Saturday, July 28, 2012

Strep Throat Like a Dog

Warning: I didn't proofread this, so sorry for any spelling errors or anything that just doesn't make sense.

So, I have strep throat. Of course I do. My blerg coworker was out of town last week for a work thing, so I kinda had to be there. Technically I didn't, but people in my department get a little irritated if either me or the blerg aren't there to take care of everything. So even though I felt like dirt, I went in to work every day until finally around noon on Thursday, I called and made a doctor's appointment. Only then, after a positive result on the strep test, did I feel like I was justified in taking a day off from work. 

It's partially my own fault that I had to go in to work. RR and I saw a television report once on a study that showed these sick dogs at a vet clinic. When no one was around, the dogs moped around in their kennels, clearly not feeling well, but the minute a person came in the room, the dogs would get up, wag their tails, and try to act like they felt fine. RR and I tend to be just like those dogs. I may feel like dirt, but if one of my coworkers comes in the room, I take every bit of energy I have to try and act like I feel fine. I don't know why I do this. I wish I didn't. If you have to tell people you don't feel well, then they tend to not really believe you. And if we're talking about my coworkers, they tend to not cut you any slack. And if I'm trying to get out being at work on a day when my coworkers want me to be there, not out of any real need but only for their own convenience, it's pretty self-defeating.

Part of my problem is that I don't want to inconvenience people with being sick. I don't want to make people feel like they have to express a lot of sympathy, or take care of me, or anything like that. And I also think maybe I do it because I really don't want be the person who goes in the opposite direction--that person who tells EVERYONE about how miserable I feel. I work with a lot of hypochondriacs, and I really don't want to be one of them. But even when I tell myself to just be natural, even when RR instructs me, "Don't be a dog today," I still can't seem to break myself of the habit.

Of course, it doesn't help that I work with quite a few self-involved people. Their aren't selfish, they just don't notice what's going on with other people if you don't point it out to them. So even though my voice was scratchy, and I clearly didn't have as much energy as I usually do, and conversations with me elicited statements like, "Can we talk about this tomorrow? My head is fuzzy, and I cannot think today," no one seemed to actually know that I didn't feel well. These are my coworkers. To be fair to them, if you point out that you don't feel well, they are very sympathetic. Well, some of them are. Others, only if it doesn't create an inconvenience to them.

I realize that I'm making my coworkers sound unappealing. But my point wasn't to talk badly about them but to point out my own flaw. Why do I do this? I make my own life harder. In this case, I'd been feeling poorly since at least the previous Friday, yet it took me nearly a week to go to the doctor. I went in to work an hour late every day, I left half and hour early most days, and while I was there, I spent a good amount of time staring into space trying not to cry, but none of that was enough to persuade me to take care of myself. That's a problem. 

I had meant this to be a funny post, but I couldn't pull it off thanks to the fact that my antibiotics make me feel nauseated. When the doctor handed them to me, I thought, "oh, those are the ones that I have a bad reaction to," and so I said to the doctor . . . nothing. Oh, I take that back. I said, "Can I take these with food?" You can, by the way. 

I am mess.

But on a happier note, Olympics! It's time for the Olympics! If only NBC didn't suck so much!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On the Bright Side

I really am working on a post about my trip to Korea, I promise.  I'm working on it every day, in fact--but only for a few minutes at a time because that's all I've had to spare.  I can't promise it will be interesting, so don't get your hopes up.  Of course, if you read this blog you already know not to get your hopes up on that front!

Two weekends ago a pipe burst in the townhouse next door, and we were on the receiving end of some of their water surplus.  For the most part we didn't see any standing water--probably because we weren't here when it happened--but we did notice that our floors looked damp, like they'd just been washed.  When we found out what happened, we were concerned about the situation and told our landlords right away, since we've seen the bad things that mildew can do to a home and its contents, and because RR worked for years as an archivist and consequently knows a bit about the importance of flood remediation.  As RR pointed out, our landlords seemed more concerned about their floors than anything else.  But our landlords finally decided to do something about the possible moisture issues, though not, alas, out of great concern for us.  I think it was more that I sent them an email pointing out that it only takes 48 hours for mildew to start to form and that I'd been having a whee bit of an asthma issue, possibly thanks to whatever was causing the slight but persistent eau de mustiness that had been slowly but inexorably penetrating our downstairs ever since our neighbors had kindly decided to wash the undersides of our flooring.

Side note: Inexorably is a word that isn't used enough. Probably because no one can top the use that J. Lileks put it to here.

Anyway, the very next day, our landlords, suddenly seized with a sense of responsibility, had the remediation people at our doors.  Our landlord's wife called while the company's representatives were here setting up a giant humidifier and several large, loud fans in our home.  She wanted to let us know that it would be really loud, and that when they'd had work done after their home had flooded once, they had to board their cats because the noise was too traumatic for them.  Since they knew what the remediation was going to involve, it would have been nice to have received that warning sometime before the nice men were actually setting up the very loud, cat-trauma-causing blowing machines. As it was, RR, our cat, and I had a pretty miserable weekend, most of which we spent locked in one room or another upstairs, or wearing dust masks, thanks to the fans kicking up dust from every crevice in our place.  And the noise level was a bit like this.

On the plus side, I confirmed that I am still allergic to dust without having to go through that pesky get-punctured-with-a-dusty-needle skin prick test.  So there's that.

Also on the bright side, I have come up with a rewards system under which for every occurrence of certain annoying things that happen at work, I get a point, and at a certain number of points, I get marshmallows. Or peanut butter.  Or an hour of pointless television.  Basically, whatever it is that I've told myself I have to limit my intake of, I can now have, in reasonable amounts, if I earn enough points.  I realize that you aren't supposed to reward yourself with bad behavior, but I don't care because for once I'm actually looking forward to my weekly work lunch tomorrow, the weekly lunch at which I get nothing but a glass of water while everyone else eats really delicious-looking food. I'm hoping now instead of being like this at lunch every week

 (Source: whatshouldwecallme)

I'll be like this.

At least on the inside.  

Seriously.  Bring it on.