Thursday, February 25, 2016

Feverish Thoughts

It appears that my earlier complaints about sniffles turned out to mean I have a particularly nasty virus that's been going around town. It combines the respiratory symptoms of a mild cold -- sniffling, sneezing, some coughing -- with the aches and fever of the flu. I seldom ran fever as a kid, which was kind of a pain because that was the main yardstick they used to determine whether to call your parents and send you home if you got sick during the school day. If you weren't running fever, you had to either pass out or throw up to be taken seriously. I ran into a similar problem as a young adult, when I had to call a nurse screener to get a doctor's appointment with my HMO. The first question was always what my temperature was, and if I answered 98.5, they didn't think anything of it, even when I told them that my normal resting body temperature is 97.9.

Well, yesterday, I indulged in a little magical thinking about the sniffling and sneezing and said that if I just took a nap, then I'd wake up feeling fine. But I woke up with a temperature over 100. I had to throw in the towel and tell the other choir teachers that there was no way I could or should make it to children's choir. Not only was it probably a bad idea for me to be around children, but I wasn't even sure I could drive. Since I seldom run fever -- this was maybe the fifth time in my whole life I've had a temperature that high -- that particular kind of misery was new to me. In fact, I took notes because in one of my story ideas, there's a scene in which the viewpoint character is really ill, and that illness generates the desperation for him to do the thing that kicks off the story. So I was paying attention to just how it felt, that sense of shivering while my skin felt hot, and I wanted to simultaneously huddle under a blanket and hold a cold soda can against my face.

Fortunately, I did wake up feeling better this morning, after sleeping nearly 12 hours. My temperature is back to normal. I'm still a little stuffy, but the worst of the sniffling and sneezing seems to be over. I'm just really, really weak and tired.

I'm afraid my planned potential trip to Oklahoma early next week isn't going to happen. For one thing, the illness cut short my productivity, so I'm not going to finish the book in time and I won't have time to prepare. But aside from that, it looks like it's going to be cold and rainy most of that time. I wouldn't mind that so much, but on the day I'd be coming home, some of the weather models are calling for potential ice and snow, and I don't think that being in the mountains north of here when there's a chance of ice and snow would be the best idea ever. So maybe I'll let myself have an at-home retreat on those days. Cold, rainy days are good for reading and thinking.

I'm also not sure about the concert I'm supposed to sing in this weekend. Right now, I can barely stand up for a few minutes, so I know I wouldn't make it through the concert, and I don't think I have enough breath to sing with any quality. That's irritating after having made it through all the rehearsals up to this point when I kept wanting to quit.

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