Everyone knows that I am a bit of a germaphobe…nothing wrong with that. I wash my hands a lot, I nag Dave to do the same, and to be honest I don’t get sick that often.
So you can imagine the horror when I was diagnosed last week with a probable case of H1N1. That’s right. You read correctly. Katie has the swine flu. Let the jokes commence.
The reason that it is a probable case, and not a confirmed case, has to do with the large number of cases in Chicago. The doctor basically said that my symptoms are all consistent with swine flu, but they no longer conduct the blood test for confirmation because it is now so prevalent. The one treatment option for regular flu and swine flu are the same, and expensive…Tamiflu.
The danger of H1N1 comes in the fact that your body’s immune system is pretty much down for the count. So you are open to any bacterial infection that comes along. The reason why people die (4 confirmed deaths in Chicago this season) from the swine flu, or any type of flu really, is because of the complications. In my case, the complication is a bacterial infection in my throat and lungs. So I lost my voice last week and may have coughed up a small animal. I am on antibiotics to treat these things, and hopefully prevent pneumonia.
This last week has been a wreck, I tell you. Or, more accurately, I have been a wreck.
The scariest part of this whole ordeal was fighting the high-grade fever. As an adult, I have never had to deal with a 102 degree temperature. And in my whole life, I can’t recall a single time (let alone a whole week) when I felt so much like someone beat the hell out of me with a baseball bat and left me for dead in an alley. Being hungover is like one hundred billion times better.
And I don’t sit around and do nothing very well. Missing six whole days of work has almost killed me. So I am just about on the verge of stir-crazy, minus the energy to do any real damage.
MUST. GO. TO. WORK. TOMORROW…MUST!