Boxed in by Boxing Day

Those of us in the US may not be familiar with the “fun” Christmas holiday-day celebrated in the UK and most Commonwealth countries. Quite frankly, The Other Half’s cousins weren’t, either. It just happens to be a convenient title, because Boxing Day for me ended up not being all that much fun…

In retrospect, I suspect part of the issue is that The Other Half’s family’s diet is not nearly as produce-intensive as mine is – and it is much higher in refined flour, fats overall, saturated fats in particular, and sodium. Years before diagnosis, I found that commercially-popped popcorn will give me a horrible headache. So will being around certain frying fats and oils. Up through Christmas Day, the worst I’d dealt with were (yummy, but tremendously UNhealthy) buttermilk biscuits, whole eggs, and white rice. On Christmas, however, there is a lot of fried sausage going around in refrigerator biscuits. Christmas is also an early morning, made worse for us this year by The Other Half’s current swing-shift work schedule. Add to that an earlier inbound crowd than usual, a rushed breakfast, and a longer break between afternoon snack and dinner, and I was probably setting myself up for it.

Friday I woke with a bit of a headache. Not enough to be more than a passing bother, but I’d also forgotten regular aspirin at home, and being on low-dose aspirin therapy to begin with, I don’t like mixing NSAIDs. While eating breakfast seemed to help, I’m sure the large quantities of turkey bacon, served with scrambled whole eggs (made with full-fat cheddar) and white-flour buttermilk biscuits didn’t help matters much.

Nor, for that matter, had the very full Christmas Day (up at 0730 after only a few hours’ sleep, and up past midnight) and a fitful night’s sleep, concerned for The Other Half’s Type 2 aunt and cousin

Now, we were hoping to see some relatives who had not managed to get to us Christmas Day, but we also had been asked to help a cousin with her new computer. Since the expected inbound visit did not have a specified time, and we had a couple of errands to do, we did the errands, checked back on the expected visit, found it had not yet materialized, and cleared it with the parents to head over to the cousin’s. So far, so good.

The cousins had offered us a snack… turns out the only thing they had that I’d eat was fresh fruit (hallelujah for fresh fruit!) and nuts. Numbers were OK, so not a big deal. Then it was getting down to the computer.

The big issue at hand was an error message that occurred every time an older application was invoked. We tried the usual troubleshooting methods, but kept coming up blank, leaving us to do a Web search for any information on the particular issue. One thing I’m very good at doing is quickly skimming through large amounts of text to search for a particular pattern of text. It’s something I do by defocusing on the text itself, and focusing only on what I’m looking to find. (Often “find in page” does not correctly specify what I’m looking for.) Unfortunately, I had forgotten that that sort of defocusing and swift scrolling is also prone to giving me headaches. By the time I found the particular issue, my headache had spiked into something migraine-like (pain, light- and sound-sensitivity, reflux, etc.) and not at all fun. Worse was, having found the particular issue, having forgotten how to set up the correction. Try to recall something you’ve seen twice and not had to use for years, while your head is pounding? Yup, you got it. Not At All Fun.

By this time, five or six hours had passed, The Other Half’s parents – without any input on when we’d be back (and all of us expecting a much shorter resolution time) – had ended up without dinner, the expected guests had never arrived, and we ended up leaving the cousin with information on what the particular software issue was, but without a resolution in place. I pretty much had to go straight to bed once we got “home”…
At least, I was better the next day, and able to piece together the various triggers. Still… Not much fun for what is normally supposed to be a fun follow-on to Christmas Day.