Category Archives: Health

SO! How Was Your Return To Work?

After days of feeling like death warmed over, two trips to Urgent Care, literally DAYS without sleep, fevers, hacking coughs, and MORE…

…today it was time to go back to the office since things weren’t exactly “on hold” there while I was gone.

(My outstanding staff and co-workers did yeoman’s work covering, but as anyone who has ever had to cover for a co-worker knows, especially in a small office, tasks that I could have done in five minutes because I do them every day can take forty-five minutes because they do them once a year or so.)

So after a so-so (but that’s better than “totally sucks!”) night of sleep, I let people know I was coming in. Got a couple of “eeeew!!” responses but proved that I wasn’t contagious, was more or less functional, could drive without being a hazard to navigation, and got the green light to go back in.

Only to find that I had left the car, days ago, with about 5 miles worth of gas in it.

There’s your first course correction.

Fine, but I figured it out before I ran out of gas (and was a hazard to navigation) so it was just a delay.

Get the office disinfected, start getting caught up, morning’s okay. I explained to everyone that I’m still suffering from about 99.99% laryngitis. Despite that, it did take a while (okay, it took all day and tomorrow’s questionable) for people to stop calling on the intercom and wonder why I didn’t just talk to them instead of getting up and walking to their office while they said, “Paul? Paul? Are you there?”

Running on fumes, need lunch. But that’s okay, I still have the lunch in the fridge that I took in last Wednesday and never ate. It should be fine!

And it would have been if it hadn’t been sitting in that one thermodynamically challenged spot in the fridge that freezes everything solid as the icy polar regions of Pluto if you leave it sitting there for a few days. I could have used that apple for a cannonball, and the turkey and cheese on wheat sandwich would have substituted for a hammer in a heartbeat.

Let it thaw? Well, okay, but it still tasted like total crap.

Best moment of the day was a call from one of the guys at the CAF hangar. I’m barely whispering (laryngitis, remember?), he thinks I’m in a meeting, asks if it’s a bad time, I explain the laryngitis, he pauses, then says, “I actually kind of like it, it makes you sound…” Stop right there buddy, it’s a bad time to fuck with me!

Welcome back!

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Feeling Semi-Human

Which, if you’ve endured the last week’s postings, is a substantial improvement. Two days ago I was at “invertibrate” status, and yesterday morning I had devolved to “slime mode.”

Looking back at what I posted last night, I’m surprised that it had any coherency at all. And when I looked at it today, following some actual sleep (five or six consecutive hours of it!), I was surprised to see that I hadn’t posted the pictures that went along with it.

So for now, while I watch to see if SpaceX gets their first night launch of the Falcon Heavy off the pad (wake up, Florida!!), and I ponder whether or not I’ll be up to going back to the office tomorrow, here they are!

Okay – so maybe an intervention on the topics of “taste” and “boundaries” wouldn’t be completely out of order…

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Time To Get Help

If you saw the screen shot I had last night of the Apple exercise app on my phone, and you understand what what 24 of 24 blue bars mean, then you’ll know what an issue it might be if you were to be told that I have another one JUST LIKE IT today. And that Friday’s picture shows solid blue bars from 09:00 to midnight.

That’s 64 straight hours where I was up and about. Meaning that’s 64 hours where I wasn’t “offline” for that entire time, or as we simple humans like to refer to it – “asleep.”

The problem was this bug that I had picked up. I thought it was basically a cold, but if so it was the worst, most vicious virus that I had ever fought with. When I would try to fall asleep, I would be woken by coughing, coughing that I couldn’t stop, coughing that had me gasping for air. When that’s happening over and over all night long, night after night, you get really sleep deprived, which makes it even harder to think straight.

Since I didn’t know what to do to stop the coughing to begin with, I had no idea how to solve it.

So today I went for help. Back to the Urgent Care facility, in part to get better drugs, in part to have them run some test to make sure this battle of the bug hadn’t devolved into pneumonia, which would have been even worse.

It’s not pneumonia. I got better drugs. And now I’ll never be the US Olympics team.

I am fading so damn fast… Please let there be about twelve hours of sleep tonight, and not in 48 bite-sized chucks!



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24 For 24

Three months ago I got an Apple Watch for my birthday. One of the things that I’ve used a lot is the tracking of the “rings” for standing, exercise, and movement.

With last night being a really tough one due to the constant coughing that I’m still experiencing, today’s results were novel in a not necessarily great way:

Yep! Didn’t have a single hour where I was able to sleep or relax for the whole hour. Hacking up a lung makes it tough to sleep.

And now my voice has completely gone. Shot to hell. Nothing but a croak.

I look and feel my best.

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Today I’m Just Going To Whine

Sorry, still sick. I was really thinking yesterday that this would be pretty much over by tonight. Instead it took a turn about noon and got worse again. Fever high, coughing nonstop, sore throat, blinding headache. I honestly started wondering if I was going to break a rib from all of the coughing. I googled how high the fever needs to be before you need to go to the ER in the middle of the night. (Mayo Clinic says 103° if you have convulsions or any one of a number of other symptoms, which I don’t…yet.)

So yes, it’s time to throw my schedule into even more disarray. No work for me at the CAF hangar tomorrow, I don’t want to share this with a couple hundred folks. No belated Father’s Day dinner on Sunday with my daughter and her fiance and his dad – again, trying to not be a plague carrier. And I really, REALLY need to be able to go back to work on Monday. We’re a small office and I was already out for three days last week when I went to Vermont – missing three days this week causes problems.

It says a lot that the thing that is upsetting me the most is the disruption of my schedule and how I’m now behind on my work work and my CAF work. It’s that whole Catholic, Puritan work ethic, Midwest upbringing thing. Which, I’m trying to remember, is the sort of thing that lost Jim Henson for us.

Drugs are us, and if that doesn’t work by tomorrow night, probably a return visit to Urgent Care. Or, if I hit 103° (sort of like Marty McFly hitting 88 mph in the DeLoreon with the flux capacitor activated), the ER.

Perspective is important. It’s not Ebola, or cancer, or even Lyme disease. It’s a fucking cold. It’s the worst fucking cold that I’ve had in decades, but still…

This is SO inconvenient!

I hate being sick.

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Today I’m The Mourning Dove

Yesterday I showed the results of an encounter in the back yard and suggested it was better to be the hawk than the mourning dove.

Right now I’m the mourning dove.

I hate being sick.

I hate how you’re fine one day, then you’ve got a little cough, then sniffles, and twenty-four hours later you’re hacking up a lung, running a fever of 101° and change and you feel like…the mourning dove.

It’s boring. Aside from the physical discomfort, if there are things you have to do and you’re not quite ready for the ICU then you have to soldier through those things and the rest of the time just lie about, not able to really get to sleep, not able to really wake up, hungry but not feeling like eating anything, forcing yourself to stay hydrated but not able to drink anything you like (such as the gift from the gods, Diet Coke) so everything is just BLAAAAAHHHHH!

And while I have plenty of sick time to take (I know that some don’t have that luxury) and some great staff to cover while I’m out (again, a luxury many don’t have), it still means that I’ll be behind and up to my ass in alligators when I got back to the office.

I hate being sick!

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Trip Aftermath

Of course, is a cold that I most likely picked up from someone on the damn plane.

I’ll be over here sniffling and coughing and attempt to see through the one eye that’s not swollen shut.

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