Monday, November 02, 2009

Fun Times With the Flu

I'm well into Day 5 of a vicious flu. It started with a dry cough on Thursday and by that evening I wanted to sleep all the time, and by Friday I was in that vast miserable zone where you no longer care about anything--how the house looks, are the children eating any real food, or, in my case, genuine proof of genuine illness, that article deadline that was eating me alive faded off into unimportance. And then for a day and a half I had my monthly monster migraine on top of everything else, which seems like an appropriate punishment for, say, bin Laden if they ever catch him.

So what can you do for entertainment when your eyeballs feel like hot marbles and you can hardly lift your arms off the bed?

1. Dream wild thrashing exhausting dreams in which you are forced to read pages and pages of blurry handwritten script, and strange ideas take on color and shape, and you go visit Emily at SMBI and take the wrong turn out of her dorm room in your nightgown and well, never mind.

2. Keep a laptop on the bed and learn to feel around with one finger and get on Facebook. Learn who just baked cinnamon rolls and who dressed up like what for Halloween and who was happy about the Ducks' win over USC. (Even in my state I managed some enthusiasm for that one.) Get off FB when the fireworks in your head are more than you can handle.

3. Work up the courage to reach out of bed, pour some Sprite in the little glass, and drink it. Yes, be strong. You can do this.

4. Answer phone calls from the husband, who is off in Colorado. You cough on your end and he talks on his, and the decisions get made.

5. Think up wonderful put-them-in-their-place speeches for all the times when you couldn't think of the right thing to say at the moment.

6. Go to to take the self-test for swine flu. Fever, misery, cough, dizzy and disoriented when standing. Yes. Sore throat. No. Vomiting. Some but not enough to qualify.

7. Try to pray for your children. Lack the concentration to make it through all six.

8. Praise God over and over again that you don't have babies any more and you can just stay in bed.

9. Look up flu remedies on the internet. Most involve a combination of fresh lemon juice and various other ingredients--honey, ginger, cayenne pepper, paracetamol. What is paracetamol? Look it up on wikipedia. It's actually Tylenol. And one of its uses is--of all things--killing brown tree snakes on Guam, since cats and snakes can't handle even minute doses. Click on the link. Learn that brown tree snakes are an invasive species on Guam and they grow up to 3 meters long and there are as many as 13,000 of them per square mile on that poor island. "Snakes caused the extirpation of most of the native forest vertebrate species; thousands of power outages affecting private, commercial, and military activities; widespread loss of domestic birds and pets; and considerable emotional trauma to residents and visitors alike when snakes invaded human habitats with the potential for envenomation of small children." Uh, yeah, I would think, "considerable emotional trauma." With this info on the brain you can fall asleep and have yet more wild dreams in which Randy's sweet wife Shelley is holding a snake over your head and threatening to drop it and you can't yell of course because it's a dream.


  1. I hope you are better...those dreams you were having may actually be worse than the illness!

  2. Sorry you're ill, but I was incredibly amused by number 7. :)

  3. Hope your recovery is quick! Hum-Tylenol kills snakes, huh?

  4. I hope you will feel better!

  5. I'm glad you were well enough to write about it!

  6. How timely. I am in Day 2 of what was yesterday a violent intestinal upset. I wouldn't have minded dying. But why don't those people in Guam launch an all out aggressive skake killing capaign?
    Mary H

  7. Mary--I wondered the same thing. Surely they could get groups of hunter-type tourists to go out and blow away as many as they wanted.
    Sure hope you feel better soon.