Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Sunflower Fund Bandana Fun Run - Wina Wena!

The Sunflower Fund held a Bandana Charity Fun Run in Cape Town today and Quinn and I joined in - along with a bunch of ladies from work.

I twisted my ankle on the way down Lion's Head last night to the point that I struggled to go to sleep last night. It really hurt! This morning I was limping a little, so I wore an ankle brace and told Quinn I'd walk with him.

Of course when we got there the excitement (ok and my competitive edge) took over and my coach (Quinn) said I must run, and that he didn't mind doing the race alone and I could just come back to find him again, like I did with the recent Blisters for Bread Walk. So off I set on the 9km course. Despite a long (15km) forest trail run yesterday I enjoyed the beautiful weather and had a really nice run. I was listening to my iPOD, and on the way back I realised every now and again people were saying something to me. I worked out I was being told I was the leading lady! No ways!? Wow!! So I ran my heart out and finished as the first woman in.

Now granted it was a 'fun run' and not an official timed or recorded race, and there were no prizes etc. But still, I won! I'll take it. Woo Hoo! :)

It was a gorgeous day out and we had an awesome time. :)

Lion's Head - my Happy Place!

Last Night Quinn and I climbed Lion's Head to watch the sunset. It was PERFECT.

I do so love it at the top of that mountain, it is my happy place....

Quinn & his 'Khayaletsha Bra'

So Quinn brought his 'Khayaletsha Bra' Sandile home on Friday. He was a lovely friendly and polite boy and they got on really well.

Quinn was very nice to him and looked after him really well offering him food and drinks, taking him out cycling and skateboarding, and gave him a soccer ball which Sandile really liked. They also found a Pokemon Card 'Sandile' which is meant to be SAND-DILE as in crocoDILE, but he was like "Hey that's my name! SUN-DEH-LI". So Quinn gave that to him, which I thought was super sweet.

Anyway they went to Scouts on Friday night and apparently had a ball. They came back late and had quite a late night and I had to wake them early to get them to town for a function on Sat morning. 

Today I told Quinn that he probably usually goes to bed earlier because he was FAST asleep when I woke him on Sat morning...

Guess what my son told me!? He apparently told Sandile that he had a pet snake that cruises around the house on the floor. Obviously Sandile wasn't thrilled to hear that, so Quinn says he admitted he was just joking and left it at that.

BUT there's a photo of Quinn holding a HUGE Python on our pin-board right outside the spare room. Sandile spotted that as he was going into his room to go to bed... so then he apparently thought Quinn was just joking about NOT having a snake. So the poor boy apparently didn't sleep well at all, because he was worried a snake might climb into bed with him! Shame man!!!

Here Quinn with his week-end bud. 
Quinn goes to stay with them next month. I hope they set the Tokkeloshe on him! :twisted:

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Shiitake Dermatitis Syndrome

So the past week has been fun - NOT! But thankfully after a week of the most extreme and severe itching and discomfort and feeling weird and out of sorts the Shiitake Poisoning seems to be going away now! YAY!

It really affected me badly. I couldn't run, or do my usual gym classes or even sleep. I would wake up clawing at myself and going out of my mind from itchiness. It was horrid. Eventually the blisters were even in my ears and on my eye lids too. They were EVERYWHERE. I looked and felt like a leper and had to explain to people that I was not contagious with some dreaded disease. And because it was a TOXIC and not allergic reaction the usual treatments like antihistamines and cortizone cream didn't help. I had to just ride it out.

Today is the first day I feel well and normal again, and damn it feels great!

Wanna see what they look like?

Here is some more info on the condition:
Blistering red welts. A rash that spreads from the back of the hands to the neck, legs, back and abdomen. Is it poison oak? No — it's shiitake dermatitis, a bizarre reaction to eating raw or under-cooked shiitake mushrooms.
Have you ever heard of this?
More common in Asia, shiitake dermatitis is thought to be a reaction to a component of the mushroom called lentinan, which breaks down when heated. Not everyone is susceptible; in one study, only nine patients out of about 500 developed a rash after contact with lentinan. Interestingly, because the response is not triggered by the immune system, it is considered a toxic reaction rather than an allergy.
The New York Times Magazine recently ran a story about a woman diagnosed with shiitake dermatitis, alerting us to this strange condition. Although fully cooked shiitakes can be safely eaten even by those who react to lentinan, one rash was enough for her: “I’m never going to touch another shiitake."
• Check it out: Diagnosis: A Red Scare - New York Times Magazine

Thursday, 13 September 2012

This was inflicted on me ...

By the boys...So it is 'SOTD' today.

Be warned it is painful.. yet annoyingly catchy.

And now I want to learn that 'dance' and do it in the hallways at work!!

Gungnam Style!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Is what Quinn thinks the current US President's name is. Baracko Bama.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Did you know Shiitake Mushrooms can be toxic?

On Friday I ordered one of the (expensive but) delicious and beloved Earthshine Vivo Raw Pizzas.
(Check them out and try them they really are delicious and nutritious! )

Anyway we usually order the Greek one, but last week they had a Shiitake mushroom, garlic and sweet chili option, which sounded yummy, so I opted for that.

The boys didn't really like it though (they do LOVE the Greek, and the original mushroom and pineapple one, and less so the Moroccan butternut one), so I ended up eating almost the whole thing myself between Friday and today.

On Friday after 2 slices I went for a run and felt rather odd, gassy, slightly out-of-body and lethargic. I had a sense that the mushrooms didn't agree with me. Then on Saturday afternoon after 2 pieces I felt EXHAUSTED, and almost fell asleep. (I never sleep in the day time). Again I felt a bit 'naar'. I actually took the rest of the mushrooms off and tried frying them up, sensing that I wanted them cooked and not raw...  they just 'felt wrong' and I felt somehow 'off' them.

Then on Sunday morning I woke up feeling itchy on my upper arms and scalp.

I ate another piece during Sunday. Then last night when I bathed I noticed a blistery rash all over my stomach, back and lower arms etc. It is extremely itchy! And quite alarming.

I had the last piece for lunch today and by now I am just about climbing the walls. I am covered in this blistery rash which itches like mad!

I initially though it might be linked to insect bites, detergent, lotion or something environmental. Then possibly the sushi I had on Saturday night... 

But I have done some research and I am now pretty convinced it is Shiitake Dermititis Syndrome...

"Shiitake mushroom dermatitis (also known as "Flagellate mushroom dermatitis,"[1] "Mushroom worker's disease,"[1] and "Shiitake-induced toxicoderma"[1]) is a cutaneous condition that occurs after eating large amounts of raw or partially cooked shiitake mushrooms.[1]"

"Shiitake dermatitis

Consumption of raw or slightly cooked shiitake mushrooms can cause "an erythematous, micro-papular, streaky, extremely pruriginous rash" that occurs all over the body including face and scalp, which appears about 48 hours after consumption and disappears after 10 days. This effect, caused by the toxin lentinan, is well known in Asia, but can be unfamiliar to European physicians.[11] It occurs in roughly 1 in 50 people, and thorough cooking eliminates the effect.[citation needed]"

"Shiitake Dermatitis Syndrome – Toxic and Allergic Reactions to Raw and Undercooked Shiitake
Shiitake mushroom

Lentinula edodes

For affected individuals, a rash usually begins about 48 hours after consumption of raw or undercooked Shiitake and lasts for about 10 days. It is a toxic, not an allergic, reaction and is believed to result from lentinan, a starch-like polysaccharide, triggering blood vessels to dilate and leak small amounts of inflammatory compounds just beneath the skin. The rash typically begins as red areas that neither hurt nor itch. Soon red blisters form and then harden over the red regions but the rash is not initially itchy like a poison oak rash would be at that point. The red streaks then turn to purple raised welts which persist for days. The purple welts make the victim appear to have been flogged or to have been vigorously scratching a poison oak rash. The syndrome was long thought to be restricted to Asia since most of the world's production of Shiitake [Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler] occurs in Asia. However, a case has recently been reported from Portland, Oregon and there may have been other cases that were not diagnosed. Clinically the rash resembles flagellate dermatitis caused by Bleomycin, a sulfur-containing polypeptide derived from Streptomyces verticillus. Lentinan is decomposed upon heating and so it is only consumption of raw or partially cooked Shiitake that poses a problem. Only 2% or less of the population is likely to be affected.

While Shiitake dermatitis itself is a toxic reaction, not an immune-stimulated allergic reaction, consumption a large amounts of raw Shiitake in individuals who would otherwise be unaffected, can lead to an allergic response. Sensitized individuals react strongly when pricked with raw Shiitake but not with cooked Shiitake, indicating that they have developed an allergy. Some workers in Shiitake grow houses develop an eczema-like rash due to Shiitake specific immunoglobulin. There are also documented cases of allergic and chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis induced by spores of Shiitake."

I have been to the pharmacy and got some antihistamines (I have never taken any before). But so far no relief, and they may not help if this is a toxic as opposed to allergic reaction. It's horrible. I hope it goes away soon, although it seems it could take 10 days!

Imagine mozzie/flea bites everywhere and itching incessantly! 

I hope this itching stop before I go completely mad!!!


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Thought I would brave it cause I don't wanna live in doubt

I am still really liking Band of Skulls.

This one is speaking to me today... it is dreamy, relaxed and almost melancoly.

So today's SOTD....

 Band of Skulls - "Lay My Head Down"

Was I asleep did you save me from disaster
Wake up and tell me I'm just imagining
Thought I would brave it cause I don't wanna live in doubt

Dreamt of escape but I'm nowhere near the feeling
Fell from a high but I never hit the ground
Can't hold the weight of your words heavy on my mind

So I'm gonna lay my head down on your shoulder and run,
Keep it away from my soul, I'm not holding it all
I'm gonna lay my head down on your shoulder and run,
All that we know will get old, and with you I'll unfold
I'm gonna lay my head down

Open your hand I know your heart line's the deepest
You will replace it a new love you will find
Say all you like but I'll make it better on my own

So I'm gonna lay my head down on your shoulder and run,
Keep it away from my soul, I'm not holding it all
I'm gonna lay my head down on your shoulder and run,
All that we know will get old, and with you I'll unfold
I'm gonna lay my head down

So I'm gonna lay my head down on your shoulder and run,
Keep it away from my soul, I'm not holding it all
I'm gonna lay my head down on your shoulder and run,
All that we know will get old, and with you I'll unfold
I'm gonna lay my head down