For all of you who keep contacting me privately to ask how we're doing, we're fine. For every male who just winced and every female who just gave me the raised eyebrow of "and where in the vast unhappy spectrum of a woman's 'fine' are you?"...no, really, we're good.
Yes, almost a year to the day from the last round, we caught Kung Flu again. This time, Peter was hit harder, and I was not nearly as bad as last time. We're now both officially tested clear (the household had to be, before I could resume work.) Despite everything you'd expect, he's recovering faster than me. He was sicker, so it's taking him longer than before, but he's already less wiped out by the same tasks than I am.
The most annoying thing about Lung Pao Sicken isn't actually being sick; it's the way it completely knocks all your energy reserves flat on the long recovery. Even resting... is like trying to refill a bucket with the bottom blown out. I tried going back to the gym to set a baseline - standard recovery technique. I barely managed 65 pounds on squats, and couldn't do more than half a work set of overhead press with bare bar. And then was knocked flat for the rest of the day.
I tried going back to work the next day, and my boss sent me home hours early with "I don't want you overextending yourself, because I want you here for the rest of the week." Calmer Half's only comment on that was that I'd lasted an hour past what he'd estimated. Which I can't say anything about, because I only really made it through one full shift that week.
So this leads to me grumbling, in fact perilously close to whining, at him that I hate being weak and useless.
Small diversion here. So, my love has a vast command of invective in many of the languages that are common around sub-Saharan Africa. He chooses not to use it around ladies, and therefore I rarely hear it, but unlike some hoity-toity officers, behind my love's commission lies a rich enlisted history.
Not that many years ago, a doctor made the mistake of trying a very painful procedure on my love before the local anesthetic had kicked in. I was sitting in the lobby staring at a 12-year-old copy of National Geographic when a very familiar voice proved:
1.) the flimsy partitions that count as walls in a doctor's office are no match for a good parade-ground bellow
2.) Despite not speaking a word of it, I can recognize Zulu from phonetics, intonation, and phrasing.
3.) It was utterly clear that someone was getting their genetic history, future prospects, and relations with barnyard animals discussed in detail.
The three older ladies waiting their turn were turning pale and clutching their purses. The older gentleman decided he needed to be out the door and elsewhere in the hospital. The pretty young receptionist grabbed the desk with both hands and ducked down like she was afraid the ceiling was going to fall on her. Me? My first reaction was to check 1.) Is this my fault? No. 2.) Am I in line of sight? No. Okay, then time to smirk and try not to snicker aloud at someone Not Me getting read the riot act.
I did ask him later to translate, but he merely turned faintly pink around the cheekbones when he realized I'd heard, and stiffly inform me that it was not suitable for ladies.
So, back to telling my darling that I hate being weak and useless. And he looks up at me, and... let me tell you, when he is motivated, my Calmer Half can flat move. Which how roughly one disconcerted "meep? eep!" later, I found myself on the couch, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, with a half-awake and rather startled cat plucked from somewhere and pressed on my chest so I could not get up. And Calmer Half standing over me, informing in no uncertain terms, "The correct terms are 'recovering from illness' and 'beloved.' You will use the proper terminology!"
Ladies and gentlemen, without once raising his voice or calling upon his vast command of enlisted epithets, I done been told. Firmly. Time to lie on the couch, scritch the cat, and accept that no, the floor's not going to be mopped today, and maybe not this week.
So how are we? We are Recovering From Illness. And beloved. Very, very beloved.