Back in the (tiny) saddle

It seems we’ve finally bested the pestilence! We’re starting to feel like humans again, but all that down-time was not without merit. Despite feeling like moving around outside the apartment was beyond our capabilities, we more or less hammered out the rest of our travel year. We’ve had a trip to see my folks in Kansas City scheduled for a while, but July and on was completely open. For us, that’s a bit like staring into the abyss. So we fixed it. Continue reading Back in the (tiny) saddle

Losing our Grippe?

I gotta go back to work tomorrow after having been off since Thursday evening. The time off was not voluntary — I’ve been sick. And then Sarah got whatever I had after that. We’re not sure if it’s another case of Hamthrax (though that would be an interesting coincidence, nearly six months after the initial entry into Germany from Mexico here in Regensburg — which was not our fault!).

I’m not sure how I contracted the illness. I was working from our Nürnberg office on Thursday, which meant mass transit and plenty of shared airspace and handgrips, but I would not have expected such a short timespan between contraction and symptom manifestation. By the time I got home from that trip, I was exhausted and had a cough-causing tickle in my lungs. I didn’t know I was sick then. I didn’t figure I was anything more than tired from a long work day when I went to bed early (around 8pm) until I woke up sweaty around 1am.

I pretty much didn’t get out of bed until 36 hours later. Incredible weakness and dizziness and dull joint pain throughout, which didn’t subside until the onset of the deep, raspy, waterchestnutty (squish-crunch!) slimelogged bronchial coughs. I requested a doctor appointment right away on Friday morning, but didn’t get one until Monday evening. I got the doctor’s note for the time missed (Friday and Monday) plus today. I’m pretty much better, but Sarah’s a couple days behind me in the cycle.

If you get whatever’s going around — Aporkalypse or not — good luck. Until then, here’re some friendly pre-infection tips from my mom. These sound like good tips especially for the traveling sort:

  1. Frequent hand-washing.

  2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face.

  3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don’t underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

  4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

  5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

  6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

not quite bed-ridden in Vienna

I’m writing this from our neato rental apartment (complete with free WLAN) in Vienna while Po and Susie and Sarah are out exploring the Schönbrunn Palace and museum complex. I tried to go with them, but the sad fact of the matter is that I have been nearly incapacitated since the night of our arrival in Salzburg three nights ago. I don’t know what I picked up or where, but this has been nasty. I’ll spare you the details; they’re pretty disgusting (even for me). There have been a couple factors at work here: our itinerary, weekend Apotheke hours, and my own stubborn belief that I’m slowly getting better (and I really am, but you’d need the details to be sure).

So, on the one hand, I’m disappointed that I am missing out on some of the stuff that I said I’d do next time (like Schönbrunn) but on the other hand I guess I’m glad I’m not missing out on a completely new city if I’m stuck here in the apartment being sick. If I had a third hand, I’d be glad on it that none of the rest of our party appears to have contracted whatever I did.

I guess I’d rather be doing crunches…

…but all this coughing, and especially the doubling up while doing it laying down, must surely be strengthening my abs.

This is a naked mole rat.  I like to think I have better personal grooming habits, though I admire his boldness in wardrobe.I’ve been sick since Monday. Today was the first day since Tuesday that I’ve felt well enough to spend time not at work OUTSIDE the bed. What? Let’s try that again. I’ve been so sick that since Tuesday, if I wasn’t at work, you’d find me in bed (often working from there). There’s been too much potentially important stuff going on at work, what with the buy-out and re-org and such, that I have tried not to miss anything at all. But three weeks ago my boss, the Great Communicator of the department I work in, has already left the company, leaving me feeling a lot like this paragraph’s mascot. If he had pain sensations in his skin, I mean. OK, I just really wanted to use a naked mole rat in a post. Chalk it up to the chemical imbalance.

Any-hack-hack-hack-hock-ptoo, I seem to be feeling a little bit better every day since about Thursday, after getting a daily dose of ACC® akut Hustenlöser 600*. You can see how it works to clear the tangled web of my bronchial pathways if you click this link.

But why is this happening now? One reason might be because it’s freakin’ cold out there lately. Today’s high, even with full sunlight, is 41° F and tomorrow’s is 39° F. Yikes! The brand of apple juice we buy contains acerola concentrate in it as well, so I’ve been drinking liters of that stuff, heated up in a giant cappucino mug with a couple cinnamon sticks in it. I hope this is over with quickly.