Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I Have A Good Excuse

There has been a reason for the lack of posts the last several days. Bear with me for the story.

The Party and The Cold

On Saturday we had a meeting of the Clear Lake Book Group. A little lighter in attendance than usual but not unusually so. It was at Leisa and Angie's house and it was also supposed to be a surprise party for Angie. Originally it was also going to be a costume party and possible sleepover but that got cancelled, or more accurately never planned because of Leisa's busy life. Pat and I came in one car and we had optional costumes in the car, her Red Cross Vest and my Roman Toga. Only Angie was in a witch costume but not wearing the hat.

I almost messed up this surprise party, too. I have a habit of doing that. On my Houston SF event calendar I am playing with I had that meeting LISTED AS SATURDAY PARTY. At first all Saturday meetings were listed as Party because of another mistake. At least it didn't say Surprise Party and Angie had limited Internet access that week.

The party was very good. Angie received gifts from myself, Cherie, and Brent. I gave her two Tanith Lee books, and the Robinson's Star Dance set, all used. Cherie gave her a nice home library set, and Brent gave her a Whelan art book. It turns out the cover of the Whelan art book was an alternate cover of one of the Tanith Lee books I gave her.

I had planned to go to the other Saturday Party held for the Houston Inner Loop SF&F people because I knew that would go on till quite early but the party in La Porte got out late and I was tired.

The next day, Sunday, I had a cold. Headache, slight fever, tiredness, dry cough, slight sinus drainage. I immediately went on aspirin, liquids, vitamins, anti-histamine and lots of rest. I was doing OK, for having a cold, except for the headache, which was doing worse. Sunday night I awoke several times because of the weird headaches which seemed to be getting still worse. The headaches were annoying ice pick sized pains for just a second or two.

Monday morning I decided I needed the next remedy is to gargle with salt water, both throat and nose, but couldn't because I have no regular salt in my house because of my high blood pressure. Instead I would just add the zinc lozenges I skipped yesterday. I also decided that I would switch to Tylenol instead of aspirin and cancel the anti-histamine; both can make sinus conditions worse.

Monday I just felt crappy but also gradually getting better except for those blasted headaches that are usually like quick jabs with an ice pick. Monday night I just have some salad, chicken sandwich meat and yogurt for dinner. Monday night I couldn't sleep because of the headaches.

Slowly moving Tuesday morning I am debating the small Doctor's Clinic down the street because I don't have an illegal source of the good dope for pain. I think I need a trip to Mexico.

Adventures in the Shower

Well, wouldn't the humidity in a nice long hot shower be great for the cold or virus? After a long hot shower, shaving and two shampoos, I was trying to decide if plain warm water up my nose would be good or bad for me when my body rudely interrupted my thoughts. My right side was no longer supporting me. My left side had a problem trying to keep me propped up without help. I don't know if it also got weak or just had problems with the load.

The next minutes are a bit confused. I remember thinking I should carry on with my normal routine. The next thing I would on a normal day is weigh myself on my digital scale that is beside the tub on the left, the right is the shower wall. The scale requires you to apply weight, remove it, and then step on it again. I could kinda move my right arm and leg over the tub rim and onto the scale but couldn't apply pressure to activate the scale. I could do it with my right arm or leg but I realized I would have to come up with a plan to get me on the scale. Fortunately, now I was getting strength back on my right side. I believe I just stood up, tapped the scale, and weighed myself. Yippee, down 2 pounds since yesterday! Too bad it is the average that is important. And then went to my PC and recorded the weight.

This seems like it took ten minutes from the collapse to walking again but was probably less.

The Blessings of Soup

Since I was going out to go to the doctor, I logged online to prevent mailbox overflows as I couldn't remember when I had last been on and I also checked to see if a check had cleared as I needed to pay the rent. After dressing and finding my Mother's cane I walked out and picked up the mail, got in my car, paid the rent, I had the date wrong - it could have waited, went to the Clinic down the street and found he was out to lunch.

I drove down Southmore, lots of doctors around here, but decided part of my overall weakness problem might be low blood sugar. We have a terrible Chinese place on Southmore but they have the advantage of very low prices and OK-to-good soups. One large Egg Drop Soup (huge - maybe four cups) and a large Ice Tea later, I haven't had a head pain in an hour and I feel like a new man.

I also remember since I am unemployed and have been for quite a while maybe I should check out the County Clinic for a lower cost alternative. After walking around a bit at the wrong location, I want the exercise, the County Clinic says to come in at 7:30 tomorrow to apply for a gold card. I go back to the first Clinic that was empty at lunch time. It is now packed. I feel good so I go home and take two aspirin, vitamin C, etc. and fall asleep. No more bad pains. I had chicken and stars soup for dinner, diet C fortified soda, and a lite yogurt.

That night I had a few short headaches but I am not sure if these are sinus-related or not. They are not the ice pick head pains I had at first. They are broader and milder and are no longer only on the right side of the head.

What's the diagnosis? This is a chance for the audience to play doctor.

To be continued, adventures in Health Care begin.

I will say I had been under a lot of stress lately and have shut down my Dean and Democratic activities for the last couple of months for that and to devote more time to job searching. I should shut down watching news and opinion shows because I get mad at hearing at least FOUR lies an hour, I measured one day, from the conservative speakers. OK, it might be a bit high because it included a religious anti-porn crusader who perhaps doesn't know the difference between good and bad scientific studies.

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