Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

COVID Positive

July 31st, 2022 Comments off

Not me, oh no, but Joe. It was going around like wildfire at his job the week before he got it.

Monday (7/18) evening he started sneezing and I was like “stay away from me, germy”. He teased me for being paranoid, but the following morning (Tuesday 7/19) around 11 am he texted me from work saying he suddenly didn’t feel well and was coming home. When he got home he took a home test and it was positive. He told his job who told him not to come back to work until the next week. Then he called his doctor who ended up prescribing him Paxlovid.

We set it up so he stayed isolated in his office upstairs with the door closed. Anytime he came out to use the bathroom or I brought him food we’d both wear N95 masks.

The week he was sick (with a slightly sore throat, mild cough, and fatigue) was strange as we had to do our own thing and I was in charge of all the cooking which seemed to take up a lot of time. When he’s at work I usually only have to worry about dinner and on the weekends he’ll often make breakfast and we’ll skip lunch and get take out around 3 pm for an early dinner. I didn’t want to watch any of our shows without him, so I got back into watching Dateline. I’ve been watching it in the afternoons during the week now.

On Sunday (7/24) he tested negative so he came out of hiding and was able to participate in the butterfly release. I had purchased a cup of caterpillars earlier in the month that had quickly formed into chrysalis and while Joe was in insolation they started emerging. I fed them sugar water and orange slices for a few days but released them on Sunday to ensure they had time to do their thing as their lifespan is about two weeks.

Anyway, I’m happy to report our efforts worked and I never ended up catching anything. I’ve still never had COVID (unless I had an asymptomatic case at some point) and I hope to keep it that way. I’m not worried about dying from it but the long-term damage it can do, even in mild cases, is concerning and not entirely understood.


A funny thing happened the day Joe tested positive. An hour or two later the doorbell rang. I almost didn’t answer, but then I spotted the unmistakable Crumbl cookie pink box through the video doorbell camera, and got very excited as I knew it was my bestie who had sent them.

The message on the side of the box was funny:

I liked all the cookies except for the chocolate chip which I actively disliked. The two all-chocolate ones were my favorites. They may be on the pricey side, but I’d say they are worth it.

Categories: Animals, Food, Health Tags:

Too Much D In Me

July 7th, 2022 Comments off

Ever since I’ve been getting my vitamin D tested, it’s always either been deficient, or at the low end of normal. When I was sick in 2019 I was taking vitamin D drops with added vitamin K for better absorption and it went up to 45, but dropped back down last year when I wasn’t taking it anymore because a single bottle was $32. At that time I decided to try the vitamin D3 drops from Vitamin Shoppe because they often have a BOGO offer – I get two bottles for $22 and each bottle lasts a month or two, depending on dose.

During the winter I was taking 5000 IU daily but dropped to 3000 in April and then changed it to 4000 IU in mid-May.

Late last month I went to the doctor for my annual exam and she ran some bloodwork. Everything came back normal (including cholesterol), except for my vitamin D level which was through the roof.

Yikes! Luckily I wasn’t feeling any affects of vitamin D toxicity. However, my doctor, understandably so, told me to cease any and all sources of extra vitamin D so we could recheck my levels in three months.

I was fine stopping the drops, but I was apprehensive about quitting my other supplements that also have vitamin D in them (which I hadn’t considered when I determined my drops dose). In fact, I hadn’t even thought to check whether the Emergen-C I was taking had any D in it, and of course there was 1000 IU in it.

Florastor, which I take every night, recently added 400 IU to the pills they sell through Costco (which of course is the cheapest way to obtain them).

That being said, I did stop taking everything two weeks ago and as expected, my acid reflux has been worse, so I ordered some Florastor from Amazon that doesn’t have any vitamin D in it.

One other interesting development is that the soreness I’ve been experiencing in my cheeks and jaw for months has all but disappeared. I knew it wasn’t related to my nightly teeth grinding because it would develop over the course of the day, whereas most people wake up in pain. I was willing to consider getting a $3000 mouth guard from the dentist, however, if it kept up or got worse, so I’m glad it’s feeling better now. It could just be a strange coincidence anyway, so only time will tell.

Categories: Health Tags:

Blue Shield CA Sucks

June 21st, 2022 Comments off

Of all the health insurance companies we’ve had in the past several years, Blue Shield of California has already made it to the top of my shit list.

I don’t know if it’s because Joe’s company is based in California, therefore making choices in Illinois limited, but I’ve spent HOURS trying to find a facility that is NOT a hospital that will cover an ultrasound he needs for a lump under his left arm and they just do not exist in their shitty network. Their list is so outdated, it would be laughable if it wasn’t so incredibly infuriating. Not a single free-standing facility on their list is viable. If they aren’t closed, have a disconnected number, or are an actual residence (how did that even happen?), they don’t actually do ultrasounds. It’s nothing short of absolutely ridiculous how much time I’ve spent trying to find a place with no success.

I guess we have to go through the hospital and hope it won’t cost a fortune. What other choice is there? I wouldn’t be surprised if they neglect their other facility list on purpose to force you to deal with the hospital because it probably makes everyone more money that way (except us, of course, who will have to pay a higher price).

To make matters worse, they straight up told me they can’t provide a price quote for any services. Why not? Aetna and Cigna had no problems doing it, and they were extremely accurate too! WTF, Blue Cross? You suck, and I hope we never have to deal with you via another employer ever again.

Gotta love living in a capitalist society where it costs tons of money just to live while companies keep raising prices to make an even bigger profit while simultaneously gaslighting everyone into thinking the president is to blame for “inflation”. Meanwhile companies give little to no cost of living raises and people wonder why the economy suffers? I call bullshit on this entire system. It only benefits the ultra rich. No wonder people retire to other countries. I’ve about had it with this one, that’s for sure.

Categories: Health, Rants & Observations Tags:

Pandemic Thoughts

August 27th, 2021 Comments off

I’ve reached a point in this pandemic where I’m perfectly fine never speaking to certain people ever again. This is big for me because I’ve always done my best not to cause conflict with people because I do not like being disliked. But then it occurred to me – why do I care what someone who I have lost respect for thinks of me anyway? I do not value their opinion, and I disagree with their world view enough that I do not plan on speaking to, or spending time with, them so why do I even care? Answer: I don’t.

Look, it’s one thing if you’re vaccine hesitant because of *reasons*, although hopefully those are legit reasons and not stupid shit like “I don’t know what’s in it” or “it’s not FDA approved” (ahem, as of Monday Pfizer is so I guess those people will need to find a new goalpost). But if you’re going to be plastering your Facebook wall with conspiracy talk and putting stuff up that says “I have an immune system”, “I stand for medical freedom”, or “unmask the children” I think that a) you’re a moron and b) a selfish one at that and I have no interest in interacting with you in any capacity moving forward.

I seriously cannot wrap my head around the mentality that the government is trying to kill us with this vaccine. If that were true, why were they one of the first groups to get vaccinated? And why would the government want to kill all the scientists and medical professionals? Do these people ever stop and think logically? Because if every single one of the vaccinated people dies within 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years like these wackadoos are saying then all we’re going to be left with are people with IQs in the double digits who refuse to listen to authority. Do you really think those are the people the government wants left standing?

Besides, if that’s the case, well, I’m ok with my fate because I don’t want to live in that world anyway. We’re well on our way to a real life Idiocracy if things don’t change. If anything, the government is hoping all these “my body, my choice” (unless it’s to stop others from getting an abortion, of course, because *hypocrisy*) people will die off.

I’d just like to know whether these people have ever done any true research and/or watched a single video of a real doctor explaining how your immune system and vaccines work. Because I just can’t believe that anyone with a shred of intelligence would still think the crazy things I’ve seen people posting out there. They must be getting all their information from Facebook memes and it’s really sad they cannot be motivated enough to at least look at reputable sources before parroting the same old rhetoric.

The anti-mask anti-vaccine people are like a toddler who throws a tantrum because you won’t let them stick a fork in a light socket. We have parents actively fighting against school administrations so their children don’t have to wear masks. Do they want their child exposed to a deadly virus? Do they not believe it exists? Oh wait, it must be that, until their kid does get sick and then they’ll be asking you to donate to their Go Fund Me for their medical (or funeral) expenses.

I’ve seen too many videos of people saying they changed their mind about not getting vaccinated, but only AFTER they’ve caught COVID. Apparently if it doesn’t happen to them directly it’s not real. So how does that work for Christians, then? Last I heard they haven’t personally met Jesus or God so…

If the consequences of not getting vaccinated and catching COVID rested solely with the infected individual, I wouldn’t care. You made a choice and there are consequences that go along with that. But this affects everyone. It’s a public health issue. It’s not political, it’s not a way for the government to control you, and it’s not a mass culling. There are children dying now thanks to the Delta variant, not to mention hospitals being overloaded to the point where they have to turn away people having heart attacks and strokes because the unvaccinated COVID patients are taking up all the resources. Innocent people who did their part are dying thanks the selfishness of these people and that makes me very very angry.

I am livid that this is the world we live in. The lack of empathy and personal responsibility is higher that I ever thought possible and it’s frustrating, disheartening, and disgusting. I’m sure there’s levels of this bullshit in other countries but I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. has the highest concentration of nut jobs. The same people who have been crying about their freedoms and refusing to wear masks are the reason why we’re still dealing with this today. Now they are going to see even more of their “freedom” stripped away as cities institute vaccine passports for things like bars, clubs, restaurants, concerts and other events. If only everyone had done their part we wouldn’t be in this position. But they’re all too up their own ass to even see it.

The worst part is there’s nothing I can do about any of this. I have tried to talk sense into one family member and was told “I’m stubborn so the more you try to convince me, the less chance I will do it”. Seriously!?!? So I assured them I wouldn’t bring it up again, and I haven’t. I guess they’ll either suffer the consequences of their inaction, or they’ll get lucky and feel justified in it. Either way it’s a real shitty outcome.

I’ve made peace with the fact that I may very well lose family members to this virus, or at least see them disabled from it, which is still terrible when your quality of life is affected. But what else can I do? I have to let go and let the chips fall where they may. And that’s the worst part of this past year and a half.

Categories: Health, Rants & Observations Tags:

All The Other Things

August 19th, 2021 Comments off

Figured I’d post a mish mash of things that have happened recently. I really only keep up this blog for my own memories at this point so if you find this boring that’s why.

Sat 8/7 – We tried Wendy’s breakfast for the first time in years because T-Mobile Tuesday had a deal where you get a free breakfast sandwich with any purchase. I got the Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant and a small order of Seasoned Potatoes. I thought the sandwich was pretty good. Reminded me of a chicken version of McDonald’s McGriddles. So good, but not great. But those potatoes were amazing! They remind me so much of the potato wedges KFC used to have. It’s too bad you can only get them during breakfast. I might have to plan ahead so I can get some in the morning, grab some KFC in the afternoon, and reheat the wedges in the air fryer.

Fresh Picked Tomatoes

Sun 8/8 – Our neighbor came by asking if we’d like to pick some tomatoes from his garden since he had too many. Joe picked four and we used most of them to make the most delicious bruschetta.


Wed 8/11 – The Woodman’s finally opened by us on Tuesday, August 10th, so we headed over there the next day around 8 am to check it out. Observations: there’s no deli (weird), they only take Discover (in addition to debit and cash), the liquor store has a separate entrance but can also be accessed via the store, but you have to pay for everything there separately, their selection is off the charts. Needless to say, we spent an hour going up and down the majority of the aisles. It will definitely be a place we shop at often, particularly because they’re open 24 hours.

Subaru Outback Outback Screen

Thu 8/12 – Took my Crosstrek to the dealer to address two recalls and was given an Outback loaner. Observations: I like the dual climate control but found the radio annoying to operate, and the fact that all the controls had to be done on the screen other than adjusting the temperature. The Auto Start-Stop feature to conserve gas is hella annoying because the car would jerk when starting back up. If my car had that I’d be disabling it real quick. I did like that the doors automatically locked once the car reached 15 MPH, though, and you could open the door from the inside without having to unlock the door first. That’s the single most annoying thing about my car and I still don’t understand how me having to manually lock and unlock the doors is supposedly a safety feature. It’s stupid!

Herrick Lake

Sun 8/15 – We got up early to visit Herrick Lake & Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton. It’s been years since visiting either one.

At Herrick we saw a Tussock Moth caterpillar, a Cedar Waxwing, and heard woodpeckers and blue jays, which I was able to identify with the Merlin Bird ID app. They recently added a feature where you can have it listen to birds in the area and give you a possible match. It’s remarkably accurate.

Most of the horses at Danada were eating in a pasture not really accessible to the public (and had their eyes covered which I thought was interesting; I read it has to do with flies). There were two in the barn that we saw, and we were visited by two curious barn cats too, and saw some barn swallows, although I wasn’t able to get a good photo of them.

Vito & Nick's Frozen Pizza

Later in the day we decided to make one of the Vito & Nick’s pizza we picked up at Woodman’s and when I tell you that we were blown away by how good it was I am not exaggerating. We’ve never had a better frozen pizza. The amount of toppings they add is insane!

Pizza Slice

Each slice is very filling even though the crust is thin. We intend to keep one on hand at all times for lazy dinner days.

Tue 8/17 – I met my friend, C, for lunch at Culver’s to catch up. We initially sat outside, at my request, because that Delta variant of COVID has got me worried and I’m not really comfortable being indoors without a mask, and that’s kinda hard to do when you’re eating. Unfortunately, a few bees found our food very interesting, so we were forced to retreat inside to get away from their relentless buzzing around us.


We were planning on visiting my friend, K, today, and we usually get Culver’s, so I decided to have something different than a burger during this visit, and got the Rueben. It looked better than it was, although it wasn’t actually bad. It was average, I’d say. I would eat it again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so.

After we had been at the restaurant 45 minutes I asked my friend if we could go back to my place since I wasn’t comfortable being there any longer (it was getting busier) so we hung out at the house until she left around 3:15. Right before she left we were standing by the patio door hoping to see a hummingbird but none came by. I told her they’ll probably come right after she leaves, and that’s exactly what happened. Not only that, but I pointed out that they don’t seem to like the new red Pentas we recently got, and of course now they do! Are they trying to make me look bad?

Famer's Market VeggiesCinnamon Roll

Wed 8/18 – We decided to check out Warrenville’s farmer’s market and spent nearly $40 between blackberries ($4), veggies ($5.50), sweet cheese pierogi ($12/dozen), a gigantic cinnamon roll ($4.25), and two rolls ($12 total) from a food truck called Roll With It.


The Oreo roll is on the left and a caprese roll is on the right. We really liked the Oreo one and the other one was ok, but not good enough we’d get again.

I made some icing for the cinnamon roll by mixing powdered sugar, milk, and a little almond extract. It came out delicious, particularly because Joe heated the roll in the air fryer before we added the icing.

We used the poblano and yellow peppers to make southwestern stuffed peppers for dinner. They came out amazing, particularly the poblanos.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

We are looking forward to making them again soon.

Today we were supposed to head to K’s house for a puppy play date but Wookie isn’t feeling well so we’re taking it easy and keeping an eye on her. I fed her some canned pumpkin mixed in wither her wet food, which she loved, so hopefully that will help her belly. She’s currently lying on the floor right next to my chair.

General Stuff

My left shoulder is still slowly getting better. I can almost raise my arm all the way up, reach behind my back again, and sleep on it with minimal pain. Crazy how long it’s been since these issues started – a year now, I believe.

We haven’t been using our master tub/shower in the last month because the drain hole is messed up and Joe is having a tough time removing it to replace it. We are planning on using this opportunity to redo the master bathroom. It’s sorely needed – the tub is old, the grout in the wall tile is falling apart and I fear water has gotten behind it and might be harboring mold, and the grout in the floor tile is coming apart even though Joe redid that a few years ago. Might as well do a full gut and install all new stuff. We’ve been dragging our feet on it though because picking out materials is stressful! I can’t decide if I want to do a shower surround or do tile again. Tile would definitely look better, but the wall surround would be easier to keep clean.