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I Am A Disease Vector (And So Can You!)

May 28, 2009
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Spring is in full bloom. Temperatures have been in the 60s and 70s. Flu season is tucked safely behind us.

Call me ambitious, then, or out of step.

This past week has been interesting, in the proverbial sense. Last Sunday I didn’t have a care in the world. I blissfully attended a friend’s baby shower, joyfully mingling with all the guests and contentedly partaking of the edible offerings there. The next day I developed an oddly dry cough, which I blamed on the dry air in my apartment. The day after that I experienced some unpleasant gastro-intestinal events, which I blamed on something I’d eaten the night before. And then I started feeling lethargic and sore all over. I tried to blame that on a lumpy mattress, but things were starting to add up and if there’s one thing I know, it’s arithmetic. Besides, an uncomfortable night’s sleep will not make your eyeballs hurt.

It wasn’t until my boss sent me home with a fever of 100.4°F that I started to consider the possibility that I was sick. Unfortunately, this came after several hours of wild coughing. I went to bed early that night, intending the next day to find a low-cost clinic and get checked out there. I did find one clinic (although I don’t think it was low-cost because the question of insurance provider was raised) and managed to get a free consultation from the rather thoughtful and sympathetic nurse practitioner there. Her opinion: flu.

When my fever shot up to 102.4°F that night, I called my boss to reluctantly inform him I wouldn’t be coming in to work the next day. I got to bed early, slept in late, and later discovered that my flu had fulfilled its biological imperative and passed itself along to my boss, who ended up spending a few days in the hospital — thanks to his muscular dystrophy, respiratory diseases hit him harder than they otherwise would. It’s been a week now, and most of my symptoms are gone and I’m feeling much better aside from a lingering dry, hacking cough which is my body trying to expel the corpse of the virus.

My boss, on the other hand, is back in the hospital because his flu turned into pneumonia and he was having trouble breathing. He doesn’t have the muscle power to cough effectively, and this means he can’t clear his lungs and airways the way most people can when he becomes a snot machine. Meanwhile, I’ve been complaining that all my coughing has made my throat raw, over-exerted my abdominal muscles, and kept me up at night. Nothing like a little perspective to make me grateful for that stitch in my side and the taste of my own blood in my throat.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. fuzzyknitter permalink
    June 1, 2009 9:42 pm

    Yea perspective eh?

    • June 2, 2009 12:49 pm

      Hey, I’m not saying it’s good, or that it makes it better, but it certainly makes you realize that it could be a lot worse.

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