Tag Archives: illness

When a Colleague Has Food Allergies

A couple of months ago, I overheard a young lady and her colleague on the elevator, in a conversation that went something like this:

“Are you going to the pizza lunch?”

“Yes, I guess we have to. It’s mandatory.”

“Except for those people who asked for gluten-free.” She started shaking her head and continued, “Come on, it’s a free lunch.”

Ever since that conversation I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief that anyone could say something so unenlightened. Whether a person has an allergy, an intolerance, a medical condition, a dietary restriction or a preference, people’s food choices need to be respected. Period!

I suspect that the young lady in question probably does not have a family member with a food allergy or intolerance, for her to say that a lunch being free is a good reason to eat something that could pose an allergy risk.

In my case, wheat can turn my world completely upside down for about 24 hours. Imagine if you will, your absolute worst stomach flu, resulting in frequent, persistent, urgent and (please excuse the vulgarity) “explosive” trips to the washroom. Then add the sensation of something sharp painfully working its way through the digestive system. Continue reading

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Filed under food, Health and Wellness, Misc blogs

Can a Writer’s Voice Get Sick Too?

TissuesLast week, I was home with a cold. It wasn’t anything major, just a head cold that knocked me off my feet, gave me a pounding headache, kept me under the covers, and had me breathing through half of one nostril.

Even when my first priority is to get better, I can’t help but think that with the extra free time on my hands, it would be a great time to write. But I can’t. When I am feeling under the weather, words just don’t come.

Maybe it’s related to the fact that my oxygen supply is not at full capacity, or that my ears are affected and that I could potentially throw up at any given moment… it’s a little distracting.

But over the last 3 years of writing the blog, I have noticed that if I want to keep to a posting schedule of at least one or two works per week, I need to keep a few drafts in my back pocket for times like this.

The worst was when I was out with shingles for several weeks. I remember trying desperately to commit words to paper, but everything I wrote was disjointed, disconnected and frankly wasn’t up to my usual style or standards. Continue reading

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Filed under Humour, Inspiring, Writing

My Showdown With Shingles

ShinglesWithout hesitation, I would be the first to say a bad case of shingles is no laughing matter. But looking back on my own experience, two years later, I cannot help but look at the irony and the occasional humour of my weird case. Here are a few short stories about my experience with them:

Not quite proactive enough
In the last days of March 2014, at 48 years old, I took a retirement planning course, offering a comprehensive view of all aspects of retirement, not just the financials, but also health, wellness and psychology. In the health segment, they mentioned shingles as an illness that is more predominant later in life, and that one could discuss the shingles vaccine with their doctor when they go for the medical physical after turning 50. So I wrote in big letters on the front of my binder “Ask doctor about the shingles vaccine at my 50 physical”, so proud and so confident that I was on the ball and proactive where my health was concerned. I contracted shingles one week later. Lesson learned: never be THAT overconfident!

Timing is everything
I was gearing up to host Easter dinner for the family (12) and in the week prior I noticed the rash starting just below my belt line. At first I thought it was just a little irritation because my pants were getting a little tight after a long Canadian winter of indoor activities (it sometimes happens!). But as the week went on, new spots were developing, all in that same area. I was getting concerned especially since I was planning on being busy cooking and baking a few days later. The Wednesday night I decided that if any more spots appeared the next morning, I would head to the clinic to get the rash checked out. The next morning, after taking my shower I checked in the mirror… no new spots. YAY! I turned around.. and there was a fresh batch just below the belt line above my “cheek”… Off to the doctor. Continue reading

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Filed under 50+, Humour, Misc blogs