Today is the first day in a week that I've managed to claw out from under cover of my death bed and face the world. In one way or another, I, or someone in my household, has been sick since September. It really got bad over New Year's weekend, when I was too sick to attend the party we'd been invited to and instead went to bed in a Tussionex-induced fog at 5:00 pm and slept right through until 2007.

Aside: Mmmmmmmm, hydrocodone. Why is it I didn't know about how great this drug was before now? How could someone have not told me about it? I am considering dipping M&M's in it for the next couple of weeks and having one or two every couple of hours when I get stressed about the mountains of work that have been piling up on my desk in my absence. I'm not sure it'll help me complete my To Do List, but I won't care. Could it be that there are other drugs that I never knew were quite so wonderful as well? Oxyconton? Birth control? Cialis? Fill me in, Interweb, because I cannot adequately describe the ecstasy of taking simply one sweet, sweet teaspoonful of Tussionex and then being able to sleep without dreaming about a guy trying to start a chainsaw over and over again, only to wake up and realize that the chainsaw sound that finally woke me up wasn't in fact, a chainsaw, it was me coughing.

My child, who'd been to the doctor twice in one week and finished an entire course of antibiotics, became sick - again - after I stupidly let her pediatrician talk me into giving her a flu shot before she was completely over the last crud she had. Yesterday, after spending a particularly bad night coughing all through the wee morning hours and waking up feeling like I just entered my first rowing tournament, we still weren't feeling better. So in desperation, I declared war on the germs in my house. I took The Dormouse to preschool, called in sick from work, turned off the heater and opened up all the windows in the entire house. I washed bedclothes, dishes and clothing. I bought a carpet cleaner and cleaned the stains in the carpet. I cleaned off the kitchen counters with bleach. I scrubbed the kitchen floor with Pine-Sol. I even cleaned the windows. A more miserable cleaning lady you've never seen as I went coughing through the house, either bundled up or stripped down to my underwear, depending on the effect of my fever at the time. I finally finished and sat down to survey my unusually clean domain. Then I took a double dose of cough medicine and went to bed.

I knew rationally that this probably isn't going to make me or mine well, but it felt good to at least do something. But guess what? This morning when at 7:30 (sleeping WAAAY past my usual up-an-at-em time) when the Dormouse woke me up birght eyed and bushy tailed with "Rise and shine Momma!", I felt 150% better. And so did she.

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but I'm gonna use this to justify putting a line item for "maid" under the Healthcare and Insurance section of my monthly budget.