Sunday, May 17, 2009
Literally, I've had a low grade fever since Friday and a cough, runny nose and assorted other cold symptoms since Monday night. I got it from my younger son who had all of the same (except for the fever) shortly before I did. He has since recovered without problem and only missed one day of school. Being older, it hit me slightly harder. I thought nothing of it other than increasing my whine factor and worked a normal week with the assistance of ibuprofen and decongestant.
Being a doctor who has always been prone to head colds, I'm pretty adept at self-medicating so I can get through a work day. Trust me, as a medical resident you work while sick. The penalties for "slacking" were just too severe. I never went to work with a significant fever but colds were just not severe enough to call in.
One of my worst was in my intern year when I had a cold and, it turned out, infections in both ears. I was half deaf and interviewing in the ER a gentleman who was paranoid psychotic. His agitation gradually increased as I regularly asked him to repeat himself. "Can you repeat that?" I'd ask. "How old did you say you are?" "Do you think I'm stupid?" He'd snap back at me, looking not stupid but seriously dangerous. "No, no," I'd assure him. "Not at all. I'm just having problems with my hearing."
In residency, we'd always circulate stories of the feverish surgical resident who would give himself IV fluids to get through a shift. I never personally witnessed this but it made for a good tale. I did get sent home for being sick once in medical school. I was rotating on obstetrics and had an eye infection. Since a couple of infectious diseases that can cause congenital defects in fetuses if the mothers catch them appear as eye infections I was not allowed to return to work until my eyes cleared up. I was quite happy to have the day off!
In spite of having spent half the past three days in bed recuperating, I am getting a few fun things done which is the double meaning of the term "spring fever." Today I sat in the back yard and enjoyed the sun. I was inspired to finish the next step of a mosaic I've been working on. I have wanted to make one for my out-door turtle enclosure which desperately needs decorating. I took a cement flagstone and arranged glass pieces on it to my liking. Today I attached them with tile adhesive and will grout when it is dry enough. Here is what it looks like so far.
The glass has an interesting story. Near my house, on the lakefront, Lake Michigan for those who live far off, the shore is largely constructed of land fill, mostly from the 1920's. Part of the fill is industrial waste and apparently some was of household garbage. There are a few bits of exposed soil apart from all the lawn and there I have found some interesting glass which has resulted in the mosaic design.