Percopotomus Entry 5 – non prompt freewrite
The sickest I have ever been in my adult life was undoubtedly October, 2009, when I was the lucky recipient of the H1N1 swine flu. How I got it remains a mystery because nobody within my sphere of influence had it, but for some reason my body was the perfect incubator for the virus from the pits of hell. For weeks before I got sick, all I heard about was how it was a particularly bad flu and anyone who could needed to get the vaccine. I, however, refused, although my logic in making this decision was more than a bit fuzzy. I figured that it was more important to save the vaccine for the elderly, very young and those with compromised immune systems. As I am in relatively good health, I figured it wouldn’t be quite as drastic if I got sick, so I didn’t get a shot. If I had been living at home, I would have had to have one since my niece has cystic fibrosis; everyone in my family got one. My husband always gets a vaccination because he works for a collegiate football team and they always inoculate the team and staff – after all it would be bad to have to forfeit a game because half the team was sick.
The swine flu itself actually snuck up on me, but once it hit, it struck with a vengeance. At first I thought I was just getting my usual “cold turning into a sinus infection” thing; I was tired and congested and just feeling run down. The next day at work, three weeks into a new job, I started having chills every time I moved around. By the time I made a doctor’s appointment and got clearance to leave, my chest hurt so badly it felt like I had been stabbed every time I took a deep breath. The doctor put on a mask before he even entered the room with me and told me I probably had H1N1 but he sent me to the hospital for a chest x-ray just to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia. I had to wear a mask, which made me feel like an extra in a horror movie, but I didn’t want to spread my germs. Still people avoided me like the Typhoid Mary I was.
Fortunately, I didn’t have pneumonia, although I was close. I’m still not sure how I had the energy to drive myself to the drugstore, but while I waited to fill my Tamiflu and codeine cough syrup prescriptions, I bought Lysol, hand sanitizer, tissues and other assorted supplied to wait out the coming apocalypse. I have never disinfected my apartment as much as I did when I got home, but everything I even came near, much less touched, got sprayed with Lysol. Any time I coughed I used hand sanitizer and I immediately changed the linen before moving out of the bedroom. I hardly ever use sanitizers because I think they propagate super-germs, but for the three days before my fever broke, I practically bathed in it. Once my fever broke, I was back to work but it took a couple of weeks before I felt like myself again. I lost seven pounds because I could barely sit up that first day, and when I could stop coughing, I didn’t feel like eating anything but jello and soup. The codeine made me too ill to contemplate eating anything else. By some antiseptic based miracle, my husband never got sick. I guess the good thing is that now I know I have a natural immunity to H1N1, but for a few days in late fall, 2009, I was really hoping someone would shoot me and put me out of my misery.