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So, yeah, the boy and I went down to Florida last weekend to visit with family and celebrate what would have been my Granddad's 100th birthday. I think about half of the extended family showed up, which is a pretty good turnout considering we are many and sprawled all over the country.

The pre-party: Florida's not a vacation spot I would choose on my own (heat, strip malls, giant insects), but visiting with my crazy relatives always cheers me up. They are loud and funny and insane, and I love them. Especially when they take us to the beach! Apparently the real Floridians thought 72 degrees was too cold for swimming, but we hardy Midwesterners frolicked in the choppy surf at Lake Worth Beach until we were exhausted (and itchy from all the sand in our suits). Then we went back the next day and did it again! At least until the baby man-o-wars floated by my head -- then we got the hell out of the water.

The party: We all pigged out on a Polish feast of pierogies, potato pancakes, and sausage slow-cooked in sauerkraut (one cousin remarked that the smell of that regularly coming out of Grandma's house always made her afraid to go inside). Everybody told stories about my Grandpa, who I barely remember because he died when I was five, and then lots of other stories about even crazier relatives and people from Saginaw, which are always fun to hear even though I have no idea who they're talking about.

Unfortunately, toward the end of the night, I was starting to feel crappy, and by the time we got back to my parents' house and went to bed, I was feverish and shaking with chills and my throat was totally raw. I hardly slept, and we had to leave at 6:45 am to catch our flight back to Chicago. By the time we got home, I was so miserable all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and whimper. The flu that kicked me in the lungs a couple weeks ago was back for my head!

Most of the people I know who have had the flu this year have been hit twice, a couple weeks apart. This is a particularly mean-spirited little virus (it probably voted for Bush) that makes you think you're all healthy and recovered for several days then comes back to scrape up your throat and make you produce half your body weight in snot every six hours. My right ear is all plugged and murky, the glands in my neck are the size of grapes, and I really just want to sleep, but every time I swallow, the pain wakes me up. More missed work, more doctor visits, more fluids, more rest. It's getting old.

Replies: 5 Confessions


Whoa, bad news. I had the lung thing all last week and then it went away, poof, as if by magic on Monday. You mean I still have Round 2 coming up? Oh, WOE! And no, I didn't get a flu shot either.

elavil @ 02/23/2005 12:31 PM CST


the flu has been making rounds in my nursing class. every week for the past 4 weeks people have been MIA for clinicals. thankfully our prof is paranoid about getting the flu herself and encourages people to stay the fuck away from her.

I have taken to carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me, taking 2 grams of vit C a day, and drinking liters of water.

so, give me a call some day you are home and I can come over and make you lunch. or something.

shechemist @ 02/24/2005 10:24 AM CST


oh yeah, and even the pope is going though round two.

shechemist @ 02/24/2005 10:26 AM CST


Oh wonderpus, I just begin to recover from round one and hear that I am in store for round two!

Rugo @ 02/26/2005 12:50 PM CST


Flu shots are a scam.

Mari @ 02/28/2005 09:58 AM CST


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