Comic Strep

Some time during Friday, I noticed I wasn’t feeling very well. By 9pm Friday night, I had a fever of 99.8 and an intensely sore throat and slowly aching muscles. By 5am Saturday morning, I had a temperature over 102 and felt like I’d just been accosted by angry bat-wielding thugs. What I thought was the flue–but went to the doctor for confirmation–turned out to be strep. The nurse told Jen I “smelled like strep” and after a test confirmation, I was sent home with a regimen that would have me feeling better “within 48 hours.”

Not having been this sick since I had Chicken Pox when I was 12, this is new to me, but I’m still alive despite mild disdain for any activity a living entity might otherwise enjoy. I haven’t eaten much since Friday night, and considering a steady diet of fruit juice, hot chocolate, and tea, still don’t truly desire solid food three days after getting sick. But there’s hope: some time last night I woke up drenched in sweat, meaning the three blankets which once merely kept me mildly warm and culled the worst of my ceaseless shuddering were now vast overkill; my fever had finally broken for good.

Now I’m left with a sore throat, a mild headache, some dizziness, a muted contempt for solid food, and intense fatigue. Until last night, I hadn’t successfully slept through the pain since my back started to hurt on Friday, I merely existed in a disoriented fog of agony convinced by a muddled brain that each deep ache was mere providence of an especially realistic dream. Sometimes I even “awoke” from the mental morass convinced I’d never taken ill until awareness fully returned and shattered that belief.

I wasn’t exaggerating when I claim Chicken Pox was my last great bout with illness, though that experience was obviously far worse, literally leaving me scarred for life. But it’s also a truth I’ve lost sight of how a bacteria or virus can dismantle resolve and disable even the sternest coping mechanisms. In the long term, this experience was nothing. I have a newly refreshed respect for those faced with a debilitating disease or chronic malady that won’t succumb to a simple battery of Amoxicillin. Despite the discomfort, it was a lesson I needed to remember. My heart is sometimes a constant fear, but it doesn’t actually hurt, so is easy to forget since it doesn’t massively affect my lifestyle–the same can’t be asserted for strep or any other disease capable of reducing an adult to a groaning ball drowned in blankets and refusing to eat for days.

Two decades can fade mere human memory; now I have a better basis for compassion for those truly ill. This is partly why I must find some alternative for commuting to work. I lose over three hours per day merely traveling back and forth, when I could be more productive or volunteering some of my time elsewhere. There is the weekend, but at least one of those days should remain my own time. I’m sure I’ll come up with something, provided enough time and consideration.

Until Tomorrow