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Flu

It is Monday morning and I am sitting in the Urgent Care a few blocks from my apartment simultaneously sweating and shaking when the doctor comes in and tells me I have Influenza A.


“Cool. Cool cool cool.” I say out loud as she blankly stares at my approach to this news.


“This is…. awesome. Alright. So. What’s the vibe?” I find myself unable to stop talking in sarcastic exuberance. I make a mental note to analyze what this says about me as a person later. 


We begin to chat about the importance of rest and fluids. I am waiting for her to tell me that my pharmacy has a pill and that if I just take that I should be good in a day or so.


She tells me I likely won’t start feeling better until Friday. Until Friday. Until Friday?!


I immediately jump into bargaining mode. “Okay but what if I sleep all day today? Will I be good by Thursday?” This is not, it appears, how this works. 


And so I leave with exhausted tears springing in the corner of my eyes and start the slow walk to the pharmacy at the top of a hill that has never left me winded until now. I’ve never used a shopping basket in a pharmacy but now it is filled with tissues and vitamin C water supplements and lemon ginger tea. 


I do not like waking up drenched in sweat and with a boiling temperature each day. I do not like knowing I need to eat for energy and nutrients and having no appetite to do so. I do not like sleeping all day and then being ecstatic to sleep more at night. I do not like that my throat hurts so much I can’t call the people I love for company. Morale, it appears, is low.


It’s a weird feeling, this slamming on the brakes that happens when you get sick. But perhaps this all encompassing angst isn’t helping. So I’ve been trying to appreciate small moments where the fever breaks… where I sip on soup and unsalted saltine crackers… where I wake up and have energy enough to type some notes onto a page.


//


It’s Sunday now as I open my blog document. I have some foggy recollection of starting a blog post but no concept of on which day I wrote the above copy or of what I planned to do with it other than make myself feel temporarily better by complaining to a blank document. 


It’s Sunday and I’ve been fever free for a few days. I’ve been eating more. Yesterday, I went for a small walk. It’s less than a week since I originally wrote the first part of this post and it’s incredible what a few days can do. I’m still sleepy. I’m still trying to take it easy. I’m still not up at 6:00 for a morning run before doing all the productive things. But I feel better than I did a week ago. And that is something.


So perhaps that is the lesson here—beyond thermometers and tissues. Perhaps the lesson is about trusting the process and giving yourself time. Knowing that sometimes there is no quick fix or immediate solution. 


Perhaps it’s about wrestling with the healing power of patience. Space. Acceptance. Rest.


And believing in the difference a day makes.




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