2023 Ender

Hark! Do you hear those trumpets? Why, that’s the sound of the Dark Lord Char’Nagh riding down the mountain to let us know that another year has ended.

It felt like 2023 whizzed by, didn’t it? It just went by so quickly. I know that’s just what happens as one piles years upon years, but I’m not a fan. It feels like I’m forever trying to catch up to the flow of time, but if I take a rest I fall behind. Let’s hope that maybe in 2024 I’m not so overwhelmed.

I don’t know that I have anything else to report right now. Judging from the last two days, I think I’m getting over a light case of food poisoning. I’m not sure what I ate that caused it, but my body has reacted by kicking out as much fluid as it can without me becoming a desiccated husk. But hey, I don’t get ill like that very often, so let’s hope that ending 2023 that way means a fresh start for 2024.

I’ve Been Shot! Twice!

I feel like this is more the sort of thing I would be expected to post on “Social Media Platforms” but I thought, hey, I have a website for a reason, so here is the announcement: Today I got my second dose of the Covid vaccine. I understand it takes a fortnight or so to get to it


It’s a pandemic!
Viruses versus the world!
Which side are you on?

I gotta admit, when this whole thing started, I didn’t think it was realistic that we’d see a vaccine before 2022 at the earliest. Sure, this was based more on my own pessimism than any real knowledge of how anything works, but I am genuinely impressed by how quickly they managed it. I assume the fact we need to get two shots in this staggered manner is part of the reason they were able to do it. Well, it sucks that I had to be awake in the daytime not once but twice for all this, but it’s over now and feels worth it.

For posterity, I feel like I should note that my first shot was on May 27th. Just in case the historians using this site to piece together the details of my life need that information.

PDR Update: Oh yeah, I should do an update.

It occurs to me that, as far as my website knows, I never got better from my illness. Well, I am here to say that on June 15th I was told that I appeared to be healthy and had the PICC Line removed from my arm. In the almost-a-month since then, I have been trying to regain the strength that I lost during my downtime, and I have been working a lot to make up for the time I had not been working.

At the start of 2017 I made a list of things I planned to get done this year. We’ve recently passed the halfway point, and I do think I am more than halfway through the list even with the time my illness lost me. The only problem is that I did all the easiest stuff on the list, and now I have to focus on the harder stuff. And, of course, life is a constant parade of things that want me to not be doing what I want to do. More than anything, what I need is time to work on my things, but something always comes up to chisel away at that time.

Naturally, the first and hardest thing on the list is to finish SecGov. I fully intend to finish it this year, but there is so much drawing left to do, and that is the part of the process that I least enjoy. I said, going into this last story, that I didn’t want to cut anything because I didn’t feel up to drawing it. That woulda been nice, but it is an unrealistic goal. If I want to finish the story at all, I’m going to have to dial back from my plans. Ah well.

In any case, time permitting, I will continue busting through my goals and the fact I was sick for three months won’t end up mattering. Time permitting.

PDR Update: The Re-Return of the Illness

Picking up where my last report on my health left off, let’s see how my month has been going.

Friday April 28

This was, overall, a typical day until my daily antibiotics treatment, during which the nurse was unable to get anything to move through the PICC line, so I had to go to the ER to get my treatment. There was a wait of a few hours at the waiting room, but once I got in it took almost no time for them to get me going. I was out once I had my stuff pumped into me.

It was, however, this day that I had to admit to myself that I was coughing a lot. More than I ought to be considering I was supposed to be getting better.

Saturday April 29

I woke up this Saturday with a distinct taste of blood in my mouth and the coughing continued. Considering my medical history of the last few months, I thought maybe I ought to get that looked at. I went back to ER. It seems that the triage people didn’t think it was all that important, because even though I had the symptoms that had left me hospitalized weeks earlier, with the addition of the tastebloods, I was the last person to get in. Every person who had been in the waiting room before me, as well as every person who came in while I was waiting, got in until I was the last person in the waiting room. When I did finally get in, they did an x-ray that showed my lung had fluid in it again! That was annoying. They arranged for my next clinic appointment to be pushed up to…

Thursday May 4

I went to an appointment at a busy clinic where my doctor told me they would push up my next scheduled CT scan to check on the fluid. It seemed like a good plan, so I went home with that knowledge. Meanwhile, the cough continued to worsen.

Saturday May 6

I don’t know if voiding the contents of my stomach because I am coughing too much is actually the same as regular vomitting. I mean, I admit that it probably still counts as vomitting, but it felt different to me when it happened this night. Still, I guess I need to count this as the new marker when measuring my next vomitless streak. I feel like I’m not going to get another decade-long one of those any time soon. Anyway, the cough continued to worsen.

Tuesday May 9 to Saturday May 13

The cough reached a point where it was as bad as, or possible worse than it was when I first got hospitalized. Being me, I was just waiting for the call about that CT scan, but enough people finally convinced me I needed to get looked at more urgently that I was soon back to the ER. This time, though, triage determined that I had a fever I was not even aware of, so I got in pretty quick. As they gave me my daily antibiotics (I had left home before getting them) and treated my fever, it was soon determined I would be staying in hospital again. Indeed, I was soon transferred* back to the very room I had stayed in before (though not the same bed). The news I got was that the fluid in my lungs had actually receded since the last x-rays that told me they were refilling. That was good. The bad news was that my immune system was in terrible shape, with white blood cells about as low as possible. They ran a whole battery of tests on my blood and found not much. As they treated me, the white blood cells started coming back and eventually I was allowed back out, though now I have to get weekly blood tests and the length of time for which I will be getting daily antibiotics has been lengthened by a couple weeks after which they will decide if it will go further or not.

*This transfer was my first ambulance ride in my life. Any enjoyment I got from that was mitigated by the fact I had an extreme coughing fit that last pretty much the entire five-minute trip. I have no idea if this fit was triggered by the ride, or if it was a coincidence, but it sure happened.

Tuesday May 16

After a few days back on the regular antibiotics routine, I noticed that I am actually breathing better. I had barely noticed when I was breathing worse, but today I could tell that I was breathing better. And the cough was lessened as well. Let’s hope this trend continues.

PDR Update: What of the Illness?

Last time on PDR Update: I had been released from the hospital and was healing up after some lung stuff.

Phase Wherever I Was

After getting out of the hospital, I went through a week or so of days that blur together almost as much as the hospital stay. I got back to the apartment, sure, but I was pretty limited in what I could do. Eventually I finally got the dressing on my back changed to one that allowed me to shower. That was a really big deal for me. I missed showering. I got shaved, I got a haircut, I got new shoes. Many things that made me feel more human again. I still needed (and still do as of this writing) to be home every day for a time period so I can get my antibiotics injections, but mostly I have freedom. Because I still couldn’t do much, the days were still long and boring.

Sunday April 23

This was the first night when I tried to work It was a busier night than I was hoping it would be. Students are still in town. When they are gone, things’ll slow down. Unfortunately, as a delivery person, part of my job involves lifting things and I have been warned that, for three more weeks, I am not supposed to lift more than ten pounds at a time. I don’t actually know how much ten pounds is, but it doesn’t sound like much. I probably did lift more than that on a couple occasions during the night, but you know who can’t afford three more weeks of not working? The guy who has already missed about a month’s worth of shifts because of this crap.

Monday April 24

Well, when I woke up on Monday I sure did have fresh blood around the base of my PICC Line. It wasn’t a lot, but it did make me more nervous about lifting things. The warning about weight, I thought, was supposed to be about not wanting to open the tube-hole in my back that goes to my lungs, but I guess I have to worry about the tube in my arm that travels through my veins to my heart as well. Figures.

Tuesday April 25

I can’t remember if anything in particular happened on Tuesday. But since I can’t remember what day I started thinking “Being sick involves more running errands than I would have thought,” so I’ll put it in the Tuesday section. Doing things like picking up more antibiotics forces me out in the daytime hours and has complicated my efforts to put myself back on my proper nocturnal schedule. Adding to the problem is that I have to be home for the antibiotics treatments, so I’ve only got the windows between my waking up and the treatment and between my treatment and when things close to get out there. Oh well. I am pro-antibiotics if they are what is killing my infection.

Wednesday April 26

This night, I also worked. I am told that it was the last day for students to be in town, so it may be easier from this point on, but it was still decently busy. I did at one point ask a cook to help me carry my bag to the car, so I was probably being more sensible. That may be why I did not wake up with any new blood having leaked from my arm the next day.

Thursday April 27

Today being two weeks from my release from the hospital, I had to go to a walk-in clinic for a visit to the waiting room, followed by a brief checkup with a doctor. I was told that I am “on the road to recovery” which is certainly good to know. I was less happy to learn that my left lung is still not getting the air it should be. I had been living under the assumption that as soon as I was drained and released from hospital, I was back in the ol’ two-lung club, but I guess it is going to take some time. Basically that means that all the extra energy I thought I had now and had attributed to getting more oxygen or whatever was a placebo effect. I am still not getting that extra oxygen. Gimme that oxygen!

But anyway, I am still getting those daily antibiotics. They’ll kill the infection and I’ll get that lung open for me. Sure they will.