Sick, Sick, Sick

No, that’s not a commentary on the world at large, but strictly my own condition. And that of my entire family. Well, except our youngest daughter, who had the good fortune (?) of falling ill first, and by now has fully recovered. At the moment, our household is being run by a four-year old.

All was well as we began our Thanksgiving holiday. I lost pretty much all of Wednesday recovering from the red-eye flight (on which I was unable to catch a wink of sleep), but after that, we had a fairly easy trip down to Pam’s mom’s in Virginia Beach. I was actually surprised at how little traffic we encountered.

Oh, while I’m thinking about it, let me stick in a little aside. They’ve put in a nice rest area on I-95 just south of Richmond, with televisions running in the lobby. Of course, they’re running Fox News — this is Virginia, after all — and I couldn’t help but laugh at what passes for “news coverage.” Duh-bya made a surprise visit to the troops in Iraq for Thanksgiving; nothing wrong with that — sure, it’s a cynical ploy to shore up support, but it’s still a nice thing for a Commander-in-Chief to do (doesn’t make up for his refusal to attend any of the funerals, but for him, it’s positively angelic). But the Fox News story banner couldn’t be satisfied with “Bush visits troops in Iraq,” or even “President makes surprise Thanksgiving visit to troops.” No, they had to add, “Greeted with thunderous applause.” That’s right — it’s not enough to report the event, they’ve just got to stick in a little pro-Bush assessment, too. Can’t forget your station’s true mission: make damn sure little George gets reelected (excuse me, elected). Okay, tangent finished.

Dinner itself was nice and traditional: turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce. We all made the usual “what I’m thankful for” speeches; “I’m thankful that Dick Cheney has a heart condition” didn’t go over quite as well as I might have hoped.

And then, wham! The sickness hit us. Not all at once, off course. First came our seven-year-old, with coughing, congestion, sore throat, headache, chills, and a 103-degree fever. Pam soon followed suit — she got up to nearly 104 last night. She went ahead and called in sick to work for this afternoon — we all knew there was absolutely no chance she’d make it. Given that, we debated staying down there until today, but decided to head back last night as planned; I was still capable of driving, but one more day would make that increasingly doubtful. I did hold on long enough to make the drive, but deteriorated rapidly as our maddeningly meandering trip — trying to get around traffic jams on both I-95 and Route 1 — dragged on. Five-and-a-half hours later we pulled in; not a record, perhaps, but in our collective condition that was the least of our concerns.

So now we’re dragging around like salt-hindered slugs, and I’m worrying about the dozen things that have to get done at the office tomorrow — year-end deadlines don’t care how sick I am. That said, the odds of my making it into the office tomorrow are increasingly slim. I’d plan to do what I can over the phone, but my voice is fading fast as well. I suppose I’d better give Adam a call while I’m still able to communicate. I guess the good news is that I’ll be home to receive the new phones that were supposed to arrive a week ago, but the wonderful folks at AT&T Wireless somehow managed to forget to ship.

I’m discovering that as I get sicker, my crankiness level increases exponentially. Might make for good reading across the next few days, if I feel up to writing. No promises, but stay tuned.


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