Monday, December 28, 2009

Weathering It

Good morning, everyone. I'm back at work, my first hours here since last Tuesday noon. Fighting that cough last week I only worked 1/2 day on Tuesday. I had Wednesday scheduled as vacation, and we were off Thursday-Friday.

Weather reports didn't look good on Wednesday as we prepared to drive 450 miles to Meade Kansas. We considered not going, but we got a local weather report that indicated things were pretty good there. So off we went, taking a southern route through Oklahoma and arriving in Meade about 8 PM. No snow at all on the way; Meade had only a dusting.

For the next three days I proceeded to do as little as I could. I parked my over-stuffed hide in a recliner and sat there. They didn't want me in the kitchen, coughing all over the food. They didn't want my on the furniture moving detail, since the exertion would set me to coughing. And they didn't want me much in conversations and games, for the same reason. And I didn't want that much either. Thursday I was mostly in a fog. I had no head cold, just the cough, but that was taking a lot of energy, so I rested. Outside the prairie winds blew at 40 to 50 mph for three days solid. The house shook and windows rattled. But with some senior citizens in the house the hostess kept the furnace cranked up pretty good and we were all warm enough.

I find that when I have a cough, if I just rest quietly, I can resist the urge to cough for a long time. After a cough I lay back, regulate my breathing to short breaths, and before long I can feel the air going after the tickle in my throat. Then it's a matter of slowly letting my breaths lengthen, and restricting my air passage as best I can to minimize the irritation of the tickle. Knowing where the tickle is, and controlling my breathing, when the urge to cough comes I am able to endure the pain across the tickle instead of coughing. Eventually the tickle worsens, and I cough, but maybe it's every 15 minutes or half hour instead of every three to five minutes.

I suspect that helps with healing, but it requires extreme concentration. I can't read while doing that, for I will forget about the tickle and cough when I could have suppressed it. Even television is too much of a distraction. Don't want to talk or hardly move at all. I can pray some while doing that, but even praying is a distraction that lessens the benefits of my cough self-suppression.

Of course, driving won't work either. So Lynda drove on the trip home, and some of the trip out. We came back through Oklahoma City and picked up Sara and Ephraim to come and stay with us a few days. Richard is in Mexico with a group from their church and an extended group from the college on a mission trip. So they'll be with us until New Years Day, when Lynda will take them back and I'll batch it again for a few days.

During this time, writing went by the wayside. I hardly checked in at Suite101, didn't check in at Absolute Write, and didn't read, think about plots or story lines or poems. I think I need another day or two before I'll be ready to think about words again.

Oh, yes. That snow that Kansas was supposed to get--Oklahoma got it, but a day later. On Christmas eve Oklahoma City got 14 inches and Tulsa 8 inches from a wrap-around band of the storm--the first blizzard ever in Tulsa. The roads east of Tulsa were still a mess when we drove them on Sunday. Lynda did a great job and we had no problem at all.

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