asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
This isn't going to be a riddle, it's going to be my real life experience. Because it includes potentially triggering discussion of sexism, and lengthy descriptions of asthma (which I guess could be a medical trigger), I'm going to put stuff behind a cut for people reading on their LJ/DW friends page - if you're came here directly, each section begins with "My discovery of" and it's asthma first and sexism next.

My discovery of / description of living with asthma… )

My discovery of / description of living with sexism… )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.

Asthma

Feb. 23rd, 2015 09:37 pm
I'm so excited, today after a couple puffs from my rescue inhaler an hour earlier, I was able to walk home really fast and get short of breath from exercise / lung capacity, rather than short of breath from asthma. Eeee! (Yeah, I'm even more out of shape than I usually am, since I've been walking at a little old lady's pace since the Hunt b/c to anything faster triggered my asthma.)

It's so weird learning new sensations in my body, and it doesn't help that I'm not figuring this shit out until I'm 37.

Read more... )But on the plus side, it's slowly improving due to the steroid inhaler I'm on until ... um, I forget when? But when it's out of doses and it's got a counter on it, so then. A month total though.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
asterroc: (doll)
Anybody use a plastic mattress cover to protect it from stains and/or keep in/out allergens? I'm thinking about giving one a shot for my allergies, so ideally I'd want one that's air tight. I worry that they sound/feel all crinkly and plasticky.
What do I need to know about the version passed last night? And what happens next to make it law?

Albuterol

Mar. 4th, 2010 09:58 am
asterroc: (rhino)
Well this is exciting. I'd noticed lately that my inhaler was less effective than usual. It's a little light, but not so much that it's run out, so it's probably the fact that it expired last August. I'm guessing that in the case of inhalers, the propellant can slowly leach out, making expiration date more relevant than in many other drugs. This is not the first time that I've noticed the effectiveness decrease a year or two after the expiration date.

In case it wasn't clear, my asthma's quite mild, and I know my triggers well. I typically take one puff before exercising a few times a month (yeah, I don't exercise as much as I should), two puffs after the fact if I have to walk fast on very cold dry days, two puffs preventatively if I'm going into an environment with dogs or some other known allergen, or two puffs after the fact if I have an unexpected allergic reaction to something. This amounts to using one inhaler every few years, so I usually need to replace them due to reduced effectiveness after expiration rather than them actually running out.

When I had a checkup a few months ago, my NP mentioned in passing something about albuterol prescribing changing, something about brand names and generics, and I didn't think twice about it. I called up my online drug company today to get a new prescription, and the operator asked what the brand name was. I said "Armstrong," and she said "no, it's either..." and rattled off a string of brand names that I didn't see on my inhaler canister anywhere. I said "I heard there was some change in brands, and I got this one a few years ago so it must be before that change." And she demurred and implied that she couldn't get a prescription if I didn't have the brand name already. So I called my doctor's office and told the tech that I needed albuterol called in to my local physical pharmacy so she'll get the info from the doctor when the doctor has the time, and then I Wikipediaed.

Albuterol in the old form (like I apparently have) used CFCs as the propellant. As of the end of 2008, by international treaty the FDA banned all CFC-based inhalers. A number of companies (the ones rattled off to me by the operator) have developed proprietary non-CFC propelled inhalers, with the result that no generic albuterol inhalers currently exist, and with the added bonus of an average increase in cost of $20 per inhaler - a benefit which I expect will be passed on to me, the consumer, when I actually get the prescription.

So now I'm wondering which of the brands my doctor will prescribe me, if there are additional side effects I have to worry about, if I'll have to go to the doc in person to discuss this, and if it'll cost a lot more. Anyone here use an albuterol inhaler and notice any difference around 2008-2009 when things changed?
An open letter to my senators and representatives.

I am writing to you today regarding the health care reform bill currently before the house and senate.

The bill as it currently stands sets women's rights back decades. Not only does the bill currently not provide access to safe, legal abortions, but it also does not provide access to the hormonal birth control which would reduce the necessity for abortions. If women are not provided access to safe legal abortions, some women will be forced return to back alley hack-job abortions, coat hanger abortions, or chemical abortions. The greatest benefit of Roe vs. Wade was not that it allowed women to have abortions, women were already having them, but allowing women to have SAFE abortions. In addition, removing access to hormonal birth control will only increase the need for illegal unsafe abortions.

What's even worse is that the bill as it currently stands does not allow for pelvic exams, a necessary routine yearly medical examination for the physical health of women. This routine preventative exam helps catch the early stages of fertility and life threatening diseases such as ovarian cancer or cervical cancer. Removing access to such exams threatens the lives of every woman on such a health plan, and will increase health care costs in the long run through treating the full blown disease instead of preventing it. In addition only women are being denied access to routine exams, giving the message that only men should have the right to good health care.

I urge you to work towards a more equitable health care bill by supporting any amendments that would provide access to abortion, to hormonal birth control, and to pelvic exams.


Look up your Reps and send your letter here.
Read "An Economic Case Against Homosexuality" by self-proclaimed conservative librarian Bert Chapman. Among the head explodey:

* The AIDS epidemic is caused by homosexuals worldwide, and heterosexual promiscuity in Africa (note: Africa exclusively).
* Homosexuals are criminals, as evidenced by the high rate of homosexual rape in prison.
* Domestic partner benefits and other forms of progress for homosexuals has come at the expense of us poor heterosexuals and this is ruining the economy.
asterroc: (rhino)
H1N1 has further confirmation of being a zoonotic disease. There have been 2 confirmed cases of ferrets contracting the disease (one of which recovered and one of which died), and now 1 confirmed case of a cat contracting the disease (it recovered). Just like you would when interacting with humans, wash your hands frequently and especially before handling pets' food, and wear a mask while sharing the same room for an extended period of time. There have yet to be any confirmed cases of animal to human transmission, so don't go kicking your pets out of the house or sending them to the shelter.

Not sick!

Oct. 8th, 2009 08:23 am
asterroc: (rhino)
Decided to just entirely quote an email I just sent to my parents.

Continued symptoms of a head cold or sinus infection drove me to my doctor yesterday morning. Before she even examined me, she noted that I'd been to see her with a cold every Oct/Nov for the past four years, indicating either that the symptoms were actually allergies, or that the allergies left me susceptible to catching colds. After the exam she decided that the current symptoms were a combination of illness and allergies, and decided to start by treating the allergies alone. She prescribed me Singulair and Flonase, told me to call her Friday with an update so she could decide whether to add antibiotics to my list, and told me I could mix the Singular with either Claritin or Zyrtec if I feel it was necessary. (Singulair works on leukotriene while Claritin and Zyrtec both work on histamine.) Took the drugs yesterday evening, slept through the night, and woke up feeling normal for the first time since early September. Yay! Looks like I might not need to see an allergist after all.


The part I found particularly telling was that every year since 2006 I have been to see my doctor with a cold either in October or November. I wouldn't see my doctor unless I were convinced it wasn't allergies, so either I was wrong, or that allergies in September or October depressed my immune system enough to catch the colds. So anyone know what I'm allergic to at that time of the year? Leaves aren't yet falling so it's probably not mold/mildew, and it's not Spring so it wouldn't be most of the things blooming.
It's getting on towards Northern Hemisphere winter, and people are coming out of the woodworks asking about space heaters. Since I answer this question so frequently, I decided to just make a website answering it. :)

Feel free to give the link to others.

X-posted
asterroc: (rhino)
Woke up this morning with a low grade fever and sore throat. Or maybe "continued to not be asleep" might be better, since I didn't sleep more than an hour straight all night long. Had the AC on all night and it didn't help, so between that and the fever of 99.5F I concluded I was sick. Called the local mega-university's health services triage nurse, and she said I should stay home today, drink plenty of fluids, use my inhaler (I totally forget how often I'm allowed to use it, any ideas?), and I could take an expectorant if I was coughing. Went back to bed.

Woke up, made some soup, ate the soup, un-ate the soup, went back to bed.

Woke up shivering and took my temperature: 101.1F (as in, just over the threshold for flu). Called the triage nurse and left a message. Called again every 15 minutes for the next hour. Took my temperature: 101.5F. Emailed my students to tell them I won't be in tomorrow, and just called the school's absence reporting line. I think I'm going to call up for a same-/next-day appointment. Hopefully that won't go to voice mail too. Hopefully I won't have to call the hamthrax reporting line after that appt.
It's my understanding that my health insurance will cover a visit to an allergist, but will not cover testing nor the shots. I'm planning to call an allergist tomorrow (my Fall allergies have interfered with my sleep for more than a week straight now, and it feels like a bad cold except that I know it isn't), and I want to be prepared for how much it's going to suck.
Damn I hate having a pain condition. Been dealing with cysts for something like two weeks now - as soon as one heals up, another one blossoms. Maybe once school actually starts I'll stop worrying about it and the cysts will go away.

What's bothering me about them right now is the continual pain. Sure it's mild, but it's always there, and that's really draining on physical energy, emotional energy, and attention span. I regenerate a spoon maybe every hour or two, and then I promptly use it up making lunch. Or washing my lunch dishes. Or rotating some of the toys in Kappa's cage. Or even just making a list of all the things I have to be doing! I keep wanting to just sit down and cry from the pain and the frustration all together. But that would take a spoon I don't have.

Flu shots!

Aug. 26th, 2009 11:53 am
asterroc: (rhino)
I'm curious whether people are planning to get the flu shot this year.

[Poll #1449243]
Dear LJ,

No I'm not going to register to donate bone marrow. Yeah I know that every person on the registry represents a chance at a saved life. I even know that as a multiracial person, my bone marrow's much more desirable. But it scares the shit out of me. Yes I read the myths and facts, donation FAQs, when you're contacted as a possible match, and everything else on Be The Match / National Marrow Donor Program - I read it all hoping I'd get over it. But it still scares the shit out of me. You can stop inviting me now.

You can take it when I'm dead, though. I've got a nice little "organ donor" thing on my driver's license, and I've told my family and significant other that I'll donate everything but my brain. So if my bone marrow's still useful when I'm dead, please do take it then.

Hearts and livers,

Zandperl

Star Trek

May. 25th, 2009 10:16 pm
I don't think this is really spoilery, but just in case )

You know you're tired when you type "lj-cute". Have I mentioned I'm sick? I might even have pink eye, yay.
asterroc: (rhino)
If you or anyone you know is currently taking Raptiva (efalizumab) for psoriasis, it is currently being withdrawn from the market due to fatal viral infections and brain damage as a side effect. Raptiva suppresses the immune system. Around 70-90% of the population has a virus called the JC virus dormant in their bodies, and when Raptiva suppresses the immune system this virus can become active. When it does so, it causes progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), which is similar to MS and causes inflammation of the brain.

If you're using Raptiva (or have in the past), please talk to your doctor ASAP about how to best wean yourself off of it and about your risk factors for PML.

Below is the email the makers of Raptiva are sending out to patients. )
Arizona trip is awesome so far. Been spending lots of time outside in weather in the 80's. The one thing that wasn't awesome was yesterday I got stung by a bee in the face and totally freaked out. See, when I was a child, not only was I allergic to bee stings, but if the stinger stayed in I was *severely* allergic - as in throat swelling closed and not breathing. And now I have asthma and didn't back then. So yeah, I understandably freaked out a bit. I managed to shriek something to the effect of "take the stinger out!" which [livejournal.com profile] blue_102 successfully did, and although my face hurt like the dickens and swelled up a bit, I didn't have much of an allergic reaction and no asthma whatsoever. So the upshot of it is that I apparently don't need to freak out about bee stings anymore.

Weather's been awesome. We've been doing things outside every day, and between the sun and heat it's been tiring me out a LOT. But it's awesome. I've been taking around 180 photos a day, I need to learn better how to weed out the best so that I don't swamp people with the others. I will be posting them when I get back, don't want to hog bandwidth as a guest. Today the Desert Botanical Gardens had some weird glass art installation that looked like Cthulu was rising from the sands, or swooping down on it or something. Very freakish.

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