A Self Imposed Sequestration

A well documented viral infection

Perhaps I should have begun documenting this ague from its onset but I was in denial; I didn’t want to admit that I was subject to and a victim of the common cold. Instead I choose to believe that I am impervious to such weaknesses of the flesh as to be felled so utterly and completely by so common and miniscule an organism as a virus.

I expect no sympathy from my female family and friends for the tale I’m about to tell knowing full well that by virtue of the amazing things that women can endure and their bodies able to do, and rightfully so, the recounting here of a my experiences over the past few days pale by comparison but this is all I have to complain about. I urge you to wait but a moment as you read my story before rejecting this tale of woe out of hand as the wining of a weak male because it speaks to a commonality that we all share.

So here I sit in my humble apartment, chilled to the bone, head throbbing, confused by the most trivial of thoughts, and brought low by the simplest of organisms; I mean it’s not as if I’d had a craniotomy or anything of that nature. The worse part of this inconvenience; I am unable to write. The activity of writing, the regular daily committing to MS Word documents of the thoughts and ideas that run freely threw my sometimes warped mind and my only means of easy communication with an oft closed off world; it sometimes feels like the only thing worth doing. Until today, a full four days after symptoms first began, have I been paroled as prisoner of this unseen fiend and finally freed to write.

I awoke last Friday January 2nd with a throat so sore that I cannot recall a previous occasion where my esophagus felt so rebellious, as if it was possessed of a mind of its own and  bound and determined to reject even my own saliva unthinkingly offered by a casual swallow. I wondered if my innate feeding tube had decided to punish me for all the fried food, alcohol, or worse that I’d ever allowed, in my youth, to slide past my lips, over tongue and down that now painful passageway.

Historically, my most virulent experiences with a severe cold were preceded by a bad case of sore throat, so I knew I was in for a beaute, as my Father often referred to harsh occurrences of the cold virus. I faced a dilemma of sorts, you see I’d just received notice in an email sent New Years Eve day that the reading materials I’d placed on order at the Acton Memorial library were in fact ready for pickup and that I must do so no later than Sunday 01/04/2015. I‘d received the missive back on Wednesday, November 31st but hadn’t read it until the following Friday, the 2nd day of the New Year. Knowing that the weather would not remain mild and dry beyond Friday I convinced myself of the correctness of walking up Rt. 27 to the library to fetch the ordered reading material despite the prohibitions on going into public areas when contagious, at least I’d have something to read while sequestered on my couch.

I was now feeling quite possessive of these wee beasties and loathe to share them with the fine folks at the Acton Coffee House such that I let forgo my usual cuppa and trudged doggedly up the hill with only my stubborn tenacity for company. Isolating myself in my favorite stall I engaged for a brief period of time perusing Facebook and checking email before my head began to spin and I became too uncomfortable due to the chills beginning to wrack my body to remain any longer. So I dutifully took the elevator, as I always avoid the intimidating stairway, down to the lobby and approaching the front desk, I requested and received my books on reserve and proceeded to walk home.

On my arrival home I fulfilled my contractual obligations to Nala and filled her dish with her favorite, actually the only, food she will eat and promptly made my personal ablutions before crawling into bed for what I hoped would be a restful period of oblivion. But oh no, the demons of the viral world, now well ensconced in my body, were not to be so easily satisfied by simply making my throat sore thus not allowing me to sleep; there was more pain and suffering to be endured. The dreaded sinus ache from the pressure build up of mucus within the sinus cavities of my abused head; whose idea was sinuses anyway, what good do they serve? I’ve never heard of any good use or reason for having cavities in my head, have you? Perhaps they aid those gifted with the ability to carry a tune or remain on key. A poor trade off for the misery they cause; I personally have never missed the ability to sing along with the choir and having a pleasant singing voice is no equitable substitute for a clear sinus without headache, ever.

So now here I am on Monday a mere four days into my illness and self confinement with my throat no longer the bane of my existence but instead with sinuses that continually torture me with a high pitched whine and a constant dull ache each and every time I’m forced to bend over. What has become most worrisome today is the raspy feeling in my chest, along with an intermittent cough that is indicative of my viral buddies seeking new lodging in my chest, oh joy. But at least my thoughts have cleared enough for me to begin writing once again; yes the free flow of ideas from mind, through hands to keyboard, and onto the screen. FREEDOM! I wonder if William Wallace ever felt this way when he’d caught a cold.

Today is Wednesday and my cat Nala is easily able to push me off the couch should she desire to do so. I owe a thank you to those few friends who have called to check on my noted absence from social media; it is a welcome call, despite my failure to respond, I am touched. I have no intention of venturing outside during this spell of frigid weather which posses a new issue; I have a writer’s group meeting to lead on Saturday Morning, perhaps I’ll ask if one of the other members would be willing to officiate in my stead. Time will tell.

I’ve cancelled my appointment with my Endocrinologist previously scheduled three months prior. I was loath to do it but what choice did I have? The last place you want to go when already suffering a malady is the place where all the sick people are located; besides any clinician will tell you that if you are experiencing flu type symptoms don’t come into the doctor’s office and spread more of your infectious microorganisms around.

As I write this I’m shocked at how confused my thinking has become; I can’t seem to keep track of the days. This is now Thursday, January 8th, and symptoms began on the morning of January 2nd, that means I’m seven days into this self imposed confiscation and I see no end in sight. The material exiting my hooter when I blow my nose rivals the most vivid descriptions from the battle field; I’ll not describe it, suffice it to say, carnage. Perhaps the worst side effect of this particular infection has been a heretofore un-experienced symptom, that being daytime heartburn. I consume six to eight tablets of prescription strength calcium each day. During meals my esophagus ignites with each new swallow, rendering diner a most unpleasant activity. What once was the time of the day looked forward to with joyful anticipation now has become a test of endurance.

What is going on out in the world in my absence? According to CNN, aircraft are falling out of the sky, free speech has been threatened by jihadist thugs (Je suis Charlie), and the dreaded takeover of Congress by the GOTP has topped the news reports. Oddly enough I seem not to care. The world and all its turmoil, political and social injustices, don’t enter within the walls of my sick room. You are on your own cold world because I have other things to concern my thoughts with at the moment, small, self absorbed thoughts having to do with the minutia of daily living with a viral head cold. See ya on the other side!

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