Category Archives: Health



So I finally went to the doctor to see about the crazy arm rashes I’ve been getting, and it sounds like I have polymorphous light eruption.

It sounds super cool, but it basically means I’m allergic/sensitive to UV light. It’s a delayed reaction where you’re fine when you’re out in the sun but after the sun exposure occurs, then your immune system starts going “OH SHIT” and reacts to it, causing rough-looking rashes/blisters and lots and lots of itching.

Here’s more:

So, you know, no big deal.
I’m just out in the sun for four hours to get my 15-mile walk in every day.
N o  p r o b l e m .

And no, sunscreen doesn’t prevent it. I’ll either have to wear long sleeves or suffer the itch/redness. But for some people it seems to “flare” at the beginning of spring/summer when there’s more sun, but if they let it blister up and then heal, it “hardens” the skin against it until next spring/summer. We’ve been having a lot of cloudy/rainy days this week and my rash is almost gone, so maybe my arms will have healed enough by the time it gets super sunny again. WHO KNOWS, IT’S AN ADVENTURE.

Edit: well it’s mid-July now and the “eruptions” have definitely diminished a lot. So I either don’t have this at all and my arms were just being spazzes, or, like some people, I flared up at the first major spring exposures to sunlight and then “got used to it.” Odd news.




So guess what? Today was the first time since I’ve gotten injured that I walked a mile in under 14 minutes.*

I actually walked two separate miles in under 14 minutes, so that’s even cooler.

I was so pumped, yo. I’m finally getting some speed back. It’s been almost two years. And now that I’ve got the Garmin, I know that that speed is legitimate and not just due to a miscalculation in my stride length.

*Last year I posted a shot of my speed being 4.50 MPH, but that was WRONG because it was based on an incorrect stride length. I think this time is really the first time I’ve done a sub-14 minute mile.

Also, I still think these out-of-order signs at North Hill Mall are (unintentionally?) hilarious.


Don’t Be Rash

So for the past half month or so (or longer?) I’ve been getting this weird rash on my upper arms. It started just on one arm, which made me think I was brushing against something I was allergic to while on my walks, but then it started showing up on my other arm. Now it’s starting to spread to my lower arms. It itches like hell (sometimes) and looks pretty terrible.

So that’s awesome. As if I need help looking like complete trash.


It’s been a little while since I’ve had a migraine, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve had a migraine as bad as the one I had today.

Lately* my migraines have involved short (10-15 minutes) periods of mild vision loss with either no actual migraine headache following the restoration of vision or a relatively “mild” headache instead.

But today’s migraine was rough. My vision was almost completely gone for half an hour or so and then I got a killer headache afterwards. It was gross. It certainly made it hard to work, haha.

And now I have the post-migraine “fuzzies” where I feel like I’m in a bit of a fog. Not sure if that’s from the migraine itself or the meds, though.

Either way, BLAH.

*I really haven’t had very many lately…three or so in the past few years?

Adventures in Calgary

Today Nate and I adventured to a new part of the city on our walk and I remembered that I’m really bad at re-applying sunscreen to the backs of my hands after I wash all the sunscreen off the fronts of my hands (‘cause I hate the way it feels).


That is comically horrible.

I have to teach on Monday, which means this weird-ass sunburn is going to show up over the projector. Awesome.

‘Sokay, it’ll tan out in a few days and then I’ll be left with a weird dark patch of skin on the back of my otherwise pale hand…which is…even more attractive…

But anyway, we did almost 18 miles and it was great. Walking in 70-degree weather in the sun is way better than walking in the cold, blowing snow (which is what we were doing last weekend, haha).


Check out that resting heart rate, yo.


And people say walking isn’t good cardio. It is if you walk fast enough and long enough.

(Yes, I know fitness tracker-based heart monitors aren’t the most accurate, but I suspect it’s accurate within a range. And I actually did calculate it the “manual” way (taking my pulse) a little bit after I took this picture (after my heart rate had calmed down a little; I’d just gone up the stairs) and it was 49, so.

Protected: Ouch: The Redux

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It’s a hipster party / who could ask for more / everybody’s vegan, leave your plaid shirts at the door

I had a shit day, but this is hilarious.

The comments are full of people arguing about beards, so yeah.

Anosmia Awareness Day 2019

Hey nerds, it’s Anosmia Awareness Day, which means it’s time again for this fantastic vid:

I love how the comment section is full of anosmics. Music brings us together, yo.


Yeah, I was right: now that the weather is (at least currently) not deadly within 10 minutes of exposure, I’ve abandoned the gym and am back outside.

Which means no more running for now.

I’d like to make running a more frequent thing, but I’m not sure that can happen this semester with how busy I am and how little time I have in the morning to get my 15 miles in before calculus. If I go to the gym, that means I have to spend time changing into and out of my gym clothes, which chews up a decent amount of minutes.

Maybe once spring gets here and I (maybe?) have some more free time.

Also, I know I’ve been complaining about the weather a lot, but I would honestly have Calgary’s absurd winter cold snaps than have the Koppen climate equivalent of “fuck you” that Vancouver has.

Deadly cold > rain. Any day.


There are few things quite like the sweet, sweet pain of losing all feeling in your toes, fingers, lips, and nose while you’re out walking for four hours in weather that’s way too cold. But hey, -15 feels tropical compared to that -30s nonsense we’ve had for the past few days, so I took leave of whatever modicum of common sense I have this morning and braved the cold for an outside walk.

It hurt. It hurt good.

(Except for those 10 minutes I spent shivering uncontrollably in the bathroom by the side of the path which subsequently and unexpectedly turned into a panic attack? That wasn’t very fun. But when I was done with that nonsense, the sun had come out, so the rest of the walk was fine.)

Edit: ha, my Garmin picked up the panic attack. Heart rate spike around 1 hour 40 minutes or so.


Physical Push

This is the most relatable, terrifying article I’ve ever read.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how maintainable this “15 miles a day six days a week” thing is. When will things start breaking down? Is this making me stronger or is it going to cause a whole ton of issues?

I’m terrified of the day where I can’t do these 15 miles a day anymore. Walking is really the only thing that keeps me calm, the only thing that keeps me from just absolutely hating every aspect of my existence. What’s going to happen when that’s taken away from me?

Walking 2018


It’s January 1st yet again, so let’s do the thing I always do on January 1st and review last year’s walking stats.

Here they are for January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.

Total number of walks: 338
Total mileage: 4,328.61
Total number of steps: 9,996,535
Total calories burned: 280,626
Total walking time (minutes): 71,430.14 [that’s about 49.6 days]
Average speed (mph) per walk: 3.71

4,328.61 miles is approximately the great circle distance between Dubai, UAE and Seoul, South Korea or between Rio Gallegos, Argentina and Caracas, Venezuela.


Let’s do better this year.

I was pathetic.

So I was looking over my old blogs (because THAT’S THE KIND OF OBNOXIOUS HUMAN I AM) and noticed that on December 8, 2013, I hit 1,300 walking miles for the year.

I hit 1,300 walking miles on April 29 this year.

My old distances were garbage, yo.


My cold weather endurance is garbage right now. The temperature on my walk this afternoon ranged from 14 to 3 and I felt so freaking cold.

I need to get back into winter mode. The negative Fahrenheits are coming, yo.


Edit: hahahaha, FEBRUARY 2019 IS COMING

Let’s get down to business…to defeat…the nuns!

You know what sucks? Migraines.

You know what also sucks? Ocular migraines. An “ocular migraine” occurs when blood flow is reduced to the eye or the blood vessels in the retina spasm and results in partial or complete vision loss in the effected eye. How long the vision loss lasts varies from person to person, but it usually lasts about half an hour to an hour.

Ocular migraines can also precede good ol’ regular migraines or can occur with a good ol’ regular migraine.

I’ve talked about my ocular migraines on here quite a few times. For me, the partial or complete vision loss in one eye is my signal to take some Excedrin, ‘cause Big Boy Migraine Headache is angry and will be taking a sledgehammer to the inside of my skull very soon after my vision returns.

But now? The signs that I’ve come to recognize as the start of the ocular migraine (tingly fingertips, that small blind spot that grows and spreads) have happened a few times without the ocular migraine (or actual migraine) following. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but that’s caused me to take Excedrin when I didn’t need to, which is something I really don’t like. Hell, I don’t like to take medicine in general, but if I take it and it turns out I didn’t need to, that really bothers me.

Such a small dose of Excedrin when I don’t need it is probably not going to hurt me, but it’s the principle of the thing, yo. Now I feel like I have to wait until the ocular migraine fully kicks in to justify taking Excedrin, which at that point is really pushing it; if I don’t take the Excedrin early enough before the migraine headache part starts, it doesn’t do anything to help the pain, and then everything sucks for about half a day.

So yeah. Just venting, sorry!

I Think I Ate a Kleenex

HOKAY, so this happened a few nights ago now, but I forgot to blog about it because I forget everything nowadays because I’ve been so busy and also I’m sick and ALSO this is a super run-on sentence so let’s just get to it.

After Nate went to bed, I sat in my chair to listen to music, as per usual. Also, as per usual, I fell asleep, because soft chair + good music + I FEEL LIKE DEATH = sleep. I don’t recall what I was dreaming about or how long I was out, but when I woke up I had this weird dryness feeling in my mouth—the same dryness you get after you chew on a piece of paper.*

Then I realized I had had a Kleenex next to me on the chair. Said Kleenex was nowhere to be found—not on the chair, not in the chair, not under the chair, not on the floor, not stuffed down the front of my shirt (as I tend to do with my phone when its alarm is going off and I want it to STFU because I’m sleeping), not anywhere in the room.

So I’m assuming I ate it.

Gettin’ my daily dose of bleached wood fibers. Awesome.

*I used to chew up pieces of ruled paper in elementary school, spit them out, and shape them into little paper dice to give to my fellow classmates, so I know exactly what this mouth feeling is. DON’T JUDGE ME I WAS THE COOLEST IN SCHOOL.


I don’t get sick very often at all. But every four years (approximately) something breaks through my god-like immune system and makes things miserable.

And now, right on schedule, I’m sick. The last time I was sick was 2014.

My throat hurts, my head hurts, I am a snot volcano, and I have to stand up in front of 600 people and teach tomorrow.



Probably. It’s been about four years since the last time I got sick, so I’d be right on schedule.

Let’s see.