The day after my last entry, the one in which I talked about feeling alive and enjoying the spring for the first time in my entire life, I fell so painfully ill at work that I had to go home at lunch. That was yesterday, and I am still here at home, feeling utterly disgusting.

Well, okay, I haven't been stuck solidly here at home since yesterday afternoon. After I left work, I went to the mediclinic to find out what the hell was wrong with me. I've been feeling like lesser and greater crap since October with short interspersions of partial hearing loss, muscle pain, disrupted equilibrium, insomnia, and panic attacks. It's been a joy to wake up every day with new levels of each of these discomforts playing off the others in a swelling symphony of minor afflictions.

Perhaps I am being a bit hyperbolic, but so be it. I have been living with this physical noise for months, and my tolerance to ibuprofen is through the roof, so give me a break.

I ended up sitting in the waiting room of the mediclinic for almost two whole hours. In the past, I have usually gone there after work, so I normally see kids and parents with a peppering of the elderly. Mid-afternoon is apparently the time of day when all the oldsters come out, because there were about a hundred Margarets / Ruths / Oscars / Ethels / Georges called up before me. People had to keep making room for walkers and lurching gaits and parkinsonian jittering. Not me, though. I have a killer glower. (I'm so kidding, because I look silly when I try to look mean).

When I was finally ushered into a room, the doctor came and proceeded to be condescending and rude. I liked him immediately.

Doc: Do members of your family have allergies?
Me: Not too bad. My mother's allergic to rape. (This was my attempt at being funny. You know, rape is also known as canola. He just looked at me briefly as though I were a fool).
Doc: So, airborne allergies run in your family, then.
Me: Not really. Just my mother, and she's not bad.
Doc: Are you her daughter? (He raised one eyebrow at me).
Me: Yes. (He sighed heavily and then raised two eyebrows at me).
Doc: Then it runs in your family.


I am very well aware of the basics of genetic inheritance, and I disagree that one relative having allergies means that my condition must stem solely from genetics. Whatever. He spoke to me like I was an imbecile for the duration of the visit, and then he concluded that I am suffering from allergies, likely due to a variety of airborne irritants, especially at my place of work, and then he prescribed me antibiotics, N@sonex, and Cl@ritin. Why I liked him is one of those mysteries of life. Perhaps it was our unspoken magnetic connection when he was sticking disposable plastic ear cones in my ears.

According to the doctor, the insides of my nose are so swollen that my sinuses have been unable to drain. My symptoms have persisted for so long that this mucal soup in my head just sat and stagnated, eventually developing the sinus infection that I currently have. When he looked inside my ears, he said that he could not see my ear drums properly. That explains my limited hearing and the occasional whistling wind sounds.

When I was younger, I never had allergies. Over the last couple of years, though, my sensitivity to airborne irritants has worsened and worsened so that now I don't go a single day without red eyes or headaches or chest congestion. My work environment is the worst. I can be fine when I show up in the morning, but by the time an hour has passed I find myself sniffling, sneezing, and popping painkillers for the head and muscle pain. At least now I might have an explanation for why I am feeling so awful most of the time. I was starting to think I had ME/CFS.

I presently have five bottles in front of me, all containing pills or liquids that will hopefully improve my physical health or at least stop me from getting worse. I used to think old people were being overmedicated, but I've got a little mini-pharmacy sitting around this keyboard.

I'm getting terribly restless. Feeling sick and tired gets real old real fast around here, and now I'm in the mood to go out and enjoy what I can of this beautiful day. Of course, in order to do that, I have to be able to get myself ready and out the door without falling asleep, so I will likely just mope around here feeling annoyed by my illness until I pass out again. If I do manage to get out of here, though, Dr. Weil tells me that it's okay for me to mix alcohol with my antidepressants. The best medicine always comes with a beer coaster, I say.

Unable to lie around for another moment, I sat up this morning before the Fiery One got out of bed and created that cute little Google search box in my sidebar. I am hoping that I managed to abide by all the terms and conditions and other legalese I read, because I would hate to have to take it down.

Go ahead, search for something. No really, do. I want you to see how the Google search results page is customized. Oh, yes. I'm always a little late to the game, but I never let that diminish my satisfaction.

(If I have committed some kind of gross web misconduct, please let me know in my comments or by e-mail. Be kind).

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The Force Of Return (And Some Finch)