I was sick a lot as a kid. Allergies, bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia, asthma, were pretty familiar words to me growing up(well, I only had pneumonia once.) I had allergy shots from the time I was 4 to 17-years old, and still got chest colds pretty regularly till I was well into my 20s. But at some point in my mid-30s all of those maladies seemed to just go away. I just stopped getting sick. Maybe my immune system got stronger as I lost more hair on my head. Maybe my body finally just said the hell with it, we’ve put this guy through enough. Whatever the case may have been, besides the occasional day or two of feeling run down or exceptionally high mold spore counts outside, I just stopped getting sick.
So what that meant was that when I would get sick it would hit me harder than usual. Over Christmas break I got hit with the head cold to end all head colds; my teeth hurt from the sinus pressure, food had no taste, and I just generally felt like my head was going to pop off my body.
I felt like a dumpster fire over Jesus’ birthday, man.
Now, let’s fast-forward to this past Saturday. Within two hours Saturday night I went from a tickle in my throat to a heaviness in my chest and a cough that felt like burning shards of glass. I knew I was in for something bad. I went to bed and by Sunday morning I had a low rumbling in my chest and my whole body ached. Food sounded godawful, as did my favorite Sunday morning ritual, coffee. As the day progressed my whole body ached. It was the feeling of going way too hard at the gym after an extended time away. Arms, legs, back, chest…everything just felt bruised and battered. The fever kicked in full bore. Trying to just sit was a challenge. At least when I was standing nothing was touching me.
I drank water most of the morning, and around noon I attempted a small cup of tomato soup(this would be prove to be a bad business decision.) I started having a pain in my gut, which told me something evil was on the horizon. The vomiting began. Fever, body aches, throwing up, and on top of that heavy chest congestion. I tried napping but laying down was uncomfortable at best, agonizing at worst. Couldn’t even consider a meal, and water was even sitting heavy in my gut.
Listen, I’m not a complainer. Even when I’m feeling under the weather I do what needs to be done; be it going to work, getting groceries, cooking dinner, paying bills, and whatever else needs done. I don’t do “idle” very well. But this bug, virus, curse, or whatever it is that I seemingly caught on a single trip into town Saturday afternoon took me the hell out. I haven’t had something hit me that quickly in a very long time.
So back to Sunday.
Cold sweats, woozy head, woozy stomach, and body aches like I’d come out the loser in a bat fight. I’d go to the bathroom and see this white, pasty face staring back at me and I just thought “You poor bastard. You look awful” then quickly remember that I was looking at myself.
I slept on the couch Sunday night, or attempted to sleep. I’d sleep for ten minutes, then wake up and move around attempting to get comfortable but to no avail. My wife got up and took the kids to school. She said if I didn’t feel any better by the afternoon that she wanted to get me into the Physician’s Urgent Care to get looked at. I know I don’t look very good when she’s telling me we should go to the doc. I told her I agreed. After they left I made my way to the bed and got an hour or so of half sleep/half hallucination while listening to a Marc Maron podcast with Seth MacFarlane.
I got up and took a shower, which helped significantly in making me feel more human. The body aches were gone, but the heavy cough was still there. Fortunately it was starting to break up. That heavy, phlegm-y smoker’s cough is a welcome sign when it comes to these colds. I spent the day watching American Gangster, two episodes of the final season of House of Cards, and I wrote an artist feature for a local publication. I was feeling significantly better than Sunday, though I was coming from a pretty low point so significantly better was still at about 50%. I actually got dinner going, so that was an improvement. Food sounded like something I was interested in. Toast, a banana, and I even had a bowl of Kraft Mac and Cheese(comfort food, man.)
By the evening the wife and I watched the last episode of Billions, and started the series Ray Donovan. The school called with a robo-call letting us know the whole school system would be shut down until Friday due to the Polar Vortex. We’re looking at -38 with the wind chill starting tonight thru tomorrow. I’d decided I needed another day at home to recuperate, as I still had a low grade fever despite feeling better.
I slept mostly thru the night, except for waking up at 2 am with a headache. Took some Ibuprofen and laid back down. Slept till I heard my wife go out back to shovel a pooping trail for the dog. Got up and made coffee for her and saw her off to work. Got a text from my friend at work with an attachment from the management that said they were allowing people to call off tonight through tomorrow due to the dangerous temps, though they will remain open. So it looks like I’m going to stay home tomorrow as well. I think that would do me good. Another day of resting, writing, watching movies, and spinning records.
So why did I share all of this with you here? I don’t know, I guess I’m just very thankful for my general good health. When I can’t even think about opening the laptop to write about music I know something is wrong. I look forward to jumping on here and writing. When these alien bugs and viruses hit me and turn me inside out it’s never good, but as I get older they’ve become less and less. But they also seem to come on stronger when they do.
So onto some movies, then more writing. If you’re in the vicinity of these deadly low temps be cautious. If you can stay home, do it. If you can’t, be safe.