Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flu manchu

i made it to the Minute Clinic first thing this morning, checked in at 8:15, opened at 8:30. After covering the timeline of my symptoms, she said it sounded like the flu. She then said she wanted to rule out strep throat just to be sure since my throat was irritated. So she swabbed my throat, not holding back on the elbow grease. It came back negative. She concluded that it was most likely the flu or possibly another virus. She said she wouldn't make me do the flu test since either way the treatment would be the same and it is rougher than the strep test.
After agreeing with her, i hesitantly asked if we could do the test anyway if it was covered by the insurance. i got my flu shot and while i'm well aware it doesn't cover every flu strain, i just needed confirmation of her assessment. Satisfying my curiosity involved a rather uncomfortable swab in the nose. It wasn't just a swab near the end of the nose, it was an exploratory swab that may have actually scraped my eyeball. In the end, even with my watering eyes, the sneezing, runny nose, and overall sense of nasal violation, it was worth it. Not only for the super clean feeling in my nose, but the test confirmed it was the flu. No hard feelings to my flu shot giver, i still love her.
At the moment, the sore throat is the worst of it, just hope the fever/chills don't return by morning again.

2012 - aches and pains

i don't typically mind being sick. i enjoy going through what countless patients complain about every night in the hope that i'll develop some shred of empathy. For some reason, my instinct is to just tough it out until it goes away. i rarely think, i should go to the doctor. However, this morning after i walked out of the pharmacy after being achy and having chills all night, the cold air made me start shaking, more than just a shiver. When i got into my car, it was like i was having a seizure. It was the most unnatural response to a minor stimuli that i've ever experienced, but i had no control to stop it until the car heated up. i still didn't think to go the Urgent Care across the parking lot. Instead, i came home, threw on a sweatshirt over my work shirt and took my temperature. The thermometer gave a shout out to Q101 (formerly 101.1 on your Chicagoland radio dial) . Fortunately, i found coverage for work the next night. i decided to go to bed right away and ended up burning alive, so i stripped down to normal sleepwear and then woke up in a pool of sweat many hours later but feeling much better. After feeling bad for having someone work when i felt better, i stayed up for awhile and for the first time in my life watched part of a Nascar race. Proof i was sick? Some claimed "delirious." i attempted to sleep but couldn't. The whole night, the achy feelings crept back and my throat began hurting worse and worse. So, i guess i'll go to the Minute Clinic when they open, since it's free with our insurance anyway. Other reasons influencing my decision include:
1. We are going to be on a plane soon and i don't want to a) get every one on there sick b) i don't want my head to explode on the plane c) i don't want to be sick on vacation.
2. i regret not going to the doctor immediately to get my self-diagnosed sprained ankle checked out, since it is still tender and i have to try snowboarding soon.
3. It's good to see what the whole doctor trip thing is all about.
4. If it can be avoided, i'd rather not bring more germs to my pharmacy and patients.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Checking out the Check Ins

It gets kind of old and some considerate it rude pulling out my phone every time i go somewhere and checking in. It might not be so bad, but i am torn between my old loyalty to Yelp and my newer fondness of Foursquare. So most times i'll do both extending my face-in-phone time.
Why check in? The greatest incentive for me to check in is obviously to get something in return. Essentially that is why i have decided to join the Foursquare masses. i still check in via Yelp, but in my significantly shorter relationship with Foursquare, it has already given me more.

Just for checking in on Foursquare, Hooters gave me 10 free wings. That's pretty impressive. Then on future visits, i get free fries. A deal that actually got me to go there in the first place and actually puts them into the realm of consideration for future meals. Another place gave me 20% off my entree. If someone is going to follow me around stalking my check ins, i at least want to get something in return. One other time, i bought a few shirts at Express then got to the car and realized there was a Foursquare discount for checking in, so i went back inside and they gave me the discount which was like $30 back.

Another reason to check-in is as a competition of sorts to have the most points or become the mayor/duke of a business. Decent reason, but not really that important unless you get something for your effort. Annoyingly, people can cheat and check in without actually being places, so the competition loses its appeal.

The partnership between American Express and Foursquare gives another incentive to utilize Foursquare checking in when they have promotions and give you money back for eating local or whatnot. Overall, Foursquare does have the best check in incentives, however Yelp does occasionally have something to offer.

If you like saving money and have a smartphone it just makes sense to at least check out the check in offers available nearby, it could just save you a couple bucks for doing nothing at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the Benji Hughes Experience

"i went with my wife to see Benji Hughes, it was the strangest show i ever saw..."

i first heard about Benji Hughes when we went to see a random Asheville band playing at the Evening Muse one night called Now You See Them (very enjoyable show). They played a Hughes cover and asked the crowd who was familiar with the artist. Many in the crowd applauded, including me, thinking it was another guy's name who i had just started listening to at the time. Despite my confusion, i went home, researched and listened to this Benji Hughes guy from Charlotte. Several of his songs made it into my rotation. Based on his referencing from another band and my enjoyment of his songs, i assumed his show would be a big draw in the area and worried about him playing at a small venue such as the Evening Muse. Maybe it was simply the fact that it was a show on Valentine's Day and seeing Benji Hughes does not resonate as a romantic evening with many? Maybe the Charlotte music scene is even more lacking than i imagined? Admittedly, i don't get out to very many shows, but i was convinced there were more fans out there. With less than 20 people in attendance the show started. The opener was Elroy, a guy with a mixer and a laptop. While i actually did enjoy the trance-like music he was putting out, not the most enjoyable type of performer to see live. It looked as if he just pushed play on a song and was on stage playing on Facebook. Next time you're eating mushrooms or in a planetarium, invite this guy to play.
After a short intermission, Benji Hughes took the stage and the show got started...sort of. He gave a brief speech explaining his show should not be YouTubed and that he was just going to play and basically telling the audience not to expect an ordinary show. It definitely wasn't ordinary. He had Elroy stay up on stage and throw out some sounds. It was more of a jam session/comedy show than an actual musical performance. While some might be annoyed at this variation of a live performance, i sort of enjoyed it. i liked watching the Benji Hughes creative process in action as he took just a few spacey notes and was crafting a song right there on stage. If you had just wandered in and heard this guy sputtering up on stage, you might not be impressed, until he starts to sing. The voice that comes out of this bearded cross between hippie and redneck is amazing. The only downside to his form-free performance was that when he decided to play some of his songs, he couldn't really remember how to play some of them. Not preparing for a show or having a set list in mind when you take the stage is one thing, but you should be able to get through your own songs. Loved hearing "All You've Got To Do Is Fall In Love." Unfortunately, my perfect wife (sober driver and all-around good sport for even coming to the show with me on Valentine's Day) had a 6 AM flight and needed to finish packing so i didn't get to see how the show concluded or hear a few songs i was looking forward to, but i'm convinced Benji Hughes is a musical genius.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Going Green

i finish a bottle of water on the way home from work every day as i eat my morning snack (usually almonds). The next day, i take yesterday's bottle and throw it on the floor of the passenger's side of the car so i can use the cup holder again. Day after day, every other week that i work, i add my daily bottle with an occasional extra for whatever reason.
At first, it was just a small mess, but it kept growing. Apparently, it's been awhile since i've had a passenger in my car because today i removed 54 water bottles and 4 empty almond containers.

Seeing these bottles pile up made me realize how much waste i was producing. As a result, this week i switched to a reusable water bottle. This one to be exact.

i've already saved the lives of 7 bottles.