(This post was originally published on 1/12/13)
Right now I am sitting in the dark at my desk, waiting for a doctor to call me back. I’m not feeling particularly picky about which doctor calls me back. It could be my actual healthcare provider or my mom or even the doctor that you see when you’re sick. As long as whoever is calling my house also calls Tamiflu in to my pharmacy, that is just peachy with me. And please don’t tell me that it’s better to just drink fluids and rest or I’ll sneeze on you. If the CDC recommended drinking a gallon of pickle juice within the first 48 hours of symptoms to reduce the severity of the flu, I would guzzle jars of Vlasic like Snooky on a meatball day. So bring on the Tamiflu.
You see, I have a little case of influenza. I tried to deny it yesterday because my temperature stayed under OH MY GOD! levels, but the fact that I required a down comforter on my desk chair in order to answer emails was a little suspect. This morning the muscles that hold my eyeballs in place hurt and I’m fairly sure that all ten of my toes are broken. Waking up shivering, I asked my husband to do the old skin-to-skin contact trick to warm me up and not only did we manage a nearly naked snuggle without a single, “Hey, wanna?” thought in my head, but his normally hot-coal-like chest felt icy against my skin. I laid there fantasizing about a bed made of neoprene that had a constant river-like flow of jacuzzi temperature water running over it. The thought of such bliss nearly drove me to tears, so instead I went and stood in the shower, the far less relaxing version of my fantasy. When the water got cold and I had to get out, I actually did shed a tear or two.
I’ve decided that all of this is happening because of the December Man Cold. When the doctor finally calls me back, he or she will likely tell me that it is happening because I was too busy/distracted/lazy to get a flu shot this year and I then took four flights during a flu outbreak, spending 48 hours in a convention center inside a casino. I should have just licked the handrail on the escalator and called it a day. I was going to get something. But I told myself that perhaps I’d get a little stomach bug. Maybe a sniffle? I didn’t believe CNN when they told me that the flu is everywhere and it is kicking our collective butt.
And yet right now I wish I were one of those women who passes out. I’d find a settee and a dramatically flop down for a nice, long nap instead of sitting here shaking, too achy to rest.
So this Man Cold. It started out, like most Man Colds do, as a wife cold. During my bout with said cold, I wrote a couple chapters of a book, packed and flew my family to Walt Disney World, then pleasantly orchestrated a lovely vacation, only occasionally noting that I had just coughed up a lung (but thankfully had another and we should head to Space Mountain). Imagine my bitterness when upon our return my entire family came down with the same sniffle. There I was, wiped out from a sick vacation with the holidays and all the prep that goes with them before me, and I had a sick family to contend with. But the kids? They were troopers! Fever free and no worse than at least fifteen other kids in their classes, they marched off to school each day without complaint. The Man Cold, however, manifested differently. There was Sports Center and cans of Dr. Pepper, fourteen hour naps and refusals to come to dinner. Conversations that sounded like perhaps it was the end of days. I had conquered the Mountains of the Magic Kingdom with this same virus and my husband was on death’s door. My disdain was not well disguised as I worked fifteen hour days with no help from my parenting partner.
And now I need him to go crush ice for me because I’m fairly sure that the insides of my cheeks are actually on fire.
Damn you, Man Cold. Damn you, karma. And please, if you know a good doctor, have them call me.