Monday, January 16, 2012

So, what have I been doing?

It's 5:30 in the morning and I've been up for four hours now -- not by choice, which is always possible for a night owl -- but because of a beastly cough that will not let me lay quietly for even 30 seconds.

They say that a cough is usually a sign that an upper respiratory infection is on its way out, but since a cough is how this sinus infection began (yeah, I know, sinus infections often start in your head -- even the nurse was perplexed) and has been with me all the way through, I could simply be embarking on a new point in my life when I'm known as "The Coughing Guy."

I've had sinus infections before. But the symptom that threw me off the scent was the cough. I started hacking, then picked up a fever and thought "hmmm, I've got some sort of virus." If I had known it was a sinus infection, I could have gone through the ritual of sinus infection sufferers four days ago, instead of just starting on Saturday.

The first few days were spent just trying to get through. I couldn't possible go to work -- although I tried to do so on Friday. Major mistake. Not only did I feel like a garbage dump, but winter decided to arrive on that exact day and give us a foot of snow. A co-worker needed a lift because she couldn't get plowed out. As the only available option, I drove out in my feverish state. I was so out out of it, that I didn't turn on my lights, even though it was dark out, and then I drove through a stop sign.

I'd come home those first few days and sit in a chair and stare vacantly, disinterested in everything. I couldn't focus on anything, and bizarre stuff would set me off. I literally yelled at the weatherman because he was off on his prediction of snowfall by four inches.

I tried to read the blogs, but anything requiring any kind of of thought was impossible. Plus, reading someone saying, "check out the cards I scored!" while I hacked up a lung or carried about 50 pounds of mucous in my head ... well, let's say I felt a bit resentful. For the first time in a long time, I didn't want the cardboard world to exist.

By Saturday and Sunday I noticed slow improvement, meaning I could focus on a few things. But only a few things. So you know what that means -- I parked myself in front of the TV.

I don't watch much TV when it's not baseball season, and I can't remember the last time I've watched TV around the clock. But I did around the clock on back-to-back days. I'm pretty certain I'm not as intelligent as I was last week.

The good point was I got to watch all four NFL playoff games. Well, two-and-half really. I took a nappy during the Texans-Ravens. And fever boy couldn't stay up for all of the Patriots-Broncos. Besides, I was sick already. The combination of the media's insane gushing over Tim Tebow and my well-crafted hatred of the Patriots may have finished me off.

The bad point was this:

I was reminded of all the reasons why I was driven away from watching the NFL originally.  The commercial interruptions are relentless and repetitive. There needs to be a limit on how often a commercial can be aired. I honestly don't understand how football fans can take it.

Here are some of the phrases I never want to hear again after viewing four football games:

  • "You guys know how to post videos to Facebook?"

All cell phone commercials are pushy, unappealing, unfunny and useless to me. But this one is so annoying that I may just go without any communication device for the rest of my life. If you're going to air the same commercial over and over again, at least try to make it appealing. Your commercial is so 27 seconds ago.

  • "We count our victories by the bombers we get to their targets. By the husbands we return to their wives. By the fathers we give back to their children."

The movie Red Tails looks interesting and commendable, but I cannot listen to Terrence Howard's voice one more time. See what you do when you shove stuff down people's throat?

  • "I want people to jump rope with our cheese."

Listen. Dominos sucks. It's the worst chain pizza I've ever experienced. And the commercials are just as bad. And why is it that Dominos is the only pizza chain that exists in television advertising? I vaguely remember something from Pizza Hut, but Dominos sure is in-your-face for a business that should be spending more time on how to improve their pizza and less on annoying viewers over discussions over cheesy bread. Have some pride.

Even commercials that I liked back in the first stages of illness -- like the Direct TV "don't end up in a roadside ditch" commercial -- was just a bunch of white noise a couple days later.

And finally, I do not care how much you beat me into submission, I am not watching your little show about Alcatraz. Got it?

When football wasn't on, I've been watching old episodes of Frasier or Cheers. I think those are the only times during this period when I was actually able to enjoy myself. Well, except that any laughing threw my body in into coughing convulsions and I'd proceeded to miss the next 10 lines of dialogue.

I've taken more medication in the last five days than I've ever taken in my life. At first it was the "please get the fever down" variety, and then it was the "remove the vise from my head" kind and then it was the "I really, really, REALLY need to get some sleep" version.

But as you can see, the sleep medicine isn't working too well.

So, you're probably wondering when I'm going to get back to my two-posts-a-day self.

I still don't know.

I have to be doing fairly well to write this much -- I never could have done any of this a few days ago. I couldn't even send out a simple one-sentence email to my mom three days ago.

So I say, give it a couple of days. By then, the thought of scanning some cards won't make me nauseous.

Look, there's a freshly scanned card now. Can't be too far from getting back on the pony.

I smartly requested Monday off a few weeks ago (no I'm not a government or school worker, I don't usually get MLK Day off). It will give me another day to recuperate. Especially if I'm going to function on three hours of fitful sleep.

As far as getting sick, you couldn't pick a better time. January is boring. It hasn't been above zero for the last two days. But that doesn't matter to me because I haven't been out of the house for two days.

So don't you worry your pretty little head. Night Owl is starting to see the bright side and is on the comeback trail.

On the other hand, Night Owl could change his name to The Coughing Guy.

You don't want to know how many times I spit up green stuff writing this post.


  1. How to get through the NFL: flip the channels when a game goes into a break. works well for the regular season, no so much for the playoffs when it's the only game going on at a given time. I also like to turn down the tv volume, watch with my eyes and listen to a podcast like Adam Carolla. makes the game fly by (and less annoying by not having to listen to some of the announcer teams).

    as for dominos, if you haven't tried it in the last year, it might be time. The crust and pizza is definitely improved. It's also my favorite delivery pizza joint because they can get a piping hot pizza to me in less than 30 minutes, unlike Pizza Hut who takes an hour and a half to deliver a cold pizza.

  2. I spent the last four days sick as well (though my cough was only about 12 hours)... And I agree, football games are painful - but (for me) nothing is as painful as next week's Patriots/Ravens game. I want them both to lose.

  3. Hopefully you feel better soon N.O. I agree on your commercial sentiments, I usually during the commercial break end up switching to MLB or NHL network for a couple minutes to end the barrage of commercials. Half the time I end up missing a play or 2 when I get back because I became involved in what I switched

  4. "Coughing Guy" - that immediately reminded me of an old episode of Growing Pains where Kirk Cameron's character was in a soap opera episode (or something like that) and when they watched the episode on TV all his lines were edited out and he just laid on the floor coughing before dieing. In the credits his character was simply known as "Coughing Guy".

    Sorry, I'll let people get back to commenting on the subject matter at hand now!

  5. DVR saves me for NFL games. I always record both games and start watching with around a half hour to an hour to go. Then I can fast forward through the commercials. By the time I'm to the end of the games, I'm almost caught up.

    All that said - I do end up watching some commercials, it's impossible to completely avoid, and, yes the videos on facebook is getting old fast.

  6. Don't know if you've been to the doctor, and don't want to scare you, but pneumonia has been going around, at least in downstate NY. I know a couple people at work who thought they just had a really bad cough and turns out thats what they had. Hopefully that's not what you have but what I am reading sounds exactly what happened with my co-workers. If you don't get better in a couple of days go to the doctor!

  7. Pneumonia was actually a thought a couple of times, and very recently, too. But things have improved vastly even within the last few hours so I think I'm clear.

    Thanks for the well wishes!