How sick am I?

I am so sick I couldn’t even finish a cup of coffee yesterday! No, it’s true!

For the next three weeks (well, 2.5 at this point — yes, I am counting the minutes, why?) I am here in Riverside County. I got in late Monday night, felt just fine, rented my car and drove to my hotel. Slept perfectly. I woke up yesterday morning feeling pretty good, but things started to go downhill at about 9:00. I was training some of the barnacles on the use of the shell polisher initialization devices when I suddenly paused and said, “Is it cold in here?” I was cold… I was freezing, in fact, shivering there in my seat. One of the barnacles replied with a nervous grin, “Actually, it’s pretty hot in here.”

In a word: crap.

Eventually I put my jacket back on and went back to the Shell Polisher Initializers and finished the training. But I started shivering and sweating at the same time. I took 800 mg of ibuprofin and about an hour later I was burning up.

One of the barnacles announced she was making a coffee run. As usual, I asked for a large coffee with no pollutants (cream and suger? Gah!). She brought it and I took a sip. I liked it but I found I couldn’t drink it.

My appetite had taken a leave of absence, it seems.

Things just kind of went downhill. For awhile I was burning up, then I started shivering again. I took some more ibuprofin and about an hour later I was burning up again… which was, oddly, better than freezing, though when I was standing up to pass out the shell polishing kits, I found myself growing very weak, and I almost fell over.

I finally got home at 7:45, and almost at once Jennifer began convincing me to contact an advice nurse. I tried and tried but was unable to reach one from my hotel room. Finally Jennifer contacted one for me, and they said that I needed to go to the hospital and get thing thing evaluated.

And so nothing, I’ve found, is as depressing as sitting by yourself in a crowded emergency room in a strange city while all of your co-workers are off having a good time at dinner and your wife is desperately worried about you six hundred miles away from you. But one of the nice things about having asthma is that you can get the fast-track treatment at the hospital and get out of there in three hours instead of eight.

The ER doc sent me home with a prescription for Yet Another Antibiotic and More Prednisone. And so today I got to sit in my hotel room all day and try to relax (though the chest wall pain I’m suffering from has made relaxing difficult).

In general, I’m feeling much better, though I am still running a low-grade fever. I’m not shivering or burning up though, which is a good thing.

Today, though I got to start catching up on my reading. I started reading Time Forward by Maxine McArthur while on the plane the other night, and I’m greatly enjoying it. I’m still reading Organizational Behavior for class, but the instructor has also recommended The Lexus and the Olive Tree to me in response to a question I asked about globalization and how it affects management — particularly library management.

I’ve also started playing with a project I have in mind. It’s a cross platform — Palm. desktop, and web — tool for tracking books, using XML as a tool for transporting information back and forth. I made a note about it in my diary on usr/lib/info, one of the library technology sites I haunt, and I’ve gotten interest in it from a librarian at Stanford who’s interested in the XML mappings I’ll be trying to work on. And has agreed to host my project. I even received a personal note from the editor to the effect that he finds the project fascinating and is really looking forward to seeing the project (you can find the Sourceforge entry at

Well. Nothing like a little pressure to get your brain going.

Incidentally, I’m naming my project Lucien after the character in Neil Gaiman’s comic book series Sandman; Lucien was the keeper of the Library of Dreams, where all of the books that were never written are stored. I thought that the name was particularly appropriate.