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Posts Tagged ‘sick’

Happy Freakin’ New Year

If you haven’t been boycotting me you’ve probably wondered where the hell I got off to.

Christmas Eve day I started coming to grips with the fact that I was getting a cold.  I didn’t feel all that horrible though, and thought I was going to shrug it off.

Note:  That is known as “foreshadowing”.

By the end of Christmas Eve I was feeling pretty crappy with bloody sinuses and a sore throat that went all the way down.

By Christmas day I felt worse.

And for the rest of the week up until Saturday, I was worse.  All the colors of the rainbow came out of my lungs and sinuses.

Saturday I asked Cruel Wife to take me to urgent care since my inhaler wasn’t doing a damn bit of good.  They gave me a nebulizer treatment to help with my breathing and prescribed… a nebulizer.  Like I can find one of those at 5pm on a Saturday or Sunday.  But I felt a little better even if I did look like hell – serious dark circles under my eyes, pale, lethargic.  Oh, did I mention that I also have a case of pinkeye in both eyes?  Yes.  I’m not making that up.

Sunday night (last night), around 9pm:

“Uh, CW… I need you take me to the ER… NOW.”

I couldn’t get a breath that seemed like it was enough.  I was dizzy as hell.  And I felt just as sick or sicker than I did on Christmas Eve.

So, CW packaged up the kids and rushed me to the hospital where I was admitted for IV fluids, X-rays (which loosened some of the phlegm in my lungs), donated about 2 pints for blood work, etc.

They prescribed a nebulizer treatment on the spot and later came in to ask if the nebulizer was helping.  I said “Well, bad news is I’m still sick.  Good news is I don’t feel like dying quite as strongly.”

White blood count was up a bit so they gave me some antibiotics, finished off the IV drip, Rx for some Tylenol 3 so I can finally get some sleep w/o coughing non-stop, and some gunk that sure makes it easier to cough up the crap that has been nailing me.  When the nurse was describing what they were going to prescribe he got to the stuff that helps you clear your lungs out a bit better and I said “I will kiss your feet if that stuff works.”  Nearly had a tear in my eye.

So I got a nebulizer for home this morning and have been taking it easy.  Like I have any choice as to being active.

I haven’t been hit this hard by a flu/cold since the swine flu.  Geez.  I got three days of vacation and nine days of what was going to be the rest of my vacation knocked flat on my ass.  Wah-hoo.

Merry frickin’ New Year.  May it be a damn sight better than the last one.

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Some sort of flu or cold or something.  I know it involves 36+ hours of horrible cheek and brow pain (sinuses), lots of coughing (lungs, duh), and joint pain.  Fever.  Did I forget the fever?

Praying the family doesn’t get it.  I went into this thinking “Yep, just gonna tough this out, I’ll be fine.”

Day 1:  Can’t… stop… coughing… it’s like… I have… a… wet… kitten… in my lungs.

Day 2:  Yep, it’s uncomfortable but that never stopped nobody, right?  Just means I’m ALIVE.  HA!  Where’s that cold medicine?  Whaddya mean I took some only an hour ago?

Day 3:  Damn, no painkiller I have works on this face pain.  (And I still have plenty of painkillers, none do a damn thing)  Damn. And it hurts bad.  And it doesn’t stop.  Ow.  *$(# me.  102F fever.  Huh.

Day 4: (4:30am) Almost fell asleep, damn cat yowled just as I fell asleep.  %&@(!@ cat.  If it is so cold in here why are the sheets sticking to me?

Day 5: (today) You know how I said I was going to work tomorrow?  Uh, about that…  Hey, are solid clumps of blood supposed to come out your sinuses?  Ew.

So maybe I had a mild case of Ebola.  Who knows?

I do know that I can’t hear jack shit.  Luckily I can read lips so if Cruel Wife wants me to understand all she has to do is get my attention and we can go from there.  Seriously, there’s so much crap in my ears I can’t hear hardly anything.  And my hearing sucked before…

I do know that after the last five years I hate doctors.  When I can’t fight them off you can take me to see one.

****

Oh yes… about the continued erosion of your rights.  Michigan DNR invades farms, forces farmers to kill stock personally while they watch.

Seriously.

****

Oh, about those toys you need… here they are.   Greatest toy in the universe might be stretching it if you are a guy past the age of puberty and discovered girls but hell, this might even come third place.  Six legged r/c robots.

****

It’s not really paranoia if they are truly out to get you.  You could be wrong, but what if you’re not?  Door alarm!

What kid couldn’t have used this one growing up?

****

If I had tried this excuse to get out of a ticket I’d have been nailed for being a smartass.  proofofinnocence

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All right folks.  I may have done something not so smart Saturday night but it was because I felt so good I didn’t even think about it.  We have a hand-chopper (Blitzhacker) thing and I was chopping up pickles.  Six hits, light ones, with my right hand…. and bazinga.  Not sure what happened, probably nothing bad but it was kind of painful.  Intensely related to my neck.  Hurts other places.

Damn damn damn.

Anyway, this next snippet of story takes balls.  Castrating of lambs can be hazardous to your health.  Especially if you use your teeth.

****

So if you are sitting there in your back yard and the rich kid up on the hill is using his iPad helicopter to spy on your sister while she sunbathes and takes pictures of you doing … things… and then uses pictures of both for his own uses and shares them with the other neighbors…  do you give him back his iQuadcopter when it lands in your yard?

I think Iran is a bunch of slimy bastards but somehow Obama calling them up and telling them they *have* to give our stealth craft back… boy would I ever tell him to stuff it if I were in their shoes.

Iran is a bunch of douchebags that should be bombed the rest of the way back into the stone ages before they are actually able to strike Israel.   But at the same time I don’t blame them for saying to the US “Hey, thanks, free spy-plane!”

“We obviously believe strongly in a diplomatic approach. We want to see the Iranians engage and, as you know, we have attempted to bring about that engagement over the course of the last three-plus years. It has not proven effective, but we are not giving up on it,” [Secretary of State Hilary Clinton] said.

What isn’t said as loudly by the Obama administration:

Yeah, we’ve seen how lots of sucking up and bowing has really proven less effective in controlling the leaders of rogue nations and human-rights-trampling nations than we would have thought.   We really thought toadying up and acting all beta-male would be respected by these regimes and they would fall right in line with our new Metrosexual Alpha-Shemale approach – you know, the one President Obama keeps demonstrating time and time again?  It’s designed to make everyone think you’re alpha male without you ever having to be that way – it’s much safer, we think.

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But at Least it was a Dry Heat.

Been a while since I posted.

I was on travel.  Here’s how that worked out…

A scientist and good friend who I work with was telling me a week or so ago about a conference in Orlando.  She mentioned some of the topic material and I said it sounded fascinating.  She said “You want to go?”    What should I call that scientist friend…?  Hmmm.  She does need a moniker.  How about “Irritable French Woman”?  Yes, IFW it is.  That will do.   Anyway, IFW cornered me with my own insatiable curiosity as she always does.

Ruh-roh!

I had uttered words that boxed me in.  If you haven’t figured out from earlier posts I’d choose many many things before choosing to fly.  I have said in the past:  “I’d rather douse myself in turpentine, strip buck naked, and crawl through broken glass than fly.”

True.  Absolutely true.  Put another way, I’d rather skin my own scrotum and take a sitz bath in salt water and rubbing alcohol than fly.

It’s a trust/control issue.

Anyway, there I was, trapped by my own traitorous mouth – the very same one that got me in so much trouble as a kid, because it doesn’t have a brain and speaks of it’s own volition.

So I sucked it up, took a deep breath, and said “Okay!”

Flash forward to Friday before last.  I had just grabbed a data set for this same conference.  It was 5pm and edging closer to 6pm when I started in on a second data set and felt the familiar telltale signs of a cold.  Sweaty.  Clammy.  Sore throat.

Crap!  And I have to travel on Monday!!!

Offsetting that horrible realization was the awesome gift given to me by Mitchell – the Saddleback leather briefcase/bag thing.  I was excited and filled with stomach-churning trepidation at the same time.  It was like getting married all over again.

By that night I had that full-blown feeling you get when you’re in the ascension phase of a cold – like post-steamroller squirrel roadkill.  Saturday and Sunday were spent with that all-to-familiar headache that feels like trolls are using blunt tools to burrow out of your skull via the sinus cavities.  I had hacked up two pieces of lung in the interim.

By Monday I was feeling a little better.  We’d had our sump pump die on Sunday night so I waited for the plumber to fix it (I was in no condition to do it and I didn’t have the time either).  Then I went in to work to get some papers that I’d printed out and to make some last-minute preparations.

A secretary, I think I have named before but cannot recall the particular name, met me in the hall.  I’ll give her a new name for now.  Let’s see… Office Assassin.   Anyhow, Office Assassin says “So, how you doing?”

“I’m dying.  Thanks for asking”

Office Assassin says “Well, the airplane ride should make you feel all better.”  This was said with a straight face and in a tone that crawled with malice.  I expressed my insincere thanks and told her that I knew she meant it from the bottom of her coal-black heart.

“I didn’t reserve a seat for you in the rear lavatory this time.  See?  My heart grew by three sizes!”

“Great, so now you have a bigger lump of coal to keep you warm this winter.”

Anyways.  I made it to my flight on-time.  I was dizzy and gasping for breath because my traitorous lungs were engaged in staging their revolt against the body entire.   My plane ride to Orlando was mostly uneventful except for the pilot who had obviously spent a lot of time flying F-15A’s.  Rather than a graceful approach the awful wretch kept doing snap-rolls and ruddering us in skewed – in a windless clear blue sky.  His empathy fuel-tanks were clearly on empty that day.

On the ground I dialed up IFW on my cell-phone.  She arrived twenty minutes after I did, looking irritable.  She did not look particularly french.  She started walking pretty fast towards the rental car place with me trailing, wheezing, and gasping.  I said “Geez, it’s 94 degrees right now!  At least it’s a dry heat, right?”   A shrimp crawled across the sidewalk in front of me and some fish I didn’t recognize swam past my head giving lie to my remark.

We got the keys to the rental car (which was not a Mustang convertible in spite of my repeated requests for one) and when we traipsed the 1/4 mile to the slot where it should have been there was no car.  We hiked back to the office, now with IFW looking quite irritable and now somehow looking very french.  At the office they gave us the directions to a different car.  That car was further away and it was also locked.  We went to the rental office again and this time  IFW was looking irritable and french and this time she was also cursing in french.

Secretly I must say that when that happens, it’s actually funny for me to watch.

Our third car was a Matrix, which is a car which has many innovative features, none of them in the least bit comfortable.  It was like riding in a shoebox stuffed with rocks.

Florida is a pretty place.  If it wasn’t in a swamp I expect it’d be prettier.  Twenty minutes later we were in our hotel and we both decided to go to our own rooms to unpack and get ready for a later dinner.

Dinner was at Landry’s.  Our waitress sold food as if she were a car salesman operating only on commission.  We repelled all but her most intense attacks and finally got her to simply bring an appetizer of mussels braised in white wine, herbs, and butter.  They were so awesome that I almost forgot to continue feeling like I was dying.  I ordered a 1/2-1/2 meal of crawfish etoufee and fried crawfish.  I wheeze-waddled out of there with two buttons to my pants irretrievably lost when they popped off after gorging on seafood.  When I called Cruel Wife I told her it was very good seafood but on every other level (even spiritually) it was a horrid awful affair and I was glad she didn’t have to endure it.  I didn’t want CW to feel bad about not having tender, succulent, and fresh seafood (or swampfood in my case).

Tuesday was the first day of the conference and I was actually feeling halfway human again.  The day ended quite well, as I had unfettered time to sit and ponder upon two designs that had been vexing me and came up with a new concept that I want to write a proposal on.  Don’t ask what it was, please, because I can’t tell you.

That night we went and  had seafood again, this time at a place called “The Crab House”.  I mentioned to IFW that one could interpret that two different ways and I sure hoped it was the version that served food and not the other possibility.

I had one of the best bowls of clam chowder I have ever had in my life, and over 50% of it was actual clams – tender, juicy, clammy little morsels that outnumbered the potatoes almost 2 to 1.  The sea bass was truly… unremarkable.  It was anticlimactic.  I’ve had better tuna sandwiches.

Afterward we went back to the hotel and I said I needed to call it a night and went to my room.  Time passes differently in a hotel on travel and it is very similar to hospital-time.  It sort of both stops and moves at the same time, only instead of moving just forwards it also moves sideways.  The net result is that it does pass at normal speed but it seems like it is moving not at all.   I called Cruel Wife again and this time I was able to convince her that dinner was “meh” and she believed me.  I made no mention of the clam chowder.

Wednesday rolled around.  The conference was just ok, not nearly as good as the previous day, but I still got more done than at work, even without my customary 2 hour nap in the middle (in the office I have mastered the ability of sleeping with my eyes open).  I did have a relapse of sorts and was experiencing very real lung pain, which Cruel Wife had predicted from her experiencing of the same cold a few days earlier than me.

IFW drove me to the airport.  I thanked her, I said my goodbyes and got out, and she drove away.  She needed to spend one more day there to present our stuff to people who were attending the last day and I think that made her a bit irritable.

The airport was packed.  I wheezed my way through the ticket/check-in counter and headed to the security line to be screened.  Remember, I was sick, tired, and sweaty…

I put my briefcase through along with a tub containing my ridiculously un-necessary flannel shirt/jacket, shoes, coins, and papers.

I was motioned through the metal detector and set it off.   Still had my cell-phone.

Crap.

I went through the detector again and set it off again.

Crap.  Crap.

I went back through and took off my belt.

I went through the detector again and this time it made a new and interesting yet ominous noise.

“Is it my wallet?  I forgot to remove my wallet.”  Along with forgetting to remove my head from my ass, too, the way this was progressing…

The TSA guy pulled me aside and said “Stand with your arms out, your feet apart a bit, and don’t move.”

Crap crap crap.  Damn.

There I was, getting felt up by a TSA guy with no sense of humor, blue gloves, and a strange bulge in his pocket.  Don’t know what the bulge was and I didn’t ask.  Then he told me “We used to pull one person in ten aside but they called it ‘profiling’ so now we do it totally randomly.  You got lucky.”

Oh sure, I feel lucky.  Standing here sweaty and nervous.  I’m confused and sick.  You are groping me and yet I feel totally great because you aren’t profiling, you’re checking me as if I looked and behaved like a high-risk individual, neither of which describes me.  Yeah, I feel great.  Lucky, even.

He waved me on through and I got to fly home.  The flight was a bit long since this pilot behaved a bit oddly, flying slow and below radar level.  This seemed unusual for a 757 but he did get us there in one piece.  I got my luggage and headed for the ground transportation so I could pick up my truck.

On the bus there were probably six or seven other people.  We got to the lot and he asked us where we were parked.  I told him I was in D-53 (or whatever).  He drove past my truck about a hundred yards.  I told him “It was back there!”  The driver shrugged and said blandly “Well, I’m going to have to drop these folks off and then I’ll get to your vehicle last.”

Gee, thank you for that.  I had nowhere to go, anyway, dude.

The next guy said “I’m in 4-C”.

“What kind of car?”

“Uh, I think it’s a Lexus.”

“What color?”

“Uh… I think it’s blue.  It might be black.”

(In unison four or five of us said) “You think it is blue?  You think it is a Lexus?”

I said “Uh, yeah, it might not be a Lexus.  It might be a Ford, somewhere between 1945 and 1967.  Could be a red truck, too.”

Well, the guy kept bipping his key thingy and eventually the car lit up when we got near it.

Note:  I cannot be the only person to wonder if it was actually his car, can I?  I mean, you can’t actually be that stupid and continue to breathe, can you?

As he got off I said under my breath “… and next time, don’t drive to the airport drunk off your ass…”  Apparently it was loud enough for everyone to hear because they all started laughing.   Tough crowd.  I know my excuse – I’m an asshole – but as a whole, it was a tough crowd.

Thirty minutes later I was in my truck and flying home at Michigan speeds – subsonic, definitely, but also totally ignoring the lines on the road because in Michigan they are only suggestions.

Be it ever so humble, no place is like home.

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My Own Porch.

Rarely does a sick dog go lie under the neighbor’s porch.

There’s a reason for that.

Being sick away from home is about as attractive as stripping buck-naked, dousing one’s self in cold turpentine, and crawling through red-hot broken glass.

We spent the first half of vacation with Cruel Wife’s family – her parents, Sister1 and her family, and Sister2 and her family.  For a total of… let’s see… 8 adults and ten children.  That was a story in and of itself.  Eight days’ worth of story.

But then a week ago today, we drove to see my family down in Orygun.

And got sick.

Driving from Seattle to Orygun, I had a bitch-kitty of a headache.  We stopped at Troglodyteville, Washington† for a pit stop.  Troglodyteville is sort of the armpit of the groin of Washington and the service road that we found ourselves on was basically the poop-chute of the armpit of the groin of Washington.  Now, if you’ve followed the tale of my life for the last two years you know that headaches related to my neck injury are nothing new, so I thought little of it.  What I did not know was that I had a viral passenger.

We arrived in Hometownville, Orygun four hours later and I started hanging out with my family, who were engaging in reunionizing in earnest anticipation of a pit roasting of many pounds of pig.

My father asked if I wanted to help out with the BBQ preparations.  I begged off, figuring that he and my brother could do it.  Last year they did it with my supervision – then I had said “Gee you’ve got it too hot, it will burn up” and it turned out wonderful to my great amazement.

Sunday morning rolled around – I got up feeling pretty cruddy.   I go to the kitchen were my sister says “How does well-done pork sound?”

I look at her warily and say “Mmmmph… huh?”

She says to go look at the pork.

Well, my dad and brother did the same thing they did last year – got it too hot except this year they did not fully seal the pit with dirt to choke off all oxygen.

This year, the environment inside the pit was the surface of the sun.  This year, the pork was in a pit that must have climbed upwards of 700 degrees for most of the night.  In fact, the pit got so hot that the sheet metal was blackened, the grass all around the pit was blackened, and smoke was billowing out of the pit.  This year, we had big chunks of charcoal where the pig once lay in the pit.

I could not stop laughing.  Yes, it was horrible of me.  I rubbed it in.   I laughed, I cried, I hooted, and I chortled.

And then I got horribly horribly ill.   Little did I know that my viral passenger held an open-house and opened the doors for an infection.  For four days I ran a fever of 102-103F.  I was wracked with coughs, chills, shakes, sweats.  By the time I finally got ahold of a doctor I had coughed so much that it felt like daggers in my chest and my ribs screamed with the strain.  I was hacking up flecks of blood.   Everything was coming up browns, yellows, and greens.

The doc prescribed amoxicillin, 2/day, 875mg each.  I crept around like warmed-over death, with my guts torn out by the antibiotic, coughing, not sleeping, not eating.  Even as of today I’ve had perhaps five light meals in the last six days.  Great way to lose 15 pounds.

My grandfather used to say that he knew he was sick when Graveyard Stew sounded good.  Graveyard Stew is essentially lightly toasted toast floating in warm milk (milktoast) and only is supposed to sound good when you’re in the graveyard with one foot actually in the grave.  Well, I was feeling so rotten even Milquetoast didn’t sound appealing.  I spent the lion’s share of the week wishing I could be here at home where I could at least feel like I was dying in my own bed.

Yesterday as we drove north to Seattle we got as far as Albany, Orygun when I said “Cruel Wife, we need to go to the hospital.”   I had the shakes, my fingers were tingling/numb, and I couldn’t breathe without a huge effort and even then only half in and half out.  So in the ER they determined that I did not have pneumonia (whew) but did have bad bad bronchitis (ok) and needed a nebulizer treatment to get my lungs to relax.  Did the trick.  I was able to draw a complete breath in and out and actually move some crap out of my lungs.

Our flight today was a tough ordeal.  Can’t move fast without getting winded and I have no energy to speak of.  The good news is that this is the best I’ve felt since a week ago and I think I’m going to live.  Living actually sounds like a reward, not a punishment.

Cruel Wife got the cough/sick thing but no fever.  My boy (Hellboy) had the fever and cough, too.

Why was he on antibiotics if we only figured out later what was wrong with him?  Good question.

Because in the FIRST week of our vacation, he nearly succeeded in getting crushed by a 300lb fountain which collapsed on him and gashed his little forehead open to the bone, for a total of 16 stitches.  From hairline to eyebrow went the laceration, from head to toe went the blood, and from the rental place to the hospital went the ambulance.

But that’s another story.  We thought the fever was an infection from his head wound.

We’re back, and we’re happy to be back.

I miss my Zoe-pup.  We pick her up tomorrow from the sitters.  She’ll probably pee her little dog britches and I’ll probably pee my big Lemur King shorts when we see each other.

Troglodyteville is not the town’s real name.  A false name has been used to protect myself from the knuckle-dragging troglodytes that live there on the off chance that one of them knows how to read and comes across this blog.

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Newsflash: DC Madam Commits Suicide

Not a conspiracy theory nut, but does anyone wonder if it was an “assisted” suicide? She had a lot of enemies just within the covers of her books… Vincent Foster ring a bell? Now I’m not saying anything, I’m just saying that based on a person’s past behavior he might be inclined to continue that behavior and perhaps endanger a life-partner’s bid for the presidency, not that she’d do anything about it, of course.

(these games are fun!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

And this will blow your mind.  I was just reading about the topic in Scientific American this morning, then see this on the ‘net.

Growing back severed fingertip.  Just keep it moist, sprinkle seed powder, and stand back… be amazed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

A really life-or-death performance here on YouTube. Hillary and her presidential candidate mettle are tested to the fullest in this head-on with a pop machine. Gripping, folks. Just hang on, is all I can say. Really.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, the bastard keeps coming back just like a case of athlete’s foot. Unfortunately in neither case can you fix the problem with gasoline and a pack of matches.

Against people such as this sick freak, who could damage innocent children like this, I have certain moral flexibility.

A wonderful scene in Manhunter (Graham, played by William Petersen):

[Discussing serial killer Dollarhyde, who hasn't been identified yet, only profiled...]

Jack Crawford: You feel sorry for him.

Will Graham: As a child, my heart bleeds for him. Someone took a little boy and turned him into a monster. But as an adult… as an adult, he’s irredeemable. He butchers whole families to fulfill some sick fantasy. As an adult, I think someone should blow the sick fuck out of his socks.

Except in this case, we should just stick with the last sentence.

I’ll try to find cheerier stuff later, but this sort of thing weighs heavily on me.

-LK

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OK, Switch!

[Update: I added back the link from the earlier post despite grave misgivings. It is listed in Comment #2 below - LK ]

Ok, I hated that last post in place of this, so much so that I just couldn’t do it. It was so repulsive. I didn’t want it on my site. No, not Rosie…

Ran across these, good for a laugh.

I have died, and am in heaven. Cookies… with bacon. I mean, my habanero peanut-butter cookies were awesome but this is amazing stuff, folks.

http://www.examiner.com/x-276-Internet-Buzz-Examiner~y2008m4d17-You-Are-What-You-Eat

I suggest mercy killings.

http://www.examiner.com/x-276-Internet-Buzz-Examiner~y2008m4d15-Oh-Dog-Please-No

I wish I knew what was driving our kids to want to be perfect. Whatever it is, it’s messing them up.

http://www.examiner.com/x-276-Internet-Buzz-Examiner~y2008m4d16-I-Miss-Ugly-Mommy

I gotta work tonight, so this will have to do.

- LK

This just in at 11:58pm (got done working)… a science factoid page that is interesting. I’m not going to comment, just post, but enjoy it!

http://www.sciencebase.com/science-blog/shedding-light-on-optical-storage.html

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