Saturday, November 5, 2016

timeline of an upper respiratory infection

Monday, Day 1: Slept 10 hours, woke several times in the night with sore throat. I blow my nose and the mucus is orange. I might be getting sick. I go to work. I feel progressively worse as the hours tick by. I end the day with fever, chills, and shooting pains. I sleep 14 hours.

Tuesday, Day 2: I wake and feel completely fine! I go to work. By the end of the day I realize I'm not fine. Sore throat is back. Headache too. Sinuses. I go home early and sleep 10 hours.

Wednesday, Day 3: Sick. I call out of work. The virus moves down to my chest. How many ibuprofen can I have in one day?

Thursday, Day 4: No voice. Went to work where my coworkers backed away from me in horror and concern as they begged me to go home.

Friday, Day 5: No voice. Wheezes. Stayed home. Stepped outside to get the mail. Neighbor stopped to show me his new puppy. Spasm of coughing. Neighbor backed away from me in horror and concern and told me I work too much.

Saturday: Day 6: Day 3 of no voice. Coughed up nebulas of olive green mucus.  Smudged the house with sage that I picked up in New Mexico in July. Opened all the doors, inside/outside, cupboards, and closets. Trails of pungent smoke. Out with illness, in with wellness.

Months ago my friend Denise planned a birthday surprise for our friend Betsy. We told Betsy to save the date. Denise and I bought three tickets to a Broadway national production of Rent. The three of us have the best times together. We talk, laugh, and cry. Mostly laugh. I'm a Rent-head. I listened to the sound track every day for a year. I know all the words to all the songs.

Denise and Betsy are going without me. I'm quarantined at home. Sick.

Sunday. Day 7. My voice is back! It's harsh, wheezy, and scratchy; but I can speak. Cutting back on the ibuprofen. Definitely improving. Tested out activities: went to work for a few hours. No one there, no one to scare with my scary cough. Took photos in a park.

Monday, Day 8. I went to work. Ten hours with students at the hospital. Ran into my doctor and she said yes, my eyes are so bloodshot because of the pressure with coughing. Less coughing today.

Tuesday, Day 9. Worked 12 hours. People said to me, "This is better? You're feeling better now, and you were worse than this?"

Days 10 and 11. Working, sleeping, coughing. The election. Sad. Slept 15 hours.

Day 12. I feel better.

Day 17. The cold that came to stay. And wouldn't leave. Mostly gone; just a lingering cough, sore throat, and headache. Mostly feel fine. Worked just 7 1/2 hours today instead of my usual 10-14. Came home and raked leaves. It was warm outside, 59 degrees (15C). Sunny. Still have blooming calendula and salad greens.

Day 19. This cough is just a bad habit.

Day 20. The end.