Explaining jet lag…and other things, too…

I’ve been feeling a bit low the past couple of days. Not in spirit (never!!! Well, ok, almost never!), but physically. Yesterday, e.g., I slept most of the day. Most unusual for me. And I wasn’t tired just because I’d been coughing up a disgusting phlegm storm, day and night, in spite of the killer antibiotics that I’m on right now, sorry to say…and by the way, this is antibiotic cycle number THREE! Which reminds me, I didn’t pick up this new infection on my return flight to Italy, although I was stuck in two planes (not at the same time, eh) with a number of sick folks coughing and sneezing and sputtering all over everything…Yuck…Boy, some incredibly disgusting things go on inside planes…Evidently, the act of flying manages to banish basic hygienic practices from people’s brains…But I digress, as usual. So, anyway, no, it wasn’t the return flight. I’ve had this evil viral (with a bacterial component) beastie, with ups and downs, for the past SIX WEEKS…I just can’t seem to shake it once and for all. Stefano says it’s because I didn’t take care of myself in the beginning…He’s right, of course, but I just couldn’t postpone my trip to the States…not for a silly old cough! Ehm…

But let’s get to the more interesting point I wanted to make here (and I had no intention of blabbing on but am too lazy to edit what I just wrote, so please bear with me), my recent bit of exhaustion is due, for the most part, to jet lag. And, coincidentally, just this morning I came upon a Science Daily article on this very topic: http://goo.gl/i31wW

Aha!!!, so it’s the west-to-east travel that really gets you. And in fact, when, about three weeks ago, I flew east-to-west, = back to the States, I didn’t suffer from lag of any sort. I was even hungry at the right meal times! 🙂 But coming back to Florence was another matterZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz…zzz!

Okay, now back to THE cough. Just briefly, and no gory details, don’t worry. I spoke with my family doctor early this morning about my coughing, fatigue and whatnot. He decided not to change my antibiotics (not yet) but immediately put me on a different cortisone pill. Wowserpowser. What a difference that made, and in just a few hours. I mean, in addition to coughing less violently, I managed to stay awake (!) and actually do some work (!!!) this morning. Oh, and my post-lunch nap didn’t last ALL afternoon, as it did yesterday! And here I am, writing a post. Big improvement. 🙂 

Now, basically, before I got caught up in a bunch of boring digressions (sorry about that!), I really just wanted to say that I’m well on the way to being my old active self, and I have some studies already waiting for me on my desktop. Too many, in fact. But right now my brain isn’t up to reading anything too complicated. So I’ve been testing it (= the brain) out on a few Science Daily articles…Here’s a sampling of the stuff I’ve been reading today, off and on:

  • The role of neutrophils, = a type of white blood cell, in cancer growth: http://goo.gl/OirDV Wow. I guess I’ll never look at my neutrophil count quite the same way from now on! But those of us who take curcumin have cause to celebrate…As you read through this article, in fact, keep in mind that curcumin blocks both MMP-9 (matrix metalloproteinase type 9) and IL-8, or interleukin-8. Yesssss! 🙂
  • Diet has an important impact on the viral populations that live happily in our guts (hmmm, I’m not sure about you, but the thought of my gut being filled with creepy crawly bacteria and icky picky viruses has always made me feel a bit queasy…I know, I know, some of ’em are good…):  http://goo.gl/K8Gqk. I haven’t read the full study, which is not available for free online, but it might be interesting to see which diets are most effective at keeping those viruses under control…
  • Being bilingual can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease: http://goo.gl/5MD1E. This has nothing to do with myeloma, but it was a bit of welcome news, since I’m one of those odd 🙂 bilingual creatures…that is, I’m not simply “fluent” in two languages…I’m truly bilingual and can switch from purrfect English to purrfect Italian (bilingual folks are also so incredibly modest… 😉 ) and back again without missing a beat or mixing up accents… Hey, I may have smoldering myeloma, but at least I won’t really have to worry about getting AD, too!

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