(Updated 7/2007)

This page attempts to list all the occasions I can recall in which I suffered a physical illness, such as colds, flu, or good old-fashioned down-home upchuckin'. For some eerie reason, I did not have a contagious respiratory ailment between 1992 and 2000. Only when Republicans occupy the White House do I often become ill. Seriously. There is definitely a correlation.

The Illness Log concept debuted in 1989 on the old Mappers Forum, a message base I ran on a computer bulletin board system in Cincinnati. It was instantly popular. When Mappers Forum went away, the Illness Log had nowhere to hang its hat for 10 years. (Not even on the Hat Rack of Doom.)

But now that the World Wide Web has been invented, the Illness Log has a new home. Welcome to the Illness Log of the 21st century! Enjoy!

1977 (?) - I had impetigo when I was about 4, which was supposedly caused by putting toy stuffed animals in my mouth.

1978 - In the immortal words of the Bee Gees: Scarlet fever, scarlet fever...We know how to do it!

1979 (?) - One morning when I was about 6 years old, I woke up and my eyes were swollen shut. This was likely a case of pink eye.

1981 - Chicken pox.

Early 1980s - A case of the flu. I was so glad, because it happened on a Sunday, causing me to be kept home from church. Because of that, I became the envy of the family!

Oct. 1983 - Severe illness featuring strep throat and vomiting that began one day when we drove to Ohio to visit American Indian burial mounds. For years, this was the worst sickness I had ever experienced. The plague would have been preferable to this illness.

Jan. 1985 - Severe cold or flu that started somewhere around #7 or 8 while I was listening to Casey Kasem counting down the top 100 songs of 1984.

Feb. 8, 1985 - Missed school due to another serious cold or flu. I attended Cline Middle School then, and I think that on February 7, I got paddled at school for being sick - even though I wasn't sick until I got to school. That day, the school refused to send me home even though I was sick and in danger of infecting my classmates - so it was their fault for not sending me home, yet still they blamed me for it anyway. I have been told that Cline had a high illness rate because it was built atop a drained swamp, another phenomenal act of unqualified imbecility by the Campbell County Schools.

Sep. 1985 - One Sunday, we went to see "Weird Al" Yankovic in concert. The entire day, I had a swollen gland on the right side, which gave me a raging sore throat (as a certain major U.S. politician said when he swallowed part of a TV Dinner tray). And for me, unlike most people, nothing cures sore throats. Of course, the illness was gone on Monday so I couldn't miss any school.

1985 or 1986 - Yet another major cold or flu. I know there were others during this school year before this one. That's because this time my parents sent me to school one day when I was still sick, because I had already missed too many days. Not like I would have missed much. I would have missed a film in English class about how they made postage stamps out of gum, but that's about it.

Nov. 1986 - My first St. Joe's-induced illness. Major cold or flu that began on a school field trip to see a play downtown. I tried to cure it at home by repeatedly spitting in the toilet, but it was of no use.

Dec. 1986 - Flu that started one Sunday while I was listening to that week's edition of American Top 40.

Apr. 1987 - Another one of those legendary sore throats during spring break, probably picked up at school (as was almost always the case). It was so easy to get sick, but why was it so hard to do it on a day that allowed me to miss school?

May 1987 - Yet another case of tonsilitis, which began at school when I was kept in the principal's office the entire day while the rest of the class was on an outing. (Since they had already decided I wasn't allowed on this outing, what was the point of making me go to school that day?) I cured it by drinking Mountain Dew, but it returned the next day.

Aug. 1987 - First week at Bishop Brossart High School, and already my very first absence from high school, thanks to yet another major cold or flu. The school was absolutely filthy, so communicable diseases were more widespread there than in any other environment I have ever known to exist. Brossart had no soap in the restrooms for the 3 years I went to school there, and they often left all the windows open in subfreezing weather. The bathroom sinks didn't even work properly.

I fell ill so many times at Brossart that the only year I have a complete log for is 1989. That year, I decided that I was in such poor health that I would make a list of each malady I suffered - thus the original Illness Log.

Oct. 1987 - Wouldn't ya know it! Another severe cold or flu! My mom seemed to act as if I got sick on purpose because it was picture day at school. The principal accused me of being sick so I wouldn't have to show up for detention after school, and he piled on 2 more detentions in addition to the one I missed.

Jan. 1988 - Another 3-day weekend spoiled by the usual cold or flu! (I'm guessing at the year here, but I know it was January.)

Dec. 1988 - The worst flu epidemic in 70 years. I missed my midyear exams at school, but Brossart just wasn't patient enough to wait until after Christmas break for my exams to be taken, so they made me make a special trip to school on New Year's Eve to take their stupid-ass religion exam. I should have told them to shove their exam up their ass where it belonged, especially since they made me repeat the whole year anyway. Liars they are.

Germs are tough animals, and symptoms of this case of the flu actually lingered into 1989.

Jan. 12-13, 1989 - Canker sore. This wasn't the first canker sore and, by golly, it wasn't the last, but it was around this time that canker sores became incurable, as the only ointment that worked had been changed so it no longer did. Canker sores on the tongue were much more unbearable than ones on the inside of the lip. My canker sores of 1989 bled like the dickens, and I would suffer as many as 7 cankies at the same time. PAIN!!!!! I had to lie down much of the time, the pain was so intense.

Eventually, I began removing canker sores with scissors or dousing them with rubbing alcohol. Nowadays, though, with the invention of Anbesol Gel, cankies are as manageable as in the days before Orajel's product was reduced to shambles.

Jan. 14, 1989 - Minor disease.

Jan. 18, 1989 - Minor illness that took hold when we went to see Rain Man at the cinema. I blame it on some scoundrel who sat behind me and coughed for the entire 2 hours.

Feb. 15-21, 1989 - At the time, I thunk it was a severe case of gastroenteritis (stomach flu), but it was almost certainly salmonella caused by polluted drinking water. I threw up all over the doctor's examining room, but he just laughed like the doctor on The Simpsons. Hardly a square inch of the carpet in my bedroom was free of barf. The vomiting was nonstop!

I also had a canker sore on Feburary 18-19, while the salmonella was subsiding, and when the canky was gone, the salmonella roared back with a vengeance.

Feb. 28-Mar. 6, 1989 - Series of severe canker sores, which lasted longer than usual because I ran out of Orabase and nobody mailed me a new supply. As if Orabase helped worth a damn. The Orabase tube declared, "Works just like a bandage!" so when I ran out of Orabase, I stuck a Band-Aid on my tongue. I used up an entire tube of Orabase in one day, and it did not sip away at the hemorrhaging canky.

Apr. 16-26, 1989 - Yes, you guessed it, folks! Canker sores aplenty! Around the same time, someone who had been harassing me at school kept putting skunks in our yard. So I spent most of the time lying in bed with the smell of skunks wafting through the air.

May 17-18, 1989 - Minor (by comparison) illness that caused me to miss 2 days of school and fail English.

Sep. 22-24, 1989 - Another 3-day weekend ruined, this time by what I thought was malaria, but what I now think was actually dengue fever, which was attributed to the filthy toilet seats at Brossart. In such a chilly clime, one would think they would be safe from dengue fever, but with Brossart around, we aren't so lucky. What a shame, because I had set aside that weekend to polish my solar-powered proctoscope. (Just kidding about the proctoscope.)

Nov. 10-13, 1989 - Minor respiratory disease that culminated in laryngitis - a particularly decapitating ailment for one whose main job is complaining.

Apr. 21, 1990 - The day after I was expelled from Brossart was a Saturday. I should have been celebrating my expulsion, but instead, I was very ill yet again. I guess it was Brossart's final assault (I hope).

Jan. 1991 - The day after we returned to school from Christmas break marked my welcome into the world of irritable bowel syndrome. Every so often, I get such a spectacular case of diarrhea that the Ohio River almost runs dry from having to flush the toilet so many times. But the first time was the worst for years. I had to go home early from school that day. At this school, we could only use the restroom if there was a teacher around to supervise us, and on some days, they kept promising to take us to the bathroom, but we never got to go the entire day. This particular instance is the closest I have come since the age of 2 to staining my drawers, as they wouldn't let me use the tinkletorium. My intestines were about ready to pop.

Feb. 1991 - Minor illness that culminated with my nose being clogged like the toilets at Brossart. We drove to Alabama, and I couldn't even taste my burger at Shoney's (not like I'd want to).

July 1991 - Yep, you read it right: July! You can tell living standards were declining somewhat, because previously a July illness would have been unheard of.

Nov. 1991 - Minor illness - but major throw-up!

Dec. 1991 - Another illness I forgot when I first assembled this page.

May 1992 - Minor illness.

July 1992 - I was up late watching the Democratic National Convention, and this was the only time ever I exhibited bad aim while biopsying a canker sore with scissors. The canker sore was gone, but so was half of my tongue. It immediately became infected, and the whole left side of my face was numb for a day. I had to miss a day of work. Of course, the Republican National Convention should have sickened me even more.

Oct. 1992 - The last cold or flu for years and years. This sickness even involved a vomit session, which resulted in the floor of one of the restrooms at NKU becoming coated with recycled bananas. Slipping on a banana really would have been bad luck if anyone had slipped in that!

Why did I not suffer any more common respiratory diseases for over 7 years? As I said at the top of this page, I honestly believe that having Republicans in power increases the illness rate. Knowing what the GOP stands for, why wouldn't it? But it also appeared as if I had now suffered every cold and flu strain in existence and had become immune to colds and flu. Some people accomplish this over 80 years - but I seemed to do it in 19.

I vomited once in 1994, but - like one occasion in 1992 in which I threw up on a road in Eastern Kentucky - this was a single act of vomiting not accompanied by other symptoms, so it does not qualify as an illness. I also suffered a chronic ear infection from 1995 to 1997 (which was repeatedly misdiagnosed because Republican health care "reforms" wouldn't let me see a specialist), but my days of catching the flu just by walking out the front door seemed to vanish with the Pa Bush regime.

Apr. 4-7, 1999 - The first Illness Log entry since 1992. I had a minor stomach virus, thanks to our drinking water being poisoned by another water main break, which I didn't know about until it was too late. Although the virus did not approach the same league as the afflictions of the bad old days, I had diarrhea every 5 minutes, and I was too weak to stand.

Apr. 26-27, 1999 - Kidney stone caused by dehydration resulting from stomach virus.

Jan. 2000 - Finally! A flu! This lasted a few days, but wasn't that bad in comparison. There was some increased boogie production, but mostly it was just a high fever.

June 2-3, 2003 - I call this the plague of '03, which turned out to be pretty minor. This is the closest thing to the respiratory ailments of the olden days that I've had since 1992, though it wasn't as severe.

In 2004, I discovered a prevention technique for common colds that involves putting hydrogen peroxide solution in each ear. Reportedly, this even works in the early stages of colds. Since then, I have not had a cold.

Oct. 16-17, 2004 - This hardly rates a mention, but I'm gonna list it anyway because it was so frustrating. While I went to Toronto for the Colin Hay concert, my irritable bowel syndrome flared up the worst it had been in years. Throughout the entire trip, I had to keep my buttcheeks pinched tightly together, because if I had let up even once, the car would have been stinkin'! It didn't have to happen that way, but no cure has yet to be found.

Dec. 27, 2006-Jan. 4, 2007 - I thought I had pulled it off! Not wanting to miss my scheduled trip to Quincy, IL, I avoided the hydrogen peroxide treatment a few days before the trip, so I could deliberately catch a cold that would be over by the time the trip began. It's a bit like the rhythm method, except this technique would have actually worked. It would have worked, that is, had this actually been a cold. It turned out to be viral bronchitis, which was going around then (and ignored by the local media, which usually acts like regional epidemics are funny). I went on the trip anyway. Trust me, this bout with bronchitis wasn't nearly as bad as the Brossart-era ailments. It doesn't even come close. I kept gasping for air the night before I left, which I almost went to the hospital for, except I didn't want to miss the trip. Still, even though this illness was mild by Brossart standards, the Far Right must still pay the piper for causing it. A few clogged toilets in public restrooms might even the score.

Back to main page