Monday, February 21, 2011

Sick day

Even though it was my day for a long run yesterday, I didn't run. I could feel myself giving in to the virus that has been working hard at getting me down for several days. Hoping to fend it off again, I rested as much as possible no avail.

When my alarm when off this morning, I knew there was no way I was going to school. My entire body ached. The skin on my shoulders, arms, and upper back hurt. My joints hurt. Every time I moved my eyes, pain shot through my head from both sides behind my ears. I had a dry, wheezing cough that originated from somewhere deep in my chest. And although curled up under a mountain of blankets, I was shivering. Great.

I got out of bed only because I really had to use the bathroom. When I went into the lower house, Tea took one look at me and raised her eyebrows -- I told her what she could already see -- that I felt like crap. She suggested that I call my other co-teacher (who I teach with on Mondays) to let her know that I wouldn't be at school. I did that, crawled back into bed, and fell back to sleep.

Feverish sleep is never restful. Alternating between fits of shivers and sweats keeps the muscles tensed. At one moment I felt like I was burning up and threw off my pile of covers, letting the cold air wash over me. But the relief was short-lived. Within a minute, the beads of sweat chilled on my skin leaving me shivering with cold. If I pulled the covers over me again, the trapped heat from my body immediately brought on more sweat. Trying to find a happy-medium of being covered/not covered, I pulled only one blanket over half of my body leaving one arm and leg hanging over the edge of the bed. That worked. I was able to sleep for a few more hours.

Around noon I awoke and decided my already raging headache would only worsen if I didn't have some food and caffeine. I stumbled into the lower house in my sweats and hoodie, hood pulled low over my eyes to block the light and to keep the chilly rain off my head. Tea set me at the table and gave me some hot soup. I breathed in the steam and the heat (from both temperature and the ground red chilies in the soup) eased my aching sinuses. My regular cup of coffee (that is by no means great, being instant-brew) tasted horribly metallic, but I drank it anyway. Tea took my temperature to confirm that, yes, I did have a fever, and gave me a big, chalky pill to take for it -- then another kind for my headache. She went outside and picked some leaves off the peikho tree, made some tea for me drink, then brought my pillow and a blanket from the upper house to the sofa so I could lay down to try to sleep some more.

Teetering on the edge of consciousness in a feverish stupor brings all kinds of thoughts swirling through the brain. For awhile I found myself fixated on the soft, fuzziness of the blanket I was wrapped in. With my eyes closed, the fleecy touch felt softer than any blanket in history. (Maybe one of those pills Tea gave me was E..... Ha!) Then after floating along in a gray fog for a bit (or maybe I looked outside.... or maybe not -- my eyes were still closed), I started thinking of random words to describe a fever, trying each one out to see if it fit how I felt: "hot," "blazing," "roiling," "torrid," "firey," "swelter," "delirium." The word "delirium" took root and hung out for awhile, slowly growing on my mind's theater-screen until the word, stamped in big, rounded-block letters of shimmery pink and gray and gold filled the screen.

Yeah, I know -- weird. (Maybe the tea was peyote, not peikho.)

All day long I've had fits of fever - no fever - fever - no fever. The medicine staves it off for a little while, then the fever takes over. I'm hoping that with a good night's sleep, I'll be better tomorrow. We'll see.


  1. Praying for a quick recovery and glad you have such a great caretaker in Tea!

  2. wow, never read anyone describing how it feels to be sick quite so accurately...hope you feel better soon!