i have been down for days with the mother-of-all chest colds.
i really should have seen it coming. i spent all winter at first marveling about how i managed to dodge everybody else’s bugs and then practically bragging about my awesome autoimmune skills. i mean, my two office mates were out with major viruses twice and one of them had two flus at the SAME TIME! How is that even possible?
And, of course, i got the dumb flu shot even though 9 out of 10 physicians agree that it didn’t work this year. i got it, because i got tired of hearing my doctor tell me over and over that my flu-shot-will-give-you-the-flu theory was bogus. i told him that possibly it might just be something i heard on Facebook, but what about giving my already overactive immune system yet another reason to get all angry and agro with me? He just shook his head and told me to get the shot.
So i did.
AND I DIDN’T GET THE FLU.
It was a miracle! For once, i made it through winter without even a sniffle! i work on a University campus which is basically like bathing naked in a giant petri dish with a whole bunch of other naked petri-bathers and all of us drinking out of the same bottomless margarita glass.
EXACTLY like that.
But i made it! i started to feel pretty good about myself. Hell, maybe my immune system finally figured out that i’m not the enemy and turned its impressive arsenal outward and started zapping the real bad guys! i started feeling like i was invincible. Looking back, i’m sure i even bragged a little bit. My uber-confidence at this new-found ability to stay healthy in the middle of Virus Central started causing me to take risks. i cut my incessant hand-bathing-in-antibacterial gel in half. If i realized i was back at my desk and i had forgotten to stop and wash my hands, i shrugged it off. i quit doubledosing on gel multi-vitamins (they taste like gummy bears!!) and just took the one dose, like normal people. i rubbed my eyes. WITH MY FINGERS.
Because heck, i made it through winter unscathed and now it is May and big whopper virus season is over, right? Let’s live dangerously!!
It started as an unscratchable tickle deep in my lungs. i started chugging vitamins and pouring antibacterial all over me but it was too late. The following day it felt like a spider had made its home in my lungs and spun webs throughout them, making it difficult to expand my chest and breathe. (Yeah, let’s make this creepy, why don’t we? And while we are doing that, note to self: ask doc if spiders really can live in body cavities.) By day three, i was in full-blown chest crap mode with fatigue, coughing until my ribs were sore and the beginning of a fever.
Day four, i just gave up. i went to bed and didn’t get out of it until i started mumbling to myself and making weird noises.
At first, i thought it was something on tv, because i was, as is tradition, asleep with the tv on. (Who KNOWS what i might miss!) i woke up and looked around but no one was talking. It took a few more weird moments of hearing noises and mumbling while i was drifting off to sleep to realize that it was ME making those sounds. What? Either my asleep self was conversing with someone (me?) in another dimension or i was drifting dangerously close to the “veil” and was having a chat with the dearly departed because this mumbling-while-not-yet-asleep is a new crazy thing to add to my already impressive repertoire of crazy-things.
i first thought that maybe i should get someone to keep me awake for the next 24 hours like you do when you have a concussion, or at least that’s what i’ve seen on tv, because it ISN’T MY TIME YET!!!! Then, just before that inside thought became my outside voice and i started ranting about it not being my time yet, i thought that maybe i should take my temperature.
Yeah….THAT’S what 100 degree fever looks like. Vague incoherent mumbling and worrying about dying in front of the television.
i put myself to bed for reals, but the fever just kept climbing.
At 101 degrees, i piled all the blankets on top and became a human cat bed, which sounds like a bed for human cats which fits too. The mumbling stopped and i found myself staring at the television for an hour with my mouth hanging open and have no idea what i saw. i think i watched Minions. Again.
THAT is what a 101 degree temperature looks like.
When i came to again, i realized i was watching whatever was on Viceland and really thoroughly enjoying it. Something about tattoos in Vegas and punk kids in a mosh pit shaving their heads….not really sure what that was…but i was grinning like a cheshire cat and all the blankets including the furry four legged ones were gone.
i was HOT.
And, i had a sudden irresistable craving for watermelon.
i no longer thought in words, but in swirling neon colors.
i cried at a Fitbit commercial where the mom secretly exercises and at the end runs a race in front of her proud family and “finds her fit”.
It was when i found myself in my kitchen, dangerously hacking away at a watermelon i found in the fridge (really? we had one?) with a scary long knife that i thought about taking my temperature.
And that? That is what 102 degree temperature looks like. A half-dressed, knife-wielding, frizzy-haired, sweating, mumbling chick massacring a watermelon in the kitchen.
i decided i should probably end this “Let’s see what happens when we boil candice’s brains” experiment and texted the MAN who told me to take Tylenol. Tylenol? My brains are boiling and i just need to pop a couple of Tylenol?
And it worked.
Within an hour, my temp was back to normal, my thoughts no longer resembled the opening sequence of the Partridge Family and i came to with a half eaten watermelon and thankfully, all my fingers.
It’s now Wednesday and i have yet to make it back to work or out of bed for more than an hour or two. Any more activity than that and the fever comes back and although i have plenty more Tylenol, i am all out of watermelon.
i’m going back to bed.