One moment I was feeling relatively fine and then a mere few hours later I was in bed, delirious with fever, unable to even sit up or walk. Such is the flu. And I mean the influenza – not the stomach flu. No barfing here (thank goodness – I hate throwing up). Just a massive fever, body aches, sore throat and wracking cough. And yes I did get a flu shot. The doc said this year’s shot is only matched for 1 out of the 3 predominant strains. Goody.
The definining characteristic of the flu is its sudden onset. I remember hearing an anecdote about the 1918 influenza pandemic
in which a seemingly healthy young man got on a trolley in San Francisco and had died by the time it reached his stop. Thankfully, I don’t have that kind of flu, but it did completely lay me out. I slept for 19 hours straight yesterday. It just floors me how fast I went from the picture of health to complete invalid. My husband has to walk me to the bathroom. A good friend had to drive me to the doctor’s (thank you Rachel!!).
This morning I thought I felt better when I woke up and even considered going to the gym (can’t miss a day!) but by the time I made it down to the kitchen and fed my baby some yogurt, I had to sit down to rest. After 20 minutes I had to go back to bed and nap as, apparently, even sitting upright is too much for me. My husband stayed home from work and I stayed home from the gym – which I’m sure everyone at the gym appreciates immensely as well.
I don’t know if you understand what this means to me though. I don’t get sick. Every once in a while I’ll get a little sore throat or maybe a runny nose and of course the two banes of toddlerhood, stomach flu & pink eye, make semi-regular rounds at our house. But I don’t get sick. I’ve always been able to work out through my little colds, in fact I feel like it helps me heal faster and clear up that congestion to jog around in the fresh air. Today marks the first “sick day” I’ve taken for myself in over 3 years.
Nine to fourteen days is the expected duration of the flu. The primary complication is pneumonia. The doctor yesterday said my lungs sounded “concerning” and if my cough doesn’t get better by Saturday I should get a chest x-ray. Needless to say, this derails all my plans for my next experiments.
Tomorrow marks the end of my “no numbers” week and I have to say that it went much better than I had anticipated. After the first day or two, i stopped worrying about it and just enjoyed the mental break. I can’t say for sure since this flu episode has likely wreaked havoc with my stats but I’m relatively confident that my weight, bf%, strength etc. stayed constant even without me monitoring them daily. Like one of you astute commenters pointed out though, I can’t stay no-numbers forever and I’m looking forward to resuming all my data gathering and tabulation once I’m finished with the flu. No point in wearing my heart monitor now although I’m sure my heart rate really spikes when I cough:) An elephant sitting on your chest will do that to you.
So, for now, I’m undertaking possibly the most difficult challenge I’ve faced yet: being a good patient and allowing my body to recover. I’m a terrible patient. I hate being dependent on other people. I hate losing my normal routine. I hate feeling weak. I hate not being in control. Are any of you like this? Or am I the only neurotic??
The silver lining: this experience has made me so very grateful for my health. I know it hasn’t been long but even just 24 hours of pain so terrible that I was weeping really really makes me appreciate everything my body normally does with ease (like breathing). It makes me respect people who deal with chronic pain and/or illness immensely. It makes me think I take my body for granted too often and don’t thank it enough for all the hard work it does for me. So today I am grateful.
And tired. Typing this has wiped me out. Posting may be spotty for the next few days. Thanks for understanding:) Oh, one more thing: wash your hands! Wear a mask. Do whatever it takes. Just don’t get this.