Monday, February 21, 2011

If I had three grand to throw around...

...I'd wear these even in my sleep! Stephanie D., I know you'll understand :)

A Formidable Flu

After six long days spent under the thumb some mysterious, rogue, RELENTLESS illness, I am finally back out in the land of the living and feeling like myself again. I am delighted that the days of shivering, sweating, snorting, aching, and (almost) hacking are finally behind me.

I picked up the bug from my sister, who had been nursing her two toddlers back to good health from the same thing when she and I had lunch last week. A day before she became symptomatic herself. I dropped within another day or two.

It was probably the second most awful bug I've had in years (the first was a frightening throat infection I had last May that just about landed me in the hospital and had several doctors baffled for a few days), but the timing of it made me feel like an utter jerk for even complaining. My 91-year-old granddad recently injured his back and has spent the past two weeks in agonizing pain, barely able to care for himself, much less rest or even get comfortable. His injury has shaken the family, prompting my parents to all but drop their own day-to-day lives to make multiple trips to his house each day to care for him. The incredible pain makes him (as it would anyone else) forgetful, obstinate, and altogether an uneasy patient. And although I made fast plans to visit for the weekend to try and relieve my parents from some of the duties so they could rest and regroup, the sudden onslaught of fever and general respiratory mayhem forced me to stay home and keep from adding to their problems. Same for my sister (although the other one was able to make it in, and I'm going to try again this weekend).

So my granddad and parents are facing real and mounting medical issues, and I was stuck on my couch - shaking, sweating, aching, hacking - feeling guilty and miserable at the same time.

I finally broke down and went to a clinic to find out why I wasn't improving by Day 4, and the NP informed me that I probably have the flu and was developing a secondary sinus infection (fabulous). She gave me drugs for the latter and told me to sit tight and "drink lots of liquids." Feeling less guilty about feeling miserable with this new scary-virus label that I could assign to my symptoms, I picked up my meds and returned to my sickbed(couch).

However, my sister immediately asked me, upon my informing her of the grave nature of my now-diagnosed illness, "Did they test you for flu?" Which really ruined it, because - of course - they hadn't tested me. I hadn't even known they could. I was so perturbed by that fact that I almost went back to the clinic to make them test me. For bragging rights only. The NP already informed me that if I have the flu, it was probably too late to bother with an antiviral like Tamiflu because I was already so far into the thing. I'm confident that she didn't test me because it would've just been for funsies, and it was more important to focus on keeping the sinus infection from getting worse.

So while the rest of my family suffers from "real" problems, as in the kind that land people in hospitals and may require surgery, I am left to slog around with my "maybe-flu" for a few more days. I feel ridiculous for complaining about my symptoms to my mother, who has more than enough on her plate, so I assault my sister with a barrage of text-messaged details about my hour-by-hour progress (which improves leaps and bounds once the virus symptoms fade and the antibiotics go to work on the secondary infection). Bless her, she is very sympathetic and patient :)

It's stupid, I know, but I would've felt better about complaining if I'd just tested positive and been affirmatively diagnosed with the flu. I feel pretty confident that it was the flu, for what it's worth - the symptoms were pretty classic, and the NP didn't seem to consider the fact that it could reasonably be anything else. And the point is that - flu or otherwise - it was bad, and I was really sick, and anyone who saw me in the throes of it would've turned on their heel and walked quickly out of breathing-distance to avoid getting it.

So I'm calling it the flu from now on, tests be damned. And next year, I'll be getting the shot to make sure this doesn't happen again! And I can't wait to see my family this weekend - hopefully we are all much improved. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

While I wait for my iPhone to update...

From a recent personality test I took:
You care about the big picture. You are comfortable with large, ambiguous issues. You carefully weigh all of the variables involved, and regularly come up with imaginative solutions to complex problems.

You are friendly and humane. You have a big heart; you tend to trust people and sympathize with them easily. You want to make others happy and self-confident. So you work to build supportive networks among friends and kin.

Your empathy and kindness spill over into a desire to make the world a better place. And with your resilience and creativity, your ability to do many things at the same time, and your cleverness with words, you can be remarkably effective at improving the lives of others.

You are ambitious for your family and friends, but not always for yourself. You like an environment of sharing and consensus and you enjoy working in teams and planning long term.

You tend to be socially well-adjusted and skilled at inspiring others to reach their goals. So you are an empathetic and engaging companion.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Day In My Shoes

My dad always complains that I don't wear sensible shoes. Ever since I was a kid, I have been mesmerized by the teetering-tottering stiletto heels that the "grown up girls" wear. A best friend and I even spent an entire afternoon "shopping" for what many consider to be the Holy Grail of fashionable footwear - Christian Louboutins (don't worry, I didn't buy them - I already have enough debt from law school). The popularity of the label is attributable to the fact that CLs (are exorbitantly expensive and) sport some of the highest heels of any on the market. That makes them exceptionally desirable to me, much to dad's dismay.

Yesterday I caught myself contemplating the crumbling asphalt that tops the parking lot next to the court where I work. There are patches where the owners have repaved with something smoother than the original mixture, and I always go way out of my way to walk on those spots instead - even though I don't care to spend more time outside walking in the Houston weather than I have to. I noticed that I plot out my path four, five, even six footsteps ahead, just to make sure I can keep my teetering-tottering heels (and me) upright.

Maybe it's because of that time my heel got wedged in the teeny gap between building-floor and elevator-floor, which almost got me mowed over by a crowd of busy business people that were trying to rush into the empty elevator from behind me. Or possibly, I've ripped off one too many of the little plastic end-of-the-heel-nail nubby things by not being careful to mind the random chinks in brick sidewalks where the mortar has crumbled away. For better or for worse, my addiction to fancy, tall shoes has taught me to step with caution, and with purpose.

So yes, I occasionally get crippling blisters from shoes that fit, but nonetheless rub because nature didn't intend for me to tip-toe around all day. And it's true that I sometimes come home and audibly sigh when I step out of my three-inch work pumps and into my care-worn flip-flops. And despite the fact that I can't cough up $500+ for those ruby-red-soled designer gems, I will never stop thinking about the day when I will traipse around - insensibly - in them.

Because I know that they keep me thinking ahead, smart, and stylish. On sidewalks and in life. And that's worth more than the few aches and pains I get in the process.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Running on Empty

I sat down to write what I imagined would be a spectacularly insightful post, but I just ran out of words. I have done nothing but write today at work, so I suppose a person can just max out on written communication. I'll try again another day...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lazy, lazy, lazy.

I have a deep, dark secret I refuse to admit to future employers, first dates, or friends-of-friends: I love nothing more than to spend all Saturday long (and/or Sunday) camped out on the couch with a day's worth of random snacks, my macbook, and as many cheesy weekend marathon movies as I can find on TV. Literally - all day long. I don't get bored with it, and I don't find myself wishing I were doing something else. If I make other weekend plans, I usually do so sparingly so I don't have to give up too much time being anything other than borderline catatonic.

As much as I relish my lazy time, I harbor feelings of mild shame and embarrassment about it. I worry people will think I don't carpe diem, or that I share one too many qualities with the noble slug. I spend a lot of time in my mind justifying my behavior, in that I throw myself 125% into my work during the week, or that I deserve the rest after three years of law school, or that it is best to stay home since the budget is tighter these days than it used to be.

But regardless of what I think, and regardless of what other people think, I doubt I'll ever stop looking forward to the seemingly endless hours lazing around in my comfy clothes, with a big flannel blanket and my cats to keep me company. And for today, it really hits the spot.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Life in Multi-Colored Gem Stone Pieces

I've been playing an inordinate amount of Bejeweled on my phone these days, and I blame PopCap Games. In a stroke of brilliance, PopCap has captured the addictive quality of social networking with the equally addictive quality of stupid, simple games played on hand-held devices: in Bejeweled Blitz, you have one minute to score as many points possible, and your scores will be compared to those of any other facebook friends that play, too.

And whether I like it or not, I find myself philosophizing about life as I work to climb the high-score ranks. Here's what I've learned.

1. No matter how hard you try to strategize, you really can't fight the board. Sometimes, your best score comes from relaxing and just getting the points as the opportunity presents itself. Or waiting until the next game so you can start fresh.

2. You can use the "boosts," but your skills will suffer and the "boosts" will eventually become a crutch you can't win without. Better to just stick to the basics and practice, practice, practice.

3. The minute you finally beat that one person you've spent hours trying to outpace in the ranks, the new tournament will start and you'll be back in the "NO SCORE" zone with everyone else. And no one remembers the scores from last week. Be more than you're Bejeweled score.

4. It is equally satisfying to play one game as it is to play ten. You get more sleep if you just play one.

5. Don't play while walking. This one doesn't really translate into thinking about life, but it is true nonetheless. I almost had a really, really unfortunate incident with a concrete beam the other day.

If you are a fellow Bejeweled jedi, I know you can identify. If you aren't, you should really consider trying out Blitz. Just don't let it keep you from enjoying real life.