Degrees of difficultyBy Wade Kwon
When youâ€™re in distress â€” whether youâ€™re 2 or or 72 â€” it counts only if someoneâ€™s watching. Donâ€™t bother yelling if you stub your toe on your own.
Not even the walls care for the racket.
I typically donâ€™t get sick. It just doesnâ€™t happen.Oh, once a year, Iâ€™m beset with some kind of cold that slows me down. Not enough to keep me from working, but enough to impede my thought process and sap my energy so a full day isnâ€™t worth it.
Friday, I took one in the head. Temperature of 103.
During the day, I was OK, but by afternoon, I began to wear out. Maybe it was stress or fatigue or random ailment, but by that evening, I couldnâ€™t move. My head was pounding thanks to my fever.
Itâ€™s 90-plus degrees outside, the middle of summer, and Iâ€™m putting on a sweatshirt and pants and socks because Iâ€™m freezing. Never mind that my forehead is burning up. Usually, Iâ€™m the under on the over-under: I never hit 98.6 degrees and my blood pressure is on the low side.
So 103 for me may be 110 for other people.
I checked online but could find nothing as my fever washed over me. All it was was a high temperature, nothing more. I wasnâ€™t even sweating.
As I lay dying on my couch, wondering if I would simply dissolve into a puddle or explode into various bits, I made a decision.
I had to cool down. Immediately.
I had to will the strength to move, to stand up. I mapped it out in my flickering brain: grab a washcloth from the bathroom, soak it, find the aspirin, pour a glass of juice, take the aspirin, sit down, apply compress, keep drinking.
I really had to work it out, step by miserable step.
Somehow, I got to my feet and did it all in one trip. I could barely move, whereas I was moving boxes and junk a few hours earlier.
After an hour, my temp came down by half a degree. I started feeling a little more coherent. I put an ice pack on my forehead and kept vigil on the couch.
Throughout the weekend, my fever subsided. I felt better by degrees (ahem), but still cruddy overall.
Today, itâ€™s gone.
Even if all someone can do is bring you juice and rub your hand, that goes a long way.
Otherwise, itâ€™s all in your head.