28 December, 2008

Europe & Christmas

Have been in Europe for about 10 days now & still have 2 more weeks. I LOVE long holidays!
I was trying to think back to my last 3-week holiday, and, you know, i don't think i have had one since i finished university. Yup, i have had 2 week holidays, but not a whole 3 weeks. And it's great. Think i am going to have nasty shock going back to work though....

So, what have i been doing?
Started off in Stuttgart - and had a very happy reunion with The German. It is *so* good to be back with him again, but i don't think that's a huge surprise to anyone. And i won't bore (shock?) you with all of that.

Instead here is a brief rundown of some of my 'firsts' on this trip:
  • visited my first german xmas market - complete with mulled wine (gluhwein)
  • ordered beer in german (woohoo! i'm multilingual now)
  • had beer in the infamous kaisereck (K's favourite bar)
  • met k's entire family - all lovely lovely people (i feel very lucky to have a boy with such good people around him)
  • had christmas on christmas eve (mainland european style)
  • met many many of k's friends (again, all good people, and all speaking amazing english - thank god!)
  • embarked on a semi-epic road trip with K. Yesterday we travelled across Germany, through Luxembourg and into France to my parents' place.
  • seen my parents' house with them living in it (last time i saw it, they were house hunting & thinking of buying it) Lovely lovely house - so much space!

And those are the firsts i can remember. However, due to large quantities of gluhwein, beer & sparkly, i think i may have deleted a few brain cells...

Hope everyone is having a great time wherever they are - And Happy Christmas!

10 December, 2008

Mid-Week Rant

If you're not interested in reading a stream of consciousness selfish rant about things, then now would be a good time to go look at another website.

For those of you who are still reading, be warned. I'm grumpy for reasons that will soon be explained.

Now, as i have mentioned before, my TB meds are not screwing with my liver & my body is recovering. Also, after reading the loooooooooong list of side effects, i know that it's not messing with me in any other ways either.

However, there are a couple of HUGE minuses about taking this particular medication (Rifampin).

Firstly, you'd think that taking large amounts of antibiotics everyday would protect you from catching colds or otherwise getting sick.
Oh No. Nothing could be THAT simple. Apparently, my meds are anti-bacterial. Colds & flus and the like, are viral. Therefore, my antibiotics offer bugger all protection against anything else.
Not only that, my meds interfere with efficacy of a shit load of other medications - including a lot of pain killers & cold remedies.
So, not only can i catch a cold, i can't do anything about it. Am fighting a little one now - i refuse to let the bugger beat me... Just drinking buckets of green tea & trying to eat more fruit & veggies.

Secondly, my meds interfere with the efficacy of the pill.
I've been taking the pill for a few years now because don't want to spend 1 or 2 days every month curled up in a little ball of extreme agony.
When i started my TB meds, i stopped taking the pill. First month wasn't too bad at all & i was quietly optimistic that things wouldn't be too unbearable.
A week and a half ago, i spent 4 hours throwing up & then 4 hours curled up in a ball of extreme pain.
And there's more!!! My meds not only fuck with other meds, they screw with your menstrual cycle. And right now i am feeling severely PMSy; back ache, grumpiness, mood swings, nausea, hot flushes, food cravings - the whole whammy. It's been 11 days. Is my cycle going to be the shortest ever cycle known to woman? Can i at least get Guinness World Record for 'Woman with the Shortest Menstrual Cycle'?

And that is my rant.

If anyone has any suggestions about how to prevent colds or deal with them in a non-drug way, I'd be very grateful for any advice.
Also, any ways of regulating periods & PMS would also be much appreciated.
Please. Need all the help i can get.

9 days till Germany. Am getting so excited. Just wish everything could be in happier circumstances.

02 December, 2008

Consumptive Diaries - Part 28: No it's not over yet!

Went to the hospital for my monthly check up & prescription refill today.
And the news is good! My liver function is slowly returning to normal - now a 35 (from a 37 last month). A healthy liver should be around 30, so i'm nearly there! Woohoo!

The doctor did, however, say something that made me think.
I've just been thinking in terms of numbers,("Shit - it's over 100!") with regards to my liver. Wasn't really thinking in any other terms. But the doctor's comment today was that there was still some remaining damage to my liver, but it had nearly gone.
I hadn't been thinking in terms of damage at at all. I was always thought the high numbers meant that i was at risk of damage - not that my liver was actually being damaged. Luckily, because my liver is nearly back to normal, the news didn't freak me out that much.
And the fact that the liver can repair/regenerate/whatever itself is also a reassuring thought.

In other news, i got back the results from my company health check.
It was interesting because it's like a report card & you get graded (A, B or C) for your various functions.
I got mostly As (a first in my life, believe me!!). I did however get a B and C.
Apparently, a B means to take care of this area, but not to worry too much. And a C means that you have to have a recheck at some point.

My B was for cholesterol. Apparently, i've got a little too much of the bad cholesterol. However, i've got a shed load of the good type & they kind of balance out, so there's no problems there.

And the C? One guess.
Yup. My liver. No surprises there.

So, yeah, I am healthy! Good blood, good stomach, good lung capacity, good eyes, good intestines, good heart and good poo.

(They test everything, you know...)

So, in honour of the good medical results this week, i'm posting a photo a rainbow i took last week.
Realised that i don't see too many rainbows in Japan. Don't know if it's me, but am sure i saw way more in England (probably because of the pissy & constantly changing weather). I miss rainbows - so i was really glad i could actually take a photo of one for once. Usually they end up as a smudge in the sky...

17 days till Germany!!