Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Week I Don't Want To Repeat

Whew. I'm coming off one of the longest, most trying weeks I think I've ever experienced. And it wasn't because of stress at work, a busy school schedule, or anything of the like. Instead, it's been a week where I've been the sickest I think I've ever been.

About a week ago I posted about the initial effects of my illness, thinking at the time that the worst was passed, and that I was on the mend. However, it was not meant to be.

In that first post I mentioned that I don't remember ever throwing up as much as I had over that six hour period. What I didn't know at the time was that initial illness would morph into something else, almost just as bad, except lasting for about another five days, and I have still not completely cleared myself of the effects of whatever it was that got a hold of me.

My initial symptoms began late Monday night and lasted into Tuesday morning of last week. I spent most of Tuesday sleeping and resting. Wednesday found my stomach to be a bit more stable, although I still did not have much of an appetite. Thursday morning, I felt a bit feverish and had somewhat of a wheeze in my breathing and a small cough. I had my first real meal since the whole ordeal started on Thursday afternoon. By Thursday evening I went to class, thinking I could tough out the two hours and keep my small fever in check. But by 5:00 PM Thursday evening my head was swimming and I was feeling flushed. I left class, drove home quickly, and took my temperature to find I was running a fever of 100.5 degrees. Chills set in then, and I couldn't seem to get warm as I lay on the couch under a thick blanket. This lasted most of the night, and I didn't get much sleep as my cough became progressively worse.

By Friday morning I was coughing so hard that I could feel the coughs reverberate through my body when they came, and the fever was still high. Saturday was essentially the same as Friday. Keep in mind that I thought I was on the mend after the vomiting ended Tuesday morning. But here I was on Saturday, feeling like garbage. I spent the day Saturday trying to break my fever with cool, moist cloths on my head and pounding Advil. It didn't seem to be working.

On Sunday morning I was determined to go to church, so I got dressed and set off, even though I didn't feel any better. During worship team rehearsal that morning, I was clammy, sweaty, and felt like I was going to pass out. As soon as rehearsal ended I retreated to my office to await the beginning of Sunday School. Thanks to the Advil I was able to make it through Sunday School, and was even able to play through the worship set. I went home right after the set was over, though. On Sunday afternoon I feverishly made my way through my Greek homework, coughing so hard that it began to damage my vocal cords. My voice began to go, and the fever refused to break.

By Sunday evening I was dumbfounded that the fever had not broken as of yet. I couldn't imagine lying around the house sick for another day. I was so sick of doing nothing; so sick of feeling week and feeble; so sick of being sick.

Monday morning came and there was a slight break in the fever, for which I rejoiced. Instead of 100.5, it was now at 99.5. I spent another day at home, which was probably OK, since there was a lot of noise at the office due to the construction at the church. I did a little work and spent a lot of the day sleeping.

By about 9:00 Monday night I was sweaty and clammy again, and this time the fever was actually beginning to break. I did everything I could think of to help it along its way out. On Tuesday morning, the fever finally broke, and I got dressed and actually went into work for the first time since Monday the previous week. As I type this, I feel pretty good, but I can tell my body is still weak, and I am easily tired. But I think I'm on the mend for good, now.

All in all, it was seven days of illness. As I said before, I can't remember ever being so sick in my entire life - at least not for such an extended period of time. And my body has still not fully recovered. But praise God that I seem to be healing.

So what did I have? I'm not totally sure, but I've got a few guesses. My first thought is that I had some form of influenza that caused the vomiting and diarrhea that I experienced on Monday night and Tuesday morning, into Wednesday. Then, I think that form of flu morphed into a different type that effected my respiratory system for the last few days. From Thursday to today, my only symptoms have been fever and severe chest congestion, along with weakness and body aches. I did some research on the interwebs, and it seems that the respiratory flu best fits my symptoms.

Why not go to the doctor? Well, I originally thought the bug was out of my system on Tuesday. When the other symptoms crept up on Thursday, I thought it would just be a minor complication of my previous illness. But now I think it was another full-blown type of disease that I had contracted. So by the time I came to this realization, it was probably too late to see the doctor for him to be any help, plus it was the weekend, and I wasn't about to go to urgent care or the emergency room.

One thing I've been trying to get better at is to take a theological look at my life experiences. In other words, what is God trying to tell me or teach me (if anything) through whatever it is I am experiencing. I spent a lot of time in self-examination over the past week, asking God what it was he would have me see or learn from my week-long bout of illness. I think I got some answers. More on that in another post some other time.

Needless to say, it's been a long week, and I'm glad that it's over. And I'm glad I have learned what I have. But all things considered, it's not a week that I'm wanting to experience again any time soon.

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