terriko: (Default)
Thanks to headaches, travel and life, I've experienced a lot of nausea, and the remedy that I hear most often is ginger. Now, I like a good ginger tea, eat pickled ginger with my rice sometimes, and use ginger in things from stir fries to cookies, but I've never particularly noticed it making a big difference in my nausea when compared with, honestly, consuming just about anything else. (Cheese, almonds, jello, crackers, apple juice, whatever. Eating a small amount of nearly anything will take the edge off my nausea.) So today I decided to do a bit of research: is this something about my metabolism, or is ginger one of those herbal remedies that isn't really that effective?

First stop, a book chapter entitled "The Amazing and Mighty Ginger" from Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. It tells me that there's studies that say ginger works, but also studies that say it doesn't:


Although the antiemetic effects of ginger are the most well-studied effects of this condiment and have been reviewed extensively, the effectiveness and safety of ginger for treating nausea and vomiting have been questioned in the past because the findings reported were often contradictory


Another website lists a bunch of studies (the website I don't know about, but the studies are hosted on the US National Institute of Health so they're probably legit enough). Most of these sound reasonable to me, although some seem a bit biased in study design.

So... yes, there's evidence that ginger helps with nausea. But the hint of studies that say it doesn't are very interesting, because it's *much* harder to get a negative study than a positive one published (at least in my experience). We could be deluding ourselves and letting confirmation bias win if we trust the positive studies but not the negative ones. I didn't do deep research, but I'd say it's likely that ginger helps, but not necessarily as clear-cut as people might have you believe.

As for me, well, I still like ginger, so I'll try it when it suits me, but not worry too much about stocking up before the weather change triggers more headaches.
terriko: (Default)
We've had the house for 2 months, and I finally couldn't take it any more and put out some bloody chairs and a table that's actually inside. (previously I had to sit on the deck for breakfast)

Not *literally* bloody chairs, although I did smash up my pinkie finger pretty badly today, the only blood shed by me this evening came from a scratch on my ear and didn't reach any chairs. (Although there was a close call with a mosquito...)

So, yeah.

But more precisely, here's the state of renovations:

- The wiring inside the walls is done, but not everything has a terminator and cover panel. J is doing that so we'll be paying the low-voltage wiring guy tomorrow and letting him be done. Yeay!

- The drywall folk have closed all the holes, but there appears to be sanding and texture work to be done. I am hopeful that we will be painting this weekend but won't know for sure until J talks to them tomorrow.

- The plumber didn't want to put the connectors in for the washer/dryer hookups until the drywall was done, so we have had no laundry since we moved. Hopefully the plumber will be in next week, but J didn't want to call until he's talked to the drywall team.

- The flooring is on hold until the drywall mess is cleaned up, which is quite sensible...

....but OMG I've been living in a single bedroom for 2 months because the rest of the house either has no floor or is filled with boxes we can't unpack and I'm sick of it.

So in summary:

I HATE RENOVATIONS AND THERE ARE WEEKS LEFT, BUT MAYBE SOME OF IT WILL END SOON?

Seriously, I know no one loves renovations and having contractors tromp all over their house, but I think it's significantly worse for me than it ought to be. I haven't had any predictable quiet solo time since more than 5 months ago when J's dad moved in with us and I need to introvert so hard that some days I don't even want to deal with J, let alone a bunch of smelly strangers who make everything filthy. But then on top of that (and that would have been more than enough), I'm finding that my lingering PTSD from the breakin two years ago is making the constant stream of strangers an actively terrifying experience in little ways that I can't always anticipate and prepare for. I'm also on day 3 of post-travel headaches so I'm a bit generally cranky.

So yeah, hating on the reno with a passion that I don't think the average person can even understand.

One kind of awesome spot, though:

Our low-volage wiring guy is so passionate about this work and such a good friend to J that he's been pretty much acting like a general contractor for us while we were out of town this weekend, going way above and beyond in making sure the drywall guys didn't slack off. What a nice guy! I've told J we really need to give him a bonus!
terriko: Evil Soup (evil soup)
Came home from Defcon and promptly got another eye infection.

Yup, peri-orbital cellulitus, again. Last time was January, so at least they didn't have to give me different antibiotics. If I catch it again, they're going to CT scan my head to see if there's something wrong with my sinuses.

Between the exhaustion from moving, the exhaustion from con, exhaustion from renovating the house, the exhaustion from the infection and now the exhaustion from the antibiotics (which are much stronger than regular ones so they destroy my gut biome)... let's just say I'm having a lot of trouble being civil. Or doing much beyond sleeping and wanting to murder things.

Here's hoping the coming weeks are better.

Rather than going on about everything sucks, here's a few good things:
  1. The antibiotics are working, so I don't have to run to the ER for antibiotics via IV.
  2. J figured out why the laundry room smelled funny and fixed it.
    • (When he took out the sink, he didn't think about filling the sink trap to stop sewer gas from coming in.)
  3. I got a departmental award!
    • This is especially impressive as security folk rarely get these, so it was super cool of the team I worked with to include me.
  4. I bought a bike today!
    • It's not an impressive one, just a cruiser-style putzing around town kind of deal, so it doesn't really replace my road bike.  But it *does* mean I'm not horribly trapped when J takes the car without warning me first, and it does mean I can go back to taking my sweet time on finding a road bike that fits me perfectly.  (This has been a struggle; I'm both small and reasonably picky, and thus I haven't had much luck test riding things.)  I should get it tomorrow; they're going to put the fenders and rack on for me.


terriko: (Default)
I was in France last week for work, but I've been home for a few days now.

I am pleased to report that my French was adequate for basic stuff like getting directions and translating menus into English for my Polish colleagues. My French colleagues were highly amused that I spoke the language at all, since I guess no one warned them that I was moderately fluent. No one was offended by my weird accent, or even seemed to have much trouble understanding me. I couldn't handle full on eavesdropping on the train, but I could get the gist of a lot of conversations when I had some idea of the subject.

I didn't try to carry too much stuff because my ankle is still sore from hurting it after my trip to Poland, but I was able to walk quite a bit even if I had to do it carefully and a bit slowly. 100k steps! It's especially impressive given that my leg still hurts all the time. Walking, as always, is much easier than standing still, so the 30 minute walk to the office was easier than standing in line at the airport. I am sore, but it seems to be mostly the usual chronic constant thing plus some bonus knots from sleeping on planes and trains and strange beds.

They stole my knife-free Leatherman at the Charles de Gaulle airport. It was especially frustrating because several of the agents pointed out to the guy who took it that it was absolutely fine under their rules, but he decided it wasn't despite their best efforts. The thing's under $20 and I sort of assumed I'd lose it eventually, but I was still upset because it was just so unnecessary and wasteful. Have ordered a new one. I may give up on traveling with it outside north america, though, as I expect I'm going to have to fly through France again. (Amsterdam, mind, had no problem with it.)

Jetlag is hitting me hard this time, with the headaches and all. I miss when this wasn't a guaranteed thing, but at least I have Serious Painkillers and coworkers who are pretty understanding about travel miasma. I did not donate blood this week because I was not well enough and not because I am miffed at the red cross for phone harassing me all week (seriously, I think they called 7 times without ever leaving a message) and then after I told them I was unwilling to schedule an appointment because I often get sick when I travel, they gave me two days of silence then called me at 4am while I was adjusting to the time zone in France. So now they're a blocked number, and I'm not sure I'm going to unblock them, although I'll probably donate again when I'm not cranky about it.

Anyhow, recovery will go better with more sleep, so I'm going to do that now!
terriko: (Default)
Back from defcon. Almost recovered from con crud.

Defcon is a con that doesn't have a great rep among women, so I'd given it a miss despite being curious until I'd collected a posse. It worked out well.

I was expecting the exhaustion, the chaos, but I wasn't expecting to feel artistically inspired.

I spent hours searching for a robot army and, when I found it, the robots danced with me.

I went to an elevator talk which wasn't about pitching to CEOs but was rather about hacking elevators. All other elevator talks are going to be disappointing now, but elevators are going to be more interesting.

I played a game that started with soldering a badge and meeting strangers that somehow plunged me into a little augmented reality that I was desperate to see more of.

I designed a t-shirt that a whole bunch of people wore, and more people asked me where to buy one.

I discovered that casinos are pretty much all the migraine triggers at once and that as a result it was sometimes more relaxing being on the con floor than leaving it.

I talked about teaching and learning through games. I learned a few things through a game, including that there are still times where my desire to make games is much greater than my desire to play them.

I wish I'd gone sooner, but suspect I also made the right choice by waiting until I had backup.

I came home with a head full of things I wanted to build... and also full of congestion and mucus so it hurt too much to do anything.

... but I got back to building a game today, so maybe I'll get some of these other grand plans in motion too.

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