Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Pneu to the neighborhood

Will hurt you for no reason.
Last Friday I was complaining (again) about being sick.  Also last Friday, AFTER writing that post,  I hie'd myself to the doc in a box down at that local CVS to get checked out, as the sounds in my lungs were getting louder and I was of the opinion that, in fact, I wan't getting better, but worse.

A call the previous day to my doctor's office resulted in the advice to 'take Alka-Seltzer Plus cold medicine,' which had not helped.  A call Friday afternoon to the doc's office yielded no satisfaction either, as they weren't able to see me and couldn't prescribe anything to me for this because it's been two years since I needed an inhaler and ohwell.  Sucks to be me.  Therefore, the doc in a box.

Turns out I have/had pneumonia.

Turns out I walked out of that CVS with three shiny new medications to combat the pneumonia, and an admonishment to come back Monday if I wasn't feeling significantly better.

It took until Sunday afternoon (48 h after diagnosis and start of antibiotics) to start feeling a little better.  Here it is Wednesday, and I still can't draw a deep breath without my throat tickling and setting off a coughing fit, but I don't have a fever anymore, don't make noises when I breathe, can smell food without heaving, and can stay awake for simply HOURS at a time.

I think I'm going to make it, is what I'm saying.

Seems like  I go through this every couple of years.  It's not something to make a habit of, that's for damned sure.

As a result, of course I don't have stuff ready for Christmas, but ohwell on that too.  It'll get 'done' or it won't.  The tree is up, the lights are on it, and Biff has hung the outdoor lights, but that's it.  I'll probably spend some time tarting up the place before Christmas day, but first  I should do the Christmas CARDS, which won't get to where they need to be by Monday anyhow, but ohwell on that too.

Or is it 'No-well'?

Tiff out.

Friday, December 15, 2017

I'd like to offer up a nice complaint, with a side of whinging

Oh, why hello ailments, how has it been 3 long months ago that I last got horribly ill?  That long?  You say you missed me?  I wonder if you think I can say the same about you.

Oh, to feel your clammy hands on my brow, to be overcome with the flush of feverish heat, to choke and sputter at your advent and, truly, through your entire time with me, you make such a vivid impression.

Why, this time around you have given me more gifts that I have any right to expect.  Shall I name them for you?  Of course I shall, for remembering this visit in case you never come to me again will remind me of the intensity of our time spent together.

You have bestowed on me:

  • Coughs
  • Chills and fever
  • MUCUS so copious I hardly know where to begin in description
  • Nausea and vomiting.  Truly unexpected.
  • Lung noises so many and varied that last night I thought I was dreaming of an Australian woman saying 'oh no' time and time again, but in reality it was just my upper left lobe doing a damned good impersonation.  Really, very impressive, and how specific!
It's been 4+ days now though, sweet friend, and I must ask you to go.  When you are here, I hardly get any sleep, or work done, or  chores completed, and as impactful as our lives together have been in these last few days, I feel the need to return to more mundane aspects of life.

Like, breathing freely.  I miss that.

And eating.  I miss that too.  This was not your best gift, I must say.

Also, I have discovered that as much as I LOVE MY BED, it's not the best place for me when you are around.  Sad, I know, but the recliner that is so reliable in the times we spend together isn't the best place to catch all the requisite 'zzzs' one needs to be fully functional.

So, I bid you adieu.  We have had some intense moments together this year, and looking back on them I will all the more appreciate the fact that I have now, I believe, gotten over you.

With this, I ask that you don't visit me any more.

Consider yourself broken up with.


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Sometimes I re-read, and decide to repost.

I need to get my creative juices flowing again.  Things have been a bit stunted lately.

I miss the days of writing, and blogging, and commenting, and being generally more entwined with people (even online) that I am now.  Things are all so throwaway now.  So packed with monetized content and PURPOSE, like social interaction has to mean something, for God's sake.

Sometimes you just want to laugh at a fart joke.

Or to turn the other direction and read something like this story I wrote many moons ago, in a voice that still tells most of my stories.  I really REALLY wish I knew who this tale-teller is that bubbles up whenever someone tells me to 'write something,' but there she is, time after time.

She needs a name.

Because, apparently, she's had kind of a rough life.

The story below, for example.


Well, you know, it hurt like a sonofabitch for a while, then it didn’t, then for a while it did again.

Fucking headaches, anyhow. They come fast as a buck rabbit on a doe sometime, and sometimes they’re like a hog on a sow, can’t break ‘em.

All my dang life, every day, which one’s it gonna be, buck or hog? If a buck, then the day’s work gets done no questions, cuz there’s 15 hours left of work at least before cleanup starts, but a hog? That’ll take half the day away and the washing won’t get done if it’s Wensdy, nor the irnin on Thursdiy.

Years back, before these grips kep comin on I went to school. I can still remember how to read and write, but by God if just keeping up with everything don’t keep a person from total recall on all the things they once knew.

That’s why I know to write this down now, before all the headaches claim what’s left of my sensibilities and I wind up just chasing one job to another tryin’ to git it all done before I don’t remember how to even speak.
Even my writing takes shorthand now. I just looked at what I wrote, not 60 minutes after the buck left the building, and I don’t even know who that person is. Oh, I know who the fuck the BUCK is, that much is for sure, but who wrote that what speaks of the bucking effects? I have no idea.
This sickness is eating me from the inside; it’s changing me. 
It’s tiring as hell. I don’t even get to drink a damn potion on purpose to make it happen.
I need to go do the laundry now. It’s already Thursday and I still need to iron.
Still Thursday.
A week later.
All is calm.
Friday is here. The boar is back. Stone cold sober he ain’t because he’s been goin at me for hours now, and I can’t get anything done at all. 

Take one step, he take another to block me.

Try to sidestep by chugging some water (sometimes that helps) but he keeps coming on. Determined to win this time. I am no match. Sense make no sense. 

Oh. I can’t see.
There’s a bug in my mouth. I can’t let go of it for fear of alerting the headachers. One complaint, they’re back. No complaint, I can keep the peace. It’s a burden, but worth the stillness. Like a quiet uncomfortable soundtrack, a secret silence, a scream in a vacuum.

It’s fine. I can do this.
Things are so heavy all over. Workin against the weight is hard. Daggone boar is hard at work now, pushin and mashin and just being ugly all over. Can’t get much done anymore. I scream at myself when I can.
Roll over. Hurts in arms. Night is everywhere. Legs are jumpy. I vomit.
There’s the spider. I hide it under my arms so nobody sees it. There are lots of people around.
Bright lights.
I feel strong and weak. 
More spiders. I vomit them from my guts, my lungs, my brain, my heart, my skin as I am bursting from within, bones breaking, heart growing, fear escaping.
I shout spiders, scream them, roar them, own them, claim them, banish them in this moment of power.
The spiders leave. They are afraid.
So are the buck and boar. They are afraid of the truth in my mouth, the poison they put there I was so feared of loosing. Cowards. Me included ,but no more.
I hold someone soft and warm.
Bonny baby.

So, yeah.  Happy All Saint's Day.  I guess.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Why I should never travel for work

Goes like this:

I was offered an opportunity to go to a really cool conference few months ago because of a group  I participate in at work that's all about innovation from within.  I do enjoy some innovation, but when you are trying to steer/outfit a big ol' ship, sometimes (most of the time) it's a very difficult thing to do.  Like, our company is an ocean liner big, and innovations mostly happen in the 28-foot cabin cruiser range of companies.  So, the chance to innovate on an ocean liner ACTING like a skiff was one  I couldn't pass up.

You know, by way of background.

The time for conferencing came and thus this Monday and Tuesday our ocean liner got a bunch of folks together to innovate.  Many of these folks came in suit coats and slacks/skits as their interpretations of 'innovation casual' (the actual dress code!), which means that 1) they own a suit coat, 2) feel more comfortable wearing one that not, and 3) are obviously People of Some Importance in the OL, like Officers and not the Enlisted.

(OK, there were some enlisted there too, like me.  I opted to wear Not A Suit Coat [surprise!  I don't own one] but rather floral-print black flowy pants with a long-sleeved v-neck black tee [thanks Eddie Bauer!] one day and a rib-knit crossover dress [Torrid] over cropped leggings [also Torrid] and a print infinity scarf [Charmin' Charlies!] the next.  The SAME black flats both days [The horror!]

I looked POSITIVELY innovative, if I must say so myself.)

However, clothing is not the reason I shouldn't travel.  I felt no embarrassment about my outfits, having thought through my choices and picking the ones I felt were a good mix of comfy/flattering/interesting.

No, the reason  I should probably re-think travel for work (or anywhere, especially when planes and hotels are involved), is how I LOOK when I travel.  OK, how everything above my neck looks, if we're being precise.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what 1) nights of poor sleep and 2) entire days of dehydration do your your (not so) faithful correspondent:

Normal me
Travel me.

NOT an exaggeration.  I lose my eyelashes and everything!  And stay this way for the duration of the trip!  Even with Visine and fancy eye creams and all the water I can get down my gullet!

Y'all, I feel SO BAD for the people that had to spend time with me the past few days.  It was NOT a pretty sight, though I tried my best.  Also, hotel lighting schemes suck in a major way, so there was no really good method to ensure I was 'doing it right' in terms of horror amelioration.

Shamefaced admission: For years I read in fashion mags and Good Housekeeping and ladies rags of that nature, that models are slavish to facial spritzers and chugging water and all manner of skin hydration methods  to stay 'fresh' while they jet-set, and I scoffed at their puny selves for not being more resilient and tough-skinned, like me, for whom travel never seemed a bother.  Well, SOMEONE must have found that picture of me in the attic and given it a nick, 'cuz now I scoff no more.


And should be shown to nobody, ever.

I did have a good time though, so there's that.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who suffers from the dreaded TF, won't you?

Tiff out.

Monday, September 11, 2017

In which I regret a thing or two

Hold my beer...
Hello once again, and welcome to another installment of 'why I should never answer a knock at my front door.'

Ever, really.

Years from now folks probably won't recall that the past few days have seen a gigantic hurricane, Irma, rip through the Caribbean and into Florida, and is now eating up portions of South Carolina.  Damage is horrific, loss of life is significant, whole islands have been rendered uninhabitable.

Stick with me.

Folks started leaving the Southern-most states a few days ago, and if they were lucky had enough gas to make it through to a mid-Atlantic state (or further).  The pictures of the traffic snarls on the northbound highways were mind-boggling, I'm sure being IN the snarls were enough to MAKE you snarl.  Folks were running out of gas, food, and water, things had been pretty desperate.

This is not why I should not answer a knock at my door, though.  Not yet.

One of the families that evacuated north are folks who used to go to our church.  Nice younger couple, he's a musician/worship lead, she's a teacher who now homeschools their young son and will do so for their baby daughter someday if I'm any good as forecasting the future.  They made what I think is the absolute right decision to get out, and their target destination was right be here in the 27587.  They still have friends here, it seems.

Saw them at church yesterday and had a nice chat; they were disappointed that Biff wasn't there (he had a gig).   Very sweet.

Almost there, hold on a minute longer.

So, I work at home.  This involves a commute of about 3 steps from my bed to my desk, and also very often involves me not getting out of my pajamas until late in the afternoon.  Also likely involved is a distinct lack of hairbrushing or other niceties that one would be expected to engage in if one was planning on being seen by anyone other than the dog.  It's a pretty darned impressive low-impact system, and one that I'm reasonably comfortable performing.  Sometimes I throw a bathrobe on if I'm feeling classy.

So  I should have known better than to go see who was at the door this afternoon.  I really should have.  I was in full-on PJ and bathrobe regalia, my slept-in hair blossoming almost OUT of the topknot I'd wrestled it into the day before, face unwashed, you get the idea.

You also probably know who was at the door.

It was not the mailman.  It was the nice young couple from church.

I'm reasonably certain that having me show up at the door, shambling around in a too-big bathrobe with a fully-risen hair muffin on my head, changed their perceptions of me a touch.  Maybe more than.  That's on them.

That's not the worst of it though.

That came a few minutes later, when their young son allowed as to how he might need to make a potty stop, which of course I agreed to after I put the dog out back.  The youngster and his Daddy made use of the facilities and were soon on their merry way, after which I needed to make a pit stop of my own, at which time  noticed what was The Worst Thing.

See, I live in a home with three very accommodating men.  They put the seat down after they're done peeing, so I don't normally see the underside of the seat.  Today was a day I also wish I hadn't seen the underside of the seat.  Really really wish that had been the case, but no.

The toilet I allowed that little boy and his nice Daddy to use today was...sullied.  Besmirched.  Bedecked.  Soiled, splattered, you get the idea.  This lovely little boy and his lovely Dad flipped up that seat and were met with the unfortunate aftermath of one of my family members' potty visits.

There's no way they could have missed it.


And THAT is why I shouldn't ever answer the door.  Because I might just unknowingly completely gross out people with the slovenly nature of my toilet seat.

Now where's the Clorox?

Tiff out.