Thursday, April 30, 2009

H1N1, Anyone?

Sunday night. Started feeling bad, like a fever was coming on. Took my temperature. Not because I thought I had Swine Flu Mexican Flu H1N1, but because I had a tennis match in the morning and wanted to call my teammates, if need be, and find a sub. But no temperature.

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.

On the way home, get the heroic idea of stopping by the grocery. Full throttle rain now. Get nearly soaked as I make my way across the giant parking lot. In my tennis skirt I shop, crocs and soggy socks, wet head, chilled by the air conditioning. (In cenral Texas, no matter what the weather, the air conditioning is on to near freezing. It was no different on this rainy Monday.) Load my rain soaked groceries into trunk. Proceed home to feel still worse. Take an allergy pill.

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.

Call to 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.

Uncertainty festering, I head to bed. Take an allergy pill, an ibuprofen, a decongestant, and two benadryls (to combat the decongestant's incomnia side effects).

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 the CDC except a fever, that I have a monster sized simple cold.

I will not send Gollum to the drugstore to buy a stash of face masks as recommended by the CDC. I did send him for Ricola throat lozenges, however, hoping he would remember that I like cherry flavor. But no, he brings lemon. I open one and feel as though I am sucking on lemon flavored amonia tablet. I will, however, wash my hands frequently, throw away my used tissues, drink a lot of water, and follow common sense guidelines.

And I will enjoy an unexpected afternoon of blogging.
UPDATE: If anyone wants to check the number of H1N1 flu cases verified by state, check at the CDC website, here.

Bikini Pig Tissue Box can be found, here.


Agent X said...

I hope you feel better and it is a simple cold.

shrink on the couch said...

Thanks. I hope so too.

blognut said...

Feel better soon.

By the way, can you maybe get Gollum to put a yellow quarantine tape on your front door... you know, just for now. Okay? :)

shrink on the couch said...

blognut -- I'll put him right on it! Thanks. I think.

Anonymous said...

Oh no. I hope you're back to normal soon....or at least what ever resembles normal for you. *wink*

Seriously...feel better quick.

Reinvent Dad said...

Man, I'm thinking of just turning the news off for awhile or perhaps I might take a trip to a distant island uninhabited by humans, pigs or birds. Wait, that isn't possible - humans would find me. Anyway, sorry to hear about your cold..feel better.

Mary said...

Just this once - only this one time - I am glad that you are there and I am here.

Because even a simple cold would do me in!

Sinda said...

Jesse read that email and a few minutes later commented that his throat had been sore...those powers of suggestion are STRONG!

It was pretty alarming, but the stuff I've been reading today has made me feel better. Of course, now that I know there's a case right across the street....!

Hope you feel better.

Fragrant Liar said...

Yikes! My throat's getting hoarse and sore just reading about it. Hope you feel better soon, and it's just the common, awful cold.

Margo said...

I lmao when you say you want to avoid the "look" of the medical persons. We can never find the thermometer either - must buy them in bulk if available. Mold, definitely mold - and a wretched cold on top of that. Just be sure to keep the WD-40 handy :)

Unknown said...

poor you!

stephanie said...

I am completely in stitches about your husband's assessment of the waiters as "Mexican Nationals."

Hope you feel better soon; lots of rest (and reading!).

Lisa Wheeler Milton said...

We are having the same week. I swear it has been allergies - sneezing, itching, etc - and then I developed laryngitis and a cough.

I'm staving off a sinus infection.

There's no way I've been exposed up here - right?- but still. This H1N1 thing is making it hard to function with a runny nose without other people freaking out.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Feel better soon.

HP said...

Should we wash our hands after leaving this blog? Unclean! Unclean!

Seriously, hope you feel better soon.


Glennis said...

I think the flu makes you puke and poop, in addition to the cold and fever.

Oh, well. I am almost hoping I WILL get it, so I can stay home from work.

Is that bad of me?

And I have a bit of congestion - but I am contemplating going to an East L.A. street food fair this weekend, which, I am sure, is full of people who have recently visited Mexico.

Ah, well....if I get the flu I will get to stay home from work.

Jay said...

Thanks for finding the upside to swine flu - I knew there must be one!

shrink on the couch said...

Lisa, according to the CDC website, your state in NW hasn't had any confirmed cases. 28 confirmed cases in Texas. 50 cases in New York. 13 cases in CA.

You can check here for updates:

g: I keep reading about upper respiratory symptoms being the most common (coughing, stuffy nose) but that GI problems may occur as well (but not necessarily).

jay -- so far extra blogging time and getting out of chores are the two I've come up with. oh and I did sleep in this morning but it isn't good sleep so it doesn't really count.

Mental P Mama said...

Feel better soon!

planet trans said...

phd my friend it's the 1st. please give us a update hon.....

Madge said...

get better!! be careful and take care of yourself....

Anonymous said...

Oh dear poor you.

I never notice people with coughs and colds but on the flight back from Australia, every time someone coughed or sneezed I hid beneath the blanket and tried hard not to breathe!

I hope you are better soon.

Margo said...

are you feeling better yet? :)

Deb said...

NO!!!! You cannot get pig flu. I am too selfish and would miss reading your blog.

Feeling the love????

Brigit said...

Hmm, I think I've had the same flu. Mine started with slightly sore throat. Then the sneezing and the runny nose hit while I was in the supermarket. I had my sleeve tucked under my nose while I searched for the tissue isle - grabbed and opened tissues. Had to grab a plasitic bag to put the used ones in. I was out of that supermarket pretty damn quickly. Cheapest shop I'd done for a long time.....And then quite a few days of feeling like? Crap!