Thursday, December 27, 2012
In the Danger Zone
I feel a little better, that is.
You know that time when ill that you know the fever broke, the hills crested and wellness is just around the corner.
In other words, the Danger Zone.
I'm still blowing my nose and hacking now and again. My legs are merely trembly rather than wobbly when I stand. I feel much better in comparison to yesterday, which means I am on the cusp of deceiving myself leading to disasters results such as a resurrection of my symptoms.
I felt the forward scouts of this germ invasion last Friday evening. My wife was suffering for what seems most of the month with her own battleground of coughs and sneezes. I arrogantly believed I would escape notice by the enemy, foolish man that I am. But her throes of agony awoke me late Friday evening and I left the bedroom to her, both of us hoping the NiteQuil would soon dope her to snooze land. I retreat to the computer across the hall.
Immediately I detected this slight roughness in my throat. It wasn't sore, just as they say, scratchy. Was something up? Oh, I hoped not. I did not want to be sick. That is a silly statement, I supposed. Who wants to be sick?
Besides it was inconvenient. I had commitments, I had responsibilities and I had expectations. It was only a few days until Christmas. I wanted to enjoy Christmas. I looked forward to the first Christmas Eve Service at my new church (literally new, new to me and new to itself having only begun last August).
When my eyes popped open at 4:00 AM Saturday morning I could feel that threat in my throat, a bit more insistent I thought, but perhaps once up it would fade away. Sometimes it does. I didn't have time to worry or fret about it. My daughter and I were heading out the door at 5 AM to head north to Toms River, New Jersey to aid in hurricane relief. It was to be only a half day this week.
It was cold and windy. We worked until just after 1:00. I forgot about my throat, but I did run out of steam quicker that day. I couldn't sustain much push as I tried to loose stubborn floor tiles that had to come up and off a floor. I kept wanting to stop, to gulp some water, anything but push that scraper bar into those stubborn, resistant squares beneath my feet.
My wife and I went out to dinner Saturday evening. It was a very chill evening, but I wore a light jacket, figuring I would only be running between the car and the restaurant with minimal exposure to the elements. Unfortunately, on the way home my wife asked to stop at a supermarket because she needed some additional ingredients for Christmas dinner. She had originally planned to go on Sunday, but decided as long as we were out...well you know. It was only a few things, she said, she would hurry.
My wife and I live in some kind of parallel universe of time. If I go to the supermarket for a few things in my particular universe it means ten-fifteen minutes in and out. If my wife says she just wants to get one thing, let's say some ice cream, then time becomes a 78 rpm record played on a 331/3 turntable. If it is a half-hour its fast, but count on at least 45 minutes. She says a few things, then watch an hour pass. And so I waited in the car, huddled in the car, for nearly an hour in my too light jacket.
Surprisingly, Sunday morning I didn't feel so bad. I did sleep much longer than usual. I chalked that up to the work up in Seaside Heights. My throat still had that scratch, but it seemed no worse. I was confident I was going to escape the war - until about noon.
I had agreed to video the sermon and I guess I was so focused on keeping my camera on the pastor's face and not his feet, that I took no notice of my deteriorating body. But after I came home I sure took note. By Sunday night I was miserable.
It did not improve overnight. I was a mess on Monday. I did not feel like moving. I was coughing until my lungs felt more outside my chest than inside. I couldn't swallow, I couldn't breathe.
My wife, meanwhile, was not really over her own bout, but she was busy preparing her dishes for Christmas. By afternoon she was tired and stressed. She certainly didn't want to make dinner. She didn't even want to pick up something. She wanted to get out of the house and be waited on and relax. So we went out to dinner and not to the Christmas Eve Service.
It snowed fiercely as we drove to our favorite restaurant just over the Pennsylvania border a few miles. Surprise, surprise, when we arrived we discovered they were closing at 6:00 that night, Christmas Eve you know. They gave us menus, but we declined because I didn't want them held up because of us when they were ready to go home for the Holiday. We left and found a Lone Star that was open. But I was on the verge of collapse by the time we ate. I went home, chugged a NiteQuil and went to bed. I would not have been fit company at our Christmas Eve Service.
Thus I was ill over Christmas. I got no succor that day either. I got up and cleaned the whole house top to bottom to spare my wife any additional stress or bother. And now today, Thursday I do believe, two days past, I feel better. It puts me in the danger zone. As stated, I feel better; I don't feel great. But I have to fight my tendency not to wait the disease out. I am always too quick to try and take back my normalcy, to rush into the morning cleaning and scrubbing of the kitchen as is my daily habit, a chore followed by a four or five mile walk in the park.
No, I am forcing myself to do as little physical activity as possible today and let the cure take place. The enemy is on the run, I know. Give it a day or two of retreat and I will once again be fit and firm, that is if I keep my head, and body, down in the danger zone.