The month long cold

If you know me from another online environment, or in the world of actual human contact you know that I am sick. I have been suffering with a cold for the past almost 4 weeks now. I had a few days where I thought I was recovered, only to have the cough return with a vengence. My last post referred to some pain under my left rib cage, which after a little more googling I decided was due to the intense coughing I have been doing for weeks. It makes sense, because I have really been miserable which almost everyone I come in contact with can attest to. I'm sure the passengers I fly next to are oh so grateful that I am adding to the toxic sludge air that is the inside cabin of the airplane, but what can I do?

Monday morning I decided to go to the doctor to see if I could get a real cough medicine perscription, and had secret hopes that the doctor would tell me that I couldn't fly with my current illness. Sadly, I left the office with zero of the things I'd hoped for. I should be thankful that I am healthy despite the presence of an ear infection (seriously other than some strange ear popping that is hard to resolve and makes me nearly deaf in that ear I had no idea). I know the general advice is not to let little kids fly with ear infections because it can be excrutiating, but the doctor I saw passed that off as a non-issue for me. Ugh. She did say I could use it as excuse to stay home if I wanted to, but in my book that is basically like calling into work when you aren't really sick (although in this case I suppose I am sick). If I didn't have to use my "vacation" time to stay home sick I might have considered staying home. So yes, you guessed it I am typing away in my hotel room right now. I'm now taking a cocktail of Amoxicillin, Mucinex DM, and Advil all at varying intervals to handle my symptoms. It is a good thing I got a flu shot this year because if I were to get the flu on top of this I think I would be screwed.


Irrational fears

Do you ever have a minor health concern that ends up blowing up in your mind and becoming your focus for days? I do, obviously or why would I be blogging about it right? My recent concern began sometime this past Sunday. At some point I noticed that it felt like I had sore muscles in the area under my left rib cage. Of course I hadn’t done anything that could have caused sore muscles recently so it struck me as odd. I didn’t think much of it, started telling myself that it could be a side effect of the flu shot I’d received just a few days prior (however unlikely that may be). At some point yesterday while still feeling the sore muscle feeling I started to let the floodgates open in my mind, and of course headed straight for Dr. Google. Thankfully, nothing of interest popped up in my web sleuthing, but I did start staring at a calendar to see when my last AF had occurred. I don’t keep track really because AF with my handy dandy Mirena IUD isn’t much more than spotting. I have no need to worry about pregnancy since Mirena is more effective than female sterilization, so what difference does it really make? I did recall having AF-like spotting on a business trip, but I’d had many in these past few months so it was a little tricky to pinpoint which one. When I’d finally isolated the likely trip I realized it had been 5 weeks or so since her last visit. Just try Googling IUD AND pregnancy and you will see what kind of horrid thoughts started creeping into my head.

When I let myself go to that place it is very hard to talk myself down. I start coming up with “symptoms” which support whatever I have self diagnosed myself as having. After having a few semi panic attacks involving being rushed to the emergency room because of a burst fallopian tube due to an ectopic pregnancy, I rushed to Walgreens at lunch, went home and peed on a stick. Negative, pheew! I called DH to tell him that I wasn’t in fact pregnant, and he said “that’s nice Hun.” I’m starting to think that the IUD may not be the best birth control choice for me, while I love that it involves no effort on my part, it is hard to trust that it works as it is advertised. I am an IUD baby after all (yes when your Mom who had polio as a baby and therefore has paralyzed legs gets pregnant with you when your older brother is just 6 months old you know you weren’t planned!), and those thoughts creep into my head a little too often for my tastes. Of course I don’t want to go back on the pill, and this not having AF business is really nice (if you get past the irrational pregnancy thoughts that creep in occasionally), and I’m not ready to risk a third baby so there it is. I guess I do nothing and live with the freak outs. One pee on a stick episode in the 17 months I’ve had the IUD isn’t so bad is it?


Home at last

I thought I owed my blog a post from home, a truely rare occurance. Yesterday was fabulous, we wrapped up work at the client site ultra early which allowed us an ultra early flight back home. I managed to be at daycare just as The Boy woke up from his nap. He practically leaped up into my arms, and we just cuddled for a few minutes until we heard The Girl shouting from the other room. We made our way home, DH called to say he was going out for a drink and we shouldn't wait for him with dinner so we didn't. We watched Disney's Cars and played with all of The Boy's car paraphanalia at the same time. I made a wonderful dinner of corn dogs, oven fries, and baked beans. DH came home, I gave the kids baths, put The Boy to bed, and then sat in The Girl's room for approximately 1.5 hours trying to get her to fall asleep before giving up and making DH do it. I suck. He does it for 3 nights straight and I can't even handle one night. Oh well.


Slim Fast and Beef Jerky

I don’t like to eat out alone.

There I’ve said it. I feel self conscious when I sit in a restaurant all by myself. It doesn’t feel normal for me to just sit quietly while I wait for my food. When I do decide to eat out alone (while traveling) I make sure to bring a book with me so I don’t feel so lost. Tonight I was faced with the prospect of walking from my hotel to a nearby restaurant solo, or driving to a take-out type place to bring some food back to the hotel. I ended up opting for the take out. My excuse was that I needed some cough drops to cope with the horrible cough I am stuck with from my most recent nasty cold, but eating in my hotel room just seemed more appealing. I also opted for take out last night, so I have now had Qdoba and Quiznos as my fine dining experiences for the week. I decided I needed more Q’s in my diet. I am not really complaining, I get a daily per diem, so I am much better off financially if I do eat take-out since I don’t have to tip and the food is just generally cheaper. However, it makes for some long lonely evenings sitting in my hotel room.

I have been in this pattern for the last few trips, which seem to have occurred every other week through this fall. I am not even traveling alone, one of my colleagues has been accompanying me on all of these trips. He brings his own food with him from home though, and just eats alone in his hotel room (I presume). He is really making out with the per diem. I’m not sure what food he brings from home, for a while there was talk of Slim Fast shakes and beef jerky, which frankly makes my stomach turn. Is this how you would choose to eat if you were traveling for work? I didn’t think so. Perhaps he needs the extra “income.” Whenever there is talk about extending trips he seems willing, whereas I come up with many reasons why it can’t work with my schedule. Of course this could just be my lack of a work ethic, or more truthfully my extreme dislike of business travel in general and my desire to be home with my children and husband when at all possible.

Even though my kids can make dinner stressful, eating dinner with them every night is one of the highlights of every day. Sitting in my hotel room eating alone is peaceful, but it doesn’t even come close to comparing to a dinner at home (even a dinner I had to cook). I can hear The Boy saying “How was your day?” and “my day was good” as I type. Those two phrases which he now commonly utters make all of the “I don’t like this” and “there is sauce on my noodles” stuff fade away in the background…for the most part. I bet my DH doesn’t have the same perspective I do since he is the one having to make the kids Dinosaur chicken nuggets tonight.

Another night on the road...


Business Travel Mom

A good friend of mine passed along a link to this article about Moms who travel for business. At first I was eager to read it because I am very interested to see how other traveling Moms cope. However, the spin of the article seems to be that by and large these Moms like being away because it gives them a break from the day-to-day grind of being a working Mom. I am in no way judging the Moms who say that, because I’d be lying if I said it isn’t somewhat relaxing to come back to an empty hotel room and have an entire evening to yourself. The problem comes in when you are gone for 3-5 nights at a time. Unlike one of the Moms quoted in the article, my DH does not have a flexible work schedule that allows him to accompany me on business trips so the kids can come along. Nor do I have a nanny that could do the same. I’m actually curious to know if the Moms who bring their kids with them while traveling expense (to their employers) the cost of bringing children with, or just eat the expense. The 3 extra plane tickets, not to mention meals while traveling would eat a big hole in our budget. I also feel that DH and the kids would be horribly bored in the towns I end up traveling to. Most of the towns are very small; they are towns where big companies like to locate because labor costs are lower. They are not towns you would immediately recognize the names of. While I would love to finish a day of working and come back to my kids, I don’t think it is fair to expect my family to uproot just to relieve some of my guilt for needing to travel to do my job.

I guess the women in the article are more cheerful than I am. It seems that they are all looking at the bright side of business travel, while I tend to focus on the rest of the crap that comes along for the ride. Maybe I should use my business trips to get facials, manicures, and pedicures. Perhaps that would be more fun than organizing all of our digital photos as I sit in a hotel room. I tend to feel like I need to be somewhat of a martyr when I travel for business though. It is as if I am not allowed to be happy when I am away from my kids, simply because I should be home with them instead. This idea comes only from me, but it definitely is what I do. I think I still need to watch how much “fun” I communicate to those left back home, I really don’t think that they would appreciate me being happy to be away.

I think I’ve figured out why traveling Moms are in the minority, it is because our partners are not too keen on being the parent who is home alone for days on end. My DH is fantastic about my travel, nicer about it then I would be if our roles were reversed. I do know that it becomes draining even for him when I am gone for more than 2 nights though. Two high maintenance children keep you busy, and you get very little downtime until after they go to bed. When I offered to cut my last business trip short because of The Girl’s bout of croup, he immediately accepted my offer. There was some talk about being able to handle it, but I knew he didn’t want to have to deal with it alone. I also felt it was unfair for him to have to miss two days of work, just because my work had me out of town. I did come home a day early, and I don’t think there was any detrimental harm done to the project as a result. The Girl really did need her Mommy, and frankly I was irritated to not be the one caring for her. Some things, no matter how anti-feminist it makes me sound, just belong to me, and one of those is caring for sick children. Unless of course there is barf involved, that is a job that my DH can keep.