Archive for the ‘illness’ Category

Pluck and luck

Aaaand yesterday I came down with a cold.  Not a terrible one–a stuffy nose and intermittently clogged ears are the main symptoms, and I’m hoping it doesn’t morph into other versions, as colds sometimes do.  Last night I even had one clear nostril at all times, for which I was grateful.

It came on a few hours after the yoga class–which was otherwise a friendly introduction to yoga, but I did wonder if I’d somehow redistributed my fluids with all those unfamiliar poses in order to wind up with a headful of snot!

I also hope that I didn’t manage to give the cold to my mom, whom I drove over to Stubb’s parents’ house for a little condolence visit.  Or to Stubb’s parents.

Today I rejiggered my to-do list, uploaded some financial aid forms for the Snork Maiden’s music camp (not sure we’ll get FA, but worth applying), handled a bit of SA correspondence, ordered new glasses, and spent far too much time on Facebook.

I also realized that while I’ve been pleased about staying connected with my current book project via a series of Seinfeld chains, I have been moving among poem drafts much more than I did while writing my first two book manuscripts.  This is partly a function of the way this book is meant to work: it has more of a narrative arc (which is its own problem) and so I am sketching in pieces of it and thinking a little less in terms of each poem as a completed artifact.  However–I am generally all about the poem as a completed artifact on its own, and this chain of blurry drafts is disconcerting to me.

Maybe I need to be disconcerted.  Maybe I need to think about whether this is all one long poem–that was one thing that interested me very much about reading Hirsch’s Gabriel, although I think I understand how that poem’s form serves that poem in a way that’s very particular to its subject matter and speaker.

I was thinking, though, that a good writing goal for the rest of the break would be to select a little group of poems that work well together, that could eventually be submitted together and make sense as a group apart from the longer narrative arc of the book, and pull these through to what I will call, oxymoronically, “finished drafts”–not finished poems but a group of drafts that have plausible beginnings, middles, and ends, even if they will still go through more drafts afterwards.

So I think that’s what I will do.  Six days left of break = six finished drafts.  Let’s see what happens.

Vacation dreams

Cold is better.  After one restless night, woke up with a half-numb and tingly thumb. I often wind up sleeping with one hand tucked underneath me in an awkward position, so this was not entirely unprecedented, but unfortunately the semi-numbness has persisted for a couple of days and on Sunday I also made the mistake of telling that one acquaintance about it–the person who has had the most hand-related problems of anyone I have ever met: disability-leave-worthy, surgery-requiring hand problems, and of course her reaction was all Nerve Damage! Get thee to a specialist! It’s probably too late already! and you can’t call anyone on Sunday, so immediately my whole hand started aching and tingling.  (Even as I was saying, “Hey, can I ask you…” there was a little voice in my head saying No, this is not a good idea! )  I decided to restart the anti-inflammatory that my doctor gave me for the butt thing, and wear a wrist support, both at her suggestion, and actually it feels a lot better.  (I also moved the mouse to the other side of the computer.)  Will keep an eye on it for a few days and see someone if it doesn’t resolve.

Weird and remember-able dreams lately, mostly as a result of going back to sleep after waking up at the normal SA time.  My dreams have featured odd constellations of people from different parts of my life, all milling around together, mostly quite cheerfully.  I wish I could remember details, because the impression these dreams left was pleasant…

Two nights ago, I dreamed I was back at NLNRU, teaching a poetry class. Most of the students were people I’d taught before, which had me scrambling to come up with something new to them.  I hadn’t ordered books, of course, because I hadn’t known I was teaching the class. I decided to have each person choose a pop song, from any era, that was important to them, and prepare to sing it to the class. Then they would write a poem in which they tried to access, in a big, ambitious way, whatever made that song so important to them.  I wasn’t entirely comfortable being back at NLNRU, but I was glad to be earning the extra money, and I was happy to see those students again. My colleague from this post was there, too, and doing that jumping-in-with-a-followup-question just as in that post!

My Seinfeld chains are six days long, which is quite satisfying, although I am disappointed that because of a series of miscommunications with Stubb and the Snork Maiden, I didn’t get the chunk of morning work at SA that I meant to do today (had to leave abruptly and pick her up, but then ended up waiting around for the other family to bring her to the meeting place).  Oh well, I did bring home the stuff I need, so I’m thinking a session Tuesday, a session Wednesday, and then knock off early for New Year’s Eve, just like a regular working person.


The cold did develop from a sniffle to a scratchy throat, cough, low fever, mild headache. Nothing really bad (and I consider myself fortunate that so far I’ve been able to breathe through my nose).  But annoying.  Hoping to be able to sleep okay tonight.

My Seinfeld chains are 4 days long, though.  Today was a minimum day for everything, but I still get to cross it off on the calendars.

Not excited about this first book that Orsino and Sebastian proposed for the junior class.  I’m not that far into it, though.  And not feeling well doesn’t help.  I will have to slog along some more, but I have to wonder, if it’s a slog for me, what chance is there that the regular juniors will love it?


The years (2012)

In 2012 I had a bunch of disappointing papers to grade right before the break, but then some time to lie around and read and generally enjoy the break before the Snork Maiden and I headed out to visit Stubb on the road and pick up a stomach bug.  I’m still amazed that he didn’t catch the same thing, considering that we were all sharing a hotel room and bathroom.  I put in some applications for things I didn’t end up getting, and I got ready to join the writing group that I guess I’ve belonged to for two years now.  I don’t get to go every time, but I have met some good writers and I did get great feedback when the group discussed my manuscript in August.  I also note that I submitted some poems, and that reminds me that I really should do some submissions this break, also.

Then again, maybe I won’t

Except that the Snork Maiden was feeling punk by the end of the day on Monday, so we cancelled the sax lesson and endured a way too exciting drive home wondering whether she would puke in the car.  (I swiped a clean garbage bag from one of the cans at SA just in case.)  She puked after we got home and is currently curled up miserably in bed.  Poor thing.  I haven’t absolutely made the call on whether to stay home with her tomorrow, but I will if I need to.  (It’s as good a day as any for a substitute to come in and screw up my carefully laid plans the way they usually do.) Can’t tell–as one often can’t–whether it’s a stomach virus or something bad she ate.  We just have to wait and see what happens next.

She’s dozing right now.  Stubb has gone back to his out-of-town gig, so I’ve put her in my bed where I can easily keep an eye on her.  (Also, her bed is a semi-loft deal that’s a bit far off the ground for leaning over and throwing up into a trashcan.)  If she keeps sleeping, I might get a bit of writing done this evening after all.  If she isn’t done with the vomiting portion of the evening’s entertainment, however, that will certainly change the plan.

Meanwhile, I started taking the antibiotic that the doc gave me to use if the possibly-a-throat-infection kept on not getting better, and I think that was probably a good call, as the throat feels quite a lot better twenty-four hours after starting it.  Family medical adventures!


Sick day

Once again, I have a cold on Thanksgiving weekend.  Once again, it’s annoying but not totally debilitating.  I hope that Stubb and the Snork Maiden can dodge it, though.

I’m going to try to finish up NaNoWriMo today, by which I mean hitting my revised personal goal of 25,000 words.  I also need to write a grad school rec letter.  And exercise, once I’ve been upright long enough to be able to breathe comfortably through my nose again.

I’m going to stay home from a family Hanukkah party today.  I showed up for Thanksgiving, but my only outward symptom yesterday was being a bit hoarse.  Today my nose is red and runny, and there will be lots and lots of kids at the party, and older folks, so it would be a kindness to keep myself and my virus at home.


Finishing the picture

Here’s how the year ended: with the Snork Maiden and me getting sick in Stubb’s hotel room.  Here’s how the year began: with us flying woozily home and trying to pull ourselves together for two days of school.  (She ended up staying home; I went in, but was able to come home early both days.)  And here’s what this weekend looks like: trying to catch up on everything I didn’t do in the last five days, while also doing the things I was already supposed to do this weekend.  While still tired and a bit nauseated.  So my frame of mind could be better than it is.  The break really was nice up to the point of getting sick; it’s rotten how getting sick wiped out the gains of becoming well rested and less stressed.  And I am sad about not having gotten to spend more healthy time with Stubb.  We had about eight great hours in which we were all awake, together, and enjoying ourselves, and then bam.

I can still look on the bright side: Stubb didn’t get sick, which would have been rough on him with his job.  We did manage to fly back when we had planned, and the flights went smoothly (no real delays, no lost bags, no airsickness).  I met all my classes once (I got coverage for the one that met on Friday afternoon).  And while we’re both a little wobbly, we feel well enough to function this weekend and should be well on our way to being caught up by Monday.

Even feeling punk, it was nice to be back at SA.  My colleagues were sympathetic about my not feeling well, and several offered to cover classes if I needed them.  (Hilda van Gleck, one of whose functions is to handle substitutions, provided a sub for the class I missed on Friday.)  The kids were simultaneously all excited about being back and theatrically grouchy about having to come back so early; one of my classes was fairly inert, but the others were good.

I’m going out to run a couple of errands with the Snork Maiden, then back to 1) write a slew of emails I’ve ignored for a week; 2) work on one of my goals for the new writing group (yay); 3) keep ploughing through the catch-up list.  (One thing I have made progress on today is the SA financial aid application for next year; getting it started and figuring out some of what I need to do has made me less anxious about it, though I’m sure there are one or two freakouts ahead.)

Plague zone

You know what else I realized, looking back at past Thanksgiving posts:  I have often been sick during Thanksgiving weekend.  Last year I chaperoned an SA community service activity while a cold was coming on, and it was unpleasant.  I think this year I’ll give that a miss, don’t you?  And while I’m at it, let’s have the Snork Maiden stay healthy, too.