The Flu!

Who gets the flu during offseason?

Me, that’s who.

The other night I was at dinner with my roommate having a few drinks when all of a sudden I lost my appetite. I never lose my appetite. We walked home and as soon as I got home, I went to bed. I never go to bed earlier than 1 am, so a 10 pm bedtime was suspicious. I felt like my body was shutting down on me.

Anyway, being that I have no health insurance, I had to play this one wisely. Do I go to the hospital like a big baby? Or do I wait this one out and take care of it myself. I once went to the ER because I thought my fibroids were causing me to die, and all they could do was give me pain killers. $600 later, I was mad at myself for even going. Decisions, decisions.

Two years ago I caught the flu in the springtime, and because I was a grad student, I had health insurance. Again, I thought I was going to die. Turns out I had the flu, and well…all they could do was put me on an IV and let me rest for a few hours. I called my cousin up and asked her opinion (she’s a nurse, and a very good one) and she said I was just going to have to ride it out and stay hydrated. So, I decided to cancel all my appointments and sleep.

At first, I didn’t have any flu medicine and even though there are two drugstores within one block of my house, I was too afraid to go outside because we are in the middle of a heat wave. Passing out on the hot sidewalk when you have the flu is not The Look. Trapped, I began to look through my gTalk buddylist to see who is the nicest person I know, who is also the most flexible with their job. Perhaps they could run an errand for some meds on my behalf? I didn’t want to bother anyone with my lil ol almost-dying episode, and then have their boss be mad at them. Enter BK. Luckily BK and Marcia were able to point me in the direction of a pharmacy that delivers. You can get almost anything delivered in NYC!

So, here I am. Compulsively checking my fever temperature every 2 hours (ranging from 100.1 to 102.5), enjoying the taste of cherry-flavored NyQuil (it really is the best ever), and drinking tall glasses of water. Theraflu is also not that bad tasting either. Meh.

I can’t help but think stress allowed this to happen. The last time I had the flu, I was notoriously stressed out with grad school and my full-time job. When you’re stressed, depressed and anxious, your immune system follows and doesn’t fight off illness as much as it could. I guess for now I am taking this as a note to slow down. And try to get more exercise and eat healthier.

Four Days Off The Grid

It’s been four whole days since I officially took myself off the grid (meaning off the internet). I am pretty much continuously on the grid. Between my twitter, my feeds, my iPhone and e-mail, I am pretty much connected to the web at all times. Try and catch me by phone, or in real life? You might miss me.

So, why did I go off the grid?

Surgery.

Not that I’ve been extra public about it (though not really hiding it), but I have/had uterine fibroids: non-deadly tumors on my uterus. I have had them for about 4 years (according to hindsight) but have only known about them for the past 12 months. I did my best to ignore the hell out of them hoping they would just GO AWAY (I do not suggest trying this), but last month I had my first and last head to head with these bad boys. It took one painful experience with symptoms for me to realize they had to go, ASAP. Anyway, a couple small incisions, one really large fibroid (15 cm!), and a blood transfusion later–I am doing swell. Back home. Resting up.

Besides this experience making me a kinder, more patient person, I learned a few lessons from being off the grid these four days:

1. I truly can’t go off the grid for a few days! Impossible! Due to my trusty iPhone I was checking email sending SMS messages while drugged up in the hospital. I still came home to 500 unread messages, but trust, it could have been worse. I guess I can truly go off the grid when I am visiting my family in New Mexico. They have limited dial-up on the farm out there.

2. If you are stuck with minimal cable, it’s pretty much hell being without the internet. The past four days my only media outlet and source has been TV with poor cable channel selection. It is a very sad existence. My last four days has been filled with nonstop chatter about the Pope, the Pope Mobile, the Polygomyst Moms, and low self-esteem topics. Perhaps these are all related? Either way, I became newly obsessed with all of these topics due to my TV-only predicament.

3. Low self-esteem: Judging by the commercials being aired in the daytime, I am either an uneducated person without a job who needs a job OR an education quick, fast and in a hurry; I have legal problems; and/or I need to lose 60 lbs or more. Between the commercials and Oprah trying to convince me I am  not a good enough mother, and Tyra telling me nobody thinks I am pretty except her, it’s a messed up world out there in daytime TV land.

4. I really do love my BFF. Not only would he e-mail me a tech support question while I am laid up on my sick bed (with full disclaimers asking me not to answer anytime soon), but I sat there and figured out the answer, got back to him within 15 minutes with not only my off the cuff guesstimate, but a link with the right answer and full explanation. There are only a handful of people in this world I’d do that for, and not think twice about it.

5.  Twitter still aces it as my source of information.  I  didn’t have much patience with waiting for web pages to load, or my Google Reader to load on my iPhone (I had ADD/narcolepsy habits for a few days due to anemia). But loading my front page of twitter a few times a day kept me plugged in on the drama, the happs and the bigger news items in one fell swoop. Go Twitter.

I’m not 100% back, but slowly but surely I am getting back up to speed. Thanks to everyone who has sent me  IMs, e-mails, text messages, tweets, and called me with your support and encouragement these past few weeks. I haven’t been able to keep up with everyone this week, but I definitely did recieve your well wishes, and I thank you.