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Going viral…for real

January 6, 2011

It’s Day 6 of The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

Six days ago it began innocuously enough.  My head started draining, and I started coughing.  More of the same the next day, in increased measure.  The next day brought a sore throat and the beginnings of the fever.  You know…that kind of fever, the sort where you chill and chatter and can’t get warm, only to suddenly find yourself burning up.  Since then it’s been a carousel of shivering, sweating, coughing, sniffling, aching, sneezing, and wheezing.  To put it mildly, I’ve been getting a bit dizzy.

Admittedly, I could be making myself feel better.  I try to avoid treating fevers until they get fairly high.   Fevers are part of the body’s immune response and I see no reason to attempt to shut them down right away even though it would make me feel better.  Plus, I know myself…if I feel better, I will think I am better and I will do more than is good for me to do, likely spreading germs the entire way.  It’s much better to just hunker down for the duration and let my misery level dictate my activity level.  If I can keep my airways reasonably open, then that’s a definite good use of over-the-counter pharmaceutical intervention.

When I was a kid being sick meant being sent to bed.  I didn’t have a TV in my room. No computer, either.  Not even a phone.  Just me and my books, mostly.  My bedroom was the closest to our house’s single bathroom, so that was a plus, especially if the sort of sick I was experiencing meant frequent trips there.

My mom would make jello.  I’m sure feeding me when I was sick was a challenge because I didn’t like most “sick” foods like soups and broths.  I don’t recall going hungry, though, so she must have found something.  I remember attempting to eat potato chips when I had mumps when I was in kindergarten.  That didn’t work so well.  I also recall once losing some of the beloved jello in the doctor’s office.  Raspberry flavored jello fell several notches on my preference list that day.

Going to the doctor was always a dread.  Our pediatrician always found a reason to give us shots.  If we were sick, we’d get poked full of antibiotics.  If we were well, we got boosters of something.   I didn’t always fare better by staying home, though.  Mom was a firm believer in two practices that I dreaded just about as much as the shots: suppositories, and “greasing”.  Looking back, I supposed the suppositories were an attempt to bring down fevers fast when there was a good chance I’d throw up anything taken by mouth.  My little kid mind did not think about it so rationally, though.  I just knew I didn’t like anything put there.  And “greasing”?  Greasing was what we called it when mom would apply Vick’s to our chests and necks and nostril openings quite liberally, and then pin an old rag (often a worn out t-shirt) around our necks with a big old diaper pin.  I didn’t like the smell.  I didn’t like being sticky.  I didn’t like reeking of Vick’s the next day, especially if I wasn’t sick enough to stay home from school.  It was better than a shot, but only in terms of it being the lesser of two evils.

I keep thinking the current carousel can’t keep spinning forever.  A virus is a virus…it just has to run its course, apparently with its little sharp hoofies dancing up and down my spine.  I have about 24 hours before I have to decide if I’m going to be fit to work on Saturday, and I keep reminding myself that after this amount of time, a day really could make a huge difference.  I might feel decent tomorrow, and maybe I’ll have the energy to at least get my laundry done.  Maybe a lack of clean undies will inspire improved health.

Then again, who can tell if you’re wearing any under a nice baggy pair of pajamas?


5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 5:42 pm

    Just wondering if you’ve tried your mother’s treatments…

    • January 6, 2011 5:50 pm

      Heck no! Eucalyptus, but NOT in the form of greasing! Yuck!

  2. Your sister permalink
    January 6, 2011 6:33 pm

    I was rolling on the greasing! Oh such memories….

    • January 6, 2011 7:35 pm

      Ha! At least you missed out on needle-happy Dr. Jones!

  3. January 8, 2011 2:30 pm

    Hey, great post. Great blog. It is fresh and to the point. I just read literally dozens of blogs, because I can’t sleep, and yours is by far the best quality. You know it is rare to find decent content on these things… Most of them are cheap and spammy.

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