kitchen_kink: (foreboding)
So, for all the crazy woo-woo stuff I'm into, I still like science. And Western medicine. A lot. The founder of the spiritual tradition in which I practice used to say, "First perceive, then believe," and it's a philosophy I generally follow, especially when it comes to my health.

Homeopathy, then, was in the group of Things I'd never tried, and I'll admit that one reason I never tried them is because I saw some Science that told me it was a crock. I didn't look into it too carefully, mainly because whenever I try to read the theories on why homeopathy works, they make my brain hurt.

But no shit there I was, at Omega Institute, and my ears were acting up again. I have some kind of chronic condition: I've always had waxy ears, and sometimes they itch a lot. The wax doesn't drain properly by itself, because my ear canals are shaped like hills (I was told this only recently by an NP I saw at a CVS. Seriously. A doctor couldn't have mentioned the odd shape of my ear canals during the 34 years I've been visiting them and having them stare into my ears??). I scratch, I try to clean the wax out, I mess it up, and they get infected. Sometimes they get infected when I do nothing at all.

Usually the cure for this is antibiotic drops, but I was in the mountains of NY for a week and didn't feel like thinking about it. Besides, it felt just like it might come on, not like it was really infected.

So one of the teaching interns came up to me and said she has a chronic ear inflammation problem, and takes homeopathics for it. She heard me say something about it and had an instinct that two of the three medicines she takes, in combination, might help me. She had a couple of tubes about, and said if I liked, I could take them, hold them for a bit to see if they felt right (seriously. But then, I'm a witch, so not so weird, right?), and then take them and see if they helped.

Well, I've done everything imaginable to try and cure my own ear infections or head them off at the pass: soothing ear oil, flushing the wax out, ibuprofen to manage the pain, increased vitamin C - I always end up giving up and going for the antibiotics. So I didn't hold out a lot of hope. But they felt okay in my hand, so 3 times a day after meals for the next day or so I popped 5 little sugar pills from each tube under my tongue and let them dissolve. (Hey, dessert.)

Say what you like about the placebo effect or whatever, but the next morning the swollen lymph node under my ear was down, and the pain was much less. I ran out of the pills, and in the next couple of days it started to threaten again; I bought a couple more tubes and took all of those in the next few days, and it's basically gone.

My one concern is that if I stop taking them it'll just come back again, and I'll ultimately have to go for the antibiotics - which, if that's the case, I should probably skip the $6 a tube process and just get the antibiotics whenever I feel the first twinges. I will offer further reports as I have them.

Anecdotal reports, or otherwise, on homeopathy is welcome here.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Me: *crrrrrackkk!!*
He: Wow. That was just amazing.
Me: It's always that spot, isn't it.
He: Not always, but frequently, yes.
Me: I wonder why that is.
He: Impure thoughts.

**

Talking about diet:
He: The best thing to do, really, is just give up all grains, entirely, and just eat foods in their whole forms. Try it, it makes an incredible difference.
She: The tough part is breakfast.
He: I like to take some smoked trout with some sliced egg, put it on a bed of Bibb lettuce, and drizzle a little of whatever dressing - and that's breakfast. So much better than having coffee and a croissant all the time.
Me: ...
He: On the other hand, what's the point of living?
kitchen_kink: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] lightcastle pointed to this Slate article recently, titled "Does the HPV Vaccine "promote" promiscuity?" The title is typically sensational, but the article itself is quite good. Still, it angers me that such an article should even have to be written.

If you can, ladies, go get vaccinated!
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I just got back from the gym, which I rode a bike to and from, in the rain, and while there, jogged for 20 minutes, or over a mile and a half, without stopping to walk.

This is unheard of in my previous experience. But after running nearly 10 minutes in a row the other day, I did my five-minute warmup today and then, after five minutes, figured, "why not ten?" And after ten, why not fifteen? Then all of a sudden, I'd run the whole thing.

What makes me furious is that for all the required gym classes I suffered through in school, nobody ever taught me *how* to run, or how to enjoy it. We were simply required to do it and not ask questions. From the time I was small and had to do the 600 yard dash, I recall being unable to do it. I'd run my little heart out, but after a quite short time, I'd have to stop, panting and wheezing. I'd walk for a little while, feeling the stitch in my side, my tongue swelling, the taste of iron in my mouth. But no matter how long I walked I couldn't regain the ability to run again, and when I reached the end of the course I would collapse and need to catch my breath for at least ten minutes. Meanwhile, at home, my older cousin would challenge me to foot races, giving me a ten second head start and still creaming me easily.

By high school I'd pretty much decided that I am One Who Runs Only When Chased, and, as in all other affairs of gym class, wore my athletic ineptitude as a badge of pride. (It got me teased slightly less than if I actually tried to do well.) At some point in our junior year, we were forced to run a mile. We trained for it for several weeks, basically by getting out there every day and running as far as we could.

Naturally, I hit up against the same wall: as far as I could was less than five minutes, and then I'd hit what I now know is an exercise-induced asthma attack and would be able to go no further. In the end I said fuck the gym teachers and walked the goddamn mile.

Did these so-called teachers ever think to show the weaker runners how to interval-train? How to use proper form so that you're using your whole body to propel yourself forward, not just your legs? How to prevent injury? Of course not. It was just, "Get the lead out!" and other such wonderfully creative tools of humiliation. Which at that point was as good as dooming my grade, because I responded to humiliation with anger and spite and refusal to do anything, not with trying harder.

A few months ago, all I had to do was go to coolrunning.com and get the "couch-to-5k" running plan. At first running a minute at a time was difficult.

Today I ran my mile at last. And then some. Fuck you, public school gym class.
kitchen_kink: (feathers)
I had very nearly forgotten how terribly much I enjoy watching figure skating.

It's one of those guilty pleasure things, I guess, but I adore it. I love the ridiculous costumes, I get caught up in the personal dramas, the falls make me gasp and the programs of perfect beauty, when they come, move me tremendously.

Last year, [livejournal.com profile] trowa_barton was awesome enough to record the Winter Olympics of '06 in Torino onto DVDs and give them to me. It's only now that I'm getting around to watching them, while I'm sick with an ear infection. Tonight I have the added bonus of watching them while on Percoset.

Wheeeee!

My favorite dramas so far:

-The Chinese pair who tried a quadruple toe-loop throw that landed the woman on her knees on the ice at full speed, but went on to finish the program and get the silver medal, no less.

-The Italian ice dancing couple who came out of retirement to compete in their home country. After doing a perfect compulsory program and getting first place, he dropped her on the last lift of the original dance. The glare she gave him was unforgettable, and they didn't speak or touch until the free dance. The free dance was perfect, passionate and angry, and at the end she finally broke down and embraced him as the crowd went wild.

-The couple who came back to pairs competition after he fell during a complicated lift, landing her unconscious on the ice. They skated a beautiful program, if cautiously, and you could watch the bond of trust strengthen before your eyes.

-The U.S. ice dancing couple that almost wasn't, because she was Canadian. An act of Congress gave her citizenship 50 days before the Olympics. He turned down a chance to compete in the previous Olympics because he wanted to skate with her, and his patience paid off - they won the silver, only the second medal ever won by the US in ice dancing, the first of which was a bronze, 30 years ago.

I am such a nerd.
kitchen_kink: (scary)
If menstruating grosses you out or strikes you as improper LJ discussion, feel free to read no further. However, I hope that this will actually bring some cheer to people, particularly the ladies on my friends list.

I woke up in a terrible mood and without energy, due to it being the first day of my period. (My only reward for this event, monthly, is that my pants fit again after a week of awful bloating.)

I decided that the best way to deal with my resultant homicidal desires was to write poetry about them. Therefore I give you several angry period haiku. )
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hey folks,

I have a full bottle (a little under 100 tablets) of Source Naturals Melatonin. They're peppermint-flavored sublinguals. I cannot take the stuff because it actually keeps me awake and makes me jittery as hell.

Would anyone like it?
kitchen_kink: (intrepid)
Yesterday at the gym, I had a bit of a revelation.

I was once told that the difference between an intermediate and advanced weightlifter is not time, but a great deal more common sense. Six months is supposed to be when someone working consistently is no longer a beginner, and I'd say that's true for me at this point. But I'll admit that I've been victim to what I'll call "raarism," the visceral need to Lift As Much As Possible, regardless of how many times you can lift it, or how well you can maintain form. This sort of thing, as the more astute of you may have noticed, leads to injury and doesn't even build muscle all that well, except at first, when you see your first big improvement.

I've been improving steadily on squats, in terms of going up in reps. I'm still only squatting the bar, or the bar + 10, but I'm obsessive about my form and I listen to what Krista says. I don't want to hurt my knees or my back, after all. But I'd been wondering why I can't seem to get beyond 100 lbs of assistance on the Gravitron, or 95 lbs on the bench press - even when going dutifully twice a week.

I was on the bench yesterday, struggling a bit with that weight, since I had done William's Patented Ass-Kicking Male-Centric Yoga the night before, and had just figured out how to hold low plank position (woo-hoo!). The shoulders, back and chest were a bit tired.

Suddenly, above my head and to the left, a vision appeared, and said unto me, "Want a spot?" Its gender was indeterminate at this angle, but my first impressions were, in order: Black, buff, older (gray hair cut close to head), wearing red Bally shirt so likely personal trainer and not random gym person trying to hit on me, female. Letting these impressions wash over me for a moment, then taking another to judge how pathetic I must have looked on the bench, I accepted the proffered assistance.

Man, what this woman taught me in fifteen minutes. Turns out my right shoulder is weakened, and when I'm benching, the right side is significantly down. I'm lifting too much weight. I told her about my left shoulder injury of some time ago, and she said it made sense: my right shoulder's been taking up the slack all of this time, and now it's overtaxed. And here I've been babying my left shoulder!

She told me that I should do some kind of shoulder presses, with light weight, before touching the bench. That in between sets at the bench (when I return to it), I should do one-handed shoulder presses, just with my right arm. That before any of that, I should do some stabilizing exercises using a Swiss ball, or an elastic, or the wall, or a light dumbell - all of which she showed me. And that until I feel some improvement in strength, I shouldn't be doing pull-ups or dips, and I shouldn't have a bar above me that I could drop on myself.

It humbled me, and yet helped me. I've stepped up my workout of late and have been doing more yoga, plus weights thrice a week. I'd been aiming for speedy building and strength, and so didn't have a lot of patience with low weight/high reps. (Krista doesn't have much patience with it either, but I was overdoing it.)

After Donna, as this angel was called, finished helping me, she introduced herself. Did I mention she was a tall, square-shoulders, very buff, older, ebony-skinned probably-dyke that I was just smitten with? Oh, to have those biceps! And at the end of it, she didn't even make the slightest attempt to sell me personal training. As she was stacking away some equipment, I said, rather guiltily, "I haven't really been able to afford a personal trainer." She said, "Have you gotten the one free session you get when you join?" I told her I had, ages ago, at another club. "Well then," she said, "maybe we can just sneak you in sometime. Nobody has to know."

I'm going to have to spend a bit more time to do my workouts properly and stop overtraining, but I feel good about the whole experience. It's nice when someone really does their job. It's even nicer when they're wicked hot.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hammering away at the Diesel again.

This morning I wasn't quite so ambitious: I couldn't drag myself up until about 7:30. But I still got up, resisted the urge to flop back into bed, tempting as it was, ate some breakfast, went to the bank and the post office, and now I'm here.

The problems, as I see them, are twofold:

1. I'm not awake until at least 10 anyway, so the hours between 7 and 10 are spent getting myself awake and not getting much done. That'll change, but it'll take time.

2. Salicom is evil.

Well, let me rephrase that. They're not evil; in fact, the guy I've talked to a bunch of times to help me with it is really sweet - and it's always the same guy! Small, these Salicom people are. (Yoda I speak like.) What they are is idiots. Every morning I've had to call them and fix one thing or another before I could have the privilege of logging on to the 'net at my favorite coffeeshop. And of course, T-mobile (provider of internet access for the Starbucks across the street and my cell phone carrier) are equal idiots, and for whatever reason don't give me reception inside the Diesel - in spite of the fact that I can usually pick up T-mobile internet access from inside the Diesel! Not sure if they're connected at all, but if they are, that shit just pisses me off.

Regardless. Enough bitching. Mostly I'm doing okay. It's good to get up early. I wonder if the regular use of the drops is helping with the allergy issue, and my grogginess and zombieness will pass by the end of the month...? It would be rather amazing.

This week has been a whirlwind thus far. Monday night, went out for drinks though [livejournal.com profile] imlad had taken a day to work at home, since he was feeling sick. Working at home drives him nuts, so we needed to get out of the house. The next day, he stayed home sick for real, and again, by the end of the night he was feeling mostly better, and we stepped out to check the action at the Diesel (none, by 9pm) and then to get desserts at Gargoyle's. Last night we saw the director's cut of Donnie Darko, and I have to tell you - if you've seen this movie, loved it, but still have questions, see the director's cut. If you haven't seen the movie, see the director's cut. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the fragging director's cut. It's beautiful, and it explains so much.

Off to find out if The Philosophy of Time Travel is a real book.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Slept in the room upstairs last night (not dusted; with cats) because the bed is more comfy and warm. Woke up with a headache, stuffy head, achy, nauseated, groggy self.

Oh, and slept too long - figure that.

So yeah, looks like my winter's suffering, oversleeping, and so forth was all about allergies. My room has dust mites, true, and it's near-impossible to get rid of the residue of cats. But the allergens in there are much less than upstairs, and I wake up, generally, refreshed after seven or eight hours.

Mystery solved. Off to soak my head.
kitchen_kink: (pleased)
I am pleased to report that I have learned to self-medicate for the blues.

To wit:
When I woke up this mornin' (beh-BEHR-neh-neh)
I was feelin' mighty low (beh-BEHR-neh-neh)...

No, not that kinda blues.

Anyway, I woke up today feeling shitty. It was sunny out, but I didn't want to get out of bed. Felt tired and dragged out and very, very sad. I dragged my ass up, put some laundry in, started making coffee and oatmeal. Did dishes. Was so in my own world that I didn't notice [livejournal.com profile] amber_phoenix until a few seconds after she said good morning and touched me. Really out of it.

So instead of taking my breakfast to the computer and starting to work right away, I sat at the sunniest spot at the dining room table, ate, and read the first chapter of How to Get Happily Published.

And I feel better. Go fig.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
1. I am getting old. I now feel demonstrably worse during the day if I don't get to sleep before midnight. What the fuck am I, a pumpkin?

2. I don't seem to be getting nausea from the pill anymore. Yay! Instead, I occasionally get it for no reason, in the middle of the day. Boo!

3. I have a headache, dammit.

4. So far, all of these observations except this one have been a complaint. Dammit. Now this one is too.

5. Yesterday, I wrote two quick pages and they gave me such satisfaction that I decided that if nothing else, I would write two pages every day. If it goes further than that, cool. If not, in 150 days I've got a book-length manuscript.

6. Number five wasn't a complaint!

7. When I write a long, philosophical post that isn't especially great or controversial, I get hardly any comments. Yet when I post quiz results indicating that I am a siren, I get plenty. What is that??

8. Oh shit, I'm back to complaints again.

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kitchen_kink: (Default)
dietrich

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