As I type this, I’m sitting at my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, sipping on a Cold Buster tea concoction (1 bag of peppermint tea, 1 bag of chamomile, 1/2 hot water, 1/2 steamed lemonade, 2 teaspoons of honey and a shot of peppermint syrup for good measure).
The past week has seen me sicker than I can remember having been since childhood. It came over me like a bat out of hell on Saturday afternoon, forcing me to lay supine on the couch, curled up under the covers in a shivering mass of body aches and resignation. This was *not* how my post-holiday weekend was supposed to look.
When Monday rolled around and I was scheduled to work, I checked my temp and — seeing that the fever had broken — trudged into the office. Big mistake. The fever returned sometime in mid-afternoon. I put my winter parka on indoors and even that wasn’t enough to keep the chills at bay. But I stuck it out, warning my coworkers to keep their distance since I may still be contagious. When five o’clock rolled around, I darted out of the office and went home to sleep.
The fever broke again that night, at which point I took care of some errands around the house before turning in for the night.
Tuesday rolled around, and I felt much better. The fever was gone at this point, although my nose was still dripping like a faucet and I had a hacking cough whenever someone made me laugh. And when I overhear conversations like the following at work, how can I *not* laugh?
Co-worker 1: Nicki Minaj has nice curves, but they’re not real.
CW 2: They’re not?
CW 1: No, she paid for them . . . well, the butt, anyway. The butt is not real.
CW 2: What?! Why would you do that? I’m trying to get rid of mine.
Ha! [Enter terrible, hacking cough.]
Perhaps you are wondering what a logical person might, that is: “Why don’t you just take a sick day?” And my response is that I can’t. My employers, bless their hearts, don’t offer sick time. Pretty shitty, yes. But it is what it is, so I stuck it out for the next couple of days.
Enter New Year’s Eve. At five p.m., I left work, congratulating myself on another productive day even though I was feeling less than my best. I was looking forward to getting together with some friends to ring in the new year and also to having a day off. I went home, fed the dog and cat, and sat down to meditate for a while. My head was hurting a little bit and felt hot. I took my temperature only to discover that my 102-degree fever had returned yet again. The chills had set in at this point, as well. I took a hot bath and begrudgingly texted my friends to tell them that my fever had returned and I would be staying in for the evening.
I made a nest of blankets for myself, put a cold washcloth over my forehead, journaled by the lights of the holiday decorations I’d placed in my bedroom in order to make the place seem more cheerful.
My husband, who worked New Year’s Eve, came home around 2 a.m. and curled up with me. He wasn’t feeling good, either; he seemed to have caught whatever bug I had.
I fell asleep with him at my side, our dog between us, and the cat in the guest bedroom. (What can I say? She likes her space.)
When I woke up this morning, New Year’s Day, I saw that it was a bright sunny day without a cloud in the sky. I checked my temperature (which has become an instinctive and almost compulsive habit over the past week). The fever had broken yet again. I rose from bed, freshened and got dressed, and took the dog on a brisk walk through the neighborhood. Then I dropped her back off at home and headed to the coffee shop in which I sit right now, composing this blog post from my iPhone.
If the fever comes back again tonight, I’ll go to urgent care first thing in the morning. In the mean time, I’m trying to take it easy today and appreciate the sunshine, restored health, and companionship of loved ones near and far. Even though I can’t see them at this particular moment, I feel their love and well-wishes.
Until next time, I wish you many blessings for a joyful and prosperous new year. I leave you with a selfie taken a few seconds ago and edited with an app called BeFunky. (This phone is way too much fun!)