It’s been awhile since I’ve had any kind of lingering cold or cold-like illness. Usually they blast in, knock me down for a few days, then within the week I’m pretty much back to normal.
This time I am stuck halfway between still sick and normal, with a congested chest and nagging cough persisting two weeks later.
I do not like it. I’m trying to think of a way to say this is an observation and not a complaint, but really, it’s a complaint.
But only a mild one. I can smell and taste more than I could two days ago, so progress is being made. I do have one small wish to stay illness-free for the rest of the summer, at least. I’ll drink Vitamin C-fortified drinks and whatever else it takes. I’ll eat healthy snacks–before dinner, instead of after. Honest! Pretty honest, anyway.
Mostly I just want this cough to go away. It’s been a nice visit, but it’s time for you to continue your travels somewhere far away from me.
I am fighting off the last of the dregs of this current nasty ol’ cold. Fewer people are telling me I sound terrible, the coughing is less frequent and the strength of the hacking diminishes each day.
The weekend is going to be nice and warm and I was looking forward to just taking it in and doing nothing special. You know, relaxing.
Last night while sitting at the computer (as I am now as I type this) I marveled over how the muscle I pulled (again) in my lower back was already back to not being sore. Hooray. A short time later I felt an odd sort of pain in my upper right leg. I wondered if it might be connected. Then I stopped wondering and started going through various levels of agony as pain collected in my right butt cheek the way lint collects in a pocket. Except with more agony.
The pain started shooting down my leg. Sitting started to hurt. I stood. Standing started to hurt. I walked and hobbled instead. When I coughed it hurt. It hurt no matter what. Something was very wrong. I groused vocally about it. By rights, I should have moved my Complaint Free World bracelet back and forth between my wrists half a dozen times.
I found a position in bed in which I could lay and not cause the leg to send shards of pain all over. I slept…surprisingly well.
When I woke up, I was back to hobbling, but more movement seemed to help and eventually the pain become more of a nagging nuisance and I quickly adapted to not doing the things that caused the pain. Pavlov would have been proud. And then given me a biscuit.
I went to the nearby medical clinic to see if this was a pinched nerve and the adorable young doctor–who seemed to think we had met before (we had not)–confirmed that seemed likely. He recommended I get some physio, give it about a week to feel better, and gave me no medication. He implied if it was not better I could come back in a week and he’d give me something. When I came home I took a couple Alleve. I’m not sure if they made a difference, but I’m happy to indulge the placebo effect.
And so even as I wrap up a week of nigh-endless coughing, sneezing and feeling yucko, I now have an additional pain which is a literal pain in the butt. Well, butt cheek. As it is, I can live with it, and it has confirmed that my resolution to stretch this year was the correct one. Being limber and flexible makes pulling muscles randomly less likely. And look, it’s already the fifth month of the year and the only stretching I’ve done is to grab some more Goldfish crackers.
I shall work to correct this, starting on the weekend (because I know me, and I never start anything on a Friday).
Here’s to a month–heck, even a week–of no new issues plaguing my apparently fragile, sensitive body.
Today I returned to work, not 100%, but close enough—like in horse shoes and hand grenades—to count.
Without exception, every time I have opened my mouth, the response has been, “You sound awful.” Which, to be fair, is accurate. I go on to assure everyone that I feel better than I sound.
Actually, there was one exception to this. One person said I sounded “different.” She was being kind.
And I find if I talk for more than a few seconds, my voice starts to give out. It’s like my mouth and vocal cords get too tired to continue. This forces me to choose my words carefully. Or use nods and other facial gestures to convey looks that carry a thousand words, or at least enough to leave the other person satisfied or confused enough to give up and go away. Given how I feel, I’m okay right now with either result.
Thus begins the slow, steady end of whatever horrible bug I caught. I have coughed and sneezed enough in the last week to last the next 10 years. No, 20 years. No, forever. Really, it was kind of ridiculous.
Today I have a little more energy, am coughing less, but still have almost no sense of smell or taste, plus my ears are plugged. Still, going for minutes at a time without coughing so hard the muscles in my abdomen ache is the stuff of luxury. How I have missed having a normal-acting body the past seven days.
I’ll never take this normal-acting body for granted again, unless I go long enough before getting sick again to forget how miserable it’s been this time.
And to end on an even more positive note, it’s sunny and warm out and somewhere out there is a cookie with my name on it.
Yesterday was characterized by the delightful experience of coughing so hard that several times I nearly induced my gag reflex.
Today I was hoping I had hit peak cough, and the road to recovery would open before me, especially since I was going to see Avengers: Endgame in the afternoon and one can only avoid spoilers for so long and still stay connected to the internet.
Alas, it was not to be.
Instead, I coughed even more, though mercifully with less force than yesterday, but it was enough to keep me home. Over the course of the day my sinuses also plugged up and yet I also developed a runny nose. I did not buy more NyQuil as I didn’t expect to need it and tonight I have none. I will suffer and build character instead.
Also, the previous paragraph somehow started and ended with the word “instead,” which is a little weird and unintentional.
I did feel strangely warm earlier, though I didn’t feel hot. Thanks to last year’s preparation, I now have a thermometer for just such occasions and took my temperature. It was perfectly normal, as expected. So that was good, I suppose.
I’ll be toodling off to bed soon and hoping that tomorrow will be the beginning of my swift recovery, but I have my doubts. I’m going to put the doubts in an airtight tub to keep them fresh. I’m not sure if that means they will thrive or die.
I guess I’ll know tomorrow. For now, attempts at sleep.
The chance of doom is minimal, but you never know.
Today the sun has departed and the clouds have rolled in. My mind is similarly clouded as I question the effectiveness of the so-called “extra strength” cough medicine I took this morning that has not particularly stopped me from coughing. Maybe it’s a perspective thing. If I hadn’t taken the cough medicine, I would be on the floor, in endless coughing spasms, my sides sore, feeling worn out from the effort. In that light, the cough medicine is actually working pretty good.
Meanwhile, this flu or whatever it is has reached the annoying stage. I try to remain positive and think how much better I’ll feel when it’s moved along, but right now a nap would be seriously nice. Just curl up on the cold tile floor, right here. I don’t need carpeting. Or a pillow. I’m surprised I’m not napping right now, in this chair, as I type.
Changing gears, I looked through my blog a few days ago semi-randomly. I do this from time to time, usually starting out by searching for something specific, and ending down the rabbit hole that can keep me checking YouTube videos for hours when I totally didn’t mean to do that.
One of the things I re-discovered is how in-depth some of the writing prompts I worked on were. There are complete stories, albeit short ones, on this very blog. I thought to myself, “Neat!” and “I should do more of this.”
So starting tomorrow, when I am hopefully feeling a bit better, I am going to tackle a prompt whenever I have nothing else to write about. Get the ol’ creative juices going again. Maybe this time it will stick. Stranger things–such as the election of Trump–have happened.
This post brought to you by Day 3 of the flu or convincingly flu-like.
It’s sunny and pleasant out and Alexa just told me there are only 52 days until summer and I can put on my bikini again*.
I am also home because I have the flu or something flu-like. It’s funny how there’s no real way to know for sure. Look it up, everything has the same symptoms. But I have NyQuil and that’s all that matters. And also a small bottle of Robitussin extra strength cough syrup in case the cough starts up again (it’s been mostly fine today). I deliberately bought a small bottle because there is no way to go through an entire normal-sized bottle of cough medicine before it expires. I know this from the two bottles of cough medicine in our medicine cabinet that expired in 2015. If you cough long enough to use a full bottle before it expires, you probably have some fatal cough-related illness.
So on the one hand, hooray for May and getting another day closer to summer, the best season ever made, but boo to starting the month with the flu or something flu-like. I want to run through fields of tall grass, not feel like I’m incubating a baby alien in my chest. I want to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, not constantly fight the urge to nap wherever I happen to be. But time heals all wounds (well, most of them) and it works decently for the flu, too. I have my Vitamin C and my NyQuil, I have soup and a bed ready to accommodate napping with no notice, so it could be worse.
NOTE: I am not suggesting that I would like to be worse as a comparison. Repeat, DO NOT WANT.
I did indulge slightly and I will share here to help keep myself from sinning again:
I bought and ate an apple strudel. They come in packages of six, so there are five more to tempt me (that’s 1440 calories for all six). I sometimes do this when I am unwell, using the logic that I am not unwell often enough for the occasional indulgence to put me on a course to being the largest guy ever who is 5’10¾” tall. So far this has held true. Also, the apple strudel was way sweeter than expected. It was almost kind of gross.
I still want another one. But one per day, that’s the rule.
Here’s to a warm, sunny month, a speedy recovery, some weight loss, better control over snacking (ignore everything I wrote above about apple strudel) and more running, walking and all that good stuff.
Another month, another rounding error in weight loss. And this time it was a mere fluke that turned a gain into a loss at the last minute.
As I write this, I am fighting the flu or some flu-like virus. I called in sick and slept until noon. I am not feeling an overabundance of energy. I weighed myself at around 10 a.m., where I’d normally weight myself around 5:30 a.m. on a work day. The later weigh-ins almost always result in me weighing less.
Yesterday I was at 169.2 pounds. That would be up 1.2 pounds for the month.
But today, weighing myself later, I was at 167.6 pounds, down 0.5 pounds instead.
I remained donut-free for the month. I began running, if not more, than at least more regularly. These things were good.
But I did not resume walking as much, even with nice weather. That was bad. And I did not resist the siren song of post-dinner snacking all that often. This was worse.
I am going to vow to stay on the downward trend, however lucky I got to be down in April. But I suspect I won’t get another last-minute save again.
For the year to date I’ve gone from 167.5 to 167.6 pounds, which is about as close as you can get to unchanged as possible. If I was at my ideal weight now, I would be in an excellent position to maintain that weight. Alas.
Also my total body fat was up slightly, which is depressing, slightly.
April 1: 168.1 pounds April 30: 167.6 pounds (down 0.5 pounds)
Year to date: From 167.5 to 167.6 pounds (up 0.1 pounds)
And the body fat:
March 1: 19.7% (33.1 pounds of fat) April 30: 20% (33.6 pounds of fat) (up 0.5 pounds)
I use MyFitnessPal to track what I eat (today is the 2,280th day in a row I’ve logged in, in fact) and the phone app allows you to scan the bar codes of packaged food, to conveniently add them to your list of foods consumed.
Tonight we had a Delissio three meat frozen pizza for dinner. This is how MFP scanned it:
I am down a measly 0.7 pounds. To put that into perspective, this morning when I weighed myself, I was down one pound vs. yesterday.
But down is better than up, so I am modestly pleased that my weight loss was actual loss this month, regardless of how slight it was.
Body fat was virtually unchanged, amounting to a rounding error, though according to Fitbit this still puts me in the “normal” range. I think that range may have been skewed by a half-century of Big Macs and other readily available fast food.
Let me make a bolder prediction for April: As long as I keep running, walking and behaving after dinner, I’ll see more actual weight loss, closer to 2-3 pounds for the month rather than March’s blip.
Also, I have remained donut-free
And now, the stats:
March 1: 168 pounds March 31: 167.3 pounds (down 0.7 pounds)
Year to date: From 167.5 to 167.3 pounds (down 0.2 pounds)
And the body fat:
March 1: 19.6% (33 pounds of fat) March 31: 19.7% (32.9 pounds of fat) (down 0.1 pounds)
I have a decent beginner’s guide to meditation and the only reason I haven’t read through it is because the book strongly encourages you to read and then immediately do each exercise on consecutive days (for maximum effect), and I wanted to wait until I had a block of time where I could commit to doing that without the possibility of interruption.
Which naturally turned into an excuse to keep putting it off because I never have time when secretly I do and I am either lazy, afraid or some combination of both. Lazfraid. Afraizy.
So tomorrow I start with the first exercise. I successfully trained myself to be a long distance runner after not running for 20+ years. Hopefully I can manage sitting still and not thinking.
Well, poop. Or fat, to be more precise. If February ended yesterday I would have been down for the month. Alas, it did not and my slight overindulgence yesterday resulted in SWI (Sudden Weight Increase). I was up a little less than a pound for the month, but in my defense, 0.8 pounds is a modest increase. My weight regularly shifts up and down by that amount on a nearly daily basis.
But it still means I was essentially treading water (or retaining it) for the shortened month, and the small increase of body fat was not encouraging.
I am starting to exercise more, something I intend to ramp up starting next week, assuming we are free of blizzards for the last few weeks of winter. And I’m getting better at enforcing my “no snacks after dinner” rule by drinking tea and subsequently running to the bathroom a lot.
I also remain donut-free.
For the year so far I am only up 0.4 pounds and there’s an excellent chance that could be wiped out when I step on the scale tomorrow. So while things are not moving as quickly as they could be, I still feel I am headed in the same less-fat direction.
As always, the stats:
February 1: 167.1 pounds February 28: 167.9 pounds (up 0.8 pounds)
Year to date: From 167.5 to 167.9 pounds (up 0.4 pounds)
And the body fat:
February 1: 19.6% (32.8 pounds of fat) February 28: 19.7% (33.1 pounds of fat) (up 0.3 pounds)
The first month of 2019 has passed. Let’s see how the ol’ resolutions are doing. Remember, I have 11 more months to make “course corrections” in the event of resolution recidivism.
Drop to 150 pounds. Realistically, I was not going to drop 17+ pounds in a month. I did drop 0.2 pounds, though. At that rate I will hit 150 by 2026. I may need to re-examine my current diet.
Write something every day. I am 100% on this so far, though some days have been a struggle. I don’t have any momentum yet, but feel I am on the verge, so I expect better in February.
Run at least once per week. 50% on this, so room for improvement. But I am running!
Read at least 52 books. I’m close to finishing my third book, so a bit behind. On the other hand, I went an entire week without reading, so I handicapped myself.
Eat better. Definite improvements here, especially with evening snacking. More improvements to come.
Learn and practice meditation. I have not started this yet. I kind of feel like I need to get a few other things sorted first, but maybe I’m just stalling.
Stretch. I finished reading a book on stretching, but have yet to stretch. Some preliminary “stretching” left me mildly alarmed at how incredibly inflexible I am.
Redo the Complaint Free World 21-day challenge. I haven’t formally restarted the challenge, but I am being a lot more mindful about saying negative things to others. I want to make myself and things around me better, and I know that bellyaching–though satisfying–is not the way to do it.
Overall a mixed bag, but nothing I would consider an outright failure at this point. I am cautiously encouraged.