February 18, 2009

Flu, day 6

It's amazing how clear hindsight is.

Here's where it began: Friday, February 13th. Might have been Thursday, but the dry, constant, hacking cough really got going on Friday. Of course, I noticed it right away, but a cough, on its own, could mean anything. And there's the small fact that I was back at work and my lungs were once again dealing with that environment (fairly dusty, even in the off-season; even in the offices). I did not feel like I was coming down with a cold or flu; I was just coughing more.

Saturday - I felt very tired. The events of the previous week had rolled on through without letup: prepping my photos for display at the Spaeth art show, teaching Monday night, taking a class Tuesday night, 8:30 a.m. meeting Wednesday morning, frantically getting a bunch of loose ends tied up Wednesday day, madly cramming together a windows proposal Thursday and Friday - which still wasn't done and I'd brought part of it home to work on. But I just couldn't get up the energy to concentrate on it.

Sunday - Slept longer than I'd intended. Aborted run in the afternoon. Still tired. Began to have joint aches all over and mild fever. Called doctor; she recommended Tylenol and asked if I had any cipro on hand. Sunday night - fever, but no sweating. Immediate shaking chills if I left my cocoon of overheated sheets and blankets. Come to find out, this is a classic sign of the flu.

Monday - wow. Believe it or not, the only time my entire body has been in more pain was for the couple of hours after my motorcycle accident in 2002. Pain like this, once every six years is too frequent. Was up at 6:30, showered and shaved in oder to go do a training session I'd been called in for over the weekend. By 7:30, I decided that even if Dayquil could keep me going, it wasn't wise to expose anybody else to this virus. Called in sick; went back to bed. Later, I struggled out of the house to obtain Nyquil, Dayquil, and Theraflu. Confused about which one to take. By mid-afternoon, there's stabbing pain when coughin in the upper and mid-right portions of my lungs. I assume my upper airways are infected something fierce - some kind of pneumonia. Appetite gone. Managed to eat some lunchmeat, some yogurt, and some ordered-in sushi, though not all of it. Discovered a hot bath could take away the joint pains for awhile. Slept about 20 hours.

Tuesday - more of the same, though the fever was lower. Had to call in sick to Spaeth. I felt very guilty about this, and it might have been disaster for the proposal, except that things are slow at Spaeth right now and there were two other people who could pour their time and talent onto it - and who were already up to speed on the plan. In short, the definition of things was already in place by the time I left Friday - the graphic presentation of it needed a lot of work - but that's where everyone at Spaeth shines. So. Laid off the Theraflu, Nyquil, and Dayquil, just went with the Tylenol. Tried to eat more - nothing tastes right. As a matter of fact, nothing tastes, period. Considered that maybe this is why hospital food has a bad rep: you're so sick, you can't taste anything, but you don't realize it. So you blame the entire lack of taste of these bland little lumps of proto-nutrients on the hospital, but really it's you. Nah...hospital food just sucks.

Today: Had a regular night's sleep, which is to say not too warm, but still sweating (yeah, I'm a sweater, ladies) - about 13 hours' worth. Woke up just after noon feeling much, much better. Not even close to 100%, but I actually had a small appetite and the fever is gone. Still hurts like hell to cough, but I've stopped trying to repress it. That pain seems to be lessening. I'm guessing this is where "illness" ends and "recuperation" begins. I will probably take it easy through the end of the week. Major tasks to accomplish today and tomorrow include washing all my clothes, changing my sheets, washing the mattress cover, and Lysoling every surface I can reach. Sounds like a lot of work.