Friday, January 30, 2009

How to have the flu

Day one: Be amazed how very bad you feel. Take Tylenol. Lie down, covered with every blanket in the house, while dressed in a sweater, two pairs of pajama pants, socks, and a hat, and shiver.

Day two: Repeat Day One, while coughing.

Day three: Get some good drugs. Take them. Fall over into a shivering, feverish stupor, completely worn out by your hour-long trip to the doctor and pharmacy. Wake up. Eat some soup. Marvel at how good soup can taste. Fall over again.

Day four: Wake up. Ponder the fact that you are still alive. Take some drugs. Drink some coffee. Realize that this is the second cup of coffee you've had in four days. Sit on couch, worn out from making coffee. Once you're rested, make some soup. Eat it. Fall over.

Day five: Wake up. Look around you. Notice your dog is still there. Wonder who's been feeding him for the past few days, then remember dimly that some guy in a chef's outfit has been stopping by several times a day to check on you and bring you Sprite. Take drugs.

Pat dog. Let dog out. Notice that the weather is beautiful. Make some toast.

Sit on the couch and shake while the toast is cooking. When the toaster dings, drag self into the kitchen, amazed at how weak you are. Realize as you take toast out of toaster that the weakness is probably due to hunger. Devour two slices of toast with peanut butter and retire to couch with a cup of coffee. Read an OZ book, then nap.

Wake up. Decide soup sounds good. Have some soup. Go back to bed. Sleep for three hours.

Wake up. Take drugs. Tell self that if you have to eat soup again, you'll turn into one of Warhol's paintings of a Campbell's can. Plan sandwich for dinner.

Realize you are exhausted from sandwich-planning. Retire to couch with book; go directly to sleep.

Wake up.  Vow to self not to forget how absolutely crappy this past week has been, and that you will, in future, show more kindness to people who have to get out of bed after brain surgery and walk. Vow to self to have a better selection of soup in the pantry in the future. Vow to have an entire case of Scotch in the storage room. 


Fall over. Sleep. Dream of sandwich.


Jennifer said...

This is sooo very true!!!

Kirstin said...

Oh, please tell me this year's shot should work!

(I had the flu last year. Now that I'm on interferon, I don't know that I'd notice. But I'd rather not find out!)

Crazed Nitwit said...

Glad to hear you're feeling almost human again.

Penny Mitchell said...

Oh, bloody hell, honey. Tell Chef Boy thank you from us!

exit jones said...

i like the part about being kind to people with headaches. though they are also the least likely to notice. thankless job.

Somenurse said...

you forgot to go to the ER on day 1, or at the latest day 2.

Jo said...

Artillerywife, I think Chef Boy was about ready to take me to the ER, but I wouldn't go. For one, I was still breathing. For another? Everybody who goes to the (one) ED in this small town is diagnosed with Chlamydia. I wasn't up for the challenge.

Be that as it may, I'm better now. *whew*

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a column I wrote . . .

24 (Hours With The Flu)

Wednesday Morning

12:02 – Suddenly awake, I bolt straight up in bed, certain that the critter from “Alien” is about to burst out of my stomach.

12:03 – Touch my forehead and realize that I am HOT (in addition to being hot, I mean). My wife tells me my temperature is higher than my IQ . . . so, it had to be about 451 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m just guessing here, you know.

12:25-12:55 – Trying to calculate how much weight I might lose with this stuff; after all, Westhaven Pool will be opening soon, and I don’t want harpoons fired at me again this year.

1:30-3:30 – Fitful, shivery sleep, punctuated by frequent trips to The Reading Room. Don’t recall being beaten with a baseball bat, but every muscle, every inch of skin, every hair – even the ones I lost long ago - hurts.

6:15 – Call work in a whiny voice that I don’t even have to fake, saying I won’t be in today. Or maybe not ever again, the way I feel.

7:00 – My wife offers me food, but when I turn green at the thought, she gets me something to drink. I don’t want that, either, so I wonder if I have rabies. Maybe that baseball bat was infected.

8:45 – Turn on the TV, but even with 1,000 channels, there’s still not much worth watching. Fall asleep in rocker-recliner while the dogs and cat watch me curiously, wondering if they’ll have to get jobs now since I’m clearly just a bum.

10:11 – Convinced I’ve been poisoned by the Russians, who somehow injected me with Zombielonium, which the KGB uses to turn people into – well – zombies. Saw a program about it on “The Conspiracy Channel”, so it must be true.

11:58 – Blood sugar dropping. Problem is, if I eat something, I’ll feel nauseous and overfull. If I don’t eat something, I’ll feel nauseous. So, I opt for a liquid lunch and sip on a Slim-Fast – problem solved.

Wednesday Afternoon

12:30-1:00 – Problem not solved. ‘nuf said.

2:13 – Doorbell ringing over and over. Painfully stagger to the door, moaning the whole way. A little old lady’s standing there with lots of religious tracts in her hands. I groan, “HUNNHH?” She takes one good look at me, gives a little scream, and takes off running, pamphlets flying everywhere. I croak as loudly as I can after her, “BRAAAIINNNSS!!!”

3:00 – My girls will be home soon, and I’ll have someone to whine to, since the dogs and cat don’t seem real sympathetic.

3:30 – Whine Festival in full progress. And, enough of this New-Age “Don’t treat the fever, because it helps kill the virus” malarkey. I’m gonna start gobbling Tylenol and Ibuprofen by the handfuls. Problem solved.

4:45 – Problem not solved. Well, at least not the stomach problem.

6:07 – Fever breaks. Maybe the worst is over?

7:34 – Fever was just bent, not broken, and comes back faster and hotter than a Friday night check to the liquor store.

9:01 – Starting to feel slightly better, stagger into the shower, and sleep standing up until the water gets cold. Shivering again. That should burn some more calories.

9:14-10:46 – Finally, blessed sleep in the recliner . . . until the cat jumps on my head. Just what I need to deprive me of what’s left of my sanity. Not that there was much to begin with, of course.

10:47 – 12:00 – Feel like death warmed over, and I’d cry but I’m pretty much dehydrated. So, I just let out ragged sighs, over and over again, until my wife comes to gently pat my head and whisper soothingly that everything will be all right. That’s when I finally fall asleep.

Only three more days of this to go, but I’ll keep dealing with it just as bravely and courageously as I have been.

It’s just what we men – and zombies – do, you know.