So, what have you all been doing for the last few days? Whatever it is, I bet it's more enjoyable than my last few days have been.
Wednesday - Friday, October 7-9
After the ITAG conference, it was business as usual at school. I had a sore throat, but nothing unusual, especially for the first week with the furnace on at home. A sore throat is nothing I get worked up about. We had amazing amounts of kids gone from school though. On Thursday, I think we had 93 gone, and on Friday, we had 118 gone. I was hand-sanitizing every two seconds and trying to be very careful. A lot of good that did me...
Saturday, October 10
Convinced I just had a little cold, I was not going to let it stand in the way of me and the Michigan game. Heather and I had a great day tailgating with the Hawkeye Mornin' Crew. I was bundled up like crazy, and I stayed pretty warm. I had a little cough and my sore throat, but things were fine until about halfway through the first quarter of the game. I started getting achy all through my back and arms. It was so crowded in the stands, I thought I was going to lose it a couple of times. I don't have claustrophobia, but I definitely got a taste of it Saturday night. I had to sit a few times when everyone was standing, but it was a great game, and I was so glad to see it.
Sunday, October 11
I went to church. My cough was now bone-rattling. I tried to be careful about coughing into a kleenex at all times, but I felt pretty crappy by this point. I took my temperature quite compulsively throughout the day, and I was not running a fever at all. OK. It's a cold. A bad cold. By afternoon, I decided to stay home and rest, so I called for a sub for Monday. I worked 2 1/2 hours on my lesson plans and getting everything ready so it would go smoothly without me on Monday. Andrew came over and, with the help of my neighbor Dave, got the low branches trimmed off my trees to go for curbside brush pickup this week. I tried to nap, but I was just coughing too hard, so I was glad I'd called for a sub. I knew I wouldn't be very rested on Monday. Nyquil and I finally got to sleep around midnight.
Monday, October 12
I woke up to a fever of about 100. I called the doctor's office to see if I needed to come in. They made me an appointment for 11:15. I felt like I'd been hit by a truck by this point. When I went in, my fever was still almost 100, even after ibuprofin. I tested positive for Influenza A. Since there are no seasonal strands of flu in southeast Iowa at this time, everyone who tests positive for Influenza A has H1N1. They told me to go straight home. I couldn't even go to the drugstore to pick up my prescription. Andrew picked it up for me. I drugged up and tried to rest. By 5:00, I had hit the low point. I started coughing up blood. Now, if that has never happened to you (it had definitely never happened to me), let me say that if you want to be freaked out beyond belief, start coughing up blood. I called Andrew and said I was going to the emergency room. He said he'd feel better if he drove me there. We went and put masks on and waited. I had a chest x-ray, and everything looked OK. They actually weren't too concerned. I was still freaking out. They just think things are so irritated... throat, nasal passages, etc... from coughing that I coughed up some blood. Hm. Well, OK. If you're not concerned that I'm hacking up blood, I guess I won't be either. Andrew brought me some supper, but I couldn't taste a darned thing. On a positive note, all the adrenaline actually cleared out my nasal passages for the first time in several days. I went home and went to bed. I slept for 12 hours straight.
Tuesday, October 13
Second day home. I ran a fever all day. I kept taking the Tamiflu ($86 copay, by the way) and drinking lots of fluids. The feeling by then was like being run over by a steamroller in a lava pit and then coughing uncontrollably all the while. Andrew brought me supper. Mulligatawny soup and naan were the first things I could taste, at least for a minute or two. I did mask up and sanitize up and go into school for an hour that night to keep my kids rolling at school. An hour of work. That's all. I seriously thought I'd pass out before I made it home. I am so weak! I slept another 12 hours in a row when I went to bed for the night.
Wednesday, October 14
Home again. At least my fever broke this morning. If I can keep fever-free for 24 hours with no advil, ibuprofin, etc., I can go back to school. I'm hoping to be back Friday. Andrew brought me lunch. He'd made chicken stew and homemade bread. I could taste everything, and it was WONDERFUL. It tasted like Heaven. I couldn't eat very much, but I was definitely hungry. I called and canceled choir for tonight. My voice still is a gravel pit, and I'm weaker than a newborn baby, but I'm determined to get back to school Friday. Now I just have to find someone to take volleyball tickets for me tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully someone will take pity on this poor sick soul. I need to go into school tonight after everyone has cleared out and grade a few papers so the sub will have them to hand back. Hopefully I won't need to stay as long as last night. I don't think I've ever missed more than two days because of illness before, let alone FOUR! The sad thing is that I can't even read or do anything useful. I can basically just sit in a catatonic state in front of the TV or the computer, if I can even sit up at all.
My words of advice... avoid H1N1!!! It's NOT a barrel of laughs!