Sunday, March 1, 2009


I've been gone with the flu for about two weeks. I did write here and there but I didn't publish it right away. Here's what I had to say:

Day 1, Sunday March 1st:
102.0 That's what the thermometer read a few hours ago. You know it a bad sign when even through the sleepy haze of infection, you can see that the thermometer display got fogged up. I totally felt like a little kid. I wanted to call my mommy to come over and put cold rags on my head while I slept. I almost did except for the fact that any movement, outside of rollling over in bed, produced a dizzing bout of dry heaves. I was so hungry from not eating all day, I was nauseaus. I was so nausues, even water made me want to throw up. The pressure behind my eyes was pushig on my eyeballs with a fierceness that made them feel like marbles. While my head was radiating heat like the sidewalk on a hot Summer day, my feet were in a cold icicle like state that sent shivers up my spine every time a wayward toe acccidentally touched my other leg.

And then it broke. Nothing like the full body sweats to make you feel alive again. I sweat in places I haven't sweat in, in many a mooon. Semi-paralyzed from Advil PM (the only thing close to fever reducer in the house) I watched sweat beads form on my hand in the light reflecting from the bathroom. I felt like a rotisserie chicken just basting in my own juices turning from side to side occasionally. It was awful, just awful. But this would just be the first time it broke.

This cycle of fever, migraine, fever, nauseaus, fever, migraine, throw up, migraine, run to the bathroom and throw up, fever, chills, fever, migraine, fever...went on for the next 3 days.

Present day:

Day 5, I caved and and went to urgent care. My little sister took me and pushed me in the wheelchair for about 3 hours, bless her heart. She carried the purse with my water, my cool rags for my head, my wallet and medical stuff, and eventually my socks and my jacket. I nearly cried when the Dr asked me how I feel? She said in the sweetest voice "Oh Honey. Honey, what has you looking so down? We have to get you better." "I feel like hell," I wanted to say; "can't you see me?" I didn't care...I just wanted help. I was wearing flannel pj bottoms, a black tshirt (no bra - classy, I know), tennis shoes, and my work jacket with my name and badge emblazened on it! Way to represent girl. I was in the waiting room covering my eyes from the migraine inducing florescent lights hoping against all odds that I wasn't about to go into convulsions. "Please God, I'm sweating, shivering, wimpering, covering my eyes, and mumbling; please don't let me start shaking now too!" I did a lot of praying and a lot of talking to God in the last couple of weeks.

8 vials of blood, many long, deep breaths, an IV, and a networking of ER doctors from here to the Bay determined that I did NOT need a spinal tap to test for meningitis. Meningitis!?! Spinal tap?!? WTF? I just went in for a really high fever and a migraine, what's this about my spine? Do you know that it's actually called a lumbar puncture? I'll stick with Spinal Tap thank you very much. So, I skated around the spinal lumbar puncture tap in the clear, only to go home and continue in mysery.

Day 6 - I caved. As I sat on the front couch 103 temp slightly covered up in a towel at 3:30pm, my dad, after feeling my forehead and seeing the blank stare in my eyes, and of course being my dad, offered the only suggestion he could come up with; "We should call you mother." That. Was. It. The last straw...I lost it. I wanted my mommy. Only she could make it better. Sure enough, I left her a babbling "It won't stop and I've had it for 6 days. Will you call me back?" She played it 3 times before she figure it was me. I don't cry in front or to either one of my parents on a regular basis, but when it came down to 6 days of mystery infection, I just wanted to be a little girl again. I just wanted my mommy.

Day 8 - follow up with the primary Dr. to rule out Hepatitis. What, Hepatitis?! Its a worry about people who have recently been travelling to foreign countries. Mexico!! I knew it! I knew something would linger from Meixco! At this point, I'm so weak, hot, tired, and sick of having my skull pound, I don't care what they have to diagnose me with, just make me better! 4 1/2 hours later, 6 more vials of blood, a chest xray, 2 painful shots in my hips for the pain managment, and a urine sample, Hep A is in the clear and now I just have a "really bad flu virus". With mom pushing me around in a wheelchair, I manage to make it down to the pharmacy for some goooood stuff. Ibuprofen 800 and Vicodin. Might not cure what I have going on, but it might just make me forget about it for a little while.

9-day later, the fever is gone. Finally, I don't have to live in fear that I am going to roast in the middle of the night and wake up the color of a steamed lobster. "They'll never be able to have an open casket!" was my worry for many nights in a row. How's that for torture? The migraines lingered until just about day 11.

My daily caloric intake must be that of someone with an eating disorder. When I'm not sleeping 18+ hours a day, I'm giving myself a pep-talk to get out of bed, roll over, just open your eyes for a few minutes, turn the heat down, turn the heat up. You get the idea. Over the course of the last 2 weeks, I've lost 18 lbs. 18! I've been wanting to drop some pounds, but nothing like this. I'll brave the double digit clothing and drop it the old fashioned way over this BS.

Here's a little note from day 15: Yes, I'm still slightly under the weather. I've missed many an event in the last 15 days and a bit of sanity. I'm slowly on the mend and I'm gonna venture into the world of driving myself around in about 48 hours. I did become a fan of "Dancing with the Stars" and I was reminded about the healing power of music. It instantly made me want to sing and dance. I'm still down about 16 lbs but I have no appetite which is good and bad. I've got that good Aquino blood pumping through me, so I'm not shy of food, but this is just strange. Having to force myself to eat for my "bloodsugar". Now you know I'm really sick when I have to force myself to eat just to exist day to day.

Mostly, I'm just ready to get back to life. I'm ready to do mundane things of my own accord and without my mom checking on me 4 to 5 times a day. I love my mom and I'm glad she was able to help me out, but I'm ready to be whole again.

Here's to what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but please, God help me, I can never be this sick again!

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