Monday, June 30, 2008

It took until Saturday for there to be improvement in the bite site. The keflex has been hard to tolerate - but I didn't want to throw in the towel because I know how hard skin infections are to treat. What a relief to see that it is getting better. I have more pictures to post; I will put them up as soon as I download. I also have flower and garden pictures from both Castleton and Samsonville. The plants are loving this weather. I went swimming three times this weekend; maybe the Baquicil helped the bite too.

Class started on Monday - luckily I had everything all set to go by then, because I really was not up to sitting here at the machine for long periods of time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

This is the story of my 1984 Brown Recluse Spider bite.

And now for the latest chapter on why I like winter.

I got bit by something on Sunday while I was standing on the deck at our house in Samsonville. I felt a sharp bite on my leg. I think it bit me through my jeans, high up on my right thigh on the outside of my leg. I suspect it was one of those mean flies we have there but I am not sure. There was no blood and the bite is tiny. Bob thought maybe it was a bee since Sam was stung earlier in the day, but it didn't hurt like a bee sting. I went inside and pulled down my pants and it looked terrible within minutes. There was no tick attached or anything like that. I shook my pants out and couldn't find any bugs. By late that night when we were back in Castleton it was just awful, about 4" across and very red. Not a bull's eye, a dark, solid red circle.

It only hurts and itches a little. I had to be on campus Monday and had forgotten my insurance card at home so couldn't go to one of those urgent care places (there is one right next to campus), but I was kind of worried all day. Monday night I put baking soda and cortisone cream on it and thought it looked OK, maybe even a bit better so I stopped worrying. By yesterday afternoon the redness and swelling had traveled to my groin and I freaked.

So I went to the doctor, she said it could be any type of bug but they suspect a spider, although probably not a poisonous one like last time. (She said they do get a growing number of people in recent years who have been bitten by brown recluse spiders, though, which is interesting.) She also said it doesn't have the characteristics of a tick bite. I still think it was a flying insect that bit me through my pants because I'm pretty sure I would have seen a spider inside or outside of my pants.

Anyway, I am on keflex. When I got to Rite Aid to get my prescription, the pharmacist came out and had one of those counseling sessions. I mean a real one, not just one they make you sign off on. He asked me about my penicillin allergy. He said there is a 5% chance I will react to keflex since it is related. I don't think I have ever had keflex before, at least not as far as I can remember. He said if I get a rash I should stop taking it immediately. I laughed because a rash is what I am taking it for!! But a friend of mine told me to take that very seriously, because the 5% is too much of a softball, and the reaction could be delayed, or more serious. (Great, so now I have something else to worry about.)

Too bad there were no digital pictures in 1984! No one would believe me that the Brown Recluse bite was worse.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I saw The Happening last night. I'd avoided reviews of it because I knew there would be spoilers, but even by just skimming or reading an article or post nearby, I knew that it wasn't getting rave reviews. I think he is currently the director/producer/writer who is trendy to dislike. I wasn't surprised that I really liked it, though. I always like M. Night Shyamalan movies, and not just the Sixth Sense. I've seen them all, except for his first two (before the Sixth Sense). My least favorite was Unbreakable, and even that was OK. This latest one was delightfully creepy. I enjoy his take on nature. It's a lot more imaginatively realistic (assuming that is possible) than something like the Blair Witch Project and that got a lot of fanfare. Sometimes on those nights when it seems especially dark and foreboding outside, I will say "the trees have faces." That's not really too scary, I'd say it's more fantastic. His movies remind me of that feeling.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I went for my first swim of the season yesterday. The water is warm already (76 degrees). I'd like it better if it was a bit warmer, but 76 wasn't bad. The water is clean!

During the week, a thunderstorm caused a power outage and surge which fried my router, cable modem, and two ethernet cards in Samsonville. So I swapped in my cable modem for a new one, and ordered a new router and NICs. Luckily, last fall, I bought three surge protectors that have connected-equipment warrantees. It's a hassle to get reimbursed, but better than all the money I lost last summer due to surges. That's assuming Belkin doesn't give me a hard time about the claim.

If my experience with Canon is any indication, maybe it will work out fine. My camera came back, in good working order - at no cost.

I had taken pictures of my new hanging baskets in Castleton. The baskets lasted a day - they were too heavy, and they bent or ripped out the brackets! So we replaced them with a smaller, lighter version and took the big ones to Samsonville. I'll post pictures soon.

Still no luck finding shoes! The ones I ordered have to be sent back. Thinking of trying Nursemates? Maybe they would have a similar shoe to the Trek (they are made by the same company).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The heat wave was incredible but today seems more normal.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The garden and all the flowers, except for the window boxes, are now in. (The shelves that hold the window boxes need work, so that project will have to wait.) I am pleased by the accomplishment, since my favorite hobby sort of took my mind off the problem: all week I have been suffering with my feet.

Last Saturday I got a pair of New Balance shoes that are rumored to be an adequate replacement for the Treks, but the jury's still out. It doesn't look promising, however. I also got a pair of crocs, not to wear all the time, but just for occasionally. The result was that by yesterday I was in agony. Not just my feet, but my knee, leg and back - worse on my left side.

So today I am back in my treks and feeling better. I haven't used the treadmill since last Thursday. Complicating things are that I need a new mattress and a new office chair. (I haven't used my upstairs computer since earlier in the week - which means my campus work is kind of building up.) Things to do with my rebate!! But I really need to find a solution to the shoe dilemma. Softspot First Class is another recommendation I received, but I would like to try them on and I cannot find a store that stocks them. I guess I will have to buy them online and take my chances.

It is supposed to get very hot tonight!

Monday, June 02, 2008

The pool is open! It isn't as green as it was last year. Today, I am working on the garden and yard. At this point I am only up to clean up in the yard (so many vines and bamboo grass the remove; mother nature certainly takes back the land quickly), but I have 4 bags of horse manure to rototill into the garden.