|Underfoot never leaves my side|
I’ve been sick. Really sick. Some menacing super-germ, foisted upon me at a Superbowl party I attended on February 3 which was attended by over 200 people, took hold of my body 48 hours later and has refused to let go. I lost my voice first, and quickly concluded that I suffered nothing more serious than a little laryngitis from screaming at the screen as the championship game unfolded. Even when a stuffy nose followed, I didn’t think much of it. One dose of Nyquil and usually my symptoms evaporate completely by the next morning and don’t return. Not so this time.
I’ve tried cutting out my four-sessions a week exercise regimen, I’ve tried working quietly at my computer without speaking for hours at a time. I’ve tried staying in bed on weekends, coming out from under the covers only long enough to keep long-planned commitments, fortified with DayQuil and Mucinex DM. I’ve canceled most appointments and curtailed my early-morning volunteer work at the stable where I keep my horse. I’ve upped my vitamin intake and increased my consumption of hot tea. But still the germ persists, and has even expanded its hold, causing my throat to swell and producing such pain that I feel it clear up into my ears.
I called my doctor last week. He asked if I had a fever. Well, no. Not that I could tell. But upon reflection I’m not certain I would know if I were feverish, with the temperature in my drafty farmhouse kept so low that most days I fight to stay warm enough even to type on my keyboard. The doctor proclaimed that without a fever I could not have the flu, and relegated me to continue my regimen of rest and fluids.
I thought I was on the upswing twice, feeling good enough to resume most of my activities. But each time I relapsed, with symptoms coming back just a little bit worse, seeming to be more deeply imbedded in my body than the time before. Today is day number 13. I’ve never been sick this long in my entire life. My brother and I have always been specimens of almost super-human health, knocking back measles and chicken pox and even the mumps in as little as three days each when we were children. A head cold? I only caught cold once every three or fours years and when I did succumb to a rare germ my symptoms lasted no more than 24 hours. Tops. So this past two weeks has been a real eye-opener. I’ll admit it. I’ve been miserable.
Are germs simply stronger than they used to be? After all, at 56, I am in the best physical shape I’ve been in years. I work out regularly, get lots of exercise, do a lot of fast-paced walking and stair-climbing on my commute to the Library of Congress in Washington DC each week, and have never had any trouble fighting off a head cold before. I am reluctant to admit that my advancing age may be playing a role in the scope of this latest malaise. Unless bacteria and viruses are evolving faster than our ability to fight them off, then age is about the only factor that has changed in my life.
|Elfie keeps watch over me|
I called the doctor again. This time I insisted that I be seen in person. Today. The good doctor saw me this afternoon. No, I didn’t have a fever. And I don’t have the flu, thank goodness. But I have developed a nasty bronchitis as a secondary infection from the virus I caught at the Superbowl party. My tonsils are very swollen, along with the lymph glands in my neck, and my blood pressure is elevated, no doubt from the excruciating pain in my throat. A powerful dose of azithromycin is in order. And lots more rest. Ugh. I’m tired of resting. I want to be back in the thick of my life!
In due time, it would seem.