Monday, September 14, 2009

My Flu Rant

I've had some sort of virus for a handful of days. Looking at my symptoms, I'd guess a mild case of flu. Due to my chronic health problems, I'm lucky at how mild it has been, even if I haven't felt lucky. I've FELT like crap. I'm hoping, but didn't go to the doctor to be tested, that this was H1N1 and that now I am done with it. Although, I WILL still get flu shots this next few months just to be cautious. But I have heard SO MUCH misinformation, that I felt the need to post a few facts here. I hope that someone hears me and shares this and people listen. Because even if YOU don't get sick from the flu, your poor hygeine and lack of regard for others might kill somebody. You can pass a virus along without it making you ill. So cough all over some people on the bus, and you might pass it on without even knowing it. Please wash your freakin' hands. Use hand sanitizers if needed. If you get sick, stay home; if you have to leave the house for groceries or something: wear a mask so you don't pass it on. (In Asia, when you see people wearing masks, most of them are doing it out of consideration for others, not self interest.)
Some facts, as of yesterday:
The correct figures for U.S. H1N1 cases was over 9000 hospitalizations and 789 deaths, out of 49,214 confirmed and probable cases. The problem is that it is killing healthy, non-senior adults which "regular" flu does not do. Until now most kids have been home for the summer AND "normal" flu season hasn't hit yet. Disease models suggest more people will end up having H1N1 than had the 1918 H1N1 flu in the U.S. (Yes, it is the same strain.) And worldwide they expect twice as many deaths: 100 million according to WHO disease models. H1N1 has already been declared a global pandemic. Just as the 1918 pandemic started with mild cases in Spring, so has H1N1 and the viruses are genetically the same (H1N1). Not to mention viruses mutate rapidly, so we have no idea how bad this one will get, but even if it stays the same, it is already rather deadly.
Worldwide confirmed deaths from H1N1 stood at 3607 as of last week. Take into account most countries do not have the testing capabilites on a nationwide basis that we do and imagine how high that number probably really is. Before flu season.
Worldwide seasonal flu case fatality rate is less than half of a percent (<0.05%); H1N1 case fatality is currently over one and a half percent (1.6%).
So please stop saying things like:
"Way more people die from the regular flu every year."
"Only a couple/one people/person died from H1N1, so what's the big deal?"
"I'm really healthy, so I could care less."
"It's all hype meant to scare us. Doesn't the media have anything better to do?"
Because not only are you wrong, but you're risking others' lives, too.

Addendum via Vicki:
The WHO estimates that approx 2 billion people will be infected. That's 1/3 of the world population. Wash your hands, stay home if you're sick, get your shots--seasonal, and H1N1 if you're in one of the following population groups:

  • pregnant women
  • people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
  • healthcare and emergency medical services personnel,
  • persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old
  • people ages of 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ketchup List

Not that really anyone reads this, but I haven't posted in a month and four days. I've been going thorugh a lot and trying to get back in the groove at work. And...I got addicted to Facebook.
Argh! I didn't even want to join FB, but now I can't stop!
So since last episode:
[I'm going to do this as clinically as possible so as to keep this from rambling on for a jillion words.]
  • I had a pregnancy scare.
  • It turned out to be false.
  • But the negative test was the false thing.
  • Because I had a miscarriage.
  • I'm now waiting for a second ultrasound because I have polyps or fibroids or something and they need to see them at a different part of my cycle.
  • I've spent the past few weeks worrying about surgeries, d&cs, menopause, and on and on. (Tuesday. Just two more days until the next step.)
  • I cannot seem to get in the groove at work since my xmas holiday because of the above, the weather and general health problems discussed in this blog that are still unresolved. (My GI appt is this week, too, as is my general practitioner appt, so we'll wait and see what the next step is with my GI system and the neuropathy.)
  • My mental health has been suprisingly good considering the above. I'm still generally happy with life, just sad over events. And my moods have been quite stable, thank you very much.
  • I'm qute happy with the Obama administration so far and was in awe of the inauguration, and also glad I didn't go regardless of the historical significance of being there. Because I had a much better view from my couch and it was warm there, too!
  • So, that's about it for now. I'm no feeling to creative or chatty...FB might be killing my creatitivty gene, lol. OrI'm just preoccupied a few things right now. I don't know.
  • But it is quite cool catching up with long lost friends and acquaintances lives. A lot of them are very suprising to me, which is good and bad in many ways. And the pictures that have been posted of me are acting as a mild motivator to get my fat ass moving at the gym, but I still get sweaty palms thinking of a gym. So I'm not quite there yet, but soon. Really soon...
  • Holden has a serious girlfriend for the first time and it makes me feel much older than I did right before he started dating her. And a little bit like I've lost a bit of him I'll never get back, now. Sad. But necessary.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Adventures in Tubeland

How hawt is this:

It's the grey man-sweats that make the sexiness complete.

What you see above is me in the midst of a 24 hour pH study. They put the guide wire up my nose, down the back of my throat and into the lower esophageal sphincter. A probe in my stomach measured the pH there, while a higher probe measured the pH in my esophagus. The probe attached to a little computer and I wore it for 24 hours. In this way they can tell if I am having GERD. Having studiously examine the pH numbers the whole 24 hours (hey, it was interesting to me!) I have concluded I probably don't have reflux at all. I also concluded that I am suprised I am able to digest food at all. My stomach acid is completely neutral--hovering around 7.0 for almost the whole 24 hours. The doctor will examine the results and pass them along to my doctors and then they'll tell me their conclusions and what comes next. Should be interesting.

Our pre-lit artifical xmas tree was a huge hassle for us this year, and we spent actual xmas day with no lights on it since it went kablooey for good as Nate tried to light it before I came downstairs. Somehow I did not notice this until later that night when we came home from my mother's xmas dinner gathering. (Probably because I was desparetly trying to figure out what was wrong with our super expensive only two years old Nikon; turns out the lense wasn't on right, duh!) So here are a couple of xmas morn pics:

I got my pay for the end of last quarter and my two week paid xmas holiday. I'm still lokking at the damn paystub in disbelief! I never had a paid vacation before. It's so freakin' weird. And awesome! It wasn't a relaxing vacation, but still...
But back to work starts Sunday.

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