SxSW ‘SARS’ Strikes, Again.

I was smart this year. We made sure we were asleep by 1am every morning, we didn’t get shitty each night, and we even ate better than we have ever done before. I was sure I got out of SxSW without coming down with a cold. It would be the first time in five years, but I was feeling good when we boarded the plane in Austin.

Three days later…it all kicked in. And it kicked hard.


Week one was filled with the typical Mucinex cocktail (part Sudafed, part Mucinex with a heavy side of Echinacea tea).

Change of plans ... hold the Bloody Mary, I'll have the Mucinex cocktail instead.

Week two came along and I wasn’t feel even the slightest bit better. It hurt when I took a breath, the pressure in my sinuses would not let up and I couldn’t get any sleep as the minute I laid down I would get into coughing fits that felt like my lungs were ripping apart. I paid a visit to the doctor and after listening to my lungs and feeling confident it was just a cold, I was told there was not much more I could do but to try and rest.

So I did. Totally out of character as sitting still for too long drives me nuts, but I knew this time was different, and with so many people I knew down with this crap, I didn’t want to take a chance of it lasting for weeks. I kept ‘hacking up a lung’, I consumed more chicken noodle soup than I thought possible and I rested.

Week three came and it was still hanging tough. Then I got what I thought was pink eye, so I went back in to see the doctor.
Seems the raging chest cold wasn't enough for my body this week ... I had to get pink eye too. FML

He listened to my breathing again, and this time, sent me home with a prescription for cough syrup, an inhaler and recommended special eye drops as it wasn’t pink eye, but the cold showing itself in a different body part. Odd. Those three items combined with more rest, chicken noodle soup and Sudafed finally did their trick and at the top of week four, I was finally feeling better.

It took another week for the cough to completely go away, but at least I was able to sleep and I was finally getting my energy back.

Not sure what else we can do differently to avoid getting sick after SxSW, except maybe not go to SxSW. Always an option I guess.

Want to see me make a fool of myself?

I know, I know. When do I NOT make a fool of myself, right?

How about voting for one (or all four) of the panels I could present on next year at SXSW (March 13-17, 2009) to test the theory I won’t be able to get through a public speaking gig without saying something silly:

(1) Beyond Social Media: Introducing Social Communications
Who really “owns” social media? Is it PR, Marketing, Branding? This panel will demonstrate that it’s all of the above and more. Thus the new category “Social Communications,” which we can think of as a hybrid of PR, marketing, branding, WOM, customer service, product development and more.

Co-presenters: Jackie Peters, Connie Reece, Chuck Hester, Todd Van Hoosear

(2) Climbing the Corporate Ladder in a Mini Skirt (or pant suit?)
Powerful tech women share their secrets regarding kicking ass, moving up the ladder, dealing with jerks, and helping other girls reach the top.

Co-presenters: Mel Kirk, Sally Strebel, Bronwyn Jones, Aubrey Sabalas

(3) Walking the tech runway in stilettos
Being a girl in a boys world. And succeeding. Similar to the panel above. But different. It’s a fun and lighthearted discussion that prepares females for greater success by helping them get comfortable in their own shoes. 5 panelists share the lessons learned on their journey toward success.

Co-presenters: Mel Kirk, Sally Strebel, Bronwyn Jones, Aubrey Sabalas or Tara Hunt (I think)

(4) 5 Common Misperceptions of Technological Creativity
Drinking the creation koolaid can sometimes be deceiving. It’s like trying to acclimate your taste buds to dog crap. 5 successful panelists share with you the ways to tell the difference between koolaid (the purple stuff) and Sunny D. to get results rather than reaching into a risky over populated grab bag.

Co-presenters: Sally Strebel, Mel Kirk, iJustine, Laura Fitton

Added bonus, my Heuer also submitted a panel idea:

Against All Odds-A Media Literate World

Presenters: Chris Heuer, Howard Greenstein, Alex De Carvalho, Brian Solis (with possibly Howard Reingold too)

You can vote for one or all of them at the SXSW website up through Friday, August 29th. Winning panels will be announced early October. Vote now and please don’t forget to use the ‘stars’ option too!