Coke. Coke? No, Pepsi

So, anyone who knows me knows that I don't drink caffeinated beverages. Nor do I typically drink carbonated beverages. The former is because I was told caffeine can trigger migraines, the latter because I was told the phosphor in carbonated drinks contributes to osteoporosis.

This second connection is actually dubious. The original observation was that women in recent generations have more osteoporosis than older generations, and, hey, they drink more sodas, so there must be a connection, a link between the rise in soda consumption and the rise in osteoporosis. The first theory that developed was that the phosphor in the soda was leeching the calcium from the bones, causing the osteoporosis increase.

The link, however, is that the increase in soda consumption resulted in a decrease of milk consumption, and therefore a decrease in calcium consumption. This decrease in calcium consumption meant less calcium in the bones of the latest generation of women (and men, actually), and hence an increase in osteoporosis.

There are probably a larger number of factors, such as reduced sunlight exposure (vitamin D!), increased toxin consumption, less weight bearing exercise and the other factors we don't know about, but the one I kept with me (quite irrationally) is the phospor in carbonated beverages can cause oestoporosis, so don't drink it!

So much did that stick with me, that ten years later I actually recall an otherwise unremarkable hike with Hester Bell. Hester and I were hiking in the San Gabriel mountains, on a hike similar to hikes where the idea for Amerigon was fostered by Lon Bell. I very much enjoyed spending time with Hester. Lon, on the other hand, intimidated the hell out of me.

And I still don't drink many sodas. I will on occasion, however. Take last week, for example. Kris was at work until after 4:00 am. I stayed up as best I could waiting for him. The next day, I was tired. So tired. So, at lunch, I had my first full Coke in years. Yes, years. Not just a sip from Kris's cup. Not a shared Coke. A full Coke.

Caffeine and all.

Boot camp requirements


Some blog listed the requirements for women (under 35 years old, mind you) to get into some Canadian boot camp?

  1. 9 push ups
  2. 15 sit ups
  3. 3 chin ups
  4. Run 2.4Km in less than 14.5 minutes

The situps, no problem. The chin ups, a bit, but not much. The pushups, yeah. The run? No problem.

Three isn't company in the headache front

Migraine #3 for the year. 2 days after #2. 30 minutes after Bella's seizure. This day just keeps getting better and better.

Started at 6:30 - 7:00 or so. 4 TRMA, 2 VSCL, 2 Tylenol, 1 Vicodin

And a partridge in a pear tree (also known as, yes, I still have a headache).

Not Even a Way-fa Theen Mint?

Last night, I went out to dinner with Heather. We ate at the New Krung Thai restaurant in San Jose, very close to Santana Row, actually. The food there is excellent and highly recommended.

The dinner was great. I love hanging out with Heather. We talked about ultimate (of course!), work (going well), life (also going well), cars (not ours!), food (yummy!) and the like.

At the end of dinner, while we were waiting for Kris' meal as takeout, I signed the bill, grabbed an after-dinner mint, popped into my mouth, and started talking about my dream to have a company large enough to support an ultimate team, most likely a women's team.

Basically, the idea is the employees would work 5-6 hours a day, then play ultimate (as part of their job) 2-3 hours a day. How good would that team become? Could you take a group of strong athletes but inexperienced players and make them rock stars? Conversely, could you take good players and make them amazing athletes? How far would this team go? Would the external pressures on such a team become too great, or would they fail under their own internal pressures? Or would they become so good, that the rest of the players would call for their disbanding, on the grounds they're professional athletes with an unfair advantage?

And so on.

It would be a great experience and a great experiment. Just how far could you get?

Near the end of the conversation, I looked down at the wrapper from the mint. I had been playing with it for a while. When I looked down, I stopped, and nearly groaned out loud.


Heather looked startled. What?

The mint was a tic-tac. A tic-tac.

As in sugar-free.

As in aspartame-ful.


I've long avoided aspartame. I started avoiding it religiously when I realized it triggers my migraines. I haven't chewed gum in years because I get sick from the aspartame that is in even sugarful gum like Juicy Fruit or Double Mint. The first thing I look for in any new, packaged food is the warning Phenylketonurics Contains Phenylalanine, because that's the biggest, clearest indication of apartame, and guaranteed misery.

Well, we agreed, nothing to be done about it now, except for vomit up the meal I just ate, and even that wouldn't be guaranteed to solve the potential issue. I avoid aspartame, but had I really done a thorough investigation? Was this my chance to confirm my aspartame-migraine link?

3 hours later, I was blind, half numb, slobbering on myself, unable to speak clearly, in considerable pain and desperate to escape this world into blissful sleep.

Did that tic-tac's aspartame cause it? Yeah, it did. This experiment is complete. Migraines suck.

Checking my pee

I went to my nutritionist, Marina Rose, yesterday. I've been seeing her off and on for the last five years. We discussed the results from a urinalysis I had done last month. The results were, uh, interesting.

Turns out that, just like five years ago, I have difficulty digesting carbohydrates; wheat and milk are bad for me; blah blah blah.

Unlike five years ago, at least I'm absorbing my vitamin C and calcium.


Five years ago, I had ice cream almost every day. I ate chocolate every day. I had pasta probably 3-4 times a week. I ate meat a lot. I exercised less. Crap, there's nothing health wise I did better five years ago than I do today.

And the test results are very much the same.

So all those supplements and all those vitamins and all that worry about what I'm eating?

For naught. Just one big gigantic bunch of bull.

There was one change though. The acidity of my urine is about 5.3. Normal pH is 4.6 - 8.0, so my pH is within the normal range, but low. Acidic urine is typically indicative of kidney attempts to regulate the blood pH, and can lead to kidney stones.

This revelation, coupled with a sore spot on my back (middle, near the spine, ongoing since December) which might be symptomatic of kidney issues, means that I need to watch my urine acidity.

Great. Checking my pee. Whoo.

I wonder if all that cranberry juice I've been drinking to keep away a urinary tract infection hase caused this issue.


1-1 tie for 2005

And we start the year off right. We're tied 1-1 going into March. That's one migraine and now one menstruation. 0-0 is, of course, ideal, but even isn't as bad as the 2-1 ratio of last year.

Let's keep it up!

Happy to be here

Here's a picture of me and Kris. In this picture, I am very, very happy to be here:

Here? What does "here" mean?

Well, at that moment, here meant at my house, sitting with Kris, dogs at the feet, television on, doing not much on a Wednesday night. The heat was on in the house, laundry running in the garage, computers humming in the office, tivo recording who knows what, Alias playing on the DVD player.

And why was I so happy?

Because 10 minutes before that, I was choking and unable to breathe.

A piece of ginger that I was eating with my sushi, unfolded the wrong way and covered the top of my windpipe as I was chewing away. I tried to inhale, and realized I couldn't.

And then, I forgot how to breathe.

It was a very surreal moment. My thought were something along the lines of "Breathe. How? Just inhale. Um, okay. Uh, it's not working. Yeah, I noticed. Hmmmmm."

I stood up after a couple seconds, Kris stood up next to me. "Are you okay?" I shook my head no, as I tried to figure out how to get air into my lungs. Through the nose? No. Through the mouth? No, that's still not working. Exhale? What's that again? Exhale.

Just as I turned to present my back to Kris, who was reaching around my sides, the ginger in my throat shifted, and I managed to inhale.

Whoo! Air! And a glorious, wow, I'm happy to be here feeling.

Can't say I was particularly hungry after that, though.

Be careful what you wish for

Everyone over the age of 8 has heard the saying, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it." When you want something badly enough, and your mind and your body decide to follow, mountains can be moved. Even when just your mind decides to help, you can get your wish.

A while ago, like last November, after Regionals were over and my toenails were all black and bloodied from ultimate abuse, I pondered having my toenails surgerically removed. I couldn't decide if I truly wanted to have them removed, might I regret it later? How long do I expect to play ultimate anyway? Things like that. Not two months later, I started to lose a different toenail than I was contemplating removing. Voila! Gross things, but soon I'll see a nail-less toe and can use that in my decision.

Or how about learning to scan the ultimate field better? Higher level atheletes are very good at scanning a field before deciding what to do. Cameras that watch the eyes of professional athletes show they are more aware of movements on the fields than amateur athletes. A series of migraines back in November caused a reduction of peripheral acuity, forcing me to scan the field in order to see what I would have normally seen 4 months ago. I know something's there, I just can't see it, so I scan my field of view far more than I used to. Out of necessity more than anything else. Rough way to get there, but I actually see more of the field than I used to.

Or how about fewer emotions? Now that's a battle I've had my entire life. Did you look at me funny? When I was younger, I'd probably bawl my head off. Or when I became frustrated, my nose would turn bright red and the sting of tears would start. Funny thing is that since that same said series of migraines I haven't cried once except in the case of extreme physical pain (and damn it hurt!). I keep thinking, huh, I feel like I should cry right now: I'm frustrated, I'm tired, blah, blah, blah. But I don't. Maybe because I'm getting older and my hormones are shifting. Maybe because I'm actually somewhat happy in life. Maybe because those migraines shifted something. Maybe because John Schmidt's saying, "Nothing to be done about it? Then don't worry about it." finally sunk in. Maybe I just realized what it was going to take to finally get to where I know I want to be.

And sitting on my ass just wishing isn't going to cut it.

Worst. Weekend. EVAR.

This had to be the worst weekend ever. And I mean ever. Kinda gross, too, so if you don't like reading about dry heaves and not-so-dry heaves, how about skipping to last Friday's entry?

Having just returned from Los Angeles and dealing somewhat with my condo and visiting (thankfully at Suzanne's request) Wook and Jon Hartzberg, I fed the dogs, ate some leftovers, and settled down to watch some tivo'd shows.

Around 11 pm, I started having that achy, sore, guess-what-you've-got-the-flu feeling. By 12:30, I was in the bathroom delivering the previously mentioned leftovers to the sewer system. With surprising ease, actually. I haven't vomited in a long time, maybe 10 years? But I don't ever remember being able to do the fake heave and have it trigger a real one.

Let it be known that I eat a lot of apples. When I'm at home, I have probably two a day. And with those apples, I eat a lot of peanut butter. Vitamin E, magnesium (important for day two of this exciting weekend), protein, what's not to love about peanut butter?

Tasting it coming back up.

The dry heaves started around 2:30, when the chicken leftovers wanted to come up, but couldn't quite make it back out of my intestines. Thankfully, they relented and came up. My intestinal tract was completely clear. At some point, when lying on the bathroom floor looking up, I thought about taking a picture of the bathroom from that particular vantage point. It would have made a nice addition to this post, but I couldn't get up to find the camera.

Ah well, at least I could go to sleep now that my stomach was empty.

But I didn't sleep well. I woke up at 3:16, 4:21, 5:38, 6:24, 7:37, 8:29, 9:30, 10:14 (you see where this is going right?), keeping the trend up until around 2:30 pm when I actually felt like getting out of bed.

As much as I wanted to do something with the day (strip wall paper, convert postnuke sites to drupal sites, finish an online rostering system, learn flash, read Reality Dysfunction), it wasn't going to happen. Instead, I watched all the tivo'd shows we had, and all the Alias DVDs we have that I hadn't watched yet. In told, 12 hours in a vegetative state, unable to do much other than wiggle my fingers to fast forward through the commercials.

The good thing of being unable to sleep on Friday night, was that I slept really, really well on Saturday night.

And woke up to a migraine at 10 am.

Up. Feed the dogs. Down a 800 mg ibuprofin. Back to bed to sleep off the blindness.

No such luck. I woke up at noon more blind than when I went back to bed. And really, really hungry. This time, I took a couple magnesium and B6 capsules (as a magnesium deficiency has been shown to be a contributor to migraines), had some juice, ate some toast and vegged for a couple hours hoping the pounding in my head would subside somewhat.

Fortunately, my eyes cleared up within the half hour (yay, Mg!). Unfortunately, Bella spent the whole freaking day with her whine, whine, whine, CHIRP! whine barking. I hate that whining. But the barking! Damned dog, stop the barking! Just shut up!

And Kris isn't expected home for another 5 hours. He's been gone since Friday afternoon on a ski trip. Did I mention that Jessica's breast cancer spread and she's on chemo? Or how about Kris' dad is heading in for triple bypass surgery? Yeah, found those out on Friday, too.

This has to be the worst weekend ever.

All Sugar, All the Time


Heh. Today's meals included a Krispy Kreme donut, milk, Cold Stone Creamery chocolate ice cream with almonds, chocolate chips, then finally a real meal at Satsuma (sushi). My insides are lovin' me right now.

Yeah right.

Probably a good thing I don't do this very often (like never).