Okay, here’s my update

I’ve been sick all week. Starting last Thursday, in fact. The weird thing is I never get sick like this. It’s very odd. Started out like I was coming down with the flu or something, joints and muscles all achy, pressure in the head building up intolerably. That was last Thursday, so Friday I spent about an hour and a half at work and then came home and slept (also something I never do).

Over the weekend it moved into a head/lung cold. Like a sinus infection, so while my nose didn’t run much like a headcold would, the pressure in my sinuses was such that rolling my eyes too much in their sockets would hurt. And I had a deep cough, so that my lungs hurt when I coughed but not much of anything would come up—not a wet cough, though occasionally I’d cough up some phlegm.

This week it’s lessened, but I’m still low on energy and fighting it. The pressure in my head is pretty much gone but I still have a cough, wetter now and I cough junk up.

Sleeping fine for the most part; I’ve been taking aspirin before bed (tried some fake Sudafed Sunday night, but totally didn’t like the way it messed up my sleep and dreams). I’ve seriously considered seeing the doctor several times, and then I start to feel better enough to drop the notion.

So that’s what’s going on with me.


Weight loss update: as of yesterday and today, I’ve lost 25 pounds since the beginning of the year. That puts me at 203 pounds. Last weekend I finally broke down (under strong convincing from my wife) and bought a new pair of jeans and khaki pants, both a size smaller than I was wearing previously. Gettin’ there.


Since about the first of the year I’ve been dieting (with much prodding from my wife). It’s nothing formal, mostly I’ve just been cutting way back on portions, avoiding junk food entirely and balancing what I eat much better. Even with going to Portland last weekend, I’ve somehow managed to lose 11 pounds already(!). To put it in perspective, I started at an unhealthy 228 pounds (six feet tall), so either I’m doing something right, or I have cancer.


The other day I picked up the book Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating from the library to go along with this change in eating habits. It’s quite a good book, I’d highly recommend it to, well, everyone. It lays out a scientific, common-sense approach to healthy eating that I think lacks from most “formal” and fad diets I’ve seen. Check it out.

In the meantime, I’ll post occasional weight loss updates. I’m curious to see if the rate I’m losing weight will maintain, or if it will slow down. And in case anyone worries that I’m on the bleach and fiberglass diet, rest assured that my daily intake looks something like: 2-3 starches, 2-3 fruits, 2 protein, 4+ vegetables. Some dairy, too. So it’s all good.

As You Like It

Via Boing Boing this evening comes the mildy disturbing story that Shakespeare may have been afflicted with one or more venereal diseases.

Mentions of the “pox,” the “malady of France,” the “infinite malady,” and the “hoar leprosy” in his writings seem to indicate that the Bard knew—perhaps from personal experience—how torturous venereal disease could be. “Shakespeare’s knowledge of syphilis is clinically precise,” said John Ross, MD, author of the study. A line in Sonnet 154, “Love’s fire heats water,” apparently refers to an STD causing burning urination.


In Shakespeare’s time, one of the treatments for syphilis, inhalation of mercury vapor, was worse than the disease. Dr. Ross suggests that Shakespeare’s tremulous signature on his will, his social withdrawal in later years, and even his baldness might all be due to a mild degree of mercury vapor poisoning.

Well, they do say to write what you know.


Here’s an interesting bit of trivia I unearthed last week: in trying to prove to somebody at work that aspirin is a coal tar derivative, I found out that Bayer developed and registered the drug as a trademark in 1899.

By itself, that’s not so interesting, I know. However, it turns out Bayer also discovered, trademarked and marketed another drug: heroin. “From 1898 through to 1910 it was marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough medicine for children.”

Yikes. Of course, then the thought of “Bayer Heroin” kept me amused for a bit:

Bayer Heroin

Pink eye

My daughter came home today with pink eye. Apparently it’s been going around the preschool and sure enough, she’s got it. Should make for an interesting few days as we all try to avoid catching the virus.

Flu Season

Been slow to post anything the last couple of days, mostly because we have the flu in the house, and we’ve been nursing sick kids. It’s mostly run its course, but turned into an ear infection in our oldest, and we got antibiotics for that today.

And no, we didn’t get flu shots. I’ve never bothered to get a flu shot, and have never gotten the flu. If I caught it from the kids (hey, there’s a first for everything), it turned into a head cold that’s pretty much gone. Of course, I rarely get sick as it is, so maybe I just have an iron-clad immune system.