Framing the Dialogue


For those of you who visit FramingTheDialogue for more than the opportunity to attempt to post spam, I had only really intended to take off about ten days, but fate has a funny way sometimes of kicking you in the “you know what’s” from time to time. I was going to say “nuts,” but female readers have really know personal knowledge of that intensity.

So we safely arrive home from vacation Sunday evening, unpack, and turn on the A/C as the weather has been hot and the house had been closed up for some time. I was fortunate (or smart) to take the following Monday off. It wasn’t really a day off as there was laundry, unpacking, laundry, and a trip to Costco for provisions. On about Monday evening I started to get rather tired. Not the “I’ve been busy running around tired,” but the “I’m getting sick tired.” I think that I phrased it to my wife that evening as feeling “jet-lagged.” That was possible as our vacation was a “loop” vacation as we traveled over 1,900 miles driving (more on that in another post).

I can’t say that I was looking forward to work on Tuesday, but I wasn’t dreading it either. I can pretty much plan my schedule, but things often get “hot” (I am doing a lot of the quote-thing and I “sincerely” apologize) and I was hoping that there was not a “hot” thing sitting on my desk when I got in. There wasn’t. Dodged a bullet.

As the day rolls on I’m getting more and more tired and thankfully the ending bell (no we don’t have a bell) called me to the car and the drive home. I live in Pennsylvania and summer is not only vacation season, but construction season so my commute home starts with a modest traffic jam. It’s called a “temporary inconvenience for a permanent improvement” by the local highway agency. Overall it is usually not too bad and I get home and find myself needing a nap. I often want to nap, but this was a NEED.

The next two work days are spent in the field. I am blessed that I do not have to spend each and every day in the office. It’s been very hot and very dry and the field work requires walking and often climbing slopes and hills. That explained my extreme tiredness those two days. That’s what I told myself. The alarm goes off Friday morning and as I get up I feel like some beaver entered my head and built dams all through my sinus passages. They must have also built campfires as I felt rather hot (101.5 degrees) and I knew that I should not go to work.

I hated to call my boss to tell him that I would not be in. One I really hate doing that and two I had just been off for over a week. The tough thing is that I really prefer to leave him a message, but also feel like I need to talk to him also…let him hear how sick I am. This accomplished I settle back in and try to get back to sleep, however the fever, congestion, cough and fatigue had other ideas. There would be virtually no sleep, at least no continuous sleep, for the next 60 hours.

My wife, thankfully, went back home for the weekend to celebrate her XX year high school reunion so I only had to hear “go to the doctor” a few times a day by telephone. I knew that this was the flu and having experienced the flu before and subsequent trips to the doctor I knew the response…”you have the flu…It’s a virus and there is nothing I can prescribe to help you…if it doesn’t get better in a week to ten days call me back.” Being experienced in medicine as an engineer, I found some unexpired Quil (Nyquil and Daquil) and took that for three days. I cannot say for sure that the medicine did absolutely nothing, but it seemed to do absolutely nothing. Maybe the acetaminophen in the dose helped with the fever, but a couple of times I took ibuprofen between doses to knock the fever down.

Like most flu bugs this one calmed down by Sunday evening so that I could go to work the next day. I still feel like crap, but without a fever. I kind of feel a little better each day and am bolstered by the midweek holiday…gotta love Independence Day. I am sure that I will be back to 100 percent by next Monday.


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