September 13th, 2008


Health Updates

1. The Long Ergonomic Nightmare Is Finally Over

I had been experiencing some occasional wrist pain (largely from letting my wrist touch the desk when mousing) and shoulder pain (apparently from leaning on my left arm so much). Now I have a nice new computer chair with functional back support and a cute lil' ergonomic mouse at home. Work still kinda sucks, but I moved that mouse over to the left and have been trying to remember to keep my shoulders back, and it's been helping a lot.

2. Push-ups Have Side Effects

A while back I realized that I was resenting spending time with people on weeknights because it was cutting into my exercising time. (I can't exercise first thing in the morning, and if I do anything more strenuous than biking within about three hours of eating, I get sick, so the only time I can exercise on days I work is right when I get home, before dinner. I don't get home until 7:00, so if I'm meeting other people for dinner, I don't have time to exercise at all.) So I decided that I'd aim for doing my sit-ups and so forth about three times a week instead of five or six times a week, and increase the numbers correspondingly.

Somewhere around 90 push-ups, I noticed that they were feeding into the above-mentioned wrist pain, so I started switching to knuckle push-ups. This fixed the wrist problem, but I've developed weird little dry spots between the outside three knuckles on each hand, one of which got too dry and cracked a bit before I noticed them. Hand lotion is helping, and I put a band-aid over the cracked one before I did the next set of push-ups, so it didn't get any worse. I'm going to have some interesting calluses in a month or so.

3. Calliope Scratched Her Eyelid

Calliope had some irritation around her left eye. It didn't look worrying, but it wasn't going away, so we took her to the vet, who determined that there was a fairly large scratch along the very edge of the eyelid. We have helpful opthalmic goop to put on it for a week to help it heal properly and avoid infection. She's not wild about having goop put on her eye, but the real problem is that all three rats think it is extremely tasty goop, so if she goes back in the big cage while it's on she gets mobbed by two other rats who want to lick her eye. Calliope does not like having her eye licked at all in any way, so I've been putting her in the little cage for a while after each application to let it do its thing without being eaten. She's not wild about that either, but it's much quieter than the alternative.

4. Hera Is Still Crooked

While she was on the antibiotics the vet prescribed, she was mainly holding her head at about a 20-30 degree angle. Once the Baytril ran out, though, she reverted to 90 degrees, so we've had that refilled; she's not showing much change yet, so we've also had the other antibiotic refilled, and Andres is off picking it up now. I'm not really sure why the antibiotics were helping, since they clearly didn't knock out the infection (assuming it is an inner ear infection), but she was definitely doing better when she was on them, so we'll try it again and see if it's repeatable.