Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I pride myself on being quippy. I enjoy sitcoms and have picked up a (little) bit of comedic timing and cute responses. So - had I not already been utterly miserable - I would have been disappointed in my reaction to a colleague's comment when I joined a phone call.

"I heard if it's the swine flu, you need oinkment," he offered when I asked to speed things up so I could go throw up. "But the bird flu requires alternate tweetment."

In retrospect, I could have called him a name. Hung up. Let them listen as I took another miserable trip to the bathroom. Instead I offered a weak, "huh," and let it go.

Growing up, we classified colds as respiratory illnesses and flus as more gastrointestinal issues. I think Friend told me something about throwing up not being a prerequisite for the flu, but it remains so in my mind. So when the news declared that swine flu was most commonly dominated by vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and dizziness, I roused myself from a fitful dose and untangled one arm from the bundle of pillows and covers to point at the television.

"That," I said to Chienne as she lifted her snout to regard me worriedly, "sounds like me."

The hell of it is that I felt better yesterday afternoon. Convinced it was a mild bug, I even went to get a massage, lying silently as Amy rubbed my back and gently eased the soreness from my muscles. I've been in the bathtub twice, fleeing the first bath with nausea from being too hot and the second with shivers as my fever dipped and swirled, leaving me freezing. I've showered too many times to count, miserably attempting to rinse the germ-bugs away.

I set myself up in the basement this morning, fluffy comforter and piles of pillows forming a nest on the couch. I planned to perch my laptop on one side, plugging in my phone so I could take calls. Instead, I made it 4 minutes into my 6AM conference before hanging up to wretch again. I did manage a couple of customer calls this afternoon, warning them that I was ill and shaking myself from the stupor that left me pausing mid-sentence, nary a clue of what I'd been trying to say.

Tomorrow has to be better, I keep telling everyone. A friend from work stopped yesterday to drop off soup. My parents call at least 4 times - forcing stern internal reminders that they're just trying to help and I should not yell at them. I'm tired of feeling shaky and weak, nauseated and crampy. I want someone to rub my back again but already feel guilty for potentially infecting my spa. I can't really think. But I'm so incredibly bored.

Still. Oinkment. Give me a fucking break.


rented life said...

Husband had what you had awhile back. Don't get back on your feet too quickly or else you'll just exhaust yourself. Also, if you have a fever, we found alternating btwn IB Profin and tylenol helped. Feel better.

Oh, and I would have hung up on the guy.

Psych Post Doc said...

Sounds miserable!! I hope you're on the mend. And the guy on the phone = asshole.

Brigindo said...

Sorry to hear it. Hope you feel better soon.

H said...

I hope you are on the mend. Whenever I'm sick I wonder that I don't revel in wellness when I'm well, because being sick is so miserable.

And yes, the flu is a respiratory bug with a fever, colds are respiratory bugs without fevers. The swine flu has been unusual in that a fair number of people who have had it reported GI symptoms as well. The danger in flu is in the fever and what it can do to your lungs.

Your standard vomiting/diarrhea bugs are, well, GI viruses and usually short-lived.

Get well soon!

JaneB said...

Yeah, get well soon! Respiratory-bug-without-fever is making life miserable here, having both fever and GI symptoms sounds grim. It's so BORING being ill, especially being ill alone...

Amelie said...

get better soon, Katie!

Anonymous said...

Hope you feel better soon!

Maude Lebowski said...

I'm late to the game. I'm sorry.

I hope you start feeling better soon!!

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