Friday, February 20, 2009

If you can't sputum, join 'em

Frankly, I'm happy to be alive. How was your week?

Here's a rundown of the events of the past few days, between Monday and now. I'm afraid I can't be very specific because most of it is a big, sweaty, ice cold blur and even the parts that I do remember, I'm not sure I'm remembering very accurately, including the order in which these things did or didn't happen.
  • I met The 23-Year-Old at The Bunker for coffee. I started feeling bad, with a persistent hacking cough. I remember thinking how unfair it was that I would be getting a cold/flu less than two weeks after having it. I also remember being alarmed at how quickly things seemed to be deteriorating. I could literally feel myself getting worse by the minute. I went home and immediately went to bed.
  • I went to work the next day, feeling absolutely miserable. I felt like I could hardly breathe, I had a cough so violent and painful that it actually made me weak in the knees, and worst of all, I was so dizzy and light-headed that I probably should not have driven. I wasn't there very long before I was sent home.
  • I went home and tried to sleep. My body, faced with the choice between being boiling hot or freezing cold, couldn't decide, so it picked both. I tried telling myself, "hey, this ain't dim sum, m*therf*cker, make up my mind!". Eventually, my sheets were soaking wet with sweat, and since wet sheets are never not disgusting, I got up.
  • Or rather, I tried to get up. That's when I realized how much pain I was in. I felt like I'd been punched in the face, only all over my whole body. My damn eyelashes hurt. With great effort and much moaning and groaning, I stood up and almost immediately felt like passing out. So i sat on the side of the bed to get myself together. I honestly don't know how long that was. If I had to guess, I'd say it was about 45 minutes. Figuring if I passed out, nobody would know for days, during which the cats would eat me, I decided to go to the hospital.
  • I don't remember much about the hospital at all. I don't know how long it took to get admitted, I don't know how many forms I signed, I couldn't tell you what my doctor looked like. I remember hearing "pneumonia", "fluid in the lungs" and "fever". I remember being in a hospital bed with tubes in my nose and IVs in my arm. There was a tv in the room, on the National Geographic channel. I think they were talking about Niagara Falls. The bed had a steel rod right down the middle and I tried shifting a few inches either way from time to time to try to spread the agony around my whole back. I also remember hospital staff people laughing. That might be one of those things that didn't really happen.
  • The next morning, I felt somewhat better, meaning I felt as lousy as I had before I got to the hospital but not as bad as I had felt during the night. A doctor, or a nurse or somebody (honestly, I don't know the difference) said the fluid in the lungs was under control and that I'd be on some powerful antibiotics. However, they were reluctant to release me because the fever wasn't going down as quickly as they wanted it to. At that point, (I think) I remember trying to get in touch with anybody I could to take care of the cats, because they don't want to hear excuses when it comes to missing meal time. If the doctor had called them on the phone to explain my situation, they would have said something like, "Oh no, that's terrible when do we eat? How bad is when do we eat? Do you think he's going to be when do we eat?". I know I contacted at least two people but have no idea what I said or what they said back. But a couple of hours later, they saw some progress and sent me home.
  • I spent all the time between then and now either in bed, the bathroom or the kitchen drinking water and orange juice and popping pills. I had crazy, crazy dreams, most of which I'm glad were not true...although, it was pretty fun to have an invisible flying Japanese dog. I was visited by lots of people, most of which either haven't been alive for a long time, were never real in the first place or had strange characteristics (you know, like orange skin, an impossibly high voice and/or spider legs) that I'd never noticed before.
  • Today, I'm still sore, thick-headed, alternating between sweats and chills and still...somehow...coughing up stuff. But at least I'm coherent and people I went to high school with aren't hovering outside my bedroom window taunting me. Plus, I have the new side effect of being really, really hungry while not wanting to eat anything. I'm not complaining though because it could definitely be worse. When I made the big move from the bed to the couch earlier today, I turned on the tv and the first thing that came on was a re-run of the old Bernie Mac show. So there's that.

No comments: