The Winter Blues

The Winter Blues 2017: A viral bug no one wants, but everybody around here seems to have

cartoon virus, blue virus, winter bluesWell this has been a hell of a month. I generally don’t get sick, but when I do it knocks me flat on my ass for weeks. Every 3 to 5 years I seem to come down with a virus that makes it impossible for me to do anything other than lay around and sleep half of the day away.

Just over 3 years ago I ended up with pneumonia after a really bad cold. February 2017 will be the remembered (by me anyway) as the month that I spent lying around on the couch with the sinus cold that was running as rampant as rats aboard container ships.

It’s been over 2½ weeks since I first came down with this bug. During this time I have been out of the house exactly 3cartoon virus, times. Where did I go? Nah, it wasn’t the doctor’s office, since I really only had a bad cold. If you guessed rehearsals you would be correct.

About 10 days after I first got sick I had my first rehearsal. I couldn’t really miss it, since I was subbing for the bari player in the Big Band I normally play tenor in. It was a tough go. I did fine, but the next two days I really paid for it.

A couple of later I played bass clarinet with others for the first time since university in the 80s. Wow! This was not how I expected to get my own bass clarinet out and playing in a band for the first time. That being said, perhaps it was the best way to do it. Being in the process of getting over a really bad cold gave me an excuse if things were a bit off—which surprisingly they weren’t. (I will write a full review on the bass clarinet in the next couple days.)

Finally on Saturday, I played tenor sax for nearly 3 hours with a jazz combo that a friend has put together. By the time we were done at just after 8pm, I was done. I could barely get myself home to have a late dinner.

cartoon virus, blue eys, scary teeth, winter bluesYesterday I spent the day back on the couch: I suspect it now is permanently contoured to fit my body.

I am not a couch person. I don’t spend hours upon hours watching TV. However, that’s literally all I was capable of doing. I was not able to concentrate on a computer, tablet, or phone. This cold virus kicked my neurological fatigue into overdrive, and I was not able to function at all. ADL’s? Forget about them…

So for the last 2½ weeks I spent much of that time watching or napping through all 8 seasons of Dexter. I have about 6 episodes left. I suspect by the time I finally kick the this cold entirely, I will have finished watching the entire series.

I don’t normally suffer the winter blues, but this year being as sick as I have been has disturbed the natural order of things for me. My day to day activities have been disrupted, and I haven’t been myself. Now I am hoping that things right themselves within the week, so what has become my new normal will become normal again. Hey, I just want to be able to do something as simple as shower on a daily basis. Is that too much to ask?

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

© 2017, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.


  1. Maybe directly watching the last season of Dexter will speed up the process.
    Here is some soothing winterblues music played on a jsax.

    • Oh… What a noise… I hadn’t seen these before…

      I just started following them on facebook to see what they’re all about. Perhaps the only thing worse than a chorus of soprano saxophones playing together is a chorus of these plastic sopranos playing together… 😈

  2. Get a flu shot. Every year. They really do help!

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