Ninja Mosquitoes and Itch Cream Avoidance

Yesterday, I wrote (in part) about how the mosquitoes ate me alive.  All during the day, yesterday, I was itching away.  Then, today, something interesting happened.  I itched some more.  From new locations.

I could swear that I didn’t have these new bites yesterday, but there they are.  Either they were there but I was distracted by other ones, or my area has become infested with ninja mosquitoes.

I imagine the ninja mosquitoes snuck into our room late at night from a gap left by the window air conditioning unit.  Silently, they flew across the room surveying their potential targets.  Then, they zoomed into action.  They attacked my neck, my ear, my arms and my legs.  With their attack completed and their bellies full of TechyDad blood, they crept back out the same way they got in.

Until now, I’ve been trying to “tough it out.”  The itching is horrible, but I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t seek medical treatment right away.  It’s not a macho thing.  I just put other people’s needs ahead of mine.  “Sure, I’m itching all over and this cream could stop it, but first I need to finish this page for someone and make the kids dinner and a few more things.  Then maybe I’ll break out the itch cream… perhaps.”

Well, today I broke down.  I ran to the pharmacy on my lunch break and bought a tube of anti-itch cream.  I am now in the process of identifying my itchy spots (kind of hard to pinpoint them when there are so many bites) to slather cream on top of.  I apologize in advance for any bad mental images of me slathering cream all over myself.

*itch* *itch* There’s another one. *slather* Ahhhhhh!

Fantastic Blog Post Sidelined By Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

There should have been a nice, long post here about Niagara Falls.  One with lots of photos and stories and stuff.  So, what happened?  Monday night happened.  For some reason, I began experiencing pains in my elbow on Monday night.  At first, I thought nothing of it.  I figured it would go away on its own.

That night, I worked a bit on My Upcoming Twitter Application and a blog post.  Every press of the key brought pain and I found I needed to take frequent breaks.  I finally finished and got to bed at about 1:30am, hoping that some sleep would help my elbow feel better.

Sadly, the next day didn’t see any improvement.  And the 5-6 hour drive home (actually longer, but at least 5 hours of actual driving) didn’t help.  Even holding onto and moving the steering wheel hurt.  To make matters worse, the pain is in my left elbow and I’m a leftie.  Can you guess what arm I instinctively use for everything?  Yup, my left one.

Yesterday, I went back to work.  Now, I work as a web programmer.  So my entire job involves typing out code.  Hitting keys on a keyboard.  Exactly the kind of thing that elicits pain from my elbow.  The pain has continued into today.  Every time I think it is getting better, I move a finger or turn my arm and the pain returns.

I’ve had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome before so I know how that feels.  This feels just like that, only in my elbow instead of my wrist.  It turns out that there is a name for this: Cubital Tunnel Syndrome.  I’m going to try to cut down on using my arm as much as possible.  That means you get a short, all-text blog post instead of one chock-full of photos and detailed stories.  For now, you can read about some of our Niagara Falls trip over on B’s blog.  Here’s hoping my elbow gets better quickly.  I need it for my livelihood!

Blood Donated, Lives Saved

IMGP0171_cropOn Saturday night, fueled by a rush of coding creativity, I stayed up way too late.  It was 2am before I shut down my computer and crawled into bed.  Luckily, the next day, B & the boys let me sleep late.  (Well, after NHL’s usual 6am wake-up call to ask if it was ok for him to stay out of bed, go to the couch and watch TV.  Why can’t he learn to sleep in on the weekends?!!!)  I couldn’t sleep too late, though, because I needed to go give blood.

I try to give blood often, but I’ll admit that in recent years I haven’t gone as often as I could.  When I heard that my Temple was running a blood drive, though, I figured I should attend.  So I headed on down, read the now-familiar introductory pamphlets, got the various health-related tests (the iron finger-stick still hurts), answered the now familiar screening questions and then was shown to a cot.

I showed them my blood-giving arm, my right arm with the big vein popping up.  As always, the needle stick didn’t hurt.  It’s more of a quick pinch.  I still can’t watch it be done, though, for fear that I’ll flinch at the worst moment.  The little needle stick was uneventful, though, and soon blood was flowing into a collection bag.

At that point, I asked what was likely an unusual question.  I asked about taking  photos  I explained that I was a blogger and would be blogging about this.  She said I could take photos anywhere except for the questionairre area (due to personal information that is discussed/displayed there) and of the needle itself (as people might be scared off of giving blood if they see a needle close-up photo).  I completely agreed and she took a photo of me giving blood.


As I squeezed a rubber ball, keeping the blood flowing, the collection bag quickly filled.  The needle was carefully removed and a bandage was applied.  Of course, before I left for the snacks area, I had to take a photo of my blood in the collection bag.


Then I was off to the snacks area for the usual assortment of juices and cookies as well as a special treat: cannolis!

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All in all, giving blood is mostly painless.  The slight pinching of the needle stick and pain of the finger stick are minor when compared to what you are giving.  The blood you give is separated and given to up to three people.  Yes, three people’s lives might be saved because I took an hour out of my day to give blood.  I’d say that’s an hour well spent.

Although my kids couldn’t come with me, I talked with them a lot about it afterwards.  I showed them my bandage and let them know everything that was done.  I told them that it didn’t hurt much and wasn’t scary.  I emphasised how good it was to save lives and promised that they could come with me to give blood when they are older.  I look forward to the day when I can walk into a blood drive with my two boys and watch as they give blood for the first time.  (NOTE: “Look forward to” doesn’t mean “can’t wait.”  Stay little for as long as possible, NHL & JSL!!!)

If you would like more information about giving blood, you can head on over to the American Red Cross Blood Donation website.  Have you ever given blood?  If so, when was the last time you’ve given?

Disclaimer: The American Red Cross didn’t compensate me for this post in any way.  I did this because I feel that giving blood is important.

Aloha Friday: Punctual Post Planning

You may have noticed something amiss with this week.  I tend to post every weekday and yet there were no posts on Tuesday or Thursday.  What happened?  I tend to write posts, at most, the day before they go live.  Many times, I’ll finish up the post and hit Publish right then and there.

On Monday, JSL got sick.  He had been coughing for awhile, but the cough was getting worse.   B took him to the doctor, afraid he had caught my strep throat.  They put him on an antibiotic, but that didn’t seem to help.  That night, he developed a fever and threw up.  The night was very rough with him waking up multiple times coughing so much that he could hardly breathe.  Eventually, he came into our bed.  Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep and writing a blog post was not a high priority.  Tuesday was busy at work.  By that night, I figured I would just work on my Wednesday blog post and skip Tuesday.

Wednesday night, I should have worked on a blog post, but was too tired.  Thursday saw some heater issues.  (Heat went out. Pilot light wouldn’t stay lit and a professional eventually had to be called when it proved too much for me.)  So, by Thursday night, I decided to write this Friday post instead.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: How far in advance do you write posts for your blog?

Also, make sure you add some spice to your marriage by entering my Eden Fantasys $50 gift card giveaway.  Less than a week to go!

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #70

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