Working around sick people every day, you're bound to catch something eventually. I had a miserable cold back in November and an upsetting gastrointestinal flu in December, but nothing prepared me for the misery I would experience earlier this week.
When I finished my shift Sunday night, I felt too tired, so I knew other nefarious forces were at work in my body. I was in bed by 8:30, but didn't stay there long because I was overtaken with fever and chills, which I temporarily alleviated with medication and blankets.
I had convinced myself I had the flu, so I called my doctor's office and left a message, essentially stating that I'd prefer not to come in, described my symptoms, and was there anything they could call in to the pharmacy?
Tamiflu was the drug of choice. By the time it was ready, I couldn't drive, so my mother-in-law, Debi, picked up the prescription and a few items from the store.
I was alarmingly weak and feverish. I knew I had to eat something and everyone touts chicken noodle soup as the miracle cure for everything that ails you. I detest that soup, but my throat was starting to hurt and I couldn't imagine anything else tasting good so I slurped it down and climbed back in bed.
I wouldn't let the kids around me. I just shouted orders from the bedroom until their dad got home.
My throat was on fire by that time and my temperature shot up to 104. This wasn't the flu. This was strep throat. Wonderful.
Monday night was horrible. It was a game with my body of "How high can your temperature go?" and "How often can you safely take antipyretics?"
I called the doctor's office first thing Tuesday and they got me in at 10 a.m. I looked in the mirror and my tonsils were disgusting and swollen. I blame my parents for not having them removed when I was a child.
I sat in the waiting room with my eyes closed and tried to concentrate on not producing saliva because every swallow felt like sandspurs scraping down my throat. It wasn't long before they sent me home with a shot in the butt and a prescription for antibiotics.
At home, I segregated myself in the bedroom. The kids weren't allowed near me and anything I touched, I took in the room with me.
My bedside table became my pharmaceutical haven, complete with throat spray and drops, ibuprofen, Nyquil and everything I had to take normally and temporarily. I barely had room for a bottle of water and my phone.
I felt as if I was alone on Leper Island until my husband came to bed each night only to face away from me. My daughter would blow me a kiss from the doorway or just stand there and look at me. It was like a mom encounter at a zoo, but I was the most boring exhibit ever lying there in my lazy house clothes with my hair not even brushed, moaning every time I swallowed.
The good news is that I'm better now and the ordeal helped me lose eight pounds. I was responsible in my sickness and told everyone in each public place I entered that I was sick and they should use hand sanitizer.
They say that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Well, I just hope that eight pounds I lost wasn't muscle mass.