Dealing with the dreadful H3N2 Brisbane

My husband got sick last Tuesday.
I got sick on Thursday evening. The whole day at work I had a dry, annoying cough.
As soon as I climbed down of the car in front of my house, I could feel tremendous body aches.
I laid down in bed and in about 2 hours my fever spiked to 39.5°C. During the night it got higher and I could not sleep because I was having chills and could not stop shaking.
I have never been so sick with the flu in my whole life, which made be believe that I was dealing with a different, mutant strain of influenza than anything encountered before.
Now it is Sunday evening and although my fever is manageable- in the 37.5°C range- I still have body aches. And tomorrow I have to go to work. That will not be funny.

Anyway, I just wanted to summarize the symptoms of the flu, just in case somebody else may fall sick and won’t know that NOTHING works!!! So don’t bother with Tamiflu or Relenza, or any kind of antibiotics. You are going to feel so ill in the beginning that you will need to stay in bed and by the time you could drag your tired body to the doctor’s office it’s too late to take any anti-viral, which is effective in the first maximum 48 hours.

Symptoms in order of appearance:
– dry cough
– chest congestion
– severe all over body aches – lower and upper back mostly
– sinus congestion and horrible headaches that won’t go completely away
– fever rises to almost 40°C in matter of hours (sometimes even less)
– you can’t get out of bed and have to keep your eyes closed most of the time because of the constant pain/pressure behind your eyelids
– can’t eat and don’t even try it because you are going to feel like vomiting right away
– dizziness

What we still have after four days of illness, days spent almost exclusively in bed:
– cough (not dry anymore)
– headaches
– dizziness
– low grade fever
– body aches- less severe than before

What we could eat progressively- after two days of no food basically:
– chicken soup
– boiled potatoes
– a small piece of grilled halibut
– oranges

We drank lots of tea with lemon, had one attempt to drink coffee but felt ill after that and renounced.
We took Vitamin C, Echinacea- probably it was too late when we started taking it, Cold FX, Advil- to ease the fever and the headaches. On top of that, I applied compresses with water and vinegar on my husband forehead when Advil was not efficient enough to deal with the high fever.
For cough we were given Robitussin, which I found absolutely horrible and could not take it. Instead of that I opted for a natural syrup, made from pine shoots. Delicious and very efficient.

Now we pray that our five year old will be spared. So far so good.

Chinese Horoscope 2009- Ox

We are about to enter the Chinese lunar year. More precisely on Monday, January 26, 2009 we are going to step into the Year of the Ox.

According to the Chinese fortune tellers, fire is essential for financial well-being. Meaning that you have to brace yourself for another bad year, when we are going to see millions of people loosing their jobs, recession deepening and the real estate and stock market value plummeting even more.
The coming Year of the Ox is under the Earth sign. Only in 2016 we get into a fire sign, with the Year of the Monkey. This date seems to be on the line with some predictions made by financial analysts who estimated that we need ten years to get out of the current financial mess.

But for 2009, fortune tellers predict massive earthquakes, rising U.S. – Russian tensions and trouble for U.S. President Barack Obama who is born in the Year of the Ox.
He is taking office in a bad year for his Chinese astrological sign and on top of that he is the 44th president, a number considered extremely unlucky by the Chinese. He may even face impeachment in his first year in the office.

Now let’s see what’s in store for the Ox.

First trimester – In your work, you’ll have your feet well planted on the ground, and you’ll show realism and a remarkable sense of organization. This will permit you to lose a minimum of time and to be extremely efficient. If you’ve a precise career plan, you’ll be in a position to realize it point per point and to climb up the hierarchy ladder methodically.
Second trimester – At work, you won’t run the risk of being hampered in your efforts by unforeseen delays. You can even benefit from nice opportunities. If you know how to exploit them fully, you’ll progressively consolidate your situation. Those of you who wish to change their service or choose a new orientation will succeed in this delicate turn. Creation projects will be particularly favored. Nevertheless, be careful not to act imprudently.
Third trimester – The star Thai Duong in harmonic aspect will help you to progress in your work. This will be materialized by a more relaxed, less stressful ambience. At the same time, all the while remaining ready to seize the good opportunities that will present themselves, you’ll be from now on less tense concerning your career, you’ll give less importance to exterior signs of success. This less demanding attitude will render you easier to live with.
Fourth trimester – As far as your work is concerned, the stars will be on the whole favorable and you’ll have nothing serious to fear. But the negative configurations formed by the star Giai Than can provoke temporary difficulties in your work. It’s possible that some of your colleagues show themselves aggressive towards you, or that your hopes of a promotion be thwarted. Whatever may happen, it’s by rounding angles and negotiating that you’ll find solutions, not by reacting to provocations.


First trimester – The planets Tuyet and Giai Than will favor your finances. Some natives will even profit by their influence to reorganize their investments and placements with exceptional lucidity. However, beware not to take too many risks. These two planets are by nature not very positive and therefore aftereffects are possible for those of you who are too extravagant or imprudent.
Second trimester – With the support of the Sun, your budgetary balance should be solid enough. Nevertheless, beware of the badly aspected star Truc Phu, who may get you into a muddle or render you too confident and too optimistic. For once, it’d be better for you to remember that it’s easy to give advice when one doesn’t have to pay the price. If you’ve important financial decisions to make, be it purchases or placements, inform yourself before making a choice and beware of unfounded rumors.
Third trimester – Your money sectors hosting no planet, you’ll have no important pecuniary problem to fear, and also you can count on a particular stroke of luck. It will be up to you to preserve the balance. Beware of your desires for ruinous purchases that may haunt you under the perverse influence of the planet Phong Cao in disharmonic aspect.
Fourth trimester – The stars Kinh Duong and Lam Quan will help you to manage your budget well. Of course, you can’t count on these two stars to have a long period of chance and expansion as the case with bigger and slower planets. It will rather be an easy period of balance during which you’ll have the art to sniff out good business opportunities while succeeding in making some savings.

How to play the corporate politics: 10 things you should know

As I have mentioned before, on November 2008 I lost my job. It was tough, really tough, but somehow I was extremely lucky and on December 9, 2008 I got another one. In full recession to get a job it’s a matter of divine intervention I think; a friend of mine sent me a link to craigslist… believe it or not- and I had no idea either- jobs are advertised on craigslist. So, at the bottom of the listing it was one that looked interesting and I sent my resume although the first impulse was not to do it.
The only downside is the long commute, but again, I am very much grateful for getting it and I don’t want to complain about anything. Anything other than being constantly tired, wanting to go to bed at nine and being constantly stressed over missing the bus, or the train… just kidding.

Now it’s the moment to resurrect a post from another blog I have and totally neglected it. Because I need it as a reminder to do what I have preached.

The post was originally written on January 2008. Here are the things you should know if you are to play corporate politics. And how many people have the luxury of not being forced to do it?

‘I wish I would have all the answers. So far I made a few mistakes and you would think that I have learned something, or have I?
I am on my second corporate job and slowly I am learning my way around.
On my first job I was Quality Manager for seven years. Everything went down the drain with the arrival of a new plant manager with whom I could not get along.
I am a pretty good-natured person, liked by most people, but somehow I could not find a common ground with this guy.
According to some books, I have been emotionally harassed. He was a bully and I was way too sensitive to cope with his behavior.
Or maybe I have been just unprepared to deal with a bully.
I am not detached enough even now, after two years since my leaving that company, to talk emotionless about what happened. It was bad. The decision to leave came after I got my first panic attack, when I was convinced I had a real heart attack and that I am going to die leaving my husband and my toddler alone.
The panic attacked was followed by a horrible depression. Finally I left.
My current job:Research and Development Engineer.
I was happy with the change, until I came across corporate politics.
I am not a young chick, I should have known better than that, but I am still caught by surprise when I find out that my colleagues are back-stabbers.

You are going to read lots of advice in the papers, but you know what? Most of them are so far from reality and so far from what you can actually do when you are facing the prospect of losing your job that it’s not even worth mentioning.

How to play the corporate politics?
Here are my suggestions:
1. Keep your ears open and pay attention to the little things happening around you
2. No matter how friendly your colleagues seem to be, keep your guard up because in today’s dog eat dog world there is no free lunch
3. Be careful what you say; gossip is good when you have to get information, but try to keep your mouth shut on sensitive issues
4. Keep vital information to yourself until the right moment comes to use it. Maybe it does not sound right, but you know what? Everybody else is doing it so it would be stupid not to follow the trend
5. Restrain to criticize or make fun of senior managers in open meetings; they won’t forget it and most of them don’t have a sense of humor
6. Back up your activities with everything you can: paper, emails, whatever could be used when you have to prove your point or defend yourself
7. Keep in mind that you are replaceable!!!! Don’t get too comfortable to the extent of letting your guard down
8. Trust your gut feelings while dealing with people
9. When you have a bully around you, don’t piss him off proving him that he is a mean maggot, because he is going to morph into a man with a mission: to destroy you. You can’t punch his nose, you can not have a rational conversation, so all you have to do it to try to keep calm and think that his life is a miserable one (in most cases) and that at the end of the day you are going back home, to your family who loves you, and he is going back to an empty house with nobody to ask him how was his day
10. Always keep in mind that people have their own agenda and if you are smarter than most of them you are in greater danger of being back stabbed because you are going to be perceived as a potential threat to their position

Final thought: Good Luck to all of us fighting to keep our jobs in a cold corporate world’

I am not research engineer anymore; I am technical assistant to the VP of the company.

Chinese Horoscope 2009- Dog

I started yesterday to post the horoscope for 2009. The first one was mine. According to the Chinese horoscope, I am a rat. Western horoscope makes me a Leo (lioness to be more precise).

Today is my husband’s.
As I explained yesterday, in order to understand the Chinese trimesters, here they are according to the Year of the Ox (2009):

Year of the Ox 2009

1. First trimester: 26 January through 24 April 2009
2. Second trimester: 25 April through 19 August 2009
3. Third trimester: 20 August through 16 November 2009
4. Fourth trimester: 17 November 2009 through 13 February 2010


First trimester – Absolute calm in the financial sector which hosts no planet during this period. You should therefore have no major problem to cope with; but don’t conclude that you can commit follies. It’s true temptations will be great at this moment and you’d better avoid giving in thoughtlessly. It’s possible you’ll be faced with a remainder of debts of which you can’t no longer postpone the reimbursement.

Second trimester
– With the star Tu Vi in your finances sector, you can forget your pecuniary worries. First, money will regularly get into your accounts. Second, you’ve made since some time placements which now begin to yield benefits. You’ll thus be rewarded for your reasonable management and for your praiseworthy saving efforts. However, the badly aspected star Thai Duong might incite you to inconsiderate expenses.

Third trimester – You who insist on preserving the balance of your accounts can feel fully reassured on the pecuniary plane. Indeed, no planet will come to threaten the sectors of your chart related to finances. But on the other hand you can’t expect fabulous incomes. You’ll have the desire to please your nearest and dearest and you’d even like to make a costly purchase. However, faithful to your reputation as a wise manager, you won’t confuse generosity with squandering.

Fourth trimester – Your financial balance will be protected by a beneficent planet, Tu Vi, who should as a rule assure you of good stability. Those of you who’ve gone through a lean period can expect more significant incomes. The situation will therefore be ripe for managing your budget at best. You should profit by it to open a savings account: This will help you to put some money aside each month and, slowly but surely, to build up a capital.


First trimester – With the star Thien Phuc in this aspect, you can look to your professional future with confidence. If you’re unemployed, you’ll be practically assured of finding a job again. If your present situation doesn’t satisfy you, you can improve it or even find a new, more interesting job. Everything will therefore be for the best. But in this domain as in others, beware not to let yourself be too much influenced by the star Cu Mon: If you show yourself too demanding, you won’t fully profit by the support of the star Thien Phuc.

Second trimester
– Tu Vi, the star of success, will favor your relations with your superiors and will help you to assume your responsibilities. At the same time, numerous planets will favorably influence your comportment and sharpen your intellectual vivaciousness as well as your communication faculties. As for the Sun, he will increase your desire to shine. Thus you’ll have excellent means to reach your goals. Simply beware of the star Pha Quan who could prevent you from being clear-sighted and lead you to a false road.

Third trimester – The domain of work will be highlighted. The stars Vu Khuc and Thien Dong will stimulate you intellectually and strengthen the interest you have in your job. More efficient and better organized than ever, you’ll have the best means to bring your projects to a successful conclusion. However, beware of the star Pha Quan, who could make it difficult for you to concentrate on your tedious tasks. Should this be the case, you can anyway count on the star Dia Vong, who’ll come to recharge you with enthusiasm and positive energy.

Fourth trimester
– The work sector will give you the greatest satisfactions. This won’t be the first time as you’re among those who do not spare their ardor at work and therefore it’s natural that your efforts be rewarded. This will certainly be the case: With the beneficent aspects of the star Dia Vong, there’ll be a promotion in the air. You could find yourself be entrusted with new responsibilities or must prove your worth in a new activity; but you’ll feel quite able to take up the challenges.


First trimester – This planetary climate may make you a little nervous. Stop to stimulants! You’ll actually feel better if you renounce coffee, strong tea, alcoholic beverages, liquors, tobacco, and spicy sauces. Tell yourself that there exist many, many other pleasures in life that are not only harmless but also invigorating. Only take the latters. This period will be very favorable to increasing health with water (water cure, thalassotherapy, etc.).

Second trimester
– Good health on the whole. However, the lunar influences of this period may somewhat lessen your energy, especially if you’re born in a Water year. Be vigilant, for you’ll be vulnerable to blows and wounds and to various small affections which will considerably bother you. Be attentive to the various alarms emitted by your body. Don’t scatter your efforts, for this can be detrimental to your professional life.

Third trimester – The star Hoa Ky will slightly weaken your tonicity and your resistance to fatigue. But nothing serious will threaten you. It will suffice to take more rest than usual and you’ll be all right. On the other hand, this planet will prove very beneficial to all those who want to improve their health or who embark on a dietary program; thanks to him, you’ll have enough willpower to keep up your resolutions.

Fourth trimester – Subjected to the dissonances of the planet Hoa Loc, you’ll show certain lack of vitality. It’s really a pity since the period as a whole seems rather good. In the absence of punch and tonicity, rely on your tenacity in order to overcome the obstacles which separate you from your objectives. You’ll probably be disconcerted and stressed by the evolution of certain events if you aren’t well prepared for them.

Source: the same as yesterday

Chinese Horoscope 2009- Rat

Before writing about what’s in stars for the wise Rat for 2009, I would like to clarify how the trimesters look like for The Year of Ox 2009:

Year of the Ox 2009
1. First trimester: 26 January through 24 April 2009
2. Second trimester: 25 April through 19 August 2009
3. Third trimester: 20 August through 16 November 2009
4. Fourth trimester: 17 November 2009 through 13 February 2010

The source of the horoscope is


First trimester – You’ll be on the whole protected in the financial field. Some natives can even have the right to a good surprise: A pay raise, winnings in a game, or unexpected income. But beware, there won’t be any reason to blindly spend the sums which are not in your pocket yet!

Second trimester – Very good influences on the financial plane. Indeed, five stars will help you to get good returns on your savings or, if you don’t have any yet, to make them. For those you have placed their capitals, the tendency will be very positive. All investments involving some part of risk will allow you to get surprising returns.

Third trimester – Your budgetary balance will be protected by the planet Cu Mon, who will only form positive aspects with other planets. An incredible stroke of luck is indeed quite possible. If you’re among the happy chosen who have the right to a good surprise, remain nevertheless cautious: Invest this money instead of spending it.

Fourth trimester – You’d better profit by the excellent astral influences which will support the sector of your chart related to finances. There’ll be enough to promise you a gold mine! An increase of income for some, a fabulous contract for others. The most wealthy of you will make a big purchase which will rapidly prove profitable to them or will make a significant investment. With the support of Dai Hao, the master of daring, the planet of renewal and changes, you can take all risks without risk!


First trimester – Good professional prospects. You’ll have the firm will to succeed. But beware: The star Nguyet Duc might instill you unreasonable ambitions. Try to know exactly what is within your reach. Indeed, those of you who aim too high may experience a disappointment that can make them lose their time. On the contrary, if you manage to target your projects correctly, success will be yours.

Second trimester
– You’ll begin this period with the firm intention to progress in your career. On the whole the stars will support your efforts. And for the majority of you prospects are good. But in this domain as in others, the impact of the stars Long Duc and Tang Mon on your state of mind must be watched over. Your rebellious mood may prove harmful to you. It will not be the time to indulge in clumsy demands.

Third trimester
– The star Long Duc will support your professional activity efficiently. He could even grant you a good pecuniary or honorific bonus. Moreover, the support of the star Dia Vong should help you exploit your creativity to the utmost. Some of your ideas might be taken by your hierarchy into consideration, thereby allowing you to launch the project that you’ve had in mind since a long time. By dint of patience and tenacity, you’ll succeed in making your talents appreciated.

Fourth trimester – Your professional life will decidedly be highlighted this time. All the chips seem to be on your side. Luck will be there thanks to the star Long Duc. You’ll be well organized and coherent in your choices under the influence of the star Thien Viet. And the star Lam Quan will help you to work swiftly and effortlessly. Why, then, should you let yourself worry? Even though your situation is still unstable or unsatisfactory, the celestial prospects are excellent. Have confidence in the future and pursue your efforts: You’ll not regret it!