Potassium: A Cautionary Tale

Confession: I have high blood pressure.

This shouldn’t be a huge jaw dropper to anybody. Not only do I have a significant family history of high blood pressure (not just my dad and grandfathers, which you would expect, but also my mother and all of my grandmothers as well), but I’m also not exactly . . . well . . . let’s just say that I’m not really ready for swimsuit season, am I? How’s that for a mental image? Me in a bikini. You’re welcome.

I’ve been on high blood pressure medication for years and like any drug, the medication I was on slipped in efficacy as my body got used to it and that’s where our story really starts.

More rambling below the jump.

The HPV Vaccine

The BBC is reporting that scientists and doctors in the UK will be meeting to discuss the need to vaccinate young men against HPV.

It is regularly said by health professionals in the US that HPV vaccine is something which is and should be only for females, but clearly the vaccine has been shown to be effective for men too.  Which is a good thing, since HPV has been determined to be the cause of some 2,000 cases of cancer each year in the UK alone.

The point to all of this? I don’t know that I have much of one. The CDC estimates that over 75% of the sexually active population has been or will be exposed to HPV. At least 15% are infected, however this number is believed to be low since there is no reliable test available for men yet.

In short, any kind of vaccine is not only a good idea, it’s vital to the general health of the population.

I. Am a GENIUS.

I figured out why I haven’t been sleeping too well.

Get this.

It’s because it’s been during the fucking day time!!

I know, right?!

I actually spent the weekend with a normal person’s sleep schedule and found that I was sleeping all the way through the sleep cycle (8 plus hours.  Totally unheard of for the last several weeks), and sleeping quite well too.  It was glorious.

Also of note?  Against all odds, I’m healthy.  That issue I was concerned about was that I was worried that I had the Wilford Brimleys (die-uh-bee-tuss).  So, I did indeed go in to the doctor and got roughly one-third of my blood taken.  From that however, it was discovered that my blood sugar levels were fine (which is great) but also that so were my triglycerides, my bad cholesterol and pretty much everything else except my “good” cholesterol which was just a little bit low (which just means I need to exercise more).

So that, needless to say, is pretty awesome.  Just thought I would share.

Take care everyone.

~A.

Back on the Chain Gang

Or Third Shift.  Whatever.

Yes, yes, you heard correctly, I once again have found myself confined to the lightless realms of third shift.  What did I do to earn myself this punishment, you ask?  Nothing bad!  I swear!

In fact, I guess you could say in a way that I asked for it.  I applied to be a Lead for my department.  While I’ve held that position title before at GD, it was on the floor and was just a stepping stone on the road to being a Supervisor, in this department (where there are no actual Supervisors), it actually fills that role.

SO, I once again find myself in a situation wherein I am responsible for the productivity of others and am answering questions, etc.  It’s interesting, that’s for certain.  It is taking me a bit of time to get used to making decisions for others again (as opposed to only having to be answerable to myself, which was nice).

I will also tell you for free that I’m not adjusting as well to third shift again as I usually do.  At first I thought that it was just that I had spent so little time on First and I had been so burned out that I wasn’t truly RESTED, but now I’m concerned that there may be a health issue or something.  I’m actually manning up and facing my White Coat Syndrome and will be going to the doctor tomorrow morning after work to get some tests run so that I can establish what the hell (if anything) is wrong with me.  Wish me luck.

And that’s pretty much all I’ve got.  Sorry it took so long to write and I do not at all promise to write more frequently, since nobody reads this anyway.

~A.

I can’t catch a break.

I can’t catch a break.

I made it home OK from CO, but as was noted on my most recent post I managed to get myself pretty badly burned right before coming home. In addition to that lovely physical ailment, I’ve also found myself suffering from migraines with distressing frequency recently. A few months ago Doc Grainger put me on a wonderous drug called Topamax, which is great for reducing the frequency and intensity of migraines but is pretty awful with the side effects (which are legion and can be upsetting including tingling/numbing in extremities, a predilection for making snap decisions, and a tendency for most people to suffer from short and long term memory . . . reshuffling. Not quite loss, but it takes a LONG time to remember stuff).

So this morning I woke up to go to work with a pretty bad one but I thought I would be able to get through it. I then sat up and almost vomited. Literally. I went to get up to go to the bathroom and I think I might have lost conciousness. I was awake and then next thing I knew it was almost an hour later and I was kinda half on/half off my bed (and my side was cramped). Needless to say I called in sick despite having NO sick time available whatsoever. Sometimes is just doesn’t matter! Losing an hour of time has got to be one of the more distressing things to have happen, period. And this is coming from someone who has had a whole HOST of distressing things happen in the last few months!

Happily I’ve got an appointment with ol’ Doc Grainger already scheduled for this Friday (the dude is HARD to get in to see if you’ve not already scheduled an appointment), and I managed to last through the day mostly with the use of a dark room and a cool wash cloth on my forehead (sadly the leftover perk didn’t help at all. Stupid stubborn bitch of a migraine). The sad bit is I REALLY would like to get my butt into work. No one ever looks forward to going back to work after a nice vacation, but I really would like to get back to earning that bonus! Maybe I can convince the Doc that I need something stronger (preferably something that doesn’t make me quit my job this time, however . . .)

~A.

Colorado

Colorado

Well, I’ve been here for the better part of a week at this point and it’s been pretty all around awesome. The trip up was no picnic, and that little reoccurring nightmare, that I’ll get in a car accident and die by swerving to avoid hitting something somewhere in New Mexico all during the age of 28 . . . yeah, don’t have to fear it quite as much. I (obviously) didn’t die from it and it wasn’t in New Mexico (instead it was a few miles outside of Holbrook, AZ), but I had to swerve to avoid hitting a HUGE elk standing in the middle of the road and ended up doing at least a 360 on the side of/onto the middle of the freeway. Had the road been anymore crowded I would have been totally fucked.

BUT I survived! Since then I’ve more or less split my time between the Springs seeing a very pregnant Meggan (who just discovered she is having a boy and is due in mid-October), and Denver doing jack crap. Watching TV mostly. I just don’t know as many people up here as I used to so it’s kinda tough to reconnect! That said, last night Kristan and I got together and between the two of us managed to polish off the greater part of a bottle of Grey Goose and reminisce about old times. I kept finding myself almost telling Kristan stories, actually. Then I’d realize “Oh wait, she was there.”

It was amusing.

You may notice that it’s currently about 4:30am. I am up and blogging at this point because today I went to the Colorado Renaissance Festival. Seeing as I was out there with a bunch of other people who were in civvies, I chose to wear the same. The only thing is that they went home after about 2.5 hours whereas I stayed out the entire, very hot, very sunny, day. If I were in my costume this would have just been uncomfortable as it would have required a LOT of water, but I would have had a hat, long sleeves, and tights to save me from the sun’s rays. Instead I was in short sleeves, shorts, and no hat. In short, I’m a toasty mo-fo. It’s making sleeping . . . difficult.

But I’m gonna go give it a try . . . again. I’ve got the sneaking suspicion that this blog isn’t terribly coherent so it’s probably best to stop talking.

~Ash.

P.S. Oh, and as an added bonus, I forgot my inhaler and so the classic CO Ren Faire of “everything is uphill in both directions” added to the dust and the elevation has resulted in me coughing again. A lot. I REALLY don’t need to miss more work because of these stupid lungs!!

Hi ho, hi ho.

Hi ho, hi ho.

So after almost three full weeks of being off work, I’m finally headed back in. It would be nice to know what exactly was wrong with me, but the doc himself isn’t entirely certain so I’ll just have to adopt the same confident tone that he had and rattle off a suitably long series of medical words. Hey, if it works for doctors, lawyers, politicians, and archaeologists then it can work for me!

I AM pretty nervous about going in though. I’m a bit terrified of hitting the floor and then, well, hitting the floor. That I won’t be able to make it through a full ten hours of talking non-stop. Because lets face it, I’ve reached the point where I can (usually) carry on a normal conversation, but how many conversations do YOU have that last that long? And sure, there are pauses while on the phone, but you’d all be VERY surprised at how those don’t seem to add up to much when all you really want to do is have a moment to cough up a lung!

Who knows where this journey is going to end up that I’ve started myself down. Maybe if I can survive until after July then I can try and get my old job back. That would be pretty sweet! I just can’t exactly say “Hey, can I be a sup? Yeah, I’ll be gone for 12 days over the next two months, but that won’t be a problem will it? Oh, it will? Well tough, let me be a sup anyway.”

Babbling. Gotta get ready. Meh.

~Ash.