I picked up a nasty bug last week and I've felt like crap ever since. I suppose working with the public has its disadvantages when it comes to germs, but I don’t recall anyone coughing and sneezing around me so I don’t have a clue where it came from. Maybe that’s a good thing because I might seek revenge for the pain and suffering and the tragic waste of a perfectly good weekend being sick and flat on my back.
Cold germs are silent and sneaky. I probably picked it up from buying produce that someone hacked on in the grocery store. Yes, it happens, people sneeze all over the fruit and vegetables, I’ve seen it! It seems that the younger generations don’t know about coughing into your sleeve or using a Kleenex to keep the spray in check. All I can say is wash your apples and lettuce as if they carry germ warfare cause it could take you down like big game. This thing I’ve been battling was a full on, hostile invasion from the Planet Phlegm….it’s snot a joke!
Thursday evening my throat felt scratchy and a small headache was forming. Friday morning my left nostril was plugged and dripped like a facet but I went to work, saying to myself, I’ll get over this quickly and be right as rain on Saturday.
Up until then, I’d dallied on the outskirts of sickness with unrealistic optimism, because on Saturday I walked through the gates of hell. I awoke to a full blown attack on my sinuses, head and throat. Having to work and be pleasant made it worse. Both nostrils were now plugged so I became a mouth breather, while my useless nose continued to drip. The pressure on my head felt like I was being squeezed in a vice, and my brains pounded in protest. I was on duty at the shop and on my own and I dragged my sorry carcass around, blowing my nose constantly as not to drip on the customers. I lost all the skin around my nostrils, rubbed raw by the Kleenex and my eyes were streaked with petechial hemorrhaging from all the violent sneezing. I was a sight for no eyes!
The shop was really busy; people kept flooding in the door wanting to chat about rug hooking and I did my best to look happy and helpful and I must be an incredible actress because I pulled it off. Charlene, bless her heart, happened by and helped with demos because I couldn’t have bent over the frame without getting it wet! Luckily she was there so I could run to the bathroom to brace for sneezes.
I apologized to everyone that came in, but no one seemed to care that they might be entering a petri dish so I gathered I looked better than I felt. Even though I was ready to leave at three, desperately wanting to leave at three, somehow I managed till five and then got out of there like a flash of lightening, picked up provisions at the Save Easy, went home, took the pups out to pee and then threw myself on the sofa for a nap that lasted two days.
Have you ever sneezed so much that you wet your pants? Hahaha! Funny isn’t it? Have you ever sneezed so violently that you did other things in your pants? Not so funny! I'll spare you those details but really, I felt as if I was in the boxing ring, being knocked about enough that I thought my brains would bruise or concuss as they crashed around in my skull. When that burning feeling seared deep in my nasal cavity, the warning that another bomb was rolling off the phlegm line, I prayed I’d have enough time to prepare, squeeze my buttocks and bladder tight, hold my ribs with one hand and my poor head with the other so I wouldn’t explode and fall apart.
For me, the worst thing about being sick is being alone. Sure I have my pups and they did their best to keep me warm as the chills racked my body into clammy sweats. And they were there when a fever overwhelmed me, chapping my lips as if hell fires torched them, leaving a ring of hard crusty scabs, but being alone without human company means there is no one to make a hot tea with lemon, feed the pups, pee the pups, fluff my pillow, make food and do the occasional bit of soiled laundry if you get my drift... Life doesn’t stop while a person recovers; duties prevail, so I had to drag myself off the sofa to tend to all our needs no matter how much I wanted to rest.
You would not believe the state of the house after only three days. Every surface has a rumpled, damp Kleenex on it, dirty dishes everywhere and food left out to spoil. Now that I’m feeling better I’m not proud of my laziness but really, I didn’t give a hoot while it was all going down. I had the big “poor me” happening, steeped in so much misery I think if the reaper came to the door I’d have flung it open and said “take me!”
I got up Monday morning and thought I would go to work. I was feeling better but there was a dry tickle setting off round after round of coughing fits. My nose was now clear but my throat was tight with sludge. It has to come up, one hack at a time, a painful process and not one to share in public, but I seemed close to 70% and was fueled by the fear of getting farther behind in my work.
I made breakfast and was almost able to taste the eggs. Not being on my feet for a few days I felt weak and maybe a little dizzy. My head still pounded although it played a duller tune. I look like hell, was rather frightened at the sight of my reflection in the mirror, so I lay back down on the sofa for a few minutes at 10:00 am and woke at 4:00 pm. Good intentions aside, my body was obviously telling me I needed more rest.
I don’t get sick often. When I had environmental issues I didn’t get a cold for almost 15 years. I was told the body won’t allow anything else to get in as it has too much to deal with so when I finally got a cold that first time it was a good sign things were beginning to perk properly. Even though I work with the public I usually don’t get anything going around, so this was a bit of an insult after all the knocking on wood and bragging, “I don’t get colds!”
I’m the chicken noodle soup momma when anyone gets sick but when I’m down for the count no one comes to my door with a pot of homemade remedy. Shane swears my soup has healing properties, he feels instantly better after a bowl, gee wouldn’t it be nice if the soup angel visited me? I wasn’t in any state to make soup, I’d probably fall asleep and let it boil dry. Funny thing through, chicken noodle soup was the last thing on my mind. As I lay falling in and out of consciousness, I craved blueberry pancakes, smeared with butter and drowned in maple syrup. It nearly drove me insane with hunger. Strange food choice to yearn for when I probably couldn’t even taste them, but I would have swallowed them whole if someone served them up. Instead I ate eggs several times a day, nature’s perfect food, easy to cook and soft on the palate.
Funny what goes through a person’s head when you’re feverish? Especially dreams. I had nightmares and daymares that woke me in a state of panic, horrific things that only the realization I was safe on my sofa could clear. I won’t tell you what I experienced because that would be too awful to have out in the universe but I lay awake between each horror filled story trying to analyze why my fever-addled-brain was being so nasty to me.
So after several naps after rising this morning, I managed to get to work today by early afternoon. I’m drained inside, walk like the living dead and still hack like a sinused old man. It feels like I’ve run the phlegm gauntlet and barely made it out the other side. Yes, I do go on, it was only a cold, but it was the worst one I’ve ever experienced. There’s some nasty business going around, a less healthy person might not fare so well. From start to finish I put in a rough four days and I’m pretty stoked to be alive right now!
And if there is a positive note to this tale, I will say the timing was perfect to be sick this past weekend. This coming weekend is the Annual Scarecrow & Antique Festival and all hands will need to be on deck, perky and bright. If it had to happen, it picked the right time and hopefully, now that it's almost gone, I’m good for the rest of the year.