I’ve been sick and I really don’t like being sick

The beginning of the year has been rough so far. It wasn’t entirely unexpected — I’m a scheduling and tracking analyst and things are definitely not tracking to the schedule. So there’s been a bit of a scramble to make some adjustments, to the schedule and the expectations and the way things are getting done. It’s been stressful and frustrating. The first week back, I worked about 48 hours, the second week, I worked 59 hours.

It shouldn’t have been surprising that I came down sick.

Saturday last week, I got permission to work from home, so I sat in the dining room plugging away at my computer, trying to get something done for a meeting at 7:00 Monday morning. I woke up Saturday with a sore throat that developed into a cough, the cough developed razor blades that sliced painfully every time I coughed, and by 4:30, I had shaking shivers and everything felt really heavy.

I didn’t sleep well that night because the congestion and phlegm in my lungs kept me feeling like I was choking or suffocating. I’d wake up coughing or gasping for air. Sunday morning, I moved to the recliner in the office and I did not move from that chair (other than to make trips to the bathroom that was only six feet away but I still thought long and hard about whether I really needed to go through all that effort) until Monday night. I completely lost my voice Sunday. Justin dragged the twin guest bed into the office so he could sleep nearby because I didn’t have the voice to call for him if I needed him and I definitely didn’t have the energy to go anywhere. My temperature got up as high as 101.4* F and I took a steady cocktail of Muscinex, Advil, decongestant, Vicks vaporub, and throat lozenges.

I thought I had bronchitis, but we talked with Dad, who said that it sounded like I had the flu, a variant that wasn’t included in this year’s vaccination. Lucky me!

Justin, interestingly to me, wasn’t feeling great for a few days ahead of me and is still not really feeling well. He’s had the slight fever and associated chills and fatigue and lethargy, he’s got a very slight cough. But that’s about it for him. He hasn’t gotten the same cough that would make me tear up in pain. He’s been able to sleep just fine, whereas I still keep waking up in the night hacking up phlegm.

We’re both of the opinion that this is pretty awesome, that he didn’t get as sick as I did for a change, but also confused as anything  because that almost never happens. The best I can figure is that the combination of me working too many hours and with too much stress hit up against my lungs that dealt with asthma for so many years when I was a kid, and my lungs lost the battle. Lost it, rolled belly up, and got stomped on repeatedly.

I really do not like being sick. It doesn’t happen to me that often, with my immune system like a German tank. Usually, I sleep a little more than normal and I’m just fine. But this thing? I’m still fighting this thing off. Today’s been a week since I got it, and I spent most of today sleeping, coughing, and dealing with a headache that’s more resistant to Advil than it has any right to be.

I was able to go back to work on Wednesday — which meant that I missed the important meeting on Monday, but I was able to send along the information that was wanted anyway. I moved slowly and it took longer for me to think things through than it would normally, but with the way things are at work right now, it was a terrible time for me to be out of the office at all.

We’re working on getting the house back in order. Dishes piled up in the sink while I was down for the count and Justin was waiting on my every whim (“I can’t move the 6 feet to the sink to fill my water glass, would you please?”). But we’ve managed to finally get the Christmas tree out of the house now. The guest bed is still in the office, still piled high with all the available blankets upstairs. We really need to do some laundry.

And that, Erica, is why I didn’t answer the phone when you called this afternoon. 🙂