I'm a person again.
A functioning member of society is what I am.
And I'm barely even SICK any more!
As I mentioned earlier, I had to make two visits to the Clinical Center at NIH during my final week at USDA. The first visit was to stick me with needles to check me for TB, draw blood and give me a tetanus and hepatitis B vaccine. The second visit was to look at the TB test and make sure I was healthy enough to be around sick people. At one point during one of those two visits, I caught a nasty head cold. Or a flu. (Really, what's the friggin' difference? It's a disease, you have crap running out of your nose, you feel miserable... who the hell cares WHAT you call it?)
I didn't know I was sick until TJ and I were on our way back from Canada on Labor Day.
Not really a whole lot to say about the Canada trip. We got detained at the Maine/New Brunswick border so Canadian jack booted storm troopers (actually, a very polite lady Canadian border cop) could run our drivers' licenses after searching our car for drugs, guns, decomposing bodies and American cigarettes. We spent the first night in Fredericton, got a room and made fun of Canadian television.
The next day, we got up and headed for Nova Scotia. It rained. Hard. It hailed. Harder. We had breakfast at an Irvings Truck Stop somewhere near Moncton. Took a look around in a small Nova Scotia town, then headed for Price Edward Island.
As soon as we saw the sign that told us the toll to cross the Confederation Bridge into PEI was $41.50, we decided there was nothing in PEI we REALLY wanted to see, so we started home. Got as far as Portland and called it a night.
Monday morning, I noticed the telltale scratchy throat that told me I had contracted an Upper Respiratory Infection. At first, I felt compelled to "Blame Canada." But as I learned on the first day of NIH orientation the following day, it wasn't Canada's fault. This time.
I struggled through two days of orientation as all manner of vile, viscuous fluids seeped from my nasal orifice. Politely, I refused to shake hands with anyone. That's when I was told, "It's OK. This place was crawling with the flu (or whatever the frig it was) all last week, but we're better now." Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Anyhoo... I reported to my new job in the Office of Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison on Thursday, then stayed home to recuperate completely on Friday.
As of this morning -- Tuesday -- I only have nasty, disgusting, filthy crud extruding from my sinuses and lungs in the morning. The rest of the day, I'm fine.
Today alone, I met with our web designer to set up our new Podcast web site, I scheduled two podcast interviews for later in the week, I set up a meeting to discuss promoting the podcasts in the medical community, and I drove to a nearby Arby's for lunch.
I have a purpose again.
I'm a PERSON!
Causes Bill Schmalfeldt Supports
Parkinson's Disease Research
National Parkinson's Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation