Oh Lord, Don't Let Us Get Sick

In Which We Get Sick

I usually try to keep Blip as my happy place, but I must be honest now and tell you that this past week has been an especially trying one, as my husband and I have both gotten dreadfully sick. I know, I know, it's a shocker! We have both been very fortunate. We are blessed with good health for the most part, and we hardly ever get sick.

But last week, on Thursday, when we were out and about, having a wonderful day, my husband started to feel like he might be getting sick. By the next day, he was much worse. He spent the entire weekend on the couch, coughing his lungs out. We were glad we accomplished so much on Thursday and had a little fun; it was our last good day.

It was miserable for me too, as it is hard to see someone you love in such an awful state, and not to be able to help much. He was (and is) terribly grumpy. He had no appetite and no energy. Speaking purely from a selfish perspective, he is the main cook in our household, so over the weekend, we basically starved.

Also add to this the fact that we are deep in the grips of a coronavirus pandemic, so of course, the first question we asked was - Is it coronavirus? (The current statewide total for coronavirus positives: 185.) But we looked it up on the Internet, and his symptoms mapped over pretty well to the flu. And yes, I am aware that the only way to be 100% certain is to be tested.

Of course, you know what happened next: I got it. On Monday, I had planned to meet some girlfriends for lunch. Over the weekend, most of them bowed out, due to health concerns related to being out and about in the time of coronavirus.

I had one girlfriend left who was willing to go, and we had planned to meet at Kentucky Fried Chicken in State College. We joked that in order to keep some social distance, we would have to sit at separate tables. I actually giggled at that.

On Monday morning, I woke up with a cough. It was my only symptom. I knew I would never forgive myself if it actually WAS coronavirus and my lack of consideration got my dear friend sick or even killed. How could I be so insensitive and endanger her welfare? I cancelled; told her to stay home.

I went into the office that day to do some critical tasks, and there were only about 10 cars in the parking lot. I did just the things I had to do. And I DID grab some KFC takeout - I ran in, tried not to breathe or touch anything, got my two-piece dark meat with mashed potatoes and gravy, a biscuit, drink, and a cookie, and ate some of it in the car. I noticed other people going through the drive-through; eating in the parking lot. It's like we are teenagers again, hanging out in our cars in parking lots.

When I got home Monday, my husband was suddenly hungry for the first time in days. He heated up and devoured the Nardone's pizza I brought home. And I settled in, and I got suddenly sicker. The cough was terrible. It racked my body.  I coughed so hard my back hurt and my lungs ached.

I ran a fever over 100 degrees F, and took baby aspirin to help break it. I produced prodigious amount of mucus, but never had a sore throat or even a single sneeze. My body hurt. I was too hot. I was racked with chills; I needed more clothes, more blankets. I had night sweats, and woke up soaking wet, but with a lowered temperature. "Hey, 98.6, it's good to have you back again," I sang.

Every day is variable. I am better for a while and then worse. I take cold and flu medication to be able to sleep at night, but I still wake up hacking at 2 and 4 and 5 in the morning. I keep my water and my tissues and my cough drops and my Vicks inhaler at the ready. My sensorium is off a bit. I feel dizzy at the edges. I can't hear well; everything sounds far away. It sucks.

I am the lucky one. My husband got a much worse version of it than I have. But he's had it going on seven days now, so I think he will soon turn the corner. I am typing this on Thursday; he has been sick about a week but it feels much, much longer than that. "At this point, it doesn't feel like I will ever be well again," he said this morning.

"NEXT YEAR WE ARE BOTH GETTING THE FLU SHOT," he announced; and I agreed. We shudder to think what would happen if my mother-in-law or my own elderly parents got this germ. It is powerfully miserable; I would not wish it on an enemy. Still, I think we will be better soon if we can just ride it out; we do not plan to visit the doctor's office, where we might get more or even WORSE germs. Misery is as misery does.

There is some additional bad news: a dear and beloved auntie of mine, my Aunt Betty, went Home to be with Jesus on Monday. I last saw her and hugged her and told her I loved her in October, at her 90th birthday party. I wish I could have seen her again in this world, but I know for sure I will see her in the next one.

My aunt's services are later this week but we absolutely cannot go out of fear of making others sick. If I visited my parents now, my germs could kill them; THAT is a sobering thought. And you know you are an adult when you are ticked off and feeling left out about not being able to make it to a funeral. Add it to the list for this week.

Anyway, that's what has been going on here. As we started to get sicker, I got all of the medications I could think of out and sat them on the bathroom sink for easy access. On this day, I posed T. Tiger and the Crittergators with them, with the thermometer. We can pretend they are our nursemaids, but they are awfully small for that. At least they can offer emotional support!

The song to accompany this story is this one: Warren Zevon, with Don't Let Us Get Sick.

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