autographedcat: (snoopy dance)
I was supposed to go in for my annual 40k mile oil change and checkup (also known as my annual physical) the week after Gafilk, but they called me the day before my appointment and asked me to reschedule, as their office was closed due to a completely impassable parking lot. So I ended up going in on Tuesday to be poked and prodded and have my subscription renewed for another year.

I love Leslie, my RN. She never scolds, she takes everything I say seriously, and she really makes me feel like she's a agent of support with regards to my health. I got the usual reminder about diet and exercise, and I said that I was making an effort to both eat better and exercise more, so I've started to think about the various ways I could do that.

One of the things I've done is take short breaks throughout the workday, go downstairs, and just take a short walk around the building. It gets me a bit of fresh air, and subtracts slightly from the general amount of sedentary sloth that my deskbound job typically entails. This is a good thing, but it's a drop of water in the ocean.

Problem is -- I hate exercise for the sake of exercise. I always start with good intentions, and never really make any progress. I'm reminded of the old joke about quitting smoking: "Starting a new exercise program is the easiest thing in the world. Why, I've done it myself thousands of times."

Many years ago, I first read about the Couch to 5k Program, which was designed to take people from couch potato status and ease them into a training program with the goal of being able to run a 5k race -- not to run it in a decent time, necessarily, but to complete it.

Unfortunately, at the time I first read about it, some ten years ago, the instructions all assumed that you had access to a quarter-mile track. It had instructions like "Walk for one lap, then run for 1 lap." Not having access to a track, I filed it away as intriguing but not useful to me.

A few months ago, [livejournal.com profile] aiela said that she was starting to try this program, using an app on her Android phone to regulate her progress. I looked and found that there was an iPhone app as well, which i downloaded, glanced over, and promptly forgot about.

Tonight, feeling a bit restless and bored (not playing WoW turns out to be harder than I thought *grin*), I went down to Lifetime Fitness with my iPhone, a new pair of sneakers, and the determination to get through Week 1, Day 1 of the program. The C25k program lets you set up a playlist to listen to, so I queued up a podcast and kicked off the program. I settled on 2.5mph for the walking sections, and a modest 4.0mph for the running section, and set off. It wasn't that bad; honestly, I think I had more difficulty changing the treadmill speed than I did actually carrying out the routine, but I definitely felt like I had done something at the end.

My hope is that the structured progression of the program will help me stick to it and actually get into the gym and stick to the schedule. My plan is to try and go Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and "Level up" every Monday. We'll see how it goes. But so far, I'm happy with it.
autographedcat: (medical - house)
I ended up taking the day off yesterday and today, and called yesterday to get an appointment with the doctor just to make sure I didn't cause myself any more serious damage than my wounded dignity. They didn't have an appointments available yesterday, but I was able to get one for 9:30am this morning. I spent most of yesterday wandering from the computer to bed to the couch, because being in any one place for very long (or indeed, in any one position) was rather painful, and what painkillers I had on hand just weren't cutting it. I did have some leftover diclofenac sodium left over from my back problems last summer, so I was taking those along with Tylenol for pain as often as allowed.

Drove down the doctor's this morning, and was seen fairly promptly. I had an appointment with the same nurse practitioner that has been managing my blood pressure and blood sugar issues; I actually think of her more as my primary doctor than my actual PCP. (In fact, I have to call my insurance company to select a new PCP, as Dr. K. has left the practice. They told me this when I was checking in, and I realized that this really wasn't a bother, since in the 7-8 years he's been my PCP, I've only seen him about 5 times. But I digress...).

After getting the blood pressure and temperature readings out of the way, she prodded and poked and moved me about to see where the pain reactions where. Luckily, I don't have the kind of radiating pain down my limbs that she was worried about. She wrote me out some prescriptions for pain medication, and sent me next door for X-rays. This was, oddly enough, the biggest bother, since taking them involved lying on my back and being rolled this way and that. I hadn't had any pain meds this morning, so I was pretty sore and annoyed by the time they were done, but not so much at them (they were very personable and kept the amount of prodding to a minimum, and what prodding they did needed to be done). He told me that I'd find out about the results probably tomorrow.

I went by the pharmacy to fill my scrips, stopped by Moe's for some lunch, then came home, took the pills and ate. I watched a little TV, but when I realized I was actually not listening to Matt Groening talk about....whatever he was talking about on the Daily Show episode I was watching, I took the cue from my body and went to bed. I slept until [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi came home and got me up for dinner. We watched the Dustin Hoffman episode of Inside the Actors Studio, which was amazing, and then I played a bit of WoW to pass time until I could take another dose of meds and go to bed. Which I am now going to do.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the previous post and offered their well wishes and support. It means a lot to me to know that you're all out there paying attention and caring.
autographedcat: (oops - house)
One of the things I'd been greatly looking forward to with our new apartment was its close proximity to my office. It really is "around the corner", and I thought I might take advantage of this one some nicer days and walk. Despite the fact that rain was called for today, I decided to chance it and stroll to work this morning, to get a sense of the timing.

Now, there's two ways I can do this. I can stroll up the street to the light, and then down a short block, and then around the circle which leads to my office building. We'll call this "the long way". The other way, which looks so much more preferable on the map, is to cut through the back parking lot of the office building that is two buildings down from mine. This is the route I took this morning.

Right after coming out of our complex, there's a path leading up a fairly steep embankment. I climbed up, and thought to myself that it really was just a bit too steep for comfort, even if there was an obvious path. But I made it up ok (about 15-17 feet from bottom to top, with a relatively severe incline), caught my breath, and then had a nice stroll across the parking lot to my building. Total time in transit, from my door to my office door: 11 minutes.

At lunchtime, I strolled over to the shopping centre next door and had lunch at Mellow Mushroom, a local pizza chain that I've always been fond of. While I was eating and reading the back half of this weeks Creative Loafing, the sky opened up. This wasn't a shower, this was serious sheets of rain with gusting winds. But I had time, so I leisurely nibbled on my pizza and, having finished reading Creative Loafing, leafed through their far inferior competitor, the Sunday Paper. (The Sunday Paper is an alternative weekly newspaper if it were written by your dad.) The rain finally slaked off and I strolled back to work through the now-light shower, getting wet but not drenched. It was warm enough that this really wasn't terribly unpleasant.

By the time it was time to go home, the rain was gone, so I merrily set off for home. As I got to the top of the embankment, I thought "this really is a bit steep. I'll need to be careful." Unfortunately, two steps later my foot slipped and, unable to recover, I landed hard on my tailbone and slid down to the bottom. I picked myself up and shook myself off, and limped home.

My jeans were a muddy mess, and my dignity suffered a near-fatal blow, saved only by the lack of anyone watching. I have a great deal of pain in my bottom and lower back, but I don't think I did any serious damage to myself. If I'm still in great pain after 24-48 hours, I'll go see a doctor. But I'm afraid that walking to work is going to either have to be the long way around, or I'm going to have to find a less steep pathway that parking lot, because I'm not going down that hill again.

Ow.

Blrg.

Jun. 6th, 2007 04:01 pm
autographedcat: (medical - house)
I had a lot of plans for the weekend, which involved packing and doing some repair work on the apartment in preparation of us moving in July, but all of that got derailed when I got sick.

Getting sick really isn't something I do, as a rule. I don't know if I just have a particularly robust immune system or what, but while I might occasionally get an annoying case of the sniffles, I rarely get outright, hurts to move, something is pouring out of every orifice, its only the glorious hope of dying that's keeping me alive, ill. Maybe once every couple of years, really, do I get sick enough to miss work.

Well, Friday, I was feeling a bit run down, and felt I might be coming down with something. When I woke up Saturday, I was certain. Spent the weekend mostly sleeping, watching TV, and playing World of Warcraft, and generally not doing anything that required the output of energy. Monday, I had my three-month checkup with the sleep clinic (we made some slight adjustments to my CPAP pressure, but otherwise everything is pretty ok), On the way back from the clinic, I stopped by my GP and asked if they could fit me in. I left with 4 prescriptions, and $75 later was home again.

Today was the first day I felt well enough to try and come to work. So I went out, got in my car, and started to pull out, and realized I had a flat tire. On changing the tire, there was an enormous metal object embedded in it. Fortunately, I ponied up for the roadside hazard protection for these tires, so it only cost me my time to change the tire, go to the Goodyear place, and for them to patch it up. Still, by the time they were done, it was after 10am, so I ended up extending my sick time out an extra half-day, and came in at lunchtime.

I still have a fair bit of chest congestion, but my nose is no longer completely blocked (Sunday and Monday nights were the first time I'd slept without the the CPAP since I got it in February), and the sore throat is completely gone. Hopefully, by the weekend I'll be much more human again.

Good grief, I hate being sick. It's such a waste of time.
autographedcat: (medical - house)
I took a half-day off on Friday so that I could go to the 2pm setup class at the clinic and get my device. This was relatively straight forward, as there were only 5 of us, and we had a good time sharing stories of our studies when the tech was out of the room. The unit they provided us was a ResMed S8 Compact, which seems to be an unremarkable but noncontroversial machine, from the research I've done since. (I still intend to followup on [livejournal.com profile] laurel's excellent advice, but for now, I figured I'd take what was given and not waste time.

As most people warned me, it is going to take some getting used to. The whole "there's something strapped to my face" feeling really doesn't phase me, but I'm finding that I'm hyper-conscious of my breathing at first. I'll actually be thinking "Ok, breathe in.....and out......and in....and out." Other than that, I don't seem to have too many problems with it insofar as it being a distraction from falling asleep.

The other thing that's going to take some getting used to is that I seem to only be sleeping in 3-4 hour increments. After about that much time, I'm waking up, and finding myself too wired to go back to sleep. So I'll get up for about an hour or so, then try to go back to bed, and often succeed for another 2-3 hours. My co-worker Tim has suggested that I will probably find that I don't actually need as much sleep as I used to, since the sleep I'm getting is higher quality, and he may turn out to be right. i would not actually mind a couple of extra hours in my day!

Of course, the bottom line, and the most important thing, is that I'm feeling a ton better after sleep, regardless of the length of time I actually spend doing it. When I wake up, I find I'm instantly awake, and no longer feel like I'm having to push a large weight off of my brain. While I don't have the "bursting with energy like an ADD ferret on meth" sensation that some people reported after their first experience, I am feeling less fatigued, more alert, and generally more upbeat as a result.

Ultimate verdict: I think this is going to be a good thing.

Thanks to everyone who posted with encouragement, suggestions, resources, or just shared experiences. I really appreciated all of it.
autographedcat: (Default)
One of the complaints I gave to my doctor during the course of the last year was how tired I am all the time, and she recommended that I go and have a sleep study done. So back in January, I went down to the Sleep Disorders Center of Georgia for a sleep study.

Today, I went in for the followup to find the results of the study. Dr. Wellman had predicted, just based on my description of symptoms, that I was suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. When I sat down in his office, he flipped open the chart, glanced at the report, and said "Well, you just about broke the record."

During the course of the sleep study, I stopped breathing an average of 130 times an hour, and my oxygen levels dropped as low as 84%. No wonder I'm so fatigued all the time, if that's the kind of sleep I'm getting!

I have to back in tomorrow to get set up with all the apparatus. Looks like I'm joining the growing legion of folks with CPAP machines. I wouldn't say I'm looking *forward* to it, per se, but I *am* looking forward to a good nights sleep.

Ugh

Oct. 8th, 2006 07:02 pm
autographedcat: (bad day)
Been suffering a migraine all weekend. Not how I'd planned to spend two days off. :/
autographedcat: (Default)
Back when I got my physical last September, one of the things that came back from the lab work was some slightly elevated liver enzyme levels. They weren't high enough to be alarming, but they were high enough for my physician to want to run some further tests. So I spent a month abstaining from alcohol and Tylenol, and was retested, but this didn't make any difference. So I was sent off to get an ultrasound of my abdomen. I did end up procrastinating on this for a bit, because at that time we were moving headlong towards [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi's surgery, and that, along with some personal relationship stresses, was taking up most of my emotional energy. But I did finally have the ultrasound down in February, and was told that it's definitely a girl! No, actually, what I was told is that the ultrasound was inconclusive, and they wanted to send me for a full CT scan.

With one thing or another, I never did get called back, so when I was in getting my blood pressure medication adjusted last week, I mentioned that I'd never got a call. Ms. Schaad, the NP who I've been seeing about the various things that came out of my physical, rolled her eyes and told me she'd resubmit the paperwork. Yesterday, I was called and told I could come in today at 1:00pm, and to come down and pick up some barium contrast dye to take this morning.

The barium wasn't as disgusting as I'd been led to believe, though I really don't think its a taste sensation that will sweep the country either. The real downside of it was that once I drank it, I wasn't allowed to have anything to eat or drink, even water, until after the procedure. This made me fairly cranky for most of the morning, as I tend to keep a full jug of water on my desk at all times.

I got to the Northside Hospital's Radiology facility in Alpharetta right on time, did the paperwork, and waited to be called. I was finally led back into the CT Scanner area by a very perky, pretty young nurse, who gave me some more barium and went over with me all the various ways that the procedure might kill me, and asking me to initial the paper saying that that was alright. I then divested myself of my various belongings, and made myself comfortable on the slab while the pretty nurse set up an IV that would later be used to inject me with even more dye.

The next bit was spent being shuttled back and forth through the machine, before she came in to give me the injection. Wow, what an utterly weird feeling! It wasn't actually painful, but it felt as though a nice fire was slowly making its way through my bloodstream. it lasted for about five minutes, during which I was shuttled through the machine a couple of more times, and then it was all done. I came home and ordered some Chinese food and played City of Villains until [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi came home.

I won't know the results for a few days, but it was definitely an *interesting* experience.
autographedcat: (Default)
I’ve known for quite some time that I really need to go and get an eye exam. For one thing, the last time I had one was eight years ago, and that’s far too long for someone who actually wears corrective lenses. For another thing, i was finding that I couldn’t read the small text on the TiVo screen from the couch, which is only 6-8 feet away. So when one of the nose pads fell off my glasses Friday morning, I took that as a sign from the universe to stop procrastinating, and made a call down to the LensCrafters at North Point Mall, since that’s where I get a discount through my insurance.

They said they could see me pretty much anytime, and I made an appointment for 6pm, so I could go down after work and not need to try and rush it all on my lunch hour. Showed up and filled out the paperwork, and then was shown back into a room for some baseline tests, including the dreaded puff-of-air-in-the-eye glaucoma test, which I’ve detested since I was a child.

The optometrist turned out to be a very pleasant woman who checked the prescription on my old lenses, and then went through the whole “Is this one better, or this one” routine to determine what the new prescription should be. Once that was complete, I went for another test with an amazing new piece of technology they’ve gotten in since the last time I was in, a machine which took photographs of the inside of the eye! It was really cool, even if it took a while to get good shots. (I wasn’t complaining -- the tech running the test was super-cute. *grin*). The amazingly cool thing about this machine is a) it means they don’t have to dilate the pupils in order to see all the things in the back of the eye they want to see, and b) they can save the images to use as a baseline for comparison from year to year, making it much easier to notice deterioration or damage. I thought this was exceptionally nifty and well worth the extra $30 or so it added to the bill. Once the images were taken, I went back in with the optometrist who explained the images to me, and said that everything looks very healthy.

Once I had a new prescription in hand, I wandered next door to the LensCrafters to pick out some new frames. I dithered a while over these or those before finally settling on a pair that I like. (I notice that big chunky frames are back in fashion again, but somehow they’re just not my style at all). I was told they could actually have them ready for me in an hour to 90 minutes, so I called [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi to meet me for dinner, rather than have to go home and come back. We were somewhat bemused to discover, once she’d arrived, that nearly all of the non-Food Court restaurants have closed in North Point Mall. Mick’s is gone, Atlanta Bread Company is gone...it was sad. We ended up at the little Japanese grill in the food court, for lack of better options. We then wandered down the mall, stopping briefly in the Mac Store because I like lusting after the laptops and the ipods. We finally made our way back to LensCrafters, where my glasses were waiting for me.

Wow. I actually did a double-take when I put them on. I knew that my old lenses were no longer correct, but I hadn’t realized how badly and how much I was just compensating for. I walked all the way through the mall back to my car just marveling at how much better the world looks when its in focus. (Note to self: Once a year. Stop being so lazy and get these things done.)

Owwwww

Apr. 20th, 2006 02:00 pm
autographedcat: (Default)
So, I’m not sure what precisely I did to aggravate my back, but about 3 weeks ago, I went to stand up from my computer and all the muscles in my lower back seized up. This was Not Fun. It didn’t remain completely locked up, but was sore the rest of the day, and I booked myself a massage to try and get things loosened up. That helped considerably, and over the next week or so, it felt like things were getting better.

Then, Wednesday morning, it happened again. This time, I called for a doctor’s appointment.

After being prodded and stretched and generally looked over, I was given two prescriptions, a sheet of exercises, and the suggestion that I come back in two weeks if I’m not feeling better.

What a drag it is getting old...
autographedcat: (Default)
Hey, everyone. [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi went into surgery for her shoulder at 10:30am, and was done in about an hour. The doctor said that everything went smoothly, and she's now resting comfortably on the couch in front of the TV. She probably won't be in front of the computer much the next few days, since her arm is in a sling, but so far, everything is going very well. She'll see the doctor again next Thursday and they'll start to discuss rehab/PT options at that time.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, and support. They mean a lot to both of us!
autographedcat: (Default)
Got an appointment for 9am at the dentists, and called into work to let them know I would be late. Drove down to be attended to and arrived about 10 minutes early, got my information updated with them, and sat down to read comics on the free Internet station they have in their lobby.

Finally got called back, and they took x-rays of the wisdom tooth and confirmed that yep, it needed to come out. And out it came, all while I breathed deep on the laughing gas and watched CNN on a TV mounted on the ceiling.

Best. Dentist. Ever.

Seriously, I love these guys. They are pleasant, efficient, and almost entirely pain-free. And don't underestimate the value of having a pretty girl pat you and tell you you're doing fine to calm the nerves. :)

If you live in Atlanta, I cannot strongly enough recommend DentalTLC in Sandy Springs. If you don't live in Atlanta, I think you should COME to Atlanta and see them anyway.

Starting to feel the side of my face again. i imagine by the time I get home, I'll want some painkillers again. But for the moment, all is well, at least with regards to my mouth.
autographedcat: (Default)
Came home last night after a not-bad catchup day at work, expecting to have a nice dinner and then go gaming at [livejournal.com profile] bedlamhouse's, as I do most Tuesdays. I was fussing around the house, getting things settled before sitting to eat, when suddenly a weird throbbing pain stabbed me in the mouth. At first, I thought it was just a weird facial muscle cramp or something, but then it came again.

Oww. That wisdom tooth that's been needing looked at finally hit critical.

Fortunately, I was able to get hold of my dentist, who called me in a prescription for painkillers and antibiotics, and I spent the evening being rather stoned and loopy, but mostly not uncomfortable. I'm now waiting for their office to open in 45 minutes to call and get an appointment.

Not what I wanted from my evening.
autographedcat: (Default)
More blathering about my health, behind a cut-tag so you can skip past if that bores you. :)

Pills and procedures... )
autographedcat: (Default)
I've been a bit lax lately about updating this journal with "what's going on with Rob" stuff of late. This is partly because of late, life hasn't been all *that* interesting, and in part because other stresses keeping me from really wrapping my mind around writing here. But, since part of the point of this journal is to keep folks updated with what's going on with me, I'm going to try and do a bit better.

Doctors and nurses and pretty students... )

Music and friends... )

More doctors... )

Coming up the rest of the week... )
autographedcat: (Default)
Left work again at 2 to try once again to see a doctor about my ear. This time, things went fairly smoothly. Ended up seeing the same ENT's office that I saw for my ear infections last summer, but I still had to fill out all the paperwork again.

Once I finally got seen, the nice doctor was able to flush out the obstruction and I can HEAR again! yay. Being half-deaf was very alarming, and not something I really want to go through again soon.

I also got to talk to the doctor about my ongoing sinus problems, and he's agreed to see if we can make an impact on them. I have a prescription for a nasal steroid and an appointment to see him again in a month. Going back to square one with a new doctor gives me some hope that maybe this time we'll make some progress.

We'll see. Meanwhile, I feel much better now that my ears are empty and unblocked. Especially since the post brought me new CDs to listen to. I now have a replacement copy for the soundtrack from Spinal Tap, the soundtrack from Avenue Q, and Billy Bragg and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue Volume II.

Those last two I'd been looking forward to for a long time. If you haven't heard the story, basically, they took a bunch of unrecorded Woodie Guthrie lyrics that had been found among the late folksinger's papers and effects, set them to music, and recorded them. Some really nice stuff on the first one, so far.
autographedcat: (Default)
When they decided to refer to me an ENT yesterday, they chose the specific doctor to refer me to based on the fact that it was an office I'd been a patient of in the past. This would be easier for everyone, since I already knew them, they already knew me, I would be in their system, and so forth. This made a lot of sense, even if it meant having to drive down to Sandy Springs rather than finding an ENT who was actually in Alpharetta.

So this morning, I drove down to the Mount Vernon Medical Centre...a familiar drive, since I went to see this particular doctor every 2-4 weeks for over six months. I parked, took the elevator to the third floor, walked around to the corner office....and they weren't there. It was another doctor's office.

Hrm, says I. Oh well, maybe I misremembered the floor. So I tried again on the fourth floor, the fifth, the second. Having worked my way back to the lobby, I consult the directory, and discover the reason I cannot find them.

They aren't there. They've moved out of the building.

Admittedly, it's been a year almost since the last time I was here. Checking the referral form, I find no address, but a phone number. So I call it.

Amazingly, in 2004, you cannot actually speak to a human being at a doctor's office. Not knowing which of their several locations I wanted to get directions to from the voicemail menu, I tried to connect to their appointment line. And waited on hold. For 20 minutes. All the while being assured that there was "one call in front" of me.

Giving up, I called my primary physician's referral coordinator and left her a message, and then drove to his office, where I sat in the lobby until she was free to see me. To her credit, she's always been extra-special-wonderful, and managed to get me a new appointment for 2:30 pm IN Alpharetta, at a location that I actually know the address of. So life is better than it was.

But what a frustrating, and ultimately wasted, morning.
autographedcat: (Default)
Spent a large part of today sitting in a waiting room for a doctor to take a look at my right ear, which has been stopped up since Saturday. Despite arriving 20 minutes early for my 11:30 appointment, I didn't actually get seen by the doctor until around 1pm. After looking, he decided that I really needed to see an ENT to get the blockage scoped out. No one they could contact to refer me to had an appointment earlier than tomorrow morning, so I'm still effectively deaf in one ear. This isn't painful, but it is somewhat disconcerting. As a musician and music lover, the thought of losing my hearing is one of the more terrifying ailments I can imagine. I imagine that a good irrigation will leave me just fine, but until then it's strange and I don't like it.

I must remember to take my own book tomorrow. The elderly magazine selection (According to Newsweek, there was a break-in at the Watergate building. Someone should look into that!) was barely adequate to keep me interested for a 90 minute waiting room stay.

Truth is, I just don't like going to see doctors. I don't actually dislike doctors. Heck, I have good friends who are doctors, but I prefer to limit my exposure to them to social occasions, and not spend much time with them in their professional capacity. I think a lot of this is a result of the continuing failure after three years to solve my sinus troubles. Nonetheless, I'll be glad to get this done with and go back to my reasonably healthy life.

Down days

Dec. 6th, 2003 07:09 pm
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Yesterday afternoon I got home from work feeling utterly exhausted -- to the point where I fell asleep in front of the TV within 15 minutes of turning it on. So I thought I'd go lie down for a nap until [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi got home. about 20 minutes later, she called me, asking if I'd be willing to come pick her up from work because she wasn't feeling well either.

Neither of us seems to be outright sick, but both feeling a bit under the weather, so we've taken it easy today. We did go to the library booksale, and picked up a small handful of books, including a half dozen Keith Laumer Retief books, which I've never actually read, and an AD&D Fiend Folio, a lovely book that usually sells for quite a bit, and they only wanted $1 for. Then we swung down to Roswell to check the Gafilk mailbox, and back home for relaxation.

We waited until six to officially decide not to attend the Atlanta housefilk tonight. Disappointing, as this marks the fourth in a row we've missed for one reason or another, but Gafilk is in one month, and we'll get to see everyone there. I hope everyone has a good time.

So, in leui of anything actually interesting to say, I'll succumb to the last resort of the helpless blogger

Click here to see pictures of the cat... )
autographedcat: (Default)
I gave blood today. Says so on the sticker.

It seems like I've been meaning to get around to donating blood for....ever, really. It's not something I ever woke up and decided to do ("I think I'll go give blood today.") Whenever I saw a blood drive in progress, it was always a bad time to stop. So, here at the ripe old age of 33, I had never actually gone and done the good thing.

Well, we were on our way home from a concert from our favourite local band, Screen Door, and noticed that the Methodist church on the corner at the end of our street was having a big community fair-on-the-grounds, including a bloodmobile. [livejournal.com profile] kitanzi mentioned that it had been far too long since she had last given blood, and I said "I've never done it." So, we resolved to get up in the morning and donate, and then check out the rest of the fair.

We arrived at about 11 and did the pre-screening. All was well except that my blood pressure reading was....abnormal. As in "That reading indicates I should be seeing a doctor immedately". I've always had borederline high-blood pressure, but at 180/120 reading would be cause for *serious* alarm, especially since it had never been that high. The nurse at the registration sent me in to be rechecked, and after another couple of high readings, it finally occured to all of us that they should be using the extra-large cuff. (*I* should know this by now, but I wasn't thinking about it -- this is one of the reason why the little supermarket check-your-own-blood-pressure kiosks are useless for me. My arm is just too big). After a much more normal reading with a larger cuff, we proceeded to go through the litany of questions. I think the nurse found me somewhat amusing.

"Have you had sexual contact with any person who was born or lives outside the United States?"
"No. But not for lack of desire."

Having been satisfied that I wasn't a risky donor, we went and did the whole jab and drain routine, which was uneventful. I didn't really find it any more uncomfortable than when I had an IV in while I was in the hospital.

Of course, due to a series of events that Kit has already detailed, she hadn't started her donation by the time I finished mine. So I sat down at the far side of the bus, ate Nutter Butter cookies and drank juice, and chatted with the nice church folk who were volunteering to help out the Red Cross folks. Once Kit got started, she had a hard time finishing, since she apparently ran out of blood midway through, but we finally got square and went on our way.

The church fair was a sort of combination yard sale, craft show and dinner on the grounds. We found several books for cheap and Kit found three pairs of shoes that fit her, but we were starting to get hungry at this point and decided to head off for a quiet cool place to eat. We ended up at local restaurant Hops, which is a steakhouse/brewpub, and had a marvelous lunch, brought to us by a seriously cute waitress.

We then stopped off at the only used bookstore in Alphretta, treated ourselves to a small stash of books (most notable: Harcourt has come out with a new hardcover reissue of Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's "Sorery and Celia", which in it's previous paperback incarnation was nigh unobtanium. Nice to see it back in print). And came home for an evening of relaxation. A full day, indeed.

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