Last Friday, the third day of this recent bout with sickness, I went over to the clinic to be tested for the flu virus. In retrospect, I must have been running a pretty good fever: according to witnesses, I showed up wearing plaid flannel lounging pants, a bright red and yellow Chiefs shirt, and a pair of camo-colored “mules.”
In spite of that, the good folk at the clinic didn’t check for fever but they did gently ease a swab up each nostril that I’m pretty sure the sample surely included brain tissue. I lay around all day and socked myself full of anti-sick stuff that was supposed to give me the best rest I ever had when I felt this lousy. The clinic later called to tell me I tested negative for flu, cranial drainage and self-awareness and were working with a local dementia awareness group to be sure that I wasn’t still wandering around the parking lot.
Encouraged by this great news, I decided I would feel much better tomorrow and spent the rest of the day resting. I did feel much better tomorrow but got over that by mid-day Sunday. By mid-afternoon I was running the highest fever I’ve had in years, maybe decades. Sunday evening ushered in a bout with chills but I still managed to keep the fever in triple digits throughout the night.
I stayed home Monday, mostly of course due to my very high compassion for others to whom I did not wish to expose my particular illness. I worked a half-day Tuesday, just to spite myself and show my rugged work ethic. On Wednesday and Thursday, I went into delayed-start mode and managed to sustain my impersonation of a college employee at least through regular hours.
Today, Lord willing and the fever don’t rise, I’m going to try a full day.
I don’t desire any accolades or even acknowledgement. In spite of all the aggravations of congestion and the frustrations of other symptoms, I didn’t endure any of the agony I’ve heard described. I’m not in any significant level of pain and seem unlikely to sustain any sort of enduring complications. During this time, others have been hospitalized, some have died, and many more continue to deal with far greater afflictions. I’m grateful for a job with sick leave and a store with Alka-Seltzer, for generic night-time cold medicine and Netflix.
I’m especially grateful for a wife who continued to nurse me in spite of being in greater pain herself and dealing with a dozen other things, all of greater significance than my whinings and aggravations. When we realize that we are blessed even in the midst of our afflictions, we know that we have better than we deserve. I’m okay with that, actually.