Monday, December 20, 2004

The Week of Hell - Epilogue

As I wrote at great and haphazard length, my December - or at least the first half of it - pretty much sucked across the board. Between a nightmare of a budget season, a head cold, and trying to fight off jury duty, I just was not a happy camper.

Then, last week, things finally started breaking back my way. My cold passed through my system, the budget finally got done, and while I had to go through the jury selection process, I escaped assignment in rather amusing fashion. This was crucial for this past weekend, when my dad was scheduled to come over for a visit that included his grandkids' school >>>***CHRISTMAS***<<< program and their Sunday School equivalent at our church yesterday. So the decks were all cleared.

Then, Friday morning, I awoke with not just a relapse of the cold I had just shed, but a version unimaginably worse than its predecessor. It was the maximum blitz of head/chest colds. My sinuses swelled to brain-crushing proportions and simultaneously became slightly more inflamed than if I'd snorted a bottle of Ronsin lighter fluid. My eyes were watering like a rainbird. My head was more stuffed with mucus than plaque in Ted Kennedy's aorta, yet I couldn't blow out so much as a single booger, and every attempt made my face feel as if it was going to burst right off the front of my skull. And garnishing it all was an endless racking dry cough that yielded not the slightest speck of phlegm even as my lungs threatened to make an impromptu appearance, and very effectively exacerbated all the other aforementioned symptoms.

My focus went from having a good time with my dad to trying desperately to keep from infecting him. Which, of course, meant very little conversation, if for no other reason than to try and keep my bronchial tubes from turning inside out.

And, as an added bonus, on Saturday my daughter came down with the flu, including a 103-degree temperature.

Fortunately my condition was sufficiently improved by yesterday to at least make an effort at salvaging the weekend (which included an entertaining newspaper clipping from eighteen years ago that I'm going to make use of in some fashion), but it sure made the gains of last week pyrrhic ones.

Now we have to decide if we're going to traverse the entire state of Ukrainington to spend Christmas with my in-laws, or if just my wife and the kids will go, or if we all stay home. By that time, of course, my son's fever will probably have snapped, but Mrs. HardStarboard will have at least a lungful of fluid, and I'll probably have my next sore throat.

Maybe we can hire an ambulance to take us to Palouse....