Swine Flu Diaries – Day 6

DSC_0551Tuesday, November 3. 2009

My life isn’t so bad.

Before I was sick, I was living the dream.  Working, getting along with the boss, going to school, hanging out with friends, plans lined up for weeks – I like my life like this.  When I got sick, everything had to change.  I texted my boss letting her know the doc wanted me off of work for seven days, I texted my widget presentation group that I couldn’t do presentation practice, I cancelled all plans that I had with friends, letting them know I had to reschedule because my friend H1N1 was in town, and I had to dedicate the next week to him.

During this whole time in isolation, I thought “What the fuck, my life sucks.”  But I got a much-needed smack en la cabeza today.  Everyday, horrible things happen to people, they disappear, get kidnapped, live in haunted houses, suffer through heartbreak, divorce, loss of a loved one, and even loss of their own child.  People are struggling with their own battles, their own addictions, their own demons… and I’m just sick.

My life is great… I have a wonderful family, parents and siblings that are proud of me, fabulous friends, a good job, and I have God.  I’m going to get through this, and several days in isolation isn’t that bad.

Swine Flu Diaries – Day 5

DSC_0538_2Monday, November 2, 2009

I woke up so refreshed this morning.  Probably from the ten hours of uninterrupted sleep I just had.  But I woke up to my phone ringing – at 7am!  Doesn’t anyone know that I’m sick?  Grandma made some bomb oatmeal for me, and I ate it while watching a Christmas movie.  I love the holidays.  At 11am, my dogs were itching to leave the confinement of my room, so we took a stroll to the back yard.  The weather was gorgeous – the sun was pronouncing her great glory of 80-degree weather.  Nice.  I sat down and imagined myself at Mission Beach, smelling the ocean air, digging my feet into the cool sand, listening to the helicopters above… wait.  Helicopters?  I opened my eyes and two helicopters were making their way southwest.

I sulked back to my hell-hole.  A draft of tiredness hits me.  I begin to drift into a nap while watching television.  Thoughts of Monday responsibilities play through my head while Bruce Willis is listening to Samuel L. Jackson’s spill of how he’s a superhero.  Shit!  I have an exam due today and I haven’t contacted my professor.

So I guess I could just type up a play-by-play of what I did today, or I can share some thought.

I have a lot of time to think… Well, I think all the time anyway, but the thinking I’ve been doing is different now than usual, because I don’t have any distractions or obligations or anyone to really talk with to dive into thought with.

I was on Facebook, and saw that Moe got a love quote.  I read it and immediately connected.

“In a sentence of love, oftentimes you have to put a period on something that has to end and not just settle on a comma.  In time, you will realize that it’s nicer to see a complete sentence rather than a phrase that’s completely hanging and doesn’t even make any sense.”

Oh, Closure.  For so many years, I thought that amicable break-ups would be easier, you know, the kind where you say, “It’s not you, it’s me” or “We can still be friends.”  But so much gets lost in the translation.  Then you think that if you stay friends with an ex that maybe he can bring closure to all the open feelings and all the pain and hurt that you suffered through – just to realize that being friends wounds your heart even more.  I’ve learned the hard way, the only closure you can receive is the kind you give yourself.  You cannot depend on someone else to give this to you.

So I got a love quote and received,

“When you’ve found a reason to walk away, never look back… just keep walking.  It’s better to get lost moving on than to get stuck stranded broken.”

I have realized that I rationalize almost every single thing I come across in life, in order to understand it.  Once I understand something or someone, it’s easier for me to accept it for what it is.  I think when comes to people, I fool myself often.  I’m not sure if I do this because I want to believe the best in everyone, or if I’m just afraid.  It may be a mixture of both.  After reading this quote, I felt like I was being presented with words I needed to hear.  A revelation was brewing… No more second chances, third, fourth or fifth chances.  There’s a reason why the 1st chance didn’t work.  I can’t keep thinking that people will change in order to encompass me in their life, because it doesn’t work that way.  It’s time for me to move on, and I don’t mind getting lost during the journey, I can rationalize to myself that this is the fun part.

Swine Flu Diaries – Day 4

Texas HairSunday, November 1, 2009

I’m pretty sure this is what hell is like.

At first it was anger – urges of anger blasting out of me like the chi blast of Ryu – HADOUKEN!  Anger because my mom is sick with her bronchitis and they blame me, Justin is congested and is coughing and they blame me, Grandma woke up with congestion and started coughing and they blame me, and Aunty Ann has stomach pain and dizziness and they blame me!  I keep hearing, “Michelle! Stay in your room!  Michelle!  You’re getting everyone exposed!  Michelle!  Now everyone else is getting sick!”  I wear my mask as my scarlet letter; I am damned into the solitude of my room and everyone has the right to throw words of degradation, hatred and even rocks at me.

I can’t really talk, because I get winded easily.  So I do a lot texting throughout the day – a few chats here and there.  But around 1pm, the depression settles in.  I no longer want to respond to the texts.  I close all my chat sessions and go offline.  I ask my grandma to make me a grilled cheese sandwich and stay in my room.  I take my dogs outside so they can play and I go back to my room.  I stay in this forsaken room.  Me and my light blue walls that I remember painting when I lived here in 2001.  Kickin’ it with Ambien sounds pretty good right now, but it’s only 4pm.  So I wait.  I sit and wait.  Tick-tock – 8pm yet?  Nope.  I lay and drown myself in Paul Rudd movies, waiting to be reunited with my magic friend, so that I may close my eyes and be somewhere else where I am healthy, doing the moon walk and have big texas hair…

Swine Flu Diaries – Day 3

IMG_0134Saturday, October 31, 2009

Can someone please blow my brains out now?

This is the day of boredom, upon the precipice of insanity.  This is the day where I try every possible thing to feel like I am who I am, but truly know that I am just an insignificant piece of infected flesh, tossing to and fro on this square padded contraption which is supposed to bring relaxation but instead is coaxing my mind into thinking how much fun it would be to jump out of the window and land a perfect dive into the swimming pool – same thing my Uncle Gus did when he was hyped up on drugs, from this very same bedroom… the dogs wake me up from all this crazy thinking, their restlessness is forcing me to take them outside.  We go to the back yard, and to get some of my energy outside of myself, I start to walk laps around the swimming pool.  I find myself becoming fatigued after lap two, so I decide to sit on a metal patio rocking chair, thinking that bug watching might be exciting.  Hmm, no bugs out right now.  I sure wish there were people around, so I can watch them instead.  People are much more interesting to watch than bugs.  My fever notifies me that I shouldn’t be outside any longer, so the doggies and I go back into the house and make our way upstairs to the designated four-walled space which will house my lunacy for the next six days.  The dogs are just as hesitant as I am, but we do it anyway.  To feel connected to the outside world, I watch a mad share of television: seven episodes of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, Footloose, The Little Couple, Tool Academy, Failure to Launch and Real Chance at Love.  I became heavily concerned if I were pregnant because denial is a bitch, and thankful that I wasn’t dating a tool more or less anyone right now, and was really rooting for Chance to pick Mamacita.  Through all the commercials, I became vehement to find some cinnamon toast crunch in the kitchen, and had a longing desire for fully loaded taco bell nachos.

1am and I wasn’t tired.  I was very lonely.  I wanted to be well and be partying with people.  Dammit, it was Halloween and I’m sitting inside my bedroom living vicariously through the housewives of Atlanta.  There was a house party on the street behind my house, and from my bedroom window I could see everything.  I closed my blinds and the curtains, but Billy Jean could still be heard.  I wanted to dance.  I wanted to be dressed 1/2 naked, with my hair so big I could be in a Whitesnake contest, my makeup done so I’d be “Michelle to the 10th power,” and my boots up to my thighs showing how sexy a 5 foot brown chick could be in such attire.  I wanted to smile and lure in the innocent, unsuspecting, simple-minded creatures and let them think that pretty girls can like them too.  Instead, I lay  miserably in this confinement which is supposed to offer 1/3 of my life comfort and a smile when I wake up.

Oh Ambien, thank you primary care physician for my friend, Ambien.  I take 1/2 of my dear estranged friend and magic happens.  All the yearning goes away.  My insanity turns into white butterflies, star gazer lilies, RobertVic doing ballet, KrisG playing a saxophone, Milk swimming gracefully like a koi fish, Marc installing beautiful twinkle lights around the patio… and Dexter.  I see Dexter, and I’m happy.

Swine Flu Diaries – Day 2

swine-flu-paintingFriday, October 30, 2009

I woke up and felt like shit – but today wasn’t normal.  I wanted to sleep, but everything hurt – my insides, my outsides.  Snot wouldn’t stop running out of my nose.  I was such a baby, I had my mom call my doctor’s office to see if they thought I could home remedy my misery – the doc wanted me to go to urgent care for an evaluation.  Great.  So Mom drove me to urgent care, and the wait was surprisingly short.  The doctor walked into the triage room with a bright yellow mask on – I couldn’t really determine what she looked like under that mask, but saw her name tag… M.D.  Ok, she’s legit.  She mentioned the “common cold,” and how my symptoms are similar.  Before she could finish what she was saying, my mom (being my mom) interrupted, “Do you think she has the flu?  She hung out with my son last night and he just got the flu shot.”  The doc stopped with her babble of information to address my mom, “The flu vaccine is a dead flu virus, she couldn’t have caught the flu from a dead flu virus that was injected into your son.”  She then faced me and was about to speak, and my mom interjected, “So are you saying that my son couldn’t get sick from the flu vaccine?  Because he developed congestion and a horrible cough after he was vaccinated.”  The doctor looked at me and my mom and said she was going to get a flu swab for me to see whether or not I have the flu.  She left in her oversized blue cape, orange crocs and yellow mask – off to save the day.  The nurse swabbed the upper inside of my nose and left.

Ten minutes later, superwoman doc came to the room.  “You tested positive.” She said.  She handed me three papers, and began to converse with my mom about her reasoning for giving me Tamiflu.  Paper 1: out of work for seven days.  Paper 2: prescription for Tamiflu.  Paper 3: information about H1N1 and all the “what you should do” information.  I read Paper 3.  I interrupted their conversation, “Excuse me, doc.  You said I tested positive for the flu, right?” I started to investigate.  “Yes, that’s right.” She retorted.  So I came back with a BAM, “Then why does this paperwork state that if tested during a non-flu season, and if positive, means that the H1N1 virus was contracted… do I have H1N1?”  She looked at me as if I caught her, “Yes, Michelle, you have H1N1.”  Great.  I then listened to her talk about my asthma concerns her, and how I must stay away from people for the next seven days, how I can transfer the virus, and the precautions I must take in order not to spread the virus.

I walked out of urgent care with a mask on, but instead of yellow it was blue.  Everyone knew there was something wrong with me.  My mom and I went to CVS closest to my house and picked up some more masks and some vitamins.  Everyone in that store knew something was wrong with me.  We went to the taco shop and ordered from the drive thru – i was going to celebrate my upcoming introverted life with three rolled tacos with guacamole and a large jamaica.  Just because I was sick didn’t mean I couldn’t eat greasy fat filling foods.  I texted a few friends after I found out because they asked me to keep them updated.

I knew what seven days with no contact meant.  I can’t even go one day without being super busy with people, how was I supposed to do seven??  Thank God for my doggies.  I went to bed with cold sweats, jitters and not being able to sleep.

Swine Flu Diaries – Day 1

DSC_0750_2Thursday, October 29, 2009

I woke up with the following symptoms:

  • headache
  • fever
  • body ache
  • chills
  • chest congestion
  • head congestion
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • allergies
  • no appetite

It seemed like a normal morning.  I felt like shit and went to work.  I left early to pick up some home remedy coping meds, went home, took all the meds, ate some menudo, played Candyland with Justin and was asleep before 8pm.