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A code in my node

It could be the flu or just a cold.

If it’s a cold, I’m thinking the effects will be short-term. It could be the flu, of course. I’ve been advised not to get a flu shot because of a past history of a neuromuscular illness. There’s scant evidence that a flu shot would trigger a recurrence, but doctors (and pharmaceutical companies) don’t like the odds.

Whether cold or flu, it’s making life miserable and I’m looking forward to a return to wellness. I don’t have time to be ill. Not that I have much cause for complaining; I've been healthy all year.

Whatever this is started on Wednesday with a chill. Soon I was shaking all over and longing for warmth. Not long after the shivers began, I surrendered, left work early and headed for home and lots of layers of clothing and blankets. After a couple of hours of dozing while wrapped up like a mummy, I was up and moving. Sniffing a lot and blowing my nose constantly, but moving.

It is at times like these when I am grateful I don’t live alone. I can live alone and I can take care of myself, even when I’m ill, but it’s much nicer to have someone look after you, to make you food and to check on you from time to time to confirm that you’re just sleeping and not dead.

I was ravenous at dinner and ate well, and I took that to be a good sign.

I went to back to bed at 8 Wednesday night and stayed there, with plenty of tissue at my side, until 4 a.m. Then I got up and did nothing for an hour or so; then went back to bed for another hour. Sleep, I’m told, is a good thing when you’re under the weather, but it strikes me as a terrible waste of time.

So I returned to the office this morning and I’m kind of working, between sneezes and bouts of nose-blowing. My colleagues would rather I had stayed home, not because they’re worried about me so much as they are about my spreading whatever it is I have. One of them referred to me as “Typhoid Mary,” which I felt was unfounded. It’s not as though I sneezed on her on purpose.

The good news is that I’m slowly feeling better — not great, not ready to swim 50 laps — but certainly better than when the shivers set in on Wednesday.

I have every confidence that I’ll be in great shape by the time the New Year’s Eve ball drops on Friday night.

Here’s hoping you’ll also be in fine spirits when it’s time to ring in 2011.

Irv Dean is the Gazette’s city editor. Reach him by e-mail to

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January 1, 2011
11:23 p.m.

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Hope you were up to shakin' in the New Year!

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