b Papa Dog's Blog: Still Like Crap, Thanks. How Are YOU Feeling?

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Monday, January 24, 2005

Still Like Crap, Thanks. How Are YOU Feeling?

So, as the cold symptoms worsened yesterday I started to wonder if maybe I shouldn’t just call in sick for Monday. I have two regular backup operators. One was already scheduled to come in late in the afternoon and into the evening for a specific project, so he was out. I called the other, and she said she couldn’t do it. I looked at the phone for a few seconds after hanging up, hoping that some other number would present itself to be dialled, but no such luck. This is what indispensability gets you. You have job security, but you have to work while pestilent. I tell my orkers* to keep their distance, but I’m still touching everything. If I were them, I’d tell me to stay home.

There was other stuff to be done before I left the house, too. Doggy Dog had to be fed. Baby Dog had to be interacted with. Had to pack a lunch. Had to set the VCR for 24, and damn if any of the surplus videotapes I got from Mama Dog’s dad would work. There was one load of dishes and another of folded laundry from last night that needed to be put away. In the middle of putting a bunch of napkins away in the back hall closet, I suddenly noticed that my back wasn’t planning on supporting me for the next little while. I let out what I believe is the standard International Red Cross distress call: “Ow! Shit! Fuck!” and sank to my knees, cursing my foolishness. Really, to think that I could lean forward and bend at the same time! What was I thinking? I tried to get up, but all I had to support myself on was a bulk lot of toilet paper from Costco. I pushed, it gave. No leverage. Mama Dog came and helped me to my feet. It wasn’t the worst back episode I’ve ever had. The worst would have been a few years back when I ended up on bed rest for a week. It was pretty bad, though, and I was left racking my brains trying to figure out how my work could get done without me being there.

I was able to hobble about somewhat close to normally after a bit, so I just had Mama Dog drive me to BART (thank you, wife!) – an option made possible by Saturday’s arrival of Gran, who was able to look after the bairn while I was Medivaced to my train. I was entertaining thoughts of announcing, “My back’s out and I’m about to fall over. Anybody want to let me sit down?” when the train arrived, but as it turned out I was so late that peak commute was over. There were actual empty seats in the car I shuffled onto. I pulled down the special fold-up chair in the handicapped space because I felt, for the morning, entitled.

My back hopelessly locked, my head swollen and throbbing, I gimped my way up Spear Street wondering what was next. I put my hand in my coat pocket and thought, “Oh, that’s what’s next.” I had a hangnail that was irritated and inflamed. The slightest touch was painful, and I was going to spend the day using that finger to type. Now, I know this isn’t exactly the stuff of Job, but I was starting to feel a little picked on.

Thankfully, my job entails sitting on my bum most of the day, so I really only have to deal with the back when I go for my tea (or to relieve myself thereof). I took a couple of Advil, and that helped a bit. I swilled a little DayQuil for the cold, and that helped a bit. I put a Band-Aid® on the hangnail and thought “Ha ha, an affliction I can effectively suppress!” Tomorrow, I don’t know. Maybe tomorrow I’ll stay home.
*As in cow-orkers.


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