Tag Archives: health

Hacking Health

I’m at the UC Berkeley Hacking Health hackathon! Friday-Saturday. Pitches are at 6pm tonight.

Fritz and I are making an iOS app to help parents log seizures. I would also like it to log all kinds of events: medication (and it’ll alert you when it’s time to take your next one), eating, pooping, sleeping, developmental stories…

Last night, BodyMedia and Mashery were here doing a demo of the BodyMedia API, and giving out devices to developers. They’re offering a prize for a hack that uses the device! It’s hilarious because I just started wearing a BodyMedia device last week and had no idea they’d be here. CONNECTIONS

We’re at the top of the Chase building, which I’ve walked by many, many, many times but have never been in. Gorgeous views all around. There’s a UC Berkeley startup incubator up here, which they tell me is pretty new.

I want to show you all my pictures of our ideation (lol that word) whiteboard, and of the view from the Skydeck, but I need a better way to get photos off my phone and onto WordPress. (Hi maiki, android, and owncloud!) Right now I either email my photos (can only do them individually) which sucks, or I wait for the dropbox import (I have to plug my phone in to my computer and wait, and wait, and wait) … for some reason my iPhone doesn’t show up as a hard drive on either my PC or Mac so I can’t just grab the photos. I could load up PhotoViewer or GrabPhoto or the thing that isn’t iPhoto on my Mac and wait and wait and wait for it to sync, and then scroll all the way to the bottom, and then select the ones I want to import, and then wait for the import, but I use the Dropbox feature because it automatically imports just the ones that haven’t been imported yet without me having to look through it. Garrrr it shouldn’t be this hard

The table next to us is doing a kinect hack! This makes me really happy! There’s also another group I’ve spoken to examining asthma and comorbidity. DATA SYNTHESIS IS EVERYWHERE

“You require more neutrophils”

According to two blood tests in August & September of this year, I have persistent asymptomatic neutropenia. I have an appointment with a hematologist in January of next year.

I picked up my referral packet today at NEMS. NEMS got me a referral to SF General Hospital (which is where the hematologist is). NEMS is my primary care clinic thingy.

my 1st blood test (in August) says…
number white blood cells: 2.7 x 10^3/uL == 2700
percentage of wbc that are neutrophil: 8%

my 2nd blood test (in September) says…
white blood cells: 2.3 x 10^3 per uL of blood == 2300
percentage of white blood cells that are neutrophils: 12%

So, IF I’m calculating correctly, (yay http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_blood_count )
1. 2700 * 0.08 = 216 neutrophils per microliter of blood
2. 2300 * 0.12 = 276 neutrophils per microliter of blood

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_neutrophil_count and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutropenia say that a count of lower than 500 neutrophils per microliter of blood is, like, rly rly bad. haha. So I guess I will take more tests in January. I hope. I guess I’m kind of scared? I’m reading a lot about white blood cells. The referral letter from NEMS to SF General sounds scary. “28 y/o Chinese female with persistent asymptomatic neutropenia” lol. And the letter that SF General sent in reply to NEMS is even scarier. It asks for a bunch of other tests if they had them (they didn’t cuz I only started going to them this year).


Last Saturday (March 12), I went to hang out with Courtney for his birthday. Part of the day’s activities (after rock band at Elvin’s) included a one-hour visit to the House of Air, a trampoline park at Crissy Field. It’s $14/hr to jump on their trampolines. You have to sign a waiver before entering, and they give you some shoes to wear. Instead of the big trampolines we were hoping for, they had a lot of smallish rectangular trampolines lined up together (with dangerous blue cushion-lined metal bars between them). I’d say the individual trampolines were maybe 5 feet by 10 feet or something. There isn’t room for more than 2 people on an individual trampoline at a time, and it’s not even that comfortable to have 2 on one at the same time.

Their other area was an “arena” for trampoline dodgeball. Before the second game I played, a kid jumped onto my trampoline from another adjacent trampoline abruptly, and I didn’t see him. I landed exactly after he landed, so I landed on an incline (since he was causing the incline by landing there). I rolled my left foot inward and felt like a pop. I was in significant pain. Fortunately there were only 10 minutes left on an hour, because no one felt like playing on the trampolines for very much longer after that. Fritz carried me off of the arena and set me down. An employee of HoA sat down with me and filled out an incident report form. I had to sign a line on it to prove that I was declining an ambulance. She provided ice, paper towels, and ibuprofen. She was actually incredibly nice. B.Foster drove me and Fritz home.

I elevated it and put it on ice for the next consecutive 48 hours. Soggy tunas were soggy. Then I spent the week sitting around (during which I made my Haven and Hearth character amazing, and then accidentally let it die to a bear. I was really bummed).

On Friday (the 18th), I went to Eudemonia for my GSL party. It was awesome, and I’ll say more about that later, but it was not awesome for my foot. My entire foot puffed up and was in some pain. The last time I sprained my ankle (last year), only the outside part of the ankle below the bone swelled and changed color. This time, both sides of the ankle swelled, including above the ankle, and starting on the 18th, I noticed that my entire foot was swelled up, even my toes. They were fat little piggies. It was really weird. It’s also darker than my other foot.

On Saturday afternoon after being at Eudemonia for all that time, I got a ride from Kim and Andy to their house for their corned beef and cabbage party (which was also awesome and I’ll say more about it later too). I was passed out most of the time because I was completely exhausted from being up all night. My foot was still swollen.

On Sunday morning my dad got me from Berkeley and I frantically looked around for free clinics. The only one I found that was open that day was the Arbor Free Clinic. So we showed up there at 11 and I was seen at about 2pm. It’s staffed by volunteers–the people at “receiving” seemed like they were probably Stanford undergrads.

The doctor I saw at Arbor Free Clinic filled out a form for me to get an xray at Valley Medical Center in Santa Clara. Today, I went to the medical center, and they would not see me because my volunteer doctor didn’t fill out the form correctly: she didn’t write down the time (it was 2:30pm yesterday), and she didn’t write down the “diagnosis” (“patient fell down and sprained her ankle”). These sound like horrible reasons to refuse to xray me, because they are so obvious to me. But it’s not the receptionist’s fault, so I can’t blame her for doing her job. I’m still bitter, though.

The lady at the radiology counter at at VMC told me to go to “express care”, which, as far as I can tell, is a euphemism for “emergency room”. I refuse to go to the emergency room because I don’t want to bankrupt my family with some kind of ten thousand dollar ER bill.

This was all moot, anyway, because I am not a resident of Santa Clara County. So now I will try to enroll in either the NEMS program or Healthy San Francisco or something, but I have to prove that I live in San Francisco, which kind of sucks because although all my bank statements go to SF and I last voted in SF and my taxes for the last few years have all gone to addresses in SF, I don’t pay the electricity or phone bills at my house in SF and my driver’s license still has my parents’ address on it (because I think of that as my “permanent address”).

The moral of the story is: please make sure you have health insurance. And if you don’t have health insurance, enroll in your county’s low-income program now. Don’t wait until you are injured to try to enroll, because you will have to wait very long to first get an appointment to enroll, then you have to wait even longer after that to get seen by a doctor.

Sad tunas are sad.