Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A piece of the puzzle

So mom and I were baking a pie the other afternoon and she mentioned that I apparently had a really nasty go with RSV when I was a lil one. She said toddler age but before my little brother was born which puts it somewhere between 18 months and 32 months. Apparently it was a bad case but not bad *enough* to land me in the hospital. She says I did have a positive culture or test for RSV. Toddler me had gobs of mucus coming out of my face and full body coughing experience for 2-3 weeks. Sounds like a joyful experience, kind of glad I don't remember. The mysterious part of it was that the pediatrician didn't understand why I didn't land myself in the hospital, according to mom by all that was logical in his mind I *should* have been hospital worthy and yet never got there.
Pumpkin PacMan: Delish

Does this explain anything, probably not since the RSV and asthma relation seems to be a correlation at best. Jury seems to be out on where those fit together or if they do at all. Makes me slightly intrigued to get my hands on my records from the pediatrician. On the other hand who knows what really got me to this point of inhaling way more stuff than I'd rather like to. Perhaps it was all the years of uncontrolled allergies or the RSV or random chance. However, this new piece of the puzzle is an interesting one.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Merry Joyous :)

Here's wishing you a:
Happy Festivus!
Merry Christmas!
Joyous New Year!
Materially Fulfilling Secular Gift-Giving Day!
Any or all of the above and appropriate other greetings PRN. 

And yes I do celebrate all of the above days. Secular gift-giving day being a 'invention' of my friend Fiona. She is not religious and celebrates December 25 as the holiday of secular gift-giving. I have taken to celebrating it as while I do believe in Jesus and Christmas, I strictly celebrate it as a Religious Observance.  Oh, and yes my family did replace the hockey stick with a nice live Christmas tree, Mom was just doing some creative encouragement for the men-folk to set it up :).  Hope you have a cheery, happy, fun-filled, calm-lunged holiday season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wait and See Part Deux

So I had a fun allergist appointment today. Basically Dr. B is hesistant to change anything at this point. he likes how my lungs have been more or less beaten into submission by the Symbicort 160. I pretty much have permission to load up on the ventolin 24/7 the week that I am on the rag. Which is good. Basically we're just maintaining the current stuff in hopes of having lungs that are ready to tackle the spring/summer allergy fun time.  We've basically affirmed that nothing new is going on and that I seem to have some semblance of control 2/3 of  the month. While this is exciting I'm not holding my breath for this to last through past the ides of march(always a horrible day for me in terms of being allergy miserable).

Little bit of Holiday Cheer Put Up by  Mom

On another front I really need to get around to making an appointment with Dr. Z. Because well going from a 36ish day cycle and having like 9ish periods in a year last year to having a 21ish day cycle and having like 9ish periods in the 6 months is slightly disconcerting. We'll see if I can get in for an appointment sometime in the next few weeks before I head back to school.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12 of 12 December

On the 12th of each month a bunch of people around the blogosphere take 12 pictures. 12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell. These pictures were taken yesterday but I didn't get a chance to post them then due to finals.

2:27, Just off campus, Let the snow drifting begin! This is fairly true to the actual accumulation. Don't ask what I was still doing up and out at this hour of the morning :P

9:58, Outside Church, Headed into church, nice winter scene

12:13, South Parking Lot, Woot snow drifts! I don't know if you can really tell but this one came up past my knees,  about a foot and a half deep(half a meter for the metrically inclined).

14:09, Room, My graham cracker "gingerbread" house right before I ate it.
14:39, Room, Another study break, knitting a hat for the local domestic violence assistance organization.
18:55, Room, Studying Calculus, got to draw a pretty 3-D picture

19:41, Student Union, Grabbed some dinner "veggie-max" sub, and dr. pepper, the dinner of champions right?
21:56, Room, Yup you guessed it more calculus studying.

22:16, Room, Carmel on an apple for a snack

23:17, Room, Freshly sharpened pencil in prep for the calc exam
23:27, Room, One last look over the study sheet for the night then off to bed.
23:57, Room, My progress made during study breaks on the hat.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Utility Belt

Every superhero needs some stuff to get them through the day. I aspire to be super so here is my stuff that makes things workout more smoothly. As graduation loops in May I have done a lot of thinking about what has gotten me this far and how to move forward in the future.

Growing up dyspraxic is no easy task having to really work to make your brain connect to your muscles makes for some interesting adaptations. Here are the things that make it easier to work with limited dexterity, difficulty readily differentiating right/left, and generally being challenged in my ability to make muscles do what I want:

  • Laptop: my penmanship sucks, is extremely tiresome for me, and slow as well. Taking notes on the computer really helps me keep up in class. Plus it has the interwebs where I connect to people who 'get it'.
  • Planner: helps me keep myself organized, my brain really isn't wired for that
  • Ambidextrous mouse for my computer, just one less battle in the day.
  • Clothes with obvious directionality and simple closures:much easier to get them oriented correctly on my body. The less messing around with getting dressed I have to do the better.
  • Flat shoes that stay consistently on my feet: Favorites are chaco sandals, lace up shoes and shoes that stick to my feet. I haven't mastered walking in heels. Shoes that stay on feet drastically improve my chances of not tripping over my own feet. 
  • One handed eating: Chopsticks for noodle eating. Don't ask me how I've mastered noodle eating with chopstick and not with a fork, but don't be afraid to try different utensil techniques for getting the food to your mouth. Cutting with the side of my fork is so much easier than with a knife and a fork for me.
  • Short simple hairstyle: I just can't wrap my head around complex styling. Running a comb through my hair in the morning to smooth it out and spiking it straight up for going out are about it.
Some of my must haves

Allergies and asthma are a fickle thing to deal with over all basically avoiding triggers is the best bet but I do have a few favorites when that doesn't work out.

  • Carpenter Jeans and Cargo Pants/Shorts are a wonderful thing in life. They contain enough pockets to hold an inhaler, epipen, bendryl, and any other histamine paraphernalia as needed. I have definitely been known to fit an epipen, ventolin, and a spacer all in the same cargo pocket. 
  • Children's Bendryl Chewables/Disolvables/Liquid is my saving grace for when I need to dose up on antihistamines but want to not be so drowsy as to not function. I still take a full adult dose mg-wise. However, the fact that it absorbs into my system quicker tends to help out with not being so drowsy later. If it is early to mid evening, I take half my dose liquid and half regular adult caplet. This seems to leave me not so drowsy but still get rid of the reaction usually. 
  • A spreadsheet of my peakflows, meds, and FEV's. This gives me the data to know how it all is playing out. Are the lungs really behaving as well as they seem to be?

This is by no means a complete list of things that help my life function in a semi cohesive manner. They are some of the things that let me get to the point of being a "normal" college student or at least look like one on tv :). These things have empowered me to get up and live my life as an independent adult and yet this list is difficult to write as it reminds me how different I am. How I have to take round about way of getting from point A to point B. Makes me realize that the word disability might very well be an accurate descriptor and yet my challenges are so minimal compared to many others. I don't embrace the label. I will admit to being a spoonie but I refuse to think of my differences as deficiencies (see the spoon theory for more about spoonies).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Views from the Green Zone

I know it's not the 12th yet and there aren't 12 photos from one day either. I seem to be decidedly camped out in the green zone for a while and I figured I'd show some views from my life. It's been quite a nice little run here. I haven't seen my ventolin in 15 days (okay, so I've seen it in my pocket but not on the other end of the spacer). I would speculate that this lack of flare has two main causes: a)finally winter which kills mold/allergens b) not at the fun point in my hormonal cycle. I'll ride with this as long as it goes good like this. This is an especially nice break in the coughing and tightness et. al. given that semester is ending and I would really like to be able to focus on homework.
Blood Drive (couple days after my last hit of Ventolin): Pint #16(if I've kept count correctly)

Federal Court, AT&T, and Metropolitan Buildings in Downtown St. Louis in dense fog

Shakshouka being made by this Goyeh

View from the front porch as the first flurries start on Thanksgiving

Fancy Sweet Potato Casserole I made for Thanksgiving

Yup that right there folks is the first snow of the year(on Thanksgiving)