The flu. Day three.
On Tuesday night the glands in my neck felt like golf balls. Determined (or in denial) to slough it off, I kept moving on wednesday by driving the girls to school and back, to complete my mid-week mid-miler. It turned out to be a slow, hard seven. By the end I had pulled something in my lower shin/top of foot, probably from the combination of a too tight shoe and a drearily difficult run with legs that felt like deadwood.
Later that night I fell asleep within moments of the girls and awoke at midnight curled into a ball, every my muscle pulled in tight, shivering in pain, burning up with fever. My insides felt icy, so I was relieved to find Peachie’s poncho (that she knitted for me) hanging on the banister of the upstairs stair case. I tossed it over my shoulders and then woke Brian; I needed his help.
He crawled out of bed, got me Advil, water, Contact, a thermometer. Up and down the stairs he went, while I returned to the fetal position waiting for relief.
Since that night, a series of broken fevers has left me with soaked-through sheets and pajamas. The stabbing in my bones (mostly in my legs) catches me by surprise every time. I wonder if there might be an ear infection involved; the space inside each rocking back and forth, as if I was on a boat. By no means the worst, but worth mentioning, is the sense of time, which has been muddled due to my mostly horizontal state, save for the slow shuffle to the bathroom or visit to the kitchen for liquids.
On my most recent visit to the kitchen I couldn’t help but marvel at the damage created by two four year olds and their father. The reminder that this situation is real; Summer sandals and sippy cups with mismatched tops on the floor, old food crusted to the kitchen table, old slices of cucumbers shriveled on the counter, dirty placemats, knives caked with peanut butter, toys everywhere; a small glimpse at what life would be like if these people didn’t have me.
Sometimes my body just quits. I have been to doctors to find out if something was off. I have had to bow out of two half marathons in the past year for the very same flu-like symptoms that leave me incapacitated. A series of blood tests last year revealed that I am pre-diabetic, but my endocrinologist believes that all the running negates the need for meds. Brian thinks that I have an immune deficiency, though no doctor has confirmed his theory. My mother blames the kids’ pediatric viruses that are brought home from school, which are necessary to boost their immunities. Apparently I have no immunities to them either?
One theory is that my “flu’s” are the result of stress. It has been scientifically proven that stress causes physical manifestations in humans. People get ulcers from stress. Peach believes her own mother, my “Airplane Nanny,” had her first stroke in her forties and ultimately died at a young age, because of the years of stress she lived under with a verbally abusive, anger filled husband.
All I am sure of is that this illness has temporarily ripped me out of my game. I don’t care much about my running today. I’m not even concerned that this morning would have been my first fifteen miler. I have no idea how I will jump back in, but hope it will work itself out. Should I just keep going despite losing this week’s miles? Should I back off to regain strength? There are ten more weeks until the big day. Plenty of time to get my act together.
For now I will eat the soup peach brought me from Whole Foods, revel in the quiet of a house without kids (who are at the park with their dad), rest my achy bones, and try to stay positive.
As sick as I’ve been, I’ve been able to watch a whole lot of good t.v. and the entire movie Priscilla, Queen of The Desert, which long ago began my love affair with Guy Pierce. And any fashion lover like me can’t help but be tickled by the costumes; true genius, a must see if only for those costumes.
I also managed to gather enough brain cells to compose a post, though it’s taken me days.
Fingers crossed for sweet time to kick this illness to the curb. Fingers crossed twice that any other germs that want to inhabit my body can wait at least until after March 19th.
I really want that finish line photo up on my wall.