I'm back from Tuscaloosa, though worse for wear. It seems that my remarks about the Chinese restaurant we visited on Tuesday were unfounded, and for this I formally apologize. I really don't think that we ate cat while we were there, and it wasn't their food that made me sick.
I've either contracted a cold that's taken years to study my immune system and figure out the best way to take it out, or I've caught the latest edition of the plague that makes its rounds between November and February every year. Either way, it sucks light years beyond anything that's happened in the past year or so. Congestion and coughing set in by Wednesday afternoon; by late Wednesday night I kept waking up every twenty minutes or so as the fever would fluctuate in one direction or another. By Thursday morning I was able to stay on site just long enough to do what I had to do before one of my teammates (hi, Brent) drove me back to the hotel to dose myself with whatever medication I could get my hands on and sleep.
I feel sorry for the housekeeping staff at the hotel. My room smelled horribly of 'sick' by the time I left on Friday afternoon. You know what I mean - that rotten-sweet-medicinal scent that seems to leak from your pores when your immune system takes off the gloves and starts fighting dirty.
I spent the next seven hours or so (probably a bit less - my sense of time is completely screwed) in the back of a land leviathan driving from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, where I sat reading a book for the next couple of hours and dreading a pair of plane flights back home. I neglected to mention earlier the head congestion, which the changes in air pressure forced into my inner ears. Thankfully, the fluid has drained from my ears, relieving both the pain of something moving around where nothing should be and making it possible to hear again. Hasufin, who was nice enough to pick me up at Dulles last night, picked up for me a box of sinus rinse, which consists of a squeeze bottle and pre-measured packets of salts for flushing... stuff.. out of one's nasal cavities. Unfortunately, the instructions stated specifically that it should not be used when one's ears are plugged up.
I discovered why I couldn't get to sleep last night - the Theraflu I took after getting off the plane was Theraflu Daytime, which includes stimulants to keep the user from getting drowsy. When you take it at 2300 local time, however, this presents a problem. A very special problem.
Right now, I'm running another fever, sweating like it's going out of style, coughing up things that only H.P. Lovecraft has imagined to date, and wondering when I gave anyone permission to take a jackhammer to my frontal and ethmoid sinus cavities. Thankfully, my boss was able to get me off the duty team roster next week, so I won't be flying out again on Monday.
As one would expect, this puts Valentine's Day and birthday plans into something of a grey area. Lyssa and I have preliminary plans laid out that will work, assuming that I can kick this viral nasty in the next couple of days.
My mom sent me a hardback edition of the Principia Discordia for my birthday. Does she know me, or does she know me?
Off to take a shower and sleep some more.