Yes, I hath been stricken with influenza. ‘Tis a nasty infection. Relentless, merciless, and at one time, deadly. The flu sucks. It’s been going around at work and lucky for me, managed to get some of the little virus to latch onto me and cause respiratory distress. I’ve been coughing up a lung for about a week now.
The worst of it came on the second day. The first day, it feels like you’re about to get a cold. A few sniffles here, a few coughs there, little nasal congestion to let you know it’s coming. Then, it hits you like a Peterbilt. Day two, my equilibrium was turned on its head so I couldn’t walk from my bed to my door without bumping into a wall. Everything was a misty haze as far as my eyes could see, which was really only about ten feet in any direction. I stayed in bed all day, moving only to relieve myself or to inform Netflix that I was indeed still watching “Peaky Blinders.” My head felt as if someone was repeatedly swinging a sledgehammer, striking the inner walls of my skull.
As my immune system fought against my fever, I battled my body’s inability to maintain its temperature. Leaving the blankets on the side and the fan on above me to cool the fires on my skin as the sweats took hold before my bones would chill and not enough blankets would be nearby to keep me warm. But after the sweats, the chills are welcomed with open arms.
I managed to not really eat much of anything for fear of it coming back up moments later. I learned that you can, in fact, drink enough water and juice to not feel hungry anymore. It’s a lot of water, believe me, but it can be done. My stomach was empty because I couldn’t eat, but filling my wanting belly with enough water to preoccupy itself was satisfying for two reasons: the first is immediate where the pangs of hunger are satiated. The second being that you’re unlikely to regurgitate water and if you do, it’s only water.
My body was taxed. My back cried out, my muscles ached, my head trying to lull out the rattling from the sledgehammer. The awfulness lasted three full days. It subsided at one point to where I believed it was over before it came back for one last attack. But then the worst was over.
While the inconsolable sore scratchy throat and sniffling nose remain, the worst of that God-forsaken virus is gone. The thunderous bouts of coughing hit here and there but are much easier combatted with throat lozenges. The puffy and irritated skin around my nose caused by the constant clearing of nasal passages into rough tissues was alleviated by chapstick applied to the affected area. It was a horrible, disgusting, hard-fought battle of biological warfare. Luckily, it has come to an end and it resulted in a thought: maybe a little poke from a needle and the sniffles aren’t so bad.