I’m sick. I think there’s a chance it might be the flu, but I get irritated by people who self-diagnose incorrectly, so I’ll just tell you my symptoms and let you decide what I have:
- Fever ranging from 102 – 103.5 for 24 hours, then in the 101 range for a day, now back to normalish.
- Achy, like someone worked me over with a ball-pein hammer while I was sleeping, including in my ears, across my temples, in the back of my neck, in my hips, and in my ribs.
- Sneezy, snotty nose and nagging, hacking cough
- Splitting headache, exhaustion, fatigue, lack of appetite
Oh, and it seems that everything I read/watch/listen to makes me cry. (Don’t even try to tell me it’s PMS. It’s not.)
Now that we have that covered, here are a few snippets that capture the last few days of ceiling-staring:
Musings of the Ill…
ONE: Nurse or Saber-Toothed Death Watch Attendant?
Miss Moneypenny makes a good nurse… I think. At least, she’s made a point of staying within arm’s reach (either on my lap if I’m upright or snuggled next to me if I’m lying down) since I started feeling crappy. This could be seen as sweet, but because I’ve heard one too many stories about cats who live in nursing homes and have an uncanny habit of sitting watch for people who are close to death, I’m not entirely sure what to think when I wake up and find her gazing at me. Some part of me does wonder if she’s silently willing me to die.
TWO: Call and Answer
The acoustics in my apartment building are a bit challenging. Built in the early 20th century, I’m convinced the walls and floors are only one fiber more solid than paper. As a result, I can stand in my kitchen and hear my neighbors end-of-day debrief while they cook dinner. (Lately it has included a lot of f-bombs and the word “idiots” when the guy describes his co-workers, so I suspect he’s not long for that job.) And the two year-old below me? I know when nap-time is just not going to happen based on the tantrum that wafts through my floorboards.
This week I’ve been on the other side of it, broadcasting coughs and sneezes for the masses. I hadn’t realized how out of control it had gotten until – after a particularly gripping hacking jag – the silence that followed was met with a neighbor yelling, “Thank God!” No idea which neighbor, but since there wasn’t a key sporting event on TV, I’m pretty sure his words were for me. Upside? If I get into trouble, I know I can summon a neighbor if I shout loud enough.
THREE: Ethics Exam
We are forecast for a major storm this week. I have not left my house since Wednesday. I am down to one roll of toilet paper. Do I:
- Try to persuade Alan (who is also sick with the same symptoms) to come to my house and bring a package of toilet paper.
- Use InstaCart and pay $8 for what should be a $4 purchase – assuming stores even still have any in stock, given the forecast.
- Muster enough energy to go next door to Starbucks, purchase a tea, use their bathroom and take a roll of toilet paper to get me over the hump.
- Stop eating solids.
FOUR: Things I Have Actually Googled
- How do I know if I have the flu
- Dangerously high fever range
- Death watch cat
- Shows like Downton Abbey
- How much Tylenol in 24 hours
- Can pets get the flu from humans (answer: yes, apparently)
FIVE: It’s called “Zoonosis”
On that last point… while Miss Moneypenny has been a great nurse, zoonosis (transmission of human diseases to animals) might explain why I’ve woken up to the not-so-calming sound of her barfing every morning since I got sick. I like to think of her as an overly committed professional, kind of like Marie Curie. “It’s not worth it,” I tell her when I hear her starting to rumble in the mornings, “You’ll never win a Nobel Prize.”
In other news, anyone who owns a vicious dog might want to consider naming it Zoonosis so you can trickily both accept and deflect blame if it ever kills another animal. Imagine how it would play out:
“Your dog killed my chinchilla”
“ZOONOSIS killed your chinchilla.”
“No, your DOG killed my chinchilla.”
Back to bed for this girl. Here’s hoping you don’t get what I’ve got. If you do, blame your pet.
PS: I don’t have the energy to proofread or spellcheck this, so if there are errors: you’re welcome.