So this week for my birthday, my wife took me out camping with our kiddo to get away from it all.
You know what the best thing about being out somewhere with no cell-service this past week was?
My almost 5-year-old daughter Lexi nearly died when she was one, from meningococcal septicemia.
Meningococcal septicemia is what happens when you don't get meningitis, and instead your body declares all out war on the bacteria that causes meningitis. The thing is, the bacteria is carrying chemical weapons. Each one that your white cells destroys unleashes toxins into your body. So you end up being sluggish and lethargic, and won't wake up, and if you go to the hospital too early you'll be sent home with Tylenol – and die at home. Or if you get there just too late your child is just dead.
We were in the emergency room when Lexi presented with a petechial rash. Little purple pinpricks all over her body, that started to appear EVERYWHERE in seconds. And then, while we were there, I watched as her oxygen level dropped rapidly from 83% to 50-something. I ran to get a nurse immediately.
We were very lucky that it happened right then and there. We were at Seattle Children's Hospital, because it was just around the corner, and my wife Darci's instincts kicked in that this just wasn't right. (Our Doctor – Martin Cahn – told her on the phone, "You can come here... but if you're that worried, go right now to Children's").
So next, what happens is that your daughter is rushed up to the ICU – unconscious. And you sign a bunch of forms which give them permission to do everything and anything possible to save her life. They shoo you out of the room so you don't see them pricking and sticking your daughter with every tube and IV known to man - including one down into her heart. She's on a ventilator. She can't breathe by herself.
I know, a lot of people are giving this feature flack because algorithms can be insensitive, but I quite liked the results myself.(more...)
Once upon a time, I lived at the Whitworth Park halls of residence in Manchester, when I was going to UMIST. I have a few amazingly great memories of that place (and a bunch of awful ones thanks to roommates who destroyed everything I had in the kitchen - thanks, dicks). One of the best memories is of the food.
You see, around the corner was Abdul Hadi's. (There was also Gemini Pizza, which was alright, but Abdul's was way better). Abdul Hadi's had (and may still have!) amazing, succulent, perfectly marinated chicken kebabs. Sure, you could go to the Rusholme Chippy and get a half a chicken on a naan if you really needed to fill up, but Abdul's was an art form - the perfect on-the-go drunk stumble-home food. Charred on the grill, the chicken skewers would go from bright yellow to orange and red. Naan bread was the base, then cabbage, tomatoes, the chicken, yoghurt sauce and chilli sauce.
It was heaven.
So I've been entering medical info into a database for a good chunk of the afternoon. The cool thing is that by changing my diet, I've been able to get my cholesterol levels trending down to today, where they're nearly where they were when I was on a statin (which I reacted incredibly poorly to).
How did I do this?