Tag Archives: Number 3

Strep throat and my temporary hatred for water

It all started a week ago today. I noticed a slightly sore throat when I was working at my weekend job. “Huh“, I thought, “That’s odd. Well, I’m just run down from my week of traveling for work.” I trudged on at work and went right home to bed.

In the middle of the night, I awoke in a cold sweat. “Huh“, I thought. “That’s odd. Maybe I have a little 24-bug-flu-thingy. I’ll be better tomorrow.” I ran a bath of hot water and it took a while for me to start warming up. Then I started to be a little concerned.

The concern grew when I awoke the next morning in another puddle in my own sweat and unbelievably freezing. (Mind you I had done this song and dance three times already in the middle of the night: 12am, 2am and 5am, respectively). Stripping off my wet pajamas, I went onward to the hot bath again. I told myself (again) that it was just a little flu, and that if I slept in the Monday morning, I would be fine enough to go to work Monday afternoon.

When I woke on Monday morning, in an even larger puddle of sweat then before (and another night of a sleepless-cold-sweat-needing-a-warm-bath), it became clear to me that going in to work that day didn’t seem very likely. And, my throat really started hurting. I knew that sore throats we not common with the flu, and who in the hell gets the flu in August anyways?

I tried to “drink lots of fluids” (the advice everyone likes to say when they hear you’re sick), and cross my fingers that I was going to be on the mend by Tuesday.

Tuesday was a low day. I woke up with a lot more pain in my throat and many, many more fevers. Fortunately, I already had a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon for something totally unrelated, so I was so happy to get an examination to make sure I wasn’t going crazy. I don’t have a thermometer or a roommate with a thermometer, so I had no idea how high my temperature was. I drove to the doctor’s office and about halfway I immediately regretted driving myself. I was very dizzy, and another fever was coming on fast. I fortunately made it to the doctor’s, but promptly texted Number 3 to see if she could bring me home afterwards.

Upon the receptionist learning I thought I had the flu, she immediately made me wear a mask over my face and I felt like a leper. Everyone in the doctors’ office stared at me, and scooted away from me.

They finally called me back and determined that my temperature was 101.6. Yes! So, I wasn’t crazy after all…

My doctor, who I love, finally came in to find me curled up in a ball on the exam table, sweating. She must have been slightly concerned. Although all of this was happening, I still thought she would tell me, “Oh, Brittany, it’s just a little flu. Be patient. It will go away.

But, instead, here is my memory of our conversation:

My doctor who I love: Open your mouth and say ‘ahh’

Me: Ahh

My doctor who I love: Oh my gosh!

Me: Oh, yeah, well, I have really big tonsils. Actually, my brother and sister do too–

My doctor who I love: Brittany, I know you have big tonsils. They are very infected.

Me: Oh.

My doctor who I love: You definitely have strep throat.

Me: Oh.

My doctor who I love prescribed me antibiotics and sent me on my merry way. Just as I was leaving, she reminded me, “Brittany, drink lots and lots of fluids. Especially water. This is so important because you lose a lot of water when you sweat with your fevers.”

So, here’s the think about that. Drinking water. Well, drinking anything. If you know me, you know that I am one of the annoyingly crazy people who carry around a water bottle with me everywhere I go. I drink easily 24-48oz of water everyday. I LOVE water. But since Monday drinking anything – especially water- was so unpleasant, outright painful, that I avoided drinking as much as possible.

Number 3 picked me up, took me to the grocery store to fill up on soups, to Jamba Juice to get a smoothie, and then to the pharmacy to get my meds. She was my hero.

The rest of the week (well, until today) has been kinda of blur, so here are the highlights:

My mom

My mom came to take care of my on Wednesday. She did all my dishes, all my laundry, walked Tahn, and bought me lunch, smoothies and dinner. She took me an on errand to buy Tahn more dog food and practically tucked me into bed on Wednesday night. When she left, I was so grateful to hear and so glad that she came to help me. All of my friends (rightfully so) were staying away from me because, as my doctor said, I was extremely contagious. But, my mother came in the line of fire and took the risk of getting sick to help me feel better.

My condition worsens

Unfortunately, I did not feel better. I felt worst. I actually felt worse every single day.

I completely expected to wake up Thursday morning feel remarkably better, almost better enough to go to work. After all, my mom had just pampered me the following day and it was my third day of antibiotics! But…I felt really awful. My mom was very worried and insisted I called my doctor. I thought she was being slightly dramatic. But, since I was still pretty delirious, I thought I should listen to her. I left my doctor a message Thursday afternoon.

The f-ing gnats

This entire week of being sick, gnats have surrounded me. They are in every room of my apartment, except, oddly enough, my kitchen. I have not idea where they’re coming from.  They fly around my head, fall into my water (let’s be honest, I wasn’t going to drink it anyways), and literally annoy every ounce in my body. I think I’ve killed about 100. In a moment of frustration and desperation, I texted my dad, asking, “How do I kill gnats?” His response? “Use a sticky trap. From the hardware store.” Well damn. There was no way I would be making it to a hardware store anytime soon.

Oh look at that? A dead gnat, floating in my apple juice.


I still didn’t have my car on Thursday, and I was getting pretty tired of soups, so I texted my dear friend Summer to bring me lunch. Not only did she bring me lunch, but also she brought me lunch from my favorite restaurant, and then also made a separate trip to buy me apple juice. She made my day.

Eating and Drinking

Summer was so kind to bring me lunch (that I was craving so badly) but as soon I took a bite, I realized it was way too difficult for me to swallow. I had to take a usual “bite” and break it down into 3 or 4 smaller bites. It was a chore to eat. And, it was incredibly painful. I would actually hold my throat every time I swallowed water or food because it slightly eased the pain.

It would take all of my energy to drink a glass of water. I couldn’t have the TV on, or my computer open. I would have to sit and sip the water. I would focus on the next tiny sip until the entire glass was gone. I felt like my sweet nephew, Buddy. Who gets easily distracted when he eats (and especially drinks) so whoever is feeding him has to remove all stimuli so he could drink. That was me. Like a seven-month-old.

Apple Juice and Oranges

At around 3 am on either Thursday or Friday morning, I discovered that after I ate an orange, my throat would feel temporarily better. It would feel good enough that I could actually drink water. I could drink water without feeling like knives were tumbling down my throat. IT WAS A MIRACLE. Then, I tried drinking apple juice. Apple juice had the same effect! Waaaa-hooooo! Now I could drink water and eat food again!

Doctor appointment #2

My doctor called back Friday morning, but I had my cell phone turned off. I had learned that all week, my parents and friends felt that at 9:30-10am was a good time to call or text me to see how I was feeling. They didn’t know that was the time of day I got my best sleep and was woken up with each text or phone call. By the time I got the message and called my doctor back, it was early afternoon. By this point, I really couldn’t talk very well. I had to repeat myself on the phone many times for the doctor to understand me. (Apparently, this was very alarming to her. I didn’t see the big deal). She asked me a bunch of questions (that I will not bore you with) and she did not like any of my answers. She wanted to see me right away. I still didn’t have my car, because every time I had arranged to get it from Number 3, I felt too dizzy to drive. So, I called Number 3 to see if she could bring me to the doctor’s. She wasn’t available, so I called Summer. Summer was there in 10 minutes and drove me to the doctor and sat in the waiting room while I was seen.

(Quick side note: my doctor mentioned on the phone that there was a chance that if she couldn’t help me, I would have to go to the emergency room. As a good daughter, I promptly relayed the message to both of my parents. They. Freaked. Out. Well, my dad didn’t outwardly freak out, he was very calm. But I know him so well, and I could tell by the way his voice changed, he was freaking out. My mom freaked out. She was going to drive back to Sacramento to help me right now. “No, no, no” I told her. “Let’s wait to see what the doctor says.”)

In the doctor’s office, she looked again at my tonsils and then immediately left the room. A couple minutes later, I could hear her outside my door, consulting another doctor, discussing whether or not I should go to the hospital. They both came in and looked at my throat. “No” he said. “I don’t see an abscess.” (Oh? I didn’t tell you? They though I had an abscess in my throat and would need to go to the ER to get it drained. To. Get. An. Abscess. Drained).

She swabbed my throat and then explained my treatment plan. She would give me a prescription of super strong antibiotics, a prescription of steroids to bring down the swelling (I know, I was a little unsure about that too) and a shot of antibiotics before I left the office. Now, I am not a fan of shots. Hell, I hate anything that brings me pain. But, I was happy to get a shot to help me feel a little bit better. I just wanted to feel better.

My doctor came in with the syringe. Being a good little patient I rolled back the sleeve of my arm.

My doctor who I love: Oh, no, Brittany. I’m going to have to give you a shot on your bottom.

Me: What?

My doctor who I love: Yeah. I’m sorry. That’s where this shot goes.

Me: Like a little kid?

My doctor who I love: Yeah I guess.

She asked me to turn around, and … guys? She asked me to take off my pants. I thought I was going to die of humiliation.

I did like I was told, got the shot like an adult.

And, then I couldn’t stop laughing. I laughed for the rest of the appointment, most of the way home with Summer, and for another 10 minutes on the phone with both of my parents. I got a shot on my butt! Well, it’s another thing Buddy and I have in common this week.

I had a few more favors to call in to my great friends – my friend Jessica who brought me to the pharmacy to pick up my new meds and to Number 3 to bring my car to me. My friends really helped out above and beyond.

Today, I feel so much better. I can totally eat now, and it is no longer painful to swallow. I’ve had a few doses of antibiotics, and one dose of steroids. My dad is coming up tomorrow to help me out a bit, and most importantly, take care of Tahn. My sweet Tahn has had a terrible week. Besides my mom walking her on Wednesday, she has had no exercise. She’s been going a bit stir crazy, so I know she will be thrilled to see my dad tomorrow.

Lessons Learned? Sometimes, you get really, really sick and you just have to go with it. You have to listen to your body. Exercise and eat right. (I think a few days of traveling and not eating well messed up my immune system).

My friends and family are remarkable.

And? Sometimes you just need a shot in your ass and then everything turns around.



Filed under Family, Tahnee, Things I've learned

Smoke Alarms and Tahnee Lynn

Last night, Number 3 came over for dinner.

I’ve been really trying to eat what’s in my fridge before I buy more food, so I had to come up with a dinner I don’t normally make. My friend Jessica gave me some rainbow chard from her garden yesterday and suggested adding it to pizza. (Although I love the idea of rainbow chard, I can’t get past its bitterness…)

All I had to do was buy pizza dough and cheese and ta-da! I would have pizza.

If only it was that simple.

It took a while to prepare the chard for the pizza. Following Jessica‘s specific instructions, I caramelized the stems of the chard with onion, and then sautéed the leaves of the chard. Then, I took out the pizza dough from Trader Joe’s and I rolled the pizza out on a lightly floured surface (using Number 3’s rolling pin – how do I not have a rolling pin?!?!) and put it on a well oiled cookie sheet.

I assembled all the yummy ingredients and put the pizza into a 500-degree oven.

About five minutes later the smoke alarm went off.

(Growing up, when my grandma cooked us one of her delicious dinners, the smoke alarm always went off. When it did, we would all yell, “Dinner’s ready!”)

I felt compelled to yell with joy, “Dinner’s ready!” But I didn’t. Instead, I grabbed a dishtowel and ran over to the smoke alarm and fanned away the smoke. Quickly, the smoke alarm stopped sounding and I casually walked to the nearby window to open it up.

Then the smoke alarm went off again.

This time, the smoke alarm was not going off. In fact, it seemed the more I fanned it, the worst it got. Fortunately, Number 3 was on it, and she ran around my apartment opening all the windows and the doors.

Frantically, (afraid my neighbors would soon become concerned) I yelled to Number 3 to “Turn off the oven!!!!!”

When Number 3 went to turn off the oven, smoke was billowing out. She could barely see to find the off switch. Smoke was filling my apartment very quickly.

The smoke alarm didn’t just sound a high piercing beep. It also said “FIRE” after each beep. It was getting unbearable.

My very kind and diligent landlord came running down the stairs, “Brittany?!?!?! Is everything okay?”

“Yes!” I embarrassingly yelled. “Just some oil is burning in the oven! I’m sorry!!

(Do you remember how I said before that I put the pizza on a “well oiled cookie sheet”? Well. Apparently, it was too well oiled).

With my landlord coming in to help, (he took the smoke alarm down off the ceiling and took the battery out- genius!) I all of a sudden started to worry about how Tahn was doing. (Number 3, my landlord and I were really suffering from the smoke).

I looked outside and saw Tahn. Peeing. Tahn apparently didn’t enjoy the smoke, so she let herself outside. (And, while she was outside, she might as well pee…) Then, Tahn just sat on the dirt, looking back up at the apartment.

Of course, Number 3, my landlord and I thought this was hilarious. “Thanks a lot, Tahnee! Don’t worry about us! Or our home! Just save yourself!!”

My landlord brought down an industrial fan and within ten minutes, most of the crazy smoke was gone.

At this time, Tahn joined us back inside.


Number 3 and I did end up enjoying a delicious pizza (that was not stuck to the pan, thankyouverymuch) and along with a half bottle of wine. Maybe I’ll get myself a pizza stone before I make pizza again. And a rolling pin.

(photo source)

What’s your worst smoke alarm story?


Filed under Food!, My Apartment, Tahnee

My Old Lady

I have an Old Lady.

While I am aware that usually when people use the term “Old Lady” they are usually men and they are usually referring to their wives. In such context I do not particularly care for the term “Old Lady” but in my case, she really is an Old Lady.

My Old Lady is almost 4 years old. In dog years.

At approximately 9 pm at night, if I am not in my bed my Old Lady is not happy. She becomes very irritable because 9 pm is her bedtime and if I am not in my bed, then she cannot fully relax and sleep.

Example #1: I am watching TV on my couch. It creeps to the 9 pm hour. My Old Lady will get up from her bed in the living room and go to her bed in my bedroom. She will loudly lie down and let out a large huff. If more time passes, she will give up on getting my partying-wild-self to bed, and settle down for a good night’s sleep. (Don’t you worry. Whenever I drag my sorry self to bed, she will wake from her slumber and be ready to join me on her half).

Example #2: We are away from home and it is 9 pm. This case usually happens at one of two households:

1) Grandpa’s (my dad’s) or

2) Number 3’s (Number 3 is one of my best friends. She is Tahn’s third favorite person on earth. Thus the name: Number 3. Number 3 is Tahn’s favorite person on earth behind me, Number 1 – obviously! and Grandpa Number 2. And in this forum, she will be referred to as Number 3).

At Grandpa’s house, he has bought a special bed just for the Old Lady Tahn and she is happy to sleep on it while we  watch TV. However, at Number 3’s house, Tahn does not want to go to bed. Even though Tahn and I lived at Number 3’s for a year, she feels that it is no longer her home; therefore, she cannot properly rest there. Number 3 is kind enough to welcome Tahn into her home whenever I go over, and even lets Tahn sleep on her couch. However, around that 9 pm hour, Tahn is in no mood for snuggling on the couch. Tahn turns into my chaperone and she anxiously sits away from the couch, waiting to leave. Tahn will not and cannot relax. After fighting with Tahn (through stink-eyes no less) I finally get up and take my Old Lady home.

Example #3: I am not home at Tahn’s bedtime. Yes, I am sorry to say, but as a single woman, I am often not home and in bed at 9 pm. Therefore, Tahn must go to bed on her own. I assume she does not appreciate this one bit, especially since when I get home, this is what Tahn is basically saying:

“Mum! Mum! Mum! You’re home, you’re home, you’re home. I missed you!! I missed you!! I missed you!! Oh, I’m tired. Mum, I need to go to bed. Mum, I need to go to bed. Mum, I need to go to bed. Mum, I need to go bed”.

Tahn will continue to tell me she needs to go to bed (by sitting by my our bed looking very sad and sleepy) until I am ready bed. If I am not ready to go to bed, I will get on the bed with her, wait for her to fall asleep, then sneak off for a while. (She never knows).

Some may argue that Tahn is not in fact an Old Lady. They would say she is a dog, a creature of habit. Really? Then why does this dog Old Lady have gray hairs?


*Editor’s Note: Lately, I haven’t blogged about my sweet little girl, Tahn. Sorry Tahn. I love you. And for those of you who don’t believe she’s an Old Lady, I wish you could see this. It is almost 9 pm and Tahn is very upset I am sitting at the kitchen table at my computer and not in bed next to her.


Filed under Tahnee, TV