January tried to kill me (and it failed)

I started my 2020 off with two bottles of very nice $6 wine. It’s a sweet white, and I love it. Not very high alcohol content, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy two bottles. But very nice. I enjoyed myself.

I suppose you could also look at that as the end of my 2019, also, since I finished both bottles before midnight hit. That’s probably actually a better way to think of it, to be perfectly frank. Ending my year with celebration, instead of starting my year on a bender? Yes. Yes, very nice.

On the 3rd I celebrated my Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, Universe, and Everything birthday. If you’ve read the book, you now know how old I am. I didn’t do much to celebrate, honestly. I think I got my favorite pizza from the local pizza shop, delivered to me by someone who gets paid for such things. It was delicious.

On the 7th I flew to Ft. Myers, Florida for a personal development conference. I saw the sunset over some water (might have been a bay, might have been the Gulf, I am uncertain about this detail), danced (and I don’t dance!), cried, laughed, met some wonderful women, made some new friends, and generally had a lovely time. It was an intense trip, though. The three days of the conference I didn’t get a lot of sleep (early days that ended late), and then we had a super early flight back home the day after that took us through four airports (Ft. Myers, Atlanta, Chicago Midway, then Philly).

On the 14th I went back to work for nearly four hours before I went home. I had a cough, I had a fever, and I felt like poo. The next morning, I felt worse. The morning after that I was still pretty out of commission. It wasn’t until that afternoon that I thought to myself, “Self, perhaps you should search the Internet for the symptoms of the flu?” So I did.

After a bazillion phone calls, I found someplace my insurance would pay for me to go find out if I had the flu, and after a giant swab got shoved up my nose and a ten minute test, yep. I had the flu. I got my prescription, and went home to be miserable.

On the 20th, I was cleared to go back to work! It was perfect timing, because there was a lot of work to get caught up on. I still had a cough, but no more fever, and I was just about finished with my Flu meds. That afternoon there was a rash starting on the back of my neck, but I figured it was hives or something. Just a reaction to all the DayQuil and Mucinex DM I’d been taking. (I’d been taking as much as I was allowed per the directions on the containers, because man, that cough!)

The next day, the rash was spreading more. There was a spot on my neck, and I scratched it before I realized that it had been a blister. Huh. That was weird. But I went to work. At work, someone noticed. “Don’t itch it,” they warned me. “Oh, it doesn’t itch. It hurts,” I replied.

“Oh,” they said, ominously.

“No,” I replied. “You think?” How we were able to communicate without words that she thought I had shingles of all things, just after getting over the flu?

But sure enough. The 22nd I went to the same clinic that diagnosed me with the flu, and the first thing out of the Nurse Practitioner’s mouth when I showed her the rash, was, “Oh, my God! I’m pregnant!”

Yep. I got shingles and I exposed a pregnant woman in an attempt to get diagnosed. She shuffled me off to another location (“I was just thinking I needed to tell my boss. I really need to tell him!” Uh, yeah…I think you do) where I was formally diagnosed and prescribed yet another week’s worth of medication (anti-viral, this time) for my new illness.

It’s now the 30th. Thankfully my shingles was just annoying, not as truly debilitatingly painful as it is for some people. I still have some healing to do, but I am now over the flu, I am over the shingles, and January did not actually manage to kill me!


I am in the first month of my 1 million word year challenge, and I am devestatingly behind. I should be at 81,967, and I am 59,780 words behind at 22,187. First, I was behind because I was going to be in Florida. I wrote some words there, but not many. Then I fell further behind because I got the flu. Makes sense. All I did was sleep for five days, essentially. And then I fell further behind because A) shingles, but then also, B) lack of motivation.

I have fallen off the wagon, my friends. Writing so many words in the year is hard anyway, but to have fallen so far behind, it feels hopeless.

Of course, it isn’t hopeless. Not really. I expected to fall behind like this at some point, due to things like the things that actually happened. I didn’t expect them to all happen in sequence like that, of course, but they did. I have fallen down.

But I’m also trying to pull myself back up. I am giving myself a little bit more time to get back to 100%. Right now I’m telling people I feel good, I’m almost better, but the truth is, at the end of the day, I’m still wiped. Work is taking everything out of me. Even though work is taking everything out of me, making dinner and dealing with the cats is taking even more.

It’s a struggle.

January tried to kill me.

But it failed.

1 Comment

  1. It’s still trying to kill me. I need 5 days in a row of not being sick, please.
    You’ll get ahead on words again. One good weekend and you’ll blow past. I’ve seen you do awesome before. And even if it takes longer, it’s still an amazing achievement.


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