Ginger of Ramble, Ramble has more writing prompts this week. I couldn’t choose, and they seem to go together, so here you are:
Prompt 1: What are your sick day must haves? Do you want certain foods, shows, clothes, drinks? What makes you feel better when you feel crummy?
Couch, pillows, TV, fleece blankets, PJs, Wicket. Basically, all the soft things.
I don’t know about you, but I feel better just looking at her.
Prompt 2: What’s the sickest you’ve ever been?
Nearly every story about the sickest I’ve ever been includes vomit. Lots of vomit. So I think we should skip those stories, and I think you will agree.
The obvious exceptions are the time I had pneumonia (at an out-of-town conference! that required plane travel!) and the time I had swine flu. Ah, swine flu. Good times.
One Friday in late February 2009,* I had a D&C for my second miscarriage, which (like miscarriages 1, 3, and 4) did not happen without some help. On Sunday, I was supposed to get together with a couple of friends to watch the Oscars. Because of my surgery, they kindly came to my house and brought all the food.
We snarked the Red Carpet so viciously that at one point Mr. Sandwich had to come inside to see what we were shrieking about (one of the hosts had done something so unfortunate to her face that she was trying not to appear on camera, but since she was the host, she kind of had to). The ceremony began. The snarking continued.
After a couple of hours, I started to feel under the weather. I thought, “What I really want to do is go lie down, but if I do that, my friends will feel that they have to leave. And I’m totally fine with them staying, I just need to lie down.”
But since I didn’t want them to go, I stayed put in the recliner.
After another hour, I thought, “What is this? I’m so sore and achy. Wait. Is this the flu? It’s been a while, but I think this is what the flu feels like.”
By the time the show was over and everybody went home, I felt as if the inside of my skin was being sanded. This is not a good feeling.
The next day I had a follow-up appointment with my OB-GYN; from his office, we went to our primary care doctor. As the morning progressed, Mr. Sandwich started to feel achy.
The primary care physician prescribed antivirals for both of us, and we headed off to the drug store.
Which could only fill one prescription of antivirals.
Back home, we swathed the couch in microfleece throws (because the perfectly fine upholstery was too rough for feverish skin) and settled in.
Oh, and while this was going on? I was borderline hemorraghing from the D&C. (You do not want to know.)
Both the flu and the bleeding went on for most of the week. We spent much of it on the couch, looking sadly at each other and saying, “I’m really sorry I can’t take care of you, but I feel so sick.” And the other one would say, “Please don’t worry about it, because I feel that sick, too.”
We also learned that, even with the blinds closed, the afternoon sun cast so much glare on our TV screen that we couldn’t really see it. And since TV was the only form of distraction we could manage (books are so heavy), we kind of needed to see it.
Mr. Sandwich draped the windows in more microfleece throws. Fortunately, we have a lot of them.
And those antivirals? We felt no different at all for taking them. They didn’t seem to help in the slightest. The fever, aches, chills, and clamminess persisted in spite of the drugs. (We still got the second prescription, and we each took all of them that we were supposed to. In case you were wondering.)
But on the other hand, we didn’t die. So there’s that. Because people do die of swine flu.
And after we were well, we replaced the window coverings with wooden blinds.
So I guess you could say that we were so sick, we redecorated.
See those blinds behind Wicket? Those blinds.
*Sources say that the first reported U.S. cases were in late March. But given the severity of our symptoms and the speed of their onset, we are pretty sure that we ran into it at the hospital, before doctors knew about the outbreak.