My Week: Stayin’ Alive

This has been a week of downs, farther downs, almost hitting bottom and gradually beginning to come back up. The last time I remember being this sick was back in the ’70s around the time of my birthday. Actually, I was a bit sicker then but not much. DH drafted a friend of ours to come help fix my birthday dinner, complete with a “mix” cake. I was so out of it, I couldn’t eat any of it and barely roused up enough to see the cake with the candles when DH brought it to my sickbed. I remember his telling the boys when I was hitching along to get to the bathroom that this was what really sick looked like.

Sunday, I got up after little sleep and almost passed out when I was doing my weigh-in. My appetite was practically non-existent. I forced myself to squeeze some oranges (thank God for my citrus juicer) and I heated up my fava beans. Other than that, I ate a couple of Clementines and drank lots of water. I didn’t attempt to give myself my B-12 shot. The serum (is that what it is?) was so low in the vial it was hard to draw up in the best of times and these were far from the best.

My weight was plummeting which was understandable since I was taking in very little in the way of nourishment. I spent a lot of the day in bed.

That night was like so many of the previous ones had been–cough cough cough for hours on end. I’d look at the clock whenever I’d get up to go to the bathroom. The hours crawled by.

Monday, I was getting down to my lowest ebb. Once again, lights started flashing and then going dark when I was weighing myself. After I managed to drink a quart of water and took my thyroid meds, I went back to bed. I was lying there, crying, in the depths of a pity party. I was wondering, if I died, how long it would take for someone to find my body. After I’d sobbed my feelings out to God, the phone rang and it was one of the ladies from church. She hadn’t known I was so sick and assured me she would come see me if she had time–but she didn’t have time. I was glad because I wasn’t up to entertaining company or having a protracted conversation but it was nice to know she cared. Before we hung up, she had prayer for me.

I crept around and fixed OJ and fava beans that afternoon. Thankfully, the last time I had cooked fava beans, there had been more than usual and there was a good supply in the freezer compartment of the fridge.

A lot of my day was spent in bed but when I checked my email or Facebook from time to time, both of my NC sisters indicated their willingness to come take care of me while I was sick. Several Facebook friends were either leaving encouraging messages or praying for me or both. My neighbor let me know, once again, that she was right next door. I wasn’t alone after all.

Monday night was more of the same–coughing coughing coughing. And more coughing. At least when I got up and did my weigh-in on Tuesday, I didn’t almost pass out. In the challenge, I’m supposed to lose five lubs. I was already down by four. People were impressed. I wasn’t. I was sick. I’d trade feeling good any day for losing weight.

Tuesday morning, I drank a 16 ozzie glass of water, went back to bed and slept for a full hour without coughing. I’d found the answer! That night, I drank 16 ozzies of water and went to bed. I wasn’t going to cough. I grabbed a couple of Ricola out of the closet in the bathroom and smiled. I wouldn’t be using them. There were already three on my bedside table. I was sure the five would be there when I got up in the morning.

That was the worst night I can ever remember having in all my life. I coughed. And coughed. And coughed some more. I ate Ricola. I coughed so hard once in the night, I pulled a muscle in my groin. Once, when I was able to go to sleep, I woke myself coughing. I was wrapped up in the cover and was wet with sweat. I vowed I would shed my attitude of being too good to take medicine and I would contact my PCP if I made it through the night.

When I did contact him, he asked if I wanted to be seen that morning. There was no way on God’s (green?) earth I could drive to the office and I wouldn’t ask my worst enemy to expose him/herself to whatever I had to take me. I wasn’t sick enough to go in an ambulance so no. If he could call something in, I could have my neighbor pick it up. He called in some Robitussin AC, Zithromax and a vial of B-12. I called the pharmacy and let them know I would NOT be taking the Zithromax. My neighbor picked up the other two.

My tremor was so bad, I slopped the medicine all over the place trying to pour it with my left hand and hold the spoon with my right. What I needed was a medicine cup.

That night was the first night I slept in over a week. I mean really slept. Up until then, it had been a few hours here, a few minutes there and most of that fitfully. I told one of my sisters on Sunday, “I cannot sleep! I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since I don’t know when. I KNOW I didn’t sleep well Wednesday through last night. Last night, I may have slept for an hour. I never took myself for an insomniac. I’m praying about it. I don’t want to go completely loony because of a lack of rest.” I’d been so desperate, I remember praying that, rather than be crazy from lack of sleep, God would allow me to die. Here I am, so that wasn’t part of His plan.

I searched for a medicine cup but didn’t find one anywhere. Once again, my neighbor came to my rescue. As soon as I asked, she was at my front door with one. Medicine-taking since then has been a breeze.

With all the coughing and lying around, my back was suffering. I got the heating pad merm gave me for Christmas and put it in one of the chairs I’d bought from my Mother’s estate. EVERY TIME I’d get up for something, I’d come back and Twinkle would have taken my place. Once, she didn’t move when I started to sit down and she yelped when I sat on her. One of my Facebook friends had mentioned her husband and her dog had had their own heating pads so I got out my old one, wrapped it in a towel and put it in a chair for Twinkle.

Twinkle and Her Heating Pad

Only once since then has she offered to sit in my chair for me. I have everything I need right here. My notebook computer is on the My Place Cozy I got several Christmases ago. In the picture, that must be the smallest computer ever because I have no room whatsoever for a mouse. My MagicJack is hooked up to my netbook in the kitchen and I have one of the phones right beside me. Not a bad setup. Now, if I had a wireless print server…

The cough medicine left me in a bit of a fog on Thursday and again yesterday. Night before last, I had to get up and take some more about 1 a.m. and, while it’s supposed to be taken every 4-6 hours, it made me kind of loopy. I’d called my neighbor yesterday, demanding to know if she had gotten my order by mistake. Well, no. Well, I had ordered sunshine and it was yet to arrive. She figured I was feeling no pain.

This morning, SUNSHINE!! My neighbor posted on my Facebook wall, “looks like your order came in” and it had! It was up to 32 degrees and little to no wind so I bundled up and basked for 15 minutes. Lovely!

I’ve eaten more today so tomorrow’s weigh-in will probably bear that out. With the temperature up to 42 this afternoon, I walked to the mailbox for the first time in a week, went to the garage to get some things out of the freezer and Pooky didn’t even bark at me. I’m getting stronger. I may feel up to washing dishes tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see how I feel about exercising. My pedometer is on the counter in the bathroom and has been there for days.

Good things have happened this week, too. I got word that merm got a job as research manager at a major company. We are all excited over that. Now, no one in our family is jobless. I went “back to work” yesterday and put up another project on the construction web site. Things are looking up.

2 Responses to My Week: Stayin’ Alive

  1. Lila January 14, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Tommie, do you think you were as sick as when you ate the rice/cheese casserole and nearly died? Anyway, I’m glad you’re better.

    • Tommie January 15, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      That was food-borne. This wasn’t and neither was the other time. I was comparing like with like.

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