Sunday, March 16, 2008

Claus gets infected

Yep who knew.  Can happen to anyone. Only in my case it hasn't been any of our computer systems, it has been my own "personal" system.

Episode One

About three weeks ago my upper right arm--and to a lessor degree my forearm--began to be "hypersensitive."  Shirts rubbing on my arm felt like someone was tickling me.  A few days later I noticed a "rash" on my lower bicep. Eguhh. It spread to about the size of a silver-dollar and then started to fade away.  About the time it was hardly noticeable, about one week later, I noticed four little blisters appear.  They started out looking like little fire-ant bite blisters, which I though they were.  Mid-way through the second week I knew I wasn't dealing with any fire-ant bites. Things started to get a bit "icky."  Eventually they cleared and I was left with two nice deep scabs.  They have just dropped off and now I have one big chunk and a small dot chunk of skin missing.


It looks very similar to what I encountered when i got stung by a hornet a few years ago. Only I don't recall ever being stung by anything during this period. If it was anything close to a hornet, I'm sure I would remember it.  I'm not allergic to insect bites.

Only thing I can figure is when I was cleaning out the weeds from the backyard and side garden (one week before I noticed these symptoms) something got up my shirt-sleeve and envenomed me.  Don't think it was a bee, as I had four clear "hit" points.  Could have been a smaller wasp, although I've been stung by those in the past and remember it pretty clearly.  Lavie says it could have been a spider.  Possibly, but obviously not one of the really venomous kind.

I say "venom"  as the damage looks pretty cool.  This wasn't a poison-ivy reaction.  The symptoms were just weird.  I was never in any pain or discomfort, just the hypersensitivity.

Yes, I should have seen our doctor as things were getting cooking, but as the wound didn't seem to "serious" or exhibited any outward signs of infection, I wasn't too the time.

So now I've got these cool little depressions in my arm and another scar-story to tell.

Episode Two

Seems like when I got back from Austin, I ended up coming back with a viral cold. 

It onset mid-day Monday.  Body aches, coughing, irritated throat.  I made it through Tues. because of the work on my plate, but by Wed. and Thurs. I had to stay home to get some bed-rest in.

Yes, this time I did see our Doctor on Wed.  Told me to take lots of fluids and keep up with the decongestants and Alieve.  Which I have done.

I'm still coughing just a bit, but my energy level is getting better now.

This "Texas-Crud" as we call it in our home, seems to hang around for about two weeks before finally clearing all the way out, so I think I have one more week of lightening symptoms to plow through.

Episode Three

Yesterday I spent six-hours at our local Nissan service department waiting room.  We had a lot of service repairs done about a month and a half ago on Lavie's 2001 Altima.  Engine stuff.  Nothing "bad" but lots of maintenance work.

So I noticed that ever since it was returned, there was a very small fluid leak spot on the driveway under where Lavie parked.  I eventually traced it to power-steering hose area.  I was pretty sure that a clamp on the bottom of the reservoir was loose and tried tightening it to no success.  I didn't want to replace it as I knew that if I over-tightened it I might cut the hose or break the plastic nipple it attached to.  Also, it was "possible" that the power-steering pump was over-pressurizing the system and forcing the fluid out.  The fluid level in there was still in the "safe-zone" and the drip volume seemed to be light.  I told Lavie to keep an eye on things while I was gone and when I got back I would run it into the shop for a good once-over.

The Nissan service shop opens up at 8:00 am on Saturdays, so as I got there at 8:05 AM it meant that there were about ten customers already ahead of me. The wait began.

When I finally left they had replaced the clamp (yep, it looked tight but wasn't putting any pressure on the hose, even at full clamp) and cleaned the engine belt from the fluid splash-over.  I also had the front brake-pads and the fuel filter replaced (first time in almost 50,000 miles) and the rotors turned.  They wanted to replace the battery as well (I've been having to clean the terminal posts of the coral-like buildup every six-months or so), but the prices on Nissan batteries are pretty steep.

I passed and picked one up at half the price at our auto-parts store.  I swapped them out after getting back home.  The old battery terminal posts had a lot of corrosion buildup that I had to clean off first.  I wire-brushed and blew them clean, swapped batteries, and returned the old one to the store for the "refund".

Lavie's car seems to be running much better now. Starts great.

Only when I woke up this morning, my left eye was almost stuck shut and red as a raspberry.

Seems that while I was cleaning the old battery, a bit of corrosion debris got into my eye and irritated it.  I was wearing glasses, but not full-coverage safety glasses I have and should have been wearing.

So now I am flushing my eye every few hours and putting eye-drops in.

Can't win for trying.

The Cure

Once my energy level nears 95% in the next week, I've decided to kick it into gear and begin my weight / jump-rope exercise routine again.  Also going to go back and start adding in more fresh vegetables and fruit into the Valca meals. 

We don't eat much red-meat; we do eat pork and chicken quite a bit. I must find an area grocery store with a decent selection of fresh fish.  The frozen kinds are icky (flashbacks to parochial-school Friday meals) and our regular grocery store selection just isn't worth considering.  I know we have some fish-markets around here, just got to find them.

I've been under a lot of time-constraints with this project at work, so I've been cutting some corners in the "healthy-living" area.  Looks like it is time to get back on track.

Got to cut the stress, exercise more, eat healthy, and get more rest.

That's the best "personal" anti-virus protection I know of.

Top 42 Exercise Hacks - ZenHabits Blog

4 Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit - ZenHabits Blog

A 12-Step Program to Eating Healthier Than Ever Before - ZenHabits Blog

10 Tips To Take Back Control Of Your Health And Get On The Path To Wellness - ZenHabits Blog

Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less - New York Times



Dman said...

The cause:
Hope you are feeling better.

Claus Valca said...

Dman, thanks for the kind support. I finally decided to take the antibiotics that the Dr. recommended (but said I really didn't need). Seems to have helped a bit.

I still have a "tickle" in my lungs that really gets me on a coughing fit if I'm not careful, but this week I was able to get into the field, move boxes and cabinets around and crawl into ceiling spaces to figure out some network rack mounting points in our office network rooms.

Felt good to be active again.


Ann said...

Dear Claus,

New to your blog. Not really advanced enough to understand all your computer lingo but I'm trying. Sorry you got the Texas Crud. We got the same crud in Arkansas too (no blisters). I had it too. Took much longer than 2 weeks to get rid of it and 2x antibiotics, 2x cortisone - superbad stuff! No name for it - just crud!

Your immune system seems to be OK, though. I checked out your NYTimes Recipe link-it was good. I will also check out your Zen links. dak