This was supposed to be my catch-up week. Last week Jason was out of town and Gray was home sick and we had family visiting from out of town so I got a little behind on stuff I would totally normally be doing like dusting, tracking my milage for my taxes and saving for retirement. This week I was going to catch up on all of the things I’ve just been too busy lately to take care of. I was going to wash the outsides of my windows! I was going to eat organically! I was going to fold the socks in the single sock pillowcase in the laundry room! I was going to try on all of my clothes and actually get rid of all of the shirts that make me look fat even when I don’t feel fat at all. I was going to get so much done this week.
But then I got sick. In the middle of the night Sunday I woke up in that weird state of freezing but also on fire. Like if I could take off my skin and use it as a heating blanket I would be perfect. Of course, after going downstairs to get flu meds and extra blankets I woke Jason up and asked him to feel me so he could witness my misery. Yep, you’re sick, he said.
It’s a brutal flu. No stomach sick, but the standard aches, fever, chills and general inability to cope with the world that accompanies. And it’s lasted FOREVER. I’m on day four and I’m still layering meds to survive. First I take Aleve Cold and Flu that’s supposed to last 12 hours. But by hour 6 or 7 I’m starting to shiver and feel achey, so I take a Dayquil, because it’s acetaminophen and Aleve is aspirin and I’m pretty sure I heard somewhere you can do that without fucking up your liver (don’t tell me if that’s not true because I’ve already been doing it all week and then I’ll just be paranoid my liver is going to explode any second). For awhile I was alternating the Aleve and a Tylenol severe cold and flu I found in our junk drawer of medicine, but then I realized the Tylenol stuff expired in 2013 and ever since someone showed me this video:
I’ve felt really nervous about taking expired meds. Because it’s one thing to die, but it’s completely another to die for a reason depicted in the song, Dumb Ways to Die. So Dayquil it is.
The point is, I was probably going to write my award winning novel this week and finish that baby quilt for my nephew who’s almost 2.5 that I started before they found out they were having a boy, but instead, I’ve spent most of the week in bed, watching Beverly Hills 90210 and Gilmore Girls on Netflix (did you hear I’m famous now because of my tweet about Gilmore Girls? Yep, Stephen Colbert invited me over so we could celebrate our tweets making the NYT, but I couldn’t go because I was sick) and suffering bitterly.
Today I got up, DETERMINED to feel better. I mean, it’s been FOUR DAYS of this bullshit. I haven’t worked out since last Saturday. I can feel my muscles atrophying. My kids are over their mom being a lump on the couch and even Jason stopped calling or texting from work days ago to see if I was feeling any better (there’s only so many times one man can hear, “NO. I’M DYING.” before he’s done asking). So I showered and brushed my teeth and put on makeup and resolved to eat actual meals and cook dinner for my family, if nothing else. I came downstairs to handle some work emails and read some internet for a bit before heading to the grocery store.
The longer I sat, the crappier I felt. I’d taken the 12 hour Aleve at 6am, but by 11 I felt horrible. I had a raging headache and just wanted to go back upstairs and sleep for a week. But, like I said, I was determined to shake this off once and for all, so I gathered my stuff and went to the store to get food for dinner. I gave myself a little, you can do this, suck it up, pep talk in the car, took a deep breath and entered public life once again. Once I’d been in the store a few minutes and was up and walking around, I actually felt a little better. My headache disappeared and I wasn’t as sleepy as I’d been. I decided I was probably being a hypochondriac and I should suck it up and I would feel totally better by tomorrow morning.
I got home feeling almost cheerful and walked in the house carrying my groceries. As soon as I stepped through the threshold, the smell of gas hit me in the face. I went over to the stove and found one of the burners fully on (just gas, no flame). Apparently I’d been sitting all morning in a house slowly filling with gas. Which could possibly account for the headache and sleepiness.
I’m not sure how it happened (it’s possible Jason decided he’d had enough of a wife who did nothing but ask him to feel her head to see if she still had a fever and decided this would be quicker than divorce), but I TOTALLY ALMOST DIED, right?* Like Sylvia Plath, practically. Except hers was intentional and motivated by deep emotional turmoil, and mine was just normal dumbassery. Maybe they should add this one to the song.
*I did some reading and it takes a LONG time to kill you with the gas coming out of your stove these days. Mostly it just smells horrible. So it’s possible my headache and sleepiness was from the smell I didn’t realize I was smelling.