This blog post is coming to you from my death bed. My death bed, it seems, is a pullout couch in Sherman Oaks, CA. I really had hoped I’d live long enough to watch my best friend get married, but sadly that shall not be. I am afflicted with a very serious case of melodrama with a side of some sort of fever and coughing combo (the flu) that’s probably not that big of a deal except for the fact that I AM ABOUT TO DIE.
The last time I blogged about maybe-probably-not-dying was the time I was maybe-probably-not-going to be abducted in Croatia. At the end of that post I willed my belongings to my little sister. I hereby blog-will my belongings to my little sister until I become a real enough human being in possession of enough things to justify the creation of a legally binding document, which will not happen, since I am soon to die of this tragic melodrama, fever, and lung failure triple whammy.
I did this to myself. While MFLF may be the general diagnosis, it’s actually MFLF by way of accidental suicide. Sometimes your body says, “No,” and you should really try to listen to it. Words of wisdom that I’ve learned in 2013, but will not live long enough to use.
I woke up yesterday feeling not particularly good, so I snoozed through my usual alarm and gave up on my morning run. I finally had to get up for realsies and go to work. I was there for about thirty minutes when my boss came into the office and, as always, asked how I was doing. I answered this question honestly: “I’m a little nauseous. I’m fine as long as I’m sitting down/still, but I skipped my morning run and coffee because both of those things seemed like too much. I’m really fine, though.”
I didn’t consider the fact that my boss is a germaphobe and our office is adjacent to her home, where she has three children, including twin toddlers, which serves to exacerbate that issue. I received an instant, “GO HOME” order. Except more nicely worded. Sort of.
I worked from home and gchatted with her throughout the day. At the end of my official work day I decided that I was only feeling groggy and so it was time for me to go do that run, because I was at a 10 day uninterrupted streak and my calendar of X marks looks so magical and inspiring and I couldn’t break the chain! I ran and I was sluggish, but otherwise it was normal and I got through it up until it was time to start cooling down and my heart rate refused to go down.
After five minutes of trying to slow down I was barely moving, but I was also panicking. “I AM GOING TO VOMIT. AND CRY. I JUST WANT TO GET OFF THIS MACHINE AND GO SIT IN A CORNER TO VOMIT AND CRY.”
I made it back up to the apartment, where I collapsed into the fetal position and skipped the vomit and went straight to the crying. I sent my friend a series of panicky text messages, including: “And nobody is home, which is good because I hate when people see me cry, but also bad because I’m scared.”
That’s really the worst part of being sick. When you reach that point where you feel like the whole world is ending. I mean sure, rationally, you know that this is absurd, but when you’re dehydrated and filled with mucus and death, that fact gets a little blurry.
When I was in Ghana I got some sort of virus that was keeping me from properly digesting anything, including water. I wasn’t entirely sure what was wrong, but I assumed it was malaria. I tried to walk to the hospital in the four hundred degree heat because I am an unintentionally self-destructive moron. After about an hour of walking in the noon-time heat, I was convinced that I was going to pass out and die right there, because I had obviously just done a lot more harm than good for myself. I saw a cab passing and asked him to take me to the hospital. I had previously resisted the cab because I was cheap and in my delirious illness haze, that seemed like a good way to prioritize. The cab driver took me for free because it turned out that I was actually only about two blocks short by that time. NICE MOVE, ME.
When I got to the hospital and made my way past the goats milling about, the waiting room was full because OH HEY IT WAS A NATIONAL HOLIDAY so everyone took advantage of their day off to check in on long ignored ailments. Eventually I just gave up because I was impatient and we’ve already discussed my inability to prioritize.
I went to the pharmacy up the road and asked for anti-malarial medication, antibiotics, and a fever reducer, because while the hospital pharmacy wouldn’t give me these things without a prescription, pretty much anybody else would. After spending a whopping $10 on my self-prescribed medical care, I happened to see that same cab driver from before and felt (1) That I could make a slight adjustment to my priorities, what with my medical costs being so non-existent -and- (2) That I owed him.
I went back to my school’s office, which was something of a hangout point during this time, as we were all supposed to be finalizing our independent study projects. It was also a place with air conditioning, which, at that moment, sounded like the most glorious place on the whole entire planet. I pushed two wicker chairs together, took one of everything I bought and passed out, figuring that if I did die, at least I was back at school and I could easily be transported home. I remember thinking, “I should have packed my stuff too.”
I woke up several hours later still sick but no longer quite so delirious/terrified. This story serves as another anecdote for the file on Reasons I Can’t Be Trusted With My Own Health, which is a subfile of the larger Examples Of My Misguided Judgment. It also serves as a reminder that I survived maybe-malaria-but-probably-something-else-I-don’t-even-know and, as such, will probably not die on this pullout couch today. Sorry, Lion, no stuff for you yet.