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I need 50 cc’s of TLC, fast

The sickness with which this site has been occupied for the last several days continues to wreak havoc in my body. Right now I’m trying to get well by chugging Theraflu’s apple-cinnamon flavor, which I’ve never tried before but which Kelly assured me is amazing. True, she applies that word to everything from used pants to places she’s never been, but amazing is amazing. It’s not bad, and a nice change of pace from the ibuprofen, which has been my only source of nutrition since Tuesday.

Allow me to explain what happened. Wednesday I was feeling pretty awful. I’d be burning to the touch but shivering furiously, my head was squeezed in a vice, and I hadn’t eaten anything more substantial than ramen all day. Around 8 o’clock I was lying on the couch under two blankets, alternately freezing my ass off and sweating buckets. My heart was pounding inside my chest, hard enough that my breath was coming in spurts in between beats. I had Nathan pick up a thermometer at Marta’s suggestion, and learned that my temperature shot from 101.3 to 103.3 in under an hour. At that point, I was pretty certain I was dying – not in my usual “I love a dramatic situation” way, but actually fearing for my life. I yelled to Nathan that he needed to drive me to the hospital, and I shuffled out to the car carrying my blanket, freezing once again.

Nathan dropped me off at the ambulance drive, and I walked up to the front desk. Everyone there – nurses and patients alike – stared at me. Someone asked me if I was a patient, and I told them to continue helping the people there before me. They ignored me and told me to take a seat in the triage area, where they perform the initial screenings. I’ve finally discovered the secret to speedy service at the UWMC: just look like you’re dying.

When I’ve been to the ER before, I’ve always been examined in a small room mostly barren of medical equipment. This time, however, I was taken down the other hallway, past a dying old man, into a room with all the shiny steel equipment and gadgets of a television show. They set up an IV and pumped two liters of water and an anti-inflammatory into me while they ran blood tests. Nathan, always my stalwart companion, waited with me all the while, as I tried to think happy thoughts. The blood tests came back negative for mono, which was what I had basically assumed afflicted my poor head, meaning that I have an unnamed viral infection. Ah joy. Since then, I’ve just been trying to keep my temperature under the brain-cell-frying point. That and being miserable. Marta sat with me a few hours this morning, applying cold compresses to get my temperature back under 103. She’s a sweetheart.

I figured out why I don’t like doctors: they are incapable of talking to you without assuming a patronizing air. Granted, the man has seven years of schooling and a lifetime of medical experience on me, but when he told me boisterously that “remember, beer doesn’t count as a liquid” I wanted to punch him in the face. Meanwhile the nurse talked to me in a baby voice as she prepared my IV, when she’d asked me just seconds before how old I was. I just hate being sick because I hate feeling helpless, of having to rely on other people to fulfill my most fundamental needs. Ugh. Hopefully this passes soon.

Posted in Musings.


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