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Replacement throat (and other sort-of presents)


It occurred to me the other day that the warranty on my nose and throat are probably about to run out, and that I should therefore take them in for warranty service ASAP. Sadly, I can't find the receipts, and the manufacturer doesn't appear to keep very good records of what happened when they were handing out noses.

Speaking of things wearing out, my flip-flops have finally bit the dust, but somehow I'm still sick. Yes, it seems the thongs have ended, but the malady lingers on.

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week.

But seriously, folks:

Today I finally decided to go see a doctor. There hadn't seemed much point--every few years, I get a particularly bad cold, and after a week or two of misery I finally go see a doctor, and they tell me that I've got a cold and should get plenty of liquids and rest, that'll be a hundred dollars, thanks. But this time I had a plan: I decided that the real problem continues to be lack of sleep (though I've had a little more the past few nights than the previous several), so I figured I'd ask the doctor to prescribe me some prescription-strength sleep stuff of some sort. PAMF doctors have, a couple of times in the past, been quite willing to do this when I've had other sorts of sleeping trouble.

I thought I'd check with an advice nurse first, but the wait to talk to an advice nurse was two hours. Then I thought I'd see if the doctors at work were available, but they weren't. So I went and sat in Urgent Care at PAMF for an hour or so (which was less of a wait than I expected), and then a doctor saw me.

And he did the same thing as usual--check lungs, check ears, check throat, check nose, no obvious serious problems, everything's fine, just give it time. He suggested it might be allergies (I'm extremely dubious; never had allergies before), and said whether it is or isn't allergies, I should try a particular antihistamine that I hadn't heard of before; and he said he'd give me a prescription for some better cough syrup. He said the antihistamine might make me a little drowsy. I said what I really needed was something to help me sleep. He said the antihistamine would do that. I tried to make clear that "a little drowsy" wasn't sufficient, that I'd been trying all sorts of drowsiness-inducing things, but my brain was too fogged to explain to him that I really do have a hard time sleeping, and he finally said "Well, give this a try," and left. Feh.

Went to the pharmacy; they said it would be 20 minutes; I said I would wait; 45 minutes later I got back in line to find out what was up, and it turned out the cough syrup (promethazine with codeine) had been sitting there waiting for me for half an hour and they hadn't told me. They helped me find the recommended antihistamines, too--"Wal-finate" (Walgreens version of Chlor-Trimeton, contains Chlorpheniramine) and Drixoral (Dexbrompheniramine + Pseudoephedrine). And then they told me that since I was a first-time customer (I don't think I was), they would give me the special Walgreens first-time-customer package, which consists of a covered drinking glass full of tchotchkes. Including things like a little box of four crayons. Wacky.

So I guess that counts as a birthday present from Walgreens, but not a very good one.

So I got home grumpy and tired and out of sorts, feeling like the doctor and the pharmacist hadn't treated me very well, and worried that I might not be able to sleep tonight, and then I found a package waiting for me, from the people who run the Peter Hartman Memorial Math Book Fund at the Pierce College Foundation. It contained a nice note from someone at the college, along with a dozen letters to the fund donors from students who've received books from the fund. I haven't read through all the letters in detail, but the ones I looked at made me all teary. A few quick excerpts (each paragraph below is from a different letter):

Textbooks are not cheap and had it not been for your donation this past quarter I would not have been able to get the required book.

I can not tell you how truly grateful I am to be honored with such a gift.

Off to math homework for me! Yippy!

I have dreamed of attending medical school ever since I was [a] little girl[, and now] my dreams are becoming more of a reality.

I am a single parent of two girls[....] I am in the Army Reserves[....] The Peter Hartman Math Book Scholarship Fund has been a huge blessing to my financial situation.

First let me begin by saying WOO-HOO!!

Not only did you make my financial burdens a lot lighter, you also showed me there are wonderful people who want to help my family have a brighter future.

And so on. Really nice to see, and just what I needed.

So that was a good present.

On a side note, it occurred to me this evening that I've had other presents lately, though I didn't quite think of them that way. A nice long visit from Bhadrika, for example; I haven't spent much time with her in years, and it was good to see her. And on a sillier note, I got myself a replacement work-branded jacket a couple weeks ago (to replace the one I lost on the Mexico trip), and went a little crazy during the ordering--ended up with branded items ranging from a Rubik's Cube to a frisbee to chapstick.

Oh, and I picked up a Time Capsule the other day, so my computer can happily back itself up through the very air, and a reasonably nice pair of headphones. And finally ordered various DVDs--BSG season 3, BSG: Razor, Dr. Who season 3. And a News from Lake Wobegon CD I've been wanting for years.

Oh! And I bought a couple copies of Mary Anne & Kat B's kids' book, The Poet's Journey, which is lovely. And while I was ordering from Lulu, I discovered that I'd had another Lulu book sitting in my shopping cart there for ages, possibly a couple of years: Hitherby Dragons: Primal Chaos. The latter turns out to not have quite as high production values as M & Kat's book, but I'm still pleased to support Hitherby Dragons.

Also in the good-presents category are the various notes y'all have been posting and sending me; I haven't read most of them yet (I'm parceling them out to myself a few at a time over the course of the week), but have much appreciated the ones I've read, and expect to appreciate the others soon.

And for that matter, seeing various folks on the Hugo ballot is a nice present. So despite the part about being sick and not sleeping, I guess I'm having a pretty good birthday week so far, though I didn't realize it 'til this evening.

And now (with "Lullaby for a Weary World" having just come up in iTunes) I'm gonna go take some codeine-laced cough syrup and some Drixoral and see if the doctor has given me the gift of a night's sleep. G'night!


I hope the meds finally helped some. Even if the antihistamines didn't do anything, the codeine should/might suppress your cough. It seems that each doctor has his/her own way of dealing with the "common" cold. I hope yours was wrong about allergies, life is easier without them.

Thanks for mentioning the Peter Hartman Memorial Math Book Fund. What a great idea! No one should have avoid a subject because of book costs. Marian McNamara, who taught Latin at Paly, has a scholarship to her name. I think this is a great way to honor teachers who've made a difference.

You have a couple of days to go before turning 5x23, I hope you'll do so in good health.

That should be 5 times 2 to the third. It looked fine in the preview... You're a bit young to be turning 115.

I used to work at Pierce College; it always boggled my mind how expensive textbooks are, and very few scholarships hit that particular angle. Mostly, they pay either tuition or just a lump of random cash. I think it's a fantastic scholarship. (Was the note from Ryan Todd in the tutoring center? He & I were in a vanpool together, and I know he thought very highly of your father.)

I hope the meds help; codeine usually conks me out, but then again, I'm absurdly sensitive to anything that has "drowsy" as a side effect.

Reinie: Thanks! Jury's still out about the codeine--didn't have any immediate effect, but may've been helpful over the course of the night. Sorry about the superscript problem--I've now changed the settings so that sup and sub tags are allowed. I'd edit your comment, but that would make your followup comment less entertaining, so I think I'll leave it as-is.

Elaine: Thanks for the note! Yeah, I think the textbook fund is a great idea--not sure who came up with it (Jay, maybe?), but I like it a lot. Nope, the Pierce note wasn't from Ryan, but it did mention him.

And yeah, I'm always on the lookout for anything that has "drowsy" as a side effect, 'cause I sometimes need all the help sleeping that I can get. I'd prefer it if they'd list "knocks you out and makes you sleep soundly for several hours" as a side effect. :)

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