Hi.  Me again.  And back at work after my Memorial Day weekend took a strange left turn that left me flat on my back with a stomach infection....that is, when I wasn't running to the bathroom with an IV pole as my companion.

I guess it really started on Thursday, when Diane Donato and I (with loads of help from Josh Everett, Jim Gagliardi and George Morris) did our best to stay up to speed with the F3 tornado that leveled a house near Duanesburg, and did a lot of damage in Schenectady County.  To be honest, this kind of news coverage--what we call "wall to wall," is one of the most important things we can do.  We are aware that we may be literally saving lives, and we take it very seriously.  But it's very difficult and very emotionally draining, and requires intense focus to pull it off.

I finished about 7, and headed for the grocery store to pick up a few things my deardarling wife wanted, including "Oh, just pick out something" for dinner.  OK.  Pound of pastrami and some macaroni salad.  Big mistake??  I was tired and worn out after the long day...and that may have contributed to what happened Friday.....

.....when I just couldn't get out of bed.  My head was pounding, everything ached, and my stomach and lower back were on fire.  We can leave out many of the subsequent details, but let's just say the only place I was going was the bathroom...many times.

A quick trip late in the afternoon to the Urgent Care Center in Clifton Park, where the doctor basically said "which hospital do you want to go to?"  And then over to St. Mary's, where I was told in no uncertain terms to get comfy. I was going to stay for a few days, and have lots of antibiotics put in.  And hey, I was so dehydrated, it only took them an hour (and 8 attempts) to find a vein.

It's been a long time since I've actually been hospitalized, and I learned very quickly that my life really wasn't under my control any more.  So I improvised.  When I had to get out of bed....I crawled up and unplugged the IV mechanism, so I could take my "girlfriend" with me.  No one seemed to mind.  What did bother my 600-year-old nurse, however, was the excessive number of sugar packets I had on my little tray table.  "Where did you get those?" she rasped on a couple of occasions.  Truth be told, I was probably hoarding them for my coffee.  One tends to think that way while hospitalized.

For some reason, my doctor had me on a "regular" diet.  Under the circumstances, probably not a good idea.  Especially when Sunday's evening meal was Three Cheese Baked Ziti.  As I often say in my columns....NOT GOOD. 

I read a book, listened to my mp3 player, watched a lot of college softball, a couple of movies (including a great old flick called "Deep Blue Sea" about very smart and very hungry sharks), and stared out the window a lot.  I got to see a doctor at 6:30 am each day for a total of two minutes.  But, perhaps fortunately, no roommate until I was just about to check out of Hotel St. Mary's.

On the bright side, I probably dropped a few pounds, which isn't that bad of an idea.  Not the way I want to do it, though.....

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