Category Archives: Health


Not Boston ferns, actually from about 150 miles northwest of there.

Free-range ferns. Not contained to any pot hanging in a T.G.I.Friday’s!

Update – feeling fine, just still can’t speak. It’s incredibly frustrating, like fighting with both hands tied behind my back.

Some progress on that front tonight when I found that if I basically try to shout as loud as I can, actual vocal sounds come out. Good to know, I was starting to wonder. I can only do it for a few words at a time and folks start to wonder why you’re shouting at them like some Monty Python character in what should be a normal conversation. In addition, I suspect it’s damaging and slows down the actual healing.

But any little bit of progress is welcome.

Leave a comment

Filed under Flowers, Health, Photography

It’s A Challange!

It’s a challenge, not being able to speak at all in a job where a big chunk of it it answering questions, being in meetings, giving instructions, communicating, communicating, communicating!

To be specific, it’s a pain in the ass, extremely frustrating, gonna put me in an early grave challenge!

I’m coping, carrying around a pad of yellow sticky notes, a notepad, and even a short FAQ sheet. (“Yes! I have industrial strength laryngitis and can’t talk!”) Several folks thought the latter was humorous and amusing – screw that, I was trying to stop repeating the same thing (in pantomime) a dozen times a day!

When we went into Urgent Care on Sunday morning I pretty much knew what most of the questions would be, so I while sitting there in the waiting room I whipped out my iPad and typed up a document that gave them my name, address, medication, symptoms, history, what I needed, and so on. Again, the staff seemed bemused by that. I can’t really be the only one who thinks this makes sense, can I? Do you have to be Steven Hawking to get a little bit of technological help with a medical condition?

I’m sure when I look back on it it will be amusing, and probably hilarious if it’s happening to someone else. Right here? Right now? Not so much.

I’m ready for this to be over!

One other thought from yesterday, where I staggered my way through to the end of the day.

On the way home I was too freaking tired to bother to change the station. It was on the usual (Sirius channel 33, First Wave) but it was one of their weekly shows that I rarely listen to, the Billy Idol hosted show. But exhaustion won and I ended up a winner.

Billy was, as always, talking about the very early days of punk in the UK in the late 1970’s. This was about the time I was getting hooked on it over here in my early 20’s, but he was already deep into the genre. He told a great story about seeing the Sex Pistols form, very, very early in their career, when they were playing Tuesday night pub gigs and doing all covers, including songs by The Who and even The Monkees. Then they started experimenting with their own stuff, one night breaking out THIS…

You don’t have to know much about that genre of music or that time to know what “THIS” was going to be. I might have been tired, but my arm instinctively shot out and cranked up the volume to hearing impairment volume just as the first note of that infamous opening bass riff hit.

It was glorious.

I had the top up on the convertible and all of the windows rolled up, so they probably couldn’t hear me more than ten or fifteen cars away stopped at that red light. And if the little old lady from Pasadena next to me gave me the hairy eyeball? It’s okay, she knows that I made her day, even if she can’t appreciate it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Health, Music

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Health

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…

Leave a comment

Filed under Health, Photography

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!



Filed under Health

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Health

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Health