Dec 292013

This has been a little slice of hell, but it’s finally starting to turn around. The first few days were a nightmare of flu-like hot & cold, but the last few days have been a nightmare of non-functional lungs. For a while there I could only breathe in tiny gulps… in a burst of scientific enthusiasm, I blew bubbles and figure that I was down to a volume of not much more than a ping pong ball. If I remained vertical and immobile, the lungs would be more or less stable; but if I went more than 15 degrees off plumb, they’d go bonkers and I’d have horrific, pointless coughing fits that would couple with the minimal lung function to consume the very last erg of energy. Efforts to sleep have, for the last 48 hours, proven to be largely failures.

Today my lung volume is greatly expanded and they are more tolerant of off-axis conditions. You’d think that this would allow me to finally get some sleep… nope. Best I can do is lay there motionless for two hours at a stretch, with perhaps a few brief episodes of micro-sleep. My brain is still a mess due to the lack of sleep, but it’s coming back on line. Hour after hour propped in front of the TV staring blankly at overly-enthusiastic self-deluded fools chasing bigfoot didn’t melt my brain, but, sadly, neither did it put me to sleep. Gah.

Also: my appetite is *gone.* Yesterday I had two bites of a Hot Pocket and one slice of bread; today, three spoons of oatmeal. And everything just tastes *wrong.* Mostly everything – food & drinks – that I used to like, now I don’t. On the other hand, an energy drink that has always been pretty vile now tastes… not that bad. Shrug.

I have high hopes that today I will be able to get back to work on things. I spent much of yesterday with the laptop I do my US Bomber Projects diagrams on… but never once had the initiative to so much as turn the damned thing on. Freakin’ zombie apocalypse.

I also notice that pretty much the last thing I did before getting ill was working outside on cyanotype blueprints. I can’t help but put two and two together here… physical labor in the cold seems to have led to sickness. So… no more cyanotypes. Not until spring, anyway.

 Posted by at 12:44 pm
  • Siergen

    Never tried an energy drink, but an EMT friend of mine says that if sports drinks suddenly start tasting better, it’s a strong indicator that you’ve become deydrated. Your body starts craving whatever contains the chemicals it is running short on…

  • Herp McDerp

    Any idea whether it’s bacterial, viral, or environmentally induced? Have you seen a doctor about this latest episode? Are you taking any prescription meds, or even over-the-counter remedies? Jeez, the last thing you need is for this COPD to transmogrify into emphysema. Best wishes, Scott.

    • Anonymous

      > Any idea whether it’s bacterial, viral, or environmentally induced?

      Since antibiotics always seem to kill it, it would seem to be bacterial.

      If this happens again any time soon, I am going to demand a specialist. Assuming, that is, I have insurance. Starting Jan 1, the new insurance I signed up for weeks ago is supposed to kick in… but I have no firm proof of that apart from having been billed.

      • Anonymous

        I’ve luckily avoided the exchanges but the mere fact that you were billed puts you miles above most of those who’ve tried to sign up.

        • Anonymous

          Much to my shock, the insurance card actually showed up in the mail today. I suspect I may be putting it through its paces in the next few days.

  • Aw, holy cow, Scott…! Get better soon, please. –It frets me to see a rocket guy fighting this much lung trouble.

    Maybe you need to keep oxygen around?

  • Bill H

    Please EAT whether you want to or not. Plus plenty of JUICE of some sort, whatever flavor you can tolerate. Having O2 around sounds like a good idea. Any fumes involved when making the cyanotypes? Our engineering blueprint room smelled a lot.

    • Anonymous

      > Please EAT

      This one is weird in that it seems to have re-written some of my basic drives. I just *cannot* eat solid food. There is a command override that prevents that. However, I can drink all I want, so I’ve been choking down V8 and applesauce. I’m going to take a stab at chicken noodle soup.

      • Anonymous

        Had some chicken noodle soup. The broth went down just fine, but the noodle felt and tasted like mud.

  • Jon Risque

    I can’t taste anything either, and when I lie down I start coughing bad. It didnt start that way but it seems to have progressed from a high wet cough to a deep dry cough that makes it hard to breathe. Doc put me on Bactrin, which makes my stomach turn. Make sure you take in enough sodium, drinking too much water can hurt too, the best thing I’ve foung is chicken broth with crackers and cold-eze fizzing drink, thats good for keeping electrolytes

    • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

      What’s cold-eze fizzing drink? I have learned that Airborne works, and it’s a fizzing drink. I also use successfully Cold-Eeze, which is a lozenge and quite different. But if there’s a product that combines the two …..

  • Bill H

    Chicken with rice is alo a good thing to keep around, goes down very easy. Elixer of the gods, recommended by Odin hisself. Vitamin C. Good old Hawaiian Punch is way too sweet for a normal adult to drink but when sick we taste less. I’m sure you may be tired or annoyed of advice but it is just a reflection that your fans out here on the interwebs do care…

    • George Allegrezza

      Hawaiian Punch is the balls when you’re sick. Your taste buds are just hammered enough to enjoy it. I like the Italian ice idea too, especially if you have a sore throat.

  • Ed

    Scott, something a friend game me during a flu attack a few years ago: Italian Ice. Really just a hard Slurpy, but very refreshing. I like the berry, but the lemonade stains less…

  • James Vaughan

    … use a dust mask when you go outside in the cold. Helps me a lot.

  • Dan Sharp

    Blimey Scott, didn’t realise you were so bad! I’m with the guy who prescribed juice – didn’t Howard Hughes exist on nothing but freshly squeezed orange juice half the time? Also, I find toasted bread with salty butter works wonders. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    • Anonymous

      And how many times did he (Hughes) watch Ice Station Zebra while lying nude in the dark?

      • Dan Sharp

        Wiki hazards an unattributed guess at 150. That’s a whole lot of lying around in the nude/dark.

        • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

          It’s a good movie!

          • Dan Sharp

            Kind of a slog to watch it 150 times though. That’s like watching all 192 episodes of 24 with Kiefer Sutherland (to arbitrarily choose another thing that’s kind of a slog to watch) three times. A total of 15 days’ solid viewing.

          • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

            I can imagine watching it 150 times over three or four lives. I may have seen it ten times (I own a copy) but that’s about it. Anything gets old after a while — even the Three Stooges (but don’t quote me on that).

          • Dan Sharp

            I can imagine ‘watching’ it 150 times in the background while I was busy doing something else – like running a bunch of Vegas casinos.

  • archipeppe

    I hope that you will get better and recover soon…. anyway have a nice 2014 Scott!!
    This 2013 was definitely not so kind.

  • Herp McDerp

    The homebrew remedy that I take whenever I feel like I’m coming down with something is to make a big, *strong* margarita and nuke it in the microwave until it’s the temperature of hot coffee. (So sip it carefully!) The citrus and heat do seem to help, and the alcohol ensures that I don’t get too ambitious and overexert myself. Really, sleep is the best remedy … assuming your lungs will let you do that.

    • Anonymous

      > sleep is the best remedy … assuming your lungs will let you do that.

      Fitfully.Got a few hours worth last night, in 45-minute chunks.

  • Michel Van

    odd, i got in same time a nasty infection of my pharyngeal and enanthema.
    I wish you get well soon !