The Summer Flu: Whoa Is Me


My excuse for blogging late about the family reunion:

Upon returning from the family reunion, I edited a resume for a friend, felt sort of funny, went for a run, and then felt really really sick. I didn’t know how sick I felt until I got into bed and discovered that any amount of pressure applied to any part of my body felt extremely uncomfortable — I won’t say painful because I know there are more painful things than the aches and pains associated with the flu, but I will assure you that it was uncomfortable. In any case, being the incredibly logical tired sick person that I was, I stayed in bed and contemplated the horrors of my existence for most of the night. It seemed impossible to get up and take medication because I was sure I would end up accidentally mixing acetaminophen and ibuprofen and then die immediately. Or that I would take ibuprofen and start throwing up with vehemence for failing to take it with food. The trip upstairs to procure food and the right type of medicine was obviously out of the question. It was too far and I was either much too hot or much too cold to get out of bed. So I languished.

The next morning my mother turned into a guilt monster because she was convinced she had caused the illness by encouraging me to run the day before. Fortunately, I had planned to run anyway and it really wasn’t her fault and I had logic on my side. Still, she needed to recuperate her sense of motherhood and so she became convinced I had malaria. This was remotely possible because we did go to India together about a month ago, but remote is the right word to describe the likelihood. She called the health department and described the situation, while I took medication and slept. They said the symptoms sounded a lot like a flu that was going around and that it was highly unlikely I had malaria. They also mentioned that there wouldn’t be much to do in the meantime if it was malaria because it would take some time to determine this with certainty. Best course of action: rest and drink clear fluids.

I was really clear on the resting part and stayed asleep for about 48 hours.

When I woke up on the third day feeling mostly refreshed if a little groggy, my mother was on the phone with my sister discussing the illness that it was now clear my brother-in-law was also suffering. My family had decided that my sister’s two-year-old son was probably the contagion-carrier, and that both my brother-in-law and I had been exposed to him at approximately the same time. My sister, the pediatrician, informed my mother that we probably had foot and mouth virus, which results in blister-like rashes on the hands and feet as well as on the back of the throat. My mother told me to sit on the floor so she could see my feet (she was already examining my hands). And my father got the flashlight so they could examine the back of my throat, which was hurting, but not ridden with blisters. At this point, they determine I don’t have any blisters, but they’re not about to be thwarted and they discuss strep throat for a few more minutes before the hang up. Then my father gets online to check the rest of the foot and mouth symptoms before he moves on to the possibility of mono — because I have been asleep for about 48 hours — and as I stand up from the kitchen floor, he approaches and begins poking my spleen, which, he informs me, would hurt if I had mono.

I then felt the need to say, “Mom, Dad, I’m fine. I had the flu. I feel a lot better today. I’m going to take a nap and when I wake up, I will feel awesome.”

Or something like that.

And now they think it’s funny too. Although, as my Dad put it, “maybe not laugh out loud funny.”


6 responses »

    • I’m glad you love my malaria. It was feeling really forgotten about after my parents moved on to the strep and hand and foot virus. Also, my mom has pointed out that I spelled “woe” like “whoa” and that it’s wrong. She’s right, but I think it’s funny.

  1. I am so sorry you were ill, it is no laughing matter. However your family is hilarious, obviously they love you and are concerned and worried which is why they asked 20 questions and poked at you. You are so blessed to have parents and family that care so much for your wellbeing. I hope you are feeling better.

    • Thank you! I’m quickly recovering, so no need to worry anymore. I’m very lucky to have such a loving family who is also tolerant of occasionally being teased 🙂

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