Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday – Overspend or Not?

Having woken up much earlier than expected on Friday morning, I was tempted to go out and hit a few stores for their Black Friday sale specials. I had a few things in mind after seeing the store circulars the previous day like a possible replacement TV from Walmart for $128, a bubble jacket for $7, and a shredder for $25. But did I want to trade inadvertent elbow jabs with the anticipated crowd that was surely going to be in the store that early? Or take a risk catching a bug or two of whatever other shoppers may be sharing? What I did was double check the sale items on their website for availability. Now why didn’t I think about that the previous day? The TV I had my eye on was previously available to order online with only a 97 cent shipping fee! Too bad they were all already gone L.

A couple of hours later I was out of the house heading for OfficeMax which had a shredder for $30, reduced from the regular price of $89. I was expecting the product to be out of stock too and I wasn’t keeping my hopes up too much. To my surprise, there were two or three left so I got one, joined the short queue and was out of the store in about 15 minutes. Since I was out already, I decided to drop by Walmart to see if the things I wanted were still available. No to the TV, but yes on the jacket. However, as I addressed in a previous blogpost (, clothes nowadays have gotten much larger even though the sizes remain the same and the smallest size didn’t fit me. So I didn’t buy the jacket. The crowd at the store wasn’t too bad, but then it was already 8:00 a.m. and the 5 a.m crowd had already dissipated.

Then it was off to the grocery store which had a sale on 2 liter soda for 59 cents and 26 oz. pickled jalapeno peppers for also 59 cents. The store was virtually devoid of shoppers. Nobody was buying food today because everyone was at the mall and shopping centers.

Upon getting back home and checking email, there was a notice from that they had reduced their prices further plus 10% off. I immediately looked for the price of Brooks Addiction (msrp = $100). With the price reduction and 10% off, it came out to $73.15. Having not rewarded myself for finishing the Long Beach Marathon yet and the soles of my current shoes wearing out, I ordered a new pair. Nothing like delayed gratification!

So that’s my very unexciting Black Friday story. Because the TV was no longer available, I only bought what I needed and not what I wanted. And that’s the way it was.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How Can We Take Care of Our Parents in Their Golden Years?

I’m pondering this after receiving an email from my Mom which said that she was having pain in her lumbar spine and knee and she had trouble walking. After seeing an orthopedic surgeon last month and undergoing X-rays, she learned that she is developing osteoporosis and was prescribed calcium and Fosamax. She had already miraculously survived a bout with colon cancer three years ago and we are eternally grateful for that. How can I and my brother help her when she starts to have problems taking of herself? I live in another country and it’s no longer practical for her to go through the process of moving here. My brother lives in another city with his family, mother in law, and grandmother in law, so my Mom probably won’t have a place there either. I haven’t asked my brother’s opinion yet but it might be time to discuss what options we have in the face of inevitability. My father is deceased so my Mom has been living alone for at least 10 years now. She lives in a small apartment and is pretty independent. There are no assisted living facilities that I’m aware of in the city where she lives, but then again I haven’t been there in a long time so there may be similar facilities that may be able to assist her with her needs when the time comes. If those facilities exist, how much does it cost to live there including nursing and medical care? Will it be more practical to hire a live-in helper if it’s available? With so many things to consider, it may now be time to discuss such possibilities with my Mom and brother. It saddens me.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Night in the ICU

Patient count was low on the unit I work in and it’s time to float to another unit again. Originally sent to a regular medical floor to watch a quiet man for the night (and I mean quiet – he was basically mute), I was thanking my lucky stars for having an easy night. Half an hour into the shift, I was told to go to the Intensive Care Unit instead. Darn! There goes the easy night. Maybe I would be as lucky at the ICU as well, but it was not to be. I had to keep an eye on a young man who just underwent a rapid detoxification program from opiates (methadone, oxycontin, duragesic) just a few hours before. (See the website here: ). Upon seeing him, I realized that my luck for the night had run out. This man wasn’t even supposed to be on 1:1 watch but I can see that the nurses’ hands were full trying to handle him. The man was not reacting too well from the detox and was actively having visual hallucinations and trying to get out of bed even though he didn’t know what he was doing. He was trying to reach out in thin air grabbing things that weren’t there, and was doing this the whole night. The nurse gave him all the medications he could possibly have that was ordered by the doctor but nothing helped except for about half an hour when he went into a stupor around 1 a.m. It was probably one of the longest nights of my life at work because I had to be constantly on top of what this man was doing so he wouldn’t dive out of bed and hurt himself. The only redeeming factor about working in ICU was being fed by the Filipino nurses who were working there. You can always count on the Flips to bring food and share it J. But back to reality after the good meal. Twelve hours of keeping an eagle eye on a very restless and confused man. He tried to jump out of bed, puked, pooped, tried to pull out his oxygen sensor, and kept removing the oxygen tube from his nose. He was so restless and jumpy that the IV machine kept on indicating that the tubing was occluded because his movements kept on kinking the line. You couldn’t possibly have your emotions get the better of you at this guy’s actions because he wasn’t aware of what he was doing, but it was physically and mentally tiring nevertheless. I was so tired when I got home that I slept until my alarm awoke me, when I usually wake up on my own half an hour to an hour before that happens. Maybe I can catch up on my sleep tonight. I just got an unwanted call from the nursing supervisor cancelling my scheduled shift because of the low patient count. Darn! I wanted to go to work because I figured I couldn’t possibly have two bad nights in a row. But who knows? The unexpected always happens.

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The Confusing Bank

Or perhaps it’s the bank itself that’s confused. It seems that Bank of America doesn’t know what the right hand is doing from the left. Ever since they took over Countrywide Home Loans and Countrywide Bank, it has been difficult to log in to check your accounts online. If you go to their website, you may be able to sign in to your usual accounts, but if you try to log in using your username with Countrywide, you will have difficulty doing so if at all, even though Bank of America says you can. To get this corrected and have all my accounts consolidated in one place, I went to one of their brick and mortar branches. First I availed of a new service they had where you can set up an appointment online and show up at the bank at that time. Well the employees of the branch I went to were not even aware of their bank by appointment service. They had to ask me how it worked. To make matters worse, they couldn’t combine all my accounts in one place at the location. They gave me a toll free number to call. A little update for Sunday: I received an email from Bank of America saying how sorry they were that I missed my appointment. That’s what I’m saying – the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

When I got home, I called the toll free number. The first customer service representative I got after going through their elaborate telephone tree, asked the usual questions to verify my identity. Then after a few questions, he asked me to call the toll free number again because he couldn’t fully verify my identity. At least I didn’t get a call center in India. So I go through the same process until the phone was answered by another representative. Same questions verifying my identity were asked and after a few minutes she asked me to log in to my account and voila! All my Bank of America and Countrywide accounts were linked! I can’t understand why the brick and mortar branch and the other representative couldn’t do it and this one woman did it without any problems. God bless her! I complimented her for doing a very good job and told her to ask her boss for a raise. Thanks again Ashley, whoever and wherever you are! I put together my left and my right hand and applaud you for a job well done in helping me.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Running Road Intervals on a Saturday Morning

I don’t know if our already small numbers are dwindling or some have branched off to other distances which are more suited for their racing goals. Since I don’t have any goals anything will do as long as I get to run with somebody. Today, I suggested road intervals starting with 10 minutes of warm up, then 2 minute pickups and 2 minutes recovery jogs until the finish. The leaders would run back to the last runners during the recovery jogs, then start the 2 minute hard intervals over again. That way, everyone can finish at the same time more or less, except the faster ones cover more distance. It didn’t quite work out that way because there were only two people doing the pickups and recoveries.

Considering that this time last year I was not even running due to tearing my right posterior tibialis tendon, being able to run today and even doing intervals is something I can appreciate very much. Interval training is tough but good for improving your aerobic capacity. I hope we were covering at least a quarter mile on the hard part. I’ve never done it before during the AREC summer workouts, so I’m just trying it out with other people who might want to do it. Remember last weekend we did a Fartlek workout the last half of the run. Today we were able to do 16 repeats of 2 minute pickups and 2 minute recovery jogs to finish 7.55 miles in 1 hour and 12 minutes.The total time seems slow but we did the hard part hard and the easy part really easy. If not for the others I would have done maybe 10 repeats by myself and not more than 12. It always helps to have a partner to do it with. Today, that partner was Cindy C. While we were doing the intervals, Linda and Tam were busy running their pace and catching up on the latest AREC happenings. How sweet it was to finish a hard workout without aggravating my ankles. We even almost caught up with a group who started 20 minutes before us. It was a good running day J

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Google Giveth and Google Taketh Away

Well they really haven’t given me anything so they have taken away what they haven’t given me, and that’s just fine. Google suspended (well, disabled is the word they used) the advertising account on my blog due to overclicking! After they notified me a few weeks ago that I’ve earned a few bucks, I began to look at the ads they were putting on my site more closely and I found out that they were things that interested me, so I started clicking away to see what they had to offer. Most were related to health, fitness, and road racing. Things that sometimes come up in what I wrote about. So I didn’t see any harm in my clicking on the ads. Well, Google Adsense begs to disagree and has suspended my account due to violation of their terms of service. Or maybe it was because of what I wrote in that blog a couple of weeks back where I mentioned autoclick programs and jokingly asked my friends to click on the ads too. Perhaps Google’s automatic scanner for key words found those and perceived that they constituted a violation of their TOS. I always knew that my clicks could be traced back to my IP address so there was no hiding that. Oh well, nothing gained and nothing lost on my part. I’ve removed the ads from my blog. Maybe just as well. Less clutter.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Weight - More Than I Want It To Be

Well that did it! After several months of waking up below 120 pounds, Saturday night’s eating at the party finally caught up with me and brought my weight up a smidgen over 120. That’s what happens when you sit in a rocking chair for the better part of three hours watching boxing on TV. What to do about it? My usual calorie burn “equalizer” was not available for me today (Sunday) because I already ran yesterday and as you know, my ankles cannot tolerate running two days in a row anymore. I didn’t want to do the usual stationary bike, stairmaster, or rowing machine workouts because I felt the need for more variety. So what did I do? I combined them all. Four sets of five minutes each on the rowing machine, stairmaster, recumbent bike, and upright bike for a total of one hour and twenty minutes. Was it enough to counteract the overindulgence of last night? Probably not, but it’s good enough for today. Remember, small steps, but do something about it. Hopefully tomorrow I can catch up. It’s an “equalizer” day after all.
Update: I wrote this entry yesterday but I didn’t post it because I thought that three blog posts in a day was a little excessive. Well today is my “equalizer” day, but it seems like I won’t have to do too much of it because my weight has equalized on its own and gone back down to a smidgen under 120. So yesterday’s workout helped, along with more sensible eating. But the holidays await and eating sensibly becomes more of a challenge. Stay tuned…

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Fight That Broke Out At the Birthday Party

I went to a nephew’s 18th birthday party Saturday evening. Eighteen already?! I can still remember when his mom (my first cousin) was a baby in the Philippines and when her parents were at work, my parents used to “kidnap” her from next door so they could babysit her. Not only that, my younger brother and I benefited from it because we went to the beach unplanned to have impromptu picnics, usually in the afternoon when my father was done with work. Nobody went to the beach in the afternoon in those days much less on a weekday. The reason why my parents were so fond of my cousin was because they never had a daughter and just had us two boys. My brother and I didn’t mind of course, we were just as fond of her and the picnics were just a bonus. Too bad this didn’t last too long because soon enough my cousin and her parents moved to the United States. I didn’t see her again until 1980 when I moved here.

And now her oldest offspring just turned 18. Did we time travel, flash forward, breach the space/time continuum? It doesn’t seem that long ago somehow but now we are here.

As I posted on Facebook yesterday, I went to a birthday party and a fight broke out: the Pacquiao/Cotto fight. In a totally unexpected turn of events, the post dinner activity involved waiting for the aforementioned boxing match to start on TV. My cousin ordered the pay per view event from the satellite TV company and we only learned about it when we arrived at the party. So instead of the usual card game, parlor games, or karaokefest, we were entertained with the sweet science of boxing on the tube. After a couple of hours of watching the undercard, the main event started.

I don’t really watch or follow boxing except for what I read in the sports section of the newspaper, but I know about this fighter from the Philippines named Manny Pacquiao who is much revered by his countrymen. He even has at least a couple of movies made about his life already. When Pacquiao fights, something like a Twilight Zone episode happens in the Philippines. The streets become deserted because all the vehicles disappear and the populace are glued to TV sets. I’ve never seen him fight so it was a treat from my cousin to show us this event at her home, even though most of the guests were not of Filipino background. My cousin married a white guy whose last name is the same as the fast food chain with the golden arches. I was surprised to see how fast the fights went. Three minutes each round plus one minute break, and no sexy girls parading around with placards showing what round it was. It was just slam, bam, clinch, punch, counter, then ring the bell and the round is over. No time wasted. So in spite of four undercards, the fights went pretty fast.

Well, we already all know the result of the fight so no use rehashing the whole twelve rounds here. Pacquiao won in a technical knockout 55 seconds into the 12th and last round. Being born Filipino, of course I was rooting for him and was hoping for a knockout and since Cotto was being pummeled so badly, I wished that the fight ended sooner than later.

Well, my dear cousin, thank you so very much for inviting me to your son’s birthday party. It will forever be remembered as the eighteenth birthday party in which a planned fight broke out. Fortunately, it didn’t involve the celebrant. Welcome to adulthood Ryan J.

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What Dessert Used To Be (or the fruits of my childhood)

Remember when after a meal, dessert used to be fruit? Growing up in a place with an abundant variety of fruits, they were readily available to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Cookies and candy bars were rare treats. Sodas (we called them soft drinks) were sometimes split between two people. And by the way, the cookies we had were similar to the Nilla wafers nowadays. We had no chocolate chip, peanut butter, sugar, oatmeal raisin cookies then. Doughnuts were homemade and they were just plain which you dipped in sugar.

I don’t know if I can remember all the fruits we had available then, but I’ll try. Most of these are sweet fruits but some of them are sour which you dip in salt, preferably (for me) salt with freshly crushed red peppers. Durian, mangosteen, lanzones or buwahan, langka or nangka, marang, mango, mampalam, star apple, carambola, atis, coconut, banana (smaller yellow ones), papaya, oranges (what were the small oranges called?), tambis, camias, grapefruit, wani, baunu, pineapple, tambis, macopa, santol, and guavas. Grapes, Sunkist oranges, and apples were only available in a grocery store and were expensive because they couldn’t be grown locally. My Tausug friends, if you can add any more fruits from the place where we grew up in, which I forgot about, please do.

Unfortunately nowadays, an after meal sweet would probably be chocolate bars, or cookies, or ice cream, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I like PB&J). If had pies or cakes here, I would probably have that too, so it’s good that I don’t buy them. Even if the fruits I mentioned above were available here, it would probably be very hard to wean myself away from the refined sugars that I’ve gotten used to, but it could be possible. Make those fruits available to me and I’ll turn a new leaf, or in this case a new but old dessert of childhood.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bipolar Running

For those of you who have been reading this blog, you already know the ups and downs of my recent running life. Thus the title of this entry. One day I’m okay, the next day my ankle is so painful that I don’t know how the next run is going to turn out, some days I can only do the 4:1 run/walk intervals, then there are very rare days like today, when everything: the breathing, the legs, and the ankles felt good, so much so that I was able to take my fellow runners on a different kind of run.

The past few days, I’ve been in a bind intestinally, so to speak (there you go, TMI again). I don’t know if that affected the ammonia levels in my bloodstream, but I felt like my mind wasn’t so clear, somewhat like a semi-stupor when I woke up. I thought it was just sleepiness, but the fogginess remained for much of the morning, even after the run.

So we started the run slowly and hit the first mile at about 10 minutes and 30 seconds. The lungs felt good and so did the ankles, so we upped the pace slightly on the second mile, then over three and four miles Linda and I were joined by two other runners (Cindy and Rene). We threw in a few fartlek pickups in between our base pace and by the time we finished, we had averaged 9:19 over 6.2 miles. Considering that the first mile was 10:30, bringing it down to an average pace of 9:19 over 6.2 miles was a big jump. It was a totally unexpected and unplanned workout and the result was surprisingly good. And everyone liked the change of pace. If my ankles hold up, maybe we can do more of the fartlek type workouts during the shorter runs.

From a depressive run result a few days ago due to ankle pains, to the euphoria of having a good run today, that’s what I consider Bipolar Running.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

What a Frustrating Experience!

After unexpectedly finishing a marathon relatively unscathed and without aggravating the condition of my ankles, it‘s frustrating that they are beginning to hurt again after doing shorter runs. Like for example last Saturday, my right ankle started to hurt towards the end of the run after a misstep. Then on Tuesday, my left ankle began to have some sharp pains after about 1½ miles, then as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone. However while at rest two days later, it’s hurting again. It’s strange how my body is reacting to the short runs. It’s not as if I’m trying to run harder because I’m not really pushing the pace. While my friends from the AREC running club are out racing almost every weekend, I’m out doing my slow runs trying not to hurt any more than I already am. Not that I want to race. I just want to maintain what I gained over the summer. What am I to do? I wish that stationary cycling, or stair climbing, or rowing would give me the same satisfaction and fulfillment as running can, but they don’t. If they did, I probably won’t care about not running anymore. Running on the treadmill satisfies my cravings somewhat, but it feels different from pounding the pavement. I’m already trying to hit the ground as lightly as I can. What else can I do? Have I suddenly become a wimp so that every pain which I used to ignore in the past, is now something potentially devastating in my mind? Or am I just being more mindful of it so I don’t injure myself further? Which way do I go?
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday’s Test Run

I wasn’t sure if I could run today because my right ankle was still hurting from last Saturday’s run. It was either walk, or attempt to run and see how the ankle felt. I wore the Asics Gel Evolution which I’ve had for months and even though it’s a motion control shoe, I haven’t used it much except for walking, because the sole is thinner than the Brooks Addiction that I currently wear to run. I didn’t have anything to lose after all. If I got hurt more, it didn’t matter what shoes I was wearing. Since the Asics had thinner soles maybe I would make more of a conscious effort to land my stride lighter. And that’s how I started the run – with a low shuffling gait that was practically scraping the ground. With that gait, the ankle didn’t feel wobbly, plus the 4:1 run/walk intervals helped. So my ankles survived a six mile run without further aggravation, which I’m thankful for. I probably did slightly more than six miles because I couldn’t get the GPS watch to connect to the satellites at the start, so I just started running before it connected. I’ve been eating too much salt lately so I wasn’t surprised that my perspiration was stinging my eyes just fifteen minutes into the run. I had to keep taking off my eyeglasses so I could wipe the sweat off my brow. It’s so hard to run without using your natural stride, but necessary for me to do so to lessen my impact against the ground. Sometimes when I lose my concentration, I still land hard, and that’s probably what happened last Saturday. But for today, the ankles passed the test.

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The Lost Movie

There is a new movie opening this weekend that’s well reviewed by the critics, but which I cannot mention here. The only reason why I’m writing about it is because I thought I had seen that movie before and I thought I archived it. Despite attempts to look for it in my one terabyte external hard drive and about a hundred DVD discs of backup files, I couldn’t find it. It was getting frustrating because I know I enjoyed watching that movie and I could not have deleted the file. When I first found that movie, I had never heard about it before so I thought it was something that was released abroad but not in the U.S., and is probably being released straight to DVD here. Then I started seeing the promotions and reviews last week which led me to my current search for it from my archives. After wracking my brain and doing repeated searches, I finally checked IMDB to find out if the movie came with an alternative title. Eureka! It did! When I searched my archives again, I found the movie. It was in the one terabyte hard drive after all. Now I’m satisfied. I can go out for a run now.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009

A New Training Group

How do I describe Saturday’s run? Since the running club’s marathon training is over for the year, Saturdays seemed empty and aimless until Linda told me that there was a small group training for the Surf City Half Marathon at the same site we did during the summer. This was just a loose bunch of AREC members who decided to meet together, organized by Tam, but not an official club training group. It started pretty much by word of mouth or word of email and I learned about it a couple of weeks ago, but was unable to attend last week due to CPR recertification class for work. Saturday was their second or third meeting.
Upon arriving at the parking area, I was surprised to see a lot of cars there, then saw a group of AREC members gathered. It was then that I remembered that the trail run training also started on Saturday. They met at the same spot then carpooled to the trail site where they did their running.
Linda and I arrived early and while she went to find the lavatory, I went for a warm-up jog. When I got back to the start area, a small group had already gathered and were ready to go, so off we went. Today’s distance was eight miles. We started slowly, there was no pushing the pace or doing pickups, and finished slowly, which was how we planned it. A misstep about 100 yards from the finish tweaked my right ankle slightly bit but since we were about done, I hope I didn’t worsen it. We shall have to see in the next few days.
There were some people in the group whom I already knew, some I’ve seen in the past, and a couple of new ones. I’m not very good at remembering names but I hope that by next week, if someone refreshes my memory, I will remember them by then.
I would like to thank Tam wholeheartedly for organizing this group. Even though I’m not training for the half marathon, at least my Saturdays will no longer be aimless and I have something to look forward to. If not for this group, I don’t think I would have run eight miles by myself. Running with others always helps. If my ankle holds up, I hope I can help Linda train for and achieve her goal of a sub 2:10 half marathon.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

My So Called Non-racing Life

I’m not much for participating in races anymore. I just run for exercise. First, there is always a tendency to push harder during a race and my joints just can’t tolerate that. Second, it’s a matter of economics. Paying for race fees is what I consider living beyond my means. I would rather use the money to buy food than for racing. I don’t have ‘mad money’ to spend like I used to and I don’t want to work overtime to earn it like I did a few years ago. I stopped working extra days because I ended up paying more taxes for the extra income. There was one time in my life that I worked one full time and two part time jobs, holding three titles which all meant the same: behavior specialist, mental health worker, and substance abuse technician.

I used to drive all over Southern California to race almost every weekend and sometimes on both Saturday and Sunday. But then, I was younger, faster, uninjured, and had expendable cash to pay for the reasonable fees they had then, when they cost anywhere from $8.00 to $18.00 for the 5K or 10K on the day of the race (late entry). Nowadays it would be rare to find a race for less than $25.00, and that would be for early registration.

Regarding marathons and half marathons, I don’t like the idea of being required to go to the expo to pick up your race packet. I realize it’s a business strategy for the event since they can earn money renting space to vendors and they probably get a cut from the parking fees too. Besides, going to the expo is a waste of gasoline because you have to drive to the event on race day again. In the past, you can have your race packets mailed to you.

I wish some things are back to the way they used to be. I would probably participate in races more, now that I’ve been able to run longer using the run/walk technique. But I know it’s not going to happen.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Miracle at the Hospital

Do miracles happen? The last few days at work, that seems to be the case. Last week the psychiatric units (our hospital has three), was bursting at the seams with patients, then all of a sudden this week, we lost more than half of them. No, they didn’t die, they just got discharged. Did we finally find a cure for psychiatric problems, or are we witnessing a miracle at the hospital? At the rate that we have been discharging patients this week we would be empty by next week and all the mental health staff would be joining the unemployment line. But wait! I just realized that it’s the beginning of the month and the patients just got their disability checks from the government. Those checks can make them well more quickly than a miracle. That is until the money runs out and they get sick again. A quick recovery followed by a quick relapse. It happens every month. Such is the business of mental health care in California and perhaps America.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Night On The Medical Floor

Most of the psych patients got their government checks on Monday so there was an exodus of them leaving the hospital. That left the psych units with low patient numbers and it was my turn to be sent to another unit again. This time it was to the medical floor to watch a patient one on one. The patient’s chart was not available to me but the nurse gave me a brief report about him. He had a history of medical problems like atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and diabetes. He also had right side weakness, so I suspect that he was a stroke victim as well. To add to those problems, this patient was refusing to take his medications and would not allow the nurses to check his blood pressure and blood sugar. He was on IV antibiotics also and I was surprised that with all his refusals, he hadn’t pulled off the IV line yet. It’s a patient’s right to refuse treatment so we couldn’t really force him to do anything. He was otherwise a quiet person although he seemed very depressed about his condition. With a little prodding, he told me that he has been in the hospital too long, that his wife visits him about once a week, and that they have three children, 1 boy and 2 girls. He spoke mostly Spanish so we couldn’t exchange too much information. He got mad at me later for trying to convince him not to call his wife on the phone at 12:15 in the morning. Since he could not dial the phone very well, he asked me to do it. When I hesitated he yelled “F… You!” The nurse intervened and negotiated with him. If we call his wife, he would let us check his blood pressure. I was surprised that the wife answered the phone at such a late hour. He was pretty quiet the rest of the night aside from asking me to take off some of his blankets because it was too warm, scratch his calf a little bit because it was itchy, and bend his knee because it was starting to hurt.
In the meantime I was reading or answering crossword puzzles which I always bring in my backpack for nights like this. There was also a very distracting eye candy of a respiratory therapist who was doing her rounds and kept passing by my patient’s door J.
In the morning before I left, I was given more information about the patient. He had been living in a nursing home but because of his unstable blood pressure and blood sugar, plus his refusal to take his medications, they would not take him back until everything was stabilized. I felt bad for him. I bid him goodbye and thanked him for keeping me company that night. I should have thanked the eye candy too for being around, but she had already left, and that would have been inappropriate.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Google is Giving Me Money!

After picking up the mail on Monday, I noticed a postcard that came from Google. What could it possibly be? I remember “monetizing” my blog a few months ago and by that I mean that I gave Google permission to place advertising on it. When someone clicks on any of the ads, Google keeps track of it and I’m supposed to earn some money that way. I didn’t think very much about it since I don’t get much traffic on my blog site, and it takes a few thousand ad clicks before someone can really make money. After allowing Google to insert ads, I noticed that whatever topic I wrote about, new ads relating to that topic would appear on the page. I think they call this targeted advertising. A few that interested me, I clicked on. However, the Terms of Service discourage the practice of the writer of the blog clicking numerous times on the ads just to potentially earn more money. I don’t have the time or the inclination to click on ads all day just to get some money, so rest assured, Google, I haven’t violated your Terms of Service. Besides, I don’t have the technical knowledge to install an autoclick program.
So anyway, back to the postcard. It contained information on how I can activate the payment process, which included a PIN number. I logged on to the Google Adsense website, filled in some verification information, plus my checking account number where they can send me part of their billions. From the info on the website, I gathered that Google is going to start sending the money as soon as it reaches $100.
Having satisfied all the requirements, I checked to see how much I’ve earned so far, if any. After about six months of targeted advertising on my blog site, I finally hit paydirt! All $8.30 of it! Fist bump, high five, chest bump!!!
Ok folks, help me out here. Whoever visits my site please click on more of the ads so Google can give me more money. At the rate it’s been going the last six months, I’ll finally reach $100 in about six years! Lesser if you help with the clicking.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Three Weeks After the Marathon

No wonder I felt dizzy after about 35 minutes during today’s run. I didn’t feel thirsty but I got dehydrated. My pre-run weight was 119 and when I weighed myself afterwards, it was down to 115. That was roughly the same amount of fluids I lost at the Long Beach Marathon three weeks ago. I thought the dizziness was caused by the swine flu shot I got last Wednesday but now I’m thinking it was due to fluid deficit.

It was tempting to stay indoors and run on the treadmill while watching the New York City Marathon on TV but decided to go outdoors so I can get my dose of vitamin D. Besides, I’ve been doing too many indoor workouts in the last few days. I wore my Long Beach Marathon technical shirt for motivation.

Doing the 4 minute run/one minute walk today, the first two intervals were a slow warm-up, then the pace started picking up until I had to pause several seconds at a stop light and that was when the dizziness started. When I restarted I had to slow down the pace to get my equilibrium back. Well I ended up running from home to Long Beach City College which was 40 minutes out then turned around and ran 40 minutes back home. Other than the dizziness, it was a good run for a distance of 7.76 miles. If I didn’t feel lightheaded, I would have done more. But then again, maybe not, because my ankle tendons are still in the process of recovering. So far, as I write this, I’ve already downed 3 pounds of fluids and will be having soup for lunch while packing my ankles in ice. Somehow despite only being three weeks removed from the marathon, it already seems like a distant memory.