Friday, January 30, 2009

How to have the flu

Day one: Be amazed how very bad you feel. Take Tylenol. Lie down, covered with every blanket in the house, while dressed in a sweater, two pairs of pajama pants, socks, and a hat, and shiver.

Day two: Repeat Day One, while coughing.

Day three: Get some good drugs. Take them. Fall over into a shivering, feverish stupor, completely worn out by your hour-long trip to the doctor and pharmacy. Wake up. Eat some soup. Marvel at how good soup can taste. Fall over again.

Day four: Wake up. Ponder the fact that you are still alive. Take some drugs. Drink some coffee. Realize that this is the second cup of coffee you've had in four days. Sit on couch, worn out from making coffee. Once you're rested, make some soup. Eat it. Fall over.

Day five: Wake up. Look around you. Notice your dog is still there. Wonder who's been feeding him for the past few days, then remember dimly that some guy in a chef's outfit has been stopping by several times a day to check on you and bring you Sprite. Take drugs.

Pat dog. Let dog out. Notice that the weather is beautiful. Make some toast.

Sit on the couch and shake while the toast is cooking. When the toaster dings, drag self into the kitchen, amazed at how weak you are. Realize as you take toast out of toaster that the weakness is probably due to hunger. Devour two slices of toast with peanut butter and retire to couch with a cup of coffee. Read an OZ book, then nap.

Wake up. Decide soup sounds good. Have some soup. Go back to bed. Sleep for three hours.

Wake up. Take drugs. Tell self that if you have to eat soup again, you'll turn into one of Warhol's paintings of a Campbell's can. Plan sandwich for dinner.

Realize you are exhausted from sandwich-planning. Retire to couch with book; go directly to sleep.

Wake up.  Vow to self not to forget how absolutely crappy this past week has been, and that you will, in future, show more kindness to people who have to get out of bed after brain surgery and walk. Vow to self to have a better selection of soup in the pantry in the future. Vow to have an entire case of Scotch in the storage room. 


Fall over. Sleep. Dream of sandwich.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Quick Tips:

1. If there is no mail delivered in The Most Important City in The Most Important State Of This Here Union, Yee-Haw, you know that the weather was bad that day.

2. Similarly, if you roll down your car's window and the quarter-inch-thick sheet of ice on said window sits there, and you are then able to punch a perfect cartoon hole through it with your weakened fist, you know there was a lot of ice last night.

3. Codeine cough syrup, while not as blindingly effective as Tussionex, is quite the bomb. 

4. It also makes all the keys on your keyboard be in the wrong places.

5. If your hair hurts, you have the flu (this is the official word from the NP I saw today).

6. My temp is down to 101.2. This is better than 102.6 or 103.1. I am tired of sounding like a radio station.

Doin' it old-school style

I have the flu. The good, old-fashioned, can't-sit-up-for-more-than-thirty-minutes FLU. With a temp that hovers somewhere between 101 and 102.4

And because the Weather Gods hate me, the threat of icy roads/actual icy roads/generally bad conditions has closed not only my doctor's office but every doc-in-a-box in the area for the last two days. 

Which means I'm starting Day Three of Old-Fashioned Flu. Which means I'm no longer a candidate for antivirals. Which means I'm riding this out old-school style: leapfrogging acetaminophen and ibuprofen, forcing fluids, and wishing desperately for some cough syrup.

I know I railed against Tussionex last time I was sick, but right now I would happily pay a hundred bucks for a dose of the stuff. I'm so high on dextromethorphan (which doesn't work; I know that, but I'm desperate) that I can barely walk straight.

This morning I woke up at 0430 in a drenching sweat, thinking "Thank God! My fever's finally broken!" It had--to 101.


So it may be a while before I post again. I'm going back to the couch.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In which Nurse Jo asks a favor

If anybody out there is in contact with LPN With An M16, could you please let me know how she's doing? You can pass my email (linked to the right, under "Speak") on, too, if she's in a place where she can easily email.

I'm really worried about this nonending headache she's had. I know I'm getting all mother-hen-y, but...I'm concerned.

I do not want this to be LPNcM16.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

At last.

We all sat in the break room and watched the inauguration with our noses practically pressed up against the TV.

This was one of the best days of my life.

Lots of work to do tomorrow, people. We'll get on it when the sun comes up. But, for now:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I had a *really* bad day.

But, instead of complaining, I want to show you what I came home to tonight:

It's not *your* bed. It's *our* bed.

No, really, you can take the other half.

Or perhaps I'll come over here, for belly rubs.

Hey! Why'd you stop?

Things that do not impress me: An abbreviated list

1. That you are a Marine.

It impresses me not at all that you are a Marine. It impresses me less than not at all that you're a Marine if you tell me this repeatedly, at the top of your lungs, in between hollering obscenities. Marine, civilian, or little box turtle, you're all the same when you have a subarachnoid bleed.

2. That you are friends with the founder of the hospital.

If you really were, pal, he'd be here visiting. Trust me on this.

3. That you are a retired surgeon.

The last time you practiced, nurses were still wearing skirts and caps (I wish I were exaggerating). This does not make you qualified to direct your own care. Moreover, the fact that you're in the hospital with a brain injury makes you even less qualified to direct your own care.  

4. That you, at 30, have spent more time in the pokey than I've spent in school. 

Convicts and criminals do not scare me. Nor do they impress me. Your teeth, however, are a different matter--I find the ones that are left both scary and impressive. How'd you let 'em get to that state? It's like something out of the dark ages. Kinda explains those multiple abscesses and the two mycotic aneurysms in your brain.

5. Peeing on the floor as a form of protest.

If you really wanted to impress me, you'd go pee on the board of directors' conference table. Doing it in your room just means one more damn thing for me to clean up.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

First, a couple of warnings

1. This is insane in the membranous material. 

2. If you have trouble with vertigo or a fear of heights, do not click the link. Really.

3. It's a full-screen video, so unless you have a high-speed connection, don't bother.

That said....

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Is there a doctor (or an NP or a pharmacist) in the house?

Turns out it's not a cold, or isn't a cold any more. It's my annual bout with sinus infection and bronchitis. 

Which leads to a question: Why on earth does every NP or doc I see at the doc-in-a-box not want to prescribe Tessalon Perles for my cough? They are firmly against Tessalon and intead write scrips for Tussionex.

Now, I know Tessalon is dangerous if you chew the little capsules, and I know that it "only" lasts something like three hours in the average person. I know that Tussionex (by contrast) has the added benefit of having an antihistamine in it, and that hydrocodone works beautifully as a cough suppressant. However, I hate, hate, hate anything with hydrocodone in it. 

It makes me stupid. It makes me constipated. When I do finally wake up after taking a half-dose of the stuff, I'm shaky and nauseated. It kills the cough, yes, but the side effects are horrendous. Right now I'm willing to put up with the side effects, but I'll probably dump the three-quarters full bottle of Tussionex down the drain in three days, when I've reached my limit.

Tessalon is nice. I take it, I don't cough all night, I wake up un-stoned and happy and well-rested in the morning, without all the crappy side effects of the narcotic stuff. 

Even after 'splaining this to the NP last night, even after pleading for something non-narcotic, I walked out with a scrip for...Tussionex. The NP told me firmly that she refuses refills for that particular drug, so don't even ask. And I wondered, again, why anybody would prescribe something potentially abuse-able with a wide range of fun side effects rather than prescribing something *else*, without the abuse potential and the side effects, even when asked.

I figure there's some huge, good reason for that. What is it, you guys?