularly. Let’s see how it goes, it takes a week or so to fully take effect.

health

runningmedals01

Went to get some medical insurance information fro my financial adviser. All of them very comprehensive, but I need to do more research. At the moment, it’s probably okay to get hospitalisation only, because the difference in premium between in-patient and out-patient is more than I’d spend seeing the GP anyway. It’s always best to start thinking about getting medical insurance while I’m relatively healthy.

loud

ldn101greenpark

Been suffering from dull ear for a week, and today I finally couldn’t stand it any longer. Made an appointment with the nurse to have it syringed. She said that they don’t use syringes anymore because of the danger of perforation so she used modern probe-like equipment. The end result is the same, I can hear. The problem is, I didn’t realise the world was so loud! Just ambient sounds: the neighbours, the washing machine, Mum walking around the flat, the tv, birds outside, even the sound of my typing now, is annoying me. I live too much on my own, I take my peace and quiet too much for granted.

ankle niggle

andymurrayankle

Woke up with sore thighs, which was expected; and a left ankle that felt like it was slightly sprained. Not badly, just that range of movement was restricted. Hopefully it’ll go away in a couple of days, otherwise I’ll need to get those ankle braces that Andy Murray has been wearing.

too much food = indigestion attack

2012hktaipococomilk

Too much eating out is beginning to catch up on me, and I’m missing my own cooking. It’s all excellent food though, don’t get me wrong.

Met SC and AK for lunch at an all-you-can-eat Japanese place. It’s not a buffet, the food is made to order. The ordering sheets are stacked together into a 3 inch thick stack, there are sheets for 8 categories, from A to H. A is sashimi, B is sushi and so on covering tempura, yakitori, noodles, salad and everything one would expect from a Japanese place. It was good food.

Early dinner with parents at the market place we went to on Friday. Same slow cooked pork ribs and vegetables, but this time we added black bean steamed eels (delicious, so fresh) and curry mixed mushrooms (oh my, the curry sauce so yummy). For dessert we had steamed milk pudding made inside a young coconut. No sweetener, the sweetness of the coconut juice was enough. Silky smooth, almost decadent (even though at a local eatery on the top floor of a wet market is anything but decadent.)

I was feeling full, but okay. Mum gave me a tangerine when we got home and that was when the problem started. I got hit by this painful indigestion attack. I haven’t had one for years, and this one took an hour to go away. Argh.

#crash24

crash24

Been following the bbc’s live coverage of #crash24 today, in which a team of bbc journalists have joined London ambulance paramedics to get an insight into a typical day on the city’s roads. The field journalists shadow a paramedic, and there is also coverage from the control room. An average day has around 100 casualties, the latest on the map shows 60 incidents.

It is a fascination that is a tad inappropriate, because it is intrusive, to be reading about someone getting hurt. But the way it’s been covered has been superb, as expected from the bbc. Very moving to read about the professionalism of the paramedics, how they manage to negotiate London’s roads at high speeds (up to 100mph) in order to reach an incident within minutes. They patrol the streets rather than sitting around at the station. Many casualties are treated straight at roadside, so not all cases need to be taken to hospital. There’s been lots of fender benders, all sorts of pedestrian vs car incidents and way, way too many bike accidents that reaffirms my resolve not to cycle in London. Just last half hour the report has shifted to a serious pile-up on the M4.

Debabani Majumdar, one of the journalists shadowing the paramedics wrote,

It was an exciting as well as a humbling experience. The sound of the sirens and the rush of adrenalin as we sped through the capital is indescribable. It was humbling because we were racing against time to reach somebody who has been in an accident and the paramedic doesn’t know the exact condition of the patient until he reaches him or her. In addition to their medical training, they need presence of mind to calm agitated victims, at times explaining why their case is not treated as a priority, and try to forge a road through the solid wall of traffic during the rush hour.

All I can do is tip my hat at the paramedics and thank them from the bottom of my heart at the great job they do day in day out. People take them for granted, but the service they provide to the public is priceless. I hope I never have to use them ever, but I know that if I do, then I’ll be in good hands.

good teeth

I called up a local dentist last week for a checkup appointment. Just a random clinic I found on the NHS website. I chose it because it was nearby, it’s open on Saturdays and it has positive reviews. It’s at Harrow Road where I do my shopping, and I’m surprised I hadn’t noticed it before. It’s really just a neighbourhood sort of place, not very posh. The people were very nice though, the dentist matter of fact and did a good job. Check up, X-rays and cleaning altogether cost me £65, which, compared with the unspeakable amount I spent last year on a crown, 6 veneers, new fillings and some flashy bleaching in the US, is an absolute bargain.

free checkup

cvd

As part of registering with the local surgery I get a free NHS health check. Went for my blood test ages ago and only got the return appointment last week for this morning. It was mainly the clinician asking me questions and him trying to figure out where to put the answers on his computer. Snerk.

Non-smoker, moderate drinker, regular exercise — all good. Glucose level ok. BP was high, and cholesterol tiny bit high too. Nothing I didn’t know before. The overall test was to assess CVD, or cardiovascular disease risk in the next 10 years. Apparently my score ws 1.9, but he couldn’t quite tell me what it means or what the range is, only that they will start getting worried for scores at 20. So I guess I’m fine. Found some online calculators that puts me in the green zone anyway.

Then again, you hear of otherwise fit people having heart attacks in the middle of running or doing sports, so even a risk factor of 0.00001 is still a risk. The clinician’s advice was pretty standard: exercise, low salt, low oil. And I really do have to watch the BP.

can’t run 10k

running20110626

I couldn’t even run 10k today. It was probably too optimistic given that I’ve been sick and barely able to breathe normally the past 2 weeks. I got as far as 4k, then had to take numerous walk breaks; the last 2k was almost all walking. Now I’m 3 weeks behind training schedule, sigh. So, the plan is:

  • get better
  • short runs
  • try to get back on track

le bruise

bruise

Had a blood test on Tuesday, and there’s still a residual bruise on my arm. I’m pretty relaxed when I get my blood drawn, although usually there’s not this much bruising. Ah well, it’ll go away eventually, I’m not overly bothered.

injuries part 3

I guess it’s the drugs, but the pain in the ribs was under control for a bit. I even went running yesterday. Thing is, I must have picked up some germs from the surgery cos now I have bronchitis. My entire breathing system feels like an inferno and when I cough it pulls the rib muscles so they hurt all over again. Argh.

injuries part 2

Remember when I had the altercation with the pedestrian crossing pole almost 2 weeks ago. Well, my chest started hurting last weekend, towards the end of the trip, and has gotten steadily worse the last few days. There’s a sharp pain if I take a deep breath, get up from the chair, or move about too strenously. Oh, and if I run too. So I finally got myself registered with a NHS GP and apparently it’s inflammation of the rib muscles. Nothing to be done, apart from taking painkillers.

And while he was at it, the doc sent me for a health check and made me set up appointments with the nurse. Gonna be going back to the surgery frequently in the next few weeks.

hard of hearing

pt105westlanding

For most of the trip my left ear was blocked and I couldn’t hear very well. Sometimes it’d pop for a bit, and then it blocks up again. I didn’t mind. What I needed to hear, I managed. The rest, it’s all noise.

rotator cuff pain

rotatorcuffpain

Several times a year, I get hit by rotator cuff pain. The first time it happened was about 10 years ago while on holiday in Australia with mm, it was bad because I couldn’t lift my arm or push it back without being in excrutiating pain, and I had to shift gears while driving. That was the first time that pushed me to find a chiropractor.

This time, it was after the run on Friday. I woke up Saturday and it was tough to get dressed. The whole left shoulder hurt, the right side of my neck hurt (it’s all connected), I couldn’t lift my arm and the most simple action had to be done by moving the whole body. Luckily it’s on the left, I’ve never been so glad to be right-handed. Wasn’t helped by going to the food show and buying a huge amount of stuff that I had to carry in my backpack. Sunday’s run was also pretty painful. I don’t know if running causes the injury or not, it predates my running days and I thought that exercising helped all the aches and pains I’ve had over the years.

I don’t have a chiro or PT here, so I had to figure out something to help myself. Thank goodness for the foam roller. There are a bunch of exercises on youtube and I followed a couple of them. Helped a tiny amount. Then last night I slept without a pillow keeping my neck straight and it seems to be a little better. Range of motion has increased, although it still crack loudly and in certain positions I feel twinges. I went running today with the aim of loosening up. Fingers crossed.

flu-ey

We’re both flu-ey, mm has been sick since Chrismas and I have the beginnings of a sore throat. I’m hoping that mine doesn’t manifest and that getting flu shots every year helps.

kinesio tape

There was a fair bit of attention on beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh in the 2008 Beijng Olympics. Not only because of how she and her partner dominated the event, or the attractiveness of their uniform; she had a strange criss-cross of tape across her shoulder. It prompted a lot of curiosity and it turned out that it was for a shoulder injury. Since 2008 the tape has been seen on the likes of David Beckham and Serena Williams as well as countless professional and amateur sportspeople.

The tape is called kinesio tape, it’s a stretchable athletic tape made of cotton that is applied over the target area in specific patterns to provide support, improve circulation and assist in lymphatic drainage. There are now several brands in the market and they come in different colours, even pretty patterns.

I knew when I had ITBS pain that I should get a roll. It’s not until after yesterday’s terrible 20-miler, and being achy and stiff all afternoon that I decided to try it. I followed the directions on the pack and taped around both knees. There was a small difference immediately. Today I feel less pain and not limping as much as after my previous long runs. Whether it really is due to the tape, or the ice-bath, or the fact that I went to bed at 9.30pm last night, or a combination thereof, I don’t really care. I’ll do whatever it takes to reduce the pain.

bp part 2

10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication:

  1. lose weight
  2. exercise regularly
  3. healthy diet
  4. reduce sodium
  5. limit alcohol
  6. no smoking (includes second hand smoke)
  7. limit caffeine
  8. reduce stres
  9. monitor bp, get checked up regularly
  10. get support from family and friends

See what I mean? I’m doing most of these already! So I’ve come up with my own list of how to reduce my bp:

  1. give me some quiet, me time…regularly
  2. just focus on work, ignore toxic people, rise above politics
  3. kill all dogs
  4. invent a volume control button for the universe
  5. see a smoker, cross the road
  6. less emphasis on weight, more on body fat and composition
  7. eat healthy but don’t undereat
  8. stop obsessing about my bp

bp

I’m extremely annoyed. My bp is not in a good place. I thought I’d avoided it by running and eating relatively healthily. Genetics is catching up with me, I don’t know how much I can escape it. Must watch salt intake and reduce alcohol. It’d also help if I can get rid of work stress.

Shit.

white food, caffeine headache

headache

Because of the bleaching, I can only have white or clear food for 24hrs cos any colour (natural or artificial) will get absorbed into the still fragile enamel. This means no tea, no coke zero. Argh!!! As a result I have a caffeine headache the entire day. No amount of painkillers have been able to get rid of it and I think I’ll have to retire to bed soon.

I have salmon and summer squash in the fridge, but they’re out till tomorrow. Lunch today was scallop pasta that I had leftover. I figured the tiny amount of pesto will be okay. Dinner was instant oatmeal with an apple diced in. Sprite zero and soda water satisfied my need for fizz but not caffeine. Can’t wait for that first cup of tea tomorrow morning.

new teeth

Three visits and a small fortune later and I now have:

  • teeth thoroughly checked and cleaned
  • new fillings
  • one new crown — my first
  • 6 new caps
  • bottom teeth bleached (that was a freebie)

I figured, I never had braces or extensive treatment for my teeth, so it’s about time.

dentist visit

A substantial chunk of a lower molar came off the other day. I wasn’t even eating anything hard, but I could feel the missing part. I called the dentist yesterday and got an appointment today.

Not surprisingly, considering the amount of tooth that is gone, I have to get a crown. The dentist and her assistant were both very nice and got the mould done with the minimum of pain. Well, I did have a local. They also complimented me on being a good patient — no complaints, no screaming, not too nervous. I have to go back in 2 weeks to get the crown fitted.

My mouth was numb for hours, so I couldn’t eat anything solid. I nibbled on a few slices of ham and drank a whole bottle of muscle milk that I’d grabbed at a race. If I still felt hungry I probably would have attacked the title=”gu”>GU jar. Who says running has only limited benefits?

rice

rice

The last time I increased distance (the first time I got to 10miles) I ended up with stiff leg muscles and it was awful going downstairs. After yesterday’s long run I was determined to do better, so I stuck with the tried and tested RICE method, which treats and mitigates sports injuries.

RICE stands for: rest, ice, compression, elevation. I went to bed at 10pm; I iced both knees after showering; I wore an it band strap; and I added a large square cushion to the knee cushion I already use for sleeping so everywhere below my knees are elevated and supported.

Still a little stiff going down the stairs, but otherwise I felt fine today. I’m happy at how simple things work.

pain in the knee

runningkneepain

Sigh. I guess it’s inevitable that I’d get pain somewhere in my body due to running. It’s also likely that it’d be my knees. Surprising that it’s the left and not the previously injured right. It’s stiff either side of the kneecap, and there was a point during today’s run, at 12km, that it threatened to give out. Felt a lot like when I had the ski accident and couldn’t put any weight on my leg. There’s no swelling, which suggests to me that’s it’s IT band. What can I do about it:

Patience. This one takes a while. Give yourself plenty of rest, reduce your miles and ice frequently. You can keep running, but cut your run short as soon as you begin to feel any pain. Cut way back on hill work, and be sure to run on even surfaces.

Hmm. I’m building base. This week I’ll hit 33km/20miles. That’s peanuts. I have to build up to 60-70km (over 40miles) to properly prepare for the marathon. And I’ve got the Ravenswood 5k on Sunday. I still haven’t gone a full 10miles in one run. Patience I have very little.

meds 2

I’ve never felt this horrible. I had tons to do at work, so I couldn’t stay home. Drove in. Then straight to meetings. I was totally burning up, my eyeballs, throat, head, nose were all heating up. It was a struggle not to fall asleep.

So finished the last meeting at noon, then went directly to the clinic. A fairly long wait later and the doc said, “you have the flu, but then you knew that already.” Nice doc. I went back to the office, told everyone I was leaving then went home. The doc gave me Zanamvir, an anti-viral medicine via inhaler and a very very strong cough syrup. I took the syrup and was out pretty quickly. Napped till around 7.30pm, showered, watched Top Chef, and it’s time to go to bed.

Seems like a lot of people who were at Ptown got this cape cod crud, as someone called it. What a takeaway present.

meds

I used to depend on panadol almost exclusively. When I was just visiting the US, I used to bring my own because I couldn’t find it at the drugstores. It’s only a couple of years ago that I sussed out that it’s tylenol.

ibuprofen

For some reason, since I moved here I switched to ibuprofen. It has an interesting and simple synthesis story. I have a big jar of advil at home and a small bottle of motrin in my backpack. And it’s only earlier this year that I discovered that mm is allergic to it. So I need to keep some panadol in my pocket.

I was in desperate need of cough medicine today, my throat felt dry and painful, halfway down my chest actually. So I got a combo pack of dayquil and nyquil. Not quite feeling the effects yet, let’s see how the nyquil does tonight.

The dilemma tomorrow: drive to work or not? I don’t want to be the person on the train with the hacking cough. But there’s clearly a drowsiness risk. Hmm, I’ll have to see when I wake up. There is a departmental event in the evening, the more reason to drive.

health routine

I need to pick up the health routine again. One week of visitors and constant eating out, followed by a second week of holiday, totally screwed up my normal healthy eating / exercise routine. Only 1 run the whole fortnight — argh!!!

Should start back today, but feeling sick. Okay, there’s a big bit of laziness and lack of momentum in the mix too. But no more. Need discipline.

flu shot

We had flu shots at work today, the building offered them for $30, which the company paid for. I had flu shots every year for a few years now, can’t say I’m completely immune to getting a virus or flu, but in my mind it’s been helpful. It’s always mitigation rather than reaction. A couple of my colleagues hadn’t had flu shots before and were nervous so we went together as a group.

heart rate monitor

polarf6

I finally gave in and got myself a heart rate monitor. The nike+ is great for measuring time and distance, but the HRM will keep track of my performance. Plus I can use it when I’m doing other exercises, it’d be interesting to see how I do during strength training.

The idea is to measure heart rate, and this is done through sensors that are at the back of the watch, or on a strap that is worn around the chest. After some research I decided on the polar f6, one of the most frequently recommended models.

Putting the strap around my torso wasn’t much of a problem, although I can see why some women may find it challenging. I didn’t even notice it after a few minutes. Moistened the electrodes and it started measuring my static heart rate. There’s also a functionality where I could set up my optimum heart rate in my ownzone to ensure I’m exercising within the correct zones. The idea is to be at a certain% of max heart rate depending on desired intensity of exercise. I probably didn’t set it up properly cos I did a slow 5k over to the lake and it was constantly beeping at me that I was exceeding my range. I think I have to reset the ownzone again. No biggie.

The interesting thing is the discrepancies of calories burned:

  • nike+ = 319
  • polar = 293
  • tdp = 260

Considering I track at tdp, the more conservative number is probably an advantage. So now when I go running, I take: ipod nano, nike+, HRM strap, watch, keys, insurance card/ICE card, armband. More and more stuff.

leg cramps

usqueeze banana

I’ve been waking up to horrible leg cramps in both calves, as i stretch the back of the calf muscle seize up and feels like it’s solidifying. It doesn’t last long, but the last couple of days i’ve stayed sore all day. Didn’t impact my running, but it’s annoying.

Seems to be a mineral deficit of some sort, one or more of the alkaline / alkaline earth metals — potassium, calcium, magnesium. And/or dehydration. Many of the remedies include bananas for the potassium level. Milk, potatoes and water.

So I had one yesterday and one today. I’m not very keen on bananas, especially if they’re too ripe. Still, if it helps, then i’m all for it. Then again, I suspect what I really need is the osim usqueeze foot massager — I gave mine to Mum, probably time to get a new one for myself.

eye infection

feeling a bit sorry for myself, found myself with conjunctivitis today for no good reason. Not as bad as some cases, a bit painful, can’t really open my left eye comfortably. Doctor and eye drops came to almost $150. I need some optrex or some saline to wash my eyes, but obviously I don’t have them at home. Sigh.

amoxycillin

I have a 10 day prescription of amoxycillin. 2 tablets twice a day, ie 2x1000mg a day. For 10 days. That’s the longest course of antibiotics I’ve even been given, and that’s a strong dose.

I must say that it seems to be mostly working (touch wood). I slept till after 12pm today, having been pretty much unconscious all night. Still groggy, but the severe coughing and especially the pain has abated.

disappointment

Things today disappointed me:

  1. My cough worsened, to the point that the itchiness turned to discomfort and pain. Can’t take deep breaths either. So I sent myself home from work and went to see a doctor
  2. $130 for treatment and prescription. And I’d forgotten about the “get prescription at pharmacy, not at the clinic” bit. As I’m on the international health plan, the card isn’t recognised and I had to pay and claim
  3. My blood pressure was at 150/90. It’s not the flu or the cough; this is the one thing that is freaking me out — what would it be if I haven’t been running?
  4. Other general blah stuff, mainly work-related

barely good day

I couldn’t sleep last night. My throat was burning like hell and I was feeling miserable. We have a massage booked at 11am, but I decided I really needed to see the doctor. So mm, bless her, got ready quickly and took me there. Throat infection, 4 types of medicine and 1 bottle of cough syrup. 3 days’ worth of drugs, let’s see.

The massage was at L’Occitane spa, i had a deep tissue massage, a complimentary relaxing back massage and a facial. Niiiice.

Lunch at our Japanese “canteen” cos we were in the same area as work.

Still feeling miserable so we went home for a much needed nap. Heh, I headed straight for bed as soon as we got home and didn’t wake up till the alarm.

I had dinner plans with my parents. If it were anyone else I would have cancelled but I did not want to stand my parents up. I enjoyed the meal, glad I made the effort. Back early, so plenty of time to rest. I thought about going running, but decided against it cos of sickliness. There’s a tinge of guilt but it’s probably for the best.

clean ears [/tmi]

I’ve had a blocked left ear for weeks. It didn’t affect me that much at home or at work. Home is quiet to the point of silence and I sit in an out-of-place corner at work. The only problem is in crowded places like restaurants where there is a lot of ambient noise. The noise seems to get stuck in my head, but it provided another good excuse for me to be unsociable.

I had some spare time this afternoon so I finally made myself go to the doctor’s. As I suspected it was just earwax, not an infection. It was the doctor who irrigated my ear, not like when I was young when the nurse did it. Actually I preferred the nurse in Barnet. Took the doctor 4 times to clear it, and the gunge that popped out was pretty yucky.

Now there seems to be a big engine next to my left ear, I’m hearing a lot of extra sounds. I need to get used to this.

register as a marrow donor

nmdp
via bb.

The National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is running a Thanks Mom initiative from 5th to 19th May. During the event, costs to join the Marrow Donor Registry are paid for by generous partners and contributors. Their goal during the event is to add 10,000 donors online and 36,000 donors at marrow drives.

In the US, you get the inside of your cheek swabbed. You get a kit at home or you go to a sponsored NMDP bone marrow drive. If you are not a US resident, this is still important information. Even if you do not live in the US, people who register in the US could save the life of a person anywhere in the world, maybe even where you live. So tell someone about this.

THE FACTS:

  • 70% of the people who need a bone marrow transplant will need an unrelated donor
  • Many people will not find their match, so more people are needed
  • The most likely match the same or similar ethnicity
  • There is a severe shortage of people of African descent on the registries worldwide. It is very hard to match someone who is African Caribbean. There are others who are even harder to find a match for. If you are Chinese, it is very difficult to find a match. There are severe shortage of people of many ethnicities and you may be surprised to find out you are on the list.
  • 49% of the matches in the US involve an international donor or recipient, including recipients in countries where there are no registries, which includes all of the Caribbean.
  • This is a life-saving procedure for the recipient that is low-risk, not time-consuming, and not done at a cost to the donor.

Before doing so, read the faq and medical guidelines carefully. It is a commitment, and donating bone marrow is a little involved than donating blood.

I haven’t signed up yet. Not because I don’t want to, but I need to find out if being disqualified from donating blood outside the UK applies for donating bone marrow too.

all good intentions fly out in the air

I thought I might go to the dance studio today. Or if I’m feeling needy go to foot massage.

Sigh.

Woke up with hay fever. Two triludans (um, only supposed to have one every 12 hours) later, my nose itches, my skin itches, my eyes are dry and I can’t stop sneezing.

Managed to nap a little in the afternoon, by the time I woke up it was 6.10pm. I couldn’t see the buildings outside for the smog cover.

Fucking pollution.

work stress changes the body’s biology

I was off sick this week for a day and a third (cos I went home mid-afternoon yesterday). Just the usual flu, and a lot people at the office are coming down with it. The weather has been cold and the last couple of days we’ve had cold drizzles. Very grotty London wintery weather.

mm is tired and stressed out too. It’s worrying.

According to research published in the European Heart Journal work stress has a direct biological impact on the body, causing changes in the body that increases the risk of heart disease. The study began in the 1960s and involved over 10,000 British civil servants.

People who reported stressful jobs appeared less likely to eat sufficient amounts of fruit and vegetables, and were less likely to exercise – although problem drinking did not emerge as a significant problem in this study. That is hardly surprising, and can be considered a secondary consequence to stress.

What was interesting is that stress appeared to upset the part of the nervous system which controls the heart, telling it how to work and controlling the variability of the heart rate. This means that even if someone had a good lifestyle — eating healthily, exercising, not smoking and drinking — stress may cause heart problems regardless.

If there’s a reason for reducing stress and having proper work-life balance, this is it.

balance

Went with mm to see her TCM doctor about my headache. Got my pulse taken, my neck stretched and was told that I had the typical stress-related tension headache. Had acupuncture treatment — 4 on my neck, 2 at the top of my head and 2 on my forehead. Unlike the acupuncture that I get at my chiropodist, here they pass a soft electric current through the needles and I could feel the pulsing. Wasn’t uncomfortable though.

Normally they’d give patients strong herbal tea and we have to go back 2 or 3 times a week for a few weeks. When they learnt that I was going on a trip I got powdered medicine for the whole 2 weeks. Twice a day, dissolve the powder in warm water. Tastes fine.

I was also told not to stare at the computer too long, stay away from caffeine and fried food so I get re-balanced. The first two probably difficult and the third is easier to do at home. We’ll see.

attack of the ascorbic acid

well, I woke up and my head still hurt. But I had lots to do at work so I trudged in.

My colleague took me out for breakfast and it felt better, but I had to take 2 rounds of panadols before lunch. I think at one point I had a slight temperature and was feeling sickly. Then mid-afternoon it started getting better.

I had to go to an external meeting at 4.30pm but before that I went to the drugstore and bought some Redoxon. Dissolved 2 tablets in 500ml of Evian and felt way better. Oh, plus I had a salad for dinner cos I had to use up the fruit and veg in the fridge — so I chopped up some celery, yellow pepper, apple, mango and dragon fruit. No dressing. I guess the vitamin C attack worked.

chronology of pain

headache

4am: woke up with headache

5am: took 2 panadols, still painful. couldn’t sleep, read a bit

6am: tired out, tried to sleep

7.40am: alarm. been sleeping in fits and starts

8am: called work. made a cup of tea, took another 2 panadols

8.30am: tea hasn’t helped, panadols hardly made a dent, back to bed

11am: still persisting, took 2 panadols

12pm: made lunch, in hope that food would help … only slightly

1pm: made it to work. answered emails, printed out stuff for trip

2pm: another 2 panadols, actifast this time. called T, whose wedding dinner I had promised to attend tonight

3pm: i think I’m gonna be sick

4pm: may be a sausage & egg mcmuffin meal will help (not really)

4.30pm: dropped off cheque with T, said hello, took a picture

5pm: home. 2 panadols. I know, over the limit already

6.30pm: pounding, pounding, pounding … need nap

7pm: wow, i was really out. may be 0.000001% better, trying to resist more medication

8pm: is it time for the call yet?

9pm: laundry. anything to distract me

10pm: thank goodness for the blackberry, the call is delayed for 5 mins

10.45pm: okay, all done. I had 2 more which brings the total to 12 in 24 hrs. I’m stopping now

11pm: bed

ouchie update

I stopped seeing the in-town chiropractor and finally went to the out-of-town one with my colleague a couple of weekends ago. It’s really far away and I am thankful that a) my colleague drove and b) he is so generous to meet me near home and drop me home afterwards.

I haven’t been to this chiro in almost 9 months, but the drill is the same. Some traction for my neck first, and yes it popped. Then rest for a while before the doctor came to manipulate the neck and spine. He said my neck is out of place and my muscles all tensed up. There’s a big rock-hard bulge on my right shoulder blade. As for my very painful upper arm, apparently it’s a little inflamed probably because of all the stress it has to deal with. After a few well placed pushes and cracks, there’s acupuncture for 5 minutes.

I went to the third session tonight, and the pain in my arm has receded to faint discomfort when I move it in a certain direction. Tonight’s traction was quite intense and now my neck muscles are stiff — a good night’s sleep and they’ll relax again. I don’t think I’ll be healed that quickly, will need a few more sessions to correct the spine displacement; and since I’m sitting at the computer all day, I’ll need maintenance every month or two.

This doctor has a lot of patients, from kids to the elderly. Even in such a remote location people go all the way out there, I take it as a sign of effectiveness.

under the weather

I feel flu-y, been coughing and extremely sniffly. Either I’m coming down with something or the air is too polluted (sigh, what’s new?). My arm feels a little better because I went to the chiro today and go acupunctured again.

It’s far too hot and it’s not even June. I hate summer.

The only saving grace is I got home early enough to go swimming for 20 minutes.

ouchies

A few years ago I had a huge pain in my upper left arm, there’d be a stabbing pain coming from inside my bones whenever I moved it to a certain position. It got so bad I could hardly drive — reaching the gear stick was painful. I had it fixed eventually, it was a mis-alignment in my neck that extended down my arm.

I’ve been getting stiff and painful in my left arm, hand and particularly little finger when I type too much. It gets challenging every November during nano. Just typing this post I’ve had to crack my wrist 3 times already. I think I need to look into ergonomic keyboards.

I’ve had the same arm pain for the last couple of months, only in my right arm instead of left. It’s progressively gotten worse, I can’t lift it above a certain point, though it comes and goes — it’s better during the day when I’m moving about, and bad at night. I slept with both wrist braces last night, I think it helped a bit.

I went to a chiropractor to have it looked at last week. Been going about 3 times a week. Today they acupunctured my right shoulder. Some people are afraid of acupuncture, but I was okay, there was a small prick which wasn’t painful until the doctor wriggled the needle — on purpose, to heal the muscles / tendons / whatever is wrong.

Long and short of it, I spend too much time sitting at one desk or other. My #3-7 vertebrae are out of place and need to be manipulated. Needs to be majorly cracked.

can’t hear

for the past 2 weeks I’ve been having hearing problems, my left ear is stuffed up for no good reason. Doesn’t bother me a lot at work since I’m mostly on email and I use my right ear for the headset. Absolutely no problem at home since I don’t talk to anyone. Now today because I’m out and about with mm, I now realise how little I’m able to hear. When we’re in a restaurant the background noise stays inside my head and I can hardly hear myself speak. If this persists I probably need to see a doctor, or at least get it syringed.

back, neck, wrist

I visited an orthopedic chiropractor today, to have my neck and wrist pain looked at. No surprise that I’m stiff and my vertabrae are out of place. In fact, my #4, 5 and 6 vertebrae seem to have slipped from their positions. I know the area around my lower back is problematic too, but that wasn’t the focus today.

First a technician (that’s the best description I can come up with for the lady in the white coat) “worked” me up — a 15 minute therapeutic massage on my neck, shoulder and arms. Not the comfortable spa massages, oh no. This one was painful. She was strong.

Then to the doctor’s office. I sat in what looked like a barber’s chair while he manipulated and pressed on what was presumably acupuncture points all along my neck, the joint between my upper arm and my shoulder and down along my arm. Then he rubbed some “energy” into the top of my head and my left ear. It felt hot and stinging actually. Right now I hurt all over, but I think I will sleep easy tonight and will be better in the morning. Going back on Thursday.

ouch

My back and neck hurts. I can’t tilt my head more than a few centimeters to my right. I can’t raise my left arm above my shoulder without it tensing up. The little finger on my left hand is still giving me enormous problems when I type for any extended period of time.

I need exercise.

ouch

My left hand is hurting again, especially my little finger. IIRC it started during nano last year. My colleague dragged me to her chiropractor for treatment. The therapist first examined me and declared that my spine was out of place. Everywhere he touched was painful.

The treatment at that clinic is apparently pretty standard. I got hooked up on a treatment bed, my chin strapped in (but comfortably layered with a thick towel) and my waist strapped too. Then I was gently stretched so I could actually feel my neck straightening. By the third round, I heard a pop go off in my spine, but it wasn’t painful.

After being unhooked, I was told to lie still to rest for 15 minutes. Then it was to another treatment bed, like the usual massage bed with the opening at the head. The therapist then did a series of quick manipulations … I can’t call them massages they were more focused on a specific area. Lots of popping and cracking. Then had a little acupuncture for about 5 minutes on my left arm.

I’m very stiff, but I can see the benefit.

pain in the mouth

I have the most horrible case of mouth ulcers, aka canker sores. Usually I get them if I accidentally bite myself, but over the past two days they’ve been springing up like mad. I think I have six of them now, inside cheeks, on the gums, behind my teeth, everywhere. It’s difficult to eat or talk.

Doctors don’t know why they occur — they can be triggered by emotional stress, dietary deficiencies, hormones or food allergies. I’ve been dosing myself heavily with herbal tea and increasing the vitamin C intake. Hope they go away soon.