When I’m Sick

when I'm sick

I hate when I’m sick.  I realize not many people like it but some definitely cope better than others, more content (the advantage of being introverted, I guess) to lounge around day after day.  Not me, it’s driving me crazy!

A Cold or RSV but not Covid?

These past two weeks I have been feeling miserable, with a hacking cough and sinus infection.  Hubby caught whatever it is a few days after me.  His coughing is worse (chestier) than mine as his lungs are weakened by allergies. He typically suffers much longer than I do too.

It hit me the day we were scheduled to host Christmas dinner, a mere week after we arrived home from Florida. I woke up with a scratchy throat, assuming it was from a poor sleep. I performed a rapid antigen test, the kind we have available at our local grocers, just to be sure it was not Covid related, so I could warn family members (before they arrived) if it was.

I have repeatedly tested myself for Covid since then with negative results.  Who knows though, if rapid tests are capable of detecting the current variants.

Immune Systems

My immune system used to be much stronger, in fact, at one point in my life its over-reaction was the final verdict (after thousands of tests) in the saga of my stillbirths.  

Within the past (almost) three years that hasn’t been the case.  Instead, I seem to catch everything that goes around. I know I’m (aren’t we all?) getting older but this seems drastic to me, considering otherwise I’m in good shape and health. I guess that’s why they have an over 60 category in vaccination availability, I just keep forgetting that this category refers to me.

My immune system has definitely been significantly weaker since I was sick with a brutal cold in February of 2020, the worse one I’ve ever experienced.   I now believe that the virus that struck me down back then was Covid-19, before Covid was a household name here.  At least here in Canada. Suspicious theories have it lurking long before we reacted to it (shut down) in mid-March, 2020.

Due to our weakened immune systems, and the desire to travel and spend time with our six rapidly-growing, active grandchildren, we obligingly rolled up our sleeves for four rounds of Covid vaccinations over the past two and a half years, and one flu shot most recently. I hate to think how sick we would be without all those shots; it sure does make you wonder about their efficacy. But that’s a whole other story, one I’m quite happy to let the scientists rule on.

Limited Accomplishments When I’m Sick

I’ve been getting lots of rest, in fact wake up in the mornings thinking I’m better, only to be frustrated with a return of coughing fits and green-filled (gross) sinuses around 2 pm. I did the same that other time I was so sick, thought I had recuperated when I had in fact not. Passing out in the shower was the rude awakening then, so this time I am trying to be more patient. Pun intended.

I’ve managed little things around the house, like (lovingly) banishing Christmas decorations to the garage for another year.  And sprouting and potting up new plant babies that were meant to be birthday gifts for my two late-December-celebrating daughters-in-law.  I figured with no human babies due this year (that I know of) some plant babies would be appropriate.  If you two are reading this, your (plant) babies are still here waiting for me to be healthy enough to drop them off.  And, I cannot wait to spend time with your real babies!  And you and your husbands of course. That is the worst part when I’m sick. Hands down, this extrovert misses her family.

Spending time chatting with my youngest son has also been a bonus as he’s been home from Victoria for a month over the holidays.  Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go out much; lunches at new (to us) spots are our favourite. We did go check out the outdoor Christmas lights in our neighborhood and downtown one evening though. And cheered on the Canadian hockey team as it competed in the World Juniors tournament, emerging as the champions in the final game. Some of the games, including the final, were a little too nail-bitingly exciting, with the winning goal delayed until 3-on-3 overtime. Despite my cold, I was able to hold my breath (both in fear and anticipation) as well as yell and cheer loudly, joining many other hockey fans across this hockey-loving country.

That’s about the extent of my excitement though, so far this year…Cheers to a happy and healthy 2023!

photo credit

Leashes for Cats, Should they be Mandatory?

leashes for cats

I vote yes, leashes for cats should be mandatory. Why are dogs not permitted to roam at will through neighbourhoods but cats are?

Last night we came home from a stressful day at the cottage spent cleaning up our property from the storm damage. We also spied a black cat prowling around at the side of our house. It took off when my husband chased it away. Why did he chase it away? Because last year he watched the same black cat kill a baby bunny in our (private) backyard. This morning, we discovered a dead chipmunk on our back deck. Coincidence? I think not! We’ve seen a few baby bunnies in our yard recently, so we’re hoping the cat did not get them too.

As you can probably tell, it annoys me to no end when I see cats in my yard. I believe it is irresponsible of cat owners to let their cats roam indiscriminately. Our backyard is an oasis for birds, rabbits, chipmunks and the like, so cats are not welcome. Our backyard, our choice, right?

I have a good reason for this opinion, besides the fact that cats prey on small animals just to torment and kill them for their amusement. I am not amused.

Cats and Toxoplasmosis

Years ago I suffered three stillbirths. We were told the most likely cause was toxoplasmosis contracted from cat feces. Well, we have never owned a cat. But, several cats used our front garden as a litter box back then as it was hot and dry, sandy soil. When we first moved into our home, this south-facing garden was newly planted, so cats could access the soil easily. We’ve since covered that area with a veranda and moved the garden out from the overhang of the house so it gets more moisture.

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii). It is one of the most common parasitic diseases and infects nearly all warm-blooded animals, including pets and humans. Although cats are a necessary part of the life cycle of T. gondii, the parasite rarely causes clinical disease in them. While T. gondii seldomly causes significant symptoms in healthy adults either (see below for exceptions), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently identified toxoplasmosis as one of five neglected parasitic infections of people due to its high prevalence. 

Cornell Feline Health Center

Toxoplasmosis is a common infection that is usually harmless. But if you get toxoplasmosis for the first time while you’re pregnant, or a few months before you conceive, there’s a small risk the infection could cause:

miscarriage

stillbirth

birth defects or problems after the baby is born – this is very rare

NHS

Outdoor Cats

I belong to a neighbourhood Facebook group where posts often discuss missing or found cats. There also seems to be a large presence of “lost cat” signs pasted on any flat surface on our streets. Am I the only one that finds it hard to believe people let their cats wander around the neighbourhood, especially with the steady increase of coyote and fisher sightings in our neighbourhood? Perhaps if cat owners didn’t let their cats roam, these wild animals would stick to the wooded areas. Instead, they are enticed by a buffet-like selection of victims.

Leashes for Cats

Are leashes the answer? They certainly would be a start. If you want your cat to walk through the neighbourhood, take it for a walk on a leash. Just like the dog owners do.

And, while you’re at it, take along a bag to scoop up their poop.

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