Anger Burger

Mike Named it Vader

Posted by Sunday on Jun 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

Two months after we moved in, I have an oven. I found it on Craigslist, paid the seller to drop it off for us and we installed it ourselves.  It was new-the-the box, purchased six months ago by a family that was gathering bits and pieces for an updated kitchen before the husband lost his job.  In a rare moment of prudence, I kept my mouth shut about the indignancies of my having missed the highlights of rhubarb season.

So why am I not burning through Washington’s butter reserves in a baking equivalent of a shark attack?  Well, let me tell you. I got a flu. Or maybe a cold. Or maybe both at once.  Suffice to say: I am pretty sure it is the Andromeda strain.

Even if I had a passing interest in food, I can’t taste. I can’t smell. I tried to eat a banana yesterday and it was like eating a stick of paste. I missed a lot of work last week, and slept even less than I worked. I will have bitchin’ abs by this time next week, because the incessant, full-body coughing certainly feels like I’ve been doing sit-ups for a hundred hours straight. Last night I resorted to internet urban legend because that is where I am at for ideas at this point (I thought it worked! But then I woke at 5am this morning with even more unsoothable, even rougher coughing than yesterday).  This hasn’t been an oh-I-was-sick-and-am-still-recovering-a-week-later.  This is I HAVE BEEN REALLY SICK FOR A WEEK.  Every day I get up and think, today is going to be the day I walk it off.  And then I get a short ways into some task like showering or drinking a cup of coffee, and I start to shake with exhaustion and cough violently and resort to a little lie-down that soon becomes a moaning plea to the universe to just let me die.

I made the Six Lonesome Muffins recipe the first morning we had the oven. I had to bake something, and had few ingredients in the house. The recipe calls for butter, but I don’t have a microwave to soften it and in desperation and exhaustion used 1/2 cup of canola oil instead.  I also realized that I didn’t have any baking powder, having intended to buy a fresh one when I moved.  I used an old-fashioned substitution trick of mixing two parts cream of tartar to one part baking soda instead of the powder, and while it seems to have worked, I still recommend using actual baking powder.  Instead of chocolate chips, I diced up some ancient, shrivelled strawberries from my fridge.  It’s not the triumphant pie I thought I was going to bake when we finally got an oven, but it’s still pretty triumphant considering that when my mom advised me to use 12-hour Afrin¹, I asked her “How often should I use it?”

¹My mom worked in otolaryngology for almost 20 years – treatment of conditions of the ears, nose and throat – and left with me a lingering terror of using Afrin. More than 3 days of Afrin use causes rebound congestion, wherein after the original cause for the swelling is gone the tissue will swell up as bad if not worse once the Afrin is stopped.  Continued Afrin use can lead to permanent swelling of the sinuses and permanent loss of the sense of smell. That being said, Afrin is the #1 most effective aid in stopping bloody noses and is handy to have in the emergency kit for that reason alone.  Also, if you haven’t been able to sleep in a week because of congestion, it’s amazing what one night of clear breathing and deep sleep can do for the psyche.  Unless you’re also coughing, in which case you’re fucked.

June 3rd, 2012 | Drama!

11 Responses to Mike Named it Vader

  1. Jen M. says:

    Ack! I had a very similar cold/flu/nastiness about a month ago. Was bad enough to force me to stay home from work for 2 and a half days, and then I thought I was better, but a week later and more missed work and the COUGH came back with a vengeance. I finally went to the doctor who gave me an antibiotic, two inhalers, and a strong cough syrup that knocked me out at night THANK GOD. Oh sweet sleep. I was coughing so hard that second round, I actually started vomiting from the violence of the coughing. I was convinced it was whooping cough, which is the only reason I went to the doctor, because I wasn’t about to put up with that shit for 6 weeks if it WAS pertussis. He didn’t even do any labs to test it (UGH, I was too out of it to insist on labs so I at the very least knew what was trying to kill me). But, I guess, whatevs. The foursome of medicine coupled with cough drops galore got me feeling like a human again. But I kept with the inhalers and night time cough syrup for a couple weeks. Still keep one of the inhalers with me at all times. Occasionally cough attacks still threaten to rip my esophagus out. Hope you feel better soon, I wouldn’t wish those symptoms on my worst enemy. Total.Misery.

  2. lydia says:

    Boo. I hope you feel better soon!

  3. meg says:

    Yup. Me too. Two weeks ago. I always call it a “sinus infection,” but who the hell knows.

  4. Carly says:

    At any rate, these muffins look better than the last batch I made, and I was perfectly healthy when I made them. Feel better!

  5. Yay for the new oven, boo for being sick. I’ve had some miserable coughing plagues, and found that good strong cough syrup is a blessing. The best is the prescription kind laced with codeine, but good luck getting a doctor to prescribe enough to last more than a day. Second best is DelSym, but be really really careful with dosing, since the active ingredient (dextromethorphan) can cause a really trippy freakshow high if you take too much.

    Hope you’re on the mend soon.

  6. Kristina says:

    HOORAYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I just thought of you last night and said “Oh crap, I meant to write her about the oven…” to see where you were with the landlord. I’m thrilled to see you have a new oven.

  7. Hannah says:

    Try drinking rooibos tea to help soothe the cough…I had a really bad cough like that in the fall and the combination of rooibos, robitussin up the wazoo, and doctor-applied drugs. Good luck. Please don’t forget that alcohol was made for this very purpose.

  8. Hannah says:

    Whoa I was so busy trying to be helpful and concerned that I forgot the second half of that sentence. The combination of all of those things HELPED me sleep….after three weeks.

  9. eileen says:

    Hooray new oven! I hope you take it away with you when you eventually move out, considering the massive bullshit behind actually having to buy it. Feel better soon!

  10. jessi p. says:

    man, i feel your pain. i was sick for a full four months (two sinus infections and mono), and was fevered, exhausted, and thoroughly disgruntled at the universe. in addition, i had my first catering job smack in the middle of all this, and to this day i am still not sure how i managed to get it done to the customer’s apparent satisfaction.

    the only good thing was that i watched the entire x-files series and about a third of lost.

    happy oven time!!

  11. Michelle says:

    When I was first married, we moved into an apartment with the same type of property manager. We had one burner that worked, a kitchen sink that drained into the cupboard below, and a thermostat that when set to 72 would not shut off and set to 71 would not turn on. We never got a stove and cooked most of the time on an electric grill. Never got a new thermostat, and after waiting weeks to have the sink fixed, we fixed it ourselves. We struggled financially (especially with the huge gas bill from the thermostat not shutting off) and didn’t pay all the rent all the time. Did I feel guilt when we got evicted for not paying rent?, not in the least bit. And the property manaer was agast that I was upset with HIM!

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