February 2014

Allie had a fun long weekend. On Saturday, she met one of my District Attorney friends and his CSI girlfriend. Allie took to them rather quickly and now refers to them as “my friends,” as in, “Where my friends go, mama? They come back later?” But most of all, Allie bonded with the girlfriend’s miniature Shih-tzu mix, Zoe, who was brought along as a surprise for Allie. This is the quietest, sweetest 2-year-old puppy. We even snuck her to the Lake and she just hung out in her hidden bag and no one was the wiser. After the Lake (we’d planned to kayak but got there after the 4pm rental cut-off that we didn’t know about, bummer!), we had sushi at our favorite Lake sushi restaurant. The awesome sushi chef prepped stuff for Allie like a baby omakase, which Allie ate voraciously. A small bowl of plain udon; a veggie roll of asparagus, tofu, avocado in soy paper; 2 strawberries cut like roses; an orange; and the best thing, a plate of baby shrimp, maguro tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and salmon roe nigiris! She finished everything except the salmon roe, which was likely too salty for her taste. After dinner, Allie asked my friend’s girlfriend if she could have Zoe’s leash, so my two-year-old ended up walking a two-year-old puppy. Adorable! Zoe seemed to love her, too, preferring to sit with her forepaws and chin on Allie’s leg in the car.

Sunday, my parents came over in the afternoon and we all went to the Santa Ana Zoo. Allie was more interested in running around than in looking at the animals. It’s probably an age thing. On the drive back, my mom and Allie chatted about what Allie had for dinner.
Mom: And what else you have? You eat broccori, right?
Allie: No. I didn’t eat broccori.
Mom: You eat chicken and broccori for dinner.
Allie: No, it’s not broccori, I ate broccoLI!
I couldn’t control my snicker. That’s my kid, correcting mom’s Chinglish. =P

Monday was Presidents’ Day holiday. What better way to celebrate than heading over to the Americana capital of Disneyland?
It was a sad Dland day, though, as everything Allie wanted to ride was closed: Small World, Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, some other stuff, so we just rode the Golden Zephyr in CA Adventure and the Disneyland train around once and went home, promising her that next time will be better. She asked for the Peter Pan ride, but that already had a 30 minute wait (WHY does that ride always a 30+ min wait even immediately after the park opens?), and same with the Alice in Wonderland ride she’d requested. Poor kid.

Another bit of fun this weekend: Allie was digging around in the zen garden at our front yard (it’s become her sand pit) and found a snail shell. She picked it up, peered inside and observed, “Snail not in there.” Then she placed it carefully on the low wall ledge and explained to her Dada, “I put it here so the snail can come back inside later.” How nice! 😀

BTW, I love Allie’s little pronunciation quirks. Rs sound like Ws, THs sound like Ds, Vs sound like Bs. She sounds a little British sometimes.

I’ve been sick. I’m pretty sure I was exposed to coworkers’ ailments (they’re dropping like flies around work) mid-week 2 weeks ago. Then that Friday, I went for a run at 8:30p which ordinarily would’ve been fine, but it was so cold that night out that I considered turning around about a mile in. I didn’t; I pushed it the full 4.5 miles, and when I came home, instead of jumping into the shower right away, I played on the computer until I was actually cold. Bad idea. Dropped my body temperature enough for the vicious bug to take hold.
So the very next day, I had a sore left tonsil. It was a Saturday. And the day after that on Sunday, major swollen tonsils on both sides, raging fever, body aches and pains, skin pain, scalp pain, bone and joint pain, eye pain…everything hurt. But we had a belated Chinese New Year dinner planned at my parents’ and I know they were looking forward to it, and my grandma was going to be there, so after hitting Disneyland in the morning, after Allie’s nap we went to my parents’.
I was pretty useless at my parents’ and spent the evening on their living room couch incidentally watching a crappy Super Bowl game because I was too weak and in too much pain to change the channel that Mr. W turned on. I didn’t have dinner, but I did have a couple of bowls of soup. Everyone else took care of Allie so I even got a nap in. That was nice.
Here’s Allie with her po-po and gong-gong, double-fisting homemade rice cake.

And here she is with tai-po, her great-grandma.

The next day, Monday, the fever was gone so I went to work. But my throat was still killing me. Tuesday, the coughing set in. Wednesday, same but worse. I would’ve called in except that we got some new-fangled type of trial (an expedited civil jury trial) that I didn’t trust a relief clerk to handle, knowing how exacting my judge is. But it was bad enough for me that I called and got an appointment with my primary care doc for the next morning.
My primary, Dr. Ta, said it was an upper respiratory infection at this point but that the virus just had to run its course, which would take about 2 weeks, and until then there’s not much we can do except symptom-control. I turned down his offer for a codeine cough syrup, saying I had to be able to drive and can’t be drowsy at work. I brought up coworkers’ recommendation of over-the-counter Mucinex. He said what’s better is Dayquil, since it already has Mucinex in it plus other good stuff. So I got the drugs, took 2 doses of it over the course of the day…and it made zero dent on my symptoms. The stuff I was blowing out of my nose was still brown-green-yellow. (Sorry for the visual.)
The next morning, my left eye appeared to have pinkeye. It was bloodshot and was draining sticky mucus. (Sorry for the visual.) It didn’t feel any different, wasn’t itchy or irritated, but pinkeye is very contagious so I figured I picked it up while I was at the doctor’s the day before and need meds for it pronto. I went back and since my regular doc wasn’t available, took an appointment with a new doc, Dr. Abarca.
Man, was that experience different. He ran a throat culture to rule out strep throat and personally ran it down to the lab, returning in about 15-20 mins with the results. Not strep throat. I’d told him my concern was the eye and I’d already seen the doctor about the illness the day before, but he rechecked me anyway. He said the eye was the same infection spreading upward. Listening to my lungs, he explained that he wasn’t x-raying me for pneumonia (I didn’t even know that was an option) because the human ear can pick up the pneumonia giveaway of the fine crackling sound of the lungs 2 days before pneumonia is severe enough to show up in a chest x-ray. That being said, he diagnosed bronchitis and said my lower lungs are clear so it wasn’t pneumonia…yet. But because I’m not getting better, and this was day 6-7 of the disease, he doesn’t want to sit around and watch to see whether I was getting better or worse, whether the infection was on its way out or on its way into the lower lungs to become pneumonia. He wrote me prescriptions for antibiotic Amoxicillin, which in the past has only given me yeast infections (sorry for the visual), for Benzonatate, which he said was like Mucinex but better, and for the Cheratussin, the codeine cough syrup. I was instructed to take the tiny Benzonatate gel caps in the day (non-drowsy), and Cheratussin at night for symptom control. He said I should be having a better weekend. He also directed me to get an eyewash from the pharmacy and rinse out both eyes with the borate/sodium-chloride solution 3x/day, which turned out not to be as freaky as I thought it was going to be, when used with the eye cup. It wasn’t until after I got home and read his typed-up after-care instructions, that I saw he had a lot more stuff that he didn’t even talk to me about (probably cuz it’s not Western medicine and some patients may have issues with it): 500 mg Cayenne capsule supplement, one daily; 10 drops oregano oil in a warm cup of water, gargle and swallow 3x/daily; zinc lozenges, one every 3 hrs; 2000mg vitamin C daily. I’m doing it all, plus extra vitamin D. So this doc’s having me hit the bugs from the outside with drugs, and from the inside with natural immunity boosters.
3 days later now, I’m still coughing, but whatever I’m spitting up is lighter, both in color and consistency (sorry for the visual). Beginning issues in the right eye has gone away, and the left eye is 80% better. Thank goodness I’d decided the day the eye thing first happened (without knowing it was happening) that Allie is now old enough to not grab my eyeglasses and I can not wear contacts for the first time in almost 2 years. I can’t tell how the other symptoms are going, because I’m perpetually drugged up. I have no problem with that for now, altho I’ll have to put the probiotics back in after the antibiotics course is done.
I’m considering switching primary care docs.