Monday, January 28, 2008

Invitation to a 3 am pity party

Both this year and last year I got sick just after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Nasty viruses with Big Sharp Pointy Teeth. Last year it was intestinal. This year it is respiratory: sore throat, oozing eyes, sinus pressure, fever and pain. Lots of pain. Swallowing got so very painful that Emily had to take me to the ER on Sunday morning at 5 am. Verdict: no cure (there's never a cure for a cold) but thankfully they had a Nice Drug that reduced the pain in my throat to a more tolerable level. So now at least I can eat pureed soup and ice cream and drink water and herb tea.
And then I thought I was getting better, but of course, the virus isn't done with me yet. It's on it's next round, making it impossible to sleep by flooding my inner ear canals with some sort of horrid fluid gunk that makes me feel like I'm drowning from the inside out.

Oh how I HATE being sick, and one of the things I hate most about it is how awful I feel when I can't teach my classes. Because I'm an academic, I have so much freedom that an occasional sick day (on an off day) or a sick weekend can be handled with grace and no bother and no telephoning or arranging permissions or anything, but if I have to miss class... well, there really ARE no such things as sick days. I can cancel class, of course, but that is a dire, dire last resort. It is sometimes possible to get colleagues to cover for me, but that is a difficulty. I suppose the university must have something set up for professors who run into serious and protracted illnesses but to be honest I don't know what it is, and a "cold" just sounds so trivial, never mind that I'm in enough pain to send me scurrying for the hospital. Well, I cancelled Monday's class. Let's hope I don't have to cancel any more-- and let's hope I get better soon!

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