Tag: sick

The Monday Morning Haiku #10

Tylenol PM
(Secret to 9 hours of
“dead to the world” sleep)

Today is day 4 of “that damned cold” and it finally feels like immune system’s got it on the run. I’ve been taking care to get some extra rest these last few nights (see haiku above) which means I’m usually doped up and reading around 8-8:30, and asleep by 9-9:30.  I missed everything after halftime of the Steeler’s game last night because of this, but my body is thanking me this morning (and seeing how the Jets played the first half, I’m not sure I would have cared to stay up for it, even if I was healthy!)

In other news, I’m starting The Artist’s Way program this week. So far I am a little bit skeptical, but even if I’m not on the same page with the thought processes and beliefs of the program, the activities included within seem helpful and are definitely helping me feel like I’m getting more out of my writing/introspection time.  Time will tell, and I’m not sure that I’ll be trying to complete it all in a 12-week period of time (some “weeks” may take 2-3 weeks as required based on time constraints) but I’m feeling pretty good that this is going to be a kick in the pants to get back into writing regularly again.

How about you?  Trying anything new in 2011? Or still just trying to get a handle on the same old same old?

The Monday Morning Haiku #9

Mounds of used tissues
Lots of TV and jammies
Cold season is here

Yes indeed, it’s that time of year again!  After Mother Nature dumped a load of snow and ice on us last week, she decided to kick us while we were down and help the girls to spontaneously develop near-simultaneous colds.  Although they’re finally getting better (which means it’s now the parents’ turn to get sick, right?), the weekend was primarily spent on the couch and/or carpet, watching TV and playing games, with minimal efforts made to do anything outside of the house.  Dee’s van also had a pancake-flat tire, so after putting on the spare (donut) we dropped off her car to get the tires replaced (they were in need of replacing anyway).  Not a whole lot of high points to the weekend, other than a break from the kids Saturday night where Dee and I went out to dinner and then to a housewarming party at Jillzey‘s place.  That was fun, but since the girls were sick, we had to cut things short and get home at a reasonable hour to deal with the coughs and sniffles and middle-of-the-night-cries-for-tissues that were sure to come.

So what did you all do this weekend? Hope it was better than mine (and had 100% less sickness)!  [And if you’re off today for MLK day – hooray for you while the rest of us poor schmucks are back in the office!]

My Trip to the UK, or There and Back Again (In Bullet Points)

(My apologies to J.R.R. Tolkien for swiping part of the title to this blog post)

I spent most of this past week over in the UK for an inspection for work.  It was quite an interesting experience, although not exactly what I had in mind (as you'll see if you keep reading).  Rather than tie everything up in a big wordy entry, I thought I'd keep my trip history short and sweet (too late), with a few pretty pictures sprinkled in between where possible.

The Airport, or a Cozy Home Away From Home

  • I left for the UK via Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon.

  • Since my work was paying for me to fly business class, I took advantage of the situation and spent some time in the posh lounge before boarding my plane.  Very relaxing, and a nice way to start the trip.
  • The people waiting for our plane in Philadelphia all seemed lethargic and logy, so I ducked away from their sleep-inducing energy and spent some time watching the busy airline crews out on the tarmac.  Even in the 100 degree heat, everyone out there seemed truly dedicated to doing their jobs.

The Flight, a Journey Not Without Its Rewards

  • If you can ever get someone to pay for you to fly business class on an international flight, I highly recommend it. 
  • Although I declined the offer for champagne or a mimosa, I did have a glass of merlot with my lightly-seared tuna with a side salad.
  • Soon after, I bundled up in my seat underneath a nice blanket and caught about 4 hours sleep.
  • I awoke to the sounds of people around me having breakfast, and sat up in time to flag down a flight attendant to bring me the same.  Two cups of coffee, a bowl of yogurt and fruit, and some chocolates later, I was sated, awake, and ready to take on the world.  Or at least, ready to take on immigration and customs.

The Car, the Roads, and the Longview Hotel, or the First of My Trials

  • The rental car (or "car hire", as they say over in the UK) was reasonably easy to get settled in to, once I was able to find it.  The guy behind the counter really needs to learn his right from his left, and had I not already been 3 floors away from his desk, I might have gone back to tell him so.
  • I found the hardest part of driving in the UK was NOT driving on the opposite side of the road, OR dealing with the roundabouts, OR even finding out if the speed limits on those signs were referring to miles or kilometers per hour.  Instead, the hardest part was staying in my lane, as I was not the best judge of where the left side of my car was actually located at when I was all the way over on the right.  It took me a couple of close brushes of my tires against the curb before I got things straightened out and felt comfortable enough to chance the passing lane.
  • I arrived, a little shaky but otherwise undamaged, at my lodgings for the week, AKA the Longview Hotel.  After checking in and checking out my room, I decided to hit the town for a quick tour and lunch, as it was getting to be about that time of day.
The Longview HotelMy Room, My BedMy BathroomView from the Window

Knutsford, A Charming Community (With Excellent Sandwich Shops)

  • "Downtown" Knutsford is full of one-way streets lined with a mixture of shops, offices, and restaurants.  For the moment, I was just interested in walking off some of the restless energy I had picked up on my drive, so I just took it all in while I walked on past.  A light rain fell for a little while, but soon the sun came out and I had to take off the rain jacket I had been wearing or risk breaking a sweat in the cool 70-degree weather.
  • In the end, I circled around to where I had started and stopped in at a small sandwich shop that had quite a line coming out the door.  I had an excellent cajun chicken and swiss cheese panini sandwich, and carried it over to a nearby field/park where I sat on a bench in the shade of a large oak tree.
Your Typical Small-Town RoundaboutChurch CemetaryA Lunch with a ViewOak Tree DedicationElderly People?

  • On finishing, I noticed the placard embedded in the oak tree, and thought it was a cool reminder of the past century, so I captured it for posterity.
  • I went back to my room, caught up on some emails, did some work, and then went out to dinner.
  • I ate at a Thai restaurant that had decent food, but not-so-decent service.  I probably wouldn't eat there again, but I enjoyed my meal and the two pints of Stella I had with it.

Disaster Strikes, or My Biggest Challenge Yet

  • Around 1 in the morning, I awoke with a gut feeling that something was wrong.  Or rather, that something was wrong in my gut.  Over the course of the next twelve hours, I came to know the contour of the bathroom floor quite well as I knelt in front of the porcelain throne ensconced therein.  I had some sort of stomach bug, and could NOT keep anything down.  I had a high fever and would stumble back into bed and pull the comforter up over me in between bouts with my stomach which, while empty, did not wish to remain quiescent in the late-night hours.
  • BBC 2 shows "Arrested Development" and "How I Met Your Mother" between 1:30ish and 2:30ish AM, in case some of you Yankees are missing your American comedies.
  • Around 1:00 the next afternoon, when I finally felt I could keep down a few sips of water, I had a taxi take me back into the downtown area, where an angelic pharmacist patiently worked out with me through my fever-induced haze what exactly I needed to buy to get rid of my headache, muscle pains, and fever.  I also picked up a pack of water crackers and a couple bottles of water.
  • By dinnertime, I was able to eat the broth from a bowl of minestrone soup, and a couple bites of a piece of toast.
  • By the next morning, due to carefully measured doses of Benylin's 4Flu medicine, I was able to have scrambled eggs and toast, and make it to the inspection.  I was not recovered, but recuperating.
  • It wasn't until I got home that I realized that Europe calls Acetaminophen by another name – Paracetamol.  Now I understand why that pharmacist was giving me funny looks when I was asking for it.

The Drudge of Work, Work, Work

  • Okay, work wasn't all that bad, although I think there was one point in time when my eyes glazed over during one of the technical explanations to a question I had asked.  We managed to finish up by the end of the day, and I was able to reschedule my flight back for the following day.  I was pretty happy with how things had gone at the site, overall.

Homeward Bound

  • The flight back was pretty standard – caught a couple movies, chatted with the woman next to me, chugged bottles of water like it was going out of style.
  • The Philly airport was a madhouse, and I got to the gate only to find that the flight was delayed indefinitely while they worked to fix the air conditioning on the plane.
  • Arriving back in my hometown about an hour later than I expected, I booked it on home, hoping to make it there before my daughter went to bed.  I was successful, and she nearly galloped around the room in her giddiness to see her "Dada".  As I hugged her and my wife, I finally felt like things were back where they should be.

The UK was a neat place, and I wish I had been able to see more of it (and that I had been healthy for more of the time I was there).  Still, it wasn't home, and nothing made that more clear than falling asleep in my own bed last night, sleeping peacefully through the night, and through my alarm the next morning.

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