Nobody likes being sick, unless you’re one of those people who likes to fill their schedule with a series of doctor appointments. I hate going to the doctor. I like to think that I have a pretty good handle on all things health-related, and being somewhat mistrusting of Big Pharma and our broken medical system being truly invested in my health and well-being and not profits, I usually resort to one of the most terrifying tools available to humankind: WebMD. (Close second: Google)
So about a month ago, when I was taken down by the absolute worst sore throat imaginable, I carefully swallowed my pride and headed over to Twelve Corners Internal Medicine, which for you Rochester peeps is not actually located anywhere near the Twelve Corners in Brighton. I get lost every single time I go there. The office is located in this huge Walmart-esque medical complex at the corner of Westfall and Clinton, and I always drive around that parking lot for fifteen minutes before I find the right building. Unbeknownst to me I was also running a fever of about 104, so besides being directionally challenged I was also somewhat delirious. My doctor took one look at my tonsils and actually CALLED THE OTHER DOCTOR into the room to take a look. To everyone’s disbelief two rapid strep tests came back negative, but in a classic “just-in-case” move I was prescribed an antibiotic and told to call back if things didn’t improve.
Of course things did improve, albeit very slowly, which made me think that the infection was probably viral in nature, but oh well. I returned to my regularly scheduled life as soon as possible, fortified with coffee and ibuprofen. I started running again, which for some reason was wearing me out quicker than before. Three weeks after the initial illness, I had a repeat of the same exact symptoms: fever, sore throat, swollen glands, exhaustion. Back to bed. Recovery was quicker this time, and once my symptoms were gone I was back at it – piano teaching, accompanying, running, driving everywhere, chores, etc.
Then I contracted mastitis.
Back to antibiotics. Back to bed. Back to feeling like an absolute lump on a log. Few illnesses find me shaking from head to toe with chills underneath a blanket, but mastitis is THE WORST. Not to mention that it usually doesn’t strike past the first few months postpartum, and here I was with an almost one-year-old. It seemed to resolve itself after about 24 hours of being on drugs, so that was a good thing, but now Frederick was sick. Upset tummy, no appetite, fever, and general irritability. Hell hath no fury like a sick baby. His sleeping was a mess, and both Daniel and I were completely exhausted after being up multiple times during the night for several nights in a row.
By Monday I was feeling back to normal, well enough to go for my morning run, and Freddie seemed better too. Whatever bug had ravaged his system was now manifesting in a classic roseola rash all over his back and belly, so my decision to keep him away from everyone and every living thing for the past several days had been a good one. We ran some errands, came home and ate lunch, and while both little ones napped, I stretched out to catch a few winks myself.
I woke up feeling achy and more tired than when I had first laid down. Popped some ibuprofen, because kids still need to be fed and bathed and diapered, and dishes still need to be washed. By bedtime I was pretty sure I was down for the count again. During the night I woke up in a hot sweat, and when I checked my temperature in the morning, it was a wonderful 102 degrees.
Back to the doctor. This time he ordered a blood test, because obviously something funky was going on, but other than that and strict orders to rest, there wasn’t much he could do. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on the couch, alternately sleeping and watching “Hoarders” on Netflix, because one should always watch uplifting shows when you’re sick. And by “Hoarders” being uplifting, knowing that I do a pretty decent job of sorting through the crap that enters these walls makes me feel wonderful.
Nobody likes a TMI post, and maybe I’ve already crossed the line, but it was a crappy night, and aside from painting both my fingernails and toenails and writing a blog post, I’ve pretty much done nothing except plan my perfect Pinterest wardrobe and check Facebook. I’m hoping to get the rest of my lab results back this afternoon; my CBC showed high levels of white blood cells (shocking), but that I am definitely not anemic, which as a vegan I am always concerned about. Lately I’ve been toying with reintroducing some animal protein into my diet, and I ate a fried egg for breakfast yesterday morning because nothing else sounded good. Eventually one gets sick of being sick, and I’ve always maintained that if something isn’t working, it’s time to try something different. Whether that means insisting upon a 9:30 bedtime, or taking a break from running for a little while (sob), or eating a chicken leg once in a while, I’m open to possibilities. I’ve been sick off and on for an entire month, and I just don’t have time for this.