captpackrat: (This Bites)
A couple weeks ago, my SO and our roommate both came down with the flu at about the same time.  I thought I got lucky and managed to stay healthy for several days, but I too eventually succumbed.  Lot of good that flu shot did.

But the symptoms passed and I started feeling better.  All except for a cough, which kept getting progressively worse.  It's so bad that it's making my throat sore and it's severely impacting my ability to sleep.  Some coughing fits have left me with a severe headache or feeling dizzy.  I finally decided to bite the bullet and see a doctor.

Many of the HyVee stores in Omaha have a Quick Care clinic, which lets you see a physician  without an appointment and for a not horrendously expensive fee (usually $69).  I mentioned to the doctor that I didn't have insurance and he gave me a $15 off coupon, the last one he had.

I suspected that I had bronchitis (I've had it before), and sure enough, the doctor could clearly hear my wheezing.  It's definitely bronchitis.  He gave me a couple prescriptions for antibiotics and a corticosteroid.  HyVee's pharmacy also offers $4 generic prescriptions, so I was able to get the drugs for just $8.

While driving home, I had a really bad coughing fit that caused me to blackout for several seconds.  That was scary.  Fortunately I was on a wide stretch of road with no other cars around.  I managed to get home without further incident.
captpackrat: (Barf)
Ugh.  I think I got food poisoning from that Mexican place yesterday.  My gut feels like a blender set on frappe.

Flu shots

Nov. 22nd, 2009 05:34 pm
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
Got my seasonal flu shot today. I didn't feel a thing when I got the H1N1 shot, but this one hurt. :-P In two weeks I'll be ready for anything Winter has to throw at me. Well, except snow.


Nov. 19th, 2009 08:25 pm
captpackrat: (Grinning plane)
Walgreens has the Crest Spinbrush Pro Whitening powered toothbrush on special, if you buy one (about $8) you get a coupon for $3 off your next Walgreens purchase. I bought one today, then turned around and used the $3 to buy candy. Heh.

This toothbrush feels really weird. I was using an Oral-B Pulsar, which is just a regular toothbrush strapped to a vibrator. The Spinbrush, on the other hand, has a part that spins around in a circle, kind of like that funky tooth polisher your dentist uses, and it has a part that scrubs up and down. The result is a toothbrush that feels like it's doing the brushing for you. My teeth feel almost dentist-visit clean now.

I used the $3 coupon to buy a couple tins of the latest Altoids flavor, Cool Honey. Alas, it doesn't taste much like honey, it's mostly a minty flavor. It's not really all that good. I am disappoint.


Nov. 12th, 2009 06:13 pm
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
Got my H1N1 shot today.  Ended up standing in line for over 90 minutes, but only because they published the wrong start time.  At least the weather wasn't too cold, and I had my Kindle to catch up on some reading.  And it was free, that's always nice.

I still need to get the regular flu shot, maybe this weekend.

captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
Tuesday, shortly after eating at Burger King, I started feeling queasy, then I began vomiting and suffering from 12 hours of liquid diarrhea.  Sounds like food poisoning, no?  Wednesday, though, the intestinal symptoms went away and I developed a high fever (103°F), extreme chills, headache, sinus pain and pressure and muscle aches.  Classic symptoms of the flu.

I'm feeling much better today.  Slight headache, some sinus pain.

But now my SO and our roommate are exhibiting the same symptoms I had initially, vomiting and diarrhea.  Obviously it's not food poisoning.  I guess we've got the swine flu.

If this is the best the swine flu can throw at me, I think it's being waaaaay overhyped.
captpackrat: (Dead)
captpackrat: (Homer Heart Attack)
I got a letter from Costco warning that Crunch Pak Organic Apple Slices sold between December 26th and January 12th may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.  They're recalling any packages of apples sold between those dates; if you return them to the store, they'll give your a full refund.

I bought two boxes, each containing 8 packets.  One box is still unopened in the refrigerator, but I've eaten several packets out of the other box.  Yikes.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
My back is feeling better.  It's past the "knife sticking in my back" stage and into the "wow I shouldn't have done 20 hours of Sweatin' To the Oldies" sore muscle stage.  My cold also seems to be dissipating; I can now breathe (mostly) through my nose and I'm no longer going through half a box of Kleenex per day.  I do seem to have picked up a rather annoying cough and my temperature has reached 100°F.  I have a nasty habit of colds turning into bronchitis or worse; I hope this isn't the case again.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
So on top of my back ache, I seem to have come down with a cold.  At least this way I can take care of two problems at the same time when I spend all day in bed.
captpackrat: (Eye)
To combat the problems I'd been having with my eye (Recurrent Corneal Erosion), last year my eye doctor put me on doxycycline, which inhibits the production of certain enzymes that can cause the corneal epithelial layer to deteriorate.  This is really the only non-surgical treatment for RCE; the other options are basically grinding off the outer surface of the cornea with a Dremel, poking hundreds of tiny holes in the cornea with a needle, or insanely expensive laser treatments, none of which are guaranteed to work (I've had the Dremel procedure before).  Pills, vs grinding, stabbing or zapping?  I'll take pills every time.

The last major eye episode I had was back in September.  The eye doctor gave me a prescription for another 3 months of pills, which ran out in December.  My eyes had been doing really well since then, better than they have this century, until the beginning of this month.  That's when the erosions started again.  They were minor at first, just a momentary twinge of pain when I opened my eyes in the morning.  But this week, things started falling apart.  The worst day was Wednesday, which was also the day of the eclipse.  I had set up my film camera outside to try to take some pictures, but the cold and the wind really stung against my already sore eyeball and I could barely glance through the viewfinder.  (This episode was still nowhere near as bad as the ones I had last year.)

So, it was back to the eye doctor again.  $70 later, I had another scrip, this time for 6 months worth of drugs.

The doctor said I may have to take this stuff for the rest of my life, however I might be able to reduce the frequency, maybe down to every other day instead of twice a day like I'm taking now.  With luck this 6 month prescription may last a whole year.

(I also found that Costco has a generic version of Muro 128 eye ointment for "only" $12 a tube.  I've see it as high as $25 a tube!  A tube lasts me about a month.)
captpackrat: (Nuke)
Apparently large doses of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) cause your urine to turn bright, florescent yellow.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
I knew I should have gotten a flu shot this year.


Jan. 21st, 2008 02:18 am
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
I thought this phenylephrine stuff was junk.  Turns out I'm right.

The government banned phenylpropanolamine, which worked fantastic for me.  Then they severely restricted the sale of psuedoephedrine and ephedrine (it has to be kept behind the counter, you have to present ID and then fill out a form to buy no more than 3.6 grams per day, or more than 9 grams per month, any more is a misdemeanor).  The pharmaceutical companies have been pushing phenylephrine on everyone, even though it's no more effective than a placebo.


Oct. 9th, 2007 02:50 pm
captpackrat: (Thumper)
I pulled a muscle in my back a couple weeks ago and it's healed to the point where I can walk around without a cane, but my back still hurts.  I felt like my bed wasn't helping; every morning my back would feel worse than it had when I went to sleep.  I can't afford to buy a new bed and this one is only 5 or 6 month old, so there's not much I could do about it.

But I recalled seeing a full-size Tempur-pedic style "space foam" mattress topper at Sam's Club for fairly cheap, so I made a special trip into town to buy one.  Naturally, they no longer carry that size in store.  Fortunately, they did still carry them on the web site.  $170 and a week later, it's finally arrived.

Ooooh, this is gonna be nice.  It's only 3 inches deep, so I won't sink down into it as much as a full foam mattress, but  it's still a big step up from just a plain Sealy Posturepedic.  I can't wait to try it out tonight.
captpackrat: (Homer Heart Attack)
I don't know which is worse, the excruciating pain in my back or the side effects of the Percocet.

Eye eye

Jun. 12th, 2007 10:10 pm
captpackrat: (Eye)
Back in November, the eye doctor put me on Doxycycline, 50 mg twice a day for four months.  Towards the end of the treatment, and for a couple months afterwards, my eyes were doing fairly well.  Very little pain, very few minor erosions.

That is, until about a week ago.  My eye has started bothering me a bit, though nowhere near as bad as last year.  Then I was in excruciating pain, popping Vicodin like they were candy and spending whole days at a time in bed, my eye red and badly swollen.  Now it's more of a minor irritation, treatable with Advil.  To make sure things didn't get any worse, I went to the eye doctor today.

He said there was definitely an erosion in my right eye, though it was less than half the size of the one I had in November.  We discussed the possibility of surgery, but said that since I was responding well to the drug therapy, that would probably be the better course of treatment, especially since surgery would cost thousands without insurance and the pills cost only $8 a month.

So, I'm back on the doxycycline for another 3 months.  I also have to take tobramycin drops for a week, to prevent any infection until the erosion heals, and prednisolone eye drops for the next 3 months.  He also gave me a bottle of bromfenac drops, which appear to be an NSAID pain killer.  This is the first time a doctor has actually prescribed pain killing eye drops for me.  It's only a 1 ml bottle, so I'll probably save it in case I really need it.

The doctor says I may have to repeat this course of treatment again, possibly indefinitely.  This condition is very difficult to treat, however he also told me it often disappears spontaneously after 10 years.  I've been experiencing these erosions for about 8 or 9 years, so maybe it'll be gone soon.
captpackrat: (Dr. Nick)
Finally sought medical attention for the 100-101ºF fever I've been running for the past month.  A local grocery store, Hy-Vee, has this cute little 2-room medical clinic staffed by a Physician's Assistant.  They only charge about $20-55 a visit, depending on the treatment.  Considering my last GP doctor visit was $90, this is a real bargain if you don't have insurance.

As I suspected, I've got a sinus infection.  The PA gave me a prescription for Augmentin (amoxicilin/clavulanic acid) and a decongestant/expectorant (phenylephirine/guaifenisin).

I still need to make an appointment with my eye doctor.  My eye, which had been doing well for the past couple months, has begun bothering me again (though it's nowhere near as bad as it was last year).  He's probably going to put me on low dose doxycycline for 3-4 months again.  Ick.
captpackrat: (Default)
After much deliberation, and seeing just how fast my brokerage accounts were outpacing my money markets, I moved most of my inheritance money into the brokerage account.  I've now got about 10% in cash instead of the 50% I had before.  It's riskier, but I made as much in 6 weeks in stocks and mutual funds than my money market would make in a whole year!

I sold off most of my porn stocks on Thursday, except for Penthouse International (PTHL.PK), which I was still in the negative.  Unfortunately, my 45 day free trading period expired Friday.  I thought I was going to be stuck with the stock, but luckily, it shot up to $0.0065 a share Monday, so I was able to unload all 16,000 shares, pay the commission and still make a (small) profit!  Whoot!

While driving into Omaha on Saturday, Animale's car started overheating really bad.  We pulled off the road and checked under the hood.  Coolant had started spraying from under the radiator cap and I could see steam coming from a couple spots on the front.  Fortunately we were only a mile or so from a Chevy dealer, so we were able to limp in.  We had to stop twice more on the way because the engine kept heating up so quickly.  Apparently the radiator was both clogged and leaking.  That's another $500 expense we weren't ready for.  I had been worried about living out in the boonies and the fact that taxi service would probably be insanely expensive, but I learned there was a local cab company and it only cost about $30 (with tip) to go 15 miles.  I paid $25 to go 3 miles in San Diego!

We saw Spiderman 3 on Saturday.  Ho-hum.  I think Stan Lee's mind is no longer in mint condition.

Huge storms on Saturday, but for some strange reason, they all passed right to the east and west of us.  There were tornadoes reported in Glenwood, IA, a few miles away on the other side of the Missouri.  There were also a lot of flooded rivers, including the Platte.  Here, we got a lot of rain, and one VERY close lightning strike (when the flash and the sound occur at the same time, it's hit less than 100 yards away), but no apparent damage.

Our ISP wasn't so lucky.  Lightning hit the tower housing their wireless transmitter, knocking them offline for a good while.  Service wasn't restored fully until this afternoon.

I've been running a fever since at least Thursday.  It got up to 100.8ºF (38.2ºC) Sunday night.  I'm not sure what the problem is, I don't really feel ill, other than a headache and a bit of fatigue.  I was coughing a bit last night, but I haven't today.  I've increased my intake of Vitamin C and garlic and started taking myrrh (nasty tasting stuff!), hoping to beat down whatever infection I might have.  I still need to rebuild my herbal medicine chest, just for these kind of situations.


captpackrat: (Default)
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