Apr 5

Oh my DOG. Was I sick ya’ll or what? Thank you all for your emails and comments of concern. I really haven’t been that sick in a long time. I mean I get kidney infections and colds, and PMS and cramps but DAYUM. I was down for the count, really and truly. No dramatics here this time. I missed work Monday and yesterday, mainly because I really just didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. My antihistamine kept me in a perpetual fog, though I did manage to get out of bed to let the dogs out when (The “dogs”, I can’t believe I have another dog now) they needed to go. My appetite was non-existent but I did force myself to eat something last night and of course I made something easy and terribly bad for me like a Tyson Chicken Patty and the last of the frozen french fries ( I know. Shut up. ). My stomach wasn’t having it though and I spent a couple of hours this morning wretching to the porcelein gods. Even thinking about it now makes me nauseous. I really want a salad and some fresh fruit for dinner tonight. This morning I woke up feeling somewhat human again though and skipped the antihistamine because I’ve got piles of shit backing up at work and I just couldn’t miss another day. I know I’m the boss here on the local level but I answer to the corporate demons in the big city, and if you knew those corporate demons, you’d sympathize.

I also gave my presentation tonight in class. I think I did pretty good and ya’ll, I just have to say that I love my classmates. Over the past few weeks, we’ve each been giving our individual presentations and I’m amazed at how supportive we are of each other. We’re all very close knit and man are my classmates intelligent and interesting! I’ve been in lots of small classes but never felt the bond and support as I do with this group of people. I think maybe it’s that comfortable anonymity we all have. We don’t actually see each other so there’s no judgement on looks, we’re more apt to speak up and share because we can “hide” in the phone. I’m really going to miss them all once the class is over. We’re all promising to keep in touch. I really hope we do.

Well that was a tangient wasn’t it kids? I’ve decided to blame everything on “the infection” for the next couple of weeks. Speaking of which. What the fuck? We’re all still baffled on how a simple little “bug” morphed into a damn “raging infection” that was rapidly spreading. So, I’m going to milk it for everything it’s worth. Think everyone will buy it? It’s worth a try right?

Apr 3

Sunday I began to feel a little better, until I noticed the knot on my neck getting bigger yet again and my lips began to itch.

Yeah. My lips itching.

My cough turned into a dry painful cough. It lasted pretty much throughout the night.

This morning I woke up to a swollen face and lip. It freaked me the fuck out. I panicked and called out to Howard who was still sound asleep. I flicked on the light (we’ve put aluminum foil on the windows again) and he had to do a double take.

It looked like someone had punched me in the cheek and lip. And it fucking hurt.

“Did you beat me up last night?”

“No, but I’m sure everyone else will think that after seeing your face. Call the clinic NOW.”

First, I had to call Manda and see if she could work for me today. There was no way I could work with the public looking like one half of the elephant man.

This had never happened to me. I made a mental backtrack in my mind of things I’d eaten yesterday that I could have possibly had an allergic reaction to. I couldn’t think of any.

Dusty answered the phone at the clinic and thank God, he loves me because he got me in immediately.

Upon walking into the reception area, he called me over to the window and he was equally freaked out.

“Oh my GOD, no wonder I didn’t see you at all this weekend.”

“Well, I was sick all weekend but this just popped up overnight.”

“Poor Chrissy!…are you in pain?..let me call Joe and tell him you’re here”

Joe popped out of his office and was all smiles and greetings and then HE did a double take before whisking me away to an examining room.

In a flourish, he had all his equipment out. Taking temperatures (no fever), my blood pressure (which was high due to stress), and then he felt around my neck again and said “you’ve got a raging infection in your lymph nodes, and it looks like it’s made its way to your face.”

“You mean things like that actually happen?”

“Yes, and you’ve got all the symptoms of mononucleosis too, except for the fever, we’ll have to do a test for that too, hey can I take a picture? I need to call the doctor in Anchorage so he can see this, and advise.”

Feeling even more like a damn freak I consented. Joe was completely professional though and I appreciated the concern and attention.

So after a few minutes, Joe returned and told me I tested negative for Mono, thank God. But we needed to get rid of the infection (caused by some virus, I cannot pronounce) because it was just multiplying and things would only get worse. I’m also highly contagious! I would have never thought that. But he did tell me, chances are, Howard’s probably already caught the virus but his immune system has probably already fought it off. The reason why mine didn’t was because on Thursday night when it seems I was just a wee bit sick? The virus latched on to my weakened white blood cells and apparantly had a friggin’ party!

Today, in between the grogginess of the Benadryl (something to bring the swelling down), I’ve stripped the sheets and the comforter off the bed and washed them, along with the pillowcases and all the throws from the couch and loveseat. I just know Howard’s going to come home tonight, point his fingers at me and yell “UNCLEAN!!! UNCLEEEEEAN!”

But it’ll make me laugh.

Hey, guess what else happened this morning? Pepper came to live with us for good. Nick is moving away and can’t take him with him. So I’ve got a Schnoodle running around, terrorizing the cat, and making Lucky give me looks of utter betrayal. But God, is he cute. Nothing like puppies and a freak virus to start my week.

Apr 2
Ick

Around Thursday night, I got this nagging headache and my throat was a little scratchy. I didn’t think too much of it, just took some Tylenol PM and went on to bed.

Friday morning, I woke up and couldn’t talk and it felt like there was a tennis ball in my throat. My chest felt like there was a brick lying on it, and my ears felt like I was descending at a rapid speed.

We had a conference call that morning and it took all the effort I could muster just to speak. (Hey VP, when you say the call will only last two hours, how ’bout making sure it only lasts say TWO HOURS! and not almost three? mmmkay?)

By noon, I couldn’t swallow, and I felt swimmy headed. I started running a fever. Howard convinced me to go to the clinic at about 3pm.

They did a strep test and it was negative but the glands on the right side of my throat were so swollen, that Julie (the PA) could see it from just looking at me. I could see it too, and it kind of freaked me out.

She wasn’t sure what it was, since my fever had broken, and I wasn’t having any nausea but she gave me some Lydocaine to drink to numb my throat so I could at least swallow and some antibiotics in case those glands were full of puss. (oh yes, you did. You needed to know that)

Friday night, the only way I could be comfortable was to sit with my mouth open. I looked like a damn idiot. Like Napoleon Dynamite but not nearly as cool. If I sat with my mouth closed for too long, the pain would become unbearable. But having my mouth open would make my lips chapped and my throat dry which means I had to swallow and when the Lydocaine wore off, that meant even MORE pain.

Saturday morning, I woke up feeling even worse. The pain had spread to my jaw and up to my ear. Imagine the feeling of having a really bad toothache, trying to swallow a tennis ball covered in razor blades, and your eardrum feeling like it’s about to burst. Add a stuffy nose and a cough and you’d understand when I say I was mentally making an inventory of our guns and whether or not they were loaded.

I honestly have not felt that much pain since my last miscarriage. If I ever give birth to a full term baby? Give me the fucking epidural. Bradley Method? Be damned.

I was frantic with pain. I tried to lay down on my left side, so as not to lie on the sore side, sleep came for about an hour before the pain woke me right back up. I snuggled the dog, made Howard spoon me for a while, tried to watch tv, read a book, took a hot bath, but nothing was helping and it was only getting worse. By this time, I could hear the blood pumping in my ear. I was frantic with pain. The tears came and Howard got his coat, grabbed the car keys and drove to the store to buy possibly every single damn painkiller on the shelf.

He got back about an hour later.

“Sorry baby, I went in, they were slammed and I had to help Manda take care of a few things, and get the customers out of the store.”

“It’s okay, I’m just glad you’re back” I said with my hand already out and my mouth open.

He handed me Tylenol Rapid Release gelcaps and a bottled water.

I swear to God, within about twenty minutes, the pain was going away. God love those rapid release gelcaps!

By that time, my body was exhausted from fighting the pain and I was so relieved to be feeling better, that I fell into a deep sleep right there on the couch. Until of course I woke up, feeling just as bad as I did before I took the pills.

“Baaaaaaybeeeeeee, plllleeeeeaaaaase bring me more pills!”

“God damn it woman, you scared the hell out of me!”

“Sooorrrry”

That’s how it went all night, and so far today. Take the pills, get some quick relief, fall asleep for a few hours, wake up in pain again. Repeat.

If it goes like this the rest of the week? You’ll hear about me in the news.

“Woman tries to kill self, but shoots own foot instead”

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