I'm going to try and make this quick, because I've been watching a lot of TV online, because my abilities for action have been depleted and so I think I've spent enough time on the computer.
This illness is the weirdest. This week I've had one day fully at work, one day fully not at work, and two days where I've gone to work and then left. Sometimes I feel almost normal, then give my body a few hours and I feel sicker than I have in maybe 15 years. So weird.
I've polished off the bottle of OJ I bought on Monday, and with this glass of V8 already poured by my side plus a couple of swigs in the fridge, the veggie juice is about to go the same direction as its fruity counterpart.
I've been drinking and drinking and drinking - not alcohol - and peeing. And my mucus is like water, thin. That might gross you out, but as a lifelong student of the Great School of Allergy, I am able to discuss my mucus almost with banality. And when your mucus is thin, friends, that means you're hydrating well. So I am patting myself on the back for all the hydrating, but still finding myself at certain hours so congested, feeling like my head and neck are a brick.
With sickness comes some other things to look forward to, like feeling guilty every time I call in sick to work. You know how it goes: you wake up, feel not great, call in sick, then suddenly feel a little better. You go to work, suddenly your employer is upping its tissue budget solely on account of you and your overactive schnoz. Everyone wants you to leave because they think you are going to make them sick. Next day you call in sick, suddenly feel OK.
It's mind games, I tell you!
Well I've resigned to the fact that this illness is on a weird cycle. So I'm not confident I am out of the dark, and I'm planning to spend several weekend hours fighting illness/being bored/depressed that I am sick and trapped in my apartment (all of these things are one and the same).
I saw my doctor today, for the second time this week, and he had interesting things to tell me. One, when I told him I was back because my symptoms were worse from two days ago, he said, "Damn virus!"
I enjoyed this.
He was very adamant that I steam my sinuses. Over a previously-boiling pot of water. At least I interpreted what he was saying to mean previously-boiling, because I'm just not comfortable putting my face over something that's currently boiling for any length of time, Doc.
He looked in my ears and, upon looking at the right ear, informed me that the ear drum has begun to retract.
People I'm not sure what that means but it doesn't sound great. He tried to explain it to me and was getting into vacuums in his analogy and frankly I was in a fog and lost him. Really I never had him in the first place. I think while he was talking my mind was thinking something like, "Retract?! ReTRACT?! What is that?!"
Other than steaming my nasal passages and using a sinus rinse, he didn't give me any real concrete actions for fighting ear drum retraction. So I'm using my added, creative methods of: worrying, trying not to worry, and really really hoping my ear drum doesn't retract.
He also mentioned something about other patients and pus coming out of their ears. Please let's not get to that point.
Doctor Man gave me some codeine cough syrup. I had a cough on Tuesday and Wednesday, but not so much today, and when I had the cough it sounded bad but it wasn't very productive (that means wasn't producing a lot of mucus, for those non-chronic-allergy sufferers who may not know - there I go again chatting about phlegm; it's really not that scary of a topic. Join me) and it hasn't been persistent or keeping me up at night or anything.
Doctor heard all those details about the not-so-interesting cough, and gave me this cough syrup not to take right away, but to take when I develop a major cough. That's right. He told me that this virus, this "damn virus!", is going to get worse. And then I will need the cough syrup.
And finally, he told me that if I wanted to fight this whole...thing going on in my head the Russian way (which, come to think of it, would be timely of me, given the Olympics) that after steaming my face I could wrap it up with a towel, and then, then, I could drink hot vodka - I repeat, hot - with paprika in it.
I have to say this frightened me. I wouldn't want to try that while not ill, let alone while ill. That said, if a friend showed up with said cocktail I would try it, in the name of getting rid of the d. virus. And I'm relatively certain it would burn my throat, make me need to sit down, or make me yell like a cowgirl or...something. Some combination of those things would happen to me, I'm guessing.
So far I've done the steaming, some 24 hour Claritin-D, much catching up of "Parenthood" episodes, some phone calls to Kansas, and, most surprisingly, some dish washing. Something I've discovered about living alone and being really sick: it sucks that you have to do chores like dishes so that you have something to drink your many beverages from, when mostly the thought of doing dishes makes you feel faint. Also sucks: being the one to drag your ill self to the drugstore for much needed drugs. Children and youth of the world, and those with roommates, hear, hear: be grateful that you have someone to do a tissue run for you. I would gladly have paid a roommate good cash today to wash my dishes or buy me throat lozenges.
All right, that's about it. I'm tired of being in my bed (is that an oxymoron?). But I've gotta fight the d. virus (by the way I've decided to start calling it that because it looks kind of official and scientific and scary like some medical conditions are) so what am I gonna do?
Thanks for reading. Don't get sick. Steer clear of hot vodka and paprika. And currently boiling pots of water near your face.
Oh and I forgot to tell you earlier that the doctor said paprika has anti-viral capacities. Apparently. Which is kind of interesting, and making me consider sprinkling it in with some hot tea.