I puked last night.  I spent today nauseous.  Zofran – I love Zofran.  It + ginger + fresh air breaks got me through birthday brunch.  It’s good to have gotten out.  My birthday was feeling like a bit of a bust.  I had to remind myself last night that this is just what my body is like now, that there’s no reason to think my birthday would be any different, so there’s no point feeling ripped off on account of feeling crappy yesterday or today.

woman receiving IV infusion at hospital, black and white with blue washout background

feeling really bad

Since the EEG, I’ve been considering why the hyperventilation condition brought the same sensations as when I feel really, really bad.  I.e., the buzzing, thudding, swaying, graying vision awfulness.  And here’s a thought:  Maybe I’m just hyperventilating when I feel those sensations, I mean when I feel them outside of intentionally hyperventilating for an EEG.  That’s the simplest explanation, right?

I started to feel the tingling this afternoon and I asked the people with me “I need an honest answer here.  Does it seem to either of you that I am breathing oddly?”  My husband asked “right now?”  I said “now and for about the last 20 minutes.”  My friend, who is a speech therapist (works in a B.A.T.H. with lots of TBI and stroke patients) and my husband both said no.  Total, that’s two “no”s, three if you count my own.  But I am not convinced.  Maybe I am “over breathing” very subtly.  How does one measure that?  No, really, that’s not a rhetorical question.  I’m going to ask about this at the follow up neuro appointment.

It would be a nice explanation.  Not easy to adjust necessarily, not if I am lacking awareness of doing it, but something that is relatively innocuous.  And presumably I could do something to try to become more aware of it and then stop doing it.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

très bizarre

Pea sprout plucked from Cape man’s lung
August 12, 2010

By L. Finch, Globe Correspondent

It wasn’t cancer that doctors discovered growing inside a 75-year-old Brewster man’s lung in May after an x-ray of his chest showed a small dark spot.

Doctors feared the worst when Ron Sveden, already suffering from emphysema, was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital, coughing with a collapsed left lung and pneumonia. But after multiple biopsies, doctors discovered not a tumor — but a pea seed germinating inside Sveden’s collapsed lung.

They removed the sprout, about a half of an inch tall, and Sveden has recovered.

(full story at the Boston Globe)

Stories like this are what lend credence to those “old wives’ tale” type warnings we used to get as kids.  You know the ones, “your face will get stuck like that if someone hits you on the back”, etc.  I suspect these are culturally specific.  E.g., a good friend of mine worked in Italy for a while and consistently horrified her host family by insisting on drinking not just cold beverages (which apparently is bad enough) but beverages with ICE!  One day, she did become ill, suffering from some gastrointestinal upset and pain.  My friend reported hearing members of her host family telling the doctor in hushed tones that although they had warned her not to, she had insisted on drinking ice cold beverages – which all right thinking people (Italians) know is a trigger for GI trouble.

So what is your favorite medical urban legend/old wives’ tale?

Not smoking

Why am I not smoking. Because I had a cold which went immediately into my chest. I don’t normally get that. But this time I did. And the very same day I was realizing the coughing fits were increasing and I was feeling distinctly unwell, unbeknownst to me my little brother was in an ER in Massachusetts with a rapidly developing atypical pneumonia.

Turns out little brother has a MRSA pneumonia. It’s scary. He wasn’t sick before this. Just BANG, MRSA pneumonia. He is HIV positive but his T cells are pretty decent. Perhaps they’ve been looking at the wrong T cells my sister the lab assistant says. I don’t know my T cell from my B cell, so I’ll just wait for my brother’s next HIV update, which won’t be for another month or so.

Regardless of where his immune system is at, he is damned sick right now and I’m his health care proxy. Moreover, I’m his sister. I want to be able to be there, I mean really physically there. It sucks to be that sick and alone. So not wanting my chest cold to turn into something which would lay me out in bed for a week, I decided I’d try not to smoke.

Thus far, it’s been 8 days since I had a cigarette. Sometimes I really want one. Then I start coughing and this shit comes up, or I call my brother and hear him gasping into the phone like he just took two flights of stairs in three leaps and I don’t want one so much.

He’s doing better. Not well but much better than he was. He transfered out of Babyfarm Suburban Hospital on Wednesday of last week, he came off the O2 Friday, and the team who’s covering him over at Man’s Best Hospital had been talking of sending him home early this coming week until the pleural fluid culture came back today. We don’t know what’s in it yet. We only know the 4th year popped in with just enough information to make my brother uneasy and to confirm my call that this was the start of the Discharge Cha-Cha (Let’s go! cha-cha-cha Woops no! cha-cha-cha)

Odds are he’ll be recovering down here at Chez Hygeian if he’s discharged this week since Nurse Mom went ahead with her elective surgery on Friday, recovery from which doesn’t allow much in the way of ambulation for something like two or three weeks. And Mr. Nurse Mom is an overgrown baby who’s ability to take care of even just himself, the pets, and Nurse Mom while she recovers is quite doubtful.

So I figured it’d be best to at least TRY to keep up the nonsmoking. God knows my brother’s not going to need smoke in those beat up lungs.