"Stomach flu" and Toad

I’m back from the dead, “almost literally”, having survived a personal situation and a bad bout of the “stomach flu”. The personal situation would make for poor blogging fodder as it has little bearing on any except those directly involved.

There is no such beast as a stomach flu, by the way. The symptoms usually indicate a bacterial or viral contagion of some sort; it is not a true flu.

My infection was a lighter shade of pure evil, replete with feverish delirium. The hallucinations, however, were entertaining. We thought it would be prudent to visit the ER yesterday when my fever spiked at 103 – toxicity from one of my medications was a primary concern. The doctor ran a full panel, including potassium and the medication level check. All was fair. He pronounced it as the gastric bug that seems to be making its rounds in the Ohio Valley.

Home again with grocery sacks filled with unsalted crackers, Powerade and Tylenol (regular OTC medication in this house? How bizarre.) The doctor included a prescription to help with the rapid southerly movement of my digestive track but I have yet to take one of those pills. I am old-fashioned; if your body is purging itself of something, allow it to do its job rather than taking medications that prevent your body from working. I will take a pill if things become too extreme.

“And here we are,” as one of my friends would type midpoint in an email or six. Indeed, here I am, nibbling my cracker and sipping my Mountain Blast (that's marketingspeak for Frightening Shade of Blue) sports drink. I would presume that my caloric intake yesterday hovered right around 250. I am currently at 250 and increasing.

We had a visitor last night: our elusive Mr. Toad. She is inappropriately named; her white throat tells us that she is certainly female. I think that she is an American toad (Bufo americanus) but I could be mistaken.

She’s a lumpy beast that lives in the front garden and apparently she harbors suicidal tendencies. I’ve had to salvage her from the lawn prior to Better Half mowing (thank God my amphibian-catching skills are still viable.) She managed to hop into the dog run (back drive) last night, spooking the hell out of the Italian Greyhound. Better Half rescued her and returned her to the front, but not before we snapped a few photographs.

American Toads are poisonous. The series of warts along their backs contain a milky substance that can be harmful to pets should it be ingested or get in the eyes. Better to dwell near the fountain and heavy cover of dusty miller than the belly of a dog. I hope that her journey into the back yard is not indicative permanent relocation. It has been a pleasure having her as a tenant.

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