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Getting Back to Work

I was getting tired of the look of SunFyre. This template isn't much better, but at least it's fresh. I'm trying to get back in the mood for writing. Writing for me is usually a daily process, but I took over two weeks off. I was sick.

Things were just starting to go good for me, and I started to forget I am disabled. God needed to remind me, apparently. My kids had been coughing for two weeks, then they gave it to me.

Here's a long drawn out story.

Tuesday I ran a fever. Wednesday I felt like crap. Thursday morning I was on the road to recovery.

Then the power went out.

I thought it was typical stuff in my rural community. A car hits a telephone pole, and the power goes out for 45 minutes, then it returns. (Around here, they call electricity "power" or "lights". If you've lived here a long time, you say "The lights are auten.")

After 30 minutes, my battery backups from my computers start to fail. Around 40 minutes I am officially out of business until the "lights are back".

About 3 1/2 hours later I called the electric company to find out that it wasn't my entire neighborhood, it was just me. Apparently we were late with the electric bill, and the local electric company doesn't mess around in April. I paid the bill, $222.50, by telephone. They refused to reconnect the service for 24 hours. (By the way, during the winter my electric bill averages $600 per month.) Now I'm mad.

Partially, I am mad the electric company. Partially, I'm mad at my wife who decided in her infinite wisdom that she would only pay half the bill this month because we were expecting a large tax payment April 15.

Thursday afternoon I'm trying to get ahold of the Pennsylvania Utility Commission to file a complaint because the electric company didn't believe a shutoff notice on the premises, which is required by law.

That's when I noticed my cat was sick. Very sick.

She hides behind a little table in my office sometimes. There was a foul odor. Very foul.

I moved the little table and found my cat laying in her own urine and feces, laboring to breathe.

About that time my children arrived home, Jason with a temperature well over 100 and a cough that sounded like a coal miner who smokes too much.

Kristen came home and we rushed the cat to the vet, and my sister-in-law took Jason to the doctor.

Three hours later we are still sitting in the veterinarian's office, and I'm freezing. The air-conditioning was extremely low. My fever has returned and I'm sitting there shivering. I'm getting angry at the three fat women who worked in the vet's office. I'm sorry if it's rude to say that fat women require extra air-conditioning, but now I'm really angry, and they were really fat.

They ran about $500 worth of tests to find nothing wrong. Apparently, the cat had a fever too, and that's all they could identify. She was bad enough however that they wanted to hospitalize her. He gave her some antibiotics and I think the three fat ladies said a prayer. (Whatever they did, it worked and she's fine now.)

Now I'm sad, angry, freezing and sweating at the same time.

We picked up the kids. (They gave Jason an antibiotic and said some prayers. I'm not sure if the nurses were fat.) We took the kids home to our very dark and increasingly chilly house. I let the kids sleep in the living room because it was the only room that gets light from the street. Two 5-year-olds in zero night lights means a bedtime battle. I wasn't up for the fight, so we had a "campout". Ainsley was mad because we couldn't make s'mores. I was mad because all I had was warm tunafish. (My kids ate with their aunt.)

Friday morning we had to use a battery-powered alarm clock. I'm used to waking up with Drew's Crew on the radio. (He kind of sucks, but it's the only radio station for about 100 miles that isn't Country or Christian, or both.)

Instead, I wake up to something it sounds like a car alarm. It literally scares me so bad I inhale that disgusting phlegm that accumulates during the night in your mouth. It kind of tastes like my cat smelled yesterday.

Anyhow, that bacteria laden sputum shot directly into my left lung. I promptly coughed it out, the phlegm, not the lung. But apparently one sole bacterium decided to set up shop. Within a few hours, the electricity had returned, but I'm throwing globs of yellow gunk out with every third breath. By Saturday morning I'm on antibiotics and I'm beginning to smell.

A little history.
In 1977 I got pneumonia for the first time. Pneumonia can be life-threatening to people with my disability. I was seven years old, and my parents figured it had probably overstayed my welcome already. Originally, doctors only told my parents to expect four or five years.

In 1987, I got pneumonia for the second time. I was hospitalized, but had the will to survive. It wasn't the will placed in me by God, it was the desire to complete high school, (I graduated that year) go to college and get laid. The healing power of the vagina was drawing me ever closer.

In 1997, engaged to Kristen, I got pneumonia for the third time. I'm laying there in the hospital feeling half dead. Kristen starts to explain to me how she'd already got a fantastic dress, and I wasn't allowed to screw this up for her! Again, the healing power of the vagina. Or maybe, it was just nagging. I'm always amazed at how much we can accomplish simply by being nagged by our wives.

Now it's 2008. I started thinking that maybe this was my next bout of once-per-decade pneumonia. I'm already a year overdue. Now, unfortunately, my schedule is far too filled to arrange a funeral for myself. I can die now, I have a mortgage. Again a different kind of spiritual healing, this one driven by a mountain of debt on a guy who can't get life insurance because some doctor told my parents I should've been dead 35 years ago.

So I decided to get better. I took time off work. I coughed when I needed to cough. I drank lots of hot tea and apple juice. I took my medicine. And I slept about 16 hours a day. By the end of the week I was better and my wife was ready to kill me.

I'm back to work now, and writing more. Last night we paid our bills, and the first check I wrote... to the gas company... $1113.95. The second check was to the mortgage company... $1417.95. There is something sick about utilities that cost more than your home per month.

Well, I'm feeling better. Thanks for enduring my long story.


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