If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that while I have been posting, I’ve definitely been posting a lot less frequently lately. Life has been keeping me busy for a lot of reasons. Some bad, some good.
Lumps and bumps and lymph nodes, oh my!
About a month ago I was stroking my manly chin when I felt an unusual lump on the bottom of my jaw. I generally don’t get lumps and bumps, and the logical side of my brain told me not to worry too much. Unfortunately the paranoid side of my brain did the exact opposite.
Two weeks went by and this lump hadn’t made any indication that it was going away, but at very least it hadn’t gotten any bigger. At this point I realised that this could actually be something very serious, so I decided to go see my GP. After checking it out, he told me not to worry (like that’s going to work), and that it was most likely just a cyst of some kind. Despite him being fairly confident it wasn’t anything serious, he still recommended I go get an ultrasound done, just to be sure. So by the end of the week I was sitting in the radiologist’s waiting room, wondering if I had cancer or not.
Yes, I will admit to being a worrier by nature, it’s unfortunately something I inherited from my father, but at the same time, my fears aren’t completely set apart from reality. I know someone about my age who had cancer, and my sister knows someone who died from cancer at the age of 35. So while I know my chances of actually having anything life threatening were extremely slim, they weren’t completely non-existent.
So after anxiously waiting half an hour longer than I was supposed to, I was eventually called by a nurse. She asked me a few questions, and after performing the initial ultrasound of the lump and some other parts of my neck, came to the conclusion that I most likely had not one, but two, infected lymph nodes. The most likely cause of this is a cavity I have in my remaining wisdom tooth, which I haven’t yet gotten removed.
My first thought was thank God, nothing a antibiotic bombardment can’t fix. The nurse disappeared with my scans, and returned a few minutes later.
“The doctor has asked me to do a few more ultrasounds on other parts of your neck.”
Logical side of my brain: it’s just precautionary. Paranoid side of my brain: oh fuck they’ve picked something up that’s more serious than an infection.
She completed the rest of the scans, left, and returned a few minutes later. She told me to collect the CD with the scans and the doctors report from the nurses in the waiting room in a few minutes. A little while later I collected the envelope with all the information inside and headed home. When I got home I sat in front of my PC, opened the doctors report and with the help of Google, started to decipher it.
The long and the short of it is that it wasn’t anything serious, despite the paranoid side of my brain telling me otherwise. As the nurse had suspected, I had an infection and it would need to get treated. I confirmed this later with the help of my father (yes, he’s a doctor) after I sent him the doctors report.
I saw my GP a few days later, he prescribed me some nuclear class antibiotics, which I have since completed. The bump did decrease in size, but it’s still definitely there. I’m sure it’ll disappear eventually.
Oh my back!
During this whole saga, I proceeded to go and fuck up my back. I was sitting at my desk at work when I leaned backwards and stretched. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain shoot through my back, just next to my right shoulder blade. Of course, I was stretching my shoulder after the pain had dissipated, my friends took the opportunity to joke about me getting a girlfriend so I wouldn’t have these shoulder issues.
I rested it for a few days, and it seemed to be healing. By Saturday, most of the pain had disappeared, but it seems my body had other plans. I had been playing games on my PC, leant back exactly as I had at work, and “OH SHIT THERE IT IS AGAIN.” The same sharp pain, in the exact same spot.
This problem is probably being caused by my shitty posture, which in turn is affected by the fact that I’ve spending a lot of time at my PC. For now I’m going to do my best not to make it worse, but if it hasn’t gone away in a week, I’ll probably have to go see a physio about it.
Seriously, I just turned 30 this year. Getting old sucks.
At least there’s some good news…
When one of my buddies was staying with me, he made a comment about me getting a little tubby around the midsection. I foolishly assumed it was part of the bulking process, which was understandable considering I was doing what most what most people would call a “dirty bulk” (eating as much as possible of anything to try and gain weight). The problem I had with dirty bulking is that most of the weight has been going to my waist. I was looking at myself and thinking that I was soon going to end up like one of those “skinny fat” (small upper body, big belly and waist) people I read about.
I still want to gain weight, but I want to do so without huge amounts of fat gain. I figure I could still enjoy a few culinary vices if I cut out the main problematic part of my diet: sugar. I had recently seen a documentary called “The Men Who Made Us Fat”, as well as a lecture on the negative effects of sugar. I already knew I was a sugar fiend and that my diet was already very likely to give me diabetes, but these two videos made me seriously look at the areas I could cut sugar out of my diet.
The main problem was my Coke habit. I was a regular Coke drinker and usually had one or two cans a day. There’s 38 grams (about 7 teaspoons) of sugar in a can of Coke, and I sometimes had double that.
Combine this with the 3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar I usually have with my big bowl of oats, and I was consuming at least 10 to 12 teaspoons of processed sugar a day. To put things into perspective, the recommended amount of sugar per day is 6 to 9 teaspoons, depending on who you ask.
I have since cut out my bowl of oats (this is just temporary until I find a healthy sugar replacement) and cut my Coke consumption back to one can every second day. I’ve replaced the oats with fruit, and the coke with flavoured sparkling water (don’t worry, it has less than 9 grams of sugar per 350 mls). As a result I’ve lost about 3 kgs (6.6 lbs) of weight, most of which seems to have been around my waist. I’m also sure that I’ve also lost some muscle since I’m not doing any weight lifting while my shoulder heals, but I’ll be able to put that back on once I start working out again.
OpenArt Sketch Meets
I recently took a break from hosting the sketch meets (for various reasons), which ended up being an almost 3 month hiatus. Since then two of my friends have joined the OpenArt team so that I don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn every Saturday morning! If you’re an artist in the Cape Town area and want to meet some like-minded folk, or just want to draw and have some coffee in a more social setting, feel free to hit the Like button on the OpenArt page. Just a quick reminder to hit the Follow button as well so that you get all the updates.
Geek Ink Podcast Pilot Episode
Two friends and I have recorded our first podcast! We’re going to be covering various topics, although it seems to be leaning toward the geekier side of things at the moment. The pilot is a little rough, but we had a blast making it. We’re going to tighten things up a bit and fix some of the technical issues for future episodes. There will undoubtedly be more to come in the near future, but for now you can check out our pilot episode below.
WARNING! SPOILERS FOR:
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Spider-Man 3
- Age of Apocalypse comic books