After spending much of the last week dealing with the flu, I felt it was important to share some of my thoughts and experiences.
First of all, I am anti-flu. I can’t stress enough that I side with the anti-flu faction. Or should it be the anti-the flu faction?
One item that annoys me about the flu is the “the” before flu. Why can’t I have “a” flu or “this” flu? I can have influenza, but not flu. I did some research to try to understand why this is the case, but no reasons made much sense, perhaps due to my high fever, or high the fever.
It is a little strange to have no appetite and to not even want to drink water while being sick. Usually, I am constantly hungry, but no food looked good this week. I turned down doughnuts one day and then considered if I should go to the emergency room. Also, family members kept telling me I needed to drink water, but I would only take a little sip and pretend that it was a big drink. Why were they telling me what to do? Couldn’t they see how busy I was lying there and thinking about the word the?
I lost my voice one day, which made me realize just how much I talk. It’s worse than I realized. I couldn’t understand why the house was so quiet while I was home alone until I realized that it was because I wasn’t talking to myself, the pets, the mirror, the computer, toast or anything else in the house. When did this happen to me?
Having the flu made it so that I couldn’t whistle. Who knew that was a symptom? On the day that I lost my voice, I tried to whistle for the dog to come inside, but no whistle sound came out, just me breathing loudly and then coughing. I don’t understand how whistling works, but I was not expecting it to fail just because I lost my voice. When will the torment from this ailment end?
One good thing about being sick was using the online doctor app on my phone. The insurance company made this available, so our family recently tried it. I should point out that this is no knock on three-dimensional doctors. I very much like my usual doctor and would name him here, but that would likely be a HIPPA violation. Also, he asked me not to mention him anymore.
The phone doctor was great for something like this when you pretty much know what is wrong and need some medicine. We just logged into the app, and then the screen on my phone showed me and then also showed the doctor so that I could talk easily with him. It was simple (except for when I couldn’t figure out how to get the phone camera to show my throat), and there was no waiting in a clinic lobby with other sick patients or sitting uncomfortably in a doctor’s office on those weird table/chairs in your underwear while you wait for the doctor to finally come in. The last time I had to do that, after waiting for a good 30 minutes, the doctor didn’t even apologize! He just said, “This is an eye appointment, you should put your clothes back on.”
One thing I hate about being sick is that the nights take forever. When you feel well, the nights fly by and the mornings arrive far too quickly. This last week, though, every night seemed to drag on and on. Every hour, it seemed, I would cough, stare at the ceiling for a while, fall asleep without realizing it, cough again and then wake up extremely confused. Did I just take a pill or did I dream that? Do I need to take a pill? What was I thinking about foreign government trolls on social media? What if I am friends with them? I hope they liked what I wrote about cereals. Did I just get up and go to the bathroom or did I dream that? Why can’t I wonder if I went to “a” bathroom?
One argument about placing “the” in front of flu is that the flu is a singular disease, while “a” cold could be different ailments. I would counter, though, that we have new strands of influenza every year and there are more than one per year. Therefore, it seems like it should be “a” flu or just “flu.”
Sick days were not at all what I had imagined. In my mind, I would relax and watch television on a sick day from work. Instead, I felt terrible, there was nothing good on television and I was just worried that my bosses would learn that they could survive without me there. I told them that I hoped their days went well, but secretly I hoped a few things went wrong so I would appear to be useful.
I hate thinking about breathing when I am sick. Breathing should just happen, like whistling. When I am sick, though, I often worry about if I am breathing correctly, so I focus on breathing through my nose for a few breaths, forget about it for a while and then worry about it again over and over when it should just happen naturally like a heartbeat. And speaking of that, I also hate hearing my heartbeat in my ear when I have a headache and am lying down. That heartbeat thing in my ear is annoying, but do I really want it to stop?
I am finally feeling better. I am looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep tonight and then waking up early feeling refreshed and ready to start a big and successful day at work tomorrow! Or should it be the work? I wonder if they thought it was extra quiet without me there? I hope someone brings doughnuts.