Crisis hardly over

j0433143.jpgEver since my recent health crisis, I have been consuming mass quantities of water.

Not pop (or soda for you non-Illinoisians), not juice (except for cranberry and/or lemonade), not even tonic or seltzer. Water. Plain old-fashioned water.

Water in bottles. Water in jugs. Water out of drinking fountains. Water out of the tap. As long as it’s water, it’s going down.

I feel like I’m about to float away.

And yet… I still haven’t completely passed that goddamned kidney stone.

Before you begin to heap sympathy on me, I should state that I’m not necessarily in excruciating pain. The meds I’m taking, along with all that water, are helping to alleviate all of that. Unfortunately, however, two follow up CT scans later, there is still little progress on getting that bugger completely out of me.

I have good days and I have bad days. Sometimes I have good and bad weeks. When I wake up in the morning, I never quite know what will be in store for me. Sometimes the pain is faint and dull, and sometimes the pain is sharp and shooting. There have been a few days where it was so bad I couldn’t even get out of bed.

I’m tired of living like this, but I’ve learned to deal with it the best I can. As with any situation where you are in constant pain, your body adapts and copes with it over time.

I will be done with this eventually– it’s just taking a lot longer than I ever expected. Considering I first had the stone in early May, one can imagine that I’m ready for this to be over and done with once and for all.

In the meantime, though– it’s all about the water.

Another facelift!

So yeah, I decided to revamp the Pad again.

It’s getting to the point where you can start calling me… oh I dunno… Michael Jackson.  Or Jocelyn Wildenstein.  Or Joan Rivers.  You get the point.

But hey… the rocket is back! 🙂

I’m still tweaking it a bit… but I think this may be a keeper!

Last night I had a crazy dream…

I’ve been a bit under the weather in the past few days.  I went to my new urologist yesterday morning with a splitting headache and feeling overally icky, but I figured it was just the weather.  Yet when they took my temperature, I found that something else was wrong… I had a fever of 101!  So I went home, took some Tylenol, got into bed and slept the day away.

The rest of the day was fairly hazy — aside from the awful storms we had in the afternoon.  By the time I was ready to retire for the day, I took a shot a NyQuil and hoped for the best.

Well somewhere in between the NyQuil, the fever (which had since subsided) and my stuffy nose, I had a batch of dreams unlike any I have had in recent memory.

Here’s what I can remember.  If you think I should be committed, please don’t be afraid to say so.  I kinda felt that way after waking this morning.

I’m much younger — probably in my teens to early twenties– and I’m in my parents’ garage, looking for something.  I’m opening cabinets and looking inside of boxes trying to find whatever it is.  Then I find it– a box containing a body.  A dead body.  I stifle a scream, because I don’t want anyone to hear.  I panic and quickly close the top to the box. I run in the house and tell my dad (who is obviously still alive in this dream) about my discovery.  He says “I don’t know what you’re talking about!  I never saw any dead bodies in the garage, and I was just out there earlier!”

I run downstairs into the basement, where my mom is doing laundry.  I ask her if she knows anything about the bodies.  She seems equally shocked, so we go to ask my sister if she knows anything about this.  She, took, is taken aback by this news. 

Mom suggests that my sister and I go back in the garage and see if we can find any more bodies.  We do, and we find at least 3 more.  So we go back to report the news to our dad.

“What is wrong with you kids?”  He says.  “It’s just a few dead bodies.  It’s nothing to worry about.” 

Suddenly we realize that our own father must be the killer.  We devise a strategy to confine him until we can get the police there, so I distract him while my sister ties him with a rope to his chair.  When the ropes started to cut into his arm, I wake up.

What the hell is the meaning of this dream!?  My DAD, a SERIAL KILLER!?  It’s preposterous. I had to calm myself down when I woke up, saying to myself, “My father was not a serial killer!  My father was not a serial killer!!”  And clearly, this was not the case.

But holy HELL did it freak me out.

Have you ever had any dreams that totally spooked you like this?  And what, if you are any good at analyzing dreams, does it all mean?

I’m laying off the NyQuil tonight, just to let you know…

Bolts across the sky

Bolts across the skyThe weather in Chicago has been absolutely crazy lately. I haven’t seen storms like this in years. And the lightning has been out of this world. This picture was taken last night (Wednesday) from my living room window as a storm passed through. And today has been even worse– incredible winds have toppled huge trees (though none in my immediate neighborhood) and tons and tons of rain and lightning.

Hopefully this will all cool down very soon. I’m supposed to go camping in Michigan this weekend… and I ain’t going if it’s going to be like this the whole time!

Crystalline Fructose

Lately I’ve tried to be much more cognizant of what goes in my body — staying away from things like high fructose corn syrup (HCFS) and partially hydrogenated oils, among other things. For the most part I’ve been doing fairly well, but occasionally I can’t avoid it. The best thing, in my mind, is to cut down the amount I’m ingesting, and keep it at a low minimum.

Recently, I’ve seen something called “Crystalline Fructose” on bottles of “Vitamin Water.”  I never thought anything of it.  I figured if it didn’t SAY “High-fructose corn syrup,” it wasn’t so bad. 

HA!  I was so wrong.

Through research, both in articles, on blogs, and even on a website called “,” I found the general makup of this ‘nutritive’ sweetener:

Fructose    ≥ 98.0% and £ 102.0%, after drying
Arsenic    ≥ 1 mg/kg
Chloride    ≥ 0.018%
Glucose    ≥ 0.5%
Heavy metals (as Pb)    ≤ 5 mg/kg
Hydroxymethylfurfural    ≤ 0.1%, dry basis
Lead   ≤ 0.1 mg/kg
Loss on drying   ≤ 0.5%
Residue on ignition   ≤ 0.5%
Sulfate   ≤ 0.025%



This is what they are sweetening our drinks with, folks.  These are known toxic materials– things that are known to KILL people.

Sure, the quantities are microscopic, at best, but when you really break it down, WHY do they need to use these properties in something that they are labeling as “nutritive?”  This is false labeling at its worst.

No wonder we are falling victim to a multitude of diseases– including diabetes– every year.  No wonder we are the most obese nation in the world.  It scares the hell out of me what we put into our bodies these days.

Remember when they used to say that sugar was bad for us, so they came up with saccharine?  Then when they realized that saccharine caused cancer and other health problems they created Aspartame?  Whatever happened to good old fashioned sugar?  They turned it into a cancerous killer, too.  It’s nearly impossible to find pure sugar in any soft drinks anymore– unless you go to a “Whole foods” store. 

The important lesson here is that you should read your labels well.  And if you see something you don’t recognize in the list of ingredients, look it up.  You might be surprised– and dismayed– at what you find.

Needless to say, I won’t be buying any kind of fructose in the near future. 

Sources: Fructose Information Center, “What is Crystalline Fructose?” (The Fit Shack)