Sorry to leave everyone hanging there, me in a bad mood, threatening to leave everything behind without so much as a backwards glance. It's unfortunately true that I have been really sick, and I will be counted as one of the approximately 1,500 cases of whooping cough in my state this year. The infectious disease specialist was friendly and thorough, but he took entirely too much pleasure in telling me that in China, they call this "the cough of 100 days." It sounds so benign, doesn't it? Cough for awhile, get over it. But I've pulled several muscles in my chest and back, and I'm pretty sure I've separated a rib from whatever it was supposed to be attached to (better than cracking it, I guess, which seems to be a common side effect). One other lovely symptom of the disease is the vomiting--I've lost a few meals this way, and I'm thinking of going on an all-liquid diet until I get over that part. Last night, not only did I vomit, I got to enjoy spitting up blood. I'm pretty sure something is torn inside my throat, I can feel it inside, and also when I touch my neck. Another reason an all-liquid diet sounds good.
Okay, I realize that is way too much information, and I'm not really asking for pity from anyone. I am asking for patience, though. It's going to be awhile before I feel better, and when I'm sick, the more challenging aspects of my personality are definitely amplified. My goal is not to do any irreversible damage to my interpersonal relationships with illness-inspired temper over the next three months. Wish me luck.