Posts tagged ‘pneumonia’

ManFAQ Friday: You’re sick? Well, I’m dead.

29 July, 2011 | | No Comment

It’s Friday, and that means answer time! For those of you who have commented with questions from previous ManFAQs, thank you. I’m adding yours to the list of questions women have asked about men over the years, and I will answer them all in turn – to continue to demystify the more malodorous gender for those of the gentler.  Actual questions, posed by real women, and answered by a REAL man. What could go wrong?

Question:  Why is it that whenever I get sick, my spouse likes to inform me that he is actually feeling worse?

Answer:  Now, hold on a second. 

OK, I’m back, thanks.  Yeah, he’s a jerk.  We all are, really.  This kind of behavior is ingrained in many of us from a young age, by which I mean ‘before we were born’ – the concept of brinksmanship, one-upsmanship, call it what you will.  Anything you can do, I can do better.  I’m the man in this house, sweetheart, and as such I expect to be taller, wider, heavier, faster, sicker, and drunker than you.  I’d love to say we got it from our dads, but mostly we didn’t.  We got it from one another, on the playground. 

“My wrist hurts.” 
“Oh yeah?  My whole arm hurts.” 
“Oh yeah?  My arm’s actually broken.” 
“Oh yeah?  Look, I’m bleeding.  Doesn’t bother me any.” 
“Really?  I’m actually dead.  I just breathe out of habit.”

Trust me, if you’re sick, he wants to be sicker – both to show you solidarity in your time of illness, and to keep up the game.  He doesn’t even think about it anymore, he’s not doing it consciously – it’s a call and response from his limbic system.  Try this: look dead at him, catch his eye, and sing a low note – then point at him.  No warning, no explanation.  I’ll bet you he tries to sing a lower note. 

So, yeah, you’re not feeling well.  He’s on his last legs, near death.  He just didn’t want to mention it because it’s not manly (unless he has pneumonia, which is bitchin cool), and besides, if he had told you how unwell he was, you might not think he was up for a little Hey Hey later. 

And he is.  Even if he’s dead. 


Now you know. Please, feel free to comment! Also, forward any questions you’d like answered to BUMD – at –!

Getting Better

11 December, 2010 | | 2 Comments

Recovering from pneumonia, I’m finding, is a lot like Hyperbole and a Half’s problems with surpassing her capacity for responsibility. I get to the office, filled with something resembling energy and a modicum of stamina, sufficient to get me through to about lunch.  Like Allie at the start of her productivity cycle, “I will do ALL the Things!”

Do ALL the Things! (From Hyperbole and a Half)

Do ALL the Things! (From Hyperbole and a Half)

I sit at my desk, blasting through email like dynamite through a mountain, carving tunnels of solutions through problems of granite. I fight fires, I shape strategies, I sit in judgment. I do ALL the Things! And my lungs feel good, and I’m not coughing any more, and I’m not congested, and I’m not in pain, and I’m not in a pleasant drug-induced fog. I’m back, baby.

And then I roll a few things off the printer down the way by the microwave, and I stand up to run and get them. And there’s nothing there. No gas, hold the desk a moment, and start the slow shuffle over toward the printer. I cannot tell you how irritating this is. I have been, for a long time, a lethargic bum who gets no exercise – but that was by design, my choice, not because of a lack of energy. Energy has always been there when I needed it.

Do ALL the things?  (From Hyperbole and a Half)

Do ALL the things? (From Hyperbole and a Half)

Now, by about 3:30 in the afternoon, I return to Hyperbole and a Half.  “Do ALL the things?”

Ooof. I’m beat.

I don’t think I can do all the Things today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll do more Things.

All done now.


the only thing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge is a blogger with pneumonia

9 December, 2010 | | 5 Comments

Done with the meds.  Done with the wheezing.  Not moving fast, not talking loud.  The best part of having pneumonia has been all the stories people tell me.  “Oh, yeah, my friend so-and-so had that, he was in the hospital for 6 months.”  “Oh, yeah, my friend’s buddy’s relative had that, he died.”  “Oh yeah, I had that, I was out for 4 months.” 

I’m starting to feel like (A) I should be feeling much worse, (B) I got off really easy, and (C) I’ve just joined a really weird club.  I heard a cancer survivor talk about her experience a few years ago; she mentioned that it seemed really odd that everyone treated her like a hero just for getting out of bed each morning.  She said “What was I going to do, just lay there?” 

Like the man said, “Keep kicking and scratching.  If you stop, they throw dirt over you.” 

So, I drove a car again for the first time in 3 weeks today, that was fun.  Went back to the office for most of the day today – I find I tire easily.  The worst part of all this is that my taste buds have changed – can’t deal with coffee or hard liquor; I find I dislike the taste.  The upshot of this is that I haven’t had any caffiene or alcohol in several weeks – those of you who know me well will have an idea of my state of mind at this turn of events.  Healthy?  I’m not sure it’s worth it. 

Updates as they happen – watch this space!

A Short List of Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do When You Have Pneumonia

1 December, 2010 | | 1 Comment

I started this Pneumonia list yesterday and realized I’m taking so many meds that I needed to just leave off and talk about that.  Today, though, is different.  Today I want to leave the world a better place, in case I don’t see tomorrow.  I want to leave a trail of more than breadcrumbs, should you, dear reader, ever have to follow in these unfortunate footsteps – I want to leave a trail of light bulbs, of knowledge, of something that will light your path in the darkness.  Or something like that.  Anyway, I leave you two lists. 

Things you should do when you have pneumonia: 

  1. Take your medicine.  All of it.  I think I’ve covered that well enough already.
  2. Use your Neti-Pot.  I don’t care if you don’t like it, ya big baby.  Yes, I know it’s like an enema for your nose.  Just stick it in there and squeeze.  Some people snort tear gas and pepper spray for this, all you have to use is salt water.  Quit complaining.
  3. Go back to bed.  You can’t walk with all those meds in you anyway.
  4. Get up again, since you can’t sleep with all those meds in you either.  Leviquin is like an old girlfriend – knocks me down on the bed and has its way with me for about 20 minutes, then keeps me awake for several hours.  Why am I taking an antibiotic that wants to talk about its feelings? 
  5. Stay home and organize your stuff.  Wait, what?  Do you really think you’re going to remember where the hell you put that when these meds wear off?  You’re out of your mind.  This is a bad idea.
  6. Read.  Catch up on your backlog of books and New Yorkers.  Maybe then you can declutter around here when you’re well.
  7. Write a letter to your grandmother.  She won’t mind that the letter doesn’t make any sense because you’re trying to write while you’re too high to die, you don’t make all that much sense anyway, and she likes hearing from you. 
  8. Stay in touch with the office.  But only enough that they remember you’re not there.  The email you don’t read is the only one you need to worry about.
  9. Shut up.  No, yeah, stop talking.  First, you sound like crap.  Second, all you’re doing is moaning or whining, no one wants to hear it. 
  10. Finish your holiday letter.  Hey, you’re funny when you’re sick!
  11. Make a list of all the things you should and shouldn’t do when you have pneumonia.  Gosh, you’re a hoot, aren’t you?  Another shot of Tussionex?  Why yes, don’t mind if I do! 

 Things you should NOT do when you have pneumonia:

  1. Two words:  River Dance!
  2. Creative writing.  Let loose your personal demons and write that poem you’ve been thinking about.  Really.  See what your friends Leviquin, Tussionex, and Benzonatate have to say, because it’s not like you’re driving the bus right now anyway.
  3. Catch up on reading Hyperbole and a Half.  Particularly this one.  No one with respiratory problems should be allowed to look at her website.  It should come with warning labels.  I’ve never needed an inhaler so badly in my life.
  4. Go into the office.  These people already have a bad case of Do Not Want, and they sure as hell DNW your diseased, germ-ridden, bacteria-shedding body contaminating the keyboard next to them.  Besides, no one likes to share a cubicle with a guy who talks about antibiotics and the state of his colon.
  5. Practice your acceptance speech.  “I’d like to thank the Academy…”
  6. Marathon training.  Not the best time to start that new exercise program. 
  7. Try out pick up lines on your significant other.  Wheezing is sexy!
  8. Go pick up the kids.  Sure.  The school won’t mind if you break quarantine. 
  9. Yard work.  Because you know you’re so all about raking in the first place, right?  Let’s be real, you wouldn’t be outside if you were healthy, either. 
  10. More Beer.


I sincerely hope you never have occasion to need either list, but if you do, now you know.

A Spoonful of Sugar, My Butt

30 November, 2010 | | 7 Comments

This started out as a Short List of Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do When You Have Pneumonia.  I started with things you should do, beginning with “take your medicine,” and I realized I’m taking so many meds that I should just leave off and post this.  Tomorrow, perhaps, a list of Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do When You Have Pneumonia.  Today, a recitation of the things that will make me better, I’m told.  You just be quiet and read now, this won’t hurt a bit.   

  • Mucinex.  This will tear up the mucus in your chest.  It will do the same to your stomach, if you can keep it down.  That’s if you can get it down in the first place – they seem to make these for horses. 
  • Cheratussin.  Tastes like cherry-flavored ass and doesn’t do anything for the coughing.  I don’t know why they bother.  “This may cause dizziness.”  Yeah, get used to that phrase.
  • Z-Pak antibiotics.  This is the first line of defense against pneumonia.  It’s also, it turns out, a great way to get me ready for the holidays.  I woke up with hives that looked like I’d been strung with bright red, itchy Christmas lights. 
  • Zyrtec.  I’m pretty sure the Dr.’s office gets kick-backs from these people – I came in a while ago with a dislocated shoulder and they prescribed Zyrtec.  I don’t have allergies, except to the Z-Pak that’s giving me hives, and the pneumonia.  I’ve decided I’m definitely allergic to pneumonia.  Also, “This may cause drowsiness.”
  • Benadryl.  This is great for reducing the hives caused by the Z-Pak antibiotics.  Also, “This may cause dizziness.”
  • Benzonatate / Tessalon, for the wheezing that would have sounded so good at a Halloween party.  “This may cause dizziness.”  Ya think?
  • Doxycycline antibiotics.  This is the next line of defense against pneumonia, since I’m allergic to the first line.  Stay out of the sun while taking this.  WTF?  Will I look all sparkly? 
  • Levaquin antibiotics.  This is the NEXT, next line of defense against pneumonia, since I’m allergic to the first line and the second line didn’t do a damn thing in a week.  Also, “This may cause dizziness.”  Mind you, the instructions aren’t “take this, not that.”  The instructions are “Take this Levaquin and keep taking all the Doxycycline too.”   Let’s note that around 500 different species of bacteria live in your gut, in a symbiotic relationship with you and what you eat.  They perform a host of useful functions, such as fermenting unused energy substrates, training your immune system, regulating aspects of development, and producing vitamins and hormones for you.  My gut, on the other hand, is a dark barren wasteland, an empty shallow dirt trench littered with empty blue and red capsules and the battered corpses of a million million bacteria, most of which never knew what hit them.   SOBUMD has suggested I have some yoghurt, to replace all those “good” intestinal flora.  I think throwing those poor bastards down there just to die like dogs with their predecessors when I take the next dose would be too much like Churchill throwing wave after wave of ANZAC troops onto the jagged deathrocks of Gallipoli.   I will not do it.
  • Albuterol, as an inhaler.  “This medicine may make you shake like a leaf about to fall from a tree during an early November windstorm, watching a thousand of your fellows fall to the ground and die under the blades of the ride-along chipper he just bought at Home Depot on Black Friday and is now pulling on the black of his suburban lawn tractor, beer in hand.”  Yes, it really says that.
  • Tussionex, also to reduce coughing.  It also reduces those feeling of sobriety and steadiness that were plaguing you.  “This may cause dizziness.”  Yeah, no kidding, the way a pint of vodka may cause dizziness.  This is something like a cross between the 6th glass of Scotch and a near-death experience.  No wonder it’s not over the counter. 
  • Advil, because no one will give me valium, and all this stuff together will give you quite a headache.
  • Seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether, and two dozen amyls.  Actually I got these from my attorney, not my doctor, but who’s counting.   Besides, the only thing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge is a blogger with pneumonia.