athelind: (Default)
I am ... off, this morning. I don't know if I'm still fighting off the vestiges (or a relapse) of last week's cold, or simply reeling from the aftermath of a night full of stress-anxiety dreams. I've got that fuzzy, light-headed feeling, so it's entirely possible that the former induced the latter, and the answer is "all of the above".

St. Paddy's or not, I probably shouldn't have had that beer last night.

The dreams ran through the night, I think, or at least through the last bit of it, but the real roller coaster hit after I woke up, looked at the clock, thought, "Oh, hey, time to get up" -- and promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. That hypnopompic state seems to be kind of a sweet spot for memorable dreams for me -- to my dismay, this morning.

This one combined major adrenaline-stressors ("Those cars are going the wrong way -- in my lane!!") with minor irritations in such a way that every time I came close to waking, I backed off and retreated back into sleep, because I was somehow associating all that anxiety with the waking world.

This is not to say that I don't have some cause for anxiety in my waking life these days, but when I finally did surface, I wasn't reacting to any of that. I was disoriented and shaken, but that was due to the rapid-fired combination of narrowly-averted accidents, police encounters, car trouble, bicycle problems, and gods-know-what-else that were bouncing around my brain.

Sublimation? Maybe.

More probably, given my current mental state, it's the aftermath of that cold.

I think I may start setting my alarm in the mornings -- something I haven't bothered doing much since moving to the evening shift at the game store almost a year ago. Most people find "sleeping in" to be a luxury, but I've always been the sort who likes to get up and dive right into the day -- ideally, because I have something structured to do and get out of the way. When I do that (as I did on Sunday), I'm in great shape. Rolling over and catching more ZZZs does nothing good for me -- it just makes it harder to get moving, and -- frankly, it underscores the lack of focus, direction and purpose in my current existence.

Which just makes it harder to overcome that lack.

Besides, I don't want to have to fight with the Hypnopomp anymore.


athelind: (Default)
It's a little late at this stage, but just to clarify matters:

Despite previous reports to the contrary, both [livejournal.com profile] quelonzia and I will be attending Further Confusion this year.

Quel will be there on Saturday; I will be there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with possible cameos on Thursday night and Monday morning.

Caution: Due to circumstances that should be familiar to anyone who reads this journal regularly, my moods will be erratic. I may be cheerful and energetic; I may be quiet and wistful, I may be irritable and flat-out bitey. I may be all of these things in rapid succession.

I intend to be cliquish. There are a lot of good friends that I only ever see at FC, and my main reason for going this year is to see them.

Warning:
When approaching the dragon, do not initiate hugs. If the dragon is huggable, he will initiate.

Do not skritch the dragon.


Oh, and this does seem to be allergies, after all. I am not Patient Zero!
athelind: (Default)
Two days before the con, I have the sniffles, and it's clear that this isn't just an allergy attack.

Bed rest. Fluids. OTC medicine. I should be okay by the weekend.


athelind: (Default)
This is quite possibly the nastiest cold-and-flu season of my entire life.

Not only are there nasty, stubborn strains running around, but I'm workin' retail, and getting hit with them all.

Yes, I have another bleeping cold. It started less than a week after I finally cleared up after the last one.

Thankfully, this appears to be a different strain than the last: it's much more runny-nose and much less gummy-cough. So far, anyway.

I swear, after this cold season, I'm gonna have as many words for phlegm as Hawaiians have for lava.
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)
Based on empirical evidence, it seems that 355 ml of Guinness Extra Stout is a better cough suppressant than the combination of 10 mg Dextromethophan Hydrobromide and 200 mg Benzonatate (generic for "Tessalon").

Further research is required.


On a related note, has anyone else ever noticed that many pharmaceutical names sound like characters from fantasy or science fiction? Didn't the 6th Doctor fight the "Lovaza" on the planet "Tessalon"? Wasn't "Fioranol" the cousin of Legolas?
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.

Blaaaaah.

athelind: (Default)
Your Obedient Serpent appears to be showing the first symptoms of a cold or sinus infection.

In the past, a day or three before any overt physical symptoms have appeared, Your Obedient Serpent has found intelligent thought to become increasingly difficult, and attempts to communicate coherently even more so.

At the very least, this is a severe allergy attack, which can also bring about similar cognitive dysfunction.

Your Obedient Serpent formally apologizes for his recent bouts of Teh Stupid.


athelind: (Default)
I felt myself getting sick on Tuesday, was pretty miserable on Wednesday, and this morning, I'm a bit dehydrated -- but I'm over it. I'm coughing up some stuff, but it's what I call "battlefield brass" -- the remnants of the struggle between my immune system and the microbiological invaders.

I don't do this. I don't get the "24-hour bug". I've never quite understood it when people expect me to be All Better the next day -- for me, a "cold" sticks around for a week, on the rare occasions when it doesn't give way to something more severe.

This is the second time in the last six months that I've had a "24-hour bug" (really more like 48, if you count the first onset of "is that really a symptom?"). I've had nothing more severe than that in that time -- knock on wood.

I'm running through the variables, and I'm startled to realize that it may be associated with my change in eating habits back in May.

Good golly, eating better just might make you healthier, in a tangible, noticable, everyday sense.
athelind: (Default)
It's never fun to be sick.

It's never fun to be sick around the holidaze.

When you buy tickets on Monday for a Thursday night showing of Blade Runner: The Final Cut (the last night it will be seen on the big screen) and realize mid-Tuesday that you've got a sore throat that rips into full glory on Wednesday ... that just purely sucks.

I don't care if I turn out to have friggin' Ebola -- I'm not missing that movie tomorrow night.

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