At least it wasn’t COVID

I’m back to work again after having about the worst case of the flu I’ve ever encountered.

It all started the Thursday before last, I was feeling pretty blech upon coming home from work, I remember going to bed earlier than usual, but ended up sleeping almost 16 hours into the next day. Not all at once, mind you. I woke up after a full eight hours and just felt tired, and my body was achy. I mean, all over achy. I got up but didn’t stay up very long. Went back to bed and slept for another eight hours. Of course this sort of screwed up my sleep/eat/up schedule for the next workday, but I didn’t end up eating all that much anyway. My wife asked me what I wanted for dinner and after thinking about it, I said “waffles”.  It’s quick, easy and I hadn’t had them for a while.   Made the batter, got out the iron, and bing bam boom had them done in pretty short order.  Now normally I can polish off two and be back for more, but that evening, I barely finished one.  For whatever reason, I just wasn’t hungry.

At this point, my wife was concerned, but not so much that she thought I ought to call off of work for the next day.  Which for me is a huge undertaking.  I just don’t do that normally.  I’ve gone to work with a broken toe before.  Bad cold, feeling like death warmed over, doesn’t usually matter.  The only things up to now that have kept me from work are my gallbladder surgery, kidney stones, and one hellacious tooth abscess.

I went to bed early and slept nearly nine hours.  Got up for work and didn’t feel well at all.  I certainly had more than one thought of “I really, really don’t want to go to work today.” but I couldn’t bring myself to call the store and beg off.  It’s just not in my nature.  Even writing this, after going through what I did, if I had the same symptoms tomorrow morning, I’d hesitate before picking up the phone.  How weird is that?  I have co-workers that don’t agonize about calling off from work, they just do it and take the day.

Upon arriving to work, I knew it was a mistake having gone.  I tried, but after 30 minutes I knew I had to go back home.  Which to me felt like a failure.  But I could barely stay awake, let alone put in a full day of hard work.  I told my supervisor, who, to his credit said what he always does when someone needs to go home for a medical issue “Do what you need to do for yourself.”  That’s it.  I went home and went back to bed.  I would have called my Dr. for an appointment, but his office isn’t open on weekends.  I didn’t feel it was so dire that a trip to the ER was necessary, or even Urgent Care.  I figured more sleep would do the trick, even though it hadn’t up to that point.

Sleep didn’t work, except I was quickly becoming slept out.  By Saturday evening, I was trying to justify going to work again.  My wife was convinced that calling in was going to be the best option, and a good friend of mine was attempting to do the same when it came right down to it.  I had a feeling if I called in, I was going to get the store manager, who wouldn’t be very understanding when it came to me asking for Sunday off.  Of course, I was spot on.  When I called the store and talked to him at 9:30, first he blew me off “Oh, come on…” and then when I attempted to explain, he muttered “Whatever” and hung up on me.  Wonderful.  Not only was I feeling physically ill, now I was feeling like a failure for calling in.  That feeling didn’t go away for a while.

Sunday was a blur for the most part.  Starting Saturday night, I was taking my vitals, beginning to think I might have COVID.  I was wearing a mask around the house, trying to be circumspect around my wife and my cat, hoping that I wasn’t inadvertently infecting them with my very presence.  Too, I wasn’t eating all that much, but I was drinking copious amounts of water, but I was cognizant that I was losing weight as well.  Over the course of the weekend, I dropped ten pounds (4.5 kg).  My vitals for the most part were normal, the only thing that was a little off was my pulse, which varied from 90-120 bpm.  I think that was more due to nervousness and dread, but by Monday that came down.  I was checking and re-checking the CDC and Mayo Clinic websites, looking for COVID symptoms and ticking off the ones I had (fatigue, body aches, dry cough) and the ones I didn’t (loss of taste or smell primarily).

My plan at this point was to call my Dr. on Monday for an appointment and get the answers I needed.  Seeing as I called off on Sunday, and went home early on Saturday, it was possible that I required a Dr’s note to return to work on Tuesday.  It just so happened that I had Monday scheduled off as we were having a washing machine delivered.

I called the Dr’s office in the morning and got an afternoon appointment.  When I asked the nurse if I needed to tell her why I needed the appointment, she said no, I could tell the doctor when I arrived.  A little odd, since usually they ask.  In preparation, I sat down at my computer and typed out a synopsis of everything that had happened over the weekend so that he had a full accounting and I wouldn’t forget anything.  Came in handy later on, I think.

At the Dr’s, I gave him the synopsis, he read it and then gave me a cursory exam, along with weighing me (confirmed that I had lost 20 lbs since the last time he saw me in May) and quizzing me about any other symptoms I might have forgotten.  When he finished, he said he wasn’t positive, but he was pretty sure I had the flu.  Even so, without my prompting, he gave me one of the ‘quickie’ COVID tests, the nasal swab ones that only take about 10 minutes to determine positive or negative.  I had heard second-hand that the swab was the worst part of it, in that some people have reported that they ‘felt’ the swab tickle their amygdala when it was shoved up their nose.  This wasn’t like that.  It was a quick swabbing of both nostrils, and then in the swab went to its little home to percolate before it came to a conclusion.

Bottom line, it said I didn’t have the coronavirus.  Which in one way was a relief, but in another, it gave me pause because I still felt like a truck had run over me in a bad way (is there a good way to have a truck run you over?).  I asked him for a note for work, as well as one for possibly getting another day off for medical reasons.  He gave me a generic one that said I had been seen in the office and allowed me Tuesday off, returning to work on Wednesday.  Which was ok in my book since in my work schedule, I had Wednesday off.  So by good fortune, I didn’t have to go back to work until Thursday.

The kicker?  On Thursday, when I was back to work, the store manager said to me ‘Welcome Home!’  Eh?  You dismissed me and then hung up on me you bastard!  He then said “you never call in.”  Duh, I know that!

Maybe he can have it.

T’was the night before….2020 edition

I found this on my bestie’s Facebook page, and it’s definitely worth a repost.

T’was a month before Christmas,
And all through the town,
People wore masks,
That covered their frown.
The frown had begun
Way back in the Spring,
When a global pandemic
Changed everything.
They called it corona,
But unlike the beer,
It didn’t bring good times,
It didn’t bring cheer.
Airplanes were grounded,
Travel was banned.
Borders were closed
Across air, sea and land.
As the world entered lockdown
To flatten the curve,
The economy halted,
And folks lost their nerve.
From March to July
We rode the first wave,
People stayed home,
They tried to behave.
When summer emerged
The lockdown was lifted.
But away from caution,
Many folks drifted.
Now it’s November
And cases are spiking,
Wave two has arrived,
Much to our disliking.
It’s true that this year
Has had sadness a plenty,
We’ll never forget
The year 2020.
And just ‘round the corner –
The holiday season,
But why be merry?
Is there even one reason?
To decorate the house
And put up the tree,
Who will see it,
No one but me.
But outside my window
The snow gently falls,
And I think to myself,
Let’s deck the halls!
So, I gather the ribbon,
The garland and bows,
As I play those old carols,
My happiness grows.
Christmas is not cancelled
And neither is hope.
If we lean on each other,
I know we can cope 📷📷
Let’s keep it going!
Merry Christmas to all, even you ‘ol Ebenezer Scrooge!

What if pets had thumbs?

We’re not in the midst of what I call the ‘silly season’ the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, where people are gearing up to celebrate the holiday, and spending an inordinate amount of money both at the grocery store and either online or at retailers to make their holiday as festive as possible.  Granted, with COVID still being a problem (and seemingly getting worse by the day) we all could use a little light-heartedness every now and again to lift our spirits.

Me, I’ve always wondered what my cat would do if his thumbs were opposable.  He’s the product of barn cats that my co-worker’s parent’s had in their barn, and while he does happen to have thumbs, he can’t use them.  Apparently, someone else had a similar thought and penned a blog post about it several years ago.  I read it recently and thought it worth both linking and reposting here.  Enjoy!


What If Pets Had Thumbs?

What if cats had thumbs?

Believe it or not, some cats do have “thumbs”! Cats with extra toes and fingers are called polydactyl cats, and sometimes an extra finger can look just like a thumb. This genetic mutation is generally harmless, and cats can’t use this “thumb” in the same way that we do. So what if cats had thumbs they could use? Here’s what I’d like cats to use their thumbs for, and what they’d actually do with them.

What I’d like cats to use thumbs for:

  • Clean their litter box. An opposable thumb would allow cats to grasp the litter scoop, carry the pan and sweep the floor. Scratch that idea. Let them flush the toilet.
  • Food prep and measurements. It takes a thumb to slice and dice and grasp a measuring cup or dispense food. Of course, I’d have to mark the cup and verify they didn’t double-dip. On second thought, this might not be such a good idea. Then again, celebrity cat chefs would be pretty awesome.
  • Walk my dogs. I know this sounds far-fetched and probably wouldn’t work in every furry family, but my dogs revere and respect my cats. So much that I believe if Itty Bitty Kitty (that’s her real name) could carry a leash, she could tag-team safe, responsible walks. The dogs would oblige Bitty Kitty and prance alongside at a sensible pace. That’s something I’d love to see.
  • Take selfies. Cats love to admire their regal selves. Give them a thumb and you’ll get more selfies than a Kardashian. Better increase your data plan.

What cats would use thumbs for:

  • Comb their fur. A thumb is a foundation for combing. No more waiting for lazy humans to stroke their luscious locks.
  • Program supercomputers; take over the planet. Forget Artificial Intelligence and aliens conquering our species, this is humanity’s true threat. If you see cats sprouting thumbs, better head for the hills.
  • Hitchhike. I see a world with millions of cats thumbing for rides, causing congestions and highway havoc, heading for nature parks. That is until cats program cars and robots to transport them around town.
  • Pinch people. That takes the risks of being a veterinarian to new levels. Ouch.
  • Open cat scratch services and kneading parlors. If they can’t program robots, they’d start making money performing these high-demand feline services on each other.
  • Rate movies and food. Thumbs up or down. It’s a big deal. Six-toed cats would be in high demand as celebrated critics. Four-thumbs up is twice as good as two.
girl using phone with dog

What if dogs could text?

I can’t disregard dogs during this thumb festival. If dogs had thumbs, they could text. Duh. The real question is, what would they text you?

  • First of all, I don’t think dogs would type much. They’d rely heavily on emojis.
  • Second of all, I suspect their syntax would be awful. Think Yoda mixed with Dug from Up. I’d constantly be seeking philosophical insights from my pet’s poorly phrased posts. Emojis.
  • I think dogs would primarily text nouns and love words. And heart emojis.
  • You’d be constantly interrupted at work with questions such as: Where are you? When will you be home? Is it time for you to come home yet? Are you here yet? Are you almost here yet? You know, emojis are better.
  • The real danger is if my dogs learned to text restaurant deliveries. I’d be broke and they’d be fat. Penniless and plump is not how I want to go out. Hide your phones.

Every now and then, it’s good fun to let your mind wander and explore outlandish ideas, like what if cats and dogs had opposable thumbs? Share your own musings in the comments below! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go examine my cats for any suspicious articulations. The fate of our species depends on it.

Posted
Mar 9, 2016
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Pet Health

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