Sunday, January 14, 2018

On the brink

You may have been wondering what happened to me.  (Me too, frankly....)  So, first, there was winter break. It was long. And hard. We'd hoped to do all sorts of fun things. We did fit in a play date, a classmate's birthday party, 2 museum visits, and a couple of meals out. We went to a kid's theatre production. We tried hard to set up fun things to do. However, we were stymied by a few crucial things:

1) The professor was sick.  He often gets sick at the end of a term, as an academic term can feel a bit like a marathon to a teacher sometimes, but this time, he was sick with what we thought was a respiratory or cold virus, more or less all break.

2) Like much of North America, we had some extreme cold which meant that it was just too cold to go anywhere.  Unlike most of North America, our extreme cold means you can get frostbite on exposed skin in 8-10 minutes.  We aren't talking "put on an extra tuque" weather, or zip up your parka, wear some snow pants or anything like that.  That's normal cold for Winnipeg. We're talking wind chills of -40 or lower for days on end.

We get this in Winnipeg, it's not a huge shocker, but it's hard over winter break when you are trapped indoors.  Plus, although our hot water radiator heat works well and gas fire places, designed for British Victorian homes without central heating, were pouring out the supplemental heat...there were problem areas.  Like, our 100 year old house does not have insulation in the outside walls, and if you stood next to an outdoor wall for more than a moment, it felt like Harry Potter's dementors were sucking out your soul.

3) Kids can get restless when trapped indoors. We had indoor toys and games lined up, but ended up resorting to weird made up games like "button hockey" and "Swedish scooting" and other things you could play on the floor without hurting anybody or freezing to death.

4)Somewhere during break, one twin got sick with a virus with a fever, and even though we'd all gotten the flu shot, we now suspect it was a mild case of the flu.

5) On January 5th, I had a big birthday, and I announced we would go out to dinner, since I didn't want to have to bake my own cake or make dinner.  The windchill was about -25F(-32C) when the family walked to the restaurant and back.

Finally, after many days, we were rounding the bend. The kids would go back to school. I would start working again. Finally, I would get to be alone sometime soon...  On January 7th, we went back to a normal routine, and on Sunday morning, we went to a kid music class, where I didn't feel all that well. Yeah.  Hah.

I started running a fever on January 7th, and it got pretty high before it went back down again.  I ran a fever for 5 days.  I had the flu the way everyone is scared to get it--the reason for getting the darn flu shot in the first place. (I did, honest!)  I literally helped get the boys on the bus, went back to bed, and stayed there nearly all day every day, all week. The dog kept me company. I felt like dying was a really good idea somewhere in there. I wished someone would loan me a 2 by 4 once or twice.

I did get to a medical appointment ("congrats, you have flu") and my temp was over 39C at that point. (103.5F) I eventually got a chest x ray on Thursday morning, but I still have not heard back about it.  A person could have died of pneumonia by now... and although my fever is down, I'm still coughing a lot.

I had to reschedule several appointments last week, and I'm hoping to catch up sometime soon, assuming I get better sometime. Twin #2 and the professor seem to now be having mild versions of the flu, but we may be kidding ourselves, we are running no marathons over here. In the meanwhile, here's a new article I wrote during winter break.  It has an odd resonance; I hadn't mentioned the flu as a plague, but now I think maybe it's relevant too:
We should be more civilized

Stay warm and stay well, everybody!

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