Fever Dreams and Lost Time

This is the first springtime I've spent fully in Florida in several years.  And while I love the warmth, I don't so much love the pollen.  It's only the end of April and nature has been in full bloom for months.  Everything has a green sheen to it all the time.  As soon as one type of tree quits blooming another type is right there full of buds and blossoms to take its place.

The pollen takes a toll on me.  I'm allergic to pretty much anything that blooms, so springtime here is a relentless march of allergies.  I take all the antihistamines and try to keep my windows shut as much as possible, but sometimes the pollen still wins.  

A couple of weeks ago I was forced to admit defeat to the pollen.  I was pretty sure it was the oak trees that finally did me in.  

I felt like crap and didn't move off the couch for a solid 24 hours.  I was feverish and weak and had no appetite.

But by day two of this "pollen hangover," my medical deductive skills had kicked in and I realized that I didn't actually have any allergy symptoms.  

No runny nose.  No sneezing.  No itchy eyes.  No nothing like allergies.

What I did have was fevers, a generalized feeling of overall crappiness, and a strong desire to not get off the couch.

I figured I had a cold and was just going to have to wait it out.  My plan was to give it a couple of days and then be fine.

Except that in a couple of days I wasn't fine.  I wasn't even marginally better.  I had no energy and all I did was go from the bed to the couch.  Eventually, I reached the point where I was having wacky fever dreams and it was freaking me out.  

When I thought about all my symptoms and tried to diagnose myself, I came to the conclusion I had mononucleosis.  I was pretty darn sure this was mono, but mono is diagnosed with a blood test I didn't have any access to.  And, to add insult to injury, I don't have any insurance right now, so I didn't really want to have to pay a bajillion dollars for a test I was pretty sure I knew the answer to.

But then I kept not getting any better.  At this point my Mama- being both worried about me and tired of my whining- insisted I go to the doctor.

The doctor takes a look at me and says, "Yup, looks like mono, let's run the test."  The test was negative.  Doctor said I probably had the flu instead, to go home and rest.

That entire experience made me feel really really dumb.  I hadn't even considered flu on my list of differential diagnoses.  I'd gotten a flu shot and really, I'd the flu before and this just didn't feel like the flu.  What am I doing if I can't even diagnose the flu in myself???

So I went home.  And I rested.  Days passed.  And I still didn't get any better.  I had no energy.  I spent most days on the couch in stretchy pants.  I tried to do all the things I knew to help with the flu.  Nothing helped.

One morning, a solid two weeks into this feverish-don't-have-the-energy-to-move-from-couch moment, I was talking to Mama on the phone about how I still wasn't feeling any better and I ended up weeping.  There was no particular reason I was crying, I was just crying.  It was as though I had depleted all of my physical energy and any mental or emotional I might have once had too.

Mama made me hang up the phone and go back to the doctor right then.  (I'm thinking she was considering the weeping a new and ominous symptom)

The physician this time was this little old lady who looked just like Jane Goodall.  Dr. Fake Goodall walked in, introduced herself and asked me what was going on.  This set off my waterworks again.  I  tried to keep it together so Dr. Fake Goodall could examine me, but I failed pretty miserably.

She paused her examination to hand me a box of tissues and say "Oh sweetie, you have mono."

She then proceeded to tell me how the monospot test is notoriously inaccurate and that she was more than comfortable diagnosing me by just looking at me.

She prescribed me some steroids and sent me on my way with instructions to "Listen to your body."  "If it says you need to sleep for 16 hours a day, then you sleep for 16 hours a day."

It's just been within the past couple of days that I've started feeling like myself again.  I have real pants on, not stretchy ones, and have only spent a relatively normal amount of time on the couch.

Yesterday, I attempted to finish an online class I had started while I was still thinking I just had the flu.  When I logged into the class it said my last login was 4/10/17.

Y'all, holy crap- I lost pretty much the entire MONTH of April.  A whole month!  That's crazy!  I don't know where April went!









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