hopefully, this doesn’t turn into dixie trek 95

So I’m planning to be in Austin this weekend for the comic convention with the rest of the cast of TNG, but I picked up something when I went to Seattle on Friday and it’s kicking my ass.

I have the stupid Epstein-Barr virus, and it gave me terrible mono a few years ago. My doctor told me that my immune system is weaker than average as a result, and probably will be for the rest of my life. I live with it by being cautious and practicing good hygiene, but all it can take is an errant rubbing of my eyes or nose with dirty hands for it to wake up and make me miserable.I think that’s what’s going on with me right now, because I’ve felt pretty lousy for the last four days.

I woke up Sunday night with a scratchy throat and stuffy nose. As Sunday turned into Monday, I got worse and worse, until Anne had to drive me down to OC for the FireFallFest thing I did.

Tuesday was a bit better, but I was still so weak and tired, I stayed home while Anne went to Book of Mormon last night without me (a real shame; I’ve been looking forward to it for months) so I could try to just rest and get better.

I woke up this morning feeling about 60% or so of normal, and I hoped that I was on the mend, as they say, but after a couple hours went by, I felt as lousy as I did yesterday afternoon.

For about the last three hours, I start to feel better for a little bit, and then I feel worse than I did before.

My flight doesn’t leave until 6 tomorrow night, so I have almost 24 full hours to see if I can kick this sinus/chest/cough/sneezing thing in the balls. I’m doing my best to get well in time for the convention in Austin this weekend, but it isn’t looking good.

26 thoughts on “hopefully, this doesn’t turn into dixie trek 95”

  1. First off, love the TBBT reference in the posting’s title!

    Secondly, hope you get better soon! Otherwise, Sheldon won’t be the only Texan who will be shouting, “WHEATOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!”

  2. I live in Seattle and got that particular brand of the plague. Take heart! You should be down to a nagging cough by the time your flight leaves. Make sure you turn your easily amused nob to stun as it’s the laughter that triggers it.

  3. Hopefully it’s not that lame cold everyone in my family got. It started just like you said and it stayed around for 2+ weeks. I got it Sep 9 and I’m still coughing a little.

  4. My wife’s a neurologist, she says there’s very little evidence that EB is chronic, although is can cause meningitis-like symptoms if it gets in the brain, and there is a also little understood link between EB and MS.

    1. No, not usually chronic in the standard definition, I don’t think.

      EBV is exceptionally common — like 95% common, according to the CDC, and I sort of assume that 5% is just to C their As — but it doesn’t affect everyone the same way. It’s also one of those viruses that flairs up every now and again in fun and interesting ways. Most times, an EBV reactivation is symptom-less and you’d only know it reactivated if you happened to get a blood test for it while it’s active. It basically just means you’re contagious again — for the 5% who haven’t already been exposed by adulthood.
      EBV can also reactivate and produce symptoms ranging from mild cold to severe flu and again, you’d never know it was EBV and not a typical cold unless you got a blood test.
      But EBV can also reactivate in even less pleasant ways or (as in Wil’s case) kick your immune system in the teeth so bad that you’re susceptible to every cold and flu-sy that passes by.

      So your wife is correct in as much as EBV isn’t chronic, as in “on all the time and always causing trouble,” but it can cause damage that causes problems that are chronic and it will very likely cyclically reactivate in ways that can feel chronic.

  5. I have never been to any Comic con or any large convention. I tend to find out about them only after I had made plans for the weekends they fell on. Once I found you had scheduled to appear, I took Friday off to check it out. I do hope you are able to make it. I would love to add to your jar-O-dice.

  6. So sad to hear that you aren’t feeling well, Wil. Thanks for responding to my buddies email about the possible improv show. Hope you can make it to Austin anyway. Best wishes!

  7. Wil – I’ve lived in Kansas most of my life and I came across a reference to your film short “The Good Things” about a year ago but I can’t find anywhere to see or get a copy. Do you have any idea how I could get a copy or find it online?

  8. I’m going to Austin Comic Con, so I may let loose a little “WHEEEEAAAAATTTTTOOOONNNNNN!” if you cancel, Wil, (because how can I not, really?) but I understand. You have to take care of yourself first and foremost, and there is always another con. Hang in there and get well soon. If we see you in Austin, great! If not, I’m sorry, because it means you’re still sick and that is never any fun. Get well soon!

  9. Get well soon! I’ve been sick for over a week with nothing more than a stupid cold, but even that can make you feel awful. (I admit I spent the weekend in bed watching TBBT and even John de Lancie’s debut in MLP!)

  10. Try using echinacea. It won’t do anything for a cold right now, but it helps to boost your immune system over time. You take up to 6 per day (2/3x) for 6 weeks, then lay off for about a month and start over. Eventually (after maybe a year) you can just use it to gear up for a couple of weeks before a big event, so you’re ready for whatever comes at you.

    And this is the part that sounds like a commercial selling something….About 10 years ago, I was constantly sick, had chronic sinus issues and caught everything everyone else had, to the point where I had washed my hands raw and avoided any contact with people or anything they had touched. Then I had a job where I needed to travel – a lot – and interact with others more than I liked. A friend of mine (OK, fine she’s kind of a hippie, but I like her) told me to try echinacea and it honestly helped me out.

    Hope you feel better!!

  11. Umm. 99% of the world’s population has Epstein Barr Virus, you’re just unlucky because you seroconverted later in life (i.e. got infected for the first time). Yes, you will have a slightly higher level running around in your body for life, but EBV is in B-cells, and it’s not going to have that much (if any effect) on you getting a cold. (in fact, EBV is generally only a problem for those that are immunocompromized, and our immune system generally keeps the virus in check).

    (Sorry for being the joyless pedant, but this is what my PhD is in, and it really pisses me off when MDs start scaring people…. I even had to explain to my PCP about the prevalence…so sad).

  12. I understand. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 24 years now, and I avoid getting sick at all costs, as it takes me so much longer to recover. Not that I get to go out in the world much anyway. Absolutely take care of yourself. There are only so many dents the gene tags for an immune system can take.

    Looking very much forward to TBBT next week. It’s appointment television for us!

  13. Oh noes! My husband’s been fighting a cold/virus thing for a week or two now. It’s never fun.

    I really really hope you can make it to Austin. Especially because I’m working on a Sparks Mcgee costume for the baby, just for you.

  14. Well, I have an improbable proposition which has about a 0.05% chance of working, but here goes:

    A few weeks back in a comment I mentioned that our Last.fm music tastes are insanely compatible. Kinda already knew this from some Pink Floyd related dialogs that have happened in comment threads over the years.

    But that day I lamented on my Facebook that you’d probably really enjoy seeing my band play, and that we’re playing in Houston on Saturday the 27th. Someone suggested I invite you, but I thought, nah. No way he’d travel from LA to Houston to catch a show of a weird band he’s never heard.

    Then I found out you’ll be in Austin this weekend, only a couple hour’s drive. Hmm….

    Now, I know this is entirely improbable, but I’ve got to at least make the pitch, because, well, let’s see… Brent Spiner went to high school in Houston (may still have family here?); Jim Parsons did theater in Houston with a bunch of my friends (perhaps he has a nana you could terrorize in real life? Or at least have pancakes with?); Jonathan Frakes had business with Beckinfield, and they’re based here in Houston (and a friend of mine works there), and, um… nerds with instruments making noise..

    So my band, which I described a bit on reddit yesterday, http://www.reddit.com/r/Bass/comments/120npy/is_the_bass_player_the_weird_guy/ is playing Saturday night at Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar in Houston, TX. https://www.facebook.com/events/356074891144468/

    The band doesn’t go on until 10, and we play until 2 am.

    I know you’ve probably got all sorts of contractual obligations to the con, and you may be fighting the crud with great honor, and you probably want to hang out with your friends…. BUT if Brent wanted to roadtrip to see his folks or something, or someone wanted to set a course and make it so, you could totally come and see the weirdest rock show you’ve ever experienced.

    Just sayin’. :) (You’d even stand a good chance of winning the costume contest…)

    1. I appreciate your invite, and wish you the best in your show. I won’t have the time or energy to come see your gig, though.

      1. Eh, it was a long shot. I’d still like to get you here for a Houston Wootstock at some point when everyone’s schedules allow. I’d be more than happy to help on the local side with logistics and venue-finding, etc.

        Enjoy your con! (and keep the crud at bay!)

        The local cons in Houston haven’t had much budget for guests in recent years, but it would be good to get you here eventually.

  15. I have a slightly worse condition than EBV called Common Variable Immunodeficiency (CVID), my body doesn’t produce immuneglobin at all. I was diagnosed by having pneumonia five times in 7 months in 2008/’09. I started using NeilMed sinus rinse in July, it’s basically the same thing as a neti pot, but it’s a plastic squeeze bottle. I call it power-washing my sinuses. And it is definitely effective: after a 25′ chunk of pine blew through our roof, we had to move to my wife’s observatory for a week at the same time a plague swept through, it was either a flu or a severe upper respiratory virus. My wife got hit, I picked up one of these for her (I was already doing it), and she thinks it greatly improved her recovery time. But the important thing is that I DID NOT GET SICK. I haven’t been sick since starting the power-washing, it’s inexpensive and travels well. You MUST use distilled water: a couple of people died in the Mississippi river region when they used tap water and contracted a brain parasite. Just store it in a gallon ziploc and tell whatever event that you’re traveling to that you need a gallon of distilled water in your room, it’s all of $2. The NeilMed starter kit is something like $13 at Walgreens or whatever pharmacy you have near you.

  16. Take care of yourself, Wil. Anyone planning on attending the convention with any common sense will understand that your health is up here (holding my hand above my head) and us fans seeing you at a convention is here (holding my hand somewhere between my waist and knee). Best wishes.

  17. Persistent post-viral conditions stink. I’m really sorry that it’s still impacting your life. I bet all the activity of the conventions takes a toll on its own, even without the exposure to so many germs. I have ME/CFS, and I used feel sick all the time after a day out, just from the activity doing whatever it does that lets my own viral levels get out of control. I didn’t realize how sick I still was at the time, and wish I hadn’t pushed myself so much.

    Take care of yourself. Your health and your life come first. It’s easy to get much, much worse trying to push through with these things, and really hard to get back out of that hole once it’s made. The people who wouldn’t understand that are probably dicks anyway. 😉

  18. I’m not sure anyone has mentioned this elsewhere but if you are looking to boost your immune system you might want to try Grapefruit Seed Extract in Liquid Concentrate. Ten tiny drops go in whatever you are drinking 1 to 3 times daily. My friends family took this for a year and was not sick at all. I just started taking it 3 days ago. I bought a 2 fl. oz. bottle at New Seasons for $13. It should last me some time since the drops are really small. Just thought it might be an idea for you. Hope you are feeling better!!

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