Monday morning at about 3:15am, I woke up with an intense coughing spell. I couldn’t sleep at all throughout the night. I couldn’t even breathe. I had to get relief somehow. I called my mom and asked her if I should go to the emergency room? She said,  I think you should go. I was worse over night.

When I went back into the bedroom, Drew said he would take me to the hospital. I put on some sweatpants and a hoodie. Drew got a shower, got dressed, and helped me pack up my things. He started up my car and helped me put on my shoes. I went outside and got into the car.

When we arrived to the hospital, he dropped me off at the front door, and I walked in and checked in on the touch screen. A nurse approached me and asked me what brought me in today? She had a mask on her face. I told her and she asked me I wanted a mask. I said, please and thank you. She then asked if I wanted a wheelchair. I was feeling so weak. I couldn’t even stand. She brought over a wheelchair and I took a seat. Drew came in to the waiting room at this time, and the nurse asked him, if I was his better half? Drew said, “Yes, she is my wife.” The nurse wheeled me in to the intake area where another nurse took my information and got me registered, then wheeled me back into an examining room.

Once I was in the room, they told me to undress from the waist up, and put on this hospital gown. Drew helped me get my hoodie off and put on the hospital gown. Then at that point, a nurse came in and started to examine my nose, my mouth, and my throat. asked if I was put on antibiotics due to my tonsils? I said, “Yeah.” She said, “They look fine, so do your ears. You do have some congestion and some post nasal drip, but we are going to get you feeling better okay.” I nodded my head.

After one nurse left, another nurse came in and started an IV. She took blood from me first, then the other nurse swabbed my nose and my mouth. They wanted to do a flu test. They were surprised no one did this at the PCP or the Pitt Clinic.

The other nurse, who hooked up my IV, gave me medicine through my IV called tramadol, and then handed me a cup of Vicodin cough syrup. She said, those two combined should make you feel pretty good. We will check up on you in a bit. Just then another nurse came in to take me for chest X-rays to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia. I knew I didn’t have pneumonia.

When they wheeled me back in the room, it was awhile before a doctor came in, a couple hours it seemed. When the doctor came in, he told me I have Influenza A. I am to rest and relax. I said, “oh wow.” He said, “I am sorry.” I said, “No, I am glad we know now.” I can’t believe the Pitt Clinic didn’t diagnose me right, or if they did then tonsillitis turned into the flu immediately.

When we left the hospital, the doctor gave me an excuse to get out of work until Thursday at the earliest and a decongestant. I am going to be taking that until I feel better. Drew took me home to rest, and then went back to the store to get my prescriptions. I was feeling good so I typed up the e-mails to my co-workers, and supervisor, as well as professors, because I wasn’t going to class tonight that is for sure. I did have to file a claim for FMLA in order to protect my job, while I am sick. It is a normal procedure, when you have been out of work for awhile.

Then Drew came home and we relaxed together for the rest of the day. For dinner, Drew made grilled cheese and soup, and then right before Siesta Key we made a pizza. Drew was coughing still and I really wanted him to stay home tomorrow, but I think he was going to go to work instead. That night, I took some cough syrup and I was out like a night, no coughing, no tossing or turning, just sleep. I can’t wait to feel better.



On Saturday, Drew asked if it was okay, that he goes to the gym? Of course, it was okay, it was his weekend too.  My mom and dad came over and brought an extra pillow over for me to get comfortable on the couch. I couldn’t sleep in the bed, I coughed too much and I know it was disturbing for Drew. My parents brought popsicles as well for my throat and two pieces of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Drew went to the store after the gym and got me more Gatorade and Kleenex. I was going through so many boxes. I laid on the couch all day. I did some homework for grad school. I was going to wait until Sunday night to submit it.

On Sunday, I was still coughing hard and spitting up phlegm. It seemed like the antibiotic wasn’t working like it should have been. Drew went to MedExpress. He was feeling sick himself. He had a cough. It took him a long time to be seen. There were so many people in front of him. They prescribed him a steroid for his cough and was told to keep an eye on it. He was not in a good mood at all. I couldn’t handle it. I was so sick, laid up all day, and my period started. I had the trifecta. That evening, he helped me Lysol the bed and change the sheets. I packed up my book bag, and stuff for work and school. I thought it might be a big mistake to go, but see how I am doing in the morning.


This morning, I got up and got a shower. I called my PCP and they said that my regular primary care is booked for the day, but they could see me at the Banksville Avenue location in West Liberty. I said, “I will take it.” I had a 10 am doctors appointment. My dad said, he would take me to the doctors. When my dad arrived, he brought me blueberry oatmeal from Starbucks and an Iced Passion Tea, unsweetened. It tasted so good going down my throat. I felt so sick. I was so congested. I haven’t had it this bad in a while.

When I arrived at the doctor’s, I signed in and waited. When the nurse called my name, she took me back, and I stepped on the scale. I lost four pounds already due to having no appetite and being sick. She heard my cough and said, “Awwe babe, we will get you something for that cough.” I hope that was possible. I was miserable.

When the doctor came in, she told me that I did need to give the antibiotic some time to work. I agreed, but I need some symptom relief in the meantime. I can’t be miserable until this medicine decides to kick in. She examined my mouth and my throat, and said, your tonsils are a little red, but not alarming to me. Your ears look fine. I will give you an inhaler to help you breathe and some cough pearls to help suppress the cough so you can get some sleep.

On the way home, I stopped at the store again I had to pick up some feminine products. My monthly visitor as due on Monday, and I was hoping it was going to be late. I can’t be sick and have a period, so not ideal. My prescription wasn’t going to be ready for another 10 mins. I didn’t want to wait. I called Drew and he offered to pick it up after work.
When I got home, I laid up and my dad went back home. I was miserable. Drew came home with my prescription and beautiful white roses. I love that he is there for me and he makes me smile so big.  Drew and I watched Bad Mom’s Christmas and he made me soup. We just took it easy.

Pitt Clinic & Tonsilitis

This morning, I went to the Pitt Clinic (a MedExpress for Pitt Employees). We drove in to work today, and arrived in Oakland a little earlier, then expected so he dropped me off at the clinic, before parking the car and going to work. I was concerned. When I arrived at the front desk, I had practically no voice. They checked me in and took me back right away.
When the Nurse Practitioner came in, she examined my mouth and my throat with the light and said, that I have tonsillitis. She gave me a prescription for Amoxicillin to take three times a day for 7 days, great!
When I left the office, I called Drew and told him. He said, “Oh wow, that sucks! are you going to be able to drive home?” I said, “Yes, can I just come to get the keys?” he said that he can bring them over to me in an hour so? Since I might want to let the traffic die down a bit since it is rush hour. I agreed.
When I got to my office, I sat down in my chair, and I was so miserable. I was burning up. I was losing my voice. I just wanted to leave. I called my boss and told her. She told me to just go home, instead of only entering 3 hours of normal time and the rest sick time for the day. I agreed that was stupid.
When I got off the phone with her, I packed up and called Drew.  I told him to please meet in Hogwarts with the keys. Phyllis said I should just go home since I am sick. He agreed. He met in Hogwarts with the keys. He could tell that I was miserable. He said, “Do you want me to see if I can take you or home? Or if Bill will let me work from home? I said, “If you want to baby, I will be here.” I took a seat and waited for Drew.
After a while, Drew texted me and said that he was able to come home with me and work from home. Drew drove us home. On the way, he stopped and picked up my prescription, Gatorade, and Kleenex. This was going to suck. I hate being sick.
When we got home, I tried to relax. I was coughing and hit hurt to cough, and swallow. It felt like razors in my throat. How long is this going to last? Tomorrow I planned to go to my PCP and follow up.

Something Wicked is Coming…

On Wednesday, I went to get Chicken Noodle soup with Nancy from Noodles and Company. It was cold outside. I probably should have a had more on then just my black North Face zip up, but we walked to the restaurant, picked up our food and walked back to the office.

When we went back to the office, we sat in the kitchen and ate our lunch with Patty. After we ate, I went back to my office, and I could feel my throat getting really sore and scratchy. It was making me cough like crazy. I would drink water and it still wouldn’t help.
Around 3pm, I had my meeting with Melanie and Phyllis to go over what else I needed training with, and I was just coughing up a storm. I felt so bad I had to keep pulling away from the meeting; coughing, and covering my mouth.
After the meeting, Nancy said that it might be because of the salt in the soup, that has me coughing. Perhaps, but salt never used to make me cough like this.  When I went out into the hallway, I let out a huge sneeze. I was getting sick. I knew it.

At the end of the day, I went to meet up with Drew and I told him how I have been coughing and he said I hope you aren’t getting sick baby. I told him if I still feel this way tomorrow, I should go to the Pitt Clinic.” He agreed. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Provisional Period is over

Today, I had my provisional ending meeting with Linda and Phyllis. My meeting was scheduled for 11:00AM. I took my time prepping for it. This meeting was all I could think about. I am pretty sure that I was going to happy be with the results, and all was going to be well, but still, there is that little bit of doubt.

When I went to the meeting, I had to meet them in this conference room that we call the “Fishbowl.” I went up to see Phyllis first before the meeting. I was 15 mins early. I brought my white notebook, that has gold polka dots on it, along with my mug that matches my notebook. I kinda have a thing for gold polka dots.
When Linda, came in she talked to Phyllis really quick about some housekeeping things in the Division, then we got right down to talking about my Provisional Ending. We went through the Staff Expectations hand out, my strengths, my weaknesses, and etc.

At the end of the meeting, she offered me my position permanently. I was so happy. I was afraid to react. I didn’t want to be seen as unprofessional. She said, “You can react, just don’t scream.” I smiled and took a deep breath and Phyllis squeezed my arm. Linda had me sign the offer agreement, then Phyllis my supervisor signed. I am so relieved. I had to get ready to go to lunch with Nicolette.
When I went back to my office, I went into Nancy’s office and gave her a hug around her neck and said, “I am yours permanently!” She laughed and knew it was going to go well. I put my things in my office and went to go meet Nicolette downstairs for lunch.
As I was standing by the elevator waiting for Nicolette, I felt so relieved and so grateful for this opportunity. I looked up and saw Nicolette and Wynn. I was happy that Wynn was joining us. She said, “Well are you permanent now?” I said, “Yes, I am.” She gave me a hug and was happy for me. Nicolette has her meeting at 3pm. I knew she would be okay.
When we arrived at the Porch, Nicolette packed her lunch and had already eaten, but Wynn and I were going to split a pizza. We both had cards, so I paid for her pizza and then we went to go join Nicolette at the table. I looked back towards the wall and saw Linda eating lunch with Jacob, the Division Administrator for Humanities. He interviewed me once for a position in Theatre Arts. I looked back at Nicolette and Wynn and they said, “Who do you see?” I sat next to Wynn. I said, “Linda.” She said, oh wow, you can pick her out of a crowd.” I was just really could at picking people out. Us girls are all in the same division and are all at lunch together, but there is coverage in the division, so we had nothing to worry about. After lunch, I went back to my office and did some work, and made it through the day.


Tonight, Drew and I were going to celebrate at Kendrews. We were going to get some wings and fries. I was so excited to celebrate. After work, I met up with Drew and he hugged me, kissed me, and congratulated me on a permanent position.  We walked to where we parked our car this morning, we drove to Aliquippa. When we arrived at Kendrew’s, he told me that he was going to drop me off at the door. I walked inside Kendrew’s, and took a seat at the bar, there was one open seat next to me, but on the other side of me was an older man. He asked me How I was doing? I said, “I am well thank you.” I couldn’t wait for Drew to come into the bar. This was a rough crowd, but they had the best wings and fries.
When Drew finally came inside the bar, and he and I decided to relocate at the bar and sit somewhere else. We sat on the other side of the bar and took a selfie together, we ordered beers, wings, and fries. We toasted to my permanent position. We both breathed a sigh of relief.



Well we decided to go over on Thursday. They were calling for some bad weather and we weren’t sure if it was a good idea to go anywhere on Friday. When we stopped over, we had dinner with them and it was good to see Nev and Crystal. Nev was fine for the most part, but towards the end she was getting a bit cranky and moody. She didn’t really seem to want me around at the end of the evening. She was more interested in Drew. The picture in the header says it all. Oh well, she is the only little kid, that is not infatuated with me.

First Day of Grad School

In the morning, right before we left for the bus stop. Drew took a picture of me with a sign that said, “First Day of Grad School.” He is so cute. It was his idea. I had my book bag on and I was ready to go, do or die.
After work today, I went up about 10 mins early to get to my classroom. When I finally found it, I took a seat near the back. I didn’t want to be so up front. The professor introduced herself, talked about her background, and how she is a statistician. I opened my Mac, and prepared myself for the start of Grad School.
When she started to lecture, I took notes on my Mac. I felt like I understood the material and didn’t really need to ask questions. I felt like I got it. Our first homework assignment was to write a discussion post about ourselves. The second homework assignment that is due is a practice quiz almost on the material we covered in class. Then, of course, read for the next class, it’s not too bad so far.
After class was over we took a break, and then I got ready for my next class. I wasn’t sure what to expect for my next class. It seemed like it was going to be my favorite at first, but now I felt like that was going to change.
When the professor came in, he introduced himself and started talking about the syllabus, the expectations, upcoming assignments due, and etc. We really didn’t start talking about the readings until the last half of the class. This professor’s style was more like he asks probing questions, and the class leads the discussion with their answers. It is not really what I am used to. I wanted to show that I read the material and watched the documentary, so I tried to answer as much as I could and participate.
Right before class was over, we split up into groups to work on the state board or accreditation project that is due early February. After this class was over, I felt so overwhelmed. I didn’t know how I was going to do this. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work, or if I was even cut out for it. I talked to the professor after class for a while, he told me that I will be okay.

The first paper is always the worst because you never know what to expect. I agree, but when papers are worth 50% of your grade. I better know what to expect, as much as possible.  He encouraged me to go the writing center for my sentence structure if I have issues with it, but I need to find someone who works with graduates, not undergrads (oh the glory days……..).
When I met up with Drew, who was downstairs by the bagel place, he was open arms and saw how drained I looked. I told him how I felt. He knows I am quick to get so down on myself and be tough on myself.  He said, “Baby, it is your first class. Give it a chance. You will do great.” I know he is right, but damn that second class is going to whip my ass. I just know it. When we got home, I went upstairs and got ready for bed. I was so tired.

Grad School Prep

All weekend, I prepped for grad school for the most part. I finished my readings for the second class. I had to finish this book by Keller and watch a documentary. I watched the documentary on Friday. Drew watched it with me, which was nice. I took notes. It was so depressing. It was a little over an hour long. It basically talked about having a college degree is a middle class dream, but it is not attainable for the middle class anymore. They discussed lower income families turning to community college, but dropping out due to the stress outside of school, it discussed how college is becoming less affordable, the difference between private education and public education (University wise), and the documentary shared the views of some professors and students both in Private and Public Universities. It is crazy the differences and the issues that surround education.

On Sunday, I thought I was finished, so I wanted to go to my parents to see my cousin, who got into Pittsburgh last night. Drew didn’t really want us to go. He wanted me to be prepared for school on Monday, and I can respect that. We are also supposed to see my cousins next Friday, so I wasn’t totally missing out. I just didn’t like how Drew came off at first. He kind of turned into this big discussion, and seems to complain when my family comes up and we all have to get together, it is what it is.
After breakfast, I refreshed course web and noticed that the professor from the first class Intro to Research Methodology, finally put up the syllabi and course documents. I noticed that I had some reading to do. I didn’t have any assignments until next class, but I thought damn. I thought I was in the clear. Drew said, “do you want to hold off on the gym then, so you can study?” I said, “Yea, probably best.” I went upstairs, took a shower, and got changed into some comfortable clothes, and then got to reading. I wanted to get out and go shopping with Anthony, or do something.  It’s not going to happen. I read until my eyes fell out.
After I finished my reading, Drew went to the gym, and then I went to my parents. I saw my cousin for a bit, and he was loaded. He had so much wine to drink already. I was surprised how drunk he was off of wine. I hate drinking wine after awhile. I can’t get drunk off of it. We all talked for a bit, then I took him up to mount Washington. He and I sat on a park bench and he told me how things aren’t going well with Crystal and how he feels like she complains all the time. He isn’t happy and I don’t think she is either obviously. They just need to break up. I know it will be hard because they have a daughter together, but this is bad and it will only get worse.
When I got home Drew had dinner ready for me and I was so happy. He is so supportive. I told him about the visit with my cousin, and how drunk he seemed. It is such a shame. It really is. That evening, I was so nervous about grad school starting the next day. I just hope it’s going to go well. I just want to do well.

New Year, New Car

On Wednesday, I was at work, when Drew texted me and told me that he was looking online at Blue Knob Auto and saw a 2016 Hyundai Tucson, 10,000 miles. I looked online and saw the car and I loved it! It was basically brand new! I was instantly excited. Drew went back and forth with them on the phone. They said, they will hold it for several hours, but can’t promise they will hold it for the weekend. We understood, but sometimes the whole “We work at Pitt” card tends to work, but not in this case.

After texting off and on with Drew throughout the day, we decided we should leave early tomorrow, like an hour early, if not a half of a day and go get the car. Well, I looked up where this place is located. It is located in Altoona which is far East an hour to 2 hours away from us.
At lunch, I told Nancy what we were looking to do and she said, that we should contact her nephew in Monroeville, and said we were crazy to go to Altoona. I thought were too, but it is still a damn good deal! We were crazy if we passed this up.
On the way home, Drew and I decided to forgo the gym and go test drive a Hyundai at one of at dealerships in Moon. We were going to not tell them, that we were planning to buy one at another dealer. We just were looking to purchase one and wanted to see how they drive because we heard so many great things about them.

When we arrived at the Dealership, Drew did most of the talking. They said, the only used one they had was a 2015 Hyundai Tuscon and it was black on black. We went outside and he pulled it out of the parking space for us to check out. We asked if we could go for a test drive. The dealer said, “yea, no problem. Let me get a license plate.” When he was inside, I got into the car, and Drew was standing outside my door. He asked, what I thought? I said, “well the one tomorrow is much better and modern. The front looks like a turtle.” He laughed and agreed with me.

Eventually, the dealer came back to the car, and he got into the passenger side and Drew got in the backseat. He asked if we wanted to go on the highway, instead of the parking lot. The parking lot was still not all that clear of snow and ice. I said, “Okay, I guess the highway.” I was so nervous about getting on the highway. While I was driving, he gave us directions, turn right on this road, left on this road. I knew where we were, but we went down broadhead road, and I know if you go straight you can go to Aliquippa, but that is it. Well, he had me make a right, and then it will loop us back around onto University. There were a couple yields I had to make and I did them successfully. I was so nervous.

When we arrived at the Dealership, he took our information and would let us know if anything would come up, I was hoping he wouldn’t call us. When we left the dealership and arrived home, Drew and I got our papers together for the next day.

On Thursday, I couldn’t wait to leave early and go get my car. We left Oakland a little bit before 3pm (Typically get out at 4:30pm). We got into my little Cobalt and drove towards Altoona. This dealership was in this little town just outside of Altoona. I was so cranky when we arrived. It was much colder than Pittsburgh there. They were calling for windstorm and some snow, around the time that we were leaving. Nancy said, “It always shows up in those mountains.” The drive there wasn’t so bad, but we weren’t looking forward to the drive home. We met with Meghan, who was our sales representative. She started us on our paperwork and then encouraged us to go on a 15min test drive with the car. She handed us the keys to the car and a license plate with some screws. We are to hand-screw the license plate onto the car before we test drive. She told us where the car was parked and where to find it. They have a no hassle or haggle sales policy, so you have to go find the car. We walked to the parking lot that was behind the building. The parking lot was full of trucks and SUVs. She said, to keep hitting the panic button. It was so cold and so windy. Well, sure enough, we heard the horn in the last row of parked SUVs.

When we got in the car, I started it up for a bit and turned the windshield wipers on to clean the windshield. This car was so much nicer than my Cobalt. I am already sold. I drove around the parking lot, the brakes were so tight. This car is so new. I love it! When we got to the front of the dealership, I parked the car and turned it off. As we get out of the car, Drew said, “Babe, I am so sorry we are out here doing this now, In this weather.” I said, “Baby, that is sweet, but it is a good deal. We can’t pass this up.” I love how sweet he can be. We walked into the dealership, and to Meghan’s office. I said, “Sold.” She laughed and sat us down to finish up her part of the paperwork. We had to go through financing that is another office and a little bit of a wait.

When we took a seat in the lobby, we didn’t get into a finance office until 8:00pm. We arrived there at a little after 5:00pm. We finished up the paperwork. All-in-all, in the car itself, was $17,000 (not included the interior cleaning warranty),  we traded cobalt for $1,000, and financed $15,000. We chose the 7-year payment plan, no penalty if we pay it off before 7-years. I am so happy. We signed all the papers, and then she handed us the keys and our copies of the documents, then we were on our way.

When we walked outside, we still had to clean our cobalt. Drew brought my cobalt from the other side of the building to where my new car was, and then I threw everything into the trunk of my new car. I threw stuff in the backseat of my new car. I was so over it. Drew drove us home in my new car.

On the way home, we drove through a windstorm. There were snow mounds on either side of the highway, and it would blow the wind in front of you. Visibility would be so low at times, that people drove really slow with their 4 ways on. I couldn’t wait to get home. It took for forever. When we finally got home, it was a little past 10pm. I was exhausted. I got changed and went straight to bed. We both had to work in the morning.