impossible head cold
Tuesday, December 22 2020
The social workers down in Staunton, Virginia always seem super-competent, well-resourced, and compassionate when we talk to them on the phone. They tell us they're going to check in on my mother (Hoagie) and assess the situation and get back to us. But then we never hear from them again. This morning Gretchen called up Meghan, the latest of our contacts, to find out what the situation was. It turned out that Meghan had actually gone out to my childhood home, bringing sheriff's deputies out of an abundance of caution (since Hoagie is known to be armed). My mother had then talked to Meghan privately, not allowing my brother Don to participate. Since Hoagie had not given permission for her case to be discussed with others, and since she had apparently convinced Meghan that she wasn't a danger to anyone and capable of living on her own, that was pretty much the end of the matter. Meghan hadn't talked to Don at all, and said that because he is younger than 60, he is not part of the population she works with. Since Don had expressed to us his desire to live elsewhere, it would've been nice for her to have talked to him separately, the way one typically does when working with dependents who might be in jeopardy due to the nature of their caregiver.
Meanwhile there's not much we can do except research places for Don and get him a cellphone. We bought him a flip phone (the kind targeting elderly users who simple phones with real buttons) and don't know whether to mail it to him or hand-deliver it. He'll probably need a lesson on how to use it and keep it charged, so I don't think mailing it is a great idea.
That throat condition I described last night had turned into what felt like a mild cold this morning, complete with a slowly running nose, the ability hawk up small amounts of phlegm, and the occasional Oscar-frightening sneeze. Otherwise I felt okay, and I was pretty sure this was not the coronavirus. But how was it possible to catch the common cold given all the anti-coronavirus precautions I'd been taking? Meanwhile, my troubles with that tax import I'd been working on continued throughout the day, and when (during the lull of a long data import) I told my boss Alex that I thought I was coming down with the cold, he told me I should go back to bed but keep my laptop near.
At the end of the workday, I took a bath, and of course Alex called during that to freak out about the state of the import. He would later call me at 10:00pm after I was already in bed. Normally Gretchen freaks out about such incursions into my off-duty hours, but she understood this to be "crunch time" as she put it.
I'd taken 100 mg of diphenhydramine at around 7:00pm, and between that and bath, I seemed to have completely beaten away my nascent head cold. Perhaps it wasn't a head cold at all but was simply diphenhydramine dependence.
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