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Plague, Sleep, and the stuff of dreams

My surviving cat has become very needy. If I am at home, she wanders around howling until she sees me and then crawls up onto my lap or alongside me in my chair, and won't be moved, except to occasionally get up and demand food if her bowl is empty. At what she considers bedtime, she'll demand that I get out of my chair, stop playing computer games or reading, and go to bed. (I generally ignore her. 10pm is not my bedtime.)

Once I'm in bed she'll either craw under blankets and lie lengthwise next to me, or crawl up next to my neck, stick her face in my face, and (still using her OUTSIDE VOICE) meow at me once or twice, attempt to shove my features around with her nose, and then settle down with her paws wrapped around my neck, or if I don't want to put up with that, with her head next to mine on my small barley-husk pillow.
And as I tend to sleep on my side when I can, I will often wake up with her IN MY FACE.

This does not in any way benefit my ability to breathe. I may not be allergic, but she is made of fluffy fine hairs and slightly coarser longer hairs and she will emit clouds of either, at random.

And I wear a mouthpiece at night to keep my jaw in a position where I don't end up with my airway closing.
(This is similar to sleep apnea - if I don't have the mouthpiece, I don't breathe very well at all.)

So. Last night. I woke up with the cat there, eyes open, not appearing to be breathing, and not responsive. I couldn't tell if she was breathing, but she sometimes sleeps quite deeply, so I moved her a bit, and made her wake up. Because I am NOT going to wake up to find a dead cat in my face please. She's very old - about 20 years, maybe 21 - and she's still in good shape but at that age...

Anyway. Needy cat.

About the plague.

So. Friday of last week I caught That Cold That's Been Going Around.
As I had too many hours built up, I left work after 5 hours (as per plan) and went home, with a mild throbbing pressure in my head and a slightly sore-feeling throat.

I decided that I was probably Coming Down With It, and decided to preemptively clean the target zone for the infection with a nasal rinse. (NeilMed makes this as an alternative to the neti pot and it's easier to use, and much more effective than "ocean" saline-spray-can.)

Funny noises, deliberate draining, and I actually felt a little better, but then when I woke in the morning, it felt like I'd sandpapered my sinuses and throat. There was a cat Too Close to my face, and there was also at least a gallon of "protein matrix" in both sinuses, some of it with fine cat hair mixed in from having breathed in Cat all night. But it wasn't difficult to clear it without even taking drugs. I did take an antihistamine to keep the side effects down. The one side effect I couldn't fix was the fever and the feeling of brain not worky.

And lo didst this continue for the next four days. Two of those days were work days and I did not come in to the office to Share the Fun. I'm not willing to do that any more. I did come in on Wednesday after 5pm, and I worked 5 hours, then came in Thursday at 10:30am. And left at 10:30PM. Ugh. Not intended, but I got caught up in what I was working on.

And hopefully won't do the same thing today because REALLY don't like how I feel after 12 hours...

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