Yes, it’s been 15 days since my dear Debbie developed a persistent cough that she continues to try and suppress. The Advil and Tamiflu took care of her fever during the first week but those things and Delsym did nothing to stop her cough and even Sucrets had little effect. On day 8 she went back to the doctor and received an antivirus medication and prescription strength Mucinex which also had little effect on her cough. Even as late as this past Sunday evening her cough persisted… until around 11:00pm. Although I’m not sure what may have caused it to stop, as suddenly as it started on 19 February it suddenly stopped on 5 March. Well, at least for the evening, as she was coughing – but not as much – most of the day today. Of course, even if the cough is behind her she’ll have about a week of chronic fatigue to deal with as she gains back her strength and begins to resume a normal routine without 12-14 hours of sleep a day. How do I know this???
Yeah, well… I’m right there with her, perhaps a little ahead at this point even though my fever lasted several days longer than hers did. While I still have coughing spells, I’ve not had the never-ending, persistent cough that Debbie has enjoyed. But, I’ve definitely been sleeping a lot more than I normally do, albeit downstairs on the couch where Debbie’s cough wouldn’t keep me awake. My daily routine for the past week has been to get home and fall asleep around 8:00pm or 9:00pm, then wake up around 2:00am, at which point I’d move upstairs to finish my night’s sleep if Debbie’s cough had subsided. On several occasions that just never happened so it was back downstairs to rest a bit more. This pattern of broken sleep with fatigue saw me heading home from work early on four out of five days last week. That actually worked out pretty well in that it allowed me to keep an eye on the work crew’s progress at the house. They didn’t need much in the way of oversight, but it allowed me to see what all they were doing with the yard and that was invaluable: they definitely did the job the right way and didn’t cut any corners. So, perhaps that was the silver lining on the three-day job, and what a job it was (ref. my previous blog entry).
Cabin Fever Sets In
As the weekend approached neither one of us was feeling like getting out and doing anything, which was weird. In fact, I was so worn-down by two weeks of fitful sleep and fatigue that I came home early from work on Friday in an absolutely foul mood since I knew we’d be off our routine for yet another weekend. Adding to that bad mood, I’ve lost all patience for what passes as news and entertainment on TV and radio, and when I find the TV on in the house switched to anything other than sports I go into flight mode: I just want to get away from it. Hell, there are even times I need to switch off the volume on sports since political activism by players and commentator discussions related thereto have started to become more commonplace; really? Give it a rest.
Anyway, when I arrived home and found Debbie resting and watching TV, I just headed upstairs to get away from the noise and focused instead on paying bills, reconciling bank accounts, etc. and otherwise decompressing. Sadly, Debbie followed me upstairs and caught me before I could “chill-out’ and I was less than pleasant. We stayed in neutral corners the rest of the night since she had the TV on most of the time. But, that said, it’s definitely not fair for me to be critical of her TV-watching habits since I’m pretty much an on-line/internet content junkie when I’m not otherwise doing something productive. It’s my version of TV, but with more varied content, i.e., I get to pick and choose my subjects and can use technology to block the ‘stuff’ and ‘people’ that are the sources of angst-producing content. Guess that’s why we “need” to get ourselves healthy so we can once again be out working in the yard, cycling, motorcycling or otherwise doing things that keep us “off the grid” and away from computers and TVs; evil stuff I tell you!!
Saturday & Sunday Bring A Little Normalcy
Saturday and Sunday were something of ‘coming out days’ for both of us in that Debbie had told the kids she’d watch the three granddaughters from noon on Saturday through noon on Sunday while they attended some type of overnight function for Wesley’s mortgage company. Even though Debbie was still struggling with her cough, she planned to go on over around 12:30.
Me, I used the morning to get a little work done on the living room ceiling repair following our latest bathroom fixture leak. It’s always a challenge to try and sand drywall mud without clearing or covering everything in sight with plastic, but I did OK and was able to get on a coat of mud. About two coats / sanding should do it then the entire ceiling gets repainted: no way I’ll be able to get a color match with the existing paint.
With a fresh coat of mud on the ceiling, I headed out to do some work on the yard. The first order of business was replacing my silk Christmas flowers without something more spring-like and putting some spring annuals in the two large planters in front of the garage. About the time I had that done our friend Ryan put out a call for assistance in moving a 385lb cast iron, claw foot bathtub from their garage, up 20 steps to a guest bathroom that was being remodeled. I’d have to leave around 12:30 to get to their house by 1:00, which was about the same time that Debbie was headed off to the kids, so we said our goodbyes and headed off on our separate ways.
The tub project wasn’t as big of a production as I expected, as the tub didn’t feel like it weighed anything close to 385lbs; more like 285lbs. Well, that and Ryan had a lot of help, folks with a lot more meat on their bones than me! I did my part once the tub was upstairs, so I was a little bit of help and it was nice to see a few friends whom we haven’t seen in nearly a month due to the flu, etc.
Back at home I decided to dive into the backyard by raking leaves out of the flower beds and then stripping out the ground cover that I wanted gone from the back yard. Next was committing Crape Murder on the Crape Myrtles, i.e., topping them off as Southerners are always want to do! With all of that stuff piled up in the middle of the back yard, a flick of a match reduced the pile to ash in about 30 minutes and a day later it was just about done cooking: fire is an amazing thing.
Debbie checked in around dinner time; she was ordering pizza for the kids. I looked around the house to see what there was for dinner and decided that I was chickened-out and didn’t want to have hot dogs again (I’d had them for brunch). So, as much as I don’t like going there without Debbie, I headed over to Loco Willy’s just to grab some dinner. David & Deb were there and it was also their first night out in two weeks as they both have been battling the flu as well. We had a good time catching up on what’s been going on and I ended up having some ribs. As usual, I couldn’t only eat about 1/2 of the full serving and took the rest home for lunch on Sunday. It wasn’t a bad night out, but it wasn’t a great night either since I didn’t have my sweetie with me: everything’s better when Debbie’s along!
Sunday began with sanding and putting another coat of mud on the living room ceiling, then laundry, a little light house keeping and what not before I headed out to run a few errands. The one thing I wanted to pick up was a battery-powered leaf blower, as the convenience of the battery-powered hedge trimmer I bought in the fall has been amazing. No more chords for the trimmer and no more gas/oil and 2 cycle engine exhaust with oil drips, etc. for the leaf blower: just instant power with a finger on the trigger! With my new toy in hand I blew the leaves out from behind the hedges in the back yard and then spent the better part of three hours scalping the side and back yard to remove the thatch that was left over from last fall. It’s a pain filling up six 50-gallon bags with yard clippings, but the lawn will green-up much better and be healthier because of it.
Debbie returned home around 2:00pm and spent the better part of the afternoon just relaxing a bit after her 24-hour stay with the granddaughters. She said they were very much self-entertaining and even little Vivian was hardly any work to keep up with. However, her nagging cough and the associated fatigue earned her an afternoon of quiet time with… you guessed it: the TV. Oh well, as I’ve said, I’m just as bad and spend almost as much time on line so I really can’t complain.
That was about it for the weekend. We’re hopeful that we’ll feel closer to 100% by this coming weekend, as we definitely need to get back into the swing of things! There’s a lot of living to do out there and we’re tired of being tired and worn down by the flu!