Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Adequate Punishment
For having the audacity to throw an eight-hour birthday party (though, true, only three of it involved personal responsibility for children not my own), to allow my mother-in-law to stay in my house for four days, and to drink frozen strawberry margaritas like it was my job (and, if part of my employment description includes "not killing people with knitting needles," then it may have truly been my job), I have been adequately punished. Instead of basking in my hostessly successes and preening a bit at avoiding a much-deserved hangover, I'm sitting on my loveseat, bundled up in my softest clothes and a big heavy blanket, and whimpering every few seconds, because it hurts to swallow, and either I normally swallow saliva on a freakishly frequent basis or a horrible twist of cosmic irony has caused me to overproduce saliva just for the occasion.

I have strep throat.

It hurts. A lot.

I've never had it before. In fact, for a long time (like, until yesterday) I kind of suspected that I might not be susceptible to whatever tiny little germy nastiness causes strep, just in the same way that I am apparently not allergic to poison ivy. I very, very rarely get sore throats; when my body decides to hate itself, it is most often in the form of sinus ridiculousness, or very occasionally a gastrointestinal two-exits-no-waiting sort of adventure. This means that whenever I do get the tiniest, mildest of sore throats, I turn into a great big baby, because I simply have no idea how to deal with it. Except to whine about it, which, thus far, had worked pretty well.

But yesterday afternoon, I came home from work to have lunch, laid down on the couch for a moment, and woke up two hours later all disoriented and logy. Happily, I had not slept past my kids' pick-up times at daycare, and the true beauty of my job is that, as long as I have my cell phone turned on and within reach, I can work from anywhere. (Yes, I have answered the phone in the tub. It's a good thing we don't do video conferencing yet, because I'm not entirely sure that the sight of me naked would make everyone less suicidal.) "Hmm," I thought, slowly and discombobulatedly, "I didn't even realize I was tired. I hope I'm not getting sick. Does my throat hurt?"

I was immediately distracted from these musings by a motorcycle accident. Two mentally underburdened boys cut in front of me and then decided to pass the car ahead of them on the right... despite her slowing down and signalling her intent to turn right. It's kind of fun to be able to call 911 from the safety and comfort of the witness role.

Anyway, we were fine for the evening; the kids were well-behaved, I continued my whine-and-bear-it solution to the sore throat and fever, and life went on. My second signal that something wasn't quite right came when I was unable to stay awake for The Bachelor. Never fear, I have it DVR'ed and hope to be able to watch it tonight.

This morning, I had reached a level of sore-throatedness that rendered me unable to yell at my children. Can you imagine? It was truly a loss. I did get up and go into work, but after an hour I came home, and spent a few more hours of alternating between sleeping and whimpering every time I swallowed - and I was only swallowing because I'm not so sick that I'm willing to drool on myself. Plus we're talking a lot of saliva here. Wet t-shirt contest amounts. No, thanks.

So, I went to the urgent care clinic, and yes, indeed, I have strep throat. I've realized that I never actually had even a sore throat ever in my life, not compared to this. Willem and the kids have spent most of the evening sitting around watching my poor, pathetic, overdramatic reactions to anything throat- or skin-related, because the fever, it is yucky.

I will be contagious for another day, so I'd advise against licking your keyboard, just in case. And because I am trying to be gentle with myself, I may also skip out on staff meeting this Thursday.

But I will not be able to spend my time doing rampant blog-hopping and posting like a mofo, because after his nap today, Jacob came out to the living room, stumbled around the back of the coffee table, and proceeded to spill a ginger ale on my laptop.

Oh, yes, he did.

It sort of works; well enough that I'm able to do a long-overdue iTunes, photos and C-drive backup on it, so there is some benevolence in my universe. But I can't type with the ZXCVBNM,. or Enter keys, and it acts as though the Alt-key is stuck down. I may be able to pop out the keyboard and clean it myself; I'll try when my hard drive is all happily backed up. If not, it's back to the factory, because clearly one major computer malfunction is not enough.

So, I'll just spend my day tomorrow enjoying my karma, in a stifled manner, because I can't steal Willem's laptop when it's way down there at school with him.

Woe is me.