Monday morning. Wake with a sore throat. Lymph nodes feel swollen. Still no fever. Play tennis, only to get rained out, silently cursing the powers that be who ignored the meteriorologist's 60% chance of thunderstorm and tornado warnings.
Tuesday morning. Still feeling bad. Take temperature again.
Brief aside: Getting ones hands on a thermometer, in my house, is no small feat. Not unlike wrestling The Ring from the hands of Gollum. My husband being Gollum, tired of tracking down the thermometer because "Nobody puts it back where it belongs!" "Nobody" meaning me. Gollum keeps it hidden in the high cliffs of his cave-closet. Each time I must climb those cliffs and snatch Gollum's preciousssssss.
But again, no temperature. Now assume a sinus infection is brewing and am not contagious. Fortunately, and uncharacteristically, a light day is scheduled at the office.
Wednesday morning. Still feeling bad. Full day scheduled, including evening appointments. Take a decongestant, an ibuprofen, and an allergy pill. By the time my 3rd-from-last client arrives, full symptom onset: head hurts, stuffy nose, watery eyes, coughing, and sucking down one throat lozenge after another.
husband Gollum. Tells me the local news said mold spores are super high. Am allergic to mold spores. So here is my answer.
Wednesday night. Make mistake of opening email written by a Texas physician, forwarded to me by a friend who is a school administrator. The M.D. warns that he is hearing "privately" from the "CDC" and "Health Department" that this strain of flu is worse than "the media" is letting on. I won't go into the email's dire details, of which Gollum is ultra-cynical because of the homeopathic remedies suggested at the end of the email.
My eyes lock on the line which says this flu produces "a distinctive 'hoarseness'" in its "victims."
Attempt to clear throat and speak. Believe my voice has gotten distinctively "hoarse."
Mind races. Think back on relatively quiet weekend. Was I exposed to anyone who might have been carrying the flu?
Remember that Gollum and I went to a small Mexican restaurant for dinner on Saturday night. The wait staff were speaking Spanish.
Gollum now insists they were "Mexican Nationals" because of the familliar way they "pull their hair back in a tight pony tail" and "wear their shirts really, really tight across their stomaches." (WTF? Where does he get this?) I argue that they looked quite Americanized to me.
Thursday morning. Wake from long night of stuffy nose, scratchy throat. Had strange and frustrating dreams that involved deciphering between deviated septums and non-deviated septums (I am confused, too. This is all I remember.) Get up and decide to cancel appointments for the day. The "hoarseness" in my voice is obvious to my clients. Am grateful for this validation of my need for a sick day.
Thursday afternoon. Here I lie on my sick-sofa, as our country waits on the verge of a flu-pandemic, wondering if I am the first and unknown case of an Anglo-American woman with H1N1 Influenza.
The link provided on the CDC website "Is it a Cold of the Flu" is not working (argh!) so no help there. I won't go to the doctor. I refuse to subject myself to "the look" from the receptionist and "the nod" between LPN and nurse practitioner which says, "another paranoid fool with too much time on her hands who thinks she has the swine flu."
So for now, cool heads will prevail. I am convinced, despite my hoarseness, and every flu symptom listed by theCDC except a fever, that I have a