Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Blogger Flu, or, the Virus That Would Not Die

So I'm sick again. Although, more accurately, I have probably been sick since my mysterious "Blogger Flu" after Thanksgiving. It's just been lingering - I can't shake it off.

Yesterday, I woke up with a sore throat. Not the scratchy sore throat that announces a cold but the real deal: a tender, swollen throat. But I gamely went about my day because hey, I have a life to live. I managed until about 2.30PM, then I gave up and went home.

This morning I woke up at 4.50 AM. My throat so sore I was having trouble swallowing. I drifted in and out of consciousness until it was a good time to call in sick to work, then gave into sleep.

I had a horrible dream that I was in hospital, that I had been in hospital for months, and that nobody knew what I had. And there was some unpleasantness about a food bill - at this hospital, we had to pay for our food and we were only allowed to spend $3 a day, and I was spending $4 so I was getting better food than everybody else and this wasn't fair to the other patients.

When I woke up, my pillow was soaked. I thought that one of the cats had peed on it. But it didn't smell like pee. It wasn't pee. It was my own sweat. My sheets and duvet were damp too.

It's kind of scary. What's the matter with me? Why am I so sick? I never get sick. I guess I'll drag my sorry hide down to the clinic again - I know my own doctor won't be able to see me until next week, that's just the way it is. So I'll go to the walk-in, wait and wait to see whoever I can see, have my throat swabbed again, maybe some more blood drawn. But I'm feeling kind of cynical about the whole thing. I'll do all this, for what? So that they can not call me when they get the results, like they did last time? To be told that it's a virus, so there's nothing they can do - no drugs they can prescribe, just rest and liquids. Well, rest and liquids are fine for those who can afford them, and thank Christ I have a permanent full-time job with a company that gives me access to things like Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability programs. But I just want this fucking thing GONE. I want it out of my system. I want my life back.

You know, I used to work with this guy. The nicest guy. Sam. 40, married, two kids, a 1920s era house he was restoring, a passion for mid-century modern furniture. One January day, he had this funny feeling in his ear. Like fluid, building up there. He went to the doctor. The doctor ordered a biopsy from another doctor, and when he went to get the results of the biopsy, yet another doctor delievered the results. Which were bad. It was a malignancy. It was cancer.

After that, he was bounced from doctor to doctor to doctor. He never seemed to see the same one more than twice. He worked until about April or May, then he had to go on medical leave. He did come to our summer picnic, very thin, frail, not doing good at all. I had just started dating Phil then - I remember introducing them, at this picnic. He and Phil were the same age, in fact.

By November, Sam was dead.

I know I probably don't have a terminal illness, but stories like that - they scare me. Your health is your wealth, that's for damn sure.

Take care.

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