athelind: (Default)

Last week, a flare-up in joint pain heralded another bout of Serial Flu, that one-symptom-at-a-time never-really-sick variation of influenza that hits me now and then. Body aches most of last week; congestion and post-nasal drip over the weekend; digestive upset on Monday, after work. As usual, I never felt bad enough to really consider myself sick, and, aside from a general air of lingering blah, I thought I was pretty much done with it.

This evening, I've got the Extreme Tiredness symptom, along with a slight resurgence of stuffiness, and a mild, general achiness that's not quite the same as the Crippling Arthritic Agony of last week. It's not done with me yet.

I had my flu shot this year (though not my H1N1, yet); in years past, if I had my immunization, "serial flu" would almost never progress to full-on flu.

I doubt I'm contagious; I'm not really in virus-spreading sneeze/sniffle mode. I don't really feel sick, honestly, just run down. [ profile] rikoshi and [ profile] tealfox, I'll give you a heads up if I'm not fit to share breathing space with the Saga group on Saturday. I should be good, though.

athelind: (Default)
Ever feel rotten, non-specifically?

About an hour before the end of my shift today, I realized that I felt tired, without actually being tired. I felt like I hurt all over, without the actual hurting part.

A couple of hours ago, I took a couple of naproxene. The general, overwhelming weariness is gone now... replaced by Actual Aching.

This might just be my chronic arthritis sneaking up on me. It's been chilly and wet for a couple of weeks, now. The fact that the most intense locus of acute pain is in the ball of my left big toe, which is one of the few places that I've had an actual medical diagnosis of arthritis, lends some support to this hypothesis.

On the other claw, it might be the opening volley of yet another bout with the fershlugginer flu.

I'm hoping the former. I've danced enough with Lady Influenza this season. People are starting to talk.

I'm still goin' to see Watchmen tomorrow morning.

athelind: (Default)
That last post reminded me that we had an exceptionally long Fire season last year, lasting through most of the "Summer" and into early "Autumn". For months, the air in the Bay Area ranged from Unusually Smoggy to Choked With Smoke, and nearly everyone was coughing and dealing with sinus headaches -- even those who don't normally suffer allergies. Southern California, I understand, was as bad or worse.

Now, this "Winter", we've had both a stubborn strain of influenza and an exceptionally persistant strain of the common cold running around. The cold virus is one of those that hits, passes through the infectious sneezing-and-runny-nose phase fairly quickly... and then leaves you with lingering congestion and coughing up gobs of phlegm for weeks.

The 2007 strains were the classic "24-hour virus" -- sneeze sneeze sneeze, blow nose blow nose, wake up the next day fine. That was kind of a new experience for me.

It's tempting to draw a correlation between the constant respiratory irritation of the Fire season, and the continued, long-lasting respiratory irritation of this year's Cold season. Maybe weeks of smoke left our systems more sensitive to this year's virus.

The only hitch in that hypothesis is that, if the reports I'm hearing are correct, the Nasty Clingy Cold That Won't Go Away is spread across North America this year, not just the Golden State.

...smoke-induced viral mutation followed by transportation-mediated infection?
athelind: (Default)
The mild case of the flu that I've been fighting since Tuesday has transmogrified into a day of Coughing Up Globs of Unpleasantness, Mental Incoherence*, and General Misery.

Semantically, I have discovered that the word "phlegm" is an ideal expletive. While it refers to a bodily secretion, it is not technically scatological. It manages to simultaneously avoid both the social taboos and the banality of more traditional vulgarities, eschewing the conventional form of "shock value" in favor of a genuine, visceral revulsion. When you utter "phlegm" as an expletive, the listener's mind immediately clicks onto the word's meaning.

The sound of the word is deeply evocative of its meaning, to the point of onomatopoeia. The dictionary insists that it's simply pronounced [flěm], but, personally, I tend to give "ph" a slightly more plosive emphasis than "f", and that "g" isn't so much "silent" as subliminal. [flěm] simply isn't as gutteral. With the proper pronunciation and emphasis, uttering "phlegm" at an irritating or offensive situation should clearly convey the impression that you are suppressing the impulse to clear your throat and spit.

It is my fervent** hope that, upon reading this, others will simply be too revolted to adopt this usage; if it were to enter common usage, it would soon lose the qualities that make it so effective an expression of displeasure, becoming as conventional as any of Carlin's Seven Words.

*Yes, this is how I communicate when I'm "incoherent". The little words go first, leaving a cascade of polysyllabic babbling that is only superficially erudite.
**in its literal meaning of "fevered"; rest assured that I would not wax so eloquently about such a topic were I, in fact, in my right mind.
***I suppose you could say that I'm "operating under the influenz-a".
****Or perhaps I'm merely a hack writer.

athelind: (Default)
When I have a cold, nothing makes me feel quite so good as a visit from my favorite vixen: )
athelind: (Default)
Yes, this is following all the patterns of "Serial Flu": aches, pains, tiredness, runny nose -- just not all at once. Today is starting off with the sinus pressure/headache, which, if this follows the same pattern as last time, means I might spend the afternoon with Unhappy Stomach.

<tmi>Oop, I think I'm getting confirmation on that last already.</tmi>

Luckily, I have a stack of library books just waiting for some Quality Reading Room time.

I already notified my manager at Legends that I might be sick today -- I will almost certainly confirm that around noon.


athelind: (Default)
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control:

Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:
  • Fever (usually high)
  • Headache
  • Tiredness (can be extreme)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults)

Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms.

Ever get mild versions of these symptoms, one or two at a time, over several days instead of all at once? One day, you've got the body aches; another day, the gurgling stomach; a third day, you've got a mild sore throat -- but not all at once, and, other than those specific symptoms, you feel okay.

I call that Serial Flu.

And that's how I've spent the last three days or so. Body aches and slight sore throat on Wednesday; on Thursday, I woke up with a raging headache, and spent the afternoon with a gurgling stomach; today, I've got sinus pressure and more stomach joy. I'm not quite sick enough to really feel sick, but just crappy enough that I don't feel well.

At least I missed out on Con Crud!

It usually hits in years that I've had a flu shot, which makes me suspect that I would have been slammed pretty hard without the shot.

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