Mid-week death crud open thread

I just can’t shake it. Try as I might to get rid of it, it just continues to grip my body like a tick that just won’t let go.

I’m talking about the death crud, which I had thought originally to be a nasty cold but is now looking more and more like the flu. It descended upon me Friday night/Saturday morning and intensified over the last couple of days to the point where I did something both yesterday and today that I almost never do: Cancel afternoon meetings and come home early. In fact, I did it two days in a row–unprecedented. Naturally, a sane person might ask why I even went into work at all today. Good question.

I’m a surgeon. The surgical tradition is that you are in the hospital either as a doctor or a patient. If you don’t need to be admitted as a patient, then you should be at work. Such an attitude led me one time to stay on call with a 103° F fever, running trauma codes from the stretcher in the next bay. I didn’t say it was smart; it is the mentality that I’ve been trying to discard as I got older.

Perhaps what contributed is that I didn’t have any patients to see or operations to do. I could hole up in my office and try to get some work done–except that I really couldn’t. I found myself zoning in front of the computer thinking I was looking up references and trying to write, but then I’d look at my clock and note that a couple of hours had gone by without my accomplishing anything. I did find, however, that the course of my plague appears to wane a bit in the evening, allowing me to do the occasional quick blog post. Maybe it even helped my writing style by making me uncharacteristically brief. I also find that a quick blog post temporarily takes my mind off of the misery.

In any case, I had thought of “live-blogging” my disease, but, then, who really wants that? No one. It would have been even more arrogant than my namesake anyway, as everyone’s had the flu like this before, and my recounting the hacking rattle of a cough I’ve had along with the bouts of chills and body aches would just be too depressing. Of course, it’s at times like this that I like to picture the white blood cells of my immune system as an army trying to repulse an invasion that’s made it well past its defenses, and I like to think that tonight the tide may have finally turned, but even in these few days I’ve already been fooled before. One thing I realize is that I’ve been very, very lucky the past several years. It’s been a long time indeed since I’ve caught something like this, so long that I had started to develop the delusion that perhaps I was immune. Certainly, it’s been far longer than the existence of this blog (over three years now).

In any case, when unable to do a more substantive post, what’s a blogger to do?

Open thread, of course! Jump on in. Is there anything you’d like to see Orac write about once he recovers? What has Orac said recently that’s pissed you off? Made you happy? Made you think? Just do me one favor. As you may have noticed, the commenting function here has gotten–shall we say?–quirky. Often Movable Type will chug away for a long time and then return an error message. Before you try to repost your comment, please check and make sure that your comment didn’t already publish. It turns out that often, even with the error message, the comment will have gone through just fine.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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