The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

Sick As A Dog In Paradise

on July 1, 2013

That phrase conjures images of one’s head in a bag, a bin or a bowl so I guess it’s not exactly apt, but I don’t recall ever being this sick or feeling this bad.  My friends Amy and Leah headed back home from Florida last Sunday and I planned a few days to myself to write and swim before starting my two and a half day drive back home.  But Monday I had aches and chills and a pretty serious fever – forehead white hot, the A/C turned up to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, a double thick bedspread up to my chin and yet freezing cold and my teeth chattering.  The fever broke some time in the night and I felt a bit better until the fever started up again midday.  It broke in the evening and I hoped that was the end of it.  Wednesday I was worn out and in no condition to start driving and developed a cough so bad that I was peeing my pants or nearly vomiting so I laid about.  I did pull out my travel insurance, but didn’t feel like going through the hassle of calling and asking what to do and where to go, plus I was pretty sure that I once the fever was gone I was on the mend.  Then the breathing difficulties started in earnest.  Even the slightest exertion caused me to wheeze and struggle for breath.  By Thursday I realized that I felt better in humid air and could breath easier which explained why I felt better in the mornings after a night with my CPAP and its humidifier.  I figured if this was a bout of the flu that the worst was over, the breathing could be managed and Friday I set off for home.  As I was moving at a snail’s pace I didn’t leave until nearly 4pm, but I decided that I could at least get myself to Georgia the first night and hopefully Ohio on the second night.  I made those milestones, but  by Saturday night I was getting really worried because my breathing was getting worse and not better like I hoped.

I asked my mom to check with the clinic to see if it would be open on a Sunday when I got in and she told me to go straight to her place before going home.  I got in at 3pm and like a cross between a buddies film and a good caper from the 1970’s I parked in my mom’s underground just as she started up her car. I grabbed my wallet and health card and jumped in.  She took off and after a quick discussion because she wanted me to go straight to the ER, we went to the clinic which was open until 4pm.

It wasn’t pneumonia as I suspected,  but a really severe lung infection for which I got heavy duty antibiotics, a week off work and directions to get myself straight to Emergency should my breathing become worse or my fingers take on a blue hue.  So now I’ve been home for a day, my lovely boyfriend brought me some groceries and then bolted since he can’t afford to get sick and I’m bored and a little lonely.  A friend suggested that I take this time to do my 48 hour bed in challenge, but I think that that’s a bit of a cheat since it’s not really a choice, I’m just too weak and too winded to go very far.

I’m bummed that I missed so much pool time in Florida, and I’m bummed that I’m sitting here wheezing and can’t really be around people for fear of getting them sick, but I am once again surprised by the strength that we humans possess.  The slightest exertion and I’m gasping for air, I get up and cross the room and I have to sit down and rest before going on, but sheer determination and possibly some dumb luck allowed me to drive home from Florida.  Now to be honest, much of the drive was me sitting quietly with cruise control and listening to Harry Potter audio books, so it’s hardly in the class of those women who lift cars off their kids, but still I’m sitting here today wondering how I ever did it.  I also wonder how people who have chronic illness or long bouts of illness do this.  I am gasping and fighting for breath and I am exhausted, but there are people with various lung conditions who struggle to take a deep breath and manage to do more than surf the couch which is about all I have managed.  My brother was sick for over a year and is still recovering and while I know he read a lot of books and watched movies and had visitors and his wife was by his side throughout, I’m really not sure how he survived the frustration of not being able to do simple tasks and come and go as he pleases other than acknowledging his tremendous strength and perseverance.

Now I am going to muster up some of mine and heat up some soup.

– the Goddess


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