Friday, January 21, 2005

And Biology Nearly Won This Week...

... in our continuing battle. I had thought the battle lost when I was forced to miss work Tuesday and half of Wednesday. Allow me to recap.

Monday found me feeling good. I was ok in the morning, having gotten enough sleep. I was ok in the day, kicking ass and chewing bubblegum on my lakeshore resort project. I helped Steph do some grocery shopping, I got a lift home, I put the groceries away, and then I was suddenly gripped with severe abdominal pain. I was up till four in the morning... uhm... near the bathroom. I had thrown up lunch, breakfast, and even some popcorn from Sunday night.

Tuesday I was aunable to eat anything. I was hot, and shivering because I was cold, and laying on the couch trying not to put any pressure on my midsection. I had a massive headache, and I was also very very near the bathroom, since I couldn't stop throwing up.

Wednesday morning I did Steph's paper route, since she was laid up with her ear infection. This was apparently not a good thing since immediately after there was a great deal more blood coming out of me than was usual (which means I had started bleeding some 12 hours before, but the timing was still scary). I went in to work in the afternoon, since I like getting paid and being able to afford rent and food, but I was alternately hot, cold, tired, and feeling fine. That night I had a little bit of dinner (Rice Krispies) and was not too too sick, but I was up a lot with pain.

I was at work all day Thursday, but boy that sucked. People in my office, or just walking by, could hear the sounds my stomach was making. After looking up a few things online, (mostly involving the words "black" and "blood")I decided that my doctor could go f*** himself, and I went to the walk-in clinic after work. (My doctor made an appointment with me for next Wednesday at 11am. Seven damn days away.) I went to the clinic, and I was informed that I most likely had an ulcer, which got infected when I had the stomach flu, and was hemorrhaging blood into me. He told me to drive right down to the emergency room for some blood tests. I told him that since I didn't have a car, I'd walk, and his jaw just dropped right open.

"You can't walk down there! You shouldn't be walking anywhere at all!"

I responded by informing him that I walked to work all week.

"You what?! How could you be walking to work when you feel like this? Why are you working at all?"

I informed him that I needed the money, and I didn't feel so bad that I couldn't operate a keyboard. Besides, I did my wife's paper route Wednesday morning.

"You did what? Jesus, I should hit you for being so stupid, why would you do that? How did you even do that with this going on?"

I explained to him that the philosophy I was raised on, "Shut up and tough it out", combined with my Scandinavian heritage, caused me to work even harder when I was sick. Illness just makes me stubborn, and I redouble my efforts so that, from an outside perspective, there's no change in my productivity. I have too much stuff to do. I thought he was going to hit me then. He ordered me to "take a god damn cab" down to the hospital and get my blood tests, then "call your doctor and MAKE HIm tell you the results, and if this keeps up, go to his office and DON'T LEAVE until he treats you". The guy at the clinic, a really nice doctor by the way, was honestly angry at me and my doctor for letting this happen.

Anyways, the upshot of it is, I have a bleeding ulcer (which has mostly stopped bleeding). I missed a day and a half of work, and it seems Kyle caught my stomach flu, which is still hitting him a LOT milder than it hit me. Everyone at the office is moderately sympathetic, which is good, since they don't mind I missed work for a good reason. However, those little pills I got from the clinic are MIRACLE drugs, and my stomach feels 90% better.

On the downside, my cough is getting worse again. People used to say, "Chris, if it wasn't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all." Nowadays, that should be revised to say, "Chris, if it wasn't for bad luck, you'd... hey, what are you doing... hey, get away from me with that baseball bat... hey!"


Friday, January 07, 2005

The Power of Will Over Biology...

... a topic broached many times in the past betwixt my mind and body whenever my cute little demon child decided he wanted to scream rather than sleep for six hours straight, has been broached again this week.

The debate opened up when my body, spiteful and vengeful, decided to bypass it's long history of minor colds and coughs by kicking off Monday morning with the flu and pinkeye. My body ached worse than the time I had to be Uki to the black belts before a tournament. My eye pulsed, I was coughing and sneezing, but I still felt fairly ok. I worked on the Seniors Guide till 11pm. Amount of sleep Monday night: 4 hours.

Tuesday accelerated the aches and pains with some reduction in the other symptoms. This was my first day back to work, so although I wasn't sniffling and snorting, I was finding myself reluctant to even get out of my chair for coffee. The water from the showerhead that morning hurt my skin, to give some indication of my sensitivity to pain that day. I worked on the Senuirs Guide till 11 pm that night as well. The extent of my illness and lack of energy became apparent when, just as the program I was watching switched to a commercial, I found myself thinking furiously for three minutes, trying to recall what show it was that I had been watching. Only when it came back on (Corner Gas) did I realize how much my memory was suffering. Amount of sleep: 2.5 hours. For 3 hours straight, I lay awake, my mind a spinning, nauseating jumble of WordArt boxes, reminding me of the time I was stuck in my room in Vancouver for two days with a combination of food poisoning and epileptic seizures.

Wednesday decreased the aches and pains, but my coughing was now coming from my lungs, my diaphragm, and somewhere in the depths of my ass, and the thin eveneer walls of my office were protection for no-one. My right eye now felt like it had been coated in maple syrup, both in general feel and visibility. I had to blow my nose every few minutes, I sucked back a Benedryl ES all-In One (1000mg acetomenophen) and two Neo Citrins (1300mg acetomenophen total) before noon, which left me in a semi-daze for the rest of the day. I worked on the Seniors Guide till midnight. Amount of sleep: 4 hours.

Thursday had fewer aches and pains, but my head felt pressurized to about 80 PSI, and the coughing was now enough to hurt my own ears (which had become infected). Work was a struggle, as I was barely able to focus for any lenghts of time on the screen without wondering what I had just been working on, much like the Tuesday television incident. That night, as Steph was snowed in at the farm, I stayed up till midnight working on the Guide, then did her paper route, getting home at 2:10am. I went to bed, fell asleep around 3:30, and woke up at 7:30. Amount of sleep: 4 hours.

Friday. Now. I am dizzy, everything is overbright, and I still have half a day of work ahead of me, and probably another eight to ten hours of working on the Seniors Guide, which has to be out tomorrow. My throat is killing me, my fingers hurt from typing this, and I'm getting tracers whenever I turn around. Tonight, I'm going to go to sleep as soon as Sebastian does, try for 8 hours of sleep, and work on the Guide all day tomorrow.

The debate is still going on, but so far Will has made an excellent case. In spite of lack of sleep, mixing heavy medication, being forced to walk through two days of blizzards, I still manage to cook, clean, put in a full day's work at the office and still work on side projects at home. Body is trying for, at the very least, a tie, where both factions give in, surrender, and shut down, giving both of them, and me caught in the middle, a chance to recuperate. Will, however, is keeping the smack-talk up, which is doing no-one any favors right about now.

Well, it's almost over. Total sleep so far this week: 14.5 hours accross 4 nights = 3 hours 38 minutes per night. Tonight, hopefully, I'll triple that, kill some germs, knock off the Guide the following day, and spend Sunday watching Return of the King over and over and over. Wish me luck.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Typos I Shouldn't Make...

... when writing up the Seniors Guide and Resource Directory.

Accidentally replaced "Avoid the Pressure" with "Avoid the Rush". Caught it in time.

"We will service your Computor." To be fair, this is because I am typing off of the draft copy, which was not written by me.

From adjacent listings. "Square Dancing for Seniors" and "Angel of Compassion Funeral Home". Just try to imagine those phone conversations.

Which reminds me... why the hell is "Angel of Compassion Funeral Home" under the Social Clubs category? Whys is "Bereavement Support" under the Things To Do category? How depressed do we need to make these poor seniors?

Ah well, at least it's a job that pays.