Saturday, February 26, 2011

Big Fat Refund!

Well, as mentioned last night, I am sick.  We knew, before we went to visit my parents last weekend, that my brother, his wife, and their baby, were all sick but we opted to go anyway because I hadn't seen them since before the baby was born.  So I knew that the chances of getting sick myself were pretty high but a cold is a small price to pay to be in the presence of the overwhelming cuteness of my newest nephew.

Yesterday I woke up with a dry throat and thought/hoped it was just because of the heater being on all night.  By mid-day, however, it had morphed into a clogged sinus (resulting in a headache) and a general sense of grogginess and lethargy.  I upped my calories intentionally yesterday and tried to make sure I consumed lots of protein so that I can fight this.  I also skipped the work-out last night because I know that I need the energy for my immune system right now, and I went to bed early and slept in as late as I could.

Today was the blood drive in exchange for free tax preps and I headed over worrying about whether or not they would let me donate with a cold.  As it turns out, they wouldn't but they gave me the voucher for free tax prep anyway on the promise that I would schedule an appointment and donate as soon as I'm feeling better; which I will definitely do.  I try to donate four times a year anyway so, knowing that with a schedule C for home office expenses, a W-2, a 1099, two 1098's, and a few other forms my tax prep costs around $500; I just couldn't pass up the chance to get free tax prep in trade for blood I would probably end up donating anyway.

The best part of all, however, is that I had an unexpected, big fat tax credit that I wasn't expecting due to the fact that I enrolled in college last spring.  I thought my refund would be somewhere around what it was last year (just over $500) but it's actually significantly larger than that.  Yeee Haw!  So today I am going to drink crap loads of water, eat copious amounts of vitamin C, do everything in my power to sleep as much as possible, and try to kick this cold before it gets too much worse.  The throbbing sinus headache in the back of my skull just sucks right now.  But you know what?  My nephew is ethereally cute so it was wellllll worth it!

5 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/o cream this time
8 oz orange juice
8 oz pomegranate/blueberry juice
1 chicken quesadilla w/pico
2 home made steak taco's w/pico & guac
2,000 mg vitamin c
Daily Caloric Intake: 772

Despite not feeling well I spent an hour chopping up all the veg to make pico and guac, then cooked the steak taco's all while Snack Monkey slept.  I woke him up for supper and, after we'd eaten, let him know that he was on clean up.  If I had any doubts about being sick they are quelled, just making supper was unnaturally exhausting.


  1. I hope you get to feeling better! I was just looking at your progress pics..Are you wearing the same pants?? I have to tell you the difference between Jan and feb is crazy!!! I really notice it in your hips! You go girl!

  2. Yes they are the same pants but I had to tighten the draw-string on them on Feb. 8th. Thanks for the well wishes and positive comments. It's been rather quiet here for the past few days, I was starting to worry I'd bored everyone to death. ;)

  3. No fear of that! Sorry I've had my nose in tech manuals :)
    Hope your feeling better soon!!

  4. YAY for tech manuals! I'm looking forward to burying my nose in some of those myself soon. As it turns out, I'm not doing too bad in math so far *knock on wood* but code is my real passion. I know math is a big part of code but it will be the process of building/creating something that I am most excited about. I'm feeling a lot better at the moment, I think all the fruit and protein is working.

  5. Hope you're still thinking that seeing X was worth the cold!

    My family is all feeling a *LOT* better.
    We learned something new from this cold; hopefully sharing it might help you.
    As you know, we've been sicker than snot for weeks... about 5. Before that we were health for only about 3 weeks before which we'd had a another bad cold for about 6 weeks. It's been brutal this year; having a kid in daycare, a new job working at a university, riding public transportation, and living in a valley that has way too many red-air days... it all combines to really tax a person's system. This winter my doc diagnosed me (and X) as having a genetic-caused 'reactive-airways' disorder. Basically it means we are allergic to one or more things floating around in the airway and the allergy causes an asthmatic-like reaction which causes our breathing-airways to close-up. When that happens, fluids stop moving and infection sets in. Fighting it off is incredibly hard because you're trying to fight the infection but your fluids aren't moving because of the allergy. They gave us both an inhaler that's supposed to help, and so far it *has* kept me from getting bronchitis which is pretty amazing -- but otherwise I've still been left feeling like crap.

    When we drove out of the dirty-air where we live and down to the clean-air at mom's we noticed something: after just the first night of sleep Heather and I both woke up feeling *immensely* better! And our strength only increased with each passing day. Once we returned home Heather woke the very next day feeling stuffed-up again; I followed the next day. All week we've been feeling like we're gradually slipping.
    We both agreed -- the air at mom's made a *huge* difference. We've been thinking we may have to find new jobs and move -- but in this economy, that's pretty hard to do. Then, while at Costco, a new idea came to us. We bought this:

    Now, it's not cheap -- but if it works, it's worth it's weight in gold. Moving would be *far* more expensive -- and being this sick this long is just unbearable.

    Well it was on in our bedroom half the day yesterday at full-speed and all night long at medium-speed. I woke feeling, once again, *incredibly* better -- still a bit stuffed-up but only in my nose not in my head, very little in my chest (almost not at all), no dry/sore throat, and the best part: I *felt* happy and full of energy! Oh yeah, and I actually felt like I enjoyed my sleep -- something I haven't in a long time.

    It's only been 1 day; we'll see. But so far I'm sold and loving it! If it continues to make me feel better, I'll be buying another one for X's room and 1 for the downstairs.

    Just thought I'd pass the info on to you -- this one cleans 600 sq. ft. every hour, so it would probably clean most of your apartment with no problem. I know it's a bit pricey -- but remember, if you buy it at Costco (in-person, not sure about their website policy) they'll let you return it for almost any reason at just about any point in time as long as you have a receipt. So, though it's expensive, you can at least test it and make sure you like it.

    I'm starting to think clean air is more important than all the vitamins/herbs/etc. you could possibly take.

    Just an FYI.

  6. Reply Post #1:

    Yeah I would have suggested an air cleaner for you before moving also ... though I'm sure mom would have preferred the moving option. I actually feel completely better today. I'm still going to take it easy and keep my vitamin C intake high because Snack Monkey is still fighting it but seriously, I think that's the fastest that I have ever gotten over a cold. You know how when you first wake up in the morning that is usually the worst time of day when you're sick? Well I woke up feeling sick yesterday but felt fine later in the day so I thought I'd probably feel crappy this morning. Nope, woke up feeling great, not even any congestion. Here's how we kicked it; with your condition it might not be as affective for you but I'm sure it can't hurt:

    #1 Drink copious amounts of water. I didn't list that much water on my posts but that's just because, most of the time, I lost track. I was trying to chug a glass every time I walked past the kitchen and Snack Monkey has been doing the same. We've filled our big huge Brita up three times in the past 24 hours and it's the biggest Brita you can buy.

    #2: 2,000 mg Vitamin C. We've both been taking this and although they say anything over 1,000 (I think) is a waste, Vitamin C is cheep and when you're sick it can't hurt to take extra.

    #3: Kiwi; according to the "food bible" you should eat Kiwi when you're sick. Oddly enough I made a fruit shake last night with kiwi in it and both Snack Monkey and I were shocked to find that we felt better about 30-60 minutes after drinking it.

    #4: Sleep. This is hard with a new baby, I know and I'm sure having X in mom's room over the weekend was at least partially responsible for why you felt better. I took a Nyquil the other night, not because I needed it for congestion, but because I really wanted to go to bed early and didn't feel tired. Also, the food bible says to avoid caffeine when you're sick because it can mess with your sleep so I've been drinking decaf.

    #5: Keep warm. This is a no brainer, I know but Snack Monkey and I have been taking 2 or 3 hot bath's a night since we started feeling sick. It's a two-fold benefit. #1: It clears the airways and helps with achy muscles and #2: It has to help just by washing away the germs we get on ourselves from being sick. I read somewhere that most people continually reinfect themselves when they're sick just by re-ingesting/inhaling their own germs. Brushing your teeth a lot while sick helps too, I think.

  7. Reply Post #2:

    #6: Lysol. Mom's oldie-but-goodie is a staple in my house and I think it's a primary factor in why I'm kicking this cold so soon *knock on wood*. I started dousing the house as soon as we got home from mom's and even opened up all the window's on Sunday to let it air out. It's just another factor of preventing re-infection from our own germs while sick.

    #7: LOTS of protein. You already know that this is important so I don't really need to go into detail here but, for other readers: protein is a major source of positive energy for your body and when you're sick your body needs as much energy as it can get to fight the infection. I don't mean Red Bull type energy either because the idea is to stay down and let your immune system burn the energy instead of your metabolism.

    #8: Spicy food. I don't really know why, but this always makes me feel better. It seems to be more of a temporary relief than a cure (or maybe it helps cure I dunno) but spicy foods like horseradish, wassabi, cayenne pepper, etc. always help. First off all there is the obvious benefit that they clear sinuses (mostly this applies to wassabi and horseradish). There is also the known affects of cayenne pepper for opening bronchial airways and increasing blood circulation (which maybe helps white blood cells travel faster to infected areas of the blood stream?). Plus hot and spicy soup always makes a dry/scratchy throat feel better and cayenne, as you well know from your snowboarding days, increases body temp which is similar to simulating a fever but without the danger of brain damage.

    So that's about it. I do think that the air cleaner is a great idea for you though, especially with the allergy. I hope you guys get to feeling better soon. We are both 100% still certain that a cold is a small price to pay for X. Dad and Mom said they felt exactly the same way. :) He's just too cute for words.

  8. Yeah lots of good tips -- thanks! The one about the Kiwi was the most interesting to me. :)

    Thanks for the kind words about X. :)

    After 2 full nights of sleep with the purifier, we are all feeling much better. YEAY! Still not absolutely 100%, but it usually takes time for a prolonged-cough to clear completely. At least our heads are clean and alert and our energy is back up and we're happy once more. :)