Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not even the cool kind…

Where I’ve been recovering for the past few days, with the thinly veiled dog hiding from the camera.

I’ve been home sick for the past few days, and I think that I’ve actually had the flu. This came as a bit of a surprise to me, as I had a flu shot back in the fall, and it’s not really flu season any more, but when it all started happening there didn’t seem to be any other explanation. On Wednesday, I woke up with what seemed like an oddly fast-progressing cold. I didn’t have any head congestion, just this cough and crazy fatigue. The next day, it continued, and I cancelled my blood donation and lunch with a pregnant friend in the interest of not exposing them to my bizarre cold. When I called the Red Cross to find out whether I could still donate, I was asked whether I had a fever. I glibly said no, but after hanging up realized I hadn’t actually taken my temperature – turns out it was actually just below 100 degrees F. Now, in all fairness this is a low grade fever. And it only got a little higher over the following few days. But it seemed so odd for a cold.

Like any good public health student, I hopped onto the CDC website to check out their info on flu and colds. The fever, rapid onset cough, tiredness, and lack of other congestion pointed me toward the possibility that I actually had influenza. At that point, I started to get excited. Could I have swine flu, I asked myself? I was on a plane from Washington DC just a few days before I got sick, so this bug could have come from anywhere. I read further on the website, however, and it became clear that without the diarrhea and vomiting that seemed to accompany swine flu, it was unlikely that that’s what I was experiencing. I have to admit, I felt a bit cheated. I’ve been feeling pretty crappy over the past few days and I’d hoped that if I had to go through this, I would at least come out with a great conversation starter – “How was your summer?” “Oh, you know, okay, but I did have swine flu.” Alas, I simply seem to have had a mild flu strain that took me down when I was most vulnerable (read: tired).

As I write this, it’s Saturday, and the worst part of having this is missing BeerFest, an amazing event happening in Ypsilanti this afternoon. Alicia is there with some friends, but I’m doing my best to maintain my house quarantine (only for 5 days rather than 40). If I had to have a flu, couldn’t it at least have been the cool kind?

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