In 1993, my neighbor said I was the sickest person she'd ever seen live to tell about it. Most people have a flu story, a sick story, a food poisoning story, a once-or-twice-in a lifetime experience that is over in 3 - 7 business days. Mine has sort of never ended. Although I believe I was initially infected in 1990, I was able to live a normal life, symptom-free except for chronic sore throats & the need for more sleep, until 1993. Right before Christmas, my parents traveled to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. I caught the flu while they were gone. I was home alone with my 15 year-old brother. Our dear neighbor came to check on me when she realized I hadn't gone to school. She found me breathing heavily & dilerious with fever. She had to go to work & promised to return to check on me. My brother got home & she called to check in, telling him to drive me to the doctor. The My fever was 103.5 at the doctor's office. He was a nice man who saw me right away. He was so concerned, he didn't seem to want me to leave the office.
By Christmas, I was still sick. By New Year's Eve, the same. One of my aunts took a picture of me in a weird position on the couch. I couldn't stay awake, & would fall asleep in the oddest ways. She showed me the picture, & I didn't recognize myself: glasses half-on, half-off, legs askance, face askew, she showed it to me as a funny picture. That, coupled with my favorite history teacher's remark that "You've missed over 40 DAYS OF SCHOOL," with a glare would be the beginning of my feelings of shame about sensations of fatigue I could not control. The beginning of people not believing me, ever. I missed seeing Kurt Cobain in Pensacola, in one of Nirvana's last concerts before he died. My friends did not believe me when I told them I was sick again. And so it went. I learned how to hide my symptoms, & there were short periods of remission, & I marched on, always assuming I would get better.
Now, more than ever, I am hoping to get better, or at least to a place of more manageable fatigue, which is all I think my goal can be, for my own personal nirvana.
For the record:
Thursday, September 24th, a 7, & the day before an 8. Friday was an 8, until my kids' cold got the best of me in the form of a sore throat. Yesterday was still around a 6. I was a 6 Sunday & today around a 5. I usually decrease in speed as I reach glutathione time.
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Blog entry posted by margib, Sep 28, 2009.