Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Strep (maybe) and Blue States

PART I: The Infection

I've been home sick for a WEEK now -- on and off fever, swollen glands, tonsils the size of ballpark peanuts in the shell, yucky sores that make it next to impossible to swallow.

Last week Monday I had the sniffles. Made some dinner after work, watched some TV and went to bed early. The next two days are a bit of a haze -- up an hour or two, sip some water, sleep another two hours -- basically, a feverish delirium had set in. Watching TV was impossible; my eyes were ultra-sensitive to the light and my mind couldn't really follow the movement on the screen anyway.

By Thursday morning, I actually walked the five or six blocks to my doctor's office. (It took about half an hour. I'm sure, as I shuffled through the park, that I looked like one of the regulars who spend most of their day there. All I was missing was my sailor's hat and a few pint-sized bottles of rotgut. Thanks for not siccing Daphne on me, Dave!

The doctor says it's strep. Penicillin is STILL the preferred remedy -- and it should do the trick in one or two days, although I need to take the full 10-day prescription.

I take all three doses Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I stay home, under the covers, trying my best to let my body recuperate. OK, the fevers do subside, but . . . THE MONSTER IN MY THROAT LIVES!!

I headed back to see doc on Monday morning -- he is shocked and appalled that my throat is not better. He pokes, prods at the tonsils [OUCH!] and then leaves the exam room. He comes back with a new antibiotic, saying THIS will do the trick - - but, just in case it's not strep, come back Tuesday for a full blood test.

The tonsils DO shrink by 50% on Monday night and are almost normal on Tuesday. BUT, the small, painful lesions are still there even today, Wednesday. Swallowing is tough, eating is painful. (I am going to lose my official BEAR card if I don't get back to some REAL eating soon. I actually ate oatmeal and mushed-up bananas a few times this past week. Oh, never mind. I'm cuttin' up the card myself right now....)

What helped me get through, though, was my buddy Dave making a shopping trip for me. Suddenly, I had more juice, veggies, bread, pasta, mini-chicken-cordon-bleus (all the necessities), as well as an hour of much-needed friend-to-friend conversation. Thanks for risking the germs, Dave.

PART II: The Election

Originally, before my throat began its revolution, I'd already planned to take a vacation day Wednesday the 8th. I figured I'd be up late into the night, watching CNN and following the returns on various websites.

Well, thanks to being sick, I was asleep at 10 p.m. last night -- how lame! But, I woke up around 4:00 and watched CNN for about two hours before napping again for a few more hours.

It was no great surprise to see that voters around the country, in both traditionally Democrat and Republican states, had either ousted incumbent Republicans and replaced them with Democrats or had held on to Democrat seats in almost all elections countrywide.

Dems now hold a majority of governorships across the country, have taken the House by a wide margin, and may even take control of the Senate if the final two contested states (Montana and Virginia) show Democrats in the lead after recounts today.

This is seen mainly as a response to Bush's war policies and the many deaths of US service members (almost 3000 to date) and the many more deaths among the Iraqis (by some accounts as high as 60,000), to the corruption between Republicans and lobbyists, to the sex scandals between a male Republican senator and underaged male pages and the multi-year cover-up of his 'escapades' by his Republican senate cohorts -- and to so many other scandals, too numerous to list here....

What I find amazing is NOT that this finally happened and that the US electorate sent a definite sign to the President and his party that they will no longer let them have tyrannical control of the country, BUT that it took so long....

- T