Friday, January 28, 2011

A Near-Death Experience


I seem to be on the up-and-up after a 3 day battle with the flu. I'm nowhere near 100%, but am well enough to stay awake for more than two hours at a crack. I swear I have bed sores. It was horrible. I daresay the worst bout of flu I've ever had (have). Everything hurt. My eyes, my stomach, my head, my nose. Accompany all of this with a lung searing cough, and a ceaselessly runny nose, and you have a recipe for misery. Heck, I was even getting charlie horses in my calves for some reason. I'm guessing it was because I was in bed so much and not walking around.

Oh it was (is) horrible. Ben still has it pretty bad though is at least able to stay awake a bit more today. That's ALL you want to do is sleep. Sleep until one or the other of your arms is numb from laying on it. No motivation to eat, watch TV, read or anything else. Those things I resorted to only out of complete, absolute boredom.

My wife is a saint for having put up with us, as we were a motley couple of sickos. Tissues, water glasses and cough drops everywhere. It was disgusting, but we couldn't help it. There haven't been many instances in my life where death seemed appealing, but this actually made the idea kind of entertaining. Man, it was wicked. My eyes would spontaneously start watering for no good reason. They felt like they were enlarged, too big for their sockets, and it hurt to look around. Sarah even said, "Dad, your eyes look terrible."

Thanks for noticing.

Sarah has been exempt from getting it so far. Donna has a weakened strain of it. (Cough and some stomach pain.) In any case, her compassion quotient ran out about 8:00 last night when Ben and I went to bed. She doesn't get this sick and I'm not sure why. Someone told me that men are more susceptible to viruses than women, who are more susceptible to thing like MS.

Whatever the case, she was fairly patient with us, considering our pathetic state. She did put us in the same bed for the past two nights so we wouldn't pass our germs to anyone but each other. It was funny, but at one point two nights ago, we both woke up at 4:15 and were passing each other Kleenex and water, and coughing our lungs out. God it was horrible.

At one point Donna said she was just going to drag our mattress out to the front terrace. It was sick bay #1 in that bedroom.

To further make the issue miserable, because I was sleeping so much, I managed to get a wicked knot in my left shoulder to the point that between that and my tendinitis (in my left elbow), it was difficult to lay on my left side. I don't sleep well on my back, so that leaves my right side only. Did I mention it was horrible.

The only upside to how rotten I felt (feel) is that when I start to feel better, you appreciate EVERYTHING more. Getting an appetite back is a beautiful thing. Not having to worry about where the Kleenex box is is wonderful. Little things that add up to big things.

The other thing I've learned through it is that we should never take good health for granted. I was just thinking the other day how lucky we've had it this winter with regards to illness around this house. Then, this happens. If you've got your health, even with life's little aches and pains, you've got everything. An event like this makes me respect much more the idea that the flu can kill people. It takes away every motivation to care for yourself and I could see if you were elderly, it might just be all that's needed to push them over the edge.

I don't know how you feel about flu shots, but I'm looking at them with a new found respect. Call it a racket, but if I could have bought relief from this bug for $25, I would have gladly paid that and more. The say well, sometimes they give out a different strain than the one that goes around, to which I say, at least it's one less I'll get. Sign me up man, cuz I've been there

Also wanted to put in a quick plug for my reading at the Woodland Pattern Poetry Marathon tomorrow. It's a fundraiser for the bookstore and our AllWriters group has the 11:00-12:00 slot, which should put my reading at about 11:45. I've got 6 poems I'm reading including:

Brautigan's Cubicle
Pop and Hiss
Doctor Recommended
The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
House Homicide
Left Behind

If you want to support Woodland Pattern you can sponsor a reader (me) on their website. If you'd rather attend, admission is $8.00 and allows for re-entry at any time during the 15 hour event.

With my new lease on life, I'm blogging off...

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