Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Tuberculosis/Pneumonia/Whydon'tyoujustdie Virus

It started on Tuesday.

I was sore, so sore, and blamed it on the twenty pounds of groceries I'd lugged for five blocks to the children's project early that morning. So it seemed heaven sent that my physical therapist session was scheduled for that afternoon, and that we were just doing massage and acupuncture. (Sometimes, having rheumatoid arthritis is kind of rewarding, in a twisted sort of way. Physician mandated massage being one of the perks.) My body was really unresponsive to the massage; the doctor even asked me if I was anxious about anything in particular. It took forever to relax, and the acupuncture hurt! But I kind of shrugged it off. If I'm anxious about anything, it's what shoes I'm going to wear to the wedding on Saturday...

But Wednesday was worse than Tuesday before the massage, and I was beginning to think that my doctor had stuck me with an acupuncture needle in the wrong spot or something, because my whole body was achy. And then I started coughing.

Thursday morning, I woke up and went straight to the doctor. Fever, achy body, vile cough from the bowels of somewhere not nice. He promised to make me better by Saturday. Saturday. The day I'm to be a bridesmaid at a wedding I've been looking forward to for over a year. I religiously took the medicines he prescribed, even though the shockingly pink pills tasted like they'd been coated in dog saliva. I spent all day in bed. I ate bland soup. I cried. Some friends came over in the evening and brought me supper. It was good, and I ate almost all of it, even though I had to stop at intervals for horrific coughing fits.

Friday morning I woke up with a fever of about 103 degrees. I spent most of the morning taking the fever down with ancient Tylenol that I dug out of a shoebox and a wet handkerchief that I hung over my burning eyes. I painted my nails in bed and let them dry, one hand at a time, as I checked my temperature every fifteen minutes. I debated whether or not to go to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding. But I started feeling better. I even went out in the afternoon to return something for a friend. So when I weighed my options, I decided I was getting better. I bundled up in my nicest, warmest clothes for the rehearsal dinner. I took a taxi. All was well with the world. By the end of the night, I was feeling super. 100%.

And so on Saturday, I woke to blue skies and a manicure appointment. I was feeling good. No fever. While getting my fingers painted, I start to feel kind of woozy. And then nauseous. Then...are my legs really shaking like that? Can I have some water? Can I lie down a little? My manicurist friend looks at me and says, "Girl, you're not going to this wedding! Look at you!" When I stand up to go to the bathroom, I'm all wobbly, like someone who has just drunk six caipirinhas in a row. I collapse on the couch and swallow my tears. My cellphone has all of R$2.60 in credits remaining. I call my friend: I can't come. I can't be your bridesmaid. I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sooooorrrrrry.

The rest of Saturday is kind of a blur. I had a fever the whole day, went to two hospitals, had blood drawn, x-rays taken, slept at a friend's house, threw a feverish temper tantrum at the unfairness of it all...

Everyone has been so good to me. I hate viruses. I hate pink pills. But you people? I love you.

And today? I am feeling much better. God willing, I'm going to eat some leftover wedding cake tomorrow. Because I know the nicest bride in existence.

1 comment:

Ali la Loca said...

Oh, I had no idea it had been going on for a couple days already! I'm glad you rested, though obviously I missed you so much on Saturday.

I hope the wedding cake made up for it just a little bit. :)