Category: health

Sick-a-palooza

Maybe it’s just me, and maybe it’s just confirmation bias, but I’m sitting at home sick again, and it seems like kids are much more sick than usual this fall. I know that with MC, it feels like she’s been home sick more often than she’s been at school.

I suppose this makes sense. Kids went for so long either isolated at home or masked at school, that now that they’re all back together and unmasked, germs are just having a field day with everything. But then again, that leads me to a larger topic: masking.

I had very much hoped one of the lasting effects of the pandemic would be that Americans would start to mask when they were sick. I’m not talking about masking all the time because there’s a chance you might be sick. I just mean that when you’re actively coughing, sneezing, have a sore throat, and/or blowing your nose all the time, that it would be courteous to have a mask on, just for the sake of not spreading those germs to the people around you.

Instead, we’ve somehow ended up more or less right back where we started. I see people around me actively sniffling and wiping their noses and sneezing, and they’re blissfully unmasked. So maybe we’re not quite back where we started, because back then, I didn’t think about those things. And I got sick.

I’ve been wearing a mask at home around my family while I’m sick. Why? Because I love my family, and this is miserable, and if wearing a mask will help them to not get this, then I’m all for that. But I think when I’m out in public, I’m either going to have to start getting used to just having a mask with me and putting it on when someone sick decides to start sharing my air space, or else I’ll just wear it as a kind of default setting if I’m going into areas that are particularly crowded. (Probably more during the colder months, as that’s generally when more illnesses are kicking around.)

Or maybe I’ve just become a germaphobe over the past two and a half years. What’s your take on all of this? If you’re sick, do you think it’s courteous to wear a mask, or do you not think it’s a big deal? If you’re around someone who’s sick, are you actively annoyed/disappointed if they’re not masked?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this DON’T GO TO SLEEP Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

COVID: Round Two

I missed last week’s weigh-in post, because COVID threw everything out the window. I was feeling sick enough that trying to diet on top of feeling that way just wasn’t something I was willing to subject myself to. Then, we went on a quick trip to NYC, which meant eating different food again. The good news is that this morning I was still 193.8, so I didn’t put on much weight over the two weeks.

Now that I’ve been through COVID twice, I have a bit more personal experience with how it affects me. The first time lasted two weeks, but in hindsight, I think that’s because I took Paxlovid. It helped me feel better while I was taking it, but once I was off it, COVID came right back. This time, I didn’t bother with it at all, since I’m low risk, double vaxxed, etc. I feel like I’ve gotten better much more quickly, though it’s admittedly a small sample size. If I were in a high risk group, I’d be much more inclined to take Paxlovid, since it’s real focus is helping you avoid serious symptoms.

This round of COVID all started with Denisa feeling a bit under the weather. She tested consistently, and each time it came back negative, so we all chalked it up to a late summer cold. MC had been sniffling as well, and so it was an easy assumption to make that Denisa had whatever MC had. (MC had also been testing negative.) Then Denisa took one last test, since she wasn’t better yet. Positive.

At that point, I think the damage had been done. Daniela was feeling sick, but she said she wasn’t that bad, and she was testing negative. She went to school masked, and even ran three miles for cross country practice. That evening, she tested positive. I had stayed home just in case, and I tested positive the same night.

For me, the sickness has gone pretty much the same path both times. It started with a scratchy throat, as if I had to clear it but couldn’t. From there, I had trouble sleeping, my muscles ached, and I had a bad headache. Then the fatigue kicked in. Overall, I felt really bad just one day this time, and not great for about two or three more days.

In case you’re wondering, these days if you get COVID, you’re required to quarantine 5 days from the day you first have symptoms. (It doesn’t matter when you test positive. Just when the symptoms started: that’s considered “day 0.”) After those 5 days, if you’ve been fever free for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving, you can be in public, masked. That stage lasts for another 5 days, at which point you’re good to go. So I have to wear a mask until Friday, but it seems like a sensible precaution to take.

(Surprisingly, we’ve gotten grief from some people about wearing masks in public. Apparently they assume we’re doing it because we’re scared? I don’t quite understand it. What possesses people to make them feel the need to criticize people they don’t know well, for doing something that doesn’t affect them in any real way?)

In any case, MC never tested positive, and Tomas didn’t ever feel sick or test positive at all. Quarantining slowly morphed over the stretch of time. First Denisa was in her room, completely alone. Then Daniela and I got it, so we took over the movie room, where Denisa could be unmasked, leaving Tomas and MC to roam the rest of the house. In many ways, I think they felt more like the ones quarantined by the end, just because they were outnumbered.

The good news is that we all seem to be past it now. Here’s hoping it stays that way.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this DON’T GO TO SLEEP Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything

PSA: Don’t Get COVID

I realize that (hopefully) most of you already know it’s generally a bad idea to get COVID, but I wanted to complain a bit more than I did back when I said I was on the mend. Going into my bout with the disease, I reasoned I would be generally fine even if I caught it. I’m under 50, not overweight, not diabetic, not asthmatic, double vaxxed and boosted. I expected it to be like a small cold, if I even had any symptoms at all.

I came down with the beginning traces of symptoms 3 weeks ago now. At the time, I didn’t think much of them. Then they got bad enough that I had to stay in bed for about three days. I also isolated from my family, because I didn’t want to give them this. But once my 5 days of total isolation was up, I assumed I was going to be better soon. And indeed, for a while it seemed like that was the case. I went back to work once I tested negative, and I even went to graduation.

However, after that flurry of activity, I realized I must have tried to do too much too soon. I was hit with a bucket of fatigue, a constant headache that ibuprofen didn’t do much to stop, and just generally felt poorly. I worked from home three days last week, using sick time to spend much of it in bed. Thursday, I finally felt up to taking some walks, which still left me tired, but didn’t seem to be totally terrible.

Then the cough kicked in. A steady, dry cough that was with me all the time. If I had a cough drop, it would go away, but other than that, I was hacking all the time. Even when I’d tried to fall asleep, I’d cough and wake myself up.

Today’s the first day that the cough has died down. But the fatigue is back. Not as bad as it was, so I’m hopeful I’m slowly spiraling up to feeling normal, but it’s still a pain.

I’m not saying this to say my life has been crushed by COVID. I’m still counting myself as having had a positive outcome with it. No hospitalization. No loss of taste or smell. But plenty of people keep dismissing the disease as no big deal. I’ve had the flu before. It didn’t knock me out this much, and I recovered much more quickly. There have been a million deaths in the US in two years. If someone had raised that number back in March of 2020, they’d have been horrified. (If you want to be depressed, check out the waybackmachine for pretty much any news organization you like back in March 2020. I’d forgotten there was a time when people were hoping we’d be over this by Easter 2020 . . .)

Anyway. I’ll get off my soapbox before I really get started. I just wanted to put my experience out there. I’m glad many people are symptom free or have very mild symptoms. I had medium symptoms, which made me start to seriously think what having high or extreme symptoms would be like.

No thanks.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

Back in the Saddle

I’m back at work today! Normally, this wouldn’t be anything approaching noteworthy, but it’s been a good week and a half since I could write that sentence, so we’re taking it as a win. What’s on the agenda today? Well, I made a slew of t-shirts in the Makerspace, something that we had thought would be pretty straightforward, but which ended up being anything but. These are some “Class of 2022” shirts designed by a student, and they’re going to be sold in the bookstore. That was the plan, at least. But graduation is Saturday. Once that day comes and goes, the class of 2022 isn’t really going to be here much anymore, which means there probably won’t be that much call for t-shirts with that year on them.

Naturally, the vinyl printer we use to print the shirts decided now was the time to start randomly spurting out ink left and right. And the graphic we were going to use somehow got it into its head that it would be really cool if it had some invisible shapes in it that made cutting the patterns out more difficult than anticipated . . .

The good news is I got it done, and the t-shirts are over at the bookstore even as we speak.

Other than that, today’s a bunch of catching up and catching my breath. I’m feeling generally okay now. Still a bit more easily tired, though I tend to think that’s from me just sitting around in my bedroom for a week straight, as opposed to any real COVID symptoms lingering around. Either which way, it’s lovely to be out of the house again and back at it.

And that’s all I have time for today when it comes to posting. Happy Thursday, all!

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

A Message from Quarantine

If you were following along on Facebook at all, you’ll know that I tested for COVID the second I got home from Texas, because safety. You’ll also know that I tested positive. Since that test (on Thursday at 6pm), I have been in my bedroom practically the whole time. I go outside now and then to get some sunlight and to walk around some in an effort to keep my legs from just completely wasting away, but when it comes to being inside, it’s one room, that’s it.

Since this is our family’s first bout with COVID, we didn’t know a whole lot about how long to isolate. Ironically, two other friends of mine caught it at practically the same time (none of us in the same state). So I knew from conversations with them and others that I was to isolate until 5 days after the first day of symptoms, and then wear a mask when I was out in public if I was symptom free. (If you’re not symptom free, no ending isolation for you!)

And . . . I’m still not symptom free. I’m also not completely sure when symptoms started, since I was on the road and had slept poorly at the hotel. So I’m just being cautious all around. That said, I will say that being stuck here by myself for what’s now my fifth day is . . . less than fun. I hadn’t seen my family since last Monday when I left, and now here I am more than a week later with no real contact with them other than when I’m feeling up for a chat outside. (We have been zooming during dinner and at other times, but it’s not really the same thing.) That said, I really don’t want to be the reason anyone in my family gets this. So they’re all staying in a different wing of the house, and we’re keeping a few empty rooms between us as a buffer zone.

The good news is that my symptoms are now down to minor. I’ve got a stuffy nose, a headache, a sore throat when I swallow, and I’m tired. For a while, I had a sore throat bad enough to wake me up multiple times a night, but a non-stop running nose and muscle aches. I’ve been taking Paxlovid since Friday, and I’m glad I did, since it’s taken a long time to recover as-is. (Noting that I realize some people take even longer, or don’t recover at all. I’m grateful this isn’t worse.)

I imagine I’ll still be stuck here tomorrow, but if the symptoms are mostly gone, I might begin venturing outside more, and then head back to work . . . Thursday? Here’s hoping. In the meantime, I’ve watched a slew of movies and an entire television series. I’ve played many digital games, and today and yesterday I’m finally getting back into work items. I think I’ll be able to start writing again today as well. For a while there, I just wasn’t up to complex thought.

Anyway. Thanks for all your well wishes and concern. I’m hanging in there, and looking forward to being back in the full swing of things soon.

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Like what you’ve read? Please consider supporting me on Patreon. Thanks to all my Patrons who support me! It only takes a minute or two, and then it’s automatic from there on out. I’ve posted the entirety of my book ICHABOD in installments, and I’m now putting up chapters from PAWN OF THE DEAD, another of my unreleased books. Where else are you going to get the undead and muppets all in the same YA package? Check it out.

If you’d rather not sign up for Patreon, you can also support the site by clicking this PERFECT PLACE TO DIE Amazon link. It will take you to Amazon, where you can buy my books or anything else. During that visit, a portion of your purchase will go to me. It won’t cost you anything extra.

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