Sunday, February 22, 2009

I must get some hair dye soon

So this past week, I've stated out loud several times that I cannot wait for springtime. Several times. This is not like me. I usually love winter, and I am never the person saying that I cannot wait until springtime.

In my now usual balance with the universe, we got over 6 inches of snow yesterday. Of course.

And, also in keeping with my current kinship with the universe, which is to say, I am the red-headed stepchild as far as good luck servings, I woke up this morning with a sore throat, chest congestion and a headache that just continued to build and build throughout the morning. I am not even 100% over the last 'flu yet, my ears still hurt, and now I'm sick all over again. Of course. This next week is a super busy one for me at work, with a lot of meetings, a lot of things to learn and a lot of deadlines. Of course.

My head feels too heavy for my body. Last week was difficult... I had some things I had to do that required composing... stringing words into sentences and sentences into paragraphs... but I felt like all creative spark in me had been snuffed out. The fires were not banked, they were stone cold. Sucked out. Leaving a big, puffy feeling in my head, like big, painful pillows between both ears.

I cannot wait until springtime. Sun. Warmth. I'm sick of winter, sick of snow and sick of coughing.

Waa, waa, waa!!! I am a whiny baby. With a runny nose.

So... because I still have no creative juices flowing whatsoever, I decided to whine and complain (so unlike me! ha!) and then show you some beautiful, beautiful photos that Joycie took with her little Sony camera last August, when it was warm and sunny and beautiful...

There, I feel a little better. Don't you?

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Finished the Z-pak on Friday, and Friday happened to be the worst day yet... clearly, Azithromycin not working for me. Coughing worse; hardly thought that could be possible. Also ears hurting. Burning probes into my skull. And little conversations going on in my head... wheezing. The first time I heard it, I thought my cats were having some tiff out on the porch. Then I realized it was inside my head and happened upon exhaling. Freaked me out.

Kev doing well... the Z-pak helped him.

So... we got up very early Saturday morning and made it to Urgent Care upon opening. I have a viral influenza... and also bronchitis, sinus infection and ear infections.

Mucus R Me.

Got a different antibiotic to try this time for my ear infections. Doc said I will have problems finding antibiotics that work well for me due to my issues last year and all the antibiotics I had then. Likely the reason the Z-pak didn't work for me this time. Doc also gave me an albuterol inhaler for the wheezing. He also suggested taking Robitussin DM plus a Vicodin for cough control. And that truly worked. I have finally gotten some sleep.

The ears feel better today, so it appears the Bactrim is working. The Urgent Care doc suggested not driving for 3 days and following up with my family doctor on Tuesday to make sure the ears are improving. Problem is, of course, with the vertigo I’ve had... doesn’t mix well with ears full up of crap. And vertigo doesn't mix well with driving.

The inhaler isn’t doing much for the wheezing. The sounds being made inside my air tubes are odd. Quite early this morning I woke up from a dream about people arguing, and I realized my wheezing sounded like people arguing. Is that progress? From coughing keeping you awake to wheezing waking you up...? Yes, I think that's progress.

Then later I kept hearing E.T. in my head. And then little aliens. It’s really not as entertaining as it sounds. You know how it is... once you’re aware of something, you really, really notice it. I’m tired of listening to the wheezing to try and determine what it sounds like now. Sick and tired of it. Ha!

Speaking of dreaming... I took a “short” nap this morning at 10:30am, and I woke up about 2:30pm... which comprised some of the deepest sleep I’ve had in 5 days. Nice. But I also had a weird dream. And... I’ve had this same weird dream 3 times now in the past year. I don’t know if it’s the drugs or what...

Here’s the short version... In this dream, I am at home, with Kev, Joyce & Sam, and I suddenly remember that we had put our 3 cats away in the basement with the door shut, which we had done because some company we had over was allergic to cats... And we had forgotten to let the cats back out... forgotten for weeks. Weeks. All 4 of us forgot to let the cats out of the basement for weeks. And the basement... creepy, dark place, not like our basement at all. We rush to the basement, and the 3 cats are the feline equivalent of concentration camp survivors or starving children in Africa. Joyce and I had trouble getting the cats to come to us, but when they finally did, they were affectionate. We fed them, and they ate and ate and ate, and they drank a ton of water.

That’s pretty much it. Except that one of the cats is Taffy, a Siamese mix I had for years who died in 1992 (of a heart attack... old age). I wake up feeling so bad, so ashamed of myself for forgetting the cats for so long and feeling so sad, like crying. Poor, poor starving cats.

Very weird.

Let the analyses begin.

(Hint: pain killers + dextromethorphan and guaifenesin.)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

the creeping crud doth rule

Like many others, this creeping crud - the cold or 'flu or upper respiratory infection or sinus infection or whatever the heck is going around like wildfire - is going around our family, too.

Kev and I got hit with it hard this past weekend. I managed to get into the office Monday morning to get some work done, and I stayed away from as many people as I could... about the only person I talked closely with has it already, so I figured I was safe with her. I left at mid-day and went directly to Urgent Care... where there was, as I expected, a 2-hour wait. Two hours. Expected it, but was heartily disappointed anyway.

I had already tried to get into our doctor's office, but he was out (doesn't work on Mondays), and the doctor on call and all PA's were booked. 'Tis the season. So I got myself on the list at Urgent Care, and then I went down the road to the local Redi-Med.

Our local Urgent Care, which is a very professional, top of the line walk-in clinic that's associated with our local hospital, is very nice; the Redi-Med not so much. The parking lot there was nearly empty. So, heaving a big sigh of dread, then coughing as a result, I went into that old, stinky office building. I think it used to be a bank, but I'm not sure. It smells like old building and industrial cleaning fluid. I had to fill out a set of forms because I hadn't been there, talk with overly cheerful women & see a doctor who gave me the creeps, but I was in and out in 20 minutes with a prescription for the Z-Pak in hand. Called Urgent Care and told 'em to take me off their list. Of course, the wait at Walgreen's to fill the prescription was an hour. Ugh.

The medical assistant at Redi-Med also gave me the creeps... I was escorted into Room 1 by her, and then she sat and began asking me questions, filling out her form. She was wearing a white coat. When she was taking my BP, I asked her if she was the doctor or a PA or what. She told me she was the medical assistant. I just looked at her white coat and then back at her. I didn't say a word. I thought that attire was just a tad, ummm.... misleading. Her demeanor was also misleading. She is definitely a doctor-wanna-be. Creepy. (A medical assistant would never get away with wearing a white doctor's coat at Urgent Care.)

Twenty minutes vs. two hours... I can take creepy. Dish out the creepy, Redi-Med, I can eat it by the plateful. In twenty minutes or less.

Anyway, Kev was so bad, he actually stayed home sick from work on Monday. I tried very, very hard to get someone, anyone, to also write a prescription for Kevin, but they wouldn't do it without seeing him. So yesterday morning, while Kev went to work and I stayed home, I called our family doctor and spoke with his receptionist or nurse or whoever/whatever she is... I told her how I had had to go to Redi-Med and got the Z-Pak and how Kev needed it, and after finding out Kevin could only get in to see someone there if he arrived at 11am, and then after explaining that he was at work and couldn't make it and he had to be at work and could not leave, and then after listening to her lecture me on how he was just spreading it around if he went into work, and how I managed to keep my mouth shut and not tell her to stuff it... they called in the Z-Pak to Walgreens for Kev. Whew.

I am fortunate to be able to work from home, but Kev is not. And he had to work outside much of the day yesterday. Poor guy.

I wouldn't go so far as to say we're both well on the road to recovery, but I think we're in the neighborhood where that road exists. I was planning to go into the office today, but I am coughing so much and so hard that I'm thinking I should just stay home. In the spirit of Sharing Way Too Much, as is my wont, I cough so hard sometimes that I either, a) throw up, b) piss myself, or c) both. And then I have to pick my lung up off the floor.

But... never tell your story first... My sister, Kathy, has been sick with some dreadful stuff, or stuffs, one after the other... pretty much since December 1st. Most recently some kind of viral thing that she immediately shared with her husband; both were really sick. And Bob is recuperating from surgery to his shoulder, so I'm sure the coughing is really helping that along. (Bob broke his collarbone a few years back, and it didn't heal properly so they had to re-shape it or something to fix it, and well... it hurts.)

I talked with my Mom yesterday, and both her and Dad are not germmed-up with any creeping crud stuff, but Mom, who is still recuperating from hip replacement surgery, is having a knee replaced early in March and cataracts surgically removed sometime in March or April. Mom also told me that yesterday my brother, Jim, saw the neurosurgeon who did my neck surgery because Jim's having back problems... methinks we're all gettin' old. Definitely feeling old.

I cannot wait until springtime. I am NOT the person who is usually saying that. I love winter. Love it. But this year, enough already. Give me sun and dry dirt paths to walk on. Give me warmth and no coats. Give me warm air that doesn't make my lungs attack me. Give me sunshine that turns the grass green, makes the leaves on the trees come out of hiding and makes the plants poke up to it.

Today, though... just give me Vicks Vapo-Rub and Nyquil...