Degrees of difficulty


When you’re in distress — whether you’re 2 or or 72 — it counts only if someone’s watching. Don’t bother yelling if you stub your toe on your own.

Not even the walls care for the racket.

aspirin.jpgI typically don’t get sick. It just doesn’t happen.Oh, once a year, I’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 isn’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 couldn’t move. My head was pounding thanks to my fever.

It’s 90-plus degrees outside, the middle of summer, and I’m putting on a sweatshirt and pants and socks because I’m freezing. Never mind that my forehead is burning up. Usually, I’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 wasn’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, it’s gone.

Even if all someone can do is bring you juice and rub your hand, that goes a long way.

Otherwise, it’s all in your head.


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