Monday, November 14, 2005

Ooo baby, baby.

This weekend was the first in a month that I wasn't either traveling to another city or entertaining people from another city. I made no plans, other than a Saturday night gathering for a friend's birthday.

Friday, as I walked home, I decided that maybe going out for a quick drink with my friend and former roommate S would be a good idea. That's when I ran into my neighbor, who invited me to his house for dinner and to meet some friends of his, as well as to play with his newborn baby girl, who I met on Monday after getting home from the airport. Still being sick, I decided that handling a 10 day old human being was probably not the wisest thing, but I did eat some very nice stew, had some very good conversations with friends about Intelligent Design, and even watched some Turkish Star Trek. I will say this about Turkish Star Trek: it was a lot like watching a porn movie from the 70's or early 80's. It was cheesy, the girls had big hair, and at almost every turn, I expected someone to strip naked and get busy.

I vowed to spend my Saturday doing as little as possible, in desperate hopes of recovering from this evil cold that just won't fucking die. I dreamed of playing Civilization and watching Netflix and just existing. It sounded so nice. Early on, I discovered that my computer's CD-ROM drive has mysteriously died. I wandered back to my couch, feeling moderately defeated that I wouldn't be playing any video games, and watched The Count of Monte Cristo, then checked the mail, watched The Final Countdown, then, before going to the birthday gathering, Starship Troopers. I had originally seen Starship Troopers because I love science fiction to a fault, but I had recently read that Heinlein's intent was to demonstrate how propaganda and totalitarianism effect the human race. Watching the movie with that perspective changed it for me, for the better. I got to see a whole lot of things I hadn't seen before.

Finally, it was time for the after-dinner cocktails with my friend A's birthday. I walked over to her and her husband's wonderful house and met up with quite a few friends I hadn't seen in a while. Many drinks were consumed, as my friends have quite the bar in their basement, which includes 8 different vodkas, and, much to my extreme happiness, The Macallan. After noticing the beautiful, tempting bottle, I said to my friend and host J, "before I leave tonight, I'd like it if we could have a drink."

He was more than happy to oblige.

Later on, he poured 4 shots of it. I protested that I wouldn't be drinking a shot of Macallan. I refused. I sipped. This was ok. I requested a snifter later on, and poured myself far too much (can you pour too much scotch?) and made that my very large nightcap. I walked home and went to bed.

I woke up yesterday morning expecting to be cured of my ailment. No such luck. I actually felt much worse, either from my overconsumption of scotch, or my 3 am walk home in the howling wind. I barely left the couch all day. I couldn't eat, I had a headache, and my sinuses were completely jammed. Even my brother mentioned it to me when I called in my friend's football picks. My brother used extreme tact when he said "you sound like fucking shit, man."

So couchbound I was for the second day in a row. I am still suffering from this hellatious cold. I'm sure part of this is due to the fact that I refuse to take any cold medication other than NyQuil, and that, only at night. Instead, I'm drinking lots of tea, plenty of clear liquids, getting more than enough vitamin C, and exploring the world of Hot Toddies, or when I'm at home, Hot Voddies (lemon tea with some vodka).

Why don't I just take some damn cold medicine, you ask? Simple. 3 years ago, I was suffering from my annual cold. I was miserable. I was eating soup, taking cough drops, and whatever else I could find to alleviate my symptoms. I was taking off my socks when I noticed that my feet were red and swollen. Then I noticed that my hands were as well. I thought this was odd, so I called Jen, and told her was going on. Jen called her mother, who is a nurse, and came over a few minutes later. During that time, I had noticed that my lips were swelling, as was my tongue. Jen checked in, picked up my keys, and went to Osco, and returned a few minutes later with Benadryl. Benadryl. I was confused. I wasn't suffering from hayfever anymore.

What I hadn't realized was that I was having an allergic reaction to something I ate or took. I wasn't in my head enough to realize what was happening. She stayed the night to make sure that I didn't die, as the Benadryl put me to sleep. In the middle of the night, though, I woke up in need of a bathroom. I took two steps toward my bedroom door before I fell, face-forward, to the ground, passed out.

That was the wake-up call for me. I bagged up everything I had eaten or taken in a bag, and sealed it up. I went to my doctor the next day, who prescribed an Epi-Pen and referred me to an allergist. My appointment, some 4 weeks later, was less than satisfactory. He didn't feel the need to do any tests for new allergies, and said that I probably reacted due to a weakened immune system from the cold. Since then, I simply tough out illness, which has become more and more time-consuming. Fortunately for me, I'm usually only sick with something like this once a year.


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