Friday, August 15, 2008

Seriously, I don't remember when I was this sick. I actually thought I was getting better -I had given it the two days it usually demands- and then I went to work yesterday and nearly killed myself. Fool! On Wednesday I even phoned the customer and said I couldn't be there because I was sick, and I never do this, but on Thursday I had invigorated myself with so much acetaminophen that I thought I could handle it. I crashed Big Time last night. I excused myself from the dinner table and wasn't heard from again until this morning.

I'm pretty sure it's the flu. I was hoping I could get some media sympathy being a West Nile case (there were a lot of mosquitos out at camp) but I don't have the truncal rash and lymphadenopathy associated with it. I ruled out Typhus, too, since I don't have the rash, but there were lice at camp, so it had to be considered. Other common symptoms of stupor and delirium I get all the time from camp, so I discounted those out of hand.

Anyway, this flu is exactly what they say: that it's like you've been blindsided by a cement truck. I just hurt from neck to heel and want to hold and rock myself until my soul splinters off and frees me from the suffering. It's the kind of sickness where you actually consider if all the bases are covered in the event of your untimely death. And last night I dreamt of snakes and militant Muslims, and I was trapped in some bird's nest of ropes and sticks, unable to pull myself free, whilst the laughter of teenagers at summer camp echoed all around me, out of the darkness. It was awful.

And the fevers! The incessant clamminess of midnight, that comes in wave after wave, sticking nightshirt to bedsheet. Mrs. Ditchman wisely slept on the couch last night, and it was an uneasy night. She said the teenager was up at 3:15 pawing through the kitchen cupboards with a flashlight, looking for snacks. And then the cat, locked out of the room with the litter box, relieved himself on Dr. Seuss' ABCs a short time later. Also, just as the twilight of dawn begged its way in, the Little Ditchman sat up in bed screaming. She wouldn't say what it was, and laid back down, shuddering. So the devil ran his fingernails down the chalkboard in my house last night, is all I can say.

It's really painful. I don't remember feeling anything like this in the past. The rest of the family had their flu shot last year, so I'm not too concerned about them, but to everyone else I say: Those who value life and health, keep ye distance! The Spanish Flu killed 50 million people ninety years ago, and it doesn't surprise me. Please list your home remedies in the comments section. I'm ready to try anything.