Monday, March 3, 2008

Influenza My Heart

The earliest known written documentation on 'the flu' goes way, WAY back to Hippocrates. Nearly 2400 years ago. He described the common symptoms we still feel today: cough, fever, sore throat, weakness, muscle soreness and just shittiness in general.

The problem with diagnosing the flu back in the day is that it also shared the same symptoms as diphtheria, pnuemonic plague and typhoid fever. You either had a 24 hour virus or a death sentence; a scenario I spent time considering in my feverish delirium Friday night. Either way you were probably getting a hole drilled in your head or leeches all over your body at some point.

Not that the flu was any less tolerant of over population. It has been responsible for some nasty pandemics over the course of history, the most famous being that 'Spanish flu' back in 1918 that killed anywhere between 50 - 100 million people over the course of a year. This particular strain had the added symptom of bleeding out your nose, ears, stomach, and nearly anyplace that had blood in it. Which, if I'm familiar with the human body, is a lot of places. The usual flu mortality rate is something like .0001%. The Spanish flu killed almost 20% of the population that it infected.

Fortunately, the flu I've been fighting over the weekend didn't involve bleeding out my anus, but that's the best thing I can say about it. I'm still feeling the effects of this motherfucker. The best part was it kicked off around 8pm on Thursday night, ruined my Friday (weekly beer o'clock meeting held in my office. Members attending - 1) and most of my weekend.

The strange thing about this flu is the way it would fool you into thinking you were over the worst of it, then rear up and kick your ass again. Friday afternoon (nearing the 24 hour point) I felt much, much better. I had a beer, was considering watching a movie, when suddenly everything went south. Fever kicked into over drive, couldn't keep my eyes open or move any other part of my body and just curled up to sleep. Wifey told me later that 2 year old was making fun of me snoring.

At 8:30 on Friday night, I struggled up the stairs and went to bed for the night. Woke at 2:30 am, still with the fever and forced myself to take some drugs for the aches and pains (I have a strong repulsion for taking any sort of medication unless it's absolutely necessary), then slept until 9 Saturday morning. Par-TAY!!!!

That was it, though. If there is one thing my wife hates me for (there is more than one, though) it's my ability to just sleep soundly while my body fights off whatever it is I have. I felt semi-normal the rest of the weekend and even got laundry done, shredded some old invoices and bills and finished up the bedroom. I didn't leave the house at all, though. For anything.

Here I am at work again, feeling slightly off kilter, very tired, and glad to be past the worst of things. Sadly, I come in to an email invite to my nephew's birthday. He turns 17 this month. Seven-fucking-teen! Tough to read that first thing in what is sure to be a long week. Especially when I'm feeling every month, day, hour, minute and second of my advanced age.

I need a nap.

Today's distraction: 9 Tips to Treat the Flu Naturally. I really like number 9 and would like to add that anyone who comes to work while suffering from the flu should be fired on the spot. The workplace is the quickest way to spread your germs you inconsiderate prick. Yeah, you know who you are!

No comments: