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    Antibiotics End


    2011 - 12.08

    It’s actually been a couple of days now that I’ve been off the antibiotics for the pneumonia.  I’m not sure if I’m 100% better or not, but I’m definitely very much improved from before I went to the hospital.  Still a little more fatigued than I would like to be, but who knows if that’s actually related to the pneumonia or not.

    Bottom line is that I don’t really feel sick any more, just not necessarily at 100%.  Starting to get back to doing normal things like making dinner, laundry, cleaning up, reading and replying to email.  Hopefully I’ll be feeling more energetic soon, and get a few other things finished off.

    Pneumonia: Update


    2011 - 11.29

    It’s been a little while now, and I’m both a little more energetic and awake, that and it’s past time that I actually write this update as promised earlier.

    So let’s start off with: I feel better, not quite “healthy” but substantially better.

    Here’s what happened:

    • Living with Karin you get used to all sorts of little colds and illnesses because she brings them home from elementary school with her, and she’s not known for the most robust constitution (although in general she’s getting better).
    • I started to develop a bit of a fever on Tuesday night, which is odd for me, as I don’t usually get them.  It kept me up all night, or I was awake all night, the fever may not have been the reason for that
    • Wednesday I felt a little better but not actually better and then got worse in the evening, clocking a fever in the 102 range, figured I’d be better the next day.
    • Thursday, was feeling a better in the morning, but again not well.  Took a DayQuil and a shower, and even made dinner.
    • I only ate a little of dinner and felt a bit nauseated afterwards.
    • Took a bit of a nap, and felt that I was really warm, but figured that part of that might have been sleeping on the couch right near the baseboard heater.
    • First temperature reading was 105, it went down to the 103-104 range… so a little bit of it was probably the heater.
    • We called 811 and got their opinion on what we should do, the recommended Tylenol and a trip to emergency
    • We got to Burnaby General right about shift change, lots of people waiting to be seen, but no one waiting to talk to admissions or triage.
    • First temperature reading at triage was 39.5 (Celsius) (103.1 F), so less than it had been reading at home, but still a reasonably high fever.
    • Because I was feverish and had a bit of a cough I got to wear a mask while I was in the waiting room…
    • We stayed waiting for about 2.5 hours at which point Karin left and my dad came in (there was overlap)
    • By this point the Tylenol was kicking in and my temperature had gone down to 37.9 (100.22) which just barely counts as still having a fever, I was considering leaving and just medicating at home… but I knew that Karin would feel better if I actually saw a doctor.
    • Got in around 2am, and only had to wait about another 20 minutes to see a doctor.  Neither the doctor nor the nurse (from earlier) heard anything wrong with my lungs, but the doctor sent me for an X-Ray anyway.
    • It was pretty obvious from the X-Ray that I had some pneumonia in my left lung, so a prescription for antibiotics and I’m on my way.
    • Started the antibiotics Friday morning at 9am (day 1 of 10)
    I’m now on day 5 of 10, and I guess I’m getting better, I’m still not well, but there’s been no reoccurance of the fever (not at extreme level at least).  I have a bit more energy, and generally feel better.  I guess we’ll see what happens at the end of the 10 days.

    Good and Bad


    2011 - 11.08

    Unfortunately Karin’s plan from last week of taking a day off when she felt the beginnings of a cold did not quite succeed.  I still think the idea is sound in principle, but this particular time it was not successful.  Friday she felt good so went back to work, but it caught up to her when she got home.  She spent the weekend being home sick, and then went in on Monday, with a similar result to Friday.  She’s home today, and tomorrow at least.

    It’s nice to get to spend time with her, just too bad it’s not under better circumstances.

    That said, it has led to us watching a large amount of TV together.  There’s a handful of shows that we don’t watch together, and then there’s a bunch that we do watch together, but given the aggressive time lines that she had been working with for her writing we’d fallen behind.

    So a few of the things we’ve watched while she’s been ill (and enjoyed):

    • Grimm
    • Terra Nova
    • Once Upon a Time

    We still have a lot of stuff on the PVR, but at the moment we’re watching faster than we’re adding, and it’s times like this when it’s nice to have a backlog of stuff that you want to watch rather than being stuck watching bad daytime TV while you’re sick.

    Unexpected Visitor


    2011 - 08.08

    With Karin on vacation I had expected that the house would be a little more empty, but what I really wasn’t prepared for was an unexpected visitor!  What gave it away was it the whole “unexpected” part?

    So I’m in the en-suite taking a cold pill because I’ve got a bit of a sore throat which mostly only bothers me when I’m talking (but I could totally record a smoky jazz album right now, if only I could do jazz), and I hear this chirping.  Not really that strange, the slider to the balcony is open in the bedroom (blinds closed), and there are birds out there reasonably regularly.  Seems as though one of our neighbours (above us) has contraband bird feeders.  That coupled with Karin’s jungle (e.g. garden) means that we see little birds on our balcony reasonably regularly.  Pretty timid little guys, took us quite a while before we were able to get any pictures of them, as they’d take off pretty much as soon as they saw us through the doorway.

    But as I walk into the bedroom, it becomes clear that the sound isn’t coming from the balcony.  Ok, no problem, Karin mentioned that she’d seen them perched on the outside of our windows before, and sure enough it sounds as though it’s coming from near one of our open windows in the livingroom.  Unfortunately, it turns out that this little birdie decided to visit the inside of our apartment.

    2011_08_08_IMG_6320 by dcowley
    I own this place!, a photo by dcowley on Flickr.

    So I watch for a few seconds, and it’s clearly trying to get out, and doesn’t like our guest rewards program (no air miles).  So I fiddle with the blinds for a few minutes trying to get it to either fly high enough to get out the little tilt out window (30cm/1 ft) or to fly in the direction of the open door to the balcony.  Neither met with any real success.

    A phone call to the parents to see if they have any brilliant suggestions, and the best one was trying to herd it with a soft broom, or use a pillow case to catch and bundle it.

    I have one of those grabber things, and I got a tea towel and used the grabber thing to hold the tea towel hanging down to try to herd the bird, this was mildly successful, and at one point I had it inside the towel, but it got out before I could take it away from the window.

    Moving some furniture around so that I could hopefully herd the bird all along the front windows and eventually to the balcony door, this met with some success, I was able to close the blinds behind the bird and keep it moving towards the balcony, but it didn’t want to turn the corner and leave the windows behind.  So after some additional effort and a couple of failed attempts, I managed to get the tea towel over top of it, then carefully trying to tuck the bird into the towel I was able to carry it to the balcony door.  I tossed the towel to the balcony floor so that the bird would have some space.  It landed fine on top of the towel, and then flew up to the railing and then away.  So thankfully the story has a happy ending.  I however have a bunch of cleaning and putting back to do.

    In some of the pictures you can probably see a purpley substance, I’m not sure what it is, but I figure I had best clean it up.  I had not actually planned to work on that area of the house today, but luckily I can be flexible.

    Here’s the pictures from the encounter:

    2011_08_08_IMG_63102011_08_08_IMG_63112011_08_08_IMG_63122011_08_08_IMG_63132011_08_08_IMG_63142011_08_08_IMG_6315
    2011_08_08_IMG_63162011_08_08_IMG_63172011_08_08_IMG_63182011_08_08_IMG_63202011_08_08_IMG_63242011_08_08_IMG_6325
    2011_08_08_IMG_63322011_08_08_IMG_63292011_08_08_IMG_63302011_08_08_IMG_63342011_08_08_IMG_63332011_08_08_IMG_6335
    2011_08_08_IMG_63372011_08_08_IMG_63362011_08_08_IMG_63382011_08_08_IMG_63392011_08_08_IMG_63412011_08_08_IMG_6340

    Unexpected Visitor, a set on Flickr.

    Via Flickr:
    A bird flew into my appartment today…

    No that’s not the beginning of a joke, it actually happened.

    “I don’t feel well…”


    2011 - 07.26

    Unfortunately Karin hasn’t been feeling well lately.  Fortunately she hasn’t really needed to do anything the last little while, so it’s more annoying than a true hindrance, but no doubt frustrating to her.  We’re assuming that it’s just Ménière’s, but I suppose technically speaking we don’t know that.  We’re doing our best to keep her away from the various triggers, or things which make it worse, but so far either we haven’t done enough, or they just aren’t working.

    What might be the most scary is how many more stories she would have posted for her beta readers if she’d been feeling better, as she’s still managed to be reasonably prolific despite it all.  I know that personally I’m at least two stories (and possibly three) behind at the moment.  In fairness to me, they are getting longer, and I do provide really detailed feedback, but still I really need to take this opportunity to catch up while I can.  I don’t know if she’s looking for more beta readers or not, but if you’re interested you should get in touch with her, for now most of that interaction is taking place on Facebook, so if you’re not a frequent user that might be why you’re out of the loop.

    Speaking of Karin’s writing, she had a tangential scare today, and I think I’ll not try to make the long story short.  In our building today, due to some maintenance which I don’t really understand we have no hot water from 8-5.  I believe the sign in the elevator called it “Emergency” maintenance, although I must admit I disagree, as the notice has been in the elevator for at least a week.  In my book that makes it at most “urgent”, but definitely not “emergency”.  If it were emergency the notice I’d read in the elevator would be:

    “We apologize for the hot water outage yesterday, it was unavoidable due to some emergency maintenance.  Everything is now working normally and we don’t expect any further outages.”

    Regardless, the end result was a false fire alarm this morning, so we got to wander down the stairs and out of the building for a few minutes.  Thankfully it was a false alarm, caused by the maintenance.  Having been through a few of these fire alarms before we’ve learned a few things:

    1. bring a book or some other form of entertainment, you might be a while
    2. make sure to dress appropriately, you might be there a while
    3. don’t expect to get back in quickly
    4. go to the washroom before leaving

    Today, we thought we might go for a walk while we waited for the building to be cleared, but Karin wasn’t feeling so well, so we only did a lap around the building.  Turns out that Karin had a few concerns relating to today’s fire alarm:

    • she was particularly glad that the Geckos were elsewhere and in no danger as a result potential fire
    • she was also very pleased that she’s been distributing some of here writing around to reviewers, so that her only copies were not on a computer which would have been subject to melting or water damage had it been an actual fire

    As a result of the last one, I’m doing some experiments with Google Docs to see if it might be an appropriate alternate method to help ensure that the single point of failure is not sitting in our condo.  If anyone has experiences, good or bad that they’d like to share, or alternate suggestions for “fireproofing” her writing do let us know.

    In talking to Karin last night, she is planning to post something about the Geckos, but given how she’s been feeling it might be a little while before it appears.  I think that’s all I’ve got.

    Comfort Food: cheese


    2011 - 01.17

    Karin’s unfortunately under the weather once again, hopefully she’ll kick this one quickly (and keep it to herself).  While she was reading and/or taking a nap, I went out and got a few things to help her feel better.  In short I made an extra cheesy mock-lasagna.  Instead of lasagna noodles I used two different types of cheese filled ravioli.  Unfortunately, it was too delicious and Karin ate too much of it.  I haven’t quite found that right balance yet.

    Sick Again


    2010 - 11.30

    After going six months or more without getting a cold, suddenly I’m sick twice in two months to the point where I have to miss school. Bleah. I’m trying to remember different things that I did or didn’t do that might be contributing.