September 22, 1998
Death's Doorstep

Note: I didn't really have the "flu" when I wrote this entry:  I'd been sober for a week, and I was going through an intense physical and emotional withdrawal from alcohol. I just didn't have the nerve to write about it openly yet.


At the risk of sounding like the cyberworld's biggest hypochondriac ...

... I find myself huddled pitifully at Death's Door again today.

It's the first day of autumn  --  eighty-one degrees outside  --  and here am I shrouded in leopard skin sweats, thrift store afghans and TWO pairs of socks, felled by The Steamroller Flu for the second time in as many months. (Either that, or yesterday's "iffy-looking bagel" was an even worse idea than I thought.)

It hit last night. I was halfway through writing last night's journal entry when I suddenly and simply ran out of steam. My back ached. My brain didn't feel at all engaged. (Hell ... my brain didn't even feel like it was sporting a $69 Jafco *promise ring.*) My eyes hurt when they were open, and hurt even more when they were closed.  I was annoyed, primarily because I really liked the journal premise I was developing (fantasy morning vs. IRL morning), and I knew I was going to have to scrap it in mid-inspiration. And because I'd finally managed to accumulate some hard-won sick time at work, and I didn't want to waste it on something as ridiculous as actually being SICK. And because I hate hate HATE being sick all alone here in The Tree House. (No one to fix me flat 7-Up and plump my pillows and tell me how *cute* I look with vomit in my hair. Sigh.)


I brought the journal entry to a hasty and unsatisfying close ... spoke briefly to my friend David in California, on the phone ... and then hauled my shivering weary butt to bed, praying that I'd feel like tapdancing again in the morning.

Instead ... I woke up at 3 a.m., completely drenched in sweat, with one of those "oh-my-god-my-brain-is-in-LABOR" headaches. I hauled my dripping shivering weary aching butt back out to the living room, and I lay down on the floor in front of the electric fan (cranking it up to "Hurricane" level), swiftly fell asleep again ...

... except I didn't actually in fact fall asleep: I skated in between sleep and consciousness, having those awful twisty/turny "Fever Dreams" we get when we're really sick. In one dream I was back in the TicTac house, visiting the Tots: no one was home but me, so I took down their Christmas tree for them. In another dream, I was paddling a canoe down a frozen river, maneuvering through mountains of ice. The dream was so realistic, I felt like I could reach right out and touch the icy water ...

... which is when I woke up again, only this time I was still laying in front of the fan, and I was absotively FREEZING.  Even worse: the "oh-my-god-my-brain-is-in-labor" headache had spread to my neck, and my back, and to other interesting outlying regions.

Basically: I thought I was dying.

I managed to crawl over to the phone and call the office to alert them that I "might not make it in" today. And then I crawled out to the kitchen and hoisted myself to a standing position, where I  swallowed three Alleve and then just stood there gasping for a few minutes, wondering if I should throw up in the kitchen sink or aim for my feet. It was a merry moment.

I've spent most of this day on the The Ouch, alternating between catnaps and mad dashes to the bathroom ... worrying about missing work and feeling sorry for myselves ... drinking weak tea and then throwing it back up again ... writing sad pathetic e-mails to friends and then deleting them. Mostly I just need to start feeling normal again ASAP: I will go completely mad if I have to spend another day like this one. (DONNY and MARIE have a TALK SHOW now?? When the hell did that happen??)

Anyway. This is way more graphic mind-numbing embarrassing *detail* than I planned to foist on you, Dear Reader. Is there anything more tedious than reading about someone else's aches and pains? Zzzzzzzz. Next I will doubtless feel compelled to write about my MENSTRUAL CYCLE.

(Daughter #2: "Noooooo! You PROMISED!!")

I'll be back (with a vengeance) soon. Right now I need to spend some more quality time, communing with the porcelain ...

... sigh ...



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