It’s All Fun And Games…

How did your year begin? I woke up on New Year’s Day with laryngitis and a sore throat that made no sense. I can’t tell you the last time I had both happen at the same time. It’s been a long, damn time since I’ve had vocal issues. My voice went from nothing to a whisper. The following morning, I had a voice, but it was accompanied by a fever and a vicious cough. I sounded awful and my head felt like heavy, wet cement had taken up residence. I tested negative for Covid, but still decided it was best to go to Urgent Care on day three when my symptoms were worse. It’s all fun and games until you’re forcing yourself to see a doctor, or in this case, a Physician’s Assistant.

The wait was reasonable. The nursing staff and technicians treated me with absolute kindness. I immediately tested negative for two forms of strep, two forms of the flu, and Covid. I was convinced I had an infection, and I still sort of question if I do.

When the PA walked in to do his thing, I was prepared to be dismissed. He skipped a few steps, for sure. He didn’t check my eyes and he didn’t bother to check my sinuses. After declaring that he was pretty sure I had an acute upper respiratory infection, I was informed my ears and lungs were perfectly clear (I still think there’s a kitten meowing inside my chest when I breathe.). I was dismissed with a prescription for Tessalon perles. He actually became visibly annoyed when I asked a few questions. I was looking for clarification, especially since I’d been careful.

I’ve spent almost a solid week in bed, when I could, but mostly I’ve dealt with horrendous coughing, a dry throat which sometimes triggers other issues, severe headaches, facial pain, mild wheezing, sneezing marathons, and ear crackling which drives me insane. I’ve either had an appetite for real food or I’ve been craving comfort food, like homemade chicken noodle soup. This is a specific recipe and requires kosher ingredients. I recently moved on to swollen eyes, where I actually looked like someone had hit me.

This virus SUCKS. The Physician’s Assistant told me I’d be fine in a few days. I’m not. I am still experiencing sore throat issues and this cough is keeping me awake and leaving me unsettled.

Your Covid vaccines will NOT prevent you from getting any virus that is floating around. Double mask, if you can. Especially in public. I only got lucky in the sense that this did not progress to bronchitis, but it still could. I am taking precautions and trying to get myself healthier. Right now, depletion of energy is my biggest challenge each day. As of right now, I am pretty sure I will miss at least one in-person doctor’s appointment this month. My doctor did warm me in advance that if I so much as had a sniffle, not to come in. This is the kind of thing I definitely don’t want to spread around any medical office.

It’s all fun and games until you can’t rest, but need copious amounts of sleep. It’s ridiculous how hard this virus as hit me, but I am trying to hit back harder, and failing. Hopefully, it will pass entirely in another week or two. Hopefully, most people will not get this. If you do, stock up on tissues, vitamins, honey, and do whatever you can to feel better. No one hates being sick more than I do. This “acute” URI ISN’T cute at all.

Thank you to everyone who helped take care of my in some way since this all began. It’s appreciated. Stay well, folks!

copyright © 2023 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

My Goal This Weekend


In all seriousness, being sick made this a long, drawn out week. It was only made better by lots of fluids, rest, and soup. I am nothing if not serious about soup. Unfortunately, whatever this virus is, it lulled me into a false sense of security because it’s a sadistic bastard. I was fine for a day or two, and then it came back stronger and took me out. I lost an entire day of work because I desperately needed medicine and rest. I’m taking a less powerful dose of the medicine now, but I am still achy and not feeling like myself, plus the medicine is working on my lungs big time. Quite frankly, I did not know they were so deeply involved. It’s disgusting, really. Moreover, should this be making my kidneys feels like they’re going to run off and leave me? I’m certain the answer is “No.”

“Starve a fever, feed a cold.” is not nonsense, it’s true. My appetite hasn’t once been off. Obviously, I can’t eat certain things at the moment, but everything I can eat is making a difference, or at least that’s what I am being led to believe.

All things taken into consideration, I think I was a rock star this week. Sick as a dog, but under deadline, I completed the big manuscript yesterday afternoon ahead of schedule. Unlike the previously aforementioned asshole client I alluded to days ago, this one was incredibly respectful and immediately gave me professional feedback. I address issues right away, I don’t slip them into something serious nearly two full months after the fact. Yes, it still pisses me off.

I have two additional, albeit smaller, manuscripts to get through by Friday and then another client would like me to take a look at a couple of chapters. Both of them are aware that I am sick and both of them told me “No rush at all, there’s no deadline for this.” In all fairness, that probably only makes me work harder because I take my contracts seriously. I’ll do my best, but I might give myself part of this weekend to stay in bed and (possibly) watch season 3 of Sons of Anarchy. Approximately thirteen hours of Charlie Hunnam… It’s all part of the healing process, folks. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)

I’m tired, achy, unpleasant, and seriously contemplating breakfast. How badly do I want it? How much work is truly involved, and do I REALLY want to eat? The truth is, I’m hungry and I do want to eat, but knowing this involves some work on my part means I’m not running to the kitchen just yet.

Also, I am beyond saddened to learn that I will be unable to donate bone marrow because of the Fibromyalgia. I didn’t talk about this when I first found out earlier in the week because I was very upset and found myself in tears. One of my neighbors has been stricken with cancer. My first thought was “I can donate blood and get tested to see if I’m a match to donate bone marrow.” I lost my father to cancer when he was 63. He bravely battled various forms of cancer for 15 years before it took his life. I’ve lost many key family members to cancer, and hearing about this makes me ill to the core. I don’t feel that my neighbors’ children deserve to lose their father so young (I was both young enough, but still adult enough to handle it to the best of my ability without self-destructing.), so I am determined to do whatever I can to help. After days of research, I found out this morning that Fibro patients cannot donate at all. My brother CAN be tested and is more than willing to donate, but since I cannot, and feel like shit for it, the organization has suggested I put together a registry drive in my area to help bring about awareness and possibly save some lives. I will speak with them about this next week. I’m very upset that this is all that I can personally do, but I believe something MUST be done, so I am taking the initiative. If you live in the Northeast Philadelphia area, maybe you can volunteer or come out to the drive and get tested. I will provide a date and time as soon as I know more.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled Saturday. I hope everyone has a good one.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sleepless Nights & A Cold


My fatal flaw of yesterday was falling asleep at some point during the later afternoon hours. Granted, it was a snowy/rainy day and seemed darker, and far later, than it actually was. I’d worked for 10 hours (I am halfway through the big manuscript and have already submitted part 1 of the second job back to the client.) and I was beat. To add insult to injury, I’m coming down with a cold and there’s only so much coughing and sneezing you can do before exhaustion sets in. By the time I woke up, I was completely shocked by the time. My first thought was “Great! Now I won’t sleep tonight!” I was right. I’ve tried going back to sleep a few times between 12:30 and sometime around 4:00 a.m. For some reason, I kept getting up and going back to proofing the big manuscript or reading. Neither of which is deeply fascinating, I am simply wired because a nap turned into what could have been a full night of sleep.

I cannot blame this on caffeine. I had exactly one cup of green tea yesterday and didn’t even finish it. I thought it would help with the cold symptoms because my throat felt like a desert had moved in. When I get the early stages of a cold there are very few things that work, but my ultimate dry throat remedy at this early stage is diet root beer. I have no idea why it works, but it does. Pennsylvania Dutch makes a diet Birch Beer that is also really great at moisturizing the throat and does a better job than Nyquil at calming the cough so I can sleep or function. Regular root beer doesn’t work, I’ve tried. I bought the diet one year by accident and have been hooked ever since. It not only helps with my throat, but if my stomach gets queasy for any reason, it often helps with that as well. If this gets worse, my other homemade remedies become more substantial in power. I don’t care what other people think: Chicken soup is a great healer. Unfortunately when I’m sick, there’s no way I’m going to make it myself from scratch. The few local places that make soup all know when I’m really sick because I’m way too weak to do anything, but call them to deliver it. It’s pathetic, but when you are sick, you do what makes you feel better and helps you recover as quickly as possible. Sometimes it also means Walmart and Walgreens are raided as well, but I do try to use natural courses before I grab the healer I hate the most: Zicam. Yes, it works. However, after a few doses it tastes like blood and there’s nothing that makes me feel worse than having that crap in my system.

During the start of writing this to now, I’ve actually gotten sicker. There’s a level of sick I hate reaching, but it’s happening for hours and I cannot deny now that this isn’t a 24 hour bug. I’m nursing a mug of mint tea and contemplating what will stay down for breakfast. If it’s not going to stay down, I’m not eating it. I’ll wait until later today when my stomach is less liable to reject food. I hate that I’m spending a Sunday morning like this when I could be productive in some way. Bleh! I worked, and that’s more than I probably should have done.

Here’s hoping your weekend has been filled with happier problems. Note to self: Buy stock in Kleenex, Ricola, Celestial Seasonings, Bigelow Tea, and any major producer of root beer.

If you don’t hear from me for a while, send soup. No, I’m not kidding. 

 copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.